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AP Stowaway or Tak FC-100DF ?

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#26 Doug D.

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 02:17 PM

I decided to get the Stowaway and flattener because I want to get started with imaging built around a reasonably fast and highly capable but portable triplet.  Given that I have a 3" and two 4" refractors, I would likely have passed on the Stowaway were it not for this intended use. But then again it is tough to pass up an A-P so, truth be told, the imaging intention helps with the justification.  I have the FC100-DL and to me, this represents a great complement to the Stowaway as a longer focal length visual instrument. My 3" scope (TV-76) is now my most vulnerable and whether I keep it or not will depend on whether I can get a screw on adapter (looks like I can) that will let my mount my solar filters on the Stowaway. 

 

Don't know if that helps but it does seem like the SV80 would be a bit superfluous if you got the Stowaway.  For lunar and planetary - I'd give the FC100-DL a good look and maybe hold onto the SV80 for wide field.


Edited by Doug D., 13 February 2020 - 02:23 PM.


#27 t.r.

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 02:39 PM

Good choice...sell the others.

#28 deprofundis

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 02:43 PM

I'm also facing this dilemma. I have an FC100DL and am considering selling it to fund the Stowaway. My two cents:

I also have a Borg 90FL (which I am keeping because of its unrivaled portability), but I have not done a direct side-by-side comparison with the DL. That being said, in terms of light-gathering and resolution I have not readily noticed an appreciable difference between 90 and 100mm. If I checked side-by-side, maybe it would be noticable. But my point is that it isn't night-and-day.

Stepping down from 90 to 80mm on the other hand is a big difference. 90mm in my opinion is the smallest that I would consider has satisfying views. Also, 90mm is basically the largest you can go for true grab-and-go. Don't get me wrong, the 100mm Taks are still very easily portable, but in terms of their size class they are definitely a notch up.
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#29 dr.who

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 03:07 PM

Sell the Stellarvue and get the AP and the Tak but if you can make the Tak the DZ version. 



#30 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 03:20 PM

Yes.
Because vibrations arise from the head itself, even upgrading the tripod does not really solve the issue (I have tried mine on the sxd2's tripod which is more than adequate for the larger fc100dl if put undr the sxd2 head).
The telescope is somewhat usable, but lose the finer details, nullifying to a certain extent the whole purpose of the fc100's nice optics.
If are for a compact and cheap mount, I would rather suggest the eq3 with clock drive

 

I have found that a stiffer tripod generally makes a major difference in vibration. Vibration is a system response so it's the response of the system which includes the tripod. This just maybe the most robust tripod ever used with a Portamount.. it steadies things up. 

 

5560437-NP-101 Portamount Houston Fearless CN.jpg
 
That said, there are two parts of this question:
 
The capabilities of the scope and the capabilities of the mount. 
 
To me, it doesn't make sense to choose between scopes costing several thousand dollars based on the capabilities of a $300 mount.
 
As far as the scopes go, I'm with Alan, planetary and double star are best served by larger scopes. For the things a 3-4 inch scope does best, the Stowaway does them better than the Tak.
 
Of course, I'd argue that from an optical standpoint, the things a 3-4 inch scope does better than larger scopes, the NP-101 with its flat field and short focal length is a better choice than either of these two scopes.
 
But it's definite heavier than the other two.... 
Jon

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#31 wjbanjo

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 03:23 PM

I'm facing the same choices with a Televue 102 and the  soon to arrive  Stowaway. Any suggestions?  Bill



#32 jeremiah2229

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 03:25 PM

I use the 100DF and the Stowaway here and the little Twilight mount (white). The DF with the extra length adds enough jitters that it's over my toleration limit. The Stowaway does well and is the same as the TV-85 on the mount and I use it. Optics on the DF are nice but they do not match the personal touch that is given to the optics on the Stowaway.

 

 

Peace...


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#33 YAOG

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 03:26 PM

I decided to get <<SNIPPED>>

 

Don't know if that helps but it does seem like the SV80 would be a bit superfluous if you got the Stowaway.  For lunar and planetary - I'd give the FC100-DL a good look and maybe hold onto the SV80 for wide field.

I have a similar combination and IME they complement each other well visually. There have been different versions over the years, I have an older Stellarvue SV80ST-25SV the FPL-53 f/6 triplet version which gives a highly corrected fairly fast 480mm optic. It is excellent for visual use and for imaging widefield with flatteners and reducers. But the Takahashi FC-100DL is my favorite portable visual observing scope and while it is a longer focal length optic it still shows most of the disc of M31 with a 24mm Panoptic. 


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#34 YAOG

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 03:38 PM

Sell the Stellarvue and get the AP and the Tak but if you can make the Tak the DZ version. 

Carson I gotta ask why? The AP and Tak FC-100DF and DZ are too much alike -AP Stowaway @ 612mm, Tak FC-100DF @ 740mm & Tak FC-100DZ at 800mm. How are they different enough to compliment one another? 

 

IMO and experience the most complementary scope pair discussed here would be the Stellarvue SV80mm @480mm and Tak FC-100DL @ 900mm. 


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#35 YAOG

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 03:50 PM

 

I have found that a stiffer tripod generally makes a major difference in vibration. Vibration is a system response so it's the response of the system which includes the tripod. This just maybe the most robust tripod ever used with a Portamount.. it steadies things up. 

 

 
 
That said, there are two parts of this question:
 
The capabilities of the scope and the capabilities of the mount. 
 
To me, it doesn't make sense to choose between scopes costing several thousand dollars based on the capabilities of a $300 mount.
 
As far as the scopes go, I'm with Alan, planetary and double star are best served by larger scopes. For the things a 3-4 inch scope does best, the Stowaway does them better than the Tak.
 
Of course, I'd argue that from an optical standpoint, the things a 3-4 inch scope does better than larger scopes, the NP-101 with its flat field and short focal length is a better choice than either of these two scopes.
 
But it's definite heavier than the other two.... 
Jon

 

But the issue here is not what your and Alan's opinions are about what the ideal scope for planetary use is. The question the OP asked is which of the two scopes he listed listed is a better option to work with his existing SV80mm apo on a (IMO too flimsy) Porta II mount. That may not be what he means but it is what he posted. 

 

That said I don't disagree that the mount could be improved with a better tripod. But IMO if the OP bought the Takahashi FC-100DL he could pay for the much better Stellarvue M2CS mount with internal Astro Devices encoders and Nexus DSC/WiFi with the savings. Just saying...  


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#36 25585

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 04:48 PM

No votes yet for the TAK? I will then. Little more light gathering and just as good optically. 

+1 . Save money for a worthy mount or FTF upgrade.



#37 Hesiod

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 05:12 PM

If one signs in the AP's waiting list it is likely because want (more or less consciously) that specific telescope; if pass, it may takes years before another chance, while with Takahashi's the worst it may happen is to wait for a couple of weeks.

In the present case I would get the AP, give it a try and, if not pleased, sell it (I bet with minimal losses); and, if still searching for a fine small refractor, call my local Tak vendor and get the model I like better.


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#38 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 06:30 PM

But the issue here is not what your and Alan's opinions are about what the ideal scope for planetary use is. The question the OP asked is which of the two scopes he listed listed is a better option to work with his existing SV80mm apo on a (IMO too flimsy) Porta II mount. That may not be what he means but it is what he posted.

 

 

Maybe, maybe not.

 

Before someone spends several thousand dollars on a telescope, at least mentioning the fact that these are of limited capabilities as planetary scopes has value. 

 

Jon


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#39 mikeDnight

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 07:17 PM

I would go for any of the Tak FC100D series. They are all outstanding lunar & planetary performers, and their ability to take HIGH magnification on nights of good seeing is limited by exit pupil alone it seems. I've studied the planet's for many years using Takahashi refractors up to 152mm, but the scope I enjoy the most is my FC100DC. The FC's allow you to increase the image scale of a small extended object such as a 5" arc Mars to such a practical size that intricate albedo markings become obvious. Last week I sketched the cloud tops of Venus, without any filter, using a Vixen 1.6mm HR eyepiece at 463X. Beautiful!

At lower powers you could be forgiven for believing other refractors are close to Tak's in performance, but as power increases the Tak will just keep going. Few can match them! Their definition is legendary and its the definition that makes them powerful tools. As Televue are for wide flat fields, Tak's are for lunar, planetary, stellar and even brighter DSO's.

I'm sure the AP is in the same league but for a greater outlay and less aperture.


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#40 YAOG

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 08:12 PM

Maybe, maybe not.

 

Before someone spends several thousand dollars on a telescope, at least mentioning the fact that these are of limited capabilities as planetary scopes has value. 

 

Jon

Jon,

 

It's not like the OP is a complete novice, he seems to have a handle on what he wants and how he expects to use it. Give the guy some credit, he asked BEFORE buying right? 

 

I will admit that under a perfect sky I'd take a big reflector over a smaller refractor as long as someone else has to store, transport and set up the big reflector so I can enjoy it, been there, done that. I let the people with stronger backs and bigger cars and houses do this for me, have been for 50 years. Under the rare truly perfect conditions when a big scope is a plus the planets under these conditions can be stunning, even in a good C11 or C14. 


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#41 Chet Mys

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 08:37 PM

Thanks to everyone for your responses. They have given me food for thought. I didn't want to clutter my posting initially but because of some suggestions , let me add. I have two other refrac , the TSA-102 and AP130EDT  F8 . Besides the Porta 11 on a Oberwerke wood tripod , a Losmandy AZ8 with Rayox saddle and a Berleback Planet Tripod . Though I get great views thru my Tak and AP , I get the most fun & frequent use from my 80mm.  The Porta handles 240x with the 80 well. My interest in a short light scope on the Porta is largely driven by arthritis that makes simple thing like driving or brushing teeth surprisingly painful and makes me reluctant to deal with larger scopes and mounts. If my joints were better, I would be looking at a 140 or 152.         With all your great posts in mind , I'll probably go with the Stowaway. Thanks again and Best Wishes.


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#42 Mr. Mike

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 08:38 PM

My vote goes to the Tak.  A bit more aperture and focal length, which is what you desperately need for viewing planets.

Right?  And you give up NOTHING in image quality.  None.  Zilch. ;)


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#43 starryhtx

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 08:42 PM

Someone made a good point about the AP having a better focuser, and I agree with that. It's much better but you could always add a starlite focuser on the Tak as well.



#44 gwlee

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 09:06 PM

I would go for any of the Tak FC100D series. They are all outstanding lunar & planetary performers, and their ability to take HIGH magnification on nights of good seeing is limited by exit pupil alone it seems. I've studied the planet's for many years using Takahashi refractors up to 152mm, but the scope I enjoy the most is my FC100DC. The FC's allow you to increase the image scale of a small extended object such as a 5" arc Mars to such a practical size that intricate albedo markings become obvious. Last week I sketched the cloud tops of Venus, without any filter, using a Vixen 1.6mm HR eyepiece at 463X. Beautiful!

At lower powers you could be forgiven for believing other refractors are close to Tak's in performance, but as power increases the Tak will just keep going. Few can match them! Their definition is legendary and its the definition that makes them powerful tools. As Televue are for wide flat fields, Tak's are for lunar, planetary, stellar and even brighter DSO's.

I'm sure the AP is in the same league but for a greater outlay and less aperture.

I prefer to do all my observing with an exit pupil no smaller than 1mm, so for me the AP is good for no more than 92x, and The TAk is good for no more than 100x. Rounding up, that’s only about a 9% difference. The seeing here supports 200x often enough that I want at least a 200mm scope for planetary observation. 
 

