Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Celestron Comet Catcher

  • Please log in to reply
49 replies to this topic

#1 shootingsta98

shootingsta98

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 87
  • Joined: 12 Mar 2008

Posted 03 April 2020 - 03:03 PM

I just picked up an old Celestron Comet Catcher for a bargain price. The front of the corrector needed cleaning, but that’s all I really had to do. Collimation seems pretty decent right out of the shipping box. 
 

Night time views will have to wait, but daytime views with the supplied 26mm silver top plossl is

quite impressive. This is much nicer than I expected. I coupled my full frame camera, and just aimed out the back door towards the woods, and took the attached image. 

 

I can’t wait to try this out on the stars. 
 

Bob

Attached Thumbnails

  • DF04A646-166D-46A4-83BC-671CB1F3ED98.jpeg
  • 263EDC05-37DE-4F5B-B6AC-1851FC511788.jpeg

  • ArizonaScott, tim53, Erik Bakker and 11 others like this

#2 mattyfatz

mattyfatz

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,261
  • Joined: 27 Dec 2006
  • Loc: Boise Idaho

Posted 04 April 2020 - 12:42 AM

Those were great telescopes. I've never personally owned one, but I've looked through a few over the years. 5.5" reflector makes for a sweet all around scope. The slide focuser is also great, I'm interested to see how I'd does with that mounted SLR for AP. Congratulations on a great find!

...PS... I think the front glass is just an optical window, and not a corrector. I believe that scope is still classified as a newtonian and not a cassegrain. I'm going to look for an old add from Celestron tomorrow to see how it was advertised.



#3 BillShakes

BillShakes

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 396
  • Joined: 03 Oct 2014
  • Loc: Central New Hampshire, USA

Posted 04 April 2020 - 07:11 AM

Comet Catchers are Schmidt-Newtonions. The front glass absolutely is a corrector plate.
  • mattyfatz and Crow Haven like this

#4 shootingsta98

shootingsta98

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 87
  • Joined: 12 Mar 2008

Posted 04 April 2020 - 07:57 AM

Yes, it is a Schmidt Newtonian. The primary is spherical with a corrector plate. The forecast calls for clear skies tonight, so I plan to try it out visually. I might even take some images through it.
  • mattyfatz likes this

#5 DAVIDG

DAVIDG

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9,456
  • Joined: 02 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Hockessin, De

Posted 04 April 2020 - 09:34 AM

 At  f/3.6  and the fact that the amount of coma is around that of f/7 newtonian, it will make a excellent wide field imaging system. Looking forward to what it produces. 

 

                   - Dave 


  • tim53, Crow Haven and telesonic like this

#6 *skyguy*

*skyguy*

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,705
  • Joined: 31 Dec 2008
  • Loc: Western New York

Posted 04 April 2020 - 10:44 AM

I've owned a Comet Catcher for the past 35 years .... a rare green-tube Star 140 .... and it's one of most favorite telescopes. It was designed for astrophotography using 35mm film, so coma is very well corrected. However, when used visually, astigmatism from the eyepiece will be the major optical defect noticeable. My favorite eyepiece for this scope is the Nagler 16mm. It's corrected for astigmatism down to about f/4 showing pinpoint stars with a 2.6º FOV at 32X. I've also tried 26mm Plossls from both Celestron and Tele Vue and while the view was nice, the 16mm Nagler is just spectacular.

 

BTW, the collimation on this scope has to be spot-on for the best performance. I suggest using a Cheshire eyepiece.

 

Enjoy your new scope and I'm looking forward to seeing some of your astrophotography shots.

 

Celestron-Comet-Catcher.jpg


  • ArizonaScott, Erik Bakker, Crow Haven and 7 others like this

#7 shootingsta98

shootingsta98

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 87
  • Joined: 12 Mar 2008

Posted 04 April 2020 - 12:19 PM

I’ll be trying it out tonight using a 24mm Panoptic. That’s a rather large exit pupil though, so I might consider either a 19mm Panoptic or a 16mm Nagler.

I’ll update my post with results from visual observations and some images.

#8 shootingsta98

shootingsta98

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 87
  • Joined: 12 Mar 2008

Posted 05 April 2020 - 08:40 AM

I checked out the Comet Catcher last night. There were lots of clouds, but I did get a brief view of Venus and the Pleiades using a 24mm Panoptic, providing. 3 degree fov. 

The next thing I looked at was the gibbous moon. This is a very fast telescope, with a very large secondary mirror, yet the view of the moon was rich in detail and contrasty. 
 

