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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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Bill McNeal
sage


Reged: 10/07/07

Astro-Physics the Best Brand?
      #6066701 - 09/06/13 07:00 PM

AP has a strong reputation in mounts. Are they the king of refractors too?

I thought that TEC and Takahashi were also considered the same top tier. But the AP 130 costs more than the TEC 140! Am I missing something?

Or is there another brand that's the best? I'm referring to optical quality as well as resale value.


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mgwhittle
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Reged: 08/24/11

Loc: Chattanooga, TN
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6066724 - 09/06/13 07:18 PM

Hmm....I wonder how this thread is going to go?

Optical quality AND resale value....any late model AP refractor will win based on resale value.

Optical quality...TEC, AP, Tak....all excellent. And the Taks are available "off the shelf" normally...TECs, like the 140, are more easily available than AP130 if you are wanting to purchase soon. I don't know for sure about the lead time if you are wanting a larger TEC. AP is only available "now" if you have been on the waiting list for 9+ years and your name comes up or if you are willing to buy used.

Are you just posting this out of curiosity or actually considering one of these outstanding refractors?


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Bill McNeal
sage


Reged: 10/07/07

Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: mgwhittle]
      #6066753 - 09/06/13 07:38 PM

Mark, thank you for your input. I'm not in a position to buy in the immediate future, but since AP has a years-long waiting list I wonder if it's worth just signing on.

Besides, it's nice to have a concrete goal to work toward.


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PeterR280
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Reged: 05/27/13

Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6066772 - 09/06/13 08:01 PM

I was debating the same thing 9 years ago so I signed up on a whim. I thought AP had forgotten about me and then a few months ago I get an email that my scope is available if I want to buy it. It's supposed to come at the end of this month. Originally it was August.

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The Ardent
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Reged: 10/24/08

Loc: Virginia
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6066785 - 09/06/13 08:18 PM

Yes they do (and did) have a waiting list, but there are at least 5 of them on Astromart right now. Anyone can buy one today.

Quote:

but since AP has a years-long waiting list I wonder if it's worth just signing on.





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Doug D.
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 08/23/05

Loc: Virginia
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6066789 - 09/06/13 08:23 PM

I think what is "best" is an almost impossible determination to make - or even a question to take very seriously. Are they "among the best" refractors in terms of optics, mechanics, and performance specs? Sure. But what is best for one may not be best for another for reasons you are going to read a lot about as this thread proceeds..... High resale value may be the least contestable reason to call them "best", but also the least important reason to me as someone who buys a scope to use it (and keep it). And yeah, I have a couple of AP refractors and I'm content with saying they are the best for me in their respective aperture classes.

As for the A-P notification list there is absolutely no reason - nada - not to put your name on every list that they maintain. By doing so you have no obligation to purchase a scope and no deposit needed to join the list. You might as well even sign up for scopes you think you can't afford now - maybe the lottery or an inheritance from a long lost Uncle will come in during the 10 years or so it takes to get the notification. At that point you can agree to purchase and put down your 50% or just say no thanks. It is really a no brainer.


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greju
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/13/05

Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #6066812 - 09/06/13 08:36 PM

Quote:

I think what is "best" is an almost impossible determination to make - or even a question to take very seriously. Are they "among the best" refractors in terms of optics, mechanics, and performance specs? Sure. But what is best for one may not be best for another for reasons you are going to read a lot about as this thread proceeds..... High resale value may be the least contestable reason to call them "best", but also the least important reason to me as someone who buys a scope to use it (and keep it). And yeah, I have a couple of AP refractors and I'm content with saying they are the best for me in their respective aperture classes.

As for the A-P notification list there is absolutely no reason - nada - not to put your name on every list that they maintain. By doing so you have no obligation to purchase a scope and no deposit needed to join the list. You might as well even sign up for scopes you think you can't afford now - maybe the lottery or an inheritance from a long lost Uncle will come in during the 10 years or so it takes to get the notification. At that point you can agree to purchase and put down your 50% or just say no thanks. It is really a no brainer.





Yeh, a no brainer.


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Dwight56
super member


Reged: 04/17/10

Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #6066817 - 09/06/13 08:41 PM

I have owned a number of AP refractors over the years and have no complaints or regrets with them what so ever. Right now there are several AP refractors for sale on astromart and this is likely your only avenue of obtaining one. If you place yourself on the wish list now I would say you have a 0 chance of ever getting an AP Refractor. Mounts are another story Astro-Physics over the years has expanded there manufacturing of mounts and you can pretty much timing it right almost get a mount off the self. Of course AP mounts do show up for sale from time to time and are a pretty safe bet used as long as the mounu was not dropped. I've owned a 600 QMD and 600 goto and currently a 400 QMD mount that was purchased used. My 1200 goto was purchased new in 2007 off the self when a number of them came up for sale.

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Malabargold
member


Reged: 07/15/12

Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6066921 - 09/06/13 09:56 PM

Yep. For my money they are the best refractors, in terms of optical and mechanical quality, reliability, precision and consistency.
Of course, put your name on the list, the GT 130's are flying off the shelves, relatively speaking. Around 500 so far.
Will you get a call for a Roland finished product in 5-10 years? Who knows.


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David PavlichAdministrator
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Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Malabargold]
      #6066965 - 09/06/13 10:30 PM

I have noticed of late that there are a lot more AP refractors than what we normally see. I'm sure it's just a coincidence, but it sure is strange and a diverse group as well. I would say that AP is arguably the best visual refractor and that the TOA series of Tak scopes have a tiny bit better color correction. I'll leave out the FSQ series since they are of a different design and purpose. But if you factor in resale, AP is the clear winner.

David


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Jeff Morgan
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Reged: 09/28/03

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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Malabargold]
      #6067043 - 09/06/13 11:35 PM

Quote:

Will you get a call for a Roland finished product in 5-10 years? Who knows.




RC is reportedly in the mid-60's. One hopes he will continue to be happy and productive in the optical shop for many years to come.

But statistically speaking ....


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6067082 - 09/07/13 12:05 AM

Is this intended as a joke? There is no better glass available.

If you want a new AP130 EDFGT, you can get one from someone who has it show up and says, "Whoa, that's more than I bargained for" and sells it off immediately (they usually do it at cost) on A-mart.

And you will never be sorry or wish you had something else after you look through it.

-Rich


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okieav8rAdministrator
I'd rather be flying!
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Reged: 03/01/09

Loc: Oklahoma!
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: The Ardent]
      #6067113 - 09/07/13 12:30 AM

Quote:

Yes they do (and did) have a waiting list, but there are at least 5 of them on Astromart right now. Anyone can buy one today.

Quote:

but since AP has a years-long waiting list I wonder if it's worth just signing on.








One thing you can say for the AP waiting list--you've got plenty of time to save up for the telescope while you're waiting. Sign up, open a savings account and contribute to it every payday, and when your name comes up, buy your telescope.


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6067260 - 09/07/13 05:34 AM

Quote:

AP has a strong reputation in mounts. Are they the king of refractors too?

I thought that TEC and Takahashi were also considered the same top tier. But the AP 130 costs more than the TEC 140! Am I missing something?

Or is there another brand that's the best? I'm referring to optical quality as well as resale value.




Bill:

For my purposes, there are a number of manufacturers who produce top quality optics. But, I think there is no doubt that Roland Christen was the one lead the way in the development of the modern achromatic triplet. And I think there is no doubt that he is an obsessive perfectionist when it comes to optics, in fact in every aspect of telescope production.

From my point of view as someone who has been interacting (me asking, Roland answering) with Roland since the days of the Usenet and the legendary newsgroup S.A.A (Science.Astro.Amateur), Roland is still an amateur astronomer at heart, still just someone who decided to build telescopes and then mounts because no one else built ones that were good enough for him. Some of Roland's photos.

Of all the big names in Amateur astronomy, Roland has been the most accessible, shared himself the most. Certainly Al Nagler is gregarious and very open but Al never took to the internet to share and discuss things the way Roland did.

The late Thomas Back was a friend of Roland's, a contributor to S.A.A. and it was only later in his career that he became a lens designer. His essay, "A Brief History of Astro-Physics Lenses" is definitely worth a read as is the Company 7 Astro-Physics webpage. If I am not mistaken, for quite some time, Company 7 was the only dealer for A-P products.

A couple of further comments:

- I believe that Yuri Petrunin of TEC and Roland Christen are good friends. Back in the day, Yuri was a contributor to S.A.A. as was Valery Deryuzhin (also a friend) of Aries Optical. Valery is known for taking on a challenge, the Chromacorr that turns an Achromat into an apo is still sought after and Aries Optical has the capability of Ion Milling Ritchey-Chretien optics up to 1 meter. These three are the ones that do everything in house, do their own optics etc. Of the three, Valery is the only one who has ventured to Cloudy Nights.

- My favorite story about Roland is one he told himself. It seems he was at a Star Party and someone had something he really wanted. The deal he made was to trade one of the latest production run scopes for this particular item. However, his wife, Marj, nixed the deal, telling him, he didn't have a place in line for the scope...

'nuff rambling, 'nuff said.

Jon Isaacs


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t.r.
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6067318 - 09/07/13 07:27 AM

I have had a sample or two of each of the major manufacturers...Celestron, Meade, Towa, Televue, Takahashi, TEC and Astro-Physics...yes, they are the king.

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RAKing
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Reged: 12/28/07

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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6067344 - 09/07/13 07:57 AM

Like a few have already said, this is a very subjective question and I don't know if there is a correct answer.

From my own personal experience, Astro-Physics is at (or very near) the top of the list with everything they make. It's not just the quality of the workmanship or the finish of the products. They also are at the top of the list for customer service. You can pick up the phone and talk to them -- and surprise, surprise, they are ready and willing to help.

I bought my Mach 1 four years ago after an 18 month wait. It has been everything I hoped for and is the last mount I'll ever really need. I bought an A-P 105mm Traveler from a friend of mine and it's never going anywhere. I have been on the 130 list for about 8 years, so I figure my name should be coming up soon.

BUT...I also have a wonderful TEC 140 and everything I've said about A-P can be applied to my experience with Yuri (and Sergei), too.

For Takahashi, I could also say the same nice things about Art and his crew at Texas Nautical Instruments. When I owned my Takahashis, they were the guys to call and I never had a question they couldn't answer.

I cannot say any of these three are "Best". They are all tied for first place in my book.

Cheers,

Ron


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Mike Holland
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/22/06

Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: t.r.]
      #6067349 - 09/07/13 08:05 AM

Ok, someone has to do this; it might as well be me.

I've only seen through one AP telescope (130mm, late 90s design), and while it was a truly great telescope, it wasn't the best on the field that night. A nearby NP-127 had sharper stars near the edge of the field (it's a Petzval, after all), and it was as sharp in the center.

Two things resulted from this comparison:

1. I was really disappointed after hearing all of the hype. I was expecting to feel afterwards as though I'd never seen through a real telescope before, and was let down when it turned out to only be an excellent telescope (as opposed to having some feeling of a divine presence).

2. I bought my NP-101 (I couldn't quite see spending more for the NP-127).

What you can expect in an AP (from my brief experience and LOTS of reading) is that it will be an exceptional telescope--optically and mechanically. What you shouldn't expect is to see though one for the first time, hear angels sing, and then feel an irresistible urge to angrily throw all of your junkie non-AP crapola telescopes (like Televue, Tak, TEC) into the nearest volcano to cleanse yourself.

AP, Takahashi, TEC, and Televue are all pretty close, and each has its advocates here on the Refractor Forum. The great news is that refractors are better now than ever, and you really can't go wrong with any of those brands.

Clear skies, everyone! :-)

Mike


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City Kid
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/06/09

Loc: Northern Indiana
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6067413 - 09/07/13 09:11 AM

Quote:

My favorite story about Roland is one he told himself. It seems he was at a Star Party and someone had something he really wanted. The deal he made was to trade one of the latest production run scopes for this particular item. However, his wife, Marj, nixed the deal, telling him, he didn't have a place in line for the scope...




Now that's funny!


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orion69
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/09/10

Loc: Croatia
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: City Kid]
      #6067503 - 09/07/13 10:11 AM

TS refractors are best, AP is not even close...










Just kidding!


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PeterR280
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Reged: 05/27/13

Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: orion69]
      #6067542 - 09/07/13 10:31 AM

I am still waiting for my AP130GT to compare to the C102GT for $59.

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opticsguy
sage


Reged: 02/02/09

Loc: Washington State
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: orion69]
      #6067551 - 09/07/13 10:36 AM

Many years ago, I had the opportunity to share some observing time with Roland. Asked him about searching out pluto with his 6". Roland aimed the scope at the field of Pluto and a check with my hand held deep sky map we easily identified Pluto, not a scintillation but a solid star!! Much easier to see and identify than in other larger scopes.

Yes, AP is as good as it gets.


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Eddgie
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6067560 - 09/07/13 10:42 AM

To answer your quesiton, I am going to narrow in somewhat on what an AP telescope is and is not.

The AP is sold as a telescope, but it would be a waste of money to buy a large AP and stick an eyepeice in it. For less money, you can get a telescope from a variety of manufacturers that will give you the same visual image. The value of the modern large AP refractor is not to be found when it is used as a visul instrument.

What the larger AP scopes really are though is that they are high quality astrograph instruments. Where they still perhaps hold the high ground is when they are used as imaging lenses.

The AP scopes are perhaps still correctoted over the widest range of wavelengths than any other refractor of similar apeture made (funny though, even a cheap reflector is CA free..)

Not only that, but the aspherizing and design of these intruments often produce results that are capable of producing pinpoint and color free star images right to the corners of the biggest CCD cameras normally used by amateurs.

And since astro-imaging is far more demanding than visual use (the eye is simply not a very good detector) and the APs still produce the finest wide field images, with color free stars that are aberattion free and pintpoint right to the corner of the biggest chips, I would argue that the AP is still the best brand money can buy.

There are no other similar sized amateur instruments I think that can approach the wide field imaging capabilities of the latest generation of large AP refractors.


The off axis performacne of the large AP refractor is peerless. No one makes a better similar size astrograph.

Is AP the best brand? Well, if you are discerning and have a honking big CCD camera, and you want wide field with a big image scale and pinpoint and color free stars right to the edge corner of the frame, it is I think still the very best game in town.

If you just want to dork around with an eyepeice, it is a waste of a high quality astrograpich lens, You can do far better visual observing with any number of different telescopes.

Measured for what it is not (not the best planetary scope on the planet for example) is unfair.

Measured for what it is, I think it is the best brand.


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PeterR280
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Reged: 05/27/13

Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Eddgie]
      #6067653 - 09/07/13 11:40 AM

The telescope is not sold as an astrograph. I happens to excel in all areas including visual and photography but that is because all the fundamentals are there. There are better telescopes for astrophotography like the RCs that AP sells. A C14 will produce incredible planetary images.

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Paul G
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6067750 - 09/07/13 12:43 PM

AP has the highest minimum guaranteed optical quality (Strehl .984). Superb astrographs, and the optics are nulled at the wavelength of maximum visual sensitivity so they are top notch for visual as well.

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John Anthony
sage
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Reged: 04/27/13

Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Paul G]
      #6067781 - 09/07/13 01:06 PM

Best ??? Maybe but I have never noticed a big enough visual difference with apertures smaller then 140mm to really talk about, it's splitting hairs, Tec, Takahashi, Tele Vue, Stellarvue and TMB all included.

I will say this, the absolute finest views I have ever had bar none all telescope designs and apertures included have been thru 6 inch or larger refractors from AP.


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orion69
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/09/10

Loc: Croatia
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Eddgie]
      #6067818 - 09/07/13 01:29 PM

Quote:

Not only that, but the aspherizing and design of these intruments often produce results that are capable of producing pinpoint and color free star images right to the corners of the biggest CCD cameras normally used by amateurs.

And since astro-imaging is far more demanding than visual use (the eye is simply not a very good detector) and the APs still produce the finest wide field images, with color free stars that are aberattion free and pintpoint right to the corner of the biggest chips, I would argue that the AP is still the best brand money can buy.




With or without FF?
Is there any refractor with completely flat field except Petzvals? Even for them I'm not so sure...

Of course, I never imaged with AP scope but I imagine they still need FF for completely flat field and pinpoint stars...

Edited by orion69 (09/07/13 01:30 PM)


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mikey cee
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: orion69]
      #6068356 - 09/07/13 06:53 PM

Not in my play book. Way too much money. The best brand is the "generic" one with an Istar R30 lens. Mike

Edited by mikey cee (09/07/13 10:31 PM)


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Aquatone
sage


Reged: 03/23/06

Loc: California Bay Area
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #6068734 - 09/08/13 12:06 AM

Yes. Other vendors do not generate threads like this with such frequency, and that speaks for itself. Astro-Physics is the standard other refractors are measured by.

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PeterR280
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Reged: 05/27/13

Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Aquatone]
      #6068739 - 09/08/13 12:08 AM

Celestron has the longest thread in a while with their $59 4" refractor.

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Eddgie
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6068760 - 09/08/13 12:40 AM

Well, I think if you asked Roland Christen, he would tell you that the real strength of his telecopes is only realized when they are used as astrographs.

This was his message to me personally about 8 years ago when I complained to him about the wait list.

He pretty much told me that if I was just interested in visual, I should get something else.

And I have not yet seen a reflector that can match the wide field imaging capabilities of a big AP refractor. They simply can't come close.

If you are content with a narrow field, you can get some reasonable performance out of many large reflectors.

If you want wide field images that are color corrected, coma free, and pinpoint the corners of the biggest CCD cameras out there, you will struggle to come close to the AP with any reflector you can find.

The APs are simply among the finest astrographs money can buy.

To buy an AP and use it visually is kind of a waste of money. You simply are not getting at the true value of the instrument, and there are many other large refractors that can equal it in visual performance.

If you put a camera back there though, good luck in getting the same wide, brilliant field that you can get from the APs. They are amazing astrograph lenses.


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Erik Bakker
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6068952 - 09/08/13 06:17 AM

A-P is very good at resale value, but faces stiff competition from the NLA Zeiss APQ's

For sure, they make very fine telescopes. I am not an astro-photographer, so I will only comment on their visual quality. They are not the best visual, but top-tier with others. For visual performance over a wide range of conditions, it is hard to beat a top quality fluorite doublet. But beyond 5" these are rare and the largest seems to be a 7" f/8 from Aries. That may very well be the finest visual APO currently available in sizes up to 7".

But all these refractors are limited by their aperture. A good 12.5-18" dob with Zambuto-quality optics, small CO (<18%) and good thermal properties will open up a new world on the planets beyond even the finest 7" refractor.

Just my 2 cents.


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vahe
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/27/05

Loc: Houston, Texas
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Erik Bakker]
      #6069140 - 09/08/13 09:40 AM

APQs are optimized for visual, the current crop of AP refractors are optimized for imaging. AP abandoned visual refractor design in mid 90s, those were 130, 155 and 180 EDT series, I have 155 F/9EDT from that period and I can safely claim that it is one of the finest visual apos in 6 class.

To me TEC fluorites are the natural successors to APQ series, I really dreamed of having a TEC 160 F/9 fluorite and even asked Yuri if he would build me one, the answer was NO, so I am out of luck, to me the current F/7 is not the best choice for visual.

Are APs the finest? That depends who you ask, to me no matter how good AP optics are there is definitely room for an improvement by using fluorite instead of ED.
By definition the very best must use the very best materials and the fluorite is the best.

Vahe


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PeterR280
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: vahe]
      #6069145 - 09/08/13 09:43 AM

I think the short focal lengths are much more challenging for the design.

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vahe
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/27/05

Loc: Houston, Texas
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6069260 - 09/08/13 10:45 AM

The design is on the computer screen, computer will do all the work for you, all you need to do is to enter glass data and the computer will do the rest for you.

As for the challenge it is all in the construction of the lens, as long as the objective remains all spherical the challenge is about the same, once the design reaches the limit of what is possible with a given set of glasses and requires aspherics then you are faced with a real challenge.

All recent oil spaced FPL-53 AP lenses required aspherics, both 130 and 155mm fast apos, in a recent post Roland explained his line of reasoning for going air spaced in his 160 F/7.5, air spaced allowed all spherical design and less exotic mating elements, so the bottom line from production standpoint is to simplify the design and make it less costly and more practical to produce, this is where air spaced design begins to make sense.

Vahe


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PeterR280
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: vahe]
      #6069287 - 09/08/13 10:59 AM

Of course the computer will do the design work but manufacturing becomes an issue. I look at mass production for the high end camera makers and they incorporate aspherical as well as exotic glasses in automated processes. Some of the lenses can have more than 10 elements and the image quality is far superior to older production. I think you are seeing automated manufacturing being introduced with some of the newer high end telescopes coming out of China. If the volume is there, there is no reason why the manual process cannot be automated to reduce cost.

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ManuelJ
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6069356 - 09/08/13 11:44 AM

I have dreamed of owning an AP for a long time. Once I did, I only want to get rid of it and never buy one again.

Yes, they are good, but they are not worth the money people are paying second hand, I just can't understand that.


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PowellAstro
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: ManuelJ]
      #6069431 - 09/08/13 12:33 PM

If you ever hand build a large refractor yourself and grind all the lenses and do the machine work to the level of the AP units. You would most likely want to charge more for it than what they are currently selling for. I have produced/ground many in my time in the hobby and it gives one a new level of appreciation for the work that some of these companies are doing, IMHO. Yes it is a lot of money but it is also a lot of hard work.

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M13 Observer
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: ManuelJ]
      #6069451 - 09/08/13 12:48 PM

Quote:

I have dreamed of owning an AP for a long time. Once I did, I only want to get rid of it and never buy one again.

Yes, they are good, but they are not worth the money people are paying second hand, I just can't understand that.




You purchased one second hand that may have a problem because someone or something happened to it. Telephone Astro-Physics, get an RMA number, package it up and ship it to Roland to get it fixed. If it is a problem in the original design and building of this telescope I am sure he will fix it at little or no cost other than shipping. If it is a problem which is not a design or build problem and has happened due to use, misuse or abuse, then you will have to pay to get it repaired. It is really quite simple. Count yourself extremely lucky that he is around and available to do this for you. I have used and still use a number of Astro-Physics scopes in very cold weather, including a Traveler and have never had a problem. All of my AP scopes except one have been purchased second hand.

Whining about yours will get you nowhere and, at some point in the future will likely result in the loss of a very nice telescope because Roland will no longer be physically able to repair it.

Edited by M13 Observer (09/08/13 12:50 PM)


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Starhawk
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: M13 Observer]
      #6069468 - 09/08/13 12:57 PM

A caveat to that is get something with good coatings and the glass intact. Heck, just get a lens cell. The rest of the OTA can be reconstituted or replaced if that part is good. If it isn't, then it's new telescope time.

When facing that exact question, I asked Roland if an old AP with munged coatings would be worth getting with the understanding I'd be paying AP to rework them. His answer was NO- the coatings have to be ground off and the lens set refigured, at which point it is more work than making a new scope.

So, that's what to look for.

-Rich


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mgwhittle
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6069654 - 09/08/13 02:43 PM

But if we are talking about having an 180 or similar large AP refractor that needs to have the coatings ground off and lens refigured, then I would do that. The cost is certainly less than buying a used 180 in pristine, like new condition and you get the newest coatings and a refigured lens. Plus you probably will never be able to buy a brand new large AP refractor now that the 175 production is finished, so that might just be the next best option if you have a scope that needs that much work to bring it back to spec.

I know that Roland has done this in the past on several scopes, although all of them that I know of were on the larger end of the spectrum. It also must not be too cost prohibitive, based on the particular model needing the work, or people wouldn't have him do it.


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Eddgie
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: vahe]
      #6069655 - 09/08/13 02:44 PM

Quote:

AP abandoned visual refractor design in mid 90s,




Yes, this is consistent with what I was saying earlier and pretty much the same thing the RC told me about 8 years ago.

He designs for for the modern CCD.

Visually, there are other options that I think are on par with APs.

To be fair to AP, one must consider the merits of the instrument as the tie breaker here.

SOmeone said that they don't care about the use as an astrograph, but that is neither here nor there.

The people that do care about it are clearly willing to pay more for APs, and as a result, the wait list is 10 years long.

"Best brand" to me does not limit you to visual.

To me, "Best brand" means exactly that. Best at everything vs. any similar sized competitor.

And the APs are about as good as astrographs can be made. The color correction out to the extreme edges of modern chips is about as perfect as the laws of physics allow, and the quality is second to none.

And the resale factor is off the scale! I bought a 20 year old AP oil spaced triplet for $3200 about 4 years ago.. That is almost twice what it cost someone new when it was made...

Today, I cold probably sell it for more than I paid for it and invested in upgrading it (new powdercoat and new Starlight Instruments focuser).

Try that with just about any other brand name out there.


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Mike Clemens
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: mgwhittle]
      #6069658 - 09/08/13 02:45 PM

I bet having the new coatings put on is very expensive. (Haven't we heard figures in the $800-$1000 range?)

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Mike Clemens
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Mike Clemens]
      #6069662 - 09/08/13 02:46 PM

> AP abandoned visual refractor design in mid 90s,

Designing for a more stringent/picky/difficult medium is not abandoning the less stringent one.


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ManuelJ
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: M13 Observer]
      #6069675 - 09/08/13 02:50 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I have dreamed of owning an AP for a long time. Once I did, I only want to get rid of it and never buy one again.

Yes, they are good, but they are not worth the money people are paying second hand, I just can't understand that.




You purchased one second hand that may have a problem because someone or something happened to it. Telephone Astro-Physics, get an RMA number, package it up and ship it to Roland to get it fixed. If it is a problem in the original design and building of this telescope I am sure he will fix it at little or no cost other than shipping. If it is a problem which is not a design or build problem and has happened due to use, misuse or abuse, then you will have to pay to get it repaired. It is really quite simple. Count yourself extremely lucky that he is around and available to do this for you. I have used and still use a number of Astro-Physics scopes in very cold weather, including a Traveler and have never had a problem. All of my AP scopes except one have been purchased second hand.

Whining about yours will get you nowhere and, at some point in the future will likely result in the loss of a very nice telescope because Roland will no longer be physically able to repair it.




Hi,

Don't want to start another big conversation about that again. Roland said the Traveler was fine, and I sent the scope to Rohr, who said the same. You can search in the forum there for the tests done to my unit.

The Traveler was advertised and sold to me as the ultimate machine. In my eyes I can see a (very) good corrected unit on green, but the color correction is even worse than today's chinese "apo". It's far from being an apo refractor, and I wouldn't use it even for astrophoto. The short tube is very sensitive to thermal changes.

The field curvature is quite remarkable also. It makes my Ethos cry in pain.

Worth 5000$?. Absolutely not, I'm sorry. After owning one, I would pay something in the 2000$ range for a collectors item, but there are far better alternatives today.

I've a friend that have just received an 130GT, another ultimate machine. His owner is even thinking selling his APQ 130 given what he have read in the forums about the uber telescope. Well, I think he's completely hyped and crazy. We'll see. It's pretty hard to see an AP here, the Taks are much appreciated here.

Regards,
Manuel.


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Erik Bakker
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: ManuelJ]
      #6069728 - 09/08/13 03:14 PM

Quote:



I've a friend that have just received an 130GT, another ultimate machine. His owner is even thinking selling his APQ 130 given what he have read in the forums about the uber telescope. Well, I think he's completely hyped and crazy. We'll see. It's pretty hard to see an AP here, the Taks are much appreciated here.

Regards,
Manuel.




Manuel,

One good night under the stars with the APQ130 and GT130 will surely restore the sanity in your friends' mind

If not, you can always buy his "mediocre" APQ at a good price


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Eddgie
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Mike Clemens]
      #6069732 - 09/08/13 03:15 PM Attachment (62 downloads)

Quote:

I bet having the new coatings put on is very expensive. (Haven't we heard figures in the $800-$1000 range?)




Oh, heaven forbid... I paid a fraction of that, and I had a custom, two color coating applied.

My AP had to have special bead blasting on the exterrior because this was recommend due to the tube being aluminum.

Someone had drilled some extra holes in the tube at one time near the focsuer, and these were filled and smoothed so ony the three original focuser screw holes remained.

The scope was then finished in a Crosslink powder coating called "Rebar Green".

It was then given a second coat called "Emerald Metallic" which is basically a clear coating with a very fine green metallic glitter.

I think the total for all of this was about $320, and the finish is amazingly beautiful.

Of course I had to strip all of the hardware off, but they took care of everthing else.

The finish is fantastic.

Starlight Instruments worked with me to design a new adapter (they even named it after my scope...The "Buffy" addapter, and I understand that they have sold a bunch of them). I think they charged me $80 for the CCD design service and programming for the cutter, and I think they charged me $160 for the actual part itself.

And of course the focuser is a Starlightly Feathertouch 3.5" focuser.

Sadly, I don't use this scope much and recenly have thought about selling it, but it is without doubt one of the finest quality instruments I have ever owned.

6" is 6" though and that is not enoght to generally trip my trigger for anything other than wide field work, a task at which the 6" AP is mind bogglingy good at. The utter perfection of the field right to the field stop of a 31mm Nagler. I can take tight doubles and slide them to the edge of this eyepeice ans still split them. That is an amazing feat, to be able to get a crisp double split at the edges of a two degree wide field of view.

It makes wide field viewing a transendental experience.

The picture does not do the finish justice. In the sunlight, it sparkels like a diamond ring..


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Eddgie
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Eddgie]
      #6069753 - 09/08/13 03:26 PM Attachment (53 downloads)

And just a followup to the previous post. Again, I had two coats put on, and I had some holes filled.

Had I just needed the bead blasting to remove the old finish and had a single coat put on, I think it would have been something like $180. I think it was $60 for the bead blasting (and I let them handle that... I could have probably shopped it and gotten it done cheaper somewhere else), and I think the single coat of powdwer would have been $120 assuming it was a "Standard" color that they had on hand (and they had dozens of standard colors).

Company is "CrossLink" I think and they have franchises (?) in most major cities.

You have to see it in person to really appreciate how cool the finish looks...

And the Adapter that Starlight made was perfect in every way. Far nicer looking than the origional focuser flange, which was pretty low tech looking....


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Eddgie
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Eddgie]
      #6069758 - 09/08/13 03:27 PM

And again, how many people can say that they own a telescope that is most likely worth more now than what I paid for it, even after spending about $900 to "Upgrade" it???

Try doing that with your 120ED refractor after putting a Moonlight on it...

Edited by Eddgie (09/08/13 03:29 PM)


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Patrik Iver
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Eddgie]
      #6069801 - 09/08/13 03:52 PM

It really is a beautiful telescope!


Quote:


And of course the focuser is a Starlightly Feathertouch 3.5" focuser.





Are you sure that is not a 3" 3035 instead of the 3.5" 3545? Both extremely nice, but the 3035 (and 2535) rotation mechanisms are different than on the 3545, I think?

Two other things:

I'm not sure, but I suspect that Mike Clemens asking about the coating cost perhaps was referring to the optics, when/if requiring recoating?

Also, I'm not that knowledgeable about optics (and know almost nothing about astophotography) but would not field curvature be the main reason for using a field flatterner or Pezval-design? And no matter how much aspherization would be done to the outer surfaces of the triplet, the curvature would still be focal length-related? Off-axis spot size, perhaps, but not FC? And I write that as one who owns an AP, so I definitely have nothing but the highest regard for them.


