Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Any little Mak fans here?

  • Please log in to reply
168 replies to this topic

#126 25585

25585

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5481
  • Joined: 29 Aug 2017
  • Loc: In a valley, in the UK.

Posted 01 September 2019 - 03:51 PM

I might get a SW 127 on Synscan Goto, to try out both scope and mount types together.



#127 Bowlerhat

Bowlerhat

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 344
  • Joined: 05 Jun 2019
  • Loc: Melbourne, Australia

Posted 01 September 2019 - 04:41 PM

 Well, comparing $2000 refractors to $300 cats doesn't seem fair to me nor does it make any practical sense.

I don't understand this either.

 

Cats are pretty simple- two mirrors, basically. You can't reduce it any more than that. Simple yet effective design for a cheap price.

 

What is a refractor? at basic design, one lens on the front, an achromat for a cheap price. When comparing these $2000 scopes, most will provide examples of ED, doublets, triplets, etc. Now pardon me if I'm wrong, but those are corrected optics. They need an additional lens at least to provide a color-free image to do a task that cats can do it for much less. Doesn't sound like a good design to me, nor effective since we still yet argue about colors all the time even with all these combinations and different glass types.

 

Now, of course, it's possible to get a color-free image on achromats by using a longer focal length to reduce aberrations. Most are really cheap, yet it lacks one problem: portability and ease of use. In here as well, cats are more preferable in that regards, at least for me.

 

A 127 mak will outperform a 102. It is a little larger and a little heavier and more expensive but it does a better job at what a telescope is supposed to do within its design constraints. 

On similar magnification, refractor can provide more contrast and brighter image, but only on corrected optics. But I do believe that a really well-corrected optics (taks?) they can beat cats. Then again talk about quality control and price between those two anyway.

 

 

At this point I'm pretty sure debating cats and refractors is like comparing apples to oranges, really. They both go in a different direction. I use a cat for higher magnifications and refractors for lower magnifications. I don't try to fit both in one scope.


  • treadmarks likes this

#128 Bataleon

Bataleon

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 100
  • Joined: 29 Aug 2019

Posted 01 September 2019 - 04:57 PM

I love my Skywatcher 90 mak. For solar system and smaller messiers, it's not far behind my 8" SCT. They have their place in any amateur astronomer's arsenal. Definitely preferable on nights I don't plan to be out long. I just fold up the whole tripod and carry it out the door on my shoulder. Not so much my SCT lol

Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk
  • treadmarks likes this

#129 BigKahuna

BigKahuna

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • Posts: 28
  • Joined: 27 Aug 2018

Posted 01 September 2019 - 07:28 PM

I've enjoyed my Meade ETX-90EC OTA on a Observer base all summer long on the NJ Shore. Unfortunately I'm in light polluted skies but the views of Jupiter, Saturn and our Moon have been outstanding. Here is a picture of my setup

 

20190824-204707.jpg

 

And one pointing at Jupiter...

 

20190824-204330.jpg


Edited by BigKahuna, 01 September 2019 - 07:30 PM.

  • payner, Boom, Jim1804 and 2 others like this

#130 Hesiod

Hesiod

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3211
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2013

Posted 02 September 2019 - 08:23 AM

Just to clarify, "CAT" stands for catadioptric telescope, id est a design exploiting BOTH mirrors and lenses.
All mirror designs are just reflectors (such as a "CASS", or Cassegrain reflector).
For the most CATs seems to me to be "fixed defective reflectors": economical or practical reasons may force to use simpler figures than those required by the original reflector (refracting CATs are much less common), and to resort to some kind of lens/es to fix the most obvious aberrations.
The telescope am using these nights for DSOs is a fine example of this fact: it is an all-spherical Cassegrain with a sub-aperture lens group fixing spherical aberration, field curvature and coma (which could have been addressed by different mirror surfaces).
Despite giving my preference to refractors (at small aperture are the most efficient and versatile design), must admit that can not think of any of them capable of the same features of my humble VMC95
I think that, from an "intellectual" point of view, pure refracting or reflecting designs are more neat, but find fascinating and even elegant the "patched nature" of CATs.

