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starting from scratch, options?

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#1 gonzosc1

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:28 AM

hello all. starting with nothing after being without scope for over 10+ years. decided to go with an Atlas EQ-G mount as my starting point as I don't want to lug an lx200 up onto a tripod!
hoping a black friday sale will help me on that LOL..
anyway, would like to get into bino viewing with my almost 50 year old eyeballs. my question would be which scopes would be most bino friendly. SCT, Newt, MC,
won't have the funds for a top end bino set so will be looking at something like the celestrons or simular..

#2 bhuloka

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:57 AM

I don't have BV experience (yet- Black Nights on order), but since you are already committed to an EQ mount, you might as well go with an SCT for lowest magnification with BV's. And comfortable sitting position when viewing. It just so happens, that I'll be selling my 8" Celestron Edge HD. :cool: I'll put the ad in classifieds this weekend. I myself am moving to a 16" dob with Seibert Black night binos. The black nights seem like a good value, better price/performance ratio than others. Not as affordable as the Celestrons or William Optics, though.

Lawson

#3 teskridg

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:10 AM

I'd consider an 11" SCT with William Optics binoviewer as a good way to start. I think the Celestron SCT's are lighter than Meade's and if weight is an issue these are advantageous. If an 8" aperture is satisfactory, you may consider a CPC-800 as this is not too onerous to carry outside in two pieces. If you can store on a buggy (Scopebuggy or JMS) or if you don't have to do steps, then the CPC-1100 is in play- the OTA and goto mount are 65 lbs. but the handles are very ergonomic. Tim

#4 gonzosc1

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:33 AM

I am looking at SCT ota's from 8" to 12". I was a 90% visual user and if I get into AP down the road I can always get another ota for that purpose.
full SCT setup(fork mount) I would like to stay away from. I use to have a 10" lx200 and back then didn't like having to hoist that thing up on the triod. thats the reason for going the atlas way so I could setup with 3 lighter peices.

I will have to investigate the ota weights. I think you are right that celestrons ota's may be a bit lighter.

also looking at some newts, orion and skywatcher look nice but don't know about bino's with newts...

#5 teskridg

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:07 PM

I got a 4' table from Lowe's that is an excellent observing table that also is very good to put the CPC mount and tube on insofar as it can easily be transferred from the top of this table to the tripod without strain. This is another tip in making the "hoisting" less problematic. Also, the tripod on the CPC series is designed for relatively easy mounting of the fork/telescope. If possible, if you investigate these telescopes you might find a dealer if nearby and get a demonstration of this procedure. Or you could get a Celestron 8SE which is almost a one handed grab and go scope, including the tripod. Tim

#6 Mike B

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:56 PM

I use to have a 10" lx200 and back then didn't like having to hoist that thing up on the triod.



Agreed! Had the LX-50 version myself, and OTA+forks+base was ~65 pounds! If i were to BV off of an EQ mount, i'd probably try a 10" F4 Newt with rotating rings- so the focuser could always be positioned at a reasonable angle... tho it might mean standing sometimes, rather than seated observing?

For seated observing, an SCT is tough to beat! I used my 10" SCT for a decade, and now that i've moved to premium Newt optics, i can say the SCT's optics were probably barely "diffraction limited", if not a shade less. OTOH, i had some time to view thru Orion's 10" F4 'imaging' Newt on an EQ mount- the views were excellent!

So at this point i'd be hard-pressed to decide for seated SCT viewing, even as wonderfully comfortable & ergonomic as it would certainly be, when similar aperture sit/stand Newt viewing was an option. But, as they say, YMMV.
:grin: mike b

#7 gonzosc1

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 07:40 PM

I will bypass the fork mounts. most of the use will be in my back yard but will from time to time travel to dark sky site. so need to keep it a lighter multi piece setup.

I got a 4' table from Lowe's that is an excellent observing table that also is very good to put the CPC mount and tube on insofar as it can easily be transferred from the top of this table to the tripod without strain. This is another tip in making the "hoisting" less problematic. Also, the tripod on the CPC series is designed for relatively easy mounting of the fork/telescope. If possible, if you investigate these telescopes you might find a dealer if nearby and get a demonstration of this procedure. Or you could get a Celestron 8SE which is almost a one handed grab and go scope, including the tripod. Tim



#8 gonzosc1

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 07:45 PM

seated would be nice, never did it back in the lx200 days!!
I know nothing about bino's but from what I have read it seems that bino's + SCT = an easier setup?? yes,, no? reading about newts and focus problems,,, or is there an easy fix for newts and bino focus?

I use to have a 10" lx200 and back then didn't like having to hoist that thing up on the triod.



Agreed! Had the LX-50 version myself, and OTA+forks+base was ~65 pounds! If i were to BV off of an EQ mount, i'd probably try a 10" F4 Newt with rotating rings- so the focuser could always be positioned at a reasonable angle... tho it might mean standing sometimes, rather than seated observing?

