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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: AstroView 120ST EQ....good or bad.! new [Re: Sky Muse]
      #5545701 - 11/29/12 03:18 PM

Quote:

The gentleman is considering a choice between two achromats, and given the funds allocated for said dilemma, it necessarily excludes the consideration of an apochromat, thus the generality.




He is actually considering a number of choices and open to suggestion. A used ED-80 is within consideration. Any suggestion of using an 120mm F/5 achromat for astrophotography needs to point out that these scope are a poor choice because of the chromatic aberration and increased spectrum involved.

Quote:

One would have to master the dexterity of a Ouija-board "mystic" to seriously anything with an altazimuth, when compared to the luxury of the consummate, motorised equatorial.




Humm...

I suspect that I have average dexterity, maybe a bit better than most. I have no trouble with manually tracking for long periods at the sorts of magnifications a 4 or 5 inch refractor is capable of. To my mind it is misleading to suggest that one would have to have the "dexterity of Ouija-board "mystic"" to use an alt-az mount for "serious observation." Tracking mounts are nice in this regard, if they are sturdy and track well, but a decent alt-az mount can be used effectively with a little practice to observe for long periods...

Bottom line: Both alt-az mounts and equatorial mounts are viable options.

Jon


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newtoskies
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/12

Loc: SE Ma.
Re: AstroView 120ST EQ....good or bad.! new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5545726 - 11/29/12 03:39 PM

As Jon has said, I am open to suggestions. I don't want to get into serious AP, just some quick images with a cheap digi camera and then an iphone., so not really AP.

This scope is just to get familiar with refractors and mounts. I mainly enjoy Clusters so that is what it will be used for, as well as maybe Jupiter. I don't want to spend a lot and end up not liking refractors, then being stuck with an expansive scope that rarely will get used. I love the Dob and will eventually go bigger with a 10". It won't hurt to have and use both types of scopes.
i am looking at somewhere between a 90 -120 scope that is in my budget and am checking for used as well. I know the EQ -1 and 2 are not the greatest mounts but it will be for learning and also not for long observing sessions, which I rarely ever have.


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Slow Astronomer
member


Reged: 05/01/10

Loc: Milky Way Galaxy
Re: AstroView 120ST EQ....good or bad.! new [Re: newtoskies]
      #5546025 - 11/29/12 07:00 PM

I have the 120ST and love it for DSO work. $320 for the OTA from Orion. I use it on a ioptron Mini Tower. I wasn't impressed with the focuser so I replaced it with a JMI EV-1r (costs as much as the OTA). Does a fantastic job on DSO's and I'm impressed with the planetary performance also. Did a mini Mess(ier) the other night and had a blast looking at a bunch of M3x's as well as M45. The detail was incredible. The views of Jupiter the other night were tremendous using my TMB Planetary EPs. I am really in love with the OTA performance for the price. Outside of the stock focuser I think the OTA glass is tremendous for DSO's. Use a TV 24 Pan and 16 Nagler and you can cover some sky. Clear skies.

Dave

Edited by Slow Astronomer (11/29/12 07:23 PM)


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coutleef
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/21/08

Loc: Saint-Donat, Quebec, Canada
Re: AstroView 120ST EQ....good or bad.! new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5546124 - 11/29/12 07:41 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The gentleman is considering a choice between two achromats, and given the funds allocated for said dilemma, it necessarily excludes the consideration of an apochromat, thus the generality.




He is actually considering a number of choices and open to suggestion. A used ED-80 is within consideration. Any suggestion of using an 120mm F/5 achromat for astrophotography needs to point out that these scope are a poor choice because of the chromatic aberration and increased spectrum involved.

Quote:

One would have to master the dexterity of a Ouija-board "mystic" to seriously anything with an altazimuth, when compared to the luxury of the consummate, motorised equatorial.




Humm...

I suspect that I have average dexterity, maybe a bit better than most. I have no trouble with manually tracking for long periods at the sorts of magnifications a 4 or 5 inch refractor is capable of. To my mind it is misleading to suggest that one would have to have the "dexterity of Ouija-board "mystic"" to use an alt-az mount for "serious observation." Tracking mounts are nice in this regard, if they are sturdy and track well, but a decent alt-az mount can be used effectively with a little practice to observe for long periods...

Bottom line: Both alt-az mounts and equatorial mounts are viable options.

Jon




Absolutely right,

I think my dexterity in that regard is below average but it is quite easy to track wtih a refractor and the twilight mount (without fine tracking) at 200x, as well as with a dob.


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Sky Muse
sage


Reged: 10/26/12

Loc: De Soto County, MS
Re: AstroView 120ST EQ....good or bad.! new [Re: newtoskies]
      #5546466 - 11/29/12 11:46 PM

Splitting double stars is also enjoyable with a refractor.

The Orion EQ-2 is amazingly and exactly identical to the Parks equatorial I once had, combined with an 80mm f/11 achromat, both made in Japan at the time, in 1992. I fitted a single motor drive to track in right ascension. With it, I observed Venus from when it was still dark, early in the morning until almost noon, the sun high in the sky, the planet's surface like fine sandpaper, and still centered in the eyepiece, with only a few adjustments in declination during the entire time to correct errors in tracking. I'll never forget it, and the most enjoyable observing session of my life.

