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FS-128 vs FS-152SV

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#1 crazyqban

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:16 AM

Well just got back from a pretty productive observing session in the Florida Keys. I took a chance and drove from southern Miami-Dade county to the parking lot located on Duck Key on the west side of the 7 Mile Bridge (103 miles). I also contacted a friend that lives in Marathon, Fl and he met me down there so that I could have another opinion. When I arrived the wind was blowing pretty hard and I had doubts that I would be able to get any observing done but since I was already down there, I was going to get this shootout done. The setup is as follows, the tripod: Berlebach UNI-24, the mount: Discmounts DM6 with 8" extension, the scopes: Takahashi FS-128 & FS-152SV. Unfortunately for this session I only had one mount so I would have to swap scopes out. Setup was quick and easy and in a matter of less than 5 minutes I was viewing through the FS-152SV but the winds were making it possible to only observe at low mags. Also, there was an abundance of clouds that was making things difficlut and the thought of a quality observing session was not looking good at the time. I arrived just after 10pm so Saturn was setting quick and we did not have an amazing viewing experience of the planet but the views that we did get were of good quality, just shaky. Finally at about 11:30pm the clouds parted and the winds died down, we were finally able to get down to business. The first objects that we targeted in the FS-152SV were M17, M11, M22, M6, M7, M13 & M57. We viewed these objects through a 13mm Ethos and the views as expected were quite nice. We then swapped out the scopes and as expected, the views were very similar except that the views were not as bright, the image scale was a bit smaller and the sky was a bit darker. After this comparison, we put the FS-152 back on the mount and did a bit more exploring with it. The FS-152 was more enjoyable to use because I have a Feathertouch 3545 focuser on it while the FS-128 has a stock focuser without a CAA. If the FS-128 would have had a Feathertouch on it, I think that it would have been much more enjoyable to use. Perhaps if the FS-152 had the stock Takahashi focuser of if we were just using the FS-128 then the focuser would have not been such an issue. The final objects that we compared were the Double Cluster and M31 through a 21mm Ethos and as before, the same results. After that I replaced the mono eyepiece with a pair of Mark Vs and 24mm Panoptics and revisited all of the previous objects with both scopes and had the same results but the views were more pleasing through the Mark Vs. While driving back home, the Moon was rising and I wanted to get a quick peek of it with the FS-128 so when I got home I did just that with the Mark Vs and 16mm Naglers and was rewarded with some pleasing 1/2 Moon views. So there you have it, a little shootout between a Takahashi FS-128 and FS-152 SV. The verdict, I really liked the views through the FS-152SV more and that was due to the extra brightness provided by the extra 24mm of aperture. Is it worth an extra $3200 as compared to the FS-128? For most probably not but I have been wanting one of these guys for a long time and since the opportunity to acquire this SV version, I just could not pass it up. If it had been the non SV version then I think that I would have passed on it but you don't see too many of these come up so I had to jump on it. If the FS-152SV would not have crossed my path, I would be able to live with the FS-128 with the Feathertouch 3545 focuser without a problem. Both are great scopes and you would be very happy with either one.

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Edited by crazyqban, 18 August 2014 - 04:30 AM.


#2 crazyqban

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:19 AM

Photos Pt. 2

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#3 crazyqban

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:20 AM

PS - The focuser on the FS-152SV in the photos is the stock one, I replace it with a Feathertouch 3545 which is the configuration used on the shootout.


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#4 roadi

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 05:08 AM

Very interesting crazyqban! It would also be interesting comparing the planetary between the two. Not much difference in size other than the length! I'm surprised..

If its worth the considerable price difference of the fs152, thats impossible to generalize as its up to each own. To me it would be too if I could afford the fs152 :)

Thank you for posting. Excited to read more of this.



#5 Mike Clemens

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 08:23 AM

man that 152 is so... stinking... nice



#6 Scott in NC

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 09:52 AM

Thanks for sharing that report, Sergio.  I really enjoyed reading it and looking at the comparison pictures. :waytogo:



#7 Scott99

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 10:10 AM

>>>Is it worth an extra $3200 as compared to the FS-128?  

