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From: TerryMoselaol.com
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2004 20:57:09 EST
Subject: Skylux Good, Binocs Bad!

Hi all,

I've just received the following comments on the Skylux refractor, and the 
8-24 x 50 binocs, already mentioned in earlier emails.

If you want to get one of the Skylux refractors, they are still available in 
the Cookstown store.

1.A. "Hi Terry, Thanks for recommending the Skylux! I was in Lidl in 
Cookstown today and I noticed they still have quite a few left, at least 15. I got one 
and am just in from my first try at it.
    For something so cheap it's really very good! I'm used to a really old 
Tasco reflector which I always thought was alright, but this is much better. I 
can make out faint bands on Saturn itself where I could only just about detect 
the rings before and I think I can see the Cassini gap when the atmosphere 
    Best 50 I've spent in a long while!
    Thanks again! "    Philip Heron

1.B. (re 70mm Skylux) "Mine proved to have an excellent objective - nice 
diffraction rings when viewing Gamma Cas; Castor split nicely (using Meade 
"shorty" 2x Barlow with 12mm eyepiece, which is about as much magnification as 70mm 
justifies); my suspicion about vignetting (uneven illumination of the focal 
plane) by focussing mount seems to be unfounded, focussing movement is 
adequate, smooth & well centred; but I don't think much of the supplied star diagonal, 
the erector thingy is 'orrible and I don't see the point of the 4mm eyepiece. 
Slow motion flexy sticks are far too stiff, slow motion mechanisms are set up 
too tight (but adjustable), tripod isn't stable enough but improves massively 
if a couple of breeze blocks are suspended from the eyepiece tray. Two minus 
marks for not supplying dust caps for the 
accessories. The finder does not focus (though mine is near enough) and does 
not have an adequate "dew cap" extension in front of the objective."

Brian Beesley, past President of IAA. 
(I agree about the star diagonal, 1.5x erector (which astronomers ignore 
anyway), and the 4mm eyepiece. As I mentioned before, it's worth using good 
quality eyepieces & star diagonal to get the best from this scope. T.M.)

2. "Hello Terry,
                With reference to the Lidl zoom binos,  I had the opportunity 
to examine these as they were on sale this time last year . The build quality 
is quite good, but alas, the optical performance is quite poor.You have 
already mentioned the small field at 8x, at 24x the field is extremely small 
indeed, also the zoom mechanism is not very precise, as they seem to need focusing 
every time they are used.
   Stars appear as doughnuts at 24x, but at 8x they are just about 
acceptable. When using them in good daylight, it never seems possible to get sharp 
images at any setting, betraying  poor optical components.Our old friend, chromatic 
aberration appears with a vengeance at 24x.
    Summing up these binos will be a disappointment to anyone using them for 
Astronomy, or come to that anything else.
   I was lucky, as I noticed a small score on one object lens, so I returned 
them for a refund. 
    P.S. the 10x25 miniature binos sold some time ago, are in my opinion far 
 John Hall" (IAA Treasurer)

I respect John's opinion, so no more needs to be said!

Clear Skies,

Terry Moseley


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