Explore scientific refractors

Discuss your refractor type scopes here.
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Tomcat
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Explore scientific refractors

#1

Post by Tomcat »

I have a celestron 8se now and planet images are ok not very crisp. Looking for a refractor for visual use only to mount on my meade lx85 mount. Anyone use the ar102, ar127,ar157 or the ed102. Which one would do better for medium to high power planet and dso viewing. Thanks
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AbbN
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#2

Post by AbbN »

I have the AR102 F/6.3 and love it but use it strictly for wide field viewing as it's best suited for that. As far as using it for planets it's ok although I never use it for that. My Celestron Omni XLT 120 F/8.3 is far better suited for planets and doubles than my AR102. Not sure about how well the AR127 is on planets but I'm sure someone else here will chime in regarding it. The AR152 is a beast and once considered it but backed down because of it's size.

Hope this helps
Abb
TELESCOPES: Celestron Omni XLT 120, Explore Scientific AR102, Orion ST80 Refractors; 8" Skywatcher Dob; Orion Apex 102 Mak; Coronado PST. LENSES: ES 4.7, 6.7, 11, 18 and 30mm 82° EPs; Baader 24mm 68°; Luminos 15mm 82°; Meade 8-24mm Zoom. OTHER: CG4+16" Orion Pier Extension; Celestron Skymaster 20x80 binos etc;
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helicon
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#3

Post by helicon »

I have the AR 152 at f/6.5 - it works well for the moon and planets as I have noticed but really excels at deep sky views at low power of clusters and galaxies. For the planets, I take the magnification up to 220x or so. It's a pretty large/bulky scope to handle - need to carry the mount outside and then the OTA, which is slung into the dovetail mount. I have a Twilight II tripod.

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-Michael
Various scopes, 10" Zhumell Dob, ES AR152, AWB 5.1" Onesky newt, Oberwerk 25x100 binos, two eyeballs
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Refractordude
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#4

Post by Refractordude »

For planets and the moon I would go with the ED102. It is a f/9 with ED glass, so no violet color at high powers. I like the AR152 also, but with a 90mm aperture mask to cut down on the violet color. However, I read that some AR152s have very little to no violet color at around 200 magnification.
Last edited by Refractordude on Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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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Bigzmey
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#5

Post by Bigzmey »

Tomcat, did you check collimation of your 8se? I had many refractors over the years from 80mm to 150mm, and none of them was better on planets than my 8" SCT.

If you want sharper views you should consider slow F10-13, or APO/ED refractors.
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 16x50 & 8x40.
EPs: Pentax: XWs & XFs; TeleVue: Delites, Panoptic & Plossls; ES: 68s; Vixen: SLVs; Baader: BCOs, Aspherics, Mark IV; Russell Optics: SuperPlossls.
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: 1207, Comets: 15, Asteroids: 73
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Refractordude
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#6

Post by Refractordude »

Tomcat:

Maybe more cool down time. Check this out. http://www.astronomyforum.net/catadiopt ... n-sct.html
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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Don Quixote
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#7

Post by Don Quixote »

For visual the AR152 does very well on the lunar views for me. On DSO it is an absolutely wonderful tool. On the bright, concentrated Jupiter, and Saturn views it does show color. Mars is good. Venus is loaded with color. But keep in mind the EP you use can mitigate the color fringe issue. For imaging the planets I prefer my ES127 FCD100 APO. You will need to pick what you want most to view.
High power on the planets is highly dependent on your atmospheric conditions as you well know. When the atmosphere is less than great my 100MM f9 Skywatcher is the tool I go with.
I have an older Meade LXD75 8" SCT that performs very well on the planets.
If I were going to add to my kit and I had only an 8" SCT in my stable I would go with the 102ED.
Mark

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.
"There is Data, Statistic, and Probability...The Trinity"
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stewe
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#8

Post by stewe »

Not an exact answer to your question, but I would like to second Bigzmey. If your C8 is properly collimated, cooled down, and you have good seeing, then according to the laws of optics, it should not give worse views on planets than any of the refractors you mentioned, unless it is defective.
So I suggest to collimate your scope or get it collimated, it will be cheaper than buying a new scope.
Clear skies!
Steve
----------
telescope: Celestron C9.25
mount: Celestron AVX
binoculars: Lacerta 8x42 ED
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notFritzArgelander
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#9

Post by notFritzArgelander »

Bigzmey wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:01 pm
Tomcat, did you check collimation of your 8se? I had many refractors over the years from 80mm to 150mm, and none of them was better on planets than my 8" SCT.

If you want sharper views you should consider slow F10-13, or APO/ED refractors.
Bigzmey wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:01 pm
Tomcat, did you check collimation of your 8se? I had many refractors over the years from 80mm to 150mm, and none of them was better on planets than my 8" SCT.

If you want sharper views you should consider slow F10-13, or APO/ED refractors.
I agree. There is almost no way an achromatic refractor less than 130mm is going to do as well on planetary contrast as an 8" SCT all other things being equal.

