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Posts Made By: Erik Lin

January 7, 2003 07:26 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Belt of Orion

Posted By Erik Lin



Does anyone happen know th exact angular separation of the Belt stars. I am trying to verify the ACTUAL FOV of my 20X80 & 25X100mm binos and could use some help. Looking for angular measurement between 2.5-3.5 deg. Other recommendations welcome.

Erik D

March 18, 2003 07:55 AM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos

Bogen Tripod: Recommended accessories?

Posted By Erik Lin

Hi all,

I ordered a Bogen 501 fluid head, 3221WN tripod with the 3280MV carrying bag Combo package last year. The total price was under US$260---less than the cost of the fluid head and 3221 tripod alone. I was pleased with the purchase.

Went back to the same dealer's web site to purchase an addtional QR plate(Bogen 3433PL). Price ~$19, UPS ground freight, NYC-NJ: $15.48! Order two and the shipping charge goes up to $16.01. I am going to order another pan handle for the fluid head at the same time. It's best to combine your accessory purchases instead of piecemeal.

Does anyone have recommendations for other useful Bogen accessories, either for birding or astronomy? I want to order them all at once instead of paying $16 freight for a $19 item the next time. TIA.

ERik D


March 19, 2003 10:41 AM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Nikon 18X70 for sale

Posted By Erik Lin

There is pair of Nikon 18X70 IF binos on sale(ad# 180321)$695. If this is the Astrolux the price is very attractive. Or is it something else?

Erik D

March 24, 2003 05:58 AM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos

Equipment Set-up

Posted By Erik Lin


Kurt and Michael,

Can you guys share some info about your equipment? I have zero experience with photography thru spotting scopes or binos but want to try. I am thinking starting with my wife's Cannon ELPH digital camera and my tripod mounted 20X80 binos.

Orion has a SteadyPix digital & Film camera mount attractively price at $35.(#5228) Does anyone have experience with it?

ERik D

BTW, Thank you both for sharing the wonderful photos.

April 15, 2003 11:43 AM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos

New Bogen Tripod & Accessories.

Posted By Erik Lin

Just got back from a week in Las Vegas for the 2003 NAB trade show(my 12th). Had a chance to visit the large Bogen booth on the last day when our own booth traffic slowed. Bogen/Manfrotto/Gitzo are all one big happy family now under some UK(I think) parent company. As usual Bogen have at lot of new products. Some items of interest:

1. Manfrotto now have custom QR plates for the follwoing spotting scopes: 200Z1 plate for Zeiss Diascope, 200LE1 for Leica Televid, 200SW1 for Swarovski AT/ST80 and 200NK1 for Nikon Field Scope 78. These plates relplace the standard 3157 QR plate supplied with the popular 3130 fluid head. Street price ~$17.50. A bit higher than the 3157.

2. A new 700RC2 fluid head weighing just 1.1 lb and rated for 5.5lb. Could be interesting to hikers wanting the save the last few oz.

3. Bogen have several Carbon fiber tripods in the 3443/3444 series. Weight 3.5-3.6 lbs--about 1.5 lbs lighter than the traditional Al tripods in the 3011/3221 series. However, all of them are priced at over $300 which is twice the cost of the Al tripods. The Carbon tripods are also several inchs shorter. I think they are OK with angled eyepieces but probably too short for binos with straight thru eyepeices.

4. There is a new Bogen 516 fluid head with TWO pan hadles and weighs 4.4 lbs. The head is rated for 22 lbs and priced about $380. Could be a alternative for someone who wants to use a 100-125mm telescope for terrestial viewing or for mounting the new Burgess/Oberwerk 20/40X100mm asto binoculars.

Erik D

May 31, 2003 03:27 PM Forum: Astro-Physics

Finder for an old AP 6"F8

Posted By Erik Lin

I am looking to mount a finder on a 6"F8(pre-Starfire)AP triplet from the late 1980s. Any of the 8/9X50 finders from Synta/Orion will be fine. The tapped holes at the focuser end of the OTA appears to be 1.375" C-to-C. Does anyone know where I can get a doveatail base that would fit? Any other tips about mounting a finder on this scope?

Erik D

June 2, 2003 01:24 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Mounting finder on AP 6"F*8

Posted By Erik Lin

Hi All,

Posted this question on the AP forum and received no reply. Thought I'll repost here since there are 75 times more traffic on this list.

I need to mount a finder on my pre-Starfire AP triplet(~1989). The tapped holes on my OTA are about 1.375" C-to-C. The 9X50mm from Orion/Synta looks pretty good. Does any one know if the Orion dovetail mounting bases(part #7214 or #7215)will fit.

