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Archive for the 'New Products' category

The new Atik Horizon is finally available!

March 20 2018, Elias Erdnüß

The new highly promising astronomy camera Horizon by Atik will be available very soon. This actively-cooled CMOS camera – available as a colour and mono version – comes with Infinity Live Stacking software, offering an easy introduction to astrophotography. At the same time, this high-performance camera has all the functions that experienced amateur astronomers could wish for. If you would like to take the bold step of taking up the fascinating hobby of astrophotography, with this camera, you have a product that will offer features that go way beyond beginner level.

The 16-megapixel CMOS MN34230 sensor by Panasonic is used. With an active chip diagonal of 22 mm, the sensor surface area is comparable with that of the popular APS-C format on SRL cameras. This large sensor, with a much high pixel density, is a great benefit compared with the well-loved Atik Infinity that comes under the same price category. The extremely low noise level of modern CMOS chips in conjunction with active cooling make the Horizon ideal for deep-sky photography.

If you have already gained experience in astrophotography with an SRL camera , the Atik Horizon is perfect for the leap to a specialist camera. The active cooling reduces not only sensor noise dramatically, it means that a stable sensor temperature can be obtained. You no longer have to shorten the valuable observation time just to take a few dark frames for image calibration. Thanks to the cooling, you can maintain the same sensor temperature throughout the day, thus collecting valuable dark frames for hours on end.

This camera is, however, not suitable for planet shots – for example, with a lucky imaging process – because you can only take around one image per second. If you are looking for a high-quality planet camera with which you can take lots of images per second, you need look no further than the models by ToupTek or The Imaging Source.

The company, Atik Cameras Limited, has made a name for itself in recent years with its high-quality CCD astronomy cameras. With this first step to rapidly improving CMOS sensor technology, a camera is being offered that should be considered by both beginners and professionals.


New Explore Scientific Dobson with 20-inch mirror!

March 6 2018, Stefan Taube

With the Ultra Light series, Explore Scientific is offering telescopes with the Dobson construction that can be taken apart easily for transportation. This means you can travel to dark observation sites with Dobson telescopes. For an unimpeded look into the night sky!

The latest model in the series has a 20-inch mirror: Dobson N 500/1800 Ultra Light telescope.


It’s no longer quite so ultra-light. There needs to be two of you to set it up at the observation site. But apart from that, it can be taken apart into practical parts just like the smaller models.

Other features of the Dobson N 500/1800 Ultra Light Hexafoc telescope:

  • Truss tubes made from solid aluminium: Very high level of stiffness
  • Main and secondary mirrors made from quartz with a test certificate
  • Low viewing height of just 1.63 m at the zenith
  • The main mirror can be adjusted from the top, and hence, during observation
  • Very transportable thanks to the small packaging dimensions
  • Large 2.5-inch eyepiece holder with 1:10 fine adjustment
  • Large powder-coated adjustment wheels for wobble-free tracking

The telescope is made in Hungary and Germany


The Imaging Source presents new astro cameras: The Signature Series.

March 2 2018, Elias Erdnüß

We are now introducing the new Signature Series by the camera manufacturer, The Imaging Source. For over 20 years, this company has been making professional cameras, mainly for industrial applications. The company’s products are, however, readily used in medical and scientific fields. The cameras meet above-average quality standards.

In 2007, The Imaging Source designed a series of cameras specifically for astronomy applications for the first time. The manufacturer quickly became well-known and popular among amateur astronomers and astro-photographers because the cameras it produced were of excellent quality while being affordable.

In recent years, the brand became quiet in the field of astronomy. Other manufacturers came to the fore and every year new products, due to the rapid and continuous improvement in the digital camera technologies, put older models in the shade. The Imaging Source continued to diligently make astro cameras: The well-known NexImage and Skyris models of the Celestron brand are being made by way of a collaboration between these two companies.

