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davesparx

Altair Astro Starwave 110ED or Skywatcher ED120 DS-PRO

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Hi all,

I have a dilemma. I'm not sure which of these scopes would be the better purchase. I would welcome any advice. The altair astro seems better equipped and may be better build quality with a 3" crayford but the ED120 does come with the accessories, has a bigger aperture but the crayford isn't as good quality. Should I choose aperture over quality....and then there's the resale value when all said and done.

I will be doing the usual planetary and DSO imaging and visual, but do have other scopes. I am trying to go to refractors for planetary and imaging and use a dob for grab and go.

I look forward to hearing from anyone that can help or owns either of these scopes.

I have now just noticed that the altair uses FPL-51 glass and the ED120 uses the more expensive FPL-53. Does this all come down to real world views?

David

 

Edited by davesparx
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I'm not sure I would choose either for serious imaging particularly DSO.  They are not fully APO. Are you intending doing Narrowband imaging? For visual they would be OK.

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Thank you. :)

2 minutes ago, Owmuchonomy said:

I'm not sure I would choose either for serious imaging particularly DSO.  They are not fully APO. Are you intending doing Narrowband imaging? For visual they would be OK.

Hi Chris.

I wasn't planning on doing NB imaging but I don't really have the budget for a full apo and wondered if this would be a good interim scope and a step up from my ED80 DS Pro? I have a 200P but it's really a bit bulky and awkward to keep turning the scope around in the rings to find the eyepieces and camera and telrad.

Do you think that there would be bad 'fringing' with the ED120?

David

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Hi David, I haven't used either scope so best if someone who has passes detailed comment. What I focussed on was your desire for DSO imaging. That can be demanding and thus triplet or better refractors exist in the market.  Some folk use achros for NB imaging so that's why I asked the question. How is the 120 a step up from the 80 other than focal length?

Edited by Owmuchonomy
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Hi Chris.

Many thanks for your reply. I will have a think. I do have the NB filters but haven't tried them out as yet. I didn't want to lengthen the imaging time. I will have a look at the triplet pricing.

David

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Having owned and imaged with the Skywatcher Equinox ED120, I would say they are absolutely fine for broadband imaging unless you're really fussy/discerning. It is a doublet but a very well corrected doublet at a sensible focal ratio natively.

I even reduced mine down using both the Altair .6 and .8 reducers and the stars were still pretty tight. Admittedly the .6 reducer showed quite a lot of vignetting, and not so good stars towards the edge, but there wasn't any big halos around stars even at f/4.5.

I researched the Starwaves a while ago because they basically look so great, plus they look like they might not vignette a full frame sensor with their 3" focusers! Unfortunately they are well and truly semi-apo according to reviews :( If you Google for pictures taken with them, they do show quite a lot of purple fringing on bright stars. I've seen a few pics from the Starwave 80mm model in particular showing halos, this would be worse on the 110mm unfortunately. Such a shame as that 3 inch focuser looks great for big chips like I say.  

Optics wise the ED120 is a class act for the money. Synta have just kept the costs down some how by using a cheap rolled tube and relatively basic focuser. I personally like the focuser for the money, I've used much worse before now.

Edited by Chris Lock
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Hi there, Chris

Many thanks for such a comprehensive answer. I think that I will go for the ED120 DS-Pro. I, like you, was impressed with the build quality of the Altair Starwave but it is all down to optics at the end of the day. I will post up how I get on with the photography and am really excited about the new scope! Once again, many thanks for your advice.

Dave

 

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The ED120 is a nice scope, when I had mine you could use something like a APC-S size chip even without a reducer and still have tight stars upto the corners.

Just be careful of the handle on the case, as some years ago they felt a bit rubbery.

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I have an ED120 Pro and think it's a superb scope. Mine does have a Moonlite 2-speed focuser upgrade though. Have a look on other forums and see how many negative comments you can find on the ED120's - you won't find many and plenty of high praise. Synta / Skywatcher really did get the objective lenses of their ED80-120 series "right" :icon_biggrin:

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ED120 is now ordered and on it's way! :hello2: 

Thank you to all for the help and advice. Of course, this does mean that there will now be a week or so of clouds!!!

David

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4 hours ago, LeeRich said:

Any reason no one really buys this range ?

http://www.opticstar.com/Run/Astronomy/Astro-Telescopes-Ascension.asp?p=0_10_1_6_49

they are made in the same factory as the Explore Scientific brand, same glass etc and they (ES variant) get better reviews on the whole then the SW variant ?

Its bigger and a triple Apo at almost the same price.

The ED120 doublets are usually better colour corrected than the Meade / ES / clone 127mm triplets and are quite a bit lighter too. Might be a couple of reasons ?

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5 hours ago, LeeRich said:

Any reason no one really buys this range ?

http://www.opticstar.com/Run/Astronomy/Astro-Telescopes-Ascension.asp?p=0_10_1_6_49

they are made in the same factory as the Explore Scientific brand, same glass etc and they (ES variant) get better reviews on the whole then the SW variant ?

Its bigger and a triple Apo at almost the same price.

I had the Ascension 80mm for a while. It was a nice scope, at least as good as the ED80 but surprisingly heavy.  

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Just now, Chris Lock said:

I had the Ascension 80mm for a while. It was a nice scope, at least as good as the ED80 but surprisingly heavy.  

I guess with the ES version the Carbon helps but then price rises !

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Just now, LeeRich said:

I guess with the ES version the Carbon helps but then price rises !

This is it, it's not that heavy that you need to spend hundreds extra shedding weight with hthe CF version :)

I've quite fancied the ES 100mm triplet for quite some time, alot of scope for the money. The only thing I'm not keen on is how much the dew shield flares out from the main tube, it don't quite look right me. Aesthetics arn't everything but a beautiful scope that gives beautiful views sounds good to me :)

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Dont get me going on aesthetics Chris lol we look at our scopes all day and night in bad weather.....got to love a good looking scope matey :p lol

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lol I do find myself browsing the Moonraker and Skylight sites on a rainy day sometimes. They have some lovely looking scopes, even SWMBO would allow in the living room I reckon ;)

 

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1 minute ago, Chris Lock said:

lol I do find myself browsing the Moonraker and Skylight sites on a rainy day sometimes. They have some lovely looking scopes, even SWMBO would allow in the living room I reckon ;)

 

Hahaha i bet...i would love a scope in the lounge, she could watch her telly while i dreamed of Jupiters festoons lol i even carbon wrapped my little 150p cos i didnt like the stock SW red :D

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4 minutes ago, LeeRich said:

Hahaha i bet...i would love a scope in the lounge, she could watch her telly while i dreamed of Jupiters festoons lol i even carbon wrapped my little 150p cos i didnt like the stock SW red :D

I remember your thread about that, you did a cracking job :) Didn't you even replace the focuser?

Not that I mind the red, I had the little Heritage 100p in red for a while and thought it quite suited it :tongue:

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Guest

Getting a tad off topic now for David !!! lol sorry mate.

Thanks and just to finish Chris, yer i did swap the focuser over too, the SW one was slim shady, i have had the mount to bits today just to see how it works lol the downside to being an ex engineer lol

Just designing a EQ rocker box now for my next project ... a 12" Revelation dob which will be aesthetically resprayed black along with the bespoke rocker with costume Revelation Astro decals of course like my Synta haha

clear skies all and again, sorry Dave for the digression ;)

Edited by Guest

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Hi there,

Its no problem at all. I welcome all your comments. Its now time for me to upgrade the guide camera to a QHYL-ii mono to take advantage of this new ed120. I did see the ascension triplets but after all the encouraging comments for the ed120, I thought it better to go with the majority. 

This should be better than my spc900 for planetary images, perhaps?Regards,

David

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Good luck Dave, hope to see some images from your new beasty soon and a first light if course. Clear skies mate.

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