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C5 SCT as a travel/grab n' go scope?

Visual SCT Reflector Catadioptric Cassegrain
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#76 CHASLX200

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Posted 07 October 2023 - 06:13 PM

I hear lots of great things about the optics on these little SCTs. What is the reason for their sharpness? Are they really exceptionally sharp or is it just that people don't expect sharp images from such small scopes?

Had my share of bad optics on small SCT's. Had three 2045 astro versions that were mush dogs. Had another astro version that was good and a freaky sharp spotter version.


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#77 Echolight

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Posted 07 October 2023 - 07:13 PM

What good does 2" stuff do on a C5?  Seems you can't get the whole FOV of 2" stuff.  Just makes the OTA flop down.

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#78 Nicole Sharp

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Posted 07 October 2023 - 09:19 PM

I too had a C5 for about 2yrs as a travel scope…..it’s been on many a plane ride with me. We also used it as a spotter during the day in places like Utah, Montana and such to view wildlife and birds. Alt/az tripod mount is the way to go.

 

The optics of the C5 are really something special once collimated. 

That is another point.  SCTs have to be collimated more often than MCTs do.



#79 Echolight

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Posted 08 October 2023 - 09:09 AM

That is another point.  SCTs have to be collimated more often than MCTs do.

For me, a 127 Synta/Skywatcher Mak, that has an effective aperture of 118-120mm(due to the too small tube that blocks light from the edge of the primary, or actual primary mirror diameter, or something like that), or even less considering a 35% secondary but 40% baffle central obstruction,

(there are many threads on the subject.

https://www.cloudyni...the corrector.)

(Particularly this comment compares the two https://www.cloudyni...mak/?p=7768003)

...not that any of this is particularly game changing. But....

...

because of it's size and weight, focal length, fov, ... and ultimately mounting requirements,

the "127" Mak would be in competition against a C6.

 

And neither can compete with a C5 for being small, light, easy on the mount, as well as being visually versatile.

 

For my use, the C5 is a unique animal for it's size, weight, versatility, and being able to go on a smaller mount than anything else in it's aperture class.

IMG_20230819_144640775~5.jpg

 

A 90mm Mak does a good job at being small. And a better high power scope than an ST80. But not very versatile as strictly an astronomy telescope. And is not nearly as bright, or show color, have the resolution, or ultimately offer nearly the amount of detail that can be seen with a C5.

Aside from price, I think a 4" Mak would be better than a 90mm Mak. Similar mounting requirements to a C5. Yet still not as bright, powerful, or as versatile as a C5.


Edited by Echolight, 08 October 2023 - 11:57 AM.

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#80 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 08 October 2023 - 09:17 AM

I have that same Baader diagonal, as well as others. In your photo there it looks like you have it directly attached to a Celestron f/6.3 r/c? How did you do that? Is there a particular adapter for that? FWIW, I plan to mainly use mine with 1.25" accessories, as almost all of my eyepieces are 1.25" since I usually use a binoviewer. I want to use it with and without a reducer/corrector, but your setup with that 2" diagonal intrigues me. 


Edited by Doug Culbertson, 08 October 2023 - 09:17 AM.


#81 Echolight

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Posted 08 October 2023 - 09:44 AM

I have that same Baader diagonal, as well as others. In your photo there it looks like you have it directly attached to a Celestron f/6.3 r/c? How did you do that? Is there a particular adapter for that? FWIW, I plan to mainly use mine with 1.25" accessories, as almost all of my eyepieces are 1.25" since I usually use a binoviewer. I want to use it with and without a reducer/corrector, but your setup with that 2" diagonal intrigues me. 

The Baader diagonals, as well as the new GSO 2 inch diagonals, have internal SCT threads. Just unscrew the refractor nosepiece to expose them.

 

The reason for using one of these internally SCT threaded 2 inch diagonals is that they keep the backspace behind the .63 reducer corrector as close as possible to the spec'd 105mm backspace in a full aperture 2 inch diagonal.

(I believe the C5 is operating at approximately f7 in this configuration by the way, 875mm focal length)

 

The only "adapter" necessary is a lock ring, to clock the diagonal in an upright position.

If you look close, you can see the thin lock ring in the picture. (Between the diagonal and reducer).

These are offered either by Baader or Blue Fireball (Agena). I have the Agena Blue Fireball model because it's $15 and the Baader is $55.

https://agenaastro.c...-ring-l-04.html

Agena also has a tutorial for using diagonals in this fashion.

https://agenaastro.c...nal-to-sct.html

 

The 20 Hyperwide works well and provides around 2.3 degrees true field of view.

I wouldn't try anything with a larger field stop than this.

Well if I already had one I might try a 26 Nagler or 30 UFF. But I don't. And I couldn't say for sure that these eyepieces with a slightly larger field stop wouldn't be fuzzy at the edge in this particular scenario. I believe the 20 Hyperwide is already pushing the envelope.

 

I know an ES68 28 works well. And provides a brighter exit pupil and easier to see 2.1 degrees true field of view, roughly.

 

And I wouldn't hesitate to use an ES82 24mm and expect good results if that's what I had. An XW23 ought to be another viable option for widest field of view.

 

Just makes for a more all purpose little scope to me.

Pleiades is terrific in the 2.3 degree field at 44x using the 20 Hyperwide.

Still does 275x on the Moon with a zoom in a 2.5x barlow. And it's about equal for high power planetary details and presentation available with a 130 f5 parabolic newt.

And to increase the ease of use on a manual mount. (notice that I don't even have a finder scope)

 

....I estimate similar to a 4 inch f9 apo (almost) for overall use but in a much smaller grab and go friendlier platform.

 


Edited by Echolight, 08 October 2023 - 10:09 AM.


#82 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 08 October 2023 - 10:13 AM

Excellent information; thank  you! I've added that lock ring to my cart at Agena, along with a few other items that I wanted anyway.

 

I keep looking at that 20mm hyperwide at Astronomics, but I haven't yet pulled the trigger on it. I do have a 30mm UFF, which is currently one of two 2" eyepieces that I own. The other is a Svbony 34mm 70 degree eyepiece that pretty much stays in the case with my Quark Chromosphere. 

 

I did notice that you didn't have a finder on your OTA. I bought a Synta style finder shoe for SCTs as I had planned to mount one of my GLPs on it. I could see how you could get by withouth a finder using the 20mm HWA and reducer though. 


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#83 Echolight

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Posted 08 October 2023 - 10:32 AM

Excellent information; thank  you! I've added that lock ring to my cart at Agena, along with a few other items that I wanted anyway.

 

I keep looking at that 20mm hyperwide at Astronomics, but I haven't yet pulled the trigger on it. I do have a 30mm UFF, which is currently one of two 2" eyepieces that I own. The other is a Svbony 34mm 70 degree eyepiece that pretty much stays in the case with my Quark Chromosphere. 

 

I did notice that you didn't have a finder on your OTA. I bought a Synta style finder shoe for SCTs as I had planned to mount one of my GLPs on it. I could see how you could get by withouth a finder using the 20mm HWA and reducer though. 

The 20 Hyperwide is a big ole honkin eyepiece. But I love it. If I only take out two eyepieces, it's almost always one of them.

 

At first I didn't. The eye relief isn't huge. Still the eyecup was too low and soft to me to keep proper eye alignment. I stole the very slightly taller and much firmer extra eyecup from my Baader zoom, and stretched it on there, which was perfect for me.

It's a different experience. Almost like there's no end to the field of view. No matter how much you try and peek around the corner. And trying to see it all ruins the experience to an extent.

But eventually, I just learned to look as if it were any other eyepiece. And the very outer edge just left the window of context that I was peering into a vast universe wide open.

 

Now, I can see the field stop in the periphery while looking straight ahead without trying. But it's subconscious.


Edited by Echolight, 08 October 2023 - 10:43 AM.

