AT65EDQ 65mm f/6.5 ED quadruplet astrograph

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This Astro-Tech AT65EDQ ED refractor astrograph has:

• 65mm f/6.5 fully multicoated four-lens/two-group (triplet/singlet) refractor
• two ED lens elements, including an FPL-53 element in the objective
• 110mm of backfocus
• amazing flat field astrophotographic capabilities and a 44mm image circle to boot
• dual-speed 2” rack-and-pinion focuser with 10:1 ratio fine focusing
• 2” and 1.25” non-marring compression ring accessory holders
• rotating camera angle adjuster
• split mounting rings with Vixen-style dovetail
• sliding lens shade with lock knob
• finderscope mounting shoe

This unique apochromatic ED quad refractor astrograph has a four lens/two group/two ED element fully-multicoated optical system. It uses an FPL-53 element in its apochromatic triplet objective lens, and has a separate field-flattening proprietary ED singlet lens at the rear of the optical tube.

The very sensibly-priced Astro-Tech AT65EDQ astrograph provides an exceptionally flat field for very wide DSLR and CCD deep space images that are sharp edge-to-edge, with no need for a separate field flattener. While designed primarily as an astrograph, it can also be used visually with a 1.25” star diagonal and eyepieces.

To see an image taken by Jason Blaschka showing the wide field imaging capabilities of the AT65EDQ, click here or on the feature image link below showing the Lagoon and Trifid nebulas. M31, the Andromeda Galaxy and its companion galaxies, is another of Jason’s AT65EDQ images. Click here to see it or click on the feature image link below.

To see an impressive image of the North American Nebula showing the flat field capability of the AT65EDQ, taken by Luke Leege, click on the NGC7000 feature image links below. Click here or on the 433kb medium size version below first, to get an overall impression, then click here or on the 1.6mb version below and examine the tight stars in the corners of the image, showing the scope’s flat field capability. The original image is 16mb in size. The NGC700 image was take by Luke using a Canon EOS 7D DSLR camera. Luke took 12 five minute exposures and 7 ten minute exposures with appropriate darks and flats. He combined them using Deep Sky Stacker freeware and processed the result in Photoshop CS3.

Another good example of the AT65EDQ’s capability in the hands of an experienced astrophotographer is Jeremy Vandermeer’s image of the Rosette Nebula, also found in the feature images links below. It was taken from the light-polluted suburbs of Chicago. Jeremy combined 47 separate 240 second exposures taken with a modified Canon T1i to produce the final image, which we think compares quite favorably with professional images taken with much larger and more expensive scopes. Jeremy said about the AT65EDQ, “this scope is great.” So is Jeremy’s image.

Can you take images as good as these with a 65mm scope? At the low price of the AT65EDQ it won't cost you a fortune to try your hand at wide field astrophotography.

Other manufacturers often use FPL-51 ED glass or its equivalent in their more-expensive triplet designs to keep their manufacturing costs down, or use FPL-53 in a simple doublet. In comparison to this approach, Astro-Tech uses a more-expensive true FPL-53 ED (Extra-low Dispersion glass) element in the triplet objective lens of the modestly-priced AT65EDQ. The result is the finest possible control of spurious color, for images that are free of all vestiges of the annoying faint color halos around bright objects visible in lesser scopes. In addition, a fourth lens of a proprietary ED type acts as a field flattener for wide field imaging.

Those exceptional optics are even more impressive when you consider the package they come in. The finely-machined AT65EDQ has a dual speed 2” rack-and-pinion focuser with a microfine 10:1 fine-focusing ratio. The standard equipment camera angle adjuster rotates a full 360° for the most pleasing photographic compositions. The supplied 2” and 1.25” accessory holders use non-marring brass compression rings that won’t scratch your accessory barrels.

If this Astro-Tech AT65EDQ was simply a top-quality 65mm FPL-53 ED doublet system, it would be fairly priced. But – a 65mm fast focal ratio quadruplet astrograph using true FPL-53 glass, with a dual-speed 2” rack and pinion focuser and a built-in ED field flattener at this price . . . is the kind of super value only Astro-Tech can give you!

Features of this Telescope . . .

  • Apochromatic quadruplet ED refractor optics: the objective lens is a 65mm (2.56”) aperture, 420mm focal length, f/6.5 focal ratio triplet using an element of high quality FPL-53 ED (Extra-low Dispersion glass) to reduce spurious color halos and fringing to vanishingly low levels. In addition, there is a separate ED glass singlet lens at the rear of the optical tube that acts as a field flattener to eliminate the curved field typical of fast focal ratio doublet and triplet refractors. Stars are focused and point-like to the edges of the field. This built-in field flattener eliminates the need to buy the separate external field flattener that most refractors need to provide flat field images.

  • Fully multicoated optics: All lenses have the latest state-of-the-art antireflection multicoatings matched to their glass types on all air-to-glass surfaces for high light transmission and excellent 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. The 4.75 pound AT65EDQ measures a very compact 13” long with the dew shield retracted, and is only 14.25” long with it extended.

  • Dual speed 2” rack-and-pinion focuser with 2” accessory holder and 1.25” accessory adapter, both with compression rings: The precision-made rack-and-pinion focuser has dual-speed focusing. There are two coarse focusing knobs. The right knob also has a smaller concentric knob with 10:1 reduction gear fine focusing ratio. This provides exceptionally precise image control during 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 2” focuser drawtube terminates in a built-in camera angle adjuster as standard equipment. It is not an optional extra-cost accessory, as it is with some other scopes. The camera angle adjuster lets you rotate the 2” accessory holder to line up a camera in either a landscape or portrait orientation (or any orientation in between). A knob on the camera angle adjuster lets you lock the focuser at whatever angle provides the most pleasing photographic composition.
    The 62mm (2.44”) travel 2” diameter focuser drawtube has a scale marked in 1mm increments so you can note individual focuser positions for easy return to the approximate correct focus when switching between visual use and photography or when switching between cameras. A lock knob under the focuser lets you lock in your photographic focus. The dual thumbscrew 2” drawtube has a 2” accessory holder that uses a non-marring soft brass compression ring to hold 2” accessories in place. The compression ring won’t scratch the barrel of your accessories as an ordinary thumbscrew can.
    A standard equipment 1.25” accessory adapter slips into the 2” accessory holder to let you use a 1.25” star diagonal, image erecting diagonal, or photo accessories. Like the 2” accessory holder, the 1.25” adapter also uses a non-marring soft brass compression ring to hold 1.25” 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). It's a Sky & Telescope Hot Product for 2007. Most 2” star diagonals will not reach infinity focus with the AT65EDQ with either 1.25" or 2" eyepieces, so a 1.25” diagonal is recommended for visual use.

  • Tube finish: The optical tube and lens shade are finished in a durable textured powder coat, the same as that used on scopes three times the price of the AT65EDQ. The focuser and trim are black anodized.

  • Tube rings and dovetail: The AT65EDQ comes with a pair of felt-lined 80mm hinged split mounting rings with 1/4”-20 thread mounting holes in the top and bottom of each ring, plus a Vixen-style dovetail. Supplied mounting bolts let you install the rings on the supplied dovetail or on an optional Losmandy-style “D-plate” dovetail for using the AT65EDQ on an equatorial mount. They will also let you attach the rings to optional Vixen- or Losmandy-style dovetail adapters for piggybacking the AT65EDQ on top of a larger scope. A 1/4”-20 thread mounting hole in the Vixen-style dovetail will let you mount the AT65EDQ on an optional standard photo tripod for use as a terrestrial spotting scope or telephoto lens.

  • Other supplied accessories: A slip-on metal dust cap is standard. There is a dovetail shoe on the upper left side of the optical tube for installing an optional multiple reticle red dot finder such as the Astro-Tech #ATF, using a #ATFBV base.
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.
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).

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.

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.

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.

1.78 arc seconds
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.
The weight of this product.
5.65 lbs.
Heaviest Single Component:
The weight of the heaviest component in this package.
4.75 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.
1 year
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Overall Product Rating: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics(4.93)   # of Ratings: 14   (Only registered customers can rate)

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1. Jeff on 10/28/2017, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
I picked this up used last year. I probably got it from the guy above who regrets selling it. I used it as guide scope for a while. Tonight imaging with it the first time. So far; awesome! Sharp to edge, more powerful than I expected, very wild field. My imager fits perfectly (QSI683wsg). I guide with the QSI OAG and surprisingly I find many quide stars at 4 seconds.

I just purchased a new TV NP127is, it arrives next week. I'm thinking I may piggy this atop the NP127 for different image scale from time to time. Cant tell you about image quality yet, but when I finalize them Ill post on Astrobin.

So for all those reading, this is a great little scope; new or used. Needs a longer dew shield and better finder mount. Otherwise excellent.
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2. Kenneth on 10/11/2017, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
I was on the fence for a year deciding whether to buy this scope or not, but I'm glad I did! The few earlier optical concerns have apparently been rectified. This is a fantastic little refractor. I've used it several times as a guidescope, as a widefield imaging scope and for visual. The images and views are razor sharp across the field with just a hint of soft focus at the edges. In a few test images of clusters, stars shapes were consistently round. The focuser is much better than expected and is silky smooth, and the rotation is a great feature. However, an extension tube is needed with my ZWO ASI120MM for use as a guidescope or for imaging. A diagonal is needed for visual as well. A 1.25" WO diagonal works well. I couldn't focus using a 2" Explore Scientific diagonal with the 2" eyepieces I tried which is inconsequential.

The scope is built like a tank and is quite heavy for its size due to all the glass inside. Build quality is excellent, and it looks as good as it performs. The included rings are a welcome bonus and match the overall excellent quality of the scope. The only minor negative is that the dew/light shield could be a couple of inches longer. Still overall 5+ stars.
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3. David on 12/6/2015, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
For my use, the AT65EDQ 65mm has only one significant problem... I SOLD MINE and hate myself for it.

Optically and mechanically it performs well beyond it's cost. I used it for deep field astrophotography hanging an SBIG ST8300M with color filter wheel on it and it held focus well in any position. Focusing is crisp although I would reduce the fast/slow ratio to 1:5. Images are sharp to the edges of my camera field and well color corrected.

Mine was piggybacked on a permanently mounted 10" LX200GPS and also used as a guide scope. Since I decided to concentrate on longer focal length imaging, I replaced the 65mm with a TeleVue Pronto which is 25 years old and the equal the AT65 in every way but color correction. Hadn't realized how much I enjoyed wide field imaging when I decided to concentrate on asteroids.

DON'T SELL YOURS or you'll end up like me, alone at night in a small building in your back yard singing "the Blues".
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4. john on 3/24/2014, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
a awesome refractor
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5. Chris on 5/31/2013, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
I have this in ADM rings piggyback on the AT6RC. Its great to have it in alignment with the RC and check out the differences in the apo vs. RC views. More wide field of course but the views are so crystal clear it is amazing. I use it with a Canon DSLR for images and Orion Neb came out so good for my first astrophotos using good equipment. I would reccomend this over the 70mm refractor even though it costs more. Reason I think so is because I have a 70mm Stellarvue which is good but has false color and color fringe compared to the 65EDQ. Wait list is well woth the wait, go for it.
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6. Matt on 5/15/2013, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
I purchase this little gem close to three years ago and have pleased with its performance. I have this piggybacked on a ES127 Triplet, mounted on a CI700 mount. It alternates from being a guide scope to being the main imager. Imaging from this scope has resulted in a fairly flat field, elongation of stars barely discernible upon magnification, at least, to my eyes. I would purchase this product again.
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7. Richard on 5/2/2013, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
Absolutely LOVE my AT65EDQ!! It is simply an excellent little astrograph with superb optics. I own a couple SCT's and a couple newtonians but this is my first apo refractor. I bought it for wide field imaging and I am 99% satisfied with my little apo. The only complaint is I get image shift when locking down the focuser. I use FWHM on BackYardEOS and it messes with my focusing when the image shifts. That withstanding, this scope still rates a solid 5 stars. I am perhaps spoiled now with my Moonlite focuser with shaft lock. I recommend this scope all the time for beginners or seasoned vets looking for a wide field imaging scope. Here are some links to images I took with this scope and I only used a CG5 mount on each of them. I dont ever feel the need to bring out the CGEM DX to image with scope. Thanks Astronomics for an excellent little imaging scope!
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8. Bradley on 4/30/2013, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
This is a solid performer with a great field of view, excellent flat field optics and a very sound and solid focuser. The craftmanship leaves nothing to be desired. The light path in a 2 inch diagonal is a little long for most EP's, especially most 1.25 inch. Look to Cloudy Nights for threads on which EP's and diagonals work best, or just stick to a 1.25 inch diagonal and EP's and your all set for visual.
The scope excels at flatfield imaging at 420mm. Great value.
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9. Grant on 4/3/2013, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
These are great scopes and sell very fast! I bought my scope, with five in stock, and they were all sold that later that week. The reviews and images you find on the internet are great. Astrobin has a good collection of images from this scope.

With the full moon centered in the eyepiece (yes some pieces work), I didn't notice any faults with the optics. I was able to use a 14mm 100 degree eyepiece without a 50mm extension tube.

Great scope for the money!
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10. Gary on 3/28/2013, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
I have zero complaints about the AT65EDQ. It's pound for pound prowess is unsurpassed at $600. Very solid construction with a pretty strong focusing mechanism. My images have been very good on color and the f6.5 speed is very nice to have at my disposal. It would be nice to have a focal reducer to drop it into the 4's, but the lack of that does not take away from this bargain. I would have paid $1,000.00 if I had to.
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Showing comments 1-10 of 14 (Next 10) Click Here to see all comments
General Accessories
Dovetail Plates (3)
Dovetail accessory adapter for Vixen-style dovetails, black
by Astro-Tech
Dovetail accessory adapter for Losmandy-style "D-plate" dovetails, forest green
by Astro-Tech
Dovetail accessory adapter for Losmandy-style "D-plate" dovetails, black
by Astro-Tech
Finderscopes (2)
Illuminated multiple reticle finder
by Astro-Tech
Vixen-Style mounting bracket for Astro-Tech multiple reticle finder
by Astro-Tech
Visual Accessories
Image Erecting Prisms (1)
45° Prism for 1.25" eyepieces
by Astro-Tech
Star Diagonals (1)
1.25" 99% Reflectivity dielectric mirror diagonal
by Astro-Tech
Photographic Accessories
Camera Adapters (3)
7.5mm T-thread spacer ring for DSLR and CCD imaging
by Astro-Tech
15mm T-thread spacer ring for DSLR and CCD imaging
by Astro-Tech
2" Prime focus adapter, needs T-ring
by Astro-Tech
  • Dust covers
  • Tube rings
  • Vixen-style dovetail
  • Rotating camera angle adjuster
  • 2" and 1.25" compression ring accessory holders
  • Finder scope mounting shoe
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Astro-Tech - AT65EDQ 65mm f/6.5 ED quadruplet astrograph

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Astro-Tech - AT65EDQ 65mm f/6.5 ED quadruplet astrographImage of M8 and M20 taken by Jason Blaschka with the Astro-Tech showing the wide field imaging capability of the scope.Side image of Astro-Tech AT65EDQ, approximately full size.Large image of Astro-Tech AT65EDQ.Close-up of Astro-Tech AT65EDQ two-speed focuser, tube rings, tube rotation lock knob, and finder bracket.Close-up of Astro-Tech AT65EDQ two-speed rack and pinion 2" compression ring focuser, split tube rings, and dovetail mounting plate.AT65EDQ full size 1.6mb image of NGC7000 by Luke Leege, using a Canon EOS 7D DSLR.AT65EDQ 433 kb image of NGC7000 by Luke Leege, using a Canon EOS 7D DSLR.Image of M31 and its companion galaxies taken by Jason Blaschka with the Astro-Tech AT65EDQ showing the wide field imaging capability of the scope.The Rosette Nebula, imaged by Jeremy Vandermeer from the suburbs of Chicago using a modified Canon T1i on his AT65EDQ.AT65EDQ image of M31 and its companion galaxies taken 9/3/2011 by Stephen Mounioloux. Three hours total exposure time using a madified Canon 500D on a Losmandy G11 Gemini 2 mount.
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This unique Astro-Tech apochromatic dual ED quadruplet fast focal ratio refractor uses an ED triplet objective lens, plus a built-in ED singlet lens field flattener, to give you exceptional flat field/very wide field imaging capabilities at an affordable price . . .

. . . our 38th year