S&T Test Reports: Accessories

Tele Vue's 0.8x focal reducer and field flattener turns the 600-mm f/7 optics of the company's popular 85-mm refractor into a 480-mm f/5.6 system highly corrected for astrophotography with 35-mm film cameras.
Sky & Telescope photo by Craig Michael Utter
Here, in reverse chronological order, are links to recent Sky & Telescope Test Reports on astronomical accessories. These articles are available in Adobe Acrobat PDF format from Sky Publishing's Magazine Archive on ProQuest.

Note that product prices and specifications may have changed since the reviews were originally published in the magazine. Please check the advertisements in the current issue of Sky & Telescope, or visit vendors' Web sites, for the most up-to-date product information.

Archive subscribers may download reviews without restriction; nonsubscribers may buy them for $3.95 per article or pay $6.95 for a one-month pass to the archive. The price of a one-year archive subscription is $19.95; Sky & Telescope magazine subscribers save 50% and pay just $9.95 per year. (All prices are in US dollars.)

For expert advice on choosing and using astronomical equipment, please visit our How To and Equipment sections.


Atik Filter Wheel
This all-metal unit holds five 1¼-inch color filters and is an ideal match for monochrome planetary cameras. Reviewed June 2006.

Celestron's Advanced Series "Go To" Mount
Because it's sold separately, this new mount is an attractive option for observers looking to upgrade a personal telescope. Reviewed August 2005.

Vixen's Sphinx "Go To" Mount
For anyone looking to upgrade a favorite telescope to Go To capability, this computerized mount is a welcome addition to the marketplace. Reviewed July 2005.

AVA's Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector
This little accessory can help coax the best possible performance from your telescope when you're viewing planets low in the sky. Reviewed June 2005.

Denkmeier Optical Binocular Viewer
Two eyes are better than one, and with the Denk II bino-viewer you can enjoy views of the heavens through your telescope using both eyes. Reviewed March 2005.

Casio's Novel "Astronomer's Watch"
With this wristwatch you won't have to fire up your computer or consult an almanac to plan your observing sessions. Reviewed September 2004.

TMB Monocentric Eyepieces
Can a century-old minimalist ocular design really deliver the goods to produce the sharpest views of the Moon and planets? Reviewed August 2004.

Curing the Refractor Blues
You can improve the performance of low-cost achromats by adding a "minus violet" eyepiece filter from Sirius Optics, Orion, or Baader Planetarium. Reviewed April 2004.

Losmandy's Gemini System
Is a new electronic brain enough to keep this time-tested German equatorial mount from being relegated to the list of yesterday's products? Reviewed October 2003.

New Tools for Solar Connoisseurs
The latest solar filters, eyepieces, and binoculars from Coronado Technology Group bring the closest star in the universe — our Sun — into sharp focus. Reviewed July 2003.

21st-Century Robotic Astronomy
Software Bisque's Paramount ME offers one-stop shopping for a robotic mount that can be controlled across the room or across the continent. Reviewed May 2003.

Questar's Qmax Spectrometer
Questar's Maximum-Resolution Solar Spectrometer crams an amazing amount of precision optical and mechanical technology into an attractive, palm-size package. Reviewed November 2002.

The Sky-Watcher EQ6 Mount
For nearly two centuries the German equatorial mount has been a workhorse for amateur and professional astronomers. This new model out of China has caught the attention of observers around the world. How good is it? Reviewed October 2002.

Zoom Eyepieces
Do modern zoom eyepieces suffer from the ghost images and narrow fields of view of their predecessors? Some do, but some don't. We test four models from Tele Vue and Orion. Reviewed September 2002.

Binocular Viewers for Telescopes
When it comes to telescopic observing, two eyes are better than one. Baader Planetarium's Giant Binocular Viewer and Tele Vue Optics' Bino Vue help you see double. Reviewed September 2002.

The Versa-Port Slider 2
It serves as an off-axis guider, 2-inch star diagonal, and filter holder, all rolled into one compact package. Is it really as good as it looks? Reviewed July 2002.

Home Lighting for Amateur Astronomers
Most exterior residential lighting isn't designed with astronomers in mind, but we found that some fixtures are better than others when there are backyard observers in the neighborhood. Reviewed April 2002.

A Filter for Refractor Blues
A small disk of coated glass can help you cope with chromatic aberration in low-cost refractors. Reviewed January 2002.

Light-Pollution Filters for Cameras
New light-pollution filters from Japan have been specially designed for astrophotographers. Reviewed June 2001.

Predicting Fire in the Sky
This shareware product monitors online information about aurora and predicts their visibility. Reviewed June 2001.

TheSky in Miniature
You don't have to lug a notebook PC into the field when you want computerized access to the sky. Reviewed March 2001.

Megawedge and Auriga TriPlus
Two accessories for Celestron NexStar telescopes. Reviewed November 2000.

A New Standard in Solar Filters
Baader Astro-Solar Safety Film, a new solar-filter entry on the market, has created a lot of buzz. Many amateurs say they're impressed by its better views compared to what they had been using. We take a look. Reviewed September 2000.

A Tale of Two Filters
With activity reaching peak levels, now is a great time to view the Sun in hydrogen-alpha light. S&T reviews two filter systems from Coronado Instruments. Reviewed September 2000.

The Cadillac of Tracking Mounts & Power to Go
The tiny Takahashi Teegul equatorial mount, and a rechargeable AC and DC power source and solar panel. Reviewed August 2000.

Backyard Spectroscopy
A new CCD spectrograph gives research-grade results with backyard telescopes. Reviewed May 2000.

SkySensor 2000-PC
A respected name from overseas enters the Go To sweepstakes with a computerized version of a popular mount. Reviewed April 2000.

XEphem 3.2.2
Full-featured astronomical software for UNIX/Linux. Reviewed February 2000.

DigitalSky Voice Control Software
Talk to your telescope — it now speaks your language. Reviewed December 1999.

A Magnetic Star-Finding Machine
Night Navigator does a simple job in a high-tech way. Reviewed September 1999.

Solar Filters: Which Is Best?
We tested five leading telescopic solar filters for their sharpness and clarity of view. Reviewed July 1999.

Tele Vue 5x Powermate
An ideal approach to achieving high magnification with today's short-focal-length telescopes. Reviewed July 1999.

Tele Vue 0.8x Reducer/Flattener
A new focal reducer and field flattener eliminates the photographic aberrations of certain fast refractors. Reviewed July 1999.

High-Tech Newtonian Collimation Tool
A holographic pattern generator gives this laser collimator a competitive edge. Reviewed March 1999.

I3 Image Intensifier Eyepiece
Switching from photons to electrons allows this eyepiece to go where no eyepiece has gone before. Reviewed February 1999.

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