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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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pdxmoon
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
SW 100: Will I notice Difference?
      #6171957 - 11/02/13 01:23 PM

Hi Astro Friends:

This past summer I jumped on the refractor bandwagon big time and I have been very happy with the Celestron ED80 and that super deal many of us got from OPT on the Celestron 102.

With holiday sales starting, the Skywatcher 100ED has dropped in price to $649, and I'm wondering the following:

Will I notice a difference in my planetary and lunar observing between the 100ED and the two scopes I already have, or

Should I just wait until the day I can add a 120ED? Unfortunately, with the SW120 ED comes the necessity of a new mount, and the SW100ED would probably work fine on my Polaris.

So, your opinions, please: enough of a difference in the 100ED to be noticeable, or simply an improvement in build (nicer focuser, etc.)

Edited by pdxmoon (11/02/13 01:41 PM)


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Mikefly
member


Reged: 10/05/13

Re: SW 100: Will I notice Difference? new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6171991 - 11/02/13 01:39 PM

Well the first evident thing would be the negation of false color. Your images will also be more contrasy and snap into focus better. Having viewed through a 100ed for a while at a star party I can say that while your DSOs will be virtually identical the 100ed will have more contrast and the dual speed is a very nice thing to have.

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pdxmoon
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: SW 100: Will I notice Difference? new [Re: Mikefly]
      #6171993 - 11/02/13 01:41 PM

I have the dual speed on my AT72 and it's a dream. I assume you mean the added contrast of the ED100 will make lunar observing better (my principal target)?

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Mikefly
member


Reged: 10/05/13

Re: SW 100: Will I notice Difference? new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6172003 - 11/02/13 01:44 PM

Yes. You lose some contrast from CA since a few wavelengths of light are not entering your eye at the same point as the others. Of course it depends on how you look at it and if you can I'd suggest locating somewhere that you can have a look through one your self.

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BKBrown
Post Laureate
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Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: Northern Virginia, USA
Re: SW 100: Will I notice Difference? new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6172049 - 11/02/13 02:20 PM

On DSOs not really, on anything bright - absolutely! The reduced CA will improve lunar and planetary performance and can even help when splitting doubles. The SW100ED Pro is a great deal at the regular price, with the big discount it's a cosmic no-brainer in my book

Clear Skies,
Brian


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Eric63
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/16/12

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario
Re: SW 100: Will I notice Difference? new [Re: BKBrown]
      #6172121 - 11/02/13 03:15 PM

Not sure if the Ed100 will give you that much more on the moon. Luna is a very bright and high contrast object. I think what you want here is more aperture to get you more resolution and go deeper. I would think of getting a Newt, SCT or Mak for days where you want to go in deep and keep the ED80 for those grab and go days. A C6, for example, would ride nicely on your mount and give you enough aperture to make things more interesting, even during average seeing conditions. Yes some will tell you that it only has the contrast of a 4 refractor, but the moon has high contrast to start with, so this will be less critical. The extra resolution would nice. Otherwise you may want to hold out for the 120ED, especially since refractors are your favourite instruments. My two cents.

Good luck Thom
Eric


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pdxmoon
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: SW 100: Will I notice Difference? new [Re: Eric63]
      #6172215 - 11/02/13 04:20 PM

Hi Eric

By C6 I assume you mean this:?

C6


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jag767
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 06/20/13

Loc: Massapequa, NY
Re: SW 100: Will I notice Difference? new [Re: Eric63]
      #6172216 - 11/02/13 04:21 PM

I did exactly what you are thinking about, went from a 102gt to an orion ed100. I think it was most certainly worth it big improvement.

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pdxmoon
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: SW 100: Will I notice Difference? new [Re: jag767]
      #6172220 - 11/02/13 04:24 PM

Thank you. What do you usually observe? DSO or lunar/planetary? What changed for you with the new scope?

Thanks!


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Eric63
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/16/12

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario
Re: SW 100: Will I notice Difference? new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6172221 - 11/02/13 04:24 PM

Yep, that's the one.

Eric


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pdxmoon
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: SW 100: Will I notice Difference? new [Re: Eric63]
      #6172229 - 11/02/13 04:29 PM

My Friend:

votre bon cur !

Thom


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jag767
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 06/20/13

Loc: Massapequa, NY
Re: SW 100: Will I notice Difference? new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6172232 - 11/02/13 04:30 PM

Quote:

Thank you. What do you usually observe? DSO or lunar/planetary? What changed for you with the new scope?

Thanks!




I observe open clusters, globs, and dso's most, then planetary, and doubles least. There is a definite improvement in all of the above. I couldnt make out the adjoining galaxies to adromeda with the 102gt and i can with the ed100. Best analogy would be going from a lcd tv, to a top of the line 4k led tv. Same size, just a ton clearer.


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Eric63
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/16/12

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario
Re: SW 100: Will I notice Difference? new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6172238 - 11/02/13 04:33 PM

C'est mon plaisir

Eric


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Eddgie
Postmaster
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Reged: 02/01/06

Re: SW 100: Will I notice Difference? new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6172321 - 11/02/13 05:30 PM

Yes, you will notice a difference.

Will it be worth $650?

Maybe, maybe not.

My advice? Save your money.

Sell all of these other scopes and stuff.

And go bigger.

Consider a 120ED type scope. If you really want a meaningful improvement, this is the way you should get it.

Changing from an f/10 achomat will of course make an improvement.

But here is the thing. Apeture gives you exit pupil.

