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Equipment

Since my interest for astronomy emerged somewhere in 1993, I've gathered a small collection of instruments. This section is more or less in a permanent state of construction (you never got enough equipment, right?). More information will be included, with pictures...

Binoculars

My first instrument was a Greenkat 10x50 binocular, a rather low budget instrument. But it introduced me into the world of Deep Sky by showing me M42, M45, M35, h and Chi Persii and other bright objects. After a number of years of service the collimation of this cheap bino got lost and was beyond repair (glued prisms). It now serves as the viewfinder of my 355mm f/5 Dobsonian.

Orion Vista 10x50, worth every Euro I put into it. It is a lightweight instrument, very usable without tripod and delivers tacksharp bright images across the entire field of view with a very large contrast.

Telescopes

Pollux 114mm f/7.8 Newtonian, bought used on a parallactic mount in 1995 as my first telescope. The mount has recently been discarded and replaced by a wooden homemade dobsonian mount. I can recommend this move to anyone who struggles with the unstable mounts that come with these scopes.

Darkstar 355mm f/5 Dobsonian, bought used in 2004. Old style Dobsonian built rather bulky in the '90 the now disappeared Darkstar. Original focuser has been replaced with a 2" Crayford focuser from Baader.


darkstar

2005 saw the arrival of a 80mm f/7 William Optics Zenitstar Fluorite Doublet apochromatic refractor *take a breath*, together with a 0.8x Reducer/Field Flattener. William Optics introduced this little jewel at the very moment I was looking for a small travel scope and the lovely red finish, the Feathertouch-like focuser and pricing stole my heart right away. Mounting it on a photo tripod proved very difficult with a 2" diagonal or camera attached. The added weight of these accessories unbalances the telescope to such a degree a normal tripod head cannot hold it stable. To overcome this I acquired a Giro Mini made by Baader Planetarium with a long dovetail plate to allow balancing.

2006 heralded the coming of a used Losmandy GM-8 Mount.

A Orion Optics UK 20cm f/4.5 Photo Newton was added in 2007. Also bought second hand it came with a Celestron MPCC Coma Corrector. Both the William Optics and this telescope are mounted on the Losmandy to create my photographic setup.

In 2008 I added a very cheap 70mm f/7 Skywatcher achromatic refractor as a guidescope. This telescope has the advantage of a much lower weight compared to the William Optics and is of sufficient quality to guide accurately with the ToUCam II Pro Webcam.


losmandy

Public Observatory Urania, located less then 4km from my home has built up a very nice set of instruments, which were frequently used by me. In 2008 I moved to a village 30km away and as a result I frequent Urania less often. A short list:

  • 40cm f/10 Classic Cassegrain by Keller
  • Takahashi FS 102 f/8 Apochromatic Refractor on the same mount as the 40cm
  • Celestron 11" SCT, which is now residing on the Hakos farm in Namibia
  • Meade LX200 10" SCT
  • 300mm f/8 Newtonian with superb optics
  • 250mm f/4 Newtonian
  • 300mm f/6 and 200mm f/5.6 Dobsonians
  • and numerous smaller telescopes and binoculars

Eyepieces and Accessories

  • Televue Plössl 32mm
  • Televue Plössl 20mm
  • Televue Plössl 13mm
  • Televue Nagler 13mm (Type 6)
  • Televue Nagler 7mm (Type 1)
  • Televue Powermate 2.5x
  • Lumicon UHC 1.25" Filter
  • Lumicon Deep Sky 1.25" Filter
  • Antares Illuminated Reticle 10mm Plössl

Cameras and Lenses

Digital

Canon EOS 20D with BG-E2

Modified Canon EOS 20D

Canon EOS 40D

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/4-5.6 USM

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L USM

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Contax Zeiss Planar 50mm f/1.7 T*

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L USM

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L USM

Canon Extender EF 1.4x

Analogue

My first photographic experiences were with my dad's Canon A-1. Originally bought for my upcoming birth, I used it regulary since I was about 12 until I bought my own manual focus bodies and lenses.

  • Canon A-1
  • Canon AE-1 (sold)
  • Canon New F-1 (sold)
  • Canon FD 35-70mm f/4
  • Canon FD 70-210mm f/4
  • Canon FD 28mm f/2.8
  • Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 SSC
  • Vivitar 135 f/2.8
  • Vivitar MC Teleconverter 2X-4

After buying my Canon EOS 20D I hardly used my old FD equipment, but wanted to use the lenses, especially the 17-40mm, I had for that camera on film. So I sold my New F-1 body and bought a Canon Eos-1 body.

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