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