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4" Refractor to compliment C8 guidance needed

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#1 auggie doggie

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 07:20 PM

I'm hoping to get some direction selecting a 4" Refractor to go along with my f/10 SCT. I've presently have an early Super C8 with the Byers Worm Gear wedge mount on original steel tripod. It seems to get heavier as I seem to get older, so I'm in the market for a grab'n'go 4" frac to mount on my CG4. Visual use only, and manual searches.

 

The Sky-Watcher EvoStar 100ED Pro initially caught my attention; nice glass, comes with finderscope and diagonal but troublesome focuser has been reported by many. The other negative is the f/9 ratio. I already have an f/10 C8. (Maybe that's not an issue).

 

Then I turned my attention to a much loved scope on these forums - AT102ED f/7 gets me the wider FOV to compliment the f/10 Cat, and a decent focuser according to many reports here on Cloudy Nights.

 

And then I discover the AT102EDL. Roughly same price as the EvoStar 100 ED Pro (albiet no accessories), improved glass over the AT102ED, and a superior 2.5" R&P vs the "Crayfish" on the SW EvoStar.

 

So, now to the point - will the AT102ED @ $599 serve me just as well if I'm only doing visual stargazing? Will my 68 y/o eyes benefit from the EDLs superior glass for twice the price? Am I overthinking this, or is there another factor I should consider?

               

                                                                                                 ~al dusoe~


Edited by auggie doggie, 02 December 2020 - 08:35 AM.


#2 Bean614

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 07:35 PM

Your 'Script' is difficult to read, and unnecessary.  Thank you.


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#3 auggie doggie

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 07:48 PM

Your avatar is difficult to see. You're welcome.


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#4 Sam M

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 07:50 PM

I have the AT102ED, and love it.  Sharp, lots of contrast, the different colors of stars really pop out.  Mechanically, it's very solid, and the focuser works well with my heavy binoviewer.  The short focal length makes it great for wide, rich fields, pretty much the opposite of your C8.  But, it shows nice detail on Mars.  There is a little noticeable chromatic aberration when looking at the moon, but I don't really notice it unless I'm looking for it.


Edited by Sam M, 01 December 2020 - 08:02 PM.


#5 Sam M

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 07:58 PM

Considering you are bothered by the weight of the C8, you might want to consider a handle to help with holding the scope while you mount it.  Astronomics sells one, or Vixen.


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#6 randcpoll

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 08:03 PM

I have the same combo, a C8 and a 4" refractor. I had a Skywatcher 100ED and liked it, but was happy to be able to swap it our for a Stellarvue Access 102. The new AT102EDL is nearly identical specs-wise to the Stellarvue. I'd really recommend waiting until they are in (unless you find a used Access). smile.gif


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#7 auggie doggie

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 08:04 PM

Are you referring to a handle for the C8 or the frac?

 

Thanks, Sam. Appreciate the input.



#8 Bean614

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 08:06 PM

Your avatar is difficult to see. You're welcome.

Apparently you take my observation as offensive, and have replied in a confrontational manner, which you think is OK.  It's not. I'm 72 and that script is near impossible to read on a tablet or phone. It is more useful in your signature.

As to you your snide remark about my avatar, I choose not to have one, as do many members, and they aren't required.  Legible posts ARE required.  Unless, of course, you are a 'special ' newcomer who doesn't want his posts to be read.


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#9 auggie doggie

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 08:16 PM

Apparently you take my observation as offensive, and have replied in a confrontational manner, which you think is OK.  It's not. I'm 72 and that script is near impossible to read on a tablet or phone. It is more useful in your signature.

As to you your snide remark about my avatar, I choose not to have one, as do many members, and they aren't required.  Legible posts ARE required.  Unless, of course, you are a 'special ' newcomer who doesn't want his posts to be read.

It never occurred to me that you might be reading the posts on a tablet or phone. I actually wasn't offended. I was however taken back by your comment as the first reply to me on this site. My 'snide remark' was intended to be a comical reply.

 

I apologize for the offense.



#10 Sam M

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 08:20 PM

Are you referring to a handle for the C8 or the frac?

 

Thanks, Sam. Appreciate the input.

The refractor...

https://www.astronom...t-at130edt.html

https://www.vixenopt...tors-p/3870.htm

 

I have the Vixen one, and it makes handing the refractor much easier.



#11 John Huntley

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 08:38 PM

When I had a C8 I found a Vixen ED102SS refractor at F/6.5 was a very good complimentary scope to have.

 

More so than an F/9 ED100 which I also owned before I got the Vixen.

 

Todays ED doublets are capable of both high magnification performance (ie: 200x plus) and low power, wide field views (ie: 4 degrees true field with the right 2 inch eyepiece)

 

The only risk is that you may find yourself using the refractor more than the 8 inch SCT !


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#12 auggie doggie

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 08:49 PM

When I had a C8 I found a Vixen ED102SS refractor at F/6.5 was a very good complimentary scope to have.

 

More so than an F/9 ED100 which I also owned before I got the Vixen.

 

Todays ED doublets are capable of both high magnification performance (ie: 200x plus) and low power, wide field views (ie: 4 degrees true field with the right 2 inch eyepiece)

 

The only risk is that you may find yourself using the refractor more than the 8 inch SCT !

You read my mind! I was first thinking of selling the C8 and living with a good 4" refractor as my last scope. But, nah, I'll keep both for their individual capabilities. I regret selling my first SPC8 with the wooden tripod Super Polaris GEM. Won't make that mistake again.


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#13 eyeoftexas

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 08:50 PM

I would assume that you would still use the C8 for planetary, and compliment that with wide field views from the 4" refractor.  If that generally is true, then I think the EDL might be a $500 overkill.  I have an AT115EDT, and the views are great, but if I really want to visually see planetary details, I point my 12" Dob at them.  But, if money is no object, and you think you might get into astrophotography at some point, then by all means go for the EDL.


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#14 auggie doggie

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 09:05 PM

eyeoftexas,

 

You are confirming my thoughts that the 102ED will satisfy as I don't image, and leave $500 in my pocket. Thanks for the reply.


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#15 PKDfan

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 10:15 PM

Hi Auggie Doggie! I'm going to put my 2 cents on the table. Had a c8 with great optics but hated almost everything about it except aperture and portability. Got a SW 4 inch frac as the simple operation tool combined with the wide(ish) field and stunning optics makes for some lifetime best views. The very long life
of the SW pro/evostar line has proven themselves; for the very excellent optical figure they have. Quite unusual for an entire line to be praised overwhelmingly like the 80,100,120 and even the new 150 have. Every negative comment focuses(pun unintended) on the 'crayfish'(!) focuser, mine was just a teensy bit loose on friction so a simple 5°turn of the correct screw viola a 20mmType2 Nagler holds at zenith no problem. IMHO optical quality trumps all else and as a supremely discriminating observer the value of the SW100ED cant be beat imo.

Clear skies & Good seeing

Edited by PKDfan, 01 December 2020 - 10:17 PM.

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#16 SeattleScott

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 10:26 PM

eyeoftexas,

You are confirming my thoughts that the 102ED will satisfy as I don't image, and leave $500 in my pocket. Thanks for the reply.

Just to be clear it isn’t that you won’t see any difference visually between the cheaper and more expensive versions. It just won’t be as dramatic visually as it would be for AP. Most stuff will look basically identical, but bright stars , the Moon and planets will be a little sharper with the more expensive one. At nearly double the price you don’t get nearly double the views, so definitely some declining marginal benefits with the EDL. But if you are a buy right buy once type, it might make more sense than always wondering what you are missing until you eventually upgrade to the EDL anyway. So yeah there are those focused on maximizing bang for the buck and those who want to get something higher end so they don’t feel a need to upgrade down the road. Just depends on what your type is.

Put another way, I don’t consider the EDL overkill for visual use. Most people who buy the EDL are probably getting it for visual. For AP they want the better correction of a triplet usually. Not saying you can’t image with the EDL, but I think of it more as a high spec visual scope. But yes there are diminishing returns compared to the cheaper model.

Scott

Edited by SeattleScott, 01 December 2020 - 10:39 PM.

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#17 MJB

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 11:23 PM

I have a Super C8 with Byers drive just like yours. I got a 4" refractor earlier this year and really enjoy the grab and go aspect - it's had quite a positive effect on my observing frequency. I don't have any experience with the 4" scopes you are looking at, but I think no matter which you choose, it will be a good companion to your C8. I find them to be complementary. Seems like a great time to pick one up because there are so many to choose from at all price points (leaving aside in-stock and availability issues). 



#18 auggie doggie

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 11:28 PM

Hi Auggie Doggie! I'm going to put my 2 cents on the table. Had a c8 with great optics but hated almost everything about it except aperture and portability. Got a SW 4 inch frac as the simple operation tool combined with the wide(ish) field and stunning optics makes for some lifetime best views. The very long life
of the SW pro/evostar line has proven themselves; for the very excellent optical figure they have. Quite unusual for an entire line to be praised overwhelmingly like the 80,100,120 and even the new 150 have. Every negative comment focuses(pun unintended) on the 'crayfish'(!) focuser, mine was just a teensy bit loose on friction so a simple 5°turn of the correct screw viola a 20mmType2 Nagler holds at zenith no problem. IMHO optical quality trumps all else and as a supremely discriminating observer the value of the SW100ED cant be beat imo.

Clear skies & Good seeing

Thank you for clarifying that optics wins out over mechanics. Food for thought.



#19 auggie doggie

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 11:35 PM

Just to be clear it isn’t that you won’t see any difference visually between the cheaper and more expensive versions. It just won’t be as dramatic visually as it would be for AP. Most stuff will look basically identical, but bright stars , the Moon and planets will be a little sharper with the more expensive one. At nearly double the price you don’t get nearly double the views, so definitely some declining marginal benefits with the EDL. But if you are a buy right buy once type, it might make more sense than always wondering what you are missing until you eventually upgrade to the EDL anyway. So yeah there are those focused on maximizing bang for the buck and those who want to get something higher end so they don’t feel a need to upgrade down the road. Just depends on what your type is.

Put another way, I don’t consider the EDL overkill for visual use. Most people who buy the EDL are probably getting it for visual. For AP they want the better correction of a triplet usually. Not saying you can’t image with the EDL, but I think of it more as a high spec visual scope. But yes there are diminishing returns compared to the cheaper model.

Scott

With all the options available, I lost track that at my age buy right the first time when I don't plan to buy again. I'm not saying that money is no option, but realizing that I can afford an EDL means I should do it and don't look back. Otherwise you find yourself always wondering if you could of / should of done better and then repeat the process all over.

 

Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt. How many else of us has gone down that road?

 

Thanks, Scott for that reminder.


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#20 auggie doggie

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 11:46 PM

I have a Super C8 with Byers drive just like yours. I got a 4" refractor earlier this year and really enjoy the grab and go aspect - it's had quite a positive effect on my observing frequency. I don't have any experience with the 4" scopes you are looking at, but I think no matter which you choose, it will be a good companion to your C8. I find them to be complementary. Seems like a great time to pick one up because there are so many to choose from at all price points (leaving aside in-stock and availability issues). 

MJB,

 

Right! What's with the stock issue? I'm newly returning to astronomy and nobody has inventory. "Many on the way". Is it the plague, or is it lack of demand.

 

My Super C8 with the Byers was my second C8. Never used the AC drive. Regret selling the SPC8 with the Super Polaris Mount, my first. I really prefer the thrill of the hunt, I'm sure you know what I mean. First scopes are like first wives (not sure what that means, but I regret losing both). That's probably why I'm reluctant to part with the one I have, and bring in another to cover other desires.

 

Is that too weird?



#21 SeattleScott

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 12:03 AM

It is the plague and hyper demand. Covid disrupted supply chain as astro sales soared with people looking for safe things to do at home.

Scott
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#22 havasman

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 12:05 AM

Well, the stocking issue is because demand is so high now that folks are having to find ways to amuse themselves in less crowded modes. It's been widely reported in the media and discussed here. Stores have little to sell and supply lines are stretched. Supply chain issues also complicate matters for manufacturers. It's the same with many types of hobby gear from bicycles to boats to RV's to stereo gear. I ordered a very pedestrian bicycle from a small maker in Pennsylvania that has taken 4 months to deliver and it shipped today. It's the plague.

 

The best 4" complement to your 8" is a TV NP101is. But they're in another price range entirely. If I was you, I'd pick up the AT102ED and never look back. You'll have very sharp wide fields that will be just wonderful for you. I have used another observer's SW 100mm f9 and they're very good but you're right about the focal ratio being in a range you have covered. Get the field width! You'll have higher contrast than your SCT with the AT102ED too and it could become your favorite scope.

 

I have and enjoy an AT115EDT I bought not long after they were released. The AT102ED had not been announced. I'd likely have bought it instead if I'd had the choice and would certainly be satisfied with it too.



#23 SeattleScott

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 01:15 AM

Of course the AT102EDL is the same F ratio as the 102. Not sure about availability.

You can still go about 3 degrees wide with the SW100ED. A lot wider than a C8. But the AT versions can go wider yet and are shorter with better focuser I hear.

Scott

#24 Muffin Research

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 06:03 AM

Put a little 76 or 80mm frac on top of the C8, that's a good combo, C8 with a superb finderscope basically as I found the C8 a great observing tool but often you want to pull back and get an overview which only goes so far with a C8.



#25 MortonH

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 07:38 AM

It never occurred to me that you might be reading the posts on a tablet or phone. I actually wasn't offended. I was however taken back by your comment as the first reply to me on this site. My 'snide remark' was intended to be a comical reply.

 

I apologize for the offense.

So could you please edit the first post to a normal font?




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