Re: second scope recommendations
- When one is thinking "grab and go", as the saying goes, the primary
Grab and go where?
To look at what?
My own experience is "grab and go" for me is out into the yard, which
is in a light polluted area. So it is usually for planets, m42 and
the like. I have an ETX 90 tube on a german equatorial mount
(originally an RA, non-goto model)with a Tuthill 6x30 finder and a
red-dot finder. I use it for the above and solar, white light. Now,
granted it was the second one i ordered (first had a latent defect).
But, it has the best quality optics, for its size, of any scope i
have owned. Normal magnification on the planets is 171-208x. I have
found this winter that it provides more detail (Jupiter, Saturn) than
my Orion 80ED refractor.
If I lived in a rural area, I would probably have a Starblast (lots
of good comments about it)or something similar, if i did not have the
80ED. The ETX does not do wide views. I also have no experience with
its currently sold mounting. I know i did not like its original
plastic fork mounting, hence it is on a GEM.
- Thanks John, this is useful information. I was considering the fact
that the ETX and my 8" have similar focal lengths, but also that the
Starblast and my 8" are both newtonians.
I really like the Maksutov design and capability, and the package
with tripod is a good price, but given comments here I am now
leaning towards foregoing the ETX now, but saving for a better Mak
Partly, I enjoyed playing with a Questar last summer, and the little
ETX is the same aperture and fork mount configuration, though
nowhere near the same quality, obviously.
--- In email@example.com, "John OHara" <deepskyohara@y...>
> Ed,want to
> I have experience with the Starblast as a "second scope". My other
> scopes are a mid-80s 6" f/8 Astrophysics refractor and a 10" f/5
> Portaball reflector. I mention my other scopes only because I
> give you an idea of my "personal" reference points.I
> I've used my Starblast for several evening sessions and four "all
> nighters" and have been increasingly impressed. Last Friday night
> was able to use this scope on the moon and Saturn with a Nagler 3-6225x.
> zoom (set at 5 mm) in combination with a 2.5x Powermate yielding
> The image held up very well thanks to the unusually good seeingand
> the Starblast's good mirror. On Jupiter, I was able to hold187.5x,
> however, Jupiter normally tolerates less power than Saturn in allmy
> scopes. Please note that the Starblast takes about 1/2 hour tocool
> down before delivering good high power images (I took it from aheated
> car to an outside temperature in the 20s F).my
> Of course, the Starblast really shines for wide field views. With
> 22 Panoptic, the instrument yields a 3.2 degree true field(although
> the 22 Pan is said to have a 68* AFOV, the 25 mm field stop limitsthe
> AFOV to about 65*).eyepiece
> Since this is a rich field scope, most would want to have one
> that gives the maximum true field that this scope is capable of.If
> you want to accomplish this without an overly large exit pupil, youmust be
> need to use premium eyepieces such as the 22 Panoptic, 24 Panoptic,
> 24.5 Meade SWA, etc. Like any f/4 scope, wide field eyepieces
> of the premium class if you are picky about edge of fieldaberrations.
> This has been my only qualm about the Starblast as a first scope,eyepiece
> since the beginner probably doesn't want to pay more for an
> than the scope itself. However, for those of who already have suchlength
> eyepieces, the Starblast is a tremendous second scope.
> IMO, you should steer away from a "second scope" with a focal
> near the one you already have. This helps insure that the second<ehitchcock@b...>
> scope provides you with a different viewing experience.
> John O'Hara
> NW Pennsylvania, USA
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "ehitchcock_bvg"
> > I own an 8" Skywatcher Dob and a pair of Carton Adlerblick 10x50
> > binoculars. I am looking for something between the two in size,
> > portability and aperture. Price is also a concern. Basically, I
> > looking for something I can transport easily, but that stillgives a
> > respectable performance. A current list of sample contenders isas
> > follows:well
> > New
> > StarBlast
> > Orion Apex 90mm Mini EQ ($239 US)
> > ETX 90 RA ($179 US)
> > above /w deluxe field tripod ($299 US)
> > Apogee Widestar 80mm + alt-az tripod ($99 US)
> > widestar 80mm f5+ EQ ($119 US)
> > Widestar 90mm f5.5+ EQ ($149 US)
> > Used:
> > Tal 110 mm Reflector OTA ($84 CDN)
> > Celestron 80mm F11 OTA + diagonal& finder ($175 CDN)
> > Of these, I am leaning towards the ETX. I know the Starblast is
> > regarded by Phil and Geoff, though Ed Ting was less impressed. Iany
> > would welcome any comments specifically in favour of or against
> > of these, or any other suggestions for smallish, portable,
> > inexpensive decent performers.
> > Cheers,
> > Ed.
- John wrote:
>This is a GREAT piece of advice. I have an 8" dob (1200mm focal length) and for a
> IMO, you should steer away from a "second scope" with a focal length
> near the one you already have. This helps insure that the second
> scope provides you with a different viewing experience.
while my second scope was a mak that was very close to this. My theory was I would
expect my EP collection to perform the same in each scope.
My second scope is now a TV85 with a focal length of 600mm. I had to add an EP or
two (oh well - grin) but REALLY enjoy the different viewing experience with each
The optics in the ETX get generally good reviews, and true, the
longer focal length makes it a great small
planetary/binary/lunar/solar city scope. The OTA is tiny, and the
field tripod is compact. It also has a built in RA motor. That being
said, the motor is probably a little iffy for even short exposure
photography, the stock finder is useless, and several other quirks
mean it may not live up to its potential. A $200 Questar it ain't.
The Starblast, being primarily a rich-field scope will give me a
different experience. Cooling is not a real issue if I slap on a
small cooling fan (maybe using a CPU fan and some AA's). If I get a
barlow and crank it up, I will still be tracking planets manually.
Sigh. I want both...
--- In email@example.com, "jay_moynihan" <jay@j...> wrote:
> When one is thinking "grab and go", as the saying goes, the
> questions are:
> Grab and go where?
> To look at what?
> My own experience is "grab and go" for me is out into the yard,
> is in a light polluted area. So it is usually for planets, m42 and
> the like. I have an ETX 90 tube on a german equatorial mount
> (originally an RA, non-goto model)with a Tuthill 6x30 finder and a
> red-dot finder. I use it for the above and solar, white light.
> granted it was the second one i ordered (first had a latent
> But, it has the best quality optics, for its size, of any scope i
> have owned. Normal magnification on the planets is 171-208x. I
> found this winter that it provides more detail (Jupiter, Saturn)
> my Orion 80ED refractor.
> If I lived in a rural area, I would probably have a Starblast
> of good comments about it)or something similar, if i did not have
> 80ED. The ETX does not do wide views. I also have no experience
> its currently sold mounting. I know i did not like its original
> plastic fork mounting, hence it is on a GEM.
> Jay Moynihan