 

Absolutely!  Sounds like a great expedition, thanks for the report and photos.  

 

These photos reveal how the FS series altnerates "big" tubes with smaller ones.  IMO the FS152 and FS102 are compact OTA's for that size, while the FS78 and FS128 are somewhat larger and oversized for the aperture.   As a result, the FS152 tube is barely larger than the FS128.

 

This was a such a great series of refractors, especially in the final years when the prices became very reasonable.  Good to see them bringing back the smaller sizes in "FC" mode, I would love to see them bring back 2-element, lightweight 128 and 152 scopes.



#8 crazyqban

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 10:28 AM

Scott, The tubes for the FS-128 & FS-152 are very similar but not exact. The FS-152 is slightly wider but the dew shields are of the same diameter and are interchangeable except for the FS-128's being a bit shorter. The main difference is that the collimation screws for the FS-128 are in the front of the lens cell around the cell whereas the collimation screws for the FS-152 are in the rear of the lens cell (someone please correct me if I am wrong). These do not add any diameter around the lens cell like in the case of the FS-128.

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Edited by crazyqban, 18 August 2014 - 10:28 AM.


#9 waso29

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 01:46 PM

:waytogo:

nice comparo pics

 

the 152sv sure looks very manageable compared to 128.....



#10 Scott99

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 03:07 PM

very cool cell design!  never seen that before.   mmmm, look at that Tak blue!  Won't be easy to sell the FS128, they look good together.



#11 Allan Wade

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 01:06 AM

Very nice report and great photos to boot. They sure are both nice looking scopes and I imagine it will be hard to part with one. The 152 looks small for its size compared to the 128, that was interesting to see.



#12 crazyqban

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 02:12 AM

Very nice report and great photos to boot. They sure are both nice looking scopes and I imagine it will be hard to part with one. The 152 looks small for its size compared to the 128, that was interesting to see.

 

Funny thing is that after handling both scopes for about two weeks now, the FS-128 seems rather small. I bet that if I were to get an FS-102NSV now it would feel like an FS-60CB. I guess it's all relative. :p



#13 Bill Barlow

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 03:17 AM

Sergio, Thanks for taking the time to write up a review on your observing session and post some pictures of both scopes together.  What is the weight difference between the two?  Enbjoy the views!

 

Bill



#14 RAKing

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 05:49 AM

Sergio,

 

Thanks for the report!  But I have to admit that anytime you offer me the choice between a scope with an FT 3545 and one with a stock focuser, you know which one I'll tend to prefer. :lol:

 

I loved my FS-128 - I loved it even more after I plunked down that extra grand and swapped the focuser. I would love to try an FS-152 with that focuser. You have something to treasure for life! :waytogo:

 

Cheers,

 

Ron

 



#15 tomcody

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 07:39 AM

Sergio, Thanks for taking the time to write up a review on your observing session and post some pictures of both scopes together.  What is the weight difference between the two?  Enbjoy the views!

 

Bill

Bill,

From most information available ( as Tak specs vary depending on the source), The FS128 is 16.5 lb,

and the FS152 is either 22.5 or 23 lb   for bare ota. 

Rex



#16 payner

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 06:55 PM

 

Very nice report and great photos to boot. They sure are both nice looking scopes and I imagine it will be hard to part with one. The 152 looks small for its size compared to the 128, that was interesting to see.

 

Funny thing is that after handling both scopes for about two weeks now, the FS-128 seems rather small. I bet that if I were to get an FS-102NSV now it would feel like an FS-60CB. I guess it's all relative. :p

 

I agree with Sergio, the 128 is my 'grab and go' compared to the 152 NSV.  The weight and length are more than the pictures depict.

 

Best,
Randy



#17 Balok

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 12:57 PM

Beautiful instruments Sergio, the Takahashi quality is exceptional as are the look and " feel" of them.

Thank you for the great shots & user report.

 

Balok

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EM 10 USD II


Edited by Balok, 25 August 2014 - 01:00 PM.


#18 crazyqban

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 01:27 AM

Thanks Balok.

