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Explore Scientific ED115 FPL53 115mm f/5.5 vs Skywatcher Esprit 120ED APO Triplet

equipment refractor imaging astrophotography
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#1 Vincenz79

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 06:09 AM

Hi Everybody,

 

I’m new to the form and the hobby of astrophotography.
 

I’m in the market for a triplet APO with FPL-53 and have narrowed my choices down to two scopes.  The Skywatcher Esprit 120ED APO Triplet or the Explore Scientific ED115 FPL53 115mm f/5.5.  What I can see as advantage that the ES over the SW is the focal ratio.  Other than that does anyone know of any other advantages (besides larger aperture on the SW) or have experience with these 2 scopes?

I will be using this on a Celestron CGX mount.

 

thx!!


Edited by Vincenz79, 19 September 2020 - 06:10 AM.


#2 John Turley  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 06:22 AM

I would be inclined to go for the Esprit 120, I think the build quality is better than that of ES scopes, if you are into observing planets, the longer f7 ratio of the Esprit will be better, but the ES ED 115 better for wide field views. 

 

The ES115 FPL 53 f5.5, is not available in the UK, so not familiar with it, however my Esprit 150 gives significantly better performance on the moon and planets than my ES127 FCD100 scope, more than you would expect for just an extra 23mm of aperture, and rivals that of my 14in Newtonian.

 

John 


Edited by John Turley, 19 September 2020 - 06:39 AM.

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#3 MrRoberts

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 07:00 AM

Can't speak for the ES unit, but I do really like my recently purchased Esprit 120. I had an ES 102/FCD100 in the past and although the glass was very good I did not like the build quality. I use the 120/CEM 40 mainly for vis/eaa but the included case/accessories made my choice to buy this over the WO 132 a easy one. I liked it so much I bought the Esprit 80 as a travel compliment to my C-6 (both on CEM25's).

Should I decide to do any longer deep exposer work using the 120 I know I would have to up my game to a CEM70/TriPier level mount. The weight of the ES makes it very tempting to use with your current mount though, otherwise you would need something in the CGX-L level mount.

Anyway lets hear what others have experienced.

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#4 Vincenz79

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 08:05 AM

wow! thanks so much for the responses guys! 

 

- John, I definitely appreciate you mentioning the planets.  I totally want a versatile scope.  I also have an orion 80mm ed that I can use for wider field if needed and a celestron edgehd 8" for planets I would think.  So far many are pointing me towards the Esprit 120.  Just curious if the ES 115 has a field flattener like the Esprit 120? 

 

- MrRoberts glad to hear you like the Esprit 120 I'm very close to going with it.  Just wondering if there is a focal reducer for it to speed up the focal ratio?  or if its even needed/ worth it.



#5 junomike

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 08:09 AM

ES is 7lbs lighter which can be an added bonus.


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#6 Vincenz79

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 08:24 AM

ES is 7lbs lighter which can be an added bonus.

yes I do like the carbon fiber making the ES lighter which means i can use with a different mount down the road.  but for now i plan to use with a CGX with 55lbs capacity which kind of helps not to worry so much about the weight



#7 Jon_Doh

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 08:38 AM

Vincenz, the Esprit used to come with a focal reducer for astrophotography.  You might want to check Skywatcher's website and see if that's still the case.  I concur with everyone else here and vote for the Esprit; it has superior build and is more consistent in quality. 


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#8 SilverLitz

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 05:27 PM

Esprits come with FF not a FR/FF, as well as other extras (high quality case, finder scope, diagonal), while ES will come with diagonal.  Esprits are definitely AP centric.

 

The Esprit's focuser will be much better than ES, unless you are paying $$$ extra for the Feathertouch option.  The Esprit has Losmandy dovetail, not the thinner Vixen, and it has higher quality cast mounting rings, not the stamped cradle of the ES.

 

I have had both ES and Esprit (ED102CF and Esprit 100), and the quality of the Esprit is MASSIVELY better.  I expect the ES 115 will be significantly better optically than my ED102CF (FCD1, w/ bad CA), but it still will have a substandard focuser and less secure mounting system.


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#9 Hax

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 05:50 PM

I have the 127 fcd100, and I’m blown away by the views it gives visually, but I haven’t used it for AP yet. Also I consider myself quite new to the hobby still so I don’t have much experience, but for what it’s worth, even though I am new I can tell the fcd100 is some serious optical game. I would love to try a comparison to an fpl 53 or fpl 51 to see how big of a difference it really is. Sorry if I can’t offer much info but that’s my humble input!

#10 Vincenz79

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 07:17 PM

Thanks for all the feedback! I think the clear choice for Astrophography is the Esprit 120 so far. The fact that it at least comes with FF is a plus. I’m sure it’s great for visual too? I couldn’t find a focal reducer/corrector by skywatcher for the esprit 120. Unless I’m not seeing the right one on the website.

#11 SilverLitz

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 08:40 PM

Thanks for all the feedback! I think the clear choice for Astrophography is the Esprit 120 so far. The fact that it at least comes with FF is a plus. I’m sure it’s great for visual too? I couldn’t find a focal reducer/corrector by skywatcher for the esprit 120. Unless I’m not seeing the right one on the website.

SW does not have a FR/FF for the Esprits.  TSO's original TSAPORED075 (2019, NOT 2020) work well with the Esprit.  I have this for my Esprit 100, and it has NOT come off my scope since I got it in Summer of 2019.  For some reason, TSO changed this FR/FF to where it no longer attaches easily to the Esprit, but they kept the same part number???

 

I would expect the Riccardi 0.75x FF/FR would be a good option, but it may take some additional pieces to attach.  The original TSAPORED075 was supposed to have a very similar design as the Riccardi.

 

Starizona has the APEX 0.65x FF/FR which will work as long as you do not have a sensor larger than APS-C, as the APEX's output is M48, which would significantly vignet on a full-frame sensor.  


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#12 Vincenz79

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 08:38 PM

SW does not have a FR/FF for the Esprits.  TSO's original TSAPORED075 (2019, NOT 2020) work well with the Esprit.  I have this for my Esprit 100, and it has NOT come off my scope since I got it in Summer of 2019.  For some reason, TSO changed this FR/FF to where it no longer attaches easily to the Esprit, but they kept the same part number???

 

I would expect the Riccardi 0.75x FF/FR would be a good option, but it may take some additional pieces to attach.  The original TSAPORED075 was supposed to have a very similar design as the Riccardi.

 

Starizona has the APEX 0.65x FF/FR which will work as long as you do not have a sensor larger than APS-C, as the APEX's output is M48, which would significantly vignet on a full-frame sensor.  

Thanks for this info.  Can you elaborate a bit on how the TSO’s FR/FF doesn’t attach easily using the 2020 model?  I plan on using the following cameras Nikon Z6 (Full Frame), Nikon D5500 (APS-C), and ASI2600 (APS-C).  I guess ideally I’d like just one FR/FF that can handle all of the cameras.



#13 Echolight

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 12:21 AM

What's up with the giant dew shields on all the ES refractors?



#14 SilverLitz

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 08:27 AM

Thanks for this info.  Can you elaborate a bit on how the TSO’s FR/FF doesn’t attach easily using the 2020 model?  I plan on using the following cameras Nikon Z6 (Full Frame), Nikon D5500 (APS-C), and ASI2600 (APS-C).  I guess ideally I’d like just one FR/FF that can handle all of the cameras.

Check out my Esprit 100 FR thread:

https://www.cloudyni...-reducer/page-3

 

For the Esprit 120, you will need to check how much backfocus it has, but it looks like for the Esprit 100, the NEW TSAPORED075 does not have enough to get it to fit.  My experience is similar to RossW on the Esprit 100, the focuser is out only ~7mm when using the TSAPORED075.

 

From RossW:

Posted 18 August 2020 - 07:12 PM

The original TSAPORED075 definitely works and works well. I also noticed TS have unfortunately "upgraded" the TSAPORED075, because it now has M88 male and M82 female on the scope side. I don't think there is much room to adapt that to M68 female for use on the Esprit 100. I only have 8mm of focuser IN travel available when using the TSAPORED075 and if any of that is reduced by using an M88-M68 adapter there may not be enough IN travel available throughout a full summer-winter cycle.

I use the TSRED379 on my TS 130 f/7 and it is a nice reducer too, but only 0.79x reduction so the FOV would be slightly reduced. You can also use the Riccardi 0.75x but you need to manufacture an adapter that allows it to fit inside the focuser drawtube, because apparently if used externally you will not be able to reach focus.

If you prefer the 0.75 reduction your best bet might be to obtain the original TSAPORED075 second-hand via TS.


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#15 Lonkero

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 09:57 AM

I had Riccardi 0.75x reducer with my Esprit120 and it is great fit with it, now I use Starizona Apex L and it too seem to work ok

#16 John Turley  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 09:58 AM

What's up with the giant dew shields on all the ES refractors?

I think the main reason why ES Refractors have large dew shields is because they have lens caps that fit over the lens cell inside the dew shield, whereas in the case of Skywatcher Refractors, the lens cap fits over the end of the dew shield. 



#17 awong101

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 11:29 AM

I think the main reason why ES Refractors have large dew shields is because they have lens caps that fit over the lens cell inside the dew shield, whereas in the case of Skywatcher Refractors, the lens cap fits over the end of the dew shield. 

I don't know what they were thinking with that design. I hate having my hands and fingers that close to the objective.

 

I have my ED102CF in a storage case with a bahtinov mask over the dew shield.



#18 Vincenz79

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 04:43 PM

Asked OPT support about the reducer and they told me to use this with the 120.  SKY WATCHER REDUCER / CORRECTOR FOR PRO 120 ED SW-S20202



#19 YAOG

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 07:42 PM

What's up with the giant dew shields on all the ES refractors?

It's just the way ES lens cells are made which causes the dew shield to be so large. The CF versions are not as rotund as the metal tubes but still a bit chunky. 



#20 telfish

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 10:31 PM

Loving my Esprit 120, for me it's a forever scope.


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#21 YAOG

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 09:55 AM

Loving my Esprit 120, for me it's a forever scope.

Well until you use a TSA120. Now that is a good working scope for imaging, totally transparent in use and in the data. 



#22 Vincenz79

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 07:06 PM

Ordered the Esprit 120 APO and Sky Watcher Reducer / Corrector for PRO 120 ED waytogo.gif  I cant wait!drool5.gif


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#23 Vincenz79

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 07:07 PM

I also heard the Sky Watcher acquired Celestron (or visa versa).  Assume this is a good thing.



#24 Vincenz79

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 07:10 PM

Next purchase on the radar is the Starizona Apex ED 0.65x Reducer / Flattener L if the Sky Watcher version is so so


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#25 YAOG

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 08:07 PM

I also heard the Sky Watcher acquired Celestron (or visa versa).  Assume this is a good thing.

They are both owned by Synta. 




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