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Good portable refractor for less than $1000

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#1 Sambone

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 01:14 PM

I have a 10" Dob but it takes a bit to deploy it even on a garage cart.  I live in suburban skies and have much darker skies about 30 min. away at my son's house.  Loading up the 10" Dob isn't that easy. So I want a quick deploying refractor of reasonable quality that I can also use off my light polluted deck when I don't have set up time.  I was looking at the Celestron Omni XLT AZ 102 but is there a better option for decent quality and portability/travel?  I look at everything that  I can see ...Nebulas, clusters, planets. An APO is too expensive but I don't want junk either. 



#2 rkinnett

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 01:41 PM

Hi, welcome to CN!  

 

You'll need to provide a bit more information to get meaningful recommendations.

 

Is this for visual observing or imaging?

Do you need a go-to mount?

What are you hoping to look at?

What is your budget?  (edit:  you noted $1000 in the title for a refractor but presumably that's total, right?)

 

Edit:  don't rule out apos.  I picked up a fantastic C80ED for $225 with FPL-53 glass in the CN classifieds.  You can pick up a portable EQ or az/el go-to mount for $500 or so.


Edited by rkinnett, 25 February 2021 - 01:44 PM.


#3 Ihtegla Sar

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 01:42 PM

It's not in stock at the moment but if were in the market for a good portable refractor for under $1,000, I'd get an AT102ED.  It gets lots of praise around these parts for being a very well made telescope for the price.  The FK-61 ED (Extra-low Dispersion glass) glass controls chromatic aberration very well, so it is very close to a true apo.  It's a doublet so it is fairly light and cools down quickly. At $599, there is still room in the budget for a nice mount.


Edited by Ihtegla Sar, 25 February 2021 - 01:48 PM.

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#4 Supernova74

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 01:51 PM

Hi and welcome

i think you will be pleasantly surprised in your top budget of $1000 and I would think an APO doublet would be well within reach for exsample Astro-tech does seem to be very popular in the US and great value for money for exsample the 

AT102ED f7 doublet retails for $599 and as it’s not the slowest scope in the world would also be worthy for imaging at a later date if you decide in the furture.on the mount side vixen porta II azimuth mount would be well partnered with the Astrotech at $300 


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#5 Supernova74

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 01:53 PM

 

It's not in stock at the moment but if were in the market for a good portable refractor for under $1,000, I'd get an AT102ED.  It gets lots of praise around these parts for being a very well made telescope for the price.  The FK-61 ED (Extra-low Dispersion glass) glass controls chromatic aberration very well, so it is very close to a true apo.  It's a doublet so it is fairly light and cools down quickly. At $599, there is still room in the budget for a nice mount.

 

Lol we both recommend the same scope 



#6 SeattleScott

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 01:55 PM

The achros are primarily built cheaply because generally people who buy achros buy them because they are cheaper than Apos. There are a few high quality ones, like Vixen, but a 4” vixen achro is $900. Another option would be something like an Explore Scientific AR102. It is an achro but it has a reasonable dual speed focuser and a 2” diagonal and a surprisingly sharp, if not totally inappropriate, 50mm finderscope. Might be a good happy medium for you. But then you can just about buy the AT Apo for the price. Granted the Apo doesn’t come accessorized, so by the time you put a diagonal and finder on there, you don’t have a lot left over for a mount. Personally I would probably do the Apo but it at least gives you a mid tier achro option.

Scott
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#7 Ihtegla Sar

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 01:59 PM

Lol we both recommend the same scope 

Great minds . . . the AT102ED is just such a great scope for the price.



#8 Supernova74

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 04:29 PM

Achromatic verses ED why have satin when you can have silk!? For cheaper it’s not rocket science where my money would go lol.



#9 Beeham

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 09:35 PM

I have a Skywatcher ED100 that I am very happy with, and it's definitely a lot more portable than my 10" dob.  The general opinion of this scope seems to be pretty positive, there is a pretty large thread dedicated to this model you may want to review.

 

Cheers!


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#10 Mitrovarr

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 10:16 PM

I'd look at the AT80ED and AT102ED.

Very inexpensive for ED doublets, great build quality, color correction is fine for visual use. I recently purchased an AT80ED and it really exceeded my expectations.

#11 Stopforths

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 10:23 PM

The astrotech 102ed for 599 seem to be excellent value with great optics




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