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Moving from an SCT

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#1 cukleti

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 07:08 PM

Gents

 

I have been an avid amateur astronomer for years now. I’ve had mostly mak’s and SCT’s. Don’t get me wrong, the viewes through some of them were great. Until now. I had a chance to look through an 80mm APO Triplet and I have never seen a view like that.

 

No, it wasn’t brighter on planets, but it certainly gave me a wow effect while looking at Clusters, some nebulas and just generally the sky. I’ve never seen stars like that, so perfect. I couldn’t believe it was coming from an 80mm scope. 

 

So so now I come to you to seek advise. I currently have an 8” Edge HD. But no matter how many times I look through it, I can’t forget the views I saw from the APO. 

 

My budget is about $3500. I would like a 4” or 5” ( Dont know if it’s worth the 1k jump). I’ve read reviewes on all sorts of refractors. TAK would be my number 1 choice but it’s out of my price range, so I’ve decided on either William Optics or Stellarvue, or anything else above average. 

 

Your tboughts and experiences are greatly appreciated. 

 

 


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#2 HowardSkies

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 07:26 PM

I would recommend going for the extra inch. 

 

4x4= 16

 

vs

 

5x5= 25

 

and this is an over 50% increase (25/16) in light gathering which will help on DSO especially under dark skies

 

planet viewing will be better

 

The larger scope will be heavier and your mount will have to reflect this



#3 junomike

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 07:44 PM

Just above your budget but a Tak and near 5".


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#4 cukleti

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 07:46 PM

I have a decent mount. 5” would of course be better. Can’t believe 1” would be 10” longer though. 



#5 cukleti

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 07:47 PM

I would love a Tak. But a triplet APO? Close to my budget? I thought they are over 5k



#6 jimandlaura26

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 07:53 PM

Gents

 

I have been an avid amateur astronomer for years now. I’ve had mostly mak’s and SCT’s. Don’t get me wrong, the viewes through some of them were great. Until now. I had a chance to look through an 80mm APO Triplet and I have never seen a view like that.

 

No, it wasn’t brighter on planets, but it certainly gave me a wow effect while looking at Clusters, some nebulas and just generally the sky. I’ve never seen stars like that, so perfect. I couldn’t believe it was coming from an 80mm scope. 

 

So so now I come to you to seek advise. I currently have an 8” Edge HD. But no matter how many times I look through it, I can’t forget the views I saw from the APO. 

 

My budget is about $3500. I would like a 4” or 5” ( Dont know if it’s worth the 1k jump). I’ve read reviewes on all sorts of refractors. TAK would be my number 1 choice but it’s out of my price range, so I’ve decided on either William Optics or Stellarvue, or anything else above average. 

 

Your tboughts and experiences are greatly appreciated. 

There are many good options to choose from now. I have exclusive experience with Stellarvue telescopes. They have a very devoted following due to their emphasis on quality and customer loyalty - which has been my experience over the last 14 years. You can see my current stable of Stellarvue scopes in my signature. I also own a Celestron C-8 Edge. They are great complementary choices. In your case, I would favor a 102mm/4" refractor, for portability, affordability (you're going to need some good EPs) and given your SCT (which I would not sell - the laws of physics still apply for going deep). A 4" apo is a very reasonable size (weight and moment arm) that will likely not challenge your existing mount (i.e., for your C8). The weight and moment of a five inch refractor arguably puts you into a new class of mounts and heft concerns - albeit doable. 

 

Attached is a photo of my SVR-102T on a Celestron AVX mount; I also use a 4" Discmount Alt-Az mount with it.

 

Best wishes in your hunt!

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_2108.jpeg

Edited by jimandlaura26, 22 October 2017 - 07:56 PM.

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#7 Richard Whalen

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 07:55 PM

What are you planning for a mount? At your budget I would take a close look at the APM140, and the various 130mm scopes out there. 

 

On the night you used the 80mm, did you also compare to your scopes? Sure it just was not an exceptional night? Is your 8" collimation spot on? As much as I love refractors, an 80mm should not be able to come close to a good 8" except perhaps wide field viewing giving a larger exit pupil. What is the widest field lowest power eyepiece you use in your 8"? Maybe you just need a lower power wider field eyepiece for your 8"?

 

Are you in an area with really bad seeing most of the time? Are you planning on also keeping your 8"? If so I would look at a smaller APO to compliment it in the 100mm to 115mm range f7 to f9. If your going to have only one scope though, I would go for the 140mm.


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#8 desertlens

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 07:57 PM

Ah yes, the blinding flash on the road to Damascus. Welcome to the world of refractor joy. While the advice regarding aperture is solid, I've had some superb views with the Stellarvue SV80ST. I wouldn't dismiss the abilities of a good 80mm.


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#9 cukleti

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 08:03 PM

 

Gents

 

I have been an avid amateur astronomer for years now. I’ve had mostly mak’s and SCT’s. Don’t get me wrong, the viewes through some of them were great. Until now. I had a chance to look through an 80mm APO Triplet and I have never seen a view like that.

