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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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Ziggy943
Post Laureate


Reged: 08/11/06

Loc: Utah
Re: AP 10" Maksutov vs TEC 200 Fluorite apo new [Re: Tom and Beth]
      #5571222 - 12/14/12 05:46 PM

Thanks for posting that Jim. It may be the same as Damian posted on Facebook. Goes to show it's not just the telescope but also the experience and expertise of the operator.

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Daniel Mounsey
Vendor (Woodland Hills)
*****

Reged: 06/12/02

Re: AP 10" Maksutov vs TEC 200 Fluorite apo new [Re: Bowmoreman]
      #5571264 - 12/14/12 06:16 PM

I'll take the TEC

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Ziggy943
Post Laureate


Reged: 08/11/06

Loc: Utah
Re: AP 10" Maksutov vs TEC 200 Fluorite apo new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5572788 - 12/15/12 03:46 PM

Quote:

I'll take the TEC




And your reasons are...?


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Daniel Mounsey
Vendor (Woodland Hills)
*****

Reged: 06/12/02

Re: AP 10" Maksutov vs TEC 200 Fluorite apo new [Re: Ziggy943]
      #5574432 - 12/16/12 04:26 PM

Because much more often than not, the 8" apochromat will consistently outperform the Mak on lunar planetary. Planetary Imaging is all about aperture and you can manipulate the the contrast, sharpen the image all you like and add a nice dark background. That has absolutely zero to do with the reality of observational astronomy. If one intends to image, I would easily go with the Mak.

Edited by Daniel Mounsey (12/18/12 12:14 AM)


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Ziggy943
Post Laureate


Reged: 08/11/06

Loc: Utah
Re: AP 10" Maksutov vs TEC 200 Fluorite apo new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5575035 - 12/17/12 12:30 AM

Consistency was my reason as well.

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Asbytec
Guy in a furry hat
*****

Reged: 08/08/07

Loc: La Union, PI
Re: AP 10" Maksutov vs TEC 200 Fluorite apo new [Re: Bowmoreman]
      #5575171 - 12/17/12 04:48 AM

Quote:

Consistency in achieving potential performance may very be the most overlooked issue in scope selection (and discussion about it). One factor that often affects consistency is location.




True. While we're considering variables, ease of transport and set up is another. When making comparisons, if you house the refractor (someone will mention it), you also have to house and cool the Mak. If we account for real world ops, then the Mak has a couple advantages over the refractor.

These two scopes are probably so closely matched that any one variable from cooling, to collimation, to seeing, to set up, and price could put one above the other on any given night. However, there is no arguing performance of aperture as it gains contrast AND resolution over smaller apertures. So, really this boils down to a a preference of performance (knowing the Mak is well very corrected with an aspheric surface) over aesthetics (assuming the refractor is just as good.) And that's an argument you just cannot win or lose - just debate them endlessly without conclusion.

This particular comparison boils down to preference. I am a Mak fan over smaller refractors and do not have an observatory with a heavy mount under some moderate climate with very good seeing. I'd prefer the Mak under these circumstances.


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M13 Observer
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/09/06

Re: AP 10" Maksutov vs TEC 200 Fluorite apo new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5575582 - 12/17/12 11:53 AM

Quote:

Because much more often than not, the 8" apochromat will consistently outperform the Mak on lunar planetary. Imaging is all about aperture and you can manipulate the the contrast, sharpen the image all you like and add a nice dark background. That has absolutely zero to do with the reality of observational astronomy. If one intends to image, I would easily go with the Mak.




I'm not so sure that makes a lot of sense. The AP Mak-cass is 10" aperture, but is f/14.6. Not a really great imaging platform other than for the brightest of objects such as the moon or planets and best suited for these with a webcam stacking frames to capture the best possible instances of seeing. On nights of great seeing, I have used my 180 f/7 apo as well as a friends Tak Mewlon 250 side by side on the same objects at close to the same magnification as best could be accomplished. While the apo is only a 180mm (7") and not a 200mm (8"), the 10" Mewlon definitely has better light grasp with a noticeably brighter image when directly compared and slightly better resolution for details on those moments when seeing allowed. This is real world but I have not had the pleasure of trying this same test with a 200mm class apochromat. In summary, I would likely find the AP Mak-cass to be an outstanding visual instrument, while the smaller refractor would be better used as a more general purpose tool, both for imaging and visual use.

If we are also speaking of nights of average seeing, I personally don't think there would be a whole lot of difference between a 200mm Apo and a 10" AP Mak-cass if one is trying to view objects where resolution is required. There wasn't any realistic difference between the 10" Mewlon and my 7" apo when resolution was necessary under poor to moderate seeing. For larger diffuse objects where seeing is not the primary criteria, the 180mm APO definitely won in poorer seeing, but only because the magnfication was dropped significantly opening up a much wider field of view and allowing the contrast difference to shape the observers perception of the object. This option is not available on the Mewlon, nor on the AP Mak-cass due to the long focal length of these instruments.


Edited by M13 Observer (12/17/12 12:08 PM)


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Astrojensen
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Bornholm, Denmark
Re: AP 10" Maksutov vs TEC 200 Fluorite apo new [Re: M13 Observer]
      #5575786 - 12/17/12 02:13 PM

Quote:

The AP Mak-cass is 10" aperture, but is f/14.6. Not a really great imaging platform other than for the brightest of objects such as the moon or planets




Oh really?

http://geogdata.csun.edu/~voltaire/roland/ngc2903c.html

http://geogdata.csun.edu/~voltaire/roland/ngc604.html


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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M13 Observer
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/09/06

Re: AP 10" Maksutov vs TEC 200 Fluorite apo new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5576061 - 12/17/12 05:11 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The AP Mak-cass is 10" aperture, but is f/14.6. Not a really great imaging platform other than for the brightest of objects such as the moon or planets




Oh really?

http://geogdata.csun.edu/~voltaire/roland/ngc2903c.html

http://geogdata.csun.edu/~voltaire/roland/ngc604.html


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark




Yes, oh really! They are excellent examples of, ahem, um, not so great images, at least in my opinion. Yes, they ARE images and the 10" AP mak-cass can be forced to work on some deep sky objects producing specific results such as some detail within NGC 604 or catching Pease 1. A high QE cam such as an ST10XME is pretty much a basic necessity to do so with it though. A compressor would be helpful as well. I think I'll stick with my natively f6 - f10 instruments for imaging thanks.


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Astrojensen
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Bornholm, Denmark
Re: AP 10" Maksutov vs TEC 200 Fluorite apo new [Re: M13 Observer]
      #5576114 - 12/17/12 05:48 PM

I am not an imager, but I thought these images were excellent and both show details rarely seen in amateur images, because people often image with very short focal length scopes.

I did not include the image here: http://geogdata.csun.edu/~voltaire/roland/soapbubble3.html but it seems to be another (to me) really excellent image taken with a long focus instrument (f/12.5 in this case).

What is an excellent image, in your opinion?


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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M13 Observer
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/09/06

Re: AP 10" Maksutov vs TEC 200 Fluorite apo new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5576174 - 12/17/12 06:20 PM

Quote:

I am not an imager, but I thought these images were excellent and both show details rarely seen in amateur images, because people often image with very short focal length scopes.

I did not include the image here: http://geogdata.csun.edu/~voltaire/roland/soapbubble3.html but it seems to be another (to me) really excellent image taken with a long focus instrument (f/12.5 in this case).

What is an excellent image, in your opinion?


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark




Yeah, that image is not bad at all. It helps that it is one of my favourite deep sky objects. Narrowband and what looks to be the Hubble palette, a pretty nice image overall with good processing. The AP 305mm f/12.5 Mak-cass never made it into production. I wonder why not? Oh well, to put it back on track, I'll take anyone's soon to be discarded AP 10" Mak-cass. Not so keen on a 200mm apo though. Just too big for me to handle.


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Daniel Mounsey
Vendor (Woodland Hills)
*****

Reged: 06/12/02

Re: AP 10" Maksutov vs TEC 200 Fluorite apo new [Re: M13 Observer]
      #5576697 - 12/18/12 12:58 AM

Quote:

I'm not so sure that makes a lot of sense. The AP Mak-cass is 10" aperture, but is f/14.6. Not a really great imaging platform other than for the brightest of objects such as the moon or planets and best suited for these with a webcam stacking frames to capture the best possible instances of seeing.




Just a correction. When I said imaging, I specifically meant planetary imaging. With that said, I went back and edited my comment.