For seated observing, an SCT is tough to beat! I used my 10" SCT for a decade, and now that i've moved to premium Newt optics, i can say the SCT's optics were probably barely "diffraction limited", if not a shade less. OTOH, i had some time to view thru Orion's 10" F4 'imaging' Newt on an EQ mount- the views were excellent!

So at this point i'd be hard-pressed to decide for seated SCT viewing, even as wonderfully comfortable & ergonomic as it would certainly be, when similar aperture sit/stand Newt viewing was an option. But, as they say, YMMV.
:grin: mike b



#9 Mike B

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:53 PM

Newts, to even achieve focus with a BVer, need to have the lightcone extended & shallow'd... which is to say, an F4.5 Dob will need to get stretched up to ~F7 or so to reach focus. It's relatively "easy" to do... a Barlow. The downside: there went your delightfully w-i-d-e field of view inherent to an F4.5 optic! Well, there it went for *bino*... it's always there to enjoy *mono*, or "cyclops" as it's affectionately known :lol: For me, this has been a no-brainer; BV the Newt, and don't sweat it!

For a CAT, with a moving primary to focus, you can theoretically accommodate just about ANYthing, accessory-wise. Add to this the fact that an F10 SCT can often be "reducer'd" to ~F7, and can BV there quite nicely.

Strange, huh- that an F5 Newt & an F10 CAT meet near the middle at ~F7 to BV. :scratchhead:

Yet the actual issue for the CAT is that it's designed optimized in the F10-F12 range... pull it too far from there in focusing and you introduce aberrations... SA iirc. But in practice, yes, the SCT+BVer seemed an easier set-up, a natural blend... largely "plug-'n-play". The Newt *feels* like more optical gymnastics are involved, including possibly coma-correction.

In practice, with something like the Denkmeier & Earthwinn Newt "systems", they turn out pretty much "plug-'n-play", too- including the coma-correction for a fast Dob.

For myself, having done BOTH... i'll take the Newt approach any day. :ubetcha: And if you *DID* opt for that 10" F4 Newt, it's a heckuva lot better towards A/P than the F10 CAT (as i understand it... not being an A/P guy)! In fact, the 10" F4 imaging" Newt i mentioned earlier, on an Atlas (or was it a Sirius?) EQ mounting? It's owner HAD been A/P'ing an 8" F10 CAT, enjoying tonnes of frustration therewith; the Newt was its replacement! ;)

I'm just sayin'...
:shrug:

#10 Mike B

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:09 PM

won't have the funds for a top end bino set so will be looking at something like the celestrons or simular..

Hmmm... just recalled that detail. That makes it a tough call. And the call i'd suggest would be to Harry Siebert. He has some good BVers, and is somewhat of an optical wizard! He can probably make an "inexpensive" set of BVers, his or others, sing harmonies with just about ANY scope out there!

Even so, be prepared to go beyond the $200 BVer cost to make it work WELL. What i'm NOT certain of is whether, in the final analysis, going that route would save you a whole lot over a basic set of Denks.

Another option might be to surf the *used* BVer market- pick up a good set, already accessorized for YOUR type of scope, but not have to pay *NEW* prices. And a used set of Sieberts, Denks, or Earthwinns can always be sent back to its originator for a tune-up... probably at nominal costs, maybe even just shipping? These outfits are all real good about supporting their product, independent of who bought it "new".

Hope that helps.

#11 gonzosc1

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 11:09 PM

thanks for the info Mike, I do realize the trade off that the cheaper binos would have. but money is the problem!
I could stand to get a used ota. the mount I want to get new for the support from CS. then acessories, ep's and filters,,,, not gonna leave much if anything left over.

I could go with a smaller ota to save some but app fever would soon follow LOL.. did that when I first started 15 years ago when I got an etx125. I love that scope but then went to a small star party and looked through the 10" lx200 and got one 2 weeks later...

I will look at the siebert site and check them out..

#12 Messyone

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 07:26 AM

Or for a difference do what I did get a used WO bino, a 150mm f8 achro, also used, a Baader semi apo filter ( for Moon and Jupiter) add a GSO Linear Bearing focuser...off and observing for less than $800. Add 30mm Vixen NPL plossl pair and GSO Superview 15mm pair and your set, or at least I am and lovin' it.
Matt

#13 gonzosc1

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 08:47 AM

Hey messyone thats a nice setup..

#14 gonzosc1

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 08:50 AM

went to siebert's site and read most of it.. thats a great site. options are there for me to get a supercharge on something I can find or buy from him... its looking better for me then I thought it would. may have to go mono, or use use cheapie binos til funds are saved up for supercharge..
very cool!

