Skywatcher Evostar 80ED Review

“What’s more impressive is at this price point the glass used is FPL-53 glass. That’s some of the best quality glass used in amateur telescopes.”

Skywatcher Evostar 80ED Review

The Skywatcher Evostar 80ED Doublet Refracting Telescope. A solid entry in the range from Skywatcher, and I’ve had the pleasure of using this telescope for over half a year now.

80mm aperture, 600mm focal length. Natively f/7.5, not slow by any measure but a little slow for deep sky work. If you buy the dedicated matched reducer flattener which is 0.85x, you’ll get f/6.3 – almost half a stop faster. I use a 0.8x F/R which gives me f/6 bang on (that’s 420mm focal length) – exactly half a stop faster.

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ZWO ASI 533mm Pro Review

“Another benefit that I enjoy greatly with the ZWO ASI 53mm Pro is the absolute lack of amp glow. It really doesn’t matter if you’re taking a 30 second image or a 30 minute exposure. There isn’t any amp glow in your images.”

ZWO ASI 533mm Pro Review

A couple of years ago I reviewed one of my favourite cameras. The ASI 533mc Pro. Since then, ZWO have released a mono version of the same camera, and they sent me one for review.

With this article I’m going to focus on my thoughts and feelings after using this dedicated monochromatic camera.

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ZWO ASI 183mm Pro Review

ZWO ASI 183mm Pro Review

A monochromatic camera (mono) is often referred to as a gold standard camera for astrophotography. I had the urge to use one again, so I got my hands on a ZWO ASI 183mm Pro for review. This camera was sent to me from First Light Optics for review.

I’ve had the ZWO ASI 183mm Pro for some time now in order to get a good handle on the camera and its qualities. In this article I’ll be sharing my feelings about the ASI 183mm pro.

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Cleaning Telescope Optics Quickly And Safely

Cleaning telescope optics is a question that gets thrown about a lot. In truth cleaning our optics isn’t something that needs doing all that often. In fact over-cleaning them could be detrimental to their health. So clean the telescope lenses or mirrors only when they begin to get really bad, or begin to affect image quality. In this article I’ll share my workflow for how I treat my telescope lenses, filters, camera sensors and camera lenses.

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It’s A New Year!

What an interesting year 2021 was. I almost made an episode of The Night Sky for every month (11/12 achieved. Not too bad). I also made a few reviews, tried out some kit and you seem to enjoy it and continued to enjoy what I create.

With 2022 now upon us. I decided I want to try and give the website a bit more attention this year, and focus on more production quality and improving my videos more. Of course I will do as many imaging vlogs as I can as well.

To that end I have ben considering my options with the sky available in the garden and really I’m now torn between whether to get myself a ZWO ASI 533mc Pro to keep, or do I get a wide telescope and a bigger sensor. So many decisions.

Last year also I feel was one of the worst for astrophotography. I don’t recall having that many clear skies. This issue was exacerbated by the fact the mono camera made it a bit longer to get a workable image. I’m not sure I’ll be revisiting mono again – at least not for a long long time.

So I’ll be focusing on getting another OSC camera. I’d like a mirrorless camera also, but one that does have a very shutter in order to not disturb the neighbours. If you know of any, please let me know!

I also want to do a bit of set dressing for the videos. As much as some enjoy the plain walls in the garage. It could do with a bit of sprucing up. Maybe some nice lighting in the back.

Either way I hope to blog more, raise my production quality and add more value to you. I started this to document my journey, along the way it has evolved into wanting to deliver value and entertainment. So in 2022, my goal is to enrich you more.

Here’s to a successful New Year.

I wish you the best of luck, and may the odds be ever in your favour.

Wait, that’s The Hunger Games.

Clear skies everyone, keep looking up and keep them cameras clicking.

Fixing The Website

Well! What a chore that was. No other way to put it – that was a pain in the neck! I recently changed website host and ended up losing my website. Not for the first time either!

To put it simply, it turns out the website (the thing you’re looking at) isn’t the same as the domain. The domain is the part. So when the domain was changed, the website stayed with my old host.

The issue? I couldn’t get into the old host’s website builder. So I had to go deep into website databases, coding, and the files that makes up the very foundation of my website.

That took a long time, and I also have The Bloodstone to thank on Twitter for spending a lot of time walking me and talking me through things, as well as the customer support from my new host.

It’s going to take some time to rebuild certain areas of the website. Some photos may be missing or weirdly sized. I’m working on getting through the backlog so please bare with me!

If you find something wrong then please bring it to my attention. Until then, clear skies everyone.

Keep looking up and keep them cameras clicking.

iOptron CEM70 Review

The CEM70 Observatory grade, high capacity and sleek. I was surprised and extremely excited when First Light Optics offered me the iOptron CEM70 mount to review. With great jubilee I agreed and for a few months now I’ve been enjoying this heavyweight Centre-Balanced Equatorial Mount. In this video I’m going to share my thoughts and feelings on this mount.

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The Tadpoles Nebula

Having been given a nice wide SharpStar 61EDPH2 telescope to review, as well as a ZWO ASI183mm Pro – a cooled mono camera – I thought I’d love to try a SHO image again. After having a browse about in Stellarium, I decided I was able to frame up the Tadpoles, Spider and Fly nebula. So with clear nights being in short supply, I set to work.

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2020 In Review

Well, what a year 2020 has been. Aside from the state of the world, the year has been a bit up and down with astrophotography also. From a nice beginning with the 533mc Pro, a scorching summer and an abysmal winter. In this post I think I’ll take some time to recap, to look back over the year, and my images. So feel free to tag along for a trip down this year’s lane as we bid farewell to 2020, and welcome in another year of opportunities, targets, and incessant cloud cover.

2020 In Review

At the beginning of the year I was still using the ZWO ASI 533mc Pro that was on loan from First Light Optics. It was actually the first piece of equipment they had loaned me. I also had the Astronomik 12nm Hydrogen Alpha filter that was loaned to me from the Widescreen centre. It was certainly strange getting items sent to me, and definitely took some getting used to. The relationship with Widescreen Centre didn’t go anywhere, however I did get on board with First Light Optics as a reviewer and I couldn’t be more thankful for such an opportunity.

The key images I took early on in the year included the Rosette Nebula, Comet Atlas and M81 & M82. These were exclusively shot with the 533mc Pro and then I was able to make my review. Which was my first camera review. I think it came out well.

2020 also included a house move from one town in Northamptonshire to another. I also moved in with my partner so I actually missed a couple clear nights during that transition period. Trying to move house, sort internet out, unpack and image deep space was too much to do at the same time really.

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