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Visual 90: TS Photoline Triplet or WO Megrez?

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#1 WilburTWildcat

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 01:09 PM

Background

I have a Stellarvue SVR80ED. It's my second refractor ever—a real step-up from my lowly ST80. It is my grab-n-go and airline travel scope on a Stellarvue M2C with carbon fibre tripod. It plays backup to a fantastic 16" dob.

 

But... (who saw this coming?)

 

I think I'd be happier with a 90mm. I'm not one to own many scopes, two scopes—an 80mm for travel and a 102mm for home DSO work—isn't my jam. (Although a mentor is making me seriously reconsider with their AT102ED). It's been said many times: a 90mm is a 102mm scope with better portability. If I'm only to have one refractor, I've convinced myself that 90 is the goldilocks.

 

Here's where I'm at:

- Visual observer only, DSO 90%, solar system 10%

- I use extremely heavy 2" eyepieces: ES 100˚ 9mm, 14mm, 20mm and ES 82˚ 30mm

- I have a robust mount that can handle any scope in my price range, which is about $1k

- Scope must fit in my airline carry-on Nanuk 935

Nanuk 935 with SVR80ED

 

Dillema

There aren't that many mid-level 90ED options right now, much to the great sadness of many on this forum. I've eyed some used Stellarvue 90 triplets in the classifieds, but they're a bit out-of-reach financially.

 

As a result, I started thinking about a WO Megrez 90, but with a feathertouch to accommodate my heavy eyepieces. Those can sometimes be had for a fair price. Finally, the TS-Optics Photoline 90mm f/6.6 FPL53 Triplet Apo is travel size, but it's a triplet, which I don't need for visual. However, the triplet could be an advantage in balancing my heavy eyepieces.

 

I like buying used, but that's not as much of an option for the TS 90 and even the Megrez can be difficult to pry from folks (dead hands). TS has recently been having customer service difficulties with shipping damage, but I'm less worried with the TS 90 due to it shipping in its own foam case—I may even order directly from Sharpstar.

 

Too Long, Didn't Read (Summary)

Which 90ED ED visual travel telescope around $1k?


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#2 jay.i

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 02:21 PM

The TS90 is the only in-production "cheap" 90mm "APO" on the market right now. The AT92 is another ~$700, the 90FL is another ~$700, the CFF92 is another $2000 or so, and the Stowaway is another $2500. I've read good things about the SV90TBV and they do come up occasionally. I would prefer this over a TMB92 due to the longer focal length leading to less field curvature and the slower focal ratio leading to a larger depth of field, even though the TMB92 is quite a bit more compact.

 

It would be sweet to get a 90mm f/7 FPL-53 doublet that fits in a carry-on case around $1400, but sadly nothing of the sort exists. As you say, a triplet is not really necessary, but there aren't any doublets other than the 90FL which leaves something to be desired with regard to field curvature and longitudinal CA. It's too fast for a doublet of that size IMO, even with fluorite.

 

Go for the TS90 and let us know how it is!


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#3 Kon Dealer

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 03:26 PM

I have the TS Optics 90mm.

 It is very good. 

Wolfgang Rohr says it is “nearly perfect”

http://r2.astro-fore...rc-index-0-1020



#4 Zbig

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 03:32 PM

I own TS 90 Photoline for two years. I had before a few APOs. The longest time I used 120mm/900mm SW but it was too heavy and had slippery focuser.

I wanted to try some astrophoto too. But some people advise that you need a quadruplet for good astrophoto. But together with a special dedicated Massimo Ricardi 0.75 flattener/reducer, the APO transformed easily into 450mm astrograph. What is peculiar with this APO it is

1. The fact that you can reduce its tube by taking out one, two or even three segments of the tube. So far I did not need it - so it works very fine visually with 2" diagonal as well as for astrophoto with two segments of the tube on. But it may be needed for 1.25" diagonal or binoviewer. So the APO is truly versatile

2. The focuser is very strong and easily holds even very heavy eyepieces. This is something very difficult to know without trying it out.

Conclusion. For the price and weight, it is a sweet point.

The rest you can google out including very good tests. I may confirm that the APO used visually is very good and shines for planets at 160x magnification with Ethos 3.7mm.


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#5 Loren Gibson

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 03:40 PM

I own a Megrez 90FD. For what it's worth, I used to use my Tele Vue 20 mm Nagler Type 2, purportedly something like 36 or 37 ounces in weight. I could adjust the focuser to work with this eyepiece, and with that heavy eyepiece, the drawtube would maintain its position even when pointed at the zenith. That said, I stopped using that eyepiece after selling my 10" reflector, as I just didn't like wrestling with balance issues on mounts with friction clutches. I now use a 20 mm Type 5 in its place.

 

You might still want the Feathertouch, of course.

 

If dimensions help with your evaluation of fit within your case, the overall length of mine with the dewshield retracted is 17.5 inches, without the diagonal. With the diagonal, about 20.5 inches. The diameter of the dewshield is about 4-7/8 inches. The focus knobs span 6 inches, knob-to-knob.

 

I leave a 6" dovetail attached to the foot full-time. For my uses this ring-free arrangement is ideal, and by trimming the foam in the factory supplied case, it fits in the case.

 

I hope this helps.

Loren

 

 

 

 


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#6 jay.i

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 03:44 PM

I have the TS Optics 90mm.

 It is very good. 

Wolfgang Rohr says it is “nearly perfect”

http://r2.astro-fore...rc-index-0-1020

The one he tested was, sure. I've heard of a few duds though, as with many Chinese optics.



#7 Mr. Mike

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 04:01 PM

The one he tested was, sure. I've heard of a few duds though, as with many Chinese optics.

Yeah a few duds does certainy happen with mass production but thats how they keep the cost reasonable.  Mostly though, the scopes they are making now are pretty good.  Its great for the hobby, period!  

 

I also agree that there is a gap in the 90mm segment.  I was initially looking for a 90mm but other than the 92mm TMB or that AT 92, both of which are quite pricey there really werent many others.  I ended up with a 102mm triplet which has been great thus far.  Im sure the OP will end up with something nice.  Used is a good way to go to. 


Edited by Mr. Mike, 15 March 2019 - 04:01 PM.


#8 Zbig

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 04:09 PM

Detailed, professional test of the optics of TS Photoline 90mm is shown in this link

 

http://r2.astro-fore...rc-index-0-1020

 

It is in the German language, but selectively using google translator works fine in this case



#9 Kon Dealer

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 05:11 PM

The one he tested was, sure. I've heard of a few duds though, as with many Chinese optics.

Actually he tested two of this model. Both were excellent.

Mine is also excellent.

Another poster on this thread agrees.

 

i don’t doubt you can get the occasional “lemon”, but even more expensive scopes can still fall into this category.

https://www.cloudyni...ahashi-fc100dl/

This poster had a bad time with his CFF92 and after service.

And don’t get me started about the Tak Sky90.



#10 junomike

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 06:00 PM

I have a SVR90T (same as the TS Photoline). I also have some experience with the Megrez 90mm.

IMO both are excellent and weigh about the same as well as utilize an FPL-53 element.

Difference is the WO is a Doublet and the TS a Triplet in which the Doublet should cool faster.

That being said the acclimation differential between the two is about equal to the difference in CA (if any)

seen at the eyepiece.

If it were me I'd go with whichever was available and/or cheapest.


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#11 CHASLX200

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 06:02 PM

I picked up this W/O 90mm for under $700 used. Very sharp.

 

dpzr6d.jpg


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#12 WilburTWildcat

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 06:33 PM

I appreciate all of your feedback!

 

Difference is the WO is a Doublet and the TS a Triplet in which the Doublet should cool faster.

That being said the acclimation differential between the two is about equal to the difference in CA (if any)

seen at the eyepiece.

If it were me I'd go with whichever was available and/or cheapest.

The Megrez is definitely cheaper, if I can find one! The TS90 is available but more expensive.

 

I appreciate the help with the Megrez focuser...still a little gun-shy about.. There's also that darn strange foot on some of the models and not on others. Any insight into that?

Cool down for a triplet vs doublet almost doesn't matter to me...because it's faster than my 16" dob. :-) With a 2-year-old baby in the house, even "grab-and-go" is somewhat premeditated, so I'm sure I can set it out long enough in advance.



#13 t.r.

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 06:49 PM

Vixen has a 90 ED Doublet f 5.5 for $1099...Long Pern make.

Edited by t.r., 15 March 2019 - 06:51 PM.


#14 dscarpa

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 06:57 PM

 I've got a WO ZS110 triplet and the focuser unlike every thing else is not it's strong point. Works with my ES 100 82 and ES82 30  but fine focus only works on the down stroke even with lighter eyepieces and it needs to be adjusted fairly often. The same is true about the WO focuser on my C9.25. On the plus side it cools in 20 min. and focuser is so smooth fine focus isn't needed. That said I'd go for the TS. David


Edited by dscarpa, 15 March 2019 - 07:11 PM.


#15 Loren Gibson

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 07:40 PM

I appreciate the help with the Megrez focuser...still a little gun-shy about.. There's also that darn strange foot on some of the models and not on others. Any insight into that?

 

Like you, I'm strictly visual. For that purpose, I very much like the focuser and am not considering an upgrade to a premium aftermarket focuser. I can't speak to situations where loads are placed on the focuser greater than what I have done. (How heavy is your heaviest eyepiece?) If you are already contemplating replacing the factory focuser, you do have the option of trying the stock one yourself first and seeing if it satisfies you.

 

The foot is certainly unconventional, but it works perfectly well and I can't complain. As far as I know, all of the Megrez 90s came with the foot. (At least, I didn't see where they offered this model without the foot.) CHASLX200's rig pictured above (I had to look over to my shelf to make sure he didn't steal mine!) is similar to how mine is configured, and I leave the dovetail attached to the foot in order to avoid having attach and detach with each use.

 

Loren



#16 dscarpa

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 09:34 PM

My  ZS doesn't have the same focuser as the WO 90,  it's a  tapered  2.7 " .  It's probably going to have to be re-placed because recently I've had to start  tightening it down all the way a lot or it gets a fair bit of side to side slop. I here good things about the Moonlites which are cheaper than FTs. The scope's about 15 years old and it's used a lot so I'm not sweating it.  David


Edited by dscarpa, 15 March 2019 - 09:45 PM.

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#17 junomike

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 09:40 PM

Vixen has a 90 ED Doublet f 5.5 for $1099...Long Pern make.

So a current version of the WO 88 Megrez?



#18 dscarpa

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 01:20 AM

 Good news! It turns out my WO ZS110 doesn't need a focuser! I had rotated it recently and it wasn't completely seated against the rest of the OTA. David


Edited by dscarpa, 16 March 2019 - 01:23 AM.


#19 Zbig

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 02:13 AM

The one he tested was, sure. I've heard of a few duds though, as with many Chinese optics.

The problem is not with "Chinese optics" but who is making quality control and gives 'logo' to the product.


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#20 CHASLX200

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 05:44 AM

I appreciate all of your feedback!

 

The Megrez is definitely cheaper, if I can find one! The TS90 is available but more expensive.

 

I appreciate the help with the Megrez focuser...still a little gun-shy about.. There's also that darn strange foot on some of the models and not on others. Any insight into that?

Cool down for a triplet vs doublet almost doesn't matter to me...because it's faster than my 16" dob. :-) With a 2-year-old baby in the house, even "grab-and-go" is somewhat premeditated, so I'm sure I can set it out long enough in advance.

I would rather the mounting foot not be on the OTA. But it holds it solid as a rock. The focuser holds my heavy 2" 30mm ES eyepiece fine without any slip.  Scope seems to handle 100x per inch easy peasy on the moon. I have to use a extender to come to focus on my W/O 90mm with 1.25" stuff.


Edited by CHASLX200, 16 March 2019 - 05:47 AM.

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#21 CHASLX200

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 05:45 AM

 I've got a WO ZS110 triplet and the focuser unlike every thing else is not it's strong point. Works with my ES 100 82 and ES82 30  but fine focus only works on the down stroke even with lighter eyepieces and it needs to be adjusted fairly often. The same is true about the WO focuser on my C9.25. On the plus side it cools in 20 min. and focuser is so smooth fine focus isn't needed. That said I'd go for the TS. David

I notice that as well on my fine focus knob.



#22 Kon Dealer

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 11:16 AM

I appreciate all of your feedback!

 

The Megrez is definitely cheaper, if I can find one! The TS90 is available but more expensive.

 

I appreciate the help with the Megrez focuser...still a little gun-shy about.. There's also that darn strange foot on some of the models and not on others. Any insight into that?

Cool down for a triplet vs doublet almost doesn't matter to me...because it's faster than my 16" dob. :-) With a 2-year-old baby in the house, even "grab-and-go" is somewhat premeditated, so I'm sure I can set it out long enough in advance.

I had a Megrez 90mm. Good visually but near useless focuser that never did get fixed, despite returns. Eventually returned permanently. Got a Kson 102ED, lees good visually but a great focuser. Eventually surpassed by TS90. Brilliant Optics and focuser (Baader Steeltrak).


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#23 WilburTWildcat

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 11:38 AM



That said I'd go for the TS. David


I find it interesting that a couple of folks who have responded love their Megrez, but say go for the TS90 anyways. Could you elaborate on why?

Someone higher up mentioned that Feathertouch's $600 upgrade isn't the only option...Moonlight makes a great replacement around $240, so that alleviates some of my focusing concerns (throw money at the problem ).

#24 SteveG

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 01:55 PM

Like you, I'm strictly visual. For that purpose, I very much like the focuser and am not considering an upgrade to a premium aftermarket focuser. I can't speak to situations where loads are placed on the focuser greater than what I have done. (How heavy is your heaviest eyepiece?) If you are already contemplating replacing the factory focuser, you do have the option of trying the stock one yourself first and seeing if it satisfies you.

 

The foot is certainly unconventional, but it works perfectly well and I can't complain. As far as I know, all of the Megrez 90s came with the foot. (At least, I didn't see where they offered this model without the foot.) CHASLX200's rig pictured above (I had to look over to my shelf to make sure he didn't steal mine!) is similar to how mine is configured, and I leave the dovetail attached to the foot in order to avoid having attach and detach with each use.

 

Loren

Most of the Megrez 90's had the foot, but just before they discontinued the scope there was a newer version with tube rings only.


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#25 dscarpa

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 02:06 PM

  I don't have a Megrez it's a WO ZS110 with the same triplet lens as the WO FLT110.  I 'd go with the TS because it's a triplet. If the WO was I go with it because I've experience with WO. The good reviews of the TS are a plus.   Cool down not a problem with my scope at 20 mins. max and a triplet should balance better with your heavy eyepieces. My Lunt 60 is very tail heavy .  When seeings not the best a triplet does a better job with CA control. That said I'd have no problem getting the Megres 90 if a good deal came up.  David


Edited by dscarpa, 16 March 2019 - 02:22 PM.



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