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Mike73

Review - 16" Sumerian Optics / Canopus

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Last summer whilst drooling over the beautiful looking telescopes on the Sumerian website I suddenly had the urge to ask permission for a 16" Canopus and to my suprise she said yes! Well it wasnt quite that simple as we then went through the whole haggling process as to how many pairs of shoes she could get if I got the telescope.

I couldnt find alot of info about the Canopus model on the net so I started talking to Michael at Sumerian via email asking for details. He came back quickly with lots of details, advice and was very helpful right from the start.

After a couple nights mulling it over I payed the deposit for a 16" Canopus with black paint with f/4.5 GSO primary and a OOUK secondary, I also added a couple extras like a 12x60 TS RACI finder and Telrad.

That was the easy part, the hard part was waiting for 3 months for it to be built but I guess thats part and parcel of getting a custom telescope though. It was without a doubt the longest 3 months of my life!

Fast forward to November 2nd and 3 months after the deposit was paid two very large boxes arrived from the Netherlands :hello2:

Putting it together was very simple, although full instructions were included I didnt really need them apart from when it came to the mirror cell....'where's the mirror cell??' A quick email to Michael and all was explained, as its a ultra compact dob it doesnt use an all metal mirror cell like I'd seen in Skywatchers/Meade's and OOUK's, Sumerian have there own design which I'm guessing saves on weight and bulk, a very nice touch.

First light and the optics

As its a custom scope you decide exactly what you want from the start and although the Mrs was happy in her mountain of shoes I thought it was pushing it a little too far to ask for a 1/10Pv Huygens primary so I settled on a standard GSO f/4.5 primary.

So first light in VLM 6.4 skies and straight away I could see a problem as the views appeared very dim, you have no idea how disappointed I was!

After some emails explaining the problem to Michael it was decided that the primary was very rough, it was returned to TS and a replacement was sent by Sumerian.

I have to say that this was a stressful time for me but customer service from Sumerian was spot on and I cant fault them. Maybe the scope should of had been tested under the stars before it was shipped but in all fairness to them I was getting pretty impatient and just wanted the damn scope. :grin:

So I've had the scope working since the start of December and the views it has given so far have blown me away, no need to really look for spiral arms in galaxies like I had to in my old 12", even though its only 4" gain in aperture it really has been worth the expense. Theres some sketches in my blog which may give a rough idea how objects appear in my EP.

The build quality is very good, all bolted together the mirror box/rocker box is very solid and there is a very small amount of vibration through the truss poles when in use, this is still far less than my old Skywatcher though.

I was a little worried that the black paint would chip or show any little knocks but even with my accident prone hands its still like new after a couple months.

The Alt/Azi bearings are sooooooo smooth when in use, 10/10 here.

It has three small primary cooling fans on the rear of the mirror box, I've had these running and used mags of x300 and cant see any vibration.

It has a secondary heater powered by 3 AA batteries which lasts for around 24 hrs.

The shroud you see in one of the pictures below was bought separately from Heathers Shrouds in the US.

Total weight is 33kg which is 9kg lighter than my old 12" Skywatcher and its also smaller in size when broken down to transport and can fit in the boot of my Astra.

Price? See the Sumerian website.

I honestly can say that I cant think of anything I'm unhappy with, yep if I had more money at the time a primary a little faster and from one of the better mirror makers would make it better but thats something I may look into more in the future.

This is a scope that I plan on having for many years to come and I can completely recommend the Canopus to anyone.

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this is a stunning scope Mike. I am glad you got the optics sorted in the end.

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Great review and what a fantastic looking scope :smiley:

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What a stunning scope, I can imagine how gutted you were with the mirror problem, glad you got it sorted :grin:

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Great review. I can imagine the frustration with the optical problems, as all anyone would want to do is be out under the stars having taken delivery of the scope, but glad it was quickly sorted.

Clear skies,

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Great stuff, Mike, and certainly something to aspire to!

I hope you don't mind me asking, but, did you have a choice or other 'scopes or was it 'love at first sight'? If the former, which were you considering?

Clear skies.

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Great stuff, Mike, and certainly something to aspire to!

I hope you don't mind me asking, but, did you have a choice or other 'scopes or was it 'love at first sight'? If the former, which were you considering?

Clear skies.

Well I didnt have too much choice in it really, I wanted more aperture but keeping it as portable or if not better than my 12" Skywatcher so I had three choices. Import from the US which after taxes works out very expensive, a David Lukehurst scope was also outside of my budget which left Sumerian. I'd been drooling over the Sumerians for quite a while anyway, the hardest decision was choosing whether I wanted a black or just wood finish! :)

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Great review and fine set of pictures Mike, I expect that there will be a bit of clicking onto the Sumerian website.

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Michael makes some beautiful scopes.

Suspect he cannot really test them out easily as I think he lives next door to Schipol airport.

Final question: How many shoes ??

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Great read and pics.Mike,

Cannot help but think you've perhaps triggered aperture fever for some with your review!

No doubt you'll have lots of fun in the spring with M86/M87 etc.

Chris

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Great review Mike and a VERY nice scope. As you say above, there is always the possibility of upgrading the mirror if you feel the need but that is certainly a lot of aperture to keep you busy. I shall now have a look at your drawings but I'm a little hesitant as I feel aperture fever is going to strike again! :grin:

Clear skies

James

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got to be one of the best looking scopes around..congrats mate,now book that camping trip to the west coast of Scotland..and let her rip...ps is that photo at crowdy?

Edited by estwing

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Before the midges come, they were murder at Rannoch last year. Midge jacket essential lol

Sent mobile

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Michael makes some beautiful scopes.

Suspect he cannot really test them out easily as I think he lives next door to Schipol airport.

Final question: How many shoes ??

I cannot fault Michael or his telescopes. GSO I can and not having enough money to buy a better mirror well thats my problem. :)

got to be one of the best looking scopes around..congrats mate,now book that camping trip to the west coast of Scotland..and let her rip...ps is that photo at crowdy?

Cheers Calv I do need to get it somewhere darker still and yeah thats Crowdy, bring back memories eh?

Before the midges come, they were murder at Rannoch last year. Midge jacket essential lol

Last time I was at Rannoch I needed a midge helmet, little buggers were always dive bombing me!! :)
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yes mate...ahh those were the days my friend,we thought they'd never end,we'd sing and dance..la lala la.er don't know where that came from :hiding:

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That really is a gorgeous-looking telescope.

James

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thts a very nice piece of kit

be honest - when she said you could have it, did you tell her the full price first?

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just showed the pic to my dad..he said o yes...never any bl**dy fish in that place!!

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Very nice Mike. I was looking at the Sumerian site last night. If I had the money it would be a "no brainer" As is, I am gonna have to make my own.

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Hi Mike,

A wonderful scope, I have long pondered whether to get one myself. Can I ask if you know how high the eyepiece is at zentih?

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