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127mm Mak vs 80mm ED

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#1 sojourneyer

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 10:09 PM

I want another scope that is still basically a grab and go, and I am down to the two above

choices in terms of size and type.   No reflectors, dobs, etc. 

 

And in regards to the 80ED, it would either be the SW Evostar or the Orion ED80.   No upper

market units.

 

Purpose would be for visual viewing no  AP.  Objects would be the planets, moon and some DSO.  The scope would be used on a reputable side arm Alt-Az mount with slo motion controls.

 

I already have a 102mm Achromat f/6.5 and a 90 mm Mak

 

The cool down time is not a problem with me.  

 

So what do you think?

Thanks


Edited by sojourneyer, 06 July 2020 - 10:38 PM.


#2 sunnyday

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 10:16 PM

the more light that comes in, the better, he said, I got a 127 and I can tell you, it's a killer planets scope. it gives amazing results on planets, the moon and even some dso's.

 

I'm even wondering if I shouldn't sell my 102 mm ed lunt for a 150 mm mak.


Edited by sunnyday, 06 July 2020 - 10:18 PM.

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#3 Stellar1

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 10:23 PM

The Mak will clean house in the planetary/lunar department, easy choice, they’re killer planetary scopes.


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#4 sojourneyer

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 10:24 PM

James, I was looking at the  Lunt 80ED but did not like the focuser.



#5 John Carlini

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 10:29 PM

I recently went through a similar decision process and decided to order the 127mm Mak. I wanted to round out my equipment selection and have a scope that's better suited for planetary viewing. Sounds like you may be heading in the same direction...


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#6 sunnyday

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 10:29 PM

James, I was looking at the  Lunt 80ED but did not like the focuser.

same for my lunt 102.
I don't know how to explain it in English, but I find it too hard to turn and suddenly it's easy. I don't know if you understand what I mean, but anyway, I don't like it.


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#7 sojourneyer

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 10:34 PM

You probably mean you have difficulty with finer focusing



#8 sunnyday

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 10:53 PM

You probably mean you have difficulty with finer focusing

not the fine focus, but the first nobe.
it does not matter if you understand or not, my english is limited for a good explanation lol.



#9 RichA

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 10:58 PM

I want another scope that is still basically a grab and go, and I am down to the two above

choices in terms of size and type.   No reflectors, dobs, etc. 

 

And in regards to the 80ED, it would either be the SW Evostar or the Orion ED80.   No upper

market units.

 

Purpose would be for visual viewing no  AP.  Objects would be the planets, moon and some DSO.  The scope would be used on a reputable side arm Alt-Az mount with slo motion controls.

 

I already have a 102mm Achromat f/6.5 and a 90 mm Mak

 

The cool down time is not a problem with me.  

 

So what do you think?

Thanks

I've got both.  The Mak is a seriously long (in my case, 1900mm) scope.  It will best the apo on every object you use it on, but it won't act as it's own finder.  The downside is field size.  You need long 2" eyepieces (30mm or better) to maximize field size.  So while your 80mm f/7-ish refractor can provide you with 15x and a 4 deg. field (depending on the eyepiece) the best you'll get out of the Mak is 1-1.3 degrees (ETX or Orion/Sky Watcher) with a 32-35mm wide field eyepiece.  Don't know if the ETX's take 2" eyepieces at all, without mods.


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#10 sojourneyer

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 11:08 PM

I've got both.  The Mak is a seriously long (in my case, 1900mm) scope.  It will best the apo on every object you use it on, but it won't act as it's own finder.  The downside is field size.  You need long 2" eyepieces (30mm or better) to maximize field size.  So while your 80mm f/7-ish refractor can provide you with 15x and a 4 deg. field (depending on the eyepiece) the best you'll get out of the Mak is 1-1.3 degrees (ETX or Orion/Sky Watcher) with a 32-35mm wide field eyepiece.  Don't know if the ETX's take 2" eyepieces at all, without mods.

Rich, remember I already have a 102mm Achromat f/6.5 for wide field.


Edited by sojourneyer, 06 July 2020 - 11:08 PM.


#11 Shorty Barlow

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 12:02 AM

Well, you know what I think. It is a close call though and if it is predominantly a dedicated lunar/planetary the Mak may be the better prospect. Personally, I think my 80mm Evostar has a slight edge on my 127mm Mak for planetary. I'm just not seeing any more detail with the Mak.

 

According to the 1.4x rule an 80mm ED doublet can equal a 112mm reflector. I don't know who makes these rules up, but it sounds about right to me. I've long believed my Evostar 80ED DS Pro was better than my 130mm Newtonian for planetary detail. 

 

med_gallery_249298_5348_5411.jpg

 

Admittedly it wasn't the highest quality Newtonian.

 

Either choice you seem to have difficulties with the dovetail position. 

 

The 127mm Synta Mak is 3.2 kilo, but surprisingly easy to carry in a case. It should balance well as it's relatively compact. One downside is fine focusing with the Mak. The only way I can remedy this easily is to use a diagonal with a helical focuser.

 

Here's the thing; suddenly the weather looks good. You'd like to go out with a scope, you may only have an hour. You have the opportunity for some deep sky, rich field, planetary and even lunar observing. Which of the two is the most versatile?


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#12 Hesiod

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 12:38 AM

Among those, my vote goes to the Mak.
I like very much to observe planets in diminutive telescopes, but IMHO such observations are much more relaxed once have a bit of aperture at hand (using the smaller telescopes is almost "physically demanding").
However the suggestion by Shorty Barlow is excellent because these small Newtonians are very, very handy.
I would suggest a solid tube version, but the Skywatcher collapsible model is smaller and lighter than any 5" MCT so, if have no issues with its really crappy-grade mechanics and are for a compact model it would be hard to beat.
Optics seems to be nice though, and I use it routinely at 185x

#13 Redbetter

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 12:54 AM

According to the 1.4x rule an 80mm ED doublet can equal a 112mm reflector. I don't know who makes these rules up, but it sounds about right to me. I've long believed my Evostar 80ED DS Pro was better than my 130mm Newtonian for planetary detail. 

I don't know that I have heard of such a specific rule; it sounds off to me.  There have been some claims about subtracting the central obstruction diameter from the scope aperture (linear relationship), but I don't find that particularly accurate either.   I suspect that some such guide is providing your 1.4x factor, although that would again depend on the specific obstruction. 

 

I have an Orion 80ED and a 127Mak (ES f/15 variant, a version of the Meade ETX 125 design but with a better backplate for collimating.)  The 127's run about 40% obstruction, which is due to the secondary baffle diameter, not the mirror spot diameter.  The ES/Meade based design operates at/near full stated aperture in the 127mm range, while the Synta f/12's might still be undersized with respect to their primary mirror IIRC (hopefully somebody will correct that if I am mistaken--there have been some differences at 150 and 127mm.)  

 

While the 80ED puts up good planetary images, it is no match for the Mak with respect to planetary detail.  Some Mak afficionados claim they are equivalent to the same aperture refractor, but I am not among them.  My 127 puts up somewhat less detail and is somewhat less sharp than my 110ED f/7, but it is close on good nights.  The 110 is an FPL-51 doublet and has some color, so it doesn't reach quite the same optimum planetary magnification/inch that the 80ED achieves.  The calculated effective light transmission of the 110ED and the 127 Mak are nearly identical, but the contrast is better in the refractor, allowing it to go a notch deeper.

 

The Mak required collimation when I received it.  This consisted of an initial tweak on a mediocre night (first light), then fine tuning on a better night to dial it in.  The Mak design is thermally sensitive and that can be an issue, particularly in winter, although there are some ways of addressing it.  The focus adjustment on the ES Mak is somewhat cludgy, but workable once you have a feel for it. 

 

Seeing here in the backyard is usually lousy, so the 80ED serves the role of seeing scout for planets.  If it is decent in the 80ED I will bring out the 127 Mak or 110ED.  The portability of the Mak leads me to use it more than the 110, if the weather is cooperative (not expecting significant thermal issues.)  If thermals are expected to be an issue then I skip the Mak for the frac.  And if the seeing is steadier I use an 8, 10, or 20" scope.  


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#14 Shorty Barlow

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 05:50 AM

My point was that my Evostar 80mm ED doublet shows better detail than both my 127mm Mak and 130mm Newtonian. You just won't beat a refractor for sharpness. 


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#15 Hesiod

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 06:20 AM

If the 5" are diffraction limited should "outresolve" the 80mm with ease.
Maybe details could be harder to perceive, but should be here
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#16 Redbetter

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 06:31 AM

My point was that my Evostar 80mm ED doublet shows better detail than both my 127mm Mak and 130mm Newtonian. You just won't beat a refractor for sharpness. 

My point is that there is something seriously wrong with the larger scopes you are using if that is the case.  Beating a refractor for sharpness is not hard when outclassed in aperture, just put them at equivalent magnifications in decent conditions and suddenly the "sharpness" is absent.  The refractor runs out of gas sooner and this is easily seen by finding where the optimum detail is visible in each..  A 127 Mak will show so much more planetary detail than the 80 ED that it isn't even a contest.  The 127 Mak or a good 130 Newt are in a different range than the 80. 

 

It isn't that I dislike 80's:  I have an 80ED, 80 f/11.3 achro, two 80 f/5's and some f/4'ish finder objectives (the f/4 achros suck horribly.)  Small refractors win for sharpness when the seeing is poor.  When the seeing is better, increasing aperture opens new levels of detail that the smaller apertures can't show.  



#17 Shorty Barlow

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 06:42 AM

If the 5" are diffraction limited should "outresolve" the 80mm with ease.
Maybe details could be harder to perceive, but should be here

I just thing the sharpness, contrast and clarity are slightly better with the ED80 than the 127mm Mak. It's close, but I still think the refractor wins. It isn't always about bigger aperture.

 

I think the same about my 102mm ED doublet and my 150mm Newtonian. It's close, but I still think the refractor has the slight edge. Both refractors (Starwave & ED80) are ED doublets with an FPL-53 'flint' element. That may be relevant. 

 

I'd even go as far as saying my 72mm ED doublet has a slight edge over my 102mm Mak. 


Edited by Shorty Barlow, 07 July 2020 - 06:50 AM.

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#18 Hesiod

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 06:46 AM

Of course not, but with such difference in aperture the 5" seems to have optical issues

#19 Shorty Barlow

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 06:53 AM

Of course not, but with such difference in aperture the 5" seems to have optical issues

I doubt it.



#20 Redbetter

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 06:57 AM

I doubt it.

You might doubt it, but from everything I have seen you are wrong.


Edited by Redbetter, 07 July 2020 - 06:58 AM.


#21 Shorty Barlow

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 08:26 AM

Maybe I just have better skies. I live rurally.



#22 cupton

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 09:43 AM

Here's the thing; suddenly the weather looks good. You'd like to go out with a scope, you may only have an hour. You have the opportunity for some deep sky, rich field, planetary and even lunar observing. Which of the two is the most versatile?

You just described my night a couple weeks ago. It was after midnight and there was suddenly a break in the clouds. I was all ready for bed, but realized I now have an ED80 scope (Vixen) downstairs that I can use to go look at Jupiter after putting my pants back on. Or not. But we dont talk about that. I also have a 127 Mak which has always been awesome on the planets. But no way could I just go outside with my Mak on a moments notice with no time for acclimation. Jupiter was still a little low, but it was nice and sharp with some really good contrast as well. My ED80 served its purpose and within minutes I was set up and getting my 1st views of Jupiter for the year.
 


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#23 sojourneyer

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 09:54 AM

You just described my night a couple weeks ago. It was after midnight and there was suddenly a break in the clouds. I was all ready for bed, but realized I now have an ED80 scope (Vixen) downstairs that I can use to go look at Jupiter after putting my pants back on. Or not. But we dont talk about that. I also have a 127 Mak which has always been awesome on the planets. But no way could I just go outside with my Mak on a moments notice with no time for acclimation. Jupiter was still a little low, but it was nice and sharp with some really good contrast as well. My ED80 served its purpose and within minutes I was set up and getting my 1st views of Jupiter for the year.
 

One way to address this is if you have a covered patio.  Just put the Mak outside on the patio in the early evening.



#24 cupton

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 10:00 AM

One way to address this is if you have a covered patio.  Just put the Mak outside on the patio in the early evening.

Right. Normally I set it out back for an hour or two and its good to go. My point was that it was cloudy all day so I had not planned on observing, but since there was a break in the clouds I was able to go out immediately because I had the small refractor.



#25 Steve Cox

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 12:01 PM

I just thing the sharpness, contrast and clarity are slightly better with the ED80 than the 127mm Mak. It's close, but I still think the refractor wins. It isn't always about bigger aperture.

 

I think the same about my 102mm ED doublet and my 150mm Newtonian. It's close, but I still think the refractor has the slight edge. Both refractors (Starwave & ED80) are ED doublets with an FPL-53 'flint' element. That may be relevant. 

 

I'd even go as far as saying my 72mm ED doublet has a slight edge over my 102mm Mak. 

I had an ETX125 for a while quite a few years back for a very short time, and my experience pretty much mirrors yours, with my first 102ED beating the pants off the ETX.  Now, it's not that the ETX was a bad scope, but the problem was trying to ever get it to reach equilibration.  Most nights it took about 3-4 hours or more just getting it to cool or warm where it was ready.  Much as I wanted to like it and use as a planetary scope, it just couldn't keep up so I donated it.


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