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Tec 140 vrs 160

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#51 Jsquared

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Posted 02 March 2020 - 11:36 AM

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


Dave what do you think about a mewlon 250 as a larger scope to complement the 140 ?

#52 bobhen

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Posted 02 March 2020 - 12:52 PM

Dave what do you think about a mewlon 250 as a larger scope to complement the 140 ?

I have a TSA 120 and a Mewlon 210 so kind of the same thing.

 

If you have the mount and the cash, a Mewlon 250 would make a great companion to a TEC 140. The Mewlon 250 will best the refractor on any deep sky object that fits in the field. The Mewlon will require a tad better than average seeing with the planets in a good position to best the refractor on planetary. The refractor will have a wider field of view. The Mewlon will require more acclimation time and just be fussier with conditions compared to the refactor. Mewlons are not usually quick-look scopes.

 

If you just want to bust clusters a C-11 or Mead 12 would be a consideration. If you want your deep sky observing to contain sharp stars and superb contrast and want micro lunar and planetary detail “when conditions allow”, then the Mewlon will deliver the goods; besting any same-size SCT and 140mm apo refractors.

 

When the “seeing and the moon and the temperatures cooperate”, my Mewlon 210 is one of my all time favorite lunar scopes, delivering ultra-sharp, micro details and immersive views. 

 

Bob


Edited by bobhen, 02 March 2020 - 12:53 PM.

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#53 turtle86

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Posted 02 March 2020 - 02:24 PM

I have a TSA 120 and a Mewlon 210 so kind of the same thing.

 

If you have the mount and the cash, a Mewlon 250 would make a great companion to a TEC 140. The Mewlon 250 will best the refractor on any deep sky object that fits in the field. The Mewlon will require a tad better than average seeing with the planets in a good position to best the refractor on planetary. The refractor will have a wider field of view. The Mewlon will require more acclimation time and just be fussier with conditions compared to the refactor. Mewlons are not usually quick-look scopes.

 

If you just want to bust clusters a C-11 or Mead 12 would be a consideration. If you want your deep sky observing to contain sharp stars and superb contrast and want micro lunar and planetary detail “when conditions allow”, then the Mewlon will deliver the goods; besting any same-size SCT and 140mm apo refractors.

 

When the “seeing and the moon and the temperatures cooperate”, my Mewlon 210 is one of my all time favorite lunar scopes, delivering ultra-sharp, micro details and immersive views. 

 

Bob

 

I love my Mewlon 180 as well--I already have several Dobs so I decided not to go for a larger Mewlon.  It's lightweight and very easy to manage.  Just superlative for viewing the moon and I look forward to planetary viewing with it again. 



#54 BGazing

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Posted 02 March 2020 - 02:39 PM

I use a 100mm Tak (among other stuff), and a friend has a 140mm CFF and C11, so I can compare the size. (By the way, when said friend went shopping for that CFF, he was shocked by how big 160 was).

140mm refractor is about the maximum I would handle if I would have to mount and dismount it and not keep it in obsy. I am 6ft3 and in good shape, not yet 50, but the less it weighs the more you use it. I use my 100mm much more than he uses his 140.

That said, if I were the OP, I'd go for C11/Tak100 combo if I were after galaxies and dim stuff. When I take my C8 to a dark place only a handful of galaxies show meaningful detail even after prolonged observation. Basic 12 inch dob with passable collimation shows more. Aperture rules on dim stuff. 


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#55 Cotts

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Posted 02 March 2020 - 03:00 PM

Dave what do you think about a mewlon 250 as a larger scope to complement the 140 ?

Always a good strategy to have two scopes about 10 inches apart...  Different tools for different applications...

 

So a 4 inch Refractor and a 14 inch whatever...

 

I don't know anything about the Mewlon....I hear they are quite good...

 

Dave



#56 Mike99

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 08:52 PM

First time for me to comment on CN.  I owned a Mewlon 250 and TEC 140 ED both for ten years or so.  I loved both scopes.  When I wanted aperture I used the Mewlon which I called, "the poor man's refractor."  That's relative to the cost of a large aperture refractor because the Mewlon 250 isn't cheap.  In my opinion the Mewlon 250 is well worth its cost.  I had the Mewlon 210 before it and always said the added cost of the 250 worth the investment.  The Mewlon 250 has the light grasp of a 10" scope, the views are very sharp and excellent contrast.  Looking at the Moon is like looking at a fine grained photo.  The Mewlon only weights 30 pounds and is easy to carry since it is a short, fat tube.  I had a handle on the back plate and grasped the edge of the front, making it easy to carry at waist height horizontally.  It's easy to view through the back while seated; the eyepiece doesn't move very far up or down since the balance is far back towards the eyepiece.  It pretty much balances over the primary mirror.  Mine never needed collimation; it remained spot on maybe helped by some stronger springs.  The Mewlon acclimates to temperature rapidly because it is an open tube, no corrector, and the back comes off and there are a lot of holes in the primary mirror cell.  It was very simple to take the mirror cell out and clean the mirror, too. The Mewlon, like all Takahashi optics, are outstanding.  Mine had one more accessory, a Starlight Instruments FeatherTouch focuser which I preferred.  The motorized focuser on the secondary mirror was seldom needed unless a turret or binoviewer was switched for the diagonal mirror.  Another good point is anything will focus.  There is no running out of back or in travel to achieve focus.

 

I sold both scopes when I was surprised to win an auction for a TEC 180.  The TEC 180 did outperform both scopes noticeably optically, but heavier to move.  The Mewlon 250 did not have the contrast and absolute perfect stars of the TEC 180.

 

The TEC 180 was big and a lot of money, and I downsized after several years to an AP 155 EDFS.  Now I'm considering a small downsizing again to a TEC 140 FL, or keep the AP 155.  The TEC 140 seems easier to handle, yet similar in aperture.  Would one see a significant difference visually or photographically?  Would the TEC be significantly easier to physically handle, or go on a smaller mount even though the difference is not many pounds or inches in length?  I'm well aware of which scopes get used the most.  I would appreciate any thoughts on this. Thanks


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#57 Tyson M

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 11:42 PM

I love my Mewlon 180 as well--I already have several Dobs so I decided not to go for a larger Mewlon. It's lightweight and very easy to manage. Just superlative for viewing the moon and I look forward to planetary viewing with it again.


Mars is coming back to a higher altitude late this summer I believe!
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#58 ichdien

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 06:56 AM

First time for me to comment on CN.  I owned a Mewlon 250 and TEC 140 ED both for ten years or so.  I loved both scopes.  When I wanted aperture I used the Mewlon which I called, "the poor man's refractor."  That's relative to the cost of a large aperture refractor because the Mewlon 250 isn't cheap.  In my opinion the Mewlon 250 is well worth its cost.  I had the Mewlon 210 before it and always said the added cost of the 250 worth the investment.  The Mewlon 250 has the light grasp of a 10" scope, the views are very sharp and excellent contrast.  Looking at the Moon is like looking at a fine grained photo.  The Mewlon only weights 30 pounds and is easy to carry since it is a short, fat tube.  I had a handle on the back plate and grasped the edge of the front, making it easy to carry at waist height horizontally.  It's easy to view through the back while seated; the eyepiece doesn't move very far up or down since the balance is far back towards the eyepiece.  It pretty much balances over the primary mirror.  Mine never needed collimation; it remained spot on maybe helped by some stronger springs.  The Mewlon acclimates to temperature rapidly because it is an open tube, no corrector, and the back comes off and there are a lot of holes in the primary mirror cell.  It was very simple to take the mirror cell out and clean the mirror, too. The Mewlon, like all Takahashi optics, are outstanding.  Mine had one more accessory, a Starlight Instruments FeatherTouch focuser which I preferred.  The motorized focuser on the secondary mirror was seldom needed unless a turret or binoviewer was switched for the diagonal mirror.  Another good point is anything will focus.  There is no running out of back or in travel to achieve focus.

 

I sold both scopes when I was surprised to win an auction for a TEC 180.  The TEC 180 did outperform both scopes noticeably optically, but heavier to move.  The Mewlon 250 did not have the contrast and absolute perfect stars of the TEC 180.

 

The TEC 180 was big and a lot of money, and I downsized after several years to an AP 155 EDFS.  Now I'm considering a small downsizing again to a TEC 140 FL, or keep the AP 155.  The TEC 140 seems easier to handle, yet similar in aperture.  Would one see a significant difference visually or photographically?  Would the TEC be significantly easier to physically handle, or go on a smaller mount even though the difference is not many pounds or inches in length?  I'm well aware of which scopes get used the most.  I would appreciate any thoughts on this. Thanks

If you don't mind me quoting myself, this is what I posted earlier in this thread.  As you see, I went the other way: from a TEC 140 to an AP 155.  I'd add that if my circumstances changed--for example, if I developed a physical problem--I wouldn't hesitate to downsize to the TEC.  Hope this helps a little.

 

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.


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#59 Jsquared

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Posted 12 June 2020 - 06:37 PM

Update

Still waiting for my TEC 140.

Bought a Tac fc76dcu and love it. It’s the mouse that roared. Also have the 1.7 extender unit to convert it to over F12.

I’ve decided to build a new moon dob with a quartz F4 16” Zambuto mirror. My wife and I bought a home in way north Dallas with a nice back yard bortle 4/5. I can wheel it out in five minutes.

But first I’m saving my pennies for televue’s night vision setup. After that it’s the Zambuto payment.

In the end I’ll have a killer portable scope, a Tec 140 and a NM Zambuto dob. Should cover it all.
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#60 lwbehney

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 12:17 PM

If you don't mind me quoting myself, this is what I posted earlier in this thread.  As you see, I went the other way: from a TEC 140 to an AP 155.  I'd add that if my circumstances changed--for example, if I developed a physical problem--I wouldn't hesitate to downsize to the TEC.  Hope this helps a little.

 

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.

Hello Ichdien,

I am hoping you can tell me what objects you can adequately see in your 155 mm refractor? I own an old FS 128 and nice as it is, it is not up to looking at galaxies, except for the M31 group, where it is fine. I am not interested in purchasing a refractor of the size you own because the FS 128 is about as much weight as I can easily manage, but I have calculated that the small Mewlon 180C might have equivalent abilities to your 155 on deep sky and would be a very light telescope. 

So with this background, I would like to know if you can see Neptune's moon Triton, the Sirius Pup, the E and F stars of the Trapezium, the Leo triplet, Stephan's Quintet, and the Markarian's chain of galaxies well enough in your 155, that you could say you actually could detect them without using averted vision and distinguish their shapes etc. 

I understand that the Mewlon 180C is not very good as a wide field instrument and plan to keep my FS 128 for the big nebulae and open star clusters. I just would like to be able to see a bit more of these famous dim objects visually, because I like the idea of the fact that my eyes are directly interacting with the ancient photons emanating from their stars millions of years in the past.

CS,

Larry



#61 ichdien

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 12:52 AM

Hello Ichdien,

I am hoping you can tell me what objects you can adequately see in your 155 mm refractor? I own an old FS 128 and nice as it is, it is not up to looking at galaxies, except for the M31 group, where it is fine. I am not interested in purchasing a refractor of the size you own because the FS 128 is about as much weight as I can easily manage, but I have calculated that the small Mewlon 180C might have equivalent abilities to your 155 on deep sky and would be a very light telescope. 

So with this background, I would like to know if you can see Neptune's moon Triton, the Sirius Pup, the E and F stars of the Trapezium, the Leo triplet, Stephan's Quintet, and the Markarian's chain of galaxies well enough in your 155, that you could say you actually could detect them without using averted vision and distinguish their shapes etc. 

I understand that the Mewlon 180C is not very good as a wide field instrument and plan to keep my FS 128 for the big nebulae and open star clusters. I just would like to be able to see a bit more of these famous dim objects visually, because I like the idea of the fact that my eyes are directly interacting with the ancient photons emanating from their stars millions of years in the past.

CS,

Larry

Hi, Larry.  I think the answer depends partly--actually, probably a whole lot--on the quality of your observing location.   Unfortunately, I live very near the largest city in the US, so I'm usually quite limited in what I can observe in the 155.  It's a little like driving a Ferrari in the suburbs, I suppose: very, very nice ride, but you know that the beast dreams of tearing it up on the Autobahn.  Anyway, yes, M42, E & F on a good night.  Planets, open clusters, etc. also superb when conditions are good.  Some points of reference.  From a dark location the Leo Triplet is easy in my 4 inch refractor.  I'm sure it would be very impressive in the 155.  Another: in the 155, M31 is possible but very washed out from my back yard.  From a pretty dark sky (rural Vermont) Andromeda and its neighbors are stunning.  Not what you're asking, but the Double Cluster in the 155 is nice from home, but overwhelming from a dark location.  One day when my life circumstances change, I hope I'll be able to give the big boy the skies it deserves.  I have never looked through a Mewlon of any size so can't comment on that scope's capabilities.  Sorry I can't be of more help, but maybe others will be able chime in.

 

Best of luck,

Jim



#62 lwbehney

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 10:11 PM

If you don't mind me quoting myself, this is what I posted earlier in this thread.  As you see, I went the other way: from a TEC 140 to an AP 155.  I'd add that if my circumstances changed--for example, if I developed a physical problem--I wouldn't hesitate to downsize to the TEC.  Hope this helps a little.

 

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 agree with  Jim about refractor apertures. I have compared a Lunt 152 and my FS 128 and the Lunt clearly had brighter images. The Lunt 152 rivaled my C8 for light gathering power, and had better contrast too. I have read years ago experienced observers declare that apertures < 6 inches severely limit visual astronomy for many interesting objects and I would concur. I believe that if I were limited to just one telescope, and AP is not the sole interest, then a 150-160 mm refractor would be the best choice. Most aging astronomers can still lift a 22 lbs. ED 150-152 mm doublet. Someone wrote a comparison review between the TEC 140 and the FS 128 and what stands out is that the writer commented that the brightness increase was subtle going from the 128 to the 140. I can tell you it is not subtle going to the Lunt 152.  

Since I last posted, I have had the brief opportunity to compare a Mewlon 180c to my FS 128. The 180c could provide brighter images that reminded me of the C8 I used to own and I could much more clearly detect the more famous Summertime galaxies without being totally dependent upon averted vision. My FS 128 was better on the planets in that shootout, but I was never able to get the collimation of the 180c perfected, based upon the fact that Jupiter's moons would never become round despite more than an hour spent tweaking the secondary mirror. At low power, the collimation problem was almost unnoticeable. I ended up returning the Mewlon 180c very reluctantly. With a TV 55 Plössl, you can get a TFOV of 1.2º in the small Mewlon and it is very light. 

I am now on the fence between getting an Evostar 150 or an APM 152 refractor or trying to find a perfectly collimated µ180c. I just like the super portability of the µ180c.  (An Agema SD 150 would be the superlative light weight refractor option).  A lighter mount than my CGEM II would be nice and a Losmandy G8 (30-35 lbs. payload capacity) would carry a doublet 6" refractor. 

These are my thoughts on visual astronomy heading into retirement. 

Larry


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