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Monthly Archives: June 2007

26 Jun

We have been selling a lot of the Celestron C130 spotting scopes due to the great price and it’s easy to understand why. The C130 scope has to be one of the best values in a dual purpose, day-night observation scope. Last time we ran a special on this type of scope with the Meade ETX-125 spotting scope, they were sold out in a month. Not sure if the C130 will top that record, but it is doing, well.

So is 4-PC Day / Nighttime Astronomical Observation Gift Kit, which includes the Celestron Heavy Duty Alt-Azimuth Tripod 93607 Despite the …

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25 Jun

I bicycled up a storm on Saturday. The weather was perfect to log in some miles – cool, cloudy, no wind and the few raindrops I encountered helped to keep me cool and the traffic on the trails light. In all, my bike computer said I had logged 110.5 miles when I finally rolled to a stop Saturday night. I was one very tired biker by the end of the day, but one very happy one. I was happy, not only because of a good day’s ride, but also because I got some good wildflower pics. The same weather that …

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22 Jun

On yesterday’s post, I looked at the optics on the Celestron C130 Mak spotting scope. For those of you just getting in on the action, we purchased a special run on this spotting scope model of the popular C130 Maksutov telescope from Celestron and are offering it either as just the C130 spotting scope or as our 4-PC Day / Nighttime Astronomical Observation Gift Kit.

Today, I would like to report on the mechanical side of the C130 spotting scope.

It was about what I expected for the price. The optical tube is aluminum in construction, with the rear cell …

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21 Jun

OpticsPlanet recently made a great purchase on the Celestron C130 spotting scope. This is the same optical tube as used on the Celestron Advanced 130 Mak GT telescope, but is supplied with an erect image, 45 degree prism and a 32mm Plossl eyepiece for terrestrial use. I put the C130 spotting scope version through some optical tests, yesterday.

For the price, I was pleasantly surprised. Resolution was very good for a scope at this price, as was contrast. It scored favorably with some much more expensive Mak spotting scopes and telescopes in this regard. Also, I could detect no image …

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20 Jun

Every now and then, I get a customer that wants a telescope or spotting scope that is as good to look at as it is to look through. The instrument must not only perform to the highest standard, it must also make a statement about the owner’s commitment to owning a fine piece of equipment.

Of course, as salesperson, this is a dream customer for me. I had just such a gentleman the other day. He wanted something for his Manhattan high rise and he made a point of telling me that he didn’t have time to waste on alternatives …

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18 Jun

I am sometimes asked to name my favorite telescope eyepiece. That’s a bit like asking me to name my favorite outfit to wear or my favorite bird spot to visit – just depends on the occasion and what I am trying to accomplish.

If you had me cornered, though, I would probably say something like the Televue Panoptic 24mm eyepiece or the Pentax XW 20mm eyepiece. Why? I like eyepieces with enough eye relief to use with my glasses, with a wide field of view, though not necessarily the widest field of view and, of course eyepieces with outstanding resolution, …

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14 Jun

As often happens when I am biking along the local trails, the trail will emerge from the dense cover of forest and open to a wide expanse of prairie. This always brings a smile to my face, since I am an open country gal at heart from out west. How I miss those wall to wall horizons.

Last night, I not only smiled when this happened, I interrupted my strict bike training regimen by stopping. What brought me to a halt was the song of a Bobolink, one of my favorite prairie birds. The “Bob” has such a distinctive, crazy …

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13 Jun

The great weather continues here in the Chicago area, so I’ve been spending some nice evenings under the stars. As always, the light pollution, here, limits any attempt at serious deep-sky observing, though it has much less effect on planetary viewing. Still, I am a deep-sky observer at heart, so what’s a girl trapped in the big city to do?

I am a person who enjoys the simple things in life and after many years on this glorious planet, I have learned that taking a step back, now and then, and going back to basics is a wonderful way to …

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12 Jun

When the discussion turns to digiscoping (taking pictures through the eyepiece of a spotting scope with a small digital camera), most people think in terms of great bird pics. After all, it was an adventurous birder who got digiscoping started and great bird pics remain the holy grail of most digiscopers. In the great “let’s see what happens” spirit of digiscoping, though, many of us have expanded our horizons to include other subjects and even to experiment with other optical instruments, including telescopes, microscopes, binoculars and monoculars.

For example, one of my favorite subjects, after birds, are butterflies. Now it …

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11 Jun

We are approaching new moon this week, so it’s a good time to get out under the night sky and do some astronomy.

One of the things that disappoints me, greatly, is the notion many beginners have that you need an expensive telescope and lots of equipment to start doing astronomy. Nothing could be more untrue. If you have a clear sky and any interest in astronomy, the time to start is right now.

Don’t have any optical equipment? No excuse. You can still do a lot of astronomy just by learning constellations and star names. For this, all you …

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