Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

ED80 (FPL53) + MakCass 150mm OR 4” APO (FPL-53)

  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 ABQJeff

ABQJeff

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 7
  • Joined: 31 Jul 2020

Posted 31 July 2020 - 05:31 PM

Greetings all! I am a new CN member and recently settled in New Mexico. Since it is a great place for it, I decided to make the leap and buy a telescope. I have low humidity and moderate weather and at 6100 ft. For my first foray into this adventure I am looking at
60% planets/double stars, 20% DSOs (nebula, galaxies and M31 (WFOV option needed!)) and 20% terrestrial.

I desire portability to go with a lightweight easy AZ/EL goto (Star Seeker IV is what I am pretty settled on). I will be viewing/iphone imaging planets/terrestrial mainly from the porch of my bedroom or downstairs in front lawn, but for DSOs will make the 30 min drive to dark skies. So OTAs (and needed rings/mounts) need to be about 12 lbs max (allowing 1-2 lbs for EPs, finder scope, etc.)

I live in safe place so can easy enough leave a portable scope outside front or back in evening over dinner (or on my back porch all night).

The light pollution at home is good for a third of the sky, ok for third and horrendous for the last third (looking into a city).

I prefer minimum collimation needs (see stairs and drive).

Eventually I will be doing more serious AP, but without a DSLR right now, I will be doing above mentioned viewing and iphone pics (using night cap, registax, etc). But I do want a telescope without CA and a built in option to do 2”.

I have a ~$1300 budget for OTAs, with the rest set for 1.25” EPs, filters, mount, etc. (but system should be able to go to 2” as my budget allows). I eliminated SCTs and reflectors due to regular collimation and terrestrial needs (but if you can make a strong case I am all ears).

Given all the above, my research on CN, and vendor sites, I have settled to this post’s question: for my needs do I spend $1200-1300 and get an ED80 (FPL53) AND a Mak Cass 150mm OR a good 4” APO (FPL53) (like WO Zenithstar 103)?

Seems like both options give planetary, WFOV, terrestrial, and are portable. Will just having the 4” kill me on viewing dim DSOs?

Thank you!

ABQJeff

PS I love CN (reading posts, you all are a hoot 😆)!

#2 cam1936

cam1936

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 903
  • Joined: 01 Aug 2008
  • Loc: Alberta, Canada

Posted 31 July 2020 - 05:48 PM

Welcome! It must be exciting choosing a rig to get into the hobby.

I have never used the Star Seeker IV, but I think a 100mm APO would be pushing it for weight rating. Maybe someone with experience with that mount can chime in on that. I see the weight limit is 13 lbs, generally you want to make sure you factor in diagonal, eyepiece, tube rings and dovetail weight, as well as give yourself some margin for error. Also, when really pushing the weight limit for a mount, a short telescope like a MCT will do better than a longer refractor.

I think you are on the right track and it sounds like you have done your research. I'd get a 80mm APO for now and see what targets you end up enjoying most, and then focus your efforts from there. The beauty of an 80mm APO is it will always be useful. If, in the future, you get bit by the AP bug well you can buy a high quality mount and image with your 80mm APO. If you get into DSO observing you can by a big dob and still use your 80 for widefield views.

Edited by cam1936, 31 July 2020 - 05:50 PM.


#3 photoracer18

photoracer18

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,445
  • Joined: 02 Sep 2013
  • Loc: Martinsburg, WV

Posted 31 July 2020 - 06:19 PM

I have that mount and most of those scopes also. and I grew up in Albuquerque. I have a 6" Mak, the Orion Argonaut, which is the Russian Intes MK67. Its listed weigh is 9.7# which gives it room for parts on the Orion SS IV. I also have an Astro-Tech AT80LE which is an FPL-53/Lanthanum ED doublet (CF version). It works even better on the SS IV. My 102 refractor is the Stellarvue SV-102ABV (LOMO from Russia, an OK-4/Lanthanum doublet but heavy in the typical Russian flavor). Not sure I would put that on my SS IV because that is my solar scope so a lot of extra things go on it for white light and Ha viewing. I also remounted my SS IV onto a Stellarvue surveying tripod (Berger) to make it stronger and stiffer.

