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SW72 ED can it be beaten?

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#1 stars n planets

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 04:27 AM

So for my my budget (£350) ive been looking for a entry level refractor. I cant see anything can better the skywatcher 72ed.

Of course at this budget im limited to a handfull of options.

Opinions please.

Thank you

#2 nicknacknock

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 04:33 AM

This, this and for 25 quid more, this!


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#3 sg6

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 04:57 AM

Optics are reasonable, mechanics less reasonable.

I have one, I dislike the focuser, really really dislike the focuser.

It has little travel, I took the accompaning 2"-1.25" converter to an engineering shop who skimmed 2.5mm off the converter so I gained a little more travel. It was that tight.

 

Put it this way you would not do a star test of out/in/out focus on both sides. It didn't have "both" sides. lol.gif

 

What do you want the scope for?

 

I use mine on an Az GTi and for that it is fine. Reasonable viewing and I can add a solar filter for the sun also - actually Herschel Wedge.

 

If the idea is AP then I would seriously suggest a little more and the WO ZS 61 - better accessories and focuser.

 

5 weeks ago to set the 72ED focuser right I had to strip the thing down to components to understand how they worked. Probably not Skywatcher themselves but a Crayford is not really precision engineering - metal rod rotating on a flat surface of a tube and it pushes the tube along.

 

I think for some reason it is a strange scope, not sure where it fits. Does many things well, but not brilliantly. Oddly if I had the chance of one of the old Megrez 72 I would grab one - but they are both the same size and somewhat similar scopes. So unsure why I am a bit anti the 72ED.

 

Where are you in the UK ?

Seems Astrofest is on in London soon, also the PAS (Practical Astronomy Show) in Kettering (PAS is free).

 

Alternatives - none in the new market. Used as shown above and the 80ED is likely the better option there.

 

Summary:

Small, decent optics, does many aspects well, convenient. Negatives: that flaming focuser!!!

If AP is in mind not sure what flatteners etc you need or can get. Getting could be the problem


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#4 nicknacknock

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 05:26 AM

This one too, with a MUCH better focuser and overall built, but you will need a Vixen dovetail.


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#5 Shorty Barlow

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 06:12 AM

med_gallery_249298_10284_261607.jpg

 

Basically, for the money, no it can't be beaten. The optics and dual speed focuser are perfectly fine on mine and the focuser is accurate and very smooth. It comes with no accessories. It doesn't even include a 1.25” adapter. It was supplied with a 'Jason Statham' hard-case though.

 

med_gallery_249298_10284_204257.jpg

 

The doublet consists of a Schott crown but the actual flint element composition hasn’t yet been revealed by Synta. It is very possibly H-FK61 glass made by CDGM in China, which is reputedly very similar to the Japanese made Ohara FPL-51 glass (same Abbe number).

 

med_gallery_249298_10284_116002.jpg

 

Coatings seem good. There is no compression ring as stock, but there are aftermarket options: https://www.firstlig...ractor-m54.html

 

med_gallery_249298_10284_47243.jpg

 

I’ve had sharp magnifications of the Moon between around 160x to over 180x (200x on one occasion) with no discernible CA. Jupiter and Saturn have shown a lot of detail anywhere between 100x and 140x, and in good conditions I’m sure higher could be achieved. It comes into its own as a rich field scope but it really is a quite flexible and adaptable ‘Jack of all trades’. February last year, on my birthday, when I realised the weather would allow me to take a scope out for the first time in the year, it was the ED72 that I chose.

 

med_gallery_249298_10284_262363.jpg

 

When I looked back on my logs for last year my ST102 had been out more than any other scope I own, but the ED72 had only been out four times less. I had over 100 observing sessions last year.


Edited by Shorty Barlow, 10 January 2020 - 06:38 AM.

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#6 nicknacknock

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 06:26 AM

My money (if the mount is not an issue) would still be this. Pre-owned gets you a 4" refractor in a solid case.

 

I had the Stellarvue equivalent, the SV-102ED and I am still unhappy about selling it a few years ago. Scopes come, scopes go, but a good 4" refractor is a staple in any amateur astronomer's arsenal...


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#7 Uranotopia

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 06:38 AM

I own a Lacerta ED 72, a little nice telescop for journies. You only need a small and light mount and so on, good for travelling or 'grab and go' - nearly the whole equipment can be put in a rucksack or a small suitcase.

But when I have the time and no need for such a light equipment, I always prefer a 4" refractor for visual observation.



#8 25585

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 07:58 AM

My money (if the mount is not an issue) would still be this. Pre-owned gets you a 4" refractor in a solid case.

 

I had the Stellarvue equivalent, the SV-102ED and I am still unhappy about selling it a few years ago. Scopes come, scopes go, but a good 4" refractor is a staple in any amateur astronomer's arsenal...

I agree. The extra cost is well worth another 25mm of lens diameter, 1/3 again. 4 inches are probably best value for aperture in refractors...


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#9 Shorty Barlow

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 07:59 AM

My money (if the mount is not an issue) would still be this. Pre-owned gets you a 4" refractor in a solid case.

 

I had the Stellarvue equivalent, the SV-102ED and I am still unhappy about selling it a few years ago. Scopes come, scopes go, but a good 4" refractor is a staple in any amateur astronomer's arsenal...

I thought Stellavue manufactured a lot of their own scopes. The Ostara might be Kunming, but I'm not totally sold on that. Someone once provided me with a link to where many of these types were actually manufactured, and it looked about right, but I can't recall the OEM. They did specialise in refractors. 

 

med_gallery_249298_10284_104637.jpg

 

I have the 102mm Altair Starwave ED-R. These are a slightly modified version specially made for Altair Astro I believe because Altair requested some small improvements to the dew shield and the focuser from the OEM. 

 

sml_gallery_249298_10284_217002.jpg

 

It's a great scope, but 4kg with tube rings. 5kg at least with 2" accessories. Altair recommend an EQ5 but I find it's pretty stable on this Porta II/SXG Hal-130 combination with a Vixen half-pillar.

 

The Ostara looks OK but I always say caveat emptor with secondhand goods.


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#10 jeffmac

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 12:04 PM

I have the 72 ED and like it. The focuser on mine is good. Optics seem good and it comes with a nice case. The only thing I don't like about the scope is the screw-on lens cover.

#11 Erik Bakker

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 01:16 PM

Having had many refractors in the 55-70-82-102 sizes, I feel the 102 is the smallest of the "big" refractors, showing more than the smaller samples. Size wise, it is small for a big refractor, but big for a small refractor. So it depends on other instruments you may or may not have which size you will enjoy most.

 

That said, I really enjoy 80mm class good quality scopes for their blend of portability and capability. Performance wise, a 102mm instrument is hard to beat if you consider instruments of similar quality but different apertures.


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#12 jagakajaja

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 01:49 PM

I have the 72 ED and like it. The focuser on mine is good. Optics seem good and it comes with a nice case. The only thing I don't like about the scope is the screw-on lens cover.

I have the exact sentiments... have had good results with my 72ED. I purchased a soft slip on cover to avoid fooling with the screw on one. Also upgraded the eyepiece/accessory holder to one with compression fit instead of just the stock set screw.



#13 Megiddo

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 02:58 PM

I'm looking to get a good wide field scope for imaging and so far the Skywatcher ED72 is on this year's wish list.  

 

Using the FOV tool, the ED72 is showing some nice ratios...  https://astronomy.to.../field_of_view/


Edited by Megiddo, 10 January 2020 - 02:59 PM.


#14 houndsbourgh

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 04:18 PM

Another SW 72ED fan here. Great scope I use for AP or visual. You can stack on plenty of magnification before the views start to break down. Focuser has been trouble free. Plenty of back focus with my ES diagonal and eyepieces. Even holds my T3 Canon with field flattener without creeping or slipping. Adapters from FLO are a great addition as well.

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#15 stars n planets

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 05:42 PM

Almost the setup im going for with the AVX there, i have the addition of the asiair. But its good to hear someone happy with avx sw72ed combo.

#16 grif 678

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 05:49 PM

Optics are reasonable, mechanics less reasonable.

I have one, I dislike the focuser, really really dislike the focuser.

It has little travel, I took the accompaning 2"-1.25" converter to an engineering shop who skimmed 2.5mm off the converter so I gained a little more travel. It was that tight.

 

Put it this way you would not do a star test of out/in/out focus on both sides. It didn't have "both" sides. lol.gif

 

What do you want the scope for?

 

I use mine on an Az GTi and for that it is fine. Reasonable viewing and I can add a solar filter for the sun also - actually Herschel Wedge.

 

If the idea is AP then I would seriously suggest a little more and the WO ZS 61 - better accessories and focuser.

 

5 weeks ago to set the 72ED focuser right I had to strip the thing down to components to understand how they worked. Probably not Skywatcher themselves but a Crayford is not really precision engineering - metal rod rotating on a flat surface of a tube and it pushes the tube along.

 

I think for some reason it is a strange scope, not sure where it fits. Does many things well, but not brilliantly. Oddly if I had the chance of one of the old Megrez 72 I would grab one - but they are both the same size and somewhat similar scopes. So unsure why I am a bit anti the 72ED.

 

Where are you in the UK ?

Seems Astrofest is on in London soon, also the PAS (Practical Astronomy Show) in Kettering (PAS is free).

 

Alternatives - none in the new market. Used as shown above and the 80ED is likely the better option there.

 

Summary:

Small, decent optics, does many aspects well, convenient. Negatives: that flaming focuser!!!

If AP is in mind not sure what flatteners etc you need or can get. Getting could be the problem

I bought one, and it had a noisy and rugged focuser. I had a post about that. I sold it. Then someone messaged me and asked me what I did about my focuser, because she had bought one, and had the same problem. I told her that I sold mine, and she said she probably would also.



#17 Shorty Barlow

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 06:41 PM

I've heard that there was an early batch that had focuser problems, I'm not sure when this was sorted out. I bought mine in September 2018 and its focuser is perfectly fine. In fact the retailer informed about this when I initially enquired about it, assuring me that the ED72's he had in stock all had the new focusers. I didn't take much notice at the time as one of the first things I noticed about the ED72 was how good the focuser was. It could explain a lot.


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#18 CHASLX200

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 06:58 PM

My SW72ED was fine as wine.  Did 300x no probs.  Owned 5 SW scopes and all got a grade A from me. So that is saying something.


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#19 Steve Allison

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 07:17 PM

My SW72ED was fine as wine.  Did 300x no probs.  Owned 5 SW scopes and all got a grade A from me. So that is saying something.

Nice to know.



#20 stars n planets

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 07:23 PM

So SW72ED it is. Will be picking it up next week. How vital is the reducer/flatener right now?
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#21 houndsbourgh

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 07:34 PM

Almost the setup im going for with the AVX there, i have the addition of the asiair. But its good to hear someone happy with avx sw72ed combo.

I would say the scope is fare more capable than the mount in my set up. The AVX is a budget guided mount. You need to pick your targets well and not go overboard in expectations. Mine is very well tuned and all the bearings have been upgraded.


Edited by houndsbourgh, 11 January 2020 - 08:42 AM.


#22 jeffmac

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 08:01 PM

I can't speak to the imaging aspect but for visual, you will want to use a low profile 2" to 1.25" adapter to avoid focus issues with some eyepieces.


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#23 stevew

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 09:13 PM

So for my my budget (£350) ive been looking for a entry level refractor. I cant see anything can better the skywatcher 72ed.

Of course at this budget im limited to a handfull of options.

Opinions please.

Thank you

Tell us what you want to use it for, and what kind of mount you have...



#24 stars n planets

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 09:34 PM

I have a Avx mount with 60mm guide scope,224mc and a dslr. Im just starting in imaging so widefield is what im aiming for.

#25 Megiddo

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 08:26 AM

So SW72ED it is. Will be picking it up next week. How vital is the reducer/flatener right now?

That is a good point too... is a flattener really needed for imaging?    I was (kinda still am) looking at the William Optics ZenithStar 61 mm.   But it's supposed to really need that Flattener which is another $200.

 

If it's required, so be it.




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