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New scope choice - 120ED? Any other options?


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I bought my ED120 Pro (an older, "gold tube" one) from an experienced SGL member many years back and also, from the same member, purchased an excellent Intes made MN61 6 inch F/5.9 maksutov-newtonian. I owned these two scopes for some months comparing them carefully on a range of target types. Eventually I concluded that on the moon and planets both scopes were pretty much equal in capability. On deep sky objects the additional aperture of the mak-newtonian showed a little more but there was not a lot in it.

Eventually I decided to stick with the ED120 because it cooled down quite a bit more quickly than the mak-newtonian and was lighter and therefore required a less solid mount.

I would imagine (I've not used one) that a good quality 6 inch F/8 newtonian would perform similarly to the 6 inch F/5.9 mak-newt with it's tiny central obstruction but the newt will cool down more quickly.

I've been, and continue to be, very happy and impressed my my example of an ED120 refractor as I'm sure I've mentioned many times on the forum. Mine does have a Moonlite focuser upgrade which is a very nice addition. Otherwise it's "stock".

 

 

 

 

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Here's another thought. A 10" Dob. Could keep it in the shed and have some long handles with wheels on the end to move it around. Surely much better than 120mm size refractors?

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11 minutes ago, Mr Spock said:

Here's another thought. A 10" Dob. Could keep it in the shed and have some long handles with wheels on the end to move it around. Surely much better than 120mm size refractors?

You need a weather machine to control seeing and since atmosphere is also correlated with the sun activity you need to control that too. 😀

I think a 4-5" scope is the one that gets used most nights and then on amazing nights with good transparency and seeing get the mirrored scope out.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Mr Spock said:

Here's another thought. A 10" Dob. Could keep it in the shed and have some long handles with wheels on the end to move it around. Surely much better than 120mm size refractors?

Great idea, the best planetary scope I had was a 10” Dob 👍

It will certainly outperform a 120mm refractor.

Edited by dweller25
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I had a VX10L for a while, f6.3, which was excellent. It’s actually quite a manageable size, quite a bit lighter than a 12” but pretty close in terms of performance.

Perhaps with an EQ platform for tracking?

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2 hours ago, dweller25 said:

Great idea, the best planetary scope I had was a 10” Dob 👍

It will certainly outperform a 120mm refractor.

👍

The only scope that outperforms my 10" dob for planetary is my 15" truss dob...

Btw, when Mars was high up years ago the best view I ever had was in the 10" dob...the view is still etched in my brain.

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2 hours ago, Stu said:

I thought I'd heard a rumor on here that David Lukehurst was building them, but whilst he has some info on his website, this relates to clock house equatorial platforms who seem to have ceased trading, all the links go to info pages about EQ Platforms but no information regarding placing an order.

That's sad, but sounds like TS Optics is the place to go then or go the DIY route.

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The problem I see with all these platforms is when you add up the cost, VAT, shipping and duty, they become expensive. So platform + Dob equals the same as a goto Dob.

From FLO - Sky-Watcher Skyliner 250P FlexTube GOTO £1,199

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Of course, the other problem with changing to the Dob from frac is I have to clean out the shed... 😜

When I sold my EQ6/C9.25 last autumn the plan was to get a scope to fit an EQ5 for portability and keep a Dob in the shed. So, I'm not really straying far from my original plan.

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Posted (edited)

I have too many scopes. I don’t care...My wife thinks I’m mad but I love every one of them.

Over the years I have purchased and kept scopes of many types, but only at the maximum aperture I can comfortably handle on my own.

Weather for next few days is expected to be poor so I thought I’d take advantage of the clear Bortle 4 night  skies that had appeared last night

I tested every scope just on 2 subjects. The Hercules cluster and The Ring Nebula just to see how they fared for brightness, contrast and detail at the same magnification that looked the best to me through the eyepiece.

For me, the 120ED most disappointed on the night. Pretty obvious and expected really, as although there is no central obstruction , the 4.7" aperture just didn’t have enough light grasp compared to the rest to show the amount of stars resolved in M13’s core. The others just looked more pleasing and gave me more of a ‘’wow!’’ at the same magnification

M57 was seen but the most pleasing views were seen with averted vision. The other scopes could see the nebula directly without. Again, just more pleasing.

The 120ED is a lovely scope but I’m beginning to wonder why I still have one now. Refractors are known for their contrast but the other scopes were also too close for an argument for me.

For me, the perfect all round scope for portability, detail and brightness would be an 8" SCT or a 10" Dob.

Please take my views as only my own personal opinion from my own personal experience. Many people love the ED120. I did very much until I purchased bigger aperture scopes which then began to show its limitations, even with its unobstructed light path and great ED glass

 

 

Edited by tony4563
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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, tony4563 said:

I have too many scopes. I don’t care...My wife thinks I’m mad but I love every one of them.

Over the years I have purchased and kept scopes of many types, but only at the maximum aperture I can comfortably handle on my own.

Weather for next few days is expected to be poor so I thought I’d take advantage of the clear Bortle 4 night  skies that had appeared last night

I tested every scope just on 2 subjects. The Hercules cluster and The Ring Nebula just to see how they fared for brightness, contrast and detail at the same magnification that looked the best to me through the eyepiece.

For me, the 120ED most disappointed on the night. Pretty obvious and expected really, as although there is no central obstruction , the 4.7" aperture just didn’t have enough light grasp compared to the rest to show the amount of stars resolved in M13’s core. The others just looked more pleasing and gave me more of a ‘’wow!’’ at the same magnification

M57 was seen but the most pleasing views were seen with averted vision. The other scopes could see the nebula directly without. Again, just more pleasing.

The 120ED is a lovely scope but I’m beginning to wonder why I still have one now. Refractors are known for their contrast but the other scopes were also too close for an argument for me.

For me, the perfect all round scope for portability, detail and brightness would be an 8" SCT or a 10" Dob.

Please take my views as only my own personal opinion from my own personal experience. Many people love the ED120. I did very much until I purchased bigger aperture scopes which then began to show its limitations, even with its unobstructed light path and great ED glass

 

 

Aperture delivers the goods on globular clusters more than on any other target IMHO. Were you expecting 120mm to beat your larger aperture scopes ?

That's not going to happen, on globular clusters at least and probably not on other DSO's. Maybe a little closer on planetary viewing but under good seeing the aperture will win there as well.

 

 

 

Edited by John
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No John. I never expected  the ED120 to beat the larger aperture scopes.

Mr Spock was interested in an ED120 but asked for other options . He mentioned a possible 10" Dobsonian

I gave him some, and my personal experience of using them, as I’d had a chance to use with them all that night on specific targets

 

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Quite a few years ago I had a 250mm Newt. It gave me the best views I've had of the moon, Jupiter, Mars.

I would like a 300mm, but, it would just be too big to move.

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OK, It's done. 250 is on the way from FLO - 30-40 day wait, but no problem for the right item. I'm aware there's one in the for sale section, but I want new.

Two tasks now to do:

  1.  Clear out the shed. It's packed full of junk.
  2.  Start saving for a Moonlite :biggrin:
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1 hour ago, Mr Spock said:

OK, It's done. 250 is on the way from FLO - 30-40 day wait, but no problem for the right item. I'm aware there's one in the for sale section, but I want new.

Two tasks now to do:

  1.  Clear out the shed. It's packed full of junk.
  2.  Start saving for a Moonlite :biggrin:

Did you go Classic, Flextube or Goto Michael?

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