I would vote for the 80mm ED scope because its more forgiving when it comes to imaging not to mention with really good skies available you don't need a really big scope to see a lot of things.



#4 db2005

db2005

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,160
  • Joined: 23 Dec 2017
  • Loc: Living in Denmark, under Bortle 5/6 skies.

Posted 31 July 2020 - 06:55 PM

For your stated purposes the combo you suggested (an 80 mm ED + a 150mm Mak) seem like good choices. The two scopes will complement each other very well, but there will also be significant overlap in terms of what they can do. The 80 mm will acclimatize much faster and provide sharp views of double stars and moon/planets quickly and provide wide-field views. The larger Mak will need more time to acclimatize (you could just thermally insulate it to minimize the problems with thermals) but will outperform the 80 mm on most targets, especially on DSOs. The Mak will also vastly outperform a 103 mm APO on DSOs.

 

The telescope's optical quality matters a great deal when you want to push magnification on planets and double stars. As an alternative (or rather, one or two steps up in terms of optical quality) to an entry-level ED scope like the ED80, it's worth checking out the Vixen SD81S. It sports Japan-made optics with better contrast, better color correction, better SA correction, etc. You could have an SD81S and a 150 mm Mak and still pay significantly less than you would for the 103 mm APO alone. Then I'd put the money saved towards a quality diagonal and a couple of quality eyepieces.


Edited by db2005, 31 July 2020 - 06:56 PM.


#5 ABQJeff

ABQJeff

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 7
  • Joined: 31 Jul 2020

Posted 31 July 2020 - 06:56 PM

Thank you Cam for the quick reply! Yes it is exciting. Thank you for your input, the ED80 plus Mak 150 was how I was originally planning to go (both from Orion) but I then read all the forums on how good 4” APOs are at planet contrast, imaging, how a 150mm Mak minus CO is really 103mm, etc. Also one scope is easier logistically (one finder scope, one bag, etc.).

I am keeping the scopes in my master bedroom where my wife agreed to let me replace the inexpensive gift scope my young daughter got from grandpa. My wife hasn't caught on yet this now may become two scopes (I will keep the unmounted one in closet), so I chuckled a little at the Dob suggestion...wouldnt she be surprised to come home and see a 14” Dob sitting in the middle of the MB 😆
  • cam1936 likes this

#6 ABQJeff

ABQJeff

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 7
  • Joined: 31 Jul 2020

Posted 31 July 2020 - 07:07 PM

Photoracer, thank you for that great input! It is good to know for future reference the SSIV can be moved to a more sturdy tripod, have you found extra weight to be any issue with the clutch gears, AZ/El movement? I saw one post where a person put a C8 with 2” gear on a SSIV (must have been 15 lbs plus) on the mount’s original legs...the poster admitted it was not a recommended future path (but he did it!)

Db2005: Great input as well! While in response to Cam I pointed out logistics challenge of two scopes, having one to use while other one cools off is the utility benefit of two (especially if driving to dark skies so cant just leave Mak out ahead of time). I will definitely look up VixenSD81s if it can be had at same price point with better optics (no brainer!)

Much obliged...

Jeff
  • db2005 likes this

#7 RichA

RichA

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,896
  • Joined: 03 Jun 2010
  • Loc: Toronto, Canada

Posted 31 July 2020 - 07:37 PM

Greetings all! I am a new CN member and recently settled in New Mexico. Since it is a great place for it, I decided to make the leap and buy a telescope. I have low humidity and moderate weather and at 6100 ft. For my first foray into this adventure I am looking at
60% planets/double stars, 20% DSOs (nebula, galaxies and M31 (WFOV option needed!)) and 20% terrestrial.

I desire portability to go with a lightweight easy AZ/EL goto (Star Seeker IV is what I am pretty settled on). I will be viewing/iphone imaging planets/terrestrial mainly from the porch of my bedroom or downstairs in front lawn, but for DSOs will make the 30 min drive to dark skies. So OTAs (and needed rings/mounts) need to be about 12 lbs max (allowing 1-2 lbs for EPs, finder scope, etc.)

I live in safe place so can easy enough leave a portable scope outside front or back in evening over dinner (or on my back porch all night).

The light pollution at home is good for a third of the sky, ok for third and horrendous for the last third (looking into a city).

I prefer minimum collimation needs (see stairs and drive).

Eventually I will be doing more serious AP, but without a DSLR right now, I will be doing above mentioned viewing and iphone pics (using night cap, registax, etc). But I do want a telescope without CA and a built in option to do 2”.

I have a ~$1300 budget for OTAs, with the rest set for 1.25” EPs, filters, mount, etc. (but system should be able to go to 2” as my budget allows). I eliminated SCTs and reflectors due to regular collimation and terrestrial needs (but if you can make a strong case I am all ears).

Given all the above, my research on CN, and vendor sites, I have settled to this post’s question: for my needs do I spend $1200-1300 and get an ED80 (FPL53) AND a Mak Cass 150mm OR a good 4” APO (FPL53) (like WO Zenithstar 103)?

Seems like both options give planetary, WFOV, terrestrial, and are portable. Will just having the 4” kill me on viewing dim DSOs?

Thank you!

ABQJeff

PS I love CN (reading posts, you all are a hoot )!

The six inch Mak will best the refractor on deepsky, you can't argue with aperture and their optics are very good these days.  The (for example) Orion FPL53 80mm ED is a true bargain, better glass  than some of the upcoming cheapo 80mm scopes as well.  I'd take the 80mm and the Mak for versatility and ultimate reach.



#8 ABQJeff

ABQJeff

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 7
  • Joined: 31 Jul 2020

Posted 31 July 2020 - 08:10 PM

Thank you Rich!...wow what seemed like a conundrum turns out to be pretty clear cut: 80mm plus the Mak

(Maybe that will instigate some replies from diehard 4” APO fans 😉)
  • eblanken likes this

#9 ABQJeff

ABQJeff

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 7
  • Joined: 31 Jul 2020

Posted 31 July 2020 - 11:54 PM

db2005, for the benefit of other readers, I looked up the Vixen SD81s, it looks lovely, but at $1200 I would not be able to get it and the Mak 150 as well. I should have been more clear, $1300 was my total budget for OTAs not just the refractor portion. The APO 4” I was looking at were doublet FPL-53 class, not triplets. I completely agree, if I had the money for a triplet FPL-53 4-5” APO (ala $2K plus) I would have money to spare with the scope you recommended.

Clear Skies!
  • db2005 likes this

#10 db2005

db2005

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,160
  • Joined: 23 Dec 2017
  • Loc: Living in Denmark, under Bortle 5/6 skies.

Posted 01 August 2020 - 01:25 AM

db2005, for the benefit of other readers, I looked up the Vixen SD81s, it looks lovely, but at $1200 I would not be able to get it and the Mak 150 as well. I should have been more clear, $1300 was my total budget for OTAs not just the refractor portion. The APO 4” I was looking at were doublet FPL-53 class, not triplets. I completely agree, if I had the money for a triplet FPL-53 4-5” APO (ala $2K plus) I would have money to spare with the scope you recommended.

Clear Skies!

You are right... I forgot that the Skymax 150 is significantly more expensive than the 127. Another thing to consider too, is that the Vixen SD81S can occasionally be had for considerably less than 1200 USD. I have recently seen it listed in Europe for 1161 USD, including VAT (which is typically around 20%). But if you import the scope to the US the dealer will remove VAT. This means that a 5" MAK and the 81S could be had for around 1300 USD + shipping. By comparison, the WO Zenithstar 103 (Doublet) alone costs around 1800 USD including VAT, 500 USD more.

 

Of course, YMMV, as I have only checked a single European webshop.

 

CS

Daniel



#11 SeattleScott

SeattleScott

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,381
  • Joined: 14 Oct 2011

Posted 01 August 2020 - 09:46 AM

Having a 4” Apo and 6” Mak, the Mak does better on DSO (not vastly though, maybe 50% better DSO views) and just edges out the Apo on lunar viewing. Double stars are better with the Apo. The Mak would probably be a little better in terms of mounting requirements.

Scott
  • db2005 likes this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics