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Zeiss Diascope 85 T* FL year of manufacture

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Old Monday 16th March 2020, 14:52   #26
Binastro
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The Trapezium is seen by those with good eyesight in Canon 15x45 IS binoculars, so 20x should show it to 20/20 vision.

Try Jupiter, it is much higher for you than from here.

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Old Monday 16th March 2020, 15:52   #27
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The Trapezium is seen by those with good eyesight in Canon 15x45 IS binoculars, so 20x should show it to 20/20 vision.

Try Jupiter, it is much higher for you than from here.

B.
Thank you. Good info and good suggestion. I used to have 20/20, but no longer.

I was able to resolve Venus to its half- moon- type shape. No offensive color. It appears to perform as an apo should, in that regard.

It looks cloudy tonight and tomorrow. We will see.
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Old Monday 16th March 2020, 15:54   #28
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Hi,

sorry, a star test with an instrument not in thermal equilibrium and thus tube currents will always be erratic. But one side better pronounced than the other kinda points to some amount of SA. Stig is usually visible on both sides of focus.

But you should just wait for another clear day and let it cool properly. Or make an artificial star by putting some aluminum foil on a glass surface and make a tiny round hole with a needle. Then put it in front of a led flashlight and observe with the scope from 30m/100ft.

The usual rule of thumb for star testing astro scopes is to use an EP with the focal ratio of the instrument in mm. Since spotters tend to be f5.5 to f7 with larger aperture instruments being on the fast side, just crank it up to 60x - you can't really use a 5 or 6mm EP unless you have an astro adapter - spotter zooms are often 7-21mm or 8-24mm.

Joachim
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Old Monday 16th March 2020, 18:46   #29
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Joachim, thank you. I will try that too.

So far, I think this is not a perfect scope, but very good. I hope I am right.

I received the PhoneSkope adapter today. I threw it on the scope, and snapped another Cardinal. I also took a photo of a pine cone. Both were at 60x.

What is your opinion, relative to the scope. Are these pics showing promise for good optics, or ? I think the adapter might have been crooked, relative to the eyepiece. Otherwise, I am not sure why one of the pine cones is sharp and the other seems out of focus. Or, is the depth of field that shallow?

The Cardinal is actually a video capture. I think I am going to shop for a better tripod and fluid head. This one is just too shaky. It takes well over 3+ seconds for the jiggling to completely subside. Otherwise, it is a nice tripod for observing.
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Old Monday 16th March 2020, 19:29   #30
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Scott I tried to do a bit of stargazing with mine........

The moon was fine at all magnifications but everything else looked like wobbly jelly (although I didn't look at much because it was so cold with the window open and my Diascope is a straight and more difficult to view upwards to the night sky). Because of that I gave up....I'm not that interested any way other than searching for ET ( 'phone home' ET that is, who I did meet once in Florida)

Any way while I had my tyres done this morning I took my dog to see some birds at a local nature spot......

She Definitely had her eye on the swan !

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Well as I said yesterday they have implemented the 12 week isolation rule for the over 70s and those with major health risks and restricted all gatherings, sport, pubs etc etc. Schools still are functioning though which is tough for my daughter as she's a head and is working with half staff because they have stayed away. Things are about to ramp up!!

Take care, stay safe and batten down the hatches.

Ian
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Old Monday 16th March 2020, 19:45   #31
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Ian,

The wobbly jelly is probably because the window was open and warm air was rushing through the window gap.
It might actually be better with the window closed, at least if not at an angle to the window.

One actually needs to leave the scope outside for 20 minutes and then go out and observe.
But in the present circumstances I wouldn't risk getting a cold.

I am in the same boat as you.

It reminds me of the War of the Worlds, but for real this time.

Regards,
B.

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Old Monday 16th March 2020, 19:57   #32
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Hi Binastro.....

I've read many of your posts. You really are well informed and thanks for your advice.

It's not being able to see my kids and grand children that will unsettle me.... We are the ones that do the school runs and baby sit and now all of that has to be curtailed for the foreseeable future.

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Ian
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Old Monday 16th March 2020, 20:41   #33
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Originally Posted by Joker9937 View Post
Otherwise, I am not sure why one of the pine cones is sharp and the other seems out of focus. Or, is the depth of field that shallow?