#131 treadmarks

treadmarks

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 959
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2016
  • Loc: Boston MA

Posted 02 September 2019 - 09:25 AM

Just to clarify, "CAT" stands for catadioptric telescope, id est a design exploiting BOTH mirrors and lenses.
All mirror designs are just reflectors (such as a "CASS", or Cassegrain reflector).
For the most CATs seems to me to be "fixed defective reflectors": economical or practical reasons may force to use simpler figures than those required by the original reflector (refracting CATs are much less common), and to resort to some kind of lens/es to fix the most obvious aberrations.
The telescope am using these nights for DSOs is a fine example of this fact: it is an all-spherical Cassegrain with a sub-aperture lens group fixing spherical aberration, field curvature and coma (which could have been addressed by different mirror surfaces).
Despite giving my preference to refractors (at small aperture are the most efficient and versatile design), must admit that can not think of any of them capable of the same features of my humble VMC95
I think that, from an "intellectual" point of view, pure refracting or reflecting designs are more neat, but find fascinating and even elegant the "patched nature" of CATs.

True, but every optical design suffers from some kind of defect and is in need of correction. A two or three element refractor objective has those extra lenses to fix its defects. Newtonians use a parabolic mirror to correct spherical aberration but get coma instead. CATs use a spherical mirror and avoid the coma induced by a parabolic mirror, then correct the spherical aberration with the corrector lens.

 

Personally I find the CAT design to be more clever and interesting than the others because there's a lot going on. The corrector lens actually serves several purposes, not just correcting SA. It avoids the need for spider vanes and diffraction spikes, a very obviously visible type of aberration. And it holds the secondary firmly in place, so that CATs are much less likely to lose collimation. My little Mak has held collimation since the day I got it, and I do check it occasionally. Another advantage is that it seals the tube and keeps it clean. Then there's the whole magnifying secondary slowing the f/ratio, drastically shortening the tube and making it easier on eyepieces. Sending the light path through the secondary shadow ends up making the design usable as a spotting scope. Oh and in case I missed anything, the movable primary gives massive amounts of back focus for imaging or other usages.


  • EquusSpeculabundus likes this

#132 Hesiod

Hesiod

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3211
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2013

Posted 02 September 2019 - 10:12 AM

Well, the magnifying secondary is a feature of Cassegrain reflector, inherited by all its variants; Mak-Newt lack this feature, which may be found instead on "Bird Jones telescopes" in the form of a magnifying lens group.
Spot Maks have indeed a fixed secondary, but it is a sub-optimal design under many aspects (just to name one, Ru-Maks have usually less FC).
Many CATs have open tube designs, and both these and the closed tube ones have PROs and CONs.
The sliding primary focuser it is not, again, an exclusive feature of CATs, but it is found mostly on Cassegrain-based designs. I like it much for small scopes because ensures sturdiness and accuracy at low weight, and among cheap telescopes is a very strong asset, far outmatching the rivals' focuser, but has well known issues too.
Also, by displacing too much the primary to accomodate insane optical trains may cause nasty effect as well (I tre to avoids this as much as possible).
Said so, most CATs are indeed brilliant designs (even my lowly VMC95: how many flat field telescopes are available in its size/price class?), but all commercial models rely on at least 3 optical elements, while a basically perfect refractor or reflector could be designed by just two...

EDIT MCTs and SCTs are far from being Free of coma. RuMaks should be better corrected than basic spot MCTs; most coma-free/low variants need further optical groups or modified mirrors.
Among cheap ones, the Vmc95 has less coma than a typical 3.5" spot MCT

Edited by Hesiod, 02 September 2019 - 10:17 AM.


#133 Bowlerhat

Bowlerhat

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 344
  • Joined: 05 Jun 2019
  • Loc: Melbourne, Australia

Posted 02 September 2019 - 12:17 PM

I don't view it as correcting feature from reflectors, as I viewed the design more of to fold the focal length into a shorter form. To correct reflectors there are ways without making it a catadioptric, such as making a parabolic mirror as mentioned. I should've mentioned Cat-cass as in "cats"

 

And technically it is a variant of reflector design. Yet I don't really dilute it, since reflectors cover a lot of design, far more than catadioptric or cassegrainian design. But I'm not comparing it to other reflectors-such as Newtonian, but to refractors.

 

I already said that refractors can be pretty simple, but when comparing the two often $2000 samples are brought up-those are not simple, commercial design with one lens at the front. 



