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Used C14? Should I be interested?

Celestron SCT
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#1 nof

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 07:59 AM

Hello all,

I have a permanent ROR observatory with an Astrophysics Mach 1 mount. I used it for a while for astrophotos but now I mostly have an older Meade 8" SCT mounted on it for visual use. I live in a Bortle 5-6 zone. (I also have a Skywatcher 12" GTO on the observatory porch and another smaller 10" dob that I take out to darker skies). Just yesterday I was thinking that the Mach1 mount could support a lot more than that.

Today a friend told me about his brother's ancient C14 for sale. Pictures attached. He asked me if I'm interested. I'll ask you folks out there: should I be interested? A 14" SCT that performs well will do wonders with planetary, clusters and maybe I could even see galaxies that are usually not visible under these skies. My permanent pier is well placed for viewing in all directions except W. There's significant light pollution on the horizon, but the higher up you look, the better the viewing. I spend a lot of time in this observatory and enjoy it immensely. It is so nice to walk out the door and be observing in 10 minutes.

Does this scope offer me anything I am missing?

Even if I am not interested, I'd like your advice in determining a fair price - perhaps I can help them find a buyer.

Thanks for your advice!

Attached Thumbnails

  • C14 plate.jpeg
  • C14front-corrector.jpeg
  • c14 tube.jpeg
  • C14 rearview.jpeg

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#2 bob midiri

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 08:10 AM

I once owned a Classic Orange C14, I had to sell because of My Age, I have and have had a number of telescopes through the years. I miss that C14 terribly..The images are spectacular, the 3900mm fl allows the use of very comfortable eyepieces to obtain insane high powers, if you have the mount...which you seem to have, I would jump on it as long as the optics are good...Tell him you want to try it for a week first, in case you happen to get some nights of bad seeing..you dont want that to cloud your judgement. Best of luck!! Bob



#3 davidmcgo

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 08:23 AM

Get it!!!  The views of globular, galaxies, planetary nebula are an immense leap over an 8”.  Even in some light pollution.

 

Dave


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#4 Eddgie

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 08:51 AM

I have owned 12" and C14.  I had better planetary views with my 12".   DSO is only a small difference mostly noticeable on Globular clusters.   And my C14 had XLT coatings.   These older C14s have ordinary glass (not the higher transmission glass of the later scopes) and less efficient coatings.  This is why the difference in DSO performance is not as much as the aperture difference would suggest.

 

So, just an opinion coming from someone that owned both.  When I downgraded from the C14 to the 12" dob, I was worried about a loss in planetary performance and that did not happen, and I was worried about the DSO loss which is in fact there, but it is rather small and more than made up for by the far larger true field of the shorter focal length and faster reflector.

 

Last, but not least, with a good coma corrector, you can get the edge of the field razor sharp in a 12" reflector.  The C14 has pretty meaningful coma and field curvature.  If you like hyperwide eyepieces, the 12" with a coma corrector is a much better scope.  I never got sharp off axis performance out of my C14 and it always aggravated me.  That is a personal thing though. Many people don't  seem to mind off axis aberrations so that is why I put this last.



#5 Eddgie

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 08:55 AM

And these days, I would also say that my own advice would be to sell the 12" and use the money that you would spend on the C14 to buy an image intensifier.   This will turn your 10" into a 20".

 

We just had a milestone here on CN.  We added our 100th  night vision astronomy member two days ago. That is double the number of people from Jan 1st.   

 

If though you just think you want a big telescope for your permanent mount, a C14 is going to be a nice way to fill up the space, but with a unit this old, don't expect much better performance than you can get out of the 12".  You would be able to just go out and start observing though, and I get the appeal of that. 


Edited by Eddgie, 01 October 2020 - 08:57 AM.


#6 AstroPlanetary

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 09:21 AM

C14s are fantastic telescopes, especially for an observatory. That large aperture is a nice jump from a C11 and the focal length gives impressive image scale. I’ve owned three myself and that are great.

#7 nof

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 09:23 AM

And these days, I would also say that my own advice would be to sell the 12" and use the money that you would spend on the C14 to buy an image intensifier.   This will turn your 10" into a 20".

 

We just had a milestone here on CN.  We added our 100th  night vision astronomy member two days ago. That is double the number of people from Jan 1st.   

 

If though you just think you want a big telescope for your permanent mount, a C14 is going to be a nice way to fill up the space, but with a unit this old, don't expect much better performance than you can get out of the 12".  You would be able to just go out and start observing though, and I get the appeal of that. 

Eddgie, Just a question that I have wondered about: an image intensifier is the same as night vision device? These look to be around $6000 minimum plus accessories. Or is it something simpler and less expensive? A used 12" will not bring that kind of money for sure. Thanks for your response!



#8 nof

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 09:28 AM

I have owned 12" and C14.  I had better planetary views with my 12".   DSO is only a small difference mostly noticeable on Globular clusters.   And my C14 had XLT coatings.   These older C14s have ordinary glass (not the higher transmission glass of the later scopes) and less efficient coatings.  This is why the difference in DSO performance is not as much as the aperture difference would suggest.

 

So, just an opinion coming from someone that owned both.  When I downgraded from the C14 to the 12" dob, I was worried about a loss in planetary performance and that did not happen, and I was worried about the DSO loss which is in fact there, but it is rather small and more than made up for by the far larger true field of the shorter focal length and faster reflector.

 

Last, but not least, with a good coma corrector, you can get the edge of the field razor sharp in a 12" reflector.  The C14 has pretty meaningful coma and field curvature.  If you like hyperwide eyepieces, the 12" with a coma corrector is a much better scope.  I never got sharp off axis performance out of my C14 and it always aggravated me.  That is a personal thing though. Many people don't  seem to mind off axis aberrations so that is why I put this last.

On a permanent mount, a C14 will be a little easier to use than a 12" dob on the porch, but if there is little if any visible  improvement in light gathering then why do it. It doesn't take long to set up the dob. Seems to me that the primary advantage of a C14 over an SW12 would be the enhanced magnification and perhaps a seemingly darker sky background in light polluted skies?



#9 carolinaskies

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 10:22 AM

First as to price... older 14s still garner good value because APERTURE IS APERTURE!   OTA alone depending on condition can sell from $900-2000 depending on era of manufacture and any accessories included and if Fastar compatible(add $250). 
 

Second, despite some peoples insistence that 14's aren't that great and subject to substantial issues please take such advice for what it is... an individual who sails through instruments nitpicking, the 1%'er compared to the rest of us 99%er amateurs who find the 14s perform well.  

A 14" is 30% more light gathering than the 12" and is a longer focal ratio meaning it isn't meant to be compared to a 12" widefield, they are apples and oranges at the eyepiece and I think you understand what the 14" will bring you is the better star seperation and resolution of small objects.  A 12" widefield Dob has to be pushed to achieve the same magnification and it's still apples to oranges.  And unless you're intendeing to use 100-degree eyepieces the appearance of coma is NOT as significant to the peformance where it counts... center of field.  

While the coatings can matter some, they don't matter as much as aperture.  Because even the older coatings still function just at a lower transmission percentage, meanwhile resolion isn't effected only brightness. 

Since you have a dedicated location adding the 14" to your choices works easier than those who have to pack equipment around.  And I've always found using any SCT far easier than any Dob for viewing purposes.  



 


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#10 gnowellsct

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 11:51 AM

Certainly one option is to get the C14 and use it and see if he likes it.  If the style of the instrument is suited to his tastes, he can sell the older one and get a newer one.  Because the XLT coatings DO add some brightness.  

 

I would add the Night Vision to the C14 if I was going to do Night Vision.  

 

Greg N


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#11 Mitrovarr

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 01:13 PM

I would audition the C14 and try to assess the optical quality first, possibly with an artificial star. Because you want *a* C14 does not mean you should necessarily get *this* C14.
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#12 nof

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 02:58 PM

They say it was purchased new and used for a few weeks and ever since then has been sitting in the box. The name plate on the telescope has a serial number of 135 and that is followed by a space with 89. Does anyone know what this indicates?

 

I think I would enjoy the views as I do enjoy viewing with my Meade 8". it's a question of price; it's not like I need it. It is a one-time opportunity probably. I live in Israel. It is a small country, with a small population and only very recently has amateur astronomy caught on here (though I have been doing it along with a few other fanatics since 1995). I have never ever seen a 14" SCT for sale here used. I wasn't looking for one and am unlikely to see another for sale. It may be very hard to sell - I can use it on a permanent mount. For others that's a big, heavy thing to move around if you don't have an observatory handy. People are generally looking for lighter, more portable equipment. I also have a good goto mount available.

 

If the price is low, it would be hard to resist.

 

Thanks all for your advice!



#13 AhBok

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 04:01 PM

Sounds like you are already set up for visual. If it were me, I’d get the C14 for solar system imaging. That is one thing you can excel at, even with light polluted skies. I have a separate setup for planetary imaging from my home skies and really enjoy it. I view and image DSOs mostly from darker skies these days.

#14 junomike

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 04:11 PM

They say it was purchased new and used for a few weeks and ever since then has been sitting in the box. The name plate on the telescope has a serial number of 135 and that is followed by a space with 89. Does anyone know what this indicates?

 

I think I would enjoy the views as I do enjoy viewing with my Meade 8". it's a question of price; it's not like I need it. It is a one-time opportunity probably. I live in Israel. It is a small country, with a small population and only very recently has amateur astronomy caught on here (though I have been doing it along with a few other fanatics since 1995). I have never ever seen a 14" SCT for sale here used. I wasn't looking for one and am unlikely to see another for sale. It may be very hard to sell - I can use it on a permanent mount. For others that's a big, heavy thing to move around if you don't have an observatory handy. People are generally looking for lighter, more portable equipment. I also have a good goto mount available.

 

If the price is low, it would be hard to resist.

 

Thanks all for your advice!

The  don't!  (you'll regret it).

 

I too craved a C14 and although I no longer have it, I'm glad I did have the experience of using it.

 


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#15 pejorde

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 08:56 AM

I just sold my original (ca 1984) fork-mounted orange C14 last week after owning it for 10 years.

Reasons for selling were

(1) the OTA weigh ~25kg and setup and tear down was becoming a chore, and
(2) I mostly do deep-sky imaging nowadays and found a smaller telescope better suited.

 

I sold it for the equivalent of 2100 USD, which I suppose would be considered expensive in the US

but here in Europe a new C14 non-edge OTA alone costs about 10k USD (incl. VAT).

 

If I'd done more visual observations and had a permanent observatory for it I would likely have kept it.

 

Per Erik

 



#16 nof

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 09:02 AM

It looks like I have a C14 for my observatory if it performs well! they wanted a very low price after I told them what you folks suggested it might be worth. Could be amazing!
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#17 gnowellsct

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 09:33 AM

They say it was purchased new and used for a few weeks and ever since then has been sitting in the box.


The casting on the back has significant wear for something which was used only for a few weeks. But the shot of the optics looks quite good so I don't think it matters. I hope you enjoy it.
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#18 nof

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 09:48 AM

I noticed that and thought the same thing. The back looks worn but the business end looks clean. Anyway I’ll have a look at it in person to make sure. That is exciting to think that I might have views like that ready to go in minutes on my porch!

#19 Procyon

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 10:22 AM

And these days, I would also say that my own advice would be to sell the 12" and use the money that you would spend on the C14 to buy an image intensifier. This will turn your 10" into a 20".

We just had a milestone here on CN. We added our 100th night vision astronomy member two days ago. That is double the number of people from Jan 1st.

If though you just think you want a big telescope for your permanent mount, a C14 is going to be a nice way to fill up the space, but with a unit this old, don't expect much better performance than you can get out of the 12". You would be able to just go out and start observing though, and I get the appeal of that.


When I look at the sky at night I want it to look as black and dark as possible. The natural look. What color will night vision make it look?
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#20 Procyon

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 10:34 AM

Ask them why it's kind of banged up/scratched up for something that was used so little. If it's more than 1k-1.2k I'd pass and search the classifieds here for an XLT version. If this is to remain on a permanent mount in an oberservatory definitely get one.
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#21 Eddgie

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 11:25 AM

When I look at the sky at night I want it to look as black and dark as possible. The natural look. What color will night vision make it look?

Black and white or black and green.

The Veil in my 6". This is a cell phone picture taken with a Galaxy 9.  No processing, no stacking, just held up to the eyepiece. 

 

Vail2.jpg

 

 

Crescent.  This one is green. Same scope, same phone, same night. The green is shifted slightly to yellow and at the eyepiece, and on very dim object when the rods are mostly receiving,  your brain dials out the color so that you don't hardly notice it, though on bright objects you do see it as being yellow green, but again, the brain barely notices it. 

 

NGC6888 P43.jpg

 

Again, when at the eyepiece and a lot of rods are producing the image, you hardly see the green. 

 

Under bright skies, an IR Long Pass filter greatly attenuates sky brightness so that the sky can actually be darker using an image intensifier in a fast scope at low power than it is using a conventional eyepiece. 

 

Off topic though. If it is going to be in an observatory and permanently mounted, that is a much better value proposition than one that would have to be set up and broken down for observing. Getting a lot of aperture on a big GEM mount is a special situation and in this case, I would be more comfortable recommending the C14 simply because if you can simply walk up and observe, there is indeed some value to that..


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#22 nof

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Posted 03 October 2020 - 11:29 AM

The price was less than $1000. Pretty good deal. Once it’s on that mount the only place it will go to is GOTO on the Mach1 mount. I’ll have a good look at it soon. Thanks all for sharing your advice and experience!
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#23 bob midiri

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Posted 03 October 2020 - 12:17 PM

The casting on the back has significant wear for something which was used only for a few weeks. But the shot of the optics looks quite good so I don't think it matters. I hope you enjoy it.

Im thinking all that damage may have occurred when de forking the OTA?



#24 stevew

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Posted 03 October 2020 - 02:35 PM

The price was less than $1000. Pretty good deal. Once it’s on that mount the only place it will go to is GOTO on the Mach1 mount. I’ll have a good look at it soon. Thanks all for sharing your advice and experience!

Congratulations. Once you have used it a few times be sure to let us know what you think.



#25 Peter Besenbruch

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Posted 03 October 2020 - 04:33 PM

The price was less than $1000. Pretty good deal. Once it’s on that mount the only place it will go to is GOTO on the Mach1 mount. I’ll have a good look at it soon. Thanks all for sharing your advice and experience!

Here's hoping it works out. waytogo.gif




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