Jump to content


Photo

Review & Comparison of AP 130 GT & TEC 140

  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 Olivier Biot

Olivier Biot

    Amused

  • *****
  • Posts: 24946
  • Joined: 25 Apr 2005
  • Loc: 51°N (Belgium)

Posted 19 April 2012 - 04:25 PM

Review & Comparison of Astro-Physics 130 GT & TEC 140

By William Rison.

#2 Scott99

Scott99

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2890
  • Joined: 10 May 2007
  • Loc: New England

Posted 20 April 2012 - 10:19 AM

Wow, great article William! A lot of useful specs and information. Better than the websites of the manufacturers.

It looks like AP is really pumping out the 130's, at serial #336. Great to see a lot of them out there.

Also TEC's current scopes come with a metal collet, I think they addressed that issue a while ago.

#3 DLB242

DLB242

    Mr. Warmth

  • -----
  • Posts: 1297
  • Joined: 29 Jul 2008
  • Loc: Pen Argyl, PA

Posted 20 April 2012 - 04:23 PM

Well done and fair comparison of two fine scopes. It would be a hard choice if I had the money. However the "Little Kid" in me who wants it now and always opened the new toy in the car on the way home is still very much alive, would still opt for the TEC 140 due for the shorter wait.
:goodjob:

#4 johnnyha

johnnyha

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6500
  • Joined: 12 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA

Posted 20 April 2012 - 04:46 PM

Also TEC's current scopes come with a metal collet, I think they addressed that issue a while ago.


Aha that explains it. I just got TEC140 and the metal collet semms super strong, so I wasn't sure what William was referring to with his diagonal/31T5 rotating. :p [Hm. On second glance my collet looks exactly like the one in the photo. I'm pretty sure it's metal and it hold my binoviewers well so far. }

Brilliant review!

#5 Scott99

Scott99

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2890
  • Joined: 10 May 2007
  • Loc: New England

Posted 21 April 2012 - 01:02 PM

Also TEC's current scopes come with a metal collet, I think they addressed that issue a while ago.


Aha that explains it. I just got TEC140 and the metal collet semms super strong, so I wasn't sure what William was referring to with his diagonal/31T5 rotating. :p [Hm. On second glance my collet looks exactly like the one in the photo. I'm pretty sure it's metal and it hold my binoviewers well so far. }

Brilliant review!


I think the inside was plastic at some point, now metal, I'm sure the older ones can be upgraded, TEC is great about that stuff

#6 johnnyha

johnnyha

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6500
  • Joined: 12 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA

Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:05 PM

By the way I was just on the phone with Bob Luffel at Alpine Astro and when I told him I had just gotten a TEC140 he said he had one too, and had just gotten the AP130GT and had been comparing them quite a bit. I asked if he had seen the Cloudy Nights review and he said no. I asked him what were his conclusions and he said there was no contest - his TEC140 easily had a brighter, better image than his AP130GT. I told him the AP may have *just* edged out the TEC140 in the review and he was really surprised! Anyway it just shows that these two scopes are both so good a shootout can go either way.

#7 jrbarnett

jrbarnett

    Eyepiece Hooligan

  • *****
  • Posts: 20297
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Petaluma, CA

Posted 23 April 2012 - 06:40 PM

Or it could be that units from each manufacturer vary a bit. These are hand made goods, after all, and my suspicion is that they are all pretty good, but some of them are better than others of the same model from each manufacturer.

Regards,

Jim

#8 etsleds

etsleds

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 438
  • Joined: 14 Nov 2009

Posted 25 April 2012 - 11:41 AM

People likely are notice the 15% brightness difference differently. Kind of hard to imagine obviously "better" at this level...?

One thing I miss about the TEC 140 is the smooth rotatable collar coupled with the finder mount on the focuser itself, really a Feathertouch feature more than a special TEC one. The tube-mounted AP finder location puts the finder at a more comfortable distance, but the consistent position on the TEC is a pleasure as well.

