Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Lunt Eng. 152 ED or Tak. TOA-130 For Visual?

  • Please log in to reply
62 replies to this topic

#1 Harry Perkins

Harry Perkins

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 20
  • Joined: 14 Jan 2014

Posted 19 April 2014 - 07:11 PM

Leaving aside the cost and depreciation differences, which would you buy for visual work (no imaging) and why?

I am in the market for a nice refractor for visual observing. I had settled upon the TOA-130 (larger apos were either too costly or it took a year or more to get one) but then the Lunt 152 ED showed up.

Harry
  • Charlespl likes this

#2 BillP

BillP

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 18702
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Spotsylvania, VA

Posted 20 April 2014 - 10:19 AM

TOA 130 (triplet) -- $7200 + OTA ~22lbs

Lunt 152 (doublet) -- $4000 + OTA ~18lbs

Esprit 150 (triplet) -- $6400 + OTA ~32lbs

ES127 (triplet) -- $1900-2500* + OTA ~22lbs (*latter is carbon fiber version on special at OPT)

For visual any are going to be great at focus. Question is really what is your personal preference for 130mm class vs 150mm class. The views are different. Just a matter of weighing the pros-cons. FWIW, triplets are fairly front heavy in the 150mm category. I personally did not like this about triplets. But at 130mm and below not so bad. So for me, when looking at the larger 150mm class the doublet was the only way I wanted to go because I wanted a more balanced, lighter, and quicker cool down (and wanted air spaced since don't want to mess with oiled designs).

Above are all current production APOs that should have no real wait times.

ps - personally I don't think resale should be a consideration as these aren't investment items but tools to buy based on function and performance needed. So I never consider that.

150's are also big beasts...but the doublet is at least light so I carry it as shown mounted with no issue. Others in the frame are the TSA-102 (back), the Skylight 60mm (left), and PST solar scope (front), and the big one is of course the Lunt 152.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 6477155-Refractors.jpg

  • SteveG, denis0007dl and StarDust1 like this

#3 AustinAstronomer

AustinAstronomer

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 871
  • Joined: 04 Mar 2010

Posted 20 April 2014 - 01:04 PM

Wouldn't the ED 152 give a better view than the TOA 130, "better" being brighter and more resolution?

#4 BillP

BillP

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 18702
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Spotsylvania, VA

Posted 20 April 2014 - 01:14 PM

Wouldn't the ED 152 give a better view than the TOA 130, "better" being brighter and more resolution?


Given both are diffraction limited and of similar strehl, baffled equally well so contrast is maintained then yes, very definitely the 152 will give a better visual view due to increased light gathering and resolution. There is an intellectual argument that maybe some very small visual planetary advantage to the triplet vs the doublet of the same aperture due to a little better concentration of all the energy spectrum into the airy disk, but IMO this small hypothesized advantage would be clearly and significantly trumped when the apertures are different (137% light and 117% resolution for the 152 over the 130).

#5 David Pavlich

David Pavlich

    Transmographied

  • *****
  • Posts: 36208
  • Joined: 18 May 2005
  • Loc: Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Posted 20 April 2014 - 04:19 PM

Since you stated no imaging, I'd go for the aperture. The bit of color that you'll get from the big doublet will be small potatoes...at least that's how it would be for me. :grin:

Now, imaging is a different thread...

David
  • ArsMachina likes this

#6 andysea

andysea

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3536
  • Joined: 03 Sep 2010
  • Loc: Seattle, WA

Posted 20 April 2014 - 05:51 PM

I own and love the TOA130 but I only use it for imaging.
For visual I have to agree with David, my guess is that more aperture will be preferable. I also read Bill's very favorable review of the Lunt and it seems to have excellent color correction.

#7 Tommy5

Tommy5

    Mercury-Atlas

  • -----
  • Posts: 2814
  • Joined: 28 Mar 2004
  • Loc: Chicagoland

Posted 20 April 2014 - 07:00 PM

Lunt 152 should be much better at the eyepiece, TOA was made to be an imaging scope.

#8 kcb

kcb

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 493
  • Joined: 18 Jul 2013

Posted 20 April 2014 - 09:06 PM

hi,

i took the chance and purchased the apm 152 f/8 e.d doublet for visual work,lighter weight and aperture,as well as price range,personally as a longtime visual observer i am very impressed with the all around sharp views of bright deep sky,showpiece double stars and lunar and planetary work,as a matter a fact last night it showed me the best view of mars compared to the many telescopes i own,there are so many great refractors out there but i must admit that the mechanics and optics are pleasantly pleasing for a visual observer,kevin

#9 BillP

BillP

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 18702
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Spotsylvania, VA

Posted 20 April 2014 - 09:43 PM

Kevin,

When you get a chance, get the Baader Contrast Booster and the Vernonscope #30 Magenta Filter (and filter thread adapter). Either one of these enhances Mars nicely. Of the two I think I prefer the #30 singly. However, in the Lunt/APM 152 this evening I was using a 4mm TMB Supermonocentric (300x) and the 5mm XO (240x) with the combo of both filters and the details on Mars were nothing short of phenomenal! Clearly visible and well defined were the polar cap, Syrtis Major was very dark and just making its way out of sight, Mare Acidalium and Nillacus Lacus also very well defined, along with Mare Serpentis and Sinus Sabaeus. But was cool looking (don't know why just was), was the gap between Sinus Meridiani and Margaritifer Sinus. Just interesting looking the way the seemed to conform to each other but gapped, like two puzzle pieces waiting to be joined. :grin:

And you are so right...mechanics and optics are very pleasantly pleasing for visual observing. A really fun point-n-shoot scope!
  • Joe Gervin likes this

#10 dedo

dedo

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 245
  • Joined: 04 Jun 2010
  • Loc: Italy, Rome

Posted 21 April 2014 - 01:51 AM

Since Bill already presented some other models :p I say that for visual I'd go with the TEC140.
I've had more than a single opportunity to test it against a LZOS 152 f8 with the same optical train on Jupiter, double stars and deep sky. Both I and the owner of the 152 preferred the images provided by the TEC.

The difference in resolution and light gatering was really not appreciatable as may be between a 130 and a 150.
Still the OTA is considerably smaller than the 150. It also cools down faster than the 150 and may be of the 130 too due to its oil spacing.

#11 kcb

kcb

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 493
  • Joined: 18 Jul 2013

Posted 21 April 2014 - 09:21 AM

well the tec140 is much more expensive then my apm 152 f/8 e.d doublet,and for an aging observer i find i have no regrets with my 6'' refractor choice,tec 140 tube is actually 19 lbs and the apm 152 e.d doublet tube is actually 16 lbs,and a longer focal length for my liking than the tec 140,but i enjoyed the money i saved for other astronomical equipment and i got a 6'' apo refractor,that is where i wanted to be,happy stargazer !

#12 AustinAstronomer

AustinAstronomer

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 871
  • Joined: 04 Mar 2010

Posted 21 April 2014 - 09:39 AM

"Both I and the owner of the 152 preferred the images provided by the TEC."

Could you explain why you preferred the images provided by the TEC 140? How were they better? Which scope showed more lunar and planetary detail?

Thank you.

#13 kcb

kcb

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 493
  • Joined: 18 Jul 2013

Posted 21 April 2014 - 09:51 AM

actually i forgot to add that of the 42 years of observing i have recently had well detailed observations of jupiter and mars at their oppositions,seeing conditions permitting, with the 6'' f/8,there are many great refractors out there but my still 20/20 vision discerns the finest details that the 6'' f/8 provides,and the cool downtime is very good with the e.d.doublet,the tec 140 is an awesome scope if that is what you want, but for the price i decided to use that money for a big dobsonian which i did ,unless imaging is your thing.

#14 dedo

dedo

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 245
  • Joined: 04 Jun 2010
  • Loc: Italy, Rome

Posted 21 April 2014 - 10:22 AM

You sure have done well KCB as the APM doublet is a great scope.

The op has said "leaving cost aside" and since the TOA130 does cost as much if not more than the TEC140 it seemed to me a viable choice.

I think we both, myself with the TEC and my friend with the LZOS 152, have been influenced by the fact that the TEC140 is much more portable and easy to mount. I can only say that we didn't see any difference on Jupiter with a Petax XO 5mm.
Sure a 152 APO is a great scope, but while you can esily see a difference between that and a 130, differences with a 130 and a 140 or a 140 with a 152 are much more subtle, as many review of the TEC and a Tak128 also have proved.
So, cost aside, I would go for a 140 for visual only.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 6478884-946216_398154546958229_1457020133_n.jpg


#15 SteveC

SteveC

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8497
  • Joined: 15 Jun 2006
  • Loc: Sunshine State & Ocean State

Posted 21 April 2014 - 10:30 AM

Harry,

If you're considering the TOA130, you might as well consider the TEC140(19lbs, $6000 w/rings & mounting plate). It has very good cooling times, and contrary to what Bill said, there are no issues with tbeing oil spaced, unless you do something stupid like I did with a hair dryer. That being said, Bill has given a wonderful review of his Lunt152, and given his keen eye, I have to say that the Lunt/APM 152 represents an outstanding value. That combination of aperture/color correction/price can't be beat. Upgrading the 152's fucuser may bring it closer to its competitors' pricing, but that appears to be an unnecessary luxury according to Bill's reviews.

