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FSQ-106EDXIII F5 Astrograph for Imaging

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#1 mmalik

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 08:28 PM

A lot seems to have transpired with the big little scope from Takahashi, FSQ-106EDX. I thought it will be worthwhile to have a dedicated discussion around ordering/adapting/using/enhancing this scope for imaging, especially DSLR imaging.

ED Models:
•FSQ-106ED........................(Old)
•FSQ-106ED New “Q”............[with ‘Captain’s Wheel’]
FSQ-106EDX (I, II, III)......[without ‘Captain’s Wheel’]

Note: Discussion is more about FSQ-106EDXIII; also would like to know more about I, II, III specs and other details/differences. Pictures of your imaging setup & experience with adapting the ‘III’ to your needs are welcome!

Pictures Links:
Comparison of old FSQ and New "Q"...
FSQ-106EDXIII...

Here is a relevant quote from OPT... “Remember, the "EDX" version of the FSQ-106ED is the same as the "New Q", but comes with different adapters so that you can attach a camera rotator out of the box. This adapter cuts out 25mm of back focus (178mm vs 153mm) making the EDX much more suitable to photographic use. Adapters for visual use are available.”

Relevant Specs of 106EDX:
•Modified Four Element Double ED Petzval
•‘Reduced’ 153mm back-focus
•88mm image circle
•Accepts new F3.6 focal reducer
•Built-in camera adjuster capable of lifting up to 11 pounds
•4” rack and pinion focuser
•NO ‘Captain’s Wheel’
•530mm FL, f/5


To kick off the discussion, following are some relevant quotes from the DSLR forum....

Few questions:

@hytham, what’s the difference between FSQ-106EDX and FSQ-106ED?


The EDX is modified for imaging purposes.

The EDX comes with a built in CAA which reduces the amount of back-focus from 178mm to 153mm allowing you to attach a variety of adapters to suit your imaging needs, but does not have the captain's wheel or visual accessories associated with the FSQ-106ED. The purpose was to eliminate any potential flexure in the imaging train with the new casting design and increase the maximum supported weight.


Thanks for the info; couple more questions:

1. Is there any difference between EDXIII & EDX?
2. Is CC/FF still needed with EDX?
3. How good is the focuser on EDX; can/should it be upgraded to Feather Touch, if yes which one exactly?

If you can post a pic of your EDX, especially the back-end setup, that will be great. Thx


To answer your questions:

1) Yes. Heavier casting design for larger imaging trains. The ED, EDX(I,II,III) can all be used visually, but the progression (again from research and what I have been told) from I - III is the support of larger imaging trains. The III can support 5kg (11 lbs). They're all the same cost, so why not go with the EDX III imaging system instead of the ED was my thought.

2) From the images I have seen produced with it. No. The optics from the ED to the EDXIII are still the same. The quadruplet is supposed to eliminate coma and creates an impeccable flat field right out to the edge of the viewing/imaging area - it's crazy sharp. After using it at a friend’s house to try it out for myself, I was amazed by the beautiful quality of the optics and how clean it was. That is what convinced me to get one. The quality of glass and engineering.

3) No need, IMO. It comes with a 10:1 focusing system that is very smooth with great precision. Those that do upgrade it, want to motorize with the Starizona system whereas the Robofocus can also provide you with the necessary precision with the stock focuser. IMO, it's a matter of subjectivity.

Here are some photos of another individual's set up which is going to be very close to what I will have. Mine is in transit (should be here this week) and don't have all the necessary gear - still deciding on CCD and need to buy the right parts to connect the DSLR.

Link...



