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Who is APM and How About Their Refractors?

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#1 Auburn80

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 06:28 PM

I've been considering a 5" class refractor and on a whim, looked at the APM products from TS and on APM's web site.  I've seen them mentioned on CN but know nothing of them.

 

Who makes most of APM's products?

 

What do you think/know about the APM 140 f7 ED doublet?

http://www.apm-teles...-fpl53-ota.html

 

How risky is it to order from Europe? I get it that support would be slim-none; would customs be a big issue?

 

I really appreciate your thoughts.

 

Clark

 

 

 

 



#2 Bomber Bob

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 06:40 PM

I bought my first APM scope -- a 152 F8 ED APO -- on Black Friday and saved a bunch of money!  A good thing, because shipping to Alabama + Customs fees added about $500 to the price.  But the packing was perfect, the scope arrived without a scratch, and it is a fantastic 6" refractor that's shorter & lighter than the 5" F10 D&G that I bought back in 1987.  And, unlike the D&G, the views are free of false color.


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#3 rogeriomagellan

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 07:14 PM

Clark,

 

At first glance, the APM SD 140 f/7 seems to be an impressive apochromatic refractor. I wish I could afford ordering one or at least the Astro-Tech AT130 EDT f/7. One could probably say that the color correction would be superior if the APM SD 140mm refractor were a triplet. But even as a doublet it is hard to believe that it isn't a great overall performer, especially for visual use. 

 

As for APM, I've never read any severe criticism of their products on CN forum website. 

 

Now, I hope you don't mind if I ask why you wouldn't go straight to 6" since the APM is a 140mm aperture size refractor. Do you think that it would be too expensive? Or too heavy?


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#4 rogeriomagellan

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 07:23 PM

Clark,

 

I've just visited the TS website and if you really decide to stick to 5" or 5.1" aperture size, I was just wondering if the TS Photoline 130mm f/7 would not suit your needs. It costs less, has the same focuser and the same glass type. 

 

https://www.teleskop...PA-focuser.html

 

On the other hand, if you want to spend less for a 5.1" apo refractor, maybe the best choice would be the TS Photoline 125mm f/7.8:

 

https://www.teleskop...5--Focuser.html

 

It is a pity that the AT130 is out of stock at the moment.


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#5 Bomber Bob

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 07:36 PM

Right now, APM is selling the 152 ED at about the same price that I paid.  IME, that's an excellent deal for what you get -- including the metal case with form-fitted foam.

 

Mine rides on a vintage Meade StarFinder EQ (1" diameter steel shafts) with a 5' tall pedestal.  I currently use a cheap GSO 50mm RACI finder, and the OTA weighs about 20 pounds -- does not stress the mount at all.  A single 9V battery powers the drive, which tracks accurately at up to 400x.

 

Mine has the 2.5" dual-speed rack & pinion focuser -- not the big 3.7" Hexafocus.  I have no trouble nailing the focus -- every bit as well as my 1995 Vixen 80 F8 fluorite refractor.

 

Sunday morning I had my first imaging session.  Low level haze has greatly limited resolution of Jupiter's features, but the color correction is very close to that of my 6" reflectors:

 

APM152 - Jupiter 20180304V08BR11.jpg


Edited by Bomber Bob, 06 March 2018 - 07:36 PM.

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#6 NMCN

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 07:44 PM

Customs will add about 8% on top of the cost.  I ordered my scope from TS and had zero issues.  In fact, I just ordered some more parts from them for a planned upgrade and received everything within a week of ordering (and no customs fee this time!).  I've heard, but cannot confirm that if your purchase is under $1500, Customs doesn't bother collecting a fee.



#7 Neptune

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 07:50 PM

If you can swing it, buy a used TEC140.  The extra 1/2" dia helps.


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#8 daquad

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 08:14 PM

 

 

Mine has the 2.5" dual-speed rack & pinion focuser -- not the big 3.7" Hexafocus.  I have no trouble nailing the focus -- every bit as well as my 1995 Vixen 80 F8 fluorite refractor.

 

 

attachicon.gif APM152 - Jupiter 20180304V08BR11.jpg

Bob, the 3.7" is not a Hexafocus.  The 3.7" tube is a cylinder.

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#9 Bomber Bob

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 08:22 PM

Bob, the 3.7" is not a Hexafocus.  The 3.7" tube is a cylinder.

 

Oh, okay -- but doesn't it have a fancy name??

 

Looks like APM charges an extra $300 or so for it.  I wonder if it's worth that much??


Edited by Bomber Bob, 06 March 2018 - 08:26 PM.

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#10 daquad

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 08:25 PM

Markus Ludes is a great guy to deal with.  My impression is that he wants to make sure he produces the best product for the money and he wants satisfied customers. 

 

I purchased my 152 ED from him at NEAF and am very satisfied with the quality and performance of the scope.  The fit and finish and mechanics is as near to perfect as you could expect.  He packed up the scope, but forgot to look at the lens serial number.  He told me to E-mail him the S/N so that he could send me the test report, which he did a few days after I  E-mailed him.

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#11 Exnihilo

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 08:28 PM

I’m not sure, but Lunt here in the states may handle servicing for APM.   They’re in Tucson


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#12 Auburn80

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 08:29 PM

I have been reviewing the 125-130 offerings and would probably order from a US distributor if I go that route.

 

That APM 152 looks tempting - not much more expensive and comes with a case. I'm afraid it would not ride well on my mount though and the cost/complexity/weight of the next step up would be a "bridge too far".

 

Edit: It looks like the APM 140 is less on APM's web site than Teleskop-express. Does that make sense?


Edited by Auburn80, 06 March 2018 - 08:44 PM.


#13 Bomber Bob

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 08:31 PM

APM is one of the few APO vendors to supply the test reports to their customers.  That impressed me.

 

And so far every view of every object has been outstanding.

 

If there have been any negative reports from 152 ED owners, I haven't seen them.

 

I have been reviewing the 125-130 offerings and would probably order from a US distributor if I go that route.

 

Yeah, Marcus needs to partner with a USA vendor.  That would boost sales!


Edited by Bomber Bob, 06 March 2018 - 08:33 PM.

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#14 daquad

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 08:42 PM

Bob, the 3.7" is not a Hexafocus.  The 3.7" tube is a cylinder.

 

Oh, okay -- but doesn't it have a fancy name??

 

Looks like APM charges an extra $300 or so for it.  I wonder if it's worth that much??

Yeah, 3.7" focuser.

 

I think it is worth an extra $300.  It depends on how much ergonomics you require.  The thing is, you can rotate the entire focuser or just the accessory holder.  So, for example, you can rotate the camera without rotating the body of the focuser and your finder/guide scope will stay in the same position.  I really like the convenience of the dual rotation elements.

 

These focusers are patterned after the Starlite brand and are second to none IMO, especially since they are R&P.  Very smooth and capable of carrying hefty loads while focusing, not just when locked.

 

As you know the optics are excellent, which attests to the certainty that APM would not house an inferior optic in such a well made mechanical tube assembly.


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#15 daquad

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 08:56 PM

I’m not sure, but Lunt here in the states may handle servicing for APM.   They’re in Tucson

Not sure they would "service" the APM 152.  Their web site offers the scope at $3990 with the diagonal.  Looks like the old stuff.  I'd rather deal directly with Markus.



#16 OleCuss

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 09:07 PM

I've never looked through an APM but I've had a person who really knows these things (and doesn't get along with Marcus Ludes) say that APM may actually be selling the scopes with the best optics.  I'd really like to own one but I don't think I'll get to any time soon.

 

So far as partnering with someone in the USA?  That's already done.  OSI/Farpoint sells the APM refractors:  https://farpointastr...ory/telescopes/


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#17 Bomber Bob

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 09:12 PM

Youch!  They want $3992 for an APM 152 ED...  About $1000 more than I paid.



#18 orlyandico

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 10:49 PM

according to this page - http://luntengineering.com/about/

 

Markus is the co-owner of Lunt.


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#19 mogur

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 11:06 PM

I have been reviewing the 125-130 offerings and would probably order from a US distributor if I go that route.

 

That APM 152 looks tempting - not much more expensive and comes with a case. I'm afraid it would not ride well on my mount though and the cost/complexity/weight of the next step up would be a "bridge too far".

 

Edit: It looks like the APM 140 is less on APM's web site than Teleskop-express. Does that make sense?

TS charges less for shipping though.


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#20 Auburn80

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 11:31 PM


I have been reviewing the 125-130 offerings and would probably order from a US distributor if I go that route.

That APM 152 looks tempting - not much more expensive and comes with a case. I'm afraid it would not ride well on my mount though and the cost/complexity/weight of the next step up would be a "bridge too far".

Edit: It looks like the APM 140 is less on APM's web site than Teleskop-express. Does that make sense?

TS charges less for shipping though.

Ah. Didn't think to compare that. Is there an advantage to order from one or the other?

#21 Jeff B

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 11:39 PM

I have been reviewing the 125-130 offerings and would probably order from a US distributor if I go that route.

 

That APM 152 looks tempting - not much more expensive and comes with a case. I'm afraid it would not ride well on my mount though and the cost/complexity/weight of the next step up would be a "bridge too far".

 

Edit: It looks like the APM 140 is less on APM's web site than Teleskop-express. Does that make sense?

Just envision it it as a "stretch goal". wink.gif


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#22 Auburn80

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 10:26 AM

I've never looked through an APM but I've had a person who really knows these things (and doesn't get along with Marcus Ludes) say that APM may actually be selling the scopes with the best optics. I'd really like to own one but I don't think I'll get to any time soon.

So far as partnering with someone in the USA? That's already done. OSI/Farpoint sells the APM refractors: https://farpointastr...ory/telescopes/


Could you elaborate on the part about APM selling the scopes with the best optics? Compared to who?
TIA
Clark

#23 Jon_Doh

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 10:33 AM

If I were buying a TS Photoline 130 refractor (and excellent refractor) I would buy it from TS, but if I were interested in an APM refractor I would buy directly from them.  Markus is very active in the Vendor section of the forum and he's always been very diligent about making sure his products are the best bang for your buck.  Although I don't own either a Photoline or APM telescope I wouldn't hesitate to buy one if I need one in the 130-140mm range.


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#24 orlyandico

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 10:42 AM

Both TS and APM will give you the option to ship your scope to Wolfgang Rohr for testing, before shipping it on to you.



#25 BillP

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 12:37 PM

I've been considering a 5" class refractor and on a whim, looked at the APM products from TS and on APM's web site.  I've seen them mentioned on CN but know nothing of them.

 

Who makes most of APM's products?

 

What do you think/know about the APM 140 f7 ED doublet?

 

Markus Ludes runs APM.  He acts sort of like a general contractor, so he will source optics, ota, mechanicals from various sources for telescope builds.  In addition to the more affordable end of Apos like the ED doublets, he also has builds using some world class premium optics like LZOS.  The APM 140 ED Apo is a very good visual Apo, doubt you will see obvious CA on anything.  For visual I wouldn't recommend a triplet as once past 130mm all the glass in a triplet makes them really nose heavy and most of the extra correction is only worth it if you image.  Compared to your 115 it is a good jump in light gathering so open clusters, globulars, and other DSO will look nicely richer.  The 130-140 range for refractors is, IMO, the Goldilocks aperture range for refractors as a very good balance between performance and ergonomics.  Markus is well established and has been very good with resolving any issues that may arise with customers, so do not feel you should have any reason for concerns.


Edited by BillP, 07 March 2018 - 12:40 PM.

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