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Small - Medium (80mm-120mm) Refractor

Started by markvcostello3, 09/20/2003 02:42PM
Posted 09/20/2003 02:42PM Opening Post
Good afternoon to all:

I'm signed up for a 102F6 from Burgess Optical. Currently, problems have been identified with the scope for which may take a while to identify the cause and come up with a solution. Against that possibility, I'm starting to look at alternatives. I'm interested in a small (or medium) fast (or at least not too slow) refractor. I would use it for wide field viewing but would occasionally want higher power views (especially as it will be my only telescope for a while). It has to be very portable (able to fit in a car with suitcases as I may take it with me on vacations). It does NOT have to be airline portable. The price has to be comparable to that for the 102F6 OTA ($400 maybe up to $600). I just need the OTA (and finder and eyepieces) - already bought a CG5 mount. I'd prefer a 100mm or so objective but may go up or down as much as 20mm. The focal length would be 500mm - 800mm. The alternatives I'm currently aware of are

1) Orion 100F6
2) Orion 120ST (F5)
3) SV Nighthawk
4) Orion 80mm ED/APO
5) APM 102F6 Triplet Achro (is there a US dealer that sells these)?
6) Celestron 102F5

I'd list the SV102D but it's out of my price range and anyway it appears that Vic Maris is in the middle of redesigning it.

Opinions from y'all would be appreciated. Have I missed anything?


Mark Costello

Mark Costello
Matthews, NC, USA

"I hear you're mechanically inclined. Did you ever do anything with perpetual motion?"

"Yeah, I nearly had it a couple of times."
Posted 09/20/2003 04:14PM #1
Hi Mark,

As a Vixen ED owner I would heartily recommend the Orion ED. The difference between decent ED and fast focal ratio achro refractors is considerable. The 120mm will be brighter but anything that shines from mag 3 up will introduce a large amount of false color.

Clear Skies,

Posted 09/22/2003 09:00AM #2
You did not put this on your list, but I can recommend the f10 version of the Celestron 102. I have been using a C102HD for about a year, and have been very pleased. When used with a 2" 40mm eyepiece, it gives great wide-field views, but is still good for high magnification (I routinely use 200X on double stars) without image breakdown. The false color only begins to show up on very bright objects. I would expect the false color to be much more objectionable on the faster ones that you mentioned.

Posted 09/23/2003 07:07PM #3
I think the 100mm and 120 mm F5 scopes will have too much false color. I would consider the 100F6 or the 80ED, one offering more aperture, the other better optics and mechanicals. As a Pronto owner and ST-80 owner, I think that small aperture scopes have their place, mostly it is in as a companion to a larger scope!

For travel more aperture is a good thing, the Synta 100F6 is a good balance between aperture and focal ratio, and the price is right as well.