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Aperture Fever. Is there a cure?

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The cure for aperture fever is focal length. In this telescope, at the nearby Observatoire des Baronnies, a 31mm Nagler is an excellent planetary eyepiece.

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In the end an enormous aperture inevitably ends in a small field of view. Personally I wouldn't want that.

Olly

 

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I will always want a bigger scope, but intend to keep my 250px. It is easy to carry out to the patio, doesn"t take up too much room and is a decent size aperture for planetary detail or finding DSOs atva dark site. Would still love to have a 20"+ though!

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I used to know a guy who replaced his carbon road bike every year like some kind of drug fix. Very expensive and asked if his Mrs was ok with it.

His reply.... As long as it is a red Specialized she never knows. Shame I can’t go from my 6 inch newt to 12 inch. Even keeping the colour the same I am sure she would notice.

Marv

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So its kind of safe to say that a 12/14” dob, 130mm refractor and a c11 are the ones to bring with you to the end. All smaller versions will probably always show you those “missing” details.  

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4 minutes ago, Robindonne said:

So its kind of safe to say that a 12/14” dob, 130mm refractor and a c11 are the ones to bring with you to the end. All smaller versions will probably always show you those “missing” details.  

its a 'one size does not fit all' situation - yes. but that's a nice mix of OTA's in my book

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37 minutes ago, Marvin Jenkins said:

Even keeping the colour the same I am sure she would notice.

Make sure it’s the same colour and just put it further down the garden and she’ll never know 🤣

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Unfortunately for me, my first view through a telescope was a 12" Meade LX-200 that immediately got me hooked on buying my own telescope.

However none of the instruments owned since have come close to those views, except my 10x50 binoculars at Kielder this week...

Living under Bortle 8 skies is flogging a dead horse. From my garden, my biggest scope, a 6" alt az mounted reflector doesn't show me anything less than my 8" dob did, and it's more portable.

If you live in a light polluted city, scrimp on the scope a bit, buy a good tent and a warm sleeping bag!

 

Edited by ScouseSpaceCadet
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7 hours ago, Stu said:

Make sure it’s the same colour and just put it further down the garden and she’ll never know 🤣

That's what the future obs is going to be for, not just observing but hiding all the future kit. 

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I seem to suffer from mount aperture fever (if that’s a thing).  I have an HEQ5 which is more than adequate for my current Megrez 72 and before that the 150pds that I have just sold. Yet I keep looking at classifieds for NEQ6’s which is way beyond what I need.....

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I've stopped at my 12inch f4 newt and 11inch F10 SCT but I tend to use my Lunt 60mm DS solar scope more so I'm getting aperture fever with that and thinking I'd love a Lunt 100mm DS. After I'd got that I'd probably want bigger, lol. 

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On 17/09/2020 at 05:22, ollypenrice said:

The cure for aperture fever is focal length. In this telescope, at the nearby Observatoire des Baronnies, a 31mm Nagler is an excellent planetary eyepiece.

2095363387_0_8MRC.JPG.a5fa4604aadbba08b5fca9dd1c7b615d.JPG

In the end an enormous aperture inevitably ends in a small field of view. Personally I wouldn't want that.

Olly

 

Hear hear, so true.

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Thinking further on this, I wonder if the upgrade paths for visual instruments can go down a couple of routes:

- better quality views of generally the same targets

- the potential to see things that could not be seen be seen before.

Both have their attractions and when you have reached as far as you want or can on one route, you can switch to the other one.

Both can be very costly !

I've been down both paths and switched between them quite often as well :rolleyes2:

 

 

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I made a point of going for the biggest scope I could handle quite early on (a 14" reflector after only a couple of years using bins and a year or so using small scopes), the reason being my ability to handle a big scope is only going to go downhill over time.

I've had it a few years and it has cured my aperture fever in so much as I don't envy people with even bigger scopes because I understand the compromises that come with owning them and setting them up.

I'm still very happy with it and would only downsize if physical health or money issues required it.

It's given me the best views by far compared to all my other scopes and also compared to big scopes belonging to others, including a 16" SCT.

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One possible cure for aperture fever is spending hours preparing and packing a 20" dob, batteries, step ladder, camping gear, food, coffee, stove etc around to your dark sky site 60-ish miles from home because the forecast shows two very clear nights, then have nothing but high haze with a few midges swarming around! Then return home, unpack and clean everything, haha. I saw a very hazy Eastern Veil for a few minutes Wednesday night, then gave up and got some sleep. Thursday night the same. SQM was showing a max of 21.25 instead of 21.75-21.9, that's how humid/hazy it was unless there was high cloud I couldn't see.

Forecast tonight looking excellent again, but I'm packing the 12" non-goto dob and binoculars this time if I have the energy to drive out once the kids are asleep!

It does of course give stunning views when everything comes together, but it can be frustrating when it doesn't!

I'm seriously thinking about finding a semi-permanent home for the 20" dob in a shed or cabin, etc on a farm or estate somewhere remote so I don't have to pack it around all the time.

 

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2 hours ago, John said:

Thinking further on this, I wonder if the upgrade paths for visual instruments can go down a couple of routes:

- better quality views of generally the same targets

- the potential to see things that could not be seen be seen before.

Both have their attractions and when you have reached as far as you want or can on one route, you can switch to the other one.

Both can be very costly !

I've been down both paths and switched between them quite often as well :rolleyes2:

 

 

Very much as John has referred to here; the potential to see things that could not be seen before. This would mostly apply to dedicated galaxy cluster hunters, an 18" plus dob would become desirable. For most everything else, a moderate size aperture dob or other scope type would be applicable. Therefore it is perhaps determined by the type of visual observer you become in terms of what you specialise in observing or else if you are looking for an 'all round' aperture point. 10", 12", 14", 16" are popular and make a lot of sense, equally an 8" dob is a good all rounder. I like to focus attention upon large diffuse emission nebulae, balancing focal ratio with aperture is a consideration. Equipment evolves to best reflect your observing criteria. Being able to observe in good quality dark skies are far more significant, if you are a deep sky observer, than a notion for aperture fever.

41 minutes ago, Ships and Stars said:

One possible cure for aperture fever is spending hours preparing and packing a 20" dob, batteries, step ladder, camping gear, food, coffee, stove etc around to your dark sky site 60-ish miles from home because the forecast shows two very clear nights, then have nothing but high haze with a few midges swarming around! Then return home, unpack and clean everything, haha. I saw a very hazy Eastern Veil for a few minutes Wednesday night, then gave up and got some sleep. Thursday night the same. SQM was showing a max of 21.25 instead of 21.75-21.9, that's how humid/hazy it was unless there was high cloud I couldn't see.

Forecast tonight looking excellent again, but I'm packing the 12" non-goto dob and binoculars this time if I have the energy to drive out once the kids are asleep!

It does of course give stunning views when everything comes together, but it can be frustrating when it doesn't!

I'm seriously thinking about finding a semi-permanent home for the 20" dob in a shed or cabin, etc on a farm or estate somewhere remote so I don't have to pack it around all the time.

 

Can appreciate that is definitely a hand full and with the uncertainty of high haze and midges on arrival. We are certainly a bit crazy, but nonetheless committed. I hauled my 14" dob into the car on Thursday, the first time out, I later learnt, with it since mid January. This year of course has and continues to be unpredictable and restrictive, yet once set up I felt that I started to relax and the time between just melted away. Gaining in aperture definitely evokes a balancing appreciation for small refractor, binocular observing.

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Lots of good points made on here. Here's my experience:

I've been the proud owner of a third hand (at least) 14" dob for two and a half years now. I spent a long time anxiously pondering whether to purchase it when it appeared on AB&S and spent the whole drive home looking at how big it was and thinking that I'd been a bit daft.

70 or so sessions later my love for it is completely undimmed. Yes- it takes up a ridiculous amount of space in my garage, I spend half an hour every session assembling, calibrating and putting it away again and once it is up you need two people to move it somewhere else in the garden.

But the views...

In the spring, in my aero 30mm EP, which is good but far from premium, it was able to deliver enough contrast in my Bortle 5 pocket of suburbia to show me seven galaxies in the vicinity of m86, the light, literally, of trillions of stars.

It has enough oomph to push the Western veil through an Oiii filter so that I can see the whole creepy alien shape just hanging in the sky with it's ethereal beauty, green against the pitch darkness behind it.

With a couple of Barlow's, my binoviewers can just about grab focus. In them, at 220x, m13 is a glorious glitterball of stars resolving deep into its heart.

In the same setup I had Mars a few nights ago, gorgeous orange with surface textures and polar cap prominent.

Ok... I'm getting carried away here, but my point is, I'm in amateur astronomy to be awed and big scopes deliver awesome views. Is this really a fever, or a rational desire to experience as closely as possible our tiny tiny scale in the scheme of things?

I can completely understand the appeal of refractors and the sort of view they give- the exquisite background, the pinpoint stars, the beautiful colours. More then once I've had strokey chin moments hovering over the buy button for a nice achro and I'm sure I'll succumb one day. But they feel to me like a delicious hors d'oeuvres or a fine dessert- and right now I'm on the steak course!

Of course, other views are available, but my advice on this would be to listen to Oscar Wilde:

"The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.

Resist it and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself"

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A cure for aperture fever is  becoming old and having to carry the scope and mount every time...

N.F.

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12 hours ago, scarp15 said:

Can appreciate that is definitely a hand full and with the uncertainty of high haze and midges on arrival. We are certainly a bit crazy, but nonetheless committed. I hauled my 14" dob into the car on Thursday, the first time out, I later learnt, with it since mid January. This year of course has and continues to be unpredictable and restrictive, yet once set up I felt that I started to relax and the time between just melted away. Gaining in aperture definitely evokes a balancing appreciation for small refractor, binocular observing.

I completely agree! Glad to hear you made it out as well. I just returned from a rather long drive with the 12" and binoculars, the Veil was splendid at last! The view through the 12" almost felt like it was on par with the 20" from the last time I remember it nearly a year ago under decent skies. A short view tonight vs a very long drive, but worth it. Hoping we have some more good nights again soon.

Edited by Ships and Stars
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