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From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect?

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#1 dennyhenke

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 01:10 PM

Well, I'm not sure my budget is going to allow for the 16" Lightbridge or similar scopes that I was considering for spring purchase. Now thinking about a 12", specifically the Z12. I'd be upgrading from the XT8 and am wondering about:

1. Quality of the Z12? I'm searching now for reviews. Worst thing I've come across is that they often arrive damaged or in damaged boxes.

2. What kind of improvement in view will I see going from 8" to 12"? Will I be able to see more detail/structure in galaxies/nebulae or is that something that requires more aperture (16")?

I realize that some of this comes down to practice at the scope and learning to take the time with each object, just trying to get a handle on what kind of improvement I might expect to see with this change.

There's a pretty good deal on telescopes.com for $699... at least that seems like a good deal, hence my thought to purchase this sooner rather than later.

#2 kfiscus

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 02:35 PM

I can speak to some of your questions. I have a Z12. I bought a dented Z12 for a significant savings and easily hammered out the dent with a wooden block and rubber mallet. The dent was on the bottom of the tube and was never visible. I'm flocking the tube and will cover the scuffs from the hammering. I've bought and brokered three Z12 deals (steals all three). You won't find a better value in aperature. It helps if you're not afraid of tweaking. I live for the thrill of the hunt and the satisfaction of customizing. The Z12 has very nice altitude bearings and a good mirror. Those alone are worth the prices I've paid. I sold the stock EPs, I built my own custom mount, I traded out the stock RACI for a better straight finder, I added a Telrad.

Expect to be absolutely gobsmacked when you get a dark and steady night. I moved up from a 10" and was blown away by the textures of galaxies and nebula like the Swan, Veil, and Cocoon. Others have posted that the jump from 10 to 12 is moderate- I wholeheartedly disagree. IT IS AWESOME. If you go up from an 8 to a 12, you will have a very hard time ever going back down. You'll become a photon addict.

You can find the Zhumell Mega-Mod thread saved on the Reflectors Forum. You would be joining a community of people who really are attached to the DIY mindset and the bargain-basement access to good, big mirrors. Lots of the posters have included pictures (me included) of their work and offer helpful tips. I hope you'll join us.

#3 coopman

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 07:07 PM

The 12" will see deeper, have better resolution and the objects will appear brighter than with the 8".

#4 dennyhenke

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 07:28 PM

Thanks Clay. I am hoping to get a more specific sense of what kind of increased detail I'll be able to see. In other words, when looking at some of the galaxies, will I see structure? Dust lanes? I know I've read that you need a 16" to start seeing the filaments of the Crab Nebula...

In other words, will I look through the 12" and just see slightly brighter objects but no greater detail? My expectation is that the 4" increase will result in at least some increase in the visibility of structure of these objects.

#5 dennyhenke

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 07:32 PM

Thanks Ken. Sounds like it is a significant increase in the texture... that's exactly what I was hoping to hear. I don't just want slightly brighter, really wanting more. Sounds like I'll get that. Certainly coming from the 8" it will be significant.

I'm already a photon addict. If I move forward with the purchase I fully intend to see you in the Zhumell Mega-Mod thread!

Expect to be absolutely gobsmacked when you get a dark and steady night. I moved up from a 10" and was blown away by the textures of galaxies and nebula like the Swan, Veil, and Cocoon. Others have posted that the jump from 10 to 12 is moderate- I wholeheartedly disagree. IT IS AWESOME. If you go up from an 8 to a 12, you will have a very hard time ever going back down. You'll become a photon addict.

You can find the Zhumell Mega-Mod thread saved on the Reflectors Forum. You would be joining a community of people who really are attached to the DIY mindset and the bargain-basement access to good, big mirrors. Lots of the posters have included pictures (me included) of their work and offer helpful tips. I hope you'll join us.



#6 kfiscus

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 07:37 PM

You'll see dust lanes in galaxies, real shape in galaxy arms, hints of color in nebulae that were just gray/green before. Objects that may have just been "saw it"s on your lists will start demanding more observing time and effort as they show details you couldn't see before.

It sounds like you're already sold but this may clinch it...
the Caldwell Objects start to fall and some are actually fun with a 12 instead of just a challenge to find.

#7 dennyhenke

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 08:03 PM

Thanks again Ken! That is exactly what I was hoping to learn! As it is now I spend lots of time on even just the faintest of smudges... just can't bring myself to "skim" any of them... not that the extra time brings more detail. With the new scope I may go from 15 minutes per object to an hour per object. My guess is the second half of the Herschel 400 will take much longer :)

I'm thinking I'll be ordering it tonight :crazyeyes:

#8 panhard

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 08:26 PM

Dennyhenke: The difference will blow your socks off. :jump: :jump:

#9 panhard

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 08:39 PM

Here are some charts for the Telrad. Also if you decife to get a Telrad a riser highly recommended.

charts

#10 dennyhenke

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 08:49 PM

Thanks Panhard!

#11 kfiscus

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:54 PM

Denny, I was hoping no purists would read that and you're one of 'em! I confess, I don't spend lots of time on the dim ones. I obsess on the beauties and keep going back to them while I keep checking off members of the various lists.

#12 CosmoSat

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 11:49 PM

Havnt heard reports of any dents on these.. Apertura AD12 Dobsonian Reflector Telescope

Clear Skies!

#13 dennyhenke

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:31 AM

Ken, does that make me a purist? Lol, sweet! I think I've been hoping that by spending more time my visual skills will improve. Time will tell but regardless I do enjoy every minute! I'm the kinda person that always falls behind during walks in the woods as I tend to stop and look at things for a long time.

CosmoSat, thanks for the link but the Z12 is already ordered! Should have it by Thursday! Guessing the clouds will roll in about then too!

#14 kfiscus

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 01:00 AM

Congrats, Papa!

#15 cpr1

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:57 AM

Opticsmart list the AD12 as 1520mm focal length at F/5 and 86.1 lbs.

Hayneedle list it at F/4.93 and 1500mm focal length and 75 lbs.
Interesting, I always thought these were the same scope.
Either there slightly different scopes or somebody is a little off.

#16 Paco_Grande

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:30 PM

The discrepancy in the specs is due to poor collimation of the Chinese abacus in use.

#17 Galicapernistein

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:26 AM

Thanks Clay. I am hoping to get a more specific sense of what kind of increased detail I'll be able to see. In other words, when looking at some of the galaxies, will I see structure? Dust lanes? I know I've read that you need a 16" to start seeing the filaments of the Crab Nebula...

In other words, will I look through the 12" and just see slightly brighter objects but no greater detail? My expectation is that the 4" increase will result in at least some increase in the visibility of structure of these objects.


I have both an 8" and 12" inch dob, and these are some of the specific differences I see between the two (from a dark sky site):

1) 12" - The spiral arm on the outer edge of the dust lane of the Andromeda Galaxy is faint in the 12".
8" - Invisible.

2) 12" - The spiral arms of the Whirlpool Galaxy appear with even the slightest averted vision; brighter portions of the arms stand out in moments of good seeing.
8" - The spiral arms are two vague hazes that circle the brighter center.

3) 12" - The brighter arm of the Triangulum Galaxy appears as a lumpy haze that stretches out to NGC 604, the bright star forming region at the end of the arm. NGC 604 itself appears slightly lumpy.
8" - A few of the brightest star forming regions of the spiral arm can be seen with averted vison. NGC 604 is visible, but as a fuzzy blob.

4) 12" - The companion galaxies of NGC 7331 are visible with averted vision.
8" - Forget about it.

6) 12" - The galaxies in Stephan's Quintet can be partly separated in moments of good seeing.
8" - What Stephan's Quintet?.

These are just a few examples of the differences I see, although your results may vary. A 12" will definitely take you into a new range of seeing, just as a 16" will take you into an even higher range. If I didnt' have to drive to a dark sky site, I would have a 16" scope, but as it is, portability is my first concern.

#18 rflinn68

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:39 AM

Very interesting, but what happened to 5? :grin:

Do you like your 12" Lightbridge? I'm wanting at least a 16" and I'm thinking about getting one. The OP might also want to consider a 12" LB

#19 Galicapernistein

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:59 AM

Very interesting, but what happened to 5? :grin:

Do you like your 12" Lightbridge? I'm wanting at least a 16" and I'm thinking about getting one. The OP might also want to consider a 12" LB


5 was the black hole at the center of the galaxy.

I like my Lightbridge, and would have no problem buying a 16". With the 10" scope you have now, it might make more sense to save for the 16 - a 2" jump might not be worth the money you could put toward a bigger scope.

#20 coopman

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:03 PM

Even in the 12", most galaxies are going to still be faint fuzzies. The aperture increase makes it possible for you to see many more of them than would be possible with less aperture. Star clusters, especially the globular clusters, will be resolved much nicer with the 12".

#21 dennyhenke

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 01:34 AM

I considered the 12" LB but went withe the Z12 to save money. From what I've read, optically speaking,mthe difference is negligible. I live on a dark site so I don't have to transport.

Very interesting, but what happened to 5? :grin:

Do you like your 12" Lightbridge? I'm wanting at least a 16" and I'm thinking about getting one. The OP might also want to consider a 12" LB



#22 dennyhenke

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 01:37 AM

Thanks so much for providing all the details! From what I am reading I think I'll be very happy with the upgrade... Should tide me over till I get that 48" :grin:

Thanks Clay. I am hoping to get a more specific sense of what kind of increased detail I'll be able to see. In other words, when looking at some of the galaxies, will I see structure? Dust lanes? I know I've read that you need a 16" to start seeing the filaments of the Crab Nebula...

In other words, will I look through the 12" and just see slightly brighter objects but no greater detail? My expectation is that the 4" increase will result in at least some increase in the visibility of structure of these objects.


I have both an 8" and 12" inch dob, and these are some of the specific differences I see between the two (from a dark sky site):

1) 12" - The spiral arm on the outer edge of the dust lane of the Andromeda Galaxy is faint in the 12".
8" - Invisible.

2) 12" - The spiral arms of the Whirlpool Galaxy appear with even the slightest averted vision; brighter portions of the arms stand out in moments of good seeing.
8" - The spiral arms are two vague hazes that circle the brighter center.

3) 12" - The brighter arm of the Triangulum Galaxy appears as a lumpy haze that stretches out to NGC 604, the bright star forming region at the end of the arm. NGC 604 itself appears slightly lumpy.
8" - A few of the brightest star forming regions of the spiral arm can be seen with averted vison. NGC 604 is visible, but as a fuzzy blob.

4) 12" - The companion galaxies of NGC 7331 are visible with averted vision.
8" - Forget about it.

6) 12" - The galaxies in Stephan's Quintet can be partly separated in moments of good seeing.
8" - What Stephan's Quintet?.

These are just a few examples of the differences I see, although your results may vary. A 12" will definitely take you into a new range of seeing, just as a 16" will take you into an even higher range. If I didnt' have to drive to a dark sky site, I would have a 16" scope, but as it is, portability is my first concern.



#23 JIMZ7

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:36 AM

From 8" to 12" opens the heavens as never before . M-57 in 4th magnitude skies can be seen directly without avert vision. M-13 now looks like a dense open star cluster. M-31 almost fills the entire eyepiece at low power. But again this is in the "white zone" outside of Detroit. Imagine the views in darker skies.

Jim :watching:

#24 kfiscus

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 02:58 AM

2 words: Horse. Head.

Got it tonight with the Z12 on my first serious attempt ever- no filter.

#25 planet earth

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 05:06 AM

Dennyhenke: The difference will blow your socks off. :jump: :jump:


Yes, that pretty well sums it up. :)
Sam






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