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Astro-Physics the Best Brand?

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#101 Joe Aguiar

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 03:54 PM

for me the name is tak and no other however I have yet to own one as I would like a 130 toa but don't have the funds but maybe one day
joe

#102 Kunama

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 03:55 PM

5+ pages already! I very much doubt that 99.9% of users could tell what brand they were looking through if it was not emblazoned on the outside of the tube. Everyone seems to want to justify their monetary commitment. Seems that very few are prepared to admit to any extraneous colour in their scopes, even when the scope's manufacturer has admitted that there is some.

I must say I do love Roland's business model:
Make a high quality product but don't flood the market with them, rather ensure a continued level of operation over decades by tricking them out at a rate that suits the maker, enlist help from patriotism by not shifting manufacture to a 'cheap labour' country thus ensuring demand is higher than supply. Brilliant just bloody brilliant!

#103 Derek Wong

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 04:19 PM

My Traveler is like any Traveler in the world. But not everybody is so critic as me.


I hate to respond to this because it could go on forever, but I am still not convinced that this is the case. Here is the thread for those who have not seen it:

http://www.cloudynig...5845657/page...

Here is what we do know:
--Yours becomes very astigmatic when it is very cold
--Other very experienced observers have not had the same issue (Paul Gustafson with three Travelers, Eric Bakkar with a 130) I am way too much of a wimp to test mine in the cold
--You had a correspondence with Ovision and there was something (that was deleted) that said that it was normal to see tube currents

I do feel bad for you that for whatever reason, you cannot speak to Roland and the AP staff directly. I find it hard to believe that they would ignore you, but if they did I would be upset as well.

Regarding your Traveler, the reason you can't sell it (other than the fact that people may have seen the thread) is that it is priced too high. The Travelers have been going for $4500-$4900 US when they are in excellent condition.

In an ideal world, you would be able to sell the scope to someone in the US and send it to AP for cleaning etc. I went to Spain recently and I could have brokered a TV101 for Traveler deal.

Derek

#104 Olee

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 04:47 PM

Post deleted by Olee

#105 PeterR280

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 04:56 PM

The best brands have a mystique that is hard to define but everybody wishes they had one. Look at the top brands and arguably there are other brands just as good but the top brand gets a premium:

Watches- Patek Philippe
Cameras- Leica ( a bit dated brand now but still strong. Try to buy a used Leica rangefiner camera as compared to any other brand including Zeiss.)
Cars- Ferrari
Teleascopes- Astro-Physics

#106 Starhawk

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 05:16 PM

He's not trickling them out. He's up working to 10-11 every night and has made over twice as many AP 130 EDFGTs as there are NP127s while still finding a way to pull something like 60 AP 175s together and ship them. It's all demand.

As for Tak, they have outsourced their refractor glass all along. Of course, being in Japan means having outsource shops to die for. As for what they make, they're a foundry, actually (Tammy posted a fantastic video where they were casting parts- much fun to watch).

I think for a lot of us we draw a line between the glass grinding OTA primes like AP and TEC, and the glass outsourcing primes like Tak and TV. Maybe another one could be brought in to being by outsourcing from a domestic source- possibly Perkin Elmer, but I doubt the cost could be met.

As for extraneous color, track down a view through an AP 130 EDFGT and find it. I can't, thus far. Intellectually, I know there must be. I have been able to find a bit in older AP scopes now that I have a comparison. But we aren't talking about much.

-Rich

5+ pages already! I very much doubt that 99.9% of users could tell what brand they were looking through if it was not emblazoned on the outside of the tube. Everyone seems to want to justify their monetary commitment. Seems that very few are prepared to admit to any extraneous colour in their scopes, even when the scope's manufacturer has admitted that there is some.

I must say I do love Roland's business model:
Make a high quality product but don't flood the market with them, rather ensure a continued level of operation over decades by tricking them out at a rate that suits the maker, enlist help from patriotism by not shifting manufacture to a 'cheap labour' country thus ensuring demand is higher than supply. Brilliant just bloody brilliant!