The Cardinal is actually a video capture. I think I am going to shop for a better tripod and fluid head. This one is just too shaky. It takes well over 3+ seconds for the jiggling to completely subside. Otherwise, it is a nice tripod for observing.
Hi,

the depth of field of a fast instrument at high magnification can get very shallow... just think about that nifty fifty f1.2 bokeh monster you have for your camera... not so high magnification there but super fast.

As for the tripod, try the following before getting another one. Take a daypack with some stuff in it. When the tripod is set up, pull one shoulder strap over the scope and and let the strap go around the spread out tripod legs somewhere in the middle of the legs. That way you put some load on the tripod which is always good plus the strap around the legs will dampen vibrations.

As for the terrible seeing out of the window from a heated room - that is to be expected...

Joachim
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Old Tuesday 17th March 2020, 01:07   #34
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Originally Posted by Ian Byrnes View Post
Scott I tried to do a bit of stargazing with mine........

The moon was fine at all magnifications but everything else looked like wobbly jelly (although I didn't look at much because it was so cold with the window open and my Diascope is a straight and more difficult to view upwards to the night sky). Because of that I gave up....I'm not that interested any way other than searching for ET ( 'phone home' ET that is, who I did meet once in Florida)

Any way while I had my tyres done this morning I took my dog to see some birds at a local nature spot......

She Definitely had her eye on the swan !

Attachment 721318

Well as I said yesterday they have implemented the 12 week isolation rule for the over 70s and those with major health risks and restricted all gatherings, sport, pubs etc etc. Schools still are functioning though which is tough for my daughter as she's a head and is working with half staff because they have stayed away. Things are about to ramp up!!

Take care, stay safe and batten down the hatches.

Ian
I know that these are not ideal for stargazing, but I think mine will get used that way too. I enjoy that area of the hobby too. I have a dedicated astro scope, but this one will be easy to grab at any time. With a straight-thru view, it would be very difficult.

That nature spot looks beautiful. That photo is great! We occasionally see swans, but I think they are considered an invasive species here. But, that might be a specific type.

Just curious, but what kind of dog do you have?

Yes, stay healthy. I just overheard the tv in the other room. It sounds like we are definitely in the battening down the hatches mode here too. I just hope it is not too little too late. Stay safe!
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Old Tuesday 17th March 2020, 01:09   #35
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Ian,

The wobbly jelly is probably because the window was open and warm air was rushing through the window gap.
It might actually be better with the window closed, at least if not at an angle to the window.

One actually needs to leave the scope outside for 20 minutes and then go out and observe.
But in the present circumstances I wouldn't risk getting a cold.

I am in the same boat as you.

It reminds me of the War of the Worlds, but for real this time.

Regards,
B.
I remember reading the War of the Worlds (a "Little Big Book" verision). It sent my imagination off into a very dark place, at my young age. My dad brought up the movie, in reference to the virus.
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Old Tuesday 17th March 2020, 01:24   #36
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Hi,

the depth of field of a fast instrument at high magnification can get very shallow... just think about that nifty fifty f1.2 bokeh monster you have for your camera... not so high magnification there but super fast.

As for the tripod, try the following before getting another one. Take a daypack with some stuff in it. When the tripod is set up, pull one shoulder strap over the scope and and let the strap go around the spread out tripod legs somewhere in the middle of the legs. That way you put some load on the tripod which is always good plus the strap around the legs will dampen vibrations.

As for the terrible seeing out of the window from a heated room - that is to be expected...

Joachim
I will try that. I find the vibrations while I am trying to find that final bit of focusing to be a serious obstacle. It is bad when just observing, but a TON more difficult when trying to focus for a photo. I will give that a shot, though.

Ok, I will stop posting photos. I hope it is not annoying for me to keep posting. But, now that I finally have the adapter, I thought I would see what the consensus is regarding the scope's abilities.

I guess it does not matter, as long as I am happy with it. So far, I think I am very happy. With the right conditions, I think it might really allow me to take some great pics. Today was gray and dreary again. In fact, it was raining. I went to a pavilion, and just tried to reach out to any target available. It was pretty limited. I had some other shots, of a pair of wood ducks, but they were poor.

