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robbymain

Pondering a travel refractor - advice welcome!

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Hello all

I'm planning a trip to either the Canaries or Cape Verde islands in February and I'm seriously considering buying a hand luggage-transportable travel scope!

Does anyone have any experience of the Lacerta 72/432? Otherwise I have my eye on the TS Optics 72mm Photoline...? I'll be using it mainly for visual on a Porta 2.

Cheers,

Rob

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Not sure if you've seen this, might be of interest.

I don't know anything about the Lacerta unfortunately but suspect it is a clone to the TS, worth checking out the focuser and dewshield details to compare, plus the way it mounts. The TS can be tricky to balance as you need to get it quite far forward because the objectives in these scopes are relatively light. I had to make some spacers as in this thread in order to get the dovetail positioned far enough away from the focuser to avoid clashing.

Altair Astro do a version of the same scope which includes spacers which avoid this problem, I think it's the Deluxe version but worth checking. I don't know why but I still preferred the TS, entirely irrational probably.

https://www.altairastro.com/Altair-72-EDF-Refractor-Deluxe-CNC.html

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I travel with the TS 72 in hand luggage, and most of the rest of it in checked luggage. The scope is very good , build quality is very good and the rack and pinion focusser  is excellent. Optically very good as well witn FLP 53 glass it has become my aircraft friendly scope due to being so easy to carry on to aircraft.

Expect a lot of suggestions here, including a visit from squadron "Tak Attack". 😄

 

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8 minutes ago, JG777 said:

Expect a lot of suggestions here, including a visit from squadron "Tak Attack". 😄

 

Not from me ;) I am a Tak fan but also love the TS 72mm, lovely scope.

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I really like my AT72ED.  It is very compact as its case which can hold a 2" digonal and a couple of eyepieces.  I use a 6 inch dovetail to be able to reach balance by extending it back to the focuser.  With its FPL-51 glass, it has a little color in focus on bright objects up around 125x.  I've not taken it on a plane, but it would be fairly simple to do so.

I took my ST80 on the road to Nebraska to witness the total solar eclipse in 2017 partially because I already had a solar filter for it that I made nearly 20 years ago and partly because I'd be staying along interstate highways which have issues with car break-ins.  It was fully sufficient for the task at hand.

It depends on what you plan on observing what refractor you would want to bring along.  For planetary work, I'd get an FPL-53 class refractor like the AT72ED II.  For lower power DSO observing, the difference between it and the FPL-51 AT72ED would not be apparent.  For white light solar observing, a fast achromat like an ST80 would be fine.

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Thanks for the recommendations - looks like the TS is well thought of and it sounds prefect for my needs!

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Love my little TeleVue 76. Gorgeous views, quick cool down, easy for travelling, compact and built to last several lifetimes. It exudes quality and is exquisitely engineered. I think it is one of the most perfectly made and prettiest 3" refractors ever designed. When I'm too old to cope with anything heavier, I think this will be the last scope I own.

Edited by Rob Sellent
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2 hours ago, Rob Sellent said:

Love my little TeleVue 76. Gorgeous views, quick cool down, easy for travelling, compact and built to last several lifetimes. It exudes quality and is exquisitely engineered. I think it is one of the most perfectly made and prettiest 3" refractors ever designed. When I'm too old to cope with anything heavier, I think this will be the last scope I own.

Couldn't agree more. My TeleVue Ranger, (it is 70mm), has the same qualities as @Rob Sellent says about his TV76.

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On 03/11/2019 at 16:55, Stu said:

I don't know anything about the Lacerta unfortunately but suspect it is a clone to the TS

The outside doesn't look the same, the Lacerta's objective is a clone of the William Megrez 72, and the focuser is a 2" unit when the TS has a 2.5" focuser. Lacerta has 8 ball bearings to support the focuser, which they say can take a 2 kilos payload.

 

La72432-3.jpg

Also, three Lacerta 72's that Teleskop Austria's boss tested had Strehl factors between 96% and 97%. But I have no personal experience with the thing, all I can say is Teleskop Austria's service and pricing is great, and the boss is a competent optics tech who can optimize apos, even respacing the lenses when needed.

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I have an APM 80 mm F/6 triplet which weighs in at just 2.4 kg. Great little scope for travel, which sits beautifully on my mini-giro mount, shown below on a wooden tripod, but it also works on a carbon photo tripod.

post-5655-0-07860000-1403949685_thumb.jpg

TS have a similar scope (although I think they only come with a 2.5" focuser).

 

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3 hours ago, robbymain said:

If my budget stretched to a TV my choice would definitely be easier lol

My Pronto was about £200 on here.

Olly

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3 hours ago, michael.h.f.wilkinson said:

I have an APM 80 mm F/6 triplet which weighs in at just 2.4 kg. Great little scope for travel, which sits beautifully on my mini-giro mount, shown below on a wooden tripod, but it also works on a carbon photo tripod.

post-5655-0-07860000-1403949685_thumb.jpg

TS have a similar scope (although I think they only come with a 2.5" focuser).

 

Good to see the Mini Giro still giving sterling service Michael 👍👍. 2.4kg is pretty light for an 80mm triplet, that's a really great combination.

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A travel scope to look out for is the early F5 TeleVue Genesis. It's very short. I made mine a dedicated box which met the requirements of cabin baggage so it was airline friendly. You get 4 inches of aperture and optics which, while not perfect, can take you from 15x binocular fields to 200x planetary views which are very respectable. Short of an AP Traveller, which you won't find for the £800 or so commanded by an old Genesis, I can think of nothing better.

Olly

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26 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

A travel scope to look out for is the early F5 TeleVue Genesis. It's very short. I made mine a dedicated box which met the requirements of cabin baggage so it was airline friendly. You get 4 inches of aperture and optics which, while not perfect, can take you from 15x binocular fields to 200x planetary views which are very respectable. Short of an AP Traveller, which you won't find for the £800 or so commanded by an old Genesis, I can think of nothing better.

Olly

Will the Genesis really fit within carry on baggage limits Olly? I must check mine but it has always seemed a bit long to me. Did you need to remove the focuser?

Lovely scope, my latest is my 3rd, and is the best performer yet, living up to your comments about x15/5 degree fields to x200 performance.

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1 hour ago, Stu said:

Will the Genesis really fit within carry on baggage limits Olly? I must check mine but it has always seemed a bit long to me. Did you need to remove the focuser?

Lovely scope, my latest is my 3rd, and is the best performer yet, living up to your comments about x15/5 degree fields to x200 performance.

I removed only the diagonal, Stu. There was very little room for padding in the box I made, especially at the ends because length was the issue, but I carried it onto at least four flights. I reckoned that, since it would be with me all the time, I wouldn't need too much padding. My first view of the Rosette was with that scope, in the Spanish Pyrenees. I could never see it in the UK.

Olly

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