Received this little scope today and here are my first impressions.
First of all it's very small and compact but surprisingly heavy. Feels very solid. The tube is finished in an off-white pebble type finish that was well applied with no blemishes. The single speed crayford has a very smooth focusing action and is very easy to focus precisely.The coatings on the objective were perfect. So high marks overall for fit and finish.
The tube ring is a one piece machined part that is tightened by a single screw on one side and has a couple of mounting holes on the bottom for attaching a dovetail or a photo QR plate. Surprisingly there's no felt lining on the inside of the ring. The retractable dew-shield is a very tight fit and takes a fair bit of pressure to slide open or closed. Thankfully the screw on lens cap only takes a couple of turns to unscrew.
I replaced the ring(s) with a set of WO guide rings as I wanted to be able to use the scope as a finder. The rings are only slightly bigger than the OTA, but enough to allow for alignment. I replaced the WO chrome thumbscrews with some nylon tipped grub screws. In daytime testing using high mag on a shiny aerial in full sunlight there was a purple fringe around black parts of the aerial. Not surprising with an f/5 achro I suppose. The optics were nice and sharp though. The seeing wasn't that good tonight but at least it was clear. Jupiter had a blueish fringe around it, but not too objectionable.I think a minus violet filter is called for here. However this is never going to be a planetary scope is it. The Pleiades were a magnificent sight though, nice and sharp and well defined, and showed what this scope IS good at.
Excellent fit and finish
Value for money
CA at high mag
Focuser screws onto OTA so can't be replaced with a standard replacement dual speed crayford
Heavier than expected
Aperture - 80mm
Focal ratio - F/5
Focal length - 400mm
Objective - Achromatic doublet
Optical coatings - Broadband FMC (fully multi-coated)
Optical tube - Internally anti-reflection coated, knife-edge baffles
Dew shield - Retractable with metal screw-type cap
Finder-scope mount - Yes
Focuser - Single speed Crayford
Focuser adapter - Accepts 2" and 1.25" eyepieces and diagonals
Focuser tube travel - 70mm (marked in 1mm intervals)
Tube rings - Single wide tube ring with photographic 1/4" thread
Tube weight (inc rings) - 2kg with single speed focuser or 2.1kg with dual speed focuser
Minimum tube length - 310mm with retracted dew-shield
Maximum tube length - 365mm with extended dew-shield
Tube diameter - 97mm
Frontal dewshield diameter - 110mm
Construction - All metal construction
Suitable for use with bino-viewers
Case Nylon, padded
So overall it's what I expected it to be, a compact and portable widefield scope with excellent build quality that can be used as a finder and should make a great guidescope later on.
Edited by johninderby, 27 September 2011 - 11:39 PM.