Vixen GP R130S

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Brand and Model:Vixen GP R130S
Price ($USD):$800
Attributes: un-checked Go-To un-checked PEC
Aperture:130mm (5.1")
f Ratio:f/5.5
Focal Length:720mm
Electric Power:
Weight (lbs):19.8kg
Dimensions (w/h/d):155mm x 710mm (tube)
Description:Set comes with GPE mount (sans drive motor), aluminum tripod, 2 eyepieces - K20mm (36x), Or6mm (120x); 36.4mm slide focuser takes 31.7mm eyepieces w/ adapter (supplied)

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Vixen GP R130S
NOTE: This is my first telescope, so my comments are those of a beginner.
I have been using this scope for 2 months now, but only in the light polluted skies of Tokyo. Under these conditions, the sharpest images are at 72x (K20 w/ 2x Vixen Barlow). Jupiter and Saturn at 120x or 240x are impressive at first, but the lack of detail soon makes for boring observing.
Star testing shows several concentric rings, so it appears that the scope is reasonably collimated. I wanted to be sure, so I removed the primary mirror cell to affix a center mark. When I did, I noticed that the mirror was loose in the cell. I corrected that, affixed the mark and recollimated, but could not discern any significant improvement (Tokyo is not the best place to test optics!), although in a moment of good seeing I was able to discern the Cassini Division at 240x- momentarily. If I get to a better location and find better planetary detail, I'll post an update.
The basic formation of M42 and the Trapezium stars are clearly seen at 72x. I have not had much success with other deep sky objects; hopefully this is because of my location and not the optics.Lunar observing is crisp at 120x, less impressive at 240x.
The mount and tripod are sturdy enough for steady observing at 120x, but at 240x slight vibrations (due to breezes, etc.) become noticeable.
I think the greatest disappointment is the focuser, which is a slide-type. Images do not snap into focus, so at 120x or above the vibrations make it nearly impossible to focus on the first try.The slide focuser also makes doing the star test difficult, as you need to move your eye laterally with the focuser as you rack in and out of focus in order to compare the shape of the diffraction rings on either side of focus.
But even with these minor inconveniences, I've found this to be a great first telescope. And with a 30% discount, it was also a great value.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Mount:9 Ease of Use:9 Value:10
Weight: 6 (Veritable Vote)
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Vixen GP R130S
Telescope routinely out performs scopes twice it's size and in some cases three times...just the facts that's why I switched from a Meade SCT 8". I have compared to a Tak same aperture I could not see any advantage in the Tak.

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