Somehow I seem to find every blade of grass or wayward bush faintly blocking my photo. It softens the focus, and ruined many of the pics. These were the best I could do.

All are at 60x. The Redwing Blackbird on the pole was the closest bird to me. Everything else was a couple of hundred yards away, except for the little Song Sparrow, which was around 30ish yards away.

I included the originals, plus some of the modifications. At least one of them shows the bubbles or dust. Disappointing. Otherwise, I think this scope at least looks pretty good.
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Old Tuesday 17th March 2020, 01:26   #37
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Here are the rest...
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Old Tuesday 17th March 2020, 06:04   #38
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Hi,

quite frankly, if you can take pictures like the sparrow ones through your scope at 60x, you can't complain about the optics.

Regarding the black stuff in the first blackbird image - was this taken at a lower magnification then, because you said it was only visible at around 20x...

If it gets into focus it must be somewhere near the focal plane which should be in the general area of the front element of the eyepiece. You could take a soft blowing brush and brush off the EP front element and the protective glass inside the EP bayonet.

If that doesn't help, fixing it will involve disassembly and I personally would not want to pay for such a minor fault... if it's still under warranty, they may fix it for free, but there is still a chance that sth goes wrong either in transport or it gets worked on on a monday morning...

Joachim
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Old Tuesday 17th March 2020, 09:00   #39
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Hi Joachim

I have the same problem as Scott with my Diascope..... I said to him that others on the Forum have experienced the similar and after much reading around the problem it appears to be bubbles either in the glass or coatings on the objective lens....a problem I think that Zeiss have experienced before and can be solved by replacement if under warranty but with the current coved-19 problems it may be better to put up it for the moment as it doesn't affect the qualty of photography as born out by Scotts photos.

Scott.......

Your pics are brilliant...you must be very pleased. With the current problems being able to get out safely and immerse yourself into your hobby is a great bonus and I bet you're glad that you got your 'kit' now as the post and online ordering could be a problem in the future.

I forgot to mention ...yes...James Herriots work has been very popular in the UK, with a long running TV series years ago.....no doubt you could view it on YouTube.

Binastro & Scott....

'War of the Worlds' and all of the past disaster movies about 'Viruses' have become a reality - really CHILLING.

Take care all..... Ian
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Old Tuesday 17th March 2020, 10:36   #40
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Hi,

quite frankly, if you can take pictures like the sparrow ones through your scope at 60x, you can't complain about the optics.

Regarding the black stuff in the first blackbird image - was this taken at a lower magnification then, because you said it was only visible at around 20x...

If it gets into focus it must be somewhere near the focal plane which should be in the general area of the front element of the eyepiece. You could take a soft blowing brush and brush off the EP front element and the protective glass inside the EP bayonet.

If that doesn't help, fixing it will involve disassembly and I personally would not want to pay for such a minor fault... if it's still under warranty, they may fix it for free, but there is still a chance that sth goes wrong either in transport or it gets worked on on a monday morning...

Joachim
Thanks, Joachim. I think, at this point, the limiting factor for this scope is just me. Not that it couldn't be bested by another scope, but just that it is, at least, a normal Zeiss. While there is variability in the optical quality, they did not become an alpha as a result of their average scope being poor. So, I am satisfied, and pleasantly, with its daytime performance.

Thank you for your input and explanations. The spots are a real annoyance, and if I can square it away, I intend to. Not now, though. I will just deal with it.

I actually have cleaned all exterior surfaces. Well, "cleaned" sounds more significant. "Dusted" with Zeiss cleaning fluid is a better explanation. I am used to cleaning old (50 yoa +/-) glass and coatings, so I was really gentle. Nothing changed, though. So, it is either bubbles, like Ian understood, or deeper inside.

I am not even considering an attempt to go any further with cleaning this scope. It is too close to being awesome for me to risk destroying it. I have disassembled a variety of binoculars and classic telescopes, but WAAAAY too many moving parts in this puppy to let a bumbler like me inside.

