Altair Astro RC250-TT 10" Truss Tube Ritchey Chretien Astrograph

A new 10" Truss-Tube design Ritchey Chretien telescope from Altair Astro and our Taiwanese manufacturing partner GSO - you probably saw the CAD drawing a couple of years ago on our website - now it's a reality.

- a more rigid outer skeleton using Carbon Fibre rods in a Surrier Truss configuration

- improved mirror support

- open design promotes air-flow around the optics for faster temperature equalisation

- fuzed quartz optics with enhanced 96% coatings and silicon dioxide (Quartz) protective overcoat *

- 3x rear 12v cooling fans which can be powered by batteries, a Kendrick Digifire Dew Controller 12v outlet, or a 12v DC power port such as found on the iOptron CEM60 mount.

- 2x Losmandy plates top and bottom

- special cross-weave shroud, allowing good airflow, whilst blocking out stray light and dust **

- 2x 25mm and 1x 50mm extension ring fitting between focuser and OTA to adjust backfocus (3x total) **

- 3" Linear Bearing Crayford focuser included as standard, able to carry a medium size CCD camera with OAG, or DSLR (for heavy cameras and filter wheels, you can upgrade to a Starlight Feathertouch 3.0" Focuser).

- Weight: 14.9kg without focuser 15.9kg with standard focuser

- Optional dew heater

- Optional focuser tilt-adjuster available

** These essential accessories are included in the price.

* An improved surface accuracy compared to dielectric coating over a large surface area due to less surface tension.

£4,799.00

Altair Astro DeepField-250 AQ Professional Grade 10" F8 Ritchey Chretien Astrograph

A 10" F8 carbon fibre truss tube Ritchey Chretien astrograph, with a special chassis manufactured in Europe to Altair Astro's specification.

This "AQ" version of the Altair Deepfield RC Astrograph has been customised with a well-proven, diffraction limited optical system, made by our overseas optical partners. The system features fuzed Quartz primary and secondary mirrors, with modifications to enable a large photographic field. The secondary mirror has a centre-spot for easy collimation.

A significant feature of the mechanical system is the ease with which it can be collimated, as well as very good vibration-resistance. Heavy duty springs and zero backlash locking thumscrews make collimation very easy indeed. Once correctly set up and locked, collimation will not change whilst the scope is on the mount. What's more, this astrograph travels extremely well with little or no adjustment required even after a long road trip. These excellent mechanics, when combined with diffraction-limited optics, give you an astrograph which is reliable, easy to live with, and delivers consistent results time and time again.

A truss-tube design offers better thermal characteristics, afforded by free air circulation around the optics, almost eliminating the contrast-robbing effects of boundary air current layer formation, as well as allowing the optics to come to thermal equilibrium faster. This is also an extremely rigid design, which ensures optimum performance for the most demanding imaging requirements.

The Altair DeepField Ritchey Chretien design is suitable for schools, colleges and universities, or advanced amateur astronomers who want the best quality on the market. The mechanical design has taken over a year to complete and test, having been through three iterations lead managed by Altair Astro. It is available in 10" and 12" versions.

Product features and scope of delivery:

Ritchey Chretien F8 optical system made in Europe.
Carbon Fibre Truss tube telescope with accurately CNC machined components (no casting).
Weight 14kg.
All Quartz diffraction limited optical system with centre-spotted secondary mirror.
35mm image circle with negligible vignetting
1x 250mm Losmandy dovetail plate. (Handle shown is optional).
3.5" Starlight Feathertouch Focuser, made in the USA. Can be fully automated with optional motor drive system.
Super-easy zero-backlash collimation combined push/pull adjustment screws on rear mirror.
Optional high quality transport case with wheels and 3x handles.
Carbon Fibre secondary mirror support vanes.
All CNC machined baffles and chassis.
Camera tilt adjustment plate on the rear of the telescope.
Availability: Please disregard the “Out of stock” note above, it’s merely website software feature we can’t disable. This is a special-order product, and each telescope is hand made to order, being a unique telescope in it’s own right. It therefore cannot be ordered online like other products on the website. Wait time is usually about a month or sometimes shorter, we keep optical sets in stock. For more information, or for a special quote including accessories, mount, pier or observatory, please get in touch by clicking the product enquiry link, or contact us via the usual channels.

Delivery time approx 4 weeks from time of order.

£5,999.00

Altair Astro DeepField - 300 Corrected Ritchey Chretien Telescope

A 12" F8 carbon fibre truss tube Ritchey Chretien astrograph, 100% jointly designed and manufactured in UK and Europe, to the highest specification.