#2 mikeschuster

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:58 AM

I love my FSQ, but nothing is perfect. A bahtinov mask is a nice tool for checking FSQ image quality. Spend a night slewing the tube across the sky and use the mask to check for collimation, focuser draw tube flexure and defocus as the night cools. Poorly collimated FSQ's may need a trip to the factory. Draw tube flexure can be a problem with heavy loads. Temperature dependent focus is an issue for long narrowband exposures.
Mike

#3 mmalik

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 01:19 AM

Mike, can you confirm your model? I presume it is NOT 'Q' or, the focus of this discussion, 'X', correct? Thx

#4 mikeschuster

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 01:25 AM

It's a FSQ-106EDXIII. A pic: http://mschuster.zen...p1360108636.png

#5 mmalik

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:04 AM

Thanks Mike; I am not an owner of 106EDXIII, hence the curiosity to know more about ‘em. I am a bit puzzled to hear about flexure & collimation if that’s the case since that goes counter to the very reason for the new design of 106EDXIII in my opinion. Please elaborate if you like, i.e., your experiences. Regards

#6 tomcody

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:44 AM

Thanks Mike; I am not an owner of 106EDXIII, hence the curiosity to know more about ‘em. I am a bit puzzled to hear about flexure & collimation if that’s the case since that goes counter to the very reason for the new design of 106EDXIII in my opinion. Please elaborate if you like, i.e., your experiences. Regards

Which model do you own? and what are you trying to learn about the FSQ 106 with this thread?

One correction, the first FSQ 106 was know as "FSQ106" (with a fixed dew shield), followed by the FSQ106N (with a sliding dew shield), both of those models featured florite lenes unlike the newer ED models and both original models featured the same 4" focuser as on the TOA 130 and 150.
In an effort to add additional available in focus, the newer FSQ ED's featured a new smaller focuser (which as you can read has been the topic of many threads regarding focuser problems) In my opinion, Takahashi took a step in the wrong direction with the new focuser, just to add more in focus to the scope and for dubious value as the original FSQ will accommodate the largest FLI camera/filter wheel and Atlas focuser, so all that was gained was the ability to use bino viewers at lower magnification on the New Q, ( I can use binos on my FSQ106N with a barlow or GPC just fine).

Any of the versions of the FSQ will work well with the weight of a DSLR, some people are hanging over 18lbs of camera/filter wheel/focuser on FSQ's and that's where the focuser problems come in, not from light DSLR's.
If you get (don't already have one?) a FSQ, you will need a T adapter for the DSLR and an adapter to mate it with the scope ( the system charts can help you with that) also as the DSLR only uses about 55mm of back focus, you may want a spacer to eat up some of the extra back focus, (Tak has both threaded and slip fit adapters in 72mm or 2" both about 2" long.
Rex

#7 hytham

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:32 AM

The only issues I have heard of flexure is when individuals exceeded the weight limitation as stated by the manufacturer OR using an older model FSQ.

#8 hytham

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:33 AM

Ok I lied ... here's one on the EDX III

http://www.cloudynig...5352668/Main...

#9 mikeschuster

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:52 PM

Thanks Mike; I am not an owner of 106EDXIII, hence the curiosity to know more about ‘em. I am a bit puzzled to hear about flexure & collimation if that’s the case since that goes counter to the very reason for the new design of 106EDXIII in my opinion. Please elaborate if you like, i.e., your experiences. Regards


The four lenses in the FSQ function as one unit, each doublet compensates for the aberrations of the other. This compensation gives high image quality, but it makes the system very sensitive to lens spacing, decentering and tilt. My newly purchased FSQ arrived decollimated, it was replaced with a new tube. Good service from TNR! The new one has much better collimation, absolutely fine for imaging, but not perfect. Star testing my 20 year old Genesis gives rounder airy rings.

With my 3 pound camera load, focuser flexure is minimal. I sometimes see a small focus shift after a slew and flip across the meridian. The focuser draw tube, lock and CAA all can be tightened if flexure is a problem. I may eventually replace the focuser entirely with a fixed tube and an FLI Atlas. Electronic focusing and the increase in stiffness will be nice to have.

Mike

#10 alocky

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:47 PM

Hi guys - I'll chime in on the temperature compensation front. Out here in the desert of Western Australia we get a large temperature change during the night, and I find that I need to refocus every 20 minutes. I attached a robofocus system to my FSQ and timed it to compensate for temp every 10 minutes (in between subs), and have not had a problem since.
I use a bahtinov mask to set focus, then start the compensation.
As for collimating - I draw the line at a doublet. Fortunately during one of the 'deliberate' subs I took with the bahtinov still in place I got a chance to see how flat the field on a full frame chip actually is.
Cheers,
Andrew.

#11 mikeschuster

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:38 PM

Andrew, thanks for the info. I have gotten good at predicting how much focus changes during my 40 minute Ha subs. So I split the change by purposely defocusing by half the expected change at the start of each sub. My goal is to get perfect focus to happen at the middle of the sub. Of course I can't predict the change with great accuracy, sometimes temp changes in strange and abrupt ways, up or down, but this hack helps in my opinion. With the Atlas I hope to be able to change focus during the sub, by monitoring a probe attached to the tube, or by monitoring camera cooler power, which seems to track temp also.
Mike

#12 hytham

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:19 PM

I'm curious ... Is it at all possible to remove the stock focuser entirely and replace it with another or are you limited to stacking a secondary focuser on to the stock one?

#13 mmalik

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:25 PM

@mikeschuster: Spend a night slewing the tube across the sky and use the mask to check for collimation, focuser draw tube flexure...


@tomcody: Which model do you own? And what are you trying to learn about the FSQ 106 with this thread?

...the newer FSQ ED's featured a new smaller focuser (which as you can read has been the topic of many threads regarding focuser problems) In my opinion, Takahashi took a step in the wrong direction with the new focuser, just to add more in focus to the scope and for dubious value...


@hytham: The only issues I have heard of flexure is when individuals exceeded the weight limitation as stated by the manufacturer OR using an older model FSQ.


@hytham: Ok I lied ... here's one on the EDX III

http://www.cloudynig...5352668/Main...


@mikeschuster: My newly purchased FSQ arrived de-collimated; it was replaced with a new tube. Good service from TNR! The new one has much better collimation, absolutely fine for imaging, but not perfect…
With my 3 pound camera load, focuser flexure is minimal. I sometimes see a small focus shift after a slew and flip across the meridian.


Thanks everyone for your feedback!

I was mainly looking to know specifically EDXIII little better so maybe I could look into investing in one for wide angle DSLR astro imaging. To tell you the truth, I had high hopes to hear praises for the new EDXIII design but those hopes have plateaued a bit after listening to you folks.

It wouldn’t be wrong to presume focuser is weak; with that said, what are the alternatives? Is there a Feather Touch focuser that could be adapted to EDXIII? Although one would hate to do that on $5K+ scope. I wonder if Jesse... resolved his flexure problem, will send him an IM? My encounters with other Taks... have not been pleasing to say the least in flexure domain, like others'....

About collimation, how prevalent is that problem in EDXIII? Yikes!

Also would like to know what are good vendors besides OPT for EDXIII? What is TNR?

#14 mmalik

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:31 PM

One correction, the first FSQ 106 was known as "FSQ106" (with a fixed dew shield), followed by the FSQ106N (with a sliding dew shield), both of those models featured fluorite lenses unlike the newer ED models and both original models featured the same 4" focuser as on the TOA 130 and 150.


Rex, I have updated my first post to reflect ONLY 'ED' line-up; does it look good now? Thx

#15 hytham

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:49 PM

TNR = Texas Nautical Repair

#16 tomcody

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 10:23 AM

I was mainly looking to know specifically EDXIII little better so maybe I could look into investing in one for wide angle DSLR astro imaging. To tell you the truth, I had high hopes to hear praises for the new EDXIII design but those hopes have plateaued a bit after listening to you folks.

It wouldn’t be wrong to presume focuser is weak; with that said, what are the alternatives? Is there a Feather Touch focuser that could be adapted to EDXIII? Although one would hate to do that on $5K+ scope.
About collimation, how prevalent is that problem in EDXIII? Yikes!

Also would like to know what are good vendors besides OPT for EDXIII? What is TNR?

For your needs i.e. DSLR imaging, the FSQ106ED (with captain's wheel) would be fine. I doubt that the focuser would ever give you any problems with that little weight on it and the captain's wheel gives you the option of full 178mm in focus for bino viewers ( and it is a great! scope for viewing with), if you want to use the scope visually. The FSQ106EDXIII is over kill for your needs and would just add weight to the imaging package.
One thing to know regarding quality ( namely focuser shift and collimination) is that the scope (if bought new) carries a five year warrantee by TNR, BUT only to the original purchaser. So if quality concerns you? buy new and have five years of coverage!
Rex
P.S. TNR is the US distributor for Takahashi and does all the warrantee work on them.
Also Astronomics is a good Takahashi dealer and the sponsor of the forum you are reading!

#17 Bowmoreman

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:21 PM

I've had NO issues with the stock (4") focuser on my 2 year old FSQ106ED... it's load is a QSI583WS with loaded filter wheel...

No sag, no miscollimation, no nuthin... in fact, I haven't even had the camera OFF the scope, nor done anything other than minor tweaking of focus (I use Robofocus for remote, motorized focusing) during that entire time.

I've never once noticed any miscollimation, or anything other than perfectly flat, seeing-limited, stars...

BTW: my TOA130 has the same 4" focuser, and there's no sag when using it visually, even when loaded out with my Denkmeir II's and power switch - a heavy and long "moment arm"... again, no issues.

The solidity of the Tak's is one of the reason I chose them.

#18 hytham

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 03:04 PM

I've had NO issues with the stock (4") focuser on my 2 year old FSQ106ED... it's load is a QSI583WS with loaded filter wheel...

No sag, no miscollimation, no nuthin... in fact, I haven't even had the camera OFF the scope, nor done anything other than minor tweaking of focus (I use Robofocus for remote, motorized focusing) during that entire time.

I've never once noticed any miscollimation, or anything other than perfectly flat, seeing-limited, stars...

BTW: my TOA130 has the same 4" focuser, and there's no sag when using it visually, even when loaded out with my Denkmeir II's and power switch - a heavy and long "moment arm"... again, no issues.

The solidity of the Tak's is one of the reason I chose them.


This.

Though the only experience I have had directly with them is whilst using my close friend's unit, all of the issues I have seen/heard have been very limited to older units and very, very few new units. I question their set up and the factors that could have lead to it (heavy imaging trains ... etc), but I never rule out a small number of units that may have been missed by QA.

I'm thankfully using a very light set up (ATIK 460EX [400g], and an ATIK EFW2 with 1.25" filter [500g], and a DSLR) so sag is not a concern for me as the overall weight will not exceed 2.5lbs on the stock focuser.

My beef is that the warranty is non-transferable. That really ticks me off because it should be granted if we can prove how the item was shipped and adhered to their 2-day air transport.

#19 Denimsky

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 03:32 PM

I've had NO issues with the stock (4") focuser on my 2 year old FSQ106ED... it's load is a QSI583WS with loaded filter wheel...

No sag, no miscollimation, no nuthin... in fact, I haven't even had the camera OFF the scope, nor done anything other than minor tweaking of focus (I use Robofocus for remote, motorized focusing) during that entire time.

I've never once noticed any miscollimation, or anything other than perfectly flat, seeing-limited, stars...

BTW: my TOA130 has the same 4" focuser, and there's no sag when using it visually, even when loaded out with my Denkmeir II's and power switch - a heavy and long "moment arm"... again, no issues.

The solidity of the Tak's is one of the reason I chose them.


Problem is that not everybody is lucky like you. I think that it is matter of consistency. Many people had problems with Tak focusers as you see from the other thread that I started.

#20 bilgebay

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 04:39 PM

I am one of the lucky ones and I am sorry to hear about your problem. I wouldn't expect the Tak QC to be that inconsistent :(

Compared to my FT focusers, my FSQ's stock focuser is not buttery smooth when I move it with the large knob but it has almost the same FT feel on the smaller knob. I am not aware of any draw tube sagging so far. I had the opportunity to use both a friend's Captain Wheel version and my own EDXIII at the same time and make comparisons. Neither of the scopes exhibited any problems regarding the focuser.

Posted Image

Hires photo

Posted Image

Hires photo

Posted Image

Hires photo

Posted Image

Hires photo

Some guys are real lucky, huh ? :lol:

The above photos show the scopes configured to be coupled to Canon DSLRs.

The heaviest equipment I have tested on them so far is the QSI683WSG-8 which is approx 1.6 kilos. Therefore I cannot speak for heavier equipment owners.

Hope this helps

#21 hytham

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:16 PM

Thanks for posting, Sedat!

