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Taks - worth the premium over other brands?


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2 hours ago, jetstream said:

My point of reference is observing with both scopes mounted on the AZEQ6 and equalized. It doesnt matter when you know what scope your looking at when one takes unlimited mag on the moon and the other goes soft around 350x +/-. On faint nebula its closer but the TSA still comes out ahead contrast wise.

I was observing the moon the other day using the TSA120/Zeiss prism diag and a barlowed Vixen 2.4mm HR... sharp as a razor.  Maybe some SW120ED are better? I don't know.

A Vixen SD103S can take just just under 500x, with a HR 1.6 mm and Zeiss diagonal prims.

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17 minutes ago, rkelley8493 said:

Check this out.. This cellphone capture is from last fall [Oct-Nov] with 4.5 Delos + 2x Powermate in FC-100DF. Magnification is 329x.

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What point are you making? I genuinely don't know.

Olly

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Posted (edited)

My point is you can use extremely high magnification in this scope with hardly any chromatic aberration or image breakdown.

The last few posts were mentioning powers over 200x and 350x, so I was simply showing an illustrated example.

Edited by rkelley8493
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20 minutes ago, rkelley8493 said:

My point is you can use extremely high magnification in this scope with hardly any chromatic aberration or image breakdown.

What I see in your image contradicts your statement.

Anyway, back to topic...

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The colour shown in the image of Mars is from the cell phone camera and not the FC100, and the softness is atmospheric. Quite a nice image considering its from a mobile phone and at such magnification. 

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2 hours ago, Deadlake said:

A Vixen SD103S can take just just under 500x, with a HR 1.6 mm and Zeiss diagonal prims.

Yes, there must be many refractors capable of this-you have set a high bar for your 130mm LZOS!😀

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My two cents, thanks, you can buy a whole slew of refractors which at any one point in time will show you an image just as nice as any comparable sized Tak next to it. When I say Tak specifically I actually mean premium scopes like APM LZOS, astrophysics, etc, these are premium names and they’re all towering examples of scopes. Why do we pay for these names? materials, methods, reliability, pedigree. All the same reasons one pays for any premium product, any, you’ll never wonder if you got a “good one” with names like these, they’re just what they should be, top performing scopes and it’s what you’ll get every time. 
 

sure there are less expensive names which perform fantastic and, you may not see the difference at the eyepiece at any one point in time, but where these scopes separate themselves is over time, temperatures, being used over years upon years, the premium scope do what they should do in plus 30 and minus 30. 

So, one doesn’t have to pay for a premium scope to see a beautiful image, but peace of mind that you have the best and it will always be the best does cost a premium price.

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5 hours ago, Deadlake said:

A Vixen SD103S can take just just under 500x, with a HR 1.6 mm and Zeiss diagonal prims.

I think that tells you all you really need to know about how good your optics are. Except its nice to push things into the realms of the rediculous, just for the fun of it, which is what I did with my FC100DZ.  While observing a close double using my 1.6mm HR, I wondered how the scope would handle a 2X barlow being thrown into the mix? Honestly, I must have checked I had the 1.6mm HR and not the 3.4mm in the barlow at least three times, as the star images were simply exquisite.  In the DZ the 1.6 + 2× barlow gave 1000X, ( the mount was a driven GP). Whats the point other than for fun? Well if a scope gives textbook star images at 500X  let alone 1000X, you can be pretty certain its at the top of the hill.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, mikeDnight said:

The colour shown in the image of Mars is from the cell phone camera and not the FC100, and the softness is atmospheric. Quite a nice image considering its from a mobile phone and at such magnification. 

Thanks for the support, Mike! Nice to hear from you. 👋 😀

To add, the cursed lens shield on the camera is cracked, and it's a hand held photo. I try to capture what I observe with my cellphone, but taking a picture of an image with a flawed camera is never going to reproduce the actual image. Sort of like making a copy of a copy; it never comes out as good as the original. Maybe I should've shown my Luna-pics instead of Mars through a cruddy atmosphere.  

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/694006-post-your-cell-phone-or-smart-phone-lunar-image-here/?p=10828247

Edited by rkelley8493
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7 hours ago, mikeDnight said:

I think that tells you all you really need to know about how good your optics are. Except its nice to push things into the realms of the rediculous, just for the fun of it, which is what I did with my FC100DZ.  While observing a close double using my 1.6mm HR, I wondered how the scope would handle a 2X barlow being thrown into the mix? Honestly, I must have checked I had the 1.6mm HR and not the 3.4mm in the barlow at least three times, as the star images were simply exquisite.  In the DZ the 1.6 + 2× barlow gave 1000X, ( the mount was a driven GP). Whats the point other than for fun? Well if a scope gives textbook star images at 500X  let alone 1000X, you can be pretty certain its at the top of the hill.

I was using this for looking at the moon so no trouble with brightness. Also needs a goto mount as even manual mount with slo mo controls shakes to much to focus. I suspect we look at Strehl to much, RMS and PV also should be considered, quality of the figuring..

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13 hours ago, Mr Spock said:

What I see in your image contradicts your statement.

Anyway, back to topic...

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 premium manufacturers make equally good kit so it’s good to have choice. For me, the main appeal of Taks are their lovely fluorite doublets like the DC which are lightweight, cool quickly and easy to transport yet give tremendous images for lunar, solar, doubles and widefield deep sky. There aren’t many scopes that have that same combination. They don’t defy the laws of physics, but are excellent scopes in my opinion.

No need for Tak worship or Tak bashing as far as I’m concerned, you pays your money and you makes your choice.

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14 hours ago, rkelley8493 said:

Check this out.. This cellphone capture is from last fall [Oct-Nov] with 4.5 Delos + 2x Powermate in FC-100DF. Magnification is 329x

For a phone pic this is a real belter. Loads of recognisable surface features on display. Classic blue top and red bottom is atmospheric dispersion. Little soft due to it being a single image (?)but if lucky imaging could be used with that set up it could be much sharper. Very impressive for 4" 

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I recently returned an ‘other’ brand triplet and replaced it with a premium brand triplet.

I’m not a visual observer, purely imaging. It was very obvious there was a difference in image quality. Such a difference will always be present and always noticeable when imaging and for that reason the premium brand cost was justifiable.  The only downside is now I can see problems eg CA in my MPCC that I was oblivious too in the past. 

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2 hours ago, dweller25 said:

Just to upset all you refractophiles…….

My Skywatcher 10” Newtonian gave way better planetary views than my FS128 😱

A well figured, well collimated substantially larger reflector (including RCs and Cass's) should always be able to provide better views than a smaller refractor.   I don't think this should be in doubt.  Unfortunately because of their general size and that is easier to make good reflectors relatively cheaply means that there is a general dearth of premium reflectors on the market (both from an optical and mechanical standpoint). 

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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 the first page. 

My own perspective as a Tak owner: I had a TOA-150 which I loved. Long before I got it, a Tak for me was an aspirational thing - my wife would say obsessional. I've have had many scopes in the 45+ years I've been actively into astronomy, but never a Tak. I knew it was something I wanted to try. I liked the reports of looking through them, the images taken with them, the perception that in terms of quality it didn't get much better (note, not "THE BEST" - which is subjective and impossible to determine - but at least, up there among the best, which I would argue is at least less debatable - but read on). And I liked the appearance and the engineering of the instruments - not necessarily because it was better than any other brand - it was just an aesthetic that appealed to me - and why not; this is a hobby - if some people enjoy looking at as well as through, then that's just fine. Some people spend serious money putting paintings on their wall, I find equal artistic merit in a well engineered and nicely designed telescope.

So when I reached the time of life that provided some disposable income, I scratched the itch and bought a TOA-150. It didn't disappoint. Did I do a quality-per-£ analysis when it arrived? No, I just knew that I was happy with the views and images it gave me; it lived up to my expectations, and I did not regret the money I'd spent.

But I was  curious to see how it stacked against my other telescopes. After a couple of years of just enjoying the Tak, I decided it would be interesting to do some side-by-side comparisons with my other 'scopes, particularly a C11, Edge 14 and a Wave 80. In each case the TOA was mounted side-by-side with the other OTA so I could do simultaneous observations, with eyepieces selected to give similar image scales. On the whole I did this privately - I posted one comparison image, but this was really about satisfying my own curiosity - I had no interest in "proving" how good the Tak was, or by implication denigrating other makes.

The outcome? As I explained to my wife, there was absolutely no way I could justify the cost of the Tak based on the performance I saw, from my site in the midlands of the UK. I could have bought all of my other scopes, for less than the price of the TOA. I'm not talking about the fundamental differences due to focal length, aperture or SCT vs refractor - those "3 inch Tak Beats 20" Plane Wave" posts are utterly pointless. I'm just talking about general experience. Yes, the Tak showed pin-sharp images - so did the Wave 80. Yes, the SCT showed fatter stars.... so did the Tak when I pushed the magnification up to the same level - but the SCT was brighter. Yes the deep sky images I obtained were somehow "more aesthetically pleasing" (to me) than the ones I got from my SCT. But so were the Wave 80 images - again, I think more to do with shorter focal length than optical quality.

Was there a slight "edge" to the Tak? Possibly - and if I was observing from a world-class site with excellent seeing I might have managed to determine that more precisely. But that wasn't the point. If I was using rather than comparing then I would have been every bit as happy with the images coming from the other 'scopes, as I was from the Tak.

So in a sense I did end up doing a cost-benefit analysis, and for me, the cost of the Tak could not be justified on performance grounds.

As some on this forum will know, I sold my TOA-150 because of a coating issue that developed (much later). What did I do, knowing the outcome of that analysis? I replaced it with a TOA-150B - despite, and because of, all the points above. 

Once upon a time the gap between Tak (and similar "high end" makes such as AP), and other manufacturers was much wider, and the quality improvement that came with the price premium was much more distinct. But times have changed - the quality of optics coming from China is getting better and better. I've never looked through an Esprit 150, but looking at sites such as AstroBin - or posts from people here on SGL, suggests that the optical quality of the Esprit is in the same class, such that any noticeable differences are more likely due to seeing, processing, tracking, than intrinsic optical performance. I spoke to a professional optical expert who has worked on both makes (and on my first TOA), and his view of the optical quality of the Esprit seemed to be in agreement.

Bottom line: I don't believe you will ever be able to justify a Tak on a cold, objective, cost-performance basis - not today. And perhaps as a consequence, the aspirational nature of the Takahashi brand is becoming less distinct and more challenged with time. You earn your money, and  spend it on the things you want. If you decide to pay the premium for a Tak over similarly specified telescopes from other manufacturers, you should be clear that you do it for one reason only - because you want one.

N

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5 hours ago, dweller25 said:

Just to upset all you refractophiles…….

My Skywatcher 10” Newtonian gave way better planetary views than my FS128 😱

I'll give you thirty bob for your 128 David! Possibly a tad more if need be!! You know reflectors are best!!!

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, mikeDnight said:

I'll give you thirty bob for your 128 David! Possibly a tad more if need be!! You know reflectors are best!!!

Good as the Newt was I sold it to keep the FS128, KEEP being the operative word 😁

Edited by dweller25
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6 hours ago, dweller25 said:

Just to upset all you refractophiles…….

My Skywatcher 10” Newtonian gave way better planetary views than my FS128 😱

:huh2:

A standard mass produced SW dob?!!

Seriously!!

Better than all that Canon glass?!

:grin:

 

ps thanks for that advice years ago when I was searching for the holy grail of planetary telescopes-and yes- my VX10 still gives better views than my smaller scopes :hiding:

and I'm serious about the advice.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, dweller25 said:

Good as the Newt was I sold it to keep the FS128, KEEP being the operative word 😁

Just a thought- I'll trade you my VX 10/Ethos for your FS128?

:grin:

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4 minutes ago, jetstream said:

:huh2:

A standard mass produced SW dob?!!

Seriously!!

Better than all that Canon glass?!

:grin:

 

ps thanks for that advice years ago when I was searching for the holy grail of planetary telescopes-and yes- my VX10 still gives better views than my smaller scopes :hiding:

and I'm serious about the advice.

 

 

 

That’s the scary thing Gerry. My Orion Optics 8” f8 shows better planetary images than the FC100DC, and the Heritage 150p beat the Vixen Fluorite on Zeta Herc. I know this, so why do I keep the fracs? No idea, but there is some irrational part of me which makes me do it. I guess it comes down to the fact that I enjoy owning and using them, and aesthetically the views make my little heart sing. So, I know their limitations but love them despite that.

In defence of the FC100DC, I still think it is an unbeatable package of portability, use ability and capability, and any other ‘ility’ you care to throw at it. It’s not just about performance ie I’m sure it doesn’t have that much over a 100ED, but is shorter, easier to transport and can give wider field views as well as the high power.

I’ll shut up now. 🤪🤪🤪🤣🤣🤣

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1 minute ago, Stu said:

I know this, so why do I keep the fracs?

I love my refractors too, they do offer a superb, "pure" view of things.  I really do like this Tak TSA120 and for me its all I desire from refractor world.

5 hours ago, Stu said:

They don’t defy the laws of physics, but are excellent scopes in my opinion.

No need for Tak worship or Tak bashing as far as I’m concerned, you pays your money and you makes your choice.

I really like this ^^

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