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Televue 76 (or 85) for starter scope!?

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#26 Ddub

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 02:21 PM

I think you already know what you want, what you will get. Your philosophy isn't as interesting as trying different scopes and you will, half the fun is going through the process that most of us have and thats owning many and a variety of types / sizes of scopes. Its a great journey so enjo your first scope, lol.

Ha ha. Well, I enjoy confirming my own bias as much as the next guy! 

You are correct, this is about a first scope, not an only scope.  My hope is to start with something that will foster the hobby and delight me now, then continue to delight me even in the company of stablemates.


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#27 LDW47

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 02:23 PM

Ha ha. Well, I enjoy confirming my own bias as much as the next guy! 

You are correct, this is about a first scope, not an only scope.  My hope is to start with something that will foster the hobby and delight me now, then continue to delight me even in the company of stablemates.

Good Luck, you will get there.  Clear future skies.


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#28 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 02:30 PM

Very true. The ST80 is just so handy. A couple of old Meade 8.8 and 14 UWA’s along with a barlow and a 26 or 32 Plossl are similarly lightweight and compact kit that covers most of what an ST80 is best at.. And even the little Bogen 3021 holds it nicely.

 

The whole setup is the epitome of grab and go. And to borrow from a previous poster, not too precious.

I've done a lot of observing with my Orion ShortTube 80 over the years.  I primarily use 5 and 7mm Nagler Type 6s and a 24mm Explore Scientific 68-degree or a 30mm Celestron Ultima with my ST80.

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#29 alnitak22

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 02:52 PM

I'm not sure I agree. A Short-Tube 80 is a lovely, compact instrument that can be used on just about any mount, down to and including a lowly photo tripod. A TV85 weighs three times as much, bulks at least three times as much, and requires an expensive and fairly hefty mount to do it justice. So while it's true that the TV85 will give superior views of just about any object in the sky, I don't think I would call it more versatile taking convenience and usability into account.

 

Moreover, while the TV85 gives vastly better views of the planets, the difference for viewing deep-sky objects is much smaller.

Well, remember the TV85 is not only much better under the stars than the ST80, but also much better by day for nature viewing. As for lunar/planetary…I’d take my Ranger over the ST80 I used on the moon where the purple halo was bright and intrusive even at 80x in the ST80, the purple is much more subdued in the Ranger even at 120x. Of course there’s no purple in the TV85 or TV76 on the moon or planets. 


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#30 alnitak22

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 02:55 PM

Ha ha. Well, I enjoy confirming my own bias as much as the next guy! 

You are correct, this is about a first scope, not an only scope.  My hope is to start with something that will foster the hobby and delight me now, then continue to delight me even in the company of stablemates.

I thought so. In that case, either of the TV scopes you’re considering is the way to go. Add a bigger scope later, but you’ll never outgrow the TV85 or 76. And look on the TV website for some of the rave reviews from Birding mags and pics through the scopes. 


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#31 sevenofnine

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 03:43 PM

Very good recommendations so far. I think the 76mm will make you want more aperture right away whereas the 85 will satisfy you longer. That said, even more aperture is in your future if you like this hobby. There are always many unknowns when you first start. As others have said, there a lots of fine refractors out there for less money if that is an issue for you. The 4" ED refractor ($599) from our sponsor might be the only scope you ever need. It and the 3" ED ($399) just came in stock but you better move fast if you want one. Best of luck to you! waytogo.gif

 

https://www.astronom...ractor-ota.html.


Edited by sevenofnine, 23 January 2022 - 03:46 PM.

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#32 Echolight

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 04:45 PM

I don't really agree with this statement.
The 85 weighs 6 pounds alone,
With a diagonal and an eyepiece of approximately 8 pounds.
So a cg4 is very sufficient and I don't consider it hefty and even with the motors it is not expensive.
I even use it with benro mack 3 tripod a bit more expensive than the cg-4, both are very stable.

Well.., a CG4 with counterweight is about five 3021’s with 3LT AirHed ball heads in bulk and weight.

