Focal Pointe Observatory
Astrophotography by Bob Franke

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RC Optical Systems Carbon Truss 12.5 inch f/9 Ritchey-Chretien

Acquired April 7, 2008.  One of my dreams realized.  This scope rates as one of the best in the world for astrophotography.  Just about the only way to get better is to go bigger. 




Takahashi FSQ-106ED "New Q" Refractor

Acquired in Jan. 2008, another dream come true.  This scope is used for wide field imaging.  Somehow I will have to pry the camera off, because it is also a great scope to use visually.


Celestron - 11" f/10 Carbon Fiber OTA

This scope is now only used visually and for webcam imaging of planets and the moon.

Previous comments...
With the exception of some planetary web cam imaging, this scope is used for all my ccd imaging.  Although there are several better scopes available, the C11 is a very good value.

The long focal length, 2800 mm, makes imaging difficult.  A reducer gets the F.L. down to about 1650 mm, which is still considered too long for beginning CCD imaging.  I don't regret starting the hard way, the high power of this scope has forced me to develop better guiding techniques.  With my future short focal length refractor, guiding is going to be really easy.



 Questar 3.5" circa 1963

This is my heirloom scope, I don't use it much and I can't part with it.  My father was the original owner and the scope has been in the family for over fifty years.

Questar delivers on its promises, but it is not the scope for everyone.  It is very expensive, in 1963 this model sold for $1000.  Today the cost is $4625.  So, relative to inflation, Questars are getting less expensive.

The choice of a scope is often a very personal decision.  Some say the Questar is worth every penny.  Others say it is yesterday's technology at tomorrow's price.