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kerrylewis

Which Takahashi refractor?

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TSA 120 or FC 100 perform fantastically with a binoviewer and Fujiyama orthos, this is my set up... can't beat that. The FC100 cools down way faster than the TSA 120 though...

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10 hours ago, John said:

I just can't conceive of an eyepiece that is really noticably better than the XW's from 10mm to 3.5mm. Goodness knows I've tried to find one but even the 5mm TMB Supermonocentric (which is often compared with a ZAO) only gave very subtle improvement, at times and on the best nights and at huge expense of FoV and comfort :icon_scratch:

The magic of binoviewers, eh ? :smiley:

 

 

I know, it doesn't seem to compute! It's definitely down to using both eyes rather than one. On the Moon, providing the seeing is reasonable, the 3D effect is very noticeable and mountains jump out in stark releif. Sweeping across the lunar surface at high power, I've felt my stomach churn as I suddenly swept across a mountainous cliff edge. The belts of Jupiter also seem to have a 3D effect at times, with the north and south equatorial belts looking as if they are standing slightly above the less vibrant zones. 

I used a binoviewer to observe mars last year, and I think that's why I was able to pick out so much detail despite the planet being so low. Floaters seem to be less of a problem and turbulence is less obvious in a binoviewer, or at least that's how it appears to me. I only use a cheap bv made by revelation but its excellent!

Mike

Edited by mikeDnight

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13 hours ago, mikeDnight said:

Hi John,

Five years ago Paul loaned me his KYSON 16.8mm orthoscopics for use in my binoviewer. I used them continually for four years before he realised they belonged to him and wanted them back. Some friend! ? Over the four years I used them, I was continually amazed that they consistently gave as sharp a view of the moon and planets as my XW's. In time i simply stopped using the XW's for planetary as the bino ortho combination always showed me more.

The 16.8mm orthos didn't really thrill me in mono use. In my fast scopes they suffered from edge distortion and the XW's  we're clearly superior. Add a X2 barlow to the ortho and it gave a very nice view, and in the binoviewer, which needs a Barlow to be useable in my scope, the orthos are amazingly good. After paul stole his eyepieces back, i used a pair of 18mm TAK Le's for a few months. The Le's, which were second hand, proved to have fungal growth between the elements on both eyepieces so i sent them back. After a brief search, I found the 16.8mm orthos on 365 Astronomys web site fot £39, so i ordered a pair and they are just as good as those I borrowed off Paul. I've not tried any of the other focal lengths in the range, so i couldn't comment on those.

It's  a pity you struggle with binoviewers as they really do enhance the detail on show. 

I still use XW's for DSO's etc.

Mike

 

 

13 hours ago, John said:

I just can't conceive of an eyepiece that is really noticably better than the XW's from 10mm to 3.5mm. Goodness knows I've tried to find one but even the 5mm TMB Supermonocentric (which is often compared with a ZAO) only gave very subtle improvement, at times and on the best nights and at huge expense of FoV and comfort :icon_scratch:

The magic of binoviewers, eh ? :smiley:

 

 

 

Hello. Interesting one this. Binoviewers giving better results than a single high quality eyepiece, especially a Pentax XW. Obviously John and Mike have so much more experience than me ,so I can only say to my eyes which I thought was superior.

I did try a little experiment last year with the 120ed refractor to see if there was a difference I quality and sharpness of view on lunar(comfort and being drawn into the target goes to two eye viewing, binos win hands down here).  

In my eyes when using a pair of 6mm eyepiece in the binoviewers verses a 7mm XW Pentax (could not match magnificent exactly I am afraid) . But from my eyes the Pentax XW did seem to edge a better clarity of image, and seemed that touch sharper on the craters and mountains on the lunar surface. 

Obviously there are many factors that could effect my differential between the two binoviewers, Cyclops.  Maybe the seeing/atmosphere condition changed from the time I swapped the single eyepiece out to getting the binoviewers, eyepieces into the scope. Maybe the 120ed just works better with a Pentax than the optics and binoviewers set up. Maybe the binoviewers needed cooling to bring it in line with ambient temperature. Maybe the Pentax 7XW is a particularly good example (I hope so). 

But to my eyes at that particular viewing time I thought the Pentax XW edged it. One thought that has crossed my mind and something Paulastro has brought up. Is that it is the way the images are interprets by your brain, maybe then my brain is not working properly? 

Edited by Timebandit
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I'm not a very experienced planetary observer (mainly a CCD imager), but under normal conditions I find it easier to see details on Mars and Jupiter in my Tak FS102 when using a binoviewer rather than one eye and a single eyepiece. This might be a physiological thing, I suppose.

Don't get me wrong, under very good conditions, I still get fantastic views with my Pentax XL5.2 and, when conditions allow, with my Tak LE 3.6. But the best views I have had under excellent conditions were with my Pentax XP3.8. The eye relief is pretty tight, and it's only a 1-inch eyepiece, but it was an impressive performer.

Jeremy

 

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On 13/03/2017 at 10:46, John said:

Are they the "Super Abbe" orthos like this ?:

http://www.opticstar.com/Run/Astronomy/Astro-Accessories-Telescopes-Ascension.asp?p=0_10_5_1_1_1

Hmmm - that binoviewer must be doing something to enable them to outperform an XW !

(I've tried some of those Super Abbe's in cyclops mode and they were rather mediocre IMHO :dontknow:)

 

Hi John, that's the ones I have, they also have the trademark of Kyson, the ones in your reference look exactly the same, I bought the set about six years ago for £99, but have to say I do not get on with Ortho's and have not used them very much, I currently have them up for local sale at our club. 

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3 hours ago, Timebandit said:

 

 

Hello. Interesting one this. Binoviewers giving better results than a single high quality eyepiece, especially a Pentax XW. Obviously John and Mike have so much more experience than me ,so I can only say to my eyes which I thought was superior.

I did try a little experiment last year with the 120ed refractor to see if there was a difference I quality and sharpness of view on lunar(comfort and being drawn into the target goes to two eye viewing, binos win hands down here).  

In my eyes when using a pair of 6mm eyepiece in the binoviewers verses a 7mm XW Pentax (could not match magnificent exactly I am afraid) . But from my eyes the Pentax XW did seem to edge a better clarity of image, and seemed that touch sharper on the craters and mountains on the lunar surface. 

Obviously there are many factors that could effect my differential between the two binoviewers, Cyclops.  Maybe the seeing/atmosphere condition changed from the time I swapped the single eyepiece out to getting the binoviewers, eyepieces into the scope. Maybe the 120ed just works better with a Pentax than the optics and binoviewers set up. Maybe the binoviewers needed cooling to bring it in line with ambient temperature. Maybe the Pentax 7XW is a particularly good example (I hope so). 

But to my eyes at that particular viewing time I thought the Pentax XW edged it. One thought that has crossed my mind and something Paulastro has brought up. Is that it is the way the images are interprets by your brain, maybe then my brain is not working properly? 

Im sure your brain is working just fine! :lol:

There may be something else at play here, as you were using 6mm eyepieces in your binoviewer. It's possible the 6mm's weren't happy at the native F7.5 of your scope, as I'm aware the ortho's I use don't play well at F7.4 with mine. However, using the longer focal length ortho's with a barlow really does make a difference. I'm not sure I'd be happy with anything shorter than 10 or 12mm in my binoviewer. I'd much prefer to Barlow a longer fl eyepiece to attain high power in my binoviewer.  Due to the difficulty of obtaining silly high powers in my bv, I still use short focal length eyepieces to get the image scale on really difficult targets or where silly high powers are needed.

My little Takahashi FC100DC refractor takes magnification really well, and when the seeing is steady I can use powers of X474 with the images remaining razor sharp, but that's a mono view. 

Mike

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Its quite surprising just how many folk on here own at least one Tak !!!

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59 minutes ago, Pig said:

Its quite surprising just how many folk on here own at least one Tak !!!

