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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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mrelliot
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Reged: 05/17/13

What can I see with a 80mm refractor?
      #5939071 - 06/25/13 02:08 AM

What can I see with a 80mm refractor?
Thanks
Mrelliot

Edited by mrelliot (06/25/13 02:09 AM)


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Sasa
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: mrelliot]
      #5939160 - 06/25/13 04:58 AM

Almost everything, if you have keen eye and dark skies.
From nice details on planets and Moon, DSO, even some details up to distant quasars. You can check a few sketches from my 80mm refractor on the bottom of this page:

http://www-hep2.fzu.cz/~kupco/astro/equipment/Zeiss_AS80en.html


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T1R2
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Reged: 06/11/13

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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: mrelliot]
      #5939161 - 06/25/13 05:07 AM

You can have some great views of the Moon, Jupiter, you should be able to see the disk and at least two of the bands with high power, Saturn you should be able to see the disk and the rings with high power. with low power you will be able to see the red dust of the milky way as you slowly scan back and forth and see it contrast with the black patches of space, the larger or brighter open star clusters and a few of the brighter globular star clusters though they will be faint, a lot of double stars will be up for grabs as well, there will be enough to last a lifetime.

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csrlice12
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: T1R2]
      #5939344 - 06/25/13 09:10 AM

You can see a larger scope in your future.......

Just sayin....hey, it happens to all of us.

The 80mm is a great scope and will show you a LOT; unfortunately, you're gonna wanna see a LOT MORE sometime down the road. If you stay with the hobby, and get a larger scope(s), you'll want to keep the 80mm for those quick GrabnGo or backyard viewing nights.

Just a suggestion for down the road, a next scope (to compliment your 80mm frac) would be a nice 8"-10" Dob....


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t.r.
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5939361 - 06/25/13 09:21 AM

My old C80ED shows a bit more on planets than my C80SS achro. For example, the festoons on Jupiter are easier to see and more clearly defined. I think an nice 80mm should be a staple in every observers collection as a refractor representative of the type. As said, I too find myself wanting for just a little more resolution and am satisfied at 90mm and above if it were my only scope.

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JoeBftsplk
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5939379 - 06/25/13 09:34 AM

Quote:

The 80mm is a great scope and will show you a LOT; unfortunately, you're gonna wanna see a LOT MORE sometime down the road. If you stay with the hobby, and get a larger scope(s), you'll want to keep the 80mm for those quick GrabnGo or backyard viewing nights.

Just a suggestion for down the road, a next scope (to compliment your 80mm frac) would be a nice 8"-10" Dob....




This is good advice. An 80mm, in my experience, shows you 85-90% of what's worth looking at. Sometimes I wish I'd stopped at 80mm.

A good 80mm refractor on a Portamount or small GEM, S&T's Pocket Sky Atlas, a copy of Burnham's "Celestial Handbook" (3 volumes), and a subscription to "Sky and Telescope" would've been a good stopping point. The Law of Diminishing Returns sets in beyond that point.


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Eddgie
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: JoeBftsplk]
      #5939404 - 06/25/13 09:52 AM

Quote:

shows you 85-90% of what's worth looking at.




Oh, maybe yes, maybe no.

I can see a bunch of Globular Clusters in an 80mm aperture under dark skies, but they don't resolve very well.

Using a large apeture I can resolve a graat number of them into beautiful swarms of pinpoint stars.

Aperture is not about what you can see, but how well you can see it.

I won't argue your point though. You can see a lot with an 80mm instrument.

But the way I look at it, while you can see 85% - 90% of what's worth looking at 85% to 90% of targets will look better if you look at them in a 10" scope.

Also, every time you double the apeture over 80mm, you greatly expand the number of targets that become more interesting.

I think of a small refractor as a compliment to a much larger apeture, and my recommendation to the OP would be to start with at least an 8" dob bought off of Craigslist, and a good set of star charts.


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caheaton
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: Eddgie]
      #5939438 - 06/25/13 10:16 AM

Don't forget it also depends upon what kind of 80mm scope the op has. A short 80mm achro will be quite a different animal from an 80mm apo or 80mm F/11.

With that said, I like 80mm scopes. My triplet is a fine general purpose scope. The 80mm ETX is wonderful for taking in large sky vistas of around 3 degrees at a time. As a rule, I prefer 80mm for low power targets (such as larger clusters). Targets that do well under magnification (e.g., globulars) can be nice, but remain unresolved.


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CounterWeight
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: caheaton]
      #5939534 - 06/25/13 11:16 AM

At least some of what you see will be affected by where you are viewing from - light pollution, elevation, atm conditions. Also as mentioned the focal length matters a lot as far as field of view at a given magnification. Then add in you visual acuity and choice of eyepieces. Last is maybe does the mount track objects - important IMO at higher mag's as the object stays in the eyepiece center and your eye/brain can discern more detail.

So it's really variable depending on external factors to the scope itself. You will too have different experiences on a mountain at a dark zone than you will in a city near sea level. Planets, Luna, some doubles are exceptions as I don't see them affected as much by viewing location.

I've surprised more than one person with what my Onyx80 or ED80T can pull in... how clear and crisp and what I'll call a perspective of hanging in space that is different than with larger aperture optics. Both those I mention are shorter focal ratio and have great optics and handle magnification well.

So there is a lot of bracketing and 'with respect to' to it all. How you see the objects that are viewable at that aperture and at that location.

If you change that question to a what can I see with an 80 and how does it compare to a 120 that changes things as does going up to larger and larger... but I think you need some points of reference for that to be really meaningful.

What can you see? grab one and get started and let us know !


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JoeBftsplk
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: Eddgie]
      #5939543 - 06/25/13 11:21 AM

Quote:

Quote:

shows you 85-90% of what's worth looking at.




Oh, maybe yes, maybe no.

I can see a bunch of Globular Clusters in an 80mm aperture under dark skies, but they don't resolve very well.

Using a large apeture I can resolve a graat number of them into beautiful swarms of pinpoint stars.

Aperture is not about what you can see, but how well you can see it.

I won't argue your point though. You can see a lot with an 80mm instrument.

But the way I look at it, while you can see 85% - 90% of what's worth looking at 85% to 90% of targets will look better if you look at them in a 10" scope.

Also, every time you double the apeture over 80mm, you greatly expand the number of targets that become more interesting.

I think of a small refractor as a compliment to a much larger apeture, and my recommendation to the OP would be to start with at least an 8" dob bought off of Craigslist, and a good set of star charts.




Of course, you're right, Eddgie. I agree that almost every object looks better when you go bigger; better yet in an astrophoto. But that's the reason for the subscription to S&T...or just perusing the astronomy sites on the web. Let the guys who have the time, great conditions, and $ take the pictures and you look at them. You'll see a lot more than you'll ever see without making a huge dollar and time expenditure.

And if you get a hunger for raw photons; the 80mm is always right there...though it won't show quite as much.


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JoeBftsplk
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: JoeBftsplk]
      #5939558 - 06/25/13 11:30 AM

Quote:

Let the guys who have the time, great conditions, and $ take the pictures and you look at them.




Make that "time, SKILL, great conditions and $..."


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desertlens
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: JoeBftsplk]
      #5939573 - 06/25/13 11:37 AM

Curiously, I know of one object, the Helix Nebula, that was easier to see well with my 80mm than my 8". I suspect this has something to do with object brightness being dispersed over a wider area, lower magnification and a bit darker background due to less aperture.

Edited by desertlens (06/25/13 11:37 AM)


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CounterWeight
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: desertlens]
      #5939622 - 06/25/13 12:06 PM

I think using pictures / images as a comparison to the eyepiece is fruitless and robs a lot from the viewing experience. Apples and oranges if even that. Diving the reef is nothing like watching a TV special, and same for actually surfing the wave and watching someone else do it.

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JoeBftsplk
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5939641 - 06/25/13 12:17 PM

Quote:

I think using pictures / images as a comparison to the eyepiece is fruitless and robs a lot from the viewing experience. Apples and oranges if even that. Diving the reef is nothing like watching a TV special, and same for actually surfing the wave and watching someone else do it.



I would hope you'd think that, Jim. From your signature it appears that you're one of the guys with the "time, skill, and $". Dunno if the conditions in cloudyopolis, OR are that great,however.


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mrelliot
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Reged: 05/17/13

Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5939650 - 06/25/13 12:22 PM

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?

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GOLGO13
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: mrelliot]
      #5939652 - 06/25/13 12:25 PM

I personally find the 80mm Refractor is a great travel scope. Such as airline travel or needing very portable scopeing. Also a good larger birding scope. However, I find the jump to 100mm-103mm to be well worth it. Still grab and go (easy fit on my porta mount). Still can be carried with one hand and slide out the door. But the difference on fainter objects is a big enough difference for me that I'm much more apt to consider a 100mm F7ish scope over the 80mm. You wouldn't think that the extra 20mm would make that big a difference, but for me it does.

I may purchase a 70-80mm apochromatic refractor again some time, but it would be pretty much limited to travel or birding. For right now my 90mm MAK works fine for me at the time being. But, if I were to travel to super dark skies by airline, it'd be nice to have a small portable wide field scope. Or a pair of 15x50 image stablized binoculars. My 10x30 image stablized binos on the milky way is really something to see.


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JoeBftsplk
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: mrelliot]
      #5939700 - 06/25/13 12:40 PM

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?




The various flavors of the ED 80 are very good. Someone should weigh in shortly and help you sort them out.

I really like my TV76. It's great for travel and terrestrial use as well. Another excellent choice from TeleVue is the TV85.

My older and larger FS78 is terrific for astronomy and possibly the last scope I'd get rid of. Good luck finding one, though.

All of the above are "APO" doublets, which are fine for visual viewing.

Stellarvue (and others?) have marketed some 80mm triplets that are reportedly excellent. They're best used for photography; for visual they'd be overkill.


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azure1961p
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: GOLGO13]
      #5939703 - 06/25/13 12:41 PM

A good one affords a simpler sampling of what's out there. You'll see mars' clouds, polar caps and Maria, jupiters festoons, belts, nodules, projections spots etc etc - Saturn will show Cassinis plus the two tone aspect of the rings, major belts and a polar cap perhaps . The moon is stunning of course . On deepsky the 80mms strong point is the super low power wide angle vistas of the heavens. You can have a 30" dob but its not going to show you the Milky Way sprawl like an 80mm at 15x. Its very interesting to view deepsky objects with the super context these low power views afford.

Yes you will want more aperture down the road but if the 80 is at least good, you'll keep it forever


Pete


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Jay_Bird
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: GOLGO13]
      #5939706 - 06/25/13 12:41 PM

This is a classic “half full or half empty” question.

Why do you ask? Are you thinking of a 2nd scope for ‘grab and go’ or of a first scope?

Back in olden times (in the 1930’s to 1960’s books I was reading for advice starting in the 1970’s) a 3-inch to 4-inch refractor (76mm to 102mm) or 6-inch reflector were described the lifetime instruments that an amateur might aspire to. While light pollution is a constraint, 80mm will still show a lot. With practice YOU will see things that you wouldn’t point to at outreach for people who aren’t as practiced.

Here are some things you can see with an 80mm scope:

Moon – extraordinary detail; you can see craters, domes, rills, etc. Study the terminator each night you can and use a program like Virtual Moon Atlas to verify what you see.

Planets – phases of Mercury and Venus and even gibbous Mars away from opposition. Some largest surface features of Mars, polar caps conspicuous. Belts and bands of Jupiter, the great (pale) red spot, and the 4 Galilean moons. Saturn with Cassini’s division is lovely, and several moons can be seen (all but Titan much more difficult than Jupiter’s). Asteroids (stellar dots) and comets are in reach too.

Sun – white light filter (solar film or coated glass – only use a reputable filter and check before use) will show sunspot details and hints of bright faculae and surface granulation. Fine for upcoming (2016? 17?) Mercury transit.

Deep Sky – brighter nebula and galaxies, lots of star clusters, brighter globulars resolve in stardust edges with bright unresolved core.

Double stars are great for 80mm scope, look for colorful combinations.

Some highlights in most skies: Pleiades, double cluster, Orion, M27, M57, double stars Albireo, Omicron Cygni, Gamma Andromeda, “double double” in Lyra; 80mm even showed the supernova as a star next to M101’s bright core a few years back.

Under very dark skies: the Veil and the Helix, M33, texture in NGC253 and M81/82, many other galaxies and all the summer Milky Way showpieces; great views of 47Tuc and the Magellenic Clouds; and at 8,000 ft elevation dark sky, the brightest whorl in M51 spiral.

You’ll see more with a bigger scope no doubt.

But you might use the 80mm more often for many quick looks. For moon and sun, double stars, deep sky within reach, and casual looks at planets (especially Saturn) an 80mm can do well. The 1.5 arc-second resolution of 80mm scope is respectable, and the doubling of light grasp compared to 60mm is obvious.

With an 80mm f/6 a 40mm 68° eyepiece gives a 12x view over 5.5 degrees across – a rock steady tripod mounted view like a big binocular might see. An 80mm f/10 or f/11 won’t go quite as wide but can still show something close to 2 to 3 degrees at low power of about 25x, depending on focuser size.

On the moon a good 80mm can be pushed to 160x. Depending on color correction you may not push as high on Jupiter, but Saturn seems a little less sensitive to false color.

I’m not saying 80mm is the best or only good size for a scope, but it’s certainly a capable size. The most apparent constraints of 80mm aperture are resolution on planets, and limiting magnitude to go past Messier list and maybe the brightest few hundred NGC list objects.

An 80mm f/6 or f/7 is easily airline portable. Stellarvue might still make an f/7 achromat (or offer used/guaranteed) their older 80mm f/6 or newer f/7 versions as one source for a robust scope.

Other sources offer f/7 or f/7.5 ED scopes with better color correction than achromats for high magnification and still a fairly portable length that offers a wide field with 2-inch focuser.

Good luck!


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CounterWeight
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: Jay_Bird]
      #5939862 - 06/25/13 02:11 PM

Budget should determine. A 'good' 80mm isn't something you'll ever want to let go of. I don't see a motored mount as essential to get started, but then a cheap spindly vibration prone camera tripod even less, in fact a bad choice. Get any decent 80mm scope but look for a tripod that has at least some capability to easily keep objects centered with relatively low to no vibration. Like the 80mm scope you'll find they run the distance of disposable income bracket.

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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 über 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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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
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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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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
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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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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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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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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
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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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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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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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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, Seńor, 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 (56 downloads)

Kinda like this one,Collin?

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CollinofAlabama
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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? new [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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Mark9473
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5942474 - 06/27/13 03:06 AM

In his thread above, Roland said "The smaller picture is similar to the view in an 8 mm ocular (150x magnification)." which I think is realistic. How small would you want to scale that down?

Of course a valid point is that you might not want to go to 150x in a 80mm scope, especially in an achromat.

Your computer monitor resolution settings could be another factor.


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Astrojensen
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #5942498 - 06/27/13 03:40 AM

Quote:

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).




The trick to observe the zenith in comfort with a long refractor is called a chair, my friend. In my picture of my 80mm f/15 Vixen, the legs on the tripod are shown extended about halfway. That is all I need to observe the zenith, sitting quite comfortable on a low chair. And the lower latitudes aren't out of reach, either.

I find very short, small refractors a pain to observe with, since they sit so very close to the mount and tripod, that I almost have to sit inside it, to reach the eyepiece. I can't observe standing. My knees kill me within an hour and I lose two or three magnitudes from the strain and shakes.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Astrojensen
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: Mark9473]
      #5942503 - 06/27/13 03:49 AM

Quote:

Of course a valid point is that you might not want to go to 150x in a 80mm scope, especially in an achromat.




I often observed Mars and Saturn at 171x with my 80mm Vixen. The image was sharp and almost no false color was seen around Mars. Saturn shows no false color. The detail on Saturn was essentially identical to what Roland has captured in his 80mm Vixen (exactly the same scope, except for the color). It looked brighter and sharper visually. I could often see the STB on Saturn being split in a northern and southern part. I sometimes glimpsed the Crepe ring, when conditions were ideal.

Jupiter doesn't like nearly as much magnification, so I usually stayed at 133x. The Jovian satellites could be observed with much higher magnification and I could tell them apart on any night, based on their size and color differences, if the seeing was reasonably good.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Niklo
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5942521 - 06/27/13 04:45 AM

Hi Thomas,
thank you very much for your comments. We enjoy our long refractors and others enjoy their short ED refractors. Both have advantages.

Hello Mark and others,
I don't want persuade anybody to buy a f/15 refractor. I just wanted to say that I have some positive experience with this long Vixen and have seen many details on Saturn. 150x on Saturn is no problem. Depending on the screen resolution Saturn might look smaller with 150x or bigger but I wrote that it looked similar (looking on my laptop monitor 14" 1600x900. I think it has about 5 dots per mm) and I should add that I look at my monitor from about 40 cm. So maybe that helps. OK let's go away from the size if it is not helpful for you. You can see the details what can be seen in the pictures and with good conditions you can see the details described by Thomas and it might look smaller in the ocular at 150x.

Kind regards,
Roland

Edited by Niklo (06/27/13 03:11 PM)


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mrelliot
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: Niklo]
      #5942917 - 06/27/13 11:06 AM

I have another question (sorry I'm flooding you guys with questions). What's the difference between an f11 scope and like an f6 scope?
Mrelliot


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GOLGO13
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: mrelliot]
      #5942925 - 06/27/13 11:12 AM

Length is probably the biggest difference. But with that extra length comes some great advantages: Less chromatic abberation (purple haze around bright objects), less demanding on eyepieces, etc.

Biggest downside is dealing with that type of length of scope. Mounting, viewing positions (at zenith you may be on the ground), storage. Also you will not get a nice wide field view with an F11 scope.

Certianly pluses and minuses between the two. Planetary work seems to benefit the longer scopes. Wide field work would be the shorter ones.


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BigC
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: Mark9473]
      #5942930 - 06/27/13 11:14 AM

"Of course a valid point is that you might not want to go to 150x in a 80mm scope, especially in an achromat."


150x is fine in a long achromat.

I have 80mm f5,80mm f11, and 80mm f15 ; each has strengths.

The f15 works much better with higher magnification than does the f5;the f5 excels in showing the "bigger picture".

Someone could no doubt place all three tubes on one mount for instant comparison or for personal convenience.


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t.r.
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: BigC]
      #5942981 - 06/27/13 11:55 AM

Quote:

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?




Sketches made at the eyepiece however are very representative if done well I have found...go to that forum and take a look.


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BigC
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: GOLGO13]
      #5943585 - 06/27/13 06:26 PM

"Biggest downside is dealing with that type of length of scope. Mounting, viewing positions (at zenith you may be on the ground), storage. Also you will not get a nice wide field view with an F11 scope. "

That is one aspect of a long tube scope ,but an adjustable height chair or even a tall stool and a low chair will solve the problem.

For zenith viewing the tripod legs need to be fully extended.It may also help to add a balancing weight near the rear of the OTA so the greater portion of the length be in front of the tube clamp.


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mrelliot
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: BigC]
      #5943863 - 06/27/13 09:47 PM

Thanks for all your help!

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CollinofAlabama
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: mrelliot]
      #5944016 - 06/27/13 11:36 PM

The Focal Ratio is the ratio of the primary (in this case an 80mm lens) and the number of times the primary's diameter the particular scope build needs to bring the image to focus. 80 x 7.5 = 600mm where the focal length of 600mm divided by 7.5 yields 80, of course, thus an F/7.5 instrument. One critical point not mentioned above is that the scope I recommend, the Celestron 80ED, uses Extra Dispersion (ED) glass in its lens design, rather than the 18th century crown and flint design of the achromats. The achromats CANNOT bring all the rays of light to focus at the exact same plane. This causes something known as chromatic aberration, or CA for short. The practical effect of this is a purple haze, particularly around bright objects like planets, brighter stars, and the moon. This purple haze can be mitigated somewhat by making the focal ratio higher, so that an 80mm F/5 achromat has an almost kaleidoscopic amount of purple haze, an F/8 something less, an F/11 somewhat less still, and an F/15 even less

ED refractors, however, do much, much better at aligning all the various wavelengths of light to the same point. They're not perfect, but they are awfully close to perfect, and much better than ANY achromat, F/15 and especially below.

But besides throwing up much less artificially colorful images, consequently representing the target in "true", magnified color, ED scopes achieve this at much shorter focal ratios. As a former Maksutov owner (a type of catadioptric that is essentially a reflector-type, but by design with long, F/13+ like focal ratios), I can tell you that finding a target, especially a beginner without a go-to mount, is much more difficult, due to the absolute lack of corresponding field of view. The F/ratio of any telescope is intimately tied to its True Field of View. They are inverse, the higher the F/ratio, the lower the TFOV. And the absolute focal length of the instrument is critical to TFOV, also. There's simply no way to compare the experience of panning about the Saggitarian Star Cloud, or the Virgo-Coma Markarian Chain in instruments at F/15 as opposed to one with 600mm of focal length (in the C80ED's case F/7.5). But even finding Uranus, e.g., in an F/15 scope without go-to is a difficult task for an experienced observer, but for a novice? The 600mm focal length instrument, here the C80ED, will not be a cakewalk, but it will be about 100x easier.

And then we get to the ergonomic issues of tube length, wind sail, looking at zenith, etc. And for the record, I have ALWAYS employed chairs in my basic observation gear. Rather than a fancy adjustable one, I own two distinct chairs: one that sits rather low, and one that sits about "normal" height. But I have also had to employ my derričre on the ground when using F/9 and longer refractors, and only such long tube refractors have ever required such uncomfortable groveling in my decades of astronomical observations.

Again, all these are my preferences, and there are clearly Maksutov and long focal ratio refractor owners who don't feel this way (of course, most Mak owners would agree with me about the ergonomic issues since Maks tend to be even shorter than ED refractors). However, achromatic refractor owners would have to concede that my preferences are certainly the more popular ones. That most telescope owners have: newtonians, which in their incredibly popular dobsonian incarnation eliminate the straining near zenith issue with their focusers positioned near the top of the scope; ED refractors; and Maks, as opposed to long tube refractors, should demonstrate something. Perhaps your preferences, mrelliot, are more like mine, more like the majority's, and not like the strained neck, narrow field loving long tube refractor crowd. Just something to consider.

I will concede they are attractive to look at, a long tube refractor, almost like a work of art. Sadly, art doesn't help much when you're trying to put a target near zenith in your eyepiece, and the narrow field makes putting ANY target, regardless of its orientation, into the eyepiece that much more difficult.

So, given all this, I stand by my original recommendation of the C80ED for your first true astronomical telescope. It's a very good place to start. Buena suerte.


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Astrojensen
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #5944200 - 06/28/13 03:31 AM

Hi Colin

While I totally agree on your analysis of false color, I must respectfully disagree with you on a number of other points:

Quote:

But even finding Uranus, e.g., in an F/15 scope without go-to is a difficult task for an experienced observer




This is absolutely not true by any stretch of the imagination. First, finderscopes are invented for a reason, second, a long-focus refractor is often long enough to act like a sort of pointer on its own. I've used a 85mm f/19 (1600mm focal length) refractor for many, many years and have always been able to find what I wanted to see (if it was within the reach of the scope, of course). For most things, I just aim along the tube, like down a rifle barrel. This more than suffice for bright stars and planets, and for dimmer targets I starhop.

Quote:

And then we get to the ergonomic issues of tube length, wind sail, looking at zenith, etc. And for the record, I have ALWAYS employed chairs in my basic observation gear. Rather than a fancy adjustable one, I own two distinct chairs: one that sits rather low, and one that sits about "normal" height. But I have also had to employ my derričre on the ground when using F/9 and longer refractors, and only such long tube refractors have ever required such uncomfortable groveling in my decades of astronomical observations.




Funnily, I have only very occasionally needed to sit on the ground, while observing with one of my refractors, while on the other hand, I always find myself down in the grass, when I want to observe something low in the sky with my 12" dobsonian. And for most of the sky, I can't use my normal chairs with the dob, as the eyepiece gets too high in the sky. The dob needs a fancy, tall chair, the refractors don't. The dob is my most unergonomical scope by FAR. Compared to my 6" refractor, I find it very tiring to use, and I honestly consider selling it and getting myself a nice 8" f/12 refractor. It is also by far the most wind-sensitive scope I own, even de-shrouded.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Niklo
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #5944232 - 06/28/13 05:00 AM

Hi Colin,
I have not compared it myself but I heard from other people that the chromatic aberration of an cheap 80 ED and a Vixen 80L f/15 is quite similar. The ED should have a little less chromatic aberration but the difference should not be much.

I read from a good Zeiss AS 80/1200 which was tested as a half APO.
http://www.astro-foren.de/showthread.php?9295-Zeiss-AS-80-1200-ein-echter-Hal...

Of course the Zeiss AS 80 is better than the Vixen 80L but it is not a ED refractor, too and has an achromatic design.

Nevertheless ED refractors have advantages.

Kind regards,
Roland


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Astrojensen
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: Niklo]
      #5944284 - 06/28/13 06:36 AM

A Zeiss AS is close to being an ED, as it already have twice as good color correction as an achromat of the same focal ratio.

The Vixen 80L has good color correction, but the 80mm f/7.5 Synta ED's are better. That doesn't neccesarily make them better planetary telescopes, however, as there is more to a good planetary telescope than just color correction.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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CollinofAlabama
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5944833 - 06/28/13 01:47 PM

Thomas, how much does the mount for your 6" scope weigh? Also, how high does all that weight stand? The Vixen Portamount, like Kenny has pictured above, is under 12 lbs and stands somewhere below yours, taking a wild guess. I believe if mrelloit finds a 10" dob off-putting, the large and heavy mount of your 6" refractor will not look appealing to him, either.

Additionally, I don't buy Thomas' apologetics of long tube achromats regarding the lack of TFOV in these scopes, especially as pertains to the use by a newbie. Of course, some will do better than others, but ALL would do better with an instrument with more TFOV, like the C80ED. There is no object you can name, even the moon, that will be easier to put into the eyepiece in an F/11+ 80mm refractor than the Celestron F/7.5 ED scope. Basic mathematics, no opinion involved. This is especially true for the newbie. If you've never seen the Eskimo Nebula in Gemini in a finder, you're long tube "gun barrel sight" is going to be much less useful than a shorter tube "gun barrel sight" with a wide field eyepiece in the focuser for that "wait a second" moment of catching the Eskimo for the first time in a low power eyepiece.

It is important for we more experienced astronomers to listen to the OP. He started the post. Let's try and address his needs above our own predilections.

Edited by CollinofAlabama (06/28/13 05:37 PM)


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Astrojensen
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #5944890 - 06/28/13 02:29 PM

Hi Collin

The mount for my 6" achro is an EQ-6, on a 115cm tall Baader tripod. It's quite heavy, yes. However, I didn't mention it because I wanted the OP to run out and buy one, but as an example, compared to my 12" dob. Both are big scopes and I guess the 6" is actually the heavier, but I haven't weighed them, so I am not sure. I simply mentioned both, because I felt that your comment that a dob was always ergonomically superior to a long refractor was far too generalized and those were the scopes I had experience with and they were about equal in physical size. With my 6" refractor on its EQ-6 mount, I can survey most of sky, sitting comfortably on a normal chair. The dob needs a special, tall chair, and the eyepiece end moves around A LOT. I need to constantly move around, when I use the dob, while I only occasionally need to move the chair, when I observe with the refractor.

The lack of TFOV in long focal length instruments is both real and not. It is real, if we think in terms of what TFOV any given eyepiece will give, but if we think magnification, then the lack of TFOV is not there, once we are above a certain threshold. A 80mm f/15 at 30x with a 40mm 70° eyepiece will give a TFOV 2.33° across. A 80mm f/7.5 with a 20mm 70° will do exactly the same. And an awful lot of our telescopic observing is done at more than 50x. A short focus scope CAN give more TFOV, but at the magnifications we typically employ, it doesn't do so.

The perceived difficulties of aiming a long-focus scope are similar. Suppose you want to find Neptune. It's not visible with the naked eye from anywhere. With any scope of, say, 1000mm focal length or more, you'll want some kind of finderscope on it. Finding Neptune with the 7x50 finderscope on a 80mm f/15 scope is arguably easier than finding it with a 80mm f/7.5 that doesn't have a finderscope. If the 80mm f/7.5 also has a 7x50 finderscope, there'll be no differences. And in the main scope at any magnification, Neptune will look completely identical. You just need very different eyepieces to get to the magnification you want.

And yes, there is no object that is easier to put into a long f/ratio scope than a shorter one, but that is why we attach small, short f/ratio scopes to our long f/ratio scopes, to act as finders.

Physical size differences aside, a long f/ratio scope really is no more difficult to observe with, compared to a short one, and may have intrinsic advantages, making their use well worth the added hassle of a bigger mount and taller tripod.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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csrlice12
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5945009 - 06/28/13 03:22 PM

My dobs heavier then my refractor + EQ mount/tripod, but for quick "pull it out and look"...the dob will be up and running while I'd still be polar aligning the refractor. The weight differential isn't that much, and truthfully, speed of setup is more important for a quick look in the back yard then a few pounds weight difference. If I'm going to be in the back yard for awhile though, I'll use the refractor as it has tracking and I mostly view planets and the moon from my white zone back yard......

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Astrojensen
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5945119 - 06/28/13 04:11 PM

My polar "alignment" consists of carrying the mount and tripod outside, plunk it down, roughly aimed at Polaris and that's it. I normally track manually, as if it was a sort of equatorial dobsonian. It's much easier to manually track with an equatorial than with an altaz. It's all I need at up to almost 400x.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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mikey cee
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5945354 - 06/28/13 06:40 PM

Hone your eyesight and observing technique for several years is my advice! Then when you finally get your 10" refractor you'll swear you can see canals on Mars!! Mike

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mrelliot
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5945517 - 06/28/13 08:18 PM

Is it easier to learn the night sky with a dob or an 80mm refractor?

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azure1961p
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #5945600 - 06/28/13 09:13 PM

Quote:

. If you've never seen the Eskimo Nebula in Gemini in a finder, you're long tube "gun barrel sight" is going to be much less useful than a shorter tube "gun barrel sight" with a wide field eyepiece in the focuser for that "wait a second" moment of catching the Eskimo for the first time in a low power eyepiece.

It is important for we more experienced astronomers to listen to the OP. He started the post. Let's try and address his needs above our own predilections.




I'm not sure that's a strong point. A low power eye piece for finding small planetary nebula? I'm more on board with at least 60x as a finder ocular and I never but never actually sight in on a planetary with my finder. I locate the star field, star hop at 60x-70x which even at that magnification still leaves many challengingly small. There's a lot to be said for star hopping skills and on invisible objects where only a field is known for finder purposes. I fear GOTO has a backlash effect of astronomers with weak skills in these areas. I also cannot sign onto the notion that Uranus is difficult for any experienced observer with any telescope. Nor Neptune for that matter. I like a lot of your points but have exception with a couple.

Pete


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CollinofAlabama
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: mrelliot]
      #5945744 - 06/28/13 10:38 PM

On July 3rd, Venus buzzes the Beehive cluster. Sky and Telescope recommends a 30x view to start. The C80ED with a 25mm Plossl yields 24x in just over a 2* TFOV. In short, it'll be excellent, mrelliot, and you won't need anything else but the scope and a mount. Now you'll certainly need to add a 2" dialectic diagonal and more eyepieces over time, but there'll be time enough for all that later. Get the scope and get started. There are many places to start. But given your own predilections, I'd say get started wih the C80ED and a Portamount. You'll be glad you did. Good luck.

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BigC
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: mrelliot]
      #5945796 - 06/28/13 11:17 PM

Quote:

Is it easier to learn the night sky with a dob or an 80mm refractor?



The refractor has the advantage that you need merely to lift your eye from the ocular to see the same part of the sky ,alkbeit reversed in the scope view.I wonder if that is why many Japanese refractor users apparently didn't use diagonals?Note also many old pictures of refractors have no diagonal.

Although most ,including myself, do use diagonals these days(or nights actually;I have a correct image lens for daytime).

Perhaps a trifecta of 80mm f15 OTA carrying a 9x50 finder plus a Telrad ?

If I had to settle on just one refractor telescope I think my C6R with 8x50 finder because aperture rules!(Well,really gold rules,..but that is another story.)


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REC
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: Jay_Bird]
      #5946472 - 06/29/13 12:11 PM

Great description and my 80ED is my most "used" scope. Look for one used for under $500.

Good luck and have fun!

Bob


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CollinofAlabama
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: REC]
      #5947407 - 06/30/13 12:48 AM

Quote:

Great description and my 80ED is my most "used" scope. Look for one used for under $500.

Good luck and have fun!

Bob




I agree Jay Bird did a good job sizing things up earlier in the thread. Now, one note, REC writes of finding an 80mm ED scope used for under $500, but the Celestron 80ED I linked to in my first post in this thread is for $349 shipped, brand new with a Celestron 1 year warranty to boot! I have no affiliation with Celestron or this vendor. Just saw this great deal and thought I'd pass on the love. Happy 4th, mis estadounidenses.


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REC
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #5947661 - 06/30/13 08:30 AM

Wow, if you can find that Celestron 80ED for new at $350 shipped, I'd grab that. I paid that for mine used, great performer!

Bob


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stevenf
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: REC]
      #5948281 - 06/30/13 04:06 PM

I thought that Celestron 80ED was discontinued (I would love to have one and have been looking for a used one)so I'm just a little suspicious of this ad.

edited to add: ha, but not so suspicious that I didn't order it anyways after looking into it more Awesome deal!

Edited by stevenf (06/30/13 04:18 PM)


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mrelliot
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: stevenf]
      #5948378 - 06/30/13 05:16 PM

On Celestron's website, it says that the C80ED is discontinued.

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CollinofAlabama
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: stevenf]
      #5948389 - 06/30/13 05:23 PM

Stevenf,

I think you're right, it has been discontinued, but Astronomers Without Borders (never heard of them before now) is indeed selling them for $349 shipped, new! That's why I wrote its the best deal in refractors right now, cause it is. I think Celestron did some deal with them regarding excess, discontinued inventory, because they're not being produced any more, but they do come with a manufacturers warranty and are one fantastic deal. This is why I've recommended it so to mrelliot.


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stevenf
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #5948404 - 06/30/13 05:32 PM

Thanks very much for pointing out that deal Collin. My first ED refractor! And free shipping to Canada! I already can't wait to get it into my hands

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CollinofAlabama
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: mrelliot]
      #5948414 - 06/30/13 05:45 PM

Mrelliot,

See my above post. You're right, they are no longer being produced and are, in fact, a discontinued item. For that matter, my AT80ED is a discontinued item, too, but every night I take it out, do you think it performs more poorly because of that fact? The C80ED was a great scope and it's still being sold while supplies last by Astronomers Without Borders, with a Celestron warranty. Once they're gone, they shall not be sold new anywhere else again.

However, the CN sponsor, Astronomics, does sell the AT72ED, with a 2 year warranty, and it's still in production as far as I know. Although this one may not have quite the aperture grasp of the C80ED, it will have an even greater TFOV and comes with a hard aluminum carrying case, which is nice. And it only costs $30 more, so still a good deal if you prefer something still in production.

In early 2008, my wife had just gotten her PhD, a new management job, and was looking for a new car. We accidentally drove into the local Mercury dealership (she was absolutely convinced she wanted a Nissan, Toyota, Mazda, etc, because "Japanese were better"). We had a Corolla budget, and we test drove a used Camry with 60000 miles on it. But, finally, the salesman got her to try a 2007 model Mercury Milan (same as the Ford Fusion), they had on the lot because it was a standard and we live in a lazy part of Texas where the locals don't want to be bothered by such, but my wife and I are completely comfortable driving. She fell in love with it. As we test drove the Corolla, Sentra, Hyundai-style cars in this class, she was struck by the price and features of the last year's model Milan. Five years later, she is convinced that when we replace my car, it should be with a Mercury! The C80ED from AWB is an excellent, rare-find deal.


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mrelliot
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #5948435 - 06/30/13 06:00 PM

I don't really care if a scope is in production or not, there just harder to find then new ones.

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CollinofAlabama
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: stevenf]
      #5948493 - 06/30/13 06:50 PM

Stevenf,

Glad I could help. I remember a few years back when Meade blew out their 80mm doublet line for a similarly low priced offer -- I told all our Club members about it and the President picked one up. He's been very happy with it since. These deals come along once in a blue moon. Fortunately Astronomics has the AT72ED so even if someone misses the killer deal, this one is always available, and it has its own charms, indeed. Glad things have worked out for you, tho, Stevef.


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pdxmoon
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: KWB]
      #5949876 - 07/01/13 03:18 PM

Quote:

Kinda like this one,Collin?




Kenny, what is this scope?


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pdxmoon
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5949976 - 07/01/13 04:08 PM

Can you point me to some links as to what I'd need to mount the The C80ED on a tripod? I'd rather use an altar than an eq. I'm interested in this package as a lunar grab and go scope. (Also I'm a newbie, so links and pictures help!)

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azure1961p
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5950359 - 07/01/13 09:16 PM

I haven't a link but my 70mm anyway does great on its video tripod 15 yrs or more old, as well as a BOGEN. When they get this compact its amazing what'll work. What doesn't work however are Quantaray tripods. There's a flimsy limit to how light a light grab n go can go and the flexure in even a more *costly* (heh) Quanta is just beyond reason and any measure of patience. Light in one thing , plastic springboard is another.

I keep promising it a GOTO GEM but its so easy to use without tracking - well its still on a BOGEN or Zenith.

Good luck though.

Pete


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KWB
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5950474 - 07/01/13 10:24 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Kinda like this one,Collin?




Kenny, what is this scope?




It's the Celestron 80 ED,the same scope that was mentioned earlier in this thread. Evidently it is available on a limited basis again,after being discontinued a couple of years ago. For the price of $350.00 new,it rates as a major bargain optically as in what can be purchased as of July,2013. This setup is a breeze getting outside and then back indoors fully assembled.

What it takes to mount this refractor to the Vixen Portamount is to also purchase the optional Vixen dovetail bar and a set of rings(which bolt to the dovetail bar) to clamp down the OTA(Optical Tube Assembly).


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sg80
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5969712 - 07/13/13 10:19 PM

More than you realize. I want a 120mm Eon or Skywatcher.but it,s not gonna happen. so I started using my 17year old Synta made Firstscope 80mm 11.4 refractor more than I use to.I see detail that is subtle that.I looked over before.I may not get a bigger scope.but I,m enjoy gazing more than ever.when I came find the time

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Brent Campbell
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Re: What can I see with a 80mm refractor? new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5970059 - 07/14/13 08:22 AM

Quote:

Hi Colin

While I totally agree on your analysis of false color, I must respectfully disagree with you on a number of other points:

Quote:

But even finding Uranus, e.g., in an F/15 scope without go-to is a difficult task for an experienced observer




This is absolutely not true by any stretch of the imagination. First, finderscopes are invented for a reason, second, a long-focus refractor is often long enough to act like a sort of pointer on its own. I've used a 85mm f/19 (1600mm focal length) refractor for many, many years and have always been able to find what I wanted to see (if it was within the reach of the scope, of course). For most things, I just aim along the tube, like down a rifle barrel. This more than suffice for bright stars and planets, and for dimmer targets I starhop.

Quote:

And then we get to the ergonomic issues of tube length, wind sail, looking at zenith, etc. And for the record, I have ALWAYS employed chairs in my basic observation gear. Rather than a fancy adjustable one, I own two distinct chairs: one that sits rather low, and one that sits about "normal" height. But I have also had to employ my derričre on the ground when using F/9 and longer refractors, and only such long tube refractors have ever required such uncomfortable groveling in my decades of astronomical observations.




Funnily, I have only very occasionally needed to sit on the ground, while observing with one of my refractors, while on the other hand, I always find myself down in the grass, when I want to observe something low in the sky with my 12" dobsonian.




I had a Celestron Fistscope 80 MM F11 (made by Vixen) with a nice wooden tripod and an ALT ATZ mount for my first scope. This thing would do 180 X great optics. I regretted giving it away until I purchased my Orion Express 80. The Express 80 provided much better field of view and cleaner views. The field of view with my 24 mm eyepiece gives me a 4 degree field of view with a 2" 24 mm eyepiece. My larger SCT gives me magnification so the 80 mm is the wide field instrument.

Had I started with a wide field instrument as a first scope it would have avoided allot of frustration. The wide field allows for easier star hopping. The CG-4 mount that I purchased used is not expensive - I paid $125.00 for mine. The combination of my express 80 and CG-4 make for a very sturdy, easy to use, and economical solution. I have about $500.00 including the diagonal into my wide field rig. My only regret is not starting the hobby there. Because its a wide field instrument you don't need the most expensive mount to make it work. High magnification instruments need a sturdy mount to help the scope perform like it should, and real sturdy equitorial or tracking mounts cost money and weight.

I might add that whenever I am using this combination I feel like I am driving a ferari. It's just plain fun. I don't miss the dim high-powered views of the Celestron firstscope 80 mm at all. The first scope was a great instrument for what it was. It did things that an 80 mm shouldn't have been able to do, but it was always stressed when pushing to 180 X and my C8 will easily get there.

When you need high magnification either use barlows or better yet go with a larger instrument!


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