 

This past Friday night I got to take the FS-152SV along with my 16" F4 dob to Anne's Beach in Islamorada the Florida Keys. The skies were clear, the seeing was good, the wind was blowing, there were no mosquitoes and thanks to the wind the heat and humidity were controlled and not an issue at all. Down here in the Summer the humidity is so bad that if there is no wind I will not go observing. Upon arriving I was surprised to find 3 other members of my astronomy club (Southern Cross Astronomical Society) doing some imaging and observing. After saying hello to my friends, I went ahead and set up the FS-152 on the DM6 mount. Next I aligned the mount and was rewarded with excellent views. I left my buddy who accompanied me to have some scope time while I setup the 16" dob. After the dob was setup and everything was working well, we went ahead and started an impromptu showdown. The targets included many of the same targets that I used the week before during my FS-128 vs FS-152 shootout at the beginning of this thread. This time I was surprised at how well the FS-152 kept up with the 16" dob. Everything that I could see in the dob I could see in the FS-152. The dob had the edge when it came to image brightness and detail but the FS-152 did not disappoint. On globulars there was no question, they were brighter in the dob and the stars were easily resolved. The star fields and double splits were best in the FS-152. I really enjoyed the double double, it was quite beautiful in the Tak. It was nice in the dob also but the split was much cleaner in the FS-152. The image below was shot by my friend Manny and it shows the Milky way and my two scopes. Overall I continue to be impressed with the FS-152SV and I am superly duperly happy that I was able to acquire it. Took a bit of a sacrifice but very well worth it. PS, check out the Einstein bobble head that resides on top of my DM6.

 

Attached File  Milky Way my Scopes.jpg   103.25KB   5 downloads


Edited by crazyqban, 27 August 2014 - 01:31 AM.

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#19 Traveler

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 02:01 AM

Nice shootout report Sergio! What about the FS-60CB as a finderscope on the 152 ;) ?



#20 crazyqban

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 02:04 AM

What about the FS-60CB as a finderscope on the 152 ;) ?

 

LOL, maybe in the future, not a bad idea.



#21 Allan Wade

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 06:19 AM

That's a quality telescope line up you've got yourself now Sergio. Beautiful photo too.



#22 t.r.

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 06:52 AM

There is no doubt in my mind that the guys who say that a 180mm apo is enough to cover all the bases, are telling it like it is...no matter what the big dob guys claim.  As stated, even at 6" compared to 16", what can be seen in one, can be seen in the other. I can live without the added brightness of a big mirror. Oh boy, here I go again, lusting for large apo glass. ;)



#23 Scott in NC

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 08:05 AM

Beautiful FS-152 & Milky Way photo, Sergio! :waytogo:



#24 Scott99

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 10:41 AM

Sergio, wow, great photo, looks like a very dark observing site.  I love observing with some big dobs, good complement to the refractor, usually the owners of both scopes are eagerly swapping views all night.  



#25 Kent10

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 12:15 PM

There is no doubt in my mind that the guys who say that a 180mm apo is enough to cover all the bases, are telling it like it is...no matter what the big dob guys claim.  As stated, even at 6" compared to 16", what can be seen in one, can be seen in the other. I can live without the added brightness of a big mirror. Oh boy, here I go again, lusting for large apo glass. ;)

 

Very beautiful scopes, Sergio.  I have enjoyed your thread.  I own a Tec 180FL and I am still surprised but perhaps also delighted when I read that someone's 6 or 7 inch APO shows about as much as a larger Dob.  The reason I am interested is because I am looking at a larger Dob perhaps when I retire.  I was thinking that it would need to be about 16 inches to be a good difference from my Tec 180.  But then I read that some don't see much of a difference.  It is just brighter and larger.  One other owner of a Tec 180FL did a comparison with an Obsession 18" and stated that he could see 75-80% in the Tec.  Hard to know exactly what that means without seeing it but I guess he is saying the large refractor does very well even on DSO.  I know I really need to get more experience with Dobs so I can see for myself.  If I do get a Dob I do want to see more than in my Tec 180.  And I am not sure how much above 16 inches would be practical but I would have to consider that.

 

Thanks again for your thread.  Kent








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