#22 bilgebay

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 01:10 AM


•‘Reduced’ 153mm back-focus


This can be changed easily. It is possible to remove the CAA and regain the backfocus distance lost due to this. If you really have to rotate your FOV, you can do this by rotating the scope within the clamshell.

#23 D. Perry

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 02:21 AM

Hi mmalik,

I wouldn't worry too much about the collimation and focuser issues mentioned here. There are hundreds in the market and only a handful have experienced issues. With an APS-C DSLR you'll get nowhere near the focuser's weight capacity and if there was a slight out-of-square issue, you probably wouldn't notice it on that 22mm imaging diagonal.

This leads me to the question... What camera do you intend to use? If it's any model with an APS-size sensor, I think you're way overdoing it with an FSQ. Most of the large corrected field will go wasted on an APS chip. I think you'd be perfectly happy with a TEC or similar APO with a field flattener and FT focuser. If, on the otherhand, you'll be using a full-size chip (44mm diagonal measurement), the FSQ is hard to beat. It's an amazing astrograph. Yes, the focus will shift with temperature changes but so will every metal tube refractor. And the focuser sag really only comes into play with those who are using filter wheels and heavy cameras like FLI's ProLine.

I've been very happy with my FSQ-106EDX-III. For a fast, 4-inch, highly-corrected imaging scope, there really isn't anything better on the market today. And it's quite versatile, being able to go shorter, longer, and used for visual. But as I mentioned earlier, it's a lot of scope price-wise, and possibly more than an APS DSLR user needs. Also, remember that besides the price of the scope, you'll need to spend a few hundred more for camera adapters, tube rings, and mounting plates.

Here's an image of mine in action (or, getting ready for action):

http://www.californi...y-ap900-fsq.jpg

Best,

#24 mmalik

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 05:02 AM

Thanks hytham/Rex/David/Donghun/Sedat/Daniel

Sedat, thanks for your pics, they look great.

Daniel, your mount/scope setup is simply immaculate; can't think of anything better. Setup I am contemplating will be quite nominal with a 60Da DSLR and auto-guiding, with possible upgrade to a full-frame DSLR. If you don't mind, I would like to embed the image of your setup instead of just a link. What kind of off-axis guider you are using?

While we are on the subject, I would like hear from folks about off-axis guider options for a typical FSQ106EDXIII+DSLR+ST-i/Lodestar kind of setup.

Everyone, I think most of us understand the sporadicity (I made the word) of focuser flexure; and I think most of us also understand the importance of Takahashi recognizing that it IS a problem regardless.

No one has mentioned yet if FSQ106EDXIII can be adapted to a Feather Touch focuser; not that one would want to replace the original focuser, I am just wondering if it is even possible and if there is a Feather Touch Focuser that meets the specs?

About...

TNR = Texas Nautical Repair = Takahashi America = http://www.takahashiamerica.com

Does above look correct? Is TNR just a distributor or actual Takahashi company in the US with the clout to address equipment re-design issues and NOT just the repairs/warranties? Is TNR a vendor on CN and/or have they ever chimed in on such issues?

#25 mmalik

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 05:40 AM

@tomcody: Captain's wheel gives you the option of full 178mm in focus...




•‘Reduced’ 153mm back-focus


This can be changed easily. It is possible to remove the CAA and regain the back-focus distance lost due to this. If you really have to rotate your FOV, you can do this by rotating the scope within the clamshell.


Captain's Wheel ('Q') vs. Without Wheel ('X' III) ?

Would like to know which one is best option for following two DLSR setups:

1. DSLR+2"Adapter+LPS [+OAG+Reducer]
2. DSLR+2"TeleVue 2.0x Powermate [+OAG]

#2 adds significant back-focus and possibly weight; I am wondering if NO Wheel ('X' III) will be limiting for that kind of back-focus; has anyone tried #2 option with 'NO Wheel' model?

Pictures of both setups below…

1. DSLR+2"Adapter+LPS (This I know isn't a problem)
Posted Image

2. DSLR+2"TeleVue 2.0x Powermate
Components:
Posted Image

Assembled: (This one adds significant back-focus; not sure if NO Wheel ('X' III) will allow such tolerance?)
Posted Image






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