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Going to order a SW 120ED

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#26 Exnihilo

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 09:27 AM

I really like the 120ED I have. It has a really nice WO focuser, smooth as can be. It might actually be my favorite scope of the ones I own.
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#27 Jond105

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 09:30 AM

I’m thinking since this will be my only telescope for years to come. The 5 year plan is a new focuser (moonlight/feather touch) and new diagonal (Baader Prism). No time soon though. 


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#28 Jacques

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 09:31 AM

Had 2 of these babies in the past and both were really excellent, sometimes I wish I still had one. 



#29 25585

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 09:37 AM

Keep it and use it for a grab and go.  If you sell a scope that sharp you'll regret it later.  I know I have.

I second that. Your 120 will be ideal for unplanned viewing and quick peeks between clouds. If yours is a good one, hang onto it!


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#30 Tyson M

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 09:42 AM

I’m thinking since this will be my only telescope for years to come. The 5 year plan is a new focuser (moonlight/feather touch) and new diagonal (Baader Prism). No time soon though. 

When you go the Moonlite route, I would get the 2" focuser NOT the 2.5" focuser. 

 

I had the 2.5" and it seemed a bit too big for even the heaviest diagonal + eyepieces, unless you were going to do imaging(which you already said you weren't).

 

120mm is a noticeable step up in all views- deep sky and planetary. You pay the penalty with the required mounting solutions over a 100mm class like the 100ED.

 

Since you have a mount that will work for your need, this is irrelevant. Your scope and mount combo is still quite light, and if you put the scope out first, the time setting up the mount is not wasted as the scope is cooling. In fact you will be finished before it is fully cooled down. (needs 20mins or so for low power- a bit more for higher power).

 

I fondly remember Jupiter last year, gave me my best views of the gas giant. I think you will be very happy with your set up.

 

Be sure to post your impressions of the mount + scope combo here.


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#31 Jond105

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 09:53 AM

I’ll be sure to post everything here. Having the 100ED, it will be nice to have a little bigger of an exit pupil at 300x. 

 

Im not concerned with the mounting. Hoping the versago ii head on top of the CG4 legs and extension works somewhat, for quicker looks when not setting up the EQ. Time will tell on that. 

 

I dont think I would do a 2 1/2” focuser. No need for my needs. 

 

I’m extremely excited to see Jupiter in a 120 for the first time without the blue fringe the f/8.3 gave me. Still wasn’t bad though. 



#32 punk35

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 10:03 AM

Congrats Jon! I hope you’ll do some side by side comparison with the 120 achro vrs the 120ed. If you do get together with some local CNers I’d really like to read that report. I’d be in on that if you were a little closer! 


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#33 Jond105

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 10:06 AM

Congrats Jon! I hope you’ll do some side by side comparison with the 120 achro vrs the 120ed. If you do get together with some local CNers I’d really like to read that report. I’d be in on that if you were a little closer! 

 

Thanks wade

 

Yeah, I’ll try to get side by side. I had the achro out the last clear night we had. With the 3mm and 333x on the moon it was purple all over. 

 

Im going to make my way down and over your way one day, as your skies are much better than they are here. 


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#34 SteveGR

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 10:09 AM

Had my 120 out last nite. It is just Tak sharp, and i mean TAK as in a Tak scope.  Still not sure what i will do with mine, may keep it after all. It is much smaller than the SW150ED and is more grab and go.

 

BTW, i bought my SW120ED Pro used with a new Moonlite. The Moonlite is smooth as silk. The stock focuser binds a tiny bit , but the fine focus works super.

 

LX70 holds it fine.  Moonlite really makes it even better.

344uzkn.jpg

The stock focuser could probably be tweaked easily enough.  There are guides on adjusting them, just be careful not to lose the tiny o-rings.



#35 Jond105

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 10:11 AM

The side by side I’d like to be able to do is on the doubles. Stuff the achro has trouble with determining if it’s a clean split or not, I’m hoping I can see it more cleaner and actually make out some splits I haven’t before. 



#36 Tyson M

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 10:38 AM

CN user RAKing has used one a ton for doubles. I am sure he can confirm its utility for a double star scope.

