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4" refractor vs. 4" Mak

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#1 nickcodybarrett

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 05:51 PM

Hi guys,

 

I'm currently debating with myself if I should get a 4" frac or mak as my grab-n-go. I don't know much about either because I'm primarily a reflector guy. I want it to cover the entire observing spectrum: Planetary, Lunar, DSO.

 

Just tell me: What would you buy

 

Thanks,

Nick


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#2 junomike

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 05:57 PM

For Planetary, Lunar, and DSO I'd go with  short Focal Length ED Refrator as the shorter F/L and ability to use longer 2" Eyepieces (to their fullest) is something the Mak isn't able to do.

The 4" ED will also cool faster although not a huge difference.


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#3 jgraham

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 06:03 PM

My experience been that a refractor performs similarly to a Mak/SCT that is 2" larger, so performancewise the refractor is attractive. However, for a grab'n go I really like how compact Maks are, so I'd go with the Mak. BTW, my travel scope is on olde orange tube C90.


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#4 DonnieBe

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 06:14 PM

The 4se or the etx125, I guess for me it’s what I’m working with. I’m comfortable goto, grab and go, with these sizes in a Mak. Both have cases for portability. Either way a Frac is nice too, maybe on a goto GEM. That way there you can try different telescope arrangements. Donnie

#5 Cajundaddy

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 06:20 PM

It really depends on budget because a premium 4” frac will be at least 2x the price of a Mak. Every scope is a trade off in one way or another.


Edited by Cajundaddy, 03 March 2018 - 06:24 PM.

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#6 vtornado

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 06:25 PM

I had a 100mm orion mak and was not impressed.

It was a little soft compared to a refractor.   I checked the collimation and it was a hair off, but

I did not feel comfortable collimating it.

Also if this is a travel scope, I'm guessing you won't have a goto mount, so you will have

to find things in a narrow field of view which I found challenging.

 

The view through a 4 inch ED refractor is a lot sharper, and you can get a big wide angle view.

It will be expensive.


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#7 nickcodybarrett

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 06:55 PM

For Planetary, Lunar, and DSO I'd go with  short Focal Length ED Refrator as the shorter F/L and ability to use longer 2" Eyepieces (to their fullest) is something the Mak isn't able to do.

The 4" ED will also cool faster although not a huge difference.

Oh I forgot to mention Achro. I cant afford an ed right now.


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#8 nickcodybarrett

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 06:57 PM

It really depends on budget because a premium 4” frac will be at least 2x the price of a Mak. Every scope is a trade off in one way or another.

It would be an achromat so about the same.


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#9 nickcodybarrett

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 06:58 PM

I had a 100mm orion mak and was not impressed.

It was a little soft compared to a refractor.   I checked the collimation and it was a hair off, but

I did not feel comfortable collimating it.

Also if this is a travel scope, I'm guessing you won't have a goto mount, so you will have

to find things in a narrow field of view which I found challenging.

 

The view through a 4 inch ED refractor is a lot sharper, and you can get a big wide angle view.

It will be expensive.

I'm planning to put it on an Orion starseeker iv mount so it is go-to


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#10 jgraham

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 07:03 PM

My baby...

 

C90 (9-15-2016)-1.jpg

 


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#11 nickcodybarrett

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 07:30 PM

very nice



#12 Tony Flanders

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 08:19 PM

I'm currently debating with myself if I should get a 4" frac or mak as my grab-n-go. I don't know much about either because I'm primarily a reflector guy. I want it to cover the entire observing spectrum: Planetary, Lunar, DSO.

If you're used to using a Dob, I think you'll be pretty horrified at the tiny maximum field of view supplied by Maks. Especially Maks that take only 1.25-inch eyepieces, which is the case with most reasonably priced Maks with apertures of 5 inches or less. The limited low-power potential isn't an issue for the Moon and planets, but it's a serious liability for deep-sky observing.

