My first post. I wanted to get some opinions on a couple of refractors I'm considering. New to AP this year and I've already fallen in love with it, but all of my gear, not including my camera, is borrowed. I've decided on the EQ6R, but am waiting for next spring to save a couple hundred, as I believe sale price drops from $2200 CAD to around $1800 CAD. Significant savings to put towards a camera.
Anyway, to the point of this post... I'm struggling with deciding on the optics. I have two in mind (with a third constantly barging into the conversation), but they are different from a design perspective:
WO Z81 with a field flattener can be had for $1349 CAD at the moment. FPL-53 doublet
Meade 6000 80mm with field flattener for around $1560 CAD. FPL-53 triplet
In concept, I understand that for AP, a triplet is better, but I cannot for the life of me account for the price discrepancy. The WO GT81 triplet with FF is $2430 CAD. Almost $1K more than the Meade for the same aperature. Obviously this is throwing me for a loop.
I can understand quality being a large factor, but I can't find anything bad to say about the meade in my scouring of the internet. My limited experience has me wondering if I'm missing anything. The buy once, cry once mantra keeps popping into my head as well... nudging me to just fork out for the GT81. The meade on paper seems like a better choice, but I was hoping some more experienced users might chime in with opinions.
Thanks for stopping by, and especially for any advice or info!
Edit: I just realized this probably would have been better placed in the equipment forum... but I can't seem to find the delete button yet...
You're not missing much. This is a great example of how beginner's needs are different than experienced imagers needs.
All three are fine as scopes to learn AP with. Somewhere a long time down the road, you'll be going for smaller stars, where the triplet shines. Right away, you'll appreciate the better focuser on the expensive WO, focus is critical for AP.
But most all of us move on from our first scope. Buy once cry once is a strategy best used by people who know exactly what they need. You're not there yet, nor should you expect to be. The inexpensive WO Z81 doesn't get in the way of learning, which is the most important thing for quite some time. The extra money for the other two (either one) is "worth it" for an experienced imager. For a beginner, it's somewhat overkill.
If you want a TS scope, this guy tests the specific scope before he ships it out, will provide rudimentary test results on request (there may be a trivial fee). I bought my TS 130 F7 from him because I too was concerned about ordering from overseas. The box was enormous, very well packed. I like the scope a lot.
If you avoid the _really_ cheap scopes, you can't go far wrong here. I'd get the Z81.
But, if you don't agree (people often don't <grin>), THIS is the buy once cry once choice. They too test every scope. They have the expertise and equipment to fix most any problem, this is not like buying from a typical vendor. Scroll down. Ever seen an optical quality report like that? The Stellarvue focuser is superior, you can get "world class" by paying the $500 extra for the Feathertouch. The test report for your specific scope is not rudimentary. <smile>
They do throw in the reducer with the $2195 ($2695) scope. <smile>
I also have two Stellarvues. You probably will buy another scope down the road. But you'll keep the Stellarvue as your 80mm.
Edited by bobzeq25, 27 September 2020 - 12:35 AM.