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ES Firstlight 10


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I’m looking to get a dob to complement my C6 for DSOs. I’ve got an opportunity to buy an ES Firstlight 10” for $400 and curious if that’s a good deal? 
 

They seem to get good reviews and looks the same scope is offered under the Bresser brand as well. Wondering if anyone has hands on experience. I will have the ability to test the scope for a couple of nights before I decide. 

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Don't wait for lots of replies, just grab it before it goes!  It's a really excellent scope if it suits your needs  - considered by many here as the best in class.

It's late in the UK but I'll reply more fully tomorrow.

 

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Posted (edited)

Second to that. Totally sane price for that 10" used (~$750 brand new, but on backorder everywhere, so will be at $1000 soon no doubt). Just make sure it's not damaged internally or externally and has at least some stock accessories. If you can't visit seller in person to inspect it with the flashlight ask for clear images of anything they consider being a defect. And at least the primary's image in white light focused on its retainers (must be spotless even if dusty). Then you can try negotiating if you want.

Edited by AlexK
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Thanks both! It’s actually a fellow club member. He says he bought it a few years ago and has literally never used it as he’s in his 70s and it’s just too heavy for him. He’s offered to let me try it out a couple nights to see if I like it before I commit. Going to go pick it up this weekend. Almost too good to be true in this market. 
 

I would love any additional information or thoughts on the scope though; and what to look for when testing it although doesn’t sound like I have anything to worry about on that front. 
 

 

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That's indeed an ideal trade situation.
So just go grab it first, then post some images here, we'll assemble the Grand Consilium for that specimen in no time :)

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Posted (edited)

The scope is a step up in build quality over the Skywatcher and GSO dobs and those proper bearings really do help. Nice rubberised black anti reflection coating inside so no flocking needed. Focuser is a very nice CNC high quality one but would recommend fitting the optional dual speed knob, really should come as standard. To fit a standard Synta type finder just replace the stock finder shoe with a Baader universal shoe which has the wide hole spacing needed so it’s a straight forward bolt on replacement. 

And don’t forget to fit the extension piece to the focuser when using for visual. The extension is hidden in the styrafoam packing in the box with the base so often gets overlooked and then people complain that it won’t focus.

Replacing the base with a custom one is a nice upgrade but not essential.

 

AF2B51F6-0096-4922-BA08-2CE63F3DF012.jpeg

Edited by johninderby
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1 hour ago, johninderby said:

The scope is a step up in build quality over the Skywatcher and GSO dobs and those proper bearings really do help. Nice rubberised black anti reflection coating inside so no flocking needed. Focuser is a very nice CNC high quality one but would recommend fitting the optional dual speed knob, really should come as standard. To fit a standard Synta type finder just replace the stock finder shoe with a Baader universal shoe which has the wide hole spacing needed so it’s a straight forward bolt on replacement. 

And don’t forget to fit the extension piece to the focuser when using for visual. The extension is hidden in the styrafoam packing in the box with the base so often gets overlooked and then people complain that it won’t focus.

Replacing the base with a custom one is a nice upgrade but not essential.

 

AF2B51F6-0096-4922-BA08-2CE63F3DF012.jpeg

Great info, thank you!

A couple questions for you:

Is the knob on the middle of the altitude bearing in the center of rotation? I’m curious if encoders could be installed to run a Nexus DSC. 

Without the extension could binoviewers be brought to focus?

Did you make your base or buy it? I’ve looked at offerings from Astrogoods and DobStuff. Would probably go that route eventually. 

Thanks again!

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The knob is in the centre.

I’ve not used binoviewers myself but should be no problem.

I built the base from marine ply. Lot of work but not that difficult if you have some woodworking skills.

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It looks as though you've fallen on your feet!  I agree with John Inderby.

IMHO the mount is one of the most important parts of any scope.  You can easily upgrade almost everything else on a Dob, but it's much harder to get an upgraded mount at low cost unless you build your own.

The Explore Scientific/Bresser Dobs has got the best such mount of all the mass market scopes due to the very big altitude rings.  These enable you to both rotate and slide the tube up and down for balance as well.  You can also use an altitude ring to carry the scope more easily, with the tube in one hand and the mount in the other.  

They've got an excellent (and much higher-priced) 2 1/2 inch rack and pinion focusser. It's single speed, but there's an optional extra to convert it into dual speed. 

Plus the mirror is made from low expansion glass so will need less time to cool down/warm up before it's ready to use.

Looking forward to hearing your first light report.

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On 18/05/2021 at 18:13, Second Time Around said:

It looks as though you've fallen on your feet!  I agree with John Inderby.

IMHO the mount is one of the most important parts of any scope.  You can easily upgrade almost everything else on a Dob, but it's much harder to get an upgraded mount at low cost unless you build your own.

The Explore Scientific/Bresser Dobs has got the best such mount of all the mass market scopes due to the very big altitude rings.  These enable you to both rotate and slide the tube up and down for balance as well.  You can also use an altitude ring to carry the scope more easily, with the tube in one hand and the mount in the other.  

They've got an excellent (and much higher-priced) 2 1/2 inch rack and pinion focusser. It's single speed, but there's an optional extra to convert it into dual speed. 

Plus the mirror is made from low expansion glass so will need less time to cool down/warm up before it's ready to use.

Looking forward to hearing your first light report.

Thanks for the additional information Steve!

The dual speed focuser upgrade will probably be the first thing I do. I'm meeting up with him on Saturday morning to get the scope; I'm going to test it first but at this point I'm committed to buying it unless there are any major issues. I've already ordered some collimation tools and I'm also picking up my new Morphei EPs (6.5 and 9) on Saturday so should be good to go for testing. Well, other than the approaching full moon....

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Posted (edited)

When you fit the dual speed knob there is a extra grub screw in the box that is fitted to the hole on the top side next to the knob. The instructions are poor and this step is not clearly explained. Hence many complaints that the upgrade doesn’t work properly because this vital bit is missed out. 

B55117FD-9900-4278-951D-8A98B607AB24.jpeg

Edited by johninderby
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Posted (edited)
On 17/05/2021 at 16:45, Virtus said:

I’m looking to get a dob to complement my C6 for DSOs. I’ve got an opportunity to buy an ES Firstlight 10” for $400 and curious if that’s a good deal? ...  the same scope is offered under the Bresser brand as well. 

Bresser owns Explore Scientific. I do not know all of their ins and outs on finance and management, but the two are linked, and I believe that Bresser is the senior partner. I do a lot of shopping with Explore Scientific, though I do patronize others, of course. Their owner Scott Roberts spoke (via Zoom) to a meeting of our local club. And on that score: 

Quote

Thanks both! It’s actually a fellow club member. 

One of very many reasons to be in a club. You did the right thing by joining. Our local club lends instruments to members and I have used both an 8-inch and a 10-inch SCT. They were nice for viewing, but a bear to lug around. That's why I bought the ES-102 for myself, because I can lift it and carry it easily. That was also a factor in my choice of the APO (apochromatic) from Astro-Tech (Astronomics): portable enough for me to get out of my home office, down the hall, through the dining room, through the kitchen and out the back door and then down the porch, all without knocking into anything. 

My first telescope (recently, not childhood) was a Celestron 130-EQ and I did not get much use from it and was not happy using it. For one thing, again, outdoors and back in was three trips. 

What were your choices for oculars ("eyepieces"). One purchase that I have been happy with these past six years was the Celestron lens-and-filter kit. (The same is boxed under different brands. They're all the same.) It worked well with all of my telescopes and the deciding factor for me was at club star parties people with bigger and better instruments had the same kit. 

That being as it may, I just spent twice what the kit cost on two oculars, one of them a Nagler. We can argue all day and night, but if you read about Al Nagler, you may come to the same opinion about his quest for quality. I found out about him and Tele Vue Optics only because I researched Simon Georg Ploessl for an article I wrote. 

Edited by mikemarotta
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3 hours ago, mikemarotta said:

Bresser owns Explore Scientific. I do not know all of their ins and outs on finance and management, but the two are linked, and I believe that Bresser is the senior partner. I do a lot of shopping with Explore Scientific, though I do patronize others, of course. Their owner Scott Roberts spoke (via Zoom) to a meeting of our local club. And on that score: 

One of very many reasons to be in a club. You did the right thing by joining. Our local club lends instruments to members and I have used both an 8-inch and a 10-inch SCT. They were nice for viewing, but a bear to lug around. That's why I bought the ES-102 for myself, because I can lift it and carry it easily. That was also a factor in my choice of the APO (apochromatic) from Astro-Tech (Astronomics): portable enough for me to get out of my home office, down the hall, through the dining room, through the kitchen and out the back door and then down the porch, all without knocking into anything. 

My first telescope (recently, not childhood) was a Celestron 130-EQ and I did not get much use from it and was not happy using it. For one thing, again, outdoors and back in was three trips. 

What were your choices for oculars ("eyepieces"). One purchase that I have been happy with these past six years was the Celestron lens-and-filter kit. (The same is boxed under different brands. They're all the same.) It worked well with all of my telescopes and the deciding factor for me was at club star parties people with bigger and better instruments had the same kit. 

That being as it may, I just spent twice what the kit cost on two oculars, one of them a Nagler. We can argue all day and night, but if you read about Al Nagler, you may come to the same opinion about his quest for quality. I found out about him and Tele Vue Optics only because I researched Simon Georg Ploessl for an article I wrote. 

I’ll be using Morphei 6.5, 9, 12.5, 17.5, and an APM 24 UFF. 

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I picked the scope up today and it appears to be in mint condition! He bought it a couple of years ago and only used it a few times; it’s been stored in climate controlled self-storage locker since. I’ll post some pictures later. 
 

 

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126DAA3C-3CA9-44A4-AB26-C95F76061207.thumb.jpeg.ac66a55b44e3ad7f6cf3d6aaea2ba56a.jpeg

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I feel like a kid on Christmas morning! This thing is clean. There's not a scratch or scuff anywhere; wasn't even any dust on it. 

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Posted (edited)

A 9x50 is the most popular type so a 10x50 will be fine. The Orion 9x50 or Skywatcher 9x50 are the most popular but don’t have an illuminated reticle eyepiece. Antares do an 7x50 illuminted one and Explore Sciemtific also do one but seems very expensive

Check out Agena Astro as they have some at good prices.

https://agenaastro.com/optical-accessories/finder-scopes.html

Edited by johninderby
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12 minutes ago, johninderby said:

A 9x50 is the most popular type so a 10x50 will be fine. The Orion 9x50 or Skywatcher 9x50 are the most popular but don’t have an illuminated reticle eyepiece. Antares do an 7x50 illuminted one and Explore Sciemtific also do one but seems very expensive

Check out Agena Astro as they have some at good prices.

https://agenaastro.com/optical-accessories/finder-scopes.html

Thanks. Agena is always one of my go tos but they don't have any in stock except for the ES model you mentioned which is insane at almost $300. 

I'm a bit confused by the Apertura being labeled as 10x50. It looks identical to the Stellarvue 9x50. 

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