So, for now, the bubbles stay. Maybe that is a good name for the scope. I don't name my scopes, though, I have heard others do that. Name theirs, that is. But, "Bubbles", hmmmm...






...Naw, I think not. LOL.

Thank you again. Your knowledge is appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Byrnes View Post
Hi Joachim

I have the same problem as Scott with my Diascope..... I said to him that others on the Forum have experienced the similar and after much reading around the problem it appears to be bubbles either in the glass or coatings on the objective lens....a problem I think that Zeiss have experienced before and can be solved by replacement if under warranty but with the current coved-19 problems it may be better to put up it for the moment as it doesn't affect the qualty of photography as born out by Scotts photos.

Scott.......

Your pics are brilliant...you must be very pleased. With the current problems being able to get out safely and immerse yourself into your hobby is a great bonus and I bet you're glad that you got your 'kit' now as the post and online ordering could be a problem in the future.

I forgot to mention ...yes...James Herriots work has been very popular in the UK, with a long running TV series years ago.....no doubt you could view it on YouTube.

Binastro & Scott....

'War of the Worlds' and all of the past disaster movies about 'Viruses' have become a reality - really CHILLING.

Take care all..... Ian
Ian, I agree with both of you that the bubbles can be overlooked for now. I doubt mine is still under warranty. I will look into it at some point, but will just enjoy the scope for now.

I do know that there is nothing obvious, to me at least, in the coatings on the objective. It is a beautiful purplish/pinkish color (I think that would be the description). No defects that I can see. The ep, is a little questionable. But, I think I can see flecks on an element that appears to be inside the tube. Looking in from the objective, I initially thought it was internal dust. Who knows? I will, like you, just overlook it, and enjoy the scope.

Yes, Ian, I am definitely shocked and pleased with some of the pics this scope/phone combo have provided. Wow! It really is far better than I expected, and almost as good as my childish imagination had hoped for. Of course, I wanted to see each individual feather, and the louse crawling around, on a hummingbird, and at 1,000 yds. LOL. But, that is the goofy kid in me. I really am starting to love this scope.

So, just in case I can actually help another person, you specifically, here are a few things that have helped, I think, get some good pics. Before that, though, I do not want to sound like I think I have a handle on photography, because I don't. The Note 10's camera is almost dummy-proof, so the credit goes right past me. These little things, though, might help others, though.

The first benefit to the Note 10 is that I can set the camera to be activated by voice. I do not have to push the button to take a photo. I just say "capture" or something, and it snaps the pic. It works VERY well, and I used it even when hand-holding the photos. It, obviously, eliminates vibration caused by that touch.

Secondly, I added to my hands-free method a bluetooth shutter remote. Yesterday I used that. So, it was a combination of numerous photos, with only a handful, as you can see above, and this remote, that resulted in the few that were worthwhile. So, really, points 2 and 3, I guess.

And, I guess, the last thing that might be worth offering, is that while I am far less capable than most, I can manipulate the settings on the Note 10 camera. I can change the ISO (even though I do not know what that means), shutter speed, and, other things, to allow me to find a combination that looks best to my eye. If I understood those things better, I know I can only improve the results. In "Pro mode" I can even change some things to a manual adjustment, but select "auto" for others. So, again, the camera, is hugely beneficial to a rookie like me.

I said that was the last thing, but I actually thought of another. I took some video yesterday too. I have far less control over the video camera (no pro mode, for some reason), but I can snatch still photos from the
"reel" later. The video seems to capture a clearer more focused image than some of my snapshots.

I hope this helps you and others. Just my observations over the last week or so. I think your photos are already excellent, but thought that maybe having a remote shutter controller might send you into the next level. I apologize if it sounds like I am being a know-it-all. Not my intention at all.

I will have to look for an existing thread, but if there isn't one, I might start a digiscoping rookie thread. Or, maybe a digiscoping rookie ZEISS thread. I would like to post stuff to get advice and improve, and also to see others' successes. It probably already exists, but if not, I will get that going for at least the two of us. If it does exist, please, keep posting pics.

Did you say you already have the PhoneSkope adapter. I think you did, but now I cannot remember if that was the brand or not. My only complaint(s), so far, (actually, more of a constructive criticism, I hope) about their product, is that it seems that it does not easily allow the camera lens to sit exactly level. It seems that there might be a way to allow a bit more precision in that regard. Not a big deal, but I noticed it. Otherwise, an excellent adapter. Thanks, for the recommendation, if it was you that recommended it.

I hope you can get outside over these next few weeks. I also hope and pray that it is just a "few weeks". At this point, we are not restricted, literally, to our dwellings, but gatherings, I think, are limited to no more than 10, and virtually everything is closed down.

I am a police detective, so I will continue working throughout. I am guessing that the only change that might take place for me might be to leave my desk, and actually work with the main patrols. I hope it does not get to that point, because that would mean that things are VERY bad.

Stay encouraged, and safe, all.
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Old Tuesday 17th March 2020, 11:48   #41
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I have the same problem as Scott with my Diascope..... I said to him that others on the Forum have experienced the similar and after much reading around the problem it appears to be bubbles either in the glass or coatings on the objective lens....
Hi,

if you can focus on the dust or bubbles (as Scott obviously can), they can't be in the objective lens.

Joachim
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Old Tuesday 17th March 2020, 16:02   #42
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Hi Joachim.....

Where will they be then. On mine at x20 focusing the eyepiece to its extreme at 20 - they appear as slight bubbles and black marks not flecks. I've had specs/flecks in binoculars and these are definitely within glass somewhere. At 20 I can look sidewise and they appear more apparent....zoom out fractionally and they disappear.
There are reports on the Forum of other occurrences so I'm confused.

Your thoughts please...

Regards

Ian
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Old Tuesday 17th March 2020, 17:21   #43
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Hi Joachim.....

Where will they be then. On mine at x20 focusing the eyepiece to its extreme at 20 - they appear as slight bubbles and black marks not flecks. I've had specs/flecks in binoculars and these are definitely within glass somewhere. At 20 I can look sidewise and they appear more apparent....zoom out fractionally and they disappear.
There are reports on the Forum of other occurrences so I'm confused.

Your thoughts please...

Regards

Ian
I have one of these old Zeiss zooms. Even when the eyepiece is not on a scope I can easily see all sorts of detritus: specks, flecks, fibers and bubbles or droplets at the 20x setting. That's because at that setting one of the moving internal lenses moves close to the eyepiece field stop, or since the field stop itself also comes into sharpest focus at 20x, it's more likely that both the lens and the field stop move together up close to the internal focal plane of the eyepiece at the 20x setting. What you see might be bubbles in the glass, but I think they're more likely to be tiny droplets of lubricant on the lens surface. Reaching the lens to clean it means disassembling the eyepiece.

If you can't tolerate it I'd return the eyepiece to Zeiss for cleaning or you can do what I've been doing, which is to ignore it and/or increase the magnification until the dirty lens moves far enough away from the focal plane to defocus the stuff and make it invisible.

Henry
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Old Tuesday 17th March 2020, 17:47   #44
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Henry good advice..... I'll ignore/increase the magnification and have been doing that already.

This is a 5 year old 20-75 zoom..... Is that an old one in your opinion? Does the new Harpia suffer the same? So the marks are not on the objective?

AND yes Zeiss will no doubt rectify this for me/us if we require under warranty, so I have comfort in that but I'm actually not put off by it and am very impressed with the optics. The image is superb from "22" to 75 magnification and at 75 is second to none ( I imagine) and I think one of the most powerful available. I have another 2 scopes with fixed and zoom options which don't compare to the Diascope but I haven't tried a Harpia, Swarovski or Kowa to compare.

Regards

Ian

Regards

Ian
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Old Tuesday 17th March 2020, 17:49   #45
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Hi Ian,

any dirt, bubbles, whatever far from the focal plane will not visible and just generate a tiny bit of light loss and/or stray light. For visual impairment of the image you need an astonishing amount of grime on an objective lens or mirror.

For something to be in focus it either needs to be close to the object you are observing or in the image plane of the objective lens/mirror. That is often close to the front element of the eyepiece (the lens at the lower end of the eyepiece) as its retaining ring often serves as field stop which you want to have in the focal plane in order to have a sharp edge of the field.

PS: Henry was faster...

