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.

Photo

Vixen VMC experiences?

This topic has been archived.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

#1 akatko4

akatko4

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 20 Oct 2015

Posted 29 October 2015 - 05:11 PM

Does anyone have any experience with the vixen VMC line? Whether its the 95L or 110L? Theres not a lot out there on these modified maks and im interested to see what the verdict is on them. Are they true vixen quality?



#2 jeff gill

jeff gill

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 286
  • Joined: 14 May 2012

Posted 29 October 2015 - 05:59 PM

From what i've seen the opinion seems to be they're not nearly up to the standard of vixen's other optics.  



#3 tomjones

tomjones

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 706
  • Joined: 25 Jan 2011

Posted 29 October 2015 - 06:16 PM

The 110 is a total disappointment, secondary too large, curved vanes too thick, max power about 130x.  Almost threw it in the garbage, put it on ebay.  Sure is good looking.  The portamount was worth keeping.



#4 rolo

rolo

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9,313
  • Joined: 14 Jan 2007

Posted 29 October 2015 - 07:03 PM

I think I would opt for  asimilar sized Mak-Cass...



#5 Hesiod

Hesiod

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,691
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2013

Posted 29 October 2015 - 07:19 PM

VMC95 and VMC100 belong to the "China-made" Vixen products (maybe should have called these VMC95f and VMC110f).

I have read only bad things about them, the worst being  a rather unsuccessful* attempt to prevent miscollimations, which lead to a certain degree of frustration among some owners.

The VMC110 however has a quite interesting price (230€, basically the cheapest Cassegrain-based model next to Synta 90/1250), and periodically ponder whether gift (or smite, if the vox populi is indeed true) myself with a sample.

 

 

*I do not know if this has been addressed in the most recent samples



#6 akatko4

akatko4

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 20 Oct 2015

Posted 29 October 2015 - 10:31 PM

I think I would opt for  asimilar sized Mak-Cass...

What small mak cass would you opt for then? Because thats what I'm in the market for. Trying to get the best bang for my buck with a good grab and go. 

 

VMC95 and VMC100 belong to the "China-made" Vixen products (maybe should have called these VMC95f and VMC110f).

I have read only bad things about them, the worst being  a rather unsuccessful* attempt to prevent miscollimations, which lead to a certain degree of frustration among some owners.

The VMC110 however has a quite interesting price (230€, basically the cheapest Cassegrain-based model next to Synta 90/1250), and periodically ponder whether gift (or smite, if the vox populi is indeed true) myself with a sample.

 

 

*I do not know if this has been addressed in the most recent samples

 

Besides the problems with collimation, I've read that the are pretty darn sharp. Where have you read only bad things? 



#7 AnakChan

AnakChan

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,269
  • Joined: 01 Sep 2014

Posted 29 October 2015 - 11:47 PM

Didn't VMC260L performed reasonably well though? Granted it needed to be well collimated.

#8 tomjones

tomjones

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 706
  • Joined: 25 Jan 2011

Posted 30 October 2015 - 07:29 AM

After I got rid of the 110, got a used Orion 5" maksutov, very nice optically and rode well on the Vixen Portamount.

 

Remember way back in 2009, a rock hit Jupiter down in the polar region?  The 5" showed the resulting dark spot quite easily.  Max usably power on the planets is almost 300x.

 

Liked the 5" mak so much, moved up to the Orion 6", but it was too heavy and the portamount listed to one side alarmingly. 

 

Currently have the Celestron 6" SCT and it is perfect, weight, size, what you can see, cooldown times not bad, planetary max power a little over 300x, it's like the perfect scope with the portamount.



#9 akatko4

akatko4

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 20 Oct 2015

Posted 30 October 2015 - 09:16 AM

5inch just isn't portable enough for me though. Also, I need something with a wide fov for the eclipse in 2017.  The 100l f/9.4 would provide that. 



#10 PF9000

PF9000

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 86
  • Joined: 11 May 2011

Posted 30 October 2015 - 09:55 AM

I've never had a chance to use either of the Vixen scopes, but based on what I've read about them they don't appear to be held in particularly high regard.  Like the previous poster I was able to buy a used Orion 5" mak and I love it.  The Apex 127 to be exact.  It's highly portable and optically it packs a nice punch.

 

I don't know where you're located, but on the Amazon U.S. site the Celestron C5 spotting scope is currently listed at only $60 more than the VMC110L.  If you're buying new the C5 might be the best bargain out there in this size range.  But if you're set on a mak, the Orion, Celestron and Skywatcher 5" maks are only a few dollars more than the C5.  The Orion and Skywatcher 4" maks are lower priced than VMC110L.  

 

I've only had the Orion 5" mak a couple of weeks and I can see why there are so many devoted mak lovers out there. :)



#11 PF9000

PF9000

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 86
  • Joined: 11 May 2011

Posted 30 October 2015 - 12:04 PM

I just realized that High Point Scientific has the C6 listed for $399!  That would surely blow away the VMC110L for only a few dollars more.  Now that's tempting.



#12 akatko4

akatko4

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 20 Oct 2015

Posted 30 October 2015 - 12:28 PM

I feel like I am going to end up with a 4inch apex! The skywatchers come with a red dot instead of a true finder like the orions and i think 5 inches will be too long of a focal length for me. I need to be able to get the full sun in the frame with a dslr for the eclipse!



#13 jhayes_tucson

jhayes_tucson

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,388
  • Joined: 26 Aug 2012

Posted 30 October 2015 - 03:58 PM

Does anyone have any experience with the vixen VMC line? Whether its the 95L or 110L? Theres not a lot out there on these modified maks and im interested to see what the verdict is on them. Are they true vixen quality?

 

I've got a VMC-95L and I love it, BUT, I use it almost exclusively as a guide-scope on my C14.  I especially like the small size and the flip mirror is perfect for picking out guide stars.  It also seems mechanically pretty stable with little or no mirror flop or focus shift.  I've actually looked through it a few times and the imaging seems "only" pretty good but it seems slow to thermally stabilize.  As others have indicated, I would probably look around for something better if you want to observe with it.

 

John



#14 gene 4181

gene 4181

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5,222
  • Joined: 12 Nov 2013

Posted 30 October 2015 - 09:20 PM

I just realized that High Point Scientific has the C6 listed for $399!  That would surely blow away the VMC110L for only a few dollars more.  Now that's tempting.

They, highpoint also have  a used celestron c6 for 360 WITH free shipping , might talk  them down a touch on it.



#15 PF9000

PF9000

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 86
  • Joined: 11 May 2011

Posted 31 October 2015 - 05:16 PM

 

I just realized that High Point Scientific has the C6 listed for $399!  That would surely blow away the VMC110L for only a few dollars more.  Now that's tempting.

They, highpoint also have  a used celestron c6 for 360 WITH free shipping , might talk  them down a touch on it.

 

 

Nice!  Nothing like an astro-bargain.  My last 4 scope purchases have all been used and I've been very happy with them.  Good luck.



#16 mvln

mvln

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: 15 Jun 2014

Posted 03 November 2015 - 07:10 AM

I have the VMC260. It is a great quality scope but will only sustain aps format chips. Optics are very decent, better then Meade / Celestrons I owned before.



#17 Hesiod

Hesiod

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,691
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2013

Posted 03 November 2015 - 09:13 AM

Besides the problems with collimation, I've read that the are pretty darn sharp. Where have you read only bad things? 

 

"Bad things" descended from the "collimantion instability". According to some stargazers (and an Italian astro-magazine), the VMC110 seemed prone to lose collimation after minor shocks, and given the rather complex way to re-collimate it, this fact may lead to average poor performance, especially if employed as field scope (the reason behind my interest in the VMC), when both time and chance to perform the procedure may be unavailable.

Last, the VMC110 has a huge central obstruction (probably the largest among non-astrographs Cassegrain); but on the bright side, should have a flat field.

 

P.S. VMC200 and VMC260 are Japan-made and should share very little with the 110 and 95mm models (at least from what it concern the crafting)



#18 paulymo

paulymo

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 773
  • Joined: 10 Oct 2014

Posted 13 November 2015 - 11:04 AM

Hello,

 

As you can see in my tagline, I have a 95L.  I bought it used as my first scope (also my only scope).  Purchased based on a) reputation of Vixen quality, b) the extreme portability meant it could always be my grab n go scope when I stepped up to something bigger, c) no need for a dew shield, d) a few positive reviews online (including here) even though on the whole the reviews of it are a mixed bag, e) the possibility to use it for AP should interests lead me in that direction.

 

My verdict?  I ditto what John said--this scope is likely best suited for exactly what John is using it for but if you want something for visual use, you can do better.  You'll find a lot of reviews saying the views are "soft" and a smattering that praise just how crisp the views are.  So methinks this is a line with QC issues regarding the optics.  An experienced member of my astro club star tested mine for me this Spring and was, um, underwhelmed.  He added that it was a little out of collimation and perhaps some of the issues might clear up if that was brought in line.  But collimating it has proved a challenge to a noob like me so....

 

What I do like:

- Even the president of my club raved about the portability of the thing.  Pretty much anybody should be able to carry it and a Mini Porta one-handed as they are maybe 10 lbs total.  So the grab n go part has absolutely worked out.  It gets taken out for a lot of unplanned peeks at the stars, which is what you want to have happen.

- The overall quality of the parts.  There is NO plastic outside of the finder and flip mirror lever.  Everything on this thing is built to last a lifetime.

- The red dot finder is big and bulky and doesn't sit in the dovetail holder as straight as you'd want.  However, between the three adjustment knobs I've always been able to get finder and scope perfectly aligned and stay aligned all night.  After reading issues people have with other (smaller) RDFs on Dobs or SCTs where the shoe is fixed and they can't quite get alignment...I'll suffer with the bulkiness of the thing to be looking at exactly where I pointed it.

 

What ain't great:

- Collimation.  If I weren't so stubborn it would be on ebay by now as it is a BEAR.  Plus, as others have noted...if you collimate it for the back port, the top port will be out of collimation slightly. Just the way it is.  Another CNer told me they collimate it for the back port and then use a diagonal when they want to use it for visual instead of the top port.

- The optics. See note on Collimation above.  It is very nice on the moon.  But lots of small scopes that cost less $$$ are very nice on the moon as well.  It's F11...it should be better on planets than it is.

- The cool down time--again I agree with John.  It doesn't cool down as quickly as the design and the marketing would lead you to believe.

- The focuser.  Really, really touchy.  At least on mine.

 

Hope this helps,
Pauly


Edited by paulymo, 13 November 2015 - 07:45 PM.


#19 dmgriff

dmgriff

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,330
  • Joined: 20 Sep 2006

Posted 14 November 2015 - 11:28 AM

I have the 110L f/9.4 (about 300usd plus shipping, Smart Astronomy), and few complaints.

 

The vixen instructions on collimation indicate using the back or straight thru port for collimation. The flip mirror can not be seperately collimated.

 

I do not think the flip mirror was ever meant to be a star diagonal  with quality collimation. Vixen spec designs on this scope use the straight thru (back) port for camera/imaging. (I have a vixen 60mm f/15 achro that has specs for attaching a camera). imo the flip mirror port is just visual support for any back end camera/imaging, either terrestrial or astro. 

 

I use a lumicon lumibrite 1.25in star diagonal in the back or straight thru port, and keep a low/moderate power ep in the flip mirror port.

 

Replaced the red dot with a 9x50 raci I had, and put all on a nexstar gt mount. Nice G&G.

 

Good viewing,

 

Dave


Edited by dmgriff, 14 November 2015 - 03:53 PM.


#20 Binojunky

Binojunky

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5,861
  • Joined: 25 Dec 2010

Posted 14 November 2015 - 01:20 PM

Avoid like the plague, if your looking for a Vixen scope around 5"  in aperture you would be better getting the R130 newt, not perfect but the mirrors on these things are excellent, TD.



#21 Bomber Bob

Bomber Bob

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 18,763
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2013

Posted 14 November 2015 - 01:58 PM

"Currently have the Celestron 6" SCT and it is perfect, weight, size, what you can see, cooldown times not bad, planetary max power a little over 300x, it's like the perfect scope with the portamount."

 

I read that so often on the forums & reviews that it's close to consensus.

 

Would a C-6 be too hefty for my Orion VersaGo II?


Edited by Bomber Bob, 14 November 2015 - 02:00 PM.



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