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TSA120 vs AP130 GT

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#1 gjanke

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 09:03 AM

I was on the waiting list for ten years for the 130 and when it came around I bought but then got laid-off. I sold it to a friend and never opened it up. He got it brand spanking new right from the factor. In that time I have had the TSA102 and its a great performer. So much so that I believed I want back in on the 5" realm. Three weeks ago the TSA120 came up on OPT used and I missed it. Today the AP GT came up on AM and I have arranged to purchase it.

 

My question to the group; what are the general opinions of how these two might compare in the filed.  Thanks in advance.



#2 Destrehan Dave

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 09:16 AM

I had the same choice a few years ago.

Got the TSA-120 because the GT seller backed out.

Amazingly, the GT I believe is 5-1/2” shorter, and that’s where it really excels... portability.

The TSA is no beast, but really is a ‘compromise’ between portability and performance.

I’m sure the AP’s 10mm of aperature could have some impact, but the both scopes are optically top shelf. The AP’s focuser has to be better than the TAKs.. they should be ashamed of themselves in that department, but I’ll save that for another thread. Also, I’ve heard the AP has somewhat of a ‘warmer’ hue... the TAK is more towards the ‘cooler’ end, which I love.

Anyhow, as a generalized category, it’s a big jump visually from 4” to 5” in terms of what you can actually see, but, visually, neither is a backyard galaxy killer. The moon and planets are breathtaking, 3D and gorgeous, and they are both world class for AP.

For EAA and visual, I’d pair it up with a nice DOB or C11 for a killer combo.

DD
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#3 gjanke

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 09:43 AM

I haven't look through or handled a TSA120 but I do love the views through the TSA102. However even the 102 is hefty. I have handled a number of AP EDFS F/6 5" and believe the AP GT would be similar in design and weight. The AP is lite in comparison to my TOA130. That scope was a thing of beauty but weighted a ton and required my CGEM to properly use it. Not very portable.  How does the TSA120 compare in handling to the TOA130?  I have a Ioptron pro Alt-Az. That is what is going to be used to mount the AP. For the fact if I were to get the TSA120, same mount. Anybody have any thoughts on the that?

 

You're so right on the focusers. I have two Taks and both have Feather touch micro-focusers. Huge improvement.

 

My all-time favorite scope I have ever owned was a Meade star-finder 10". 

 

I am really factoring in "portability" not grab and go. This scope will get used, it will not be stored in a basement waiting for resale. I am part of the Westminster Astronomcal Society here in Maryland and they have a 14" SCT so my club has got me covered in the galaxy viewing. 


Edited by gjanke, 12 September 2019 - 09:44 AM.


#4 bobhen

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 10:33 AM

I haven't look through or handled a TSA120 but I do love the views through the TSA102. However even the 102 is hefty. I have handled a number of AP EDFS F/6 5" and believe the AP GT would be similar in design and weight. The AP is lite in comparison to my TOA130. That scope was a thing of beauty but weighted a ton and required my CGEM to properly use it. Not very portable.  How does the TSA120 compare in handling to the TOA130?  I have a Ioptron pro Alt-Az. That is what is going to be used to mount the AP. For the fact if I were to get the TSA120, same mount. Anybody have any thoughts on the that?

 

You're so right on the focusers. I have two Taks and both have Feather touch micro-focusers. Huge improvement.

 

My all-time favorite scope I have ever owned was a Meade star-finder 10". 

 

I am really factoring in "portability" not grab and go. This scope will get used, it will not be stored in a basement waiting for resale. I am part of the Westminster Astronomcal Society here in Maryland and they have a 14" SCT so my club has got me covered in the galaxy viewing. 

Bare OTA…

 

Tak TOA 130 NS is approximately 22 pounds

 

Tak TSA 102 is approximately 11-12 pounds

 

Tak TSA 120 is approximately 13-14 pounds (OPT has a listed weight of 12.5)

 

AP 130 GTX is approximately 17-18 pounds

 

Not sure if the listed weights include the dew cap, hence the range. But the list will give you somewhat of an idea.

 

The AP130 comes standard with a FT Micro 2-speed 9 to 1 focuser. The TSA 120 has a Tak 7 to 1 2-speed focuser. A FT retrofit is available for the TSA 120, if you feel the need.

 

I happen to have a TSA 120 and have owned the scope for ten years. Once in a while I think about upgrading the focuser but haven’t really felt the need to do so. The TSAs are fantastic scopes with killer optics, as you know, the TSA 120 is just more of that Tak goodness than the 102. I have also owned 2 AP 6"-class refractors and the optics were also superb.  

 

Bob


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#5 peleuba

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 10:47 AM

 

My question to the group; what are the general opinions of how these two might compare in the filed.  Thanks in advance.

 

I have an AP 130GT and I want the TSA120.  


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#6 Haydon

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 10:58 AM

I have an AP 130GT and I want the TSA120.  

What is your reasoning behind wanting the TSA120 vs the AP 130GT?  I'm curious and your answer may be relevant to the original question.  Is it related to weight?


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#7 25585

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 11:02 AM

My TSA120 was bought partly on rebound from a TOA130. The latter's extra weight meant a new mount & tripod, the TSA did not. An AP 130mm F8 Starfire would have needed a new mount as well. So I bought a TSA.

 

Its a beautiful thing with an aesthetic appeal to look at as well as through, and saved me money so I bought a new one.    



#8 Destrehan Dave

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 11:04 AM

What is your reasoning behind wanting the TSA120 vs the AP 130GT? I'm curious and your answer may be relevant to the original question. Is it related to weight?


I read this post more like ‘in addition to’ vice ‘instead of’

My brother has an ‘05 Corvette, and ‘needed’ a 1965 Starfire and a ‘72 Buick GS...

I keep hoping Santa puts a C14 under my tree, but I might as well dream that Zeus blows out all the streetlights and sends Hercules to bring me to Palomar...
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#9 RAKing

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 11:31 AM

These scopes are both excellent and I am sure you will love that A-P 130.

 

For comparison, I just changed the rings and dovetail on my TSA-120N to PrimaLuce Labs gear and my scope lost two pounds!  My TSA-120 with rings and dovetail now only weighs 16.0 pounds as I carry it out the door.

 

I have also been critical of Tak's focusers over the years, but my new TSA-120 came with a much "tighter" setup and I don't get that mushy feeling I used to get with my old one.

 

But I wouldn't worry about it anymore.  The only thing you will really be missing with the 130GT is a few thousand dollars from your bank account.  cool.gif 

 

Congrats on the scope and enjoy the views!

 

Ron


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#10 Tyson M

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 12:08 PM

These scopes are both excellent and I am sure you will love that A-P 130.

 

For comparison, I just changed the rings and dovetail on my TSA-120N to PrimaLuce Labs gear and my scope lost two pounds!  My TSA-120 with rings and dovetail now only weighs 16.0 pounds as I carry it out the door.

 

I have also been critical of Tak's focusers over the years, but my new TSA-120 came with a much "tighter" setup and I don't get that mushy feeling I used to get with my old one.

 

But I wouldn't worry about it anymore.  The only thing you will really be missing with the 130GT is a few thousand dollars from your bank account.  cool.gif

 

Congrats on the scope and enjoy the views!

 

Ron

You must have one of the lightest TSA120's around now, with the lighter rings and N version!  Your body will be thanking you each time you use it! 


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#11 Tyson M

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 12:10 PM

I have an AP 130GT and I want the TSA120.  

Buy a TSA120, then DPAC it for us! :)


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#12 peleuba

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 01:07 PM

What is your reasoning behind wanting the TSA120 vs the AP 130GT?  I'm curious and your answer may be relevant to the original question.  Is it related to weight?

 

Nothing to do with the weight...  its much more superficial then that.  I just really like telescopes.  I like comparing telescopes.  I like seeing the relative (and absolute) performance difference between telescopes both on my test bench and when outside looking up.  Too many on CN just state what they have heard.  I like to state what I actually have observed and read about others (like bobhen and RAKing) who do the same thing.

 

Haydon, you have some terrific telescopes in your signature, BTW.

 

In the 120mm aperture class, I have determined the TSA120 is probably the best available refractor.  The 130mm class is not so easy as its more crowded in that aperture size.  I waited a LONG time for my 130GT so its not going anywhere.  

 

The TSA looks incredibly elegant on a mount, its proportioned well.  Sometimes its all about the look.

 

 

 

Buy a TSA120, then DPAC it for us! smile.gif

 

I will, but it will be a boring exercise.  I am sure that the TSA120's in general have a wonderful figure.  Its no fun seeing the jail-bar straight DPAC bands because there is nothing to talk about!  The real drama (and fun!) occurs when the arm chair opticians come out and critique the kinks and curves in the bands of an imperfect telescope.


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#13 gjanke

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 01:18 PM

  I like to state what I actually have observed and read about others (like bobhen and RAKing) who do the same thing.

 

 The 130mm class is not so easy as its more crowded in that aperture size.  I waited a LONG time for my 130GT so its not going anywhere.  

 

The TSA looks incredibly elegant on a mount, its proportioned well.  Sometimes its all about the look.

 

Paul,

 

To that point did you DPAC the AP GT? If so what were the results., 

 

I am keeping three refractors; TV76, TAK Sky 90, and the 130 AP GT.....well and a 8" SCT. It also means the TSA102 is going up or sale.

 

So have you had the TSA120, if so did you DPAC it. Before I give up the dream of owning one I would really like to know how it compares to the AP GT.

 

Thanks,

 

Gerald



#14 peleuba

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 01:54 PM

To that point did you DPAC the AP GT? If so what were the results., 

 

 

Yes - results were unremarkable.  Meaning that its exactly what you would expect from a modern A-P OTA.  Star test is awesome, no astigmatism, no coma, perfect alignment, only slight sphereochromatism Strehl >.984 etc.  Pretty boring to look at on the bench in that there is not much to complain about.  But, under the sky, it performs.

 

 

So have you had the TSA120, if so did you DPAC it. Before I give up the dream of owning one I would really like to know how it compares to the AP GT.

 

  

No, never had a TSA120.  But not sure if you've heard - I want one.  I would expect that both telescopes would have more in common then what differentiates them.  And any differences seen can be traced back to aperture and focal ratio.

 

If you are looking for a minamalist refractor collection, it does not make much sense to own both the TSA120 and the AP 130GT - one or the other.  Unless, like me, you like the hardware.



#15 RAKing

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 02:28 PM

You must have one of the lightest TSA120's around now, with the lighter rings and N version!  Your body will be thanking you each time you use it! 

After three spinal fusions over the years and now a wrist fusion just a few months ago, you are so right! waytogo.gif 

 

Mentally, it's hard to justify spending a few hundred dollars extra when I already had rings and dovetails on my scopes, but afterwards, I now have an FS-128 that only weighs 18.5 pounds and a TSA-120 at 16 pounds - and my body is telling me the cost was definitely worth it.

 

Cheers,

 

Ron


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#16 25585

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 02:38 PM

These scopes are both excellent and I am sure you will love that A-P 130.

 

For comparison, I just changed the rings and dovetail on my TSA-120N to PrimaLuce Labs gear and my scope lost two pounds!  My TSA-120 with rings and dovetail now only weighs 16.0 pounds as I carry it out the door.

 

I have also been critical of Tak's focusers over the years, but my new TSA-120 came with a much "tighter" setup and I don't get that mushy feeling I used to get with my old one.

 

But I wouldn't worry about it anymore.  The only thing you will really be missing with the 130GT is a few thousand dollars from your bank account.  cool.gif

 

Congrats on the scope and enjoy the views!

 

Ron

I use Primluce rings (and bars, clamps) for my Taks. Can recommend them for their quality and robustness.


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#17 25585

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 05:27 PM

.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 2019-09-12_23_26_34.jpg

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#18 25585

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 05:29 PM

shocked.gif downsizing app worked!



#19 t.r.

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 05:59 PM

Tec140Ed below the diffraction limit...color me skeptical!?

#20 NHRob

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 08:16 PM

Shows the FS128 better than a TEC140.
Dubious.
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#21 Tyson M

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 08:38 PM

Tec140Ed below the diffraction limit...color me skeptical!?

That's not what the graph is saying at all.  It says it is below diffraction limited approx 475nm and lower, and remains above for the entirety of the graph, falling off to about 87.5% strehl in around the 700 nm and above.  In green it is 95 to 97% strehl! 

 

Which is remarkable for a large 140mm refractor.   New fluorite ones are suppose to be better I think with that regard as well.


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#22 rustynpp

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 09:14 PM

.

What's the source of this?



#23 MGD

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 10:19 PM

It's from the guy that designed and built the original TEC 140ED Ed Try. His new company is Agema the chart is from their site. 

Mike


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#24 marcus_z

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 12:20 AM

TEC140 curves do not correspond to the curves published by TEC. In the original publication they say that all curves are generated by agema. So read and use these curves with caution.
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#25 peleuba

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 09:17 AM

TEC140 curves do not correspond to the curves published by TEC. In the original publication they say that all curves are generated by agema. So read and use these curves with caution.

 

Just FYI - The principle at Agema was one of the master opticians that worked at TEC during the inception and early/mid years of the TEC140 production runs.  I am sure there is some intimate tribal knowledge at work here and I would not be so quick to dismiss the data.  And, franky, I would be thrilled to own a TEC140 produced in the early to mid runs.

 

Now, having said this, the data presented is most likely a theoretical "best case" scenario produced by the optical design software.  Rarely "in-real-life" does the design perfectly mimic actual production.  These computations are based on perfect figuring and specific glass melt data properties.  Quality of the figuring and specific glass melt data will vary from run to run.

 

The goal of the designer is to try to insure that the production lens does not deviate much from that of the design criteria.  Some companies are better at this then others.


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