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Hooked on small scopes

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#1 contrailmaker

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 10:10 AM

I re-discovered how much fun a small telescope can be after buying my TV60 earlier this year. I had just had cervical surgery and was limited to lifting 10 lb. The whole rig weights in at about 7 lb including the tripod and it’s given me great views of the constellations and planets. It will soon serve mostly as a travel scope. I was so impressed by the views it delivers and by the quality of Televue scopes that I recently acquired this beautiful TV76 for the days when the seeing doesn’t justify setting up the larger scopes at my place (the TV60 is at a different location).  It will also allow me to use a binoviewer as is my preference. Can’t wait for first light. But, the new telescope curse is in full swing over here.

 

 I very much doubt this will be my last small refractor.

 

CM

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Edited by contrailmaker, 20 June 2018 - 12:56 PM.

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#2 db2005

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 10:39 AM

Congrats on a very nice scope set up! In my opinion small refractors are frequently underrated (maybe not in this forum...), but in my experience they are absolutely perfect for getting out under the skies quickly and making the best use of observing opportunities. A small high-quality refractor under the skies shows more than a monster scope packed away in the garage. My personal favourite small APO is the Vixen SD81S: light, portable, and just enough aperture to be quite useful on Moon, planets, clusters, double stars and even bright DSOs. Perfect for grab-and-go astronomy.

 

Seriously, every observer should own a 3-inch class APO...


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#3 GamesForOne

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 11:23 AM

Even better: Try two together -- one for each eye!

 

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Michael Mc  grin.gif


Edited by GamesForOne, 20 June 2018 - 11:42 AM.

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#4 Garyth64

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 11:29 AM

Be careful, anyone with more little scope is nuts.

 

lol.gif


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#5 IMB

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 11:33 AM

<...> Seriously, every observer should own a 3-inch class APO...

Absolutely! These instruments are so versatile and pleasure to use.

 

Even though I own a pretty good 120 mm telescope, I still observe much more with my 72 mm.


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#6 Sarkikos

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 11:52 AM

"Hooked on Small Scopes."  So am I.  Look at my sig.  I guess I'm nuts, too!

 

grin.gif

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 20 June 2018 - 11:53 AM.

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#7 RAKing

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 12:06 PM

Congrats on the nice rig and best of luck with your recovery. flowerred.gif 

 

It's wonderful that there are so many great choices out there that allow us to enjoy our hobby to the best of our physical and fiscal abilities.

 

Cheers,

 

Ron

(former cervical fusion patient)


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#8 contrailmaker

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 12:54 PM

Congrats on the nice rig and best of luck with your recovery. flowerred.gif

 

It's wonderful that there are so many great choices out there that allow us to enjoy our hobby to the best of our physical and fiscal abilities.

 

Cheers,

 

Ron

(former cervical fusion patient)

 

Thanks! I’m already cleared to go back to work.

That Vixen SD81S was very tempting. But, the chance of acquiring the kindly used TV76 at a good price won out. Give me a couple of minutes and I’ll think of a good reason to buy the Vixen anyway.grin.gif

 

CM


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#9 kmparsons

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 12:55 PM

I just purchased the smallest scope I have ever gotten, the Astro-Tech 60mm f/6 FPL-53 doublet. The scope is a beauty. Everything about it says "quality." Of course, we are having a week of rain and heavy clouds in SE Texas. Can't wait to try it out! I plan to use it as a travel scope, so can anyone recommend a small but sturdy tripod that can fit into carry-on luggage? Thanks! 


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#10 RAKing

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 12:59 PM

That Vixen is a very nice scope.  I am sure you will enjoy it, too. waytogo.gif 

 

I have been recovering from a second spinal fusion since February.  Lifting restrictions are a PITA - or maybe I should say a pain in the back (or neck in your case).  I can now handle about 20 pounds, but going over that is risky.

 

The little TV scopes are modern day classics in my book.  I am sure you will love that little 76.

 

Cheers,

 

Ron


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#11 contrailmaker

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 01:10 PM

I just purchased the smallest scope I have ever gotten, the Astro-Tech 60mm f/6 FPL-53 doublet. The scope is a beauty. Everything about it says "quality." Of course, we are having a week of rain and heavy clouds in SE Texas. Can't wait to try it out! I plan to use it as a travel scope, so can anyone recommend a small but sturdy tripod that can fit into carry-on luggage? Thanks! 

I’m using the Manfrotto compact advanced with quick release plate for my TV60. There are other compact models in the Manfrotto line. They make good quality mount/tripods.

 

CM


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#12 kmparsons

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 01:13 PM

Thanks. I have been thinking along the lines of Manfrotto. I would really like something with an extendable head that I could crank up or down. 


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#13 contrailmaker

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 01:13 PM

That Vixen is a very nice scope.  I am sure you will enjoy it, too. waytogo.gif

 

I have been recovering from a second spinal fusion since February.  Lifting restrictions are a PITA - or maybe I should say a pain in the back (or neck in your case).  I can now handle about 20 pounds, but going over that is risky.

