The more I review the capabilities of the scope, the more I’m interested in buying it. I think it’s clear that you can put something together that can rival Stellina but portability, ease of use and convenience rank right up there in importance to me. It has everything built into it. I was thinking what a pain it would be to piece together everything that’s included with it. It’s a refractor with a built in GoTo mount, CMOS camera, Field Derotator, Auto-focuser, Dew Heater, Light Pollution Filter, Plate Solving software and it’s all controlled from a phone via a wireless connection. Doing this yourself would result in a mess of cables and telescope parts.
I fully understand this. Give me the money for a scope like that and no higher-priority spending targets and I'd happily get a scope like that if I knew it worked.
But it is important for people to remember that it is going to be a limited scope.
1. ED-doublet so one should expect some false color. It really may not be particularly bothersome but it'll be there.
2. Under-sampled system so your potential for detail (arc-second resolution) will be a bit more limited than ideal for an 80mm scope. Again, not necessarily a deal-breaker.
3. Since it is an Alt-Az system you really can never realistically hope to take long-exposure astrophotos so CAP (Conventional AP) will never be an option for you. Yeah, I could live with that.
4. 80mm aperture is not very big. This means less light-gathering and the need for more exposure time in order to achieve the desired result. Not necessarily a deal-breaker as other considerations may be higher priority.
5. No identifiable upgrade path that I know of. So you can't later decide that you want a bigger/better OTA and make that happen. If you want to use different software - you are out of luck. Again, not necessarily a deal-breaker as other considerations may be higher priority.
6. The company does not have a long record of stellar performance. So it might be that 6 months from now they are out of business and you have no support. If we get some good serious reviews this may not be a big deal either. One could reasonably expect much/most of the unit to last 20+ years if nicely cared for with my primary concern being batteries which may not last that long. But at a guess one would be able to adapt newer batteries if the charger is not internal to the unit.
7. One could argue that the FOV is too narrow. If one were to get a good 80mm ED-doublet refractor of similar focal length you would normally expect to get a field flattener and then use an APS-C sized sensor to capture nearly the optimal amount of FOV. In this case they are capturing only the part of the imaging circle which is nearly on-axis and that means a much narrower FOV than I prefer. Again, depending on the viewing priorities this may not be a significant problem.
In some sense the Stellina is a horrible buy. You can get a system which will arguably do much better imaging for quite a bit less money. But the portability and turnkey nature brings a lot of value as well. You should be able to just observe rather than fiddling and I think that has a lot of appeal.
Important to understand that the above is not at all intended to discourage people from buying the Stellina. I think it could make a lot of sense for a bunch of people and in general I like the concept and wish I had one. Plenty of people each year pay more money than the cost of the Stellina on things like booze, sporting events, etc. which may never provide the sustained level of joy and relaxation a Stellina might bring them.
Edited by OleCuss, Yesterday, 06:07 AM.