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The joy of a good, small refractor

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#76 J_D_Metzger

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 03:56 PM

On a whim, I decided to take my TV-76 grab-'n-go setup out to the driveway last night for a quick look at the moon, Jupiter, & Saturn.  Clear evenings have been few and far between lately.  Within 5 minutes after setting up, neighbors out for a walk came by, and soon I had half a dozen people lined up for a turn at the eyepiece.  One of the joys of a small refractor!  Instant star party.   

 

 

 

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#77 t.r.

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 04:25 PM

On a whim, I decided to take my TV-76 grab-'n-go setup out to the driveway last night for a quick look at the moon, Jupiter, & Saturn. Clear evenings have been few and far between lately. Within 5 minutes after setting up, neighbors out for a walk came by, and soon I had half a dozen people lined up for a turn at the eyepiece. One of the joys of a small refractor! Instant star party.


The bane of a small refractor...it draws an instant star party and you don’t get to look through your own scope!?!? 🤣
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#78 barbie

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 04:28 PM

On a whim, I decided to take my TV-76 grab-'n-go setup out to the driveway last night for a quick look at the moon, Jupiter, & Saturn.  Clear evenings have been few and far between lately.  Within 5 minutes after setting up, neighbors out for a walk came by, and soon I had half a dozen people lined up for a turn at the eyepiece.  One of the joys of a small refractor!  Instant star party.   

I agree!!


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#79 Bomber Bob

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 04:59 PM



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

Well, if the Meal is a McRib, I'll stick with the appetizer...  Tough to Beat a Tak!  

 

[I know this the Refractor Forum, but I had a Ton O' Fun last night with my old black-tube C90 Spotter on the VersaGo.  And go I did -- all over the yard to find holes in the tree-lines.]


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#80 barbie

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 05:11 PM

As far as I' m concerned, it's all about portability and ease of setup!!  These old bones won't tolerate anything else!! I also have to contend with tree dodging and something that's lightweight enough to easily move around has definite advantages.


Edited by barbie, 22 September 2020 - 05:15 PM.

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#81 bbyrd

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 05:20 PM

I agree with you barbie. I have several small telescopes that are easy to move around. My viewing sessions are short now at my age. Still I am reluctant to give it up but probably near that point. My current scopes are a Tak fc76dcu and a TV 85.


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#82 J_D_Metzger

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 06:06 PM

The bane of a small refractor...it draws an instant star party and you don’t get to look through your own scope!?!?

 

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LOL!lol.gif funnypost.gif


Edited by J_D_Metzger, 22 September 2020 - 06:08 PM.


#83 N-1

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 09:03 PM

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

Does that make 92mm worth 1.84 shrimps? I'd rather have a single pristine, whole shrimp than one plus another one that's missing a bit...  tongue2.gif
 


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#84 Passerine

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 09:48 PM

actually 92mm would be about 3.39 light-gathering shrimps, but who's counting?  I say equal joy-gathering potential.

 

Dave


Edited by Passerine, 22 September 2020 - 09:51 PM.

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#85 barbie

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 08:25 AM

Now that I'm in the twilight of my observing years, I use my Skywatcher Evostar 72 ED apo A LOT more often now that my observing sessions are more brief. I too may "hang it up" someday in the not too distant future but I've been blessed with just over 50 years of good observing with many different types and sizes of telescopes!! I consider myself lucky to have lived to see the golden age of amateur astronomy and the many varied and excellent telescopes now in the marketplace. I remember when the choices were extremely few and far between(Edmund, Jaegers, University Optics), etc. Back in those days, I built my own telescopes and pushed my own glass!! I'm now experiencing the joy of a good, small refractor and couldn't be happier!


Edited by barbie, 23 September 2020 - 08:36 AM.

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#86 Marcus Roman

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 02:37 PM

Light, super sharp, needs light mount, a 3” perfect Steinheil fluorite objective, yeah it is a joy to use it ...FA80 Mizar!

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Edited by Marcus Roman, 23 September 2020 - 02:38 PM.

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#87 LDW47

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 04:19 PM

On a whim, I decided to take my TV-76 grab-'n-go setup out to the driveway last night for a quick look at the moon, Jupiter, & Saturn.  Clear evenings have been few and far between lately.  Within 5 minutes after setting up, neighbors out for a walk came by, and soon I had half a dozen people lined up for a turn at the eyepiece.  One of the joys of a small refractor!  Instant star party.   

Were they able to view with their masks on or did it fog up the glass, lol !


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#88 N-1

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 04:31 PM

actually 92mm would be about 3.39 light-gathering shrimps, but who's counting?  I say equal joy-gathering potential.

 

Dave

Sorry, was talking image-scale shrimps.

Light gathering shrimps may be found over in reflectors.
 



#89 erin

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 08:49 PM

I have been combining my two favorite hobbies: astronomy and painting! This was my first foray into spray paint. My beloved BX90 on its OB5000 and Orion Tritech II legs looking super sporty in her new coat of metallic merlot:
 

 

 

 

 

 

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#90 erin

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 08:51 PM

The pictures were taken seconds apart...how dramatic is that color change in the lighting? I was trying to replicate the BX90’s predecessor, the Starblast’s maroon. I think it came out nice! 


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#91 relee

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 09:32 PM

Reading this thread I remember my Tasco days.... they had a shield that caught the light from the sun as the eyepiece shone down on a white metal square... quite elegant actually.... I remember showing my science class at the time in 10th grade the sunspots existent at the time.... obviously before lawyers showed up on the scene... I could also light on fire anything remotely in the vicinity of the light near the eyepiece... Ahhh.... the days of individual responsibility.... I consider a small refractor (since reading the various threads on CN) as being my TSA 120 Tak....  ever since I received it and a new Losmandy GM8 we have had monsoon conditions in S. Fla. but I have scooted out enough to see that I will be awaiting Winter skies and an chance to see the fleeting Mars...  As it will not be this close till 2035 it gives me an excuse to avoid the grim reaper till then.. Clear skies all!


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#92 Bowlerhat

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 12:08 AM

Classic 60mm F15. Small and light.

Vixen Grab and Go

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#93 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 08:15 AM

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

 

It's not like one has to choose between the viewing the entire Veil and only a part of it.  Both are good, both can be impressive.

 

One of my favorite views of the Veil is in the NP-101 using the 41mm Panoptic with an O-III filter.  It's a perfect match for my dark adapted pupil and it's so bright, it just glows.  I pick out the broad features of the Veil.  It's a 4.9 degree field, there's stuff to see beyond the boundaries of the Veil. 

 

Another favorite is the side by side view of the Veil in my 50 mm finder and the 22 inch. I'll fit the finder with a 24mm Wide Field and on O-III filter, that's 6.8 degrees at 8.3x with a 6mm exit pupil.  And then the 22 inch will be something like the 31mm Nagler or the 21mm Ethos with an O-III filter.  Very different views but both amazing. 

 

There's something about the Veil in a 50mm that's very special.  

 

Of course I spend most of my time observing the Veil with one of the larger scopes. It the same reason I spend more time observing with my larger scopes.. The field is much narrower but they go deeper.  Compared to the NP-101, the maximum TFoV of the 22 inch is about 1/5 the size.  That means 1/25 the area.  There's a lot more fields of view to be investigated in the larger scope.  

 

Jon


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#94 dUbeni

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 11:00 AM

I love my small refractors a Vixen ED80S f/9 and it's companion FL55SS f/5.5. The ED80S is flawless when it comes to observing planets, double stars and anything fit to it's aperture. The FL55SS with the APM 30mm UFF is a joy as a rich field refractor, it gives a whopping 7.2º at 10x, and makes it really easy to find most objects. I never thought that the 30mm UFF would work well on such a short focal length, but visually I couldn't see the field curvature I would expect on a 300mm focal length.

The FL55SS is obviously gorgeous on large clusters or rich fields like Auriga where I can see M36, 37 and 38 in the same FOV on a rural sky. It's a lot of fun. I was also able to see the entire Eastern Veil without filter, unfortunately I need to exchange the Baader ClickLock adapter with a shorter one to reach focus with an OIII filter.

 

Anyway, last night here in my inner city patio I observed Mars with both telescopes, but the Moon was out and details were faint. Seeing was fairly good, with Vega and Altair showing a full Airy ring with little movement. The Moon was nice and steady at 103x on the ED80S with a 7mm Delite, and still very quite with the Vixen HR 3.4mm at 212x. Although I do not consider the FL55SS a planetary telescope it behaved very well on Mars with a 2.5mm LV at 121x, showing a clean reddish disk with very faint features, no south polar cap. The ED80S had the HR 3.4mm and a yellow-green filter (Wratten #11) to enhance details on Mars features. I was planning to do a sketch of Mars, but features were washed out, so I'll wait for a moonless night.

2020 10 15 Comareira Gois 02

This is not a grab&go setup, for that I have a Porta II mount and case ready to go.

69 My New Peli 1520
 
Small refractors do play a big roll on my observing life, they are really easy to use and have a vast array of targets within reach. Obviously my 8" Newtonian reflector is a different beast and I do like it a lot, but I only take it out when going to a rural sky for at least a week, where I can have a permanent setup. And who knows, maybe one day I'll get a large dob wink.gif
 
Clear skies
Bernardo
 

 


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#95 Bomber Bob

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 12:04 PM

When I entered the hobby 5 decades ago, a 5" frac was BIG:

 

ATM 5x5T - Restore S27 (VersaGo).jpg

 

But this F5 non-ED triplet is definitely a g&g on the Orion VersaGo.  Great views from 15x to 150x.


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#96 Chris K  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 09:33 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.

What is in the clear Plexiglas tube and what is the clear tube for?



#97 desertlens

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 12:17 AM

What is in the clear Plexiglas tube and what is the clear tube for?

The clear tube is Lexan and holds a low temperature laser pointer at 6 points. This is a simpler and more compact arrangement than finder rings. The device is available from ScopeStuff.


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#98 25585

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 07:52 AM

I like 2" eyepieces & my smallest scope OE focuser for those is my 70mm TV Pronto, which I also use as spotter. Then an 80mm Equinox & TV85. Apart from the 85, all were bought pre-owned. None are totally apochromatic but the 80 & 85 are good enough. All get mounted on a TV Panoramic mount.

 

My dream sub-100mm is a Tak FSQ85.


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#99 barbie

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 12:12 PM

I'm continuing to enjoy my Skywatcher 72mm ED apo on its Oberwerk wood tripod and Series 5000 fluid head. I had some great views of Luna, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn last week. It's an easy, lightweight setup that's a joy to use!!


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#100 MarkGregory

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 12:18 PM

On a whim, I decided to take my TV-76 grab-'n-go setup out to the driveway last night for a quick look at the moon, Jupiter, & Saturn.  Clear evenings have been few and far between lately.  Within 5 minutes after setting up, neighbors out for a walk came by, and soon I had half a dozen people lined up for a turn at the eyepiece.  One of the joys of a small refractor!  Instant star party.   

You better go for a COVID test. Seriously, I hope you took precautions. Dangerous days we live in. 


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