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What do YOU love about your refractor?

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#1 Tyson M

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 07:28 PM

Hello ladies and gents!

 

I thought about owning many refractors over the years, mostly to try them out under the night sky.  And I thought about them, and there are certain things specifically that I loved about each of them.

 

So to sing praises of a specific feature or quality, backstory, or otherwise pay homage to your refractor, here are the requirements for this modern day love story:

 

Post a picture of the scope (or specific feature of the scope) and tell us all here...why do you love your refractor?

 


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#2 Rustler46

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 08:51 PM

My little refractor doesn't dew up like the SCTs. Here are a couple of photos showing the AT115EDT refractor atop my C-11 SCT. 

 

C-11 with AT115EDT-00959.jpg

 

The second photo shows the pair on a G-11 mount set on a permanent pier in my garden "dark site". There I can observe under Bortle 4-5 skies (yellow) without any lights directly impinging on my eyes.

 

C-11-AT115EDT-G11-00966.jpg

 

The Dewbuster dew controller keeps dew at bay. The refractor has never dewed up. The SCT sometimes does, requiring a higher Dewbuster temperature setting to keep it clear of dew. A quick blast with the electric hair dryer on the corrector lens resets back to a dew-free condition. In my maritime climate the humidity can be so high you can almost hear the dew collecting on exposed surfaces, especially optics.

 

I enjoy both OTAs. Recently I've used them for electronically assisted astronomy (EAA), which has been a game-changer. EAA is, in some sense, the best of both avenues of observing - visual and photographic. Also some old film-era camera lenses work well for wide field EAA.

 

But as for the refractor, I thoroughly enjoy it when used by itself on the Losmandy G-11 mount. It is much easier to heft up on the mount compared to the SCTs. I love the views it provides, complementing what can be with larger apertures.


Edited by Rustler46, 29 March 2020 - 09:34 PM.

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#3 Diomedes

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 08:55 PM

No collimation needed whatsoever and it is light as a feather compared to carrying a equatorial mount. I spent one hour the other day collimating the dobsonian pictured in the background. It was no fun at all.

 

49680800072_c658e3b279_c.jpgIMG_3585 by Greg Borrelly, on Flickr


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#4 Jond105

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 09:00 PM

Let’s be honest. I don’t love my refractor. I love my previous refractors, but this one is just a cool achro I guess. It was inexpensive, easy to upgrade the focuser, and the fringe isn’t bad at all. Which of course is why I chose the 90mm f/10. Close to a 100mm scope, and same focal length as all my previous ED scopes. So I know magnification by heart, plus again, the CA is kept at bay somewhat as opposed to a larger aperture achro or a faster achro. 
 

Jon

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#5 Tyson M

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 09:02 PM

Let’s be honest. I don’t love my refractor. I love my previous refractors, but this one is just a cool achro I guess. It was inexpensive, easy to upgrade the focuser, and the fringe isn’t bad at all. Which of course is why I chose the 90mm f/10. Close to a 100mm scope, and same focal length as all my previous ED scopes. So I know magnification by heart, plus again, the CA is kept at bay somewhat as opposed to a larger aperture achro or a faster achro. 
 

Jon

Well, you love certain attributes of it, and that counts as love- and was the point of this thread!  

 

Thanks for sharing


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#6 eyeoftexas

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 09:09 PM

Much easier to set up than my Orion XX12g, and I can do EAA with it.  I "saw" M51 from my backyard under Bortle 8 skies. waytogo.gif

 

 

AT115EDT.JPG

 


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#7 bbqediguana

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 09:12 PM

I have a two-parter....

 

I used to own an Explore Scientific ED-102 Triplet that I loved. Mostly, I loved how it always came into sharp focus. It was so easy to tell when focus was achieved versus my previous SCT. I do think that had a lot more to do with its 714mm focal length (versus the SCT's 2500mm!) than anything else - but it was still a joy use in that regard. Where it fell short was aperture - I distinctly remember the disappointment I felt when looking at M13 for the first time through the ED-102. I wound up selling it to finance a bigger scope and better eyepieces (all of which I still have!). But I did love and do miss that ED-102!

 

ED102 01

 

The second part is the 70mm f/7.1 achromat that I have mounted to my current 203mm SCT as a finder. It also shares that "snap!" focus that the ED-102 showed me. The 70mm does show a fair amount of chromatic aberration, but it complements the SCT very nicely in showing gorgeous wide field views that the SCT simply can't do.

 

Here's my 70mm on an EQ-1 mount, which I use as a grab 'n' go situation when it's not mounted to my SCT:

 

Skywatcher 705
 
Rick

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#8 stevew

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 12:29 AM

My Stellarvue 102 Access was the last scope I purchased. 

The FPL53/Lanthanum lens has very high contrast.  

The small size makes it easy to mount, and set up, so I use it a lot..

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#9 Lookitup

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 12:46 AM

Just grab it and look between clouds with minimum temperature adjustment. 

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#10 MarkGregory

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 02:42 AM

Just grab it and look between clouds with minimum temperature adjustment. 

Nice setup, wondering, what brand and model is your tripod?



#11 MarkGregory

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 02:47 AM

[attachment=1459733:30AC28A2-2E07-42DA-83A3-8A5F2A3A8DEA.jpeg

 

Love my Tele Vue Tv-85 because it is aesthetically beautiful, lightweight, and provides amazing views. P.s. Regarding my photo...that is a composite image. The Moon was up but washed out due to over exposure. So, I cut and pasted an image with the similar phase. Just felt I must say that before someone notices. LOL.
 

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Edited by MarkGregory, 30 March 2020 - 03:22 AM.

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#12 Rutilus

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 05:46 AM

Over the past 50 years I have liked all of my refracting scopes, from Apo to achromat.

However if I had to pick one then it would be my 6 inch f/8 Zveroboy achromat.

Why? because it's the scope that has given me the most fun and enjoyment to use.

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#13 bobhen

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 06:40 AM

No collimation
Quicker to acclimate and can be more stable throughout the night.
High power to wide field observing
Easy to use for solar viewing
Easy to use for daytime viewing
They can ride on GE or alt/az mounts
With their acclimation, thermal stability, single light path that moves away from the tube wall and no obstruction they can handle seeing and conditions better than some other designs

 

The gang

 

Bob

 

 

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#14 mikeDnight

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 07:18 AM

I love my FC100DC because although it is light weight and physically small, its bigger than a 100mm scope in performance. I've seen more through this scope than anyother scope I've ever owned, partly because its so effortless to use and partly because it packs a massive punch beyond its weight. 

 

2019-01-28 19.57.27.jpg


Edited by mikeDnight, 30 March 2020 - 07:21 AM.

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#15 Bomber Bob

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 07:22 AM

Micro-dot Stars

 

(And the clarity, contrast, & resolution of my Keeper Refractors responsible for those smaller than pinpoint stars.)

 

Whether the refractor is like this oddball 5" F5 triplet that I recently restored & improved:

 

ATM 5x5T - Restore S25 (Ready to Mount).jpg

 

Or, this Classic 1980s Takahashi FC-50:

 

Takahashi FC-50 S12 (VersaGo Left ZOOM).jpg

 

Or, The Beast (my biggest refractor), a 2017 APM 152ED:

 

APM ED 152 S076 (Meade SF Restore).jpg

 

They all deliver those high-resolution views, and at a comfortable seated position.  What more could you want?  (I know, I know, aperture.)

 


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#16 25585

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 09:20 AM

Some refractors are love at first sight

 

Some are love at first light  Some are both, and a few only have skin-deep beauty

 

I love my Tele Vue Genesis, first and most enduring love. She is easy, steady, reliable, faithful, robust and therapy in one. Hoping to add an NP101.

 

I also love my second refractor, my 120mm Equinox. While Genesis excels at rich field, my 120 is great for almost CA free high magnifications. She has a glamourus black diamond & chrome tube, sliding dew shield, 2 speed focuser & quality CNC tube rings. Also have the 100, 80 & 66mm Equinoxes.

 

Suppose mention of my 2 Taks. FC100DL first. Curiosity & fluorite fixation. It was an expensive & gratuitous purchase. Its proof doublets, with the right lenses, can be truly apochromatic, to my eyes anyway. The hype is truth, only limit is aperture.

 

The other & final of my Fab Four is my Takahashi triplet TSA120. Like the DL, it gives pure views. White stays white, no matter how bright. The OTA as a whole is beautifully understated, aethically pleasing to look at. I like its sliding dewshield & classic focuser, there is nothing not to like about it (I did not buy the clamshell or finder). If I could only keeo one Tak, one 120, it would be the TSA.

 

But just keeping one refractor, my first love , the Genesis is my choice. 


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#17 Phillip Creed

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 12:51 PM

What I love about my refractor--singular in this case, since I have just one--is that it's about the right size to "do it all" and got it at a great price.

I had an AT115EDT in 2017 and used it under dark skies and for the 2017 TSE in Cross Plains, TN.  I sold it for some reason I can't remember but I got a deal on a demo unit from Astronomics in February for $999 that I couldn't pass up.

Color-free to my eyes, images great, not too taxing on the mount and very reasonably-priced.  Still capable of wide field imaging, but enough focal length to get much more detail on galaxies than my prior SV70T.  I still do occasional visual observing, and 115mm of unobstructed aperture "punches above its own weight" under dark skies and goes noticeably deeper than a 4" refractor.

About as "Goldilocks" as it gets in the refractor world for those that want champagne tastes with beer money.  The AT115EDT, along with the AT130EDT and the SW-120ED are, IMHO, the best bangs-for-the-buck for apos.

Clear Skies,

Phil

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#18 jcj380

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 01:06 PM

Both are small, light, portable, don't require cool down (at least not that I've noticed), don't need to be collimated (at least not yet), have relatively large FOVs so I'm not spending a lot of time hunting, and remind me a bit of my first scopes from grade and middle school.


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#19 russell23

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 01:21 PM

Refractors in general:

 

~fast cool down time

~no fiddling with collimation each time out

~sitting at back end of the scope

~no diffraction spikes

 

SV102 Access:

 

~good balance of aperture, easy mounting, and portability

~lightweight and stable on my SuperPolaris mounts

~zero visible false color

~Can go from a 3.0 deg TFOV to over 450x (on the Moon)

~No finderscope needed

~Solid focuser

~Supersharp and not too rough on eyepiece edge performance

~Very transportable because of the sliding dew shield

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Edited by russell23, 30 March 2020 - 01:25 PM.

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#20 rustynpp

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 01:38 PM

They're easy and FUN!

 

At least mine are :)


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#21 leviathan

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 02:03 PM

All refractors that I had were excellent performers: 100ED, 127mm FCD-100 triplet and now FSQ-106. Planetary visual or deepsky imaging - they didn't have alternative in aperture range. Also large FOV and flat field for imaging - something you may not get on other systems.

 

Cons: obviously $$$, especially with increase of aperture.


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#22 Steve Allison

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 02:12 PM

Refractors can be things of great beauty. To me, objective lenses are like rare gems.

 

Last night I unscrewed the lens from my tiny 40mm Unitron and just held and looked at it for a while. It is beautifully made and when I recalled how it had revealed faint detail on Mars last opposition, it took on an almost magical quality in my mind.

 

I love my 3 inch Brandon f/15 achromat with its featherweight alt-az mount because it is little affected by seeing conditions, requires no set-up and can be carried outside with one hand for an evening of stargazing. No muss, no fuss just optical quality in a minimalist 1950's style. Achro naysayers need to look through this telescope!

 

When it comes to my Takahashi FS-102 NSV, what's not to love?  Optical perfection of the sort I could only dream about in my younger years in a beautifully engineered tube assembly.

 

When paired with my Baader Zeiss prism diagonal and used with my Nikon, Pentax and Brandon oculars, I know I am seeing everything theoretically possible with 4 inches of aperture. No more wondering, just the quiet satisfaction of knowing you own the best.

 

I love the connection my refractors have with the Great Refractors of yesteryear. Reading about the construction and use of these magnificent instruments, and the Clarks in grinding their enormous objective lenses gives me a great sense of history that is all part of the fun of owning and using a refractor.

 

Thanks for the advice, but no, I have no desire to purchase or own a dob...


Edited by Steve Allison, 30 March 2020 - 02:16 PM.

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#23 barbie

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 02:27 PM

I like the grab and go convenience of both of my 3" refractors and the fact that they can both go from low-power, wide field to high magnification with just a switch of an eyepiece!!   Their build quality is outstanding and they are pure optical perfection in their aperture class.


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#24 NYJohn S

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 02:45 PM

This was a scope I almost didn't buy. I guess when you take out a large scope you expect to see more. It's really nice when a little scope surprises you by showing you more than you expected. With this I feel like I have the universe in the palm of my hand. 

 

gallery_256530_9566_266766.jpg


Edited by NYJohn S, 30 March 2020 - 11:57 PM.

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#25 PXR-5

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 03:17 PM

I have a ST-80 :)
Do I need to say more? ;)
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