A68D1667-FB6F-48DF-85EC-E81CADDC482E.jpeg


Edited by Echolight, 23 January 2022 - 04:48 PM.

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#33 alnitak22

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 05:31 PM

Well.., a CG4 with counterweight is about five 3021’s with 3LT AirHed ball heads in bulk and weight.

attachicon.gifA68D1667-FB6F-48DF-85EC-E81CADDC482E.jpeg

Nice setup. In the end though, we’re talking about differences between small rigs. My TV85 rides on a Bogen 3036 with Telepod head. It weighs like 17 lbs and I carry it in one hand up the stairs. My Ranger weighs less than 10 on the complete Telepod mount.  The weight is never a determining factor as to which scope I’ll use as both are lightweight. One just lighter than the other!


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#34 Echolight

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 05:54 PM

Nice setup. In the end though, we’re talking about differences between small rigs. My TV85 rides on a Bogen 3036 with Telepod head. It weighs like 17 lbs and I carry it in one hand up the stairs. My Ranger weighs less than 10 on the complete Telepod mount.  The weight is never a determining factor as to which scope I’ll use as both are lightweight. One just lighter than the other!

True. A 3036 and Telepod would be a nice setup.



#35 Polyphemos

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 06:14 PM

Hi.  I've been doing my research for a suitable first telescope and, of course, an 8" dob is the smart move, yet, somehow, I've convinced myself a TeleVue 76 (or 85) would be the bees knees!  I'm not sure if this is brilliant of me or the makings of a costly mistake.  Thus, I'm hoping for some feedback (or a slap across the face.)

 

I'm coming at this as a casual birder and lazy binocular astronomer who appreciates good optics.  I just want to see more of everything - better than I can see it now in 10x bins.  I live in semi-rural Idaho with pretty dark skies in my yard (Bortle 4-5).  I also enjoy camping in the Owyhees which are DARK.  A big dob would be super fun here.  Yet, the small refractors are wooing me with their grab-n-go-ness and their robust portability.  I fear dragging a dob out of the garage, collimating it, then letting it cool for 30-60min would be a deterrent (I am lazy and always have other things I should be doing).  I also fear trying to take a 8" dob camping would be a bulky, dusty hassle and possibly damage the scope.  ("Camping" = miles of washboard followed by miles of off-roading.)  

Thus the appeal of the sleek little refractor...

 

I have considered just upping my binocular game.  But I can barely hold 10x steady so anything heavier or more powerful means IS or a mount.  And here I began asking myself - self, how much more will you see with a proper telescope than ANY pair of binoculars?  I think a lot.

 

So, TV-85 looks like a winner.  It's a great grab-n-go with respectable all 'round performance enough to keep most amateurs occupied for years.  AND easy easy to pack in the cab of my pickup as I beat down the backroads.  AND I get a spotting scope out of the deal!  Only down side is small aperture and high price.

 

TV-76 seems to tic all the same boxes AND (maybe) MORE !?  It might just be handier as a spotting scope AND might be easier to hike with as I can use my carbon fiber tripod (which is better/lighter than the telepod tripod but probably too light for the 85 per CN chatter) AND I'll save ~900 over the 85 (since it costs less and I don't need a new tripod.) AND it's actually in stock right now!  Down side is 9mm less aperture.

 

Questions:  Is this making any sense?  Will I hobble my nascent hobby by going 76 vs 85mm vs clumsy dob?  Will I be getting a big dob anyway? And if I get a dob now, will I be getting the TV-76/85 anyway? So which first?

 

PS.  Money is an object but I subscribe to the 'buy once cry once' philosophy...

 

Thanks for your help!

 

-Deric

You’ve done your research, carefully considered your preferences, thought long and hard about how you’d like to use your potential scopes now and in the future, and have settled upon an excellent instrument capable of serving you for a lifetime.  Assuming nothing has changed in the past few days, I can see no compelling reason not to go with one of your original choices.


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#36 Echolight

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 06:27 PM

Not sure I understand you're answer. 

If I put my 85 on benro mack3 total weight is 10 pounds. 

 

And my post was in reference to Tony post .

So Tony can only reply? Tony’s post that you replied to was a reference to my post. No harm though. 

 

Anywho, you said you didn’t agree and that a CG4 wasn’t hefty. And now a TV-85 on a Mach3 (with some kind of head I assume, as well as a diagonal and eyepiece?) is only 10 pounds?

I think your scale is a little off. But a Mach3 would indeed be a lighter option than the CG4. Much lighter. Too light for a TV-85? I don’t know. Part of the reason an ST80 can go on such a light mount, aside from weighing next to nothing and having a very short moment arm, is that it’s optics can’t support much over 100x. 



#37 Look at the sky 101

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 06:38 PM

So Tony can only reply? Tony’s post that you replied to was a reference to my post. No harm though. 

 

Anywho, you said you didn’t agree and that a CG4 wasn’t hefty. And now a TV-85 on a Mach3 (with some kind of head I assume, as well as a diagonal and eyepiece?) is only 10 pounds?

I think your scale is a little off. But a Mach3 would indeed be a lighter option than the CG4. Much lighter. Too light for a TV-85? I don’t know. Part of the reason an ST80 can go on such a light mount, aside from weighing next to nothing and having a very short moment arm, is that it’s optics can’t support much over 100x. 

You are welcome to answer back to me of course, 

I misunderstood tony's post,

Sorry.

My 85 televue with all the equipment and the benro mack 3 = 14 pounds.

 

English is my third language,  I will blamed Google translate laugh.gif

Sorry I misunderstood, I will delete.


Edited by Look at the sky 101, 23 January 2022 - 06:41 PM.

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#38 alnitak22

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 06:48 PM

True. A 3036 and Telepod would be a nice setup.

It’s very sweet both day and night. And you know, I’ve had the setup for 20 years and have no interest in changing. 


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#39 Echolight

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 06:50 PM

You are welcome to answer back to me of course, 

I misunderstood tony's post,

Sorry.

My 85 televue with all the equipment and the benro mack 3 = 14 pounds.

 

English is my third language,  I will blamed Google translate laugh.gif

Sorry I misunderstood, I will delete.

Not necessary to delete. All the posts have value to someone. 
 

I’m glad to hear about the Benro. It’s interesting to me to learn how others enjoy astronomy. 


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#40 Echolight

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 06:56 PM

It’s very sweet both day and night. And you know, I’ve had the setup for 20 years and have no interest in changing. 

I have thought about a Telepod several times. I have a 3036 but not the right head for it yet. But I’m waiting on a C5 for my biggest little scope... to pair with my short tube achros. And I think the C5 would be a little top heavy on that mount. Center of gravity above the altitude axis.


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#41 Chris K

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 07:31 PM

I fear dragging a dob out of the garage, collimating it, then letting it cool for 30-60min would be a deterrent (I am lazy and always have other things I should be doing).  I also fear trying to take a 8" dob camping would be a bulky, dusty hassle and possibly damage the scope.  

Welcome to cloudy nights!

I think you already gave an interesting clue that is worth paying attention to. graduate.sml.gif

 

I'd say get the TV85 while you can. It's going to be terrific both at home and away.

You may always prefer to camp with he TV85, especially if you're tenting.

 

Let the TV85 tell you what you want next. If it turns out you want big aperture you may end up stalking the classifieds for just the right one. Heck, you may want a 12" instead.

 

I went for an 8" first, then a 6" refractor on a time-consuming setup, and now it's the little scopes that get the most light in them.

 

Best of luck in choosing (and finding).


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#42 SpaceConqueror3

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 08:27 PM

Very true. The ST80 is just so handy. A couple of old Meade 8.8 and 14 UWA’s along with a barlow and a 26 or 32 Plossl are similarly lightweight and compact kit that covers most of what an ST80 is best at.. And even the little Bogen 3021 holds it nicely.

 

The whole setup is the epitome of grab and go. And to borrow from a previous poster, not too precious.

I've had my ST80 for 25 years now and it's traveled internationally and along many car camping trips over the years with a Bogen 3130 tripod. I haven't employed anything more than the various plossls that I've owned, other than a UO Ortho that I used to have (that I should have kept). It's also a decent enough solar scope too.

 

XT10 & ST80 at Cabin
 
Table Mountain SP
 
Solar Eclipse ST80

 


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#43 Tony Flanders

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 08:32 PM

Nice setup. In the end though, we’re talking about differences between small rigs. My TV85 rides on a Bogen 3036 with Telepod head. It weighs like 17 lbs and I carry it in one hand up the stairs. My Ranger weighs less than 10 on the complete Telepod mount.  The weight is never a determining factor as to which scope I’ll use as both are lightweight. One just lighter than the other!

There's some truth to this. As long as a rig is light enough to carry in one piece, it hardly matters precisely how much it weighs. Unless, of course, you plan to carry it for long distances, which is a whole different story.


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#44 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 10:22 PM

It's also a decent enough solar scope too.

That it is.

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#45 Mountaineer370

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Posted 24 January 2022 - 10:16 AM

Ha ha. Well, I enjoy confirming my own bias as much as the next guy! 

You are correct, this is about a first scope, not an only scope.  My hope is to start with something that will foster the hobby and delight me now, then continue to delight me even in the company of stablemates.

Right from your first post, you have been leaning toward the TV-85.  I'm not going to say anything to dissuade you from that, and that telescope perfectly fits your description above.  I've had mine for a few years now, I truly love it for so many reasons, and I can't imagine ever parting with it.  I bought mine here on the CN classifieds, and it came with a Tele-Pod mount and tripod.  I had my doubts about that tripod, but it has proven to be more than adequate for the type of observing I do.

 

There's a little over $400 difference in the new price between the 85 and the 76, and if your budget allows for it, I say go for the 85.  If you're willing to consider a used one, that will save you a bit, too.  Mine has a dual-speed focuser, and that is a real nice amenity.  On the other hand, if your astronomy budget is tight and you're wanting to buy a few nice EPs and other accessories, and save up for that 8" Dob in your future, then definitely look at one of the ST80s others have mentioned here.  I can't speak to that one as I've never used one.


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#46 gene 4181

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Posted 26 January 2022 - 01:31 AM

 That 400 $ difference between the 76 and the 85 will get you a TV Nagler 3-6 zoom  smile.gif



#47 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 26 January 2022 - 09:58 AM

I'm coming at this as a casual birder and lazy binocular astronomer who appreciates good optics.  I just want to see more of everything - better than I can see it now in 10x bins.  I live in semi-rural Idaho with pretty dark skies in my yard (Bortle 4-5).  I also enjoy camping in the Owyhees which are DARK.  A big dob would be super fun here.  Yet, the small refractors are wooing me with their grab-n-go-ness and their robust portability.  I fear dragging a dob out of the garage, collimating it, then letting it cool for 30-60min would be a deterrent (I am lazy and always have other things I should be doing).  I also fear trying to take a 8" dob camping would be a bulky, dusty hassle and possibly damage the scope.  ("Camping" = miles of washboard followed by miles of off-roading.) 

Thus the appeal of the sleek little refractor...

 

 

A few thought's/experiences:

 

- You do not have to wait any time at all for a Dob to cool down.  If you want it's best possible views of the planets at high magnifications, it's best.  But for viewing the deep sky, it's unnecessary.  

 

- As others have said, an 8 inch Dob would show you far more than an 85 mm refractor, it's really a different world. Globular clusters like M13 show a myriad of tiny stars instead of being a fuzzy blob.  Galaxies begin to show some detail, planetary nebula come alive.. The larger scope captures 5 times as much light and has more than twice the resolving power.

 

- If you do decide to go with a small refractor and a small refractor is certainly a viable option, I have several I frequently use, I would look at more possibilities than just TeleVue.

 

I have a TeleVue NP-101 which is a unique scope and a fine scope for deep sky as well as all around observing.  It's a 4 element dual ED modified Petzval, it has excellent color correction as well as flat field, stars at the edge of a wide field view and stars at the center of the field are in focus simultaneously.  That is not the case with doublets like the TV-76 and 85 nor it is true with triplets.  The NP-101 is about $4000.  The competition is from Takahashi, it costs $6400..  

 

5976318-NP-101 Boulevard CN.jpg

 

If I were looking for another small high quality ED/apo refractor, the TeleVue 76 and 85 would not be on the list.  They are very nice scopes but there are scopes as good, scopes that are better, that are less expensive.  A TeleVue 76 is $1700, an 85 is almost $2200.  Mention has been make of an ST-80. This is the other end, I have an ST-80 fitted with a 2 inch focuser because it's capable of views my more expensive apo/ed refractors cannot provide.  

 

But more importantly, there is a lot of middle ground, the $400 Astro-Tech AT-80 ED will provide views that are nearly as good as the TeleVue scopes. Spending some more, $900 buys the 80mm EDL with the same or better color correction than the TeleVue scopes, a guaranteed Strehl ratio of 0.95, very nice mechanicals, the focusers are excellent. 

 

And I would also be looking at scopes larger than 85mm.  a 4 inch refractor is a handy size, a little bigger than the 80mm class refractors but still very portable and handy while taking the performance level up a notch. The Astro-Tech 102ED is $600, the 102EDL is $1100.  It has the same quality optics as the 80mm AT-80 EDL.  

 

I am using the Astro-Tech scopes because I know them but there are other vendors, that offer similar scopes at similar values. TS optics in Germany is one.  And too Astro-Tech is the house brand for Astronomics, the people who pay all the bills to support Cloudy Nights. 

 

https://www.astronom...anufacturer=360

 

And don't forget a diagonal, a mount and some quality eyepieces.  I look at a scope like my William Optics 80mm F/7 FD.. I've had it for fifteen years plus, I bought it used but new it was around $700 at the time. It has very good optics, I would say they rival the TeleVue pair. It seems like a very nice scope for a $700 investment.  But then I step back and look at the total investment that is providing those views. I have a 2 inch TeleVue Everbrite diagonal.. If I bought it today, that would be $400.  An Astro-Tech diagonal would be $120. And the mount, a Vixen Portamount is a good mount for an 80mm, that's $300. 

 

And then there's the eyepieces. TeleVue is known primarily for it's eyepieces, not for it's telescopes.  How much have you budgeted for eyepieces?  When I look at that $700 80mm refractor, it is being supported buy several thousand dollars worth of TeleVue eyepieces..  It's not just a $700 investment.  

 

6051962-Canyon de Chelley Francis.jpg

 

Back to the 8 inch Dob for a minute, the Dob does not need a diagonal, it has a mount, and it might be $600 for a scope that that will outperform any of these refractors on any object that fits in the field of view.. 

 

If you do decide to go with a refractor, there are many, many good one's out there.  

 

Jon


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#48 LDW47

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Posted 26 January 2022 - 03:10 PM

A few thought's/experiences:

 

- You do not have to wait any time at all for a Dob to cool down.  If you want it's best possible views of the planets at high magnifications, it's best.  But for viewing the deep sky, it's unnecessary.  

 

- As others have said, an 8 inch Dob would show you far more than an 85 mm refractor, it's really a different world. Globular clusters like M13 show a myriad of tiny stars instead of being a fuzzy blob.  Galaxies begin to show some detail, planetary nebula come alive.. The larger scope captures 5 times as much light and has more than twice the resolving power.

 

- If you do decide to go with a small refractor and a small refractor is certainly a viable option, I have several I frequently use, I would look at more possibilities than just TeleVue.

