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The joy of a good, small refractor

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#51 Axle

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 12:59 AM

I had my AT80ED f/7 out the other night trying to see any dimming on the moon during the eclipse. Could not see any penumbra shadow at all so I turned the 80mm scope towards Jupiter which was somewhat low.

 

At first I was using a Baader zoom but decided to put in the 2.5XO. My wife looked and said look at the Great Red Spot. There it was, the GRS in my little AT80ED. 

 

The view was not all that crisp so I put in a 3.5XW and that improved the view a little.

 

Anyway, it was a joy to see the GRS on Jupiter in my small refractor.

 

Rob P.


Edited by Axle, 07 July 2020 - 10:53 AM.

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#52 Tropobob

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 02:12 AM

My two 80mm class scopes, a Vixen ED 81mm (F7.7) and an Orion 80mm Triplet (F6).

 

The Vixen has been the scope of choice recently, especially for having a quick, early morning view of Mars.

 

The Triplet is outstanding for wide angle views of the Milky Way. A 24mm Panoptic gives 20x and is close to perfect.

 

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#53 Supernova74

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 03:30 PM

oh I remember my first refractor it was a tasco 50mm cost me £50 or there abouts.those was the days that the brand went down hill and was marketed at the dreaded department store telescope.however since I’ve joined cloudy nights and previous Astronomy forums I heard back in the 70,s thay were half decent telescopes.i don,t know what you guys exsperiances were like in the USA with department store telescopes my encounter was not such a pleasurable one.lens made out of plastic ie the finder scope useless eyepieces etc.

what made it worse for me was the blown up images on the box of the planets in glorious detail and colours galaxies looked great and was left feeling very disappointed as a young boy.(so thank god for skywatcher of today) so after me feeling a little disheartened I managed to puchase my first real telescope still remember to this day it was called an Astral 400

60mm in aperture or 2.7” or there abouts focal length of 700mm on azimuth mount with slow motion controls and I do believe it was actually made in Japan.also had a dark blue gloss finish OTA not to bad optics.so generally not a bad scope at all then a year later I upgraded the H20 H12.5mm eyepieces to orthsocopic eyepieces from a dealer in central London called broadhurst,clarkson and fuller established in 1785 I believe and most probably one of the oldest dealers in the world at the time and still going today.



#54 RazvanUnderStars

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 08:37 PM

I posted this in the past as well, but hey, it's the right topic. An 80mm refractor is small enough to fit in a kayak to paddle to a backcountry Bortle 1 camp site. 

 

t.jpg

 

 


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#55 jag767

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 07:40 AM

Love the little guys! Heres my current "I'm being lazy" setup. 50mm of apo goodness, tabletop ready.

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#56 MarkGregory

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 08:05 AM

Love the little guys! Heres my current "I'm being lazy" setup. 50mm of apo goodness, tabletop ready.

Curious, what is it, and how good is it on the Moon and planets? Mark


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#57 jag767

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 08:10 AM

Curious, what is it, and how good is it on the Moon and planets? Mark


TS 50mm apo pre production unit that I refinished. It will do anything you could hope for from 50mm. I very much enjoy it for lunar and planetary viewing, star clusters, and even some brighter nebulas.

#58 MarkGregory

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 08:16 AM

TS 50mm apo pre production unit that I refinished. It will do anything you could hope for from 50mm. I very much enjoy it for lunar and planetary viewing, star clusters, and even some brighter nebulas.

Thanks for your quick reply. I have never observed the Moon or planets through a 50mm and am really curious to see what it does. I am not a star guy so I don’t feel like I need a super amount of aperture. I just ordered a light weight 72mm to add to my arsenal but would have gone smaller if I knew it would meet my needs. Anyway, cool scope and again, thanks for your reply. Mark

 

ps. Just noticed you are from Massapequa. As a child I grew up in Levittown and my wife, as a child, grew up in Seaford. We met in Kings Park as high school students. Moved to Florida and lived there 45 years before moving to NC. 


Edited by MarkGregory, 10 July 2020 - 08:19 AM.

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#59 jag767

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 10:44 AM

Thanks for your quick reply. I have never observed the Moon or planets through a 50mm and am really curious to see what it does. I am not a star guy so I don’t feel like I need a super amount of aperture. I just ordered a light weight 72mm to add to my arsenal but would have gone smaller if I knew it would meet my needs. Anyway, cool scope and again, thanks for your reply. Mark

ps. Just noticed you are from Massapequa. As a child I grew up in Levittown and my wife, as a child, grew up in Seaford. We met in Kings Park as high school students. Moved to Florida and lived there 45 years before moving to NC.


Ha, grew up in Levittown, and am back there now, havent updated my location. Honestly I've tried 50, 65, 72, and 80mm apos. For any substantial viewing I'm left wanting at least 102mm so if im going to have something small, I want the widest view possible so at least it gives me something special. I also find teasing details out with 50mm shockingly fun. There's way more visible than I would have ever expected, and provides hours of enjoyment.
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#60 gwlee

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 05:32 PM

Gary:

 

Like your story.

