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Explore Scientific 115mm CF FPL-53 Review

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#26 Surfinash

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Posted 30 October 2019 - 08:41 PM

Maybe I missed something in the above posts but unless that scope is drastically different than the aluminum 127mm FCD100 triplet your lens hood (dew shield) is broken.  I don't think they would have put the same big hood on only to have it stop part way.  Its supposed to extend until the black ring at the back of it hits the ring at the end of the tube which gives it a good 6" or so extension, basically the full length of the lens hood (or at least the entire ES logo) should stick out past the end of the tube.  It should come to a hard stop when the two rings smack into each other.  Maybe those screws they use on the carbon fiber version are catching or something.

This is confirmed by ES. The hood only has 3" extend-out. It is a bummer.. 



#27 noisejammer

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 09:26 AM

The 3" TS flattener you linked to is interesting - it reminds me of the giant flattener than was designed by Tom Back and marketed by WO - it even has the same threads. I think these were intended for use on the Fluorostar range (iirc 110/7, 132/7 and 152/8).

 

Not unpredictably, Takahashi uses the same mounting thread (M92x1) but the gender is reversed.



#28 Surfinash

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 02:01 PM

Here is a picture of the lens hood removed from the front. As you can see, the travel clearance is barely 3".

 

IMG_0329.jpg



#29 Surfinash

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 02:26 PM

The 3" TS flattener you linked to is interesting - it reminds me of the giant flattener than was designed by Tom Back and marketed by WO - it even has the same threads. I think these were intended for use on the Fluorostar range (iirc 110/7, 132/7 and 152/8).

 

Not unpredictably, Takahashi uses the same mounting thread (M92x1) but the gender is reversed.

It is. I have seen it in person at their store in Munich. I like TS parts - they are machined really well, and I can vouch for their quality. 



#30 PPPPPP42

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 08:34 PM

Were it a camera lens with a shallow lens hood it would be because its actually pulling in light from that wide a view.

I wonder if that's the case with that faster shorter focal length scope since it does look like they deliberately stopped the dew shield from fully extending like it does on mine.


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#31 Surfinash

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 09:37 PM

Were it a camera lens with a shallow lens hood it would be because its actually pulling in light from that wide a view.

I wonder if that's the case with that faster shorter focal length scope since it does look like they deliberately stopped the dew shield from fully extending like it does on mine.

Hmm.. Didn't think of that. It makes sense though. I wonder what would happen if I put in an extra long cover from astrozap on top (or a DIY cover).. Do you think it will impact with vignetting or darkened corners/borders?



#32 PPPPPP42

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 09:56 PM

I can't think of any way to test it short of making a DIY version and looking at the moon or something obviously bright to see if its dimmer near the edge of the field.



#33 Surfinash

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 10:08 PM

I can't think of any way to test it short of making a DIY version and looking at the moon or something obviously bright to see if its dimmer near the edge of the field.

Perfect. I have a star party here tomorrow. So will try this out! Thanks.



#34 Surfinash

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Posted 04 November 2019 - 06:15 PM

Did some basic and quick (I call this the dirty work) imaging with the 115mm CF FPL-53. A few observations:

 

  • I used the Orion Field Flattener (2") for short refractors. This is rated for f/5 to f/7.5 range. The flattener worked well. Has T2 threads on camera side, and needs 55mm backfocus for CMOS/CCD. Tested this with ZWO 294MC-Pro and confirmed it well. Does seem to have some tolerance (3mm IMO) while focusing. Click here for the flattener. 
  • I chose probably the two incorrect objects for this - M1 and M74. Both for 632mm focal length were small. Also, I did 120-sec subs (15 each) and result was a bit grainy. This may be the culmination of several things - mainly the location to start with. 
  • No issues with the short lens hood. Worked well.
  • Used the dual-narrowband filter for M1. This was a new filter for me, so did not have much experience on the timing. It seems that may be one of the factors in M1 needing more light (definitely over 120 sec).


#35 Surfinash

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 10:07 PM

Update:

 

Received the M87a to M68i custom adapter for the 3" Hex Focuser drawtube. Fits well, and achieves what I wanted - use a number of accessories in thread-on mode instead of "insert and lock three screws".

 

I ordered this part from www.preciseparts.com 

 

Look-up my gallery for some pictures with the new 115mm CF FPL-53 scope.

 

AJ

 

 

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#36 Surfinash

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 11:16 PM

For those that are reviewing the new Explore Scientific FPL-53 CF OTAs, @Skyhunter1 has a great thread on it. You can access it HERE.

 

PS: Check out my gallery for early results of the new 115mm FPL-53 OTA from Explore Scientific.


Edited by Surfinash, 02 December 2019 - 11:17 PM.


#37 Tyson M

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 12:17 AM

Thanks for your reviews on this scope.  It definitely piqued my interest as a portable large aperture refractor.  For visual or EAA only though. 


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#38 Surfinash

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 03:21 AM

Thanks for your reviews on this scope.  It definitely piqued my interest as a portable large aperture refractor.  For visual or EAA only though. 

Thanks, and welcome. 

 

If planning visual, you will definitely need the TSFLAT2 with this scope. It has sharp coma. 



