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Travel Optics

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#1 AtlasAxe

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 03:33 PM

I'm likely going to be on a long-duration work trip to Costa Rica. I absolutely will take my 10x50 binoculars, but since I'll have weekends to do things, I'm thinking of a small scope to go with. I have a spotting scope, but it's a bit heavy, and I'm leaning towards a simple refractor travel scope like the Meade 80mm Adventure scope + better diagonal, and taking some of my eyepieces with. Does that sound like a good option?  I have to make a decision on short notice and get it to me quickly in Oregon.



#2 petert913

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 03:49 PM

AT60 ED  !!



#3 AtlasAxe

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 04:33 PM

AT60 ED  !!

I would love that scope, but it's outside my budget for this trip. I should have stated that. Below $200 for sure, ~$100 would be ideal. Also, time is essential, has to be at my door this week.



#4 bridgman

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 05:13 PM

Do you already have a tripod, or does the quality of the tripod/mount that comes with the scope matter ? If you will be using the tripod/mount that comes with the scope then I get the impression that the Meade Infinity 80mm gives you the same OTA and a better mount for not much more $$. 

 

If you already have a tripod/mount then one option might be the C90 - there have been some really good deals on those recently. Otherwise something like the Meade 80mm Adventure (which seems to be a good example of generic 80 ST according to reviews) or ES Firstlight 90mm is probably as good as it's going to get. The C90 has a pretty long FL (1250mm IIRC) so it's not going to give you really wide fields but it might pair up well with your binoculars. 

 

Finally if you don't mind more bulk there seem to be a lot of 4.5" Newtonians that aren't any longer than the refractors we are discussing, eg:

 

https://explorescien...ts/fl-n114500tn

 

EDIT - watch out for slippery slope... I see more pics than I would have expected of Adventure 80mm scopes with upgraded focuser, upgraded mount, upgraded tripod, 2" diagonal and expensive eyepieces smile.gif

 

BTW it's not 100% clear if the tripod that comes with the Adventure / Infinity 80 uses a standard 1/4-20 bolt between tripod and scope, but if it does and you don't have a tripod adapter for your binoculars you might want to think about getting one of those as well. 


Edited by bridgman, 10 October 2019 - 12:37 AM.


#5 mrsjeff

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 05:55 PM

I think you have the right idea with the Meade 80 adventure scope. It’s cheap, easy to get your hands on, and will travel well because it’s pretty lightweight. Just don’t depend on the tripod that comes packaged with it—by all accounts it’s completely terrible.

#6 AtlasAxe

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 07:47 PM

Do you already have a tripod, or does the quality of the tripod/mount that comes with the scope matter ? If you will be using the tripod/mount that comes with the scope then I get the impression that the Infinity gives you a better mount for not much more $$.

 

If you already have a tripod/mount then one option might be the C90 - there have been some really good deals on those recently. Otherwise something like the Meade 80mm Adventure (which seems to be a good example of generic 80 ST according to reviews) or ES Firstlight 90mm is probably as good as it's going to get. The C90 has a pretty long FL (1250mm IIRC) so it's not going to give you really wide fields but it might pair up well with your binoculars.

 

EDIT - watch out for slippery slope... I see more pics than I would have expected of Adventure 80mm scopes with upgraded focuser, upgraded mount, upgraded tripod, 2" diagonal and expensive eyepieces smile.gif

 

BTW it's not 100% clear if the tripod that comes with the Adventure / Infinity 80 uses a standard 1/4-20 bolt between tripod and scope, but if it does and you don't have a tripod adapter for your binoculars you might want to think about getting one of those as well. 

I have tripod options, and since I'm doing photography also, was thinking of bringing a better one.

 

Question: Infinity?

C90 looks awesome. Definitely thinking about that option. May be the simplest if I'm taking my own tripod. It would be a great scope as grab and go with my current mount.

I've already seen the slippery slope. That isn't happening for this trip. It could happen after, because I tinker. ;-)

 

That mead has some sort of quick mount. I have a bino adapter. Question is can the quick mount be moved to another tripod. mrsjeff indicated the tripod isn't great.
 

Got home and looked it up. My spotting scope is this:

https://www.opticspl...ting-scope.html

Mine is the kit version with tripod. Talk about crap tripods! I am thinking I might go out back with it tonight and look at a couple of things (moon, jupiter/saturn, to see how it is. I think having eyepieces/filters is a preferred setup for me though.



#7 bridgman

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 12:51 AM

Question: Infinity?

Sorry - Meade Infinity 80 - believe it's the same OTA but slightly better mount. Haven't used either but the Infinity mount seems to suck less. 

 

https://www.meade.co...-refractor.html

 

If you are thinking about bringing your own tripod then I would stick with the Adventure - all indications are that the OTA is the same.


Edited by bridgman, 10 October 2019 - 12:52 AM.


#8 AtlasAxe

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 01:01 AM

I decidedly to go with the C90. Ended up going over by buying a better compact tripod. While I have a good tripod, it’s too big for plane travel. Our only compact in the house was cheaply made.

I’m justifying the tripod as not being just for the scope, but for photography and the binoculars also. The tripod converts to monopod also.
  • Binojunky and mrsjeff like this

#9 Binojunky

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 02:30 PM

I have both the C90 (current version) and the Meade Adventure (ST80)scope, both come with a mix of accessories, some are useful some are a bit poor. The C90 is the better scope for high magnification, the ST80 for wide field use. The C90 worked out of the box , the ST80 needed a bit of work due to annoying reflections, I removed the focuser (three screws) and found the inside was painted with the same glossy grey hammer finish paint that the outside was painted. 

Three light coats of flat black from a spray can fixed that also it covered the focuser tube which was bright anodised aluminium, several screws protruded into the light path, they were replaced with shorter ones painted flat black.

               The housing was replaced again and other than painting the heads of the screws (they are mild steel and poorly plated) to stop any light rust down the road and putting a small washer under each it was time to try it out, on a 3/4 full moon the annoying reflections were gone and I found that I could push it to about x100 with maybe a bit more left, D.




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