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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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SteveLD
journeyman


Reged: 07/31/08

Re: AP 130 vs TEC 140 vs TOA130 new [Re: HCR32]
      #4146366 - 10/27/10 05:46 PM

If you are using these for imaging, the primary difference between them would be image scale and f ratio. The AP with reducer will get you the fastest f ratio and widest field with about a 580mm FL. Without the reducer, the AP gives you 780mm fl. The TOA has a standard focal length of 980mm and about 760mm with a Tak reducer. Thus it is better than the AP if you want a larger image scale. Ditto for the TEC which as a focal length of 980ml.

If you are looking for a scope purely for visual work, I am not sure why you would consider any of them. It seems to me that a premium grade DOB of 8 - 12.5" aperture would signficantly outperfrom these APOs on the planets or deep sky at a much lower price. Also, these "small" DOB's would set up faster and have a more stable mount. They would likely be more portable especially at the lower end of the aperture range, after you consider the mount. You could even get these DOBS with GOTO for possibly less than the APO costs all by itself.


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Mike Clemens
Frozen to Eyepiece
*****

Reged: 11/26/05

Loc: Alaska, USA
Re: AP 130 vs TEC 140 vs TOA130 new [Re: SteveLD]
      #4146547 - 10/27/10 07:14 PM

No way, we're all refractor fans.

One time I accidentally clicked on the reflectors forum though, I got all bug eyed and clicked BACK really quick and I think nobody saw me.


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Ziggy943
Post Laureate


Reged: 08/11/06

Loc: Utah
Re: AP 130 vs TEC 140 vs TOA130 new [Re: SteveLD]
      #4146549 - 10/27/10 07:17 PM

Quote:

If you are using these for imaging, the primary difference between them would be image scale and f ratio. The AP with reducer will get you the fastest f ratio and widest field with about a 580mm FL. Without the reducer, the AP gives you 780mm fl. The TOA has a standard focal length of 980mm and about 760mm with a Tak reducer. Thus it is better than the AP if you want a larger image scale. Ditto for the TEC which as a focal length of 980ml.

If you are looking for a scope purely for visual work, I am not sure why you would consider any of them. It seems to me that a premium grade DOB of 8 - 12.5" aperture would signficantly outperfrom these APOs on the planets or deep sky at a much lower price. Also, these "small" DOB's would set up faster and have a more stable mount. They would likely be more portable especially at the lower end of the aperture range, after you consider the mount. You could even get these DOBS with GOTO for possibly less than the APO costs all by itself.




So what's you're point?

What Mike said!


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Scott BeithAdministrator
SRF
*****

Reged: 11/26/03

Loc: Frederick, MD
Re: AP 130 vs TEC 140 vs TOA130 new [Re: Ziggy943]
      #4146793 - 10/27/10 09:17 PM

Steve, Welcome to Cloudy Nights!

Mike and Ziggy are teasing you (kinda)


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deprofundis
member
*****

Reged: 10/12/10

Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Re: AP 130 vs TEC 140 vs TOA130 new [Re: SteveLD]
      #4146815 - 10/27/10 09:30 PM

Quote:

If you are looking for a scope purely for visual work, I am not sure why you would consider any of them. It seems to me that a premium grade DOB of 8 - 12.5" aperture would signficantly outperfrom these APOs on the planets or deep sky at a much lower price. Also, these "small" DOB's would set up faster and have a more stable mount. They would likely be more portable especially at the lower end of the aperture range, after you consider the mount. You could even get these DOBS with GOTO for possibly less than the APO costs all by itself.




The Dob would outperform the the refractor at a much lower price, but I don't think it would be as portable or set up faster. An 8"+ Dob takes up a lot of volume (especially if it's not a truss model), at least as much as a 5" refractor + tripod & mount. You can set up a refractor on an alt-az mount pretty fast, and you don't have to worry about collimating it.


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Ziggy943
Post Laureate


Reged: 08/11/06

Loc: Utah
Re: AP 130 vs TEC 140 vs TOA130 new [Re: Mike Clemens]
      #4146942 - 10/27/10 10:25 PM

Quote:

No way, we're all refractor fans.

