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Import AT72EDII into Europe, buy from USA. Anyone here done this? Good/bad idea?

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#1 AaronF

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Posted 29 October 2019 - 03:18 PM

I want to get a small lightweight refractor that I can take on a plane and use when I'm abroad.

 

(I've already read this post about light refractors, but they're talking about Takahashis and Tele Vues which are a little outside my price range; and also this post about the AT72EDII vs TS Optics equivalent, but it hasn't yet been concluded)

 

The little William Optics refractors look lovely but they cost a little bit more than I wanted to spend, so I was going to get the Sky-Watcher 72ED, but in the end I think that spending a bit extra on the Astro-Tech 72EDII makes sense, solely for the latter's FPL-53 over the former's mystery unspecified glass. The SW doesn't have a retractable dew shield either.

 

Unfortunately I can't find it for sale in Europe. Astro-Tech don't seem to have any presence in Europe, in fact.

 

TS Optics have some products which are suspiciously similar. This Photoline 72mm is basically a less pretty and more expensive AT72EDII.

But at that price I might as well buy it from Astronomics, have them send across the Atlantic Ocean, and pay the import duty on it.

Or am I mistaken? Would it actually end up costing me more to do that?

 

 

Is anyone here based in Europe and has an AT72EDII? If so, how did you get it? Did it cost half as much again just on import taxes?

 

Does anyone think that I should just get the Sky-Watcher 72 and spend the money I've saved on a nice star diagonal instead?



#2 sg6

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Posted 29 October 2019 - 03:55 PM

Half guess it is the same as the Altair offering

Altair72EDF

 

Altair one seems a fair cost (£600) for what is a 72mm ED doublet in my view, equally not sure the cost of the AT scope.

No idea of Spain but in the UK the taxes are (Cost of scope+Cost of shipping)*VAT rate and maybe administration charges to take your money off. Parcel Force here add another £12:50 I believe guess about 15€.

 

So utter guess and estimate:

Scope $469 (Just checked)

Shipping utter guess $40-$50

So total(ish) $520 = ~480€

Assuming you might have an admin charge then ~500€

 

Now if Spain has additional costs I do not know, all I know it that I do not know of additional here in the UK.

Have found here that Fed-Ex seem to take care of it all, makes it easy.

But at a very rough guess I would say a reasonable saving, as said Altair seem costly at £600 (close on 700€ then shipping)

 

And this is in Reflectors, guess needs moving to Refractors or General, guess General.


Edited by sg6, 29 October 2019 - 03:57 PM.

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#3 AaronF

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Posted 29 October 2019 - 04:17 PM

Thanks for your reply!

Yes it looks the same as the Altair.

Though, personally, for the price of the Altair I would rather go for the William Optic Zenithstar 73.

 

So far, then, the Astro-Tech seems like a good deal.

 

I remember from some of your posts that you have the SW 72ED. Do you like it as a travel scope? Is the lack of retractable dew shield annoying?

 

(This all started with me thinking that the Sky-Watcher was a steal at just over €300, then that the Astro-Tech was just over €400, though now that's more like €500... I hope it doesn't end with me spending €2k on a triplet!)

 

And this is in Reflectors, guess needs moving to Refractors or General, guess General.

I can't believe I did that. I'm sure I checked where I was twice before starting the new topic! :-/ Have asked for it to be moved.



#4 fmeschia

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Posted 29 October 2019 - 04:28 PM

I have looked at the prices of the AT and TS pair. Once you factor in overseas shipping and add VAT, I think the prices may be equivalent, or the TS even cheaper.

 

Francesco


Edited by fmeschia, 29 October 2019 - 04:29 PM.

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#5 elakrab

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Posted 29 October 2019 - 11:10 PM

I was in the same boat and I ended up buying a Omegon 71/450 quadruplet for 700 bucks. A bit more expensive, but not so much compared to the TS+flattener or AT+flattener. Plus we are talking about a triplet + integrated flattener instead of a a doublet. Even though I have not tried it yet, it should perform better. 

