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Vixen VMC 200L - Opinions?

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#126 Charlie B

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 04:24 PM

 

If you watch planets with the VMC, how are the spikes affecting the view? Do you really notice them and have to "concentrate" or "ignore" them?

Since I'm in to astrophotography, I don't really watch the planets, but I've never noticed the spikes except on bright stars.  They would probably be noticeable at F10 or less, but I photograph at F19.  Here is what the spikes look like for bright stars  https://www.flickr.c...os/33176381478/, which are not worse than a SCT to me.

 

Regards,

 

Charlie B


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#127 Bomber Bob

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Posted 04 May 2019 - 09:06 PM

If you watch planets with the VMC, how are the spikes affecting the view? Do you really notice them and have to "concentrate" or "ignore" them?

 

I'm more likely to notice them at low to mid powers than at higher powers, but I really don't find them annoying or too distracting -- same as with my RV-6 Newtonian.



#128 Bomber Bob

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 12:47 PM

I don't really think of my VMC200L as a Moon Scope, but may have to re-assess:  Tuesday night I got fantastic views of the waxing gibbous at 500x with a Radian 4.  Very fine detail, and brighter than in any of my refractors at that magnification.

 

I don't want to mess with an 8" Dob or Classic 8" EQ, so this CAT is a fine substitute.


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#129 memento

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 06:52 AM

I don't really think of my VMC200L as a Moon Scope, but may have to re-assess:  Tuesday night I got fantastic views of the waxing gibbous at 500x with a Radian 4.  Very fine detail, and brighter than in any of my refractors at that magnification.

 

I don't want to mess with an 8" Dob or Classic 8" EQ, so this CAT is a fine substitute.

After going through a period where I really loved long refractors, I also came to realize that the brighter views of bigger-aperture scopes really have some advantages. Now I saw two or even three VC200L (not VMC) for sale last week on the ATT 2019, the biggest local astronomy fair over here. They were astonishing cheap, one was only 350 Euros!

 

I got REALLY tempted but the VC's tube is longer and more heavy than the VMC and that might be just too much for my current (Vixen SP) mount. I know how the SP handles a C8 – fine for visual – but wouldn't want to put even more load on it.

 

Also I read somewhere that the VC's have a parabolic main mirror, but due to the way how they are produced, they can never be recoated (outside the Vixen factory).

But for sure I'd like to get a VMC200L for that low price. If it can handle the Moon at 500x, it must be more than "good enough" for Jupiter & Saturn at 200-300x ...



#130 Magnetic Field

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 12:38 PM

After going through a period where I really loved long refractors, I also came to realize that the brighter views of bigger-aperture scopes really have some advantages. Now I saw two or even three VC200L (not VMC) for sale last week on the ATT 2019, the biggest local astronomy fair over here. They were astonishing cheap, one was only 350 Euros!

 

I got REALLY tempted but the VC's tube is longer and more heavy than the VMC and that might be just too much for my current (Vixen SP) mount. I know how the SP handles a C8 – fine for visual – but wouldn't want to put even more load on it.

 

Also I read somewhere that the VC's have a parabolic main mirror, but due to the way how they are produced, they can never be recoated (outside the Vixen factory).

But for sure I'd like to get a VMC200L for that low price. If it can handle the Moon at 500x, it must be more than "good enough" for Jupiter & Saturn at 200-300x ...

The €350 one:

 

Was this a display item from a dealer?

 

Or second hand from a fella?

 

Retail price Germany: €1400,-

 Retail price UK: £1900,-

 

Vixen is cheaper in Germany (I never figured out why) but cannot explain the €350,- (too good to be true).)


Edited by Magnetic Field, 20 May 2019 - 12:41 PM.


#131 jjack's

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 05:18 PM

I can explain because i got one and sold it. VC200L are ALL badly undercorrected. I never got planetary high power views as a C8.  VMC 200L are far better.



#132 Bomber Bob

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 05:57 PM

I didn't expect more from my VMC than faint fuzzy observing, and paid accordingly -- used vs. new.  I don't doubt that there are used C8s that'll out-perform it on lunar / planetary.  I'm fine with that.  I have my APM 152ED for ultra-sharp lunar / planetary observing. 

 

IME, $350 for a used VMC would be a very good deal indeed!  I paid a bit more than that, but y'all, I can "galaxy sweep" with mine the way I "cluster sweep" with my APM 152 or RV-6 -- and that's in town.  In the winter, in the country, I can foresee many happy nights with my VMC cruising along on my Tak EM-1S (with battery pack!).  

