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Baader Travel Companion or AP Stowaway

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#1 Gavster

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 08:38 AM

I think the 90-95mm refractor is a sweet spot for an airline travel setup. (Although my tv85 did a fine job in tenerife recently 👍)

 

If you had a choice between the following scopes which would you choose and why? (Assume price with rings etc is broadly the same). In many ways they are very similar...

 

https://www.baader-p...-companion.html

 

Or

 

http://www.astro-phy...oducts/products

 

 



#2 Swanny

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 08:44 AM

I would sure like to look through a Baader. Funny part is that you cannot get on the list of either scope.
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#3 Gavster

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 08:52 AM

I would sure like to look through a Baader. Funny part is that you cannot get on the list of either scope.

Supposing you already were on the list for both scopes...


Edited by Gavster, 14 September 2018 - 08:52 AM.

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#4 jay.i

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 09:39 AM

I'm on the list for both. Here's what I see are the main differences.

 

* Baader is 1.5" shorter but weighs about the same

* Baader will have more field curvature due to shorter focal length (560mm vs 612mm)

* Baader will have more star blur due to shallower focal plane due to faster focal ratio (f/5.9 vs f/6.6)

* Baader will have slightly better resolution/light grasp but would likely not be noticeable side-by-side

 

* AP will have better correction (honestly it's a coin toss - I've read and seen great thing about the Baader)

* AP has a matched field flattener and telecompressor (obviously only a pro for imaging)

* AP will have a visually sharper image across the field due to longer focal length and larger focal plane

* AP's FeatherTouch 2.5" FTF2535HD may be superior to Baader 2" SteelTrack focuser

* AP will be cheaper with or without VAT (see included accessories below)

* AP comes with rings, dovetail, and Pelican case, while the Baader comes with none of these

* AP looks better (subjective - the Baader dew shield logo is awful IMO and the rings are bulky)

* AP may give higher pride of ownership (subjective - varies from person to person for sure)

 

For travel, the Baader has the slightest edge due to being a little bit shorter and thus fitting into a carry-on case with more padding for peace of mind. That said, AP is putting the Stowaway into a Pelican Air 1525 which fits my TV-85 (same length as the Stowaway basically) with about an inch of padding on each side. I would prefer a little more, personally, but it works. Both are roughly the same weight. Surprisingly the AP is cheaper but you have to wait for it of course.

 

Objectively, it really comes down to the length and whether you want the visually sharper image that comes with a slightly longer focal length and less shallow focal plane. I have use fast focal ratios just enough to know that I do enjoy having more of the field in focus with slower focal ratios, especially when seeing is so-so. I have to re-focus my TMB105 occasionally if seeing is not cooperating, but then again I won't stay out for long if I have to keep doing that, since it means seeing is poor and there's no point in observing planets/moon.

 

Subjectively, I think the looks and the pride of ownership make a difference. The Baader is a little ugly to me, not terribly so, but the dew shield logo really bothers me (typeface inconsistency and clutter) and the rings are chunky with garish clasps. I would take pride in owning an item crafted by a master artisan in a small field, and even if the Baader is a result of work from another master optician, I really like what I've read about Roland and AP as a whole.

 

Which would I be more sad to have stolen or lost while traveling or otherwise? The Stowaway, hands down. Even if the Baader is equally hard to replace or even more so, even though it's more expensive, it wouldn't give me the same feelings. I would be heartbroken to have a Stowaway stolen under any circumstances.

 

My choice for travel and summit tier grab and go would be the Stowaway - I would say hands down but I would still be thrilled with either of them.


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#5 Element79

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 09:51 AM

The Baader is an oiled triplet using Fluorite verses the A-P which is an air-spaced triplet using FCD100.  I agree that the A-P will, without doubt, have an excellent optical figure but I would bet the Baader does too.  A .98+ Strehl is achievable by many manufacturers if they take the time and effort to do so! 

 

So judging by the materials and design I think that I would rather have the Baader...



#6 Gavster

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 09:51 AM

I'm on the list for both. Here's what I see are the main differences.