#9 johnnyha

johnnyha

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6500
  • Joined: 12 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA

Posted 25 April 2012 - 03:16 PM

Or it could be that units from each manufacturer vary a bit. These are hand made goods, after all, and my suspicion is that they are all pretty good, but some of them are better than others of the same model from each manufacturer.

Regards,

Jim

Totally agree Jim, although with scopes of this caliber and with this level of quality control any kind of noticeable optical difference between units would have to be rare. It happens - apparently TEC140 #18 had noticeable color problems and when sent back to TEC for testing showed something amiss with the color curves, and the lens was immediately replaced. :waytogo:

#10 jrbarnett

jrbarnett

    Eyepiece Hooligan

  • *****
  • Posts: 20297
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Petaluma, CA

Posted 25 April 2012 - 03:59 PM

True. And Astro-Physics has slipped through a few duds over the years, too.

Vahe or Phil Wheeler (can't remember which, but if I went through the SAA archives I could probably find it) had optics issues with a new A-P scope that were corrected by the maker.

Regards,

Jim

#11 Scott in NC

Scott in NC

    80mm Refractor Fanatic

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 15652
  • Joined: 05 Mar 2005
  • Loc: NC

Posted 25 April 2012 - 07:52 PM

Very nice review! I really liked the "side-by-side" two-column format. :bow:

#12 johnnyha

johnnyha

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6500
  • Joined: 12 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA

Posted 26 April 2012 - 01:34 AM

Also TEC's current scopes come with a metal collet, I think they addressed that issue a while ago.


Aha that explains it. I just got TEC140 and the metal collet semms super strong, so I wasn't sure what William was referring to with his diagonal/31T5 rotating. :p

Well after playing with my new TEC140 for almost a week first of all I'm pretty sure mine does not have a metal sleeve inside the collet, it looks more like some kind of plastic. And second William although I have not had a 31T5 rotate yet, I definitely see the possibility if one gets careless. Even with the collet cranked down tight I can grasp the diagonal firmly and rotate it either way with a moderate amount of force. I understand the new TEC focusers have addressed this problem. I'm not taking any chances, I ordered the Starlight adapter and the AP triple-thumbscrew back.

#13 andydj5xp

andydj5xp

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1409
  • Joined: 27 May 2004
  • Loc: 52.269 N/10.571 E

Posted 26 April 2012 - 06:12 AM

Even with the collet cranked down tight I can grasp the diagonal firmly and rotate it either way with a moderate amount of force.



This applies to my #216 as well. But for me it's more an advantage than a problem.

With lunar observations I often have a weird optical illusion of "reversed" features. Craters look like shallow hills and mountains look like peculiar grabens. AFIK, I'm not the only one reporting about this.

After quite some experiments I've found a simple solution: the illumination of the lunar surface has to come from the side or from above, but NOT from below. This effect even can be simulated when looking at moon pics. If I'm now turning the diagonal and at the same time moving around a bit I always succeed to position the terminator at least perpendicularly. This little trick almost always eliminates the optical illusion.

With the plastic collet the diagonal with the eyepiece can be secured adequately safe, and at the same time the not completely locked grip enables the turning of both within the focuser.

Therefore, I deliberately refrained from modifying the collet.

Andreas

#14 johnnyha

johnnyha

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6500
  • Joined: 12 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA

Posted 26 April 2012 - 02:58 PM

I use the focuser rotater to rotate the diagonal position. What a smooth piece of machinery! The problem is when more weight is loaded on, there could be a sudden lurch and the whole thing rotates down with potentially disastrous results. I think you are right though it doesn't seem like it could lurch free, it seems to be gripped pretty firm even when rotating.

#15 johnnyha

johnnyha

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6500
  • Joined: 12 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA

Posted 30 April 2012 - 07:14 PM

Well I can report the TEC collet works really well for visual use, the diagonal/eyepiece can be rotated when tightened into the collet but not easily, only slowly and deliberately, and it requires a very firm rotation. I don't feel any chance of things lurching suddenly. I did get the AP adapter with three thumbscrews for heavier loads, it's a hefty bit of metal! Does add about 1/2" of backfocus. :cool:

Attached Files








Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics