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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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RafaelP
super member


Reged: 12/01/12

Loc: NYC
Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel?
      #5554395 - 12/04/12 06:26 PM

Hello all! I live in midtown Manhattan which probably has some of the worst light pollution in the world. I am limited as to what I can see, the planets and the moon mostly (I did see the Orion nebula and the Jovian moons last night with 10x40b Zeiss binoculars on the roof of my apartment building.)

I want something small and portable which I can take the roof or walk to Central Park with. A 90mm Mak might fit the bill!

I am trying to decide between the two common ones. The Celestron C90 and the Orion StarMax 90 tabletop.
I have read good things about the Celestron, but not as much out there about the StarMax. The StarMax is $50 more, but comes with an extra eyepiece and a simple mount.

Any opinions on choosing between the two? Any other diminutive ones I should be looking at?

Thanks!
Rafael


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5554400 - 12/04/12 06:28 PM

Celestron C90 on an alt-az mount like one of the Orion Versa go mounts. I believe B&H Photo has the C90...

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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: rmollise]
      #5554467 - 12/04/12 07:11 PM

A 127mm 5" Celestron SLT NexStar Mac weighs only 18 lbs with the tripod, has computer go To, can be aligned on 1 Planet
and is as good on Land or Shore. AND THEY ARE CHEAP.


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rg55
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 08/02/08

Loc: western US
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: orion61]
      #5554481 - 12/04/12 07:18 PM

+1

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LateViewer
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Manhattan
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: rg55]
      #5554500 - 12/04/12 07:31 PM

Call me we'll go out together!

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mjt24073
super member


Reged: 02/29/08

Loc: Virginia
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: rg55]
      #5554505 - 12/04/12 07:33 PM

I would be cautious of buying any tabletop telescope. They are limited in where they can be used, and if the table isn't very steady, you will get a lot of vibration. My first telescope as a kid was a tabletop model, and even as a kid, I found it useless in nearly every way.

Mike


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DoctorNoodle
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/14/07

Loc: Lawn Guyland, NY
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: mjt24073]
      #5554517 - 12/04/12 07:41 PM

The best thing about the Starmax tabletop is that it's cheaper than the OTA and it already has a dovetail adapter to put it on a better mount.

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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]
      #5554534 - 12/04/12 07:47 PM

The two scopes have identical Synta optics. Buy on price IMO.

Nice write up on the scope here:

http://www.scopereviews.com/page1ac.html#1

I like mine.

Will you be using it for astronomical observing, terrestrial observing, or a combination of those?

Regards,

Jim


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stevenf
sage


Reged: 10/11/09

Loc: Vancouver, BC
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5554557 - 12/04/12 08:05 PM

The tabletop mount on the Starmax is surprisingly sturdy, especially mounted on a half decent photo tripod. I'd go for the Starmax solely for the mount and additional eyepiece. Plus it has the 90 degree diagonal rather than the 45 the Celestron does.

Edited by stevenf (12/04/12 09:51 PM)


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JohnH
Carpal Tunnel
****

Reged: 10/04/05

Loc: Squamish BC Moved!!!!!
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: stevenf]
      #5554618 - 12/04/12 08:44 PM

There is still around old Ad Astra Maksutovs.

I got one on eBay for $120 as the coating on the primary had scratches.

Focuses by turning the front barrel and has very good baffling inside. The rear cell features a T Mount for attaching almost any camera and came with a prism diagonal


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coz
sage


Reged: 08/25/10

Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: JohnH]
      #5554641 - 12/04/12 09:03 PM

Maybe a used Questar?

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idealistic
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/31/10

Loc: massachusetts
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: coz]
      #5554651 - 12/04/12 09:10 PM

I wouldnt take a Questar to central park in the middle of the night. Just saying....

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DigitalFox
member
*****

Reged: 08/18/12

Loc: Riverside, CA
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: idealistic]
      #5554675 - 12/04/12 09:29 PM

I just bought a Celestron C90 and love the views it provides me, especially of the moon, some very, very sharp images. I have it mounted on Universal Astronomics DwarfStar mount on top of my Slik photo tripod legs. The whole setup is light but solid and is easy to grab for a quick trip outside.

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RafaelP
super member


Reged: 12/01/12

Loc: NYC
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: DigitalFox]
      #5554763 - 12/04/12 10:22 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions so far!
I will be using the scope mostly for astronomy. I will be traveling to the mountains in Colorado then on the Los Angeles, and would like to take it with me.

I was considering the DwarfStar, the DSV-M or DSV-1(Desert Sky Astro Products) as a mount head. I have a nice heavy duty tripod for the city, but will probably get something lighter for travel. On the other hand I can get a Vixen Mini Porta for the same price... or don't worry about the mount get a StarMax 90.

Perhaps in the future I will be allowed more space in the apartment for a 5" Mak when the girlfriend realizes how fun it is!
R


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Ducky62
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/31/10

Loc: The ATL
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5554975 - 12/05/12 01:28 AM

A 90mm Mak is the best choice for a first telescope in an urban location, IMHO. You're on the right track

Take Uncle Rod's advice on the mount. I use a Vixen Porta-II because I got it cheap.

Edited by Ducky62 (12/05/12 01:36 AM)


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Wmacky
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/24/07

Loc: Florida
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: Ducky62]
      #5555306 - 12/05/12 08:56 AM

Hmmm, a $150 compact scope with near Questar performance? Interesting..... I Don't know what I would do with one, but thats never stopped me before!

Edited by Wmacky (12/05/12 08:59 AM)


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bsim
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/04/08

Loc: Miskatonic
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: idealistic]
      #5555383 - 12/05/12 10:00 AM

Quote:

I wouldnt take a Questar to central park in the middle of the night. Just saying....




If you're planning on observing in Central Park you should check out this blog. It hasn't been updated since 2010 but the blogger has lots of info on where to observe in the various parks around the city.

As for observing on the rooftop. Most NYC buildings have liability issues with anyone using the rooftop. I don't know if you already have access to your rooftop, but you should make the building Super aware of what you're doing.

The light pollution in New York City isn't as bad as you think. It really depends where you're observing from and how much local light pollution you have. From the city I've seen Mag 4.5 stars at zenith. I've seen the Pleiades and Orion Nebula with naked eyes. I've found binoculars to be very useful because of their wide field. It's easy to find star clusters with either a 15x70 or Canon 10x30is binos. Binos also help with starhopping since you will see few reference stars. A 90mm Mak is going to have a very narrow field of view and it will be difficult finding anything other than bright objects like the Moon and planets. I wouldn't use a 90mm Mak. My first choice would be an Orion Starblast 4.5 or an 80mm refractor on a photo tripod with a Universal Astronomics Dwarfstar mount. It wouldn't take up much more room than the 90mm Mak.

Edited by bsim (12/05/12 10:02 AM)


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Tim2723
The Moon Guy
*****

Reged: 02/19/04

Loc: Northern New Jersey
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: bsim]
      #5555520 - 12/05/12 11:24 AM

I've had the Orion 90mm for a couple of months now and am simply delighted with it. Solidly constructed (no plastic at all) and the optics are remarkable for a telescope that sells for less than the price of any number of eyepieces. An especially nice feature is the case it comes with. Lots of pockets for accessories. Put the case over your shoulder, grab your mount in one hand and go out the door.

The only poor bit of the kit is the little straight-through finder. Do get a model that has one of the better finders or replace the straight-through.


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RafaelP
super member


Reged: 12/01/12

Loc: NYC
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: Tim2723]
      #5556020 - 12/05/12 05:10 PM

Bsim:
Yes, I do have access to the roof and few people use it. I will let my super know for sure. I am a more worried about people from neighboring buildings reporting "possible terrorist activity with a missile launcher type device."
I am a little worried about the small aperture on the 90mm may make objects difficult to find. Maybe I should think about a goto mount instead for home use. That Celestron 5" 127 is a great deal

Lateviewer:
Where do you go viewing in the city?


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stevenf
sage


Reged: 10/11/09

Loc: Vancouver, BC
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5556426 - 12/05/12 09:07 PM

I use my 90mm Mak on a dwarfstar as well, and it's excellent. I have it mounted on a medium duty camera tripod and it makes for an extremely portable solution. Even if you go this route the Starmax might be a better choice, due to the included 90 degree diagonal and the fact that the dovetail is on the side of the tube. Much easier to mount on a side saddle mount like the dwarfstar.

I have the 127 as well and it is excellent. It's just a little on the not portable side for me so it doesn't leave home as often. The 90mm works a lot better for me for travel and camping. Same with goto mounts and the extra batteries etc. required.


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JJK
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 04/28/08

Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: idealistic]
      #5556592 - 12/05/12 10:41 PM

Quote:

I wouldnt take a Questar to central park in the middle of the night. Just saying....




How could you, living in Massachetts?


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JJK
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 04/28/08

Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5556622 - 12/05/12 10:55 PM

I've had a Meade 90 Mak (I gave it away) and have a Questar (which I'll likely sell). I prefer refractors in that size.

Have you ever observed from areas about 2.5 hours West of Manhattan (e.g., just East of Hancock, NY off Rte. 17)? Are the skies clear enough there to be a useful observing location?


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JJK
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 04/28/08

Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5556970 - 12/06/12 07:17 AM

Quote:

Hello all! I live in midtown Manhattan which probably has some of the worst light pollution in the world. I am limited as to what I can see, the planets and the moon mostly (I did see the Orion nebula and the Jovian moons last night with 10x40b Zeiss binoculars on the roof of my apartment building.)

