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Retirement Refractor?

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#26 Rich_W

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 03:29 PM

Great question.    Pretty much what I have now.    I like all my scopes and each works with different variables depending on where I am, what I want to do, and how much time I have.    

 

I don't do much solar observing but I have a white light filter for the FS-60 when I do, which for me is sufficient. 

 

My mounts are alt-az.   Sometimes I'll use Sky Commander to help but usually I like to just find my way.    The older I get, the simpler I like it. 

 

So I feel pretty good.    Of course, my wife would tell you, she's heard that before.   :) 

 

 



#27 BKBrown

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 03:49 PM

 

 

Bill, may I ask which 152mm f8 you are using currently? Is it the FS152?

I think Bill has the 152mm Lunt ED doublet currently.

 

He did a review recently on CN.

 

- Jim

 

 

 

Yup..Lunt 152.  This will be my retirement scope I'm sure...I am exceedingly satisfied with it :grin:   I do need to get an upgraded mount though.  Pretty much set on all else except the 2" Zeiss Prism.  Will get that when I sell off my 12mm and 10mm AP-SPLs.  As far as the TEC180...it's always nice to dream :lol:

 

 

Well, since we are dreaming...is it too late to get on Yuri's 250mm list? :waytogo:

 

Clear Skies,

Brian



#28 tomjones

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:04 PM

Solar wedge with refractors and you don't want to melt anything inside-

 

Use an ERF-energy reduction filter on the front, works great and doesn't stop too much light.  I've been doing this for a couple months now.

 

You can leave out the variable polarizer and add a color filter to tint the sun to your taste.



#29 Mark Costello

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:16 PM

Hi, Bill.  My retirement telescope is at home now.  I may get a second (mirror based) telescope to complement it but my intent is to keep and use what I have until it falls apart (hopefully not) or I do due to  :gramps:.   :lol:



#30 pga7602

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:25 PM

How far in advance do you guys recommend before buying the "retirement refractor?"  2 years before ?  10 years before ?  :p



#31 Scott99

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:51 PM

How far in advance do you guys recommend before buying the "retirement refractor?"  2 years before ?  10 years before ?  :p

depends how old you are - 2 or 3 decades in advance might be a good idea!

 

wow, that Zeiss diagonal runs $439!  Ouch.  Is it completely free of false color?  


Edited by Scott99, 19 August 2014 - 10:17 AM.


#32 contrailmaker

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 05:09 PM

I already have mine although I'm a few years away from retirement.  AP 152 Starfire on a Losmandy mount. Pentax XL eypieces and a Denk binoviewer. No goto but gotta have tracking. Problem is that at my present dwelling I have no way to keep it permanently mounted.  :tonofbricks:

 

Sure, a 180 would be better, but if I spend that much on a scope/mount I would have to live at the observatory or on a van down by the river. :lol:

 

CM :refractor:



#33 PJ Anway

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 05:13 PM

So what would you build for your "Retirement Refractor" setup?  Been thinking about this for obvious reasons lately.  :grin:

 

For me, an ideal setup would be:

 

TEC 180 APO.  I feel this would have more than sufficient aperture.  Truth be told 152mm is more than enough based on my observations.  But this is a dream setup so I will splurge a little!

 

I would mount it alt-az.  Reason is that I enjoy it more when I have to travel around and find my way.  When I use an automated setup I feel like it is like traveling on airlines...no real sensation of traveling around and more like transporting.  Half the fun is in getting to the destination for me.

 

I would equip it with Baader Zeiss 2" and 1.25" Zeiss prism diagonals.  Reason is that I want the scope to be all refractive...and no mirrors of any sort in the train. :dancey:   That way the scatter is at an absolute minimum and also no issues with longevity as prisms have stood the test of time. :ubetcha:

 

Eyepieces would be my set of Pentax XWs from 40mm to 3.5mm. :yay:   Never feel wanting with these and like having the consistent look and feel at all focal lengths.  I would also keep my 4mm Supermono, 5mm XO, 6mm ZAO-II and 8mm AP-SPL for mono planetary.  As long as my eye can still see the difference with these top shelf minimum glass arrangements I figure makes no sense to settle for planetary.  Would also keep a bino setup with my 20mm Meade RG Wide Fields until I can find another pair that does better on planetary.

