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

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#26 carlcat

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 12:00 AM

Mewlon 300 and a Tek 140



#27 Gavster

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 04:31 AM

Three criteria would need to be met for me with just one refractor:

1) portability - easy set up within 10 mins and mount relatively easy to carry

2) great views - excellent on planetary, able to show brighter DSOs well

3) quick cool down - within 30 mins

 

I've got refractors with 60mm, 85mm, 100mm, 130mm and 140mm apertures and f ratios f6 to f9. I think the biggest and still remaining portable would be 140mm and f7.

In the past couple of months I received both a TEC 140 and an AP130GTX so it would be between one of these - which one I'm not sure yet!

 

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#28 JonnyBravo

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 04:53 AM

OFFICINA STELLARE 800MM F/3.8 RIFAST

 

TAKAHASHI FCT-200 FLUORITE ED TRIPLET REFRACTOR

 

Practicality played no factor in my choices.



#29 HARRISON SCOPES

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 05:08 AM

APQ 150



#30 Lauriep

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 05:14 AM

The A-P Starfire 6" EDT I used to own years ago.



#31 etsleds

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 05:22 AM

TEC 180FL, the largest scope that I think I'd use often...



#32 NHRob

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 05:23 AM

Lots of nice responses.  

What got me thinking is that I am 61+yo now and am looking at retiring soon (hopefully in 2 years).

We have been making life changes to get ready ... sold/downsized the house last year, moved to a location that is more

elderly-friendly.  

  My commute is killing me .. ~1hr each way  ... and I'm really starting to feel every pound of scope I have to lift as well.

 

Also, I'll be on a fixed income in a few years and I think my days of horse-trading scopes will be mostly behind me.  

I want to be done and settle in with a lifer scope (Hah!).

 

I've always been a one-scope guy and have taken to refractors (apos) ... for pure visual use.  My AT130 has been an awesome scope.  I bought it last Nov/Dec and to be honest, the optics have been way better than they have a right to be, given the price.

 

So this has been a thought experiment as I look for forwards towards my "golden" years.  

 

I think the sweet spot for me is around 130mm.  


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#33 John Huntley

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 05:37 AM

I have some great refractors at the moment (as per signature) but each time I use it I'm reminded of what an exellent balance of performance, portability, ease of setup / break down, and reasonable light grasp that my Skywatcher ED120 is.

 

Last night the little old "gold tube" ED120 was allowing 400x to be used on tight doubles (including splitting Zeta Herc) and showing superb lunar and jovian detail as the pair sat side by side in the sky.

 

My goodness Synta got the objectives on these "right" ! smile.gif

 

If it came down to it, would I hold on to the ED120 and let the superb Tak, TMB / LZOS and Vixen go ?. Not sure about that but it's nowhere near as clear cut decision as one might at first think undecided.gif


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#34 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 05:42 AM

I've always been a one-scope guy and have taken to refractors (apos) ... for pure visual use.  My AT130 has been an awesome scope.  I bought it last Nov/Dec and to be honest, the optics have been way better than they have a right to be, given the price.

So this has been a thought experiment as I look for forwards towards my "golden" years. 

I think the sweet spot for me is around 130mm.

 

 

I am experiencing my "golden years.."   They have their ups and downs.  

 

But I am not a one scope guy and maybe you would find that in your golden years, you would have more time and energy for amateur astronomy and multiple scopes would be a better solution than a single scope.  A 10 inch or 12 inch Dob and an 80mm-4 inch refractor will show you more than any affordable refractor can and be more versatile.. 

 

I have watched as you have swapped scopes, seemingly looking for something.. Myself, I find a good scope, I keep it. 

 

Jon


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#35 NHRob

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 06:39 AM

Yeah,

 

  Churning through many scopes over the years has been my weakness.  On the other hand, it's been a lot of fun and I've gotten to try a lot of different scopes.  When I get to be an old fart I see myself hanging onto a nice 4" refractor.


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#36 RAKing

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 07:30 AM

Yeah,

 

  Churning through many scopes over the years has been my weakness.  On the other hand, it's been a lot of fun and I've gotten to try a lot of different scopes.  When I get to be an old fart I see myself hanging onto a nice 4" refractor.

I finally retired last year and am also living on a fixed income. I have three refractors and have considered "slimming down" the collection, but each of these refractors has served me for many years and it would be difficult for me to give any of them up.

 

I still keep the TMB 130 because it was my first apo triplet in 2008 and showed me what a five-inch refractor could do. I sold it twice and bought it back each time. I'm keeping it now. laugh.gif

 

I eventually upsized to the TEC 140 in 2010 and it has been my favorite scope ever since. But I keep the 130 for sentimental reasons, plus it is shorter, lighter, and easier to handle on nights when I don't feel up to hauling out the bigger scope.

 

I considered "cashing out" my Traveler because I don't travel much anymore. But my friends and family told me to keep it and it's my backup scope when I have recurring serious health issues with my back and legs. So I agree with Jon on the "multiple scope" issue and I even have an 8-inch Newt stashed in a closet somewhere - just in case the "Mirror Police" raid my house. lol.gif

 

Yes, I only use one scope at a time, but it might be a different scope on different nights for different reasons. flowerred.gif

 

Cheers,

 

Ron


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#37 Mark Costello

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 07:35 AM

The one I have.  smile.gif


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#38 Terra Nova

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 07:50 AM

I guess I would just keep my Questar 3.5 and my Takahashi FC-76. ;)


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#39 BigC

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 07:53 AM

Only one scope  and it has to be a refractor and I suppose with the caveat affordable to me ?That is affordable if  I sold all my existing scopes and mounts.

 

Better make it the Skywatcher Espirit 150ED triplet and the AZ-EQ5 mount.


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#40 astrosky123

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 07:54 AM

tak

j


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#41 dagadget

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 08:13 AM

Lots of nice responses.  

What got me thinking is that I am 61+yo now and am looking at retiring soon (hopefully in 2 years).

We have been making life changes to get ready ... sold/downsized the house last year, moved to a location that is more

elderly-friendly.  

  My commute is killing me .. ~1hr each way  ... and I'm really starting to feel every pound of scope I have to lift as well.

 

Also, I'll be on a fixed income in a few years and I think my days of horse-trading scopes will be mostly behind me.  

I want to be done and settle in with a lifer scope (Hah!).

 

I've always been a one-scope guy and have taken to refractors (apos) ... for pure visual use.  My AT130 has been an awesome scope.  I bought it last Nov/Dec and to be honest, the optics have been way better than they have a right to be, given the price.

 

So this has been a thought experiment as I look for forwards towards my "golden" years.  

 

I think the sweet spot for me is around 130mm.  

I have to agree with Rob here. I am going to be 59 shortly and I have retired from one high stress job and currently work part time delivering US Mail on a rural route. My story of telescope use is rather short time wise. I first started looking through telescopes when my Father in Law bought a Celestron 114mm reflector and we used it on Jupiter and the moon. He only had one eyepiece for it an SMA 25mm. When he passed away  the scope became mine and I upgraded it and restored it some. Then I went out and bought a Celestron Nexstar 8 SE last August. While searching around the forums I found my first Telescope owning new friend in iKMN here on Cloudy nights. He has a Vixen ED 80 refractor.  That is when I discovered how nice refractors can be. I purchased an Astro Tech AT 115EDT from a Cloudy nights member had it for a few months and sold it to iKMN (Kris) I still observe through that scope at his nice dark sky site (Light Green but facing into a Blue zone on the light pollution map) I loved the AT 115 and I have an AT 130 on the way as a replacement.  With an AVX Mount for purely visual  use, the 130mm is about as much of a scope as I will ever want to handle or need for that matter. So I have a very light Reflector on a GT mount a mid weight SCT on a Nexstar Mount and an AT scope on an AVX.  If I had to only own one I would have to say that the 130 will probably edge out the SCT because cool down field width and sharp crisp views make it the best scope I will have ever looked through.  

 

David



#42 Jon_Doh

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 08:27 AM

If it's one I have to carry out and mount on a tripod, then a TEC 140.  Enough aperture, high quality views and not too big.  But, if we're talking about something permanently mounted in an observatory, then the skies the limit -  like the big 10 inches that was demoed at NEAF waytogo.gif


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#43 iggwell

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 09:12 AM

The telescope I've used most is an old AP 130 f/6. If that were the only scope I could use forever I would be all right with that.
 

