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6 Inch Refractor Question


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Hi All,

I'm currently considering getting a 6 inch refractor for low power viewing with a degree of portability.  I'm looking at the SW Startravel 150 and the Celestron Omni 150R.  It would be purely for visual use and not imaging.  My 200PDS Newt is a good all rounder but it is a pain to lug about and it usually needs collimating after every trip and needs the EQ5 rig set up to hold it.  I have a friend who has the blue tube ST150 (which is ancient) that sits fine on my AZ4 (even with the big replacement Crayford and a 2 inch Diag/EP stuck on the end) so the others should too.  I'll probably look at picking up a used scope rather than pay new prices. 

Here is the question, the tubes for these scopes seem to be identical with just cosmetic differences in colour etc.  However, the Celestron 150R is advertised as having Starbright XLT coatings.  Does anyone know if this is the same as the coatings applied to the Skywatcher tube but with the Starbright name for marketing purposes or is it a superior coating?  Does anyone know of a side by side comparison between these scopes rather than trying guess from the product specs.  Also, apart from a paint job and a better focuser, does anyone know if there are any differences between the old blue tube ST150 and the new black/white ST150?

Grateful for any informed views.

Cheers,

Stephen

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The coatings are specific for each brand, but in a large fast achro you will probably find there isn't much difference that you can see.

Both brands are owned by the same company so there is bound to be some commonality there to make use of tooling etc.

Celestron used to be american made but are now made in China along with the Skywatcher, so unless you find an old made in USA Celestron then you will likely find the two scopes are much of a muchness.

I'd be surprised if the optics are any different in the old skywatcher over the new one but the newer ones might have newer coatings applied.

Regards

Stuart

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Thanks guys,  pretty much confirmed my own thoughts. I'm aware of the CA on a big short tube Achro liek this but it doesn't bother me that much and I won't be using it for planetary so less of an issue (I'll stick with my Mak for that).  I hadn't seen the Astromart review John so thanks for the link.  As you were both saying, they are side by side off the production line Synta jobs so as far as the optics go, how much real world difference can there really be. 

Thanks again,

Stephen

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Just to close this thread off, I picked up a Celestron Omni 150R from Amazon Warehouse for £230.  It was supposedly used but it came in original packing, sealed and looks brand new to me.  With my limited (one night) go with the scope it was fantastic on a pile of DSO targets.

Thanks again for the advice.   

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I have the Synta 150R F8, I was surprised how little CA it had and this April while watching the Lunar Eclipse we looked at Mars at 300X

My best friend from Colorado was amazed at it and how well it handled that much power!

I have an Advanse GT mount with the Orion Short pier, it works great!

I also use a Minus Violet with a very light blue color filter stacked. This corrects much of the color and the Blue filter takes care of the sickly Yellow cast

from the MV filter (Orion's MV),

It is heavier and am sure the longer FL reduces some of the CA, But the little extra weight is made up by the Planetary views!

If I were to buy another, M.V. filter, the Baader is what I would get.

good luck!

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Both scopes you are looking at are the lightest 6" refractors in the market. Both are multicoated and the differences will be negligible due to coatings.

With these scopes, it all comes down to manage to get a good sample in terms of lens quality as this varies from batch to batch, and if it is collimated correctly to at least give you the best views this instrument can give.

But even though they are light for 6" refractors, the AZ4 will be a bit challenged with either one. Still, the AZ4 is child's play to set up relative to your EQ5.

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