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Subject: Just bought scope
Date: 03/21/2002 03:58:48 pm PST
I just got this scope today March 21, 2002. Hands-on Optics shipped it with 2 day shipping for $25. Price of scope was only $500 used, I think they are like $750 new with all accessories. I got it with a CG-5 mount and WOODEN tripod (add'l costs) legs. It is a rock solid set-up. It looks like a very extra heavy-duty coffee can or something. All very solid - no plastic on this baby. All metal, and heavy metal. Very well engineered, er, over-engineered. What a concept! It comes with a dew shield, eyepiece, mirror diagonal, visual back, and finder you can focus. Optics are comparable to deluxe upgraded Intes glass and specs. It looks like a dream scope - almost too good to be true for the price. As soon as it warms up and clouds clear I will take it out and see how it performs on planets and DSO - at f/10 it should be a great all-around performer. After that I will post a full review and vote.
Subject: Observing session with new Lomo Astele 133.5
Date: 04/02/2002 07:01:45 pm PST
I finally got a break in weather and was able to use my new Lomo Astele 133.5. It performed well. The sky was not a true dark site - even without the moon you could easily see the ground and features in the area. The sky was gray not black and no evidence of Milky Way could be seen.
In star tests the stars were a nice donut on both sides of focus, going to multiple symetrical rings as you moved out of focus. The Orion Nebula showed a lot of detail. It filled 2/3 or more of the 17mm ep - I could see thin wisps of nebulosity out to maybe the edges of the fov. It compared favorably to my notes on the vintage Criterion Dynascope 6" reflector, which was a 1/10 wave or better scope with a little more aperture. I recall that the Dynascope might have been a bit more contrasty.
On M3 globular cluster the Lomo showed a huge image (probably 40% of the viewing area) but little
detail. It was a big dirty snowball.I had never observed M3 before so I have nothing to compare it to. I had hoped it would be a brighter image; it may have been because of sky conditions. M3 was a murky gray color and not
well defined, but sky was not terribly dark. M3 was large but no detail. I have viewed M13 in a Celestron G-8. The Celestron image was very bright with detail and stars
defined at larger magnifications - a glowing bright ball of stars. M3 was nothing like this. I look forward to viewing M13 with Lomo so I can see how it compares.
The CG5 mount with wooden tripod legs is a perfect combination with this scope. Rock solid. At first I was using it without the counter weight, but finding objects and then keeping them in fov while I locked down both axis was a pain. I put weight on and boy is it balanced!!! I never got that same feeling from a G8 on the same mount.
The finder continues to amaze me - it is a fine piece of optics in itself. The standard right angle viewfinder with it makes it a real asset, unlike the finders that come with Meade and Celestron products.
The focus is very precise albeit very sensitive. An ever-so-slight adjustment makes a significant change. No image shift that I could see or discern.
I would now give the finder a 10, the CG5 with wooden tripod legs a 10, the accessories (90 degree mirror diagonal, metal dew shield, etc)a 10, and the scope so far an 8 - could be raised to a 10 after I use it more in darker skies and I get a chance to view M13 globular cluster and other bright DSO/ planets in clear dark sky and compare the view to the G8 and also compare it to other scopes in our club.
For now, I will withhold a vote until I can do some serious observing and comparing.
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