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AT102ED - on sale, has anyone used one?

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#26 Jaimo!

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 11:22 AM

I am more of a Cat/Mak kind of guy... 

 

I have the AR102 and I quite enjoy it as a deep sky, wide field, grab n go scope; but I am considering the new AT102ED as a replacement/upgrade.  Will this be a worthwhile upgrade for me or a small and slight incremental improvement over the AR102?

 

Thanks, any experience/advise would be appreciated.

 

Jaimo!


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#27 stevew

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 02:32 PM

 

I have the AR102 and I quite enjoy it as a deep sky, wide field, grab n go scope; but I am considering the new AT102ED as a replacement/upgrade.  Will this be a worthwhile upgrade for me or a small and slight incremental improvement over the AR102?

 

Thanks, any experience/advise would be appreciated.

 

Jaimo!

Absolutely worth the upgrade over a standard achromat. The FK61 glass is a very good ED glass, and it will be a big improvement.

I have an "Orion Premium 110 ED" that uses FK61 and I believe is made by the same Chinese manufacturer. The color correction is not as perfect as my 130mm triplet, but the color correction is  very very good, and it has an excellent optical figure showing nice smooth diffraction patterns on both sides of focus.


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#28 CHASLX200

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 03:30 PM

I am more of a Cat/Mak kind of guy... 

 

I have the AR102 and I quite enjoy it as a deep sky, wide field, grab n go scope; but I am considering the new AT102ED as a replacement/upgrade.  Will this be a worthwhile upgrade for me or a small and slight incremental improvement over the AR102?

 

Thanks, any experience/advise would be appreciated.

 

Jaimo!

You bet, jump now.


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#29 joelin

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 03:49 PM

For only visual, I’m not sure there’s a huge advantage for a semi APO....especially if you’re not increasing aperture


That’s just my opinion. For $500 you can get a 10” dob and that would be a nice jump.

Edited by joelin, 02 June 2018 - 03:50 PM.


#30 Scott Beith

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 04:10 PM

For only visual, I’m not sure there’s a huge advantage for a semi APO....especially if you’re not increasing aperture


That’s just my opinion. For $500 you can get a 10” dob and that would be a nice jump.

I have never run a 4" achromat vs. a 4" apo but in the 80mm range I would disagree about the lack of a major advantage.  I ran my Stellarvue Nighthawk AT1010N (80mm f/6 achromat) side by side with my SV80ED (80mm f/7 semi-apo) and the performance jump was not minor.  I fully agree with your assessment of the performance bump going to a 10" though.  ;)


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#31 Jaimo!

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 04:38 PM

Well, as stated in my signature, I already have a 12" Dob.   Soooooooooo... I am planning on upgrading quality over quantity, this scope will be my winter rich field grab and go, the same role that the AR102 fills.  I am beginning to lean in the direction of the AstroTech.  undecided.gif

 

Jaimo!


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#32 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 04:53 PM

For only visual, I’m not sure there’s a huge advantage for a semi APO....especially if you’re not increasing aperture


That’s just my opinion. For $500 you can get a 10” dob and that would be a nice jump.

 

Having owned an AR-102 and an AT-102ED, I am sure there's a serious improvement. At low magnifications, the difference is small, at high magnifications, the AT-102ED is a serious step up.  I would not call the AT-102ED a semi-apo. Roland Christen has called doublets with FPL-51 class glasses, "apo doublets."

 

Jon


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#33 Jaimo!

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 06:33 PM

Jon, 

Will I notice a significant difference between the AT102ED and the WO 80mm Fluorite?  I know you have had both.

 

Jaimo! 



#34 Phil Cowell

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 06:52 PM

I have never run a 4" achromat vs. a 4" apo but in the 80mm range I would disagree about the lack of a major advantage.  I ran my Stellarvue Nighthawk AT1010N (80mm f/6 achromat) side by side with my SV80ED (80mm f/7 semi-apo) and the performance jump was not minor.  I fully agree with your assessment of the performance bump going to a 10" though.  wink.gif

There’s also a huge lack of portability bump with a 10” Dob. The refractor is most car friendly.


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#35 MortonH

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 07:54 AM

Jon, 

Will I notice a significant difference between the AT102ED and the WO 80mm Fluorite?  I know you have had both.

 

Jaimo! 

The difference is certainly noticeable but whether it's "significant" might be subjective. Given the other scopes in your signature the 102mm slots in quite nicely. However, comparing only to the 80mm you might find you need to go up to 110mm or 120mm before the difference is considered significant.

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#36 CHASLX200

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 08:35 AM

Kinda like going from a 60mm to a 80mm.  But a 110mm you will see a bigger diff from a 80mm. 



#37 RAKing

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 09:22 AM

Jon, 

Will I notice a significant difference between the AT102ED and the WO 80mm Fluorite?  I know you have had both.

 

Jaimo! 

"Significant" is a very subjective term, but I certainly noticed a big difference going from my 80mm to the 102.  It is half a magnitude difference and that is pretty good for a refractor owner..

 

You get the another half-magnitude going from a 102 to a 128 (4 to 5 inches) and I also consider that to be significant.  The next half-magnitude would require you to buy a 160mm and that gets us into serious money for refractors. cool.gif 

 

Cheers,

 

Ron


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#38 Moondust

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 12:07 PM

So in the opinion of those of you are who are familar with both, which of these 2 scopes is really a better deal, the AT 102 ED for $499 as supplied or the Skywatcher ED Pro 100 f/ 9 with fpl-53 glass, 2 eyepieces, 2" dielectric diagonal, 8x50 finder , aluminum case,  rings etc for $719? Personally I much prefer the classy looks and better build of the AT 102 with its rack and pinion focuser compared to the ugly not as cosmetically pleasing  Skywatcher with crayford focuser. Out under the stars however good looks becomes much less important than performance and when you add up all the extras included with the Skywatcher things start to swing in that direction.  Still after all of that, the classy looking AT 102 seems to be calling my name. Lastly, would either of these suffice on a Vixen Porta mount 2 with wooden tripod considering weight and tube length  thinking1.gif ?


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#39 SteveG

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 02:06 PM

So in the opinion of those of you are who are familar with both, which of these 2 scopes is really a better deal, the AT 102 ED for $499 as supplied or the Skywatcher ED Pro 100 f/ 9 with fpl-53 glass, 2 eyepieces, 2" dielectric diagonal, 8x50 finder , aluminum case,  rings etc for $719? Personally I much prefer the classy looks and better build of the AT 102 with its rack and pinion focuser compared to the ugly not as cosmetically pleasing  Skywatcher with crayford focuser. Out under the stars however good looks becomes much less important than performance and when you add up all the extras included with the Skywatcher things start to swing in that direction.  Still after all of that, the classy looking AT 102 seems to be calling my name. Lastly, would either of these suffice on a Vixen Porta mount 2 with wooden tripod considering weight and tube length  thinking1.gif ?

 

Optically, I would give the win to the f9 FPL-53 doublet, but it is too long for a Porta. If the Porta is all you have for this rig, then I suggest the shorter tubed scope.


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#40 starman876

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 02:08 PM

The AT-102ED is not an FPL-53 doublet, it's an FK-61 doublet, FK-61 is comparable to FPL-51 on the Abbe-Normal chart.  

 

 

was not talking about the 102ED. Was referring to FPL-53



#41 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 02:18 PM

Jon, 

Will I notice a significant difference between the AT102ED and the WO 80mm Fluorite?  I know you have had both.

 

Jaimo! 

Jaimo:

 

I had the AT-102ED for about 2 years.  During those two years , the 80 mm F/7 FD (in truth FPL-53), got very little use.  Optically , the 102ED was not as perfect as the 80 mm but the 102 just showed more,  was more satisfying.  After 2 years , i had had so much fun with the 102ED,  I decided to treat myself to a top notch 4 inch . 

 

The AT-102ED found a new home with a friend .. As a wedding gift. .

 

AT-102ED versus SkyWatcher ED100:  For me , i wanted the shorter focal length of the F/7 scope.  Handier,  wider field of view , better for terrestrial.  At high mags , the Skywatcher is better but the AT-102 is more versatile and a better combination of virtues.  I took these two photos with the AT-102ED.  They wouldn't have happened with the Skywatcher .

 

6478992-Osprey 2 Bright CN.jpg
3866937-shrike at Palo Verde.jpg
 
Jon

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#42 Jaimo!

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 04:31 PM

Thanks Jon, 

We have shared similar scopes in this area and I appreciate your opinion...  Eventually it is my destiny to own a top notch 4" APO, but right now the AT102ED looks like a reasonable step for me.

 

Thanks,

Jaimo!


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#43 CHASLX200

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 04:58 PM

Thanks Jon, 

We have shared similar scopes in this area and I appreciate your opinion...  Eventually it is my destiny to own a top notch 4" APO, but right now the AT102ED looks like a reasonable step for me.

 

Thanks,

Jaimo!

If i am happy with it then you will be also.


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#44 nicoledoula

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 05:59 PM

Exactly like Jaimo, I'm contemplating the AT 102 ED as an upgrade of my AR 102.  Sure the SW PRO is a little better at high mag, and longer, and I already have better equipment than comes with the SW so.......a wide field AND some good high mag action sound like the plan.  I'm going to pay full price later, broke now. Oh well. It fits the bill. 100mm optics see more than 80mm can, it's science.    It's why people are always pushing Dobs on frac/sct/mak threads. Best bang for the buck......for beginners, but we're not noobs looking to buy a 1st scope are we?  Lets call it the 8/10" dob reflex.  


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#45 Jaimo!

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 06:34 PM

Jon, 

I feel a little embarrassed, I should have read your article before asking the question.  Nice article, well written and real world user friendly; I believe in the next few days I will be picking up a new AT102ED, it is beginning to feel like a "no brainer".

 

Jaimo!


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#46 Jaimo!

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 08:26 PM

If i am happy with it then you will be also.

Very true.

 

Jaimo!



#47 Jaimo!

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 06:27 PM

I'm in the market for a refractor to go on my Orion Sirius. Sometimes visual, but primarily imaging.

 

I came across this: https://www.astronom...ota_p20548.aspx on sale for $100 off. Seems like a pretty good price!

 

Can anyone speak to the quality of it and how it works with a field flattener and a full frame sensor?

To answer the OP's original question, 

I have been reading most all reviews and posts I could find on this scope.  Probably not the best scope for astrophotography, while possible, there may be better options available in this price range but will have less aperture.  I would think a smaller triplet or the AT65EDQ would probably be better for you.  This thread has a lot of information that you should review.  That being said, I am ordering one as it looks like a VERY capable visual instrument, the CFO gave me the thumbs up.  waytogo.gif  

 

Jaimo!


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#48 Moondust

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 08:15 PM

To answer the OP's original question, 

I have been reading most all reviews and posts I could find on this scope.  Probably not the best scope for astrophotography, while possible, there may be better options available in this price range but will have less aperture.  I would think a smaller triplet or the AT65EDQ would probably be better for you.  This thread has a lot of information that you should review.  That being said, I am ordering one as it looks like a VERY capable visual instrument, the CFO gave me the thumbs up.  waytogo.gif  

 

Jaimo!

Sounds like you put a lot of thought and research into your decision. I decided I am going to order one also but won't be able to until the first week of July. Hopefully the sale price can hold on for that long. I believe they are just thining inventory a bit. If too may people buy it in the next 4 weeks the price will go back to $599 so I don't want to build this scope up too much until after I get mine. To all you late comers and newbees looking at this scope, have you ever considered the best bang for the buck, a 8 to 10 inch dob?   evillaugh.gif 


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#49 Moondust

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 09:03 AM

 

 

AT-102ED versus SkyWatcher ED100:  For me , i wanted the shorter focal length of the F/7 scope.  Handier,  wider field of view , better for terrestrial.  At high mags , the Skywatcher is better but the AT-102 is more versatile and a better combination of virtues.  I took these two photos with the AT-102ED.  They wouldn't have happened with the Skywatcher .

 

 
 
 
Jon

 

 

Jon, are you saying that birds have good taste too and wouldn't have sat there and posed for you like that had you been using the ugly as sin Skywatcher?rolleyes.gif 


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#50 joelin

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 10:17 AM

To answer the OP's original question, 

I have been reading most all reviews and posts I could find on this scope.  Probably not the best scope for astrophotography, while possible, there may be better options available in this price range but will have less aperture.  I would think a smaller triplet or the AT65EDQ would probably be better for you.  This thread has a lot of information that you should review.  That being said, I am ordering one as it looks like a VERY capable visual instrument, the CFO gave me the thumbs up.  waytogo.gif  

 

Jaimo!

so it seems like the AT102ED has some CA making it not the best for astrophotography 

 

wouldnt that CA also make stars bloat and make it less desirable for visual....especially for like splitting double stars, etc




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