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Altair Wave 115 vs 102

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Hi All

Once I have sold some of my scopes I will be in the market for a faster triplet mainly for imaging but some visual as well.

I will most likely be getting one of the above mentioned scopes.

I have read both reviews in Astronomy Now by Olly and he liked them both.

What I am curious about is the difference in prices now and then.

In the 115 review (July 2011) it was £1599 and was stated as an introductory price including flattener and finder scope.today it is £1395 but the finder scope and flattener are extras so would be a bit more today which is fair enough.

However the 102 reviewed by Olly a year later (Sept 2011) was only £1150 and again came with the flattener and finder ...a full £245 cheaper than the previous years 115's 'Introductory Price'

Today it is exactly the same price as the 115....£1395 without finder or flattener

Curious why it is effectively so much dearer now (I realise it's still good value but it seems a big rise)

I know the 102 uses FPL53 glass and the 115 uses FPL51...has the price of 53 glass rocketed up?

It looks like the better value scope would be the 115 ....has anybody else had or used both and which do you prefer?

In the description by Altair they seem to recommend the 115 if size and weight capacity of mount won't be a problem.

This is the case for me ...it will be permanently mounted in an obs on a Mesu 200 alongside a GSO 8" RC so weight and size are not a problem so I am leaning towards the 115.

Still a not easy choice ...better colour correction of the 102 or bigger light grasp of the 115.

Tom

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Light grasp is really a visual thing and has little meaning in imaging. They have the same F ratio so, in effect, the same light grasp for an imager. The shorter FL will be a little brighter on the chip because of the sampling rate.

A star test revealed the difference between the glass types but in focus the difference was insignificant to my eyes.

I'd say that if you were using it visually the extra aperture was worth it. If you are imaging then choose the focal length you really want.

The rest is, to a degree, so much empty chat.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice

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Thanks for that Olly...yes I should have been clearer when I said light grasp I meant when using visually. (Superb pics of yours btw on the Altair page...love that Horsehead)

Since they are both the same price I will almost certainly go for the 115 (I think :smiley: )

This line from the description seems to be logical

' If it helps you decide, we feel that your decision to buy the 102-715 telescope should be based on the relative portability compared to the 115mm APO if you're a visual observer and your mount capacity if you're an imager, and these should be the overriding factors in your choice.'

Tom

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The price difference may be explained, at least in part, by the fact that FPL-53 glass is considerably more expensive than FPL-51. Altair themselves acknowledge this here:

http://www.altairast...p?xcmsentryid=3

I believe this price difference has always been there though and is not a recent phenomena.

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Hi John

Yes I read that article ...very interesting it was too...Just curious if the price difference has always been there that the scopes are now the same price but a year ago the 102 was £245 cheaper than the 115.

BTW the review I mentioned of the 102 should have read Sept 2012 not 2011.

Tom

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Tom - I've recently bought a 115 and flattener (3 inch) superb optics.

If your imaging with an APS sized CCD (Canon/Nikon) then you might not need the flattener. I've found with an Atik 383L+ only the extreme corners are degraded.

I've just run some tests with the flattener on a full size chip (36x24 mm) and that takes focus right to the corners.

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Hi Francis

Thanks for that ...I will be imaging with an old (but I still like it) QHY8 (25.10mm x 17.64mm chip size so APS size) so that's good I may not need flattener....seems reasonably priced though if I do need one.....am certain it will now be the 115.

Tom

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I have gone for the 102 for the colour correction and sharpness in visual use, and because it should work well on my Omni CG-4 mount. I was advised that larger refractors would be near the weight / size limit. Photography may come later for me, it is a secondary consideration but I'm confident I now I have a scope that's very capable for that and visual.

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Hi Jonathan

Yes the choice between the 2 is hard....both well reviewed scopes at a reasonable price...

Like you say you have made the right choice for your mount....since I am well within my mounts capabilities that's why I will go for the 115....I think both scopes are incredibly close in their spec and capabilities though and both a good price ...Taks and AP's and TEC's are way beyond my funds....my pocket is still bleeding from the purchase of the Mesu :smiley:

Tom

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I have gone for the 102 for the colour correction and sharpness in visual use, and because it should work well on my Omni CG-4 mount. I was advised that larger refractors would be near the weight / size limit. Photography may come later for me, it is a secondary consideration but I'm confident I now I have a scope that's very capable for that and visual.

I hope you'll love it. I can't fault the optics of the one I have here.

Olly

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I hope you'll love it. I can't fault the optics of the one I have here.

Olly

It certainly feels like a beast, very well made.

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Hi Jonathan

I had a similar problem a year ago after reading Olly's report.

Should I go for the 115 or the 102.

I contacted Altair Astro direct and they suggested for imaging that the 102 was slightly better.

That's the one I bought.

Enjoy your scope.

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Hi Doug

I think you meant Hi Tom not Hi Jonathan :smiley:

Now you have got me undecided again :grin:

Will have to have a think.

Tom

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Hi Tom (sorry)

It's worth calling Altair Astro for advice.

I had a C8 which was good for visual, but I wanted a scope for imaging.

Couldn't stretch to the top end of the market, but the 102 appealed to me.

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Hi Doug

Yes I too have a C8 but will be selling it shortly along with the C100 ED and ETX 125 to fund the new refractor.

It will be going alongside my RC 8 so I am swinging the other way towards the 102 now.

I already have the RC for longish FL pics so the 102 would prob suit me better ....although not true wide field it is nearer to it than the 115.

Just wish it was the same price in the test report...£1150 inc flattener and finder was a steal :laugh:

Tom

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Hi Francis

Thanks for that ...I will be imaging with an old (but I still like it) QHY8 (25.10mm x 17.64mm chip size so APS size) so that's good I may not need flattener....seems reasonably priced though if I do need one.....am certain it will now be the 115.

Tom

Hi Tom

I bought the 115 recently - along with the flattener - interesting to read I may not need the flattener with the QHY8 - have you done any tests yet?

I'll try it without the flattener on the next clear (ish) night.

David

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Hi David

I have just posted in the other thread I started 'First Light with Altair 102' re the flattener.

I was getting some elongation at the edges but not too bad but decided to get the flattener anyway.

Was hoping to try it last night but the clouds beat me.

I did get focuser slippage with the extra weight of the flattener.

See other thread for details and pics without the flattener.

Tom

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I recently bought the 115 triplet and I love it. With my Atik 314L, and ff/FR from TS, I managed to get 6 hours

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PS david ..just looked at the pics in your blog....Very Nice...better than mine from my 4 miles from Blackpool Illuminations house :grin:

Re the flattener to chip spacing of 51.5 mm ...I got an adjustable spacer from Ian King (along with the 42mm x 48mm adapter for the QHY8)  but it is only 2 piece unlike the 3 piece Altair one....Is that the one you are using in the pic on your blog?

I may be 5 mm short but will have an experiment with it when time.

Tom

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Kingboya: That's stunning :cool:

Much better than my attempts.

Have you experienced slippage of the focuser?...your setup may be heavier than mine so would be interesting to know.

Maybe I have to adjust it somehow?

Tom

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Good trunk, but try to realign your colour channels. They're a good way out and this simple adjustment would make a big, big difference. You can do it without starting again.

Just as a general rule, don't use narrowband images to judge refractors. The near-monochromatic light of a narrowband filter doesn't test the colour correction at all. You need to see RGB or LRGB images, ideally with some bright blue stars in the field. That sorts 'em out!

Olly

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I also have a 115mm Triplet, Ok it's a TS one but the scope is virtually the same as Altair!!  But I must admit yes the 102 as better glass and optics, but the 115mm FPL-51 is not far off the quality!! And I've been getting good images from it as well.

But the price difference is huge, so I adopted for the 115mm never owned a triplet and far the money issues is quite good value, However I wish I could afford a TAK or a Borg, but their are literally the cost of car, which I don't have the budget to stretch that far especially I saving to buy property!! So the 115mm triplet will last me for a long time, infact I'm so happy with it's performance I feel that there is no need to buy a telescope anymore, as I have got all my imaging rig set-up, maybe in 10 years time I might buy another CCD, but the triplet I'm definitely keeping her!!  :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:

NGC 7380

NGC 6888

Edited by PARTY MARTY

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PS david ..just looked at the pics in your blog....Very Nice...better than mine from my 4 miles from Blackpool Illuminations house :grin:

Re the flattener to chip spacing of 51.5 mm ...I got an adjustable spacer from Ian King (along with the 42mm x 48mm adapter for the QHY8)  but it is only 2 piece unlike the 3 piece Altair one....Is that the one you are using in the pic on your blog?

I may be 5 mm short but will have an experiment with it when time.

Tom

Hi Tom

I removed the QHY8 nose piece containing the IR glass (as the Neodymium filter cuts IR already) and screwed a 35mm adapter straight into the QHY8 body > then the Neodymium filter is another say 5mm which is screwed into the flattener. It seems to work - the distance being about 47mm from the back of the flattener. 

Looking forward to trying it without it - if I get a few eggs at the edges I'll just crop them out :-)

David

ps I've got £40 worth of redundant spacers that I bought from Ian King if anyone wants to give me a decent price for them

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