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Talk me into or out of the Takahashi FC100-DF

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#26 aa6ww

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 12:23 PM

Id guess portability would be the only real  reason to want one. That in itself is reason enough to get little refractor. In a pinch, you d be able to watch many things you would probably miss otherwise, just for not wanting to set up your larger equipment.

I know in a blink of an eye, I can have my small scope set up to catch a Lunar X event, or to look for new sunspots when I get an alert from Spaceweather.com.

Someone might mention an object they observed last night and it would spark my curiosity to take out a quick high quality grab and go scope and locate that object also. 

I might be on my way home from work and notice a sliver of a crescent moon, and want to get out the quick scope and take a look. 

Right now, Venus is in the west at Sunset, still high enough to get a high quality view of it. The small Tak would be excellent for that.

The reasons for wanting a small portable refractor are endless.

Sometimes, I go out with my small set up to look for one object of interest.  I may walk through my favorite messier objects also. Without a small quick set up. I would probably miss many nights of observing. 

 

Its good to have the larger gear for a  full night of observing. Sometimes you just want to get your astro fix and are happy to take out a quick set up for an hour or two just stepping out your back door. A small refractor would make you a more complete astronomer, and get you out more. You would be out much more in the winter time, on nights of clear skies.

 

I use my AT-92 as my quick back  yard scope. I also use a CG-4 on a light weight vixen tripod with a small mounted tracking motor on it, running off a 9v battery. In 5 minutes, I can go from reading an article on CN's to being set up and ready off my back patio.

I need a tracking motor. I like to get above 100x on double stars, when looking at specific sites on the moon, or for planetary observing. For me, without tracking, high power is limiting. My entire set up, mounted with eyepieces and counterweights is under 30 pounds. 

Plenty light enough to carry as a complete package anywhere in my yard.

 

...Ralph


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#27 Tyson M

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 12:39 PM

You'd be hard-pressed to find someone here on the refractor forum talking you completely out of a Takahashi. 

Especially the DF, which is widely considered one of the best GnG scopes around. 


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#28 rkelley8493

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 01:31 PM

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:

 

attachicon.gifTak FC100DF.jpeg

 

attachicon.gifTak Starlight.jpeg

That was actually on my accessory wish list. I've heard good things about the Tak focusers, but both of my current scopes use Feather Touch. I installed the retro-fit Micro Focuser similar to this on my SCT, and my Apo has a 3" R&P Feather Touch.


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#29 rkelley8493

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 01:41 PM

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

Thank Aki! The main thing that is appealing on the DZ series is the sliding dew shield. The other ED element is just a bonus laugh.gif  However, the 2" capability is a must. I have all of my 1.25" eyepieces updated to 2" format, and I can't go without my top 6 favorite eyepieces [31T5, 21E, 17/92º, 12/92º, 22T4, and 10E]. That would be like going to the beach without your bathing suit. 


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#30 rkelley8493

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 01:45 PM

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!!

 

attachicon.gif2016-12-20 22.56.49.jpg

Hahaha lol.gif  Thanks for the encouragement [or discouragement] waytogo.gif


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#31 25585

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 01:55 PM

https://www.cloudyni...dl-or-dc/page-4

 

If you find a nice pre-owned TSA-102, grab it!

 

Still staying Japanese, a Vixen SD 100mm is a very fine refractor.


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#32 rkelley8493

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 02:00 PM

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.

Does the DZ have 2" capability? I don't see it listed in the specs..



#33 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 02:28 PM

Comes with 2” adapter.


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#34 rkelley8493

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 02:39 PM

Comes with 2” adapter.

Thanks Daniel waytogo.gif  I actually got my SVA130T from you guys at Woodland Hills smile.gif

What's the draw tube length of the DZ model?


Edited by rkelley8493, 11 January 2020 - 02:39 PM.

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#35 YAOG

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 02:43 PM

Does the DZ have 2" capability? I don't see it listed in the specs..

It is that funny 50.8 adapter that gives you 2" capability. But don't mark up your eyepiece barrels, buy a Baader Tak 72mm to 2" Click-Lock adapter. 


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#36 Axunator

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 02:56 PM

It is that funny 50.8 adapter that gives you 2" capability. But don't mark up your eyepiece barrels, buy a Baader Tak 72mm to 2" Click-Lock adapter.


Highly recommended IMO as well!

#37 rkelley8493

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 03:05 PM

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. 

Setting up & breaking down the Atlas Pro is a chore.. I'm probably going to get a lightweight Alt Az mount to pair with this scope if I decide to pull the trigger.



#38 Ihtegla Sar

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 03:08 PM

Does the DZ have 2" capability? I don't see it listed in the specs..


Yes, the DZ can take 2" eyepieces but from what I've seen its just a single speed focuser, not the sweet dual speed focuser they put on the second run DL. So you would want to save up for the focuser upgrade if you want a fine focuser. Same would be true on the DF. I think it's only the second run DL that came with the dual speed focuser. That's enough to convince me to keep my DL rather than selling it to get a DZ. The Tak dual speed focuser looks really nice on the DL.
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#39 rkelley8493

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 03:10 PM

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

I'm definitely going to take my time. One thing I've learned is that rushing into something [getting "tunnel vision"] usually leads to overlooking some of the most important details. After all, astronomy is a life long hobby. All those objects in the sky will still be there in years to come, even if some features change over time.


