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Hooked on small scopes

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#26 jazzy9000

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 01:53 PM

Hello Cloudy Nights,

 

I am enjoying learning to observe with my little Vixen A70lf since I started in the winter of 2017.


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#27 rerun

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 01:59 PM

Hi Tommy,

 

welcome to CN. There is a lot to see with your Vixen A70 and you will learn a lot .I think everyone who observes the night sky with a telescope , makes something right .

 

Clear skies

 

Markus



#28 rerun

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 02:04 PM

Hi Erik,

 

what kind of scope do you use ? On your picture it looks like a spotting scope .

 

clear skies

 

Markus


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#29 Erik Bakker

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 02:04 PM

This same small 82mm ED refractor with 30x eyepiece at 2.4 degrees brought me a most beautiful sight a few weeks ago on june 5th in a still blue dusk sky: Jupiter and wide, colorful double Alpha Librae and surrounding stars. In the sketch I made later, I found it difficult to depict the colors right, especially of that beautiful double. The colors were more blue/white and light blue/green than the yellow and blue in the sketch. But it made the biggest impression of a Jupiter session on me in years. Cosmic beauty near and far at it's best, easy to overlook by magnifications too high and fields of view to narrow. 30x with a wide field were essential in catching this surprising cosmic event in it's full glory. It made me very poetic bigblush.gif

 

_DSC5100 Jupiter + Alpha Librae.jpeg


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#30 nickcodybarrett

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 04:08 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. 

 

 
 
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

 

You're correct. My 20x80 binos can find every galaxy in the Big Dipper. 



#31 TomK1

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 04:21 PM

I don't think I'll ever sell my 70mm pronto.   Over the the decades I've bought too many eyepieces.  And now my pronto case is full of eyepieces ( 20 pl, 16/12/4.8 nglr, 7 delite, and 4 radian), a npb filter, and sky tour computer.   I use a manfrotto tripod and telepod head with encoders and side caddies.   It's a complete, quick set-up system ( my alternative to a 3.5in questar).   It always accompanies me and my 11 inch dob whenever I travel 2 hrs to a dark site.    I use the 70mm at home as much as my 100 mm.   Both of them see more use at home than my dob.  Unless it is a new moon or close to a new moon.   I've been playing around with the refractors to see how much I can eek out of them.   I need to do more side by side comparisons.   And learn to temper my expectations, which were tempered until I bought the dob and started to visit dark sites.   Every time I look at the planets with the 70 or 100 mm, I wish I could see a little more detail and have a two speed focuser.   I've never looked through a longer fl tak or vixen or tec or ap or stellarvue or williams: maybe one day.  That said, the 70mm is a one time setup inside and I walk out the door and start viewing.   And at 3 am when I'm tired, walking the whole set up into the house is a pure joy as opposed to putting away the two 5 lb batteries and carrying the 45 lb dob ota/cradle in the house and down the stairs to basement.  I was out this morning at dawn with the pronto.   I'd be lying if I said I saw cassini's division at 120x and I could only see one moon (although saturn was very low in the bright sky over Detroit and I was viewing over the neighbor's house).  I saw a very faint and very small dark streak on an otherwise huge and extremely bright red/orange mars ( it was like an orange venus)  Next clear night,  I'm taking the 70mm out and will view epsilon lyrae:  I was able to split the double double at 180x with the 100mm ( at 108x the one double would split, then just merge, then split., etc).  I'll see what I can do with the 70mm.   For me, the 70 mm is much more fun at a darker site and more worry-free if I'm letting other's view the stars for the first time.  Of course, all my telescopes and binoculars are more fun at a darker site.  I just need to temper my viewing expectations and adjust the object selection when using each scope.   I should probably create a short list of object separation and compare it to theoretical limit of each refractor.   Then see if I can split the doubles at my scopes limit and determine what I should be able to see on Jupiter, Saturn and Mars.   A perfect project for the many cloudynights in Michigan.  The small scope is a keeper because it fits a nice niche.  


Edited by TomK1, 21 June 2018 - 06:16 PM.

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#32 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 07:20 PM

You're correct. My 20x80 binos can find every galaxy in the Big Dipper. 

 

There are galaxies in the "big dipper" that are beyond the reach of a 25 inch.. . 

 

Jon


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#33 John Huntley

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 07:24 PM

I recently acquired a TV Ranger 70mm. It was intended as a travel scope for a forthcoming trip to Australia but I've found myself using it quite a lot at home because it's simply so easy and so much fun smile.gif

 

 

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#34 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 07:38 PM

One of my favorite small scopes is the SV-50 Li'l Rascal . It's a 50 mm F/4 achromat but quite a good one and with the helical focuser,  sharp focus is possible.  The built-in RACI diagonal limits the field of to slightly less than 7 degrees but it's a pretty awesome little RFT with eyepieces like the 16 mm T5 and a 24 mm SWA. 

