VIXEN GP M 102
I've owned the Vixen GP 102 M for quite a while now. It's been a good scope and a cracking mount. Mine was purchased from Orion Optics in the UK. I opted for Orion Optics own heavy duty field tripod over the Aluminum Vixen tripod, which was a worthwhile although costly move.

The GP and 102M marry up very well indeed. If the OTA was any heavier I think it would cause the GP some problems with prolonged damp down times. But it's just right.

The 102M is a nice scope, no getting away from that. But it is an achromat and perhaps doesn't make such good financial sense with the Synta ED100 available. Vixen have done a good job with the coatings, baffling, internal blackening and quality optics. But despite their best efforts the 102M still betrays it's achro origins.
Saturn is surrounded by a faint blue mist, which although not bad, is very apparent. The view in the ED100 shows no detectable chromatic abberation and the view is slightly crisper too. But the view in the 102M is still oh so nice. Plenty of contrast, sharp and detailed. Certainly a nicer view than with my Orion Optics 8" f6 Newtonian.
The other major planets display the same trait. The CA is worse with Venus and Jupiter, which is to be expected. And the Moon displays a violet fringe on its limb.
But all this is to be expected. And 5 years ago that would be fine and we would leave it there. But today the Skywatcher and Orion USA ED100's are available at such good prices and their optics are easily a class or two above the Vixen 102M, that it really render it redundant. Unless you can pick one up secondhand for bargain basement money, go with the Synta produced ED100.....it's far superior!!!!

The GP is a great mount but like the 102M it's getting harder to make a case for it. Especially brand new. With drives, polar scope and tripod, it's price is close to the superior Skywatcher HEQ5 Skyscan Pro. Again it makes far more sense as a secondhand buy.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:8 Mount:8 Ease of Use:7 Value:5
Weight: 20 (Notable Vote)
Date:
By: Rustiebin
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=548015

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I fully agree with the review.
I own a 1988 Vixen 102M and it is exactly as described, despite I never compared it face-to-face with other refractors of the same diameter.
I think I'll keep it as a guide scope for my future OTAs.

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