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Altair Astro- 152mm refractor

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#1 Toddeo

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 10:11 AM

Anyone know much about this scope? I just received an email from "Altair Astro"  This scope is back in stock  $930.36.  With the glass they claim to use- seems like a super deal!   

 

 

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Starwave 152 V3 "Red Tube" Achromat Refractor Telescope
Starwave 152 V3 "Red Tube" Achromat Refractor Telescope
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Starwave 152mm V3 Red Tube Achromat Refractor TelescopeStarwave 152mm V3 Red Tube Achromat Refractor TelescopeStarwave 152mm V3 Red Tube Achromat Refractor TelescopeGary Palmer Starwave 152 Achromat Refractor GPCAM Solar Prominence ImageMoon Mosaic Starwave 152mm refractor Altair GPCAM by Gary PalmerSolar Image of the Day Gary Palmer Starwave 152mm "Big Red" Achromat
£725.00
Product CodeSW152-ACR-V3ManufacturerStarwave Telescopes

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New 2019 LIMITED production run with red tube and new imaging friendly WHITE 2.5" Rack & Pinion focuser

The Starwave 152mm V3 delivers rich field views of the night sky using a large 6 inch / 152mm of unobstructed aperture at an incredible price. What's more, this lens isn't your average achromat lens. It is constructed from high quality Japanese Ohara and German Schott glass with top quality coatings, a very smooth polish and accurate surface figure free from striae.

Another use for the Starwave 152mm Achromat is solar imaging. If you ever wanted to push your Daystar Quark or Quantum to the next level this optical tube has it all. 6" of aperture and a fast focal ratio for the fastest frame rates. Check out solar imager Gary Palmer's amazing solar shots with Altair GPCAM Mono, Daystar Quark and Starwave 152mm Achromat to see what can be achieved.

For rich field viewing of deep sky objects such as comets, clusters and nebulae, the Starwave 152 offers a higher contrast view equivalent to an 8" Newtonian reflector, with similar perceived light grasp, but without the maintenance overhead and need for regular collimation. It also sports higher contrast due to the lack of central obstruction which makes deepsky objects appear to "pop" out from the background for very pleasing views. By using a Contrast Booster filter to remove any residual chromatic aberration, the Starwave 152 F5.9 can also be used for high powered observation of the moon and planets. This often isn't possible with cheap mass-produced achromatic optics of similar focal length. It should be noted that chromatic aberration of this telescope is very low considering the fast focal ratio of the lens system, and that the lens design has been optimised for the yellow/green wavelengths to which the human eye is most sensitive. Therefore visual performance is better than the traditional Frauhofer achromat designs employed in cheaper achromats, and as reviewer Ade Ashford and many customers confirm, the Starwave 152 Achromat outperforms typical F8 Achromats of the same aperture.

The inside of the optical tube has several baffles, and the multilayer lens coatings are extremely efficient to further improve image contrast. Surface polish is imrpoved to reduce scatter, which is very low for such a large aperture refractor lens. All these factors make the Starwave 152mm a high contrast telescope for achromat lovers who want a short, portable portable optical tube, but with with "big glass" 6" aperture.

At only 760mm length when the dewshield is folded back, the Starwave 152 one of the most portable 6" aperture refractors on the market today. It will put less strain on your mount too, because the 9kg weight is distributed along a shorter length than other larger refractors, so torque / moment-arm effects are minimised.

Together with the Altair Sabre mount, counterweight, and counterweight shaft, the Starwave 152 is a great scope for effortless sweeping of the richer areas of the night sky and examination of deepsky objects. The highly tolerant Altair Lightwave LER 68 degree wide eyepiece range is recommended in particular, as are the Altair KITAKARU RPL Orthoscopic eyepieces. The Altair Premium CLS filter will also deliver good results with this telescope due to the large unobstructed aperture, especially on the Orion nebula and suchlike. The Altair Premium OIII filter also delivered greatly improved detail on the Ring Nebula in Vega during testing.

Starwave 152 Achromat Refractor Features:
Fully multi-coated 152mm doublet achromatic lens in a fully collimatable lens cell, focal length 900mm (F5.9). Finest Ohara/Schott glass.
NEW 2019 2.5" Dual Speed Rack and Pinion focuser
Tube OD 176mm
Transport length (Dewcap folded) 760mm
Carry handle and Vixen-format dovetail bar included.
Altair universal finder scope bracket included.
Weight 11kg
A note about QC:  During assembly, the individual lenses are assembled in the lens cell, centred, rotated and re-centred to get the best alignment and centering combination. A few iterations are required to achieve the desired star-test for each lens assembly. Sometimes this can result in small dust particles between the lenses which have absolutely no effect on the performance of the telescope whatsoever (because they are at the entrance pupil in optical terms), but are inevitable during the adjustment process. This QC process is used to achieve the highest quality possible for each lens and has been used by Altair Astro for many years. We believe it is preferable to have a lens which has been adjusted for optimum performance, instead of a lens which is cosmetically perfect, but has not been adjusted and assembled to a high standard, and instead just placed in the lens cell without proper QC.  To our knowledge, at the time of writing, no other UK company is capable of, nor even willing, to perform this level of quality control with refractors of this type.

