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Takahashi FSQ-106EDX4 - One Scope Instead of Two?

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#1 Salacious B Crumb

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 10:59 AM

This post belongs to the series “I’m daydreaming” but I was wondering if my thought process here is correct. I currently own two AT scopes; 115 and 65. I understand that these are entry-level scopes and there are better ones out there. Although I have to say that neither of the scopes have been a limiting factor in my imaging and with the little experience I have, I have been still able to produce some borderline decent images.

 

So in case I would one day upgrade these scopes to the cream of the crop and go with Takahashi, they would probably be TAK85 & TAK130 scopes (please don’t read this so that there aren’t other great scopes out there, that’s not the meaning here). But in the above scenario, why would I buy two scopes when I can buy TAK FSQ-106EDX4, and get both a focal reducer and an extender for it. This would give me a scope with three different FL’s; 380, 550 and 850 with FR’s from 3.6 to 8. Yes the 130 is slightly faster and gives you an extra 150 mm FL but that’s an expensive 150 mm. I know there are other factors one need to consider here such as image scales and cameras used, not to mention one's imaging conditions but I'm talking generally here.

 

Totally different question would of course be, which would improve my images more (other than the obvious learning to better use the PixInsight) – a new scope or a new camera to replace the ASI1600?

 

Thanks for letting me fantasize,

 

Mikko


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#2 Stelios

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 01:07 PM

Just some musings upon your musings... :)

 

Do you really need 380 and 550 F/L's as well as 850? If I had three scopes with those F/L's, I can see myself using the 380 and 850, but I would have very rare use indeed for the 550 (assuming the optics of the 380 were great and I could drizzle). 

 

The EDX4 is expensive enough, and the corrector and reducer as well, that you would have little savings over getting two scopes that would serve you better. The long F/L scope would almost certainly be faster than the F/8 that the extender would give you. Do you have cameras that will utilize the 88mm field which is the main attraction of the EDX4? And legendary though Tak quality is, I would expect (or worry) that a fast system coupled with a reducer or extender would not quite match the quality of a simpler high-end system.

 

With the Mach1, I'd dream of a TEC140 (I would not hesitate to buy used) for F/7 and 980mm F/L and a Stellarvue SV70T (F/6) triplet for 420mm F/L. 

 

I strongly agree with the sentiments in your initial paragraph. The scopes are probably *not* a limiting factor in your imaging--I wouldn't upgrade until they *are*. 

 

I'll leave the camera replacement question to others, as I don't really know about (= can't afford :() the many CCD offerings. If you observe from dark sites however, there are CMOS OSC cameras that would nicely complement the ASI1600, such as the ASI094MC (Full frame--$$$) and ASI071MC (APS-C).



#3 Dean J.

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 01:27 PM

Mikko,
 
My 4 month old FSQ-106EDX IV with the 0.6x reducer replaced two telescopes - an SVQ100 and a SV70T with the reducer.  The sale of the Stellarvues did fund about 50% of the purchase.  That Takahashi 0.6x reducer is as expensive as a nice 80mm imaging scope with reducer.  I don't have any experience with the less expensive f/3.8 reducer.
 
I use the ASI1600MM-C with the ASI 7 position 36mm filter wheel.
 
I like the FSQ a lot.  I definitely won't be selling it to "upgrade" to anything else.  It works great for RGB and narrowband in the native f/5 mode and with the f/3 reducer.  The FSQ-106 is definitely much sharper - and definitely much more expensive - than the SVQ100.  When set up for f/3 with the reducer [318mm fl] it is a lot faster and has much better star profiles than the 338mm SV70T + reducer combo - and again a much more expensive solution.  For me it has been worth it though.
 
An RGB with the ASI1600 at f/5:

get.jpg?insecure
 
An RGB with the ASI1600 at f/3:

get.jpg?insecure
 
An h-alpha from my very light polluted back yard at f/3 with the ASI1600 and 180 second exposures:

get.jpg?insecure
 
And another back yard h-alpha at f/3 with the FSQ-106 + ASI1600mm:

get.jpg?insecure
 

I haven't tried the extender for imaging.  I have a nice old Takahashi MT-160 with the f/4.8 reducer so I have the longer focal lengths covered.

 

I understand that you are daydreaming here but if you do buy the FSQ-106 I don't think you will be disappointed.


Edited by Dean J., 06 December 2018 - 01:34 PM.

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#4 Salacious B Crumb

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 02:28 PM

I hear you Stelios, hence my pondering here. FSQ-106 with the CR 0.73 reducer (44 mm image circle) and Q-1.6 extender are together $6,460 so the accessories are not "that" expensive. The two other TAK scopes I mention are together $10,620. These are all without any possible flatteners.

 

I agree, the 550 FL would probably be the least important but as it comes with the scope, you won't get the two others without it  ; )  BTW the  TEC140 is $6,600 so with my approach you have already saved 2/3 of it. But the question is again, do we need a scope for every 200 mm? In my case I would rather use my RC8 with the AP reducer which gives me 1,200 mm FL and wait until I can afford a better RC.

 

So yes, at this point I would buy the scope for the quality of its optics, not to fill the image circle.

 

- Mikko


Edited by Salacious B Crumb, 06 December 2018 - 02:30 PM.


#5 Salacious B Crumb

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 02:29 PM

Thanks Dean for the comments and photos. You have a new follower now in Astrobin.

 

 

- Mikko



#6 bobzeq25

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 04:38 PM

Mikko,
 
My 4 month old FSQ-106EDX IV with the 0.6x reducer replaced two telescopes - an SVQ100 and a SV70T with the reducer.  The sale of the Stellarvues did fund about 50% of the purchase.  That Takahashi 0.6x reducer is as expensive as a nice 80mm imaging scope with reducer.  I don't have any experience with the less expensive f/3.8 reducer.
 
I use the ASI1600MM-C with the ASI 7 position 36mm filter wheel.
 
I like the FSQ a lot.  I definitely won't be selling it to "upgrade" to anything else.  It works great for RGB and narrowband in the native f/5 mode and with the f/3 reducer.  The FSQ-106 is definitely much sharper - and definitely much more expensive - than the SVQ100.  When set up for f/3 with the reducer [318mm fl] it is a lot faster and has much better star profiles than the 338mm SV70T + reducer combo - and again a much more expensive solution.  For me it has been worth it though.
 
An RGB with the ASI1600 at f/5:

get.jpg?insecure
 
An RGB with the ASI1600 at f/3:

get.jpg?insecure
 
An h-alpha from my very light polluted back yard at f/3 with the ASI1600 and 180 second exposures:

get.jpg?insecure
 
And another back yard h-alpha at f/3 with the FSQ-106 + ASI1600mm:

get.jpg?insecure
 

I haven't tried the extender for imaging.  I have a nice old Takahashi MT-160 with the f/4.8 reducer so I have the longer focal lengths covered.

 

I understand that you are daydreaming here but if you do buy the FSQ-106 I don't think you will be disappointed.

That's a great scope.  But...

 

Compare your last image to this, the CA nebula with an SV70T, and at ATIK 460EXM with larger pixels even.  I would argue the SV70T image is not less sharp, arguably it's sharper, although color may play a role there.  The CN jpg hurts, fullsize here (different orientation).

 

https://www.astrobin...5813/B/?nc=user

 

Just saying the difference is not large, nothing more.

 

ca neb v2a_small rotated.jpg


Edited by bobzeq25, 06 December 2018 - 04:39 PM.


#7 Salacious B Crumb

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 11:41 PM

Right Bob. This in another valid point I've been pondering. I think it's Alex McConahay who states that you get 95% of the quality with your "normal equipment" and you pay extra for the missing 5% (or something like that). So I've also been wondering if buying a Stellarvue scope for example would give me the step change I'm looking for.

 

 

- Mikko



#8 rockstarbill

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 01:09 PM

Strange comments in here. The FSQ106 doesn't use a corrector. Not sure why that was mentioned. The SV70 is 36mm smaller aperture than the FSQ106, thus its way behind and not comparable at all. If I took two raw subs from both systems, my money is on the better stars being from the fsq, and the sharper image from the fsq. This coming from a former fsq user.

As for 530mm being useless on the fsq that could not be further from the truth. That's the native fl of the system, which is flat out of the box thus you can use all of the available spacing you desire, and as long as you get in focus, you don't need to worry about it. Why someone would ignore that, is beyond me.

The cr 0.73x reducer does not have the same silly grub screws the qe 0.73x reducer has so I'd imagine it would work nicely. It's ~$500 as well which is pretty cheap for a reducer on a high end scope.

I'd imagine you would enjoy the fsq. Buy new from an authorized dealer and you'll get a 5 year warranty. Any pains and issues you could encounter would be covered. Having that warranty imo is worth the cost over the used market.

