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Thread: First light with new focal reducer

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    Default First light with new focal reducer



    Took the kids to the planetarium today. While I was there, I checked their stack of clearance telescope eyepieces and accessories. They had an Orion 0.5x Focal reducer for ~US$10. I had thought before about getting one, but everything I saw written about focal reducers (including the instruction sheet that came packaged with the reducer) talked about using them in astrophotography and not in regular visual astronomy. Well, for $10, I decided it would be worth it. I think I am going to like it, even if I am not using for photography as much. Tonight was not a good night, with the thin clouds and the nearly full moon, but I'm fairly convinced that I got a better look at the Pleiades -- with the wider field of view than I would get with just the 25 mm eyepiece alone. I know that one of the things that has been a little frustrating with this long focal length Dob I have is that magnification is easy to come by, at the expense of field of view. When star hopping or otherwise trying to find stuff, I have often wished for a wider FOV. This should give me that.

    Here are two decent shots I took of the moon. The only difference is one has the reducer. It is fairly easy to see the difference -- all else being equal -- with and without the reducer.
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    pictures are almost always taken afocally using my XT6 with a 25 mm eyepiece, 0.5x focal reducer, and a Fuji point and shoot camera.

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    Default Re: First light with new focal reducer

    Great deal on the focal reducers (FR), I couldn't have turned that one down either.

    Actually the majority of us who have FRs use them for visual work even if we bought them for AP. Glad yours appears to be working.

    Cheers,
    JT
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    Default Re: First light with new focal reducer

    Congratulations on the find! Anything that can expand your range is good.

    Seems to me that people with long focal length scopes of any kind normally fight to get a wider field of view and people with short focal length scopes fight to get higher magnification.
    Bill Steen
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    Default Re: First light with new focal reducer

    Quote Originally Posted by MistrBadgr View Post
    Congratulations on the find! Anything that can expand your range is good.

    Seems to me that people with long focal length scopes of any kind normally fight to get a wider field of view and people with short focal length scopes fight to get higher magnification.
    LOL so true! Seems were never satisfied

    Great deal on the FR and it seems to work pretty well!
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    Default Re: First light with new focal reducer

    Seems to me that people with long focal length scopes of any kind normally fight to get a wider field of view and people with short focal length scopes fight to get higher magnification
    Not only does it seem true, it also seems like the perfect answer (or part of the answer) to the oft asked question, "should I get a "fast/slow" scope?" question. Not that I think I would have truly understood what it really meant until I had some time behind my telescope, but, with that experience, it makes a lot of sense.
    Orion XT12 Dob, Orion XT6 Dob, Meade 4 inch Newtonian with a broken mount, Celestron 15x50 binoc's
    pictures are almost always taken afocally using my XT6 with a 25 mm eyepiece, 0.5x focal reducer, and a Fuji point and shoot camera.

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    Default Re: First light with new focal reducer

    Quote Originally Posted by jaetea View Post
    Great deal on the focal reducers (FR), I couldn't have turned that one down either.

    Actually the majority of us who have FRs use them for visual work even if we bought them for AP. Glad yours appears to be working.

    Cheers,
    JT
    I like using mine on my LX200 and strictly for visual purposes!
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    Default Re: First light with new focal reducer

    Interesting topic. I just recently bought a 0.63 FR and I do enjoy the expanded FOV and the brighter contrast. Although I've only used it a handful of viewing times now, on my scope with a 25 mm EP, I can now fit all of Pleiades in my FOV, where before without it, I could not.

    Enjoy it for $10, that's a hell of a deal!
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