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Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel?

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#176 NHRob

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 12:49 PM

When I travel I just bring binos. Way more convenient and hassle free.

#177 rmollise

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:18 PM

I like binoculars, but a small telescope like the C90 is way more versatile. The ability to change eyepieces mean you can look at a lot of things from planets to DSOs. I was surprised the other night what a fine job my Orange Tube C90 was doing Jupiter. The GRS was easy to see, though I don't consider it a very easy target right now.

#178 t.r.

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:32 PM

I agree...when you travel somewhere with perhaps great seeing, you wouldn't want to be saying to yourself, "I wish I had brought the C90 instead"! Thats the idea here, take it with you, but with what kind of kit? I've been thinking the little Orion EQ-1 table top would go along way, but table tops are not necessarily convenient to find when traveling. Perhaps a collapsible tripod with an M1 or Drawfstar mount?

#179 rmollise

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:36 PM

I am still not happy with my ultraportable mount--a photo tripod with a slo-mo adapter. And not much of a photo tripod to begin with. Try a Focal refugee from the dadgum K-Mart. :lol:

I need something that can go in checked bags without me worrying about it, while little Stella in her case goes in the overhead bin. Until I think of something better, this is my standard "flying in to a star party to speak" rig, and it actually does OK...and is mucho bettero than the 50mm binoculars I used to take a long.

#180 RafaelP

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:51 PM

How I traveled with my C90:
I have my C90 in it's little backpack wrapped in bubble wrap. In the backpack I was also able to fit a mirror diagonal in it's box, a small waterproof box with 3 eyepieces and barlow (32mm,20mm and a 12.4 with a 1.5x to 2x GSO barlow.) I posted a photo on a previous page. I carried this on the plane with no problem, it is very compact and fits under the seat. I was pulled aside once out of four flights so the TSA could look through the bag, but it was quick and painless.
For the mount I used the very small Dwarfstar. I have a larger tripod, but next time I travel I will probably get the Manfrotto 055XDB. It is rated for 15lbs and can probably fit in to most luggage(24" broken down.) I wrapped my tripod in a cheap yoga mat to protect it.

I like binoculars too, but after using both a pair of Zeiss binoculars and the C90 to look at the sky, they really are in a different league in terms of what you can see. At least in a terribly light polluted city.

edit: I used an ipad 1 using Sky Safari 3 as my charting tool(also availble for for android and other iOS devices.) You can set the FOV of the telrad-like rings to match your current set set up(7 degrees for my 6x30 finder, ~1 degree for the eyepiece.) It made for super easy on the fly star hopping.

#181 314Sprout

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 02:52 PM

I just went to the Big Island of Hawaii last week with my C90, diagonal, 3 eyepieces, DSLR, 2 DSLR lenses, and MacAir in a CaseLogic camera backpack. The overhead bin compliant roll aboard (Costco) had my DSV-1, tripod (a 30 yr old Focal!) and my clothes for the three day work trip. The clouds were already waiting for me, I didn't have to bring them from San Diego.

#182 rmollise

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 03:10 PM

I sure like the looks of the Dwarfstar--but I am not willing to risk even a 150 buck mount to the TSA "inspectors." And I'd want to put it on a better tripod, too...so guess I am sticking with my K-Mart Blue Light Special. :lol:

#183 Stephen S

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:17 PM

I said I would report back after I got a chance to compare the C90 and the Questar. I've now had a chance to do so. I was really hoping the C90 would hold it's own against the Questar. I am most interested in great optics and would be thrilled to pay less for them. Never planned to get a Questar but ended up with one in a trade.

Alas, the comparision was not that close. The Questar was much brighter and sharper across the various eyepieces I tried. Contrast in the Questar was much higher as well. I have to confess, I was mildly disappointed with the C90. It was not nearly as sharp and bright as I had hoped. Perhaps the Questar is really that good or perhaps I got a bad sample of the C90.

For the price differences, they SHOULD be very different. I was hoping that might not be the case but alas, there does seem to be some coorelation between cost and performance.

I am thrilled that others have had better luck with the C90 than I. Competition is a good thing. Glad to see companies like Celestron and Explore Scientific (love the 24mm ES68) coming up with low cost, competitive items.

#184 azure1961p

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 10:38 PM

This is interesting. The usual comparison with Questar, be it the 7" or 90mm is that Meade, Celestron are nearly as sharp but Q has a decided edge. Im wondering about collimation issues. I know is ione comparison, the Questar 7 was not having as much light throughput as a Meade 7" Mak, tho it did edge out the Meade too.

An interesting take.

Pete

#185 Stephen S

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 11:44 PM

I too was a bit surprised. I once had an ETX125PE and it was optically excellent (the mount, on the other hand, drove me crazy). Weather here has been horrible so I was not able to do a detailed analysis of the C90 (e.g., did not look closely at collimation). Just enough time to do the comparison. That said, the differences were dramatic. Based on everything I've read, I think I might have gotten a dud C90.

#186 azure1961p

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:29 AM

Switch it out?

Pete

#187 Stephen S

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:13 AM

Thinking about doing just that. Alas, every time I use the Questar, I like it even more. Just tough to justify having that much money tied up in a 3.5" Mak. Decisions, decisions... :question:

There is a very good chance I'll be traveling to Oklahoma City later this year. I think what I might do is return the one I purchased and hold off until I get to try one out in person at Astronomics. I can easily take my Questar along a test the two side by side. As a bonus, this gives me a great reasons to visit the Astronomics retail store. :)

#188 azure1961p

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 01:47 PM

Stephen,

I think its just s personal choice. Ive looked through and used a Q90mm and it is a treasure of an instrumen t and so there is a lot to be said for appreciating what it is. Had I one I think the only time Id question it is if the money sittinjg in the scope PREVENTED cash for another scope I wanted with higher resolution. That being said, you could make the case that that is the case regardless as anyone can want a larger scope. If you have all you need though and it isnt sucking up funds you could see going to better use Id keep it and love it. The scope is one finely crafted jewell.

Ill bet its a beauty on doubles too.
Pete

#189 azure1961p

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 01:48 PM

How much did you put out for the Q?

Pete

#190 Stephen S

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:22 AM

Good question concerning what I paid for the Questar. I got it in a trade so it's tough to say exactly. The stuff I traded would have sold for roughly $2,200 to $2,400. My Questar is a 1992 version with a Zerodur mirror and Broadband coating. It's a beauty and I likely will keep it at this point, partly as a piece of art. It's the only telescope item that my wife actually likes. She keeps trying to talk me out of selling it. This is the ONLY telescope item she'd be sad to see me sell.

That said, having a grab and go set-up that I can throw in the car and not obsess about it's safety would be great. I still plan to get either a 90mm MAK or an 80mm refractor as a grab and go set up. I was hoping the C90 might serve this purpose. It may still do so IF I can find one I can try in advance. We shall see...

#191 Atl

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:48 AM

I don't understand the collector attitude to these Questars. Were they not made for observing? If it delivers top quality views then use it for a grab and go travel scope...wear it out. Why leave it parked on someones mantel because they are afraid to use it. I am sure it is way more durable and well put together than a C90 (which I have by the way and I like).

#192 Panotaker

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 05:35 PM

Most of us Questar owners that hang out on these forums do use our Questars. We like looking at them as much as we like looking through them. I own a few scopes, and the Questar is the only one my wife likes, so it is setup on a shelf in the living room. When I want to use it, I just grab the scope and the tripod and take it out side. I use it all the time. It is over 50 years old, and still looks and works like new. It's pretty hard to wear out a Questar. They wear out faster if you dont use them.

#193 CollinofAlabama

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 10:51 AM

Well, if the wife likes it, I'd say it's yours forever. And doesn't hurt at all that it doubles as decorative art for the house. Never owned a Questar, so I don't have to deal with that delemma.

But just to play Devil's Advocate, StephenS, you know you could compare your Questar to an Orion Starmax 102 (or Meade 105). I know, it's not "fair", but life isn't fair and money talks. It may best a Synta 90mm, but will it best a Chinese 102mm? For sure selling it would pay for the modest upgrade in Chinese optics aperture, and you'd still end up with an infinitely portable scope that could perhaps outperform its costly, more artistic Questar Cousin.

Not trying to cause grief with the wife. Sometimes money isn't the object. Just think about how absurd jewelry is. I mean, zirconia looks exactly like a diamond, but most women don't look at it that way. Domestic tranquility cannot be measured in terms of telescope purchases, so you may be far the wiser ignoring market value and optics opportunity costs, StephenS. I think my Devil's Advocate postulation of 102 Synta vs 90mm Questar is reasonable on economic grounds, but life has more considerations than only purely economic considerations. Perhaps this is one of those circumstances. Perhaps the Questar is now more "her" art than "your" optics. If that's the case, a mountain of TeleVue refractors wouldn't be worth trading it for. Tread carefully, my friend.






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