I recently sold my Celestron SCT 11”... long story short last summer I picked up a used skywatcher 80ED and loved how easy it was to get quality images using it. I decided to let my 11” go and would like to get a slightly larger triplet refractor to bridge the gap between the 80ED and the huge 11” SCT.
I am really leaning toward the explore scientific 127 triplet, price is on point and everything I read about it is positive..I also had the opportunity to look through one last summer at a star party and was impressed.
For the price of the 127 would there be any other recommendations for a triplet between 110and 130mm?
Think about the mount. Everyone wants a big Apo telescope, but one you get to this range of telescope, the mount requirement starts to become pretty serious.
See, even the ES 127 will be long enough that the tripod legs will need to be fully extended to allow clearance for viewing high in the sky. When you fully extend the legs on many lower end mid weight mounts, they get shaky. If you are only imaging this might not be as much of an issue because the legs can be kept short).
If you don't already have mount capable of holding the 127 still, then Ch ching, you are looking at $3000 new.
And you will only end up having 5" of aperture.
Now I have owned an ES 127 and they are nice, but if you sold your C11 because of the effort it took to take it out and use it, (and I have owned C11s too) then don't expect it to be any easier with a 127mm triplet. It is a lot of effort for a small aperture.
If your mount can handle it though, (and that is a big if) the ES 127 is nice enough I suppose. Just a lot of work to use.
(I too own a Astro Tech 106 Apo triplet and it is awesome, but that is not much of an aperture increase. Still, there are a lot of mounts that would carry the very short and very fast 106mm easily for imaging, but for the 127, I think you really need good mid grade mount. )