Now, The Imaging Source is, however, finally presenting its own series of astro cameras once more! The Signature Series features outstanding robustness, which is not surprising from a manufacturer that regularly has to meet the high standards of industrial customers. The series is also equipped with state-of-the-art CMOS sensor technology. The old wisdom that you can only use CCD sensors for astronomy has not held for a long time: CMOS sensors now feature low noise and very high sensitivity, so that leading manufacturers are no longer producing CCD chips any more. In the Signature Series, the latest Pregius and STARVIS CMOS chips by Sony have been incorporated.

The cameras are wonderfully suited to planet shots. They deliver high-resolution, uncompressed, low-noise images at high frame rates. This is ideal for lucky imaging techniques to show every planet detail that is caught by your telescope. These cameras are not, however, primarily designed for taking photographs of very faint galaxies and nebulae: Depending on the model, maximum exposure times of only a few seconds are possible.

The range of models in the Signature Series is very extensive, with almost 60 models. This means you buy exactly the camera that is suited to your own needs. It is, however, challenging to keep an overview.

You should know the following:

Each camera is available in three versions: DMK, DBK and DFK. DMK models are monochromatic cameras. Since they do not need Bayer filters (to capture colour information), they are most sensitive to light. The DBK and DFK models are colour cameras. They do, however, have the same structure, including an infra-red filter in DFK cameras. The built-in CMOS sensors are also sensitive to invisible infra-red radiation, but this can be filtered out if necessary. Many amateur astronomers want an infra-red-sensitive camera, however. If this is what you want, too, DBK cameras are right for you.

Furthermore, there are different connections on each model for data transfer: The 33U cameras can be connected to your computer via a USB 3.0 and the 38U cameras can be connected via USB 3.1. For all USB cameras, a USB cable can be used for the power supply. The 33G cameras have a Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) interface. This is particularly widespread in professional image processing applications. For GiGE cameras, you also need an additional power supply, and the power pack required for this is included.

The built-in CMOS chip can be seen on the model description. This determines, for example, the resolution and frame rate of the camera.

The following table can help you to find the right camera:

If you are interested in a recently developed and high-quality planet camera, the Signature Series should be on your shortlist.


Touptek: Which camera is right for me? How to find out – at a glance.

February 23 2018, Marcus Schenk

Imagine the following situation: You’re looking for the right camera.

The amateur astronomer stares desperately at the hundreds of cameras on the screen. The technical data gives him a headache. Gradually he loses sight of the big picture. Which camera should he buy then? He does not want to search for ever; he just wants to take beautiful photos.

In this post, you will find two aids that will make it easier for you to quickly find the right ToupTek camera for your needs.


Das Touptek Kamera-Sortiment


1. A graphic that will give you an overview

The range of cameras is constantly increasing. How can you keep track of them?

Sensor size, pixel size and resolution are just a few of the key features. And you have to compare all the cameras with each other.

But the question is: Are they suitable for planets, deep sky or only for guidance?

Isn’t there an easier way to find out? Yes, we have wondered that, too; and have found the solution for ToupTek cameras. Here is the result: A graphic for a quick overview that also offers additional information. This saves you from having to constantly click all over the place. What can you see in this graphic?

Sensor size: At a glance, you can see the sensor size of ten different cameras. The frame sizes are matched accordingly.

Article numbers: Above every sensor, there is an article number in addition to the camera name. If you are interested in a camera, you can enter the number directly into the search function in the shop.

Coloured squares: Within the frame, you can see three small coloured boxes and/or a black and white box. It is actually self-explanatory: The boxes indicate whether the camera is available in a colour and/or in a monochrome version.

Number under the sensor: the sensor name is indicated, as IMX178 or AR0130, for example.

Pixel size (micron) and frames per second (fps): The cameras have been plotted on an X/Y graph. You will be able to see immediately whether a camera has small or large pixels, and whether the number of images recorded per second is very low or very high. Sensor size, pixel size and fps: These are all important pieces of information to help you decide which camera is right for your needs.

Planetary, focal length, guiding: Three coloured bars on the edge indicate for which purpose or telescope the camera is best suited. The more colourful the bar, the better suited for the respective area. These bars will tell you immediately which cameras are suitable for you.

Example: A high frame rate is suitable for planetary images, while a very large chip is not particularly well suited for just guiding. Chip size and pixel size will give you a clue about the appropriate focal length of the telescope.


2. How do I distinguish between different sensor sizes?

The sensor sizes of Touptek cameras range from 4.8 mm x 3.6 mm up to the large 20 MP sensor which measure 13 mm x 8.7 mm.

For planet images and guiding, smaller sensors are sufficient; for large moon shots or extended deep sky hosts, there should be more field.

A presentation of the various sizes is difficult, but it is important before making a purchase. That is why we have also created a graphic for you here and projected it on an image of the Galaxy NGC247.

The various frames with product numbers are marked clearly. Much better than an explanation could do, for example, you can see how much bigger the ToupTek EP3CMOS camera20000Kpa Deep Sky Color is than the ToupTek GPCMOS1200KMB Mono Guider.



With these two graphics, you’ll be on the safe side before you make your purchase and without many hours of searching. The best thing to do is take a look at the product pages of modern ToupTek cameras.


“Hot Product 2018” by Sky & Telescope

February 9 2018, Stefan Taube

At the beginning of each new year, the magazine Sky & Telescope features interesting product developments. The criteria are innovation, an elegant solution to a typical problem, or the particularly high quality of a product.

We would like to present from this long list of “Hot Products 2018” those that we also considered to be particularly noteworthy:


Explore Scientific GoTo control PMC-8 with WIFi


The company, Explore Scientific, has developed a control system that, in conjunction with the app, ExploreStars, enables wireless control of astronomical mounts via a smartphone, tablet or other mobile device. You will receive this control system in combination with two tried and tested mounts with completely different load-bearing capacity, namely:


Stargate Dobsons by Skywatcher


For the purists who would rather invest in optics than in electronics, the Skywatcher Dobsonian N 458/1900 StarGate-450P telescope is a dream! The Dobsonian telescope with truss tube, mirrors and a lightweight construction collects a great deal of light, but despite its size, it is still relatively easy to transport.

Sky&Telescope awarded both motorized Stargate versions with GoTo control:

They are equipped with the tried and tested SynScan control system, which helps you to find celestial objects and then automatically guides the telescope.

Mini Star Adventurer by Skywatcher

Mini Star Adventurer

Camera mounts have taken a positive development in recent years. Thanks to the high demand for this very immediate method of astrophotography, manufacturers are always coming up with new innovations. Sky & Telescope awarded the Mini Star Adventurer by Skywatcher. This mount also creates its own WIFI, so it can be controlled via the app. This eliminates the need for a manual control box; control is done wirelessly – and thus vibration-free – and the clear graphic user interface can be used for adjusting your mobile device.

Things that make the life of astronomers easier and lovelier

Orion Astrolampe

The many smaller things on which Sky & Telescope has bestowed the Hot Product Award 2018, include the Astro Lamp by Orion, which, of course, can also be operated with glare-free red light. The editors of the magazine also like:

  • Diagonal mirror with TwistTight fixation for 1,25″ and 2″ connector diameter, also by Orion. This special fixation centres the accessory, keeps it secure, won’t scratch, and can be screwed in place while wearing gloves.
  • The “bible” for one of the most powerful astrophotography programs Inside PixInsight by Springer Verlag. The book is available in English, and is very popular. The book is published in the Practical Astronomy
  • Sky & Telescope has also awarded its own Globes. At least for the Pluto Globe, this is most justified. The globe shows the spectacular view of the dwarf planet, Pluto, as the New Horizons spacecraft revealed in 2015.

Mount and accessories for observatories

Paramount Taurus

We can help you with advice and support for your observatory project. This also includes the high-end products by Software Bisque. So, we are pleased that Sky & telescope has awarded the recently developed bracket mountings, Paramount Taurus.

