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Old 15-11-2008, 11:18 PM
DJDD
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Which ED refractor?

Hello all!

Over dinner tonight a friend asked for my opinion on a range of refractors for imaging. Of course, I have no experience in imaging so said I would post to the forum for advice.

So, the telescopes he was looking at are:

80mm range:
Skywatcher ED80 Pro
SKywatcher Equinox ED80
Vixen ED80Sf
Vixen ED81SWT
StellarVue SV80ED

Megrez 88 Fluorite

100mm range:
Megrez 102 F/7
StellarVue SV102ED (with or without the upgraded focuser?)


My comments were :

- that the Vixen and Skywatcher may come from the same factory so you are paying for the name. I could be wrong.

- the Vixen/StellarVue/Megrez are OTA's only

- he should check if the telescopes use FPL-53 glass not FPL-51. From my research tonight (Google) they all use FPL-53.

- the weak dollar does not help him

- think Mount! Mount! Mount! I am steering him to the EQ6

- I suggested starting small (i.e. the less expensive Skywatcher) but I do not think he is concerned about the cost (lucky bloke!)


Any replies are welcome.

cheers,
DJDD
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  #2  
Old 16-11-2008, 12:06 AM
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Octane (Humayun)
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DJDD,

You should add in there the new range of Orion EON ED scopes.

They look really, really nice. I might invest in the 80mm one myself, hopefully after the currency has gotten better.

Regards,
Humayun
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  #3  
Old 16-11-2008, 01:30 AM
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Miaplacidus (Brian)
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Is it too out there to suggest the Televue IS scopes?
(Just mentioning to complete the list, since you suggest money is no major object. I have no experience with same, BTW, and am making no recommendation.)
Cheers,
Brian.
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  #4  
Old 16-11-2008, 07:42 AM
DJDD
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hey, thanks for the replies.

re: televue telescopes.
i did not think of those as i just had a feeling they would be out of the ballpark. then again, they could be the same price as the stellarvue and vixens. and to be honest, he should just get the skywatcher- start small/cheaper.

re: EON
i had forgotten about those until this morning after seeing an ad in my AS&T.

I also saw the TMB-80/480 but do not know much about it. also, not sure if it is sold in AU.

Actually, I am fiding the research aspect of this (via google and IIS- thanks, all!) quite a lot of fun.

thanks, again.
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  #5  
Old 16-11-2008, 08:43 AM
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Kal (Andrew)
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If he is interested in imaging then the baby Q comes to mind - the Takahashi FSQ85. You pay a small premium for it, but you won't have to add the cost of a field flattener.

As you mentioned in your OP though, Mount Mount Mount!
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Old 16-11-2008, 01:11 PM
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DJDD - The TMB 80/480 is a stunner... add it to the list in my opinion...

Also, the Megrez 90FD... I note you had the Megrez 102 in the list, but not the M90... They are roughly the same price, the M90 uses fluorite glass, where the M102 does not, they both require the same field flattener, and are both the same (or very similarly priced)

Stellarvue and William Optics scopes are similar beasts, both are beautifully made, look great, have great optics, however, Stellarvue scopes are all hand tested... The QC on them is 2nd to none... Thats something to think about.

Kal's option of the babyq makes me a little weak at the knees! I want one OH SO BADLY!! however $$..

The Meade 5000 ED APO is also a great option, being a Triplet, it should provide great images....

I suppose you could say "start off with the cheaper smaller scope" however all thats going to do at the end of the day is cost him more money when he decides he wants better quality/more aperture etc..

I say, buy a mount first.. find out how much money you have left to spend, then work out what scope you can afford to buy, including the prices of any field flatteners you might need, any extension tubes you'll need to reach focus with the camera, a finderscope if the scope doesn't come with one etc etc.

Say you have 4000 to spend.
Mount : EQ6 Pro (what are they now? $2k?)
Leaving 2k
Megrez 90 $1399
Rings and dovetail $150
dedicated flattener $270
2" 50mm extension tube $35
Finder and mounting bracket $?? say 80?

There you have it, with enough spare change for a box of beer!

Thats the way I worked out what I was going to buy... found out in total how much I had to spend, added up prices of scopes with all the required accessories and mods etc.. then simply chose the most appealing one that fit into budget.
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  #7  
Old 16-11-2008, 08:07 PM
DJDD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal View Post
If he is interested in imaging then the baby Q comes to mind - the Takahashi FSQ85. You pay a small premium for it, but you won't have to add the cost of a field flattener.
Thanks, Kal.

I did not consider the Takahashi's for him, either.
Just way to expensive. I almost feel embarrassed to mention it!

Quote:
As you mentioned in your OP though, Mount Mount Mount!
although I make do with binoculars that bit of advice has sunk into my head!

thanks for your post.
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  #8  
Old 16-11-2008, 08:19 PM
DJDD
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Thank for the detailed reply, Alex.

Re: the TMB- i only saw them recently online. why is it that brands with letters for names (I assume TMB is an acronym, too) always seem more professional?

I just saw a post recently about the Megrez 90, which had a good review here on IIS.

Thanks for the comments on the StellarVue. Good QC is always welcome.
Meade 5000 ED APO- until i saw the TMB i thought the shorter focal length of the Meade may be a detractor but...


Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexN View Post

Kal's option of the babyq makes me a little weak at the knees!


Quote:

I say, buy a mount first.. find out how much money you have left to spend, then work out what scope you can afford to buy, including the prices of any field flatteners you might need, any extension tubes you'll need to reach focus with the camera, a finderscope if the scope doesn't come with one etc etc.

Say you have 4000 to spend.
Mount : EQ6 Pro (what are they now? $2k?)
Leaving 2k
Megrez 90 $1399
Rings and dovetail $150
dedicated flattener $270
2" 50mm extension tube $35
Finder and mounting bracket $?? say 80?
that is a good "top down" approach, although my friend is a bit of a "bottom up" kind of guy.

I will be seeing him again this weekend so we can go through the options.


OT:
every time i see the prices of gear now i kick myself for not spending my own cash a few months ago. But wouldn't we all go back in time if we could and buy up heaps of US$ ?


thanks, again.
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  #9  
Old 16-11-2008, 08:52 PM
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TMB is a set of initials Thomas M Bach - His lenses are very highly respected. TMB APO's are among the best..

Shorter focal lengths are good for a few reasons..
* More forgiving for someone beginning imaging.
* Nice wide fields of view (some love it, some hate it)
* Scopes with wide FOV's are usually smaller, easier to mount up, easier to balance

out of everything mentioned in this thread, (excluding the Tak), In order of what I'd buy

TMB (If you can get one)
Stellarvue
Wo megrez 90/Meade 5000 triplet (equal 2nd place)
Wo Megrez 102/SV102ED - much the same scope, the SV may be margainly better
EON80/Equinox 80 (Same scope, different name)
SW ED80/Orion ED80 (again, same scope different name)
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Old 17-11-2008, 06:36 AM
DJDD
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Hey Alex,

I appreciate your comments and your "what to buy" list. The fact that the costs are not in High-to-low order is instructional and bares out your previous comments.

Quote:
TMB is a set of initials Thomas M Bach - His lenses are very highly respected. TMB APO's are among the best..
thanks. Perhaps we will read a few reviews on his telescopes and se if there is a distributor in Australia.

Just lastly, what do you think of the Orion Premium ED 102 F/7?
It looks like a compromise in price and performance.

thanks again for your response.

DJDD
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  #11  
Old 17-11-2008, 06:53 AM
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the orion 102 is a clone of the william optics and stellarvue 102. From what i can tell its a lot of scope for the money. The wo 102 is currently my most used scope.
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Old 17-11-2008, 10:31 AM
DJDD
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Hi Alex,

Thanks for your reply.
also saw some of your posts on Cloudy Nights, one about the Orion Atlas mount.

cheers,
DJDD
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  #13  
Old 17-11-2008, 10:35 AM
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The Orion Atlus and the Skywatcher EQ6 are the same beast.. Identical in every way except color...

It is a VERY stable mount, and by far the best bang for buck mount you can go for.

The Celestron CGEM will be released late december/early january, and may give the EQ6 a run for its money, however thats all speculation until real world tests are performed...

Cheers.
Alex.
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Old 19-11-2008, 08:25 PM
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multiweb (Marc)
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Get the best mount you can afford then buy what you can with what's left.
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Old 19-11-2008, 09:08 PM
DJDD
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Thanks, Alex and multiweb.
i will let him know i just bought an skywatcher EQ6Pro and Skywatcher ED80 and we will see where that leads.

I think he is keen on the same mount but will probably lean toward one of the other telescopes mentioned below.

thanks, again!
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:10 AM
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Guys, a question (hopefully people will read this post). Would the Stellarvue 102 ED be a good lunar/planet viewing telescope with its focal length? I'm interested in the wider objects but moon observation and other planets is what i might spend most of the time doing. This is my first scope and i spent heaps of time reasearching and thinkin about getting the TV from the USA (not sure how prices are here in Aus but I assume they are 30% more as usual).

Would the TV still work well with hi mag EPs? and also does anyone know if it s fits straight to an HEQ5Pro with standard dovetail?

Many thanks
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:29 PM
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I have Oron 102ED f/7

I bought mine as my "grab & go" - it is an excellent small refractor.
Very sharp flat field, no secondary spectrum on axis and off-axis it is still excellent.

The Orion and Stellarvue are clones.
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  #18  
Old 12-12-2008, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavytone View Post
I bought mine as my "grab & go" - it is an excellent small refractor.
Very sharp flat field, no secondary spectrum on axis and off-axis it is still excellent.

The Orion and Stellarvue are clones.
So great for Lunar and planets?
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:40 PM
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I have the Williams Optics Megrez 102 F/7 ED. I find for planetary viewing its pretty good, but it does not compare to my 11" SCT.. It shows a very sharp, contrasty and detailed view at 160x magnification, I find it to be great, but it does not resolve the same detail on jupiter that the C11 does.

For planetary viewing, you do need a bit of aperture.. I'd look towards a well corrected long focus 6" Achromatic refractor, or a decent sized newtonian as the cheapest option for great planetary viewing.
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  #20  
Old 12-12-2008, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexN View Post
I have the Williams Optics Megrez 102 F/7 ED. I find for planetary viewing its pretty good, but it does not compare to my 11" SCT.. It shows a very sharp, contrasty and detailed view at 160x magnification, I find it to be great, but it does not resolve the same detail on jupiter that the C11 does.

For planetary viewing, you do need a bit of aperture.. I'd look towards a well corrected long focus 6" Achromatic refractor, or a decent sized newtonian as the cheapest option for great planetary viewing.
Grab and go is something im after so the 6" is definitely out and a 6" will need a bigger mount im assuming like the EQ6. I'm really keen on a good quality 4" refractor and im trying to compare it to say the ED100 Pro (gold ones) from skywatcher. I know the SV quality is years ahead but the SW is a f/9
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