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TS/Altair Astro v SW Build Quality


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So I am on my final leg when it comes to buying a new scope and It's going to be a 4 inch (ish) ED refractor. The death as far as money is concerned in 900 quid (ish) but the finder and diagonal have to come out of that too, 900 quid for the lot. I had a SW ED 100 years ago, optically it was very good and to my eyes at least colour free. However I have always found SW scopes, and I have had 4 or 5 (I think) to have the feel and build quality of a toaster, but then they a mass produced thing, just like a toster I guess. However I am considering buying another (If I can find one). The other main contender, perhaps the only other contender is a TS/AltairAstro/TechSky 102 fl7. Does anyone out there know how the build quality compares? Explore Scientic also do something simular, but perhaps just out of reach for me, again opinions gratfully recieved. There is nothing in the secondhand market right now to tempt me sadly. 

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I have a Skywatcher ED120 Pro which I love but I have put a Moonlite focuser on the scope and the overall build quality and finish is not as good as my APM, Vixen or Tak refractors. The objective is a very good one though, which is rather important !

I would think that the TS / Altair scopes are a notable step up in all round build quality and quality of fittings such as the focuser, sliding dew shield etc. I had a William Optics 90mm Megrez for a while (it followed a Skywatcher ED100 as it happens) and I would expect the TS / Altair scopes to be similar to the William Optics level of fit and finish.

Interestingly, the objectives from the Synta made ED doublet series were used in scopes under other brandings such as William Optics and TS. So we can see where Synta put their effort in with that series.

Skywatcher did produce a better finished series with the ED doublets in them called the Equinox series. No longer produced now though:

Skywatcher Apochromatic refractor AP 100/900 Equinox ED OTA

Sky-Watcher Equinox 100 ED (like an EON) Pending | Astromart

 

 

Edited by John
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I own the TecnoSky 102 f/7 and I believe its build quality is very good. I really like the rotatable focuser (more than I though I would!), the retractable dew shield, R&P focuser, weight and the list goes on. I have a thread on it here if you haven't already seen it:

I also considered the Evostar 100 for a long time but chose the TecnoSky for its faster f-ratio and more compact size with its retractable dew shield!!

Victor

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I've never had much of a problem with SW focusers. I have had to adjust the tension on the pro focusers I've owned and they've held some heavy eyepieces quite well. With my 31mm Nagler the crayford would need locking when the scope was viewing at a high angle, but crayfords are renowned for this weakness. With the Equinox versions, I had to make nylon washers to overcome the metal on metal issue of the rotating focuser, but again, all were more than adequate. Personally i love the optics of the SW ED's for visual observing and have not yet seen a bad one.

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Thank you gentlemen. 

I have now finally, and after 36 hours of fretting, have made my decision. 

And the winner is....

https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p9868_TS-Optics-Doublet-SD-Apo-102-mm-f-7---FPL53---Lanthan-Objective.html

God that was stressful, I need a lie down now...

Edited by Carl Au
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2 minutes ago, Carl Au said:

Thank you gentlemen. 

I have now finally, and after 36 hours of fretting, have made my decision. 

And the winner is....

https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p9868_TS-Optics-Doublet-SD-Apo-102-mm-f-7---FPL53---Lanthan-Objective.html

 

Good choice 👍

And the scope I suggested, do I get a prize 😁

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18 minutes ago, Carl Au said:

Thank you gentlemen. 

I have now finally, and after 36 hours of fretting, have made my decision. 

And the winner is....

https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p9868_TS-Optics-Doublet-SD-Apo-102-mm-f-7---FPL53---Lanthan-Objective.html

God that was stressful, I need a lie down now...

Well done! It can be tough sometimes getting to a decision when there is so much choice and so many good choices to pick from.

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1 minute ago, Paz said:

Well done! It can be tough sometimes getting to a decision when there is so much choice and so many good choices to pick from.

I know, I know. It should be a pleasurable experience...

 

 

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Congratulations on your new purchase, it looks to be a great scope. I am going through the same sort of dilemmas regarding my next scope. I’ll be interested in how you get on as this is one of the ones I am considering (final budget permitting).

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Thank you. I will of course do the decent thing and post a report once it arrives and it has a couple of nights out to really get a feel for it. It's going on an AZ4' I feel it's a good for for both me and the mount.

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2 hours ago, Carl Au said:

Thank you. I will of course do the decent thing and post a report once it arrives and it has a couple of nights out to really get a feel for it. It's going on an AZ4' I feel it's a good for for both me and the mount.

Looking forward to the report. :thumbright: Also interested on how you get on with the scope on the AZ4, I was thinking of a lighter mount for my 102ED-R and the AZ4 or AZ5 looked ideal. I'm still on a journey of discovery with mine - I bought it last September and have had amazing views of Mars and Luna (especially with binoviewers), far better than I would have thought with 4" of aperture, and am enjoying doubles and deep sky. Sadly not enough clear skies recently.

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17 hours ago, Carl Au said:

Thank you gentlemen. 

I have now finally, and after 36 hours of fretting, have made my decision. 

And the winner is....

https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p9868_TS-Optics-Doublet-SD-Apo-102-mm-f-7---FPL53---Lanthan-Objective.html

God that was stressful, I need a lie down now...

Congratulations on your choice!

I was wondering... are you buying it from TS or from somewhere else? TS seem to have it again in stock quite a long time from now.

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I am yes, no where else on the planet seems to have one. They have the the FPL 51 and 53.  I think the FPL should be fine for visual viewing, not sure what others think about that?

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On 17/01/2021 at 17:31, dweller25 said:

Good choice 👍

And the scope I suggested, do I get a prize 😁

No prize, but probably some aggro if the buyer isnt happy with any aspect of it 😄.

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20 hours ago, paulastro said:

No prize, but probably some aggro if the buyer isnt happy with any aspect of it 😄.

The buyer is delighted with his new scope...

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