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Light-weight apos. A thing of the past?

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#1 RichA

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 08:27 PM

My current little 80mm f/6.0 apo triplet weights 6lbs.  In the past, it might have been lighter.  Focusers and cells were cast/machined as opposed to extruded/machined and simpler (rack and pinion versus Crayford).  Also, new focusers and cells being more complex weight more.  In the high-end, even tubes for small scopes can be fully-machined and generally thicker and heavier than the rolled tubes of before.

This apo which I "created" using a cheap Sky Watcher 70mm achromat tube cut-down and a vintage brass-cell Taylor triplet lens weights only 2.86lbs, similar to my old Celestron/Vixen 70mm fluorite scope.  Granted, the focuser is a plastic travesty, but it does work. 

 

 

 

 

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#2 SeattleScott

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 09:49 PM

The problem is everyone wants to attach a camera to their Apo these days, which requires a certain degree of robustness . Still, Vixen and Tak are known for having some relatively light models.

Scott
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#3 Lookitup

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 09:58 PM

+1. Closest to light weight APO's I ever got. Only other option would have been the Borg's.

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#4 Traveler

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 07:18 AM

 https://telescopes.n...mbly-black.html

lightweight and AP...it is (still) possible with borg.


Edited by Traveler, 01 March 2020 - 12:07 PM.


#5 Ihtegla Sar

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 09:06 AM

The problem is everyone wants to attach a camera to their Apo these days, which requires a certain degree of robustness . Still, Vixen and Tak are known for having some relatively light models.

Scott

Camera, or a heavy eyepiece. You aren't going to hang an ES 92 on a plastic focuser.

The light weight and fast cooling times on the FC series Taks is one of the things I really like about them. They are pretty light for 100mm (about 8 pounds), and the DC is is lighter still at only 6 pounds. I wouldn't want to give up the ability to use premium 2" eyepieces just to shave off a few more pounds. The Tak focuser on my DL will handle those big ES 92 eyepieces just fine. The other FC Taks will as well.

Edited by Ihtegla Sar, 01 March 2020 - 11:46 AM.

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#6 Astrojensen

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 10:01 AM

Yeah, you can certainly still get relatively lightweight refractors. I don't find my 4" f/11 ED to be heavy at all, especially not for its length and size. I haven't weighed it, but it's around 10 pounds. It still feels quite solid and will easily handle 2" eyepieces. 

 

By contrast, I had a 4" f/8 TMB on loan at one time and that one was a beast. The tube with rings and finderscope weighed well over 20 pounds. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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#7 Bomber Bob

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 10:11 AM

Sometimes it's the weight distribution that makes a frac fell heavy or light, too.

 

My Edmund 4" F15 feels much lighter than my Dakin 4" F10; or, my Tak FC-50 feels much heavier than any of my longer F10 & F12 50mm refractors.  And yes, I'll take a couple of extra pounds to get a smooth, precise, & robust focuser -- and a lens cell that maintains collimation between sessions.


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#8 mikeDnight

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 11:30 AM

I can't fault my FC100DC for being light weight, or its focuser for being strong. Even though I don't currently use 2" eyepieces, I regularly use a binoviewer and the DC focuser has no difficulty in holding it rock solid. I also have a 2" back for the DC which is more than capable of handling a 31mm Nagler.

 

The DC on a lightweight AZ4. The whole thing can be carried in one hand, but being a precious Tak, I always use both hands.

post-41880-0-21332800-1428242303.jpg

 

The DC focuser is strong despite being light weight.

IMG_0653.JPG

 


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#9 salico

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 11:47 AM

wasn 't there even a 6" Borg at around 15pounds?



#10 HydrogenAlpha

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 12:02 PM

Perhaps you need your scopes to eat less and exercise more :p

 

On a more serious note, get a borg perhaps? Last I checked, their weights aren't going up. 



#11 RichA

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 04:40 PM

+1. Closest to light weight APO's I ever got. Only other option would have been the Borg's.

I had an FS102.  It was fairly light.


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#12 RichA

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 04:42 PM

Yeah, you can certainly still get relatively lightweight refractors. I don't find my 4" f/11 ED to be heavy at all, especially not for its length and size. I haven't weighed it, but it's around 10 pounds. It still feels quite solid and will easily handle 2" eyepieces. 

 

By contrast, I had a 4" f/8 TMB on loan at one time and that one was a beast. The tube with rings and finderscope weighed well over 20 pounds. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

I think the complex FSQ106 Takahashi is pretty heavy too for its length, anyway.



#13 junomike

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 04:44 PM

SVR90T (sourced from Sharstar) is a 90mmm F600 Triplet @ 7lbs. 



#14 RichA

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 06:18 PM

The TMB's (originals, not the Chinese stuff) seem to have been some of the heaviest by aperture and focal length.



#15 coopman

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 07:05 PM

The various new FC100 models are very lightweight for their aperture.  The C80ED that I used to own was very light also.  It sort of depends on what you have on them for accessories also.   


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#16 RichA

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 07:13 PM

Perhaps you need your scopes to eat less and exercise more tongue2.gif

 

On a more serious note, get a borg perhaps? Last I checked, their weights aren't going up. 

Heh heh.  One of my other scopes is a 12" LX200.  Could be why I yearn for much less weighty scopes.



#17 barbie

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 07:39 PM

I've had the heavyweight scopes already and have settled my 76mm F8 and F12 apos for my grab n go astronomy, which is my new "old age"norm.Very happy with the performance of my 3" Taks!


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#18 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 09:05 PM

Focusers and cells were cast/machined as opposed to extruded/machined and simpler (rack and pinion versus Crayford).  Also, new focusers and cells being more complex weight more.  In the high-end, even tubes for small scopes can be fully-machined and generally thicker and heavier than the rolled tubes of before.

 

 

Casting doesn't make the parts lighter. They can actually be lighter if they're machined.. machining allows the parts to be thinner and cast aluminum is weaker than aluminum like 6061 that's typically used in machined parts.

 

Those heavier focusers are just way better than those old cast focusers..

 

Jon


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#19 Astrohobby

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Posted 02 March 2020 - 07:54 AM

The TMB's (originals, not the Chinese stuff) seem to have been some of the heaviest by aperture and focal length.

I can confirm this, my TMB 6" is indeed a beast and requires a robust mount. The CFF 6" I owned before was a light weight thing in comparison.

 

Best  Oliver



#20 RichA

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 12:36 PM

Casting doesn't make the parts lighter. They can actually be lighter if they're machined.. machining allows the parts to be thinner and cast aluminum is weaker than aluminum like 6061 that's typically used in machined parts.

 

Those heavier focusers are just way better than those old cast focusers..

 

Jon

You'd have to compare them directly, but the focuser from say a Celestron/Vixen 4" fluorite from the 1990's is likely considerably lighter than the complex 2 speed focusers today of similar size.  I just got an interesting focuser from Orion.  It's a  typical 2-speed Crayford, but the body is cast, it's meant to replace various scope focusers.  It's fairly large physically, but not a bad weight.



#21 laedco58

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 09:35 PM

E12D2876-104A-41CD-99A3-B2E8D5376891.jpeg

My SV80A on the mount and tripod feels lighter than just my 127 with rings and dovetail plate.



#22 Lookitup

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 10:02 PM

ED100 or newer SW 4" is very easy to manage IME. This ED100 is a little heavier with the ML2.5.

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#23 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 12:03 AM

You'd have to compare them directly, but the focuser from say a Celestron/Vixen 4" fluorite from the 1990's is likely considerably lighter than the complex 2 speed focusers today of similar size.  I just got an interesting focuser from Orion.  It's a  typical 2-speed Crayford, but the body is cast, it's meant to replace various scope focusers.  It's fairly large physically, but not a bad weight.

 

Yeah,.. the focuser on the Celestron/Vixen from the 1990s is lighter than the two speed focusers of today.  But it's not a very good focuser compared to the focusers of today.  Today, people won't put up with the focusers we did 30 years ago.  

 

How much does your new focuser weigh with the 2 inch to 1.25 inch adapter. 

 

Jon



#24 Tyson M

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 12:12 AM

Count me in for favoring a heavier scope with a much more robust build quality. 

 

That being said, I like light weight elegance like Taks seem to bring to the table as well. 



#25 SteveGR

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 12:47 AM

He ain't heavy, he's my telescope!
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