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#40 rkelley8493

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 03:24 PM

Id guess portability would be the only real  reason to want one. That in itself is reason enough to get little refractor. In a pinch, you d be able to watch many things you would probably miss otherwise, just for not wanting to set up your larger equipment.

I know in a blink of an eye, I can have my small scope set up to catch a Lunar X event, or to look for new sunspots when I get an alert from Spaceweather.com.

Someone might mention an object they observed last night and it would spark my curiosity to take out a quick high quality grab and go scope and locate that object also. 

I might be on my way home from work and notice a sliver of a crescent moon, and want to get out the quick scope and take a look. 

Right now, Venus is in the west at Sunset, still high enough to get a high quality view of it. The small Tak would be excellent for that.

The reasons for wanting a small portable refractor are endless.

Sometimes, I go out with my small set up to look for one object of interest.  I may walk through my favorite messier objects also. Without a small quick set up. I would probably miss many nights of observing. 

 

Its good to have the larger gear for a  full night of observing. Sometimes you just want to get your astro fix and are happy to take out a quick set up for an hour or two just stepping out your back door. A small refractor would make you a more complete astronomer, and get you out more. You would be out much more in the winter time, on nights of clear skies.

 

I use my AT-92 as my quick back  yard scope. I also use a CG-4 on a light weight vixen tripod with a small mounted tracking motor on it, running off a 9v battery. In 5 minutes, I can go from reading an article on CN's to being set up and ready off my back patio.

I need a tracking motor. I like to get above 100x on double stars, when looking at specific sites on the moon, or for planetary observing. For me, without tracking, high power is limiting. My entire set up, mounted with eyepieces and counterweights is under 30 pounds. 

Plenty light enough to carry as a complete package anywhere in my yard.

 

...Ralph

Yes.. we are thinking on the same page. The way my back yard and neighborhood are situated, I'm only able to observe either the south to the northwest OR the southeast to the north. In other words, I either have to setup my gear near the lake pointing uphill to the west, or on my back porch pointed towards the east. It's a lot of work if I want to view Venus the first half of the night and Orion the second half. 

Also, there are nights when it's mostly cloudy and the clouds break for an hour. By the time I rush out to get my gear setup, the clouds have started to return. And when you consider that clear nights seem to be a rare occurrence when you're a stargazer [in my neck of the woods anyways], something quick and simple to setup will actually be a very useful tool to have so you can take advantage of the finicky weather. 


Edited by rkelley8493, 11 January 2020 - 03:27 PM.

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#41 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 04:34 PM

Thanks Daniel waytogo.gif  I actually got my SVA130T from you guys at Woodland Hills smile.gif

What's the draw tube length of the DZ model?

I just pulled a DZ aside for testing which we did a short 1 minute video overview for on Instagram. Can't remember the draw tube length off the top of my head but I'll check and report back. I'll be taking it to Derek Wong's hopefully by next week along with one of those Apollo eyepieces and we'll be taking a closer look at them both. Just some things to think about. The idea of a fully color corrected doublet is attractive, I get it, but remember too that the DF and DC's already standup really well compared to any triplet. Yes, the TSA's have no false color even out of focus, but all of these scopes are really excellent and are reaching the pinnacle. The FC's, FS's, DL's, TSA's and TOA's are all fantastic scopes, really. I picked up the DZ when it came in but it feels a few pounds heavier than the DF and even with the adjustable dew shield it somehow just feels a bit bulkier. The DF is only about 6 lbs which is astonishing for a world class 4" and it feels and looks more like an 80mm in reality. Every time I set one up I still can't believe it's a 4" glass.


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#42 barbie

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 04:47 PM

I have the DF and have compared it with the DL and DZ models that others in my club have recently obtained and can tell no differences in image quality at high magnification. The single speed focuser on the DF is precise and planetary images snap to focus without having to hunt for best focus. I had thought about a dual speed focuser for my DF,but it simply doesn't need one, that's how good the stock focuser is along with it's outstanding optics. I'm quite pleased with mine and won't be enhancing it in any way shape or form because it doesn't need it.
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#43 Steve Allison

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 06:57 PM

Buy a Dob...



#44 25585

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 07:31 PM

http://scopeviews.co...akFC100DCDL.htm


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#45 Ihtegla Sar

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 07:39 PM

http://scopeviews.co...akFC100DCDL.htm

Great review. That's one of the reviews I relied on to get my DL about a year ago. Looks like it has been updated to include the DZ.

Edited by Ihtegla Sar, 11 January 2020 - 07:39 PM.

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#46 Ihtegla Sar

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 08:10 PM

Yes.. we are thinking on the same page. The way my back yard and neighborhood are situated, I'm only able to observe either the south to the northwest OR the southeast to the north. In other words, I either have to setup my gear near the lake pointing uphill to the west, or on my back porch pointed towards the east. It's a lot of work if I want to view Venus the first half of the night and Orion the second half.
Also, there are nights when it's mostly cloudy and the clouds break for an hour. By the time I rush out to get my gear setup, the clouds have started to return. And when you consider that clear nights seem to be a rare occurrence when you're a stargazer [in my neck of the woods anyways], something quick and simple to setup will actually be a very useful tool to have so you can take advantage of the finicky weather.

Where I am living now has similar constraints and weather conditions. The wife wants to move and build a new house. So we are looking for a lot that's close to work with an unobstructed view of the sky in all directions and limited street/security lights nearby. I told her we can build the house she wants as long as I can have a rooftop observatory with an unobstructed view for my DL. I know. Roofs equals heat but most people who have one seem to think its not a problem and with good insulation and a light colored roof, I doubt it will be any worse than the views from the yard over all the surrounding rooftops and asphalt you get in a dense urban area.

For now I have to drag the DL out to the deck to use it which can be done in one trip even with the LX70 mount but I am too paranoid about banging the DL on the door frame. So I make two trips. One with the mount and one with the scope. The OTA is very light and easy to carry and set up. Cool down typically takes 15 or 20 minutes.

We live in the light dome of a large City (Portland Oregon) where there is a lot of light pollution overall (but luckily not too many street lights nearby) so I mostly look at double stars and the moon and planets when viewing at home. Dark skies are about a two hour drive so I am usually taking my dob and spending the night if I am making a trip to a dark site. But there are an endless supply of double stars and variable stars in Burnhams guide. So I have plenty to look at from home.

Wish I had more time and energy to observe more. With my work schedule time is limited and half the time when the skies are clear I just don't have energy to observe. That's when its nice to have a scope that is quick and easy to set up. There have been times when I have felt like I only had energy to observe for half an hour and the DL has been easy enough to set up that I was able to rally and do at least a little observing. But the DL is such a pleasure to use that often those 30 minute sessions end up being an hour or two. I'm also not much of a morning person but the views the DL provides of Jupiter and Saturn are good enough that it motivated me to get up at 3:30 or 4:30 for a morning planetary session last spring when they were well placed for morning viewing. Of course they were still low in the sky from my city at 45 degrees north latitude but an atmospheric dispersion corrector worked wonders to clean up the view and you can easily view straight through when the planets are low.

I think you will find a DF or a DZ on a small mount are very easy to set up and mive around, especially if you are using an alti-azimuth mount. The counterweights on my LX70 add a bit of weight, but I am in good enough shape not to notice the weight of the mount too much and I really like the way those German equatorial mounts move.

Good luck with whatever you decide on getting.

Edited by Ihtegla Sar, 11 January 2020 - 08:13 PM.

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#47 sunnyday

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 08:25 PM

one thing I have trouble with.
takahashi does FC's, FS's, DL's, TSA's, etc. ouffff, for someone who starts it is confusing.



#48 YAOG

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 10:44 PM

one thing I have trouble with.
takahashi does FC's, FS's, DL's, TSA's, etc. ouffff, for someone who starts it is confusing.

Sunny,

 

It can be confusing but just think of the scopes as being grouped by lens design. F stands for Fluorite, so if it is an "F" series scope it has at least one Fluorite lens element. To the best of my knowledge the T series telescopes all use Eco friendly ED glasses. What follows is my simplified version of the Takahashi series telescopes. I'll mention the TS scopes but this was very early well before Takahashi found their legs and market.

 

Takahashi FC was was the first line of Takahashi Fluorite doublet apos using the Steinheil doublet lens design.

 

Takahashi FS series apos came next but with a Fluorite element in front in a Fraunhofer doublet design. But recently Takahashi then went back to the FC series lens design possibly due to improved manufacturing capabilities and the potential for better correction with the larger air gap design. The improved color correction is evident in the newer FC Dx suffixe design charts and at the eyepiece so Takahashi is on to something here.   

 

The Takahashi FCT series were Takahashi's first series production Fluorite triplet telescopes and used a negative element in front with a Fluorite element in the center.

 

The Takahashi FCL series has a positive Fluorite lens in front like the Fraunhofer design FS series but used a larger air gap like the FC series to achieve the needed corrections. . 

 

The rest of the scopes are the Takahashi "T" series using ED lenses and later Eco friendly ED elements. 

 

The Takahashi TOA is the Takahashi Ortho Apo series, all triplet lenses with at least one ED lens element later TOAs have two ED elements. TOAs are incredibly well corrected with large focuser for imaging.  

 

The Takahashi TSA is the Takahashi Super Apo series telescopes, these are single ED triplets with extremely well corrected lenses with lighter tubes and focusers for visual use.  

    

See easy! 


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#49 sunnyday

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 10:52 PM

yaog,

 

this is what i call being right in the bull eyes.

 

your information is greatly appreciated, thanks a thousand times.


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#50 Nakedgun

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 01:31 AM

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.  

 

While true the DF has a larger focuser, it is false that the DC cannot use 2" ep.


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