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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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Shawn H
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/16/07

Loc: Equatorial Guinea, West Africa
Re: best 90mm refractor under $2,000? new [Re: Lane]
      #5519064 - 11/14/12 04:56 AM

Quote:

I am not saying a 102 isn't better than a 92, my 106 APO blows away the 92 as well on planets. And a 127 blows away my 106 and so on. What I am saying is that there is nothing wrong with using the 92 for viewing planets. You seem to be saying that the short focal length made it bad for some reason and that is simply not true. The OP is looking for grab and go and a 92L is better for that than the 102. I can use a much smaller tripod and mount and still get steady views. I can also carry it around as a spotting scope in the daytime. It is much more versatile than a 4".




I have been reading this thread with interest, I work in Africa and travel back & forth all the time to Florida, Boston & France. My Dobs are only getting used now when I have a clear night on vacation (read not too much)! I desperately need a travel scope and have decided on buying the TMB92 this Christmas basically for its short foot print (won't take up much room in my carry on bag), versatility for planets, nebulae, wideviews and daytime use for African wildlife. When Judd said the short FL didn't work well on planets I was a bit stressed! But the following statements make me feel I'm still making the right decision.


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moynihan
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/22/03

Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed
Re: best 90mm refractor under $2,000? new [Re: Shawn H]
      #5519334 - 11/14/12 10:49 AM

I have been thinking about the AT90EDT. Is it the weight that keeps it from being mentioned, or...

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jtaylor996
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/02/08

Loc: North Texas
Re: best 90mm refractor under $2,000? new [Re: maknewtnut]
      #5519409 - 11/14/12 11:34 AM

Quote:

Quote:

If you want to see nebulae, then the 92SS or 92L (light is its own benefit on that thing!). The short focal length hurts it on a lot of grab and go targets (read: planetary), and I ended up selling it.

I ended up getting a 102/800 LOMO triplet, and wouldn't go back. It's a little hairy getting it all out in one trip, however. Maybe it's the 3" FT focuser on that thing!

Anyways, I think one of the best GnG scopes of all time is are the 80/600 and 80/480 LOMO triplet scopes. These are TMB designed, and sold under brands like Teton, Stellarvue, APM, etc. For grab and go that's easier than your SV105, I don't think you'll beat one of those.

For me and my light polluted skies, I'd go with the longer focal length version at 80/600.




Sure as heck not nitpicking, but rather just an FYI for all reading...

The LOMO's are not TMB designed. That's based on a compilation of information compiled since the late 1990's.

When Tom and Markus began they enlisted LZOS to produce Tom's first designs. I was lucky enough to own one, an exceedingly rare LZOS made 80/600 housed in an equally rare WO "Yang" style tube. It was tremendous.

They (or at least Markus) contacted LOMO as well, who provided 80mm objectives based on LOMO designs. After evaluation, they concurred that the LOMO 80's met or exceeded their expectations, and even slightly edged the LZOS 80's based on Tom's design.

After success in marketing high quality, Russian made refractor lenses to Western astronomers, the pair opted to farm out the lenses to SV. That went well for a short time. Apparently, Vic Marris of Stellarvue learned he could purchase LOMO lenses directly, rather than being supplied by TMB (essentially APM). That move put an end to a supply of larger aperture TMB designed/LZOS made lenses.

I most definitely concur that anyone interested in the very best 80mm apo triplet ever made (so far), the 80/600 is it. That's despite the 80/480 being the higher volume seller.

As for the relatively rare LOMO 95/650..at f/6.7, curvature of field is relatively well controlled. Light grasp vs size and weight is excellent. I've compared performance and attributes with the Takahashi Sky 90, A-P f/7 Stowaway and Traveller, LOMO 102/650, LZOS 105/650, and Zeiss 100/640. Some phrase about cold, dead hands comes to mind, although YMMV.

FWIW, some of the 90mm f/7's coming from China (under various brandings) were pretty darn good too.




Thanks for clearing that up, Mark. Seems there's some conflicting information around on this. I was seeing some older info last night that was leading me to think it was the TMB design. Apparently at that time, TMB/Markus thought it was! This post seems to sum it up pretty well.


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Traveler
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/19/07

Loc: The Netherlands
Re: best 90mm refractor under $2,000? new [Re: maknewtnut]
      #5519421 - 11/14/12 11:52 AM

"I've compared performance and attributes with the Takahashi Sky 90, A-P f/7 Stowaway and Traveller"

Comparing a Takahashi Sky 90 and an AP Traveler the difference between these two are substantial on planets.


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RA-DEC
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 11/15/06

Loc: Pasadena, Maryland
Re: best 90mm refractor under $2,000? new [Re: moynihan]
      #5519584 - 11/14/12 02:05 PM

Quote:

I have been thinking about the AT90EDT. Is it the weight that keeps it from being mentioned, or...




I think mainly the weight. At almost 13 lbs. it's heavier than all the aforementioned scopes. It seems to be a good performer otherwise.


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Lane
Post Laureate


Reged: 11/19/07

Loc: Frisco, Texas
Re: best 90mm refractor under $2,000? new [Re: RA-DEC]
      #5519628 - 11/14/12 02:45 PM

Weight is why I did not mention the AT90EDT it is more than twice the weight of the TMB92L. In fact it is pretty close to the weight of my AT106.

Optically these AT APO's are as good as anything I have used. In fact I prefer my AT106 to the TAK 102 and the TV 102, which are the only other two 4" refractors I have had a chance to use a lot.


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m9x18
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/12/07

Loc: Abilene, Texas USA
Re: best 90mm refractor under $2,000? new [Re: jtaylor996]
      #5519688 - 11/14/12 03:18 PM

Quote:

Thanks for clearing that up, Mark. Seems there's some conflicting information around on this. I was seeing some older info last night that was leading me to think it was the TMB design. Apparently at that time, TMB/Markus thought it was! This post seems to sum it up pretty well.





Thanks for the link Judd. As for the differences between the 80/480 and the 80/600, it's all a matter of preferences. There are more things to mention but to keep it short, the 480 offers a faster focal ratio and wider fields of view. Wider fields mean capturing more expanse of the sky and more flexibility in framing your target(s). The 600 offers a longer focal length. That lends itself to higher magnifications with a given eyepiece and more depth of focus. More depth of focus leads to a bit more ease in focusing your target. Optically, both are superb and one could not go wrong with either.


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jtaylor996
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/02/08

Loc: North Texas
Re: best 90mm refractor under $2,000? new [Re: m9x18]
      #5519777 - 11/14/12 04:33 PM

Lane, I'm just noticing you're in my neighborhood, along with Robert. Maybe we should plan a 'fractor gitogether like those east coast guys do.

Is your Tak an FS or TSA?


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Lane
Post Laureate


Reged: 11/19/07

Loc: Frisco, Texas
Re: best 90mm refractor under $2,000? new [Re: jtaylor996]
      #5519799 - 11/14/12 04:53 PM

I don't have a TAK but a guy in TAS has one which I have used many times. Not sure the designation but it is an older one with the flourite outer element, a nice scope, although it has a bit more CA than I like. He usually has it mounted on a GM8, which is a great platform for that scope. I have not seen him at the site in several months though. The guy with the TV 102 has come to several of our outreach events over at Copper Breaks State Park. He is not in our club, he is in the Fort Worth Astronomical Society. I was surprised how many people went gaga over that 102 he set up at CBSP, considering we always have an 18" Obsession out there. But at a dark spot like that a 102 really delivers some pretty views.

Do you belong to the Texas Astronomical Society (TAS)?


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jtaylor996
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/02/08

Loc: North Texas
Re: best 90mm refractor under $2,000? new [Re: Lane]
      #5519989 - 11/14/12 07:03 PM

I used to... but my membership has lapsed lately. I've only been out to atoka once, and everybody else (the 3 other people) were all imaging with laptops glaring... so not a whole lot visual going on there.

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pcctex
member


Reged: 04/13/10

Loc: Texas Panhandle
Re: best 90mm refractor under $2,000? new [Re: Lane]
      #5520004 - 11/14/12 07:09 PM

Would the Stellarvue SV90T be a contestant in this discussion?

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m9x18
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/12/07

Loc: Abilene, Texas USA
Re: best 90mm refractor under $2,000? [Re: pcctex]
      #5520052 - 11/14/12 07:50 PM

I don't see why not. The 90T is an outstanding scope.

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Don Allen
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/07/05

Loc: Charleston, SC
Re: best 90mm refractor under $2,000? new [Re: m9x18]
      #5520119 - 11/14/12 08:46 PM

Not only that but there is a sale going on with a 90mm Raptor right now. Great scope for well under 2K.

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zippeee
sage


Reged: 12/27/10

Loc: Alberta, Canada
Re: best 90mm refractor under $2,000? new [Re: Don Allen]
      #5522160 - 11/16/12 12:18 AM

Quote:

Not only that but there is a sale going on with a 90mm Raptor right now. Great scope for well under 2K.




+1

I love the views through my Raptor and find f/7 perfect for visual. I wish I'd got $300 off mine though!


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