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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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MilkyWayResident
member


Reged: 11/28/13

Best refractor for $350?
      #6225547 - 11/30/13 05:01 PM

???

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Scott BeithAdministrator
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Reged: 11/26/03

Loc: Frederick, MD
Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: MilkyWayResident]
      #6225563 - 11/30/13 05:08 PM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights!
Are you using it for general observing?
Does your budget include the mount and eyepieces?


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MilkyWayResident
member


Reged: 11/28/13

Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: Scott Beith]
      #6225567 - 11/30/13 05:10 PM

Thanks!
My total budget is $400, but I'll probably leave $50 left for eyepieces and such, so I'd like to spend no more than $350 on the telescope. It'll be used almost exclusively for planets and the moon.


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Scott BeithAdministrator
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Reged: 11/26/03

Loc: Frederick, MD
Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: MilkyWayResident]
      #6225571 - 11/30/13 05:15 PM

https://www.astronomics.com/celestron-4-inch-omni-xlt-102-refractor-telescope...

This one on the used market.


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DaveG
sage
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Reged: 12/28/03

Loc: Ohio
Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: MilkyWayResident]
      #6225580 - 11/30/13 05:19 PM

Do you already have a mount? For lunar/planetary observing on your budget, I'd try to find either a used 100ED or purchase the Celestron 102GT achro.

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mgwhittle
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Reged: 08/24/11

Loc: Chattanooga, TN
Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: DaveG]
      #6225603 - 11/30/13 05:32 PM

I love refractors, but, if I had $350 to spend I'd buy an 8 inch Dobsonian reflector like the Orion XT8.

If you are set on a refractor then I agree with trying to find a used ED100. The Celestron 102GT is a good value but my 80mm EON is significantly better than it at planetary/lunar because of the false color the 102GT throws up at high power......which is what you will be using on planets/moon.


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nodalpoint
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Reged: 06/03/13

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Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: MilkyWayResident]
      #6225872 - 11/30/13 08:30 PM

Quote:

Thanks!
My total budget is $400, but I'll probably leave $50 left for eyepieces and such, so I'd like to spend no more than $350 on the telescope. It'll be used almost exclusively for planets and the moon.




Celestron C80ED is exactly $350 shipped from Astronomers Without Borders. It would serve you well for the moon and planets and has all you need to get started, minus a tripod or mount, out of the box.

Do a search on this forum and you will find many posts about it.

Good luck.


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crow
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Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: BC, Canada
Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: nodalpoint]
      #6225884 - 11/30/13 08:41 PM

mgwittle is on the mark, look at some cheaper dob reflectors as well, the Orion ones seem to have a lot of fans. Some of them come with an eyepiece etc. Not trying to put you off your refractor though.

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hottr6
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/28/09

Loc: 7,500', Magdalena Mtns, NM
Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: MilkyWayResident]
      #6226058 - 11/30/13 10:29 PM

Here is my suggestion, available on the used market, a rig that fits your budget, and will deliver smiles for years to come:



- 1990s Meade 390/395 90mm f/11 achromat, $80 or less.
- 1980s Vixen Polaris equatorial or 2000s Astro-Tech Voyager alt-az, $180 or less.

I suggest $120 for eyepieces, say a Televue 25mm Plossl and 2x barlow.

Total $380. Most other suggestions are not even close to this amount. You could assemble this combo in less than 8 weeks of looking in the classifieds.

The Meade throws up images every bit as sharp as any ED, and with just a tiny bit of color on the brightest objects. I've had one for 6 years now, while EDs have come and gone.


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PeterR280
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Reged: 05/27/13

Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: hottr6]
      #6226072 - 11/30/13 10:36 PM

Dobsonian isn't a refractor

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sonny.barile
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: In the middle of the glow.
Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6226111 - 11/30/13 10:54 PM

THis would get you something brand new with a mount and 2 ep's. It isnt the best thing out there but it gets you a goto mount with it.


http://www.telescopes.com/telescopes/go-to-telescopes/meadestarnavigator102mm...

