The Starwave 152mm V2 delivers rich field views of the night sky using a large 6 inch / 152mm of unobstructed aperture at an incredible price. What's more, this lens isn't your average achromat lens. It is constructed from high quality Japanese Ohara and German Schott glass with top quality coatings, a very smooth polish and accurate surface figure free from striae.
We sent a unit (with a smaller 2" focuser) to astronomy writer Ade Ashford, who has written a comprehensive Starwave 152 Achromat review (Link opens new window). NOTE: The review telescope was the older version with 2.0" Crayford focuser. The newer Starwave Red Tube 152 Achromat ships with the larger 3.0" focuser and improved optics.
Another use for the Starwave 152mm Achromat is solar imaging. If you ever wanted to push your Daystar Quark or Quantum to the next level this optical tube has it all. 6" of aperture and a fast focal ratio for the fastest frame rates. Check out solar imager Gary Palmer's amazing solar shots with Altair GPCAM Mono, Daystar Quark and Starwave 152mm Achromat to see what can be achieved.
For rich field viewing of deep sky objects such as comets, clusters and nebulae, the Starwave 152 offers a higher contrast view equivalent to an 8" Newtonian reflector, with similar perceived light grasp, but without the maintenance overhead and need for regular collimation. It also sports higher contrast due to the lack of central obstruction which makes deepsky objects appear to "pop" out from the background for very pleasing views. By using a Contrast Booster filter to remove any residual chromatic aberration, the Starwave 152 F5.9 can also be used for high powered observation of the moon and planets. This often isn't possible with cheap mass-produced achromatic optics of similar focal length. It should be noted that chromatic aberration of this telescope is very low considering the fast focal ratio of the lens system, and that the lens design has been optimised for the yellow/green wavelengths to which the human eye is most sensitive. Therefore visual performance is better than the traditional Frauhofer achromat designs employed in cheaper achromats, and as reviewer Ade Ashford comments
, the Starwave 152 Achromat outperforms typical F8 Achromats of the same aperture.
The inside of the optical tube has several baffles, and the multilayer lens coatings are extremely efficient to further improve image contrast. Surface polish is imrpoved to reduce scatter, which is very low for such a large aperture refractor lens. All these factors make the Starwave 152mm a high contrast telescope for achromat lovers who want a short, portable portable optical tube, but with with "big glass" 6" aperture.
At only 760mm length when the dewshield is folded back, the Starwave 152 one of the most portable 6" aperture refractors on the market today. It will put less strain on your mount too, because the 9kg weight is distributed along a shorter length than other larger refractors, so torque / moment-arm effects are minimised.
Together with the Altair Sabre mount, counterweight, and counterweight shaft, the Starwave 152 is a great scope for effortless sweeping of the richer areas of the night sky and examination of deepsky objects. The highly tolerant Altair Lightwave LER 68 degree wide eyepiece range is recommended in particular, as are the Altair KITAKARU RPL Orthoscopic eyepieces. The Altair Premium CLS filter will also deliver good results with this telescope due to the large unobstructed aperture, especially on the Orion nebula and suchlike. The Altair Premium OIII filter also delivered greatly improved detail on the Ring Nebula in Vega during testing.