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About parallaxerr

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    Sub Dwarf

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    Caerleon, UK
  1. I got my first look through the scope this afternoon. Sadly, not under the stars but enough to get an initial impression. I have a few targets visible from the front of the house that I've used to evaluate scopes before: 1. TV aerial against the sky across the street - Very high contrast target which brings out CA if present. It has brought CA in all my scopes so far including a WO ED and the Equinox 120ED (albeit unfocussed). I'm happy to say that I could not detect a jot of CA in the 102ED-R, despite trying very hard. This includes inside and outside of focus, which I did not expect. The edges of the aerial simply softened when out of focus, the metal grey/sky blue colours simply met with no sign of blue/violet or green in between. 2. Distant high rise tower block on high ridge line - I use this to check for edge correction and it has, in the past, highlighted issues such as spherical aberration or maybe pincushion with the vertical edges of the tower block bowing in or outwards when approaching the edge of the FoV. No such aberrations with the 102ED-R, the walls remained straight as a die as close to the edge of the FoV as was comfortable to view. 3. Top of metal footbridge tower in far distance - I use this to test high mags. At x100mag, the 102 ED-R pulled out the individual rivets on the metal work despite warm, turbulent air. I didn't get a chance to barlow the EP so will try higher powers again, when I get the time. But, the focus snap at x100 was so pronounced and the view so sharp, I have confidence of hitting higher powers with relative ease. So, good first impressions, under the stars is where it counts though but the forecast is terrible for the next 7 days
  2. As if you don't know Mike! I updated the other thread with the details
  3. UPDATE: PAS has been and gone, I attended and.....I spent some money So what did I spend it on? Well I went there with the intention of walking away with the Vixen SD103S, however, in the cold light of day after viewing the scope, I needed to do a few laps of the show to mull it over before coughing up the readies. The Vixen looked every bit as nice as I thought it would but I was surprised by the size versus the other 4" ED scopes present at the show. The larger OTA tube diameter , lack of retractable dew shield and longer than average focal length made it appear more like an ED120 than a 100mm scope. It was in as new condition as promised and there really wasn't much to check out, the single speed focuser was smooth enough but appeared to rely on being heavily greased to achieve this. On my way around the trade stands I bumped into a certain Mr. @mikeDnight, accompanied by @paulastroand their friend Derek (is he an SGL'er?). We just so happened to meet passing the Altair Astro stand where I was headed to look over the 102ED-R. Much deliberation ensued and it became obvious that the general consensus was in favour of the Altair scope, mechanically at least. The Altair scopes at the show all had smooth focusers, far detached from the TS sample I previously returned. Of course, the ED-R has a higher end focuser than the TS and equivalent Ascent 102 do. The question then was "are the optics as good as the Vixen"? Well, I spoke to Ian of Altair Astro about this directly. I asked about the FPL-53 objective and he claimed it to be the highest standard coming out of China, with Altair specifying the highest Strehl of any customer. I asked if I were likely to see the small difference between this Chinese glass and that Japanese Vixen equivalent, expecting an answer along the lines of "only on the best nights", for example. However, the response was "there is no difference". Altair Astro are very confident that their FPL-53 objectives are on a par with those coming out of Japan. One 102ED-R remained for sale at the show with £100 off the listed internet price, so I pulled the trigger! At £650 less than Vixen, I had to try it out with Altair offering to accept a return if I was not happy. I also picked up a Takahashi 1.25" prism diagonal and a new 32mm Plossl with the "spare" change. So here it is, I'm now in the same club as @david_taurus83 with the 102ED-R sitting atop an AZ4, which, appears to handle the scope with ease it must be said. I'm very keen to try it out but the local forecast obviously isn't great for the foreseeable future! Let's hope it delivers!
  4. Looking forward to Happy New Refractor day @PAS tomorrow :)

  5. I noticed that too Mike and found it very encouraging. I hope so, these are two of my astro ambtions! I have a new found interest in the Moon and I'd like to be able to make some high powered observations of it's features. It's here that I feel/hope the Vixen should best a Chinese ED scope.
  6. Thanks John, that's good to know, I guessed the issue was specific to imaging. Well, the scope is now reserved for me so notwithstanding any mechanical/condition issues, I should be the owner of an SD103S come Saturday!
  7. Sounds good David, turned out nicely I have my name against an ex-demo Vixen ED103S but it's got to be perfect for me to take it, otherwise I'll be straight to see the guys at Altair Astro!
  8. Well a little pre-show enquiry has turned up a result. I have the option to purchase a Vixen ED103S that was used for Pete Lawrences review in Januarys Sky at Night. After the review it was returned to Vixen for a once over and has been passed off as all good and I can have it for £200 off the usual price. Review here.... http://m.skyatnightmagazine.com/review/telescopes/vixen-sd103s-apochromatic-refractor It only scored 4/5 but the online review is a shortened version so I dug out the magazine hard copy. Basically it looks like it was scored down slightly on some imaging specific characteristics, which will not affect my visual use. It appears diffraction spikes around bright stars due to the foil lense spacers appear when imaging. That's how it reads to me. The part about optics states that they're excellent otherwise.
  9. That looks the business David. It's going to be hard to ignore this on Saturday @ PAS as it has some features that stand out above the considerably more expensive Vixen that I'm considering. Notably the twist lock fittings vs the Vixens reportedly poor thumbscrews (without compression rings!) and the dual speed focuser. I notice you have ser. no. 0006 there and 0001 is up for sale on UKABS apparently a few years old. My point is that it appears AA don't sell many of these at all, probably why it's so hard to find reviews. I hope it performs under the stars. If there's any chance of first light before the weekend, please do report back
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