Collimation conundrum

In many cases, when buying a reflecting telescope you’ll quickly discover that the mirrors are out of alignment. It's called being out of collimation and causes the view to be distorted, which is of course a very undesirable effect.

Because it happens to reflectors on a regular basis, manufacturers generally provide adjustment or collimation knobs on the mirror cell and adjustment screws for the secondary mirror. For reflectors this is a fairly easy adjustment to make, with tools and instructions commonly available to help you master the process. Even compound telescopes – where mirrors and lenses are involved – can have collimation issues, but these are usually an exception.

Again there are adjustment screws for the front secondary mirror, but as a rule it is rare to have a compound scope out of collimation - unless of course you drop it!

With their objective lenses held in lens cells, refractors are rarely troubled by collimation issues. An issue may only present itself when you use the scope for the delicate process of astrophotography.

That's why Steve Richards was a little surprised to discover what we hope was a rare case of minor collimation issues when reviewing the latest Apo from William Optics.

APO's aside, we were thrilled to get our hands on Canon's EOS-1D X DSLR with its 204,800 ISO, see what Pete Lawrence made of it. We also welcome a new reviewer, Andrew Phethean, to the team as he got to grips with SkyWatchers AllView mount. Make sure you pick up a copy of our March issue to find out more.


 

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