 

With O-lll,  UHC and H-Beta filters its quite special for viewing large nebulae. 

 

The mount is the drawback . Just too darn heavy and bulky. .

 

Lil Rascal 1.jpg
 
Another engaging small , wide field scope, nearly 10 degrees with the 21 mm Ethos .
 
50mm with 2 inch diagonal.jpg
 
Jon
 
 

 


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#35 nickcodybarrett

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 07:49 PM

There are galaxies in the "big dipper" that are beyond the reach of a 25 inch.. . 

 

Jon

Well the big ones. m81, 82, 101, 51, 109, 106 etc.


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#36 Garyth64

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 07:49 PM

There are galaxies in the "big dipper" that are beyond the reach of a 25 inch.. . 

 

Jon

There's galaxies in the Big Dipper?

 

lol.gif



#37 jazzy9000

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 08:36 PM

Thanks for the welcome.  I think I've learned a lot in my first season and I can tell I'll learn a lot more.  I can see that there is a lot of experience at the eyepiece here on Cloudy NIghts.  My small refractor reminds me of the Yamaha RD400C I had when I was a younger man.  Small but surprising performance.


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#38 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 09:27 PM

Thanks for the welcome.  I think I've learned a lot in my first season and I can tell I'll learn a lot more.  I can see that there is a lot of experience at the eyepiece here on Cloudy NIghts.  My small refractor reminds me of the Yamaha RD400C I had when I was a younger man.  Small but surprising performance.

:waytogo:

 

In my day, a starter bike was a 50cc Honda and anything with two cylinders qualified as a big bike.. Honda 160... (Not the Dream model)

 

But, besides that, learning to get the most out of a small telescope or a small bike is excellent training... You learn how to get the most out of what you have.. If that time comes for a bigger motor or a bigger scope, you have the skills to make the most of it.  

 

The ability to appreciate and enjoy a 70mm scope, that bodes well for your future as an amateur astronomer. 

 

:bow:

 

Jon


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#39 Erik Bakker

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 01:15 AM

Hi Erik,

 

what kind of scope do you use ? On your picture it looks like a spotting scope .

 

clear skies

 

Markus

Markus,

 

The scope is indeed a spotting scope: a Nikon ED82 A on Gitzo Industrial Performance G 224 tripod and Manfrotto HDV501 fluid head, all NLA new. I use the ED82 A with Nikon Wide MC (30x) and Nikon MC II zoom (25-75x) oculars designed for usage with this scope, both of which are still, scarcely, available new. Weight of scope with eyepiece is around 1.8 kg at a length of ca. 38cm with dust caps on and packs a lot of power in a small package.

 

Perhaps bit of a rare and unusual scope here on CN. This set-up gives superfine images, correctly oriented, and is working well day and night. It's native 25-75x magnification range with it's Nikon MC eyepieces give very bright, saturated, sharp and contrasty views that are very comfortable to look at. Doesn't stress the optics at all.

 

For higher magnifications, more detail and light gathering, I scale up with my larger instruments. But weight scales up quickly too and convenience takes a big nosedive with those wink.gif


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#40 beanerds

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 08:46 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 

 

Same moon , 21st june , summer is coming but  different hemisphere , small scopes but are all the same , awesome telescopes ! .

 

Beanerds.

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#41 kmparsons

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 11:46 AM

Advantages of a small refractor:

 

1) Easily transportable, even in carry-on luggage (I took a 70mm to Bolivia). 

 

2) Easy to mount. I use a Universal Astronomics DwarfStar and an Orion heavy-duty photo tripod. This is rock-solid mounting for a small refractor. 

 

3) Moderate cost. Even the TV and the TAK are not too bad. My AT60mmED was $369, which I consider a fantastic bargain. 

 

4) You can see an incredible amount. Even a 70mm gathers 100 times more light than your fully-dilated pupil. From a dark-sky site you can see things that will knock your socks off. I plan to visit the Davis Mountains in west Texas in August. 

 

5) They are just indescribably cute. 


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#42 Erik Bakker

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 12:32 PM

Advantages of a small refractor:

 

1) Easily transportable, even in carry-on luggage (I took a 70mm to Bolivia). 

 

2) Easy to mount. I use a Universal Astronomics DwarfStar and an Orion heavy-duty photo tripod. This is rock-solid mounting for a small refractor. 

 

3) Moderate cost. Even the TV and the TAK are not too bad. My AT60mmED was $369, which I consider a fantastic bargain. 

