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What are the most UNDERRATED scopes out there?

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#51 Terra Nova

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 09:40 PM

Another vote here for the Edmund 4” F15 refractor. The one I had was a great scope.


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#52 Bowlerhat

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Posted 07 May 2021 - 06:00 PM

I think the zeiss 50/540 is underrated compared to telementor. Can be obtained for cheap, a good quality zeiss, yet not so many..


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#53 stevety

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Posted 08 May 2021 - 11:15 AM

I have the orion eon 130mm refractor and i think these scope is underrated   i get great views and pictures with these telescope

 

 

 

 

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#54 mdowns

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Posted 08 May 2021 - 12:22 PM

Folks let's remember this is the 'classics' forum.New scopes maybe great and underrated but don't belong in this thread.From the forum rules at the top of the page." The place to discuss older telescopes. Antiques, flea market finds, and scopes from grandpa's attic. From the 1780's to the mid-1990's - refractors, reflectors, and early SCT's. And this, 'Discussion of 25-year-old scopes still in production is OK but please don't post newer examples of those". 


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#55 rob1986

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Posted 08 May 2021 - 12:34 PM

Folks let's remember this is the 'classics' forum.New scopes maybe great and underrated but don't belong in this thread.From the forum rules at the top of the page." The place to discuss older telescopes. Antiques, flea market finds, and scopes from grandpa's attic. From the 1780's to the mid-1990's - refractors, reflectors, and early SCT's. And this, 'Discussion of 25-year-old scopes still in production is OK but please don't post newer examples of those".

and what about 80mm f11s, 8 inch f5-8 and 6 inch f8 gem newts, and other classic designs that "serious" folk hardly consider?

at some point its a classic because of what it is, and because we've used the same design for a hundred or more years, regardlessof vintage.

and on that note, I've tried out my new c80 again, as a reflector guy I couldn't catch a hint of CA in or out of focus on antares last night, and beautiful defraction rings. a c80 of any vintage is a good scope.

Edited by rob1986, 08 May 2021 - 03:11 PM.

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#56 luxo II

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Posted 08 May 2021 - 07:10 PM

If you saw CA with Antares, that would be a big issue - it’s orange-red anyway.

I still think the most underrated scopes are the 6”-12” longer newtonians, f/7 or so. Very rarely seen these days, but they can be excellent planet killers if the mirrors are good and it’s well built.

Edited by luxo II, 08 May 2021 - 07:13 PM.

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#57 RichA

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 02:03 AM

Time for some positivity, not negativity! What are the most underrated scopes that you have come across? Mine have been the common little 4.5” (114mm) F8 reflectors that were common in the 1980s into the 2000s. I got this Meade Polaris 114mm F8 for 30 bucks some years ago. The mount was terrible, plus it was broken but it did supply some very nice counterweights and a great counterweight shaft. The tripod was rickety but the hub was useful. On to the OTA. It was great! The plastic focuser was plastic but it was usable and it didn’t require the focal extender that the Celestrons/Vixens needed. The secondary and primary were optically quite good. The primary cell and secondary spider were excellent (I liked them better than the ones on my Celestron/Vixen C4.5). And it has a seamed steel tube that was bigger around and provided better ventilation for cooling than my C4.5. It also had excellent hinged tube rings, and really nice end rings. And to top it off, it was on a Vixen-style rail. I cleaned it up, made a dew-shield/light-shield extender, added a Telrad and a better optical finder with a Vixen-style finder shoe, and on it and put it on my Vixen Porta mount. It was really a great little scope. Unfortunately, I had it at a time when I was in ‘the-telescope-of-the-month club’ so to speak- and had amassed way more scopes than I needed or could store and I sadly let it go, donating it to the Cincinnati Observatory’s scope sale at ScopeOut a few years ago. It’s one, very humble little scope that I have actually missed. It gave wonderful planetary views at 150X with a 6mm eyepiece, and nice fairly wide field views with a 28mm RKE (32X). I had some wonderful nights observing Jupiter, Saturn, the Pleiades, M31, M42 etc. with it. I miss that old Meade Polaris 114/F8 more than the C4.5 or the Edmund 4.25” F10 that I also had back then. Frankly it provided better views and was easier to use. All three are gone now but I will always have fond memories of that little old Meade.

The most underrated scopes are scopes from mundane scope lines that for some reason function excellently.  I had a Meade 80ETX, not generally recognized as anything more than a run of the mill 80mm f5 achromat, but the one I had was excellent, showed Jupiter almost like a decent 4 inch scope.  I stupidly sold it, then got another one, which wasn't near as good.  When telescopes come from a low or mid-level line, every so often, a "ringer" is produced that performs like a much higher grade of scope. 


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#58 RichA

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 02:11 AM

scopes that keeps coming to mind are some of the first scopes AP came out with.  The pre ED triplets.   Roland is a master at what he does.  The 6" AP I have tested better in DPAC than a new APM 6" ED.  I think that says a lot for a scope that was made in the 80's

Probably because he could spend weeks on the scopes whereas the APMs are likely built in hours.



#59 RichA

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 02:24 AM

If you saw CA with Antares, that would be a big issue - it’s orange-red anyway.

I still think the most underrated scopes are the 6”-12” longer newtonians, f/7 or so. Very rarely seen these days, but they can be excellent planet killers if the mirrors are good and it’s well built.

Antares can suffer from atmospheric diffraction owing to its low altitude depending on where it was viewed from and that can be mistaken for CA.



#60 luxo II

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 02:59 AM

Ah sorry forgetting how you northerners see it…


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#61 LukaszLu

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 06:07 AM

When telescopes come from a low or mid-level line, every so often, a "ringer" is produced that performs like a much higher grade of scope. 

It is similar with unseasoned wood - not all boards warp, some are as good as wood from several thousand years ago, mined in the Harz Mountains, used by luthiers to construct high-end instruments. Seasoned wood is more expensive, because maintaining a uniform standard costs money - the same as in the production of optics.

 

I believe that in this case it is difficult to talk about underrating - it is a matter of risk calculation.


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#62 luxo II

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 06:24 AM

Incorrect, it’s about rigorous quantitative testing of every scope to make sure that only those exceeding a defined (and guaranteed) pass criterion go out the door of the factory. Anything under that is reworked until it passes.

 

it’s quite clear Celestron/Meade never did/do that, but others do mainly the artisans - intes, questar, AP, TEC. That kind of quality takes time and it’s not free, though.

 

There are accounts of how Celestron “testing” works and it’s basically the mk1 eyeball “looks good that’s ok” test with no quantitative measurements. Not even a Ronchi, let alone DPAC and interferogram.


Edited by luxo II, 09 May 2021 - 06:31 AM.


#63 rob1986

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 06:37 AM

If you saw CA with Antares, that would be a big issue - it’s orange-red anyway.

I still think the most underrated scopes are the 6”-12” longer newtonians, f/7 or so. Very rarely seen these days, but they can be excellent planet killers if the mirrors are good and it’s well built.

you missed the n't

antares looked beautiful, no CA. sirius has ca, but I hear sirius gives high end scopes a run for their money too.

Edited by rob1986, 09 May 2021 - 06:37 AM.


#64 Eric P

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 09:23 AM

Most undervalued/underrated IMO are the JSO 5" SCTs.  Good lord the focusers on those units are perfection.



#65 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 08:55 PM

Another vote here for the Edmund 4” F15 refractor. The one I had was a great scope.

 

I hear so many good things about scopes like this, I never see anyone trashing them, it doesn't seem like they are underrated to me.

 

Jon



#66 CHASLX200

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Posted 11 May 2021 - 06:07 PM

Incorrect, it’s about rigorous quantitative testing of every scope to make sure that only those exceeding a defined (and guaranteed) pass criterion go out the door of the factory. Anything under that is reworked until it passes.

 

it’s quite clear Celestron/Meade never did/do that, but others do mainly the artisans - intes, questar, AP, TEC. That kind of quality takes time and it’s not free, though.

 

There are accounts of how Celestron “testing” works and it’s basically the mk1 eyeball “looks good that’s ok” test with no quantitative measurements. Not even a Ronchi, let alone DPAC and interferogram.

Way too many duds with Celestron SCT's and Meade over the years.
 



#67 rob1986

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Posted 11 May 2021 - 06:24 PM

Way too many duds with Celestron SCT's and Meade over the years.
 

I have been told that Meade based its business model off of, "if you don't like it, we'll replace it till you are happy, and if you're already happy, that's great!"

 

in other words, they do not guarantee  you any more quality than you can perceive yourself.



#68 CHASLX200

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Posted 11 May 2021 - 06:46 PM

I have been told that Meade based its business model off of, "if you don't like it, we'll replace it till you are happy, and if you're already happy, that's great!"

 

in other words, they do not guarantee  you any more quality than you can perceive yourself.

Celestron had more bad SCT's than Meade did at least with all the one's i had. But my two best SCT's were Celestron while Meade had less real bad one's.



#69 rob1986

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 12:47 AM

Celestron had more bad SCT's than Meade did at least with all the one's i had. But my two best SCT's were Celestron while Meade had less real bad one's.


Honestly my c80 is my first celestron (telescope). my dad only bought meade till he got his questar. So I have no clue.

He always praised orion though.

#70 CHASLX200

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 05:49 AM

Honestly my c80 is my first celestron (telescope). my dad only bought meade till he got his questar. So I have no clue.

He always praised orion though.

All the Vixen Celestron stuff was great. The 80mm scopes were all winners that i had.


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#71 rob1986

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 09:33 AM

All the Vixen Celestron stuff was great. The 80mm scopes were all winners that i had.


the synta ones are good too. awful mount though, an astroview should clean that up nicely.

#72 mdowns

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 09:52 PM

A bit left of center but for me, the most underrated scope (even more than the JCPenney 4.5 newt) I ever owned was the Argus 20x60 spotter(I use to collect spotters too). When I got mine I had never heard anything, good or bad, about this scope. Truly built like a tank with a very sharp and flat fov, edge to edge, Put my B&L and Kowa spotters to shame. Made in the USA with a screw-on lens cover. It's one of many scopes I wish I had held on to. This ad from 1939,is not mine but rather one I found at an online auction site and shows the scope.That 45 dollars back then translates to over 800 dollars today. When I researched this I believe I recall that it was the same scope as the m49  military spotter(don't know that for certain and it actually seemed better than a m49 I used), just a civilian version. For those of us who also play with old spotting scopes, this is one to get.


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#73 MisterDan

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 10:16 PM

A bit left of center but for me, the most underrated scope (even more than the JCPenney 4.5 newt) I ever owned was the Argus 20x60 spotter(I use to collect spotters too). When I got mine I had never heard anything, good or bad, about this scope. Truly built like a tank with a very sharp and flat fov, edge to edge, Put my B&L and Kowa spotters to shame. Made in the USA with a screw-on lens cover. It's one of many scopes I wish I had held on to. This ad from 1939,is not mine but rather one I found at an online auction site and shows the scope.That 45 dollars back then translates to over 800 dollars today. When I researched this I believe I recall that it was the same scope as the m49  military spotter(don't know that for certain and it actually seemed better than a m49 I used), just a civilian version. For those of us who also play with old spotting scopes, this is one to get.

I believe that Argus spotting scope utilized an Abbe orthoscopic eyepiece, which may help explain some of its optical prowess. waytogo.gif

https://i.ebayimg.co...L8Z/s-l1600.jpg

 

Cheers and best wishes.

Dan


Edited by MisterDan, 12 May 2021 - 10:16 PM.

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#74 Ben H

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 01:15 PM

Since no one else has, I offer up for your consideration the Meade Schmidt-Newtonian. At f/4, it is about the fastest mass market telescope ever produced (I'll let ya'll correct me on this one lol.gif ), and my 10" is great for sweeping. It was much easier to manufacture a quality spherical f/4 primary than a comparable parabolic and the three examples I've gotten to use all performed very well. 

The OTAs themselves are built very solidly, though could do with an upgraded focuser. Where these suffer, and likely the reason they never really caught on, is they're relatively heavy and need a strong, stiff mount, which the LXD55/75 didn't really provide. 

 

Still, these can be found for less than $400 which makes them every bit as affordable as an orange tube C8, but with bigger and faster optics. If you had an observatory to stick it in, avoid having to lug it around, and protect it from wind, you'd be very well set. Though at that point you're likely looking for larger aperture, and unfortunately Schmidt-Newtonians do not abound over 10" (though I recall having seen some Eastern European examples online). At larger sizes the economics of the spherical primary are offset by the increased cost of the corrector, and it seems more reasonable to have a high quality parabolic with a Paracorr. 

 

The SN will always have a special place in my heart for being a perfect example of how specific optical designs can fill a manufacturing niche at specific sizes, even if impractical at many others.


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#75 BillP

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 07:36 PM

I miss that old Meade Polaris 114/F8 more than the C4.5 or the Edmund 4.25” F10 that I also had back then. Frankly it provided better views and was easier to use. All three are gone now but I will always have fond memories of that little old Meade.

I had the Edmund 4.25" scope when I was a kid and that was really the scope that cemented me in the hobby.  Fond memories of exploring the skies with that scope!


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