EAA Experiences: I Once Was an Expert...

Introduction | Telescopes | Software | Observations and Post-Processing | Conclusions | Links

On this page, I try to answer the question of whether I am still the "smart telescope expert" that I was recently hailed as when I joined a Facebook group for smart telescopes.



When I registered as a member of the Facebook group "Vaonis & Unistellar - from Vespera to eQuinox", I received a very friendly welcome from the administrators, who described me as a "smart telescope expert" and "enthusiast". Other group members also thanked me for the help they had received from my Website. On the one hand, I was of course very pleased, but on the other hand I wondered what my role as an "expert for Smart Telescopes" really is now. And I quickly came to the conclusion that I can no longer be considered and present myself as an "expert" in this field. I am not at all angry about this, as it allows me to concentrate better on describing my observations instead of imparting technical knowledge and providing assistance. In the following, I discuss some arguments for my "resignation as an expert".



At the end of 2023, I reduced my park of smart telescopes to one telescope, namely the "classic" Vaonis Vespera. This means I am no longer "up to date" with Vaonis, as the Vespera Passenger and Vespera II have since been released (both with IMX585 sensors). However, I have still pre-ordered the Vespera Pro announced for May 2024 - and the "classic" Vespera is not quite part of the "old iron" yet... In general, however, as everywhere else, "the music plays on the latest devices". As soon as a new device is released, the postings about this device pile up and the old devices fall "behind"... And since I am no longer really involved, I have also fallen behind myself...

And with Unistellar I am even completely "out", because I no longer own any telescopes from this company. I had already sold my original eVscope in March 2022 after I had bought an eVscope 2 (I owned it for a good two years), and the eVscope 2 at the end of 2023. That is why I can no longer re-play problems with the Unistellar telescopes and advise accordingly. In addition, with the Odyssey series a new generation of telescopes has appeared to which I can contribute nothing (see "music"...).




When I received my Unistellar eVscope at the end of January 2020, everything was still brand new and there was a lot of need for information for me and others. That is why I described my "learning process" and my observations with the eVscope in detail on my Website, which was obviously also used by many other eVscope owners (and interested parties). The Unistellar app was initially very buggy and also patchy, so there was a lot to report, especially about app version 1.

The dilemma with such information is that, on the one hand, it takes a lot of work to compile it and, on the other hand, it has an "expiry date": As soon as a new "major" version of the app is released (1, 2 or three, not the sub-versions), the published information is largely outdated and worthless. That was what happened to me when app version 2 was released, which I followed for a while, and then even more so with app version 3. But by the time it came out, I no longer owned an eVscope, which means that I can no longer contribute anything at all to the current app version 3! However, I do not see this as a problem, as Unistellar now offers sufficient information on the use of its telescopes in its Help Center. There are also the relevant forums and groups where telescope owners can help each other.


With the Vaonis software, which was already available in version 2 (Singularity) when I received my Vespera, I did not even attempt to provide information about the Singularity app on my Website. The Unistellar example was a lesson to me! However, I can still "have my say" a little... But like Unistellar, Vaonis now also offers sufficient information on the use of its telescopes; as with Unistellar, there are also the relevant forums and groups.


Observations and Post-Processing

In addition to the more technical pages on my Website, I have also created pages where I document my observations and show photos that I have taken with my various smart telescopes. The photos in particular are intended for other owners or interested parties to view and compare with their own photos. This is helpful, for example, to see what you can expect with certain DSOs, but also whether your own telescope is better or worse than mine (or misaligned...). I usually show the original versions as well as slightly reworked versions. Actually, the former are the more important ones for others, because what comes out of the editing depends a lot on the effort you put in. I myself, in "classic EAA style", put very little effort into post-processing. I suspect that this is also the case for many eVscope owners (in any case, in the past it was usually the case that other eVscope owners only published unedited photos in the forums).

However, the Vespera (and Stellina) has changed the world with respect to the photos! Because it delivers better image quality than the eVscope (2), many owners now put a lot of effort into post-processing their photos that is similar to the effort involved in "real" astrophotography. Although this results in "beautiful photos", it is not necessarily helpful for beginners. As a beginner, I would like to see unprocessed photos in first place so that I can judge my own device and its results accordingly. What is the maximum possible is then a question for later - and it is also the question of whether you want to follow this path...

In the Facebook group I mentioned at the beginning, almost all members now only present photos that have been painstakingly edited. As I cannot and do not want to invest this effort, I no longer dare to show my quickly edited photos in the group. At best, I get tips on how I can do better... And so I have found a third area in which I have no competencies: post-processing the photos. For me, this even raises the question of whether I am in the right place in this Facebook group. Post-processing does not play such a big role in other forums yet (let us see for how long...), so maybe I am better off there???



There are three areas in the world of smart telescopes where I no longer have a say:

All in all, this means that if I was ever a "smart telescope expert", then that was once, but now that is no longer the case! No problem for me!



Electronic/Smart Telescopes



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