Take seriously the camera manufacturer’s warning not to store your speedlight without removing your batteries first. I discovered last night that the batteries still inside my SB-600, which I had not used in three months, had corroded inside their compartment. The SB-600 is, as a result, all busted up. Oh, poo. And my own fault too, in a real and warranty-voiding sense. It’s some small consolation that an external flash is not a mission-critical camera accessory for me (otherwise it wouldn’t have been left unused for three months). For bounce flash purposes, I’ll probably replace it with the considerably cheaper, but much less capable, SB-400, which will be sufficient in much more cases, and more portable as well.
In the end, after much deliberation, we chose the Celestron NexStar 5 SE: we decided that it was the most portable option we were considering, and that portability trumped other considerations at this time.
We picked it up this evening, after work, at Focus Scientific, the local telescope store.
Now all we need is some clear, dark skies.
When it comes to buying a telescope, I’m stumped, simply because there is no one single “best” telescope to buy. In The Backyard Astronomer’s Guide, authors Dickinson and Dyer recommend that a first-time scope be portable and simple enough that it will actually be used. I’ve narrowed it down to three candidates, each with their own pros and cons. Trouble is, Dickinson and Dyer recommend all three (or their equivalents) in their book. Picking one is proving difficult as a result: all are probably good choices, but one is probably more suitable for our needs.