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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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coopman
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5940518 - 06/25/13 09:30 PM

If it will be your only scope, you will quickly get aperture fever.

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CollinofAlabama
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: mrelliot]
      #5940838 - 06/26/13 02:12 AM

Quote:

Thanks for all the help! I was about to pull the trigger on a 10" dob, but I just couldn't do it, there so large I don't know how much I would use it. What 80mm scope would y'all recommend?




Unequivocally, THIS is the best deal going today in refractors. I owned this before buying my even better AstroTech 80ED. Back in those days, after selling the C80ED, cost me about $120. Today, it's a bit more. The only caveat is that it has a rack and pinion focuser, but it has a very good r&p focuser, and this makes it very lightweight. The biggest drawback to my AT80ED compared to the C80ED is weight. This scope is ber light. It is the very definition of portability, with optics that are actually probably a little ahead of my AT80ED (but my AT80ED has gone the way of the Dodo). One can get the new AT72ED, and they look quite nice for about the same price as the C80ED above, but if I was only going to get one scope (till you go mad with aperture fever and actually buy that gaudy huge 10" dob), the C80ED would be it. And it will always be more portable than just about any other scope out there. Good luck.


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Niklo
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Reged: 03/29/13

Loc: Bavaria
Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: mrelliot]
      #5940879 - 06/26/13 03:37 AM

Hallo Mrelliot,
Some weeks ago I bought a Vixen 80L. I was really amazed how nice Saturn looked in this small refractor. If the seeing is OK the Cassini division and the different colour of the A and B rings is easy possible this year. You can seen some band structure on Saturn and the shadow of Saturn on the Rings. A bigger telescope can show more details but it is really a nice view to look through a good 80 mm refractor. I compared my 114/900 Newton and my 80mm f/15 Vixen on Saturn and I liked the view of the small Vixen more than in the old 4,5" Newton. The view was calmer, finer and for me the details looked somehow better in it (I even saw a little bit more details but maybe that was a seeing problem).
I think that you have less seeing problems with such a small telescope. That makes the view calmer than in bigger telescopes. You needn't wait long time to bring the telescope to the new temperature. So there are some advantages of an 80 mm telescope.
A good 80 mm f/15 is nice on planets and double stars. I expect to see some planetary nebulas (M57, M27) and open star clusters. I have not yet tested it on the globular clusters like M13 but I expect to see just the outer and brighter stars. For galaxies I don't expect to see much. If you have a short ED 80mm refractor and very dark sky you can dry the larger galaxies like M31 with about 20x magnification but normally such small refractors are not galaxy/deep sky machines
Cheers,
Roland


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Astrojensen
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: Niklo]
      #5940887 - 06/26/13 04:02 AM

I have a Vixen GP-80L, with very good optics. Not perfect, but very good. A little spherical aberration, but no astigmatism or turned down edge or other nasties, and very smooth optics.

This makes for a terrific planetary and double-star scope, but also for small deep-sky objects. The contrast is high, so as long as it fits in the field of view, it's all good. I've used it at up to 600x on double stars and elongated some 0.6" doubles with it, but 300x is a more normal max magnification for double stars. For the Moon and planets, I usually don't go higher than 171x and very occasionally, 200x. 96x and 133x are far more common usual max magnifications.



I used this scope as my main scope for a couple of years and saw a lot of stuff, also very deep deep-sky objects. It wasn't my first scope, far from it, but I couldn't resist getting such a classic in a modern package. It's a really nice scope. It's not heavy at all, around 16kg, and easily split up in smaller parts that fit in any car. I've thought about selling it, but fear that that may come back and bite me later.

The only real downside I can find is that it doesn't have a 2" focuser and that the OTA is too long to retrofit one and allow use of a binoviewer without barlow. I don't want to shorten this near-pristine original OTA. The original focuser is extremely smooth, so the only reason to change it would be to allow use of 2" eyepieces. I can use adapters to fit a 2" Baader diagonal to the M43 threads, but there will be some vignetting with my 30mm ES82.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Niklo
sage


Reged: 03/29/13

Loc: Bavaria
Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5940895 - 06/26/13 04:31 AM

Hi Thomas,
yes the Vixen 80L is a very nice telescope. It's a pity that I don't have the original mount so I bought an ADM which is a little bit heavy
Here a small picture of my combination:

I've heared that some people replaced the focuser with a new one. Maybe that 2" Crayford refractor focuser or that MONORAIL 2" Refractor focuser could be a solution. I have not tested it but some are happy with a new replaced 2 " focuser on their Vixen 80L. I wouldn't sell the Vixen 80L because it's a nice and classic Fraunhofer refractor.
I took some photos of Saturn on June the 19th. I'm a beginner with taking pictures but I like the results so I'll let you see them.

That was taken with no barlow. I rotated it 180 and prepared it with registax 6.

This is a two times maginification of the picture above.

This is taken with a 2x barlow (=> 2400 mm). It's a little bit dark but OK ...
The smaller picture is similar to the view in an 8 mm ocular (150x magnification).
Cheers,
Roland

Edited by Niklo (06/26/13 05:12 AM)


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BigC
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Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: mrelliot]
      #5941116 - 06/26/13 09:40 AM

Quote:

Thanks for all the help! I was about to pull the trigger on a 10" dob, but I just couldn't do it, there so large I don't know how much I would use it. What 80mm scope would y'all recommend?


If bulk and weight of the big Dob is worrisome,I suggest you seriously consider simply a smaller Dob.A 6" Dobsonian is much lighter and easier to carry than a 10",yet the 6" will show you much more than any 80mm.If you want to stick with refractors ,moving to a 102mm gains quite a bit in light with modest increase in cost and weight.

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Astrojensen
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: Niklo]
      #5941601 - 06/26/13 03:13 PM

Hallo, Roland!

Wow, nice pictures! Just like how I see Saturn in my Vixen 80L!

The ADM mount is quite similar to my Vixen GP, I think. The tripod on my GP is a bit on the light side, so it's not as stable as it could be. The mount is more than adequate for the job. On ATT, I saw one of the older Vixen Polaris 80L models and here the tripod was better, but the mount was much smaller, so it was not as steady overall, as the GP-80L.

I've looked at both focusers you mention, and also tried them at a star party, but I didn't like their feel. I have this one: http://aokswiss.ch/d/komp/kasai/crayfort_kasai-borg.html on my 6" achromat and it's an excellent focuser. If I should adapt the 80L to 2", it would be via this focuser.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Niklo
sage


Reged: 03/29/13

Loc: Bavaria
Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5941632 - 06/26/13 03:38 PM

Hi Thomas,
thank you for your compliment.

That's a pity that the two focusers are not so good. What was the problem with these focusers and what is better with the Kasai focuser?

Clear skies,
Roland


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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5941635 - 06/26/13 03:38 PM

While I like both short-tube smaller refractors and light bucket dobs, I really don't understand trying to decide between them...they do different things, it's like apples and oranges, they're both fruits, but that's where it ends....

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mrelliot
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Reged: 05/17/13

Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5941642 - 06/26/13 03:46 PM

Quote:

While I like both short-tube smaller refractors and light bucket dobs, I really don't understand trying to decide between them...they do different things, it's like apples and oranges, they're both fruits, but that's where it ends....



So I should buy both?


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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: mrelliot]
      #5941656 - 06/26/13 03:54 PM

Look at most peoples signatures here, especially those who've been around awhile and you'll see multiple scopes in their inventory.........I love my dob, and my XLT, and my ST80. But I don't use the ST80 for planetary, and I don't try to fit the entire Veil Nebula into my dob, and I don't use the XLT to try and get at the dim fuzzies....they're designed for specific things and that's how I use them....

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mrelliot
member


Reged: 05/17/13

Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5941669 - 06/26/13 04:00 PM

Quote:

Look at most peoples signatures here, especially those who've been around awhile and you'll see multiple scopes in their inventory.........I love my dob, and my XLT, and my ST80. But I don't use the ST80 for planetary, and I don't try to fit the entire Veil Nebula into my dob, and I don't use the XLT to try and get at the dim fuzzies....they're designed for specific things and that's how I use them....




Good point


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desertlens
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Reged: 12/06/10

Loc: 36N 105W
Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: mrelliot]
      #5941711 - 06/26/13 04:26 PM

Quote:

So I should buy both?




By all means. I tend to collect different experiences. In that regard an 8" Dob is a very different sort of fun compared to a 70mm refractor.


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csrlice12
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: desertlens]
      #5941738 - 06/26/13 04:51 PM

after you decide on the scope(s), we can discuss the care and breeding of eyepieces......

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Astrojensen
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Loc: Bornholm, Denmark
Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5941768 - 06/26/13 05:08 PM

Quote:

after you decide on the scope(s), we can discuss the care and breeding of eyepieces......




With reasonable care, they seem to be breeding just fine all by themselves, just like telescopes. That is at least the only explanation I have, when I count my scopes and eyepieces. I mean, there's no way I would otherwise end up with half a dozen telescopes and more than three dozen eyepieces, is there?

They're breeding, I tell you. Not that I mind. I wish some of them would get together and make a H-alpha solar scope, while they're at it. That would be awesome!


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Astrojensen
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: Niklo]
      #5941776 - 06/26/13 05:15 PM

Quote:

That's a pity that the two focusers are not so good. What was the problem with these focusers and what is better with the Kasai focuser?




The GSO focuser is just... average. One I had was very mediocre, if not poor. The one on my 12" Meade LB was okay, but no more. The linear focuser has very short travel, for a refractor focuser, only 50mm, and felt kind of stiff and a bit rough. Hard to explain. It was also not as stiff in the construction as I was lead to believe. The Kasai is just a beauty. It's extremely smooth and holds lots of load with ease. A big 2" diagonal and my 30mm ES82 eyepiece is not a problem in any position. It also carries my Baader Maxbright bino and two medium-size 25mm Zeiss eyepieces without a hiccup. It's very similar in construction to the Baader Steeltrack that I put on my 12" Meade LB and has the same fit and finish and quality feel. Highly recommended.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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CollinofAlabama
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Reged: 11/24/03

Loc: Lubbock, Texas, USA
Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: mrelliot]
      #5941984 - 06/26/13 07:01 PM

I think folks have gotten ahead of you, mrelliot. Although I agree with them, and presently have only two scopes, on my way to four, every person should develop his own astronomical neurosis in a natural fashion. Refractors have lots of advantages and disadvantages, as do reflectors, but I honestly feel for a beginner like yourself, a small-ish 80mm refractor is a fine place to start. If a 10" dob looks like monster to you, be true to yourself. This is YOUR hobby with YOUR predilections, not any joker on CN, and that includes me, too!

The C80ED is a wonderful, but serious, place to start. It offers light weight performance, little to no optical maintenance (no collimation like reflectors do), cools down quickly, and this particular model requires nothing to 'correct' its color, because, visually for sure but even photographically, it's essentially 'true color' without chromatic aberration. On top of this, the focal length of 600mm affords wonderfully wide vistas without 2 lb monster eyepieces that could break bones if dropped on a foot. Also, when looking near the zenith where the seeing is the best, unlike the F/11+ refractors above (notice how they're NEVER pictured toward zenith?), you won't be groveling in the dirt or straining your neck or having to take out a huge mount that raises it so high it's comfortable to look thru at zenith (but a PiTA to look near the horizon, or move). Nope, the C80ED sports a wide field, reasonably slow F/7.5 optics, and as good a color correction as can be found on any doublet. It's relatively short tube makes looking at zenith about 100x easier than F/11+ achromats, shows truer color than any of these, and will not be a wind sail like those should the lower terrestrial atmosphere be less cooperative. And because it's a refractor, it'll be thermally equalized within minutes. Personally, I'd pair this scope with something like a Vixen Paramount, tho there are several nice, light weight options that this scope could adequately ride on (EQ-3/CG-4/AstroView, AZ-4, AT Voyager, e.g.). All very good choices with this scope, and none of them "under mounts" it.

Mis dos centavos, Seor, y buena suerte


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KWB
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #5941994 - 06/26/13 07:08 PM Attachment (55 downloads)

Kinda like this one,Collin?

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CollinofAlabama
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Reged: 11/24/03

Loc: Lubbock, Texas, USA
Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: KWB]
      #5942365 - 06/27/13 12:01 AM

Fun, fun, fun till your Daddy takes the T-Bird away!

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CounterWeight
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #5942381 - 06/27/13 12:30 AM

That looks like a great fun ticket. That is what I would recommend to get started with on a budget.

Looking at the images posted - I'm amazed that anyone could get that sort of visual size/scale in an 80mm refractor - in mine it's smaller than a pea? My TEC160 with a 4mm ep might get that visual size/scale though - close to the upper one (image of the 3 posted) but I'm sure smaller in reality (and far cleaner when seeing permits that sort of mag), unsure how to 'percent' it...

This is why I think images are a terrible reference for someone who has no reference to begin with. It may make some sense to those of us with a lot of ep time within the possible intended reference - but I just see it as not a good thing for the OP who has no real idea?


maybe repost them for a proper size/scale? I know it's not nearly as impressive but it's maybe more helpful.


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