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Introducing the new Altair Wave Series 125 EDF F7.8 APO

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#1 HARRISON SCOPES

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 08:42 AM

There has been an upsurge in demand for high quality visual doublets with ED glass in the sweet spot 5" aperture class ideally at around f8 - dare I say something to fill the void left by the legendary Takahashi FS128?

Well Altair Astro have been working away to provide us with just that, at the end of last week they kindly shipped serial nr001 to us here for some testing, as you can see from the images below it is a classic - in white with black cells but with plenty of modern touches for practicality. Let me introduce the Altair 125 EDF, boasting a premium FPL-53 doublet at 125mm aperture and an f7.8 focal ratio, absolutely the right prescription for visual observers wanting aperture, portability, fast cool down and build quality.

The fully baffled aluminium tube has a quality finish with retractable sliding dewshield making it just 33" in transport mode - the fully rotatable premium dual speed rack and pinion focuser is a precision dream to use and has the positive lock system to hold your diagonal securely. Quality hinged tube rings are robust and practical with easy grip knobs. The lens cell is fully collimatable, in my opinion essential on any high quality refractor.

I know you will all be wanting a first light report! I will be posting first light and optical testing in subsequent posts to follow shortly, for now enjoy the pics and feel free to ask any questions. Pricing and availability will be published as soon as we know, thanks for looking.

 

125.jpg

125 (2).jpg

Edited by HARRISON SCOPES, 19 June 2017 - 11:17 AM.

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#2 Jon_Doh

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 09:04 AM

Great looking scope.  I'm glad to see it has a robust focuser, the bane of the Skywatcher doublets.  Do you know what it's going to sell for?



#3 ImNewHere

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 09:08 AM

Something like that sounds like it will fill an astrophotography hole for me. Any idea how it would do with a DSLR attached?



#4 HARRISON SCOPES

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 09:10 AM

Pricing and availability will be published as soon as we know, DSLR work should be fine, a good quality well figured ED doublet can be a great imaging scope no doubt.



#5 Astrojensen

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 09:37 AM

Now THAT looks interesting! 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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#6 Jeff Struve

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 10:01 AM

You still wouldn't recommend this over a triplet for AP would you?



#7 NiteGuy

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 10:21 AM

Be sure to test to see if the focus lock-down screw causes any (even the slightest) shift in focus at high magnifications. Thanks.



#8 HARRISON SCOPES

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 10:26 AM

Hi,
     No a triplet would be more suited to imaging wider corrected fields but a good ED doublet can still do a fine job of imaging all kinds of targets including making a fine Solar imaging scope (correctly filtered). The real niche for this kind of optic is the purist visual observer wanting the benefits of a slower near f8 system with well corrected mid aperture ED glass for simply enjoying the sharp high contrast views.


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#9 Richard O'Neill

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 10:35 AM

I would be interested in any available information about lens element's surface coatings, their durability and overall transmission characteristics.


Edited by Richard O'Neill, 19 June 2017 - 10:36 AM.


#10 Mark9473

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 04:50 PM

What's the weight of that OTA as shown?



#11 junomike

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 06:12 PM

What's the weight of that OTA as shown?

Probably 16.6 lbs (with rings//rail) as spec'd by StellarVue seeing as it is the same scope.

 

Mike


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#12 SteveG

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 02:27 PM

These are going to be awesome if the reports are good!



#13 Heywood

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 05:23 PM

Is that a Starlight Instruments Feather Touch focuser?



#14 HARRISON SCOPES

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 04:22 AM

The Altair 125 EDF will be a little heavier with the focuser being a 3.7", I was able to conduct a brief test with this refractor side by side with my own FS128 on Vega and Jupiter - Vega was actually better colour corrected in the 125 with both scopes showing a clean airy disk with the first diffraction ring in steady seeing and both cooled well. Throwing the star image in and out of focus revealed very similar results in both, nice clean diffraction rings very similar on each side of focus with only the tiniest trace of colour defocused. Jupiter was a tie with good contrast and detail showing in both scopes given that Jupiter is now poorly placed in the UK this was pleasing. First impressions are very good, I will do more testing as conditions allow.

125FOCUS.jpg


Edited by HARRISON SCOPES, 21 June 2017 - 04:37 AM.

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#15 HARRISON SCOPES

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 02:37 AM

Below is a star test image provided by Altair, I had chance to use the 125 a little more last night with the same good results, seeing slightly better allowed me to see how "tight" the star images are, a very concentrated image with no detectable scatter. I will do some Lunar observation and view Saturn but it is sadly very badly placed this time around. Our website now lists this model with full details and specifications.


Star Test.jpg


Edited by HARRISON SCOPES, 22 June 2017 - 02:38 AM.

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#16 Bennevis

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 02:42 AM

Just found this post thanks for bringing it to our attention! I had the Takahashi FS128 (now regrettably sold) which was very sharp, but has a smidgeon of bleed-off in the blue end, so if this gives a better Vega, then I suspect it will also outperform the Skywatcher 120ED which I currently have because that has a bit more blue. (Long story, but I got rid of the FS128 to get a bigger 6" scope after I had problems with an oilspaced triplet which couldn't be resolved, but then due to a back injury and desire for better colour correction I sold the bigger scope and bought the 120ED). Anyway while I like the 120ED, if I can get something within my physical limits, with slightly better optics, focuser and so-on, I will. I don't mind paying more either. Would you say this is better than the 120ED? Will it come with the Altair QC report in the price? I cannot find it on their website nor yours.
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#17 Bennevis

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 02:46 AM

Oops sorry I just posted without seeing your previous post. Link here for others but no price? When do you expect a price and stock?

https://www.harrison...f.html#SID=1706

#18 HARRISON SCOPES

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 03:04 AM

Pricing and availability will follow as soon as we know, a full test report is provided with each sample as standard. In regard to the 120ED it will certainly offer a bit more being 5mm more aperture and f7.8 vs f7.5 and has a newly designed optic using the best available ED glass and mating element.


Edited by HARRISON SCOPES, 22 June 2017 - 03:07 AM.

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#19 Astrojensen

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 04:02 PM

 

was able to conduct a brief test with this refractor side by side with my own FS128 on Vega and Jupiter - Vega was actually better colour corrected in the 125 with both scopes showing a clean airy disk with the first diffraction ring in steady seeing and both cooled well. Throwing the star image in and out of focus revealed very similar results in both, nice clean diffraction rings very similar on each side of focus with only the tiniest trace of colour defocused. Jupiter was a tie with good contrast and detail showing in both scopes

Okay, now I'm getting REALLY interested!!!

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark


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#20 Max Power

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 08:53 PM

Stellarvue has'em for $1995.

#21 Bennevis

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 04:46 AM

Had a look thanks, that's a good price - in fact it's unbelievably good - less than the 120ED in the UK!

I do think I prefer the big 3.7" focuser on the Altair version. The white focuser looks smaller and lighter but I prefer some weight at the back to balance better and it looks like a good piece of turning. There's some close up pictures of the focuser on their webiste and it appears to be quite well featured but it looks rather heavy. It seems to have features designed for rotation on the illustrations. I tend to just rotate the diagonal myself, but I daresay it could be used for astrophotography, which I'd like to try "casually" with my Nikon. I appreciate this telescope is designed for visual use because it has a long focal length and I don't expect great results.

But frustratingly, I don't know the Altair price and there's no indication of availability dates.

Their website does confirm it comes with optical certification, so reading between the lines, I imagine these optics need to be dialled in. Having once bought a lathe without a runout certificate (and suffering for it), I would be happy to pay a reasonable amount calibration work to be performed.

Will this be on display at the Warwickshire astronomy show in October? Mr Harrison will you be attending that?

I'd like to see this to get a feel for it's "heft" so to speak, compared to my 120. I know it's heavier but my back should have final say in the matter. Last straw and so-on. Anyway I hope to hear more about this - I'm a potential owner for certain.
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#22 nicknacknock

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 04:56 AM

Bennevis,

 

I assume that you are from the UK. Keep in mind that UK price will include optics tax @ 4.3% for imports into the EU and also VAT @ 20%. Our brethren from the USA do not have these taxes.

 

 

Also the scope should be a superb lunar and solar imaging platform for full lunar and solar images with a DSLR, due to the combination of aperture and focal length. Your Nikon either natively or with a 1.5x barlow will do just fine. I use a D5500 myself and I can assure you that you will find such activity enjoyable.

 

You could also use a webcam and have fun on the moon, sun and planets...



#23 HARRISON SCOPES

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 05:01 AM

Hi,
Yes we think the extra layer of reassurance from certification is helpful, especially with a new product that has yet to build its own reputation. The focuser was carefully selected for its design, functionality and flexibility with both visual users and imagers, this telescope is likely to be used for high power planetary observation - precision focusing is a must and avoids the all to common costly upgrade focuser many instruments require.

A nice bonus to the heavier engineered focuser is tube balance, the centre of gravity is very well centred on the 125 in this configuration, remember total weight is still only 7.9kg with rings and rail.

We will not be attending the show but it is highly likely a dealer will have one to show there, I hope to get pricing very soon, the first units are expected to be ready in August, many thanks for your interest.


Edited by HARRISON SCOPES, 23 June 2017 - 07:04 AM.

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#24 Astrojensen

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 10:00 AM

A technical question: How much back focus does it have, from the rear end of the 2" adapter? 

 

Edit: it says 170mm on your website, but is that from the rear threads on the 3" focuser or from the rear of the 2" adapter?

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


Edited by Astrojensen, 23 June 2017 - 10:03 AM.


#25 HARRISON SCOPES

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 10:14 AM

Hi,
      It was measured from the rear of the attached 2" positive lock clamp with no 2" to 1.25" adapter installed, hope that helps.


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