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Old Apr 21, 2004, 1:17 PM   #1
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Hello Lin,

I own a CP 5000 and would like to do birding.

I consider the MEADE 90 ETX Telescope but I want to know more about the zoom range. Is there vignetting for the major part of the zoom?

Do you like the quality of this telescope, especially for birding? Recommended?

Finally, is it too big to bring it in nature? I would like to know about your experience...

Thanks for any help you may have.
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Old Apr 25, 2004, 3:52 PM   #2
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Hi Luric,

Sorry to be so late with your answer - I've been out of state on a photo job for the past week.

The Meade ETX-90 is an excellent all-around performer for the digiscoper. By using one of several specialized eyepieces, you can extend the vignette free range of your camera. The CP5000 can be used with the ETX-90. It's not quite as useful a tool as the CP990, CP995 or CP4500 because of the external telescoping nature of the lens, but with the proper adapter it works pretty well.

The ETX-90 reduces chromatic aberration to an absolute minimum because of the mirror lens. It adds no additional chromatic aberration to that produced by the CP5000's own lens. To get the maximum benefit with the CP5000 you need to use a large exit pupil eyepiece. There are several available to choose from.

ScopeTronix and William Optics both make compatible eyepieces and you really should visit their sites to help with a choice.

The ETX-90 barrel (scope minus the tracking base mount) has its own tripod mount, and it's extremely easy to remove the barrel from the large mount by simply removing four screws. For birding, this makes the scope quite usable, but you do need a good tripod and an Xtend-a-View (LCD sunshade/loup) to allow focus via the LCD. Also a remote shutter release is highly recommended. The actual tube itself is a little over 90mm in diameter and about 14 inches in length. Since it's designed as an astronomical telescope, there is no weatherproofing or shock resistance built in, so it's best for use in good weather and you need to handle it like the fine optic it is. If you intend to subject it to rough treatment, you would be better off with a scope like one of the Swarovski, Pentax, Leica, etc., models which are designed for rugged outdoor use. On the other hand, if you protect the ETX-90, it offers superb performance for a small fraction of what the terrestrial spotting scopes cost.

Best regards.

Lin
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Old Apr 25, 2004, 9:44 PM   #3
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Thanks a lot Lin, your information is very useful!

I intend to buy a William Optic Eyepiece DCL-28.

My question is, what will be approximatively the CP5000's zoom range with this eyepiece? Will I be able to use the major part of my zoom?

Thank you very much to share your experience.
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Old Jun 23, 2004, 2:18 PM   #4
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I would like to see a list of scopes which are known to be good performers for digiscoping, and if possible; each with a list of pros and cons and a sample photo.

Hereis an interesting new article on the topic of using low-cost astro scopes for digiscoping;

http://www.jayandwanda.com/digicat/digicat.html
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Old Jun 23, 2004, 5:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
would like to see a list of scopes which are known to be good performers for digiscoping, and if possible; each with a list of pros and cons and a sample photo.
Unfortunately it's not likely thatyou will find all this information in one place, especially with samples. The most popular models are as follows:

Refractors - Swarovski HD 80 models (ST-80HD, AT-80HD), Pentax 80, Leica 77APO, Kowa 823, 824

Reflectors - Meade ETX-90, Celestron 90 & C5

There are many others which are suitable - just stay away from anything cheaper than a Kowa in refractors and don't buy one with a "tinted" lens as many are for additional "sharpness." This works for viewing, but works against you for photography.

Any of the decent reflectors (mirror types) work well. As long as they offer a 35mm port (if you are using SLR or dSLR) they will be fine. Any which take the 1.25" eyepiece work fine because you can replace the existing eyepiece with a large exit pupil type made for digiscoping such as the William Optics DCL-28 or ScopeTronix equivalents. For those with larger objective fixed lens digicams, EagleEye in the U.K makes a dandy eyepiece.

http://www.eagleeyeuk.com

http://www.photosolve.com

Lin
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Old Jun 23, 2004, 5:56 PM   #6
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Lin wrote: "...and don't buy one with a "tinted" lens as many are for additional "sharpness." This works for viewing, but works against you for photography."

I did see the ETX-90 has two versions. One is UHTC or something... although it is supposed to be a coating to increase brightness (?)

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Old Jun 23, 2004, 6:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
did see the ETX-90 has two versions. One is UHTC or something... although it is supposed to be a coating to increase brightness (?)
That's a full spectrum coating which does boost brightness about 2/3 stop, but isn't a "tint" so its effect is only beneficial.

I woudn't pay the extra though unless you want to use the scope for deep space photography, then it's probably worth the difference. For terrestrial photography, the real value is in the older models where the cost is 1/3 what you pay for the newer models with upgraded electronics.

Best regards,

Lin
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