#9 bobzeq25

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 01:20 PM

Right Bob. This in another valid point I've been pondering. I think it's Alex McConahay who states that you get 95% of the quality with your "normal equipment" and you pay extra for the missing 5% (or something like that). So I've also been wondering if buying a Stellarvue scope for example would give me the step change I'm looking for.

 

 

- Mikko

The Stellarvue stuff would be a significant improvement.  The Tak would be more, rockstarbill's comment about the aperture/speed is good.  Whether or not the cost difference is "worth it" is always a personal decision.

 

Basically I was just reacting to the comment that the Tak was "much better" than the Stellarvue.  Better, yes.  Much?  I don't think so, based on those CA nebula images.  Another personal judgement.

 

Note that Stellarvue has upgraded their line of imaging refractors, placing them squarely in the gap between the usual choices and the Taks, TECs, CFF, etc. 

 

There's always something better, but Alex's comments about how improvements slow down as price rises is also good.  The price/performance graph levels off.

 

It's unlikely that another person's opinions will help you much.  Different financial resources, different standards.  You read reviews.  Look at the very best images with the scope you can find.  Make a decision.

 

And then, second guess yourself.  <grin>


Edited by bobzeq25, 07 December 2018 - 01:25 PM.


#10 Salacious B Crumb

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 03:44 PM

I don't know who made a comment of a corrector but if I did, I apologize.

 

Like with so many issues / topics here, I think we are all splitting hairs. All the scopes are good or great nowadays and like I said at the beginning, even the AT scopes are definitely not the limiting factor in my imaging. Thanks everyone for their comments and insights. You have made me slightly smarter again (if possible...).

 

 

- Mikko


Edited by Salacious B Crumb, 07 December 2018 - 03:45 PM.

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#11 TareqPhoto

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 01:04 AM

I am waiting a budget as i said many times, then i will buy a Tak FSQ-106EDX4 without thinking, in fact everywhere i read about it it says it is an amazing scope, even all results i saw from it are breathtaking, even many pro remote observatories have one or more of Tak, it was difficult for me to find them with Stellarvue for example or Vixen more, but only Planewave or TEC or TAK or AP or ASA/Offecina and such, if money isn't an issue then they can just buy 2-3 Stellarvue scopes or even 5 Vixen scopes for better imaging or faster data collecting, someone told me that those pro observatories don't have any issue with fund, but that doesn't mean they can't or won't buy Stellarvue for example or Vixen, so their choices telling me which scopes to get, and i can see which cameras they also use with it, i will first start with the scope Tak and later i will worry about which camera.

 

I saw amazing results from Stellarvue scopes, even from Vixen and Esprit and WO, so this won't change the fact that i will keep my plan on a Tak scope later with the budget, i know a good dealer with nice price, even free shipping and necessary accessories for it, this alone is a great service to choose, i asked before about high end scopes and mass produced scopes refractors, and it was like with high end scopes i am buying a very reliable robust dependable item with great services and available accessories, i failed to buy Stellarvue from anywhere except one place with crazy price of the shipping, and then it went out of stock and i waited longer, but i ignored it by the time and just recently i am refreshing my dreams with good budget so i can think again about high end scope, but i still can't go to very very expensive above $6000 anyway, i like this Tak with reducers and an extender, so it is like 3-in-1 scope, i still like wide field, and in my plan i will buy an RC so i will be covered at long one, i don't think i will be happy lifetime having 140-160 refractors, i saw images from those, not much to make my mind, they are mainly amazing for visual beside imaging so that people maybe buying those over 80-120 scopes.


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#12 RogeZ

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 08:06 AM

The Tak is much better any of the scopes mentioned! Comparing scopes based on small sensor and a small image is truly a diservice to the Tak which has a 88mm image circle.

Edited by RogeZ, 08 December 2018 - 08:07 AM.

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#13 gunny01

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 08:21 AM

  Before you make a final decision, you may want to look at the possible problems that you could have with the fsq:    https://www.cloudyni...or-fsq106-edx4/

 

  And another:  https://www.cloudyni...06-frustration/

 

  My own experience with version 3: https://www.cloudyni...-fsq-106edx-iv/.

 

  I've had two fsq's and the first one was trouble free.  Also had a toa150, again no problems.  These go back to 2007-2010.  Now, tak's attitude is screw the customer in my opinion.  Their warranty is bogus in that it doesn't cover labor.  It's also being reported that if you do an add on focuser it will void the warranty, at least as reported in europe.  The focusers seem to be the real problem with some of the scopes.

