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Help!!!! Which Scope to Buy???

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#1 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 06 June 2004 - 07:09 AM

Hi Everyone,
I would like some feedback from you on the best next telescope for me to own. I've been viewing for about 1 year now and I'm just not satisfied with the views that I have seen to date. I also realize that "I don't know nothing" about things but am learning as fast as possible and my question may seem like I'm very spoiled. This is about the only hobby I indulge in to relax from 80 hrs/week working at my business so I will invest in some pleasure here! Keep in mind also that I live in Des Moines IA Midwest. I've only received good "seeing" notices from "The Clear Sky Clock" a few times in the last 3 months. Never "great" seeing either. Here's what I have at present to work with:

10" Orion Atlas Reflector
127mm Orion Mak-Cass
120mm Orion Skyview Pro Refactor
80mm Orion ED OTA

I know that all are just medium priced scopes and when viewing the planets, which is about all I've done to date, I just don't seem to get a very pleasing view. Gone thru the collimation on Refactor and Reflector. Returned the Refractor and had it exchanged due to poor optics etc.

Here's what I'm considering from Meade:

LX90 8" w/UHTC
LX200GPS 7" Mak-Cass
127ED 5" Refactor OTA mount on Atlas tripod or buy with the factory mount.

What I'm looking for would be something that would give me some good Planetary views and some deep space for the future. I don't get to the country for darker skys much.

:question:Questions for you-

1) Which scope would be the best to round out my collection and offer the best overall performance?

2) What is the big diff. between a 7" Mak-Cass and the 8" SCT in performance for me?

3) Outside of another hole in my head, should I be considering something different? (a different scope or brand Need to stay under $3000.00)

4) What, if any, should I get rid of in my collection as duplications or extra baggage?

I'm not as concerned about the $$ amounts as much as the best value/optical performance for my conditions and setting. Also, I can't go more in price than the 200GPS or 127ED both under $3000. Thanks in advance for your help. I'm just stuck on what's best and don't want another disappointment. I have several of these in my garage right now!



#2 John Hoare

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Posted 06 June 2004 - 08:12 AM

There's really not that much to choose between them. Given the smaller objectives and large central obstructions both the Mak and SCT will probably achieve less resolution and contrast compared to your Atlas 10" at a given magnification. Having said that their longer focal lengths will enable you to achieve higher magnifications and therefore a more satisfactory view of the planets, but the 127 Mak you already have should be good for that too. The ED refractor probably won't make a huge difference compared to the 127 Mak either except for a wider field of view with any given eyepiece because of its shorter focal length and perhaps a small improvement in contrast and light grasp at a given magnification because of not having a central obstruction, but that will be offset by the need to filter chromatic abberation, even with ED glass.

If I were you I'd find and use an optimal viewing site first and then consider additional scopes only after tuning up (i.e. collimating, cleaning, balancing etc.) what you presently have and retesting them all under good conditions. Also consider buying improved eyepieces and some good dielectric coated filters such as the Baader 'Kontrast Booster', 'Fringe Killer' and 'U/V I/R Cut'. There's no guarantee of improved performance with a different scope if seeing is poor to start with, and if it is poor neither dollars nor the cachet of a particular brand name will fix it for you.

#3 jrcrilly


    Refractor wienie no more

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Posted 06 June 2004 - 10:23 AM

Since this question was asked in several Forums, it's gonna get very confusing and much redundant posting is likely. With the range of telescope types mentioned, the "Equipment" forum is the best place for the thread. Since it's also already there, I'm gonna lock this one down so all the info can be one place.

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