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Astro-Tech 60mm f/7 ED triplet, (w/ Pics now!!!).

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#1 jrbarnett

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 10:14 PM

Well, it's here. It arrived in good shape. I'll have some pictures tomorrow assuming we don't get rain. I like the new R&P focuser. It's a bit stiffer than the 2" Crayford on other Astro-Tech scopes, but nice and smooth. I'll play around with tensioning on it tomorrow.

A couple of other points: While the scope is white and gunmetal gray in typical Astro-Tech colors, the paint textures are NOT consistent with those used on the other Astro-Tech scopes. Instead they (both the white and gray) are a semi-pebbled finish rather than glossy. I like it, but for folks that want to mount this little guy as a finder/guider on their AT130EDT, AT111EDT, AT106EDT, etc., may be bummed that the finishes aren't matched. C'est la vie.

It is a dense, heavy little blighter, too. Like a tiny brick. First light is doubtful this weekend, due to rain and clouds in the forecast, but I may get a chance to mount it up for some pictures.

I think it will be a great fit (better than the AT72ED) on a Celestron Nextsr SE alt-az by virtue of its shorter OTA. I'll run it against a 60mm f/16.7 Carton achromat when I first light the scope. Compared to the meter-long Carton, though, it's a very portable scope.

Regards,

Jim

#2 zjc26138

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 10:42 PM

Congrats on the new scope. I look forward to your first light report. I'm thinking about buying one of these scopes or maybe the TS50ED.

#3 jrbarnett

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 11:14 PM

Thanks Zack.

Have you thought about the AT72ED? For the dough, it's a really nice scope. A little bigger than the 60mm triplet or 50mm ED doublets, but not too big, really.

Just another option to think about...

I'll get some pictures up as soon as I can. Perhaps I can also set up the AT72ED for comparison. My AT72ED is pink (yeah, a long story), but for size comparison it may be helpful.

Regards,

Jim

#4 plyscope

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 12:12 AM

Thanks for your report Jim, I am curious about this little triplet though I am really more than satisfied with my TV60.

An Australian vendor is offering a similar scope but with a 1.25" crayford.

Long Pern 60mm triplet

Looking forward to hearing more about this one.

#5 zjc26138

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 08:40 AM

Thanks Zack.

Have you thought about the AT72ED? For the dough, it's a really nice scope. A little bigger than the 60mm triplet or 50mm ED doublets, but not too big, really.

Just another option to think about...

I'll get some pictures up as soon as I can. Perhaps I can also set up the AT72ED for comparison. My AT72ED is pink (yeah, a long story), but for size comparison it may be helpful.

Regards,

Jim


Jim,
I have given the At72 some thought as well. A side by side comparison between it and the AT60 would be great whenever you get time and clear skies.

#6 chboss

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 08:41 AM

Looking forward to your first light experience. :)

regards
Chris

#7 RAKing

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 10:00 AM

I sold my little Tak FS-60 a couple years ago and often thought about replacing it - but I just don't have a spare thousand sitting around for a "super finder".

I look forward to your report. :)

Thanks,

Ron

#8 hottr6

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 10:32 AM

I'll run it against a 60mm f/16.7 Carton achromat when I first light the scope.

:gotpopcorn:

#9 Renae Gage

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 12:39 PM

I don't even see this scope on the Astronomics website. Am I missing something?

#10 Jim7728

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 01:10 PM

It's definitely there.

---> https://www.astronom...ube_p20001.aspx

I almost want one. :cool:

#11 jrbarnett

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 01:36 PM

Miracle of miracles. The Sun is out. I'll head out and set her up in a few, and snap some pics. I'll also take a few of the AT72ED (my size reference scope; everyone has one and can figure out how much larger or smaller a new scope is when paired with an AT72ED :lol:). I typically don't name my scopes, but my AT72ED has a name. It's the "Faerie Queene". Before anyone gets all uptight, it's a name taken from the original mainframe Star Trek game. When the Klingons blew up your Enterprise, you got a second chance. Your replacement ship was the Faerie Queene. It's named after an unfinished epic poem by Sir Edmund Spenser. No kidding.

My poor Faerie Queene has had a rough life, though. When we moved into the new house she was left outside in her case inadvertently and got rained on and very wet. I dried her out as best I could, and she looked spry. In fact I was going to sell her to another CNer, but when I took her out for my own pre-sale inspection, I noted a few spots betwixt the lenses. I screwed my courage to the sticking place and opened her up, cleaned all sides of the elements with Pursol, and put he back together. She's better than new. The proto-fungus is no longer among us. (Actually true that she is much improved; an unintended side effect of her surgery was to improve the image quality; perhaps an accidental but more optimal reorientation of the two elements relative to one another? Dunnom but I'll take it.)

In any case, I'll get some pictures up soon of the new AT triplet and the Faerie Queene (I did mention that the FQ is pink, right?).

:grin:

- Jim

#12 jrbarnett

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 02:40 PM

Here are a few pictures. I spotted a bit more fungal residue on the AT72ED, so I may take it apart and clean it again - a bit more aggressively this time.

The two cases; note the 60mm EDT case does not say "Astro-Tech" on it.

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When viewed in their respective cases the two scopes aren't as different in size as you might expect:

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More in a few...

- J

#13 jrbarnett

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 02:43 PM

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The new R&P locking focuser:

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The bidness end. Note that it, like the AT72ED but unlike the AT111EDT, cam with a little bit of dust between elements.

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Regards,

Jim

#14 jrbarnett

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 02:58 PM

The AT60EDT has a single thin baffle near the objective end and a highly textured flat black interior the rest of the way down rather than multiple baffles like the AT72ED.

Regards,

Jim

#15 iceblaze

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 03:55 PM

Very cool little scope Jim! Shootout between it and your Carton?

-James

#16 jrbarnett

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 04:38 PM

Jup.

I have 'em both set up and ready to rumble. Luna and some doubles on the menu for this evening. No holds barred up to 140x. Carton on the Teegul and AT60EDT on the Nexstar SE. I'll be working with the Televue Plossls and Nagler Zoom (3-6mm), and a Barlow or two.

I'll go get some pics. After all, a pic is worth at least 1000 words. :grin:

- Jim

#17 jrbarnett

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 04:52 PM

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- Jim

#18 MRNUTTY

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 04:59 PM

Jim, what made you choose the 60mm triplet over the 65mm quad for the same money? I love my 72ED, but had my eye on the quad ever since they finally restocked them.

#19 jrbarnett

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 05:20 PM

The quad is "icky" for visual use. :grin:

More in this thread on the reason to pick one over the other:

http://www.cloudynig...5/o/all/fpart/1

"For visual observing, the 65EDQ is fine at low powers, using a 1.25" diagonal. As mentioned elsewhere, a 2" diagonal does not work with all eyepieces (can't come to infinity focus with some eyepieces). One strike against the 65EDQ as a visual scope. For high magnifications, the field flattener lens in the focuser can prevent a Barlow from being inserted into the scope in front of the diagonal (some Barlows may be long enough to hit the field flattener). Another strike against the EDQ visually.

As a travel scope, a wash, except that the 60EDT comes with a fitted lockable hard case for traveling standard. The 65EDQ does not come with a case. Strike two and a half.

As an astrograph, the EDQ has a built-in flattener, the 60EDT does not. Take away a strike from the EDQ.

As a spotting scope, another wash. If all you want is a spotting scope, however, there are dedicated 60mm and 65mm spotting scopes with zoom eyepieces and built-in image erectors -- both of which would have to be bought with the 60EDT and 65EDQ to equal the terrestrial functionality of a pure spotting scope. Dedicated spotting scopes also tend to be at least water resistant and armored for rough daytime use. Neither the 60EDT or the 65EDQ are weather resistant or armored, so spotting scope use is possible if you don't traipse through woods a lot with your scope on a tripod over your shoulder getting slapped by tree branches and it doesn't rain while you're out. Spotting scope use would not be high on my list of uses for either, although I really like the terrestrial views with both.

As a nature photography scope, another wash, although I get the feeling from handling both that I would be able to fight off a grizzly with the 60EDT, whereas the 65EDQ would slow him down but not stop him. Also, with 90mm of focuser travel for the 60EDT, compared to 62mm with the 65EDQ, I believe that the 60EDT will focus closer than the 65EDQ (although I haven't measured the close focus of either, so take my comment with a grain or two of salt), which would incline me a little more towards the 60EDT as a nature scope. Maybe a quarter of a strike against the 65EDQ as a nature scope.

Total is one and three-quarter strikes against the 65EDQ astrograph as an all-purpose scopoe compared with the 60EDT. Not quite a strikeout, but leaning me towards the 60EDT if I wanted a small scope to do everything, and towards the 65EDQ if I primarily wanted a really good wide field astrograph."

#20 Don Taylor

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 05:31 PM

That focuser appears to be the same as the one on my new (just received) Astro Telescopes AT102F11 achromat. It seems to work very, very well.

#21 teelgul

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 06:05 PM

congrats.looks cute and solid in styling. wish my np 101 were styled this way!! waiting for the shootout result. and may be a future shootout with the takFS60 CB!!
cheers

#22 jrbarnett

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 06:27 PM

I used to have an FS-60C.

No longer, though. This is about it in the 60mm range for me I'm afraid.

- Jim

#23 MRNUTTY

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 06:57 PM

Jim, I'm not really up on all the apo jargon, so forgive the naive question, the only value the forth element in a quad apo is a field flattener? If so, and the AT2FF works with the EDT, then it would be better to buy the EDT for all the perceived pluses it has?

The EDQ was attractive from just the APO cost perspective. If the EDT has more pluses, the I'll switch my allegiance to the EDT. I'm in the market for a wide field refractor for AP. The AT72ED was finding a home as the sight scope for my dob.

#24 jrbarnett

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 09:01 PM

Y'know, I think it depends on the design of the quad in question.

The EDT is almost certainly an FPL-51 triplet similar to the AR111EDT (when AT uses FPL-51, they tend to say only "ED glass"; when they use FPL-53, they tend to say "FPL-53 ED glass"). At just 2.4" and f/7, even an ED doublet would be pretty well corrected for false color. This triplet should be overkill. We'll see soon enough. A little Barlowed Vega action should separate the men from the boys.

Regards,

Jim

#25 jrbarnett

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 10:34 PM

We have first light and some comparisons.

Optically the scope is "just okay". I'd put it between 1/4 wave and 1/5 wave with some lower order SA. Good enough to be called "diffraction limited" in a spec sheet, but not good enough to stand up to the Carton, unfortunately.

Let's talk some specifics beyond the scope's star test. I used both Vega and Luna for false color evaluation. On Vega at 50x, the Carton shows just a hint of false color in focus. The AT60EDT shows plentiful false color outside and inside of (it's noticeably shorter depth of) focus; yellow-green on one side and magenta-violet on the other, but in focus at 52x it showed only an averted vision hint of ruddy haloing. I'd give the color correction edge to the triplet, but not by much; I just think that the triplet leaves less visually aggressive wavelengths unfocused, and to a lesser degree. This was confirmed bumping each up to 100x and 104x respectively; same colors, just in greater abundance.

Luna was interesting, too. Much like Vega, the triplet showed boatloads of false color on either side of focus, but in focus the image was almost color free (ruddy hint on the lunar limb only) at 52x and the same only moreso at 104x. The Carton behaved much as it did on Vega. More false color at 50x and 100x respectively, and of more common hue (violet), but...

Let me back up. The Carton is a meter-long OTA and was mounted on a Tak Teegul alt-az mount. I was observing on concrete. It was mid 70s today and mid-60s during the observations. The Carton's objective was roughly 6.5 feet above the ground for Vega, for reference. The AT60EDT was on a Nexstar SE. On Vega its objective was more like 4 feet off the pitch.

With that as context, Luna. The Carton was sharper and steadier. The slight rippling of thermals at the Moon's lower limb in the Carton was much more pronounced in the AT60EDT. Why? I'm not sure but I have a few theories. First, the lesser figure quality and shorter focal ration of the triplet allows it to suffer more from induced defocus than the slower, better figured Carton. The triplet, also, may not be fully acclimated yet. (Both scopes are out cooling until later, for a rematch). The proximity of the AT60EDT's objective to the heat rising from the ground, too, may help explain the greater apparent instability seen in the triplet versus the doublet. More later.

Switching gears, how about DSOs? It's a little "Moony" for that, but I went ahead and took a peak at M13 in each, at ~50x and ~100x. This is where it gets a little weird. The triplet is fully multi-coated with modern coatings. The Carton is single coated with MgFl on just one surface; leaving 3 surfaces uncoated. But...M13 was a bit brighter in the Carton than in the triplet, and also showed just a hint more granularity. Go figure. I don't make the news, I just report it.

Televue Plossls and an Orion Deluxe 2x Barlow were used in each scope. Vixen prism diagonals, too, were used in each. I tried to keep things as close as I could for the testing.

More to come.

- Jim






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