Altair Wave 152 ED triplet refractor
Size isn’t everything, but this scope has the performance to back up its bulk
The launch of any new large triplet refractor is bound to grab the interest of astronomers from all areas of the hobby. With their three lens elements and multi-coatings they deliver superior premium correction and razor-sharp stars, making them the deluxe choice when it comes to refractors. Altair Astro’s new 6-inch (152mm) ED f/8 triplet telescope looks and feels like a luxury telescope even before you look through the eyepiece.
Upon opening the box, the first two things you notice are its size and its weight: it’s a metre and a half long and the front lens cell is impressively hefty because it’s built from steel rather than an alloy.
The lens is made from Hoya FCD100 glass and has a built-in, extending dew shield. Tube rings and a Losmandy plate are included. At the back end the telescope has a 3.7-inch, CNC-machined, rack-and-pinion focuser with a rotator and also a separate rotator for a camera. This contains a self-centring twist lock to hold cameras or diagonals. While this is a quick and easy method for attaching accessories, it did display a little movement. Altair has said there will be a traditional option of a compression ring and thumbscrews for people using heavy cameras and filter wheels.
Once the telescope was mounted it becomes evident that the balance point might cause a problem for people who use a tripod as there’s a chance of this long telescope colliding with the legs. With the dew shield fully extended and imaging equipment attached the length of the telescope exceeds 1,500cm, so this could occur even with some large mounts; it is really best suited to a pier-based system.
Filtering for solar viewing
On a clear day, we set the telescope up for some solar viewing and imaging using a range of solar viewing eyepieces and a solar wedge. It’s worth pointing out that any solar viewing eyepieces would need a front-mounted energy rejection filter owing to the aperture of the telescope. While there weren’t many sunspots, the ones we did observe showed lots of detail around them and there was some nice granulation to be seen. Switching to a camera in the magnesium wavelength we were rewarded with