I want something small and portable which I can take the roof or walk to Central Park with. A 90mm Mak might fit the bill!

I am trying to decide between the two common ones. The Celestron C90 and the Orion StarMax 90 tabletop.
I have read good things about the Celestron, but not as much out there about the StarMax. The StarMax is $50 more, but comes with an extra eyepiece and a simple mount.

Any opinions on choosing between the two? Any other diminutive ones I should be looking at?

Thanks!
Rafael




I just sent you a PM.


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RafaelP
super member


Reged: 12/01/12

Loc: NYC
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: JJK]
      #5557433 - 12/06/12 12:22 PM

John-(return PM sent)
The only observing I have done so far is through my binoculars, this will be my first experience with a telescope. The Amateur Astronomers Association of New York is having viewings in Central Park on December 20 and 21st. I hope to go, talk to some people to find how they deal with the city!
~R

Edited by RafaelP (12/06/12 12:28 PM)


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RafaelP
super member


Reged: 12/01/12

Loc: NYC
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5557623 - 12/06/12 02:12 PM

Does anyone know if there have been side to side comparisons between the Orion SkyMax 90mm and the Celestron C90? I know they have same Chinese manufacturer, but I assume they could have slightly different specs...

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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5557643 - 12/06/12 02:27 PM

The differences optically are very minor between these two--and the other Chinese MCTS, as well. I would give a slight edge to the C90, though.

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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]
      #5557678 - 12/06/12 02:52 PM

Thanks Rod! I am finding your "The Urban Astronomer's Guide" book very helpful!
-R


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5557702 - 12/06/12 03:06 PM

Glad you like it!

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fuzzystuff4ever
member


Reged: 11/26/12

Loc: Micco, FL
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: rmollise]
      #5557751 - 12/06/12 03:34 PM

I have one of the new C90s and it has suburb optics, and seems to be built like a tank. The finder is junk, however; I tossed it and installed a "Mars Eye" red dot finder from an old Stellarvue scope. Actually, pretty much all the accessories which came with the scope are junk except the carry bag, but the whole setup was only about $160 so definitely worth it.

Brian


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LateViewer
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Manhattan
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: JJK]
      #5557907 - 12/06/12 05:14 PM

Bism (?)

Thanks for posting the link to the Central Park Observing blog. Very cool. I have not seen that before.

There was a question asked about Hancock NY (off of Rt.17) and how good would that be to observe. In a word great! If you look at the light pollution maps you will find that it is in a blue zone and as dark as it gets around the Big Apple.

The place I go to, also in the blue zone and not far away is Stone Tavern Farm I was there last month on a weekday and had it all to myself.





I try to get there once a month when my schedule permits. It is a private horse farm and more and they charge $20.00 a head to set up and camp. This time of year I just set up and stay in a motel. If you have a spot in Hancock already I would say you are set though the horizons at Stone Tavern are excellent.

As far as observing in the city; well I observed from the corner of 72nd and 3rd last year and looked at Jupiter and the Moon and drew a crowd. My girlfriend, who had never seen Jupiter before noted that the telescope is a chick magnet. Better than a dog or a baby!

I also take peaks from my apartment windows which faces east and south and is ok for a fix. This past spring I got to the roof to observe the transit of Venus.



That is a 92mm TMB on a Universal MacroStar that I like for the city as well as this.



66mm WO that I keep set up all the time.

Good luck and I hope to see guys around.

Al


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RafaelP
super member


Reged: 12/01/12

Loc: NYC
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: LateViewer]
      #5558310 - 12/06/12 09:22 PM

Al- Bism was a fellow I responded to on a previous page...
Thanks for all the pictures! Stone Tavern Farm looks wonderful. I need to get out of the city more often. Maybe I should try Metro North to Cold Springs.

You can see the sky from 72nd and 3rd?!


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JJK
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 04/28/08

Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: LateViewer]
      #5558335 - 12/06/12 09:40 PM

Quote:


There was a question asked about Hancock NY (off of Rt.17) and how good would that be to observe. In a word great! If you look at the light pollution maps you will find that it is in a blue zone and as dark as it gets around the Big Apple.

The place I go to, also in the blue zone and not far away is Stone Tavern Farm I was there last month on a weekday and had it all to myself.

I try to get there once a month when my schedule permits. It is a private horse farm and more and they charge $20.00 a head to set up and camp. This time of year I just set up and stay in a motel. If you have a spot in Hancock already I would say you are set though the horizons at Stone Tavern are excellent.
Al




Al,

Thanks for the local info.

I did notice that the area around Hancock, NY has dark skies (according to the Dark Sky app). Do you know what the average night time cloud coverage is? If I moved to NYC, I'd be tempted to get a parcel of land outside the city if the weather was cooperative.

JJK


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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: JJK]
      #5559038 - 12/07/12 10:50 AM

There is a package under the Christmas tree with my name on it that looks suspiciously like the dimensions of a C90 box!!!

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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.]
      #5560640 - 12/08/12 10:34 AM

Good luck! I may end up getting the Orion StarMax since it comes with everything needed. Although I wish it came with the nice little backpack!

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JIMZ7
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/22/05

Loc: S.E.Michigan near DTW
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5560845 - 12/08/12 12:54 PM

The C-90 is priced $149.95 on Amazon.Com with free shipping.

Jim


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RafaelP
super member


Reged: 12/01/12

Loc: NYC
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: JIMZ7]
      #5562445 - 12/09/12 01:12 PM

I know! Telescope.com has the StarMax 90 for $189. Is still can't decide...

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azure1961p
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: USA
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5562655 - 12/09/12 03:34 PM

I'd opt for the Celestron tho both are probably ok. You shouldn't be in Central Park at night at all for anything much less with a scope. Opt for the rooftop or balcony. Open window observing is subject to flaring and bloating from temperature differences but if its dogging at you low power is passable here. Obviously thru the window is an astigmatic night mare.

I will say a 5" sct by Celestron takes up no more room on an apartment than a C90. It's extremely negligible. It costs a little more but it's still cheap and the angular resolution and magnification carrying capacity is substantially higher.

Pete

Edited by azure1961p (12/09/12 03:36 PM)


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LateViewer
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Manhattan
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5562715 - 12/09/12 04:13 PM

There are people who set up in Central Park, with telescopes, at night on a regular basis.

The mayors girl friend walks her dog there by herself at night.

New York, I think, is very different from what people remember it being. It is the safest big city in the US.

I myself walk through the park often on my way home.


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prestonrich
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/01/07

Loc: Washington DC Mayland suburbs
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: LateViewer]
      #5562727 - 12/09/12 04:19 PM

I have a Questar 3.5 (see sig) but I prefer binoviewing w/my C5 and Brandons. Also use a BIPH w/that C5. Real portable...fast setup. Love it.

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RafaelP
super member


Reged: 12/01/12

Loc: NYC
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5563095 - 12/09/12 08:34 PM

Unfortunately all I see from my apartment windows is the next building over! Also, I would really like to be able to take the scope with me when I go traveling. I can always get a larger one!

Edited by RafaelP (12/09/12 08:34 PM)


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idealistic
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/31/10

Loc: massachusetts
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: JJK]
      #5563200 - 12/09/12 09:43 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I wouldnt take a Questar to central park in the middle of the night. Just saying....




How could you, living in Massachetts?



Well Id probably take a Fung Wah bus, but that presents its own set of problems.


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azure1961p
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: USA
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: LateViewer]
      #5563268 - 12/09/12 10:33 PM

Quote:

There are people who set up in Central Park, with telescopes, at night on a regular basis.

The mayors girl friend walks her dog there by herself at night.

New York, I think, is very different from what people remember it being. It is the safest big city in the US.

I myself walk through the park often on my way home.




It's a history still pretty fresh . Crime IS down but I don't think it'll ever be a safe place. It'd be easier if there weren't specific accounts I can state. Good luck though.

Pete

Edited by azure1961p (12/10/12 06:57 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]
      #5563359 - 12/09/12 11:52 PM

The C90 is cheaper.

The C90 compares well to the Questar and schpanks the ETX 90.

Nuf said.

http://www.scopereviews.com/90mmComparo.html

Also, the C90 has a lifetime warranty. The Orion does not. Celestron "spotting scopes" have lifetime warranties. The astronomical telescopes have just a 2-year warranty.

Regards,

Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (12/10/12 12:05 AM)


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5563600 - 12/10/12 06:31 AM

I lived in a second floor stairs-only apartment in New Orleans for years. My initial telescope for taking up and down stairs was a C90- which is a wonderful little telescope. Very small and portable and able to pull in the planets and even planetary nebula like M57 from where I lived about half a block from a massive theater complex- the light pollution was so bad, my skies were pink!

However, when I upgraded to a C5, which is very close in weight, its performance was just head and shoulders above the C90. My rig was 18 lbs with the C5 and got outside even when I only had half an hour and would just hit things like M45, Saturn, Jupiter, the moon, or M42 and head back in. And this was with a little manual equatorial mount- with computer guidance you could hit one or two new things in that time.

I later got a C5+, which has a single arm fork- vastly easier to move than a German equatorial with its counterweight arm sticking out. This was the rig I carried a quarter mile (one way, set up with legs extended and camera gear on the tray) to photograph the 2004 transit of Venus from Orlando.

I've said before if I knew I was going to be stuck on an island for a year and had under 50 lbs for a scope, it would be the C5. And now that I have an AP130 EDFGT, it would still be the C5 because that OTA is 25 lbs before it goes on a mount.

And if you set up sonewhere folks come by, I expect you'll be surprised at how friendly and decent a look at Jupiter makes people.

And Jim makes an excellent point- the spotter versions of Celestron scopes have a lifetime warranty. I had my workplace buy one of the new C5 spotters- it even comes in a padded case. It will also focus at 12 feet. So, consider a simple push mount like the AT voyager or universal Astronomics Unistar deluxe. Several computer driven mounts are available such as the Celestron Nexstars or the Unistar cube, any of which could handle it. Adorama should be able to show you some of this.

-Rich

Edited by Starhawk (12/10/12 06:44 AM)


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REC
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5563811 - 12/10/12 09:28 AM

Meade ETX-90. Can be used with or without tripod.

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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: REC]
      #5563916 - 12/10/12 10:45 AM

Rich: Thank you for sharing your experiences with the c90 and C5.

I did a price caparison to find out which would be the best deal to get me started right away(in the future I can replace the bits with better stuff.) I also decided to to start considering up to 5" diameter. I would like to see them in person though, as I would like to keep it small and portable.

Since I will need accessories and a mount that adds to the price. The best deals seem to be:
-Orion StarMax 90 @$200
-Celestron NexStar 90 SLT (90mm MCT) @ $306
-Celestron NexStar 127 SLT (125mm MCT)@ $425
-Celestron NexStar 4SE (102mm MCT) @ $449

Here are for the la carte spotting scopes. I need to add a UA DwarfStar, eyepieces and a diagonal which is at least $350.
-Orion C90 $150+350 =$450
-Celestron C5 $425+350=$815

Perhaps I am over thinking this!
~Rafael


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moynihan
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5563972 - 12/10/12 11:18 AM

Quote:

The C90 compares well to the Questar and schpanks the ETX 90.




I have one of the new C90's and a 1990's vintage ETX 90 OTA. Both are optically very good. The ETX OTA though is better, re res/contrast than my C90.That said:

1. Any of the mass produced 90mm maks will vary in optical quality from sample to sample.

2. I would suggest the C90, because of its build quality (visa vis the ETX) and it having a standard style back. Ergonomically, the C90 is the better choice in OTA's.

3. All 90mm Maks are "comparable" to the Questar. They all share a similar aperture and focal length. But how close they are to it in optical quality is a more complex question. None of them come close to the Q in mechanical quality.

4. Assuming that a Mak is in collimation when purchased, it should maintain it's collimation better than an SCT. This may be important to you if you will be moving the OTA around alot, and if you do not want to spend time collimating your optics.


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Starhawk
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5564705 - 12/10/12 06:49 PM

You should include the nexstar 5 SE, currently own sale at $629 at our sponsor.

I don't think you're over thinking it. Getting started with a good instrument is important.

-Rich

Quote:

Rich: Thank you for sharing your experiences with the c90 and C5.

I did a price caparison to find out which would be the best deal to get me started right away(in the future I can replace the bits with better stuff.) I also decided to to start considering up to 5" diameter. I would like to see them in person though, as I would like to keep it small and portable.

Since I will need accessories and a mount that adds to the price. The best deals seem to be:
-Orion StarMax 90 @$200
-Celestron NexStar 90 SLT (90mm MCT) @ $306
-Celestron NexStar 127 SLT (125mm MCT)@ $425
-Celestron NexStar 4SE (102mm MCT) @ $449

Here are for the la carte spotting scopes. I need to add a UA DwarfStar, eyepieces and a diagonal which is at least $350.
-Orion C90 $150+350 =$450
-Celestron C5 $425+350=$815

Perhaps I am over thinking this!
~Rafael




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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5564901 - 12/10/12 09:03 PM

I was hoping there would be some on the showroom floor at Adorama, but no such luck. Anyone know of places to actually see the scopes in person in NYC?

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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5568866 - 12/13/12 09:24 AM

So I think I have decided to go with the C90 for now. I will get a mount like the DSV-M, DSV-1 or UA Microstar and accessories that can be used for a larger scope. That way once I get some experience I can trade up to a C5 or C6.

Does anyone find that the finder is in an odd position when mounting these spotting scopes sideways on a Dwarfstar type mount? Just trying to figure out future issues. Thanks!
R

Edited by RafaelP (12/13/12 09:32 AM)


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stevenf
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5568962 - 12/13/12 10:33 AM

The finder position when it's sideways on a mount is a bit of a pain, but not overly horrible. It does mean you're crouching down quite a bit further to use it. It's the focuser being on top of the diagonal that I really don't like. I typically mount my 90mm on the dwarfstar using an Orion L-bracket and that works well, keeps it in it's original upright position.

It also works well, on the dwarfstar, to just turn the mount around so the scope is mounted on the left, and the finder is at the upper right of the tube.

Edited by stevenf (12/13/12 10:35 AM)


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t.r.
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: stevenf]
      #5568986 - 12/13/12 10:44 AM

Does anyone know the OTA diameter of the current C90 spotting scope? What size mounting ring? I know it comes with the shoe...

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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: t.r.]
      #5570750 - 12/14/12 12:02 PM

So I have decided on the C90. It comes with a 32mm Celestron plossl. I need to replace the diagonal right away for astro viewing. I may replace the finder in the future.

This is what I am thinking so far:
~Dwarfstar mount(can be used with C5 in the future)
~GSO 1.25" 90-deg 99% Dielectric Mirror Diagonal
~GSO 1.25" Plossl Eyepiece - 15mm
~GSO 1.25" 2x Achromatic Barlow Lens

Any other accessory suggestions?
Thanks!
Rafael


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moynihan
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5571014 - 12/14/12 03:20 PM

Quote:

Does anyone find that the finder is in an odd position when mounting these spotting scopes sideways on a Dwarfstar type mount?



If i remember corectly, when mounted on a side mount alt-azm
It is at the 2 pm or 10 am clock analogy point , depending on if you mount left or right.
There is not alot of space between the back of the tube and the eyepiece in a diagonal. A finder/pointer with significant back hang may be something you bump with your head; depending it and your head size


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stevenf
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5571085 - 12/14/12 04:13 PM

Quote:

So I have decided on the C90. It comes with a 32mm Celestron plossl. I need to replace the diagonal right away for astro viewing. I may replace the finder in the future.

This is what I am thinking so far:
~Dwarfstar mount(can be used with C5 in the future)
~GSO 1.25" 90-deg 99% Dielectric Mirror Diagonal
~GSO 1.25" Plossl Eyepiece - 15mm
~GSO 1.25" 2x Achromatic Barlow Lens

Any other accessory suggestions?
Thanks!
Rafael




You might want to consider going with a 20mm instead of the 15mm, if you're getting the barlow, since a barlowed 32mm will give you 16mm, and you're duplicating eyepieces. With a 20 and 32 you'll get four options, 32, 20, 16, and 10mm.


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mmclure
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: stevenf]
      #5571145 - 12/14/12 04:58 PM

The recent spat of threads about the C90 made me pull the trigger today on one for myself (it will technically be a Christmas present from my wife ).

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M44
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: mmclure]
      #5571361 - 12/14/12 07:11 PM

Quote:

The recent spat of threads about the C90 made me pull the trigger today on one for myself (it will technically be a Christmas present from my wife ).




Same here..But I went for a C5 Spotter and its on UPS from B&H..


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ichdien
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: M44]
      #5571399 - 12/14/12 07:34 PM

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.

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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: ichdien]
      #5571754 - 12/14/12 11:07 PM

Small Maks are much cheaper than an apo refractor($2000 for the one you suggested compared to $140.) I am not against looking at used too! Any suggestions for less expensive refractor in the $200-400 range that would preform as well as a mak for planets?

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ichdien
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5572222 - 12/15/12 09:27 AM

Sure, but I didn't see cost mentioned as a consideration in your original post.

Something like a Pronto could probably had in that range, or maybe just beyond it. It gives up a little aperture to a 90mm Mak, and they're a little colorful, but they're built like a tank, offer razor sharp views, virtually no cool down, are exceptionally portable, etc. Not sure what else i sour there.


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rmollise
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [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

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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [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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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: stevenf]
      #5575509 - 12/17/12 10:48 AM

Quote:


You might want to consider going with a 20mm instead of the 15mm, if you're getting the barlow, since a barlowed 32mm will give you 16mm, and you're duplicating eyepieces. With a 20 and 32 you'll get four options, 32, 20, 16, and 10mm.



Perhaps Steve's way is best for now. Just get a 20mm and a barlow.
Update:
I went ahead and ordered the GSO 90-deg 99% Dielectric mirror diagonal, GSO 1.5x X 2x barlow, and a GSO 20mm plossl. Now all I need is to order the mount and I'll be in buisness!

Edited by RafaelP (12/17/12 04:37 PM)


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MrJones
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5576444 - 12/17/12 09:21 PM

Grats. I didn't mean to poopoo it too much. It's a good terrestrial scope and ok for astronomy. Hopefully you got the 90 degree diagonal and not the 45. I used my Smart Astronomy 19mm EF (same as Orion Edge On 19mm) in my mom's - nice EP for sure and good in the C90 too.

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mmclure
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: MrJones]
      #5577354 - 12/18/12 01:53 PM

My C90 arrived last night and I took it out to the sidewalk for first light on the Moon and Jupiter. Here's my first impressions:
  • The OTA feels very solid and well constructed. Can't say the same about the finderscope, though.
  • Views of the Moon and Jupiter with the included 32mm plossl (40x) were nice and sharp, even with the included erect image prism diagonal. All four of the Galilean moons were sharp, and both of Jupiter's equatorial bands were easily visible even at 40x. Haven't tested with greater magnification yet.
  • There is quite some flare when bright objects (Moon, Jupiter) are just out of the field of view or near the edge. Whether this is due to the prism diagonal or something else I don't know.
  • The finder is not very nice to use. Not a lot of eye relief and the crosshairs aren't in focus. I'll be attaching the spare base from my Rigel Quikfinder so I can transfer it from my Astroscan to the C90 as needed.
  • Surprised that there were no end caps included with the 32mm plossl.
  • The tripod I put it on (Velbon Videomate 607) is definitely not up to the challenge and was a pain to use. Planning to buy Manfrotto 055XB legs with a 128RC head to use with this scope.

In general, once I get a better tripod and a proper star diagonal (probably the GSO one) I think I'll like this little scope quite a lot.


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azure1961p
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: mmclure]
      #5577805 - 12/18/12 07:30 PM

I think cassegrain systems in general with the long baffle eminating from the center of the primary can be prone to off axis glare from the moon. My c6 does the came when the moon is shining in the inside if the baffle tube - bit not directly down the center. Its a shrug thing to me as the design is so successful on so many other levels.

You seriously need more oculars. Fir that scope magnifications between 100x and 130x would be ideal on Jupiter. Coming Saturn would be great 150x on steady air nights.

Pete


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mmclure
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5577842 - 12/18/12 07:58 PM

Quote:

You seriously need more oculars. Fir that scope magnifications between 100x and 130x would be ideal on Jupiter. Coming Saturn would be great 150x on steady air nights.




I have more eyepieces, but given how frustrating it was to use even 40x on my current tripod, I decided that more magnification without a better mount was pointless. When I have the better tripod I'll test my 11mm ES82 with it.


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jrbarnett
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: mmclure]
      #5578172 - 12/18/12 11:53 PM

You can focus the finder, by the way. It has a huge TFOV and on a driven GOTO mount works well for alignment purposes.

The flare is not due to the diagonal. It's a common feature with Celestron scopes. At least the smaller ones - C5, C6, C90.

Regards,

Jim


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JIMZ7
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5578531 - 12/19/12 08:14 AM

Does the Orion 90mm,102mm % 127mm Maks have the same flaring problems as Celestrons?

Jim


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mmclure
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5578909 - 12/19/12 01:20 PM

Quote:

You can focus the finder, by the way. It has a huge TFOV and on a driven GOTO mount works well for alignment purposes.




I can focus what the finder is looking at, and already have, but the crosshairs remain out of focus even though stars seen through the finder are sharp.


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t.r.
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: mmclure]
      #5578994 - 12/19/12 02:03 PM

Can anyone confirm the new C90 OTA dimensions? The specs say 16.5" long, but I'm unclear as to whether that is with the 45 degree diagonal and eyepiece, I believe it has to be. The tube should be about 11.5" without accessories if I'm not mistaken. Also, what is the OTA diameter? Help a Bro out...Thanks ahead...The darn thing is sittin' under my Christmas tree wrapped, but the wife won't let me go near it! I feel like a kid again.

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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: t.r.]
      #5579029 - 12/19/12 02:20 PM

I don't have my C90 here, but it is more 11.5 rather than 16.5. I can measure it when I get home.

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JIMZ7
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: t.r.]
      #5579057 - 12/19/12 02:34 PM

Santa likes cold milk & cookies. Who knows
-maybe you can get even closer?

Jim


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jrbarnett
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: JIMZ7]
      #5579180 - 12/19/12 03:49 PM

Dunno as I haven't used either of those, but the 6" Orion MCT would show a bit of flare with the Moon positioned just out of the field of view.

- Jim


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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5580367 - 12/20/12 10:21 AM

So the OTA dimensions are:
4.25" (not including dovetail bracket)
11.5" (the tube itself is 9.75")


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t.r.
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5580560 - 12/20/12 12:20 PM

Thanks...

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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: t.r.]
      #5583083 - 12/21/12 07:27 PM

I received my eyepieces and diagonal. Now I just have to wait for it to stop being cloudy...

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LateViewer
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5584195 - 12/22/12 02:31 PM

Sunday night Jupiter in Central Park?

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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: LateViewer]
      #5584893 - 12/22/12 11:44 PM

Sounds good! It looks like it will be cold and clear.

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Starhawk
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5585112 - 12/23/12 05:16 AM

If you are using an Amici prism diagonal, there will be significant flare on objects.

If there are other sources of stray light reflection in the telescope, they are actually easy to track down and fix:

While indoors, take the telescope and point it near a lit lamp (this is going to be your moon simulator).

Set up the telescope with everything in the optical train you have been using, except the eyepiece.

Now, look in the diagonal where the eyepiece would go. Look around the features of the telescope and components visible from this location. If there is a bright reflection off of something, it will look bright instead of dark. Anything which looks dark isn't a problem.

Usually the culprit in SCTs is not really part of the telescope; the visual back, which will have a flat perpendicular to the optical path, which is a basic optics no-no. And obviously this flat becomes less important on the scale of the telescope as the telescope gets bigger. This can be corrected with a thin coat of Tamiya XF-1 flat black paint (really black, really flat, and removable with isopropyl alcohol if needed, someday).

Anyway, look for any surfaces flat to the optical path. Another way of doing this is to point it at an overhead light fixture and look in the front for anything reflecting light back. The original C90s had a flat on the fronts of their center baffles, and show remarkable image improvement if this is made flat black. (I did this with a little tool I made by taping the end of a Q-tip to a thin wood dowel to make a 90* paint brush I could put in from the back).

I haven't played with the newest C90, otherwise I'd be able to tell you where to look if there are any reflection points.

For good practice blackent the front edges of the diagonal's collar and the one on the eyepiece. These can be chromed, and as you will see from the exercise of looking in the back, they are visible to the eyepiece.

All in all, this is a perfect activity for a cloudy night.

-Rich


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azure1961p
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5585246 - 12/23/12 09:08 AM

Hey guys tonight might be the last clear night for a good number of days in the northeast. Just passing it along.

Pete


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bsim
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5585292 - 12/23/12 09:52 AM

I've joined the 90mm MAK club. I've been eyeing the C90 on Amazon for $150, but never bought it. I picked up a new Orion Starmax 90 for $79.99 on eBay. It was a pricing error, but Orion honored it.

Has anyone compared the Orion 90mm MAK with the Celestron C90? Optically it should be similar, but one thing which I like is that the Orion has less metal hardware than the Celestron. It should cool faster.


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jrbarnett
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: bsim]
      #5585301 - 12/23/12 10:01 AM

I like the looks of the Orion/Sky-Watcher slimmer OTA better, for sure. That was a good deal.

- Jim


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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5585545 - 12/23/12 12:49 PM

I will be at the top of the Great Lawn in Central Park at 4:30. I figure I should set up while it is still light so I can see what I am doing...

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azure1961p
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5585553 - 12/23/12 12:52 PM

Ill be setting up behind my condo around 9. Lol ok so it's over 75 miles from Central Park.

Details.

Pete


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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5586161 - 12/23/12 07:27 PM

FIRST LIGHT!

Just got back from the park. Mostly looked at the moon and Jupiter. I tested out the two eyepieces and the barlow. It was clear and chilly, but the atmosphere was pretty unstable(there was lots of waviness at x124.) I could very easily see Jupiter's two stripes at x62 and x124.
Both the Jupiter and the moon started to get fuzzy at x124. Probably more due to poor seeing rather than poor focusing!
I had no real problem using the cheap finder, so I may hold off replacing it for now.

I had no problems with wobbles using my Benro tripod(rated for 25lbs.) I was using a standard photo head. It wasn't too terrible, but a bit of a pain. Hopefully it will be replaced soon!

I did notice flaring from off axis bright objects. I replaced the original 45 degree diagonal with a star diagonal, so there was no problem with diffraction spike off a prism. I was also thought that I saw some chromatic aberration around the moon, is that possible? I didn't use a moon filter..

I had fun and can't wait to go out again!!
~Rafael

p.s. anyone have recommendation on a portable sturdy photo tripod, fits into luggage(close to around 24")that would work for this little guy? I will be going to Colorado in a week!

Edited by RafaelP (12/24/12 08:15 AM)


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azure1961p
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5586393 - 12/23/12 10:33 PM

Rafael,

I am so glad it worked out for you and I would expect it to given the reviews and testimonials on that scope. As I type this my reflector is cooling on my condo's back porch and I'm going to give Jupiter and the moon sometime - specifically the straight wall and the Apollo 15 landing site - the landscape not the machinery!!

Have a 90mm aperture scope stopping at 124x is probably a couple things...
1. This time of year the seeing is particularly tremulous due to the jet stream coming down from Canada - too dry air tends to be livelier than heavy hot humid summer night air.

2. Jupiter generally tops out between 100x and 150x for that scope with 120x being a nice medium. On the best nights it's amazing how sharp it can remain at higher power but overall contrast are often best at 30x per inch of aperture. Saturn stands magnification better and the moon can be great at 200x if the sky is willing.

Too, did u give at least a full 60 min for cool down to ambient? It means sooo much. If u kno this already my apologies.

At any rate 120x ish isn't bad at all. REALLY bad seeing will have you at 85x and miffed!

Pete


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azure1961p
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: stevenf]
      #5586532 - 12/24/12 12:46 AM

Raf I just got in - the seeing is lousy tonight. If you got what I got you'll have much better nights ahead .

Pete


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t.r.
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5586705 - 12/24/12 07:05 AM

Quote:

I was also though that I saw some chromatic abberation around the moon, is that possible? I didn't use a moon filter..




RaphaelP, Yes this is possible as I had an older C90 do this as well. After investigating the cause, I discovered that the meniscus spot/baffle was not centered properly and when I used a cheshire eyepiece confirmed that the scope was not collimated. This indeed produced CA or blue fringe around objects at powers above 100x. Check for this in a star test and ensure that you have perfect collimation.


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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: t.r.]
      #5586759 - 12/24/12 08:22 AM

I may have just been imagining things, but I think I did see some blue and red fringing. Unfortunately it looks like it will be cloudy the next several nights and possibly poor seeing when it is clear. I guess I should do some research on how to do an artificial star test and how to read the results. Any favorite methods out there?

I wanted to bring this scope to Colorado next week, hopefully it isn't an issue. I suppose I can always switch it out at B and H for another one.

Pete - I didn't bother to wait for the cooldown to start looking. There was an improvement of sharpness after half an hour or so. I can't say it was because of the scope getting to ambient temperature, or Jupiter and the moon were higher in the sky. It is probably a combination of the two!

Edited by RafaelP (12/24/12 08:44 AM)


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azure1961p
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5586869 - 12/24/12 09:32 AM

The chromatic aberration sounds like atmospheric refraction - particularly in lieu of last nights seeing. Too with all the contortions glass is experiencing I wouldn't doubt that caused it as well. True it could be a misaligned component but even my reflector sees color fringing in bad seeing. Last night was what Id call 4/10 seeing. Wait till you get 9/10 seeing though.

Pete


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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5588851 - 12/25/12 08:13 PM

Pete- I hope that is the only issue! I'll do some star testing when it finally clears up here.

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azure1961p
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5588889 - 12/25/12 08:47 PM

I'd strongly wager it is. The quality control coming out of china is as good as amateur astronomy has ever seen it. While local seeing here in the northeast in winter is - well... What it is. But the good nights do come.

Pete


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t.r.
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5589283 - 12/26/12 08:08 AM

Well, I did indeed receive the C90 from the Mrs. and cosmetically, it looks nice. FIrst light of the moon however was dicey...even at low powers the image was not as crisp as I'd like and when I went to 125x, well, not so good. Collimation appears on, star test inconclusive for now. I'll give it a shot and work with it a bit, but this one may need to be exchanged. A previous one ran to 200x without issue, but it was with summer seeing. I do love the little package and at worst, will exchange or exercise the warranty.

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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: t.r.]
      #5590244 - 12/26/12 08:15 PM

Perhaps very poor seeing like Pete and I experienced?
I still haven't been able to take mine out for a star test.
I did end up ordering the Dwarfstar mount, so I will report on that when I get it!


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azure1961p
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5590255 - 12/26/12 08:28 PM

TR,

Id hold off till good seeing. Even with the 8" I was doing the 70x-91x power ceiling with soft results at 173x and this from a scope that has no problem at 40x per inch on any planet. Its been crummy - such is the winter jetstream. I did luck out an get a 7/10 night during thanks giving. At anyrate, I dont see how your scope could have done anything like 200x recently. Its supposed to be clear tomorrow night - but it is winter after all and that $%##$ jetstream overhead.

Pete


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rmollise
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5590983 - 12/27/12 11:00 AM Attachment (29 downloads)

Just as a coda to this thread, since it is winding down, I guess...

I was lazy last night, but I wanted to take a look at Jupiter and the Moon so as to be able to say I'd seen something after days of bad weather. The obvious grab and go was Stella, my Orange Tube C90. Believe it or no, she's quicker to acclimate to cold weather (it was in the 40s!) than the StarBlast.

Mounted her on the SkyWatcher AZ-4 and headed for the front yard. Got a quick look at the Moon, which was nice and sharp at 40x. Before I could up the magnification, dadgummed old clouds moved back in, covering poor Hecate. Jupe was still in the clear more or less, though.

In truth I didn't expect much from a 30+ year old 90mm MCT that had just been moved from house to cold yard. And yet, at 90x Jupiter was very sharp. There was a little differential refraction showing, but not bad. Four belts were easily visible and contrast was amazingly good. Had the seeing been a little better, I have no doubt Stella would have happily taken on more magnification.

The bottom line? This is a good C90 BUT the optics of the current C90s I've run across have been at least--AT LEAST--as good...

Edited by rmollise (12/28/12 08:32 AM)


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LateViewer
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: rmollise]
      #5591770 - 12/27/12 08:30 PM

If this were FB I would click the like icon Uncle Rod.

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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: LateViewer]
      #5593511 - 12/28/12 11:03 PM

So I took the C90 on the roof for the first time tonight. I let the scope cool down for 20 minutes this time, there still was some atmospheric turbulence, but it didn't seem quite as bad as the other night.

I looked at the (almost?) full moon and Jupiter. I was able to see three stripes on Jupiter at x62 and x124. I also looked at the Orion Nebula(which was surprisingly bright) and the Trapezium. I was out about two hours, and now my feet are frozen!

I got a Orion 6x30 RACI finder which much better then the supplied finder. The Dwarfstar mount came in too, it was very intuitive and easy to use.

I did a star test, and I think the scope has spherical aberration. I get an nice defined ring pattern on one side of focus, and very soft less defined rings on the other. How do I know when it is unacceptable? Since this is my first scope, I don't know haw sharp the stars and planets are supposed to be, but focus does feel a little soft(everything looks sharper through the new 6x30 RACI finder than the scope at x39.) I still don't know if I should attribute it to poor seeing, too high expections or poor optics.

Edited by RafaelP (12/28/12 11:17 PM)


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rmollise
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5593930 - 12/29/12 08:44 AM

Sounds like your scope is doing very well indeed. Have fun with it and don't worry about it. When spring rolls around seeing will improve and your scope will do even better.

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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: rmollise]
      #5594761 - 12/29/12 05:33 PM

Thank Rod!
I will be taking the C90 along with me to the mountains in Colorado this week. I am hoping for dark clear skies so I can really test it out!


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Eric63
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5594835 - 12/29/12 06:19 PM

I have a 127Mak and I was also concerned with my star test. The rings were well defined on one side of focus and softer on the other. I then read that it is normal for Maks to be a bit soft on one side of focus because of how the scope is made. In the end, the scope spoke for itself. The views of Jupiter are great and I can split the double-double at 75X. I think that when the seeing improves, your eyes will be the judge.

Eric


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rmollise
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5595915 - 12/30/12 11:11 AM

Quote:

Thank Rod!
I will be taking the C90 along with me to the mountains in Colorado this week. I am hoping for dark clear skies so I can really test it out!




Cool, again, just don't expect good seeing. Or, as Eric points out, a classic Newtonian star test. If you are seeing good planetary detail, you are there.


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AlienRatDog
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: rmollise]
      #5596778 - 12/30/12 07:18 PM

Can we get a couple of pics?

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rmollise
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: AlienRatDog]
      #5597652 - 12/31/12 10:12 AM

Quote:

Can we get a couple of pics?




Uh...what of?


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AlienRatDog
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: rmollise]
      #5597656 - 12/31/12 10:16 AM

Of any of the new 90mm Maks!

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rmollise
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: AlienRatDog]
      #5597722 - 12/31/12 10:55 AM

Quote:

Of any of the new 90mm Maks!




Here ya go, straight from the pony's mouth...

http://www.celestron.com/astronomy/celestron-c90-mak.html

Edited by rmollise (12/31/12 03:47 PM)


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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: rmollise]
      #5597819 - 12/31/12 11:49 AM

I will post some pictures when I get back from my trip.

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Cepheus Elf
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5600239 - 01/01/13 07:59 PM

This has been a great thread...I'm now struggling to convince myself I don't need a c90!!

Clear skies!
Mick


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t.r.
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: Cepheus Elf]
      #5600851 - 01/02/13 08:40 AM

I think I've discovered my C90 impairment...that dang cruddy, cheap 90 degree diagonal Celestron sticks in packages. Do yourself a favor and throw this thing away! Next time out, I'm using a quality dielectric! However, the little C90 did show me a bald eagle flying gracefully on New Years Eve day. Around here, they are rarer than hen's teeth...a good omen for 2013!!!

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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: t.r.]
      #5601200 - 01/02/13 12:47 PM

It is very cold here in Vail, CO(~7500 feet.). It took out the C90 last night and let it cool for half an hour. Many more stars visible here than in midtown. Looking at Jupiter again, I couldn't seem to push the magnification past x62 without things fuzzing out. The Orion Nebula was bright, but I couldn't get enough magnification to see the Trapezium. According to Clear Skies tonight should be better.

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jrbarnett
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5601496 - 01/02/13 04:03 PM

Rafael:

62x doesn't sound right. Mine has no trouble with 2x that, and 90mm is small aperture. Seeing shouldn't have that great of an effect on it.

Keep us posted, but to me it sounds like something isn't quite "on song" with the scope.

Regards,

Jim


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rmollise
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5601642 - 01/02/13 05:41 PM

Quote:

Rafael:

62x doesn't sound right. Mine has no trouble with 2x that, and 90mm is small aperture. Seeing shouldn't have that great of an effect on it.

Keep us posted, but to me it sounds like something isn't quite "on song" with the scope.

Regards,

Jim




Seeing is everything. This is not a good time of year.


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Eric63
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: rmollise]
      #5601742 - 01/02/13 06:53 PM

In freezing temperature 30 minutes is not much cool down if the scope was inside. I keep my 127Mak in my garage which is close to freezing and when I take it out it needs at least 30 minutes. If I take out from inside the house, it needs a few hours. Perhaps cool down is the issue. I find that with the 127 I can see bands on jupiter at 50X in poor seeing. When the seeing is good I can go to 180X but when it is bad I keep it at 140X. But I can still make out some detail.

Eric


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azure1961p
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: Eric63]
      #5601908 - 01/02/13 08:36 PM

Give it a fl hours cool down. Thirty minutes is fine for my 70mm refractor but that enclosed primary needs more time .

Pete


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mmclure
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5602200 - 01/02/13 11:58 PM

Since my new tripod (Manfrotto 055XPROB with a 128RC fluid head) arrived today, I took out the C90 for another look. The better tripod/head makes a huge difference to the usability vs. the Velbon Videomate 607 tripod I tested with earlier. It's still not optimal (I need to tighten the altitude axis to keep it from falling back near zenith) but there's very little stiction, and it's quite steady. The tripod has the possibility of setting the column horizontally - that might improve balance issues at the cost of limited azimuth motion.

In any case, the limiting factor was definitely seeing. Jupiter showed moons and both equatorial bands very nicely at 40x, started turning into mush with moments of clarity at 80x. Four stars in the Trapezium were visible at 80x, although they were flashing like Christmas lights due to seeing. All in all, a very nice little scope, and easy to handle. At some point I'll probably purchase an astronomy-specific tripod head like the DwarfStar, but the 128RC is definitely usable.


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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: mmclure]
      #5608479 - 01/06/13 02:08 PM Attachment (47 downloads)

Colorado was way too cold! I was out for several nights at -10 F, but couldn't take it long enough to view much. Anyways, here is a picture of the C90 on the Dwarfstar mount with the Orion RACI. I also found a little waterproof box with barely enough room for 3 plossls and a barlow(and manages to fit in the little backpack.)

Edited by RafaelP (01/06/13 02:26 PM)


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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5608489 - 01/06/13 02:10 PM Attachment (33 downloads)

And the little box...

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bsim
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5609064 - 01/06/13 07:13 PM Attachment (41 downloads)

Here's my new Starmax 90 mounted on a Universal Astronomics MicroStar Deluxe and a Bogen 3011 Tripod. I'm using stock accessories but will replace the diagonal with a GSO 1.25" dielectric diagonal. For eyepieces I'll use a TV 32mm Plossl, Pan 24, ES68 20mm & 16mm along with a TV 2x barlow.

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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: bsim]
      #5609923 - 01/07/13 10:48 AM

Looking good!

I kind if wish I had gotten a 9x50 RACI finder scope instead of the 6x30 so I could see more of the faint background stars.

It seems tonight will finally be some OK seeing here in NYC. I think I will try for M103, M78 and Hind's Crimson Star(and Jupiter as usual!) I think I saw M103 last night, but it clouded over before I could make sure.
~Rafael


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stevenf
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5610130 - 01/07/13 12:26 PM

Great photos guys, always love to see how others are mounting their little maks. Rafael I sometimes use a 9x50 with my 90mm mak, works well but it is just a bit big and can throw the scope off balance. I'm actually looking at getting a 6x30 like yours.

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t.r.
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: stevenf]
      #5611713 - 01/08/13 10:51 AM

Just an update...Took the C90 for a spin last night with the dielectric diagonal and a few eyepieces. Scope was mounted on my trusty Jason EQ-2 (Celestron years ago called it the G-3 when mated to the C90) and found it quite stable and user friendly. Jupiter was up and I used the provided finder scope to center on it and used a 40mm plossl for first astronomical light. Even at this low power, the bands were visible although irradiation was annoying. Switched to the 20 SWA briefly and it cut down the glare and sharpened the detail. Then, out came my coveted Leica 7-22 zoom and I was off! Due to the seeing conditions, I couldn't quite get to my usual planetary mags, but I did indeed see quite a bit of detail. The red spot was rotating in, N & S equatorial belts with temperate belts, hints of a festoon and polar hemisphere gradation. No red Jr though this may be asking alot. Oh yeah, and COLOR! This little beauty showed a little bit of belt color to ole Jove! It easily trumped what my C80SS shows for detail and this is why I asked for the C90 for Christmas. I didn't get to the mags I think the scope should be capable of, but I'll let it go blaming the seeing conditions. The moons were alittle messy, so I'm sure the conditions were the culprit. I'm hoping for more good weather to put this little gem through its paces. Its a fun, easy, no fuss grab and go even in my upstate NY winter clime. I did let it aclimate for an hour going from a heated indoors to outside. Collimation is spot on. It does outperform the C80SS, which is a Vixen scope and no slouch with excellent star test. I just wish the C90 had the widefield ability of the SS...Oh well, can't have everything, though I may SBS mount them at some point. It was ironic having a $500 zoom eyepiece sticking out of a $150 mass produced scope...but it works well as a system!

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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: stevenf]
      #5611763 - 01/08/13 11:15 AM

Steven, I like the 6x30, I can see how the larger finder would tip the C90 off balance.
Last night it was finally clear. I went on the roof again. I was able to get Jupiter to 100x to 150x. It didn't always look good, but there were moments of clarity when I could see more detail! I couldn't find any of my targets posted above, which probably are too faint for the C90, as the darkest nights here are still too way bright(darn CitiBank buiding!) I think I should start saving up for a C6...
I did run across a neat very red star,Tauri 119 , while looking above Orion. I went back to the Orion nebula and the Trapezium too, since those are definitely visible!


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jrbarnett
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: stevenf]
      #5612459 - 01/08/13 06:26 PM

Robo-Mak!

The superhero the Questar 3.5" wishes it could be.



We actually used the C90 on a CG5 for awhile in the White Mountains last summer.



Regards,

Jim


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John Kuraoka
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5612648 - 01/08/13 08:27 PM

I'm curious whether the dielectric diagonal was a worthwhile upgrade? I have the Orion 90 Mak-Cas with the stock diagonal.

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jrbarnett
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: John Kuraoka]
      #5612911 - 01/08/13 11:19 PM

I actually use a vintage Vixen prism diagonal with mine, usually. I find diagonals pretty much fungible to be honest.

Regards,

Jim


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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5615843 - 01/10/13 04:33 PM

John,
I don't know if the upgrade was worth it since it is my first scope, I will try to do a side by side comparison.
R


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John Kuraoka
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5616040 - 01/10/13 06:46 PM

Thanks Rafael! I know the 90mm Mak is really slow, so it would be good to know if the better diagonal actually helps make the most of what's there.

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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: John Kuraoka]
      #5616258 - 01/10/13 08:55 PM

On the roof tonight again for an hour and a half. Went looking for M78 again, no luck. I was able to split Meissa and Lamda Orionis at x132, I pushed it to x150 then even to x200 to confirm. I couldn't make out the colors of the stars though. Checked out Jupiter again, looked great at X132 and okay at x150. High clouds came in and I called it a night.

I think I am getting the hang of using the Mak! I can tell now when it is properly cooled down by doing a star test, there are nice even rings and no heat plume on both sides of focus.

John, I will test out the diagonals during the daytime when it isn't so chilly!


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azure1961p
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5616266 - 01/10/13 09:01 PM

Raf,

I'm looking forward to you getting some phenomenal summer seeing with that c90. During those hot balmy heat waves we get in the north east the seeing can be unparalleled with anything you'll encounter at other times. The cooler months can bring about ok to good seeing, but summer... Those rare once in a lifetime or a year nights where you can't believe your actually seeing it- detail, for me has always been either a July or August night.
I'm sure your scope will be all that when it comes around.

Pete


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t.r.
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5616811 - 01/11/13 08:13 AM

Got in another run with the C90 last night. Slightly better conditions, barely with a thin high altitude veil but steady. Bumped the mag just over 100x, all the same detail as before, caught the red spot again and festoons. I also noticed real nice, hard round airy disks for the moons, similar to what my fine Vixen C80SS produces. I like it better for planetary than my C80SS for sure. Had a Meade 90 ETX RA years ago and this is better. It is also better than the older C90 I had with twist focus...NO VIBRATION! Can't wait to check out Luna. As Pete points out, I think with better seeing this little puppy is gonna rock! The beauty of this little guy is in its simplicity and ease of use for quick looks, this time right after dinner for an hour.Problem is, now my C6 is sitting idle while I play with this to learn its potential! My "big" scopes (AP130 and C11) stay in for the winter!

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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: t.r.]
      #5617006 - 01/11/13 10:43 AM

t.r.- I haven't been able to see that much detail on Jupiter, festoons etc., just the three dark bands so far. Hopefully when seeing improves!

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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5618138 - 01/11/13 10:31 PM Attachment (40 downloads)

Since I don't have a camera attachment for the C90, I did some pencil sketches last night. I used the sketches for a little oil painting to try to illustrate what Jupiter looks like through the scope.

Celestron C90
7:30 EST
Roof in Midtown Manhattan
x125 magnification using GSO 20mm plossl with a x2 barlow(I think!)
moons from left to right:
Io, Ganymede, Europa and Callisto


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Quinn
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5618413 - 01/12/13 03:19 AM

I've had a Orion StarMax 90mm for about a year now and have been more than happy with it. I purchased the tabletop mount with the 90 diagonal and the 25 and 10 mm Plossl e/p. Well on a table top the mount sucks. Pointing the scope to zenith and you'll be beating your chin on the table. The mount will screw on to a 1/4"-20 3/8"-16 photo tripod and that works well if the tripod is rigid enough. Optically I don't think there is a difference between the Orion or Celestron Maks.