#134 Auburn80

Auburn80

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 920
  • Joined: 01 Apr 2013

Posted 02 September 2019 - 12:39 PM

I don't understand this either.

Cats are pretty simple- two mirrors, basically. You can't reduce it any more than that. Simple yet effective design for a cheap price.

What is a refractor? at basic design, one lens on the front, an achromat for a cheap price. When comparing these $2000 scopes, most will provide examples of ED, doublets, triplets, etc. Now pardon me if I'm wrong, but those are corrected optics. They need an additional lens at least to provide a color-free image to do a task that cats can do it for much less. Doesn't sound like a good design to me, nor effective since we still yet argue about colors all the time even with all these combinations and different glass types.

Now, of course, it's possible to get a color-free image on achromats by using a longer focal length to reduce aberrations. Most are really cheap, yet it lacks one problem: portability and ease of use. In here as well, cats are more preferable in that regards, at least for me.

On similar magnification, refractor can provide more contrast and brighter image, but only on corrected optics. But I do believe that a really well-corrected optics (taks?) they can beat cats. Then again talk about quality control and price between those two anyway.


At this point I'm pretty sure debating cats and refractors is like comparing apples to oranges, really. They both go in a different direction. I use a cat for higher magnifications and refractors for lower magnifications. I don't try to fit both in one scope.


I was addressing the comment about aperture being deceptive and used two different sized maks as an example; not mak vs frac.

#135 Hesiod

Hesiod

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3211
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2013

Posted 02 September 2019 - 12:47 PM

The "folded" design was devised for reflectors and only much later practical concerns led to popularize the CAT variant.
Indeed CATs are not "folded reflectors", but a simpler albeit sub-optimal folded reflector may be turned into an effective design by the mean of a lens (the same could be applied to non-folded reflectors such as Newtonian-based Mak-Newt or Bird-Jones).
I agree that comparing telescopes with very different prices is an exercise that must be done with the utmost care because there are more things involved than the mere optical design (a "boutique" CAT can crush with ease "mass-produced" refractors...), but can not agree with the fact that the "simple single lens" should be the standard refractor, since it was put at rest almost 200 years ago.
And even a CaF doublet has still a simple design than the most basic CAT (and it is far simple than more advanced CATs such as EdgeHDs or VMCs)

#136 Bowlerhat

Bowlerhat

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 344
  • Joined: 05 Jun 2019
  • Loc: Melbourne, Australia

Posted 02 September 2019 - 02:23 PM

I'm not comparing it to reflectors in general. The thread is about mak-which is a reflector of catadioptric - cassegrain variant. and I'm pointing out it's unfair that to compare them without considering what makes refractors are so expensive: those extra lenses, extra correction etc. For me a simple working design is an achromat-those 80mm short tube orion or 70mm travelscope. Takahashi 60FCB doesn't sound like simple to me, otherwise they can just mass produce it in some factory in china. Let's say if you want to compare both-why not get the top grade comparison then? like a questar vs tak refractor? clearly not because both are not in the price margin we're talking about here with 90mm celestrons. 



#137 twjs

twjs

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 92
  • Joined: 24 Feb 2019
  • Loc: NWNJ

Posted 02 September 2019 - 02:37 PM

My little Mak's finest moment. August 21, 2017, on the side of a road in Madras, Oregon. Wearing a solar filter, it's pointed at a solar eclipse less than an hour before totality:

attachicon.gif P1010979_cut.jpg

 

Because it and the tripod it's sitting on travels so well, it got the honors of flying with me to Oregon.

I did that with my ETX90 for the last eclipse. It melted the secondary baffle off of center. frown.gif 



#138 Auburn80

Auburn80

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 920
  • Joined: 01 Apr 2013

Posted 02 September 2019 - 04:26 PM

I did that with my ETX90 for the last eclipse. It melted the secondary baffle off of center. frown.gif


With a solar filter?! 😳

#139 Hesiod

Hesiod

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3211
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2013

