The Levenhuk zongo 80 telescope case has been a popular product for the members of the North Lincs astro society when Northern Optics pays a visit with the regular display of astro goodies. So if the Zongo-80 gets the seal or approval from the North Lincs astro guys, you can be sure its up to the task.
The case itself is much more sturdy than the images suggest. The 35×12×101 cm size is big enough for many scopes, including telescopes up to 130mm and focal lengths to 900mm. The OTA and mount may need to be separated. But no worries here, as the adjustable divider stops each component to catch each other.
Comes is a very attractive blue livery with a zip up outer. You can either carry as normal, or throw over your shoulder.
*Note that the outer box as shown in the image may not be included
100x31x28 cm/39.4×12.2×11 in
This bag will protect your telescope from any impacts while transported, and from dust and moisture while stored. The Levenhuk Zongo 80 Telescope Case is made of durable dark blue nylon, with orange elements and Levenhuk logos sewn in.
Usage: General use product. May be used by kids over 3 years old.
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Here at Northern Optics we had a look at the new Skywatcher 16mm Nirvana-ES UWA-82 eyepiece. This is not an optics test, but a chance to look at the construction and packaging.
So to start off with, the box is a simple design with no images. It does show the brand name and item codes. But on the plus side it is a very sturdy box that will keep its shape overtime. This is where some eyepiece packaging can fall short.
Taking the eyepiece out the box, we find it very well protected with bubble wrap surrounding the eyepiece. On the subject of the eyepiece, for a UWA-82 it seems very compact compared to some others with similar spec, considering the 7 lens elements in 4 groups. Lens caps are at either side.
The eyepiece itself feels very solid, despite the 200g lightweight construction. Very nive black finish with a secure textured grip.
This version has the same optics and coatings as the old model, but has a fold down eye cup, compared to the twist type on the older version. But this is not a bad thing, as it folds down very easily. Note that eye relief is only 12mm, so may not suit all spectacle wearers. In my case, with glasses on, I got around 90 percent of the view with spectacles on / eye cup down.
If the optics are a major factor to you, and you do not wear spectacles, the latest Nirvana-ES has a much lower price point compared to the first version, so has to come with an excellent value for money tag. Recommended.
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Available from Northern Optics the Skywatcher Skyhawk 1145PS AZ-GTE is a sensible starter GOTO scope due to ease of use, and the wide field of view the short 500mm f4.4 OTA offers. Magnifications of 20x and 50x included are ideal for wide views of the Moon and rich star field clusters + comets.
Many lower end Newtonian’s come with a built in barlow lens inside the focuser. These end up reducing the overall quality of the image, and in my opinion defeats the object of the short focal length.
Although the OTA (optical tube assembly) is a relatively long lived design, it is still a popular choice, with 4.5 inches a nice compromise between budget and the larger 6-8″ scopes if budget does not allow
Available from Northern Optics , the Skywatcher Nirvana-ES UWA-82 eyepieces are the latest version of the older Nirvana range. The 1.25″ range come in 4,7 and 16mm. Although they use the same optics and coatings, the over all design is different.
As well as a sleek new look body, they comes with a fold down eye cup, as apposed to the twist type of the previous model. We still find nowadays, many users still prefer soft fold down eye cups for comfort. So do not think this is a step backwards. It is simply evolving to users needs.
As with the old model, you get a picture window 82 degrees field , fully multi-coated optics with blackened edges and 7 lens elements in 4 groups.
These top quality ultra wide angle 1.25” eyepieces offer an incredible jaw-dropping viewing experience to rival some of the leading premium eyepieces on the market, but at an extremely competitive price. The huge 82 degree apparent field of view, superb field-edge correction and excellent contrast combine to provide a wonderfully immersive and memorable viewing experience. Work superbly in telescopes of all focal lengths
12mm eye relief on all models. Beautifully finished in high-gloss anodised aluminium with knurled rubber grips. Threaded to accept standard 1.25” filters. Weight approx 170g.
1.25″ telescope eyepieces come in two forms. Fixed focal lengths and zoom eyepieces, such as 8-24mm for example. What you will find though with some Newtonian reflectors is that you can not get infinity focus. This is due to there not being enough inward travel on the focus wheel to adjust for such eyepieces.
There are some fixes to get round this. If available for your telescope, a low profile focuser may help. Also using the collimation screws to move the primary up the OTA. But get advice and help from a recommended dealership or local astronomy club if unsure.
A third and most easy method is to use a barlow lens with the zoom eyepiece. Although this should work, you are also in effect reducing the focal length of the eyepiece (for example a 8-24mm will become a 4-12m if used with a 2x barlow), and reducing the overall quality, depending on the optics of the barlow used.
A customer who bought a set of Hawke Frontier ED 8×43 binoculars from the Northern Optics weekend display at the Waters` edge visitor centre, Lincolnshire asked what ED stood for in the description.
I explained that with normal binoculars not all colours come to the same point of focus. This means you get some chromatic aberration (false colour) and slightly reduced sharpness and brightness in comparison.
So as a practical demonstration I asked the customer to look at a heavily back lit lamp post with non ED binoculars. So as to level the playing field I used Hawke ED 10×32 and non 10×32. He noticed that the non ED model gave some red and purple colour fringing down the edges of the post (chromatic aberration). The when the ED 10×32 where used, there was a marked drop in false colour and in his words a much better overall viewing experience.
Then we went up a notch to the Hawke Frontier ED 8×43, where there was a noticeable further reduction in CA due to the higher grade glass. Although ED glass does not completely illuminate CA , it vastly reduces it.
As with our customer, it is always best to buy binoculars from a place where you can see through them, plus have a vendor with a in depth knowledge of optics.
18 people attended the Oct 2018 meeting at the North Lincolnshire astronomy society, where regular member and in-house speaker Chris Roche gave an excellent talk on Vulcanism in the Solar system. This included, not only planets, but their Moons. In particular IO, which boasts the 1st live active volcano other than Earth.
Thank you as always the Malcolm and Glenys for the teas and refreshments, and the Lincolnshire wildlife trust for the use of the venue.
It was also nice to see 2 new faces, who will hopefully come again.
On the agenda, we discussed fund raising ideas and possible locations. Myself, Northern Optics was ever present with some tempting goodies for sale on the night.
The Ostara 1.25″ H-beta filter is a specialist filter for CCD imaging and visual work of H-beta targets such as the horse head nebula and California nebula. Note that it is best used from dark sky locations, and ideally telescopes of 10″ or greater for visual work.
This high performance CCD filter transmits only the Hydogen Beta emission line, and therefore is useful for greatly increasing the contrast of objects that glow in the corresponding region of the spectrum
Recommended for capuring H-beta emitting objects using CCD photography under dark skies
Dr Gareth Few from the astrophysics dept of the Hull university was the guest speaker at the North Lincolnshire astronomy society on Monday 6th Aug 2018. His in-depth talk on the origins of life was excellent , with a little help of practical demonstrations to show better the effect of elements colliding and how they evolve over the history of time. Much to Charles,s relief his section on the periodical table was kept as simple as possible without going into too much depth.
Thanks to Steve for stepping in as tea lady, and the Lincs wildlife trust for the use of the venue. Although skies are not dark early enough, we got some great views of the Sun courtesy of Andy and Damian manning the club solar scope