Edited by sonny.barile (11/30/13 10:55 PM)


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PeterR280
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 05/27/13

Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: sonny.barile]
      #6226133 - 11/30/13 11:09 PM

I noticed that they have the Celestron 102GT with next star for 299 on the same page.

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MilkyWayResident
member


Reged: 11/28/13

Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: hottr6]
      #6226146 - 11/30/13 11:21 PM

Quote:

Here is my suggestion, available on the used market, a rig that fits your budget, and will deliver smiles for years to come:



- 1990s Meade 390/395 90mm f/11 achromat, $80 or less.
- 1980s Vixen Polaris equatorial or 2000s Astro-Tech Voyager alt-az, $180 or less.

I suggest $120 for eyepieces, say a Televue 25mm Plossl and 2x barlow.

Total $380. Most other suggestions are not even close to this amount. You could assemble this combo in less than 8 weeks of looking in the classifieds.

The Meade throws up images every bit as sharp as any ED, and with just a tiny bit of color on the brightest objects. I've had one for 6 years now, while EDs have come and gone.




Now there's an idea. This is a nice rig, and it would be everything that I needed to start me off back in the hobby. Are you sure that I could acquire all of this on CN over time?


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jrbarnett
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: MilkyWayResident]
      #6226155 - 11/30/13 11:31 PM

An observing system consists of a telescope OTA, mount and accessories (diagonal, eyepiece(s), etc.). If $350 is for the OTA alone, and you desperately want a refractor, you can't beat this:

http://store.astronomerswithoutborders.org/index.php?main_page=product_info&a...

The finder and eyepiece are okay. The diagonal would need to be replaced with a 90-degree astronomical diagonal.

But then you'd need a mount (something like a Black Friday Vixen Porta II if undriven, or maybe a Celestron VX if driven and GOTO are desired, but then you're way up over $350 or $400.

If you need a complete, ready to use telescope, all inclusive, for $350-400, refractor is probably not the best way to go. Something like this would be excellent:

http://www.telescopes.com/telescopes/dobsonian-telescopes/zhumellz8deluxedobs...

Refractors are best inch-per-inch in performance, but...

They are also the most expensive inch-per-inch, and in astronomy two things matter most- optical quality and aperture. GSO and Synta both make great quality mirrors these days, and 8" is plenty of aperture for pretty much any class of target.

Worth noodling on, for sure.

- Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (11/30/13 11:33 PM)


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MilkyWayResident
member


Reged: 11/28/13

Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6226227 - 12/01/13 12:38 AM

I suppose I should have given more specifications. i will be using the scope almost exclusively for planetary and lunar observing. I am finally getting back into the hobby after a short hiatus and am eager to get back out viewing.

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Skunky
sage


Reged: 09/16/13

Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: MilkyWayResident]
      #6226246 - 12/01/13 12:58 AM



102mm NexStar GT $119 shipped!

OPT still has the Nexstar 102 on sale with a 2" diagonal:

OPT Celestron Nexstar GT 102


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SkyGibbon
super member


Reged: 02/09/13

Loc: Las Vegas, Nevada
Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: Skunky]
      #6226279 - 12/01/13 01:32 AM

Can't really beat the 102 for $119.00 if you are just wanting a new lunar/planetary scope. Some CA, but very acceptable.

There is a Vixen A80mf f/11 achro for about $230.00 shipped. Comes with rings and dovetail, diagonal, 20mm eyepiece. Can get it on a porta mount for right at your price range also. It does only have a 1.25" focuser though.

Your best value would be to find a nice used setup though. Maybe a nice doublet.


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gene 4181
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/12/13

Loc: n.e. ohio
Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: SkyGibbon]
      #6226306 - 12/01/13 01:56 AM

there is a telescope vendor in maryland that has some older 102 celestron tubes, some with accs. used. an orion az 4 mount called the versago would get you really close to your number. how's that?

