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Archive for the 'New Products' category

The new RedCat 71 from William Optics

December 15 2021, Jan Ströher

The time-proven and much loved RedCat 51 by William Optics has a new big brother – the RedCat 71. The same Petzval design with corresponding high-quality optics using FPL53 and FPL51 optics. With its 71mm aperture, the new “Cat” is a lot more powerful than the RedCat 51. The result is a pure-colour, corrected image field with a diameter of over 45 millimetres – ideal even for full-frame cameras! The fast f/4.9 aperture ratio facilitates short exposure times. At 3kg, the 335mm-long RedCat 71 weighs only slightly more than its smaller brother.

Once again, focusing is helical, adjusted by turning a ring on the lens tube.

The telescope comes with a protective carry case, as well as a Bahtinov mask specially designed for the RedCat. This mask aids focusing and is permanently and precisely fitted in the lens adapter.

The RedCat 71 is also perfect for deep sky astrophotography and offers not only impressive optical performance, but also William Optics’ attractive trademark design.

The new RedCat 71

 

To use the RedCat 71 for astrophotography you need a mount with a load capacity of at least 7kg due to its weight. The new iOptron mounts CEM26 or GEM28 are ideally suited for this.

Reckon you will soon be a “Cat” fan?

Discover the new RedCat 71 and William Optics’ ”Cat” series.

New: 80mm binocular spotting scope with ED optics from Omegon

December 14 2021, Marcus Schenk

Observe nature or the stars with both eyes. It’s plastic and fantastic! Soar over the Moon’s surface or marvel at animals at the forest’s edge. Observing is relaxed and natural with the new Omegon binocular spotting scope with ED optics.

Spektiv für beide Augen

Small and compact, and yet it gathers so much light that observing is clear and rich in contrast – even at dusk. This spotting scope combines two strong winners: multi-coated 80mm ED optics together with new binocular eyepieces with a beam splitter (dielectric) mirror. This gives you brighter and sharper images in daylight, at dusk or at night.

The highlights of this binocular spotting scope:

– Relaxed observing with both eyes
– Comfortable and practical, especially if you are not used to looking through an eyepiece or keeping one eye closed
– 80mm optics for bright images, even in poor light
– High-quality mirror binoculars with 99% reflection: images are bright, sharp and rich in contrast
– New sliding system: easy interpupillary distance adjustment from 58mm to 74mm, perfect for adults and children
– Supplied with 12.5mm LE eyepieces for 40-times magnification and comfortable viewing
– Eyepiece set can be extended at any time with additional 1.25-inch eyepieces
– Sturdy carrying case

Would you like to find out more? Then take a look at the new binocular spotting scope in our shop.

New additions to the MiniTrack family: the new LX Quattro NS

November 22 2021, Marcus Schenk

We’ve expanded our range and have welcomed a new member to the MiniTrack family: the MiniTrack LX Quattro NS. Unlike in most families, the new arrival is not the smallest member of the family, rather it is already fully grown. This means that our product developers were able to considerably improve the LX Quattro even more. But what exactly has changed?

MiniTrack, what is it?

The MiniTrack is a minute and fully mechanical travel mount (also known as an astrotracker) for astrophotography. You can use it to effortlessly produce images of the night sky. Cameras that are mounted on it follow the movement of the stars over a prolonged period. These photos often include the landscape of the night. This results in fascinatingly beautiful shots. It is also the perfect way to get into astrophotography.

 

 

The MiniTrack LX Quattro NS

LX Quattro stands for precision, increased power and a four-kilogram load capacity. The new MiniTrack combines all of this in one. Compared to the LX3, the load capacity is even higher. This means that you no longer need to avoid using your favourite lens, which was previously too heavy. Even with longer lenses, the MiniTrack takes things easily in its stride.

Tracking with the Quattro is extremely precise as a newly constructed needle bearing provides greatly improves this. This step was necessary to guarantee smooth tracking with heavy weights.

A brand new spring bar design provides better draft to move the load even more precisely. There is no longer any unilateral strain within the mechanical system. Yep, the Quattro simply has more oomph. An attractive side effect is that the MiniTrack is significantly more elegant and more user-friendly.

The MiniTrack LX Quattro is also a tracker for capturing the night sky using wide-angle and normal lenses. Anyone who has already gained a little experience can also treat themselves to a lightweight telephoto lens.

Overview of features:

  • 4kg load capacity for larger cameras or larger lenses
  • New and stronger spring system
  • Needle bearing for softer, precise movement
  • New, more stable CNC body – the Quattro should survive every night of observation with no scratches
  • Integrated Gp-style mounting as well as ¼“ und 3/8“ threads
  • Holiday anywhere now: usable beneath the northern and southern night skies.

You can find further information on the MiniTrack LX Quattro NS and its benefits on our product page. Furthermore,  this MiniTrack can be bought in a set with a ball head or with a ball head and polar wedge.

 

The other members of the MiniTrack family

What do you need to take beautiful photos? A MiniTrack alone is not quite enough. So we would like to introduce the other family members to you:

 

Omegon 32mm carbon tripod Thanks to the 32mm tripod legs, this tripod provides a sturdy foundation. Weighing only 2kg and with a length of 59cm, is it ideal for travel.

Stativ für die MiniTrack

Deluxe polar wedge: You can simply secure your Astrotracker to the tripod head. However, this is easier and more precise using a polar wedge. This enables you to precisely align the north celestial pole. The provides the benefit of providing a stable north orientation.

Polhöhenwiege Deluxe

Pole finder light: Being able to see the pole finder’s images in the night sky is a priceless advantage. At night you tend to have your hands full. It is good when you don’t need to use a lamp to complicatedly light up the polarscope. The pole finder light is convenient and evenly illuminates the images using a red LED.

Polsucherbeleuchtung MiniTrack

OM10 ball head Still don’t have a ball head? You need one to align your camera with areas of the night sky. The Omegon OM10 fits perfectly on the MiniTrack.

Kugelkopf für MiniTrack

MiniTrack LX3: The white version holds cameras up to 3kg in weight and contains an optical polarscope. To mount the LX3 on a polar wedge, you require the 55mm MiniPrismRails.

MiniTrack LX3

MiniTrack Essentials: Exceptionally good value and sufficient for getting started with wide-angle lenses. The MiniTrack Essentials contains a small polarscope that can be used to align the tracker with the Pole Star. This basic model can be upgraded at a later date.

MiniTrack Basis Version

Interested in taking your first images with the MiniTrack? You can find out how to do this in our step-by-step video “Astrophotos with the MiniTrack – a how-to guide”. Have fun observing and photographing.

Video: astrophotography with the Omegon MiniTrack

November 3 2021, Marcus Schenk

In this video, you will get to know the Omegon MiniTrack astrotracker. What equipment do you need for good landscape astrophotography? And what do you need to watch out for, adjust or activate once you’re outdoors?
We’ll take a step-by-step look at everything from set-up to capturing an image.
After the video, you’ll be ready to create your own beautiful pictures with the MiniTrack.

Hot off the press: we are also introducing the new MiniTrack LX Quattro!

Products used in the video:

Omegon MiniTrack LX3 mount set Product no.: 62037

Omegon MiniTrack LX Quattro NS mount Product no.: 69307

Omegon Deluxe polar wedge Product no.: 69370

Omegon Pro 32mm carbon tripod incl. ball head Product no.: 60251

Omegon polar finder light for MiniTrack LX 2 + 3 and EQ mounts with light unit Product no.: 69568

Omegon 55mm prism rail with screw Product no.: 64965

New version: the Polarie U star tracker mount from Vixen

October 28 2021, Stefan Taube

A few years ago, the Japanese manufacturer Vixen launched the Polarie, the first tracking unit for cameras that can fit in every photographer’s bag. The tracking device, also called a star tracker, compensates for the celestial rotation. With it, a camera remains aligned with a section of the night sky for many minutes, and can gather light from faint stars, the Milky Way and cosmic nebulae.

Vixen now offers a new version of its successful star tracker mount, the Polarie U Star Tracker.

Fotomontierung Vixen

Polarie U star tracker mount with camera and optional ball head

Compared to the classic Polarie, the new Polarie U is significantly lighter whilst at the same time having a higher load-bearing capacity. The distance between the two bearings supporting the rotating shaft is approximately four times that of its predecessor. This has led to a higher load-bearing capacity despite a 20% weight reduction. It can carry 2.5kg for wide-field astrophotography using lenses with a short focal length. The optional mounting accessories comprising a prism rail and counterweight can be used to increase the load capacity to 6.5kg, so that the star tracker mount can also carry cameras with large lenses.

In addition, the  Polarie U creates its own WLAN. You can connect your smartphone to the mount and control it using a free app. With a suitable cable release from the Polarie U accessory selection, you can also control the camera itself via the app, for example to set a series of exposures. This is not only convenient, but also very useful thanks to the hands-free operation.

The Polarie U can of course also be converted for use in the southern hemisphere. The lightweight mount is therefore ideal for your next expedition south of the equator.

POLARIE U Star Tracker Astrofoto-Montierung

Discover the laser collimators from Farpoint

October 12 2021, Jan Ströher

Just as a car needs regular maintenance to work perfectly, a Newtonian telescope must be precisely adjusted from time to time in order to achieve the best possible optical performance and image quality. This is done by adjusting the mirrors so that the incident light, reflected by the primary and secondary mirrors, converges at a central point from which it is then directed into the focuser. In astronomy, the process of exact adjustment is called collimation. For correct collimation, the secondary mirror must be aligned with the focuser – lengthwise and centred. In addition, the secondary mirror must be aligned precisely with the centre of the primary mirror. Finally, the primary mirror should then be perfectly aligned with the axis now created by the focuser and secondary mirror.

To facilitate this process, there are various tools available to ensure the telescope’s collimation is as accurate as possible. Laser collimators in particular are very popular, as the laser beam can be used to precisely simulate the incident light in the telescope tube and align the two mirrors so that the laser beam is centred and directed into the focuser. Due to the red colour of the laser beam, the whole exercise becomes visually easy and ensures that even beginners can manage a fast, simple and effective collimation.

Collimation set from Farpoint

There are of course high-end devices among the range of collimator lasers, such as those from the American manufacturer Farpoint. This company produces and sells several collimator sets with 1.25″ and 2″ collimator lasers, with either 635nm or 650nm wavelength, as well as a robust padded case, in which the collimator can be stored and transported nicely protected from dust, moisture and other influences.

In our shop you will find the various high-tech lasers from Farpoint to suit your individual needs. Just take a look and perfect the performance of your Newtonian telescope!

Baader SunDancer II for observation and solar photography

October 7 2021, Stefan Taube

The Baader SunDancer II sun filter transforms smaller refractors quickly and simply into telescopes for solar observation using H-alpha spectral lines. In this wavelength, you can see the Sun’s chromosphere with dark filaments, bright radiation bursts and spectacular solar prominences!

Baader Sonnenfilter SunDancer II H-alpha 2"/1,25"

Baader SunDancer II H-alpha 2″/1.25″ solar filter

Simply position the SunDancer II between the diagonal mirror and the eyepiece and connect it to a power source. The filter is then automatically brought to the optimal operating temperature so that no adjustments are required during longer observations.

The SunDancer II can be safely used on refracting telescopes with apertures up to 80 millimetres. An additional energy rejection filter is only required in front of the telescope for objective apertures upwards of 80 millimetres; alternatively, the telescope can be dimmed using an optional 80mm screen in front of the lens.

Telescopes with secondary mirrors, such as Newtonian, Maksutov or SCTs, always require an additional energy rejection filter, regardless of their size.

The complete solar disc can be seen in telescopes with apertures of up to 600mm.

The T2 thread beneath the eyepiece clamp facilitates easy adaptation for larger cameras:

SunDancer II mit DSLR-Kamera

SunDancer II with DSLR camera

A power supply unit is included. For mobile observation, a  powerbank can also be used.

You can find further information on this particularly high-quality H-alpha filter for the eyepiece side here in our shop.

