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Dave Mitsky
2005-Apr-17, 06:00 AM
I attended my eleventh Northeast Astronomy Forum & Telescope Show on Saturday. The NEAF takes place each April at the Rockland Community College in Suffern, New York, a three hour drive from my residence in Pennsylvania. As usual the event featured as incredible array of new gear and products to covet, educational workshops to participate in, and interesting lectures to listen to. Again, as usual, I ran into numerous friends and acquaintances from throughout the northeastern USA.

The NEAF is well known for the Tele Vue "blem" sale. The only cosmetically blemished Tele Vue eyepiece that I was considering buying was the 5mm Nagler type 6. I arrived an hour later than I had planned (don't ask why) and, since Murphy's Law was in full effect, the only T6 that was sold out was the 5mm. The same thing happened last year (again don't ask why), only with the 13mm T6.

I finally broke down and bought the new edition of the _Uranometria 2000.0_ when I ran into stellar cartographer extraordinaire Wil Tirion. He signed it for me then and there. Later on, after his keynote talk, he autographed my _Bright Star Atlas 2000.0_ and _Sky Atlas 2000.0_ too.

This year the Northeast Astronomy Forum & Telescope Show Solar Star Party featured an even more impressive array of H-alpha and white light solar rigs. Coronado was well represented, although at least two 0.2 Angstrom Solar Spectrum filters were in use as well.

I witnessed a solar flare occur through a 130mm f/7 Zeiss refractor equipped with a Coronado H-alpha filter and had equally fantastic views through Astro-Physics and Tele Vue apochromats. Two long filaments were visible along with some prominences, one of which I imaged with my Canon EOS Digital Rebel. A 10" f/5 Teleport Dob provided high magnification white light views.

In the late afternoon, I saw Saturn and Sirius through an 8" f/10 Celestron Nexstar SCT.

Although I missed Mel Bartels ATM talk because I got caught up in solar observing, it was another very enjoyable NEAF for me this year.

The NEAF will return today for a second day of astronomy geek heaven. For further information see http://www.rocklandastronomy.com/neaf.htm

Dave Mitsky

vet
2005-Apr-21, 02:56 AM
boy howdy, sounds like a real 'astro-hoot'---as an 'amateur' i'm very curious what you thought of the Chinese oculars---i assume their origin as The People's Republic vs., Taiwan. most know the bugs in initial Chinese 6" doublet refractor objectives. it's been my experience that the camera or astronomy elite have memories in excess of elephants. so i wonder if you tried them, heard opinions as to their quality? for years one of my incs. was their 'sole-agent' for Seagull Shanghai photo products, from The Canadas to the equator. the optics in their inexpesive cameras were extrordinary---the mechanical's as well---but have i taken a beating from those 6" refractors i reccomended to numerous old friends.

one, in Tampa, in an area of incredible 'seeing' was claiming his old criterion rv-6 whupped this refractor---i went and checked it over for 'familiar-from-expience' glitches---i've seen Good japanese refractors that had one element inverted. others with improper shimming and some with clear 'alignment' markings displaced. i found nothing wrong, other than the objective's 4 figured surfaces---
i was surprised, and also curious how they didn't see the problem. my experience with the Chinese is they 'go-after' problems fast---and solve them.

now they're machine-making the large fast parabolas found in most commercial dobs---must be one heck of a machine and software. any amateur would be interested in your feelings on these new Chinese oculars. i'm retired. i'd be happy for my Chinese friends, if they got this right.

Dave Mitsky
2005-Apr-23, 03:51 PM
There's an article on the 2005 NEAF on the Sky & Telescope web site at http://skyandtelescope.com/printable/news/...rticle_1503.asp (http://skyandtelescope.com/printable/news/article_1503.asp)

An extensive report has been posted at http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=1047 and http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=1050

More photos are available at http://tomduggan.com/astro/NEAF_2005/index.html

Dave Mitsky

vet
2005-Apr-23, 11:52 PM
Originally posted by Dave Mitsky@Apr 23 2005, 03:51 PM
There's an article on the 2005 NEAF on the Sky & Telescope web site at http://skyandtelescope.com/printable/news/...rticle_1503.asp (http://skyandtelescope.com/printable/news/article_1503.asp)

An extensive report has been posted at http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=1047 and http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=1050

More photos are available at http://tomduggan.com/astro/NEAF_2005/index.html

Dave Mitsky
thanks---my experience is mostly the riverside convention---haven't made it to the Fl. Keys even for major yearly star-party. my interest persist in what You thought of Chinese oculars, and were they from Taiwan or the PRC. my passion is visual. i think that goes with optics---but your 'engineering' experience seems solid. i value your opinions---and perhaps it's unfortunate i had 6 year's learning russian---i see anything looks like 'minsk'?

my interest in their oculars stems from how i saw them producing 'Leica' klones, bodies and lens---they sell for similar prices---that good. i feel 'camera-lens' production very close to oculars. so i expect you were impressed.