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buzz

WO GT103 or StellaMira 104 ??

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I'm looking for a good performance and value 600-something focal length refractor for deep-sky imaging, which is relatively portable.

Over the years I have had several WO scopes (FLT98 / FLT110 / Star 71 / ZS 73 ) and still have an FLT132 (feathertouch) and RedCat.  I sold the FLT98 to get a Tak85 - but the Tak106 is too close in focal length and more than I want to spend.

The FLT132 and Redcat have good optics, most of the others were good to ok optically but their focusers were a mixed bag. I have the new reducer for the FLT132 - but the assembly is a bit of a beast for portable use.

Both the GT103 and SM104 have similar specs. I am not familiar with either of their focus mechanics or how they compare optically. I'm wary of fancy glass claims as it does not necessarily make for a better image.

I wondered if anyone had insights into these two? Shame I cannot get Mr Reid to contribute!

 

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5 hours ago, buzz said:

I'm looking for a good performance and value 600-something focal length refractor for deep-sky imaging, which is relatively portable.

Over the years I have had several WO scopes (FLT98 / FLT110 / Star 71 / ZS 73 ) and still have an FLT132 (feathertouch) and RedCat.  I sold the FLT98 to get a Tak85 - but the Tak106 is too close in focal length and more than I want to spend.

The FLT132 and Redcat have good optics, most of the others were good to ok optically but their focusers were a mixed bag. I have the new reducer for the FLT132 - but the assembly is a bit of a beast for portable use.

Both the GT103 and SM104 have similar specs. I am not familiar with either of their focus mechanics or how they compare optically. I'm wary of fancy glass claims as it does not necessarily make for a better image.

I wondered if anyone had insights into these two? Shame I cannot get Mr Reid to contribute!

 

I would agree with you that w/o focusers are the weak point.. the stellarmira has been said by Mr Reid that it's up there with the esprit... so maybe a 100mm esprit could be worth putting in the mix?

Spending someone else's money is so much fun, I almost now know what my wife feels like..!

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Actually the Stellamira is supposed to be better than the Esprit with. more consistant optics and better,build quality.but the Esprit is a lot cheaper so perhaps worth considering. 🤔

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I would go for the FLT98 or FLT110 if you dont want to pay Tak prices. The sharpness and colour correction of these scopes is very well known to be of excellent quality. They are also fast imagers F5 reduced. The latest FLT's have a 3.5" rotolock rack & pinion drawtube focuser the best WO have come up with to date, they really are excellent focusers. sadly if you want the FLT98 you will have to by second hand as I think they recently stopped making them.

PS. mine is not for sale 🙂

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10 hours ago, johninderby said:

Actually the Stellamira is supposed to be better than the Esprit with. more consistant optics and better,build quality.but the Esprit is a lot cheaper so perhaps worth considering. 🤔

I'd like to know who said that,  as for being really new out it's not built that platform for itself yet.. lots of people say the esprit punches above it's price tag.. if the stellarmira is better than the esprit then great stuff..all the better for astro 

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Thanks for the suggestions - the sharpstar quaduplet looks nice but is a bit short and close to my Tak85 native focal length.

As already mentioned, I previous had a FLT98  and FLT110 (which I sold to buy the FLT132). I used the Flat 68 from the FLT132 on  my FLT98 but I never found a spacing that gave a good outer field, so I only used it with a reducer making it only 500 mm FL. I sold both to buy the Tak85.

Nice to hear about the rotolock, has to be better than my original DDG focuser, which wagged around like a puppy tail. Nobody used the StellaMira (or the Orion-badged equivalent)?

 

 

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I have the 2” version of the focuser on my StellaMira 80 and it is rock solid so the 2.7” version should be fine. The twist lock system works really well and is all metal without any plastic bits inside. 

C36E5B6E-D79C-478B-8EC5-C88E83118A44.jpeg

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On 14/07/2020 at 09:37, newbie alert said:

I'd like to know who said that,  as for being really new out it's not built that platform for itself yet.. lots of people say the esprit punches above it's price tag.. if the stellarmira is better than the esprit then great stuff..all the better for astro 

The Stellarmira is completely unproven, so a real gamble. It "has" to be better than the Esprit; it's slower, has a smaller focuser, and is more expensive; so if it isn't optically better then why does it exist :) 

There's near as makes no difference between an Esprit and Tak 106 in the shootouts I've seen, so it's going to take some very critical eyes to spot the improvement the SM offers. Still waiting for some evidence :)

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Sam - good points. Maybe it has something to do with the red color (it matches with my MyT).

 Do you have any links to the Esprit comparisons?  I have nothing against SW - their mirrors are often fantastic.

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I completely forgot about the Esprit. And have to say I would have one in a instant. I have seen hundreds of fantastic images taken through these scopes. I think in general all the imaging refractors of today are all very much on par with each other. Also Buzz I totally agree about the SW mirrors.

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Found the review on CN.  Very interesting, Esprit gives the Tak a run for its money. Unfortunately its focal length is a bit short for my needs and only 20% longer than my Tak85. 

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On 13/07/2020 at 17:24, Davey-T said:

Personally I would not touch a budget quad with a barge pole. I am sure some will be good but it's easier to get a good copy of a triplet at this price point. 

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I'm leaning towards the GT102. It will accept the same flattener and reducer as my FLT132. Good chance that one of my spare Lakeside focus brackets fill fit too.

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