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Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited

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#1 t.r.

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:08 PM

Over on the 'Mart, Anacortes has announced a limited production SV 4" achromat dubbed the "Planet Killer". Supposedly only 24 scopes. Price is $799, IMHO a little high, but I don't know, maybe something special about it,at F/11 though, I don't see how. For a planet killer wouldn't you want an f/15 like the Antares offering?

#2 BigC

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:44 PM

Isn't a planet KILLER what Marvin the Martian was always trying to build in the cartoons?

I prefer the term "planet viewer";and I agree that F15 certainly would be more desirable unless the scope were made with ED glass.Matter of fact ,putting awkwardness of the physical tube aside, it would be even better were the 4" an F20.The old 80mm/1600m were said to be excellent in terms of sharopness and lack of false color.

I guess it is marketing and shipping constraints that bias manufacturers against long tubes.

#3 t.r.

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:59 PM

After a little research, it may be a clone of this...

http://neilenglish.n...mat-from-china/

#4 Binojunky

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:18 PM

You can get the original version of this scope that Stellarvue sold very briefly from Canadian Telescopes for $500 with free shipping, it differs from the new premium version by having a 2" crayford instead of a 2.5" R&P and it doesn,t have a removable section for bino viewing however its $300 cheaper, it was reviewed in S&T and did very well though that sample came from Hands On Optics.DA.

#5 DaveJ

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:45 PM

After a little research, it may be a clone of this...

http://neilenglish.n...mat-from-china/


My bet is that it isn't a clone at all, but rather the exact same scope from the same Chinese supplier. A quick switcheroo of the focusers and what do you have? A brand new Stellarvue one-of-a-kind product!

#6 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 02:03 PM

I prefer the term "planet viewer";and I agree that F15 certainly would be more desirable unless the scope were made with ED glass.



In my mind, a "planet killer" requires more than 4 inches of aperture. Roland Christen's article "What is the best Planetary Telescope" seems to agree with my experience.

Jon

#7 BillP

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 02:38 PM

In my mind, a "planet killer" requires more than 4 inches of aperture. Roland Christen's article "What is the best Planetary Telescope" seems to agree with my experience.

Jon


I don't know Jon...I kill planets most every evening with my 4" APO. They seem to be rather easy to target and kill in multiple ways with a 4" optic :grin: Even when the 10" is out with it the 4" still bags its prey and kills those planets very reliably and enjoyingly :grin: In my book, any scope can properly designate itself as a planetary killer as long as it deviates from the common popular design in order to maximize its potential for planetary observing. For an achromat, this would of course be making it in a bit longer than the common focal ratio. FWIW, I don't find aperture much of an issue for planet killing...even my "challenge" planet killer 60mm (f/16.7) performs some increadible feats of planetary detail.

#8 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 04:26 PM

In my book, any scope can properly designate itself as a planetary killer as long as it deviates from the common popular design in order to maximize its potential for planetary observing.


From my point of view, a "planet killer" is a scope capable of providing the best possible planetary views under almost all circumstances.

I see no need to deviate from the common, popular design for a telescope to be a "planet killer", it just needs to be a scope that is capable being seeing limited nearly all the time.

I don't consider my 4 inch apo or any 4 inch scope to be a "planet killer" because most nights there is more to see than can be seen with any 4 inch scope.

Jon Isaacs

#9 BillP

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 05:04 PM

I see no need to deviate from the common, popular design for a telescope to be a "planet killer", it just needs to be a scope that is capable being seeing limited nearly all the time.


That would not work for me because that is an aperture-only approach. Plus I wonder how valid it really is? Most people will say in a heartbeat that for the typical observer in the typical circumstance that it is hightly unlikely that the seeing will be producing sub 1 arcsec of resolution...and many professional observatories strive to find places that can routinely provide this. So if that is the premise for the typical better evening, then seeing-limited becomes a 115mm scope for a 1 arcsecond atmosphere (probably why the 130mm class refractor is so popular)!! Then there is the issue of while larger scopes may be better seeing-limited for rarer evenings, they typically are not thermal-ready in any amount of real-time without considered prep and supplemental active cooling. So for these, a "planet-killer" designation for me would mean it needs to deviate quite a bit from the norm. e.g., if a Dob it needs longer throw for smaller CO and a tracking table and lots of active cooling mods and an easily accessible mirror for dust cover and frequent cleaning ease and probably not a truss design as these are more sensitive to going out of collimation depending on their orientation depending on the truss pole arrangement.

#10 Eddgie

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 05:14 PM

Yes, it may be a great scope for 4", but for peopie that want better planetary views, there are so many far better choices than a small achromat.

