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planet15

150mm Refractor vs. 200mm Reflector?

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The answer is quite simple. It boils down to portability and cost. Whatever one suits you best and suits your wallet is the winner.

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I have owned a number of refractors over the years. I have had some knock out views of tight doubles, planets, white light solar and open clusters. The quality of the views in a good refractor are, in my opinion impossible to beat, the downside is they are just plain and simply too small. I was shocked just how good the views are in my dob, globular clusters in particular are in the "WOW league". Objects such as M38 and M11 suddenly turn decent observable targets.

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had three scopes out on Monday all night, 120mm achro f8.33 , 8.5 inch newt f7.5 and 10" oo f4.8 , I realise they are all different beasts, and as expected the views are different, the 10 blows they other two on dso obviously, the fract was lovelly at lower mags with pin [removed word] stars and clusters (and was still nice on Saturn with a black cassini), and the long newt was better than the fract (expected) and as good as the larger 10 on Saturn for detail and appeared to take more mag. Both newts were collimated within an inch of their life. It was a good night and all three scopes shone in different areas. (had to laugh at removed word)

Edited by LeeB

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Yes I was being a tad facetious about the weight, I expect the design has advanced a bit from cast iron and brass, but you'd go a long way to better the optics though.

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One of what? It's some sort of cat, but beyond that I can't tell.... What is it? , Its my Takahashi Mewlon 210 mm Dall Kirkham design cat. These use spherical mirrors , no corrector plate and guaranteed 1/20th wave smoothness on both mirrors . This shows in the quality of the views as when well columinated its better than a 7 inch f8 APO , awesome design and build . Brian.

Edited by Brian Nordstrom

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The Dall-Kirkham reflector design normally uses a 70% corrected primary and a spherical secondary, the origination of this design was to avoid the difficulty of making a hyperboloid secondary as used in a classical Cassegrain. I think the Mewlon conforms to the former. :smiley:

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Just chanced across this thread on google.  For completeness sake, I thought it's just worth updating that it's now possible to get a 6" acrhromatic refractor at a decent price and weight with very well controlled Chromatic Aberration.  The Altair Starwave 152mm F5.9 retails at £695 and weighs 11.2 Kg which includes tube rings.  I find it easier to pick up and mount than my lighter 9.5Kg C 9.25" SCT though, this is because the shape makes it quite easy to handle.

I've picked one up second hand and although I'm waiting for some decent clear sky with good transparency, initial observations on poor transparency sky are good.

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I sometimes wonder if I won the lottery and my only money problem was having too much of it, what my personal best telescope would be - and I think it would probably be a refractor. Assuming I could get one, it might be a Victorian Grubb, Cooke, Clark etc. - which probably says more about how I personally identify with telescopes as objects rather than their performance!

But until then, on a budget of 300 pounds for visual observation, a 200mm reflector would be by far the best all round option. My only dilemma would be whether to save a bit more and go for a 250mm... :icon_biggrin:

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