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If you could own only one scope, and a refractor ..... ?

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#1 NHRob



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Posted 07 May 2017 - 08:24 PM

What would it be?



#2 Xeroid


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Posted 07 May 2017 - 08:29 PM

Yuri's 10" inch from NEAF...lol.gif


"Go BIG or go home.."

Edited by Xeroid, 07 May 2017 - 08:40 PM.

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#3 Max Power

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 08:34 PM

I got it, a William Optic 5" f/7 apo for $3000.
Affordable (barely), optically great, way better than ES127 triple had before.
Not unwieldy like a 6" APM edapo, optically better planetary views.
Smaller/lighter/cheaper mount required.
All round goodness, The Goldilocks Scope, just right.
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#4 MarkGregory



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Posted 07 May 2017 - 08:39 PM

A large DOB and a Tak. Mark

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#5 snommisbor



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Posted 07 May 2017 - 08:46 PM

I would have to say my TEC 140. Not too big not too small and great for viewing and a great AP scope as well. 

#6 bumm



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Posted 07 May 2017 - 08:52 PM

I've been very happy with my C8 for 40 years.  My refractor is an old 60mm Jason that I use for solar projection.


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#7 Danny206


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Posted 07 May 2017 - 09:14 PM

mine would be either the AP130GT or the TAK  TSA120

Edited by Danny206, 07 May 2017 - 09:14 PM.

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#8 Joe1950


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Posted 07 May 2017 - 09:15 PM



Celestron CPC Deluxe 1100 HD (dual fork mount), purchased through Co. 7.

Takahashi FSQ-106ED



What about eyepieces? Do we get eyepieces too?

Full set of TeleVue DeLites.


That's assuming I still live where I do. Can't go too big.

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#9 Spacefreak1974



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Posted 07 May 2017 - 09:19 PM

Stellarvue 130 on a G11 PMC 8 running off Skysafari


Meade LX850 16"



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#10 Richard Whalen

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 09:24 PM

My 8" f15.5 and a 235mm f11 apo

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#11 NC Startrekker

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 09:29 PM

I'm assuming that what Rob really means is "if you could own only one scope and it was going to be a refractor, which refractor would it be?"  Well I came to this crossroads a few years ago. It was a close and tough decision between a Tak TSA-120 and a Televue NP-101. Ultimately I went withe the Televue for two reasons. Most importantly for me was the overall weight of the fully configured scope, mount, and tripod. While it's hard to find a lighter alternative to the TSA-120 in the 120mm class, it's just heavy and long enough that it required a step up in mount and tripod to be steady enough for my liking at higher magnifications. My lighter Berlebach and DM-4 carry my NP-101 rock solid. The second is the Petzal design of the NP-101 provides a virtually flat field which enhances greatly the experience when sweeping the Milky Way at low powers. So, for me, the NP-101 won out for size, weight and overall versatility. Sadly, my very excellent TSA-120 headed to a new home where it is being put to very good use. I realize that my experience and choice will likely not fit a number of other contributors here. That's an important point for Rob to consider. We all have different requirements and desires that shape our choices. So, what works and makes one happy will not necessarily work or be the "best" option for another. That requires taking all advice or perspectives with a grain of salt. Glean what you can from the responses but, at the end of the day, you will have to decide what attributes are most important to you and which scope most closely provides them. Best of luck with your decision. Alan


P.S.  Full disclosure - since I made that decision a few years ago, I have "cheated" and added second scope to the mix. It's not a refractor but a very nice small Mak. The two complement each other quite nicely. 

Edited by NC Startrekker, 07 May 2017 - 09:30 PM.

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#12 North of Sixty

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 09:37 PM

8-12" Dob with a 90mm F7 triplet/doublet apo on alt/az head on a 475B. 

#13 gene 4181

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 09:48 PM

  NP 127     FF   smile.gif   relatively LW   and   compact    , 5 year warranty  . 

Edited by gene 4181, 07 May 2017 - 09:50 PM.

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#14 gunfighter48



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Posted 07 May 2017 - 10:09 PM

I have mine and it's my TS 130mm F/7 APO. It's a fantastic scope for $3,000.00

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#15 T1R2



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Posted 07 May 2017 - 10:13 PM

Mine would be the 250mm Tak on their observatory pier EQ with a TOA 130 for the finderscope housed in a big Observa-Dome.

#16 hersey0308


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Posted 07 May 2017 - 10:23 PM

+ 1 for the NP, just a question of which aperture. I've not had the pleasure of looking through one, but my understanding is that this brand/series does many things exceptionally well. If only one - the 127. Or both and rotate out of the "buy and hide" closet.

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#17 Kent10


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Posted 07 May 2017 - 10:29 PM

When I was quite young I spent most of the money I had saved to buy an 8" SCT.  I didn't use it a whole lot but I never regretted the purchase.


