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If you chose an SCT over a refractor, why?

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#1 Dave Ponder

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 01:42 PM

I know my reasons for doing so.  What are your reasons, if you did pick the SCT over a refractor.

Thanks

 


Edited by Dave Ponder, 17 July 2017 - 09:57 PM.


#2 MLyons

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 01:46 PM

Aperture waytogo.gif 


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#3 overnight

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 01:56 PM

What SCT? What refractor? Or are these in general? What price point? 


Edited by overnight, 17 July 2017 - 01:56 PM.


#4 Dave Ponder

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 02:03 PM

What SCT? What refractor? Or are these in general? What price point? 

Just in general, if you chose to buy an SCT rather than a refractor, why did you?


Edited by Dave Ponder, 17 July 2017 - 02:04 PM.

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#5 overnight

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 02:04 PM

If I needed more focal length to look at objects with higher power....


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#6 photoracer18

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 02:22 PM

My philosophy has been to own at least one SCT, one refractor, and one reflector, usually a Dob. At least since I have been able to afford to keep one of each all the time. Each has advantages and disadvantages depending on what they do best and what you want to do. I think of SCTs as jack of all trades scopes.



#7 junomike

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 02:43 PM

Aperture/Size

My C14 destroys my 7" ED Refractor for DSO's, yet rides  a little better on my CGE due to a shorter length.


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#8 leveye

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 03:16 PM

An SCT does many things very well. First of all they are great gazing scopes. Then for imaging they can do semi-wide with a reducer/corrector, deep sky and galaxies, Solar,Lunar and planetary. If I could only have one it would be an SCT for sure. There is a reason NASA still uses them.


Edited by leveye, 17 July 2017 - 03:17 PM.

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#9 Kevin Barker

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 03:22 PM

Aperture, focal length, price per aperture,compact size for aperture, low mass per aperture.
There are probably more.
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#10 Ladyhawke

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 03:26 PM

I love both but the aperture and size of the SCT keeps me going back to my Edge 11". Besides, I really love shooting galaxies.



#11 Dan56

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 03:34 PM

I will put my experience from just last Saturday night. I had a Televue 85 out trying to get a new GPC to work on my Binoviewers. It was cloudy and I was fishing in the holes just to get things to work. I have a 9.25 sct but it was in the truck, at my dark site. The southern sky opened up for a bit and started working around Antares to check field of view, which GPC was better, etc. Of course there is M4 right there I was looking at too. After a while I thought I would mount the sct on the mount. Its a dual AZ8.  With a 21 Ethos in the scope the word WOW automatically came out.I have been playing with the small refractor for so long I forgot what a Sct can do on globs and open clusters. I ran the 85 to 100x and the sct was 111x, looking side by side on the same mount, I know why I have a Sct. But the small refactor is great, low power ,wide field of view and sharp stars, Binoviewers work good too. This same thing happened about year or 2 ago and I had a 127mm refractor also with the 85.At that time I had a 11 Sct looking at M13, same reaction. Refactors make you Appreciate a Sct, on clusters open and closed.

Scts makes you appreciate refractors, for the above reasons.

Once you lose apprecation for one or the other you will sell it, and you will be missing something. 

My two cents

Dan


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#12 bottlecrusher

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 03:35 PM

Aperature for similar convenience



#13 jgraham

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 03:38 PM

The SCT packs a lot of scope into a small package. I use my refractors more for specialty tasks like wide fields and where I need quick thermal equilibrium.


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#14 macdonjh

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 05:42 PM

Since I'm the fifth to say it: aperture, aperture, aperture, aperture, aperture.

 

In my case, I had a 6" achro (I still have the refractor) when aperture fever hit.  I chose an SCT as trying to afford, mount and transport an 11" refractor was a problem I didn't have an answer for.  I picked the SCT over a Dobsonian because I already had a mount suitable for the C11 I bought, but would have added Servo Cat to the cost of a Dob.



#15 bbqediguana

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 07:11 PM

I went from a 10" SCT down to a 4" APO. After about 5 years, I went back to an 8" SCT. Why? Aperture.


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#16 Bill Barlow

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 07:43 PM

I use moderately sized SCT's (10"-14") primarily for deep sky targets, especially galaxies and resolving globulars.  Then a 4" refractor for mainly brighter planets, double stars, open star fields.  I don't think I would want to be limited by owning only one of these scopes.  Both are essential to me.

