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Altair Lightwave 0.8 reducer mini review


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#1 Starlock

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 11:32 AM

Hi folks,

 

I thought I'd share my initial experiences of Altair's Lightwave 0.8 reducer which is billed as having field flattening properties, I thought I'd put this to the test:)

 

After switching back to an ED80 I was in the market for a reducer flattener to try and bring the f/ratio down a bit from f/7.5 which is a tad bit on the slow side. I looked at the usual suspects SW 0.85 and the TRF-2008 but to be honest I was running out of things to sell to fund one:D Then Nadeem (Deneb) mentioned the lightwave 0.8 reducer which was less than half the cost of the next cheapest option. I Googled about and couldn't find much info on these so I decided to take a gamble and buy it and review it. I wasn't expecting much to be honest and any improvement in the corners I would see as a bonus.

 

I got back from work the other night and it was crystal clear for a change so I went straight out to the obsy and setup on M81/82 as it was well positioned and I don't have a modded camera at the moment so nebulae were out.

 

I ran off 34 x120 seconds subs (unguided I'm rustic) plus darks and flats with my Canon 400D @ ISO 800, and stacked them in DSS, and tweaked about in PaintShop Pro.

 

The reducer itself has a lovely piano black finish and feels solid and well made for the price bracket. The glass elements didn't seem to show much in the way of coatings but they where clean and blemish free. The 2" nose piece is push fit onto the scope and there is a thread at the back for T-ring attachment. My spacing was simply the 10mm T-ring plus distance to the DSLR chip, so as simple as it gets.

 

When used with my ED80 focal length 600mm and f/7.5 it brings it down to FL480 @ f/6 which is fast enough.

 

Below is an uncropped jpeg of the full FOV plus individual closeups of all four corners, top left, top right, bottom left, and bottom right.

 

Conclusion:

 

Bearing in mind I didn't have my polar allignment spot on so there is a touch of eggy stars even in the centre of the image due to drift, I must say I'm very impressed with the stars in all  four corners of the image they look close to round and not disimilar to the stars in the centre. Thus the field looks flat to me and perfectly acceptable. I would be quite happy using the full FOV with very little cropping indeed. This reducer has exceeded my expectations and I'm very pleased I purchased it. Having said this I'm the first to admit I don't have the best eye for detail so all coments and opinions are welcome:)

 

Regards

 

Chris

 

 

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • M81_DSS_v2.jpg
  • M81_top_left.jpg
  • M81_top_right.jpg
  • M81_bottom_left.jpg
  • M81_bottom_right.jpg


#2 DENEB

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 11:45 AM

This is very encouraging, for the price of a Reducer of £75 + Delivery with a reduction of 0.8x its a good buy, lets hope they don't put the price up.

 

Thanks for posting this Chris, when I was about to buy this reducer it was out of stock, I expect you bought the last one. Hence the reason for the other reducer I bought. The stars are good apart from the drift error as you mentioned.

 

Nadeem.



#3 Neil

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 12:24 PM

Looks very promising indeed.

 

And for that price I don't think you can argue. I want tell you the price of the Takahashi reducers since you can buy a nice APO telescope for the same money! :o

 

I'm surprised that you not drift aligned since you have an obsy?

 

Clear Skies

 

 

Neil.



#4 Starlock

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 01:45 PM

Hi Nadeem, I wouldn't be surprised if they did put the price up its great value as its stands, I hope not though because if they get anymore stock I'm very tempted to try out and review the 0.6 version which would bring me down to f/4.5, now if that gave me anywhere near a flat field for 81 pounds delivered then I would have to pinch myself or put it down to a glitch in the matrix:D

 

Sorry if I got the last one in stock it would have been good if you had got one as well, although they gave you a pretty good deal on the SW 0.85 so thats took the edge of the guilt;)

 

Chris



#5 Starlock

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 01:58 PM

Hi Neil, I wouldn't even like to guess what a Tak reducer cost but kuddos for getting one! This budget reducer really is great value its a shame they are out of stock at present.

 

I'm also surprised I'm not drift alligned yet I was with my last mount which was the basic black HEQ5 and that worked a treat.

 

I've not long had the NEQ6 though, I sold pretty much all my astro kit to get one second hand 3 months ago then the first chance I got to use it the handset didn't work! I've waited 2 months for another handset to pop up in the second hand market and the other night was my first time using the Goto. I had planned on using the Synscan to do an accurate polar allignment and this told me to place Polaris at 3 o'clock, but unfortunately I ran out of ajustment on az without getting my spanner out to undo the central bolt so I left it a few mil out of PA as I wanted to crack on with testing the scope and reducer and the Goto. In hindsight I should have reduced my sub time to 60 seconds maybe to get nice round stars, I'll live and learn:)

 

Chris



#6 tich

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 03:49 PM

Well they are back in stock finally for £75, I did find Altair Astro a bit slow despatching it but it's finally arrived today, DHL didn't make delivery a great experience either.
After reading this thread I found it quite encouraging too as my initial thoughts were as its cheap I thought the imaging might suffer but it appears not. When I'll get round to trying it out again is anyone's guess ;) I agree with what's been said about the build quality as it seems to be very solidly built indeed with a nice finish. I looked at the optics by the window & there's definitely a green coating on it, not dissimilar looking than the coatings on the Celestron C80ED, the scope I will be using it with. It's just the waiting for a nice clear moonless night that's doing my head in lol. :D I will be using a modded DSLR but I'm dissatisfied with the CLS filter that I fitted so may remove it & just use a sky glow filter on the reducer next time I get out.


Skywatcher ED80, Skywatcher 250P, Skywatcher ST80, Celestron C6 SCT,
Zenith 10x50 Bins, NEQ6 Pro & EQ5, Canon 1000D Unmodded & Modded Canon 1000D, QHY5L-II & Philips SPC.
Various Hyperion Eyepieces & MKII Zoom Plus Other Scopes & Bits & Bobs.
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http://centralmidlandstargazers.com/


#7 g0ibi

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 12:44 PM

Ordered one today, thanks for all the info! I think the SW reducer for the ED80 is well overpriced and having fitted a Moonlite focuser to the ED80 that would mean an extra £25 on top!

 

Cheers

ron






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