Years later, I moved to an international dark sky city and to take advantage of the beautiful skies here I wanted another scope.  I decided on a refractor and after reading lots on CN and with the help of many here, I decided to get a Tec 140 as my lifetime scope.  I planned on a few eyepieces as well.


A Tec 160FL became available on Astromart before a 140 and so I decided I would just go ahead and get that instead.


I loved the 160 so much I wondered what the 180 would be like but thought I wouldn't be able to manage it by myself.  Someone on CN mentioned it wasn't too bad and it kept bugging me wondering if I could manage it.  I watched several sell on AM and was always depressed after someone bought it and I didn't so I made the decision to get the next one.  I bought it and yes it isn't too bad to lift at all.  I use it almost every night.  I have had it out every night but maybe 2 for the last month and a half.  Tonight is cloudy so this is the 1st night I haven't had it out for a while.  I may check later to see if there are any openings in the clouds for a quick look at Jupiter.


So the Tec 180FL is the refractor I would choose if I could only have one.  I also have a few other refractors and enjoy them all.  I mentioned I bought a few eyepieces to begin with thinking that would be enough but now I have too many to list. 


My dream now is a Tec 200FL which Yuri will start making again soon.  Although that Tec 250 also calls.  I think, however, a 200 is my limit.  But what if I had an observatory... That could keep my dream of a 250 alive.  The 250 is air spaced and I do wonder if the 200 wouldn't be the best compromise for my fast falling temperatures.  Still I would like to see through a 250!  A dream probably never realized.


A couple pics of my 180FL I love so much.



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#18 Kent10


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Posted 07 May 2017 - 10:29 PM




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#19 dagadget


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Posted 07 May 2017 - 10:35 PM

Now this is a great question. The largest Refractor I have personally looked through is an AT 115EDT but I think when I get the AT 130EDT that will be as big as I go in the refractor line.  They are awesome scopes but anything bigger than 130 usually gets very expensive and very heavy requring a large and heavy mount. So for Grab and slowly go I have to say 130 is the sweet spot for me.....

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#20 BoldAxis1967


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Posted 07 May 2017 - 10:36 PM

I've been very happy with my C8 for 40 years.  My refractor is an old 60mm Jason that I use for solar projection.


It was love at first light and no need to ever look further.  



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#21 Chris G

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 10:43 PM

I've always wanted a TEC140.

#22 SeymoreStars



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Posted 07 May 2017 - 10:44 PM

If I could only own one scope and one refractor....I would choose to leave this cruel world.

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#23 Allan Wade

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 11:29 PM

If I had to do astronomy with only one telescope and it had to be a refractor, I would hang out for a TEC 200. It gets me closer to the sort of observing I most enjoy. No way would I settle for a 4" or 5" apo as my only option to observe.


But, if pairing a refractor with another scope, it would be a big dob with the TOA 130 I already have. It's as perfect as a telescope can get, and a great size to do what refractors do best.

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#24 donadani



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Posted 07 May 2017 - 11:38 PM

Like Allan said - if only one refractor it would be the biggest to handle for every session: CFF 185 f6,8



But better pair it with a smaller Apo like TSA-102 and a 14" Dob.




Edited by donadani, 07 May 2017 - 11:48 PM.

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#25 gnowellsct



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Posted 07 May 2017 - 11:53 PM

Too many parameters.  If the telescope fairy were to come and wave a wand and say "you can have any refractor" with the implication that I would have the resources to mount and operate it, I would choose the Yerkes.  


If the telescope fairy came and said "I'll give you any OTA you want but you have to pay for the mount and leave you the details of housing and operating it and keeping it up," well I guess I would take a TEC 180 as a first guess, but I'd want to examine the exotic opportunities offered by various companies I've barely heard of first.  In any case my primary goal is not a fetish of the 180 as such but just to get to a decent aperture point for the long haul and have a semblance of portability. 


If the telescope fairy came as a devil and said, "You have to sell all your scopes and henceforth must live with a refractor that you can afford,, otherwise your eyes will melt," I reckon I'd still take a shot at the 8" TEC because if I sold everything else I could probably swing it and get a good mount for it.  


If I were to have only one refractor I'd probably go with some kind of four inch because it could be mounted on both my C14 and my C8.    


If the telescope fairy upon pain of melting my eyes said you must choose among your current stable of refractors and  henceforth use nothing else, then I'd take the GT 130 over other options.    It's the biggest refractor in the house and a sweet piece of work.  


I would be very resentful of the telescope fairy for robbing me of my SCTs.   


Under most of these scenarios I think that even though there's always room for improvement I actually have a very nice collection of scopes and have pretty much everything I could hope for in that department.


Greg N

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