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4" refractor; 127 Mak; or stay with TV 85?

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36 replies to this topic

#26 KerryR

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 02:05 PM

My question is where do you find the higher quality MAK everyone seems to mention?

One that is available and not trying to find a used one.

Well... Questar is available on demand, but not at 127mm, and not at prices most of us are going to endure.
 

This is probably the reason for the popularity of the Synta Maks: It's difficult to find other options, particularly in smaller apertures.

 

One simpler solution might be to go to a 150mm Synta Mak, the idea being that the extra aperture would help offset the mass-market-oriented optical shortcomings. Same could be said for a 6" SCT.

 

So what's the difference with the Explorer Scientific mak and a Skywatcher/ Orion maks?

f15 (ES) vs. f12 (Orion). Orion's are made by Synta, I'm not sure who does ES's manufacturing. Bresser supplies ES's scopes, but I'm not sure who makes Bresser; it's not Synta (or GSO.)

Generally, users have reported that the mechanics and finish, particularly the focus mechs, are better on Synta scopes than ES. Haven't heard optical complaints. I'm sure that optically, they're more similar than different (other than focal length). One might hope that the f15 was more forgiving of manufacturing tolerances.



#27 grif 678

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 05:15 PM

The 85 Televue is a good quality scope I owned one years ago, and regretted letting it go. It is much more easily managed that a 4 inch refractor, and more durable than a 127 mak, although the 127 maks are a wonderful planetary scope. Not a lot of difference, except the 85 will show much more FOV. Which one I had, I would just keep it, and not have seller's remorse later.


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#28 Cometeer

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 04:40 AM

f15 (ES) vs. f12 (Orion). Orion's are made by Synta, I'm not sure who does ES's manufacturing. Bresser supplies ES's scopes, but I'm not sure who makes Bresser; it's not Synta (or GSO.)

Generally, users have reported that the mechanics and finish, particularly the focus mechs, are better on Synta scopes than ES. Haven't heard optical complaints. I'm sure that optically, they're more similar than different (other than focal length). One might hope that the f15 was more forgiving of manufacturing tolerances.


The Meade and ES maks are manufactured by JOC.
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#29 Don Allen

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 07:44 AM

There is a used TV 101 in the classifieds at a very good price.
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#30 Astroduty#57

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 10:17 AM

telescope  ranger
Album: telescope
1 images
0 comments


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#31 Astroduty#57

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 10:20 AM

Thanks for all of the replies.

I will keep the TV ranger & 85 forever but may add a 4" refractor when my recent health scare is sorted.

The health scare happened after I created this post, which is my first post.

 

The photo above is my TV Ranger at WKU in Bowling Green, KY with my oldest child during the eclipse.

I live in a small town in KY and am probably the only active stargazer in my town. I bought the ranger from F.C. Meichsner Company in Feb. 2000.

How time flies!


Edited by Astroduty#57, 13 January 2020 - 10:30 AM.

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#32 Jared

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 11:01 AM

I have a televue ranger on a telepod mount which I have owned forever & a televue 85 which I purchased last year. The tv-85 is on a DV-1 mount from desert sky astro. Both are great!
For visual, would I notice any significant difference on planets with a 4" refractor or 127 Orion Mak from my Televue 85?
Thanks!


The short answer is, “Yes.”

The longer answer is that relatively small differences in aperture matter on planets when you are talking about small telescopes because seeing isn’t playing as large a role with small scopes as it does with bigger ones. So while a 7” vs 8” comparison may be pretty close, an 80mm vs 100mm is not. Will you suddenly be seeing vast amounts of detail where before you saw nothing? Of course not. But is the difference easy to detect? Absolutely. For example, I don’t even bother with the planets (except for the Moon) with my 60mm scope. The 80mm is fun but not all that satisfying. For me, 4” is where the planets start to get fun. Others might draw the line elsewhere—often higher. If there is a consensus, I think it would be that true planetary scopes start at around 6” of aperture (for refractors), but I suspect that’s more about where budgets top out rather than any actual dividing line. I really start to enjoy planetary views at 4”. The difference between 80mm and 4” is obvious. I don’t own an 85mm as it happens.

As to 127mm Mak vs 4” refractor... I find 4” refractors are still quite compact and portable, and the refractor will offer wide field views the Mak can’t match. The only downside to a refractor vs a Mak in this size class is that you’ll need shirt focal length eyepieces to get enough magnification for the planets, and short focal length eyepieces often have short eye relief. As long as you aren’t bothered by the idea of a Barlow, this problem goes away. My vote would be for the refractor. They should have similar light grasp and resolution once you account for the central obstruction and lower throughput of the mirrors, so I’d ignore the extra inch of aperture on the Mak.
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#33 Spikey131

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 01:09 PM

Consider moving up in aperture to 6 or 8 inches to improve your views.  

 

A C8 is relatively inexpensive and will complement your 85 more than compete with it.


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#34 Nippon

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 11:36 PM

There is a used TV 101 in the classifieds at a very good price.

Yeah I wish someone would buy that thing.


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#35 Erik Bakker

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 02:49 AM

After chasing the astronomical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for decades, with apertures starting from 40mm and ending at 403mm and most being considered high-end, I've found that a good 85mm refractor is very close to that pot of gold gramps.gif


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#36 Don Allen

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 08:20 AM

Yeah I wish someone would buy that thing.

   Give it some time...It will sell. 



#37 astro42

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 10:24 AM

I tried to buy the 101 but seller wouldn't return my messages?


Edited by astro42, 14 January 2020 - 10:37 AM.



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