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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.


#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.

#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

 



#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.




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