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Why I Love Cats

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#51 HaleBopper

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 11:11 AM

Ah the SCT, the only time I prefer a "cat" to a "dog." :grin:



#52 Ptkacik

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 10:11 PM

Ah the SCT!

It is not a great telescope. It just does so many things so well.

I have a range of telescopes and although I've never looked through one, I suspect the C9.25" may be near an optimum size. It would be at the high end of the one person carry scopes. It should out do an 8" SCT but not get into the range of two manned lift requirements.

There is also some Mojo about the F ratio of the primary mirror that helps things but makes it longer. I can't comment on that affect (or is it effect)?

Clear skies,
Peter

#53 A6Q6

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 02:22 PM

Ah the SCT!

It is not a great telescope. It just does so many things so well.

I have a range of telescopes and although I've never looked through one, I suspect the C9.25" may be near an optimum size. It would be at the high end of the one person carry scopes. It should out do an 8" SCT but not get into the range of two manned lift requirements.

There is also some Mojo about the F ratio of the primary mirror that helps things but makes it longer. I can't comment on that affect (or is it effect)?

Clear skies,
Peter

Hi Peter, an optically great SCT does not grow on trees, but they are out there. They say the new SCTs are more consistent. The only thing I can say is that if something comes along that you can get for a good price, it may or may not have good optics. But the SCT with great optics is the one to have. Sometimes its just a simple matter of collimation.  The reputation for being, " not a great telescope, It just does so many things well " is deserved, but occasionally the optical and mechanical comes together and you have one fantastic telescope.  Today many folks are wide field junkies and the SCT design even with a focal reducer does not cut it for them unless they can find a Schmidt-Newtonian but then in most cases the high power views go downhill.  I have no experience with Mak/Newts.  I'm mostly lunar and planetary and I want optics that cut it in that area. My new to me C8 is as optically good as my 6" Mak, but has a 2" advantage and is much lighter.  They say the Celestron 8" SCTs are lighter than the Meade 8" SCTs.  My C5 is as light as my 60mm eq refractor and my C8 is much lighter than my 6" Mak.  I can lean the C8 forward on its tripod leg, reach down and fold it and carry the whole thing down two steps from my screened in porch and its ready to go. After lifting my Quantum 6 Mak (the same way) for over 35yrs I can't get over how light an 8" telescope can be. Yesterday morning I was observing the Moon for four hours and was seeing periods of razor sharp detail like I see in the Mak but more than I see in my 6" Mak because this C8 has greater resolving power. This morning I was observing for around two hours and observed Messier on the terminator and the rill associated with it.  First time I ever saw it or even knew Messier had a rill associated with it. .....Since the C8 is so light and I don't have an observatory, I'm not dreaming of an 8" Mak anymore.  Yes, a SCT can be that good. I hope you not only "look through one", but find one you can own.


Edited by A6Q6, 02 September 2015 - 09:06 PM.


#54 ArsMachina

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 02:47 PM

I do own a 12,5" Portaball for almost 20 years now.

While the optics are perfect and showed me wonderful images I never liked the spikes of the secondary spider and went to a curved spider. The spikes are gone but I do see a bright area around the objects now.

The size and weight of the big dobs also never was a pleasure to move around.

 

Last year I discovered my love for binoscopes, started with a double refractor and soon wanted more, especially more aperture...

A double newton was no possibility for me because of the size, weight and uncomfortable use.

So I came across the Cats :-)

They are providing large apertures at a small telescope size and weight.

And especially: No spider -> no spikes :-)

So I went ahead...

 

c11-23.jpg

 

Jochen



#55 Laika

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 08:45 PM


Ah the SCT!

It is not a great telescope. It just does so many things so well.

I have a range of telescopes and although I've never looked through one, I suspect the C9.25" may be near an optimum size. It would be at the high end of the one person carry scopes. It should out do an 8" SCT but not get into the range of two manned lift requirements.

There is also some Mojo about the F ratio of the primary mirror that helps things but makes it longer. I can't comment on that affect (or is it effect)?

Clear skies,
Peter

Hi Peter, an optically great SCT does not grow on trees, but they are out there. They say the new SCTs are more consistent. The only thing I can say is that if something comes along that you can get for a good price, it may or may not have good optics. But the SCT with great optics is the one to have. Sometimes its just a simple matter of collimation. The reputation for being, " not a great telescope, It just does so many things well " is deserved, but occasionally the optical and mechanical comes together and you have one fantastic telescope. Today many folks are wide field junkies and the SCT design even with a focal reducer does not cut it for them unless they can find a Schmidt-Newtonian but then in most cases the high power views go downhill. I have no experience with Mak/Newts. I'm mostly lunar and planetary and I want optics that cut it in that area. My new to me C8 is as optically good as my 6" Mak, but has a 2" advantage and is much lighter. They say the Celestron 8" SCTs are lighter than the Meade 8" SCTs. My C5 is as light as my 60mm eq refractor and my C8 is much lighter than my 6" Mak. I can lean the C8 forward on its tripod leg, reach down and fold it and carry the whole thing down two steps from my screened in porch and its ready to go. After lifting my Quantum 6 Mak (the same way) for over 35yrs I can't get over how light an 8" telescope can be. Yesterday morning I was observing the Moon for four hours and was seeing periods of razor sharp detail like I see in the Mak that I have not seen in my 6" Mak because this C8 has greater resolving power. This morning I was observing for around two hours and observed Messier on the terminator and the rill associated with it. First time I ever saw it or even knew Messier had a rill associated with it. .....Since the C8 is so light and I don't have an observatory, I'm not dreaming of an 8" Mak anymore. Yes, a SCT can be that good. I hope you not only "look through one", but find one you can own.

"Wide field junkies"

Lol, love it ;)

#56 StarMike8SE

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 07:27 AM

Check out this C22 ... Wow

 

0066596_bob-piekiel-and-celestron-c22b.jpg



#57 Timmie99

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 06:59 PM

Yeah ... listen to me.  I'm just getting started.



#58 ensign

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Posted 11 September 2015 - 11:38 AM

Check out this C22 ... Wow

 

attachicon.gif0066596_bob-piekiel-and-celestron-c22b.jpg

:shocked:

 

Wow! 

 

Just one question.  What's that access panel for?  For the observer to climb in there and collimate the thing?



#59 DoctorNoodle

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Posted 11 September 2015 - 07:02 PM

 

Check out this C22 ... Wow

 

attachicon.gif0066596_bob-piekiel-and-celestron-c22b.jpg

:shocked:

 

Wow! 

 

Just one question.  What's that access panel for?  For the observer to climb in there and collimate the thing?

 

That's where you park your truck after driving the scope to a dark-sky site.



#60 jrbarnett

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 08:50 AM



1) They are folded optical systems, making them extremely convenient and portable. Compare 8" SCT with 8" Newtonian for example.

 

2) They give good contrast, almost as good as 3 element ED refractors for far less money.

 

3) They require almost no maintenance, again joining refractors in that aspect.

 

4) They are the easiest design to accessorize because of the short tube and reduced leverage

 

5) They are versatile in focal length because of reducers and the f/2 Fastar photographic option.

 

6) They are affectionate and make trouble free pets.

I had to LOL at #2!  Wholly agree with #1.  But with SCTs at least contrast is by far the worst of the common designs.

 

On the other points, you're a bit optimistic.  Correctors need cleaning and tend to streak.  Collimation is a must to get remotely close to the scope's potential, but you won't need to recoat mirrors as soon as you will with a Newt.  For visual they also aren't all that versatile in that they do not deliver wide true fields even reduced.  And visual accessories that hang off the back work all kinds of mischief including vignetting,

 

But I love them too, for #1.  Easily transportable aperture.

 

One of my cats at play.

 

P1000403_zpsb993cd32.jpg

 

- Jim


Edited by jrbarnett, 12 September 2015 - 08:59 AM.


#61 t.r.

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 09:09 AM

Check out this C22 ... Wow

 

attachicon.gif0066596_bob-piekiel-and-celestron-c22b.jpg

Got to look at this scope at Bob's house...unfortunately not through it as it was a daytime visit. Very cool indeed!  :waytogo:



#62 Ptkacik

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Posted 21 September 2015 - 09:51 PM

ArsMachina:

Is that a pair of C11's made into a Binoscope? How do you align the views so your eyes don't go cross eyed? Very cool. I think I'd rather look through that than the C22 shown above.

Regarding nice SCT's, I bought an inexpensive Meade 8" and it dogs my 10", C11, and 180mm Mak, but at half the weight. What a great scope. It is on an Orion Monster Parallelogram mount now waiting for clear skies. I plan on laying in an easy chair (zero gravity chair) to look at the sky. Ha! Maybe waiting on clear and moonless skies.

Regarding two telescopes, I'll just stick with my binoviewer. It it much easier (though nowhere near as cool).

Clear skies,
Peter

#63 ArsMachina

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 06:09 AM

Hi Peter,

 

yes, these are two C11's but I also made a somewhat smaller binoscope out of two C8

 

The vertical alignment is done by tilting the two tubes agains each other while the connecting screws are not 100% tightened.

The horizontal alignment is done by putting very thin shims between the connection pieces until both tubes are 100% parallel.

 

The remaining tiny misalignment can be eliminated with the two mirror tilting screws at the right EMS housing while observing.

 

Jochen



#64 deefree49

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 04:22 PM

The 22"

The 11" binoscope

Jim's tripped out cat

 

all VERY impressive! :bigshock:  :applause:  :drool5:



#65 GeneT

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 05:57 PM

1) They are folded optical systems, making them extremely convenient and portable. Compare 8" SCT with 8" Newtonian for example.

 

2) They give good contrast, almost as good as 3 element ED refractors for far less money.

 

3) They require almost no maintenance, again joining refractors in that aspect.

 

4) They are the easiest design to accessorize because of the short tube and reduced leverage

 

5) They are versatile in focal length because of reducers and the f/2 Fastar photographic option.

 

6) They are affectionate and make trouble free pets.

 

I agree with all the above except #2. There are many advantages for an SCT, but the problem is that there are advantages for refactors and reflectors like Dobs. I owned two SCTs, but gravitated to reflectors, now my preference. I still am tempted to buy a good 4-6 inch refractor, but at age 72, don't think I ever will.



#66 payner

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 08:31 PM

Mr. Gene: If you want and can afford a 4-6" refractor I believe you should get yourself one! I get the impression you are a young 72, both physically and at-heart. You know what's right for you, so follow your heart. But, as I'm sure you know, as one who has 4, 5 & 6" refractors, the 6" is a considerably larger both dimensionally and in weight.

 

Best wishes,
Randy


Edited by payner, 22 September 2015 - 08:44 PM.


#67 A6Q6

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 08:44 PM

Mr. Gene: If you want and can afford a 4-6" refractor I believe you should get yourself one! I get the impression you are a young 72, both physically and at-heart. You know what's right for you, so follow your heart. But, as I'm sure you know, as one who has both 4, 5 & 6" refractors, the 6" is a considerably larger both dimensionally and in weight.

 

Best wishes,
Randy

+1 you should buy what you want and not worry about age.  

I'm sure you know that George Bush Sr (wheelchair bound) celebrated his 90th birthday with a skydive.  If he had gotten a 6" refractor it would not have even made the news. Go for it!!   


Edited by A6Q6, 22 September 2015 - 08:52 PM.


#68 graffias79

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 05:52 AM

I'm thinking of adding a Schmidt Cass to my list of telescopes.  I already have a CG-5 so I'm thinking about adding a C6-A since it's seems like the CG-5 can swing one around with relative ease.  I can find a new one for around $400.  It's a price at which I can justify dipping my toes into the Cass water.  Most of my other telescopes are f/5 or have smaller aperture.  I do have the C4.5 reflector but I am not a fan of reflectors on GEMs.  I would like a telescope that is more compact but also doesn't skimp on aperture, and I do not mind the narrower field of view since solar system objects are one of my favorite targets.

 

The only thing is that I'm concerned about is what to expect for views.  I've looked through a few Schmidts and some of the views were absolutely gorgeous, and others were less than stellar (pun intended).  I have heard that it can be like rolling the dice on optical performance.  Obviously I would want something that has nice optics but do I have a good shot of getting a decent C6-A if I order a new one?

 

Thanks



#69 A6Q6

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 09:36 AM

 

 

The only thing is that I'm concerned about is what to expect for views.  I've looked through a few Schmidts and some of the views were absolutely gorgeous, and others were less than stellar (pun intended).  I have heard that it can be like rolling the dice on optical performance.  Obviously I would want something that has nice optics but do I have a good shot of getting a decent C6-A if I order a new one?

 

Thanks

"You pays your money and you takes your chance,"  but nowadays you have a very good chance of getting a good (decent C6) SCT.  An Excellent C6 is another story but it is possible you could get one. http://www.cloudynig...8/#entry6793234


Edited by A6Q6, 25 September 2015 - 10:53 AM.


#70 graffias79

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 11:16 AM

That is good to hear. I do not own any telescopes that one could consider premium so "decent" should be good. Especially since I'm getting a good aperture in a compact CG-5 friendly design.

Thank you for the response.

#71 stevew

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 04:26 AM

Yes, we all know about the dreaded contrast robing oversized secondary, but if I could only have one scope it would be a good C8...

Easy to set up, easy to collimate, long F/L gives a nice image scale, and enough aperture to keep you busy for decades, all in a very small package..

 

 

Steve



#72 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 04:57 AM

This might explain some of the feelings about these wonderful scopes

 

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=vvXSpg9uuf4

 

 



#73 peleuba

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 10:49 AM

1) They are folded optical systems, making them extremely convenient and portable. Compare 8" SCT with 8" Newtonian for example.

 

2) They give good contrast, almost as good as 3 element ED refractors for far less money.

 

3) They require almost no maintenance, again joining refractors in that aspect.

 

4) They are the easiest design to accessorize because of the short tube and reduced leverage

 

5) They are versatile in focal length because of reducers and the f/2 Fastar photographic option.

 

6) They are affectionate and make trouble free pets.

 

Let me preface this by saying I am not a huge fan of SCT's but when it came time to configure a permanent setup in the backyard, the SCT was the only telescope I considered.  mainly because of #1, #3, #4.  

 

I will add one more - the SCT is common and inexpensive, especially if purchased on the used market and offers a lot of bang for the buck.  I keep this setup outside 24/7 mounted on G11 atop a permanent pier.   If anything happens to the setup, its all replaceable and fairly economical to do so.

 

But I disagree with #1.  Contrast is one of the last reasons to pick an SCT, mainly because there is not much especially when compared to similar sized instruments of other designs.

Attached Thumbnails

  • C925.JPG


#74 Escher

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Posted 30 September 2015 - 11:44 AM

This Picture - Sometime in the late 90's - had my 20 year old heart all a flutter..

 

 

 

Its been a long road of SCT insanity ever since...

Attached Thumbnails

  • 16'LX200AAPier206288.jpg



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