For several months, I have been the owner of my first ever telescope - the Sky-Watcher Evostar 72ED. I have been looking for a beginner astrophotography telescope for a few months (as an upgrade from a Rokinon 135mm F/2 telephoto lens to a longer focal length), and when the time to choose finally came, I went with the Evostar 72ED. There were two deciding factors to determine when picking up a telescope for me: optical quality and weight. The glass quality is crucial for astrophotography in general, and the weight aspect is significant to me because I wanted to use the telescope on my portable equatorial mount (Fornax LighTrack II), which has a rather small load capacity. So how well the Sky-Watcher Evostar 72ED telescope fits my needs and what
|Sky-Watcher Evostar 72ED
|2-element ED lens with MHC Multi-Coating
|Dual-speed (1:10) 2” Crayford
|4.3 pounds / 1,96 kg
What comes in the box
The supplied case is solid. There are keys included, so you can safely secure your astrophotography gear.
Dovetail bar, support rings, and finderscope holder
What comes not
There is no finderscope included, no eyepieces, no diagonal, and no field flattener. This telescope is not straight-from-the-box-ready neither for stargazing nor astrophotography. You have to buy some additional accessories on your own (more on that later).
It's tiny and lightweight
Look how small this refractor is. It's more like a telephoto lens than a telescope. You can take it outside and photograph nature (birds, animals, etc.) with ease.
The focuser is ultra-smooth
Using a Bahtinov mask, focusing on this telescope is a breeze. The micro focuser works perfectly. I have never had such sharp pictures before using lenses without micro focusers.
Optics quality seems to be great
The Sky-Watcher company doesn't reveal a specification for the glass they used for this telescope, so I don't know if it's the FPL-53 or not, yet I don't see any signs of chromatic aberration or other color-correction imperfections on my astrophotography done with this telescope. There is little vignetting, but easily correctable in post-processing (I always recommend taking flat frames anyway).
Equipping Sky-Watcher Evostar 72ED for astrophotography
As I wrote earlier, this telescope needs some additional accessories to be 100% ready for astrophotography. I paired this refractor with a William Optics 1:1 field flattener (a suggested flattener by my supplier, no focal length change), and an Orion SkyGlow Imaging filter (light pollution killer). This setup gives me a corrected field of view (not 100% flat, but close to it), and allows me to take longer exposures in my light-polluted location.
Astrophotography results with Sky-Watcher Evostar 72ED
All the below pictures were tracked with Fornax Lightrack II on the dedicated wedge. The camera I used was Fuji X-T20, and the telescope, of course, the Evostar 72ED.
Orion Nebula (M42)
Andromeda Galaxy (M31)
California Nebula (NGC 1499) in H-a
Pleiades Star Cluster (M45)
Horsehead (Barnard 33) and Flame (NGC 2024) Nebulae
Whirlpool Galaxy (M51)
Sky-Watcher Evostar 72ED is a fantastic APO refractor telescope for astrophotography beginners, and I'm delighted with my purchase! The build quality is excellent, the mobility of this instrument is phenomenal, and the quality to price ratio is unbeatable. I'm going to use this telescope for years to come, and I will probably upgrade only for longer focal lengths in the future. I consider this refractor as a fantastic beginner astrophotography telescope due to its lightweight, wide field of view (it forgives much of tracking imperfections of an equatorial mount), and because you don't have to rob a bank to afford it. And it looks cool.
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