The Spanish company, Lunático, is making a useful accessory for observatories. Its remote control, Dragonfly, has made it to the list of Hot Products 2018.

Every year, it is interesting to see what products the well-known magazine, Sky & telescope, will award – and we are pleased that every year, these award-winning products are already part of our offer.


Telescope bundles: These telescopes will turn you into a “professional” astronomer

January 26 2018, Marcus Schenk

New astrographs and RC optics come as complete telescopes with mounts by Skywatcher and iOptron. Both manufacturers are known for their sturdy mounts that are loved by astrophotographers. Important principle: Having the right equipment is essential for quickly becoming successful in astrophotography. With these telescopes, you’ll be able to achieve that.

You, of course, also need practice: But with this equipment, your frustration will turn to a passion for the stars. Discover the new combinations with which you’ll shine at the next telescope meeting.

Omegon Astrographen mit Montierungen

Our experienced astronomy experts have put together a telescope collection and combined both tube types with appropriate mounts. The benefit: Now, you can simply select your telescope in the shop without having to worry about getting the right mount.

There is a wide selection available: They range from small, transportable optics to large observatory telescopes. And you have everything together: They are so sturdy that they make astrophotography simply fun.

Omegon astrographs in 8 different versions

In the “Pro Astrograph” category, you can choose from four different astrographs with a diameter of 154 mm, 203 mm, 254 mm or 304mm. All optics have a super-fast f/4 aperture. This means: These Newton telescopes are fast. Short exposure times and large fields of view at reasonable prices are the main strengths of these optics.

There are eight different full telescopes to choose from, which means two different mounts per tube size.

Astrograph 254/1016 EQ6-R Pro

Omegon RC telescopes in 11 different versions

Among the Omegon RC optics you can choose from six different tubes: three full tubes measuring 154 mm to 254 mm, and three-truss, wire-mesh tubes measuring 304 mm, 355 mm and 406 mm. This means we have the right telescope size for all astrographs.

You can, for example, use the smallest RC telescope with an EQ-6R Pro mount by Skywatcher. An ultra-sturdy combination that can also take other accessories. Or treat yourself finally to your dream observatory with a 16” truss RC on a 10-micron mount. By the way: We would also be glad to plan your entire observatory.

Pro Ritchey-Chretien RC Truss Tube 304/2432 GM 2000

These telescopes look great, but are also a dream for all astrophotographers. For it’s possible to take better astrophotos with these “photo instruments”. Finally, it is no wonder that almost all professional observatories use RC telescopes.

Why not set up an astrophotography master in your own garden? Order now, or if you have any further questions: simply give us a call.


Merlin GoTo and AZ: A small mount with Omegon Maksutov optics

January 19 2018, Marcus Schenk

The Merlin mount has been a favourite for years: for both beginners and advanced amateurs who want a travel telescope.
We have now combined three GoTo and three Autotrack mounts with 60 mm, 80 mm and 90 mm MightyMak Maksutov optics by Omegon. Six useful mini telescopes with a table-top and regular tripod are the result. Ready to go!

MightyMak 60 mit Merlin GoTo

Tabletop tripod with Synscan GoTo controls

The small Merlin mount with table-top tripod has everything: compact, very light, and yet it can find any object in the sky. As with large mounts, you can orient it towards more than 42,000 objects using the controller. This means you’ll be able to find any bright object in the sky without having to wait more than a second.

The Merlin with the table-top tripod offers:
• It positions objects like a large mount: Object catalogue with 42,000 objects
• Table-top tripod: especially space-saving
• Carries telescope tubes weighing up to 4 kg

Tripod with autotracking

The version with the tripod has autotracking control. What does this mean? It means it has a motorised two-axis tracking system. As soon as you enter an object, the mount takes over with automatic tracking. This telescope is also interesting for terrestrial targets: With four direction buttons, it’s a veritable pleasure to observe landscapes.

