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Tec 140 vrs 160

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#26 turtle86

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 10:24 AM

 

(5)  No, not an Obsession.  Better designs out there these days.  But a TEC140 and a larger dob (12.5" + ) is a terrific idea.

 

I got a gently used 12.5" Starmaster with a Zambuto mirror for a little over 2K a couple of years ago.  For a new Dob, something like New Moon would be a nice choice.


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#27 bobhen

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 11:18 AM

Jeff, the key phrase in your original post is “getting for retirement”.

 

A large Dobsonian and the TEC 160 refractor look nice on paper but unless you have an observatory or a way to just roll these scopes out to use. They will become heavier as you age.

 

At age 64, when I downsized, I went from an AP 155 refractor and C-11 SCT on a G-11 to a Mewlon 210 and Tak TSA 120 on an AVX and a simple alt az mount.

 

The portability is really a blessing. The high quality optics leaves me wanting for very little. BUT what about light gathering you ask?

 

That is where the Image Intensifier comes in. Intensifiers are as light as an eyepiece, offer real-time observing, can be used on a simple, manual alt/az mount and offer greater light boost than a larger more cumbersome mirror scope. You will see objects with an intensifier and a smaller scope that you cannot see or cannot see easily or as well no matter how larger a scope you get.

 

I’m seeing a lot more with my smaller scopes and the intensifier than I did with the larger scopes and they are more portable and lighter as well. That’s a win/win for retirement!

 

Bob



#28 Jeff B

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 11:28 AM

I am blessed to have excellent samples of both the TEC 140ED and the TEC160ED.  Both are optically superb.  I've made extensive side-by-side comparisons.

 

I personally find the larger aperture a noticeable advantage visually.  The 14% resolution increase of the 160 over the 140 is most of the time, with the seeing around here, subtle, but important to me. The extra 30% light grasp is less subtle for me.  Seeing permitting, those combined advantages of the larger aperture means stuff that is at the threshold of detection in the 140ED is easily seen in the 160ED.  I just see more stuff in the larger scope..imagine that. 

 

My sample G11 (with improved clutch pads) does just fine with both scopes, in fact, this G11 seems to prefer the extra weight of the 160ED.  After a nudge on the diagonal, thing dampen out in about 1/2 second. 

 

Speaking of weight, as configured in the pictures, from the G11's saddle on up, the 140ED and the 160ED weigh 30 and 35 pounds respectively.  Which for me, right now, age 66, is an easy lift into the saddle.  

 

The 160ED is an F8 (so it is 6" longer than the FL), is discontinued, and scarce on the used market, but, if you can find one goes for $7000 to $8000.  The 140ED is much easier to find on the used market, going for $4800 to $5500.  Both depending on condition and included stuff.

 

In extensive comparisons between my 140 ED and a new 140FL that I published here, I found little to choose between them, except the 140ED had a slightly "cooler" color "tone".   

 

I can't comment on Dobs.

 

So I hope this bit of a data dump helps you out and good luck.  I'm glad you're doing this for yourself.

 

Enjoy!

 

Jeff

Attached Thumbnails

  • On G11.jpg
  • 160ED with G11 B.jpg

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#29 PowerM3

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 12:17 PM

I first owned a TEC160ED and then a TEC160FL.  My largest mount is a Losmandy G11 and the the longer TEC160ED did not ride well on the G11.  I spoke to Yuri about the issue and was very lucky that he agreed to take the 160ED back as credit toward a 160FL on the next run.  The 160FL was shorter and it turned out to be a better match to my G11/Berleback planet.  

 

Twice a year for 5 or 6 years I would meet a friend from NJ at Cherry Springs in north central PA.  He had a TEC140ED and I had the TEC160FL.  During each of these trips we would compare the 160FL to the 140ED over the course of several days.  He always commented how great the images of the planets and brighter deep sky objects were through the 160FL - and, for sure, they were quite good.  Me, I was simply amazed at how close the two telescope were in actual performance.  Yes, images are slightly brighter in the 160FL, but to me, both showed similar detail.  I do remember planetary colors being more vibrant in the 160FL.  But for my money the TEC140 is hard to beat.

 

To your questions:

 

(1)  The TEC160 will require a step up in mount size compared to the 140.  A good example is the 140 will ride on a GM8 and the 160 really needs a G11.

 

(2)  See above - you won't miss the aperture.  

