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Takahashi Starbase 80 First Impressions

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#1 SandyHouTex

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Posted 05 October 2019 - 05:40 PM

So I’ve had this scope for a little over a week, and wanted to give you my first impressions.

 

Starting at the bottom, the tripod is nicely made.  The legs below the height adjuster are 1 inch chromed steel, and 1 1/4 inch painted steel above that.  They’re connected with metal connectors to the tripod head, which is painted the sublime lime green that Takahashi uses for their mounts.  The tripod head is also all metal and painted the light green as well.  There is an altitude lock and slow motion cables for both axes. Everything is all metal and well made.  There are two tube rings that are light green, made of metal, and have a felt liner.  They fit the tube very well.  The OTA is well made too.  I did get the finder though.  The peep holes don’t really line up with small things like stars very well.  You can probably get by with it, but I recommend the finder.  The objective is MgFl coated.  In the manual Tak says it has a “magenta” coating.  The eyepieces were a real shock to me after getting the low quality eyepieces usually packed with new scopes.  These appear to be very well made Orthos..  I detected no ghosting while using the 14mm, 9mm (purchased separately), and 6mm Orthos, and even though I have the others, I haven’t been able to use them yet.  The three Orthos I used were razor sharp on the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn.

 

In use, there is a very slight amount of chromaticism around bright objects.  There was a small violet ring around Jupiter, but nothing around Saturn.  I looked at a star that was about 4th magnitude and close to Jupiter.  It was completely white as well.  I didn’t see any chromatic effects when looking at the waxing moon prior to first quarter.  Luna’s surface was presented in sharp detail with bright whites and inky blacks.  When it comes to chromatic effects, it looks very similar to my 80mm EON which is a FPL-53 doublet.  It is a f/6.25.  Not bad for an achromat.

 

I also did a quick star test on the 4th magnitude star mentioned above.  Looked perfect.

 

Anyway, that’s my first impressions.  It’s a great, well-made scope that easily meets Taks intent to provide a high quality entry level scope.  It’s also quite affordable and comes with two high-quality eyepieces.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read this,


Edited by SandyHouTex, 05 October 2019 - 05:48 PM.

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#2 Scott in NC

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Posted 05 October 2019 - 07:55 PM

Thanks for that nice first-light review.  Please post some pics if/when you get a chance.  I'd like to see the eyepieces too! :)



#3 dryfly

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Posted 05 October 2019 - 08:53 PM

Sounds really interesting.  I'm looking forward to hearing more reports.

 

Mike



#4 SandyHouTex

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Posted 05 October 2019 - 09:29 PM

Thanks for that nice first-light review.  Please post some pics if/when you get a chance.  I'd like to see the eyepieces too! smile.gif

Here’s some eyepiece pics:

 

I’m still waiting on the 20mm Ortho.

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Edited by SandyHouTex, 05 October 2019 - 09:31 PM.

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#5 desertlens

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Posted 05 October 2019 - 09:47 PM

Thanks for your first impressions. I'm sorely tempted by the Starbase 80 but already have a Vixen A81M that I've been very pleased with. However, I was curious about the 2 Kellners that are also offered. I've read all the good, bad and ugly about this design but I've always been interested in the 3-5 element eyepieces, especially in long focus achromats. As mentioned, these oculars are well made (all metal and glass) with nicely baffled and blackened interior surfaces. I checked them out in a Vixen A105MII (ƒ9.5) and, as expected, found them to be remarkably sharp on axis and a bit less so out near the field stop. I saw no objectionable scatter on the moon or Jupiter. Eye relief was adequate (without glasses) at 25mm and a bit tighter with the 20mm. Frankly, these are very good, very simple, 3-element eyepieces, and very inexpensive; less than the orthos, which I expect will be just as well made and optically better off axis.


Edited by desertlens, 05 October 2019 - 10:01 PM.

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#6 Esso2112

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Posted 05 October 2019 - 09:50 PM

Nice review and congrats on the scope. It is also nice to see someone is making orthos again since University Optics closed.



#7 payner

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Posted 05 October 2019 - 11:27 PM

While more expensive, don't forget Takahashi does offer their orthoscopic eyepieces. More expensive, and very high quality per reports, but just wanted to mention in case someone reads this did not know that (unlikely as that may be).



#8 Esso2112

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 09:12 AM

While more expensive, don't forget Takahashi does offer their orthoscopic eyepieces. More expensive, and very high quality per reports, but just wanted to mention in case someone reads this did not know that (unlikely as that may be).

Thanks for the reminder. I did forget about the Tak Abbe orthos. It was late. 



#9 SandyHouTex

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 01:22 PM

Thanks for your first impressions. I'm sorely tempted by the Starbase 80 but already have a Vixen A81M that I've been very pleased with. However, I was curious about the 2 Kellners that are also offered. I've read all the good, bad and ugly about this design but I've always been interested in the 3-5 element eyepieces, especially in long focus achromats. As mentioned, these oculars are well made (all metal and glass) with nicely baffled and blackened interior surfaces. I checked them out in a Vixen A105MII (ƒ9.5) and, as expected, found them to be remarkably sharp on axis and a bit less so out near the field stop. I saw no objectionable scatter on the moon or Jupiter. Eye relief was adequate (without glasses) at 25mm and a bit tighter with the 20mm. Frankly, these are very good, very simple, 3-element eyepieces, and very inexpensive; less than the orthos, which I expect will be just as well made and optically better off axis.

Before I bought the Kellners I took a look at Val’s website telescope-optics.net.  He has a bunch of raytracings for eyepieces. Kellners aren’t great at f/5, but do quite well at f/10, and for nostalgia’s sake, I bought them.  When I was still in high school, I couldn’t afford the Orthos so I bought Kellners and Symmetricals.


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#10 markb

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Posted 07 October 2019 - 05:40 PM

The Baader BGOs and BCOs have been covered fairly exhaustively. I would curious if they all (or at least the Taks and BCOs) come from a similar source.

Love to see a comparison between between all 3.

The Baader set, which I am not sure is available in the US, comes with the matched Barlow and a plastic turret.

Baader went with a plossl for the 32mm, interesting that Tak went with a Kellner.

Pricing on either makes putting together a bino set a lot easier (cheaper) than any other high quality EPs.

#11 Kunama

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Posted 07 October 2019 - 05:51 PM

The Baader BGOs and BCOs have been covered fairly exhaustively. I would curious if they all (or at least the Taks and BCOs) come from a similar source.

Love to see a comparison between between all 3.

The Baader set, which I am not sure is available in the US, comes with the matched Barlow and a plastic turret.

Baader went with a plossl for the 32mm, interesting that Tak went with a Kellner.

Pricing on either makes putting together a bino set a lot easier (cheaper) than any other high quality EPs.

 You could contact Scopetown to see where they are made:  https://scopetown.co...08449/list.html

Regardless of who made them, I would expect they would be decent eyepieces and certainly an economical way to set up for binoviewing...


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#12 lylver

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 10:02 AM

Before I bought the Kellners I took a look at Val’s website telescope-optics.net.  He has a bunch of raytracings for eyepieces. Kellners aren’t great at f/5, but do quite well at f/10, and for nostalgia’s sake, I bought them.  When I was still in high school, I couldn’t afford the Orthos so I bought Kellners and Symmetricals.

Don't forget one thing : Kellner are CVD eyepiece, they compensate the lateral color, a trick that was abandonned in astronomy before microscopy. I still used Kompensated eyepiece in the 1980 era. This is the reason why they are useful on achromat.

Example : Skywatcher 70/700 combinations (Sidgwick criteria compliant classic objective).

The left (first) image, light yellow is a 10mm 43° 13mm eye relief Carl Zeiss Jena P25x (8) "CVD compensating" eyepiece, the right/next/second image is done with the Baader Classic Ortho 10mm

P25-centrec2.jpg Baader-C-o-10c2.jpg

But be aware : it don't work if overcorrection. Takahashi Kellner should provide nice, flat & comfortable, undistorded, well color corrected image in medium pupil size for starbase 80. (and probably other refractor with same color criteria)

I was surprised that Takahashi didn't provide the 25mm starbase ortho, but this is a fully comprehensible for price and correction.

Enjoy !

 

Overcorrection pattern testing from a compensated eyepiece on an already color corrected achromat/apochromat objective (here this is microscopy)

CVDplus.jpg


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#13 SandyHouTex

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 02:58 PM

Just discovered this shocker.  The Takahashi Starbase Orthos are a true Plossl design.  Two non-identical achromats.  It's here on this website:

 

https://scopetown.co...08449/list.html

 

They refer to them as "PL Type" and show a picture underneath.  The shocker is that they're made in Japan, so they should be high quality, they're a true Plossl, and, get this, the PL type is what the Nikon O Orthos were/are:

 

Holy moly!

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Edited by SandyHouTex, 08 October 2019 - 02:59 PM.

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#14 SandyHouTex

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 09:22 PM

So we had a cold front come through yesterday, so I took it out for some brief viewing.  I had a smoker going a couple of feet away so I didn’t want to stay out too long.

 

Jupiter, while very low in the Southwest was spectacular in the 9mm Ortho/Plossl.  Three belts were easily seen, the North and South Equatorial belts and the S. S. Temperate belt.  Very sharp.  Saturn was the same.  Very sharp, and I think I saw the South Equatorial belt and Saturn’s shadow on the rings.  Rhea was easily visible.  There was a 4th magnitude star close so I decided to do a star test.  I think it was Omicron Sagittarii.  Inside and outside focus looked identical.  There was a slight violet tint outside of focus, but nothing distracting.  I see the same thing in my EON 80mm FPL-53 doublet.  Even the best APO triplets can’t focus violet.  Finally I slipped the 20mm Kellners eyepiece in the diagonal and focused on an area with many stars north of the peak of the “Teapot”.  I was in the region of Polis (mu Sagittarii).  I was surprised that the stars in the entire field of view were sharp.  I hadn’t expected that with the Kellner.  So the scope has a great star test, and the eyepieces are excellent.  If you’re just starting out or have a tight budget, I don’t hesitate to recommend the scope or the eyepieces.  When it comes to the eyepieces, they’re a steal for $44 to $50 each.

 

The more I use this scope, the more I like it.  It’s easy to carry the tripod outside, bring the scope out and place it in the rings, tighten them, and I’m ready to go.  You could pick the whole thing up and carry it out at one time, it’s light enough, but I worry about hitting the scope’s tube on a doorway as I maneuver it around.  As Ed Ting would say, “Highly recommended.”


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#15 markb

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 10:36 PM

Wonderful report, enjoy the scope and EPs.

Amazing how good a well designed plossl can be. I discovered I had one of the odd circle NJ silvertops that are really TV plossls and it was remarkably better than the well regarded and very sharp Vixen made version, causing me to buy two more TV plossls.

Those Tak orthos really are a steal.
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#16 Bill Barlow

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 09:38 AM

Sandy, what kind of magnifications can this scope take on Jupiter and Saturn?

 

Bill



#17 Mihai

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 10:19 AM

Sandy,PLEASE...more photos bow.gif



#18 SandyHouTex

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 12:52 PM

Sandy, what kind of magnifications can this scope take on Jupiter and Saturn?

 

Bill

I tend to stay around 100X with the 9mm Ortho/Plossl.  It’s actually 89X in this scope.  I do that because even with the slow motions on the axes, it takes some finesse  to keep things centered.  I’ve used the 6mm, and it looks great, but I feel I’m concentrating more on keeping the object centered than observing the object.


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#19 SandyHouTex

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 12:59 PM

Sandy,PLEASE...more photos bow.gif

I just love the “classic” look of a long focus refractor.  it could only be better if it was lacquered brass:

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#20 Mihai

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 02:50 PM

How good is the focuser?



#21 SandyHouTex

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 03:53 PM

How good is the focuser?

It’s quite adequate.  Better than the focusers on Synta Newts, but not as good as a Tak.  Kinda in between.


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#22 t.r.

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 07:37 AM

Are the axis slip clutches that you can push against to pan around or do you need to unlock? How heavy is the OTA?

#23 SandyHouTex

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 10:13 AM

Are the axis slip clutches that you can push against to pan around or do you need to unlock? How heavy is the OTA?

With both axes unlocked you can pan around with some slight friction.  A caution though, when you get where you're going you NEED to lock the azimuth before you let go of the OTA.  There is not enough friction when it is unlocked to support the OTA when pointed up.  After panning in azimuth, I lock the azimuth because the mount seems steadier when I do that.  I then use the slow motion controls to zero in on what I want using the finder.

 

Hope that helps.



#24 Mihai

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Posted 30 October 2019 - 03:47 PM

Sandy,can you give us an update?...are you satisfied?...would you chose this achromat for visual use over a short chinese ED refractor?
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#25 nicoledoula

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Posted 30 October 2019 - 04:56 PM

Sandy,can you give us an update?...are you satisfied?...would you chose this achromat for visual use over a short chinese ED refractor?

Would YOU is the question.




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