 

It doesn't take too many "wow, this is a better scope than I thought" for a scope to earn a permanent place with me.

 

Jon

My AT72ED2 has proven itself to be good and useful instrument for me at this site, which is a strong argument for hanging onto it, but one of my longterm goals is reducing the number of astronomical instruments that I own without significantly reducing my observing opportunities. I have a 92mm refractor now, but the AT72ED2 does a few things better, so taking a few more months to decide whether these “few things” are enough reason to hang onto it. 
 

Had the AT72ED2 out last night until moonrise looking at M51, M81, M82, and M101. Obviously not the strength of this scope, but it was an enjoyable evening nevertheless. 


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#61 jcj380

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 07:30 AM

80-85mm & 100mm are my "small" most owned sizes. 120s are great too, but not quite so nifty.  

 

Small scopes score as the step-up from handheld binoculars aperture and magnifications, are person & car portable, doubling as spotters too. Nothing not

to like.

I find myself grabbing my ST80 about 4x as often as my ST120, especially if I'm going camping or traveling.  Much easier to pack and transport. 


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#62 gnowellsct

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 12:38 PM

Whenever the discussion turns to fun with small telescopes, my thoughts turn to this one:

 

attachicon.gifBorg55FL.jpg

Borg 55FL: ƒ4.5

 

I've had some remarkably good views of the Veil nebula (all of it) with this setup, a 25mm Abbe and an OIII filter.

The "both sides of the Veil" small aperture views, OIII or otherwise, haven't impressed me.  I mean yeah they impress in the sense you get to see the whole KABLOOIE that happened out there once upon a time.  But the level of resolution/detail in the nebula itself is pretty poor.  In the C14 you can only see a fraction of one side of the veil but you can cruise along it using the hand paddle and get totally immersed in the thick ropelike textures.  The "Matrix nebula" (I think that's called NGC 6995) is all by itself one of the most amazingly intricate and bedazzling objects in the sky.  You need aperture to bring it out.  No doubt a 14" f/4.5 would bring out the textures as well or better than my C14 with 2 and a half times the field of view....but there would be an exit pupil loss, which there is not at the 100x views I get in my C14.  The 14" Newt could of course also do 100x.   I raise the issue because at very wide exit pupils you might get "brightening up" rather than "dimming out" as you raise magnification from a 7 or 8 mm exit pupil to a 4 mm exit pupil (trending towards 100% use of your aperture as your exit pupil matches your eyeball pupil).  I should post a question about that somewhere.

 

In any event these technicalities aside I guess I learned to enjoy the Veil back in the days when I didn't have apos and my preference has stuck with me.  I enjoy the refractor views but the big aperture views are preferred for me.

 

It is not that way with all objects, I might add.  I think I enjoy the views of the Ring Nebula at 16x more than I enjoy it "up close and personal" at 250x in the C14.  M71, M56--I get most delight from these in a very dark sky in a small aperture.  M76, I'll take the C8 or C14 thank you very much.

 

Greg N


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#63 Astrojensen

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 01:03 PM

The "both sides of the Veil" small aperture views, OIII or otherwise, haven't impressed me.  I mean yeah they impress in the sense you get to see the whole KABLOOIE that happened out there once upon a time.  But the level of resolution/detail in the nebula itself is pretty poor.  In the C14 you can only see a fraction of one side of the veil but you can cruise along it using the hand paddle and get totally immersed in the thick ropelike textures.  The "Matrix nebula" (I think that's called NGC 6995) is all by itself one of the most amazingly intricate and bedazzling objects in the sky.  You need aperture to bring it out.  No doubt a 14" f/4.5 would bring out the textures as well or better than my C14 with 2 and a half times the field of view....but there would be an exit pupil loss, which there is not at the 100x views I get in my C14.  The 14" Newt could of course also do 100x.   I raise the issue because at very wide exit pupils you might get "brightening up" rather than "dimming out" as you raise magnification from a 7 or 8 mm exit pupil to a 4 mm exit pupil (trending towards 100% use of your aperture as your exit pupil matches your eyeball pupil).  I should post a question about that somewhere.

 

In any event these technicalities aside I guess I learned to enjoy the Veil back in the days when I didn't have apos and my preference has stuck with me.  I enjoy the refractor views but the big aperture views are preferred for me.

 

It is not that way with all objects, I might add.  I think I enjoy the views of the Ring Nebula at 16x more than I enjoy it "up close and personal" at 250x in the C14.  M71, M56--I get most delight from these in a very dark sky in a small aperture.  M76, I'll take the C8 or C14 thank you very much.

 

Greg N

A lot of the brighter objects are like that; they offer something for any telescope, small or large. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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#64 Echolight

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 01:34 PM

The "both sides of the Veil" small aperture views, OIII or otherwise, haven't impressed me.  I mean yeah they impress in the sense you get to see the whole KABLOOIE that happened out there once upon a time.  But the level of resolution/detail in the nebula itself is pretty poor.  In the C14 you can only see a fraction of one side of the veil but you can cruise along it using the hand paddle and get totally immersed in the thick ropelike textures.  The "Matrix nebula" (I think that's called NGC 6995) is all by itself one of the most amazingly intricate and bedazzling objects in the sky.  You need aperture to bring it out.  No doubt a 14" f/4.5 would bring out the textures as well or better than my C14 with 2 and a half times the field of view....but there would be an exit pupil loss, which there is not at the 100x views I get in my C14.  The 14" Newt could of course also do 100x.   I raise the issue because at very wide exit pupils you might get "brightening up" rather than "dimming out" as you raise magnification from a 7 or 8 mm exit pupil to a 4 mm exit pupil (trending towards 100% use of your aperture as your exit pupil matches your eyeball pupil).  I should post a question about that somewhere.

 

In any event these technicalities aside I guess I learned to enjoy the Veil back in the days when I didn't have apos and my preference has stuck with me.  I enjoy the refractor views but the big aperture views are preferred for me.

 

It is not that way with all objects, I might add.  I think I enjoy the views of the Ring Nebula at 16x more than I enjoy it "up close and personal" at 250x in the C14.  M71, M56--I get most delight from these in a very dark sky in a small aperture.  M76, I'll take the C8 or C14 thank you very much.

 

Greg N

Don't you ever just want to toss a little scope in the back seat and go out and see what you can see without loading and unloading and setting up a 150 pound monstrosity?


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#65 gnowellsct

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 03:20 PM

Don't you ever just want to toss a little scope in the back seat and go out and see what you can see without loading and unloading and setting up a 150 pound monstrosity?

You mean something like this?  I do it for shorter viewing sessions or when the weather forecast is dubious.  But my better half likes the C14.  And tracking.  She really likes tracking.   (the battery is to power the h-alpha unit, don't need it at night)

 

cff fast tpod set up - cn size.jpg


Edited by gnowellsct, 21 September 2020 - 03:20 PM.

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#66 gnowellsct

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 03:23 PM

Or something like this?  I try to sneak it out when my better half isn't coming, because she likes the C14.  I don't see many wives or girlfriends on the field.  So I try to cultivate her tastes.   I guess I'm a slave to love.

 

c8 with stowaway.jpg


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#67 csrlice12

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 04:59 PM

Just how many wives and girlfriends do you have....and a better half too?   


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#68 aa6ww

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 05:22 PM

As the weather gets colder, I use my smaller scopes and lighter mounts more and more.

 

...Ralph


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#69 Bomber Bob

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 06:36 PM

How about a very small Outstanding refractor:

 

Kenko KDS AZ S08 - Meade 884 (Tak FC-50) EQ.jpg

 

1984 Takahashi FC-50 + Kenko KDS II (EQ Mode) + Meade 884 Tripod

 

Ultra-sharp views at 150x (75x / inch) with a 2" F8 fluorite on a ridiculously light & portable EQ platform... Joy, indeed.


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#70 gnowellsct

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 07:25 PM

How about a very small Outstanding refractor:

 

 

1984 Takahashi FC-50 + Kenko KDS II (EQ Mode) + Meade 884 Tripod

 

Ultra-sharp views at 150x (75x / inch) with a 2" F8 fluorite on a ridiculously light & portable EQ platform... Joy, indeed.

Very pretty but 50mm is like getting one shrimp off one appetizer and calling it a meal.   


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#71 gnowellsct

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 07:25 PM

Just how many wives and girlfriends do you have....and a better half too?   

Of the OTHER guys, silly.


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#72 JMW

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 07:34 AM

My SVR90T on a 3 pound FTQ mount on a 6 pound Gitzo 5541LS tripod is small enough to be single trip out the door. It is also small enough for air line carry. I also can add my PVS14 night vision gear on an eyepiece if I want to enjoy dimmer objects or use an Ha filter.

 

I have smaller refractors but only use them as wide field imaging scopes.

 

My PVS14 at 1x or 3x is my ultimate wide field grab and go hand held setup.


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#73 jcj380

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 07:38 AM

How about a very small Outstanding refractor:

 

1984 Takahashi FC-50 + Kenko KDS II (EQ Mode) + Meade 884 Tripod

 

Ultra-sharp views at 150x (75x / inch) with a 2" F8 fluorite on a ridiculously light & portable EQ platform... Joy, indeed.

Where / when did you find the Kenko KDS?  I've been looking all over for one.  Similar Borgs are sold out also.  Tnx.



#74 Bomber Bob

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 08:06 AM

Where / when did you find the Kenko KDS?  I've been looking all over for one.  Similar Borgs are sold out also.  Tnx.

I got this one from a great fellow CNer, CharlieB -- he came to my rescue after I tried to order one from a Japanese vendor on eBay.  There are a few brand new ones available, but with the CV-19 lock-downs, exports from Japan are haphazard right now.



#75 LDW47

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 10:44 AM

Just how many wives and girlfriends do you have....and a better half too?   

I was sure starting to wonder, lol !


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