Celestron Nextar 6SE. A true dual use telescope

The Celestron Nexstar 6SE has been around for a few years now. But still makes for a great dual use / imaging telescope. The 1500mm focal length makes it perfect for medium to high power views. But with the introduction of many UWA eyepieces, you can also be rewarded with some excellent views of DSO objects like star clusters and brighter nebula. As standard accepts 1.25″ eyepieces, but can be upgraded to 2″ focusers for a wider variety of eyepieces.

For imaging, the OTA is tailor made for prime focus photography (no eyepiece used) . This makes it a 1500mm f10 , plus the crop factor of your DSLR , depending on which camera body you have.

If prime focus is not for you, then this popular scope can easily be used for CCD imaging. With the correct software and accurate focus, this can yield fantastic results.

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Acuter Voyager MaK 80 telescope

Cracking compact MAK 80 telescope to get you started. Simply add a tripod or EQ mount and you are good to go.

On testing this spotting scope / telescope, I was amazed by the lack of chromatic aberration. Although the eyepieces supplied are optimised for smart phone photography, I would recommend upgrading to a couple of higher grade plossl eyepieces for visual use.

As with all telescopes, we advise getting the most sturdy tripod and mount you can afford. This will help keep it steady when using high power eyepieces. For those using for terrestrial use, it comes with a very good quality carry case.

Do not just think when using for astronomy, it is suitable for the Moon and Planets only. This compact scope is perfect for splitting double stars and also the brighter star clusters, galaxies and nebula from a dark sky area.

The set consists of an 80mm Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope OTA with 800mm focal length, a 40x and 80x magnifying eyepiece, an optical 8×21 viewfinder, a particularly high-quality, phase-corrected 90° roof prism with image erection as well as a smartphone adapter and a carrying case.

Smartphone not included! Magnifications (with eyepieces supplied): x40 & x80 Highest Practical Power (Potential): x160 Diameter of Primary Mirror: 80mm Telescope Focal Length: 800mm (f/10) Eyepieces Supplied (1.25″): 10mm & 20mm 90° 1.25″ Roof Prism Image Erecting Prism (Phase Coated) 8×21 Finderscope Adjustable Primary Mirror Cell Focusing by Moving Primary Mirror Smartphone Adaptor Carrying Case Dust Caps Gift Box OTA Weight: 1.8Kg

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Zeiss Conquest HD 8×42 binoculars

Zeiss Conquest HD 8×42

The Zeiss conquest HD 8×42 binoculars are a premium set of binoculars designed for general use and even wide field astronomy. A wide 128m @ 1000m FOV and long eye relief make for comfortable viewing.

The Conquest HD 8×42 are well balanced binoculars . This means that even though they are not the lightest in class, they do not feel as heavy as the specs suggest. Featuring a beautiful design, easy to use ergonomics and high quality ZEISS optics at an attractive price.

The Conquest HD 8×42 has been designed as a robust companion which is particularly suited for use during low light observing conditions such as dusk and dawn. With 8x magnification these binoculars ensure that the viewing image remains steady. Couple this with a larger depth of field adds to the usability.

The HD ED glass lens system delivers excellent best colour reproduction for impressive nature observation with outstanding contrast and virtually no chromatic aberration. Whether watching birds or woodland wildlife such as deer, the 8x magnification is a useful all round solution. A specially considered ergonomic design also ensures that the 8×42 is extremely comfortable to use. A large focusing wheel is always close at hand so that even when viewing subjects at close range at close range the smallest details can appear sharp and colour neutral. The large focus wheel is also suitable for use with gloves on when out in cold conditions.

Ideal for:

  • Outdoor leisure activities
  • Bird and wildlife observation
  • Twilight / night viewing of stars and celestial beings

ZEISS CONQUEST HD 8X42 BINOCULARS SPECIFICATIONS

Magnification8 ×
Effective lens diameter42 mm
Exit pupil diameter5.3 mm
Twilight factor18.3
Field of view at 1,000 m (yds)128 m (420 ft)
Subjective viewing angle59° Ww
Close focusing distance2 m (6.6 ft)
Diopter adjustment range− 4.0 | + 4.0 dpt
Exit pupil distance18 mm
Pupil distance54 – 74 mm
Lens typeHD
Prism systemSchmidt-Pechan

Features

LotuTec | Nitrogen filled+ | +
Water resistance400 mbar

Physical

Operating temperature− 30°C | + 63°C (− 22°F | + 145°F)
Length150 mm (5.9 “)
Width at an interpupillary distance of 65 mm120 mm
Weight795 g
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Celestron Nature DX 8x42ED binoculars review

Looking very similar in design with the small red ring around the focus, the Celestron Nature DX 8x42ED binoculars look like a more compact version of the Regal 8×42 ED. That is where the similarity ends, with the Regal having far superior build quality and optics.

But to be fair to the Nature DX ED, for a set of binoculars in this price range, the lack of chromatic aberration is incredible. Team this up with a bright and clear view and excellent handling they give fantastic value for money. OK not the best eye cups in class. But the benefits of the optics and handling far outweigh any minor gripes.

To help keep costs down, they come with a basic Nylon case and neck strap. But these can easily be upgraded at any time.

To watch a more in depth review click on the video below

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Celestron Regal FF 8x42ED flat field binoculars review

Before even taking the Celestron Regal 8x42ED FF binoculars out of the box, you know in advance these are solid and well built. Some may say heavy, I say well built.

No corners cut with accessories, that include a padded neck strap, chest harness and hard case. The wide eyepieces give the impression of a wide FOV, which is confirmed when you look through them. Having the field flattener lenses built in, it is no surprise that clarity is excellent across the field with no pincushion distortion. Although the focus is not the smoothest in class, the image quality with close up views of insects on plants is as good as it gets.

For a more detailed review, take a look at the video below

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Hilkinson nature line 8x32ED binocular review

Released late 2021, the Hilkinson nature-line 8x32ED binoculars offer remarkable performance for a sub £200 solution. Key features are a lightweight and waterproof polycarbonate body, fully multi-coated ED glass with BaK4 dielectric coated prisms.

End results is a delightful wide field of view with pretty much zero pincushion distortion, excellent edge of field clarity and low levels of chromatic aberration. Couple this with excellent handling, they make a great starter set.

For a more detailed look, click on the video below

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Celestron astromaster 90EQ review

The Celestron astromaster 90EQ telescope is often overlooked by the more popular astromaster 130 when it comes to starting out. But with regards specs and optical configuration , it is more suited the Lunar, Planetary and double star observations than the similar priced Newtonians from Celestron, due to the long focal length, and the fact it does not need regular collimation checks.

Very easy to set up and use, with no tools required. For a more detailed look , see the video review below . Click on the subscribe button on the image to be alerted about any new video reviews

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Viking Kestrel ED 8×32 binoculars review

Designed for the serious beginner, the Viking Kestrel 8×32 ED binoculars offer dielectric coated prisms and ED glass for around or just over £200, making them excellent value. Although not the build quality of the higher priced Merlin 8×32 ED, the optical performance is pretty much the same.

Very user friendly if starting out. A nice wide field of view with crisp contrast and colours with very low levels of chromatic aberration. Good close focus is another benefit if you like looking at bugs and butterfies.

For a more detailed view, check out the video below

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Hilkinson Skyline 20×80 binoculars review

The Hilkinson Skyline 20×80 binoculars are aimed at a variety of uses, from astronomy, to ship spotting and long distance terrestrial observations. These are heavy, so a sturdy tripod will be required.

The large 80mm objective and 4mm exit pupil give them excellent low light capability. Compared to the very soft nylon case you get with the Celestron skymasters, the Hilkinson come with a very nice semi soft case for added protection when not in use.

Eye relief is quoted at 18mm, but I prefer to use them with the eye cups down all the time. Simple reason for this is that if using for astronomy, you do not want to be touching them is any way, to help reduce shake.

Yes there is chromatic aberration evident, but remember these are a sub £150 80mm set. So you still get a lot for your money.

For a more detailed review, take a look at the video below

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Celestron Astromaster 114EQ telescope review

The Celestron astromaster 114 EQ is aimed at the beginner. Complete with a CG-2 German EQ mount and a couple of eyepieces, it has everything you need to get started.

I personally am not a fan of erect image eyepieces on Newtonian telescopes. But you can easily upgrade to a more suitable plossl version. With a range of magnifications 50x – 100x and an aperture of 114mm, you should be able to make out many features on the Moon, see the 2 main cloud belts of Jupiter + its 4 brightest moons. Saturn will show its rings, plus some of the brighter Moons. Mars will be more tricky, but may just make out its red disc shape. Venus and Mercury will show phases.

But do not think this telescope is only for the Moon and Planets. From a dark sky area, a wealth of Nebula, galaxies and star clusters will be within reach, plus countless double stars.

Following the instructions, the mount is very easy to set up with no tools required. Once polar aligned, tracking using the slow motion controls is a breeze. Though there is a motor as an option.

See more of my views in the video below

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