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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: ichdien]
      #5572317 - 12/15/12 10:35 AM

Quote:

Why get a 90mm Mak when, like LateViewer, you can get something like the TMB 92 refractor? More aperture, more clear aperture, capable of high power AND wide fields (which will be especially useful since open clusters are among the best targets for city observers), and faster cool down than the Mak (which is important in the Northeast). I'm a former Manhattanite who enjoyed a wide field 4" refractor there for many years.




Why? I'll tell you why. The C90 is 150 bucks with very good optics vice 1500 bucks for the refractor. Unless you are planning on imaging with it, which the OP has not indicated he is interested in, in this old boy's opinion 1500 is a lot to pay for a 3 and a half inch grab and go, especially when the C90 has outstanding optics.

That's why.


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ichdien
member


Reged: 11/27/08

Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: rmollise]
      #5572533 - 12/15/12 12:36 PM

Until the OP's recent post I wasn't aware of his budgetary concerns. In the opinion of this old boy, a longtime, but no longer, Manhattan dweller well acquainted with the OP's observing conditions and constraints as well as the former and present owner of several refractors (including a lovely Pronto that I sold for a price within the OP's now-stated price range), I know for a fact that a good refractor makes a good city and travel scope, and that it can do things (like cool down quickly and provide wide field views) that a Mak can't. And how will that C90 behave 10 years from now? And what will it be worth? The Traveler that I bought in 1996 after a long six month wait (those were the days!) performs exactly the way it did back when Monica Lewinsky wasn't even a gleam in Bill Clinton's eye. And although I'm not sure, I believe the scope may be worth just a little more on the market than the $1900 I paid for it when it was new.

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moynihan
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/22/03

Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: rmollise]
      #5572654 - 12/15/12 01:59 PM

Quote:

The C90 is 150 bucks with very good optics ... Unless you are planning on imaging with it, ... outstanding optics.






I am far from being a Newbie.
I started using a scope so long ago, that it was when dogs could talk.
Every time i have mine out i am again somewhat amazed at the price. Last night, had it on my AT Voyager (overmounted, but moves like silk both gross and slo-mo) as well as my 6" f/8 Newt. Jupiter.
Duh, of course the Newt view was better (a night where I could use 50x/inch with it at times...rare)
But the C90 played way north of its price point.

Even folks that go through telescopes a lot, and spend major money in this area, should pick up one of these for kicks.

If i recall correctly, the reflective surfaces are spherical. I have read that the Chinese have pretty much nailed mass production of that mirror type. They will not provoke analogies to high end sports cars, watches or firearms in discussions (like an optically "similar" iconic brand/product will), but, just saying...

Edited by moynihan (12/15/12 02:01 PM)


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5572675 - 12/15/12 02:16 PM

You need to be careful with the mount you choose, due to positioning of the finder shoe relative to the focus knob relative to the mounting rail. Mounts with "swept back" arms like the Vixen Porta series, don't work well with this scope because there's only one way to position the OTA relative to the sweep angle, and it places the finder underneath the OTA.

Mounts that have a directionally agnostic head work better, but even then you must exercise care if the mount has slo-mo controls positioned on one face of the head. My Lapides Teegul alt-az, for example, has the slo-mo knobs on the opposite (i.e., wrong) side of the mount head, relative to the rear cell of the OTA.

I suspect that an alt-az with no slo-mo controls and no sweep to the head would be the best bet. The Microstar looks like the ticket in terms of not conflicting with the rail, focuser and finder placements of the OTA.

Let us know which mount you choose.

- Jim


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: ichdien]
      #5572679 - 12/15/12 02:18 PM

Quote:

Until the OP's recent post I wasn't aware of his budgetary concerns. In the opinion of this old boy, a longtime, but no longer, Manhattan dweller well acquainted with the OP's observing conditions and constraints as well as the former and present owner of several refractors (including a lovely Pronto that I sold for a price within the OP's now-stated price range), I know for a fact that a good refractor makes a good city and travel scope, and that it can do things (like cool down quickly and provide wide field views) that a Mak can't. And how will that C90 behave 10 years from now? And what will it be worth? The Traveler that I bought in 1996 after a long six month wait (those were the days!) performs exactly the way it did back when Monica Lewinsky wasn't even a gleam in Bill Clinton's eye. And although I'm not sure, I believe the scope may be worth just a little more on the market than the $1900 I paid for it when it was new.




I'm quoting you the price for a brand new one. Otherwise, you are welcome to your opinion. I just don't share it. Not for a visual grab and go that's tossed in the truck or manhandled into the backyard. But enjoy your expensive little scope.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: ichdien]
      #5572680 - 12/15/12 02:20 PM

"Why get a 90mm Mak when, like LateViewer, you can get something like the TMB 92 refractor?"

Money. The TMB costs 12x more.

Field curvature. The TMB has loads and loads more.

Higher order aberrations. The TMB has more.

Three excellent reasons.

On the other hand, the AT72ED costs $379, and actually passes through more light than the C90 after losses are factored in, will perform comparably, though it will have some false color which the C90 will not have.

- Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (12/15/12 02:22 PM)


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MrJones
Pooh-Bah
****

Reged: 09/15/10

Loc: Indiana
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5572711 - 12/15/12 02:52 PM

I personally haven't been impressed with the 90mm Maks. Not enough aperture to be better than 15x70 binoculars IMO. Maybe get some opinions on the 102mm Mak?

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RafaelP
super member


Reged: 12/01/12

Loc: NYC
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: MrJones]
      #5572803 - 12/15/12 04:01 PM

I had considered the Astro-Tech 72ED too, but I didn't know how favorably they compared to C90 with the smaller aperture(especially for planetary viewing) They seem to come of for sale pretty regularly, and it would be nice to not have to wait a half an hour after setting it up.

In other news... I saw several Geminid meteors several nights ago from the roof!

Edited by RafaelP (12/15/12 04:06 PM)


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moynihan
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/22/03

Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: MrJones]
      #5572956 - 12/15/12 06:12 PM

Quote:

... 90mm Maks. ....15x70 binoculars ...




Apples and oranges. Actually, if you hand them out at the same time, it would make a tasty little salad


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: MrJones]
      #5572974 - 12/15/12 06:28 PM

Sure...if 15x floats your boat.

But a C90 has a 1250mm focal length, and handles magnification pretty well. Instead of 15x, you're working at 50x, 80x, 120x, etc.. It'll resolve the edges of brighter globulars, show the annular appearance of the Ring Nebulae, allow you to observe all of the Messiers as well as many of the Herschel 400.

The C90 handily bests 60mm and 70mm achromats and 60mm apochromats on any target, costs similarly to the 70mm achromats, and travels well more like a much more costly small apochromat, which it is (apochromatic, though not a refractor).

I mean, we're talking $150 for the OTA. That's mid-market eyepiece money. For context, that's about 25% of a discounted C5 or C6 OTA. For about the same price as a C5 or C6 OTA alone, you could have the C90 OTA, a decent mount and some accessories.

Regards,

Jim


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ichdien
member


Reged: 11/27/08

Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5573048 - 12/15/12 07:25 PM

"Why get a 90mm Mak when, like LateViewer, you can get something like the TMB 92 refractor?"

Money. The TMB costs 12x more.

Field curvature. The TMB has loads and loads more.

Higher order aberrations. The TMB has more.

Three excellent reasons.

As I pointed out, when I posted this I was unaware of the OP's budgetary constraints. Which is why, when he stated them, I then suggested something like a Pronto which, in good shape, would cost what the OP is willing to spend. Again, a bit of CA and not as much aperture as a 90mm Mak, but clear aperture, virtually no cool down--spent any winters in NYC?--wide fields, exceptionally sharp views, and higher build quality. But chacun a son gout.


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314Sprout
member


Reged: 06/27/12

Loc: San Diego
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: ichdien]
      #5573178 - 12/15/12 08:41 PM

Moynihan, It is a tasty little salad indeed! I have a AT72 on one side of my DSV-1, and the 90mm Mak on the other, a recent acquisituon thanks to this thread. My 9 & 11 y/o and I rotate through each and it is great! They enjoy the side by side views as much as those through my vintage C-8. And I have to admit, while it isn't as detailed as the C-8, sharing with the ones you love makes up for the lack of resolution and light grasp!

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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: MrJones]
      #5573806 - 12/16/12 09:38 AM

Quote:

I personally haven't been impressed with the 90mm Maks. Not enough aperture to be better than 15x70 binoculars IMO. Maybe get some opinions on the 102mm Mak?




It's a step up, and either it or the 90 is often a better choice as a grab and go city-scope. You can up the magnification to cut down on the background skyglow and you can also use one for Lunar observing and casual inspection of the planets.


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RafaelP
super member


Reged: 12/01/12

Loc: NYC
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: rmollise]
      #5574157 - 12/16/12 01:19 PM

I am going to B & H today to look at and compare the C90 and the C5. I tried Adorama the other day, but there weren't any scopes out on display. They do have a binocular shelf where you can test a bunch. It was fun to use the Canon IS binoculars.

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t.r.
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/14/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5574506 - 12/16/12 05:12 PM

C90 @ $150 vs. C5 @ $500? I'd get the C6 @ $399 instead of the 5 or stick with the C90 for compactness.

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RafaelP
super member


Reged: 12/01/12

Loc: NYC
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: t.r.]
      #5574567 - 12/16/12 06:00 PM

I picked up the C90 today at B & H. They have an amazing binocular department!
I am figuring I can start here and transfer the equipment over if I decide to get a 5" or 6" in the future. I can keep the c90 for travel. Now I have to get all the assorted bits and bobs to go along with it. Maybe a zoom eyepiece?

Edited by RafaelP (12/16/12 06:10 PM)


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5574834 - 12/16/12 09:41 PM

Rafael, if the C90 works out for you, and you later find that you have a hankering for more aperture in a fairly compact package, I recommend the Nexstar SE mount with the C6. You can get it with the C8, but you lose some mobility and a lot of stability. Use rechargeable batteries for the mount (you'll get a couple of hours per charge) and you will be able to carry the whole kit and kaboodle to the roof in one go.

Good luck and enjoy the C90.

- Jim


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Wmacky
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/24/07

Loc: Florida
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5574997 - 12/16/12 11:44 PM

Quote:

I picked up the C90 today at B & H. They have an amazing binocular department!
I am figuring I can start here and transfer the equipment over if I decide to get a 5" or 6" in the future. I can keep the c90 for travel. Now I have to get all the assorted bits and bobs to go along with it. Maybe a zoom eyepiece?




Congrats!


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RafaelP
super member


Reged: 12/01/12

Loc: NYC
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? [Re: Wmacky]
      #5575479 - 12/17/12 10:24 AM

Thanks! I am excited, but still trying to decide on eyepieces. I am probably looking to add just two right now(it has a 32mm plossl.) I am considering the Meade 4000 8x24... unfortunately the Baader is a little too expensive right now. I saw another zoom online for $99 which is the same as the now discontinued Williams: http://handsonoptics.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=663.
Anyone with experience with that one?

I might choose just 2 basic plossls to start.

Thank you so much everybody for all your input so far!
~Rafael

Edited by RafaelP (12/17/12 10:37 AM)


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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? [Re: ichdien]
      #5575508 - 12/17/12 10:48 AM

Quote:

And how will that C90 behave 10 years from now? And what will it be worth?




My ETX is one of the origonal ones sold in the mid 90's
still looks and performs as well as the day I got it new.
Worth?
To me Priceless, I can honestly say I will NEVER sell it.
Don't knock it if you've never had one. Mine cools down fairly nicely, about the same as my ST80 refractor did..
Plus they make a superb Solar (White Light) They really cut through the bumpy Daytime skys.
I can respect your refractor they are beautiful pieces of glass, It's just for that $ you can buy the ETX AND a decent dob
Just my opinion worth about as much as it costs..


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