Joachim

Last edited by jring : Tuesday 17th March 2020 at 17:58.
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Old Tuesday 17th March 2020, 17:58   #46
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Joachim....

Thanks for that.

Ian
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Old Tuesday 17th March 2020, 18:16   #47
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Actually, I agree with the consensus regarding the eye-piece. Either that, or some element between the objective and the ep. It is not the worst thing in the world, but I might look into it further. Not in a hurry to do so.

Ian, I agree with you regarding the scope. It is actually growing on me. I liked it immediately, but it is burrowing deeper into my heart. LOL.

I took a 6 mile jaunt this morning. I captured a few other photos, but these are my favorite. I know I said I was done posting, but here they are anyway. Sorry. Originals, and the edited versions. I edited by touching the magic wand button to allow the phone's editing wizard to do the work. Probably far better than my attempt would have been.

I definitely am shopping for a tougher head and tripod. I need something that I can touch at high power and not vibrate to beat the band. I could barely find focus because of this. I think the pics would be sharper if I could find focus.

Any suggestions on a fairly economical choice. Joachim, I did try the backpack hanging on the tripod. I do see that it could be a help, but just not quite enough. Maybe I am just clumsy.

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Old Tuesday 17th March 2020, 19:37   #48
jring
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Hi,

my favorite head for a full size scope is a 500AH.

Long rail to properly balance the scope (and even longer ones available), counterbalance (a mechanism which will keep a scope or camera which was balanced while horizontal from moving on its own when it is set up non-horizontally - without tightening the vertical friction - which you don't want for smooth tilts), very sturdy, does not break the bank and is about the same weight as the 128RC.

My example was bought for cheap and heavily used from the classifieds in here from a pro who had dragged it around the world and came with a good measure of dust from an unknown desert. I have continued to drag it around the world, but not quite so frequently.

About the only negative thing to say is that the plates are not Arca Swiss compatible - but different sizes are easily available from Manfrotto and 3rd party sellers.

For legs, I would look for used big brand carbon legs - preferably rated for at least double of your intended load, with as few leg sections as you can stand (more leg section = smaller diameter and thus much decreased rigidity of the lowest section and locks = less rigidity - 3 sections are a good compromise - 2 sections are not frequent - the few ones out there are often targeted at birders and recommended), and a height which is sufficient for you without extending the center column (or ideally no center column at all).
A wider spread angle is preferable for better rigidity and of course to lessen the danger of tilt.
Twist or flip locks both work well when in good working order - I personally think that with twist locks there is no lever to break and even when they start to fail you can usually give them a bit more twist until you get home...

As for brands, Gitzo is of course very good and also usually quite expensive even used - if you find a fitting example in good order for $200 or $300, grab it. It will be good.
Manfrotto/Bogen are also well known and tend to go not super cheap used.
Velbon Geo series are nice and can often be found fairly cheap - a 535 or 635 set for $200 or less will serve you nicely - I got a predecessor of the N535 for 90€ iirc... can't complain...
Then there is Feisol, Induro, Sirui et al - some models are good, some not so... read your reviews. https://thecentercolumn.com/ has a lot of good reviews with a focus on rigidity testing.

A last word, a scopac or mulepack is warmly recommended as it really helps to carry the tripod, scope and some stuff like a guide, munchies and water comfortably on longer walks and also serves to add weight and dampen vibrations like the backpack trick.

PS: here's an image for the backpack trick https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.p...6&postcount=12

Joachim

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Old Tuesday 17th March 2020, 20:00   #49
henry link
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Joker,

I notice that the center column is a little extended in your photo. That should be avoided if possible.

Henry
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Old Tuesday 17th March 2020, 21:12   #50
Ian Byrnes
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Hey Scott....

That's just greedy....2 Bald Eagles looking dressed to kill !

Looks like Joachim and Henry know there stuff ..... But here's mine - Weifeng tripod and Weifeng fluid head, not cheap but not expensive either (they came with the scope ) and to add to the display my Zeiss 10x42 Conquest HD & Lowepro Flipside 300 which carries the tripod and scope just fine along with coffee, sandwiches and other bits and bobs.

Wrong way up but never mind.......I'll master these attachments one day !

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