I like the explorescientific stuff and saw that scope. The 2.5" focuser caught my attention. Is it just a marketing gimic or is it a lot better focuser. I was also afraid maybe the first light series was a budget line. But if they all come from China anyways.....
Great question. It seems like a budget scope, especially called "First Light." Actually I think its more no frills scope rather than a beginner budget scope. It does not come with any eyepeices, no fan, not the best finder, and 10:1 slow motion is an option. No frills, just a nice priced basic Dob.
No push to or go to, no electronics, nothing but bare bones. But those bare bones are sturdy. Including the 2.5" focuser. It's more of an actual Dob with the nice bearings. After fighting with balance on my most recent Dob, that's a welcome change. I think all Dobs should be built this way. With some getting used to it and soap the movement is descent. No more thump in the night as the tube slews to the zenith when you remove an eyepeice.
There is more to say about it, but it's a scope I believe an experienced observer might enjoy. A few minor mods, like all Dobs, such as washers on the diagonal stem. Some minor counter weight. Thats about it. Add a fan and a finder, and its ready.
The spider is a bit oversized at 33% (perfect for star testing) but it has a ton of back focus. Probably well suited for binos and imaging on a suitable GEM and I believe the focusrr can carry the load. The optics in two samples I know of are very nicely corrected. I see no astigmatism at all, not from the diagonal either.
The Ikea style rocker box is okay, its not bad. Please don't misconstrue, but I may have a local carpenter use the peices as a template to fabricate a solid wood one later. But that's just because I want to. I don't fancy particle board. Still, it works well as is.
I like it as much as others like theirs. The more I use it, the more I like it. Its grown on me from being cautiously optimistic as a beginner's scope to being a good scope I'm comfortable with and enjoy using.
Edited by Asbytec, 24 January 2019 - 10:39 AM.