After a few decade hiatus of not doing more than an occasional public star gaze...a few years ago I got back into it fairly heavy.
Most club members usually had the C8 type scopes or the larger dobs.
And one aspect of that was....besides binocs...non of those scopes were really the right tool for the job for the handful of larger clusters like M45....
So, I've been meaning to rig up a smaller refractor with true field of view sizes that are appropriate. But the other night I could not sleep....got to thinking about those refractor views...particularly how nice they can be on the cheap when you pair a relatively slow refractor with a 2 inch format long focal length lens...which got me to thinking of the advantages of such refractor views in particular...such as really nice contrast....pinpoint stars...no secondary obstruction....and no diffraction spikes...
Then a herectical thought hit me. Imagine a nice contrasty refractor view of M45 perfectly framed. Now imagine some serious diffraction spikes (like those caused by a 4 vane spider).
An optical perfectionist (and or a high $$$ refractor purist) would probably get the vapors at just the thought of purposely introducing diffraction spikes on the view. But random Joe Public observer certainly won't. He or she might even think the diffraction spikes make the image better.
Now, I've never been particularly bothered by diffraction spikes...besides on the planets...that just doesn't feel right.
But up to this point I've never entertained the notion of purposely ADDING them for "artistic reasons" so to speak with a visual view.
Another project to try once my life settles down a bit, the weather improves, and we get back into the summer swing of public star gazes around here.
Imagine a scope where you can easily add diffraction spikes...even have multiple masks so that you can choose the appropriate diffraction spike strength...rotate the spikes for optimum placement...heck even try other number spikes besides 4....5 would probably look pretty cool.