Al­tair Wave 152 ED triplet refractor

Size isn’t ev­ery­thing, but this scope has the per­for­mance to back up its bulk

Sky at Night Magazine - - CONTENTS - WORDS: GARY PALMER

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

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