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Thread: F/8.33 telescope a complete waste of money (for me)?

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    Default F/8.33 telescope a complete waste of money (for me)?



    I'm trying to justify buying a 120mm achromatic F/8.33 refractor on an EQ mount.

    A bit of background first. I have a lovely 203mm F/6.0 Goto dob. Its great at pretty much everything. I added a "grab and go" to my collection sometime later. Yep, from time to time when I can't be bothered to haul out the dob, my little planet killing 127mm GoTo Mak which I can lift up with one hand, mount tripod and all can easily be taken outside or thrown in the car. Its an F/11.8 and on the moon and planets its a great machine. The dob of course blows it out of the water for the faint fuzzies.

    I got a hankering for a refractor and treated myself to an F/5.0 102mm short tube. I just love using my "cluster buster" for The Perseus double, M45 and other widefield stuff. Very limited use, but I like the views the refractor gives. More to the point I like the way refractors themselves look and feel and don't trouble you with collimation problems.

    So, I want another refractor. I don't NEED another refractor do I? Isn't F/8.33 just a jack of all trades, master of none focal ratio?

    After all, I'm going to get better solar system views with the longer focal length Mak, and better fuzzies with the dob, arn't I? Or should I be looking at other configurations, or keeping my money in my pocket? At the moment the only justification I can come up with is to put it on an EQ mount as part of the learning process since my other mounts are both alt/az.

    Do bear in mind that I have only a very limited interest in AP. I seek justification guys!!

    Alec.
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    Default Re: F/8.33 telescope a complete waste of money (for me)?

    Alex, you sound like me.

    Like Abb and a few others around here, I'm a "refractor head"... having four of 'em. I love 'em.

    I have an f/8.3 achro refractor mounted on a CG-4 mount with a 16" pier extension. I've tricked it out a bit with a Crayford 2-speed focuser, a 35mm focal extension, a dielectric coated diagonal, and a 9x50 RACI. It's pretty much my favorite backyard telescope. Given my mild weather conditions, I leave the mount (covered & aligned) outside 24/7/365.

    While I usually take the Dob to star parties, I've taken the 120mm a couple of times and am amazed at how many folks enjoy the views... perhaps because it looks like a telescope and the Dob looks like a water heater.

    I vote: "Go for it." (Of course, that's easy to say because it's your money. )

    Clear Skies
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    Default Re: F/8.33 telescope a complete waste of money (for me)?

    Well young man I own 2 SCTS ( 8 and 11 inch both f/10) as well as a 4 inch f/6 and a 5 inch f/11 refractors ...my 4 ich is use ONLY for open clusters much like your 102 mm scope ..its absolutely horrible on any bright objects false color is a royal PIA... The f/11 is much better BUT still needs a minus violet filter to eliminate most of the false color.. Both of these refractors are mounted on Gem mounts ...Both Scts are mounted on forked alt/azm mounts...

    Bottom line my 5 inch f/11 scope gathers dust for the most part..its big and takes a little effort to set up and use. My 8 inch sct is so much easier to lug outside plus it puts up much better views even on planets...

    Oh and refractors do have to be collimated...my 5 inch one can not be collimated by myself..its fixed and it is honestly OFF a hair my 4 inch one can be collimated .... Only way to have my 5 inch one collimated is ship it back to the manufacturer ...Only real good thing is both sure do not
    require collimation much (years ?) if you treat them correctly

    an f/8 achro refractor will still have a good amount of False color.... IN MY OPINION anyway ...
    The ball is back in your court...I can;t help you very much except to say I;d keep my money in the bank lol

    Bob G.
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    Default Re: F/8.33 telescope a complete waste of money (for me)?

    While Bob327's vote "cancelled" mine, I agree with him on two points...

    Refractors need to be collimated occasionally. Mine is capable of being collimated... I've only done it once. That should be a factor to consider.

    Bright objects (Jupiter, et al) do indeed get some false coloring. It doesn't bother me, but I still run a light-blue filter (#82A) when viewing them.

    Clear Skies
    Last edited by Lowjiber; 01-18-2014 at 02:02 PM. Reason: spell
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    Default Re: F/8.33 telescope a complete waste of money (for me)?

    If you WANT it, GET it cause "wants" and "needs" at times can seem like two opposing forces !!!! So what do you "want", a Celestron Omni XLT 120 perhaps (I know a bit about that one ) ?????

    Almost forgot, from my point of view, one can NEVER have too many scopes......especially if they're refractors !!!!
    Last edited by AbbN; 01-18-2014 at 03:36 PM.

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    Default Re: F/8.33 telescope a complete waste of money (for me)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lowjiber View Post
    Like Abb and a few others around here, I'm a "refractor head"... having four of 'em. I love 'em.

    While I usually take the Dob to star parties, I've taken the 120mm a couple of times and am amazed at how many folks enjoy the views... perhaps because it looks like a telescope and the Dob looks like a water heater.
    Thanks for the "yes" vote John. I suppose what concerns me most if whether I'm duplicating a lot of what I already have. Your Omni with mods sounds like a cracker!

    Alec.
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    Default Re: F/8.33 telescope a complete waste of money (for me)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob327 View Post
    Oh and refractors do have to be collimated...my 5 inch one can not be collimated by myself..its fixed and it is honestly OFF a hair my 4 inch one can be collimated ....

    an f/8 achro refractor will still have a good amount of False color.... IN MY OPINION anyway ...

    The ball is back in your court...I can;t help you very much except to say I;d keep my money in the bank lol
    Well young Bob, thanks for the sobering "no" vote and your comments on collimation (which I know to be correct). I have to say that I'm maybe reasonably tolerant to the colour fringing in achromats. I expected the worst with my fast short tube F/5.0 but was pleasantly surprised. I don't find it too troublesome.

    Alec.
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    Default Re: F/8.33 telescope a complete waste of money (for me)?

    Quote Originally Posted by AbbN View Post
    If you WANT it, GET it cause "wants" and "needs" at times can seem like two opposing forces !!!! So what do you "want", a Celestron Omni XLT 120 perhaps (I know a bit about that one ) ?????
    Hey Abb, thanks for your reply.

    Being a car salesman in a former life, I know only too well about the difference between wanting and needing! I'd say only one customer in twenty actually needed a new car but every customer wanted one!

    Yes, the Celestron Omni XLT120 is high on my list, competing probably against Skywatcher's Evostar 120. As both come out of Synta's factory I'm thinking that there probably won't be much to choose between them optically. I would be very interested to hear from you about your Omni and how well it performs in practice. The CG4 is not a mount I'm familiar with. The Skywatcher is commonly sold with an EQ3 or EQ5.

    Alec.
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    Default Re: F/8.33 telescope a complete waste of money (for me)?

    There's just something about refractors. It's hard to put a finger on exactly what the attraction is but it's hard to kick the habit. I've got my 203mm newtonian which obviously collects way more light than my 90mm refractor yet some nights I'm totally content with the refractor views. I'm thinking to get another refractor myself though I know I don't "need" it.
    Sometimes it's good to move around, try different things, till we feel at home. If you can afford it, why not.
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    Default Re: F/8.33 telescope a complete waste of money (for me)?

    Alec, I believe the Celestron CG4 is the same as the Skywatcher EQ3, both being steel tripods. If you get it, get the Orion 16" pier extension for it - much easier on the neck and it adds stability. As for the scope itself, I've never regretted getting it. Needles to say, good lenses make a difference As for CA, I never bothered with a fringe filter for it until I ordered one with my AR102 and I did that as a precautionary measure in case CA was bad - I think I've only tried that filter 2 or 3 times between the two scopes but then again, CA hardly bothers me. A common mod is to replace the focuser but I haven't bothered with it either as I've learned (with practice) to fine focus it's R&P focuser.

    The only reasons I'd get rid of it is if it fell and the lenses broke, or I won a super lottery and replaced it with a top end APO of similar size If it wasn't a good scope I would have gotten rid of it a long time ago so for me it's a keeper

    ....and I have no idea why I'm a "refractor head" but I just am and I have no desire to own a SCT type scope either so as they say, to each his/her own!

    Good luck with your decision!!!!!!
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