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Do You Really need an ~80mm in the Stable?

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#51 Ben_gimbel32

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Posted 18 May 2020 - 07:46 AM

I don’t think an 80 mm refractor should be your first scope, especially in  light polluted sky. Deep sky objects are nonexistent However, I’m starting to appreciate the ultra-wide views of space especially with an 82 degree eyepiece. Viewing the milky way with an 80mm is a real pleasure, I believe an 80mm is a solid scope, light ,and cools quickly, but has limitations like all scopes. Overall an 80mm is certainly worth having in anyones collection.

 

 

Ben


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#52 Echolight

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Posted 18 May 2020 - 08:47 AM

It happens to be carbon fiber but it's no lighter than the William Optics 80 mm because it needs heavy rings to mount and avoid damaging the carbon fiber. I prefer aluminum.

 

I can't find much on the Velbon 607, hopefully it's sturdy enough for an 80mm.

It's probably marginal. The tripod is rated for 15 pounds. The panhead is only 8.8 pounds though.

 

I'd guess better with a 70 to 72. But I'd rather have an 80 f/6 to f/7.

 

And I run across good deals on photo tripods all the time. So should be able to upgrade if it won't handle it.



#53 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 18 May 2020 - 11:40 AM

Having owned a superb Celestron 80 mm F-8.8 Fluorite apo and a TV Genesis and a excellent LZOS 105 mm F-6.2 apo triplet, saying that an 80 mm apo is “remarkably close” to a 100 mm apo is not my experience.

 

 

- You have just listed several thousand dollars worth of equipment necessary to do the things a single 80 mm F/6 or F/7 does very competently.  That in itself is a testament to the versatility and capabilities of an 80 mm apo/ed.

 

- When I say remarkably close, I am looking at the big picture, the 8 inch versus 10 inch.  Compared to a 10 inch, an 80 mm is very similar in performance to a 102 mm. I essentially see the same things in both.  

 

- I know the 102 mm F/5 achromat.  It might be ok for you terrestrially but it's a poor performer even stopped down compared to an 80 mm apo. Maybe you're not a birder or never done any digiscoping... You don't take images like this or see birds looking like this with a 102 mm F/5 stopped down or not.

 

6478943-Towhee on a wire CN.jpg
 
That was taken with a 80 mm ED/apo.
 
- It is about balance... An 80 mm is versatile and affordable. Carrying a scope outside one handed on its mount with the racks loaded with eyepiece's with a chair in the other hand.  Walking a half a mile to get a view of an ancient Navajo canyon dwelling..  these are not happening with a 102 apo/ed.
 
1741100-Canyon de Chelley Francis.jpg
 
Jon

 


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#54 MrJones

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Posted 18 May 2020 - 12:06 PM

I always thought a 4" would be my smallest scope before binoculars but after lugging my AT102ED to Anza-Borrego last year via Vegas with flights and a camper van, and the one with the fixed dewshield no less, I decided to try something smaller that could possibly be carry-on. So I've had a Meade Adventure Scope 80mm and really like the little thing. I like it so much in fact that I will be selling it and getting an 80ED with a case at some point.


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#55 t.r.

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Posted 18 May 2020 - 12:21 PM

The trick is to find the most aperture in an 80mm form...various 90mm and even the AP 105mm Traveler pull this off. I couldn’t find happiness with “just” 80mm but I did find it at 92mm f 6.6.
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#56 JKAstro

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Posted 18 May 2020 - 12:46 PM

I'm also going to be a contrarian and say that my 80mm is my least used scope.  

 

For me the reasons to get an 80mm (leaving aside birding or terrestrial but the op did mention imaging)

1) wider field of view than with a longer refractor (both visually and imaging)

2) smaller size for traveling

3) faster to set up than other options

 

For me none of the above are that important.  I tried leaving the 80mm set up by the door but the clutter led me to pack it up, and in that case my 4 inch on a Stellarvue M2 is about as much work and much more satisfying.  I solved the carry-on flight problem by getting a 4 inch scope with a divisible tube.  YMMV

 

JK



#57 j.gardavsky

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Posted 18 May 2020 - 01:11 PM

 

- You have just listed several thousand dollars worth of equipment necessary to do the things a single 80 mm F/6 or F/7 does very competently.  That in itself is a testament to the versatility and capabilities of an 80 mm apo/ed.

 

- When I say remarkably close, I am looking at the big picture, the 8 inch versus 10 inch.  Compared to a 10 inch, an 80 mm is very similar in performance to a 102 mm. I essentially see the same things in both.  

 

- I know the 102 mm F/5 achromat.  It might be ok for you terrestrially but it's a poor performer even stopped down compared to an 80 mm apo. Maybe you're not a birder or never done any digiscoping... You don't take images like this or see birds looking like this with a 102 mm F/5 stopped down or not.

 

 
 
That was taken with a 80 mm ED/apo.
 
- It is about balance... An 80 mm is versatile and affordable. Carrying a scope outside one handed on its mount with the racks loaded with eyepiece's with a chair in the other hand.  Walking a half a mile to get a view of an ancient Navajo canyon dwelling..  these are not happening with a 102 apo/ed.
 
 
 
Jon

 

This is exactly the reason for the small fast APOs,

JG


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#58 NYJohn S

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Posted 18 May 2020 - 01:52 PM

Lately my 80mm seems to be fighting with my AT72EDII for a place between my AT102 & binoculars. In fact I'm packing for a dark site trip and taking my 8" dob, 10x50 binoculars and trying to decide which to bring as a second scope. The 72 is like carrying a toy around on a photo tripod yet the views are very nice. The 80 is easier to get to higher magnifications but I'm not sure I'll be doing that type of work at a dark site. It's my first time bringing the dob to a dark site so I'm thinking it's going to be used the most anyway.


Edited by NYJohn S, 18 May 2020 - 02:12 PM.

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#59 Sketcher

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Posted 18 May 2020 - 02:01 PM

My 80mm f/5 achromat fills a significant niche.  It's my largest aperture telescope that can be easily picked up and carried outside as a complete, fully assembled, ready to go package -- tripod, mount, counterweight, telescope, even a few eyepieces if needed.  One trip outside and I can start observing.  (OK, so I'll usually also take out an observing chair and a clipboard; but you get the idea.)

 

Unlike scopes that live and work under light-polluted skies, my 80mm performs quite excellently as a deep-sky telescope.  As a matter of fact, that's the kind of observing I do with it most often.

 

Its 400mm (short) focal-length is important for when I make observations with the aperture stopped down to 1-inch (usually deep-sky observations -- again!)  It would be more difficult to get low enough magnifications and wide enough fields of view (for a 1-inch aperture) if the scope was an f/15.

 

Below are a few sketches based on observations with my cheap, 80mm refractor.  Note that most were made with the aperture stopped down to 1-inch -- not out of necessity, but because I worked on a project to show what could be accomplished with minimal aperture and inexpensive optics.

 

M27 1 inch aperture 09 Dec 2018 44x Sketcher   text

 

Reinhold And Copernicus 1 inch aperture 19 Oct 2018 67x Sketcher
 
M45 1 inch aperture 07 Dec 2018 20x Sketcher   text 1
 
Venus 1 inch aperture 19 Oct 2018 67x Sketcher   Text
 
M31 32 110  1 inch aperture 5 Dec 2018 20x Sketcher   text 1
 
Comet 46P Wirtanen 1 inch aperture 09 Dec 2018 20x Sketcher   text
 
Albireo   Gamma Delphini 1 inch aperture 67x Sketcher   text
 
M3 Globular 1 inch aperture 23 April 2019 24x Sketcher
 
M57 1 inch aperture 8 Dec 2018 67x Sketcher   text

 

ST 80 Saturn   Sketcher
 
So, for me, my simple, little, 80mm f/5 achromat is needed. smile.gif
 
Little Red Riding Scope    Sketcher Sept 4 2019

 


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#60 25585

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Posted 18 May 2020 - 02:09 PM

 

- You have just listed several thousand dollars worth of equipment necessary to do the things a single 80 mm F/6 or F/7 does very competently.  That in itself is a testament to the versatility and capabilities of an 80 mm apo/ed.

 

- When I say remarkably close, I am looking at the big picture, the 8 inch versus 10 inch.  Compared to a 10 inch, an 80 mm is very similar in performance to a 102 mm. I essentially see the same things in both.  

 

- I know the 102 mm F/5 achromat.  It might be ok for you terrestrially but it's a poor performer even stopped down compared to an 80 mm apo. Maybe you're not a birder or never done any digiscoping... You don't take images like this or see birds looking like this with a 102 mm F/5 stopped down or not.

 

 
 
That was taken with a 80 mm ED/apo.
 
- It is about balance... An 80 mm is versatile and affordable. Carrying a scope outside one handed on its mount with the racks loaded with eyepiece's with a chair in the other hand.  Walking a half a mile to get a view of an ancient Navajo canyon dwelling..  these are not happening with a 102 apo/ed.
 
 
 
Jon

 

Great photos Jon.

 

An 80mm is much more a large telephoto lens than a 100mm+ refractor. My Equinox & TV 85 are good multi-purpose instruments. A 100mm spotting scope is manageable, but they can be an armful too.



#61 bobhen

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Posted 18 May 2020 - 04:48 PM

 

- You have just listed several thousand dollars worth of equipment necessary to do the things a single 80 mm F/6 or F/7 does very competently.  That in itself is a testament to the versatility and capabilities of an 80 mm apo/ed.

 

- When I say remarkably close, I am looking at the big picture, the 8 inch versus 10 inch.  Compared to a 10 inch, an 80 mm is very similar in performance to a 102 mm. I essentially see the same things in both.  

 

- I know the 102 mm F/5 achromat.  It might be ok for you terrestrially but it's a poor performer even stopped down compared to an 80 mm apo. Maybe you're not a birder or never done any digiscoping... You don't take images like this or see birds looking like this with a 102 mm F/5 stopped down or not.

 

 
 
That was taken with a 80 mm ED/apo.
 
- It is about balance... An 80 mm is versatile and affordable. Carrying a scope outside one handed on its mount with the racks loaded with eyepiece's with a chair in the other hand.  Walking a half a mile to get a view of an ancient Navajo canyon dwelling..  these are not happening with a 102 apo/ed.
 
 
 
Jon

 

The 80 mm apo might be less expensive but it is NOT more capable than a 102 mm apo. One could just as easily say get a 60 mm apo because it is less expensive than an 80 mm but a 60 mm still won’t best an 80 mm. Save money or get better performance. Pick one.

 

No matter what larger scope you compare them to that does not change the fact that a 100 mm will best an 80 mm.

 

Your bird images are nice but a 100 mm apo will do better and a whole bunch better at night.

 

All scopes contain some compromises. The problem with the 80 mm is not it’s portability or apo-ness. The problem is that it is 80 mm. With the 80 mm you are willing to accept the lesser performance of 80 mm (compared to 100 mm) in exchange for some daytime portability and daytime imaging. But with the right 100 mm apo (like the Borg 107) you can have better performance both day and night and still have the portability of an 80 mm – what you will sacrifice or compromise on is cost.

 

The 102 F-5 achromat is no apo for sure but in that case I accept its less than perfect daytime performance because it’s better at night for low power deep sky observing than the 80 mm apo and as a bonus it will also be less expensive as well.

 

I owned 80 mm apos and both high quality and low quality 80 mm achromats for 20 years but haven’t owned one in the last 16 years and have not missed them, because I’m not willing to accept the compromise of 80 mm aperture when there are alternatives. If I were, I’d own one again.

 

Bob



#62 psychwolf

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Posted 18 May 2020 - 05:08 PM

I think it depends on how mature your collection is and if you're imaging, need a grab and go, etc.

 

I live in the city so I've always got to think grab and go. A quality Vixen 80mm APO doublet is my first step up from zoom lenses after getting a good mount, so 70-80mm seem to be the perfect size to start imaging the heck out of wide-field while enjoying a view, then maybe grow into a ccd camera, then swap it to secondary position or use on a mechanical mount for solar imaging whenever I get money... From 80 I'd likely step to a larger 135-140mm APO of similar quality or better.



#63 stevew

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Posted 18 May 2020 - 05:52 PM

 saying that an 80 mm apo is “remarkably close” to a 100 mm apo is not my experience.

 

 

Bob

I'd have to agree.

While I do own an 80mm ED, it's mostly used for quick looks in the Winter months.

And while it does show Jupiter's GRS, Shadow transits, and split Epsilon Lyra, it's not quite enough.

Personally I find that 4 inches is my minimum.

There is really no right and wrong to this . If 3 inches works for you go for it. I'm sure there are plenty of people that think 4 inches is too small.


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#64 StarHugger

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Posted 19 May 2020 - 04:56 AM

Meteor showers, Planetary and other conjunctions, Grab and Go, Or toss and go to a dark site. Terrestrial observation, Nature, Sports...

Then of course ther is solar observing and imaging were even 80mm achromats have a highly regarded following for narrowband.
Really just a short but sweet lightweight and versitile little telescope, Get alot of use out of mine indeed.
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#65 MrRoberts

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Posted 19 May 2020 - 10:24 AM

My 80 sits next to my C-8. What great companions.

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#66 havasman

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Posted 19 May 2020 - 12:18 PM

Do I? No, not at all.



#67 Junoscope

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Posted 19 May 2020 - 07:11 PM

Very useful. I used a Pronto for our downtown sidewalk outreach. Given the parking situation, I backpack the scope and eyepieces and carry a tripod. It’s light polluted, so the Moon is the main object. Once people are convinced to look through the little telescope, they’re very impressed with the view.

It was my workhorse, again on a tripod, for the Astronomical League Double Star observing program.

And it goes under the seat on planes. I don’t begin to have enough room here to describe the views of Messier objects and the Milky Way at Arches National Park through this scope.
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#68 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 19 May 2020 - 07:52 PM

All scopes contain some compromises. The problem with the 80 mm is not it’s portability or apo-ness. The problem is that it is 80 mm. With the 80 mm you are willing to accept the lesser performance of 80 mm (compared to 100 mm) in exchange for some daytime portability and daytime imaging. But with the right 100 mm apo (like the Borg 107) you can have better performance both day and night and still have the portability of an 80 mm – what you will sacrifice or compromise on is cost.

 

 

I looked for the Both 107 but all I could find was a 107 mm F/3.9 astrograph that costs 4800 Euros.  

 

One can always play the bigger is better game.  In my world, 80 mm and 100 mm class scopes are about doing the things small scopes do best. Most of the things a 4 inch does better than an 80 mm, a truly large scope does better than either. The things a small scopes does better, portable, low power, wide field, easy out the door, an 80 mm can do quite nicely and in some ways better than a similar 4 inch.

 

In the case of the bird.. I got the photo with the 80 mm, with a 4 inch, the bird would have been gone because I'd still be hauling it out the door.

 

Does anyone need an 80 mm? 

 

These are toys, we don't need them. But the right 80 mm, and that's not one with the same focal length as a 4 inch F/7, there's a place for one.

 

Jon


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#69 GOLGO13

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Posted 19 May 2020 - 08:49 PM

I debated this recently quite a bit, but decided to keep my 81s. It really is an excellent scope. But I have a just as good 103s which is also not too heavy. Currently I keep the 81s setup on the Unistar Light and it's my grab and go. I may also use it for some DSLR photography. I can also swap the focuser and use my 103s as well.

If I had a 5 inch refractor, then I would say yes on the 80mm scope. If I had a light 100mm, it's a bit tougher call. But right now I am happy I kept the 81s.

The only downside is I would like to try a Takahashi someday, but my scopes are too good to justify it.
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#70 25585

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Posted 19 May 2020 - 11:12 PM

Fast 80mm scopes, great for rich field, are getting more common. From the Tak FSQ-85 , Chinese Petzvals, variety is increasing. Triplets & doublets are affordable and compact.

 

Long short, 80mm is a very versatile aperture for choice of form factor, travelling, photography, portability and seeing the sky.              


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#71 Mr. Mike

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Posted 20 May 2020 - 04:28 AM

I’m slowly drifting away from the 3” class of refractors. My NP101 is my one trip, grab and go setup on the DM4. I never found a good reason to use the TV76 or TV85 over the more capable 4” scope that was the same effort to set up. The 3” scopes are good for airline travel, but I have enough friends with scopes that I don’t bother flying with the refractors anymore. 

My observing interests are primarily served by my dobs, and I find the 4” and 5” refractors are good companions to those. I suspect most people’s telescope choices have a lot to do with life stage and living circumstances.

I agree and while I used to play frequently in the 80mm playground. I’ve since left and likely won’t go back.  Don’t take it the wrong way- they are great instruments for some situations and I enjoyed mine while I had them.  But, the additional 22mm light gathering you get with a 102mm Scope is extremely rewarding.  I’ve also found that mounting the slightly larger 102mm scopes has not been as bad as I thought.  Cool down time and overall weight is also trivially higher and not much to fuss about.  The light grasp difference alone IMO is well worth the size upgrade. 


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#72 25585

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Posted 20 May 2020 - 06:35 AM

F7 100mm Apos, if light enough, are ideal.

 

As there is a Tak 60mm that can be given a 76mm, maybe an 80mm that can be switched to 100mm would be a cool option.



#73 bobhen

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Posted 20 May 2020 - 07:07 AM

I looked for the Both 107 but all I could find was a 107 mm F/3.9 astrograph that costs 4800 Euros.  

 

One can always play the bigger is better game.  In my world, 80 mm and 100 mm class scopes are about doing the things small scopes do best. Most of the things a 4 inch does better than an 80 mm, a truly large scope does better than either. The things a small scopes does better, portable, low power, wide field, easy out the door, an 80 mm can do quite nicely and in some ways better than a similar 4 inch.

 

In the case of the bird.. I got the photo with the 80 mm, with a 4 inch, the bird would have been gone because I'd still be hauling it out the door.

 

Does anyone need an 80 mm? 

 

These are toys, we don't need them. But the right 80 mm, and that's not one with the same focal length as a 4 inch F/7, there's a place for one.

 

Jon

I looked for the Both 107 but all I could find was a 107 mm F/3.9 astrograph that costs 4800 Euros.

 

HERE is a link to the Borg 107 F-5.6 complete package from Hutech.

 

One can always play the bigger is better game.  In my world, 80 mm and 100 mm class scopes are about doing the things small scopes do best. Most of the things a 4 inch does better than an 80 mm, a truly large scope does better than either. The things a small scopes does better, portable, low power, wide field, easy out the door, an 80 mm can do quite nicely and in some ways better than a similar 4 inch.

 

An 80 mm might do those things quite nicely but a 100 mm with "the same ergonomics" will do them “even better”.

 

One cannot keep playing the bigger is better game because a truly larger telescope will not be as portable.

If you value the things a small 80 mm scope does: portable, low power, wide field, easy out the door then a 60 mm will do those things even better than an 80 mm. If you just want those advantages listed, why not get a 60 mm? Of course a 60 mm at night will not deliver more than the 80 mm and neither will an 80 mm deliver more than a 100 mm at night.

 

Once you want to use a tripod/mount anything that works on that tripod/mount with the same ergonomics as an 80 mm, but with a larger aperture, will do better.

 

In the case of the bird.. I got the photo with the 80 mm, with a 4 inch, the bird would have been gone because I'd still be hauling it out the door.

 

Check the Astro-Physics and Borg sites and you will see plenty of bird images made with 90, 107, 92 and 105 mm refractors that can be made just as portable as an 80 but with better nighttime performance.

 

Does anyone need an 80 mm?

 

These are toys, we don't need them. But the right 80 mm, and that's not one with the same focal length as a 4 inch F/7, there's a place for one.

 

Well, no one “needs” a telescope at all. But the poster is not asking if he “needs” a small telescope like someone "needs" food, he is asking if an 80 mm is the “right” small telescope, or are there better alternatives. And yes, there are better alternatives.

 

Bob


Edited by bobhen, 20 May 2020 - 07:08 AM.


#74 GOLGO13

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Posted 20 May 2020 - 07:16 AM

To me the 80mm class is more about portability and travel. Being able to take it on a plane if needed.

Mine really doesn't fit that with the fixed dew shield. But I do find it more grab and go capable.

I personally would use my 60mm for ultimate portability because of the mount. The dwarfstar mount and tripod are much more reasonable for airline travel. I actually got that size scope and mount so I never had an excuse not to bring a scope on trips.

#75 bobhen

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Posted 20 May 2020 - 07:48 AM

To me the 80mm class is more about portability and travel. Being able to take it on a plane if needed.

Mine really doesn't fit that with the fixed dew shield. But I do find it more grab and go capable.

I personally would use my 60mm for ultimate portability because of the mount. The dwarfstar mount and tripod are much more reasonable for airline travel. I actually got that size scope and mount so I never had an excuse not to bring a scope on trips.

 

Here is my 102 mm F-5 achromat on a Bogen/Dwarfstar. I took this scope, tripod eyepieces and a week’s worth of clothes on more than a few trips to National Parks with very dark skies. It all fit in an airplane overhead bin so I didn’t have to check anything. There was no portability penalty for taking the larger aperture scope.

 

On pervious trips I took 80 mm scopes. Once under a truly dark sky, I was really glad I moved up to the 102 mm.

 

Bob

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