Sky-Watcher has a passion for producing some of the finest optics to capture the night sky. In 2010, Sky-Watcher announced a pair of ED triplet apochromatic refractors incorporating doublet field flatteners; the 150mm, and its smaller but very capable brother, the 120mm. To add to this exciting line, Sky-Watcher introduces the new 80mm ED triplet APO refractor.
This formidable instrument produces razor-sharp, false color-free views, highly suitable for astrophotography and visual observing. Our comparison with a high priced competitor's scope was a draw.
The objective and field flattener lenses are crafted from premium optical substrate. The objective comprises one element of Ohara FPL-53 extra low dispersion glass and two elements of Schott BK-7. This combination produces high contrast images with no detectable false color.
The two-element field flattener threads to the rear of the focuser, and provides improved image resolution across a generous 33mm diameter field circle.
Knife-edge baffles have been installed to ensure contrast-robbing stray light is eliminated.
Sky-Watcher's new 2.7" dual-speed linear power roller bearing focuser is tough enough to drive heavy accessories with virtually no slippage. Unlike traditional Crayford focusers which surround the drawtube with roller bearings, the linear power focuser places the bearings along a single metal track mounted along the drawtube, so the drawtube is never flexed nor placed under compression.
The locking mechanism of the linear power focuser improves on the Crayford design by retaining the desired focus with no flexure or bending of the drawtube. An engraved linear scale helps set the focus close to where you need it.
The focus knobs can be rotated to change their orientation to suit the user. A built-in camera angle adjuster means easy and precise rotation of the camera and star diagonal independent of the focus knobs.
Apochromatic refractors have something of a cult following; their zero obstruction, color error-free optics make them among the finest instruments to observe and photograph the skies. Once relegated to a price range affordable only by the well heeled with deep pockets, they are now accessible to those wading in the shallow end.