Since the scope can't compete with your 8-inch Dob in terms of light gathering or resolution, I think you should concentrate on field of view, the one area where a small scope can potentially beat yours. In fact, for reasons of price and portability, you might even consider an 80-mm refractor rather than a 100-mm refractor. A good 80-mm f/6 achromat will compete favorably with a 100-mm Mak on the Moon and planets, and blow it away on wide-field deep-sky views.


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#13 TONGKW

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 08:42 PM

﹣﹣﹣﹣

I have both a Bosma 100 mm f/14 Maksutov and a Vixen 100mm f/6.8 achromatic refractor.  

Both OTA are being used as grab and go set up with a manual AltAz mount and a photo tripod..
Both OTA weigh about the same at 4,5 lb.
Because of the simple helical focuser, the Vixen refractor can be light in weight.  
Being much shorter, the Maksutov is more portable than the refractor and can be put into a backpack with the mount.
The Maksutov gives sharper view on planets and the moon and with no chromatic aberration but the view is narrow and a lot dimmer compare to the refractor.
The refractor has noticeable chromatic aberration but give beautiful wide field view on star field and many deep sky objects.

﹣﹣﹣﹣

 

Bosma Mak 100mmf14.jpg

 

﹣﹣﹣﹣

 

Vixen SS100s_Kenko AltAz_Velbon.jpg

 

﹣﹣﹣﹣



#14 havasman

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 08:50 PM

refractor

AT102ED if it fits your budget.



#15 nickcodybarrett

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 08:55 PM

 

I'm currently debating with myself if I should get a 4" frac or mak as my grab-n-go. I don't know much about either because I'm primarily a reflector guy. I want it to cover the entire observing spectrum: Planetary, Lunar, DSO.

If you're used to using a Dob, I think you'll be pretty horrified at the tiny maximum field of view supplied by Maks. Especially Maks that take only 1.25-inch eyepieces, which is the case with most reasonably priced Maks with apertures of 5 inches or less. The limited low-power potential isn't an issue for the Moon and planets, but it's a serious liability for deep-sky observing.

Since the scope can't compete with your 8-inch Dob in terms of light gathering or resolution, I think you should concentrate on field of view, the one area where a small scope can potentially beat yours. In fact, for reasons of price and portability, you might even consider an 80-mm refractor rather than a 100-mm refractor. A good 80-mm f/6 achromat will compete favorably with a 100-mm Mak on the Moon and planets, and blow it away on wide-field deep-sky views.

 

I forgot to add that ill be using it for EAA as well.


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#16 treadmarks

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 08:58 PM

An achro will perform better on DSO, they'll be about the same on planets, but the MCT will be much better in terms of ergonomics and portability. It's up to you what's more important, but if you're planning on using the Starseeker mount you may as well buy the package deal from Orion.


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#17 izar187

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 01:08 AM

 

For Planetary, Lunar, and DSO I'd go with  short Focal Length ED Refrator as the shorter F/L and ability to use longer 2" Eyepieces (to their fullest) is something the Mak isn't able to do.

The 4" ED will also cool faster although not a huge difference.

Oh I forgot to mention Achro. I cant afford an ed right now.

 

5" short tube newt.


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#18 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 03:05 AM

 

 

For Planetary, Lunar, and DSO I'd go with  short Focal Length ED Refrator as the shorter F/L and ability to use longer 2" Eyepieces (to their fullest) is something the Mak isn't able to do.

The 4" ED will also cool faster although not a huge difference.

Oh I forgot to mention Achro. I cant afford an ed right now.

 

5" short tube newt.

 

Bingo.

 

A 130 mm F/5 with a decent mirror and a 2 inch focuser. No CA, much faster than the Mak or the refractor for EAA and very rugged.

 

I've owned several.. It's scary sometimes how good they can be. I remember one night under dark skies.. I was doing the low power, wide field thing with my NP-101 and swapped it out for a 130 mm, F/5 Newtonian with the 31 mm  Nagler and a paracorr. I wasn't giving up much with the $200 scope.

 

The closest thing there is to a poor man's 4 inch apo.

 

5950502-SpaceProbe 130ST ALT-AZ at the Starpad.JPG

 

Jon


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#19 sg6

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 03:33 AM

The 4" refractor will be a lot more user friendly, especially if it is not a goto mount.

The field of view that you would get is the advantage especially for locating objects initially.

 

The negative side would be the size and weight. I have a 105 Mak and a 102 refractor and the refractor is "bigger". The refractor is one of the Bresser 102/600's. No roblem if driving but if walking or cycling then be aware. I would also say get one that is f/6 but preferably slower, up to f/8 just to improve performance. I personally would not go to an f/5 achro. Not overly convinced of my f/6 but it was a bargin.

 

Maybe take a look at an 80mm and decide if the smaller aperture is adaquate.



#20 aeajr

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 04:33 AM

Telescopes are tools so you pick the tool for the task.

 

Wide field vs. high mag

 

CA vs. Coma

 

Physical size and weight.

 

Clear aperture vs. Obstructed aperture.  

 

I would be looking at a 4.5" Mak vs. a 4" refractor from an aperture point of view.

 

 

If the main use is for EAA you should really be posting this in the EAA forum where the unique requirements of this approach can be best addressed.

https://www.cloudyni...-and-equipment/



#21 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 04:54 AM

Telescopes are tools so you pick the tool for the task.

 

Wide field vs. high mag

 

CA vs. Coma

 

A 130 mm F/5 Newtonian does both widefield and high mag. 

 

Coma is probably similar to your XT-8..

 

 

I would be looking at a 4.5" Mak vs. a 4" refractor from an aperture point of view.

 

 

Throughput wise,  the Mak needs to be a 5 inch.  They do have large COs . The specs are deceiving.  On the 127 mak,  the list the secondary mirror CO as 39 mm.  The secondary baffle is the actual CO,  48mm or about 40%.

 

Jon


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#22 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 12:19 PM

Another thought:

 

A 6 inch F/5 Newtonian. 

 

Jon


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#23 Cajundaddy

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 12:26 PM

EAA is all about fast optics so the Mak and long FL Achro are probably out.  For this planned use and budget a 4.5” F5 Newt is hard to beat.



#24 treadmarks

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 01:19 PM

I own 3 scopes: a 4" Mak, a 4" achromat, and an 8" SCT. The Mak gets used more than the achromat. If I'm going for the best views, that's what the 8" is for. The 4" scopes are there for convenience and the Mak is more convenient than the achromat. It is easier to transport and the ergonomics are better (eyepiece travel). I suppose if portability isn't an issue for you, that could tip things in favor of a refractor.

 

The forte of a refractor is wide field, but binoculars are the most convenient wide field optic. So the achromat has ended up occupying a niche where I want a wide field view better than a binocular ("deluxe wide field"?) but the object doesn't fit in my big scope or I don't want to bring out the big scope. How often does that happen? Not often. I'm either feeling lazy or I'm not and the object would have to be *very* big to not fit in a narrow FOV. At 1300mm and a 1.25" EP, we're talking bigger than M42, the Double Cluster, the core of M45 etc.

 

Re: focal ratio, FOV etc. A 4" Synta Mak has a focal length of 1300mm. A Synta Dob is typically 1200mm. So to call the FOV of the Mak "tiny" in comparison to a Dob seems like an exaggeration to me. It helps that the Dob can take 2" EP's but Maks have an ace up their sleeve too: you can put a focal reducer on it. This will help with both FOV and photographic speed.

 

My choice would be the Mak.


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#25 aeajr

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 01:51 PM

snip...

 

Re: focal ratio, FOV etc. A 4" Synta Mak has a focal length of 1300mm. A Synta Dob is typically 1200mm. So to call the FOV of the Mak "tiny" in comparison to a Dob seems like an exaggeration to me. It helps that the Dob can take 2" EP's but Maks have an ace up their sleeve too: you can put a focal reducer on it. This will help with both FOV and photographic speed.

 

My choice would be the Mak.

Can you post a link to an example?   I have a 5" ETX 125. Might like to try that.   Only heard of Focal reducers for SCTs.




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