Posted 02 September 2019 - 06:18 PM

One thing is the design (e.g. the CaF doublet vs the Ru-Mak vs the Spot Mak), one thing is how the telescope is crafted; usually is the latter to rule the price.
Expensive telescopes are so because of more accurate crafting and better materials, non necessarily because of more advanced designs: "APOs" are more expensive because requires fairly expensive materials to stay on the market (CaF is a rather extreme case: being very expensive and hard to work it would be pointless to try to cut corners. Design has nothing to do with fluorite doublets' pricing, and it is rather easy to understand this fact by thinking to the "low cost APOs", or even achros, which sometimes share the same design, or a slightly tweaked one).
On the other hand the most common CATs available on the market (MCTs and SCTs) are designed to cut the costs, not to exploit the full potential of the design.
In these days I have at disposal two telescopes from the same brand: a 55/300 CaF doublet and the vmc95.
The former has a much simpler design but it is crafted to a much higher degree of accuracy and with better materials; the latter has a more complex design but unlike the 200 and 260mm ones is crafted very roughly.
The fl55 has just 4 surfaces and dei lenses, but these have been polished to the highest accuracy, and maybe checked individually; the vmc has two mirrors and a complex corrector, but were mass crafted with little care to optical accuracy: it is that critical difference to explain the pcrices.
Again, I agree that comparison between boutique and "cheap" telescopes are often unfair but if done open minded could give interesting insights.
To make an example, the vmc95 can outperform the fl55 in several fields (and be outmatched in others)

#140 Bowlerhat

Bowlerhat

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 344
  • Joined: 05 Jun 2019
  • Loc: Melbourne, Australia

Posted 02 September 2019 - 07:19 PM

If you meant by open minded means completely ignoring the price, or portability, then yes it's fair as technical aspect goes. Although I still don't view additional lens as part of design, but as a correction attempt. 

 

On the other hand the most common CATs available on the market (MCTs and SCTs) are designed to cut the costs, not to exploit the full potential of the design.

Hence why it's unfair comparing these with those crafted refractors. We got crafted cassegrains too, like questars, but we're not looking at them in here. 

 

Your example, the Vixen VMC95 sure is a crafted one, with features such as curved vanes. I wouldn't call it being made to cut costs. In my opinion, of course refractors with crafted optics would yield a better image: it's no use comparing it to cheap maks.



#141 treadmarks

treadmarks

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 959
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2016
  • Loc: Boston MA

Posted 02 September 2019 - 08:15 PM

I once compared my 102 Mak to a TV-85. That's a $250 scope vs. a $2000 scope. On Jupiter, the view was equally terrible as the seeing did not allow detailed observation. Repeat that result for about 350 nights out of 365 here in New England. The weather doesn't care how good your scope is. I'm glad I only paid $250 for that view and not $2000.

 

On the Moon, features did stand out a bit more in the TV-85. But that could have been because the Mak was at a higher magnification. It doesn't really matter to me though, because I did not find the difference to be earth-shattering. I still felt like I was looking through any old telescope, not a magical portal to another world as some would have you believe.

 

Anyway, if you're able to move past the single-minded focus on absolute maximum performance and consider the whole package and feature set (and price), little Maks are really tough to beat. I find the subtle differences in the view to be quite boring compared to the not-subtle differences in size or price. And besides, it seems silly for me to demand optical perfection from a scope when I am usually too lazy to take my scope to a field and instead look out over rooftops and asphalt.


  • elwaine, SherwoodL, Joe1950 and 4 others like this

#142 Joe1950

Joe1950

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9645
  • Joined: 22 Aug 2015

Posted 02 September 2019 - 08:28 PM

I agree with what you say. Seeing limits all scopes. When you do get ideal conditions, the advantage is not what you might be lead to expect. 

 

Some people feel the extra, say 5 to 10% is worth every penny. That's fine and I have no argument with their preferences. I prefer a scope that gives good views, is easy and portable to take out and move around, is stable on a mount and is affordable. The last point being very important because I just can't afford a scope with a high price tag.

 

We do the best we can with what we got.


  • elwaine, treadmarks and mrsjeff like this

#143 Auburn80

Auburn80

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 920
  • Joined: 01 Apr 2013

Posted 02 September 2019 - 08:58 PM

I once compared my 102 Mak to a TV-85. That's a $250 scope vs. a $2000 scope. On Jupiter, the view was equally terrible as the seeing did not allow detailed observation. Repeat that result for about 350 nights out of 365 here in New England. The weather doesn't care how good your scope is. I'm glad I only paid $250 for that view and not $2000.

