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Which Of Your 'Scopes Do You Use Most, And Why?


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Many of us are fortunate in having more than one 'scope.  I now have one I go for more often, so wondered why others have a "favourite".

Mine: The 8SE SCT on Celestron GoTo, since fitting the Focal Reducer for a faster f/6.3.  It has:

# aperture

# plenty of magnification (with FL of 1280mm) - over x400, conditions allowing

# similar FOV to the f/10 - a tad higher (1.43deg) at lowest power with the 36mm Aspheric

# seemingly sharper star images

# and of course, GoTo - very useful in poor skies and a lack of "guide stars"

 

And the RFT, Grab 'n' go, Dob, and long frac are still put use!

Doug.

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My Daystar Solar Scout, by far my most used scope (25 out of 38 sessions this year so far). Why? It's on a Solarquest mount and carbon tripod, so the whole lot weighs less than 5kg, and I can be observing the sun in Ha almost straight away. The sun, being easily the most dynamic object that we can see as amateurs, deserves this attention imo.

Edited by Roy Challen
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Tak 76DCU on the Starbase mount. Weighs hardly anything and I can be observing in fewer than 3 minutes. The optics provide sensational day and night views.

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That would be the ODK 12 on DDM 85, though that's mainly because the TS 130 apo / DDM 60 has been in a state of flux for a while. I think I may be developing a bit of an obsession with galaxies, especially the Hickson Compact Groups, though I really need a bigger 'scope for those. Hubble would be ideal lol.

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How long will it be before someone says 'ST80' ? Not long...

I use my ST80 most, Manfrotto 055 tripod and ball head, tilted over at 90 degrees and with a home made dovetail clamp the scope to.

5 minute setup, no problem at all. No finder needed. Chair optional but preferable.

Shows less than my other scope but shows me something far more often... and a no brainer to shove in the car when we go on hols without stressing too much over whether it will be used a lot or not at all.

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16 minutes ago, Roy Challen said:

Looks like aperture is king, but portability is still better!

Very true. We'd all love a massive scope set up in a permanent observatory but realistically the smaller grab and go setups get used the most.

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Probably an even split between my Starwave Ascent 80ED ‘frac, and my C8 SCT scopes. The former ,cos it’s much easier to get going with for quicker sessions when work and tiredness get in the way. The later for when I have a longer session, normally on one of my goto mounts. If i was pushed which one I use most out the 2 the ‘frac most likely would just edge the C8 out. ;) 

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My most used scope is my FC100DZ and prior to that my FC100DC. Effortless to set up and awesome optic's, which make the FC100 my favourite scope. That being said however, I enjoy both my Genesis SDF for its jaw dropping wide fields, and my 150mm Edmund achromat for its resolution, but neither can match the quality of the FC.

 Edit:  I almost forgot about my recently acquired 60mm Carton Comet seeker. With a binoviewer it too makes an impressive lunar scope believe it or not, and its about as grab and go as grab and go gets. It's a lovely scope for rekindling the joy I first felt from 40+ years ago.

Edited by mikeDnight
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Great responses!  Goes to show what pleasure our equipment gives to us all.

One thing I could add - having spent ages with only 2" diagonals and EPs (or adaptors on all the others), I actually enjoy using the smaller/lighter 1.25" diagonal and EPs.  

Always something new to learn and enjoy in this pastime!  😉

Doug.

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My APM 80 mm F/6 triplet sees a lot of use for solar imaging, and for DSO imaging. The C8 is my main observing instrument at night, and is the best lunar and planetary imager, the Meade 6" F/5 Schmidt-Newton has done a lot of imaging of smaller DSOs. The Coronado SolarMax-II 60 mm gets a large amount of use observing the sun from my work. It much depends on conditions which gets used most (oh, and then there are the Helios LightQuest 16x80 bonoculars: brilliant for travel and quick informal DSO viewing)

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14" Dob. Least faffing about to set up. No wires, no batteries. Just have to remember to keep my back straight when picking it up..

Edited by rl
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1 hour ago, mikeDnight said:

My most used scope is my FC100DZ and prior to that my FC100DC. Effortless to set up and awesome optic's, which make the FC100 my favourite scope. That being said however, I enjoy both my Genesis SDF for its jaw dropping wide fields, and my 150mm Edmund achromat for its resolution, but neither can match the quality of the FC.

 Edit:  I almost forgot about my recently acquired 60mm Carton Comet seeker. With a binoviewer it too makes an impressive lunar scope believe it or not, and its about as grab and go as grab and go gets. It's a lovely scope for rekindling the joy I first felt from 40+ years ago.

I do believe it Mike! My Skylight is my go to lunar scope, at f/16+

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Probably my dob, although I am growing quite fond of my giant bins.

That said, off out with the ED100 later tonight as long as clouds play ball. Last decent chance until September really. 

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FC100DC on Scopetech Zero mount/Gitzo tripod. I use it a lot for white light solar, lunar, planetary, doubles, and wide field. Wonderful views and so quick and easy to use.

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Over the past couple of weeks I have been using my Solar Scout most frequently, but overall the most used scope must be the ZS66- fun-sized and versatile. It does white light solar, doubles, dso, travel, lunar and a bit of planetary. Good for photography too. My C6 only comes out on special occasions.

Edited by Ags
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36 minutes ago, wookie1965 said:

I am seriously thinking of selling my 5" refractor and buying a biggish dob 10-12" dob, I regret selling my 8" reflector to this day. 

 

I've thought the same, Paul.  The AR 127L is perhaps the least used of my 'scopes.  Bear in mind that big Dobs can be cumbersome.  My 10" solid tube Bresser is OK, but I might struggle with anything bulkier unless it was on wheels!

Doug.

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Interesting question, I've had a few instruments over the years, and most of them are bought with a specific goal, so it kinda depends on where I'm observing and what I'm looking at. 

I also don't log everything, but I do so with all instruments. 

426040959_Schermafbeelding2022-04-29om22_52_53.png.e25b41de2bf006a0e0960e6d8c4a6692.png

 

The 12" travel dob is still on the top of the list, but that was also my first 'big' scope and I had it for some time now. It is now residing on La Palma for my observations over there, That would count for about 100 - 200 observations per year.

The C11 edge is mainly used for lazy goto deepsky and double stars, the 10" Meade is no longer with me but served the same goal.

The 18" has only been here for just under a year but I do think it will surpass all the others quite quickly, in dark skies, it is just picking up fuzzies left and right, and I can use it at home as well as any dark site I can reach by car.

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