FIRST LIGHT

Sky at Night Magazine - - FIRST LIGHT -

T-threads onto which ex­ten­sion tubes and 1.2-inch adap­tors are at­tached. Re­mov­ing an ex­ten­sion tube al­lows a T-threaded cam­era to be con­nected di­rectly to the di­ag­o­nal.

The views through the scope were im­pres­sive. The Dou­ble Clus­ter in Perseus, NGC 869 and NGC 884, ap­peared bright and vi­brant with good colour def­i­ni­tion. A view of the Orion Ne­bula, M42, showed lots of de­tail. The faint outer re­gions were also beau­ti­fully re­vealed by the scope’s high-con­trast op­tics. It was a real plea­sure to view this ob­ject through the SD103S.

A brighter test view of the Moon showed the apoc­hro­matic op­tics of the SD103S to be true to form, and no colour fring­ing was seen at any point around the Moon’s limb. Us­ing a 5mm Vixen eye­piece (not in­cluded) de­liv­ered a very com­fort­able view of the lu­nar sur­face with fea­tures as small as 10km vis­i­ble un­der re­ally quite un­steady con­di­tions.

Sim­i­larly, imag­ing with a cam­era at­tached was a plea­sur­able, stress-free ex­pe­ri­ence. The fo­cuser is re­spon­sive and ex­cel­lent at hold­ing po­si­tion. It was lovely to im­age with such a bright, high-con­trast field of view. On a less pos­i­tive note, bright stars ex­hibit a dif­frac­tion pat­tern, which ap­pears to orig­i­nate from the clips used to hold the ob­jec­tive in place. In ad­di­tion, large sen­sor im­ages do show some op­ti­cal dis­tor­tion of stars to­wards the cor­ners of the imag­ing frame. An op­tional match­ing Vixen re­ducer/field-flat­tener goes some way to al­le­vi­at­ing the dis­tor­tions, but in our ex­pe­ri­ence didn’t fully elim­i­nate them. De­spite this, ap­prox­i­mately 85 per cent of the in­ner frame still pro­duced a great im­age.

The Vixen SD103S is a strong per­former both vis­ually and pho­to­graph­i­cally. Its porta­bil­ity is an­other fac­tor in its favour too. Con­se­quently, this is a no-fuss in­stru­ment that is ca­pa­ble of de­liv­er­ing ex­cel­lent re­sults.

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