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Antares Sentinal 80 f6 Semi-Apo Review


Rob
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Hello All,

Here is a review for the Antares Sentinal 80mm f6 Semi-Apo Telescope.

I bought this scope as a Kit for £249 Del from www.Scopesnskies.co.uk. The Astro kit offer provides the Scope / GSO 1.25 diagonal (98% reflective) / Antares W70 19mm (wide) Eyepiece / foam filled soft carry case.

Firts impressions out of the box were very good. Build quality is outstanding and the black anodised Aluminim tube has a super fine finish + engineering is second to none. The retractable dew cap has a very smooth action and the single speed Crayford focuser is equally as good. The scope uses a foot style mounting which in turn provides another nice feature of a rotatable focuser! with lock bolt.

The scope offers a 2" to 1.25 converter as standard.

So build & feel gets a 9 / 10

The GSO diagonal does not look very expensive at first glance. The chrome connector that attaches to the scope has a grove to add security (stop it faqlling out!). The main body has a resin shell and the Eyepiece connector is metal - a bit of a mish, mash.... but hey it works!.

The 19mm wide Eyepiece has a rubber eye cup and comes with caps for both ends to keep it dust free. Its not as big as thought it was going to be, although the glass looks well coated.

So build & feel the EP is 7/10 & Diagonal 5/10

Ok, first night out. Seeing was 7 / 10... so a fair night with a quarter moon.

Targets were Moon / Saturn / Pleiades / the beehive . DSO targets were not really an option with this much moon!!.

First the Moon

Its worth noting at this point that I also bought a Williams Optics VR-1 filter to use with the scope to take away fringing (purple halo's).

The moon was stunning using the 19mm W70 (not barlowed). Purple fringing was virtually non existant to be honest, so I cranked up the power. I dropped my Orion ShortyPlus Apo barlow in to increase the power.... very light fringing now appeared, and to be honest nothing to worry about! I then attached the WO VR-1 filter to try that. it certainly did take away the purple halo, but the image became quite yellow :?. My personal choice would be to leave the filter off on nights of this quality as the image was far better.

Next Saturn

I first viewed the planet with the W70 unbarlowed, it was a fantasic sharp image with only slight purple fringing that flickered very lightly. On removal of the w70 19mm I placed the barlow back in along with a 17mm Celestron Nextstar plossl. The purple fringing was there, and to some it would not have bothered them. Cassini's division was no problem. I then attached the WO VR-1 to the EP.... fantastic!. this is by far the best use for the filter.

The Pleiades & beehive

Both of these targets did not require the VR-1 filter,.. widefield is a winner in the scope... and lets be honest It should be!. I noticed the the background was quite dark so can only assume the coatings on the scopes lens are of a good quality... the collimation is spot on also (note:- no collimation is possible on the lens cell, so its a case of good QC from the factory required).

Overall impressions:-

Love the scope!. For £250 its a real winner!. If your after a widefield grab n go and your a visual user, it gets a 9 / 10. Its not really a planet scope, it did perform ok to be honest but its no Maksutov with regard to planet image size in the Eyepiece! and Imaging wise its not an ED / Apo!!... I will however be having a go with a webcam at a later point. The targets in mind are lunar + deepsky using the webcam modded for DSO. I will add any additional coments then.

Feel free to ask questions and I'll be happy to help!.

Rob

:lol:

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Cheers Gordon thats the next step!. I have been tipped off that the Sky at Night mag for May has details on how to mod a Quickcam 3k for dso imaging (an SC1 mod I guess). Can't wait

:lol:

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