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Skywatcher 120ed ???

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#1 Teal'c

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 07:08 PM

Hello all,

I've been away from this site and hobby for a bit now, as other things have been consuming my time...and although time is still an issue, I'm getting the urge again.

I sold off all of my Russian triplets/doublets and as much as I would like another high quality scope, the question lingers....Do I need to spend this much for visual only? I realize that the skywatcher mechanics are not as refined as others but if the optics are good, then I'm fine with it.

I just can't justify spending 3X for the TSA120

Has the quality of the lens sets been pretty consistent with Skywatcher ?

#2 beanerds

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 07:36 PM

Personally I have owned about 6-7 SW refractors ( achro's and ED's ) over the years and they have all been very good optically , I have not owned the 120ED but have looked thru a few and they have all been very , very good .
If I could justify another scope ( to the wife ? ) I would love one .
You wont go wrong with one for the price I think . Lovely scopes .
Brian.

#3 JoeM101

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 08:05 PM

If it's got the Schott and FPL53 lenses, it's a keeper... They had an arrangement with Schott Germany to produce the crown element and a second element out of fluorite with an FPL53 ED element...I've read many great reviews on this scope.. Actually there's one here

Clear skies

#4 tezster

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 09:41 PM

It's also a very lightweight scope for its aperture - just a little over 11 pounds, so a lot of reasonable mounting options available.

#5 charen

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 12:35 AM

I have 3x ED Synta scopes, the ED80, ED100 [Orion] and ED120 [S.W. Equinox]. All have performed flawlessly. Flat images, minimal CA ,sharp contrasty images. The ED120 version would be my pick - an 'almost' 5in. ED is great on planets and has enough aperture for DSO's. However, don’t go past the ED100, yes a little light loss and magnification but it still gives great images. Some of my best viewing ever of Jupiter have been with my Orion ED100 at 240x. The ED100 is good very cost effective scope, if you can afford the ED120 get that, but the ED100 makes a close runner up if you are on a budget.

Chris

#6 SteveSMS

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 05:23 AM

I've had a SkywatcherUSA 120ED for quite some time and I have never been disappointed with it. Although I didn't feel it was really necessary I replaced the stock focuser with a GSO linear bearing model and it has been a pleasure to use. One very nice thing about this scope is that a CG5 class mount is more than adequate.

#7 t.r.

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 05:41 AM

Teal'c, I've heard a lot of good things about the 120ED and only one report of a return. Get one with the Schott 53 as stated above and I think you will have good success. As to settling in with it, just don't obsess over whether another scope is better. It would only be in a side-by-side that a slight difference might be noticed anyway. Even with my AP130GT, there is puportedly a better 130, the TMB F/9, but I don't obsess about it, will probably never get to look through one to compare anyway, and how much better could it really be? A small percentile at best. I'll just enjoy and use what I have. I have looked through a SW 120 F/5 achromat and was impressed! I think the ED would be great. I think targeting a 120-130 as your workhorse refractor is a very good decision over a 100.

#8 NHRob

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 05:44 AM

How can one distinguish the version with the Scott 53 glass?

#9 t.r.

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 06:09 AM

I think they were pretty proud of the fact and I think a sticker was place on the focuser declaring "Schott" but don't quote me on it. :shrug:

#10 JoeM101

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 06:59 AM

The ota has the Schott sticker as t.r. stated

#11 SeattleScott

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 11:31 AM

To me the real advantage of a 4" is the potential grab-n-go functionality. If you are going to be setting up a CG5-class eq mount, why not put something a little more substantial than a 4" refractor on it? I usually felt it was a bit of a waste getting out my CG5 to put my 100ED refractor on it, which only needed a few pounds of counterweight. There is the cost issue though.

#12 JoeM101

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 12:30 PM

if he wants to dabble with AP, i imagine a CG-5 with a 4" apo will do the job nicely..

#13 coopman

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 01:48 PM

The SW120ED is a great scope. If you want to get one, perhaps place a wanted ad here in the classifieds or at Astromart and see what happens. Used ones are selling for approx. $400-$500 less than the new price.

#14 John Huntley

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 05:29 PM

I thought all the ED120's used a Schott made glass element along with the Ohara FPL-53 one ?. I was told by a Skywatcher dealer here that they just started to promote the fact a bit more (hence the sticker) with more recent models.

Anyway, I own one of the original gold tube ED120's and it's an excellent scope, whatever it's mating element is made from :)

#15 Cliff C

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 05:38 PM

If you are able to get to NEAF by Sunday, you can see the whole family of scopes from Skwatcher. I believe they were going to be doing some raffles.

#16 charen

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 06:31 PM

John is correct. Schott has have been the provided for Synta ED doublets.

This from a Schott press release.

"On March 17, 2008, Suzhou Synta Optical Technology Co., Ltd. and SCHOTT AG signed a contract for a joint branding initiative. This is a key milestone to intensify the cooperation between both companies. Synta, one of the largest Taiwanese manufacturers of Consumer Astronomical telescopes, is based in China. Well known brands,such as SkyWatcher, Celestron and ORION, are some of Synta’sproducts that are mostly sold in NAFTA and European markets. Synta has already been working together with SCHOTT. SCHOTT is the preferred material supplier, especially for its high end products and with the branding partnership with SCHOTT, Synta can emphasize its high quality standards. SCHOTT,on the other hand, will gain wider recognition among telescope users and strengthen global brand and product portfolio awareness.“We are proud that we could intensify our cooperation with Synta, a reliable and promising branding partner, through signing this contract. The agreementis a win-win situation for bothparties,” states Dr. Johannes Hain, Executive Vice President, Business Unit Advanced Materials. Currently, this agreement covers the joint branding of 4 products,which will be co-branded with the logo - “contains SCHOTT optical glass”. SCHOTT is also looking into new options to expand the scope of co-branded products and to intensify the cooperation of both companies, by offering additional value added solutions".

All the past and present Synta ED doublets have FPL-53 and Schott mating glass.

#17 Wilsonman

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 08:26 PM

I have the 4" ED SW and it's a great scope. The 120 appears to be a superb visual scope for the money and it's certainly on my wish list! :grin:

#18 Dakota1

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 09:34 PM

Wilsonman; How do you like your 100ED? Pros and Cons of it.

#19 Wilsonman

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 09:49 AM

Wilsonman; How do you like your 100ED? Pros and Cons of it.


The Sky Watcher 100 ED is a great scope. Admittedly, I've never used a TAK, WO or Televue. For strictly visual use, I doubt any of them are meaningfully better in terms of the image quality and I can't see spending substantially more for a 4" scope. Some people have felt it necessary to switch to an 'upgrade' focuser, but again, I'm happy with the one that came with my SW. I understand why people do this with the 6" F/8 achros- the supplied focussing units with the 6" Meade and the Celestron C-6 aren't very good. I will likely never buy another 4" refractor since the SW is a "keeper." :grin:

#20 BKBrown

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 10:09 AM

I just wanted to chime in here and say that the SW100ED is a terrific scope, maybe the best buy in amateur gear today. For $750 you get outstanding optics (mine have been very favorably compared to a local Tak TSA 102), hard case, and a bunch of useful accessories. It's light weight, reasonably handy size-wise, easily mounted, and equally easily modded with after market equipment. With quick cool down times, essentially zero "in focus" color, and razor sharp views, what's not to like? Here are a couple of side-by-sides of my SW100ED and TEC 140...

Clear Skies,
Brian

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#21 BKBrown

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 10:10 AM

And again from the operator's end...

Clear Skies,
Brian

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#22 BKBrown

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 10:13 AM

The only drawback might be the focuser if you are an imager or regularly use big, heavy 2" EPs. If you do either of these things (like I do :grin:), I recommend a focuser upgrade. I went with the Moonlite CF 2" dual speed with brake...and no worries at all. Hope this helps!

Clear Skies,
Brian

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#23 NHRob

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 10:39 AM

does the 100EDs use the Schott 53 glass as well?

#24 Teal'c

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 11:11 AM

Thanks for the replies, all. I believe that I'll be going with the SW120 pretty soon. Also, nice to read that it doesn't give up too much visually to the TSA120. I won't be doing any AP, so I can't see ( for me ) spending the extra $$$ on a marginal visual difference.

#25 vct123

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 03:08 PM

I owned an sw120ed, it was the older version before they switched to using schott glass for the crown element.
I felt the optics were ok but the color correction was below average compared to other doublet semi-apos I owned.
I recently purchased a used Explore Scientific es127 ed triplet and the optics and color correction are in a different league then the sw120.
Color correction is close or maybe equal to my tv-np101 which had no color, ZERO.
The es will sell for slightly more new or used then the sw120, but the difference is worth it, imo.






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