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Stellarvue 115 Triplet vs NP-101

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#26 Scott in NC

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:08 PM

I've never looked through a newer SV115T. However, I just came inside a few minutes ago from observing with my SV115 f/7 TMB/LZOS version. Sirius had no false color whatsoever, appearing pure white, even at high power. I could not detect any aberrant color on the limb of the Moon or in any of the crater shadows either. Space around the edge of the Moon's limb and terminator appears pure black to my eyes.

After producing such a high optical quality 115mm refractor back in the 2004-2006 era, I can't imagine that SV would allow its successor to be anything less. But it would be interesting to hear from owners of the newer SV115T as well. So far Stan is the only one that I can recall stating that the color correction was anything less than one would expect from an apo triplet.

#27 Jeff Bennett

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:34 PM

I have owned the current version of the SV115T for the past two years, and I have turned it on Sirius, Venus and the moon on many occasions with no evidence of false color on those objects in focus. This is consistent with all of the other reports I have read. In addition, the comparisons that I seen reported between the LZOS version of the SV115 and the current version indicate they are indistinguishable.

Jeff Bennett

#28 wolfman_4_ever

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:00 AM

How is a 120 considered a big 4" telescope? It should be a small 5" considering it is only 7mm away from 127 (5") and 18.4mm from 101.6mm (4")

I'm just nit pickin :p

#29 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:56 AM

After producing such a high optical quality 115mm refractor back in the 2004-2006 era, I can't imagine that SV would allow its successor to be anything less.



Look at the StellarVue 80mm line up. There are quite a variety of scopes of different qualities. The Lomo 80mm F/6 which was packaged and sold by a number of vendors including William Optics, Apogee and others is acknowledged as the finest 80mm triplet ever made. It's no longer in the line up.

StellarVue, William Optics, Astro-Tech, APM, Lunt, Orion are some of the vendors/sellers who buy from Kunming United Optical and Long Perng, two of the major manufacturers of quality refractors. Meade/Explore Scientific use someone else and of course Synta Optical with the their connections with Celestron, Orion and their own Sky-watcher line is a big player.

Eddgie does not like 4 inch scopes, I do.

Compared to a 8 or 10 inch scope, any of these scopes are seriously underpowered. The question has to be why a notorious cheapskate like Jon Isaacs would be willing to spend thousands of dollars on an NP-101 when he acknowledges that his $240 on Astromart 10 inch Dob provides better views of most objects...

The answer is in the size and ease of use... A fast 4 inch refractor is a "one trip out the door and I'm ready to go scope." It's around 2 feet long, weighs about 10lbs and doubles as a terrestrial scope. A 4 inch refractor doesn't require long to cool down and with the short focal length, it's a comfortable view on an alt-az mount.

I use 4 inch refractors a lot. On an average year, I probably get in around 150 nights of observing. Most of those nights will involve a 3 or 4 inch refractor. From my urban backyard, for an hour or two on a work night, there is plenty to see with a 4 inch and the time required for setup and tear down is about 5 minutes total including putting the eyepieces away.. From our dark sky site, it is always a big scope, 12.5 inch, 16 inches or 25 inches and a 3 or 4 inch apo to get those widefields of view.

I have owned 120mm refractors, too big to be a "one trip out the door and ready to go" scope... it's about that simple...

When one is choosing a scope, part of the equation is the performance, part of the equation is ease of use. My 25 inch F/5 has everything I own beat when it comes to shear high magnification performance but that is balanced by effort required.

Jon

#30 Eddgie

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:55 AM

Eddgie does not like 4 inch scopes, I do.



While this is generally true (I find 4" of aperture to be less satasfying to use than 6" of aperture) my response was actually to the OPs point....

He is the one considering the 115mm telescope option.

I was mearly pointing out that if he is comparing a bigger telescope to a smaller one ( and I am assuming that since he is considering it the weight and size difference is not an issue), then the bigger scope should be a better performer.

I added the 120mm Synta because well, it is even bigger still.

However, it weighs no more than the Stellarvue.

The Synta 120mm OTA is 11.3 lbs and 38 inches long and it cost $1550.

While the tube on the SV is a bit shorter (27" so an eyepecie postion change of only about 4 or 5 inches when tube balance is taken into consideration) the SV weighs more than the Skywatcher 120 (11.5 lbs).

And for the price of the SV OTA alone, the OP could have a Skywatcher 120 ED, a Go-TO mount, and a nice selection of Naglers.

And, he would have a bigger aperture.

He could add the Skywatcher reducer if he needed a faster scope for imaging.

Having owned refractors ranging from an 80mm achromat to a 6" APO, I have found that my observing preference leads me to suggest that for someone that is only going to get one big refractor, bigger is better.

If you gave me personally the choice between the two scopes the OP is considering, I would go with the larger one.

But if you added the Skywatcher 120 into the mix, I would go for that scope first.

All of these scopes will take about the same size mount, all weight about the same, and all will do satisfying wide field, deep sky and planetary work.

But for me, bigger has always been better in terms of visual use, and that is why if the OP is limiting himself to the two choices he has provided, I would recommend the 115mm.

Too small for my tastes, and the 120 would be more palitable to me though.

I loved the Televue Petzvals I have owned, but they were not big enough for me.

I wanted an NP 127, but it was to expensive for me.

I have a 6" APO that costs my 60% of what the NP 127 would have cost, and honestly, it is the only refractor that I have ever really really loved.

I make no apologies for being an aperture red neck.

In cases like this where the OP is considering an choice between similar guality optics but one larger, I will almsot always suggest that they get the larger aperture.

If the 110mm scope beat the other 4" scopes in a big shootout, thing about how much better a 115mm scope is going to be.. LOL.

#31 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:16 PM

All of these scopes will take about the same size mount, all weight about the same, and all will do satisfying wide field, deep sky and planetary work.



A Vixen Portamount, an EQ-3 both are acceptable for the NP-101, I don't either of these mounts would be adequate for the other two scopes.

If one is only going to have one scope, bigger is better. I think we are both in agreement that much bigger is better, not just marginally bigger.

Jon

#32 chaoscosmos

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:33 PM

Well, the only thing I'm sure about on this is that if a good used NP-101 pops up, I'm going to try to grab it. If nothing shows in a couple weeks I'll decide if the 4K is worth a new one...

If I didn't have a fondness for expensive hobbies, I could be driving a new car, no sweat... :)

#33 JMW

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:35 PM

I bought the SV115T20 in 2009. It has a 2 inch Feathertouch focuser and the tube extension that can be removed for binoviewing. Never see any false color except for the kind related to near horizon atmospheric diffraction. I also image with it without any detectable color issues. I enjoy the SV115T20 so much that I missed having a refractor to look through when imaging. I solved that problem by purchasing a used TEC 140. I love both of these scopes.

#34 SteveG

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 02:47 PM



I have owned 120mm refractors, too big to be a "one trip out the door and ready to go" scope... it's about that simple...

[/quote]

I need to make a video. I take my 120 out all the time in one shot, and it's surprisingly easy. I remove the diagonal and place it in my eyepiece tray (along with eyepieces). I then pick it up by the mount legs and walk out the door. The only thing needed on my return trip is my viewing chair.

#35 chaoscosmos

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 02:52 PM

At least your guy's competitive disagreements seem to be a bit more civil than they get sometimes on my photography forum. :)

#36 KWB

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:43 PM

When it comes to terms of convenience,we all don't have the same definition of what constitutes the ease of getting a fully assembled telescope out the door in "one shot". My brief experience with owning a 120mm,1000mm focal length OTA, mounted on an EQ5,was just that,brief. For me the effort involved as to taking that setup outdoors on a regular basis resulted in the scope seeing little useage,and was quickly sold. At the time my 8 inch F/6 Dob was easier for me to setup and I didn't mind waiting an hour for the scope to reach thermal stabiltity. Speaking only for myself,a 4 inch F/10 refractor on an EQ3 is pushing the envelope as to getting the rig through my doorways without bumping the scope.

What works for some as to the defintion of a grab and go setup doesn't necessarily work out for others. :shocked: :cool:

#37 JMW

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 04:29 PM

I can pick up my SV115T when attached to my DM4 on top of a Gitzo 5541LS carbon fiber tripod. Its easy to bring the legs together and walk through the sliding door. This is my long road trip rig when the car is loaded with 4 passengers and luggage. I don't like to move the scope and DM4 when attached to the heavier Discmount wood legs.

I have owned an 80mm refractor but I find the extra light of my SV115T can keep things interesting all night when at dark sights. The 3+ degrees of true field of view are fantastic for sweeping the Milky Way. My TEC 140 has wonderful sharp views and shows a lot of objects as bright as a 8 inch Dob or SCT.

#38 Robert Fink

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:48 AM

I've been using my SV 105 for three years. I've got to say it is one of the finest scopes I've ever used. There are theoretical resolution limits which I hav e found are quite accurate for my dob and sct, but my SV blows them away. I routinely provide the finest view the Planets at outreach events where there are even slightly adverse conditions in terms of seeing problems. I have no doubts that the bigger dobs and scts in better conditions should give better views but it seems those conditions are fairly rare. I've spent quite a bit of time looking through a friends SV 115 and I have to say that it too is a fabulous scope. I know Vic Maris. We aren't close friends, but i have lot of respect for him. i haven' met a man more dedicated to his customers or to making fine telescopes. I've seen much of his operation first hand. He may have used to repackage some of smaller scopes I.e. 50s and 60s, but he does not repackage the the 105 or the 115 or mass produce them. He doesn't have that that many people in his shop. I can highly recommend the 115 from personal experience.

#39 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 05:08 AM

We all face different situations and have different abilities and therefore different ideas of "easy look out the door in one trip.". When I picked up my 10 inch Dob, the seller just leaned down, picked up the entire rig by the base, opened the screen door with his shoulder and carried it down about 20 steps... I was impressed.

My personal maze does not work with a mounted scope longer than about 28 inches.

I am sure one sees a bit more in a 4.5 inch scope than a 4 inch but I am also sure that in this particular case the NP-101 shows considerably more than the 115. The big difference is the 540mm focal length versus the 800mm. For me, the value of a 4 inch refractor is the things it does that a larger scope cannot do. Last night, even with the moon, the low power views in the 4 inch were worth the trip. On the other hand, Jupiter was totally awesome in the 12.5 inch, just a nice view in the 4 inch.

Jon






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