Hello, everybody. I am the happy owner of an Explore Scientific AR127, a 5"F6.5 achromatic refractor. My only telescope for the last four years, it's kept me hopping for all that time and could for a much longer time. But every so often when I'm observing a galaxy or some other dim deep sky object, or maybe one of the gas giants, I think about the advantages of a second telescope. It'd have a larger objective. Since 5" is my limit for refractors, the companion telescope would work mostly with mirrors. It takes me as little as five minutes to set up my AR127 (it rides an unmotorized Celestron Omni mount). It would be OK for the second telescope to take a little longer to set up, say 15 minutes. That's because I'd bring it out for the longer weekend sessions, it would be my "Saturday Night Special"
. (The refractor would get weeknight duty and maybe also be out on the weekend as a second telescope.)
Mostly I've been thinking of some kind of Cassegrain reflector, a Schmidt Cassegrain telescope (SCT) or perhaps a Maksutov Cassegrain Telescope (SCT). With their longer focal lengths, I think of an SCT or MCT as a more ideal companion to a refractor as large as 5". Also, a SCT or MCT could ride shotgun with my achro on a two headed alt-az mount. But I've never ruled out a Newtonian. Assuming same quality of make, the Newt should deliver a somewhat superior image due to the smaller size of its secondary mirror assembly (central obstruction or CO). Also, if the Newt was a Dobsonian (Dob), I think I could handle one up to 10" whereas for an SCT, I might be limited more to 9.25" or maybe 8". (I have no problem handling my 35 lb mount and tripod or for that matter moving around my 50 lm rig around for good obserrving vantage points in my yard. I'll not have a Newt on a German equatorial mount.) Finally, there is the difference in cost. I can buy a 10" Dob with built in tracking or an equatorial platform for several hundreds less than a C8HD rig or Meade 8" rig. I'm more likely to be able to afford a Dob than a SCT or MCT rig of the same size.
So my question is: In your opinion, would a 10"F5 Dob be a good companion scope to a refractor like my 5"F6.5 achro?
Thanks in advance for your responses.