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New Lineup of 125mm Doublet APO Refractors

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#1 Astrolite

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 07:39 AM

I have been looking around for a new refractor in the 5" range primarily for visual use. It is amazing just how many are currently available. I can't tell you how many times I've thought I found what I wanted only to find something different. My latest interest is this new lineup of 125mm f/7.8 APOs with FPL53 and Lanthanum glass. It appears to me that all of the following scopes are pretty much the same with the exception of the Altair which has a different focuser.

 

Stellarview Access: http://www.stellarvu...ctor-telescope/

 

TS-Optics PhotoLine (not yet available): https://www.teleskop...-5--Auszug.html

 

Altair Wave Series: https://www.altairas...F-F7.8-APO.html

 

It seems to me that these scopes would have a lot of advantages for visual use. The price being advertised by TS-Optics is actually cheaper than what it would cost to purchase a Skywatcher 120mm here in the USA! The fit and finish of the new scopes appear to be far superior to the Skywatcher. 

 

These all appear to be pretty new and I can't seem to find any user reports or feedback. Anyone here have any experience with any of these?

 

Thanks



#2 junomike

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 07:41 AM

Pg 2 has more info and pics from current owners.



#3 RLawson

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 08:19 AM

I purchased the Stellarvue 125 Access. If the weather holds, I may get first light tonight. It has been very cloudy here. 

 

I am very satisfied with the fit and finish of the scope. The focuser is smooth and seems to be very well built. It has a sliding dew shield that works well. Initially, it was very hard to move, but after adjustment and working with it, it slides very easy.

 

I think for its size, it is fairly light weight. I have mine mounted on an AVX Mount and it seems very steady. I will know more after using it for a while. 

 

I called Stellarvue one morning to order a part and Vic, the owner, answered the phone. He was very helpful and and answered several of my questions. I really like the customer service I have received so far. 

 

Read the thread that Mike mentioned above. It has a lot of information.

 

RDL


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#4 coopman

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 09:41 AM

The SW120ED is on sale for a discounted price right now.
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#5 jay.i

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 10:50 AM

The SW120ED is also 5-8lbs lighter and 4-6" shorter depending on loadout, compared to the SV125-A. I know a guy locally who is having quite severe wobbling problems with his AZ-EQ5 which says it holds up to 30lbs, and he's definitely quite a bit under that. Just a thought!


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#6 Astrolite

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 01:33 PM

Well I am really disappointed with the report that the Skywatcher AZ-EQ5 can't handle this scope. That is exactly the mount I was planning to use. I'm a little perplexed as to how the Celestron AVX can handle it if the Skywatcher can''t as the Skywatcher is rated at a higher load capacity than the AVX. It sure would be nice to be able to try one on my mount before plunking down the cash. I wonder how much of that vibration might be due to the rather lightweight tripod that comes with the AZ-EQ5? I'm using a wooden surveyor's tripod with mine and I know it is more stable.

 

I see the sale price on the SW 120ED, however, if I was going to go that route I think I would go for the SW Equinox model, there are still a few of those available in Europe for about the same as the current sale price. It's a couple of pounds heavier than the US model, but still about 3 pounds lighter than the Stellarview, and I really like the tube assembly and focuser on the Equinox.



#7 jay.i

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 03:09 PM

Check out the Mounts forum, the user twkelley has written quite a bit about it. The tripod is definitely the prime suspect. I'm going over with my gear tomorrow and he and I are going to see if his mount/tripod might have a problem, or if that's just how it is. I'm sure the AZ-EQ5 with a better tripod would be good.


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#8 coopman

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 10:23 AM

The length of the OTA is a factor too, not only its weight. Most of the vibrations will come when trying to focus. Some sort of electric focuser would probably make things much better.
You can make tripods a lot sturdier by adding wooden legs. I've seen several users post about greatly improving their tripods by making legs out of lumber 2 x 4's.

#9 Astrolite

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 07:05 AM

You can make tripods a lot sturdier by adding wooden legs. I've seen several users post about greatly improving their tripods by making legs out of lumber 2 x 4's.

I've already got the wooden legs, the mount seems to be sturdier than with the supplied steel legged tripod. I've also added a tripod spreader between the legs since I took this picture. I think it also helps that the tips on the legs dig firmly into the ground. Not sure whether I have enough vertical clearance, with this setup, to swing the tube to zenith without hitting the legs. May need to add a pier section to the top.

 

P1020935 (3).jpg


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#10 SteveG

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 03:51 PM

Surveyors tripods make a huge difference IMO. It's the design where the legs meet the hub, notice how wide apart the legs are.

