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Home > Altair & APM Telescopes > Refractor telescopes > Lightwave 72ED-R Refractor with Dual Speed R&P Focuser, Alu Case

Lightwave 72ED-R Refractor with Dual Speed R&P Focuser, Alu Case

Lightwave 72ED-R Refractor with Dual Speed R&P Focuser, Alu Case
Lightwave 72 ED-R Refractor  Lightwave 72 ED-R Rack Pinion Geared Focuser Refractor Lightwave 72 ED-R Refractor Lens Lightwave 72 ED-R Refractor Side View Lightwave 72mm ED Refractor Case Lightave 72 ED-R Refractor Review Steve Richards Lightwave refractor focuser adjustment
Price: Contact us for price
Product code: LW-72ED-RP
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The Lightwave 72/432 ED-R refractor delivers very good colour correction, delivering the high contrast images refractor owners appreciate. The ED doublet lens system features an ED element made from premium Japanese Ohara glass. The elements have been figured with excellent smoothness and very effective super-high transmission coating (STM Coating) on all air-to-glass surfaces for exceptional contrast.
In fact, the colour rendition is so good for the price, that telescopes previously employing this same lens have been described as apochromats or "APO" by both manufacturers and their customers.*
Versatility: The Lightwave 72 ED-R is a very versatile telescope, performing very well at both visual observing and astro-photography. Detail is visible on the larger planets such as Jupiter, with both the four principle moons and main cloud belts easily visible at high power. Saturn's rings are striking, and the Cassini Division in Saturn's rings is easy to see. The Moon will reveal an hundreds of craters, as well as volcanic plains and mountain ranges, particularly enjoyable when the light strikes the moon at an angle during the 3/4 lunar phase. Adding a high quality Kendrick solar filter or Daystar Quark Hydrogen Alpha solar viewing eyepiece would give you a powerful solar observing system. In fact the Lightwave 70 ED-R with it's F6 focal ratio and 432mm focal length is ideal for the Daystar Quark, allowing you to capture the entire disc of the sun at low power, enabling viewing of solar prominences and their development over a few hours. The 72 ED-R will easliy reveal structure in sunspots with a white light or Hydrogen Alpha eyepiece such as the Daystar Quark.
The dual speed "Linear Power" Rack and Pinion Geared focuser has eight adjustable internal roller bearings, so you get more "lifting power" and stability for large eyepieces or cameras. Fine tilt-adustments can be made using the focuser, allowing astro-photographers the ability to fine-adjust the optical tube to produce very round stars at this fast F6 focal ratio. The focuser can be rotated to frame celestial objects the way you want them. The focuser has a 2" rear accessory port with brass compression ring and a 2"-1.25" adapter with brass compression ring and dust plug. The optional Lightwave 50mm RACI (Right angle Correct Image) finder-scope or the Lightwave RDF (Red Dot Finder) both have a quick release bracket which fits on either side of the focuser unit. Once the quick release bracket is installed, you can leave it on, so adding the finder takes seconds.
Grab 'n go portability: The Lightwave 72 ED-R comes in a tough hard skinned aluminium flight-case with a foam insert, and pre-cut removable inserts for an eyepiece, a diagonal and Red Dot Finder, making it the ideal "grab 'n go" portable telescope-kit for visual observing or astro-photography. The case will easily fit in an aeroplane overhead locker, so you can travel with your telescope along as cabin-luggage. The case measures 39x25x19cm and is lockable with 2x keys included.
Mounting the Lightwave 72 ED-R on a camera tripod: Attaching the telescope to a photo or video tripod mount takes mere seconds by means of the 1/4" photo thread on the dovetail-base. A photo-tripod is perfect for grab and go visual astronomy, digi-scoping and use as a terrestrial spotting scope with superior astro-eyepieces. Astro telescopes usually have higher quality optics than spotting scopes costing many times the price, which is necessary for higher power magnification demanded by astronomers. They do however display a reversed, upside down image, which is perfectly acceptable for night-time viewing. For daytime use, simple plug in the Lightwave 45 degree erect image prism diagonal, which produces an upright, correctly orientated image. It's also compatible with astro eyepieces, so you can take advantage of these lower priced yet higher quality optics.
Mounting the Lightwave 72 ED-R to an astro-mount: Most GOTO mounts which support "Vixen/Synta-format " dovetails such as the iOptron SkyGuider, Skytracker, Cube PRO, Minitower range, SmartEQ PRO, Skywatcher EQ5, and so-on will fit directly.  The mounting base can be detached and re-mounted facing backwards to change the balance point for smaller loads. The mounting base is slightly wider than the 44.5mm Altair TMS Mini-Vixen-format clamp required for the Sabre mount, so a correct size dovetail bar is required to use this telescope with the Altair TMS Telescope Mounting System. Product codes: VDB-CL-180 or SW-MINI-VBAR-200 are both compatible. They are attached by means of the standard photo tripod threads in the mounting base. Longer dovetail bars can be used to gain more length for balancing with heavier accessories, such as cameras and filter wheels. Visual observers might choose longer dovetail bars for balancing with bino-viewers or heavy eyepieces. The mounting base can also be completely detached, allowing the Lightwave 72 ED-R optical tube to fit guide scope rings, such as the Altair TMS Lightweight Rings (code: GSR-100), or the Starwave 110mm guide scope rings (Code: SWGSR-110). Both systems have many options for mounting piggyback, or side-by-side.
Lightwave 72 ED-R Specifications:
  • Optical tube with air-spaced 72mm F6 Dual ED lens (432mm focal length)
  • Ohara ED (SD) glass in a precision CNC machined lens cell.
  • Super-high transmission coating (STM Coating) on all air to glass surfaces.
  • Resolving Power (Dawes’ Limit) 1.61 arc seconds
  • Visual Limiting Magnitude 11.8 maximum
  • Field Stops 3x glare-reducing baffles inside optical tube
  • Weight approx. 2.5kg, OTA length with dewshield retracted, 32.5cm.
  • Precision CNC machined components and tube made from light, tough aluminium alloy with matte powder coat.
  • Retractable lens shade / dew shield.
  • 2" "Rack 'n Pinion" Geared Linear Power dual speed focuser with 1:10 micro-focuser and 360 degree rotation.
  • 2" to 1.25" reducer with brass compression rings included.
  • Special mounting base with dovetail profile to fit most telescope mounts and 1/4"-20 Photo tripod threads for use with photo or video tripods.
  • Tough alu flight case included, measuring 39x25x19cm. Lockable with 2x keys included.

Lightwave 72 ED-R Review (click to download and print .PDF file, opens new window)

Altair Lightwave 72ED-R Refractor Review

*Staff comments: Chromatic aberration (or false colour) is so well suppressed in the in-focus image, that most users, and even some past-vendors (!) describe the performance of this popular lens system as "APO" or Apochromatic. We feel that because the focal length is F6, and to the fact that this is a doublet, it fits our subjective definition as a "semi-APO" rather than a true APO, but it's a very close call indeed. Click here to assess the imaging performance of this 72/432 ED doublet optic for yourself in previous incarnations. This product addresses the only known issue of previous versions (namely focuser slippage) by the inclusion of a "Rack and Pinion" geared focuser with eight externally adjustable bearings contacting the tube, and a knurled locking knob on the underside. What's more, the focuser is, well, a focuser. It isn't festooned with electronic gadgets which will fail after a year or so in UK climates. There is only one version of this 72/432mm optical system available, and this is it. In summary, this classic performer is back. Why buy it? 1) Great optics. 2) Geared focuser without cheap gadgets. 3) A tough flight case included.

Why should I buy choose the 72mm Lightwave refractor? For those wanting a very portable telescope, capable of visual astronomy at night, terrestrial spotting during the daytime, plus wide field astro-photography, the 72mm is ideal. It will fit the iOptron SkyGuider with a DSLR, and remain within specified weight limits. It's a little heavy for the iOptron Skytracker so if you want to try a refractor on your Skytracker then we'd suggest the Lightwave 66 ED-R instead, because it's lighter. 
What magnifications will the Lightwave 72 ED-R produce?
Lowest Usable Power 11x (with 40mm eyepiece) 
Theoretical Maximum 170x (with 3mm eyepiece)
What's the ultimate travel setup with this scope? For visual use, as a spotting scope, a Lightwave 72 ED-R, and a decent quality video or photo tripod would be more than sufficient for general visual astronomy and astro-imaging. When you're ready for an ultra-portable GOTO mount for solar and general astro-observing consider upgrading to the iOptron Cube PRO GOTO mount. A Lightwave RDF finder, a Lightwave 45 degree erecting prism, a Lightwave dielectric diagonal, and a couple of Lightwave eyepieces or, if space is at a premium, even just one Lightwave Zoom Eyepiece will perform admirably. The 72mm is a good basis for a portable visual observing, or an astro-photography system.
What's the recommended GOTO mount for portable visual observing and/or imaging? If you're a visual observer or enjoy solar viewing, then the ideal GOTO mount for the Lightwave 72 ED-R is the iOptron Cube PRO with metal worm gear and GPS, which you really can take anywhere. If you want to enjoy imaging and visual observing, then the iOptron Smart-EQ PRO add an equatorial tracking feature (for long exposures free from star-trailing) and autoguiding (for even longer exposures). If you're an astro-imaging purist, then the iOptron SkyGuider would be the next logical step up, offering a very stable tripod, with smoothest tracking, an autoguiding option with Altair Micro-Guider, and the best tracking performance overall.
How do I piggyback the Lightwave 72ED-R on my existing scope? Many owners of larger scopes want to use their Lightwave ED-R for autoguiding solar-observing, or taking wide-field images whilst imaging with their main scope. It can even be used as a "super-finder", it's nice to have a wide field eyepiece in this optical tube for colour aberration-free views of the sky at low powers. You can mount your 72mm ED-R in guidescope rings using the Starwave inverted Losmandy-compatible or Vixen-compatible clamps, depending on the type of mounting system used on top of your main scope. Contact us for advice.
Availability: If product shows as out of stock, click the red "notify when in stock" button above to receive an instant update when ready to ship.

Altair Astro Product Discussion ForumQuestions about Lightwave products?
Where to buy Lightwave products:

UK orders:

European orders - order on this page or contact our European dealers:

‚ÄčNorth America & Canada orders: 

Products can be ordered online from Altair with tracked insured shipping to anywhere in the world. For large items shipping price may need to be re-quoted.

Availability: If product shows as out of stock, please click on the "Notify me when in stock" button to receive instant notification of availability. Altair Astro and iOptron reserve the right to change the product price and specification without notice. 


Customer feedback

Customer Reviews

  • Author: V Ferguson
    This arrived in two days from DHL (Scotland) and I'm quite happy with the quality level of this product.

    I use this for plane spotting and scanning for boats and sea life so when it's blustery, the extendable hood helps keep moisture away from the lens.

    At about 30x power with the 14mm eyepiece the image is very bright. The images are very sharp and colours lively, even at 86x magnificaton with the 5 mm eyepiece.

    The unit is compact, solid and well made out of metal with no plastic anywhere.

    The focuser works smoothly and easily, which reminds me of a microscope focuser with the dual ratios.

    The telescope fits into it's case tightly, and the accessories fit in too. The case goes into my bike pannier with photo tripod on the other side.

    For my purposes this is better than a spotting scope, because it allows use of high power eyepieces with includes ED optics at less than half the price. Vince
  • Author: Denis Patterson
    this is a step up from the telescopes I've already tried out at our local astronomy club and a good choice for imaging. I can vouch the colour correction is better than some so-called APO refractors in our group. The focuser is very well engineered and easily supports my Canon DSLR. Recommended for wide field astro-photography.
  • Author: H Meyer
    Used for solar imaging with Quark HA system. Very sharp results and focusing is easy for dual speed. High quality optics, good price and delivery to Denmark 3 days.
    Hendrik Meyer
  • Author: Andrew Gregson
    Very happy with my new do it all system. everything works well and thanks for the good advice.
  • Author: J Dennis
    I'm very happy with this telescope and the accessories suggested by Altair sales people - who certainly know their stuff. I've enjoyed seeing several Thanks for a good buying experience. Will happily come to this company first for anything else.

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