Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

Announcements and News >> Discussion of CN Articles, Reviews, and Reports

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | (show all)
JKoelman
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/16/11

Loc: Bangalore, India
Re: Istar Phoenix WFT 204 “Comet HUNTER “… new [Re: Starman1]
      #6434029 - 03/28/14 10:11 AM

Quote:

So do tell: how did you tame the CA in the scope? Which minus violet filter did you use? That might be an excellent one to use in the 6" f/5.



Forget these filters. Just weld a 30 mm widefield eyepiece into this scope. The title says it all: we are talking a comet hunter!


Edited by JKoelman (03/28/14 01:46 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
aa6ww
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/23/11

Loc: Sacramento, Calif.
Re: Istar Phoenix WFT 204 “Comet HUNTER “… new [Re: Mr. Bill]
      #6441868 - 04/01/14 04:05 PM

You only need to look once through his 8" refractor at the Helix Nebula or the North America nebula or the Andromeda Galaxy to know how utterly ridiculous your comments sound.

Ralph


That's my C14 next to his big refractor in one of his photos.


Quote:

I've always toyed with the idea of a large RTF refractor (almost bought the APM 8 inch f/6) but good sense prevailed in the end.

Too heavy, too expensive for what you get in return.

My Orion 10 inch f/4.7 with Paracorr (f/5.4) would "blow the doors" off the Phoenix WFT 204 for a fraction of the cost.

PS...I own an Istar 6 inch f/5 lens set and made a binocular from a pair of Istar 5 inch f/5.5s so I've had some experience with Istar products, which are good value for the money.






Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
norcalastroguy
member
*****

Reged: 06/07/12

Loc: CA USA
Re: Istar Phoenix WFT 204 “Comet HUNTER “… new [Re: stevew]
      #6444165 - 04/02/14 08:08 PM

Yea, after "blowing" my dough I have finally settled down to a multiple "set-up" that meets my thirst for aperture AND a solid "super" sized refractor...

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
norcalastroguy
member
*****

Reged: 06/07/12

Loc: CA USA
Re: Istar Phoenix WFT 204 “Comet HUNTER “… new [Re: terraclarke]
      #6444226 - 04/02/14 08:35 PM

Hey ya Terra...

Ya know, if I actually knew what I was doing some 13 years ago, I would have landed on a 300 Mewlon, snagged a FS152 and called it a day...Astronomy to me was never about the expense, I repeat, Astronomy to me has never been about the money/COST, I love everything this hobby affords, even though I pursued it like a drunken sailor ( once upon a time LOL)... That said, I have blown through many scope types, many mounts types, many eyepiece collections ( 3 total, + all the LE Takahashi's when I owned my last 2 Mewlons, 210 and another 250) PLUS all the "brick-brack" you need to view ( filters, adapters, tables and chairs and LETS not forget Software, YIKES)...But with all I have done, my quest for the sky is ever present, no matter what I own and use, to me it's all about viewing, NOT owning astro gear!!! I am now in my late fifties ( FYI, calculated in dog years LOL), so I am down to my last set of scope types which to me I HOPE will take me to the end of my journey, into my golden years as an amateur astronomer!! In conclusion, I wanted to share my experience about a wonderful piece of gear, NOT Boast OR act like a pompus *BLEEP* just because I own a Big refractor...If no one here has had the honor to view though a lens system of this size, don't LOSE your cookies and get all technical, IT'S a Blast, IT'S a Beast to look through and IT'S MORE fun looking through an 8" piece of glass than maybe a BIG Dob ( Alvin Hueys 31 was the BOMB!!!)..Thank YOU each and everyone for your comments and criticism ( I am laughing ), but do yourself a big huge favor, GET OFF the COUCH, turn the friggin TV set off, GET out of these forums and go outside and LOOK into Space, The Universe is calling, Can YOU Hear IT??? Clear and darker skies, James E. ( aka NorCal Tak GUY)

p.s. That XLT refractor is a Monster, 2 of my viewing buddies own the 6" and the 5", LOVE em!!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
norcalastroguy
member
*****

Reged: 06/07/12

Loc: CA USA
Re: Istar Phoenix WFT 204 “Comet HUNTER “… new [Re: Starman1]
      #6491755 - 04/27/14 12:43 PM

I actually purchased a minus violet filter ( 2" Williams Optics) for that simple reason, to eliminate existing false color and to bring additional contrast to various objects ( nebula and clusters)...That said, unless you have looked through a refractor of this size, making remarks regarding it's optical quality and OR ability is simple non-sense, why? Because it's size simple takes over what it lacks in elements ( a third lens to correct )...I use a Bak 4 prism diagonal, which when used in a "doublet" helps compensate for it's lack of full correction ( that false color term again )...I use 2" explores, the 5.5, 9, 14, 19,( 100 degree ) and I top off my eyepiece collection with a 24 and 30 explore ( 82 degree), a 35 ( 78 field ) as well as a 41 TV Pan and a 56 Plossl Meade ( I enjoy the 56 over the 55 TV, although I TRULY miss my 50 Tak)...Again, I have only used the Istar in minimal skies( 3.5 to 4 transparency, in the outer suburbs of Elk Grove / Sacramento) so again the jury is still out regarding a complete viewing report until I can get this scope into some very dark skies and see what she will do...All in all I am not trying to convince anyone of anything, merely stating that it's general performance as a refractor surprised the heck out of me, 8" or NO 8", it's a very good scope!! p.s. Dear Mr. Curry, YOU are simply a good guy and one person I will personally thank...A "Complete" Viewing report is coming, be patient group!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Istar Phoenix WFT 204 “Comet HUNTER “… new [Re: norcalastroguy]
      #6492213 - 04/27/14 04:59 PM

Pretty much an 8-inch is an 8-inch is an 8-inch. Anyone who has familiarity with *any* 8" aperture (C8 SCT, 8"f/6 Dob/Newt, etc.) will understand something about what's visible with another 8-inch even if of different design. Sure there are differences - one has a shorter focal length and produces wider TFOVs with a given eyepiece than another, one has false color that other lacks, one can be easily carried in one go, mount included, etc., but there are similarities too, which IMO grossly outweigh the differences in performance terms.

Accordingly, the only real "non-sense[sic]" here is the suggestion that one has to look through a particular design of 8-inch scope in order to have anything pertinent to say about it. I've looked through a 36-inch achromatic refractor. I've never looked through a 36" reflector. Nonetheless I know that were either mine, I'd rather have the reflector to escape the loads of false color present in the big achromat (17,600mm focal length). While I've never looked through a 36" reflector, having used other smaller but still large reflectors, I know how much difference a lack of false color makes on many targets in big aperture scopes. That is, though I've never looked through the hypothetical 36" reflector, my experience with 20" and 25" reflectors has some relevance when it comes to picking between a 36" achromat I have used and a 36" reflector that I have not used.

- Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
galaxyman
Vendor - Have a Stellar Birthday
*****

Reged: 04/04/05

Loc: Limerick, Pa
Re: Istar Phoenix WFT 204 “Comet HUNTER “… new [Re: aa6ww]
      #6495053 - 04/29/14 12:45 AM

Quote:

You only need to look once through his 8" refractor at the Helix Nebula or the North America nebula or the Andromeda Galaxy to know how utterly ridiculous your comments sound.

Ralph


That's my C14 next to his big refractor in one of his photos.


Quote:

I've always toyed with the idea of a large RTF refractor (almost bought the APM 8 inch f/6) but good sense prevailed in the end.

Too heavy, too expensive for what you get in return.

My Orion 10 inch f/4.7 with Paracorr (f/5.4) would "blow the doors" off the Phoenix WFT 204 for a fraction of the cost.

PS...I own an Istar 6 inch f/5 lens set and made a binocular from a pair of Istar 5 inch f/5.5s so I've had some experience with Istar products, which are good value for the money.









That's the problem Ralph is that negative comments come from those who never looked the particular scope of conversation. It's almost like they doubt the review or the owner.

In fact I think many who are negative, observe more here on Cloudy Nights then actually under the stars where it counts.



Karl
E.O.H.


Chesmont Astronomical Society - www.chesmontastro.org
Galaxy Log - http://www.youtube.com/user/GalaxyLog4565
Galaxy Log Blog - http://galaxylog.blogspot.com/
HASB - http://www.haveastellarbirthday.com
Telekit (Swayze optics) 22" F/4.5 Dob
Homemade (Parks Optics) 12.5" F/4.8 Dob
Vixen 5.1" f/5 reflector
TMB/APM 8" f/9 Refractor”The Beast”. One great DEEP SKY achro
ES 6" f/6.5 achro. Good one
Celestron Omni XLT 102 refractor.
Celestron 10x60mm Binos


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
davidpitre
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/05

Loc: Central Texas
Re: Istar Phoenix WFT 204 “Comet HUNTER “… new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6495293 - 04/29/14 08:14 AM

Quote:

Pretty much an 8-inch is an 8-inch is an 8-inch. Anyone who has familiarity with *any* 8" aperture (C8 SCT, 8"f/6 Dob/Newt, etc.) will understand something about what's visible with another 8-inch even if of different design. Sure there are differences ...



Agreed. While there are certainly differences, it is just silly to say one is vastly different than another. 8" of aperture is 8". While 1 has a wider field and another a bit more contrast, it is still 8". And when you compare 2 with 8" of aperture at the same focal length, there just ain't a lot to yell about.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
galaxyman
Vendor - Have a Stellar Birthday
*****

Reged: 04/04/05

Loc: Limerick, Pa
Re: Istar Phoenix WFT 204 “Comet HUNTER “… new [Re: davidpitre]
      #6495351 - 04/29/14 09:05 AM

Actually David I have, and the refractor goes a bit deeper (like galaxies). Just the other night hit 15.2 mag galaxy with the 8" refractor.

Owned one 8" SCT and two very good 8" reflectors, and none has shown the detail or went as deep in DSO's as the 8" refractor.


Karl
E.O.H.


Chesmont Astronomical Society - www.chesmontastro.org
Galaxy Log - http://www.youtube.com/user/GalaxyLog4565
Galaxy Log Blog - http://galaxylog.blogspot.com/
HASB - http://www.haveastellarbirthday.com
Telekit (Swayze optics) 22" F/4.5 Dob
Homemade (Parks Optics) 12.5" F/4.8 Dob
Vixen 5.1" f/5 reflector
TMB/APM 8" f/9 Refractor”The Beast”. One great DEEP SKY achro
ES 6" f/6.5 achro. Good one
Celestron Omni XLT 102 refractor.
Celestron 10x60mm Binos


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Istar Phoenix WFT 204 “Comet HUNTER “… new [Re: galaxyman]
      #6496000 - 04/29/14 02:33 PM

Quote:

Actually David I have, and the refractor goes a bit deeper (like galaxies). Just the other night hit 15.2 mag galaxy with the 8" refractor.

Owned one 8" SCT and two very good 8" reflectors, and none has shown the detail or went as deep in DSO's as the 8" refractor.


Karl
E.O.H.




Makes sense. A reflector would have to have enhanced coatings to even come close to the refractor's transmission (if using a dielectric star diagonal), and the SCT's secondary is just too large to show the same detail as easily.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
davidpitre
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/05

Loc: Central Texas
Re: Istar Phoenix WFT 204 “Comet HUNTER “… new [Re: Starman1]
      #6499270 - 04/30/14 10:40 PM

Quote:



Makes sense. A reflector would have to have enhanced coatings to even come close to the refractor's transmission (if using a dielectric star diagonal),



I certainly wouldn't argue with anyone's personal experience, and don't want to highjack the thread into a reflector/refractor war, but indeed a Newtonian with newer enhanced mirror coatings (97-98% on the primary and secondary) does come very close to a refractors transmission. I think the limiting magnitude difference with the reflector at best case scenario would be negligible and hard to distinguish. My point is that I believe the time has past from when a refractor could always take you "deeper" than a reflector of the same aperture


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
galaxyman
Vendor - Have a Stellar Birthday
*****

Reged: 04/04/05

Loc: Limerick, Pa
Re: Istar Phoenix WFT 204 “Comet HUNTER “… new [Re: davidpitre]
      #6499512 - 05/01/14 02:07 AM

I agree David with the new coatings. I had an 8" f/5.3 with high quality optics plus coatings, and was able to pull in some real faint galaxies, though not quite as faint as the refractor. Still wish I had that scope though.

For the $$$ a newt (dob) is best by far, and my 12.5" and 22" dobs are a testament to that for me. Both are optimized with high-end optics, coatings, and small secondary mirrors.

Anyway, any recent reports from the owner of this 8" Istar? That's what I would like to read.


Karl
E.O.H.


