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Equipment Discussions >> Video and Electronically Assisted Astronomy

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Atl
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Reged: 04/13/12

Ready Source of F3 Focal Reducers
      #5847377 - 05/08/13 09:23 AM

Anyone know where to actually buy an f3 or F3.3 foal reducer? The only ones I see for sale are used and they go quick.

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mclewis1
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Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: Ready Source of F3 Focal Reducers new [Re: Atl]
      #5847473 - 05/08/13 10:20 AM

Meade 3.3 focal reducer, and it comes with a variable T adapter (SCT to T thread plus 15 and 30mm T thread spacers). Link

Optec NGM - NextGEN MAXfield 0.33X List price $245
http://www.optecinc.com/astronomy/catalog/17403.htm


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Atl
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Re: Ready Source of F3 Focal Reducers new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5848631 - 05/08/13 08:24 PM

Agena astro hasn't carried them for some time.

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mclewis1
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Re: Ready Source of F3 Focal Reducers new [Re: Atl]
      #5848658 - 05/08/13 08:37 PM

Well it does appear that all the obvious sources are out of the Meade reducer. Have you talked directly with Manish at Agena Astro? He's usually a great source of product status information.

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Atl
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Re: Ready Source of F3 Focal Reducers new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5848731 - 05/08/13 09:08 PM

No I haven't. I am willing to pay up to maybe $150 for one but $250 is too much for some glass when the .5 reducers go for $50.

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GlennLeDrew
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Re: Ready Source of F3 Focal Reducers new [Re: Atl]
      #5849111 - 05/08/13 11:53 PM

The common 0.5X reducers are just off-the-shelf 25mm f/4 binocular objectives, which the lens alone probably costs $5 from China.

The Meade 0.33X reducer is a 3-element reducer designed specifically to correct the coma and field curvature of the 'standard' SCT. It's a good deal at the $130-150 price often seen.

The Optec 0.33X reducer would seem to be expensive. For small-pixel cameras this might well be the better reducer. For analog video it will offer probably zero improvement over the Meade in terms of image quality, although the coatings might be better.


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Atl
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Reged: 04/13/12

Re: Ready Source of F3 Focal Reducers new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5849141 - 05/09/13 12:22 AM

I would like to use one for my 1/2" ccd as well as my 1/3". The Meade reducer is really what I am after but it seems Meade quit making them. I don't doubt the higher priced optics are worth it, but explaining these fine points to my spouse who wonders why I got 1/2 ounce of glass and plastic for $250 is more the issue. As for me...with no safeguards in place...I would spend stupid money on this stuff. Thanks for the reply.

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mclewis1
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Re: Ready Source of F3 Focal Reducers new [Re: Atl]
      #5849181 - 05/09/13 01:36 AM

It would be interesting to find out if Meade has really stopped sourcing the f3.3 reducer altogether or if it's a case of a delay until the next production run (an increasingly common occurrence on low volume products these days).

The other option is to stack a couple of reducers. The cheapest combination would probably be the Antares 2" .5x with a 1.25" .5x reducer ($110-120 for both reducers and the adapter). A useful adapter for this type of combination is ... http://agenaastro.com/blue-fireball-2-1-25-adapter-external-t-thread.html

This 2" to 1.25" adapter has some beneficial features that make this stacked setup work. The 2" reducer threads onto the filter threads and the 1.25" reducer goes onto the video camera's 1.25" nose piece that is then clamped in the 1.25" compression ring. The adapter is long enough to get some reasonable reduction from the 2" reducer (most similar adapters aren't this long). If you want to get this combination down in the f3.5 range you'll also need to put a 1.25" extension tube on the front of the 1.25" reducer so you can move the reducer/camera back from the 2" reducer a bit. You could also adjust the spacing using T thread spacers but that would require an additional adapter to connect the camera.

Edited by mclewis1 (05/09/13 09:35 AM)


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: Ready Source of F3 Focal Reducers new [Re: Atl]
      #5849269 - 05/09/13 04:16 AM

Expensive but excellent. I use it on my C-8 with a Mallincam Xtreme.

Optec NextGEN MAXfield .33x Focal Reducer


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rmollise
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Re: Ready Source of F3 Focal Reducers new [Re: Atl]
      #5849391 - 05/09/13 07:52 AM

Quote:

Anyone know where to actually buy an f3 or F3.3 foal reducer? The only ones I see for sale are used and they go quick.




The options? Just keep looking. One will likely turn up. Quite a few folks who bought these in the small chip CCD days have moved up and will unload them. Want ad on Astromart might help.

Other than that? The choices are:

Live with an inexpensive .5x or pony up for the Optec or Uncle Rock's MFR-5...


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Atl
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Reged: 04/13/12

Re: Ready Source of F3 Focal Reducers new [Re: rmollise]
      #5849500 - 05/09/13 08:57 AM

I have got a .5x, but the .3 would be nice.

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James Cunningham
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Reged: 08/07/10

Loc: Maryland
Re: Ready Source of F3 Focal Reducers new [Re: Atl]
      #5850279 - 05/09/13 03:28 PM

Are there any f/3.3 reducers that come in 1.25 size?

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James Cunningham
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Loc: Maryland
Re: Ready Source of F3 Focal Reducers new [Re: Atl]
      #5850282 - 05/09/13 03:30 PM

I have a Meade f/3.3 reducer that I am willing to sell. I only use 1.25 and the Meade requires a 2 inch opening.
Jim


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ZR WON
super member


Reged: 06/17/10

Loc: Indiana
Re: Ready Source of F3 Focal Reducers new [Re: James Cunningham]
      #5850360 - 05/09/13 04:06 PM

Remember:

You need the "Made in Japan" Meade 3.3. Evidently, there was a 'bad batch' of glass, so the newer ones are more of a 'pig in a poke' when it comes to quality. In other words, you can gaurantee a good one if it's "Made in Japan" or take a chance on the newer one.

Brian A.
Smiling Chicken Observatory


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Atl
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Re: Ready Source of F3 Focal Reducers new [Re: ZR WON]
      #5851126 - 05/09/13 11:14 PM

A Cloudy Nights member contacted me and sold me a Meade f3.3 reducer....apparently a happy ending to this thread. I don't know if it is made in Japan...I'll take my chances...

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Puck Ja
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Reged: 11/21/12

Loc: OK, USA
Re: Ready Source of F3 Focal Reducers new [Re: Atl]
      #5851246 - 05/10/13 01:26 AM

Look forward to seeing how the f3.3 FR can further push what your Samsung can reveal now.

I am also very interested in f3.3 after realizing the good amount of difference between no FR and x0.5 FR with my Lodestar-C


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Dwight J
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Reged: 05/14/09

Loc: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Re: Ready Source of F3 Focal Reducers new [Re: Puck Ja]
      #5851933 - 05/10/13 12:38 PM

Using a F 6.3 FR and the Antares 0.5X has met with success and these are readily available at reasonable prices. The 6.3 is threaded on the scope and the 0.5 is threaded into the camera nosepiece. The later model Meade FR's made in China have ok image at the center but the outer 50 percent is bad. The aforementioned combo does work well as I have seen on NSN. I was lucky to already have the older Meade one and it works very well.

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