 

(3)  No ideas about a goto Alt-Azimuth style mount.  I think you'll be extremely limited if goto, tracking ALT-AZ and dual scope capability are requirements.  These scopes do need tracking and an EQ is the path of least resistance to this.  The 140 could ride on a Vixen GPDX or Losmandy GM8 and a host of other imported mid-size mounts.  But if you really need dual scope capability, you need to move up to the next class in mount capacity.

 

(4)  Mewlon vs a 140mm APO...   This speaks to more about observing style.  Only you can determine that.  There is upside (and downside) to each option.  All telescopes are compromises.

 

(5)  No, not an Obsession.  Better designs out there these days.  But a TEC140 and a larger dob (12.5" + ) is a terrific idea.

Thank you for sharing your very honest opinion on the TEC 140 vs 160 and how close they really are in performance. Even the difference on DSO of my 178ED and TEC 140 is not worlds apart.



#30 Jsquared

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 12:20 PM

I got a gently used 12.5" Starmaster with a Zambuto mirror for a little over 2K a couple of years ago. For a new Dob, something like New Moon would be a nice choice.


Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll check out New Moon.


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#31 JMW

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 02:27 PM

I considered buying the TEC 160 FL several years ago. I ended up buying a usedTEC 140 for about $5100 because I didn't have to wait for used.  We will probably will keep it for life. My wife loves this scope and it works well on the DM6. Since we are in our 60s the TEC 140 will be more manageable than the 160 as we get older.

 

We used the TEC 140 last weekend in Death Valley with a PSV14 for the first time. We were able to see details on dimmer objects that compared to the views in our Webster D14 14.5" Dob.

 

Our travel combination for places other then multi night star parties will be the TEC140/DM6/Planet and 8 inch f/6 newtonian on an AstroGoods custom birchply/claimshell custom Dob mount. 

 

These two scope plus the PSV14 should give us plenty of viable astronomy objects to enjoy both with just eyepieces and the afocal PSV14 for the dimmest stuff.


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#32 dr.who

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 03:08 PM

There is a very noticeable improvement for every one inch increase in aperture for a APO up until about 6" where you start battling wight, size, and price concerns. The 160 is 6.3" in size and 20mm bigger than the 140. You will see a difference for sure in that. But you will pay a weight, size, and price penalty for it. As noted above the reflector becomes a more affordable and less heavy/large option at above about the 5.5" size (TEC 140). 


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#33 balu01

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Posted 25 February 2020 - 12:46 AM

Here is my thinking :

Never owned a 160 but checked one out and looked through it.
I settled for 130mm as a max portable size , or in your case the TEC140 is about equal to a 130 , meaning sizes here.

Had I not go the route I have , I would very possibly own a TEC140 myself.

However I think anything bigger is a permanent setup ,
if you don’t have that don’t even think about a bigger size.

If you do , go ahead get the largest frac you can afford to mount permanently.

Don’t waste time on the how much more you can see question,
just concentrate on setup usability.


Mind you for me it’s not even going to the backyard , but taking gear 1-2 hrs away.

Edited by balu01, 25 February 2020 - 12:49 AM.

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#34 rob.0919

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Posted 25 February 2020 - 07:50 AM

I'm the same as one or two others in that the 140 is the biggest refractor i'd want to handle.

 

Availability is another issue.

 

Buying new ? There may be a bit of a wait for a 140FL ?

I received mine last September after waiting just over one year.

 

The 160, being much more expensive may not be back-ordered like its smaller brother.


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#35 ichdien

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Posted 25 February 2020 - 09:24 AM

For what it's worth, I used to own a TEC 140 and loved it; however, when I had the opportunity, years ago, to trade it, plus cash, for a used AP 155edfs, I pulled the trigger.  I've been pleased with the decision.  The 155 offers better views than the 140 (not day and night, but noticeable) and is only marginally more unwieldy.  I'm about average height and weight, and reasonably fit, in my 60s.  On a DM 6 the scope is almost like a big grab and go.  Easy to set up in the driveway or load in the car for a trip to darker skies.  I'm sure you'll be happy with either the 140 or 160.  If it were me, I'd base the choice on my financial situation and level of fitness.  The convenience difference is, for me, not decisive.

 

I’m getting a new scope for retirement to supplement my fc100 tak. My first thought is a Tec 160. Looks like this ups the ante on weight and portability though and I’m wondering if I should just “settle” for a 140. I’d like to dual mount the scopes on a Goto az mount. Visual use only
 

my questions

how much more a pain is the 160 to use

am I really going to miss that much going to a 140 instead of 160

any ideas on a Goto Az dual mount

should I abandon my quest and cheap out and buy a mewlon 210 with cool down and mirror flop

should I bank the savings and put it toward an obsession to see dim galaxies :-)

 

thx

 

Jeff


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#36 Yu Gu

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Posted 25 February 2020 - 11:47 AM

I have owned 110, 140, 160, 200mm lenses made by TEC in the past.