There are two versions of this telescope. The standard version has a primary mirror made from Supremax 33 and a secondary mirror of Quartz. This is the all-Quartz version which has both primary and secondary mirrors made from fused Quartz. Please see the section "Technical information about mirror materials" below for more details.

The Altair DeepField Ritchey Chretien design is a professional observatory grade imaging instrument, suitable for schools, colleges and universities, or advanced amateur astronomers who want the best quality on the market. The complete design has taken over a year to complete and test, having been through two iterations.

We have chosen a truss-tube design because of the better thermal characteristics afforded by air circulation around the optics, almost eliminating the contrast-robbing effects of boundary air current layer formation, as well as allowing the optics to come to thermal equilibrium faster. This is also an extremely rigid design, which ensures optimum performance for the most demanding imaging requirements.

The two-element field flattener is dedicated to the particular spherical correction of the Altair Deepfield optical design at this particular aperture and is made in Europe in the same optical laboratory responsible for the mirror polishing and figuring.

Each optical set is generated and polished as a set and tested several times on a laser interferometry system, before coating in aluminium with a silicon dioxide overcoat. Each telescope comes with an optical test report which takes both primary and secondary mirrors into account as a complete system.

Product features and scope of delivery:

Ritchey Chretien F8 optical system made by a leading European optical laboratory, to the highest specification and surface accuracy it is possible to achieve.
Carbon Fibre Truss tube telescope with accurately CNC machined components (no casting).
Approx. Weight 18-19kg.
Optical test report in Green light, guaranteed Strehl of 0.94 at the focuser i.e. combined for both mirrors.
2x 300mm Altair TMS Losmandy dovetail plates compatible with Altair TMS Ultralight Guide Scope Rings. (Handle is optional)
3.5" Starlight Feathertouch Focuser, made in the USA. Can be fully automated with optional motor drive system.
Fused Quartz primary and secondary mirror.
Includes 2-element Field Flattener made in Europe to the exact spherical characteristic for this particular aperture mirror system. (Adapters for your particular camera are separate).
55mm flat field image circle, covering a 36x36mm CCD sensor.
The flattener can be removed for spectrometry/photometry quickly and easily, and reattached without collimation adjustment.
Super-easy collimation combined push/pull adjustment screws on rear mirror.
High Quality Transport Case (hand made) worth over £450.
Carbon Fibre secondary mirror support vanes.
All CNC machined baffles and chassis.
Inner baffle tube and outer Carbon Dewshield tube are both flocked.
Camera tilt adjustment plate on the rear of the telescope.
"Altair Astro DeepField Ritchey Chretien telescope optics are tested many times during production. The wave-front error of the complete optical system (consisting of both primary and secondary mirror as a set) must meet a minimum standard of at least 0.94 Strehl Ratio when exiting the focuser but without flattener). Each telescope is shipped with a screen-shot showing the final interferometric analysis of the wave-front produced by the particular set of optics in the telescope. This screenshot includes a computer-analysis of the wave-front produced on the test bench. Please note, in the interests of accuracy, astigmatism and coma values are not suppressed on the optical test report. Interferogram results can vary slightly with alignment of the optics when tested, ambient vibrations in the laboratory, and with random air currents - though precautions are of course taken to minimise these factors just as in any optical laboratory. The test report is to be treated like a photographic record, and each test report is unique to your telescope."

Technical info about mirror materials: The lower the Coeficient of Thermal Expansion or "CET", the better the material is for making your telescope mirrors because they hold their figure more accurately as the temperature changes, because they expand and contract less. Borosilicate glasses like Supremax 33 are hugely superior to standard glasses because they have a CET of 3.25×10−7/°C (averaged between 20 °C and 320 °C). To compare, BK7 glass has a CET of about 7.1, and normal plate or float glasses used in cheap telescopes is around 8.3 or higher. Fused quartz is a slightly more expensive material, but has a very small CET at 0.55×10−7/°C by comparison.

Ordering and availability: This is a special made to order product and we only make a few telescopes per year. Optical sets are in production which will be ready in March-April 2013 and than again about 3 months after that. For more information, or for a special quote including camera, pier, observatory dome, roll-off shed, or robotic mount, please get in touch by clicking the "Ask a question about this product" link on this page, or contact us via the usual channels.

£5,950.00

Altair Astro DeepField -250 Corrected Ritchey Chretien Telescope

A 10" F8 carbon fibre truss tube Ritchey Chretien astrograph, 100% designed and manufactured in UK/Europe, to the highest specification.

The Altair DeepField Ritchey Chretien design is a professional observatory grade imaging instrument, suitable for schools, colleges and universities, or advanced amateur astronomers who want the best quality on the market. The complete design has taken over a year to complete and test, having been through two iterations.

Altair have chosen a truss-tube design because of the better thermal characteristics afforded by air circulation around the optics, almost eliminating the contrast-robbing effects of boundary air current layer formation, as well as allowing the optics to come to thermal equilibrium faster. This is also an extremely rigid design, which ensures optimum performance for the most demanding imaging requirements.

The two-element field flattener is dedicated to the particular spherical correction of the Altair Deepfield optical design at this particular aperture and is made in Europe in the same optical laboratory responsible for the mirror polishing and figuring.

Each optical set is generated and polished as a set and tested several times on a laser interferometry system, before coating in aluminium with a silicon dioxide overcoat. Each telescope comes with an optical test report which takes both primary and secondary mirrors into account as a complete system.

"Altair Astro DeepField Ritchey Chretien telescope optics are tested many times during production. The wave-front error of the complete optical system (consisting of both primary and secondary mirror as a set) must meet a minimum standard of at least 0.94 Strehl Ratio when exiting the focuser but without flattener). Each telescope is shipped with a screen-shot showing the final interferometric analysis of the wave-front produced by the particular set of optics in the telescope. This screenshot includes a computer-analysis of the wave-front produced on the test bench. Please note, in the interests of accuracy, astigmatism and coma values are not suppressed on the optical test report. Interferogram results can vary slightly with alignment of the optics when tested, ambient vibrations in the laboratory, and with random air currents - though precautions are of course taken to minimise these factors just as in any optical laboratory. The test report is to be treated like a photographic record, and each test report is unique to your telescope."

This is a special-order product. The December 2012 production run is already allocated, however more optical sets are in production which will be ready in February 2013. For more information, or for a special quote including camera, pier, observatory or robotic mount, please get in touch.

Technical Specs:

Product features and scope of delivery:

Ritchey Chretien F8 optical system made by a leading European optical laboratory, to the highest specification and surface accuracy it is possible to achieve.
Carbon Fibre Truss tube telescope with accurately CNC machined components (no casting).
Optical test report in Green light, guaranteed Strehl of 0.94 at the focuser i.e. combined for both mirrors.
2 x 180mm Losmandy dovetail plates.
3.5" Starlight Feathertouch Focuser, made in the USA. Can be fully automated with optional motor drive system.
Quartz secondary mirror with Supremax 33 primary.
Includes 2-element Field Flattener made in Europe to the exact spherical characteristic for this particular aperture mirror system. (Adapters for your particular camera are separate).
44mm flat field image circle.
The flattener can be removed for spectrometry/photometry quickly and easily, and reattached without collimation adjustment.
Super-easy collimation combined push/pull adjustment screws on rear mirror.
High Quality Transport Case (hand made) worth over £450.
Carbon Fibre secondary mirror support vanes.
All CNC machined baffles and chassis.
Inner baffle tube and outer Carbon Dewshield tube are both flocked.
Camera tilt adjustment plate on the rear of the telescope.

Optional Carry Handle

£799.00

Altair-GSO 8" F8 Metal Tubed Ritchey Chretien OTA

This is a "fully loaded" version of the tried and tested 8" F8 Metal-Tube Ritchey-Chrétien with the following features:

A 2" Dual Speed Linear Bearing Focuser included as standard. It will handle a DSLR or CCD camera, and a light weight filter wheel perfectly well, and is adequate in most imaging situations. Note this focuser has the Linear Bearing upgrade, and will outperform most Taiwanese dual speed focusers, both in rigidity and pulling power. It is perfectly adequate for a DSLR/CCD camera and light weight filter wheel.

A Losmandy format dovetail plate and Vixen format bar are included, attached to the top and bottom of the optical tube.

You can now use one or more Altair TMS Vixen or Losmandy clamps clamps upside down (depending on the top bar type), to attach the rings to the underside and adjust the ring spacing to fit your guide scope without having to buy an additional dovetail plate. A small guide scope is perfect for this.

3x Heavy Duty Extension tubes included (2x 25mm & 1x 50mm) fitting between the focuser and the telescope. CNC Machined out of solid billet aluminium, zero flex.

Low expansion Quartz Mirrors with 96% reflective enhanced aluminium coatings with a Quartz overcoat (Silicon dioxide).
8" aperture true hyperboloid Primary & Secondary Mirrors.

Multiple internal light baffles line the optical tube.

Fast efficient cool down time compared to a normal SCT due to the open-tube design.
This telescope is designed with enough backfocus to use an off axis guider, AO unit and filter wheel. Therefore, to create the most rigid imaging train possible, instead of placing extension tubes after the focuser it's best to place them between the focuser and the rear mirror cell. Therefore 1x 50mm and 2x 25mm large diameter extension rings are included for this purpose, which can be placed between the focuser and telescope (with zero flex), for adjusting your backfocus.

