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If you had a $5000.00 budget.

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#51 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 04:38 PM

Hi Jon - Yes, I know you're willing.  It's me - and, not because I don't agree or find the conversation, on a certain level, stimulating.  Rather, it about priorities.  I prioritize optical quality over most other things.  

 

For $5k in a refractor, you can get better optics then what is in an NP127.  This is an opinion, but one that is backed by practical experience as I have personally seen it.  

 

Really, though, with $5k, I'd purchase a Portaball-8 and a Tom O. tracking platform - but this is THE Refractor Forum so I thought a TSA120 or a used TEC140 would be more appropriate.

 

 

 

 

My first NP101 (serial #1049) was equally good at low power, wide-field as well as planetary magnifications.  It was a mistake to sell; I've never been able to capture it's optical goodness in another NP101 after three tries...  

 

It's definitely a difference in priorities.  I come from a experimental research background. Capability is more important than some abstract measure of "quality". Capability is a combination of characteristics, each has its own importance.

 

In our lab, we had a camera capable of 16 single shot exposures. It could take an exposure every 5 nanoseconds and an exposure every 5 nanoseconds. The image quality was not Hollywood but it could record events that lasted a fraction of a microsecond. With a normal camera, nothing would be seen.

 

So for me, if I can make the split in my 10 inch Dob but not in a $5000 refractor, I'll take the more capable scope. 

 

As far as definining quality, it's not just a single parameter.. if on-axis resolution is your preference, there's no reason to choose a scope like the the NP-127. On the other hand, if off-axis sharpness/resolution are important parameters, then the 127 has something to offer.

 

Here's an interesting project based on the NP-101..

 

 

https://www.cloudyni...y/#entry7983602

 

Jon


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#52 ris242

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 05:46 PM

For visual, the bigger the better (within reason). If you have a mount that can take a 6" that's what I'd choose. The common APM 152mm ED doublet should be fairly affordable although it's not the best-corrected option. There are a lot of options at 130mm and 140mm, but finding a 6" triplet for $5K is going to be hard but probably not impossible.

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#53 Jethro7

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 05:52 PM

+1 on the Tak TSA-120 and use the spare change towards a nice alt-az mount, a nice EP, or a used C8 edge OTA for more eye candy. lol.gif

Hello ewave,

Thank you I have a AZ8 mount that will handle pretty much what ever l want to mount on it. TAKs are a nice option. 

 

HAPPY SKIES AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro 



#54 Jethro7

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 06:38 PM

 

 

The night vision thing is appealing, but I have no practical experience.  I am just a visual guy using Newts, refractors and a single 11" SCT to try to get the best views I can with the limited nights I can observe.   

 

Hello peleuba,

The night vision thing is the most amazing Astro Toy I own. To be able to see Galaxies and Nebulae and other Astro Artifacts that otherwise would be completely  unavailable to me in my moderately light polluted back yard no mater what scope I would  use. Are they perfect, no, they wont work for planets, tight double stars and no color. For me Night Vision Astronomy  was the perfect alternative to AP and I left imaging  behind. Dont get me wrong, I also love viewing the Cosmic artifacts just as they are without the NVD. They are not the end all of Astronomy devices but what a nice piece of equipment to have in your Astro toy box. The NVD is used just like a eyepiece. No computers no spaghetti wiring, when you are done you are done left with the good memories. For me NVD's are a total game changing device like having a good strong mount that can lift about any scope you want to mount on it.

 

HAPPY SKIES AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro 


Edited by Jethro7, 12 October 2020 - 06:47 PM.

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#55 Starhawk

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 07:10 PM

Actually, $5000 is a sort of point where the answers right at $5000 with maximum size can be compromises which won't really look after the real mission here- which is to get some seriously good glass to enjoy.  So, I'll point out within $5000, there are some seriously good scopes, second to none, but maybe not obvious to consider.  Typically there are side items needed to make a scope fully useful, so give that some thought.

 

New to consider:

 

Takahashi FSQ-85EDX- the distance from $5000 lets you get the required proprietary accessories, and then you're mobile and in business.  I pushed this to the top of the list after I wrote it when I realized I don't have a better answer in new astrographs.

 

Sky-Watcher Esprit 100- most popular of the series for a reason, and amazingly flexible since it already has the dedicated flattener.

 

AP 92- it's possible someone may be forced to sell basically on-receipt.  Make sure they can find you.  There's a lot of hope and chance involved here, so keep that in mind.

 

 

Used classics to look around for: 

 

Takahashi FSQ-106- several previous generations, no slouches in this menagerie, and if someone has the proprietary adapters in hand, you've just hit the astrophotography/ visual jackpot.

 

AP 130 EDFS - you just have to look through one to understand why people know what they are. On this same note, any used AP which shows up in your budget shouldn't be ignored.  They support their old scopes.

 

AP 92 (any variant) - not sure how easy this will be to find, but capable of being an astrograph or a grab-n-go.

 

TEC 140 - a bit larger, but an outstanding performer.  Keep in mind this is going to be around the top end of what a G11 will use comfortably.

 

TV NP-101is - this is a superb 4" scope, and seriously mobile compared to anything bigger, and used comes with a large discount since TeleVues have a peculiar depreciation rate.  The good news is, TV supports them, and they are fun to use.

 

-Rich


Edited by Starhawk, 12 October 2020 - 07:11 PM.

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#56 Jethro7

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 07:21 PM

If I had that many refractors, I would donate the $5000 to some one who will never be able to get a scope like these, like me.

Hello Grif,

I'm not rich by any means I just keep feeding the Pig every month and over time it adds up. I have only been serious with Amateur Adtronomy for a few years now and with the guidence of the knowledgable and experienced folks here on CloudyNights I have been able to piece together a respectable Astro Toy set a piece at a time. The first thing I bought was the G11G Gemini 2 mount and this and the AZ8 on a Berlebach  Planet tripod will hold most any scope that I will ever want to mount on them. Unfortunately one hard lesson I had to learn myself was for the most part you get what you pay for in astro gear. There have been a couple of exceptions to that rule my AT102 ED I will rate this scope the best bang for the buck in a refractor and My Altair Starwave Ascent 102 ED F/11, that is a Planet killer and has given me the best Lunar and planetary views to date. Do I think these two scopes can rival the performance of a TEC a TAK , AP, or TMB,  The answer is no way. And that's where I am at with this Topic.  For what it is worth I may just skip Christmas for my self this year and keep feeding the pig and see what comes up on the used market or buy new next year.

 

HAPPY SKIES AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro


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#57 The Luckster

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 07:22 PM

Taking into account of both my current equipment and my physical condition, I would select the following setup:

 

Takahashi FC-100DC

Tube rings and rail

Sky-Watcher AZ-EQ5 Pro

Baader Zeiss-spec Prism Clicklock

Celestron PowerTank 17 Amp-hour

 

+ CA state tax and some gas for my car...

 

CS

 

jason

Addendum:

 

I failed to mention that in this hypothetical scenario, I would sell off my SW100ED (which was in fact made redundant with my SW120ED purchase) to make room for the TAK.

 

My choice in the TAK FC-100DC is strictly and purely for visual only...

 

CS

 

jason


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#58 N-1

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 07:34 PM

With 5k available to spend, and for visual only, I'd seriously ask myself if a refractor is really the best design to get. It would have to be a serious jump in performance, or I wouldn't bother personally. If it had to be a frac, I'd probably save a bit more, then get an iStar 220mm f/15 Anastigmat, build a tube around it (a double truss maybe) & mount it on an APM AzMaxLoad or something like that. Any of the other apertures mentioned here so far would still be available by stopping down the instrument, likely with very similar views, except I could use much cheaper and much more comfortable eyepieces for the same results. Realistically though, I'd probably spend the money on something else.


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#59 hfjacinto

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 07:39 PM

Well with $5000, I spent $3000 on the APM 152, $390 to motorize the focuser and $200 for a new finder. I spent the rest on the mount (extension, more weights).

 

 

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#60 hfjacinto

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 07:40 PM

I even use the (some people and their comments.....not well corrected) APM for AP.

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#61 Jethro7

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 07:47 PM

Hello CNers,

Thank you Everyone for all the advice and more responses that I could have imagined on my topic. Some of the scopes were already on the radar screen and there are others that I had not considered, that I will have to take a good look at. After I purchased my first refractor I knew it was love at first light. I know that I am ready for a  higher end Refractor.

 

I probably should have asked the questions If you could only keep one Refractor what would it be? Or what Refractor do you regret selling? 

 

                                                                 WARNING

THE WORLD ATRONOMICAL SOCIETY HAS DETERMINED THAT REFRACTOR TELESCOPES ARE ADDICTIVE.  

 

HAPPY SKIES AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro 


Edited by Jethro7, 12 October 2020 - 08:34 PM.

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#62 Scott in NC

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 07:56 PM

Jethro, once you finally make your choice and receive your dream scope, I hope you’ll come back with some pictures and an observing report.  In he meantime, I’m glad that we could help!


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#63 Jethro7

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 07:56 PM

Actually, $5000 is a sort of point where the answers right at $5000 with maximum size can be compromises which won't really look after the real mission here- which is to get some seriously good glass to enjoy.  So, I'll point out within $5000, there are some seriously good scopes, second to none, but maybe not obvious to consider.  Typically there are side items needed to make a scope fully useful, so give that some thought.

 

New to consider:

 

Takahashi FSQ-85EDX- the distance from $5000 lets you get the required proprietary accessories, and then you're mobile and in business.  I pushed this to the top of the list after I wrote it when I realized I don't have a better answer in new astrographs.

 

Sky-Watcher Esprit 100- most popular of the series for a reason, and amazingly flexible since it already has the dedicated flattener.

 

AP 92- it's possible someone may be forced to sell basically on-receipt.  Make sure they can find you.  There's a lot of hope and chance involved here, so keep that in mind.

 

 

Used classics to look around for: 

 

Takahashi FSQ-106- several previous generations, no slouches in this menagerie, and if someone has the proprietary adapters in hand, you've just hit the astrophotography/ visual jackpot.

 

AP 130 EDFS - you just have to look through one to understand why people know what they are. On this same note, any used AP which shows up in your budget shouldn't be ignored.  They support their old scopes.

 

AP 92 (any variant) - not sure how easy this will be to find, but capable of being an astrograph or a grab-n-go.

 

TEC 140 - a bit larger, but an outstanding performer.  Keep in mind this is going to be around the top end of what a G11 will use comfortably.

 

TV NP-101is - this is a superb 4" scope, and seriously mobile compared to anything bigger, and used comes with a large discount since TeleVues have a peculiar depreciation rate.  The good news is, TV supports them, and they are fun to use.

 

-Rich

Hello Rich,

The  TEC 140 is one that has been on the Radar screen as with the TAK. I had a SW100 Esprit, and found that my AT102 ED was just about as good for viewing and I sold it and used the money for a AZ8 and Berlebach planet tripod.

 

Thank you Rich and KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro


Edited by Jethro7, 12 October 2020 - 08:22 PM.


#64 Jethro7

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 08:09 PM

Well with $5000, I spent $3000 on the APM 152, $390 to motorize the focuser and $200 for a new finder. I spent the rest on the mount (extension, more weights).

Hello,

This is one scope that also keeps circling around my head, especially after reading threads from Bomber Bob, who sold his APM 152 ED this week.  along with the AT152 EDT both are around the same price point. I have just wondered if the AT252 EDT performs like its little brother the AT102ED. 

 

HAPPY SKIES AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro


Edited by Jethro7, 12 October 2020 - 08:20 PM.


#65 Jethro7

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 08:31 PM

Jethro, once you finally make your choice and receive your dream scope, I hope you’ll come back with some pictures and an observing report.  In he meantime, I’m glad that we could help!

Thank you Scott,

That will be the Game plan. I like your signature " I never met a Refractor I didn't like"  perfect

 

HAPPY SKIES AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro


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#66 drd715

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 08:53 PM

Hello,
This is one scope that also keeps circling around my head, especially after reading threads from Bomber Bob, who sold his APM 152 ED this week. along with the AT152 EDT both are around the same price point. I have just wondered if the AT252 EDT performs like its little brother the AT102ED.

HAPPY SKIES AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro

I also have an APM152ED. It is a great scope. But it is big. I mostly use it when setting up for multiple nights, especially weekend expeditions to get out of downtown. I have done some AP with it at 1200mm, but my next addition is going to be a 140mm triplet F-6.5.

Bought a lens cell and it is the winter project. Primarily for imaging the tube will be slightly longer to take up the diagonal path. So many projects, so little time.

Quick view is a TS-102 ED F-11

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#67 Echolight

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 09:13 PM

This one kinda caught my eye

C05EE275-9B74-45EF-A850-10EB33EB48F3.jpeg

 

https://www.teleskop...tfield-Apo.html

 

It'll only get a little over 4 degrees. But at 677mm focal length it might not be too hard to magnify. And not too big to be easily portable. So kind of versatile. I think I could live with it as my only refractor.


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#68 Jethro7

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 07:41 AM

I also have an APM152ED. It is a great scope. But it is big. I mostly use it when setting up for multiple nights, especially weekend expeditions to get out of downtown. I have done some AP with it at 1200mm, but my next addition is going to be a 140mm triplet F-6.5.

Bought a lens cell and it is the winter project. Primarily for imaging the tube will be slightly longer to take up the diagonal path. So many projects, so little time.

Quick view is a TS-102 ED F-11

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

Hello,

Thank you, I have the Altair Starwave Ascent 102 ED F/1122, I have been Amazed by the performance it is as good as my AT102ED except I  can really run up the power on Lunar and Planetary viewing before I lose the resolution. That ought to be a fine winter project. I have had thoughts of making a 6" F/15 scope at some point.

 

HAPOY SKIES AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro



#69 peleuba

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 09:40 AM

It's definitely a difference in priorities.  I come from a experimental research background. Capability is more important than some abstract measure of "quality". Capability is a combination of characteristics, each has its own importance.

 

BIG SNIP

 

As far as definining quality, it's not just a single parameter.. if on-axis resolution is your preference, there's no reason to choose a scope like the the NP-127. On the other hand, if off-axis sharpness/resolution are important parameters, then the 127 has something to offer.

 

Here's an interesting project based on the NP-101..

 

 

https://www.cloudyni...y/#entry7983602

 

 

 

 

I assure you, Jon, quality is never an abstract characteristic.  Never.  No matter which metric you may choose to measure it; or benchmark used to define it.

 

I am a little surprised we're even having this argument as we seem to be in somewhat violent agreement in that its all about priorities.

 

You are reading into this a bit.  Never said a single characteristic defines quality.  Rather, what I said/implied is this:  its the sum of the priorities driven by a subjective value system.  Yours are different then mine - that does not make it inferior/superior.  It just makes it different.  This is a straw man debate.

 

In my opinion, far off-axis sharpness is over-rated unless one is choosing to purchase an instrument for photography.  I have never once heard anyone say that "...wow, the center is mush; but my God the off axis image is impeccably sharp and contrasty."   What is not opinion is this:  if the lens is not high quality it won't matter what the off axis performance is to the visual observer.

 

To state the obvious, refractors have limited aperture.  To this end, I want the best optics possible so the performance of the lens is only limited by its aperture.   

 

I've observed with, and tested a couple of NP127's, TEC140ED's and TSA120's.  So, at least I come by my conclusions honestly.   And, based on this, I made my recommendation as it pertains to the $5k budget.

 

Regarding the Don Bruns' experiment - I read the thread when it was active.  But, really, he had no choice but to use an NP101 (or similar) regardless of its overall optical quality.  His primary needs in a telescope were FOV and focal ratio for this experiment, not optical quality.  Though I am sure he wanted a diffraction limited OTA and the NP101 certainly provided that.

 

Anyway, that's how I see it.


Edited by peleuba, 13 October 2020 - 11:20 AM.


#70 rkelley8493

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 09:56 AM

If you had a $5000.00 budget for a Refractor what would you buy? 

CFF 135 oil-spaced ED triplet or Stellarvue SVX130T air-spaced ED triplet.

 

 


Edited by rkelley8493, 13 October 2020 - 10:54 PM.


#71 drd715

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 10:19 AM

Hello,
Thank you, I have the Altair Starwave Ascent 102 ED F/1122, I have been Amazed by the performance it is as good as my AT102ED except I can really run up the power on Lunar and Planetary viewing before I lose the resolution. That ought to be a fine winter project. I have had thoughts of making a 6" F/15 scope at some point.

HAPOY SKIES AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro

Yes im liking the 102ed F-11 especially at the special open box price of $500 shipped.

Funny you mentioned a 6 inch F-15; 6 years ago i ordered a D&G 6 inch F-12 cell. Finished the ota, still waiting for the lens. Found a 6 inch F-10 istar r-30 un-used and 2 days after buying the istar i got a message that the D&G was almost ready. One way or another i will have a long achro before too far into the future. Ended up getting the APM 152ed while waiting for the D&G.

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#72 Jon_Doh

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 11:15 AM

Stellarvue 140 for both the budget spend and the one to keep smile.gif


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#73 John Huntley

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 12:44 PM

I had a $7K budget for a nice scope back in 2016 and ended up buying a new Tak FC100-DL and a pre-owned but very nice TMB/LZOS 130mm F/9.2 triplet.

 

Very pleased with both of them grin.gif

 

 

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#74 BKBrown

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 01:42 PM

Hello Jeff,

The TEC 140 ED is one scope the keeps coming up.

Some one referred to the,TEC 140ED as the perfect scope.

 

Thank you and KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro

Hi Jethro,

 

I am certainly one of the people who considers the TEC 140ED to be "the perfect scope" (whatever that really means wink.png), and have said so here on CN. My rationale? It is as optically perfect as any premium scope currently available, the oil spaced objective cools/settles down surprisingly fast, it has an unbeatable 3.5" focuser, at 19 pounds clean it weighs less than many popular premium Apos with less aperture, they come up fairly frequently in the secondary market at pretty reasonable prices (for a high end Apo), due to its weight and length it is easily mounted on Atlas/G-11/CGEM class mounts, and it has a lots of aftermarket support for upgrades and add-ons. Easy on the eye, comparatively easy on the wallet, and with an extra bit of aperture to help get whatever observing or imaging task you want done...what's not to like? Here's hoping you find what you are looking for!

 

IMG_7265sc.jpg

 

Clear Skies,

Brian snoopy2.gif


Edited by BKBrown, 14 October 2020 - 08:35 AM.

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#75 bobhen

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 01:43 PM

I had a $7K budget for a nice scope back in 2016 and ended up buying a new Tak FC100-DL and a pre-owned but very nice TMB/LZOS 130mm F/9.2 triplet.

 

Very pleased with both of them grin.gif

Really nice scopes but the poster wants to use a refractor for visual AND night vision observing.

 

These 2 and the 152 ED F8s that have been mentioned are a little on the slow side for a refractor for night vision observing. Better to start with something faster and then reduce even faster if desired. Not that these won't work, just that there are some better options if NV observing is a requirement.

 

Bob


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