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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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mike bacanin
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 03/19/07

Celestron C5+ owners- your experiences
      #5549904 - 12/02/12 07:59 AM

I'm starting to observe with my recently acquired C5+. I'd love to hear owner experiences regarding lunar and planetary observing, what ep's, diagonals you use etc.
must say the star test is very similar each side of focus, impressive for an sct.

Thanks!
Mike


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Starman27Moderator
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Reged: 01/29/06

Loc: Illinois, Iowa
Re: Celestron C5+ owners- your experiences new [Re: mike bacanin]
      #5550018 - 12/02/12 09:37 AM

I had a C5+ and found it to be an excellent performer at all magnifications. I used it for lunar observing and general viewing as a G n'G scope.

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d.sireci51
Arachnoid
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Reged: 11/19/09

Loc: The Tholian Web [S. Wisconsin]
Re: Celestron C5+ owners- your experiences new [Re: Starman27]
      #5550450 - 12/02/12 02:26 PM

They weigh less that a 4" Refractor. I mounted my C5 on my Strfdr 16 EQ for a photo guider. Works great!

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barbarosa
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/11/10

Loc: "lamorinda", CA
Re: Celestron C5+ owners- your experiences new [Re: mike bacanin]
      #5550557 - 12/02/12 03:34 PM

I have a C5 white tube spotter which is I believe the same OTA.

In order of use, a Meade 5000 20mm SWA, a Vixen 8-24mm zoom, a Meade 2x Barlow and a Meade 6mm ortho. Also an f/6.3 corrector-reducer sees a good deal of use.

The C5 is a great scope. Mine is riding a Nexstar 6 SE mount and sees nearly as much use as my CPC1100. Last summer I was in Nevada at 4500' observing with the owner of a Televue 86mm f/7 refractor. He had two TV zooms, one going down to 3 or 4mm and we tried both on the C5. He glued himself to the C5 and when I made a polite inquiry he pointed me at his TV and stayed on the C5 for an hour. I won't say the C5 was better than his $2300 refractor (why start arguements). But he said, "I had no idea that such a small cat could perform so well".


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stevew
Now I've done it


Reged: 03/03/06

Loc: British Columbia Canada
Re: Celestron C5+ owners- your experiences new [Re: mike bacanin]
      #5550677 - 12/02/12 05:04 PM

Quote:


must say the star test is very similar each side of focus, impressive for an sct.

Thanks!
Mike



I don't have the C5+ but do have the White tube C5 which I believe is the same vintage.
Yes, the star test is very very good. Probably one of the best SCT star tests I have seen. I use mine with just a Telrad, although I do have a 50mm finder that fits it.
Typically I only use it in the back yard for short sessions, and I carry it in a soft sided cooler bag for family vacations and camping trips.
I use a 1.25 Orion dialectric diagonal, and various 1.25 eyepieces.
The little C5 compares quite well to a good 4 inch refractor, as far as resolution and definition are considered.
Although I have been tempted several times by the C6, I find that the ultra portability of the C5 and the first rate optics prevent me from selling it.

Congratulations on your C5+

Steve


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stevew
Now I've done it


Reged: 03/03/06

Loc: British Columbia Canada
Re: Celestron C5+ owners- your experiences new [Re: barbarosa]
      #5550701 - 12/02/12 05:18 PM

Quote:


Last summer I was in Nevada at 4500' observing with the owner of a Televue 86mm f/7 refractor. He had two TV zooms, one going down to 3 or 4mm and we tried both on the C5. He glued himself to the C5 and when I made a polite inquiry he pointed me at his TV and stayed on the C5 for an hour. I won't say the C5 was better than his $2300 refractor (why start arguements). But he said, "I had no idea that such a small cat could perform so well".



I've had similar experiences. The C5 is often under rated, and under appreciated.
The 5 inches of aperture in a tube the size of a can of coffee is one of amateur astronomy's best kept secrets.


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Grava T
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Quebec, Canada
Re: Celestron C5+ owners- your experiences new [Re: stevew]
      #5550740 - 12/02/12 05:39 PM

I have the white tube C5 spotter as well and all though I have not used it in some time I am reluctant to sell it because of its great optics and such small size. I can fit it with a diagonal, a few eyepieces and my rigel RDF in a small bag and be off observing in a jiffy. It does need a fairly solid mount however. I use mine on a Super Polaris mount which takes up a little more space unfortunately.

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Eddgie
Postmaster
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Reged: 02/01/06

Re: Celestron C5+ owners- your experiences new [Re: mike bacanin]
      #5550755 - 12/02/12 05:51 PM

While I tend to not use anything but my C14 for planets anymore, I have compared the planetary performance of the C5 to many scopes over the years and it is a better planetary scope than many people (can you say "Refractor?") would believe.

The view is to me only oh so very slighly less contrasty than in a 4" APO, but the image is so much brighter that it makes up for the difference.

I use a Meade Prism. I have used a Tak prism on it in the past, but honestly I could not really see any meaningful difference and I hated the nylon compression ring in the Tak, so went back to the Meade prism, which appears to be of reasonable quality.

I tend to use a variety of eyepeices in it, but mostly 11mm Plossl and Meade 8.8 UWA for planets.

For the moon, I can go to the 7mm T6 Nagler.

The C5 does very well on Saturn, showing the primary rings and Cassini easily but the Crepe is difficult except at very low powers.

Mars will show the polar cap almost always, and you can see albedo features on the disk, so you know that there are details, but the contrast is not high enough for much resolution.

Jupiter will show all of the larger details easily but festoons are a bit out of reach unless they are quite pronounced. Shadow transits are excellent in the C5, 100% as good as in the best 4" APOs I have owned, but these features start with very high contrast, so they still look very black in the C5. The disk of the moons that made them will not really be visible when they are in front of the Jovian disk, and you won't likely ever see any ovals that are not at least 3 or 4 arc seconds in diameter, on Jupiter but these are really a bit out of the reach of small apertures unless the observer has excellent contrast sensitivity.

GRS is pretty easy, as are the major belts and even some structure in the belts from time to time.

The moon to me is also as good in the C5 as in my 4" refractors. Again, much of the detail on the moon starts with sufficient contrast (shadow detail) that it still looks great in the C5, and some of the finer detail like the structure of the Triesnecker Rille system stands out as well as in a 4" APO because the resolution is slighly better and the added brightness allows a bit more magnification which helps with the smallest angular detail.

But for the faintest possible detail I think a 4" refractor could show a bit more, but only a bit. Sometimes a festoon would be hinted at in my 4" APO and not be visible at all in the C5. Of course these festoons will usually be easy in a large scope at just about any power, but they can be a challange for a good APO, and just out of reach of a C5. The contrast is very low to start with, and the C5 just looses a bit to much to reach into that kind of large, low contrast detail. This is the weak point of the C5. Large, very low contrast structure like festoons will be just out of reach.

In summary, a lot of 4" and smaller refractors have come and gone but the C5 remains. Not that it is a better plantery scope, but it is good enough to provide some decent small aperture observing, and I didn't like keeping so much money tied up in little refractors.

But neither the C5 or a 4" (or even a 6") APO would not be my first choice for a planetary scope.

Still, it is amazing how much you can see with a C5.


I recently put my Binoviewr on my C5. Was a lot of fun for low power observing. I was able to get a wider true field than when using the binoviewer in my 6" APO!


So you can see almost as much as with a 4" APO if your scope has good optics. Only the lowest contrast detail will escape you, and since a lot of this detail is not visible in any small aperture, you aren't missing much as compared to a lot of other small scopes.


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mike bacanin
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 03/19/07

Re: Celestron C5+ owners- your experiences new [Re: Eddgie]
      #5550794 - 12/02/12 06:23 PM

Hello Ed,

your mention of the 8.8 UWA interests me. Is that enough mag in the C5 for planetary? i would have thought it was a tad low.

