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Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel?

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#26 rmollise

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:27 PM

The differences optically are very minor between these two--and the other Chinese MCTS, as well. I would give a slight edge to the C90, though.

#27 RafaelP

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:52 PM

Thanks Rod! I am finding your "The Urban Astronomer's Guide" book very helpful!
-R

#28 rmollise

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:06 PM

Glad you like it!

#29 fuzzystuff4ever

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:34 PM

I have one of the new C90s and it has suburb optics, and seems to be built like a tank. The finder is junk, however; I tossed it and installed a "Mars Eye" red dot finder from an old Stellarvue scope. Actually, pretty much all the accessories which came with the scope are junk except the carry bag, but the whole setup was only about $160 so definitely worth it.

Brian

#30 LateViewer

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 05:14 PM

Bism (?)

Thanks for posting the link to the Central Park Observing blog. Very cool. I have not seen that before.

There was a question asked about Hancock NY (off of Rt.17) and how good would that be to observe. In a word great! If you look at the light pollution maps you will find that it is in a blue zone and as dark as it gets around the Big Apple.

The place I go to, also in the blue zone and not far away is Stone Tavern Farm I was there last month on a weekday and had it all to myself.

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I try to get there once a month when my schedule permits. It is a private horse farm and more and they charge $20.00 a head to set up and camp. This time of year I just set up and stay in a motel. If you have a spot in Hancock already I would say you are set though the horizons at Stone Tavern are excellent.

As far as observing in the city; well I observed from the corner of 72nd and 3rd last year and looked at Jupiter and the Moon and drew a crowd. My girlfriend, who had never seen Jupiter before noted that the telescope is a chick magnet. Better than a dog or a baby!

I also take peaks from my apartment windows which faces east and south and is ok for a fix. This past spring I got to the roof to observe the transit of Venus.

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That is a 92mm TMB on a Universal MacroStar that I like for the city as well as this.

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66mm WO that I keep set up all the time.

Good luck and I hope to see guys around.

Al

#31 RafaelP

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:22 PM

Al- Bism was a fellow I responded to on a previous page...
Thanks for all the pictures! Stone Tavern Farm looks wonderful. I need to get out of the city more often. Maybe I should try Metro North to Cold Springs.

You can see the sky from 72nd and 3rd?!

#32 JJK

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:40 PM

There was a question asked about Hancock NY (off of Rt.17) and how good would that be to observe. In a word great! If you look at the light pollution maps you will find that it is in a blue zone and as dark as it gets around the Big Apple.

The place I go to, also in the blue zone and not far away is Stone Tavern Farm I was there last month on a weekday and had it all to myself.

I try to get there once a month when my schedule permits. It is a private horse farm and more and they charge $20.00 a head to set up and camp. This time of year I just set up and stay in a motel. If you have a spot in Hancock already I would say you are set though the horizons at Stone Tavern are excellent.
Al


Al,

Thanks for the local info.

I did notice that the area around Hancock, NY has dark skies (according to the Dark Sky app). Do you know what the average night time cloud coverage is? If I moved to NYC, I'd be tempted to get a parcel of land outside the city if the weather was cooperative.

JJK

#33 t.r.

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:50 AM

There is a package under the Christmas tree with my name on it that looks suspiciously like the dimensions of a C90 box!!! :bigshock: :jawdrop: :applause: :praying: :thewave:

#34 RafaelP

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 10:34 AM

Good luck! I may end up getting the Orion StarMax since it comes with everything needed. Although I wish it came with the nice little backpack!

#35 JIMZ7

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:54 PM

The C-90 is priced $149.95 on Amazon.Com with free shipping.

Jim :refractor:

#36 RafaelP

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:12 PM

I know! Telescope.com has the StarMax 90 for $189. Is still can't decide...

#37 azure1961p

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 03:34 PM

I'd opt for the Celestron tho both are probably ok. You shouldn't be in Central Park at night at all for anything much less with a scope. Opt for the rooftop or balcony. Open window observing is subject to flaring and bloating from temperature differences but if its dogging at you low power is passable here. Obviously thru the window is an astigmatic night mare.

I will say a 5" sct by Celestron takes up no more room on an apartment than a C90. It's extremely negligible. It costs a little more but it's still cheap and the angular resolution and magnification carrying capacity is substantially higher.

Pete

#38 LateViewer

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:13 PM

There are people who set up in Central Park, with telescopes, at night on a regular basis.

The mayors girl friend walks her dog there by herself at night.

New York, I think, is very different from what people remember it being. It is the safest big city in the US.

I myself walk through the park often on my way home.

#39 prestonrich

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:19 PM

I have a Questar 3.5 (see sig) but I prefer binoviewing w/my C5 and Brandons. Also use a BIPH w/that C5. Real portable...fast setup. Love it.

#40 RafaelP

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:34 PM

Unfortunately all I see from my apartment windows is the next building over! Also, I would really like to be able to take the scope with me when I go traveling. I can always get a larger one!

#41 idealistic

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:43 PM

I wouldnt take a Questar to central park in the middle of the night. Just saying....


How could you, living in Massachetts? :)

Well Id probably take a Fung Wah bus, but that presents its own set of problems.

#42 azure1961p

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 10:33 PM

There are people who set up in Central Park, with telescopes, at night on a regular basis.

The mayors girl friend walks her dog there by herself at night.

New York, I think, is very different from what people remember it being. It is the safest big city in the US.

I myself walk through the park often on my way home.


It's a history still pretty fresh . Crime IS down but I don't think it'll ever be a safe place. It'd be easier if there weren't specific accounts I can state. Good luck though.

