Stellarvue SVA145

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Brand and Model:Stellarvue SVA145
Price ($USD):8690
Type:Apochromatic Refractor
Attributes: un-checked Go-To un-checked PEC
f Ratio:7.2
Focal Length:1045
Electric Power:NA
Weight (lbs):30
Dimensions (w/h/d):31" long
Description:I've always wanted a large APO and this scope represents my first large (5.7") ultra premium APO.

Of course the optics are superb and the build quality is perfection. I'm unable to detect any zones or astigmatism in the lens figure. And in/out focus shows no color on even bright stars like Vega.

Lunar contrast is as good as it gets too, and there's no color seen on the lunar limb and shadows standout starkly withing the craters.

One of my favorite tests for the lens coating quality and internal baffling, is to place the full moon just outside of the field of view and slowly move the scope to bring it into view. In this case, I simply couldn't detect the moon until it had entered the field of view.

The detail visible on Jupiter and Saturn is positively astounding, and there's no noticeable image break down at stupid high power (>600x), it just gets dimmer.

Of course, visual deepsky isn't its forte, afterall, it's still only approximately a 6" aperture. But, that's not as big an issue for CCD work, as I can generally compensate by acquiring more exposure data. Stars in medium format CCDs are pin points from edge to edge, but with the large format CCDs a field flattener is still called for.

This is the one area where Stellarvue let me down a bit, but I can certainly understand the economics of the situation; I expected a 3" Stellarvue field flattener to be available for this scope, and to date there isn't one. However, Stellarvue is a business, and producing accessories for a single scope (there's currently only one SVA145) isn't a sensible thing to do -- Vic said he'd do it, and I'm sure he would, but I couldn't wait any longer so I purchased the LZOS version, which was matched to my lens.

At this price range, I think one moves from good enough to esoteric perfection. Can I honestly say it's measureably better than a TEC, AP, APM, TAK, etc...probably not. But it made a difference to me, and from my perspective, that's what counted.

So if you're in the market for a "price is no object" APO in this aperture range, and the SVA145 is again showing-up on the Stellarvue website, you owe it to yourself to include this scope on your short list.

Vote Highlights Vote
Stellarvue SVA145
Since there's only one, I guess I'll vote for it myself; after a year of use, I give it a "10" for all items except ease of use, and that's only because the scope is heavy for a 145mm (30lbs) and consequently a bit of a chore to tote around. It really deserves an observatory, but my location isn't suited for that purpose, so portable it will remain -- All the comments from the primary description apply.

Will I keep it forever...probably not; not due to any shortcomings of the scope itself, but because I'd like to work with different types of scopes and not be locked-in to one specific one. Afterall, in the end we're all only stewards of these fine instruments.

Would I buy it again, no question, Yes!

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Ease of Use:9 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
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