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Chinese-made refractor -- excellent

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#1 JohnAkai

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 01:35 PM

I took a chance and bought on eBay a Chinese-made (Yuzhong Optical Instruments Co. Ltd.) Aquila 90mm f5.6 achro refractor with 2-speed graduated focuser, sliding dew shield, metal screw-on front element cap, white baked-on textured finish, green anti-glare coating, dovetail slot for finder, blackened interior and 2 knife-edge baffles. (At 16 inches long, it will fit my hand-carried luggage.) For $260, with free shipping from the PRC, the scope is a great bargain! The heft, fit and finish are amazing! It looks like a Tak Sky 90 and feels just like my SV90 Raptor. First light was pretty good--excellent for the price. The views were slightly better than my Stellarvue 80/9D, but not as good as the SV90. Using my Ortho EPs, the 10 main stars of The Coathanger were pinpoint. Delphinus was equally clear and sharp. The Scorpius-like star field between Rotanev and 10 Del was well-defined. Aquila was blue-white with very slight blue halo and little spiking. Tarazed was pinpoint and very red. No objectionable CA was seen. Again, great bargain, you won't be disappointed!

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#2 rogan

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 02:10 PM

I just ordered the 80mm F/5.6 version of your scope. I took the risk because I also have a Visionking 90mm F/5.6 which appears to be the same scope except it has a different two speed linear bearing Crayford focuser. It has been an amazingly good scope.

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#3 MarkGregory

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 03:50 PM

Wow, what an eye opener. Thanks for the info. Think I'll check them out. Mark



#4 JohnAkai

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 03:54 PM

Yes, really good scopes at realistic prices. International trade rules!..I forgot to mention that the kit also includes a 2-inch focal extender and a  Canon EOS mounting ring...Anyway, I was influenced by a post I read several years ago. The author stated that, while in China, he toured an optical instrument facility. He was quite impressed by the modern facility and the quality instruments he was able to sample. 


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#5 Howard Gao

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 07:17 PM

The Chinese  manufacturers are making good progress these years. The quality is actually better than what many people expect and is becoming even better. Best value for money. It's a different story if you don't mind spending more money on "best in class" stuff.


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#6 waso29

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 07:44 PM

prefer SV, WO to cherry pick scopes from prc.


Edited by waso29, 21 August 2016 - 07:45 PM.

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#7 gnowellsct

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 08:26 PM

this is an f/5.6 for wide field views.  I would think that ten pinpoint stars in a 45 degree afov ortho is not hard to do.  It would be a more rigorous test to use a 2" 30 to 40mm wide field with 70 afov (or Nagler equivalent).  A fast focal length achro should be able to earn its weight in low power views because the "achro" really comes out at high powers on bright objects.  GN


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#8 gutz

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 09:06 PM

Was the eBay listing factory direct or who is the vendor?

#9 JohnAkai

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 10:25 PM

Ebay Vendor: saleseshop
Description: 90MM F/5.5 2" Refractor Astronomy Telescope OTA Double Speed for DSLR Photograph


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#10 chris charen

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 02:03 AM

I had the 80 mm Aquila version for a year.  Well made and heavy, almost Williams Optics quality. Optics were very good with minimal CA and very good resolution.  Certainly superior build and optical qualities then the general Chinese mass produced entry to mid range 80 mm versions from the likes of Skywatcher, Orion etc. and at a similar cost.

 

Chris


Edited by charen, 22 August 2016 - 03:12 AM.

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#11 calypsob

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 10:41 AM

Barska and vision King make the same 80 mm triplet

#12 JohnAkai

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 12:18 PM

rogan, where did you buy the rings & red handle?... Another thing I forgot to mention is that the focuser rotates.



#13 mikey cee

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 10:44 PM

If I had to venture a guess I'd say it had Barride optics. Which I've found are extremely good at a good price. :smirk:  Mike


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#14 sparrowhawk

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 10:52 PM

I took a chance and bought on eBay a Chinese-made (Yuzhong Optical Instruments Co. Ltd.) Aquila 90mm f5.6 achro refractor with 2-speed graduated focuser, sliding dew shield, metal screw-on front element cap, white baked-on textured finish, green anti-glare coating, dovetail slot for finder, blackened interior and 2 knife-edge baffles. (At 16 inches long, it will fit my hand-carried luggage.) For $260, with free shipping from the PRC, the scope is a great bargain! The heft, fit and finish are amazing! It looks like a Tak Sky 90 and feels just like my SV90 Raptor. First light was pretty good--excellent for the price. The views were slightly better than my Stellarvue 80/9D, but not as good as the SV90. Using my Ortho EPs, the 10 main stars of The Coathanger were pinpoint. Delphinus was equally clear and sharp. The Scorpius-like star field between Rotanev and 10 Del was well-defined. Aquila was blue-white with very slight blue halo and little spiking. Tarazed was pinpoint and very red. No objectionable CA was seen. Again, great bargain, you won't be disappointed!

 

Very nice. What are the dims and weights? 16" long, is that with the dew shield retracted? Did it come with a case?

 

How did the import process and duties work for you? 


Edited by sparrowhawk, 22 August 2016 - 10:53 PM.


#15 JohnAkai

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 03:04 PM

I meant Altair, not the constellation Aquila...Anyway, 16 inches long collapsed w/o diagonal. Weight is 6.5 lbs. For more info & photos, please follow this eBay listing: 90MM F/5.5 2" Refractor Astronomy Telescope OTA Double Speed for DSLR Photography. The case is soft, but flimsy, with no compartments. There is room for the scope with the diagonal attached, and the diagonal and 2 EPs on the side. The manual is in Chinese only.


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#16 JohnAkai

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 01:46 PM

Field report: Yesterday, I went to my dark site & tried various EPs. TeleVue, William Optics, and orthos were used. Due to moderate winds, I was not able to magnify beyond 80x. The best view of Saturn was achieved at 56x (18mm ortho + 2x Barlow). The rings were well separated from the planet, but the Cassini division was not evident. With a 12mm EP (both ortho & TeleVue), at 42x, M7, M6, M8, M20, & The Double Cluster were well resolved. Also at 42x, M28, M31, M81 & M82 were easily seen; I could just detect M110. Graffias & Almach were easily separated at 50x (20mm William SWA + 2x Barlow)...Photo of the scope + 1.25 in. Stellarvue diagonal inside the provided carry bag. Note, there is still room for a 6x30 finder and 2 or 3 EPs. I am going to wrap the scope with bubble wrap, since it is a bit loose inside the bag. Again, not bad for $260!

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#17 JohnAkai

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 09:52 PM

There were no problems importing the scope. However, a cryptic document was included. It stated that the scope was only worth $30.00 US and was a "sample of no commercial value." Sais pas.


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#18 Stephen Kennedy

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 09:29 PM

That document is included to avoid the 15% import tariff that the U.S. Customs Service charges for imported telescopes.

#19 gfstallin

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 01:13 PM

There were no problems importing the scope. However, a cryptic document was included. It stated that the scope was only worth $30.00 US and was a "sample of no commercial value." Sais pas.

Sounds legit to me!  :lol:

 

That offers no bearing on the product, however. It sounds like you got yourself a steal. 

 

George



#20 rogan

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 08:59 AM

rogan, where did you buy the rings & red handle?... Another thing I forgot to mention is that the focuser rotates.

The handle I found on eBay from China. The rings come standard with the scope.



#21 rogan

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 10:11 AM

My Aquila (Yuzhong Optical) arrived yesterday. Three days from Hong Kong but it took some time initially to fill the order. DHL really moves packages. This is the first foreign shipment that I have received where it was obviously opened and inspected. Both of the double boxes. The scope was perfectly re-packed and the box was marked with an inspection sticker and yellow tape.

 

Like the VisionKing 90 the build quality is very, very impressive. This one is a bit more austere with a single speed Crayford rather than the double speed linear bearing on the 90. The single speed is very nice and smooth, much more than adequate. The rings are more basic (not hinged) than the 90. The cradle is adjusted by loosening two Allen head screws. The listing indicated a 50mm dovetail but the dovetail plate is minimal (if at all) and won't fit a Vixen dovetail. It was easy to attach a dovetail plate via the 1/4-20 threads on the cradle. The cradle itself is well made but is different than the one shown in the eBay listing in that it is at least twice as long. While I would imagine that this will add to stability it prevents the dew shield from retracting what I estimate to be the last 3/4". Not a big deal.

 

The coatings on the primary appear to be the same as the 90. Green, very even, and very nice to look at. I have read opinions that are conjecture as to the exact type of glass used. I have no direct information in that regard so I will say no more. One thing that I have observed based on examining the 80 and 90 side-by-side is that they appear to both use the same diameter optical tubes altering only the size of the primary lens. That certainly makes sense from a production standpoint.

 

Compared to my ST80 the Aquila is a brute in terms of weight, roughly three pounds in comparison to five pounds. The heaviness of the Aquila seems heavier than the actual difference would suggest. The Aquila is approximately two inches shorter than the ST80 with the  Aquila's shade retracted. It would be even shorter if it retracted all of the way. While both scopes will ride on my Twilights I and II a major intended use is as a travel scope used on my Manfrotto 3031/3030 mount. Which scope gets the nod for a trip to Hawaii later this year remains to be seen.

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#22 glend

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 05:06 PM

Many scopes are made in China these days, but are retailed under Brand names set up and owned by the Chinese manufacturers for international markets. Explore Scientific is a good example, owned by Chinese company JOC, they operate as ES in the US market, and Bresser in the european market. Quality is usually ok for the price your paying but they are never Tak equivalents of course.


Edited by glend, 02 September 2016 - 05:07 PM.


#23 rogan

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 05:15 PM

Many scopes are made in China these days, but are retailed under Brand names set up and owned by the Chinese manufacturers for international markets. Explore Scientific is a good example, owned by Chinese company JOC, they operate as ES in the US market, and Bresser in the european market. Quality is usually ok for the price your paying but they are never Tak equivalents of course.

Based upon my experience with my Visionking 90 I would have to say that the quality far exceeds just "okay for the price", but, no it surely isn't a Tak :)



#24 JohnAkai

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Posted 03 September 2016 - 06:30 PM

Here is a pic of the lens. Not bad...for the price. However, I can't seem to achieve more than 80x in light-polluted Portland, OR. (2× Orion Shorty Barlow with 12.5mm Ortho.) Gamma Andromedae separates, but the focus is soft. Also, the dew shield slides down when pointing above 80°. I have to secure the shield with blue painter's tape. The finder's bracket could have been placed in a better position. 

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#25 dtran1968

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Posted 06 September 2016 - 08:44 PM

Is the Bresser Messier AR-102S/600 f/5.9 Optical Tube Telescope better scope if I can get for around $265 new?




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