 

Here's the thread with all my thoughts about this ... 

https://www.cloudyni...let-for-az-gti/


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#6 Schurke

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Posted 29 October 2019 - 11:25 PM

I ordered the blowout sale stellarvue 102 access to switzerland. Shipping was 124 usd plus around 80 chf for swiss taxes.
Before the sale came up i had planned to get the at102 but i probably would have ended up buying the TS equivalent.
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#7 GlenM

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Posted 30 October 2019 - 06:12 AM

Have a look at the Sharpstar offerings from 365astronomy here in the UK. My new 61EDPH is a little beauty. Stunning performance, nice optics and mechanics. Use it for visual G&G and terrestrial photography.

 

Glen.


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#8 AaronF

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Posted 30 October 2019 - 04:35 PM

Thank you all for your input, it's been very useful (even if I now have even more potential options than before!)

 

I have looked at the prices of the AT and TS pair. Once you factor in overseas shipping and add VAT, I think the prices may be equivalent, or the TS even cheaper.

 

Francesco

Yes I think you might be right. Schurke commented that it cost $124 just for shipping, and import duty was on top of that, which would certainly tip the scales in favour of the TS.

 

I was in the same boat and I ended up buying a Omegon 71/450 quadruplet for 700 bucks. A bit more expensive, but not so much compared to the TS+flattener or AT+flattener. Plus we are talking about a triplet + integrated flattener instead of a a doublet. Even though I have not tried it yet, it should perform better. 

 

Here's the thread with all my thoughts about this ... 

https://www.cloudyni...let-for-az-gti/

Your thread was very interesting, and I hadn't already come across it in my research, so thanks for pointing me towards it.

That is a bit more expensive, yes, but you make a very good point about not having to buy a flattener.

And it's still only two and a half kilograms.

That's given me food for thought!

 

I ordered the blowout sale stellarvue 102 access to switzerland. Shipping was 124 usd plus around 80 chf for swiss taxes.
Before the sale came up i had planned to get the at102 but i probably would have ended up buying the TS equivalent.

Thanks for this. I had also been looking at the SV80 Access, but eventually decided that it was a little bit bigger than what I was looking for.

$125 for shipping is quite a sizeable percentage of the total cost. Good to know and bear in mind.

 

Have a look at the Sharpstar offerings from 365astronomy here in the UK. My new 61EDPH is a little beauty. Stunning performance, nice optics and mechanics. Use it for visual G&G and terrestrial photography.

 

Glen.

I saw that Sharpstar 61mm f/5.5 doublet the other day! It looks really cute!

So light as well. I suppose it wouldn't have any trouble sitting on top of a StarTracker Pro with my Altair CMOS camera in it?

 

 

Well, thanks again everyone. Looks like I have a new shortlist (longlist?) of:

 

Sky-Watcher Evostar 72ED ~€320

Sharpstar 61EDPH f/5.5 ~€500

WO Zenithstar 61 ~€500

TS-Optics Photoline 72mm f/6 FPL53 ~€530

WO Zenithstar 73 ~€630

Astro-Tech AT72EDII ~€420 + ~€100 (shipping) + ~€80 (duty) = ~€600

Stellarvue Access 80 ~€450 + ~€100 (shipping) + ~€80 (duty) = ~€630

Omegon Pro APO 71/450 ~€700

 

I probably won't be able to by it until January 2020 at the earliest now - this afternoon I went and blew my astronomy budget for next month already!

Turns out I know the guy who runs the Spanish distributor for Pentax, and he had the last Pentax SMC 8-24 zoom in the country which he wanted to sell me for half price.

I could hardly refuse, could I?!

(Ok so the real story wasn't exactly like that, specifically the "he wanted" bit, but close enough!)

 

 

I'm going to keep an eye on deals on these over the next few months, see if anything pops up around Christmas.

I'm leaning towards the less expensive end of the scale now that I've just bought the new eyepiece, so if the Sky-Watcher sale reaches these shores next month then I may just snap up an SW72ED.

That little Sharpstar, though... hmmm.....



#9 mmalik

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Posted 30 October 2019 - 07:47 PM

Have you considered this...


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#10 GlenM

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 09:21 AM

Aaron, the little Sharpstar would be perfect for your mount, no problem. I used to own a Tak FS 60CB and I think the Sharpstar is easily on-par with that. Just my personal opinion of course.

 

Glen.


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#11 gezak22

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 10:56 AM

My recommendation is to buy a scope from a vendor in your continent as there is a chance that the scope will need warranty work. I have seen plenty of posts about brand new scopes with pinched optics. Once you have more than two lenses in a scope ()triplet or petzval, it really requires professional hands to set the optics right. So if you buy a scope from a continent away, and you have such an issue, you end up spending a good chunk of money sending the scope back and forth.


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#12 elakrab

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 11:24 PM

By the way, the import taxes you have estimated I'm not so sure they are realistic. It is pretty random but I have heard of counting the VAT (the Spanish 21% IVA) + the important duties and handling by customs maybe a 30-40% tax (over the total telescope + shipping, even though the shipping should not be included I think) is more realistic. 

 

Plus then you have basically no warranty, so I don't think buying overseas is an option unless you are after something super specific or you can buy there, test there and bring it with you.

 

Check in UK stores like FLO, sometimes they have interesting prices (got from there the AZ GTi I have in Berlin and my redcat51).

 

I still honestly think (but I cannot confirm since I did not have time to test it before I came to work in Arizona temporarily) that the Omegon/TS/Sharpstar 71SDQ is one of the most promising packages you can get for that price tag. I am really eager to get back to Berlin to try it :) 



#13 AaronF

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 11:00 AM

Have you considered this...

That is very cool what you've done there! Unfortunately I don't own a DSLR camera and I feel the 50mm might be a bit too small for visual astronomy, which is my main focus.

 

Aaron, the little Sharpstar would be perfect for your mount, no problem. I used to own a Tak FS 60CB and I think the Sharpstar is easily on-par with that. Just my personal opinion of course.

 

Glen.

Thanks Glen. I've now read a fair bit about it and I'm very tempted to get one. It's gone straight to the top of my shortlist!

 

My recommendation is to buy a scope from a vendor in your continent as there is a chance that the scope will need warranty work. I have seen plenty of posts about brand new scopes with pinched optics. Once you have more than two lenses in a scope ()triplet or petzval, it really requires professional hands to set the optics right. So if you buy a scope from a continent away, and you have such an issue, you end up spending a good chunk of money sending the scope back and forth.

That's a very good point, thank you! I'm certainly used to the stuff I order "just working" and that may well not be the case here. I think you and elakrab have shown me that it's probably going to be more expensive once I factor details like this into account.

 

By the way, the import taxes you have estimated I'm not so sure they are realistic. It is pretty random but I have heard of counting the VAT (the Spanish 21% IVA) + the important duties and handling by customs maybe a 30-40% tax (over the total telescope + shipping, even though the shipping should not be included I think) is more realistic. 

 

Plus then you have basically no warranty, so I don't think buying overseas is an option unless you are after something super specific or you can buy there, test there and bring it with you.

 

Check in UK stores like FLO, sometimes they have interesting prices (got from there the AZ GTi I have in Berlin and my redcat51).

 

I still honestly think (but I cannot confirm since I did not have time to test it before I came to work in Arizona temporarily) that the Omegon/TS/Sharpstar 71SDQ is one of the most promising packages you can get for that price tag. I am really eager to get back to Berlin to try it smile.gif

Oh wow, yes, you're right! I think that's excluded any imports from my list, unless anyone I know is going to visit the USA soon and can pick one up for me. Thank you!

 

FLO's prices are very good, and at the moment the fluctuating Pound makes them appealing for people paying in Euros.

I was going to buy the Sky-Watcher 72mm from them as it's the cheapest price I've seen in Europe for that scope - €310-ish.

 

Oh, hang on, your Omegon quadruplet is also sold as a Sharpstar? Which means maybe Glen's Sharpstar is also available as an Omegon or TS...? I'll look into that.

 

Also you say you went to Arizona, but left your new refractor at home in Berlin?! Was it not portable enough to take with you? Or did that have nothing to do with leaving it at home? :-)

 

 

Thank you all! My list just got shorter:

 

Sky-Watcher 72mm - €320

TS 72mm - €530

Sharpstar 61mm - €550

Omegon quadruplet 71mm - €700

 

Decisions, decisions...



