Vaonis is apparently feeling the heat of the All-In-One EA market booming!
I’ll put my conclusion up front, then you can read the rest if you want.
Don’t buy right now. Either the Vespera or the Vespera Pro. At least wait until the ZWO SeeStar comes out in Aug/Sep. That may blow the whole All-In-One EA market wide open.
They’re introducing a new model of their Vespera, Vespera Pro, with specs that blow away both the Vespera and the Stellina. Well, Stellina still has the bigger aperture and focal length, but in all other respects, the Verspera Pro takes it to a whole new level.
MSRP will be the same as Vespera used to be, $2499, but pre-orders are at $1999. No mention of a backpack/case, so I assume that’s going to be extra. Not sure what other extras you’ll need/want with it, but possibly a solar filter. Though it won’t be available for the upcoming solar eclipses. Because…
The bad news is that the shipping date is May 2024.
I suspect they’re trying to get word out ahead of the release of the ZWO SeeStar, now set for late August. This year, not next.
The good news is they’ve reduced the price of the current Vespera immediately, to $1499.
That’s a pretty good buy right now, though if SeeStar is as good as ZWO says it’s going to be, that’s still 3x the price of the SeeStar, with almost identical specs.
Plus, you’ll need to buy extras for the Vespera. It does not include everything you’ll need/want. The backpack, at $149, is essential imo unless you’re just going to use it at your house.
It has a built in dew heater, but it won’t work without the Hygrometer Sensor, an additional $99. (that baffles me…)
Plus you’ll want the solar filter for the upcoming eclipses and other solar viewing, $99.
You may want to get the light pollution filter ($199) and the dual band filter ($399).
I believe all filters must be purchased from Vaonis. I’m pretty sure generic filters will not work on it.
Also, the tripod that comes with it will work, but I’d get something sturdier. DO NOT BUY the Gitzo tripods from Vaonis. They’re good, but they’re WAY overpriced, imo. You can get sturdier tripods almost anywhere that will work.
After a brief hiatus, the Stellina is apparently back in production again, but I don’t see any improvements, or a price decrease, for it. I love my Stellina, but I cannot recommend anyone buy a new one. If you can find a used one is good shape, that might be worth it, depending on the price. Be aware it’s extremely heavy compared to all the other all-in-on EA models available now. Though it’s still much more portable and easier to setup/takedown than astrophotography rigs of comparable specs.