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Top 10 Current or Modern Refractors

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#1 orion61

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 08:23 PM

Being new to decent (If you call a Meade ED 102mm a decent)
refractor,
Can anybody agree on the top 10 MODERN refractors available?
also scopes that the majority of people can afford say
6K and under.
Are there any ED scopes there?
I would also put VALUE as one factor hopefully.
I know you can buy a beautiful 50mm APO for a grand but the same money could buy a pretty decent 4 or 5" ED
At least I think.. Im going to be looking at these for some research for a future purchase...

#2 FirstSight

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 08:41 PM

The Televue NP-101 should be on any such "top 10" list. The availability and 6K "affordability" criteria would keep any otherwise appropriately "top" nomineees from Astrophysics from making the list. I'm sure some folks will make some good nominations from Takahashi or Stellarvue, among others.

#3 Erik Bakker

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 08:52 PM

OK, so let me do the Tak nominations for visual use :) :

1. FS102 NSV fluorite doublet
2. FC76 DS fluorite doublet
3. FC60

In the bigger sizes, I enjoy the elegance and pure visual joy of high-end dobsonians. Hence I ended up with the magnificent MW 16" f/5.

#4 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 08:55 PM

A couple of thoughts:

If you are thinking of the best 10 modern refractors, then attempting to include "value" only confuses the issue. The Orion ED-80 is certainly a great value and offers near the performance of the Lomo 80mm F/6 triplet but in the final analysis, one is a great value and one is a great scope.

In terms of the most influential, most copied modern refractor, in my mind, it would have to be something from Astro-Physics. There was a time when an FPL-53 Triplet was a rare, even unique, and untried design...

Jon

#5 orion61

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:50 PM

Ok if 6K takes away the top AP performers how much do they cost???
Are we we talking the total GNP of a Small Country?
OK Not knowing much about refractor prices, lets leave off the best deal part... just the best..

#6 APtelephoto

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:23 PM

The AP130EDFGT is just under 6K as we speak. :usa:

Roland and the Gang at AP are still producing this gem but if you have not been on "the list" for many years you will need to find a "used' one for sale... mine is not for sale. :shameonyou: :shameonyou: :shameonyou:

"Used" ones will exceed the 6K limit. :bawling:

Pete

#7 Kevin Barker

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:32 PM

I'll stick to scopes I have seen through (no particular order) but Zeiss APQ 100 on top.
Zeiss APQ 100/1000(it cost $3600 for ota back in the early 1990's)
Takahashi FS series. FS 102 is a beaut scope for visual use.
D&G 5 inch f-15 and 6 inch f-12. Quality achromats which really perform well.
AP 105 Travelor, exquisite optics.
Zeiss AS 80/840 and 100/1000 semi apo's. Both produce very pleasing images.

Celestron C102 fluorite version, from the 1990'2 very nice.

Zeiss C63/840 and AS 63/840, small aperture but very good optics.

I would add my APQ 130/1000 but it cost a bit more than $6 k US.

Kevin Barker

#8 teelgul

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:36 AM

We,have 3 variables here TOP,CURRENT ,MODERN.
Zeiss an all time great above and beyond question but not,CURRENT .
All CURRENTLY produced scopes from,AP ,TAK,TEC, officina stellare ,any size,Priced above or below 6k, have TOP optics,mechanics, MODERN materials,design,modular,capability. and so on___
of course there is televue with, TOP of the line optics , and great build.but unfortunately not,very MODERN in terms of,technique or materials or may be a little slow to catch up.(courtesy a paper,baffling
Which tends to peel off and an occasional loose rack till,advent of,starlight ). :grin:

#9 Tom and Beth

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:50 AM

OK, here's two of them

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#10 Traveler

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 01:57 AM

...and here is another two of them:

AP Traveler and Tak FS-60CB

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#11 mmalik

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 04:54 AM

TEC 140mm f/7 APO ED

#12 JJK

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 06:29 AM

We,have 3 variables here TOP,CURRENT ,MODERN.
Zeiss an all time great above and beyond question but not,CURRENT .
All CURRENTLY produced scopes from,AP ,TAK,TEC, officina stellare ,any size,Priced above or below 6k, have TOP optics,mechanics, MODERN materials,design,modular,capability. and so on___
of course there is televue with, TOP of the line optics , and great build.but unfortunately not,very MODERN in terms of,technique or materials or may be a little slow to catch up.(courtesy a paper,baffling
Which tends to peel off and an occasional loose rack till,advent of,starlight ). :grin:


The topic of this thread is "Top 10 Current or Modern Refractors". "Top" is not one of the variables. "Top 10" is.

IMO, the "or" qualifies Kevin's picks of Zeiss APQ apos, which aren't exactly Brashear refractors, as relevant. Also, suggesting that the APQs are an all time great is an understatement.

#13 Fomalhaut

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:57 AM

After many comparisons (even with the Zeiss APQ-100/640) I wouldn't give the following one away for any of the above 4-inchers:

www.astro-foren.de/showthread.php?13579-Takahashi-FCT-100-640
(just move cursor on pictures to enlarge)

Since this multi-coated and (other than the APQ) air-spaced 100/640 fluorite-triplet is not available new any more, I personally would go for today's TSA-102/816 that has very similar characteristics of performance to the FCT-100.

Chris

#14 t.r.

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:32 AM

Here is a few I highly regard that should make any such list in no particular order of preference...