 

4) You can see an incredible amount. Even a 70mm gathers 100 times more light than your fully-dilated pupil. From a dark-sky site you can see things that will knock your socks off. I plan to visit the Davis Mountains in west Texas in August. 

 

5) They are just indescribably cute. 

That sums it up nicely Keith 

 

 love.gif


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#43 contrailmaker

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 07:26 PM

cloudy.gif Well, the new telescope curse is not letting up here. It lasted 3 weeks after I bought the GTX a few months ago. Still no first light for the TV 76.4.gif

 

CM



#44 db2005

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 08:05 AM

Advantages of a small refractor:

 

1) Easily transportable, even in carry-on luggage (I took a 70mm to Bolivia). 

 

2) Easy to mount. I use a Universal Astronomics DwarfStar and an Orion heavy-duty photo tripod. This is rock-solid mounting for a small refractor. 

 

3) Moderate cost. Even the TV and the TAK are not too bad. My AT60mmED was $369, which I consider a fantastic bargain. 

 

4) You can see an incredible amount. Even a 70mm gathers 100 times more light than your fully-dilated pupil. From a dark-sky site you can see things that will knock your socks off. I plan to visit the Davis Mountains in west Texas in August. 

 

5) They are just indescribably cute. 

Well said! I would venture to add the following advantages:

 

6) Fast and benign cool-down. Delivers great performance almost from the word "go".

 

7) Less challenging with respects to thermal management, tube currents and dewing than other telescope designs.

 

8) Less sensitive to seeing issues than larger scopes.

 

9) Occupies very little storage space compared with big light buckets, so we have the opportunity to hoard more scopes grin.gif (I'm guilty too...).

 

10) Rarely ever requires collimation... very easy to use and own for beginners to the hobby.

 

Great thread! waytogo.gif

 

 


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#45 Mike Lynch

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 08:16 AM

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

 

My sentiments exactly. My small refractor is an Orion 90mm ShortTube I picked up from another CNer. Very nice deep-sky views in a portable scope, which I have on a very light EQ-1 mount and wood tripod.

 

And the views of Jupiter with a Semi Apo filter the other night were pretty good, too!


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#46 kmparsons

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 11:22 AM

I had both of my 60mm travel scopes out last night, the AT60ED and the Orion StarBlast 62mm (I am sure that I do not have to explain to readers of this forum why I have more small travel scopes than I strictly need). Houston-area light pollution--and S.E. Texas heat, humidity, and mosquitoes--discourage extensive observing time, but I did check out both scopes on the Moon and Jupiter. Each performed brilliantly. The Orion is not an ED, but its 4 lens elements produce very sharp views with very minimal false color. The AT scope with its FPL-53 glass has no false color that I can detect.In both, lunar details really popped. A quality small refractor really does punch above its weight. With its 520 mm focal length, the Orion might be preferred for planetary viewing over the AT with its 320 mm FL. Conversely, the AT might be preferred for low-magnification views of big clusters like M7 and the Pleiades and sweeping star clouds. Which to pack? Shoot, I will just do with fewer changes of socks and underwear and pack both! 


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#47 Mike Lynch

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 02:35 PM

I had both of my 60mm travel scopes out last night, the AT60ED and the Orion StarBlast 62mm (I am sure that I do not have to explain to readers of this forum why I have more small travel scopes than I strictly need).

But you mention only TWO travel scopes. Does that really qualify as "more than I strictly need"?!  lol.gif


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#48 Astrojensen

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 04:12 PM

But you mention only TWO travel scopes. Does that really qualify as "more than I strictly need"?!  lol.gif

In this forum? Absolutely not. Two scopes is just getting warmed up. grin.gif

 

gallery_55742_303_1407446618_22743.jpg

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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#49 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 04:13 PM

But you mention only TWO travel scopes. Does that really qualify as "more than I strictly need"?!  lol.gif

 

:waytogo:

 

There are just so many ways to travel , walking,  biking,  the bus,  a car , a truck,  an airplane,  not to mention by boat .

 

One needs a telescope optimized for each type of travel. .  :)

 

Jon


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#50 MalVeauX

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 08:17 AM

Small scopes are just so convenient and I often times am happy to just scan the sky and take in a rich field more so than trying to study a single object. I think the relationships between structures is interesting enough that I'm happy with a single eyepiece on a wide small refractor.

 

I generally use my ST80 with a 38mm 70* 2" eyepiece for that gnarly >6 degree FOV.

 

I'm thinking of going smaller though. Considering an AT60ED or a WO61 and letting it camp on my Twilight Nano.

 

Very best,


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