 

No, it wasn’t brighter on planets, but it certainly gave me a wow effect while looking at Clusters, some nebulas and just generally the sky. I’ve never seen stars like that, so perfect. I couldn’t believe it was coming from an 80mm scope. 

 

So so now I come to you to seek advise. I currently have an 8” Edge HD. But no matter how many times I look through it, I can’t forget the views I saw from the APO. 

 

My budget is about $3500. I would like a 4” or 5” ( Dont know if it’s worth the 1k jump). I’ve read reviewes on all sorts of refractors. TAK would be my number 1 choice but it’s out of my price range, so I’ve decided on either William Optics or Stellarvue, or anything else above average. 

 

Your tboughts and experiences are greatly appreciated. 

There are many good options to choose from now. I have exclusive experience with Stellarvue telescopes. They have a very devoted following due to their emphasis on quality and customer loyalty - which has been my experience over the last 14 years. You can see my current stable of Stellarvue scopes in my signature. I also own a Celestron C-8 Edge. They are great complementary choices. In your case, I would favor a 102mm/4" refractor, for portability, affordability (you're going to need some good EPs) and given your SCT (which I would not sell - the laws of physics still apply for going deep). A 4" apo is a very reasonable size (weight and moment arm) that will likely not challenge your existing mount (i.e., for your C8). The weight and moment of a five inch refractor arguably puts you into a new class of mounts and heft concerns - albeit doable. 

 

Attached is a photo of my SVR-102T on a Celestron AVX mount; I also use a 4" Discmount Alt-Az mount with it.

 

Best wishes in your hunt!

 

Thanks Jim. How do find the 102 compared directly with the C8. I love the C8, just though a good 5” could top it



#10 Adun

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 08:04 PM

... for years now...I’ve had mostly mak’s and SCT’s. Don’t get me wrong, the views through some of them were great. Until now. I had a chance to look through an 80mm APO Triplet and I have never seen a view like that.
 I’ve never seen stars like that, so perfect.


I had that same feeling when using my imaging scope, an 80mm F4.4 achromat.

Stars were so perfect, and DSOs had such contrast and sharpness.

 

I'm in the lower end of the budget, so take my advise with a grain of salt:

 

If I wanted to spend money for seeing DSOs through the purity of a refractor, I'd get a larger aperture achromat, rather than a same-cost, smaller aperture APO.


Edited by Adun, 22 October 2017 - 08:07 PM.


#11 coopman

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 08:05 PM

The pinpoint stars and contrast from an apo refractor are definitely stunning the first time you experience them. I'll never forget my first night with an 80ED refractor - I could not believe what I was seeing! However, I have come to also appreciate the views from my C8 Edge lately, even though I have a couple of good refractors in my current stable. I've never looked thru a triplet...and maybe I shouldn't! Good luck with your new equipment decision.

#12 junomike

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 08:09 PM

I would love a Tak. But a triplet APO? Close to my budget? I thought they are over 5k

New yes, Used no (or not always).

Click on the link in post #3 (It takes you to the Ad).



#13 CounterWeight

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 08:09 PM

cukleti,

 

If you look at the used market here and Astromart you can save some over buying new.  I bought my first nice refractor that way.

 

I was an avid SCt user until I switched up about 10 years ago now.  Agree you'll notice the loss in grasp in ways on some objects, but it was the same for me in that it was the view that sold me.  It took a long time to miss the aperture.



#14 cukleti

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 08:09 PM

What are you planning for a mount? At your budget I would take a close look at the APM140, and the various 130mm scopes out there. 

 

On the night you used the 80mm, did you also compare to your scopes? Sure it just was not an exceptional night? Is your 8" collimation spot on? As much as I love refractors, an 80mm should not be able to come close to a good 8" except perhaps wide field viewing giving a larger exit pupil. What is the widest field lowest power eyepiece you use in your 8"? Maybe you just need a lower power wider field eyepiece for your 8"?

 

Are you in an area with really bad seeing most of the time? Are you planning on also keeping your 8"? If so I would look at a smaller APO to compliment it in the 100mm to 115mm range f7 to f9. If your going to have only one scope though, I would go for the 140mm.

I wanted to either have them side by side with my SW EQ/ALT 5 mount. Or replace the C8



#15 cukleti

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 08:14 PM

Hmm that Tak looks tempting. But $400 less I can get the SV 130. Is the quality that much different between the 2?



#16 RLawson

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 08:18 PM

You might have a look at the new Stellarvue Access 125. I just recently ordered one that should be delivered in a week or two. Very good price for a nice 5 inch scope. 


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#17 Kunama

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 08:24 PM

Hmm that Tak looks tempting. But $400 less I can get the SV 130. Is the quality that much different between the 2?

Yes grin.gif

 

If you're doing visual then I would suggest a doublet like the FC100DF by Takahashi ahead of any 80mm triplet.... but if you want a lifetime refractor then the TSA120 that Mike pointed to would be my first choice...waytogo.gif but just be aware that in order to see DSOs at the level of an 8" scope you would need a refractor around the 6" mark....

 

The APM140 would be a nice visual scope with enough aperture for many DSOs....


Edited by Kunama, 22 October 2017 - 08:26 PM.

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#18 cukleti

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 08:37 PM

I was thinking of making my new refractor, my main visual scope. I don’t plan on doing AP. Possibly in 10 years, when I have the time. But for now just visual for myself and my kids. That’s why I was opting for the biggest I can get for my budget. In addition, I will be purchasing a DOB of 14”. I’ve seen the planets and the moon. So for me to be impressed, I would need to go the reflector route. However, what I never experienced, are the viewes I saw through that 90mm APO Triplet. Which by the way was the SV 90mm Raptor. I apologize, I thought it was an 80mm. 


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#19 M11Mike

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 08:55 PM

While stars are certainly pinpoints - like diamonds on black velvet (with a good refractor/no central obstruction) when it comes to deep space "faint fuzzies" in my opinion it's hard to beat APERTURE. 

 

Making a major purchase (and equipment change) based on ONE NIGHT's OBSERVATION (again in my opinion) might not be the smartest decision.  Case in point - around once every 3 months - I have a night of incredible seeing - everything I look at just seems to pop into crisp focus, contrast and resolution is incredible, etc.  I can easily see Cassini's Division, Martian polar caps are there,  E-Lyra splits with 80x, the Whirlpool is THERE (easy), etc., etc.  The very next night with naked eye visual seeming the same - I can't see any of this - the very next night. 

 

I had a Celestron C-102F (it's reputation as a great refactor is well known) and a Stellarue 102 with a STREHL of .985. 

 

I'm a visual observer.

 

I like Deep Space stuff.

 

SOLD both refactors and each time went back to a 8" SCT.  I simply couldn't see what I Ioved the most well enough or at all. 

 

Very simply - just not enough light grasp to overcome 4 additional inches of aperture....even with that almost perfect resolution and superb contrast.

 

Mike P (Ballston Lake, NY)   

 

          



#20 jeremiah2229

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 09:16 PM

I use a SV130EDT and a C8 here side by side comparing. On a perfectly calm night the C8 can give some impressive views, grabbing more light than the 130 for solar system objects but the 130 is always sharper, showing crisp details where the C8 is softer on contrast edges. The C8 is brighter on globulars but I like the sharper stars in the 130 though a tad behind on light grasp. If there's currents in the air the C8 takes a big hit compared to the 130. I attribute this to the three reflection points in the C8 compared to one in the 130 (few weeks back I spent 5-6 nights comparing refractors vs folded light on Luna from terrible currents to just barely any currents). If I had to choose between these two I would keep the 130 without a second thought. But I could be very content with the C8 and 4 inch class APO to compliment it. If I was in your shoes and wanting to go 5 inch class and keep the Edge also I would probably be looking at the 125 Access. The 5 inch triplets get heavy in the nose, but that's just a personal concern, I like doublets for this reason. I also find that in the 4 inch class the 'big dim' as I call it hits around 200x while the 130 here that same 'big dim' happens around 325x when doing solar system. 4 inch I scarf all over the yard and actually do with the C8 too. The 130 (26 pounds) I don't scarf at all but I can remove the scope and carry it in one hand and the mount in the other, I'm manual alt/az only.

 

 

Peace...



#21 TheObserver

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 09:30 PM

There’s also CFF you can get a nice 105 with in your budget. Also there’s a CFF 105 that just hit the other site for a lot less than your budget. Leaves you extra change
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#22 coopman

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 09:35 PM

You have some good options to consider:
Explore Scientific 127mm FCD100 triplets
Astro-Tech 130 Triplet
Telescope Service 130mm Triplet
Various APM refractors

#23 sink45ny

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 10:22 PM

I have an astro-physics refractor, but given your budget I would recommend a 5 inch Stellarvue with premium focuser (carbon fiber tube if you can swing it).



#24 cukleti

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 12:26 AM

I have an astro-physics refractor, but given your budget I would recommend a 5 inch Stellarvue with premium focuser (carbon fiber tube if you can swing it).

You are one lucky guy Steve. I can’t be on a waiting list. That would kill me.

 

So I think I will go with ether a new 5” SV or a Used CFF or TEC


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#25 moshen

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 01:50 AM

The Takahashi FC-100D series are 20% off for just a month and are affordable for a new Tak, and lightweight. That would be what I would do without hesitation.

 

A 5" is much larger than a 4" and what it does better than the 4" for DSO the C8 already does even better.

 

Keep the C8, it will do much better on DSO than a 4" or 5".


Edited by moshen, 23 October 2017 - 01:52 AM.



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