I've been into Astronomy for over 25 years and have incessantly refused to buy anything Takahashi because I believed Takahashi was overpriced. There is no way Takahashi products could be worth the money, when I could buy a Vixen, Meade, Celestron, Orion, etc. telescope. I've owned everything from a Meade LX200 16" SCT to TeleVue NP101 to a Vixen Newtonian and everything in between, but I had never owned a Takahashi scope because honestly, why would I ever waste the money? I had seen Takahashi's at various star parties over the years, but never bothered to even look through one as they just looked so... old fashioned.
About six months ago I was in the market for a small airline portable travel telescope and had been seriously considering the TeleVue 76 small refractor, which seemed to fit my needs perfectly and I had a good experience with the TeleVue NP101 I previously owned, so I was about to place the order until I read a review of the new Takahashi FC-76DCU. Given the pricetag was right around $1,400 new, I figured I wouldn't be out too much money if the little Takahashi didn't live up to the reputation and because I know Takahashi scopes hold their value, I could easily sell it for almost what I paid so buying it was a safe investment. It arrived a few days later and I was blown away with the performance and completely sold on Takahashi being worth the cost of admission. Just one week after I had received my Takahashi FC-76DCU, I couldn't help it and placed an order for the Takahashi TSA-120. The TSA-120 arrived, and blown away would be an understatement. Without going into details, i'll just say after receiving the TSA-120, I bought a Mewlon 210. I am addicted. As soon as my lifestyle has me living in one place for more than a few years and I can once again build a home observatory, I will be purchasing a TOA-150. I don't need to look through one to know I will be blown away, because after experiencing the FC76-DCU, TSA-120, and Mewlon 210 -- I know Takahashi in every sense lives up to their reputation as being to put it simply, the best, and I know the TOA-150 won't disappoint.
The fit, the finish, the quality, the optics, the coatings, the paint, the hex head screws, the safety decals, the finderscopes, and every bit of detail on every Takahashi appears to have been produced with the utmost degree of precision. In a matter of four weeks, I had spent over $10,000 on Takahashi products after going out of my way to avoid Takahashi at all costs for the past 25 years. If you are still messing around with Meade, Celestron, Orion, Explore Scientific, and the other brands out there like I was, always looking for the next new scope, always buying, selling, and trading, always waiting for the new piece of technobabble to attach onto the side of an LX200 in the most unrefined possible way and you're sick of it, then it's time to move over to Takahashi. If you don't believe Takahashi is worth the price of admission, then you're just not at that point in life yet and there's nothing wrong with that, after all, it took me 25 years to finally reach the point of realizing Takahashi offers, by far, the finest consumer astronomy products on the market.
I cannot count the number of times I have become sick and tired of astronomy as a direct result of all the poor quality products on the market that promise Hubble-like results and arrive at your front door with cheaply molded plastic and crooked stickers that say "Made in China" often emanating from Meade, Celestron, and Orion as the largest offenders of cheaply made products. I do believe that Takahashi telescopes are products that one needs to eventually mature towards, and for similar reasons as amateur astronomers buying the Question 3.5 and the Questar 7, people buy Takahashi.
The BEST telescopes on the market are entirely subjective as different people have different needs and objectives with their astronomy gear. For me, I used to be all about big aperature and big focal length SCTs in the 14" to 16" and 4,000mm+ FL range from Meade and Celestron, but my needs and desires overtime have evolved (and matured), and things like fit, finish, and refinement are the most important factors for me right now, and Takahashi is able to offer me a telescope that meets all my needs from big FL's for planetary viewing to widefield light gathering refractors for DSOs, all with the same consistency of precision fit, finish, and quality that is impossible for the big box manufacturers to offer in 2017.
It took me 25 years to realize that Takahashi products were not overpriced, instead they were just simply one a few companies in the amateur astronomy market (along with AP and Questar) where you actually receive a high quality product commensurate for what you pay.
Six months ago, I wouldn't have believed I wrote all of this and i'm a bit disappointed with myself that it took me so long to finally discover the greatness that is Takahashi.
Edited by jag32, 02 August 2017 - 03:50 PM.