Marketing is marketing though, and if people believe that they can somehow see more because it is a "Planetary scope," then the marketing people have earned their money buy getting the buyer to go for a 4" scope rather than something more capable.

I have owned an aweful lot of telescopes, and the vast majority of them have been better planetary scopes than any 4" telescope I have ever owned.

#11 Goodchild

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 05:29 PM

Is this new SV scope really any different than the Astro Telescope from HOO?

#12 Mike W

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 05:47 PM

Maybe from sunny old California but bring your big light bucket out here (East) and see how many nights it will out perform a refractor.

In my book, any scope can properly designate itself as a planetary killer as long as it deviates from the common popular design in order to maximize its potential for planetary observing.


From my point of view, a "planet killer" is a scope capable of providing the best possible planetary views under almost all circumstances.

I see no need to deviate from the common, popular design for a telescope to be a "planet killer", it just needs to be a scope that is capable being seeing limited nearly all the time.

I don't consider my 4 inch apo or any 4 inch scope to be a "planet killer" because most nights there is more to see than can be seen with any 4 inch scope.

Jon Isaacs



#13 KevH

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 06:45 PM


From my point of view, a "planet killer" is a scope capable of providing the best possible planetary views under almost all circumstances.

I don't consider my 4 inch apo or any 4 inch scope to be a "planet killer" because most nights there is more to see than can be seen with any 4 inch scope.

Jon Isaacs


Not where I (and I'm sure many others) live. On most nights for a lot folks, seeing is going to be the limiting factor in planetary viewing. A good four inch refractor is more than capable of "killing" some planets.

#14 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:12 PM

That would not work for me because that is an aperture-only approach. Plus I wonder how valid it really is? Most people will say in a heartbeat that for the typical observer in the typical circumstance that it is hightly unlikely that the seeing will be producing sub 1 arcsec of resolution...and many professional observatories strive to find places that can routinely provide this. So if that is the premise for the typical better evening, then seeing-limited becomes a 115mm scope for a 1 arcsecond atmosphere (probably why the 130mm class refractor is so popular)!!



It doesn't take 1 arc-second seeing for an 8 inch telescope to perform better than a 4 inch. Planetary observing is different than resolving double stars but "over sampling" is useful in either. To split a 1.15 arc-second double star (Dawes limit) in a 4 inch scope, requires better than 1.15 arc-second seeing.

A couple of years back, there was a discussion about seeing versus Aperture in which Vladimar Sacek shared some results of simulations he had done.

"
That is probably as good a summary as one can come up with. If you look at those patterns, you'll see that if seeing improves to its average level (about 2 arcsec), the 16 inch will outresolve 4-inch, but will still be outresolved by 6-8 inch. If the seeing now swings to the opposite side, and improves to 1 arc second, the 16-inch outresolves the smaller apertures."

12 inch more sensitive to seeing than an 8 inch

Planetary viewing is mostly about seeing. Good plantary views require good seeing, great planetary views require great seeing and telescopes capable of taking advantage of that great seeing.

Jon

#15 Don Taylor

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:57 PM

You can get the original version of this scope that Stellarvue sold very briefly from Canadian Telescopes for $500 with free shipping, it differs from the new premium version by having a 2" crayford instead of a 2.5" R&P and it doesn,t have a removable section for bino viewing however its $300 cheaper, it was reviewed in S&T and did very well though that sample came from Hands On Optics.DA.


I believe this assessment is correct. Stellarview initially sold the Kunming United 4" achromat before deciding to limit their scopes to ED/Apos. Their early version was identical to the Canadian Telescopes and Astrotelescopes (Hands On Optics) versions except apparently a shortened dew shield. Subsequently, the Astrotelescopes version gained an upgraded rack and pinion focuser apparently of Long-Perng manufacture. This is the version I bought late last year.

Interestingly, my Astrotelescopes version arrived from HOO in packaging showing it originated at Stellarview.

I'm a bit surprised that Stellarview has introduced another non-apo.

Btw: Hands On Optics has also called their version a "planet killer" too. I'll avoid the debate but will say the optical performance of my scope is superb.

Likewise, as I don't use a binoviewer it's hard for me to assess whether $200 extra for the removable section of tube is a good value for someone that does use both eyes.

All in all though, I am extremely satisfied with the optical performance and mechanical build of my AT102F11.
Just my 2 centavos.

#16 ngc2289

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:18 PM

According to Vic the OTA is being made in house. Vic never said this scope was a "one of a kind". The glass is made in China, and SV triple tests the lens before shipping the scope.

#17 m9x18

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:44 PM

I don't consider my 4 inch apo or any 4 inch scope to be a "planet killer" because most nights there is more to see than can be seen with any 4 inch scope.


Hi Jon. Maybe we can still call 4-inchers "planet killers" and just call the larger apertures "planet annihilators", "planet destroyers" or "planet vaporizers" or something. That ought to help. ;)

#18 KWB

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:37 PM

I guess it is marketing and shipping constraints that bias manufacturers against long tubes.

I'm guessing it is also user friendliness that factors into the marketing decisions that affect what telescope design gets priority as to hitting the production lines. An F/15 or worse,an F/20 tube is extremely long and requires a really substantial mount that for a user such as myself wouldn't even entertain to owning due to my situation of not being able to permanently mount that setup in some sort of observatory. I have to take each and every telescope setup I own outdoors everytime it gets used,then reverse the proceedure when it's time to call it a night. That's my bias against this design because it requires far less effort to choose a completely different one like a 10 inch dobsonian that is far easier for me to get into action, with more horsepower under the hood in terms of resolution capability. My opinion is there many other backyard observers in the same boat,and that isn't lost on the scope manufacturers. I love 4 inch refractors that are a lot more grab and go capable and believe that desire is more widespread in this hobby.

In the right circumstances for the right individual, a long tubed acro can be a wonderful tool. :ubetcha:

#19 Julio

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 05:11 PM

Having an Orion 100ED which is optically excellent and multiple Catadioptric scopes, my assessment of what a planetary scope differs. While the 100ED delivers great images it never delivered better views than the Intes 6.5" scope even in average seeing. The newly acquired 8"SCT further outpaces the 100ED and the Intes. I believe 6-8" of apertures are necessary for a true planetary scope.

#20 David E

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 06:46 PM

Is this new SV scope really any different than the Astro Telescope from HOO?


Here is a quote from Vic's post on the Yahoo Stellarvue Group:

"So this month, for at least a limited time, I will produce another Stellarvue achromatic refractor, with performance on the level people expect from us. These will not be mere import telescopes which are untested and inconsistent. These telescopes will be triple tested by us, just like any other Stellarvue telescope. Only the best optics can survive our testing regiment.

Now this will be a visually oriented telescope with a long enough focal length to ensure excellent planetary performance. It will come with our highly praised 2.5" dual speed rack and pinion focuser, giving over-the-top mechanical performance. But let's not stop here. We will incorporate a 4 3/4" removable extension in front of the focuser. Remove this extension and you can use bino viewers without any correction lenses (OCA's or OCS's) which means you get a brighter image and a wider field of view when using bino viewers..."

Now, this scope is an achromat, (and also an aplanat.) Vic said he will disclose glass types later, but quickly admits that this is not using apo or ED glass.

#21 Jim7728

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:13 PM

Frugal man's "Planet Killer"

http://www.astronomi...ota_p20070.aspx

:grin:

#22 DaveJ

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:13 PM

Here is a quote from Vic's post on the Yahoo Stellarvue Group:

"So this month, for at least a limited time, I will produce another Stellarvue achromatic refractor, with performance on the level people expect from us. These will not be mere import telescopes which are untested and inconsistent. These telescopes will be triple tested by us, just like any other Stellarvue telescope. Only the best optics can survive our testing regiment."


Hmmm. "testing regiment" Vic must have an entire army of testers. :grin:

#23 stevew

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:02 PM

In my mind, a "planet killer" requires more than 4 inches of aperture.
Jon


That's the first thing I thought of as well.
I think "planet killer" starts around 10 inches.

I love refractors, and own several, as they provide crisp contrasty images,
but even in mediocre seeing aperture equals resolution.


Steve

#24 Paco_Grande

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:22 PM

The attraction of "Planet Killer" resonates like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with me. It's a marketing term for children.

:D

#25 ngc2289

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 01:59 AM


I guess it is marketing and shipping constraints that bias manufacturers against long tubes.

I'm guessing it is also user friendliness that factors into the marketing decisions that affect what telescope design gets priority as to hitting the production lines. An F/15 or worse,an F/20 tube is extremely long and requires a really substantial mount that for a user such as myself wouldn't even entertain to owning due to my situation of not being able to permanently mount that setup in some sort of observatory. I have to take each and every telescope setup I own outdoors everytime it gets used,then reverse the proceedure when it's time to call it a night. That's my bias against this design because it requires far less effort to choose a completely different one like a 10 inch dobsonian that is far easier for me to get into action, with more horsepower under the hood in terms of resolution capability. My opinion is there many other backyard observers in the same boat,and that isn't lost on the scope manufacturers. I love 4 inch refractors that are a lot more grab and go capable and believe that desire is more widespread in this hobby.

In the right circumstances for the right individual, a long tubed acro can be a wonderful tool. :ubetcha:

You hit the nail right on the head!! :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo: :ubetcha: :ubetcha: :ubetcha: :ubetcha: :ubetcha:






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