 

The little TV scopes are modern day classics in my book.  I am sure you will love that little 76.

 

Cheers,

 

Ron

What a coincidence, mine was on February 12. 

All I can say is that as much as it has been a pain recovering from the surgery, it sure was a lot worse before. Get well soon!

 

CM


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#14 Erik Bakker

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 01:14 PM

I am hooked on small and light quality refractors too. They are so easy to get out and observing with, day and night. I've owned a couple of them from the very light Celestron FL 55S to the substantial Zeiss AS 80/840 and a few in-between. Found the ones with the best combination of views, convenience, portability and user friendliness unsurpassed. Those with great optics and a weight with mount and eyepiece under 6 kg are my favorites. The lighter, the better. Aperture around 3" is an optimum for me too. 


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#15 clearwaterdave

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 01:47 PM

Mine are not ED or apo's but I enjoy them very much both in the day and night time. If I ever see an apo/ed nearby and for a good price I may bite.,but for now my small inexpensive frac's are doing a good job of keeping me busy and smiling.,waytogo.gif


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#16 desertlens

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 01:50 PM

I have scopes up to an 8" SCT but my most used is probably an SV80ST which stays mounted for unexpected opportunities. Several nights ago I was able to see the entire Veil nebula with a Borg 55FL, a 25mm Abbe and an OIII filter (very cool!). Small refractors are much underrated and maybe I'm just lazy :).


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#17 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 03:15 PM

I enjoy observing with small scopes .  I've owned a number of scopes 80 mm and under including this 60 mm F/7 Parks-Carton. 

 

4584801-Parks 80mm F7 Number 2.jpg
 
But i settled on 80 mm as being just right.. Currently I have four , a Celestron 80 mm F/5 fitted with a 2 inch William Optics focuser,  an AT-80LE (F/6, FPL-53), an WO Megrez II FD (F/7,FPL53) and Meade 310, the 80 mm F/11 manufactured by Mizar. .
 
Jon

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#18 Tyson M

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 04:37 PM

I absolutely love small scopes. I have the perfect 80mm now , but I'm somewhat afraid to travel with it because it is a triplet and I am afraid of knocking it out of collimation, perhaps irrationally.

Now I may be looking for another small 80mm scope that fits in my photo backpack for travel.
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#19 Sarkikos

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 05:54 AM

Thanks. I have been thinking along the lines of Manfrotto. I would really like something with an extendable head that I could crank up or down. 

Extendable heads/columns are a great feature, especially for refractors, which have a wide range in eyepiece height between zenith and horizon.  You can extend the column instead of shifting your chair up and down, or standing up and sitting back down. 

 

Another benefit of an extendable column is that you don't have to bring out a cumbersome and heavy astro-chair.  All you need is a light, adjustable camping stool.  You can sling one of those across your shoulders as you take the scope and mount outside.  https://www.camptime...rd-roll-a-stool

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 21 June 2018 - 05:57 AM.

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#20 rerun

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 10:22 AM

A very fine scope your new TV60 , Congratulations. I am hooked by small refractors. Yesterday I made a short observation of the moon. I had to go up early in the morning for work. But for a short view on the moon the litte FOA60 is great. I used my williams bino with 20mm williams eyepices and enjoyed the  half  hour viewing the moon. It takes no time to built it up and the fun is great. I sleeped very well after this observation.

Thats why I love little scopes so much.

 

Clear skies Markus 

 

FOA 60 with Bino
20180620 222324

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#21 russell23

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 11:40 AM

I just picked up a Williams Optics Z61 as a nice wide TFOV scope and travel scope.  At home I have a nice table top tripod for it but I’m going to need something for travel.

 

So far I’ve only had a chance to look at the Moon with it one evening.  Zero CA at 106x in the twilight sky.  Sometime this summer I will get a chance to really test it as a widefield scope.

 

 

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#22 Bomber Bob

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 11:49 AM

Cute, Classic, & CA-free:  my 1960 Swift Model 838 sports a 50mm F14 lens by Takahashi, a cable-less GEM, and with a Vixen 36mm adapter uses 1.25" accessories.

 

Swift 838 S10.jpg

 

It's the lightest equatorial grab & go that I have.  Views are super sharp -- even in the rinky-dinky finder.


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#23 Erik Bakker

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 11:49 AM

Like Markus, I observed the first quarter moon last night. Around dusk. At 25-75x. A stunning sight in my smallest scope and favorite grab-n-go, a 82mm ED. Especially at 30x and 2.4 degrees, the sight was breathtaking with numerous craters, mountains, ridges, subtle and stark albedo features. Meanwhile the earthshine gently glowing, the moon hanging silently in the spacious field of a still bluish sky.

 

IMG_2235.jpeg


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#24 Blueox4

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 12:09 PM

I haven’t had my bigger refractor out since I picked up this little gem. The ES 92 17mm eyepiece is hard to balance on my mount but I was floored by the viewing last night. 

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#25 jay.i

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 12:55 PM

Did someone say small scopes? grin.gif

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