Dimensions: OTA length 455mm Outside diameter 230mm Tube weight is 7.5kgs. The central obstruction diameter is 95mm

Click here to see the Altair RC Collimation Adjuster Plate

Remember this product includes 3x extension tubes and 2x Losmandy plates top and bottom.

£1,099.00

Altair-GSO 8" F8 Deluxe CF Ritchey Chretien OTA

his is a "deluxe" version of the tried and tested 8" GSO / Orion / Astro Tech F8 Ritchey-Chrétien with the following features:

Low Weight - 7.8kg (Metal Tubed Version 9.8kg)
Fuzed quartz mirrors with dielectric coatings with higher reflectivity than the standard aluminium/SI02 coatings on the metal tube version.

Now ships with 2 x Losmandy plates top and bottom.

•A 2" Dual Speed Linear Bearing Focuser included as standard. It will handle a DSLR or CCD camera, and a light weight filter wheel perfectly well, and is adequate in most imaging situations. Note this focuser has the Linear Bearing upgrade, and will outperform most Taiwanese dual speed focusers, both in rigidity and pulling power. It is perfectly adequate for a DSLR/CCD camera and light weight filter wheel.

•NEW feature: The base of the scope now has a light-weight Losmandy-format plate to fit the iEQ45 or other Losmandy-format mounts directly. This is more rigid than the channel type Vixen/Synta format dovetail bar found on other models.

A light weight Vixen/Synta type dovetail bar is included along the top of the telescope for guide scope attachment using the Altair TMS Lightweight Guide Scope Rings. You can now use one or more Altair TMS Vixen clamps upside down, to attach the rings to the underside and adjust the ring spacing to fit your guide scope. A small guide scope is perfect for this.

•Low weight low expansion Carbon Fibre OTA, weight 7.5kg! (16.4lbs) not only giving more accurate tracking but freeing up your mount capacity for other accessories. The use of a carbon fibre weave composite reduces the weight of the optical tube with no loss of strength or rigidity compared to an aluminium tube.

•Low expansion Quartz Mirrors with 96% reflective Enhanced coatings with higher reflectivity than standard mirror coatings on other versions of this scope.
•Optional field flattener available, optimised for this optical design.
•8" aperture true hyperboloid Primary & Secondary Mirrors.
•Multiple internal light baffles line the optical tube.
•Fast efficient cool down time compared to a normal SCT due to the open-tube design.
•This telescope is designed with enough backfocus to use an off axis guider, AO unit and filter wheel. Therefore, to create the most rigid imaging train possible, instead of placing extension tubes after the focuser it's best to place them between the focuser and the rear mirror cell. Therefore 1x 50mm and 2x 25mm large diameter extension rings are included for this purpose, which can be placed between the focuser and telescope (with zero flex), for adjusting your backfocus.

Click here to see the Altair RC Collimation Adjuster Plate

Remember this includes 3x extension tubes and 2x Losmandy plates top and bottom.

GSO (Altair) 10" F8 Ritchey Chretien Optical Tube

The RC design is a true reflective design with no refractive optical elements. As such it provides superb light transmission.

The coma free field of this standard RC delivers wide flatfield performance on cameras up to the APS sized DSLR sensors.

Full format cameras require an optional corrector to achieve flat field performance.

The scope features a fixed primary and secondary mirror for flex free imaging. Included is a set of 3 thread on extension tubes to enable you to place your camera at the correct back focus distance for optimal performance. These thread between the scope and the 3" focuser - again for flex free performance.

The 3" Dual Speed Crayford focuser is a big jump in strength and rigidity from the 2" models and can easily accomodate DSLR and most CCD Imaging cameras.

This scope is a true Ritchey Chretien Astrograph and does not feature a full aperture corrector such as SCT and SCT design scopes.

Technical Specs:

10" F/8 RC
10" F/8 Primary mirror 250mm
Secondary mirror 105mm
Primary mirror diameter: 250mm
Secondary mirror diameter: 105mm
Effective Focal Ratio: F/8
Effective Focal Length: 2000mm
Back Focus: 300mm
Mirror Separation: 463mm
Mirrors material: Quartz - 99% reflectivity

Three focuser extension rings.

Tube assembly weight: 15kg

Focuser: 3" (improved rigidity)

Improved Linear 10:1 micro focuser with laser etched scale

2x Losmandy D-series adapter plates

Three Integral 12VDC cooling fans

12VDC battery pack

Altair GSO 10" F8 Ritchey Chretien Optical Tube with Carbon Fibre Tube

The RC design is a true reflective design with no refractive optical elements. As such it provides superb light transmission.

This version comes with a carbon Fibre tube. The use of a carbon fiber weave composite reduces the weight of the optical tube with no loss of strength or rigidity compared to an aluminum tube.

**Please Note the scope features Losmandy Compatible rails fitted Top and Bottom**

Click here to read a review on the 10" RC
This true Ritchey Chretien astrograph is completely optimised for imaging. A pure two-mirror optical system means zero colour aberration and a large aperture with high resolution compared to refractors costing many times more. Because it has a fixed focuser, the primary mirror flop and resultant image shift issues often associated with long focal length SCT telescopes with moving mirrors are avoided. There aren't any complex internal parts to move the mirrors back and forth while attempting to keep them accurately aligned so there's less to go wrong. Another benefit of a high quality external focuser, is that the mirrors don't have to move relative to each other to focus the telescope, and so because everything remains in place, the focal point doesn't change outside the tube, making it easier for you to achieve repeatable, accurate focusing time and time again.

The coma free field of this standard RC delivers wide flatfield performance on cameras up to the APS sized DSLR sensors.

Full format cameras require an optional corrector to achieve flat field performance.

Included is a set of 3 thread on extension tubes to enable you to place your camera at the correct back focus distance for optimal performance. These thread between the scope and the 3" focuser - again for flex free performance.

The 3" LBF Dual Speed Crayford focuser is a big jump in strength and rigidity from the 2" models and can easily accomodate DSLR and most CCD Imaging cameras.

This scope is a true Ritchey Chretien Astrograph and does not feature a full aperture corrector such as SCT and SCT design scopes.

Click here to see the Altair Focuser Collimation Adjustment Plate

Remember this product includes 3x extension tubes and 2x Losmandy plates top and bottom costing about £250-300 if bought separately.

Technical Specs:

10" F/8 RC
10" F/8 Primary mirror 250mm
Secondary mirror 105mm
Primary mirror diameter: 250mm
Secondary mirror diameter: 105mm
Effective Focal Ratio: F/8
Effective Focal Length: 2000mm
Back Focus: 300mm
Mirror Separation: 463mm
Mirror: Quartz with 96" Enhanced Coating

Skywatcher Quattro F4 Imaging Newtonian

The Skywatcher Quattro series are premium quality imaging Newtonians with a wide field of illumination and fast f4 focal-ratios.

8-inch and 10-inch models are available with steel or carbon fibre tubes. Tube interiors have knife-edge ray traced baffles.
CARBON FIBRE TUBE: Carbon fibre is a strong and lightweight material with better thermal stability than steel. This is especially important for astro-photographers dealing with long exposure times. Imaging telescopes made of less thermally stable material can deviate from optimum focus after long time exposures. With a carbon fibre tube, it can remain in focus for a longer period of time.

2" DUAL-SPEED LINEAR POWER FOCUSER: The new linear power focuser utilises four precision ball-bearings to support the drawtube for excellent stability and zero image shift while supporting a heavy imaging camera and accessories. Moving the drawtube using a roller rather than a rack and pinion ensures an exceptionally smooth and precise focus adjustment. The dual-speed feature has a second focus knob with a 10:1 speed reduction for super-fine adjustments.

PYREX MIRRORS: All models feature paraboloidal primary mirrors made of low thermal expansion Pyrex glass resulting in shorter cool-down times.

NB: Like all fast Newtonians the Skywatcher Quattro series are best suited to experienced astronomers. They require precise collimation and a Coma Corrector to reach their full potential.

Technical Specs:

Quattro 200 (8-inch) specification

Diameter of Primary Mirror 205mm
Telescope Focal Length 800mm (f/4)
Note: Eyepieces NOT supplied
9x50 Finderscope
Parabolic Primary Mirror (Pyrex)
2" (50.8mm) Dual-Speed 10:1 Linear Power Focuser
Tube Rings & Dovetail Bar
0.5mm Ultra-Thin Secondary Mirror Supports
77% more Light-Gathering than 150mm

Quattro 250 (10-inch) specification

Diameter of Primary Mirror 254mm
Telescope Focal Length 1000mm (f/4)
Note: Eyepieces NOT supplied
9x50 Finderscope
Parabolic Primary Mirror (Pyrex)
2" (50.8mm) Dual-Speed 10:1 Linear Power Focuser
Tube Rings and Dovetail Bar
0.5mm Ultra-Thin Secondary Mirror Supports
56% more Light-Gathering than 200mm