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... for hauling around on journeys if you're out and about, sleeping over at friend's, taking long train journeys.

something that's not uber-fragile (can take a knock or two within reason)

light-ish and can fit in a rucksack

short

versatile for different types of objects

cheap (even second hand wise) enough so if it did get trashed you wouldn't be in gushes of tears

quality enough so that the images/views you get are reasonable and enjoyable (not going to mention Seben here, right!)

What fits the bill?

Mike

Edited by TonyD
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My portable scope is a William Optics 66mm SD. I have taken it all over, including abroad on planes. It's very portable and pretty solid, no collimation issues. I use it on a photo tripod quite happily up to x100 or a little more. It obviously lacks aperture for DSO's but gives me enough of a fix when away. There is a thread of mine on the forum if you have a search.

Really cheap option would be an ST80 clone of some sort. Bit more aperture but not as good performance at higher mags. Or maybe an 80mm ED of some sort would be a good balance, more aperture and good colour correction.

Stu

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I have used my 80mm ed on a decent photo tripod, but its borderline - can't really up the mag beyond x80 to x100 without the shake becoming really annoying, and anything I have thats more sturdy is not really carryable all in one go.

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Thinking about it, another option is 90 or 102mm Skymax mak. Bit more aperture and still compact. Better on planets but not as versatile due to the longer focal length and small field of view.

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I have an 80mm F/6 which is versatile and compact. I am sometimes tempted by C5 OTAs that come up secondhand occasionally. A lot of aperture in a very compact and very lightweight package (the 80mm APM weighs a bit more). The bigger problem is the tripod and head: normal photo tripod heads are a pain. I was looking for something like a Mini-Giro (1 kg weight, 5-6 kg capacity)

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I've got a Mini Giro on a Berlebach 2022 report tripod. Works very well and quite versatile. I use it for my PST with an L bracket, and also for 66mm and 80mm refractors. Not tried the 106 on it, I think that would be too much!

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ST80. Cheap as chips and has a short FL so it can do good widefield viewing which is easy on the mount. No need for a finder at that FL. Very light. High powered planetary you can do at home under a street lamp. This will make a decent widefield sweeper for the Milky Way at dark sights.

Olly

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I know this isn't answering the question but binoculars would be my choice .... qualify on all counts apart from "versatile for different types of objects" because they're not much good for planetary work. A good pair of 15X70's on a monopod or if you want to risk a higher investment, one of the Canon image stabilized models, will show a surprising number of objects under dark skies and are a much better option than a small aperture scope i.m.o.h. . Quick and easy to use, no need to worry about eypieces, finders, counterweights, batteries, etc., etc. and most of all, relaxing and enjoyable.

Mind you, that 10" folding Dob looks cool - but 20kgs?

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