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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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MilkyWayResident
member


Reged: 11/28/13

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

???

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Scott BeithAdministrator
SRF
*****

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
SRF
*****

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
*****

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
Pooh-Bah
*****

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
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/03/13

Loc: FEMA camp
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
sage
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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
*****

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
Pooh-Bah
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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
professor emeritus


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
Eyepiece Hooligan
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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? [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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