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Best Refractor for the money

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#1 starman876

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 12:26 PM

Regardless of cost and size what do you guys feel is the best refractor dollar for dollar on the market.

 

I would say the AP Stow Away  is the best scope for the money. I believe a new one is $3400 if you can get on the list.  


Edited by starman876, 23 May 2019 - 01:50 PM.


#2 Tyson M

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 12:33 PM

I interpreted this differently.  For the money, I would choose Skywatcher ED series. Most bang for your hard-earned bucks in the refractor world.  


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#3 Gipht

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 12:36 PM

My AR127 is on top of my for the money list.  Nice crisp views, and can be used  for AP if you filter out the deep blues.   I think I paid just over $500 for it new.


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#4 Nippon

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 12:36 PM

Best for the money is all in the wallet of the buyer. For folks making big money AP's and CFFs TECs excreta could be but for working class folks it may be the Sky Watcher EDs.  


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#5 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 12:39 PM

Regardless of cost and size what do you guys feel is the best refractor dollar for dollar on the market.

 

I would say the AP traveler is the best scope for the money. I believe a new one is $3400 if you can get on the list.  

 

I am not sure what you mean by best refractor dollar per dollar.  In my mind, that's a balance between cost and performance.  In my mind, the Skywatcher Evostar 100ED at under $1000 or maybe the AT-102ED at $600 get you the most performance for your dollar.  Or maybe something like these new 102mm F/7 FPL-53/FCD-100 -Lanthanum doublets for around $1000.  

 

They provide nearly the performance of a Traveler at a small fraction of the cost.

 

The Stowaway is $3500, I have not heard of the Traveler being produced again., were you thinking Stowaway?

 

Jon


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#6 bobzeq25

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 12:39 PM

Depends _solely_ on how much money you have. 

 

To someone who has a whole lot of money, Takahashis are a lot of bang for the buck.  The bang being far more important to them than the bucks.  To someone with not much, Explore Scientific.   Most of us are somewhere in between.  I've bough Stellarvue and Teleskop-Services, often recommend the latter as providing a lot of value.

 

You can see my first point routinely repeated here in people's recommendations.  The recommendations track their income, not some universal truth.  People with a lot of money will never recommend Explore Scientific, while people with not much often do.


Edited by bobzeq25, 23 May 2019 - 12:42 PM.

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#7 Nippon

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 12:44 PM

My best bang for the buck refractor is a Vixen ED103s that I bought open box new for $1300.00.


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#8 hfjacinto

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 12:51 PM

I don’t casually throw money around, so for me the scope that best represents the value is a 120 MM EON. While I can afford a “premium” scope I see no need for me, the value just isn’t there for me.
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#9 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 12:52 PM

Depends _solely_ on how much money you have. 

 

To someone who has a whole lot of money, Takahashis are a lot of bang for the buck.  The bang being far more important to them than the bucks.  To someone with not much, Explore Scientific.   Most of us are somewhere in between.  I've bough Stellarvue and Teleskop-Services, often recommend the latter as providing a lot of value.

 

You can see my first point routinely repeated here in people's recommendations.  The recommendations track their income, not some universal truth.  People with a lot of money will never recommend Explore Scientific, while people with not much often do.

 

I have to disagree. 

 

Peoples sensibilities are related to their values and very often not their pocket book.  I have friends who bring in half a million a year between the two of the them and are happy with Chinese optics. 

 

And I can tell you that my recommendations are not based on what I would choose but rather what seems most appropriate for the person buying the scope.  

 

This question is what provides the most performance per dollar.  You spend three times as much, you won't be splitting doubles that are three times as close, you won't be seeing three times the planetary detail.. 

 

Jon


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#10 rustynpp

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 12:52 PM

Regardless of cost and size what do you guys feel is the best refractor dollar for dollar on the market.

This sentence hurts my brain.


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#11 chakel

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 12:54 PM

The one you use.


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#12 junomike

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 12:55 PM

I second the 120ED as the best overall deal/value.

From what I've read, I'd place the Es 127 FCD 100 a close second.


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#13 HydrogenAlpha

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:01 PM

If I didn't care about cost and size, I'd get the LZOS 510/6500 triplet lol.gif

 

If considering the best bang for the buck, from the perspective of an imager, it would be a Kunming-made refractor (perhaps the 107/650).  



#14 Ihtegla Sar

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:10 PM

Regardless of cost and size what do you guys feel is the best refractor dollar for dollar on the market.

I would say the AP traveler is the best scope for the money. I believe a new one is $3400 if you can get on the list.


I think it depends a lot on your proposed use. For looking at the moon and planets, I think my Takahashi FC100DL provides more bang for the buck at $2,600, since the slower focal ratio makes it better for high power lunar and planetary viewing.

#15 Tyson M

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:13 PM

This is a couple hundred dollars cheaper than the SW 100ED....Starwave Ascent 102ED F11. 

 

It would likely be my purchase if I ever had to give up my TSA for some reason.


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#16 MartinPond

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:15 PM

It's probably best to limit the huge scope of the question.

A lot depends on how much money but also your personal standards and local sky.

 

What about:

 

-----Best value, ~100mm, achro

and seperately

---Best ED, ~100mm  

 

But:  each complete with adequate mount....don't leave that out.

 

Jon's idea of an "AT-102ED at $600"  is tugging at my wallet, though....

....must....fight....credit card......hand..

I didn't realize...and now I must try to forget.


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#17 pao

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:16 PM

IMO (visual only):

- Low cost: a Synta scope (SW or Orion): very good optics, acceptable mechanics.

- Medium-high level: LZOS 130 (best choice for me in this category)

- Top: a custom made long fl ED Apo (if you really want spend money, have a permanent pier and accept some compromise about comfort).

pao



#18 MartinPond

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:19 PM

My AR127 is on top of my for the money list.  Nice crisp views, and can be used  for AP if you filter out the deep blues.   I think I paid just over $500 for it new.

A Lumicon Minus Violet could be a very discrete snip for that.  I like it for "almost there" jobs.



#19 RadioAstronomer

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:43 PM

The SW ED series. 90% of the performance at less than 1/2 the price of boutique makers like Tak, AP or TEC.


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#20 M11Mike

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:46 PM

Best "performance and quality PER DOLLAR" (new scopes currently being produced and sold) --- Stellarview Refractors.  

 

M11Mike


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#21 starman876

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:48 PM

I interpreted this differently.  For the money, I would choose Skywatcher ED series. Most bang for your hard-earned bucks in the refractor world.  

They are good scopes.  A lot of good reviews.


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#22 photoracer18

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:48 PM

I have had lots of ED and APO refractors and I feel bang for the buck is the correct definition. While the Traveler is a great scope its only 4". Thomas Back's version of the Traveler is his TMB 105/F6.2. Unfortunately it was first sold as that heavy CNC version which negated any "traveling". However the WO FLT-105 was lighter in weight and the APM LV was also. And by the way Travelers never sell used for less than $5k so a TMB 105 can be had for at most $3k so its a better bang for the buck (I have owned the WO and have looked thru a number of Travelers).

By best deal it would be the AT115EDT I bought unused for $900 w/case, rings, and dovetail. If you mean the scope I sold for a lot more than I paid for it that would be the Borg 150ED so that might be my ultimate bang for the buck. This is in spite of the fact that my TEC140ED was also bought unused from its first owner, but that did cost me $5k so while it has been my best scope it was not the best bang for the buck.


Edited by photoracer18, 23 May 2019 - 01:53 PM.

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#23 starman876

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:49 PM

My AR127 is on top of my for the money list.  Nice crisp views, and can be used  for AP if you filter out the deep blues.   I think I paid just over $500 for it new.

a 5" scope is a nice aperture.


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#24 starman876

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:49 PM

I am not sure what you mean by best refractor dollar per dollar.  In my mind, that's a balance between cost and performance.  In my mind, the Skywatcher Evostar 100ED at under $1000 or maybe the AT-102ED at $600 get you the most performance for your dollar.  Or maybe something like these new 102mm F/7 FPL-53/FCD-100 -Lanthanum doublets for around $1000.  

 

They provide nearly the performance of a Traveler at a small fraction of the cost.

 

The Stowaway is $3500, I have not heard of the Traveler being produced again., were you thinking Stowaway?

 

Jon

Yes, sorry  Stow away.  Thanks



#25 starman876

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:51 PM

Depends _solely_ on how much money you have. 

 

To someone who has a whole lot of money, Takahashis are a lot of bang for the buck.  The bang being far more important to them than the bucks.  To someone with not much, Explore Scientific.   Most of us are somewhere in between.  I've bough Stellarvue and Teleskop-Services, often recommend the latter as providing a lot of value.

 

You can see my first point routinely repeated here in people's recommendations.  The recommendations track their income, not some universal truth.  People with a lot of money will never recommend Explore Scientific, while people with not much often do.

Some of these views are personal preference like mine for the Stowe Away.




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