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Update on my SW ED150 order...

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#451 CHASLX200

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 05:12 AM

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

$2300 vs 9K + for a TOA and the SW is gonna win everytime in my book.  I am sure the image would be a tad better in the TOA, kinda like my TMB 105/650 vs my AT 102ED, There was just not a big diff from the two to keep the $2500 TMB vs the $500 AT102ED.  So the TMB left home and i still have the AT102ED after 8 months.


Edited by CHASLX200, 08 August 2018 - 05:13 AM.

 

#452 CHASLX200

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 05:15 AM

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.

By the time i get one i hope all the kinks are worked out.  I just gotta stay away from the ads for a while.


 

#453 CHASLX200

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 05:21 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.

Just like when the C6 Vette came out in late 04 it had growing pains. That is why i bought the last year of the C6 a 2013 with all the kinks worked out. The C7 has big time trans problems so i would never touch one.  I think this new scope will be a hit within the year.  I will for sure own one within 6 months and i am sure SW will adjust and or fix any problems that come up with the first run.


 

#454 JKAstro

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 06:53 AM

Reports from trusted observers (not salespeople) will provide prospective buyers with evidence as to how the glass performs, and then I think people will become less concerned, but still curious, about the glass. 

 

Hopefully prospective buyers will be able to find these unbiased reports within all the noise of arguing about it.  


 

#455 daveCollins

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 07:16 AM

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've used my TOA 150 since 2012 in a variety different situations from my balcony in DC to the mountains in West Virginia. My experience has not been what you describe. The worst situation I've had is having the scope at a significantly different temperature than the ambient air temperature. In this case, after an hour the scope has settled down. 

 

If you said that you had actually observed with a TOA 150 along side a SW 150 and the SW 150 was significantly better than the TOA 150, then the statement blows away would have some basis of experience and I would "buy it" to some extent. The TOA is one of those scopes that attracts a fair amount of criticism and I attribute that to how good the scope is. Generally, that criticism consists in exaggerations concerning weight. Weight that a small girl is easily capable of handling and I see that every day with young mothers carrying their children. Getting back to thermal equilibrium, it simply has  not been an issue with me after 6 years of use.


 

#456 starman876

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 07:18 AM

unbiased reports are the best source for information on a scope that most can associate with.  Seeing conditions vary all over the country.  At times I think it is more important to get a report from and area with similar seeing conditions that one will be viewing from.  If the report is from an area with excellent seeing the report could be glowing with good statements about the scope where in average seeing conditions the review might not be as good. Everything being relative you would hope this all balances out.  For instance I see a report of all the detail the scope showed on a certain object.  Depending on where one lives and the where the jet stream is one might not get to see those details even with the best lens.  I know it would be a let down if I hear all these wonderful reports and when I set this awesome scope up I cannot get the same results. Some might not know if there is something wrong with the scope or their seeing conditions.


 

#457 daveCollins

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 08:00 AM

unbiased reports are the best source for information on a scope that most can associate with.  Seeing conditions vary all over the country.  At times I think it is more important to get a report from and area with similar seeing conditions that one will be viewing from.  If the report is from an area with excellent seeing the report could be glowing with good statements about the scope where in average seeing conditions the review might not be as good. Everything being relative you would hope this all balances out.  For instance I see a report of all the detail the scope showed on a certain object.  Depending on where one lives and the where the jet stream is one might not get to see those details even with the best lens.  I know it would be a let down if I hear all these wonderful reports and when I set this awesome scope up I cannot get the same results. Some might not know if there is something wrong with the scope or their seeing conditions.

I mostly agree with what you are saying. But I think that even in an area whose seeing is generally poor, I suspect that a better scope will perform better than a not so great instrument. When I have poor seeing, there are generally brief periods (second or less) every few minutes with much better seeing. Since I spend most of my time with doubles, it is those brief periods that I wait for.

 

In general, I think a better scope will out perform a lesser scope in almost all situations. If conditions are so bad that stars are rough fuzz balls, I don't tend to spend much time viewing and simply try again another day.


 

#458 ryderc1

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 08:18 AM

unbiased reports are the best source for information on a scope that most can associate with.  Seeing conditions vary all over the country.  At times I think it is more important to get a report from and area with similar seeing conditions that one will be viewing from.  If the report is from an area with excellent seeing the report could be glowing with good statements about the scope where in average seeing conditions the review might not be as good. Everything being relative you would hope this all balances out.  For instance I see a report of all the detail the scope showed on a certain object.  Depending on where one lives and the where the jet stream is one might not get to see those details even with the best lens.  I know it would be a let down if I hear all these wonderful reports and when I set this awesome scope up I cannot get the same results. Some might not know if there is something wrong with the scope or their seeing conditions.

My west of Boston location is smack under the heart of the Jet Stream for most of the year and the Milky Way is not even close to being visible.  On most nights a 1950 3" Tasco refractor I used to own showed as much detail on the planets as my former APQ 130 (sold due to sky conditions almost never allowing the scope to perform anywhere close to its potential).  So I fully agree---the quality of one's seeing conditions must be recognized as a primary determinant of view quality regardless of the scope used.


Edited by ryderc1, 08 August 2018 - 09:10 AM.

 

#459 Jon_Doh

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 08:21 AM

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

Keep in mind these numbers are for 100% aperture tested.  They would be better had they tested 95% as many do.


 

#460 hfjacinto

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 08:42 AM

 I mostly agree with what you are saying. But I think that even in an area whose seeing is generally poor, I suspect that a better scope will perform better than a not so great instrument. When I have poor seeing, there are generally brief periods (second or less) every few minutes with much better seeing. Since I spend most of my time with doubles, it is those brief periods that I wait for.

 

In general, I think a better scope will out perform a lesser scope in almost all situations. If conditions are so bad that stars are rough fuzz balls, I don't tend to spend much time viewing and simply try again another day.

I think this is correct for things like double stars in which you are at the limit of seeing and viewing but on most nights (in NJ) the few times we tested a TAK 130 to my 120MM EON, there was very very very little difference in objects. I know many people like to think that because they paid a lot for a scope it will perform so much better but in many cases the differences are subtle. A group of advanced observers once spent over 3 hours using 2 eyepieces a 30MM ES and a 31MM Nagler and while there were subtle differences for the majority of users the 30MM ES was a better eyepiece once price was factored in (I owned the 31MM Nagler and I agree that for the price the 30MM ES makes the 31MM Nagler seem overpriced), its the same (to some people with scopes), I for one would never spend 10K for a scope, heck I didn't want to spend $6K for an Esprit, so I ended up buying the 152MM APM. Its all subjective, in the many years I've been doing this I never felt the tinge to spend 100%+ more to get the last 5%. Of all the scopes I use, my favorite is the 120MM EON, and I used it for visual for years before going to AP with it. And it works well for AP smile.gif so while yes you maybe correct, I believe for a lot of people they won't see the difference.

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  • NGC 2175 Ha-OIII BiColor Image.jpg

 

#461 daquad

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 10:14 AM

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.

Dave, I understand your point of view and agree with some aspects of it.  It is particularly relevant if we are trying to distinguish different hues of double stars. Often even highly experienced observers cannot agree on their colors. I doubt that it is relevant in most other types of observations that are made to test the optical quality of a telescope.

 

The several thorough and lengthy reports posted here are from experienced observers who know what to expect from a quality telescope.  In fact, it is critical to any review based on observation that the reviewer know exactly what to expect, especially if those expectations are based on the results of using telescopes of proven excellence.

 

Knowing what to expect when I look at the image of a stellar disc at high power is exactly what I want in order to determine the quality of the optic.  If the Airy disc is not perfect, I won't see it as such just because I know what to expect from a properly figured lens.  Indeed, I strive to be objective, because I want to know the limitations of the telescope that is being evaluated.

 

Test reports are useful, because they give the buyer a reasonable assurance of optical quality, but I place far more value on the reports of experienced users of a telescope that I am considering for purchase.

 

Dom Q.


 

#462 hfjacinto

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 10:24 AM

 

 

Test reports are useful, because they give the buyer a reasonable assurance of optical quality, but I place far more value on the reports of experienced users of a telescope that I am considering for purchase.

 

Dom Q.

Pictures taken with the scope are also really useful.


 

#463 stevew

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 12:18 PM

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

Sometimes [especially in the refractor forum] we miss the forest for all the trees.

It's about getting outside under a beautiful night sky and seeing the beauty of the universe around us.  

If you can afford a $6600 TEC good for you, enjoy it. If you can't afford it, I'm glad to see that it's finally possible to get a good 6 inch ED refractor for a lot less. 

I have had some amazing experiences under the night sky with much more mediocre instruments.

 

 

Steve


 

#464 Crow Haven

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 12:46 PM

Although I enjoy my views through my EON120, and once toyed with the idea of a 150ED after using my C6R yard canon (or just replacing its lens with the APM one), I lost the interest in a 6" refractor mostly after the views in my C11 and 180 Mak.  Six inches of aperture is still just 6", color-corrected well or not, and when conditions allow I prefer the views and portability of Sct, Mak or Dobs I have.  That's just me though...and I even have a great time viewing with my AT60ED. grin.gif

 

For those who want a 6" refractor, Skywatcher will sort it all out.


 

#465 YAOG

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 01:32 PM

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

Hi Daniel,

 

Sorry I missed the party that night but how often does one get to wear his own custom made (Joseph Abboud) tuxedo to someone else's wedding? I've added up the number of times I have worn it, had it dry cleaned I'm on track to break even next year! Anyway I'm sure Michael loves that scope, it's a pretty good one. At least it is going to someone I know so I can keep getting a look through it. 

 

Chip


 

#466 Pat Rochford

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 01:57 PM

Sometimes [especially in the refractor forum] we miss the forest for all the trees.

It's about getting outside under a beautiful night sky and seeing the beauty of the universe around us.  

If you can afford a $6600 TEC good for you, enjoy it. If you can't afford it, I'm glad to see that it's finally possible to get a good 6 inch ED refractor for a lot less. 

I have had some amazing experiences under the night sky with much more mediocre instruments.

 

 

Steve

Yes, it's quite beautiful when you take the time to look at it.  Even if you don't know the complete genome of each species.   


Edited by Pat Rochford, 08 August 2018 - 02:02 PM.

 

#467 Jeff B

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 02:25 PM

I'm still going to wait for the SW 150ED bino-scope version. smile.gif


 

#468 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 02:32 PM

Chip,

Actually Mike's is one of the scopes he got from the store. The other sample we are keeping. The hold off is mainly shipping.


Edited by Daniel Mounsey, 08 August 2018 - 02:33 PM.

 

#469 YAOG

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 02:47 PM

Hi Daniel,

 

Cool! So I can borrow it when I have the SUV?  Was this first light for Mike's SW Evo150ED? How was it? Mike?

 

Chip


 

#470 Jon_Doh

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 02:59 PM

Hi Daniel,

 

Sorry I missed the party that night but how often does one get to wear his own custom made (Joseph Abboud) tuxedo to someone else's wedding? I've added up the number of times I have worn it, had it dry cleaned I'm on track to break even next year! Anyway I'm sure Michael loves that scope, it's a pretty good one. At least it is going to someone I know so I can keep getting a look through it. 

 

Chip

I wear my custom made tux whenever I go to the store to buy groceries lol.gif


 

#471 salico

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 03:53 PM

Jeff B: Waiting for the reply from TS. Not sure, whether it'll be an ED150 binoscope or an APM152 binoscope. Need proper focussers for that and huge EMS.


Edited by salico, 08 August 2018 - 03:54 PM.

 

#472 CHASLX200

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 05:43 PM

My west of Boston location is smack under the heart of the Jet Stream for most of the year and the Milky Way is not even close to being visible.  On most nights a 1950 3" Tasco refractor I used to own showed as much detail on the planets as my former APQ 130 (sold due to sky conditions almost never allowing the scope to perform anywhere close to its potential).  So I fully agree---the quality of one's seeing conditions must be recognized as a primary determinant of view quality regardless of the scope used.

You would love my seeing.  Any good APO worth it's salt can do 100x per inch on the moon and doubles in near dead still seeing.


 

#473 daquad

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 06:40 PM

You would love my seeing.  Any good APO worth it's salt can do 100x per inch on the moon and doubles in near dead still seeing.

Go ahead, rub it in!


 

#474 BarrySimon615

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 11:46 PM

Go ahead, rub it in!

Yep, as Charles implied, the coastal south does offer steady skies on most nights.  I just got in from doing a neighborhood star party for kids and their parents with all seeing the planets thru a telescope for the first time.  Witnessing someone's first view of Saturn thru a scope is always something special.  Wow is a word often heard especially when the seeing is good and the power can be pushed.  Tonight it was real good and Saturn held up well with a 3.2 Paradigm in my AstroPhysics Star12 ED (a doublet) yielding 319x at 68x per inch of aperture.  A well collimated SW 150 ED should do very well from a location like mine.

 

Reading thru Jim's report of his 1st night out with the SW 150 ED did not sound too different from what I would have written as an assessment of the performace of my 5" Antares f/9.4 achromat.  It has little visible color for an achromat of it's size and focal ratio.  About equivalent to what I have seen in either of the two Celestron/Vixen SP C102 scopes that I have.  Not chromatically perfect by any means, but pretty good and certainly tolerable.  A Baader semi-apo filter does not seem to help my Antares, I see little benefit in terms of chromatic aberration suppression as the scope does not seem to exhibit much.  Point of all of this being that if someone's primary target is going to be the planets, a longer focal ratio achromat may do a pretty equivalent job at a much lower price, however if deep sky stuff will be the primary targets and chromatic suppression is good, then the additional aperture will be welcome and with a better focuser or a well tuned focuser may even be helpful.  It will be interesting to see if the scope can consistently yield good photographic images, both deep sky and planetary.  The one posted in Post #460 using a 120 Eon (SkyWatcher objective) is pretty nice, hats off to the photographer.

 

Barry Simon


Edited by BarrySimon615, 08 August 2018 - 11:55 PM.

 

#475 CHASLX200

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 05:10 AM

I don't know how some people got this scope and i was locked out of buying one.


 


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