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TonyD

If you had a 4" refractor and could only have three eyepieces...

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Thanks YKSE, that was pretty much my reasoning - always nice to have it validated by an experienced looker!

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Scope...... ED100  f9

Eyepieces...... Meade RG 7mm

                ...... Circle T Volcano top 12.5mm

                ...... TV 32mm plossl

Oh and one accessory...... TV 2,5x Powermate

Short and very sweet :smiley:

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Yes, thats the point I was making. 80x - 100x is about the max with such scopes and they are not at their best even then. You can see that Saturn has rings and it's brightest Moon Titan at that power.

I agree with john's comments. Views of the moon and planets were better through my current 80mm ED at 150x than through my old 120mm f5 Startravel at the same sort of magnification

that said, the larger aperture really helped with white light solar, tight double stars and DSOs. as always it's about compromise.

I had the StarTravel 120 + AZ3 on my future wish list as the new grab and go (at a very respectable £258).

It would replace the 3" on holiday in the motorhome as a travel scope, and sit alongside the 8" dob in the back garden.

My expectations were that 120mm / 0.7 = 171x maximum magnification for my viewing site.

I would be very dissapointed if the actual magnification limit was lower, and I had hoped for 200x views on good seeing nights.

Following on from the Staffop, John, and Moonshanes conversation - I may need to go back to plan B.

£253 Evostar 120 F8

£97 AZ3 mount (with the Mercury 3" F7 frac package thrown in for an extra £11)

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/startravel/skywatcher-mercury-705.html

I assume the AZ3 will struggle with the extra weight of the EvoStar OTA - but still be managableable for stability, shake, and vibration.

The heaviest eyepiece used with this set-up would be the 6mm Delos.

Has anyone ever used the Evostar 120 on the lightweight AZ3 mount?

PS - 3x ep's I already own, and could be used are:

24mm Maxvision = 41x

6mm Delos = 167x

11mm ES82 x 2.2 barlow = 200x (and 90x without barlow)

Edited by Reeny

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.....I assume the AZ3 will struggle with the extra weight of the EvoStar OTA - but still be managableable for stability, shake, and vibration.

The heaviest eyepiece used with this set-up would be the 6mm Delos.

Has anyone ever used the Evostar 120 on the lightweight AZ3 mount?......

Well it can be done, but I'm not sure that I would:

http://www.cloudynights.com/page/articles/cat/user-reviews/telescopes/120mm-130mm-refractors/orion%E2%80%99s-120mm-f8-on-an-az-3-alta-azimuth-mount-r897

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Much prefer adding a counter weight balance bar to address holding altitude then over tightening everything. With a balanced setup using the slo motion controls is not stiff on mine with an ST80.

Wouldn't the AZ4 mount be an option?

Related read touches on st120 and AZ3

http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/247968-thinking-of-getting-a-sw-st-120/page-2#entry2698758

Edited by happy-kat

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Thanks Happy-Kat,

I found the Aluminium legged AZ4 after little bit of digging (£135 instead of £170 for steel)

The AZ4 is the only viable option at the moment.

Anyway - back to the 3-best eyepieces for a 4" frac

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My 24mm maxvision has shown some lovely wide views like the beehive cluster being a memorable one.

The 7mm Astro hutech gave me my best view of Jupiter.

My favourite tho is my Astro hutech 12.5mm , on doubles the stars are crisp and the colours superb.

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I also have a 100RS, the stock 25mm is really good I also have a 32mm revelation 2" ep giving lovely widefield views.

For planetary I am a little short, but would probably go for a 6 or 5 mm vixen slv if I had the cash

Edited by Jim Steele
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20mm Pentax XW, 6mm SLV & Leica zoom :laugh:

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Excluding zooms cos that's cheating..:-)

Meade RG 6mm, Pentax XW 14mm, Meade 5000 26mm

Dave

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I use my 100ED f9 only for planetary with either a Take LE 5mm or TV 6-3mm

To make life easier with my alt az mounts I would grab a Tak LE 30 and 12.5mm for lower mags.

(There are better and more reasonable choices out there, but I have them anyway for my binoviewer. Better eye relief and form factor then TV plossl)

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I have a 4" fract and would rec ($ notwithstanding), 31 nagler, 21 ethos, 10 ethos and 2x barlow.

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