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What influences your choices of refractor aperture and optics most?

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34 replies to this topic

#26 Bowlerhat

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 04:14 AM

Mainly price first. refractors are expensive. Sometimes a cheap OTA does not mean cheap extensions, fittings, and accessories. 

 

Second is overall portability, I like small refractors for grab and go. I'm not buying a new scope only to let it sit in the box because finding out that my mount is not suitable enough.

 

Third is optics, mainly because when it's great at low powers sometimes you just want to swing it around to see the planets. Better correction too for photos.

 

Hence fourth is the aperture. With great optics, it can compensate for the power somewhat, so I'm not that concerned. Besides, it's also tied with portability.

 

Lastly is finding out problems and reviews. What problems it has based on other's experience, that might pop up in the long run. Add that to the price equation for any additional tweaks or accessories needed.


Edited by Bowlerhat, 19 August 2019 - 06:17 AM.

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#27 25585

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 05:55 AM

I have got to say this last month I have been mulling over what type of 4" refractor I will get, because I do think that 4" is the sweet-spot in several respects, my lower 85mm is nice but lacks grasp; the 5" is big. So I feel the 4" is a sweet spot. and as much as I have been mulling this over, I cannot find anything out there right now as a better deal than that ST Access 102. 

 

I think that refractor must have it all, except the CA.  I think the 101mm is good for visual and good for imaging.  

 

I may not be ready to buy until mid week and I hope they still have some then.

120mm is a sweet spot, 4.5". Halfway between 4 & 5". A bit more brightness, and depending on model, no more weight.

 

Focal length is a criterion, I like long enough to allow decent magnifications with my longer FL eyepieces, but not so long as to make handling and use awkward. So 900mm is the ideal. My TV Genesis and travel scopes aside, I own 4 900mm refractors, 2 100mm, 2 120mm. 100x magnification with my 9mm Morpheus is perfect, and for up to 150x (after which hand guiding gets too shaky), I have adequate eyepieces with enough eye relief.

 

The mount issue can be a bit double edged. Buy a sturdier mount for existing telescopes, and it can lead to a bigger refractor, out of the question before.  


Edited by 25585, 19 August 2019 - 06:11 AM.


#28 jag767

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 05:58 AM

Hmm...

Probably goes something like this.

Is the size useful for how i want to observe with it?

Is the optical quality going to produce excellent views compared to others in its class?

Is the cost aligned with my budget/its quality?

Do i need it?

Perfect example. I sold my AT106, to go to a sw120ed. Ended up returning the 120 (long story), and had intended to purchase another one. Whilst in this process, I read up on the 102mm f11ed out there, and more or less went through that checklist. As it all checked out, ecpecially the value ($625 out the door for views some very credible forum members are raving about) it became a no brainer.

Thats my process anyhow.

#29 25585

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 06:23 AM

optical figure , quality

Price doesn’t matter not because I am rich ( I am not , far from it )
Of course I have set limits , but it is not the deciding factor.

Never in my life I thought that I would order a TOA , once I went through my hurdles it was the best decision I made in this hobby so far. There are manufacturers with claims in this hobby and there are a couple who don’t have to

I never had a new car in my life , so I allow myself to let loose and satisfy my desires in astro gear.

My TSA120 was on rebound from a TOA130. The latter is too heavy, and would have needed a new mount. So by cutting 10mm of aperture, I saved a lot of money. A repeat life lesson mirroring my passing up a 125 AP a long time ago for the same reason.



#30 Jason B

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 10:10 AM

For me it mostly boils down to will I use it?  I don't mean every night but over the course of a month, will it get some use. I see my scope line up changing slightly in the future for various reasons but for now, that is the main question I ask myself. Being both an imager and a visual guy, I feel that I currently have 5 scopes that pretty much fit the bill on everything I like to do. 

 

It helps that I also have the scopes at the Fox Observatory available to me as well so I haven't made a significant scope purchase in quite a while. 


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#31 Swanny

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 10:54 AM

1. I look within a pool of manufacturers I trust.
2. Aperture
3. Weight
4. Then I see if I can afford it or need to look more at the used market.

We all have a budget. But I like to buy once cry once at this point. As I have to wheel out from home and then place the OTA on the scope, weight is a factor. So I know I am aperture limited. Would I like a larger scope? Yes. But I wouldn’t like lifting it as I get older. Why I will probably end up with a toa130 instead of 150.
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#32 Richard Whalen

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 11:16 AM

For me:

 

Optical quality (figure)

Aperture

Mechanical quality

CA control

 

As I have a couple of large mounts on piers size and weight does not mean much as long as they will fit inside my observatory. For my outside pier it does matter, limit is around 45# and 82".

 

Also would vary for intended use. Visual verses imaging, wide field verses planets/solar/lunar. Also as I have other scope designs that are specialized for imaging and planetary visual that effects my priorities.


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#33 Tyson M

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 01:43 PM

For me:

 

Optical quality (figure)

Aperture

Mechanical quality

CA control

 

As I have a couple of large mounts on piers size and weight does not mean much as long as they will fit inside my observatory. For my outside pier it does matter, limit is around 45# and 82".

 

Also would vary for intended use. Visual verses imaging, wide field verses planets/solar/lunar. Also as I have other scope designs that are specialized for imaging and planetary visual that effects my priorities.

This would be my list as well, in that order of priority.


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#34 IMB

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 02:03 PM

1. Use case - what specific observing need is addressed by a new piece of equipment that is not covered by my current equipment

 

2. Mounting requirements, convenience of operation

 

3. Optical and mechanical quality

 

4. Price

 

Couldn't care less about brand or country of origin.


Edited by IMB, 19 August 2019 - 02:05 PM.

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#35 jeremiah2229

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 11:31 PM

She who must be obeyed !

 

Were it not for that, I would be getting a TEC 250mm and a suitable mount...

 

Until a couple of days ago all my refractors came with a pastel green focuser, now I have one that came with a black one, but really different reasons for scopes that are used for different purposes.

The new APM will be an outreach scope and I wanted a reasonable aperture and quality at a reasonable price..

Pretty slick excuse for more gear... "I'm thinking of them and only them".   waytogo.gif

 

 

Peace...


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