Celestron 44302 Deluxe Handheld Digital Microscope 2MP

Sunday, December 21, 2014


Celestron 44302 Deluxe Handheld Digital Microscope 2MP








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CUSTOMER REVIEW

review

The image quality is good and I can use this camera / microscope on my Mac under OS Lion with the Photo Booth application. The illumination is good and the sharpness is good. At higher magnifications, it is a challenge to focus since there is not a rack and pinion type of focuser. You have to just make small adjustments to the stand or what you are observing. Since depth of field is shallow this can be tricky. The device is not parafocal. That means that different zoom levels require different focus positions. Yes, these are problems but overall this is a great way to see small things on your computer with reasonable quality.

Celestron COSMOS 5MP LCD Desktop Digital Microscope

Friday, December 19, 2014


Celestron COSMOS 5MP LCD Desktop Digital Microscope








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CUSTOMER REVIEW

review

I received this package in tip top shape, when opening I was amazed how simple it was to get started and use. Microscopes have sure changed since I was in school! I loved the idea of taking photos, adding them to a science report, and letting my kids get creative exploring the back yard. Software was easy to download on my Mac. The LCD screen was nice and large with numerous contrasts and options. Very little could be improved. One wish would be even greater magnification, but for the price and ease, this is a good buy. I can see a couple of good science projects coming up that can earn top awards at the next science fair.

BARSKA Blueline 8x22 Waterproof Golf Scope (Yards)


BARSKA Blueline 8x22 Waterproof Golf Scope (Yards)








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CUSTOMER REVIEW

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This item looks good on paper but in practice is quite unusable. In order to have a workable yardage reading from which to select a club, it is necessary to hold the scope absolutely rock solid while sighting on the green pin. This is an impossible task. While the manufacturer acknowledges that the reading is approximate, "approximate" takes on whole new meaning with this scope. Readings are easily + or - 20 yards. Compared with this size of an error, my eyeball does equally as good a job.

Bushnell Medalist Rangefinder


Bushnell Medalist Rangefinder








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CUSTOMER REVIEW

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I don't know why people spend more money on range finders. This one will hit the pin as far as most people can hit the ball. I've had no issues hitting pins from greater than 300 yards out. If the pin has a reflective device, it will hit it from 500-600 yards. I bought my original rangefinder (this model) in 2010 and used it for more than 200 rounds. The only complaint I have with it is the battery containment. It uses a 9 volt battery, so it snaps into the cables. The cable eventually nearly ripped off the part that you hook to the battery. Also, the battery cover falls out pretty easy so the battery will sling out and pull on the cables as it is dangling. My original stopped working after I lost the battery cover and I believe the issue is that the cables were disconnected. After nearly 4 years of hard use, I didn't have any issues just buying a new one at $200.

BARSKA Colorado Waterproof Spotting Scope

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


BARSKA Colorado Waterproof Spotting Scope








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CUSTOMER REVIEW

review

This was my first purchase of a Barska product and I'm mystified at how they can produce such high quality at near give-away prices. I've owned optics from Nikon, Leupold, Minolta, Tasco, Simmons, Bushnell and other companies and Barska products are not merely "okay for the price," they surpass scopes costing much more. I was surprised when I received it with both a high-quality hard case and a cloth case--my first impression was that I would have preferred it if the company had foregone the hard case and put the money into the optics, but the padded lock-box turned out to be a bonus and not an add-on sales gimmick, they didn't compromise on the scope quality.



I needed a new spotting scope for rifle and pistol targets and honestly expected little from a zoom scope at this price range--I prefer fixed optics but needed at least 50x power to spot at 500-1000 yards and figured this would be adequate for seeing holes in paper. All I can say is, "Damn." Not only can I spot at 1000 yards, I can zoom in on a power pole a block away from my home and see a crisp, view-filling image of the serial numbers on the transformer box. The focus at 60x is stretching it--the useful magnification is more like 55x--but that's also the case with many pricier scopes...back it off a quarter turn from max power and the image becomes crisp and clear. The light capture doesn't match a $1000 Zeiss or Fujicon, nor is the focus crystal-sharp at maximum power, but how can anyone criticize that in a fifty-buck product? It's rubber-armored, the adjustments have the feel of a quality instrument, there's no chromatic aberration or distortion until about 50x, the ergonomics are excellent, the construction is bullet-proof and the 60mm field of view is generous both on the range and off.



For nature hiking and even star-gazing it's light enough to sling over my shoulder and forget about it, less cumbersome and heavy than high-power binoculars I generally leave at home. It's handy enough to tuck into a knapsack and rewarding enough that it's worthwhile going to the hassle of toting a full-size telescoping tripod on day hikes. I tuck it into my ditty bag for boating on Puget Sound to watch whales, seals, other critters and boat traffic and cheap enough that I don't worry about salt water spray and can hand it off to kids and enjoy watching them get a kick out of it without a lump in my throat. It has survived being dropped, doused with salt water and saturated with spilled beer.