 

Here are some excerps from my reports on a backyard (boderline white/red light pollution zone) sessions...

 

On double stars

 

"Izar was promptly split, its blue secondary given up easily with the 7mm Nagler (also with the 2x barlow @ 257x) and 5mm Pentax.  Also held up to 360x with the Pentax and 2x TV barlow.

From there, I starhopped from Izar back to its temporary imposter for the night- Alphecca at 00:17. I shifted east to Gamma Coronae Borealis, then to Delta Coronae Borealis, and up in between them to my intended target Variabilis Coronae Borealis.  I got wind of this interesting star from Gary Seronik's book "Binocular Highlights".

 

This star is intriguing because it is a variable star that typically shines at an average of 5.9 magnitude (barely visible to the human eye).  Then apparently it fades over several months or years to magnitude 14, earning the nickname "fade out star" or "Reverse Nova".  It was magnitude 5.9 tonight.

 

This behavior is posited to be the result of a build up of carbon dust, blocking its starlight. It takes a quick look to check on its current magnitude status so I will have a gander whenever it is up.

 

00:28 I went back to Bootes for some doubles.  I observed Delta Bootes, an easy split with a 22mm Nagler and 8mm Ethos. White primary, but strange that I didn't note the secondary color for some odd reason.

 

00:32 I found a new surprising new one- Alkalurops.  It resides at the top of Bootes, and was intially split with my finder scope. Telescopic view yields a yellow/orange primary and a blue(I think?) secondary. But with the 8mm Ethos, the secondary is actually a close double itself, making this a triple star system! Hungry for more, I tried the 5mm Pentax, thought I saw a blue and a red star at first. Then I stared longer and noted that I was wrong and the pair was likely a burnt yellow, in contrast to the brilliant yellow orange primary."

 

On Jupiter:

 

Jupiterzones.GIF

 

"I got the finderscopes on both scopes aligned to Jupiter. Its arc across the sky is quite low and falls just behind the neighbors garage. It was due south and disappearing quickly.

At 23:15 (still very much bright outside), I saw     Callisto , Ganymede    Jupiter    Europa ,  Io.   Europa was just at the edge of the Jovian disk.  Dusk tends to be a time of good seeing, and today was no exception.  I saw fleeting details in the North Temperate Zone and Belt area on top. 4 brown Equatorial belts well defined; which are the North Temperate Belt, North Equatorial Belt, the South Equatorial Belt, and the South Temperate Belt.

 

I tried using to the 5mm Pentax(180x), but the seeing was not fully supporting it, and I dropped to the 7mm Nagler (129x) and 8mm Ethos ( 113x) mostly. The views were very comparable and a wealth of detail could be seen majority of the time.  3 primary white zones, not including the main, mottled Equatorial zone.

There were irregularities / details in the main whitish Equatorial zone. I saw 3 festoons in the North Equatorial Belt.  I did not report seeing the GRS, which is kind of shocking when I saw it on Stellarium (EDIT: Stellarium's timing was off and it actually was not visible).  This is most likely because I am not used to noticing it. I will have to pay closer attention to the South Equatorial belt region in the future.  See above pic for reference.  All in all, this was a very good Jupiter session ending at 23:30."

 

On DSO's and general viewing:

 

"00:50. I decided to check out some globs in Herc as it was close by. First target was M13. For this I decided it was the dob's turn to play. Using the Right angle finder (a godsend with this scope), and a 31mm nagler, I easily found my target in the keystone. Using the 12mm Nagler and then 8mm ethos, the views were quite nice. Some center stars resolved as well as the periphery. Nothing was popping out at me dramatically but the longer I looked, the more stars I noticed. Fairly decent.

 

I swung the 120ED there as well. A very respectable view. I was surprised at how similar they were. A bit better in the dob, better image scale, a few more stars resolved than in the 120ED. I would rate the views more similar than different, but I would have to give that round to the dob. The humble dob really comes alive with 82-100 degree eyepieces and that right angle finder. I decided though to continue observing with the 120ED for the rest of the night though.

 

01:16 . I tried looking for M92 globular in Herc but I got lazy with SS and didn't check for it. After I failed to sweep it up in 22mm Nagler I moved on to Lyra.

M57 was easily found with the 120ED between Sulafat and Sheliak with the 22mm Nagler. I bumped up to the 12mm Nag and then the 8 ethos. Nice Grey smoke ring look to it. Not bad , I was thinking it wasn't going to hold up well since I saw M13 and it was okay but not jaw dropping. Looked best with 8mm .

 

01:23 .I went back to Hercules and M13. I starhopped to Zeta Herc, then to Kornephoros, then East to Rasalgethi. This is a beautiful Mag 3.4 double star.

 

01:33 Rasalgethi split with 8mm Ethos. Stunning yellow primary and bluish secondary.

 

01:42 Back up to Lyra to check out the double double. I got hints of the split with 8mm ethos. Looked best with 5mm Pentax, a beautiful sight, a pair of faint white double stars.

 

0149: Alberio, at the end of Cygnus the swan. Split with 22mm Nagler, worked up through 12mm, 8mm and 5mm Pentax. Brilliant yellow and blue.

 

01:58 M27. Starhopped down towards Altair in a diagonal line that extends up from Vega (a side of summer triangle). Looked best with the 22mm Nagler. I tried using the UHC filter and it's didn't really help. Sky seemed to get worse regarding transparency. Noticed it a bit with the Ring, M13 and now dumbbell. I got a brief good view of it though without the filter. I was wondering if I encounter some very thin cloud or otherwise bad transparency temporarily...

02:03 .I went up this imaginary line between Altair towards Vega a quarter of the way to find the Coathanger. 10 bright stars, with the tip of the hook part of the hanger a brilliant yellow star. I was JUST able to frame it with the 22mm Nagler, which means my Tfov was just over a degree. SS5 pro lists that open cluster at a degree wide.

 

02:10 .I starhopped from the coathanger to 9 Vul, then followed a curvy line of faint stars , a windy path into Sagitta. Here I found the bright star Sham and B Sge. From there I hopped East to Delta Sge and Zeta Sge. Half way in between and moving south, I found 9 Sge. There is a beautiful little slingshot asterism of stars here, with a red member that drew my attention.

But looking closely , at the cusp of visibility and extremely easy to miss, there was M71 globular cluster! This was a new one for me for my messier list. SS pro says this is easy to find in good binoculars but I doubt that, unless my conditions were deteriorating. Not looking like a standard glob, just the very hints of some distant stars close together but far away from my scrutiny to give up any secrets.

 

02:22. Split Zeta Sge with a 8mm ethos. 5th mag White primary and 6 Mag blue secondary

 

02:25 I started packing up for the night.

All in all, a fantastic backyard session. I can easily see myself using the SW120ED a lot. Even with the mount extension, I found myself on my knees at times while looking towards the zenith.


Edited by Tyson M, 19 April 2019 - 11:09 AM.

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#37 Jond105

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 10:57 AM

Thank you for that Tyson. Very informative. Even more excited now. 



#38 fate187

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 11:08 AM

I have the 120 Equinox version. Its probably the best Synta scope made. https://www.microglo...ope-p-8518.html

I just bought a used Equionox 120ED for 860€ :). Very nice scope indeed! The SW120ED shares the same optics. @OP: if you can try to grab the Equinox used, as it is not readily available new as far as I know. SW stopped making them. It does come with fewer accessory though (acutally only scope, rings, dovetail).

 

regards

Michael


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#39 dusty99

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 11:27 AM

Congratulations!  I definitely like mine.  I'm curious what has happened to pricing on the SW120ED lately, though.  You can still get one through Amazon for $1,368, but the Astronomy-specific retailers all have the scope on sale for $1,655 (list is close to $2K).  They appear to be the same model.  Jond (or anyone else): do you know whether there are recent changes to the SW120ED, or has the price just gone up and Amazon has old stock?  Mine has the green dovetail, most in the pictures have black, but I don't know whether that indicates anything...


Edited by dusty99, 19 April 2019 - 11:30 AM.


#40 Tyson M

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 11:32 AM

Thank you for that Tyson. Very informative. Even more excited now. 

Those reports were all from my backyard.

 

From a darksite, you're going to have much better results with globs and DSO's



#41 Jond105

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 12:28 PM

Those reports were all from my backyard.

 

From a darksite, you're going to have much better results with globs and DSO's

 Not getting many opportunities for dark skies is why I sold the dob. I’ve been to one last July for one night up north. Life is busy right now.  I still can’t wait for the day I finally can regularly get out of the city. 



#42 Jond105

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 12:30 PM

I just bought a used Equionox 120ED for 860€ smile.gif. Very nice scope indeed! The SW120ED shares the same optics. @OP: if you can try to grab the Equinox used, as it is not readily available new as far as I know. SW stopped making them. It does come with fewer accessory though (acutally only scope, rings, dovetail).

 

regards

Michael

Yeah, I was waiting around. I figured buy new, any issues, I’ll have the chance to return for new. At this price point I’d hate to take change on shipping damages 



#43 Jond105

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 12:34 PM

Congratulations!  I definitely like mine.  I'm curious what has happened to pricing on the SW120ED lately, though.  You can still get one through Amazon for $1,368, but the Astronomy-specific retailers all have the scope on sale for $1,655 (list is close to $2K).  They appear to be the same model.  Jond (or anyone else): do you know whether there are recent changes to the SW120ED, or has the price just gone up and Amazon has old stock?  Mine has the green dovetail, most in the pictures have black, but I don't know whether that indicates anything...

Amazon is always priced cheaper, and not going to lie, I didn’t pass up on that deal so ordered from them so I can let you know. I’m sure they’re all the same though. Plenty of people have ordered through them. I just don’t think they updated their photos. Even if you check Sky-Watcher, they show black dovetails I believe even though we all know are green by now. 


Edited by Jond105, 19 April 2019 - 12:35 PM.


#44 25585

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 12:42 PM

I’ll be sure to post everything here. Having the 100ED, it will be nice to have a little bigger of an exit pupil at 300x. 

 

Im not concerned with the mounting. Hoping the versago ii head on top of the CG4 legs and extension works somewhat, for quicker looks when not setting up the EQ. Time will tell on that. 

 

I dont think I would do a 2 1/2” focuser. No need for my needs. 

 

I’m extremely excited to see Jupiter in a 120 for the first time without the blue fringe theoo f/8.3 gave me. Still wasn’t bad though. 

If you already or intend to have heavier eyepieces, the 2.5" is better. No such thing as overkill there. 2" diagonals, Barlows etc soon pile up the load. Bino viewers obviously.



#45 Jond105

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 12:46 PM

I’m done buying eyepieces as well, I’m happy with 82 line from ES.  the heaviest is the ES82 30mm. I don’t see binoviewing in my near future. 



#46 25585

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 12:54 PM

I’m done buying eyepieces as well, I’m happy with 82 line from ES.  the heaviest is the ES82 30mm. I don’t see binoviewing in my near future. 

Well for the 30 ES82, definitely buy the 2.5mm.



#47 Jond105

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 12:59 PM

Nahh, 2” should be fine. The Synta focuser will probably have trouble with it. As my other one did. I can’t suppose the 2” moo lite be as weak as the Synta. 



#48 RAKing

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 01:06 PM

CN user RAKing has used one a ton for doubles. I am sure he can confirm its utility for a double star scope.

I am happy to confirm the SW 120's utility for doubles. cool.gif 

 

Mine was as sharp as any 120mm refractor can be and did a great job on doubles.  Use a good solid mount and the only other obstacles are the atmosphere and the observer's eyes.  The telescope cannot do much about those.

 

One caveat - I replaced the stock focuser with a FeatherTouch FTF2025.  It's a bit more precise than the stock unit.

 

Cheers,

 

Ron


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#49 Tyson M

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 01:16 PM

I was fortunate, the stock focused for the SW120ED was actually very good/smooth. No feathertouch or moonlite smooth, but perfectly acceptable for heavy 2" eyepieces.


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#50 Astrolog

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 01:20 PM

Jon

 

Congratulations on your selection - I cannot wait to hear your feedback on its performance.

Everything I have read indicates you will be very happy!

 

Please keep us updated.


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