I was 27.

Thus, an EQ-2 would be a good match for an 80mm, 90mm, or perhaps even a fast-to-moderate four-inch. I never had a need for a motor for the declination, so you'd save money there, too.

Even though I prefer equatorials, I am purely a visual observer, with no interest in imaging whatsoever, and all for a hassle-free experience.

Cheers,

Alan


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newtoskies
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/12

Loc: SE Ma.
Re: AstroView 120ST EQ....good or bad.! new [Re: Sky Muse]
      #5546767 - 11/30/12 08:08 AM

Thanks fellas for taking the time to help out with some great info.
Alan thanks for the story. I guess it is up to the individual to decide what works best. Although not the greatest mount, the EQ2 still does the job, so I shouldn't rule this one out.
I still have an eye out for used scopes and am checking out others. I would like a scope with somewhat short/low f/l, say around 700mm ...f 6 in that area. In other words not to fast, and not too slow.


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: AstroView 120ST EQ....good or bad.! new [Re: Sky Muse]
      #5547010 - 11/30/12 11:32 AM

Quote:

Thus, an EQ-2 would be a good match for an 80mm, 90mm, or perhaps even a fast-to-moderate four-inch. I never had a need for a motor for the declination, so you'd save money there, too.




The motors for these mounts are quite slow and unresponsive in terms of slewing so I find it works better to use only an RA drive and control the declination manually.

The EQ-2 is a bit undersized for an 80mm F/11 though more than sufficient. Back in the day when an 80mm F/11 was a serious scope, Celestron mounted their EQ version on the Vixen Polaris which made a very solid rig. Meade had several versions but the Meade 310/320 were manufactured by Mizar and of the highest quality. The 310 had a fully geared ALT-AZ mount that was very steady, the 320 used the well known Mizar GEM, in view my view, the best small EQ mount I have ever seen.

If Rob could find a good used 80mm F/11, even the FirstScope mounted on the EQ-2 with the wooden legs, that would be a fine combination. I see 80mm F/11s for around $100 on CL.. I have bought a few, all were good scopes, still own three...

Jon


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newtoskies
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/12

Loc: SE Ma.
Re: AstroView 120ST EQ....good or bad.! new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5547047 - 11/30/12 11:54 AM

I guess a cheap scope to start could be the power seeker 80EQ. Although not that high end it could make a good starter refractor. Maybe not. Just looking.

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Kim K
member
*****

Reged: 08/31/10

Loc: Eastern NM
Re: AstroView 120ST EQ....good or bad.! new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5547056 - 11/30/12 12:01 PM

One thing not mentioned is a #58 green filter will kill CA; albeit, at the expense of green images and lower light. My lowly ST80 shows a lovely burst of color when viewing Jupiter (and nothing else), but with the filter two bands are seen. This is not a solution of course, but does add to the utility of an ST scope.

Kim


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Sky Muse
sage


Reged: 10/26/12

Loc: De Soto County, MS
Re: AstroView 120ST EQ....good or bad.! new [Re: newtoskies]
      #5547618 - 11/30/12 06:15 PM

Last ditch effort ...

http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Refractor-Telescopes/Refractor-Telescopes...

It has a high user rating, a 90mm f/10 achromat(not fast, not slow) on an EQ-2, on sale for less than $300 with free shipping, minimal false colour and suited for observing planets, binaries and open/globular star clusters. And, the motor drive with hand controller for tracking in right ascension, and free shipping if ordered at the same time...

http://www.telescope.com/Accessories/Telescope-Drives-Controllers/Orion-EQ-2M...

...and all for your consideration.

Cheers,

Alan


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newtoskies
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/12

Loc: SE Ma.
Re: AstroView 120ST EQ....good or bad.! new [Re: Sky Muse]
      #5548155 - 12/01/12 01:18 AM

LOL Alan I have been looking at that ne to, just didn't want to mention it for fear that it too would bet dogged down as a not very good scope. I open to almost anything. I wuld just like to get an idea of the refractor side of the hobby, but still have something I think I will be happy with. I keep going back to the 129ST from Orion. Will wait a few weeks to see how high the budget goes up first.

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mayidunk
Don't Ask...
*****

Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Betwixt & Between...
Re: AstroView 120ST EQ....good or bad.! new [Re: newtoskies]
      #5548273 - 12/01/12 04:17 AM

With or without the drive, I still think that 90mm scope and EQ2 mount package from Orion is a solid deal for all you'd be getting!



I mean... look at all those guys jumping around up there!

Once again, good luck making your choice.

Edited by mayidunk (12/01/12 05:03 AM)


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: AstroView 120ST EQ....good or bad.! new [Re: mayidunk]
      #5548313 - 12/01/12 05:30 AM

Quote:

With or without the drive, I still think that 90mm scope and EQ2 mount package from Orion is a solid deal for all you'd be getting!



