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Hello Peter [Natscher], Hope you are well.
An 8 inch Portaball with a Zambuto mirror on a tracking platform is going to show you much more than a mm telescope, even a Starfire EDF.
Both of these will be sit down and observe telescopes. If you were not going to get a tracking platform, I would go the refractor route.
You will want tracking for dedicated planetary or lunar observing. I have the non motorized version and it has a great mirror, however, your mileage may vary on the chinese mirrors.
Tony M, from an online thread entitled: The GEM will negate all the disadvantages of the Dob. My old Meade easily gives me a sharp, detailed Mars at x conditions willing. I may be too late to add my.
The Portaball rips the APs to shreds. Especially since the Portaballs are constructed with fans and other ergonomics to help with the thermal adjustment. One should never lean too heavily on sketchers. Although the vast majority are genuine, some go to an imaging website, study a particular image, and fake a sketch.
In this way, they can make a 4 inch peashooter telescope look better than a Hubble image.
This is why I believe that the high refelectivity coatings that are now applied to many astronomical mirror surfaces are so important. A high reflectivity coating is well worth having even at an additional cost; not only will the telescope perform better but a second advantage is that the mirror surface allows far less moisture to penentrate and is likely to last perhaps 25 years before it has to be recoated.
I have a 10 year old Newtonian whose mirror was one of the first to be given a high refelctivity coating and it still looks like new………The overall design of the telescope will affect the overall contrast as well.
It is impossible to beat a well designed refractor, but Newtonian telescopes, where one observes across the tube assembly to the far wall, are almost as good.
The focal length will thus be mm, and the field of view when a low power, wide field, 2 inch eyepiece is used will be approximately 2 degrees. This is a good compromise, but some manufacturers, such as Orion Optics in the UK allow the purchaser to choose other secondary diameters should he or she wish to optimise the telescope towards planetary approximately 36mm or widefield imaging approximately 60mm.
One could even purchase two flats for use depending on the type of observations planned for a given night! For that scope, a fan in a baffle below the primary works fine.
Making a good 8 inch Newtonian by Toshimi Taki Japan. I think I can speak with at least a little credibility on this subject, having owned numerous large refractors:All the latest news about Royal Mail from the BBC.
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Gates of Vienna has moved to a new address. Currently, my only objections to the short f/ratios becoming common are that the depth of focus is very short, making focus variability in mediocre seeing a bit more of a problem than in longer f/ratios, and that most eyepieces don’t perform as well at the edges at f/3 as they do at f/5, even when both are Paracorred with the latest Paracorr II at the correct .