I have been using this scope but I haven’t really written a review and I guess now is the time since I have used this scope a lot and have seen a lot from what it can do. Don’t take my words but look at the result of the astrographs that I have taken using this scope
This scope shown above was acquired during a swap meeting in SJAA two years ago. I got if for half the current price but I’m not sure of when this was originally acquired as the price started from around $650 to $900+ these days. The condition of the scope when I got it was not really good, a lot of dust and a lot of sign of heavy use. The only reason why I brought it is because I might be able to clean it up and do some repair specially on the focuser, or I can simply buy a new and better one from Starlight Instruments since I’m going to use this for astrophotography.
So after the cleaning and a couple of repair…
The FPL-53 glass is one the of best type of glass that can be used in a triplet configuration. It is very sharp and pictures that I took from this scope are very clear. I have used different cameras for this scope and the results are very consistent. I have used a Canon DLSR cropped and full frame and also the ZWO ASI 1600MM-Cooled and the smaller sensor from the same manufacturer.
The tube is made of Carbon Fiber and a couple of anodized aluminum. It was very light and construction is very strong and from the condition of it, aside from some minor scratches, the tube was perfect. I did some polishing but it’s not really important, it’s actually good for me because I’m seeing how the scope have served someone else before and now me. It has internal rings to limit the reflection of the light inside. Overall the construction of the tube is very good and will withstand the test of time.
This is where it can be improved a little bit because of the signs of use, I can clearly some problems on the draw tube where some of the anodizing material are starting to stick to the focuser bearing. I did a lot of things to make it work for me specially that I’ve notice some or slight bending probably because of the bearing eating the anodized aluminum in the draw tube. I did some filling and some very fine sand paper to make it very very smooth then I cleaned up the bearings and tighten everything. Replaced the grease on the 1:10 housing to make it very smooth again.
The scope came with a very good case to protect the scope. The build was very good, standing the test of time. The glass was perfect and with some care on the focuser, I have taken some very very good images. Below are just some and this scope became my goto scope for travelling and mostly for semi wide angle astrophotography.
Star Cluster and Galaxies
The images below are taken with the ZWO LRGB filters and exposure are set to 30 seconds each sub. Each channel has 30 subs and acquired using SGP and post processed using PixInsight and Photoshop CC2017
Deep Sky Objects (Narrowband)
Most of the images below are taken with the Orion narrowband filters, Ha, O3 and S2 with 7nm band pass. Subs are taken with 5 minutes exposure and 12 subs per channel with a total of 3 hours total image integration. Images below has 30 bias frames, 12 darks and no flats. Also notice that most image is not cropped that the channel integration are noticeable on the sides of the images. You can click on the images to see the full size, full resolution.