Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

What's your refractor story?

refractor optics equipment
  • Please log in to reply
45 replies to this topic

#1 jay.i

jay.i

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2017
  • Joined: 11 Jun 2017
  • Loc: Minneapolis, MN

Posted 29 August 2018 - 10:01 AM

Something has been made clear to me, and that's that many people here use refractors for all sorts of reasons. Some like the portability, some like the high contrast, some like the nostalgia, some like the ease of use. What makes you like or love refractors? What do you use them for? Do you keep coming back to them? Does apo fever make you toss and turn in your sleep? Let's hear your refractor stories!!

 

I will get it started, but it's a long one so strap in. I have always been engrossed with space and spaceflight and have wanted to go up there since I was a little boy. I dabbled very lightly in astronomy throughout my childhood but never got into it. Fast forward to my mid-20s and I had just gotten an important certification for my job field, the most recognized one there is. It took a lot of studying but it earned me 20 comp credits for finishing my B.S. degree and opened a lot of doors for me. I decided to treat myself and started thinking of what to buy. I have lots of tech gadgets like speakers, headphones, amps/DACs, gaming PC, high refresh rate IPS monitor, self-built mechanical keyboard, home servers, mirrorless cameras, etc... gadgets didn't really seem to fit the bill. I wanted to jump into something I had put off for a while, or something I didn't know I wanted. Well, I found it: astronomy.

 

I did probably 100-150 hours of reading and talking to people online about various telescopes and mounts and eyepieces and cameras and all that jazz. I wanted to do astrophotography. I could have gone with an 8" newt on top of my Atlas Pro, but I was drawn to refractors. Chief among the reasons were the low maintenance and ease of use (ideally you never have to collimate one), fairly quick thermal acclimation and no real problems with tube currents, and of course, the stunning image quality afforded by a decent ED objective. I ended up choosing a new Sky-Watcher ProED 120mm from High Point. It arrived in a single layer box which had evidently been dropped, one corner was loose, mud on that corner, and the top of the box was saggy like it had been sitting out in the rain. I was upset. Thankfully, High Point was very receptive to my concerns as a newbie and helped me get resources to judge the collimation. The tube seemed to be fine, the focuser was grindy until I just pulled on it to the side and then it was smooth, and thankfully, the optics seemed to be collimated with perfectly concentric rings. I still considered sending it back to them, as something could go wrong with it in the future and I'll never know... but they gave me a substantial retroactive discount and doubled the warranty period just in case something happened. I was very happy with this course of action and I can't thank High Point enough for being willing to go the extra mile for a frantic customer.

 

I ended up selling that SW120ED over the holidays last year (wanted something smaller to use at home, didn't have my current M2C setup), to a family friend who wanted a scope for her husband. I sold an AYO II and bought an Oberwerk Wooden Surveyor Tripod for her too. It's such a good-looking setup! Since then I have acquired many refractors and none of anything else: Bosma Omega 80ED, AT72EDII, TV-85, TMB105, and FC-76DC. I can't get enough of the high contrast, high sharpness optics in a convenient form factor. My AT72EDII was a little grab and go for me over the cold Minnesota winter, and I had my best view of M45 to date in that little guy with a 13Ethos. The TV-85 almost got sold but I may actually be keeping it due to its durability (I feel like I couldn't break it if I tried) and sharp optics. The TMB105 has the cleanest colors I've ever seen, but it's quite a heavy OTA for only 4" of aperture, and it will probably be sold to fund a later purchase. The FC-76DC was inherited (for a price of course) from an upstanding CN member who wasn't using it anymore and wanted it to go to a good home - I can attest to it having maybe unbeatable sharpness from any refractor I've used, and with a 2" FeatherTouch focuser it's simply a joy to use and looks amazing - but it, too, may have to move to a new home for a future purchase.

 

The ease of use, portability, and pure clean and sharp optics just intoxicate me. I love looking through good optics. Without any aberrations in the view, it really is like extending your own vision. I have on occasion had the sensation that I am a lot closer to my target than I really am (terrestrial objects, the moon) and that feeling of super crisp high power vision is, for lack of a better word, addictive. I will continue to choose refractors for my high speed low drag astronomical viewing experiences. I love them. flowerred.gif


  • Paul Schroeder, Scott Beith, elwaine and 12 others like this

#2 macdonjh

macdonjh

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3278
  • Joined: 06 Mar 2006

Posted 29 August 2018 - 10:35 AM

The refractor I still have was my first vaccination for aperture fever.  I started with a 4" Mak.  One day, cruising the classified ads I saw a good deal on a 6" f/12 D&G.  It was too good to pass up, so I bought it (the meeting is another good story).  I used that scope for five years or so.  Then I got another case of aperture fever.  I quickly realized this case wasn't going to be cured by a refractor, so I bought a C11.  Even though I've decided I'm a Cassegrain guy (I now use a classical Cassegrain), I keep the D&G because: nostalgia, it gets comments and visitors every time I set it up, I can't bear the thought of selling it, and sometimes you simply need that "refractor view".  I certainly don't keep it for portability.

 

My other refractor was a William Optics Zenith Star 66mm.  A good scope with good optics.  But even for grab-and-go, I wasn't satisfied with the views, not enough magnification or light gathering available, so I traded it.


  • jay.i likes this

#3 nicknacknock

nicknacknock

    Always Mr. Random at every airport...

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 10080
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Nicosia, Cyprus

Posted 29 August 2018 - 10:39 AM

Jay,

 

What’s your golden chalice? What is your goal with astronomy? I think that would determine your choice of scopes. 

 

So, what are you after? You have an overlap in scopes and perhaps you should consider parting with some in order to get something else. That else would be more aperture since you are well covered from 105mm and under.

 

However, given that you have downsized, are you willing to go up in aperture again?



#4 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 72567
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 29 August 2018 - 10:44 AM

My refractor story is too long for a post.  Over the years I have owned a number of refractors of various apertures focal lengths and types.  I like refractors but I also like reflectors and appreciate the capabilities and limitations of each. 

 

I like ed/apo refractors because they are the most efficient scopes in terms of performance per inch of aperture.  They offer wide field views and within the limits of their aperture, they offer the most performance at high magnifications. For astronomy, they're the ultimate grab and go telescope. The image is erect so they're well suited for terrestrial viewing.  

 

But ultimately, the resolution and fine scale contrast as well as the light gathering power of a telescope is related to it's aperture and so for high resolution, high contrast observing like the planets and double stars as well as going deep, I use reflectors, these days Dobsonians.   

 

Jon


  • Scott Beith, doctordub, daquad and 5 others like this

#5 jay.i

jay.i

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2017
  • Joined: 11 Jun 2017
  • Loc: Minneapolis, MN

Posted 29 August 2018 - 10:53 AM

Jay,

 

What’s your golden chalice? What is your goal with astronomy? I think that would determine your choice of scopes. 

 

So, what are you after? You have an overlap in scopes and perhaps you should consider parting with some in order to get something else. That else would be more aperture since you are well covered from 105mm and under.

 

However, given that you have downsized, are you willing to go up in aperture again?

Ha... great question Nick.

 

The thrill of looking up and being able to see the universe around me is humbling. The thought that knowing all of what I'm seeing has been around a lot longer than me... the notion that there might be someone else like me looking up, orbiting one of the tiny dots I can see, looking at our tiny dot... I simply love looking out at the universe. It reminds me where we are, where we came from, and where we could go. I don't need to see a lot of really faint things. I like seeing DSOs and would like to have at least one instrument capable of pulling in a lot of light, but it's not my primary objective because of high light pollution. If I had less LP, I would be out more, and could make use of more aperture even for casual sessions.

 

My goal is, really, to be reminded of the splendor and unexplored vastness of space around us, and to be humbled by it. To be inspired by it. I don't need a lot of aperture for it. Just a crisp view with true color.

 

I am likely going to adjust my lineup. Yeah, I do want to go back up in aperture, but I'm going to need a bigger alt-az mount setup for home. Probably a DM6 and Planet. $$$ frown.gif $$$$

 

Likely lineup:

* 10" f/6 Dobsonian -- slow for better correction and smaller CO

* 120-140mm refractor -- would come out any time little scopes show good seeing or transparency

* 72-92mm refractor -- always mounted grab & go, check seeing, also for laziness

 

In the near term, the 120-140 might be an EON 120/SW120ED (yeah, I miss the aperture), but down the line I would love an AP130GT/X or a TEC140ED. The 72-92 is covered already but I will probably sell the FC-76DC, keeping the TV-85 for travel and grab & go (it's more rugged and I don't feel the need to baby it). I might sell the AT72EDII but it's a perfect little size for super cold temps when I want to make use of good transparency but don't want to subject my nicer scopes to the elements. It also makes a great counterweight on the Atlas Pro when in dual AZ mode. grin.gif And, well, should my name come up for one of the new Astro-Physics 92mm Stowaways... I will find a way to accommodate that purchase. There's a reason my cutoff is at 92mm. wink.gif


  • Castor and nicknacknock like this

#6 hfjacinto

hfjacinto

    I think he's got it!

  • *****
  • Posts: 17594
  • Joined: 12 Jan 2009
  • Loc: Land of clouds and LP

Posted 29 August 2018 - 10:57 AM

My refractor story. First refractor was an 80MM EON. It was basically and imaging scope and worked well.

Attached Thumbnails

  • HA--SII-and-OII.jpg

  • Bomber Bob and Night shift like this

#7 hfjacinto

hfjacinto

    I think he's got it!

  • *****
  • Posts: 17594
  • Joined: 12 Jan 2009
  • Loc: Land of clouds and LP

Posted 29 August 2018 - 10:58 AM

But I wanted more aperture and got a 120MM EON, its just a nice scope.

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_7664.jpg

  • Jon_Doh and Bomber Bob like this

#8 hfjacinto

hfjacinto

    I think he's got it!

  • *****
  • Posts: 17594
  • Joined: 12 Jan 2009
  • Loc: Land of clouds and LP

Posted 29 August 2018 - 10:59 AM

And the 120MM Produces great images

Attached Thumbnails

  • NGC 2175 Ha-OIII BiColor Image.jpg

  • Bomber Bob and khursh like this

#9 khursh

khursh

    Ranger 4

  • ****-
  • Posts: 378
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2018

Posted 29 August 2018 - 11:03 AM

I just got my first refractor last week. I picked up an Orion EON 120mm ED from a fellow CN'er. I finally got first light with it last night. Amazing. And now, the long story.

 

IMG 0201 Fotor Fotor

 

I too have always been enamored with space. The Apollo missions, Star Wars, etc. My first views through a telescope were in college. I took a basic astronomy course for an easy A, and have been hooked since. We were obliged to get some time on the scopes as part of our 'lab' grade and so I went to the roof and saw Saturn and Jupiter for the first time. I think everyone who has ever looked through any size telescope can tell you the first time they ever saw Saturn. Afterward I was a bit obsessed with getting a telescope. I started with a throw-away 4.5" newtonian. I quickly got aperture fever (of sorts) and jumped to a G-8 which is a C8 on a Vixen GP clone. The mount was horrible. Next, I got an Ultima 8 which was so nice. Then, since it was the 90s, I got into ATMing and built an amazing 10" f/6 DOB. I have never seen (visually) its equal on Jupiter. I then took a hiatus from astronomy for many long and ugly reasons.

 

Fast forward to now. I live near the Robert Ferguson Observatory in Northern California and was there for a star party and rekindled my astronomy fever. They have three impressive scopes, an 8" refractor, and 40"(!!) folded newtonian and a 20" RC on an AP 3600 mount. It was the RC that got thinking. They had a CCD hooked up and were taking snapshots of DSOs for the visitors to see. I didn't know the term EAA yet, but that is essentially what they were doing and I got the spark to try to do the same thing on a dramatically more modest budget. I invested in a C8 on an AVX and a asi224mc camera and now I was seeing detail on objects I had only seen in pictures. My memory of astrophotography from the 90s being pretty crisp, honestly the views were not much worse. 

 

And finally, the reason I got the refractor: Collimation. I am super picky about properly collimated views and am frankly tired of it. I am migrating toward more astrophotography and the ED/APO makes sense. And yes, hfjacinto's pics (see above) helped motivate my decision.


Edited by khursh, 29 August 2018 - 03:31 PM.

  • Exnihilo, Bomber Bob and jay.i like this

#10 hfjacinto

hfjacinto

    I think he's got it!

  • *****
  • Posts: 17594
  • Joined: 12 Jan 2009
  • Loc: Land of clouds and LP

Posted 29 August 2018 - 11:03 AM

2 years ago, I went smaller and to a triple with the Stellarvue SV70, but for the cost difference between the 80 and the 70, I don't see a difference in imaging (other than a wider field).

Attached Thumbnails

  • P8240001.jpg

  • Bomber Bob likes this

#11 hfjacinto

hfjacinto

    I think he's got it!

  • *****
  • Posts: 17594
  • Joined: 12 Jan 2009
  • Loc: Land of clouds and LP

Posted 29 August 2018 - 11:06 AM

While I like the wide field, I'm still uncertain whether a triple is an upgrade.

Attached Thumbnails

  • IC 1396 RGB PS2.jpg

  • Bomber Bob likes this

#12 hfjacinto

hfjacinto

    I think he's got it!

  • *****
  • Posts: 17594
  • Joined: 12 Jan 2009
  • Loc: Land of clouds and LP

Posted 29 August 2018 - 11:07 AM

A few weeks ago I went large so I got a 152MM APM. This will probably be the largest.

Attached Thumbnails

  • P8150018.jpg

  • Exnihilo, Bomber Bob, havasman and 1 other like this

#13 Auburn80

Auburn80

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 504
  • Joined: 01 Apr 2013

Posted 29 August 2018 - 11:15 AM

My first ever telescope was a refractor - a collapsing fixed power erect image spotter that was about a 15x30. Could be wrong as that was 57 years ago. Loved the size and pretty sharp images of landscapes, the Moon and Venus. I was a kid with no access at the time to any observing guudes so I did not know how else to use it. Wish I still had that little guy.
Been hooked on the image quality ever since.

Clark
  • Jon Isaacs, John Huntley and jay.i like this

#14 Cosmosphil

Cosmosphil

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1286
  • Joined: 04 Feb 2005
  • Loc: So. California

Posted 29 August 2018 - 12:45 PM

First telescope was a 80mm F/15.   Then, the aperture fever grabbed for the next 30 years and stayed with mirrors and Cats.   About 15 years ago I decided to try a TV76 for fun.   Holy smokes!  Then, sold that and went for the TV102.  I had experienced full lens conversion.   The rest is history.

There is just something special about the pristine view through an unobstructed optic.  

Now, if I get that home refi I think TEC is making those 8 and 10 inchers again?  Hmmmmmm…..  


Edited by Cosmosphil, 29 August 2018 - 01:34 PM.

  • RAKing, Castor, Tyson M and 1 other like this

#15 salico

salico

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 384
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2016
  • Loc: Germany

Posted 29 August 2018 - 02:42 PM

My first refractor was a 60mm Achro - when I was 11 years old;-) After a 4" flector there came a 120mm Achro... several scopes later a SW 100 ED appeared for a short while. Much later my SW120ED BT appeared. Love it! Maybe a keeper? Followed by an 80mm LOMO BT. Definitely a keeper! Planning on a 6" frac BT...



#16 John Huntley

John Huntley

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1752
  • Joined: 16 Jul 2006
  • Loc: South West England

Posted 29 August 2018 - 02:55 PM

My 1st scope was a refractor as well. A 1960's Tasco 60mm F/13 on a wobbly alt-az mount with basic .965" eyepieces. It did a good job on hooking me into the hobby so I can't complain at all. I still have the scope in it's wooden box. Since then I've owned a couple of dozen scopes but most have been refractors. Currently I have one 12" dobsonan and 6 refractors from the above mentioned 60mm Tasco to my 130mm F/9 TMB/LZOS triplet. I have owned fracs up to 6" and F/12 in size, mighty beasts !!!

 

I guess it's the way that refractors deliver the views that I find very attractive. The dob is great for reaching deep under dark skies but other times I'm usually on the end of a refractor of one sort of another smile.gif

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • tvranger01.JPG
  • lzos130vix01.JPG

Edited by John Huntley, 29 August 2018 - 02:57 PM.

  • RAKing, Castor, eros312 and 5 others like this

#17 havasman

havasman

    Cosmos

  • ****-
  • Posts: 8250
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2013
  • Loc: Dallas, Texas

Posted 29 August 2018 - 03:37 PM

Mine's short & simple. I'm essentially a DSO/Dob observer. But Allan brought his TV85 along to the Atoka County dark site and the views it put up of several brighter galaxies was all it took. I knew I had to have a refractor and pretty soon settled on the AT115EDT/ Unistar Deluxe/HD surveyors' tripod/Nexus DSC package I now really enjoy. It is a great widefield observing tool.


Edited by havasman, 29 August 2018 - 06:25 PM.

  • Tyson M and jay.i like this

#18 Kent10

Kent10

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4084
  • Joined: 08 May 2012

Posted 29 August 2018 - 04:22 PM

I am addicted to refractors.  I enjoy my 16.5" dob as well for different reasons and usually have both out together.

 

My 1st scope as a relative youngster was an 8" SCT which wasn't a very good copy from the 80's.  High power views were not good.  It could have been lack of cooling which I didn’t know much about at the time but I also think it wasn't very good.  Later, after buying a refractor, I made comparisons after cooling both and the SCT could not keep up.

 

Years later after getting a job in a dark sky city, I finally decided it was time to get another telescope.  Strangely I didn't use the SCT very much and thought a new scope would make a difference.  I researched many hours and the good folks of CN are to thank for all that I learned.  I believe, however, that I came to the forum with a refractor in mind already.

 

As a youngster, I would browse the Astronomy magazines and loved the beautiful pictures of deep sky objects that were shown in the Astro-Physics advertisements.  I noticed the dark background of the sky and the sharp pinpoint stars.  I dreamt of the largest one but of course could not afford any at the time.  Now knowing how expensive they have become, I should have done everything possible to buy one back then.  I was a student, however, and could not.  I bought the SCT instead and that was using practically all the money I had saved.  I don’t regret buying it but it was time for a new scope.

 

I didn't get the AP that I had dreamed about because they had become very expensive or you had to be on a wait list, but my research led me to TEC which everyone really loved on CN.  I was going to get my lifetime scope, a Tec 140.  I started looking for a used one to save some money. 

 

While waiting for my lifetime Tec 140 to show up on CN or AM, a Tec 160FL turned up.  A lot more expensive but this was going to be my lifetime scope, and I recalled a frequent contributor to CN loved his Tak FS152.  He sold it to buy a more portable Tec 140.  He did like the 140 but missed the additional aperture of the 152.  He said the difference was quite noticeable.  So he sold the Tec and bought another FS152.  This got be thinking that maybe I should go for the 160FL and I did.  I had my lifetime scope.  A beautiful scope I enjoyed using until someone said the 180FL is even more amazing.


But I could never handle a Tec 180FL, ... or could I?  Someone who owned one said it wasn’t too bad and the maker of my tripod, convinced me to buy the beefier model because he said I would upgrade to a larger scope.  He was right.  I waited for the next 180FL to appear used and I bought it.  It is amazing and is my most used scope.  I take it out practically every clear night even if for just a minute or two to check the seeing or hope to get lucky with a peak between clouds.

 

The other day I didn’t have more than a few minutes to observe and my wife asked if I was going to take the small refractor out.  I said no, the Tec 180FL doesn’t take any more time to set up.  But the next day I wanted to use my small one again because I hadn’t for a while.  It is beautiful too.

 

After buying the 180, I decided to explore smaller refractors.  Not so much for the ease of handling or traveling but to see what they had to offer in wider views and faster cool down.  I bought a TV NP-101 to enjoy those flat wide views.  Very nice.  Then a rare TV-140 appeared for sale and they had a good reputation for a wide flat view as well and with more aperture.  Love it.  It does take a while to cool I think and I had to send it in for collimation but I really enjoy the scope.  The NP-101 arrived out of collimation as well, but I collimated that by myself with the help of Jon Isaacs on this forum.  Thanks again Jon!  I enjoyed the learning experience.

 

Next I bought a LOMO 80mm for even wider views.  I don’t use this scope much but in the future when I have more time or perhaps when I travel I might use it.

 

When the Tak FC100-DL came out I read tremendous reviews about it.  It has a long focal length and is a doublet.  I didn’t have a long focal length scope yet and wanted to experience that so that was my next purchase.  A very lovely scope!

 

I thought I was pretty much set for life now but then Yuri had to mention he was going to start making the Tec 200FL again.  That is a dream scope for sure.  I could never handle it though and I would need a new mount and pier.  A 200 will be better than a 180 which is already perfect.  Could I manage it?  I talked to many people and I had a solution.  Use handles to lift it on a Little Giant Ladder and I could keep it outdoors under a Telegizmos cover much of the time.  If I buy it I had to find a way to use it.  It is just a little heavier than the 180 so I decided to go for it.  I have my AP 1100 mount and ATS Pier all set up.  I have learned to use the mount and delivery of the 200 #1 should be around Dec.  Can't wait.

 

I told my wife the Tec 200 would “probably” be my last scope.  Then Roland had to come out with the new Stowaway.  I happened to be around when the announcement was made so I thought I better get on the list or I would never own my dream AP refractor.  I hope this will be my last scope.  But I have always wanted a larger Dob too.  That should be it for refractors though.


Edited by Kent10, 29 August 2018 - 04:23 PM.

  • John Huntley, Erik Bakker, Tamiji Homma and 6 others like this

#19 bobhen

bobhen

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2445
  • Joined: 25 Jun 2005

Posted 29 August 2018 - 05:26 PM

Not counting the 60mm Sears refractor that I had at around age 13, my refractor story starts 40-years ago when I purchased my first “serious” telescope, an 8” SCT of course. I used that scope for 11-years and it thrilled. However, I never felt that I got the planetary views that an 8” scope should deliver.

 

Fast-forward 11-years. After devouring their product literature, I made a phone call. The call was to a somewhat new company that had been advertising their refractors in Sky and Telescope for a couple of years. After speaking with a very nice lady, I placed an order for a 1989, Astro-Physics 152 F9 apo triplet refractor. The scope arrived about 6-weeks later.

 

I needed a mount for the new scope. So after the scope was ordered, I made another call. This call was also to a somewhat new company that had also been advertising their new mounts in Sky and Telescope. I spoke with the owner and he gave me a deliver date of about 3-months. So I placed an order for a Losmandy, metallic blue, GM-100. The mount arrived 3 months later.

 

The planetary views blew me away.

 

As I got older, I eventually sold both and purchased the more compact AP-155 and lighter Losmandy G11. And even though it would be too much for me these days, of the over 20 telescopes I’ve owned in the last 40-years, the combination of that AP 152 F9 riding absolutely steady on the Losmandy metallic blue GM-100 is the only scope and the only mount that I regret selling.

 

The big AP gave me a taste of what high quality refractor optics could do. Today, of the 5 telescopes that I own, 4 are refractors.

 

Bob


Edited by bobhen, 30 August 2018 - 06:17 AM.

  • Jon Isaacs, doctordub, moshen and 5 others like this

#20 jay.i

jay.i

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2017
  • Joined: 11 Jun 2017
  • Loc: Minneapolis, MN

Posted 29 August 2018 - 05:27 PM

Kent, if I had darker skies at home and a little more disposable income, I suspect I would have done something very similar to you. I am envious of your TV-140; a 140mm Petzval with ED glass? I mean, C'MON! I can only imagine the views. I look forward to reading about your TEC200FL once it's delivered and you get some time with it. Some day I hope to have a large endgame refractor in an observatory at home, maybe a TMB175 f/8. The call of the Stowaway is strong though. We're getting close to the end of summer here and no news from A-P who said they'd start shipping this summer! Of course they could push it back and not tell anyone and there's not a dang thing we can do about it! lol.gif  Thanks for sharing Kent!!



#21 Jeff Lee

Jeff Lee

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1272
  • Joined: 17 Sep 2006

Posted 29 August 2018 - 05:34 PM

Never really wanted one, then in December of 2017 I got a great deal on an ES102 triplet. Now my Sirius AZ-EQ hosts both an C8 and an ES102....


  • Jon Isaacs and StarDust1 like this

#22 25585

25585

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1043
  • Joined: 29 Aug 2017

Posted 29 August 2018 - 05:41 PM

This story is in 2 Acts, 30 years apart.

 

It is the late 1980s. I have both a lovely long 8 inch and full fat 12 inch Newtonians. The former equatorial mounted, the latter Dobsonian. And a C8 SCT OTA. I sold the 8 inch and my main scope was the 12 for ease. But it's mirror coating went and I wanted to try a refractor with decent light grasp.

 

A Vixen briefly appealed to me, but it's thin tube was a worry, especially when a salesman showed me a dent from a customer "pinch".  Then an Astro Physics 125mm Starfire. So expensive that I decided that any accident would be waiting to happen. It ate at me, passing on that choice all the same. Still does.

 

I still wanted a refractor of at least 4 inch aperture. After another visit to the shop, I decided on my Tele Vue Genesis which had a strong tube, took 2 inch eyepieces, was easy to carry, and it's Panoramic mount + wooden tripod were ideal for sky sweeping, the total £500 less than AP's OTA alone.

 

The Genesis became my only scope effectively. I love it's solidity, retractable lens hood and ivory colour. Still my grab & go 100. 

 

29 years later I bought a Skytee2 mount for my little used C8. The mount's potential for taking refractors awakened my interest in a 120, and this January I bought a SW 120ED Pro Equinox - similar form factor to my Genesis, strong tube and retractable lens hood. And in a sparkly black. Excellent performance, at an undreamt of price 30 years ago.

 

Since then I have acquired all the other Equinoxes as pre-owned. The 66 is a small gem, great for travelling. 80 is heavier. 100 is also a great scope.

 

Unfortunately I was exposed to both J-bug and the F-bug.  I wanted to experience the claimed purity of viewing through a Japanese flourite lens. This caused my feverish buying of a Takahashi FC100DL, as much for its rarity as claimed excellent performance.

 

The T-bug. Not triplet, not Takahashi, possibly Tele Vue, maybe travel, is gaining strength. As I am now retired and wish to try out dark sky locations further into the country, a portable refractor with DSO and rich field potential is appealing more. So TV 85, NP101 or the sexy satin black Borg FL101, all being short and with good reputation. Taking finance into account, an 85 in ivory is the most likely. Company for and tribute to my Genesis, both rationally and emotionally.  You never forget your first love.          


Edited by 25585, 29 August 2018 - 05:45 PM.

  • Jon Isaacs, John Huntley, Erik Bakker and 4 others like this

#23 Kent10

Kent10

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4084
  • Joined: 08 May 2012

Posted 29 August 2018 - 05:46 PM

I have very dark skies right in my city, but if I travel just a little I can get almost as dark as possible.  I rarely travel because it is too convenient to view from my backyard, but I do look forward to when I have more time so I can take some of my scopes to darker skies.  I have seen the results and the difference is large.

 

When I bought the TV-140, I researched the glasses used.  I don't recall everything.  I know Al was quite silent on it but I did find some information from reliable names.  I think Thomas Back was one if I recall correctly.  I did a green laser test and I am pretty sure there is a fluorite element in there.

 

I wonder what my 1st view will be through the Tec 200.  I'll probably set it up during the day so will look at some very distant trees that I know well through my other scopes.  But what about the night sky.  I recall it was the moon through my 160FL but I don't remember with the Tec 180FL.  The moon through the 160 at high power was unbelievable.  I could not get good views through my SCT.  The 160, I recall putting in a 10mm Pentax XW, then the 7mm and then the 5mm.  Wow each time closer to the surface and the image never degraded.

 

Roland mentioned the other day that he had an incredible view through the new stowaway.  I thought about posting it on CN but was very busy at the time.  I think it is being made but I don't want to start rumors.  I looked but I can't find the reference now.  Maybe someone else remembers his post on Yahoo.

Attached Thumbnails

  • P8090987 (Large).jpg

  • Erik Bakker and 25585 like this

#24 jay.i

jay.i

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2017
  • Joined: 11 Jun 2017
  • Loc: Minneapolis, MN

Posted 29 August 2018 - 05:52 PM

Isn't the TV-140 a standard Petzval with a slow doublet in front and a doublet 0.5x reducer in the back? I would expect to only see two elements at the front. I could be mistaken though; there is not a ton of information on that scope.

 

I'm gonna go look for that Yahoo UG post right now because I don't remember seeing it there!



#25 Kent10

Kent10

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4084
  • Joined: 08 May 2012

Posted 29 August 2018 - 05:59 PM

Yes Petzval with the doublet at the front and doublet at the back.  I had it apart to try to collimate it.  I even bought a tool from Markus of APM but I couldn't do it.  I sent it to TV and there was a loose element in the back so that is why I couldn't do it.

 

I still can't find that post by Roland.  I hope someone else finds it because it is bugging me now.  Where did I see it and in what thread.


  • Tyson M likes this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: refractor, optics, equipment



Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics