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4" Apochromatic Hyper Shootout

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#351 Fomalhaut

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 02:53 AM

Quote: I have so wanted to take a closer look at these two beautiful instrumenst but I have not tested either yet, but I appreciate the inquiry.

--> I've had an FCT100/640 (Nr. 92004) myself and tested it against an APQ100/640 as well as compared it with many other 4-inchers. And the result? Let me put it this way: The FCT100 never came out second, and no owner of a contender ever was of the opposite opinion... In other words: Since I'm not a collector, I'm stuck :D - but I've never had the opportunity to test it against the TSA up to now, and I must confess I'm a bit reluctant to do so... :undecided:
In a neighbouring thread Dave N. writes he owns both, the FCT-100 as well as the TSA - well, Dave, what conclusions have you drawn out of your comparisons?
Chris
 

#352 Dave Novoselsky

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 07:18 AM

Haven't had them out side by side yet. The TSA is the new kid in the fleet, so it is getting some quiet time with Daddy before it gets to play with its half brothers. Translation, I'm still dialing in how I observe with it and will figure out starting a side by side later. Dave
 

#353 NHRob

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 07:52 AM

The dollar bill test is great for testing resolution and low-level contrast differences. However, there is nothing like viewing a planet like Jupe or the lunar limb for checking dynamic range and light scatter.
Rob
 

#354 Clive Gibbons

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 08:37 AM

I think some of the new WO designs are just great, the new 98 carbon FLT cleary cutting edge, well priced, and quit attractive. But until these QC issues are resolved, and reported in tests like Daniels and in several other instances I have seen, there will always be a question in my mind. That is now even greater as I understand from several sources in the industry that WO intends to close down its US presence and maintain sales and, most importantly, QC from Taiwan.

Dave


Just wondering if the WO FLT-110 (TMB) samples tested were very early units. When did that (non-TEC) model first appear?
Hopefully, the quality issues have been ironed out since then.
I agree that's it's unacceptible to have not one, but two, samples of that scope perform poorly.
 

#355 KaStern

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 08:55 AM

Hello Daniel,

thank you for the efforts of you and your fellow observers.
What I find to be good:

1) A - B side-by-side comparisons
2) star tests as a means to estimate the optical precision
3) repeated comparisons
4) several samples of some scopes

Well done :waytogo:

Regards, Karsten
 

#356 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 09:21 AM

Thank you!
 

#357 Dave Novoselsky

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 10:07 AM

Post deleted by Astronomics
 

#358 Clive Gibbons

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 10:16 AM

And I believe the scopes Dan tested were of recent vintage, which is why the QC issues are troubling


Going waaaaay back to the start of this thread, shows this posting by Dan.
It's dated March 7, 2007, so would indicate to me that at least the first WO/TMB was recieved at that time.
 

#359 bcuddihee

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 10:16 AM

Daniel, very nice review..hopefully it will be saved on this forum for future access. I was wondering if you would ever consider doing a review of some of the recent lower price point ED scopes in the 4-5 inch range. I'm sure many of us would like to see how these compare optically to the premium scopes and just what you are giving up to some of the fine scopes you have already reviewed. In particular the 120 Eon has garnered quite a bit of interest and those who have had the opportunity to use them seem very happy with their optics. Perhaps a head to head with the 120 to lets say the SV 115, FS 128 etc. No doubt there would be noticeable difference in build quality and optics but it would be very informative, to see how noticeable these differences would be in real world viewing conditions...under the stars. Thanks again!
bc
 

#360 Spyke

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 10:33 AM

Remember the Peter Sellers movie "The Party" where at one point an elephant was brought in? Sparking that memory brought a tear of joy to my eye....


Yes, I remember. "Birdy num-nums" indeed....
 

#361 Dave Novoselsky

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 10:35 AM

And I believe the scopes Dan tested were of recent vintage, which is why the QC issues are troubling


Going waaaaay back to the start of this thread, shows this posting by Dan.
It's dated March 7, 2007, so would indicate to me that at least the first WO/TMB was recieved at that time.


That's recent enough for me. I am not aware they have done anything to update their QC in the last year. I also see that Dan brought it to their attention and the second scope was shipped to him later.

Again, I feel QC is critical. So do some other mfgs who get their optics from the same 'off shore' sources as WO, namely AT and Stellarvue and now from TMB. I have never seen anything like Dan described coming from any of those companies.

Of course that is why the original TMB scopes are so highly prized. Tom did not build any optics, he was a designer. He did, however (and this is personal knowledge, not rumor) assemble and test all the TMB scopes that were sold under his name in this country. I understand Vic does the same and the folks at Astronomics do the same on the ATs, having just acquired an interferometer for testing the optics they receive. That is also why shutting down the US facility, if in fact WO is doing that, is not a good thing for the US consumer.

As I said, the WO scopes and other products offer some outstanding designs. I would just prefer to see more attention paid to QC.

Dave


 

#362 Greg Morrison

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 10:53 AM

I think a comparison between an ED120 and top of the line 4" apos would be just as interesting. This is a valid comparison if you consider price point. A new skywatcher ED 120 sells for $1495.00. Used televues and older 4" taks go for around the same price used. New ones obviously sell for alot more. I'd like to see and EON 120 or 120ED compared to a TSA 102. That would be interesting.
 

#363 Clive Gibbons

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 10:54 AM

Post deleted by Astronomics
 

#364 spaceydee

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 11:51 AM

For what it's worth I think that the QC issue has now been beaten to death already. Daniel presented what happened first hand.
 

#365 spaceydee

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 11:55 AM

Also, for what it's worth, I think it's better not to cherry pick a scope for review. I'm not saying anyone does it though.
 

#366 Clive Gibbons

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 12:05 PM

:lol:

Dee raises a good point, re. cherry-picking and supplying scopes for review. :thinking:
WO must have a sense of self-deprecating humor, to send such a nasty replacement even after being told it's for a product review. :stooges: :doah:
 

#367 BillP

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 12:54 PM

...Of course that is why the original TMB scopes are so highly prized. Tom did not build any optics, he was a designer. He did, however (and this is personal knowledge, not rumor) assemble and test all the TMB scopes that were sold under his name in this country. ...


Excuse me...but a bit of an off-topic observation here from me...

It has always "amused" me how some (not referring to you Dave) stress or need to ensure that Tom Back is referred to as a lens designer and not a telescope "maker." Conceptually, there is no difference in my mind if I were to employ staff vs contract out to have my optics ground and polished. In both instances in this example, "I" would have been the "maker" of that lens since it would not have come into being without my direct action. Anyway, I just think it is silly as the line is arbitrary it seems -- e.g., should you only be called a scope maker if you smelt the ore and alloy the metal and roll or pour the aluminum for the tube?

In any event, I'd like to go on record as saying that Tom Back was a lens designer par excellence (2nd to none IMO) and yes a Telescope Maker (since without his direct interventions there would be no such thing as a TMB 130 SS telescope on the market today...as well as others out of his operation).

Apologies for the drift off course, but just wanted to give Tom Back the Telescope Maker his rightful due...
 

#368 Clive Gibbons

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 01:17 PM

Post deleted by Astronomics
 

#369 Dave Novoselsky

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 01:29 PM

Clive, we agree that Tom was a designer par excellence. We also agree that he often came out on the short end of many business deals. And yes, WO was not the only one who put him in that situation. Now, I agree we go back to the 4" shootout. Dave
 

#370 Clive Gibbons

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 03:15 PM

Thanks, Dave. :waytogo:
 

#371 lukman

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 05:27 PM

Thank you Daniel for the nice review. I have read it with joy and excitement. This is one of the best reviews that I have read lately. When I read it I got the chills, they where the same chills when I read the Ed Ting reviews. Excellent review Daniel.
Clear skies, Lukman
 

#372 drshr

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 05:31 PM

I am now completely lost! Can we have a summary so as to avoid reading all of this huge thread with all of its diversions! :confused:

Cheers
 

#373 joelwhicker

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 06:07 PM

Well I have not taken the 6 hours necessary to read all of the posts, but once the review was posted, Edgie's dollar bill test gave me a project yesterday afternoon.

After reading that the WO Megrez 110 was the pits in the review, I pasted a $10 bill to a tree trunk in the back yard, using my 5 year old's modeling clay.

Using a 4mm Uwan EP, I was able to discern all of the fine detail on the back of the bill. This was better than I could do looking at it in my hand. The ants that were crawling up the trunk and over the bill looked that they were on the eye piece.

I certainly do not have a trained eye, but this impressed me. I guess if you are impressed by what you buy, and you are not any worse of financialy, can it be a bad deal?
 

#374 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 09:18 PM

I am now completely lost! Can we have a summary so as to avoid reading all of this huge thread with all of its diversions! :confused:

Cheers


What part are you looking for?
 

#375 BarrySimon615

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 09:56 PM

Daniel,

Thanks for all the hard work. Your results agree with my impressions of some of the scopes that you tested. I have personally owned and tested the following 4" (or close to 4" refractors) and I rank them as follows from good to great: Unitron 152 (4" f/15) and Celestron Super Polaris C102 (4" f/9.8) good achromats, but certainly exhibiting false color. TeleVue Genesis 102 f/5, much better color correction, but not quite as good as my Vernonscope Brandon 94 mm f/7. In turn the Brandon 94 suffered when compared to my Orion ED 100, which in testing was the optical equivalent of a TeleVue 102 2 element apo (the ED 100 was fitted with a FeatherTouch focuser which made it very nice to use.) As good as the Orion ED 100 was, it truly suffered in comparison to my Takahashi TSA 102 acquired in October 2007 (Serial # 07065). The stars were so pin point tight with concentrated light that I believe it was reaching down at least 0.2 magnitude fainter than the upper limit of the ED 100. It was almost like having an additional 10 mm of aperture gathering light, when in truth the aperture difference was only 2 mm. I have never observed with a better 4" refractor and while I have never had an opportunity to compare my TSA head to head with another one, I feel I got a very good one. Size, of course does matter, but quality matters much more. Your testing affirms in my mind that I made a very good decision when I ordered the TSA 102.

Barry Simon
 


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