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Aperture Fever. Is there a cure?

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Oke so I survived the big covid peak, but now having all sort of symptoms of an aperture fever.  

Started with 8” reflectors, newton an sct, but ended with 5” refractor

The only scope i have now is a 120ed and a mak127.   I like the detailed view, and the “stand-by for direct use”, that comes with a refractor, a lot, while the hunger for bigger planetary view is growing.  But is it aperture fever or detail fever? Or is it the same?  I mean, is the jump to a 12-16” dobson the only way to reach that satisfaction from larger or more detailed images? 

i just dont want to reach a satisfying final scope at the age of 70 because of all the phases we go through.

So my question is basically for all the 70+.  What (planetary)satisfying scopes do you use?

 

Edited by Robindonne

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I have found that i have a side effect ... i am addicted to buying and selling ( usually at a loss of course ) to get to my " sweet spot" ( which i honestly know i may never find ! As i am writing this i can see its a ridiculous condition , but , its also exciting , in an expensive sort of way . 

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9 minutes ago, Stu1smartcookie said:

I have found that i have a side effect ... i am addicted to buying and selling ( usually at a loss of course ) to get to my " sweet spot" ( which i honestly know i may never find ! As i am writing this i can see its a ridiculous condition , but , its also exciting , in an expensive sort of way . 

I think I found mine with my C9.25, large aperture at a reasonable weight. As I get older I am glad I didn't get a C11, I think I would be struggling in a few years to lift it on to the mount.

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There is no cure for aperture fever but it can be relieved temporarily by buying a larger telescope.  I did a casual "shoot-out" last night observing Mars with a150ED, an ancient C8, a Meade 7" Maksutov and a Meade 16" SCT.  The 16" gave marginally the best view probably due to the larger, brighter exit pupil which favours the 70+ eyesight.      🙂

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1 hour ago, Stu1smartcookie said:

I have found that i have a side effect ... i am addicted to buying and selling ( usually at a loss of course ) to get to my " sweet spot" ( which i honestly know i may never find ! As i am writing this i can see its a ridiculous condition , but , its also exciting , in an expensive sort of way . 

Yes i have the same.  And i think we’re not really alone🙂.  I do have the patience to wait for offers that wont cost me money.   With patience it can actually bring you money.  But finding that satisfying scope for each task can be indeed a matter of taking small steps or trying to skip most of the small steps and search for one that is proven to be satisfying by many people.   

Edited by Robindonne
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3 hours ago, Stu1smartcookie said:

I have found that i have a side effect ... i am addicted to buying and selling ( usually at a loss of course ) to get to my " sweet spot" ( which i honestly know i may never find ! As i am writing this i can see its a ridiculous condition , but , its also exciting , in an expensive sort of way . 

Interesting. So I've mastered the buying, but not the selling....

🙂

 

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46 minutes ago, JeremyS said:

Interesting. So I've mastered the buying, but not the selling....

🙂

 

:)  The selling is a chore tbh ... i tend to sell out of guilt of buying more gear . lol 

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Hey nice blast from the past... I participated  in this thread almost 9 years ago now 😮

I've sort of gone off stargazing, I still got all my stuff. Maybe I should resurrect it 🤔

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I never really did get aperture fever despite trying. Perhaps I have a natural immunity?  Or perhaps it's because I've never seen a large scope deliver a view that has ever wowed me. Every time I look through a large aperture scope, with a measure of excitement due to anticipation of things to come, I step away disappointed, thinking "For all its size and trouble that's all it can show, its not worth the effort"!  Or, perhaps it was because I was bitten by a different kind of bug very early on - the refractor bug. With their high contrast, high definition, beautiful wide fields and amazing high powers; if there has ever been a cure for aperture fever then this has to be it. 

341346999_2020-09-1414_20_03.thumb.jpg.9153fbdb6bf18365d641be4f61711f09.jpg1742609309_2020-09-1414_20_54.thumb.jpg.d83750ce8c8b090a80dbac3c93dbd9ff.jpg

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I reckon the cure is in two steps: 1) Buy the biggest telescope you can just about physically handle. You won't want to go bigger after that. 2) Go somewhere really, really, dark with whatever aperture telescope. After that you have dark-skies fever and you'll care less about the instrument. You can likely skip straight to step 2. 

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40 minutes ago, ismangil said:

Hey nice blast from the past... I participated  in this thread almost 9 years ago now 😮

I've sort of gone off stargazing, I still got all my stuff. Maybe I should resurrect it 🤔

Or sell it off and buy bigger 🤣

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35 minutes ago, umadog said:

1) Buy the biggest telescope you can just about physically handle. You won't want to go bigger after that

I'm at this stage when I wheel out the 350lb 24" dob lol! but then there are the views....

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One sure-fire cure for aperture-fever is to cease production of all telescopes beside these two, and for about five years...

Jyzw26z.jpg

You get your choice of a 50mm refractor, or a 76mm Newtonian, and both at f/12.

Although, I do realise upon the expiration of said moratorium that it could backfire...

collimating_the_36inch.jpg

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I started big with a 12" dob and, whilst i loved it, the novelty of humping it in and out of the garage and having to nudge it every minute to get objects back into the FOV wore off. One quick look at Saturn through the Skymax 127 for the first time on Sunday cured me of the nagging voice of aperture fever - even without having correctly aligned it etc. I'm sure the old aperture fever will always be there. But the advantages of a smaller scope are very appealing to me at the mo.

I'd maybe still like an 8" dob I guess.

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I started with a 6" reflector which gave me great results its the only one that showed the 6 stars in the Trapezium, I then bought a 8" reflector hoping I would see more especially two targets M51 and the Leo trio alas I am still to see both from home.

I did see M51 in Damian`s 22" (Mapstar) wow what a site that as. Then I got a Tal 100rs sold the 6" and the 8" and used the Tal after changing what to look at from home no more galaxies I now go for double and multiple stars and clusters I then picked up a 5" refractor and while sometimes I wish I had not sold the 8" or gone bigger I am seeing more now than ever and Sunday night is the first time I have seen detail on Mars that really gave me a wow moment.

Reading about some of the galaxies some people on here have seen with there big guns I do think should I get one but then think well Paul how many times would you get it out from home, none skies too bad so it would get used twice a year at a couple of dark sky astronomy meets just not worth it.

I will stick to the refractors and who knows I have had the 5" at a dark site (Galloway) and saw some deep sky objects with the 5" so I am happy with my choices.

Where I to move house to a place where I had better skies now then I may be tempted to dip my toe in to a larger scope but as of now I am here and enjoying finding a couple of scopes seeing things I have never seen before and that is the point of a scope getting it out and using it.

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1 hour ago, sputniksteve said:

I started big with a 12" dob and, whilst i loved it, the novelty of humping it in and out of the garage and having to nudge it every minute to get objects back into the FOV wore off. One quick look at Saturn through the Skymax 127 for the first time on Sunday cured me of the nagging voice of aperture fever - even without having correctly aligned it etc. I'm sure the old aperture fever will always be there. But the advantages of a smaller scope are very appealing to me at the mo.

I'd maybe still like an 8" dob I guess.

I have a 127mm Maksutov, too.  It's an Explore Scientific, identical to the Bresser(in cahoots Bresser and ES are), and both at f/15.

When I got my definitive 4" refractor...

FS-102mb.jpg.06026ea504533a99bb88f7a8a48e0ace.jpg

...at about the same time, and to ward off the fever, I got a custom 8" f/5 Newtonian, the OTA only...

1700284641_finderscope5.jpg.9caa1a5c2c426c1754a3906a920292cc.jpg

It was originally white, with black-plastic trims.  The trims are present still, but painted/aluminum-taped.  Believe it or not, I've yet to observe through it, being that it needs a mount, but once the fever hits, if and when it does, I'll need to get a Dobson base for it, of all wood/plywood most likely.

Edited by Alan64
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As someone once said, "size isn't everything". It's all about making the very best use of what you've got, surely?

Chris

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Looking back over, say, the past 10 years, the vast majority of my best and most inspiring observations and "wow !" moments have come from my largest aperture scopes. There is no escaping that.

My refractors (of which I have 5 now !) range from 100mm to 130mm and deliver fabulous views for their aperture and I love using them but I get more anticipation and excitement when my 12 inch dobsonian is out cooling because I know that it can go deeper, further and deliver more detail when the conditions allow.

After owning a 12 inch dob that was too heavy (Meade Lightbridge 12 inch) I made it a priority to get that aperture again but in a more managable form and my current Orion Optics based 12 inch on a mount made by @Moonshane does just that. It is no more hassle or time consuming to set up and use than my refractors.

With my current circumstances (no observatory and some obstructions and LP around my garden) my 12 inch is the largest aperture that it is practical to own. If those circumstances change I would definitely be after more aperture.

It's not a fever though, it's my experiences in the hobby over the past decade that would lead me :smiley:

 

12dobwaiting.JPG

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Surely , the whole point is that whilst a 16" + dob is fantastic , the thrill of teasing out detail on the likes of jupiter and mars , and the delight in seeing the cass div (Saturn ) through a 4" refractor or a 127 mak , or even a 130mm dob actually gives as much satisfaction. I've had some of my best views through a 127 Mak , at the same time been a bit disapointed when looking through a 180 mak. 

Its not even a money thing ! I'm sure if we all could calculate and accumulate how much money we have spent on this hobby over the years we could buy the biggest light bucket available . There are many reasons why a lot of us "settle" on smaller scopes . I think aperture fever is something most of us go through , and still dream about . Its important to never be envious of people who buy and use bigger scopes . After all , if you are going to be envious , you will always be looking at the Hubble and thinking ...if only !   :)

lol just seen John's post (above)... seems like hes got all bases covered there .

Edited by Stu1smartcookie
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Much depends on target and conditions. The views of DSOs through even a really good refractor (e.g. TEC-140) vs a 20" Dobson (Olly's Sir Isaac) under identical (very good) conditions are simply incomparable. M101 and M51 were absolutely stunning in the 20", and even my 8" SCT slightly outperformed the TEC-140 on those diffuse targets, where sheer light grasp is needed, and you are working at a comparatively low magnification, so the exact PSF of the optics is relatively unimportant. The Saturn Nebula was another outstanding target in the 20" Dob. That scope gathered enough light to show the vivid blue-green colour. Likewise globulars really improve with aperture. In a 4" frac I see the brighter stars, but the first time I spotted it through my C8 I was just gobsmacked at the myriad stars visible in M13 (the 20" Dob was in another league). For really wide-field targets, like M31, a smaller scope with short focal length is sometimes better. Some of the best views of M31 and M33 I have had were with the APM 80mm F/6 triplet, and 31T5 or 22T4 Naglers. Likewise for the North America Nebula. The 6" F/5 Schmidt-Newton with the 31T5 (a.k.a. the Panzerfaust) is also absolutely wonderful on those targets, definitely beating the views of (almost invariably slower) fracs of similar focal length.  

For planets, the situation is a bit subtler, as sky conditions limit what extra aperture can offer. I still prefer the views through my C8 to those through smaller scopes, but it only really gets an edge under good conditions. A C11, or big dob  (or both) are definitely on my wish list

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The aperture fever thing is indeed something we all go through..however the comment of 'the best telescope is the one you use the most' holds its truth. I now find work & family dictate my observing, an as much as I'd like a 12" truss dob.. I may only be out for 1.5 hours inc setup!.. so I have found the happy medium with what I have now, sure I'd love a big light bucket, but accept its more like a retirement option for me.

Rob

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