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Vixen ED103s has arrived

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I've wanted a premium ED refractor for a while, having had a couple of Celestron ED100s in the past, which were optically good but not great buildwise.

I've always liked Vixen glass and have had a couple of their old SP achromats which were lovely scopes and much better built. So I had high hopes of the ED103s, and having done my research ( there is not a huge amount of info on the web, but what there is is very good regarding the optics, I've seen it said in one report that the ED103s optics are as good as the renowned Fluorite FL102F9 - praise indeed), I decided to take the plunge.

The scope is the latest model, completely made in Japan, with dual speed Rack and Pinion 2" focuser, and is c18months old. It's in superb condition and the build is all I hoped it would be, significantly above the Synta Chinese Apo doublets but not quite a Tak either.

The tube is very lightweight and, for someone like me who is a long time traditional long frac fan, seems quite short (the scope is F7.7)..it's quite a wide tube at 115mm and there are 3 metal baffles inside the tube, which is painted a very nice dark matt grey/black inside.

The dewshield, like the tube, is aluminium and a nlce snug push fit.

The tube is painted high gloss white (my favourite scope colour!), and the paint is smoother and thicker than on my Chinese AR127l.  The whole scope feels a quality unit, as it should, costing around £1400 when new.

The scope came without rings, handle and dovetail as the seller was keeping these for his new Tak. So I ordered new ones direct from Vixen as I wanted them fast, and received them the day after I ordered them - superb service 3 days before Christmas!

I've popped a 6x30 finder on for now ( I will add a white one soon) and mounted the scope on my CG4 on a Tal wooden tripod, very solid but not heavy at all (which suits my aging bones!:-).

I'll post a first light if we ever get a clear Moonless night again.

So far, I'm delighted with this lovely scope.







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Hi Stu

Glad you like it- would make a good finder for your Atlux 150mm!

I think it will be quite similar to John's..I chatted by email with him before the purchase, knowing he has the earlier version, and his view was that this one should be a good scope, with maybe a little better colour correction being F7.7 versus his (I think) F6.5?

But these lenses seem so well corrected that for visual use they really can be seen as apochromatic..I'll find out soon enough and it will be interesting to compare to my F15 80mm Towa/Moonraker, on which CA is all but invisible on most objects.


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Lovely scope Dave :smiley:

I see yours has the dual speed focuser option fitted ? - thats a nice touch and quite an expensive add on if you had to buy it separately :smiley:

Vixens are lightweight and so easy to mount and use. With the exception of the dual speed function on the focuser, the length of the scope and the colour scheme, the design looks very similar to my ED102SS.

I'll be looking out for your 1st light report :smiley:

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Hi John

Yes, apparently the more recent versions have come with the dual speed R&P as standard, and that was a big plus for me when deciding to go for it.

Really looking forward to trying it on some doubles and clusters:-).

Hope to use the Binoviewers on Jupiter too.


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Thanks Jules and the same to you and yours:-)

In brief daylight testing I was very impressed. At my Max magnification of x264 (barlowed BCO 6mm), I could detect the faintest touch of violet or yellow, much less than any of my past scopes..and I think my Barlow might be responsible for some of that. At x240 or less I could see no trace of CA at all, and that was looking at an aerial in a bright sky (yes, I did say a bright sky!!), so very happy with that.

A few more pics taken in daylight.








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