AT111EDT 111mm f/7 ED triplet apochromatic refractor

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This new and lighter version of the Astro-Tech AT111EDT refractor has:

• 111mm f/7 fully multicoated triplet apochromatic optics using an ED element and all Ohara glass
• a newly-designed dual-speed 2.7” linear Crayford focuser with 11:1 ratio fine focusing
• both 2” and 1.25” brass compression ring eyepiece holders
• two rotating camera angle adjusters
• retractable lens shade/dew shield, with lock knob
• long-lasting white paint finish with anodized grey trim
• aluminum-frame hard case
• two-year warranty

    With an aperture of 111mm (4.37”), this new and lighter version of the Astro-Tech AT111EDT ED triplet apochromatic refractor gathers over 18% more light than the more common size 102mm (4”) refractors. Combine this extra light gathering with the Astro-Tech AT111EDT’s state-of-the-art optical multicoatings, and you have a scope that outperforms similar (but more costly) competitive 102mm and 110mm refractors – and at a price as much as $800 less than a similar competitive scope!

    This new version of the Astro-Tech AT111EDT uses the same premium Ohara glass in its apochromatic triplet optics as the original model, for the same premium image quality as the original 111EDT. Despite the fast focal ratio, and even at very high magnifications, the use of premium all-Ohara glass results in images that are essentially totally free of the annoying halo of unfocused violet light (chromatic aberration) that mars the bright-object images of lesser scopes,

    These exceptional optics are even more impressive when you consider the package they come in. The finely-machined scope is in a new and smaller diameter aluminum tube (114mm o.d. compared to 124mm). It has a new dual-speed 2.7” linear Crayford focuser with a microfine 11:1 fine-focusing ratio. The smaller diameter tube (and correspondingly smaller diameter lens shade) and the new focuser combine to reduce the 15 pound weight of the original 111EDT to the more convenient 11.2 pounds of this new version.

    The focuser can rotate a full 360° to put your camera or eyepiece in the most comfortable observing position. The supplied 2” and 1.25” eyepiece holders use non-marring brass compression rings that won’t scratch your eyepiece barrels. The Astro-Tech AT111EDT has a retractable lens shade with a lock knob to prevent slippage during use and comes in a locking aluminum-frame hard carrying case.

    This feature-laden 111mm Astro-Tech ED triplet apochromatic refractor is priced hundreds of dollars less than competitive 102mm and 110mm scopes. At the price, and for the exceptional performance, it is an absolute steal!

    Here are some comments about the AT111EDT from an owner, Joe Nastasi of Parallax Instruments. Joe is an experienced astronomer, well-known for making some of the finest cost-no-object large aperture classical Cassegrain and Dall-Kirkham Cassegrain optical tubes and equatorial mounts available to the amateur astronomer.

    “I was in the market for a portable, high quality apochromat for my visual planetary study and decided on the Astro-Tech AT-111. I was thrilled when Pete informed me that he had one in stock! Upon receipt of the instrument, I was impressed by the quite good looks of the telescope. After performing a quick star test, it was apparent the collimation was dead on. After performing numerous other tests, I must say that the triplet optics are of the highest quality with as near perfect color correction as I have ever seen. A few nights ago, I enjoyed a few hours of excellent quality seeing and atmospheric transparency. The detail visible on Jupiter was stunning to say the least. The instrument delivered exceptional contrast and sharpness with belts and zones clearly defined. The extremely difficult swirls and polar mottling could occasionally be glimpsed. Quite extraordinary for a 4.37” telescope. In addition, the standard camera angle adjuster is a real joy, especially when using a binoviewer. All in all, I’m very pleased with this telescope and can’t wait to get my hands on the 6” that's being considered.” – Joe Nastasi, Parallax Instruments

    How good is the AT111EDT for imaging? In the feature images section below are three AT111EDT images from Dennis Johnson. They include M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, with its satellite galaxies M32 and M110; M45, the Pleiades; and the Leo Triplet or M66 Group, consisting of galaxies M65, M66, and NGC 3628. All images were taken over multiple nights, then stacked and processed using Deep Sky Stacker, Image Plus, Photo Shop Elements 2, and Noiseware. All images were taken with the following equipment: the Astro-Tech AT111EDT, Orion Atlas equatorial mount, Orion StarTracker guider, and a Canon 20Da DSLR camera. Reproduced here at only a fraction of their typically 4-5 MB size, they still show pretty convincingly that the AT111EDT makes a very nice imaging scope for the serious astrophotographer.

Features of this Telescope . . .

