So after selling my Meade 115mm APO - a very nice scope - I felt certain that I was going larger ... like 120-132mm. But in reality I just didn't feel myself getting very excited about the prospects of a bigger heavier APO - a larger scope that would probably see less time under the stars than my recently sold 115mm. I wanted a special scope but even though the "3rd base coach" was waving me around the bases for this purchase, I really wasn't relishing the thought of plunking down $3-5K either for that special scope ... and I wanted new. Weight and cost were weighing heavily on me.
Then it hit me - go smaller and get some quality glass while getting something that I would use a lot. And I started to get really excited about the prospects and variety available for much less ... maybe even doubling up! Truth be told, lately I have been having much more fun with my smaller scopes. The AT60ED for example is an amazing little scope - very well built and with excellent views through the EP. And as others have noted elsewhere, part of the joy in viewing is spending time at the eyepiece and carefully studying a fainter object or cluster, letting your vision adjust, placing the object in different places in the FOV, etc., things that a smaller scope often requires. I find myself now spending more time studying certain patches of the sky.
So for starters in going smaller, I got in line for the AT92 - I'm very excited! Next I got the Evostar 72ED. This little scope really intrigued me with its looks and its purported quality glass and views and with the direction SW is taking the Evostar line. Time will tell how this change up will work out - I spent time running up the aperture chain and now I'm running down - but already I feel like its the right thing for me.
And here it is. It was drop-shipped from SW in Cali, getting to me via UPS (!) ... and it came to me completely unscathed! Wow was I nervous when I heard UPS was doing the delivery. It's beautiful and it very much has a quality feel. The focuser feels very good. I was hoping to get it out tonight, but as of now, its cloudy. So without further ado, here is the scope as unpackaged.