I've been always a newtonian guy, somehow I just love these telescopes for their simplicity, accessibility, and great results you can get if you know what you are doing.
But for the last month or so we had such a terrible seeing that most of the times I can't even reliably focus my 10" F/5 - the stars are just huge blurry blobs. Meanwhile, there were a number of clear transparent nights - it is just the turbulence that ruins everything. So I started to think about options to dramatically increase FoV and image scale, so I can still get some acceptable results on these nights. I don't want to go down all the way to DSLR lenses, so this probably means small refractors. I did some research and currently I'm leaning towards SkyWatcher Esprit 80 F/5, which sometimes goes on sale for $1500 and includes everything I would need for imaging - most importantly their field flattener. From what I've seen on astrobin, I would be satisfied with results you can get using this instrument.
I've been also looking at the Explore Scientific ED80-FCD100 F/6, which is currently on sale for $900. I would need a reducer for it, which would add probably $200-$300, which brings it to $1100-$1200. While I could save some money if I go with ES, do you think this telescope will be on par with the Esprit? I'm not a beginner and can provide an ideal tracking (would be pretty easy on CEM-60 after working with 10" newts), and everything else needed to support the scope top performance.
Any alternatives you can recommend in this price range?
I will be imaging with ASI1600MM-C and will obviously choose some big targets, both narrow/wide band.