Telescopes

Review of TS APO65Q f/6.5 Quadruplet Astrograph

I have recently tested a TS APO65Q 65mm Flatfield Astrograph, thanks to Zoltan at 365 Astronomy.  I’ve previously had a little experience of a Doublet Refractor (Achromatic) of a similar size, but was interested to test this Scope as it is built with 4 elements, being a Triplet Apochromatic Refractor with a built in Field Flattener which makes it a Quadruplet.

My main interest in this new to me hobby is to Photograph the Night Sky.  I’m an experienced Photographer but Astro Photography presents new challenges !!  I also use a Full Spectrum Infra Red Modified Camera for most of my Astro Photography, and this also brings both advantages of a better spectral range but also disadvantages in that not all ranges of the light spectrum focus in the same plane, giving me some “bloated stars”.  I am aware that an Apochromatic Refractor brings most of the “normal” colours together to give a sharper image with less “Image Fringing” – I was getting purple halos around bright stars.  This is the main reason that I was very interested in trying this Scope out.

When unboxing, the scope was well packed and came with two rings to attach a Dovetail Bar – I had a bar already so I was quickly able to assemble the unit.  It comes with a focuser already assembled, but no Red Dot finder or eyepiece as is probably normal, as most people have these accessories anyway. (I did with my existing scope) – It also comes with a 2” – 1.25” adapter so that a Prism can be fitted, or either size of the normal nosepieces that Camera Adaptors come with.  It also had a bracket fitted for a Finder/Guide scope.

The scope seems to be solid and well made, with a luxury white finish and the only tiny issue I had was that the plastic locking screw for the Dew shield was easily unscrewed and lost, so be careful !!  (It’s a lot better than my existing scope, which doesn’t have a locking screw and the Dew shield has to be kept in place with rubber bands !! )

So, how does it perform ??

I set the scope up in my back garden which is fairly dark, and set it up on my iOptron ZEQ25 Equatorial mount (Unguided).  The main imaging camera was a Canon 600D, Astro Modified as previously mentioned.  I was also trying out Backyard EOS for the first time.  My first target was the Orion Nebula, of which I took several light exposures at different times (between 2seconds to 2 minutes), as well as a few darks, and combined these exposures in Deep Sky Stacker – I then Processed the Autosave in Photoshop.  The resultant image showed detail in the Nebula, with some detail being extracted in the Running Man Nebula as well.  (Attach picture that I’ve sent you ??)

The following evening I had “a go” at the Horsehead and Flame Nebula, a target that before I’d started this journey into Astro Photography I could only dream of !!   Again using the same set up, I was able to take 20 images of 2 minutes, together with darks and flat images. Again I processed the Autosave in Photoshop. (Pic I sent you ?)

I was really pleased with both of these images, and although to an experienced eye they are incomplete, but to me as a new Astro Photographer, they inspire me to try harder, build more data on each image and also to learn more efficient Photoshop skills.  The TS Scope was very easy to use in this respect – It simply just worked, and worked well !!

The next step was to look at reducing the star bloat, and I’ve now got a Clip Filter which blocks some but all of the Infra Red (At least the unwanted bit) as well as acting as a Light Pollution filter as well.  Early tests look promising, despite some Moon Glow. (Pic I sent you ?)

Overall, I thought it a great scope that could help me on my journey to be a better Astro Photographer.

Graham Devenish

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Posted on November 8th, 2019.