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my review of Sky-Watcher 150ED- Esprit

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#1 Binomania.it

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 09:04 AM

Hi to all, i've published a review of the new Sky-Watcher 150ED, on my website www.astrotest.it
The direct link is http://www.astrotest...cher_150_ed.php
I hope that you can use google translate.
Best Regards from Italy
Piergiovanni

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#2 Astrojensen

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 09:56 AM

Very nice review! Thanks for sharing it.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#3 Binojunky

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 01:18 PM

Sky News magazine reviewed the smaller 120 and found it to be very good, however the prices of these scopes are right up there with the other premium stuff, the suggested price for the 120 was $4,000 and the 150 was $7,200 (Canadian) , thats a hekova chunk of change to pay for a China made scope, a bit like asking you to pay Porche prices for a G.M.
Dave.

#4 Takaholic

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 01:43 PM

If we look at the scopes that these are competing against, a TSA-120 with similar hardware would be about $7000 and a TOA-150 would be about $11000. The Skywatcher scopes are their first entry into the upper tier and can only get better. My 2 cents.

#5 CounterWeight

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 02:15 PM

Thank you Piergiovanni for the link and the review - I used the 'Bing' xlator and was very passable. Enjoyed the review and the images / pictures with it, nice job all around.

Binojunky - cost /asking price... what "other premium stuff" is that as far as triplets?

#6 Astrojensen

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 02:36 PM

Sky News magazine reviewed the smaller 120 and found it to be very good, however the prices of these scopes are right up there with the other premium stuff, the suggested price for the 120 was $4,000 and the 150 was $7,200 (Canadian) , thats a hekova chunk of change to pay for a China made scope, a bit like asking you to pay Porche prices for a G.M.
Dave.



Hi Dave

In Europe, the Esprit series are quite a bit lower priced than their competition. The Esprit 120 is 3.300 Euro, while the APM 130/780 is close to 6K Euro. The Esprit 150 is 6.5K, with case, ring, finderscope, etc; while the TEC 140 is 5950 Euro without accesories. Add these and you're up to 7660 Euro... The APM 150/1200 runs at 8.5K.

I cannot afford any of them, so...


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#7 Mr Onions

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 03:21 PM

Thomas,you have enough scopes :)
I bet none of them compare to your Zeiss.

#8 Astrojensen

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 03:29 PM

I don't have enough scopes, it's just my house that's too small!

And while my collection of Zeiss is nice, the biggest is only a 85mm. My 150mm f/8 Sky-Watcher achro, stopped to 120mm f/10, outperforms it effortlessly on any object.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#9 Mr Onions

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 03:59 PM

Oh I thought you had a bigger Zeiss.
My mistake.

#10 Astrojensen

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 04:03 AM

I've talked about it so much, it sometimes believe it is much bigger than 85mm... ;)

It doesn't get so much starlight anymore, poor thing, what with all the stiff competition close at hand, but once in a while I do take it out for a dance.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#11 Binojunky

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 08:48 AM

Well to be honest if its a case of spending four grand on a multi lens scope then I would be inclined to go with a TeleVue 101, less aperture I know but a proven pedigree and no doubt it would hold its resale value better, for visual use in the 120 range then heck you can get the EON120 for about $1,600, I know its a doublet but most visual observers would be happy, going up to bigger sizes then take a look at StellarVue, as I said a lot of money for a Chinese scope, but to each his own,JMPOV, Dave.

#12 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 09:55 AM

a lot of money for a Chinese scope


Looks like its a lot of scope.

Nice review on it.

#13 Yu Gu

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 02:24 PM

I would be inclined to go with a TeleVue 101, less aperture I know but a proven pedigree and no doubt it would hold its resale value better .


I though NP-101 is one of the worst performer in the resale value holding catagory...

#14 cloud_cover

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 08:01 PM

Yup, a NP-101 goes for about 50% of original price on resale, which is arguably, even less than most chinese scopes.
Buying a used NP-101, on the other hand, is a great dwal :)

#15 jrbarnett

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 09:34 AM

But comparing a 120mm to a 130mm scope is apples-to-oranges.

The TSA-120 is a $4600 scope currently (though when it debuted a couple of years ago it was a $3200 scope - those were the days!). Even with accessories (and not Synta accessories but nicely cast Takahashi clamshell and finder) the TSA, in my opinion, represents a better value. I saw another poster put the price of the TSA-120 with accessories at $7k. I think that's way off. You don't need $2400 to comparably equip the two scopes (Esprit and TSA).

The elephant in the room for both of these scopes, however, is the TEC 140. Granted that 140mm to 150mm is also apples- and-oranges, but I suspect many folks will be willing to trade 10mm of aperture and lose the mass-market Skywatcher brand and anonymous manufacturing in favor of saving over a thousand bucks and getting an ultra-premium handmade scope of known manufacture. Also note that the TEC 160ED ran in the 8k range when available and is 10mm larger than the Esprit 150.

I'm with Binojunky - these scopes are priced too high for their new-to-market status and provenance. Particularly in a market accustomed to $1700 127mm Chinese triplets.

Regards,

Jim

#16 CounterWeight

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 11:48 AM

The TEC APO160ED was $8.8k (scope + rings only, and it's f/8) and went into mid $9k ($9,431 USD) with added DTP and finder scope, +shipping (no case offered) [This was 5/8/09 when I bought mine]. (IMO, even then quite a bargain)

Looking around and trying to stay apples to apples, 150 triplet air spaced, ~f/7... I just don't see a lot out there? Compared to the two I could find... TOA and APM... the asking price is quite a bargain. Add that the field corrector (these are four digit accessories with Tak) Just trying to keep apples to apples here. I admit I don't know where Tak and TMB source their glass, but I doubt any of them are considered mass produced except of in terms of hand figured glass, which I don't really think I'd call 'available', TEC doesn't make one(150mm) and A-P... well...

Sorry to go off topic, great to see a review of that scope.

#17 Binojunky

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 12:54 PM

Explore Scientific do a 127 triplet for $1,700 or in CF for another $500, its an offshore scope just like the Sky Watcher and two grand less than the latter, I remember in Canada when Sky Watcher first came on to the market, low cost scopes, they climbed the ladder a bit and have moved mid range with the likes of the Pro range then the Equinox still however at reasonable prices though not as cheap as the early days, however now they are trying to run with the big boys and good luck to them, I wish them well however at those prices they will need it.
Its not a question of whether they are good scopes its a matter of customers association with the Sky Watcher name, a few years ago a low cost watch company starting with a T came out with a range of watches that were up there price wise with the Japanese and Swiss watches, they looked very nice but didn,t sell because of cheap or low cost association with the particular brand name, we all have varied ways of looking at things and their worth however if I was plonking down 4-7,000 bucks on a scope then other makes would be at the forefront than Synta made Sky Watcher, Dave. :D

#18 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 01:21 PM

As long as one chooses to continually bring up past performance from years past and mediocre reputation, then they just add to the rumor mill. I think we have all seen examples of companies that have broken free of this and are producing fine products. The opposite holds true as well. Some rely on their past reputation alone for sales while the newer products suffer from cheaper manufacturing and less care to the end product and QC that leaves much to be desired.

Two examples of non Astro related products and companies would be Peavey Electronics, formally known for lackluster quality sounding amps and low end cost/performance that has evolved into a formidable competitor to top amp manufacturers such as Bogner, Soldano, Buddha, Mesa Engineering.

Then you have Bose in stereo equipment. Used to be top of the line with great reputation and now you can read many comparison reviews that show they have dropped in quality. Both in sound and manufacture. They still rely heavily on name to sell.

At least someone actually did a review and is getting real impressions out to us.

#19 Binojunky

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 05:17 PM

Well your convinced its a great buy, however Tom Trusock once told me and the rest of the crowd at Starfest that reviews are just the opinion of one person and as such should be taken with a large pinch of salt,or even disregarded until you can review the item oneself Dave.

#20 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 06:30 PM

I guess the same could be said about posting opinions on it before viewing through it....

#21 Paul G

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 04:52 AM

Good review!

#22 Binojunky

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 07:23 AM

That comment you directed at me also applies to you sir, unless I am mistaken neither one of us has actually seen this scope in the flesh so to speak and certainly not looked through one and speaking for myself no matter how good the views or the mechanics until its got a proven track record of years of use with no mechanical or optical problems then for me anyway at those prices its best left alone, also if problems occur down the road what is the after sales service going to be like, with makes like TeleVue and Stellarvue you don,t have to worry however in the case of the Esprit do you ship the scope back to mainland China??,at those prices then that should not be an option,also the Q.C. on Synta scopes is at times spotty, is this a thing of the past with no chance of one parting with several thousands of dollars yet receiving a problematic instrument. Dave :question:.

#23 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 07:40 AM

That comment doesn't apply to me. I am not the one jawing on about what a risk it is, which is all rediculous as C14's and the like have been sold at similar costs for years and somehow are still being bought up and still getting backed by warranties and service and exchanges and the like. The 6" apo should be no different coming from Skywatcher, or ES, or Meade, or any other Chinese manufacture distributor.

I enjoyed the review and applaud someone that actually reviewed it instead of jumping on board one of the many threads now that seem to have people prejudging a chinese 6" apo to be a failure without ever looking through it or experiencing first hand what happens with service when a problem is encountered. Instead just predict things. Haven't seen a profile or signature yet that reads psychic or clairvoyant. Go figure.

#24 Bowmoreman

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 07:47 AM

Let's keep this friendly, folks...

Thanks, the mean ol mod...

;)

#25 CounterWeight

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 01:18 PM

I'm still trying to understand what if anything from the review being discussed here warrents a pessimistic response?

The idea it's expensive for an air spaced 150mm f/7 triplet apo, I've seen nothing here of any substance (to contradict what is in the review) that it's not a very good price.

I'd asked about this scope when announced and it received the same response in ways... at the time it was completely unknown and just announced. Now we have some facts from someone willing to take the time, I'm grateful for that. I see nothing that makes me think it's over priced at all, and am glad there is a new 150mm triplet 'friend' to see the stars and image with. If I could pony up for one I'd love to try it out visually and grab some photons on my CCD with it! From that review I don't think I'd be disappointed.






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