#14 elakrab

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 02:13 PM

Yes, check if the 61 is sold by TS. I think I have seen it! Also, maybe the quadruplet is an overkill for pure visual? I am not familiar of how much you need the field to be fully flat.

 

Well, my main focus is astrophoto. I could have brought the refractor with me, but I cannot stay outside for a long time looking through an eyepiece, don't want our big telescopes to crash o do something silly, they are delicate.

 

For photo Omegon's focal length is too long for my star adventurer. Even the redcat one was... . It is ok with the az gti if guided (or that I assume), but I made some tests and I cannot power the az gti, the raspberry pi (guiding) and the canon with my 2 20ah powerbanks, the current drawn from the mount and the raspberry are just too high.


Edited by elakrab, 01 November 2019 - 02:15 PM.

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#15 gezak22

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 02:47 PM

... Also, maybe the quadruplet is an overkill for pure visual? I am not familiar of how much you need the field to be fully flat ...

A short focal length refractor will have a relatively big field curvature that may be difficult for the eyes to compensate for, so a flat field scope would be very nice if the OP intends to do wide field viewing.


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#16 25585

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 06:35 PM

Have you considered the Orion 66mm carbon fibre?  https://www.amazon.c...5/dp/B076GYR33Q


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#17 elakrab

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 08:42 PM

A short focal length refractor will have a relatively big field curvature that may be difficult for the eyes to compensate for, so a flat field scope would be very nice if the OP intends to do wide field viewing.

 

Sounds reasonable. I definitely enjoyed putting eyepieces on my MN152 to cover several degrees with no curvature or any aberration (except those introduced by the eyepieces themselves). 


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#18 AaronF

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 05:27 PM

Yes, check if the 61 is sold by TS. I think I have seen it! Also, maybe the quadruplet is an overkill for pure visual? I am not familiar of how much you need the field to be fully flat.

 

Well, my main focus is astrophoto. I could have brought the refractor with me, but I cannot stay outside for a long time looking through an eyepiece, don't want our big telescopes to crash o do something silly, they are delicate.

 

For photo Omegon's focal length is too long for my star adventurer. Even the redcat one was... . It is ok with the az gti if guided (or that I assume), but I made some tests and I cannot power the az gti, the raspberry pi (guiding) and the canon with my 2 20ah powerbanks, the current drawn from the mount and the raspberry are just too high.

I found it on Astroshop and TS, and it's a lot more expensive (€850) than the Sharpstar version (€550), which slightly surprised me. Either the Sharpstar is a bargain or TS is overpriced!

I have an astrocamera but mainly use it for EAA. I would definitely give AP a try if I got a tracking mount, but it's not a priority for me right now.

 

I completely understand not wanting to accidentally break an expensive telescope! It's why I'm looking more towards the cheaper end - if a €300-€500 Sky-Watcher or Sharpstar gets lost, stolen, or broken while I'm on holiday with it, then I would be upset; but if that happened to a €700-€1000+ scope then I would be distraught!

 

Which Raspberry Pi do you use for guiding? Is it possible that a Pi Zero could get you under the power draw limit?

 

A short focal length refractor will have a relatively big field curvature that may be difficult for the eyes to compensate for, so a flat field scope would be very nice if the OP intends to do wide field viewing.

That's something I hadn't considered - thanks for mentioning it.

 

Have you considered the Orion 66mm carbon fibre?  https://www.amazon.c...5/dp/B076GYR33Q

Thanks for that! I hadn't seen it, and it looks nice but relatively expensive when compared to the others in its class. I suppose you pay extra for the carbon fibre :-)



#19 elakrab

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 07:11 PM

Maybe the TS includes flattener/reducer and the sharpstar not?

#20 AaronF

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 02:56 PM

Maybe the TS includes flattener/reducer and the sharpstar not?

Ah yes, you're absolutely right, it does!

Adding the reducer to the Sharpstar brings the price up to around the same as the TS.

That makes more sense.



#21 GlenM

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 06:30 AM

That Sharpstar reducer/corrector is some piece of kit, very well made. Not had much chance to use it because of the dreadful weather.

 

Glen.


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#22 Topographic

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 07:23 AM

Maybe the TS includes flattener/reducer and the sharpstar not?

Yep.

Ihave the SW 72. Nice little scope


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