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Whats your opinion of Explore Scientific triplets?

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#1 joelin

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 12:06 PM

The ES triplets seem to be priced a bit below other competing triplets. Whats your opinion of them? Are they good value or they suffer from some kind of other issue? I would be interested in both imaging and visual. 



#2 Jeff Struve

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 12:38 PM

I have both the 80mm f6 carbon fiber and the 127mm f7.5mm carbon fiber and like them both... they are both very early models, so seem to be slightly better build wise than the latest ones... but you have options for better glass now... 

 

There shipping department for packaging well has a bit to be desired... but mine came in road cases, so no worries... but their customer service and warranty is second to none. 



#3 jay.i

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 12:46 PM

They're overshadowed by the Astro-Tech/Teleskop-Service offerings for better optics and mechanics (like focuser and dew shield). The ES 127mm FCD-1 triplet shows more chromatic aberration than a SW 120mm ProED (now Evostar ED) FPL-53 doublet which baffled me and was quite disappointing. From what I've read about the Chinese FK-61 and FPL-51 triplets out there under various brand names, they show less CA than the SW120ED. I can attest to 2 SW120ED objectives (one in a SW ProED package, one in an Orion EON package) showing very little false color, with the EON showing basically none.

 

There are many other good options out there that don't have a garish dew shield, with much better focusers, for the same amount of money or not much more, that have better reviews than the FCD-1 series from ES. I would only ever consider their FCD-100 line and even then, I would still look elsewhere given that price range. I'm just not interested in ES scopes after all I've read about their scopes and others (and having tried their 127mm FCD-1 in person).


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#4 rustynpp

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 12:54 PM

From what I've gathered they have decent optics, relatively weak build quality, and excellent customer service.



#5 Jon_Doh

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 01:27 PM

I like their new 140 offering.


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#6 droe

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 02:09 PM

I also have the 80mm carbon fiber and 127mm CF FCD-100 models. I am extremely happy with both. I added a Moonlite focuser to the 127mm because I wanted a motorize focus I could control with the computer. This combination is excellent. The 127mm FCD-100 scope is the clearest view I have ever seen in a scope.



#7 jay.i

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 02:45 PM

I like their new 140 offering.

If it was aluminum instead of the (IMO) tacky carbon fiber, and $1500 less than its current price, I would like it too. I would actually consider plopping down the cash for one at that point, knowing I will probably still have to swap out the focuser. In its current configuration though, for $5k, I can't think of a reason to buy it over a used TEC140ED which comes with a nicer tube, nicer focuser, and I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess, better optics.


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#8 santafe retiree

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 03:04 PM

Early this year  bought an ES 102 FCD1 and I immediately exchanged it for the FCD100 - the CA was quite evident in my images.  I am now very happy with the FCD100.

 

Pros:

1) Lifetime warranty

2) Collimatable cell

3) Excellent customer service

4) A- to B+ optics - you get what you pay for and at $1399 I am satisfied with the value.

 

Cons:

1) Fit and finish are not impressive - serviceable but nothing to brag about

2) Focuser is decent but most folks replace it if you are doing imaging so add another $500 to your cost calculations

3) Finder shoe is the old style Meade so plan on either buying an ES finder scope or replacing the shoe with a Vixen/Synta shoe and doing a little dremel work to get the screw holes to align

 

My conundrum right now is I want a 900mm refractor.  My choices for my price range are the ES127 FCD100 at $1999 or the AT 130 at $1799.  The fit and finish on the AT are better, the optics may be a bit better on the AT, and the focusers are a wash.  What it comes down to is the ES lifetime warranty and the fact that ES will always service the scope.  After the first year with the AT you are on your own if you need anything done.  That is a not a knock on Astronomics - they are an importer not a manufacturer, but the future service issue is something that weighs on me.

 

I still have not decided which way I will go but the e-mail this morning from Astronomics about the upcoming ES price increases have lit a fire.


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#9 droe

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 03:57 PM

Early this year  bought an ES 102 FCD1 and I immediately exchanged it for the FCD100 - the CA was quite evident in my images.  I am now very happy with the FCD100.

.

I am surprised that you see CA in the FCD100. I have zero CA in my 127mm FCD100. 



#10 santafe retiree

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 03:59 PM

I am surprised that you see CA in the FCD100. I have zero CA in my 127mm FCD100. 

The CA was in the FCD1 - that was why I exchanged it for the FCD100



#11 droe

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 04:03 PM

oops, my mistake, Misread your statement.

 

How is the 102mm FCD100 view? That look like a very nice portable scope.



#12 santafe retiree

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 04:10 PM

At 714mm the FOV is wider than I would prefer but I bought it for its weight as part of a travel setup.  I pair it with the CEM25P, an ultrabook laptop, and a 40 Amp Hour LiPo battery and it travels very nicely.


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#13 Mr. Mike

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 07:15 PM

Well, my ES102mm triplet arrives tomorrow and I hope to get to at least test it quick over the next few days.  I expect CA to be well controlled and mostly a non-factor but if it is I might send it back.  We shall see.  Ive read reports that the CA is well managed in the triplets - isnt that the whle point of  a triplet?

 

Honestly, it apears that any of these import triplets should be very close to each other in overall performance, sans a few accessory differences.  There will be a few bad ones for sure but thats what returns are for.  

 

We'll see.  



#14 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 08:53 PM

I recently got the ES 152 ED triplet in CF tube.  I had it out for only two sessions due to weather.   It is truly excellent so far.  Great star images, and not a hint of CA on the limb of the quarter moon.   My older Atlas mount is not totally adequate for it, so getting a Losmandy G11.



#15 jnmacastro

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 08:56 PM

Couple of things...  Received an email from Astronomics today, Explore Scientific prices will be increasing on March 1.  

Also...  may want to call up Explore Scientific and check to see if they have any Silver Grade scopes available.  Or, High Point Scientific also had some Silver Grades in stock.


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#16 Jeff Lee

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 09:17 PM

Since I only do visual and EAA I have not noticed CA on my FCD1 ES102. Have to be careful when make a generalization from a specific, a sample of one is not that reliable. Could have simply needed to be Collimated.
Don't worry, many folks like the ES Triplet. Find the thread "Explore Scientific is the Rodney Dangerfield of refractors - different perspective of what you get here.
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#17 Jeff Lee

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 09:19 PM

Read this thread: https://www.cloudyni...ld#entry9155765
Different outlook there than here.

#18 17.5Dob

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 09:34 PM

They're overshadowed by the Astro-Tech/Teleskop-Service offerings for better optics and mechanics (like focuser and dew shield).

 

 

+1

 


Edited by 17.5Dob, 19 February 2019 - 09:35 PM.


#19 kevint1

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 09:53 PM

I bought an ES102 triplet a few years ago. The first sample was way out of collimation. ES had me send it back and they replaced it right away with one that was better collimatted but not spot on. Plus, the focuser on the second one had issues with the fine focus knob having rough spots and binding. They replaced that sample with yet another one. The collimation on this third one was excellent, but again the focuser was a piece of junk. I replaced the focuser with a Moonlight and ended up with a very good scope that was a lot of fun to use. Yes, their customer service is great. But from my experience it seems like the QA testing of their scopes is done by their customers, not by whoever is manufacturing the scopes for them. 



#20 precaud

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 10:13 PM

My ED127 doesn't show any CA at focus. I like the views a lot. It measures good, too. It's a keeper.


Edited by precaud, 19 February 2019 - 10:14 PM.


#21 stevew

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 10:42 PM

The ES triplets seem to be priced a bit below other competing triplets. Whats your opinion of them? Are they good value or they suffer from some kind of other issue? I would be interested in both imaging and visual. 

I own many ES eyepieces and think they are a bargain for the performance level. I can't honestly comment on their telescopes as I have never owned one. 

But from what I have read there seems to be many very happy owners out there. Their customer service also seems to be top notch.

I'd say if you want a triplet and ES is your budget limit, then you will probably be very happy.



#22 Lead_Weight

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 10:47 PM

Had the 102 FCD1 and also immediately changed it to the FCD100 because the CA was in all my stars. The FCD100 has been great and is my primary imaging scope.

#23 kreasonos

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 11:35 PM

What I like most about Explore Scientific scopes is they’re available!
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#24 gnowellsct

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 11:55 PM

 Yes, their customer service is great. But from my experience it seems like the QA testing of their scopes is done by their customers, not by whoever is manufacturing the scopes for them. 

Quite possibly



#25 Mr. Mike

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 05:42 AM

Since I only do visual and EAA I have not noticed CA on my FCD1 ES102. Have to be careful when make a generalization from a specific, a sample of one is not that reliable. Could have simply needed to be Collimated.
Don't worry, many folks like the ES Triplet. Find the thread "Explore Scientific is the Rodney Dangerfield of refractors - different perspective of what you get here.

Great to hear! I’m visual only too and my scope will be here today.  Can’t wait to try it out.  I bought a silver grade refurb directly from ES and the defect was strictly cosmetic.  We verified that over the phone together.  If it exhibits bad CA then I’ll simply send it back for a refund.  I suspect I’ll be OK though, most owners are happy with their scopes.  

 

As usual on the internet, especially forums... you will read a much higher ratio of complaint posts versus happy posts since those that are happy just don’t post such things.  Happens in every industry.  I’m used to it.  A few horror stories out of tens of thousands of owners doesn’t make a product bad.  If they were that bad they’d be out of business.  It’s that simple, IMO.


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