 

Mine can't beat my APM 152 on the average planetary night at The Swamp.  But it's not too far behind.  And the views are bright, and the belt colors are vibrant -- it's a scope where I have to amp-up the magnification so that the disk's brilliance doesn't overwhelm the fine details (almost opposite to a large refractor).

 

Again, NO WAY would I pay new prices for a VMC (sorry Vixen!).  A C8 is a safer bet for most folks.  But if you prefer more refractor-like views, it is a Mak.  If you have dewing problems on SCT correctors, it doesn't have one.  If you've experienced mirror slip, the focuser is independent of the primary, so no slip, no slop.  OTOH, if Newt vanes distract you, you're probably not gonna like it.  Back in the old days, companies sold optical windows for reflectors, so it's a preference that goes back decades -- at least!


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#133 memento

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 09:27 PM

The €350 was a second hand VC (not VMC!) from an amateur observer. There was another one for 500€ used from a dealer.

 

I always thought VC's were more expensive than VMC's. But ...

 

I can explain because i got one and sold it. VC200L are ALL badly undercorrected. I never got planetary high power views as a C8.  VMC 200L are far better.

... OK now I get it.

 

FWIW I didn't see any used VMC200L's at the show for sale, only a new one at the Vixen booth. If I see a VMC pop up for sale used in the internet, maybe 2-3 times a year or so, it's usually around €700-800. That's much more than an older used C8.



#134 jjack's

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 03:06 AM

Memento : att 2019 at Essen ? 

If i want to classify these scope about planetary views, first come a recent C8 XLTor edge hd. As good as a maksutov without the drawback like cool down time. But the collimation must be very precise. Something people don't do often. Shifting problem too.

Second is the VMC 200L. Good planetary views but a little behind the C8 because of the thick spider vanes and 40% obstruction but a good scope for photography with its corrector better than the C8 one.

Third the VC200L. Not a planetary scope and not better than the VMC for photography.

It seems Vixen made three 8"scopes for AP use only. They fail to make a good planetary one.


Edited by jjack's, 21 May 2019 - 03:24 AM.

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#135 memento

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 04:41 AM

Yes it was at the ATT 2019.



#136 Bomber Bob

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 06:12 AM

If I see a VMC pop up for sale used in the internet, maybe 2-3 times a year or so, it's usually around €700-800.

 

I got my VMC200L for about half that -- plus shipping.  They're pretty light for their aperture, so I wonder if international shipping would be astronomical?

 

It seems Vixen made three 8"scopes for AP use only. They fail to make a good planetary one.

 

I agree:  A VMC200L would not be my first choice for a large-aperture planetary scope.  FYI:  It's very humid at The Swamp, so I put a LONG dewshield on my vintage C5, and I haven't had severe dew problems on its corrector.  But, I also put the C5 out in the shed a couple of hours before sundown, so it can acclimate slowly.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 21 May 2019 - 06:16 AM.


#137 astrogeek64

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 08:26 PM

If I see a VMC pop up for sale used in the internet, maybe 2-3 times a year or so, it's usually around €700-800.

 

I got my VMC200L for about half that -- plus shipping.  They're pretty light for their aperture, so I wonder if international shipping would be astronomical?

 

It seems Vixen made three 8"scopes for AP use only. They fail to make a good planetary one.

 

I agree:  A VMC200L would not be my first choice for a large-aperture planetary scope.  FYI:  It's very humid at The Swamp, so I put a LONG dewshield on my vintage C5, and I haven't had severe dew problems on its corrector.  But, I also put the C5 out in the shed a couple of hours before sundown, so it can acclimate slowly.

Which "Swamp" would that be? I reside near the Great Dismal in Chesapeake, Virginia. 



#138 astrogeek64

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 09:06 PM

I've had a VMC200L for a couple years now. I've used it for some single shot/minimal processing DSO photography with decent results. Have as yet to try any planetary imaging with it as I have a refractor for that. 

 

IMO, the strong points are;

 

1). Light weight and (relatively) small with a convenient handle, portability is great.

2). It takes a LOT and I mean a LOT to dew up the primary mirror. This is a great asset in the swampy area where I reside and do most of my observing.

3). Once it's in collimation, it holds very well. 

4). With the right eyepiece, the views are very, very nice. DSO views are wonderful. Planetary views are sharp and detailed...….with the right eyepiece. (See issue #3 below.)

