Reviews

SharpStar D 150mm f/2.8 HNT: An imaging telescope with sharp vision

27 May 2020 Ade Ashford

Until comparatively recently, your best tool for capturing wide-angle vistas of extended deep-sky objects with a full-frame DSLR or CCD/CMOS camera was a fast prime lens from one of the big-name players in photography. Now you can attain these swift imaging speeds with hyperbolic Newtonians, such as the SharpStar 15028HNT.

Equipment

TS Photoline 60mm f/5.5 apo travel ‘scope

31 July 2017 Ade Ashford

It’s holiday time again and the keen observer is faced with the usual dilemma: how does one carry a telescope small enough to be useful to far-flung dark and exotic skies? Fortunately for globe-trotters concerned about optical size and weight, Telescope Service in Germany has the TSAPO60 — a compact and very versatile photo-visual 60mm f/5.5 ED refractor.

Equipment

Orion Funscope Astro Dazzle 4.5” reflector kit

22 November 2016 Steve Ringwood

Steve Ringwood appraises the Orion Funscope Astro Dazzle, an eye-catching 4½-inch (114-mm) f/4.4 Newtonian reflector on a tabletop Dobsonian mount designed for beginners. The pre-assembled instrument possesses an inherent simplicity that will not challenge, with an aperture that brings a wealth of astronomy’s best to the viewer, he says.

Equipment

Orion 60mm multi-use guidescope

3 September 2016 Steve Ringwood

These days, more is expected of a finder than to merely direct the main telescope to a celestial object of interest. This versatile 60mm f/4 instrument possesses a fine movement non-rotating helical focuser that has been designed to double as a traditional finder or guidescope with Orion’s StarShoot AutoGuiders, says reviewer Steve Ringwood.

Equipment

Vixen VMC110L modified Cassegrain OTA

7 July 2016 Steve Ringwood

Steve Ringwood appraises the VMC110L, a novel “grab ‘n’ go” modified Cassegrain telescope of 110mm aperture and 1035mm focal length (f/9.4) from renowned Japanese manufacturer Vixen. The instrument features twin 1¼” eyepiece ports — one of which can be used for imaging or photography — and an internal flip mirror system to quickly switch between the two.

Equipment

Celestron Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph

1 June 2016 Ade Ashford

Celestron’s 280mm (11-inch) aperture f/2.2 Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph (RASA) is capable of blisteringly fast photographic speeds, capturing images of nebulae and galaxies in seconds. An imaging system optimised for virtually any one-shot colour CCD or DSLR in existence, Ade Ashford appraises this photon-grabbing wonder in the context of evolving optical systems.

Equipment

Altair Astro Solar Finder

14 May 2016 Steve Ringwood

There is a delicious irony that ‘finding’ the brightest astronomical object in the sky is associated with the greatest danger — if one were to attempt using a conventional finder to point a suitably filtered telescope at the Sun, that is. Altair Astro’s Solar Finder permits simple, safe and swift alignment of your solar telescope, says reviewer Steve Ringwood.