  • ED apochromatic triplet refractor optics: 111mm (4.37”) aperture, 777mm focal length, f/7 focal ratio three-lens optical system using an ED (Extra-low Dispersion glass) element to reduce spurious color halos and fringing to vanishingly low levels. All three lens elements are precision ground and polished from the finest quality Ohara glass. Ohara is well-known as Japan’s premier manufacturer of specialized optical glass.

  • 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: Contrast-enhancing knife-edge light baffles in the lens shade and the 114mm diameter optical tube 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. A lock knob keeps the dew shield from sliding when the scope is pointed at the zenith.

  • Dual speed microfine 2.7” linear Crayford focuser: The newly-designed precision-made Crayford focuser has dual-speed focusing. There are two coarse focusing knobs. The right knob also has a smaller concentric knob with a 11:1 reduction gear microfine focusing ratio. This provides exceptionally precise image control during high magnification visual observing and critical 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 drawtube has 80mm of travel and has a scale on top to let you return to an approximate focus when switching between visual and photographic setups. A tension knob under the focuser lets you adjust the focuser to accommodate varying equipment loads and lock in your photographic focus.
    The new linear bearing focuser has a polished stainless steel drive rail that runs the length of the underside of the drawtube. The focuser’s stainless steel drive shaft presses on this drive rail to move the focuser, rather than having the hard steel drive shaft press directly on (and wear out) the softer aluminum drawtube as with conventional Crayford focusers. The steel drive rail rides in a self-lubricating track that extends almost the entire length of the focuser body. The drive rail and its attached drawtube are thereby supported over most of their length at all times, rather than by a conventional Crayford focuser’s two sets of small contact area roller bearings. This system distributes the drive force evenly over the entire drawtube, without concentrating it on a few small contact points. The result is a very rigid drawtube with essentially zero flexure and no wear (much less flat spots or uneven wear) on the focuser drawtube.

  • Two built-in camera angle adjusters: The 2.7” focuser can be rotated a full 360° to line up a camera in either a landscape or portrait orientation (or any orientation in between), as well as put a star diagonal and eyepiece into the most comfortable observing position. Simply loosen a knob on the top of the focuser, rotate the focuser to whatever angle is most convenient for you, and then tighten the knob to lock the focuser at the desired angle.
    In addition to the entire focuser rotating, the focuser drawtube’s 2" eyepiece/accessory holder is itself a built-in camera angle adjuster that lets you quickly make final small adjustment tweaks to the angle of your camera or star diagonal without having to disturb the heavier focuser proper. This camera angle adjuster is standard equipment, not an optional extra-cost accessory, as it is with some other scopes. A knob on the 2" eyepiece/accessory holder lets you unlock the accessory holder, rotate it to the desired final angle, then lock it in place at whatever angle is most convenient for you. Many observers will find this camera angle adjuster to be even more convenient that the focuser rotation system and will use this method of adjusting the viewing angle exclusively.

  • Compression ring eyepiece holders: The focuser’s 2.7” drawtube terminates in a 2” eyepiece holder that uses a non-marring soft brass compression ring to hold a 2” star diagonal and/or accessories in place. The compression ring won’t scratch the barrel of your star diagonal and accessories as an ordinary thumbscrew can.
    A supplied 1.25” accessory adapter slips into the 2” eyepiece holder to let you use a 1.25” star diagonal, image erecting diagonal, or photographic accessories. 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” dielectric diagonal (#AT1D 1.25" 99% Reflectivity dielectric mirror diagonal). It's a Sky & Telescope Hot Product for 2007.
    An Astro-Tech guaranteed 1/10th wave peak-to-valley accuracy 2” quartz star diagonal (#AT2DQ1 one-piece machined 2" diagonal with 1/10th wave quartz mirror). Machined out of a single block of aluminum, with premium coatings, it is recommended to deliver all of the scope’s exceptional optical performance to your eye.

  • Tube finish: The optical tube and lens shade are finished in a durable high gloss automotive-style white paint, the same as that used on scopes several times the price of the AT111EDT. The focuser and trim are anodized gun metal grey.

  • Tube rings: No tube rings are supplied for the 114mm o. d. optical tube, as some observers may already have rings for this size tube. If rings are needed, however, optional 114mm Astro-Tech #AT114R hinged tube rings are readily available.

  • Other supplied accessories: There is a mounting point on the upper left side of the optical tube for installing an optional multiple reticle red dot finder (#ATF). A slip-on metal dust cap is standard, as is a dust seal for the eyepiece holder.

