Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.


SkyWatcher StarQuest vs other SkyWatchers

Recommended Posts

Hi all, 

As I'm selecting a new scope with a great help and advice from this community!

As the optical system is getting clearer, I'm now checking the model. And really puzzled with the new SkyWatcher line: StarQuest. It looks on the paper as exactly the same as the telescopes from the other lines, but costs less.



1. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az-eq-avant/sky-watcher-skymax-102-az-eq-avant.htm

2. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-starquest/sky-watcher-starquest-102mc-f127-maksutov-cassegrain-telescope.html

Optical specs look identical, mounts are like twins, yet StarQuest is 20% cheaper.

Have you had any experiences with these telescopes, are there any hidden tricks what aren't visible on the paper specs?

Does it makes sense to pay extra for a SkyMax on Avant?


And a similar question on a StarQuest refractor https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-starquest/sky-watcher-starquest-102r-f49-achromatic-refractor-telescope.html

There is no direct comparison, but is the StarQuest is a copy of StarTravel 102 (https://www.firstlightoptics.com/startravel/skywatcher-startravel-102t-ota.html), or it's a different telescope optically and functionally? 

Edited by Dimitry
  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The tripod explains at least part of the price difference. The StarQuest tripod is cheap and not nearly as good.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Optics of said scopes is most certainly the same and in principle they should show you the same.

What differs is usability and maybe some other features. Let's examine both pairs to see possible differences.

In first example, AZ-EQ avant is a better mount. Although they look the same, az-eq is made so it can be used in both EQ and AltAz mode. With StarQuest that is probably not the case. I'm not 100% sure on that one but StarQuest looks like regular EQ mount from SW in design.

Regular EQ mounts from SW can still be used in AltAz mode, but that requires modification and you can't really make them dual mode easily. This example of EQ3 shows why is that so:


StarQuest appears to be the same design.

Then there is matter of tripod. It looks like AZ-EQ avant tripod is better quality / more stable and lighter one. As a bonus, you can take AZ-EQ avant mount head and attach it to any photo tripod (which means that you can upgrade tripod easily).

In second case, scope is the same, but details on scope will be different.

Regular ST102 comes with rings and dovetail and can be carried by different mounts that accept vixen dovetail. One on StarQuest has some sort of bolt connection to the mount head - less versatility.

It could be the case that things on OTA are of lesser quality on StarQuest - for example plastic parts. This is done to save weight rather than to save money as StarQuest is really light weight mount.

Something similar has been done with Newtonain scopes and Maks that go on this light weight mounts. Redesigned mirror cells - ones that don't support collimation and look like they are made out of plastic.

Compare these two images:



Second one does not have collimation screws and back end has been redesigned.

Edited by vlaiv
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, vlaiv said:

With StarQuest that is probably not the case

I’ve seen the review here on the forum by @Lockie


there the mount was transformed to AltAz


thank for for the hint with plastic details - I will try to find a proper review or call the shop

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Dimitry said:

I’ve seen the review here on the forum by @Lockie

Lockie has done several of these entry level scope reviews and I think it's worth having a look at each one of them. You'll find all the scopes mentioned here being reviewed in one way or the another - ST102, Mak102, etc ...

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello again,

what do you think about these offers:

StarTravel 102 on EQ1 vs StartQuest 102R on it’s own mount?

Which set would you think perform more stable?



they look similar, I’ve just read that EQ1 might be not stable enough. Would newer StarQuest behave better?

on the other side, in ST102 a Barlow is included, does it any good or I’ll need anyways another barlow to be able to see some details on the planets with this scope? 


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that ST102 will be under mounted on either of those two mounts.

I had ST102 and used it on AZ3 and AZ4 - it was much better on AZ4 but I did miss slow motion controls sometimes. For this reason if you want to get ST102 bundled with a mount, maybe look at this one:


ST102 is not the best scope to observe planets with - there will be a lot of chromatic aberration. Barlow included is together with other starter kit included - very basic and while it will do what it is supposed to do (give you bigger magnification) - it is not going to be very good. Same holds for 10mm eyepiece. 25mm is actually quite decent eyepiece and you won't need to replace that one for some time (until you acquire taste for better eyepieces and you have the budget for it). Diagonal is also not quality item - it serves its purpose but there are better items out there.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Dimitry
      Hi all,
      With the advice I'm getting here, I'm planning to start my hobby with Skywatcher Maksutov 102 telescope. There are several models with this optical design, BUT it looks like they all sold out! 
      Almost all... FLO still could sell a Mak on the older EQ2 mount. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/maksutov/skywatcher-skymax-102-eq2.html 
      What would yo say about this combination - is it an obsolete scope, or the same as modern versions? How it this mount? I gather it can be also used as Alt-As, right? 
      And one more question, with this long focal length I think as a beginner I'm running into an issue of finding objects with it's FoV. What eyepieces would you recommend to add immediately to this scope? A good price/performance would be great!
      For instance, should I add a 0,5 reducer or a 35-40 mm eyepiece, should I immediately replace 10mm?
      I've read the great post of @The Warthog, so have an idea what focal lengths I'll need (10, 15, 25, 40). Just want to check your opinion what could be ideal price/performer.
       Thank you!
    • By JMH
      Morning! I've just taken delivery of a Sky-Watcher StarQuest 102 MC. It's all set up BUT apparently I need to polar align it to be able to see anything? Please don't eye-roll me but I'm a total beginner and my usual go-to for instructions is videos but there don't seem to be many on the StarQuest series. Do I have this right; the tripod needs to point north. Then put my latitude adjustment knob to my own latitude which is 51.
      Should that be all I need to do?
      Thank you so much in advance for any help or tips!
    • By Crignog
      Hi! I'm very new to astronomy and have ordered a SkyWatcher StarQuest 130p as my first telescope, which arrives soon. As I understand it the tripod is the biggest weak link in the setup. Is it possible for me to buy a replacement, better tripod to improve my viewing experience overall?
      Apart from the tripod what would you recommend upgrading?
    • By Philk_80
      Hi all,
      I was bought the following 2 years ago and have used it maximum 5 times. Would anyone be interested in acquiring?
      SkyMax 180 Pro
      NEQ6 Pro Synscan
      Skywatcher 7Ah Rechargeable Power Tank
      Canon EOS adapter for camera mount

      I think this is a sensible price as it's in immaculate condition as you would expect - OIRO £1500

    • By greeno76
      I've just ordered a Sky-Watcher Skymax 150 PRO from FLO. It will replace my wonderful 250px which is simply taking up too much room amongst my kids' growing population of Peppa Pig and friends!
      Will I miss the wider field of view and the light gathering capabilities of the big(ish) dob in my little backyard in averagely light polluted Bedford?  I've read good things about the MAK but I'm nervous!
      Part of my motivation was that I want to be able to share the joy of the night skies with my young kids (6 & 3). The dob is fabulous but it's not that easy for them to see through the eyepiece without knocking it off target. I have an HEQ5  Pro mount (which I've never used). I'm hoping that, along with the MAK, the kids might have a better chance of seeing things and being inspired rather than frustrated.
      I'll almost certainly sell the 250px asap and free-up the space for 'Peppa Pig land'.
      I hope I'm not making a grave (and expensive) mistake!
      Best wishes,
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.