Stellarvue’s Newest SVX Refractor is the Stellarvue SVX140T, a 140mm f-6.7 apo triplet refractor. As noted by Stellarvue owner Vic Maris, “Using all of the techniques we have developed in making our SVX series telescopes, we have shortened the focal length and, since the objective is air spaced, this telescope has outstanding sphero-chromatic correction.” The company is polishing glass now and will hand figure each objective to .99 Strehl.
The telescopes will be available towards the middle of 2020. Everyone is operating under different scenarios today and here is the latest statement from the Stellavue team, “Under the Placer County Order (California), we may ship items in stock, but we may not manufacture or assemble any non-essential items. We are fortunate that nearly everything was in stock when the order was announced. Delivery of back-ordered items that are manufactured in our shop will only take place after the County Order is lifted and we resume manufacturing. Again, most items are in stock, including telescopes (with the exception of the SVX140T refractors). We expect the 140s will ship in early summer.”
The Stellarvue team gives these thoughts on creating the Stellarvue SVX140T refractors:
“There are two important factors make this objective lens as good as we can make it:
- Our design uses an Ohara FPL-53 extra low dispersion center element and a Lanthanum rear element. This lens has a glass combination that delivers highest contrast performance we could obtain. It is the same glass used on our flagship SVX152T.
- SVX series optics are rated at .98 – .997 Strehl with excellent optical correction for aberrations commonly seen in mass produced optics. To attain this level of optical accuracy in a relatively short f-ratio, we use special tools and experienced opticians to hand figure objectives here in our optical shop in Auburn California. SVX series telescopes are exceptional, placing 98 – 99% of the light precisely where it should be. Stellarvue Premier (X) Series refractors are for the astronomer who recognizes the best when they see it. Each SVX series refractor comes with a Zygo interferometric test report taken in our shop, documenting the accuracy of your objective.”
The SVX140T is available with one of three different 3.5″ focusers. The 3.5″ aperture of all of these focusers significantly reduces vignetting that can be seen in smaller focusers when imaging.
This includes the stock Stellarvue 3.5″ focuser which has the longest travel of the three and comes with 2″ and 1.25″ compression ring adapters as well as two finder scope shoes. This is the least expensive option and it provides a very smooth and stable mechanism. This is a perfect focuser for visual use and imaging with cameras up to full frame. Optec makes temperature compensating motors for this focuser.
The Starlight Instruments 3.5″ focuser is available with 4.5″ of travel and 2″ and 1.25″ compression ring adapters. This focuser that is equally smooth as the Stellarvue focuser and may be slightly more stable under various conditions. If you are serious about imaging and visual use, this upgrade deserves consideration. Both Optec and Starlight Instruments make motors for these focusers.
The third option is the Moonlight Nightcrawler 3.5″ focuser with various extension tubes, 2″ and 1.25″ adapters. This is an advanced, electronic, computerized focuser preferred by dedicated imagers. It is the most expensive upgrade but for those who want perfection when it comes to imaging, this is considered one of the best. The downside is a very short focuser draw tube length which is great for imaging stability, but one must thread in various extensions when converting to visual use.
The Stellarvue C140L case comes standard with the SVX140T. This is the company’s largest heavy-duty soft case. It is made of rugged material construction and is thickly padded. The case has two internal dividers that are held in place by Velcro and can be easily removed.
The SVX140T also comes with CNC mounting rings, a retracting dew shield, metal dust cap and protective case. Users will need a star diagonal, eyepieces, mount and tripod to observe visually with this telescope and a finder scope is always helpful in locating objects.
The Stellarvue SVX140T specifications include:
– Objective Lens: Air spaced, hand figured 140 mm, 938 mm focal length (f-6.7) fully multi-coated, apochromatic triplet using a combination of extra low dispersion and Lanthanum elements. Lens is mounted in an adjustable steel cell. .98 -.996 Strehl, test report included.
– Tube Assembly: All aluminum, Instrument White, fully baffled.
– Dew Shield: 6 5/8″ (168 mm) diameter, 12″ long retracting aluminum dew shield in Instrument White with black anodized fittings.
– Dimensions: OTA: 5.5″ diameter, 31″ long with dew shield retracted and 38″ long when extended.
– Weight: OTA: 19 pounds. Rings weigh 1.4 pounds each. Slightly heavier with the Feather Touch option.
– Focuser option 1: Stellarvue’s 3.5″ dual speed, rack and pinion focuser with 2″ and 1.25″ compression ring adapters. Includes Stellarvue’s standard FBB dovetail shoe for use with the company’s finder scope rings.
– Focuser option 2: Feather Touch 3.5″ focuser with 2″ and 1.25″ compression ring adapters. Includes Stellarvue’s standard FBB dovetail shoe for use with the company’s finder scope rings.
– Focuser option 3: Moonlight Nightcrawler WR35 3.5″ computerized focuser. Includes 2″ compression adapter, four WR35 threaded extension tubes (1/4″, 1/2″, 1″ and 2″), WR35 to Stellarvue M75 threaded adapter, power supply, left knob rotation & aux focuser/ right knob focus, eccentric cam bearing collimation system, remote temperature probe, ASCOM / non-ASCOM / SKYX, focuser-mounted display.
– Mounting Rings: Very heavy duty, CNC mounting rings using 6061 T6 aluminum plate. Five threaded 1/4-20 holes top and bottom spaced 1.5″ and 60 mm apart with one in the center. 5 mm side hole for mounting a red dot or MRF finder.
– Case: C140 Thickly padded, heavy duty case.
– Light Gain: 400 X! (human eye = 1)
– Contrast & Color Correction (1-10): 10
– Photographic Image Circle: 60 mm using the SFF5-140 field flattener; 43 mm using the SFF4-140 field flattener; 43 mm using the SFFRR.72-140 reducer/flattener.
Stellarvue is offering an introductory price of $5995 through April 30. The price will increase on May 1 to $6495. This introductory price includes free shipping to the lower 48 US states, tube rings, Stellarvue 3.5″ focuser with 2″ and 1.25″ adapters, TP-013 Losmandy style rail and a case.
Also, don’t forget Stellarvue’s Dark Sky Star Party (DSSP) which is held annually in Likely, California during the new moon week. The next event will be held on July 16 – 19, 2020.
You can learn more at Stellarvue’s website.