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New telescope: Bresser Messier AR-102 f/4.5

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#276 DIMITRIS K.

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Posted 01 April 2018 - 01:01 AM

Hi all
I have been looking for this scope for a while, but I had other commitments first and I searched the net to see any 'expert

amateur's ' view and found this interesting thread and I was pleased to be confirmed I was choosing correctly 'for the money' I had!

Well, I finally purchased it [I am in UK] and I have to say the optics are not bad at all, but I am not an 'expert', so do not take my observations as sure!

;p]

Anyway, talking in general the only good thing is the optics for the price as for the rest it is all plastic!

The whole finder and thumbscrews are plastic and I mean 'plastic' not nylon - in fact the screws do not even fit the finder rings

- even if I try to force them a bit.
Also the screws that are for the finder 'aluminium' [yes!] saddle do not fit too ... at all and I had to use some of mine that

actually are nylon - you see the difference as nylon is silicone white colour while plastic is almost Ivory! The nylon ones fit gracefully.

I have not use its finder and used the one that came with the E.S. AR152 I have, which is metal and not plastic.

I also tried to fit a standard Finder saddle - the most used one and I would call standard [at least in the UK] and I could not fit it,

even the one I have has wide adaptable holes as the tube holes are too far apart and on angular position - even after I filed one

saddle, I could not still fit it.

Therefore I am now using the AR152 finder, but ... I am now waiting for a 400mm x 4" x 1" boxed aluminium bar and will fit a couple

of finder saddles on the sides and a vice type of clamp for any telescopes using the standard vixen dovetail ~43mm [if I

remember well].

I already did a timber version of it and works fine.

The reason I wanted to fit the standard finder saddle, is because all I have uses that and I also wanted to fit my TS60 to use it as

a guider.
But this way [with the bar] is better because I will have up to 4 telescopes on it and I might actually also fit 2x vice clamps so I

could fit the AR102sx and my old ST80 [cheap scopes] together and the TS60 on one side or the other - as I will fit 2x standard

finder scope saddles on wither side depending on what I wish to do, also because where I am - not only is light polluted, but I

also have a narrow view and need to move the TS60 left or right ... ha ha ha hahaaaa

Anyway, just to show you what this little AR102SX can do here is The Moon.
 

Not bad at all - I am actually surprised in part - by using the 0.8x flattener I get down to F3.6 and that helped 'a lot' my Altair

178c camera - what a match.

What do you think?

Clear Skies [in Northern UK? I wish!]
MauroI

I have replaced all the accessories that came with this telescope. The viewfinder with the bresser 50mm one, the star diagonal with a skywatcher dielectric and, of course, I don’t use the eyepiece included except  as a door stop! If you buy that telescope, you must have in mind that you must spend another 150€ to buy some good quality accessories and then you have a descent quality fast and grab and go telescope.


Edited by DIMITRIS K., 01 April 2018 - 03:57 PM.

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#277 Maurolico

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 04:14 PM

...

I also tried to fit a standard Finder saddle - the most used one and I would call standard [at least in the UK] and I could not fit it,

even the one I have has wide adaptable holes as the tube holes are too far apart and on angular position - even after I filed one

saddle, I could not still fit it.

Therefore I am now using the AR152 finder, but ... I am now waiting for a 400mm x 4" x 1" boxed aluminium bar and will fit a couple

of finder saddles on the sides and a vice type of clamp for any telescopes using the standard vixen dovetail ~43mm [if I

remember well].

I already did a timber version of it and works fine.

The reason I wanted to fit the standard finder saddle, is because all I have uses that and I also wanted to fit my TS60 to use it as

a guider.
...

You need this saddle for non Bresser/ES finderscopes. It fits perfectly the 2 holes. I've seen it in use with a RDF. 



#278 Maurolico

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 05:06 PM

I asked my friend who has that scope for further informations now. You need two mods also.

1) a strip of rubber, possibly cut off from car's air camera, to put between the saddle and the scope's body;

2) shorter screws, possibly stainless steel countersunk screws.

