Search for ultimate grab & go, up next TV NP101
Posted 22 November 2012 - 05:05 PM
My first serious telescope (the one that started it all) was an ETX125PE. Great scope, horrible mount. I tried a couple SCTs on an equatorial mount. Alas, set up time and portability of the system makes these less attractive. Got my first refractor (Vixen ED100sf) with a Vixen Porta Mount and immediately developed a preference for refractors.
The ED100sf has fantastic optics but the housing is a bit rough and the system is quite long, which reduces it's grab and go appeal. I recently got a Stellarvue 80mm APO Triplet thinking this would be the answer. Great scope, super sharp. Fit and finish is fantastic. Alas, I was missing the extra aperture of the 100mm Vixen scope. Bought a Sky90 II thinking it might better meet my needs. The extra light gathering was minimal and the Stellaruve was noticeably sharper with a much better focuser. Traded the Sky90 for a 3.5" Questar (plus some cash on my end). The Questar is awesome, especially as a grab and go all in one system. Matches the Stellarvue in sharpness and offers better contrast (I can't see any false color with either). A very compelling package. In the end, it's still just a 3.5" scope and it's not a refractor.
So... I just made a deal to buy a used NP101 with Feathertouch focuser. I plan to use it with my Porta Mount initially but will likely get a Gibraltar with Sky Tour if I end up keeping the scope. I still have my Vixen, Stellarvue and Questar telescopes. Most certainly will not be hanging on to all four most (one or two at most). Looking forward to doing a head to head comparison once the NP101 arrives. I'm especially intrigued to see how the Questar and NP101 do head to head. I can hardly wait.
Posted 22 November 2012 - 06:41 PM
Posted 22 November 2012 - 11:25 PM
As for the UNI-14, looks very tempting! Alas, one of the advantages of the Gibraltar is the integration with Sky Tour. Then again, if I end up staying with the Questar, the UNI-14 might be a better option. All kind of depends on how the NP101 works for me. I can hardly wait to get my hands on my new (to me) scope!
Posted 23 November 2012 - 12:48 AM
but on DSO's my 127f5.5 that I put together shows so much more.
Still the 4in from a darksky site shows m81/m82 in the same view very brightly.
Posted 23 November 2012 - 02:37 AM
I suspect my search will end once I get the NP101. If the TV does not do the trick, I'll be happy to 'settle' for the Questar or Stellarvue, both awesome scopes.
My search ended when I bought a used NP-101. At 10 lbs and 26 inches, it's just about the biggest scope I will consider as a Grab and Go scope, I use my 80mm F/7 apo when a more compact scope is desired.
I kind of stumbled upon the NP-101 based on recommendations and reputation, I really didn't know I was getting a scope that did all the things the NP-101 does. I was looking for a compact 4 inch that provided top notch color correction and high powered views, I got that, even out of focus, the images seem free of chromatic aberration...
What I wasn't really expecting were the perfect to the edge widefield views. Refractors have significant field curvature, SCTs have field curvature, Newtonians have a combination of Astigmatism and coma... all these things can be corrected to some extent but when pushed to the limit with an eyepiece like the 31mm Nagler, the NP-101 is the one that truly delivers those big wide fields of view that are pinpoint to the edge... 4.5 degrees of perfection.
Posted 23 November 2012 - 03:25 AM
Posted 23 November 2012 - 05:39 PM
For high powers I prefer the GM8; for wide fields the Gibraltar (or similar) is wonderful!!
Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:18 PM
Give us a report.