Explore Scientific FirstLight AR-102
My $300 brand new refractor arrived this morning. According to the info on the shipping crate, it is #7 of 852. Shipping weight is 32 pounds. I haven't bought a new refractor since 1988, so let's see what's in the box!
What you received for the price is unbelievable.
My first 4 inch was a Celestron/Vixen SPC102 on a Super Polaris mount about 1990, and it cost me about $1700..
Yes, very true. Back in the 1980s, I too bought a Vixen 102 on the Super Polaris mount, at the time it cost
me 12x my weekly wage, and I had to wait 9 months for delivery from Japan.
It would not surprise me if this new scope is every bit as good as my old Vixen. The equipment and price
we pay today is quite remarkable.
The older SP and Vixen scopes were also made much better than the China junk that Celestron sold in 1997. That first gen CG5 was pretty sad.
Yes, the early stuff was pretty dire, however I'm talking about the stuff we can buy today. I remember when the early Chinese stuff
started to come onto the market, in country were I live, it was still very expensive to buy, not like the prices we pay today
and the quality we get. A couple of years ago I bought a Chinese made Sky-watcher 120 f/8.3 Achromat with Equatorial mount,
for well under one weeks pay packet. I fitted the scope with a 102mm aperture mask (to match the Vixen) and the views matched
those seen in the Vixen scope.
I remember when the first Chinese ED scopes started to show up on the market, and plenty of people on this forum doubted
that the Chinese could even make a decent ED, now on this very same forum the Chinese made ED scopes have a very
strong following among observers who are extremely happy with their scopes. How times change.