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M13 Observer
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/09/06

Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Mike Clemens]
      #6069831 - 09/08/13 04:10 PM

Quote:

I bet having the new coatings put on is very expensive. (Haven't we heard figures in the $800-$1000 range?)




I would think that would be per surface as the old coatings have to be ground off, creating a new surface which requires re-figuring and re-polishing. Fortunately I think it is usually the rearmost exposed surface in the triplet which requires aspherizing on the 105/130/155/180 and the lens which gets damaged is normally the spherical surfaced one in the front on the sky-side.

So saying, spending $1-2K to refurbish a 20+K telescope is a no-brainer if it is required.


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BillP
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Eddgie]
      #6069849 - 09/08/13 04:19 PM

Quote:

Well, I think if you asked Roland Christen, he would tell you that the real strength of his telecopes is only realized when they are used as astrographs.




He does exactly that. I asked him years ago and his response to me was that my money would be better spent elsewhere if all I planned was visual.


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M13 Observer
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/09/06

Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: ManuelJ]
      #6069910 - 09/08/13 04:52 PM

Quote:



Don't want to start another big conversation about that again. Roland said the Traveler was fine, and I sent the scope to Rohr, who said the same. You can search in the forum there for the tests done to my unit.






Rohr is NOT Roland. Get an RMA, put the telescope in Roland's hands and tell him that the cell pinches when it is cold. Isn't that what you think is happening? Maybe there is something wrong, maybe not. I had a Tak like that too and it was sent back to Japan to get fixed. Fortunately it was under the 2 year warranty but I doubt that they would touch it now after all these years.

Quote:


The Traveler was advertised and sold to me as the ultimate machine. In my eyes I can see a (very) good corrected unit on green, but the color correction is even worse than today's chinese "apo". It's far from being an apo refractor, and I wouldn't use it even for astrophoto. The short tube is very sensitive to thermal changes.

The field curvature is quite remarkable also. It makes my Ethos cry in pain.

Worth 5000$?. Absolutely not, I'm sorry. After owning one, I would pay something in the 2000$ range for a collectors item, but there are far better alternatives today.

I've a friend that have just received an 130GT, another ultimate machine. His owner is even thinking selling his APQ 130 given what he have read in the forums about the uber telescope. Well, I think he's completely hyped and crazy. We'll see. It's pretty hard to see an AP here, the Taks are much appreciated here.

Regards,
Manuel.




1) The Traveler is f/6, well, actually around f/5.9.

2) Field curvature is a physical feature of the focal ratio if it is not a Petzval or similar multi-group system. The Traveler is f/6 so it will have significant field curvature. It is why there is a dedicated field flattener which works incredibly well. I know, I have one - actually two, the old one good enough for film and the new one which works better for CCD. Same thing for my AP130 field flatteners.

3) I have NEVER seen or heard of a high quality Chinese APO refractor at f/6, EVER. Closest comparable telescope to the Traveler is the TEC FLT110.

4) Yes, amazingly enough aluminum is not silica so temperature effects them differently. What is so shocking that it has to be re-focused as temperature changes? My TAK FSQ did too! I haven't had a scope that didn't. So what? Re-focusing is normally as much a part of every astro-photographers automated image acquisition as is filter changes and guiding.

5) For a purely visual instrument the visually optimized APQ130 will win, but it is f/8 if I am not mistaken, NOT f/6.3. The AP130 is built as an all-round telescope for both visual and photographic use and I don't think anything else comes close. The TAK 130 has nice optics which don't track temperature change well and needs a crane to lift, the TEC140 has problems for imagers and some visual users at the extreme violet end of the spectrum, the Zeiss is long since gone from the shelves and extremely difficult to procure second hand.

Thanks, but I'll stick with the AP scopes for my imaging and occasional visual use. I feel they are the best all-round refractor available with a VERY close second place going to the TEC110, 160FL and 180FL.


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Eddgie
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Patrik Iver]
      #6070151 - 09/08/13 07:54 PM

No, I am not sure at all what the focuser is... I know it is something like a 3025 or something. Maybe someone can tell by looking at the pictures, but I honestly don't remember exactly what it is.

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Eddgie
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Patrik Iver]
      #6070155 - 09/08/13 07:58 PM

Ah, silly me.

I thought coating being the coating on the OTA..

Duh.

No, no need to recoat. Coating appears to be in fine condition.

And the oil spacing means that only the front lens needs coating. There is no coating between the lenses because of the oil coupling making it unnecessary.

AP listed the transmission as 96%.

I don't see any reason that it may require recoating. As long as I don't scratch it or something, I would think the coatings would last a lifetime.


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Eddgie
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: BillP]
      #6070163 - 09/08/13 08:06 PM

Quote:

He does exactly that. I asked him years ago and his response to me was that my money would be better spent elsewhere if all I planned was visual.




And that is pretty much exactly what he told me too.

And back to the OPs question, I still think that the big APs are the best money can buy. They are designed to deliver the highest level of off axis performance possible.

If someone doesn't image, they may not get the benefit of the big APs, but that does not make the other scope better.. Only as good for visual and likely not as good at imaging.

And best means best. If one scope can do visual but not match the corners of the CCD, and the other scope can do both, then logic would suggest that the one that excels at both is the best scope.

Worth it? Yes, of course.

I saw a big AP sell at auction once for $25,000.

That is the way the world works sometimes. Two rich people both set their minds on owning the best of something and one overpays.

But he or she walks away with the best. And if he/she is really wealthy, does it matter if they overpaid? Really? Or only that they got what they thought was the best without waiting 10 years.

Rich people think differently than most other people do.


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JJK
Carpal Tunnel


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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: ManuelJ]
      #6070196 - 09/08/13 08:26 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

I have dreamed of owning an AP for a long time. Once I did, I only want to get rid of it and never buy one again.

Yes, they are good, but they are not worth the money people are paying second hand, I just can't understand that.




You purchased one second hand that may have a problem because someone or something happened to it. Telephone Astro-Physics, get an RMA number, package it up and ship it to Roland to get it fixed. If it is a problem in the original design and building of this telescope I am sure he will fix it at little or no cost other than shipping. If it is a problem which is not a design or build problem and has happened due to use, misuse or abuse, then you will have to pay to get it repaired. It is really quite simple. Count yourself extremely lucky that he is around and available to do this for you. I have used and still use a number of Astro-Physics scopes in very cold weather, including a Traveler and have never had a problem. All of my AP scopes except one have been purchased second hand.

Whining about yours will get you nowhere and, at some point in the future will likely result in the loss of a very nice telescope because Roland will no longer be physically able to repair it.




Hi,

Don't want to start another big conversation about that again. Roland said the Traveler was fine, and I sent the scope to Rohr, who said the same. You can search in the forum there for the tests done to my unit.

The Traveler was advertised and sold to me as the ultimate machine. In my eyes I can see a (very) good corrected unit on green, but the color correction is even worse than today's chinese "apo". It's far from being an apo refractor, and I wouldn't use it even for astrophoto. The short tube is very sensitive to thermal changes.

The field curvature is quite remarkable also. It makes my Ethos cry in pain.

Worth 5000$?. Absolutely not, I'm sorry. After owning one, I would pay something in the 2000$ range for a collectors item, but there are far better alternatives today.

I've a friend that have just received an 130GT, another ultimate machine. His owner is even thinking selling his APQ 130 given what he have read in the forums about the uber telescope. Well, I think he's completely hyped and crazy. We'll see. It's pretty hard to see an AP here, the Taks are much appreciated here.

Regards,
Manuel.




Your experience does not correlate with mine.

I've owned and used a wide range of top-tier refractors (AP, Zeiss APQ, Tak, TEC, TMB) and lesser tier scopes, and no AP performed as you suggested (with the exception of expected wide field curvature that can be removed with a field flattener). Every AP scope and mount I bought performed up to spec. In addition, Roland has offered excellent advice about purchasing his or others' vintage glass for specific applications.

In my experience, if something is truly wrong with an AP product, they fix it, period.


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mikey cee
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Eddgie]
      #6070291 - 09/08/13 09:30 PM

Quote:



Rich people think differently than most other people do.


You got that right. That's exactly why the average millionaire drives a vehicle that is 11 years old. They get that way by a different set of values than the rest do. Mike

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Rinaldo
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/28/04

Loc: Lawng-eye-lind - New York, USA
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Eddgie]
      #6070509 - 09/09/13 12:23 AM

Quote:

...If you just want to dork around with an eyepeice, it is a waste of a high quality astrograpich lens, You can do far better visual observing with any number of different telescopes...




This statement is too general and can be interpreted that it doesn't perform as well visually. However, if the above statement was intended to say that for the money one can buy a larger instrument with excellent optics that delivers the same quality and clarity across the visual spectrum, I could agree with that.


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Rinaldo
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: okieav8r]
      #6070511 - 09/09/13 12:26 AM

Quote:

Quote:

but since AP has a years-long waiting list I wonder if it's worth just signing on.








Quote:

One thing you can say for the AP waiting list--you've got plenty of time to save up for the telescope while you're waiting. Sign up, open a savings account and contribute to it every payday, and when your name comes up, buy your telescope.




True. If you put $2.50 a day in a jar, you'll have over $9,000 in 10 years. Easily enough for a 130mm AP refractor when you get the call!

Edited by Rinaldo (09/09/13 12:27 AM)


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6070781 - 09/09/13 07:24 AM

Quote:

Of course the computer will do the design work but manufacturing becomes an issue. I look at mass production for the high end camera makers and they incorporate aspherical as well as exotic glasses in automated processes. Some of the lenses can have more than 10 elements and the image quality is far superior to older production. I think you are seeing automated manufacturing being introduced with some of the newer high end telescopes coming out of China. If the volume is there, there is no reason why the manual process cannot be automated to reduce cost.




Camera lenses face far less stringent requirements than a telescope lens. Maybe in the future, automated processes can replace manual processing but I believe A-P has state of the art equipment but to get that final figure that is what it is, it takes a skilled optician with an interferometer...

Jon


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #6070786 - 09/09/13 07:31 AM

Quote:

Quote:



Rich people think differently than most other people do.


You got that right. That's exactly why the average millionaire drives a vehicle that is 11 years old. They get that way by a different set of values than the rest do. Mike




Gee, my wife and I must be an average millionaires.. My wife's car is 1999, my truck is 2004.. We've had the car for 2 years, it replaced 1996 that was totaled while parked. The truck, less than a year, it replaced a 2003 that was totaled while parked.

Jon


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rockethead26
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6070796 - 09/09/13 07:43 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:



Rich people think differently than most other people do.


You got that right. That's exactly why the average millionaire drives a vehicle that is 11 years old. They get that way by a different set of values than the rest do. Mike




Gee, my wife and I must be an average millionaires.. My wife's car is 1999, my truck is 2004.. We've had the car for 2 years, it replaced 1996 that was totaled while parked. The truck, less than a year, it replaced a 2003 that was totaled while parked.

Jon




Where the heck do you park?


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Eddgie
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Rinaldo]
      #6070866 - 09/09/13 09:05 AM

Quote:

This statement is too general and can be interpreted that it doesn't perform as well visually




Well, nowhere did I ever say the scope will not perform well visually. You won't beat it with any same size aperture scope made.

But you can do as well for visual use because visual use is not as demanding as wide field imaging. The eye simply is not a sensitive enough detector to see the difference between an AP lens and many others at the extreme off axis.

But the CCD chip can.

And once again, the OP asks if AP is the best.

And the answer is that as a visual instrument, it can be matched, but as an astrograph, it can't be.

For somoene that wants to only use it visually, to wait 10 years to get one is kind of a gigantic waste of time.

To wait that long to get one only to put an eyepeice in it is a real waste of a decade.

That pretty much mirrors the conversation I had with Roland Christen about the topic. He pretty much in no uncertian terms told me that there were better choices for visual use, and that the real reason for waiting 10 years for a big AP was to get the best astrograph money can buy.

And I beleived him. Took my name off the list, bought a used AP triplet for visual use, and never looked back.
But I love my 6" AP. Oh, for planets, I use my C14, but for wide field viewing, the AP is amazing. No scope I have ever owned has provided me with the absolute perfection of field over two degrees that the AP can do. There is no visible coma, no visable field curvature, and no illumination dropoff.

For wide field viewing, nothing has ever come close to the AP 6".

And by the way, that is what makes them outstanding astrographs. Hmmmm.


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David PavlichAdministrator
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Eddgie]
      #6071043 - 09/09/13 11:08 AM

Question: Since I've never imaged with an AP but did use a couple other triplet refractors (TEC, Tak), there was a need for at least a flattener due to field curvature. Am I to assume that, say, an AP 130 needs a flattener, especially for chips like the 11000 or 16803 class? If so, then, while the optics are color free, there are other considerations when imaging with an AP triplet.

For wide field imaging, I've seen some very impressive results with Televue's 127is and Tak's FSQ106. Different designs for sure, but no need to introduce a flattener into the imaging train.

David


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HunterofPhotons
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #6071125 - 09/09/13 11:43 AM

Quote:

...For wide field imaging, I've seen some very impressive results with Televue's 127is and Tak's FSQ106. Different designs for sure, but no need to introduce a flattener into the imaging train.

David




Those are both Petzval designs, David.
They already have the flattener integrated into the design. <g>
Yes, an AP triplet will benefit from a flattener for a large-chip camera.

dan k.


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M13 Observer
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #6071129 - 09/09/13 11:43 AM

Quote:

Question: Since I've never imaged with an AP but did use a couple other triplet refractors (TEC, Tak), there was a need for at least a flattener due to field curvature. Am I to assume that, say, an AP 130 needs a flattener, especially for chips like the 11000 or 16803 class? If so, then, while the optics are color free, there are other considerations when imaging with an AP triplet.

For wide field imaging, I've seen some very impressive results with Televue's 127is and Tak's FSQ106. Different designs for sure, but no need to introduce a flattener into the imaging train.

David




The TV and the Tak you mention are Petzval's. Bottom line is that they are 4 element scopes with the elements in 2 groups, one big set at the objective end, and one small set at the eyepiece/ccd end. The ones at the eyepiece/CCD end act like a fancy field flattener and corrector for the objective elements. Yes the AP130 at f/6 definitely, and I can only assume, the AP130GT at f/6.3, require a field flattener with the wider/larger format CCD chips.


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bobmcg
member


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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Eddgie]
      #6071165 - 09/09/13 11:59 AM

The wait doesn't have to be a waste of time. You can buy a different fine refractor to use while you are waiting then, when your AP comes, sell the "inferior" scope and use the money to help pay for the AP

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Bill McNeal
sage


Reged: 10/07/07

Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: bobmcg]
      #6071188 - 09/09/13 12:09 PM

That's a good point--I didn't know Roland was that old and that new signups to the wait list are in danger of his possible retirement. That raises some questions for people considering getting on a wait list that may take years or decades:

1) Has Roland given any indication that he's retiring soon?

2) When he does, is there an heir apparent, an apprentice that will take over for him, or will AP just go out of business? I'm assuming he makes AP's mounts as well.

3) How do the remaining brands do for resale, like TEC vs. TeleVue vs. Tak? Or are they all pretty much the same?


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: HunterofPhotons]
      #6071196 - 09/09/13 12:13 PM

Quote:

Quote:

...For wide field imaging, I've seen some very impressive results with Televue's 127is and Tak's FSQ106. Different designs for sure, but no need to introduce a flattener into the imaging train.

David




Those are both Petzval designs, David.
They already have the flattener integrated into the design. <g>
Yes, an AP triplet will benefit from a flattener for a large-chip camera.

dan k.




A-P makes flatteners for their refractors, it's part of the package. The advantage of the modified Petzvals like the NP-101 is that they can be used visually whereas add on flatteners use up too much back focus. Otherwise, photographic flatteners provide more options for a particular scope.

I like my NP-101 but I have to think that if I had the chance to trade it straight across for a Traveler, I would jump on it.

Jon


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Jeff Morgan
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6071253 - 09/09/13 12:39 PM

Quote:

That's a good point--I didn't know Roland was that old and that new signups to the wait list are in danger of his possible retirement. That raises some questions for people considering getting on a wait list that may take years or decades:

1) Has Roland given any indication that he's retiring soon?

2) When he does, is there an heir apparent, an apprentice that will take over for him, or will AP just go out of business? I'm assuming he makes AP's mounts as well.

3) How do the remaining brands do for resale, like TEC vs. TeleVue vs. Tak? Or are they all pretty much the same?





Roland appears to love what he does, so he'll likely go on as long as able. My father is one of those people and just retired (grudgingly) at age 86.

But many maladies of age don't give long range indications do they? Could be tomorrow, or RC could go beyond 100.

It's interesting to see how Tele Vue has handled the succession issue - namely bringing forth a new designer as the creator of the Ethos line. AFAIK from an optical perspective, AP appears to be a one-man show.

When Roland leaves the optical shop for the last time here will be no more true Christen lenses produced. On that day AP resale values will probably jump 10% or more. Then the ravages of time and accidents will take their toll on the existing population of AP scopes. As that population shrinks resale will continue to go up.


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David PavlichAdministrator
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: HunterofPhotons]
      #6071342 - 09/09/13 01:34 PM

Quote:

Quote:

...For wide field imaging, I've seen some very impressive results with Televue's 127is and Tak's FSQ106. Different designs for sure, but no need to introduce a flattener into the imaging train.

David




Those are both Petzval designs, David.
They already have the flattener integrated into the design. <g>
Yes, an AP triplet will benefit from a flattener for a large-chip camera.

dan k.




Yep...you'll note that I did mention that the 106 and 127 are different designs. And I quote from my own post:

"For wide field imaging, I've seen some very impressive results with Televue's 127is and Tak's FSQ106. Different designs for sure, but no need to introduce a flattener into the imaging train.

David"

Don't want you to think that I didn't know the difference between a triplet and a fourplet.

David

Edited by David Pavlich (09/09/13 01:39 PM)


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ManuelJ
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Reged: 12/19/05

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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6071560 - 09/09/13 03:36 PM

Quote:

I like my NP-101 but I have to think that if I had the chance to trade it straight across for a Traveler, I would jump on it.




I would to that in a heartbeat (IS version). If you are doing a trip to Madrid, call me


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Eddgie
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #6071601 - 09/09/13 04:07 PM

David,
The real limitation is chromatic aberration, which as you know, scales with aperture.

Building an imaging scope a 102mm or even 130mm is far less demanding than getting that same performance in a very large telescope.

The large APs are aslo corrected at wavelenths that most scope can't touch.

But this is not a argument I or anyone else can win, so I won't post on the topic again, but when you look at the AP scopes as imaging scopes, they are across the board excellent, and the largest ones are perhaps peerless.

And used prices alone classify them as "Best" because discerning people will always pay more for the best. Even if it is higher than new price.


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BPO
sage


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Loc: South Island, NZ
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Eddgie]
      #6071652 - 09/09/13 04:44 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.



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David PavlichAdministrator
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Eddgie]
      #6071662 - 09/09/13 04:50 PM

Quote:

David,

And used prices alone classify them as "Best" because discerning people will always pay more for the best. Even if it is higher than new price.




And from my first post in this thread:

"But if you factor in resale, AP is the clear winner."

Not trying to argue here. I'm mentioning facts (triplet needs flattener, Petzval doesn't. AP has the best resale hands down and when figuring that into the equation, yes, AP is the best). The only way that we would be able to prove which brand has the best correction would be to have one person with the same setup shooting the same object with the same seeing and the same person doing the processing and that person can't own a refractor so that he or she doesn't have a dog in the hunt.

Pretty tough to do, however, due to the enormous cost of 6" top line apochromats. I stop at 6" because it's the largest that Tak makes.

I know AP is arguably the best refractor out there and would be beyond my capability as an imager or my astro-bank account. So...that's why I have a C11 Edge...I can afford it.

David


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PeterR280
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: BPO]
      #6071665 - 09/09/13 04:50 PM

If the APs are primarily an imaging telescope, why are the field flatteners sold as an option?

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M13 Observer
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/09/06

Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6071690 - 09/09/13 05:01 PM

Quote:

If the APs are primarily an imaging telescope, why are the field flatteners sold as an option?




The 155EDF, 180EDF and 175EDF were only sold with the 4" field flattener included. As to the rest of the AP scopes, "Primarily" does not mean "solely". A dedicated AP field flattener will set one back around $800 to $2000. If you have a small CCD chip or or only using the scope visually, it is not required so why pay for it if you don't need it?


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David PavlichAdministrator
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6071694 - 09/09/13 05:05 PM

I don't think any of the top line triplets come with a flattener as part of the package. I would assume that the cost would rise and that someone that is buying it for visual only would be a bit miffed paying extra for a flattener to be used for imaging.

David


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BPO
sage


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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #6071703 - 09/09/13 05:09 PM

Quote:

The only way that we would be able to prove which brand has the best correction would be to have one person with the same setup shooting the same object with the same seeing and the same person doing the processing and that person can't own a refractor so that he or she doesn't have a dog in the hunt.



Patriotism is likely to play a significant role, unfortunately. In this particular debate it always does.


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RodgerHouTex
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: PowellAstro]
      #6071737 - 09/09/13 05:23 PM

I believe I read somewhere that A-P uses machines to grind and polish their lenses and then Roland hand figures them. No hand grinding and polishing required.

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Starhawk
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: M13 Observer]
      #6071766 - 09/09/13 05:36 PM

And not all field flattening is necessary. I got one of the inexpensive Astro-Tech 2" flatteners and it seems to work quite well for APS-C- I hope to get some good comparison pix together with it.

-Rich


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TG
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #6071777 - 09/09/13 05:45 PM

Quote:

I believe I read somewhere that A-P uses machines to grind and polish their lenses and then Roland hand figures them. No hand grinding and polishing required.




Yes, you can see it right here:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cc6Nj9R3NO4&noredirect=1

From what I've read (possibly in a post of Roland's), the machine polished lens set is about 1/4 wave and he hand figures it to 1/10 wave, 1/56 RMS, taking anywhere from 2 hours to a full day.

Tanveer.


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The Ardent
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: BPO]
      #6071913 - 09/09/13 07:08 PM

You have Southern Cross, Eta Carinae, Magellanic clouds and Gondor.
Trade 'ya

Quote:

Patriotism is likely to play a significant role, unfortunately. In this particular debate it always does.




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David PavlichAdministrator
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: BPO]
      #6072270 - 09/09/13 10:43 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The only way that we would be able to prove which brand has the best correction would be to have one person with the same setup shooting the same object with the same seeing and the same person doing the processing and that person can't own a refractor so that he or she doesn't have a dog in the hunt.



Patriotism is likely to play a significant role, unfortunately. In this particular debate it always does.




Perhaps we could have a New Zealander do the test.

David


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BPO
sage


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Loc: South Island, NZ
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: The Ardent]
      #6072342 - 09/09/13 11:18 PM

Quote:

You have [...] Gondor.




After wracking my brain, trying to remember which constellation or object that was, I gave up and Googled it.



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BPO
sage


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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #6072343 - 09/09/13 11:19 PM

Quote:

Perhaps we could have a New Zealander do the test.




Not me, though. I'm too pro Tak!



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jrbarnett
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6072959 - 09/10/13 10:52 AM

The tidbit you're missing is "supply" and "demand". There is a very constrained supply of A-P refractors (a 10-year waitlist to buy a new one), and therefore very high demand, accounting for the high price per unit of aperture (though cheaper than Takahashi on that metric), and exceptionally high (often higher than new-retail) resale value. TEC has a short waitlist. Takahashi generally ships scopes from dealer stock.

But, to your main question on "brand", there is really little value in any brand. The real value is in the specific models and their properties. A brand, no matter how popular, that is backed with mediocre quality products isn't as valuable a brand as one backed by high quality products. I think the focus on "brand", therefore, is misguided. Better to talk about specific scopes and their pros and cons.

Regards,

Jim


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JJK
Carpal Tunnel


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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: BPO]
      #6074636 - 09/11/13 09:18 AM

Quote:

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?


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ManuelJ
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/19/05

Loc: Madrid, Spain
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: JJK]
      #6074898 - 09/11/13 11:24 AM

Quote:

Quote:

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.


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jrbarnett
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: JJK]
      #6074964 - 09/11/13 12:10 PM

Telescope design is an exercise in balancing pros and cons. Every design strikes a different balance. The user's objective is to figure out which scope's solution to the balancing equation most closely matches hist or her own preferences.

TOAs are great scopes if...

1. Cooldown times are not of much concern (enormous air space with not one but two low dispersion elements of "sluggish" thermal properties; and

2. Scope weight for a given aperture is not of much concern; the Tak TOAs are enormously heavy and imbalanced per inch of aperture; and

3. You don't mind spending the most per inch of aperture of any premium APO design; and

4. You don't mind that your scope will suffer fairly substantial depreciation if you buy new; and

5. You don't mind seeing one on every street corner.

So long as these "cons" aren't problems for you, you receive these virtues: no waiting to buy, top of the top in color correction, lovely workmanship and excellent optics.

As a traveling visual refractor user though, color correction is of less concern to me than other factors. Cooldown is important, as is easy of stable mounting. Because I use my scopes "hard", and they don't live in a dome or under the controlled environment of home, maximizing performance at the minimum cost is extremely important. The only largish Takahashi apochromat that comes close to the "guiltless use and abuse" price for me is the TSA-120.

We're lucky to have so many premium choices, as well as so many decent quality mid-market alternatives. It's gotten much easier to find a find a refractor that matches the user's balance preferences.

- Jim


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ManuelJ
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/19/05

Loc: Madrid, Spain
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6075200 - 09/11/13 02:13 PM

Quote:

Telescope design is an exercise in balancing pros and cons. Every design strikes a different balance. The user's objective is to figure out which scope's solution to the balancing equation most closely matches hist or her own preferences.

TOAs are great scopes if...

1. Cooldown times are not of much concern (enormous air space with not one but two low dispersion elements of "sluggish" thermal properties; and

2. Scope weight for a given aperture is not of much concern; the Tak TOAs are enormously heavy and imbalanced per inch of aperture; and

3. You don't mind spending the most per inch of aperture of any premium APO design; and

4. You don't mind that your scope will suffer fairly substantial depreciation if you buy new; and

5. You don't mind seeing one on every street corner.

So long as these "cons" aren't problems for you, you receive these virtues: no waiting to buy, top of the top in color correction, lovely workmanship and excellent optics.

As a traveling visual refractor user though, color correction is of less concern to me than other factors. Cooldown is important, as is easy of stable mounting. Because I use my scopes "hard", and they don't live in a dome or under the controlled environment of home, maximizing performance at the minimum cost is extremely important. The only largish Takahashi apochromat that comes close to the "guiltless use and abuse" price for me is the TSA-120.

We're lucky to have so many premium choices, as well as so many decent quality mid-market alternatives. It's gotten much easier to find a find a refractor that matches the user's balance preferences.

- Jim




TOA-130: 6200
AP130GT: 7000

Now I know why they are not popular here...

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


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vahe
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/27/05

Loc: Houston, Texas
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6075230 - 09/11/13 02:26 PM

Quote:


3. You don't mind spending the most per inch of aperture of any premium APO design;





The most recent AP 175 (6.88) at $20,800 may very well hold the record of the most expensive per inch of aperture for apos under 7 in size.

Vahe


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t.r.
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Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: vahe]
      #6075251 - 09/11/13 02:33 PM

Is it the most expensive??? The TEC 180 FL is $19,000 without the case, without a field flattener, without shipping, but you do get those extra 5mm pushing you over 7"!

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vahe
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/27/05

Loc: Houston, Texas
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: t.r.]
      #6075297 - 09/11/13 02:48 PM

Quote:

Is it the most expensive??? The TEC 180 FL is $19,000 without the case, without a field flattener, without shipping, but you do get those extra 5mm pushing you over 7"!





Just think about what AP 175 price would be if fluorite was used instead of ED, another $4K on top of $20,800.

Vahe


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mgwhittle
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: t.r.]
      #6075308 - 09/11/13 02:52 PM

Quote:

but you do get those extra 5mm pushing you over 7"!




Yeah.....my 175 feels so.....short changed!


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Joe Aguiar
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: mgwhittle]
      #6075321 - 09/11/13 02:56 PM

to me name brand is the first on my list.
joe


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BCNGreyCat
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: ManuelJ]
      #6075353 - 09/11/13 03:13 PM

Quote:

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 ...


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Starhawk
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Joe Aguiar]
      #6075368 - 09/11/13 03:20 PM

OK, so what's your brand for super high-end APOs?

-Rich

Quote:

to me name brand is the first on my list.
joe




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PeterR280
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Joe Aguiar]
      #6075369 - 09/11/13 03:21 PM

It takes businesses years to build a brand image. It's the most valuable asset they have, It can be ruined very quickly.

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ManuelJ
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: BCNGreyCat]
      #6075506 - 09/11/13 04:43 PM

Quote:

Quote:

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.


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Joe Aguiar
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: ManuelJ]
      #6075526 - 09/11/13 04:54 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


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Kunama
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: ManuelJ]
      #6075527 - 09/11/13 04:55 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!


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Derek Wong
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: ManuelJ]
      #6075555 - 09/11/13 05:19 PM

Quote:


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.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/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


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Olee
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? *DELETED* new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6075595 - 09/11/13 05:47 PM

Post deleted by Olee

Edited by Olee (09/11/13 07:10 PM)


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PeterR280
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Olee]
      #6075610 - 09/11/13 05:56 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

Edited by PeterR280 (09/11/13 05:57 PM)


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Starhawk
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Kunama]
      #6075634 - 09/11/13 06:16 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

Quote:

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!




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Jeff Morgan
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Kunama]
      #6075924 - 09/11/13 09:39 PM

Quote:

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.


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JJK
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: ManuelJ]
      #6075936 - 09/11/13 09:48 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

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).


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JJK
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: ManuelJ]
      #6075952 - 09/11/13 09:56 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

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.


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JJK
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6075969 - 09/11/13 10:08 PM

Quote:

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

Quote:

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).


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Starhawk
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: JJK]
      #6076042 - 09/11/13 10:54 PM

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

-Rich


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Starhawk
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Jeff Morgan]
      #6076053 - 09/11/13 11:03 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


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Starhawk
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: ManuelJ]
      #6076106 - 09/11/13 11:41 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

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

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.




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ManuelJ
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6076329 - 09/12/13 03:55 AM

What about trying what I say?.

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


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T1R2
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: ManuelJ]
      #6076352 - 09/12/13 04:41 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


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ManuelJ
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: T1R2]
      #6076419 - 09/12/13 07:00 AM

Quote:

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.


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JJK
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: ManuelJ]
      #6076456 - 09/12/13 07:49 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

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.

Edited by Richard McC (09/13/13 06:51 AM)


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Wilsonman
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: JJK]
      #6079127 - 09/13/13 05:43 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?

Edited by Wilsonman (09/13/13 05:45 PM)


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M13 Observer
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: ManuelJ]
      #6080011 - 09/14/13 09:14 AM

Quote:


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.


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Scott in NCAdministrator
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: M13 Observer]
      #6080101 - 09/14/13 10:17 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.

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Bill McNeal
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Scott in NC]
      #6092771 - 09/21/13 01:42 AM

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

Is it really that much better?


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Paul G
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6093053 - 09/21/13 09:38 AM

Quote:

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.


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Bill McNeal
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Paul G]
      #6096099 - 09/23/13 12:28 AM

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?


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Mapleton
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6096990 - 09/23/13 03:18 PM

Quote:

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.


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hfjacinto
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6097009 - 09/23/13 03:39 PM

Quote:

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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mgwhittle
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #6097133 - 09/23/13 04:49 PM

Quote:

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.





So Roland is calling it quits in less than five years? This is the first time I have ever heard that he is planning on this.


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Stelios
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: mgwhittle]
      #6097138 - 09/23/13 04:52 PM

I can't believe they'd do that and still accept people signing up now. AFAIK the notification lists are still open.

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hfjacinto
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Stelios]
      #6097150 - 09/23/13 05:00 PM

This was at NEAF and I asked and was told that most likely I will not get a 130, I wasn't given a reason, it could be the list is much longer now the wait list could be 10 years after my name or that he will stop making the 130. Again why lust after something if you can't buy it.

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Mapleton
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #6097280 - 09/23/13 06:50 PM

Quote:

This was at NEAF and I asked and was told that most likely I will not get a 130, I wasn't given a reason, it could be the list is much longer now the wait list could be 10 years after my name or that he will stop making the 130. Again why lust after something if you can't buy it.




Maybe he was just saying that to not get your hopes up.


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Dwight56
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Mapleton]
      #6098454 - 09/24/13 01:09 PM

There are still the alternatives. There are AP scopes that show up on Astromart and CN from time to time. I've seen the 130 Grandtorismo show up in the past. Since Roland is getting ready to send more out. Someone is bound to sell one for whatever reason after they decide they can't have something that expensive lying around. Then there is loss of interest and so on. That means on apportunity for someone who really wants one.

Edited by Dwight56 (09/24/13 01:12 PM)


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Mapleton
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Dwight56]
      #6098482 - 09/24/13 01:24 PM

Wow Dwight, you've been keeping Roland in business.

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PeterR280
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Mapleton]
      #6098630 - 09/24/13 02:33 PM

Dwight, what is that Tak FS78 doing among all those APs? I must feel like an orphan.

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Mike Clemens
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6098775 - 09/24/13 04:02 PM

Quote:

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?




Him or his employees in shop. More than one person can work optics at TEC.


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Dwight56
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Mike Clemens]
      #6098801 - 09/24/13 04:19 PM

Oh the Tak FS 78 thinks its among its own big brothers. Likewise the bigger Refractors looks after its little brother as if it one of their own.

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LLEEGE
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #6099995 - 09/25/13 09:32 AM

Quote:

Again why lust after something if you can't buy it.


There are plenty of GT's to buy. You might not get one direct from AP but you can still buy one. Lust away.....

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hfjacinto
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: LLEEGE]
      #6100245 - 09/25/13 12:11 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Again why lust after something if you can't buy it.


There are plenty of GT's to buy. You might not get one direct from AP but you can still buy one. Lust away.....




If a scope can only be purchased on the used market than I'm not currently interested.


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Paul G
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #6100393 - 09/25/13 01:27 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Again why lust after something if you can't buy it.


There are plenty of GT's to buy. You might not get one direct from AP but you can still buy one. Lust away.....




If a scope can only be purchased on the used market than I'm not currently interested.




To each his own. Just curious why you feel this way. Seems to really limit your options.


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Mapleton
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Paul G]
      #6100416 - 09/25/13 01:37 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Again why lust after something if you can't buy it.


There are plenty of GT's to buy. You might not get one direct from AP but you can still buy one. Lust away.....




If a scope can only be purchased on the used market than I'm not currently interested.




To each his own. Just curious why you feel this way. Seems to really limit your options.




Is APs warranty still valid on the used market?


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t.r.
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Mapleton]
      #6100420 - 09/25/13 01:39 PM

If there is a manufacturers defect and if, after AP looks over the item, they determine that indeed it is a defect and not due to fair wear and tear, they will honor a repair. When you buy a used AP item, they want you to call them and transfer ownership information by serial number...thats how warranty and update issues are tracked. This is very similar incidentily, to Formula Powerboats, arguably the best boat manufacturer in the US, they treat the used owner as if they are the original owner. Funny, these are two top-tier manufacturers that take this customer oriented approach.

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hfjacinto
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Paul G]
      #6100625 - 09/25/13 03:07 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Again why lust after something if you can't buy it.


There are plenty of GT's to buy. You might not get one direct from AP but you can still buy one. Lust away.....




If a scope can only be purchased on the used market than I'm not currently interested.




To each his own. Just curious why you feel this way. Seems to really limit your options.




I refuse to pay more for used what a new one costs. If I'm going to spend $4000+ on a telescope, I want a new one. I never lusted after anything bigger in an APO other than the 130MM, so I never wanted a bigger one. I almost purchased a 130MM TAK from a friend, but decided to pass, same with AP. At the current new cost I want a new one.


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Starhawk
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #6100654 - 09/25/13 03:21 PM

I don't think you have to. I've seen a lot of AP 130 EDFGTs show up on the other site where the owner will flat out tell you it seemed like the only thing to do after being on the list so long, but when it showed up, they realized it was now beyond them and they resell at cost, some without even opening the box.

-Rich


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Starhawk
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6100715 - 09/25/13 03:51 PM

Follow-up note, if the seller is including the rings and dovetail, these didn't come with the scope, so you aren't being gouged if its like $500 over the exact list price. And get one now. Roland is mortal. His company will treat you right, but only his hands on the glass are going to be the ultimate AP refractors. Once you look through one, your doubt will be gone. There's nothing like it.

-Rich

Edited by Starhawk (09/25/13 03:53 PM)


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #6100724 - 09/25/13 03:55 PM

Quote:

I refuse to pay more for used what a new one costs. If I'm going to spend $4000+ on a telescope, I want a new one. I never lusted after anything bigger in an APO other than the 130MM, so I never wanted a bigger one. I almost purchased a 130MM TAK from a friend, but decided to pass, same with AP. At the current new cost I want a new one.




New = Money + Time
Used = Money

Which is more expensive?

Myself, if decided to buy an A-P scope, I would be looking used, I have the money, time is precious.

Jon


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hfjacinto
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6100752 - 09/25/13 04:10 PM

Jon,

This is the age old question. I have a hobby budget, I can use it for anything I want. Well this year I used it all for a new Canon 6D DSLR and a few lens and an SBIG STT 8300 camera, I also changed several EPs to ES 100* ones. Can I afford a new/used AP scope, of course, do I want one, maybe/maybe not. I don't see the cost/benefit of the AP 130, other than to say its an AP scope. If it was available new, I probably would have gotten one instead of the cameras.

The question is whether a used AP is worth the same to me as a new AP and in my case its a no. Considering the scope would be mostly used for Astrophotography, I think my money would be better spent on a mount. I know its kills people here but if I get an AP scope it will barely have any eyepiece time


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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6100794 - 09/25/13 04:29 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I refuse to pay more for used what a new one costs. If I'm going to spend $4000+ on a telescope, I want a new one. I never lusted after anything bigger in an APO other than the 130MM, so I never wanted a bigger one. I almost purchased a 130MM TAK from a friend, but decided to pass, same with AP. At the current new cost I want a new one.




New = Money + Time
Used = Money

Which is more expensive?

Myself, if decided to buy an A-P scope, I would be looking used, I have the money, time is precious.

Jon


I'd only buy used also. Time is not only precious but time is one thing you can't buy with any amount of money! I'd be damned if I'd waste time on a hope or a promise. Mike

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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #6100833 - 09/25/13 04:42 PM

i understand whats he saying AP is not really the name brand that i would buy for me its a tak, but i wouldnt also pay $7,500 for a used 130 TOA when i can buy it new.

The difference in this case is tak makes them in bulk wheres AP doesnt, so thats the difference since you cant really get a new AP then you have to settle for a AP but i too wouldnt pay the same amount for a used one when you can get a tak used or new cheaper. And both scopes are considered to be #1 APO'S


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #6100836 - 09/25/13 04:42 PM

Quote:


The question is whether a used AP is worth the same to me as a new AP and in my case its a no.




I don't know why a used A-P is not functionally the same as a new A-P. As soon as you open the box, a new one is used...

Jon


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Mapleton
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #6101026 - 09/25/13 06:25 PM

Quote:

I refuse to pay more for used what a new one costs. If I'm going to spend $4000+ on a telescope, I want a new one. I never lusted after anything bigger in an APO other than the 130MM, so I never wanted a bigger one. I almost purchased a 130MM TAK from a friend, but decided to pass, same with AP. At the current new cost I want a new one.




I understand your mindset, but you should consider the advantages.

1. Time is money. Would you wait 10 years just so you don't have to pay a 10 or 20 percent markup? That's awfully stubborn.

2. People getting on the waiting list today will have to pay whatever the retail price of the scope is 10 years from now when their number is called. A scope may cost $5000, maybe 10 years from now it's $8000, or more. Beat inflation by buying today.

3. The product could be discontinued or the company may undergo significant changes between now and 10 years from now.

4. An AP scope is one of the few scopes, pending inflation, that could keep or increase it's value over the long run. It's almost an investment. I wouldn't compare it to a real investment, but it's certainly better than a lot of the things we buy like cars or electronics that lose their value rapidly.


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Joe Aguiar
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Mapleton]
      #6101196 - 09/25/13 08:06 PM

ok but remember this is how R wants to run his company he could also like takahashi mass produce them but just do a final inspection in which this case maybe it would be a one yr wait instead of a 10 yr wait, but I guess that's how he wants it and that's fine.

Noone can sayAp is better than tak they r both rated maybe even tied for 1st or best scopes.

. People getting on the waiting list today will have to pay whatever the retail price of the scope is 10 years from now when their number is called. A scope may cost $5000, maybe 10 years from now it's $8000, or more. Beat inflation by buying today.

As far is this I think its not true because in a real investment you are paid interest on your deposit, so you shouldn't have to pay $8,000 as you already locked in your money 10 yrs before, in fact it should be cheaper cause (in this case ) R has some of your money now,10 yrs b4 you get your scope.


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Guss2
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Joe Aguiar]
      #6101216 - 09/25/13 08:22 PM

I was of the understanding that you paid nothing until you were notified that your scope was available, or would be very soon anyway.Gary

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Adam S
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Joe Aguiar]
      #6101237 - 09/25/13 08:34 PM

There is no deposit required until your name is called. From the date I was emailed a note that my name had come up I put half down on a cc and received my 130 in less than three months.

Optically I cannot say that AP is the best, at this level only a computer can likely detect Tak,AP and TEC differences regardless of what you'll read in forums. When considering build, AP is number one hands down. Considering customer service TEC and AP tie for first, this applies to both new and used scopes. Yuri and Roland back the scopes for a lifetime regardless of owner where applicable.


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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Guss2]
      #6101238 - 09/25/13 08:34 PM

This may sound heretical, but really why would one wait years to a 5" refractor to use as a glorified telephoto , and pay an arm and leg for it ?

Better off getting 14" or 16" superfast newtonian + a great mount IMO.

You can go deeper faster, and have a wider fov and probably at a fraction of the cost of an AP.


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PeterR280
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Guss2]
      #6101242 - 09/25/13 08:35 PM

There is no payment up front. Only when the notifications happen that they are getting ready to ship, usually within a few months.

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hfjacinto
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6101257 - 09/25/13 08:43 PM

So to me an Astro Physics isn't the best brand as one can't purchase a new one. I won't wait 10 years for one. Like I said I made my choices this year instead of spending $6000 on a telescope I got a new camera and a few good lens. If you want to buy used that's fine. That's your prerogative, but if I really wanted a new top of the line refractor at least a Tak is available.

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Joe Aguiar
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #6101263 - 09/25/13 08:49 PM

that's what I thought about the deposit, so I wouldn't say its a investment then.
well iam getting to the point that I wanna purchace a high end scope and it can only be tak, then again I will try for a used model tho


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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: mgwhittle]
      #6101295 - 09/25/13 09:10 PM

Quote:

Quote:

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.





So Roland is calling it quits in less than five years? This is the first time I have ever heard that he is planning on this.




Maybe it's because he's going to make a 140 f/5 or some other optical configuration and offer them to the 130mm waiting list!


OK maybe not...


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Derek Wong
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Ian Robinson]
      #6101714 - 09/26/13 04:35 AM

Quote:

Better off getting 14" or 16" superfast newtonian + a great mount IMO.

You can go deeper faster, and have a wider fov and probably at a fraction of the cost of an AP.




I agree with better deep space and planets, but how is a 14" Newt going to have a wider field of view? Also, premium Newts are expensive. A Parallax 14.5" is close to $8000 and the mount will be expensive. A decked out Teeter 15" with Servo Cat can be over $9000.

Derek


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wormstar
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Derek Wong]
      #6101755 - 09/26/13 06:19 AM

I have owned only one AP scope,a practically new 130gt. I have owned several Taks, including 2 Toa 130s. Visually I don't have the eye or skies to tell which is better ( i think few do ) mechanically I would say the AP wins hands down - who else takes a thick wall piece of Aluminum and machines a tube and baffles! The gt tube especially being that it splits for transport is a work of art.

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wormstar
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: wormstar]
      #6101756 - 09/26/13 06:23 AM

I am also one of those guys( there are lots of us in the hobbY) that is willing to pay a premium for something that is mint or better- still new in the box. The downside of this is that it causes higher prices for people who don't mind a few signs of use.

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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Ian Robinson]
      #6101803 - 09/26/13 07:48 AM

Quote:

This may sound heretical, but really why would one wait years to a 5" refractor to use as a glorified telephoto , and pay an arm and leg for it ?

Better off getting 14" or 16" superfast newtonian + a great mount IMO.

You can go deeper faster, and have a wider fov and probably at a fraction of the cost of an AP.




Exactly which super fast Newtonoian are you thinking of? I don't think you can do the wide field views with a Newtonian and get the good edge correction, coma correctors are good but not that good, that will require a specialized astro-graph.

Here's one:

Riccardi-Honders Astrograph

It's a 12 inch and seems quite capable of some wonderful widefield images. However at 12 inches and F/3.8, I don't think you will probably get the same wide field fields of view as one could with the 130GT operating at F/4.7.

And, I don't think it would be a money saver, a used 130GT with a field flattener is probably in the $6000-$7000 range, the 12 inch Riccardi-Honders more than twice that.

Jon


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David PavlichAdministrator
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #6101868 - 09/26/13 09:07 AM

Being a small business owner and an unapologetic capitalist, I applaud ANYONE that buys new. Set a budget and if new fits, by all means, buy it!!

David


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t.r.
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6101878 - 09/26/13 09:14 AM

Quote:

No one can say Ap is better than tak they r both rated maybe even tied for 1st or best scopes.




Oh yes I can and I can say so without ever looking through the scopes...quality, fit & finish and customer support/service set the AP apart. There is good reason why AP scopes either hold their value or appreciate. NO OTHER manufacturers does. I have had a sample of each major apo manufacturer in my hands and the AP is indeed numero uno...My opinion, I'm entitled to it and no one will change it.


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Mapleton
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Ian Robinson]
      #6101975 - 09/26/13 10:04 AM

Quote:

This may sound heretical, but really why would one wait years to a 5" refractor to use as a glorified telephoto , and pay an arm and leg for it ?

Better off getting 14" or 16" superfast newtonian + a great mount IMO.

You can go deeper faster, and have a wider fov and probably at a fraction of the cost of an AP.




Where can you get a 14 inch for astrophotos for the same price as an AP? Few people are buying APs for visual use. Its all about the photos.


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RodgerHouTex
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #6101998 - 09/26/13 10:12 AM

Totally agree with you. Plus I think Taks and TECs are the equivelant of APs.

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RodgerHouTex
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6102002 - 09/26/13 10:14 AM

I totally respect Roland as an optician. But he doesn't do anything magical. Anyone with the determination, drive, and experience can create optics as good as he does.

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Joe Aguiar
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #6102018 - 09/26/13 10:19 AM

There is good reason why AP scopes either hold their value or appreciate. NO OTHER manufacturers does.

as my post says the only reason taks lose some value is its mass produced so any and all mass produced produts no matter what they are will lose some, but the reason that maybe Ap dont is cause of the 10 yr wait and its not produced, SO u have to take that into account.

Also i was talking about image quailty THERS NO DIFFERENCE IN EITHER SCOPE AND IN THE EP.


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RodgerHouTex
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Mapleton]
      #6102029 - 09/26/13 10:23 AM

Yes and let's consider the disadvantages:

Did the original owner disassemble it to add a new focuser, etc.? How experienced was this person in this task. Did they scratch the scope while working on it? Did they mess up the assembly?

And most importantly - how did they treat the optics. Was the scope kept in an observatory out in the elements? Indoors? How did the original owner manage dew related issues? Did he bring a cold scope in from outside let the lens dew up and then put the cap on it? Did he keep the cap on the optics when the scope wasn't being used?

Was the seller honest about the scopes condition and optics. I had someone totally lie to me about the condition of an FS-128 I wanted. And when I tried to return it, I had to threaten him to get him to refund my money.

So I agree with hfjacinto, new is the way to go if possible.


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RodgerHouTex
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: t.r.]
      #6102039 - 09/26/13 10:28 AM

They appreciate because of the fundamental economic principal of supply and demand. Limited supply and high demand. Nothing more. It's not because they are necessarily better than other premium APOs.

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Joe Aguiar
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #6102091 - 09/26/13 10:54 AM

well thats what i said b4 if r wants they can mass produce the scopes and he can do a final inspection but he doesnt want to so its a 10 yr wait if it was done this first way maybe it could be a 1 yrs wait not 10 but thats up to him, that would also put more of his scopes in the hands of people wanting to buy it, however being mass produced with no waiting lists will lower the value if one can get these easy.

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Mapleton
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: t.r.]
      #6102131 - 09/26/13 11:14 AM

Quote:

Quote:

No one can say Ap is better than tak they r both rated maybe even tied for 1st or best scopes.




Oh yes I can and I can say so without ever looking through the scopes...quality, fit & finish and customer support/service set the AP apart. There is good reason why AP scopes either hold their value or appreciate. NO OTHER manufacturers does. I have had a sample of each major apo manufacturer in my hands and the AP is indeed numero uno...My opinion, I'm entitlted to it and no one will change it.




I disagree. APs used prices maintain only because of the lack of supply. It has nothing to do AP being better than anyone. Its a supply issue. Even if AP is the best, if they made 1000+ scopes a year, used prices would not maintain the way they do.


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t.r.
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Mapleton]
      #6102141 - 09/26/13 11:20 AM

And where does that demand come from? Because of the low supply? Do the majority of people feel compelled to pay the higher prices for something because it is rare only. I think not, AP's command the prices they do and the resale because of what they are, not how few are available. But you are certainly entitled to your opinion, I'll respect it, please respect mine.

One more thing...because I make this statement, MY opinion, why does it get peoples panties in a bunch? Why do you feel compelled to argue or contradict...a statement of personal opinion? And why does this only seem to happen with this particular brand? It seems to infuriate, segregate and isolate folks. Why? It is just a telescope afterall...the best in my opinion. Why should that cause anyone grief?


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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: t.r.]
      #6102166 - 09/26/13 11:32 AM

TR i disagree
if they mass produced the scopes supply would not be an issue so used scopes would go down, i bought my tec for 5200 same would happen to AP if it wasnt 10 yr wait


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t.r.
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Joe Aguiar]
      #6102185 - 09/26/13 11:40 AM

Yes, you already said that Joe.




Edited by t.r. (09/26/13 11:41 AM)


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Mapleton
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: t.r.]
      #6102198 - 09/26/13 11:50 AM

Quote:

And where does that demand come from? Because of the low supply? Do people feel compelled to pay the higher prices for something because it is rare only. No, AP's command tyhe prices they do and the resale because of what they are, not how few are available. But you are certainly entitled to your opinion, I'll respect it, please respect mine.




Oh I do respect your opinion, just giving mine. Rarity is not right word but more supply of these scopes, coupled with public perception, is the reason for the prices. Now the public perception is a result a APs outstanding quality but to say AP is unrivaled in their quality is not accurate. Infact there many drawbacks to using an AP scope like limited adapters and accessories and a narrow range of purpose specific models, something Tak excels at.


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t.r.
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Mapleton]
      #6102206 - 09/26/13 11:53 AM

Quote:

...but to say AP is unrivaled in their quality is not accurate



Who stated this? Not me...not anyone I see. I stated AP is #1 IMHO, but there are indeed many nipping at their heels. I respect others opinions as well...I'm leaving it at that.

Edited by t.r. (09/26/13 12:00 PM)


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Joe Aguiar
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: t.r.]
      #6102218 - 09/26/13 11:59 AM

its well known a tak is equal to AP just cause its rare doesnt mean its better, you may like AP better as a brand but i dont and i like Tak as a brand name each to their own but its not better their equal, we will never know if mass producing them would drive used prices down since they wont do it but its common sence .

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NHRob
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Joe Aguiar]
      #6102220 - 09/26/13 12:02 PM

If AP mass produced the scopes they would be lower quality scopes.

Quote:

TR i disagree
if they mass produced the scopes supply would not be an issue so used scopes would go down, i bought my tec for 5200 same would happen to AP if it wasnt 10 yr wait




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Joe Aguiar
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Joe Aguiar]
      #6102221 - 09/26/13 12:03 PM

so if its beating a dead horse then that's it then no point going any futher as my point is the point then

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hfjacinto
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Joe Aguiar]
      #6102232 - 09/26/13 12:10 PM

My opinion is "If your product is impossible to buy new then you can't be the best brand"

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Starhawk
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Joe Aguiar]
      #6102239 - 09/26/13 12:14 PM

Joe,

The APs are produced by the hundreds. At last check, there were 438 AP 130 EDFGTs in the wild. That's over twice as many as there are NP127s.

The problem is demand. And if you spend some time with an AP, you'll understand why.

-Rich

Quote:

TR i disagree
if they mass produced the scopes supply would not be an issue so used scopes would go down, i bought my tec for 5200 same would happen to AP if it wasnt 10 yr wait




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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: NHRob]
      #6102241 - 09/26/13 12:15 PM

Quote:

If AP mass produced the scopes they would be lower quality scopes.




Not if they cloned Roland.


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Joe Aguiar
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6102312 - 09/26/13 12:58 PM

The APs are produced by the hundreds. At last check, there were 438 AP 130 EDFGTs in the wild.

i am not talking about a hundred a yr thats not suppling & demand,supply and demand would be thousands a yr, one per every customer on that 10 yr list.

tak mass produces it to but without it being inferior so it can be done with high standards.


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APtelephoto
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Joe Aguiar]
      #6102336 - 09/26/13 01:09 PM

Sorry if my question has already been covered here or elsewhere. Does anyone know how many Tak TOA 130s (a fine optic!) are "out in the wild" and/or what is the annual production rate?

Pete


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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: APtelephoto]
      #6102337 - 09/26/13 01:11 PM

good question pete
or
also how many tecs 140 were made to now?


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NHRob
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Joe Aguiar]
      #6102378 - 09/26/13 01:33 PM

Let Tak mass produce. AP has a different business model, which I find refreshing. Nothing wrong with variety.

This way those who don't like the AP wait list can go buy a Tak!


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NHRob
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Joe Aguiar]
      #6102383 - 09/26/13 01:35 PM

Not so sure that Tak mass produces refractors. Does anyone know how many uunits they produce each year?



Quote:

The APs are produced by the hundreds. At last check, there were 438 AP 130 EDFGTs in the wild.

i am not talking about a hundred a yr thats not suppling & demand,supply and demand would be thousands a yr, one per every customer on that 10 yr list.

tak mass produces it to but without it being inferior so it can be done with high standards.




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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: NHRob]
      #6102413 - 09/26/13 01:51 PM

one sec pls
if we look at only what tak sold in the TOA 130 which replaced with their older 128 model is that the same as asking Ap 130 sold 438 to today?
if the Ap model been around alot longer then this is not a fair comparision

maybe a better question is how many total scopes does AP make per yr (total any size) compare to tak (any size) per yr just to get an idea then


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Pezdragon
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Joe Aguiar]
      #6102415 - 09/26/13 01:52 PM

Quote:

good question pete
or
also how many tecs 140 were made to now?




When I talked to Yuri a few weeks ago finalizing my 140 order, I asked about the backlog and he mentioned that #600 was going out that day and something like 40 scopes were in line in front of me....perhaps 7-8 months (maybe more) wait. This assumes I heard him correctly, Rod


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APtelephoto
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Joe Aguiar]
      #6102474 - 09/26/13 02:37 PM

The TOA 130 has been available a bit longer than the AP130EDFGT...

The production numbers (total or #/year) would seem to be a reasonable "apples to apples" comparison.

Pete


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Joe Aguiar
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: APtelephoto]
      #6102519 - 09/26/13 03:03 PM

ok but i dont see R doing 438 in a single yr that number (which iam going by someone elses post) seems way too high if hes doing one by one, so i understood it that to mean only 438 were ever made to this date

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Joe Aguiar
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Joe Aguiar]
      #6102521 - 09/26/13 03:05 PM

so if tec is near or about 600 when did production start on that scope, this way its easier to know, either the total amount divide by how many yrs or what they do per yr

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Mike Clemens
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Joe Aguiar]
      #6102553 - 09/26/13 03:32 PM

438 to date.... over several years

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Starhawk
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Joe Aguiar]
      #6102715 - 09/26/13 05:24 PM

Joe, you haven't been around this very long, have you?

The 438 on the AP 130 EDFGT means about 100/yr are getting shipped, or slightly better. That's an average of one every 3 working days. One guy has to touch each of them.

However, AP isn't a publicly traded company. This *is* Roland's retirement job.

-Rich


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Joe Aguiar
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6102777 - 09/26/13 06:09 PM

you are assuming I just started in this hobby I guess Rich?

well if you look up my profile you can atlaest see I have been a member in CN 2007 but I have also been a member of astro buy and sell b4 2002 and iam one of the most buyer/sellers there as well but that's not when I started this hobby so maybe I been involved longer than you (without tell how many more yrs I been in hobby)
there may be a very good chance I been it more than you have ( iam just guessing), I just don't think AP is the best brand cause theres a 10 yr wait you have to dig much futher to see why.
The fellow b4 said he would never pay the same amount for a used AP scope when it cost the same new and I understand that,i agree with him

Edited by Joe Aguiar (09/26/13 06:12 PM)


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Kunama
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? *DELETED* *DELETED* new [Re: Joe Aguiar]
      #6102810 - 09/26/13 06:26 PM

Post deleted by Kunama

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Mike Clemens
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Kunama]
      #6102831 - 09/26/13 06:36 PM

> never pay the same amount for a used AP scope

I bought a couple used AP's for more than they cost new. Later, I sold them, for the same price or a bit more.


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mikey cee
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? *DELETED* new [Re: Kunama]
      #6102851 - 09/26/13 06:50 PM

Post deleted by Scott in NC

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Dwight56
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #6102880 - 09/26/13 07:04 PM

Roland seems to average something like 300 scopes a year. Someone made a remark about user specific models. Are you referring to field flatners focal reducers. They are in the Catalog. I've been a customer of Astro-Physics since the mid eighties and I'm pretty familiar with the history of the company and what has been offered over the years. AP is a small company with an average number of employees of something like 20 to 25 people they are not Meade or Celestron or even Takahashi. AP does not do the ISO 9000 nonsense nor do they subscribe to latest fad management fiasco's that plague larger publicaly traded companies. They are somewhat old fashioned and support all their products going back to the beginning.

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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #6102915 - 09/26/13 07:19 PM

Quote:

I totally respect Roland as an optician. But he doesn't do anything magical. Anyone with the determination, drive, and experience can create optics as good as he does.




Indeed, Roland will tell you that himself. But the question is, but just who might that person be who has that determination, drive, creativeness, and experience?

Who else measures the properties of the individual melt and adjusts the curves?

Jon


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hfjacinto
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Mike Clemens]
      #6102923 - 09/26/13 07:23 PM

Quote:

> never pay the same amount for a used AP scope

I bought a couple used AP's for more than they cost new. Later, I sold them, for the same price or a bit more.




Mike,

I know you have several AP scopes and mounts and it's fine that you like buying used, but I want a new one and won't pay for a used one. A

It's like a Clark refractor, Clark was at one time the best manufacturer of telescopes but since they are only available used they are not the best . Whether they are worth the used cost is not the debate the debate is whether you can even put AP in the same category as Tec or Tak both of those scopes are available. I also met Roland and while everybody gushes over him I wasn't impressed since when I asked about getting a scope I didn't feel valued as a customer.


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RodgerHouTex
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6103332 - 09/27/13 12:14 AM

My understanding is that Yuri at TEC does.

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Starhawk
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Mapleton]
      #6103426 - 09/27/13 01:48 AM

Huh? So, you pass on owning a real Leonardo daVinci because it would have to be bought used, so it can't be very good. Ok, that's weird.

-Rich

Quote:

Quote:

If AP mass produced the scopes they would be lower quality scopes.




Not if they cloned Roland.




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Calypte
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #6103500 - 09/27/13 04:07 AM

Quote:

I also met Roland and while everybody gushes over him I wasn't impressed since when I asked about getting a scope I didn't feel valued as a customer.



What's he supposed to say?


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Dwight56
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Calypte]
      #6103592 - 09/27/13 07:41 AM

Stellarvue makes a nice 160 scope that is in League with the AP 160. Go ask Tony Hallas, Don't tell Tony I sent you Then there is Skywatcher USA and their Line of Esprit Refractors http://www.skywatcherusa.com/ed-apo-refractors/esprit-ed-triplet-apo-refracto... Saying you don't want a used AP I do know of some AP's that have seen little if no use at all. Most people take extremely good care of their AP equipment but anyway here are two good examples if you insist on new.

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t.r.
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Calypte]
      #6103602 - 09/27/13 07:51 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I also met Roland and while everybody gushes over him I wasn't impressed since when I asked about getting a scope I didn't feel valued as a customer.



What's he supposed to say?



What you failed to understand was that Roland, like you, loves amateur astronomy and he would rather you be under the stars enjoying what this hobby has to offer than unrealistically waiting for one of his scopes. His advice was sage! He is telling you to get another scope and get out there...on his production timeline, he can't get you a scope. He is simply being brutally honest and advising you to go get something else...not a "valued" customer? Quite the contrary...willing to loose you as a customer to help you advance in the hobby. Would you rather he take a 50% deposit to promise to build you one when he gets to it and never deliver like some other businesses do? I don't really think the majority of his customers idolize or gush over him either. Oh sure, there are a few fanbois, but the majority simply see him as a man, a man on a mission, even with all his quirks, eccentricity and faults. I prefer to call him "old school".


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Dwight56]
      #6103604 - 09/27/13 07:54 AM

Quote:


Stellarvue makes a nice 160 scope that is in League with the AP 160.




Do they actually make it? What is that suggests it is in the same league with the A-P 160?