Of the refactors I've looked through the best was without any doubt the AP 175 f/8. Seeing Saturn threw that was like seeing it for the first time all over again. It was sublime. The best part about the experience was that there was a 30" reflector housed in an observatory not 100 meters away which was completely outclassed that night.

 

If we include scopes I've never been able to look threw but would like to consider before taking the plunge I'd have to try out the AP 206, TEK 200 and 250, and CFF 200 and 230 before choosing just one.


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#44 doctordub

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 09:51 AM

I will be 57 this summer, and I have no trouble handling any of my scopes. I would have to choose the Tak FS-152 of my three Apos, it is light enough and cools fast enough for even short observing sessions.

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#45 PXR-5

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 09:59 AM

One scope, eh? Hmm, do finders count? I've seen some nice scopes I could repurpose as finders ;)

Honestly hon, that six inch is just a finder for the 16"....

Edited by PXR-5, 08 May 2017 - 10:01 AM.


#46 Phillip Creed

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 10:09 AM

If I could only own one telescope that had to be a refractor, it'd be--if someone would please, PLEASE make one--an ED version of the Vixen 140-NA.

 

Among existing telescopes, a non-IS version of the NP127.  Couldn't justify the purchase unless I sold my other two scopes, but at that point the one-scope-and-it's-a-refractor criteria from the OP would be met.

 

Clear Skies,

Phil



#47 BillP

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 10:46 AM

I've always been a one-scope guy and have taken to refractors (apos) ... for pure visual use.  My AT130 has been an awesome scope.  I bought it last Nov/Dec and to be honest, the optics have been way better than they have a right to be, given the price.

 

So this has been a thought experiment as I look for forwards towards my "golden" years.  

 

I think the sweet spot for me is around 130mm.  

 

I think the answer to a golden years scope depends a lot on one's intentions.  So if the plan is to just use the scope at the home location, then the best aperture would be different IMO than if the plan was to travel to dark sites often.  If just staying at home, and one has a garage, then easy enough to put a 6" refractor on a wheeled mount to move to the yard.  So a bigger aperture would be just fine.  But if the plan is to do lots of dark site traveling then IMO smaller is better as I would want my trips to be more than just about night time observing, so would want a really easy setup.  That being the case, then anything in the 100-130mm class I think would do just fine.  At truly dark sites even a 100mm scope can provide views that will knock your socks off.  And if it is faint galaxy patches that floats your boat, then add some NV or Video to the equation.  For me, I think a TSA-120 would be perfect.


Edited by BillP, 08 May 2017 - 10:47 AM.

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#48 gnowellsct

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 10:57 AM

Lots of nice responses.  

What got me thinking is that I am 61+yo now and am looking at retiring soon (hopefully in 2 years).

We have been making life changes to get ready ... sold/downsized the house last year, moved to a location that is more

elderly-friendly.  

  My commute is killing me .. ~1hr each way  ... and I'm really starting to feel every pound of scope I have to lift as well.

 

Also, I'll be on a fixed income in a few years and I think my days of horse-trading scopes will be mostly behind me.  

I want to be done and settle in with a lifer scope (Hah!).

 

I've always been a one-scope guy and have taken to refractors (apos) ... for pure visual use.  My AT130 has been an awesome scope.  I bought it last Nov/Dec and to be honest, the optics have been way better than they have a right to be, given the price.

 

So this has been a thought experiment as I look for forwards towards my "golden" years.  

 

I think the sweet spot for me is around 130mm.  

The sum of the parts is greater than the individual pieces by themselves.  You can achieve high portability, low total  weight, aperture, and apo-ness, all at reasonable cost, if you look at a combined system.  You spend a night with this rig you won't feel deprived, IMO.  

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#49 BillP

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 11:02 AM

You spend a night with this rig you won't feel deprived, IMO.  

 

I think the key to the answer is in the bold text above.  Where each of us feels "deprived" is probably a moving target.  For me...at a dark site...I do NOT feel deprived with an 80mm!  At moderate light polluted sites, then I like a 6" to 8".



#50 NHRob

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 11:17 AM

I think a TSA-120 or an AP-130 are on the short list for me ... quality, lightweight, easy to setup.

Unfortunately, I always have to move my scope around .. either in my yard or for local travelling.


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