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Scope choice and Scottish skies


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Hi all,

One factor in making my scope choice is stumping me.  Scottish seeing/skies and scope size.

Yes I can get an 8" dobsonian for the same price as an  80mm ED doublet or a 102 long focus achromat, but how often would I be able to use the extra inch or more difference in size, vs the lesser weight and grab and go factor of the smaller scope?  I really like the idea of a refractor for doubles and the contrast for the moon... I'm not as interested in faint fuzzies. I'm visual only?  Thoughts??

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We are all different, to me a Dob is grab and go. I can have the 12" out in a couple of minutes, though I can't move it very far. About the same time as the 102 really. I spend more time faffing with eyepieces and other stuff.

An 8" on a good night will show a lot more detail and contrast than a 102. You canna change the laws of physics, as some famous Scottish person once said. 

Having said that, refractors are rather good on doubles. Especially if you get an ED version. I'm not so keen on achros these days. I have a 120mm that's a good scope, but you can't get away from CA and the effect it has on detail and contrast; they also tend to have poorer control of SA too which also reduced detail and contrast.

 

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I have a 10” newtonian reflector, which should be great for scooping up fuzzies, except due to size  and the mount I need to use to use this scope (Skywatcher Skytee2) I rarely get it out, and much prefer some of my smaller ‘fracs either on a goto mound or manual az mount. So if fuzzies aren’t your thing and you want to stick with lunary, planetary and doubles etc then a good ‘frac will suffice. An 80ED would be  probably the smallest I would go for for visual use for this as with the ED optics you can normally push it past the 160x magnification limit quite easily when seeing is good.

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What sort of budget do you have @Jimboscotland? If faint fuzzies are not your bag, I would likely suggest one of the entry ED 102mm refractors such as this one:

https://www.altairastro.com/starwave-ascent-102ed-f7-refractor-telescope-geared-focuser-468-p.asp

FLO do a better one but that’s up at £899 which may be too much.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/starfield-telescopes/starfield-102mm-f7-ed-doublet-refractor.html

You would then need a mount, so something like an AZ5 or similar would be fine.

This type of scope would keep you well occupied on the Moon, Planets and doubles, as well as being very nice for wide field open clusters, and Milky Way trawling.

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As long as you stay away from faint fuzzies then in my opinion a refractor is the way to go.

You don’t mention budget levels, so for starters I would suggest this 100mm F/10 achromat.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/evostar/skywatcher-evostar-102-eq3-2.html

For more money this 80mm ED may be of interest….

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/stellamira-telescopes/stellamira-80mm-ed-f10-refractor-telescope-with-rp-focuser.html

Or for another £100 you can get 100mm ED which is getting good reviews.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/starfield-telescopes/starfield-102mm-f7-ed-doublet-refractor.html

The last two would need a suitable mount.

Good luck.

Edited by dweller25
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You are a way down the coast from me but you will have the same issue as me which will affect things far more than the choice of scope - the Atlantic!!!

Endless cloud and moisture and we get the full force of depressions coming in from the west.

 

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Thanks again all. My budget is tiny as I'm on a pension. So the Evostar 102 including mount (obviously needing a beefed up tripod) is attractive. An 80mm ED is the largest that I could afford since I'd need diagonal, mount etc.

Things that give me pause is the f/10 of the Evo and resulting CA. Or the short Fl of a 80mm ED. 

Another option is waiting to use if the Bresser 102 f/13.2 with mount,about the same price as the Evo, ever comes back?? Or waiting for a used ED scope to show up on the used market...

I love retirement, but the pays not so good. 😏

 

 

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38 minutes ago, Jimboscotland said:

Thanks again all. My budget is tiny as I'm on a pension. So the Evostar 102 including mount (obviously needing a beefed up tripod) is attractive. An 80mm ED is the largest that I could afford since I'd need diagonal, mount etc.

Things that give me pause is the f/10 of the Evo and resulting CA. Or the short Fl of a 80mm ED. 

Another option is waiting to use if the Bresser 102 f/13.2 with mount,about the same price as the Evo, ever comes back?? Or waiting for a used ED scope to show up on the used market...

I love retirement, but the pays not so good. 😏

 

 

Which Evostar were you looking at Jim, this one?

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/evostar/skywatcher-evostar-102-eq3-2.html

At f10 the CA should be reasonably well controlled, though not at ED levels obviously. It would be a nice scope which would show you plenty. If not, let us know your budget for scope and mount and maybe that will help guide the suggestions.

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