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New C8s - Cheap!

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#1 jrbarnett

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 12:26 PM

The standard C8 SCT is *the* icon of the breed. Small enough to ride comfortably on a CG5 class mount. Big enough to serve up a large menu of observing options. In short, an OTA that everyone ought to own at least once in an observing career. As the Edge HD marketing drone muddles the hopeful and credulous into a zombie-like state of semi-consciousness, the standard SCTs much loved for generations have been overlooked.

In this case, these are brand new C8 OTAs featuring Fastar secondaries, a Vixen-comatible rail, a Celestron RDF and a hideous metallic orange paint job. I picked one up last year in a whim to take on an observing trip and to later use for outreach and to loan to friends. The one I received happened to have optics as good as any SCT I've ever owned. I remain quite happy with it and have added an Orion finder shoe, Scopestuff Delrin fine focus knob, Celestron flexible dew shade (works with both C6 and C8), Roberto's Knobs and Pacific Designs soft case. It will likely accompany me on my next long duration dark sky trip this coming September. What's not to love about 8" of aperture you don't feel guilty abusing over extended periods in harsh environments?

In any case, I noticed that Highpoint Scientific (with whom I have no relationship other than as a happy customer) still has some of these Nexstar C8 "unbundled" OTAs available...for just $799.

http://www.highpoint...-SCT-OTA-Ora...

Now that's a great deal.

- Jim

#2 rmollise

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 01:12 PM

Well, I do like the orange trope, but I gotta admit it is a bit much to look at day after day... :lol:

#3 jrbarnett

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 01:44 PM

Y'know what they say, Rod. When the lights go out they all look pretty much the same. :lol:

The "ugly" has actually kinda grown on me. So much so that when I set it up to observe, instead of a black RACI I use a metallic silver RACI. The clash between the silver on a GSO finder and the metallic orange on the OTA is pretty extreme. Like wearing plaid and stripes at the same time.

- Jim

#4 TennDon

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 01:46 PM

I recently got one of those High Point Orange C8s to go on a CG5. I like it too.

And, I think it's kinda purty esp. in the sunlight.
Anyway, at night you can't see the color. :grin:
Don

#5 REC

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 02:37 PM

Jim, you really like that Scopestuff focusing wheel?

Thanks!

Bob

#6 Crow Haven

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 03:02 PM

:grin: Yep, that's the one I bought recently through High Point Scientific. I happen to love love love the metallic orange paint though! :grin: The best differences I've noticed are the new 8SE is a little brighter, sharper, and there's not the image shift when focusing as there is on my old C-8.
Here's a pic of my old 1985 SP C-8 and the Nexstar 8SE...

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#7 jrbarnett

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 03:04 PM

Howdy Bob.

Yup, works like a charm. And it's a fraction of the price of a Feathertouch Microfocuser.

Regards,

Jim

#8 jrbarnett

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 03:06 PM

Yeah, I was only kind of beating it up for the color. It's grown on me, really. Everyone knows what you have from across the field without stopping be to see. :grin:

- Jim

#9 Goodchild

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 09:13 PM

+1 for the orange.

#10 Lane

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 09:40 PM

I like that color.

#11 Tim J K

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 06:59 AM

I too have an Orange 8se - great optics and a "cool" orange color! :cool: My favorite scope.

Tim

#12 jgraham

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 07:14 AM

I kinda like the color, and the scope is even better! An easy fix is black faux leather vinyl contact 'paper'. The matte finish looks nice on a scope. Of course this is coming from someone who kinda likes the orange. :)

#13 Seiko4169

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 07:27 AM

I've not seen an Orange tube in person yet but I think it looks cool in photographs. My Edge is nice and clean looking but I'm not convinced the creamy white is the best colour? My previous 8i and current grey/silver/gold 5i is ok whilst the black Tubed CPC was rather plain and cheap looking.

Overall I think the Celestron Orange tubes are the most visually appealing especially on a black mount.

Now, my little Etx 90 had them all beat! :cool:

#14 REC

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 07:52 AM

Thanks Jim, I think I'll pick one up for $30!

