Refractor Apertura 72 mm APO kit

Item details

Amount Paid: 842.35
Where purchased: HighPoint Scientific
This review is of a refractor kit from HighPoint Scientific (72EDR-KIT).
It comes with a flattener and a 32mm guide scope and mount.
This is a very common telescope that is rebadged by several other companies.
This is a doublet style refractor. The weight of the telescope is approximately 4.8 pounds (2.1 kilograms).
The tracking scope and the flattener included in the kit will add around another pound (0.5 kilograms) to the weight of the rig.

I was able to set the scope up with all the associated capture equipment for DSO use the other night.
I found several issues during the setup.
The first is that the shipping Vixen base is WAY to short to get a good balance with the camera equipment installed. If using for live viewing you will probably have no issues.
I was glad I had the foresight to order the Apertura Essentials Vixen V Style 11" Universal Dovetail Plate (High Point Scientific part # APT-VUP11). The downfall to this plate though is it can only be easily mounted in ONE position to the telescope support base because of limited hole alignment, resulting in the main length either being mainly out to the front of the scope or to the rear of the telescope. They really need to put two sets of slot positions on this base (once set somewhat central) as it would open up the positioning better.

I had added a ZWO EAF to the telescope since I will also be using it for DSO captures, and using Stellarmate OS allows the camera to be used for autofocus, which does a better job than my eyes do. I do not have a Bhatinov mask yet for this scope. The brings us to issue number two.
The next issue was that when you attach all the capture equipment onto the telescope and run it out to focus point, it's become VERY tail heavy (as noted earlier). And on my rig, I could not get it to a balance point because the EAF on one side was impacting the mount base. On the other side the focuser knob was impacting the base tightening knob (this is a EQ35 Pro mount). The resolution was removing the tracking scope from the side mount of the telescope (along with its base) and then relocating it to the carry handle location (removing the carry handle). I also had a red dot base mounted on the other side of the scope, which I had to remove. I then rotated the focuser to the top of the telescope tube, which then allowed full use of the Vixen rail. Due to the storage case I use, I had to remove the handle and modified the base so that I could fit it where the carry handle (which I removed) was. This allowed the guide scope to be mounted above the telescope, and it can be easily removed for storage, which when it was mounted on the handle would require tools to remove it. I do plan on getting a set of rings that will attach to the handle, which will give me the best of both worlds, but have not researched what rings will work yet.


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IMG_1401.JPG

You can see by this image (before any changes were made) that even with the focusing tube in, the rig is leaning towards being tail heavy. You can also see the mounting issue of the 11 inch Apertura mount bar as it extends well to the front using the only available mount holes and is similar when reversed.

Apertura 72mm-opt.jpg


I was able to do some first light captures, even with the DEC issues.

This is the first processed image sequence using this scope and an ASI533MC Pro of M31. And I DO need to acknowledge I am still a RANK neophyte in the processing of images.


And this was the second set of captures for the night. M81.

This is a nice telescope... but I'm beginning to notice strong signs of chromatic aberration in it.


Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 12.00.00 AM.png



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I have submitted a support question to High Point to see what their reply is.

EDIT:
Their reply was basically because it's a lower end doublet APO, there will always be some chromatic aberration. They also indicated it may be an issue with focus being slightly out and suggested a Bahtinov mask to tighten up on the focusing.... which I am in process of ordering. I did get some other captures later that seem to be better and not show as much chromatic aberration.


And this is my most recent using an OptoLong L-Extreme with about 2 1/2 hours of collected data and minimal processing in PixInSight


So, overall, yes Im happy with it.

Latest questions

Hi Tracy. How did you end up taking care of the CA/bloated stars? Image processing? I ask because I have its little brother the 60EDR and haven't used it yet.
Tracy
Tracy
Was basically an issue with backspacing, focusing and getting the settings right on the flattener.
Once I got the Bahtinov mask the focusing was easier. The one I found only goes down to about 75mm on the dew shield.
Processing also has a bit to do with it, especially for the nebula. I use BlurXterminator in PixInSight.
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Additional information

Pro:
Very compact and lightweight unit
Solid construction on mount and focuser
Seems to produce good images with only slight issues at the edge of the scope area.

Con:
Dew shield is strictly friction. This has, over time, become loose and would not stay in place. A thumb screw to tighten it down would resolve the issue, but their solution is to give you three allen bolts spread around the base that you can tighten up. It does prevent the slippage, but the dew shield still can pivot up/down and sideways. It does have a rubber gasket ring behind it that may help.

The supplied mount bar is too short to get DEC balance if you are using a camera like an ASI Pro series once you reach focus point. This requires purchase of the longer 11 inch Vixen mount bar.

Use of an EAF may require relocation of supplied equipment and rotation of focuser to the top of the scope.
The handle on this kit is nice, but basically useless if you have to remove the tracking scope to gain balance. They should have included a mount for the tracking scope to be mounted on the handle instead of where it ships (see EAF issue).

Would recommend:  Yes

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