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Refractor from 120mm to 130mm?

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#1 gardenfish

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 06:07 PM

I had an ES127mm for 2 years and upgraded to the Tak TSA120. I know it may sound silly but I think I may miss my 7-10mm. I now have the Tak TSA120 and have done a few nice shots in the 2 months I have had it. I have toyed with the idea lately of selling it with the reducer/ff and getting a Stellarvue  SVA130T.  I cannot afford to get the TAK 130.

 

Am I nuts???? Can 10mm really matter?  Help!

 

Rick


Edited by gardenfish, 15 January 2018 - 06:11 PM.


#2 mikona

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 06:20 PM

Hello Rick,

 

I personally do not think the 7mm makes a significant difference.  It might make a bit of a difference on some of the dimmer stuff (M37), but I know I would be fairly hard pressed to objectively see that difference in the eyepiece.  That said, I would think that the quality of the Tak optics would provide you with a better overall view.  I prefer the views in my Tak FC100DF on most objects to my ES127ED, inspite of the 27mm loss in aperture.

 

However, I believe that no two viewers are alike and each has their own perspective at the eyepiece.  If you believe you see a difference, you probably do.  Perhaps it could be the notion that what you are seeing in the TSA is similar to the 127 but because it was a Tak, you thought it would be an earth-shattering difference?  Perhaps your eyes and experience are superior to mine and you see that difference and truly miss it.

 

If you want to dump your TSA, let me know!  I will trade you my ES127 and some $ for it!

 

All the best to you Rick!


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#3 junomike

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 07:07 PM

I'd stick with the 120 until you can (and want to) fund the TOA 130.



#4 M11Mike

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 07:24 PM

Stellarvue  has some really great scopes and they are really "good" people.   And the prices aren't in "outer space".  

 

MP/BL 



#5 coopman

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 07:27 PM

Rick,

You already have what many of us consider to be our "dream" refractor.  Maybe some people who have a 130mm will provide some input to help you decide.   


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#6 gardenfish

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 07:50 PM

Rick,

You already have what many of us consider to be our "dream" refractor.  Maybe some people who have a 130mm will provide some input to help you decide.   

 

 

 

I agree totally. I researched a long time before deciding on the TSA120. I have only used it so far as an imaging scope. I have a brand new Tele Vue 2" Everbrite diagonal and a couple of really good eyepieces but so far have yet to use the scope visually.  I have a 16" goto Dob and with the clouds being around all the time I have used the sparse clear nights solely for imaging.

 

I am also hoping someone who has had both sizes shares their experiences. 

 

Stellarvue  has some really great scopes and they are really "good" people.   And the prices aren't in "outer space".  

 

MP/BL 

 

It was between the SV STA130T and the TSA120 at the beginning. Maybe I am just questioning my decision.



#7 tonyt

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 07:55 PM

Rick, you've got a range of scope sizes in your signature. The portable and optically perfect TSA120 fits in well with the others. I see no need to change but if you do, add the new scope before selling the TSA; that might save having to repurchase the TSA120.


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#8 elwaine

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 09:09 PM

I'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between a 120mm and a 130mm frac of equal quality, either visually or for AP. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't want to trade up to a 130mm refractor.

 

We can look at this scientifically. Comparing a 120mm with a 127mm refractor, there is only a 12% difference in light gathering, only a 0.06 arc" difference in resolving power, and the f.o.v. in each scope are so similar that you'd need a side by side comparison to see the difference. But somehow, you miss that very small difference. And that says it all.

 

The reason you are asking your question tells me you really want a 130mm refractor. So I'd say, "hang the numbers and go for it." Sometimes one has to scratch an itch even if it doesn't really make "scientific" sense.

 

Friend, life's short. You need to factor that into your calculations.


Edited by elwaine, 15 January 2018 - 09:11 PM.

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#9 Richard Whalen

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 09:17 PM

Why dont you just make the jump to 140mm, you will probably end up there anyways at some point, might as well be sooner rather than later . Then you will really see a difference! 


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#10 Element79

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 09:29 PM

The difference between a 120mm and a 130mm is something that my eyes couldn't discern but everybody's eyes are different!  If I were you I would look into one of those TS Photoline 130mm triplets.  The have a FPL-53 ED element and I haven't heard any negative criticisms about them...



#11 Kunama

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 09:47 PM

Rick,

I have had the TSA120 and TOA130, separately and side by side, the difference visually is really only noticeable if you have them side by side with matching brand/type eyepieces.

I don't know what the Kunming United Optics scopes are like, it has been a while since I looked through one.

I doubt you would find a finer 120mm scope in current or past production than the TSA120. bow.gif

 

The 10mm matters more if looking at 60v70 or 80v90.....   Are you NUTs????? confused1.gif  you could ask Mike Ikona, I am not qualified to give an opinion on that flowerred.gif



#12 jeremiah2229

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 10:35 PM

I use a SV130EDT (predecessor of the SVA130T) but have no 120mm to compare. I can share that it makes a nice difference compared to the ~102mm class refractors here. I tend to lean toward the idea that a 120mm wouldn't be that much different and wish I had one to compare. One thing to note that the SVA130T will have a heavier cell than the TSA-120. I have used the SV130EDT and an AR-127 together and they both grab the same amount of light to my eye but the AR falls behind in just about every category except being 10 pounds lighter so it has its place here. If the SVA130T is anything like my sample SV103EDT then no complaints other than the extra weight compared to the TSA-120.

 

 

Peace...



#13 Peter Besenbruch

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 11:32 PM

Am I nuts????

Yes.

 

I did a couple of side by sides with my lowly Skywatcher 120ED against an Astrophysics 130. The differences I saw on Jupiter were slight, and I attributed them to the Astrophysics' extra 10mm. If you want to up-size, go to 140mm, or more. Of course, if your TSA120 is junk, you might want to consider an upgrade to a real telescope, like the Skywatcher 120mm Pro-ED. ;)


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#14 CounterWeight

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 11:55 AM

Hard to say, I think there is a psych component.  I spent almost an observing rear comparing my TSA-120 and FS-128 and think in several departments outside visual the TSA 120 is the better choice, mostly because the large size/weight difference between the FS and TSA... 

 

My take away was that I got tired of trying to find somewhere the two scopes showed more than a subtle difference.  Yes, I sold the TSA, but not because it was in any way inferior (it was one of the more difficult decisions I've made) - it's more that I've been testing refractors against the FS-128 for almost the entire time I have been observing with refractors so it is a sort of benchmark for me.  The new owner of the TSA120 is very happy!



#15 rogeriomagellan

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 03:17 PM

Hi, Rick.

 

I was wondering here why you are pondering about getting a 5.1" (130mm) refractor if you own an Explore Scientific AR152. If you've been to the next step already (152mm refractor), would it really be worth buying a 130mm refractor? My 2 cents.

 

Now, if you wish that you had a well-made 6" f/5.9 achromatic refractor that weighed a little less, had a larger focuser and a retractable dewshield, then, maybe the TS-Optics 6" f/5.9 with a fine 2.5" R&P focuser would fit the bill. The red Starwave 152mm f/5.9 has the same features but it weighs as much as the ES AR152. But that is another story.

 

https://www.teleskop...-Objective.html

 

https://cloudbreakop...actor-telescope



#16 daquad

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 08:14 PM

Hi, Rick.

 

I was wondering here why you are pondering about getting a 5.1" (130mm) refractor if you own an Explore Scientific AR152. If you've been to the next step already (152mm refractor), would it really be worth buying a 130mm refractor? My 2 cents.

 

Now, if you wish that you had a well-made 6" f/5.9 achromatic refractor that weighed a little less, had a larger focuser and a retractable dewshield, then, maybe the TS-Optics 6" f/5.9 with a fine 2.5" R&P focuser would fit the bill. The red Starwave 152mm f/5.9 has the same features but it weighs as much as the ES AR152. But that is another story.

 

https://www.teleskop...-Objective.html

 

https://cloudbreakop...actor-telescope

Why would the Starwave and TS be any different in weight, since they are both the same scope from Kunming rebranded?



#17 rogeriomagellan

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 05:48 AM

 

Hi, Rick.

 

I was wondering here why you are pondering about getting a 5.1" (130mm) refractor if you own an Explore Scientific AR152. If you've been to the next step already (152mm refractor), would it really be worth buying a 130mm refractor? My 2 cents.

 

Now, if you wish that you had a well-made 6" f/5.9 achromatic refractor that weighed a little less, had a larger focuser and a retractable dewshield, then, maybe the TS-Optics 6" f/5.9 with a fine 2.5" R&P focuser would fit the bill. The red Starwave 152mm f/5.9 has the same features but it weighs as much as the ES AR152. But that is another story.

 

https://www.teleskop...-Objective.html

 

https://cloudbreakop...actor-telescope

Why would the Starwave and TS be any different in weight, since they are both the same scope from Kunming rebranded?

 

Good question. But I don't know how to answer. If you read the specifications of the aforementioned TS refractor, it says that the OTA weighs 8.5 kg (18.7 lbs). When you read the specifications of the Starwave tube, you get the information that it weighs 11kg (24.2 lbs).

 

Another difference that has caught my attention is that Altair Astro states that their OTA comes with Ohara plus Schott glass. TS says their tube is made of just Ohara glass but it is a little more specific: K9 and F4 glass. What I heard once is that although some tubes may be manufactured in the same factory, each brand may demand minor mods. 


Edited by rogeriomagellan, 17 January 2018 - 06:17 AM.


#18 gardenfish

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 07:00 AM

Hi, Rick.

 

I was wondering here why you are pondering about getting a 5.1" (130mm) refractor if you own an Explore Scientific AR152. If you've been to the next step already (152mm refractor), would it really be worth buying a 130mm refractor? My 2 cents.

 

Now, if you wish that you had a well-made 6" f/5.9 achromatic refractor that weighed a little less, had a larger focuser and a retractable dewshield, then, maybe the TS-Optics 6" f/5.9 with a fine 2.5" R&P focuser would fit the bill. The red Starwave 152mm f/5.9 has the same features but it weighs as much as the ES AR152. But that is another story.

 

https://www.teleskop...-Objective.html

 

https://cloudbreakop...actor-telescope   

 

 

 

The TSA120 is a top quality scope I have for imaging. If I was to change it to 130mm it would also be best quality for imaging. The ES 152 is a lesser quality doublet that I use strictly for viewing. Although I have thought about trying it out in NB to see what it would give.


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#19 Joe G

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 09:03 PM

You are not going to notice a difference and the lens quality of the Tak is likely better than the ES.  The difference in light gathering is (130/120)^2.  That is 17.4% more light.  It is rounding error.  A 150mm refractor has 56% more light gathering.

 

Read Mikona's recent thread about his comparison of various apertures.

 

Keep the Tak.



#20 nicknacknock

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 06:28 AM

I had an ES127mm for 2 years and upgraded to the Tak TSA120. I know it may sound silly but I think I may miss my 7-10mm. I now have the Tak TSA120 and have done a few nice shots in the 2 months I have had it. I have toyed with the idea lately of selling it with the reducer/ff and getting a Stellarvue  SVA130T.  I cannot afford to get the TAK 130.

 

Am I nuts???? Can 10mm really matter?  Help!

 

Rick

 

Rick,

 

You state that you have only used it so far for imaging. I am no imager, but how would 7mm affect your images? Focal ratio and focal length yes, for image scale and speed of imaging, but not 7mm of aperture IMHO.

 

C'mon, you have a perfect lightweight compact triplet of exquisite quality - why mess with it? And for visual, the difference of 7mm translated in what you see is negligible. Keep the Tak. Image with it. Stick that diagonal in the back. Look through it (remember to also insert eyepiece - you imagers are a strange breed to us visuals). Enjoy it, have a beer and come to your senses lol.gif


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#21 daquad

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 09:34 AM

 

 

Hi, Rick.

 

I was wondering here why you are pondering about getting a 5.1" (130mm) refractor if you own an Explore Scientific AR152. If you've been to the next step already (152mm refractor), would it really be worth buying a 130mm refractor? My 2 cents.

 

Now, if you wish that you had a well-made 6" f/5.9 achromatic refractor that weighed a little less, had a larger focuser and a retractable dewshield, then, maybe the TS-Optics 6" f/5.9 with a fine 2.5" R&P focuser would fit the bill. The red Starwave 152mm f/5.9 has the same features but it weighs as much as the ES AR152. But that is another story.

 

https://www.teleskop...-Objective.html

 

https://cloudbreakop...actor-telescope

Why would the Starwave and TS be any different in weight, since they are both the same scope from Kunming rebranded?

 

Good question. But I don't know how to answer. If you read the specifications of the aforementioned TS refractor, it says that the OTA weighs 8.5 kg (18.7 lbs). When you read the specifications of the Starwave tube, you get the information that it weighs 11kg (24.2 lbs).

 

Another difference that has caught my attention is that Altair Astro states that their OTA comes with Ohara plus Schott glass. TS says their tube is made of just Ohara glass but it is a little more specific: K9 and F4 glass. What I heard once is that although some tubes may be manufactured in the same factory, each brand may demand minor mods. 

 

You may be right, but looking at the pictures of both scopes, they sure look the same to me.  One difference I do see is in the OTA diameter.  TS is 155 mm and Starwave gives 176 mm, but that could be a misprint.  The reason I think that is because my APM 152 ED (also Kunming) has a tube diameter of 156 mm. 

 

I don't see why Cloudbreak would insist on a larger tube diameter as that would add to the cost, requiring a different lens cell housing larger rings and tube.  And the size of the focuser housing relative to the tube diameter appears to be the same on both scopes.  As far as the weights go, other suppliers often disagree on weights of the same rebranded scopes.  Perhaps Cloudbreak is stating the weight with rings, dovetail bar and handle.  TS simply states the weight of the OTA.  That candy apple red of the Starwave sure looks cool.  Makes me want to get one.


Edited by daquad, 18 January 2018 - 09:37 AM.

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#22 t.r.

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 12:36 PM

Having a 120, 130 and a 140 all of AP pedigree for the last three years I feel qualified to make a few statements regarding visual use (no Imaging for me). First, yes one can immediately see a difference in side by side comparisons. I've stated before that 10mm certainly can be seen with each increase going slightly deeper, showing planetary detail withslightly more contrast and colors slightly more saturated. It is impossible to quantify how important the difference is but rest assured it is indeed noticeable. I would not trade a Tak 120 for an unequal quality 130... but would for equal quality. Of course going from 120 to 140 is a better guarantee of appreciating what the added aperture can do. I'd stick with the Tak 120 or go Tec140 if it were me. My advice always is get the largest apo refractor that you can afford, mount and move comfortably unless you go with a two scope solution where they should compliment rather than compete with each other. Don't ask why I have 3 apos so close in aperture...it was a fluke and an opportunity to discover for myself what the "Goldilocks" apo size is and I was not going to turn it down!!!

Edited by t.r., 18 January 2018 - 01:13 PM.

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#23 WesC

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 02:43 PM

The TSA-120 is one of the very best refractors ever made... of any 4"-5" telescope. Mine blows away every AP130 or TEC140 I've had the pleasure to view through (which are many)...and its certainly obliterates every Stellarvue, Skywatcher or Explore Scientific made. Period. End of story.

 

My TSA was better than the entire Esprit Line which I had the good fortune to view side by side with my TSA. 80, 100, 120 and 150. And those are nice optics.

 

Selling the TSA to downgrade to an ES or Skywatcher would be a mistake. The only measurable improvement would be upward to a TEC140, but even then I suspect you would not notice any quality improvement, only a brightness difference.

 

I will never sell mine.


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#24 gardenfish

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 04:38 PM

I would never downgrade my scope that way . I only said I had an ES127 first and liked the fov. If I went from the TSA120 to a 130mm sized refractor  I mentioned I would go with the Stellarvue SVA130T. I do not think the Stellarvue  would be too much of a downgrade.

 

I really do love the TSA120. I will be keeping it a while. I wish I could afford another premium scope as  probably most do. I just was so used to the 127mm size in my pics I think I was missing the 10mm even though its only really 7mm difference. But like the filters, once you get the best its hard to go backwards, and REALLY $$$$$$$$$$ to go forward.

 

Rick



#25 t.r.

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 07:54 PM

"If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with"! 👍
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