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Telescope Choice (Esprit 80 ED vs ES ED APO 80mm)

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Hi folks,


I'm looking to purchase my first scope to open the doorway to Astrophotography. I've seemingly narrowed it down to two choices:

 > Skywatcher Esprit 80 ED APO

> Explore Scientific ED 80mm Deluxe FCD-100

Does anyone have any experience of either and/or both, and provide any thoughts as to which would be better for a starting AP telescope?

The Espirt is ~£100 more expensive, but both are within the budget I've allocated myself (and had clearance from the wife for!). I've also set aside some cash for an appropriate flattener, so I've considered that already.


I have heard, and am aware, of mount first, scope second. I've got an AVX, and I am aware of the reports of this mount for AP, but for now, I'm likely to be stuck with the AVX unless I'm able to trade it in or sell it to free up extra funds to replace it, likely with the HEQ5? However, for now, I'm 'stuck with it', so I'll have to grin and bear it. But I am aware, ideally, a new mount will be needed.

However, for the time being, I'm curious as to which would be the better scope of the two - or even if there are any other options I'd perhaps not considered?

Any feedback or assistance in helping me choose the right scope would be much appreciated. Naturally, I want to make sure I get this right, and hopefully get a good few years success out of the scope (if not the mount...!) before upgrading down the line. If it helps, it'll be for DSO imaging. I have a 8SE that I intend to use for any planetary imaging, etc. Not sure if this makes a difference?


Thanks in advance,



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I can't comment on the scopes because I have not owned either. I do have an AVX and find it very good for AP so I'm not sure what your concern is. You can always get better of course but it will do the job if used correctly.


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I have an Esprit 80mm and ran it on an AVX for about two years. While I can't compare it to the Explore Scientific, I will say that the Esprit is a no-muss no-fuss scope. It works well for imaging, it produces nice stars without color aberrations, has a decent focuser on it and one which is easily motorized if you want to go that far ... it's a keeper.

It actually worked just fine on the AVX. The main issue I had with the AVX -- and I think this was mount specific and not a general AVX issue -- is that periodically, typically after an hour of guiding, the mount would suddenly veer way off on the DEC axis, guiding would fail and I'd have to manually get things going again. Not the end of the world, but it meant I couldn't go to sleep. ?  But otherwise, I enjoyed two good years of imaging with the Esprit 80 and AVX, and while I've since retired the mount, the little Esprit is here to stay.

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So.... Although I don't own either of those two telescopes you mentioned and neither the AVX mount, but I do have the Celestron Advanced GT mount with an Evostar 80 ED refactor and find it more than adequate for AP, just make sure the mount is polar aligned or you will run into guiding issues. I think the mount you have will be more than capable with a 80mm scope.

One the subject of refractors, have you considered 2nd hand? There is a Explore Scientific ED 80mm on ebay at the moment (Mint Condition is says)  and although you haven't mentioned about camera's for imaging & guiding but maybe the pennies saved can assist with the additional kit for AP as auto guiding is a must.


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