Introduction and an Apology
Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:53 AM
I really enjoy Cloudy Nights.
Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:19 AM
Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:53 AM
If you do go with a 127 Mak, then definitely also get a reducer as well otherwise you will not have much of a wide TFOV.
If you get the 102 f/11, realize that the price is for the OTA only...so you will need to buy a mount for it as well which will make the total package a little pricey. IMO the Celestron 120 XLT at f/8.3 is a better deal as for less than the price of the 102 f/11 is also include the equatorial mount. And if you mask the objective down to 102mm then it is almost f/10 and close to the Astrotelescope in terms of focal length. Plus unmasked will give better DSO performance thant the Astrotelescope. Food for thought.
Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:27 AM
I can relate to your interest in this telescope. It appears to be an excellent value considering its low cost. I once planned on purchasing one myself. But after reading opinions and experiences on this forum, I decided on the Sky-Watcher 100ED f/9 instead. For a 4" class refractor at the same pricepoint, the SW100ED will have less spurious color, will be easier to handle and mount due to its lighter weight, and (for $150 more) is even a better value considering the included accessories.
Below are some threads about the AstroTelescopes 102 f/11. Do yourself a favor, and learn how to use the search function to find threads about comparable refractors as well.
Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:35 PM
The scope you are looking at looks like a lovely telescope.
Still, my advice would be to look for a used 100mm f/9 ED telescope.
While f/11 in an achromat can produce an image with very low chromatic abberation, an f/9 ED scope will be ligher, easier to mount, offer a more accessible eyepeice position when viewing, offer a slightly wider true field of view for great wide field viewing, and will will be almost totally free of chromatic abberation.
Even new and at a little more cost, I would still recommend the 100ED f/9 as being a great choice in 4" refractors.
I had the Vixen version of this scope and I felt that it was on par with the best 4" telescopes I have owned.
And if buying used, don't be afraid to buy a scope with a single speed focuser. Even at f/9 you won't find hitting best focus difficult with a single speed Crayford. These scopes really snap to focus.
ED scopes are good these days that there really is not much in the achromats favor. I think much of the praise they receive is nostalgic or something. not that they are bad at all, but every ED scope I have owned has performed better than just about any achromat I have owned. A classic f/10 or f/11 achomat will come close. Very close in fact.
But better is better. Go for an f/9 ED scope, even if you have to wait to find a nice used one. These often sell for in the $400-$450 range depending on single or two speed focuser.
Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:22 PM
I recently bought the at102f11 and really like it. There are all kinds of trade-offs, and opinions, and preferences and there are lots of great scopes available now at good prices. I considered the sw100ed and the omni 120 and they are both great values. Ultimately I chose the at102 maybe for some odd reasons.
But I'm an experienced observer with a range of scopes, and a lot of eyepieces and accessories, so a package deal was not so important to me. I'd rather mix and match to get what i really want, even if i could have bought something functionally similar for less. Does anyone really NEED a Stellarview finder instead of a Synta or GSO?
And maybe as much as anything, I've just wanted a nice 4" achromat for such a long time that I just finally had to have one. Not very logical perhaps.
I had read the reviews and an article on Neil English's website and the lack of Ed glass was not too much of a concern to me as I do not image. The slightly longer focal length and better quality mechanicals did appeal to me, and the size was not a problem either as I was planning on buying several optical tubes to fit on a shared mount, changing them as I need.
Overall I am very pleased with the outcome and the scope has excellent image quality. The mechanical aspects are very nice too.
I've posted a few pics of the completed scope near the bottom of page 48 of the latest refractor picture thread.
Whatever you get, use it and enjoy - a lot!!
Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:24 AM
The bug has bitten again. This time, I am much more serious about what I want to observe, which are mostly the Moon and planets. I am also interested in imaging sometime down the road.
I live in a surprisingly dark townhouse development with a suitably dark backyard. I'm located in Northern Illinois.
The weight and size of the AstroTelescope should be no issue. I would probably use an alt/az mount before trying imaging. Storing the scope in a case would save more space than storing a relector.
I know the whole debate regarding CO gets drawn out, but I am attracted to the idea of an unobstructed aperture.