 

I run my WO 120 ED on an old Vixen GP, and a wood leg surveyors tripod. It is almost as long and heavy as this Access 125, and my damp times are 1 sec or less.



#11 glend

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 12:24 AM

To the OP, the TS Photoline 125mm APO has the best glass specs, and you can pre-order now.

#12 carlcat

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 01:21 AM

To the OP, the TS Photoline 125mm APO has the best glass specs, and you can pre-order now.

Could you expound on that?



#13 jay.i

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 09:55 AM

 

To the OP, the TS Photoline 125mm APO has the best glass specs, and you can pre-order now.

Could you expound on that?

 

Here you go. Same as the SV125-Access. https://www.teleskop...5--Focuser.html



#14 Element79

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 12:35 PM

What a can of worms!

Even though TS Photoline claims FPL-53 glass in their 130mm refractor there is a whole lot of folks don't believe it!  Most people think that it actually is FPL-51 and the wool is being pulled over your eyes.

 

 

Next is the Stellarvue 125mm doublet.  At that aperture and that focal length, assuming a refractive index of 1/10000 (which what a lot of people will agree with), will show some slight color since the Airy disk is just a bit too big to cover the required color scatter.  And lastly Stellarvue does not guarantee the .95 Strell in these models ratio as they do it their triplets.

 

So where do you go from here?

 

The Synta 120mm doublets with FPL-53 do show some color.  About the same as the Stellarvue 125mm does.  But the price is nice!

 

And the AT 130mm looks attractive at $1800.

 

But It’s your money…


Edited by Element79, 20 November 2017 - 12:37 PM.


#15 carlcat

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 01:11 PM

 

 

To the OP, the TS Photoline 125mm APO has the best glass specs, and you can pre-order now.

Could you expound on that?

 

Here you go. Same as the SV125-Access. https://www.teleskop...5--Focuser.html

 

Thanks for link but glend is saying TS Photoline has the best glass specs but they look the same to me so I'm trying to find out how he came to that conclusion. Did I miss something?



#16 nicknacknock

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 01:17 PM

Whether you choose to believe TS or not is your choice. This goes for believing or not any statements made by any reseller. However, do consider that TS is one of the largest distributors in Europe and sells a very large array of components with their brand name on it, indicating very strong volume of sales.

 

The scopes in question are more or less the same, with different logos and small differences in focuses. The issue should be “which reseller gets my vote of confidence in doing proper QC, having good after sales service and being responsive when guarantee claims come up?”

 

I already have a 5”refractor but if I didn’t, I’d be buying the Altair Astro version as I feel the scope looks much more elegant and “balanced” with their choice of focuser, but that’s just about it.


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#17 nicknacknock

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 01:23 PM

Also of note is a topic discussed on occasion but bears repeating. There are various grades of both glass and mating element. Depending on your price point, as a reseller you set some minimum specification for the glass and then you test to ensure it is met. You choose your grade and pay for it.

 

But we as consumers have no idea which grade of glass comes in our scopes. One manufacturer that does explain this and clearly states the minimum specification accepted is CFF. Again though, a layperson amateur astronomer has no way of verifying in a quantifiable way if that’s what they are getting - like most things in life. 


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#18 bobhen

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 02:34 PM

What a can of worms!

Even though TS Photoline claims FPL-53 glass in their 130mm refractor there is a whole lot of folks don't believe it!  Most people think that it actually is FPL-51 and the wool is being pulled over your eyes.

 

 

Next is the Stellarvue 125mm doublet.  At that aperture and that focal length, assuming a refractive index of 1/10000 (which what a lot of people will agree with), will show some slight color since the Airy disk is just a bit too big to cover the required color scatter.  And lastly Stellarvue does not guarantee the .95 Strell in these models ratio as they do it their triplets.

 

So where do you go from here?

 

The Synta 120mm doublets with FPL-53 do show some color.  About the same as the Stellarvue 125mm does.  But the price is nice!

 

And the AT 130mm looks attractive at $1800.

 

But It’s your money…

APM also sells the TS 130 F7 triplet. Here is what they say in their spec copy…

 

“We decided deliberately for the high-quality version with FPL-53 element. The multi coated lenses are mounted in a temperature compensated cell, the edges of the air spaced elements are blackened.”

 

So there are/might be 2 versions of the 130 F7. It is hard to believe that 2 vendors would mislead – possible but hard to believe. Why jeopardize your reputation/business for a small percentage of profit on one scope. Marcus knows refractors. And TS is huge.

