A small Tasco D=60mm and f.l.=700mm, fortified with a 45 degree diagonal, a shorty Barlow 2x and a good zoom eyepiece 7-22mm, all from Apogee.
A pair of giant multi-coated Apogee 20x100 binoculars.
A pair of BCF Chinon 11x80 binoculars.
A custom metal T-bracket which can be used to align either pair with the Tasco or which can be disassembled to allow a simple altazimuth mount for the Tasco, alone.
A professional stable Chinon tripod, capable of carrying weights of up to 20 kg's.
A smaller Velbon photo tripod.
The author is a DSO hunter, so he is after light gathering power and portability. Magnification doesn't concern him much, but whenever the object requires it and the sky allows it, the Tasco with the good eyepiece can go up to reasonable magnifications such as 90x (without the barlow).
The metal T-bracket allows exact visual alignment of either binocular pair with the Tasco, which in turn transforms either pair into a giant finder for the Tasco. This way DSO's are located easily and then both views can be compared directly.
Here's how M22 looks through all three instruments, with digital sketches made in Photoshop from a real image of the object:
All the equipment mounted, at head's height.
Closer side view.
Close up from head's height.
The T-bracket disassembled and serving as an altazimuth mount for the Tasco alone.
Distant boat through the Tasco with the Apogee zoom eyepiece, at 35x.
Distant boat through the Tasco with the Apogee zoom eyepiece, at 92x.
The author's ideal setup: Armchair mounting demonstrated by Dr. Henry E. Paul. Mounting is controlled by convenient hand cranks. This "Sky Sweeper" chair was originally designed and build by Dr. Edgar Everhart, who used it in his discovery of the comet 1964h, which now bears his name. The author's engineer assures him that he can build a modern version of this chair which can also be conveniently disassembled for transportation. The price he is asking: €1,400.