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Observing with Small Apertures: 130mm and Below

Discussion in 'Telescopes and Mounts' started by Ray of Light, Jul 26, 2016.

Observing with Small Apertures: 130mm and Below

Started by Ray of Light on Jul 26, 2016 at 5:34 AM

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  1. Dave In Vermont

    Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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    Mak - I'm set to recieve email notices from SourceForge for updates to certain programs, including CdC obviously. A convienent thing at times - like this one.

    Yeah - I understand the misnomer that is 'Super Plossl.' That's why I asked about this particular beast. But I guess no one has any further info on this Omegon-branded gizmo.

    I always thought there should likely be an umlaut in 'Plossl.' Thanks for the research, Ziggy!

    Time for my nap/coma.

    'THUD!'

    Dave
     
  2. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it sounds about right. I'm not sure how Plössl is actually pronounced though. I know in German sibilant 's' sounds are often more likely to be a voiced alveolar sibilant 'z' sound than the voiceless 's' sibilant more familiar in English.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welsh_orthography

    Don't get me started about the Welsh alphabet!
     
  3. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    All going well we shouldn't have to worry about upgrading CdC for another couple of years. I doubt Omegon would tell you where they were getting them from. It does look suspiciously like the Barsta zoom though.
     
  4. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Figured out the new Milky Way rendering ...

    milkyway1.png
     
  5. Ray of Light

    Ray of Light Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, you guys are great! By the way, I was born in Brooklyn! I was looking around on the Omegon website but I could only find an 80mm MightyMak. I'm missing the 90mm for some reason. Yours is a 90mm, right Mak?
     
  6. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    The Omegon site is difficult to navigate sometimes I find.

    http://www.omegon.eu/omegon-dobson-telescope-mightymak-90/p,48819

    According to the page the 90mm MightyMak is £187, that's actually 20 quid more than Amazon are selling the 90mm Orion StarMax for in the UK at the moment! Amazon are selling it for Optronic Technologies of California I believe.

    mak dob (4).jpg
    mak dob (1).jpg

    Above you can see the 90mm Orion StarMax. The visual back has an adapter with two set screws and the rear cell of the OTA is metal. There is no compression ring in the adapter. It can hold a fairly substantial diagonal.

    mak dob (2).jpg
    mak dob (3).jpg

    The two jpegs above are the MightyMak and its Dob' mount. The focuser has a tiny set screw and features a compression ring. It will not hold a large diagonal well and only the lightest eyepieces can be used. The entire rear cell of the OTA consists of some form of plastic. My guess, Bakelite lol. In the picture the Omegon is mounted on a Sky-Watcher Dob' mount which is identical to the Orion Dob', both are Synta. The MightyMak dovetail can be seen in the first picture, you can see it is just folded metal, unlike the Orion standard Synta dovetail. The last picture shows the original Omegon Dob' mount. It is not half as well made as the Synta Dob' mounts and is stiff to turn essentially making tracking any target very difficult without the base moving as well.
     
  7. Ray of Light

    Ray of Light Well-Known Member

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    I found the 90mm on Amazon. I assume it will fit on my Meade Alt-Az as well as all my other refractor equipment)
     
  8. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    I can't see any difficulties. I'd really recommend the Orion or any Synta equivalent though. You should be able to buy just the Synta 90mm OTA equivalent. I was disappointed with the Omegon. Mak's are basically for high power and the Omegon just won't give a sharp image above about 66x. I'm not the only person to discover this, it's probably a collimation issue, but it still isn't really up to the same standard as the Synta Mak's. It is faster, f/11.4, but there is no advantage over the ST80.

    If I knew what I know now I'd have bought the Orion StarMax first.
     
  9. Dave In Vermont

    Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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    I'd vouch for the Synta/Orion build of their Maksutovs, too. Never got burned by Omegon to find this out first the hard-way. Lucky me!

    I'm slowly paddling through the CdC Ver. 4.0, getting it set to where I want it - slowly being the operative-word. Finding new things (for me) to play with. :p

    I'm liking this!

    Dave

    CdC V4.0 #2.png
     
  10. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    The Synta Mak's have a good international reputation, whether they're Orion, Sky-Watcher, Celestron or Levenhuk. I originally agonised over buying the Orion StarMax or the Omegon MightyMak 90mm Mak. After some time I thought the faster Omegon would be a better all-rounder for me. At that time I was still convinced setting up the Bazooka regularly (130mm Newtonian) with an EQ2 mount would be too difficult for me. Plus I was thinking about looking at the zenith more easily. They say hindsight is 20-20. I don't want Ray to make the same mistake that I did. It wouldn't be so bad if the Omegon was half the price of the Orion, but there wasn't much between them at the time. I think the Omegon was a few pounds cheaper so I thought they would be more or less the same quality. I couldn't have been more wrong. The Omegon is OK for a quick grab'n'go mounted on the Synta Dob' I can carry outside to look at the phases of Venus or low power views of M42 or the Little Beehive.

    titan.jpg

    Yeah, CdC 4.0 still rocks!
     
  11. Ray of Light

    Ray of Light Well-Known Member

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    IMG_0654.PNG
    I guess this is it. Do you think this would fit on my Meade mount?
     
  12. Dave In Vermont

    Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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    That image from 4.0 of Titan reminds me of a recent photo taken of Ganymede by an amateur and posted in The Dark Lord's Lair ( :p ):

    Ganymede_18_3_2017_Raymond_Collecutt_Flickr_-_2017-03-18_06.59.44.png
    As the OP said: "I was totally gobsmacked! I thought I was looking at a photo of Mars!" But it is Ganymede. These are momentous times.

    Dave
     
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  13. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure it should thread into the mount. The finder will be on the right-hand side at about the 1 o'clock position. Although I'm also pretty sure you can screw the entire Dob mount into a tripod with the StarMax.

    You may find an 90mm Orion 'Apex' OTA on its own without a mount. That will almost certainly have the finder on the left if the OTA is mounted from the bottom like your alt-az.

    I'll say one thing Ray, and this seems to defy conventional wisdom, but I can't seem to tell much difference between the 90mm Orion Mak and the 102mm Sky-Watcher Mak when lunar/planetary viewing. I'd have thought the half inch would have made more difference. The 90mm Orion only has a 50mm shorter f/l than the 102mm. It's slower of course (at f/13.8).
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  14. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Yeah but AP and visual are very different animals, I'd be impressed if I saw that detail with a 200mm scope lol.
     
  15. Zigarro

    Zigarro Well-Known Member

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    Ha! I won't! : )
     
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  16. Ray of Light

    Ray of Light Well-Known Member

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    IMG_0655.PNG
    So, the 90mm Apex is the better choice and it does look like the dovetail should fit on my Meade mount. The screenshot from Amazon shows the three apertures they carry, I assume. I'm kind of just researching; they seem very interesting. Thanks Mak, I'm just learning about them so I appreciate the feedback!
     
  17. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    I was originally going to get the Sky-Watcher Skymax 127mm (5") but it's a tad heavy and large. It's probably the standard entry-level Mak but it needs an EQ 3/2 mount. At the time my right arm was virtually completely paralysed and just assembling the bloody thing would have been a major problem. So I went for the 102mm. It had an EQ2 mount, exactly like the Bazooka, so I decided it might be easier.

    Even then, I had to sit on a groundsheet to thread the OTA onto the mount on the ground, stand up, place the combined OTA/mount into the tripod and then add the 2kg counterweight. Luckily I have big hands so manipulating the 102mm OTA without dropping it was relatively easy after a bit of practice (and not crapping myself after nearly dropping it at all lol).

    With any reflectors anything less than around 5" and you're going to struggle to some extent for light gathering capability. The rules are slightly different for refractors. So any Maksutov less than 5" is really only going to be useful for lunar/planetary and maybe bright nebulae (I'm talking about you M42! lol).

    Which kind of brings you to a choice: 102mm (4") or 90mm (3.5"). The Synta 102mm and 90mm Mak's have f/l's of 1300mm and 1250mm respectively, giving them very similar magnifications. The 12mm between them must make some difference, but the 90mm version is very portable and much easier to manipulate if you have any kind of disability or problem with manual dexterity. I can't really detect a great deal of difference between the 90mm and the 102mm, especially for lunar observation.

    Mak's also have a narrow FOV compared to a fast refractor. The 90mm Apex/StarMax is more or less f/14. Trying to find a planetary target without a sight on a Mak should be an Olympic sport lol. Mak's are good for close magnification though and excel at lunar observation. There is no CA although the image will be very slightly softer than a comparable refractor, having said that, the Synta Mak's are generally considered the best for sharpness and clarity on the market.

    I'm fairly sure the 90mm Orion StarMax will thread onto your Meade mount. The finder should be more or less in the right place but on the right-hand side. Plus, if you get that version, you will have a tabletop Dob' mount that can even be threaded directly into a tripod. The 90mm Apex OTA would thread directly onto the alt-az and the finder will be on the left. You would also be able to thread the 102mm Apex onto the Meade mount I should think. Although I'd check to see if the alt-az could hold the 127mm Apex if you wanted that one. Orion supply a 10mm and 25mm 'Sirius' Plossl with the StarMax. I'm fairly sure they're Synta. The supplied diagonal is just an inexpensive mirror type (although the diagonals in your phone screenshot look like 45° Amici prisms).

    At the end of the day, if you like observing the Moon and the planets, and you want a little portable telescope with a bit of power and no CA a Mak is your logical choice. IIRC one of the first targets I saw with the 102mm Skymax was Saturn, just a couple of weeks after opposition. I thought it compared well with the Bazooka and I easily saw the Cassini Division. The Moon was pretty stunning as well and I often used bino's with it. Jupiter, which is always weird anyway, was not so easy and I have struggled to see the GRS as it isn't as obvious as with the 130mm Bazooka. I've seen the GRS with the 90mm StarMax recently though. A Baader Neodymium is a real help. So, Mak's are pretty good for certain targets. They will dew, of course. lol
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  18. Dave In Vermont

    Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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    In my version of a "Straw-Poll" on Maksutovs' in America, by far the most popular aperture of these Synta-made models is the 127mm. Still small enough and light enough to qualify as a small telescope that can be passed-off as 'grab & go' size. Yet anyone who has experience in Maks will tell you they are actually a true powerhouse. Capable of astoundingly detailed up & close views of local denizens like comets and planets.

    As with any optical-design, I'd strongly encourage studying-up on what these critter's excel at. This to avoid disappointment if one were to expect good performance on extended objects like nebulae and wide star-clusters. A Maksutov is a high-power, narrow-field instrument. If that's what one is looking for - the Maksutov is ideal.

    For dew, a Celestron SCT dew-shield came recommended to me. I think it's an Astrozap. And at about $22.00, probably as an advertisement to Celestron®, it was dirt-cheap - about ½ the usual price for these. Mine's for a 150mm though. Research will help with others. But the one I have is adjustable for a small range of apertures, also fitting the 8" (200mm) SCT's.

    First invented in the former Soviet Union in 1941, these were first assigned to use on battle-tanks in the Red Army in WWII. While the tank might take a direct hit from a Panzer, and be blown-up, these scopes would still be working and in collimation! Or so legends go. I'd LOVE to get my hands & eyes on one of these originals! If you find any photos of them, please post 'em!

    As the Omegon-line is new to the Americas, I can understand why people get an urge to get one to explore and experience something novel. But we are fortunate to have Mak the Night, who is from the UK and is a long-time owner of a Omegon 90mm, to help dispel the mystery for us - without our requiring to spend our money. I don't know about about other folks, but I utilize what resources I find available - including people.

    Last Analysis: I'm listening to MtN and his sage-advice. I'll not be purchasing an Omegon. I'll be following the old Chinese proverb: "Sit on my doorstep and wait to watch the funeral go by."

    Dave
     
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  19. Zigarro

    Zigarro Well-Known Member

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    Fine post young man! BTW, am I the only one encountering a site-safety notice when logging in? Here's a WWII Russian periscope view port;
    [​IMG]

    and a Cold War era range finder;

    [​IMG]

    and here's the oldest example I could find;

    [​IMG]

    and here's the chap who came up with it, Dmitry Maksutov;

    [​IMG]

    :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
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  20. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Could you screenshot it? What browser are you using?
     

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