I started this thread a few weeks back of looking at a Vixen AX103S coming from owning a VC200L for 18 years. It's clear to me now from the advice I've been given that coming from a 200mm (even with a 42% obstruction) is to a103mm objective merely going to be unsatisfying visually.
I think ideally a Mewlon 250 would probably give me the best of all compromise of a large aperture but an APO-like & contrasty image which I lack on the VC200L. Unfortunately the Mewlon 250 is out of my price reach. The options narrowed down are now :-
1) TOA-130NS (which is on an auction expiring tonight) - priced approx USD$3935 2nd hand which seems like a good deal
- I think decent pricing but would visually be an "upgrade" from the VC200L?
- I don't know if I'm more tempted on this for Takahashi's reputation rather than it's capability over the other two options below. In addition, since it's on auction I'm afraid if I lose this opportunity I may not get the chance again
2) APM/Lunt 152 priced approx USD$4120 new
- I read the TOA-130 vs Lunt 152 thread and although the general recommendation is the Lunt 152 for its larger aperture, I don't think any of the responders have seen both side-by-side to determine how much of an improvement of the Lunt 152 is over the TOA-130.
- It's a doublet and some posts seem to say there's a little CA. Whilst another review I read that there's no CA when in focus.
3) VMC260L priced approx USD$2600 2nd hand
- currently product is not available and being sent back to Vixen for maintenance.
- concerned if it has the same low contrastness of the VC200L
The TEC140 is not an option as I'm not prepared to wait 6 months to a year and it's pricer than any of the aforementioned options. I also looked at the Celestron EdgeHD 11" but with mirror shift, dew, and weight it's not for me. My mount is a Vixen SXP so max 16kg OTA, and personally I think I'd take a 12kg weight max. I will need to transport my gear for a minimum 2 hr drive out of Tokyo everytime I want to view and in addition my car is small - I think I can handle a max 1000mm length OTA.
So should I jump on the TOA-130NS tonight or am I misprioritising owning a Tak over more practical visual purpose?