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Re: New Or Used Telescopes

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Posted by sailcat on December 4, 1998 14:22:05 UTC

: In response to Paul's comment regarding the existence of telescopes made by Parallax, let me say that they do exist. Parallax produces fine and pricey instruments for the Serious Astronomer. Where all manufacturers claim their optics are diffraction limited, Parallax comes across with the real thing. Show up at your local astronomy club's next star party with one of these handmade, all metal babies and, among all those spiral-wound cardboard dobs and mediocre mass-produduced sc's, you'll stand out like an NFL cheerleader. I'll tell you what to do; take a second mortgage on your mobile home, sell your bass boat, add your seed money to this and but one of these bad boys. Sure they're expensive, but life is short. Dare to be great! : : Well I think I can safely say that Meade's 7 inch apochromatic refractor is a "cream" telescope, being the largest constant production refractor there is (and probably the highest quality). However the 7" costs $6000 (ouch), more in your price range is the 5 inch apo which will undoubtably give you very nice images. On the 7" Meade Mak (either the LX50 or the LX200, Sky and Telescope reviewed that scope about two years ago and it passed with flying colors. Meade's computerized telescopes (from what I've read, I've never used a computerized telescope, I'm a Dob man) have the best tracking and locating capablities of any azimuth mounted scope, so the 7" Mak LX200 will undoubtably be a wonderful scope. Other things you might want to look at: Orion has a nice 4.7" refractor for about $2000 on an equatorial mount, and they also have a 6" Mak-Newt on the same mount, which are supposed to have excellent views of the planets due to their small central obstruction. What about the good old 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain? Both Meade and Celestron have excellent such scopes, with top-notch optics, easy setups, big databased of objects and so forth. I think Parallax mainly make mounts, not scopes, but I'm not sure. Of course, what you want is depended on the good old four P's of telescope buying. So best of luck, and hope this has helped you some. If you want, tell me what you mainly want to look at, and maybe I can narrow your search down a bit.

: :Thanks for the advice, Paul. I should have been a little clearer as to my intentions if I wanted a clear response. First, I am most interested in looking at the brighter deep-space objects,and planetary/lunar viewing. I am not necessarily interested in hunting down every last object in The Sky Atlas as much as I want sharp images of what I can see. My research has pointed me away from giant-aperture dobs which are clumsy and difficult to transport, and I am not terribly enthusiastic about computerised mounts as I believe they direct one's resources away from the prime objective which is the best optics affordable. ( Also, if I can't find it myself with a star chart, I don't deserve to look at it! ) This not to say a good mount isn't important, but high-tech becomes "why-tech" when it bleeds one's pocketbook. This has led me to look at mak's and apo's as possible choices, although they can be prohibitively expensive. ( By the way, Harrington's book Starwares didn't speak very highly of Meades apo's. ) I am casting my net into the waters to see if I come up with something with very good optics, good contrast, a sturdy mount, and convenience of transport and use. I recognise that I might just as well be asking for a beer and a sandwhich on the house while I am at it, but, hey! What the hell. I might turn up something I've overlooked which will fill my needs. Thanks again for your help. I hope to hear from you soon. -Paul

: : : I am interested in investing in a new telescope system. My price range is $2000.00 - $3500.00. I would dearly love to own a 5 or 6 inch Astro Physics or Takahashi apo, but life's realities being what they are I am open to suggestions. I am mainly interested in high-quality optics as opposed to giant apeture. Anyone out there know anything about Ceravolo or Parallax as alternatives to high-priced apo's? How about used Questars or even ( gulp! ) Mead's 7 inch Mak or their 7 inch ( semi ) apo? Talk to me.

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