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Altair Astro Starwave 152mm v2 f5.9 refractor


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Hi all, This is a brief review of my recently aquired Altair Astro Starwave F5.9 Achromatic refractor. It's the latest version with longer retractable dewshield and massiive 3" rotatable focusser

Mine arrived today, Technosky version, had to get a white one so I can slip it by the astro spending police, she's not that clued up about sizes but would defo notice a big bright red one appear in th

It's always been a puzzle to me to see folks enjoying Newts on eq mounts, unless the ota is small, the spinning of the tube is just an art form ! Fracs don't suffer this and are proper telescopes,

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11 hours ago, Stu said:

I think I would think carefully before losing the 4". The 152 would be great on DSOs, and I'm sure would work well with the Wedge, but giving up colour free planetary and lunar views may not be something you want to do?

Thanks Stu for your positive and honest opinion. What I was trying to do is to have just two scopes. I have my 12" Dob for DSO work but I was trying to get a scope to cover everything else. The Astro Tech is very good on the items that I mentioned and I suppose I want that quality if I replace it. This is not going to be easy unless I spend a great deal on a 6" short focus ED frac. I like SCT/Mak Cass scopes but I can't use a Herschel Wedge for solar viewing so it needs to be a frac. Perhaps I should consider a 120mm or 127mm ED frac instead.

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32 minutes ago, Mark at Beaufort said:

Thanks Stu for your positive and honest opinion. What I was trying to do is to have just two scopes. I have my 12" Dob for DSO work but I was trying to get a scope to cover everything else. The Astro Tech is very good on the items that I mentioned and I suppose I want that quality if I replace it. This is not going to be easy unless I spend a great deal on a 6" short focus ED frac. I like SCT/Mak Cass scopes but I can't use a Herschel Wedge for solar viewing so it needs to be a frac. Perhaps I should consider a 120mm or 127mm ED frac instead.

Thanks Mark :)

From experience, I know the 120ED is a cracking scope, and works very well with a Herschel Wedge. Optically they are very nice and cover most targets very well including lunar and planetary. The only exception is possibly very widefield targets due to the focal length, although you would still get around 2.7 degrees with a 30mm 82 degree ES for example.

As Jules well knows, and is fed up with hearing ;), I do think the 120ED is a really good choice as an only scope, or one to complement a larger dob. They are surprisingly light for their size too. The focuser is probably the weak point, but a nice Moonlite soon solves that :) 

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Thanks Stu and I have read with interest the subject that Jules raised and the conclusion that a 120ED frac is a good choice for a single instrument. I suppose it then comes down to the Equinox 120ED or Evostar 120ED both having the same glass but the former a better focuser.

I suppose to cover this discussion more I should follow the thread started by Jules and not hijack the Starwave 152 thread.

 

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6 hours ago, Mark at Beaufort said:

Thanks Stu and I have read with interest the subject that Jules raised and the conclusion that a 120ED frac is a good choice for a single instrument. I suppose it then comes down to the Equinox 120ED or Evostar 120ED both having the same glass but the former a better focuser.

I suppose to cover this discussion more I should follow the thread started by Jules and not hijack the Starwave 152 thread.

 

Mark i think my thread is defunct now as i went against the grain and ordered an ED80 + keep the 150 Mak

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@Stu asked me about using the AAS152 with a Baader wedge in a thread that I cannot find so I thought it best to post the answer here.

The answer is that this scope and the Baader wedge produce absolutely stunning views of sun spots and surface detail. I need to try it side by side with my SW Evo 150 when I get home to be able to comment on which is best but from what I seen today there will not be much in it.

The only downside for the 152 is that it does not allow me to use my E17 or E21 eyepieces, which are the workhorses in my Evo 150 :sad:

 

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11 hours ago, DRT said:

@Stu

The only downside for the 152 is that it does not allow me to use my E17 or E21 eyepieces, which are the workhorses in my Evo 150 :sad:

 

Derek that is a worrying statement especially I was considering that the AA152 would become my grab and go and outreach scope. Is the problem inward focusing?

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22 minutes ago, Mark at Beaufort said:

Derek that is a worrying statement especially I was considering that the AA152 would become my grab and go and outreach scope. Is the problem inward focusing?

Yes - from what I can tell it needs another two or three mm.

It is actually the Baader wedge that is the problem as all my EPs work with the scope with a normal 2" diagonal.

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8 minutes ago, Mark at Beaufort said:

That's a relief. If I did buy this scope I would use my TeleVue 2" diagonal and my 20mm Myraid for DSO work. Thanks Derek for the clarification.

Sorry, Mark, I have just re-read my post from yesterday and I should have been clearer. I use a 2" TV Everbright diagonal with it and it is fine :wink:

 

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2 minutes ago, recceranger said:

That's the exact setup I have and it's fantastic!?

Yep, i think i have covered all aspects with the 2 scopes, my 150 pro has a crayford and this makes it a super scope

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  • 5 months later...