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#84 Bob Campbell

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Posted 08 October 2023 - 01:38 PM

For me, a 127 Synta/Skywatcher Mak, that has an effective aperture of 118-120mm(due to the too small tube that blocks light from the edge of the primary, or actual primary mirror diameter, or something like that), or even less considering a 35% secondary but 40% baffle central obstruction,

(there are many threads on the subject.

https://www.cloudyni...the corrector.)

(Particularly this comment compares the two https://www.cloudyni...mak/?p=7768003)

...not that any of this is particularly game changing. But....

...

because of it's size and weight, focal length, fov, ... and ultimately mounting requirements,

the "127" Mak would be in competition against a C6.

 

And neither can compete with a C5 for being small, light, easy on the mount, as well as being visually versatile.

 

For my use, the C5 is a unique animal for it's size, weight, versatility, and being able to go on a smaller mount than anything else in it's aperture class.

attachicon.gif IMG_20230819_144640775~5.jpg

 

A 90mm Mak does a good job at being small. And a better high power scope than an ST80. But not very versatile as strictly an astronomy telescope. And is not nearly as bright, or show color, have the resolution, or ultimately offer nearly the amount of detail that can be seen with a C5.

Aside from price, I think a 4" Mak would be better than a 90mm Mak. Similar mounting requirements to a C5. Yet still not as bright, powerful, or as versatile as a C5.

Thanks for addressing this. Maks are one trick ponies, IMO. They do planetary, lunar and double stars quite well, but dso's not so much.

 

SCTs do have disadvantages, but they pale in comparison to the advantages and versatility.

 

That pretty much sums it up.

 

Bob


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#85 luxo II

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Posted 08 October 2023 - 09:04 PM

Thanks for addressing this. Maks are one trick ponies, IMO. They do planetary, lunar and double stars quite well, but dso's not so much.

I can hear the howls of vehement disagreement from my MN65 from my basement !

If I let it out it will eat your C6 for breakfast, Bob.

 

The 10" just sits there smugly, it knows who rules.


Edited by luxo II, 08 October 2023 - 09:06 PM.


#86 RichA

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Posted 08 October 2023 - 10:54 PM

There is one other area to consider if you go with 2" gear. Notice the focuser knob in Echolight's great pics ... you may have to watch for interference with your 2" gear, particularly if you mount it close to the rear cell surface on smaller scopes. 

 

On my C6 there was a problem with a WO SCT threaded diagonal in some orientations with the stock rubber covered knob (pulling the rubber knob off fixed that). I also have a short 2" visual back that pushes a barrel diagonal far enough back ... but I then have to remove the big threaded set screws when installing it ... I can't win lol.gif .

I've had issues where I had to remove set-screws to get a 2 inch back on, I've also seen where rings can't be put on very short tubes easily if  the finder has a permanent mount, interference.



#87 Bob Campbell

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Posted 09 October 2023 - 01:33 AM

I can hear the howls of vehement disagreement from my MN65 from my basement !

If I let it out it will eat your C6 for breakfast, Bob.

 

The 10" just sits there smugly, it knows who rules.

Actually the discussion was about Mak cassegrains not mak newts. There was another poster casting shade on the SCTs, and what echolight said had to be said about MCs, and I concur.

 

MN's whole other animal, shorter focal ratio, very capable. The Intes scopes are great no doubt. Always wished I could find/afford/mount one . The MN65 is a 160mm scope, not 10" so I have no idea what you are talking about (maybe you don't either?)

 

I would imagine under great seeing, and after a long cool-down, and a large mount it would be a performer, but in a different class altogether. The MN65 does need a more beefy mount, despite it only being 160mm.

 

Being beaten by such a scope under ideal conditions worries me not in the least. My C6 can be hand carried, set up in under 10min, and can be doing planetary lucky imaging in another 5 min. My avatar was taken by such a setup with a non-optimal deep sky camera.

 

Try to keep up with the relevant discussion in this topic. What's with you Aussies? Often ready for a fight when there is no reason.

 

TIA flowerred.gif

 

Bob


Edited by Bob Campbell, 09 October 2023 - 01:46 AM.


#88 akdwivedi

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Posted 09 October 2023 - 08:18 AM

the C5 is excellent travel scope. it travels with me on a az gti (in alt az mode) and a carbon fibre tripod. I also use it as a spotting scope during daytime (a little longish) with a 45 deg diagonal. 

 

though when I am home, the C6 mounted on azmp is my goto scope whenever Thor allows us to take a peak at the stars.


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#89 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 09 October 2023 - 08:38 AM

Actually the discussion was about Mak cassegrains not mak newts. There was another poster casting shade on the SCTs, and what echolight said had to be said about MCs, and I concur.

 

MN's whole other animal, shorter focal ratio, very capable. The Intes scopes are great no doubt. Always wished I could find/afford/mount one . The MN65 is a 160mm scope, not 10" so I have no idea what you are talking about (maybe you don't either?)

 

I would imagine under great seeing, and after a long cool-down, and a large mount it would be a performer, but in a different class altogether. The MN65 does need a more beefy mount, despite it only being 160mm.

 

Being beaten by such a scope under ideal conditions worries me not in the least. My C6 can be hand carried, set up in under 10min, and can be doing planetary lucky imaging in another 5 min. My avatar was taken by such a setup with a non-optimal deep sky camera.

 

Try to keep up with the relevant discussion in this topic. What's with you Aussies? Often ready for a fight when there is no reason.

 

TIA flowerred.gif

 

Bob

Bringing a 10" into a discussion about a 5" travel scope is a bit like comparing apples to hat racks. I used to have an MN65; a wonderful scope that required (IMO) a G11 to comfortably carry it, especially after I added Parallax rotating rings. I kept that scope for a long time, but it was nowhere near grab and go. 

 

FWIW, my C5 is supposedly out for delivery today and, as luck would have it, it's supposed to be clear tonight. It will ride on a Innorel RT80C CF tripod and a Neewer 54mm ball mount; a one hand out the door rig, and a far cry from a G11. 


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#90 Bob Campbell

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Posted 09 October 2023 - 10:16 AM

Bringing a 10" into a discussion about a 5" travel scope is a bit like comparing apples to hat racks. I used to have an MN65; a wonderful scope that required (IMO) a G11 to comfortably carry it, especially after I added Parallax rotating rings. I kept that scope for a long time, but it was nowhere near grab and go. 

 

FWIW, my C5 is supposedly out for delivery today and, as luck would have it, it's supposed to be clear tonight. It will ride on a Innorel RT80C CF tripod and a Neewer 54mm ball mount; a one hand out the door rig, and a far cry from a G11. 

not to mention that a MN65 is 160mm, not 10", and a MN does not have the very tiny FOV of a MakCass. A bit too much Tooheys???

 

Sounds like a nice way to give your new C5 its maiden voyage.

 

Bob


Edited by Bob Campbell, 09 October 2023 - 10:18 AM.

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#91 epee

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Posted 09 October 2023 - 11:46 AM

I have a white tube C5 that is my road trip, truck camping, and outreach scope. I use it mounted on either an ES Twilight 1 or an iOptron Cube Pro.


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#92 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 09 October 2023 - 03:22 PM

not to mention that a MN65 is 160mm, not 10", and a MN does not have the very tiny FOV of a MakCass. A bit too much Tooheys???

 

Sounds like a nice way to give your new C5 its maiden voyage.

 

Bob

Well, clouds are moving in from the south, so we'll see what happens tonight. The C5 was delivered a couple of hours ago, as did the ball mount and V style saddle plate. Got it out to see how it all looked, and the trees across the field look nice. I haven't even opened the finder scope or the 45 degree diagonal, but my 20 year old Celestron #94115-A prism diagonal still looks good! Nice little case this thing came in too. 

 

I think that I am going to be very happy with this. It's amazing how light it is. 

 

If the OP is still reading this thread, I can highly recommend the C5 for a travel scope. If you need a mount, the Popular Science model is still a great deal. 

 

Since we love showing off our gear around here, here are the obligatory photos to show that it did happen. lol.gif

Attached Thumbnails

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  • IMG_2454.jpg
  • IMG_2455.jpg

Edited by Doug Culbertson, 09 October 2023 - 03:23 PM.

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#93 Bob Campbell

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Posted 09 October 2023 - 03:34 PM

Well, clouds are moving in from the south, so we'll see what happens tonight. The C5 was delivered a couple of hours ago, as did the ball mount and V style saddle plate. Got it out to see how it all looked, and the trees across the field look nice. I haven't even opened the finder scope or the 45 degree diagonal, but my 20 year old Celestron #94115-A prism diagonal still looks good! Nice little case this thing came in too. 

 

I think that I am going to be very happy with this. It's amazing how light it is. 

 

If the OP is still reading this thread, I can highly recommend the C5 for a travel scope. If you need a mount, the Popular Science model is still a great deal. 

 

Since we love showing off our gear around here, here are the obligatory photos to show that it did happen. lol.gif

pretty and functional. Have fun!

 

Bob


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#94 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 09 October 2023 - 03:40 PM

pretty and functional. Have fun!

 

Bob

Thanks, I think that I will have a great time with it. BTW, this thing is just horrible about showing fingerprints. I guess that I'll wrap it in Reflectix. 


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#95 CHASLX200

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Posted 09 October 2023 - 06:23 PM

Bringing a 10" into a discussion about a 5" travel scope is a bit like comparing apples to hat racks. I used to have an MN65; a wonderful scope that required (IMO) a G11 to comfortably carry it, especially after I added Parallax rotating rings. I kept that scope for a long time, but it was nowhere near grab and go. 

 

FWIW, my C5 is supposedly out for delivery today and, as luck would have it, it's supposed to be clear tonight. It will ride on a Innorel RT80C CF tripod and a Neewer 54mm ball mount; a one hand out the door rig, and a far cry from a G11. 

You got days of rain coming and none for me.  Bring that scope down here so i can get some rain after 4 years of nothing.


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#96 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 09 October 2023 - 08:18 PM

You got days of rain coming and none for me.  Bring that scope down here so i can get some rain after 4 years of nothing.

Yeah, cloudy now and a few days of rain in the forecast. We are heading out of town for five days, but it’s supposed to be clear when we return next Tuesday. 



#97 Cpk133

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Posted 09 October 2023 - 08:55 PM

not to mention that a MN65 is 160mm, not 10", and a MN does not have the very tiny FOV of a MakCass. A bit too much Tooheys???

 

Sounds like a nice way to give your new C5 its maiden voyage.

 

Bob

Luxo has a 10” Russian Mak, let’s call it Ivan Drago, “I must break you” 

F3569A95-96DC-41A2-B798-1C1AF510D62D.jpeg BCC4AF52-96F5-42E0-AC51-664139A30C74.jpeg


Edited by Cpk133, 09 October 2023 - 09:04 PM.

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#98 Bob Campbell

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Posted 09 October 2023 - 09:34 PM

Luxo has a 10” Russian Mak, let’s call it Ivan Drago, “I must break you” 

attachicon.gif F3569A95-96DC-41A2-B798-1C1AF510D62D.jpegattachicon.gif BCC4AF52-96F5-42E0-AC51-664139A30C74.jpeg

No debate that it is a great scope. Just not relevant to the grab and go topic  

 

Bob



#99 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 11 October 2023 - 02:20 PM

I probably should have posted this elsewhere, but it's kind of relevant to the C5. I was flipping through the manual that came with it when I got to the section on eyepieces. Take a look at the last one on the page. I guess that not much changes enough over 20 years to really make edits to the manual! 

 

 

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#100 Echolight

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Posted 11 October 2023 - 05:39 PM

It  comes with a manual?belushi.gif


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