View Full Version here: : Paralysed by choice

09-11-2017, 09:11 AM

I've asked a few questions about refractors for imaging and become paralysed by choice (primarily because I'm retired and can't afford to make a mistake - wasted too much money on crap that doesn't work properly)

I'd like an FSQ106, but it would have to be secondhand and they don't come up often.

As an alternative I found a web page here:
where the guy is using an Esprit 100 at f5.5, and also adding a small Riccardi reducer to image at F4.1.

The images look pretty good - anyone have opinions on whether this might be a good lower priced alternative to an FSQ?


09-11-2017, 09:47 AM
The Esprits are very good. The early samples had issues with lens mounting but that's been fixed now. The focuser lock needs to be partly applied to prevent the drawtube rolling out with heavy weights - bit of a work around but it actually works well that way.

I had the esprit 80 and only sold it after buying an NP101is.

09-11-2017, 09:56 AM
Gary, you don't mention a mount in your list but i will assume you have one. As a fellow retiree i too debate every dollar spent, and have found that staying clear of the high priced brands can give you a scope every bit as good for your purpose. Have a look at the range of very nice Photoline APO refractors sold by Teleskop-Express in Germany:


Many of these refractors use FPL-53 glass elements in the objective, which is better in terms of colour correction than most other elements,and equal on Abbe numbers to the revered Flourite used in some Takahashi refractors. I would suggest looking at the Triplet APOs, and TS have three in the 102-107mm aperture range that might suit your purposes; they all come with strong rack and pinon focusers that easily support and hold imaging equipment. Whatever your final choice keep in mind that a reducer corrector is valuable for increasing the "speed" of the scope and/or to widen the field.

I should note that i own two TS Photoline APOs and the quality of components, the build, and performance, are very good imho.
Have fun.

09-11-2017, 10:12 AM
FSQ is out of my price range, so I went with the Esprit 100, albeit on its own merits also. I’ve thrown the gauntlet down at star parties to anyone with a with the 106 and never had any takers ;)

I image only at native focal length, have motorised the focuser and have used with DSLRs (APS-C and full frame) and my current mono camera. Happy to provide images if you drop me a line.

The dew shield is supersized, so it’s largely impervious to dew, at least up here. Maybe 1 in 5 nights I’ll use a dew tape. The R&P focuser is as good as any I’ve seen, some report they need to tighten it up but I’ve never had to, mine never slipped from the factory.

09-11-2017, 01:24 PM
Thanks Glend
I have been looking at the TS scopes, but am a bit nervous about getting a dud - it does happen occassionally I've found - not often, but enough I've read about to ale me a little hesitant...

My Main mount is a Mesu 200, portable mount is an HEQ5 Prow, belt modded.


09-11-2017, 01:26 PM
Have PM'd you..


09-11-2017, 01:30 PM
Gary I bought a TS Photoline 130 triplet APO last year, excellent scope optically and mechanically, and nothing to worry about with TS. Mine had the RPA 2.5” focusser which could easily hold several kilos without budging. DSLR should not be an issue.

Only thing to note is these triplet APOs are quite front-heavy which will challenge anything less than an EQ6.

09-11-2017, 01:36 PM
is that this one?



09-11-2017, 02:12 PM
Hi Gary,

As a CFF enthusiast, I would recommend at least checking their 92mm and 105mm refractors.

BTW, a short 4" refractor at f/4.1 most likely would require frequent refusing and imaging circle will be limited too.

If on a budget, I recommend TS telescopes. Had their ED doublet and it was a really good unit.


09-11-2017, 04:15 PM
Hi Gary yup that’s the one. Nice price. My only minor gripe is the paint job for some reason is matte cream so it doesn’t slide easily when the rings are loosened.

Visually quite capable of 250X. But note the weight - it’s a huge increment over say a 102mm f/7 ED doublet OTA.

While I appreciate the small 70-100 mm APOs are excellent photographically, from 130mm or above there are other - and better - choices.

09-11-2017, 04:48 PM
Like the Skywatcher MN190, Mak-Newt, f5.3, 1000mm fl., and a comparative bargain even after putting on a Moonlight focuser. Coma free, flat field, and like all Mak-Newts it will build up your muscles, but at least the weight is evenly distributed.:lol:

09-11-2017, 06:45 PM
And weight distribution should not be underrated! My recent experiment with a reflector made my Esprit seem very easy to balance by comparison...

15-11-2017, 05:40 PM
Hi all,
thanks to those whose suggestions helped me over the paralysis! I had a look at all those that people recommended and I have now ordered an Esprit 100. Would particularly like to thank Camelopardalis who took the trouble to write several very detailed emails about his scope and helped me make my mind up.

PS and to Glend - there is an MN190 in my near future in a side by side configuration with my C11 on my Mesu....hope you won't mind if I send you some pm's as well.....

15-11-2017, 07:09 PM
No problem Gary, happy to help if i can.

15-11-2017, 08:06 PM
:thumbsup: keep us posted Gary

24-11-2017, 07:54 AM
the Esprit 100 has arrived and had first light. Visually it is stunning, and imaging wise my first attempt has shown fabulous potential. Nice stars in all 4 corners on the first attempt!! No more newts for me.......constant collimation and corner issues suck....The one exception might be an MN190 based on Glend's experience. The Esprit is somewhat over mounted on my Mesu, but I know wind won't affect it :-)

thanks all for your suggestions..


24-11-2017, 09:48 AM
Nice one Gary :thumbsup:

With a suitably robust side-by-side bar, you could put both the C11 and the Esprit on the Mesu :)

24-11-2017, 11:48 AM
Nice choice Gary. There are plenty of years of enjoyment to come.;)