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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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#26 Castor

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 01:52 PM

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

 

Thank you very much Erik, I highly value your opinion! waytogo.gif

 

Unfortunately the pictures for 100mm and bigger scopes will have to wait!  I only have time for these extended “telescope photo sessions” on weekends and right now (midday) a thunderstorm is raging outside, talk about cloudy days! storm.gif 


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#27 Castor

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 01:54 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

 

You are welcome Jim and thank you for the kind words, fine people like you with inquiring minds are the reason for my posts! smile.gif

 

I checked on the Vanguard, a very nice looking scope and you are so fortunate to be able to use it to full advantage with your scientific background -Wow, spotting wolves in Yellowstone!   The AT72ED is a very good scope, I have looked through one from a friend on many occasions and I like the quality of the views.  A month ago I started a thread about using SCTs for terrestrial viewing in low light conditions and included a few pictures of plants as a sampler of what can be seen through these scopes looking at objects 1km (0.6 miles) away.  The quality of the pictures is very poor but it’s better than any of my drawings!  I probably made a couple of mistakes identifying the scientific names  (the Red Ginger and the Tropical Almond Tree) but fortunately no one noticed, he, he!  Here is a link to the thread:

 

https://www.cloudyni...ght-conditions/

 

I consider the Pentax XWs as one of my best investments in observing equipment, they are my default eyepieces for serious planetary observing with my SCTs and they are also outstanding for terrestrial viewing with all my scopes, spotters or astronomical!



#28 Castor

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 01:57 PM

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

 

attachicon.gif 5.jpg

Mike, you know, the Tele Vue TV-102 is my dream scope and I could be happy for the rest of my life with it as my only telescope... drool5.gif

 

…well, that one and my beloved TV-76! love.gif 


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#29 Castor

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 02:26 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

 

 

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

 

Thank you Contrailmaker,

 

I have missed reading your posts on the refractor forum but I see that you have been busy, wow a Stowaway still with the smell of a brand new scope, congratulations my friend! bow.gif  I’m sorry to see your TV-76 go, but you still have your trusty TV-60 and I’m sure the TV-76 will be well loved by its new owner! smile.gif

 

Yes the Pentax are nice scopes still made in Japan AFAIK (at least that’s what my PF-80ED-A has engraved with gold letters in the name plate and my PF-65ED-AII has on a clear sticker under the foot, both purchased last year) and the fact that they are fully compatible with every 1.25” XW, XL and XF Pentax eyepiece makes them very desirable for people keen on doing both, amateur Astronomy and terrestrial observing!  It’s a good thing that Pentax gives you the option to buy their spotting scopes with or without an eyepiece, I could not have afforded to buy the complete package at once!

 

Take good care and thanks for sharing the pictures of your gorgeous Stowaway!


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#30 Castor

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 02:37 PM

Thank you all for those kind “likes” that I have received, I appreciate them! flowerred.gif 


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#31 Mike W

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 05:12 PM

Mike, you know, the Tele Vue TV-102 is my dream scope and I could be happy for the rest of my life with it as my only telescope... drool5.gif

 

…well, that one and my beloved TV-76! love.gif 

Mine too! It's actually my 2nd one, the first I sold when I thought I was dying but didn't die so had to buy another! If I had as many scopes as you I would be paralyzed with "which scope" and never make it out the door!!!lol.gif 


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#32 Castor

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 05:33 PM

Mine too! It's actually my 2nd one, the first I sold when I thought I was dying but didn't die so had to buy another! If I had as many scopes as you I would be paralyzed with "which scope" and never make it out the door!!!lol.gif

Well, I’m so very glad that you are still with us and you got a second chance to have a TV-102 too! smile.gif

 

Since most of the time it’s cloudy or partially clouded I don’t have much trouble deciding, depending on  my “cloudiness index” it’s either the TV-60, the TV-76 or the ED100Sf f/9 refractor, all permanently setup on Alt-Az mounts and ready to go!

 

The real problem is when it’s clear and I don’t see a cloud in any direction, then it’s Paralysis by Analysis! hmm.gif 


Edited by Castor, 22 September 2019 - 05:34 PM.

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#33 scotsman328i

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 08:58 AM

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.

Castor, you have a gorgeous array of refractors! bow.gif  I know you love each and everyone of them! waytogo.gif


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#34 Castor

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 05:47 PM

Castor, you have a gorgeous array of refractors! bow.gif  I know you love each and everyone of them! waytogo.gif

Thank you Scotsman328i, I do indeed, of course within the context of our hobby (as in loving refractors) and I know that’s what you mean! smile.gif 


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#35 ckwastro

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 06:55 PM

Agreed. Very nice inventory of refractors! Looking forward to seeing that NP 127!


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#36 Castor

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 07:51 PM

Agreed. Very nice inventory of refractors! Looking forward to seeing that NP 127!

 

Thank you ckwastro!

 

Hopefully when I get a free weekend without rain I’ll be able to take a few pictures of the NP127is and its companions! wink.gif 


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#37 zjc26138

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 08:07 PM

Castor,

 

Beautiful scopes you have!

 

Thanks for doing a comparison photo.  It's nice to get to see the relative size of all these scopes!

 

I think if I could get one more refractor it would be a TV-76. Seems like the perfect compromise between portability and  aperture.


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#38 Spikey131

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 08:12 PM

Castor,

 

Beautiful scopes you have!

 

Thanks for doing a comparison photo.  It's nice to get to see the relative size of all these scopes!

 

I think if I could get one more refractor it would be a TV-76. Seems like the perfect compromise between portability and  aperture.

That was my conclusion, so I bought one.

 

I was right.


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#39 gnowellsct

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 08:35 PM

Here's another fleet....two have been sold...bottom right to top

 

Vixen ED81s

CFF 92 f/6.9

Stellarvue LOMO 102mm f/6.4

Vixen ED102SS f/6.5

GT130 f/6.3

 

The vixen 102 and the Stellarvue are sold.   I may be getting another 92 mm one of these years.

 

Greg N

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#40 Castor

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 01:08 AM

Castor,

 

Beautiful scopes you have!

 

Thanks for doing a comparison photo.  It's nice to get to see the relative size of all these scopes!

 

I think if I could get one more refractor it would be a TV-76. Seems like the perfect compromise between portability and  aperture.

 

 

That was my conclusion, so I bought one.

 

I was right.

 

Thank you zjc26138, with pleasure! smile.gif I enjoy looking at pictures of telescopes and observing equipment, so I try to contribute too by sharing photos of my gear.

 

I always wanted a Pronto telescope for its compact size, excellent build quality and its aesthetics, but when I was in a position to afford a small Tele Vue doublet I went for the TV-85 instead (for its additional aperture) and in the 12 years that I have owned it has become my most used telescope!  Even so, I could never let go of my fascination for the smaller TV scope and last year anticipating my impending shortage of disposable income I made a final effort and purchased a TV-76 and a TV-60 as my ultimate grab and go scopes.  A year later I know that I made the right decision (just like Spikey 131!) and currently the TV-76 is my most used telescope complemented nicely by the little TV-60.  I still keep the TV-85, but now it’s my dedicated travel scope.

 

One thing that I have learned after owning both telescopes (TV-76 and TV-85) is to never question an observer’s preference for either model because both have pros and cons depending on the point of view, to each their own and everyone is happy! waytogo.gif 


Edited by Castor, 25 September 2019 - 01:08 AM.

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#41 Castor

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 01:15 AM

Here's another fleet....two have been sold...bottom right to top

 

Vixen ED81s

CFF 92 f/6.9

Stellarvue LOMO 102mm f/6.4

Vixen ED102SS f/6.5

GT130 f/6.3

 

The vixen 102 and the Stellarvue are sold.   I may be getting another 92 mm one of these years.

 

Greg N

Thank you Greg, that’s an impressive collection of top notch refractors! bow.gif 


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#42 Mihai

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 04:56 AM

How does the Vixen ED81s compare to the much more expensive CFF 92 f/6.9 ?

#43 Castor

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 10:49 PM

Looking forward to seeing that NP 127!

 

 

Hopefully when I get a free weekend without rain I’ll be able to take a few pictures of the NP127is and its companions! wink.gif 

 

In the meantime here is a group photo from last year of my Tele Vue refractors (including the NP127is) to give you a general idea of their respective sizes.

 

 

From left to right: TV-85 on Panoramic mount, NP127is on Gibraltar5 mount, TV-60 on photo tripod and TV-76 on Tele-Pod mount.

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#44 Erik Bakker

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 05:52 AM

Lovely TV family picture. That NP127 on it's mount looks both incredible and inviting to take out under the stars to me.


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#45 Castor

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 07:04 PM

Lovely TV family picture. That NP127 on it's mount looks both incredible and inviting to take out under the stars to me.

 

Thank you Erik!

 

You have a good point about how inviting is to have a 5-inch refractor on an Alt-Az mount readily available that you can pick up in one trip to the backyard and be observing within seconds! ubetcha.gif

 

But sometimes we are hardheaded (talking only about me!) and like to complicate our lives!  I currently have my NP127is setup on a Losmandy D-type dovetail plate for using it on a non-goto Losmandy GM8 EQ mount and heavy tripod (see picture attached).  When observing, I love the beauty and simplicity of star hopping with my telescopes, but with the larger ones I also prefer having a clock drive for planetary observing and that’s simply not possible with a non-goto Alt-Az mount.

 

The result of opting for a moderately heavy EQ mount for my NP127is that requires counterweights, precise balancing and a good power source to operate, is to have a less inviting prospect to take out under the stars, but hey it’s only a hobby!  Right? shrug.gif 

 

Or perhaps I am only a bit grumpy because it's raining as usual! lol.gif 

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#46 ckwastro

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 07:21 PM

Gorgeous scopes. Drooling over that 127!


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#47 Castor

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 09:23 PM

Gorgeous scopes. Drooling over that 127!

 

Thank you ckwastro, the same goes for your beautiful classic 92mm Stowaway! drool5.gif 


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#48 fate187

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Posted 28 September 2019 - 10:39 AM

Awesome thread! I lined the "boyz" foryour viewing pleasure lol.gif

Top image from top to bottom: CFF 185 oil space triplet, LZOS 130 f/9 triplet, LZOS 123 f/6 triplet, SW 120 Equinox.

The small LZOS is as heavy as its larger brother at round 10kg. The tube of the 130 is kruppax, so very light for its size.

 

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#49 fate187

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Posted 28 September 2019 - 10:41 AM

"breakfast is ready" :D. See the different colors from the AR-coatings from the lens assemblys.

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#50 fate187

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Posted 28 September 2019 - 10:43 AM

And to finish the cat- or spacewalk: the focuser end. CFF with 3.5" Feathertouch, LZOS130 2.5" FT, LZOS123 3" FT, SW120 Equinox is SW-brand focuser.

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Edited by fate187, 28 September 2019 - 10:44 AM.

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