 

I have a TeleVue NP-101 which is a unique scope and a fine scope for deep sky as well as all around observing.  It's a 4 element dual ED modified Petzval, it has excellent color correction as well as flat field, stars at the edge of a wide field view and stars at the center of the field are in focus simultaneously.  That is not the case with doublets like the TV-76 and 85 nor it is true with triplets.  The NP-101 is about $4000.  The competition is from Takahashi, it costs $6400..  

 

 

 

If I were looking for another small high quality ED/apo refractor, the TeleVue 76 and 85 would not be on the list.  They are very nice scopes but there are scopes as good, scopes that are better, that are less expensive.  A TeleVue 76 is $1700, an 85 is almost $2200.  Mention has been make of an ST-80. This is the other end, I have an ST-80 fitted with a 2 inch focuser because it's capable of views my more expensive apo/ed refractors cannot provide.  

 

But more importantly, there is a lot of middle ground, the $400 Astro-Tech AT-80 ED will provide views that are nearly as good as the TeleVue scopes. Spending some more, $900 buys the 80mm EDL with the same or better color correction than the TeleVue scopes, a guaranteed Strehl ratio of 0.95, very nice mechanicals, the focusers are excellent. 

 

And I would also be looking at scopes larger than 85mm.  a 4 inch refractor is a handy size, a little bigger than the 80mm class refractors but still very portable and handy while taking the performance level up a notch. The Astro-Tech 102ED is $600, the 102EDL is $1100.  It has the same quality optics as the 80mm AT-80 EDL.  

 

I am using the Astro-Tech scopes because I know them but there are other vendors, that offer similar scopes at similar values. TS optics in Germany is one.  And too Astro-Tech is the house brand for Astronomics, the people who pay all the bills to support Cloudy Nights. 

 

https://www.astronom...anufacturer=360

 

And don't forget a diagonal, a mount and some quality eyepieces.  I look at a scope like my William Optics 80mm F/7 FD.. I've had it for fifteen years plus, I bought it used but new it was around $700 at the time. It has very good optics, I would say they rival the TeleVue pair. It seems like a very nice scope for a $700 investment.  But then I step back and look at the total investment that is providing those views. I have a 2 inch TeleVue Everbrite diagonal.. If I bought it today, that would be $400.  An Astro-Tech diagonal would be $120. And the mount, a Vixen Portamount is a good mount for an 80mm, that's $300. 

 

And then there's the eyepieces. TeleVue is known primarily for it's eyepieces, not for it's telescopes.  How much have you budgeted for eyepieces?  When I look at that $700 80mm refractor, it is being supported buy several thousand dollars worth of TeleVue eyepieces..  It's not just a $700 investment.  

 

 

 

Back to the 8 inch Dob for a minute, the Dob does not need a diagonal, it has a mount, and it might be $600 for a scope that that will outperform any of these refractors on any object that fits in the field of view.. 

 

If you do decide to go with a refractor, there are many, many good one's out there.  

 

Jon

An excellent, comprehensive post. The mind should sure start to turn with all those and more choices.


  • Mountaineer370 likes this

#49 rhetfield

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Posted 26 January 2022 - 04:56 PM

A big part of it will be what type of camping and birding the OP plans on doing.  If it is car camping and birding in one spot with minimal walking, the 85mm will work well.  If a lot of hiking is involved, an ST80 or stabilized Bino's might be a better answer.  Another option for the price of a premium eyepiece might be one of the 130mm/F5 minidobs or a 150mm dob with 2" focuser.  Either of these would not take up much more room than the 85mm and would do a bit better on DSO's and planets.  They are cheap enough to be part of a two scope solution.  For that matter, a used 8" dob would not be very costly either.



#50 Mountaineer370

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Posted 26 January 2022 - 04:57 PM

An excellent, comprehensive post. The mind should sure start to turn with all those and more choices.

Agreed.  A thoughtful and informative post, Jon!  I admit to being very partial to Tele Vue, but there are certainly many other choices out there for the OP, both in refractors and Dobs.  And as you mentioned, there are the accessories that add up to a big chunk of the budget.


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