Mike


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Eddgie
Postmaster
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Reged: 02/01/06

Re: Celestron C5+ owners- your experiences new [Re: mike bacanin]
      #5550848 - 12/02/12 07:07 PM

I am not one of those people that recommends using 50x per inch. I find that past an exit pupil of about 1.1x per millimeter, I can make the image bigger, but not really better. I see pretty much 100% of the detail visible in a given scope at about this exit pupil size for planets (the moon I go a bit higher because it is bright).

The 8.8 gives about 160x in the C5, but I actaully find this to be OK, but the step to the 7mm just makes the image to dim and grainy to me. That is around 200x, and the exit pupil is so small that I start to loose the lowest contrast details.

So, this is me in my own scopes. I find little value in going over about between 1.1x per millimeter of aperture, though I can go to about 1.3x in the 6" APO and even 1.5x on Jupiter (it has a much higher percentage of light transmission than my other scopes) but I don't think I see any new detail in that scope at over about 1.3x per millimeter.

The 8.8 itself is I think a bit below par in terms of light transmission vs modern designs like the T5 and T6 Naglers, but it is very sharp.

But the main reason I use it is simple. I don't have anything else close to that focal length. LOL.

Again, I don't use these little telescopes for planets. The experience simply isn't very rewarding for me, but the C5 I think does better than many people would believe. As I mentioned, I have had a string of 4" refractors and I am not saying that the C5 is a better planetary scope, but at the same time, I don't feel that is is so inferrior that I would rather keep a 4" APO around that would not get used for planets anyway. So, not quite as good as a 4" APO, but close enough that I don't feel that I am missing much.

But if I want to do planetary observing, I grab my C14. Once you have spent 4 or 5 years obsevring planets with a decent quality large aperture scope, it really kind of spoils you.

Hope this answered your question. I use the 8.8 because it gives a good result and provides the right amount of magnification for me in terms of getting what I feel is the best potential from the scope. I can make the image bigger, but I just don't feel that it gets any better past this.


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mike bacanin
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 03/19/07

Re: Celestron C5+ owners- your experiences new [Re: Eddgie]
      #5550866 - 12/02/12 07:18 PM

Thank you Ed, very interesting. just one more question, is that x160 with a 1.25 diagonal?

mike

Mike


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TONGKW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/16/07

Re: Celestron C5+ owners- your experiences new [Re: mike bacanin]
      #5551311 - 12/02/12 11:58 PM Attachment (44 downloads)

My 10-year old white C5 OTA is my lightweight grab-and-go set up when put on a small photo tripod and an altaz mount for bird watching and with 5” aperture also good for nighttime use.

K W TONG
C8+CG5 GT, TSA102+HEQ5 PRO, MK67+Voyager, NexStar 6SE, C5+Mizar K, WO ZS80FD+Kenko NES, Megrez 72FD+Kenko KDS, Mini Borg 50, PST


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Astrodj
professor emeritus
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Reged: 08/24/11

Loc: Missouri
Re: Celestron C5+ owners- your experiences new [Re: mike bacanin]
      #5551375 - 12/03/12 01:43 AM

As a C5+ owner, I like this thread! I have always felt this scope is way better than most who haven't used it would expect it to be. So....

Everything Eddgie said +1.

And, I will add the following: My favorite planetary eyepiece is either my 20mm Ultrascopic with TV 2.5x barlow (8mm effective focal length) for planets, or my 7mm TMB for the moon (some ghosting on the planets). Stock diagonal. I like larger apertures for planetary work, but this scope does well for it's size. Alas, I have no "premium" wide field glass.

I use mine mounted on an lx200 field tripod and it is two piece grab & go. A quick polar alignment and I have 9 volt tracking (no cords or big batteries) that is dead on at 200x.

The focuser is so smooth is it almost like the 10:1 on a two speed moonlight, and being a relatively light 5" primary there is zero image shift (unlike my 8" lx200). Really amazes people who have never used the C5+ before.

I know you specifically asked about Lunar and Planetary, but if you will allow a slight digression I would like to add that it is also a great performer on the brighter globs, planetary nebulae, and emmission nebulae. Double stars and open clusters are waiting in abundance, and with the F6.3 reducer/corrector some wider field targets are great.

I would have to have a very good reason to part with this little scope.


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Douglas729
super member
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Reged: 12/25/10

Loc: Clarksville Mo.
Re: Celestron C5+ owners- your experiences new [Re: mike bacanin]
      #5551377 - 12/03/12 01:46 AM

CLASSIC C5+
UNISTAR LIGHT MOUNT
LIGHTWEIGHT TRIPOD

The ultimate Grab and Go, Point and Shoot Telescope with low power 1-2 degree FOV.
VS
Excellent 20x60 Binos at 2.2 degrees?

No contest.

Some days I like to carry a scope with one hand, my coat in the other, close the door and I'm gone.

Come to think about it, why do I need a coat rack?

DG


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Celestron C5+ owners- your experiences new [Re: Douglas729]
      #5551733 - 12/03/12 09:41 AM Attachment (52 downloads)

My C5+ was a chance to discover the moon again. It does a superb job on planets- if the seeing is good the detail just leaps out. I think my most useful eyepiece has been a 12.5mm plossl- lots of light with an extremely sharp image. 26mm gives a very bright and sharp wide field image.

After collimating with a 3mm eyepiece, the image is perfectly collimated at any practical viewing magnification.

I strongly recommend getting a dielectric diagonal- the difference is huge. No one starts making those unless the substrate is really good, so they perform well.

I have a pending experiment to try the Starizona f/7.5 flattener-corrector with it. The 2" back needed fit it can just be installed and miss the focus knob.

Make sure you try a 40mm ep on the Pleiades. We're talking diamonds on velvet- get to double cluster, also.

Experiment a lot- the C5 is up for just about anything.

-Rich


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Celestron C5+ owners- your experiences new [Re: mike bacanin]
      #5552633 - 12/03/12 07:15 PM

The only problem I have with the C5, new, is that it costs the same as a new C6 (both are about $400, new, currently). At even money, there's not much reason to go for the C5 over the C6 IMO.

Regards,

Jim


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Eddgie
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/01/06

Re: Celestron C5+ owners- your experiences new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5552942 - 12/03/12 09:59 PM

I think you may have missed the fact that he already has the C5.

He asked what kind of planetry and lunar performance other people were experiencing.


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Crow Haven
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/09/09

Loc: Oregon USA
Re: Celestron C5+ owners- your experiences new [Re: Eddgie]
      #5552961 - 12/03/12 10:09 PM Attachment (41 downloads)

I still use my C5+ I've had since 1999--great views of the moon and planets! I also found the 28mm RKE works nicely with it. I put the 6 lb ota on a AT Voyager mt. for quick grab & go.
---Maya


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stevew
Now I've done it


Reged: 03/03/06

Loc: British Columbia Canada
Re: Celestron C5+ owners- your experiences new [Re: Crow Haven]
      #5554694 - 12/04/12 09:44 PM Attachment (47 downloads)

I love my little C5 for it's ultra portable size.
I use it on an AZ3 mount, that I have a love hate relationship with.
I love the fact that it's so light weight that I can pick it up in one hand and put it in the back yard in a few seconds.
I hate that it has a friction altitude adjustment rather than a balanced altitude adjustment.
I hope to upgrade the mount soon.

Steve


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Eddgie
Postmaster
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Reged: 02/01/06

Re: Celestron C5+ owners- your experiences new [Re: Crow Haven]
      #5555369 - 12/05/12 09:48 AM

I was not using the C5 much, but after trying some binoviewers on it a couple of weeks ago, it has rekindled my intrest in using the little scope.

If I do, I am considering getting a similar mount to the one you have yours on. Thanks for the pic showing how it look.

I have a Polaris and like tracking, but for Binoviewers, I would most likely just do general sweeping and the Polaris has some clearance issues that have become more evident when using the binoviewers.

I need to research these mounts. Your picture gives the impression that it may meed my needs quite well.

Thanks for posting.


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