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How many refractors do you have, and why?

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#51 Ballyhoo

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 03:07 PM

A few smile.gif (This photo is also missing my Takahashi FC100DF). I like having a range of apertures depending on where and what I’m observing. A little while ago I was considering thinning these down but instead I had a reorganisation of my astro cupboard and they now reside in there nicely.

Those are really gorgeous. I dont think I have ever seen a refactor I didn't like though.  Tell me,  do you really think your refactor overlap is not redundant, and you are more collecting things you like, then acquiring functional instruments?  Put this another way, if you ridded yourself of half your refractor inventory, would you really have significant functional gaps, or is it more like you would just long for things you enjoy having?



#52 Ballyhoo

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 03:11 PM

And a another question: I would love a D&G type 8 to 10,"  -- long FL type, but I rely on transporting my stuff at least down the street (which might as well be 500 miles ). Are those types of instruments portable? Anyone in the know?



#53 Gavster

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 03:27 PM

Those are really gorgeous. I dont think I have ever seen a refactor I didn't like though.  Tell me,  do you really think your refactor overlap is not redundant, and you are more collecting things you like, then acquiring functional instruments?  Put this another way, if you ridded yourself of half your refractor inventory, would you really have significant functional gaps, or is it more like you would just long for things you enjoy having?

Yes there’s definitely a bit of collecting stuff I like! I do use them all though, I don’t just stroke them smile.gif  There is definitely overlap in the four scopes between 85mm and 100mm. But you mentioned seller’s remorse in your first post and before I sell the tv85 and Tak (just can’t see me selling the Baader or Stowaway), I’d like to have fun trying them all side by side to see if I can really see much difference between them. 

The tec160fl is my dream scope and I do sometimes wonder about the ap130gtx being surplus but it’s much more portable so I may find that useful as some stage. The little Altair’s are useful if I want to pop a scope in for travelling when I’ve got minimal space.

There is another reason for having lots of scopes - my use of Night Vision monoculars. With these I generally use a 55mm plossl afocally to get the fastest system speed possible so to vary the magnification and/or fov I generally change the scope and keep the eyepiece. I can get over 6 degrees fov with the 60mm but less than 2 degrees with the Tec160fl.

But yes, if I had to, i could probably make do with just the Tec160fl and the Baader but it would be a bit less fun lol.gif


Edited by Gavster, 10 March 2019 - 03:36 PM.


#54 Loren Toole

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 04:42 PM

I think the point about different focal lengths for "framing objects" post earlier in this thread really sums up my reasoning to own a lot of scopes... see my sig line.

 

To answer the OP's question, I am always trying to re-think how these scopes fit uniquely into a observing niche that I want to fill, not just collect them. I should point out that five of my scopes are Chinese, mid-quality scopes that are generally OK performers but not standouts, the others are higher quality. I tend to place my scopes into two tiers, as follows:

 

Tier 1: 8"f4, 6"f5, 4.7"f7, 4"f8, 3"f11; focal length 700-900mm

Tier 2: 5"f5, 4"f5, 3"f5; focal length 400-600mm

 

So there are five scopes in the first tier and three in the second tier. I've mostly purchased eyepieces for the first tier, since the f-ratios are generally more forgiving on optics. The second tier is much more demanding on eyepieces, and I own relatively few that survive it, I tend to rely on this tier for imaging anyway not visual. I often re-evaluate whether I need to keep all scopes listed in the first tier since there is some overlap. But so far, no deal. When I add binoviewing, ease of mounting, ease of balancing and other requirements specific to how I observe, it seems the first tier is a keeper set for now. The second tier might be sold suddenly if I stop imaging but that's not going to happen soon.

Loren


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#55 CHASLX200

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 05:12 PM

And a another question: I would love a D&G type 8 to 10,"  -- long FL type, but I rely on transporting my stuff at least down the street (which might as well be 500 miles ). Are those types of instruments portable? Anyone in the know?