These two mods solves the fact that the new saddle has a tiny thickness between the holes and the body beneath and therefore in using the same screws these will hit the bottom of the bores before tighting the saddle. The rubber will make thickness while avoiding scratches, if also the aestetics is of concern. I can assure that RDF on it I've seen was rock steady.



#279 Maurolico

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 05:51 PM

...

I don’t use the eyepiece included except  as a door stop!

...

I thought the same thing untilI tested that 26mm EP as part of our AR127 outreach scope against its equivalent 26mm Meade which was along the SCT 14" ACF. The Bresser is better. On the first I belived the Meade was dirty by the time, so I did a clean up to the 2 main lenses. Nope, the Bresser was still better, way more field filled with pin point stars. Maybe a good sample vs. bad sample, maybe not.


Edited by Maurolico, 02 April 2018 - 06:06 PM.

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#280 DIMITRIS K.

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 11:18 PM

I thought the same thing untilI tested that 26mm EP as part of our AR127 outreach scope against its equivalent 26mm Meade which was along the SCT 14" ACF. The Bresser is better. On the first I belived the Meade was dirty by the time, so I did a clean up to the 2 main lenses. Nope, the Bresser was still better, way more field filled with pin point stars. Maybe a good sample vs. bad sample, maybe not.

I don't have any experience with Meade eyepieces, so maybe there is a worse eyepiece than Bresser!! lol.gif  My comparison was made with the (entry level) skywatcher 25mm plosl. Skywatcher had better contrast less reflections and  less edge distorsion. I made the test on my 12" Dobsonian. 



#281 DIMITRIS K.

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 11:53 PM

My first EAA photos with this telescope, using Sharpcap's live stack. No post prosessing, what  you see is what you get! As an f/4.5, i believe that is ideal for EAA and CA isn't so terrible!

Attached Thumbnails

  • Stack_16bits_13frames_109s.jpg
  • Stack_16bits_22frames_88s.jpg

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#282 Eddgie

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Posted 18 November 2018 - 04:17 PM

Yes, this scope might be great for NV use, but for visual, the real issue will be the field curvature.

 

Even at f/5, a 102mm doublet will not be sharp across the field using modern ultra-wide field type eyepieces at low power.

 

The full joy of a RFT observing (in my own opinion, which only really means it might matter to me more than to the OP and most others) is seeing a big field with a huge number of stars that are sharp across that field.   With a 102mm f/5, I could not achieve this goal, and of course at f/4.5, the curvature would be even worse.

 

Now that only matters if the observer values (or does not value) off axis performance, but having used scopes like the Televue 101 family members were stars can be sharp across well over a 4 degress true field size, my own sense of aesthetics would keep me from getting one of these.

Now as a NV scope, where the field is only 17.7mm, it might be very exiting to use, but once again, using afocally with something like a 55mm Plossl, I have my doubt that the field would be all that sharp at the edge.   But it might sqeek by for that particular application.   

 

Using conventional eyepieces though, the field curvature would to me be far more of a concern that the CA.  For RFT use, the CA is not really going to be an issue if even one element is ED.   It will likely still be a barker for planets, but RFT is RFT and CA is not going to be that important for that application. 


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#283 oldtimer

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 10:04 PM

Hopefully I will soon be able to disagree with you??? I just ordered the APM 9 element flat field 30mm eyepiece for my 100mm F4.5 RFT.  I'll post test results soon.  


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#284 Gavster

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 11:45 PM

I got this scope for NV use due to the fast f ratio.
I tried the 55mm plossl afocally and the FC was very bad. I sent the scope straight back for a refund. For fast fr I now use a Tak Epsilon 130d.

