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  1. #1
    IrishMcLean's Avatar
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    Default Choice of Orion, Meade or Celestron 90mm refractor -will it matter? (avoiding EQ mt.)



    I feel unwilling to get an EQ mount for my first scope based on research. However, the only refractor scope I want that's in both my acceptable-quality and price-range -- the Orion AstroView 90mm EQ -- is sold with the EQ mount, and that mount just seems inappropriate for my starting out. Additionally, most prefer AZ mounts in any case, as do I.

    I have the choice of these 3 as of right now:

    1) Celestron Astromaster 90AZ - $180
    2) Meade 90mm AZ-ADR - 140$
    3) Orion AstroView 90mm EQ - 320$

    In all honesty, the Orion looks like the best scope -- based on reviews, and based on the consistently positive reputation of Orion. However I've seen posts which insinuate that these different brand scopes are often made in the same factory, and that differences in quality between brands in the same class may be subtle. The Celestron Astromaster 90AZ was my original choice as a first scope, but I was hesitant of its performance, which is why I looked up a bit to the Orion model.

    Which of these should I go with? Will I see that much better quality with the Orion? Also, am I being too leery of the EQ mount? I'm primarily using this for first-time astronomy (and wanted something reasonably strong in this respect) but I know I want to do a small bit of fun terrestrial viewing as well - following ariplanes, exploring city/landscape etc. I just appreciate the quick point-and-shoot of the AZ mount for both land and sky. Still, my thoughts are I should go with the Orion, since it is worth it for the better scope, and just get used to the EQ mount. But i also feel that the Celestron or Meade might be of such similar quality that I will be just as satisfied, and I'll have the AZ mount. This is where I need your advice.

    I've done a lot of research, and my previous thread on the beginner's page led me to refractor (and I'm definitely set on refractor), but now I need advice on the specifics of models so I can narrow it down.

    Thanks again everyone for your help.
    Last edited by IrishMcLean; 01-05-2011 at 08:10 PM.

  2. #2
    ghswen's Avatar
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    Default

    Welcome to the forum!

    I'm gonna let someone who isn't bias answer your post (I have an EQ mount and love it!)

    You might want to try to find a local astronomy club and see if they are having a star party. It's a good opportunity to view through different types of telescopes and mounts before you make your purchase.
    Gordon
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  3. #3
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    I really can't speak to the quality of the scopes, but there's no need to be afraid of an EQ mount. You'll need to do a little reading to learn how the mount works, but EQ mounts aren't hard to use. I prefer an eq mount/wedge to an alt-az any day.

    Mike
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  4. #4
    IrishMcLean's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks so far. Yes, I've read not to fear the EQ mount as a beginner. More importantly, I've also read that if I want to operate the mount as an Alt/AZ, I can align the latitude to 90-degrees, thus allowing for perfect up/down movements like an AZ mount. Transporting the EQ mount with telescope also seems like a challenge, but I'm sure there is a practical method to do so.


    My final 2 choices now are Orion AstroView 90mm EQ (320$) and the Sky-Watcher AZ4 80 (200$)

    I had JUST heard of the Sky-Watcher AZ4 80 model. Has anyone heard anything about this one? The little I've read on this this has been overwhelming. The advantage of this is a fantastic AZ mount (from reviews), but I'm losing 10mm of aperture. I'm told it blows the Meade 90mm out of the water.

    My #1 choice is most likely the Orion AstroView 90mm EQ scope, but I'm going to look at the Skywatcher very closely well before making any final decision.

    So right now, the discussion is pretty much is simple as "what model to get?" in a small and specific pool of scopes, but it's comforting to have gotten that far after researching quite a bit.

  5. #5
    Bob327's Avatar
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    Irish:

    I'd discard the Meade pretty quickly (and I do own a Meade refractor 127 mm) The Celestron is the better buy BUT in all honestly it would not be my cup of tea....

    The Orion is by far the better telescope BUT it comes on a very light weight and flimsy GEM Mount...(I also own a 100 mm Astroview Gem mounted telescope) ...

    Now the problem is finding out why you have an aversion to the Gem mount ???? really not a big deal BUT in any case it is not at all difficult to set up a Gem mount to be used as a Alt/Azm mount

    Just point the Altitude axis straight up towards the sky...then rotate the Azmiuth axis and the telescope level with the ground...

    I run my LXD 127 that way all the time as it is a GoTo scope that can't find its way to anything...so I use it in Azm/Alt mode ALL the time....

    My Orion is NOT a goto mount and I normally use it set up the normal way for a Gem mount... BUT By removing the Altitude set screw (bolt really) used to lock in my longitude I can "almost" tilt the Altitude axis straight up....With that particular Mount I had to remove about a 1/4 inch of the flange with a grinder to allow the Altitude axis to point straight up without hitting any other part of the mount... 15 minute job ... once done I can set it u in either the Normal Gem fashion OR set it up like I do the Meade and use it entirely in Alt/Azm mode...

    But Like I said I normally do not do it as it is really not a problem using the mount as a Gem mount... BUT I'm not viewing Terrestrial objects If I wanted to switch the mount to a Alt/Azm configuration however it would take me all of say 5 seconds to to do so...just screw out the one bolt and tilt the Altitude axis straight up in the air..

    Bottom line the Orion is 2 or 3 steps UP from the other two and the mount itself is at least twice as stable...

    Ya get what you pay for... Celestron and Meade both produce scope equal to better then the Orion but you are looking for a C4R or a AR5 one is 102 mm the other 127 mm ...

    Bob G.
    CPC1100 housed in a slotted domed observatory (Exploradome) 4 and 5 inch refractors for use from the lawn, a 8" Sct (NS 8i) for star parties...
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  6. #6
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    We must have been tyoing at the same time ...BUT I just looked at the skywatcher and rto be frabk it is better then the Meade or Celestren scopes BUT still NOT in the same league as the Orion

    I honestly look at the Orion Astroview 100 mm f/6 (which I own) also especially if you like wide field views of the stars...only problem with it is at f/6 is shows a bunch of false color on very bright objects (like the Moon) the f/10 astroview 90 is a f/10 scope with a much narrower FOV (and more magnification) and a buch less false color

    Bob G
    CPC1100 housed in a slotted domed observatory (Exploradome) 4 and 5 inch refractors for use from the lawn, a 8" Sct (NS 8i) for star parties...
    I Hate the winter so I use heated Motorcycle clothing to stay warm while observing in winter
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  7. #7
    IrishMcLean's Avatar
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    Thanks for that Bob, this made things very clear and much easier.

    I'm now deciding between the 90 and the 100. The one obvious advantage to me with the 100mm model is it's size, portability, and if needed its cabaility of easily being removed from mount and placed on any tripod (it is attached by .25 inch stud onto mount). Whereas the 90mm is a much longer and less practical scope. This is all from what I'm seeing on paper.

    I still am trying to guage the major differences between what I will see with each scope aside from the wider/narrower field and subtle color variations. It sounds as if each scope will give very similar results, but the 100mm aperture may show a bit more detail with DSOs. I'm interested in sharp views of the planets, but also some views of DSO (especially galaxies) that are a bit more than a white smudge. As for magnification, the specs for the 100mm say that magnification of the 100mm is greater than the 90mm model, which doesn't seem to make sense given it's much shorter focal length.

    I located several jawdopping photos said to be taken through the 100mm telescope (link below). I'm dubious, but if true, I'm guessing this was done via at least a 2x Barlow among other mods. Regardless, if I can get as sharp images on planets, and something quality with DSOs (especially galaxies), then I may very well go with the 100mm. Again (ignoring CA and width of field) it sounds like both scopes give excellent detail with planets, but the 100mm will give me more detail with DSOs. Is that all correct?

    Orion Astroview 100

  8. #8
    ghswen's Avatar
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    Be very careful judging the ability to "view" an object based on an image taken through a telescope.

    Cameras have the ability to do long exposures which our eyes cannot do. Therefore when you visually looks through a telescope you will not be able to see nearly as much as you can with an image taken through the same telescope! Brightness and colors will not be near as good visually compared to images taken with a camera, even with short exposure times!

    I strongly suggest finding an astronomy group in your area. See if they are having a star party in your area so you can get an idea visually what things will look like.

    I'm not trying to scare you away from the scope your interested in I just would hate to see you get frustrated with the hobby because the pictures you saw don't look anything like what you are able to see through the scope.
    Gordon
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  9. The Following User Says Thank You to ghswen For This Useful Post:

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  10. #9
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    Understandable, thanks Gordon. I knew there was something else going on which made these amazing images possible. It's still amazing that the camera through the scope has that kind of capability.

    Still, I think one of these 2 scopes is the one I will purchase. I do live close by WashingtonDC, but there are still reasonably clear nights which allow for some viewing, and I will definitely travel outside the city for clearer viewing. I'm just trying to guage what I will be able to see out of the 90mm versus the 100mm, in other words, the larger aperture & F6 versus slightly smaller aperture & F10. Once I get a good idea and better understanding of this I will decide.

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    Irish:

    The 100 f/6 will give you all of 60x with a 10 mm eyepiece...
    The 90 mm f/11 Celestron will give you 100x with that same eyepiece.
    The 90 mm f/10 Meade will give you 90x with that same 10 mm eyepiece...

    HOWEVER...like I said I do own the 100 mm f./6 and I also own a 127 mm f/9 refractor and NEITHER has an easy time getting above 100x on a normal night....The seeing and transparency of the Sky here in Frederick (60 miles NW of DC just will not allow me to push either that high except on exceptional nights...

    Your desire to see Galaxies is to be frank...UNREALISTIC if you expect to see dust trails etc...heck I have a hard time seeing Galaxies in an 11 inch scope ... Planets on the other hand do not require exceptionally dark skies to view with good detail...

    for astro photography the actual size of the telescope is not very important as a camera is 100's of time more sensitive to light then the human eye.. the mount is the most important (and expensive piece of equipment needed for that purpose...

    Bob G.
    CPC1100 housed in a slotted domed observatory (Exploradome) 4 and 5 inch refractors for use from the lawn, a 8" Sct (NS 8i) for star parties...
    I Hate the winter so I use heated Motorcycle clothing to stay warm while observing in winter
    Retired, also have 2 other hobbies
    1. tinker with older Corvettes (6 in garage)
    2. make a heck of a lot of sawdust in my wood shop.

 

 
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