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Come September (which seems a long way off, but will soon be here), I am going to find myself in the lucky posiiton of being able to get myself my 'forever, lifelong' scope and having previously had a Newt am now leaning towards getting a frac, but the question I keep going round and round in circles with, is which one?

This will be solely used for imaging and will be mounted on my EQ6R-PRO along with SXVR-694 camera and SXPress filter wheel.  Data grabs will be LRGB plus all the funky narrow band options too.

For a long time now I have been looking at the Skywatcher Esprit Pro 100, but am now looking more towards the 120 if I went SW with this 'once only' purchase, but having recently restarted my research, have seen mention of the Takahashi TSA-120 and that then even lead me onto the Borg 107FL 3.9 Petzval scope.

I suppose my question is, would the Borg be a better purchase over the Tak and also what would the final price for the Tak be when factoring in all the bits and bobs needed (tube rings, dovetails etc etc)

As I will only be doing this once, I need to get it right first time, so wont be rushing into this and am hoping other people have constructive views and comments to help me out here.

Cheers and clear skies

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My word! you've had the TSA-120 for six months and just yesterday you looked through it, I cannot fathom this!. A stark contrast to me setting up marbles on neighbours fences, looking like a mad man o

If I could only have one scope it would be the TSA120 the OP mentioned, but I am visual only 👍

Jeremy are you an immortal? 😂

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Lifetime screams Takahashi to  me 😊

I had a Borg 125 years ago (ca 20). It was a fine scope and light, but I found the build quality to be rather poor. Maybe they’ve improved, but I’ve steered clear (apart from the unique Pocket Borg 😊). For me they are functional, not lifetime. 

 

Edited by JeremyS
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I was in a similar position back in 2016. I don't image so I was looking for a "lifetime" visual scope and already had a decent 12 inch dobsonian so went for a refractor. I was dithering between a Tele Vue NP101 and a Takahashi FC100. I already had a nice and quite fast Vixen ED 102mm so I was attracted to the Tak FC100-DL which was made in limited numbers at F/9. The one I purchased was one of the last of the first run of these that was available in the UK at that time. No regrets at all about the purchase.

Having some budget left over, I did then go on to find a 2nd "lifetime" refractor which I could not resist - a TMB/LZOS 130mm F/9.2 triplet which have a bit of a reputation.

So I ended up with a "2 for 1" lifetime scope deal !

I think the TSA 120 that you mention stands out to me as an exceptional refractor, certainly for visual. I'm no imager but it would seem to have a lot of potential in that area as well. 

There is certainly something about the history and culture of the company and their way of doing things that makes ownership of one of their instruments very appealing.

Have fun working through the options :icon_biggrin:

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Cheers Jeremy

The Tak does get some excellent reviews and I am struggling to find any on the Borg...maybe they have been assimilated 🤣🤣

At least I have a good while to research and ponder, plus try to figure out which bits I will need to get the whole thing put together and working too

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15 minutes ago, Shelster1973 said:

Cheers Jeremy

The Tak does get some excellent reviews and I am struggling to find any on the Borg...maybe they have been assimilated 🤣🤣

At least I have a good while to research and ponder, plus try to figure out which bits I will need to get the whole thing put together and working too

As John intimates, doing the research is half the fun.

TSA 120 is a lifetime scope. But I would say that wouldn’t I? 🤣

I think I’m turning into a cat: gives me 9 lifetime scopes 👍🏻

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If I could only have one scope it would be the TSA120 the OP mentioned, but I am visual only 👍

Edited by dweller25
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3 hours ago, mikeDnight said:

If solely for imaging, and if its a life-long scope. I'd get the Takahashi FSQ 106..

Hadn't even seen that one...thaks for info

33 minutes ago, johninderby said:

For me it would be the TEC 140 although not as portable as the Tak100.

While I have heard good things about them, have to say that it is too expensive for me to go for, but many thanks for highlighting it as an option.

 

The FSQ 106EDX4 f/5 quad petzval is right at the very top of what I would want to pay, when factoring in rings and plates for scope and guider mounting, plus I will be going motorised on the focuser too, so that maxes out the budget

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I am lucky to have my lifer - a TMB/LZOZ 105/650.  Stumbled across it by chance secondhand and it's an original Thomas Back made one which appealed to my love of slightly obscure stuff with a bit of a story behind it.  Optically as good as it gets and versatile enough to be used as a killer visual frac and it's pretty handy with a camera attached also.  Just something about LZOZ optics that I like so would highly recommend looking at some of the newer TMB branded scopes, or if you are lucky enough, find a good one on the used market.

Of course there is always the question is there such thing as a single lifer scope?  I would love a properly big frac at some point - probably a Tak and for pure AP work and assuming you only want new then I'd be taking a close look at their range also.  Oh and I wouldn't mind 12" or 14" reflector of some sort however I would also like some darker skies to use it all under :)

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I think my Tak FC100Df is "probably" my lifer. That doesn't mean I won't get another scope that will also be a lifer, though! I'd like a bigger Tak or maybe a Tec-140 or even a biggish Dob at some point, but there are other things to consider, like location, portability and ease of use, so there's no point in me splashing out on a scope like that unless I know that I'll be able to use it!

For now, the FC100 is just perfect for me in that regard.

:) 

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For a lifer, definitely Tak over Borg. TSA120 or for imaging only either FSQ106 or TOA130N if you don't mind the size, weight and long cool down.

My current lifer is a LZOS 115 f/7. I may get a 6" LZOS or 160 from either TEC or CFF if I ever get to build my own observatory. I simply can't imagine myself assembling/disassembling such a big heavy scope for every session.

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Question: Are you going to upgrade the mount?

Although the EQ6-R is a reasonable piece of kit, a "Lifetime" 'scope really deserves a "Lifetime" mount, something in the Mesu / 10 Micron league as a minimum.

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11 minutes ago, DaveS said:

Question: Are you going to upgrade the mount?

Although the EQ6-R is a reasonable piece of kit, a "Lifetime" 'scope really deserves a "Lifetime" mount, something in the Mesu / 10 Micron league as a minimum.

That would be an ideal situation yes, but at this monent in time the answer is no on teh mount upgrade.  Wil be sticking with current one, although it will be mounted on a solid pier when in use (pier is part of 'upgrade' too)

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If AP is you main use a 130mm/F6 LZOS is worth a look. Speed always helps for capture and not too heavy when compared with other scopes.
You can also get a phenolic tube option which will not dew and more temperature stable (better than aluminium) for maintaining focus.  
 

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I have the TSA 120mm which I use for lunar and solar imaging. I got it about 6 months ago. Last night, I looked through it for the first time (yes - sacrilege to have left it so long). I was blown away. Super sharp, perfect colour correction - really very very good. I also have an LZOS 152mm which is a great scope, but boy, is the TSA120mm something special. 

For imaging I would go with an FSQ106 if you are aiming for a "forever" scope.  I also have this and it's a joy to use. 

 

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I think this might all depend on what you prefer to image.  If it is nebulae / clusters etc then a wider field is better and would look at the FSQ85/106 with your camera.  If you prefer galaxy imaging then you probably want a longer focal instrument and something like the TSA120 / TOA130.   You can also get reducers for these to help with imaging nebulae.  Honestly I would have though the TOA130 (with an focuser upgrade) would be the lifetime scope because there is unlikely to be anything really better that would be noticeable.

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I suppose, in looking for a "lifelong" instrument, as well as considering what your interests are now you need to anticipate what they might be for the rest of your time in the hobby. Not easy !

 

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Not in the same league as the Taks but I've just treated myself to an Esprit 100ED which I am to keep forever.

That's not to say I won't treat myself to more forever scopes in the future..... 😉

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I was in this fortunate position three years ago and my forever telescope was also for imaging. My budget may have been less than yours if you are now thinking ‘Tak’ but don’t just be swayed by the brand and do your research carefully but for what it’s worth, my forever telescope turned out to be an Esprit 150 and it was a really good decision. I also considered the Esprit 120 as it too is an excellent imaging ‘scope but in the end, as this was ‘forever’, the 150 won through!

I have had a Tak (actually two) and I don’t get what all the fuss is about!!

Good luck with your research!

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4 minutes ago, steppenwolf said:

I was in this fortunate position three years ago and my forever telescope was also for imaging. My budget may have been less than yours if you are now thinking ‘Tak’ but don’t just be swayed by the brand and do your research carefully but for what it’s worth, my forever telescope turned out to be an Esprit 150 and it was a really good decision. I also considered the Esprit 120 as it too is an excellent imaging ‘scope but in the end, as this was ‘forever’, the 150 won through!

I have had a Tak (actually two) and I don’t get what all the fuss is about!!

Good luck with your research!

I haven't owned or used a Tak so cannot comment but agree that you shouldn't necessarily put all your eggs in to one basket.

I have heard very good things about the Esprit range (which is why I ended up buying one after lots or research....and bugging people on here for advise 😉) but plenty of other great feedback from the likes of Technosky, APM, TS and so on....

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