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Hesiod
sage


Reged: 01/13/13

Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: gene 4181]
      #6226513 - 12/01/13 08:25 AM

Maybe is not the "best refractor for 350 USD" but a TAL 100 is IMHO a strong contender for the crown.

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drago
sage


Reged: 01/11/08

Loc: Latvia
Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: Hesiod]
      #6226524 - 12/01/13 08:34 AM

i think, 100ED is a better variant. how is price difference between tal100 and 100ed in your shops? TAL production is not very cheap, as i know...

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bobhen
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/25/05

Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: drago]
      #6226764 - 12/01/13 11:10 AM

If your goals are:

Refractor, mount, eyepieces, diagonal, finder.
$350 Budget
And you want to primarily observe the moon and planets (and maybe some brighter deep sky objects)…

You can purchase The Celestron 102mm NexStar GT Refractor tube with 1.25” Accessory Pack from OPT for $160. This package comes with a red dot finder, 2 eyepieces, and 1.25 diagonal.

For a mount you can purchase (also from OPT) the Celestron Heavy-Duty Alt Azimuth Mount (also known as the AZ3) for $95.
This mount will hold the refractor and it has slow motion controls for hand tracking – nice for the moon and planets.

You will also need to purchase a set off tube rings that attach to the refractor tube and then to the mount. 100 mm rings can be purchased from Orion Telescopes and Binoculars for $40. OPT might have these as well.

Total cost for the above is $300.

Some have suggested a larger Dobsonian reflector and I used to be in that camp but refractors are more forgiving with cooling, easy to use, and deliver nice sharp images. If at some point you feel the need for a larger scope, you can always get a larger scope later. And after a few years, you'll will have a better understanding of your needs.

Bob


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Hesiod
sage


Reged: 01/13/13

Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: drago]
      #6226777 - 12/01/13 11:20 AM

The 100ED is surely a better option (especially the BD version, which has a far better focuser), but it costs circa twice (around 800€ new, while the TAL is about 350€ new); obviously if MilkyWayResident manages to get one of these Skywatcher ED whithin his budget I suggest strongly not to let it get away.
But alas, because "in terra summus rex est hoc tempore Nummus", a used TAL at around 200€ could be a good pick: the optics are very nice, its standard accessories rather good (basically the 2 provided EP, on par whit any EP in the 50s€ range if not better, are enough for any kind of observation)


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drago
sage


Reged: 01/11/08

Loc: Latvia
Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: bobhen]
      #6226804 - 12/01/13 11:32 AM

Quote:


You can purchase The Celestron 102mm NexStar GT Refractor tube
For a mount you can purchase (also from OPT) the Celestron Heavy-Duty Alt Azimuth Mount (also known as the AZ3) for $95.
This mount will hold the refractor and it has slow motion controls for hand tracking – nice for the moon and planets.





you be sure about 102/1000 refractor and AZ3 mount?
i have synta AZ3, and a 100ed is not to very good on that. even after my modification with add counterweight to those mount for balance an ota.

2Hesiod: looks like, you are from europe, topicstarter is from usa.
these folks in usa often get a fantastic prices on astrogear. i reme,ber, some years ago i see a 599 usd price for new 100ED, and 120ed was about 999 USD!
in that situation, maybe, TAL not the best candidate, even if it sells for 400 - 500 usd.

Edited by drago (12/01/13 11:35 AM)


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Hesiod
sage


Reged: 01/13/13

Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: drago]
      #6226841 - 12/01/13 11:42 AM

@ drago
I agree!


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MilkyWayResident
member


Reged: 11/28/13

Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: hottr6]
      #6227255 - 12/01/13 02:43 PM

Quote:

Here is my suggestion, available on the used market, a rig that fits your budget, and will deliver smiles for years to come:



- 1990s Meade 390/395 90mm f/11 achromat, $80 or less.
- 1980s Vixen Polaris equatorial or 2000s Astro-Tech Voyager alt-az, $180 or less.

I suggest $120 for eyepieces, say a Televue 25mm Plossl and 2x barlow.

Total $380. Most other suggestions are not even close to this amount. You could assemble this combo in less than 8 weeks of looking in the classifieds.

The Meade throws up images every bit as sharp as any ED, and with just a tiny bit of color on the brightest objects. I've had one for 6 years now, while EDs have come and gone.




I really like this idea. My only concern is whether or nto I'll be able to acquire all of this here on CN.


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bobhen
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/25/05

Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: drago]
      #6227263 - 12/01/13 02:50 PM

Quote:

Quote:


You can purchase The Celestron 102mm NexStar GT Refractor tube
For a mount you can purchase (also from OPT) the Celestron Heavy-Duty Alt Azimuth Mount (also known as the AZ3) for $95.
This mount will hold the refractor and it has slow motion controls for hand tracking – nice for the moon and planets.





you be sure about 102/1000 refractor and AZ3 mount?
i have synta AZ3, and a 100ed is not to very good on that. even after my modification with add counterweight to those mount for balance an ota.

2Hesiod: looks like, you are from europe, topicstarter is from usa.
these folks in usa often get a fantastic prices on astrogear. i reme,ber, some years ago i see a 599 usd price for new 100ED, and 120ed was about 999 USD!
in that situation, maybe, TAL not the best candidate, even if it sells for 400 - 500 usd.




The optical tube is only 6-7 pounds. The AZ3 will handle that weight and the slow motion controls will help reduce vibrations when tracking because there is no need to touch the scope.

I have an AZ3 that I use with another scope for solar viewing and I have used optical tubes that are heavier than the 102 GT on an AZ3. I also have a 102 GT refractor OTA and they are surprisingly light weight.

Is the AZ3 the ideal mount, of course not? But it will be “okay” with the 102 GT and will work with the poster’s stated budget and observing goals.

SkyWatcher used to sell their 102mm F9.8 refractor with the AZ3 as a package.

Bob


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Hesiod
sage


Reged: 01/13/13

Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: bobhen]
      #6227594 - 12/01/13 05:50 PM

I rather buy a small GEM, as the previously suggested Polaris or one of the Eq# by Skywatcher.
P.S. The Celestron OMNI 102 is on sale at around 440-480 USD


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MilkyWayResident
member


Reged: 11/28/13

Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: hottr6]
      #6227607 - 12/01/13 05:57 PM

Quote:

Here is my suggestion, available on the used market, a rig that fits your budget, and will deliver smiles for years to come:



- 1990s Meade 390/395 90mm f/11 achromat, $80 or less.
- 1980s Vixen Polaris equatorial or 2000s Astro-Tech Voyager alt-az, $180 or less.

I suggest $120 for eyepieces, say a Televue 25mm Plossl and 2x barlow.

Total $380. Most other suggestions are not even close to this amount. You could assemble this combo in less than 8 weeks of looking in the classifieds.

The Meade throws up images every bit as sharp as any ED, and with just a tiny bit of color on the brightest objects. I've had one for 6 years now, while EDs have come and gone.




but does this include dovetail and rings?


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saemark30
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/21/12

Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: MilkyWayResident]
      #6227628 - 12/01/13 06:07 PM

One other option is the lowly 6" f/8 achromatic refractor.
It has the light gathering power of an 8" reflector or C8 but fast cooldown and no tube current issues.
One can stop it down to 4.5" and the color problem is not an issue on planets like Jupiter or use it full aperture.
At low powers up to 60x it is hard to better the view, it is essentially like an apo.


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PeterR280
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 05/27/13

Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: Hesiod]
      #6227669 - 12/01/13 06:25 PM

Quote:

I rather buy a small GEM, as the previously suggested Polaris or one of the Eq# by Skywatcher.
P.S. The Celestron OMNI 102 is on sale at around 440-480 USD

Woodland hills camera has the nexstar c102gt combo for 299.00

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drago
sage


Reged: 01/11/08

Loc: Latvia
Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: bobhen]
      #6228310 - 12/02/13 01:45 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:


You can purchase The Celestron 102mm NexStar GT Refractor tube
For a mount you can purchase (also from OPT) the Celestron Heavy-Duty Alt Azimuth Mount (also known as the AZ3) for $95.
This mount will hold the refractor and it has slow motion controls for hand tracking – nice for the moon and planets.





you be sure about 102/1000 refractor and AZ3 mount?
i have synta AZ3, and a 100ed is not to very good on that. even after my modification with add counterweight to those mount for balance an ota.

2Hesiod: looks like, you are from europe, topicstarter is from usa.
these folks in usa often get a fantastic prices on astrogear. i reme,ber, some years ago i see a 599 usd price for new 100ED, and 120ed was about 999 USD!
in that situation, maybe, TAL not the best candidate, even if it sells for 400 - 500 usd.




The optical tube is only 6-7 pounds. The AZ3 will handle that weight and the slow motion controls will help reduce vibrations when tracking because there is no need to touch the scope.

I have an AZ3 that I use with another scope for solar viewing and I have used optical tubes that are heavier than the 102 GT on an AZ3. I also have a 102 GT refractor OTA and they are surprisingly light weight.

Is the AZ3 the ideal mount, of course not? But it will be “okay” with the 102 GT and will work with the poster’s stated budget and observing goals.

SkyWatcher used to sell their 102mm F9.8 refractor with the AZ3 as a package.

Bob




AZ3 not as near as "good", not saying "ideal" mount.
and weight no parameters in general, for mounts at all. try to mount on NEQ6 ( carrying about 20 kilogramms? ) steel tube 15 metres long, and only 5 kg weight. then you see things right.
mounts operate with moments, not with weights.
as i said previously, i sometimes using my 100ed on az3. not good. on eq5 it sits very ok, but not on az3.


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bobhen
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/25/05

Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: drago]
      #6228861 - 12/02/13 11:10 AM






AZ3 not as near as "good", not saying "ideal" mount.
and weight no parameters in general, for mounts at all. try to mount on NEQ6 ( carrying about 20 kilogramms? ) steel tube 15 metres long, and only 5 kg weight. then you see things right.
mounts operate with moments, not with weights.
as i said previously, i sometimes using my 100ed on az3. not good. on eq5 it sits very ok, but not on az3.





There is a review of an Orion 120 mm F 8 refractor right here on CN (Orion’s 120mm f/8 on an AZ-3 alta-azimuth Mount). That person uses a 120mm refractor on an AZ3 and found it acceptable. So the smaller and lighter 102 mm GT will work even better than what’s described in that write-up.

To make the AZ3 even more user friendly than in that review, just replace the large hex nut with a wing nut so you can hand-tighten the altitude axis in the field without tools if needed. The AZ3 is better if you are observing one object (like the moon & planets) for a long time rather than sweeping around the sky. And observing the moon and planets (along with a $350 budget) were part of the original poster’s observing goals.

Bob


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drago
sage


Reged: 01/11/08

Loc: Latvia
Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: bobhen]
      #6229014 - 12/02/13 12:21 PM

http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=401

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hottr6
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/28/09

Loc: 7,500', Magdalena Mtns, NM
Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: MilkyWayResident]
      #6231717 - 12/03/13 04:01 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Here is my suggestion, available on the used market, a rig that fits your budget, and will deliver smiles for years to come:



- 1990s Meade 390/395 90mm f/11 achromat, $80 or less.
- 1980s Vixen Polaris equatorial or 2000s Astro-Tech Voyager alt-az, $180 or less.

I suggest $120 for eyepieces, say a Televue 25mm Plossl and 2x barlow.

Total $380. Most other suggestions are not even close to this amount. You could assemble this combo in less than 8 weeks of looking in the classifieds.

The Meade throws up images every bit as sharp as any ED, and with just a tiny bit of color on the brightest objects. I've had one for 6 years now, while EDs have come and gone.




but does this include dovetail and rings?



A used OTA will probably include the rings. The original Meade 390/395 did not include a dovetail, but they can be found for $20. You could probably sweet-talk a seller into including a 1.25" diagonal for free.


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hottr6
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/28/09

Loc: 7,500', Magdalena Mtns, NM
Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: saemark30]
      #6231723 - 12/03/13 04:05 PM

Quote:

One other option is the lowly 6" f/8 achromatic refractor.
It has the light gathering power of an 8" reflector or C8 but fast cooldown and no tube current issues.
One can stop it down to 4.5" and the color problem is not an issue on planets like Jupiter or use it full aperture.
At low powers up to 60x it is hard to better the view, it is essentially like an apo.



That's a good suggestion. You could buy a C6R for the OP's budget of $350, and 4mm Huygens and 6mm Symmetric Ramsdens can be found for around $10, so you won't break the OP's budget too much.

It's gonna be hell hand-holding the C6R to observe.


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hottr6
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/28/09

Loc: 7,500', Magdalena Mtns, NM
Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: bobhen]
      #6231830 - 12/03/13 05:15 PM

Quote:


There is a review of an Orion 120 mm F 8 refractor right here on CN (Orion’s 120mm f/8 on an AZ-3 alta-azimuth Mount). That person uses a 120mm refractor on an AZ3 and found it acceptable.



Link to that review here.

Choice quote from the review:

Vibration has not been a major issue with the 120mm on the AZ-3 either. After each focuser adjustment it settles down in a few seconds or less. Part of the reason for this is I seldom go above about 80X on deep sky objects (DSOs).

The OP wants to do planetary work, so higher magnifications are mandatory.

Summary quote from the review:

Overall, Orion’s 120mm f/8 will work on the AZ-3 but the mount is better suited for smaller scopes like the 90mm f/11 and even better Stellarvue’s 80/9D.

The C102 might work. Probably not with rings and a dovetail.


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bobhen
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/25/05

Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: hottr6]
      #6231869 - 12/03/13 05:46 PM

Quote:

Quote:


There is a review of an Orion 120 mm F 8 refractor right here on CN (Orion’s 120mm f/8 on an AZ-3 alta-azimuth Mount). That person uses a 120mm refractor on an AZ3 and found it acceptable.



Link to that review here.

Choice quote from the review:

Vibration has not been a major issue with the 120mm on the AZ-3 either. After each focuser adjustment it settles down in a few seconds or less. Part of the reason for this is I seldom go above about 80X on deep sky objects (DSOs).

The OP wants to do planetary work, so higher magnifications are mandatory.

Summary quote from the review:

Overall, Orion’s 120mm f/8 will work on the AZ-3 but the mount is better suited for smaller scopes like the 90mm f/11 and even better Stellarvue’s 80/9D.

The C102 might work. Probably not with rings and a dovetail.




The weight of the 120mm refractor is 12.5 pounds. The weight of the 102mm "GT" is around 6 pounds or so - about "half" the weight. The 102 GT is very light.

I have used a Stellarvue 105mm refractor on an AZ3 for lunar viewing with no real problem.

I currently use a 80mm refractor with a heavy, front -mounted, solar Ha filter that weighs as much as the 102 GT on an AZ3 with no problem.

Just saying.

Bob


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rnc39560
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Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: saemark30]
      #6233747 - 12/04/13 05:05 PM

Quote:

One other option is the lowly 6" f/8 achromatic refractor.
It has the light gathering power of an 8" reflector or C8 but fast cooldown and no tube current issues.
One can stop it down to 4.5" and the color problem is not an issue on planets like Jupiter or use it full aperture. At low powers up to 60x it is hard to better the view, it is essentially like an apo.




Where would one find a C6-R anyway?


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saemark30
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Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: rnc39560]
      #6233926 - 12/04/13 06:15 PM

Where would you find a 100ED scope for $350?

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jag767
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Re: Best refractor for $350? new [Re: saemark30]
      #6233958 - 12/04/13 06:24 PM

Quote:

Where would you find a 100ED scope for $350?




used. mine was 325 shipped pristine condition.


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Jon Isaacs
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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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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