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AZ3 and 90 f10 102 f10

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#1 Mars Boy

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 10:25 AM

Hello CN! I'm in visual astronomy for a year or so. My first scope was a SW 70/500 Black on AZ2. A nice little scope. I'm mostly a planetary observer without plans for astrofoto in the future, and a diehard refractor guy :grin:. Recently i was thinking getting a 90/900 or a 102/1000 ( SW's ). My problem is that i live in a 8 store block. I handled a EQ3-2 before and it's quite heavy for carring a floor down to the lift and one up to the top of the building. I saw that both SW's come with AZ3 too on the official SW site. I'm aware that AZ's are quite limited, but considering that i'm not planning to do astrofoto ... could it work decent for visual? I must say that i do terrestrial observations too. I also saw that an AZ3 can keep up to 5kgs. Considering that the scopes have 2,49 and 3,48kgs ... would the AZ3 keep them decently? I want to thank you guys in advance and i wish you a happy christmas! ;) PS: Any advice is welcome and sorry for my bad english! :grin:

#2 Hesiod

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 06:32 AM

I do not recommend it for a such long refractor. I have a lightweighted 100/1000 achromatic refractor, less than 4 kg including diagonal, eyepiece, finder, etc, and I think the smallest mount that can handle it almost decently is an AZ4/Porta, mainly because of the lenght which increase the mount's stress (a small 127mm Maksutov in fact could ride the Porta very well...).
However in order to limit the vibrations I have to keep the Porta's leg fully retracted and so the long refractor become quite awkward to use.
If you want use the refractor on Planets or double star (a 100mm refractor can provide 160x with ease) I think the upgrade to a SkyTee, or EazyTouch, or Giro would be a worthy investment.
I have a SkyTee and it weights about 10 kg, so it is reasonably transportable while being sturdy enough for a 1 meter long refractor (actually it is my first choice for the 100mm refractor..great scopes means great burden :grin:).
The Giros are much lighter but cost more (you will need also a strong photo tripod).
If you want to minimize the weight maybe you could also look at Skywatcher Maksutov (they are not refractors but, well, they perform in a very refractor-like way).

#3 Mars Boy

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 08:10 AM

First of all, thanks for the reply. Between the AZ4 and the Porta i choose the Porta. It's perfect in my case. I'm planning to get a 5mm Planetary. 200x would be too much for it under good seeing? It's bang on the 2x diameter mark. I heard people pushing their refractors beyond 2.5x ... even reaching 3x with decent results. To be honest what i like about the Mak is that it's most portable of them all, but i like the looks and the ideea of a "no maintenace" instrument the refractor has. I've decided on a 102/1000 OTA ( and maybe with AZ3 if the price is close to the OTA ( like in the case of 90/900 SW ), to use it with my 70/500 ) and a Porta 2.

#4 Hesiod

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 08:34 AM

It depends...on certain double star I pushed the refractor to 330x, and on the Moon 200x works fine when the seeing is good. On Jupiter I find 160x being the best compromise between magnification and brighness, but on a very good night sometimes I have pushed to 200x.
The 5mm Planetary is a very good EP, but if you do not have a 6mm maybe I will start from this (if you do not mind about narrow aFOV, a 6mm Plossl or Baader CLassic could be a good choice. Beware of the very low eye relief such EPs have...).
The Skywatcher Maks require not maintenance at all (the Gregorian Maksutov is the most "refractorish" of all the reflector, and its need for collimation check is almost theoretical...not more than that of a refractor, which could lose its collimation too).
Anyway I am too a "refractor guy" and a 100/1000 is a great telescope, and a huge improvement over a 70/500 on planets (while the latter could be a good rich field refractor and for sweep the Milky Way under a very dark sky).
If you are a "do it yourself man" a good idea is to improve the Porta tripod, which is the weak point of a very good light altaz mount.

#5 Mars Boy

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 04:04 PM

I'm sticking with the 5mm Planetary and also want to get a 10mm Super Plossl to replace the Super10 i allready got. I found the 10mm the lowest comfortable for me. Yes, i agree with you that the 70/500 is rich-field and that's one of the reason i got it first, besides the huge portability and low cost. I will use the Super25 lens for DSO and locating for bouth scopes, as it's a really decent quality lens to bundle with a cheap instrument (anyways i don't do much DSO so it's ok). I'm not a huge fan of DIY to be honest with you :D

#6 Hesiod

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 04:49 PM

As I said 200x are within the reach of a 4" refractor, but not all the times nor on all targets, so I would keep the 10 mm and purchase a 6-7mm EP
If you plan to use the Porta on a concrete surface a good idea is put some rubber pad under its feet.

#7 Mars Boy

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 04:47 AM

Thanks for the tips. I will do so with the Porta because it's a wonderful portable mount. It's worth the time doing the mod. Eventualy i will end up with a bunch of EP's so i will definitly have a 6 or 7 SP too :D






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