New Gear

Here are links to reviews Alan has written recently about new gear, with most products featured in The Backyard Astronomer’s Guide in the chapters indicated. Do check the review site AstroGearToday for more test reports, by Alan, and by other reviewers such as Jamie Carter, David Dickinson and Ed Ting.


Binoculars (Chapter 5)

A review of the new Celestron Ultima 10×50 Porro-prism binoculars (mentioned in Chapter 5) on AstroGearToday.com.

A review of good 42mm and 50mm beginner binoculars under $200 (shown in Chapter 5), published in the July-August 2020 issue of SkyNews magazine.

A review of the Athlon Midas G2 10×50 roof-prism binoculars (shown in Chapter 5) on AstroGearToday.com.

A review of the premium Maven B4 10×56 binoculars with Abbe-Koenig prisms (shown in Chapter 5) on AstroGearToday.com.

Great high-end binoculars sold direct from MavenBuilt.com at a lower price than similar models from Zeiss and other top brands.


Telescopes (Chapter 7)

A review of the Celestron StarSense Explorer DX102mm entry-level refractor with app-aided pointing (shown in Chapter 7) on AstroGearToday.com.

This is a good beginner scope with sharp optics and an easy to use alt-azimuth mount that includes the unique and accurate StarSense app that you use on your phone attached to the mount that helps you aim the telescope.

A review of the Orion StarSeeker IV WiFi-enabled GoTo 130mm Newtonian telescope (shown in Chapters 7 and 11) in the March-April 2021 issue of SkyNews magazine. In print and digital issue only; not available on-line.

This is a fine beginner scope with excellent optics, a solid fork mount, and accurate GoTo, controllable by either an app via the built-in WiFi, or via the optional hand controller.

A review of the Sharpstar 76mm EDPH apo refractor for visual and photo use (shown in Chapters 7 and 17) on AstroGearToday.com.

A review of the Sharpstar 140mm PH apo refractor for visual and photo use on AstroGearToday.com.

A review of a trio of beginner 80mm and 90mm refractors from Explore Scientific, Meade and Orion (shown in Chapter 7) in the November-December 2020 issue of SkyNews magazine. In print and digital issue only.


Accessories (Chapter 9)

A review of custom-built Wood Wonders eyepiece and accessory case (shown in Chapter 9) on AstroGearToday.com.


Star Trackers (Chapter 17)

A review of the Sky-Watcher WiFi-enabled Star Adventurer 2i tracker (shown in Chapter 17) on AstroGearToday.com.

A review of the popular iOptron Sky Guider Pro tracker (shown in Chapter 17) on AstroGearToday.com.

A review of the Omegon Mini Track mechanical wind-up tracker (shown in Chapter 17) in the May 2019 Sky & Telescope magazine. In print and digital issue only.

Alan’s test of the popular low-cost Move-Shoot-Move MSM tracker and time-lapse motion controller (shown in Chapter 17), reviewed on his blog at AmazingSky.net.

The tracker is great for wide-angle nightscape and constellation shooting. But contrary to how many owners try to use it, we suggest not weighting it down with a big telephoto lens. It is just not designed for that purpose.


Telescope Mounts (Chapters 7 and 17)

A review of the Sky-Watcher EQM-35 entry-level GoTo mount (shown in Chapter 17) on AstroGearToday.com.

It’s a fine small mount to get started in deep sky imaging with a small telescope.

A review of a pair of Sky-Watcher mounts, the manual alt-azimuth AZ5 and the GoTo alt-azimuth AZ-GTi (shown in Chapter 7) in the September-October 2020 issue of SkyNews magazine. In print and digital issue only.


Autoguiders (Chapter 17)

A review of the ZWO ASIair WiFi controller and ASI120mm / 30F4 combination for autoguiding (shown in Chapter 17) published at AstroGearToday.com.

A review of the Lacerta MGEN-3 stand-alone autoguider (shown in Chapter 17) published at AstroGearToday.com.


Astrographs — Refractors and Reflectors (Chapter 17)

A review of the William Optics RedCat 51mm astrograph (shown in Chapter 17) in the March 2021 Sky & Telescope magazine. In print and digital issue only.

A review of the SharpStar HNT150 Hyperbolic Newtonian astrograph (shown in Chapter 17) in the September 2020 Sky & Telescope magazine. In print and digital issue only.

A review of the Sky-Watcher 8-inch Quattro Newtonian Astrograph (shown in Chapter 17) in the March 2016 Sky & Telescope magazine. In print and digital issue only.


Cameras for Astrophotography (Chapter 17)

A review of the Canon EOS Ra astronomy-modified mirrorless camera (shown in Chapter 17) in April 2020 Sky & Telescope magazine. In print and digital issue only.

A review of the original Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera (shown in Chapter 17) in the August 2019 Sky & Telescope magazine. In print and digital issue only.

A review of the stock Sony a7III mirrorless camera (mentioned in Chapter 17) in the April 2019 Sky & Telescope magazine. In print and digital issue only.


Lenses for Astrophotography (Chapter 17)

Alan’s test of the Rokinon SP and Sigma Art 14mm lenses for nightscape and tracker photography, on his blog site at AmazingSky.net.

Alan’s test of the Venus Optics Laowa 15mm lens for nightscape and tracker photography, on his blog site at AmazingSky.net.


Polar Alignment Aids (Appendix)

A review of the QHY Polemaster polar alignment camera (shown in the Appendix) in the July 2018 Sky & Telescope magazine. In print and digital issue only.


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