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Reply To BC's "what Is F10 Mean?....

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Posted by Jim Barclay/">Jim Barclay on December 22, 1997 05:33:20 UTC

: I'm about to enter the world of amature astronomy and : buy a new telescope. I'll probably start out in the : low end of things. I've been looking at Meade's 8" : LX10. I'm a little confused after looking at all of : the different telescope specs. What is focal ratio? : Does a larger focal ratio mean better?

: Thanks

BC, In reply to the above, F10 simply means the ratio of the scope's mirror diameter to its focal length. Simply put, the higher this number is, the higher magnification you will be able to use, when the atmospheric conditions allow it. On the otherhand, if you want to do astrophotography, then a shorter or lower focal ratio of say, F6.3 would be better.

If the moon and planets are your forte, then go for the higher focal ratio (F10).As for brands of Schmidt-Cassegrains, some say the Celestron are better optically, but the Meade mounts are better mechanically, and vice versa. I have 2 Celestron C8's and 2 Vixen VC200L scopes. and the optics in the Vixen are far superior to either the previous mentioned brands. That's one man's opinion not everyone else's.

In optics, you get what you pay for. I hope the explanation of Focal ratios has helped you.

Clear skies, and have a Merry Christmas!

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