How many times do we do this? We compare apples with oranges etc. I know I am also guilty of it.
Remember days gone by when achromats and reflectors were compared? The understated comparison was between long F-Ratio scopes and faster reflectors. There is still a longing for slow refractors and plenty has been written in these forums about their virtues.
In a perfect world, any comparison would have terms of reference. I recently made the bold statement that I had found that a quality refractor has similar resolving power to mass- produced Dobs of twice the size. Some very experienced observers took issue with this and I was reminded about cool-down times and collimation. However, my reality is often like guerrilla warfare: I pull the scope out, often have a quick hit/peep at the sky and half the time, the session is over within 20 minutes, sometimes within 5mins. So, I am a grab-and- go observer. In this frame of reference, and in my observing environment, my statement is true. However, in a better environment where time or precautions are taken to cool equipment properly, etc, my statement may well be incorrect. For a newbie with my behaviors, Newtonians & SCTs should come with a big warning on the side that: "This scope needs be allowed to cool down for 2 hours to enable optimum viewing". Hmm ... just imagine what that would do to sales.
However, my frames of reference may again be wrong. Refractors are becoming larger and lens more massive. This may make having a quick peep a disappointing experience, as larger refractors themselves need to have time to cool down. I wonder if the Tak 100s may be showing the future with their undersized tubes (95mm tube, 100mm lens). This seems like a sensible way of reducing cool-down times.
At times, I feel sorry for manufacturers of high-end equipment that are subjected to bad comparisons. In the pre-internet era, I read a review about a quality refractor, where the reviewer mentioned false color was seen on the Moon's limb when using a 14mm Radian. I was grateful that they mentioned the EP, because I knew that I saw the same affect using my 14mm Radian with a 6" perfectly-color corrected Newtonian. However, few others would have know that it was the EP rather than the refractor showing the false color. It really must be heartbreaking to develop a great refractor only to have it unfairly disparaged.
I guess what I am saying is that so so many things are subjective and distorted by false comparisons and information. What people often say is true for them, their patterns of behavior and their conditions. However, there are also unknown factors, or things taken for granted that are often not considered in a wider context. If valuing the opinions of others regarding astro-equipment, value most the opinions of people with more experience who have similar observing habits and conditions.
I intended to give this post the title of false comparisons, but we seem to be in an era where Fake is the word of the moment.
Edited by Tropobob, 24 September 2018 - 12:58 AM.