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Have I made a mistake


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Hello everybody.

My experience so far is by way of a Russian 15x60 monocular I bought about 4 years ago, which has given me much pleasure.

I decided to upgrade, and after research decided on a Acuter Pro ST22-67x100mm spotting scope. On ordering this from a well known retailer I was persuaded that a Startravel 102 SynScan AZ GOTO 102mm Refractor was a much better option for me, so I changed my mind and ordered this.

To say that I am dissapointed is an understatment. The resolution seems ok but I wasn't expecting that the colour fringing would be so bad - it reminds me of a plastic telecope with plastic lenses I bought from Woolworths for 5 bob many many years ago!! Have I got a dud one or am I expecting too much? I wish I had stood by my original choice. It seems like the majority of the money went on the mechanics and electronics rather than the optics.

I am now looking to buy another monocular or maybe a pair of binoculars. Has anybody any experience of the Nikon Action VII 10-22x50 CF Zoom Binoculars or any suggestions for anything suitable in the £100 - £200 range as funds are now limited.

My new long term purchase will be a 200P, which seems to be a good scope - will this fit on the existing synscan mount that I have?

And lastly, will it make much difference upgrading the eyepieces I got with the Startravel 102 SynScan, and if so, what is suitable.

I wish I had found this site before I parted with my cash!:)

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Hello Proton321 and welcome to SGL. The scope that you purchased I understand was well rated by Sky at Night magazine. However, it is f5 so you might get some blue fringing looking at the Moon and the brighter planets. However, you should get pleasing views of the brighter deep sky objects. There is likely to be a member on this forum who will give you a first hand opinion on the scope.

As regards zoom binoculars these are not normally recommended for astronomy. Many members here have bought Celestron 15x70 binos and here is a link - First Light Optics - Celestron

Mark

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Hi Proton,

The 200P is a very good telescope but would be FAR too big for your existing mount I'm afraid. Also zoom binoculars don't have a very good reputation in astronomy circles so I'd think twice about going down that route.

Gaz

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Hi, and welcome to the forum.

It sounds to me like your supplier gave good advise when they recommended the

Startravel 102 over your first choice. However, some colour fringing is inevitable on

bright objects, and doesn't mean you have a faulty scope.

But you say you dealt with a well known retailer, so if you are really not happy,

perhaps they may consider a refund, or exchange for something else ?

Better eyepieces could be far better than the originals, but the colour fringing,

(chromatic aberation) is a product of the front objective.

And as others have said, I would keep clear of zoom binocs.

Best regards, Ed.

Edited by NGC 1502
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Thanks everybody for your welcome and advise ;)

So much to learn!

Thanks for the link to the Celestron 15x70 binoculars, if other people here are using them, I will be ordering a pair.

I have had my Startravel 102 for over 10 days now, so I do not think I would be able to exchange it, and I think my expectations of its performance were possibly unrealistic

After reading the posting on eyepieces I am thinking of ordering a TeleVue 11mm Plossl which together with the 15x70 binos will exaust my budget for now.

I realise that the TeleVue eyepiece is a bit of an overkill for my Startravel 102, but I am thinking of the future when I can afford a 200P.

Am I doing the right thing?

Thanks in advance.

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Welcome to the forum. The ST80 (the smaller version of yours) is a very popular scope on this forum actually - it is used by imagers a lot (not for photographing, but to guide the scope that takes the photographs).

lw24 bought a larger version - the ST120 and is very pleased with it, even though that scope will show even stronger chromatic aberation. I suppose it depends on your sensitivity to the blue wavelengths that get scattered into the fringe, and which targets you choose to look at. As has been mentioned, the ST102 should give nice views of clusters and brighter nebulae.

You can buy a filter (you screw it on to the bottom of your eyepiece) which removes most of the violet fringe - google Baader Fringe Killer or Baader Semi APO.

Edited by Ags
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Hello Proton321 I would recommend that you don't rush to buy eyepieces just yet. Get a feel to what you enjoy viewing with the scope. TeleVue plossls are very good but so are many others and once you have been a member of SGL for a month and made 50 posts (this soon goes) you will gain access to the 'for sale' section where good eyepieces are sold S/H.

With regard the Celestron 15x70 binos I know that they are very good value - I have owned a pair for nearly 2 years. I hand hold mine but for longer viewing I place them on a tripod. These binos will allow to get to know the night sky and will offer great views of star clusters etc.

Good luck with your decisions.

Mark

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did you buy your scope in person or online? if online then you have statutory rights to return an item for any reason. im not sure what the time limit is but it may be 14 days, only issue is packaging must be complete.

if you bought in person, speak to the shop and they may either exchange or do a very good trade in, if they are local they may want to keep you happy to ensure future businness from you. plus most shops are enthusiasts so wont like the idea of a beginner being put off due to a wrong telescope choice.

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iv got the 102ST bought it from this forum actually i find i prefire to look through it at times than my dob iv got it on the EQ3-2 the colour fringing i find only effects the moon and bright objects (but i havent noticed it on saturn) a moon filter though does take the glare from the moon... but it does show instead of blue a little orange (it lookes like golden light from the sun) the 102ST does have the ability to attach 2" diagnonal and eyepeices as well as as a direct DSLR T-thread (an adapter is needed though)

hope this helps!

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The Startravel range will show CA, they are all pretty short focal lengths abd that is a consequence, especially as they are also basic achromatic lens and do not therefore have the advantage of ED glass.

lw24 bought a larger version - the ST120 and is very pleased with it, even though that scope will show even stronger chromatic aberation.

Never was quite sure of this as yes he said he was happy with it but also went looking for apo filters, CA filters and also put an aperture mask on it to reduce the aperture of the objective and so improve the CA.

If happy with it that is a lot of effort for something that is good.

Reading your post it seems you still have the 102. I suggest you keep it and make use of it. You will have to accept the CA but that will be most significant of bright objects such as the moon and a couple of the planets when they appear.

Hold off the eyepieces until you have a feel for what you would like in terms of magnification.

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Thanks, all good advise.

I have ordered some Celestron 15x70 binos from FLO, and I will wait as suggested,untill I get a feel for things before I order any eyepieces. A break in the clouds last night and I pointed the 102 towards Saturn - WOW, nothing prepares you for your first look at Saturn. I can't believe that this object has been in the night sky all of my life and I have never seen it before!

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Hi proton,

Echo some of the comments above, I have the ST120 and you accept the shortcomings of chromatic aberration with a fast short tube achromatic scope. Don't throw yours away until you have put a Baader contrast booster / fringe killer on to look through. I bought mine via sgl for £25. Transforms your scope.

Enjoy the 102 on the goto.

Dark (and clear) Skies

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A break in the clouds last night and I pointed the 102 towards Saturn - WOW, nothing prepares you for your first look at Saturn. I can't believe that this object has been in the night sky all of my life and I have never seen it before!

That is a fabulous quote.

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Once you have got used to the scope you will appreciate it for what it is. a good quality wide field instrument which will give very attractive views of wide DSOs, including open star clusters and some galaxies and also quite pleasing images of the moon, planets and less tight double stars. all (or at least most) of these images will be improved with darker skies, although your location may mean you have them already?

it's not designed for higher powers but try and push it and you may be surprised.

personally, I prefer newtonians (like your suggested 200p) and dobsonians (just newtonians on a basic mount). that said, even though you may well eventually buy the 200p, I bet you'll grow to love the 102 as well for different reasons and they will actually compliment each other well.

I would agree with the wait before you spend on further gear advice.

so in summary, you have not made a mistake, just bought one (good) option of many when it comes to telescopes.

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Thanks again for all of the advice. I will look out for a Baader contrast booster / fringe killer - does this fit on the eyepiece?, and also the st80 mod. I am not sure if I live in an area of dark skies as I have nothing to compare. I now think that my original impression of the 102 was wrong, and I just got lucky when I bought my original Russion monocular which had hardly any chromatic aberations at all. Unfortunately the Russion monocular is now deceased after being left out all night in the rain.;)

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Russian optics are very highly regarded. Optics are quite tough - wouldn't it be possible to open up the monocular and clean it out? You've got nothing to lose.

But chromatic aberation also increases with aperture, so a 60mm lens will show less fringing than a 102mm lens at the same focal ratio. So the ST102 has a harder task.

The filters screw onto the bottom of your eyepieces - you should be able to see a thread.... Be aware that eyepieces come in two common sizes 1.25" and 2" so if you ever buy 2" eyepieces you will need more filters! (By the way it is ofen thought that 2" EPs are better than .25" EPs, but this is not the case. 2" EPs are comparable optically to 1.25" EPs, but can show a wider area of the sky, typically at a low magnification).

Console yourself with the fact that your new scope shows you stars 2.9 times fainter than the old one - more than a magnitude difference.

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I bought a TeleVue 11mm plossl to switch with the standard 10mm that came with my scope and the difference was unbelievable. The views are crystal although on bright objects there are still small amounts of chromatic aberration.

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