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Stellarvue 102 f/7 Access vs SVX 102 f/7 T

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#1 cdr dcm

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 05:51 PM

Two 4" apo refractors from Stellarvue, similar specs though somewhat different glass. Slight difference in included accessories. The first causes barely 1/3 the price of the second. Is the difference likely to be noticeable for visual use? Is there any justification to spend nearly $2000 more for the SVX? Thoughts? Anyone out there who has looked through both?

Thanks

David



#2 Carl N

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 05:54 PM

If truly for visual, I doubt you'll see a $2,000 difference. The SVX is hand finished and is really a nice AP scope. Will it visually outperform the access, yes. But in very small areas, that mean a lot to some people with much better eyes than mine.
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#3 Jeff Bennett

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 06:27 PM

I owned an SV102A awhile back and currently own an SVX102T (actually #001).  In my experience, there was a difference that I could see fairly easily at higher powers such as one would use for planetary observation.  

 

I will note that I did not own these at the same time, but I distinctly recall the Access showing noticeable spherical aberration that hurt contrast at higher power.  This is only a sample of one, and some other samples likely are likely better figured.  Given that the Access is an imported scope that is not subject to the same optical standard as the current SV scopes, I would expect there to be a wider sample-to-sample variation compared to the SVX line.

 

The SVX scopes are figured to a very high standard, and I compared mine side-by-side with a Takahashi TSA-102.  To my eye, they were very similar optically, both excellent.  I liked the focuser and F7 focal ratio of the SVX, which is why I let the TSA-102 go.

 

Whether the differences between the Access and the SVX are worth $2000 is up to the buyer and how they intend to use the scope.  For moderate power I doubt you would see much difference.  And mechanically the Access is quite nice with an excellent focuser.

 

Hope that helps.

Regards,

 

Jeff


Edited by Jeff Bennett, 30 March 2020 - 06:28 PM.

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#4 chakel

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 07:08 PM

David, 

For pure visual use, you’ll probably enjoy the SV102A just fine. The SVX102T is a well crafted triplet figured to high standards and can better support high power views as noted above, but also serve as an astrophotography platform. 

In my case, for visual enjoyment I use a SVX125D ( a refigured SV125A lens set to SVX standards and upgraded SV 3” focuser) and an AP 92mm Stowaway for imaging and grab and go.

Cheers,

John


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#5 cdr dcm

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 08:31 PM

Thanks all. Input is much appreciated!



#6 SeattleScott

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 09:09 PM

If you are purely visual and want excellent optics, there are cheaper (and lighter) options than the SVX. Like Vixen and Tak doublets. So you get premium optics and light weight for GNG use.

Scott
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#7 Moondust

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 10:16 PM

 I don't know about the Stellarvue 102 Access but I have a Stellarvue 80 Access that is killer! The star test on this particular scope is one of the best I've seen in any scope in my 50 years of observing. I had the scope out under the moon last night and it did not embarrass itself against my 92mm Stowaway both scopes using the same Tak prism diagonal and 3.3 Toe eyepiece. Like someone eluded to, with the Access line there could be quite a variance in optics as compared to the more expensive SVX you are considering, but if you get a good one you'll be thrilled and way ahead of the game. Since the Access line is sold out and discontinued I assume you are talking about a second hand scope. 


Edited by Moondust, 30 March 2020 - 10:17 PM.

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#8 SeattleScott

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 12:05 AM

So Moondust, are you going to sell your 80mm Access? Probably not. We all know why. If you get a mass produced scope with killer optics, especially an Access with such good build quality, why would you ever sell it? Granted everyone has their reasons. Maybe they really need the cash. But I tend to assume the mass produced scopes with average optics shuffle around more than the ones with killer optics. Fortunately optics are good these days even in the average samples. Good enough you don’t really see a difference unless doing high power work, at least in my experience.

Scott
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#9 Moondust

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 01:36 AM

So Moondust, are you going to sell your 80mm Access? Probably not. We all know why. If you get a mass produced scope with killer optics, especially an Access with such good build quality, why would you ever sell it? Granted everyone has their reasons. Maybe they really need the cash. But I tend to assume the mass produced scopes with average optics shuffle around more than the ones with killer optics. Fortunately optics are good these days even in the average samples. Good enough you don’t really see a difference unless doing high power work, at least in my experience.

Scott

Highly unlikely, if I did I'm sure I'd regret it later on. There is no way this scope should be this good for the $500 I paid. When I called to order I half jokingly asked them to set aside a good one for me, I guess they actually listened ☺. When I star tested it on an evening with steady seeing I was stunned! A few of my premium scopes haven't even faired as well on the obligatory star test. I believe the original price before the clearance was $700. I've kicked myself too many times for selling scopes I've probably should have kept over the years. An AP 130  f/ 8.3 comes to mind, a 102 Vixen Fluorite, AT111 ED, Quantum 4 , TEC 6 , Questar 3.5 as well as an AP 140 f7.5 and 155 f/7.  If anything I'd be leaning towards selling the Stowaway. It's surely better than the Stellarvue 80 but not $3,100 better, and I'm not doing any astrophotography so I'm not really getting the most out of the scope. I like the lighter weight of the 80 Access also, the Stowaway is heavy, built like a tank.  My thinking now is keep the 80 Access and the 92mm Stowaway and have fun with both of them over the summer and fall and by that time I will have gained enough viewing experience on the two scopes to decide if selling the Stowaway would only be another scope on my list of scopes I regretted selling. If not I'd probably sell it and put the funds towards a Tak TSA 120. The $500 80mm Access is staying with me. Bargains like that are rare and hard to come by. 


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#10 stevew

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 02:20 AM

We all realize that original poster is comparing the price between a hand made triplet and a imported doublet. 

However I have been thrilled with my Stellarvue 102 Access.

I have had it up to 250X several times with nice tight star images, and I'm sure on better nights it could easily go higher.

My imported Access is a very nice quality FPL53/ Lanthanum doublet with a beautiful rotatable focuser.

Stellarvue had told me that the run mine came from were coming in about .96 strehl. So what's not to like? Especially at this price range. 

And while I do believe that you typically get what you pay for I think these days there are very good quality refractors available to fit almost any budget.   


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#11 russell23

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 06:23 AM

One issue is that the SV Access line is discontinued.  You could look at the Williams optics doublets as an alternative.  Their 103mm is likely the same optics as the SV102 Access.


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#12 SeattleScott

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 10:28 AM

We all realize that original poster is comparing the price between a hand made triplet and a imported doublet.
However I have been thrilled with my Stellarvue 102 Access.
I have had it up to 250X several times with nice tight star images, and I'm sure on better nights it could easily go higher.
My imported Access is a very nice quality FPL53/ Lanthanum doublet with a beautiful rotatable focuser.
Stellarvue had told me that the run mine came from were coming in about .96 strehl. So what's not to like? Especially at this price range.
And while I do believe that you typically get what you pay for I think these days there are very good quality refractors available to fit almost any budget.

That is impressive, before buying my Vixen I did some research that suggested they normally test around 96-97 strehl in independent lab testing. Granted that is more the norm for Vixen and probably more the exception for Access, but if you get one like that, you did well and there isn’t a need to be tempted to upgrade or wonder what you are missing. Really anything 95+% is premium in my book.

Scott
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