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The joy of a good, small refractor

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#126 YktwnCVS10

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Posted 13 November 2020 - 11:24 PM

Hi everybody,

 

You can't imagine the encouragement you've given me through these various posts about the joy that can come from a small refractor.

 

I had a 8" reflector for several years and then a 6" reflector. But about 4 years ago, severe spinal pain brought my backyard astronomy to a halt. It's been a very long 4 years being without a scope. And I thought that any telescope less than a 6" aperture just wouldn't be worth having.

 

But reading what's been posted on this topic has told me otherwise, and has even given me an idea. I'm going to give my granddaughter a 70mm refractor for Christmas; she lives in another town. And now I'm planning on getting that same scope for myself and do some observing with her via FaceTime and commenting back and forth.

 

Many thanks to all of you... your words have breathed new life back into me.


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#127 n2068dd

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 03:17 AM

Hi, my tiny telescope.

Takahashi FCT-76 made in 1987.This short 3" is using only for visual.

 

6-7 3.jpg

 

It may looks extraordinary short for the planets, though it can magnify 240X with Vixen HR2.0. and can also use 12X wide field visual telescope with Vixen LVW42.This telescope was designed as world's first F4.5 APO 645 film camera. The contender was Pentax 100EDUF F4.0 for 6*7film camera at that times. Both are considered as camera, not suited for the telescope as center sharpness priority. Despite, Mr.Kiichirou Takahashi insisted it as telescope. FCT-76 performance was not different in FCT brothers. ' Best center sharpness in class' he directed. Anyway, Now in 2020, it's far old days telescope, we have so many excellent telescopes out there. I am just enjoying this compactness and performances.

 


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#128 erin

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 10:28 AM

Hi everybody,

 

You can't imagine the encouragement you've given me through these various posts about the joy that can come from a small refractor.

 

I had a 8" reflector for several years and then a 6" reflector. But about 4 years ago, severe spinal pain brought my backyard astronomy to a halt. It's been a very long 4 years being without a scope. And I thought that any telescope less than a 6" aperture just wouldn't be worth having.

 

But reading what's been posted on this topic has told me otherwise, and has even given me an idea. I'm going to give my granddaughter a 70mm refractor for Christmas; she lives in another town. And now I'm planning on getting that same scope for myself and do some observing with her via FaceTime and commenting back and forth.

 

Many thanks to all of you... your words have breathed new life back into me.

That’s a great idea! Enjoy waytogo.gif



#129 payner

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 02:04 PM

Beautiful FCT-76, Hiromu. It appears as new and, while I have not had the pleasure of any scopes built with the battleship gray color scheme, I think it is my favorite among favorites.

 

Clear skies,


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#130 RAKing

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 10:22 AM

Hi everybody,

 

You can't imagine the encouragement you've given me through these various posts about the joy that can come from a small refractor.

 

I had a 8" reflector for several years and then a 6" reflector. But about 4 years ago, severe spinal pain brought my backyard astronomy to a halt. It's been a very long 4 years being without a scope. And I thought that any telescope less than a 6" aperture just wouldn't be worth having.

 

But reading what's been posted on this topic has told me otherwise, and has even given me an idea. I'm going to give my granddaughter a 70mm refractor for Christmas; she lives in another town. And now I'm planning on getting that same scope for myself and do some observing with her via FaceTime and commenting back and forth.

 

Many thanks to all of you... your words have breathed new life back into me.

I hope you discover that small scopes are just as much fun as larger scopes - maybe more if they don't cause any pain! waytogo.gif   

 

I was taught that there are a lifetime's worth of things to look at with a 4-inch refractor and I am still having fun 63 years later.  So maybe there are only 3/4 of a lifetime's worth in a 3-incher - that is still a lot of fun!

 

Enjoy!

 

Ron


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#131 BlueMoon

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 10:40 AM

 

So maybe there are only 3/4 of a lifetime's worth in a 3-incher - that is still a lot of fun!

I still think there's a lifetime in it myself, or at least for me. smile.gif I'm still discovering new things over 50 years later too. Glass has improved so much over the years a 3" scope, while still bound by the physical laws of light, gives so much better resolution and views than they did even 20 years ago.

 

I'm enjoying my 72mm so much, my other scope, a modest 100mm which I dearly love for it's views, is gathering dust ...

 

Clear skies and be well.


Edited by BlueMoon, 15 November 2020 - 10:49 AM.

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#132 Bill Barlow

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 10:52 AM

I really enjoy using my Tak FC76 DCU 3” refractor as it is so lightweight and has the best optics in any of my scopes.  The 92 Stowaway is noticeably heavier and puts up a slightly brighter image but the Tak is a bit sharper.

 

Bill


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#133 barbie

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 03:27 PM

I really enjoy the no hassle setup of my SW 72ED apo. I think this will satisfy me for the remainder of my observing years so I'm happy and content with what it CAN show me!!


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#134 desertlens

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 04:41 PM

In terms of what the small instrument can do, the glass is more than half full.


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#135 barbie

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 06:39 PM

Especially under REALLY dark skies!!


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#136 vdog

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 11:06 AM

After a long day "at" work (i.e., on Zoom) I went outside under glorious skies with an ambitious plan for galaxy hunting in the 16".

 

Five minutes in, I realized I was just not into it.  Too stressed, too tired for more serious work, I put away the 16" and took out the TV 76.  I spent a little over an hour frolicking around M45, the Double Cluster, the Alpha Persei cluster, and various other clusters around Cassiopeia.  It was the perfect session for my mood last night.  The faint fuzzies aren't going anywhere; they can wait until another night when I have more energy.


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#137 YktwnCVS10

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 02:45 AM

Can anybody tell me what the deal is with Meade telescopes? I was looking to buy a refractor from them, but then found out that they filed for bankruptcy. But I see Meade scopes for sale on Amazon.



#138 Mikoka

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 03:12 AM

Hello,

 

here is my Pentax 75 SDHF, which I use for grab an ´go, for solar observing,

and imaging.

Michael

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Edited by Mikoka, 19 November 2020 - 03:12 AM.

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#139 jcj380

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 08:34 AM

Can anybody tell me what the deal is with Meade telescopes? I was looking to buy a refractor from them, but then found out that they filed for bankruptcy. But I see Meade scopes for sale on Amazon.

https://skyandtelesc...to $50 million.

 

Reorg not liquidation.  See also the last paragraph.


Edited by jcj380, 19 November 2020 - 08:37 AM.

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#140 BinoGuy

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 06:36 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.  


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#141 barbie

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 10:22 PM

After a day/evening of nature and night sky photography, I observed Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the waxing "Beaver" moon of Nov

 20th before clouds rolled in. I am continuing to really enjoy my Skywatcher 72 ED apo refractor, especially for those brief observing sessions!!


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#142 BillP

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 11:19 PM

Does the 81S have a 2" visual back? My A80M does not.

My Vixen 81S came with a standard 2" visual back.  So just plugged my 2" diagonal into the back and got to observing.  However, if you want to jazz it up some you can take theirs off and use this instead - It is on my Christmas list, recommended by Greg N (gnowellsct). grin.gif

 

IMG_4632.jpg
Rear Quarter Shot (web).jpg

 


Edited by BillP, 20 November 2020 - 11:26 PM.

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#143 25585

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 10:13 AM

My Vixen 81S came with a standard 2" visual back.  So just plugged my 2" diagonal into the back and got to observing.  However, if you want to jazz it up some you can take theirs off and use this instead - It is on my Christmas list, recommended by Greg N (gnowellsct). grin.gif

 

Bill, what make is that focuser please?

 

Yes, time for Christmas lists. gnome.gif gnome.gif gnome.gif gramps.gif



#144 BillP

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 11:24 AM

Bill, what make is that focuser please?

 

Yes, time for Christmas lists. gnome.gif gnome.gif gnome.gif gramps.gif

The focuser is the one it came with from Vixen.  A dual speed R&P with fine focus.  I have made no mods to the scope so this is as it comes, other than adding the RDF and Diagonal.

 

81S Focuser A.jpg

81S Focuser B.jpg


Edited by BillP, 21 November 2020 - 12:10 PM.


#145 Bill Barlow

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 12:31 PM

Vixen doesn’t include the duel speed focuser with the 81S anymore.  I inquired about this scope to Vixen America about a month ago and you have to buy the duel speed focuser ($248) separately.  
 

Bill



#146 SkyETC

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 04:25 AM

Here is the AP Traveler on the SkyView Pro mount that I just got.  I love the mount, it's made it so much better to use the small scope.  I carry the whole thing out into the front yard in one trip and am viewing in minutes.  The slow motion controls are really what makes the difference for us.  I have used the scope so many times this week.  Pulled it out of the garage just for a quick look yesterday.  

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#147 Catalin81

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 07:40 AM

9B0A51AB B42E 4743 9870 C6EE9E6E8A7D
 
This guy fits in an airline friendly backpack along with a diagonal, a zoom eyepiece, reducer, DSLR, finder/guidescope, and a RST135 mount with control pad. ‘Nuff saidgrin.gif

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#148 BillP

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 08:38 AM

Vixen doesn’t include the duel speed focuser with the 81S anymore.  I inquired about this scope to Vixen America about a month ago and you have to buy the duel speed focuser ($248) separately.  
 

Bill

That is a shame.  Given its pricing it should some with it IMO.



#149 JIMZ7

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 04:58 PM

Can anybody tell me what the deal is with Meade telescopes? I was looking to buy a refractor from them, but then found out that they filed for bankruptcy. But I see Meade scopes for sale on Amazon.

I was maybe the first to buy one of their 80mm f/15 equatorial refractors in 1972. Showed it to Jan at University Optics in Ann Arbor. He said he never heard of Meade before. Time flies doesn't it?

Jim



#150 Orion92

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Posted 23 November 2020 - 09:09 AM

Back in August I bought my first refractor used from a fellow CN member, a Sky Watcher 100ED. Although the 100ED is not as small as many of the 60 and 80 mm refractors I have seen here, I consider it small and grab and go compared to my 12.5" Obsession. I can pick the refractor up, mounted, and carry it outside to my patio in less than one minute. During the heat of Summer in Florida, it may take 45 mins to 1 HR for reaching thermal equilibrium. Now, with Fall here and days in the 70's and nights low to mid 60's, it takes 30 mins or less. I have been very impressed with the contrast of this refractor and what you can see. I was lucky enough for my first light to be able to simultaneously view the GRS on Jupiter while Io's shadow was transiting, all with excellent seeing and high contrast that the refractor provides. 

 

Lately, I have been using the 100ED for lunar and double star observation. It is excelling at both. I have only taken it to darker skies while camping once, Bortle 4, but was able to get some very nice views of open clusters M36, 37, 38 in Auriga, M42, M45, and Kemble's Cascade. Kemble's Cascade is a real favorite of mine. The relatively wide view of ~2.5 deg TFOV was welcomed while viewing the Cascade when compared to my 12.5" Dob.

 

I have the 100ED currently under-mounted on my Orion Space Probe 130EQ tripod with a Stellarvue M2C head. The tripod can handle the weight, but the length of the tube makes for excessive vibrations. I am using some vibration pads recommended to me by another member here to get me by until my backordered wooden Denali tripod comes in from Stellarvue (hopefully in the next week or two). Once I get that, this will be an even sweeter set up...The Grab and Go nature of this scope is getting me outside more at night after work when I only have a couple of HRs and this is most welcomed. I use my Dob when I have more time on the weekends lately due to the convenience of the refractor. The 100ED will have a place in my stable in the years to come.

 

Clear skies to all,

 

Kyle

 

 

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