Great optics for the price, hex focuser "ok"
Very happy overall with the 127mm-FCD100. When I bought it, I had the option for a FeatherTouch focuser, and looking back I should have added it. But I have installed a Rigel motorized focuser and it works well enough in my not so great environment. I use the OTA almost exclusively for narrowband imaging. My G-11 mount handles it easily and my only complaint is stray light from the streetlight across the street. With the primary lens up front, I have to ***** a shield to block stray light from entry into the instrument - wasn't a problem, of course, with my older SCTs - I should have recognized the potential problem but its easy enough to get around.
I purchased mine over a year ago, I'm amazed with the optics on this scope. The FCD100 glass is amazing and I've been able to get several pics using my DSLR. I've recently upgraded to a ASI294MC Pro OSC camera and it really shows just how great the optics are on this scope. I can highly recommend this scope to anyone looking. The attached pic of M13 tells the story, and I'm not that good at post processing yet.
I recently purchased this scope along with some massive upgrades to my gear back in August and have been taking it for a spin almost every clear night we have here. For visual observation it has been really great, especially for planetary and lunar observation. I've been steadily working my way into DSLR AP and I've only hit one real issue with it and that is that I get these weird spikes when imaging stars that are in focus. The support team from ES has been very responsive in trouble shooting what might be the cause (probably the travel screws that come with it to help keep the optics in place), but I'll have to wait a week to do another test run. Overall, very, very pleased with this scope and the quality of my purchase. Thanks for all the help OPT for sorting through gear questions and helping with the purchase.
I upgraded to the Explore Scientific127mm f/7.5 FCD100 ED APO Refractor from the Explore Scientific 102mm f/7 APO Refractor that I have had for almost a year. The 127mm is a significant improvement over the 102mm. The images achieved are much sharper and larger due to the increase in diameter and FOV area. I am extremely pleased with both of the extremely fine Explore Scientific Refractors and would recommend them to anyone.
5 inch APO Explore Scientific Refractor
I have never owned a refractor before. My only experience with telescopes has been with 8 inch and 10 inch SCT's which are awkard to setup. The 5" refractor is dong a fine job. It is much easier to setup and the view is more or less "the same" as larger scopes using mirrors. I am using a Celestron AVX mount which is what I had been using with the 8 inch Meade SCT OTA..
Focuser needs work
Good glass. I stepped up from a 72mm doublet, and I use a 294 osc. My only complaint is the focuser. It's quite notchy. It will focus, but it's very rough. I made a few adjustments but it's not better. I may upgrade to a moonlite in the very near future. Great scope