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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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Dan Finnerty
sage


Reged: 09/11/11

Loc: Pasadena, CA
The joy of a small refractor new
      #5926799 - 06/18/13 02:46 AM Attachment (187 downloads)

A year or so ago I ordered a SVR80 with the Feather Touch focuser with astrophotography in mind. I also got an iOptron SmartEQ pro mount to use for DSLR astrophography. For various reasons I've not gotten either out much. I have been using the C11 a fair amount, but it is a commitment to set it up for an evenings observing.

Tonight it was warm and clear (for a change, lots of Gray May/June Gloom in LA this spring), but I was tired from work and did not feel like hassling the C11. So I plugged the SVR80 into the SmartEQ and had a look at the first-quarter Moon and nearby Saturn.

I cannot express what a pleasant relaxed experience it was. So easy to set up, so satisfying to look at both targets. With my dog hanging out with me on the front lawn, trying out various eyepieces, it was just what an evening with a telescope should be. No pressure, no grandiose expectations, just simple playtime with my toys and a good dog for company. Sure the C11 can show a lot more detail -- after cooling and if the seeing is good enough, but for an hour of simple pleasure with no overhead it was just what I needed after a hard days work.

With a large diagonal and eyepiece, the SVR80 is a bit too much telescope for the SmartEQ mount (I need a bit more than the 2 pound counterweight!), but the mount handled the strain just fine. A bit of patience focusing and all was well. The FT focuser and crisp, snappy focus of the SVR80 certainly helped.

So it is off to bed with a relaxed smile, a contented dog, and the hassles of work tomorrow won't be so bad anyway!

Edited by Dan Finnerty (06/18/13 02:49 AM)


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Astrojensen
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Bornholm, Denmark
Re: The joy of a small refractor new [Re: Dan Finnerty]
      #5926817 - 06/18/13 03:19 AM

Welcome to the world of reverse aperture fever. You are not alone.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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T1R2
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/11/13

Loc: NeverWhere
Re: The joy of a small refractor new [Re: Dan Finnerty]
      #5926825 - 06/18/13 03:27 AM

Awesome, Good post!

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bombassa
newbie


Reged: 11/26/10

Re: The joy of a small refractor new [Re: T1R2]
      #5926834 - 06/18/13 03:55 AM

and a great picture of your dog too

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RTLR 12
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 12/04/08

Loc: The Great Pacific NorthWest
Re: The joy of a small refractor new [Re: bombassa]
      #5926857 - 06/18/13 05:26 AM Attachment (88 downloads)

One of my favorite set ups is my 80 on a CG-5.

Stan


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roscoe
curmudgeon
*****

Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: The joy of a small refractor new [Re: RTLR 12]
      #5926926 - 06/18/13 07:29 AM

Yep, after years of being a purist, with my bigger scopes and EQ mounts, someone gave me an older alt-az mount, I stuck a vintage 60 on it....and now....plop it down, look around.... fast and easy. There are nights when I want to commit an hour or two, there are nights when 15 minutes does the trick.
Russ


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GlennLeDrew
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Re: The joy of a small refractor new [Re: roscoe]
      #5926944 - 06/18/13 07:47 AM

My home-made 60mm right-angle binocular provides endless hours of pleasure. I'll take it over a 16" Dob!

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beanerds
sage


Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Darwin Australia
Re: The joy of a small refractor new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5926993 - 06/18/13 08:21 AM Attachment (82 downloads)

Thanks for this Dan , I to rediscovered the 'Reverse aperture' as Thomas calls it . Cool Tom .
Small and high quality and a joy to use .

Love your dog shot Dan , looks free ....

Brian.


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t.r.
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/14/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: The joy of a small refractor new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5927000 - 06/18/13 08:30 AM

Minimalist, downsizing, reverse aperture fever...whatever you want to call it, it has its virtues! I run a couple "small" setups, a C90, an SS80 and a 60mm Jason 313 taking turns on an EQ2...all fun and easy for just messing about.

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: The joy of a small refractor new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5927004 - 06/18/13 08:33 AM

Quote:

My home-made 60mm right-angle binocular provides endless hours of pleasure. I'll take it over a 16" Dob!




I'll take both..

Jon


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Ed D
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 04/30/10

Loc: Sunny South Florida
Re: The joy of a small refractor new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5927087 - 06/18/13 09:26 AM

I love my AT72ED. I recently got into solar observing and the little thing is getting almost daily use. I hope I don't wear it out!

Ed D


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DNTash
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/02/07

Loc: Germany
Re: The joy of a small refractor new [Re: Ed D]
      #5927555 - 06/18/13 01:39 PM

Quote:

I love my AT72ED. I recently got into solar observing and the little thing is getting almost daily use. I hope I don't wear it out!

Ed D




+1 Great little scope. Nice original post, too. Man, dog, and scope.

Looks like a clear sky here tonight. I think I'll do the German version. Man, dog, scope, and wurst.


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t.r.
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/14/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: The joy of a small refractor new [Re: DNTash]
      #5927587 - 06/18/13 01:55 PM

Shouldn't that be Man, dog, scope, hefeweizen!

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Dan Finnerty
sage


Reged: 09/11/11

Loc: Pasadena, CA
Re: The joy of a small refractor new [Re: t.r.]
      #5927799 - 06/18/13 03:48 PM

Quote:

Shouldn't that be Man, dog, scope, hefeweizen!




Indeed! Particularly considering she is a German Shepard. Now if I can just train her to open the fridge...

As for Thomas' "reverse aperture fever", I have to admit I have started looking at large Dobs for taking to remote sites. Hopefully the two afflictions will cancel each other out and I won't do anything foolish with the next paycheck!


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Chassetter
sage
*****

Reged: 07/08/09

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: The joy of a small refractor new [Re: Dan Finnerty]
      #5927810 - 06/18/13 03:52 PM

That's ok Dan. It's not foolish... it's only money!

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terraclarke
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: Just South of the Mason-Dixon ...
Re: The joy of a small refractor new [Re: Chassetter]
      #5927816 - 06/18/13 03:56 PM

My small scopes are the ones I use the most by far. There is something to be said for good optics in a small package.

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hfjacinto
I think he's got it!
*****

Reged: 01/12/09

Loc: Land of clouds and LP
Re: The joy of a small refractor new [Re: Chassetter]
      #5927818 - 06/18/13 03:56 PM

I'll be the odd man out, if I'm going to bring out an 80MM, I will bring out the 120MM.

If I don't want to bring out the 80MM, I bring out the Canon IS Binos. The 80MM is too small in my opinion.

BTW cute dog, I like observing with mine also.

Edited by hfjacinto (06/18/13 03:58 PM)


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Dan Finnerty
sage


Reged: 09/11/11

Loc: Pasadena, CA
Re: The joy of a small refractor new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #5927915 - 06/18/13 04:52 PM

Quote:

I'll be the odd man out, if I'm going to bring out an 80MM, I will bring out the 120MM.

If I don't want to bring out the 80MM, I bring out the Canon IS Binos. The 80MM is too small in my opinion.

BTW cute dog, I like observing with mine also.




Indeed, I understand the appeal of a somewhat larger refractor. A 100mm to 110mm scope is hardly more work to set up or mount than an 80mm, and is a nice step up for visual observing.

I got this scope primarily for astrophoto work, as at f/6, 480mm focal length it will complement DSLR photography with prime lenses up to 200mm. (I am not going to spend the money on a 300mm Canon f/2.8L...). The fact that it is a nice handy grab 'n go is frosting on the cake.


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Astrojensen
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Bornholm, Denmark
Re: The joy of a small refractor [Re: Dan Finnerty]
      #5927947 - 06/18/13 05:11 PM

Quote:

A 100mm to 110mm scope is hardly more work to set up or mount than an 80mm,




That certainly depends on both the 80mm and the 100 - 110mm!

I've got an old 85mm Zeiss that dwarfs a modern 120mm ED...


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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RAKing
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/28/07

Loc: West of the D.C. Nebula
Re: The joy of a small refractor new [Re: Dan Finnerty]
      #5927968 - 06/18/13 05:24 PM

Quote:

As for Thomas' "reverse aperture fever", I have to admit I have started looking at large Dobs for taking to remote sites. Hopefully the two afflictions will cancel each other out and I won't do anything foolish with the next paycheck!




There is nothing wrong with your thinking.

My favorite refractor (and 'small' scope) is my 105 Traveler. It shows me almost as much as the much larger TEC 140. If I have the time and the skies are dark, I will pull out the bigger mirrored scopes.

It's nice to have options.

Cheers,

Ron


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