A 8 or 10" D/G would be sticking out of the car a few feet.  Plus to mount a 10" you would need a very pricey and heavy mount and even the same for a 8" longer Achro.



#56 LFORLEESEE

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 05:37 PM

I posted this pic in Off Topic Obs a few weeks ago. Thanks to Col ex RAAF.

 

I think it will fit here nicely. lol.gif

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#57 stevew

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 06:26 PM

Shhhh... there are people that think you can’t do serious observing if you don’t have at least an 8” scope...

8 inches? I have a buddy with a 25 inch, and he won't even have a look through anything smaller than a 10 inch!

In fact he jokes with me that refractors smaller than 7 inches are birding scopes, and anything smaller is just for putting under his 25 to roll it out...

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#58 gjanke

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 06:35 PM

7



#59 stevew

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 07:01 PM

I posted this pic in Off Topic Obs a few weeks ago. Thanks to Col ex RAAF.

 

I think it will fit here nicely. lol.gif

OMG, That one gave me the best laugh I have had in the last 2 weeks.

Thank you.

But I think only married men will appreciate it...


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#60 Pezdragon

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 07:16 PM

Some of my small stuff...mainly Wollensaks but some old brass...my favorite is the 20x “Mirroscope” (in the back) a real catadioptric spyglass!

 

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#61 Ballyhoo

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 07:16 PM

A 8 or 10" D/G would be sticking out of the car a few feet.  Plus to mount a 10" you would need a very pricey and heavy mount and even the same for a 8" longer Achro.

it is just not meant to be then. :(



#62 tchandler

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 08:27 PM

Fans of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes may remember the one where Calvin is setting off to check his tiger trap. Calvin explains to his father that he baited the trap with a tuna fish sandwich. “Tigers will do anything for a tuna fish sandwich”, explains Calvin.

 

The last panel shows Hobbes hanging upside down and munching on a tuna sandwich, saying: “We’re kind of stupid that way”. 

 

I have 3 refractors: TV85, Tak TSA 120, and an APM152. They’re like tuna sandwiches!


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#63 Tropobob

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 12:18 AM

I thought of counting them, but I will run out of fingers and do not want to take my socks off. 



#64 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 02:29 AM

8 inches? I have a buddy with a 25 inch, and he won't even have a look through anything smaller than a 10 inch!

In fact he jokes with me that refractors smaller than 7 inches are birding scopes, and anything smaller is just for putting under his 25 to roll it out...

 

Your friend is quite narrow minded as in narrow fields of view.  I had a 25 inch for several years, now I have a 22 inch inch as my largest scope.  But I have refractors ranging from 60mm to 120mm because, among other reasons, they can provide wider fields of view than the reflectors can.

 

I think in terms of exit pupil as well as magnification and field of view.  An ST-80 with a 2 inch focuser and the 31mm Nagler or the 41mm Panoptic will provide fields of view in excess of 6 degrees and exit pupils from 6mm to 8 mm.  Reflectors, particularly larger ones, don't go there but there are some wonderful views to be had..

 

Jon 


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#65 pierce

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 03:40 AM

Your friend is quite narrow minded as in narrow fields of view.  I had a 25 inch for several years, now I have a 22 inch inch as my largest scope.  But I have refractors ranging from 60mm to 120mm because, among other reasons, they can provide wider fields of view than the reflectors can.

 

I think in terms of exit pupil as well as magnification and field of view.  An ST-80 with a 2 inch focuser and the 31mm Nagler or the 41mm Panoptic will provide fields of view in excess of 6 degrees and exit pupils from 6mm to 8 mm.  Reflectors, particularly larger ones, don't go there but there are some wonderful views to be had..

 

Jon 

 

seriously.   I'm *totally* happy with my 20" f/5 field of view. 

 

And, I can easily unload, set up, and collimate, the 20 f/5 Classic in about a half hour from when I park.



#66 pierce

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 04:20 AM

oh, with my 20 f/5, the widest field of view I have is about 1 degree, with a ES82 30mm eyepiece.


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#67 knight_parn

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 05:52 AM

Two at the moment and won't be adding more (only replacing if there are good deals). One for imaging and the other for grab'n'go. Personally I think 90mm - 130mm is the sweet spot for refractors. Anything bigger than this is impractically heavy and anything smaller is too limited in terms of aperture.


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#68 CHASLX200

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 06:39 AM

it is just not meant to be then. frown.gif

Just lifting a 10" F/15 12ft off the ground would be a 2 person job. And the mount would cost 15k+. Maybe the AP 3600 would hold it.


Edited by CHASLX200, 11 March 2019 - 06:39 AM.


#69 Astrohobby

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 08:16 AM

Hello,

my scopes in the signiture - all give a lot of pleasure skies permitting.

 

Best Oliver



#70 BillP

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 12:21 PM

For me, I feel 85mm crosses a line where it is too close to a 100.  I've masked my 102 down to determine visually at what aperture I felt the smaller aperture was under powered in comparison.  My results were 85mm was the breaking point.  So would be as happy with an 85 an a 102.  Anything smaller than 85 and I would need to retain the 102.  In your case, since you have an 85 already, if seeking a second scope then would look to a 115-120mm to give you more punch that is meaningful without being too cumbersome to handle/mount/acclimate.  If you do not care about the ergonomics of it all then go bigger and get a 140.

 

[EDIT] And to answer your other question, I have 3 Apos: 81mm, 102mm, 152mm.  81mm because want an easy travel scope and a quick look scope.  102 is my primary instrument for my planetary, multiple star, cluster, and showcase DSO observing.  152 is when my focus is on more difficult DSO and I have the energy and time to manage the larger scope.  So basically a small, medium, and large scope to cover the range of my observing circumstances and my targets.


Edited by BillP, 11 March 2019 - 10:29 PM.

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#71 FeynmanFan

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 09:00 PM

Three. An 80mm f/7.5 (ubiquitous) Synta ED, a 100mm f/9 Synta ED, and a Celestron 102mm f/9.8 achromat, because for $59, why not?

#72 Ballyhoo

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 11:28 PM

Three. An 80mm f/7.5 (ubiquitous) Synta ED, a 100mm f/9 Synta ED, and a Celestron 102mm f/9.8 achromat, because for $59, why not?

I have trouble imagining one could get anything of quality for that price range in a telescope.  Am I wrong? Actually quality matters less than something I can make worthwhile or is worthwhile. and I just have trouble imagining that is possible in a $59 refractor.



#73 bobhen

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 09:51 AM

I have trouble imagining one could get anything of quality for that price range in a telescope.  Am I wrong? Actually quality matters less than something I can make worthwhile or is worthwhile. and I just have trouble imagining that is possible in a $59 refractor.

The $59 102mm F9.8 Celetron achromatic OTAs were made by Synta and sold on closeout by OPT. There are a few long threads about that scope ( look them up) and Ed Ting did a review. HERE is the link.

 

I bought one. It was, without a doubt, the biggest bang for the buck in the hobby – and by a long shot.

 

Bob



#74 Jeff B

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 10:02 AM

A few.

 

Because I can.


Edited by Jeff B, 12 March 2019 - 10:02 AM.


#75 REC

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 10:20 AM

Three. An 80mm f/7.5 (ubiquitous) Synta ED, a 100mm f/9 Synta ED, and a Celestron 102mm f/9.8 achromat, because for $59, why not?

Me too! The C80ED was my Grab 'n Go scope for a long time until I bought that crazy C102 closeout for $59. Put it on a good AZ mount and upgraded the focuser toa 10:1 and now that has become my most used scope. The better focuser allows me to use my binoviewer at native focal length of 1000mm. Stars look great and hardly any color on bright objects.

 

Oh, and my other frac is a Celestron 80mm f/400mm for wide views.


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