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.
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.