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Difference Between 90mm and 127mm or 130mm?

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#26 Dave96

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 12:20 PM

I assume you are using some 2” eps as well as 1.25” ? That is a big factor in your low power, wide field viewing pleasures.

LDW47,

I am currently using 1.25" EPs only. My 90mm refractor is not built to use the 2" EPs. I have never looked through a 2" EP, but I suppose the FOV is better compared to a 1.25" EP? Overall, the view with my 90mm refractor and the 1.25" EPs is nice, but I would like to add another telescope soon. Thanks for your reply. 


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#27 Dave96

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 12:26 PM

If you want to stay in the refractor family consider the…

 

Celestron 120mm Omni XLT refractor. You can purchase the refractor with a mount for around $640.  

 

However, you can purchase the Celestron 120mm Omni XLT Refractor as an OTA (Optical Tube Assembly) for $400 from High Point Scientific. HERE is a link.

 

You can then purchase a more robust mount from Orion Telescopes & Binoculars like the Sky View Pro for around $300. HERE is a link.

 

The Omni is a pretty good size refractor so I would recommend the Sky View Pro mount.

 

Other telescopes to consider within your budget might be an Orion 8" Dobsonian or a Celestron Nexstar 6SE on a computerized mount. Each telescope has advantage and disadvantages so do some research regarding weight, size, collimation and acclimation of the optics to the cold and then select one. All will deliver the goods.

 

Bob

bobhen,

Thank you for the information and providing the links for the telescope vendors. Acclimation is one of my considerations for my next telescope. Some cooling down time is okay, but I would not want a telescope that needs a couple of hours to cool down.


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#28 Dave96

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 12:32 PM

There is a difference in observing between the 90mm and 130mm class refractors, but it is not a major upgrade. I had 76, 85 , 101 and 130 size refractors at the same time. There’s incremental improvement with each step up, but it’s just a little more of the same.

 

Observing with a larger mirrored scope is like a different hobby by comparison. My advice to get the most enjoyment from observing is to own a smaller refractor around that 4” class combined with a larger dob around the 10” to 12” class. Those two scopes could keep an observer going for a lifetime. A 90mm/130mm combination wouldn’t get close to achieving that.

Allan,

Thanks for the information on the different apertures. I would need to learn how to use a mirrored telescope if I decide to get one. Sounds like a small refractor and a large Dob would be good to have and they both would provide good views based on their specifications. Small refractor good for moon and planets, large Dob good for DSOs.


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#29 GSBass

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 01:09 PM

180mak for moon and planets, refractor for wide field, dob for dso imho

Allan,

Thanks for the information on the different apertures. I would need to learn how to use a mirrored telescope if I decide to get one. Sounds like a small refractor and a large Dob would be good to have and they both would provide good views based on their specifications. Small refractor good for moon and planets, large Dob good for DSOs.



#30 GSBass

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 01:14 PM

And judging from the night vision forum I just browsed, if price ever comes down within reason I think that would replace a dob, those guys are seeing more detail in dso than the big boys... and nice looking too with the white phosphorus units, kinda jealous

Allan,

Thanks for the information on the different apertures. I would need to learn how to use a mirrored telescope if I decide to get one. Sounds like a small refractor and a large Dob would be good to have and they both would provide good views based on their specifications. Small refractor good for moon and planets, large Dob good for DSOs.



#31 LDW47

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 01:17 PM

LDW47,

I am currently using 1.25" EPs only. My 90mm refractor is not built to use the 2" EPs. I have never looked through a 2" EP, but I suppose the FOV is better compared to a 1.25" EP? Overall, the view with my 90mm refractor and the 1.25" EPs is nice, but I would like to add another telescope soon. Thanks for your reply. 

If you like the 90mm you can probably retrofit it with a 2” GSO single speed Crayford focuser from Agena Astro for well less than $150 and free shipping. Of course you would need a 2” Dielectric GSO diagonal with 1.25” adaptor again for less than $150.



#32 JMW

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 02:32 PM

I have been using my PVS14 on the Televue 55 plossl with my SVR90T. I have seen the Horsehead and Flame, California nebula from my light polluted backyard. 

 

I use almost only 2 inch eyepieces except for my 2.5 and 3.5mm Nagler T6 and my 12mm Delos that I use for public outreach. I enjoy my Pan 41 on my SVR90T for the very large objects.



#33 Dave96

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 02:37 PM

Two for one is nice.,I used the 127 as a finder for the 80mm.,.lol.,This helps to really compare the differences between your scopes.,

clearwaterdave,

Nice photo, very creative. waytogo.gif



#34 gwlee

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 12:46 AM

Hello everyone. I am new to amateur astronomy and would like to know if there is a big difference in the view between a 90mm refractor and a 127mm or a 130mm refractor? I keep hearing that aperture is one of the key factors for telescopes. I currently own a 90mm refractor on an altazimuth mount since July 2020 and I have enjoyed it, but would like to know if a larger refractor makes a big difference or not. I am considering a second telescope (more aperture), preferably another refractor because I like the simplicity, size, and the durability. I do not have a specific model in mind, but my budget is about $800.00.

 

My viewing conditions are the suburbs (Bortle 6 sky) and I view planets, the moon, star clusters, double stars, M45, M42, M31 (was actually able to see M31 as a small grey-colored faint fuzzy), and any other brighter DSOs that my 90mm scope can handle. Will a 127mm or 130mm refractor show a considerable difference and more details of these objects compared to my 90mm? Also, is a 127mm Mak-Cass a good option for an overall telescope to view the same objects? I am only interested in viewing, no photography. I typically view at home in my yard or back deck. The details of my current 90mm refractor are below in my signature block.

 

I appreciate any advice from those with personal experience with various refractors and/or Mak-Cass telescopes. Thanks.

The differences in resolution and light gathering can be easily and objectively calculated for these apertures, but I think you are asking for a subjective impression. For me, there’s definitely a noticeable difference between the views of a 90mm and a 130mm refractor, but the views are more similar than different. For me, a “wow” difference requires doubling the aperture, which requires a small reflector. 
 

If you want a bigger refractor, I suggest buying the largest, good quality, ED doublet refractor you can afford that will also be EASY for you to handle, but it probably won’t be much bigger, so won’t perform much better than the 90mm you have now, and it might require a bigger mount. 

 

I have a 92mm f6.7 refractor complemented by a good quality 8”f6 Dob reflector. The reflector has more than twice the performance, weighs 41# with mount, and costs about $430. With your budget, you could easily purchase a good quality 10”f5 Dob. 



#35 base16

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 01:51 AM

The scopes I have used are in my signature below for your reference, so I am sharing my experience with this range.

 

Between the 85, 92, 120, 127 mm apertures, I have been able to tell the difference between each of them. Not mindblowing difference, but noticeable difference. I have a 160mm on order as well which I am sure will bring even more difference. There is substantial difference (to me) between the 85/92 class vs the 120/127/130 class. Depending on where you place your expectations, each of these scopes can make you smile when looking at bright targets.

 

The increased aperture (limited by factors beyond our control, such as seeing and such) allows higher resolution of surface details especially on planets like Jupiter with rich colors & bands, or for studying the details on our moon on high magnification.

 

For deep-sky, I gave up on refractors and have been using EAA using a RASA 8. The RASA 8 is a fantastic mirror scope - no collimation needed and has a F/2 so my live-stacking for some of the eye candy targets is in the matter of seconds, not minutes or hours. I might try the PVS night vision + refractor combination when traveling -- the NV has been on my radar for while so I've added my name to the wait list as of few weeks ago :fingers crossed:


Edited by base16, 25 February 2021 - 01:51 AM.


#36 Dave96

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 02:02 PM

The scopes I have used are in my signature below for your reference, so I am sharing my experience with this range.

 

Between the 85, 92, 120, 127 mm apertures, I have been able to tell the difference between each of them. Not mindblowing difference, but noticeable difference. I have a 160mm on order as well which I am sure will bring even more difference. There is substantial difference (to me) between the 85/92 class vs the 120/127/130 class. Depending on where you place your expectations, each of these scopes can make you smile when looking at bright targets.

 

The increased aperture (limited by factors beyond our control, such as seeing and such) allows higher resolution of surface details especially on planets like Jupiter with rich colors & bands, or for studying the details on our moon on high magnification.

 

For deep-sky, I gave up on refractors and have been using EAA using a RASA 8. The RASA 8 is a fantastic mirror scope - no collimation needed and has a F/2 so my live-stacking for some of the eye candy targets is in the matter of seconds, not minutes or hours. I might try the PVS night vision + refractor combination when traveling -- the NV has been on my radar for while so I've added my name to the wait list as of few weeks ago :fingers crossed:

base16,

I appreciate your feedback on the different aperture telescopes you have used. I like the simplicity of a refractor; no collimation, can be set up quickly, and provide clear viewing. In my current 90mm refractor I can only see the two main cloud bands on Jupiter, can see the rings of Saturn but not the Cassini Division. I don't see any detail at all on Saturn. Overall the views are nice, but I'm wanting more details. Perhaps a 127mm or a 130mm refractor could provide additional details. I'm sure a larger Mak-Cass would provide more planetary detail, but I have heard the Mak-Cass has a narrow FOV and not so good for DSO. Sounds like a mirror telescope, maybe a Dob might suit me good for DSOs. It seems challenging to find a really good overall telescope for planets, moon, and DSO. Thanks again for your input.



#37 Dave96

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 02:13 PM

The differences in resolution and light gathering can be easily and objectively calculated for these apertures, but I think you are asking for a subjective impression. For me, there’s definitely a noticeable difference between the views of a 90mm and a 130mm refractor, but the views are more similar than different. For me, a “wow” difference requires doubling the aperture, which requires a small reflector. 
 

If you want a bigger refractor, I suggest buying the largest, good quality, ED doublet refractor you can afford that will also be EASY for you to handle, but it probably won’t be much bigger, so won’t perform much better than the 90mm you have now, and it might require a bigger mount. 

 

I have a 92mm f6.7 refractor complemented by a good quality 8”f6 Dob reflector. The reflector has more than twice the performance, weighs 41# with mount, and costs about $430. With your budget, you could easily purchase a good quality 10”f5 Dob. 

gwlee,

Good information on the apertures for me to consider. Sounds like a Dob would be good for me, especially for DSOs. Thanks for your reply.   



#38 AZ49

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 09:19 PM

I’ve looked looked through 80mm,90mm,102mm and 130mm, and I can certainly say that a 90 and 130 has quite a bit of difference. 80-90 not much. 90-102 even not that significant. I was actually impressed on how a little 61mm performed at a dark site. 


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#39 dnrmilspec

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 11:12 PM

An observation.  About 20 years ago I acquired a Celestron CR-160 6" refractor.  (I had several scopes at the time including an 11" Celestron SCT on a CI-700 mount.)  The 6" came on a mount that was too light to handle it.  It had a 1.25" diagonal and inexpensive eyepieces.  Even though it looked kinda' funny on the mount, the first time I looked through it I could see I had something very different here.  So I played with it for awhile and enjoyed it.  It was easier than the 11" to assemble and though no 'grab-and-go scope' it was easy enough to set up in just a few minutes. 

 

One night I setup my 11" SCT at a friend's telescope store for public viewing.  There was a AP-150 on a 900 mount looking at Saturn just for goal-setting purposes.  It and my 11" drew the crowds. There were other scopes there as well.  I mentioned to some regulars that I had the CR-150  6" OTA in the car so as things wound down a couple of them asked me to show it to them.  So I'm telling this story to say this.  I put the 6" OTA on the rock steady CI-700 mount.  Because I had my SCT accessories there I plugged in the 2" Astrophysics diagonal and just because it was in my case  loaded the 31mm Nagler.  Of course the double double was a natural so away we went.  You should have heard the gasps when people looked through that 31mm Nagler, AP diagonal and well colllimated 6" refractor.  The view was nothing short of spectacular.  The EP made one feel like they might fall in and from the light polluted city location the 6" got a better response than the 11" did.  So the Astrophysics 6" was 20 feet away but nobody was allowed to play with it.  Besides this was not a competition.  We went all over the sky and there were plenty of people shaking their heads at the end of the day.

 

I say this to make this point.  The CR-150 was a good scope and devilishly fun to play with just out of the box.   The extra light was really noticeable.  Sadly I let it go years ago and am looking for another one now.   But.  It did not shine until it was very well mounted, very carefully collimated, possessed of a world class diagonal and sporting what was at the time (and still remains IMO) one of the best eyepieces ever made.  So whatever you decide to get I recommend you look at the totality of the system.  Maybe the next step is to improve your diagonal and EPs and see what that does for your 90.  Maybe you could borrow a quality 1.25 diagonal and some wide(ish) EP's and see where that takes you.  Your 90 will be a different scope with a 22 Panoptic or such in it.  I'll bet you will be very pleasantly surprised.


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#40 GSBass

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 11:30 PM

Although there is no doubt that scope would probably out perform my 7” mak, your story and experience is the reason we covet our 180s, big refractors is something I would only have if I had a dedicated observatory

An observation.  About 20 years ago I acquired a Celestron CR-160 6" refractor.  (I had several scopes at the time including an 11" Celestron SCT on a CI-700 mount.)  The 6" came on a mount that was too light to handle it.  It had a 1.25" diagonal and inexpensive eyepieces.  Even though it looked kinda' funny on the mount, the first time I looked through it I could see I had something very different here.  So I played with it for awhile and enjoyed it.  It was easier than the 11" to assemble and though no 'grab-and-go scope' it was easy enough to set up in just a few minutes. 

 

One night I setup my 11" SCT at a friend's telescope store for public viewing.  There was a AP-150 on a 900 mount looking at Saturn just for goal-setting purposes.  It and my 11" drew the crowds. There were other scopes there as well.  I mentioned to some regulars that I had the CR-150  6" OTA in the car so as things wound down a couple of them asked me to show it to them.  So I'm telling this story to say this.  I put the 6" OTA on the rock steady CI-700 mount.  Because I had my SCT accessories there I plugged in the 2" Astrophysics diagonal and just because it was in my case  loaded the 31mm Nagler.  Of course the double double was a natural so away we went.  You should have heard the gasps when people looked through that 31mm Nagler, AP diagonal and well colllimated 6" refractor.  The view was nothing short of spectacular.  The EP made one feel like they might fall in and from the light polluted city location the 6" got a better response than the 11" did.  So the Astrophysics 6" was 20 feet away but nobody was allowed to play with it.  Besides this was not a competition.  We went all over the sky and there were plenty of people shaking their heads at the end of the day.

 

I say this to make this point.  The CR-150 was a good scope and devilishly fun to play with just out of the box.   The extra light was really noticeable.  Sadly I let it go years ago and am looking for another one now.   But.  It did not shine until it was very well mounted, very carefully collimated, possessed of a world class diagonal and sporting what was at the time (and still remains IMO) one of the best eyepieces ever made.  So whatever you decide to get I recommend you look at the totality of the system.  Maybe the next step is to improve your diagonal and EPs and see what that does for your 90.  Maybe you could borrow a quality 1.25 diagonal and some wide(ish) EP's and see where that takes you.  Your 90 will be a different scope with a 22 Panoptic or such in it.  I'll bet you will be very pleasantly surprised.



#41 Dave96

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 10:55 AM

I’ve looked looked through 80mm,90mm,102mm and 130mm, and I can certainly say that a 90 and 130 has quite a bit of difference. 80-90 not much. 90-102 even not that significant. I was actually impressed on how a little 61mm performed at a dark site. 

AZ49,

Thanks for the information. I have not used my 90mm at a darker site yet, but would like to soon to see the difference. I feel that I have not tapped into my 90mm's full potential yet. I use it at home, which is about a Bortle 6 sky. My scope provides good views, but I'm sure it would show improved views at a darker site.



#42 Dave96

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 11:08 AM

An observation.  About 20 years ago I acquired a Celestron CR-160 6" refractor.  (I had several scopes at the time including an 11" Celestron SCT on a CI-700 mount.)  The 6" came on a mount that was too light to handle it.  It had a 1.25" diagonal and inexpensive eyepieces.  Even though it looked kinda' funny on the mount, the first time I looked through it I could see I had something very different here.  So I played with it for awhile and enjoyed it.  It was easier than the 11" to assemble and though no 'grab-and-go scope' it was easy enough to set up in just a few minutes. 

 

One night I setup my 11" SCT at a friend's telescope store for public viewing.  There was a AP-150 on a 900 mount looking at Saturn just for goal-setting purposes.  It and my 11" drew the crowds. There were other scopes there as well.  I mentioned to some regulars that I had the CR-150  6" OTA in the car so as things wound down a couple of them asked me to show it to them.  So I'm telling this story to say this.  I put the 6" OTA on the rock steady CI-700 mount.  Because I had my SCT accessories there I plugged in the 2" Astrophysics diagonal and just because it was in my case  loaded the 31mm Nagler.  Of course the double double was a natural so away we went.  You should have heard the gasps when people looked through that 31mm Nagler, AP diagonal and well colllimated 6" refractor.  The view was nothing short of spectacular.  The EP made one feel like they might fall in and from the light polluted city location the 6" got a better response than the 11" did.  So the Astrophysics 6" was 20 feet away but nobody was allowed to play with it.  Besides this was not a competition.  We went all over the sky and there were plenty of people shaking their heads at the end of the day.

 

I say this to make this point.  The CR-150 was a good scope and devilishly fun to play with just out of the box.   The extra light was really noticeable.  Sadly I let it go years ago and am looking for another one now.   But.  It did not shine until it was very well mounted, very carefully collimated, possessed of a world class diagonal and sporting what was at the time (and still remains IMO) one of the best eyepieces ever made.  So whatever you decide to get I recommend you look at the totality of the system.  Maybe the next step is to improve your diagonal and EPs and see what that does for your 90.  Maybe you could borrow a quality 1.25 diagonal and some wide(ish) EP's and see where that takes you.  Your 90 will be a different scope with a 22 Panoptic or such in it.  I'll bet you will be very pleasantly surprised.

dnrmilspec,

This is good information you provided; I appreciate it. Portability, or at least moderate portability and something that is easy to set up is important to me for my next scope. If I go with a larger refractor, I would definitely need a new mount to support it. A 150mm (6") refractor sounds nice. I'm sure the difference between a 90mm and a 150mm is highly noticeable. Thanks for your reply. 


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#43 AZ49

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Posted 07 March 2021 - 04:48 PM

AZ49,

Thanks for the information. I have not used my 90mm at a darker site yet, but would like to soon to see the difference. I feel that I have not tapped into my 90mm's full potential yet. I use it at home, which is about a Bortle 6 sky. My scope provides good views, but I'm sure it would show improved views at a darker site.

Yes a dark sight makes a difference. I never really believed it. I lived in bortle 6 skies for a while. Now in 5. I had a chance to go to a park about 2 hours north of me where the skies are bortle 1. The views through even an 80mm will blow your mind. There are so many things I saw that I have never seen before. It was like I had a 10” scope at home. 


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#44 rerun

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Posted 12 March 2021 - 03:50 PM

Finding a darker site is much cheaper than aperture fever smile.gif

 

Clear skies Markus 


Edited by rerun, 12 March 2021 - 03:50 PM.

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#45 JMW

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Posted 12 March 2021 - 04:06 PM

Yeah. Any quality scope at under dark skies is better than more aperture in urban skies when looking at low contrast objects. The small aperture scope also provides terrific wide fields of view laden with stars, galaxies and nebulosity. In the city, I just see a bunch of milky white between the brightest stuff.


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#46 MP173

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 09:49 AM

I went from a 90mm Mak (ETX90RA) which I loved to a 102mm refractor - AT102ED and was amazed by the difference in performance.  No scientific data here...just my observations:

 

1.  Limiting magnitude in my Bortle4/5 sky went from about 9.8 to 11 (on good nights).

2.  Resolving ability on double stars is dramatically better.

3.  More "reach" for DSOs such as galaxies, GCs, nebula, etc.

4.  Can power up to about 230x on special nights....cant recall what it was with 90mm.

 

The AT102ED with mount is still easy to handle and I can set up within five minutes in my back yard.

 

A very good value.

 

Ed


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#47 Echolight

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 06:35 PM

Although there is no doubt that scope would probably out perform my 7” mak, your story and experience is the reason we covet our 180s, big refractors is something I would only have if I had a dedicated observatory

I agree with the sentiment here. Something like a C6 is more of an everyman's scope than a 6 inch achro. With the C6's short length and low weight, ease of mounting is mostly a non-factor. And it could go in a gym bag and put in any vehicle easily for travel.

I'd like one myself I think, on a light alt/az mount. Possibly with a reducer, or a 2 inch diagonal.

 

But the mounting requirements for a 6 inch f/8 are far from being restricted to an observatory, or even a $2k equatorial mount. Mine's pretty good on a 20 pound or so alt/az mount. Though the mount is particularly tall.

0F27BC99-B6DA-4305-AA71-2BC5BEE2AF58.jpeg

Especially if you're not trying to suss out the greatest detail on planets with a tracking mount.

 


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#48 Dave96

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Posted 18 March 2021 - 10:13 AM

Finding a darker site is much cheaper than aperture fever smile.gif

 

Clear skies Markus 

rerun,

I have researched and found a darker site but have not used my 90mm refractor there yet. I live and use my refractor in a Bortle 6 sky. The darker site that I recently discovered is a Bortle 4 sky and I will be using my 90mm there hopefully soon. I suspect that I will see a nice difference.


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#49 teashea

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Posted 18 March 2021 - 10:18 AM

There is a big difference in light gathering power.  But you must also consider the issue of quality of the optics.  For a given amount of money that is limited you have a trade off between these two factors.

 

Also, you need to consider the mount.  The mount is very important.  Many people make the mistake of putting a good telescope on an inferior mount.  That is a real problem.


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#50 rerun

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Posted 18 March 2021 - 02:21 PM

Hi Dave96,

 

the darker site makes a big difference. From my home I tried many times to find and see Veil Nebula in Cygnus ,with and without filters  .At that time I had a 4 " ED refractor. Driving about an hour to a dark site ,it was so easy to find the veil nebula, without any filter . I saw it so clear ,it was incredible  . The same 4" refractor I used at home. 

That was a great expierence .

 

 

clear skies

 

Markus


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