The Skywatcher Heritage FlexTube telescope, now available as GTi

September 22 2021, Stefan Taube

The Heritage FlexTube telescope is a much-loved Dobsonian with a table-top tripod. Its very compact mount is easier to transport due to a collapsible upper part – it doesn’t get more compact!

The manufacturer Skywatcher now offers this handy Dobsonian with computerised controls: the Heritage FlexTube Virtuoso GTi telescope

Skywatcher Dobson Teleskop N 150_750 Heritage FlexTube Virtuoso GTi

Skywatcher Dobson N 150/750 Heritage FlexTube Virtuoso GTi telescope

 

The Virtuoso GTi’s mount hones in on selected objects and follows their path across the sky, so that they are always visible in the eyepiece.

The mount also has its own WiFi to which your smartphone can connect. Using the free SynScan app for iOS and Android, you can then set up and control your mount. Once the app is installed on your smartphone, you no longer need an internet connection to control the mount.

Manual controls are also not required and are therefore not included.

kywatcher Dobson Teleskop N 150_750 Heritage FlexTube Virtuoso GTi 2

The motorised version of the Dobsonian is also very compact and easy to transport.

 

As with the non-motorised version, the Virtuoso GTi telescope also uses tried and tested 150/750 Newtonian optics. This 6-incher with a convenient aperture ratio reveals faint nebulae in the night sky, such as the famous Orion Nebula, the Messier 13 globular cluster or the Andromeda Galaxy, 2.5 million light years away.

By the way, you can also mount the Heritage FlexTube Virtuoso GTi on a camera tripod or an astronomical tripod with a photo thread, such as the Skywatcher tripod with 3/8″ mounting bolt.

New: Deluxe equatorial wedge for Omegon MiniTrack

August 27 2021, Marcus Schenk

Using the latest deluxe equatorial wedge, aligning the MiniTrack with the north celestial pole is easier than ever. The advantages? Spherical stars all night long.

How do you align your MiniTrack and other astrotrackers without an equatorial wedge? In theory, this is possible using a tripod head but the alignment and the fixed support sometimes resemble weather forecasting, in a word: uncertain. And yet, the photography session is meant to be a success.

The right tools for success

Thanks to the deluxe equatorial wedge, you can simply and precisely align your MiniTrack with the north celestial pole. It’s easy peasy lemon squeezy!
A robust locking mechanism provides permanent polar alignment, even when you are continuously focusing your camera on new targets.

In our set-up, we use an Omegon 32mm carbon tripod, the deluxe equatorial wedge and a MiniTrack 3 with pole finder.

Simple installation on any tripod

Using the 3/8 inch thread, you can attach the polar wedge to any camera tripod. To do so, you simply need a mini Vixen-style rail, such as the Omegon 55mm prism rail, which can be used with the MiniTrack. You can then connect and align your astrotracker easily.

Quality made in Portugal

The equatorial wedge is manufactured to the highest quality and consists of CNC components and stainless-steel screws. It is produced in small batches in Portugal and checked for quality.

The ideal addition to your MiniTrack: view the Omegon Deluxe equatorial wedge in the shop now.

New: Explore Scientific observatory tent

August 26 2021, Stefan Taube

At some point it will be possible to have star parties again! Great news for those who have tents! But why not have a tent in which you can pitch your telescope?

69811_3

Explore Scientific observatory tent

 

The new Explore Scientific observatory tent is not only designed for star parties, but also ideal for when you want to observe with protection from wind and scattered light. It’s even worth putting it up in your own garden if a period of good weather makes observation possible multiple nights in a row.

During the day, the weather-proof observatory tent protects your telescope from sunlight or sudden changes in the weather.

69811_2

Weather protection prevents unpleasant surprises

 

The real star of the show is its sturdy pretensioning: Release the holding strap and the whole tent unfolds from its packaging with almost no assistance. To find out more, watch this video on the product page.

Lots of space for your equipment: The observatory tent takes up a surface area of over five square metres. It is divided into two sections. This means one section can be used for the telescope and the other for your equipment.

The observatory tent is also easy to transport. So, you can still have enough space in your car for other important things for the star party.

You can find further information about this innovative product here in our shop.

23.01.2022
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