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Update on my SW ED150 order...

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#426 glend

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 05:51 PM

I believe we all are living a reality that only exists in our heads. In a sense, we experience only the illusions of reality as produced by our nervous systems. It simply isn't possible to experience an objective reality. Instead, our central nervous systems create models and fit incoming stimuli into these models.

 

To me what is important is to bond with my scopes. Bonding depends on many factors. What have I seen with it, did I enjoy my time at the eyepiece. If I have an illusion that it is somehow a special scope, more special that others, then it makes me happy. I don't particularly care if it is an illusion. I accept the situation that most things in my life are illusions that I've built. But if I am happy, living an illusion is okay. I can still go to work and make a decent living, and I certainly love my life, illusions and all.

 

I've been surprised when reading my detailed logs of observations many times. I'll read how wonderful an image I saw put up with my LZOS 175. I'll then check to see what the descriptions were with my GTX at other times. Oh, I see, its the same wonder full view as logged with the 175. How can that be? Well, let me check the Tak 106. No way, same description again. In each case, I was having fun and the particular scope wasn't critical.

 

Another slice of this is that yes, my LZOS have glowing optical reports. It makes no difference if I understand the reports or not, or whether they are accurate. Part of my bonding with the scopes has to do with their reports. It is important to me even if they are wrong and even if I don't understand them. By the way, I love my TOA 150 for a variety of reasons. I've bonded with it, I like the scope, I like the images. The TOA has no report, but it has other things that me love it.

 

I am an adaptable creature. I adapted to my TV 85 and loved it. Had many great experiences with it. I don't care if it shows colors (it does). I've had more moving experiences with it than my AP 180. Why? I don't know, I guess it is just the circumstances and how I felt, where I was, the excitement of discovery. I can get used to most anything. I believe I would be happy with most any scope. I can always build a story in my head that causes me to love the instrument and enjoy my time with it. Some will claim that it is only the view that you see in the eyepiece that matters. For me this isn't true. Instead it is everything. The history of the scope, what I paid for it, the experiences with it, on and on ...   and yes, its report if it has one. 

Dave, I ran a thread on the IIS forum on the role of "imagination in visual astronomy", in which part of the discussion touches on what i call "wishful seeing".  In brief, what visual astronomers see is in part determined by photos they have seen of the object they are looking at; because you know It's there, you think you can see it. 

If your interested, the thread is here:

 

http://www.iceinspac...ad.php?t=168257


Edited by glend, 07 August 2018 - 05:58 PM.

 

#427 CHASLX200

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 05:54 PM

Most of the reports I've seen of the APM  ED's aren't all that great.

 

Here's the report for my APM 152 (SN 207):

 

attachicon.gif APM ED 152 APO T001 - Test Report.jpg

I don't know what any of that means, but if you say it is good i buy it. I let my eyes do the talking not some test report i know jack about.


 

#428 CHASLX200

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 05:56 PM

Ditto for the SW150:

 

- Glass types?  I don't care.

- Chinese Maker / Lens Company?   I don't care.

- Lack of colorful & number-packed test report?   I care, but not enough to not buy one at the right price.

 

I care about The Views.  And now that I have another 6" F8 ED, I'd care about how the views compare.

Let me use one. 


 

#429 daveCollins

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 06:10 PM

Dave, I ran a thread on the IIS forum on the role of "imagination in visual astronomy", in which part of the discussion touches on what i call "wishful seeing".  In brief, what visual astronomers see is in part determined by photos they have seen of the object they are looking at; because you know It's there, you think you can see it. 

If your interested, the thread is here:

 

http://www.iceinspac...ad.php?t=168257

glend,

 

I am sure what you are describing is another example of what I was talking about. But I was thinking of the following example:

 

  • The A and the B are exactly the same color squares.
    • If you don't believe me, snip them into paint and compare.
  • So I've told you that your are not seeing the reality of the situation.
    • Your nervous system is modeling the scene. Even though you now know that the squares are the same color, it is still impossible for you to see objective reality. 

 

This is just a simple example of what happens to you with everything in your world. You simply do not experience an objective reality.

 

 

CheckerboardIllusion.PNG

 

Here are the squares as snipped out from the above image:

 

CheckerboardIllusion_A_B.PNG

 

Edit: This posting is on topic in the sense that it has been discussed that we don't understand reports with respect to what they mean and that it is important to actually view through a scope and then report back what you see. My point is that what we see is entirely subjective and what I see and my evaluations are important to me, but probably can't predict another viewers response.

 

Edit: I love to read other's reports and they are important and interesting. I read them from the perspective of this posting.


Edited by daveCollins, 07 August 2018 - 06:27 PM.

 

#430 John Huntley

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 07:00 PM

John:

 

Your review was excellent ("cracking") and as such was worth a lot! I did not read all the posts in the SGL thread, just your review. Interesting that you are not intending to buy one.

Thanks Frank smile.gif

 

I had decided that I would most likely not buy one before I recieved the scopes to test. I already have a very fine TMB/LZOS 130 F/9.2 which I will not be parting with and I can't think of a justification that my other half would find plausible to acquire what would seem to her to be another long and expensive telescope. undecided.gif

 

If I get to try another ED150 and it's really impressive then I might be motivated to get more creative with my "business case" though !


 

#431 mogur

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 07:24 PM

glend,

 

I am sure what you are describing is another example of what I was talking about. But I was thinking of the following example:

 

  • The A and the B are exactly the same color squares.
    • If you don't believe me, snip them into paint and compare.
  • So I've told you that your are not seeing the reality of the situation.
    • Your nervous system is modeling the scene. Even though you now know that the squares are the same color, it is still impossible for you to see objective reality. 

 

This is just a simple example of what happens to you with everything in your world. You simply do not experience an objective reality.

 

 

CheckerboardIllusion.PNG

 

Here are the squares as snipped out from the above image:

 

CheckerboardIllusion_A_B.PNG

 

Edit: This posting is on topic in the sense that it has been discussed that we don't understand reports with respect to what they mean and that it is important to actually view through a scope and then report back what you see. My point is that what we see is entirely subjective and what I see and my evaluations are important to me, but probably can't predict another viewers response.

 

Edit: I love to read other's reports and they are important and interesting. I read them from the perspective of this posting.

So this is a positive vote for the usefulness of test reports. While your eyes may not be able to discern the reality of some things you see a hard, numbers-only, analysis done by machine will. flowerred.gif 


 

#432 starman876

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 07:53 PM

Most of the reports I've seen of the APM  ED's aren't all that great.

 

Here's the report for my APM 152 (SN 207):

 

attachicon.gif APM ED 152 APO T001 - Test Report.jpg

JW. that report could have some better numbers in it.  However, if the vendor is being honest with this report I have to admire his honesty.   I wish more vendors were this transparent about their products.waytogo.gif


 

#433 Heywood

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 07:54 PM

Thanks Frank smile.gif

 

I had decided that I would most likely not buy one before I recieved the scopes to test. I already have a very fine TMB/LZOS 130 F/9.2 which I will not be parting with and I can't think of a justification that my other half would find plausible to acquire what would seem to her to be another long and expensive telescope. undecided.gif

 

If I get to try another ED150 and it's really impressive then I might be motivated to get more creative with my "business case" though !

I'm a bit confused here.  You are trying out a second Evostar 150ED, right?  Is it not impressive enough to sway you?

 

I'd like to know how the Evostar 150ED stacks up against the really high-end 150mm apo's (think TOA-150) for visual.  Obviously, for imaging there would be a difference.  But is there much difference for visual work, beyond a little purple around Vega?  Is the difference in Strehl obvious through the eyepiece?  How about for lunar observing?


Edited by Heywood, 07 August 2018 - 07:56 PM.

 

#434 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 08:47 PM

So this is a positive vote for the usefulness of test reports. While your eyes may not be able to discern the reality of some things you see a hard, numbers-only, analysis done by machine will. flowerred.gif

It's also worth bearing in mind that while the mind creates a model of reality, this does not mean that we can draw the conclusion that everything is subjective.

 

There are very dramatic illusions involving shading, color, motion, and object detection, but they all betray the mechanisms that enable organisms to build useful models of reality. We are the evolved products of forebears who solved problems perceptually and were able to survive and reproduce. Or in other words, physical reality typically correlates rather strongly with perceived reality because if it didn't, you wouldn't be here.


 

#435 Bomber Bob

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 09:00 PM

"This is just a simple example of what happens to you with everything in your world."

 

Uh... Okay.  Reminds me of...   https://m.youtube.co...?v=JUOGxePBs50 

 

On Topic:  I just post images made with the actual instrument, which reminds me of its reality when some metal part of it smacks my noggin, or pinches my finger, or pokes my eye...

 

Johann:  I'm gonna believe my lyin' eyes over a computer graphic, anyway.  The report was eyewash for me.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 07 August 2018 - 09:13 PM.

 

#436 Gavster

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 09:45 PM

I'm a bit confused here.  You are trying out a second Evostar 150ED, right?  Is it not impressive enough to sway you?

 

I'd like to know how the Evostar 150ED stacks up against the really high-end 150mm apo's (think TOA-150) for visual.  Obviously, for imaging there would be a difference.  But is there much difference for visual work, beyond a little purple around Vega?  Is the difference in Strehl obvious through the eyepiece?  How about for lunar observing?

Hi Heywood,

John was given an opportunity to test out the 150ed free of charge by uk dealer firstlightoptics as he is very well respected by the UK astro community. He was not intending to buy one but rather give an independent view of this scope. The first scope was damaged in transit so the uk dealer sent through a second scope for testing. Unfortunately this one also had issues.

thread details are here:

https://stargazerslo...is-here/?page=5


 

#437 jrbarnett

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 09:56 PM

Hi Jeff, etal,

 

In regards to my diagnosis of on-axis coma in that linked report...

 

My understanding is that such a star test result is indicative of optical misalignment as noted by Suiter in Star Testing Astronomical Telescopes (2nd ed. p.24. sect. 2.2.2 Misalignment). I claim no star-testing expertise here (I'm just trying to follow along in this discussion) and, while I am aware of such cool-down issues as astigmatism, turned edges and under-/over-correction and tube current gremlins appearing during this period, I am unaware of transient, um, pre-thermally-equilibrated-induced coma in refractors...(perhaps I'm misunderstanding your use of the term coma?) any help here from you or the crowd would be appreciated.

 

With apologies to our OP for entertaining your sidebar observations here, but there's clearly lots more here to learn than I initially suspected and I'm just trying to keep my head clear as to what to be on-the-lookout-for in my "Newtonian-guy doing some refractor-shopping" adventure. (Case in point...weather-permitting this year, I am hoping to scour the observing fields at Stellafane and beg views through whatever refractors I can find to help my eye learn more about the observational chromatic and optical bugaboos of these critters. I consider my eyes fairly-average determiners of quality in the Dob/Newt world but the 102/1100 Doublet I picked up off of the CN Classifieds last years has proven to be fine performer, despite its flaws, and a fun "backyarder". FWIW, I got that same "fun" feeling in my brief encounter with the SW150ED at NEAF this year and I'm just trying to determine for myself if this scope or its current price-competitor, the APM 152ED, or another long-focal-length Achromat Doublet refractor in the 6-inch size class should be my next move.)

 

Anyhoo, to round things back here..."thermally-induced on-axis, refractor coma?", something "to keep an eye out for"?!

 

Thanks! smile.gif

Jimmy G

No, Jimmy, you are quite correct.  When steeply curved ED doublets become decentered the images to become comatic.  I agree with your initial spin on the linked report - his objective is decentered.  Ho probably needs the TS instructions I shared earlier.

 

If you can mount a 6-incher do it.  It's a great size for a refractor (the largest practical refractor aperture).  If you have mounting concerns, then go for any of the excellent mid-market 5-inchers.  A 5" or larger refractor is a "lifetime" scope and is capable of serving as an "only" scope.  Anything smaller means you will want to "buddy up" with something bigger.

 

Regards,

 

Jim


 

#438 jrbarnett

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 10:05 PM

I'm a bit confused here.  You are trying out a second Evostar 150ED, right?  Is it not impressive enough to sway you?

 

I'd like to know how the Evostar 150ED stacks up against the really high-end 150mm apo's (think TOA-150) for visual.  Obviously, for imaging there would be a difference.  But is there much difference for visual work, beyond a little purple around Vega?  Is the difference in Strehl obvious through the eyepiece?  How about for lunar observing?

In one regard the SW ED150 blows away the TOA-150 for visual - it's totally equilibriated within 30-45 minutes.  I've used TOA-150s at star parties that *never* reached equilibrium as temperatures dropped through the night.  Huge glass mass (two 6" ED elements plus a third element) and huge air gaps (necessary to achieve the phenomenal color correction for such a big refractor, are the culprits.  That and you could get 6 or 7 of the SWs for the price of one TOA-150, and the TOA-150 weights twice as much as this scope, so also requires a bigger mount.

