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Comparative pictures of popular refractor sizes: TV-60, TV-76, TV-85, NP127is, F50, A62SS, ST80, ED100Sf, ED152CF, PF-65ED-AII, PF-80ED-A, 100ED

refractor equipment
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#1 Castor

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 11:30 PM

Hi,

 

I am a visual observer and occasionally Cloudy Nights members ask me if I can compare two of my scopes.  Unfortunately my English is not up to the task nor is my limited knowledge about optics.  But sometimes just looking at the relative size of a telescope in relation to another can be of help, so I decided to start a thread with pictures of my refractors arranged in sets according to various criteria.

 

Arranging multiple telescopes side by side on a table, taking pictures of them from different angles, then classifying, resizing and properly labeling the images is a time consuming venture so it will probably take me a while to post them here but eventually it will be done! wink.gif 


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#2 Castor

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 11:34 PM

My small, grab and go refractors (from 60mm to 85mm):

 

I thought I should dedicate the first set of pictures to my most used telescopes and the ones that I get asked about more often, my grab and go refractors.  Although I no longer use my Celestron 80mm f/5 NexStar achromatic refractor (same as the Orion Short Tube 80 or ST80) it was my first grab and go telescope and it’s a very familiar scope for many observers, so it’s good for size comparisons.  The length of the yellow measuring tape across the table is 21 inches (53.3 cm.) for scale.  The telescopes are arranged according to the length of their optical tube of with the dew shield retracted (except for the ST80 that is fixed), mostly coincident with their aperture too!  The telescope models included here are: Tele Vue TV-60 f/6 doublet, Pentax PF-65ED-AII spotting scope, Vixen A62SS f/8.4 4-element lens achro, Tele Vue TV-76 f/6.3 doublet, Celestron NexStar 80 f/4 achro (ST80), Pentax PF-80ED-A spotting scope, Tele Vue TV-85 f/7 doublet.

 

From left to right in the picture with dew shield retracted (fixed on the ST80): TV-60, PF-65ED-AII, A62SS, TV-76, ST80, PF-80ED-A and TV-85.

Attached Thumbnails

  • TV60+PF-65ED-AII+TV76+ST80+PF-80ED-A+TV85-crop-1470x861_142532.jpg

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#3 Castor

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 11:36 PM

From left to right in the picture with dew shield extended (fixed on the ST80): TV-60, PF-65ED-AII, A62SS, TV-76, ST80, PF-80ED-A and TV-85.

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • TV60+PF-65ED-AII+A62SS+TV76+ST80+PF-80ED-A+TV85-extended-1470x873_142844.jpg

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#4 Castor

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 11:38 PM

From left to right in the picture: TV-60, PF-65ED-AII, A62SS, TV-76, ST80, PF-80ED-A and TV-85.

Attached Thumbnails

  • TV60+PF-65ED-AII+A62SS+TV76+ST80+PF-80ED-A+TV85-crop-1400x618_145206.jpg
  • TV60+PF-65ED-AII+A62SS+TV76+ST80+PF-80ED-A+TV85-crop-997x273_144654.jpg

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#5 Castor

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 11:39 PM

From left to right in the picture: TV-85, PF80ED-A, ST80, TV-76, A62SS, PF-65ED-AII and TV-60.

Attached Thumbnails

  • TV85+PF-80ED-A+ST80+TV76+A62SS+PF-65ED-AII+TV60-1470x861_150859.jpg

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#6 Castor

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 11:42 PM

From left to right in the picture: TV-85, PF80ED-A, ST80, TV-76, A62SS, PF-65ED-AII and TV-60.

Attached Thumbnails

  • TV85+PF-80ED-A+ST80+TV76+A62SS+PF-65ED-AII+TV60-crop-1400x547_150409.jpg
  • TV85+PF-80ED-A+ST80+TV76+A62SS+PF-65ED-AII+TV60-crop-1400x383_150023.jpg

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#7 Castor

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 11:43 PM

From front to back in the picture: TV-85, PF80ED-A, ST80, TV-76, A62SS, PF-65ED-AII and TV-60.

Attached Thumbnails

  • TV85+PF-80ED-A+ST80+TV76+A62SS+PF-65ED-AII+TV60-crop-1071x1325_151007.jpg

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#8 Castor

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 11:44 PM

From front to back in the picture: TV-60, PF-65ED-AII, A62SS, TV-76, ST80, PF-80ED-A and TV-85.

Attached Thumbnails

  • TV60+PF-65ED-AII+TV76+ST80+PF-80ED-A+TV85-crop-947x1325_151238.jpg

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#9 Castor

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 11:46 PM

My dual purpose small refractors scopes for terrestrial and casual Astronomy (from 60mm to 80mm):

 

When doing terrestrial viewing from my home or for multi-purpose use (terrestrial, aerial, astro, etc.) when travelling light, I usually take with me my little TV-60 scope on a photo tripod or one of my Pentax angled spotting scopes that are compatible with most standard 1.25” astronomical eyepieces.  I have noticed that some observers like to take their spotting scopes for doing casual Astronomy to places where they would rather not take their valued astronomical telescopes –count me as one of them!  I included my Celestron version of the popular Orion ST80 f/5 achro refractor to serve as a reference for scale.  The length of the yellow measuring tape across the table is 21 inches (53.3 cm.).  The telescope models included here are: Tele Vue TV-60 f/6 doublet, Pentax PF-65ED-AII spotting scope, Pentax PF-80ED-A spotting scope and Celestron NexStar 80 f/4 achro (ST80).

 

From left to right in the picture with dew shield retracted (fixed on the ST80): TV-60, PF-65ED-AII, PF-80ED-A and ST80.

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • TV60+PF-65ED-AII+PF-80ED-A+ST80-1600x960_152732.jpg

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#10 Castor

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 11:47 PM

From left to right in the picture: TV-60, PF-65ED-AII, PF-80ED-A and ST80.

Attached Thumbnails

  • TV60+PF-65ED-AII+PF-80ED-A+ST80-1425x855_153148.jpg

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#11 Castor

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 11:48 PM

From left to right in the picture: TV-60, PF-65ED-AII, PF-80ED-A and ST80.

Attached Thumbnails

  • TV60+PF-65ED-AII+PF-80ED-A+ST80-1470x882_153259.jpg

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#12 Castor

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 11:49 PM

From left to right in the picture: ST80, PF80ED-A, PF-65ED-AII and TV-60.

Attached Thumbnails

  • ST80+PF-80ED-A+PF-65ED-AII+TV60-1450x870_153620.jpg

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#13 Castor

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 11:50 PM

From left to right in the picture: ST80, PF80ED-A, PF-65ED-AII and TV-60.

Attached Thumbnails

  • ST80+PF-80ED-A+PF-65ED-AII+TV60-1500x900_153510.jpg

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#14 Castor

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 11:51 PM

From front to back in the picture: ST80, PF80ED-A, PF-65ED-AII and TV-60.

Attached Thumbnails

  • ST80+PF-80ED-A+PF-65ED-AII+TV60-1350x810_153925.jpg

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#15 Castor

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 11:53 PM

From front to back in the picture: TV-60, PF-65ED-AII, PF-80ED-A and ST80.

Attached Thumbnails

  • TV60+PF-65ED-AII+PF80-ED-A+ST80-1350x810_153744.jpg

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#16 Nippon

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 11:54 PM

Nice photos Castor. That's a very varied collection.


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#17 Castor

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 12:46 AM

Nice photos Castor. That's a very varied collection.

Thank you Paul, it only has taken me over a quarter of a century to gather them, he,he! lol.gif

 

Seriously, I hope that someone wondering about refractor sizes finds it useful, that’s the whole purpose of this thread.


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#18 UT_JimW

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 01:44 AM

You mention taking a spotting scope for casual astronomy rather than a valued scope.   How do you feel the PF-65ED compares to the PF-80ED and how do they both compare to the TV-60.  Do you use other 1.25" eyepieces rather than the zooms if using the spotters for astronomy, or do you use the Pentax eyepieces?


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#19 Castor

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 03:27 AM

You mention taking a spotting scope for casual astronomy rather than a valued scope.   How do you feel the PF-65ED compares to the PF-80ED and how do they both compare to the TV-60.  Do you use other 1.25" eyepieces rather than the zooms if using the spotters for astronomy, or do you use the Pentax eyepieces?

 

Hi Jim,

 

The TV-60 is the telescope that introduced me to the joys of terrestrial viewing but sometime later I purchased the Pentax PF-65ED-AII to take its place for this task and now I use the TV-60 exclusively for Astronomy.  The reason is simple: I can put the little but sturdy PF-65ED in a small backpack and take it on a tour to the mountains without worrying about dust, rain, fog or bumping it against a tree, not so with my TV-60.

 

For Astronomy from the wild outdoors I prefer the greater light gathering and resolution offered by the bigger Pentax, the PF-80ED-A so that’s what I normally take with me.  I am fortunate to own various Pentax XW and XF eyepieces and I found that the XWs are a great match for the PF-80ED-A.  They are excellent on the PF-65ED-AII scope too, but they are a little bulky and when I travel light I prefer to take a small Tele Vue 8-24mm zoom eyepiece with it and perhaps my new ES 26mm 62-deg eyepiece for the wide fields.  When I travel with the PF-80ED-A I normally use a Pentax XL 8-24mm Zoom as my main eyepiece and also carry a 20mm XW for the low power panoramic views.  The zoom is so convenient that I don’t bother to bring the other XWs!   When I’m home, for casual Astronomy I prefer to use the TV-60 for quick peeks at the night sky or my regular grab and go refractor, the TV-76.  At home I only use the Pentax scopes for terrestrial viewing and birding.

 

If you mean to ask how these three scopes compare for Astronomy, I would say that the TV-60 provides textbook stellar and planetary images and I can normally take it to 120x with a 3mm TV Radian for planetary or double star observing -I have even taken it to stupid powers with a TV 2-4mm zoom eyepiece without experiencing image breakdown –very dim views of course at these mags because of the diminutive exit pupil!  The Pentax spotting scopes provide nice low and medium power views of the night sky (without intrusive vignetting at low power), virtually free from chromatic aberration but stellar images are not textbook perfect, there is the slightest flaring on bright stars and the bright planets.  Both Pentax scopes provide similar views, it’s just that the PF-80ED-A has greater reach than the PF-65ED-AII showing dimmer stars and more detail on deep sky objects.  IMO the Pentax spotting scopes are not suitable for planetary observing even when using short FL eyepieces, there are simply too many optical elements in the light path that hamper the ability of the nice ED glass to provide clean high magnification views of these objects.  But then I don’t travel to wild remote places with pitch dark skies to watch the planets! grin.gif

 

I believe the Pentax 65ED and 80ED spotting scopes complement each other instead of competing among them, mostly because of the large size difference.  But if I could own only one, it would definitely be the PF-80ED-A, no doubt about it –that’s exactly the scope that I purchased first.  If my main activity was hiking on wild trails and climbing mountains, the obvious choice would be PF-65ED-AII!


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#20 Erik Bakker

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 05:21 AM

Wonderful pictures and very illustrative of the relative sizes and appearances of these  telescopes.

 

Now we await similarly beautiful pictures of your 100mm and bigger scopes laugh.gif


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#21 Erik Bakker

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 05:24 AM

Love the looks of the TV85 but am also impressed by the relative compactness of the TV76.


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#22 UT_JimW

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 12:24 PM

Castor,

 

Thank you for your explanation of your use of the scopes and various eyepieces.  I like Pentax - actually have their camera gear - but unfortunately do not have their spotting scopes as yet - my best is a Vanguard 80ED, which I have only used with it's zoom eyepiece (it did do well spotting wolves in Yellowstone over a mile away, but I don't think I can use other eyepieces with it, however).   I used the Celestron version of the ST80 a bit to watch stars while on overnight fisheries projects, but since gave that to a sister after I picked up a AT72ED, which I haven't had time to use much.  I also have a Mak and SCT (which I have to learn to collimnate better). I am a biologist by training (currently do fish) dabbling in Astronomy, but hope to do much more field viewing of both when I retire soon.  The Pentax XW20 is the one Pentax eyepiece I own so far, although I have thought of picking up the 7mm on sale.  Your information was very helpful.  Thank you!

 

Jim


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#23 Mike W

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 12:53 PM

All my TV scopes, 1st-TV102 on TV HD5 mount, 2nd ……………………………..

 

5.jpg


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#24 contrailmaker

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 01:22 PM

Thanks for the pictures and the text on the Pentax scopes Castor.  These spotters have been on my short list for quite a while but there’s almost no information about them with respect to astronomical observing.

 

CM


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#25 contrailmaker

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 01:37 PM

Here is my new Stowaway next to the TV76 before the TV went to it’s new owner.

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  • DFF41F83-EF26-45F9-BBF9-9E159D6D5DC5.jpeg
  • 6932273C-2576-4733-98FE-87A4AABB3A77.jpeg

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