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Old 01-07-2018, 07:07 PM
m11 (Mel)
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Premium refractor or big binos?

Hi All,

I am trying to decide whether between a premium 5-6inch refractor or a big bino around 150mm.

In terms of the refractors , looking at a tec140 or a toa150 and for binos, an APM150mm big binocular telescope.

What you would you guys recommend?

I don't have a large refractor, only a 76mm but I do have a APM 100m binos from Jeelan which I do love.

Thanks for your time and help

m11
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  #2  
Old 01-07-2018, 07:13 PM
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Atmos (Colin)
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If it is purely for visual, I’d probably opt for the large binos.
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:50 PM
m11 (Mel)
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Hi Colin,

Thanks for the recommendation. Wondering if its worth getting the refractor purely for the planets?

It is only for visual.

Thanks,

M11
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Old 01-07-2018, 10:39 PM
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Atmos (Colin)
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Refractors are really versatile in that they can be used for both wide field and planetary viewing but when it comes to the planets, nothing beats raw resolution that a larger well made mirror can provide.

A TOA-150 will require a hefty mount to hold it, they’re seriously heavy and tank like! A better quality 16” dob with a smooth primary and secondary will leave any refractor dead.
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Old 02-07-2018, 03:21 PM
m11 (Mel)
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Thanks Colin the info.

Always good to get another perspective.

Much appreciated.

M11
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:13 AM
warpsl (Jason)
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I was looking at Jupiter and Saturn last night at 120x with my skywatcher 6 inch bino,s.so obviously big bino,s are what I suggest.the extra detail and image scale are mindblowing.as for f5 dobsonian reflectors? unfortunately I have never looked through one that gave a sharp image,even with nagler eyepieces.
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Old 05-07-2018, 11:20 AM
m11 (Mel)
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Hi Jason,

Thanks for the info.

Can I ask which bino model are you using?

Thanks,

M11
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Old 07-07-2018, 08:13 AM
warpsl (Jason)
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I have 2 skywatcher 6 inch achro refractors.i use 4 baader prism diagonals.i made my own tripod for this set up.all up about $2500.much cheaper than fujinon 6 inch bino,s,and I have different magnifications.my fave eyepieces are 20 mm gso superviews,and 14mm denk d14,s.
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Old 09-07-2018, 12:26 PM
m11 (Mel)
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Sounds like a nice setup.

Do you mind sharing a photo of your setup as i am curious?
Thanks,



Quote:
Originally Posted by warpsl View Post
I have 2 skywatcher 6 inch achro refractors.i use 4 baader prism diagonals.i made my own tripod for this set up.all up about $2500.much cheaper than fujinon 6 inch bino,s,and I have different magnifications.my fave eyepieces are 20 mm gso superviews,and 14mm denk d14,s.
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Old 11-07-2018, 08:21 AM
warpsl (Jason)
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no problem.next time I use it I will take some pics.but if I was to make this set up today it would probably cost $3500.but skywatcher 6 inch f8 ota,s can be found used very cheaply.but baader prism diagonals have risen sharply.
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:42 AM
ausastronomer (John Bambury)
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Hi Mel,

We have had a pair of 25 x 150 Fujinons on a motorised Sky Rover Star chair as part of our 3RF equipment for well over 10 years. (See Below).

These have fixed 25x eyepieces. These are a very high quality instrument (over $15k more than 10 yrs ago with the chair) and great for observing the rich Milky Way clusters and nebula, the Magellanic Clouds and the like. I have spent many hours in the star chair. As high a quality as they are and as good as they are, for observing the types of targets they were designed for (low power wide field), with the fixed power eyepieces they just don't have the versatility of a 6" APO refractor on a tracking mount with GOTO and interchangeable eyepieces.

Consequently as an all round visual instrument I would choose a 6" APO on a high quality tracking mount with GOTO every time. The added bonus of this setup is that it would also be exceptional for astrophotography, if ever you head down that path.

Cheers
John B

http://www.ozsky.org/Gallery/OzSky2014Fujinons.jpg
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:17 AM
m11 (Mel)
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Hi Jason,

Thanks for that.

Would be intersting to see.

Much appreciated


Quote:
Originally Posted by warpsl View Post
no problem.next time I use it I will take some pics.but if I was to make this set up today it would probably cost $3500.but skywatcher 6 inch f8 ota,s can be found used very cheaply.but baader prism diagonals have risen sharply.
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:29 AM
m11 (Mel)
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Hi John,

My thanks to you for sharing your experiences with me. I never looked through any of the Fujinons but I only see great reviews of them.

That setup your have looks pretty awesome with the starchair. The would be a cool setup to have.

I am leaning now towards getting a decent apo. I would love to get an SDM.telescope enventually as well

Thanks again,

M11


Quote:
Originally Posted by ausastronomer View Post
Hi Mel,

We have had a pair of 25 x 150 Fujinons on a motorised Sky Rover Star chair as part of our 3RF equipment for well over 10 years. (See Below).

These have fixed 25x eyepieces. These are a very high quality instrument (over $15k more than 10 yrs ago with the chair) and great for observing the rich Milky Way clusters and nebula, the Magellanic Clouds and the like. I have spent many hours in the star chair. As high a quality as they are and as good as they are, for observing the types of targets they were designed for (low power wide field), with the fixed power eyepieces they just don't have the versatility of a 6" APO refractor on a tracking mount with GOTO and interchangeable eyepieces.

Consequently as an all round visual instrument I would choose a 6" APO on a high quality tracking mount with GOTO every time. The added bonus of this setup is that it would also be exceptional for astrophotography, if ever you head down that path.

Cheers
John B

http://www.ozsky.org/Gallery/OzSky2014Fujinons.jpg
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Old 16-07-2018, 08:50 AM
warpsl (Jason)
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Sorry, no pics available.upload wouldn't work.
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Old 16-07-2018, 09:10 AM
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I have looked through several large Dobs including I think it was a 24inch at Cowra.

These are great but huge and unwieldy.

I have had several high end APOs. The most memorable visual APO was a Tak FS152. I got that scope at the time as the TOA150 was not yet out otherwise I would have gotten the TOA150.

A TOA150 would be outstanding and particularly for imaging as Marcus Davies images show how good they are. But I have read many times they are heavy and front heavy so they don't balance easily.

My TEC180 was good visually as well. Orion started to look a bit greenish but I mainly used it for imaging.

I had a Nexstar C11 that was great. The Goto's and easy setup of the SCTs is very appealing.

You'll see more in a large Dob but the offset is the size and setup. Not sure about how well the gotos are as I have never had a dob.

A 6 inch APO is a very versatile scope. APM and Teleskop services are selling 152mm "APO"s these days quite cheaply. They are probably great for visual being a doublet and rapid cooldown. For imaging it would have to prove itself as the usual requirement is a triplet.

Greg.
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Old 16-07-2018, 11:46 AM
m11 (Mel)
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Hi Jason,

Thanks for trying to upload the pics.


Quote:
Originally Posted by warpsl View Post
Sorry, no pics available.upload wouldn't work.
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Old 16-07-2018, 11:50 AM
m11 (Mel)
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Hi Greg,

Thanks for sharing your experiences.

Those are scopes you have are really nice refractors.

The reasoning is that I find when I view the planets, the brightness of the object in the dobs impacts the view somewhat. Tried with a ND filter but the view was not as pleasant either. Awesome for deep sky stuff

Can I ask how do the APM and Teleskop refractors go for planetary views?

Thanks,

M11

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregbradley View Post
I have looked through several large Dobs including I think it was a 24inch at Cowra.

These are great but huge and unwieldy.

I have had several high end APOs. The most memorable visual APO was a Tak FS152. I got that scope at the time as the TOA150 was not yet out otherwise I would have gotten the TOA150.

A TOA150 would be outstanding and particularly for imaging as Marcus Davies images show how good they are. But I have read many times they are heavy and front heavy so they don't balance easily.

My TEC180 was good visually as well. Orion started to look a bit greenish but I mainly used it for imaging.

I had a Nexstar C11 that was great. The Goto's and easy setup of the SCTs is very appealing.

You'll see more in a large Dob but the offset is the size and setup. Not sure about how well the gotos are as I have never had a dob.

A 6 inch APO is a very versatile scope. APM and Teleskop services are selling 152mm "APO"s these days quite cheaply. They are probably great for visual being a doublet and rapid cooldown. For imaging it would have to prove itself as the usual requirement is a triplet.

Greg.
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Old 16-07-2018, 01:27 PM
Wavytone (Nick)
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Mel,

The TS and APM triplets are good (have had 2). Where small refractors excel is imaging - 80mm - 120mm f/7 is definitely a sweet spot.

But for visual, aperture rules. Side-by-side on the same mount, the 130mm triplet I had was soundly beaten on all scores by the 180mm mak I had at the time, which cost ⅓ of the price of the triplet. For example when looking at Saturn the refractor gave a fine view and could handle 280X, but could not show the fainter moons at mag 11-12 whereas the mak showed the moons down to mag 12 and gave more detail on Saturn’s rings, and as for galaxies ... forget the refractor, whereas the 180mm mak was large enough to give a nice view of many galaxies and DSO’s.

IMHO the SW 150-180mm maks are a bargain for sheer convenience, portability and optically very good.

Alternatively a dobsonian or SCT if you want a compact all in one with GOTO.

Last edited by Wavytone; 16-07-2018 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 16-07-2018, 09:30 PM
m11 (Mel)
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Hi Wavy,

Thanks for confirming regarding the refractor.

Never considered a 180mm mak. Will do some research on this scope. Thanks for recommending another option.

Regards,

M11


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavytone View Post
Mel,

The TS and APM triplets are good (have had 2). Where small refractors excel is imaging - 80mm - 120mm f/7 is definitely a sweet spot.

But for visual, aperture rules. Side-by-side on the same mount, the 130mm triplet I had was soundly beaten on all scores by the 180mm mak I had at the time, which cost ⅓ of the price of the triplet. For example when looking at Saturn the refractor gave a fine view and could handle 280X, but could not show the fainter moons at mag 11-12 whereas the mak showed the moons down to mag 12 and gave more detail on Saturnís rings, and as for galaxies ... forget the refractor, whereas the 180mm mak was large enough to give a nice view of many galaxies and DSOís.

IMHO the SW 150-180mm maks are a bargain for sheer convenience, portability and optically very good.

Alternatively a dobsonian or SCT if you want a compact all in one with GOTO.
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Old 31-07-2018, 08:42 PM
m11 (Mel)
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MHi all

Just to close the loop. I have purchased a mak 180 from a forum member.

My thanks to everyone for your assistance. I will start saving for a refractor at a later stage.

Need to start searching for a decent goto mount.

Thanks again,

Mel
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