 

Personally I would like to see Tak do a respin of the FS-152, perhaps following a formulation akin to the new FC scopes.  Heck, even f/8.8 would be okay for visual.

 

Best,

 

Jim


 

#439 Heywood

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 10:16 PM

Hi Heywood,

John was given an opportunity to test out the 150ed free of charge by uk dealer firstlightoptics as he is very well respected by the UK astro community. He was not intending to buy one but rather give an independent view of this scope. The first scope was damaged in transit so the uk dealer sent through a second scope for testing. Unfortunately this one also had issues.

thread details are here:

https://stargazerslo...is-here/?page=5

 

I was aware of all the relevant facts except the last one, i.e., that the second Evostar that John examined also had problems.  Thank you, Gavster, for clearing that up.

 

Heywood


Edited by Heywood, 07 August 2018 - 10:16 PM.

 

#440 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 10:23 PM

You guys can debate all you like but right now this is where I am.

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_1914.JPG

 

#441 Heywood

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 10:25 PM

In one regard the SW ED150 blows away the TOA-150 for visual - it's totally equilibriated within 30-45 minutes.  I've used TOA-150s at star parties that *never* reached equilibrium as temperatures dropped through the night.  Huge glass mass (two 6" ED elements plus a third element) and huge air gaps (necessary to achieve the phenomenal color correction for such a big refractor, are the culprits.  That and you could get 6 or 7 of the SWs for the price of one TOA-150, and the TOA-150 weights twice as much as this scope, so also requires a bigger mount.

 

Personally I would like to see Tak do a respin of the FS-152, perhaps following a formulation akin to the new FC scopes.  Heck, even f/8.8 would be okay for visual.

 

Best,

 

Jim

 

I, too, would love to see a new, big Takahashi fluorite doublet, but I'd be shocked to see it happen.  My guess is that Takahashi has concluded that there isn't much of a market for expensive, large-aperture, long focal length doublets.  I remember a decade ago when Roland Christen said, in so many words, that the market for refactors was going toward small-aperture, high-quality apo's that could be hauled easily to dark sites.


Edited by Heywood, 07 August 2018 - 10:26 PM.

 

#442 Heywood

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 10:27 PM

You guys can debate all you like but right now this is where I am.

 

So, is it the cat's meow?  (Translation:  Is it outstanding?)


Edited by Heywood, 07 August 2018 - 10:28 PM.

 

#443 jay.i

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 10:30 PM

I, too, would love to see a new, big Takahashi fluorite doublet, but I'd be shocked to see it happen.  My guess is that Takahashi has concluded that there isn't much of a market for expensive, large-aperture, long focal length doublets.  I remember a decade ago when Roland Christen said, in so many words, that the market for refactors was going toward small-aperture, high-quality apo's that could be hauled easily to dark sites.

I'm still hopeful that they'll revive the FC-125! TSA-120 be darned!


 

#444 glend

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 10:32 PM

Hi Heywood,

John was given an opportunity to test out the 150ed free of charge by uk dealer firstlightoptics as he is very well respected by the UK astro community. He was not intending to buy one but rather give an independent view of this scope. The first scope was damaged in transit so the uk dealer sent through a second scope for testing. Unfortunately this one also had issues.

thread details are here:

https://stargazerslo...is-here/?page=5

That second ED150 he tested had some serious manufacturing defects. It is worth reading through the report and seeing photos that show the factory misaligned objective. This scope is very much a quality lottery at this time.


 

#445 hfjacinto

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 10:35 PM

Daniel,

Not saying I’m not envious, but for anyone contemplating getting the SW, they have to consider that of the 5 scopes that have been reviewed 3 had issues. Odds don’t look to good. I’m pretty certain that SkyWatcher will fix them, but once again a reason to not be the early adopter.
 

#446 Edrow10

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 11:20 PM

You guys can debate all you like but right now this is where I am.

Nice Daniel. Looks like a good time waiting to happen.


 

#447 skyward_eyes

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 12:00 AM

I've let them know that I would like to keep the scope and case and could use their assistance sourcing a replacement focuser from Skywatcher if at all possible.  I am not going to hold my breath as I suspect the focuser assemblies for the ED150s (adapter plus Synta Crayford) are being used to make new scopes rather than reserved in inventory for customer service purposes.

I would be happy to send you a new focuser once my spacers arrive in the next few days. 


 

#448 dr.who

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 01:16 AM

Sigh. Really? I have been watching this thread and am amazed. Thank you to Jim for providing the report. It was beneficial to see. However I am amazed, though I shouldn't be, by the things that have gone on in this thread. For example:

1. How does it compare to a LZOS/TOA-150/TEC/AP?
2. What is the glass? Other vendor's tell us the glass! I won't buy it unless I know!
3. What is the test report on the scope? I won't buy it unless I have one! Other vendors do it!

And to be clear when I type "you" I do not mean anyone in particular. I mean in general since there are several here who seem to be engaged in the behavior.

1. It doesn't. It is a $2,200 dollar ED Doublet. The TOA is a $12,970 double ED element triplet. If you want ultra a best in class false color free super corrected 6" scope buy a TOA 150. But expect to pay the new price of $12,970 or the used price of $8,000 plus shipping. Or get a used AP 155 EDFS for about $10,000 plus shipping. Or a TEC 160 fluorite for $12,500 new. Or a used TEC 160 for about the price of a used TOA 150. That way you will actually get a TOA 150/AP 155/TEC 160 level scope. Because if that is what you are looking for, this scope is not for you.

2. Why do you care? If you are told it is FPL-53 will that make you happy? If you are told it is FPL-55 will that make you happy? If you are told it is FPL-51 will that be OK? What if it is FCD1? FCD100? How about Fluorite? What if it is unobtainium?

It. Really. Doesn't. Matter. The glass is the glass. The scope will either do well or it won't. Regardless of the glass. You can have great glass but rubbish figuring and it will provide a rubbish image. It can have the bottom of two Coke bottles for glass but be figured by the Svartalfheim of Norse mythology and it will provide images that bring tears to your eyes. And before someone jumps in with the if it isn't FPL-53/Fluorite/Unobtainium then it is rubbish, that is just flat out wrong. Sure glass type is a factor but not the only one. There is more that goes into a scope than the glass.

The point is if you are viewing with it, it provides an image that is acceptable to you, and it is what your budget will support then use it. If you are that hung up on the glass, go buy a scope from a vendor who tells you exactly what the glass is in it because this scope is not for you.

3. Again so what? As noted above the test report doesn't tell you everything. And most people don't understand it. For those that do and demand a test report, great! Go buy a scope from a vendor you trust to give you a accurate report for the three main wavelengths of light. This scope is not for you.


This scope does very well for its price point. There was one at the impromptu star party I was at last Saturday. It is owned by Mike Ikona. He loves it. It performed very well. It is the one Daniel tested. The point of this scope is to address what so many have been asking for and complaining about for several years (4+ in my memory). That being a 6" affordable good quality ED doublet. It does that with flying colors.

Also what seems to not be understood here is this is the first production run of a brand new scope model. There will be growing pains. Skywatcher USA has said they will not ship it until those problems are fixed. That is good customer service. They are not going to release a product that they do not feel is ready for sale in the US that they can stand behind. If you want it right now go to the EU and buy from Skywatcher EU. Otherwise Skywatcher USA will get the factory to do it right per their standards then they will bring the scope into the US market.

Also please stop throwing out either openly or via innuendo and oblique statements how the vendor and anyone affiliated with the vendor is an biased self serving evil lying sneak. If you truly believe that, then this scope is not for you. If you trust Skywatcher USA to do the right thing and you trust the people reporting on the scope when it is a good report (verses a bad report which seems to get zero question on the validity for some reason) then this scope may be right for you.
 

#449 Erik Bakker

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 04:05 AM

It shows all the signs of a mass produced product, where some workers could benefit form a little more love for the end product and end user.

 

I was shocked by what I saw in the link posted above in post #436. Scope was evaluated in the United Kingdom by John Huntley, with a clear description of his findings with the two samples he received of the SW Evostar ED150 and who has many years of experience in our great hobby.

 

As soon as SW gets things right, this new scope could be a good performer at a bargain price. I applaud the US distributor for their efforts to make things better and only ship scopes that are "right" and fix what's "wrong".

 

Unfortunately, there is just no such thing as a free lunch.


 

#450 John Huntley

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 04:17 AM

Despite the issues that I have experienced with the 2 examples that I have tried, I really want the ED150 to be a successful scope and I would really like to try another one smile.gif

 

It's good to see that there are some good examples out there and in the hands of skilled observers who can feedback on what the scopes have the potential to do smile.gif


Edited by John Huntley, 08 August 2018 - 04:18 AM.

 


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