#16 kcb

kcb

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 493
  • Joined: 18 Jul 2013

Posted 21 April 2014 - 12:21 PM

hi all,
great to here of others opinions and choices,sure is great to live in an era of great refractors,how our ancient astronomers of the past would be jealous,clear skies to all,from georgian bay ontario canada,home of some of the darkest skies,kevin
  • jtjtjtjt likes this

#17 BillP

BillP

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 18702
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Spotsylvania, VA

Posted 21 April 2014 - 12:38 PM

...and contrary to what Bill said, there are no issues with tbeing oil spaced, unless you do something stupid like I did with a hair dryer.


Hey...I didn't say anything wrong with oil-spaced objectives, just I personally wanted air. :poke: And besides, I thought the instructions for all refractors after an evening of hard work and an oily objective was to wash, rinse, repeat, then blow dry :shrug:

New list...

TOA 130 (triplet) -- $7200 + OTA ~22lbs
ES152CF (triplet) -- $6700 + OTA ~24lbs
SW Esprit 150 (triplet) -- $6400 + OTA ~32lbs
TEC 140 (triplet) -- $6000 + OTA ~19lbs (w/ rings and plate)
Lunt 152 (doublet) -- $4000 + OTA ~18lbs
ES127 (triplet) -- $1900-2500* + OTA ~22lbs (*latter is carbon fiber version on special at OPT)

#18 tomcody

tomcody

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2509
  • Joined: 06 Jul 2008
  • Loc: Titusville, Florida

Posted 21 April 2014 - 01:38 PM

I would just like to point out the the OP stated that other scopes were either too expensive or had wait times of up to a year, which I think, would include the TEC140. :question:

#19 tomcody

tomcody

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2509
  • Joined: 06 Jul 2008
  • Loc: Titusville, Florida

Posted 21 April 2014 - 01:55 PM

Harry,
For me a refractor is about the best view possible on planetary detail and to get it, a high quality triplet is best. For example look at the review of the FS128 vs the TEC140:
Cloudy Nights review
and look at the the pictures of Jupiter taken with a FS128 and TEC140, to me the cloud bands are more defined at their edges with the TEC ( I think due to its higher multi-sthrel rating) than those of the FS128. Also note on the Moon pictures the higher contrast of the FS128's fluorite lens makes for a sharper image with not much color to deal with. If this kind of difference is important to you? I would suggest the TOA130, if dso's are your thing? then the larger scope may do you well, but in that case, I would just get a 8" to 10" sct.
Note, I see the exact same differences between my FS128 and TSA102 (image scale and resolving power excluded)
Rex

#20 Pinbout

Pinbout

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 22925
  • Joined: 22 Feb 2010

Posted 21 April 2014 - 02:17 PM

but then the Lunt 152 ED showed up.



yes it did...

https://www.youtube....h?v=E4YVb-QmS4I

#21 SteveC

SteveC

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8497
  • Joined: 15 Jun 2006
  • Loc: Sunshine State & Ocean State

Posted 21 April 2014 - 03:00 PM

I would just like to point out the the OP stated that other scopes were either too expensive or had wait times of up to a year, which I think, would include the TEC140. :question:


I haven't checked in a while, but I used to see them often in the classifieds. I bought mine used, and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.

#22 SteveC

SteveC

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8497
  • Joined: 15 Jun 2006
  • Loc: Sunshine State & Ocean State

Posted 21 April 2014 - 03:49 PM

...and contrary to what Bill said, there are no issues with tbeing oil spaced, unless you do something stupid like I did with a hair dryer.

............... And besides, I thought the instructions for all refractors after an evening of hard work and an oily objective was to wash, rinse, repeat, then blow dry :shrug:


That may be normal procedure for sophisticated suburban DC types like yourself, but I'm more blue collar - spit works just fine. ;)

#23 aa6ww

aa6ww

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2061
  • Joined: 23 Oct 2011
  • Loc: Sacramento, Calif.

Posted 22 April 2014 - 10:41 AM

The Lunt 152 looks like a nice scope. It's a complete package minus the mount if you don't have rings, diagonals and a case already.
I've had a TOA-130 since 2007 and its the one for me, but that doesn't mean you wouldn't love the Lunt 152. I don't think it will be anywhere near the optical masterpiece the TOA is once you start pushing the optics above 300x, but I bet its an excellent scope nevertheless.
Its still an ED scope, and a fast one, so your still going to be fighting that 3rd wavelength of light, the longer blue light, which means focus at higher magnifications will soften up much faster than the TOA. Maybe that's why they only rate the optics as achieving max magnification of 300x.
Above those magnifications, I bet the poofy pixel density starts to rear its ugly head and you loose that tack sharp resolution you get with the TOA.
I'm saying all this because color correction isn't the only factor that maters on a ED or triplet design. Triplets will just naturally have the ability to give you more contrass that ED scopes, and have tighter focus, because they can get all 3 wavelengths of light to come together at precisely the same point of focus. With that you get the ability to go higher in magnification when you need it, and the tiny details you look for in a refractor, stand out more. Its the same with HD Televisions, greater pixel density.

Having said all that, the Lunt ED looks like a very nice scope and APM makes some nice scopes, so you won't regret buying one I'm sure. I have a 180 APM F/6 and it its a very very very nice scope.
The TOA is ridiculously over priced, but you know where the money goes when you look at it and look through it.

Both scopes are still very light weight by the way.

I'd say go for the Lunt. I'd also recommend getting out of these equipment forums, after you purchase it, and start visiting the observing forums. These equipment forums will screw up your mind, and convince you regardless of what you get, you'll never be happy with it and you need to get something bigger and better.

Get what you get, then start paying attention to how to use the scope, and learn the skies and pay attention to whats out there.

Its like marriage, once you have your treasure, start enjoying your time with her, and not worry about the other pretty girls down the street.

....Ralph in Sacramento.

http://www.astromart...?article_id=563

Leaving aside the cost and depreciation differences, which would you buy for visual work (no imaging) and why?

I am in the market for a nice refractor for visual observing. I had settled upon the TOA-130 (larger apos were either too costly or it took a year or more to get one) but then the Lunt 152 ED showed up.

Harry


  • ArsMachina, StarDust1 and APO1 like this

#24 BillP

BillP

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 18702
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Spotsylvania, VA

Posted 22 April 2014 - 01:05 PM

I don't think it will be anywhere near the optical masterpiece the TOA is once you start pushing the optics above 300x, but I bet its an excellent scope nevertheless.
Its still an ED scope, and a fast one, so your still going to be fighting that 3rd wavelength of light, the longer blue light, which means focus at higher magnifications will soften up much faster than the TOA. Maybe that's why they only rate the optics as achieving max magnification of 300x.


I'm not sure why/if anyone "rates" the optics at 300x...however, realize that 300x in a 6" class scope is a 0.5mm exit pupil. So from a practical standpoint, not useful on much other than extreme lunar and doubles/glob cores going to smaller exit pupils. I routinely use a .5mm exit as my maximum for planetary in my scopes. On rare occassions I go to a .4mm exit but things are getting pretty dim and low contrast features are faded away by then. So great for image scale if one needs more, and good for dowbles/globs or Moon at smaller than .4mm exit pupil (325x TOA; 380x Lunt), but not a lot more.

Testing at smaller exit pupils than 0.5mm requires an extremely steady atmosphere. FWIW, I did test both the Lunt 152 and my TSA-102 at 100x/inch indoors. So 600x and 400x respectively. They both provided sharp images that were defined very well. The Lunt was comparitively softer and a little less contrasty...but then again, the Lunt was pushing 1.5x more mag even though the exit pupils were leveled.

My expectation would be that a full APO, like the TOA should do better than the Lunt at 100x/inch and more. However, the question becomes, who uses smaller than .5mm exit pupils and how rarely is that. Too often I feel folks make decisions based on what they might be doing .01% of the time, rather than what they do all the time. So far, outdoors, I had the Lunt up to 400x on rich star clusters. It maintained a sharp view.

I think if nothing else matters in the equation and the decision is 150 TOA or 150 Lunt, obviously the TOA would be the answer as it is a full APO and can push the rare extremes well. However, if a choice between a perfect 130 APO and an ED variety at 152mm...since I view DSO the 152 would hands down be better.

#25 tomcody

tomcody

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2509
  • Joined: 06 Jul 2008
  • Loc: Titusville, Florida

Posted 22 April 2014 - 01:07 PM

The TOA is ridiculously over priced, but you know where the money goes when you look at it and look through it.

....Ralph in Sacramento.

Ridiculously over priced?
Huh? The current price of an AP 130GT is $6,400. ( with an 8-10 yr wait) and no one is complaining, vs $6,500 for a TOA130 and in stock.
Rex :foreheadslap:


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics