Astro-Physics StarFire 130 f/6 EDT


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Subject: Moved Message
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.196.38)
Date: 01/19/2002 09:41:53 pm PDT
Take any 8" scope of good quality...ANY. Let it cool down for an hour or more...check collimation...and compare detail with any 5" AP and the 8, do it over several hours, not just a peek here and there...you will finally be convinced...I compare scopes over several nights...even over several months. After comparing side by side at matching powers..with premium eyepieces...over and over again...Neither an FS128, the FS102, the AP Traveler, an AP130, or a Vixen FL102 could beat any of the 5 C8s on planetary detail or contrast, except when the seeing was very poor (Rarely), or temperatures were falling rapidly...
I've owned over 40 scopes...the best overall are the big dobs...
You say they are not that portable. Well they are a hell of a lot more portable than a Traveler with it's QMD400 mount... I have my dob out in one piece and set up in less that 10 seconds...that is portability. Yes cool down takes time...but if you put it out at sundown and go out when it's dark...it's ready for you.
You can't observe with a small aperture...only gross detail can be seen. The images are to dim to allow high power, even on the planets. The sharpness is there, but the eye sees more detail and can is more sensitive to contrast differences in daylight conditions...for brightness you need aperture.
I'd love to lecture about all this...but I know I'd be wasting my time...so many have been duped by the hype...as I once was.
If your still not convinced then maybe this following quote will help..."The most important function of a telescope is to gather light....all things being equal...the diameter of the lens or mirror is the most important factor. A large optic has the advantage of higher resolution and increases the eyes ability to discern differences in contrast more effectively." " A large aperture has inherently more contrast than a smaller one, regardless of design, as can be seen by the MTF curve...it's simple physics." Who was the genius who stated this? ....answer Roland Christian....owner of Astrophysics...why do you think there making MacCassegrains now....


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Subject: Moved Message
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.89.225)
Date: 01/21/2002 12:42:48 pm PDT
in response to the last comment, your statement is true, and i was not trying to say you were wrong. if all things were equal aperture would win, but that is the catch! all things are not always equal, and in the majority of my experiences i have prefered the views thru high quality apos. some people really love the big scopes and you may too, but the majority of people i know who own large scopes also own and use a smaller scope more often. more often than not a big scope will become the biggest reason not to go out and observe. the amount of time i spend observing has more than doubled since i lost the big dob and settled for a high quality apo. the only thing i could see better with the big dob was the faint fuzzies, and if thats what you enjoy looking at, the big dobs are for you. if you have seen one faint fuzzy you have seen them all. i prefer the brighter objects, planets, double stars, ect.. just set the big dob up so there is time to cool down??? most people are always on the go with work and family. i dont have a two hour window to set a big scope up and let it cool. some of the best nights of viewing are not planned. you get home from work and its late, and all of the sudden those cloudy skies are turning clear. some nights you have one hour if you are lucky to get outside and look at the sky after you have spent time with your children and wife when the skies suddenly start clearing. that big dob wont do you a bit of good in those situations, and my personal experiences are more often just those types of situations. looking for a big dob???? just make sure your life style can accommodate that scope or it will be gathering dust in one of the corners of your home.


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Subject: Moved Message
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.88.128)
Date: 01/23/2002 12:39:18 pm PDT
you know its funny and i dont mean to beat a dead horse, down the street from me i have a friend who has a 18" dob that gives absolutely awesome views of the planets. last night the skies started to clear and he set the thing up (about 15 degrees outside) and one hour later the clouds were back, i had already been viewing for about 45 minutes. he gave me a call to ask if i got the chance to get outside and i told him i had been viewing for a while already. he told me his scope never had the chance to stablize, he set it up and one hour later he took it down, ZERO VIEWING TIME. his next comment was "i am getting tired of this, i need a smaller scope". my scope cant even come close to providing me with the images his can, but once again i am enjoying the night sky while the big dob owner is in the dog house.


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Subject: Moved Message
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.224.101)
Date: 01/24/2002 03:26:06 am PDT
It seems amateur astronomers are not immune to petty jealousy. Almost every high end scope has someone to bad mouth it. Stop denigrating scopes and manufacturers that you know nothing about, negativity should be kept to yourself unless it is truly constructive. We should be happy that there are so many excellent products out there due to the efforts and abilities of companies like AP. Should automakers have stopped with the model T? By the way, I have an Intes-Micro MN56 on order because I currently cannot afford an AP. Please enjoy what you have and stop bringing down others with bad attitudes and outright lies about products which you have little or ZERO experience.

Steve Stonehill
Toms River, NJ


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Subject: Moved Message
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.89.131)
Date: 01/24/2002 09:37:50 am PDT
i dont recall bad mouthing any scope in my comments, in fact i said the larger scope gave spectacular views but warned against the extra effort to accommodate a larger scope, i also said i loved the views they provide compared to my own. so unless you were refering to the comments that aperture rules and dont be caught up in the hype, your comment has no point.


