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Talk me into or out of the Takahashi FC100-DF

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#1 rkelley8493

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 09:10 PM

I've been considering getting another scope, mainly just wishful thinking, but with tax season right around the corner, I may turn this dream into reality. The Takahashi FC100-DF looks like a great value for a quality piece of equipment. I've been curious to try out a Fluorite refractor and join Club Tak. However, I already own a 130 f/7 ED triplet...

I've been browsing the Refractors Forum for a few weeks and see that most of you aficionados own multiple refractors. So what do y'all think? Would it be worth the investment, or should I hold off for something better down the road? How is the performance of the FC100 series? 


Edited by rkelley8493, 10 January 2020 - 09:13 PM.


#2 25585

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 09:17 PM

Can't think of a reason not to buy a DF, it & the DC may be reduced as the DZ replaces them. 

 

DF is better than DC as it takes 2" eyepieces & has a beefier focuser. One of the best 4" refractors made.  


Edited by 25585, 10 January 2020 - 09:18 PM.

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#3 Tropobob

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 09:25 PM

I have the FC 100D and have had far too many other refractors. I always seem to be testing and trying to work out how to get the best performance out of them. However, with the Tak, I find myself just relaxing and enjoying the view. It lacks imperfections, however minor and is just a joy to use. 


Edited by Tropobob, 10 January 2020 - 09:25 PM.

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#4 dryfly

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 09:34 PM

It is a near perfect visual four inch telescope.  It goes really well with those ES 92 degree eyepieces.  You'll love it!

 

Mike


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#5 BillP

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 10:43 PM

I can think of a lot of reasons to get it, but the biggest one will probably be that a 4" doublet is so light and easy and quick that you will probably find it quite a liberating experience compared to your 10" SCT and 130 Apo.


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#6 Ihtegla Sar

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 11:12 PM

I've been considering getting another scope, mainly just wishful thinking, but with tax season right around the corner, I may turn this dream into reality. The Takahashi FC100-DF looks like a great value for a quality piece of equipment. I've been curious to try out a Fluorite refractor and join Club Tak. However, I already own a 130 f/7 ED triplet...
I've been browsing the Refractors Forum for a few weeks and see that most of you aficionados own multiple refractors. So what do y'all think? Would it be worth the investment, or should I hold off for something better down the road? How is the performance of the FC100 series?


The only reason I can think not to get the DF would be to get the DL or the DZ or even the DC instead. They are all great from what I've read. Have you seen mikeDnight's sketches with his DC?

I have the DL and would not think of parting with it. People who own the DF seem to say the same thing. You already have an f/7 130mm triplet. Do you need a smaller lighter, near optically perfectly f/7 refractor?
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#7 aa6ww

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 12:03 AM

It will absolutely be your most used scope, especially if you get a matching light weight mount.

Gotta go for it while you can.

 

...Ralph


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#8 SpaceX

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 12:17 AM

You definitely enjoy the much shorter cool down times as well, compared to a 130 f/7 ED triplet or a 10" SCT.

 

I can only highly recommend.


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#9 rkelley8493

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 12:51 AM

The only reason I can think not to get the DF would be to get the DL or the DZ or even the DC instead. They are all great from what I've read. Have you seen mikeDnight's sketches with his DC?

I have the DL and would not think of parting with it. People who own the DF seem to say the same thing. You already have an f/7 130mm triplet. Do you need a smaller lighter, near optically perfectly f/7 refractor?

The DZ is starting to look more appealing. Thanks to you and 25585 for pointing that one out waytogo.gif

Do I need a smaller, lighter, "near optically perfect" refractor? No, but I just paid off some loans, I have a decent tax return on the horizon, my heavyweight gear is starting to take its toll, I have a slight case of "Takitis", and I have been bitten by the Refractor Bug, so I really want it lol.gif  Plus, I'm planning on going to my grandparent's/dark site more often [a blue-zone dark site away from all the city lights]. This would make one heck of a grab & go laugh.gif


Edited by rkelley8493, 11 January 2020 - 12:55 AM.

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#10 balu01

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 01:01 AM

Do it, DF


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#11 YAOG

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 01:32 AM

I've been considering getting another scope, mainly just wishful thinking, but with tax season right around the corner, I may turn this dream into reality. The Takahashi FC100-DF looks like a great value for a quality piece of equipment. I've been curious to try out a Fluorite refractor and join Club Tak. However, I already own a 130 f/7 ED triplet...

I've been browsing the Refractors Forum for a few weeks and see that most of you aficionados own multiple refractors. So what do y'all think? Would it be worth the investment, or should I hold off for something better down the road? How is the performance of the FC100 series? 

Hmm, you have one of the marvelous SVA130s which at f/7 is 910mm focal length but is larger, bulkier, heavier, is very unbalanced and takes a long long time to come to thermal equalibrium than the smaller, lighter, shorter focal length 740mm Takahashi FC100-DF. The Takahashi FC100-DL @ f/9 is about the same focal length as your 130mm f/7 EDT but will cool down in 20-30 minutes or less, handles and balances much more easily and weighs a lot less. If you're only considering a Takahashi in the 100mm class for visual work I'd suggest the longer FC100-DL for the slightly more perfect CA correction they have. 

 

That said, unless you are stuck on a 100mm class Fluorite scope and you are interested in a scope to compliment your existing range I think you should look into a Takahashi FC76-DCU. Very light and easy to handle, very flexible system. 


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#12 aa6ww

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 01:36 AM

The two scopes you have listed in your Signature would all compliment each other and fill most of the voids you would have depending on  your mood. 

You should keep the two and add the Tak with a small light weight mount.

 

....Ralph


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#13 Ihtegla Sar

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 04:10 AM

The DZ is starting to look more appealing. Thanks to you and 25585 for pointing that one out waytogo.gif
Do I need a smaller, lighter, "near optically perfect" refractor? No, but I just paid off some loans, I have a decent tax return on the horizon, my heavyweight gear is starting to take its toll, I have a slight case of "Takitis", and I have been bitten by the Refractor Bug, so I really want it lol.gif Plus, I'm planning on going to my grandparent's/dark site more often [a blue-zone dark site away from all the city lights]. This would make one heck of a grab & go laugh.gif


If the size, bulk, weight of your existing gear is getting you down, then you do "need" one. :) At least as much as anyone needs a telescope. Even the longer DL is very portable and cools down very quickly. For visual use these ride nicely on relatively small inexpensive mounts. I prefer equatorial mounts and have used my DL on a CG4 and an LX70 without issues.

I'd probably get the DZ if I were doing it all over again. At least on paper the DZ is even more perfect optically. The jury serms to be still out whether there is a discernable difference to the eye between any of these models. Some people who have compared different models report a slight difference but others swear that the DF is just as good as the DL, and the DZ hasn't been out long enough for there to be many comparisons of it. I've only used the DL and was really blown away by it, compared to my old C-8. Can't really go wrong with any of them. If you are looking for a grab and go it's hard to beat one of these FC100D models.
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#14 WyattDavis

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 05:48 AM

I've been considering getting another scope, mainly just wishful thinking, but with tax season right around the corner, I may turn this dream into reality. The Takahashi FC100-DF looks like a great value for a quality piece of equipment. I've been curious to try out a Fluorite refractor and join Club Tak. However, I already own a 130 f/7 ED triplet...

I've been browsing the Refractors Forum for a few weeks and see that most of you aficionados own multiple refractors. So what do y'all think? Would it be worth the investment, or should I hold off for something better down the road? How is the performance of the FC100 series? 

