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Altair Starwave Ascent 102ED f7


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5 hours ago, Mark at Beaufort said:

I have really enjoyed your reports on this scope. I often regretted selling my 4 inch Astro Tech ED frac and your statements about this particular frac has got me thinking. This does appear to be good instrument at under £500

Thanks Mark. Please bear in mind, as you can probably tell, I'm not an expert.

I've just reported my experience drawing on a little knowledge gained over a couple of years observing. However, there's no doubt in my mind for under £500 the Ascent 102ED is worth it. Considering the next models up are around £750 - £800 do you get an extra 50%+ performance increase for the 50% extra cost? I don't know. That's for others with more money than me burning a hole in their pocket to debate. 

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5 minutes ago, ScouseSpaceCadet said:

Thanks Mark. Please bear in mind, as you can probably tell, I'm not an expert.

I've just reported my experience drawing on a little knowledge gained over a couple of years observing. However, there's no doubt in my mind for under £500 the Ascent 102ED is worth it. Considering the next models up are around £750 - £800 do you get an extra 50%+ performance increase for the 50% extra cost? I don't know. That's for others with more money than me burning a hole in their pocket to debate. 

You made some very positive statements about magnification and comparison with other scopes you have used. Your comment about the difference between FPL51 and FDL53 and the extra cost for visual observing is very relevant. I am sure your post has been very helpful for those who want a reasonable refractor without spending a fortune.

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42 minutes ago, ScouseSpaceCadet said:

Thanks Mark. Please bear in mind, as you can probably tell, I'm not an expert.

I've just reported my experience drawing on a little knowledge gained over a couple of years observing. However, there's no doubt in my mind for under £500 the Ascent 102ED is worth it. Considering the next models up are around £750 - £800 do you get an extra 50%+ performance increase for the 50% extra cost? I don't know. That's for others with more money than me burning a hole in their pocket to debate. 

What is an expert anyway? All any of us can do is tell it how it is. It sounds like an excellent scope, and a bargain at that price. It’s actually quite hard to compare scopes from memory, you never quite know if the sky conditions were the same etc. Side by side on the same night, same mag and eyepiece is the only real way.

A good 4” refractor should serve you well for a life time, so do enjoy it! 👍

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A 4 inch refractor of this quality for under £500 is an outstanding buy IMHO.

And thanks to your review, we know that it is a good one too :smiley:

It does beg the question of what we actually get when we pay 4x-5x more for a similar spec scope from a premium brand with a different type of glass in it :icon_scratch:

I suspect "not a lot" is the answer for many !

Thanks for compiling and posting your thoughts on this scope. Having done similar stuff in the past, mostly on eyepieces, I fully appreciate that it takes time and thought to do this and it can also be quite a nerve racking process "sticking your head above the parapet", so to speak :smiley:

 

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14 hours ago, John said:

A 4 inch refractor of this quality for under £500 is an outstanding buy IMHO.

And thanks to your review, we know that it is a good one too :smiley:

It does beg the question of what we actually get when we pay 4x-5x more for a similar spec scope from a premium brand with a different type of glass in it :icon_scratch:

I suspect "not a lot" is the answer for many !

Thanks for compiling and posting your thoughts on this scope. Having done similar stuff in the past, mostly on eyepieces, I fully appreciate that it takes time and thought to do this and it can also be quite a nerve racking process "sticking your head above the parapet", so to speak :smiley:

 

Under real world conditions in the U.K. John that is likely true. I think the high end gear comes into it’s own when everything is right and the sky is very transparent and/or stable. Then you can pile on the magnification or pull out the fainter threshold objects perhaps. That doesn’t happen very often though. 

I know from seeing Zeta Herculis better through my Heritage 150p (I think, might even have been the 130p) than my FC100DC that even entry level scopes can humble expensive kit if they have decent optics and more aperture.

I do have faith in the FC100DC though, it shows me wonderful solar, lunar and planetary views and I’m very happy with that, but as we are seeing, the entry priced kit is still excellent. That is to be welcomed as more people can now enjoy a good 4” apo refractor which is something every astronomer should have in their Astro shed, in my humble opinion 🤣.

I have tried to highlight the merits of the Heritage 130p and 150p for example so new starters know that they don’t have to spend a fortune to get a very credible and capable scope.

Great review and an interesting thread 👍

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20 hours ago, John said:

It does beg the question of what we actually get when we pay 4x-5x more for a similar spec scope from a premium brand with a different type of glass in it :icon_scratch:

 

I know! I know!!

An empty bank account! 😢

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