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johnnyp

Which portable refractor ?

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Hi all. I've always wanted a nice portable refractor for a while now as a good all rounder to go on an az GTi mount. 

 

I have a few in mind and would welcome any thoughts on my choices or any suggestions of any others. 

Skywatcher ed80 pro outfit. Skywatcher 72ed ota, or the ts photoline 72. 

I am aware that I will need to purchase a diagonal for any ota package that doesn't have one included and any other accessories as required. 

I'm leaning towards the skywatcher 72ed as I like the compactness of it. But will I miss the extra aperture of the ed80?. Abit in paralysis by analysis at the moment so would appreciate some thoughts. 

The scope Will be used for  short astronomy and terrestrial sessions  and for weekends away at dark sites. 

 

Cheers 

John 

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I'd look out for a second-hand Equinox 80ED rather than the 80ED Pro, as its in a smaller tube with a retractable dew shield. It's an excellent scope! Or alternatively, a Williams Optics Megrez 90. Stunning!!

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19 minutes ago, rhw1967 said:

Be aware of the weight limit of the AZ-GTi mount. 5 KG total, that's the absolute max, so many will not go on it.

A refractor that covers your bases to go onto that mount is the 102T ..... it is also sold as a package with the AZ GTi .... https://www.firstlightoptics.com/startravel/skywatcher-startravel-102t-ota.html

 

 

Have looked at that one but it has to be an ed doublet  .always wanted one, so hopefully abit of planetary when the mood takes me :)

Edited by johnnyp
Mis spell
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10 minutes ago, mikeDnight said:

I'd look out for a second-hand Equinox 80ED rather than the 80ED Pro, as its in a smaller tube with a retractable dew shield. It's an excellent scope! Or alternatively, a Williams Optics Megrez 90. Stunning!!

Good shout. On the hunt for an equinox. Nice looking scopes as well :)

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Any thoughts on the skywatcher 72 ed as a nice portable ed scope? I'm very close to pulling the trigger on this one :)

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I've stopped my 80mm apo down to 70mm out of curiosity, and everything lost a little crispness. Reducing large scopes to a much smaller aperture provides a neat gain in steadiness that was not granted here, only the slight loss of definition (and brightness) was the consequence. Get at least an 80, but if a 90 or a 100/102 is feasible, go for it!

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3 hours ago, johnnyp said:

Any thoughts on the skywatcher 72 ed as a nice portable ed scope? I'm very close to pulling the trigger on this one :)

I really like my AT72ED with FPL-51 glass, though it does have a bit of false color above 100x.  I've been tempted to get the new AT72ED-II version with FPL-53 glass and the rack and pinion focuser because the smooth "rack" on mine slips under heavy (3+ pound) loads at high angles even with the tension screw cranked way down.  I do like how compact it is, though it is quite heavy for its size.  The focuser is also a bit annoying because the draw tube isn't deep enough to fully seat a 2" diagonal.  For some reason, the baffled part of the tube beyond the draw tube is slightly narrower.  I can't imagine 8mm of additional aperture would justify the additional weight and length of an ED80.  I would jump up to a 120+mm refractor as the next step-up to see a truly significant difference.

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I have the TS 72mm which I really like. It is fpl-53, very compact due to the sliding dew shield, and the focuser is a very smooth and solid rack and pinion.

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I can also vouch for the TS72 F6 for the same reasons @Stu mentions. This is the scope that I take in hand luggage for air travel. I do also have an Equinox 80 which is an excellent portable scope and does pull ahead a bit of the TS thanks to the extra 8mm and slightly longer F6.25 over F6. The Equinox also has a sliding dew shield so is pretty compact and if you can find one it should have a metal case as well. I preferred the Equinox focuser over the standard SW one, better quality and rotates as well which is useful in some situations. Good luck with your choice.

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johnnyp which one did you end up getting and why ? Just asking as have an interest in the ed80 pro myself

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7 hours ago, rhw1967 said:

johnnyp which one did you end up getting and why ? Just asking as have an interest in the ed80 pro myself

Hi. Haven't purchased yet. But I'm heavily leaning towards the skywatcher 72ed. Seems ideal for what I want and has good reviews. The ed80 looks alot bulkier considering it's only an extra 8mm of aperture. 

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11 hours ago, JG777 said:

I can also vouch for the TS72 F6 for the same reasons @Stu mentions. This is the scope that I take in hand luggage for air travel. I do also have an Equinox 80 which is an excellent portable scope and does pull ahead a bit of the TS thanks to the extra 8mm and slightly longer F6.25 over F6. The Equinox also has a sliding dew shield so is pretty compact and if you can find one it should have a metal case as well. I preferred the Equinox focuser over the standard SW one, better quality and rotates as well which is useful in some situations. Good luck with your choice.

Many thanks. Ts72 still an option :)

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14 hours ago, johnnyp said:

The ed80 looks alot bulkier considering it's only an extra 8mm of aperture. 

I think the Sky-Watcher ED80 has an oversize 10cm tube, right? But other 80mm doublets have slimmer tubes, like the TS 80mm f/7 doublet with FPL-53 glass and 2.5" reinforced focuser. It's expensive but they also make an FPL-51 equivalent for less money, with or without the newer 2.5" focuser. I believe the dewshields are the sliding type but better check that. 

Don't suppose the 8mm are a small difference. Following this discussion I unearthed the 71mm (not 70) mask I had made. It clips on the dewhield of my 80mm triplet and unclips fast, so I could compare the views again. Looking at complicated steel frames in the sunlight, switching from 80mm to 71mm I saw the sharp metal angles become a little rounded. Colors dimmed somewhat, too. Turbulence became marginally less troublesome but nighttime turbulence might not show such a big difference.

The test was made at 63x only because daytime heat didn't allow more.

Edited by Ben the Ignorant

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@johnnyp Be aware that the AT72ED II is out of stock in the US and the TS72 might go the same way during the Christmas season.

Edited by Louis D
Wrong quote

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