I just got one and it is really nice. I have it on a Vixen Porta II + HAL and the whole rig with medium FL eyepiece and finders weighs in at 31 pounds.  It is an easy scope to use. One note, and opinions do vary on this here on CN, I found the stock focuser to be inadequate and added the Starlight instruments fine-focus bolt on - expensive but a big improvement. You may find that you are fine with it stock but it's a consideration that adds significantly to the cost of the scope:

 

Tak FC100DF.jpeg

 

Tak Starlight.jpeg


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#15 Axunator

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 05:49 AM

None of us can make the decision for you, but you knew that already. But it's really fun to contemplate the idea with others, I fully get that smile.gif

Whether you should get something from Tak's current FC-100D line is the easy part: go for it, if you have the funds and see yourself using and enjoying a practically perfect, lightweight visual 4" scope! But whether DF or DC or DZ or DL is right for you, that will be a very subjective decision. The good thing about that decision is that you can't go awfully wrong with any of these. And while I only have experience with a DF, I bet that the biggest difference you'll see in the eyepiece in focus, will be a slightly different image scale with a given eyepiece due to different focal lengths. I still haven't been able to notice CA in focus in my DF, even on the moon at ridiculous magnifications. But perhaps some other people have, I don't know.

Some thoughts I've had, when deciding to get my DF, and later on when DZ became available and I had to decide whether to swap my DF for it:

- One of the strengths of a 4 inch APO is its ability to provide magnificent wide field views. DF and DC with 740 mm fl have the widest fields of the series, 3.6 degrees with Pan 41. Along the same lines, DF (as of course DZ and DL, albeit at slightly longer focal lengths) is natively capable of accepting a 2" diagonal, letting you easily enjoy those wide fields. I know that many people use their FC-100D's only with 1.25" EPs, but I truly believe that if you have access to dark enough skies, you owe it to yourself and to the scope that you take a peek with some big, honkin' 2" wide fields...

- If I were to make the purchase now, and if I had to/wanted to buy a new scope, I'd very likely end up getting the DZ. Focal length is not that much longer than in DF/DC, the sliding dew shield is convenient IMO, and at least theoretically it should be optically slightly better (again, I'm not sure how easy it is to see it in the eyepiece in focus), and the price difference when purchased new is not that huge. However, I'm so happy with my DF, that when DZ became available, I quickly abandoned the idea of making the swap. Too much hassle, and not worth the expense for me personally, at least at the moment. But I bet that there will be some DFs for sale second-hand at reasonable prices in the following months, and I'd be hard pressed to convince myself that the performance/convenience improvement that comes with the (new) DZ is worth the price difference over a well-kept, second-hand DF. So that's one option to keep in mind.

Good luck, and as said, no matter which one you choose, you'll likely be very happy with it! waytogo.gif

Edited by Axunator, 11 January 2020 - 11:20 AM.

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#16 Ihtegla Sar

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 06:32 AM

I just got one and it is really nice. I have it on a Vixen Porta II + HAL and the whole rig with medium FL eyepiece and finders weighs in at 31 pounds. It is an easy scope to use. One note, and opinions do vary on this here on CN, I found the stock focuser to be inadequate and added the Starlight instruments fine-focus bolt on - expensive but a big improvement. You may find that you are fine with it stock but it's a consideration that adds significantly to the cost of the scope:

Tak FC100DF.jpeg

Tak Starlight.jpeg

Did your DF come with a single speed focuser? My DL came with a dual speed Tak focuser with a fine focus knob, and I really like it. That's one reason to carefully consider which model to get. Different models, and in some cases different production runs of the same model, come with different focusers. I think the first run of DLs had the single speed focuser, but my DL is from the second run with the dual speed focuser. For someone who was on the fence between models, the focuser may be worth considering.

Edited by Ihtegla Sar, 11 January 2020 - 07:18 AM.

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#17 WyattDavis

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 06:46 AM

Yes, my DF came stock with the single-speed focuser. It is very well made but doesn't come close to providing the precision focusing I was used to having on the Stellarvue SV102 Access scope that the Tak replaced.


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#18 Piero DP

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 07:54 AM

Great choice. Regarding the focuser you can play a little bit with the top screws to make it less stiff. Mine has single speed only and I'm fine with it.
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#19 mikeDnight

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 07:59 AM

Don't do it! The Tak FC will wear you out.

 

I stumbled across an old note book of observations I'd made in 2015 yesterday, and came across the first light record for my FC100DC. At the time my FC100DC was alongside my Equinox 120ED and both were aimed at Jupiter, and both were using Pentax XW eyepieces. The comment I made regarding the FC really stood out - "the detail in the belts on Jupiter in the FC100DC was terrifyingly complex".  

The lunar & planetary performance of these refractors is definitely impressive, but even the deep sky is remarkably bright. I've found the drop in aperture to be no handicap at all, as the high contrast, superbly defined views more than compensate.

The FC100D series are piercingly sharp and their ability to take increasing magnification seems to be limited by seeing conditions alone. The wide rich field low power views are a joy to behold, and the little Tak soaks up nebulosity like a sponge soaks up water. 

 

The light weight tube assembly means you'll only need a light mount, so you'll have no excuses for not observing, and five minutes easily becomes an hour, and an hour two hours. You definitely don't want one! And you definitely don't want to put a binoviewer in one and look at the Moon and planets. Definitely not!!

 

2016-12-20 22.56.49.jpg

 

 


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#20 bobhen

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 08:20 AM

Unless you have an observatory or can roll out one of your larger scopes from a garage, you might find getting one of these high quality and lightweight Taks on a simple alt/az mount gets a lot of use.

 

Bob


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#21 WyattDavis

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 08:24 AM

Unless you have an observatory or can roll out one of your larger scopes from a garage, you might find getting one of these high quality and lightweight Taks on a simple alt/az mount gets a lot of use.

 

Bob

This is probably the most important thing I have learned over the past seven years of focused observing. A 4" refractor is a great fit for ease of use and the Tak brings it with a very high level of quality.


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#22 25585

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 09:28 AM

The DZ has a sliding dewshield, which appeals to me, but my DL is no bother with its fixed one. 

 

Going for a first fluoride four inch now, I would probably buy a DZ, but with a fab 130 triplet already, the DF is what I would choose, owning heavy 2" eyepieces.


Edited by 25585, 11 January 2020 - 09:29 AM.

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#23 YAOG

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 10:48 AM

You know that once I looked carefully at you signature I realized you have really excellent gear well suited for the middle and heavyweight scopes listed. The one issue I see is that it is going to get very old hauling that very heavy Atlas AZ/EQ-G out to put such a light scope on. I want to add Wheelie bars so the mount can remain setup in the garage ready to roll out at a moment's notice. 

 

If leaving the Atlas AZ/EQ-G setup up (I use a giant drawstring laundry bag to cover my scope and mount) is not an option for you then I suggest you add a lightweight manual ALT/AZ mount like a Stellarvue M002CS with Astro Devices internal encoders and matching Nexus DSC shelf and smartphone holder on top of the head. This setup can guide you on target as fast as a GOTO system but is quiet and more engaging to use. You will want a 1:1 Holo sight and a low mag finder for the deep stuff. 

 

Then the Takahashi FC-76DCU which BTW weighs in at about 5 pounds with the clamshell will have an appropriate size mount. The DC-76DCU AND the M002CS scale at about 30 pounds. This is a light 2 bag kit that weighs less than the head of your Atlas AZ/EQ-G alone! 

 

Something to think about. 


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#24 gjanke

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 11:13 AM

What itch are you trying to satisfy? Is there something your current sweet rigs aren't meeting? Portability, curiosity, money just burning a hole in your pocket? I wouldn't spend a dime if I needed to have someone talking me into anything. Ripe case for buyers remorse.

 

Decide on what your desires are and then think about buying. You should consider narrowing your focus to something other than a just a 4" APO. With your current set up it might seem somewhat disappointing once you look through the glass of a 4" APO as apposed to a 5". It doesn't sound like much but it is. If you're not getting out as much due to set up time and cool down, smaller is better but there are trade offs.

 

Best bet, Spring is coming, wait, cause the used market always gets flooded with great deals and perhaps you'll have a better idea of what you're looking to satisfy.

 

Clear Skies


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#25 Bill Barlow

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 12:10 PM

I have owned the Tak FC100 DC, DL and now a 76 DCU.  All performed above my expectations so I can highly recommend any of the FC 100’s.

 

Bill


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