Telementor user since:
Observing Site Classification:
Preferred sky objects:
Double stars, Sun
Telementor's best view:
1994 Shoemaker-Levy 9/Jupiter impacts
8.5" equatorial mounted Newtonian
Do you remember the
first day using your refractor?. Experiences?, Observing?. Did you remember
the date (year)?
How could I forget it?
I bought it from Sewill's of Liverpool on 3 December 1988. It came with
two eyepieces, a 25mm Huygens and a 16mm orthoscopic with cross-wire insert.
I first used the Telementor the following day, when I projected the Sun
on to a hand-held paper 'screen' using the 25mm Huygens eyepiece. It wasn't
a very satisfactory test, but it was enough to tell me that there were
no obvious faults with the instrument.
That evening (4 December
1988) was unfortunately cloudy, but with one or two small breaks in the
cloud cover. It was also very windy, but I noted in my log that the
tripod stood up to the gusts of wind very well. The first star I inspected
was Castor (x53). At that power it formed a neat figure-of-eight (bear
in mind the two main components were much closer then than they are now).
I noted in my log that a higher power would certainly split the pair.
At that time, I didn't have any 24.5mm barrel eyepieces of higher power,
so I had to wait some weeks before I could confirm that the Zeiss would
indeed resolve Castor easily at higher magnification.
I won't list all the other
objects I managed to glimpse in the gaps between banks of cloud, but they
included some old favourites such as the Crab Nebula (M1) and a personal
favourite of mine, the Sword Handle double cluster in Perseus. A
star test showed that I could penetrate down to magnitude 12, even using
a low power (x53).
Which is you favourite
observing site?. Conditions of the site (weather, limiting magnitude, altitude,
transparency, "seeing".., etc)?
When asked my favourite
Brahms symphony, I have to say it is the one I last heard! And my
favourite picture of the Virgin is always the one I last looked at. So
my favourite place for observing with the Telementor is - wherever the
Telementor happens to be at the time!. More seriously, I don't take the
refractor away from home, and so it has only ever been used at two sites,
both in Chester, England. I have to say that I liked the old house better,
and it had a larger and darker garden, but I am quite happy observing from
my present back garden. It is a typical English suburban site. It enjoys
generally good seeing from late Spring through to early Autumn, and generally
poor seeing during Winter. The transparency is not good. As a rule,
one can see down to about 4.5 with the naked eye. Magnitude 5 is a good
night. On one phenomenal occasion, it was just possible to get down to
mag 6, but even nights of 5.5 are very rare.
What type of sky objects
do you prefer to observe with your Telementor/Telemator?
Double stars and the Sun,
but I also enjoy observing Venus and occasionally the Moon. My passion
is for doubles. Despite its limited resolving power, the Zeiss is an ideal
instrument for observing bright pairs. It produces textbook diffraction
patterns that are seldom seen in larger telescopes, even of high quality.
I love to push magnification to the limit when observing double stars,
frequently going above x200.
What is your best
achieved view or the most incredible view you have got with the Telementor?.
What is the most beautiful sky object observed with your refractor?
This is almost impossible
to answer, as my Telementor has given me such stunning views of so many
objects. I am constantly surprised by what it will show. However,
if I am forced to select the most memorable view, it must be the Shoemaker-Levy
9/Jupiter impacts of 1994. I decided not to use my 8.5-inch reflector for
these impacts, as I wanted to gain an unbiased view with the Telementor.
That week was the most extraordinary of my observing career (so far).
The impacts were easy to observe and draw. Subsequently, several of my
drawings were reproduced in the Journal of the British Astronomical Association,
in the Jupiter Section's detailed report of the event. The drawings had
no intrinsic merit, of course, but their interest lay in the fact that
they showed what a tiny refractor had been able to show. Mine was the smallest
telescope to contribute observations to the Jupiter Section.
What eyepieces do
you use?. Other accesories?
In addition to the original
two eyepieces supplied with the telescope, I now have quite a battery of
extras. I have added several Zeiss eyepieces, including 10mm and 6mm orthscopics,
but I now also use an adapter that enables me to observe with my 31.8mm
barrel eyepieces as well. Perhaps my favourite gadget is the Zeiss slitless
pocket spectroscope I purchased early in 1989, which has given me many
hours of pleasure. I also (sometimes) use a Zeiss eyepiece turret, and
for observing the Sun a Zeiss projection screen (very sturdy and strong).
More recently, I have acquired a second-hand Zeiss position circle for
double-star work. Finally, I should mention my ring micrometer (again
made by Zeiss), a wonderful device.
Have you compared
the small Zeiss with other telescopes?. What were your experiences on this?
Yes, I have compared the
Zeiss with other telescopes. I have compared it with my 8.5-inch Newtonian
reflector, but the comparison is hardly a fair one. Obviously, the larger
instrument will show far more, and it is better for serious work such as
double-star measurement. But the Zeiss gives exquisite images and is so
easy to set up and use that I almost always use it in preference to the
I have also compared it
with a Vixen 4-inch achromatic refractor and a TAL (Russian-made) 4-inch
achromat. Again, the Vixen and TAL were more powerful, as you would
expect, but I prefer using the Telementor because I find it so much easier
to use, and it gives better images.
Are you happy with
your refractor?. Pros and cons?
It is a very silly question,
Luis, if you don't mind my saying so. "Am I happy with my Telementor?"
Is the Pope a Catholic? Really, Luis... :)
Seriously, though, I would
say that its advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. The only drawback
in my opinion is the small aperture, but even so the Telementor will easily
outperform most 3-inch telescopes.
No, I have no other comments
- except to say that the Zeiss Telementor is by far my favourite instrument,
and I can not imagine ever changing that opinion.