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I can recommend the TS Optics 72mm F6 Doublet.

It has proper ED glass (FPL53), is very well built with a great rack and pinion focuser, and it's small and very manageable. I bought it as a widefield scope (3.6° with a 1.25" eyepiece) to compliment my Skymax 127 (1°) but I use it for a lot more than that. There is no CA, even at maximum magnification (x140).

I do hanker after more aperture but that would be MUCH more expensive with the FPL53 glass and larger and heavier (one of my considerations was the 5kg payload limit of my mount).

When I was buying this scope the Bresser 102xs was also in the running but was out of stock everywhere. On balance I'm glad I went for the TS Optics. The aperture is smaller but there are just no issues with CA and I can use any magnification I choose on any target I choose.

 

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32 minutes ago, PeterC65 said:

I can recommend the TS Optics 72mm F6 Doublet.

It has proper ED glass (FPL53), is very well built with a great rack and pinion focuser, and it's small and very manageable. I bought it as a widefield scope (3.6° with a 1.25" eyepiece) to compliment my Skymax 127 (1°) but I use it for a lot more than that. There is no CA, even at maximum magnification (x140).

I do hanker after more aperture but that would be MUCH more expensive with the FPL53 glass and larger and heavier (one of my considerations was the 5kg payload limit of my mount).

When I was buying this scope the Bresser 102xs was also in the running but was out of stock everywhere. On balance I'm glad I went for the TS Optics. The aperture is smaller but there are just no issues with CA and I can use any magnification I choose on any target I choose.

 

I agree! I had one of these for quite a few years and really enjoyed it. Excellent optics, great build quality and the focuser was top notch too. I took it away with me a number of times on holidays, very portable and as Peter says, capable of wide field all the way up to some reasonably high powers (x140 ish) whilst maintaining quality. Well worth considering.

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Just to address two points you have raised I will speak in favour of my Startravel 102T. Firstly from a budget point of view it retails for £200 which fitted the budget set by my Domestic Financial Controller perfectly😄. Secondly you mentioned travel, the dew shield of the 102T is detachable and so the scope fits perfectly into my airline cabin shoulder bag with room for eyepieces, red dot sight etc.

I bought the 102T to replace a used ST80 which I acquired for £60 and was a great starter scope but had significant amounts of CA and I also wanted something a bit longer that would sit happily with my Controller as mentioned earlier. I did a lot of reading about the 102T and found reviews that said the CA was copy variant, some people said it had more than they liked while many said that their copies had minimal or acceptable CA. I took a chance and bought the 102T from FLO and I'm pleased that the CA in my copy is perfectly acceptable to me and is minimal. One thing to point out is that the "T" refers to "terrestrial" and the scope comes with a 45 degree erect image diagonal.

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1 hour ago, PeterC65 said:

I can recommend the TS Optics 72mm F6 Doublet.

It has proper ED glass (FPL53), is very well built with a great rack and pinion focuser, and it's small and very manageable. I bought it as a widefield scope (3.6° with a 1.25" eyepiece) to compliment my Skymax 127 (1°) but I use it for a lot more than that. There is no CA, even at maximum magnification (x140).

I do hanker after more aperture but that would be MUCH more expensive with the FPL53 glass and larger and heavier (one of my considerations was the 5kg payload limit of my mount).

When I was buying this scope the Bresser 102xs was also in the running but was out of stock everywhere. On balance I'm glad I went for the TS Optics. The aperture is smaller but there are just no issues with CA and I can use any magnification I choose on any target I choose.

 

Even though I haven't used this specific scope I can give a plus one here as this scope was directly in the running (along with the none-FPL53 70mm F6) before I bought the ZS73, and I would no doubt have purchased this if it had been available at the time. The objective is the same as the 102mm, just smaller. 

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3 hours ago, badhex said:

The 80mm I have is a SW Evostar, F7.5. It's a shame they don't also have a retractable dewshield as it would be a very compact scope, although SW seem to have started doing them for the Evolux series. 

That was a deciding factor for me when I got the Equinox 80 ED doublet, it pack more easily than does my Esprit 80.

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Posted (edited)

My ST80 is my most used scope, mainly for portability reasons, but I did upgrade to a Crayford focuser when they were on sale.

I recently acquired an f5 50mm though and I'm going to see what that can do (when the weather cooperates).  With a fluid head and a light photo tripod, I can pick the thing up with two fingers and a thumb.  I do have 50mm binos, but I have arthritis in my shoulder so a diagonal is much more comfortable to use.  YMMV.

 

Edited by jjohnson3803
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5 hours ago, LaurenceT said:

Just to address two points you have raised I will speak in favour of my Startravel 102T. Firstly from a budget point of view it retails for £200 which fitted the budget set by my Domestic Financial Controller perfectly😄. Secondly you mentioned travel, the dew shield of the 102T is detachable and so the scope fits perfectly into my airline cabin shoulder bag with room for eyepieces, red dot sight etc.

I bought the 102T to replace a used ST80 which I acquired for £60 and was a great starter scope but had significant amounts of CA and I also wanted something a bit longer that would sit happily with my Controller as mentioned earlier. I did a lot of reading about the 102T and found reviews that said the CA was copy variant, some people said it had more than they liked while many said that their copies had minimal or acceptable CA. I took a chance and bought the 102T from FLO and I'm pleased that the CA in my copy is perfectly acceptable to me and is minimal. One thing to point out is that the "T" refers to "terrestrial" and the scope comes with a 45 degree erect image diagonal.

You can find real bargains on this scope ... its a solid performer ( i have just found a used one for £80 !!!!!! inc mount ) . whether CA is a problem is a personal thing i think , and lets face it this scope is considered a widefield performer in which case CA isnt really an issue as high magnification isn't required ... if its planet viewing then look at a Mak or SCT . 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, cajen2 said:

Would a Baader Semi-Apo filter not help with CA?

Anything that can cut the CA significantly is going to leave the stars a funny color. I sold on my ST80 not because of the CA but because star colors were way off because most of the blue was scattered away - add a filter that cuts blue and the problem is even worse! 

Looking at fainter objects, this is not a problem. But now I like admiring colored stars, so had to go the apo route.

Edited by Ags
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Don't forget that the heavier the scope, the heavier and more expensive the mount.  In fact, I'd suggest deciding on the mount first, then choose a scope accordingly.

My choice was a 72mm ED.  Granted I put it on a Scopetech Mount Zero, but I also use it on a Skywatcher Solarquest mount that both finds and tracks the sun.  This is a very similar design to the Skywatcher AZ GTi Go-to  and has the same capacity.

At f/6 and with a sliding dew shield it's highly transportable, both around my garden, for birding and for holidays.  It also cools down quickly making it great for short sessions.

The focal length of 432mm also gives a nice wide field, and the ED glass enables higher magnification without chromatic aberration.  If you ever buy a Quark for h-alpha solar work this focal length is also about the maximum for whole disc views of the sun including prominences.

Everything is a compromise of course, and everyone has different priorities, but a 72mm ED was the perfect fit for me.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Svbony 48P, 90mm, f5.5, 2" 2 speed, 360° rotatable focuser, retractable dew shield.  Every astronomer should have one for the price of $350 C !554BD6DF-D358-4BED-951D-9B4030DD29D5.thumb.jpeg.a9e7d8fe0071540f682ef687eab03c45.jpeg609C50BD-97E9-437B-88A5-56F24E62E1F2.thumb.jpeg.6af90ffa9cfd000ae4fb1450ac092ab5.jpeg

Edited by LDW1
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