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Sky-Watcher 12” Quattro Imaging Newtonian

Started by puhtron54, 02/10/2020 09:01PM
Posted 02/10/2020 09:01PM Opening Post
 Has anyone used the Sky-Watcher 12” Quattro Imaging Newtonian with coma corrector?
Looks like a great deal for the size. Cannot find any reviews.
Posted 02/13/2020 04:41AM #1
Posted 02/13/2020 07:22AM #2
Hello John
 I would use it mostly for DSLR astro photography.
I did find a review that stated there were issues with autoguiding. Flexure with the guide scope setup. I think that would depend on how you mount it.

Posted 02/14/2020 05:32AM | Edited 02/14/2020 05:39AM #3
Hi Thomas,

I have one and have to say I really am surprised by its performance so far!  I stepped up from a re-figured, and otherwise modified Orion 10" "Astrograph" F3.9 OTA to the 12" Quattro.  I have some AP results from the Quattro in my albums on my website. Getting the coma corrected is possible and believe it or not I got the best handle on it with the SkyWatcher Quattro Coma Corrector which Skywatcher sells most specifically for their Quattro line of Newtonian OTA series.   I had a Televue 2" Paracorr corrector, which worked good for my 10", but not quite as good of a correction with my 12".  It can be a bit twitchy at first to get the spacing right on and currently get the best results @ 56mm of spacing from corrector lens to sensor.  Visually the 12" is superior in visual quality to the Orion AG10 was when corrected.  Not just because of the aperture, but because of getting a good correction to the edges with the 12".  I replaced the focuser with a Moonlite 2" Newtonian focuser (motorized) as most of what I do anymore is either EAA or AP...  More to thwart the ever increasing light pollution here than anything.  Visual here is getting a lot of LP interference now.  Used to have some fairly darker skies here but urban sprawl has been encroaching that more and more.  When I moved here in 1994 I could see the Andromeda Galaxy very very faintly naked eye...  Not for several years now though!  The main reason I replaced the focused was due to my AP, the stock focuser was not bad at all for visual work, but did not motorize to my satisfaction.

I guess it would come down to what you expect and want in the way of performance, but I am quite satisfied with it for my EAA and AP.  It is a heavy outfit and I have mine mounted on a Losmandy D dovetail instead of the stock one it came with, on a Titan Mount.  I not an expert or user of multiple types of optical setups, mainly have used the Newtonian type of OTA and smaller 80 - 102mm Refractors.  I once had an 8" Newtonian...  Orion Skyview Pro with a RF Royce Primary replacing the original Orion one and a Protostar Secondary which was an excellent little Newt for both AP and Visual...  Still needed a corrector though!  The visual and AP sharpness and clarity of the 12" is superior to that scope as well.  Obviously 4" more aperture is a huge advantage, But I'm not just talking about the depth of reach, talking actual clarity of even the brighter stars and objects.  The Royce was actually a better OTA in those things than the 10" was.  Aperture fever was not the best choice in that case, don't get me wrong the 10" with the Swazye re-figure gave a pretty good show.  For that reason I actually held onto the 10" until I had used the 12" Quattro for a bit, but the Quattro has proven to be -to me- a really good improvement over the 10" in about all of the bullet points.  Just put the 10" up for sale as I am keeping the Quattro!

You can find some AP from the Quattro here:

NGC6823 is where I got the spacing pretty close to right, changed up the spacing setup for some 80mm work and did not get it set back right again until just recently.  It is a challenge to get it right with this OTA, but it is doable, unfortunately here in central Indiana clear nights friendly to AP are few!  As you can see this album is the QHY168c camera album, so looking at a pretty good FOV or image resolution.  Haven't really tried it with My smaller sensor cameras yet.  Weather here is just typical for here not many good nights for AP this time of year, too many cloudy, windy, or such nights, been under overcast skies here since 01/21/2020.  Even on the 21st it was not ideal, wind and ice haze, but I got a session on NGC281.  Came out pretty fair, I'll post that image when I get back to my main workstation where all of the data and imagery is at right now!  Anyhow I hope I've helped to answer some of your questions.  I'll get the NGC281 PacMan Image posed on this thread tonight If I have time, will be about a week if I don't get it done tonight.

Posted 02/14/2020 05:51AM #4
Oh, one other note on the 12" Skywatcher Quattro Newtoinan.  Some of the Chinese larger aperture have been known to have some flex or deformation in the actual OTA Tube under the load of an astrophotograpy full setup, Camera, filter wheels and such...  This one does not in my experience with it, not a bit from what I've noticed and was one of the things I was weary of when I initially got it.  One of the reasons I held onto the Orion for a bit!  I have had up to 6 1/2 lbs of equipment on the focuser with my QHY163M and 7 place 36mm filter wheel, yada, yada, yada...  No deformities or tube flex seen or noted.  Seems to handle the weight of AP equipment sitting on it at any position, pointed to the zenith at the meridian, laying out for a low horizon object, whatever...  Not seen or experienced any problems with it.

Posted 02/14/2020 07:50AM | Edited 02/14/2020 07:52AM #5
Here is the image of NGC 281 the Quattro Coma Corrector was set @ 55mm spacing on this image acquisition, as you can see there is still some sight coma @ the corners.   I shot some subs of M41 around the first of February seeing and such shut me down with only about 6 subs so I did not get any calibration frames or such, but the subs were showing the coma corrected @ the 56mm spacing.  I will likely have a full resolution image posted in my QHY168c album late next week.

Attached Image:

The Mad One's attachment for post 166448
Posted 02/15/2020 09:32AM #6
  Hello Mark
Wow! Thank you for the very informative review of the 12" Quattro.
 Your images are great, really find the de-fraction spikes desirable  these days.
Using an ES127 ED-APO, it gives me very good images. Trying out a little WO 51 RedCat, very fun to play with.
 Set up now with a WO 61 ZenithStar  and SSAG for guiding. It's a great combination sitting on my Orion HDX110.
Have been contemplating an RC 12" truss tube, but the Quattro is much more affordable for the aperture.
  Sticking with the DSLR's for now, and sounds like the focuser is capable of handling the weight.
Looks like there is a 12" Quattro in my future.
 Thanks again and keep those fantastic images coming.
Posted 04/03/2020 05:02AM #7
Hi Mark,
Great images with that 12"!

Can you share the imaging train configuration?  I have not done much with a Newtonian for AP, but you have me interested.  I have an ASI 1600 and ASI filter wheel and an older Apogee U8300 camera with an FLI CFW7.

Do you use a guidescope with this and do you think you can avoid differential flexure with one?

I see you have the Moonlight focuser.  Does the corrector attach to that?  Then the CFW, and the camera?  Do you still feel that the best distance from corrector to chip is 56 mm and did you have any trouble fitting your gear on the back and still getting to focus?

Any help would be appreciated and thanks in advance.

Posted 04/03/2020 12:45PM #8
Hi Frank,

For that particular shot I was using the QHY168C with the STC-Duo "Narrowband" Light Pollution Reduction filter.  The Coma Corrector was the SkyWatcher Quattro 4 element CC which slips right into a 2" focuser tube of the Moonlite.  I use a Baader Vari-Lok 29 adjustable extension tube with the setup as well, it is screwed into the attachable rotator piece QHY sends with the 168C camera and screwed onto the t2 adapter piece that fits on the Quattro Coma Corrector.  I get the best corrections @ a 55mm +/- .5mm from the sensor face to the the CC lens.  I also had a Tele Vue Parracor 2 I had tried with the 12" F4 Quattro prior to getting the SW Quattro  CC, but it did not do as well for me as the addition of the SW Quattro did.  Can't pin point why the SW CC did better than the Tele Vue, I had the Tele Vue with my somewhat improved Orion 10" F3.9 Newtonian and it did great!!

I have the QHY163M as well with the Xagyl 7 place 36mm unmounted filter wheel, and while I have not tried it yet I could see where trying to get an OAG in the imaging train while maintaining some proper spacing between the CC & the Sensor could be a bit dicey.  Haven't used the 163M with the 12" Quattro yet, but will sometime when there are more nebular objects on my list.  As for attaching the FW would be about the same as for the OSC 168c, except for FW to 163m camera standard front flange, corrector to spacer, spacer to FW.  If I remember right I only needed an extra 7mm of spacer from the FW to the CC to get to the desired 55 - 56mm total from sensor to CC with the Xagyl wheel in place.

Another note on the !2" SW Quattro OTA I would mention is the topic of collimation.  It takes a quality collimation tool or tool set to get the collimation on this or about any other Newtonian design OTA in the 10" "fast" & above aperture range tuned in well.  You're not going to get by well with a simple laser or cheap peep sight or 1.25" Cheshire eye piece.  I went with the Cat's Eye 2" TELECAT XLTM + INFINITY XLKP set when I got the 10" Newtonian...  It works beyond great for the 12".  I just use the original center ring the OTA came with instead of the CatsEye replacement, the original center marker works great for me.  It really does give you perfect collimation, as well as for me revealing quickly any imperfections in your entire focuser tube to secondary, secondary, spider, and primary alignments.  Allowing you to get ...Everything... tuned in and lined up the first time fairly quickly.  After that it's a snap to do a quick check and any minor corrections that might be needed on your mirrors.

A side note on the Light pollution filter I use:  I tried the STC-Duo for a bit, then did a couple of head to head comparisons of the STC Duo to the Astronomiks CLS-CCD LPR filiter because it seemed to me the CLS-CCD was dong a better job of picking up more faint dust and gas than the Duo while still reducing the LP just as well or better when using them at the same imaging light frame timings.  I went back to the CLS-CCD, the filtering graphs for the wavelengths of light are pretty much the same, but with my older Canon Hutech Modified 40D and now the new QHY168c the Astronomiks filter just gives more faint detail than the STC-Duo.

Astronomiks CLS-CCD LPR Filter:

STC-Duo NarrowBand Filter:

I will likely do a couple more comparisons of some of the Summer Objects (Nebula), but from another outing the results were similar, however both nights on that outing the sky conditions were fairly unstable.