Skywatcher 102


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Brand and Model:Skywatcher 102
Price ($USD):around $300.00
Type:Achromatic Refractor
Attributes: un-checked Go-To un-checked PEC
Aperture:102mm (4")
f Ratio:f/5
Focal Length:500mm
Finder:6 X 30
Electric Power:
Mount:tube rings
Tripod:
Weight (lbs):around 6 lbs.
Dimensions (w/h/d):
Description:

Vote Highlights Vote
Skywatcher 102
This is my first telescope so I have nothing to compare it to. As a first scope, I would say I got my money's worth ($1200CAD incl. mount, good eyepieces and barlow). The scope is easy to set up and very portable. As it can be used for both astro and terrestrial viewing portablility and ease of use/setup is a large plus.

The view of the moon at 125X is quite impressive.
The moon was very bright so a standard moon filter was used. I had the feeling I was over the moon in orbit- a feeling I've never had from any picture.

I am looking forward to viewing Saturn later next month.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:8 Mount:8 Ease of Use:10 Value:9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.184.76)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=135138


Skywatcher 102
This scope provides very nice bright, low power (e.g. 20x) wide field views. The mount provided (EQ2 or EQ3-2) is more than adequate for a short-tube, light weight scope like this. Views of the moon and Jupiter are at first dissappointing due to false color but are greatly improved with the use of the stopped-down lens cap and a ND filter(an absolute must for the moon). The maximum practical magnification is about 100x so don't expect to see Jupiter's red spot or Cassini's division in Saturn's rings. At 20x, you get a >3 degree field of view, making this a fine performer on larger open clusters like M44, M41, M35, and the Pleides. This is my prefered scope for viewing these objects (I also own an 8" SCT and a 4" f10 refractor). The 102-f5 is a great companion set up next to an 8" or larger scope and you will learn more about the night sky this way than any goto sofware can teach you (astronomy is not a race). It's hard to express the value or enjoyment of something as a number but if I must, these are my ratings for this scope:

Suitability of Mount..................... 9/10
Brightness for a 4"...................... 8/10
Star Sharpness............................7/10
Low Power Views (20-30)...................9/10
Mid-High Power Views (50-100x)............5/10
Portability & Ease of Setup...............10/10
Planetary & moon viewing..................5/10

If your main interest is the moon and planets or if you view from a light polluted city then you are better off buying the longer focal length f10-102 Skywatcher (the f5 and f10 are similarly priced). Otherwise, this is a good low power scope and good $value compared to similar refractors. Also a reasonably good daytime scope.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.249.163)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40684


Skywatcher 102
Good scope for the price.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.44.227)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40683


Skywatcher 102
I've been using this scope for about 9 months now. This is a rich field telescope which excells at wide fields of view. Although you can use it to view planets and Messier objects, these views tend to be disapointing due to a lack of detail. It is still nonetheless a good beginners scope or a quick look scope and would be excellent in a Messier marathon as it is essentially a great finder scope.
I replaced the diagonal with a 2" Antares diagonal but have noticed little improvement. I replaced the barlow with a Antares 2x barlow and noticed a very big improvement in image quality. I also added a 7mm Nagler eyepiece for a big improvement in image quality. With the barlow this provides about 142x and the scope handles this magnification well and could possibly handle more.
The optics are a little rough and mine is not quite collimated. There is no resemblance between the inside and outside focus images on a star test due to surface roughness. I have split stars down to 3.2 arc seconds and have viewed the Cassini division on Saturn (once and only under the best available sky conditions). I routinely see two equatorial bands on Jupiter and the four moons but nothing more. I have not been able to veiw any globular cluster as anything other than a featureless blob. Views of the moon are very satisfying.
This scope, at f/5, is not intended as a planetary or star splitter scope so will not satisfy the user at these tasks and therefore is inadequate as a primary telescope to anyone but a beginner. Used for its intended purpose however is an excellent value and would make a fabulous finder scope for a large telescope. It is also excellent as a terrestrial telescope and is very portable and quick to set up.
Mine came with and excellent alt/az mount. Supplied eyepieces are adequate but not high quality.
Overall, this a good value for a beginners/ quick look / terrestrial scope. Its light weight and convenience means that it will get used a lot for those short weeknight evening sessions.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.46.121)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40682


Skywatcher 102
optically this scope is ok; the optics aren't pinched, but the star test
at 77x showed some zonal error and a bit of mis-collimation. the mechanics are nice; the 2" focuser is smooth and the overall finish is
both rugged and sufficiently light. the finder is ok, with a cool spring-loaded alignment system. the 25mm plossl and mirror diagonal which come with it give appealing 20x views.

i got this scope on an EQ3-2 mount with wood legs. nice, but the mass of the mount defeated much of the "grab and go" appeal of the unit. an AZ3 mount makes things more portable...

this scope's true purpose in life is as a rich field sky sweeper. with a big 32mm wide-angle omcon erfle and enhanced 2" diagonal the views at 16x are amazing.

the catch with the 2" optics is the extra mass at the back end; the scope
will no longer balance on the AZ3 mount. i ended up making an adaptor plate to bring the tube rings closer together and shift the mounting point closer to the scope's centre of mass.

much better- i can grab it with one hand, haul it out back and be observing in seconds. tons of fun, but the improved ocular and diagonal cost over 70% of the price of the scope.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.72.238)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40681


Skywatcher 102
The 6x30 finder that the scope comes with is a bit silly considering the 3.5+ degree FOV you can get with a nice wide angle eyepiece (I used a Speers-Waler 24.7mm 67deg.AFOV eyepiece, 20 power). When you want to look at something close, use the wide angle to center the object, then swap eyepieces and refocus.

The wide angle view is perfect for large deep sky objects. The belt of Orion fits perfectly within the S-W 24mm field of view on this scope. I've seen M8 and about 12 stars from the M8 open cluster (20/40x), M13 (20/50x), and M42 (20/40x) with ease. Have not tried on other objects as yet.

Though I haven't star tested the scope, I have stopped it down and boosted it to 140x on Jupiter using a yellow-green filter with impressive results (at least compared to my old 4.5" cat-newt). Was able to identify at least seven belts which beats my old 4.5" Cat-Newt. There may have been more detail evident but the mount was a generic tripod and wasn't very stable so the view might be better with a more solid mount with finer controls. Not to mention Jupiter is quickly approaching solar conjunction.
On Saturn, I could barely discern the Cassini division but the difficulty ws probably due to the unstable mount.

The inside of the tube is fitted with two baffles. However, the edge of the focusing tube appears rough on the inside and may cause internal reflections.
You'll probably want to take it apart and blacken the edges.

The dark-blue/granite metal construction looks good and has a rugged feel to it. The focuser is pretty solid, motion wise and can accept either 2" or 1.25" eyepieces which is a nice touch on such a small/medium telescope. Both the 1.25" adaptor and 2x doublet metal barlow (not bad) are threaded for camera T-rings. The diagonal uses a rectangular mirror and causes light reflections. Recommend updating the diagonal.

The main benefits of this scope are a wide angle field, portability, and value. Its just big enough to give some amazing views but not big enough to be inconvenient. The scope tube will fit snugly in a medium sized gymbag (I place bubble-wrap around it just to be safe). It's also priced right ($450+tax canadian for the tube+rings+barlow+diagonal+20mm and 10mm chines plossls).

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.27.203)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40680


Skywatcher 102
If one reads reviews on this little scope they will see that it is not a planetary scope. I will split double stars like Epsilon Lyrae fairly well, but put on a bright object and you get what is expected out of such a short refractor of the achromat design, false color, alot of it, this can be tamed on Jupiter and Saturn with a yellow or light green-yellow filter, if you want to take a shot a planets with this scope stop it down, or use orthoscopic eyepieces, field is then restricted as opposed to the wide field designs, but you can get medium powers out of this scope on good nights. I have compared this scope to it's little cousin the Omcon 708, it will out do the Omcon on deep objects and star fields, but the 708 pulls ahead on planets. For the money, it you want an RFT, that is small that can go with you, I recomend it highly.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.145.68)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40679


Skywatcher 102
Okay. Let's first say this is not a telescope to look at the full moon with high power. It is designed primarily as a rich field telescope. At this job it performs very well. I have the following eyepeices which work beautifully with this telescope. Meade 40 SWA, 24.5 SWA, 14 UWA, and 8.8 UWA. This gives me powers of 13, 20, 36, and 57 respectively. At these low powers optical quality is quite good with very nice images. At 57x you can start to see that the scope has some spherical aberration that would show up more as we went higher in power. As well chromatic aberration starts to show up once we get past this power. The star test is certainly not identical either side of focus at this power. But so what, if you use this scope at say 20x the views are absolutely stunning. The 24.5 gives me a 3.3.degree field with a 5mm exit pupil which gives fantastic views of objects framed by this field- M31, Double Cluster, M7, M33, M45, M44 etc. If you get this scope be sure and buy a 2" diagonal for it and use those big eyepeices with it. You won't be disappointed. Incidentally if you still want to look at the moon you can get a wonderful view by using the aperture stop provided. This takes you down to around 53mm but you get very sharp images of bright objects. Stopped down this scope star tests quite well. Considering what this scope costs and the kind of low power views of the night sky it can provide it is a wonderful bargain and great value

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.6.10)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40678

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