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What do you find to be your most usable scope?


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1 minute ago, johninderby said:

Might be worth taking a look at this dealer. They test and adjust the scopes they sell not just sell on a scope in a box. 

https://www.teleskop-spezialisten.de/shop/index.php?language=en

Yeah, been looking at several stores. These gentlemen also have an 8" SW Dob on discount, which was one of the possibilities.

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2 hours ago, johninderby said:

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. 🙂

There's an equinox 100ed on ab&s atm.

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3 hours ago, Tiago said:

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I am also so unbelievably out of date with what is out there right now that there may well be something I haven't considered.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

Personally I would suggest for yourself a Skywatcher Flextube 10" or 12" dob (the manual version). This type of telescope will give you enough light grasp to enjoy experiencing deep sky objects and will perform very well on lunar and planetary subjects. It could / will be an all-rounder. Include a light shroud and there are several good optional upgrades, modifications DIY projects that you could consider to undertake over time if you felt it necessary. I had a Skywatcher 12" Flextube, the manual version and it was excellent in design, mirror quality and functionality, looked good to. There are quite a few current users on here that may chip in with their own reasoning for suggesting this scope. 

Edited by scarp15
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Tiago

First of all welcome from Land Down Under

I am not firing rockets any more, like with John's 12" Dob

My first scope was a 10" flex Dob, find it easy to transport and store, as sits on back seat of my SUV, when out a couple of times per month doing presentation in schools and scout group, although COVID-19  has put an end to that currently

The attached pic is of my 10" flex Dob, taken a while ago, Saturn in the Park public viewing night with my club, scope in background is a 8" flex Dob, with a Meade snuggled in between

Would definitely also get a right angle finderscope, as saves laying on the ground in the middle of the night, to spot directly overhead

I also put down a small tarp for the base to sit on, as the base been made of chipboard, protects from moisture in the ground

Solar viewing

The lid has a small detachable cap, and you can sticky tape piece Baader visual solar film underside of the lid, covering the hole, and wack the lid on top of the Dob

Remember to leave off your finderscope when solar viewing 

John

 

Skywatcher 10in Dob.jpg

Lid with Baader Solar Film.jpeg

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2 hours ago, Tiago said:

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.

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.

In my opinion the best all-round telescope and the best performance/value for money is a Newtonian on a Dobsonian mount. Ideally it would have an open back and a cooling fan to allow for faster acclimatisation. Check collimation every few uses for best results.

However - my most used scope is a 5” Refractor as my back does not like Newts.

Edited by dweller25
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3 hours ago, andrew s said:

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

Regards Andrew 

Perhaps that’s the only way it will be banned from discussion on the forum 🤣🤣

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If I take last night as an example, I didn’t have long, but wanted to have a look at the Moon. I pulled my 8” f8 dob out of it’s home, moved it about 10 feet Where I could observe and got going very quickly. I did later put it in my EQ platform so I had tracking at high power. It’s a very capable scope, but I suspect a VX8L at f6 would be better as an all rounder, even lighter too.

If pushed to one scope though, I’m with Mike, a 4” apo doublet. I have an FC100 same as Mike and it is hugely capable for such a lightweight compact scope. Excellent for Lunar, planetary, doubles, open clusters and widefield deep sky from dark sites. It is also excellent for solar with a Herschel Wedge.

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My TeleVue Ranger...

IMG_0675.thumb.JPG.d35db4742dbd9aa1808b501956a0ba0f.JPG

Being a 70mm refractor I dont have to wait long periods for it to cool down before I can start observing. Also 'safe' for white light solar observing, (shown in image with a Herschel solar wedge), and terrestial viewing.

 

Edited by Philip R
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28 minutes ago, Philip R said:

My TeleVue Ranger...

Being a 70mm refractor I dont have to wait long periods for it to cool down before I can start observing. Also 'safe' for white light solar observing, (shown in image with a Herschel solar wedge), and terrestial viewing.

 

I love refractors, particularly short ones. I just couldn't afford an ED/APO back then, but they are so much cheaper now, and I did find some sweet deals on some EDs all the way up 4 ". With a 70mm or 80 mm, I can just toss the whole thing into the car or sidecar trunk and take it whenever we're able to travel again (the Alps and the Black Forest are a stone's throw away from me). A 4", sure, of course I can bring it in the car. The question is: would I?

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My 8" f/4 Hofheim Instruments traveldob, here shown on the recently released equatorial platform, without the shroud, to show the construction details (and John L. Dobson's signature on one of the trusses!). Very compact, lightweight (8 kgs in toto), can be carried out of the shed in a single haul, Excellent optics, that hold collimation well, a smoothly operating Dob mount. At the moment, in a permanently setup situation - I hope, that one day I will be able to collapse it and to travel with it to view the southern skies.

I guess, it will follow me some day into the nursing home....;-)

DSC_0042.thumb.JPG.b1a8e969ffc9ae5fecd9aa5b1d8cf03c.JPG

http://www.hofheiminstruments.com/8-zoll-dobson.html

Stephan

 

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4 minutes ago, Nyctimene said:

My 8" f/4 Hofheim Instruments traveldob, here shown on the recently released equatorial platform, without the shroud, to show the construction details (and John L. Dobson's signature on one of the trusses!). Very compact, lightweight (8 kgs in toto), can be carried out of the shed in a single haul, Excellent optics, that hold collimation well, a smoothly operating Dob mount. At the moment, in a permanently setup situation - I hope, that one day I will be able to collapse it and to travel with it to view the southern skies.

I guess, it will follow me some day into the nursing home....;-)

http://www.hofheiminstruments.com/8-zoll-dobson.html

Stephan

 

OK, that thing is just gorgeous :)

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1 minute ago, fiestazetecmk2 said:

My 200p skyliner. Probably as it'sthe only scope I own .and likely to stay that way.20190619_161626.thumb.jpg.0fa1521963107fde339a047346c1183f.jpg20190619_161442.thumb.jpg.44e6cc6df1e31663e854539c1dcab803.jpg

Looks good. How do you find the slow motion controls work in practise? Easy to use?

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Actually it's a massive improvement over the std dob.it's stable. I can track with it.the controls take all of 5mins to get used to.to honest I'd never go back to nudging for want of a better word.It sits on top of a water butt base when in use.which brings the finderscope  up perfectly with my eye.it really is a joy to use.have got a dob yourself? .what part of the country you from.

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3 minutes ago, fiestazetecmk2 said:

Actually it's a massive improvement over the std dob.it's stable. I can track with it.the controls take all of 5mins to get used to.to honest I'd never go back to nudging for want of a better word.It sits on top of a water butt base when in use.which brings the finderscope  up perfectly with my eye.it really is a joy to use.have got a dob yourself? .what part of the country you from.

I’m in Walton on Thames, Surrey and yes I do have a dob. I use it on an EQ platform for similar reasons, avoiding the need to nudge

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I use bst eyepieces. I like them Alot. Got a case full of them. I changed my skywatcher finderscope for the ts optics 10 x60 raci finderscope so i can use all my eyepieces in it.which was one reasons for changing .I'm ready to go tnite so it's on patio ready  597500645_2020-04-0316_52_16.thumb.jpg.72ce58de7087ffd75ef36851dff9e708.jpg

Edited by fiestazetecmk2
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