Friday, September 22, 2017

The Toad Blog

My blogs about anything related to photography, and equipment, with a focus on non-technical enjoyment of photography. I like to publish these for the pure pleasure it brings. My equipment, and techniques shared here with a mix of landscape, macro, birds, flowers and all articles written by the person who uses the equipment - TrueToad.

The Toad Blog

Stellarvue SVR102T Review
TrueToad / Tuesday, June 27, 2017 / Categories: Reviews, Astronomy

Stellarvue SVR102T Review

Stellar Results

Bottom Line Up Front: This 4" refractor is by far the best refactors I have had the pleasure of using and looking through, with outstanding color correction, contrast with pin point edge to edge sharpness. This telescope was a hot item when it was first released, and that billing still holds true today, It is simply a fantastic instrument.

Shipping: Stellarvue shipped the SVR102T in a box within a box configuration allowing for maximum protection during the 6 day transit across the United States.  Inside each box was a lining of dense foam for extra cushioning, the telescope itself was inside a zippered case surrounded by bubble wrap and the added protection provided by the included case it came in.  Overall, I was confident the scope was in perfect condition, and it was.

The scope arrives with a 2.5” Stellervue or 3” Feather Touch focuser depending on what you ordered.  The scope also includes two high quality CNC aluminum mounting rings with five threaded screws top and bottom. Holes sizes are 1/4-20 with one center hole, and two others spaced 1.5" apart and yet two more spaced  60 mm apart.

I had already purchased the TP-10 (not included) rail for my iOptron CEM Vixen style mount. The rail bolted on in just minutes..

My visual inspection did not discover any issues in fit, finish or otherwise mechanically, and the included inspection sheet help solidify my inspection results.  I did have a blemish on the OTA appearing at the front of the OTA, visible when the dew shield is fully extracted, appearing as a dull 2” rubbing mark that was the results of removing an embedded partial from the carbon.  Nothing to write home about.

The dew shield has a metal screw on cap. The dew shield itself is fitted to the OTA very securely and has a nice positive feel as it is being extracted or re-tracted.

Optics Inspection resulted in the same high quality and attention to detail, not one visible speck of dust anywhere. Inside the OTA was the obvious attention paid to the dark paint to reduce any stray or reflective light.   I threw on a diagonal and pointed the scope at a distant object and the view as exceptional. Very Very high details, almost as nice as my Nikkor 600mm ED FL lens but you can not really compare the two, one is for astronomy the other for terrestrial use.  Optics were splendid.

Optics Elements: The Optics are all multi-coated apochromatic triplet objective: Using a 101.5 mm f-7 apochromatic triplet objective, with an Ohara FPL-53 inline element. The Stellarvue telescope provides very desirable contrast and near as perfect color correction as you can achieve. Stellarvue performs a triple test of lens to ensure it is as well corrected as any a 4"  apo triplet offered. Stellarvue even includes an interferometric report showing the results.  To increase contrast special broadband multi-coatings are used on all six air-to-glass  surfaces to make the stars pop against the dark black of space. In my night of testing in light polluted skys, I can attest I have never seen stars as round edge to edge with an almost 3 dimensional view of planets, the moon with no trace of color aberrations.

The Scope itself is a 4” f-7, 714 mm focal length air spaced APO triplet refractor. I opted for the 2.5” Stellarvue dual speed, rack and pinion focuser with both 2” and 1.25” adapters that are included. This is Stellarvues latest design. My Scope arrived with a certified, Strehl rating of .964 which makes this Scope near optical perfection. I have not yet purchased the photographic field flattener specific to this model, but in July I will do just that. Based on everything I know up to this point, I believe without a doubt this will be my the best 4” visual and imaging platform I have ever owned.

The SVR102T-25SV is the standard version of this telescope having a fully baffled, carbon fiber tube with a weight in for the OTA right at 9 lbs without the rings, which weigh an additional 1.6 pounds for a total weight of under 11 pounds. When the focuser is unthreaded the tube assembly is 19.25” long, making it airline carry-on. Thus allowing you to easily and securely carry your telescope with you.

Design and Use: The Stellarvue SVR102T is designed for visual and photographic use, delivering stunning visual performance thanks to a high Strehl of over .96, the elements are all fully multi-coated objectives. 

Stellarvue 2.5" Focuser: Although I have yet to load up the focuser with cameras and filters, the fit and finish and very secure positive feel as you rack it from one extreme to the other left me with very high confidence it can handle what I can throw at it. The focuser is fully rotating with very smooth rotation and features a 7:1 ratio and a locking screw to ensure not movement after you have sharp focus.

Nice Case:  Stellarvue include a very nice case to carry and store your prize possession, the case is of  heavy duty nylon construction with thickly padded interior walls, a hard inside lining, with heavy duty zippers. Stellarvue cases are a substantial upgrade from what I have seen on the market, and it is nice to see these offered, nicely done Vic.

What is left to say: Exceptional Optics, High Quality Build, and Superior Performance that allows people like me to enjoy both visual and imaging all from the same platform. Nicely Done and accolades to Stellarvue.  Highly recommended to anyone searching for a lightweight scope in the 4" range.

Rate this article:
Mount MfgLosmandy G11 Gemini 2 Go To
Camera UsedASI178M
  • Stellarvue SVR102T Carbon

Leave a comment

Add comment


Sigma 180 Macro Lens Review

Sigma 180 Macro Lens Review Read more

This week I bring to you a full two years of the Sigma 180mm Macro lens. Is it a solid lens and worth the price? Does it deliver as a medium telephoto? Can you use this lens as your go to portraiture lens. Over the course of two years now, I will give you my opinion and a few Macro shots.

Savage Product Pro Led Light Table Review

Savage Product Pro Led Light Table Review Read more

Do you need a small led light table for your ads for selling of your products or used gear, if so read on about the Savage Product Pro Led Light Table.  A somewhat straightforward approach for obtaining pleasing images of the smaller type products you wish to sell or place in ads.  In operation, it is simple to use and the results are good.  Read the full review here....

Black & Yellow Garden Spider

Black & Yellow Garden Spider Read more

Over the last few years I became interested in the Orb Spiders, in particular the Black and Yellow Garden Spider as the common name or the Argiope aurantia, scientific name. Ultimately my fascination for spiders and insects in general always cause me to stop and take a closer look when I run across them out in the wild. As a photographer I enjoy taking a few photos at any opportunity, here in this write up I share my observations and images of the Black and Yellow Garden Spider.

Macro Photography Best Lens

Macro Photography Best Lens Read more

I spent a few hours outdoors enjoying my macro photography and I hope you enjoy and find inspiration in the images I captured. What do I use for my Macro setup and why?  read on...

Nikon D85O Real World Review

Nikon D85O Real World Review Read more

My Intel back in 2016 was close to what Nikon announced in the next release of the 800 series, the D850.   This camera is CLOSE to a game changer and now that I have mine let me give you my initial input.

Thank You Nikon!

Thank You Nikon! Read more

Thank you Nikon for being a wonderful company. In particular as my camera company of choice, I could not think of photography without Nikon as being part of it.

Wood Duck Photography

Wood Duck Photography Read more

I was not all that lucky in previous years of getting any real useable photos of Wood Ducks in the location I lived, due to the scarcity and short time frame they seem to stay in this area during the late spring season.  I find the Wood Duck a stunningly beautiful waterfowl. The males in particular with iridescent browns, blacks, white green, ornate patterns on nearly every feathe, this is one pretty bird.   Females very attractive but have a less colorful pattern but the same distinctive profile and delicate white pattern around the eye. I find Wood Ducks in the wooded marsh ares that have hardwood forest adjacent to the water.  With some research I discovered they nest in holes in trees or use man made nest boxes. Little did I know they are one of the few duck species with claws that can grip bark and perch on branches- see my photos of a group perching.

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing Read more

Each year I am blessed by the migration of the Cedar Waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum through my area of the country. Their visits are timed almost perfectly with the arrival of the fruiting trees and bushes.  These delightful birds will stay in the area for several months basically as long as the fruit holds out. See my gallery and read more on these birds.

Flower Photography

Flower Photography Read more

I have a couple photographic weakness, Birds and Flowers.  Whenever I am out doing some photography shooting regardless what my intentions are, if i run across a great looking flower I stop and take a photo or try to incorporate the flower into my scene. The great thing about flower photography is you really dont need any specialized equipment.  I have even taken flower photos with a fish eye lens. I you want to discover more about flower photography read on...

Rainy Day Photography

Rainy Day Photography Read more

I admit I like being out during rainy days  Why?  It is refreshing and stimulating to walk a wooded trail hearing and feeling the rain,  and besides that, It offers many opportunities for photographers - if we come prepared.

Stellarvue SVR102T Review

Stellarvue SVR102T Review Read more

I have been around the Astronomy community for some time with many telescope adventures under my belt. One of the scopes that I was looking to acquire is a nice 4" refactor, not just any refactor but a premium performer, capable of doing what I wanted to do visually and imaging wise, my choice was.....

Lower Cost Wildlife Kit

Lower Cost Wildlife Kit Read more

You probably noticed most of my blogs cover the upper end of the Photo Spectrum. I owe it to many my recommendation for getting a 90% solution for fantastic wildlife photography.

Rest in Peace Easter

Rest in Peace Easter Read more

Our family feline of 13 years passed away early this morning, bringing to closure Easter's wonderful life with our family. At his passing he was believed to be 20 years + of age. Everyone in his family will miss his presence and are saddened by the loss of  our cat Easter. He is survived by Teeny his fellow feline house companion, and three caretakers who provided and received his love over the years. 

Nikon WT-7

Nikon WT-7 Read more

This is a write up from Don C who added an extensive "comment" to my WT-7 post/review. I though it was worthy of an individual post.

The remainder of this post is Don's comments: I decided to breakdown and purchase the WT-7a,..being that 1) I own a D500, and 2) I love to shoot untethered. Note, my forte' in the photography world is "Event Photography. That is, capture and print "onsite". It's 90% of my business model and every since the days of the mighty D2X and WT-2a, I've always admired the ability of "capturing and image and it instantly popping up on a display monitor" for customers to see, and of course, buy prints! Well, time has changed since those 'good old days' to newer 'good old days' of the D500 and WT-7a!

Woodland Photography

Woodland Photography Read more

I truly enjoy the outdoors especially during spring months, plants and animals begin to flourish and the forest comes alive with colors, sound with a calm atmosphere.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron Read more

I am lucky to live in an area that the Great Blue Heron is found in most of the year. Here in North Va, you can expect to see the Great Blue Heron in numbers starting in Mid April through Late September. I really enjoy watching and photographing these birds. They are large and somewhat predictable and with some good planning you can acquire a few good photos on most occasions..

Photo Storage +

Photo Storage + Read more

So, you are an avid photographer with thousands of images in your collection.  Maybe you have been relying on an USB 3 external drive to as your file backup along with your lightroom database;  one copy on your work computer and a backup on the external - does this sound familiar?  While that approach is a viable one, you just might be at risk of serious data loss.  Here is my story on the near loss of many years of work, and why I decided to go pro, and invest in a serious NAS.

DX or FX Camera Bodies

DX or FX Camera Bodies Read more

This is about using a DX camera body or FX body with teleconvertor. Which combination is better?  I am sent this question many times - it depends...  

Wimberly CK-100 Sidemount

Wimberly CK-100 Sidemount Read more

This is my review of the Wimberley CK-100 Sidemount Conversion Kit.  I have owned the Wimberley WH-200 Gimbal Tripod Head II with Quick Release Base for a couple years without any issues.  But, I was looking for a more compact setup to use.  I ran across the sidemount kit from Kimberley and decided to give it a try.

Coming of Spring

Coming of Spring Read more

This wonderful Male Cardinal sits on a perch as sleet comes raining down, and is undaunted by the ice crystals that are falling on his face and feathers. The Cardinal is a native species of North America and suited for the elements, he appears well protected from these elements.  


Get Wired

I Helped Create Facebook's Ad Machine. Here's How I'd Fix It

  • 22 September 2017
  • Author: TrueToad
  • Number of views: 0
I Helped Create Facebook's Ad Machine. Here's How I'd Fix It
Facebook finally laid out some changes to its ad platform. But a former employee who built it shares his own ideas on how to fix the Russia problem.

Baltimore Built an App to Map Opioid Overdoses in Real Time

  • 22 September 2017
  • Author: TrueToad
  • Number of views: 0
Baltimore Built an App to Map Opioid Overdoses in Real Time
Opioid overdoses proliferate, like a disease. A new app lets health and law-enforcement officials anticipate their spread.

Stricken By Tragedy, an Immigrant Fights for Her Home

  • 22 September 2017
  • Author: TrueToad
  • Number of views: 0
Stricken By Tragedy, an Immigrant Fights for Her Home
How one tech worker's story illuminates the plight of H-1B holders.

Review: Leica Sofort

  • 22 September 2017
  • Author: TrueToad
  • Number of views: 0
Review: Leica Sofort
The cheapest-ever Leica camera is cute as a button.

Don't Rely On an Unlock Pattern To Secure Your Android Phone

  • 22 September 2017
  • Author: TrueToad
  • Number of views: 0
Don't Rely On an Unlock Pattern To Secure Your Android Phone
A new study found test subjects could mostly spot the patterns from five or six feet away on the first try.
Copyright 2017 TrueToad Terms Of Use Privacy Statement
Back To Top