The Merlin with the tripod offers:
• Autotracking: It automatically tracks objects in the sky
• Sturdy tripod: Height very adjustable
• Can hold telescope tubes weighing up to 4 kg

Merlin MightyMak mit Dreibeinstativ

Ideal travel companion: for astronomers and nature watchers

Not everyone has room for large telescope when they go on holiday. This is a fitting opportunity to enjoy nature with serenity. Combining the Omegon Maksutov with the Merlin GoTo mount is simply great. Treat yourself to a Merlin telescope with Omegon Maksutov optics for fast observation, either as a fill-in or when you next go on holiday.

Now to the compact mini telescopes.


New in January: Taurus-Dobsons, APOs by Vixen, solar telescopes by DayStar, Atik Horizon cameras and a high-end mount by iOptron

January 12 2018, Stefan Taube

This year, too, we would like to present a small selection of items to you every month that we have recently included in the range:

  1. Taurus Dobson N 304/1500 T300 telescope

Taurus T300

Telescopes by Taurus have recently been added to our shop. The Dobson T300 with a 12-inch aperture is the first model that we would like to present to you. Other models will follow in coming days. The  Dobson T300 telescope has a wire-mesh tube, which means it’s easy to transport and can be set up without tools in just a few minutes. The entire system weighs just 15.9 kg, and the heaviest part weighs only 9.6 kg.

Unlike what you can see in the picture, the telescope does not come with a finder or an eyepiece. It does, however, come with a scattered light protector. It also comes with a high-quality 2” Crayford eyepiece holder with support.

The Dobson telescopes by Taurus are developed and made in Poland. We are pleased to be able to offer these telescopes to you now!


  1. Vixen AP 81/625 SD81S apochromatic refractor

Vixen SD81S

For those who prefer to take photographs, instead of exploring the night sky with their eyes alone, should make use of an apochromatic lens. The Japanese manufacture, Vixen, is offering three new models that have different lens diameters: SD81S, SD103S and SD115S.

The recently designed lens element with FPL-53 glass reduces chromatic aberrations to such an extent that they are barely detectable, ensuring an extremely clear and sharp picture! These three APOs are ideal for photography with DSLR cameras with full-format sensors.


  1. DayStar ST 60/930 SolarScout Carbon H-Alpha chromosphere solar telescope

DayStar SolarScout 60

The American company, DayStar, specialises in instruments for observing the sun. With the SolarScout 60, DayStar is adding another solar telescope to its SolarScout series. The telescope has an integrated QUARK H-Alpha filter.

When you buy this telescope, you are getting a finely tuned system that comprises optics, etalon filter and helical focusing with which you can enjoy observing and photographing the sun in H-Alpha light without risk!

Thanks to the light carbon tube, you can place SolarScout telescopes on a small mount. The integrated solar finder will help you to effortlessly and safely align the optics with the sun.


  1. Atik Horizon mono camera

Atik Horizon

This is the first camera by Atik with a CMOS sensor – the future of sensor technology. In this case, it is a 16-megapixel Panasonic MN34230. The small pixel size of 3.8 µm means high resolution and makes the camera interesting for short focal length apochromatic lenses and photo lenses. The integrated cooling system brings the camera down to 40° C below the ambient temperature. With the quiet electronics and the USB 3.0 port, the Atik Horizon is ideal for shots of weak nebulae with long exposure times.

Like the Atik Infinity, the Atik Horizon is also ideal for live stacking. This significant trend ensures more fun doing astrophotography and publicity work at observatories.

You will, of course, receive both an Atik Horizon and a colour camera. This colour variant saves you from having to use colour filters.


  1. iOptron CEM120 GoTo mount

iOptron CEM120

We have had good experience with the mounts by iOptron in recent years. They are long-established in the USA, and are now becoming more popular across the pond. iOptron is now putting a mount on the market that features a load capacity of over 50 kg for observatories: The CEM120 GoTo mount.

The design is reminiscent of the tried and tested CEM60 GoTo that has a load-bearing capacity of half that. The polar wedge of both mounts is supported in the centre of gravity, thereby achieving a high level of stability with low weight.

