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Any little Mak fans here?

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#51 ShaulaB

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 12:49 PM

Health problems prevented me from hauling out the 10 inch Dob and the C8. So I got a 4 inch Mak-Cas, not expecting much. It's optics are actually quite good, and I am happily using it a lot. It saved my sanity.
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#52 pdxmoon

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 01:53 PM

As a lunar observer I know that despite the impression that all scopes give good views of the moon--they don't. I've been a confirmed refractor user since the slow, long-scope Unitron/Tasco days of the 60s. With really good ED glass I have a few doublets that are superb lunar instruments.

 

But I've always stayed away from MAKS because frankly, I was scared of something I did not really understand, as I said in an earlier post.

 

But here's the thing: I'm 65. Yes, in good health, but my SW100 is mounted on a Vixen Polaris which seems to get heavier every night. (I can't understand it. That mount must be sneaking snacks out of my refrigerator. How can it weigh more, night after night?)

 

So... I took the Mak127 plunge. I know to some of you that size might not qualify as a "little Mak," but next to that big 4" refractor, believe me, it is.

 

I had it out last night with binoviewers. It gave me superb views--and also tracked the moon, as a kind of old-man bonus. "Here Pops, why don't I throw in a little tracking for you? Rest those slo mo turnin' ancient hands of yours..."

 

As a companion scope I had my TV85 on a Porta II, with a wide ep, so I had the best of both worlds.

 

Meanwhile my 4" refractor was looking out from the garage, coughing loudly every couple of minutes to get my attention, and mumbling things like "Refractor views! Right here!"  

 

But I was just so darn happy.

 

Now I'm thinking, if I bought the SLT package with the C90, by carbonate of soda, I could have TWO maks, side by side, with different views, tracking the moon! Think of how much fun that would be!

 

And my ED scopes looked at me, worried, as if reading my mind...

 

C127SLTbino.jpg

 

 

 


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#53 fcathell

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 03:28 PM

I always liked the sharp views of refractors for lunar and planetary, however, the long moment arm always caused vibration issues with breezes even with solid mounts. Other weather factors are bad enough, but having a crystal clear night with a little wind and you have to give up was a bummer. I also did not like the awkward viewing positions (like sitting on the ground!) when objects were overhead. This is why I switched to small SCTs and eventually Maks. These small Maks (90mm to 150mm) have never disappointed me. 

 

Frank


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#54 Jim1804

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 09:18 PM

I always check Clear Sky Charts before taking out a telescope. Sometimes patience can pay off too. Seeing can vary from moment to moment, and I suspect not everything in my setup is cooled down all the way right when I get out.

 

Can't say that I'm always patient about it when all I can see is a tiny featureless white ball, while lights all around me are glaring in my eyes mad.gif

The problem is that my Clear Sky Chart is usually all white or gray, especially in the summer! But I've literally had the C90 out, moving up and down the street to maneuver around trees, etc, while watching lightening in the distance to the N and W - but I saw lots of detail on Mars (well, relatively speaking with the dust) last year, and Jupiter and Saturn continue to look great this year!


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#55 treadmarks

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 09:17 AM

I think the reason I like my little Mak so much is because I live in an apartment. Big Dobs and long refractors aren't fun to carry down twisting flights of stairs and through multiple doorways. If I could just keep everything out in a garage I would probably have bigger scopes.


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#56 PXR-5

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 07:23 PM

C90 and ST80 are also my favourites.
Just so much fun and easy set up :)
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#57 Bill Barlow

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 09:21 PM

I was thinking of a 102mm Mak, but don't think it would offer anything that I couldn't see in my excellent Tak FC76 DCU. So sticking to a 5", but after comparing the Tak to an Intes-Micro M500 a few nights ago, the Tak was the clear winner for planetary brightness/contrast/detail and viewing the double-double group in Lyra.  To say the least I was surprised with the results.

 

Bill



#58 barbie

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 09:21 PM

My 102mm F13 Mak is an ideal one trip out the door, quick peek scope which definitely has its place in my scope lineup.  When I want to photograph the moon and planets, I attach my DSLR directly to the back of the scope with my T-adapter and do prime focus astrophotography.


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#59 wrnchhead

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 10:18 PM

I often wonder if the efforts of bigger scopes are worth it around where I live.

 

Start with the mosquito spray, lug out the mount, then the scope, out the door and down the steps, set up the chair, the eyepiece box... only to see Jupiter look like it’s under several inches of running creek water.

 

Give up right there and go back in. This is the usual summer routine.

 

Something to be said for quick out and back in. 

Oh my gosh. Half the catharsis of this forum is seeing that I'm not alone. This is exactly what happened to me tonight. Heat index today was up to 107. But it was clear and since New Year's I've felt like a trapped animal in this hobby with the CLOUDS. So not wanting to waste a night I spray down with bug spray, carry out the eq6, C8, do a single star alignment, get maybe 5 minutes with Jupiter (unwisely nothing was thermally adapted, but I was willing to settle for some star time!) and here come the clouds. boo. 


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#60 treadmarks

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 09:23 AM

I was thinking of a 102mm Mak, but don't think it would offer anything that I couldn't see in my excellent Tak FC76 DCU. So sticking to a 5", but after comparing the Tak to an Intes-Micro M500 a few nights ago, the Tak was the clear winner for planetary brightness/contrast/detail and viewing the double-double group in Lyra.  To say the least I was surprised with the results.

 

Bill

I'm surprised by that result too. Because a 102mm Mak should be clearly brighter than a perfect 76mm aperture. And a 5" should absolutely blow it out of the water. Let's say a 4" Mak transmits only 75% of its light gathered: sqrt( (102^2*0.75) ) = 88mm perfect aperture. Looks like another example of a refractor violating the laws of physics. Can't win when your competition is cheating.


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#61 whizbang

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 09:24 AM

Ditto what Frank said (reply #53).

 

My MAK is 127mm and sharp as a tack.  Super views.


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#62 ItsMeTony

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 09:48 AM

I'll echo the comments above.  I have the Orion 127mm MAK.  It is sharp with great contrast.  It is indeed my solar system scope!


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#63 Boom

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 09:57 AM

Soon we'll have someone professing love for their Meade 7" little Mak in here.
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#64 treadmarks

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 10:03 AM

Soon we'll have someone professing love for their Meade 7" little Mak in here.

Yeah, I'm not sure I'd call 5" little. I tend to think of 5-7" as a medium aperture size. It is on the border line though.


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#65 pdxmoon

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 10:20 AM

Yeah, I'm not sure I'd call 5" little. I tend to think of 5-7" as a medium aperture size. It is on the border line though.

 

It's little if you're used to hauling big refractors around! :-) But I take the point: for folks who use Maks, it may seem big. In my mind a 150 is big. But there you go.  Relativity.


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#66 pdxmoon

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 10:27 AM

I'm surprised by that result too. Because a 102mm Mak should be clearly brighter than a perfect 76mm aperture. And a 5" should absolutely blow it out of the water. Let's say a 4" Mak transmits only 75% of its light gathered: sqrt( (102^2*0.75) ) = 88mm perfect aperture. Looks like another example of a refractor violating the laws of physics. Can't win when your competition is cheating.

 

I think it may be an optical illusion caused by FOV and magnification.

 

Two nights ago I compared the views of an SW102 4" refractor with my new c127MAK. The refractor appeared "brighter". I was mystified by this. I checked to see if it was because I had a lunar filter on the MAK. It wasn't. 

 

I think what was going on was the difference in magnification. There was very little black sky in my MAK ep, and it was more magnified a view with the same ep than the refractor. When I lowered the magnification of the MAK, the "brightness" I was seeing in the refractor was also in the MAK.  Also, there was more black sky around the white moon when I lowered the magnification, and in the refractor, which is faster, it was always framed against more black sky with the same ep.

 

Does that make sense? Because at 127, even with an obstruction and all the rest, the MAK has to gather more light than the 4". So, what I perceived was certainly an optical illusion.

 

Contrast and sharpness in the MAK were excellent, BTW.


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#67 Boom

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 10:37 AM

Does that make sense? Because at 127, even with an obstruction and all the rest, the MAK has to gather more light than the 4". So, what I perceived was certainly an optical illusion.


Absolutely.

You always see this whenever a C5 vs 127mm thread pops up. Undoubtedly someone will always say a C5 is brighter than a 127mm Mak.

Some people conveniently leave out focal length or magnification when discussing apertures to suit their agenda.
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#68 Jim1804

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 11:07 AM

I think it may be an optical illusion caused by FOV and magnification.

Two nights ago I compared the views of an SW102 4" refractor with my new c127MAK. The refractor appeared "brighter". I was mystified by this. I checked to see if it was because I had a lunar filter on the MAK. It wasn't.

I think what was going on was the difference in magnification. There was very little black sky in my MAK ep, and it was more magnified a view with the same ep than the refractor. When I lowered the magnification of the MAK, the "brightness" I was seeing in the refractor was also in the MAK. Also, there was more black sky around the white moon when I lowered the magnification, and in the refractor, which is faster, it was always framed against more black sky with the same ep.

Does that make sense? Because at 127, even with an obstruction and all the rest, the MAK has to gather more light than the 4". So, what I perceived was certainly an optical illusion.

Contrast and sharpness in the MAK were excellent, BTW.

I agree - there seem to be so many more stars visible as I’m scanning around in my ST80, or even in my 9VR(60mm) than in the C90 - the ST80 and C90 are pretty close, but the C90 should blow the 9VR out of the water. But I really am seeing more stars in the refractor since the FOV is so much bigger. Combine that with 9x in the 9vr vs 39x in the C90 (32mm Plossl), and you have the impression of a dimmer view in the Mak.

Edited by Jim1804, 21 August 2019 - 11:15 AM.

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#69 Joe1950

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 01:11 PM

I'm surprised by that result too. Because a 102mm Mak should be clearly brighter than a perfect 76mm aperture. And a 5" should absolutely blow it out of the water. Let's say a 4" Mak transmits only 75% of its light gathered: sqrt( (102^2*0.75) ) = 88mm perfect aperture. Looks like another example of a refractor violating the laws of physics. Can't win when your competition is cheating.

If a scope costs 3-5 or more times than another, it has to be better!  bow.gif 



#70 Sarkikos

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 01:15 PM

The C90 is a great little grab-n-go scope.  Before I got my C80ED, it was my favorite Moon scope. 

 

It's hard to choose between the C90 and the C80ED for double stars.  It takes longer for the C90 to acclimate.  Even a little Mak like this is plagued by tube currents.  But it is much shorter and more compact for double-star grab-n-go, and can use a smaller mount, than the C80ED.  I can easily put the C90 in a small side bag and walk a mile or so to a nearby observing site.  The C80ED?  Not so much.

 

Mike


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#71 Sarkikos

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 01:17 PM

The only other Mak I've ever owned - or ever used - is my 150mm Bosma Rumak.  It has great contrast.  An excellent Moon scope.  But it is a heavy heat tank.  It's actually a few pounds heavier than my EdgeHD 8"!  And it takes forever to acclimate.  

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 21 August 2019 - 01:29 PM.


#72 fcathell

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 02:35 PM

When comparing the field brightness between two scopes with different aperture, the magnification must be the same on both to get a legitimate result.  Unless both scopes have the same FL, just changing the same eyepiece from one to the other won't hack it!

 

Frank


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#73 pdxmoon

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 02:42 PM

When comparing the field brightness between two scopes with different aperture, the magnification must be the same on both to get a legitimate result.  Unless both scopes have the same FL, just changing the same eyepiece from one to the other won't hack it!

 

Frank

That's right, Frank. I discovered this in my comparison from refractor to MAK. It's an easy mistake to make if you don't stop to think--and I made it!


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#74 Joe1950

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 03:03 PM

We all make mistakes. Scopes and how they perform is complicated and influenced by many factors. That’s why when someone says “this scope blows that scope out of the water” (unless talking a big aperture difference),  I don’t buy it. 

 

There’s a common phrase we often hear, “wishful thinking.” With this pastime and scopes we should add “wishful seeing.”  


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#75 fcathell

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 03:29 PM

I made that mistake once when comparing a C-5 to my 127 Mak. The Mak has a 1500mm FL and I though the C-5 did too, and I thought, wow, the C-5 is brighter - must be the coatings (?)!  Ha! The C-5 has a 1250mm FL which I soon discovered. A 20mm eyepiece in the C-5 and a 24mm in the Mak solved that problem (62.5X in each). They then looked pretty much the same from what I could see.

 

Frank


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