One time I accidentally clicked on the reflectors forum though, I got all bug eyed and clicked BACK really quick and I think nobody saw me.




I would never admit to something like that


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HCR32
sage


Reged: 08/27/10

Loc: Australia
Re: AP 130 vs TEC 140 vs TOA130 new [Re: Ziggy943]
      #4147723 - 10/28/10 10:28 AM

Well over the past month Ive been able to look through both dob and refractor. Personally I thought the refractor did a much better job and thats taking into consideration the dob was just a little over 3 times larger. (Planetary viewing)

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: AP 130 vs TEC 140 vs TOA130 new [Re: Ziggy943]
      #4147731 - 10/28/10 10:32 AM

If you notice, AP has no waiting lists hanging out on mounts, anymore. The runs always end up selling straight off the production line.

If you will remember a few years ago AP Increased mount production capacity and started referring to themselves as a mount company which sometimes offered telescopes (when just about everyone thought of them as a telescope company which also made mounts). Since mounts come from off the shelf materials, it was easier to increase mount production than telescope production. In retrospect, this would appear to have been a mistake. There is a lower barrier to entry for mounts, and there are lots of alternatives to AP mounts. And not to put too fine a point on it, I don't need to put a C5 on an AP mach 1 as I'm still waiting on a 130 8 years and 7 months after I went on the list.

So if he wants to sell something which will bring money in as fast as they come off the line, it's telescopes; not mounts. It may have ocurred to him many people are deferring a mount because they don't already have a high end scope to put on it, and given the lousy resale values these days, if you want to be in position to get that AP, you can't lose the money on depreciation of another OTA. And it isn't just AP seeing a soft market for high end mounts. Mountain instruments has been curtailing mount production due to low demand.

-Rich


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Scott99
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: New England
Re: AP 130 vs TEC 140 vs TOA130 new [Re: Starhawk]
      #4147822 - 10/28/10 11:10 AM

a lot of assumptions there. Don't you think the goal of expanding was to make AP mounts an off-the-shelf item? As long as we're pulling stuff out of our ***'s, here's another assumption: AP's expansion and readily available mounts wiped out MI. (Of course I have zero evidence of this)

fyi, from what I've read the reason AP never made more scopes is because over the last few decades they couldn't find another master optical engineer to do the work long-term.

Currently the only opticians in the USA that make high-Strehl amateur refractor lenses are 1 at AP and I believe 3 at TEC. The guys at TEC were specifically recruited in Russia to emigrate here to work at TEC.

So if you're able to find another optician in the USA that wants to dedicate his career to this I'm sure AP and TEC would love to meet and hire him

Tak couldn't find any master opticians in Japan to dedicate their career to high-Strehl optics either. They use a Canon subsidiary to make their lenses. APM/LZOS uses LZOS, a huge optical firm that does many other things.



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SteveC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 06/15/06

Loc: Sunshine State & Ocean State
Re: AP 130 vs TEC 140 vs TOA130 new [Re: SteveLD]
      #4148206 - 10/28/10 02:12 PM

Quote:

If you are using these for imaging, the primary difference between them would be image scale and f ratio. The AP with reducer will get you the fastest f ratio and widest field with about a 580mm FL. Without the reducer, the AP gives you 780mm fl. The TOA has a standard focal length of 980mm and about 760mm with a Tak reducer. Thus it is better than the AP if you want a larger image scale. Ditto for the TEC which as a focal length of 980ml.

If you are looking for a scope purely for visual work, I am not sure why you would consider any of them. It seems to me that a premium grade DOB of 8 - 12.5" aperture would signficantly outperfrom these APOs on the planets or deep sky at a much lower price. Also, these "small" DOB's would set up faster and have a more stable mount. They would likely be more portable especially at the lower end of the aperture range, after you consider the mount. You could even get these DOBS with GOTO for possibly less than the APO costs all by itself.




Whoa !! - not the way to make friends with your first post.

Would you like to know a little understood benefit to owning refractors? They are a lot easier to swing than Dobs are, they make real good clubs. Dob owners have been know to have accidents observing near refractors for some strange reason. Dob owners must be especially clumsy!


