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Thread: Full Circle for a passionate amateur. Start with Binocs!

  1. #1
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    Default Full Circle for a passionate amateur. Start with Binocs!



    Hello Fellow Enthusiasts,

    I just wanted to share my journey, albeit short, into Astronomy. I have always been fascinated by "whats up there". As a child I used to take a flashlight and flash prime number light impulses into eternity, hoping for a response. As an adult, I finally purchased a telescope. It was a Meade ETX-105. I could not believe the capabilities of this marvel. Sadly, I didn't also realize the frustration with learning a new science, Astronomy, with a complicated piece of technonlgy.

    One night/morning I was able to track Saturn well into sunrise and thought it was amazing. However, not every night was as profitable. More times than not I was frustrated with malfunctions, bad seeing, etc to truly enjoy the scope. Finally, I did what every good frustrated amatuer would do. I put it in my closet and made it a dust collector. As a disclaimer, the ETX-105 is a great observing tool. But not for me at that level.

    Flash forward a decade. Last year, I decided to get back in the skies. Again, equipment difficulties with the ETX nearly halted my persuits. Fortunately, I had downloaded Star Walk on my ipad and took my fathers ancient binocs into the back yard. Eureka! That old pair of Tasco No.149 6x24's opened my eyes to an amazing new world. The star density blew me away! At the time, I was actually contemplating an Orion xx16g at the time as the solution to my studies. But those old Binocs were amazing! For the next year I spent many odd hours of the night/morning peering into the distance.

    The wide field of view and the ease of transporting my binocs and ipad to dark skies reignited my interest. It was so much easier to study the night sky. That was the key. Keep it simple and enjoy!

    Yesterday, I recieved a pair of Nikon 18x70's. I could not believe my eyes! I was blessed with a clear night here in Florida. I was able to see Jupiter and it's moons. WOW! (Tripod is a necessity)

    All I can say to those interested in Astronomy. especially with aperature fever, is to buy a good set on Binocs. I have learned/seen more than I would have ever thought possible. Astronomy is now fun again instead of a "chore". Maybe someday I will get a nice scope. Maybe...

    Clear skies y'all!
    AbbN, j.gardavsky, Ozman13 and 2 others like this.

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    Default Re: Full Circle for a passionate amateur. Start with Binocs!

    Welcome! I'm a beginner myself and I can relate to your frustrations with trying become proficient (or at least adequate) at this hobby. Like any new endeavor there is a learning curve involved. What I have done is make a plan for where I want to be, skill wise, a year from now. Then I broke that done into smaller objectives for me to master, to help me achieve my goals in a year. I'm not sure if I will get there, but it feels better to me to have some type of systematic plan.

    On some nights I can get pretty frustrated with my progress, but it seems like 90% of the problems I encounter are due to operator error, and usually I can figure out what I did wrong in a day or so. This website is valuable in helping me do that. The other 10% of the problems I encounter I would blame on poorly written manuals, or in the case of my Celestron RACI 9x50 Finder Scope, no manual at all!

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    Default Re: Full Circle for a passionate amateur. Start with Binocs!

    Scopes? Yeah I've got scopes, lots of scopes. But binocular viewing is where it's at for me. The VAST majority of my observing is done with binoculars. My most used instruments are the 25x100s, 8x56s, and the 2.3x40s. I have just recently acquired the Oberwerk BT-82ED-XL binocular telescope, but have not yet had an opportunity to put it through it's paces. The few times I have had the new BT out (not good conditions) it has shown a lot of promise and what I have seen is very sharp, but I'm still waiting on a GOOD night out.

    Many times I do take a scope, I ALWAYS take binoculars.
    AbbN, j.gardavsky and Jay6821 like this.

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    Default Re: Full Circle for a passionate amateur. Start with Binocs!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay6821 View Post
    Welcome! I'm a beginner myself and I can relate to your frustrations with trying become proficient (or at least adequate) at this hobby. Like any new endeavor there is a learning curve involved. What I have done is make a plan for where I want to be, skill wise, a year from now. Then I broke that done into smaller objectives for me to master, to help me achieve my goals in a year. I'm not sure if I will get there, but it feels better to me to have some type of systematic plan.

    On some nights I can get pretty frustrated with my progress, but it seems like 90% of the problems I encounter are due to operator error, and usually I can figure out what I did wrong in a day or so. This website is valuable in helping me do that. The other 10% of the problems I encounter I would blame on poorly written manuals, or in the case of my Celestron RACI 9x50 Finder Scope, no manual at all!
    As a technical writer, maybe I should re-write some manuals. I was a returner, too. It is strange how one's interests evolve over time. For the last 14 years I described myself as primarily solar but have become more interested in meteors.
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    Default Re: Full Circle for a passionate amateur. Start with Binocs!

    Hello Chris,

    and congratulations on your 18x70 Nikons, I have their little brother, the 10x70.

    Admitted, most of my observing sessions are with the binoculars, at the moment I have 10 binoculars from 7x42 up to 25x100,
    and 3 tripods to aim the big ones at the skies.

    Clear skies,

    JG
    Binoculars: Leica Ultravid 7x42, 8x42HD; Swarovski EL 8.5x42 Swarovision; Nikon 10x70 Astroluxe; Docter Nobilem 7x50 Porro; Jenoptem 7x50W, 10x50W; BA8: 10.5x70, 15x85; 25x100FB, AsahiPentax 8x40, Refractors: Sky-Watcher 150mm/750mm; Leica APO Televid 82mm (25x-50x WW ASPH); EPs:Baader Classic Orthos; Fujiyama ortho, Leica B WW, ultrawide zoom ASPH, Periplan GF, HC Plan S, L; DOCTER UWA; Wild UW mil; Tele Vue Delos, Nagler Zoom, Plössls; Swarovski SW; Pentax XW; ZEISS diascope B WW T*, Carl Zeiss E-Pl; Hensoldt mil; Filters: Astrodon, Astronomik, Baader (CCD), TS;
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