Sky-Watcher Quantum top of the line ED-APO refractors offer premium optical performance for discriminating amateur astronomers and imagers. Refractors are coveted for their high-definition, superb for observing optimal detail planets and binary stars while delivering the contrast needed to see faint nebulosity against a coal-black sky background. Quantum refractors utilize the most modern optical glasses and fabrication techniques to deliver the ultimate in high-fidelity astronomical imaging. Each lens element is individually inspected for purity and absence of striations and other image-degrading imperfections. Every lens is pitch polished to exacting standards of optical fabrication and performance by highly skilled opticians and tested on an optical laser bench to rigidly controlled optical standards. The result is high-quality, diffraction-limited optics performing to the theoretical limits of their respective aperture sizes.
Starizona Testing of the Quantum 100ED
Sky-Watcher sent a prototype of the Quantum 100ED to Starizona for testing. The tube was aluminum rather than carbon fiber, but the rest of the telescope including optics and focuser were the same as the production model. Some of the test images we captured with this telescope are shown below. The short answer is that this is a very good telescope and the Sky-Watcher description really does not do it justice. The Quantum 100ED offers much more than a standard APO triplet by having a true flat field (which is certainly larger than the 43mm specification Sky-Watcher gives). This scope is much more like a Takahashi FSQ-106 than anything else.
Initially we took images with the telescope using a Canon EOS 20Da, using the standard large-aperture T-ring that Sky-Watcher makes for this telescope. The initial results were very impressive, with no hint of chromatic aberration and a perfectly flat field.
Despite the specification of a 43mm fully illuminated flat field, this telescope is easily capable of covering a much bigger CCD as demonstrated when we attached an Apogee U16M camera and filter wheel (using a custom adapter). The U16M uses the Kodak KAF-16803 16-megapixel sensor, which has a 52mm diagonal size. On the Quantum 100ED the resulting field of view is an impressive 4.25° on a side and 6° across the diagonal!
Again there are no hints of color aberrations in the scope and the field is exceptionally flat, with still very little vignetting even over the 52mm sensor. Note: The halos around very bright stars are from the first-generation Astrodon RGB filters used in the camera, not from the telescope optics.
Lagoon and Trifid Nebulas, 2-frame mosaic, Canon EOS 20Da, 12 x 5 min
Andromeda Galaxy, Apogee U16M, LRGB = 100:15:15:15 min
Horsehead Nebula and M78, Apogee U16M, LRGB = 120:15:15:15 min
Heart and Soul Nebulas, 2-frame mosaic, Apogee U16M, HaRGB = 120:15:15:15 min per frame
Veil Nebula, Apogee U16M, HaRGB = 140:25:25:25 min
All images © Scott Tucker/Starizona