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Posts posted by Commanderfish

  1. 1 hour ago, mikeDnight said:

    I'm glad the info is of some help.  The DZ is physically a little longer when extended than the DC/DF as it has an FL of 800mm rather than 740mm, but it isn't really that noticeable to me, where as the DL at 900mm made me stretch to reach my slow motion controls on my GP. I admit my back appreciates the smaller arc in movement of the DC/DF & DZ as comfort in use is a big thing for me. I can sit or stand at the eyepiece without getting in any strange positions, which helps with concentration while observing.  I've attached a pic of my DC and DZ showing their relative positions on the mount, so as you can see, there's not a great deal in it.


    And DC & DZ as Altaz grab & go. Both very easy to handle!



    Actually I meant to ask, are you able to bring binoviewers to focus without a GPC or Barlow in the DZ? 

  2. 26 minutes ago, jock1958 said:

    The first line of your original post would some up my exact feelings "The End of the World" 😫 

    For me the DF would make a lot of sense If you are fitting a FT Pinion Focuser,  you would have the extra travel on the focuser, a 2" visual back whilst retaining the Takahashi originality. I have one fitted to my DL and love it. 


    I agree. One problem, the wait time for DFs is measured in months. I actually wonder if they're making any more now the DZ is out.

  3. 1 hour ago, mikeDnight said:

    Wow, that image of your DC's lens caused me to almost use an expletive.  I'm really sorry your DC is no more, but at least your insurance takes a little of the sting out of it.  I have had  beautiful DC, which I loved, but I couldn't resist the DZ with its claim of better colour correction.  My DC didn't show any false colour and neither does my DZ, so the actual advantage eludes me slightly. The DZ is certainly capable of high power, but I used my DC on occasion at 474X, so it was no slouch either.  I can't honestly say the DZ is noticeably better than the DC as I wasn't able to run them side by side. The DZ seems to be a little cooler optically, and with a better focuser (same as DF). The DZ tube is shorter but the retractable dew shield doesn't extend any further beyond the lens cell than the DC or DF, just 80mm. Can't say I've noticed a flatter field with the DZ but I haven't really looked for it. If you loved the DC you'll almost certainly love the DZ, but whether its worth the difference in price can only be answered on a personal level. You already have a tube clamp so that makes the purchase a bit cheaper. I suppose it makes sense to buy the DZ if you're looking for top end optics in a doublet 4" refractor that's currently in production. I'm just not certain that the DZ will do anything that the DC or DF couldn't also do.


    Very very helpful Mike, exactly the input I needed.

    When you say the DZ is shorter, I guess you mean shorter when stowed? That's not an issue for me as I have the 76DCU for air lines.

    Presumably when in use the DZ is longer than a DC - is this noticeable? I am getting bored of kneeling down to observe the zenith (using a 127/952 Apo) and the FC-76 is wonderful as it doesn't have this issue.  This is leaning me back toward a new DC.


    • Like 1
  4. 1 minute ago, Stu said:

    Regarding the DC vs DZ decision, presumably you already made this call once when you bought the DC? Has anything changed which would mean you would make a different decision this time around?

    Yes, my willingness to throw money at Flourite has increased 😈 😄 

    I didn't really even consider the DZ before due to price.

    Also having had a DC, it's nice to buy a different model. But the DC/DF are lighter with shorter tubes, very practical.

  5. 1 hour ago, Sunshine said:

    Oh gosh, this is the nightmare scenario that plays in my mind every time I secure my scope to the mount head. It’s a shame you had to loose this one but, hopefully everything works out with the payout and you’re happy with the outcome. Just last night I had a scare after I thought I secured my 102 on my Vixen GP outside in the garden. While giving everything a once over before observing as the sun sank below the horizon I noticed the lock knob was not nearly tight enough, I was able to turn it another 360 with fingertip ease. It seems I had tightened the safety screw and missed the main knob. My heart skipped a beat and I almost kicked myself with anger, I think if I were to break mine, finding another would be a long shot. Now after reading your story I will surely look over my home insurance policy just to make sure I have such coverage, it is worth it. FLO seems like a bit of an astronomy jewel on that side of the pond, I WANT AN FLO TOO!!.

    Will they ship to you in Canada? Might be worth it for some items....I've got things from Ontario Telescope before.

    • Like 1
  6. I've actually decided that whichever scope I buy, I won't replace the entire focuser with a Feathertouch. I might put an FT pinion on, but not a whole focuser. This is for cosmetic reasons.

    So then I need to decide whether the DC has enough travel. It does have enough for all my 2" EPs, but once I put on binoviewers with a Tak prism I might need more back focus?

    This can usually be solved with extensions though... Just wondering is switching from 2" to 1.25" prism and binoviewers will.be a nuisance.

  7. 12 minutes ago, Stu said:

    Oouuuccchh! 😱😱

    Really sorry to read about this, what a shocker. Such a relief that the insurance will pay out. Out of interest was it a named item or just covered automatically?

    I think @mikeDnight is possibly best placed to answer comparisons between DC and DZ having had both.

    I chose the DC (rather than DF), because I always intended to fit a Feathertouch and so it made sense to buy the cheaper scope. I would likely still opt for a DC as I value the light weight and portability and suspect that optically the differences are probably fairly small, although I don’t doubt the DZ is a little better.

    I had accidental cover which not all policies have, it wasn't a named item, but it didn't fall under any of the categories of items to which a limit per item is placed, e.g. laptops only covered to £500, glass collections limited to £1000.

    • Thanks 1
  8. 30 minutes ago, John said:

    Really sorry to hear that this has happened :sad:

    I can barely bring myself to look at your photo of the smashed Tak objective :shocked:

    At least the insurance is going to come through for you (minus excess).

    Did the scope fall out of the tube clamp or was it the dovetail bar falling out of the mount clamp that caused the fall ?


    Dovetail slipped from the clamp. Tube rings remained very secure and have actually survived with minimal cosmetic damage 🙂

    The rings actually protected most of the tube from damage, problem is the objective is actually in the dew shield so not protected. In this respect the DZ might be slightly more robust as I believe the dew shield slides over the objective? So possibly more protection?

    • Like 1
  9. The end of the world.

    My brand new Tak FC-100 DC slipped from its clamp (presumably too loose) while I was setting up a finderscope. The scope suddenly hit the wooden living floor with a sickening shattering sound. The Flourite element smashed on impact. Other items were damaged too.

    This is the only scope I've ever damaged more than minor cosmetic scratches. Oddly enough it looks like the glass front element did not crack but the Flourite died on impact.

    Ian at FLO has offered superb support throughout the process and helped me evaluate the damage - scope is beyond economic repair as are a few other items.

    Fortunately, I have accidental damage cover on my home insurance, and with evaluations from Ian and plenty of photos of the damage, the insurer has agreed to pay out in full (minus my policy excess, ouch).

    So whilst I wait for the pay out to be processed, I have to make a decision - new FC-100 DC and maybe a Feathertouch micropinion, or FC-100 DZ with its slightly better optics and longer drawtube?

    The scope would be multirole - sometimes used as a widefield scope alongside a classical cassegrain, sometimes used as a high mag scope alongside a widefield Tak 76, and sometimes used on its own.

    I had the 127 Apo and CC8 last night at home in particularly fine and dark Bottle 8 skies, though dodging light cloud. The 127 gave awesome views of the starfields of Cygnus with the CC8 showing colour in the Ring Neb and picking up two of the Leo Triplets and my first view of the Whirlpool.  The 127 is long though and ergonomics weren't good viewing the many objects at the Zenith, the Whirlpool was exactly overhead and very hard to target.

    Later I got some great views with the Tak FC-76 and Ethos EPs on phototripod which is much more stable with the centre column down and the legs fully extended. The FC-76 is short enough that zenithal objects aren't an issue. I was actually able to resolve some stars in the M13 Hercules Glob at over x100 without much image shake.

    Which got me to thinking that the DC or DF make more sense than the DZ with its slightly better objective - but it would probably only be 3 cm lower down at the zenith?

    The DZ would be a kg heavier, too much for my phototripod and AZT6 mini AZ but no probs for my Ercole Mini. It has the longer focuser. I wonder whether the field would be flatter for wide field views and whether at F8 the snap to focus would be such that I'd never bother with a Feathertouch pinion.

    Anyone with experience of the DZ care to comment?





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  10. 12 minutes ago, Stu said:

    Only if they don’t charge it, which some have been so you end up paying double.

    They can't legally charge EU/German Vat to a consumer in the UK and pay it to the EU/German revenue. They can charge Vat at the local rate (19pc in Germany I think?) and then use that to pay HMRC for part of the UK Vat.  The customer should then be charged the difference, plus the customs charge (I think that's 4pc for telescopes and accessories) upon import (courier has to handle this if not already done by retailer).

    If the customer gets charged twice, someone has made a mistake, either on filling the customs paperwork or the processing thereof.

    This is not surprising in the first few months of this year seeing as all the paperwork is new to most of us. I spent a few hours in a phone queue to a courier as I hadn't completed all the relevant digits of the goods code for a mount I sold to an SGLer in Ireland.

    Fun and games and higher prices. 

  11. 55 minutes ago, Stu said:

    Must be all orders as Nigella’s purchase would have been over £150. They didn’t mention any limit in the comms to me

    I assume there is a mechanism for them to not charge EU VAT but to pay the U.K. VAT on your behalf??

    There isn't any EU Vat, it's UK Vat as the consumer is in the UK. Large companies outside the UK have to charge the customer the UK Vat rate and pay it to the UK HMRC. Small companies don't have to do this, but the tax rules still apply the same; if the order is over £150 the Vat has to be charged, but is charged at point of import by the carrier. It sounds like what's happening here is not fully compliant. A common way round for small companies is to under declare the value of the goods.  I'm not saying that's what's happening, but something is...

  12. There's also the fact that we've dropped out of the EU Customs Union (meaning VAT and duty are now chargeable from the EU even on second hand goods).

    The real shocker is that buying second hand goods from outside the country is now subject to 20 per cent VAT and 4 per cent customs duty, also chargeable on the shipping!

    Personally I've found it really annoying that buying from TS in Germany is now subject to Vat. The one exclusion is where the sale is less than £150 (because that is covered by the EU-UK trade deal) - I've tested this with an order for £103 and wasn't charged Vat or duty by TS or DHL, so it is being honoured.

    Also we've dropped out of all the EU's trade deals with other countries, so items from other countries should be subject to some level of import duty which should have increased cost on both parts and finished products. Depending on what deal the EU had with the third country, the new charges may be higher than we used to have.

  13. 1 hour ago, Stu said:

    Yep, good deal. I think Dinesh just had too many scopes and a couple had to go, this being one of them. Wanted some more grab and go, and ended up with a Ta....... no, sorry, what am I doing, let’s not turn this into another thread like that! 😱😱🤪🤪🤣🤣

    Back to 120EDs/TS 115mm etc etc

    I had 9 scopes, some had to go to fund a Flourite addiction! The 115 Apo is very good, mine is sold, it's on special offer at TS now but that won't last once they've sold one or two.

    115 is an odd size, people usually buy 100 or 120. 115 is actually a brilliant size as the FL is only 800mm and the weight is only 6.2kg.


    • Like 1
  14. 3 hours ago, John said:

    I've owned a Tak and a TMB / LZOS for the past 5 years. They are very much in the same league IMHO

    What has been a (pleasant) surprise is that my Skywatcher ED120 has not been significantly outclassed by either of them. Maybe my ED120 is a particularly good one ?

    I have an ES ED127 triplet which was hand selected for me and subjected to a battery of tests by Teleskop Specializten in Munich (booklet full of tests still in my files).

    It's a particularly well figured example and gives lovely sharp views, which are comparable to my FC-100, but it weighs about 2.5 times as much and is 952mm FL, so not grab and go like the FC-100. It's also almost as expensive these days. I do wonder whether each one off the production line would have this good a set of optics. But I'm planning on keeping mine 😎

    • Like 4
  15. My blue extension tube was tighter than the black extensions, yes it could well be the black paint that does it (no sign of glue or other fixings), and indeed the trick is to keep the silver ring tightly screwed to the white main tube to give yourself more grip on the silver section.

    I might have used a towel for extra grip on the white/silver section too.

    Give it some Welly, it's just a stuck screw fit.

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
  16. Welcome!

    Get a small scope and check out Orion's belt and sword regions. So much more going on than the eye alone detects. 

    Viewing a single asterism without a scope,  I'd say the Pleaides is lovely.

    But get a simple scope like a used 80mm refractor with an Alt Az mount, your world will change 👍

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