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Why is Takahashi overly expensive?

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#51 CSG

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 02:53 PM

Having had an NP101 and a lovely Celestron C8 at the same time, I would pick the NP101 any freakin' day of the week.  Some people don't get that in using a quality refractor, it's not about the aperture (mine's bigger than yours) but the quality of the experience.  I recently picked up a used TV-85.  For that same money I could have bought a go-to 8" SCT and had money leftover for dinner a few times.  I chose the TV-85 because I LIKE using quality refractors.  I know that I can see more detail with an 8" SCT but so what?  We all know what these things look like.  A 20" Dob will show it even better.  And a 30" Dob will be way better still.  Just one thing - I suspect I use my little refractors on their alt-az mounts more often than the typical 8" scope user of any type of 8" aperture.

 

As to Tak, they seem to be a thing unto themselves.  It's an expensive system and I prefer Televue's far more simple approach.  I have no idea who makes a better small refractor but I've owned a few TV refractors and they've all been amazingly good.  So while I now have a 6" SCT for occasional use, I'll mostly stick to my small refractors.



#52 bobzeq25

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 02:58 PM

We've segued into the reflector versus refractor debate.  A few points, I believe uncontroversial.  Hopefully, with them as givens, we can discuss other issues.

 

For tiny planets you want long focal length, a compound reflector like an SCT is the way to go.

 

For visual, you want aperture, the reflector is a cost effective way to get it.

 

For imaging deep space objects edge to edge quality is very important, aperture not so much.  The APOs strong suit.  Some people even image galaxies with one.

 

I'd venture to say most Takahashis are sold to imagers.  Some visual people do like the sharp star quality.


Edited by bobzeq25, 12 March 2017 - 02:59 PM.

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#53 Kunama

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 03:23 PM

Just wanted to know why a 8 inch Celestron SCT OTA is $999 but a 5 inch refractor OTA from Takahashi is $6,300?? Does this brand do something different that no one else does with their telescopes? I've never used one so I don't understand the hype.

 

Thanks.

Your statement contains the answer to you question.  You really need to use one to understand 'the hype'.   All this discussion about SCTs, Newts, Dobs blowing away APOs as visual instruments seems to forget one very important aspect (one that Jon Isaacs mentioned) the quality of the view.  I have owned and still do own, some fairly decent telescopes (refractors, DKs, Cassegrains and newts) but the big scopes cannot match the purity of the view through my Takahashi TOA.  The big scopes advantage lies in their ability to pull in more light, that's all.

 

There are no aberrations to be seen in the TOA, just a pure black background with pin sharp stars showing the various colours like jewels resting on black velvet........... but then this is my 12th Takahashi so my opinion could be coloured like the view of the stars and planets in the TOA130NFB.

 

Cheers,

Matt

 

P.S.  It is only overly expensive if you cannot appreciate the differences......... flowerred.gif  

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Edited by Kunama, 12 March 2017 - 03:37 PM.

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#54 CSG

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 03:24 PM

"For visual, you want aperture, the reflector is a cost effective way to get it."

 

For visual, I want portability, ease of use, and ready to go ASAP once outside.  I will grant you that there are more cost effective ways of getting more aperture but it misses the point of why people like me eschew aperture for portability, etc.  Also, I don't like using long tubed anything.  One of the great things about being in a club or going to star parties is the opportunity to try things out and compare to what you are using.  I've looked through some incredible larger refractors, SCTs, Dobs, Newts, etc.  But I like to go out for 30-60 minutes typically and nothing beats, for me anyway, a small high quality refractor for what I do.  The old cliche about the best scope is the one you use the most applies to me.

 

And to keep it Tak related, if you can pay the freight on a small Tak refractor and their system, I doubt you'd regret the purchase (unless you're primarily interested in big aperture and all that goes with it to store, move, set-up, use, etc.).


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#55 viewer

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 03:45 PM

If I was made of money I might well think about a small Takahashi. Not prepared for a big one though. Maybe 90mm with a corresponding mount would be it, even if it's a bit heavy.


Edited by viewer, 12 March 2017 - 03:54 PM.

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#56 Littlegreenman

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 03:57 PM

"For visual, you want aperture, the reflector is a cost effective way to get it."

 

For visual, I want portability, ease of use, and ready to go ASAP once outside.  I will grant you that there are more cost effective ways of getting more aperture but it misses the point of why people like me eschew aperture for portability, etc.  Also, I don't like using long tubed anything.  One of the great things about being in a club or going to star parties is the opportunity to try things out and compare to what you are using.  I've looked through some incredible larger refractors, SCTs, Dobs, Newts, etc.  But I like to go out for 30-60 minutes typically and nothing beats, for me anyway, a small high quality refractor for what I do.  The old cliche about the best scope is the one you use the most applies to me.

 

And to keep it Tak related, if you can pay the freight on a small Tak refractor and their system, I doubt you'd regret the purchase (unless you're primarily interested in big aperture and all that goes with it to store, move, set-up, use, etc.).

I would like to expound on Chris' post. Most of the discussion on this thread so far has been about the the costs and the quality of the view.

But there other factors to consider, ergonomics and ease of use, size, storage, portability, etc.

One point not highlighted above:  does the scope need collimating often or rarely? Most commercially available refractors keep collimation very well, and more expensive ones like Takahashi almost never need collimation (unless dropped). I've had all 3 types of telescopes; collimating any telescope can be a breeze, at other times it can be long and frustrating.

Another factor is choosing a telescope appropriate for your needs and chosen use. Note that that is a different discussion than "which one is the absolute best."

Example: If I wanted to look at planets, a 10" f/15 Newtonian with a tiny secondary mirror...would be impossible for me. No place to set it up where I live, no room in my car...etc.


Edited by Littlegreenman, 12 March 2017 - 04:43 PM.

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#57 treadmarks

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 03:59 PM

I will merely say this:
 
It is the quality of the view that sells the apochromat and results in the buzz one hears.  
 
Such telescopes are expensive.  If one can move beyond the cost of the telescope and just consider it in absolute terms,  then the virtues of the apochromat are quite apparent. 
 
As far as skill,  there is no doubt that the skill of the observer is most important and getting the most out of modest equipment is a virtue I appreciate in others and strive for as an individual.  In no way is a high end apo necessary for the enjoyment or appreciation of the heavens or the night sky.  But that is not what this tread is about. 
 
I see that you have a Celestron Omni 102 XLT AZ.   It's a 102 mm F/6.5 achromat on an alt-az mount and I am quite sure you have enjoyed some memorable views with it,  I know I have with similar Scopes,  there's a lot of value and capability there. 
 
But I am quite certain if you were to spend 5 minutes with a scope like the 4 inch F/5.4 Televue,  you would immediately see the differences.   One look at Jupiter,  the moon,  a double star,  you would see the difference immediately.  And too,  the mechanical perfection would be most apparent.. 
 
Now I am not encouraging you or anyone else to purchase such a scope.  Rather this discussion is about why Takahashi's and other expensive refractors are so costly, it's worth a look if you ever get a chance..  I think you'd appreciate the views and appreciate the virtues of both an affordable achromat and an expensive apo..  I know I do. 
 
Jon
 
P. S. 
 
All telescopes are good.  The reasons I have the telescopes I have is because of the pleasure they provide. I spend a lot of time at the eyepiece..  A large aperture Dob or a nice ED/apo,  they're about looking at the night sky..  Bragging rights,  I'll leave that to someone else..

I've heard a lot of similar "enthusiasm" for large aperture telescopes too. Except in this case, I have had a chance to look through several 8-10 inch scopes and do side-by-side comparisons with said Omni 102. There were no "wow" differences. So right about now I'm wondering what people are on. I am definitely not blessed with the world's best eyes. In any case I would like to be proven wrong, especially since I bought an 8SE last month.



#58 Phil Cowell

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 04:18 PM

We've segued into the reflector versus refractor debate.  A few points, I believe uncontroversial.  Hopefully, with them as givens, we can discuss other issues.

 

For tiny planets you want long focal length, a compound reflector like an SCT is the way to go.

 

For visual, you want aperture, the reflector is a cost effective way to get it.

 

For imaging deep space objects edge to edge quality is very important, aperture not so much.  The APOs strong suit.  Some people even image galaxies with one.

 

I'd venture to say most Takahashis are sold to imagers.  Some visual people do like the sharp star quality.

Agree Bob. The design for a specific function is also a big factor, my Tak FSQ106EDX4 is a superb imaging astrograph. To me adding the Extender Q makes it a great visual scope for Luna and planets. The TV NP101s are great wide flat field instruments as well, drop in a Nagler 31mm hit and dark sky site and sweep the Milky Way. One you have to try to fully understand.  Before dropping coin on premium optics in what ever configuration/type most are not noobs, they know what they want and go for it. The justification part has passed at that point. 

Being a free market if folks don't like the price but think they can produce an equal or better product go for it. There are venture capitalists out there if you can prove your business plan. Complaining just gives ulcers and makes folks bitter. No one is forced to buy any scope.


Edited by Phil Cowell, 12 March 2017 - 04:20 PM.


#59 havasman

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 04:20 PM

It would be a dull world if all we ever considered was cost

waytogo.gif


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#60 Klitwo

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 04:24 PM

The photo in the link below of Jupiter wasn't taken with a Takahashi...it was taken with the 40-inch Yerkes refractor and a very good camera for that period of time by the famous astronomer E.E. Barnard under pleasant conditions and dark skies in 1906....See the following link.

Klitwo

P.S. I'm guessing that given the choice and had he known based on all of the virtues of a Takahashi scope discussed here...E.E. Barnard would have loved having the use of a NP101 (if one had been available back then) instead of the 40-inch refractor for his planetary photography that same evening back in 1906...Right?

http://i.picasion.co...abaf76b6a6a.gif

Edited by Klitwo, 12 March 2017 - 05:56 PM.

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#61 sink45ny

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 05:41 PM

How is the resale value of Takahashi APO refractors?



#62 walt99

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 05:53 PM

A Tak FS 128 usually goes for around $3500.  I was lucky to get one with some scratched paint and a minor chip on the outside of the objective for $2500.  The chip is outside the field of view.

 

It came with a Camera Angle Adjuster which is very handy for visual because you don't have to loosen the diagonal when the EQ mount changes orientation.  I put a Feathertouch focuser on it and it does very well on the light Super Polaris EQ with an RA drive.  This makes for only two items to lift and take outside.


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#63 Kunama

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 06:01 PM

How is the resale value of Takahashi APO refractors?

Though I have bought some Takahashi apochromats new from the dealer, most have been bought on the used market.  I buy only extremely well kept examples and consider the price.

I am happy to pay a bit more for perfect examples.  To date this has worked out well for me as with the price of new ones going up, the used scopes values have also risen.

By buying and selling wisely I have made a little bit of profit along the way.  ( in fact enough to completely cover the cost of my current TOA130NFB)



#64 Phil Cowell

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 06:18 PM

The photo in the link below of Jupiter wasn't taken with a Takahashi...it was taken with the 40-inch Yerkes refractor and a very good camera for that period of time by the famous astronomer E.E. Barnard under pleasant conditions and dark skies in 1906....See the following link.

Klitwo

P.S. I'm guessing that given the choice and had he known based on all of the virtues of a Takahashi scope discussed here...E.E. Barnard would have loved having the use of a NP101 (if one had been available back then) instead of the 40-inch refractor for his planetary photography that same evening back in 1906...Right?

http://i.picasion.co...abaf76b6a6a.gif

No he would have enjoyed a C14 with a fast CMOS camera and stacking software.


Edited by Phil Cowell, 12 March 2017 - 06:20 PM.

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#65 Klitwo

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 06:43 PM

E.E. Barnard was primarily pretty much a "visual" astronomer and "doubtful" that he would have had that much if hardly any interest in using either one of them for his astronomical studies. He liked using long and short focal length refractors and he also liked his compound Bruce telescope to take his famous atlas of the sky photographs using his old plate cameras....See the following link.

Klitwo

http://www.library.g...rd/sandage.html

Edited by Klitwo, 12 March 2017 - 09:53 PM.


#66 Rollo

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 11:20 PM

There are SCTs made to the highest standards that are very costly..   They're rare but they exist.. 

 

http://www.astromart...ified_id=920118

 

Typically a high end cassigrain will be a Maksutov..  Try buying a used 10 inch Astro-Physics Mak. 

 

Jon

 

There are SCTs made to the highest standards that are very costly..   They're rare but they exist.. 

 

http://www.astromart...ified_id=920118

 

Typically a high end cassigrain will be a Maksutov..  Try buying a used 10 inch Astro-Physics Mak. 

 

Jon

 

If I had your money Jon,  I would own a Tak !   lol.gif 



#67 caveman_astronomer

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 03:50 AM

 

I will merely say this:
 
It is the quality of the view that sells the apochromat and results in the buzz one hears.  
 
Such telescopes are expensive.  If one can move beyond the cost of the telescope and just consider it in absolute terms,  then the virtues of the apochromat are quite apparent. 
 
As far as skill,  there is no doubt that the skill of the observer is most important and getting the most out of modest equipment is a virtue I appreciate in others and strive for as an individual.  In no way is a high end apo necessary for the enjoyment or appreciation of the heavens or the night sky.  But that is not what this tread is about. 
 
I see that you have a Celestron Omni 102 XLT AZ.   It's a 102 mm F/6.5 achromat on an alt-az mount and I am quite sure you have enjoyed some memorable views with it,  I know I have with similar Scopes,  there's a lot of value and capability there. 
 