#285 quilty

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 07:21 AM

To continue this thread, if possible
I’m having this short refractor for some months now. Unlike some former testers I find nothing is frail or cheap on this device except the finder mount and the eyepiece fixing screw in a plastic diagonal. Bresser should sort that out or provide better. The diagonal itsef is ok for any visual observation. The same applies to the 26mm eyepiece. Apart from the small 52° FOV imaging is exellent. The Hexafoc focusser is very good and takes heavier equipment easily, just a speed reduction can make sense considering the short focal length. The 102/460xs is a lightweight, will be supported by fotographic tripods and is designed for such use on a fast azimutal mount. You’ll hardly find another refractor of similar dimensions for a price near this. Visually the refractor is a great joy providing a bright and brillant vision with good contrast  as long as you won’t  exceed magnifications about 50x. At 30x you already can notice colur aberrations in blue and purple but up to 50x you can notice or ignore them the same. Exceeding 70x vision is subdued increasingly by the telescope’s unability to focus the whole spectrum at a time and contrast regarding the moon is reduced considerably at 77x. Difference in focal length for Blue and Green is about 0.5mm. Color or contrast filters aren’t expected to help too much for when they work best they’ll exclude a huge amount of the light. For any fast spotting, terrestic observations, planespotting and deep-sky watching at low magnifications, considering price, size and weight the 102/460xs seems beyond competition, but it is NO small one-for all-telescope for its poor imaging power at high magnifications. Anyway a great completion to long focal length telescopes, maybe instead of extra long, heavy and expensive 2-inch eyepieces. And a good beginner’s toy and example for pros and conts of any short achromatic refractor.
Impressing to see what pictures can be produced with this tiny, affordable device.
Quilty


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#286 Sarkikos

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 09:55 AM

I've had one of the AR 102 f/4.5 for a few months.  The field curvature is pretty bad.  My eyes have virtually no accommodation for focus, so if there is FC, I will see it.  But the FC is correctable with a TS Flat 2.  Now I see a flat field from edge to edge.  

 

Forget about the CA.  This is a fast achro, best used for wide low-power fields.  The field flattener transforms the scope. 

 

I replaced the proprietary finder base with a Synta-style from Baader.  All this scope needs is a GLP as a finder.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 17 October 2019 - 09:58 AM.

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#287 junomike

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 04:53 PM

Wow, I picked up a Bresser 104mm F4.5 and found it simply......amazing!

The FOV  is greater than my WO88 and It's also lighter!  FC is not an Issue for me at all.

A fellow viewing friend said it best......It puts up Binocular views (5°) but with greater detail.

 

I added a "Finder shoe to mine and it rides on my AT12 and Orion xx16g as a Finder/Uber RFT. 


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#288 quilty

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 05:10 AM

If you need a finder at all at those low magnifications, a simple 1/2 inch alloy tube as long as the scope is does the job



#289 Viktorious

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 10:07 AM

Hi all, just spent the day reading through this topic! Recently stumbled upon this refractor in my search for a wide field/grab n' go complement to my big SCT. 

 

A few questions if I may revise this thread.

Can I ask what the consensus is about this scope now after a few years available?

I initially started looking at the Skywatcher 102/500 mm and I saw from Tommy's review (post #155) that there seems to be no big difference between the two (i.e. is this really comparable to a f/7 doublet as Bresser states?). The Skywatcher is slightly cheaper. 

As said, it would be a complement to the SCT, so would only use it for its intended wide field views. I'm doing some smartphone photography as a simple way of astrophotography (current phone provides 10 sec exposures that I stack). For that I wonder; how have you experienced the CA for the bigger brighter DSOs (e.g. Orion, Pleiades, Andromeda, think I mostly saw clusters here)? 


Edited by Viktorious, 06 February 2020 - 10:09 AM.

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#290 NaNuu

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 05:43 AM

Hi Viktorious,

 

I try to answer some of your questions. I did own that scope for about two years, sold it recently as I switched to a 90mm Apo refractor.  during the first months I was using it quite often, mainly for EAA, sometimes also purely visual. I haven't looked through a f/7 ED doublet, but I doubt the Bresser is really similar concerning CA and field curvature - it's a rather fast achromatic refractor... Nonetheless I was happy to use it, it's rather cheap and offers a very nice wide field view, visually its definitively a nice scope, but you have to live with those colour rings around brighter stars - pictures here do give you some good impression. If you can accept this, its a good grab n go scope, not too big and light weight and fast!  Even for EAA I would give it a try, but here even more the fringes will be there. So, you will see that when taking pictures with your smartphone, too. Here's an example taken with that scope (using Sharpcap and an ASI183mc pro, cropped image! I did use a Baader Semi Apo filter (but the colours are almost the same without, just a tiny bit more) -  the fringing would be similar with your phone's cam).

 

 

Rosetten_nebel.jpg

 

 

I would say: if you don't care about that colour around brighter stars, you will get a nice grab 'n go wide field scope, visually it's ok. I don't know the skywatcher, but I guess they are pretty much comparable. Personally, I would prefer the slower scope, as the CA might be better, but I was happy with the Bresser for a while.

 

BUT: I can imagine, that you (like I did) might want better pictures and less fringing relatively soon. I did buy a small 60/360 apo and as soon as I had this, the Bresser wasn't used much more. With this in mind, I would prefer something like an TS-Optics 70 mm f/6 ED (similar price and similar field, most likely definitively better CA - even if aperture is significantly smaller...).

 

Hi all, just spent the day reading through this topic! Recently stumbled upon this refractor in my search for a wide field/grab n' go complement to my big SCT. 

 

A few questions if I may revise this thread.

Can I ask what the consensus is about this scope now after a few years available?

I initially started looking at the Skywatcher 102/500 mm and I saw from Tommy's review (post #155) that there seems to be no big difference between the two (i.e. is this really comparable to a f/7 doublet as Bresser states?). The Skywatcher is slightly cheaper. 

As said, it would be a complement to the SCT, so would only use it for its intended wide field views. I'm doing some smartphone photography as a simple way of astrophotography (current phone provides 10 sec exposures that I stack). For that I wonder; how have you experienced the CA for the bigger brighter DSOs (e.g. Orion, Pleiades, Andromeda, think I mostly saw clusters here)? 

 


Edited by NaNuu, 07 February 2020 - 05:46 AM.

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#291 Viktorious

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 07:05 AM

Hi Viktorious,

 

I try to answer some of your questions. I did own that scope for about two years, sold it recently as I switched to a 90mm Apo refractor.  during the first months I was using it quite often, mainly for EAA, sometimes also purely visual. I haven't looked through a f/7 ED doublet, but I doubt the Bresser is really similar concerning CA and field curvature - it's a rather fast achromatic refractor... Nonetheless I was happy to use it, it's rather cheap and offers a very nice wide field view, visually its definitively a nice scope, but you have to live with those colour rings around brighter stars - pictures here do give you some good impression. If you can accept this, its a good grab n go scope, not too big and light weight and fast!  Even for EAA I would give it a try, but here even more the fringes will be there. So, you will see that when taking pictures with your smartphone, too. Here's an example taken with that scope (using Sharpcap and an ASI183mc pro, cropped image! I did use a Baader Semi Apo filter (but the colours are almost the same without, just a tiny bit more) -  the fringing would be similar with your phone's cam).

 

 

attachicon.gifRosetten_nebel.jpg

 

 

I would say: if you don't care about that colour around brighter stars, you will get a nice grab 'n go wide field scope, visually it's ok. I don't know the skywatcher, but I guess they are pretty much comparable. Personally, I would prefer the slower scope, as the CA might be better, but I was happy with the Bresser for a while.

 

BUT: I can imagine, that you (like I did) might want better pictures and less fringing relatively soon. I did buy a small 60/360 apo and as soon as I had this, the Bresser wasn't used much more. With this in mind, I would prefer something like an TS-Optics 70 mm f/6 ED (similar price and similar field, most likely definitively better CA - even if aperture is significantly smaller...).

Thanks for the answer, very informative! That's exactly the thinking I have been going through; how long would I be content should I go for this - how soon would I just get an Apo and try to sell the cheaper one? I guess there's a reason I often read "buy once cry once".

 

Perhaps it's better at the moment to get an eyepiece that can give me the widest field with my current scope (1.1° over my current 0.75°) and save up some longer for an Apo.

 

Also since you seem to mix visual and imaging (although EAA so still kind of visual) a bit, may I ask you to share your experience in a topic I started, https://www.cloudyni...ing-two-scopes/


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#292 paulsky

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Posted 19 February 2020 - 10:04 AM

Hi,
Can you recommend a good wide angle eyepiece to make observations of large nebulae and celestial fields? 1.25 "or 2", and also some nebular filter, or narrowband? it´s for visual observations.

thanks
Paul



#293 Viktorious

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 09:54 AM

Hi,
Can you recommend a good wide angle eyepiece to make observations of large nebulae and celestial fields? 1.25 "or 2", and also some nebular filter, or narrowband? it´s for visual observations.

thanks
Paul

PM sent in order to not wander off topic. Unless it is for this scope in particular perhaps. 



#294 paulsky

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 10:16 AM

Hello again,

Thank you for the reply! and...

 

Yes, I was actually referring to this particular refractor.,

Regards,

Paul



#295 Viktorious

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 10:22 AM

Yes my bad then! 

 

Hope someone with experience with the scope can share their knowledge :)


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#296 NaNuu

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 07:11 AM

Hi Viktor,

 

sorry for late reply, I had a rather tough month and wasn't much online here. I will check the link and see if I can contribute (if it is still of interest) to that subject!

 

(-:

 

I would agree, a good eyepiece would be a safer way to invest money, or saving a bit more in order to get an ED or APO (the latter in case you plan doing some AP, for visual and EAA I think an ED is well suited and lots cheaper!).

 

 

Thanks for the answer, very informative! That's exactly the thinking I have been going through; how long would I be content should I go for this - how soon would I just get an Apo and try to sell the cheaper one? I guess there's a reason I often read "buy once cry once".

 

Perhaps it's better at the moment to get an eyepiece that can give me the widest field with my current scope (1.1° over my current 0.75°) and save up some longer for an Apo.

 

Also since you seem to mix visual and imaging (although EAA so still kind of visual) a bit, may I ask you to share your experience in a topic I started, https://www.cloudyni...ing-two-scopes/


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#297 Viktorious

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 08:35 AM

Hi Viktor,

 

sorry for late reply, I had a rather tough month and wasn't much online here. I will check the link and see if I can contribute (if it is still of interest) to that subject!

 

(-:

 

I would agree, a good eyepiece would be a safer way to invest money, or saving a bit more in order to get an ED or APO (the latter in case you plan doing some AP, for visual and EAA I think an ED is well suited and lots cheaper!).

Hope everything is okay now!

 

As seen in my signature, I went for the eyepiece (the ES68) and it was a huge lift! Then the plan is to save for something better, right now leaning towards the TS102ED f/7 doublet (the cheaper with FPL-51 glass).

 

Regarding the other subject I have kind of reached a conclusion to get an AZ-EQ5, which would hopefully resolve the questions I had. However, I see that you actually have that mount! So your input in that subject (or the other subject I created about AZ-EQ5 vs CEM40) would be very interesting! 

 

Hopefully this didn't stray too far off topic, still touched on the fact that I will save for a better refractor than the Bresser. 


Edited by Viktorious, 22 February 2020 - 08:36 AM.


#298 quilty

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 02:57 PM

102/460 xs ultra short telescope is a grab-and-go but no do-it-all thing. So, on a fast photographic azimutal mount you can take it with one hand, pass doors, put it on the ground and get the plane into focus within seconds. Up to 50x visually maybe there's not really a point for an ed apo like a 102/714. But as soon as you want to take pics or watch at higher power you'll long for some better like the mentioned ed apo on an eq5 mount. But this then is no longer a grab-and-go thing, is it?

vs. Skywatcher 102/500: I had the bigger 120/600 which is supposed to play on the same level just at a 1.2 times higher scale and gave it away due to too little performance considering it's weight for it already needed an eq3 mount. Optically it was a bit better, vision was fine up to about 60x. So I think the smaller 102/500 will perform on similar level as the bresser. But along to its specifications it's still considerably heavier. It's just the ease to use why I stick to the short bresser, but it can only be a completion to higher performing telescopes.

Well, and Hexafoc focusser is way better than flimsy skywatcher focussers on those refractors even when it just gets 1.25 inch (lightweight) stuff. It takes bigger but who would bother? (already heard the word: the Bresser 102/460 xs is a good focusser which can be upgraded with a good lens.)




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