I've been saving up for a good bit for my first well-corrected fast refractor for wide-field imaging. After I sell a spurious AVX, I'll have about 2k to play with.
I've had the very good fortune of getting to borrow a buddy's first edition WO Star71 and I love it. Nice big field, faster than what I'm used to dealing with, and no bloating in the blue channel. The gold trim doesn't excite me, but to each their own. I've got some questions and I hope you might have some suggestions for me.
The Star71's optics are apparently a proprietary design - 5 elements including a flattener in the tube. I've been looking at the second edition Star71 and GT series, as well as redcats both current and keeping in mind the possibility of new petzvals 71 and 91mm from WO. Just from those choices, I've got what, 3 similar speed and aperture scopes with 3 different optical designs.
I'm wondering what advantages a petzval design might have over a more traditional triplet. I know that they're fast for the aperture and well-corrected, but I wonder if they're as versatile as say, a bit longer and slower triplet that would allow me to use both a flattener at native focal length as well as a reducer/flattener for a wider field and faster ratio.
2k is a lot of money for me, likely this will be a scope that I have for a long time, and I'd like to be exceedingly careful in coming up with something that I'm happy with.
I'd really appreciate your advice and suggestions. Currently looking at the AT92 and Stellarvue SVX080T along with all the WO options.