  • Shipping/storage case: The AT111EDT comes in a locking hard aluminum-frame 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 AT111EDT triplet apo is protected by a two-year limited warranty against flaws in materials and workmanship (shipping case excluded).
Highest Useful Magnification:
This is the highest visual power a telescope can achieve before the image becomes too dim for useful observing (generally at about 50x to 60x per inch of telescope aperture). However, this power is very often unreachable due to turbulence in our atmosphere that makes the image too blurry and unstable to see any detail.

On nights of less-than-perfect seeing, medium to low power planetary, binary star, and globular cluster observing (at 25x to 30x per inch of aperture or less) is usually more enjoyable than fruitlessly attempting to push a telescope's magnification to its theoretical limits. Very high powers are generally best reserved for planetary observations and binary star splitting.

Small aperture telescopes can usually use more power per inch of aperture on any given night than larger telescopes, as they look through a smaller column of air and see less of the turbulence in our atmosphere. While some observers use up to 100x per inch of refractor aperture on Mars and Jupiter, the actual number of minutes they spend observing at such powers is small in relation to the number of hours they spend waiting for the atmosphere to stabilize enough for them to use such very high powers.
222x
Visual Limiting Magnitude:
This is the magnitude (or brightness) of the faintest star that can be seen with a telescope. The larger the number, the fainter the star that can be seen. An approximate formula for determining the visual limiting magnitude of a telescope is 7.5 + 5 log aperture (in cm).

This is the formula that we use with all of the telescopes we carry, so that our published specs will be consistent from aperture to aperture, from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some telescope makers may use other unspecified methods to determine the limiting magnitude, so their published figures may differ from ours.

Keep in mind that this formula does not take into account light loss within the scope, seeing conditions, the observer’s age (visual performance decreases as we get older), the telescope’s age (the reflectivity of telescope mirrors decreases as they get older), etc. The limiting magnitudes specified by manufacturers for their telescopes assume very dark skies, trained observers, and excellent atmospheric transparency – and are therefore rarely obtainable under average observing conditions. The photographic limiting magnitude is always greater than the visual (typically by two magnitudes).

12.7
Focal Length:
This is the length of the effective optical path of a telescopeor eyepiece (the distance from the main mirror or lens where the lightis gathered to the point where the prime focus image is formed). Focallength is typically expressed in millimeters.

The longer the focallength, the higher the magnification and the narrower the field of viewwith any given eyepiece. The shorter the focal length, the lower themagnification and the wider the field of view with the same eyepiece.

777mm
Focal Ratio:
This is the ‘speed’ of a telescope’s optics, found by dividing the focal length by the aperture. The smaller the f/number, the lower the magnification, the wider the field, and the brighter the image with any given eyepiece or camera.

Fast f/4 to f/5 focal ratios are generally best for lower power wide field observing and deep space photography. Slow f/11 to f/15 focal ratios are usually better suited to higher power lunar, planetary, and binary star observing and high power photography. Medium f/6 to f/10 focal ratios work well with either.

An f/5 system can photograph a nebula or other faint extended deep space object in one-fourth the time of an f/10 system, but the image will be only one-half as large. Point sources, such as stars, are recorded based on the aperture, however, rather than the focal ratio – so that the larger the aperture, the fainter the star you can see or photograph, no matter what the focal ratio.

f/7
Resolution:
This is the ability of a telescope to separate closely-spaced binary stars into two distinct objects, measured in seconds of arc. One arc second equals 1/3600th of a degree and is about the width of a 25-cent coin at a distance of three miles! In essence, resolution is a measure of how much detail a telescope can reveal. The resolution values on our website are derived using the Dawes’ limit formula.

Dawes’ limit only applies to point sources of light (stars). Smaller separations can be resolved in extended objects, such as the planets. For example, Cassini’s Division in the rings of Saturn (0.5 arc seconds across), was discovered using a 2.5” telescope – which has a Dawes’ limit of 1.8 arc seconds!

The ability of a telescope to resolve to Dawes’ limit is usually much more affected by seeing conditions, by the difference in brightness between the binary star components, and by the observer’s visual acuity, than it is by the optical quality of the telescope.

1.04 arc seconds
Aperture:
This is the diameter of the light-gathering main mirror or objective lens of a telescope. In general, the larger the aperture, the better the resolution and the fainter the objects you can see.
4.37"
Heaviest Single Component:
The weight of the heaviest component in this package.
11.2 lbs.
Telescope Type:
The optical design of a telescope.  Telescope type is classified by three primary optical designs (refractor, reflector, or catadioptric), by sub-designs of these types, or by the task they perform.
Refractor
 
Based on Astronomy magazine’s telescope "report cards", scopes of this size and type generally perform as follows . . .
Terrestrial Observation:
Observing terrestrial objects (nature studies, birding, etc.) is usually possible only with refractor and catadioptric telescopes, and convenient only when the scope is on an altazimuth mount or photo tripod. Most reflectors cannot be used for terrestrial observing. Scopes with apertures under 5" to 6" are generally most useful for terrestrial observing due to atmospheric conditions (heat waves and mirage, dust, haze, etc.) that degrade the image quality in larger scopes. 
Yes
Lunar Observation:
Visual observation of the Moon is possible with any telescope. Larger aperture scopes will provide more detail than smaller scopes, thereby getting a higher score in this category, but may require an eyepiece filter to cut down the greater glare from the Moon's sunlit surface so small details can be seen more easily. Lunar observing is more rewarding when the Moon is waxing or waning as the changing sun angle casts constantly varying shadows to reveal craters and surface features by the hundreds.  
Great
Planetary Observation:
Very Good
Binary and Star Cluster Observation:
Very Good
Galaxy and Nebula Observation:
Good
Photography:
Yes
Terrestrial Photography:
Photographing terrestrial objects (wildlife, scenery, etc.) is usually possible only with refractor and catadioptric telescopes, and convenient only when the scope is on an altazimuth mount or photo tripod. Most reflectors cannot be used for terrestrial photography. Scopes with focal ratios of f/10 and faster and apertures under 5" to 6" are generally the most useful for terrestrial photography due to atmospheric conditions (heat waves and mirage, dust, haze, etc.) that degrade the image quality in larger scopes.
Yes
Lunar Photography:
Photography of the Moon is possible with virtually any telescope, using a 35mm camera, DSLR, or CCD-based webcam (planetary imager). While an equatorial mount with a motor drive is not strictly essential, as the exposure times will be very short, such a mount would be helpful to improve image sharpness, particularly with webcam-type cameras that take a series of exposures over time and stack them together. Reflectors may require a Barlow lens to let the camera reach focus. 
Yes
Planetary Photography:
Yes
Star Cluster / Nebula / Galaxy Photography:
Yes
Warranty:
2 years
Reviews from Cloudy Nights (www.cloudynights.com)
These reviews have been written by astronomers just like you and posted on the Cloudy Nights astronomy forums . . .
CN Report: The AT111

User Ratings/Reviews from our Customers (www.astronomics.com)
Overall Product Rating: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics(4.86)   # of Ratings: 7   (Only registered customers can rate)

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1. Val on 5/21/2013, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
This is my primary imaging scope. Its optics give pleasingingly round stars without stray diffraction. Details are excellent. The glass and lens cell put up the same excellent image consistently as the temperature shifts from the mid-seventies down to freezing. The scope came perfectly collimated and has held perfect collimation. I bought the scope in lieu of a more expensive apo, and I have not been disappointed.
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2. James on 5/15/2013, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
The AT111EDT has to be one of the best back-for-your-buck deals out there. The optics are right on par with similar scopes that are priced much higher. The focuser is quite good as well, I especially like that you can use Astro Physics 2.7" accesories with it. I used my AT111 mostly for imaging and it does a fine job, never had any issues with false color. The AT111 ranks very high among my favorite lower cost imaging refractors. The only reason I no longer have mine is because I upgraded to a TMB130SS.
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3. Christopher on 5/3/2013, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
I have had the AT111 for a several years now and it has been a great scope. The field is wide enough to get rich, full views of star clusters and provides incredible views of the Saturn and Jupiter with a barlow. I have been told by numerous folks at star parties that this scope provided the best views of Saturn they had ever seen. The clarity is fantastic and there is no blue glow on bright objects. Stars are sharp across the whole field of view. I will never get rid of this scope.

The focuser can slip a little under heavy loads so if you are planning on imaging you may need to consider a Moonlite or Feathertouch depending on the weight of your rig. I could make it work with an SBIG 2000XCM but I think it was right on the cusp of being too heavy. I sometimes see a little slip using super-heavy eyepieces like my 40MM 2" Meade SWA on my AT 2" diagonal. Since I am generally a visual observer this is not a major issue for me.
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4. Darwyn on 4/30/2013, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
This telescope is Great for astrophotography and for visual use. I also have a Celestron 8se.I find that most of the views with the AT-111 are much crisper with better contrast than the Se. I have the newer lighter one as mine is a little over a year old. You can push the power with good seeing well beyond 200x for the planets and beyond 300x at the moon. I have been using it for A/P for over a year on an Orion Sirius EQ which is a very light mount. You can check out my Flickr page to see some shots with it at: http://flic.kr/ps/BDzvD
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5. robert on 4/30/2013, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
I've had my AT111 now for nearly four years, having bought it used. It's the original heavier model. I was looking for the largest high-quality 'grab-n-go' refactor I could find for visual use. I then teamed it with a new Voyager mount from Astronomics. The result was the perfect scope to either tote out my back door or throw in my car trunk to go afield. The package is quick to set up,light weight and easy to use. The optics are near perfect for solar system objects, double stars and the brighter deep sky objects. I do the monthly public astronomy program at our local college and this scope gets better observing reviews than all the other mostly larger scopes there. I especially like the smooth operating, locking focuser and the mount for the finder which, with a right-angle finder, puts the finder eyepiece very near the scope's eyepiece. The only downside is that the AT111 is near the weight limit of the Voyager. That, however, should be solved when and if they launch a heavier version of the Voyager. I highly recommend this telescope.
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6. James on 4/30/2013, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
I've had the current (lighter weight) version of the AT111EDT for about 9 months. I purchased mine from Astronomics. My objective was to have a refractor with a little more light grasp than a true 4-incher that didn't cost a mint and could be used in very harsh environments without worrying about what all of that wind whipped grit was doing to my [premium apochromatic refractor model here].

The AT111EDT has more than lived up to my expectations. Optically it is extremely well-figured with nearly identical intra- and extra-focal diffraction patterns in green light, with nice smooth optics. The large format crayford focuser is smooth when adjusted properly and satsifactory in load handling; better than the typical GSO 2-speed Crayford but not to be mistaken for a Moonlite. But I have had one major problem with the scope. Read on.

Though I purchased the scope with guilt free back-country abuse in mind, the excellent optics and pleasant mechanicals have me thinking about how sad I would be if those wind-whipped dust grains marred the nice white enamel paint, gunmetal trim or (heaven forbid) objective. So, sadly, I can't bring myself to treat the scope as a "beater" and my hunt for a guilt-free, abuse-worthy refractor. This one is just too nice for that.
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7. Jason on 9/22/2012, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
I have had this scope now for 3 years. I have one of the orginials with the larger format focusers but the optics are still the same. The optics are first rate with just a hint of false color that comes and goes with the seeing on objects like Venus, Vega or the Full Moon. Teamed with the AT2FF Flattener, the scope is a very capable astrophtography tool. I have many photos with this scope here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jblaschka/sets/72157627838504670/

We have two more samples of newer ones in our club and they are first rate as well. I can highly recommend the AT111EDT!
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General Accessories
Tube Rings (1)
114mm i.d. Astro-Tech tube rings, pair
by Astro-Tech
Quantity:  
$99.95 
Visual Accessories
Star Diagonals (2)
1.25" 99% Reflectivity dielectric mirror diagonal
by Astro-Tech
Quantity:  
$69.95 
One-piece machined 2" diagonal with 1/10th wave quartz mirror
by Astro-Tech
Quantity:  
$249.95 
Photographic Accessories
Tele-Compressors (Photo/Visual) (1)
2" Field flattener for imaging with Astro-Tech and TMB refractors
by Astro-Tech
Quantity:  
$150.00 
  • Retractable lens shade
  • Dual-speed 2.7" linear Crayford focuser with 2” and 1.25” brass compression ring eyepiece/accessory adapters
  • Mounting point for finderscope
  • Dust covers
  • Hard case.
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Astro-Tech - AT111EDT 111mm f/7 ED triplet apochromatic refractor

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Astro-Tech - AT111EDT 111mm f/7 ED triplet apochromatic refractorClose-up of the front of the Astro-Tech AT111EDT, showing the dew shield lock knob, dual-speed focusing knobs, focuser rotation knob, etc.Close-up of the underside of the Astro-Tech AT111EDT focuser, showing the linear drive track, focuser tension knob, dual-speed focusing knobs, etc.Close-up of the top of the Astro-Tech AT111EDT focuser, showing the 1.25" and 2" compression ring accessory holders, dual-speed focusing knobs, two focuser rotation lock knobs, etc.AT111EDT image of Andromeda by Dennis Johnson.AT111EDT image of the Pleiades by Dennis Johnson.AT111EDT image of the Leo Triplet by Dennis Johnson.
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The Astro-Tech AT111EDT is a 111mm aperture ED apochromatic triplet refractor that is priced hundreds of dollars less than competitive 102mm and 110mm refractors . . .





. . . our 34th year