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The joy of a good, small refractor

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#276 gnowellsct

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 09:12 PM

@YktwnCVS10.  I would suggest looking in the CN classifieds vs buying an economy scope from Amazon 'sight unseen'.  You can find real gems that have been tested and cared for.  Be diligent and buy from reputable sellers (those with a history and post count) and you won't be disappointed.  In fact, nearly all of my scopes are 2nd or 3rd hand and I love them dearly.  

Even Craigslist, if you take the time to find a standard issue Newt from China (or even elsewhere).


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#277 rerun

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Posted 02 May 2021 - 06:27 AM

Today, I used my Tak FC60 to do a quick look at the sun using my home made solar filter. No spots visible but I was able to take advantage of a sunny day to briefly test the filter and observe our nearest star!!

I used my FOA60 for Sunobserving  the last weeks. Starting at April 21st while three sunspots were visible AR 2816,2817,2818 . And than nearly every day I had the chance to watch the sun with my little FOA60 and saw AR 2818 go around the sun until April 30th. For these quick views I love this scope .But I also had a lot of great views at the clear nights at that time . Remember one night at 31st March ,Moon wasn't up in the Sky when I startet my observation. First object was M48 in Hydra ,followed by M42 great orion nebulae.Wow,that is an object were this little scope can show its qualitiy. With 79x in my ES 6,7 eyepiece it was amazing,. I spent a lot of time viewing M42. Use the  TAK TOE 4mm with great success ,too. I really love watching orion nebulae with this scope. Later the ISS came up and I catched it with my Hyperion zoom eyepiece . With this eyepiece it is easy to find the ISS at lower magnification and than while following the ISS with my panhead switch up to higher magnifications. I saw the sunpanels of the ISS . A few doubles were next targets ,castor and algieba look very fine and belong to every session when they were visible.The pleijades fit good in my 35mm baader eudiascopic eyepiece. And M44 too. Surfing through the sky with the 35mm baader brought a lot of fun. M67 needs higher magnification here is the ES 6,7 mm a good choice.

So the FOA 60 is not only a sun scope it is a great alround scope for me.

DSC00015
FOA 60 2

Edited by rerun, 02 May 2021 - 06:30 AM.

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#278 barbie

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Posted 02 May 2021 - 09:43 AM

I've used my FC60 for those exact same objects!! These 60mm Taks are wonderful for short observing sessions!!


Edited by barbie, 02 May 2021 - 09:50 AM.

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#279 Bill Barlow

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Posted 02 May 2021 - 10:54 AM

I like the FOA60 but the Tak clamshell for this scope looks huge and overkill.  I would prefer something about half as wide to cut down on weight since this cope weighs very little.  The clamshell for my 76 DCU is smaller/narrower than this one. 
 

Bill


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#280 Lappe Lad

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Posted 02 May 2021 - 12:24 PM

A little snapshot of the life of a 60mm grab ‘n go enthusiast…

 

Last night was the first night observing since my surgery three weeks ago – a good clear night on top of a recently logged hilltop with the peeping of frogs below in the marsh, for company. I used my trusty old Tak FS-60C outfitted with a Baader T2 Amici and a 12mm Nagler T4 as my sole eyepiece for the night. After being impressed with how starkly defined NGC 3628 of the Leo Triplet stood out on this night, I decided to challenge myself with trying to make out the globular NGC 5053 in Coma Berenices. I had forgotten to bring my Pocket Sky Atlas (!) but recalled well enough the globular’s location. The Amici was beneficial here to correlate my memory of the map to the telescope view.

 

 

With sweeps of averted vision, it finally revealed itself; a ghost-like companion to nearby M53. I came back to it again and again, and it was unmistakably there, an exceedingly pale, diffuse glow floating in cold space. It was amazing to contemplate how these two clusters are roughly the same distance from us.

 

Almost just as amazing was seeing a pair of headlights coming towards me, at 11:30 pm in the middle of nowhere. Turned out to be one of our friendly conservation officers on the prowl for fish poachers. He and his fellow officer are well acquainted with my little Honda parked in the most forlorn locations at night!