But I am quite certain if you were to spend 5 minutes with a scope like the 4 inch F/5.4 Televue,  you would immediately see the differences.   One look at Jupiter,  the moon,  a double star,  you would see the difference immediately.  And too,  the mechanical perfection would be most apparent.. 
 
Now I am not encouraging you or anyone else to purchase such a scope.  Rather this discussion is about why Takahashi's and other expensive refractors are so costly, it's worth a look if you ever get a chance..  I think you'd appreciate the views and appreciate the virtues of both an affordable achromat and an expensive apo..  I know I do. 
 
Jon
 
P. S. 
 
All telescopes are good.  The reasons I have the telescopes I have is because of the pleasure they provide. I spend a lot of time at the eyepiece..  A large aperture Dob or a nice ED/apo,  they're about looking at the night sky..  Bragging rights,  I'll leave that to someone else..

I've heard a lot of similar "enthusiasm" for large aperture telescopes too. Except in this case, I have had a chance to look through several 8-10 inch scopes and do side-by-side comparisons with said Omni 102. There were no "wow" differences. So right about now I'm wondering what people are on. I am definitely not blessed with the world's best eyes. In any case I would like to be proven wrong, especially since I bought an 8SE last month.

 

The enthusiasm for large telescopes is well-founded.  The laws of physics and optics back it up.  Some of the hype surrounding the apo has been misguided.  The laws of physics and optics don't back it up and some of it is anecdotal and subjective.



#68 treadmarks

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 09:10 AM

The enthusiasm for large telescopes is well-founded.  The laws of physics and optics back it up.  Some of the hype surrounding the apo has been misguided.  The laws of physics and optics don't back it up and some of it is anecdotal and subjective.

Mmm... yes... I bet an apo fan could find some science to back up their "side" too. Something about Strehl ratios and RMS wavefront errors etc. And yet sometimes these things are all theoretical and amount to nothing in practice. Sometimes, it's an oversimplification of a complex world.

 

I will 100% agree with you that a lot of this is subjective and opinion-based, not scientific. Unfortunately there is no way to reach an objective assessment of a telescope's real capabilities. Even the cameras are lying to us - what a camera can see is not what the human eye can see. And every human eye is different. Every person is different too. Everyone lives under different skies with different conditions, so what is valid for some person writing a telescope review in Petaluma California may not work out so well for somebody living in Chicago.

 

In other words... Telescope buying is hard.


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#69 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 11:34 AM

 

The enthusiasm for large telescopes is well-founded.  The laws of physics and optics back it up.  Some of the hype surrounding the apo has been misguided.  The laws of physics and optics don't back it up and some of it is anecdotal and subjective.

Mmm... yes... I bet an apo fan could find some science to back up their "side" too. Something about Strehl ratios and RMS wavefront errors etc. And yet sometimes these things are all theoretical and amount to nothing in practice. Sometimes, it's an oversimplification of a complex world.

 

I will 100% agree with you that a lot of this is subjective and opinion-based, not scientific. Unfortunately there is no way to reach an objective assessment of a telescope's real capabilities. Even the cameras are lying to us - what a camera can see is not what the human eye can see. And every human eye is different. Every person is different too. Everyone lives under different skies with different conditions, so what is valid for some person writing a telescope review in Petaluma California may not work out so well for somebody living in Chicago.

 

In other words... Telescope buying is hard.

 

 

Telescope buying is difficult.  Particularly if one does not have a lot of experience the various types of telescopes.  There are good ways to objectively assess the capabilities of a telescope. The difficulty is that there are so many factors to consider.. it is a complex world.  

 

My 22 inch Dob is a very capable telescope, it provides some amazing views of the various deep sky objects, I can see faint galaxies and nebulae, dim stars, resolve very close doubles, see the planets detailed and in color.  Scopes like this argue that aperture is king. And there is truth there.

 

So, here's the $4000 question for you.  Why would an pragmatic, engineer like myself want a 4 inch apochromat and not only want it but use on a frequent basis when a number of larger, more capable telescopes are ready and waiting?

 

The only hint is that it's about the observing experience, enjoying the night sky.

 

Jon


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#70 Klitwo

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 11:45 AM

Hey Joe...I just got a weekend pass to use the big 40-inch Yerkes refractor in Williams Bay, Wisconsin...Let's go! Naw...The 40-inch Yerkes is too small...Let Go to Mt. Palomar and see if we can use the 200-inch instead.

P.S. The point is...It's not's so much the size of the scope that's important...it's the joy one get's out of using it.

Klitwo

Edited by Klitwo, 13 March 2017 - 11:48 AM.

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#71 viewer

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 11:47 AM

Let's go Hubble Deep Field. That's what I'm talking about.

 

Edit, please see above: or then the quiteness at your relatively dark site. Just some dogs barking in the distance. You could care less which telescope you have...


Edited by viewer, 13 March 2017 - 12:34 PM.


#72 treadmarks

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 12:57 PM

Telescope buying is difficult.  Particularly if one does not have a lot of experience the various types of telescopes.  There are good ways to objectively assess the capabilities of a telescope. The difficulty is that there are so many factors to consider.. it is a complex world.  
 
My 22 inch Dob is a very capable telescope, it provides some amazing views of the various deep sky objects, I can see faint galaxies and nebulae, dim stars, resolve very close doubles, see the planets detailed and in color.  Scopes like this argue that aperture is king. And there is truth there.
 
So, here's the $4000 question for you.  Why would an pragmatic, engineer like myself want a 4 inch apochromat and not only want it but use on a frequent basis when a number of larger, more capable telescopes are ready and waiting?
 
The only hint is that it's about the observing experience, enjoying the night sky.
 
Jon

Right... Well, objectively a 10" telescope should be about 6X brighter than my 4". And yet, when we pointed one at M1 Crab Nebula from the club "dark site" we saw more or less the same thing as my 4": nothing. 6*0 is still zero. The objective capabilities didn't make a darn bit of difference due to the light pollution.

 

Lots of things can be objectively measured... Headphones, TVs, computers, etc. Whether or not those measurements will convert to a better experience is very much questionable. I think the only way to definitively answer that question is with a double-blind study. Perhaps a curtain with little holes for the eyepieces to stick out of? I would ask the test subjects two questions: 1. Which view is better? 2. Would you be willing to spend an extra $5000 to obtain that improvement?


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#73 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 01:28 PM

Right... Well, objectively a 10" telescope should be about 6X brighter than my 4". And yet, when we pointed one at M1 Crab Nebula from the club "dark site" we saw more or less the same thing as my 4": nothing. 6*0 is still zero. The objective capabilities didn't make a darn bit of difference due to the light pollution.

Lots of things can be objectively measured... Headphones, TVs, computers, etc. Whether or not those measurements will convert to a better experience is very much questionable. I think the only way to definitively answer that question is with a double-blind study. Perhaps a curtain with little holes for the eyepieces to stick out of? I would ask the test subjects two questions: 1. Which view is better? 2. Would you be willing to spend an extra $5000 to obtain that improvement?

 

 

I am not sure how dark your club site is.. it doesn't sound that dark.  I can see M1 from my San Diego backyard in an 80mm and from my dark site in 10x50 binoculars.  I can probably see it 7x35s but I do not see it as non-stellar.  Maybe as you become more experienced, you will see it more easily.  

 

As far as the quality of the experience, these are not things that can be measured, these are things one discovers, it is really the combination of many factors, not just what is seen through the eyepiece but the ease and comfort of observing, the ease of focusing, the effort required to set up the scope... One could write a book... 

 

Getting back to the basics, this thread is not about whether it's worth it to spend the money on a $5000 Takahashi, but rather just what it is that makes it cost $5000.. 

 

$5000 is a lot of money for a telescope but I see people driving around in cars that with far more than $5000 invested in essentially worthless accessories... And those cars will be essentially worthless in 10 years..  A telescope, is a lifetime investment.  Cheap cars, quality telescopes. 

 

Jon

 

Jon


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#74 Klitwo

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 02:52 PM

Observing M-42 through a 3-inch refractor for the "first time" can be just as exciting as seeing it in 10-inch Newtonian. For those individuals who need those extra inches of aperture or an expensive APO refractor inorder to satisfy their observing needs...more power to them. However for those of us who are happily using a smaller less expensive refractor scope to expand our interest in astronomy with...then to me that's what makes my hobby just as fun as the guy whose observing next to me with his expensive APO refractor or a 10-inch Newtonian...

Klitwo

Edited by Klitwo, 13 March 2017 - 03:29 PM.

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#75 treadmarks

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 03:55 PM

Observing M-42 through a 3-inch refractor for the "first time" can be just as exciting as seeing it in 10-inch Newtonian. For those individuals who need those extra inches of aperture or an expensive APO refractor inorder to satisfy their observing needs...more power to them. However for those of us who are happily using a smaller less expensive refractor scope to expand our interest in astronomy with...then to me that's what makes my hobby just as fun as the guy whose observing next to me with his expensive APO refractor or a 10-inch Newtonian...

Klitwo

I think I shall consider it a blessing that I can accept imperfection. It makes things a lot easier for me, and for my bank account.


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