Overview of My Current Telescopes

Introduction | Sky-Watcher Skymax-127 OTA | Omegon Photography Scope 72/432 OTA | Celestron C8 OTA | Unistellar eVscope | TS-Optics Photoline 102/714 | Celestron C5 OTA | Vaonis Vespera | Unistellar eVscope 2 | Links | Appendix: Data of My Current Telescopes

On this page, I present some information about my current telescopes. Further below you will find a tabular overview of the basic data for the telescopes.

Note: Here you will find an overview of all telescopes that I own and owned. And here is my own little astronomy history.

 

Introduction

In the course of time, I have already tried a couple of telescopes and extended my "collection"several times, but also reduced again it at times. The reasons for the changes were of a different nature, and often the criteria "large aperture" and "weight/transportability" conflicted with each other. At the moment, my collection consists of the following devices, including a Sky-Watcher Star Discovery AZ GoTo mount, and a Sky-Watcher AZ Pronto mount (plus a Sky-Watcher AZ-GTi AZ GoTo mount head, which can be used on the tripod of the AZ Pronto mount):

The following overview lists the various options offered by the individual telescopes:

Telescope Sky-Watcher Skymax-127 Omegon Photography Scope 72/432 OTA Celestron C5 OTA TS-Optics TLAPO1027 Vaonis Vespera Vaonis Vespera Pro
Type Maksutov-Cassegrain scope for travel and fast observing Refractor tube (doublet), also usable as a spotting scope and camera lens Schmidt-Cassegrain scope for travel and fast observing Refractor tube (triplet) Refractor scope (quadruplet) with sensor chip, fully automated Refractor scope (quadruplet) with sensor chip, fully automated
Data
Aperture, Focal Length, Focal Ratio 127 mm, 1500 mm, f/11.8 72 mm, 432 mm, f/6 125/127 mm, 1250 mm, f/10 (9.84) 102 mm, 714/715 mm, f/7 50 mm, 200 mm, f/4 50 mm, 250 mm, f/5
Light Gathering Power, Limiting Visual Stellar Magnitude, Resolving Power 329.2, 13.2 mag, 0.91" 105.8, 11.1 mag, 1.61" 329, 13 mag, 0.91"/0.93" 212.3, ca. 12 mag, 1.15" 51.0, 13 mag, 2.32" 51.0, 16 mag, 2.32"
Maximum Magnification 254 x approx. 144 x 250/254 x 204 x approx. 33? x, > ??? x digitally approx. 40 x???, > ??? x digitally
Magnification with 32 mm / 4 mm Eyepiece 46.9 x / 375 x 13.5 x / 108 x 39 x / 312.5 (too high) => 250 x (5 mm) 22.3 x / 178.5 x --- ---
Use
Used as... Moon and planets telescope; travel scope; telescope for a "quick look"; best suited to moon, sun, and planets, but also suited to brighter deep sky objects; can be used as a spotting scope Telescope for travel and home use; telescope for a "quick look"; for moon, planets, and brighter deep sky objects; rich-field telescope; can be used as a spotting scope Moon and planets telescope; travel scope; telescope for a "quick look"; best suited to moon, sun, and planets, but also suited to brighter deep sky objects; not quite, but nearly a rich-field telescope; can be used as a spotting scope Telescope for home use and for a "quick look"; suited to moon, sun, and planets, but also suited to brighter deep sky objects; rich-field telescope Telescope for EEA / "video astronomy" (rich-field telescope) Telescope for EEA / "video astronomy" (rich-field telescope)
Usable with My Sky Discovery GoTo Mount? yes yes yes (but the finder is located poorly...) yes no, has its own GoTo mount no, has its own GoTo mount
Usable with My AZ Pronto Mount? ydes yes yes no, too heavy no, has its own AZ mount no, has its own AZ mount
Usable with My AZ-GTi GoTo Mount? yes yes yes (but the finder is located poorly...) no, too heavy no, has its own AZ mount no, has its own AZ mount
Observation
Sun yes (with solar filter size 6 that I own) yes (with solar filter size 4 - I do not own one) yes (with solar filter size 6 that I own) yes (with solar filter - I do not own one) yes (with solar filter) yes (with solar filter)
Moon yes (I own a gray filter for the moon) yes (I own a gray filter for the moon) yes (I own a gray filter for the moon) yes (I own a gray filter for the moon; only for 1,25") no (but not well suited to observing the moon) no (but not well suited to observing the moon)
Planets yes, but the maximum usable magnification is about 250 x yes-and-no (planets are rather small...) yes, but the maximum usable magnification is about 250 x yes, but the maximum usable magnification is about 200 x no, tiny... no, tiny...
Deep Sky Objects yes (the brighter ones) yes (the brighter ones; low magnification - rich-field observations) yes (the brighter ones) yes yes yes
Terrestrial Observations yes, with an Amici prism yes, with an Amici prism yes, with an Amici prism (is sold as a spotting scope) yes, with an Amici prism no no

Further down, you will find a table with additional technical data for the telescopes.

 

Sky-Watcher Skymax-127 OTA (November 2017 - January 2021; October 2021 - ?)

Side view on AZ Pronto mount with extension tube

Ditto (detail)

Other side, on AZ Pronto mount without extension tube

Ditto (detail)

Purchased used in November 2017. The Sky-Watcher Skymax-127 OTA (focal length 1500 mm) is a Maksutov-Cassegrain tube, which allows higher magnifications than Newton telescopes of the same aperture. Therefore, it is useful for observing the sun, the moon, and the planets. Most of the time, I use the tube on the Sky-Watcher AZ Pronto mount, but I also use it on the Sky-Watcher Star Discovery AZ GoTo mount.

At the end of December 2020, I purchased a Celestron C5, which is a bit lighter and more flexible than the Skymax-127 (it can even be operated with 2" accessories). As a result, I sold the Skymax-127 at the end of January 2021, even though it may be the better telescope... At the end of October 2021, however, I bought my Skymax-127 back in order to use it in our vacation apartment in Northern Germany.

For details see page Sky-Watcher Skymax-127 OTA Information (5" Maksutov-Cassegrain). For technical data see below.

 

Omegon Photography Scope 72/432 (September 2018)

Side view on AZ Pronto mount with extension tube

Ditto (detail)

Other side, on AZ Pronto mount with extension tube

Ditto (detail)

Purchased in September 2018 at the AME2018 astronomy fair and delivered soon after. The Omegon Apochromatic Refractor Pro APO AP Photography Scope 72/432 ED OTA is a refractor tube, which is useful for observing the sun, the moon, and maybe the planets, but also for wide-field DSO observations. It can also be used as a spotting scope (with an Amici prism) and as a camera lens. Most of the time, I use the tube on the Sky-Watcher AZ Pronto mount. I wanted to use it on the Sky-Watcher Star Discovery AZ GoTo mount as well, but this did practically not happen. Currently, I can use it on the Sky-Watcher AZ-GTi GoTo mount head together with the tripod taken from the AZ Pronto mount.

For details see page Omegon Photography Scope 72/432 ED OTA Information (2.8" Refractor). For technical data see below.

 

TS-Optics Photoline 102/714 (July 2020)

The TS-Optics Photoline 102 mm f/7 FPL53 Triplet Apo with 2.5" RPA focuser is regarded as exhibiting very little color fringing with respect to its price. That is why I bought it in July 2020 on the advice of my astronomy dealer - unfortunately not from him, because the unit was hard to get. I operate the refractor on the Sky-Watcher AZ4 mount manually and on the Sky-Watcher Star Discovery AZ GoTo mount with GoTo. In a first comparison day and night (M 3) the refractor showed itself clearly superior to my Omegon refractor PS 72/432.

For details see page TS Optics Photoline 102/715 Information (4" Refractor). For technical data see below.

 

Celestron C5 OTA (December 2020)

C5 - side view on the AZ Pronto mount with the original finder and as a spotting scope

C5 tube, oblique front view

C5 tube from the rear

The Celestron C5 is a Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope which, like Maksutov-Cassegrains, is a reflector with a "folded" light path and therefore very compact for its large aperture. Accordingly, it has a long focal length, which makes it particularly suitable to observing the moon and the planets. However, the C5 is also suitable as a "universal telescope" for DSO, especially when using the f/6.3 reducer/corrector. However, this tube is marketed by Celestron as a spotting scope... Nevertheless, I call it here "OTA" and not "spotting scope". I bought the C5 in December 2020 in order to have a lighter and more flexible travel and "fast" telescope than the Skymax-127. I use the C8 on my Sky-Watcher AZ Pronto mount and on my Sky-Watcher AZ-GTi AZ GoTo mount (the bigger mounts are possible as well...)..

For details see page Celestron C5 OTA Information (5" Schmidt-Cassegrain). For technical data see below.

 

Vaonis Vespera (July 2022)

Photo: The Vaonis Vespera telescope (from the Vaonis-Website (EN); permission for use granted)

Vespera is the second telescope that the French company Vaonis developed. For this purpose, Vaonis started a Kickstarter campaign on October 1, 2020, which I backed very early to get an early-bird offer - and I succeeded. I learned about this campaign because Vaonis contacted me personally. The campaign ended successfully, and delivery of the telescope was scheduled for Christmas 2021. However, it was delayed several times. On July 29, 2022, I received the telescope and tripod and on September 15, 2022, the second part of the Adventurer Pack (backpack, accessories) that I had opted for.

Vespera attracted me because of its wide field of view, which 1.6° wide horizontally (3.2° with mosaic mode). Thus, the Vespera is almost a "rich-field" telescope and complements the eVscope well, which only offers a field of view of 0.5°. Of course, I was also attracted by the completely different technique of the Vespera, especially the comparison between a lenticular and a Newtonian telescope. And last, but not least, the much lower price of the Vespera, also thanks to the Kickstarter campaign, which did not exist for the Vaonis Stellina, also played a role in my decision...

For details see page Vaonis Vespera - Information. For technical data see below.

 

Vaonis Vespera Pro (May 2024)

         

Photo: My Vaonis Vespera Pro (May 8, 2024)

Vespera Pro is an update of the telescope Vespera by the French company Vaonis. It could be preordered* since mid-June 2023 on the Vaonis Website. Delivery of the telescope was scheduled for May 2024; I received mine on May 8, 2024. It is also a refractor, the lens again is a quadruplet with 50 mm aperture (like binoculars), but with a focal length of 250 mm (aperture ratio f/5) and with a specially designed "pro" field corrector.
*) Since I already own a high tripod, I decided to go for the simple package without an additional high tripod (2000 EUR instead of 2500 EUR).

The Vespera Pro uses a Sony IMX676 Starvis 2 sensor with a resolution of 3536 x 3536 pixels (12.5 MP). This delivers a field of view of 1.6° x 1.6° (3,2° x 3,2° in mosaic mode = 50 MP), which makes also the Vespera Pro a small rich field telescope. Its image scale or sampling rate is 1.65"/pixel, which is much better than that for the original Vespera (2.99"/pixel). With a weight of 5 kg and a height of 40 cm, the Vespera Pro has remained light and compact, making it an ideal travel telescope. The internal battery lasts for 11 hours, which is quite a long time.

For details see page Vaonis Vespera Pro - Information. For technical data see here.

 

Links

 

Appendix: Data

Technical Data of My Current Telescopes

Telescope Sky-Watcher Omegon TS-Optics Celestron Vaonis Vaonis
Skymax-127 PS 72/432 TLAPO1027 C5 Vespera Vespera Pro
Optical Design Maksutov-Cassegrain Refractor (Doublet) Refractor (Triplet) Schmidt-Cassegrain Refractor (Quadruplet) Refractor (Quadruplet)
Primary Mirror Diameter 127 mm (5") 72 mm (2.8") 102 mm (4") 125/127 mm (5") 50 mm (2") 50 mm (2")
Focal Length, Focal Ratio 1500 mm, f/11.8 432 mm
f/6
714/715 mm
f/7
1250 mm
f/10 (9.84)
200 mm
f/4
250 mm
f/5
Resolving Power (arc secs) 0.91" 1.61" ** 1.15" 0.91"/0.93" 2.32" 2.32"
Limiting Visual Stellar Magnitude 13.2 mag 11.1 mag ** about 12 mag 13 mag 13 mag 16 mag
Light Gathering Power 329.2 105.8 ** 212.3 329 51.0 51.0
Maximum Practical Visual Power 254 x 144 x 204 x 250/254 x 33 x, ??? digitally 40 x???, ??? digitally
Optical Tube Dimensions
(diam. x length)
14.4 x 33 cm 10 cm x 39.4 cm 10.5/12.6 cm x 61.5 cm (transport size) 15 cm* x 28/33 cm 48 x 20 x 9 cm (HxWxD) 48 x 20 x 9 cm (HxWxD)
Net Weight Basis --- --- --- --- unknown unknown
Net Weight Optical Tube 3.4 kg 2.06 kg 5.6 kg 2.72 kg 5 kg 5 kg

*) My own measurement; **) corrected values

Observation-Relevant Data

Telescope

Focal
Length
(mm)

Aperture
(mm)
Focal
Ratio
Light
Gathering
Power
Maximum+
Minimum*
Maximum*
Minimum+
Usable Magnification
Usable Focal Length
of Eyepiece (mm)
Factor/Exit Pupil (mm) >
Manuf.
1.5
2
6.5
7
6.5
7
1.5
2
PS 72 (Refractor, Doublet)
432
72
6
106
144
108
144
11.08
10.29
39.0
42.0
4.0
3.0
TLAPO1027 (Refractor, Triplet)
714
102
7
212.3
153
204
15.69
14.57
45.5
49.0
4.7
3.5
Skymax-127 (Maksutov-Cassegrain)
1500
127
11.81
329
191
254
19.54
18.14
76.8
82.7
7.9
5.9
Celestron C5 (Schmidt-Cassegrain)
1250
127
10
329
295
190
254
19.69 18.29
65.0
70.0
6.7
5.0
Celestron C5R (Schmidt-Cassegrain)
787.5
127
6.3
329
295
190
254
19.69 18.29
41.0
44.1
4.2
3.2

*) Calculated for an exit pupil of 6.5 mm and 7 mm
+) Factor 1.5 or 2 for Dobsonian telescopes; in general, the lower value of 1.5 is used for Newtonian telescopes; if the manufacturer specified a different magnification, it is also listed (some manufacturer provide considerably higher numbers...).

Visual Power (Magnification), True Field of View, and Exit Pupil for Different Focal Lengths of Eyepieces

Blue: borrowed eyepieces; italic 2" eyepiece; gray: sold

Telescope
Further Data
Focal Length of Eyepiece (mm)
Magnification
 
Focal Length of
Telescope (mm)
4
7
10
16
18
24
26
28
32
32
35
38
40
56
PS 72/432
432
108.00
61.71
43.20
27.00
24.00
18.00
16.62
15.43
13.50
13.50
12.34
11.37
10.80
7.71
TLAPO1027
714
178.50
102.00
71.40
44.63
39.67
29.75
27.46
25.50
22.31
22.31
20.40
18.79
17.85
12.75
SM127
1500
375.00
214.29
150.00
93.75
---
62.50
---
---
46.88
---
---
---
---
---
C5
1250
312.50
178.57
125.00
78.13
---
52.08
---
---
39.06
---
---
---
---
---
C5 (Red.)
787.5
196.88
112.50
78.75
49.22
---
32.81
---
---
24.61
---
---
---
---
---
 
True Field of View (°)
Apparent Field of View (°) >
82
82
72
82
82
65
70
56
52
70
69
70
68
52
 
Focal Length of
Telescope (mm)
4
7
10
16
18
24
26
28
32
32
35
38
40
56
PS 72/432
432
0.76
1.33
1.67
3.04
3.42
3.61
4.21
3.63
3.85
5.19
5.59
6.16
6.30
6.74
TLAPO1027
714
0.46
0.80
0.91
1.84
2.07
2.18
2.55
2.20
2.33
3.14
3.38
3.73
3.92
4.08
SM127
1500
0.22
0.38
0.48
0.87
---
1.04
---
---
1.11
---
---
---
---
---
C5
1250
0.26
0.46
0.58
1.05
---
1.25
---
---
1.33
---
---
---
---
---
C5 (Red.)
787.5
0.42
0.73
0.91
1.67
---
1.98
---
---
2.11
---
---
---
---
---
 
Exit Pupil (mm)
 
Focal Ratio
4
7
10
16
18
24
26
28
32
32
35
38
40
56
PS 72/432
6
0.67
1.17
1.67
2.67
3.00
4.00
4.33
4.67
5.33
5.33
5.83
6.33
6.67
9.33
TLAPO1027
7
0.57
1.00
1.43
2.29
2.57
3.43
3.71
4.00
4.57
4.57
5.00
5.43
5.71
8.00
SM127
11.81
0.34
0.59
0.85
1.35
---
2.03
---
---
2.71
---
---
---
---
---
C5
10
0.41
0.71
1.02
1.63
---
2.44
---
---
3.25
---
---
---
---
---
C5 (Red.)
6.3
0.65
1.13
1.61
2.58
---
3.87
---
---
5.16
---
---
---
---
---

Magnification: Yellow: low (30-50 x); magenta: medium (80-100 x); violet: high (150-200 x - and more); red: beyond maximum usable magnification.

Field of View: Allows to predict whether an extended object can be fully captured or whether adjacent objects can be observed together.

Exit pupil: Values in magenta cells are either too small (< 1 mm) or too large (> 6.4/7 mm); yellow background: best for galaxies (about 2-3 mm).

 

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18.05.2024