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 | (show all)
Erik Bakker
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/10/06

Loc: The Netherlands, Europe
12.5" Portaball/Zambuto or 10" Normand Fullum
      #4499800 - 04/06/11 07:13 AM

Which would you prefer for observing around the backyard and occasional transportation to a dark site: a 12.5" f/5 Portaball with Zambuto optics, or a Normand Fullum 10" f/4.8 with Fullum optics? Price is roughly the same.
The dob will be used as a complementary scope to my Tak FS102.

Thanks for any experiences with scopes and/or mirror/image quality.

CS,

Erik


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
AlienRatDog
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/15/05

Loc: Ann Arbor
Re: 12.5" Portaball/Zambuto or 10" Normand Fullum new [Re: Erik Bakker]
      #4499839 - 04/06/11 07:51 AM

I would go with the Portaball...2.5 more inches!

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

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: 12.5" Portaball/Zambuto or 10" Normand Fullum new [Re: Erik Bakker]
      #4499849 - 04/06/11 08:06 AM

Quote:

Which would you prefer for observing around the backyard and occasional transportation to a dark site: a 12.5" f/5 Portaball with Zambuto optics, or a Normand Fullum 10" f/4.8 with Fullum optics? Price is roughly the same.
The dob will be used as a complementary scope to my Tak FS102.

Thanks for any experiences with scopes and/or mirror/image quality.

CS,

Erik




I don't see how you can go wrong with a Portaball with Zambuto Optics. And 12.5 inch is a nice size, you can view seated all night long and while it's capabilities are not a big step up from a 10 inch, a 12.5 inch is a more capable instrument.

Jon


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

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: 12.5" Portaball/Zambuto or 10" Normand Fullum new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #4500002 - 04/06/11 09:45 AM

Obviously I chose a Portaball. For visual use, they really are very nice scopes - the ergonomics of movement and being able to rotate the focuser to any angle are very nice.

The only reason I would consider a non-Portaball of equal size is if you want GOTO capability (can't do that easily for the P-ball). I do have tracking via a platform (which I highly recommend you get).

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Scopyfrank
999 Forever
*****

Reged: 08/29/08

Loc: Luxembourg
Re: 12.5" Portaball/Zambuto or 10" Normand Fullum new [Re: Erik Bakker]
      #4500105 - 04/06/11 10:34 AM

Never tried one of these, so just a gut feeling:
Portaball with Zambuto inside: not to say that the optics are of better quality, but it just seems more portable: Fullums seem to me to be so beautiful pieces of wood work and optical art that I would be very sad if damaged by transport here and there.
In case you'd be interested in a 14.5" Portaball:

2nd hand portaball 14.5 inch

Good luck.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dvb
different Syndrome.
*****

Reged: 06/18/05

Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Re: 12.5" Portaball/Zambuto or 10" Normand Fullum new [Re: Scopyfrank]
      #4500348 - 04/06/11 12:29 PM

Normand Fullum makes excellent optics - I doubt you would notice a difference between a Zambuto and a Fullum mirror in use.

I also doubt you'll notice much difference in aperture.

It comes down to convenience and manageability - which one are you more likely to carry outside and set-up? Which one is easier to to point and track with?

The smaller size might be easier to manage, but might not, depending on the tube and mount designs.


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

Reged: 05/18/04

Re: 12.5" Portaball/Zambuto or 10" Normand Fullum new [Re: dvb]
      #4500364 - 04/06/11 12:38 PM

I've used a Portaball a couple of times. To cool for school as far as I am concerned. The portaball.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Doug Reilly
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 07/29/08

Re: 12.5" Portaball/Zambuto or 10" Normand Fullum new [Re: BluewaterObserva]
      #4500385 - 04/06/11 12:44 PM

You picked the two most unique looking scopes on the market today, except maybe with the teleport in between them. Totally different aesthetics. Like Nasa clean vs. Steampunk Fantasy. I'm a graphic artist type so the Portaball is far more appealing than the artsy Fullum.

