Quote:People are talking about all kinds of things for a question that really doesn't have an answer because it depends on so many individual preferences. If the OP though wants to know the difference between all of these different telescopes, what they can and can't do, and without all of the subjective fluff, they can learn all about how telecopes work from Telecope optics.
Quote:Aperture does not always rule. I have never seen an 8" SCT that can come close to the views that my 130 AP delivers. And that includes deep sky objects.
Quote:I have to think that a 1/10 wave C-8 is a rare bird. This is the level that Roland Christen strives for when he hand figures optics using an interferometer, this is what you get with the 10 inch A-P Mak or one of Peter Ceravolos legandary Mak-Newts. Jon Isaacs
Keeper of the Swamp Gas Observatory "This R2 unit has a bad motivator" AR127, CG4 CGE1100 1984 tasco 60mm 49TR F/13.3 refractor 1976 Vixen Polaris 80mm F/15 refractor Denkmeier Big Easy BV'er Astro-Tech Titan 38mm 70* Astro-Tech Titan 20mm 70* Astro-Tech SR6 12mm 60* Meade MA25mm Jap. Meade MA9mm Jap. TMBpII 5mm ES 1.25" FX
Quote:The pic shows a perfect 130mm on the left and a 1/10th wave C-8 including the 35% obstruction on the right. Under good conditions this should be the result. (I have experienced such things)
Kmart 40mm-Thanks Mom|Jason60mm-Thanks Dad|C80SS-Thanks Wife|C90|C102|C6XLT|AP130EDFGT|C-11XLT EQ-2|EQ-3|CG5GT|Mach 1 & Eagle "For once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return".-Leonardo da Vinci "We're all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."-Oscar Wilde ~RIP Dad, you were my best friend...Godspeed!~
Scopes: Celestron 9.25, Orion 80MM and 120MM EON Apo
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Binos: Canon 15X50 IS Mounts: CGEM and LXD75
Eyepieces: Explore Scientific, Meade & TeleVue
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Quote:Because one pays alot for a telescope it doesn't make it better than a larger scope it just makes it more expensive.
Celestron CG-5⁴, CGEM², C6-N, C6, C8, Nexstar 8SE, 6SE, ONYX 80 EDF, Orion ST 80 A Vixen R130SF w/Porta II mount William Optics ZS110 ED APO, FLT 132 Triplet APO, SV70 ED SV115T20 Wicháhpih'a
ES AR152 (By PowellAstro) iOPTRON IEQ45 Mount, Orion XX12i,Orion 80mm Short tube, Celestron C8 w/XLT OTA, ES 9mm 100 deg, ES 82deg complete set, ES 28mm 68deg, ES 2X 2 inch barlow. TV 35 & 41 Panoptics. Several other eyepieces, Telrad w/variable pulse, Artificial Star, Kendrick DigiFire 7 Kendrick dew heaters, Glatter Laser System, Filters, Celestron 25X100 binoculars Garrett tri-pod --------------------------- Looking to the heavens for little green people
Quote:Jon,You know very well what I mean, a $5000 -130MM AstroPhysics is just that. Its a $5000 telescope. A $1500 11" SCT will show you more DSO's than the $5000 telescope.
Quote:Quote:The pic shows a perfect 130mm on the left and a 1/10th wave C-8 including the 35% obstruction on the right. Under good conditions this should be the result. (I have experienced such things)
But in practice, in the field, I find just the opposite occurs, The image on the right is a perfect illustration of the contrast delivered by an apo refractor. The image on the left is more representative of the way an sct displays an image on average. This may be why people would pay the extra money for the refractor.
Quote:Good post, here's my perspective. I owned a very good refractor and thought it was magic. Then I realized that newtonians and SCTs were just as good, but I had to learn how to use the instrument. After years of practice, I became very good at cooling techniques and collimination. My favorite scope was a C14 in which I observed Jupiter once and it looked just like this picture. The scope had cooled overnight and I was looking at Jupiter right before dawn. I was doing 650x without breaking a sweat.The lesson for me is most scopes of acceptable quality (1/4 wave or better) and design will show your similar images, given aperture, if you learn to master the use of them. However, there are caveats:1. Portability matters. It matters because sky conditions dictate results and if you don't use your scope a lot you won't see things at their best. Better to have a smaller scope you use a lot rather than a huge scope you don't have the energy to set up.2. Understand the scope limitations. The C14 gave me a few of a lifetime, but only once. It's not the C14's fault, but it requires better skies, more cooling and great collimination to max out it's potential. This is generally truer the bigger and faster the scope is. 3. Big scopes show your more, but less frequently. Sky and weather conditions must be better and collimination has to be spot on.So, rather than just design considerations, consider your local weather conditions, how often you can go to a dark site, how much scope you can physically handle, how frequently you can observe and your skill level. Refractors are nice because you can be less skilled in collimination, you don't have to wait as long for cool down and most are 6" and under and are portable. That is the real value of refractors.
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Quote: The 80mm (and I imagine the 130mm) will not be as amazing as the 14" on a clear night in New Mexico, but they will get around the United States and camp sites (car camping). These are simply far more portable.
A few thoughts/experiences:
This question does have answers, it has many answers, that is why there are 10 pages of answers. There is no one "correct" answer because indeed it does depend on individual preferences.
The important factors that determine the reasons people actually use different telescopes are not primarily optical, you don't learn them from a Rutten and Venrooij, you learn them in the field. Indeed, it is questions like this one that arise from reading about optics and telescopes without having that experience in the field.
It is the subjective "fluff" that is most important when it comes to choosing a telescope. And that is what members of this forum can provide that a book cannot.
The opinions expressed herein are solely mine as an amateur astronomer hobbyist & consumer. Information herein was correlated from experience, discussions with others, & research from multiple sources freely available at time of posting. All reasonable care & skill was used, but no warranty is made as to accuracy, & liability cannot be accepted for errors/omissions. This is for information only and not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional advice.
Quote: I think this hits it on the head. It's really all about likes and what dislikes you can tolerate in an instrument and still use it often.
Quote: Point is, for me, while the SCT I owned showed nice resolution in globs, the nuisance factor wasn't worth it. The NP101 was a tougher decision to sell but the scope I used the most over these past 10+ years has been the small refractor for its quick and easy set-up. That's why a small refractor over a larger one or even larger SCT for me.
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Skywatcher 120ED Refractor Assorted Zhumell Planetary, Skywatcher and ES eyepieces, a 2x barlow and a few filters. iOptron MiniTower II Sony NEX 3 for astrophotography
Meade LS8 ACF Meade 2" Diagonal Apetura 10" Tweakers Package Meade ETX-125, ETX-90 for Solar Celestron 80mm APO PST Meade SWA - 34mm,28mm,24mm,20mm Brandon 32mm, 16mm Vernonscope 40mm Erfle 2" ES 14mm,11mm,6.7mm 8.8 Nagler 13mm T6, Pan 19mm Meade 12.4 Pl,9.7mm, 15mm SP Meade 2x Shorty Barlow Powermate 2.5x WO Bino Viewer, 20mm 66* pair Denkmier 2 Super System Meade Nebula Filters Meade 9x60 Bino Vivitar S1 8x42 Bino Canon T2i, 18-55mm, 50mm 1.8, 55-250mm
Quote:There was a time I felt like that too. But now, not so much. I'm usually out no more than 30 minutes so quick and easy is most important to me. More often than even moving the Pronto/Telepod out of the studio (detached from the house), I step out my front or back door with some bins.Last night, in spite of a nearly full moon, I stepped out around 2:30 AM to see Orion and Jupiter. I used my Canon 10x30 IS. I was out for 5-6 minutes. Even the Pronto would have been too much trouble for that quick peek.That's why an observatory would be nice! One with a cot.
Where is the long focus Achromat? Where is the detail the orthos were showing? They have passed like rain on the mountains. Like wind in the meadow. The days have gone down in the west. Behind the hills, into shadow. How did it come to this? King Theoden
Quote:I would like to get back to what started the thread for a minute, all to often when someone mentions an SCT compared to a refactor they throw in the caveat, properly collimated, and cooled. why the fine print? The problem to me is an SCT can take forever to cool and if its a night with a fast temperature drop off even longer, i have had reflectors chase a dropping temp half the night giving poor views, in the meantime my refractors have been giving great views since 30 minutes after set up, lost time has to count for something. Dewing is another problem and should be taken heavily into consideration, after waiting two hours for the big sct to cool where it can challenge the refractor it starts to dew up! here by almanac we average 7 clear nights per month so lets say you view from dark until midnight how many nights a month or year will the SCT smoke the refractor just on cooling and dew issues alone. now the next killer is seeing on those 7 nights how many will let you get up above 200x/250x at your viewing location. where i live you might get above that once per 3 months the other clear nights you get the swimming pool effect. so how many nights will the bigger SCT be muzzled by regular conditions. that is wasted aperture. I was at a get together on a clear night 3 years ago and we were looking at jupiter through a c14 it was a big bright mushball, we moved to a friends 100mm achro and it was sharp and beautiful with fine detail. It stayed that way all night. Sure aperture wins but how many days a year where you live? unless you live in the high desert somewhere, not often. Quality..we all know it is lacking even in simple scopes how about in a large SCT especially the ones that are less cost than a 120mm APO. thats alot of mirrors to properly finish and moving parts to rely on. Are most good..yes. Are they high quality?? which brings up mirror alignment, all the moving parts, often complained about mirror flop and now you need perfect collumation to get the sharp view? Just another issue to consider. so you need a dew zapper, active cooling, laser collumator, bought cheap but hopefully not too cheap and you will get to what? It pays to do your homework. Now who wants to chime in on the views looking through either scope.
Quote:There has never been a time that a larger sct or reflectors showed me more details than a smaller refractor. I own both and if I really to see details I pull out the sct. Just because one pays a lot for a scope doesn't make it better.If your scope is not collimated than it's the owners fault not the telescopes.
Quote: With limited cool down time, no worries about collimation and average skies a refractor is superior and will often give a better view of the planets or DSO's under average or poor seeing conditions, not to mention over a scope that's not properly cooled.