Jon


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norcaltakguy
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #6103628 - 09/27/13 08:19 AM

YOU can't beat a good refractor, AP, Stellarvue, TEC, Tak or TV hands down! But than again it really boils down to where you view, what you view and how often you view which tells the tale...I remember when the Tak TOA's first came out, I offed my FS128 to get one...At my clubs star party ( Sacramento Vally Astro Society ), I compared my 130 next to an AP 130 and my Tak just simply viewed better...Later on that evening I walked across the tarmac and looked through an AP 152 super planetary, I couldn't believe how Sharpe it viewed, I wanted to ditch my Tak right than and there but kept in mind I owned a great scope no need to lose my marbles over another refractor!!! After owning 16 various types of refractors since 2001 ( Meade ED's, Takahashi's, Stellarvue's, Astro Telescopes and Astrotech/ Long Pern scopes ), I am down to my last refractor type, an Istar Phoenix 204, which may not fit into the "top" branches of refractor types, but she views like a Monster, and with only being a doublet, I am more than pleased, My days of owning another refractor are finally over!!

James Edwards
Norcal Tak GUY
Elk Grove CA

Istar 204 refractor
Meade 12" SCT w/UHTC & feathertouch 10:1 focuser
Opticstar 80mm refractor
Astro Telescopes 152 refractor
Losmandy G11 Gemini II w/ GPS


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RAKing
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: t.r.]
      #6103632 - 09/27/13 08:24 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

I also met Roland and while everybody gushes over him I wasn't impressed since when I asked about getting a scope I didn't feel valued as a customer.



What's he supposed to say?



What you failed to understand was that Roland, like you, loves amateur astronomy and he would rather you be under the stars enjoying what this hobby has to offer than unrealistically waiting for one of his scopes. His advice was sage! He is telling you to get another scope and get out there...on his production timeline, he can't get you a scope. He is simply being brutally honest and advising you to go get something else...not a vauled customer? Quite the contrary...willing to loose you as a customer to help you advance in the hobby. Would you rather he take a 50% deposit to promise to build you one when he gets to it and never deliver like some other businesses do? I don't really think the majority of his customers idolize or gush over him either. Oh sure, there are a few fanbois, but the majority simply see him as a man, a man on a mission, even with all his quirks, eccentricity and faults. I prefer to call him "old school".






I would call Roland, "honest and upfront".

If you have to buy a new scope, the odds are not in your favor at Astro-Physics unless you have already been on the list for many years. Move over to TEC and the wait is under one year (for now). You might even have to wait a few months for a new Tak TOA to hit this country.

It's the basic economic law of supply and demand. If the quality is there at the right price, the demand will be there -- and sometimes it might be greater than the supply.

Cheers,

Ron


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t.r.
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: RAKing]
      #6103659 - 09/27/13 08:45 AM Attachment (16 downloads)

Quote:

If you have to buy a new scope, the odds are not in your favor at Astro-Physics unless you have already been on the list for many years. Move over to TEC and the wait is under one year (for now). You might even have to wait a few months for a new Tak TOA to hit this country.




And then, even when you have satisfied your urge to "have it now" with a TEC, TAK, TV, etc. etc., when you do walk up to an AP at a star party and get some time to handle it and observe through it and do some comparisons, you just may, maybe, see what all the fuss is about and realize that paying a premium for a used AP scope is exactly the right decision for you!


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mark8888
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: RAKing]
      #6103665 - 09/27/13 08:49 AM

Quote:

I would call Roland, "honest and upfront".





I would too. I asked him if I should replace my AP BARCON barlow with their new BARADV for visual use. He straight up told me not to because I wouldn't see an improvement in the view.


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RodgerHouTex
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6103676 - 09/27/13 08:59 AM

Comparing a telescope that's in production by someone who is still alive, to a painting by a great Renaissance Master painter who is dead, is also kind of odd.

Apples and oranges.


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t.r.
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #6103682 - 09/27/13 09:01 AM

Until Roland passes on or retires, then we're back to apples to apples...if you think used AP scopes are expensive now, just wait and see. It is always after an artists (or artisan in this case) passing that their work truly becomes appreciated for what it is and the value goes north.

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BillP
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6103699 - 09/27/13 09:11 AM

Quote:

The APs are produced by the hundreds. At last check, there were 438 AP 130 EDFGTs in the wild. That's over twice as many as there are NP127s.




RC is certainly a skilled astronomical optician. But as good as he may be at this, he is much shrewder at marketing/business. This is why his scopes are valued as they are. He really understands the market he is in, and fully utilizes that understanding.


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Joe Aguiar
Carpal Tunnel
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: BillP]
      #6103720 - 09/27/13 09:24 AM

so rich are you going to answer my question?

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vahe
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/27/05

Loc: Houston, Texas
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Joe Aguiar]
      #6103737 - 09/27/13 09:32 AM

On the subject of Astro-Physics refractors and their wait times here is an opinion on the subject from Roland himself in a post on tec-ug about 2006

In the year 2001 I was in my 20th year making telescopes,
Accessories and apo lenses. I also had only 3-6 month wait the first 5-8
years, but that changed as apos became popular. So now I am 5 years
behind in my 25th year of 2006. I predict that Yuri will be an additional
1 year behind every 5 years that he is in business (extra opticians
do not grow on trees and are just about impossible to train from
scratch in a small company environment). In fact, I would bet that for
some of his products, like his large Maks, he is already more than 1
year behind and has had to drop some due to production constraints,
just like me. So, we will see down the road. Meanwhile, don't hesitate
to load up his schedule because the longer you wait, the longer you
will wait.

Vahe


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #6103766 - 09/27/13 09:46 AM

He was talking about Alvan Clark, who is very much deceased.

-Rich

Quote:

Comparing a telescope that's in production by someone who is still alive, to a painting by a great Renaissance Master painter who is dead, is also kind of odd.

Apples and oranges.




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northpole
member


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Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: t.r.]
      #6103780 - 09/27/13 09:54 AM

Quote:



And then, even when you have satisfied your urge to "have it now" with a TEC, TAK, TV, etc. etc., when you do walk up to an AP at a star party and get some time to handle it and observe through it and do some comparisons, you just may, maybe, see what all the fuss is about and realize that paying a premium for a used AP scope is exactly the right decision for you!






I used to own an AP 130 f6. Yeah, the one with the nice all white tapered tube. I wish I had kept it, but I temporarily stepped away from astronomy, only to realized that setting up my beasty mount was what had turned me off. Optically, AP has no advantage on Tak. I will admit, though, that the AP focuser is sweeter. But to put them mechanically on par is only a matter of putting a FeatherTouch upgrade on my Tak if I so choose, which I may or may not do. The Tak focuser is still quite decent.
Back in the mid 90's I used to do a lot of astrophotography with my AP. I met Roland at Starfest. I was eager to show him some of my results. But when I offered, I politely got brushed off. Sad moment indeed. He was probably tired or busy. It's not easy being a rock star.

Andre


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gillmj24
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: northpole]
      #6103828 - 09/27/13 10:14 AM

It gives some people plenty of braggadocio when they finally acquire one so it must be!

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ManuelJ
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/19/05

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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: BillP]
      #6103859 - 09/27/13 10:24 AM

Quote:

Quote:

The APs are produced by the hundreds. At last check, there were 438 AP 130 EDFGTs in the wild. That's over twice as many as there are NP127s.




RC is certainly a skilled astronomical optician. But as good as he may be at this, he is much shrewder at marketing/business. This is why his scopes are valued as they are. He really understands the market he is in, and fully utilizes that understanding.




+1

That is maybe the best post in this thread.


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Joe Aguiar
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: ManuelJ]
      #6103937 - 09/27/13 11:08 AM

so rich i gave you the chance to explain why that post sounded like a pun down and since you are not answering ill put you on igore now, morale of the story dont assume iam new to this if you dont know.

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t.r.
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: ManuelJ]
      #6103957 - 09/27/13 11:16 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

The APs are produced by the hundreds. At last check, there were 438 AP 130 EDFGTs in the wild. That's over twice as many as there are NP127s.




RC is certainly a skilled astronomical optician. But as good as he may be at this, he is much shrewder at marketing/business. This is why his scopes are valued as they are. He really understands the market he is in, and fully utilizes that understanding.




+1

That is maybe the best post in this thread.




Is this even accurate? His wife Marj actually runs the business, Roland pushes the glass!


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hfjacinto
I think he's got it!
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6103959 - 09/27/13 11:17 AM

Quote:

He was talking about Alvan Clark, who is very much deceased.

-Rich

Quote:

Comparing a telescope that's in production by someone who is still alive, to a painting by a great Renaissance Master painter who is dead, is also kind of odd.

Apples and oranges.







Since I can only get a used AP or a used Clark, I think its an Apple to Apple comparison. I have no opportunity to buy a new AP, I have no opportunity to buy a new Clark. Very much the same thing. When Roland quits will you still have service for your AP scope?


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KWB
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #6103974 - 09/27/13 11:25 AM

Once again,please keep the personalities out of this thread or it will be doomed. The topic here is Astro-Physics telescopes.

Disrespectful postings will be removed without warning.


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coz
sage


Reged: 08/25/10

Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: ManuelJ]
      #6104049 - 09/27/13 12:03 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

The APs are produced by the hundreds. At last check, there were 438 AP 130 EDFGTs in the wild. That's over twice as many as there are NP127s.




RC is certainly a skilled astronomical optician. But as good as he may be at this, he is much shrewder at marketing/business. This is why his scopes are valued as they are. He really understands the market he is in, and fully utilizes that understanding.




+1

That is maybe the best post in this thread.





Sad if you think that is his motivation.


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Scott99
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: coz]
      #6104068 - 09/27/13 12:19 PM

Why does AP generate the resentment - what about Zeiss? They only make one run of apos every 30 years - the used prices are REALLY insane. By comparison RC is working his tail off to provide scopes to amateurs. AP and TEC are warm, fuzzy, cuddly companies to amateurs compared to the aloofness of Zeiss.

I'm not worried about service in the years to come - there are already a couple shops in Europe that service the lenses. There are thousands of scopes out there, someone will service them.


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Starhawk
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Scott99]
      #6104254 - 09/27/13 01:32 PM

And I think there is a failure of imagination here- Imagine you were Roland.

OK, so after a career on government programs, you've got high-end optical skills, and you know exactly how to produce a specific result:

(1) Careful design
(2) Careful control of materials and measurement of as-made properties
(3) Modify the design to the as-made material
(4) Carefully figure the glass to the specified prescription.
(5) Final figure for minimum chromatic aberration.

So, you put together a business where you could do that on what you love- astronomical scopes. AP refuses to take government orders because it captures that and takes it down another route.

Financially, all you need to do is keep yourself whole. There's no master plan to accumulate golden toilets or a fleet by Bently in a 12-cr garage. Astronomy is what you like doing, and getting more scopes out so others can do this as well. And since Rockford, IL is knee deep in master machinists, getting a mount activity on the side turns out to be quite doable.

You get started and after a while, people notice whatever you ship is good stuff. So, the orders start increasing. In the meantime, the glass rears its head as a lifelong problem- you don't have $25 million to drop on setting up your own shop, and it turns out every other customer in the universe wants bigger orders of easier to produce blanks than you, and they don't insist on all the glass coming from the furnace at one time or measuring the properties on every melt.

So, what started out as just being fair to make scopes on a first-come first-served basis starts taking on a life of its own. And a year or two wait becomes three, then, around 1997, the world really notices you and suddenly the lists explode in length, and there is no hope of filling the orders before you die. So, decision: Do you keep doing what got people on the list, or do you abandon that and build something else in the hope of just burning down the lists?

-Rich


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Stelios
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Scott99]
      #6104281 - 09/27/13 01:48 PM

Quote:

Why does AP generate the resentment




I've always wondered that, and it saddens me. I will never (unless I win the lottery) own an AP refractor, but all I see in myriads of posts and articles is a company that makes excellent products for prices that are by definition too low, and stands behind them.

It is irrational to think that everyone can get top quality affordably and quickly. It doesn't happen in *ANY* field. It's not true in buying art, it's not true in consumer goods from watches to automobiles, it's not true in finding a spouse even .

We should be happy that there *are* companies out there who are able to provide our heart's desire for those who can afford the money and/or time. I don't know if AP is the best--TAK, TEC, LZOS are certainly worthy competitors. But in its dedication to quality it's a shining example of the type of business we want to encourage.


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Joe Aguiar
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 02/10/07

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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? *DELETED* new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6104282 - 09/27/13 01:48 PM

Post deleted by Joe Aguiar

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Joe Aguiar
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? *DELETED* new [Re: Joe Aguiar]
      #6104292 - 09/27/13 01:51 PM

Post deleted by Joe Aguiar

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Calypte
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Scott99]
      #6104299 - 09/27/13 01:54 PM

Roland has said explicitly that he now considers himself mainly a manufacturer of mounts. I suspect the mounts have been his main revenue source for quite a few years. About the scopes: my own guess is that he weighed the cost of additional equipment and people to produce more scopes, and he decided the return wasn't there. A bottleneck is that he insists on figuring the lenses himself. He has also frequently said that simply obtaining optical glass of sufficient quantity and quality is a problem. He's at the mercy of the glass makers in Japan. The different apertures come and go due to the availability of the glass. The result of all of this has been to create a mystique about the availability and rare quality of A-P scopes, but I doubt that that was his original intent. As for service, I'd worry about the oil interface in the lenses. Is there anyone in the US to service them, once Roland is retired?

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Dwight56
super member


Reged: 04/17/10

Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Calypte]
      #6104475 - 09/27/13 03:48 PM

Like I've mentioned in previous posts there is TEC, Stellarvue and Skywatcher USA that produces a premium grade APO in a Carbon Fibre tube, one of our clubmembers is using and turning out great CCD images from his remote site near Benson Arizona. As far as the oil is concerned I don't think that is going to be a problem my AP 155 is 14 years old and the Oil looks as good as the day I got it. Same for my AP 130 F6 that was purchased 3 years earlier the oil is still good and does not need to be changed

Edited by Dwight56 (09/27/13 03:50 PM)


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Mark Costello
Post Laureate
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Reged: 03/08/05

Loc: Matthews, NC, USA
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Stelios]
      #6104599 - 09/27/13 05:10 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Why does AP generate the resentment




I've always wondered that, and it saddens me. I will never (unless I win the lottery) own an AP refractor, but all I see in myriads of posts and articles is a company that makes excellent products for prices that are by definition too low, and stands behind them.

It is irrational to think that everyone can get top quality affordably and quickly. It doesn't happen in *ANY* field. It's not true in buying art, it's not true in consumer goods from watches to automobiles, it's not true in finding a spouse even .

We should be happy that there *are* companies out there who are able to provide our heart's desire for those who can afford the money and/or time. I don't know if AP is the best--TAK, TEC, LZOS are certainly worthy competitors. But in its dedication to quality it's a shining example of the type of business we want to encourage.






As I go out tonight, I'll remember Thomas Back's words:

"CN: Any parting words for our readers?"

(Thomas Back) "Don't worry about what telescope you own, or its quality. Just get out under the night sky, and enjoy God's wondrous universe." (CN behind the scenes interview with TMB)

My refractor has consistently kept me going and won't be replaced.


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T1R2
Carpal Tunnel


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Loc: NeverWhere, 35*N
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Mark Costello]
      #6104630 - 09/27/13 05:28 PM



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Dwight56
super member


Reged: 04/17/10

Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: T1R2]
      #6104746 - 09/27/13 06:46 PM

Here is a link to a picture taken by Mike Wiles with his Explore Scientific ED 152 F7 CF refractor. http://www.astrobin.com/full/57885/?mod=none This is LDN 673 in Aquila 26 hrs of exposure

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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
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Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Dwight56]
      #6104759 - 09/27/13 06:52 PM

I really like the image, but you can see that the color correction isn't as good as the AP or the Tak TOA series. HOWEVER, it is half the price of a comparable AP or Tak. I'd say it's a very nice telescope.

David


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Bill McNeal
sage


Reged: 10/07/07

Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #6104795 - 09/27/13 07:12 PM

I'm new to astroimaging. I thought resolving a disc on stars was supposed to be impossible. Why do some stars look a lot bigger?

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WesC
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #6104864 - 09/27/13 08:04 PM

Quote:

I really like the image, but you can see that the color correction isn't as good as the AP or the Tak TOA series. HOWEVER, it is half the price of a comparable AP or Tak. I'd say it's a very nice telescope.

David




With respect, It is impossible to determine that the "color correction" in a photographed, stacked, compressed, heavily edited image on a computer screen as being due to the telescope. There are many intervening processes that can account for that by the time it reaches your eyes.

The only way to truly judge a scope's color attributes is side by side under the stars.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Joe Aguiar]
      #6104968 - 09/27/13 09:31 PM

Joe,

Get out and look through one. It'll adjust your thinking. Otherwise, all I hear is six flavors of sour grapes.

-Rich

Quote:

well stelios anytime u ask if this product is THEE best it will get you that response, it could be about cars too is this car better than that car same thing will happen




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RodgerHouTex
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 06/02/09

Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #6106013 - 09/28/13 01:54 PM

You've piqued my interest. How can you tell that the color correction of the scope that took this picture is less than an AP or Tak TOA series.

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RodgerHouTex
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 06/02/09

Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: WesC]
      #6106016 - 09/28/13 01:56 PM

Totally agree.

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #6106105 - 09/28/13 02:49 PM

This is very straightforward- use a narrowband filter and shoot one color at a time. Chromatic aberration is the effect where multiple colors come to multiple different focal points. Use one color of light at a time and adjust the focus for each, then do a little scaling to combine them at the end. In this case, the tell the image has given away for that being done is the peculiar color of the stars in the parent field. Balancing the colors to give a natural effect is difficult.

-Rich

Quote:

You've piqued my interest. How can you tell that the color correction of the scope that took this picture is less than an AP or Tak TOA series.




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David PavlichAdministrator
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #6106330 - 09/28/13 05:13 PM

Quote:

You've piqued my interest. How can you tell that the color correction of the scope that took this picture is less than an AP or Tak TOA series.




Perhaps my wording is wrong, but I was looking at other's images from a couple of Tak scopes (FSQ106) and didn't notice the blue haloes around the bright stars like I do in the ES152 image. Maybe that's not a color correction thing, but that's what I noticed.

Look, the image is terrific. I'd be happy to do something like that. I just made an observation, that's all.

David


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KWB
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #6106430 - 09/28/13 06:33 PM

Last chance for this thread from becoming locked is for all participants to lay off the personal remarks and stick to the thread topic.

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hfjacinto
I think he's got it!
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Reged: 01/12/09

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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: KWB]
      #6107179 - 09/29/13 10:28 AM

David,

I also don't think you can tell by looking at an image how good the color correction is. They only way to really tell is to take a focused red image and compare it to the same focus for green and blue. And seeing can affect this. But saying one needs an AP or TAK to take a better image is not correct. That image is beautiful. I doubt having a tak or ap would let me do as good. In the end I truly believe that the last 1% that people go for at 100% of the cost is silly. Especially paying more than new for a scope that is barely available new.


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tomcody
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Loc: Titusville, Florida
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #6107232 - 09/29/13 11:05 AM

Quote:

Quote:

You've piqued my interest. How can you tell that the color correction of the scope that took this picture is less than an AP or Tak TOA series.




Perhaps my wording is wrong, but I was looking at other's images from a couple of Tak scopes (FSQ106) and didn't notice the blue haloes around the bright stars like I do in the ES152 image. Maybe that's not a color correction thing, but that's what I noticed.

Look, the image is terrific. I'd be happy to do something like that. I just made an observation, that's all.

David



David, I have lots of images from my FSQ106 with blue halos around bright stars, that's a result of taking too long subs ( i.e. 10 minute vs maybe 4minute raw subs) and over saturating the bright cores trying to get detail on the faint sections of the image. With long practice (or just a knack for good photography) , comes the ability to build an image with both the bright and faint sections properly exposed. (At least that is what I have found from imaging).
Rex
P.S. The halos can also be caused by reflections from the ccd cover glass slip, which is why some people buy a CCD camera with no cover slip on the ccd chip.

Edited by tomcody (09/29/13 11:09 AM)


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Howie Glatter
Vendor


Reged: 07/04/06

Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6108195 - 09/29/13 08:57 PM

"My favorite story about Roland is one he told himself. ."

This is a long thread, and I just started reading it, but after seeing Jon's Roland story, I just had to get mine in. I had seen that someone posted on an an astronomy site that "Howie Glatter is the Roland Christen of Laser Collimators". When I saw Roland at NEAF, I told him some one paid me a great compliment by saying I was the Roland Christen of laser collimators. Without missing a beat and with a straight face Roland said, "No, no Howie, you didn't understand - they were complimenting me".


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CounterWeight
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Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Howie Glatter]
      #6108281 - 09/29/13 09:54 PM

IMO there is quite a bit out there that is very good. It is a good time to be in the hobby. Myself i wouldn't wait for a new A-P, I'd without hesitation buy a TEC scope. For imaging the gloves come off... there is a huge offering IMO at this time of very adequate optics depending on your imager and field desires, and budget. I do think and often add that a good/great focuser is what makes a great imaging scope, and flatteners and reducers should go in the equation as well. There are also several great options in the mounts.

There's no one does it all well scope, there are many that will do all they can very well. Choose one and enjoy !

Good times. Be happy.


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BlueGrass
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #6108383 - 09/29/13 10:52 PM

Agreed Jim. Life is too short to wait 10 years for a scope that may or may not show up. Over the past few months there have been a number of various APs show up as well as TAKs and TECs. As has been said, folks tend to take care of the higher quality equipment and if you really want an AP now, they're out there...

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M13 Observer
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/09/06

Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: BlueGrass]
      #6109988 - 09/30/13 08:42 PM

All of my AP scopes but one has been "previously enjoyed" and "new to me". I have never been disappointed.

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photiost
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Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Eddgie]
      #6110174 - 09/30/13 10:20 PM

Quote:

To answer your quesiton, I am going to narrow in somewhat on what an AP telescope is and is not.

The AP is sold as a telescope, but it would be a waste of money to buy a large AP and stick an eyepeice in it. For less money, you can get a telescope from a variety of manufacturers that will give you the same visual image. The value of the modern large AP refractor is not to be found when it is used as a visul instrument.

What the larger AP scopes really are though is that they are high quality astrograph instruments. Where they still perhaps hold the high ground is when they are used as imaging lenses.

The AP scopes are perhaps still correctoted over the widest range of wavelengths than any other refractor of similar apeture made (funny though, even a cheap reflector is CA free..)

Not only that, but the aspherizing and design of these intruments often produce results that are capable of producing pinpoint and color free star images right to the corners of the biggest CCD cameras normally used by amateurs.

And since astro-imaging is far more demanding than visual use (the eye is simply not a very good detector) and the APs still produce the finest wide field images, with color free stars that are aberattion free and pintpoint right to the corner of the biggest chips, I would argue that the AP is still the best brand money can buy.

There are no other similar sized amateur instruments I think that can approach the wide field imaging capabilities of the latest generation of large AP refractors.


The off axis performacne of the large AP refractor is peerless. No one makes a better similar size astrograph.

Is AP the best brand? Well, if you are discerning and have a honking big CCD camera, and you want wide field with a big image scale and pinpoint and color free stars right to the edge corner of the frame, it is I think still the very best game in town.

If you just want to dork around with an eyepeice, it is a waste of a high quality astrograpich lens, You can do far better visual observing with any number of different telescopes.

Measured for what it is not (not the best planetary scope on the planet for example) is unfair.

Measured for what it is, I think it is the best brand.




This has been my experience as well.

I recall one evening the AP 180 f/9 and setup nearby the AP 155 EDFS f/7 and about 30 feet away the 10in Intes Micro Maksutov-Cassegrain (not sure which model) by if memory serves it was an f/15 system.

Anyway all 3 were observing Saturn and by chance we first walked up to the AP 180mm then the 155mm and finally the 10in Intes.

The images of Saturn through the AP's were excellent however our group of 4 all agreed (to everyones surprise) that the planetary images of the Intes were "better" than the 2 AP refractors.

We kept going back and forth (to confirm) for a good 20 minutes or so because we were totally surprised by this.


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Rinaldo
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/28/04

Loc: Lawng-eye-lind - New York, USA
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: ManuelJ]
      #6110189 - 09/30/13 10:25 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

The APs are produced by the hundreds. At last check, there were 438 AP 130 EDFGTs in the wild. That's over twice as many as there are NP127s.




RC is certainly a skilled astronomical optician. But as good as he may be at this, he is much shrewder at marketing/business. This is why his scopes are valued as they are. He really understands the market he is in, and fully utilizes that understanding.




+1

That is maybe the best post in this thread.




I don't understand what is meant here. The TOA 130 is more expensive than the AP 130 EDFGT, and the NP127 even more so. AP does not receive any cash from the used market sales.

Anyway, I'd imagine visually few of us could pick out the difference between the Tak and AP. However, the AP has a wider TFOV, and is lighter. The shorter F.L. of the AP adds to its stability in breezy conditions, and couple that with its lighter weight makes it a more stable performer on any given mount, not to mention it opens up lighter mounting options.

I've only spun the focuser on the Taks a few times, but they were definitely stiffer than the beautiful feel of the native Feather Touch focuser on the AP. Sure you could upgrade the Tak to a FT, but that'll drive already more expensive cost up even more.

Photographically I can't speak intelligently between the two. I'm sure others can speak to the color correction into the IR on the these scopes.

And as far as aesthetics, which doesn't matter in the dark, the fit and finish is absolutely beautiful on the AP. The blackness of the anodization and the machining of the baffles, tube, and focuser knobs are a work of art. The Tak? It just looks sooo very clinical.

Anyway, these comments aren't intended to put other scopes down, just trying to add to the question of whether AP is the best (in class).


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T1R2
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 06/11/13

Loc: NeverWhere, 35*N
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Rinaldo]
      #6110291 - 09/30/13 11:15 PM

Let's see, Made in USA with glass blanks from Japan...The best of both worlds, are we lucky or what!

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vahe
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/27/05

Loc: Houston, Texas
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: photiost]
      #6110905 - 10/01/13 10:17 AM

Quote:


We kept going back and forth (to confirm) for a good 20 minutes or so because we were totally surprised by this.




Why were you surprised?

Vahe


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ManuelJ
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/19/05

Loc: Madrid, Spain
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: vahe]
      #6110986 - 10/01/13 11:08 AM

Quote:

Quote:


We kept going back and forth (to confirm) for a good 20 minutes or so because we were totally surprised by this.




Why were you surprised?

Vahe




Because of threads like this.


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photiost
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/14/06

Loc: Montreal, Canada
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: vahe]
      #6111044 - 10/01/13 11:41 AM

Quote:

Quote:


We kept going back and forth (to confirm) for a good 20 minutes or so because we were totally surprised by this.




Why were you surprised?

Vahe




Well honestly through my 30 or so years of observing, I have always been pleased with the images from the dozens of AP refractors I have had the opportunity to observe with.

I just never imagined the 10in f/15 Intes Micro planetary images of Saturn would be so good.

We came to this concusion only because the scopes were setup close to each other, and we were able to compare the images on the same night under the same observing conditions.


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Calypte
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: photiost]
      #6111116 - 10/01/13 12:21 PM

Quote:

I recall one evening the AP 180 f/9 and setup nearby the AP 155 EDFS f/7 and about 30 feet away the 10in Intes Micro Maksutov-Cassegrain (not sure which model) by if memory serves it was an f/15 system.

Anyway all 3 were observing Saturn and by chance we first walked up to the AP 180mm then the 155mm and finally the 10in Intes.

The images of Saturn through the AP's were excellent however our group of 4 all agreed (to everyones surprise) that the planetary images of the Intes were "better" than the 2 AP refractors.

We kept going back and forth (to confirm) for a good 20 minutes or so because we were totally surprised by this.



I'd expect a good 10-inch to surpass 6 and 7-inch scopes, no matter how distinguished their pedigree. Quite a few years ago I had a chance to directly compare my Meade 10-inch LX-200 to a scope with a 6-inch A-P objective (but not, be it acknowledged, an A-P scope). The Meade smoked the A-P lens when looking at Jupiter. All I took away from that experience is that, yes, with enough aperture you can surpass A-P. This is a surprise?


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mgwhittle
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/24/11

Loc: Chattanooga, TN
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: photiost]
      #6111129 - 10/01/13 12:28 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:


We kept going back and forth (to confirm) for a good 20 minutes or so because we were totally surprised by this.




Why were you surprised?

Vahe




Well honestly through my 30 or so years of observing, I have always been pleased with the images from the dozens of AP refractors I have had the opportunity to oberve with.

I just never imagined the 10in f/15 Intes Micro planetary images of Saturn would be so good.

We came to this concusion only because the scopes were setup close to each other, and we were able to compare the images on the same night under the same observing conditions.




But now try doing wide field viewing with that Mak. Suddenly those AP refractors look so much better don't they?

I have yet to feel that I am wasting my money using my 175 for visual only. It gives stunning views of everything, almost immediately with no cooling or collimation issues to deal with. Nothing like going from from a nearly 2 degree field of view of optical perfection to 600x magnification of optical perfection.


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amicus sidera
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6111157 - 10/01/13 12:47 PM

Quote:

AP has a strong reputation in mounts. Are they the king of refractors too?

I thought that TEC and Takahashi were also considered the same top tier. But the AP 130 costs more than the TEC 140! Am I missing something?

Or is there another brand that's the best? I'm referring to optical quality as well as resale value.




It's Synta. Synta is the best manufacturer of refractors, bar none.

When I can spend $60 on a 4" Synta-manufactured OTA and get 90% of the performance of a multi-thousand dollar 4" AP apochromat, it removes all doubt from my mind as to just who is top dog.



Fred


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PeterR280
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 05/27/13

Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #6111172 - 10/01/13 12:57 PM

The incremental improvements are expensive. I am getting an AP130GT soon hopefully. I got notification a few months ago. I a very excited about the AP telescope after waiting over 9 years. I also have the $60 Synta whih peforms admirably for such a low cost 4" refractor. It will be an interesting comparison.

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hfjacinto
I think he's got it!
*****

Reged: 01/12/09

Loc: Land of clouds and LP
Re: Astro-Physics the Best Brand? new [Re: Calypte]
      #6111304 - 10/01/13 02:05 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I recall one evening the AP 180 f/9 and setup nearby the AP 155 EDFS f/7 and about 30 feet away the 10in Intes Micro Maksutov-Cassegrain (not sure which model) by if memory serves it was an f/15 system.

Anyway all 3 were observing Saturn and by chance we first walked up to the AP 180mm then the 155mm and finally the 10in Intes.

The images of Saturn through the AP's were excellent however our group of 4 all agreed (to everyones surprise) that the planetary images of the Intes were "better" than the 2 AP refractors.

We kept going back and forth (to confirm) for a good 20 minutes or so because we were totally surprised by this.



I'd expect a good 10-inch to surpass 6 and 7-inch scopes, no matter how distinguished their pedigree. Quite a few years ago I had a chance to directly compare my Meade 10-inch LX-200 to a scope with a 6-inch A-P objective (but not, be it acknowledged, an A-P scope). The Meade smoked the A-P lens when looking at Jupiter. All I took away from that experience is that, yes, with enough aperture you can surpass A-P. This is a surprise?




This is Heresy we all know that in the Refractor forum all other types of scopes are uncooled and out of collimation