#107 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 08:39 PM

5+ pages already! I very much doubt that 99.9% of users could tell what brand they were looking through if it was not emblazoned on the outside of the tube. Everyone seems to want to justify their monetary commitment. Seems that very few are prepared to admit to any extraneous colour in their scopes, even when the scope's manufacturer has admitted that there is some.

I must say I do love Roland's business model:
Make a high quality product but don't flood the market with them, rather ensure a continued level of operation over decades by tricking them out at a rate that suits the maker, enlist help from patriotism by not shifting manufacture to a 'cheap labour' country thus ensuring demand is higher than supply. Brilliant just bloody brilliant!



A poor business model really.

If Roland doubled his price he would still have a waiting list measured in years. Think about it - for the serious imager the optical tube is just one component - the mount can cost that much again, as can the imaging camera.

He's leaving a big pile of cash on the table.

#108 JJK

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 08:48 PM

IIRC, Tak's TOAs are optimised for imaging, rather than visual, and even Roland said for astrophotography he'd choose a TOA over one of his own.

But this kind of thread is certain to bring out the bitterest in fanboys.

:)


I'm not a fanboy of any brand, but I certainly appreciate first rate optics in Zeiss APQs, AP scopes, and Tak refractors.

Can you please point to a source where Roland suggested Tak TOAs were better astrographs than his stable of apos?


It's no secret that the TOA series are the best corrected refractors available now. Specially the TOA 130.

Regards,
Manuel.


What is the source of your information? Also, which corrections are you referring to (e.g., flat field, spherochromatism, etc.)?

I doubt a Tak TOA 130 would outperform a Zeiss 130 APQ, both f/7.7, visually. The modern AP designs are typically much faster, so you'd be comparing apples to oranges (APs also tend to be lighter, which is an important factor in imaging at remote sites).

#109 JJK

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 08:56 PM

Regarding resale value: 6 months a not even 1 question about my AP for sale :(


That might be because there was a lengthy discussion here about your particular Traveler here ...


My Traveler is like any Traveler in the world. But not everybody is so critic as me.

Just get your Traveler outside at freezing temperatures and grab the focuser knob for some seconds with 4-5 rings defocused at 300x, and let the astigmatic party begin.

I can't quote here the mail from Ronaldo saying that is normal, if anyone interested, I will send that quote via PM or mail.


Send the quote to me.

I have seen no such problem with AP scopes I have owned (Traveler, StowAway f/7, 155 f/7 EDF, 175 f/8, & 180 f/9 EDT, I haven't checked the f/5 StowAway). Are you referring to OTAs that aren't in thermal equilibrium with the ambient nighttime temperature? If so, that's a meaningless metric.

At about 75x/inch of aperture, perhaps the apparent astigmatism is due to defects in your eyes.

#110 JJK

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 09:08 PM

He's not trickling them out. He's up working to 10-11 every night and has made over twice as many AP 130 EDFGTs as there are NP127s while still finding a way to pull something like 60 AP 175s together and ship them. It's all demand.

As for Tak, they have outsourced their refractor glass all along. Of course, being in Japan means having outsource shops to die for. As for what they make, they're a foundry, actually (Tammy posted a fantastic video where they were casting parts- much fun to watch).

I think for a lot of us we draw a line between the glass grinding OTA primes like AP and TEC, and the glass outsourcing primes like Tak and TV. Maybe another one could be brought in to being by outsourcing from a domestic source- possibly Perkin Elmer, but I doubt the cost could be met.

As for extraneous color, track down a view through an AP 130 EDFGT and find it. I can't, thus far. Intellectually, I know there must be. I have been able to find a bit in older AP scopes now that I have a comparison. But we aren't talking about much.

-Rich

5+ pages already! I very much doubt that 99.9% of users could tell what brand they were looking through if it was not emblazoned on the outside of the tube. Everyone seems to want to justify their monetary commitment. Seems that very few are prepared to admit to any extraneous colour in their scopes, even when the scope's manufacturer has admitted that there is some.

I must say I do love Roland's business model:
Make a high quality product but don't flood the market with them, rather ensure a continued level of operation over decades by tricking them out at a rate that suits the maker, enlist help from patriotism by not shifting manufacture to a 'cheap labour' country thus ensuring demand is higher than supply. Brilliant just bloody brilliant!


The visual color error in fast AP apos is very small, but perceptible if you critically look at the lunar terminator on a night with low humidity. I've compared my 2003 vintage AP155 f/7 EDF to my Zeiss 130 f/7.7 APQ and the shadows in the latter are a bit blacker (the AP is a photo-visual design and the APQ is a visual instrument). Slightly racking the focusers in and out shows why the shadows in the APQ are slightly better (better visual color correction). That results notwithstanding, I haven't tossed the 155 (it's a great instrument).

#111 Starhawk

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 09:54 PM

That's where I have been looking for it in the AP 130 EDFGT.

-Rich

#112 Starhawk

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:03 PM

If money was the point, or,and would be making industrial optics at 10x the price.

This is his retirement job. He does it as a sort of permanent outreach and is just charging what it takes to keep the doors open.

-Rich

#113 Starhawk

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:41 PM

I'm wondering what this is all about. The AP 130 EDFGT doesn't seem to care about temperatures at all- so far checked from 43C to -5C. The only thing I do is use the case to moderate temperature change rate.

Has the cell been disassembled and reassembled dry?

The traveler story sounds very odd. You've emailed AP? They'll talk you through repainting one of their scopes, so I don't understand your comments in that direction. There's been no trouble getting support or hesitation I've ever seen.

Are you sure it's a real Astro Physics Traveller? It's not stolen?

-Rich

Regarding resale value: 6 months a not even 1 question about my AP for sale :(


That might be because there was a lengthy discussion here about your particular Traveler here ...


My Traveler is like any Traveler in the world. But not everybody is so critic as me.

Just get your Traveler outside at freezing temperatures and grab the focuser knob for some seconds with 4-5 rings defocused at 300x, and let the astigmatic party begin.

I can't quote here the mail from Ronaldo saying that is normal, if anyone interested, I will send that quote via PM or mail.



#114 ManuelJ

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 02:55 AM

What about trying what I say?.

And no, my Traveler is not a William Optics painted in black.

#115 T1R2

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 03:41 AM

Manuel, have you tried to take the lenses out of the cell and check the index marks on the edges, that's the first thing I would check if its an air spaced lens that's showing astigmatism along with the lens retaining ring, lenses should jiggle a little, but, lenses will develop a wedge misalignment in rough shipping because of this.

I have never seen a scope that wasn't astigmatic in freezing temps specially if the temp is falling rapidly and the dew strap behind the obj. is too hot

#116 ManuelJ

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 06:00 AM

Manuel, have you tried to take the lenses out of the cell and check the index marks on the edges, that's the first thing I would check if its an air spaced lens that's showing astigmatism along with the lens retaining ring, lenses should jiggle a little, but, lenses will develop a wedge misalignment in rough shipping because of this.

I have never seen a scope that wasn't astigmatic in freezing temps specially if the temp is falling rapidly and the dew strap behind the obj. is too hot


Many thanks for your help, but don't want to go offtopic. The Traveler is fine. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

If the manufacturer says it's fine, then it's fine. That also happened with my NP, and it also ended in second hand market, from where it came. My CDK is also somewhere, who knows.

My problem was looking for help in CN, but I learned that lesson in a hard way.

#117 JJK

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 06:49 AM

Regarding resale value: 6 months a not even 1 question about my AP for sale :(


That might be because there was a lengthy discussion here about your particular Traveler here ...


