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Walking on the Moon

How many different scopes and why?


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I have 7 or so scopes because I wanted to experience the different types for myself and because I have to date not had time to sell things on that I no longer need and I have therefore accumulated quite a lot.

But I intend to downsize and just keep 3 scopes... A 72mm refractor for travel, a 102mm refractor for grab and go and the 14" reflector for epic sessions.

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Currently 8... which is probably too many 😬

  • Bresser 10' Dob
  • Takahashi Mewlon 180C
  • Takahashi FC-100DZ
  • Takahashi FC-76DCU(Q)
  • Takahashi FOA-60Q
  • Takahashi FS-60CB
  • Skywatcher Mak 127
  • Celestron C5

I'm downsizing a little, so the FS-60CB is up for sale, but although I (very) rarely use the Mak127 or C5, I just can't bear to part with them, as they were my first "serious" scopes, and they are still incredibly good (Mak for lunar, C5 for DSOs and daytime spotting) 👍

My stepsons best mate is just getting into astronomy, so he's likely to get one as a gift sometime... just not one of the Taks 😁

Edited by HollyHound
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11 hours ago, Paz said:

But I intend to downsize and just keep 3 scopes... A 72mm refractor for travel, a 102mm refractor for grab and go and the 14" reflector for epic sessions.

Sounds like the perfect combination to me! 
 

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FIVE (see signature) - widefield grab 'n' go, slightly bigger grab 'n' go, 10" lightbucket, a fine long focus frac, and a GoTo Cat (with focal reducer).

Different targets, different views, different 'scopes, different experiences.

So that's it, all bases covered.  (But I'd love an 11" GoTo Cat with reducer!)

Doug.

 

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Too many is my answer. Reasons? I enjoy trying out different scope types and also find different scopes best for different purposes.

My refractors get most use, plus the 8” f8 dob. I have a 16” truss dob which gets occasional use for deep sky from darker sites.

I also have some for more sentimental reasons Eg Televue Genesis and Vixen FL102S. In theory, the FC100DC covers both these off but they are excellent examples, difficult to replace so they are hopefully with me for the long haul.

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I've been a good boy...

I still have my rarely used Fullerscope's 6.25" Newt, Circa 1983. Actually, I think I'm gonna give it away, quite soon. Just looking for a good cause.

For my return to astronomy after the usual work/marriage/fatherhood hiatus I have a 10" Newt which I now use exclusively for imaging.

My latest addition in a Celestron 127 Mak (SLT mount), long story but I acquired it second hand a few years ago. It's now become my visual "grab and go".

In my future is a big (ish) SCT or RC. I need focal length, just need it!

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I have a diverse collection of 5 ‘scopes, obtained over many years, though nothing particularly exotic or ‘high end’:

  • Celestron SP-C8, bought 31 years ago, now used mostly to piggyback camera lenses or the 80mm refractor for imaging. I still have its Super Polaris mount, though I now use a Losmandy G11.
  • Meade 127mm ED refractor, bought at an offer price in 2009, my favourite for the quality of the views and images obtained.
  • Sky Watcher Equinox ED 80mm, bought about 6 years ago for imaging - for which I piggyback it on the C8.
  • Revelation (GSO) 300mm f/4 Newtonian, bought 10 years ago, my most used due to its fast optics, but also my most frustrating - it’s never demonstrated the high resolution visually or photographically you’d expect from an instrument with its aperture.
  • Coronado SolarMax 40mm H-alpha ‘scope, won in a prize draw about 12 years ago and used less than it ought to be.

I have no plans to obtain any more 😄.

Regards, Mike.

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11 hours ago, HollyHound said:

Currently 8... which is probably too many 😬

  • Bresser 10' Dob
  • Takahashi Mewlon 180C
  • Takahashi FC-100DZ
  • Takahashi FC-76DCU(Q)
  • Takahashi FOA-60Q
  • Takahashi FS-60CB
  • Skywatcher Mak 127
  • Celestron C5

I'm downsizing a little, so the FS-60CB is up for sale, but although I (very) rarely use the Mak127 or C5, I just can't bear to part with them, as they were my first "serious" scopes, and they are still incredibly good (Mak for lunar, C5 for DSOs and daytime spotting) 👍

My stepsons best mate is just getting into astronomy, so he's likely to get one as a gift sometime... just not one of the Taks 😁

How does a Mewlon compare with a big dob? Love the sound of all that light gathering but my house/garden are simply not compatible with that size of system! Oh, and how can you bear to part with the little 60CB? :)

Malcolm 

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14 hours ago, MalcolmM said:

How does a Mewlon compare with a big dob? Love the sound of all that light gathering but my house/garden are simply not compatible with that size of system! Oh, and how can you bear to part with the little 60CB? :)

Malcolm 

The 10” dob does show more (of course), and isn’t too much of an issue for me to carry outside (it sits beside the back door onto the patio). Half the focal length, so gives wider fields, although I can get quite wide on the Mewlon using the XW40 😀

Big advantage (now) for me, is that I can use the Mewlon on the AZ100 (with push to), so much easier to locate those hard to find DSOs 👍

The dob allowed me to see Trapezium E and F, with ease… I haven’t tried that yet with the Mewlon, but will do soon.

Not certain, but I think the dob seems to cool quicker that the Mewlon slightly too.

I’m happy to have both though.

Ah well I also have the FOA60Q too, which I was going to sell of course, but then I remembered why I got it and as I really don’t need two 60mm scopes… one had to go 😬Although part of me is still thinking “would I miss that little one too” 🤣

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9 minutes ago, HollyHound said:

The 10” dob does show more (of course), and isn’t too much of an issue for me to carry outside (it sits beside the back door onto the patio). Half the focal length, so gives wider fields, although I can get quite wide on the Mewlon using the XW40 😀

Big advantage (now) for me, is that I can use the Mewlon on the AZ100 (with push to), so much easier to locate those hard to find DSOs 👍

The dob allowed me to see Trapezium E and F, with ease… I haven’t tried that yet with the Mewlon, but will do soon.

Not certain, but I think the dob seems to cool quicker that the Mewlon slightly too.

I’m happy to have both though.

Ah well I also have the FOA60Q too, which I was going to sell of course, but then I remembered why I got it and as I really don’t need two 60mm scopes… one had to go 😬Although part of me is still thinking “would I miss that little one too” 🤣

Thanks @HollyHound. I've never looked through a dob but by all accounts they've give amazing views. 

Can you fit the whole of the Pleiades in the FOV with the Mewlon and XW40? I was a tad disappointed that I couldn't with the Mewlon and Stella Lyra 45 Kitakaru. The field of view calculator implied I should. It also implies the XW should have the same FOV as the Kitkaru. Maybe just the difference between theory and practice!

Malcolm 

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14 minutes ago, MalcolmM said:

Can you fit the whole of the Pleiades in the FOV with the Mewlon and XW40? I was a tad disappointed that I couldn't with the Mewlon and Stella Lyra 45 Kitakaru. The field of view calculator implied I should. It also implies the XW should have the same FOV as the Kitkaru. Maybe just the difference between theory and practice!

It can just fit all the primary stars in the field, but it doesn’t look as impressive as that same view through a wider field refractor (where of course it’s beautifully framed)… however, there is a lot of nebulosity shown around the stars with the Mewlon 😀

Which reminds me, the other reason why I have decided to sell the FS-60CB,  is that I now use the Canon IS 15x50 for wide field views 👍

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I've not seen the nebulosity yet but I'm not convinced my local skies are dark enough. I'll be trying again this winter!

Binoculars, now that can take me back to to the original topic of how many and why (ok not exactly scopes). I bought a bunch of cheap binoculars when I took the kids to Namibia. I also bought a pair of medium priced Nikons for myself, and a 15x70 Celestron (the cheaper ones). Also some small Steiners for my partner. The cheap ones did the job untill they tried the Nikons, then everyone wanted the Nikons. The Nikon's were a revelation to me, amazing views! The Steiner's, I couldn't get on with, I couldn't merge the images half the time. The Celestrons broke at the focuser before we got to the darkest skies I have ever seen in the Namib. I actually gave them to one of our guest house owners who reckoned his son might be able to weld the broken part.

I thought the views through the Nikon's were incredible until I looked through a friend's Swarovski binoculars a year or so later!

And then I bought a Tak. Perfection at last! And then the Tak started to breed! And if I'm honest, there's no rational reason for more than maybe two but they are lovely!

Malcolm 

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I generally have two scopes , although i do tend to change scopes quite a lot . My Sharpstar is for widefield , my 8SCT is for planets . But ive no "middle " scope so another purchase may be necessary , especially as i have 3, soon to become 4 mounts !! Damn this thread ... its encouraging me to buy 🤣;) 

 

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8" F/6 Dob - primary visual instrument

8" F/8 RC - primary "scientific" instrument (imaging and other things)

80mm F/6 APO - wide field imaging scope

4" Maksutov - "grab'n'go" / lunar scope, but I have other uses planed for it. I want to explore it as cheap EEA scope (although many say it won't work - I have few ideas).

4" F/10 Achromat - this one is probably the least defined in terms of usage. At first, my idea was to explore it as "all around" scope which includes DSO imaging and planetary imaging, wide field and high power observing and so on. Unfortunately, I haven't done much with it so far due to lack of time (and at this point interest).

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20 minutes ago, vlaiv said:

8" F/6 Dob - primary visual instrument

8" F/8 RC - primary "scientific" instrument (imaging and other things)

80mm F/6 APO - wide field imaging scope

4" Maksutov - "grab'n'go" / lunar scope, but I have other uses planed for it. I want to explore it as cheap EEA scope (although many say it won't work - I have few ideas).

4" F/10 Achromat - this one is probably the least defined in terms of usage. At first, my idea was to explore it as "all around" scope which includes DSO imaging and planetary imaging, wide field and high power observing and so on. Unfortunately, I haven't done much with it so far due to lack of time (and at this point interest).

Now, you’ve got me intrigued there vlaiv. What “other things” do you use the 8” RC for?

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4 minutes ago, JeremyS said:

Now, you’ve got me intrigued there vlaiv. What “other things” do you use the 8” RC for?

I have StarAnalyzer SA200 and I plan to make a bit higher resolution spectrograph using it as diffraction grating - possibly doing even lowspec or some other already designed 3d printed spectrograph.

Will probably at some point use it as spectroheliograph to image sun - if I get large enough ERF for it.

I also wanted to image crab pulsar with it to detect it's pulses using very short exposure.

At some point - I'm going to show how can 1600mm telescope be used as a wonderful wide field imaging instrument :D.

 

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Four fracs - 50mm to 120mm, all short tube but one f7 ED which I thought would be my "forever" scope.  My first scope decades ago was a refractor so there might be a bit of nostalgia involved.   

The shorties are easy to store and transport which are important considerations for me right now.  The f7 ED has to go - too bulky and heavy and doesn't get used much even though the views are superb.  Maybe I should get a little 70-ish ED.

I had a Mak for lunar but sold it because, well, it was a Mak.  😁  (Actually, I probably should have kept that one...)

 

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I'm a visual only observer having five telescopes, and am mostly interested in Moon and Planetary observation; hence my choices. Three are catadioptric and the other two are refractors, but since returning to the UK my interest in the hobby has gradually diminished due to the poor weather encountered here :sad2:, and I find myself spending more time enjoying another hobby.  Realistically, one of the Telementor's need to find new a home, and also the Intes-Micro M500, which has superb optics and is also great for grab and go, but is less portable than my Questar. 

 

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First scope was a 4.5" Newtonian with GOTO - about 25 years ago. It originally came with 0.925" EPs, but I managed to get an adapter so that I could use 1.25" EPs.  A trip to the USA included a trip to Las Vegas, where I met Bill Vorce ( a scope parts re-seller) who provided me with a couple of EPs and a Barlow lens for $100. 

I wanted to step up and have a more portable set-up, so bought a 102mm Mak on a Synscan mount - I would have preferred the 127mm, but finances and young family meant I had to settle for the smaller scope - which was really a disappointment; good for Moon and Planets, but inadequate for fainter DSOs - and too narrow a field of view for open clusters. 

As finances improved, I bought a Meade LS 8" scope - optically this was great, but the software was a constant source of frustration as  GOTO was definitely flaky (by coincidence, FB has reminded me this evening that I bought it exactly 9 years ago). 

About 6 years ago, I found someone locally selling their 127mm Mak for a very good price - this very quickly became my favourite scope, especially when I paired it with the Az GTi mount I bought later. 

A couple of years ago I was offered the loan of a lovely 72mm ED refractor by Sue at Astrofarm France.  As it was during the shutdown,  Sue was happy for me to bring it home to UK on a long loan basis, returning it a year later. So if you go out to Astrofarm France, you too can enjoy it (alongside the larger scopes and mounts out there). I was happy to return it to Sue though, as I had found one on ebay, and was fortunate to buy it for a relatively low bid. 

This is now definitely my favourite scope - and has re-ignited my love for the hobby - crisp contrasty views, and (despite the short focal length) capable of taking decent amounts of magnification before getting too soft. 

 

Edited by Gfamily
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