 

Bill


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#17 Gil V

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 07:53 PM

Comfortable observing when on an Equatorial fork mount at standing height.

#18 earlyriser

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:17 PM

Aperture, size, weight, and cost. 


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#19 tomwall

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 09:13 PM

My reasoning was similar to junomike's. My SCT is a Meade 10" and my refractor is an achro ES152. Same thing though. I love the visual qualities a refractor provides, but the additional detail the 10" SCT brings through the eyepiece is stunning.



#20 carolinaskies

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 09:23 PM

SCT vs Refractor. -  

When I was starting out I looked at both and decided I liked all the objects in the sky.  Given the cost vs performance vs aperture vs mount complexity the SCT delivers a more diverse and useful choice.   

A refractor by it's nature requires well figured optics the larger in aperture you go.  More lenses in the system to correct for aberration/color separation, etc.  Each of these adds more expense and often length to the telescope.  This means the mount has to be a GEM unless you have mega bucks for extreme high end tastes.  

An SCT in some ways is a compromise compared to the refractor, but it makes up for it in compactness vs aperture vs performance.  It allows the choice of either a GEM or fork mount, giving more options.  Well collumnated SCTs have rivaled sizable refractors in performance and allow detail in faint objects.  When you can point a 16" SCT vs 12" AP for 1/3rd price of the OTA itself, that hints at what is available to the common amateur.  

When I cut my teeth on AP 20 years ago before todays cheap digital cameras, film imaging was about gathering as many light photons, thus an SCT's aperture was the logical choice.  And today with RCs and SCTs from f3.6-f8 available in a myriad of sizes for reasonable price points they still are the choice.   Yes there are many small affordable refractors that will do exceptional jobs with the digital cameras, but the flexibility is still in the SCT court in most cases.  

I still think refractors are great, and in the smaller faster sizes they do provide more flexibility than ever before.  But if dark skies are available, aperture still wins the game if the optics are comparable. 

 


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#21 Cpk133

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 09:25 PM

So I could say: "hey Smales, my obstruction's bigger than your whole scope."  

 

https://m.youtube.co...h?v=cGD-tUsySPs


Edited by Cpk133, 17 July 2017 - 09:42 PM.

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#22 dotnet

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 01:58 AM

An 8" f/10 SCT is just easier to mount than an 8" f/10 refractor grin.gif


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#23 themartymac

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:27 AM

I didn't choose one over the other, but I have ended up with both a small 102 Mak and a small 90 refractor, and while I'm certainly enjoying the refractor right now for the wide fields, it has some obvious glaring downsides.  Both are goto, but the awkward positioning inherent to the refractor, plus the need to balance it so carefully, combined with the limitations of the optical train (i.e. binoviewer limitations, etc.) tell me a nice SCT is probably in my future.  I love the portability, and the ease of use of the little mak.  It is easy to balance and every ep and accessory i have stuck in it just works, Bino's included.  No worries about in-focus/backfocus, extension tubes, yada, yada, yada.  I regularly have a friend's 6se in the house too, and the same thing goes.  it just plain works...

 

I have a 10" inch dob that is my real baby, but one day when the budget permits, I could see them all going in exchange for a 12" or 14" SCT. 



#24 BKSo

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 05:22 AM

My 4" SCT is about 10" long and weights about 3.5lb. It has low mounting requirement. The whole set is small enough for hiking / taking public transport / traveling. A refractor of similar aperture is too big.



#25 samuelpkco

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 06:21 AM

My philosophy has been to own at least one SCT, one refractor, and one reflector, usually a Dob. At least since I have been able to afford to keep one of each all the time. Each has advantages and disadvantages depending on what they do best and what you want to do. I think of SCTs as jack of all trades scopes.

I concur.

 

I like to know the pros & cons of these different designs and utilize them. Fit the job with the right tool so to speak. My recent purchase was a C5, 5" with such portability and mount-friendly due to short moment arm. Then the ST-80 is my best widefielder with a 31mm 82deg EP. A 6" newt serves me well to bring back the feeling of my first scope in the 80's. A good newt is a dear friend of amateurs. I also use a 3" ED and a 5"APO for their aesthetically pleasing views.

 

But ultimately, I love my 8" mod-CAT as an imager workhorse and DSO viewing.

 

IMO, in a hobby like any others, experiencing different tools and knowing their characters are also part of it. To me, its not just about the views.

 

Samuel


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