I mean... look at all those guys jumping around up there!

Once again, good luck making your choice.




There are lots of good choices, each with their advantages and their liabilities. The 90mm F/10 is more of an all around, general purpose scope than the 120mm F/5, it's going to show some false color at high powers but it won't be overwhelming the way it is with the 120mm F/5. The longer focal length makes for a longer, more unwieldy tube and a narrower field of view...

One reason that people often gravitate towards apo's is that a good apo provides both widefield viewing and high power viewing without compromising either. I started like most, various old 60mm F/11 and F/15 refractors, moved on to an 8 inch SCT, discovered the virtues of Newtonians... Started back with refractors as companions to large scopes with an 80mm ended up moving up again and again, slowly working my way up.

It is hard to believe that it has been 9 years since the ED-80 revolutionized the apochromatic refractor marketplace, a true ED/apo for $500 new was literally unbelievable. Like many other amateurs on a budget, a used ED-80 bought from a friend introduced me to what very good optics meant and finally now, with an NP-101 and a William-Optics 80mm FD, I have the scopes that do what I want to do... I have come to the end of the search.

If it coulda woulda started with these two, I probably would have saved a fair chunk of change but I wouldn't know that these were the right scopes for me...

Jon


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Mark Harry
Vendor
*****

Reged: 09/05/05

Loc: Northeast USA
Re: AstroView 120ST EQ....good or bad.! new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5548366 - 12/01/12 07:34 AM

I think they call that HINDSIGHT!
*******
I have my ST120 for wide field scanning. I recognise its limitations, and it works fine for me. A 24 Pan @ 25x is a nice combination, night or day. It's relatively compact and easy to get along with. Excellent for quick looks without dragging out the bigger stuff. It's the only 'substantial' refractor I own at present.
Planetary? I have a couple good reflectors with ZERO color, that will go to any practical power setting to handle those chores.
My 2 cents.
M.


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: AstroView 120ST EQ....good or bad.! new [Re: Mark Harry]
      #5548393 - 12/01/12 08:08 AM

Quote:

I think they call that HINDSIGHT!
*******
I have my ST120 for wide field scanning. I recognise its limitations, and it works fine for me. A 24 Pan @ 25x is a nice combination, night or day. It's relatively compact and easy to get along with. Excellent for quick looks without dragging out the bigger stuff. It's the only 'substantial' refractor I own at present.
Planetary? I have a couple good reflectors with ZERO color, that will go to any practical power setting to handle those chores.
My 2 cents.
M.




Mark:

But you are lucky, you know some guy who has a reputation for figuring great planetary mirrors and he gives you a deal..

Jon


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newtoskies
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/12

Loc: SE Ma.
Re: AstroView 120ST EQ....good or bad.! new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5548523 - 12/01/12 10:15 AM

I guess there are pros and cons to most lower to mid end scopes. Now I know a bit more about refractors thanks to you all, and that already is fantastic. Like you all I too will start with an ok scope and then get better once I gain more knowledge and experience...and the $$ too.
It's basically a choice of three scopes right now. Knowing the mounts are not the greatest is not a problem as I can get abetter mount later, or new scope.
My 6" Dob does a great job on planets so far and I still plan on getting a 10" next year some time. The refractor won't be my main scope, but one I can take out without the long cool down, and just do some star hopping and check out the bright DSO, like clusters. The wide fov is also not an issue as this will be good for open clusters and low to mid powers.


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Sky Muse
sage


Reged: 10/26/12

Loc: De Soto County, MS
Re: AstroView 120ST EQ....good or bad.! new [Re: newtoskies]
      #5548913 - 12/01/12 02:45 PM

It's noteworthy that even though it has a high user rating, the rating is primarily for the achromat. About half complained of the EQ-2 in conjunction, however half did not, with one even being totally satisfied all around. It's a shame that that particular achromat cannot be had as an OTA.

The ideal would be an f/7 or f/8 in whichever aperture and type chosen.

Mine, at f/8, is the sweet spot for me.

Cheers,

Alan


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junomike
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/07/09

Loc: Ontario
Re: AstroView 120ST EQ....good or bad.! new [Re: newtoskies]
      #5548983 - 12/01/12 03:33 PM Attachment (21 downloads)

If one knows the limitations of this scope (or any scope for that matter), then they won't be disappointed. Mine rides on top of my SCT for WF views (4.5°).

Mike


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Mark Harry
Vendor
*****

Reged: 09/05/05

Loc: Northeast USA
Re: AstroView 120ST EQ....good or bad.! new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5549177 - 12/01/12 06:11 PM

Yeah, I have had a deal or 2 in the past!
M.


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Goodchild
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 12/31/08

Re: AstroView 120ST EQ....good or bad.! new [Re: Sky Muse]
      #5549635 - 12/02/12 12:11 AM

Quote:

It's a shame that that particular achromat cannot be had as an OTA.





Orion sells this scope as an OTA. I believe it goes for $329. It's sold as a gray tube and not the black tube.


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