Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

small scope

This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
20 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----
  • topic starter

Posted 10 October 2003 - 08:40 PM

Hi guys;)
I have been looking at small scopes for a while, since I want to get myself a small secondary scope fro vacations, camp trips anre really quick grab+gos.
Its not supposed to cost more then $300, and I will prbably get the scope around christamss, or later, whenever I have the money AND fell like spending it;)
My main choices so far would have to be the Orion StarMax 90 or the Short Tube 80.
what you guys think about those:)

#2 jrcrilly

jrcrilly

    Refractor wienie no more

  • *****
  • Posts: 35,627
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2003

Posted 10 October 2003 - 08:52 PM

Those scopes are so very different from each other that it is unlikely they would both please you. I have the short-tube 80mm and like it; but I like wide field views and it's very good at those. It'll make a great finder for the 6" also...

Like any telescope, it can look at anything, of course - but the widefield views are what it's good at. The optics are pretty good. I can split the double-double at 100X but I'm sure that particular object would look much better in the StarMax 90.

#3 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----
  • topic starter

Posted 10 October 2003 - 09:59 PM

If you're looking to take advantage of dark skies when camping, the ST80 is the best choice. I use my ST80 instead of binoculars for quick views, it's great. But it is not good at high powers.

If you want something to view objects in town, then the 90 Mak is better for the moderate to higher powers that you would more likely use.

#4 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----
  • topic starter

Posted 10 October 2003 - 11:52 PM

I still have a long time, and my next astro investment will be that celestron eyepiece set from amazon, probably withing the next 2 weeks.


#5 IDONTSEEIT

IDONTSEEIT

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,071
  • Joined: 04 May 2003

Posted 11 October 2003 - 12:04 AM

Hey Spaceballs,

As of 10/11/03, Adorama(adorama.com), still has the Celestron 102mm spotting scope on sale for $179.99. I have one and love it. The sale price is less than a new ST-80, and you get 4" of aperture, it's 21" long, and only weighs 5lbs. It has a block for mounting to a photo-tripod. Tom T. just got one, check the other threads. It comes with a 45* correct-image diagonal, two eyepieces, and a nifty little finder thats focusable.

Good luck!!!

#6 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----
  • topic starter

Posted 11 October 2003 - 08:25 AM

There is an in-depth review of the Starmax 90 here on Cloudy Nights. I have recently gotten one as my first scope and am happy with it, but hesitate to give an unqualified reccomendation due to my inexperience.

The scope starts off at 50X with the supplied 25mm plossl. I got a 10mm plossl which I use for planets. I have done all my observing in light-polluted skies so far.

#7 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----
  • topic starter

Posted 11 October 2003 - 06:26 PM

I think I will go with the Star Max 90 in the end, I like the looks of it:) But I will probly be able to test some of the smaller scopes at my local star party if, any of them are there.
I will have to get the celestron eyepiece set pretty soon to, it might stop being on sale or who knows what. I need the filters badly, even though my astronomy teacher has lent me his polarizing moon filter and an orange #02 filter.



#8 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----
  • topic starter

Posted 15 October 2003 - 09:47 PM

Spaceballs;

Stellarvue has a sale on their Nighthawk if you can stretch the budget. They are on sale for $399.

#9 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----
  • topic starter

Posted 15 October 2003 - 10:10 PM

I wonder how the stellarvue and Orion 80ED would compare head-to-head?

#10 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----
  • topic starter

Posted 15 October 2003 - 10:43 PM

Tom,

I wondered the same thing. I was going to buy a used 80 or 90 refractor combo and get on Orion's preorder list for an ED80 when I found out about the Nighthawk sale. It was just enough to make it feasible. I guess the comparison will have to be done by someone else, my budget's shot.:doah:

Oh well now I am just waiting on the UPS man.:praying:


#11 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----
  • topic starter

Posted 15 October 2003 - 10:54 PM

Will Monday ever come!

Enjoy your new scope and look forward to reading your thoughts on it.

Tom

#12 Tom T

Tom T

    A Father, A Teacher, A Pioneer

  • *****
  • In Memoriam
  • Posts: 36,397
  • Joined: 26 Feb 2002

Posted 16 October 2003 - 09:29 AM

I wonder how the stellarvue and Orion 80ED would compare head-to-head?


Tom,

Well, I can tell you *optically* having looked through them side by side - the 80ED is just about the equal of a TV76, and I'd MUCH rather have a TV76 than a 1010.

Build quality between the 76 and 80ed? The 76 wins, no contest - but the 80 ain't exactly terrible....

Personally I think the 80ED is gonna be the cause of a "whole lotta shakin goin on" in the small *apo* refractor world - ASSUMING that Orion can keep the quality up.

The 80ED would top MY list in the $400 refractor world.... (maybe even in the 80mm ish refractor world)

Tom T.

#13 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----
  • topic starter

Posted 16 October 2003 - 12:51 PM

Thanks Tom, your thoughts carry a lot of weight around here and I appreciate it. Quality control is not difficult if done correctly. The quality of items coming out of Taiwan has made Taiwan the current manufacturing leader in the world (next to the US of course! :grin:) and China is trying to get into the game big time. ISO9000 does not gaurantee quality but it supplies a method to track it and modify processes to improve overall quality of the end product.

What can you tell me about the Vixen 80M and 80S??? :D

Tom

#14 Craig

Craig

    Vendor (Stark Labs)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 770
  • Joined: 16 Sep 2003

Posted 16 October 2003 - 04:56 PM

Yea, the 80ED sure is a sweet looking option. I'd bought a Stellarvue AT1010 and swapped it for an 80/9D. Apparently, my 1010 was the first one in quite some time that fell out of collimation during shipping. SV was great about taking it back and swapping it out for the 80/9D (I actually chose a $350 blem and got some more $$ back). Anyway, the 80/9D could be considered another comp for the 80ED, as the 80ED sits between the AT1010 and the 80/9D in terms of f-ratio / focal length. Like the AT1010, the 80/9D is very nice and solid. Even though the added weight seems like a drawback in terms of travel, the added beef equates to added durability which can be a plus for travel. With the dew shield off and the focuser removed, it fits in the case for the AT1010. Even without that, its 25" length isn't too bad and is 2" more than the 80ED.

If the 80ED weren't on a long list, I might have gone that route. The f/9.4 of the 80/9D makes false color a non-issue for me and it star tests wonderfully. So, known excellent star tests / QC (or ability to swap scopes if, on the small chance, it does get dinged up) and great build quality on the SV side vs. size (2" diff) / weight (2.25 lb diff) and possibly less color on the 80ED's side. Given the reports on the 80ED's clearly more than passable build quality and the great initial performance reports, we seem to have smallish differences all around b/n the scopes.

Craig


#15 Tom T

Tom T

    A Father, A Teacher, A Pioneer

  • *****
  • In Memoriam
  • Posts: 36,397
  • Joined: 26 Feb 2002

Posted 16 October 2003 - 05:57 PM

Craig, you can remove the dew shield on the 80ED as well making it several inches shorter for storage. From what I've seen of it, it does perform as a true apo. You might check around for wait lists - try orion dealers, not orion itself - they aren't that bad.

Still, the 80 9/d is a very well (and mostly american) built achromat, and the AT1010 may indeed have a better mechanical build quality, and I'd be willing to bet Vic gives great customer support.

Yet, I'll bet the 80ED scope (if they get supply up) is going to put a serious crimp in the sides of small achro and apo manufacturers.... (And not just SV either.)

It's already stopped me from making a trade to acquire an FS78 or TV85.

Tom T.

#16 Tom T

Tom T

    A Father, A Teacher, A Pioneer

  • *****
  • In Memoriam
  • Posts: 36,397
  • Joined: 26 Feb 2002

Posted 16 October 2003 - 06:01 PM

What can you tell me about the Vixen 80M and 80S??? :D

Tom


Not much. I can tell you this about vixen tho - they are frequently a forgotten option, and that's a shame. Their 102FL performed (optically) nearly identically to my TV102 in side by side testing. But, the price has gone up on the 102fl since then too...

Certainly worth investigating.

Tom T.

#17 Tom T

Tom T

    A Father, A Teacher, A Pioneer

  • *****
  • In Memoriam
  • Posts: 36,397
  • Joined: 26 Feb 2002

Posted 21 October 2003 - 06:56 PM

FWIW, I ordered an ED80 on Sunday and the dealer called tonight to tell me they recieved their shipment today, and my scope is shipping out tomorrow.

If you are interested in an ED80 I suggest you check with the Orion Dealers - not Orion itself. Orion told me they are back listed till december on this scope.

Tom T.

#18 kentak

kentak

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 480
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2003

Posted 22 October 2003 - 12:53 AM

Tom,
I've been following the various threads in this forum about portable small scopes very closely, since I've been thinking about getting something that would be more airline portable than my Nexstar 8i. I nearly had myself convinced that $179 Celestron was the way to go, but then I thought maybe a just a few hundred more for an AT1010 would be a better idea, but now I'm thinking just a little more for an 80ED would be even better. What Orion dealer did you order from?

My 8i started off as a $250 Skywindow for a pair of 15x70 binocs, went through the range of Meade etx's before settling on the 8i. It probably would've kept on escalating but I realized I'd have to actually move the beast! Help! I'm slip slidin' away down the slippery slope...

Ken

#19 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----
  • topic starter

Posted 26 October 2003 - 12:39 AM

can someone tell me what the mirror shift is like on a Apex/Star Max 90??
I'm currently leaning towards the ST 80.
I hoped to be able to go out this night to the local start party again, but the weather didn't agree.

Was beautiful all week, except today.

Go figure...



#20 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----
  • topic starter

Posted 27 October 2003 - 01:43 PM

Space_Balls,
I've got the Apex 127 and it has a little image shift. Not as bad as an SCT, though. It didn't have any when new, but it has a smidge now (though I have it on a MUCH better mount now that doesn't vibrate at all, so it may have had a smidge all the time and I never noticed). For a "grab-and-go" scope, the Apex 127 is not ideal as it takes a while to cool down. Not a problem in the summer, as it doesn't cool off here anyway, but it can be a problem in the winter.
Warpd

#21 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----
  • topic starter

Posted 27 October 2003 - 02:56 PM

Craig;

I have had my AT1010 for a week now. What do you like about your 80/9D better or worse than the AT1010?

Keith


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics