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Thread: Advantages and Disadvantages of Refractor Telescopes

  1. #21
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    Hello all,

    thanks for the valuable inputs.

    About 8 years ago I have purchased the cheap Chineese rich field 6" f5 SkyWatcher refractor. First thing to be replaced was the diagonal, and the cheap EPs included. The useless focuser has been upgraded with Baader to get it into focus.

    Now, the refractor works well with the Astro Professional 5mm (ED) EP without noticable color fringes at 150x magnification. M13 is nicely resolved, and the Ring Nebula shows the donut with contrast. The Televue Zoom can ramp up the magnification to 180x, but without showing much more detail added.

    I'd say, what matters with the cheap refractors is, which EP suits best. This was my expensive lesson learned.

    Regarding the refractors for the astrophotography, any fast (f#) triplet above 4" is expensive. The are still lots of discontinued fast telelenses on the market, like the Pentax 4/400mm for the 7cmx6cm format. Using convertor rings, they can be mated with any DSLR. I am using the Leica APO 3.4/180mm, and going to use the Carl Zeiss Sonnar 4/300mm. But my objective is the rich field astrophotography.

    If I could afford it, I'd take one of those large Leica APO-Telyts,

    Leica R 1:5,6/800 mm Apo-Telyt-R ROM 11842 + 11845 - SH photo GmbH

    Leica R 1:2,8/400 mm Apo-Telyt-R 11842 + 11843 - SH photo GmbH

    with 142mm lenses.

    Best

    JG
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  3. #22
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    Great discussion here guys, I will agree the posts above are all very informative and after using both reflectors and refractors I will definitely agree for visual work nothing beats the aperture of a dobsonian telescope / reflector. I definitely saw many more stars and more details with my larger reflector. My views of Mars in 2003 with my dob will forever remain etched in my wife's and my memories. They were unbelievable. Since then, my wife has not been impressed by my refractors potential to view planets - and I take her views much more seriously than mine.

    My views on achromat's for visual and even imaging have been a bit sour as my shorty Orion ST80 (not the expensive carbon one which is a triplet) is great for portability, functions as a terrestrial quite amazingly well, but has color issues with bright objects like planets and bright stars that such a refractor should be quite good at viewing. Being a shorty, it has much wider views and better imaging potential than my f/9 Apo ED 100 however its views and imaging are marred by purple color fringing and halos on the stars. I cannot complain much as its portability, and cost are quite good however I could have easily bought an imaging newt, or large visual scope like a dob to use here in Oz for the same amount - so I question my purchase in that regard.

    I will admit I like refractors for their small size, lack of collimation, and imaging potential (mainly apo's here) but I think for visual work and affordability nothing will beat a dob/ newt. reflector.

    If cost is not an issue, and the main game is to image - then I would seriously consider even a small triplet or doublet ED apochromatic for the advantage of small size/weight for mounts, and the amazing contrast and lack of any obstructing object in the imaging path which can affect the final image quality. For imaging a SN or similar would do the trick better than a pure newtonian, but many of the best planetary photographers use very large imaging newtonians.
    uncaged and JFD like this.
    Name: Gus OTAs: ED 100 PRO refractor, Orion ST80 (not the CF), 8" Dob stuck in Canada Mounts:HEQ5PRO Synscan mount, Manfrotto Tripod CAMS: Guidecam Philips SPC900 webcams (4), Canon unmodded-450D DSLR

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    Great thread, very informative. I'm a newbie and still trying to learn about the different types of scopes. I little more confusing than camera lenes.

    Thanks

  6. #24
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    The best scope is the one you have with you, including binoculars
    ehjohnny and JFD like this.
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    Default 6" apo vs 6" ach

    Hi guys I've decided to purchase a big refractor after owning 2 SCT's, 2 DOBS, and 2 80mm cheap refractors. I've narrowed it down to two choices. Both scopes have had rave reviews on the net and in our Canadian Magazine called Skynews but they are a world apart in cost:

    Choice one: A CT or AT152 ($859 CND)

    Choice two: A Skywatcher Espirit 150ED Super APO Triplet ($6999 CND)

    According to the reviews I've read the CT152 is amazingly sharp and only has slight false color. I know the APO will be the better scope but I wonder if its $6140 better... I'll probably have both in the end

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    My "best" scope is my Meade DS2130AT. I could afford to buy it. It's small enough that I can carry it to a nearby park. I use it frequently in my back yard. It tracks the objects so it's easy to show my two daughters what I am looking at. It's easy to setup and use. It's big enough at 5 inches to pickup some dim objects. I use it at least a couple of times a week.

    So...

    The best scope I have is the one I use...
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    Scopes:Meade DS2130AT 130mm reflector on ALT/AZ goto mount. Takes 0.965,1.25,2 inch eyepieces./Celestron C-60 60mm refractor on manual ALT/AZ mount. Takes 0.965 inch eyepieces./Meade 152mm newtonian reflector on Meade LXD75 GEM goto mount. Takes 1.25,2 inch eyepieces.
    Eyepieces:0.965 inches: 25mm Kelner, 12.5mm, 8mm, 4mm, 25mm Meade MA/1.25 inches: 25mm Plossl, 10mm Plossl, 5.1 mm Epic ED-2, Owl 24-8mm zoom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peteman View Post
    Hi guys I've decided to purchase a big refractor after owning 2 SCT's, 2 DOBS, and 2 80mm cheap refractors. I've narrowed it down to two choices. Both scopes have had rave reviews on the net and in our Canadian Magazine called Skynews but they are a world apart in cost:

    Choice one: A CT or AT152 ($859 CND)

    Choice two: A Skywatcher Espirit 150ED Super APO Triplet ($6999 CND)

    According to the reviews I've read the CT152 is amazingly sharp and only has slight false color. I know the APO will be the better scope but I wonder if its $6140 better... I'll probably have both in the end
    Hello Peteman,
    this is an excellent choice of the telescopes, you are heading.

    Just for the readers from the EU, the AT 152 is here,

    152/900mm Gro▀feldrefraktor - 3' Crayford Auszug

    and the 150ED APO is here,

    Skywatcher Esprit-150ED Triplet Super Apo Telescope

    (Similar offers can be also found with other dealers.)

    My personal preference would favour the faster 150mm f5.9 achro, both on the budget, and as I like the real rich field refractors.

    Best

    JG
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    Do you want a plateload of cheeseburgers or a slice of filet mignon?

    Those are two really different scopes and I think for totally different purposes. Difficult not to look with wallet vision, but you have to ask what you would actually use it for. Wallet wise there may be far better choices and not a refractor. Whatever you choose it's the quality of the figuring of the optics, focuser design, and possibly the tube that you pay for. There's expensive and inexpensive in every design. What costs is human hand and human brain in the process. Exactly where it might matter and how varies with your sky conditions and light pollution and eyepieces and objects of interest.

    Strictly speking as far as refractors go, I prefer the apo design for planetary and some of the nebula and globulars, but I think with some scopes 'CA" is way overblown - not everyone is bothered to the same degree by it. And there are inexpensive filters that go a long way. CA does tend to increase as the focal ratio gets smaller and also as apeture increases ('possibly') but then there are options available to the designer as to how they 'cast' the out of focus light. One may choose to the purple and another to the red.

    Imaging, no contest, give me the three lensed version.
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    Default Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of Refractor Telescopes

    Quote Originally Posted by JuanVelasquez View Post
    The best scope is the one you have with you, including binoculars
    I totally agree :-)

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    Default Re: Advantages and Disadvantages of Refractor Telescopes

    Are there any advantages of viewing with a refractor in terms of what you can see? For example, is it better to view the moon and planets with a refractor?

 

 
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