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RAKing
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/28/07

Loc: West of the D.C. Nebula
Re: AP 130 vs TEC 140 vs TOA130 new [Re: SteveLD]
      #4148310 - 10/28/10 03:04 PM

Quote:

If you are using these for imaging, the primary difference between them would be image scale and f ratio. The AP with reducer will get you the fastest f ratio and widest field with about a 580mm FL. Without the reducer, the AP gives you 780mm fl. The TOA has a standard focal length of 980mm and about 760mm with a Tak reducer. Thus it is better than the AP if you want a larger image scale. Ditto for the TEC which as a focal length of 980ml.

If you are looking for a scope purely for visual work, I am not sure why you would consider any of them. It seems to me that a premium grade DOB of 8 - 12.5" aperture would signficantly outperfrom these APOs on the planets or deep sky at a much lower price. Also, these "small" DOB's would set up faster and have a more stable mount. They would likely be more portable especially at the lower end of the aperture range, after you consider the mount. You could even get these DOBS with GOTO for possibly less than the APO costs all by itself.




Steve,

First of all, welcome to Cloudy Nights. You are certainly free to express your opinion, even if some of us disagree.

I have owned several 8 and 10 inch Newts (Dob and GEM-mounted). They are nice, but a 10 inch Newt is NOT easier to handle than my TEC 140 and while one of these Newts might show a brighter image than my refractor, the view is not as sharp across the FOV, nor as contrasty. There is more light fall off at the edges and I don't like coma - or dealing with collimation.

As far as cost - I was very willing to pay the price for my TEC and the views have been worth every dime. The OP is specifically asking about these scopes, so I'm guessing he knows what they cost as well.

YMMV and I hope you enjoy your Dob as much as I enjoy my TEC.

Ron


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SteveLD
journeyman


Reged: 07/31/08

Re: AP 130 vs TEC 140 vs TOA130 new [Re: Ziggy943]
      #4151816 - 10/30/10 02:20 AM

Quote:

Quote:

If you are using these for imaging, the primary difference between them would be image scale and f ratio. The AP with reducer will get you the fastest f ratio and widest field with about a 580mm FL. Without the reducer, the AP gives you 780mm fl. The TOA has a standard focal length of 980mm and about 760mm with a Tak reducer. Thus it is better than the AP if you want a larger image scale. Ditto for the TEC which as a focal length of 980ml.

If you are looking for a scope purely for visual work, I am not sure why you would consider any of them. It seems to me that a premium grade DOB of 8 - 12.5" aperture would signficantly outperfrom these APOs on the planets or deep sky at a much lower price. Also, these "small" DOB's would set up faster and have a more stable mount. They would likely be more portable especially at the lower end of the aperture range, after you consider the mount. You could even get these DOBS with GOTO for possibly less than the APO costs all by itself.




So what's you're point?

What Mike said!




My point is that if you want to image at the widest field possible between these three, the AP is the only show in town. If you want to image at 1000mm and 780mm focal lengths, then the Tak is the way to go. If you want the greatest aperture and to image at 980mm, go with the TEC. All three are great scopes.


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SteveLD
journeyman


Reged: 07/31/08

Re: AP 130 vs TEC 140 vs TOA130 new [Re: RAKing]
      #4152468 - 10/30/10 12:51 PM

Quote:


Steve,

First of all, welcome to Cloudy Nights. You are certainly free to express your opinion, even if some of us disagree.

I have owned several 8 and 10 inch Newts (Dob and GEM-mounted). They are nice, but a 10 inch Newt is NOT easier to handle than my TEC 140 and while one of these Newts might show a brighter image than my refractor, the view is not as sharp across the FOV, nor as contrasty. There is more light fall off at the edges and I don't like coma - or dealing with collimation.

As far as cost - I was very willing to pay the price for my TEC and the views have been worth every dime. The OP is specifically asking about these scopes, so I'm guessing he knows what they cost as well.

YMMV and I hope you enjoy your Dob as much as I enjoy my TEC.

Ron




Hi Ron,

I should have introduced myself before diving in. My current telescope line is limited to a Tak FS60C, Tak Sky 90, and Meade LX200R. My refractors are superb imagers, provide great wide field views, and deliver outstanding performance for their aperture. I no longer own a DOB as I do mostly imaging, but have owned a 12.5" premium DOB, Mak-Newts, a Tak Mewlon, a Tak FSQ 106, and several Newtonians. I definitely like APOs.

I agree completely with your assessment of Dobs when applied to the typical run-of-the-mill "fair to good" DOBS, but disagree with it when applied to premium DOBS and other designs with top-notch optics, coma corrector (e.g. Paracorr), and well-made DOB mount. There are very few 8-10" premium DOBS on the market anymore (they only seem to make bigger sizes). The only I am aware of are 7-10" offerings from Teleport and Portaball, both of which sport top-notch Zambuto optics, compete favorably with 5" premium APO's visually. I have looked through both and the views are exquisite. As far as ease of set up and protability of scope, tripod, and mount is concerned, a Teleport is second to none. Todd Gross claims that a 7" Teleport had a slight edge over a 6" APO in his side by side test, but it is safe to say that they can more than hold there own against 5" APO's. There are other designs that compete favorably with APO's. I once owned a Takahashi Mewlon 180mm", (no longer made), that was IMO clearly superior to 5" APO's in side-by-side comparisons and at least competitive with 6" APO's in terms of seeing detail on the planets, resolving globular clusters, and views of most objects. This scope was lighter and the tube shorter than many 4" APO's. It did have to be properly collimated to perform well, but once collimated it held collimation for long periods of time. APO's definitely provide wider FOV's and more pleasing wide field views than the Mewlon - especially at dark sites.

As far as ease of setup is concerned, 8" and larger DOBS can be pretty big and clunky if they are f/6 or larger and have thick mirrors. Shorter focal length DOBS with thinner mirrors supported by excellent mirror cells can be quite portable even in larger sizes, especially when you consider setup of tripod/mount component in the mix.

IMO Refractors are among the best scopes for wide-field imaging. They are also top notch for wide field viewing in the smaller sizes. Incidentally, I have heard Roland Christen express similar views about the relative merits of APO's versus other scope designs. On cloudy nights, he suggests that 8-12" premium Newtonians are in the same league as 7-9" APO refractors http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=410 when it comes to the planets. Also, everyone is entitled to their preferences. Many people like APO's in the same way that some people love vintage cars. Others like them because at any given aperture, they are among the best performers. When seeing is bad, the advantage that a larger scope with premium optics has on the planets tends to evaporate. It isn't that the APO shows more detail than a bigger scope in these conditions, but because it doesn't show the effects of seeing as much, they may provide more pleasing views -- except during those sometimes brief moments during times of bad seeing when the seeing gets really good.

Steve


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Mike Clemens
Frozen to Eyepiece
*****

Reged: 11/26/05

Loc: Alaska, USA
Re: AP 130 vs TEC 140 vs TOA130 new [Re: SteveLD]
      #4152569 - 10/30/10 01:51 PM

Obviously, Steve will make a fine covert operative for us in the reflector camp.

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: AP 130 vs TEC 140 vs TOA130 new [Re: SteveC]
      #4152847 - 10/30/10 04:51 PM

Pffffft! I'm half way through the club observing list for the session with my TEC by the time the Dobbers are collimated and cooled. A refractor sets up pretty quickly compared to a truss Dob, is always collimated and cools in an instant, and so far as I am concerned there are no premium Dobs in the 8" to 12.5" range that are NOT trussed.

I agree that a premium Dob is a great scope, but if and only if perfectly cooled and collimated. If not, pass.

Regards,

Jim


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SteveLD
journeyman


Reged: 07/31/08

Re: AP 130 vs TEC 140 vs TOA130 new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #4157625 - 11/02/10 12:16 AM

Hi Jim,

It's true that most premium Dobs these days are truss designs and need to be collimated regularly. The only possible exception are the Teleports which are unique in that you don't take the trusses apart when you close up the scope. They do a better job of holding collimating when you set them up and take them down. Most Dobs have full thickness mirrors which result in slow cool down, but Starmaster effectively uses thin mirrors in superb mirror cells that enables them to cool down fairly quickly.

One design that IMO has an edge over 5" APO's in terms of portability and ease of set up is the 210mm Takahashi Mewlon. It is about 27 inches long and weighs 17.6 pounds. This weight includes an outstanding 7X50 Tak finder mounted in a bracket that is welded to the optical tube assembly. This finder bracket serves as a grab handle that eases support and setup without altering the alignment of the finder one iota. The optical tube also includes a mounting plate that easily adapts to most standard mounts including Losmandy. You don't need to add tube rings or a clamshell to the Mewlon. The open tube design and removable rear mirror cell cover ensures that the scope reaches thermal equilibrium quickly. Optically the Mewlon is outstanding. It is sensitive to collimation, but once collimated, my experience is it holds collimation for long periods of time. Greater aperture, superb optics and higher focal ratio provide superior views to 5" APOs on most objects. When seeing permits, its easy to reach 400X with a 6mm eyepiece and more if the seeing is outstanding. That kind of magnification doesn't work nearly as well with shorter focal length 5" APOs. The one area where the APOs beat the Mewlon is in wide field imaging and viewing; especially from dark sites. In this respect APOs are unequaled save for much more specialized, super fast, corrected Newtonians that work best as imaging scopes. Also, inch-for-inch the APos are without peer.

Steve


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deprofundis
member
*****

Reged: 10/12/10

Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Re: AP 130 vs TEC 140 vs TOA130 new [Re: SteveLD]
      #4158458 - 11/02/10 12:29 PM

Quote:

One design that IMO has an edge over 5" APO's in terms of portability and ease of set up is the 210mm Takahashi Mewlon. It is about 27 inches long and weighs 17.6 pounds. This weight includes an outstanding 7X50 Tak finder mounted in a bracket that is welded to the optical tube assembly. This finder bracket serves as a grab handle that eases support and setup without altering the alignment of the finder one iota. The optical tube also includes a mounting plate that easily adapts to most standard mounts including Losmandy. You don't need to add tube rings or a clamshell to the Mewlon. The open tube design and removable rear mirror cell cover ensures that the scope reaches thermal equilibrium quickly.




Unless they changed the design, the Mewlon 210 doesn't have the removable rear cell cover. Only the 250 and 300 have that.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: AP 130 vs TEC 140 vs TOA130 new [Re: SteveLD]
      #4158652 - 11/02/10 01:56 PM

I have a Mewlon 210 too. My main problem with the Mewlon is that mine does not hold collimation particularly well, and when it's even slightly miscollimated, it can't keep up with the TEC. Otherwise, it's a nice scope. Well made, cools quickly and, when collimated properly, performs extremely well. I have tried both the stock collimation screws and Bob's Knobs, and nonetheless each time I transport the scope by automobile it seems to get bumped. Mine's in a Scopeguard case, so it's not like it's rolling around in the bed of a truck or anything.

Regards,

Jim


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SteveLD
journeyman


Reged: 07/31/08

Re: AP 130 vs TEC 140 vs TOA130 new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #4158777 - 11/02/10 03:05 PM

I actually had a Mewlon 180 (no longer made), but it held collimation very well. I wonder if something is loose in your Mewlon? I friend of mine owns the 210 and the design seems virtually identical. Do you have a lot of mirror flop? It was minimal in my 180. It might be worth contacting Fred over at Land, Sea, and Sky/Texas Nautical (Takahashi America) to see if he has something to say about this. They do perform repairs, adjustments, cleaning, and other maintenance and provide excellent if somewhat costly service.

Steve


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: AP 130 vs TEC 140 vs TOA130 [Re: SteveLD]
      #4158844 - 11/02/10 03:34 PM

Thanks Steve. I suspect a couple of things; one being a slightly decentered secondary and the other being something not quite mechanically right with the secondary attachment /pivot mechanism. I figured I would disassemble it here at home at some point, recenter the spider using calipers and inspect the secondary adjustment mechanism, and if I couldn't get it sorted out then send it to Art for some TLC.

Regards,

Jim


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