On the Moon, features did stand out a bit more in the TV-85. But that could have been because the Mak was at a higher magnification. It doesn't really matter to me though, because I did not find the difference to be earth-shattering. I still felt like I was looking through any old telescope, not a magical portal to another world as some would have you believe.

Anyway, if you're able to move past the single-minded focus on absolute maximum performance and consider the whole package and feature set (and price), little Maks are really tough to beat. I find the subtle differences in the view to be quite boring compared to the not-subtle differences in size or price. And besides, it seems silly for me to demand optical perfection from a scope when I am usually too lazy to take my scope to a field and instead look out over rooftops and asphalt.


Since you're comparing fracs to maks, maybe a comparison with the Meade Infinity or Celestron XLT 102s would be interesting. They've been available for less than the mak 102 ota and come with a mount, diagonal and eyepiece.

#144 Hesiod

Hesiod

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3211
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2013

Posted 03 September 2019 - 05:39 AM

The Vmc95 is a rough craft selling at 220€, not a boutique telescope.
It belongs to the same class of the Skywatcher 90/1250 etc...
An open minded comparison between these and a boutique telescope has for sure to take note of pricing, but it is not just that.
As an example, size and weight could be take as common denominator: in such case I could compare the vmc95 to the fl55 (the CAT is slightly larger, but weights are very close).
Then the vmc95, having almost twice the aperture, would enjoy a noticeable advantage, even in face of the fl55 greater efficiency; furthermore the vmc has a flat field, while the fl55 shows a lot of FC.
The fl55 can work from 10x to 150x, so it is more versatile on paper; on the other hand the vmc can cover almost all its range of useful magnifications with a single zoom eyepiece.
And so on: each has its strenghts and weaknesses, and the ultimate verdict is open, depending on the emphasis put on each specific feature.
In my present circumstances, the vmc95 fits better my aims so it could claim the victory...

#145 treadmarks

treadmarks

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 959
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2016
  • Loc: Boston MA

Posted 03 September 2019 - 09:00 AM

Since you're comparing fracs to maks, maybe a comparison with the Meade Infinity or Celestron XLT 102s would be interesting. They've been available for less than the mak 102 ota and come with a mount, diagonal and eyepiece.

As luck would have it, I do have a 4" refractor and a 4" Mak. But it's an F/6.5 achromat, so it doesn't feel like a fair comparison even though I paid about the same for them. One is clearly optimized for wide field and the other high magnification.

 

But that hasn't stopped me from comparing them tongue2.gif Actually I brought it along when I borrowed the TV-85. The short achromat could not keep up with either the Mak or the TV-85 once the magnifications got high enough (>150X). It was noticeably blurrier, some craters weren't visible and not just the tiny ones.

 

I have also compared my 4" Mak and frac on Jupiter on a night of good seeing. I also had the 8" SCT out. In terms of detail, the achromat did an admirable job keeping up with the Mak. I'm sure that if I did a very detailed inspection, it would be missing some tiny details that the Mak was showing. The major downfall for the achromat was that it had really just muddied and soiled the disk of Jupiter with CA. The view in the Mak was better for that alone.

 

A comparison I'd be really interested to see is between a 4" Mak and the Omni F/10 refractor. Optical theory indicates these two should be an even match, and they're also priced about the same. ...I'll also admit I'd be interested in owning one. But not for any practical purpose. As much as it seems like I'm dumping on refractors I actually do like them grin.gif


  • PETER DREW likes this

#146 fcathell

fcathell

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1181
  • Joined: 30 Jul 2017
  • Loc: Tucson, AZ

Posted 12 September 2019 - 09:55 PM

I hate to aggravate the SCT fans here but I have had at least a dozen SCTs, mostly 8 inch versions, and I even had the optics tested in a few with an interferometer and they tested better than 1/4 wave (as they should have!) The point I want to make is that with all of these SCTs, I have never had one that I though gave good contrasty views of planets, particularly Jupiter. An old Edmund 4", F/16 acromat blew the SCTs away for the most part.  I then started checking out Maks and I was so impressed that that is all I use now for planetary.  Nothing against the modern refractors, just too much moment arm and $$. I think I have actually had more consistent detailed views of Jupiter in my 127 Mak than any 8" SCT I've had. Even my lowly 102 Mak still impresses me and I was always impressed with the Synta 90 and older ETX 90 Maks.  Have I just been unlucky with SCTs or what??

