Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

David Veliath

Need help deciding between c8 and c6, portability is a primary concern

Recommended Posts

Hello, my name is David. I have posted on this forum before, and with your help had finalized on buying a Celestron C6 Sct as my first scope, however I was never actually able to buy it. Anyways, I've saved up more money now and am now considering a C8, mostly because of this deal I found:

https://www.highpointscientific.com/celestron-nexstar-8se-sct-ota-orange-tube-11069-ota

The C6 costs 400 dollars from the site and th C8 costs 650. I am sure the difference in price is justifiable by the larger aperture, but my biggest concern is whether it is portable or not. I have often heard that the best scope is the one that gets used much. I highly doubt I will be using it much where I live, as the light pollution is unbelievable. However I travel frequently and I wanted an OTA that I can just throw in a backpack. So does anyone know if the C8 is a travel scope? I've been researching and while it seems manageable, I won't know until I see it in person. I will not be able to upgrade frequently so this choice is really important for me.

Another doubt: What is the difference between the orange tube C8 and the new black tube one? I think the black tube one looks better, but it costs an additional 200 dollars. Already my budget is going to be stretched with the C8, but I was just wanting to know. 

One last thing: does anyone know if this is this a good mount? Since I am a beginner, I was looking for an alt az around 300 dollars.

https://agenaastro.com/gso-skyview-deluxe-altaz-mount.html

Thanks in Advance!

David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have my doubts that the alt-azimuth will be adequate for a C8. I have the 8se version and its more substantial mount is on the limit. The telescope vibrates when touching it to focus, with manual slow motions on the alt-azimuth you will be touching it a lot!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I own both a C6 and a C8 (Edge HD 8"). "Portability" depends a lot on how you plan to tote it around. The C6 is 10 lb., the C8 is 12.5 lb. , but the C8 is a bit bulkier; look at the included pictures to see relative sizes. The mount looks okay for either one, but  you'll be pretty close to its weight limit with the C8, a diagonal and a large eyepiece and a finderscope. You'll probably experience more movement of the assembly when observing, and photography is pretty much out. I prefer EQ mounts myself, and the Celestron Astroview is about the same price, but could tolerate the C8 better. If you can swing the extra dollars, I don't think you'd regret the larger aperture of the C8 at the expense of a slightly larger tube. There is no difference between the two tubes except the color. I also prefer black, but for $200 less I could easily get used to orange.

DSC00056.JPG

DSC00062.JPG

DSC00057.JPG

Edited by Luna-tic
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the C8 SE, which is the C8 with an alt-azimuth GoTo mount.  Note that the C6 SE has the same mount (the 6/8 SE).  Either makes a relatively lightweight and portable package, much lighter and more portable than an equatorial mounted package with counterweights, for instance,  I routinely pick up the whole C8 OTA/mount/tripod package (weighting about 12Kg) and carry it outdoors through a standard doorway.  So I would recommend either as a portable package.

You can of course buy these scopes as an OTA or as a package with other mounts. Unless you hate GoTo, I would not recommend a manual alt-azimuth mount. The field of view of these SCTs is modest and it is really an advantage to have GoTo for finding objects and tracking.  The saving in cost over the GoTo package if you buy an OTA and manual mount separately may be modest, and you should avoid buying a mount that is too flimsy.  I don't know anything about the mount you cite. Also be aware that it is difficult (and risky) to handle a fat OTA without a grab handle, but the makers intend that you leave the C6 or C8 permanently attached to the SE mount head in a safe to handle combo. Be aware that the C8 offer you cite is the SE OTA and does NOT have a grab handle.  The OTA is awkward to handle and the way I fitted it to the mount was to stand the mount head on a carpet and proceed with great care. :hmh:

Edited by Cosmic Geoff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi David. Should you go for the C8 SCT, will you be using the 1.25" visual back and upgrading to SCT 2" accessories at a later date? - i.e. Crayford focusser, star diagonal, etc., (you can use SCT 2" accessories with the C6 SCT too). I have my doubts too about the mount that you have added the link to.

What will you be observing? It is doable, but you may/will encounter vibration downtime as you are viewing through a narrower field of view. I have seen larger SCT's on alt-az mounts - i.e. TeleOptic Ercole, AYO, etc.

 

post-4682-0-08081900-1394160327_thumb.jpg.39874f9748f97e8f9852c808e219edfc.jpg 

Photo of my C6 SCT & 're-modded' ETX105 Mak on a Tele-Optic Giro ll

     

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i bought a heavy Skytee 2 mount for my C8, and it is good for the task. But it is heavy, not really portable.

A deep suitcase would hold a C8, backpack not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the replies so far!

I'm sorry I didn't really give much info before, I wrote the article just as I was about to sleep. 

Anyways, I am a 9th grader living in the light polluted city of Kochi, India. I have been saving up for a telescope for the last few years. While I don't go out of the country frequently, I do make trips within the country quite often. That is why portability is important, so I can take my telescope with me wherever I go. 

I had done a bunch of research and asked around on a few forums. I then settled on an SCT. A C6 or C8. But the problem is, the C8 seems to be considerably bulkier than the C6. I want a C8 but I am not sure if I'd be able to use it as much as I'd like. I wanted some opinions here.

Also I am somewhat confused about mounts. I would prefer an alt az over an EQ partly because an Alt az looks easier to use but mostly because I don't feel like carrying all the counter weights necessary for an EQ on all my trips. I probably won't own more than one telescope, so double headed mounts do not interest me. Also I would like to buy a manual over a GoTo because trying to find something in the sky on my own seems to me like the fun of amateur astronomy. I'd like to focus on DSOs, and I am probably just a visal user. No AP for me.

One last thing: how much of a difference does a focal reducer make?

Anyways thanks again for all the replies. My father may be going to the US for some time, so I hope that he'd be able to bring the stuff.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Going from your initial post saying that you wanted to be able to throw it in a backpack, I think that puts the C8 out of the picture. The C6 is significantly smaller and would probably go in a backpack, and would be fine on a smaller mount too. 

An EQ mount is necessary for DSO imaging, but a simple alt az mount is actually much easier for visual use.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what you describe particularly as you mention travelling with it in a backpack and notwithstanding you will require other components including mount head it seems to me that practicality and portability must over rule advantage of aperture. Therefore if this was me I would choose the 6 inch over the 8 simply because you will do more astronomy with the smaller scope if it's easier to transport plus your mount requirements will be reduced as well. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On second thoughts, mention of 'backpack' causes me to think that you want an 'ultraportable' rather than a 'portable' telescope.

Once you add a tripod and mount, the C6 and C8 are in the class of 'portable with vehicle assistance', i.e. you drive to the dark site and then carry the components a short distance.

Perhaps you could share your thoughts on what exactly you want to observe? SCTs are fine instruments, but best suited to looking at small objects in conjunction with a driven equatorial or GoTo mount.   Mention of a focal reducer (primarily used for photography AFAIK) makes me wonder if you are contemplating buying a premium priced design of instrument and then spending more money to turn it into something it isn't -a widefield scope.

Before spending money, it might be prudent to load up your backpack with some house bricks to the weight of your prospective purchase, and then see how far you can walk before it ceases to be any fun. :happy11:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a C6 and a C8. The C8 gets next to no use compared to the C6.

Cooldown time, bulk and poor seeing are the issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, David Veliath said:

Thanks for all the replies so far!

I'm sorry I didn't really give much info before, I wrote the article just as I was about to sleep. 

Anyways, I am a 9th grader living in the light polluted city of Kochi, India. I have been saving up for a telescope for the last few years. While I don't go out of the country frequently, I do make trips within the country quite often. That is why portability is important, so I can take my telescope with me wherever I go. 

I had done a bunch of research and asked around on a few forums. I then settled on an SCT. A C6 or C8. But the problem is, the C8 seems to be considerably bulkier than the C6. I want a C8 but I am not sure if I'd be able to use it as much as I'd like. I wanted some opinions here.

Also I am somewhat confused about mounts. I would prefer an alt az over an EQ partly because an Alt az looks easier to use but mostly because I don't feel like carrying all the counter weights necessary for an EQ on all my trips. I probably won't own more than one telescope, so double headed mounts do not interest me. Also I would like to buy a manual over a GoTo because trying to find something in the sky on my own seems to me like the fun of amateur astronomy. I'd like to focus on DSOs, and I am probably just a visal user. No AP for me.

One last thing: how much of a difference does a focal reducer make?

Anyways thanks again for all the replies. My father may be going to the US for some time, so I hope that he'd be able to bring the stuff.

 

Between the C6 and C8, based on what you said above, definitely the C6, and a small alt-az mount. You might also want to consider a doublet refractor around f/7 and 100mm or so aperture.  The Explore Scientific 102 DAR102065-1 would be a good choice. It's longer than the C6, but is the same weight(and less expensive), and has a wider field of view than the C6. You mentioned the reducer for the C6; it changes the f/10 focal ratio to an effective f/6.3, and flattens the field so stars at the edge are in focus. To give an example of the difference in image size, at native f/10, the full Moon will completely fill the FOV at prime focus (no eyepiece, what a camera would "see". With the reducer in place, the full Moon will take up about 80% of the FOV. Certainly when looking at deep sky objects the FOV with a given EP will be wider with the reducer, but it's really not a substitute for having a wide-field telescope. You'd only appreciate the wider field at the lowest EP magnification.

The reason I mention a refractor is that it would be more durable with frequent travel. A SCT will need periodic collimation if bumped around much, where a refractor won't.  Your views might not be quite as bright due to smaller aperture, but a small achromatic refractor is a very nice travel scope.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks once again for all the replies!

Most people agree that the C8 is out do to size constraints. However a 4 inch refractor seems like an interesting option.. mostly due to its ruggedness. I guess now my question is C6 or AR102? Should I start a new thread for that? Anyways, perhaps I could go to a 5 inch refractor? Or is that probably too big? 

https://explorescientificusa.com/products/102mm-achromatic-refractor

https://explorescientificusa.com/products/127mm-achromatic-refractor

Also about the mount: I want to spend around 400 dollars here. Perhaps I may be upgrading in 5 years. Any recommendations? I also need a tripod.

http://www.universalastronomics.com/   I am looking at the macrostar basic alt-az

http://www.tejraj.com/field-tripod.html    The first tripod

Also about portability, I don't intend to keep all my equipment in a single bag. I just want to be able to carry my OTA into carry on. I'm sure my mount can handle check in.

I doubt I will be walking very long distances with it.

Thanks again for all the help so far!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scratch the 5 inch. It is far too big. 

However, I really need help between the C6 and the Ar102. The C6 performs better, is shorter but is also fatter. The Ar102 has the advantage of being thinner and more robust. Another thing in favour of the Ar102 is the 2 inch focuser (C6 uses 1.25) and better finderscope. However, it is longer. I'm not sure which one I want more.

How about the Orion AstroView 120? It seems almost perfect. Its a 5 inch refractor but its only 25 inches in length. Only problem is, I'm not a big fan of EQ mounts...

https://optcorp.com/products/orion-astroview-120st-eq-refractor-9005

https://www.telescope.com/Orion-120mm-f50-Refractor-Telescope-Optical-Tube-Assembly/p/9836.uts

How much difference in FOV is there between C6 with focal reducer and an AR102? This is probably the deciding factor for me.

Also I need help with the mount too please.

Thanks again!

Edited by David Veliath

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, David Veliath said:

I guess now my question is C6 or AR102? Should I start a new thread for that? Anyways, perhaps I could go to a 5 inch refractor? Or is that probably too big? 

One can't answer that without having some idea what exactly you mean to observe with them.

I would comment that the AR127 is neither small nor light.

It's not 100% clear what mount head and tripod you are looking at, but the tripod at the top of the page looks like the AZ4/ EQ5 tripod. I have two of them, with the stainless steel legs, and they are neither small nor light.

If you are thinking of carrying a 127mm refractor and that tripod and a mount through an airport in your baggage, well, my only comment is that you are probably younger and fitter than I am. :happy11: You would be carrying 16Kg of telescope kit + the weight of the bags and any other necessities. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

David, what 2 inch eye pieces had you in mind to buy? And what to see with them?

100mm aperture is only small & light enough, for reasonable cost, in a cassegrain or Newtonian. 

For rich field an 80mm or even 100mm pair of binoculars which could be mounted on a tripod would be good, albeit at fixed magnitude. 

A 127 Mak like the Skywatcher would be better if you want refractor quality, and kits with various mounts are available, as an illustration see FLO's page. They are back packable nifty little scopes. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think i was in the same place as you are right now, 2 years ago. After owning a 8inch goto reflector i wanted something more portable that i could bring overseas.

After much debate it was between a 6SE or 8SE. At the time there was about £500 difference between the 2.

I chose the 6SE and spent the 500 on accessories. Lithium battery pack, focal reducer, upgrade finder scope and a wifi module. Ignoring the difference in FOV (SCT vs Reflector) there really isnt much visually between a 6 and 8.

I dont believe portability is the question here so much, but how much kit you will get with the extra cash you save. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would think too big for airline carry on luggage.

The AZ3 fills a suitcase as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, David Veliath said:

How is this scope? I am really interested in refractors all of a sudden..

https://trevincaskies.com/en/shop/skywatcher-120mm-f5-with-az3-mount/

This is a widefield scope and has nothing whatsoever in common with the SCTs you were looking at earlier.  The AZ3 mount is not well thought of, it seems, and there are more recent alternatives, e.g. the AZ5.

I have a smaller version of this, as a Startravel 102mm. It's good for looking at star clusters and suchlike, not so great for planets and double stars.

I seriously recommend that you buy an ultraportable scope such as a 70mm short-focal length Startravel acromatic reftactor, or a 102mm Maksutov, along with a lightweight or table top tripod, and get started with that. When you have a clear idea (based on experience) of what kind of scope you would really like, and what you want to observe, you can buy another more powerful (and inevitably less portable) telescope outfit, and either sell on the first one or keep it as an ultraportable alternative.

The idea that you buy just one scope and it's perfect simply does not work in practice.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry it took a while to reply.. I was busy with studies and stuff.

I am primarily interested in visual observing of DSOs, and want a high FOV scope. However, the SCT while having narrower field of view, is much more compact. That is why I was interested in the SCT. Anyways, my dad took an executive decision and decided to book the C6 as well as the GSO mount. He said we could consider a refractor as a second scope once I somewhat learned the skies with the C6. Most people say its good. He didn't want to buy head and tripod separately..

Anyways, while mounting the C6 on the GSO mount, will it be difficult to use the focuser? I might be trying a red dot finder. Should I consider using rings? I am still not quite sure on how to use rings and stuff.

I also need help with eyepieces..

I was considering a Zhumell 8-24mm zoom and I need suggestions on a good 32mm eyepiece. Does GSO make good eyepieces? Is the celestron omni series good? Also I will be getting a 6.3 FR.

Thanks for all the help!

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Might be worth a separate thread in the eye piece forum. Also for eps themselves. 

Edited by 25585

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, David Veliath said:

Actually the celestron FR is too expensive- can I use the meade or antares ones?

Thanks!

You can use either. I read a review some time ago and the Antares one came second. Meade do two - one at F/6 and one at F/3.3 - don't go for the F/3.3 reducer - it is also discontinued.

 

Edited by Philip R
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.