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

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

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

Equipment Discussions >> Reflectors

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | (show all)
drollere
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/02/10

Loc: sebastopol, california
Re: Aperture fever, when does it end? new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5472650 - 10/16/12 01:26 AM

Quote:

It *can* end when you realize there's lots to see and enjoy in our celestial backyard which doesn't require a monstrosity of a telescope.




bingo.

also, diminishing returns for your dollar and your backache.

at some point you realize that it's not that you can't get what you want. it's that you want something you can't have. you can't have hubble views and you can't see the spiral arms in more than a handful of nearby galaxies. you just can't.


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

Reged: 11/06/08

Loc: Türkiye - Istanbul and Marmar...
Re: Aperture fever, when does it end? new [Re: drollere]
      #5472674 - 10/16/12 02:01 AM

Couldn't say it better Bruce. This is the reason why I've started with imaging...it enables me to see the faintest objects even before stacking and processing the subs.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rik ter horst
sage


Reged: 11/01/10

Loc: Ewer, the Netherlands
Re: Aperture fever, when does it end? new [Re: bilgebay]
      #5472691 - 10/16/12 03:02 AM

It's a matter of mindset maybe... Generally, the most pleasant and aesthetic (planetary!) images I had in my life were with very modest telescopes with 130, 200 and 250 mm diameter. My 400 mm is capable of showing me the finest details, however this happens only a few times a year due to the (sometimes terrible) climat here in the Netherlands. Sometimes people seem to forget what good small instruments can show. One of my personal challenges is trying to get the most out of an instrument, regardless its size, and it's fun to see that this happens more often with smaller telescopes than with large ones...
Although I'm able to capture finer detail with my 400 mm Dobson, imaging with my 130 mm Schmidt-Cassegrain can be at least equally satisfying!

Cheers,
Rik


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
sopticals
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/28/10

Loc: New Zealand
Re: Aperture fever, when does it end? new [Re: rik ter horst]
      #5472717 - 10/16/12 03:55 AM

"The eyes of a man are never full".

Its human nature to want to see more,further,deeper. AF can be relentless,with the promise of more intoxicating LIVE views of the Cosmos.

Stephen.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
GlennLeDrew
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Re: Aperture fever, when does it end? new [Re: sopticals]
      #5472738 - 10/16/12 04:43 AM

The grass is always greener on the other side. I can all too easily imagine the ultimate extension of this 'sickness.' A rabidly infected enthusiast desires to see details in, say, the edge-on galaxy NGC891, and so invests in a truly monstrous light bucket. But a naked eye view of our own galaxy puts such a view utterly into the shade. The telescopist has lost all sense of proportion in his desire to eke out detail in some enormously distant object, overlooking the lifetime-consuming structure presented to the smallest of instruments in our cosmic backyard.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Aperture fever, when does it end? new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5472954 - 10/16/12 09:45 AM

Quote:

The grass is always greener on the other side. I can all too easily imagine the ultimate extension of this 'sickness.' A rabidly infected enthusiast desires to see details in, say, the edge-on galaxy NGC891, and so invests in a truly monstrous light bucket. But a naked eye view of our own galaxy puts such a view utterly into the shade. The telescopist has lost all sense of proportion in his desire to eke out detail in some enormously distant object, overlooking the lifetime-consuming structure presented to the smallest of instruments in our cosmic backyard.




A few thoughts:

- Large telescopes are also effective viewing objects in our galaxy. My favorite example is M7... a pretty open cluster that seems well suited for a 3-4-5 inch refractor. But when I turn a large telescope towards M7, it suddenly shows quite a different side, there are things to be seen that are hidden there, a globular to resolve.... Omega Centauri is interesting in a 4 inch but in a 16 inch or 25 inch.. oh my, my... And I see nothing wrong with hunting down faint galaxies with a large scope if that is what you like to do... wandering around the Virgo cluster with a big scope at low powers, it's just plain fun... This is a hobby, we don't have to justify our pleasure.

