My Celestron 150mm f/8

Discuss your refractor type scopes here.
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My Celestron 150mm f/8

#1

Post by Lady Fraktor » Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:55 am

Synta 150mm f/8 Refractor

The short tube version seems to be getting popular of late so some thoughts on my refractor.

The Synta yard cannon, sold by Celestron, Skywatcher, Omegon, Saxon, Kson and various other retailers since it first became available in 2000.
If you have not seen one of these in the field, the first impression from people is usually “That is a really big telescope!”

They are an impressive looking piece of kit when set up and always seem to gather a crowd at outreach nights.
Showing new people views of the planets or lunar surface are memorable moments.

The C6-R is a mid focal length 150mm aperture Fraunhofer achromatic refractor made in China under the Suzhou Synta Optical Technology Company name.

It comes packaged with the standard Synta rack & pinion focuser, cast aluminium tube clamps, 200mm extruded Vixen style dovetail plate, a 9×50 straight through finderscope, plastic bodied 31.75mm mirror diagonal, a 20mm Plossl eyepiece and collimation eyepiece finish the accessories package.

The C6-R when first released seemed to have a noticeable lack of consistency in lens quality and spacing with them arriving under-corrected, neutral or over-corrected.
It was akin to a lottery at times and some people reported having to return 2-3 telescopes before finally receiving a good one.
Consistency progressively became better over time at least, the chances of getting a poor one are quite minimal now.

The Advanced Series Go To mount with slightly re-designed CG-5 was packaged with a tripod that now used 50.8mm/ 38.1mm stainless steel legs and capacity was supposed to be 13.6 kg!

The tripod/ mount and telescope are packaged in three very large boxes with moulded styrofoam and accessory boxes holding everything in place.
The instruction manual was written reasonably well and the mount had the ability to do a one or two star alignment, quick align, or last alignment.

What was in the boxes with some weights:

C6-R: 8.6 kg
ASGT mount: 5.44 kg
Counterweight Shaft: 0.932 kg
Counterweight(s): 5.244 kg (the CG-5 has 1 counterweight included)
Tripod: 7.455 kg
Spreader Bar: 0.340 kg
Hand Controller: 0.228 kg
Power Cord: 0.225 kg

Total weight of the C6-R/ ASGT: 33.708 kg

The C6-R performs better than one would first expect, chromatic aberration is present of course but less than what would normally be expected with a larger mid focal length refractor, spherical aberration is also well controlled, and contrast and sharpness are very good. Chromatic blur is approximately 6.9
Strictly on a view per cost basis it is an excellent option for a large aperture refractor package.

Using this refractor I was able to have my first views of Scorpii B.
It works extremely well for splitting close double stars or viewing globular clusters, and puts up great lunar and planetary views.

A light yellow filter or one of the various Minus Violet filters does a reasonable job of curbing the chromatic aberration the telescope produces on bright objects and with the telescope capable of a 2.3° field of view it shows good views of various deep sky objects.
Having a mid focal length of f/8 it is reasonably easy on eyepiece selection in use as well.

When seeing the images of these on various websites you will see the tube rings centered or slightly to the rear of the tube.
These images are strictly marketing images.
The telescope is very lens heavy and the actual balance point places the rings almost directly behind the lens cell.
This places the eyepiece low to the ground and can make viewing in some positions a bit uncomfortable.

There are a few things to do to get the eyepiece into a more convenient position such as:

1. Add weight to the focuser end of the tube. 2.3-3.5 kg of ankle weights are usually sufficient to get the telescope more centered.

2. Remove and replace the factory dewshield with a lightweight one.
The factory dewshield is made of steel and weights 1 kg.

3. Use a heavy CNC 50.8mm diagonal.

4. Replace the factory focuser with a stronger model.
Besides adding needed weight to to the back of the telescope, I consider this upgrade a bit of a necessary one as the factory focuser is not very good.

5. Replace the straight through finderscope with a heavier RA/ RACI finder.

6. Use a heavy eyepiece adapter for 31.75mm eyepieces.
TeleVue still makes a heavy adapter called the “Equalizer”, but taking a regular aluminium adapter to a mill shop and having a copy made from brass is usually not an expensive option and is slightly heavier than the TeleVue.
It will also most likely cost less than the normal 72,00 € that TeleVue charges as well.

7. Metal focuser knobs. There were various places you could buy 24.5mm, 38.1mm or 50.8mm Brass or Steel knobs for this purpose.
A mill shop can also make them for a reasonable cost.

8. This is a tripod mount modification but helps place the eyepiece in a more accessible location.
Orion Telescopes in USA sells a 405mm half pier that fits any standard EQ-5 mount top plate and it can also be modified to fit the AVX mount top plate.
This also adds a bit of weight and stability to the tripod since the legs do not have to be extended much.

Comfortable observing should never involve gymnastics!

In all the C6-R is an excellent telescope to have and use though some things should be considered.

As I stated already the package is large and heavy so can take 4-5 trips to get set up.
The included ASGT mount is just adequate for visual use with the large refractor on it, a Hypertune of the mount does help get rid of most mechanical slop but many recommend a EQ-6 mount instead.

There are some modifications as stated above and improved accessories that will enhance the telescopes use considerably so budgeting 1/3 of the overall original cost for this would not be out of line.
So best done over time instead of at once.

I have had my C6-R since 2005 when I purchased it at an estate sale and have made numerous changes to it over the years, some due to necessity as our relationship did not start out well.

This is how it currently is:

1. The aluminium tube was squared and shortened by 3mm.
The focuser holes were not aligned as the aluminium tube was not cut square at the focuser end and the focuser was only being held loosely by 2 screws when I received it.

2. While star testing I discovered the doublet was over corrected so the lens spacing was changed and while the telescope was apart the lens edges blackened.
Afterwards I took it to a friend in Czech Republic and we spent some time checking the lens for center, orientation and tilt.

3. The tube interior was repainted in ultra flat black as the factory grey was blotchy and very thin in some places allowing the metal to show through.

4. The factory baffles were removed and replaced with 5 new ones.
The center factory baffle had been placed to far forward so after drawing out the light cone to find the proper position, the factory baffles were removed and replaced with new ones placed so the shadow of the front baffle falls onto the face of the one behind.

5. The standard single speed R&P was replaced with a Moonlite CF 2 speed 50.8mm Crayford. The drawtube interior and front edge were also painted ultra flat black to reduce reflections off of the gloss black anodizing.

6. I had a 3.5kg brass internal counterweight built into the focuser tube adapter.
This allowed me to remove the ankle weights from the telescope tube and gives the telescope its normal nice clean look.
This substantially moves the balance point towards the rear of the telescope tube.

7. A brass 50.8mm- 31.75mm eyepiece adapter was made.
It weighs 0.49kg and has a brass compression ring as well as threading for standard filters. (A copy of the Mercury Systems adapter)

8. All factory chromed screws were replaced with stainless steel.

9. A lightweight 380mm long flocked plastic dewshield was fabricated.
I am considering making a baffled aluminium one at the moment.

10. The factory finderscope was replaced with an Antares 8×50 RACI model.

11. The 200mm extruded aluminium dovetail was replaced with a 280mm aircraft grade solid aluminium Vixen style dovetail.
This helped remove some vibration that was present when using higher magnifications.

12. Teleskop-Service CNC HD tube clamps.
The last two modifications I still wish to do is change the Vixen dovetail to a Losmandy plate and have the tube and dewshield painted.

There is also a 152mm f/8 ED doublet conversion designed by APM Telescope that I have been looking at occasionally, but as the telescope is now, I am very happy with its performance and after almost 14 years of use it is still one of my favourite telescopes.
🇸🇰
Proper Telescopes: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNGDX 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen ED115s f/7.7
Mounts: Celestron AS-GT, Celestron CG-5 w/ Argo Navis & tracking motor, SLT w/ pier & tripod mods, Manfrotto 028b w/ SV M2C, Mantrotto 055Pro w/ 128RC, TAL MT1C, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 & half pier
Diagonal: 2" A-P Maxbright, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (P), 2" Zeiss/ Baader Amici Prism (DX2), 2" Orion Amici Prism, 2" Stellarvue DX, 2" TeleVue EverBrite
Eyepieces: Antares to Zeiss
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#2

Post by Don Quixote » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:03 am

Thank you Gabby for this great post!

You have perform a transformation with this telescope.

I love what you have done with the place ! 😊
SCOPES: ES127 f/7.5, ES80 f/6, SW100 f/9. Meade LXD75 8" Sct f/10, Meade 2120 10" Sct f/10, Bresser 152 f/6.5 Newt.
EP: KK Ortho set, Pentax XW 7, 10, 14, TV22 Pan, Docter 12.5, Leica, Leitz, ES35 2".
BINOCULARS: Oberwerk 25X100, Swaro 10X30, Pentax 8.5X43 DCF SP.
CAMERA: NIKON 810D.
MOUNTS: LXD75, CG4, SW AZ/EQ5, Oberwerk Tripod and Farpoint Para Mount.
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#3

Post by bladekeeper » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:09 am

Very nice write-up, Gabrielle!

I've enjoyed my C6-R considerably. Only mods I've done so far is to swap the straight-through finder for an 8x50 RACI and replaced the factory dew shield with a flocked Astrozap. I would definitely like to upgrade the focuser. :)
Bryan
Scopes: Apertura AD12 f/5; Celestron C6-R f/8; ES AR127 f/6.4; Stellarvue SV102T f/7; iOptron MC90 f/13.3; Orion ST80A f/5; ES ED80 f/6; Celestron Premium 80 f/11.4; Celestron C80 f/11.4; Unitron Model 142 f/16; Meade NG60 f/10
Mounts: Celestron AVX; Bresser EXOS-2; ES Twilight I; ES Twilight II; iOptron Cube-G; AZ3/wood tripod; Vixen Polaris
Binoculars: Pentax PCF WP II 10×50, Bresser Corvette 10×50, Bresser Hunter 16×50 and 8×40, Garrett Gemini 12×60 LW, Gordon 10×50, Apogee 20×100

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#4

Post by Lady Fraktor » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:19 am

bladekeeper wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:09 am
Very nice write-up, Gabrielle!

I've enjoyed my C6-R considerably. Only mods I've done so far is to swap the straight-through finder for an 8x50 RACI and replaced the factory dew shield with a flocked Astrozap. I would definitely like to upgrade the focuser. :)
A focuser upgrade is one of the best ones to do with these and get rid of the stock focuser.
🇸🇰
Proper Telescopes: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNGDX 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen ED115s f/7.7
Mounts: Celestron AS-GT, Celestron CG-5 w/ Argo Navis & tracking motor, SLT w/ pier & tripod mods, Manfrotto 028b w/ SV M2C, Mantrotto 055Pro w/ 128RC, TAL MT1C, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 & half pier
Diagonal: 2" A-P Maxbright, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (P), 2" Zeiss/ Baader Amici Prism (DX2), 2" Orion Amici Prism, 2" Stellarvue DX, 2" TeleVue EverBrite
Eyepieces: Antares to Zeiss
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#5

Post by Bigzmey » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:23 am

A labor of love! How about some pics? :)

I did a bit of moding of my short brother of your C6R: replaced stock focuser with GSO linear bearing, still tube dewshield with extra long craft foam one, and added extra dovetail, which doubles as a handle. Baader clicklock 2" dielectric coupled with 2" five position filter wheel is always on the scope.
Scopes: Stellarvue: SV102 ED F7; Celestron: 9.25" EdgeHD F10, 8" SCT F10, 6" SCT F10, Omni XLT 150R Achro F5, Onyx 80ED F6.3; Meade: 80ST Achro F5.
Mounts: ES: Twilight I; Bresser: EXOS2; SW: SkyTee2, AzGTi; UA: MicroStar.
Binos: Orion: Little Giant II 15x70, WorldView 10x50, Nikon: Action EX 8x40.
EPs: Pentax: XWs; TeleVue: Delites, Panoptic, Plossls & barlows; ES: 68s; Vixen: SLVs; Baader: BCOs, Aspherics, Mark IV; Meade: UWAs & Plossls.
Diagonals: Baader: BBHS silver mirror, Zeiss Spec T2 prism, Clicklock dielectric; TeleVue: Evebrite dielectric.
Filters: Lumicon: DeepSky, UHC, OIII, H-beta; Baader: Moon & SkyGlow, Contrast Booster, UHC-S; Astronomik: UHC, Orion: UltraBlock, SkyGlow.
Observing: DSOs: 1694 (Completed: M110, H1, H2. In progress: H3: 195, H2,500: 1272, S110: 77). Doubles: 1165, Comets: 14, Asteroids: 73
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#6

Post by Lady Fraktor » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:28 am

I probably should take a new picture of it since the last one I took is from 2010/11...
I was thinking of having it painted in this colour.
sparklelightorange.png
🇸🇰
Proper Telescopes: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNGDX 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen ED115s f/7.7
Mounts: Celestron AS-GT, Celestron CG-5 w/ Argo Navis & tracking motor, SLT w/ pier & tripod mods, Manfrotto 028b w/ SV M2C, Mantrotto 055Pro w/ 128RC, TAL MT1C, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 & half pier
Diagonal: 2" A-P Maxbright, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (P), 2" Zeiss/ Baader Amici Prism (DX2), 2" Orion Amici Prism, 2" Stellarvue DX, 2" TeleVue EverBrite
Eyepieces: Antares to Zeiss
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#7

Post by Bigzmey » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:36 am

Go for it!
Scopes: Stellarvue: SV102 ED F7; Celestron: 9.25" EdgeHD F10, 8" SCT F10, 6" SCT F10, Omni XLT 150R Achro F5, Onyx 80ED F6.3; Meade: 80ST Achro F5.
Mounts: ES: Twilight I; Bresser: EXOS2; SW: SkyTee2, AzGTi; UA: MicroStar.
Binos: Orion: Little Giant II 15x70, WorldView 10x50, Nikon: Action EX 8x40.
EPs: Pentax: XWs; TeleVue: Delites, Panoptic, Plossls & barlows; ES: 68s; Vixen: SLVs; Baader: BCOs, Aspherics, Mark IV; Meade: UWAs & Plossls.
Diagonals: Baader: BBHS silver mirror, Zeiss Spec T2 prism, Clicklock dielectric; TeleVue: Evebrite dielectric.
Filters: Lumicon: DeepSky, UHC, OIII, H-beta; Baader: Moon & SkyGlow, Contrast Booster, UHC-S; Astronomik: UHC, Orion: UltraBlock, SkyGlow.
Observing: DSOs: 1694 (Completed: M110, H1, H2. In progress: H3: 195, H2,500: 1272, S110: 77). Doubles: 1165, Comets: 14, Asteroids: 73
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#8

Post by Lady Fraktor » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:43 am

I think it would look quite good with the tube and dewshield painted this colour with gloss black accessories.
🇸🇰
Proper Telescopes: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNGDX 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen ED115s f/7.7
Mounts: Celestron AS-GT, Celestron CG-5 w/ Argo Navis & tracking motor, SLT w/ pier & tripod mods, Manfrotto 028b w/ SV M2C, Mantrotto 055Pro w/ 128RC, TAL MT1C, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 & half pier
Diagonal: 2" A-P Maxbright, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (P), 2" Zeiss/ Baader Amici Prism (DX2), 2" Orion Amici Prism, 2" Stellarvue DX, 2" TeleVue EverBrite
Eyepieces: Antares to Zeiss
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#9

Post by bladekeeper » Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:03 am

Lady Fraktor wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:43 am
I think it would look quite good with the tube and dewshield painted this colour with gloss black accessories.
Agreed! It would look amazing!
Bryan
Scopes: Apertura AD12 f/5; Celestron C6-R f/8; ES AR127 f/6.4; Stellarvue SV102T f/7; iOptron MC90 f/13.3; Orion ST80A f/5; ES ED80 f/6; Celestron Premium 80 f/11.4; Celestron C80 f/11.4; Unitron Model 142 f/16; Meade NG60 f/10
Mounts: Celestron AVX; Bresser EXOS-2; ES Twilight I; ES Twilight II; iOptron Cube-G; AZ3/wood tripod; Vixen Polaris
Binoculars: Pentax PCF WP II 10×50, Bresser Corvette 10×50, Bresser Hunter 16×50 and 8×40, Garrett Gemini 12×60 LW, Gordon 10×50, Apogee 20×100

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#10

Post by notFritzArgelander » Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:05 am

Thanks for providing an expert view of the mods needed to bring out the best in the OTA! I like the color too.
Scopes: Refractors: Orion ST80, SV ED80 A f7; Newtonians: Z12 f5; Catadioptrics: VMC110L, Intes MK66. EPs: KK Fujiyama Orthoscopics, 2x Vixen NPLs (40-6mm) and BCOs, Baader Mark IV zooms, TV Panoptics, Delos, Plossl 32-8mm. Mixed brand Masuyama/Astroplans Binoculars: Nikon Aculon 10x50, Celestron 15x70, Baader Maxbright. Mounts: Star Seeker III, Vixen Porta II, Celestron CG5, Orion Sirius EQG
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#11

Post by DeanD » Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:05 am

Thanks for this Gabby. Great write-up and you have done some wonderful work to the scope! It sounds terrific: you have given me a few nice ideas for my f5 version: particularly the ultra black interior and new focuser.

I think it would look amazing in that colour: I am not too fond of the Celestron blue of my version. I have been thinking of a metallic copper or bronze finish, but your orange looks great.

FWIW I agree with you about not bothering with the ED conversion: I suspect the improvement in the view would only be marginal, and not worth the extra money especially after all the work you have done to optimise the beast.

All the best,

Dean
Telescopes: 12" f5 dob, Celestron CPC800, 150mmf5 Celestron achro, Tak TSA102, TV76, ETX125...
Binos: Tak 22x60, Swarovski 8x30 Habicht, FB 25x100, Orion Regulux 15x70...
Eyepieces: way too many (is that possible?), but I do like my TV 32mm plossl, 13mm Nagler T6, 27mm Panoptic and 3-6mm Nagler zoom, plus Fujiyama 18mm and 25mm orthos and Tak 7.5mm LE
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#12

Post by Refractordude » Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:16 am

One of my favorite YouTube videos. I really enjoy watching her carry that yard canon out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_LQ9vNiwP8&t=114s
Telescopes: Meade LX70 120mm f/8 Refractor, Vixen 70mm f/12.9 Refractor, Tasco 49N 50mm Red Refractor
Binoculars: Zhumell 20x80 Giant, Levenhuk Sherman 7x50
Mounts: Orion SkyView Pro Equatorial, Orion Versago II Altazimuth, Farpoint Universal Parrallogram Mount
Finders: GSO 8x50 Raci, Svbony Red Dot
Diagonals: GSO Dielectric 2", GSO Dielectric 1.25"
Eyepieces: GSO Plossls 32mm/25mm/20mm, GSO 20mm Superview, Svbony 20mm/15mm/9mm/6mm, Svbony Aspheric 23mm/10mm/4mm, Agena Super Wide Angle 15mm, Few No Name Brand Ebay Plossls
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#13

Post by Lady Fraktor » Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:22 am

I carry my telescope down the stairs over my shoulder, mind it weights 13.5kg now.
🇸🇰
Proper Telescopes: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNGDX 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen ED115s f/7.7
Mounts: Celestron AS-GT, Celestron CG-5 w/ Argo Navis & tracking motor, SLT w/ pier & tripod mods, Manfrotto 028b w/ SV M2C, Mantrotto 055Pro w/ 128RC, TAL MT1C, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 & half pier
Diagonal: 2" A-P Maxbright, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (P), 2" Zeiss/ Baader Amici Prism (DX2), 2" Orion Amici Prism, 2" Stellarvue DX, 2" TeleVue EverBrite
Eyepieces: Antares to Zeiss
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#14

Post by pakarinen » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:18 pm

Lady Fraktor wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:22 am
I carry my telescope down the stairs over my shoulder, mind it weights 13.5kg now.
I was going to comment that the stock OTA seems relatively heavy. I guess you don't need to go to the health club to lift weights if you're observing regularly.
If you don't understand your noise, you cannot reliably extract a meaningful signal.
~ES

Orion ST120, Meade AdventureScope ST80
Twilight 1 with Astro Devices encoders and Nexus II currently on a Manfrotto 475B tripod
Nikon Aculon 10x50 binos
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#15

Post by pakarinen » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:23 pm

Refractordude wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:16 am
One of my favorite YouTube videos. I really enjoy watching her carry that yard canon out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_LQ9vNiwP8&t=114s
And none of her neighbors have reported to Homeland Security that there's a woman carrying a shoulder-launched SAM around...
If you don't understand your noise, you cannot reliably extract a meaningful signal.
~ES

Orion ST120, Meade AdventureScope ST80
Twilight 1 with Astro Devices encoders and Nexus II currently on a Manfrotto 475B tripod
Nikon Aculon 10x50 binos
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#16

Post by Lady Fraktor » Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:38 pm

pakarinen wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:18 pm
Lady Fraktor wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:22 am
I carry my telescope down the stairs over my shoulder, mind it weights 13.5kg now.
I was going to comment that the stock OTA seems relatively heavy. I guess you don't need to go to the health club to lift weights if you're observing regularly.
Carrying 46kg of gear down and then back up to the third floor can be quite the workout at times so I go to the gym daily to be able to do it. :lol:
🇸🇰
Proper Telescopes: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNGDX 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen ED115s f/7.7
Mounts: Celestron AS-GT, Celestron CG-5 w/ Argo Navis & tracking motor, SLT w/ pier & tripod mods, Manfrotto 028b w/ SV M2C, Mantrotto 055Pro w/ 128RC, TAL MT1C, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 & half pier
Diagonal: 2" A-P Maxbright, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (P), 2" Zeiss/ Baader Amici Prism (DX2), 2" Orion Amici Prism, 2" Stellarvue DX, 2" TeleVue EverBrite
Eyepieces: Antares to Zeiss
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