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VIXEN VMC110L - AstroShop

 

 FOR ASTRONOMY OR BIRD WATCHING VIXEN VMC110L COMPACT SCOPE

Great Compact Scope for all occasions

And we mean it! If you are looking for a great general all-round telescope that looks smart, has great colour distortion free optics, is light-weight and produces great images of land sea and sky in one complete package then this classic long established telescope my just be the answer.

While it is not a new telescope in the market by any means, it certainly has been a popular one for years and for many reasons. This compact, light-weight and highly portable open tube modified Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope was designed by the optical engineers at Vixen Co. Japan many years ago providing not only the compact size benefits of a small 4inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope but the open tube colour free benefits of an open tube Newtonian at the same time. Many serious bird watchers and photographers use them as an affordable high magnification viewer and tele-photo lens for taking amazing bird portraits while others enjoy using it for viewing the night sky from backyard or balcony with a view.

As can be seen from the optical light path diagram above, a longer focal length is achieved using the folded optics method whereby incoming light reaches the 110mm primary mirror at the rear of the telescope which in turn is focused to a high-precision meniscus lens element placed in front of the secondary mirror which is then directed through a baffled tube to the photographic / visual port or at a right angle via the in-built flip mirror if engaged. Unlike Schmidt Cassegrain telescopes, this open tube design avoids the problematic issue of the optics being affected by dew which dims contrast and brightness in humid situations.

SPECIFICATIONS
Aperture: 110mm
Focal Length: 1035mm (f/9.75)
Weight: 1.9 kg
Resolving: 1.05 arc seconds
Finder: Red Dot variable brightness
Dovetail Mounting: Yes - with 2 positions
Camera attachment: Yes - Standard M42 T-thread visual back - takes 1.25" eyepiece also
Tripod mounting: Yes - Standard 1/4 threaded under the dovetail plate.

I love this little rig mainly because I can pick it up with one hand and carry it out to the front yard or to the backyard with ease. In the image at right the scope is fitted with the supplied variable brightness red dot view finder. The variable brightness adjustment is very useful for use in daylight situations for targeting tree branches, or any other target.

Also seen here is the ProStar classic bino-viewer with phase coated prisms for maximum contrast and stereoscopic vision. One thing that really drew me to enjoying this telescope as a visual observer was the use of the ProStar binocular viewer.  


Above: VMC110L with red dot finder and bino-viewer - the perfect match
The stereoscopic views of the Moon are wonderful and reminded why using two eyes is better than one. While it's true that the splitting prism of a binocular viewer reduces light to each eye by 50%, our eyes and brain together re-combine the information to produce a seemingly just as bright image but with relaxed viewing and better receptiveness of detail seen.

Looking from the front, you will notice the bizarre looking though very effective secondary mirror mounting. Rather than criss-crossed mounted veins (or spider veins as known among astronomers), the VMC110L uses special curved mounting veins to eliminate or minimise (depending on brightness) diffraction spikes caused normally by spider veins when viewing or photographing regions with very bright stars in particular.


Above: Front view of the scope shows the curved design of the secondary spider veins which effectively cancel out the effect of diffraction spikes.

The Night Sky

This little scope, whether fitted to a simple GO-TO mount  , a classic camera tripod or Vixen Porta Mount II, will provide breath taking views of the Moon, Jupiter and its 4 largest satellites, the rings of Saturn and its brightest moons, the phases of Venus, polar ice caps of Mars, the greenish disk of Uranus and more.  In fact, we fitted a low cost Sky-Watcher Solar System colour imaging camera and took several nice snap shots of the lunar landscape and the disruptive atmosphere of Jupiter using only the Vixen Porta-Mount II without any tracking motor drive. With the telescopes long focal length combined with the cameras small CCD, image scale of these objects was perfectly suitable for any newcomer without using any type of tele-negative lens or eyepiece projection. Suitable eyepiece projection unit for this scope is the Vixen #39361and for eyepiece variable eyepiece projection and attaining a parfocal point between camera and eyepiece or bino-viewer, we recommend the modular ProStar Adjustable Projection adaptor.

Other uses of the Vixen VMC110L Optical Tube

Another great application for this compact telescope is as a side-by-side or piggybacked guide scope for astro-photography. Given its 110mm aperture suitable for latching on to fainter stars needed in some areas of the sky, its short physical length but longer focal length and light-weight design overall, the Vixen VMC-110L optical tube meets many of the requirements us astro-photographers seek especially when keeping mount loading minimised.

Bird Watching

If you don't want to disturb a rarely seen bird sitting in a tree branch some distance away or resting on someone's fence two streets down the road you can enjoy viewing it in high contrast detail using the VMC-110L and even in a more relaxed and enjoyably way with the bino-viewer attached.

Competition Target Shooters

With or without our optional bino-viewer, if you are into competitive range target shooting, the VMC110L can be used to see if you hit the target at long range directly from your shooting point. Note, the VMC110 with our ProStar Bino-viewer yields a mirrored image due to the primary optical design. If you wish to view the target in terrestrial (corrected vision) way, you can simply use the ProStar 90 degree erect image diagonal placed at the rear photography port of the scope.

Recommended Eyepieces

For pleasant eye-relief and visual contrast we recommend the following economical eyepieces (in sets of two) for use with the ProStar bino-viewer and the Vixen VMC110L telescope.

High Power - NPL15
Medium Power - NPL20 and NPL25
General Use Low Powers NPL30 and NPL40

If you already own a VMC110L telescope then definitely consider our affordable ProStar bino-viewer and enjoy stereoscopic views of the Moon that will allow you to see more detail that you are currently enjoying now. For land to sea viewing you won't regret attaching a bino-viewer for more comfortable views and once again... get our correct image 90 degree diagonal so you can enjoy views like those from a great binocular. 

 


BUY IT NOW from AstroShop Australia  and ensure full protected authorised distributor warranty & support.

Note: AstroShop reviews are only intended to provide prospective purchasers our own first hand impressions of performance and build as has been our long time policy.

 

Copyright 2013:  AstroShop - Binary Systems P/L

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