 

 

Robert


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#281 rerun

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Posted 02 May 2021 - 12:40 PM

I like the FOA60 but the Tak clamshell for this scope looks huge and overkill.  I would prefer something about half as wide to cut down on weight since this cope weighs very little.  The clamshell for my 76 DCU is smaller/narrower than this one. 
 

Bill

Yes Bill,  the TAK Clampshell is big but I like it very much. I store my FOA60 in a case. When I put the scope on my panhead the Clampshell is mounted there and I only have the use one screw to open and close the Clampshell.  That is a big advantage for me and the reason  I like the TAK Clampshells.

DSC00957

Edited by rerun, 02 May 2021 - 12:43 PM.

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#282 barbie

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Posted 02 May 2021 - 02:37 PM

The Tak 60mm refractors are sweet little scopes!!


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#283 213Cobra

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 03:15 AM

I like the FOA60 but the Tak clamshell for this scope looks huge and overkill.  I would prefer something about half as wide to cut down on weight since this cope weighs very little.  The clamshell for my 76 DCU is smaller/narrower than this one. 
 

Bill

The easy solution to this aesthetic quandary is to add the dedicated Tak Extender to make your FOA-60 an FOA-60Q. The longer tube result makes the clamshell look just right! And you get an even more perfect scope. wink.gif grin.gif cool.gif .

 

Phil


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#284 Corcaroli78

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 09:35 AM

The joy of a good, small refractor was also apparent to me Friday evening, as I tried to get my Vixen VMC 260L collimated and cooled down...  

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark

What a coincidence, same here!

 

I was struggling with a mak 127 cooling down while my faithful refractor was ready for the night!

 

Regards

Carlos


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#285 Sasa

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 01:20 PM

A little snapshot of the life of a 60mm grab ‘n go enthusiast…

Last night was the first night observing since my surgery three weeks ago – a good clear night on top of a recently logged hilltop with the peeping of frogs below in the marsh, for company. I used my trusty old Tak FS-60C outfitted with a Baader T2 Amici and a 12mm Nagler T4 as my sole eyepiece for the night. After being impressed with how starkly defined NGC 3628 of the Leo Triplet stood out on this night, I decided to challenge myself with trying to make out the globular NGC 5053 in Coma Berenices. I had forgotten to bring my Pocket Sky Atlas (!) but recalled well enough the globular’s location. The Amici was beneficial here to correlate my memory of the map to the telescope view.


With sweeps of averted vision, it finally revealed itself; a ghost-like companion to nearby M53. I came back to it again and again, and it was unmistakably there, an exceedingly pale, diffuse glow floating in cold space. It was amazing to contemplate how these two clusters are roughly the same distance from us.

Almost just as amazing was seeing a pair of headlights coming towards me, at 11:30 pm in the middle of nowhere. Turned out to be one of our friendly conservation officers on the prowl for fish poachers. He and his fellow officer are well acquainted with my little Honda parked in the most forlorn locations at night!


Robert


Great observation of NGC5053. I was not able to find it in 250mm Dobson from our backyard. I got it so far only with 100mm refractor.
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#286 Bill Barlow

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 02:18 PM

The easy solution to this aesthetic quandary is to add the dedicated Tak Extender to make your FOA-60 an FOA-60Q. The longer tube result makes the clamshell look just right! And you get an even more perfect scope. wink.gif grin.gif cool.gif .

 

Phil

That would definitely work Phil.  But it is hard for me to justify paying almost $2K for a 60mm Tak scope, even though it is Takahashi's best optic.

 

Bill


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#287 Bill Barlow

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 02:25 PM

Yes Bill,  the TAK Clampshell is big but I like it very much. I store my FOA60 in a case. When I put the scope on my panhead the Clampshell is mounted there and I only have the use one screw to open and close the Clampshell.  That is a big advantage for me and the reason  I like the TAK Clampshells.

I also prefer the clamshell mounting rings, much easier to adjust the balance of the scope.  I use them with the Tak's I own/owned and have a Stellarvue 80-90MM clamshell ring waiting for a nice refractor to show up.  I guess besides Takahashi, the only 3" and 4" clamshells for sale are from Tele-Vue.

 

Bill



#288 barbie

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 02:46 PM

I prefer the Tak clamshell.
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#289 Lappe Lad

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 08:16 PM

Great observation of NGC5053. I was not able to find it in 250mm Dobson from our backyard. I got it so far only with 100mm refractor.

For fun, I tried to tease it into view when I returned to my backyard that same night……no luck, but no outright disappointment either!  Having glimpsed it at all made for a fulfilling night, overall.

 

In the spirit of this thread, I learned a couple things over the years, from personal experience and perusing these very forums:

 

• Comparison can be truly the death of joy if you fixate on what’s lacking.
• The joy in a small refractor appears to be exactly the same joy one has in a big telescope – an abundance of subtle pleasures – the very essence of amateur astronomy.

 

From dark sky sites, I enjoy testing the limits of the scope’s light grasp, making these sorts of threshold observations. From home, I will test the limits of resolution – double stars, lunar landscape, and planets – but in both situations, making sure I spend lots of time just enjoying the aesthetics of objects that are readily accessible.

 

 

Robert


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#290 rerun

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 11:46 AM

Very well said Robert ,I totaly agree.


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#291 barbie

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 08:12 PM

Me too!!!


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#292 teashea  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 09:32 PM

I like the FOA60 but the Tak clamshell for this scope looks huge and overkill.  I would prefer something about half as wide to cut down on weight since this cope weighs very little.  The clamshell for my 76 DCU is smaller/narrower than this one. 
 

Bill

Here is what mine looks like.  I think it is fine. 

 

172472727_10222028826204099_4544638028780655508_n.jpg

 

and on the FOA60Q in comparison

 

172567475_10222028825404079_5050053235414545495_n.jpg


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#293 barbie

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 09:47 PM

Both of my refractors are small but they bring me great joy in what they CAN show me!! Sharp viewer  of the planets,lunar vistas containing every type of Selenology known to lunar scientists, and beautiful double/multiple stars are all available to me with my small refractors!!


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#294 M44

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 09:56 PM

I would agree with Bill. The clamshell looks huge on FOA-60.  If you ever looked at a FOA-60 with a pair of K-Astec rings, you will know how bulky it is. 


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#295 Stevencbradley

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 10:13 PM

But then the moon will look green.  Better to have a little CA than a green moon.
 
Dom Q.


Bbbuuuttt...I thought the moon was made of green cheese...
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#296 teashea  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 24 May 2021 - 08:48 PM

One downside ---- There are none.

Well, none in the US.  I was able to find two new ones in Japan and purchased them both.  I am a visual observer and these are wonderful telescopes for visual use.  I have one on an equatorial mount and one on an alt az mount.

 

176409769_10222070089155647_5673775828504230184_n.jpg

 

176293711_10222073154272273_5672360263157501054_n.jpg


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#297 teashea  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 24 May 2021 - 08:49 PM

I would agree with Bill. The clamshell looks huge on FOA-60.  If you ever looked at a FOA-60 with a pair of K-Astec rings, you will know how bulky it is. 

I think it looks quite proper.


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#298 barbie

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Posted 25 May 2021 - 01:09 PM

I'm still really enjoying my two small refractors for visual observing of the moon, planets, and double stars!! Their ease of set up and storage is beyond convenient and I have them outfitted just the way I like!!


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#299 jcj380

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Posted 25 May 2021 - 02:26 PM

I'm still really enjoying my two small refractors for visual observing of the moon, planets, and double stars!!

lol.gif  Given that you have a couple of Taks, I'm inclined to believe you. wink.gif

 

Enjoy!


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#300 barbie

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Posted 25 May 2021 - 03:24 PM

waytogo.gif Not only my small Taks, but other fluorite/ED refractors I've had in the past!!


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