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Thread: Astro-Tech AT72ED First Impression

  1. #1
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    Default Astro-Tech AT72ED First Impression



    The AT72ED arrived yesterday. I got lucky finding this one. The waiting lists are pretty constant. They come into the country to Astronomics and by the time that the waiting lists are filled there seem to be few left. With only wait lists finding this one used took a bit of effort. I placed a wanted ad at the Cloudy Nights classifieds. A day later I had a response. As the scope was pretty much new in box I actually offered more than the seller wanted. He kindly only took what he wanted but I would have paid more. He had only had it since October and had seen very little if any use. It had certainly not been attached to a dovetail.

    After unboxing and opening its metal case my first thought was "holy smokes". To date I have never held a better built piece of equipment. This thing exudes quality. For only 14.5 inches long it's quite heavy for its size. That's because the construction is as robust as one could ask for. As solid as a rock. As to the finish, it's perfect. The deep glossy black is flawless. There have been reports of fading with other colors (blue, green, red) but the black seems immune. Mechanically it's top drawer. The 2" two speed Crayford is the best that I have experienced. The course wheel is a bit on the firm side but I will be less likely to overshoot my focus. It could be adjusted but I will leave it be. The 11:1 fine focus is perfect. The knobs are nicely sized. While I don't do AP it seems likely to me that the focuser could handle a good amount of weight. The focuser tube is calibrated. The retractable dew shield glides smoothly and stays put in its extended position. Overall, fit, finish, construction, and mechanical are as good as I could ever want. If I didn't know and someone told me that this OTA retailed for $400 I wouldn't believe them.

    I suppose that the main reason why the scope isn't more costly is that the 72mm doublet uses FPL-51 rather than the vaunted FPL-53. I'm okay with that. A little CA is going to creep in at the highest powers and with the very brightest objects, but based on many reviews and user reports it isn't at all a concern. It might be more of a concern for AP, but the photos taken with it and its popularity for imaging lead me to believe that if I ever get into AP (heaven forbid) it will be a nice starting point. Not having used the scope yet all I can comment upon is that the coatings on the glass look wonderful. The inside is nicely blackened with three baffles.

    The attached foot offers mounting 1/4-20 on a tripod or through its Vixen dovetail profile. My use will be primarily on a Twilight I and the short dovetail foot doesn't thrill me. It's not a lot of real estate. To rectify the issue I decided to add to the dovetail. While the scope was in transit to me so was a red 8" William Optics dovetail plate from Agena Astro. By coincidence both landed on the same day. As it turned out I had to drill and countersink new mounting holes on the plate to get the right positioning. I also had to shorten the plate to allow the focuser to rotate free and clear. By loosening the top thumb screw the focuser rotates 360 degrees. This is key when using a mount like the Twilight I if you want to keep your focuser knobs horizontal.

    First light to follow.

    IMG_0274 (1).JPG
    IMG_0275 (1).JPG
    IMG_7463.JPG
    IMG_7462.JPG
    "I've... seen things you people wouldn't believe; attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion; I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those... moments... will be lost... in time, like... tears... in rain."

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Astro-Tech AT72ED First Impression

    A nice looking scope Rogan, congratulations and I hope it works very well for you
    Refractors: Antares 105 f/15, Bresser 102 f/13.2, Celestron 102 f/6.5, 150 f/8, Stellarvue 80 f/6.9, TS 102 f/11, Vixen 115 f/7.7
    Mounts: Manfrotto 055PRO, Celestron SLT, Celestron CG-5/ Argo Navis, Vixen SXP Binoculars: Celestron Eyepieces: A-Z

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    The weakest link in the optical chain is the large nut located directly behind the eyepiece/ camera. - Gabrielle

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    Default Re: Astro-Tech AT72ED First Impression

    Very nice! Looks like a fine scope, Rogan. Man, I'd love to see a "family portrait" image of all your scopes together.
    Bryan
    Scopes: Apertura AD12 f/5; ES AR127 f/6.4; ES AR127 f/9.4; ES AR102 f/9.8; iOptron MC90 f/13.3; Orion ST80A f/5; Celestron Premium 80 f/11.4; Celestron C80 f/11.4; Meade NG60 f/10; Charmin TP40 f/2.2
    Mounts: Bresser EXOS-2; ES Twilight I; ES Twilight II; iOptron Cube-G; AZ3/wood tripod; Vixen/Celestron Polaris
    Eyepieces: GSO Superview 30mm; ES 70°25mm; ES 82º Series; ES 62° 9mm; GSO 9mm Plössl; Zhumell Z Series 5mm; Vite Aspherics23mm, 10mm, 4mm; Orion Expanse 20mm, 9mm; BCO 10mm
    Binoculars: Pentax PCF WP II 10×50, Bresser Corvette 10×50, Bresser Hunter 16×50 and 8×40, Garrett Gemini 12×60 LW, Gordon 10×50
    Observing: Herschel Tallies: H1 = 400/400 H2 =310/400 H3 = 212/300; 2,853 observations of 1,750 objects; The Breeders - Cannonball

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    Days since last observing session: 2; Sessions in last 30 days: 6; Last night's excuse: Windy as all get out, and soupy, cloudy sky.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Astro-Tech AT72ED First Impression

    Congrats Rogan!,

    it's looking great, I can also see the fine baffles through the front lens.
    You should keep it safe in silk, and handle with gloves.
    Best,

    JG
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    Binoculars: Leica Ultravid 7x42, 8x42HD; Swarovski EL 8.5x42 Swarovision; Nikon 10x70 Astroluxe; Jenoptem 7x50W, 10x50W; BA8: 10.5x70, 15x85; 25x100FB, AsahiPentax 8x40, Refractors: Sky-Watcher 150mm/750mm; Leica APO Televid 82mm (25x-50x WW asph); EPs:Baader Classic Orthos; Leica B WW, Periplan, HC Plan S; Tele Vue; Swarovski SW; Pentax XW; ZEISS W & Zeiss diascope B WW T*; Carl Zeiss Jena; Filters: Astrodon, Astronomik, Baader (CCD), TS; Astrophotography: AstroTrac; Leica R7, R8: Leica 2.8/100mm and 3.4/180mm APO lenses; Zeiss Sonnar 4/300 on Nikon F70;
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    Default Re: Astro-Tech AT72ED First Impression

    Cute little guy. Gratz and enjoy!
    Scopes: Celestron: 8" SCT F10 & Omni 150R F5 Achro; ES: 127mm CF F7.5 APO. Mounts: ES Twilight I, Bresser EXOS2, SW SkyTee2. Binos: Orion 10x50, Celestron 8x42. EPs: TeleVue: Plossls 8-to-40mm, 2x-3x barlows; ES: 82o 4.7-to-11mm & 68o 20-24mm; Baader: BCO 6-10-18mm & Aspheric 31-36mm; EO: 12.5-18mm Orthos; Meade: 5000 UWA 14-18mm; Gary Russell: 56mm Plossl; Celestron: X-Cel LX set, Luminos 15mm; GSO SV 30-42mm. Filters: Lumicon: OIII, H-beta; Baader: UHC-S, M&SG, CB; Orion: UltraBlock, SG; DGM: NPB. DSO tally: 876 (H400-1: 400, H400-2: 120, H300-3: 26; M110: 110, S110: 64). Doubles: 417, Comets: 5
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    Default Re: Astro-Tech AT72ED First Impression

    Quote Originally Posted by bladekeeper View Post
    Very nice! Looks like a fine scope, Rogan. Man, I'd love to see a "family portrait" image of all your scopes together.
    Well, my IPhone camera does have a panorama setting...
    "I've... seen things you people wouldn't believe; attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion; I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those... moments... will be lost... in time, like... tears... in rain."

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    Default Re: Astro-Tech AT72ED First Impression

    Quote Originally Posted by j.gardavsky View Post
    Congrats Rogan!,

    it's looking great, I can also see the fine baffles through the front lens.
    You should keep it safe in silk, and handle with gloves.
    Best,

    JG
    It does show fingerprints rather easily
    j.gardavsky likes this.
    "I've... seen things you people wouldn't believe; attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion; I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those... moments... will be lost... in time, like... tears... in rain."

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    Default Re: Astro-Tech AT72ED First Impression

    That is a beautiful instrument-I'd be afraid to take it out of the case..... almost.
    Congratulations!
    AD10- 9X50 RACI Red Dot, AR127 & ST80 Twilight I & SW AZEQ6 GT Mounts
    ES82 11 18 24, ES100 5.5 9 14 20, BCO 6, 10mm, Vortex 10X50
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    Default Re: Astro-Tech AT72ED First Impression

    Way cool! Please don't write such a glowing review next time. I have enough equipment.
    neal_mlc, DeanD and Peppy2 like this.
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    My scopes:William Optics FLT 98 Flattener 4 - Celestron Edge HD 8" SCT - x0.7FR - hyperstar -Celestron OAG Lunt 60mm B1200PT
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    Default Re: Astro-Tech AT72ED First Impression

    Beautiful scope!!!
    Looking forward for your first light report
    BTW, I can see blue skies!!!(after 2 weeks of clouds/fog and a glorious rain last night) , clouds are moving somewhere else
    Scopes: 1- Astro-Tech 8" Astrograph newt. 2- Celestron C8 3- ES ED102 (!) 4- ES ED80 5- No-name guidescope
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    Mounts: 1- Celestron AVX 2- Celestron CG-4 with drives 3- Explore Scientific Twilight I
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