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Celestron CR150 f/8 HD6 ?

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#1 Echolight

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 02:13 PM

Hey folks. I'm a beginner looking to buy my first telescope. I had a post in the beginner section, and my intention was to buy a 10" dob, a small refractor, and a 5" Mak.

 

But this big old refractor seems to be calling my name.

 

Anyway, was wondering what you guys think of these? What would be a fair offer for me to make on a complete scope in very good condition without mount? And what's a good sturdy mount to pair with this fairly large scope without breaking the bank?

 

Thanks

 

 


Edited by Echolight, 02 May 2020 - 02:16 PM.


#2 SDTopensied

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 02:23 PM

They're actually decent observing scopes.  Be warned...it's huge!  I put mine on a Celestron AVX and it carries it quite well for observing believe it or not.  I would not, under any circumstances, try to image with this scope on an AVX.  If you decide to put it on an AVX, you'll need two counterweights.

 

The focuser isn't great, but it isn't bad.  I decided to put a Moonlite on mine and it has become my favorite observing scope.  It definitely has some CA around bright stars (not a lot) and quite a bit around the moon.

 

-Steve



#3 SeattleScott

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 02:45 PM

Hey folks. I'm a beginner looking to buy my first telescope. I had a post in the beginner section, and my intention was to buy a 10" dob, a small refractor, and a 5" Mak.

But this big old refractor seems to be calling my name.

Anyway, was wondering what you guys think of these? What would be a fair offer for me to make on a complete scope in very good condition without mount? And what's a good sturdy mount to pair with this fairly large scope without breaking the bank?

Thanks

I have the Meade version. Nice DSO scope. Capable of framing Pleiades with a 2” diagonal and the right eyepiece, pinpoint stars, fantastic with open clusters, views are about as bright as 8” obstructed scopes. There are ways to improve planetary performance somewhat, using filters, aperture mask, I recently heard using a special solar filter cures CA on the Moon. Haven’t tried it yet but in theory it seems like it should work. But bottom line these are not super planetary scopes. And they are kind of big and heavy. Bottom line I like mine but I would also want something more portable, and something better on planets. Nice scopes but not the best only scope. Most scopes are a compromise of some sort so you probably want multiple scopes eventually whichever way you go.

Scott

#4 Echolight

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 02:59 PM

They're actually decent observing scopes.  Be warned...it's huge!  I put mine on a Celestron AVX and it carries it quite well for observing believe it or not.  I would not, under any circumstances, try to image with this scope on an AVX.  If you decide to put it on an AVX, you'll need two counterweights.

 

The focuser isn't great, but it isn't bad.  I decided to put a Moonlite on mine and it has become my favorite observing scope.  It definitely has some CA around bright stars (not a lot) and quite a bit around the moon.

 

-Steve

Thanks for the reply!

 

I bet it is big! But I think it'd be a fun scope to use. And neing a rank rookie, I don't think I'd find a ton of fault with the CA.

Looks cool too! And probably something I wouldn't mind upgrading if it needed.

 

Just seems like he's asking a bit much without the mount. Being a scope with older glass technology.



#5 Echolight

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 03:09 PM

I have the Meade version. Nice DSO scope. Capable of framing Pleiades with a 2” diagonal and the right eyepiece, pinpoint stars, fantastic with open clusters, views are about as bright as 8” obstructed scopes. There are ways to improve planetary performance somewhat, using filters, aperture mask, I recently heard using a special solar filter cures CA on the Moon. Haven’t tried it yet but in theory it seems like it should work. But bottom line these are not super planetary scopes. And they are kind of big and heavy. Bottom line I like mine but I would also want something more portable, and something better on planets. Nice scopes but not the best only scope. Most scopes are a compromise of some sort so you probably want multiple scopes eventually whichever way you go.

Scott

I don't think this would be my only scope. But I don't think a big refractor at a relatively low price would be a bad place to start. And it just might come with a few extras. Just wish I had a source on a used heavy duty mount.



#6 Astrojensen

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 03:18 PM

These can be pretty fun scopes, but be warned that they're big and heavy. You'll need a hefty mount, if you want to take it to 2-300x - and you're going to want to! They often have decent or better optics. I recommend nothing less than the EQ-6/Atlas mount. 

 

The worst (or best?) about them is that they usually give you a craving for a big, ED or apo refractor and that can get SERIOUSLY expensive. I'm speaking from experience here.

 

gallery_55742_302_1407449192_25663.jpg

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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#7 SeattleScott

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 04:59 PM

There is a LXD85 in the classifieds for $495. Borderline mount for a scope this size, but should be ok up to 100x or so. Hard to go much higher with an achro anyway.

Scott

#8 Astrojensen

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 05:15 PM

There is a LXD85 in the classifieds for $495. Borderline mount for a scope this size, but should be ok up to 100x or so. Hard to go much higher with an achro anyway.

Scott

I regularly had my 6" f/8 at well over 200x on Mars and over 300x on doubles. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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#9 John Huntley

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 05:19 PM

I've owned a couple of the Synta 150 F/8's and a Meade AR6. I enjoyed them but agree that they do need a sturdy (and tall !) mount to get the best from them.

 

I also played around with the Chromacor CA / SA correctors with these scopes and, as Thomas mentions, when you see what that aperture can do with the CA and SA largely corrected, it does really fuel the desire to move to large aperture ED doublet or even triplet refractors. And those do dent the bank balance !



#10 Echolight

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 06:40 PM

I'm starting to think that refractors of this size need to be pier mounted, ideally.


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#11 SeattleScott

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 06:41 PM

I regularly had my 6" f/8 at well over 200x on Mars and over 300x on doubles.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

This year will be my first shot at Mars with it. I may give that a shot. Doubles makes sense.

Scott
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#12 Steve Cox

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 07:35 PM

I'm starting to think that refractors of this size need to be pier mounted, ideally.

Good idea.  I have mine mounted on my old CG-5 (AVX predecessor) and I added the 16" Orion Pier Extension to mine between the mount and tripod.  That addition makes it a fine visual scope and quite steady since I don't have to extend the tripod legs anymore.  But like others say, it's not light; my whole setup of scope and mount comes in probably close to 100lb.  It takes me at best 3 trips in and out to get it setup, and that's with the 70lb or so mount setup already, carrying it out in one piece.


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#13 John Huntley

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 07:44 PM

When you get to 6" F/12, permanent mounting becomes more or less essential I think. The mount here is an EQ6 and the tripod a Meade Giant Field version with 3 inch steel tube legs:

 

 

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#14 cl300stick

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 09:55 PM

They are wonderful scopes! I have 3 (sheepish grin). The best mod you can make is a good dual-speed focuser. Highly recommended. I use mine on a Twilight II mount. Great for spanning the sky.

 

 

Andrew


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#15 precaud

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 10:05 PM

I'll take the other side. I say, resist the temptation. They're cooler to look at than look through. A decent 10" dob with coma corrector will blow it away in almost every department.


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#16 cl300stick

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 10:44 PM

Refractor Pros - Faster cool down - No Collimation issues, ever - generally easier to setup.

Refractor Cons - The need to polar align, assuming it's on a tracking mount, CA is a real issue on lesser scopes.

 

Dob Pros - Amazing light buckets, no mount, ever - super easy to use, point and shoot.

Dob Cons - Slow to cool without help - generally much heavier - Collimation frown.gif

 

 

I started off really crazy. My first scope was a 15" Dob. Weighs 106 lbs. I learned the sky amazingly well with that scope! There is NO exception for diameter! Either scope will be a lot of fun if you use it!

 

 

Andrew


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#17 Rutilus

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 04:36 AM

The 10" Dob will be a better all round scope. My 9.25" SCT with its big central obstruction does a better all round job

than my 6" f/8.

However having said the above, my 6" f/8 is the most fun scope that I have used in the last 50 years.

It's big and heavy, and needs a good mount to enjoy at its best. I bought a used OTA  for less than $180.

 

I did quite a few modifications to my scope, including lens spacing. On the Moon, planets and double stars

it easily beat the 3 premium 4 inch Apo refractors I had.  On Mars I can go to 300 -350x and see markings on the

planet down to 4 arc seconds in size. On double stars I can use 500x and higher on good nights of seeing.


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#18 precaud

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 07:56 AM

There is no doubt that a CR150 can be fun. I had one for 2-3 years. I just see that, as a beginner, the OP had a well-considered scope acquisition plan, but then got distracted by a pretty girl walking by.  smile.gif

 

I think the best thing he can do is splash his face with cold water, let the infatuation pass for now, and stick with his original plan.


Edited by precaud, 03 May 2020 - 08:26 AM.

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#19 jag767

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 08:12 AM

Hey folks. I'm a beginner looking to buy my first telescope. I had a post in the beginner section, and my intention was to buy a 10" dob, a small refractor, and a 5" Mak.

But this big old refractor seems to be calling my name.

Anyway, was wondering what you guys think of these? What would be a fair offer for me to make on a complete scope in very good condition without mount? And what's a good sturdy mount to pair with this fairly large scope without breaking the bank?

Thanks


I just went down a similar road, but ended up with the TS 152mm f5.9. The build quality at its price point sold me. Also, needs less mount than the f8.
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#20 SeattleScott

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 08:58 AM

There is no doubt that a CR150 can be fun. I had one for 2-3 years. I just see that, as a beginner, the OP had a well-considered scope acquisition plan, but then got distracted by a pretty girl walking by. smile.gif

I think the best thing he can do is splash his face with cold water, let the infatuation pass for now, and stick with his original plan.

Keep in mind a 10” Dob requires more expensive eyepieces, as well as a coma corrector, to perform at its best. I get a 1.6 degree FOV with my 10” reflector using an eyepiece that cost me $280. I get a 2.2 degree FOV with my 6” F8 using an eyepiece that cost me $180. The $180 eyepiece is also lighter and performs wonderfully, at F8. I can also use my 10mm Celestron Luminos that I got used for $50 with the F8 refractor. Not saying it is completely unusable below F5, but let’s just say I have better alternatives, even though I give up some AFOV. For a beginner I can see some real value in starting out with a scope that performs well with more modest eyepieces, and doesn’t require the cost and hassle of a coma corrector (tuning or adjusting spacing as you change eyepieces) to perform well. And I have never needed to collimate the refractor.

Overall a 10” Dob makes a lot of sense too. I have both types and use both. If I had to give up one it would probably be the refractor. But I also have over $1000 worth of eyepieces (I know, a seemingly minuscule investment compared to some here, but you can do justice to a 10” F4.8 with seven eyepieces costing under $1,500). So the refractor has its own merits and is worth considering. I mean I LOVE the views of Pleiades and Beehive in it. But the 10” does a better job on galaxies and globular clusters. Personally I went through the same dilemma and got the 10” reflector. But eventually added a 6” achro down the road. Either one will serve you well.

FWIW, I (until a month ago) organized local star parties. I rarely bring the 10” reflector to a star party. I often bring the 6” refractor to a star party. Why? Simple. All my stargazing buddies typically bring 8”-10” Dobs or SCTs. I can see M13 resolved down to the core anytime by walking 20 feet in any direction. But none of those scopes can rock the big open clusters like my refractor. Sometimes it pays to be different. I usually stargaze with one or more buddies (until a month ago). It does little good if everyone shows up with a 10” Dob. I usually check what others are bringing and bring a scope to compliment, like my 6” refractor or my EAA apo.

Scott

Edited by SeattleScott, 03 May 2020 - 09:08 AM.

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#21 Eddgie

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 09:45 AM

 

 

I bet it is big! But I think it'd be a fun scope to use.

Actually, in my opinion, it is one of the least fun scopes to use one could ask for.

 

See, to use these for anything above the treetops, the mount has to be very tall, or otherwise, you will be sitting on the ground to view, and at zenith, you will be practically laying on the ground. 

 

And when you make the tripod tall enough to avoid having to sit on the ground it becomes very unstable and even focusing will induce very long period oscillations.

 

The blue you see from chromatic aberration may not be offensive, but it is the Matrix's way of telling you that the telescope is not working very well.  People talk about the effects of an obstruction, but the CA in a 6" f/8 does considerably damage than a 33% obstruction.  It is more like a 45% obstruction in terms of contrast loss. 

 

If you just love the way it looks though, hey, grab one.  Life is short and if you understand that these scopes can be very demanding on the mount to be comfortable and don't mind loosing a lot of contrast for planets, then give it a whirl. 

 

The 10" dob though will be superior in every way. 

 

And yeah, you need a coma corrector and more expensive eyepieces (well the second one is debatable).   Is that going to cost More than a good mount for the 6" f/8???? I don't think so....


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#22 Eddgie

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 09:59 AM

And if you buy the big expensive mount, you won't have anything to put your 5" MCT and small refractor on.. Oh, sure, you can put it on a mount big enough to hold the 6" refractor, but if you do that, I can pretty much promise you that you won't use them very much because a mount big enough to hold a 6" refractor steady is so big and heavy that you will not find it to be an appealing proposition if you just want to take out a small scope for a quick look around. 

 

So, this means that one day you say "I think I need a smaller mount for my small scopes" and the Ka-Ching of the register sounds in the background. So now you have a 6" scope that won't be as good on planets or DSO as a 10" Dob on a mount that is too big to be desirable to use for your smaller quick look scopes, so you have more than the cost of the telescope tied up in a mount that you will find painful to use after the novelty of the big refractor wears off and you keep asking yourself "Where's the beef!"  


Edited by Eddgie, 03 May 2020 - 09:59 AM.

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#23 Astrojensen

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 01:16 PM

The blue you see from chromatic aberration may not be offensive, but it is the Matrix's way of telling you that the telescope is not working very well.  People talk about the effects of an obstruction, but the CA in a 6" f/8 does considerably damage than a 33% obstruction.  It is more like a 45% obstruction in terms of contrast loss. 

I've heard this, time and time again. It might even be true, but despite that, my 6" f/8 S-W achro beat the snot out of my 8" SCT for planetary details and double stars almost every single night.

 

And I fuzzed endlessly over that SCT. Collimated it every night at 400x, had it outside for hours to cool down, etc. The achro I could just take outside, and bam! Twenty minutes later, I could observe Mars at 200 - 250x and see loads of details. It was just a much less frustrating experience overall. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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#24 Echolight

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 01:52 PM

Think I'm going to make an offer on it, with the idea of building a moveable steel pier. Maybe 4" pipe with a round plate steel base, and possibly two small solid poly wheels.

Or maybe rig up a very low custom wagon to move it around on.


Edited by Echolight, 03 May 2020 - 01:56 PM.


#25 Sol Robbins

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 02:01 PM

I've had my Skywatcher version for about 20 years. It replaced my older C8. This refractor presented much better images than just about any 8" SCT.  Even with chromatic aberration you will most likely get very good planetary views at relatively high magnifications in concert with good seeing conditions at say 200x (Jupiter) to 330x (Mars & Saturn). Eventually I paired this refractor with a Chromacor II which corrects most chromatic aberration which, simply put, could buy an additional sharpness of about 50x more on your magnifications. I don't think I'd ever part with this setup even though I have a couple of other scopes.

 

On an equatorial mount and the setting up that entails, I think you'll be pretty excited by what you can see. An AVX also has goto, which is nice especially at a dark site so you don't have to read charts with a red light.

 

I had a 10" Dob which was a bit cumbersome and I sold it. Different telescope designs to me seem to have a diiferent "quality" presentation which is indicative of its general individual design. I.E. refractor image, SCT image, etc.

 

You might want to consider larger wheels so they work well over rougher surfaces and grass.

 

Good luck with what you decide.


Edited by Sol Robbins, 03 May 2020 - 02:03 PM.

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