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Grab n' Go scope

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#1 mrelliot

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 07:43 PM

What is the best grab n' go scope for double stars, the moon, and bright DSO? under $600?
Mrelliot

#2 Mentor

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 10:11 PM

A used WO Mergez 80?

Best is a tough call, everyone has difference weightings for the various aspects of a scope.

I am in the market myself, and considering options.

#3 SeattleScott

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 12:01 AM

Do you need the mount too for $600? If so then maybe a 5" Mak or 80 mm ED refractor. Might have trouble finding either one new at that price. I hesitate a little recommending the Mak because the cool down time is not ideal for a quick look grab and go, and the field of view is to narrow for some of the biggest and brightest star clusters. And this is the refractor forum so that is probably what you are looking for.

#4 mrelliot

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 12:08 AM

I have a mount. I thought about an 80mm refractor, does it matter what kind of glass it has?
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#5 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 04:22 AM

I have a mount. I thought about an 80mm refractor, does it matter what kind of glass it has?
mrelliot


For higher magnifications, double stars, the planets, and the moon, chromatic aberration can be quite detrimental. The ever popular ST-80, the 80mm F/5 achromat, is very compact and offers up a 4 degree TFoV with the right 1.25 inch eyepiece. But it has a serious amount of chromatic aberration which limits it's capabilities for splitting double stars and viewing the planets.

The other side of the 80mm achromatic coin are the longer focal length scopes, in particular the 80mm F/11, these have much less chromatic aberration, it's visible but they are still good performers. But these scopes are about 3 feet long, have a maximum TFoV of about 1.7 degrees and require a more substantial mount. In addition, they are not well suited to bird watching and general terrestrial viewing, things a shorter focal length 80mm is good at.

So, ED glass is definitely desirable, ideally FPL-53 or OK-4 but FPL-51 and similar glasses are also very effective.

Here's a question for you: What mount do you have?

Assuming your mount is capable, I see two choices:

- The Skywatcher Pro 80ED. This is the full kit version of the Orion ED-80, upgraded to a 2 speed focuser, tube rings, an 8x50 right angle finder and a case. It also comes with two eyepieces. This scope uses FPL-53 glass, to my eye, has no visible chromatic aberration, very good optically. The downside is that it's a little bigger than it needs to be and it does not have a sliding dew shield. These are $650, a bit beyond your budget. Used Orion ED-80s are commonly available here and on Astromart and go for around $300.

The other choice would be the either the Lunt 80mm F/7 ED or the 102mm F/7 ED. These would use a Chinese version of FPL-51 glass, not quite the color correction of the Skywatcher but still very good. These do not come with diagonals...

The 80mm F/7 is $449. It would appear to have a sliding dewshield, scopes from this manufacturer always do but the OPT page says it does not. Sliding dew shields are nice because they make for a scope that is smaller and more compact.

But again, it does depend on your mount and how large a scope it can handle.

Jon

#6 mrelliot

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:33 AM

Here's a question for you: What mount do you have?


I have a nice photographic tripod ( with a three way head) and an orion EQ2.
Thanks for all the help! :grin:

#7 t.r.

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 11:09 AM

A Celestron 6" SCT...you did say, scope, not refractor! :grin:

#8 Patricko

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 05:01 PM

A Celestron 6" SCT


I totally agree! Lots more aperture for a great price.

#9 BKBrown

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 05:19 PM

I'd be looking for a used Skywatcher 100ED, Orion 100ED, or any other Synta made 100ED f/9 (but I'm soft on the SW model). These are routinely available, often for well under $600...

Clear Skies,
Brian

#10 Eric63

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 05:34 PM

And cool down for the C6 can be helped along by placing a few ice packs in the scope case an hour or so before viewing if one does not want to leave the scope outside. But this is more plan and go. :grin:

Eric

#11 mrelliot

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 07:12 PM

Can I mount the skywatcher 80mm on a photo tripod?






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