#39 Surfinash

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Posted 26 December 2019 - 04:37 PM

Update:

 

Tested the TSRED 0.79 reducer/flattener with the ES115mm CF FPL-53 scope by capturing M45 (Pleiades). Check out the pics in my gallery HERE .

 

This is a 3" reducer/flattener from Teleskop Service in Germany. It has M68a threads that perfectly threaded into the custom M87 to M68i adapter from precise parts. 

 

The results are very good as you can see. Flat field across, and no streaking. Best, I could now shoot at f/4.3 with 500mm focal length at 115mm aperture! Like that.



#40 Surfinash

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Posted 19 May 2020 - 02:05 AM

An update on the ES115CF:

 

I tried the Teleskop Service 2" 1x flattener (TSFLAT2) for visual, and it seemed to work effectively for visual.

 

The way I used it:

 

I unthreaded the nose/insert piece of my diagonal, and threaded the flattener in. That worked well.

 

Note - I use Baader 2" Clicklock Diagonal . For this diagonal, you will need a zero-lenght 2" to M48 adapter ring to thread TSFLAT2.



#41 John Fitzgerald

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Posted Yesterday, 02:54 PM


See post #6 in the below thread for a really good idea on how to make this 3" focuser much more solid.

I actually did the mod and it works great.  It's not a lot of work.  See post #11 in the same thread.

 

https://www.cloudyni.../#entry10384183


Edited by John Fitzgerald, Yesterday, 02:57 PM.


#42 gnowellsct

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Posted Yesterday, 03:35 PM

One of the eyebrow raising events in amateur astronomy was the Orion law suit against the mainland China manufacturers for price fixing and other restrictive practices.  Orion, you may recall, actually put all the materials up on the web, including stuff they had obtained through subpoena.  

 

Of particular note was that the major Chinese firms had very specific agreements about the different segments of the market.  Skywatcher was "assigned" the higher end higher quality market.   ES was considered a low cost low quality competitor with a residual market share.  

 

I felt bad about this because I met Scott Roberts at NEAF and he seemed to be a wonderful, very interesting and candid guy.  It just seems like ES got caught up in something that was bigger than itself.  In any case he wasn't really spec'ing and designing his own equipment.  He was/is a distributor for an international line with a specific right to sell ES stuff in the U.S.

 

It's not often you get to see the top management in the industry candidly discussing who is where in the competition.  

 

Anyhow there's a lot of good views of the sky to be had with a lot of the equipment that's out there, but my impression from reading all that stuff was (a) I would try to avoid buying mainland exports and (b) if I did, I would try to buy Skywatcher.

 

With the Meade bankruptcy there will be some turmoil in the industry and eventually it will all sort out, but it may look at the end very much like it did at the beginning.  There's no real power in the U.S. to control what agreements are made in China.

 

Greg N



#43 Surfinash

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Posted Today, 12:58 PM

One of the eyebrow raising events in amateur astronomy was the Orion law suit against the mainland China manufacturers for price fixing and other restrictive practices.  Orion, you may recall, actually put all the materials up on the web, including stuff they had obtained through subpoena.  

 

Of particular note was that the major Chinese firms had very specific agreements about the different segments of the market.  Skywatcher was "assigned" the higher end higher quality market.   ES was considered a low cost low quality competitor with a residual market share.  

This is partly true. 

 

I am privy to the law suite against Orion and Celestron and have a little more background on it than others (less said the better). 

 

Neither Orion, nor Celestron (the two "sisters' family business" as it is known to us) owns the ES brand (Synta does not own it - JOC did it earlier, and now JourneyNorth from AK does). Bresser was the low-cost carrier, that parent company decided to upgrade into ES. I would consider ES to be at the same quality parallels with Orion and Skywatcher.

 

Skywatcher is now owned by Orion and shares same quality benchmarks with Orion. So Skywatcher being better than others is not true (anymore). The big difference is in the quality of support. This is where Skywatcher excelled, and Orion failed big time. Even today, Orion would not entertain you unless you are the original buyer - absolutely zero support (they won't even give replacement parts if you want to purchase them). When you indirectly force people to buy new products on one hand, and take over the market by buying brands on the other hand, you are ensuring that you always win no matter who people buy from.

 

Not that ES quality is the best, but some lines are better than others. All their CF scopes are well made. The 3" hex focusers are solid (and can be tuned to give you the buttery travel you are used to with FT). 

 

I worry about more and more US brands such as Losmandy, Stellarvue, Televue, AP - for failing to consumerize their quality to amateur level and capturing the large market. I strongly believe that even today, if Paramount or AP decides to release a mount in $3K range - they will capture the Losmandy market and will be a strong competition to iOptron.

 

This market is so fickle and ready for disruption by newcomers such as Unistellar, Rainbow Astro (Korea) - that a brand like Unistellar (with right pricing and marketing strategy) can kill the rest of the so-called "premium" American brands. If things stay the status quo - I see a number of American brands to wind-up their operations in the next three to five years (or even sooner). It sounds harsh, and sad (personally, I feel bad) - but we all have a collective voice on this forum, and we should use that to support American brands (no doubt). However, equal responsibility lies with the brands themselves. If they isolate themselves to the niche, top-dollar market, they will be squeezed by Orions of the world from one side, and Unistellars on the new-age side.


Edited by Surfinash, Today, 01:01 PM.



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