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.

Maks as grab'n'go

This topic has been archived.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

#26 moynihan

moynihan

    Vanguard

  • -----
  • Posts: 2,321
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2003

Posted 18 August 2005 - 07:40 PM

The Helix Hercules looks top notch for telescope use...


It is

#27 Rusty

Rusty

    ISS

  • *****
  • In Memoriam
  • Posts: 22,761
  • Joined: 06 Aug 2003

Posted 18 August 2005 - 08:45 PM

Hi, Rusty.

There are probably some N5i models still in the supply chain, but Celestron has dropped the C5 optical tube from current production. There's a C6 coming to replace it (rumor has it that one's gonna be an import).


Good point - I should have made mention that they showed up occasionally on the used market... :tonofbricks:

#28 Averted

Averted

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 517
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2005

Posted 21 August 2005 - 02:23 PM


One of the problems you can run into with a photo tripod head and even a lightweight telescope occurs when the scope is pointing at the zenith and the tripod head has to carry all the weight of the scope perpendicular to the vertical axis of the tripod. Most light weight photo heads can't do it, resulting in creep or outright failure to hold the scope at all. What happens then is that the user tightens the friction knob so it won't move and then you've lost the ability to pan. I have a Bogen 3130 head on one of my tripods and it won't even hold my 20x80 binoculars without creeping.


Patrick


Hi Patrick,

This hasn't been a problem for me. I woud imagine that 20 x 80 binoculars might be more heavy than an ST-80 or 90 Mak--I'm not sure. I've used it with great success on my St-80 and Ranger, zenith and otherwise, but I could imagine that more weight would make it creep. I have been curious to try that trick from the S&T article!

One thing about the fluid pan heads is that the system is not designed as a balanced system. You basically lock down your azimuth and thus you are limited by the weight of the instrument you have on it--not a problem for a sub 4 lb scope IMO. The helix head and such are better for sure (I've been eyeing one myself), but they also cost twice as much as a typical high quality fluid pan head (3130 or 701RC), so it also depends a lot on what you want to spend.

I would not recommend a fluid pan head for narrow view apex, however. You get a little drop in the alt after you lock it in. I would suggest something with slow mos. But I would recommend it with an ST-80 as a very servicable budget alternative. Not a problem when you have a wide field.

Daniel, for a budget alternative I would think the EQ-1 would be servicable on the Apex 90. You might also see if you can find an old Vixen Custom D on Astromart. I understand that they are a higher quality verison of the EQ-1 (perhaps original?), and have the added bar to address balance issues.

#29 trainsktg

trainsktg

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,983
  • Joined: 23 Aug 2005

Posted 31 August 2005 - 09:23 PM

Daniel,

Well for my 2 cents worth, I like my LOMO Astele 70mm. I leave it in its little carry bag and take an alt-az or equ. mount depending on what I'm doing. The machining and optics are pretty darn good, no plastic, but I'd get a better eyepiece than the one that comes with it (not bad, but I prefer a little bit more eye relief in a 25mm Plossl). Price is good too. Around $200 gets you the scope with shade, photo adapter, case, diagonal, etc.

Keith

#30 Averted

Averted

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 517
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2005

Posted 01 September 2005 - 01:28 AM

LOMOs are nice . I had the 95. Built like a soviet tank (not that I've seen one). Super contrasty images and nice pin-pointy stars adn a very smooth focuser. there was some image shift in focusing, but that never really bothered me.

#31 trainsktg

trainsktg

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,983
  • Joined: 23 Aug 2005

Posted 01 September 2005 - 08:05 AM

Dave,

I seem to hear of alot of 70s or 95s having the same image shift you report (mine has it too). I think it is their ONLY flaw. The Russians sure do know how to build good stuff. As a side note, I also have a pair of Gen 1 NVGs made by LZOS that show the same kind of quality ruggedness and construction.

Keith

#32 Bob Clift

Bob Clift

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 373
  • Joined: 22 Mar 2005

Posted 02 September 2005 - 08:47 PM

"The tabletop Meade 90 mak I just poo-poo'd (SNIP) If only it used a little less plastic it could be good"

Harry, I've heard rumours of a plastic-free tabletop 90mm Mak, doesn't sound too promising tho, apparently Meade are farming out construction to some little outfit called Quester or something?

/runs away and hides

#33 southmike

southmike

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,876
  • Joined: 22 Nov 2004

Posted 03 September 2005 - 11:29 AM

lol I was going to mention questars..but oh the price...

#34 darylf96

darylf96

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,478
  • Joined: 28 Aug 2004

Posted 03 September 2005 - 08:40 PM

Don't try to make a long FL mak into a wide-field scope. It won't work. For a grab-an-go scope, stick with a short refractor. The new Orion 80mm costs considerably more than the short-tube 80, but it would be worth saving up for. Both WO and Burgess Optical have short tube 8omm scopes at good prices.

#35 wilash

wilash

    Fairy Godmother

  • *****
  • Posts: 5,746
  • Joined: 30 Sep 2003

Posted 03 September 2005 - 10:46 PM

Don't try to make a long FL mak into a wide-field scope.


That depends on what you mean by "wide field." I use my 5" M503 Mak at 25x with nearly a 2 degree field of view. It makes a wonderful grab and go scope. Certainly better than my ST80. If I need something wider, my Mini Borg 50 or a pair of binoculars are good for grab and go.

#36 matt

matt

    Vendor (Scopemania)

  • *****
  • Posts: 10,991
  • Joined: 28 Jul 2003

Posted 04 September 2005 - 01:35 AM

Short tubes 80mms are better as grad'n'go scopes than maks. Here's why. (Matt's 467th peremptory statement on telescopes ;) Watch out, statement #468 follows).

For years I had thought about the "theory" of grab'n'go. I even owned the "ultimate" grab'n'go scope, a takahashi sky90. I never grab'n'goed it anywhere: I had made a custom padded case for it (with 2" + of padding on all sides), but it was more expensive than the car I drove in. I sold it to a guy who needed a grab and go because he could not take on vacation either his Mewlon 250 or his FS128. Then various scopes, then a ST80 (a nexstar 80).

This summer (I came back yesterday), I took my 80mm on a camping trip to Canada. I had reasoned that I may have dark skies, plus wanted it as a wildlife watching device (I have kids 5 and 6, and the reasoning was that they could not point binoculars to a particular place, but could look into a telescope already pointed).

Well the thing worked miracles. It really fits in a backpack, and as you can find ota's in that size in the 100-150$ range, you are not really worried about scratching the tube (while a single scratch on a sky90 OTA can will bring down its resale value by the price of a couple ST80s!). In my backpack (not you himalaya-climbing backpack, your regular high school unit) I could place the OTA, basic photo tripod, water bottle, "Off" spray can. My only complaint was that I could not close the back pack with the diagonal and eyepiece on.

Well
1- it worked wonders and we used the thing more than I had used it in the previous year. Chromatic aberration was noticeable on some objects (especially those loons which have that checkered white and black pattern on their wings!) but acceptable.
2- in casual wildlife viewing, you don't use more than 40x much; most of the time we used about 15x for macroscopic viewing or binocular-type viewing. Just for that I would go for the 80mm


but...
peremptory statement #468 on telescopes:
a small mak has about 1000mm focal length. With a 32mm, 50° plossl (I will not make the stupid assumption of using a 68°, 41mm panoptic costing twice the price of the tube), it provides 32x and a 1.6° field, enough to see in full all but a handful of deep sky objects; and is usually tremendously better at high power viewing than a small refractor. So if you don't use it for terrestrial viewing, it might be better to go with the mak.

#37 Averted

Averted

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 517
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2005

Posted 07 September 2005 - 12:04 AM

Matt,
I agree. The St-80 makes a wonderful grab-n-go. i just had it with me on a backpacking trip to the Sierra nevadas, and it did a great job with the Veil, N America, etc. Plus, like you say, you don't worry too much about it.
However, i also think that Maks can be grab-n-go for different kinds of uses.

#38 Rusty

Rusty

    ISS

  • *****
  • In Memoriam
  • Posts: 22,761
  • Joined: 06 Aug 2003

Posted 07 September 2005 - 08:00 PM

I have an 80mm refractor and a 150mm MCT. They're bth "grab 'n' go" IMHO - but it depends on how much grabbin' and how much goin' you're going to do. I can load the Mak into my car easily - while the 80mm is smaller, traveling by car makes no difference. If I had to walk to a site, the little refractor wins.

#39 Chuck Fellows

Chuck Fellows

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 450
  • Joined: 21 Aug 2005

Posted 07 September 2005 - 09:54 PM

I see this thread has gone on for a while, but wanted to add my comments. I can't say enough good things about Mak Newts. Unlike Mak Cassegrains, Mak Newts have pretty short focal lengths, F6 for most of the commercially available ones. This affords them nice, wide field views and the images are much sharper, edge to edge, than a comparable newtonian. They truly approach APO refractors in their contrast and sharpness.

The 6" F6 from Intes and/or Orion are a lot of scope for the money. I now have a 7.1" Mak Newt that I build with an optical set from ITE. Because they have a full aperature corrector (meniscus) lens on the front of the scope, they are heavier than comparably sized Newtonians. But there is not a comparably sized Newtonian than can compare with the Mak Newt's images.

The 5" Mak Newt from Intes (MN56) is a little dim in it's light gathering in my opinion. There is a world of difference in it's bigger brother, the MN66, a 6" F6 model. These things show up on the boards periodically for $600 - $800 and are worth the money in my opinion.

Here is a picture of my 7.1" Mak Newt.

chuck Fellows

Attached Thumbnails

  • 590896-MakNewtDone.jpg


#40 ezrider23

ezrider23

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,190
  • Joined: 21 Aug 2004

Posted 07 September 2005 - 10:35 PM

Beautiful scope Chuck!! It sure isnt the plain old russian OTA that I have learned to love. Eventually I would like to buy a mak-newt and put it on a dob base. Poor mans Apo heaven :jump: :jump:

#41 ezrider23

ezrider23

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,190
  • Joined: 21 Aug 2004

Posted 07 September 2005 - 10:38 PM

Oh, and here is my grab and go setup. works for me

Attached Thumbnails

  • 590954-icarus1.jpg


#42 matt

matt

    Vendor (Scopemania)

  • *****
  • Posts: 10,991
  • Joined: 28 Jul 2003

Posted 07 September 2005 - 11:13 PM

Nice scope chuck. But I have an MN66/Argonaut, and would certainly not describe it as grab'n'go. OTA, finder and eyepiece weigh in at 20lbs, the tube is about 4' long, so it's either a dob mount you use (like you did) or a massive equatorial (like I do). Plus, the collimation of the secondary can drive you nuts at times.

#43 trainsktg

trainsktg

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,983
  • Joined: 23 Aug 2005

Posted 08 September 2005 - 08:01 PM

Chuck,
The spoked pivots give it a very 'classic' look. Nice job.
Keith

#44 Averted

Averted

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 517
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2005

Posted 09 September 2005 - 11:09 AM

Chuck is that a Custom D mount? Seems like a good tranportable combo with the Intes.

#45 southmike

southmike

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,876
  • Joined: 22 Nov 2004

Posted 09 September 2005 - 11:17 AM

the biggest problem with any grab and go that i have found is .....the mount.

most good mounts are not grab friendly.my 90 mm mak on an eq1 mount is but the mount does not revolve all the way around. and certainly is on the light side..go for grabbing bad for bigger scopes.

#46 Chuck Fellows

Chuck Fellows

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 450
  • Joined: 21 Aug 2005

Posted 09 September 2005 - 06:49 PM

I guess it's all in your perspective as to what constitutes a Grab n Go. I'm 61 years old and can pick up my 7.1" Mak Newt and carry it through the house and out into my back yard about as fast as I can my TAK FC60 with Tripod and Mount. It kind of leaves me breathless, but it's doable.

I have to make a second trip for the eyepiece case with either scope.

Dave, I don't understand your question about the Double D mount? I don't know what a Double D mount is...

Chuck

#47 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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

Posted 10 September 2005 - 12:03 AM

I really like my ETX-90PE as my grab and go scope. Everything I need fits into one case. At home, I have a special table I use to observe from Questar-style. When going away, I take the tripod along in it's bag. I like the convenience of GOTO, and the automatic align feature of the PE series adds to the convenience. True, they aren't cheap, but a bargain compared to a Questar.

#48 Darren B

Darren B

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 289
  • Joined: 02 May 2005

Posted 10 September 2005 - 01:30 AM

I have 90mm Mak on an Aztech mount. While it works well on low to medium power I'ld rather have the EQ1 for high power for ease of tracking and with the counterwieght take heavier loads.
I have recently purchased an Atik 0.5 focal reducer which screws into the filter thread of a 1.25 eyepiece and so far it looks promising. It doubles up the field of view and makes star hopping easier. I'll let you know how I get on with it.

#49 Averted

Averted

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 517
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2005

Posted 10 September 2005 - 05:37 PM


Dave, I don't understand your question about the Double D mount? I don't know what a Double D mount is...

Chuck


Well, I guess that would be a no :grin: I meant a Custom-D, as in Vixen Custom-D.

http://www.cloudynig...d=797&pr=2x8x35

I've been thinking about this for my Mak.


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