 

Bob



#19 emilslomi

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 02:44 PM

I think the "high qualiy version" refers to the use of the 53 instead of the 51, which at the time was being used in some other models. By now the particular scope is only being offered with the 53. The price points are - give and take - very similar. I therefore doubt that there are different optical qualities around for this scope - baring QC by the seller.

Cheers, Emil

#20 glend

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 02:48 PM

While TS source their scopes from the same source as Stellarvue, hence the many external similiarities, they spec their own objective inclusion, and this may involve more expense for them. They also bench test every refractor prior to dispatch, and can supply an optics report of asked by the buyer. I see no reason to doubt their claims about the 125mm Photoline objective composition. Why would they risk their repution?

And by the way, APM's words on "their" version of the TS130 are verbatim from the TS130 webpage at TS. APM is a TS reseller, they do not have a superior version. All the TS130s are the same.

I have two TS APOs and they are excellent scopes. I will buy from them again, just waiting to see what they have in the pipeline next. The 125mm is nice but i would like to see an imaging report and examples before deciding. I believe they will up-spec the 130mm triplet objective or jump it to a 140mm in due course. The AT152ED Doublet seems mainly aimed at visual users, with poorer Abbe numbers, but they are working to contain the price to attract more volume.
I admit i am a sucker for the best Abbe number i can afford, and if you examine the Abbe chart, FPL-53 is as good as Flourite - and nothing else is even close. Of course the combination glass used in the objective is important as well as whether its a doublet or triplet. That said by little TS80 FPL-53 Doublet is wonderfully sharp imaging scope, so i have no predjuice against a good Doublet.

Edited by glend, 20 November 2017 - 03:06 PM.


#21 bobhen

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 03:22 PM

The TS 130 F7 uses FPL 53 but the SV 130 F7 does not. I believe that is why APM states that they selected the “higher spec version” of that scope.

 

Bob



#22 MortonH

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 08:22 PM

 

 

 

To the OP, the TS Photoline 125mm APO has the best glass specs, and you can pre-order now.

Could you expound on that?

 

Here you go. Same as the SV125-Access. https://www.teleskop...5--Focuser.html

 

Thanks for link but glend is saying TS Photoline has the best glass specs but they look the same to me so I'm trying to find out how he came to that conclusion. Did I miss something?

 

 

The specs are indeed the same.  All quote FPL-53 and Lanthanum. They're essentially the same scope after all.


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#23 MortonH

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 08:38 PM

 

The TS 130 F7 uses FPL 53 but the SV 130 F7 does not. I believe that is why APM states that they selected the “higher spec version” of that scope.

 

Bob

 

 

Of course, just because a scope is "higher spec" (i.e. FPL-53 rather than FPL-51) doesn't automatically mean it's better.  While FPL-53 will give better colour correction than FPL-51, it's the mating element(s), quality of optical figure, polishing, alignment, lens cell design, etc. that determines overall performance.  Sharpness and contrast are not guaranteed by using FPL-53.

 

My understanding is that a triplet can achieve full apo performance at f/7 without FPL-53.

 

 

 


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#24 SeattleScott

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 01:47 AM

Back to the mount, I saw a review of someone putting an ES127 apo on it and saying it was fine in EQ mode but shaky in alt az mode. My impression is the smaller tripod legs (1.75" vs. 2") and the short tripod (which doesn't spread the legs out very far) make this mount a bit less stable than a VX. I suspect the mount HEAD could take 30lb or so. But EQ mode may help.

 

Scott


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#25 orlyandico

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 02:44 AM

correct, you don't need -53 for a fully corrected APO triplet.

 

the TEC140 doesn't use FPL-53 to the best of my knowledge. Some of the older AP triplets likewise did not use FPL-53.

 

Interestingly... TS presents the longitudinal chromatic aberration curves for their 125/7.8

 

Compare it to that of the AP 155/7 here - http://www.company7....s/155sf-f7.html

 

The AP line for violet is about -0.3mm to 0.075mm while that for the TS is -0.1 to 0.15mm

 

Is it just me or is the TS 125/7.8 better corrected for CA than the AP155?  if so then I'm lining up for one..

 

 

Of course, just because a scope is "higher spec" (i.e. FPL-53 rather than FPL-51) doesn't automatically mean it's better.  While FPL-53 will give better colour correction than FPL-51, it's the mating element(s), quality of optical figure, polishing, alignment, lens cell design, etc. that determines overall performance.  Sharpness and contrast are not guaranteed by using FPL-53.

 

My understanding is that a triplet can achieve full apo performance at f/7 without FPL-53.


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