The things that need to be equal are: collimation needs to be right, atmospheric seeing conditions need to support the higher resolution from the 8", the 8" needs to be thermally stabilized.

There is one other factor that would need to be considered once all the above has been taken into account: the eye behind the eyepiece.

I find that on lunar and planetary that SCTs seem soft to me. However an aplanatic SCT like the Celestron Edge series does superbly well. Some individuals are much more sensitive to curvature of the field of view. I'm one of them. You might be too. Before making a purchase eliminate collimation and cool down as problems, etc.
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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Refractordude
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#10

Post by Refractordude »

notFritzArgelander wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:37 pm
Bigzmey wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:01 pm
Tomcat, did you check collimation of your 8se? I had many refractors over the years from 80mm to 150mm, and none of them was better on planets than my 8" SCT.

If you want sharper views you should consider slow F10-13, or APO/ED refractors.
Bigzmey wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:01 pm
Tomcat, did you check collimation of your 8se? I had many refractors over the years from 80mm to 150mm, and none of them was better on planets than my 8" SCT.

If you want sharper views you should consider slow F10-13, or APO/ED refractors.
I agree. There is almost no way an achromatic refractor less that 150mm is going to do as well on planetary contrast as an 8" SCT all other things being equal.

The things that need to be equal are: collimation needs to be right, atmospheric seeing conditions need to support the higher resolution from the 8", the 8" needs to be thermally stabilized.

There is one other factor that would need to be considered once all the above has been taken into account: the eye behind the eyepiece.

I find that on lunar and planetary that SCTs seem soft to me. However an aplanatic SCT like the Celestron Edge series does superbly well. Some individuals are much more sensitive to curvature of the field of view. I'm one of them. You might be too. Before making a purchase eliminate collimation and cool down as problems, etc.
I just read that for SCTs collimation has to be better then 99 percent. I would use the Lymax for cool down problems. Right click the image.
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image 3.PNG
Last edited by Refractordude on Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:50 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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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notFritzArgelander
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#11

Post by notFritzArgelander »

Refractordude wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:39 pm
notFritzArgelander wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:37 pm
Bigzmey wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:01 pm
Tomcat, did you check collimation of your 8se? I had many refractors over the years from 80mm to 150mm, and none of them was better on planets than my 8" SCT.

If you want sharper views you should consider slow F10-13, or APO/ED refractors.
Bigzmey wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:01 pm
Tomcat, did you check collimation of your 8se? I had many refractors over the years from 80mm to 150mm, and none of them was better on planets than my 8" SCT.

If you want sharper views you should consider slow F10-13, or APO/ED refractors.
I agree. There is almost no way an achromatic refractor less that 150mm is going to do as well on planetary contrast as an 8" SCT all other things being equal.

The things that need to be equal are: collimation needs to be right, atmospheric seeing conditions need to support the higher resolution from the 8", the 8" needs to be thermally stabilized.

There is one other factor that would need to be considered once all the above has been taken into account: the eye behind the eyepiece.

I find that on lunar and planetary that SCTs seem soft to me. However an aplanatic SCT like the Celestron Edge series does superbly well. Some individuals are much more sensitive to curvature of the field of view. I'm one of them. You might be too. Before making a purchase eliminate collimation and cool down as problems, etc.
I just read that for SCTs collimation has to be better then 99 percent.
99% of what? Collimation needs to be sensibly perfect. That isn't hard to achieve.
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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helicon
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#12

Post by helicon »

Don Quixote wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:05 pm
For visual the AR152 does very well on the lunar views for me. On DSO it is an absolutely wonderful tool. On the bright, concentrated Jupiter, and Saturn views it does show color. Mars is good. Venus is loaded with color. But keep in mind the EP you use can mitigate the color fringe issue. For imaging the planets I prefer my ES127 FCD100 APO. You will need to pick what you want most to view.
High power on the planets is highly dependent on your atmospheric conditions as you well know. When the atmosphere is less than great my 100MM f9 Skywatcher is the tool I go with.
I have an older Meade LXD75 8" SCT that performs very well on the planets.
If I were going to add to my kit and I had only an 8" SCT in my stable I would go with the 102ED.
The only thing I can't see well in the AR152 is Venus. Always shows some color fringes and appears, most of the time, to "boil" even when I can discern the phases. Pretty darn unimpressive object, or maybe it just magnifies the weaknesses of the scope being such a bright object.
-Michael
Various scopes, 10" Zhumell Dob, ES AR152, AWB 5.1" Onesky newt, Oberwerk 25x100 binos, two eyeballs
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Refractordude
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#13

Post by Refractordude »

I found this to help with collimation.

https://starizona.com/tutorial/collimat ... assegrain/
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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Bigzmey
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#14

Post by Bigzmey »

Tomcat, If you simply want to add a refractor to your collection, nothing wrong with that.

From this perspective I would suggest 102mm ED. The reason is that none of achro refractors you listed can compete with 8" SCT neither on DSOs or planets. Small ED/APO refractor does provide sharper views compared to plain SCT or a typical fast achro scope. Also, it does not need much acclimation and can be used as grab and go.
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 16x50 & 8x40.
EPs: Pentax: XWs & XFs; TeleVue: Delites, Panoptic & Plossls; ES: 68s; Vixen: SLVs; Baader: BCOs, Aspherics, Mark IV; Russell Optics: SuperPlossls.
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: 1207, Comets: 15, Asteroids: 73
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Bigzmey
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#15

Post by Bigzmey »

helicon wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:53 pm
Don Quixote wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:05 pm
For visual the AR152 does very well on the lunar views for me. On DSO it is an absolutely wonderful tool. On the bright, concentrated Jupiter, and Saturn views it does show color. Mars is good. Venus is loaded with color. But keep in mind the EP you use can mitigate the color fringe issue. For imaging the planets I prefer my ES127 FCD100 APO. You will need to pick what you want most to view.
High power on the planets is highly dependent on your atmospheric conditions as you well know. When the atmosphere is less than great my 100MM f9 Skywatcher is the tool I go with.
I have an older Meade LXD75 8" SCT that performs very well on the planets.
If I were going to add to my kit and I had only an 8" SCT in my stable I would go with the 102ED.
The only thing I can't see well in the AR152 is Venus. Always shows some color fringes and appears, most of the time, to "boil" even when I can discern the phases. Pretty darn unimpressive object, or maybe it just magnifies the weaknesses of the scope being such a bright object.
Have you tried Venus lately Michael? It rides high at sunset now. You do want to use a filter to control the glare. Good quality blue filter seems to work the best, but I also had good results with Baader Sky & Moon Glow. With steadier atmosphere you can resolve some dark clouds near terminator.
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 16x50 & 8x40.
EPs: Pentax: XWs & XFs; TeleVue: Delites, Panoptic & Plossls; ES: 68s; Vixen: SLVs; Baader: BCOs, Aspherics, Mark IV; Russell Optics: SuperPlossls.
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: 1207, Comets: 15, Asteroids: 73
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helicon
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#16

Post by helicon »

[

The only thing I can't see well in the AR152 is Venus. Always shows some color fringes and appears, most of the time, to "boil" even when I can discern the phases. Pretty darn unimpressive object, or maybe it just magnifies the weaknesses of the scope being such a bright object.

Have you tried Venus lately Michael? It rides high at sunset now. You do want to use a filter to control the glare. Good quality blue filter seems to work the best, but I also had good results with Baader Sky & Moon Glow. With steadier atmosphere you can resolve some dark clouds near terminator.
I haven't tried a filter - a very good suggestion. Also I should check it out while it remains high after sunset. I suppose I also could dampen down the aperture a bit as well.
-Michael
Various scopes, 10" Zhumell Dob, ES AR152, AWB 5.1" Onesky newt, Oberwerk 25x100 binos, two eyeballs
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DeanD
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#17

Post by DeanD »

helicon wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:05 pm
[

The only thing I can't see well in the AR152 is Venus. Always shows some color fringes and appears, most of the time, to "boil" even when I can discern the phases. Pretty darn unimpressive object, or maybe it just magnifies the weaknesses of the scope being such a bright object.

Have you tried Venus lately Michael? It rides high at sunset now. You do want to use a filter to control the glare. Good quality blue filter seems to work the best, but I also had good results with Baader Sky & Moon Glow. With steadier atmosphere you can resolve some dark clouds near terminator.
I haven't tried a filter - a very good suggestion. Also I should check it out while it remains high after sunset. I suppose I also could dampen down the aperture a bit as well.
The other option for Venus is daytime viewing. You don't have to wait until sunset! There is a big blue filter up there then... Even in my f5 150 achromat it usually looks quite sharp during the day. It is always difficult to observe any cloud features on Venus, even with filters, but the phases are easy during the day, and quite amazing when it swings back towards us and starts to get bigger with a thinner crescent.

Have fun,

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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#18

Post by Tomcat »

Thanks for the replies, as for the 8se i think its mainly cool down problems as i dont stay out long enough for cool down. Have checked collimation by doing a star check and it looks right on. Looking at refractors because of shorter cool down times.
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Bigzmey
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#19

Post by Bigzmey »

Tomcat wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:02 pm
Thanks for the replies, as for the 8se i think its mainly cool down problems as i dont stay out long enough for cool down. Have checked collimation by doing a star check and it looks right on. Looking at refractors because of shorter cool down times.
4" ED doublet would be a great choice for quick visual sessions. Have you considered Astro-Tech scopes?

https://www.astronomics.com/astro-tech- ... r-ota.html
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 16x50 & 8x40.
EPs: Pentax: XWs & XFs; TeleVue: Delites, Panoptic & Plossls; ES: 68s; Vixen: SLVs; Baader: BCOs, Aspherics, Mark IV; Russell Optics: SuperPlossls.
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: 1207, Comets: 15, Asteroids: 73
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#20

Post by coopman »

My vote is for the 4" ED scope too.
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