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Sky-Watcher 100mm F/9 ED

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32 replies to this topic

#1 cam1936

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 09:18 PM

Hey everyone,

I did a search, as I'm sure this has been covered, but didn't turn up too much.

I'm interested in the Sky-Watcher 100mm F/9 "Pro Ed" or "Black Diamond" (are they the same thing? In Canada they are marketed as Black Diamond and come with a 2" 28mm Eyepiece, in the US the are called Pro ED and come with a 25mm and 5mm 1.25" EPs)

The specs are good to my eye. FPL 53 and Schott doublet at F9 sounds pretty good as I am visual only. How is the colour correction? How does it compare with the faster ED triplets? Tak fluorite doublet? Is the focuser nice? Any widespread QC problems? A slowish ED doublet really appeals to me. Anything else comparable on the market?

Edited by cam1936, 17 July 2016 - 09:19 PM.


#2 AtmosFearIC

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 09:26 PM

Having owned one of these up until about a year ago, I firmly believe that it is the best bang for buck visual refractor on the market. Being a doublet it cools quick, being a longer FL ED FPL-53 is has good colour correction. The focuser I would say is adequate but worth upgrading :)

A Tak Fluroite Doublet will outperform it (I have a FC100 DL) but they're also several times the price haha

Edited by AtmosFearIC, 17 July 2016 - 09:27 PM.

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#3 Eddgie

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 09:35 PM

Hey everyone,

I did a search, as I'm sure this has been covered, but didn't turn up too much.

I'm interested in the Sky-Watcher 100mm F/9 "Pro Ed" or "Black Diamond" (are they the same thing? In Canada they are marketed as Black Diamond and come with a 2" 28mm Eyepiece, in the US the are called Pro ED and come with a 25mm and 5mm 1.25" EPs)

The specs are good to my eye. FPL 53 and Schott doublet at F9 sounds pretty good as I am visual only. How is the colour correction? How does it compare with the faster ED triplets? Tak fluorite doublet? Is the focuser nice? Any widespread QC problems? A slowish ED doublet really appeals to me. Anything else comparable on the market?

 

Outstanding 4" telescope.



#4 SeattleScott

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 10:54 PM

Great value. Excellent color correction, I could just see a thin rim of CA on the moon under certain lunar phase anf magnification scenarios. Bested slightly in contrast and CA by my Vixen 103ED. But a good performer for the price. I was satisfied with the focuser, but it can slip when pointed at zenith with a 2" diagonal and 1.5+ pound eyepieces. Also not as smooth as my Vixen focuser. Basically if you aren't picky the focuser will suffice. 

 

Ultimately you get what you pay for. It isn't the best 4" Apo, but it is pretty good considering the price and it does what a 4" Apo iis supposed to do.

 

Scott


Edited by SeattleScott, 17 July 2016 - 10:55 PM.


#5 tomykay12

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 11:23 PM

I have the Orion version 100ed. It gives very nice views, bought used and definitely a focuser upgrade is worthwhile on this scope. It's a good platform to start from.


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#6 seattlepete

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 12:57 AM

Very sharp, very nice scope.



#7 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 07:11 AM

I have the Orion version 100ed. It gives very nice views, bought used and definitely a focuser upgrade is worthwhile on this scope. It's a good platform to start from.

 

The Orion version comes with a single speed focuser, the Skywatcher 100ED has a good quality 2 speed.  As others have said, you can't beat it for the price and it's hard to beat in absolute terms.  

 

Jon


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#8 coopman

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 07:26 AM

The SW ED refractors have a great reputation and great optics.  Be prepared to upgrade the focuser though.  I replaced the stock focuser with a GSO and have no complaints now (except for all these clouds!). 



#9 Sasa

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 07:47 AM

I can only recommend this scope. I had the Black Diamond version. Optically, it was a good performer. Clearly, the most practical refractor I have own. Here I mean, the right mixture of power (aperture), weight and size. It was so light that I could even put it on Zeiss T1 mount from Telementor:

 

http://www-hep2.fzu....100onTMount.jpg

 

Very light setup, ready to go in short moment.

 

In the beginning I had serious issues with the focuser (too slippery). But once I tuned the tensions with screws, it worked very well and there was no need for me to touch it again. It was not trivial to figure out which screw should be turned... (I think there were 6 or even more on the focuser).



#10 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 09:43 AM

The SW ED refractors have a great reputation and great optics.  Be prepared to upgrade the focuser though.  I replaced the stock focuser with a GSO and have no complaints now (except for all these clouds!). 

 

I bought a used Skywatcher Pro 100 focuser.. It needed a minor adjustment but it was a very good focuser, light, the two speed was smooth.  The focuser would lift 3 pounds of eyepiece and diagonal vertically without breaking a sweat.  

 

Jon



#11 AhBok

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 10:26 AM

Yep. I bought a Moonlite for my new 100 Pro and replaced it the day I received it. While the Moonlite is in another class, I was surprised at how good the stock focuser is. For visual use only, I would be fine with the stock, but once I loaded it with a f/r filter wheel and CCD, the Moonlite shone through!

#12 Element79

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 10:31 AM

I bought the Celestron offering of this telescope nearly 10 years ago and with an upgraded focuser it has been superb!   I have also had the opportunity to look through two Orions, a Vixen, and a Skywatcher 100ED and they too were all excellent performers.  I am surprised that mass manufactured optics can be so good and consistent but the proof is in the products that Synta has created.



#13 Jeff B

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 10:39 AM

And if you do consider upgrading the focuser, go for the full monty and cut the tube back about 4.5" at the same time to make it "bino-friendly".   Low power views with 28-30mm eyepiece pairs are just superb and many like the the 24 and 19mm Pans with such a scope.  A highly recommended and easy mod if you have, or are considering a bino-viewer.

 

Jeff



#14 tomykay12

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 11:34 AM

 

I have the Orion version 100ed. It gives very nice views, bought used and definitely a focuser upgrade is worthwhile on this scope. It's a good platform to start from.

 

The Orion version comes with a single speed focuser, the Skywatcher 100ED has a good quality 2 speed.  As others have said, you can't beat it for the price and it's hard to beat in absolute terms.  

 

Jon

 

Duh, that's right; that puts the SW a big step ahead of the Orion version...bad on me, lol. Xlnt choice.



#15 skyward_eyes

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 12:01 PM

Daniel Mounsey (Dr D) did a review on his website regarding this scope a little while ago. 



#16 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 12:54 PM

Daniel Mounsey (Dr D) did a review on his website regarding this scope a little while ago. 

 

:wayoto:

 

In particular:

 

"The key to enjoying any telescope is to know yourself better, so you can figure out what it is you really love to view with your telescope. The failure to do so will always be the Achilles heel of the observer. It isn’t the telescope I blame; it’s the observer. Once you understand what these telescopes are good for, that’s when you’ll begin to enjoy them."

 

Jon


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#17 John_G

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 02:30 PM

I think the stock focuser is fine. It's just some of the setting screws working themselves loose over time that can result in slipping. When you remove the focuser and work it you can feel it's smooth and well built. Most recently I had to replace the 2 parallelizing screws. Just came loose and fell off at some point.

 

http://www.teleskop-...g_justieren.pdf


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#18 Tank

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 02:38 PM

great scope and introductory APO



#19 BKBrown

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 03:38 PM

Still my most used scope due to superb optics, weight, and ease-of-use. I agree that it is one of the best buys in amateur gear today...possibly the best! I can't recommend it highly enough :waytogo:

 

IMG_4662sc2.jpg

 

Clear Skies,

Brian :snoopy:


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#20 Trevor N

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 04:34 PM

To repeat what has been said above. Excellent scope. Great for visual and AP as well. I've never had an issue with the focusser. It can be tweaked if required. Perhaps it's just me but I've seen no improvement when looking through high end 100mm scopes. The improvement is that small it's beyond me . 



#21 cam1936

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 10:13 PM

Sounds like a wicked scope. Thanks for the opinions everyone!
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#22 pdxmoon

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 06:58 PM

I adore mine. New this summer.

 

http://www.cloudynig...tched-the-itch/



#23 astrobug

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 04:12 PM

I should probably put on some Nomex long underwear before posting this. I've got the Vixen variant of this Synta-made scope (ED100sf, later style with the dual-speed focuser). A few months ago, I was out at a club star party, and happened to set up near a fellow who was fortunate enough to get one of the newer, limited run 100mm f/9 Tak fluorite doublets (FC-100DL). Later in the evening, under excellent seeing, we both ended up spending quite a bit of time on Saturn, and shared views. We used the same eyepiece (his wonderful Clave, 6mm IIRC) in both scopes, and the view was as good as I've ever seen in a 4" scope.

 

But was view in the Tak better? Maybe just a smidge in terms of contrast, but the observable detail each scope served up was identical to my eye; cloud banding, Crepe ring, brightness variations in the A&B rings, etc. Saturn isn't a critical test for false color, but I couldn't see any in either scope, and I the only false color I've ever seen in mine is lateral color in some of my eyepieces. The Tak owner commented that he wasn't super happy with the single speed R&P focuser. To confirm this, I found I could snap to focus a bit quicker using the fine focus knob on my lowly, oft-tweaked Synta dual-speed Crayford. (But I'm still seriously considering a focuser upgrade for heavier loads/imaging.)

 

Sure, if money were no object, I'd take the Tak (with a Feathertouch) over mine. But in the long view, mine hangs in there with the best for a very reasonable price, allowing me to put my limited astronomy budget elsewhere (...and now I really want some Clave eyepieces :) ). To sum up, I don't think you can find better bang for the buck than the Synta ED refractors.

 

That said, before you take the plunge, think long and hard about the Skywatcher 120mm f/7.5 ED--same focal length/image scale, and only marginally heavier. It should be a noticeable step up in deep-sky reach and planetary detail, assuming good optics at thermal equilibrium in good seeing. Cons are longer cool-down time and, at least in theory, slightly greater chromatic aberration. If I didn't have a larger scope (13" reflector), I'd definitely want the extra aperture in the refractor.

 

I hope this info helps.

-Brett


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#24 cam1936

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 07:16 PM

That side by side fluorite Tak vs 100ed comparison is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks.

Only issue with the 120mm for me is it is twice the price! F/9 and 100mm is ideal for my needs right now. I have a C8 for pulling in more light and for use at dark sky sites. This would be more of a grab and go for my light polluted surroundings.

#25 astrobug

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 12:42 AM

You're welcome. Keep in mind, the side-by-side with the Tak was limited to one object on one (good) night. But it was enough to convince me that I would not pay the extra money for that last little bit of performance unless my financial situation changed pretty drastically.

 

As for the 120mm, I did see one pop up on the CN classifieds for $1000 very recently (no connection to seller aside from being tempted myself, yada, yada). Not sure if they'd ship to Canada, and it's still more than a new 100mm. In light-polluted skies, the 100mm will have a slightly darker sky background at a given magnification. The 100mm is great for grab & go--very light, easily mounted, takes maybe 20-30 minutes before it cools down enough to give ~all it can. Won't take a heavy mount to support it well. The C8 will win pretty handily for deep sky, and the two scopes should complement each other nicely.

 

Clear skies!




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