Re: (IAAC) FWD: What should I buy? (rich field scopes)

>>>However, how many of them would you
>>>consider to be "showcase" objects?
>>Dave, there are a lot more than the few objects you mentioned. You could not
>>appreciate or fit most of the open clusters that *I* love into high mags....
>Have you ever seen any of the objects that you mentioned through a large
>telescope equipped with a 2" wide-field eyepiece?   You'd be surprised at
>just what will fit into the field of view.  (Certainly the Helix will since
>it is only about 30" in size.)  And believe me when I say that I have seen

Ahh, make that 30' (41' from one source) for the angular size of the Helix. 

And did I mention 80mm Orion ShortTubes and their Celestron counterparts, 80mm 
Celestron First Scopes, 90mm Orion refractors, 3.5" Questar Maks, Celestron 
C102's, 4" Takahashis, 4.25" Astroscans, 6" Trischiefspieglers, 6" Quantum 
Maks, the Astro-Physics Maksutov-Newtonian, Schmidt-Cassegrains from 4" to 16", 
16" Ritchey-Cretien Cassegrains, and many others that I can't recall at the 

Forgive me for dropping some names here but I'm trying to make a point.  If 
you're only familiar with the dim, high power views of deep-sky objects in a 
relatively small telescope you can't appreciate what increased aperture does in 
allowing one to boost magnification and still have a relatively bright image. 
(Of course, 2" wide-angle oculars come into play here.)  To use your own 
example, M11 looks just great, thank you, through the ASH 17" f/15 classical 
Cassegrain at 202x.  (Have you ever noticed the five-pointed "star" formed by 
the stars and "voids" of this cluster's center?)  My best views of M17 and M33 
were through the massive 32" equatorial mount reflector at the 1994 Stellafane 
convention.  Another case in point is M13's "Propeller", or Mercedes Benz 
symbol, which is best seen at higher magnifications.  Also, one can easily see 
the HII regions in M33 and many of the globular clusters in M31 with a large 
instrument and the appropriate magnification.

Now, when you're talking the North American Nebula or the entire Veil Nebula 
that's another story entirely. :-)