Of course, we shouldn't really base our decisions on looks. I'd go with the larger aperture scope. That is, if the motions on a scope like the portaball are for you. I also tend to prefer having distinct alt and az motions on a non-eq scope. But that's me.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Maverick199
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/27/11

Loc: India
Re: 12.5" Portaball/Zambuto or 10" Normand Fullum new [Re: Doug Reilly]
      #4500434 - 04/06/11 01:00 PM

One of our members, GeneT has a 12.5" Portaball and as his signature suggests, a "happy owner" at that. I am sure his opinion would be positive, i.e., go with Portaball.

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

Reged: 01/22/04

Loc: Nashua, NH, USA
Re: 12.5" Portaball/Zambuto or 10" Normand Fullum new [Re: Maverick199]
      #4500513 - 04/06/11 01:33 PM

If this is a scope you're going to transport frequently, and the Fullum you're considering is one of his pieces of art, then the better choice might be the one that'll stand up better to all the bumps and scrapes that'll likely accrue over the years of transporting it.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mark cowan
Vendor (Veritas Optics)
*****

Reged: 06/03/05

Loc: salem, OR
Re: 12.5" Portaball/Zambuto or 10" Normand Fullum new [Re: Doug Reilly]
      #4500745 - 04/06/11 03:22 PM

Quote:

Like Nasa clean vs. Steampunk Fantasy.




or 2001 a space odyssey vs avatar

Best,
Mark


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

Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: 12.5" Portaball/Zambuto or 10" Normand Fullum new [Re: mark cowan]
      #4501132 - 04/06/11 06:39 PM

Quote:

or 2001 a space odyssey vs avatar






I was thinking more like ... vs. the Hobbit.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Bob S.
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/14/05

Re: 12.5" Portaball/Zambuto or 10" Normand Fullum new [Re: dvb]
      #4501212 - 04/06/11 07:17 PM

Quote:

Normand Fullum makes excellent optics - I doubt you would notice a difference between a Zambuto and a Fullum mirror in use.

I also doubt you'll notice much difference in aperture.






In terms of contrast, you may notice a difference as Zambuto really attends to physical issues that affect contrast. In terms of not noticing the difference between 10" and 12.5" of aperture, it is absured to say that you will not notice a difference unless you are a newbie. I happen to have owned a 10" Zambuto/Teleport and a 12.5" Stevens/Portaball and the images/performances were not equal in ANY way. Bob


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

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: 12.5" Portaball/Zambuto or 10" Normand Fullum new [Re: Bob S.]
      #4501377 - 04/06/11 08:35 PM

Normand has a very good reputation as a mirror maker, so I will assume that his 10" will be close enough to Zambuto quality that both scopes will give excellent views.

To me, the issues are these:
1 - Weight. Normand's scopes use a lot of wood, and are generally solid tube in that size. I suspect his 10" weighs more than the 12.5" P-ball (but I don't have numbers to back that).
2 - Transport size. The P-ball essentially collapses down to the sphere plus the trusses in a tube. A solid tube plus a wooden base take up a lot more room in the car.
3 - Aperture. Assuming equal quality, aperture wins.
4 - Ergonomics. As I said before, the rotatable ball means you always use the most comfortable viewing angle.
5 - Aesthetics. Normand's scopes aren't just for looking through, they are works of art for looking at. If you want that, get it. They are certainly gorgeous scopes.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
klim
member


Reged: 08/24/08

Loc: Matamoras, PA
Re: 12.5" Portaball/Zambuto or 10" Normand Fullum new [Re: Bob S.]
      #4501384 - 04/06/11 08:38 PM

I currently own a 10" Portaball and it is by far the easiest telescope to use. Moves in any direction. Dobson's Hole doesn't exist. You can observe from either side. Collimation stays put all night. Impossible to go wrong with a Zambuto mirror.

However, Markus Ludes of APM bought a Fullum scope because he said the optics are superb. Possible better dew control on the Fullum scope as the secondary sits lower in the tube than my Portaball configuration.

For aesthetics I'd choose the Fullum but for function I'd take the Portaball.

Mark


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

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: 12.5" Portaball/Zambuto or 10" Normand Fullum new [Re: dvb]
      #4501545 - 04/06/11 10:11 PM

Quote:


I also doubt you'll notice much difference in aperture.





I have both a 10 inch and a 12.5 inch... the difference is not overwhelming but it is significant and if one hunting down faint galaxies, the 56% increase in light grasp is definitely useful. It's like going from an 80mm to a 100mm refractor, it is there to be seen.

Jon


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dvb
different Syndrome.
*****

Reged: 06/18/05

Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Re: 12.5" Portaball/Zambuto or 10" Normand Fullum new [Re: Bob S.]
      #4501577 - 04/06/11 10:31 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Normand Fullum makes excellent optics - I doubt you would notice a difference between a Zambuto and a Fullum mirror in use.

I also doubt you'll notice much difference in aperture.






In terms of contrast, you may notice a difference as Zambuto really attends to physical issues that affect contrast. In terms of not noticing the difference between 10" and 12.5" of aperture, it is absured to say that you will not notice a difference unless you are a newbie. I happen to have owned a 10" Zambuto/Teleport and a 12.5" Stevens/Portaball and the images/performances were not equal in ANY way. Bob




Thank you for sharing your particular experience, Bob.

You may want to play with the chart at this link:

http://www.cruxis.com/scope/limitingmagnitude.htm

Using the stock values in that chart, a 10" would have a limiting magnitude of 15.1, a 12" of 15.4. You might get a different spread by plugging in different values.

Please note, I did not say there would not be any difference, but that would there would be not much difference. Is 0.3 magnitude more than "not much"? I suppose it could be to some. YMMV.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: 12.5" Portaball/Zambuto or 10" Normand Fullum new [Re: Erik Bakker]
      #4501652 - 04/06/11 11:17 PM

Over the past few years I have owned a 20 inch Obsession, an 18 inch Obsession Ultra Compact, and a 12.5 inch Portaball. I sold both Obsessions (both great telescopes) and kept the Portaball. The Portaball is as easy to transport and set up as an 8 inch SCT. All of the elements, except the truss poles, fit inside the sphere, so you only have to grab one telescope element when setting out to view. How do you grab onto your telescope? With a Portaball, the handles are on top of the sphere, very near your hands when dropped down your side. So, it is very easy to pick up the telescope, and walk it with your knees to the vehicle. I put the telescope in the front seat of my auto, and secure it with the seat belt. It would fit in a back seat also. The truss poles fit in a small tube. I now own a Honda CRV. However, back when I owned a Civic, I could haul the telescope, eyepieces, other accessories--and three other people to the viewing site. The telescope is easy and fun to use. I do enjoy my tracking platform. It is nice to be able to view at high powers with no drift. I have owned and used my Portaball for more than 16 years--with absolutely no problems. When not in use, I store the telescope and Platform on my side of the closet. I moved out a two drawer file cabinet from the closet to the garage, and put the telescope it its place. I believe storing a telescope inside the house avoids a host of problems.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Scopyfrank
999 Forever
*****

Reged: 08/29/08

Loc: Luxembourg
Re: 12.5" Portaball/Zambuto or 10" Normand Fullum new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #4501961 - 04/07/11 04:51 AM

Quote:

... It's like going from an 80mm to a 100mm refractor, it is there to be seen.
...




here I can add my grain of pepper to the discussion: that IS substantial.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Bob S.
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/14/05

Re: 12.5" Portaball/Zambuto or 10" Normand Fullum new [Re: Scopyfrank]
      #4502074 - 04/07/11 07:11 AM

DVB, The numbers that the Cruxis calculator present do not necessarily correlate with what the human system perceives. I have not found that these calculators are able to express values that translate into empirical experiences very well. Having owned many premium-mirrored scopes in sizes fairly close to each other and used on the same night under the same conditions continually reinforces the fact that larger aperture will always show more information. There are of course a lot of variables such as seeing, tranparency, light pollution, etc. that can minimize the apparent effects but in dark skies, larger aperture of equal quality systems will provide better views to the experienced astronomer.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | (show all)


Extra information
14 registered and 21 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: 2885

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics