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What telescope would you recommend if I were only allowed one


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I am what could only be described  as a keen visual astronomy observer.

Over the years I have owned and used a variety of telescopes. Twelve inch dobsonian, several eight inch SCT's,  a c9.25 SCT,a couple of 100mm f9 refractors with FL53 glass, a Skywatcher 120mm  apo doublet. I have recently sold my Explore Scientific 127mm triplet.Included along the way were several equatorial mounts. I couldn never get on with these mounts as the north was always obscured with trees. I have now got a C8 with an evolution goto mount and an 80mm equinox refractor. I always feel that I have enjoyed astronomy when setting up was simple,easy and quick. Now I know that the old saying is that nothing good comes easy. But on reflection, that's how most of my astronomy has been enjoyed. I have enjoyed the Evolution mount and even tried Starsense and skysync. But this ended up with cables wrapping around and frustrations. The dobsonian and other Newtonian were heavy and so hardly used. I enjoyed the views that the 127 mm triplet refractors gave. But it wast oo heavy and not transportable.

I am getting older and so weight is an issue. I am now thinking of having just one telescope.I am beginning to think that my dream telescope would be a 100mm F 6 or f7 refractor of very good optical quality. This could be mounted on my Altair Sabre manual mount with me sitting g in a chair while observing. I recently met up with a person who had a Vixen flourite 100mm. I was impressed with it's lightness.

I do realise that there is no such thing as an all-round scope. But I do enjoy star gazing with a manageable telescope. That would be transportable as well.

Last night I got the c8 scope out to look at Venus for just a short while. A friend looked at Venus as well. Then the clouds came. So it was quite a deal to get everything set up with the C8 and goto mount for just 15 minutes.

Are there any others who feel the same way and have sold everything to purchase just one top quality telescope?

I am interested in others experiences.

Edited by Grumpy Martian
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I have a very bad back after a serious road accident over 30 years ago, so weight and ease of set up are critical for me. Hence why I bought the FC-100DC and Gitzo tripod, which together weigh around

The answer is very simple Martin   Well in my book it is. A Takahashi FC-100DC. Very lightweight and quick to setup, wonderfully sharp and contrasty optics and it just gives consistently lovely v

I'm getting older...so I want a bigger dob...only live once.

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Great post ? I shall follow this thread to gather the collective opinion. I agree with a lot of the points that you make about weight and ease of set up.

just out of interest when you mention the 127 triplets being heavy, where they heavier than the c8?

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Almost what you are talking of, but in my case becasue I already have one. My 90mm Megrez does everything i realstically need it to. Planets are good, but there are really only 2 of them - I don't care about Mars. It does a lot of DSO's - Dark skies help it of course, and I can put a white light filter on it or a Herschel wedge for esy solar. Additionally it fits on a not too heavy mount.

So a 100 ED sounds good, but already having the 90 I will stick to that.

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An 8" SCT would allow for visual work on every type of objects out there - though would not be the "perfect" instrument on many. Basically 'Middle-of the-Road' views - but at least you'd be able to get a decent representative view.

So I'll cast my ballot for the Meade LX90ACF 8" F10 SCT.

Dave

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7 minutes ago, festoon said:

Great post ? I shall follow this thread to gather the collective opinion. I agree with a lot of the points that you make about weight and ease of set up.

just out of interest when you mention the 127 triplets being heavy, where they heavier than the c8?

Yes it was festoon. I think it was approx 8 kgs while the C8 is approx 5.6 kgs.

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It's a good post and a tough question :icon_scratch:

"simple, easy and quick" are words which certainly chime with me. I've just set up my largest scope, the 12" dobsonian, and it took just a few minutes to lift it outside in 2 parts and to attach the finders. In 20 mins or so, if the clouds stay away, I'll be viewing through it. My smallest scope (100mm F/9 refractor on an alt-az mount) is probably no quicker to set up although it can be used more or less straightaway.

I've owned loads of scopes including SCT's mak-casses, mak-newts, achromat and ed refractors etc, etc. If I had to live with just one maybe something like an 8" or 10" Orion Optics 12th wave PV optics dob in F/6 ish form might do the trick for me ?

I suspect that you will get as many answers as you do posts on this (early evidence seems to support this !) :icon_biggrin:

 

 

 

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This is a difficult question. When at home and faced with the choice to set up any of my scopes the vx14 gets the most outings but whilst it doesn't take long ti set up it does need some strength, and there will come a time when I'm not up to it any more, hopefully a long time from now.

After that the st120 is most used, and something like that will be manageable for much longer, so I would maybe go for a 100mm to 120mm refractor , but the best quality I could afford.

However I wonder if my answer to this will change over time as I accumulate different experiences.

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There is another option but not sure of weight or cost these days.

One of the Sumarian ultra-compact dobsonians at whatever size they come in. Used to do a 10" and I suspect an 8". However I think Michael only sells through TS these days and not vis Sumarian optics.

Seems Michael does an 8" Alkaid, says 7.5Kg total.

Just a thought.

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10 minutes ago, Dave In Vermont said:

An 8" SCT would allow for visual work on every type of objects out there - though would not be the "perfect" instrument on many. Basically 'Middle-of the-Road' views - but at least you'd be able to get a decent representative view.

So I'll cast my ballot for the Meade LX90ACF 8" F10 SCT.

Dave

Hi Dave. I once had an early 2000's LX 90. It gave great views. But found that I was mostly using it manually.

But I understand the point that you make.

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My opinion in the scenario you describe, would be to go for a CPC800. 

My reasoning is as follows. For visual only observing I would need to be at or above 8" aperture, I could not drop below this threshold as too many DSO would be out of reach.

i love jupiter and watching the grs transits. Again, the CPC is more than capable of this.

i hate wobbly mounts and shaky eyepiece images and I know as a previous owner of a cpc800 that it is rock solid with the dual fork setup.

I like to share my hobby so a tracking scope would be essential.

the 8" inch SCT is much less a dew magnet than the larger versions so I would be able to reduce to a reasonable setup time.

i am not really a dash out for 15mins type of guy. So setup early and throw on a scope coat allowing scope to cool as we wait for darkness to descend. You can also throw the coat back on when you finish and leave packing away until the morning. Or setup then go to bed for a 3am start with the scope ready and cooled - perfect.

the cpc800 is also nice and compact package so doesn't take up much room when stored in the garage.

Alan

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I definitely share your thoughts and a top performing refractor would also do for me :happy8: I am also pretty impressed with the AZ pro goto mount as amongst other positives there are no cables to do my brain in..... as Dave writes above the C8 is a good all rounder but for me it does not quite cut it on stars unless you have a very low power eyepiece.

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The answer is very simple Martin ;) 

Well in my book it is. A Takahashi FC-100DC. Very lightweight and quick to setup, wonderfully sharp and contrasty optics and it just gives consistently lovely views.

I use mine most frequently on a Giro-WR mount on a Gitzo tripod, but something like a mini Ercole or giro II or III would work well on a 2" Stainless Steel tripod (EQ6 style)

Of course bigger aperture will give more, but if the point is to observe frequently and get the best views in the minimum time then I really don't think it can be beaten.

Simples :)

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2 hours ago, Grumpy Martian said:

I am what could only be described  as a keen visual astronomy observer.

Over the years I have owned and used a variety of telescopes. Twelve inch dobsonian, several eight inch SCT's,  a c9.25 SCT,a couple of 100mm f9 refractors with FL53 glass, a Skywatcher 120mm  apo doublet. I have recently sold my Explore Scientific 127mm triplet.Included along the way were several equatorial mounts. I couldn never get on with these mounts as the north was always obscured with trees. I have now got a C8 with an evolution goto mount and an 80mm equinox refractor. I always feel that I have enjoyed astronomy when setting up was simple,easy and quick. Now I know that the old saying is that nothing good comes easy. But on reflection, that's how most of my astronomy has been enjoyed. I have enjoyed the Evolution mount and even tried Starsense and skysync. But this ended up with cables wrapping around and frustrations. The dobsonian and other Newtonian were heavy and so hardly used. I enjoyed the views that the 127 mm triplet refractors gave. But it wast oo heavy and not transportable.

I am getting older and so weight is an issue. I am now thinking of having just one telescope.I am beginning to think that my dream telescope would be a 100mm F 6 or f7 refractor of very good optical quality. This could be mounted on my Altair Sabre manual mount with me sitting g in a chair while observing. I recently met up with a person who had a Vixen flourite 100mm. I was impressed with it's lightness.

I do realise that there is no such thing as an all-round scope. But I do enjoy star gazing with a manageable telescope. That would be transportable as well.

Last night I got the c8 scope out to look at Venus for just a short while. A friend looked at Venus as well. Then the clouds came. So it was quite a deal to get everything set up with the C8 and goto mount for just 15 minutes.

Are there any others who feel the same way and have sold everything to purchase just one top quality telescope?

I am interested in others experiences.

I've been there and totally understand your quest. I've truly never been happier than I am now and can't imagine a better telescope to suit my needs, and I can't imagine a better all round scope. It's deep sky is limited by its aperture but far better and brighter than you might imagine. It's contrast, definition and sharpness are breath taking. And gives wonderful rich wide field, as well as extremely sharp high power views. It never disappoints! :icon_biggrin:

Mike

 

 

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2 hours ago, estwing said:

I'm getting older...so I want a bigger dob...only live once.

I'm with this. I need to go as big as possible. When it gets too much I would go back to a 10" dob.

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I am what could only be described  as a keen visual astronomy observer.

Over the years I have owned and used a variety of telescopes. Twelve inch dobsonian, several eight inch SCT's,  a c9.25 SCT,a couple of 100mm f9 refractors with FL53 glass, a Skywatcher 120mm  apo doublet. I have recently sold my Explore Scientific 127mm triplet.Included along the way were several equatorial mounts. I couldn never get on with these mounts as the north was always obscured with trees. I have now got a C8 with an evolution goto mount and an 80mm equinox refractor. I always feel that I have enjoyed astronomy when setting up was simple,easy and quick. Now I know that the old saying is that nothing good comes easy. But on reflection, that's how most of my astronomy has been enjoyed. I have enjoyed the Evolution mount and even tried Starsense and skysync. But this ended up with cables wrapping around and frustrations. The dobsonian and other Newtonian were heavy and so hardly used. I enjoyed the views that the 127 mm triplet refractors gave. But it wast oo heavy and not transportable.

Looks like you're more qualified than most to answer your own question!

Quote

Last night I got the c8 scope out to look at Venus for just a short while. A friend looked at Venus as well. Then the clouds came. So it was quite a deal to get everything set up with the C8 and goto mount for just 15 minutes.

Have to agree with the above posts that recommend a good quality 100 - 120mm frac. It will get used the most because it is the most convenient.

 

 

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What about building a small observatory, roll off roof? roll off shed - only needs to be tiny. Scope is then set up and ready for use in minutes....

Then you can have a big scope with no effort!

cheers

Gary

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Based on what you say I think you have answered your own question in your op.  I'd suggest a 100mm f7 ed / apo doublet. I have an Astro Tech version and it's a great scope. Also really great for solar with a wedge and lunar both with binoviewers

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When considering buying a single scope that I consider to be a good all rounder, I pushed the boat out on budget and took the plunge on a 15" truss dob. I wanted something with good optics that would provide great views of a wide variety of targets with an emphasis on DSOs, be portable, well executed mechanically, no fuss setup/teardown so that I'd use it as often as the weather/work/family considerations permit.  It continues to deliver on all fronts, and I hope to get many years of use.  The mirror box is heavy - wheelbarrow handles are provided, but for now I can conveniently carry it and lift in/out of the car no prob.  If I went much larger, I'd think a removable mirror could be a good option to additionally break down the weight, and for allowing more cool down options.  The mirror cell on my scope is designed for leaving the mirror in situ.

20 hours ago, estwing said:

I'm getting older...so I want a bigger dob...only live once.

Some day I hope...  It's the things you don't do that you regret!! ;)

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From the beginning of my own odyssey, I have been very interested in keeping things simple and manageable. By minimizing, or indeed eliminating that for which I felt no need - goto, motorized tracking - as well as that which I just did not want to have to do - cooling, collimation, alignment - I drew the conclusion that it would have to be a refractor (though probably not a triplet in order to minimize cooling time) on a manual alt-az mount.

Everyone loves their 100mm Tak. Even those who have given up a TV85 and/or a 120ED for it. They even manage to pretend that they don't spend cloudy, sleepless nights full of remorse for having let their excellent scopes go for said Tak.

Must be pretty good.

:happy11:

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