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I want one! Starwave ASCENT 102ED F11

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16 minutes ago, mikeDnight said:

When i was in my teens and starting out in astronomy, I was fortunate enough to meet a local astronomer who had the crazy idea that a four inch refractor was a virtually unbeatable instrument. He claimed that "You can't Whack a four inch refractor"! (Meaning you can't beat a 4" refractor!)  Now as silly as that statement may seem, there is actually some sense in it. Back then good refractors were hard to come by, and a four inch was a very serious telescope costing a lot of money. Just check out the price of a four inch Unitron and you'll appreciate today's refractor prices!  Despite the very high prices people bought them and for a very good reason. A good refractor will deliver higher quality images than pretty much any other telescope design, and a four inch is large enough to offer a lifetime of serious study and enjoyment. A four inch is also small enough to be able to cut through mediocre seeing that impedes larger scopes. Many users of larger scopes find it hard to believe a four inch frac often reveals finer detail than their larger siblings. 

The attached image is from a book I bought in 1980, showing a picture that I stared at for so long that its a wonder I didn't ware it away. I longed for a four inch refractor back then, and although I've since owned many telescopes since, today my scope of choice is a four inch refractor. I'd love to try out one of these new 4" ED F11 apo's. I have little doubt that these new ED's would give the classic Unitron a pounding.

Mike, are you going to save up for the extra two mm?  Go on, you deserve a full four inches after all this time :smile:.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, paulastro said:

Mike, are you going to save up for the extra two mm?  Go on, you deserve a full four inches after all this time :smile:.

I don't need to save! All I need to do is get my wife to wash it and it will turn into a 6". She manages to stretch my woolly pullies easy enough, so I'd assume she could do the same with my telescope.

Edited by mikeDnight
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9 hours ago, Fozzie said:

I'm seriously contemplating offering up my starwave, a 10mm delos, sky tee with home made tripod, including ADM saddle and berlebach spreader, 50mm RA Finder, Kidney and anything else I can get my hands on...  Do you think you can use a company car as an uber?

Er, are you planning to buy a pair for binoscope binoviewing Fozzie??!?:eek::grin::grin:

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Well this scope has put the cat amongst the pigeons. Even an achro at f11 is v good, so with half decent ED glass it should be 'Tak' sharp. 

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26 minutes ago, F15Rules said:

Er, are you planning to buy a pair for binoscope binoviewing Fozzie??!?:eek::grin::grin:

Did I go too far, it can happen...! Mind you that would be something wouldn't it.

I would have liked a rotating focuser like the achro, would love some more spec info on this scope too, but otherwise AA have been producing and offering up some interesting new scopes recently.. 

Temptation... Temptation!!!

 

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Posted (edited)

I actually owned a Unitron 4" F15 refractor - a folded system though, which looked more like an sct or mak with a short tube about 6" in diameter.

I bought it in about 1989 or 1990 with some money my late dad (who died in 1988) left me, with the specific wish that I would buy a 'nice telescope" ..

I was driving around Liverpool on work business and happened to notice a shop called "Scope City" with a beautiful looking scope in the window.

I went in "on spec" to take a look and enquired about the scope..I was told it was a Polarex-Unitron 4" F15 folded refractor which had been bought as new "bankrupt stock" and was being sold at under half retail price for £500..

It came with an equatorial mount (a work of art in itself), a superb Berlebach-like hardwood tripod, a 5 eyepiece turret and 5 eyepieces, 4 in 0.965" and one 40mm 1.25" plossl which seemed enormous in those days. A lovely 40mm finderscope too, and all packed down into 3 substantial wooden crates.

I bought it there and then on my credit card and drive back down the M6 south, almost wetting myself in anticipation!

A few months later I (stupidly) asked Orion Optics of Crewe to turn the folded tube into a traditional long tube scope..They did so, they checked the lens for me and said it was decent enough (not outstanding), and charged me £150. They even made a black letter "Unitron" logo for the dewshield!

