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All quiet on the Astro Physics front ?


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2 hours ago, JeremyS said:

I wish my Taks showed more signs of use, but that’s more down to the weather than being frightened to take them out, unlike that other person we know 😬

You could give them to me Jeremy and I'll send you photo's every couple of years. They'd see plenty of starlight here, even if it is through sucker holes.😆

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I've seen two in my whole life, both belonging to the same person. One was the interesting Riccardi-Honders astrograph and the other, more up my street, was a magnificent 175 Starfire.

However, I have a TEC140 and consider myself very lucky to do so.

Olly

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1 hour ago, Deadlake said:

The only downside of fast scopes have a slight lower Strehl, but going from 0.99 to 0.98 is a first world problem that my young eyes will not notice.

For whatever reasons refractors offer superiors views with lower Strehls. The beauty of these top refractors is that the Strehls are so high anyway that differences between them are not important IMHO- except for bragging rights possibly. I could care less about the TSA120's Strehl- Ger's mark 1 eyeballs say that it is right up there with the best of them.

From what I gather differences between the top refractors might be down to how they present the target, tone wise etc.

I wanted to try an AP and called them- I just didn't want to wait so long for one. They were great to talk to btw.

ps- I do care about the Strehl etc for reflectors...

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I'm an AP1200 mount owner, which I purchased on the recommendation of my astro friend and mentor who also owns one. More to the OP's question, my mentor also owns a 178 Starfire, which is a truly gorgeous scope. My friend is primarily a solar system imager (solar, lunar and planetary). When I owned a 10" Meade LX200 we ran some comparative tests on the lunar Copernicus crater and there really wasn't much between them, so that 7" clear aperture APO certainly performed as well as my 10" centrally obstructed SCT. It's a fabulous visual scope providing gorgeous lunar, planetary and WL solar views.

I'm sure (hope so anyway) that he won't mind me sharing this, so for anyone interested here is a pic from a few years ago of his 178 riding on his C14. He also uses the etalon off his Coronado 90 for solar Ha views and images off the 178.

1192440991_178onC14.thumb.JPG.88a9ddb18f4d123fab0fb05b0d02e19f.JPG

Edited by geoflewis
Added image of AP 178 Starfire
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2 hours ago, Deadlake said:

told me he sold the TEC because he preferred the views thru the AP, backed up by club members

Yep, I can vouch for that.

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4 hours ago, KP82 said:

Availability/Waiting time. People who have the budget for refractors of this price class usually will not worry about the additional import duties.

The extremely long waiting time of the AP scopes make them more like collector items than tools for astronomy.

Hmm, think lockdown and poor skies the reason that my Stowaway has spent more time in the case than the Tak did. 
As to the import fees, I was ready for them, but it still hurt the wallet hard. 

I’ve a few things to sort out with my life this year, but plan on getting back out under dark skies as often as I can. 
 

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15 minutes ago, Cjg said:

Hmm, think lockdown and poor skies the reason that my Stowaway has spent more time in the case than the Tak did. 
As to the import fees, I was ready for them, but it still hurt the wallet hard. 

I’ve a few things to sort out with my life this year, but plan on getting back out under dark skies as often as I can. 
 

I'm looking foward to lockdown ending and getting over to Seething to see that Stowaway of yours in the flesh - envious, or what....:Envy::smiley:

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I've never looked through an AP scope, but when I was much younger I drooled over  the magazine ads (behave, Jeremy!!) of their Star ED and Starfire models..to this day the name "Starfire" is one of my favourite names for a scope!

I was aware of someone in Loughborough (he now lives in Scotland), who owned a130mm f8 Starfire EDT..I saw it when I went to his home to pick up a (very nice!) Pentax J80 achromat he had sold to me in 2010. I just remember thinking how lovely the AP scope was.

I also saw a second AP when I went to pick up "Andromeda", my beloved D&G 5" F15 achromat from near Cheltenham..the seller had just taken delivery of the latest AP130 scope (this was in 2015) which he had been waiting years for..I'm pretty sure it had the letters "GT" in it's title, and looked quite short, perhaps F6? (mind you, any scope would have seemed short next to the almost 2metre length of Andromeda!😂). I also seem to recall it had a tube made from Carbon Fibre, could that be right? And I'm also pretty sure he said he didn't get much change from £10k when he imported it😱!

I do recall reading the CN review that David (dweller25) linked to..at the time I was seriously considering buying my FS128, and although, if I'm honest, I felt the review took far too long to say what it did, I did take their overall assessment (ie that the Tak fully matched the AP in the view of the reviewers) as a good endorsement of my feeling that the FS128 could be a "lifetime" scope for me.. and 4 years on from buying the Tak, I know I made a good decision for myself.. 

That conclusion was based on a deep respect for everything I've heard about Astro Physics scopes. And I'm sure that all the top brands mentioned in this thread are as satisfying to their owners as mine is to me👍:headbang:

Dave

Edited by F15Rules
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Chiming in from across the pond I'll say that in my several star party outings over the years I do see maybe two or three AP scopes at each star party. On one occasion about two or three years back when the planets were parading across the ecliptic one after another a fellow gave me as much time as I wanted with his Starfire 130. He was imaging with another scope at the time, the view of Jupiter was jaw dropping, I mean just exquisite, I felt like I had to convince myself it was real and not some fine sketch. From then on it sort of became a holy grail scope to me, I'm sure a TOA 130 would put up an equally beautiful image but, I have not had the pleasure of looking through a TOA130. 

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Hopefully an AP purchase coming up later this year for me.....

I'm saving up for one of their highly regarded focal reducers for my TEC

Expensive, and i could do with the $USD  / £UK exchange rate helping me out a bit.....

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2 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

About 20 years ago an already quite old Starfire turned up for sale a couple of times in the UK. I wonder what became of that one?

Olly

There was a nice looking 130 EDF which appeared on and off on ABS quite few times over the last few years. It has disappeared now but I don’t know if it ever actually sold.

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1 hour ago, Stu said:

There was a nice looking 130 EDF which appeared on and off on ABS quite few times over the last few years. It has disappeared now but I don’t know if it ever actually sold.

Yes, I was following that one. Wonder where it is now 

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A friend of mine owns a 180EDT. An instrument that dates from the time before Astro-Physics became a renowned brand. On the public observatory in Rijswijk (Netherlands), where I’m a volunteer, we have a Starfire 130EDT that’s excellent for visual observing the Moon and planets. I consider myself lucky to own a Mach1 mount. Acquired directly from Astro-Physics in 2009. In 12 years of use this mount never let my down. I’m on the waiting list for a Starfire 130GTX since 2016, but don’t know if I’ll order one if I get a notification. You can order one directly at several retailers in Europe (Baader, Optique et Vision, Unitron Italian), but the price is high: about 10k Euros. 

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I had the the 130 EDT and it was a wonderful scope but as I had the TOA 150 at the time I sold the AP I now have the TMB 130ss and would say it is equal in views to the AP 

Edited by garryblueboy
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On 09/04/2021 at 08:43, Cjg said:

Stowaway owner here!

n.434 of the 3rd production run. Sold my Tak 76mm upon receipt of the Stowaway.

Had to wait 2(3?) years, and the email from Darleen telling me my number had come up was a complete surprise.

Just vary rare, and not available 'off the shelf' so less seen and talked about. For the price I paid UPS, and the £770 import duty at Stansted, there's an substantial cost on top of the $3500..

The views are wonderful, but with lockdown, the Observatory at Seething has been closed to all, I've not used mine this year...it's going with me to Devon next week though, in the (forlorn) hope of clear skies..

 

How much did you pay for the insurance for importation ? Is this done through UPS?

also I’m assuming the import duty was about 20% ?

thanks for your answers,

ken 

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4 hours ago, Ken82 said:

How much did you pay for the insurance for importation ? Is this done through UPS?

also I’m assuming the import duty was about 20% ?

thanks for your answers,

ken 

An additional $117 for UPS for Shipment and Insurance and (from memory £777) at Stansted for Import Duty / Customs /VAT.

 

Inv_59476S1_from_AstroPhysics_7668.jpg

Edited by Cjg
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As already mentioned, I do rather like AP scopes. Here is the unboxing thread for my AP130GTX 

 

And here is a comparison I did between my tec140 and my AP130GTX which eventually resulted in me selling the tec as I just preferred the views the AP gives me. Also the Ap is so wonderfully compact compared to the tec140


But the AP130GTX is bested my my Tec160fl (unsurprisingly)


My little AP stowaway is pretty special too

I always enjoy observing with my AP scopes, they just put a smile on my face each time. 😀

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