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Taks - worth the premium over other brands?


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Hi all,

As above - I am curious to get views on Taks and whether the additional premium over other brands that are highly regarded is 'worth it'.

Appreciate that it is up to the buyer as to what they spend their money on - as with most premium/quality products, and for them to judge whether they are worth the premium or not.

But take the FSQ-85 for example at circa £3.5k+ once accessories have been added. For 1/2 the price you can get a very well respected esprit 100ed. I know that's not a true 1-2-1 comparison but the point being you can get a very good quality and highly regarded triplet, larger aperture and focal length scope at 1/2 the price. The Esprit 80ed is almost 3 times less.

I just wondered if the extra cost of the Tak in the example above gives you twice the quality and performance?

Edited by Jonny_H
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This is an interesting thread and a nice reflection on the nature of the SGL community - on a different astronomy forum, this discussion might have descended into acrimony and thread-locking within th

A bit harsh Michael. For a smartphone shot it’s pretty good, any CA is likely to be either atmospheric or from the phone. I don’t think anyone is arguing that Taks are miracle scopes. Other premi

Just to upset all you refractophiles……. My Skywatcher 10” Newtonian gave way better planetary views than my FS128 😱

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9 minutes ago, Jonny_H said:

I  just wondered if the extra cost of the Tak in the example above gives you twice the quality and performance?

I have 3 Taks and the honest answer to your question is ........ no

But maybe you asked the wrong question 😂

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All I know is that there is much smaller chance of getting a lemon from the premium brands, so you're effectively paying for some kind of guarantee of minimum quality. But many other brands have also started to offer test reports to guarantee minimum optical quality (e.g. Tecnosky).

There are a few other benefits. For example LZOS use full steel for their lens cells. This minimises the chance of pinched optics in cold climate compared to the other materials. AP, TEC and CFF all produce oil spaced lenses which have faster cooldown and slightly higher light transmission than air spaced ones.

Part of the reason why FSQ85 amounts to such a high price is because of those dedicated adaptors and accessories. Some premium brands charge a lot for them (e.g. a Tak flattener could be as much as a 4" ED doublet). LZOS is probably the cheapest option in this regards as APM scopes are compatible with many generic adaptors and the Riccardi reducer/flatteners cost less than half of Tak or AP. 

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Not worth it to me.  I have the highly regarded Vixen 102mm FL, reckoned to be comparable with a Tak optically, (objectives made by the same company, Canon).  Apart from very occasional white light solar it's one of my least used telescopes, a Tak, for me, would not be worth the outlay.     🤔

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Are you looking at astrophotography use or just visual?

Comparing to triplet apos, I'd say the FC-76 DCU is worth the money at £1,250 because it is the sharpest scope I've ever owned and never fails to give razor sharp, crisp views. Both the FC76 and FC100 have very high contrast with darker sky backgrounds than other scopes of their size. I think the FC100 is harder to justify at £2000+, but it is very capable and shows many objects very well. Both are a lot more portable than an equivalent sized triplet.

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I recently bought Johninderby's Stellamira and I know Hollyhound has one too and I have been reading the Tak FC100/76 threads with interest....

Is it possible to articulate what I'd see better/differently if I had an FC100 f7.4 side by side with the 80 ED f10? I'm particularly interested in how much brighter etc I'd see any given object due to the increased aperture and f ratio even if everything else "remains the same"

Thanks.....

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My SW 120ED will go 350x on the moon and then breaks down- I have not reached image breakdown over 700x with my TSA120. Not sure of the exact mag as I barlow the Vixen HR2.4mm but I'm thinking about 750x sounds right give or take (field stop location).

The build quality is excellent as is the stock focuser, once learning how to adjust it- zero image shift.

So to me yes its worth it.

ps the transmission this scope has is extremely good and proven on very faint nebula.

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Under general use you might not notice an immediate difference, but Tak's are worth the difference in price and performance to many. Old Vixen FL102's are just as good as any 4" apo I've ever used, so you could possibly find a second hand FL for a fraction of a new Tak. Takahashi have a well deserved reputation and are still at the top of the hill IMHO, but the real world difference when compared to other brands may not be great as it used to be. Skywatcher ED's are very good all round performers!

 

 

Edited by mikeDnight
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2 hours ago, Commanderfish said:

Are you looking at astrophotography use or just visual?

Comparing to triplet apos, I'd say the FC-76 DCU is worth the money at £1,250 because it is the sharpest scope I've ever owned and never fails to give razor sharp, crisp views. Both the FC76 and FC100 have very high contrast with darker sky backgrounds than other scopes of their size. I think the FC100 is harder to justify at £2000+, but it is very capable and shows many objects very well. Both are a lot more portable than an equivalent sized triplet.

Thanks all for the comments. Some interesting views so far.

I am primarily in to AP at present hence why I used the FSQ and Esprit models in the examples.

As some of you have probably seen in other posts - I do have an Esprit 100ed on order, so my post isn't based on a pending decision etc... it is purely out of curiosity..... or perhaps I am subconsciously lining up my next future purchase...🤔

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It depends on what you want to do with the instrument. If you want to do deep sky imaging at a short focal length (350-500mm or so) with a 35mm sensor you really don't have much choice and a Tak FSQ106 with reducer (or even without) is almost certainly going to be on your shortlist. There was a very fast 4 inch Pentax (which made a come-back under another name IIRC) but that was simply not as good either in flatness of field or star control. If you are not going to use such a large sensor then the FSQ suddenly runs into stiff competition, especially if you don't mind a slightly slower F ratio.

It would be nice to think that Tak prices meant top quality control but there have been plenty of cases on here and elsewhere of mis-collimated FSQs straight from the dealer. This really is not good. Nor is it good that some people feel the need to fit Feathertouch focusers to their Tak FSQs because the Tak focusers are problematic. (I've just been fiddling with one belonging to a client in our robotic shed.) A fully sorted FSQ106 is a remarkable refractor and will give you better results on a full frame chip than anything else I know of at around 500mm. (But I don't know all the alternatives.)

I think what Tak do really well is make great doublet/triplet scopes for visual observing and they seem to be on top of QC in this part of their range. But should we worship brands? I don't think so and, if I were to worship a brand I use, it would be TEC, not Takahashi.

Olly

 

Edited by ollypenrice
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I've owned a Tak FC100-DL and a TMB/LZOS 130mm F/9.2 for getting on for five years now.

They are superb examples of refractors of their aperture - probably around as good as it gets and certainly the best optics that I've looked though.

Game changers ? Not for me.

It's nice to own and use them of course but my Skywatcher ED120 is not outclassed by them to any significant degree (which is why I still have it) and my 12 inch dobsonian (which cost less than any of my refractors) has consistently been the scope that has given me all my "firsts" and the biggest "wows" over the years.

I'm just an observer though. Maybe for imaging Tak's can do things that other scopes cannot ? :dontknow:

I don't regret spending the money on the Tak and the TMB/LZOS though. There is nothing like finding out for yourself :thumbright:

 

 

Edited by John
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Cant comment on the Esprit 80 or 100 as I've never owned or looked through one, also my experience is limited compared to some of our esteemed SGL members but was looking at upgrading my Tal 100rs.  When I reached the big 60 I decided that was a good enough reason and bought a Tak FC-100DL mainly from the positive recommendations on this forum.  Do I regret shelling out approx £2.5k....absolutely not, IMO It is a masterpiece of engineering, exquisite to look at and has given me the best views of the heavens so far! 

 

Edited by jock1958
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4 hours ago, scotty38 said:

I recently bought Johninderby's Stellamira and I know Hollyhound has one too and I have been reading the Tak FC100/76 threads with interest....

Is it possible to articulate what I'd see better/differently if I had an FC100 f7.4 side by side with the 80 ED f10? I'm particularly interested in how much brighter etc I'd see any given object due to the increased aperture and f ratio even if everything else "remains the same"

Thanks.....

Given I have recently compared my StellaMira 80mm f/10 side by side with my Tak FC-76DCU, I can make some comment on this, at least with regard to the moon (my now favourite viewing activity)...

The StellaMira is excellent, it provides superb, crisp, contrasty views and barely discernible CA at the edge of the moon. Having 800mm of focal length also means you can use lower power eyepieces to get the same magnification too. It also has a lovely rack and pinion long draw focuser with fine focus adjustment as standard. However, it is also almost 3x the weight of the FC-76DCU and significantly longer, so whilst it can be used on a lightweight mount (such as my ScopeTech Zero and Report tripod) and I have done so, it is nowhere near as convenient or usable. Previously I would have to carry the OTA and mount/tripod separately, but with the FC-76DCU, I leave the two as one unit and carry it out in one go. I've also been able to carry it around 1/4 mile into another field, with relative ease.

The Takahashi FC-76DCU does everything the StellaMira does, but it really does (to my eyes) provide just that extra edge in contrast on the moon (at the same magnification, so higher power eyepiece of course)... it's slight, but it is there. Couple that with the fact that it is just amazingly light and rebalancing (mainly when switching to 2" eyepieces) seems simpler and safer. Plus being f/7.4, you do get brighter and wider views when you need them. Against... it's more expensive, even as the basic OTA... factor in the extra for tube cradle (ignore the finder cost because it is optional and you can use others), fine focuser (either the Tak, FT or More Blue) and myriad of adaptors that you can purchase (however these are all optional if you use T2/Baader stuff) and it's almost twice the price!

Is the view twice as good... nope, but it is better, noticeably better and that along the lightweight usability, makes it worthwhile to me 😀

I do also have the FS-60CBU, which isn't as good as the StellaMira, on the moon, but then it's focal length is 355mm and it's 60mm of aperture... what it does do is give fantastic wide field views (mounted side by side with any other scope), or of course act as a super compact, ultra portable scope that can be packed and taken on almost any trip, without second thought. Push it's magnification and to be honest, it's getting pretty close to the StellaMira too.

I have the FC-100DC arriving tomorrow, ordered purely based on the quality increase and lightweight usability of the FC-76DCU, this I intend now to be my primary (non grab and go) scope on the AZ100, and barring some further testing and a (potential) change of heart, these three will now be replacing my StellaMira 80mm f/10, Mak 127, ST80 and (possibly) the StellaLyra CC6" (although not sure about this one, as it does have a significant aperture/focal length advantage). Are these scopes bad... no way, I've used and loved them all, but the StellaMira now gives me nothing extra (and is heavy), the Mak 127 I expect will be no better than the FC100 (plus takes a good while to cool down and dews up easily).

I haven't used other refractors (other than the ST80 and ST120), but I expect them to give superb views and do it for much better value, but (again for me), the slightly increased contrast/sharpness and lightweight usability just works 👍

Appearance wise (if it matters, though when they live mounted in your house/office, it may do), there is very little in it (see photos), but arguably white is a little easier to see in the dark, although the StellaMira does have a menacing, military look too 🤣

As they say though... YMMV 😀

 

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Edited by HollyHound
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30 minutes ago, John said:

and my 12 inch dobsonian (which cost less than any of my refractors) has consistently been the scope that has given me all my "firsts" and the biggest "wows" over the years.

I would second what John says here... for super impressive views of DSOs and indeed the moon, my 10" dob (at a 1/3rd of the price) outclasses all of them. However, I can't carry this across the farm or take it on holiday, and it does need a little while to cool 👍

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3 hours ago, HollyHound said:

.... However, I can't carry this across the farm or take it on holiday, and it does need a little while to cool 👍

Refractor brands other than Takahashi can be carried across farms as I understand it :smiley:

 

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15 minutes ago, John said:

Refractor brands other than Takahashi can be carried across farms as I understand it :smiley:

They can indeed... however at least with the Tak 76, both it and I would still be in good enough shape to actually do some observing when we got there 🤣

Edited by HollyHound
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9 hours ago, Jonny_H said:

I just wondered if the extra cost of the Tak in the example above gives you twice the quality and performance?

NO, it doesn't!

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Perhaps it’s not fair to comment, given I have never owned or even looked through a Tak, but all I can say that is when I looked at putting together a dual 6” APO rig for imaging I went with SW Esprit 150s based on a price/performance assessment from existing owners’ experiences posted here on SGL.

Looking on FLO I think the Tak equivalent is the TOA-150B, for the price of one OTA I have dual scopes with FFs, tube rings etc with a few £k left over, and that is at current post COVID prices...

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10 minutes ago, jetstream said:

And give the same views???:D

Oh come on !!!

They are just scopes like any other Gerry :rolleyes2:

Very nicely made, which is what you would expect for the price, but just scopes.

Olly had it right I reckon earlier in this thread:

"....should we worship brands? I don't think so...." :thumbright:

Taks used to be the butt of a few jokes on here years back - I'm thinking of opinions on "takahashi alley" at a certain star party.

I guess we will have the same when the next SGL star party can happen ? :icon_rolleyes:

I do hope not, frankly.

 

 

 

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