This Item Has Been Discontinued.
This Astro-Tech AT106LE refractor has:
- 106mm f/6.5 fully multicoated air-spaced triplet apochromatic optics using an FPL-53 ED element and all Ohara glass
- collimatable lens cell
- rotating dual-speed 2" Crayford focuser with 10:1 ratio fine focusing
- both 2" and 1.25" brass compression ring eyepiece holders
- retractable lens shade/dew shield
- long-lasting white paint finish with anodized black trim
- aluminum-frame foam-fitted hard case
- excellent Sky & Telescope optics review
- two-year warranty
The performance of this Astro-Tech 106mm FPL-53 ED (Extra-low Dispersion glass) triplet apochromatic refractor is outstanding, in keeping with Astro-Tech's well-deserved reputation for producing optically and mechanically excellent optics at sensible prices. A nearly four-page review of the original AT106 in the September 2009 Sky & Telescope concluded simply, the Astro-Tech AT106 provides all the benefits of a first-class 4-inch apo but without the premium price. I highly recommend it." We took the review to heart and made the AT106LE better" with the introduction of the new, more economical, limited-availability Limited Edition" model.
The optics in the AT106LE are identical to those of the highly-reviewed (and still available) AT106, so the visual and imaging performance is identical. All of the lenses in the air-spaced triplet optics of the AT106LE are fabricated from Ohara glass (Ohara is Japan's premier manufacturer of specialized optical glass), including the first-quality FPL-53 center element. The result of using the best possible glass is the finest possible control of spurious color. The AT106LE images are free of all vestiges of the annoying faint color halos around bright objects visible in lesser scopes despite the Astro-Tech's fast focal ratio, and even at very high magnifications.
The Sky & Telescope review said that the AT106 had absolutely first-class color correction. There was no visible chromatic aberration, even on the brightest targets. When defocused, star images presented nary a trace of false color. Unlike some apos that provide minimal color only when precisely in focus, images in the AT106 were not subjected to flickering false-color halos as poor seeing caused images to sharpen and defocus . . . tight double stars were cleanly resolved and planets exhibited excellent detail in all cases, images snapped into clean focus."
Those optics, first-class" according to Sky & Telescope, come with a dual speed 2" Crayford focuser that has a microfine 10:1 fine-focusing ratio. The supplied 2" and 1.25" accessory holders use non-marring brass compression rings that won't scratch your eyepiece barrels. The Astro-Tech AT106LE has a retractable lens shade and comes in a locking aluminum-frame carrying case.
If this Astro-Tech AT106LE was simply a 106mm ED doublet system, it would be very fairly priced. But a 106mm fast focal ratio triplet using true FPL-53 glass and a dual-speed 2" Crayford focuser at this price . . . is a steal! As Sky & Telescope said about the original AT106, it provides all the benefits of a first-class 4-inch apo but without the premium price." That's even more so with the limited-availability, optically-identical, and surprisingly economical AT106LE.
The Astro-Tech AT106LE is strictly limited to a production run of 50 pieces. When they are gone, no more will be available at this very special price. Features of this Telescope . . .
- Apochromatic triplet refractor optics - 106mm (4.17") aperture, 690mm focal length, f/6.5 focal ratio three-lens optical system using the finest quality FPL-53 ED (Extra-low Dispersion glass) element to reduce spurious color halos and fringing to vanishingly low levels. All three lens elements are made from the finest quality Ohara glass. Ohara is well-known as Japan's premier manufacturer of specialized optical glass.
- Collimatable lens cell - The push/pull lens cell is fully collimatable in the field for peak performance. A simple optional Cheshire eyepiece and your own eyes are all you need.
- Fully multicoated optics - The triplet objective lens has the latest state-of-the-art antireflection multicoatings on all air-to-glass surfaces for high light transmission and excellent contrast. This can easily be seen by looking into the objective lens of the scope. Virtually no reflection of your face will be seen. It's a sure sign that the high transmission coatings are doing their job, by letting virtually all the light enter the scope, rather than reflecting some light back to your eye.
- Internal light baffles - Internal light baffles: Contrast-enhancing knife-edge light baffles provide truly dark sky backgrounds and high terrestrial contrast. The edges of the lenses are blackened to reduce internal reflections and further improve image contrast.
- Dew shield - A self-storing retractable dew shield slows the formation of dew on the lens in cold weather to extend your undisturbed observing time. It also improves the contrast, similar to the effect of the lens shade on a camera lens, when observing during the day or when there is excessive ambient light at night, such as a neighbor's backyard security light. Dual lock knobs lock it firmly in place when fully extended.
- Rotating dual-speed 2" Crayford focuser - The precision-made Crayford focuser has dual-speed focusing and a built-in rotating camera angle adjuster. There are two coarse focusing knobs. The right knob also has a smaller concentric knob with 10:1 reduction gear microfine focusing ratio. This provides exceptionally precise image control during high magnification visual observing and critical DSLR or CCD imaging. The focus knobs have ribbed gripping surfaces so they are easy to operate, even while wearing gloves or mittens in cold weather. The focuser rotates a full 360Degree to bring your camera to the most attractive image orientation. Stainless steel inserts in the drawtube eliminate uneven wear on the focuser drawtube from the pressure of the bearings and focus shaft.
- 2" and 1.25" compression rings accessory/eyepiece holders - The focuser drawtube terminates in a 2" accessory/eyepiece holder that uses a non-marring soft brass compression ring to hold a 2" star diagonal and accessories in place. The compression ring won't scratch the barrel of your star diagonal and accessories as an ordinary thumbscrew can. For 2" eyepiece use, a premium Astro-Tech guaranteed 1/10th wave peak-to-valley accuracy 2" quartz one-piece star diagonal #AT2DQ1 is recommended to deliver all of the scope's exceptional optical performance to your eye.
A standard equipment 1.25" accessory adapter slips into the 2" eyepiece holder to let you use a 1.25" star diagonal or image erecting diagonal. Like the 2" eyepiece holder, the 1.25" adapter also uses a non-marring soft brass compression ring to hold 1.25" star diagonals and accessories in place. If you are partial to 1.25" eyepieces and need an outstanding diagonal for this scope, consider the Astro-Tech 1.25" 99% reflectivity 46-layer dielectric coated diagonal (#AT1D). It was named a Sky & Telescope Hot Product for 2007.
- Tube rings - The scope comes with a set of split tube rings ready to mount to a dovetail.
- Other supplied accessories - A slip-on metal dust cap is standard. There is no finderscope provided, but a Vixen-style quick release bracket on the upper left side of the optical tube permits the installation of an optional multiple reticle red dot finder (#ATF) and Vixen-style mounting foot (#ATFBV). In addition to the Astro-Tech finder, any finder using a Vixen-style mounting foot can be used.
- Shipping/storage case - The scope comes in a foam-fitted aluminum-frame locking hard case with carry handle. Astro-Tech is one of the very few manufacturers to provide a case at no charge for protection during shipping and as a storage convenience when the scope is not in use. Unfortunately, FedEx, UPS, and the Postal Service are very good at treating packages roughly. Occasionally, your scope can arrive in perfect condition, but with the walls of the shipping case dented in transit from rough handling, or the aluminum frame sprung, rendering the appearance of the case less than pristine. Damage to the shipping case in such instances is not covered by warranty.
- Two year warranty - As an expression of the confidence Astronomy Technologies has in the quality of their products, the Astro-Tech AT106LE FPL-53 triplet is protected by a two-year limited warranty against flaws in materials and workmanship (shipping case excluded).
- Highest Useful Magnification - 215x
- Visual Limiting Magnitude - 12.6
- Focal Length - 690 mm
- Focal Ratio - f/6.5
- Resolution - 1.09 arc seconds
- Aperture - 4.17"
- Net Weight - 9.8 lbs.
- Warranty - 2 years