 

* Baader is 1.5" shorter but weighs about the same

* Baader will have more field curvature due to shorter focal length (560mm vs 612mm)

* Baader will have more star blur due to shallower focal plane due to faster focal ratio (f/5.9 vs f/6.6)

* Baader will have slightly better resolution/light grasp but would likely not be noticeable side-by-side

 

* AP will have better correction (honestly it's a coin toss - I've read and seen great thing about the Baader)

* AP has a matched field flattener and telecompressor (obviously only a pro for imaging)

* AP will have a visually sharper image across the field due to longer focal length and larger focal plane

* AP's FeatherTouch 2.5" FTF2535HD may be superior to Baader 2" SteelTrack focuser

* AP will be cheaper with or without VAT (see included accessories below)

* AP comes with rings, dovetail, and Pelican case, while the Baader comes with none of these

* AP looks better (subjective - the Baader dew shield logo is awful IMO and the rings are bulky)

* AP may give higher pride of ownership (subjective - varies from person to person for sure)

 

For travel, the Baader has the slightest edge due to being a little bit shorter and thus fitting into a carry-on case with more padding for peace of mind. That said, AP is putting the Stowaway into a Pelican Air 1525 which fits my TV-85 (same length as the Stowaway basically) with about an inch of padding on each side. I would prefer a little more, personally, but it works. Both are roughly the same weight. Surprisingly the AP is cheaper but you have to wait for it of course.

 

Objectively, it really comes down to the length and whether you want the visually sharper image that comes with a slightly longer focal length and less shallow focal plane. I have use fast focal ratios just enough to know that I do enjoy having more of the field in focus with slower focal ratios, especially when seeing is so-so. I have to re-focus my TMB105 occasionally if seeing is not cooperating, but then again I won't stay out for long if I have to keep doing that, since it means seeing is poor and there's no point in observing planets/moon.

 

Subjectively, I think the looks and the pride of ownership make a difference. The Baader is a little ugly to me, not terribly so, but the dew shield logo really bothers me (typeface inconsistency and clutter) and the rings are chunky with garish clasps. I would take pride in owning an item crafted by a master artisan in a small field, and even if the Baader is a result of work from another master optician, I really like what I've read about Roland and AP as a whole.

 

Which would I be more sad to have stolen or lost while traveling or otherwise? The Stowaway, hands down. Even if the Baader is equally hard to replace or even more so, even though it's more expensive, it wouldn't give me the same feelings. I would be heartbroken to have a Stowaway stolen under any circumstances.

 

My choice for travel and summit tier grab and go would be the Stowaway - I would say hands down but I would still be thrilled with either of them.

Really great reply, thanks Jay.

And no mention of oil spaced vs air spaced or fluorite vs fcd100...



#7 jay.i

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 10:02 AM

Really great reply, thanks Jay.

And no mention of oil spaced vs air spaced or fluorite vs fcd100...

My pleasure Gavin. I would not expect the differences of oil spacing and air spacing to make any difference at the eyepiece or camera sensor, nor would I expect the low dispersion element choice to make any difference either. As we know, it's more about the glass combination. Roland is stating super low focus shift between wavelengths for the Stowaway using FCD-100 so he has clearly found a winning design. People talk about fluorite having lower scatter than glass, but this post from Alan French has Roland talking about high surface scatter with fluorite despite low internal scatter. Realistically, you're still pairing it with glass, so I figure the scatter will "average out". With a proper smooth polish and good correction for spherical aberration on both a well-designed oil-spaced fluorite triplet and a well-designed air-spaced FCD-100 triplet, I'd expect both to deliver top-notch optical performance. That seems to be the case for both of these scopes.

 

One thing though now that I think about it - the oil-spaced objective may cool slightly faster. I wouldn't expect it to be so much faster, though, that one would feel like their AP is useless for the first 20 minutes while the Baader is up and running within 5. I think both would take about 15 minutes to cool for a 20F temperature delta, give or take a few minutes given the temperature delta and humidity.



#8 Binojunky

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 10:04 AM

Neither because at my age I,m not prepared to wait months/years/decades for one to become available, D.
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#9 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 10:04 AM

For me it would be a no brainer.. A scope made by Roland C with a Feathertouch.. Can't beat that.

But for a travel scope, I'm happy with my AT-80LE, an 80 mm F/6 FPL-53 doublet. Travel with an 80 mm means dark skies and wide fields of view, nothing I'll see planetary-double star in an 90 mm that I won't see better in my backyard with a larger scope. It doesn't take a triplet for DSOs.. It really doesn't take anything more than an ST-80 except that an ED scope doubles for birding.

Jon

 


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#10 MooEy

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 10:45 AM

My pleasure Gavin. I would not expect the differences of oil spacing and air spacing to make any difference at the eyepiece or camera sensor, nor would I expect the low dispersion element choice to make any difference either. As we know, it's more about the glass combination. Roland is stating super low focus shift between wavelengths for the Stowaway using FCD-100 so he has clearly found a winning design. People talk about fluorite having lower scatter than glass, but this post from Alan French has Roland talking about high surface scatter with fluorite despite low internal scatter. Realistically, you're still pairing it with glass, so I figure the scatter will "average out". With a proper smooth polish and good correction for spherical aberration on both a well-designed oil-spaced fluorite triplet and a well-designed air-spaced FCD-100 triplet, I'd expect both to deliver top-notch optical performance. That seems to be the case for both of these scopes.

 

One thing though now that I think about it - the oil-spaced objective may cool slightly faster. I wouldn't expect it to be so much faster, though, that one would feel like their AP is useless for the first 20 minutes while the Baader is up and running within 5. I think both would take about 15 minutes to cool for a 20F temperature delta, give or take a few minutes given the temperature delta and humidity.

Much wow. When I said the scatter reduction in fluorite will not be visible since it can only be demonstrated by a super bright green laser and there's at least another 5-10 piece of glass, the CN forum disagrees and says that fluorite must be better and they observe less scatter. When now it's mention that fluorite has way more scatter than ED glass, suddenly it becomes pairing with glass and "average out".

 

Back to the topic, both scopes are unobtainium. Whichever you can get your hands on is the better scope. 


Edited by MooEy, 14 September 2018 - 10:47 AM.


#11 jay.i

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 11:09 AM

Much wow. When I said the scatter reduction in fluorite will not be visible since it can only be demonstrated by a super bright green laser and there's at least another 5-10 piece of glass, the CN forum disagrees and says that fluorite must be better and they observe less scatter. When now it's mention that fluorite has way more scatter than ED glass, suddenly it becomes pairing with glass and "average out".

 

Back to the topic, both scopes are unobtainium. Whichever you can get your hands on is the better scope. 

I wasn't singling you out if that's what you thought. There are a lot of people here who say "fluorite is a crystal so it doesn't scatter, just do a laser pointer test and see, less scatter = gooder so fluorite = gooder". I just happened to see Alan's post this morning after catching up on stuff and thought it interesting to mention in response to Gavin's question. Before I saw it I still had the belief that when pairing fluorite with glass you're still going to end up with scatter. It's not like because fluorite has low internal scatter it magically removes scatter from the image. I have said this a few times in the past. Much wow indeed.



#12 Gavster

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 02:19 PM

My AP Stowaway arrived today!

I was anticipating (from photos posted on this forum) it would be bulkier than the Baader Travel Companion but actually it seems remarkably similar from a weight and dimension perspective. I’m really looking forward to having a side by side visual comparison. 

I just need these pesky clouds to disappear...

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Edited by Gavster, 17 December 2018 - 02:43 PM.

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#13 jay.i

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 03:42 PM

Envy machine now firing on all cylinders... drool.gif


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#14 MGD

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 03:52 PM

What he said.


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#15 Gavster

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 06:38 PM

Thanks to nicknacknock’s suggestions of a padded soft oklop 80mm refractor bag from intercon space tec (which works really well with both the Baader and the Stowaway with a 2 inch diagonal attached) and the starlight finder mount which is perfect. 👍

I use the Baader with my skywatcher az gti Mount with gitzo Carbon photo tripod and it’s a great partnership so I’m expecting the Stowaway to also be well suited to this mount.

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Edited by Gavster, 17 December 2018 - 06:51 PM.

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#16 George9

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 08:34 PM

Congrats on the two scopes! I was early on the Baader list but got bumped off due to being in the US. I was on both AP Stowaway lists, so that paid off.

 

The Baader looks bigger than I expected, compared to the AP. The 2.5" FT focuser is a big benefit for me. And the f/6.65 focal ratio. I felt that my TMB 92mm f/5.5 didn't quite deliver a full 92mm of resolution on planets due to the short focal ratio. And the curvature made the field of view less pristine. The Baader is longer than the TMB and so should be better than the TMB, but the AP I think really gets there.

 

As noted in my other post, the field was tack sharp in a 31mm Nagler5, and the Airy disk looked great at high power. Seeing seemed better in the AP than the TMB, yet they were more or less matched for magnification. So must have been sharpness.

