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Joined the 5" Apo club!

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#1 junomike

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 08:59 AM

After much searching, I am finally joining the 5" Apo club! When I first got a taste of the clean "Apo" views through my AT111EDT I knew I'd be going bigger one day, It was just a matter of how much bigger and when? The "bigger" part was limited to a 5" or so due to my EQ5P limitations.

Seeing that I was extremely pleased with the views in my current AT111ET (FPL-51 and basically CA- free), I wanted what I classified as a proven performer that was at least as good (or better)than the AT111EDT. To me that meant the likes of TEC, Tak, AP, Etc.
AP was out of the question for obvious costs/wait time.
The AT130 looked like an option as It was reasonable priced and I could get one through a Canadian Dealer, but I believe the one's awaiting arrival are all spoken for. That basically left me with TEC, Tak, and possibly scopes using the LZOS lens (StellarVue, TMB).

Now that I had an Idea of what I wanted, then main Issue for me was availability. Being In Canada limited my options as these scopes aren't as readily available and Importing (from the USA or other?) would add excessive costs (shipping, Taxes, and possibly Brokerage fees as well).
I even considered doing a "cross border" 8 hour road trip (4 hours each way) for the right scope as I could alleviate those costs, but would have to factor in fuel costs.

I had all but given up when I got an email from a local fellow Amateur Astronomer (who I classify as a friend) offering his scope which I had never seen in person, but always thought highly of. I had dealt with him numerous times before and his gear is always in mint condition. Within 24 hours of his offer I had the scope in my possession (Thanks Ed!).

Of course "first light" possibilities brought not only clouds but snow! I was still able to grab a few quick peeks of the Moon and Jupiter as well as resting assured my Mount is worthy ~ at least for visual.

As per the rules :rules: I've added the necessary pics.

Mike

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#2 junomike

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 08:59 AM

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#3 NHRob

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 09:12 AM

Awesome scope! How heavy is it?
A 130mm class apo is my end goal but, I want something compact and relatively lightweight to keep the mounting requirements down.
Don't forget a first-light report!

#4 t.r.

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 09:29 AM

Congrats on a fine 5 incher Mike! I love the CN comradery. Need something, its coming your way be it advice, parts or even scopes! I had a CN'er, NO JOKE, offer me his brand new TEC180FL to just try out for "awhile" to see if I wanted to go bigger! :bigshock: I had to turn that generous offer down because of the risk involved. But folks are so thoughtful and willing to help each other out. Glad someone came through to help you acquire a fine scope! Look forward to your first light report...also a RULE! :p

#5 zjc26138

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 09:30 AM

Beautiful scope! Congrats!

#6 AlexxxAA

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 09:55 AM

Amazing acquisition! Indeed CN is very helpful and I am grateful for that.
I also just upgraded my refractor aperture. Went from 80 to 150! Unfortunately I had to sacrifice the Apo aspect for an Achro. But I don't mind. Selling the Apo practically paid for the Achro itself. Just got the AR152 this Thursday. But the evening conditions here have not been favorable.
My ultimate goal is to go back to the Apo route one day. But I'll have to save up for 5X what I paid for the Achro of the same aperture, at least >_<
Or until I win the lottery... Either/or :p

#7 jrcrilly

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 10:21 AM

Nice catch. Not just a 5" apo, but a world class 5" apo!

#8 Aquarist

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 10:31 AM

Nice scope, definitely a keeper!

#9 jrbarnett

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 11:05 AM

Great scope, Mike. You're going to have a ball. IMO 5" is thee aperture where refractors, largely due to their other virtues of superior contrast per inch, lack of scatter, etc., become potential "only scopes". Below that, they are "also scopes", companions to some larger, less tidy instrument.

Congrats!

Regards,

Jim

#10 PatHolland

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 11:14 AM

Congrats Mike! That scope will serve you well. Welcome to the club BTW. We meet on Saturdays at Red Lobster and since you're the newest member, You pay the tab...for all of us. :grin:

#11 coopman

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 11:38 AM

WOW! :whee: :elephdance: :kitty: :tomatodance:

#12 CounterWeight

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 11:45 AM

Congrat's Mike on the the 5" triplet - hope you have many nights under sky to enjoy it soon.

#13 Emanuel

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 11:46 AM

Congratulations Mike! That TMB looks a awesome machine! :)

#14 junomike

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 12:20 PM

Thanks everyone, I'm sure It's gonna live up to It's reputation. I may be able to get out tonight under some clear skies!

Rob, As for the weight, I believe they list It at around 20lbs, but mine feels more like 22lbs - 23lbs. Maybe the extra Dovetail? Even at that weight It rides fine on my EQ5P as I replaced the tripod with a 2" CG5 tripod and also use a 20" Pier. So the legs are never extended (seems to help). Also, I wasn't sure If I'd like the sliding Drawtube but It seems solid once locked down. The fact I can use my TV Bino's without an OCS and get 2° with the 24mm Pans is an added bonus.

Mike

#15 stevew

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 01:05 PM

Wow Mike.
What a scope!
Congratulations. :bow:
Make sure you let us know what you think of first light...

Steve

#16 watcher

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 01:16 PM

I know LZOS is going to be a better figured lens, but does anyone know if this is the same lens design used in the AstroTech 130mm F/6?

#17 AlexxxAA

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 01:31 PM

There's just something so attractive about these wide, white tubes :)
It's like love at first sight!

#18 EdTheEdge

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 01:39 PM

Congrats!!!!

#19 junomike

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 01:57 PM

I know LZOS is going to be a better figured lens, but does anyone know if this is the same lens design used in the AstroTech 130mm F/6?



Joe, Although both are F6 Triplets, I believe the similarities end there as the LZOS uses OK-4 whereas the AT130 uses FPL-53. I would have been happy with either but the availability of the AT130 is still unknown with pre-orders being filled first.

Mike

#20 watcher

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 02:04 PM

Thanks Mike. I think you got the better scope. LZOS is off the charts quality. Congrats!

#21 Scott Beith

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 03:01 PM

BIG congrats on the new TMB!!!!!!! :waytogo:

#22 Bill Barlow

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 04:37 PM

Hi Mike,

Wow, you got lucky to get that TMB 130 triplet. Nice catch! Do you think that the 130 will outperform your IM M703..especially on planets? Would be curious to see if you ever set them up side by side.

Well I am also going a bit bigger in my refractor as I recently had SV sell my 102ED doublet by consignment and put the funds toward a new SV 115 triplet. Hope to have it in a few weeks. This will be my main planetary scope I think with the larger SCT's (C14 and M12) used for hunting down the more distant/faint galaxy groups like the Arps and Hickson's. Enjoy your new dream refractor! Clear skies.

Bill

#23 Moonglum

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 04:50 PM

Pretty darn nice scope Mike. Gonna bino planets with it?
What did Ed replace it with?

#24 wolfman_4_ever

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 05:01 PM

:)

#25 Kunama

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 05:12 PM

Lovely scope, congratulations on a fine acquisition.

I have been adding fertiliser and water to my Takahashi TSA120 on a daily basis but it just won't grow so looks like I am stuck in the 4 and 3/4" Club.
But I am not complaining!






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