The Magnificent Meade 127ED
Posted 06 December 2011 - 04:25 PM
By Neil English.
Posted 06 December 2011 - 08:55 PM
As the owner of an Astro-Physics STAR12, I can confirm your observations on the excellent combination of aperture and weight of the old visual doublets. They really do check all the boxes.
Given the discount the Meades take on the used market, they could be the best bargain out there for the visual astronomer.
Posted 06 December 2011 - 10:27 PM
Posted 07 December 2011 - 12:23 AM
I too had a 127ED.
One of the best ED doublets I've ever used.
The aperture, also, is just enough bigger than a 4-incher that you know it.
One of my fondest sessions with the scope was at Cobb Mountain in Lake County, California. The 127ED was performing flawlessly. The entire loop of the Veil was easily visible with direct vision, unfiltered. The Pleiades were thick with nebulosity.
That's when I learned that 5-inches of excellent quality under dark transparent skies is very workable deep sky aperture.
A quick cooler too.
Posted 07 December 2011 - 01:17 AM
Posted 07 December 2011 - 11:03 AM
Great review! I have been observing with a Meade 127ED for about two years now, and have enjoyed it about as much as any telescope that I have ever owned. For reference, I have also owned an Astro-Physics 130 f/8.35 as well as a Takahashi FS128.
While I wouldn't dare say that the Meade is of the same quality as the A-P, in the bang for buck category it's a clear winner.
I have seen a couple of the 127EDs on Astromart lately, and at very good prices. I was surprised to see them going unsold for so long.
Posted 07 December 2011 - 07:54 PM
I can recall seeing the Meade ED range back in the early 1990's in Telescope House in London, then the home of Broadhurst Clarkson and Fuller. At one point they even had a 7" on display - a massive affair on a mount to match !.
For visual use I love the ED doublet refractors although the two I have would probably be a bit on the fast side for your tastes - a Skywatcher ED120 Pro and a Vixen ED102SS.
Thanks again for the interesting article.
Posted 07 December 2011 - 09:03 PM
Its in beautiful condition, even came with the factory
big blue and white box. The scope and front lens are
spotless. I played around with the stock focuser and it seems
very smooth, better then I expected. It has done nothing but rain since I received the scope, if it performs as good as it looks, I will be happy. I had a Sky-watcher pro-gold 120ed and was not very happy with the views. Hopefully this scope will be better.
Posted 08 December 2011 - 04:35 PM
Posted 09 December 2011 - 08:19 AM
Thank you very much for your feedback and comments.
With best wishes,
Posted 13 December 2011 - 04:11 PM
A very nice bit of writing, thanks for taking the time.
Also interesting to see how quickly the number of views on this article went up. It was pointed out to me by a friend who is not actually a CN user who agreed with your summary 100%...
Posted 14 December 2011 - 07:54 AM
Still enjoying that telescope. Indeed I derive great pleasure in knowing that it's not quite an Apo.
I call it an ALMO i.e. ALMost an apO.
The world needs more ALMOs that's for sure.
Under 4inch aperture; not cost effective.
Between 5-8" f/9 ALMO doublets.
Seems no one is willing to take up the challenge. I guess they're all too busy trying to flog triplets to the visual guys to maximise profit margins. Scandalous!!
Posted 16 December 2011 - 02:31 AM
Posted 16 December 2011 - 10:26 AM
However, this does not mean that ED doublet made years ago performs any worse than it did as new. An old Porsche is still a Porsche.
There have been many doublets over the years considered APO by top opticians, and attached is the proof:
Posted 16 December 2011 - 02:02 PM
Posted 16 December 2011 - 02:31 PM
Pardon my ignorance, but how does a doublet apochromat work? I thought APOs were all triplets.
Some come pretty close, though the model in the article isn't one of them. At that aperture and F ratio the ED glass available in those days couldn't be combined with available flints to do it. Contemporary models using Flourite instead of crown glass, and later models using more modern ED crown glasses, come much closer. Some triplet models produced in that era didn't use ED glass at all, and they performed similarly to the early ED doublets even though they, too, were marketed as apo refractors.
Posted 20 January 2012 - 02:33 PM
Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:04 PM
just FYI, I believe the AP Star 12's were indeed coated on both lenses, the three that I've owned were all coated. I think some early ad copy mentioned uncoated but the lenses appear to be coated. The Vixen 102F I owned did have the fluorite element uncoated.
Good to see that APM in Germany is re-introducing a lightweight 6-inch ED doublet apo, apparently with lenses made by LZOS. hopefully it will become a regular product.