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  #21  
Old 01-06-2018, 08:28 PM
morls (Stephen)
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It seems, from people's comments, that there aren't too many negatives where a 4" refractor is concerned...as long as the quality is OK.

Bob, do you think the 8" SCT would be used more if it was the only scope you had, and was on the mount permanently? Or to put it another way, is the weight of mount + OTA too great to carry at once, say from a garage to the viewing site 30m away?
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  #22  
Old 01-06-2018, 08:35 PM
morls (Stephen)
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This might deserve another thread, but what about an 8" ritchey-chretien?

https://optcorp.com/collections/ritc...-ota-telescope

OTA weighs around 8.5kg, so maybe too heavy...
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  #23  
Old 01-06-2018, 08:46 PM
Tropo-Bob (Bob)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morls View Post
It seems, from people's comments, that there aren't too many negatives where a 4" refractor is concerned...as long as the quality is OK.

Bob, do you think the 8" SCT would be used more if it was the only scope you had, and was on the mount permanently? Or to put it another way, is the weight of mount + OTA too great to carry at once, say from a garage to the viewing site 30m away?
If I only had one scope, however humble, it still would be used a lot!

Actually, part of the attraction of the 4" is that I can pick it up and dodge trees etc.

Still, in some wonderful world where the physical ergonomics of using either scope was equal, for the brighter objects (say anything over Mag 8), I would rather the 4". These have become my preferred objects to view and I love the crispness of refractors.

However, if U go down the path of observing galaxies, U will want a larger scope. The last time I looked at the splendid galaxy NGC 253 under a dark sky with the 8", I was blown away. However, till then, I was thinking that I chose the wrong scope for the evening. After that, I wished I had brought 2 scopes!

That said, if U have an 8" scope for observing them, U will probably soon will be dreaming of a 12" Dob.
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  #24  
Old 01-06-2018, 08:50 PM
Tropo-Bob (Bob)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morls View Post
This might deserve another thread, but what about an 8" ritchey-chretien?

https://optcorp.com/collections/ritc...-ota-telescope

OTA weighs around 8.5kg, so maybe too heavy...
My understanding is that they are a much better imaging scope, than a visual scope.
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  #25  
Old 01-06-2018, 11:08 PM
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Atmos (Colin)
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If you want one scope for everything and one that you can leave out for extended periods then the 8” would probably be the better fit, especially if you’re comparing it against an 8” Dob.

An 8” when cooled will out perform a 4” on everything. I’ve got a 10” and a 4” but my 4” is used a lot more because the skies don’t usually support the effort of setting up the 10”. Most of what I look at is the moon, planets and open clusters, all of which a 4” does really well at. When it comes o Omega Centauri or other globular clusters, the 10” leaves the 4” for dead. Galaxies? Neither are worthwhile from my backyard hehe
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  #26  
Old 02-06-2018, 02:06 AM
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MortonH
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I have a 1990's C8 and recently bought a used ED100. I set them up side by side and the C8 blew away the ED100 completely. Yes, the refractor is a bit sharper and has a bit more contrast but the C8 has twice the aperture and four times the light-gathering ability. I traded up the ED100 to an ED120 and it's a lot closer to the C8 in performance but the C8 still wins.

Cooldown is usually only an issue if you take the C8 from a heated home outside into the cold or from an air conditioned room outside into a warm night.

You can get either a C8 or ED100 for around $600-$800 used and get your money back if you sell so I recommend this rather than buying new.
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  #27  
Old 02-06-2018, 06:12 AM
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skysurfer
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Nice topic.
I have a similar scope (ED110), which is my travel scope for dark sites in South Africa or Australia. At home I use it rarely, but my tabletop 80mm I use more often and sometimes my 40cm Dobson. The latter is really nice for deepskies but the light pollution here spoils a lot. Moreover, clear skies are rather rare, as on many cloudless nights the air is too hazy or in summer nights are extremely short due to the high latitude (52).
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  #28  
Old 02-06-2018, 10:37 AM
morls (Stephen)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MortonH View Post
You can get either a C8 or ED100 for around $600-$800 used and get your money back if you sell so I recommend this rather than buying new.
That sounds like the way to go.
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  #29  
Old 04-07-2018, 05:05 PM
morls (Stephen)
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Hi,

I thought I'd post an update, as I've reached a decision in this particular quest.

I've spent the last few weeks thinking of the various suggestions and advice I've been given, and had pretty much decided on a C8, despite the compromises of this type of scope.

After the post by John (Hoges) suggesting mak-cass as an option, I did some more research, and found some very interesting reviews of the skywatcher 180mm. In particular, the observation that this scope offers very good contrast got me thinking. The long focal length (f17) is also interesting in terms of magnification possibilities when observing moon and planets. There are a couple of reviews which helped convince me:
http://www.astro-baby.com/reviews/Sk...0%20Review.htm
https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/2...estron-c8-sct/

These both described the cooling period as being 30-60 min, completely ok by me. Also noted that it can offer APO-esque contrast, and is good for a range of objects other than planets.

So, today I put down a deposit on a Skywatcher 180mm Mak ($1699 as optics central offer price matching...). Comes with Finderscope, 2-inch Dielectric Star diagonal, 2-inch visual back, 2 inch 28mm eyepiece and dovetail Mounting. The OTA weighs 7.8kg, so the super polaris should be ok.
https://www.opticscentral.com.au/sky....html?___SID=U

It'll take a couple of months to arrive, as there doesn't seem to be a great demand for them. I'm paying off the lay-by over 3 months.

I'm glad to have reached a decision, and to have made this step. I think it'll be a great scope, and will be a ripper for lunar and planetary. If I get into DSO's I reckon a 10 or 12" dob will keep me happy.

So, thanks everyone for your input. I know this won't be the last scope I buy, but it's a significant investment for me, and it's been really helpful to hear from everyone.

Cheers

Stephen
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  #30  
Old 04-07-2018, 05:33 PM
Hoges (John)
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Nice one, Stephen. I've read only good things about the 180mm and would be keen to look through one myself. Cheers - J.
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  #31  
Old 04-07-2018, 05:33 PM
raymo
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You won't regret it, terrific scope, pin sharp; its a pity they don't make a
larger one, maybe one day. Tell us how you go with it.
raymo
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  #32  
Old 04-07-2018, 07:12 PM
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Atmos (Colin)
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I’ve never looked through one but the reviews of these are consistently very good
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  #33  
Old 05-07-2018, 04:25 PM
Wavytone (Nick)
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Hi Stephen, congratulations - I had one which was excellent optically and mechanically, and they’re excellent if you need a portable scope. Only reason I sold mine was to upgrade to my current big mak.

I also had a 130mm f/7 triplet APO side by side for a while with the SW 180mm Mak, and the Mak won every time.

Forget refractors. For small apertures they're OK, but ultimately aperture rules especially if the optics are good.

Last edited by Wavytone; 05-07-2018 at 10:14 PM.
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  #34  
Old 06-07-2018, 07:17 PM
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cometcatcher (Kevin)
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You'll love the 180mm Mak! I had the best ever view of Saturn through one.
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  #35  
Old 06-07-2018, 07:58 PM
morls (Stephen)
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Thanks for all the comments.

I was actually intending to buy the 127 or 150mm - I'm not the most patient person around, and I was thinking I could pay it off in a month or so. Then I realised that this would be a mistake - I knew I'd definitely wish I'd got the 180mm, and probably sooner rather than later! That was the last piece of the puzzle, and so I put the deposit down straight away.

It's going to take longer to pay off, but the wait will definitely be worth it.
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  #36  
Old 24-07-2018, 10:26 PM
morls (Stephen)
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Getting the 180 Mak Friday, first light will include the Mars opposition
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  #37  
Old 25-07-2018, 11:32 AM
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Nikolas (Nik)
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Getting the 180 Mak Friday, first light will include the Mars opposition
weather in Melb won't be kind for this unfortunately
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  #38  
Old 25-07-2018, 11:52 AM
morls (Stephen)
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