Monday, December 12, 2011

I don't like it

Funny how when I use other 'scopes, I often come to this conclusion. I don't like it. Of course, I'm comparing it to the only thing I know, really, the C8. My trusty Celestron 8" Schmidt Cassegrain atop a Vixen Super Polaris. It occurred to me today that in fact I made a pretty good decision (20 years ago). The C8 is a good 'scope. Tremendous light gathering power. A very good mount. Coveted mount.

Some have been saying I should get a refractor. Yes, for imaging DSOs, probably the better platform. But, for me, photography is not in the near future. And while the tack-sharp presentation of a high-quality refractor is very enjoyable, invariably I notice that everything is dim. And that's because it is a thin tube!

Some have said I should get a Dob. Fast to set up. Easy to tear down. But a 6" is probably the lowest I'd go, in terms of light-gathering power vs. contrast. And that gets you into a fairly large (and long) tube. And I really don't like pushing a 'scope. It was an objective almost immediately after getting the SP-C8 in 1990 to have it track. Which I deferred. But it was obvious, while helping at star parties, that this really wasn't an option any more. And so, now, maybe, I'm spoiled. Maybe now, I'm in a position where I could never go back. For me, tracking is critical. I don't enjoy nudging any more.

Being in the RASC has afforded some interesting opportunities. Nay, fantastic opportunities. Chances to try and use a wide variety of equipment. I've used big and small telescopes, from 80mm Stellarvues and 3.5" Questars to 14" SCTs and 15" Obsessions and home-made 20" f/5.

There's this "attitude" I get from some. Something between the lines. Subtle. That the SCT is a compromise. It is not a great 'scope. Is it personal bias I'm sensing. Yes, I know of some technical issues, namely the large obstruction.

I think, if I remember correctly, that is in fact why I chose it. An SCT is good at a lot of things (not great necessarily) but it very compact, given its aperture. It is a pretty big gun (as Guy would say) and I'm not regretting it. I like a big aperture on an equatorial, driven mount. And that's tough to beat.

Using the Toronto Centre's 80mm refractor is something I wanted to do for a long time. To test it. See if I'd like a compact small telescope. But. I don't like it.

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