 

  I used to be a real fan of the tak scopes, but that is no longer the case.  Optics seem to still be good, but that gets taken away by their lack of hearing when it comes to warranty service and the numerous complaints about the focus system.  

 

  If you do go the tak way, make sure you look at all the possible costs that will be involved if something goes wrong.  You might get lucky and get one that works.


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#14 TareqPhoto

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 08:59 AM

About a good copy, i am buying from a vendor, the salesman is making sure i am getting a perfect copy, he also has the service for fine tune or testing the scope or choosing the best one, and he is also responsible about service, so this should make it less problematic, i bought my QHY163M from him and it is flawless, so i trust their quality and service, and a bonus, "FREE SHIPPING", what else i can ask for, at the end if i worry about this bad service then i have have the same problem or worry with anything else too, they should be genuine, this brand name stands for long time before, they shouldn't destroy it now for any reasons, and i did hear those kind of personal bad experiences, i remember someone in this forum was complaining too much about his QHY163M, and another one in another site about his Esprit scope, and i don't forget the other thread here about WO71 vs. Stellarvue, so this is common.


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#15 rockstarbill

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 07:23 PM

  Before you make a final decision, you may want to look at the possible problems that you could have with the fsq:    https://www.cloudyni...or-fsq106-edx4/

 

  And another:  https://www.cloudyni...06-frustration/

 

  My own experience with version 3: https://www.cloudyni...-fsq-106edx-iv/.

 

  I've had two fsq's and the first one was trouble free.  Also had a toa150, again no problems.  These go back to 2007-2010.  Now, tak's attitude is screw the customer in my opinion.  Their warranty is bogus in that it doesn't cover labor.  It's also being reported that if you do an add on focuser it will void the warranty, at least as reported in europe.  The focusers seem to be the real problem with some of the scopes.

 

  I used to be a real fan of the tak scopes, but that is no longer the case.  Optics seem to still be good, but that gets taken away by their lack of hearing when it comes to warranty service and the numerous complaints about the focus system.  

 

  If you do go the tak way, make sure you look at all the possible costs that will be involved if something goes wrong.  You might get lucky and get one that works.

Valid concerns to have if you are in the market for the FSQ106. I would add that there are lots of people that use them with zero issues at all as well. In terms of the warranty, the current one explicitly states that the customer is only responsible for shipping to Tak USA (not sure what the EU or JP rules are) and that the rest is covered by the company. 

 

I personally went the route of getting the AP 130 scope used and the Quad TCC. That lets me image at 585mm F4.5, and 873mm F6.7. They sell a barlow if you wanted to extend that out as well. Sure, I cant image at F3.6 or F3 with the GTX, but I get 24mm of additional aperture, excellent optics, and the scope is made and serviced in the USA. Its much more $$ for that configuration (and I sold both an FSQ and a TOA130 to make the swap, so it was basically a wash). Could not be happier with my decision. 


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#16 TareqPhoto

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 09:33 PM

Valid concerns to have if you are in the market for the FSQ106. I would add that there are lots of people that use them with zero issues at all as well. In terms of the warranty, the current one explicitly states that the customer is only responsible for shipping to Tak USA (not sure what the EU or JP rules are) and that the rest is covered by the company. 

 

I personally went the route of getting the AP 130 scope used and the Quad TCC. That lets me image at 585mm F4.5, and 873mm F6.7. They sell a barlow if you wanted to extend that out as well. Sure, I cant image at F3.6 or F3 with the GTX, but I get 24mm of additional aperture, excellent optics, and the scope is made and serviced in the USA. Its much more $$ for that configuration (and I sold both an FSQ and a TOA130 to make the swap, so it was basically a wash). Could not be happier with my decision. 

Exactly, so if one or two have issues does it mean the scope is bad or the company is no longer good? And what about those who did use the scope successfully with amazing great results?

 

It is good to point the issues so this will help me to avoid them and make sure if i buy one to mention those to the sellers so i don't get a headache copy, still worried?!!!

 

As i said, if you find issues with high end items then you will find those with lower end too, some trying to defend the price expense by saying that the affordable ones are less issues or better value and very expensive ones are a waste, is that a fact?!!!

 

I really want once in my life to have a high end gear in anything i use, so i want to do that also here in astrophotography, and i did read a lot about this scope before i decide about it, and still i didn't get anything yet anyway, so until that time will see what i will read more.




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