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Orion Starmax 90mm or Skyscanner 100mm?

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#1 Casual-Stargazer

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:16 PM

I'm wanting a good Basic grab and go Telescope for some casual viewing of mostly the Moon and Planets but also some observing of some Star Clusters and Nebulas too. Which Table-Top Telescope, the Orion Starmax 90mm Mak-Cass or the Orion Skyscanner 100mm Reflector would give me the best views for what I'm wanting to look at?

#2 ClusterHunter110

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 02:04 AM

Well based on my experience with statistics and reviews, it really depends on what you're going to observe mostly. Such as, the Skyscanner would be best used for more longer observations with deep sky objects like clusters and galaxies, but isn't the best when coming to high magnifications on the planets. The Starmax is best for planets and the moon due to the longer focal length. You will see quite a bit of deep sky objects with the Starmax, but it would be a little harder finding them because of the longer focal length. Both should do the job quite nicely, hope this helps. :)

#3 GOLGO13

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 06:44 AM

I'd probably take the 90mm Mak cass. The 100mm skyscanner is such a fast focal ratio at F4. That would be a good wide field scope, but I'm not sure how it would do on planets. Fast scopes can be tricky on cheaper eyepieces. Plus you would need to either get some new eyepieces or get some barlow lenses to achieve high power in that scope. High power being 100x or so.

If I were you I'd plan on getting a camera tripod to mount the scope on unless you already have one. I'm guessing the table top dob mount is weak and frustrating. But you are getting a 90mm mak cass for pretty cheap which can be mounted on a different mount eventually.

If I were spending 200 dollars on a scope..I'd probably look used and try to get a little better scope. But if grab and go is the target, that could be a little trickier. If using craigslist just be careful on prices. They sometimes think these scopes are worth more than they are. I often see ones listed higher used than they were listed new.

#4 Tony Flanders

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 08:38 AM

I'm wanting a good Basic grab and go Telescope for some casual viewing of mostly the Moon and Planets but also some observing of some Star Clusters and Nebulas too. Which Table-Top Telescope, the Orion Starmax 90mm Mak-Cass or the Orion Skyscanner 100mm Reflector would give me the best views for what I'm wanting to look at?


The Mak-Cas is vastly superior to the SkyScanner on the Moon and planets -- really a whole different dimension.

For most DSOs I would prefer the wider field of view of the SkyScanner. But most DSOs will fit in the Mak-Cas fine too, and the stars in star clusters will be sharper. Finding them, however, will be more challenging due to the narrower field of view.

#5 Casual-Stargazer

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 11:06 AM

I'm wanting a good Basic grab and go Telescope for some casual viewing of mostly the Moon and Planets but also some observing of some Star Clusters and Nebulas too. Which Table-Top Telescope, the Orion Starmax 90mm Mak-Cass or the Orion Skyscanner 100mm Reflector would give me the best views for what I'm wanting to look at?


The Mak-Cas is vastly superior to the SkyScanner on the Moon and planets -- really a whole different dimension.

For most DSOs I would prefer the wider field of view of the SkyScanner. But most DSOs will fit in the Mak-Cas fine too, and the stars in star clusters will be sharper. Finding them, however, will be more challenging due to the narrower field of view.


Thanks for all the replys. I was leaning toward the Starmax 90. Since the Starmax will have a narrower field of view one thing I'll be getting for it is a right-angle finder scope which should help me find objects easier. One negative for me about the Skyscanner is that it does not have a dovetail mounting base for another Finder Scope like the Starmax has. Again thanks for the replys.

#6 Tim2723

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 11:36 AM

I've recently bought the 90mm Mak (not the table-top Dob though) and can attest to its being a superb instrument for the price. It's very well suited for the Moon and planets, and also for all but a few of the largest DSOs. Of the two you mention, the Mak is the clear winner for me. If you pair it up with a nice binocular for the larger DSOs and star fields, you'll have a fine small set up that's sure to give years of pleasure.

Note that for grab and go use it will take a short while to cool down in cold weather compared to the small reflector, but that's more than worth it.

#7 csrlice12

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 11:44 AM

I'm wanting a good Basic grab and go Telescope for some casual viewing of mostly the Moon and Planets but also some observing of some Star Clusters and Nebulas too. Which Table-Top Telescope, the Orion Starmax 90mm Mak-Cass or the Orion Skyscanner 100mm Reflector would give me the best views for what I'm wanting to look at?


Have you considered the Orion 90mm 900mm f/l f10 on the EQ2 mount? Nice scope for around $300. Would give you better views and is a great grab n go.

#8 Eric63

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 12:15 PM

I have a 127Mak and an 102F5 Achro. The achro is great for wide field but the Mak is significanly better at high power. Even at medium power (50X) the Mak is sharper. I am mostly a grab and go observer so when I head out, I set up the 102achro on my AZ4 and enjoy the wide field views while the Mak cools down. After 30 minutes or so, I siwtch to the Mak. Sometimes I use my 15X70 Binoculars instead of the Achro for cool down time. BTW, the AZ4 is rock solid with both the Achro and the Mak, and no problem tracking at high magnification.

Eric

#9 stevenf

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 01:11 PM

I have a Skywatcher 90mm mak which is essentially the same thing as the Starmax, that I sometimes mount on the tabletop mount that comes with the Orion scopes. For a short achro the mount is very solid. At high magnifications it takes a bit more effort. It's not terrible by any means, but I would recommend setting it up on a sturdy camera tripod for best results.

#10 Paco_Grande

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:07 PM

Starmax 90mm :waytogo:

#11 Meadeball

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:53 AM

I once owned a Starmax 127. I must say it was one of the most robust little scopes I've ever owned, and I regret having sold it now. You can't go wrong with a Starmax. They're built with a lot of "old school" technology -- i.e. metal -- and I was amazed at the quality of the optics, the rock-solid stability, and the overall fit and finish -- considering the price range of the telescope. It was a might heavy for a grab 'n go due to its GEM, but that heaviness equated to rock-solid images and a mount that held the scope STILL!

#12 rocketsteve

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:24 PM

One more vote for the StarMax 90 and this comes from personal experience with this telescope. :waytogo:






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