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Which 152mm Refractor? Somewhat theoretical..

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#1 spongebob@55

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 05:08 PM

Skywatcher Quantum 150 or ES ED152CF? Skywatcher is 1000 more, but has field flattener and a 28mm 82* luminos EP included, sliding dew shield. 3.4" rotating focuser. Availability could be long; F/7.
ES more available, 3" Feathertouch rotating focuser, f/8, flip off dew shield.
Both have a 90 degree finder, the ES has their polar sight in theirs. I love ES's customer service. Don't have any experience with S-W products. S-W is hand configured...ok. Is ES a true ED APO? No reviews or first light on either of them as far as I can tell. ES's glass is fully multicoated f/8 apochromatic triplet optics using a Hoya FPL51-equivalent ED element and S-W's is two mating elements of premium Schott Glass, from one of the world’s most-respected glass manufacturers. The ED element is precision-polished from high grade S-FPL53 ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass. Is this the same, or is the S-W's theorectically better?
I'll be doing mostly visual, but might do video or AP, but no plans now. Highly light polluted white area, and travel to orange regularly. I have a few ES EPs and a Baader zoom, with some Baader filters, semi APO, and nebula filters too. I have a CPC11" which I plan to go to a 14" GEM as the next step. Currently have a 127 ES Triplet CF which I love,but the 6" will replace.
ES has a lifetime warranty vs a 2 for the S-W.
And, as a wild guess, which do you think would have a better resale value?
So, please give me some input!
Thanks
Bob

#2 MikeBOKC

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 05:24 PM

I don't know what the Skywatcher weighs but I have stood next to the ES 152 set up in Astronomics showroom and it is a beast -- 35 pounds. It would take at least a CGEM and maybe more and it does not look like a one-person mounting job. It's a beautiful instrument but until you see it in person you can't quite grasp the bulk of the thing.

#3 spongebob@55

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 05:41 PM

Hey MikeBOKC. Yeah, its advertised at 27 lbs, but I'm sure that's just the OTA, but I'll ask. I have a 127 refractor, that I'm using on an Atlas GEM with the extension, and you're right, it'll not be enough. But when I get the 14" on the CGE PRO, that should be plenty.
what do you think of the 3" feathertouch vs the 2" on the SW? Overkill or ES getting ready for their monster 3" EPs?
And the SW would be a bit shorter at f/7......

#4 neotesla

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 06:17 PM

What about the new Istar TCR scopes?

http://www.istar-opt...0-12/index.html

They are planning faster scopes as well according to a thread in the vendors section. Almost half the weight of a regular tube refractor of the same focal length.

#5 spongebob@55

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 06:52 PM

Yes, I saw them. Too long f/12 and too funky. And I'd need a shroud too b/c of all my neighbors lights..... thanks for the suggestion.

#6 neotesla

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 07:30 PM

"...here is list of scopes to be produced in TCR (combination of truss with baffles and enclosed tube with baffles at the focuser end) and all these will also be made with our all new and completely redesigned R35 SLIM (thin, low weight, better working version of 3 year old R30 doublets)

150mm F5
150mm F8
150mm F12
180mm F8
180mm F12
204mm F6 classic achromat
204 F8
204 F9 classic achromat
204 F12
220 F11
220 F15 classic achromat
250 F11

thank you again for asking and stay in touch,
cheers,
Ales

--------------------
Ales Krivanek - Owner - Istar Optical, manufacturer of affordable, quality telescopes and accessories for fellow amateur astronomers."

There's an f5 and f8 in the works...

#7 Mike Wiles

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 07:36 PM

I have an ED152 at home that hasn't yet seen first light due to - of all things - poor weather in Arizona. My intent for the scope is to use it entirely for imaging but it'll get a little eyepiece time here and there. I'm taking it to the Grand Canyon Star Party (North Rim) in June....so it'll get 8 straight days of heavy visual use up there.

Physically, the scope is larger than you would expect. It dwarfs my ED127. But it is surprisingly light. I haven't weighed the scope but I have mounted and balanced it and 5 pounds of camera/filter wheel on my AP900 using a single 18 pound counterweight. I'll put it on a scale when I get back home this weekend but I'll be surprised if it's anywhere close to 35 pounds.

Weather again this weekend is starting to look unpromising...but if I get any chance to put it through its paces, I'll post my impressions here.

Mike

#8 spongebob@55

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 07:43 PM

I have an ED152 at home that hasn't yet seen first light due to - of all things - poor weather in Arizona. My intent for the scope is to use it entirely for imaging but it'll get a little eyepiece time here and there. I'm taking it to the Grand Canyon Star Party (North Rim) in June....so it'll get 8 straight days of heavy visual use up there.

Physically, the scope is larger than you would expect. It dwarfs my ED127. But it is surprisingly light. I haven't weighed the scope but I have mounted and balanced it and 5 pounds of camera/filter wheel on my AP900 using a single 18 pound counterweight. I'll put it on a scale when I get back home this weekend but I'll be surprised if it's anywhere close to 35 pounds.

Weather again this weekend is starting to look unpromising...but if I get any chance to put it through its paces, I'll post my impressions here.

Mike


Dag, that must be frustrating! If I may ask, why did you pick the ES instead of something else?
good luck with those skies!
Bob

#9 Mike Wiles

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 08:23 PM

Dag, that must be frustrating! If I may ask, why did you pick the ES instead of something else?
good luck with those skies!
Bob


I already have the ED127 carbon fiber that I've been using for imaging and I've been exceedingly happy with it. When I heard that the ED152 was about to see the light of day I expressed some interest in getting one. A friend of mine who works at Woodland Hills Camera & Telescope showed Scott Roberts some of my images with the ED127 and he really liked them. One thing led to another and I got introduced to Scott who asked if I was interested in being a tester for the ED152.

I had started looking for a longer focal length imaging scope and I wanted to stay with a refractor. Getting beyond 1000mm of focal length and a reasonable focal ratio starts to get exponentially expensive and there are very few options. My experience with the ED127 had put the ED152 at the head of that list.

Mike

#10 neptun2

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 08:23 PM

I use skywatcher products for years and in fact am very happy with them. I suppose that the quantum 150 is what is called Esprit 150 in Europe and your description confirms that. In fact i have only read good things about the esprit and considering the build quality and performance of my much cheaper 120 ED i would buy the Esprit if i had that choice. The price is good for fpl-53 based triplet and the esprit is well equipped for both visual use and photography out of the box. Unfortunately i don't have experience with ES so i can't comment on their scope.

#11 spongebob@55

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:48 PM

Mike, those are some FANTASTIC images on Astrobin!

#12 stevew

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:55 PM

What about the new Istar TCR scopes?

To funky looking for me too. Refractors are not that heavy. It's the long tube that creates the momentum.
But to each his own I suppose.

Steve

#13 jrbarnett

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:49 PM

Neither. If I wanted an "affordable" 6" triplet, I'd go for the Long Perng 150mm. Teleskop Service in Germany offers it under the house brand.

http://www.teleskop-...S-Triplet-AP...

If you buy for export, you don't pay VAT so knock 19% off, so figure roughly $5700 plus shipping. Alternately, if you want a "premium branded" scope in that price range and can live without 10mm, I'd look at the TEC 140.

Regards,

Jim

#14 Mike Wiles

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 12:32 AM

Mike, those are some FANTASTIC images on Astrobin!


Thanks Bob!! :-). I give a lot of the credit to an awesome mount and the ED127. Both pieces of equipment make it much easier to get good data.

#15 Dan Finnerty

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:46 AM

Neither. If I wanted an "affordable" 6" triplet, I'd go for the Long Perng 150mm ... Alternately, if you want a "premium branded" scope in that price range and can live without 10mm, I'd look at the TEC 140.

Regards,

Jim


I've been thinking about a six-inch class APO, and had just about settled on the TEC 140, but this thread just threw everything back up into the air in my feeble mind.

I suppose what matters most to my left brain is optical quality (and near-perfect CA correction), with aperture running second. Cost is a factor but these babys are all in the $6k+ class. But my right brain is fixated on that silly centimeter wider aperture. Just..Got..To..Have..A..Full..Six..Inches!

There has been a lot of forumination over the TEC 140 relative to the AP and Tak equivalents and it sounds like a tremendous telescope that one might actually buy in ones lifetime. I am a bit surprised not to have read more discussion of the ES/Celestron/TS 150mm class APOs. Do we have any customer feedback on the optical performance of these various options? Enquiring left and right hemispheres want to know!

#16 johnnyha

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 02:47 AM

I would also give some serious consideration to the new $4K 152mm f8 APO doublet from APM.

#17 spongebob@55

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 05:48 AM

[quote name="jrbarnett"]Neither. If I wanted an "affordable" 6" triplet, I'd go for the Long Perng 150mm. Teleskop Service in Germany offers it under the house brand.

http://www.teleskop-...S-Triplet-AP...

If you buy for export, you don't pay VAT so knock 19% off, so figure roughly $5700 plus shipping. Alternately, if you want a "premium branded" scope in that price range and can live without 10mm, I'd look at the TEC 140.


Thanks Jim, but I would really like to have someone locally available to service my account if something would or is wrong. And basically its just the OTA, would need more $ for diagonal, finder.........

#18 spongebob@55

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 05:49 AM

I would also give some serious consideration to the new $4K 152mm f8 APO doublet from APM.



Thanks, but I'm going to stay triplet

#19 spongebob@55

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:23 AM

Neither. If I wanted an "affordable" 6" triplet, I'd go for the Long Perng 150mm ... Alternately, if you want a "premium branded" scope in that price range and can live without 10mm, I'd look at the TEC 140.

Regards,

Jim


I've been thinking about a six-inch class APO, and had just about settled on the TEC 140, but this thread just threw everything back up into the air in my feeble mind.

I suppose what matters most to my left brain is optical quality (and near-perfect CA correction), with aperture running second. Cost is a factor but these babys are all in the $6k+ class. But my right brain is fixated on that silly centimeter wider aperture. Just..Got..To..Have..A..Full..Six..Inches!

There has been a lot of forumination over the TEC 140 relative to the AP and Tak equivalents and it sounds like a tremendous telescope that one might actually buy in ones lifetime. I am a bit surprised not to have read more discussion of the ES/Celestron/TS 150mm class APOs. Do we have any customer feedback on the optical performance of these various options? Enquiring left and right hemispheres want to know!


I know! The disturbing lack of any reviews for this class of scopes has me worried that I'll pick the wrong one. Seems at least that some of us have a ES127 and are very happy with it. But projecting that on to a new ES152, for me, anyway, is not valid without some kind of review or first light report. The same about the Sky-Watcher.
When reading their marketing blurbs, you wonder, 'gee, that sounds good', but is it? The whole carbon tube vs aluminum tube discussion, for example....on top of the expanding, not expanding, temperature stable, etc discussions, there's the aesthetic issue that you have to be much more careful not to scratch clear coats on the CF. Ever try to get a scratch out of CF? Well, I have, and its a b....
The S-W has a sliding dew shield and the ES's you have to take off and flip around. Does that mean you can't take the S.W.'s off to lighten it up and will sliding it back and forth on the clear coat eventually scratch the clear coat if dust or dirt gets between?
But its lighter. And what about clamping too hard down on the CF tube's rings?
Talking about rings, notice how much wider the cradles are on S-W's vs the ES. I wonder if that has an effect on stability?
These are all little things that are near impossible to compare while sitting behind a laptop. And we certainly, just can't go to the local telescope shop and compare.
I agree, I want the best optics, but lets be reasonable. If its only 3% (or whatever) better, is it worth the premium? Will we even see it?
Its too early in the morning, so sorry for the rant, but we need to have a magazine or an individual do a shoot out. Analysis paralesis.
Bob

#20 neptun2

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 07:27 AM

Well this is quite a common problem. Unfortunately there are not too many people who have the possibility to give around 6000 eur/$ for premium 6" APO and write a review of it so we need to rely on more subjective ways to select what we think will be best. I found good review of the skywatcher esprit 150 btw. Here is link to the topic:

http://www.cloudynig...5114754/page...

In the topic there is a link to a site. It is in italian but google translate makes pretty good job.

#21 Mike Wiles

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:40 AM

Its too early in the morning, so sorry for the rant, but we need to have a magazine or an individual do a shoot out.


I have a small group of guys that I observe with who are all significantly better observers than I. We already have plans for an early April observing session under the magnitude 7.5+ dark skies of Portal, Arizona. There, the ED152 will get its shot to go toe to toe with a really nice example of a TEC140. Stay tuned for a full writeup.

I think the reason that no one has seen any real reviews for these scopes is that they're just starting to appear. ES has been showing up at NEAF for a couple of years with a prototype, but they're just now getting into the showrooms and the hands of the end user. Optically, I haven't had a chance to look through mine or image with it yet. Mechanically, it's a very nice telescope. There are a couple of minor things that I don't really like about it - and I'll touch on those in my first light report.

Mike

#22 spongebob@55

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:19 PM

Its too early in the morning, so sorry for the rant, but we need to have a magazine or an individual do a shoot out.


I have a small group of guys that I observe with who are all significantly better observers than I. We already have plans for an early April observing session under the magnitude 7.5+ dark skies of Portal, Arizona. There, the ED152 will get its shot to go toe to toe with a really nice example of a TEC140. Stay tuned for a full writeup.

I think the reason that no one has seen any real reviews for these scopes is that they're just starting to appear. ES has been showing up at NEAF for a couple of years with a prototype, but they're just now getting into the showrooms and the hands of the end user. Optically, I haven't had a chance to look through mine or image with it yet. Mechanically, it's a very nice telescope. There are a couple of minor things that I don't really like about it - and I'll touch on those in my first light report.

Mike



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#23 Gordon8452

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:50 PM

I have just received my Esprit 150ED today. I won't have a chance to observe with it for awhile since I don't have a suitable mount for it yet. It took a considerable amount of tracking down from shops in Canada and most of them didn't have it in stock and couldn't get one until April. There was duty on it importing to the US as it's made in China. I still considerate it worth it for the aluminum tube rather than the carbon fiber of the quantum sold here. The build quality is quite nice and the supplied accessories are nice quality as well, but I think that's probably representative of the newer skywatcher stuff as far as what I have been following from others here.

#24 Scott Beith

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:20 PM

Gordon - Welcome to Cloudy Nights and a BIG congrats on the new scope.

Can you post some photos of your new baby?

#25 Gordon8452

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:02 AM

I sure can, I'll snap some when I get home from work later. Anything specific you guys want to see? I grab some shots of the OTA as well as the accessories that came with it.






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