#15 mikey cee

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:31 AM

I've been around the block a few times in my over 50 years into this hobby. I have a demo pair of WO's and am more than satisfied with them. Perfect merging of the images clear up to 815x. Several of my observing friends have used WO's. With the included 20mm 66° AFOV eyepieces you really don't need more. The higher end models just allow a few more bells and whistles that I personally don't find I'd need. Also the higher dollar models have a little larger aperture stops so that some can use their wider AFOV eyepieces. It's all trade offs and depends on what trips your trigger for the cash difference outlay. It's no different than with any of the other optical combinations....points of diminishing returns. It's really that simple. You really need a trained eye to see any optical performance difference between a WO's type bino and the high dollar jobs. For planets, double stars and basic deep sky you'll be just fine and don't worry about having enough cash. My buds spent around $110-$125 for their used models. I concur that an SCT would better handle the binos with no alterations to the optical train needed. But if you have a yen for high performance resolution like me then a refractor is a must....for me anyways. ;) Mike

#16 Messyone

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 07:26 PM

Totally agree with Mike and the diminishing returns aspect of this hobby. My scope with the semi-apo in place gives me just as good views of the moon and Jupiter, as my soon to be sold 4" f9 ED frac, actually slightly better as it's brighter. All this rides on an EQ5 motor driven non goto mount. A very happy amateur am I :jump:
Matt

#17 gonzosc1

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 07:47 PM

I have never viewed through a nice refractor. don't know anyone who has one. so I have nothing to compare it to really. in the mirror world what would you compare a refractor to so my head could get an idea of the view I'd see? like what refractor would compare to say a 5" mak, or a 10" lx200.. I just don't have any idea??????

#18 Ed D

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:46 AM

"my question would be which scopes would be most bino friendly. SCT, Newt, MC, won't have the funds for a top end bino set so will be looking at something like the celestrons or simular.."

An SCT or Mak would be the 'friendliest' if you consider they can reach focus with or without the barlow element in the front of the binoviewer. Don't underestimate the importance of this if you like wider field views at lower magnifications.

As for which binoviewer, I was totally impressed (blown away, actually) by the William Optics package sold by Agena Astro. For a little more than the cost of the Celestron, which does not come with eyepieces or barlow element, you get a BV that gives sharp and bright planetary views as well as two good quality eyepieces and a 1.6x barlow element. Last night we were using a W.O. binoviewer in my friend's 4" Mak with the supplied 20mm eyepieces and 1.6x barlow, as well as through his 2x Shorty barlow. With his 2x barlow the views of Jupiter were very nice. Without any barlow and my 25mm Plossls the views of open clusters were jaw-dropping. All I could hear from him for the first 1/2 hour or so was "OMG, WOW!!!".

Good luck with your decision, and don't forget to post about your "first light" when you get your scope and binoviewer.

Ed D

#19 Mirzam

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:27 PM

+1 on the Williams Optics BV's. I did notice a post a couple days ago about EdgeHD scopes not reaching focus with BV's but have no personal experience with this.

Here's an alternative viewpoint on the scope/mount.

Get a goto dobsonian. It will keep the eyepiece position at a comfortable location for seated viewing (assuming an 8-12" dob). A dob will not have the dew and cooling problems that are emblematic of SCT's. You may need to move the mirror forward to reach focus however.

JimC :mrevil:

#20 gonzosc1

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:53 PM

well at the moment money is tight. last week lost my desktop and my laptop back to back. so now having to look at everything. was just looking at some refractors as sale are starting to show up. how hard or what is needed to binoview with a refractor.

#21 dbowlin

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 09:18 AM

Another vote for the WO Bino's. Just tried them on the new to me vintage scope (Sears 76mm x 1200 ) no ocs needed with prism diagnol. I use the 1.6 ocs and 2x barow for higher powers. I need clear skies to test further.
Good luck,
Dale

#22 gonzosc1

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 09:39 AM

well money is tight and had to go cheap to get started. got an Orion BV with 2 celestron 25mm e-lux ep's.

#23 omahaastro

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:33 PM

If you're ever looking to get back into an SCT... I highly recommend the C9.25's... you can get away with a little lighter weight mount (I know how you feel, I used to own a 10" LX-50 before migrating it to an Atlas EQ-G... then giving it up entirely, for a C9.25 on a Losmandy GM-8... a GREAT setup!).

#24 gonzosc1

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:23 PM

If you're ever looking to get back into an SCT... I highly recommend the C9.25's... you can get away with a little lighter weight mount (I know how you feel, I used to own a 10" LX-50 before migrating it to an Atlas EQ-G... then giving it up entirely, for a C9.25 on a Losmandy GM-8... a GREAT setup!).


yes I got a used black tube C9.25 ota on the cloudy night classifieds saturday. should be here by thursday or friday.
also ordered the Atlas EQ-G the same day. I'm on the way!

#25 Mike B

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:38 PM

That should be a killer BV set-up!... far superior to a forked rig.

Lettuce know how it all goes-
:grin:






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