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Which one of these three would you choose...


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I've asked someone to find out what they can about the Astro-Professional version. ie: glass type etc. So hopefully I'll have some details shortly. I'm guessing it should sell for about £2,100.00 in the UK. At nearly a grand more than the Meade 127 that should buy much better optics and quality control.


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Having some experience with all of these my vote goes to a bog standard SW or Orion 120 ED with a MoonLite focuser on it. You'll then have a scope with the the same brilliant optics as the Equinox but with an even better focuser. All you'll miss out on is the sliding dew shield and the admittedly very nice finish of the Equinox.

The WO scopes are "okay" but overpriced. In this ballpark I'd not really consider them in the running. They are not without their share of issues and you pay a lot for them, considering. If you get a cracker you'll be pleased with the results but I don't think I'll ever buy WO again, unless they cut their margins a little. (But hopefully not their QC too!)

None of the new ED triplets I have seen and used (including the Meade) inspire any confidence. Optically they have all been inferior to the Synta 120 ED doublet, albeit not by much in some cases, although quality of the 127 triplet optics seems to differ markedly from scope to scope, so it's not easy to know what you're going to end up with.

The Synta 120 doublet is as free of aberration as any lens in its price range and never ceases to amaze or impress me. All of those I've used (gold tube, Black Diamond, Equinox and Orion) have had flat fields to the edge, and basically no detectable SA or CA (except at stupid high powers on very bright objects for the latter, and when focusing was out a bit).

The worst I can say for the 120mm ED doublets is that mechanically it's a bit of pot luck. Some people have had problems with the focuser on the Equinox although it's usually just a matter of tweaking it a bit. Bung on a MoonLite or FT and I'd say that scope would be perfect, if a little costly as a result.

Some people are getting great ap results from their 127mm triplets, but I have seen way too many poor quality results from those types of scopes, enough to put me off buying one until I can have the sample I get bench tested first.

Having said that, I'm happy with my old Newt, thanks very much. :)

Edited by Marmite
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Thanks Marmite I can echo your words regarding quality control and the varience in the optic quality of Meade. You just have to look through CN or Iceinspace to see them.

I'm edging towards an Equinox, I know a touch more then the standard 120ED's but the finish is second to none and I'm quite @nal regarding the finish. By placing a moonlite on as well would make the perfect scope.

Edited by Doc
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Marmite i basically agree with all you have said,i to think that the

WO scopes are a bit overrated/priced,ive had a go at adjusting four

Equinox focusers now and some are just not tweakable,so i have had to settle on a Equinox/Moonlite combo but you then end your

post with im happy with my old newt :).

Oh well each to their own i suppose :icon_eek:


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Got some info on the Astro-Professional 130 triplet. Now I know why it's going to be £800.00 more than the Meade 127.

While it is FPL-51 the most important thing is that the optics are totally Japanese made using Ohara glass. The mechanical parts are sourced from China, but everything is assembled and tested in Germany. It will also come with a 3" crayford focuser.

So, Japanese optics and proper quality control.....looks very interesting. There will also be a magazine review of the scope coming out fairly soon.


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... Japanese made using Ohara glass. The mechanical parts are sourced from China, but everything is assembled and tested in Germany.

Hhmm .. I think the Meade 127 also has Japanese Ohara FPL-51 glass, a Chinese body and is quality-controlled in Germany. It sounds like it and the 130 triplet might be related.

Edited by FLO
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hi brian :-)

yes TEC uses pure fluorite, and not the fake fluorite-glas that WO uses, a big diffrence in performance, and price.

the 152mm triplet im getting has real fluorite to, and exceptional correction.

cant wait for it to be ready.


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Hi guys

as some of you know I have a Meade 127 and a megrez 110 my main use is astro photog so when I went down this path I decided my main priorities were a flat field big enought to cover a dslr sensor, approx 1000mm focal length and no issues with colour fringing. Oh and less than £1500 budget.

I found what I wanted in the Meade 127 which is ENTIRELY colour free, shows no coma or field curvature witk my Artemis 4021 and only a fraction in the corners with my 350d.

Light grasp is excellent and I still get down to mag 19 in unfiltered shots in 300s exposures.

It's so good I have sold my C11. Ok the c11 has better light grasp but suffers badly from field curvature and coma and is a bear to guide dut to mirror flop. My success rate is now 90% of frames cf 50% with the c11.

As for the megrez, not a patch on the 127 but very good at widefield using narrow band filters.

Overall a very happy puppy who would heartily recommend the 127. There is simply no better fit for what I wanted without doubling my budget.

Edited by robbieince
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The William Optics isn't. I don't think the new Astro-Professional is either. They both use Japanese Ohara glass for at least one of the elements but to say it is 'made in Japan' is pushing credibility somewhat.

I'll happily eat humble pie if I am wrong :D

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HEllo John,

thanks for your answer.

But I can not find any information wich glas is used in the Astro-Professional 130,

nor where it is made ?!

Can you provide a link to a site where this is stated?

Thanks, Karsten

That was from a reply made by Astro-Professional to a question on a German forum. I'm trying to find it again.


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I am a bit of a fan of the Meade 127 as I said in my Astronomy Now article 'Our Humble Hero.' Visually it is great, though I mainly image with it. If you are not using an enormous chip (we use a couple of Atik 4000s with 15mm square chips here) then on many objects it will perform very close to what is possible in any five inch scope. I do mean very close. What, then, does it NOT produce on a 15mm square chip that the best of the best would produce? Bright stars, particularly blue ones, will bloat a little. All stars are larger than they would be in a TEC140, TOA 130 or AP. But at this point you realize just what you are comparing the 127 with...

Reality check; would I rather have one of the top dogs? Of course I would! I'd have the Tak or AP.

As regards WO, I think we should hesitate before letting their highly polished advertizing become part of the language... ' the famous William Optics fit and finish.'

I have a ZS66 and while it is okay, even really rather nice, the engineering is a little superficial in places. The focusser won't hold anything heavy, the tube is too short (see Rob Hodgkinson's discussion of this and his need to get a longer main tube made), etc.

I'm not knocking the WO98. It looks very good but I haven't seen one, nor have I seen a 120 Skywatcher though reults are good.

It is alway easy to spend other peoples' money but I have never bought anything in astronomy with which I am more happy that the Baby Q (Tak FSQ85ED.) There at least there is nothing to discuss. It just bangs out image after image without the need for 'Photoshop thuggery.' But on value for money the 127 is right up there.


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I've been lucky enough to own two of the scopes (FLT98 and ED120) and IMO it boils down to this: All three are perfectly acceptable for observing and imaging (given their respective pros and cons) but when it's windy you'll want the FLT :hello2:.


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