Posted 12 April 2010 - 05:56 PM
snart, et alia,
I think you're getting things wrong for a lot of people. Don't get me wrong, people using SCTs and apo's on their driven, often go-to mounts, the smaller-is-better philosophy may work for you. But at this past Saturday night's star party 40 miles east of town, everyone had an undriven dob except a friend of mine with his ES 6" achromat-on-Universal Astronomics alt-az and me, with my AstroTech 80ED on the PortaMount.
I just picked up two TV Plossls, but after a brief view through my new 20mm, it got put back in the case, eclipsed by the Pan 19. The Meade 5000 14mm UWA did a WONDERFUL job on M101, arms flying in glory, in another Club member's 20" dob. Nobody even thought of using a pathetic plossl (or less) AFOV eyepiece. I'm certain my 25mm Antares Elite Plossl would have done a great job, but the image would have been much smaller, with about the same level of pushing and moving.
For me, the human factor of driven vs undriven scopes cannot possibly be removed. That said, I'm positive that what we lost in minor detail to a super-optimized, low lens count, poor AFOV eyepiece in an apo of 1/3rd less aperture was more than overcome by the several bazillion more photons the 20" mirror and Meade 5000 14mm UWA put in the eyeball. One must take the situation as it comes, and for the undriven scope world, which often comes with many, many more photons from the light bucket, the wide field eyepiece is the perfect compliment.
We had three 10" dobs, one 8" dob, the 20" dob and the two undriven refractors. Wide field ruled for the folks lucky enough to have them. Those who only had plossls didn't prefer them to those with Naglers and Meade UWAs. At the end of the evening, when I put my Nagler 9 t6 in a friend's new 10" XT, he was only in awe of M13, as was I. The thought of replacing it with his Sirius Plossl 10mm didn't occur to either of us.
I understand if you have hours and hours to pursue this hobby, the driven scope is the best choice, but all of us are amateurs, able to tear ourselves away from the work-a-day world on the occasional grace of being able to get away and fair weather provide. Hey, I'm a married man, thank God! Gotta go pick up the kid,