 

After a 45F temperature drop, the AP was usable immediately, had an essentially perfect in-focus view in 15 minutes, and had a perfect star test after an hour. The TMP was similar in time to view. The star test was never perfect, but it got to its best (imperfect) star test quickly, like half an hour.

 

All-in-all for me, it is shorter tube versus longer focal ratio, just as Jay said. Since I already own the TMB, the AP was the more logical move.

 

Gavster, you should really buy a TMB 92 and complete the set.

 

George


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#17 Gavster

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Posted 18 December 2018 - 07:13 AM


Congrats on the two scopes!

 

Gavster, you should really buy a TMB 92 and complete the set.

 

George

Thanks George.

However, given that I also have a tv85 and Tak FC100DF, I think I need to be in selling mode rather than buying more 3.5 to 4 inch refractors. smile.gif

But not before I have a good amount of shootouts between the four! lol.gif


Edited by Gavster, 18 December 2018 - 07:15 AM.

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#18 George9

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Posted 18 December 2018 - 09:34 AM

But not before I have a good amount of shootouts between the four! lol.gif

Just curious for comparison based on the other thread: Where is the balance point of the Baader? Without rings, dust cap, or 1.25" adapter, and I guess with dew shield extended. I get 9.5" from the back of the AP, which is half way between the lens and focuser.

 

George



#19 moshen

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Posted 18 December 2018 - 03:22 PM

Thanks George.

However, given that I also have a tv85 and Tak FC100DF, I think I need to be in selling mode rather than buying more 3.5 to 4 inch refractors. smile.gif

But not before I have a good amount of shootouts between the four! lol.gif

Very nice! Lets get a pic with all four! I'm really happy to hear it's smaller than it looks from photos - I was worried about that.

 

Definitely want to hear which one you prefer out of the lot for your night vision setup.

 

I'm early on the Stowaway list having signed up the same minute it opened. I hope I'll get in on the next batch.


Edited by moshen, 18 December 2018 - 03:24 PM.

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#20 Gavster

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Posted 18 December 2018 - 05:42 PM

Very nice! Lets get a pic with all four! I'm really happy to hear it's smaller than it looks from photos - I was worried about that.

 

Definitely want to hear which one you prefer out of the lot for your night vision setup.

 

I'm early on the Stowaway list having signed up the same minute it opened. I hope I'll get in on the next batch.

Unfortunately the Tak isn’t with me at the moment, but here is a pic of the other three. It doesn’t show in the photo but the tv85 and Baader are virtually identical in length whereas the Stowaway is around 1.5 inches longer. The Stowaway has a narrower tube than the Baader. For night vision I am expecting the Baader to be the best due to the faster speed and it worked well last week with my night vision monoculars. But on the same night my Tak Epsilon 130d was very clearly better than the Baader on nebulae with NV since it is f3.3 and has the extra aperture - it’s also about the same length.

I’ve also included a photo of the three with my other refractors (big and small) for some additional context.

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Edited by Gavster, 18 December 2018 - 05:43 PM.

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#21 MooEy

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Posted 18 December 2018 - 08:15 PM

*sigh* *unzips*
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#22 Paul G

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Posted 18 December 2018 - 09:59 PM

Unfortunately the Tak isn’t with me at the moment, but here is a pic of the other three. It doesn’t show in the photo but the tv85 and Baader are virtually identical in length whereas the Stowaway is around 1.5 inches longer. The Stowaway has a narrower tube than the Baader. For night vision I am expecting the Baader to be the best due to the faster speed and it worked well last week with my night vision monoculars. But on the same night my Tak Epsilon 130d was very clearly better than the Baader on nebulae with NV since it is f3.3 and has the extra aperture - it’s also about the same length.

I’ve also included a photo of the three with my other refractors (big and small) for some additional context.

 

Love the family photo!


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#23 Erik Bakker

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Posted 19 December 2018 - 08:25 AM

Great pictures and great scopes Gavster bow.gif


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#24 George9

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 08:38 PM

I’ve also included a photo of the three with my other refractors (big and small) for some additional context.

I just noticed. That's a lot of diagonals, too. I thought my 4 were too many. George


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#25 Gavster

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 11:04 PM

I just noticed. That's a lot of diagonals, too. I thought my 4 were too many. George

My little 60mm isn’t happy that it hasn’t got one smile.gif




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