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Posts Made By: Peter Bilotta

September 3, 2002 11:04 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Looking for Feedback on a 5mm Ultrascopic

Posted By Peter Bilotta

After nearly putting my eye out this past weekend while viewing Saturn through my 5mm and 6mm orthos, I've finally resolved myself to the fact that I need a high-power eyepiece with longer eye relief.

I observe primarily with a 6" f/5 reflector and need some feedback on modestly priced ($100 and under) options for planetary viewing. Much as I know the Televue radians are superior, they are far too rich for my budget.

Does anyone have any experience or feedback with the 5mm Ultrascopic (sold by Orion and Antares)? This is the 7-element model with the built-in barlow. Any other suggestions that might meet my need for a modestly priced (under $100) high power, sharp, high contrast eyepiece in the 5mm range with longer eye relief? Thanks!




September 12, 2002 09:06 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Affordable Planetary Eyepieces

Posted By Peter Bilotta

While my 5mm ortho has performed admirably, I need something with longer eye relief in the 7-10mm range that will provide comparable sharpness and contrast for primarily planetary observing. Is there anything affordable ($50-$100) out there that might accomplish this for me other than high end Tele Vue, Ziess and others that I can't possibly afford?

Thanks for your recommendations.

October 11, 2002 09:03 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Celestron Ultimas vs. Tele Vue Plossls?

Posted By Peter Bilotta

This is probably a dangerous string to start, but here goes. . .

I would like to assemble a set of either Celestron Ultimas or Tele Vue plossls. On most rating web sites, they are similarly rated. Todd Gross gives the Ultimas the edge, Ed Ting loves his Tele Vues and everyone else has their own favorite.

THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE USED BOTH AND CAN MAKE AN HONEST COMPARISON (not just the champions of one of the other line), which do you find have better sharpness, contrast and light transmission for general use (both deep sky and planets)?

October 14, 2002 01:59 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: Best high end barlows televue or takahashi ?

Posted By Peter Bilotta

Yes Art, upgrading to either a Celestron Ultima 2x or Tele Vue 2x or 3x barlow will fix the problem. The Ultima is one of the most highly rated barlows, just a hair behind the Tele Vues but $40 less.

If you are willing to spend the money on a Takashi, just get a Tele Vue Powermate instead. Powermates are not barlows, but rather image amplifiers. They add power and nothing else, almost as if they are not there at all. You will find all of the Powermates consistently rated a "10" - the best you can get.

October 18, 2002 06:12 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Suggestions on a 3x Barlow

Posted By Peter Bilotta

I need to squeeze some more magnification out of my Vixen 6" f/5 Newt while maintaining eye relief, and my 2x Ultima barlow alone isn't enough any more with my mid-range (12.5 mm Ultima and 9 mm UO ortho) eyepieces.

A Tele Vue 3x is unfortunately out of my price range at this time. Any recommendations on other good 3x barlows, including shorties? Thanks for the feedback.

October 21, 2002 02:48 PM Forum: Eyepieces

Re: Why the low power?

Posted By Peter Bilotta

Personally Mike, I see little reason for a 40mm eyepiece in the standard 1.25" format. A 30mm or 32mm plossl at 50-52 degrees offers approximately the same field of view of a 40mm plossl with a field of view of 42-44 degrees.

In my own side-by-side comparison, the slightly higher magnification of a 30 or 32mm is far more detailed and pleasing than a 40mm, no contest. It's all a matter of personal preference, but I have sold both my 40mm and 32mm and replaced it with a 30mm Ultima - SWEET! I'll never part with it.

November 19, 2002 12:31 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Planetary Magnification Increments

Posted By Peter Bilotta

Here's my situation:

I'm using a 6" f/5 and eliminating some short focal length eyepieces with longer eye-relief options. My current eyepiece/barlow configurations give me planetary magnifications of 160x, 180x 200x, 250x and 300x for exceptional nights. My Midwestern Urban seeing conditions generally limit good seeing nights to 250x max.

Here's my question for die hard planetary observers (particularly Jupiter, Saturn an Mars) - do I need to fill in with something that will give me 225x, or is this not necessary with the 200x and 250x I currently have?

Thanks for any guidance you can provide.

November 19, 2002 12:57 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Question on Planetary Magnification Increments

Posted By Peter Bilotta

Here's my situation:

I'm using a 6" f/5 and eliminating some short focal length eyepieces with longer eye-relief options. My Ultimas (12.5mm and 7.5mm) and 9mm UO Ortho eyepiece/barlow configurations give me planetary magnifications of 160x, 180x 200x, 250x and 300x for exceptional nights. My urban conditions generally limit good seeing nights to 250x max, with 300x possible only on rare occasions.

Here's my question for die hard planetary observers (particularly Jupiter, Saturn an Mars) - do I need to fill in with something that will give me 225x, or is this redundant with the 200x and 250x I currently have?

Thanks for any guidance you can provide.

December 16, 2002 12:54 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

LER (long eye relief) Eyepieces

Posted By Peter Bilotta

In my quest for affordable longer eye relief eyepieces, I'd be curious if anyone has some feedback on the GTO Long Eye Relief eyepieces sold by Hands On Optics, particularly the higher powered 9mm and 5mm. They are also sold in the UK under the Skywatcher brand name.

These are not the same eyepieces as Orion's Epics and Expanses. They feature 20mm eye relief and a 50 degree FOV. Any feedback would be appreciated.

December 17, 2002 09:54 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Helical Fine Focuser

Posted By Peter Bilotta

I'm looking for a helical fine focus accessory that inserts into a standard 1.25" eyepiece holder. My 1.25" focuser does not achieve and hold critical focus and cannot be replaced. Does anyone know of a product like this and who carries them?

Thanks for any feedback.