Bob

#15 Husbyggarn

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 04:38 PM

God, you guys are lucky, in Sweden it costs 1400$! :bawling:
Even so, i can see myself owning one in the future...

#16 Patrick

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 07:32 PM

Post deleted by Patrick

#17 elmiko

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 08:30 PM

:)I got one of those last August from High Point also. Just love it. Optics are great! The website showed only 10 left when I got mine.I have it mounted on an ASGT also.Here's a pic from last weeks Arizona Messier Marathon. Thats my wife and Pomeranian If you look real close.

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#18 jrbarnett

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 09:06 PM

I think the marketing department is hard at work. Celestron's first whitepaper ever was published for the EdgeHD launch. I've now used two different C8 EdgeHDs. One was really good optically. The other was soft like many other "average" quality SCTs. 50-50 is my experience with standards SCTs. 50% of them have had indifferent optics and the other 50% have had good optics. That track record has continued with the Edge's I've now used.

I say "much loved" for the 8" SCT in that it pretty much destroyed the market for EQ mounted Newtonians back in the day. It packed a lot of aperture into a tidy package and rode on a very portable mount comfortably. Note that "much loved" and "~50% of them have poor optics" are not mutually exclusive. There's a lot to love in compact, portable aperture, even if the quality of the image isn't so great.

Regards,

Jim

#19 elmiko

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 10:26 PM

Jim I concur. I also own a 10" lx- 50. But it is Kind of heavy to set up out in the yard for a quick look. With the c-8 I can carry the whole set up 20 ft. out the door, and be observing in a couple of minutes. And that includes a quick align on the CG-5.

#20 jrbarnett

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 11:03 PM

Hi elmiko.

I just finished collimating in the wake of installing Bob's Knobs on mine last week, and after re-collimating I cruised a few showcases under moonlit skies using an alt-az mount. I can move the whole kit and kaboodle out of the shed in one go. I'm definitely getting lazy. :grin:

I was also playing with the Celestron FF/FR visually using a 28mm RKE. Without the FF/FR, the stars start to go comatic starting in the outer 30% of the FOV, and get progressively worse all the way to the field stop. With the FF/FR in place, the stars start to deform in the outer 15% and get progressively worse in the way to the field stop. Also, the manner in which coma is manifest changes. The stars become comet shaped with tails pointing away from the center. With the FF/FR in place, the coma manifests as "seagull" shapes with the "v" pointing to center and the "wings" flattening out to the sides.

It definitely doesn't achieve the level of flattening or coma correction of the EdgeHD scopes (or the Meade ACF scopes for that matter), but with moderate AFOV long focal length 1.25" eyepieces it does tidy up the outer field a great deal.

Regards,

Jim

#21 elmiko

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 12:36 AM

Jim, which alt az mount are you using? I've got the Vixen star guy. I use it on some of my refractors, still have not put the C-8 on it yet. Speaking of fr ff I bought the Meade 6.3 fr. I tried using it on the Celestron, but can't achieve focus with it. Any idea why?

#22 palmer570

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 03:49 AM

I just tried a 6.3 on my C8 and it seemed like it wasn't going to come into focus but eventualy did. I had a motofocus on it though and didn't want to run it for long periods of time and was focusing the wrong way at first so not sure how far off it was at the start or how fast the moto turns at top speed.

What do you have attached after the fr/ff?

#23 KeithC

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 09:05 AM

Jim,

What do you mean when you say 50% of them have been "soft" optically and the other 50% had "good optics"? What is the difference between those two extremes? Is it obvious visually or merely subtle? I have only looked through one C-8 and that was at an outreach Monday night. So I have little to compare your comments against in trying to understand what you mean.

#24 elmiko

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 09:24 AM

Hi palmer750, I tried with a gso 2" diagonal and with a 2" nose piece on my dslr Canon t2i. Niether one could achieve focus.

#25 elmiko

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 09:26 AM

I still haven't tried it with my Meade 10 sct though.






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