Switch to full style
Ask your fellow astronomers to solve your telescope queries
Post a reply

When is a refractor better than a reflector or vice versa

Tue Nov 24, 2015 4:17 pm

Hey Guys i am a noob trying to get as much info as i can before i go spending for a scope.

I want to know under what conditions or does a refracting telescope become more suitable than a reflecting telescope or vice versa. Or is this decision solely dependent on size and cost? or just personal choice?

Re: When is a refractor better than a reflector or vice vers

Wed Nov 25, 2015 6:13 pm

In many respects, your final point often applies!

The basic optical design of a refractor and reflector produce different types of image distortion effects. This requires progressively more sophisticated designs to produce a distortion free image.

A basic reflector design is cheaper to produce than a basic refractor and more readily scales up in size. But a refractor design can produce a sharper image (no central obstruction, and a cleaner optical path). Hence reflectors are relatively cheap, corrected ones are more expensive and heavier. Corrected refractors are the main stay of amateurs for imaging (because they are light, high quality, and imaging time compensates for the smaller aperture), and large professional scopes are reflectors on heavy duty precision mounts.

Regards
Dave B.

Re: When is a refractor better than a reflector or vice vers

Wed Nov 25, 2015 6:13 pm

In many respects, your final point often applies!

The basic optical design of a refractor and reflector produce different types of image distortion effects. This requires progressively more sophisticated designs to produce a distortion free image.

A basic reflector design is cheaper to produce than a basic refractor and more readily scales up in size. But a refractor design can produce a sharper image (no central obstruction, and a cleaner optical path). Hence reflectors are relatively cheap, corrected ones are more expensive and heavier. Corrected refractors are the main stay of amateurs for imaging (because they are light, high quality, and imaging time compensates for the smaller aperture), and large professional scopes are reflectors on heavy duty precision mounts.

Regards
Dave B.
Post a reply