Any other tips on a finder for my scope or comments on the Orion 9X50 RACI finder are most welcome.

Erik D

June 27, 2003 07:15 PM Forum: Astro-Physics

Re: Astro-Physics 8X50 finderscope....or?

Posted By Erik Lin

I do not have first hand experience with the AP 8X50 finder. However, it seems to me that if having a finder from AP with the illuminated reticle is not a must there are much better values out there.

A few weeks ago I purchased a 9X50 Right-Angle Correct-Image finder from Orion. This one has 5.0 deg FOV and was priced under $80( was on sale a few month ago for even less). I have it mounted in the same orientation as the diagnol of my main tube(AP 6"F/8) and it works very well. Image is bright and the thick X hairs are readily visible. Two perpendicular adjustment screws makes alignment effortless. The 9X50 size show much dimmer objects than the smaller 5X24 and 6X30 finders on my other scopes. Even the black crinkle finish matchs the black trim on my OTA pretty well. A quick release mounting bracket is included. I can't think of anything that needs improvement.

If you like the traditional staight-thru finder you can get a 9X50 inverted image finder from Orion for less than $60. Mounting bracket included.

ERik D

July 7, 2003 12:44 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

TeleVue Nagler Zoom 3-6mm/Pro or Con?

Posted By Erik Lin

My friend loaned me his Orion premium 8-24mm Zoom and 2X Shorty Plus barlow for my 6"F/8 AP triplet. Since it's been quite hazy in the North East when it's not raining I have spend a lot of time viewing the moon and double stars. I have had a lot of fun with the above combo zooming in and out between 150-300X. I like been able to change magnification instantly to match sky conditions.

Since I only have an average quality 6mm Plossl I was thinking of getting a premium high power EP such as a 4/5 or 6mm TV Radian. Then I re-read the favorable revews of TV 3-6 mm zoom on CloudyNights as well as very favorable user comments on A T &W. It seems TV 3-6mm can equal or better the performance of Radians if one can live with slightly narrower FOV and shorter eyerelief.( I don't need glasses to observe). The TV zoom is about half the size of 4 & 6mm Radians and cost $100 less than buying two of them. The zoom will give me between 200-400X in my scope without ever needing a barlow. Since it takes three trips in and out of the house to haul my 5 ft OTA, mount and counter weights before I can start observing I would prefer to carry fewer EPs.

Is there any reason I shouldn't go ahead with the 3-6mm zoom?

Erik D

October 11, 2003 04:59 AM Forum: Astro Binoculars

New Orion SWA 7X32mm

Posted By Erik Lin

Just returned from a two-day business trip last night. Another air traffic control hold at Newark Airport meant 2.5 hours of sitting on the ground in Miami Airport. That's when I really wish I had a wireless internet connection. Finally got home around 11 pm on a flight that was suppose to depart at 3:45 PM and take 2.5 hours. I guess that's an improvement from my trip last month. After a 12 hr. flight from Beijing my connecting flight sat on the Chicago runway for 3 hours waiting for release from Cleveland and Newark ground control. Anyway, when I got home the new Orion holiday catalog was waiting for me. Of course I quickly flipped to the bino section to check new models. The new Orion 7X32 Expanse SWA binos really caught my interest. They are listed as having 14 Deg FOV!

Some of you on this forum may recall I posted a brief report on a pair of EWA Russian 6x30s. This pair is listed as having 12.5 deg FOV. I thought it may be good to have as extra wide field finder from my mag 4.5 central NJ backyard. Many of the stars on modest mag 6 star charts are not visiable naked eye from my house. However, I was not impressed after checking them out at the 2003 NEAF show. It did not offer the extra wide angle views I was expecting from a pair of binos with 75 deg APFOV. Nor was I impressed with the built quality of a pair of small aperture binos selling for $130.

The Orion 7X32 SWA binos have better specs than the Russian 6X30s on paper: Higher power, wider 98 deg APFOV, slightly bigger objectives and black rubber grip(the Russian 6X30 had a cheap painted camo finish. The only minus I can see is the short 10mm eye relief. I do expect edge distortion with such extreme wide angle binos but in my experience Orion does not carry "Junk" optics.

I would be very interest in reading a review if anyone on this fourum decides to order this pair as a holiday gift "for their loved ones" this year. :-)

Erik D

PS, EdZ: What would be your estimated Limiting Maganitude for a pair of BAK-4 porro 7X32s that are "fully" but not multi-coated?