Jump to content

92335031_Perseidsmeteorshowerbanner.jpg.f082cb58353bce3cc854fb958f76fc98.jpg

What do you find to be your most usable scope?


Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,

After a few years without a telescope (about 5 moves, different countries, etc...) I am looking into buying a new one for me to use in my countryside backyard.

I previously had an 5" achromat refractor on an AZ4 mount which was really nice under the dark skies I had back then, and not much of a hassle to bring out back. It obviously had a lot of shortcomings, but was a pretty neat grab and go scope for relatively few shekels (Maks/SCTs were expensive back then, and international shipping of a reflector was a bit of a scary thought).

As of now, I'm tempted to go with a Dob this time around, but I never did have to carry one. Small Maks do look practical, and I think I'm done with refractors due to size/chromatic aberration. I can polar align a scope, but honestly can't be bothered to do it for visual "grab and go", especially when I have the sky to the North partially obstructed. GoTo is nice and all, but I can find my way around the sky - tracking is a nice perk though :). Still have some pretty damn good eyepieces, so I'm sorted there.

I am also so unbelievably out of date with what is out there right now that there may well be something I haven't considered. New brands, new products, etc..

In short, living up to the mantra that "the best telescope is the one you use the most",  and to come to the question on the thread title: what is the telescope that you bring out on a whim whenever you feel like looking up?

 

Thanks, and clear skies!

 

- T.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The big thing we need to know is what is the budget?

My favourite scope for quick looks is my StellaMira 80mm f/10. Not cheap but zero CA and lovely sharp and contrasty views. Can be used on a photo tripod or my Roawn AZ100 mount.

Second favourite is an 8” Classical Cassegrain on my Rowan AZ100 Alt-Az mount.

Third is my 10” Bresser dob.

 

 

F53A4CDA-DC59-4115-9C21-383ADD051609.jpeg

1192B8F5-1EB7-4E56-BC37-3CD97DAF447C.jpeg

3867840B-43DA-4C0F-88B9-7FD75B2A25A4.jpeg

Edited by johninderby
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, banjaxed said:

My 8” Dob is the most used scope as it is on a platform trolley which can be moved in to position and be up and running in 2 minutes, it is by far the easiest scope for me to use.

Now that is an idea (the trolley) I hadn't thought about, thank you!

Just now, johninderby said:

The big thing we need to know is what is the budget?

My favourite scope foe quick looks is my StellaMira 80mm f/10. Can be used on a photo tripod. Second favourite is an 8” Classical Cassegrain on my Rowan AZ100 Alt-Az mount. Third is my 10” Bresser dob.

 

Budget is somewhat flexible, but I'd rather not have to sell a kidney. The point is not so much price and ease of use. I have no use for say, a €2k paperweight, but if I would be using it every clear night for years, that would be an easier pill to swallow.
I do have to say I have never heard of StellaMira or Rowan, will look into that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's easy. It's a 100mm Apo refractor. Last night I was using a 10" F6 Dob and I hated the thing. Constant wrestling with what has to be the world's most appealing mount design.  The views were good but not nearly as sharp or as enjoyable as the apo. High powers were soft compared to the 100mm, which will glide effortlessly past 400X without getting out of breath. Deep sky in the 100mm fluorite is remarkably bright and detailed and its star images are unsurpassed. The Moon and planets are simply breathtaking. So, even though I've owned and used many much bigger scopes, including bigger apo's, my most used scope is a Takahashi FC100D.  

post-41880-0-00358500-1445614126.thumb.jpg.0f5152d0ceb2a191fb8f77537d79f28d.jpg

Edited by mikeDnight
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, JeremyS said:

That Tak 100 has almost a heavenly angelic sheen in the pic, Mike. Like it's something out of this world....

🙂

 

I think you can get tablets for this obsessive Tak worship. Maybe it will be a religion on the next population censous. 

Regards Andrew 

  • Haha 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, mikeDnight said:

That's easy. It's a 100mm Apo refractor. Last night I was using a 10" F6 Dob and I hated the thing. Constant wrestling with what has to be the world's most appealing mount design.  The views were good but not nearly as sharp or as enjoyable as the apo. High powers were soft compared to the 100mm, which will glide effortlessly past 400X without getting out of breath. Deep sky in the 100mm fluorite is remarkably bright and detailed and its star images are unsurpassed. The Moon and planets are simply breathtaking. So, even though I've owned and used many much bigger scopes, including bigger apo's, my most used scope is a Takahashi FC100D. 

That may be priced in the "selling kidneys in the black market category", but I can wait :)

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thinking back through all the scopes I've owned in the past (maybe 40+) I think the most exciting grab n go scopes to use are the moderate sized ED refractors. Short achromats are just horrible in comparison, but I'm not knocking long achromats which have a lot going for them if you can mount them. 

Something like an ED80 f7.5 or ED100 f9 by Skywatcher would be a lot of fun (I've owned more than one of both)  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Despite having 4 superb refractors from 100mm to 130mm which I love using I find my 12 inch dobsonian just as quick and easy to setup and use. While it needs 30-40 minutes to cool for high power observing, low to medium power can be used with the scope practically straight from the house. And the vast majority of my most memorable views and "firsts" have come from the 12 inch dob :thumbright:

Its a close run thing though and, as all my scopes have been chosen and setup to be as easy and quick to setup as possible (because that's the way I like to do astronomy), none of them are really a chore or take more than a few minutes to get outside and ready to observe.

The refractors have cost me a heck of a lot more than the 12 inch dob has as it happens but then quality refractor aperture does cost a lot more per inch than reflectors :rolleyes2:

 

johnscope.jpg

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My most used telescope at the moment is my Skylight 60mm F16.7, on an Altair Astro Sabre 2 mount. It might be a good idea to look at the secondhand market. Sometimes you can find a Skywatcher 100 mm F9 for quite cheap.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thinking about it, if you're on a budget something like the Skywatcher 150p f8 skyliner might be a good shout? £200 for 6" of aperture, light weight ish, and reasonably quick cooling. Also because it's a slow f/8 it comes with a very small central obstruction which gives better contrast than a lot of the f/5 Newtonians out there.  

I have the optical tube on a Pillar mount......really not grab n go like this though!

 

150PL.jpg

Edited by Lockie
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Skywatcher Ed100 f/9 can be picked up quite cheaply and not that expensive new and not too heavy.

I find my StellaMira 80 just hits the sweet spot for me. Not too big and has great optics and build quality and when looking through it it feels bigger than 80mm. Definately a keeper. 🙂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, andrew s said:

@Tiago given the above feel free to choose what ever you fancy. The only conclusion I can draw from the replies is that observers are all different and what suits one may not suit another.

Regards Andrew 

I had gotten that much when I was typing the original post.
I did get a few interesting ideas though - even though practicality has different meanings to different people, there were a few "Oh, I didn't expect that" moments when reading some of the replies.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The hardest thing is finding “Your” scope not someone elses choice. Problem is there are a lot of nice scopes to choose from. 😁

Working backwards helps. Forget about the scope for now but think about what you want to do with it. Light poluted urban enviroment or dark sky, portability important or not and a general purpose scope for looking at a bit of everything or is the moon. planets or DSOs more important.

Edited by johninderby
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, dweller25 said:

Hi Tiago,

What objects do you observe the most ?

Right now? My computer screens 😕

But back when I was still looking up, the usual stuff - planets, moon, brighter DSOs. Not bothering with astrophotography through a telescope.

Just now, johninderby said:

The hardest thing is finding “Your” scope not someone elses choice. Problem is there are a lot of nice scope to choose from. 😁

Working backwards helps. Forget about the scope for now but think about what you want to do with it. Light poluted urban enviroment or dark sky, portability important or not and a general purpose scope for looking at a bit of everything or is the moon. planets or DSOs more important.

Oh yes. For me, and knowing myself, practicality is key. That's why I originally went with an achromat refractor on an alt-az mount. Priorities are more or less the same, but different setting, different budget, different expectations.
I do know that I can pretty much use anything for sale out there, I was just fishing for what people found more practical to see if it resonated with me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Lockie said:

Something like an ED80 f7.5 or ED100 f9 by Skywatcher would be a lot of fun (I've owned more than one of both)  

I agree with @Lockie and @mikeDnighton 100mm f/7 to f/9 being a good all rounder.

My most used scopes are my ED100 f/9 for when I want aperture or my little ZS66SD when I want super quick widefield grab and go.

Mounts wise, my Vixen GP gets a fair amount of use when we get a good spell of weather and I can leave it set up for several days.

An Ercole mini for super quick grab and go.

Most used is my iOptron AZ Pro which does everything automatically just requiring a single bright object to be centred for accurate gotos.

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.