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TS Optics Photoline 90mm Triplet
On reflection (or should that be through the lens of reality?) this was overpriced at £800, so is now reduced accordingly
In excellent condition, I gave a small writeup about this when I bought it, and it is still an excellent scope. However it has been losing out to the 60 and 76 Tak and now spends all of its time alone, safely flight-cased.
Don't leave this scope to suffer a lonely and unused life. Buy it and catch some great views this winter!
Payment: PayPal (buyer pays fees) or bank transfer (preferred).
Postage: Not included. Collection from Nottingham, UK is free (of course), otherwise you will need to arrange your own courier.
The mount was purchased from Altair directly about 18 months ago. Since started imaging a year ago, I've been using my HEQ5 most of the time. I've also got another lightweight alt-az mount along with a WO doublet as my visual setup for when I go out to our local astro society star party. Therefore the Sabre hardly gets any use.
Solid build and very high payload capacity. It's one of the best manual alt-az mounts in the market.
I'm selling the full setup including the mount, 1.75" SkyWatcher steel tripod, counterweight shaft, 1x vixen dovetail clamp, 1x 1.8kg and 1x 3.4kg counterweights. The whole kit costed me £500 new. But I'm willing to part with it for £360.
Local pickup or I can meet up half way between.
I bought this second hand, but it was almost untouched, and a relative bargain to boot. New it costs 1199 EUR from TS (approx. £1035 as of 08/03/2019 but who has any idea how this might fluctuate).
Apo air-spaced triplet with FPL53 Multiple focus positions thanks to removable tube segments 2.5” rack and pinion focuser, rotatable, dual speed controls, 6kg payload, with printed scale CNC tube rings and dovetail supplied Retractable dew shield
It’s a really nice box. Whilst it’s described as a ‘transport case’ the supplied storage box is sturdy and well made. Inside, the foam fit is precise bordering on tight. It’s actually mildly difficult to get the scope out of the box. Things get a little easier if you loosen the tube rights slightly, allowing for some tube rotation, and a longer term fix will be some straps to aid lifting the scope out vertically.
The scope itself feels very well made, and is what I’m choosing to refer to as ‘reassuringly weighty’. At just over 4kg (without diagonal, eyepiece, or finder) there are definitely lighter options available, but it’s hardly a heavyweight. The finish is powered coat white, which looks and feels very nice.
The focuser is very smooth (compared to my SW ED80) and feels pleasingly solid. I’m not going to be testing the stated 6kg payload any time soon, but I can easily believe it will be able to handle it.
The dew shield is held in position with a single thumbscrew, and whilst it’s retractable credentials are clearly warranted, it only seems to extend a couple of centimetres. As it happens, this takes the overall length down to 450mm which was the very top end of my acceptable range in order to meet my ‘travel’ requirement. The focuser body also incorporates a finder shoe, but if you wanna finder then you have to supply your own as there’s nothing included.
The idea of having additional tube segments is that you don’t have to rack out the focuser so far, and so improves stability. This also allows for multiple reducer/flattener options for imaging use. The TS website details the specific configurations using their recommended equipment which provide a faster f/4.9 option for sensors up to 36mm, or a full frame flat image at the standard f/6.6. I might be exploring these options later, but for now, this is going to be for visual use.
OK - this barely counts, but I was impatient. Predictably enough, first evening with a new telescope and it’s raining. But I did manage a pretty decent look at my neighbours TV aerial and chimney stack. They need some re-pointing.
The following evening (9th March 2019) was less rainy, but much the same for cloud, all but for about 30 minutes of relatively clear sky, interrupted regularly by patchy cloud. So still not great. However, my ambitious setup to allow for cooling paid off and I did manage a few minutes of actual use with a SW 28mm eyepiece. The Baader Zoom I also treated myself to for my travel use is frustratingly still not dispatched. And when I say set-up, I mean just carrying everything outside. I’m using this on the SW AZ-Gti mount, and a Manfrotto tripod I had already, so it’s very easy to pick up and take outside.
I was using the scope with one of the two removable sections in place (this is how it is stored in the supplied case) and was able to achieve focus with a 2" diagonal without having to rack out excessively.
Sirius was an obvious target to the south, and an easy hit. Brilliantly bright, as expected, and a blue-ish white colour. The upper half (the rest was below my sightline from home) of Canis Major was easy to see, with several of the background stars also visible. Despite the less than great seeing, the view was impressive. Stars were tight and there was no obvious chromatic aberration. Moving up to Betelgeuse, it’s orange-red brilliance was very pleasing, and again I was able to make out some of the fainter surrounding stars.
Overall the view was very impressive, and bright. My only real comparison is with my SW80, and of course I now have over 25% more light, so that’s to be expected. But still, it makes an obvious difference. I wasn’t able to note any CA or distortion, and a quick full visible spectrum (no filters) star test reflected spot on collimation and no apparent astigmatism.
Alas, the break in the patchy clouds did not last long, and I was soon packing up for the night and heading out for a beer. I’m looking forward to getting some more quality time with this kit, and who knows, I might even align the AZ-Gti next time and write a brief review for that too.
I've tried to research this, but really struggled because of the amount of choice available in that area. We're looking for a really good tripod to use for imaging with a Canon 5D mark iv, Skywatcher Adventurer and a series of DSLR lenses from 12mm to 200mm focal length. We might be tempted going for a heavier scope later on depending on the success we get with our current equipment, so it's worth bearing that in mind regarding upgradability.
We are going to travel to Abisko by plane and we are going to carry the kit around while trekking (hence the Adventurer rather than a full size mount), so weight is important but we're not necessarily looking for the lightest tripod: something around 10kg or more would definitely be too heavy, but something around 3kg would still be acceptable, although lighter is better. However stability is really the most important feature we're looking for.
Subjectively, I'm quite keen on a spread stopper because I think it would make the structure more sturdy, but if a tripod is renowned for being stiff and sturdy without a spread stopper, then that's probably good enough.
I'm also quite keen on being able to fit a levelling bowl such as Manfrotto 500BALL 100mm Bowl with Knob in order to be able to use a large round spirit level for easier and more accurate levelling, as I want the polar alignment to be as good as possible in order to attempt imaging with lenses of 200mm and maybe a little bit more.
Because of this and in order to minimise flex, I would prefer a tripod that can house a levelling bowl directly instead of a standard tripod with a central column to which a levelling head would have to be attached. The logic I have there is that I think it makes sense to minimise the number elements and connections as they introduce flex.
Budget wise, we're not made of money but we'll get what we need to get: we don't want the tripod to be the weakest link.
While we're at it, advice on a good tripod head (between the Adventurer and camera, e.g. for time lapses) would also be appreciated. I've read that a geared head was probably the best option there (again, we favour stability over anything else).
Thanks in advance