I bought the AP primarily for low power, wide field viewing. It offers a bit more portability, comes with a FT focuser, and I thought its shorter length would work a bit better on my DM4 mount. In a pinch, I have barlowed it to about 175x for planetary observation. The scope worked just fine at 175x, but my eyes didn’t. 

 

For about the same cost, I could buy the Tak and replace its focuser with a FT. It would have a bit more aperture and a bit less field curvature, but it wouldn’t be quite as portable and wouldn’t go as wide. In a pinch, i could probably barlow it to about 200x for planets.


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#45 Lookitup

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 10:39 PM

The AP being a triplet should also balances better with binoviewer or hand grenades lol.gif. I had to move Tak DF rings right next to the focuser and used extra weight to move the dovetail to archive perfect balance, especially with 3x power-switch. 

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#46 Lookitup

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 11:09 PM

Tough choice but I would think the two would perform similarly on most objects.  The Stowaway is more expensive but very hard to find if you pass.  I currently own a very nice Tak FC76 DCU and thought about a 100mm Tak.  But I got notified by AP to buy the Stowaway so I will do that since I have never seen or viewed through an AP scope.  Plus being a triplet it could have a tad more contrast like the other 90mm triplets I have owned (SV90T and 90TBV).

 

A CN member here has the Stowaway and a Tak FC100DF and says the AP Stowaway beats it for visual observing.

 

Bill

Did see this credible post. Still struggle to believe it. The Tak DF has such an "edgy" view, could it get any better? Somehow the FPL53 scopes I had, including Vixen 115S seems to be a bit more comfortable in viewing. This might be due to Latanium glass used, which seems to be more yellowish. All whats left now is the Tak DF and an excellent FPL53 ED100.


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#47 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 11:11 PM

The AP being a triplet should also balances better with binoviewer or hand grenades lol.gif. I had to move Tak DF rings right next to the focuser and used extra weight to move the dovetail to archive perfect balance, especially with 3x power-switch. 

Just curious, I have the same Stellarview mount. Do you find that if you over-tighten the altitude and azimuth clamps, it completely loosens the axis?



#48 Lookitup

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 11:17 PM

Yes, a small mount like that needs perfect balance. The less friction the better. Had the heavier DM4 before, which had no such issues. Still amazed how well the SV M1V does, considering how light it is. 



#49 BillP

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 11:43 PM

Asking for advice . I just got notified re the AP Stowaway . My 80mm SV Triplet is my most used scope. I'm looking for something almost as easy to handle that would work well on a Porta II . Visual only - for high power use ( 250-300 ) which would you choose for best views, esp lunar and planetary ?

If the mount was not in the mix as a critical parameter, then to me it would be a no brainer and would go with the 100mm over the 92mm for planetary any day.  And when it comes to open clusters and globulars then the 100mm is even more noticeably better than a 92mm, based on direct experience of the two aperture classes and not conjecture.  I was actually quite surprised that the extra 10mm would make such a distinctive visual difference (10mm because I actually compared 102mm vs 92mm).

 

But with the mount in the mix then cannot say how one of the Tak 100 doublets might perform.  I suspect pretty well though as my Celestron 100 FPL-53 doublet rides nicely on it and it is f/9.

 

I would also suggest you consider the Tak 100DZ, but this might need a heftier mount as it is 2 lbs heavier than the DF.  But I've talked to a friend you just ran it through field tests and they were amazed by it's performance and how it easily exceeds the other Tak 100 doublets being as color free as the TSA-102.


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#50 dr.who

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 12:36 AM

Carson I gotta ask why? The AP and Tak FC-100DF and DZ are too much alike -AP Stowaway @ 612mm, Tak FC-100DF @ 740mm & Tak FC-100DZ at 800mm. How are they different enough to compliment one another? 

 

IMO and experience the most complementary scope pair discussed here would be the Stellarvue SV80mm @480mm and Tak FC-100DL @ 900mm. 

You are right Chip. Beyond the fact that they are both premium scopes and unless it is pride of ownership there is zero reason to get both save the AP will likely not deprecate. 




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