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  1. #1
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    Default OTA choices



    I am buying an 8” Newtonian astrograph this fall and I have narrowed it down to either an Astro Tech

    https://www.astronomytechnologies.com/astro-tech-8-inch-imaging-newtonian-optical-tube_p17402.aspx

    or an Orion

    http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Astrophotography-Telescopes/Orion-8-f39-Newtonian-Astrograph-Reflector-Telescope/pc/-1/c/1/sc/19/p/101450.uts

    I am venturing into video or “electronically assisted” astronomy and will be using either a ZEQ25 or an AVX mount. The differences between these two OTAs are small ad I really don't know which to choose. I am looking at these because I think this will give me the versatility of video or visual, depending on my mood and provide room for future growth as my interests evolve.

    I would really appreciate your opinions or experiences with either scope.
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    Default Re: OTA choices

    Those two OTAs are manufactured in the same shop hence the similarity. I'd say they are identical. I own the AT labeling. Do you want a light colored or a dark colored OTA?
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    Default Re: OTA choices

    The biggest difference I see is the location of the focuser; Orion is 6" down the tube while the AT is almost 9" and there is the $20 difference in cost.
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    Default Re: OTA choices

    Quote Originally Posted by neal_mlc View Post
    The biggest difference I see is the location of the focuser; Orion is 6" down the tube while the AT is almost 9" and there is the $20 difference in cost.
    Those small differences are why I chose the AT. Having more tube ahead of the focuser helps with stray light. That is worth paying more for and since the AT is 20$ less....

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    Default Re: OTA choices

    Yeah, that's kinda what I was thinking too
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    Default Re: OTA choices

    I have the Orion astrograph. It is a fine scope, and I am happy with it. It is a fine scope for doing both AP and visual observing. If the AT is "the same but better", then it is a good deal.

    Usually, people do video-based AP for imaging planets. With a focal length of only 800mm, it has a hard time getting enough image scale for planetary AP. Jupiter is something like 20 pixels wide at opposition! It is a good focal length for DSOs, but not so good for planets.
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    Default Re: OTA choices

    I, too, have what was branded as an Orion 200mm F4 Newt that I bought in 2000 (in fact, I just shipped it's mirror off for re-coating today). Turns out these had absolutely top-end optics that Orion didn't realize, so they'd priced them way to low. When they found this out - they pulled them off the market. I was lucky! And this was before people started using "astrograph" to describe them.

    They are excellent scopes, for visual as well as AP - including video. I disagree, though, that video would be the domain of solar-system objects like Jupiter. It truly depends on what Video-Cam you have. But this would be better served in a separate thread IMHO.

    Clear Skies,

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    Default Re: OTA choices

    There is also this version of the optics:

    TPO 8" f/4 Imaging Newtonian OTA - Rolled Steel - OPT Telescopes

    However while the price is the same as the AT (lower than Orion) the baffling in the tube is omitted.
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    Default Re: OTA choices

    If I might make another suggestion for a NRTV OTA? One occasionally runs across an old Celestron Comet Catcher. Aperture is 140mm with a focal length of around 500mm for a focal ratio of 3.6.

    Certainly a wide-field instrument but it reportedly has really nicely corrected optics for such a fast instrument.

    Kind of a goofy focuser but it should actually be quite good for NRTV. The focusing arrangement also ends up giving you a single diffraction spike which is kind of odd-looking on the brightest of stars.

    But when you find them they can be fairly inexpensive. Need to put a pair of tube rings on it, however. And considering their age you may have to do a little work on the focuser.

    Anyway, not necessarily better than (or as good as) a good F/4 astrograph, but it could be interesting if you could get it cheap.
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    Default Re: OTA choices

    So, is baffling really needed for an imaging Newt?
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