I'm thinking of a ST80 type scope ( possibly Meade Infinity) for grab and go during the Winter. Quick setup with Alt-Az tripod. Not too long in the cold.
On these forums a 80mm 'frac is such a tried and true setup for quick and easy astro observing.
A couple points: I wouldn't be using a refractor on planets and the moon - i would use the Mak. The ST80 would be for clusters and faint fuzzies.
I would like to compare the views of an 80mm refractor @ around 30x to 40x with by 25x100 Binoculars on a few clusters.
However - if i want 30 to 40x with a 80mm refractor and around 2.5mm exit pupil, I could just buy a 32mm plossl for my Mak? That would give me 46x. and similar exit pupil. I don't have an Alt-az mount for my Mak, but i could just get one and plop the Mak on it with low power it should be ok for panning right?
I don't have refractor experience but i'm thinking the benefits of having an 80mm refractor is:
1. that it would give a wider view at the same magnification because of lower F ratio.
2. Also benefits of no central obstruction?
3. Smaller and lighter for running outside for a bit.
4. More portable that my binos (for low-wide field) since i dont need to setup my P-gram and chair ( but i could do this with the Mak too)
5. A bit more comfortable for low wide field than binos with 90 degree eyepiece over straight through.
6. more power than Binoculars but less power than a Mak - a nice in-between
But i'm not sure these benefits are so great that i need to buy another scope. The 127mm on an Alt-az ( with low magnification) could still be enough grab-n-go setup. BUT its not really the tool for a lower power wider field, I totally get that.
I definitely appreciate that each scope type has its best "use case". I don't necessarily want the the lowest-widest field - i could just use binoculars.
Also the other angle is - if it's the most often used scope - make it nice and buy an ED version? But from what i understand ED is best for bright objects and high magnification - and i would just use the Mak for that.
Thanks in advance for any opinions and comments