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Are Shorty Reflectors worthwhile?

Started by Lee_S, 01/14/2006 07:11AM
Posted 01/14/2006 07:11AM Opening Post
I've seen a lot of short reflectors with built in "corrector lenses" in the tube that provide a longer focal length in a shorter package (e.g. Meade 114EQ-AST, Firstscope 114 4.5" reflector Short EQ) and some with corrector lenses built into the focuser (e.g. Orion Short Tube 4.5 EQ).

Enquiring minds want to know: Do these things work well? How do the images from these short tube reflectors compare to the images produced from traditional full length models? Do they work better and put less of a burden on their EQ mounts?
Are they much easier to handle/store?

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I have several telescopes, but none are semi-APO, APO, or in anyway valuable.
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Posted 01/14/2006 09:30AM #1
Enquiring minds want to know: Do these things work well? How do the images from these short tube reflectors compare to the images produced from traditional full length models? Do they work better and put less of a burden on their EQ mounts?
Are they much easier to handle/store?
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My experience has been that optically they are marginal in comparision to a standard Newtonian of a similar focal length.

I have had a few of these, the worst by far oprics is/was the Baytronix 150/1400, the Classic Ebay scope which I purchased strictly for the purpose of reviewing it for CloudyNights. (google baytronix and the review is normally the first selection.) The views were never sharp, always filled with coma no matter what I did. Comparing this scope against an 30+year old RV-6, 6 inch F8 is like night and day, the RV-6 produces sharp, contrasty views that are near perfect.

It is true that the ST reflectors do put less load on the mount and are more compact than standard Newtonian with the same equivilent focal length but one is much better IMHO with a standard fast Newtonian like the Orion SpaceProbe 130ST. (also sold as the Nexstar 130)

No built in corrector/barlow, just an 130mm F5 Parabolic mirror and a 24 inch long, 6.5 lb OTA. Quite compact but with much better optics, I often use mine between 200x and 300x viewing Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon. On a good night I can split the double-double down around 60x.

SO, IMHO, I do not recommend the scopes with a built in corrector, I think there are better solutions that are only slightly more bulky but that offer much better optics.

Jon
Posted 01/14/2006 04:34PM #2
Thanks for the feedback on the shorties reflectors. I almost ended up with one for Christmas. Now, I feel like I've dodged a bullet. wink

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I have several telescopes, but none are semi-APO, APO, or in anyway valuable.
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