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Which is more comfortable?

Started by robcos, 05/16/2004 05:54PM
Posted 05/16/2004 05:54PM Opening Post
Just curious...those of you who have used both an Eq. reflector and Eq. refractor....which do you find easier to use on an eq. mount? I'm finding that i'm having a tough time getting used to using a reflector 8" (rotating the tube, standing etc). I'm sure i'll get used to it, but I figure it doesn't hurt to ask. I'm within my warranty and could always switch to the 4.7" refractor(Orion).

Any advice or anecdotes would be most appreciated!
Posted 05/16/2004 06:26PM #1
Hello Robert, I have owned a 10" meade eq, 4.5" equatorial orion reflector, and now a meade ar 5 refractor on a equatorial mount. Out of all those the easiest to use was the 4.5" equatorial reflector because of its small size. My AR5 refractor is much easier to use than the 10" equatorial once again because of the size. I have dual drives for my AR5 refractor and that makes it very simple. I have also had viewing time with a 6" refractor on a cg5 without electronic drives and it was not easy at first, that long of an OTA makes for some interesting "reaches" for the adjustment knobs on the mount. I would also like to point out that with my AR5 refractor, when it had its stock tripod I would have to kneel on the ground to view objects higher than 75 or so degrees, just a thought. So viewing wise the reflectors on stock tripods are easier/more comfortable in my opinion to view through. If you got the refractor you would probably want to upgrade the tripod unless you don't mind kneeling. Take what you will from my rant Ü
Posted 05/16/2004 06:53PM #2
In my experience newtonian reflectors are about the same for ease of use as refractors on an equatorial mount. Both have awkward positions which can be avoided to some extent if you plan ahead. I would consider going to a shorter pedestal/ pier mount for your 8" newtonian which probably get it low enough for the use of a chair or stool (also has the advantage that the tube won't hit the tripod). Rotating rings would make rotating the tube easier but they are heavy and expensive. I wouldn't trade it in for a 120mm achromat refractor though. A Refractor in that price range is useful but an 8" newtonian will outperform it on most objects. I based by conclusion on the 8" F4 , 8" F8 newtonians and a 5" F8 refractor I currently own.

Posted 05/16/2004 08:11PM #3

What chair are you using or are you standing?

Refractors have the advantage that one can rotate the diagonal in the drawtube so it is not necessary to rotate the tube in the rings unless you want to use the finder.

On the other hand, with a refractor, you end up kneeling when the target is gets up towards the zenith, not a good thing.

The other issue is that with a reflector your can keep the legs short so the mount is stable, not important with expensive mounts but critial with most.

The real problem with using a reflector on a EQ mount is that there are some situations where you are tangling with the counterweights. You could be on the other side of the mount but then the finder scope is not accessable. The solution to this is to buy another mount for the finder and place it on the other side of the focuser. That way you can avoid most of the awkward positions.

I owned an Orion 120 mm F8.3 refractor for a while, it was nice but I sold it because I preferred my Xt-8 both optically and mechanically.

My thinking: Get a good chair like the Starbound (or a cheaper copy), it really makes a huge difference and makes viewing comfortable.