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Esprit 120 vs TSA120?

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#26 Haydon

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 11:58 AM

22lbs would be a deal killer for me.  That is one heavy 120mm scope.


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#27 25585

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 03:07 PM

The arguments for TSA120 are become more convincing.   

My wallet is getting scared!    : )

My wallet is in permanent PTSD! (Post Transaction Spending Debit). 



#28 NHRob

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 03:12 PM

Yes, the weight of the Esprit 120 is a bit much for 120mm.

I want to be < 18lb if possible.


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#29 BillP

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 03:31 PM

Looking to make a jump up in quality from my old C6R.    For visual use only, I want to get premium quality optics this time.

 

Will you be replacing your C6R with this new scope?  If so then would say look for something in 140mm class otherwise your views of DSO, especially nebula and galaxies, will be much less appealing from what 6" will get you.

 

Another point is IMO 120 vs 130 are in two different ergonomic classes.  130's are relatively larger scopes and seem to take a lot more acclimation time than a 120.  So to me moving from a 120 to a 130 is crossing a bit of a line and the difference is not linear.

 

As just a general purpose refractor the TSA-120 is quite amazing.  It is only a smidgen longer than my TSA-102 so quite small form factor.  And yes the Taks are more expensive but never have I felt overpriced given the enjoyment they bring me both mechanically and optically.  Very much a pleasure to use.

 

Of the ones you listed, I think the Esprit 120 would be a viable 2nd option for me.  It is a nice build, FPL-53 triplet, and comes with lots of stuff the TSA-120 does not like case, rings, dovetail, finder bracket, finder, flattener, digital camera adapter, and still it is $1600 less expensive (all those accessories for the TSA-120 will cost you well over $1000 more).  I can't imagine being less than very satisfied with it as long as an optically good sample.  And easy to ensure the latter buy purchasing from resellers that offer no fault 30 day returns with zero fees (and they pay return postage).  Even though I love Tak's, in the end I would get the Esprit and be elated to have $1600 left over for lots of additional accessories if I wanted.


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#30 Marcelofig

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 06:48 PM

 

 

Of the ones you listed, I think the Esprit 120 would be a viable 2nd option for me.  It is a nice build, FPL-53 triplet, and comes with lots of stuff the TSA-120 does not like case, rings, dovetail, finder bracket, finder, flattener, digital camera adapter, and still it is $1600 less expensive (all those accessories for the TSA-120 will cost you well over $1000 more).  I can't imagine being less than very satisfied with it as long as an optically good sample.  And easy to ensure the latter buy purchasing from resellers that offer no fault 30 day returns with zero fees (and they pay return postage).  Even though I love Tak's, in the end I would get the Esprit and be elated to have $1600 left over for lots of additional accessories if I wanted.

 

And at this precise moment the Esprit is even cheaper, as they are on sale:

 

https://www.skywatch...-apo-refractors



#31 Tyson M

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 07:55 PM

Agreed with others above.

 

The weights on the SW Espirit 120 are real deal breakers when it comes to visual only. 

If imaging then they are great deals compared to some others, but yea get the SW 120ED if visual primarily. Or the TSA120 if you want to splurge for the best.


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#32 BravoFoxtrot

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 08:35 PM

Agreed with others above.

 

The weights on the SW Espirit 120 are real deal breakers when it comes to visual only. 

If imaging then they are great deals compared to some others, but yea get the SW 120ED if visual primarily. Or the TSA120 if you want to splurge for the best.

Yep.  The weight and girth of the Esprit 120 is impressive.  Mounted on a EQ6-R it dwarfs my 8” SCT on an Evo mount.  I agree that Taks are the pinnacle, but my Esprit seems to be right there with the Taks I’ve had in optical performance.  I would say the fit, finish and focuser are just a smidge better than the 3 Taks I’ve had (understand some of my criteria are subjective).  This surprised me.  However, there is no getting around the sheer size and weight of this scope compared to similar offerings.  
 

Also, it appears I received a good one.  It seems based on most reports that most folks do.  However, I’ve never added a Tak to a shopping cart saying, “I hope I get lucky and get a good one.”  That assurance is comforting and important to me.  I was very close to buying a TSA-120, but I’m glad I didn’t.  If I had received a mediocre Esprit, I would have sent it back and bought a TSA-120.  This was my plan all along.


Edited by BravoFoxtrot, 10 October 2019 - 09:47 PM.

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#33 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 10:09 PM

And Esprit gets cheaper still from UK, plus you can get an optical test report for a fee.

 

https://www.firstlig...ro-triplet.html

 

But I would still be leaning Tak from HK:

 

http://www.tan14.com...st/10-Takahashi



#34 K.K

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 12:18 AM

And at this precise moment the Esprit is even cheaper, as they are on sale:

 

https://www.skywatch...-apo-refractors

And Esprit gets cheaper still from UK, plus you can get an optical test report for a fee.

 

https://www.firstlig...ro-triplet.html

I don't see the difference in the photos, but the focusers seem to be different.

skywatcherusa:3.4" R&P

firstlightoptics:3” LPF

That will not probably affect for visual.



#35 UniversalMaster

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 01:10 AM

Think outside the box: Get two Esprit 100, mount them side-by-side and make your own high-quality binoculars lol.gif


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#36 25585

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 06:02 AM

 

Also, it appears I received a good one.  It seems based on most reports that most folks do.  However, I’ve never added a Tak to a shopping cart saying, “I hope I get lucky and get a good one.”  That assurance is comforting and important to me.  I was very close to buying a TSA-120, but I’m glad I didn’t.  If I had received a mediocre Esprit, I would have sent it back and bought a TSA-120.  This was my plan all along.

waytogo.gif



#37 gnowellsct

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 06:26 AM

If you are going to binoview, an important element in your decision might be whether you want to be able to get the binoviewers to work at native focal length (no Barlow or GPS). I was not able to do that with my Skywatcher or Orion 120ED scopes. Both were models without the sliding dew shield, so perhaps later models would differ.

If you don't mind having to use some form of GPS or Barlow though, then this post does not matter.


Binoviewing and solar h alpha (and h alpha binoviewing ) both raise the issue of how robust the focuser is under leveraged load. The TSA120 at NEAF was doing well but I don't remember the particulars of the focuser and rear setup.

Esprit is often favored by imagers so it has that going for it. But the imagers I know have FT aftermarket focuser.

Based on personal experience I wouldn't buy esprit without budgeting for FT r&p.
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#38 gnowellsct

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 06:34 AM

..... I would venture that optics in the 7x50 finder are more than a match for most small refractors...


The optics are excellent I use mine on my GT 130. But ya know, it's 7x and stays at 7x so you can't really evaluate it against a longer 50mm scope with standard focuser. But it is very nice kit.

#39 gnowellsct

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 06:36 AM

How do you mount this on your mount when it arrives? Duct tape? I'm just pointing out to some newbies to think before they commit. Logical


No duct tape is Meade

#40 RAKing

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 07:19 AM

Yes, the weight of the Esprit 120 is a bit much for 120mm.

I want to be < 18lb if possible.

If this is your goal, then you should stop fighting this and buy the TSA-120.

 

I have been through three spinal fusions and now one wrist fusion.  I am generally healthy, but at 72 years old, my skeletal system isn't so good.  I want to carry the least amount of weight, yet still get the best and brightest view I can get through my refractors.

 

I owned a "regular" TSA-120 a few years ago and this time I went for the lighter 120-"N" model (10th anniversary model with the fixed dew shield).  With PrimaLuce rings, the all-up, ready to walk out the door weight is 16 pounds (OTA, rings, dovetail, and handle).  This is right at the lifting weight restrictions the doctors place on me when I am not feeling well. 

 

TSA-120 091519.JPG

 

One final point and I'll stop trying to sell you on the Tak:  Over the years, many of us (including me) have complained about Tak's focusers.  But I must admit that the standard Tak focuser with the MEF-3 fine focus attachment that came with this new 120N works perfectly!  It's solid, precise, and doesn't have that "mushy" feel I used to get with earlier focusers.

 

The TSA-120 is the best you can get in 120mm.  Period.

 

Cheers,

 

Ron


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#41 bobhen

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 07:49 AM

If this is your goal, then you should stop fighting this and buy the TSA-120.

 

I have been through three spinal fusions and now one wrist fusion.  I am generally healthy, but at 72 years old, my skeletal system isn't so good.  I want to carry the least amount of weight, yet still get the best and brightest view I can get through my refractors.

 

I owned a "regular" TSA-120 a few years ago and this time I went for the lighter 120-"N" model (10th anniversary model with the fixed dew shield).  With PrimaLuce rings, the all-up, ready to walk out the door weight is 16 pounds (OTA, rings, dovetail, and handle).  This is right at the lifting weight restrictions the doctors place on me when I am not feeling well. 

 

attachicon.gif TSA-120 091519.JPG

 

One final point and I'll stop trying to sell you on the Tak:  Over the years, many of us (including me) have complained about Tak's focusers.  But I must admit that the standard Tak focuser with the MEF-3 fine focus attachment that came with this new 120N works perfectly!  It's solid, precise, and doesn't have that "mushy" feel I used to get with earlier focusers.

 

The TSA-120 is the best you can get in 120mm.  Period.

 

Cheers,

 

Ron

What Ron said.

 

My 10-year old TSA 120, one of my favorite refractors or telescopes (I have owned over 20) in general.

 

The TSA 120 delivers a lot of performance in a very portable package, as it feels like a 4” when setting up but feels more like a 5” when observing.

 

Because of the high optical quality, the TSA 120 never seems to disappoint, even in average seeing.

 

We all have to live within budgets but do consider this a long-term purchase (like you mentioned), as you will actually appreciate the TSA 120 even MORE as time goes by.

 

Bob

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#42 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 10:14 AM

Both are good scopes. The TSA has a kind of... remove all doubt factor. smile.gif


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#43 NHRob

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 11:10 AM

Hmm .. thanks.  Is the TSA-120N still available?

 

 

I might sell off the C6R afterwards but .. that is TBD.



#44 Eric H

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 11:33 AM

Both are good scopes. The TSA has a kind of... remove all doubt factor. smile.gif

Well said.


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#45 bobhen

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 12:46 PM

Hmm .. thanks.  Is the TSA-120N still available?

 

 

I might sell off the C6R afterwards but .. that is TBD.

Land Sea & Sky, the US Takahashi Dealer has one on their website.

 

HERE is a link. The photo shows the scope mounted but the price is just for the OTA.

This in a special order and takes 6 weeks. At about $500 less than the standard OTA, this is a deal and well worth the wait.

 

Bob


Edited by bobhen, 11 October 2019 - 12:50 PM.

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#46 NHRob

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 12:50 PM

Thx Bob.  I called them and they are all gone.  



#47 gnowellsct

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 01:53 PM

Thx Bob. I called them and they are all gone.


Tell em to make more. I think this AP syndrome is in danger of being contagious.

#48 NHRob

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 02:52 PM

AP syndrome ??



#49 RAKing

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 04:04 PM

The TSA-120N was a limited edition that Tak built this year to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the TSA-120.  At the time, they said they would only make 40 scopes.  I have a feeling those have all been sold.

 

But the regular TSA-120 is still available and would easily fit within your budget if you pursue the used market.  Either that, or save up a few more dollars and go for a new one.  The scope is worth it.

 

Cheers,

 

Ron


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#50 25585

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 08:28 AM

If this is your goal, then you should stop fighting this and buy the TSA-120.

 

I have been through three spinal fusions and now one wrist fusion.  I am generally healthy, but at 72 years old, my skeletal system isn't so good.  I want to carry the least amount of weight, yet still get the best and brightest view I can get through my refractors.

 

I owned a "regular" TSA-120 a few years ago and this time I went for the lighter 120-"N" model (10th anniversary model with the fixed dew shield).  With PrimaLuce rings, the all-up, ready to walk out the door weight is 16 pounds (OTA, rings, dovetail, and handle).  This is right at the lifting weight restrictions the doctors place on me when I am not feeling well. 

 

attachicon.gif TSA-120 091519.JPG

 

One final point and I'll stop trying to sell you on the Tak:  Over the years, many of us (including me) have complained about Tak's focusers.  But I must admit that the standard Tak focuser with the MEF-3 fine focus attachment that came with this new 120N works perfectly!  It's solid, precise, and doesn't have that "mushy" feel I used to get with earlier focusers.

 

The TSA-120 is the best you can get in 120mm.  Period.

 

Cheers,

 

Ron

I use Primaluce too, on my TSA120, but 3 rings. Its quality gear and their clamps and bars make a good scope support system.




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