Pete

#43 jrbarnett

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 11:52 PM

The C90 is cheaper.

The C90 compares well to the Questar and schpanks the ETX 90.

Nuf said. :grin:

http://www.scoperevi...0mmComparo.html

Also, the C90 has a lifetime warranty. The Orion does not. Celestron "spotting scopes" have lifetime warranties. The astronomical telescopes have just a 2-year warranty.

Regards,

Jim

#44 Starhawk

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:31 AM

I lived in a second floor stairs-only apartment in New Orleans for years. My initial telescope for taking up and down stairs was a C90- which is a wonderful little telescope. Very small and portable and able to pull in the planets and even planetary nebula like M57 from where I lived about half a block from a massive theater complex- the light pollution was so bad, my skies were pink!

However, when I upgraded to a C5, which is very close in weight, its performance was just head and shoulders above the C90. My rig was 18 lbs with the C5 and got outside even when I only had half an hour and would just hit things like M45, Saturn, Jupiter, the moon, or M42 and head back in. And this was with a little manual equatorial mount- with computer guidance you could hit one or two new things in that time.

I later got a C5+, which has a single arm fork- vastly easier to move than a German equatorial with its counterweight arm sticking out. This was the rig I carried a quarter mile (one way, set up with legs extended and camera gear on the tray) to photograph the 2004 transit of Venus from Orlando.

I've said before if I knew I was going to be stuck on an island for a year and had under 50 lbs for a scope, it would be the C5. And now that I have an AP130 EDFGT, it would still be the C5 because that OTA is 25 lbs before it goes on a mount.

And if you set up sonewhere folks come by, I expect you'll be surprised at how friendly and decent a look at Jupiter makes people.

And Jim makes an excellent point- the spotter versions of Celestron scopes have a lifetime warranty. I had my workplace buy one of the new C5 spotters- it even comes in a padded case. It will also focus at 12 feet. So, consider a simple push mount like the AT voyager or universal Astronomics Unistar deluxe. Several computer driven mounts are available such as the Celestron Nexstars or the Unistar cube, any of which could handle it. Adorama should be able to show you some of this.

-Rich

#45 REC

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:28 AM

Meade ETX-90. Can be used with or without tripod.

#46 RafaelP

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 10:45 AM

Rich: Thank you for sharing your experiences with the c90 and C5.

I did a price caparison to find out which would be the best deal to get me started right away(in the future I can replace the bits with better stuff.) I also decided to to start considering up to 5" diameter. I would like to see them in person though, as I would like to keep it small and portable.

Since I will need accessories and a mount that adds to the price. The best deals seem to be:
-Orion StarMax 90 @$200
-Celestron NexStar 90 SLT (90mm MCT) @ $306
-Celestron NexStar 127 SLT (125mm MCT)@ $425
-Celestron NexStar 4SE (102mm MCT) @ $449

Here are for the à la carte spotting scopes. I need to add a UA DwarfStar, eyepieces and a diagonal which is at least $350.
-Orion C90 $150+350 =$450
-Celestron C5 $425+350=$815

Perhaps I am over thinking this!
~Rafael

#47 moynihan

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:18 AM

The C90 compares well to the Questar and schpanks the ETX 90.


I have one of the new C90's and a 1990's vintage ETX 90 OTA. Both are optically very good. The ETX OTA though is better, re res/contrast than my C90.That said:

1. Any of the mass produced 90mm maks will vary in optical quality from sample to sample.

2. I would suggest the C90, because of its build quality (visa vis the ETX) and it having a standard style back. Ergonomically, the C90 is the better choice in OTA's.

3. All 90mm Maks are "comparable" to the Questar. They all share a similar aperture and focal length. :smirk: But how close they are to it in optical quality is a more complex question. None of them come close to the Q in mechanical quality.

4. Assuming that a Mak is in collimation when purchased, it should maintain it's collimation better than an SCT. This may be important to you if you will be moving the OTA around alot, and if you do not want to spend time collimating your optics.

#48 Starhawk

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:49 PM

You should include the nexstar 5 SE, currently own sale at $629 at our sponsor.

I don't think you're over thinking it. Getting started with a good instrument is important.

-Rich

Rich: Thank you for sharing your experiences with the c90 and C5.

I did a price caparison to find out which would be the best deal to get me started right away(in the future I can replace the bits with better stuff.) I also decided to to start considering up to 5" diameter. I would like to see them in person though, as I would like to keep it small and portable.

Since I will need accessories and a mount that adds to the price. The best deals seem to be:
-Orion StarMax 90 @$200
-Celestron NexStar 90 SLT (90mm MCT) @ $306
-Celestron NexStar 127 SLT (125mm MCT)@ $425
-Celestron NexStar 4SE (102mm MCT) @ $449

Here are for the à la carte spotting scopes. I need to add a UA DwarfStar, eyepieces and a diagonal which is at least $350.
-Orion C90 $150+350 =$450
-Celestron C5 $425+350=$815

Perhaps I am over thinking this!
~Rafael



#49 RafaelP

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:03 PM

I was hoping there would be some on the showroom floor at Adorama, but no such luck. Anyone know of places to actually see the scopes in person in NYC?

#50 RafaelP

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 09:24 AM

So I think I have decided to go with the C90 for now. I will get a mount like the DSV-M, DSV-1 or UA Microstar and accessories that can be used for a larger scope. That way once I get some experience I can trade up to a C5 or C6.

Does anyone find that the finder is in an odd position when mounting these spotting scopes sideways on a Dwarfstar type mount? Just trying to figure out future issues. Thanks!
R






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