 

Would also have a pair of Nikon AE Binoculars in 7x35 for wider fields of view and 12x50's for hunting down targets.

 

Finally, would make sure to have a white light solar filter as I much prefer solar viewing in white light to Hydrogen, and with binoviewer even better.

 

Now this is a BIG scope...so of course would need something smaller around for when that is advantageous.  While I have an 80mm it is just a little too small.  And I have a 102 and it is just a little too big for this task.  So am thinking either a TMB 92SS or a AT-90EDT.  So a little more umph than an 80 but not so large as something like my TSA-102 f/8.

So that would be it...one big, one small, and all refractive from end to end for the most enjoyable views to be had. :woot:

 

What would be your setup with accessories? :question:

 

As much as a 180mm refractor would be a joy to observe through, I've kind of gone the other direction for my "retirement refractor" with a 110mm TEC; sacrificing "size" for ease of use: carry, transport and mount. Although I still have an 203mm f/7 Newt with a Spooner mirror and a 16% secondary for deep-sky observing, the TEC will be my primary scope. For accessories, I'll be using it with a Zeiss prism diagonal, Zeiss 1.3X & 2X barlows, widefield - 4 Nikon 72° and the Docter, planetary/double stars - ZAO4, XO5, ZAO6 and Nagler(T1)7, solar - Zeiss SFO-80 (80mm glass solar filter).



#34 BRCoz

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 08:19 PM

I have a APM/TMB 130/1200 on a G11 for mine.  



#35 SteveC

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 09:27 PM

Finding a warm weather home to retire to was just as important as the scope and mount. A beach and 1/2 price happy hour drinks/appetizers were strict requirements.



#36 tomharri

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 08:05 AM

Solar wedge with refractors and you don't want to melt anything inside-

 

Use an ERF-energy reduction filter on the front, works great and doesn't stop too much light.  I've been doing this for a couple months now.

 

You can leave out the variable polarizer and add a color filter to tint the sun to your taste.

 

But ERF's only give you the reds around the Ha.



#37 tomjones

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 08:23 AM

I'll buy anything on Ebay.  There was this German guy selling 3-band ERF's that passed Ha & Green Continuum & Calcium areas.

So you can use regular filters to isolate those 3 areas.  Still can't see surface or edge details like a 'real' solar scope.  But it keeps

you busy until darkness arrives.  Something else to do during retirement.



#38 andydj5xp

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 08:38 AM

I'll buy anything on Ebay.  There was this German guy selling 3-band ERF's that passed Ha & Green Continuum & Calcium areas.

So you can use regular filters to isolate those 3 areas.  Still can't see surface or edge details like a 'real' solar scope.  But it keeps

you busy until darkness arrives.  Something else to do during retirement.

 

Do you really think solar wedges would still be manufactured and very popular if they were that dangerous as you are afraid of? There certainly would be tons of serious warnings - which in fact have never been voiced.

 

Even if one is not familiar with the exact operation scheme he/she should know that they are really safe when used according to the instructions.

 

Andreas



#39 PeterR280

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 09:06 AM

The AP155EDF is a great scope. It is somewhat manageable to allow mounting without too much strain. Bigger would be difficult to handle.



#40 amicus sidera

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 09:32 AM

Bill, based on your review of the Lunt 152mm ED and my own checklist of what I wanted in a large refractor, I find it very fetching indeed as a "retirement" scope. Of course it would require a substantial mount; some folks who replied to a query I made on this forum a while back consider my first choice of mount, the Losmandy G11, barely adequate for the Lunt, primarily due to the effects of wind. However, since I plan on housing it in a dome, and will be doing zero astrophotography with it, the G11 would seem to be the best choice, economically speaking.