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JJK
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 04/28/08

Re: AP 10" Maksutov vs TEC 200 Fluorite apo new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5576886 - 12/18/12 07:33 AM

Quote:

Because much more often than not, the 8" apochromat will consistently outperform the Mak on lunar planetary. Planetary Imaging is all about aperture and you can manipulate the the contrast, sharpen the image all you like and add a nice dark background. That has absolutely zero to do with the reality of observational astronomy. If one intends to image, I would easily go with the Mak.




Dan,

Have you critically compared an 8" apo to an AP 10" Mak-Cass for lunar and planetary visual work? Jim Phillips likely has, and his opinion should be sought out.

The largest apo I've done that with is an AP180 f/9 EDT. Frankly, I thought the Mak-Cass had the edge, but it takes a night of very good seeing to make a meaningful comparison.

I've been extremely impressed by the AP Mak-Cass. I've seen fine features on the Moon and Jupiter that I never noticed in other scopes of comparable aperture. I had the chance to pick up a refigured AP 206 f/8 apo this year (one hour away from my home), but didn't feel compelled to do so.

Clear Skies,
John


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Daniel Mounsey
Vendor (Woodland Hills)
*****

Reged: 06/12/02

Re: AP 10" Maksutov vs TEC 200 Fluorite apo new [Re: JJK]
      #5577071 - 12/18/12 10:31 AM

Yes, when I return I'll share couple of pics with you guys and explain some stories in side by side comparisons at Charlton Flats with high quality Maks 7", 8" and also 10" as long as you guys are interested. I've spent a lot of time with them. Jim Phillips is a good friend and a wonderful observer and I respect his opinions highly.

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Scott99
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: New England
Re: AP 10" Maksutov vs TEC 200 Fluorite apo new [Re: JJK]
      #5577901 - 12/18/12 08:50 PM

Quote:


The largest apo I've done that with is an AP180 f/9 EDT. Frankly, I thought the Mak-Cass had the edge, but it takes a night of very good seeing to make a meaningful comparison.




I think 180mm vs. the 10 inch Mak is a better comparison, I think most people would take the 8 inch apo over the Mak (I would take the 8-inch). A 7 inch also weighs about the same as the 10-inch Mak. An 8 inch refractor is going to be heavier and need a bigger mount.

Great topic for debate though! I'd love the improved views of DSO's with the 10 inch Mak, it would be a tough decision with a 180mm apo. But the apos have the incredible low-power, wide-field views too. If I was going with one "dream scope" it would probably be the refractor for that reason.


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Peter Natscher
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/28/06

Loc: Central Coast California
Re: AP 10" Maksutov vs TEC 200 Fluorite apo new [Re: Scott99]
      #5578014 - 12/18/12 10:15 PM

The 10" f/14.6 Mak-Cass with 3600mm fl. is a very specialized scope designed for planetary and double star observing. It excels with showing detail and contrast in brighter objects. I wouldn't use it for observing DSO's, at least the one's that I like observing. 10" aperture doesn't do that very well for my tastes since I'm used to observing with 18"-24" Dobs. When I used the 10" Mak-Cass for nine years, it sat in its storage box most of the year. My larger ap Zambuto Dob's always got first use. Better to use your faster set-up 12.5"-18" or larger Dob's for DSO's. Once you get used to observing DSO's with larger ap scopes, the 10" Mak-Cass is a let down on those objects.

Quote:

Quote:


The largest apo I've done that with is an AP180 f/9 EDT. Frankly, I thought the Mak-Cass had the edge, but it takes a night of very good seeing to make a meaningful comparison.




I think 180mm vs. the 10 inch Mak is a better comparison, I think most people would take the 8 inch apo over the Mak (I would take the 8-inch). A 7 inch also weighs about the same as the 10-inch Mak. An 8 inch refractor is going to be heavier and need a bigger mount.

Great topic for debate though! I'd love the improved views of DSO's with the 10 inch Mak, it would be a tough decision with a 180mm apo. But the apos have the incredible low-power, wide-field views too. If I was going with one "dream scope" it would probably be the refractor for that reason.





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Tom and Beth
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: AP 10" Maksutov vs TEC 200 Fluorite apo new [Re: Peter Natscher]
      #5578180 - 12/18/12 11:57 PM

C'mon mate. Nobody would argue that a 18-24 inch scope of ANY design wouldn't blow away the views of either of the scopes in this thread. Good grief.....


Quote:

The 10" f/14.6 Mak-Cass with 3600mm fl. is a very specialized scope designed for planetary and double star observing. It excels with showing detail and contrast in brighter objects. I wouldn't use it for observing DSO's, at least the one's that I like observing. 10" aperture doesn't do that very well for my tastes since I'm used to observing with 18"-24" Dobs. When I used the 10" Mak-Cass for nine years, it sat in its storage box most of the year. My larger ap Zambuto Dob's always got first use. Better to use your faster set-up 12.5"-18" or larger Dob's for DSO's. Once you get used to observing DSO's with larger ap scopes, the 10" Mak-Cass is a let down on those objects.

Quote:

Quote:


The largest apo I've done that with is an AP180 f/9 EDT. Frankly, I thought the Mak-Cass had the edge, but it takes a night of very good seeing to make a meaningful comparison.




I think 180mm vs. the 10 inch Mak is a better comparison, I think most people would take the 8 inch apo over the Mak (I would take the 8-inch). A 7 inch also weighs about the same as the 10-inch Mak. An 8 inch refractor is going to be heavier and need a bigger mount.

Great topic for debate though! I'd love the improved views of DSO's with the 10 inch Mak, it would be a tough decision with a 180mm apo. But the apos have the incredible low-power, wide-field views too. If I was going with one "dream scope" it would probably be the refractor for that reason.








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Scott99
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: New England
Re: AP 10" Maksutov vs TEC 200 Fluorite apo new [Re: Tom and Beth]
      #5581307 - 12/20/12 07:27 PM

Quote:

C'mon mate. Nobody would argue that a 18-24 inch scope of ANY design wouldn't blow away the views of either of the scopes in this thread. Good grief.....




yes, I tend to view everything by "weight class", similar to boxing or wrestling, because of back problems. Large scopes are not an option for me.

I know that I could obtain a gigantic scope for the cost of my 6-inch apo, but it's not very relevant for those of us that are limited to "small" scopes for one reason or another.

There are aesthetic reasons for not wanting a monstrosity of a telescope too. Not everybody wants to "go big or go home"!


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Peter Natscher
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/28/06

Loc: Central Coast California
Re: AP 10" Maksutov vs TEC 200 Fluorite apo new [Re: Scott99]
      #5581472 - 12/20/12 09:14 PM

You're right! That's why I'm observing with the largest ap scope I can manage (a 24" SST) while I'm able to. I'm 62 now, strong and healthy and will surely someday become less interested in transporting this large scope to and from dark sites. Right now, It takes no more energy for me to transport to a remote site my 24"er than my AP 175 along with at it's ATS transportable pier, its AP 900 GTO mount, its 2 x 19 lbs. of counter weights, etc. I have been observing frequently with a friend who has always used his AP 155EDFS on a 900GTO and AP pedestal for his observing of DSO's. He is very satisfied with how deep he gets with DSO's with his 6" ap scope. He has just completed the H400 list. He wants to do the HII list next but I recommended that he get at least a 12" Dob to do that with to enjoy them more. I've observed both of these lists years ago with 18"-20" Dobs -- totally enjoyable! He comes over and occasionally takes a look through my 24" scope and is WoWed at how bright and easily seen my objects are, but happily returns to his dimmer looking DSO's in his 6" APO. He says the sharpness of his views always make him the happiest -- it's the pin-point stars with nice diffraction patterns. The brightness factor with a larger ap Dob isn't as important. Dobs slightly mushy stars just don't do it for him. I say he hasn't seen really deep stuff after 20 years of observing, and I'm glad I am enjoying the deep stuff. To each his own

Quote:

Quote:

C'mon mate. Nobody would argue that a 18-24 inch scope of ANY design wouldn't blow away the views of either of the scopes in this thread. Good grief.....




yes, I tend to view everything by "weight class", similar to boxing or wrestling, because of back problems. Large scopes are not an option for me.

I know that I could obtain a gigantic scope for the cost of my 6-inch apo, but it's not very relevant for those of us that are limited to "small" scopes for one reason or another.

There are aesthetic reasons for not wanting a monstrosity of a telescope too. Not everybody wants to "go big or go home"!





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Mike Clemens
Frozen to Eyepiece
*****

Reged: 11/26/05

Loc: Alaska, USA
Re: AP 10" Maksutov vs TEC 200 Fluorite apo new [Re: Peter Natscher]
      #5582004 - 12/21/12 08:00 AM

I'm on team TEC but I've got to say those two images by the 10" mak are just awesome.

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