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Subject: Moved Message
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.224.101)
Date: 01/24/2002 10:19:58 am PDT
My apologies to the last reviewer. I wasn't referring to your comments at all. I should have prefaced my remarks as a general statement to the users of this fine site. The only reason I put it where I did is because this scope is popular and maybe one or two of the cranks might read it and take it to heart. I do use this site as a guide for some purchases and appreciate honest opinions and information as much as anyone else. People can slander a company or product and do grievous harm. They can also post false comments about garbage and lead others astray thinking that they are buying a good piece of equipment when they're not.


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Subject: Moved Message
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.88.129)
Date: 01/27/2002 07:32:24 am PDT
I HAVE LOOKED THROUGH MANY 8" SCT'S AND HAVE NEVER, AND I MEAN NEVER SEEN ONE THAT HAD BETTER CONTRAST THAN THIS 5" APO FROM ASTRO-PHYSICS. WHO'S THIS GUY A COUPLE OF COMMENTS BACK TRYING TO FOOL?


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Subject: Moved Message
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.192.26)
Date: 02/10/2002 09:04:10 am PDT
...I think the previous voter should do a little reading and learn something...and maybe do a little side by side comparing with a collimated cooled down reflector before you pass judgement on them, not just a casual peek...aperture wins because it overwhelmes the MTF curve, shifting it to the right...You need a very large central obstruction of around 40% to seriously degrade the image. Even with an obstruction of 40%, you only get a shift to the left on the curve, equivalent at best to the aperture minus the obstruction diameter. For most C8s, that comes to about equivalent to a 5-5.5" unobstructed instrument. This simple formula doesn't even apply to smaller obstructions which hardly effect the image at all. Read the article in S&T July 1993 and Sept 1993 by William Zmek.
Also read the review on an Ultima 2000 8" SCT in the Nov 1997 S&T. Also read "The 10 myths about Telescopes and Observing" in Terence Dickinsons & Alan Dyer's "Backyard Astronomer's Guide", especially myth number 8. Todd Gross' review site also has been very forthcoming on doing critical side by side comparisions, and supports my previous claims. I can name many more if you wish...all are seasoned observers with decades of experience. I rest my case....


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Subject: Moved Message
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.200.29)
Date: 02/22/2002 06:02:34 am PDT
As a note only....not to be directly critical...but, Roland Christiansen has lately desputed the accuracy of Suiters star test as a measure of optical quality on several owner web sites do to the recent backlash of owner optical star tests that fail to meet the diffraction limit. Why the 180 degree turnaround? For what you pay for an AP of any kind, it makes you wonder why there isn't an interferagram with them.
Just one more thing to think about.....


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Subject: Moved Message
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.105.187)
Date: 02/23/2002 07:01:47 am PDT
I believe that Scopes should be compared on a cost comparison, not strictly on like aperture. It's unfair to compare a $300 4" Newt to a $2900 4" refractor, even though many of them come pretty close in image quality. All my reflectors have handily beaten any 5" or less APO on planetary and deep sky detail. The only 2 saving graces for the smaller refractors is that they have quick cool down and can be used for extreme widefield use in excess of 3 degrees field of view. I owned 2 APs (Traveler and a 130) as well as 7 Taks (2 FS78, 3 FS 102s, and 2 FS128s), None even matched the performance of any reflector over 7-8" I owned regardless of make or manufacture, be it an SCT, Newtonian, or a MakNewt, whether on planets or deepsky. The price/performance ratio doesn't even come close. Many fail to remember that the most important consideration is aperture. As an example, even the 3 8" SCTs which I used to compare to two 5" Taks (these scopes were owned for nearly a year and directly compared side by side with the same premium eyepieces) beat out all these refractors on planets and deep sky detail, even in average seeing. I have never once seen more contrast or detail in the smaller scope, except when the seeing was exceedingly poor. Which was only about 20- 25% of the time.
If you consider that you can get a C9.25 with excellent optics with a computerized GP-DX mount for about $3300, it's a major value compared to about $2900 for just a Traveler optical tube. And it does beat it handily on all objects, except for those over 1 degree in size. But even then the intraobject detail is much higher and apparent in the larger aperture. As for ease of setup, it is about the same for both except that the Traveler can also be used on a large photo tripod for quick use.
I am absolutely convinced that refractors are perceived to perform better than reflectors because of: 1) Smaller aperture gathers less background light, and have darker backgrounds as a result...this is mistaken for higher contrast, particularly by novices and gives an aesthetically more pleasing image. The image contrast is higher in a larger telescope. 2) High quality refractors cool faster, and give excellent images within a short amount of time...large reflectors need a lot of cool down time, and are often not fairly evaluated at star parties because they did not reach thermal equilibrium 3) Comparisons are usually with reflectors that are not properly collimated, or cleaned 4) Most reflector owners of the cheaper dob and SCT variety use less than premium eyepieces, where a Tak or AP owner wouldn't even consider using less than premium ones on such an expensive instrument. Premium eyepieces can even improve a dept. store scope!!! 5) Lastly, the comparisons are made to less than premium instruments. An EL11, costs about $2600 shipped, mount and all. Add a dob driver and computer and your at about $3600. Considerably less than the $7000 for a premium refractor setup.
I still own a 4" Tak, and it is a great scope...but the truth about performance has to be told...If I had to keep ONE scope it would be my EL12.5!


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