Availability: Hand made optics are completed in limited production runs. If showing out of stock, click the red "notify when in stock" button for an email update when the product is ready to ship.



#2 25585

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 11:00 AM

Great DSO & rich field scope for 6" aperture I imagine.



#3 sg6

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 02:06 PM

Would feel unsure. A lot of nice words, little detail.

Ohara and Schott glass, OK, so what? They make lots of glass, some fairly run of the mill stuff.

 

"Hand made optics are completed in limited production runs."

Hand made they are not, there is a nice big computer controled glass grinding machine at the start and at the end.

 

Optimised for yellow/green means what? That I assume is the turning wavelength of the achro lens, not "optimised" just a property of most achro and actually doublet lens. You design for Red and Blue focal length at Frb and then Green turns at Fg where hopefully (Fg-Frb)is really really small.

 

The QC process reads very much that Altair have decided to tweek the lens themselves and not as 2 others do and have an optical company/workshop do it - so at the time of writing Altair are wrong, others do. One of them sells Altair items but they still have them checked before dispatch.

 

The adjustment seems to be not in a clean environment and really if they have the lens apart they can mark the edges, clean the surfaces and reassemble at the identified optimum position. Preferably in a clean environment.

 

If performed at Altair then believe me I cannot see their shop having an optical test area at the rear or above it, in order to determine the optimum position/orientation of a lens assembly.

 

The same sounding and detailed scope on TS and APM reads of some CA, and APM give the glass used. Very much expect that APM are the manufacturer of the TS/Altair items so have a read of their description.

 

Ultimately still an f/5.9 152mm achro and so fairly fast, especially at the aperture.

 

Just seems a lot of nice sounding words, but not detail and without the detail I always have concerns. No glass specification, not "hand made", not detail of test method, an achro is optimised for 2 wavelengths not 1.


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#4 Far Star

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 03:13 PM

I think it's this refractor (but with a red tube): https://www.teleskop...ieb-Auszug.html



#5 HARRISON SCOPES

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 05:25 PM

Altair do not pull them apart and mark lenses, all optical alignment and assembly is done by their suppliers but to their requirements. The extra QC is a good thing and is done properly.

They have had this popular red model made in three successive runs now as it is a well regarded large fast achromat. No it cant break the laws of physics but its reassuringly well made.

Its also nice to see the glass manufacturer listed (leading optical glass suppliers) as a seller we get asked for that info all the time.

Edited by HARRISON SCOPES, 12 November 2019 - 05:30 PM.

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#6 SeattleScott

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 05:36 PM

This scope has been around on and off in various iterations for a number of years. A premium 6” achro is inherently a niche product so production will run until demand is met, then cease until demand builds up again. Personally this would be my first choice for a 6” achro (or a similar iteration) if cost was no object. Generally they are well regarded and I had several views through an older clone years ago at a star party. Very nice for DSO, open clusters. I didn’t bother looking at planets with it.

Scott

#7 Bennevis

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 05:52 PM

Altair do not pull them apart and mark lenses, all optical alignment and assembly is done by their suppliers but to their requirements. The extra QC is a good thing and is done properly.

They have had this popular red model made in three successive runs now as it is a well regarded large fast achromat. No it cant break the laws of physics but its reassuringly well made.

Its also nice to see the glass manufacturer listed (leading optical glass suppliers) as a seller we get asked for that info all the time.

Their scopes always seem to appear on the market first with guaranteed quality standards. They have a well deserved reputation in the UK for that, but very little exposure overseas probably because the pound is so strong. I've seen a few UK and European magazine reviews (one French I think) where the magazines tested their scopes and declared them nearly perfect, or perfect. Mine so far have been pretty much perfect really anyway, so I've ordered their 150EDF here with great confidence (paying penance in advance to the wife): https://www.altairas...-Refractor.html



#8 organge

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 06:34 PM

While their support and 'resistance to answer questions' is kind of a downer (this is only my personal opinion), their products on the other hand are amazing. I had 80mm fpl-53 doublet (ED-R) and it was amazing. Perfect star test, rotatable and smooth focuser. The best views of the Moon with it. Don't know how to describe it but it was like a 3d ball flowing in space with greatest contrast I ever saw on the moon. I still cringe due to selling it.



#9 Bennevis

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 05:38 AM

While their support and 'resistance to answer questions' is kind of a downer (this is only my personal opinion), their products on the other hand are amazing. I had 80mm fpl-53 doublet (ED-R) and it was amazing. Perfect star test, rotatable and smooth focuser. The best views of the Moon with it. Don't know how to describe it but it was like a 3d ball flowing in space with greatest contrast I ever saw on the moon. I still cringe due to selling it.

Try their Facebook group it's brilliant Altair Astro

This is where I found out they are running the 152 Achromat again with pictures and so-on.

I've always had a better response than I've had with the "big brand" companies, but I imagine some stuff will always fall though the cracks. As long as I have a good optic I'm happy really. One thing I can say is that they don't oversell. Everything they've sold always does exactly what they said it would, pretty honest guys and you get a warts and all description of the performance you can expect. Some of the "big brands" could learn a lesson or two from this small company in my opinion, because I find a lack of honesty generally in this arena about product performance, and pretty poor quality especially when it comes to optics - and I have many years experience in engineering mountings for non-astronomy but similar optics so you aren't going to pull the wool over my eyes. When I bought their big doublet I asked if it really was an APO being a doublet, and it was. Whereas I have had larger so-called premium APOs which clearly showed colour aberration and which I returned based on an inaccurate description. I took them on their word and the scope is superb, beats anything I've owned including my FS128. Can't ask for more really.


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#10 daquad

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 02:44 PM

I was on the wait list for the 6" red tube V3 and when it became available, I placed my order, but I was hesitant about the white focuser body.  The scope already had three colors, red, silver and black.  The white focuser body looked out of place to me.  The only reason I wanted the Altair version was for the red color scheme with silver trim and black rings; the added white turned me off.  TS has had the same scope in stock in traditional white and black and if I was in a hurry to get one I would not have waited more than a half year for the red tube.  I was really disappointed to see that two-tone focuser.

 

I asked Altair if I could get one with an all black body, but the rep (Ian, who was very responsive to my several E-mails) said it was not possible.  So I cancelled my order.

 

I did ask why Altair felt it necessary to disassemble the lens to optimize its performance and then sell the scope with dust between the elements; why did Altair not trust the manufacturer (Kunming) to do that as an integral part of their assembly and QC?  Never got an answer to that one, which sealed the reason for me to cancel my order.

 

I'm sure it is a very good performing RFT and if you are not as picky as me about cosmetics color, then by all means get it.  Altair originally had it listed at 870 pounds, including VAT.  The new price is 799 pounds with VAT, probably to be more in line with the TS price.  Without the VAT it is an even better deal.

 

Dom Q.


Edited by daquad, 19 November 2019 - 02:45 PM.

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#11 25585

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 07:11 PM

I noticed those changes & definitely prefer the previous black focuser.

 

Maybe the scopes were sent to Altair as OTA components, & Altair assembled them, & checked collimation. The black focusers may not have been available anymore, but are probably to be found as aftermarket.. 

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  • v3starwave152.jpg


#12 25585

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 07:21 PM

https://www.rotherva...rd-focuser.html

 

Might still have a black focuser model. No QC note for that version. 



#13 daquad

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 07:40 PM

https://www.rotherva...rd-focuser.html

 

Might still have a black focuser model. No QC note for that version. 

Yeah, but that's a Crayford and it's 870 pounds.  



#14 daquad

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 07:46 PM

Actually, looking at the version on the Altair site, the dew shield trim looks white.  The only silver is the backplate.  May not be such a bad color combo after all.  And the focuser is a 2.5" R&P and the price is 799 pounds with VAT.  I may have to reconsider.

 

Dom Q.



#15 25585

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 12:21 PM

Actually, looking at the version on the Altair site, the dew shield trim looks white.  The only silver is the backplate.  May not be such a bad color combo after all.  And the focuser is a 2.5" R&P and the price is 799 pounds with VAT.  I may have to reconsider.

 

Dom Q.

Very Christmassy, a Santa scope!

 

Would r & p be better than a Crayford, colour apart?


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#16 daquad

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 02:46 PM

Very Christmassy, a Santa scope!

 

Would r & p be better than a Crayford, colour apart?

The only Crayford I've used that I would accept as original equipment on a new scope is a Moonlite.  I had one on my 5" Istar and it could hold 8 pounds in a vertical position and the action was incredibly smooth with both coarse and fine focus.

 

I prefer R&P focusers for their positive feel and no slip performance. My 4" Jaegers refractor has a $50 Chinese R&P focuser (single speed) that holds my Baader binoviewer, with T2 prism and two 18 mm wide field eyepieces.  It has a simple dual purpose finger screw for adjusting the drag and locking the focuser.  Not as smooth as a Moonlite, but very smooth, nonetheless.

 

Come to think of it I have a nice white finder that would go with the Altair 152 f/6 achro.  I also noted on their site that the subtitle of one of the pictures says "V 4," even though the headline says "V 3."

 

At 799 BP's minus the VAT it is a pretty good deal.  Shipping would be expensive, though. 

 

Dom Q.


Edited by daquad, 20 November 2019 - 02:46 PM.



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