I haven't been out on CN much lately but am having a wonderful summer of observing up here in New Hampshire. NEOWISE was really cool, and I have otherwise spent many mornings and evenings roaming up and down the Milky Way and other parts of the sky: all good!
I have been using most of my scopes and binoculars but among my scopes I do tend to use a refractor on a manual alt-az mount most often - just because these scopes are really easy to grab and get out with. I run them with dew heaters and in manual star hopping mode with Telrad and a 9x50 RACI optical finder and they are very enjoyable. And, among these I have actually been leaning toward my 150mm f/5 achromat - for "just that much more" aperture than my smaller refractors. (I am primarily a deep sky observer.) But the images in this scope do break down when pushed above lower magnification...
My Tak 100mm puts up clean, beautiful images but I find that I enjoy the 150mm f/5 more for DSO observing (and my 10" dob significantly more than the 150mm when I take the time to get it out). The 150mm is a pretty hefty scope, but I can haul it on a tripod in one go. It still feels small compared to my dob in terms of aperture, but it's got some reasonable punch and I can see a lot with it. BUT, the scope just feels too limited on the top end regarding color rendition and usable magnification while retaining clean images. (I know you can use yellow filters, etc., and have tried this but would rather have all of the light coming through the eyepiece.)
A 150mm-class ED refractor is just too big and too expensive for me - I would just go with my dob before doing that. So, I am going to try to "split the difference" and see if a 120mm ED might not be the ticket by bringing better optics to the table while still retaining enough aperture to do what I want to do with an easily portable refractor. (I think I can hear a good laugh coming from a certain astronomer down in Texas who did indeed advise me to go bigger than 100mm for an ED refractor back when I got my Tak...) I have had a Skywatcher 100ED f/9 in the past and know the optics were great and that the OTA is significantly longer than my smaller refractors. I'm sure my SV M2 mount can handle the 120mm easily and I have tripods that are up to the job. And, it looks like the EON build is substantially nicer than the Skywatcher ED scopes.
Hopefully, the 120ED Eon will check all the boxes. We will see... :^))
Edited by WyattDavis, 29 July 2020 - 07:37 AM.