- I consider aperture fever to be lusting after larger and larger telescopes when one hasn't really learned to properly use and appreciate what one currently has. In my view, the reason to purchase a larger scope is because one is satisfied with their current scope and wants more of the same rather than being dissatisfied and frustrated and feeling bigger will be satisfying.

Some nights I spend with my 60mm F/7 refractor.. I have fun... some nights I spend with a 4 inch and a much larger scope... I have fun then too.

- We all have different desires, different situations, different opportunities. As many have said, a 15-18 inch scope is a reasonable combination of capability and portability. It takes me about 10 minutes to setup my 16 inch, it fits in my car or mini-truck and doesn't take up a great deal of room. My 25 inch lives in a garage out where the skies are reasonably dark and clear, it can be ready to go in less than 10 minutes...

- Big telescopes are good, small telescopes are good, there is a place for both... Not everyone has a place but if one does, why not???

Jon Isaacs


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Aperture fever, when does it end? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5472967 - 10/16/12 09:56 AM

We will keep building bigger ones as long as they keep showing us more and more....it's our curiousity...it's in our nature.....

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


Reged: 08/30/06

Loc: Omaha, NE
Re: Aperture fever, when does it end? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5473163 - 10/16/12 11:46 AM

I had the means, so I bought a second hand 30", and I'm glad I did, because I imagine each decade that passes, I'll be that much closer to not being able to handle such an instrument (hoping I'll have the means a little further down the road to move to a dark sky situated home and build a roll off roof observatory, where I can leave it setup).

My 18" is still my 'grab and go' scope. I think it's the ultimate aperture/portability balance. It's easier/quicker to move around and setup than my GEM mounted SCT.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
amicus sidera
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: Aperture fever, when does it end? new [Re: omahaastro]
      #5473493 - 10/16/12 03:54 PM

As long as one can afford (and house, if necessary) an instrument of any given aperture, the pursuit of a large instrument is a fairly harmless pastime... as long as the means are at hand, satisfying one's desire for something as edifying as a large telescope is an innocent matter.

However, problems arise when the large instrument is not bought so much for aesthetic or edificational purposes, but for the inflating of one's sense of self. To those with damaged egos, and whose self-worth requires constant reinforcement, the large-aperture telescope (or for that matter, the smaller yet absurdly-expensive refractor) fills the role that a Maserati, mansion and/or trophy wife might play for others. In purchasing what might be considered extravagant or Veblen goods, the buyer perceives that he has raised himself in the eyes of his peers - whether they be Wall Street bankers or the local astronomy club - and hence receives his "payoff" in the form of peer approval, audulation and increase in rank among his fellows. If the telescope in question has a waiting list one must endure prior to obtaining one, so much the better for the ego when it finally arrives.

"Fevers" come in many and varied guises, and it's useful to be able to separate those which are caused by a passionate pursuit of knowledge and aesthetic tastes from those fueled by lesser motives.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jeff heck
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 01/16/06

Loc: stl,mo.
Re: Aperture fever, when does it end? new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5473550 - 10/16/12 04:33 PM

Fever implies a sickness, while aquiring a larger telescope is not. Seek out and pursue your passions while you can, plus a little cowbell can't hurt.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
auriga
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/02/06

Re: Aperture fever, when does it end? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5474285 - 10/17/12 12:20 AM

Jon,
I agree with you in that each type of scope has its merits and is enjoyable but I have such a strong preference for one of my scopes that I don't use the others anymore.

For me, the limit on aperture madness is set by several factors:

1. How easy is it for me to transport a scope of a given size?

2. Can I still see all objects, even at the zenith, sitting down?

3. Does the contemplated added aperture significantly improve my views over what I have now?

My 16"f/4 jpastrocraft gives me much more satisfying views than my 11" f/4.5 did, even though the latter gave great views, and the 16 can be used for all objects while seated, as could the 11".

I think that a 22" f/3 would give even more satisfying views, and could be used sitting down, but the components are too heavy for me to transport.

