Looking for advice on a refractor to use primarily as a wide-field scope (not really interested in a reflector or a mak). I do a lot of double star observing (have a Vixen A80Mf f11 and an old Vixen 60mm f15 for this), but I want to look at some larger clusters, like Melotte 20 or the Hyades, and asterisms such as Kemble's Cascade or the Coathanger.
I'd also like to use this new scope as a grab and go (my scopes are stored on the second floor of our house, so I want something that is a little easier to carry down stairs and around corners; the 80mm f11 and 60mm f15 aren't too bad, but their length makes them a little difficult to maneuver), and so I'd like to be able to use the scope on planets and the Moon as well (a little CA wouldn't bother me, and I realize I probably won't be able to see details on the planets).
I do all my observing from the front driveway and small back yard with lots of light pollution from the neighbors and some nearby street lights. Not ideal by any means, but I have managed to spot M57 and M27 when the seeing was good, so not horrible either.
I'm thinking of three options (I'm planning to use a Porta mount):
1) Svbony SV503 70mm ED f6 (I'd really love to get the AT70ED, but can't get it shipped to Japan)
2) Svbony SV48 90mm f5.5 achromat
3) Skywatcher 102mm f5 achromat
Open to other options as well, but as you can tell from my choices, my budget is around 300 - 400 US. I may want to upgrade to a 2-inch diagonal someday, but I already have a lot of 1.25" and .965 eyepieces, so I'm planning on using a 1.25 diagonal with the scope. And, I've thought about the Svbony 503 80mm ED f7, but its a little above my budget and I'm not sure the extra aperture and smaller field of view would be worth it for what I want to observe.
Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this post and any advice you can give!
Edited by lxeth, Yesterday, 06:19 AM.