The one I own now: 160

Reasons: perfect balance of portability and performance. Help me to deal with the not so perfect seeing here in northern WV and give consistent high quality views of the planets.


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#37 George Blahun Jr

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Posted 26 February 2020 - 05:23 PM

I've owned both a TEC140 and TEC160FL.  The weight was doable physically for me, but the effort meant I only took it out when seeing was good or better.  I took the 140 out far more often because it was so easily set up.  Candidly, if I had it to do again, I would probably have bought a Rainbow Optics RST135 mount and would have kept the 160.  The Losmandy G11 handled the 140 easily but the 160FL meant for a little more strain on the G11 and the mount was where the big weight was for portable observing.  The heavy counterweights and the mount itself became a pain after a long night observing away from home.  The RST135 weighs just a few pounds and needs no counterweight.  I was looking for a 140 again, but now I'm reviewing all of my options, including looking at the Takahashi TOA series.  This is probably not helping you to decide, but it's what I honestly am considering.   Both scopes put up amazing views, with the 160FL having a noticeable but not dramatically brighter view.  As an example, I could almost always see Sirius B with the 160FL, but saw it  more often than not with the 140.    Also, when viewing The Trapezium, the 160FL would almost always show the E and F stars, but only more often than not in the 140.


Edited by George Blahun Jr, 26 February 2020 - 05:29 PM.


#38 Sleep Deprived

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Posted 26 February 2020 - 09:19 PM

My own AP 130 GT seems hefty and substantial, yet it is dwarfed by the TEC 160 in Dean's picture. Refractors are wonderful instruments, but they really don't scale well at all, as they get very big and expensive in a hurry.  Here's what you get when you go to 250:

 

https://www.telescop...e/tec-apo250vt/

 

The picture of Yuri holding it over his shoulder is epic...

From the link:

 

"Weighing in at 50kg, the APO250FL can be transported to various observing stations, however TEC highly recommends that a permanent observing station be made for this telescope."

 

Can you imagine being out in the field and trying to lift a 50Kg (and $49K) scope onto its mount??  I don't know what would kill me first - ACTUALLY trying to lift it into position, or the thought of slipping and dropping it while lifting it into position.  Either way, I am dead.


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#39 Jsquared

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Posted 26 February 2020 - 09:24 PM

Sent deposit to Tec for 140 today


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#40 fate187

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 04:43 AM

I don't see it often, that a person quickly goes to order a scope after discussions here. Good job! What is the delivery date?


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#41 chuckles

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 06:38 AM

You’re going to be happy with the decision. Ive owned both. I think the extra reach of the 160 is worthwhile, but the 140 has some things in its favor. Fov - advantage 140, Cool down - advantage 140, mount size - advantage 140. Fov and cooldown are not big differences, but depending on how you plan to use it the mount can be the deal breaker.

If you're cool with manual alt az, both scopes work really well on the DM6/Planet with Nexus. The 160 wont quite clear zenith and takes just a brief pause to stop high mag focus vibrations, but is otherwise excellent. The 140 is perfection on this mount combo. I highly recommend it for either scope. Ive had no problem hand tracking over 300x on this. Ethos make it easier, but it can be done even with orthos. Truly its that good.

Tracking mounts are where the 160 loses out a bit more meaningfully. I used my 140 on a Vixen SXP on the Planet and that was a very good and reasonable weight combo. The 160 needs a G11 which is an over 20lbs heavier set up. The scope size difference is trivial but the mount may matter. With the 160 Ive found its nice to have a smaller 4ish inch refractor as another option. Thats not as necessary with the 140. Any way, enjoy!!!
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#42 Heywood

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 11:13 AM

Sent deposit to Tec for 140 today


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Good boy!  You made a wise decision.  And, anyway, nothing is forever, so if you decide in the future that you must try the 160FL, you can always sell the 140 and go for the 160FL, assuming you have the funds, which are substantial.  (I think sometimes the wealthier among us forget that many live on tight budgets.)

 

As for me, I've owned refractors large and small, and I've found that the 140-sized refractor is as large and heavy (about 20 pounds) as I want to mess with, and I'm at least average in size and strength.  Big telescopes, after a while, become a hassle to deal with.  Others will disagree, but they are wrong.  grin.gif

 

Yuri Petrunin, the owner of TEC, wisely figured out that the 140 had just the right combination of size, weight, capability, and cost to be a BIG winner, his biggest seller BY FAR.  His other scopes are too big and costly for the big majority of his customers.