 

As for binoculars, I like extra-wide field 7x35's very much indeed, and their 5mm exit pupils are a good match for aging eyes. 



#41 Mr Onions

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 10:28 AM

Circumstances dictate what you can have.

My circumstances at present would mean a TV60 to be my ideal telescope.

 

If I had my own yard/garden with my seeing conditions, I would choose the Skylight AR 101 with Televue lens.

No point lusting after a 89353" reflector in my skies :)



#42 gene 4181

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 11:31 AM

bill enjoy your retirement.

Edited by gene 4181, 19 August 2014 - 05:45 PM.


#43 madcity

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 07:21 PM

How far in advance do you guys recommend before buying the "retirement refractor?"  2 years before ?  10 years before ?  :p

 

I started planning 6 years before retirement, honing my skills and getting 'infrastructure' (EPs, camera, mount) to practice with (I came back to the hobby after a 25 year layoff). Picked my retirement scope 7 years ago [yes, I am retired]; still waiting for my A-P call. I'm in-town, with trees (too limited sky for a roll-off, no desire to build in the country), so portability is of prime importance. Plus I want to do this into my 80's (hopefully!), so nothing too heavy or too unwieldy (which means 6+ inch scopes were out). Thus, A-P 130 is my retirement present (when I make it to the top). I had a look through one and was blown away. TOA130 would be nice, but don't like the weight or cool-down time. TEC140 ... not sure if it was available when I was doing my planning, but today would certainly be a contender. TV127 was another option, but for whatever reason, didn't make the cut.

 

The TV85 is a remarkably useful scope and "training tool."



#44 BillP

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 07:50 PM

Bill, based on your review of the Lunt 152mm ED and my own checklist of what I wanted in a large refractor, I find it very fetching indeed as a "retirement" scope. Of course it would require a substantial mount; some folks who replied to a query I made on this forum a while back consider my first choice of mount, the Losmandy G11, barely adequate for the Lunt, primarily due to the effects of wind. However, since I plan on housing it in a dome, and will be doing zero astrophotography with it, the G11 would seem to be the best choice, economically speaking.

 

As for binoculars, I like extra-wide field 7x35's very much indeed, and their 5mm exit pupils are a good match for aging eyes. 

 

 

I suppose.  I have it mounted with a Hercules Alt-Az head and it works just fine.  If conditions are too windy, I tend to not observe so that is not an issue for me.  And while my post here listed the TEC180, in reality it will be my Lunt 152.  It is a fine scope and so very satisfying.  Having lots of fun with it.

 

Apollo - Thanks!  Still 18 months away...but I can taste it!



#45 NHRob

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 07:57 PM

I am getting what I hope to be my retirement scope ... the TSA-120.

portability is big for me.


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#46 flyingcougar

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 10:00 PM

How about a 12" f12.2 D&G? :shocked:  I already have some good finder scopes for it. :lol:



#47 stevew

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 03:13 PM

Obviously the perfect retirement refractor will be different for each of us.

Some people will be in better health than others, and some will have access to better skies than others.

An AP178 may be perfect for some, but an AT72 would be perfect for others.

I still have another 15 years or so of working and putting my twin boys through university before retirement.

While I have many telescopes at the moment, eventually I can see myself settling down to one or two.

At the moment I'm in decent health and expect to buy and sell a few more scopes over the next 15 years.

If my observing routine that I currently enjoy keeps going through retirement, I'm sure I could be happy with a premium 10 inch reflector,

and an NP101.

 

 

Steve

 



#48 Simoes Pedro

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 04:09 PM

I hate to disappoint but the diagonal prisms still have an internal reflection. 



#49 cwilson

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 04:20 PM

By the way Bill, I just wanted to say I really enjoyed your review of the Lunt 152mm. Very thorough and well written! Thanks for taking the time and effort for our benefit! :waytogo:



#50 Scott99

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 06:44 PM

I hate to disappoint but the diagonal prisms still have an internal reflection. 

 

Even the $439 Zeiss???   :bawling:








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