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Considering another refractor...need a little advice

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#1 John Miele

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 06:29 PM

I have read countless reports of you refractor junkies out there owning multiple refractors and thinking...that will never be me!

 

Well, maybe it will be me after all...I have a 130 triplet that I love for planets and double stars but it is so heavy! I actually passed up a beautiful bitter cold but very clear night last night because I did not want to haul out that beast with it's heavy duty tripod for wat would have been a brief 20 minute session.

 

So I began to cogitate on this matter and thought maybe it's time to downsize to a nice 102 doublet. I could sell the triplet, buy a 102 doublet, have cash left over and keep using my MN190 for imaging.

 

Then this little guy with a red suit and a pitchfork appeared on my shoulder and said "hey...why don't you just keep that beautiful 130 triplet and buy a second refractor...enjoy the best of both worlds...bwa ha ha..." and then "poof" he was gone.

 

And yay verily I can now see the wisdom of multi scope ownership. I am finally no longer scrimping for every penny in my life and could easily afford to do this. I am giving hard thought to ordering an AT102EDL as a more "grabbier and more goer" scope when I don't want to take out the 130...

 

Before I order, I would like to see what the collective has to say...

 

1. Would they be they too close in size? Should I maybe even go for a smaller 80 or 90 to further embrace the grab and go concept?

 

2. Is anyone using the AT102EDL scope yet? It looks terrific on paper but how does it do in the wild?

 

 

Thanks and cs!

 

John


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#2 mborland

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 06:40 PM

I would go for an 80mm or so, to get more variety in focal length for easier framing of larger nebulae.

 

--Michael


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#3 photoracer18

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 06:40 PM

I have a 130, 102 and a couple of 80s. And a 115 with my brother in NM for when I visit him. Of course I also have 3 or 4 of the other types of scopes. No such thing as too many. Except when your family has to sell them all off when you pass.


Edited by photoracer18, 13 January 2021 - 06:41 PM.

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#4 Auburn80

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 06:54 PM

Based on your post, I doubt you would be happy replacing your 5". Yea, it is a pain for short sessions in frigid temps. But in a few months, that wont be the case.
Now comes the hard part 😁. What would be your budget for an addition? 4" Taks are superb and light weight but pricey. 4" doublets work well - I have one I use on an old Vixen SP mount that's quite easy to use. Would that be small enough? 80mm doublets are even lighter but IMHO, only advantageous in size/weight and cost.
Think about it and decide what is *most* important.

#5 gwlee

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 07:07 PM

Based on your options,  I would choose a 4” for a 1-scope solution, and choose an 80mm G&G to complement your 130 for a 2-scope solution. 

 

For me, a 100mm refractor isn’t grab-and-go enough, so I chose a 92mm refractor to complemented my 8” reflector. 


Edited by gwlee, 13 January 2021 - 07:12 PM.


#6 John Miele

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 07:19 PM

Is that the AT92 by any chance? 

 

I am now virtually certain I will keep the 130 and have a 2 scope setup. So maybe a 90 or 92 is a better choice. Even easier to set up than a 102 and more punch than an 80.

 

Although this will be for 100% visual use, so a triplet design is  not really needed. Just a good quality ED doublet.

 

P.S. I know many people love them, but I have had my fill of achromats so they are not in the running at all.



#7 russell23

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 07:27 PM

I would go for an 80mm or so, to get more variety in focal length for easier framing of larger nebulae.

 

--Michael

I agree with Michael.

 

I would be inclined to look at a 72-80mm doublet APO for quick sessions.  The problem with a 102mm is that it is quite a bit for most low cost alt-azimuth mounts so you might find you would need your heavy mount for it anyway.

 

I put my AT72EDII on a Universal astronomics dwarf star on a camera tripod.  It is super light and a great option on those nights when I don’t feel like lugging out the mount for my 102mm or 120mm scopes.


Edited by russell23, 13 January 2021 - 07:27 PM.

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#8 Echolight

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 07:27 PM

I'd probably get an ST120. Little big scope. 8 pound OTA. About the biggest scope I would put on a Porta II mount. I'd probably get a small alt/az mount and put it on my heavy duty Bogan tripod.

 

It's known as a low power wide field scope. But I think I might enjoy using it more than my ED80 for the few times when I don't want to get the 6 inch out.



#9 Auburn80

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 07:30 PM

Is that the AT92 by any chance?

I am now virtually certain I will keep the 130 and have a 2 scope setup. So maybe a 90 or 92 is a better choice. Even easier to set up than a 102 and more punch than an 80.

Although this will be for 100% visual use, so a triplet design is not really needed. Just a good quality ED doublet.

P.S. I know many people love them, but I have had my fill of achromats so they are not in the running at all.


That's a good size to pursue. I'm not sure who offers a doublet though.

#10 John Miele

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 07:43 PM

Just did some searching and 90mm doublets are rare. Especially in the f7 range. So yea, maybe the 80mm doublet is more feasible. Funny how my aperture goal is dropping every few posts...lol!


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#11 MarMax

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 07:52 PM

If you are just doing visual than you should put that 130mm on wheels. I can be outside and up and running in 20-30 minutes. Sitting on the mount now is an AT130EDT. And packing it up is a whole 10 minute operation.

 

gallery_332504_15525_124593.jpg



#12 bobzeq25

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 07:52 PM

I have read countless reports of you refractor junkies out there owning multiple refractors and thinking...that will never be me!

 

Well, maybe it will be me after all...I have a 130 triplet that I love for planets and double stars but it is so heavy! I actually passed up a beautiful bitter cold but very clear night last night because I did not want to haul out that beast with it's heavy duty tripod for wat would have been a brief 20 minute session.

 

So I began to cogitate on this matter and thought maybe it's time to downsize to a nice 102 doublet. I could sell the triplet, buy a 102 doublet, have cash left over and keep using my MN190 for imaging.

 

Then this little guy with a red suit and a pitchfork appeared on my shoulder and said "hey...why don't you just keep that beautiful 130 triplet and buy a second refractor...enjoy the best of both worlds...bwa ha ha..." and then "poof" he was gone.

 

And yay verily I can now see the wisdom of multi scope ownership. I am finally no longer scrimping for every penny in my life and could easily afford to do this. I am giving hard thought to ordering an AT102EDL as a more "grabbier and more goer" scope when I don't want to take out the 130...

 

Before I order, I would like to see what the collective has to say...

 

1. Would they be they too close in size? Should I maybe even go for a smaller 80 or 90 to further embrace the grab and go concept?

 

2. Is anyone using the AT102EDL scope yet? It looks terrific on paper but how does it do in the wild?

 

 

Thanks and cs!

 

John

You should go for a 61-92, not because of grab and go, but because the wide field of view is better on many targets.  The 130 (which I own) has pretty severe limitations as far as targets are concerned.


Edited by bobzeq25, 13 January 2021 - 07:55 PM.


#13 eyeoftexas

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 08:00 PM

My solution to the problem of "Man, I don't want to haul that whole rig out" was to get a lightweight Alt-Az mount to use for the quick sessions.  That has been a savior many times now, because the set up is so much easier than having to polar align, etc.  You can certainly get one to carry that 130 triplet (my Stellarvue M2C easily carries my AT115EDT).  


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#14 stevew

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 08:26 PM

 

I am now virtually certain I will keep the 130 and have a 2 scope setup. So maybe a 90 or 92 is a better choice. Even easier to set up than a 102 and more punch than an 80.

 

Although this will be for 100% visual use, so a triplet design is  not really needed. Just a good quality ED doublet.

 

 

John, I have a 130mm triplet and agree with you that they are heavy, and need a good solid mount, so I ended up getting getting a Stellarvue 102 Access as well, which is essentially the same as the new AT102EDL.

It's a great scope with excellent optics, and it's small and light enough to mount it on a Vixen Porta mount. I would highly recommend the AT102 EDL as a second scope.

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#15 Jethro7

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 09:03 PM

Hello John,

I have a AT102ED and absolutly love this scope, I wont rehash the multitude of praises found in CN Topic threads on this scope except to say that I totally concur with them. The AT102 EDL is supposed to be better. I've not read any reviews as of yet. I have two Astrotech scopes and  they are awesome. 

 

Be careful Refractors are addictive. I recently added a AT60ED to the family and this baby frac is a joy to view with. I am so pleased with Astrotech scopes, I believe that now that I have the AT60ED and a AT102ED I need a AT152EDT to round everything out,  

The rig in the photo below takes me 10 minutes to set up. On those clear nights that I dont feel like setting up, I force my self to just put one foot in front of the other and just do it.. once I get to viewing all those reasons for not setting up are forgotten. 

 

HAPPY SKIES TO YOU AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro

 

20201225 164253

 


Edited by Jethro7, 13 January 2021 - 09:20 PM.

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#16 alancraig

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 09:04 PM

TV-85 gets rave reviews and is 3 lbs lighter than the AT102EDL. Twice the price though.



#17 Scott in NC

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 09:17 PM

I wouldn’t sell your 130mm scope, at least not now.  Get a 80mm or 102mm scope for those cold winter nights when you don’t want to haul “the beast” outside along with its hefty mount.  But when it’s a nice spring or fall night and you plan to spend several hours outside, you’ll long for a 130mm scope again if you hastily sell it now.  As long as you can afford to keep both scopes simultaneously, keep them both for a year before making a decision.  If a whole year goes by and you realize that you haven’t had the desire to use the larger scope even once, then you can sell it without regrets.  Take it from someone who has sold too much gear that I later wanted back. :grin:


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#18 gwlee

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Posted 14 January 2021 - 12:40 AM

Is that the AT92 by any chance? 

 

I am now virtually certain I will keep the 130 and have a 2 scope setup. So maybe a 90 or 92 is a better choice. Even easier to set up than a 102 and more punch than an 80.

 

 

No, It’s an AP Stowaway (f6.7). It’s a triplet that I only use it for visual astronomy.

 

Unfortunately, there aren’t many 90/92mm scopes available to choose from these days, but the AT92 has been well received, and it’s available, but it’s also a triplet. Doublets are more readily available at 80mm and 100mm. 

 

Since I already owned a larger scope with more punch that I planned to keep, my strategy was to carefully decide how much portability I needed in a grab-and-go scope, and then to make sure I bought a scope that met those requirements, so punch was a minor consideration for this purchase. 


Edited by gwlee, 14 January 2021 - 12:58 AM.


#19 Muffin Research

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Posted 14 January 2021 - 02:07 AM

If you are just doing visual than you should put that 130mm on wheels. I can be outside and up and running in 20-30 minutes. Sitting on the mount now is an AT130EDT. And packing it up is a whole 10 minute operation.

 

Yes, I wanted to recommend a dolly as well.. just wheel it outside, no good? wheel it back in.



#20 bobhen

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Posted 14 January 2021 - 07:36 AM

No. A 4” class refractor is not too close to a 130mm refractor. As a matter of fact, 100mm, 130mm and 160mm and over is a good refractor spread, as is 90mm 120mm and 150mm and over.

 

It’s the mount that will determine your scope size’s grab-and-go-ness. Your M2 should be fine.

 

Except for a few exceptions, I personally don’t like refractors below 100mm to use as “general use” visual refractors.

 

I’m sure the AT 102 is a fine scope, for the money. However, if you are after the “finest” lunar and planetary details within reach of a 100mm class refractor, you might want to consider one of the Tak 100mm doublets.

 

Whatever you select, I’m positive that you will enjoy the portability of a 100mm class refractor. I’m betting that it will be your most used scope. And maybe that is one more reason to consider one of the Taks.

 

Have fun selecting and using.

 

Bob


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#21 MrRoberts

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Posted 14 January 2021 - 09:27 AM

My 120 and C-8 are great performers. But like you when I want to just throw something out for a short while the 80 (or C-6) is what I grab.

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#22 Bill Barlow

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Posted 14 January 2021 - 11:34 AM

There is a big jump in visual performance from 80mm to 100-102mm.  I would opt for a 4” scope if your mount can handle it.  I own a 3” Tak but have been considering selling it and moving up to a 4”  for more light grasp.  Time will tell.  But I have a C5 on order, so that will be my slightly larger grab and go scope.

 

Bill



#23 YAOG

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Posted 14 January 2021 - 11:55 AM

You should go for a 61-92, not because of grab and go, but because the wide field of view is better on many targets.  The 130 (which I own) has pretty severe limitations as far as targets are concerned.

A fast 130 with the right eyepieces can see maybe 3.5 degrees give or take a bit. This seems like a reasonably wide FOV at least from a large reflector POV and certainly from a large SCT POV. 



#24 soulprophet

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Posted 14 January 2021 - 12:07 PM

I have a 90mm triplet and I'm a huge fan. It's the perfect grab and go/travel scope for my needs. I'm actually looking at another refractor in the 128-130 range to compliment the small guy. 



#25 John Miele

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Posted 14 January 2021 - 06:52 PM

A lot to think about! I appreciate all the points of view. I'm going to let it stew in my mind for little while before pulling a trigger...


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