I wonder, could this be a very interesting scope for narrow-band imaging? I read that it's optimised for yellow/green light, so does that mean it might not be so ideal for Hα? Does it actually block any red/blue light - the blue tint suggests it might?

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2 hours ago, Shibby said:

I wonder, could this be a very interesting scope for narrow-band imaging? I read that it's optimised for yellow/green light, so does that mean it might not be so ideal for Hα? Does it actually block any red/blue light - the blue tint suggests it might?

I use the Tecnosky 152mm version for Solar HA and it works superbly, haven't gotten around to trying it for night time NB mainly due to the [removed word] weather

Visually on the Moon it exhibits very little CA.

Dave

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  • 1 month later...
On 28.3.2016 at 11:26, DaveGibbons said:

Hi all,

This is a brief review of my recently aquired Altair Astro Starwave F5.9 Achromatic refractor. It's the latest version with longer retractable dewshield and massiive 3" rotatable focusser in a rather fetching red.  It is mated to a humble eq5  with ADM puck and saddle along with beefier 2" eq6 tripod, no drives just a couple of slow motion flexi contols.

I purchased this after trying to find a complete lightish weight set up via usual channels but after a purchase went awry on astro buysell decided to go with a new richfield refractor . Reviews on this scope in all variants have generally been positive in it's various vendor incarnations an I have always loved achromats -false colour never bothers me and could this one be as good as they say? read on!

I decided early on that I did  not need or want a goto mount and  wanted as light as possible sturdy set up  so went with a beefed up eq5 with manual slow mo cables. As it's primary use is as a rich field scope giving over 2.4 degrees fov  it's very liberating to be electronics free.

All bits came last week . The OTA itself is stunning just about the best constructed refractor I have ever owned and Ihave had dozens over the years. OTA weighs in at  around 11kg  add to that a finderscope and 2" diagonal  plus eyepiece all in weight around 13kg  hence thhe need to beef up mount with ADM saddle and 2" tripod .images attached below.

So established it looks fantastiic, but so it should for the price a hefty £830  without diagonal or  finderscope !

O.K.  Lets cut to the chase and see how it performs under the night sky.  I have now had 2 nights out a total of 4 hours viewing and here are my thoughts.

Firstly it does require at least a 30 min cooldown to get the big lump of glass to thermal equilibrium and get the best images, it is however good to go on widefield low power within 10 min and gives outstanding views, on objects such as galactic clusters orion neb or any rich starfield it gives the finest views I have ever seen . On faint objects such as the crab and m51 m81 and 82 the contrast makes them easily stand out with far more pleasing views than many a larger reflector I have owned. M51 in particular was mesmerizing and I swear you could pick out hints of spiral structure with averted vision. You can just get lost in the depth of field and sheer beauty of the views. Having never owned such a fast refractor before all I can say is it opens up a different viewing experience ..so sharp  yet without the abberations of similar focal length newts.

What about the dreaded Chromatic abberation? Well having owned 3 synta 6" f8 it is absolutely better colour corrected and how this is done at f5.9 I do not know.  It is not perfect and has false colour on jupiter and bright stars but will still give very good views up to x150. At this point I did find my minus violet filter worth using on the moon and jupiter but let's be honest  you would be better off with an f10 and upwards if that is what you want to do with visual astronomy. Unfortunately I did not have opportunity to test out on tight doubles as on both nights the seeing was below par although did have a brief glimpse of Propus at x250 and a good split for a few seconds again If double stars your bag a  good  f10 scope will outperform the Starwave in that department -not by much though !

Intra and extra focal start test show smooth optics with ever so slightly softer intafocal  image -still superb though.

The eq5 and slow mo perform brilliantly by the way and the whole set up very smooth and solid. All in alll a compact if expensive gem

 

I love it!

 

regards

 

Dave

 

 

 

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I just bought one in white also with the 3" focuser, what do you suggest to complete the scope as far as optics are concerned, mount is not a factor, hace a CGEM DX which i just hypertuned and now is great, and for lighter times an AVX it should do it for visual...Do i need a flattener or a reducer combo, i will be using a eos 6D and 60 Da for AP.  Ernest

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 9/4/2016 at 10:10, Mark at Beaufort said:

Thanks Stu and I have read with interest the subject that Jules raised and the conclusion that a 120ED frac is a good choice for a single instrument. I suppose it then comes down to the Equinox 120ED or Evostar 120ED both having the same glass but the former a better focuser.

I suppose to cover this discussion more I should follow the thread started by Jules and not hijack the Starwave 152 thread.

 

re reading this, for my own use i find the 120ED, very good though it is, has failed to impress me

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  • 2 years later...
7 hours ago, Alan White said:

So long dead thread revival, sorry.
The folks who had these scopes back in 2016/7, how's it doing?
Any longer feedback on these scopes would be interesting :)

Use my Tecnosky, same scope different sticker, pretty much exclusively for solar imaging with the Quark which it does a fine job of, and occasional visual of Moon, bit of CA on the Lunar rim but nothing horrendous.

Dave

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