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So, why would you choose a refractor over a SCT?


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Big refractors need really big mounts and really big refractors need enormous mounts. Refractors larger than a 150mm need to be permanently mounted in an observatory or similar IMHO.

 

 

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You send me two instruments, an 8 inch TEC apochromat and an exquisitely figured 8 inch Newt, both F8. I test them. I report my findings. At the end of the test I return the Newt. 😁lly

I would love to put my two cents in, the OP's question could not have come at a better time, considering I just got my first refractor. I have had the good fortune of owning many scopes but, they were

What's not to like about refractors? As you can see from my sig, I have two of them. 70mm is ultraportable and can be taken anywhere on a whim, used for white solar and Ha and will travel by airp

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I have several refractors including a 4" Vixen fluorite, 5" F15 triplet and a 8.5" F12.5 achromat, apart from my 6" F10 solar telescope they are my least used telescopes!    😀

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4 minutes ago, Peter Drew said:

I have several refractors including a 4" Vixen fluorite, 5" F15 triplet and a 8.5" F12.5 achromat, apart from my 6" F10 solar telescope they are my least used telescopes!    😀

Out of interest Peter, why the least used?
 

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@Alan White.

Good question Alan and one I've often pondered about.  The 4" needs to be put on a mount, taken outside and set up, I also don't get on with small telescopes these days, eyesight not good enough.  Ditto really for the 5" triplet.  The 8.5" is on a big mount and in its own observatory, not used it for a couple of years but will probably give it a go on Mars later this year.  Main night time telescope usage is two 16" SCT's, each in an obs and you just switch them on and you're on your way, a 20" F3.5 Dob takes care of DSO's.      😀

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1 hour ago, dan_adi said:

I know, they are expensive. They way I think is, life is short, I work hard, I can make it happen :). For me amateur astronomy is a way to relax, it’s fun, keeps me learning something new and cool about the universe. I need a change of scenary after a full days work in the intensive care ward. I wish I had more time for astronomy but unfortunately I also need to sleep. But after the minimum experience I have with amateur astronomy (just a merely 3 years) I am getting the refractor bug. If everything will go according to plan maybe in 3 months I will do a review of either LZOS 175 apo or CFF 185 apo (fingers crossed)

You’re a front line worker I assume?

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1 hour ago, Sunshine said:

You’re a front line worker I assume?

Yes I am an anesthesiology and intensive care specialist. Finished my residency 5 years ago. The rate of infection in my country is low, the social distancing was implemented early. I still can’t belive the impact a nanometer scale virus has on all of us. I hope governments and politicians learn something from this tragedy. Maybe each of them should visit the ISS and see the planet as it is, a “blue pale dot “ with no country borders. Sorry I am offtopic :)

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Well then let me take this opportunity to sincerely thank you for you selfless bravery during this most challenging time. Considering the risks people like you are taking, you really really are a hero, from all of us here at SGL I would like to whole heartedly thank you for your work, the world needs more like you.

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This thread has veered far over to the refractor side of things, which I think is very unfair. My setup (C6, AZ-GTi, ash tripod) can be picked up and carried with with one hand into the garden. There is no way I could do that with a 5-inch apo! I can swap the AZ-GTi for a Castor head, add a refractor alongside and it is still an easy carry. And... with the difference in price between the 5-inch apo and the C6, I can buy a perfectly nice 4-inch apo!

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1 hour ago, Ags said:

This thread has veered far over to the refractor side of things, which I think is very unfair. My setup (C6, AZ-GTi, ash tripod) can be picked up and carried with with one hand into the garden. There is no way I could do that with a 5-inch apo! I can swap the AZ-GTi for a Castor head, add a refractor alongside and it is still an easy carry. And... with the difference in price between the 5-inch apo and the C6, I can buy a perfectly nice 4-inch apo!

How is AZ GTi handling the C6? I presume you have a sturdier tripod?

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9 hours ago, Ags said:

This thread has veered far over to the refractor side of things, which I think is very unfair. My setup (C6, AZ-GTi, ash tripod) can be picked up and carried with with one hand into the garden. There is no way I could do that with a 5-inch apo! I can swap the AZ-GTi for a Castor head, add a refractor alongside and it is still an easy carry. And... with the difference in price between the 5-inch apo and the C6, I can buy a perfectly nice 4-inch apo!

But, if you had a perfectly nice 4" apo, how often would you use your C6?  I'm not suggesting you buy a good 4" apo as they aren't cheap, but their piercingly sharp star images, bright wide star fields, high definition, high power views are attributes worthy of consideration. And today, many of them are relatively short and lightweight. No other scope design can match a refractors versatility, which is perhaps why they are so highly regarded by so many.

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12 hours ago, Sunshine said:

Well then let me take this opportunity to sincerely thank you for you selfless bravery during this most challenging time. Considering the risks people like you are taking, you really really are a hero, from all of us here at SGL I would like to whole heartedly thank you for your work, the world needs more like you.

Thank you very much for the kind words

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11 hours ago, Ags said:

This thread has veered far over to the refractor side of things, which I think is very unfair. My setup (C6, AZ-GTi, ash tripod) can be picked up and carried with with one hand into the garden. There is no way I could do that with a 5-inch apo! I can swap the AZ-GTi for a Castor head, add a refractor alongside and it is still an easy carry. And... with the difference in price between the 5-inch apo and the C6, I can buy a perfectly nice 4-inch apo!

I think everyone should find the best scope (refractor,sct,newt) they are happy with and witch motivates them to go outside and observe, learn and have fun. It’s a tradeoff, I guess. Refractors are low maintenance, they provide nice views, but are expensive. Mirror scopes require a little work, but are cheaper, and can offer nice views too. On cloudynights I saw a lot of heated debates between refractors and mirror scopes owners and I don’t get why. In my view some guidelines could be:

- research before you buy

- find out what seeing you have. Every telescope is seeing limited unless you live at a dark site or in Chile (even VLT is a bit seeing limited :) ). If you want a big mirror scope and live in average seeing, the scope would not achieve it’s full resolution potential. In my seeing 8-9 “ of aperture is enough. If I try more aperture in my seeing than 10 inch, the image would be brighter but with no additional resolution. Am I wrong?

- after you decide what scope should fit ur seeing get a scope and mount that fits  your budget.

- with time, if your budget allows to buy a new scope, try to invest more in quality optics than aperture , mirror or lens.

- don’t forget the mount is important, some say even more important than the scope

-have fun. Sometimes it could get frustrating. Take small steps :)

 

 

 

Edited by dan_adi
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Many of us end up with a number of scopes. I have 4 refractors (which is probably excessive) and a 12 inch dobsonian for example. I have also owned SCT's, Mak-Cassegrains and Mak-Newtonians in the past as well and I enjoyed those as well.

We find the designs that enable us best to pursue the interests we have and also those which we simply like using. All the designs have their strengths and weaknesses.

These "this design vs that design" threads are interesting but don't reach any firm conclusions because there isn't one really :dontknow:

Luckily for those starting out in the hobby, the majority designs of scope will do a reasonable job of being an "all rounder" and (hopefully) cement the interest in the hobby :icon_biggrin:

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11 hours ago, heliumstar said:

How is AZ GTi handling the C6? I presume you have a sturdier tripod?

I am using a Berlebach report 112 tripod (astro version). It is nice and light and deals with the weight well. It is short so I use a Berlebach Uni 25 cm extension tube. The AZ GTi copes OK with the weigth as it should as I am within the stated limits but I wouldn't like to put much more load on it, and I don't slew at maximum speed to avoid excess torque.

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2 minutes ago, Ags said:

I am using a Berlebach report 112 tripod (astro version). It is nice and light and deals with the weight well. It is short so I use a Berlebach Uni 25 cm extension tube. The AZ GTi copes OK with the weigth as it should as I am within the stated limits but I wouldn't like to put much more load on it, and I don't slew at maximum speed to avoid excess torque.

Huh, I thought C6 is over 5kg. I am searching for 25cm extension tube but can't find it on Berlebach website. Can you please point me to the right direction :)

 

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6 hours ago, mikeDnight said:

But, if you had a perfectly nice 4" apo, how often would you use your C6?

Couple of points in response: I do plan to get a cheap 3-inch apo in the coming months to complete my dual scope rig. It will work as a finder for the C6 and also for admiring the brighter double stars - I agree the C6 does not give as pretty an image of these as a refractor would.

Although a 4-inch refractor might do as well on the planets I consciously went for more aperture as I have loads of floaters in my eyes and need to keep the exit pupil well above 1 mm. With the four inch frac, my maximum comfortable magnification would only be 80x.

I like playing with imaging and for planetary imaging the C6 definitely beats the 4 inch frac. Also I can do crazy stuff like lucky imaging of galaxies, globs and planetary nebulae with the C6. Lucky imaging likes aperture (more aperture than I have, I know).

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2 minutes ago, heliumstar said:

Huh, I thought C6 is over 5kg. I am searching for 25cm extension tube but can't find it on Berlebach website. Can you please point me to the right direction :)

 

The C6 spec weight is 4.5 kilos but if you get one it is actually much less.

Regarding the UNI extension tube, you won't find it on the web site. They made it just for me. Contact their support team and I am sure they will help you out.

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20 minutes ago, Ags said:

The C6 spec weight is 4.5 kilos but if you get one it is actually much less.

Regarding the UNI extension tube, you won't find it on the web site. They made it just for me. Contact their support team and I am sure they will help you out.

Great! Thanks for answers. I was thinking of getting C5 again but if C6 is such lightweight looks like I can get away with it on AZ GTi.

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I've had 3 SCT's.. Now have 3 refractor's & Newtonian. For me they cover most targets, and all have strengths and weakness. I would like a Mak once again mind!

Rob 

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I have two Newtonians (6" f5 and 10" f4.8) but they are both too big for my narrow balcony. I struggle with 80mm f11 refractor even. Maks and SCTs along with shortish refractors is where it's at for me. I am thinking of trying Tak Epsilon 130 (for EAA) but that looks to be too heavy as well for AZ GTi. Ags got me going now to get C6. With 6.3 reducer it would be great for short EAA sessions. I can't see anything in the "refractor world" that would be comparable. Currently I am using Tak FS-60Q in both f5.9 and f10 (EAA and visual) configs along with Bresser 102xs for EAA but I am looking at something bigger than 100mm that still offers wide views.

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If you need a physically short scope with a moderate aperture then a refractor is not really the right scope. The folded designs such as the SCT and cassegrain will be a much better "fit".

Go for the scope that does what you need in the way that you need it done :icon_biggrin:

 

 

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43 minutes ago, John said:

If you need a physically short scope with a moderate aperture then a refractor is not really the right scope. The folded designs such as the SCT and cassegrain will be a much better "fit".

Go for the scope that does what you need in the way that you need it done :icon_biggrin:

 

 

Myself, I need physically short and lightweight telescope with great, great aperture :D I actually started looking at houses as one of the ways to mend this issue. Flat is really convenient in this stage of our lives but it interferes with my hobby :D

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  • 1 month later...

Hi

There are lots of reasons why one scope outperforms another scope in various different situations and this depends on what you like to do with them.

All I can say is I have owned my 6" F15 refractor now for fifteen years and that  is fourteen years longer than any other  scope I have owned in the last forty years.

Rod

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