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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: MilkyWayResident]
      #6234896 - 12/05/13 08:57 AM

Hi:

My question for you is this:

Are you only interested in a refractor or are you looking for the best possible planetary/lunar/double star views?

I own both Newtonians(Dobsonians) as well as some smaller refractors including 3inch and 4inch apochromats. There is no doubt that the refractors are handy and provide beautiful views but there is also no doubt that if I want the clearest, most detailed planetary views, if I want to split the closest double stars, my 10 inch F/5 Dobsonian ($240 on Astromart) is far and away the better performer. It requires more effort, that is, it needs to be collimated and I have to make sure it has cooled down (a battery powered fan plus some time) but the aperture advantage definitely shows at the eyepiece.

If you are only interested in a refractor, I would look around for something used, the 120mm F/8.3 achromat on a EQ mount can be had for $300... more false color than the 102mm F/10 but the added aperture pays off in detail and if the false color is too much, there's a 102mm F/10 hiding inside that 120mm F/8.3.

Jon


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6235459 - 12/05/13 01:50 PM

+1

I was just about to type almost exactly this advice but Jon has already said it.

My 120 f8.3 is currently on loan ;the loanee tried to buy it ,but I eventually want it back.A 120 f 8 is a nice big refractor without getting too big,and the CA not bothersome to me.


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saemark30
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/21/12

Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: BigC]
      #6236082 - 12/05/13 07:40 PM

Jon
if you can point me to a 10" dob for $240 I'll buy one myself!
Good advice, though I think my 150mm f/8 is quite a bit better than the 120mm f/8.3 refractor I had optically but is larger and heavier.


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: saemark30]
      #6236594 - 12/06/13 03:44 AM

Quote:

Jon
if you can point me to a 10" dob for $240 I'll buy one myself!
Good advice, though I think my 150mm f/8 is quite a bit better than the 120mm f/8.3 refractor I had optically but is larger and heavier.




The 10 inch for $240 was a reasonable deal. In this situation, were the OP open to a Dob, I would recommend an 8 inch F/6 purchased new.

Jon


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Rich
member


Reged: 01/21/06

Loc: Seattle
Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: MilkyWayResident]
      #6241908 - 12/09/13 01:02 AM

I've always thought the AR-5, 5" (127mm) f/9 refractor represents one of the best deals in astronomy. I don't own one, but if I were looking for the best deal under $350 it would be high on the list. About 250 used.

Big enough to show a lot on bright DSO, and should equal or better smaller achromats.

All that said, the 100 ED would be my choice, as it is even better and easier on mounting and portability. Pretty hard to beat.


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BillP
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Reged: 11/26/06

Loc: Vienna, VA
Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: MilkyWayResident]
      #6242347 - 12/09/13 10:32 AM

For that low price, with an ok mount, probably this - Vixen 80mm f/11 on Porta Mount - $363.

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