 

On the downside;

1). DO NOT mess with the collimation unless you absolutely must. It's pretty touchy to get it right and the 2.5mm wrench holes are tiny and difficult to work with in the dark. Mine got slightly off and the Vixen instructions say to only adjust the primary. So, that's what I did. To keep it short, it turned out there was nothing wrong with the primary, it was the secondary that had gotten out. Ended up taking hours to get it straight again.

2). The black paint used inside the primary and secondary tubes is lame, allowing light to ricochet about like kids in a bounce-house. Flock it in both tubes. Some use O-rings to baffle the secondary tube. This will improve contrast quite noticeably. 

3). At low power say, 100x down, you will see spikes thrown off of the brightest planets, Mars and Jupiter especially.  But from say 150x to around 325x they improve and look finely detailed although lacking slightly in contrast. Saturn is gorgeous through this 'scope. I was also able to resolve Neptune with remarkable detail on an exceptionally dark, clear night at Staunton River.

 

I am told thinning the spider vanes to less than 2mm fixes the "diamond" shaped stars. I haven't done this and I don't notice that they're so bad anyways. Not visually, anyhow.

 

Okay, that's my assessment FWIW. 

 

Rock on and Happy Viewing,

Dave


Edited by astrogeek64, 08 June 2019 - 09:15 PM.

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#139 Bomber Bob

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 11:25 AM

Which "Swamp" would that be? I reside near the Great Dismal in Chesapeake, Virginia. 

I'm in Moangumree (Montgomery) Alabama.  The City was founded on the hillocks / bluffs at a bend in the Alabama River (folks were pretty smart 200 years ago!), and it's an island surrounded by swamps.  My drive to work is exciting after a day of heavy rain, even in an AWD vehicle with 19" ground clearance.  The ancient inhabitants of Ur or the Nile Delta would feel right at home.  Hot, humid, sticky, & semi-tropical.  Anything & everything grows here -- especially where you don't want it to.  We should have mold on the city seal & flag.  Got sinus problems?  You will after a season or two...


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#140 astrogeek64

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 01:59 PM

I'm in Moangumree (Montgomery) Alabama.  The City was founded on the hillocks / bluffs at a bend in the Alabama River (folks were pretty smart 200 years ago!), and it's an island surrounded by swamps.  My drive to work is exciting after a day of heavy rain, even in an AWD vehicle with 19" ground clearance.  The ancient inhabitants of Ur or the Nile Delta would feel right at home.  Hot, humid, sticky, & semi-tropical.  Anything & everything grows here -- especially where you don't want it to.  We should have mold on the city seal & flag.  Got sinus problems?  You will after a season or two...

Oh, I know the feeling Bob. I have a brother in Ohio, a Vietnam Veteran who's immune system was damaged by Agent Orange exposure. He refuses to come visit me anymore because; "Your mold spore count down there is ridiculous. The last time nearly killed me.". I don't blame him and in a few years when I retire, I plan to be out of here, myself. The area where my house sits is called "The Norfolk Highlands" because its 13' above sea level.......

 

At least we don't have any gators.............yet. They did catch one hanging out on a golf course in North Carolina, though. What is it with gators and golf courses?

 

Dave



#141 Peter Besenbruch

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 07:29 PM

Anything & everything grows here -- especially where you don't want it to.

Even something delicate?


Edited by Peter Besenbruch, 09 June 2019 - 07:30 PM.


#142 Bomber Bob

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 07:50 PM

Ah!  Kudzu.  Stand still long enough down here, and it'll wrap round your legs...


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#143 astrogeek64

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 09:56 PM

How to grow Kudzu? Why?! Around here, everyone is trying to KILL that obnoxious, invasive weed. If you want to grow it, just stop trying to kill it. You'll have more than you can handle in about 20 minutes.


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#144 jeremiah2229

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 05:08 PM

My first thought exactly, who in the world wants to plant the stuff??? Grows about 12 inches an hour here and next to impossible to eradicate. Not something you want growing on your tillable ground. Johnson grass is tame compared to this stuff.

 

 

Peace...



#145 Peter Besenbruch

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 09:33 PM

Clearly, no-one read the linked to article. I quote the final paragraph:

 

"Right now, before the growing season has reached its peak, you should list your house and lot with a reputable real estate agent and begin making plans to move elsewhere. Your chances of selling will be better now then they will be later in the year, when it may be difficult for prospective buyer to realize that beneath those lush, green vines stands an adorable three-bedroom house."


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#146 jeremiah2229

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 01:24 AM

Nope, I didn't. Just saw kudzu and thought What????

 

Chalk me up as the ding dong of the day.   waytogo.gif

 

 

Peace...


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