Chesmont Astronomical Society - www.chesmontastro.org
Galaxy Log - http://www.youtube.com/user/GalaxyLog4565
Galaxy Log Blog - http://galaxylog.blogspot.com/
HASB - http://www.haveastellarbirthday.com
Telekit (Swayze optics) 22" F/4.5 Dob
Homemade (Parks Optics) 12.5" F/4.8 Dob
Vixen 5.1" f/5 reflector
TMB/APM 8" f/9 Refractor”The Beast”. One great DEEP SKY achro
ES 6" f/6.5 achro. Good one
Celestron Omni XLT 102 refractor.
Celestron 10x60mm Binos


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jim Curry
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/29/07

Loc: STL
Re: Istar Phoenix WFT 204 “Comet HUNTER “… *DELETED* new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6499660 - 05/01/14 07:06 AM

Post deleted by Jim Curry

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
PhaedrusUpshaw
super member
*****

Reged: 04/21/12

Loc: Southwestern Indiana
Re: Istar Phoenix WFT 204 “Comet HUNTER “… new [Re: Jim Curry]
      #6500614 - 05/01/14 03:58 PM

One could discuss the merits of telescope design and characteristics till the cows come home, however when all is said and done weather Reflectors, SCTs or Refractors, we are ultimately discussing a matter of personal preference. Personally I prefer the amazing contrast and depth of focus achieved by long focal length refractors. Of course this is simply my opinion and we each have one of those. Having said that I find myself dividing my time at the eyepiece, pretty much equally, between my 5 inch long focal length refractor and my 10 inch Dob which of course has twice the objective size...
Remember what Jack said, "Keep looking up!"
Bill


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
michiel
sage


Reged: 09/16/04

Loc: The hague Netherlands
Re: Istar Phoenix WFT 204 “Comet HUNTER “… new [Re: PhaedrusUpshaw]
      #6501762 - 05/02/14 06:43 AM

Hi James,
nice review. I recognize your thrill just as I had when I had first light on my 8 inch f9 APM achromat, the same as Karl has. There is something magic in the view through a big refractor that is missing in other telescopes. having owned, and still owing various telescopes, the big refractor remains a favourite toy, albeing it less practical than my 14 inch DOB. Big refractor performance is most bashed down by people that did NOT look through them, must be something psychological. The CA in your 204mm destroys apparently all viewing pleasure, but you just do not realise this.(sarcasm)
Enjoy
Michiel from Holland


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
norcalastroguy
member
*****

Reged: 06/07/12

Loc: CA USA
Re: Istar Phoenix WFT 204 “Comet HUNTER “… new [Re: michiel]
      #6504226 - 05/03/14 02:08 PM Attachment (17 downloads)

Quote:

Hi James,
nice review. I recognize your thrill just as I had when I had first light on my 8 inch f9 APM achromat, the same as Karl has. There is something magic in the view through a big refractor that is missing in other telescopes. having owned, and still owing various telescopes, the big refractor remains a favourite toy, albeing it less practical than my 14 inch DOB. Big refractor performance is most bashed down by people that did NOT look through them, must be something psychological. The CA in your 204mm destroys apparently all viewing pleasure, but you just do not realise this.(sarcasm)
Enjoy
Michiel from Holland




Hello and good health from California Michael...

You can easily tell when someone "hasn't" looked through a 8" refractor, they can't come to any reasonable conclusion only "arm chair" their voices using whichever scope they have had the most experience with...I will agree totally that a big " Dob" rules the skies, but looking through 8 inches of glass is really a treat, it's just that simple...The sky conditions here totally "reek", not good enough to get my Istar out, but I did manage to try out my newest set up, I simple dub my Double Barrel set up ( Astro Telescopes 152 f/5.9 and my Astro Telescopes 102 f/11 planetary killer )


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
michiel
sage


Reged: 09/16/04

Loc: The hague Netherlands
Re: Istar Phoenix WFT 204 “Comet HUNTER “… new [Re: norcalastroguy]
      #6509439 - 05/06/14 08:43 AM

Nice rig you have

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
norcalastroguy
member
*****

Reged: 06/07/12

Loc: CA USA
Re: Istar Phoenix WFT 204 “Comet HUNTER “… new [Re: michiel]
      #6522656 - 05/13/14 10:27 AM

Thanks Michiel...It actually meets both uses, deep sky and planetary...I had originally purchased the 102 back in 2009, but sold it wanting more aperture...after a good friend of mine ( Alvin Huey of faint fuzzies fame)told me how good it was ( I only used my twice), I had to have another one...Sad part is this scope type won't be offered in the near future...Word has it that it's production cost just went up, making it over priced in today's telescope market :-(

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | (show all)


Extra information
0 registered and 2 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  droid 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 4656

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics