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Evostar 120 Vs Explorer 150PL


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Hi Everyone

I'm pretty sure what the outcome of this one will be but I'm getting irritated at my urge for a refractor. The way I'm seeing it is there will always be the debate Lens Vs Mirror so I figured if I have both then there would be no debate (for me anyway).

This said I don't have money to throw away. I have a 10" & 8" so I already have a standard of seeing so do not want to end up too disappointed by going too small with the aperture. The choice are for a "portable set up". I had a 127 MAK for this which I was impressed with the views, good contrast and portability but the talk of dew heaters, power tanks, dew Shields and 2 hr cool down waits put me of having it for anything more than a spring summer scope. I understand a refractor can suffer dew but the cool down time is so much shorter and they come with there own dew shield to give me the extra 30-40 mins :D. The 150pl has the obvious edge in aperture ( will amount to 5.5" refractor equivalent) and I'm assuming the F/8 should be equal to the F/8.3 of the 120. The maintenance of reflector dose go against it and I guess has more an issue with stray light. CA against the frac but 2" focuser for.

I have an EQ5 so I should be able to have either scope with out too much star dancing between focusing. My budget should if Santa don't get lost be £230

Any advice will be appreciated but I must admit having never had a refractor I can't help but what variety. I am also open to the idea of having neither and putting up with my 20x60's if money would be better spent else where.

Is there anyone near Birmingham with a 120 ??? maybe I should have a look through a refractor before committing myself ??

Thanks

SPACEBOY

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If there's a hole in your lineup it's for something "grab and go" ... I'd suggest something like the WO Megrez 90 on a undriven altaz stand rather than either of the scopes you suggest, which are just a bit to big to be "grab 'n' go". Great scope for low power views of star fields / the larger Messier objects. The TV 85 would be even better but it's a lot more expensive!

A frac in the 3" - 4" range makes a great solar scope too.

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Hi space boy, i have the evostar 120, an old one and i like it, i also have an orion omc 140 that is hard work, the evo is grab an go and gives great views of the moon and planets, there is a little ca as you would expect, i have read a few comments where owners say as the mag increases the ca decreases but cant vouch for that as i dont often go max mag.

you do get a lot of scope for the money, and as far as mounting goes, they can give a bit of wobble even on an eq5, it pays to get them nicely balanced on the mount, i was toying with an electric focuser but on hold at mo, i see williams do an improved crayford focuser and that would be a great improvement

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Hi Everyone

I had a 127 MAK for this which I was impressed with the views, good contrast and portability but the talk of dew heaters, power tanks, dew Shields and 2 hr cool down waits put me of having it for anything more than a spring summer scope.

SPACEBOY

:D

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If there's a hole in your lineup it's for something "grab and go" ... I'd suggest something like the WO Megrez 90 on a undriven altaz stand rather than either of the scopes you suggest, which are just a bit to big to be "grab 'n' go". Great scope for low power views of star fields / the larger Messier objects. The TV 85 would be even better but it's a lot more expensive!

A frac in the 3" - 4" range makes a great solar scope too.

It will be intended as a grab and go but I would like something that would give reasonable views even if this comes at the cost of being a little bit of a handful. I do want to try and keep it to one 5.1kg counter weight as these in themselves can be a pain regards transporting around and fixing to the mount etc.

Nightfisher what tripod legs do you have with your EQ-5 Evostar120? I hear there was an issue before the 2" stainless legs came.

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It will be intended as a grab and go but I would like something that would give reasonable views even if this comes at the cost of being a little bit of a handful. I do want to try and keep it to one 5.1kg counter weight as these in themselves can be a pain regards transporting around and fixing to the mount etc.

Nightfisher what tripod legs do you have with your EQ-5 Evostar120? I hear there was an issue before the 2" stainless legs came.

Im not even on eq5 at present, eq4 with ali legs but scheming on getting new eq5 with the stainless legs, much better, have you considered the new tal 100rs with crayford focuser, im thinking of getting rid of evo to fund the tal

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I did consider the Tal100RS, I know how good Russian optics are as I had a Russian army 9 x 40 rifle scope and it allowed shooting dusk till dawn but I hear the newer Evostar will compete optically with the Tal. The Tal would also be giving up 20mm aperture compared to an evostar 120. 5" was the lowest aperture I planned to go to as I'd had the 127 MAK. (i know 120mm is 4.75" but it's unobstructed)

It's a hard question to as members as you tend to have either have the refractor crowd or the reflector crowd. Then there are people who have had refractors and changed to reflector but also gone up in aperture in doing so. This would not be a fair comparison as larger aperture tends to always win the argument.

Whats got me wanting a refractor is that you do have the refractor crowd even though you get more bang for the buck from a reflector. What is it about a refractor ?

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Whats got me wanting a refractor is that you do have the refractor crowd even though you get more bang for the buck from a reflector. What is it about a refractor ?

Once you get a decent refractor you will be hooked, i really dont like mirrors hence im struggling with the omc, fract are just so grab an go

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There is something special about the refractor, doesn't matter about the aperture really. I really enjoy using our 80mm short tube and 90mm F11. They are only achromatics but great at what they do, the 90mm especially.

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There is something about the unobstructed view through a refractor which appeals to a lot of Astronomers and the larger aperture the better, the 120 from Celestron and Skywatcher with the 127 from Meade , are very popular, the APO models even more so with the lack of CA, just arrived into FLO`s stock is the OTA, 127 Tal APO at around f7, if the Tal 100 is anything to go by it would not surprise me to see the Russian optics surpass all of the other contenders, however, it will no doubt need an EQ6 to do it justice, I look forward to the review when it comes out. If what I have read from other sources is correct, your 127 APO should give you sharper images than your 8" reflector, but will depend on the seeing conditions. To sum up if with what you have already, you want to invest in a refractor, then save up and buy a good one, the Tal 127 APO would be my choice.

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I must admit it seems a pointless thread. I'm asking 120 Evo or 150pl but as I have a reflector I was always going to be tempted to try something new. I think I just wanted some reassurance I wouldn't be totally wasting my money. I understand it will never compete against a 8" reflector but I wasn't looking to do so as I already done that with my 10" dob. I was just looking for something reasonably portable that my son could easily look through.

I will have to see how Santa is feeling as I have already had an early Xmas present. May have to see what the January sales bring ??

Thank you every one for your advice.

SPACEBOY

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Of all the scope designs, I probably enjoy using refractors the most. The are robust, low maintenance, quick to cool and their contasty, sharp views are very satisfying to my eye. While my 10" newtonian will show more, I'm always surprised how my 4" Vixen refractor seems to "punch above its weight" even in quite poor conditions.

There is something very satisfying about being at the eyepiece end of a long refractor :D

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Do reflectors grab you as much as this would?

they sure would :D

for me refractors definitely have the edge on pin point stars and wide fields but I just love dobs and will never go back.

I see things through my 12" that I would never have had a chance with through the 120 OMNI - unfair comparison I know but once you've seen M13 / M42 through a large mirror..........

I have a rule that if I don't use something regularly I get rid unless it's at a large loss.

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Thanks everyone for the advice.

A refractors been put on my Christmas list so fingers crossed. My son has asked for a telescope this year so he is having a Celestron astromaster 70AZ so it will be a memorable day if we both get on the frac firm :D

Thanks all

SPACEBOY

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It is simple: Newton got it wrong! Go get a refractor. :D:D:D:D

In context, Newton was dealing with the limits of technology available to him at the time, so a reflector definitely made sense v's a singlet refractor of absurd length.IMO.

Playing devils advocate Spaceboy, not everyone can get on with the false colour in an achromat.

That said, just for the record, a refactors my weapon of choice :D

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I must admit I do think I should look through one before I buy. Everyone debates on about this false colour to the point it has become a concern.

In what way dose this false colour appear for example on Jupiter?

I was looking through my radian the other month (weather has been so bad here the season will almost be over) with a celestron LPR filter and jupiter looked terrible. It was looking through a green filter almost. Now that was distracting!!

I hear something about a violet filter for fracs. Dose this not solve the problem to some degree. How much would a 2" be ?

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I find that, with my 120 achro (nearly identical to the evostar), the only targets where the CA is a problem are venus and jupiter.

Jupiter at low and medium powers can give a distracting purple (or greenish) limb to it, but at high and medium high powers the CA seems to lessen and does not hinder the (rather nice) view, i dont really find this a problem, as i only want to look at jupiter at higher powers.

I have no problem with the slight bit of CA on the moon at all, although the blacks in the craters will not be quite as dark as in a reflector or an apo. The CA around the limb doesnt bother me at all.

On Saturn the CA is non existent.

I have never had a good view of venus through the refractor, but then its hard to say how much this os because of atmospherics, as venus is always low.

Mars was much better in the frac than with the 10" dob i used to have, as the dob made it too bright and washed out all the detail. I reckon the frac will please when mars comes round again. Again the CA seemed to lessen with higher powers.

CA is not a problem on deep sky with my frac. Remember because of the smaller apeture, you probably wont be able to resolve too many stars on globs except for on M13, unless you use averted vision or go to a good dark site.

Widefield views at low power with 2" EPs is an area where these scopes excel. That 22mm Nagler should be nice :D

My best views of jupiter and mars have been with my 120mm achro using a 5mm TMB clone on nights with amazing seeing, although this does push the scope way past its theoretical clean magnification.

hope some of this waffle helps and good luck

warren

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Thanks Warren

It is a help. I do really want to have both camps but I don't want to waste the families money getting it me for crimbo if I'm never going to enjoy it. I'm still confident it will be an improvement over my skymax in some ways.

SPACEBOY

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Well it sounds like youve got about 2 weeks to find yourself a clear night and someone with a 120mm achro!!!

Im in north kent if it helps [EDIT-sorry, just realised youre miles away in birmingham!]. I dare say if you post on here with the heading "can i look through your 120mm achro" there will be someone close to you with a similar scope. Now if those pesky clouds would just disappear!!:D

I just tried to have a search on you tube to find you some webcam footage from a 120mm achro, but i couldnt find any that accurately represents what you will see through one. Maybe you could ask on a thread on here for some webcam footage of jupiter through a 120 achro, so you can see the CA for yourself.

good luck

w

Edited by Wurzil
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I'm not sure if I will actually need the scope for on Xmas day anyway so there is no rush. I've been informed that I have to have an operation on the cartilage in my knee the 23rd December and depending on how bad it is I will be ordered to keep weight of my leg and will end up on crutches for 6 weeks. EQ5 are a handful alone so no point rushing just to have it sat there tempting me to pop stitches. It may be a blessing in disguise... do they have January sales on telescopes ???

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