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Adam J

Why I just ordered an Esprit 100

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So I have spent over 2 years saving for and agonizing over a scope to replace my 130PDS with and tonight I ordered an Esprit 100 + ES reed test + flattener from @FLO ......and some how after all that managed to let Chrome auto populate my e-mail address with one I have not had access to in years without noticing (well it appears)...so now I have to wait till tomorrow for FLO to answer my e-mail and hopefully be able to re-associate the order with my current e-mail address / account. 😰

Hopefully I wont be sweating it for too long.

Anyway a little about why I made this choice. I wanted a worthy replacement for what is an extremely capable imaging scope in the form of the 130PDS and a 80mm scope which I might have been able to move to with less of a wait was just not cutting it for me.  I wanted something as close to the F-ratio and focal length of the 130PDS as possible and 550mm @ F5.5 is not too distant from 650mm @ F5. In terms of image scale 550mm will give me 1.45" / pix and that is good resolution with my ASI1600mm pro for imaging smaller objects (with my sky and mount) while not being so narrow as to prevent imaging of larger emission nebula. While I know its not the best idea to try and have a jack of all trades imaging scope I am simply not going to be able to own two scopes any time soon.

Why not stick with the 130PDS? Well a number of reasons, the focuser is poor and I would need to upgrade to a moonlight to prevent the tilt that i see (although I have high expectations in this matter and many would not be bothered by it). I am now a father and was not when I started imaging and so my time to tinker has been reduced to almost zero and for now while I will miss the 130PDS I need something that just works every time and that also ties into the kind of projects I am undertaking.

I am a fan of larger mosaics I like to take my time over them and dont like to trade detail for a wider view so collecting as much data per panel as I would for a single panel image. That can mean multiple seasons on a single project with two or three on the go at different times of the year. The goal of that is to produce images of sufficient resolution and quality to allow for large prints. As a result I noted that while an Esprit 80 did give a larger FOV it did not give a sufficiently larger FOV such that I would reduce the total number of panels within the majority of my planned projects i.e 2x2 with the Esprit 80 was for the most part still 2x2 with the Esprit 100 with only a couple of exceptions and in those two examples I had a preference for the framing of 3x1 vs 2x1 anyway in order to produce a panoramic aspect ratio print of 2:1 (I match my images to the readily available aspect ratio of prints). A larger sensor that a ASI1600mm pro is not going to happen for me any time soon either. 

Finally as per this recent thread aperture is not entirely irrelevant to imaging as I can software re-sample individual panels to an acceptable 2.5"/pix and gain significant SNR in narrow band shots, that option is not nearly as effective in the case of the Esprit 80 which has less overhead for SNR gains through re-sampling.

3 years back when I started to build my observatory it was designed with the ESPRIT 100 in mind so wile I have wavered a little over the years about what scope to go for and had weak moments when I came very close to purchasing a smaller or cheaper scope its always come back to this scope in the end. Its a obsy for imaging only and so it is very small and the Esprit 100 is the largest scope that will fit under the roof when closed while still allowing a full range of motion. I also have no intention of letting my spending go any further and dont want to move away from the HEQ5 for this reason, FLO have reassured me that the HEQ5 pro will not have issues guiding the Esprit 100 and I dont want to move to larger mounts.

Why a Esprit and and not a WO or the various clones or for that matter something more premium like a TAK. That basically comes down to time looking through astrobin and reading threads on here and cloudy nights and the Esprit range has very few complaints in terms of their optics and focuser also I note that FLO offer the ES reed test as an option with the Esprit but a default with the WO triplets, I can see only one reason why that would be. As for a TAK, lets get real I have been saving for the ESPRIT 100 for almost three years so that is just not happening.

I will do a review when it arrives but it will be a long wait FLO dont expect it back in stock until mid December.

Adam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Adam J
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From what I have heard and read, you have made a very wise choice!

I hope you have many years of fun with it and I look forward to seeing your images.

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Excellent choice Adam,  pleased you got the necessary reassurances regarding your mount being able to handle it. Mine worked perfectly straight out of the tin with my ASI1600 using the ZWO spacers.  
 

Dave

 

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1 hour ago, Adam J said:

I also have no intention of letting my spending go any further and dont want to move away from the HEQ5 for this reason, FLO have reassured me that the HEQ5 pro will not have issues guiding the Esprit 100 and I dont want to move to larger mounts.

I recently obtained an Esprit 100ED with flattener and I have a fairly heavy FW with a ZWO 1600 camera.  It is a fairly heavy scope and I originally was going to use my WO Z73 as the guidescope but has issues balancing the HEQ5 with the two weights. I didn't really want to go to using an extension to the CB bar.

In the end after much advice I reverted back to my small 50mm guidescope and it now all balances with the two weights, albeit they are close to the end of the bar but not quite.

So so long as you do not plan to have much more weight than I have then should be fine on the HEQ5. Before I got mine I searched about and there were plenty using one of these on a HEQ5.

Steve

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41 minutes ago, teoria_del_big_bang said:

I recently obtained an Esprit 100ED with flattener and I have a fairly heavy FW with a ZWO 1600 camera.  It is a fairly heavy scope and I originally was going to use my WO Z73 as the guidescope but has issues balancing the HEQ5 with the two weights. I didn't really want to go to using an extension to the CB bar.

In the end after much advice I reverted back to my small 50mm guidescope and it now all balances with the two weights, albeit they are close to the end of the bar but not quite.

So so long as you do not plan to have much more weight than I have then should be fine on the HEQ5. Before I got mine I searched about and there were plenty using one of these on a HEQ5.

Steve

I think your correct, I have been using a 50mm guide scope with my 130PDS for years giving me round stars at a longer focal length than the Esprit 100 so I honestly dont see why anyone would use a larger guide scope. The only thing I may have that you do not is a Pegasus Astro focus cube that is about 300g. Offsetting that I wont by using a swapping the losmandy for a vixen dovetail. 

Adam

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I think you've made a great choice and it's one you've obviously thought through from every angle. I've had a few Esprits visit here, 80 through to 150, and they've all been good.

Olly

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Plus 1 for the Esprit 100.  I have one and it never lets me down.

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I have got an Esprit 100 and I am very happy with it in every respect - cannot think of a better choise. With regard to weight issues on your mount I would rather get an extra weight than moving the weights to the end of the bar. The bar on the HEQ5 is rather thin so it may flex a bit with weights at the end and there is also some momentum problems with it, but the good thing with a thin bar is that you can use cheap weight-lifting weights.

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If the Esprit had been available when I bought my Tak, I am sure that I would have bought one instead.

 

You might even benefit from not having to refocus every 30 minutes.

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One day would like to get an Esprit 100 or perhaps the 120? Seem like a good buy. But that’s a way off having soent enough lately. 🙂

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Very nice scope I always fancied the 150mm though the 100mm is nice and short compared to my 805mm. That would give me 330mm 420mm 550mm and above 1000mm in the shape of the M/N 190mm, must try that one out. Hope it comes quicker for you.

Alan

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