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AP Stowaway or Tak FC-100DF ?

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#51 dr.who

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 12:40 AM

In light of your additional scopes post, I would say sell the SV and use it to partially fund the AP. The Tak is going to be too close to your 102 and the AP gives you a very nice grab and go with excellent correction plus an additional 12mm of aperture. Starts to bump up against your 102 but it is a really high quality scope.


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#52 Tyson M

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 12:42 AM

The Stowaway will work better on the porta.  And already have the TSA102.  

 

You made the right choice OP. 


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#53 25585

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 05:42 AM

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.

This is true. My DL, the F9 version has phenomenally good performance. It's at higher powers that these Taks show their pedigree. Views at lower altitudes seem hardly to matter. Zenith and higher most scopes do well at, its more challenging seeing that proves how good a scope really is.     


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#54 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 06:04 AM

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. 

 

I wasn't thinking Newtonian. I was thinking larger refractor. 

 

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.

 

:waytogo:

 

This is the other half of the story.  And I agree with the Stowaway. It weighs 7.1 lbs and is 22 inches in length. This is only a slight increase over and 80 mm and well within the capabilities of a Portamount. 

 

I love the ergonomics on the Portamount, I wish they made one with a little more capacity.

 

Jon


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#55 25585

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 07:30 AM

+1 for a higher capacity Porta.

 

Vixen's expensive but nice APZ is their larger alt az mount (which is modular and can be motorised, made equatorial).   



#56 t.r.

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 07:59 AM

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.

Good choice! I believe it will meet your objectives (no pun intended...well maybe) well. I presently am adding the Nexus and encoders to my Porta II and Stowaway rig...My theory is that this will be a compact grabngo with enough reach to do a little of everything. I’ll update when the mod is complete.

Edited by t.r., 14 February 2020 - 08:03 AM.

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#57 YAOG

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 10:07 AM

I wasn't thinking Newtonian. I was thinking larger refractor. 

 

 

waytogo.gif

 

This is the other half of the story.  And I agree with the Stowaway. It weighs 7.1 lbs and is 22 inches in length. This is only a slight increase over and 80 mm and well within the capabilities of a Portamount. 

 

I love the ergonomics on the Portamount, I wish they made one with a little more capacity.

 

Jon

I do love a fine refractor on planets, usually that is what I'm using visually to observe them. Bigger is usually not always better if you are a city or suburban dweller. 

 

I have an old Porta out in the garage, not a fan, not very stable which is fixable I suppose. IMO worse is you have no access to a fairly large circle around the zenith. Whoever thought this thing up was not a visual observer with a moderately slow refractor. I guess it is light and inexpensive and would work fine with a short-fast 70-80mm refractor. 


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#58 Phillip Creed

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 10:23 AM

How good is the Tak FC100DF for imaging?

It's pretty pricey for a 4" doublet, and...it's a doublet.  I know, I know; "triplets or nothing" when it comes to imaging, but...that's about as good a 4" f/7-ish doublet as they come.
 

Anyone use one for imaging?  I've seen some images on Astrobin, but I'm not sure what kind of post-processing headaches ED/fluorite doublet imagers may have had.

Clear Skies,

Phil



#59 mikeDnight

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 10:35 AM

It's at higher powers that these Taks show their pedigree. Views at lower altitudes seem hardly to matter. Zenith and higher most scopes do well at, its more challenging seeing that proves how good a scope really is.     

This was my experience too during the 2016 apparition of Mars. The planet only reached around 16° above the horizon, yet the thicker atmosphere and obvious turbulence really didn't seem to affect the image much at all. The planet's disc showed plenty of detail as I patiently studied it, not just occasionally but every time I observed it. With my little FC100DC I made 36 sketches, eventually ending in a simple but reasonably accurate cylindrical grid chart of the features, as seen using a prism diagonal. 

 

 

5a72292ddcc73_2017-09-0509_09_00.png.0d5a383692d220ba3a79b1a6881e6234.png


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#60 Moondust

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 10:46 AM

I agree the Porta Mount could have been a lot better than what it is for little expense, Vixen didn't put much effort into it. Funny thing is mine came with an f/11 80mf achro which the stock mount and tripod won't even hold steady! Obviously no one into astronomy at Vixen ever tested out this combo. It's a shame because the 80mf is a very sharp scope but useless with the supplied diagonal (worst I've ever seen) and shaky on that mount. You can however beef up the mount and tripod on your own as I did. I made quit a bit of improvements, most internally not even visible in this photo. Holds my Stowaway like a rock with slow motion controls to boot!  

 

z4.jpg

 

 


Edited by Moondust, 14 February 2020 - 01:36 PM.

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#61 Traveler

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 10:49 AM

This was my experience too during the 2016 apparition of Mars. The planet only reached around 16° above the horizon, yet the thicker atmosphere and obvious turbulence really didn't seem to affect the image much at all. The planet's disc showed plenty of detail as I patiently studied it, not just occasionally but every time I observed it. With my little FC100DC I made 36 sketches, eventually ending in a simple but reasonably accurate cylindrical grid chart of the features, as seen using a prism diagonal. 

 

 

attachicon.gif5a72292ddcc73_2017-09-0509_09_00.png.0d5a383692d220ba3a79b1a6881e6234.png

Nicely done Mike! 


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#62 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 10:50 AM

I do love a fine refractor on planets, usually that is what I'm using visually to observe them. Bigger is usually not always better if you are a city or suburban dweller. 

 

I have an old Porta out in the garage, not a fan, not very stable which is fixable I suppose. IMO worse is you have no access to a fairly large circle around the zenith. Whoever thought this thing up was not a visual observer with a moderately slow refractor. I guess it is light and inexpensive and would work fine with a short-fast 70-80mm refractor. 

 

I find the Portamount is fine near zenith when used with shorter focal length scopes like the Stowaway.  Vixen Japan rates it for under 10 lbs.. 

 

Jon



#63 YAOG

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 11:43 AM

I agree the Porta Mount could have been a lot better than what it is for little expense, Vixen didn't put much effort into it. Funny thing is mine came with an f/11 80mf achro which the stock mount and tripod won't even hold steady! Obviously no one into astronomy at Vixen ever tested out this combo. It's a shame because the 80mf is a very sharp scope but useless with the supplied diagonal (worst I've ever seen) and shaky on that mount. You can however beef up the mount and tripod on your own as I did. I made quit a bit of improvements, most not even visible in this photo. Holds my Stowaway like a rock with slow motion controls to boot!  

 

attachicon.gifz4.jpg

I have an original Porta with awful clanky wobbly aluminum legs. If it was a Porta-2 I could use a good tripod which being a professional photographer I have no shortage of. I think I like the handle, what is hidden under the black covers on the arm? I am embarrassed to even donate it to my club. 


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#64 helpwanted

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 12:32 PM

To me, it doesn't make sense to choose between scopes costing several thousand dollars based on the capabilities of a $300 mount.

 

Couldn't agree more! It amazes me when i see people post pictures of a $3000 plus Tak on a $50 Walmart tripod (not saying here on CN, but I've seen this on many forms and websites)


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#65 Ihtegla Sar

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 12:53 PM

To me, it doesn't make sense to choose between scopes costing several thousand dollars based on the capabilities of a $300 mount.

Couldn't agree more! It amazes me when i see people post pictures of a $3000 plus Tak on a $50 Walmart tripod (not saying here on CN, but I've seen this on many forms and websites)


Well, I wouldn't put my Tak on a $50 mount, but for visual observations one really doesn't need to spend thousands on an expensive mount either. A simple LX70 costing $200-$300 will provide plenty of support for high magnification views using any of the FC Taks. I proudly ride my FC100DL on an LX70.

Visual only of course; obviously AP is different. The reason someone would need to spend thousands to mount a small refractor would be AP, where people seem to need to spend twice as much on the mount than the OTA. But for those of us who don't do AP, an expensive mount isn't really necessary.
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#66 gwlee

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 01:40 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. 

Yes, small fast scopes with 2 inch focusers tend to be stern heavy which makes them difficult to balance with 2-inch EPs. My AT72ED2 (72mm f6) is an example. It needs a long mounting rail, and the focuser must be rotated out of the horizontal to permit the focuser knob clear the rail with a 27mm Panoptic. It works, but it’s irritating. 

 

Being a triplet, my Stowaway (92mm f6.7) balances on my DM4 with a long mounting rail and a 35 Panoptic without rotating the focuser out horizontal. If it wasn’t a triplet, it wouldn’t clear. 



#67 BillP

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 02:15 PM

I find the Portamount is fine near zenith when used with shorter focal length scopes like the Stowaway.  Vixen Japan rates it for under 10 lbs..

I find the Ports II mount head perfectly capable and very stable for even a 4" f/8 like my TSA-102, which is more than 12 pounds with clamshell and finder, as long as you use other tripod legs than what the Porta-II comes with.


Edited by BillP, 14 February 2020 - 02:15 PM.

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#68 gwlee

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 02:34 PM

I wasn't thinking Newtonian. I was thinking larger refractor. 

 

 

waytogo.gif

 

This is the other half of the story.  And I agree with the Stowaway. It weighs 7.1 lbs and is 22 inches in length. This is only a slight increase over and 80 mm and well within the capabilities of a Portamount. 

 

I love the ergonomics on the Portamount, I wish they made one with a little more capacity.

 

Jon

Jon,

 

The Stowaway is a chubby puppy. Sitting on its mount ready to observe, with rings, rail, 2” TV EverBrite, 35mm Panoptic, and TV finder mine weighs about 10 1/2 pounds on a postal scale. When sitting on the DM4/Berlebach Tall Wooden tripod with the same accessories, the whole rig weighs about 29#, and it’s very stable. The weight includes DSCs.

 

The OTA with focuser racked in and dew shield retracted it measures a hair less than 19.5 inches. When not in use it’s short enough that I can store it in my safe. The Tak wouldn’t fit. 

 

Being shorter than the 100mm Tak, the Stowaway doesn’t need an extension column (saving ~3#) between the tripod and mount for the scope to clear the tripod legs when the scope is pointed at the zenith.

 

Perhaps this is all small potatoes for some, but a significant difference to me given my goals for this rig. I am satisfied with the scope and mount. The tripod meets my requirements too, but think there’s the most room for improvement here. 
 

Gary



#69 mikeDnight

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 03:30 PM

I mainly use a Vixen GP as my prefered mount. I have a GP permenantly mounted in my observatory and a GPDX on a HAL tripod. For quick grab and go I've been using a SW AZ4 on a tall Vixen tripod for the last five years, and find it quite a stable mount. The drawback is its lack of slow motion controls, but both axes have been properly lubricated and I've been able to use my DC for tracking Mars at 296X with a Vixen 2 .5mm LV. It's a cheap throw around mount that serves its purpose well, and with the Vixen tripod rather than the cheap and somewhat nasty Chinese aluminium tripod, it is solid enough for general use. I'd prefer a T-REX but sadly they are now extinct.

 

2016-12-20 22.56.49.jpg


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#70 m9x18

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 03:39 PM

Looking very dapper there! Like the scope and mount too. Very practical and very grab-n-go.


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#71 helpwanted

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 03:48 PM

is that painted to match the Tak?


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#72 25585

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 04:34 PM

I agree the Porta Mount could have been a lot better than what it is for little expense, Vixen didn't put much effort into it. Funny thing is mine came with an f/11 80mf achro which the stock mount and tripod won't even hold steady! Obviously no one into astronomy at Vixen ever tested out this combo. It's a shame because the 80mf is a very sharp scope but useless with the supplied diagonal (worst I've ever seen) and shaky on that mount. You can however beef up the mount and tripod on your own as I did. I made quit a bit of improvements, most internally not even visible in this photo. Holds my Stowaway like a rock with slow motion controls to boot!  

 

attachicon.gifz4.jpg

Vixen mounts are made for Vixen scopes, which are light. Portas are for their own smaller refractors primarily. I would not feel happy putting a scope as rare & heavy, on such a mount, & not on any with a single lock clamp. 



#73 Moondust

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 05:35 PM

Vixen mounts are made for Vixen scopes, which are light. Portas are for their own smaller refractors primarily. I would not feel happy putting a scope as rare & heavy, on such a mount, & not on any with a single lock clamp. 

I'm using a quality ADM dovetail adapter for more peace of mind, plus it won't scratch up my AP dovetail bar.

 

 

 

I could use the mount below for true piece of mind, but it takes away the grab and go aspect of the Stowaway. 

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Edited by Moondust, 14 February 2020 - 05:35 PM.

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#74 mikeDnight

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 06:01 PM

is that painted to match the Tak?

Kind of! It's difficult to find an exact match to the Tak paint off the shelf, so I chose something that was as close. It's kind of a half way house between the Tak and Vixen colour scheme. I just think its a bit nicer than the standard black.



#75 Bill Barlow

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 08:42 PM

Hi Mike.  It looks like you have a nice place to observe from on a hill with a nice view.  Do you have  dark skies there?

 

Bill


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