 

Observing with the 140 is not "settling."


Edited by Heywood, 27 February 2020 - 11:20 AM.

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#43 Mark Strollo

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 01:18 PM

A TEC 160 appeared today in the CN classifieds. 



#44 Jeff B

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 03:38 PM

A TEC 160 appeared today in the CN classifieds. 

Yeah, I see that.  2014 vintage.  



#45 Jsquared

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 10:21 PM

Good boy! You made a wise decision. And, anyway, nothing is forever, so if you decide in the future that you must try the 160FL, you can always sell the 140 and go for the 160FL, assuming you have the funds, which are substantial. (I think sometimes the wealthier among us forget that many live on tight budgets.)

As for me, I've owned refractors large and small, and I've found that the 140-sized refractor is as large and heavy (about 20 pounds) as I want to mess with, and I'm at least average in size and strength. Big telescopes, after a while, become a hassle to deal with. Others will disagree, but they are wrong. grin.gif

Yuri Petrunin, the owner of TEC, wisely figured out that the 140 had just the right combination of size, weight, capability, and cost to be a BIG winner, his biggest seller BY FAR. His other scopes are too big and costly for the big majority of his customers.

Observing with the 140 is not "settling."


I as sooooo excited about picking the 140. I had reservations about the 160 but had a little aperture fever and needed some sage advice. So I read everything and am really happy. I got to buy American :-) Now the wait begins :-( but this gives me time to throughly use my Tac DF so it will be worth it.

I haven’t told my wife yet but she likes moon viewing so I bought a ethos 3.7 today specifically for moon viewing along with a new book “luna cognita” a 1700 page comprehensive guide to the moon. My other interest is double stars. Finally since I’m gonna need more aperture :-) this always gives me an excuse in a couple of years to get that mewlon 250. Retirement is going to be so cool.
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#46 ezwheels

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 11:16 PM

A TEC 160 appeared today in the CN classifieds. 

My wallet is thanking me for not living within driving distance of this scope. As much as I love my 140ED, I wouldn't mind a dance with its bigger sister.



#47 GregInDE

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 11:28 PM

He’s willing to deliver to NEAF. And I’m going. We’re already talking. Wish me luck. lol.
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#48 ezwheels

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 11:51 PM

If you had any inclination to get one in the past...jump on it! These do not come up very often. Actually less common than a 130GTX coming up for sale. 



#49 R_Huntzberry

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 12:49 AM

I loved both my 140 and 160ED.

 

-Richard

 

TEC140-160.jpg


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#50 Cotts

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 04:17 PM

A TEC 160 appeared today in the CN classifieds. 

That was me.  It was spoken for in only a few hours.  

 

My sale was based on mostly financial factors.  I bit off a wee bit more than i could chew..had to get out from under...

 

My observations:  The scope rode very nicely on an AP Mach 1 in my observatory and, most recently, on a DM6 at the Winter Star Party..

 

Optics flawless.   

 

But.

 

It is, after all, only a 6-and-a-bit- inches telescope.  Side by side last fall, with the 160 on the DM6 and my venerable C11 on the Mach 1 I looked at three objects on a night of superb seeing.  Double Star Kruger 60 (9.9 and 11.4 mag at 1.7"),  Mayall II globular cluster, 13.8 magnitude and the crescent moon.

 

The first two were visible in the 160 but only as stellar objects.  No hint of resolution.   The C11 not only split Kr 60 but showed hints of tiny, perfect little diffraction rings at somewhat over 400x.  The 160 showed Kr 60 as a single star - when 400x was applied the lack of light grasp prevented any view of the B component...  The globular, one of the easiest of Andromeda Galaxy's retinue of globs, was seen as stellar in the 160 and barely seen at all.  The C11 found it and resolved it as a distinct fuzzball compared to two nearby stars....

 

On the moon the 160 fared much better.  A couple of tiny contrast rilles showed equally or a bit better in the 160.  The moon was lower in the sky and the 160 seemed to 'cut through' the seeing a bit better..

 

The 160 is by far the better imaging instrument.....

 

Depends what you are looking for.  I decided the C11 will work for me and is no harder (or easier) to place up onto a mount than the 160...

 

I'm glad I bought it - had some amazing views with it - and I am equally glad to be shut of it...

 

Dave


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