Celestron / Synta 100mm f5
Posted 02 October 2003 - 02:14 PM
Interested in anything you can tell me.
Posted 02 October 2003 - 05:51 PM
Yes, I got one a few weeks back, and I'm pretty impressed with it. Mechanically it's quite impressive, though the focuser smoothness is improved with re-greasing. 2" focuser is nice to have. Finder and eyepieces are ok, but it performs a whole lot better once you put some branded plossls or better into it. The focuser is actually adjustable using two tiny screws to make sure that it is aligned properly within the draw-tube. I haven't need to adjust this yet, and it star tests well, with round images and no pinched optics evident.
Mine gives very nice wide field images, and I actually tested it side by side with an APM Triplet f6. The APM had a very flat field of view, but the Synta was only a tiny bit behind it in terms of field flatness! I would say it had 92-95% of the performance of the APM.
It takes power up to about 130x pretty well. I find it helps a LOT to use a Baader Contrast Booster filter to lose the unwanted false violet colour at mid-high power. With the filter I was also able to see reasonable planetary detail on Mars, including the South Polar Ice Cap, and several other different land areas (Martian geography not my strong point...yet!). Even without the filter it still performs well.
Coatings are good and even, and overall I have no complaints at all. I do find it is too heavy to mount on my Velbon D600 tripod, and I have to mount it on my EQ3 for regular use, but I have mounted it on an EQ1 and it was quite stable there too.
It includes a stop-down lens cap, so you can reduce the diameter to 53mm (I think), and it's pretty sharp then, though if I'm looking at the moon, I just leave it at 102mm and use the contrast booster.
Great value for money.
Hope this is of some help.
Posted 02 October 2003 - 11:40 PM
Is the scope you're talking about, the spotter version, with the tripod block underneath?
If so, could you please let us know who's got the sale price(that's a great price by the way)?
I'm interested in getting that scope for travel as well. Even though I already have the same scope, it's the ring-mounted version that came with an AZ-3 mount. I'd like to be able to use it on a photo-tripod for travel, since the AZ-3 is a bit much to travel with. I haven't been able to find a source for a tripod block for mine, and I'd really rather not drill holes, and such, in my scope. And at the price you're getting, it may be more cost effective to just get the second 102mm.
Posted 03 October 2003 - 05:23 PM
Adorama has the 102mm Celestron WA on sale for $179 (normally $199) and the 80mm Celestron WA for $149.
I wound up getting a 102 - just wanted an excuse to play Jimmy Hendrix while stargazing... <g> Seriously tho - the 4" is 21 inches long, and listed at 5lbs (?). Sounds plenty short enough for me, and I'd vastly prefer the 102mm to 80mm. Picked up some replacement focus knobs for $25 from focusknobs.com and a travel case (hope it fits, I think it will, but it may be a little tight) from stellarvue for $45. I have an everbright I can use with it for the time being, and I'll probably put one of those $99 williams diagonals with it in the long run.
I'm a little over budget, but not too bad. Heck - I've got eyepieces that cost more than this.
We will see how it works out.
Thanks for all the input.