View Full Version : My New Vixen Refractor and the Telescope Curse, 2006/12/15

Dave Mitsky
2006-Dec-18, 07:10 PM
Observing at Peters Mountain in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, on Friday night was certainly an interesting experience, what with the brief rain shower as fellow ASH member Bob Werkman and I drove northward on I-81, the mostly cloudy skies, and the at times near gale force winds. However, despite the less than ideal conditions and the legendary new telescope curse, I was nevertheless able to accomplish a bit of worthwhile observing through the 80mm f/7.5 Vixen ED80Sf (http://www.vixenamerica.com/Products/Default.asp?TopCatCode=TS&Fam_or_Cat=ED%2080Sf) "apochromatic" refractor and Vixen Portamount (http://www.vixenamerica.com/Products/Default.asp?TopCatCode=MT&Fam_or_Cat=MT-AZ&Short_Verbose=ALT%2DAZ) that I received early Friday afternoon.

I had used an identical setup belonging to a Chesmont club member a couple of times this year and was impressed with how well it performed. The fact that these items and many others including the Vixen GP-D2 equatorial mount that I also purchased are currently on sale at wholesale prices through Vixen North America prompted me to pull out the old plastic.

The little short-tube refractor worked quite well on objects like M31, M35, M36, M37, M41, M42, M46, M47, M50, M110, NGC 2244, and NGC 2264. The faint and powdery open cluster NGC 2158 near M35 was visible through the 80Sf as was a hint of the nebulosity of the Rosette Nebula (NGC 2237) with the assist of a narrowband nebula filter. I employed a 35mm Tele Vue Panoptic, a 30mm Celestron Ultima, Bob's 22mm Nagler type 4, a 9mm Nagler type 6, and a 5mm Nagler type 6 in making these observations.

I could see just the slightest bit of chromatic aberration (false color) when I defocused the blazing ball of light known as Sirius. Whether ED doublets are really apochromats is a matter for debate but I am certainly pleased with what I've seen so far, both optically and mechanically, from the Vixen ED80Sf.

Unfortunately, it was too windy to really push the magnification so my plans to judge how well the scope handled splitting binary stars fell by the wayside.

In fact, two of the three Chesmont club members who were there didn't even bother to set up their big Dobs due to the wind. A third arrived later with a large refractor. Bob brought his relatively new 90mm Stellarvue triplet apochromat, which provided some excellent views as did the 6" Antares achromat.

Dave Mitsky