Just to see if it was a fluke I dropped all of $30 on a pair of fixed-power Barska 10x50 binoculars and was equally impressed--they're better than my Nikons.



My experience with both Barska products is that you get way more than you pay for--they're not toys and while not as breath-taking as top Japanese and German optics, they're more than adequate for crisp and clear spotting and recreation. What's more important to me is that they get USED--I don't think twice about tossing them into into a day pack or my van just in case they come in handy, and if they get busted or lost I'll be disappointed but won't shed any tears, I'll just replace them with new Barskas. Next up is a rifle scope--I've looked through one at the range and it's as good or better than my Leupold.



In summary, them Russkies are turning out useful and rewarding gizmos for chump change. Those who say differently don't know optics--apparently they expect to see the rings of Saturn and don't understand the basic physics and limitations of light magnification. I've had the opportunity to use use truly fine scopes and binoculars and once you've seen professional quality you get kinda spoiled and judgemental. That said, I can't call Barskas magnificent but I can say that you're not going to see much more with a $1000 instrument than you'll see with this. I'm not Bill Gates so I have to make do. If you're considering a scope in the under-$150 range this is better than most of 'em and only runs $55--don't give it a second thought, unless you opt for the next one up the line with the prism eyepiece that's handier with the tabletop tripod (I'd look up the model number but if I leave this page I'll loose this message).

Celestron Ultima 80 20 to 60x80 Straight Spotting Scope

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Celestron Ultima 80 20 to 60x80 Straight Spotting Scope








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CUSTOMER REVIEW

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I originally bought a Raven from Eagle Optics. But I returned it. Raven was $400. It had poor eye relief and poor image quality but very good scope construction (housing, cordura case etc). I went to Cabela's and tried the usual high-end suspects as well as Meopta, and Cabela's ED (Big Sky?). Thought I was going to have to resign myself to spend the big bucks 'someday'. But, I persisted and stopped by Ryder Hobby shop 'just to check it out'. Am glad I did. The Celestron Ultima 80 gave me the 'wow' factor I thought I was going to see in Raven and only saw in the highest end scopes. Well made, crisp images, you cannot beat it for the price. As good if not better than the Cabela's ($700) scope. I can recommend it. Bought it for $239. Also compared the C5 and other C90 scopes. Not nearly as good either. Would have been neat to check out the 80 ED, but they did not have it and it runs twice the price. I read all the same on-line reviews you probably have, and I can't figure out how this one did not figure much more prominently or how the Raven got such good reviews. Raven reminds me of my old Tasco binoc's. I'm very happy with the Celestron 80. Saw wood ducks, ring necks, Sand Hill Cranes all this evening approaching twilight with exceptional clarity. Even allows for T-ring mount for camera I read. Hope this helps.

Celestron NexStar 6 SE Telescope

Monday, December 15, 2014


Celestron NexStar 6 SE Telescope








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CUSTOMER REVIEW

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We used our scope for the first time recently. I had read the manual and a lot of online materials before we received our scope so I was somewhat familiar with how to use it. I input our location using our place's longiture and latitude and used the unit's "two star" alignment setting since I could only make out two bright stars in our light-polluted location (Tokyo, Japan). After this, I input "Jupiter" into the hand controller and the scope slewed to the planet and placed it right in the center of the eyepiece's field of view. My family and I spent the next hour letting the scope swing around to various stars and binary systems that I couldn't see with my unaided eyes but showed up beautifully in the eyepiece. I recommend taking a look at Albireo in the list of "named stars" on the hand controller very highly.



I knew that a telescope, much like a camera, is a device that needs accessories. Therefore, before I bought the scope I purchased (used) a 9mm ocular, a barlow lens, a better star diagonal and a battery pack to power this thing. The car battery adapter I purchased with the scope. A lot of people don't use a case so I can understand why Celestron didn't include one with this to keep the price down. One of those plastic storage boxes should work well if you use the foam that comes with the scope to keep it in place.



The optics of the telescope and the special coatings on the optics are a great improvement over what I experienced 20 years ago with my first 5" SCT scope. The images are sharp and this scope is suitable for both planetary viewing and deep space objects. However, the deep space objects will require you to find a dark site to be really visable. Our first night of viewing included a look at M13, a globular cluster. It was there but the local light pollution required me to use "averted vision" to see it.



I highly recommend this product for those who want to get into Astronomy at a reasonable price. There are bigger scopes out there but the prices and size of these telescopes make this one a great compromise on size, performance and "bang for the buck." I don't think that you will be disappointed. You will need a few accessories but buy those as you need them.