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Ode to joy of the SCT

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#51 TerryD23

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Posted 25 October 2019 - 09:41 PM

Jeff --- I agree.  I have been into backyard / amateur astronomy since 1958 - so you can bet I have owned a lot of scopes.

 

While I like most scopes (all types and sizes) the 8" SCT for me is perfect.  

 

I'm a visual observer (mostly DSO's) and must transport my scope to observing locations as my home is surrounded by large trees.  I'm also older with a bad back (DDD) and a 20# doctors orders lifting maximum weight.

 

The 8SE gives me exactly what I require --- it's compact, light weight, easy to transport, easy to set up, a snap to align and easy to break down.  Decent aperture (for DSO's), with 2032 FL plenty of magnification (when I need it - planets, doubles, etc.),  plenty of FOV (when I need it) especially when combined with a 2" diagonal, 2" wide-field EP's and the F6.3 focal reducer...for things like the "Double Cluster", "Orion Nebula", etc.   The scope does it all --- GRAB & GO, POWERFUL, High & Low magnification capability, etc., etc. etc.

How do you like the focal reducer?  Is there a noticeable  difference  when viewing?



#52 M11Mike

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 09:52 AM

Nice to see all you guys using the iOptron  Alt-Az Pro.

Just got mine recently for a new refractor I got - but found the 8" Celestron SCT likes the mount too.

 

M11Mike



#53 George N

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 11:36 AM

I suppose I know nothing about this subject! I own four Newts a 6", two 8s (F/8 & F/3.9) and a 20 inch, a 127mm APO, and a 10-inch RC Cass. But some of my best friends own SCTs!  ;)

 

I have looked thru a lot of SCTs -- of just about every size up to a C-14 (my local 'public observatory', which I have keys to, has had one since 1987 - recently replaced with an EdgeHD). So far, the ones I've liked the best are the C-9.25. I have one friend with the EdgeHD 9.25 -- but he is 'getting up there' in age, and this year finds he uses a 102mm APO more - for no other reason than it is easier to move and set up. I have another friend with a 9.25 Edge that he mostly uses for Hyperstar imaging - and he simply loves it.

Two long-time friends, husband/wife team of avid observers I met in 1995 at Stellafane -- They were 'Newbies' then - with a brand new C-8 on a fork mount. Three or four years later they were "obsessed" with their new Obsession 20 Dob. Fast forward to Stellafane 2019 (and CSSP 2019 and backyards, and...) -- I yet again enjoyed the views thru their big Dob. However -- they still own and regularly use the C-8 for nights when their Pennsylvania home is surrounded by snow and it's a clear night - or at their lake-side camp, where views of the sky require a carry down to the lakeshore. Both recently retired -- they have no plans to part with either scope anytime soon.

I have another avid observing friend - she has owned a C-8 since the early 1990's and uses it at her dark-sky summer home (SQM = 21.7). She has more than enough $$ to own several of the very highest cost amateur scopes -- and is a regular user of a C-14 Edge in the local public observatory (that she helped fund). She has no intention of getting anything other than her C-8 -- despite recently spending an evening at her home with Al & Judy Nagler using one of Al's 'electronic eyepieces' on a TV 101 for what she describes as providing "wonderful views".

 

Maybe I should buy an SCT.....  ;)


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#54 gnowellsct

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Posted 29 October 2019 - 06:37 AM

I sold them all. Tonight I was able to split Epsilon 1 lyrae Epsilon 2 lyrae the double double and it split it no problem. I would add it was pretty clean.


C8 is a great scope I own and use one with an apo on top. planetary detail in the c8 beats my 3 and 4 inch refractors and equals the five inch. It doesn't have to be an Edge to be good.

But my main reason to respond here is to note that splitting the double double is not a tough test of a scope. I had a severely astigmatic 4.25" Newt that could do it. 80mm refractors do it. It's sort of an if-you-can't-do-this-y'aint-in-the-game-test.
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#55 25585

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Posted 02 November 2019 - 12:15 PM

I have always thought the 8" EDGE might be one of the best scopes ever made.   In terms of all things considered, it could provide happiness well into retirement years on practically all targets. 

Hmm, Evolution or CPC Deluxe mount. I would be go for the latter to piggyback a frac probably #gnowellsct .



#56 yellobeard

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Posted 04 November 2019 - 10:53 PM

C8 is a great scope I own and use one with an apo on top. planetary detail in the c8 beats my 3 and 4 inch refractors and equals the five inch. It doesn't have to be an Edge to be good.

But my main reason to respond here is to note that splitting the double double is not a tough test of a scope. I had a severely astigmatic 4.25" Newt that could do it. 80mm refractors do it. It's sort of an if-you-can't-do-this-y'aint-in-the-game-test.

 

Very true !!

Here an example of how the 'uneven part' of the 'double double' looks like in my 16" SCT, pic is taken with my phone through the eye piece: of course, I could not prevent a small amount of turbulence distorting the image...

 

Screenshot_20191105-044511_Gallery.jpg  

 

Ohh, forgot to mention: My 2" Polarex (Unitron) refractor can split them too, barely, but thats not an SCT of course, so doesn't count here.


Edited by yellobeard, 04 November 2019 - 11:04 PM.


#57 gnowellsct

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 08:13 AM


You must have superb seeing to get those diffraction rings in a 16 inch...unless the tiny cell phone lens is responsible.

Very true !!
Here an example of how the 'uneven part' of the 'double double' looks like in my 16" SCT, pic is taken with my phone through the eye piece: of course, I could not prevent a small amount of turbulence distorting the image...

Screenshot_20191105-044511_Gallery.jpg

Ohh, forgot to mention: My 2" Polarex (Unitron) refractor can split them too, barely, but thats not an SCT of course, so doesn't count here.



#58 yellobeard

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 05:57 PM

There certainly is nothing wrong with the phone lens.. But I must admit that the amount of nights that have this quality is not big, however, I don't feel the right to complain about the the general quality of the nights in our back garden.

It also is the quality of the scope, and especially its insulation, that make these kind of resolutions possible. I worked on this scope for 3 years !

#59 gjanke

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 07:26 PM

It's sort of an if-you-can't-do-this-y'aint-in-the-game-test.


Exactly my point. I glad we can agree on that.

#60 Darren Drake

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 11:58 AM

I got this video pic of the double double 2.3 arcsecond split years ago with my 18.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 2018-03-17 08.08.29.png


#61 yellobeard

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 02:01 AM

Hi Darren, you wrote "with my 18". Is that 18" SCT??

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#62 George Methvin

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 06:18 AM

I have owned most types of scopes and I like then all but I have a soft spot for the sct. I own three scope as of now a Orion 14 inch goto dob a Celestron 8 and 6 sct and I have to say I use the C-8 most of the time its just a easy scope to set up and take down, it ride on a Nexstar SE mount and the C-8 show me most all the things I like to look at. I got the C-6 thinking is would be a good grab and go scope which it is but I have found the C-8 is also a great scope for that also. I love my Orion 14 but its just a little more trouble setting up and taking down but gives great views but its big and heavy lol. I have a funny feeling now at almost 68 years old the C-8 could up being the last scope I own in the end , even though I have to confess I have never owned a C-9.25 sct I am wondering what that would be like on a Evo goto mount would it be to heavy and would the views be so close to the C-8 that it would not be that big of a deal? Oh well there just always going to be one more thing lol.


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#63 George N

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 11:34 AM

…... I have to confess I have never owned a C-9.25 sct I am wondering what that would be like on a Evo goto mount would it be to heavy and would the views be so close to the C-8 that it would not be that big of a deal? Oh well there just always going to be one more thing lol.

Google is your friend -

- here is "c-8 edgehd vs c-9.25" that brings up four old CN discussions - which of course all end in "it depends", with no definitive conclusion, but hint at = if you have the $$, and can live with the extra few pounds, the standard 9.25 is a better 'visual' scope than the Edge 8, unless - you are really bothered by a little blurriness in the outer field using 82 or 100 degree eyepieces. The Edge 8 is probably a better scope if you really crave 'refractor-like' stars in the outer field of those Naglers, or you want to do prime-focus imaging. But.... there's really not a massive difference other than what the aperture difference provides  -- (https://www.google.c...131.2R-g_FAbasY)

More Google - leads to this review of the Evolution 9.25 by Brit magazine "AstronomyNow" (hint, they liked it - but the review was of an early production unit) -- (https://astronomynow...on-9-25-review/)

 

If it helps - Evolution is on sale thru Dec 31st. Both are around the same price, but the Edge 8 includes a StarSense, while the 9.25 is $100 less.


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#64 Astrojedi

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 01:00 PM

I have owned most types of scopes and I like then all but I have a soft spot for the sct. I own three scope as of now a Orion 14 inch goto dob a Celestron 8 and 6 sct and I have to say I use the C-8 most of the time its just a easy scope to set up and take down, it ride on a Nexstar SE mount and the C-8 show me most all the things I like to look at. I got the C-6 thinking is would be a good grab and go scope which it is but I have found the C-8 is also a great scope for that also. I love my Orion 14 but its just a little more trouble setting up and taking down but gives great views but its big and heavy lol. I have a funny feeling now at almost 68 years old the C-8 could up being the last scope I own in the end , even though I have to confess I have never owned a C-9.25 sct I am wondering what that would be like on a Evo goto mount would it be to heavy and would the views be so close to the C-8 that it would not be that big of a deal? Oh well there just always going to be one more thing lol.

I have owned and used both the C8 and the C9.25 for many years.

 

The views are close but there is definitely a difference in resolution and field illumination. For example you can see the difference on globular clusters and planetary / lunar performance. It is not huge but most things in this hobby are subtle so that is relative. We get excited over differences that non-astronomers cannot even perceive at the eyepiece. : )

 

I also find that the C9.25 presents a slightly flatter field visually as well as photographically with better field illumination for imaging. A lot of people claim this is not true but to my eyes (with nearly 2+ decades of experience) there is a significant difference. My imaging cameras also quite clearly show the difference.

 

If you are visual only and have a very good C8 with the newer XLT coatings I would recommend you stick with it as the mounting requirements for the 9.25 are different. It just tips over into a larger category which requires a much heavier / sturdier tripod with the Evo mount. For some folks this is ok but for me it noticeably changes the portability of the scope. This is why I still have a C8. 

 

And I can tell you this... Many scopes (some very premium ones) have come and gone but I have always had a C8 and it is a scope I will own till the end. That scope to me is just the most optimal balance of aperture, portability, ergonomics and versatility. And now the EdgeHD version has just made it even better as I can do imaging to my heart's content and enjoy refractor like views with my widefield EPs.

 

Hope this helps.


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#65 George Methvin

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 01:02 PM

Thanks George good info I may just have to fork out the cash and get a C-9.25 on a evo mount what the hell its only money.


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#66 George Methvin

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 01:18 PM

Very good point Astro in fact my C-8 xlt to me has very good optic I picked it up a few years ago on CN classified it was a ota off a Celestron CPC fork mounted setup. The scope was in very good condition and I have been very happy with the views through it. It rides well on the Nexstar SE and I added a JIM moto power focuser to help with the shakes and it works very well its a very good setup for casual viewing. I might want to just get a Evo mount and just put my C-8 on that lol or I might just want to just leave well enough alone if it not broke don't fix it.


Edited by George Methvin, 13 November 2019 - 01:21 PM.



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