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#1 durak

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 06:11 PM

Hello all-

 

I have decided to treat myself to a premium refractor for the holidays. I will use it exclusively for imaging. I am, of course, paralyzed by the choices. I had originally thought I would go for the esprit 100 but I am not sure anymore. Here are the options I am mulling over.

 

Esprit 100ed- $2500: 

 

PROS:

Fast @ f/5.5.

Includes field flattener.

Starizona's Apex Reducer seems to have been created precisely for this scope.

Much cheaper than some options

 

CONS:

Out of stock (what isn't?)

Manufactured in China. Does this affect quality control?

Not sure how capable the stock focuser is.

 

Stellarvue SVX80T - $2000-2400 (depending on options)

 

PROS:

Wide field @ native 480mm

Made in USA

Verified on workbench before shipped.

Cheapest of the lot.

 

CONS:

Out of stock

Slowest option @ f/6

No included flattener/reducer w/ base model

 

Tak FSQ85EDX - $3500-3850 (do I need the additional flattener to shoot with APS-C?)

 

PROS:

World-class glass

Petzval config for nice, flat field

Fast @ f/5.3

 

CONS:

Out of stock

A more expensive option

Heard negative reports on the flatness of the field. (Maybe OK with my APS-C sensor?)

I have heard negative things regarding the focuser (although my load will by a light OSC)

Not turn key - I think I would need to buy some things in order for it to see it's first light (Tube rings, etc.)

 

Tele Vue NP101is - $4000

 

PROS:

World-Class Glass

Petzval config for nice, flat field

Fast @ f/5.4

 

CONS:

Most expensive of the lot

Not turnkey (No rings)

I have no personal experience with this scope

Relatively small (2.4") focuser

 

 

My question for you all is, which of these four scopes would be your choice? I know the least expensive is half of the the cost of the most expensive so this might be strange comparison but these are the final four in my mind.

 

Thanks to everyone!



#2 dghent

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 06:22 PM

They're all nice scopes. Physically, there is a size difference between the 80mm and 100mm class ones, so consider that as well

 

To toss another one up for consideration, especially for imaging, is the 92mm f/6 from CFF. You can order it with a 2.5" or 3" feathertouch focuser. It reduces to 414mm @ f/4.5 with the APM-Riccardi 0.75x reducer. They're made-to-order, so while not as good as in-stock, you're not waiting around for whichever future batch has your name on it either. I am super happy with mine and use it for imaging. I have an Optec FTX30 ThirdLynx focuser controller fitted to it.


Edited by dghent, 24 November 2020 - 06:22 PM.

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#3 durak

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 06:29 PM

They're all nice scopes. Physically, there is a size difference between the 80mm and 100mm class ones, so consider that as well

 

To toss another one up for consideration, especially for imaging, is the 92mm f/6 from CFF. You can order it with a 2.5" or 3" feathertouch focuser. It reduces to 414mm @ f/4.5 with the APM-Riccardi 0.75x reducer. They're made-to-order, so while not as good as in-stock, you're not waiting around for whichever future batch has your name on it either. I am super happy with mine and use it for imaging. I have an Optec FTX30 ThirdLynx focuser controller fitted to it.

Thanks! Those scopes look awesome! I will take a serious look at their offerings.



#4 Jim Waters

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 06:31 PM

I have the Esprit 100ED Triplet.  Its a nice scope.  Here are a few of my first images.  The focuser is good.  Good US based support.  Its a heavy scope...  The only negative I have is that its dew shield flops around.

https://flic.kr/p/2jYvfAD

https://flic.kr/p/2k4pc5T
https://flic.kr/p/2k9R6M7

https://flic.kr/p/2k7hRnX

 

Stellarvue scopes.  Nice scopes but a bit overpriced.  I am not willing to pay a premium for Stealth Ratio over 0.95.

 

Tak scopes.  Very expensive and support can be problematic.

 

Tele Vue Scopes.  Good optics but also over priced.  Do NOT get  scope with anything less than a 2.5" focuser for astrophotography.  2.7" or greater is ideal.


Edited by Jim Waters, 24 November 2020 - 06:33 PM.

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#5 durak

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 06:35 PM

I have the Esprit 100ED Triplet.  Its a nice scope.  Here are a few of my first images.  The focuser is good.  Good US based support.  Its a heavy scope...  The only negative I have is that its dew shield flops around.

https://flic.kr/p/2jYvfAD

https://flic.kr/p/2k4pc5T
https://flic.kr/p/2k9R6M7

 

Stellarvue scopes.  Nice scopes but a bit overpriced.  I am not willing to pay a premium for Stealth Ratio over 0.95.

 

Tak scopes.  Very expensive and support can be problematic.

 

Tele Vue Scopes.  Good optics but also over priced.  Do NOT get  scope with anything less than a 2.5" focuser for astrophotography.  2.7" or greater is ideal.

Lovely pics. I have seen several of your pics throughout the years on the forum. waytogo.gif  So, it sounds like to me, you are satisfied with your purchase.


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#6 Jim Waters

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 06:45 PM

As I mentioned the dew shield flops around when not screwed down.  They could have done a better design...!   I use a Pegasus FocusCube2 with my scope.  The FF delivers a flat field and no vignetting or CA.  The power-coat paint has a tendency to scratch. 

 

I don't know about QA and variations from scope to scope.

 

I would have liked to get a Stellarvue 102mm scope - SVX102T but when you add the FR/FF, FF, case and the other stuff its almost $4,600.

https://www.stellarvue.com/svx102t/



#7 durak

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 06:49 PM

As I mentioned the dew shield flops around when not screwed down.  They could have done a better design...!   I use a Pegasus FocusCube2 with my scope.  The FF delivers a flat field and no vignetting or CA.  The power-coat paint has a tendency to scratch. 

 

I don't know about QA and variations from scope to scope.

 

I would have liked to get a Stellarvue 102mm scope - SVX102T but when you add the FR/FF, FF, case and the other stuff its almost $4,600.

https://www.stellarvue.com/svx102t/

Thanks Jim. I also own a focuscube2 that I would use on the scope. I also considered the 102mm Stellarvue but it's native f/7 is slower than I want.

 

Question: have you tried reducing the scope? If so, which reducer did you use and how were the results?



#8 Jim Waters

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 07:02 PM

Lovely pics. I have seen several of your pics throughout the years on the forum.

Thanks durak.



#9 yzhzhang

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 07:06 PM

They're all nice scopes. Physically, there is a size difference between the 80mm and 100mm class ones, so consider that as well

 

To toss another one up for consideration, especially for imaging, is the 92mm f/6 from CFF. You can order it with a 2.5" or 3" feathertouch focuser. It reduces to 414mm @ f/4.5 with the APM-Riccardi 0.75x reducer. They're made-to-order, so while not as good as in-stock, you're not waiting around for whichever future batch has your name on it either. I am super happy with mine and use it for imaging. I have an Optec FTX30 ThirdLynx focuser controller fitted to it.

I have the CFF 92mm F6 version and I also coupled it with the Riccardi 0.75x reducer. I didn't use it much enough but so far I am really happy with the performance.

 

However I think it's really hard to get new from manufacturer... I don't think that's in CFF's development plan anymore. Worth checking with Catalin directly.


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#10 Jim Waters

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 07:06 PM

Thanks Jim. I also own a focuscube2 that I would use on the scope. I also considered the 102mm Stellarvue but it's native f/7 is slower than I want.

 

Question: have you tried reducing the scope? If so, which reducer did you use and how were the results?

SV has a 0.74x  FR/FF that's nice.  Its only good for APS-C sensors.

https://www.stellarv...t-or-svx102t-r/

 

I have an Starizona Apex-L 0.65x FR/FF for my Sky-Watcher on order.  I will post a report on CN sometime next week.


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#11 Midnight Dan

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 07:41 PM

I have the Esprit 100 and absolutely love it.  I use an APS-C sensor and the images are flat and sharp across the field.  I think you'd be hard pressed to see any real difference between its images and those from the Tak or the Televue. 

 

The differences in focal ratios among the scopes you list is minimal so I wouldn't use "fast" or "slow" as a determining factor.  

 

If the Esprit 100 is not wide enough for you then of course, you should be looking at other options.  But personally, I don't think you can go wrong with this scope.  

 

-Dan


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#12 durak

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 07:48 PM

I have the CFF 92mm F6 version and I also coupled it with the Riccardi 0.75x reducer. I didn't use it much enough but so far I am really happy with the performance.

 

However I think it's really hard to get new from manufacturer... I don't think that's in CFF's development plan anymore. Worth checking with Catalin directly.

I will shoot them a message. I am intrigued...



#13 durak

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 07:51 PM

SV has a 0.74x  FR/FF that's nice.  Its only good for APS-C sensors.

https://www.stellarv...t-or-svx102t-r/

 

I have an Starizona Apex-L 0.65x FR/FF for my Sky-Watcher on order.  I will post a report on CN sometime next week.

I will look for that report! It was my plan to order the Apex if I go the Esprit route- I could shoot at native 550 and at 358. 



#14 durak

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 07:53 PM

I have the Esprit 100 and absolutely love it.  I use an APS-C sensor and the images are flat and sharp across the field.  I think you'd be hard pressed to see any real difference between its images and those from the Tak or the Televue. 

 

The differences in focal ratios among the scopes you list is minimal so I wouldn't use "fast" or "slow" as a determining factor.  

 

If the Esprit 100 is not wide enough for you then of course, you should be looking at other options.  But personally, I don't think you can go wrong with this scope.  

 

-Dan

Dan thanks! It is a relief to hear that your images are sharp using an APS-C. At this point, I am leaning toward the Espirit, I figure I can put the "saved" money toward my CEM70. 


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#15 Midnight Dan

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 08:03 PM



Dan thanks! It is a relief to hear that your images are sharp using an APS-C. At this point, I am leaning toward the Espirit, I figure I can put the "saved" money toward my CEM70. 

Here are some samples of my images on Astrobin.  Go to full resolution and check out the corners.  This is with an ASI071 camera.

 

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-Dan


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#16 mmalik

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 08:31 PM

Tak FSQ85EDX - $3500-3850 (do I need the additional flattener to shoot with APS-C?)

Get one with flattener regardless of sensor frame. Wait is not too bad; you may get one in 2-3 months. Just get in the queue. Regards


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#17 alpal

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 09:45 PM

Why not try second hand on Astromart or some other place?

Some people will even show full size pics of what they've taken so you can see if

they have a flat field.


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#18 Jim Waters

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Posted 25 November 2020 - 12:35 AM

Here are some samples of my images on Astrobin.  Go to full resolution and check out the corners.  This is with an ASI071 camera.

 

get.jpg?insecure

get.jpg?insecure

get.jpg?insecure

get.jpg?insecure

 

-Dan

Nice images Dan.


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#19 leviathan

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Posted 25 November 2020 - 01:22 AM

Baby-Q with 1.01x flattener.


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#20 telfish

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Posted 25 November 2020 - 02:30 PM

I have an Esprit 120 and it's really good even out to Full Frame. I use it with the 6200 and am really pleased. The100 has the same good optics and focuser. I also have a Stellarvue SVX102CF and that also is good out to full frame with round stars to the edge. 

 

Pretty much all the scopes you list are great, The Esprit I feel is the best value in a premium refractor on the market especially as it comes with the FF and a case you could drive a truck over.


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#21 Ron (Lubbock)

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Posted 25 November 2020 - 07:01 PM

I have an Esprit 100ED, and it's a great imaging scope.  I also have the Apex reducer, and although it makes the system incredibly fast, getting the back-focus perfect is an ongoing project, and I have some subtle problems with taking good flats that I don't understand yet. I'd still rather have the reducer with some imperfect corner stars than image at f/5.5 all the time.

 

With any of these premium telescopes, you should assume that it will provide wonderful results at the native f-ratio, but as soon as you pair it with a reducer from another manufacturer, you may or may not get things perfectly right.  The larger your sensor is, the more I would assume you will have trouble with reducers.  These are just "expectations," so if you get the reducer and it works perfectly, you'll be pleasantly surprised. 


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#22 ezwheels

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Posted 25 November 2020 - 09:53 PM

I had an Esprit 100 and now have a Tak FSQ106. I would say that optically the Esprit is very close to the Tak and really the biggest faults I found with it were the limited back spacing from the native FF and lack of a dedicated reducer. From what I understand Skywatcher is now very close to releasing their own reducer for the scope. At least they are planning on releasing one for the 120 and I would hope one for the 100 as well. This potentially takes care of one of the biggest minuses that I found with the scope. The back focus spacing is really only an issue for users with an OAG, filter wheel and a CTU. I find a CTU pretty much mandatory for my 6200mm and I use an OAG so that distance is pretty critical for my use case. 

 

I found the focuser to be stout but had a less than stellar experience motorizing it with the Sesto Senso motor. This motor connects to the fine focus shaft which resulted in sever backlash. I eventually mounted a Nitecrawler on it that was shared with the Esprit and my TEC140. 



#23 Midnight Dan

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Posted 25 November 2020 - 11:21 PM

I found the focuser to be stout but had a less than stellar experience motorizing it with the Sesto Senso motor. This motor connects to the fine focus shaft which resulted in sever backlash. I eventually mounted a Nitecrawler on it that was shared with the Esprit and my TEC140. 

When I received my Esprit 100, the focuser was out of adjustment.  There are screws on the bottom that can be used to tighten up the tension and the gear engagement, if I remember correctly.  Once adjusted, it performed extremely well.  I use a Sesto Senso with mine and get pinpoint autofocus every time.   I wonder if maybe your focuser was just out of adjustment?

 

-Dan



#24 UniversalMaster

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Posted 26 November 2020 - 12:24 AM

I don't know the SV80X80T, but it seems quite expensive compared to my, now old, SV80 f6 with Lomo optics. I think it was like $1500 10 years ago, so much more for what I'm guessing is now Chinese optics seems expensive to me. Anyway, if the optics are good they are good no matter where the come from! I have found 80mm to be a really handy size for AP on a small mount, travel, quick view etc, so I will never depart with mine! I'm sure the scope is great, but I think you can get similar performance cheaper elsewhere. I would also add motor focus for AP.

#25 ezwheels

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Posted 26 November 2020 - 12:56 AM

When I received my Esprit 100, the focuser was out of adjustment.  There are screws on the bottom that can be used to tighten up the tension and the gear engagement, if I remember correctly.  Once adjusted, it performed extremely well.  I use a Sesto Senso with mine and get pinpoint autofocus every time.   I wonder if maybe your focuser was just out of adjustment?

 

-Dan

It was out of adjustment and could not be made right so they sent me a new replacement ball bearing reduction part for free. That helped and it is a decent focuser and a better one than the stock one on the FSQ but, the difference between the focus of the NC and that of the Sesto senso on the stock Esprit focuser was not slight. 


Edited by ezwheels, 26 November 2020 - 12:59 AM.



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