They offered me the parts and original tube back and I stupidly said to throw them away! I have since heard that my 4" folded frac was very rare and would now be worth up to £3k!!

The main thing about the scope was it's engineering quality and attention to detail. Optically I'd say it was good but not as good as a contemporary Vixen SP102 for example..But a beautiful scope nonetheless ☺.

The new Altair looks like a lovely scope and very versatile..Maybe we might see an F15 version one day???. A bit of wishful thinking I fear...

Dave

468240655_2019-01-0819_43_15.png.550202d11e71acfef43a4601078d4e09.png

post-4043-0-18580500-1434730095_thumb.jpg

The above is the only photo I can find of.my Polarex-Unitron, after it had had the tube conversion. I can't find any of it in the original configuration ?..

Edited by F15Rules
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Looks the humble F11 Achro, Red version and White version, is no longer offered on AA website, so is one to assume the 102ED a direct replacement (update?) of this model.  They are similar but not identical.  (not including the doublet)

From what I can see...

  • Push fit cover on the ED, as opposed to screw on.
  • Non rotating focuser, geared on the ED, as opposed to rotating Crayford (quite like this function)
  • Bino viewer compatible on the ED, you'll need a GPC on the Achro
  • extra for the QRC, the Achro came with one.

I'm still warm for the scope, but apart from the Binoviewer element, which I really like, I feel like the others above are a slight downgrade on the finish of the tube when compared with the achro version, especially the non rotating focuser.. Yes I know you can loosen the diagonal and rotate that way, but it's not quite the same.

I've no doubt, if my achro is anything to go by, that ED element (whatever spec ((suspect FK-61) has got a great mating element) will be better than the achro, but shouldn't there be something more to a scope than the views, the Achro I have just works for me as a instrument in a way I don't have to really think about, wonder if I pushed the button on the ED those little changes would work in the same way?

 

Theres a CN thread started up on scope too.. https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/646132-starwave-102ed-f11-yes-ed/

 

Sure is an intriguing scope this one..

Ta

Fozzie

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14 hours ago, F15Rules said:

I actually owned a Unitron 4" F15 refractor - a folded system though, which looked more like an sct or mak with a short tube about 6" in diameter.

I bought it in about 1989 or 1990 with some money my late dad (who died in 1988) left me, with the specific wish that I would buy a 'nice telescope" ..

I was driving around Liverpool on work business and happened to notice a shop called "Scope City" with a beautiful looking scope in the window.

I went in "on spec" to take a look and enquired about the scope..I was told it was a Polarex-Unitron 4" F15 folded refractor which had been bought as new "bankrupt stock" and was being sold at under half retail price for £500..

It came with an equatorial mount (a work of art in itself), a superb Berlebach-like hardwood tripod, a 5 eyepiece turret and 5 eyepieces, 4 in 0.965" and one 40mm 1.25" plossl which seemed enormous in those days. A lovely 40mm finderscope too, and all packed down into 3 substantial wooden crates.

I bought it there and then on my credit card and drive back down the M6 south, almost wetting myself in anticipation!

A few months later I (stupidly) asked Orion Optics of Crewe to turn the folded tube into a traditional long tube scope..They did so, they checked the lens for me and said it was decent enough (not outstanding), and charged me £150. They even made a black letter "Unitron" logo for the dewshield!

They offered me the parts and original tube back and I stupidly said to throw them away! I have since heard that my 4" folded frac was very rare and would now be worth up to £3k!!

The main thing about the scope was it's engineering quality and attention to detail. Optically I'd say it was good but not as good as a contemporary Vixen SP102 for example..But a beautiful scope nonetheless ☺.

The new Altair looks like a lovely scope and very versatile..Maybe we might see an F15 version one day???. A bit of wishful thinking I fear...

Dave

468240655_2019-01-0819_43_15.png.550202d11e71acfef43a4601078d4e09.png

post-4043-0-18580500-1434730095_thumb.jpg

The above is the only photo I can find of.my Polarex-Unitron, after it had had the tube conversion. I can't find any of it in the original configuration ?..

I remember Scope City very well. I think he went to the wall because he sold a Unitron/Polarex folded refractor way too cheaply. 

Never mind Dave, we all do really dumb stuff now and then, I've made so many dumb moves over the years I could write a book. Reading your Unitron escapade, I'm wonder if we're related!? :confused3:

I know that Unitron only coated the first surface of the front element, which may account in part for its shortcomings. The old eyepieces may also have played a part! Looking at John Mallas' drawings of the Messier objects from the 1950's reveals something about the eyepieces he used. His sketch of M27 is one that really stands out as it shows the nebula as a rectangle rather than the Apple core, or dumbbell that any modern scope reveals.

I've heard of other people who asked OO to test the optics in their scopes, one of whom allowed his FS102 to be tested, though he didn't take the scope along for the purpose of testing. It was a "poor" outcome for the Tak, but in favour of OO's own scopes unsurprisingly. As a consequence my faith in OO's sincerity has been most certainly tarnished!  Tak don't make poor Optics!

I'd love to use one of these new 102ED 's, but it has some serious competition with the SW 100 DS Pro which is an optically excellent scope at a similar price.

 

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1 hour ago, mikeDnight said:

I'd love to use one of these new 102ED 's, but it has some serious competition with the SW 100 DS Pro which is an optically excellent scope at a similar price.

Agreed Mike, but having owned both an SW120 DS Pro and a Kunming built Lyra Optic 102mm F11 (same as Altair), the build quality of the latter's tube and focuser  is different class, nearer to William Optics than to SW. (Not the optics though, which I think would be much more closely matched).

It will be fascinating to start seeing some reviews of this new F11 - all that lovely depth of focus! ??

Dave

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3 hours ago, Fozzie said:

Looks the humble F11 Achro, Red version and White version, is no longer offered on AA website, so is one to assume the 102ED a direct replacement (update?) of this model.  They are similar but not identical.  (not including the doublet)

From what I can see...

  • Push fit cover on the ED, as opposed to screw on.
  • Non rotating focuser, geared on the ED, as opposed to rotating Crayford (quite like this function)
  • Bino viewer compatible on the ED, you'll need a GPC on the Achro
  • extra for the QRC, the Achro came with one.

I'm still warm for the scope, but apart from the Binoviewer element, which I really like, I feel like the others above are a slight downgrade on the finish of the tube when compared with the achro version, especially the non rotating focuser.. Yes I know you can loosen the diagonal and rotate that way, but it's not quite the same.

I've no doubt, if my achro is anything to go by, that ED element (whatever spec ((suspect FK-61) has got a great mating element) will be better than the achro, but shouldn't there be something more to a scope than the views, the Achro I have just works for me as a instrument in a way I don't have to really think about, wonder if I pushed the button on the ED those little changes would work in the same way?

 

Theres a CN thread started up on scope too.. https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/646132-starwave-102ed-f11-yes-ed/

 

Sure is an intriguing scope this one..

Ta

Fozzie

So nice to read you are resisting Fozzie, for now anyways.
If the Achro goes to the chopping block, please keep me in mind, I would be tempted.

As for the ED 102, CN is enthused and money has been paid, let's hope for some first lights soon.
 

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9 minutes ago, Alan White said:


As for the ED 102, CN is enthused and money has been paid, let's hope for some first lights soon.
 

I'm tempted to wait for that review.. I've bookmarked the page to keep an eye on it!

10 minutes ago, Alan White said:


If the Achro goes to the chopping block, please keep me in mind, I would be tempted.
 

That's deserving of an entirely different thread, as I might not sell the starwave..  Long story short, not sure if you've seen me mention I gift for the kids when they're old enough, in the loft, could be a bit of a collectors item in a 6 or so years time...?

Well I have a TAL100RS, bought brand new, never been out of it's beautiful green bag, still wrapped in green crate paper, bolted to it's wooden board with 6.5mm and 25mm EP's, diagonal, finder scope and all, as wrapped up snug as the day it was packaged, bar from a peak to see it was in one piece/all in present and correct..

If I were to go for the 102ED, id be tempted to replace the TAL with the starwave, as I know she's a beaut, and sell on the tal. 

Cant be many un opened TAL100RS around now, yet alone when I was going to gift it in 6 or so years time..  it's been up there a couple of years now..

Although I do fear i'm actually saving it for Jules, when he's finished bothering airports with his drones and that, and fancies a TAL Back, he'd be first refusal if I do sell.

 

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Very interested in this long scope. I sent an exploratory email to my wife using the "send to a friend" link. I got a resounding "NO!" in response ?

something something...loft conversion to pay for... something something 

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If you compare the plot with faster, more expensive 102 FPL53 f/7 doublet from Kasai which seems to be the same as TS or Stellarvue Access FPL53/Lanthanum doublets it shows similar color correction to this one. 

 

blanca102sed-ab-ws.jpg.133aad63d49bec486ef0e9c7f02aada5.jpg

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Given the experience the manufacturers have in producing good quality ED optics today, producing a well figured F/11 ED doublet which delivers optimal colour control for the glass types used, focal ratio and aperture, should be a piece of cake to be honest.

The much faster FPL-51's (and equivilent) do pretty well these days so there would be no excuse for producing anything other than an excellent F/11.

A safe buy for the visual observer I'd have thought.

 

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I very reluctantly parted with my white Starwave F11 in favour of the Celestron XLT 102ED, both excellent scopes, though I did think the Starwave more handsome, which in turn gave way to the Tak FC100D.  I am blissfully happy now, and have no need for another 4 incher, though I must say  this latest Altair scope is firmly in the  " I want "  rather than " I need " category.:grin:

It is a very beautiful telescope at an amazing price. 

Edited by Saganite
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I really like long focus scopes and the way they look when mounted. I am currently the owner of a nice used 6" f12 D&G refractor. I would be interested in seeing any reviews on this new scope and would certainly be interested in one as a companion to my D&G. 

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If anyone wants to start a crowd funding thingy to buy me one of these refractors, I'll be more than pleased to post a review when I've put it through it's paces.  After all, someone needs to bite the bullet and try it out - only for the benefit for other SGL users and not for myself of course.  :smile:

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9 minutes ago, paulastro said:

If anyone wants to start a crowd funding thingy to buy me one of these refractors, I'll be more than pleased to post a review when I've put it through it's paces.  After all, someone needs to bite the bullet and try it out - only for the benefit for other SGL users and not for myself of course.  :smile:

Paul, that is so kind of you........nice try!

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37 minutes ago, Alan White said:

Paul, that is so kind of you........nice try!

He always was a nice chap, always thinking of others before himself! :happy11:

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I'd be very interested in comparing one with my Tak FC-100DL :grin:

 

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I've delivered an article 50 to the wife and commenced tentative exploratory negotiations, hopefully she wont want to discuss the divorce bill first.. If it comes to it, I'll take a Tak FC100 as a back stop.

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If that skytee2 sells then i'm more than happy to offer up the TAL next....  and then well i'll basket one of these ED's and go for it.

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3 hours ago, Alan White said:

Paul, that is so kind of you........nice try!

Thanks Alan.  Me thinks that I may have been sussed!  ?

 

3 hours ago, mikeDnight said:

He always was a nice chap, always thinking of others before himself! :happy11:

Thanks Mike, you know me so well :laugh2:

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5 hours ago, paulastro said:

If anyone wants to start a crowd funding thingy to buy me one of these refractors, I'll be more than pleased to post a review when I've put it through it's paces.  After all, someone needs to bite the bullet and try it out - only for the benefit for other SGL users and not for myself of course.  :smile:

I'll start the ball rolling with £1, any other takers?.  Thought not!     ?

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