Thats a good point.

I've been a member here for over 10 years and spend as much time on the forum as anyone I guess (:rolleyes2:). Until a couple of years ago, you would rarely see Takahashis or other really top end scope brands mentioned on the forum. Still not much mention of Astro Physics scopes but Taks seem to be everywhere. Common as muck ! :grin:

 

 

 

Edited by John
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Yeah John I don't want one anymore :happy8: is it April 1st yet ?

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10 minutes ago, John said:

I've been a member here for over 10 years and spend as much time on the forum as anyone I guess (:rolleyes2:). Until a couple of years ago, you would rarely see Takahashis or other really top end scope brands mentioned on the forum. Still not much mention of Astro Physics scopes but Taks seem to be everywhere. Common as muck ! :grin:

I can see a "Show us your Takahashi" thread coming along soon.... :wink:

Jeremy

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I'd be interested to know what the Takahashi production and sales volumes are like, overall. I believe the annual sales of the Mewlon scopes is quite low - perhaps around 40-50 units per annum ?. Probably the refractor numbers are higher but I'd guess that it's going to be hundreds rather than thousands of each model per annum ? 

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7 hours ago, John said:

I'd be interested to know what the Takahashi production and sales volumes are like, overall. I believe the annual sales of the Mewlon scopes is quite low - perhaps around 40-50 units per annum ?. Probably the refractor numbers are higher but I'd guess that it's going to be hundreds rather than thousands of each model per annum ? 

Not much help John , but when I got my fsq106-ed the date as made on the box was just under 2 years , so siting around for some time.

Edited by Starlight 1
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2 hours ago, Starlight 1 said:

Not much help John , but when I got my fsq106-ed the date as made on the box was just under 2 years , so siting around for some time.

With the FC-100DL, the production was limited to 100 units between 2015 and 2016. Mine was the last new one available in the UK (apparently) and has a 2016 serial number. From what I can piece together from those around 80 of them were made in 2015 and the final batch early in 2016.

With my APM / TMB / LZOS 130 F/9.2 I've been told by Markus Ludes or APM that 105 units were made between the launch in 2006 and December 2016 and a further 9 will be produced before production stops due to LZOS optical having their priorities changed to military optics. There were quite a few more of the faster version of the 130 made though because they were much more suitable for imaging.

Sorry Kerry - I've drifted a little off topic !

 

Edited by John
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10 hours ago, JeremyS said:

I can see a "Show us your Takahashi" thread coming along soon.... :wink:

Jeremy

Go on Jeremy, I dare you! :happy7:

Mike

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I must be one of the very few who bought a Takahashi refractor and never used it on the night sky!. I got a 90mm Sky90 2nd hand to use for solar with the intention of adding a Coronado 90mm front etalon until I saw the price of the etalon!. The Sky90 did a short stint as a PST mod before I was aware of the F10 requirement for a full aperture mod. The scope stayed in the cupboard for several years until I sold it to a local friend. My first view through it at night was during a "shoot-out" between MikeDnight's 100mm Takahashi and my 102mm Vixen flourite, the new Sky90 owner brought it along and I was amazed as to how good it was!   :iamwithstupid:

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12 hours ago, John said:

Thats a good point.

I've been a member here for over 10 years and spend as much time on the forum as anyone I guess (:rolleyes2:). Until a couple of years ago, you would rarely see Takahashis or other really top end scope brands mentioned on the forum. Still not much mention of Astro Physics scopes but Taks seem to be everywhere. Common as muck ! :grin:

 

 

 

Obviously Taks are not cheap, but compared to AP, TEC and even televue ethos eyepieces, I think they are "relatively" good value, particularly the FC100. Maybe that accounts for some of the increased discussion and purchasing?

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How many would buy a Takahashi if you had to wait 10 years for one?  :icon_biggrin:

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3 hours ago, Gavster said:

Obviously Taks are not cheap, but compared to AP, TEC and even televue ethos eyepieces, I think they are "relatively" good value, particularly the FC100. Maybe that accounts for some of the increased discussion and purchasing?

Ive often felt the same way about eyepieces. Many observers will spend thousands on a really first class collection, and who can blame them, for eyepieces have never been as good! At one time I had an eyepiece collection valued in excess of £3000. In the same way, refractors have never been as good! 

Personally I think Takahashi are great value and not overly expensive. If I remember rightly, a 4" Tak fluorite cost around £1700 fourteen years ago, so prices haven't altered too much over that time. What has changed is the availability of excellent ED apo's from China such as those made by Synta. These were not available fourteen years ago and their comparative low prices must play a part in people's perception about value and pricing. As good as the Synta ED's are though, they don't have quite the same level of optical quality as the Takahashi's, and I think that the majority of Tak owners pay that little extra, just as in the case of high end eyepieces, to gain that little extra in performance.

One other reason that Taks are so popular is that, unlike AP and Tech, they are available off the shelf. True consistently high quality optics and readily available is an astronomers dream come true! If only Vixen would return to their former days of producing such high end fluorite optics as they used to!!

Mike

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When I 1st started looking at "serious" scopes (mid 1980's) the 4" Vixen FL102's were listed around £2K as an optical tube. Much as I lusted after them I could not afford one so I settled on a used Vixen 102M F/9.8 achromat. Which was a fine scope as it turned out :smiley:

So spending around the same amount on the Tak FC-100DL 30 years later did not seem such a bad deal :smiley:

 

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2 hours ago, mikeDnight said:

Personally I think Takahashi are great value and not overly expensive. If I remember rightly, a 4" Tak fluorite cost around £1700 fourteen years ago, so prices haven't altered too much over that time. What has changed is the availability of excellent ED apo's from China such as those made by Synta. These were not available fourteen years ago and their comparative low prices must play a part in people's perception about value and pricing. As good as the Synta ED's are though, they don't have quite the same level of optical quality as the Takahashi's, and I think that the majority of Tak owners pay that little extra, just as in the case of high end eyepieces, to gain that little extra in performance.

Indeed Mike. Although the FC-100DC is far from cheap, it's only £300 more than an Equinox 120 (that's 365 Astro price - may be slightly lower at FLO). Which makes it relatively aggressively priced for the brand. The trick is to buy the telescope and get out of the store as fast as possible before the dealer has had chance to show you the accessories - "Would sir be interested in a Takahashi finder?" (ker-chiing), Tak finder bracket? (ker-chiing), Tak finder bracket quick release base? - etc etc.

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Kerry

I turned 50 in Jan, wanted to scale everything back to a small light weight refractor for visual. I have bad eyesight and have to wear glasses.  Some life changing events made me appriciate that I have been looking through telescopes since I was eleven. I have always held back the expensive telescope purchase having to put others first but now having been such a good boy and having promised myself something nice for so long I bought myself a TAK FC100DF.  It will allow you to see more than your other 100ED more contrast colour sharpness and brightness. Each on there own a step up but all togeather quite striking.

Is it worth the extra cost? Maybe not

Does it get any better? Probably not.

Sometimes I have a plan to see this or that but the views are at times so good they are distracting and the plan goes out the window and I just cant help myself its makes feel like I am eleven again and everything is amazing. For me that's priceless.

Kevin.

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The new price of a Televue 85 makes the FC-100 look like a steal.  

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These kinds of scopes are out of my league but I have learned a lot by reading this thread. Maybe one day!

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2 hours ago, Paz said:

These kinds of scopes are out of my league but I have learned a lot by reading this thread. Maybe one day!

If you get a chance to look through a Skywatcher ED100 or an ED120 you will get a good idea of what people are on about. Their performance is pretty darn close to the premium brands being discussed here.

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3 hours ago, John said:

If you get a chance to look through a Skywatcher ED100 or an ED120 you will get a good idea of what people are on about. Their performance is pretty darn close to the premium brands being discussed here.

So the all singing,all dancing Tak is up there along with Skywatcher...

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