The views were quite impressive. I saw no coma, and the telescope provided a sharp view. The sled focuses does the job, but it does seem to be a little on the weak side for handling heavy loads like a camera. I took the attached image with my Nikon Df attached to the Comet Catcher. Focusing was tricky, and required that I carefully focus and lock the sled in place. If the lock screw was even slightly loose, the focus would slip. The focuser might be adequate for smaller cameras. 
 

I think I’ll use this telescope far more for visual work, particularly for enjoying summer Milky Way views. 
 

Bob

Attached Thumbnails

  • 32249500-74DD-46CA-9CC5-1DFA1E8C702D.jpeg

Edited by shootingsta98, 05 April 2020 - 08:41 AM.

  • tim53, Erik Bakker, Crow Haven and 4 others like this

#9 jwheel

jwheel

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,790
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Fort Davis TX

Posted 05 April 2020 - 08:43 AM

like-button.jpg



#10 shootingsta98

shootingsta98

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 87
  • Joined: 12 Mar 2008

Posted 05 April 2020 - 08:58 AM

The uncompressed image of the moon is much sharper, so don’t go by the image I attached as to how sharp the views are with this telescope. 



#11 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 19,536
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 05 April 2020 - 08:59 AM

Mine was a sea of coma and soft images back in 1986.  I sold it fast.



#12 telesonic

telesonic

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 421
  • Joined: 17 Oct 2016
  • Loc: Idaho

Posted 05 April 2020 - 11:23 PM

Nice find, and nice Luna pic!

 

You are right, these would be great scopes for the summer Milky Way scanning, or wide-field photos. That reason is exactly why I jumped on one of these awhile back. Mine is a later black-tube version and while I've only had it out a handful of times, the optics seem pretty fair.

 

One tip I've gleaned from the other CC users here:

If you are going to use this scope for mostly visual..... it's recommend getting a helical focuser for it, then you don't have to worry as much with the sled focuser - just get it in rough with the sled, then lock it down and use the helical for fine focus at the ep. The female threads on the sled are Vixen 36.4mm, and a simple thin 36.4 male to T-thread male adapter. 

 

I went with an inexpensive Svbony T-thread unit from Amazon.....  actually forgot that I'd had it until yesterday, when this thread popped up. My CC project has been on the back burner as of late, just doing some things here and there.... but I'll get it out and get some pics of how it looks and post it up here. It's a good upgrade.

 

 

 

 

Cheers, 

T



#13 mattyfatz

mattyfatz

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,261
  • Joined: 27 Dec 2006
  • Loc: Boise Idaho

Posted 06 April 2020 - 12:17 AM

Comet Catchers are Schmidt-Newtonions. The front glass absolutely is a corrector plate.

Yup! I stand corrected. I don't know what I was thinking. I do remember a newt with a slide focuser like that, but maybe it was a Vixen product.


  • gene 4181 and telesonic like this

#14 shootingsta98

shootingsta98

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 87
  • Joined: 12 Mar 2008

Posted 06 April 2020 - 04:23 AM

Vixen did produce, which Celestron sold, both 6” and 8” Newts with sled focusers. These did not have a corrector in the front though- they were F5 Newtonians. I owned the 6” model back in the 80’s. It was a really nice telescope.

#15 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 19,536
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 06 April 2020 - 05:35 AM

Vixen did produce, which Celestron sold, both 6” and 8” Newts with sled focusers. These did not have a corrector in the front though- they were F5 Newtonians. I owned the 6” model back in the 80’s. It was a really nice telescope.

I owned many of them and all were dead sharp vs the CC i had.
 



#16 starman876

starman876

    Nihon Seiko

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 21,076
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2008
  • Loc: VA

Posted 06 April 2020 - 08:02 AM

I just picked up an old Celestron Comet Catcher for a bargain price. The front of the corrector needed cleaning, but that’s all I really had to do. Collimation seems pretty decent right out of the shipping box. 
 

Night time views will have to wait, but daytime views with the supplied 26mm silver top plossl is

quite impressive. This is much nicer than I expected. I coupled my full frame camera, and just aimed out the back door towards the woods, and took the attached image. 

 

I can’t wait to try this out on the stars. 
 

Bob

Nice camera waytogo.gif 



#17 *skyguy*

*skyguy*

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,705
  • Joined: 31 Dec 2008
  • Loc: Western New York

Posted 06 April 2020 - 08:44 AM

I've never used my Comet Catcher for astrophotography, however I'm very impressed with some daytime test images taken with an APS-C DSLR.

 

Full frame ... reduced size (no image processing):

 

Comet_Catcher_APS_DSLR_Test_RF.jpg

 

Full resolution .... right bottom corner (no image processing):

 

Comet_Catcher_APS_DSLR_Test_FF.jpg


  • Erik Bakker and telesonic like this

#18 Crow Haven

Crow Haven

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6,449
  • Joined: 09 Jan 2009
  • Loc: S.Oregon Coast USA

Posted 06 April 2020 - 08:57 AM

I bought a black CC out of curiosity in the 80's (still have it) after using a SP C8 -- it sold me on WF open cluster views, which took my breath away! waytogo.gif


  • Erik Bakker and Terra Nova like this

#19 starman876

starman876

    Nihon Seiko

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 21,076
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2008
  • Loc: VA

Posted 06 April 2020 - 09:17 AM

I bought a black CC out of curiosity in the 80's (still have it) after using a SP C8 -- it sold me on WF open cluster views, which took my breath away! waytogo.gif

You got to love these scopes for wide field viewing.  Anyone that tries to use the CC scope for anything else really does not understand scopes.  


  • Crow Haven and telesonic like this

#20 grif 678

grif 678

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,913
  • Joined: 22 Dec 2010
  • Loc: NC

Posted 07 April 2020 - 05:01 PM

I remember looking at the Comet Catcher ads a lot, almost pulled the trigger several times to get one. Meade also made the same type, it was a 6 inch one, but it was made the same way. I remember one store advertising these two schmidt newtonians on their respective C-8 counter parts, the 5.5 piggy back on a C-8, and the 6 in on the Meade 8 inch SCT. I guess they were advertising the quality of the mounts and the drives.



#21 droid

droid

    rocketman

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,779
  • Joined: 29 Aug 2004
  • Loc: Conneaut, Ohio

Posted 07 April 2020 - 07:41 PM

I've had my original orange tube CC for at least 2 decades. Its scratch , drawn on ( by my grand children ) but the optics are pristine. It doesn't get a lot of use because one of the screws that holds the slide down is missing. Im still looking for one. But I'm dyeing to try my 16mm T2 Nagler on it.


  • Bomber Bob likes this

#22 telesonic

telesonic

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 421
  • Joined: 17 Oct 2016
  • Loc: Idaho

Posted 07 April 2020 - 11:31 PM

Okay, so this one is for the CC fans here. 

 

Here are some pictures of my focuser setup, which I laid out in post #12. 

If you remove the stock extension tube, this pretty much fits into place.

 

1.) I used a standard Vixen 36.4mm to Male T-thread adapter on the sled focuser. (not sure the model.... I had in my parts box)

2.) From there up, an inexpensive T-thread helical focuser / EP holder.

 

Works good for 1.25" ep's.

 

Pay no attention to the grey thing on the focuser knob...... for now. (it's classified top secret)

wink.gif

 

 

Cheers,

T

 

CCC Sled Focuser 01
 
CCC Sled Focuser 02

 

 


  • *skyguy*, jjack's, Terra Nova and 2 others like this

#23 highfnum

highfnum

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,863
  • Joined: 06 Sep 2006
  • Loc: NE USA

Posted 08 April 2020 - 04:01 PM

here is my  star140

 

rather good scope

focusing  is a bit weird

 

star140.jpg

 


  • tim53, steve t, Terra Nova and 2 others like this

#24 Littlegreenman

Littlegreenman

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,877
  • Joined: 08 May 2005
  • Loc: Southern California

Posted 08 April 2020 - 08:19 PM

I remember looking at the Comet Catcher ads a lot, almost pulled the trigger several times to get one. Meade also made the same type, it was a 6 inch one, but it was made the same way. I remember one store advertising these two schmidt newtonians on their respective C-8 counter parts, the 5.5 piggy back on a C-8, and the 6 in on the Meade 8 inch SCT. I guess they were advertising the quality of the mounts and the drives.

The Meade Comet Tracker 322, an f/3.6 rarely shows up for sale. One was on Astromart recently, but is not listed any more. I think the asking price was $3 or $400, but the seller pointed out it need some refurbishing. One was for sale in the Antelope Valley, eastern Los Angeles County, several years ago for 4 or $500. If you google it there are some hits.

 

Back to the Celestron Comet Catcher. Original rings are rare. Off the shelf rings that fit are rare, and some extra felt may be needed. Several years ago a tube cradle for a Newtonian was available that fit, but I forget what brand and scope.

Does anyone know if there is an off the shelf ring option available these days?

 

LGM



#25 davidmcgo

davidmcgo

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,213
  • Joined: 09 Oct 2004
  • Loc: San Diego, CA

Posted 08 April 2020 - 09:13 PM

The Meade 322 was a really fat heavy sucker compared to the Comet Catcher and had a fairly tall conventional focuser.  I had one for a while I had bought second hand but didn’t keep it long.

 

Dave


  • telesonic likes this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics