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AP 6" f12 Super Planetary Lens Issue

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#51 Terra Nova

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 06:06 AM

With my 6” f9 AP, I was happy for many years with University Koenigs. 32mm, 24mm, 16mm, and a 7mm Nagler. Lately I’ve been really enjoying a 41mm Panoptic. It gives a wonderfully wide field (all of M31 and both companions, for example). I’ve been thinking about adding a couple of other Panoptic sizes, and also trying a 4mm Delite that I have for another scope. I never really liked a 4.8mm Nagler with it, but the Delite has better eye relief. 
 

Chip W.

Delites are always a delight! I have the 4mm and 3mm that I use with my TV Genesis SDF. They are nice eyepieces. You would enjoy the 4mm I'm sure. It's very sharp and has good eye-relief.



#52 stephenws

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 08:38 PM

I've had the AP 6" f12 out several times viewing Jupiter and Saturn, and seeing more detail than I have ever seen with any other scope. Visually, it seems to easily out-perform 10" and 11" SCTs as well as a 7" Mak. I don't know if this says more about the quality of the AP scope, or that the SCTs weren't collimated very well.

 

I'm having pretty good luck supporting the scope with a Losmandy G11. I spent a lot of time getting all the backlash out of the worm-gear meshing and everything else is tightened as much as possible. The only time I have trouble is when the wind kicks up and then I lose some of the fine detail I've been seeing. Fortunately, most clear nights here have also been calm. With no wind, any vibration from touching the scope is dampened out in less than 2 seconds, which is acceptable to me.

 

Final configuration of the scope includes replacing the 2" Japanese sourced original focuser with a beautiful 2.5" Moonlite focuser with motorized focus. I also recently added an AP Maxbright diagonal. Only thing yet to do is carefully touch-up some scratches and chips in the paint on the tube.


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#53 ccwemyss

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 08:58 PM

It's an incredible scope, and the SCTs may have been poorly collimated or just not very good.

 

My C14, in good seeing, when well collimated, will do better than the 6" f9 for planet detail, although it often needs an ND filter to dim the view. But the AP is close, and tolerates more seeing conditions. It always falls short of the C14 with respect to the number of moons around Saturn, but that's purely due to aperture.

 

Compared to the school's C11, which is an excellent example (being s/n 4), it is very close for planetary work. 

 

The AP also shines on larger deep sky objects, where the contrast brings out many subtleties. For me, the dark lanes in Andromeda pop out more in it than in either of those SCTs. 

 

I'd advise putting it in an observatory if you can, so that you don't have as much effort for setup, and can be shielded from the wind. In particular, when it's really cold, you don't have to fumble with dismounting the long OTA using stiff hands. 

 

Chip W. 


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#54 Jeff B

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Posted 30 July 2020 - 10:40 AM

It's an incredible scope, and the SCTs may have been poorly collimated or just not very good.

 

My C14, in good seeing, when well collimated, will do better than the 6" f9 for planet detail, although it often needs an ND filter to dim the view. But the AP is close, and tolerates more seeing conditions. It always falls short of the C14 with respect to the number of moons around Saturn, but that's purely due to aperture.

 

Compared to the school's C11, which is an excellent example (being s/n 4), it is very close for planetary work. 

 

The AP also shines on larger deep sky objects, where the contrast brings out many subtleties. For me, the dark lanes in Andromeda pop out more in it than in either of those SCTs. 

 

I'd advise putting it in an observatory if you can, so that you don't have as much effort for setup, and can be shielded from the wind. In particular, when it's really cold, you don't have to fumble with dismounting the long OTA using stiff hands. 

 

Chip W. 

 

Boom.



#55 Jeff B

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 09:21 AM

Stephen, your experience and observations with this scope do not surprise me in the least.   One thing to be aware of is that the lens is probably better now than when it first went out AP's door.  Roland now uses the interferometer to set up and adjust the lens.  He did not have that powerful tool available to him when the lens was first produced.  I also would not be surprised if, during the process, he also touched the figure up a little.  

 

Jeff


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#56 Scott99

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 11:53 AM

IMO it's that upper-level jet stream that bedevils the SCT's.  Throw in dropping temperatures and the planets turn into flashing stobe lights.  A refractor can be the only scope that shows a decent image in those conditions.   Moving to southern California or the deep South can turn the SCT's into great planetary scopes. 

 

These older AP's are so light in weight - even the long ones -  it enables you to use an undersize mount and keep everything easy-to-lift.   Good to see this scope restored to service!  In the 90's people talked more about how long-focus refractors were easier to snap into focus that short ones.  

 

With all the imaging today some of these advantages have been forgotten.  But it makes sense - if poor seeing is shifting the focus point around, a longer-f/ratio will hold up better.


Edited by Scott99, 31 July 2020 - 11:56 AM.

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