Astro-Physics StarFire 130 f/8 EDT


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Subject: Moved Message
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.148.159)
Date: 07/19/2001 06:54:35 pm PDT
I Agree. I prefer the TMBs but all the big four are really great. You can't go wrong either way.


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Subject: Moved Message
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.174.111)
Date: 08/21/2001 07:45:29 pm PDT
Is that mark d. writing all of these comments in lower case? By the way, the Tasco is the best of the lot and that is no joke.


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Subject: Moved Message
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.221.122)
Date: 08/22/2001 11:59:15 am PDT
no, my name is not mark d.


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Subject: Moved Message
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.110.69)
Date: 11/03/2001 05:16:25 pm PDT
My Magnicon 234 is better than Tasco which is better than Astro-Physics...or something like that........:-)

Really want nice Refractoid.


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Subject: Moved Message
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.198.176)
Date: 01/12/2002 07:15:56 pm PDT
For it's aperture it's the best you can own for at any price. The Taks and TMBs are right there in quality, both mechanically and optically.
However, I now evaluate scopes based on price performance, not just on how well it performs by itself. All scopes are tested against others side by side against each other over many nights. A 5" Mac newt, was so close to this scope in image quality, it was nearly impossible to tell them apart, except under the superb sky conditions....and even then they were virtually tied. The AP did not win by much.
Against any larger scope...C8, C9.25, Meade 8 or 10", 8" Starsplitter Dob, EL11, EL12.5, and a 15" Dob...it lost by varying margins, on deep sky and on Planetary contrast and detail. Even under average seeing conditions.
Experience has taught me that hype doesn't give good images...good optics with aperture does. Atmospheric seeing does play a part with larger scopes...but not as much as is stated in the literature. Local seeing has a lot larger affect...(ex. Not allowing a reflector enough time to cool down to ambient temperature.) Also, collimation is crucial for good images.
Refractors are not better or even equal to reflectors dollar per dollar...not even close. Reflectors are far superior...sorry.... 5 Taks, 3 APs, and 3 Vixens later...I finally trusted the eyes of my friends and my own. Aperture is king. All the refractors are gone and now I have a lot of cash in the bank...and the best planetary images I've ever seen, through my 15" obsession, and my 8" Dob.


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Subject: Re: vote by xxx.xxx.195.202
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.201.81)
Date: 02/19/2002 08:52:32 am PDT
>It is well made and gives great images for the aperture, BUT, it is ONLY a five inch scope. In a side by side. My EL11 creams it on planets and deep sky, and my Obsession 15" shows planetary detail that this scope can only dream of. The major advantage is that it seems to cut through seeing better than the bigger apertures, when seeing is poor. And of course the wide field views are tremendous, but I prefer my binoculars for that. My EL11 gets 1.85 degrees (and my 15 gets 1.3) with a 40 widefield and the Wisps in the Veil are visible where the 5" doesn't shows them hardly at all. Conclusion is: refractors like this are great for those who prefer widefields and need to penetrate poor skies. But, for real performance, get a large scope. They always win in the long run. I sold mine and bought a 12.5" Starsplitter Compact 2. The workmanship is great by the way.


What a Loser! Nobody ask you about your newts. You were susppose to give your opinion on This scope and not compare them to larger aperture scopes.


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Subject: Moved Message
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.200.29)
Date: 02/22/2002 06:01:14 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: Re: vote by xxx.xxx.195.202
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.105.187)
In Reply to: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.201.81) (Original Message)
Date: 02/23/2002 06:46:39 am PDT
>>It is well made and gives great images for the aperture, BUT, it is ONLY a five inch scope. In a side by side. My EL11 creams it on planets and deep sky, and my Obsession 15" shows planetary detail that this scope can only dream of. The major advantage is that it seems to cut through seeing better than the bigger apertures, when seeing is poor. And of course the wide field views are tremendous, but I prefer my binoculars for that. My EL11 gets 1.85 degrees (and my 15 gets 1.3) with a 40 widefield and the Wisps in the Veil are visible where the 5" doesn't shows them hardly at all. Conclusion is: refractors like this are great for those who prefer widefields and need to penetrate poor skies. But, for real performance, get a large scope. They always win in the long run. I sold mine and bought a 12.5" Starsplitter Compact 2. The workmanship is great by the way.
>
>
> What a Loser! Nobody ask you about your newts. You were susppose to give your opinion on This scope and not compare them to larger aperture scopes.You are absolutely correct in your observation. 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 gives gathers less background light, and have darker backgrounds...this is mistaken for higher contrast, 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 instrument.
My last comment is the REAL LOSER is the one who made the previous inane comment. Those who have no facts or information always resort to name calling.


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Subject: Re: vote by xxx.xxx.195.202
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.105.187)
In Reply to: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.105.187) (Original Message)
Date: 02/23/2002 06:49:40 am PDT
>>>It is well made and gives great images for the aperture, BUT, it is ONLY a five inch scope. In a side by side. My EL11 creams it on planets and deep sky, and my Obsession 15" shows planetary detail that this scope can only dream of. The major advantage is that it seems to cut through seeing better than the bigger apertures, when seeing is poor. And of course the wide field views are tremendous, but I prefer my binoculars for that. My EL11 gets 1.85 degrees (and my 15 gets 1.3) with a 40 widefield and the Wisps in the Veil are visible where the 5" doesn't shows them hardly at all. Conclusion is: refractors like this are great for those who prefer widefields and need to penetrate poor skies. But, for real performance, get a large scope. They always win in the long run. I sold mine and bought a 12.5" Starsplitter Compact 2. The workmanship is great by the way.
>>
>>
>> What a Loser! Nobody ask you about your newts. You were susppose to give your opinion on This scope and not compare them to larger aperture scopes.
>>
>>
>>You are absolutely correct in your observation. 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 gives gathers less background light, and have darker backgrounds...this is mistaken for higher contrast, 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 instrument.
>My last comment is the REAL LOSER is the one who made the previous inane comment. Those who have no facts or information always resort to name calling.


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Subject: Re: vote by xxx.xxx.195.202
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.165.8)
In Reply to: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.105.187) (Original Message)
Date: 02/15/2003 09:16:11 pm PDT
>>>It is well made and gives great images for the aperture, BUT, it is ONLY a five inch scope. In a side by side. My EL11 creams it on planets and deep sky, and my Obsession 15" shows planetary detail that this scope can only dream of. The major advantage is that it seems to cut through seeing better than the bigger apertures, when seeing is poor. And of course the wide field views are tremendous, but I prefer my binoculars for that. My EL11 gets 1.85 degrees (and my 15 gets 1.3) with a 40 widefield and the Wisps in the Veil are visible where the 5" doesn't shows them hardly at all. Conclusion is: refractors like this are great for those who prefer widefields and need to penetrate poor skies. But, for real performance, get a large scope. They always win in the long run. I sold mine and bought a 12.5" Starsplitter Compact 2. The workmanship is great by the way.
>>
>>
>> What a Loser! Nobody ask you about your newts. You were susppose to give your opinion on This scope and not compare them to larger aperture scopes.You are absolutely correct in your observation. 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.
### You are missing a few things..What about Astrophotography?? Your Starsplitter is great visually, but how do you mount it for Photography, and even then with a small field it is not effective. Why do you not have a 24" Obcession if you are so high on Aperture?? Chances are it is too much of a PIG!! Those big scopes are hard to handle and take half the night to set up, Cool down and COLLIMATE. Some of us do not have the time or Garage space.

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.
###This statement is erroneous. It is a well known fact that 4 and 5 inch scopes deliver in poor seeing which is what MOST of us get MOST of the time while your DOB collects dust night after night for that shot at the decent seeing once every month.
>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.
### Also like the name says the traveller you take with you while the Celestron stays home...
>I am absolutely convinced that refractors are perceived to perform better than reflectors because of: 1) Smaller aperture gives gathers less background light, and have darker backgrounds...this is mistaken for higher contrast, 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,
### Whos fault is that?? If DOB owners are so well educated about the so called advantage of their "superior" telescopes....why use crap 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 instrument.
>My last comment is the REAL LOSER is the one who made the previous inane comment. Those who have no facts or information always resort to name calling.
##Small APO refractors are easy to use and hassle free, they take up little space and are capable of serious planetary work.
There is a reason why people pay the big dollars for them, and you can squawk all you want about your cardboard light bucket, it only performs in rare conditions and then only after you sell your second car to make room for it in the garage.
##Some of us do not want a big DOB!


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