A 100mm achromat is going to give you a dim image at 150x.

And guess what. So will a 100mm f/9 ED scope.

And exit pupil and image scale are your friends for planetary observing.

If you really want to improve your planetary observing, but retain all of the virtues of the refracting design (wide fields, no coma) then again, sell all your stuff and buy a telescope that is not only better, but is also bigger.

I know, the price is really nice, but I don't think you are going to pee your pants at the difference.

A 120ED scope though? Now you are talking.

Past this and it gets expensive fast, but the 120ED scopes were a tremendous value. They are still light and have a short enough package that they are not demanding to mount, and they will be much more capable planetary performers than a 100ED.

Do yourself a faver and take a step and a half ahead rather than a half step sideways.

And if you can't afford it now, then live with what you have until you can.


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Jon_Doh
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/16/11

Loc: On a receiver's back
Re: SW 100: Will I notice Difference? new [Re: Eddgie]
      #6172328 - 11/02/13 05:37 PM

Plus the 120ED is at a reduced price right now. And comes with a carrying case, two inch dialectic diagonal, right angle viewfinder and two 1.25 eyepieces (5, 20mm).

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BillP
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/26/06

Loc: Vienna, VA
Re: SW 100: Will I notice Difference? new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6172370 - 11/02/13 06:11 PM

I would wait to afford the 120ED. However, if you are impatient then there is an Orion (Vixen) 120mm NeoAchromat for sale in the CN Classifieds with mount for $849. Reviews place it sharper than your 102 with about the same level of color correction,

Look at #7 - Link.


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magnus
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/17/04

Loc: Visby, Sweden
Re: SW 100: Will I notice Difference? new [Re: Eddgie]
      #6172383 - 11/02/13 06:25 PM

Eddgie!

Very wise & good thinking in my humble opinion.

Magnus 57N.

----------------------------
C80ED
MK66
C8
8"f/6 OOUK Newt
LS35HaDX

Edited by magnus (11/02/13 06:29 PM)


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saemark30
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/21/12

Re: SW 100: Will I notice Difference? new [Re: magnus]
      #6172448 - 11/02/13 07:18 PM

I would wait for the 120ED, the 100ED is too small for detailed planetary views.
There are also 6" achromats to consider.


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pdxmoon
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: SW 100: Will I notice Difference? new [Re: Eddgie]
      #6172516 - 11/02/13 07:59 PM

Yes, there's wisdom in this.

What would you use to mount. I prefer alt az and that's really what I'd want. The 120 is lighter than most, so the least hefty I can get away with.


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Eddgie
Postmaster
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Reged: 02/01/06

Re: SW 100: Will I notice Difference? new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6172653 - 11/02/13 09:42 PM

I am going to rant so forgive me.

I do not for the life of me understand how people can use an alt az mount for planetary observing.

Almost all scopes only perform at their full potential when the target is within a few arc minutes of the center of the field.

For reflectors, coma is the contrast killer if you let the planet get out of the center of the field by more than 5 or 6 arc minutes for a typical reflector. Beyond this and the image is no longer diffraction limited.

For refractors, it is field curvature. Once you let the target drift about 5 or 10 arc minutes out of the center of the field it is no longer at best focus.

For the highest resolution observing, it is really best to have the target at or near the center of the field.

And for planets, where you want to use high power, keeping the target centered is really important.

This allows you to relax and concentrate on the target.

Even today, using only 75x on my 110ED for solar white light, it was driving me mad to track (my motor drive is down for repair).

Just as I would get a few moments of steady seeing, I would be interrupted to re-center the target area. Seeing was coming and going and here I was taking my eye off the ball.

How maddening!

To me, if you are really serious about planets, you need a tracking mount.

You can get the CG4 for $275 brand new and shipped to your door.

This is not the most sturdy mount on the planet but is is not really much worse than a lot of Alt-Az mounts that cost $300.

I really mean this. For planets, I would rather have a mount that shakes when I focus it but has tracking than have a solid alt-az mount.

But that is me. I think I have done some really amazing planetary viewing, and I simply can't comprehend how people can eek the most challenging detail out of their scopes by being interrupted to move it every 30 seconds.

So, that is my take.

Sure, if you can afford a Cadillac mount like the GM-8, then that is great.

But my own advice is that if you really want to get the most detail out of a scope that is aimed at a planet, you need a good, comfortable observers chair and a tracking mount.

I think you can do some pretty good planetary observing with a good 120mm ED refractor (and I would not get the Vixen 120. It is not going to be in the same class as the 120ED scope).

But when you study optics, you quickly realize that most telescopes will perform at there very best when the target is kept very close to the center of the field.

And don't be fooled. Most refractors do defocus at the edge of the field, but as long as the star does not swell up to more than about 3 arc minutes of apparent field, we can't really tell that easily because in a coma free refractor, it remains a small dot.

But the planet will go out of focus and you can easily see it.

Sorry for the rant, but if you get a great planetary scope, get the most out of it with a tracking mount.

And later, get a good pair of binoviewers.

I have come to consider Binoviewers as far more important than the eyepieces you put in them.

These are all the opinions of an old man, but I have been doing serious planetary observing for a very long time now, and have had very great success I think.

And how people do serious planetary observing with an un-driven mount is beyond me.

Today, doing the sun without my motor was maddening. Every time I seemed to get a moment of perfect seeing, the detail seemed to be drifting close to the defocus point of the diffraction limited field of my scope. Maddening.

How do people do it???


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