TEC 180FL
AP 175 EDF
TEC 140 ED
TV 127
AP 130 GT
TEC 110 FL
TV NP 101
TMB 92 SS/L
TV 85
TMB 80 SS

...at least, these are the ones I drool over! :bow:

#15 orion61

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:58 AM

After many comparisons (even with the Zeiss APQ-100/640) I wouldn't give the following one away for any of the above 4-inchers:

www.astro-foren.de/showthread.php?13579-Takahashi-FCT-100-640
(just move cursor on pictures to enlarge)

Since this multi-coated and (other than the APQ) air-spaced 100/640 fluorite-triplet is not available new any more, I personally would go for today's TSA-102/816 that has very similar characteristics of performance to the FCT-100.

Chris

I have an old early 70's Sandcast Celestron C8 that has very good optics for a commercial SCT but I took a Meade 102 ED in a trade and kind of got bit by the refractor bug. I was blown away by the contrast and sharp image, Doubles look just like the "textbook" images closing in on Daws limit.
THEN I looked through a 5" Tak a friend sold for 3k
I couldn't come up with the money in time,
I am still blown away that my 102 gives Planetary detail equal or better than my C8, which has beaten every other C8 or Meade 8 I have compaired it side to side with.
It seems that Refractors are kind of Kin with Automotive speed!
the last 20% cost 80% more! But I get it now,
I have to admit except for Deep Space its hard to look through the obstructed scope after the PURE views of the refractor. I have a 7" Meade mak that is no slouch,
but how good is the ED of mine rated? I only have about $400
invested in it and it is mint, not a scratch.
If I hadn't spoiled myself and looked through the Tak I wouldn't be here asking LOL..

#16 Malabargold

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:27 AM

Any scope made by Astrophysics from the late 1990's onward would be my picks.

#17 FirstSight

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:39 AM

Any scope made by Astrophysics from the late 1990's onward would be my picks.


The difference between Televue refractors and Astrophysics refractors is the lenses. Televue refractor lenses are made of very exotic glass, but Astrophysics lenses are made from unobtanium.

#18 M13 Observer

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:15 AM

Any scope made by Astrophysics from the late 1990's onward would be my picks.


The difference between Televue refractors and Astrophysics refractors is the lenses. Televue refractor lenses are made of very exotic glass, but Astrophysics lenses are made from unobtanium.


Close. If you save up some money and watch Astromart, every so often someone sells off something with "Astro-Physics" engraved upon it or so labeled. Rarely there are bargains but they usually require the purchase of a "complete" kit which you will have to part out, unless it ends up being better than what you already have and you can afford to keep it all. The best bargains appear to be the AP130EDF telescopes, made from about 1995 on to 2003 or so. Since so many TEC140 and AP130GT telescopes have been produced and are still being produced since 2005, and as I type, the "older" 130EDF's can be found rarely for around $5700 to $6K. TEC140's come up from time to time for around $5K although I don't follow the second hand prices as closely. I hesitate to call any of these telescopes "used". At their value, you will generally find that they are very well cared for and while they have been out of the case and under the night sky, they are kept essentially in "as new" or close to it condition. Yes there can be paint chips on the dew shield edges, and where rings attach, etc, but if so, the price asked should reflect these slight imperfections. Yes, they are not "factory fresh" but in most cases they can be acquired with some patience and timing.

#19 Mr Onions

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:40 AM

The APM/TMB 100/800

#20 johnnyha

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:26 AM

The price has currently gone a bit above $6K, and it is has not been produced in about seven years, and yes I am prejudiced - but I think the Tak FS152 would handily beat quite a few that have been nominated, based on actual image quality.

#21 Rutilus

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:00 PM

For just visual use, I would say that you do not need to spend a fortune to get outstanding views.
Over the Christmas period I have been testing my my home-built Carton lens 100mmm f/13 up against
a Tak TSA-102, a superb Tak FS-102 and a skywatcher 100ED.
From what I Observed, I would put the Carton right up there with both the Taks.
Here she is, a superb performing scope that cost less than
many high-end eyepeices.

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#22 mikey cee

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 05:52 PM

This thread has not only very high quality scopes in it but has about as much "brand loyalty" built into it too. I'd definitely agree with you Rutilus. If he believes that his Carton 100mm F/13 ranks right up there with Taks I think he has a valid point. Therefore being an Istar lens user I'd definitely place Istar's triplets and fluorite ED's right at the top of the mix. I definitely believe the Istars are the "sleepers" currently available! ;) Mike

#23 AlbertoJ

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:14 PM

Refractors new available under $6K:
-Takahashi TSA-120.
-Takahashi TSA-102.
-TEC-140.
-Tele Vue NP-101.
-Tele Vue 85.

#24 teelgul

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:03 PM

This thread has not only very high quality scopes in it but has about as much "brand loyalty" built into it too. I'd definitely agree with you Rutilus. If he believes that his Carton 100mm F/13 ranks right up there with Taks I think he has a valid point. Therefore being an Istar lens user I'd definitely place Istar's triplets and fluorite ED's right at the top of the mix. I definitely believe the Istars are the "sleepers" currently available! ;) Mike

may be televue ,i star ,carton all have lenses from the same source.

#25 ohioalfa64

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:48 PM

What if this became the 10 best used refractors priced below $2000 on CN and AM? You see the prices daily. If you think the best bargains are under $1000 then identify those. Sorry for spinning this thread but I am trying to find timely info for this ever broadening category.






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