 

Frank


  • Joe1950 likes this

#147 Bill Barlow

Bill Barlow

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4389
  • Joined: 03 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Overland Park KS

Posted 13 September 2019 - 09:18 AM

Frank, I would say “yes” to answer your question.  I have owned over a dozen Celestron and Meade SCT’s in the 8” to 14” range, the last two being 8” Meade ACF’s.  These two scopes have shown much more detail on Jupiter and Saturn than any 6” Russian MAK I have owned.  Plus the image is much brighter.  I recently had the 8” Meade out side by side with an Intes MK66 and the Meade won hands down.  So now might sell the MAK since they both weigh about the same.  So I guess you got unlucky with the SCT’s you had.

 

Bill



#148 treadmarks

treadmarks

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 959
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2016
  • Loc: Boston MA

Posted 13 September 2019 - 12:48 PM

I hate to aggravate the SCT fans here but I have had at least a dozen SCTs, mostly 8 inch versions, and I even had the optics tested in a few with an interferometer and they tested better than 1/4 wave (as they should have!) The point I want to make is that with all of these SCTs, I have never had one that I though gave good contrasty views of planets, particularly Jupiter.

A little rivalry between SCTs and MCTs seems like a healthy thing to me smile.gif To each their own. I have not noticed any contrast issues with my SCT. But I always blame the atmosphere before I blame a telescope, because I've seen what they can do on a good night. Unfortunately, good nights are a faded memory for me right now, with Jupiter below 30° at my latitude.

 

I would theorize that any softness that may be seen when comparing an SCT to a smaller scope could be due to the extra brightness. Too much glare does ruin contrast. I've been experimenting with planetary filters lately and I am finding they are helping the view.

 

Also, based on my own experience, on a great night my SCT resolves some delicate features within the belts of Jupiter which the smaller MCT cannot. Those features are inherently low contrast, small, and may be on the edge of what the night will allow in terms of seeing. But that's not the SCT's fault.


  • fcathell likes this

#149 Bataleon

Bataleon

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 100
  • Joined: 29 Aug 2019

Posted 13 September 2019 - 12:57 PM

My 90 mak does remarkably well on the planets, though it can't quite obtain the magnification my SCT can, it's not far behind in terms of overall visual enjoyment. I'm sure a larger Mak would be great and it makes sense that the contrast is markedly better since we're talking about a significantly smaller central obstruction. I will say, for general purpose observation an SCT is preferable. All but the largest Maks I've used are dreadful for DSOs.

Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk
  • treadmarks likes this

#150 elwaine

elwaine

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2231
  • Joined: 18 Jun 2006
  • Loc: Jupiter

Posted 13 September 2019 - 01:01 PM

I once compared my 102 Mak to a TV-85. That's a $250 scope vs. a $2000 scope. On Jupiter, the view was equally terrible as the seeing did not allow detailed observation. Repeat that result for about 350 nights out of 365 here in New England. The weather doesn't care how good your scope is. I'm glad I only paid $250 for that view and not $2000.

 

On the Moon, features did stand out a bit more in the TV-85. But that could have been because the Mak was at a higher magnification. It doesn't really matter to me though, because I did not find the difference to be earth-shattering. I still felt like I was looking through any old telescope, not a magical portal to another world as some would have you believe.

 

Anyway, if you're able to move past the single-minded focus on absolute maximum performance and consider the whole package and feature set (and price), little Maks are really tough to beat. I find the subtle differences in the view to be quite boring compared to the not-subtle differences in size or price. And besides, it seems silly for me to demand optical perfection from a scope when I am usually too lazy to take my scope to a field and instead look out over rooftops and asphalt.

Well said! The only point we differ on is your remark about “a magical portal to another word.” No telescope does that. It’s the mind-telescope connection that opens a portal to another world: not the eye-telescope connection.

 

At times, during public outreach sessions, I’ve come across a few people who had a rather ho-hum attitude after looking at outstanding views of Saturn or Jupiter. Their experience had nothing to do with the quality of my telescope or the quality of the views.  


  • treadmarks likes this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics