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

Redcat 51 LX vs Radian Raptor 61

  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 elginroad87

elginroad87

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: 18 Oct 2020

Posted 15 November 2020 - 06:19 PM

Hi, I am new to Astrophotography and am looking to purchase my first imaging scope to pair with ZWO 1600mm-Pro. I have shortlisted the newer version of RedCat 51 and Radian Raptor 61 as the final two. I was wondering if anyone would have any recommendations as to which scope would be a better buy. I am mostly interested in imaging DSO. Thanks in advance.

#2 SilverLitz

SilverLitz

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,233
  • Joined: 17 Feb 2018
  • Loc: Louisville, KY

Posted 15 November 2020 - 06:28 PM

Also, consider the Sharpstar 61EDPH-II, which is basically the underlying scope of the Raptor.  Radian Raptor is a "nicer" package, especially its mounting rings, but the scope $300 more and is made by Sharpstar.



#3 elginroad87

elginroad87

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: 18 Oct 2020

Posted 15 November 2020 - 06:32 PM

Thanks, SilverLitz for responding. I think I saw that other post where this topic has been discussed in great details. For now, I am just looking for some guidance on these two scopes.

#4 wizer

wizer

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 28
  • Joined: 23 Oct 2016
  • Loc: SoCal, USA

Posted 15 November 2020 - 06:33 PM

What mount will this go on?

Both of the scopes you listed will be very wide field, and easy to learn on. Yet for the same price range you could also consider 80mm range scopes (without a reducer though).

#5 elginroad87

elginroad87

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: 18 Oct 2020

Posted 15 November 2020 - 06:38 PM

This is for ZWO ASI1600mm-Pro, which I believe has a crop factor of 2? Would these still be wide field? Also, any specific 80mm scopes you had in mind? I am looking for something that is travel-friendly.

#6 wizer

wizer

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 28
  • Joined: 23 Oct 2016
  • Loc: SoCal, USA

Posted 15 November 2020 - 06:40 PM

I will add that while I don’t have either of the scopes, I would lean towards the Raptor. Why?

I don’t like the focus mechanism of the Redcat. Electronic auto focus was a game changer for me. Not just to allow automation sequences, but to not waste subs with soft focus even using focusing masks.

I know you can get belt driven focusers for the Redcat, but it always seemed hacky to me.

The Raptor has what seems to be a nice, although expensive, focuser option. On my scopes I use the ZWO EAF and think it’s great.
  • SimonIRE likes this

#7 elginroad87

elginroad87

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: 18 Oct 2020

Posted 15 November 2020 - 06:45 PM

Thanks, wizer for the recommendation. I think, for now I am not planning to buy electronic auto focus but it is good to know that there are options available if I need one.

#8 wizer

wizer

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 28
  • Joined: 23 Oct 2016
  • Loc: SoCal, USA

Posted 15 November 2020 - 06:46 PM

Check out this site for a FOV comparison. Both are pretty close with the ASI1600.

 

http://astronomy.too.../field_of_view/

 

I meant what mount you were going to use rather than the camera though. That will dictate the type of weight you can carry for proper guiding.



#9 elginroad87

elginroad87

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: 18 Oct 2020

Posted 15 November 2020 - 06:51 PM

My bad. I will be using Star Adventurer 2i with ASI120MM-S guide scope.

#10 Kevin Thurman

Kevin Thurman

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 334
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2020

Posted 15 November 2020 - 07:21 PM

For that mount the redcat is easier. It's lighter and shorter which makes it more forgiving than the raptor. Also, while we haven't had the luxury of years of images to compare, the images trevor posted using the raptor have some wonky looking stars. Almost like they forgot to install the fourth lens. I don't think any of the redcats (even the "duds" people have posted about) were quite that bad. The redcat is also cheaper, and I prefer the look of it, but that's just me.



#11 Neubadger

Neubadger

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 24 Aug 2020

Posted 21 November 2020 - 11:14 PM

What changed between the RedCat 51 and the LX version?  The WO site really isn't helping.



#12 Kevin Thurman

Kevin Thurman

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 334
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2020

Posted 22 November 2020 - 01:12 AM

What changed between the RedCat 51 and the LX version?  The WO site really isn't helping.

I believe it is the upgraded version they released a while ago. The backend is slightly different and it has a different mounting plate and collar. It's optically no different as far as I'm aware, just more mechanically flexible in whatever setup you use. Any redcat bought recently is an LX version. They don't make the old one anymore. If you scroll through the product page on the WO site some of the older images use the old redcat.


  • Neubadger likes this

#13 WoodlandsAstronomer

WoodlandsAstronomer

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 181
  • Joined: 26 Aug 2019
  • Loc: Texas

Posted 29 November 2020 - 07:57 PM

The updated RedCat includes an integrated field rotator. I have the updated RedCat and it is an absolute portable marvel and a pleasure to use. I don’t have but suspect the Raptor is quite good as well, slightly longer focal length. I saw some negative comments about the helical focuser, for me it’s been great. I don’t look to automate my extreme portable rig, quite the opposite, I look to make it lean and mean for hiking and camping use. With the integrate Bahtinov mask built into the end cap, I just sight a bright star, put the camera in live view, and nail the focus with ease. Once locked in place, it keeps focus all night long. I can’t recommend a small refractor strongly enough for the pure fun and ease of use. Have fun :)

#14 Nshepro

Nshepro

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 24
  • Joined: 07 May 2019
  • Loc: North Carolina

Posted 29 November 2020 - 08:54 PM

I went through this same conundrum this month. I went with the Redcat 51 (actually the OPT Nightcat 51). Like you, I don't plan to automate the focuser, but you have to keep in mind that faster focal lengths have a smaller window of focus. The idea that I can use the Redcat for both AP and photography is what swayed my decision. I have airplanes flying behind my house everyday and night and have yet to get a decent picture of them. I'm hoping this helps change that.

 

That being said, the Raptor is sexy, it comes with useful accessories, and the auto focuser has a clutch so you can use it with a computer or by hand. 




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