I use mine mostly for viewing the Moon where it excels. With a tFOV of around 1 you won't be viewing many nebulas or open clusters. If the sky is dark Globs are wonderful.

Enjoy
Quinn


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t.r.
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: Quinn]
      #5618583 - 01/12/13 08:19 AM

Actually RaphaelP, that is a very realistic rendering viewed at about 8 inches from the screen! The right color too. The only thing I'm seeing additionally is a gradation in the polar regions which you show as just a solid shading,a more jagged edge on the two main belts and the ragged edges on the inside of the North equatorial belt where the gray/blue festoons begin to drift into the equatorial zone. I can't see the streamers of the festoons going into the middle of the zone by any means so far. You will just have to catch a time that the red spot is transiting...you will see that too! Your Jovian moons are portrayed slightly fuzzy...mine are nice, hard round airy disks with a single diffraction ring...at least when the seeing is good! Check out these Jupiter pics through the C90...

http://www.celestron.com/astronomy/celestron-c90-mak-spotting-scope.html




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azure1961p
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: t.r.]
      #5618603 - 01/12/13 08:37 AM

That's acrylic not oils. Nice job.

Pete


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azure1961p
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5618605 - 01/12/13 08:40 AM

Why Mr. Barnett, it would appear you've shaved your beard and colored out the grey!

Pete


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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5618666 - 01/12/13 09:31 AM Attachment (25 downloads)

I will have to check again when the weather is good to see how I saw the moons! There may have had the single diffraction ring too. It was also I little less yellow and a more grey pinkish color. I attached another little Jupiter painting that I think is a little closer. It is oil on a 2"x3" panel.

Pete- It is oil paint for sure! I squeezed the paint out of the tubes myself.


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rmollise
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5618701 - 01/12/13 09:56 AM

Quote:

Since I don't have a camera attachment for the C90, I did some pencil sketches last night. I used the sketches for a little oil painting




Very cool!


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azure1961p
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: rmollise]
      #5619420 - 01/12/13 04:43 PM

And it's dry?

Pete


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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5619459 - 01/12/13 05:06 PM

Pete- Nope, they are still wet. I just took some quick shots with my cellphone camera. They take just take several days to dry to the touch and several weeks to be completely dry.
R


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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5638871 - 01/23/13 12:50 PM

I took to C90 to Los Angeles and finally felt I was able to put it through it's paces with some clear and semi-dark nights. I had been struggling using printed star maps (Cambridge, Turn Left at Orion)to find anything. I ended up downloading Sky Safari Plus which made star jumping so much easier for me. It felt a little more free form too.

There is a lot of light pollution in LA, and with the small aperture perhaps the views were not amazing, but here is the list of some DSO I was able to find:

NGC 457 - Owl Cluster in Cassiopeia
Andromeda Galaxy(I could fit the center bulge in at x56)
M 36 - Pinwheel Cluster in Auriga
M 35 in Gemini(it may have been the more compact NGC 2158 which is close by)
Hind's Crimson Star(hard too see due to LP!)
M 44 - Beehive Cluster in Cancer
M 67 in Cancer
NGC 2264 - Christmas Tree cluster in Monoceros(was unable to make out the Cone Nebula)

I was hoping to get some nebulae(besides M 42)but a narrow pass filter is really needed to separate them from the background LP. That is all for now!
~Rafael


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Cepheus Elf
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5639302 - 01/23/13 05:39 PM

Great that you are using your Mak for deep sky observing!!! Too many people dismiss Maks as just " lunar and planetary" scopes which is just plain nonsense!!

Clear skies,
Mick


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Stephen S
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: Cepheus Elf]
      #5643442 - 01/25/13 09:56 PM

RafaelP, your paintings are fantastic! Don't know if I've ever seen astro items in oil. I love good art. The combo of oil painting and astronomy, just awesome!

By the way, I currently have a Questar I got in a trade. This post has convinced me to get the C90. Very interested (and a little scared) to try them side by side. Love the Questar but I could buy some really nice eyepieces for the price difference.


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jrbarnett
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: Stephen S]
      #5643540 - 01/25/13 11:00 PM

Here's a 3-way shootout by Ed Ting featuring the Questar, C90 and Meade ETX:

http://www.scopereviews.com/90mmComparo.html

It'll be interesting if you reach similar conclusions. Looking forward to your findings.

Regards,

Jim


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RafaelP
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5644095 - 01/26/13 10:17 AM

Thanks Stephen! The little painting was fun to do. I love the C90 and it traveled very easily as a carry on for 4 flights already.

I must say though that I am considering a larger scope that would also fit on the Dwarfstar(anyone have a C5 or C6 they want to sell?)
~Rafael


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jrbarnett
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5645219 - 01/26/13 10:28 PM

You can get a brand spanking new C6 here for $400:

http://www.highpointscientific.com/product/CEL-91010-XLT/Celestron-C6-A-SCT-A...

The C6 is a big, little scope.

Regards,

Jim


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Stephen S
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5645277 - 01/26/13 11:22 PM

Quote:

You can get a brand spanking new C6 here for $400:

http://www.highpointscientific.com/product/CEL-91010-XLT/Celestron-C6-A-SCT-A...




Great price for a very nice scope! Alas, at 10 lbs, it might be a bit much for the Dwarfstar, especially after you add diagonal and eyepieces.

I totally understand the temptation to upgrade in size. I started with a 125mm Mak and two eyepieces. I now have six scopes ranging in size from 3" to 12.5" and three times as many eyepieces. Optically speaking, the 12.5" out shines them all (pun intended). That said, I find the small ones get the most use. Sold my 3" refractor and miss it dearly for this very reason. Very excited to be getting the C90 as a possible replacement.


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jrbarnett
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: Stephen S]
      #5645301 - 01/26/13 11:51 PM

Hmm, that is probably too hefty for a Dwarfstar.

The C5 is just 6 pounds, but costs more at $449.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=485314&is=REG&...

Of course that also gets you a soft case with the C5.

Regards,

Jim


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RafaelP
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Loc: NYC
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5645318 - 01/27/13 12:14 AM

I emailed Larry at UA several weeks ago to ask. He said the Dwarfstar has the strength to be able to handle the C6 but to make sure the tripod can.

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Stephen S
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5645382 - 01/27/13 02:12 AM

Nice! I have a Unistar Deluxe that I really like. Perhaps a Dwarfstar for my soon to arrive C90 makes sense...

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curiosidad
sage


Reged: 06/09/11

Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: Stephen S]
      #5645512 - 01/27/13 05:36 AM

Hello,
And you have not thought of a mak 4 "? Opening a little more, a little more resolution and not much more weight ..
regards
PD.: Many years ago I could use a Mak 3.5 ", later a 105mm (both ETX), and the latter was better!


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t.r.
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Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5645596 - 01/27/13 08:21 AM

Quote:

Hmm, that is probably too hefty for a Dwarfstar.

The C5 is just 6 pounds, but costs more at $449.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=485314&is=REG&...

Of course that also gets you a soft case with the C5.

Regards,

Jim




Why is this? I never understood the disparity in the pricing of these two scopes. The C6 clearly has more to offer for the money and IMHO is just as portable, although of different bulk.The C5 should be around $300 max or the C6 priced higher...that case apparently is pricey!


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moynihan
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: t.r.]
      #5649508 - 01/28/13 11:40 PM

Just had to chime in here re my C90 tonight. An unusually good seeing night, just now, for around here anyway. Jupiter at 178x was loaded with detail. Could see a pale dot as a moon began a transit (Europa i think). Ended up using a 6mm ortho (208x)no detail increase, just bigger image but still sharp. Ended up trying 250x without image breakdown. The scope is an absurd bargain.

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Crow Haven
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Reged: 01/09/09

Loc: Oregon USA
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: moynihan]
      #5650924 - 01/29/13 06:43 PM Attachment (19 downloads)

I'll jump in too! I used to have one of the older C-90's from 1986, but I don't think it was an especially good one and I later gave it to a friend.
With all the good reviews of the new model, and the incredible price, I bought one last year and have been really pleased with it! It's so portable (I also enjoy my C-5) and I never worry about it when traveling.
I use it with 3 different mts. An old Bogen 3246 tripod w/ 3063 panhead/ Scopestuff vixen saddle and Orion alt/az fine motion tripod adapter, a Voyager alt/az mt. w/pier extension, and sometimes the GT mt. (and Orion L-bracket)from a Nexstar 102 achro I picked up from Costco thinking about using the mt. with my PST (but have discovered the 102 achro to be a good performer as well).
The new C-90 delivers nice views and can't be beat at these prices IMO.
---Maya


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Binojunky
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/25/10

Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: Crow Haven]
      #5652097 - 01/30/13 11:28 AM

Well I had one and (like an idiot) sold it as I tended to use my Orion 127 mak.
Now I,m planning a trip so the C90 would be ideal, maybe end up getting a replacement?, DA.


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t.r.
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: Binojunky]
      #5652209 - 01/30/13 12:21 PM

This brings up a good question...many of us intend to travel with the C90, what then is the ideal travel mount? Lets say we want it and the scope to fit into a standard airline carry-on of 45" total. What would you all recommend? Remember the StellarVue "Route 66" travel kit...something along those lines. Ideas...

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NHRob
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Loc: New Hampshire
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: t.r.]
      #5652258 - 01/30/13 12:49 PM

When I travel I just bring binos. Way more convenient and hassle free.

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rmollise
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: NHRob]
      #5652307 - 01/30/13 01:18 PM

I like binoculars, but a small telescope like the C90 is way more versatile. The ability to change eyepieces mean you can look at a lot of things from planets to DSOs. I was surprised the other night what a fine job my Orange Tube C90 was doing Jupiter. The GRS was easy to see, though I don't consider it a very easy target right now.

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t.r.
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: rmollise]
      #5652335 - 01/30/13 01:32 PM

I agree...when you travel somewhere with perhaps great seeing, you wouldn't want to be saying to yourself, "I wish I had brought the C90 instead"! Thats the idea here, take it with you, but with what kind of kit? I've been thinking the little Orion EQ-1 table top would go along way, but table tops are not necessarily convenient to find when traveling. Perhaps a collapsible tripod with an M1 or Drawfstar mount?

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rmollise
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: t.r.]
      #5652347 - 01/30/13 01:36 PM

I am still not happy with my ultraportable mount--a photo tripod with a slo-mo adapter. And not much of a photo tripod to begin with. Try a Focal refugee from the dadgum K-Mart.

I need something that can go in checked bags without me worrying about it, while little Stella in her case goes in the overhead bin. Until I think of something better, this is my standard "flying in to a star party to speak" rig, and it actually does OK...and is mucho bettero than the 50mm binoculars I used to take a long.

Edited by rmollise (01/30/13 01:39 PM)


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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]
      #5652385 - 01/30/13 01:51 PM

How I traveled with my C90:
I have my C90 in it's little backpack wrapped in bubble wrap. In the backpack I was also able to fit a mirror diagonal in it's box, a small waterproof box with 3 eyepieces and barlow (32mm,20mm and a 12.4 with a 1.5x to 2x GSO barlow.) I posted a photo on a previous page. I carried this on the plane with no problem, it is very compact and fits under the seat. I was pulled aside once out of four flights so the TSA could look through the bag, but it was quick and painless.
For the mount I used the very small Dwarfstar. I have a larger tripod, but next time I travel I will probably get the Manfrotto 055XDB. It is rated for 15lbs and can probably fit in to most luggage(24" broken down.) I wrapped my tripod in a cheap yoga mat to protect it.

I like binoculars too, but after using both a pair of Zeiss binoculars and the C90 to look at the sky, they really are in a different league in terms of what you can see. At least in a terribly light polluted city.

edit: I used an ipad 1 using Sky Safari 3 as my charting tool(also availble for for android and other iOS devices.) You can set the FOV of the telrad-like rings to match your current set set up(7 degrees for my 6x30 finder, ~1 degree for the eyepiece.) It made for super easy on the fly star hopping.

Edited by RafaelP (01/30/13 02:54 PM)


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314Sprout
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Reged: 06/27/12

Loc: San Diego
Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5652502 - 01/30/13 02:52 PM

I just went to the Big Island of Hawaii last week with my C90, diagonal, 3 eyepieces, DSLR, 2 DSLR lenses, and MacAir in a CaseLogic camera backpack. The overhead bin compliant roll aboard (Costco) had my DSV-1, tripod (a 30 yr old Focal!) and my clothes for the three day work trip. The clouds were already waiting for me, I didn't have to bring them from San Diego.

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rmollise
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: RafaelP]
      #5652521 - 01/30/13 03:10 PM

I sure like the looks of the Dwarfstar--but I am not willing to risk even a 150 buck mount to the TSA "inspectors." And I'd want to put it on a better tripod, too...so guess I am sticking with my K-Mart Blue Light Special.

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Stephen S
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: rmollise]
      #5658750 - 02/02/13 07:17 PM

I said I would report back after I got a chance to compare the C90 and the Questar. I've now had a chance to do so. I was really hoping the C90 would hold it's own against the Questar. I am most interested in great optics and would be thrilled to pay less for them. Never planned to get a Questar but ended up with one in a trade.

Alas, the comparision was not that close. The Questar was much brighter and sharper across the various eyepieces I tried. Contrast in the Questar was much higher as well. I have to confess, I was mildly disappointed with the C90. It was not nearly as sharp and bright as I had hoped. Perhaps the Questar is really that good or perhaps I got a bad sample of the C90.

For the price differences, they SHOULD be very different. I was hoping that might not be the case but alas, there does seem to be some coorelation between cost and performance.

I am thrilled that others have had better luck with the C90 than I. Competition is a good thing. Glad to see companies like Celestron and Explore Scientific (love the 24mm ES68) coming up with low cost, competitive items.


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azure1961p
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: Stephen S]
      #5659046 - 02/02/13 10:38 PM

This is interesting. The usual comparison with Questar, be it the 7" or 90mm is that Meade, Celestron are nearly as sharp but Q has a decided edge. Im wondering about collimation issues. I know is ione comparison, the Questar 7 was not having as much light throughput as a Meade 7" Mak, tho it did edge out the Meade too.

An interesting take.

Pete


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Stephen S
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5659138 - 02/02/13 11:44 PM

I too was a bit surprised. I once had an ETX125PE and it was optically excellent (the mount, on the other hand, drove me crazy). Weather here has been horrible so I was not able to do a detailed analysis of the C90 (e.g., did not look closely at collimation). Just enough time to do the comparison. That said, the differences were dramatic. Based on everything I've read, I think I might have gotten a dud C90.

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azure1961p
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: Stephen S]
      #5659379 - 02/03/13 05:29 AM

Switch it out?

Pete


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Stephen S
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5659654 - 02/03/13 10:13 AM

Thinking about doing just that. Alas, every time I use the Questar, I like it even more. Just tough to justify having that much money tied up in a 3.5" Mak. Decisions, decisions...

There is a very good chance I'll be traveling to Oklahoma City later this year. I think what I might do is return the one I purchased and hold off until I get to try one out in person at Astronomics. I can easily take my Questar along a test the two side by side. As a bonus, this gives me a great reasons to visit the Astronomics retail store.


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azure1961p
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: Stephen S]
      #5660025 - 02/03/13 01:47 PM

Stephen,

I think its just s personal choice. Ive looked through and used a Q90mm and it is a treasure of an instrumen t and so there is a lot to be said for appreciating what it is. Had I one I think the only time Id question it is if the money sittinjg in the scope PREVENTED cash for another scope I wanted with higher resolution. That being said, you could make the case that that is the case regardless as anyone can want a larger scope. If you have all you need though and it isnt sucking up funds you could see going to better use Id keep it and love it. The scope is one finely crafted jewell.

Ill bet its a beauty on doubles too.
Pete


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azure1961p
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5660027 - 02/03/13 01:48 PM

How much did you put out for the Q?

Pete


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Stephen S
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5661342 - 02/04/13 09:22 AM

Good question concerning what I paid for the Questar. I got it in a trade so it's tough to say exactly. The stuff I traded would have sold for roughly $2,200 to $2,400. My Questar is a 1992 version with a Zerodur mirror and Broadband coating. It's a beauty and I likely will keep it at this point, partly as a piece of art. It's the only telescope item that my wife actually likes. She keeps trying to talk me out of selling it. This is the ONLY telescope item she'd be sad to see me sell.

That said, having a grab and go set-up that I can throw in the car and not obsess about it's safety would be great. I still plan to get either a 90mm MAK or an 80mm refractor as a grab and go set up. I was hoping the C90 might serve this purpose. It may still do so IF I can find one I can try in advance. We shall see...


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Atl
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: Stephen S]
      #5663187 - 02/05/13 09:48 AM

I don't understand the collector attitude to these Questars. Were they not made for observing? If it delivers top quality views then use it for a grab and go travel scope...wear it out. Why leave it parked on someones mantel because they are afraid to use it. I am sure it is way more durable and well put together than a C90 (which I have by the way and I like).

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Panotaker
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Reged: 09/12/03

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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: Atl]
      #5664024 - 02/05/13 05:35 PM

Most of us Questar owners that hang out on these forums do use our Questars. We like looking at them as much as we like looking through them. I own a few scopes, and the Questar is the only one my wife likes, so it is setup on a shelf in the living room. When I want to use it, I just grab the scope and the tripod and take it out side. I use it all the time. It is over 50 years old, and still looks and works like new. It's pretty hard to wear out a Questar. They wear out faster if you dont use them.

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CollinofAlabama
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Re: Which 90mm Mak for tiny Apartment and travel? new [Re: Panotaker]
      #6266647 - 12/22/13 10:51 AM

Well, if the wife likes it, I'd say it's yours forever. And doesn't hurt at all that it doubles as decorative art for the house. Never owned a Questar, so I don't have to deal with that delemma.

But just to play Devil's Advocate, StephenS, you know you could compare your Questar to an Orion Starmax 102 (or Meade 105). I know, it's not "fair", but life isn't fair and money talks. It may best a Synta 90mm, but will it best a Chinese 102mm? For sure selling it would pay for the modest upgrade in Chinese optics aperture, and you'd still end up with an infinitely portable scope that could perhaps outperform its costly, more artistic Questar Cousin.

Not trying to cause grief with the wife. Sometimes money isn't the object. Just think about how absurd jewelry is. I mean, zirconia looks exactly like a diamond, but most women don't look at it that way. Domestic tranquility cannot be measured in terms of telescope purchases, so you may be far the wiser ignoring market value and optics opportunity costs, StephenS. I think my Devil's Advocate postulation of 102 Synta vs 90mm Questar is reasonable on economic grounds, but life has more considerations than only purely economic considerations. Perhaps this is one of those circumstances. Perhaps the Questar is now more "her" art than "your" optics. If that's the case, a mountain of TeleVue refractors wouldn't be worth trading it for. Tread carefully, my friend.


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