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RobertI

Help - I can't decide on which 4" frac

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Tough to make a decision when all three are good choices, different but you’d be happy with any of them. 

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6 minutes ago, johninderby said:

Tough to make a decision when all three are good choices, different but you’d be happy with any of them. 

Well at least I can give myself a pat on the back for having a good shortlist! 

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I like the SW100ED and have owned one, but the TS being physically shorter would be my choice, as it will still do everything the longer SW will do and give a wider field. Could be a perfect grab and go scope!

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46 minutes ago, RobertI said:

Well at least I can give myself a pat on the back for having a good shortlist! 

You shouldn’t be thinking of re-sale to be honest. Those are all fine telescopes and keepers!

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5 hours ago, RobertI said:

A couple of months ago I ordered a new toy - a Skywatcher ED100. My reason for choosing that scope at the time was that I have seen how people rave about their 4" apo's for visual and I have never owned or used one - I really want to find out for myself. Also I had never been totally happy with the 'yellow' colour cast in my Tal100R and want to see what a decent ED can do. I was planning to use for mainly planetary, lunar, doubles and clusters. I am not really expecting it to better the 150PL for planets, lunar and doubles, but I am expecting a better 'aesthetic' experience, and interested to see how important that is to me.

Unfortunately I am still waiting (due to long lead times) and have started to look at other options, and my new shortlist is below:

  1. Skywatcher ED100 (£757, £555 for essential version) - Pros: Amazing value, proven performer, very low chance of a dud, light, good resale.   Cons: Questionable focuser, long scope with no sliding dewshield, low quality materials
  2. TecnoSky 102 F7 FPL53  (£900) - Pros: Shorter with sliding dewshield, good focuser, better materials (more premium feel?), F7 gives wider fields, in stock I think.  Cons: Unknown quantity, probably harder to sell. 
  3. StellaMira 80ED F10 (£900) - Pros: Superb build quality and focuser, top quality optics, zero chance of a dud (checked by ES Reid), looks gorgeous, something different, probably easy to sell, its in stock! Cons: 80mm might prove limiting, less good for wide fields, possibly expensive for what it is. 

I believe option 2 is also available branded by Teleskop Service and Altair Astro, so would expect the quality of optics to be good.

I am currently really keen on option 2, as F7 seems much more versatile (and portable) length and with my 38mm Panaview eyepiece, gives a 3.8 degree field and 5.5mm exit pupil, making it a really nice 'richest field' scope and also capable of fitting in the entire veil complex and other large objects. But also still capable for high power planets and doubles.

So head says option 2, heart says option 3 and wallet says option 1!!

Whatever I get I am hoping to use it at the dark skies of Kelling Heath in October.

What do people think? Are there any considerations I've missed? Are there other 4" apo options? :)

Rob

Just throwing you a different option. There was a used version of one of these on Astrobuysell UK last week. https://www.altairastro.com/starwave-152-v3-red-tube-achromat-refractor-telescope-461-p.asp It’s a very good achromatic, plenty of aperture?

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9 hours ago, Stu said:

I would agree with going with the TS or Altair versions as I think these brands are better known so would resell better. 

Thanks Stu, agreed. Trouble is looks like there is a long lead time on the TS and I suspect the same for the Altair - sign of the times! I'll contact both anyway.

9 hours ago, mikeDnight said:

I like the SW100ED and have owned one, but the TS being physically shorter would be my choice, as it will still do everything the longer SW will do and give a wider field. Could be a perfect grab and go scope!

Thanks Mike, yes it really seems to fit in better with my current scope collection, giving me super wide views and rich fields. I guess the ZS66 can also do this, but the 100mm F7 could do it so much better and much more besides.

9 hours ago, Dantooine said:

You shouldn’t be thinking of re-sale to be honest. Those are all fine telescopes and keepers!

The re-sale apsect is certainly making my decision more complicated! I suspect I'll have to go with whatever is available (if anything is available!)

7 hours ago, Cjg said:

Just throwing you a different option. There was a used version of one of these on Astrobuysell UK last week. https://www.altairastro.com/starwave-152-v3-red-tube-achromat-refractor-telescope-461-p.asp It’s a very good achromatic, plenty of aperture?

Thanks for the thought, looks like nice scope, but I already have a Tal100RS achro and I specifically wanted an ED of similar size, so not really for me. Appreciate the input though.

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Just checked the APM website and they are giving 4 to 8 weeks for the TS 102.

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31 minutes ago, johninderby said:

Just checked the APM website and they are giving 4 to 8 weeks for the TS 102.

I suspected as much. Might just have to sit this one out! 

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I have an Altair ed102r. It's become my most used scope since I got it about 9 months ago.

It gets used most because it's very practical and versatile and the ratio of the quality of the view compared to the amount of effort required to set up is good.

However I don't have experience of any other 4" apos to compare it to. 

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4 hours ago, Paz said:

I have an Altair ed102r. It's become my most used scope since I got it about 9 months ago.

It gets used most because it's very practical and versatile and the ratio of the quality of the view compared to the amount of effort required to set up is good.

However I don't have experience of any other 4" apos to compare it to. 

It looks like Altair Astro actually has it in stock!

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The op thought it made his decision more easy to ask for help here😅

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4 hours ago, Paz said:

I have an Altair ed102r. It's become my most used scope since I got it about 9 months ago.

It gets used most because it's very practical and versatile and the ratio of the quality of the view compared to the amount of effort required to set up is good.

However I don't have experience of any other 4" apos to compare it to. 

Thanks for that. I have actually just read your review of the scope from when you bought it and it made interesting reading. :)

10 minutes ago, Dantooine said:

It looks like Altair Astro actually has it in stock!

Thanks for heads up - I couldn't actually see any stock indicator but I have fired out an email to them and Harrison who also appear to have it in stock. Unfortunately Altair are on holiday this week!

2 minutes ago, Robindonne said:

The op thought it made his decision more easy to ask for help here😅

Too true! But I am getting plenty of envouragement. :)

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Interestingly the TS version make a big deal about the 'Lanthan' (assume Lanthanum) mating element. None of the others (Altair or Tecnosky) even mention it. I have included this question in my emails to Altair/Harrison/Astrograph to double check. I fear the responses will be "we don't know". :(

Although the review by @Paz was glowing, it did ram home the limitations of the aperture. I musn't expect too much from this class of scope! I think I am the kind of astronomer who will make the best of any scope I have and use it on objects for which it is best suited, and push the limits for fun, so I know I will use it and enjoy it. It's just that £900 is a lot of cash, nearly ten times what I paid for my (admittedly used) 150PL! However, none of my scopes are perfect and they all have their foibles, either the design or the build quality, some more irritating than others. The one exception is probably my zenithstar 66mm - a beautifully engineered tiny ED frac! So I am still hopeful that a 100mm ED frac will both fill a gap in my collection and meet my desire for a foible free, high quality frac with that super-contrast and 'perfect' stars! My impossible quest continues..... :icon_salut:

 

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"I was planning to use for mainly planetary, lunar, doubles and clusters."

You'll buy a 4" ED because that's what's in your head at present.

Only ever owned one ED, the 80. Great little scope, i'm sure you'll enjoy the 100 version.

An ED will be 'better' for planetary,lunar & (marginally) clusters IMO

Call me an old romantic, but you can't beat double stars in an achro.

Might not be an accurate rendition in an achro, but to me they look a bit anemic in an ED.

FWIW i quite like the yellowed achro view of planets& moon, now, if i could just lose that purple haze @ higher powers.

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There are achros and there are achros. 🙂

Big Red my 100mm f/13 Carton achro has Japanese optics from the days when they knew how to make great achro optics and a great planetary scope. Wouldn’t swap it for a Tak FC100. 🙂 Come to think of it to buy one new it would be about the same price as the Tak. 😁

But being realistic a 4” doublet ED will give you a good planetary performer within your budget and won’t need an expensive mount. 👍🏻

 

438E1EB4-DF06-477B-9F54-1C4858A9F826.jpeg

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1 hour ago, SiriusB said:

You'll buy a 4" ED because that's what's in your head at present.

You're not wrong there! :)

30 minutes ago, johninderby said:

There are achros and there are achros. 🙂

Big Red my 100mm f/13 Carton achro has Japanese optics from the days when they knew how to make great achro optics and a great planetary scope. Wouldn’t swap it for a Tak FC100. 🙂 Come to think of it to buy one new it would be about the same price as the Tak. 😁

But being realistic a 4” doublet ED will give you a good planetary performer within your budget and won’t need an expensive mount.

Big red is an amazing looking scope - beautiful and sleek but bred for a single terrible purpose - to kill Planets! :laugh2:

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3 hours ago, RobertI said:

 

Although the review by @Paz was glowing, it did ram home the limitations of the aperture.

 

I did feel like my review was maybe unfair in that my comparators were bigger scopes and once you are at the eyepiece aperture is simply a big advantage so much of the time, but in the end I thought that we all compare different scopes like this  in real life all the time so it's fair comment as long as it's clearly highlighted so I'm glad the caveat about aperture came across.

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On 30/08/2020 at 20:42, johninderby said:

The StellaMira 80 F10 feels more like a 100 in use and makes a great lunar / planetary scope and has no noticeable CA. Noticeably sharper with more contrast than the SW doublets.

Hard to go wrong with any of them. 👍🏻

Agree with John on this, the StellaMira has superb contrast, although I'm only able to compare with Mak 127,150 and C6 so far. Planets, Lunar and doubles are fantastic with this scope 😀

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Well I’ve been told around 5 days (by Harrison Telescopes who I ordered from) - they place the order with AA who I know AA are on hols and will have a backlog when they return so I am  not expecting it to be quick. I am also fully expecting somewhere along the line to be told that it’s not in stock after all! I’m not expecting a smooth ride but will be pleasantly surprised if it is. 

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Hopefully not long. I notice that it’s just the retail shop that’s closed. 

PLEASE NOTE: ALTAIR'S RETAIL SHOP IS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC, BUT IT'S BUSINESS AS USUAL WITH ONLINE ORDERS, AND "CONTACT-FREE" DELIVERY.

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37 minutes ago, RobertI said:

After much consideration, I have been brave and pulled the trigger .......

https://www.altairastro.com/starwave-102ed-r-fpl53-refractor-459-p.asp

We’ll see what happens next! 

Brilliant Robert! I know it's a relatively big chunk of change, but I'm fully expecting this scope to make you very happy :) ( Current general stock woes aside of course). 

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