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Jarvo

Skywatcher Esprit 100ED has arrived...

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Hi All.

With the main planets sinking ever south and beyond my observatory's lower reach, whilst the 150" is a fabulous piece of kit I decided I needed a wider field scope to delve into the Deep Sky stuff.

I've got restrictions I had to work to. The overall length of the scope couldn't be too big so a large refractor with a long focal length was out. A fat reflector would be too impractical on the EQ5 mount and take up too much space in the observatory. 

I went down to RVO with a view to seeing if they had any William Optics scope in and they had a good selection but not the 4 inch range I had settled on (Although I nearly bought a gorgeous 81 inch WO triplet but saw sense at the last minute.)

They had a 5 inch and 6 inch William Optics scopes on show. They were beautiful. Really beautiful and I was taken aback by the size of them - they are like cannons. Too big though for my needs.

So I left empty handed and trundled back to Leeds. Went back onto the web site, had another chat with RVO and decided on a Skywatcher Esprit 100 that they had in stock but not in the showroom.

For those of us not familiar with this scope, the Esprit 100 ED  is a 4" Triplet (3 lenses) short tube refractor. Primarily intended for astrophotography but can be used for wide field visual observations. This scope feels like a sweet spot between larger and smaller apertures. 

So it arrived after a weekend of excitement and expectation on the Monday morning via the good folk at Fedex.

So far I've managed to get it upstairs (thanks to my Son), ruin my back in the process, unbox it (pictures below), add the tube rings,  there was a minor panic at this point - the losmandy vixen plate it comes with was too wide for the dovetail on my EQ5 mount. By chance the Mak came with a refractor sized dovetail plate so I've fixed the rings onto this and it fits perfectly. Finally I fitted the 9x50 Finder scope  (I love the large Finders Skywatcher provides with these telescopes - for me, they make finding objects a lot easier).

Initial thoughts and findings are that the scope is a beast for the modest aperture. You get all the kit you need to get going (Finder, tube rings, 2" diagonal + 2 to 1 1/4" adapter so you can still use your old eyepieces). 

Aesthetically, it looks gorgeous, the primary lense looks the business (Although I've only had the lid off once). It has a solid focuser with  a micro focuser as well (the Mak was always a pain to achieve a perfect focus). Plus theres a handy scale on the focuser tube).

Special note as well for the case. Its amazing, take a look at the pictures. Never seen such care and attention to packaging.

Managed to get the scope onto the mount yesterday. (New pic below). Unbelievably the scope was slipping through the tube rings which alarmed me just a tad.

Been onto RVO today who are sourcing some replacement rings via Skywatcher /OVL.  The weather is not making this an urgent issue so hopefully we’ll get some traction on this next week.

In the meantime I’ve used a bit of velcro sourced from the local hardware supplier which has resolved the issue whilst RVO sort out the new rings.

So the plot continues with the tube rings. OVL (UKs main Astronomy equipment distributor to the Stockists) have agreed to send out some new rings. Should get them soon.

Finally got out the other night for an initial observing and calibration session.

I set up the scope on the EQ5 mount during the day, got everything nicely balanced in daylight  (Handy tip for Newbies ).

In the evening I calibrated the finder scope on Capella (Alpha Aurigae). Took a bit of fiddling  - not used to two finderscope rings but no big deal.

Capella was the first target and did not disappoint. I used a very low power eyepiece (32 mm Plossl , 17x) to take in the views. The view amazing, there was loads of stars in the field of view. All tack sharp. 

Next target had to be the the Pleiades didn't it? Again low power to take in the beauty of this object. The low power field of view enabled the whole of the Object to fit comfortably in the    eyepiece. The Mak could never accommodate the whole object due to the long focal length resulting in a higher magnification.

At this point I'd like to point out that going from a straight through finder on my Mak to a right angled finder is taking some getting used to. That said the finder view is very clear (its 9 x 50 i.e. half a binocular).

My next target was M34 an Open Cluster in Perseus. I found it very easily using the finder and stood out well at low power. At this point I decided to employ my other eyepieces to check the magnifications on the new scope. I'm a bit of a Televue fanatic as you will soon see.

Using the 15mm Nagler on M34 transformed the view . All the star fields disappeared and the Cluster fit into the field of view nicely, I then cranked up the magnification with an 8mm Radian to 68 x .

The scope has given my eyepieces a new lease of life. The 8mm Radian was always on the limit of what the Mak could handle giving a magnification of 187x so you could only use it on the Planets or if conditions were good, M13 on good nights off seeing. Now its low to middle of the range magnification and is perfect for this fast scope.

It wasn't all roses in the garden sadly. I wanted to look at M31 but it was passing close to the Zenith which my mount (and neck) doesn't like. Tried to search for M33 as well. New exactly where to look but no joy. I'm putting this down to the light pollution and air transparency (the other night was heavy with Dew). Clearly not the Astronomers fault...ahem.

Then I turned my attention to NGC 752, an Open Cluster in Andromeda again I used the target to test the magnifications of the eyepieces. It didn't disappoint and I'm starting to get the hang of the right angled finder scope by this time.

It wasn't a good night for Galaxy hunting, tried to locate NGC 891 which is an edge on Galaxy. Now I've see this before in the Mak (a scope not best suited for Galaxy spotting) which reinforced my view that the transparency on the night was not the best.

At this point in the evening I was running out of time and needed to start packing up. Before I did though, Orion was just clearing the horizon and M42 was just visible from the observatory so I though it would be rude not to take a look. It was only a brief glimpse but at low power it looked amazing. I can't wait to get more time on this jewel when its higher and conditions improve.

To summarise the evening, the Scope is amazing even with the less that perfect seeing. The stars are so sharp. It would be interesting to do a visual observation comparison between a same sized Doublet. I know this scope is engineered for Astrophotography but I would suspect there will be a clear difference particularly around the edge of field.

I think this scope is the one you get when you've gone through the basis with an entry level scope (mine was a 60 mm Tasco refractor 30 years ago), then you move up a notch to a better one (in my case I opted for the niche Mak for Planets) and once you know you're in this hobby for the long haul , you look at the high end refractors.  I know that this scope will last me for a very long time now.

The 100m version  of this scope just fits in the observatory perfectly, any bigger and the dew shield would have impeded the movement of the scope (Observatory is a fixed sliding roof).

As I write this thread it's one day after it has been raining non stop all day in Leeds. I cannot help but think that this is somehow tied to my purchase and is my fault. I hope you will all forgive me :)

Anyway, fingers crossed this weekend looks good and we will do some more tests. Might even crack out the camera !

Thanks for following this thread and the kind comments.

Jarvo

 

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Edited by Jarvo
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7 minutes ago, Jarvo said:

I nearly bought a gorgeous 81 inch WO triplet but saw sense at the last minute

Holy cow that's a big 'un!!!

  • Haha 3

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It looks amazing - now you've made me want one as well!! You won't regret buying an Esprit.

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Wow that certainly looks like a beautiful scope, i can feel the excitement. Unwrapping a new scope (a high end refractor at that) must be so satisfying, now i'm jealous, i think unboxing alone can be addicting, like a first kiss lol.

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You certainly won't regret it, its my favourite Scope.

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7 hours ago, Jarvo said:

the 150" is a fabulous piece of kit

Wow! I bet it is! (maybe you meant mm?)

Seriously, that looks like a very nice new addition to your setup.

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A great scope, for both visual and imaging. A friend imaged with it for quite a bit and it is truly a superb instrument!

Enjoy :)

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What a splendid looking instrument! The versatility and ease of use of modern short 4" apo's often leaves me wondering why anyone would bother with anything else - but I am so obviously biased. It wouldn't surprise me if your new esprite soon becomes your all time favourite scope. :icon_cyclops_ani:

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13 hours ago, mikeDnight said:

What a splendid looking instrument! The versatility and ease of use of modern short 4" apo's often leaves me wondering why anyone would bother with anything else - but I am so obviously biased. It wouldn't surprise me if your new esprite soon becomes your all time favourite scope. :icon_cyclops_ani:

You biased Mike?  Never!!!   🤣

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These are really nice instruments! And whilst not exactly cheap, they represent excellent value for money. Pretty awesome carry case too - well, it's more of an armoured personnel carrier! 

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How much better than the evostar ed80 been wanting to pull the trigger on one of these😃

 

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15 minutes ago, iwols said:

How much better than the evostar ed80 been wanting to pull the trigger on one of these😃

 

Not really a fair comparison as they are quite different, both in terms of construction (doublet vs triplet) but also in price.

The ED80 is very competent for a £470 OTA, but for imaging the Esprit will almost certainly perform better, but you do pay for that benefit.

Mine is certainly not that far away from the quality of data gained from my FSQ106, but the FSQ has an absolutely enormous image circle.

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Having had an ED80 and now two Esprits, all I can say is Chalk & Cheese, they have just blown my mind with contrast and detail.

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Just need a decent window.  Pretty much been raining in Leeds since I bought it.  

Oh why do the Astronomy Gods mock me so :(

Jarvo. 

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6 hours ago, iwols said:

How much better than the evostar ed80 been wanting to pull the trigger on one of these😃

 

Just go for iwols. Life’s too short. 

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On 29/11/2018 at 04:55, Demonperformer said:

Wow! I bet it is! (maybe you meant mm?)

Seriously, that looks like a very nice new addition to your setup.

Has anyone ever made a 150 inch Mak?  

Imagine the cool down time on that bad boy. 

J

Edited by Jarvo
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Seriously thanks for all the great comments all. 

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2 hours ago, Jkulin said:

Having had an ED80 and now😊 two Esprits, all I can say is Chalk & Cheese, they have just blown my mind with contrast and detail

That ReplY Might  Just Cost Me

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16 hours ago, Jkulin said:

Having had an ED80 and now two Esprits, all I can say is Chalk & Cheese, they have just blown my mind with contrast and detail.

are they about the same length

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16 hours ago, Jarvo said:

Just need a decent window.  Pretty much been raining in Leeds since I bought it.  

Oh why do the Astronomy Gods mock me so :(

Jarvo. 

are you using with reducer/corredctor or anything

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On 02/12/2018 at 21:07, Jarvo said:

Just need a decent window.  Pretty much been raining in Leeds since I bought it.  

Oh why do the Astronomy Gods mock me so :(

Jarvo. 

Well Jarvo  Did You Get A Window?

 

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