For those who are planning a garden observatory or a new acquisition for a club observatory, the CEM120 GoTo should be seriously considered. Speak to us, and we’ll be happy to advise you!


New: Pro camera by ZWO and more accessories for astrophotographers

December 8 2017, Stefan Taube

We would like to present to you a small selection of items that we included in the range recently:

  1. ZWO camera ASI 1600 MM Pro Mono

The ASI 1600 series is the favourite model range by ZWOptical. The ASI 1600 cameras have a relatively large sensor and a small pixel size. There are, therefore, models without cooling that are used mainly by planet photographers and DeepSky cameras that can be used by anyone. We offer the cooled models in a set with special filters and a filter wheel.

The spearhead of this model range is the new ASI 1600 MM Pro Mono. It is ideal for astrophotographers who want to capture faint nebulae with exposures lasting for hours. The incorporated 256 MB of buffer memory provides loss-free transfer even with USB 2.0.


  1. Orion camera StarShoot AutoGuider Pro Set

If you want to take exposures of several minutes, you should think about tracking control. With this procedure called autoguiding, the mount must run in a controlled fashion because the camera mount must always be exactly oriented towards the desired area of the sky for the shot to be successful. A separate camera is mostly used with its own optics for autoguiding. The camera continually follows a star and gives control impulses to the mount if the star moves.

Thanks to sensitive camera sensors with a high resolution, these autoguiders can be made to be compact. A very well-made example is the new set from the camera StarShoot AutoGuider Pro Mono and the Ultra-Mini Guidescope by Orion.


  1. Baader MPCC V-1 Mark III Newton coma corrector set 2”

Newton telescopes are very popular with amateur astronomers because they cost relatively little money and can gather a large amount of light. As with any optical design, Newton telescopes suffer from image aberrations. On the edge of the field of view, the stars are exploded forming a “comet”. What are referred to as coma aberrations are particularly noticeable in astrophotography. The manufacturer Baader-Planetarium offers an excellent coma corrector that is also included in the set with the matching adapters: Baader MPCC V-1 Mark III Newton coma corrector The special feature of this coma corrector is that it does not increase the focal length of the optics. There is as much light as without the corrector, so that the exposure time does not have to be increased.


  1. Oklop padded bag for the Newton 150/750

About the Newton telescope: We now offer padded carrying bags by Oklop. They are made so a specific telescope fits perfectly and can be transported securely without taking up a lot of space.

We offer, for example, bags for the Newton telescope 150/750, Newton telescope 150/1000 or the Celestron telescope SC 1100. Other bags by Oklop can be found here.



Improved version of the CL Companion by Swarovski Optik

December 1 2017, Stefan Rieger

Swarovski Optik has revised the CL Companion. The ergonomics in particular have been improved.

The eyepiece cup has been enlarged and, therefore, fits better on the eye. This means that the eye is automatically guided to the image. Handling was improved further by moving the connecting bridge upwards towards the eyepiece. This means that the hand can hold the binoculars better. The focus button is easier to reach. The dioptre compensation has now been integrated into the central wheel. This reduces the risk of unintentional adjustment. The weight has also been reduced further. Compared to its predecessor, the 10×30 has been made 15 grams lighter.

The revised CL now uses the FieldPro carry strap connector. The risk of the carry strap getting twisted has now been considerably reduced. The CL companion now comes in anthracite or green and as a 8×30 or 10×30 version.

Swarovski has recognised the trend towards customisation and now offers a series of binoculars with three different bags and carry straps. The classic dark green bag with black carry strap bears the wording “WILD NATURE”.

For those who want something a little more modern, chose the binoculars in connection with the “URBAN JUNGLE” accessory pack, a light green bag with a grey carry strap.

The “NORTHERN LIGHTS” set has been designed for the tradition conscious. You will receive a grey felt bag with black leather appliqués and a grey felt carry strap.

All versions can be delivered from mid-November. The best thing to do is order your favourite combination now!


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