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Starwave 70ED F6 refractor Review - 2024 FPL53 version by Simon's Astro


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  • ALTAIR

A pretty comprehensive review of the Starwave 70ED F6 refractor - 2024 FPL53 version by Simon's Astro

 

 

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A great review by Simon.

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It looks nicely balanced. It might be an idea if I ever want to upgrade my 72ED DS PRO.

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That would be an interesting side by side test !

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, GazAstro said:

That would be an interesting side by side test !

 

My guess would be that the Altair would have better quality glass, but not by a huge amount. Probably similar to my 102mm Starwave, Altair 60EDF and Evostar 80ED DS PRO (the 80ED easily holds its own with the others ). I honestly think the 72ED has an FK-61 flint element rather than FCD-1 or FPL-51. I have no evidence for this assumption, call it a 'Columbo-type' hunch. FK-61 is native Chinese ED glass with the same Abbe number as FPL-51 and would explain the 72ED's competitive pricing. I got my rev 1 version at its give-away introductory price of about £250 IIRC (the rev 1 had a drastically improved focuser from the original). 

 

Speaking of the focuser, the Altair 70mm F6 looks like its R&P is better engineered than the Sky-Watcher's Crayford. Not that the rev 1's focuser isn't good, it is very smooth and accurate. I just believe that a good R&P can outperform a Crayford and is almost certainly better for the AP mob. I don't know how the drawtube's compare, Synta drawtubes are notoriously short.

 

The 72mm Evostar is a gnat's member under 2 kilo and perfectly balanced. The 70mm Altair looks balanced as it doesn't have the 'dumbass' and heavy rotating visual back of the 60EDF.

 

nDbW1wnl.jpg

 

So I'm guessing better balance than the 60 & 70EDF. Plus the Altair (or whoever makes it) focuser is a more robust, elegant and efficient design IMO.

 

BEpx0tQl.jpg

102mm Starwave focuser (above)

 

Apparently the 70mm Ascent is roughly 2kg, so compares well with the Evostar. It looks good for 379 quid, although I'd prefer a slightly longer dew sleeve (I'm also not overkeen on short retractable sleeves).

 

F8vAlEIl.jpg

 

This can be remedied however ...

Edited by Nightspore
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I have a feeling that many of the 'Altair' refractors and some diagonals are manufactured by Kunming United Optics.

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Posted (edited)

It looks a nice little scope indeed, I've been using a similar fk61 glassed model with that same focuser for a couple years now.

 

The focuser has needed no adjusting whatsoever in that time and is indeed super smooth with zero backlash, for the price of these with the long draw tubes fpl53 and generic moonlite focuser I would buy one straight away had I not already had one similar and even with a well figured fk61 set it still would be a crazy deal with the accessories included.

 

 

Edited by StarHugger
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I believe that the KUO focusers can be bought separately and are probably fitted to several makes and models.

 

ZEpj40Jl.png

 

However, unfortunately MoonLite are not making their more or less bespoke focusers anymore.

 

5lQclj5l.jpg

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  • ALTAIR
On 5/25/2024 at 2:56 PM, Nightspore said:

 

I honestly think the 72ED has an FK-61 flint element rather than FCD-1 or FPL-51. I have no evidence for this assumption, call it a 'Columbo-type' hunch. 

 

Best to make sure your post isn't misinterpreted - after all this is the interweb 🙂

 

The original Altair 72EDF has FPL53 glass and always has. You'll see that in the image quality. I've noticed some cheaper 72ED's that have FK61 glass floating around recently, most appearing post-covid. If you ask the importers they'll tell you it's the same as the original Altair but it isn't the same.

 

For this scope, the Starwave 70ED (not the 72EDF) we are discussing in this thread, there are 4 versions. The first 3 had FK61, and the 2nd and 3rd had a Lanthanum doped element. This this new version has FPL53 glass sourced in a huge quantity pre covid, and the colour correction is the best so far.

 

There is a noticeable difference in colour correction between the previous Starwave 70ED's and this new version both visually and photographically. The reducer performance is also improved, and fits the IMX533 very nicely as per the review. If you can afford the 2024 version I'd certainly recommend it over the earlier versions and clones.

 

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5 hours ago, nickaltair said:

 

Best to make sure your post isn't misinterpreted - after all this is the interweb 🙂

 

The original Altair 72EDF has FPL53 glass and always has. You'll see that in the image quality. I've noticed some cheaper 72ED's that have FK61 glass floating around recently, most appearing post-covid. If you ask the importers they'll tell you it's the same as the original Altair but it isn't the same.

 

For this scope, the Starwave 70ED (not the 72EDF) we are discussing in this thread, there are 4 versions. The first 3 had FK61, and the 2nd and 3rd had a Lanthanum doped element. This this new version has FPL53 glass sourced in a huge quantity pre covid, and the colour correction is the best so far.

 

There is a noticeable difference in colour correction between the previous Starwave 70ED's and this new version both visually and photographically. The reducer performance is also improved, and fits the IMX533 very nicely as per the review. If you can afford the 2024 version I'd certainly recommend it over the earlier versions and clones.

 

 

Thanks for the info. I was originally referring to my 72mm Sky-Watcher Evostar. I can only guess what glass that has as Synta have never officially stated. My Altair 60EDF has FPL-53, so it stands to reason the Altair 72EDF does. There is a noticeable difference in quality between my 60EDF and 72mm Evostar. The Evostar is well corrected, but the 60EDF has a distinct edge on it.  The new FPL-53 Starwave 70ED looks very nice. I am kinda tempted lol.

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