So here we are, our first post here at the ‘porno’ site. Apologies to those who may be offended, but my blog buddy (Chip, from the USA) and I thought that the blog name was perfect for a couple of guys who really get worked up by some of the cool looking equipment that many of you have, and of course the equipment we both hope to have one day.
Being a little free blogsite, we don’t intend to take over Iceinspace or Cloudynights! We just thought it’d be nice to set up a place where we, and hopefully a few of YOU, will feel nice’n comfy sharing your love of astronomy and astrophotography, and the equipment involved. Share the joy, share the frustrations, share the feeling of achievement in getting even a basic image to a stage where ‘common folk’ can wonder at the skies above (well, below, to the side, wherever…).
While Chip is a fairly experienced astronomer and astrophotographer, I’m very new to all this. I’ve followed astronomy for most of my 45 yrs on this planet, but never committed to purchasing ANY equipment. Heck, my first night time astronomy session was with the Astronomical Society of Victoria last Friday night, seeing Jupiter, Saturn and Mars, and a few other deep sky objects for the very first time.
So I feel rather guilty at my first scope purchase, made after much research, forum discussions and a long chat with Chip. Below you’ll see a series of pictures of the ‘official unboxing’ of my beloved Takahashi Epsilon e-130d.
It’s a bit of a gamble, being a VERY new tech scope by Takahashi, following on from their very successful e-180d. In fact, this may be one of the first of its type in the southern hemisphere. I do regular searches on the net for the scope, and know of only one USA user (John) and a couple of Japanese users. Haven’t heard a negative word about the scope yet.
Chip is a Takahashi lover, owning 102 and a 60 refractors, beautiful things they are. I figured that my very late adoption of the hobby meant that I could justify close to the very best, so just went for the Tak! I was thinking of trying the FS-60CB first, however the incredible array of attachments required to get it working with an SLR (my first camera to be used) meant that the total cost of the little Tak would go from a sticker price of $1,000 to close to $2k!
I then looked towards a TSA-102 at around $3,500, BEFORE FIDDLY ADAPTER COSTS. Then I came across the e-130d. Hmm, $3,300, only requiring a tubeholder and EOS adapter? 130mm vs 102mm? You can see how I made my decision. Especially knowing that I would primarily be using the instrument for photography purposes.
Being in Australia, we only have one supplier here, being the Astronomy and Electronics Centre (AEC). Claude is apparently quite ‘famous’ in the astro community, some express frustration, others have no issues. Myself, I’ve only dealt with him via email, but he has been very patient with my questions and concerns. As the scope is very new to market, he has been very cautious re. any accessories, preferring to receive the scope first before finalising things like finder scopes.
So below are the ‘porno’ pics of my lovely new scope. I can’t use it yet, as I’m awaiting delivery of the tube holders ($453!, see what we mean by accessories adding up?), but rest assured, I’ll be imaging as soon as I receive them. Pending biblical overcast conditions for the next 3 months that is….
Clear skies and calm winds everyone.
Finally, again I’ve spoilt myself silly. All Televue eyepieces. Purchased for a very good price while in NYC, USA. 24mm Panoptic, then a nice Delos collection of 10, 6 and 3.5. But saved money by buying a $70 laser collimator from the good folk at Bintel:
Important note about the wider eyepieces and the e-130d – The manual says not to purchase any eyepiece over 23mm, due to vignetting issues. I tried to beat the system by buying an EP just over, 24mm. Unfortunately there is a tiny, noticeable amount of vignetting RIGHT IN THE CENTRE OF THE VIEW, meaning that I doubt I’ll be able to use that EP. I’ll wait and see what the true night time views are like, then consider purchasing a 17mm Delos. Man these eyepieces are a true work of art! Highly recommended. Great eye relief for old fogies like me who need glasses.