I find that at home and for dark skies, the 16 has completely replaced the 11, which is no longer used at all. My wife's fine 10" f/6 by Mark Wagner, with its excellent folding base, is never used at all either. The 16 is that good. And since it has wheels in the right place it is easier to wheel in and out of my garage. A key feature for transport is that my 16 has an easily removable mirror, which makes makes moving the mirror box much easier.

This is different from your own experience, I gather, since you enjoy using a variety of apertures.

Like you, I enjoy wide field observing but I use the Nagler 31 in the 16" for that. Or I use my 8.5x44 Swift Audubon widefield binoculars.

A few years ago I ordered a quite good 90 mm refractor for wide field viewing, but before it arrived I looked at NGC 4665 in Ophiuchus, a 4th mag cluster, in a friend's 90 mm refractor, and found it disappointingly dim, so I cancelled the order. Last weekend I viewed the Double Cluster through another friend's quite good 111mm refractor, and while the view was sharp and pretty, I much preferred the view through my 16, the stars were so much more brilliant, the view was dazzling.

My binocs, on the other hand, have such a huge field, 8 degrees, that they are a good supplement to the 16.

I understand your point that each scope and each aperture is best for certain objects, but I am too entranced with the 16 and the binoculars to use anything in between.

Bill Meyers


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Darenwh
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 05/11/06

Loc: Covington, GA
Re: Aperture fever, when does it end? new [Re: auriga]
      #5474701 - 10/17/12 09:21 AM

Just remember, you know it's gone overboard when you need a lead vehicle and a follow vehicle along with the vehicle carrying the scope all with Wide Load signs attached.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Aperture fever, when does it end? new [Re: Darenwh]
      #5474709 - 10/17/12 09:28 AM

Sorry, the vehicle is being used to move the Space Shuttle currently....

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
drollere
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/02/10

Loc: sebastopol, california
Re: Aperture fever, when does it end? new [Re: auriga]
      #5475111 - 10/17/12 01:32 PM

Quote:

I understand your point that each scope and each aperture is best for certain objects, but I am too entranced with the 16 and the binoculars to use anything in between.




i can certainly empathize with this point of view, although to me it strongly suggests that you are not a double star astronomer!

i think anyone with dire aperture fever needs to get a good binocular, lie on their back in the evening grass, and tour the summer milky way at culmination. here is a very large and active galaxy, close at hand, with intricacies of structure and dynamics on full display in a depth and detail that cannot be seen in any other galaxy at any visual aperture ... dozens of matched binary pairs throughout cygnus to cassiopeia, and if you have a steady grip you can even split 61 cygni; brilliant OB associations, gas clouds and freshly formed galactic clusters, clouds of sheets of stars.

as i and others have said, it's a matter of resetting perspective. it's possible to get so obsessed with the equipment that you no longer enjoy what you're looking at. that's when you need to look at yourself.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Aperture fever, when does it end? new [Re: auriga]
      #5475158 - 10/17/12 01:57 PM

Quote:

I understand your point that each scope and each aperture is best for certain objects, but I am too entranced with the 16 and the binoculars to use anything in between.

Bill Meyers




Bill:

It all comes down to personal choices, personal situations. Most nights when I am out at our place in the mountains, I do find myself using the 16 inch, it's capable and yet comfortable. At the same time, the 12.5 inch is plenty capable and more comfortable, some nights I just enjoy it. It is also capable of a significantly wider field of view, being F/4 rather than F/4.4. Some nights I drag out the 25 inch but that is really a 2 person night and it's real work.

In terms of binoculars versus a small higher quality refractor... I suspect that if I had a pair of binoculars with right angle eyepieces that provided the sort of perfection possible with an NP-101, I would prefer them. But studying an object with straight-through binoculars is just uncomfortable even with some sort of a mount. A 16 inch F/4 fitted with a Paracorr and a 31mm Nagler provides a 1.3 degree TFoV, a NP-101 with that same eyepiece provides a 4.5 degree field of view and the objects will be of very similar brightness if not size... Some are better in the small scope, most in the large scope.

There are a lot of ways to enjoy this hobby. The important things are finding out what you enjoy doing, finding out the equipment that is reasonable for doing what you like to do and then of course, just doing it.

Jon


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Galicapernistein
super member


Reged: 09/24/07

Loc: Detroit Michigan
Re: Aperture fever, when does it end? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5475412 - 10/17/12 04:33 PM

For me it ended at a star party where there were lots of other big scopes to look through. Seeing the Sombrero Galaxy in a 22" scope was nice, but it wasn't the knock out view I expected. It basically looked like a scaled up version of the view I get in my scope. The same with M81 and M82. Larger scopes show nebulas and globular clusters more dramatically, but for galaxies the improvement is more incremental. And since galaxies are what I most prefer to look at, I can't see myself giving up the convenience and ease of use of my 12" dob. Teasing out details from a galaxy in a 12" scope is just as much fun as doing it with a big dob, just a little more challenging, and easier on the back.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Aperture fever, when does it end? new [Re: Galicapernistein]
      #5475572 - 10/17/12 05:54 PM

Quote:

Teasing out details from a galaxy in a 12" scope is just as much fun as doing it with a big dob, just a little more challenging, and easier on the back.




One difference is that a 22 inch goes about 1.3 magnitudes deeper, it's not so much about teasing details as seeing galaxies you would not see in a 12 inch scope. I don't look at it as a "12 inch or a 22 inch" but rather as a "12 inch and a 22 inch."

Jon


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ZRX-Steve
sage


Reged: 03/31/08

Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Re: Aperture fever, when does it end? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5475627 - 10/17/12 06:17 PM

I started with an XT10i, then moved to Mallincam on an 8" F4 on a GEM, and then a 12" F4 on a GEM. I had a good opportunity to buy an Obsession 20" so I jumped on it for visual. I found that I use the Mallincam/scopes so much more than the Obsession. I passed the Obsession on to a much more deserving observer than I where it is well used and appreciated. So I think I found my aperature fever limit.

On the other hand, if I could afford a much larger Mallincam scope and mount, I'd probably do so.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
auriga
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/02/06

Re: Aperture fever, when does it end? new [Re: drollere]
      #5475929 - 10/17/12 09:39 PM

Agreed.
Our galaxy is so near that we sometimes forget to take advantage of it.

I am quite interested in the structure and beauty of our galaxy, and I have found two very good guides to it:

One is "Sky Vistas" a wonderful book by Craig Crossen with great photos by Gerald Rhemann, Published by Springer.

The other is "Where is M13?" A three dimensional digital guide our galaxy and its contents. This is a free download from the Internet thanks to the author, Bill Tschumy.

Bill Meyers


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
auriga
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/02/06

Re: Aperture fever, when does it end? [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5475963 - 10/17/12 10:06 PM


I agree that straight through binoculars are hold to hold acceptably steady, particularly at higher magnifications than 8x.:
I tried a device called Sky Window, which allows you to sit at a table with the binoculars supported and pointed downward at a large mirror, This gives a very steady view of the sky.The problem for me is that with my vision, I get double images of stars under these circumstances, so I had to give up on Sky Window, which now sits unused on my shelf. I called the manufacturer to try to buy their higher quality mirror thinking that that might help the problem, but they didn't ever follow through on their promise to sell me one.

Actually, objects don't look of very similar brightness to me in a 4" as in a 16" The Double Cluster and the Pleiades for example seem to me much brighter in a 16 inch than in a 4 inch. The individual stars seem much brighter. It's similar to looking at Vega in a 16 inch, it looks much brighter to my eye than in a 4 inch.

Perhaps what you are saying here is meant to apply to extended objects?

I agree that it's different strokes of different folks, in amateur astronomy. No question about it, there is diversity here.

Bill


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | (show all)


Extra information
20 registered and 11 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  ausastronomer, Phillip Creed, JayinUT, okieav8r 

Print Thread

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


Thread views: 8863

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics