This has been a very interesting read, as I am curious about these FirstLight scopes myself. Thank you, Bomber Bob, for your very thorough review.
Two things jump out here - first, that much of the dismissiveness in relation to this ES FL 102mm is due to its being a $300 scope vs. a comparison with a much better Celestron 102XLT 4" f/10 refractor at $400.
That was last year, though. Now, the price for the ES is just $209, while the XLT is $436. I don't think you can make the direct comparison between the ES and the Celestron when the ES is less than half the price.
The other thing is that, as was discussed early on in this post, this was a first production run of this scope. Perhaps this year, this is production run number two, and some of the lesser qualities of this scope have been ironed out/changed/upgraded/improved?
Bearing these two things in mind, does that change the conclusion of generally not recommending this scope?
EDIT - just noticed that in post #106, BB says, "It would be a very good deal if ES offered the OTA separately for $200 -- the list price for the FL-AR80900EQ3 package." Well, now they do - at $209, close enough. Looks like at $209, this scope get's BB's recommendation.
Finally, a separate question: how do you think this scope at $209 compares to the Meade Infinity 102, another 4" refractor, but one that's just $199 at HPS, and comes with three Kellners?
Edited by jgroub, 09 December 2017 - 05:49 AM.