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Thread: C-6 refractor vs 8" Newt ! First light report...New refractor convert!

  1. #1
    Orion's Avatar
    Orion Guest

    Default C-6 refractor vs 8" Newt ! First light report...New refractor convert!



    After waiting more years than I care to admit, I finally became the proud
    new owner of a 6" F-8 Celestron C6-RGT
    Being a long time newt owner ( 8" F-6 Meade Starfinder) I was concerned
    about "stepping down" in terms of aperture.
    I am happy to report , that in terms of Lunar observation and planetary
    issues, the refractor is as good, if not better.
    It is "mostdef" better when it comes to the Moon. While I admit the 8" F-6
    Meade mirror shows slightly more detail, the 6" Celestron refractor was MUCH
    better in terms of contrast and the easy ability to achieve "snap" focus and
    hold it for a long time.
    With the newt, it is constant focusing/tweaking (BTW, The Meade has a SUPERB
    mirror, and a small-as-you-can-get secondary of 1.5" ) I now see why the 6"
    refractor is the preferred OTA of choice when is comes to the Moon. Through
    the Celestron Refractor, the Moon looked like the pen and ink drawings of
    Harold Hill. The blacks were truly black, and the Moon really looked 3D.
    Last night, when I turned the Celestron on Jupiter, I had no idea there was
    a couple of transits currently going on.
    (It was Io emerging and Europa, I believe,that were causing the shadows, I
    always view first, and then look at Sky&Tel/Astronomy/web afterwards, to
    find out what I was viewing, so as not to bias my observation)
    The moon shadows on Jupiter looked like a couple of bullet holes, and at
    first I thought I had a couple of specks of dirt on my ocular, no kidding!
    The Gallilean moons were truly spheres, not dots.
    Saturn was as superb in the refractor as the Newt, and better in terms of
    contrast.
    I should point out I am in horrible suburban skies, in terms of darkness.
    Streetlights 'till hell won't have'em. Magnitude 3-3.5 if I'm lucky.
    I cannot address deepsky issues, but if you are a planetary/Lunar observer
    like me , you will LOVE a 6" Celestron Refractor.
    BTW, the much dreaded "Chromatic Abberation" issue of a 6" Achro turned out
    to be a none issue. Last night, on the full Moon,
    I had a VERY slight tinge of yellow around the Moon, around Jupiter, a very
    slight tinge of blue ( not purple or violet) around Saturn, none whatsoever.
    Since I ususally use a variable polarizer on the moon, it was a none issue.
    It is clear to me that having a OTA that does not reflect photons 180
    degrees has much going for it.
    Lastly, this myth about refractors not needing collimation is bullshit, they
    most certainly do. BUT, once you achieve collimation, they hold it well.
    Much MUCH better than a Newt.
    BTW, the 6" F-8 OTA is one big , heavy OTA. About 28lbs when the OTA is
    counterbalanced. The Lens side of the OTA is top heavy, and you need around
    12 lbs of finderscope, oculars, and counterweights to get that OTA sliding
    up to a respectable level in the OTA cradle.
    The Celestron GT mount handles the OTA OK(and for the money, it is a damn
    good mount!), but at ~29lbs, it is about at it's limits. The real downside
    was for me, as a longtime Newt owner, to get used to being low on the ground
    when viewing, it can get tought on the neck and back, but damn sure worth
    it...
    Cleardarkskies!
    Orion







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    Gabby76 likes this.

  2. #2
    Tim Powers's Avatar
    Tim Powers Guest

    Default C-6 refractor vs 8" Newt ! First light report...New refractor convert!

    Did you ever try to do anything about improving the contrast of your
    reflector? (ie, flocking?) I myself like detail, and wouldn't trade my 6"
    f/10 reflector views of planets and the moon for anything. I've had a chance
    to peek through some primo 4"apo and a 4" f/15 unitron and can say I prefer
    the detail the "Marscope" (name the builder gave it, and having a maritime
    background I will never change a name without a proper christening, which I
    won't do on a scope). One day I'll get around to flocking the tube to
    increase contrast, but there's too many planets to kill right now.

    -Tim

    btw collimation takes about 15 seconds with a well secured secondary and a
    laser collimator. (deluxe style, with viewing port)




    "Orion" <mark.bender@syntegra.com> wrote in message
    news:2rHcc.356$m3.14364@news7.onvoy.net...
    MUCH
    and
    SUPERB
    6"
    Through
    was
    out
    very
    whatsoever.
    issue.
    they
    around
    ground



  3. #3
    Orion's Avatar
    Orion Guest

    Default C-6 refractor vs 8" Newt ! First light report...New refractor convert!

    First thing I did when I took over ownership of the Meade Newt was to baffle
    the OTA, it is as dark as pitch.
    When you shine a flashlight down the OTA, all you see is the mirror.
    I too, do a laser collimation prior to a star collimation, as a ROT.
    The difference is that I ALWAYS do an adjustment on the Newt OTA, not so on
    the Refractor OTA
    Clearskies!
    Orion


    "Tim Powers" <tim.powers1@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
    news:RPHcc.28744$vo5.906543@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
    chance
    prefer
    I
    proud
    F-6
    of
    I
    kidding!
    of
    darkness.
    observer
    sliding
    damn
    downside
    worth


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  4. #4
    MikeW's Avatar
    MikeW Guest

    Default C-6 refractor vs 8" Newt ! First light report...New refractor convert!

    I also just received a 6" f/8 Celestron and will confirm the excellent
    contrast and snap-to-focus. I had noticeable violet fringe on Jupiter, but
    this was reduced by a Sirius MV20 filter. I have not tried collimating it
    yet, this may help. IMHO this scope is a good value.

    Mike

    "Orion" <mark.bender@syntegra.com> wrote in message
    news:2rHcc.356$m3.14364@news7.onvoy.net...
    MUCH
    and
    SUPERB
    6"
    Through
    was
    out
    very
    whatsoever.
    issue.
    they
    around
    ground



  5. #5
    Alan French's Avatar
    Alan French Guest

    Default C-6 refractor vs 8" Newt ! First light report...New refractor convert!


    "Orion" <mark.bender@syntegra.com> wrote in message
    news:2rHcc.356$m3.14364@news7.onvoy.net...

    Orion,

    Have you made any modifications to the Starfinder to improve cooling? I
    have an 8" Meade Starfinder here some of the time, and it simply does not
    perform as well as an 8" Newt should because it is always hampered by
    thermal problems. If you are constantly refocusing, they could certainly be
    an issue.

    To check for thermal problems, rack a bright object out of focus. If tube
    currents are an issue, you will see a round disk of light with a plume of
    light going off it on one side of focus, and on the other side of focus the
    disk will have a dark dent in it (on the side opposite where the bright
    plume was). As long as you see any hint of this, performance is going to be
    compromised.

    Clear skies, Alan


  6. #6
    Orion's Avatar
    Orion Guest

    Default C-6 refractor vs 8" Newt ! First light report...New refractor convert!

    Fortunately for me, thermal OTA issues are not a problem. I have the good
    fortune of being in a geographically ideal observing location, (in terms of
    steadiness) , i.e.. south Florida.
    My scopes are always at ground (i.e. sea level , stored @ local ambient
    temperature.
    Primo planetary skies!
    Orion

    "Alan French" <adfrenchremoveallthis@nycap.rr.com> wrote in message
    news:h%Icc.4529$%b5.1785@twister.nyroc.rr.com...
    be
    the
    be


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  7. #7
    Rich McMahon's Avatar
    Rich McMahon Guest

    Default C-6 refractor vs 8" Newt ! First light report...New refractor convert!

    Mark

    Very nice report on the celestron 6" refractor. I also have the same
    setup. A meade starfinder 8" eq and the CR-150HD.. You have the
    upgraded tripod and mount. I went with a surveyors tripod for my
    refractor.

    The balance issue you spoke of was cured by using a 2" diagonal.
    Williams Optics makes a great one for 99.00. Also a pair of brass
    focus knobs 2" in diameter were also installed. This makes the scope
    more balance friendly..

    The 6" achormat over the 8" starfinder in my case shows chromatic
    abberation on Jupiter and bright objects. I have the Baader Moon and
    Skyglow which is really worth it both on the refractor and reflector.
    I see detail on jupiter that is absent with out it in either scope. I
    also purchased the contrast booster from Baader which to my eyes
    eliminates chromatic abberation. We all know its still there just
    effectivly masked. Detail is increased but some colours are lost
    leaving a yellow tinge to everything . I do prefer the moon and
    skyglow.

    Now comparing the 6" refractor to the 8" reflector. I find that the
    refractor is very good. Easy to setup and once collimated works very
    well. It also gives some very high contrast views less the cromatic
    abberation.

    Having said that I like the views in the meade. I did install the side
    mounted fan that Alan Adler wrote about and it was worth the work.
    Before starting as Alan French spoke of the images were not very good.

    This evening I rolled the starfinder out of the garage (The tripod is
    on casters.) I collimated the scope. Still using the stock meade
    secondary . That will change soon. The focuser has been changed to a
    JMI. Anyway looked in the eyepeice and defocused jupiter and the
    image was boiling. Turned the fan on and the image cleaned up as if
    the bad seeing was blown away. Turned the fan back off and the bad
    seeing returns. So ran the fan took a look at Jupiter saw several
    bands and festoons. I too am fortunate to have got a good meade
    mirror.

    I also have flocked the inside of the scope with protostar flocking
    paper. I started out with flat black paint. The paper is much
    superior.

    To sum this up. For me the refractor is very good. No muss or fuss
    with collimation, no cleaning the mirror and getting it recoated and
    its fairly rugged.

    Does it outperform the 8" F6 for me it doesnt. Ive tweaked my 8" scope
    and with the additon to cooling, open mirror cell and flocking of the
    tube it works great. Oh I also use walmart bags to put over each end
    of the tube. I bought some large rubber trashcan rubber bands at the
    hardware store to hold the bags on works great to keep the dust
    out.The bags cover the end and focuser. Also they cover the vent holes
    and the open miror cell.

    Will I get rid of either scope, No. I think they complement each
    other. Its great that you have two good scopes they should both serve
    you well.

    Rich

    On Tue, 06 Apr 2004 23:54:38 GMT, "Orion" <mark.bender@syntegra.com>
    wrote:



  8. #8
    Martin R. Howell's Avatar
    Martin R. Howell Guest

    Default C-6 refractor vs 8" Newt ! First light report...New refractor convert!


    Rich McMahon writes:



    For those who have not seen it, I have a series of three pictures showing
    the installation of a fan installed on a Meade Starfinder per the
    instructions of Alan Adler in the Sky & Telescope article of a couple of
    years back. Go to: http://home.earthlink.net/~martinhowell and click on
    "Placement of fan on 12.5 inch dobsonian."




    Everything Rich says is true. . .fan on equals superb images; fan off and
    things can go to rot just like that.


    --
    Martin
    For an ever changing potpourri of images aimed at the amateur astronomer
    plus daily astro news, go to:
    http://home.earthlink.net/~martinhowell





  9. #9
    Orion's Avatar
    Orion Guest

    Default C-6 refractor vs 8" Newt ! First light report...New refractor convert!

    This would seem to illustrate a distinct advantage of a refractor over a
    Newtonian,
    e.g., a refractor needs no fan for OTA thermal stability.
    Orion

    "Martin R. Howell" <martinhowell@ilikestarsearthlink.net> wrote in message
    news:NePcc.18331$Dv2.7107@newsread2.news.pas.earth link.net...


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  10. #10
    Jskies187's Avatar
    Jskies187 Guest

    Default C-6 refractor vs 8" Newt ! First light report...New refractor convert!

    << .fan on equals superb images; fan off and
    things can go to rot just like that.

    This has been my experience as well. Not just for planets either. Deep sky
    benefits greatly also.

    john

 

 
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