My Traveler is like any Traveler in the world. But not everybody is so critic as me.

Just get your Traveler outside at freezing temperatures and grab the focuser knob for some seconds with 4-5 rings defocused at 300x, and let the astigmatic party begin.

I can't quote here the mail from Ronaldo saying that is normal, if anyone interested, I will send that quote via PM or mail.


Thanks for sending me Roland's e-mail message.

Given what you said above, you seem to have misunderstood Roland's note. He offered helpful suggestions on how to determine the cause of the astigmatism you claim to observe (tube currents, possibly a marginal diagonal, and transient warming of the eyepiece). He pretty much ruled out the lens cell, and certainly did not claim that such astigmatism is within the Traveler's specification.

It would be helpful if you could create a QuickTime movie that illustrates the defect you described (go straight through the optical train w/o a diagonal), and shows whether the effect is time dependent. Otherwise, it'll be hard to help you diagnose the problem.

Your evaluation of some of the folks here is unfounded. Many are highly skilled observers, know how to test optics, and are critical of their equipment. I used to have a cherry-picked Obsession 20" f/5 Newt-Dob. When I took it from my 68* F home into a 20* F backyard, it took about 2 hours for the mirror's figure to get up to spec. On more than one occasion, I saw the image go from terrible to near perfect in the blink of an eye (it would stay sharp as a tack the rest of the night). I would never claim the scope was terrible due to how it performed while cooling down.

#118 Wilsonman

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 04:43 PM

I think it's great that Roland and some others turn out exquisite instruments; they deserve the highest respect. Knowing I'll likely never own one of the uber scopes like AP, Tak or TMB- I take a measure of comfort in the knowledge that my SW ED can deliver images almost as good as the celebrated brands. Many in my situation with modest funding make the choice to get a large Dob for the faint fuzzies and balance it with a good doublet for easy viewing- and because we love the refractor design. What's great is that we can do this for far less than the cost of a premium refractor. Is this a great hobby or what? :grin:

#119 M13 Observer

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 08:14 AM

Just get your Traveler outside at freezing temperatures and grab the focuser knob for some seconds with 4-5 rings defocused at 300x, and let the astigmatic party begin.



Uuuuuh, say what? 300x? With a 4 inch scope? Defocused no less. What for? So you can see your own heat plume screwing with the image? Ridiculous!

And here I was thinking you were doing something useful like trying to split a sub arc-second double by looking for the bump in the second diffraction ring.

#120 Scott in NC

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 09:17 AM

So how does the image look when in focus? It may be helpful to read this short essay: Notes on Star Testing Refractors, by Roland Christen.

#121 Bill McNeal

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 12:42 AM

I noticed Tele Vue's NP 127 is over $1,000 more than the AP 130!

Is it really that much better?

#122 Paul G

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 08:38 AM

I noticed Tele Vue's NP 127 is over $1,000 more than the AP 130!

Is it really that much better?


You need to include the field flattener with the AP for a valid comparison. It runs $825, nearly eliminating the price difference.

#123 Bill McNeal

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 11:28 PM

That's a good point Gus. Still, unless Al Nagler is customizing each individual lens cell like Roland, it's probably more worthwhile to get the AP. That is, if you can stomach the wait.

Does Yuri personally finish the optics on every TEC?

#124 Mapleton

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 02:18 PM

I noticed Tele Vue's NP 127 is over $1,000 more than the AP 130!

Is it really that much better?


I own two TVs and am totally a fanboy but I'd rather have the AP.

#125 hfjacinto

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 02:39 PM

I noticed Tele Vue's NP 127 is over $1,000 more than the AP 130!

Is it really that much better?


It is worth that much if you actually want to buy it, the AP 130 is for all intent and purposes not available new unless you've been on the waiting list for a long time.

I'm on it for almost 5 years and was told by Roland that I won't get one so why lust for something you can't buy.

Get a TEC/TAK/TV whatever, at least those are available new.






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