Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Anyone tested the new TAK Starbase 80 Achromatic?

beginner equipment observing
  • Please log in to reply
31 replies to this topic

#1 MarkGregory

MarkGregory

    Apollo

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,184
  • Joined: 14 Jun 2012
  • Loc: Advance, North Carolina

Posted 29 March 2020 - 06:57 AM

Just visited the Takahashi website and noticed the new 80mm refractor introduced as an entry level scope. It’s retail price is  $610.00. Wondering what your thoughts are. 


  • starmason and Auburn80 like this

#2 junomike

junomike

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 18,632
  • Joined: 07 Sep 2009
  • Loc: Ontario

Posted 29 March 2020 - 07:15 AM

Long previous thread here, however post#106 offers some insight.


  • MarkGregory likes this

#3 MarkGregory

MarkGregory

    Apollo

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,184
  • Joined: 14 Jun 2012
  • Loc: Advance, North Carolina

Posted 29 March 2020 - 07:18 AM

Long previous thread here, however post#106 offers some insight.

Thank you. Missed that thread. it probably answers all of my questions, I'll check it out. 


  • bbqediguana likes this

#4 MarkGregory

MarkGregory

    Apollo

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,184
  • Joined: 14 Jun 2012
  • Loc: Advance, North Carolina

Posted 29 March 2020 - 07:28 AM

Interesting, I found the below note on the link posted above by junomike. You all can keep commenting on the scope if you like. But now I think the real question is, "How good is it?" Mark

 

 

 

"While normally we don't get involved in discussions on Cloudy Nights or other forums, we thought it appropriate to provide some clarity around this issue.  The Starbase 80 is not manufactured or designed by Takahashi Japan.  It is made for them under contract by an optics company in Japan.  It is sold in Japan through Takahashi's company-owned telescope store, Starbase. 

In conjunction with Takahashi Japan, Takahashi America introduced this telescope at NEAF this past April.  It is Takahashi's goal to introduce beginning astronomers to Japanese quality optics, with the hope that one day they may become Takahashi customers.  Takahashi prides itself on being 100% Japanese made, and is continuing that tradition with the Starbase 80.

Thanks for your interest!
Takahashi America


Edited by MarkGregory, 29 March 2020 - 07:28 AM.

  • Daniel Mounsey, stevew, Bomber Bob and 3 others like this

#5 starmason

starmason

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 115
  • Joined: 08 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Winchester, Va

Posted 02 April 2020 - 06:49 PM

I purchased my Starbase 80 about a month or so after it's release.  I recently moved to NW Virginia and finally had the opportunity to set it up on my back deck under better skies than I had when viewing in my backyard on Long Island, NY south shore.  Temp was around 50 degrees and the seeing was marginal at 9pm.  I tried using my ES 68 degree 16mm eyepiece mounted in my Baader amici diagonal, figuring that lower power would be a good way to start my night adventures.  I waited a little over an hour and tried my luck again. Seeing improved and the scope settled down it seemed.  The "wavies" were not as evident when viewing the moon and I could discern 4 stars in the Trapezium.  Stars were pinpoint also.  When I replaced the eyepiece with my 14mm ES 82 degree EP the viewing was sharp and contrasty on both the Moon and various stars in Orion.

M13 looked good with the 14mm eyepiece - as good as a well tuned 80mm refractor can provide.  

 

Is this as good as my older Celestron/Vixen 80mm f11 black finished Firstscope from the 1980's?  Maybe not but since it is 800mm (a bit shorter FL) we can't expect it to have less color but it has very good fit, finish in both optics, mount and tripod.  It looks cool also.  

 

I also set up my 10 inch Teleport dob to view the same objects after "cool down" and that is not a fair comparison between the two VERY different telescopes.

 

They both were fun to use that night and tonight looks like it should be clear again.  Can't wait.

 

Clear skies, 

George S.

Winchester, Va


  • russell23, SandyHouTex, MarkGregory and 2 others like this

#6 starmason

starmason

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 115
  • Joined: 08 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Winchester, Va

Posted 05 April 2020 - 08:05 PM

Couldn’t resist applying the takahashi label on my SB80 because it looks so fine on it.  They included it with the SB80 so why not put it on?  After all Vixen applies their name on chinese ota’s....this may disturb some Tak owners, but why not make it look just a bit “cooler” with it applied?   Blame it on being cooped up in my house too long...?  Cheers, Geo

Attached Thumbnails

  • 53EC08D0-4980-4A23-B702-DD333822B45B.jpeg

  • stevew, payner, belgrade and 12 others like this

#7 MalVeauX

MalVeauX

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,018
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2016
  • Loc: Florida

Posted 05 April 2020 - 08:16 PM

I would, but, since it cannot take 2" eyepieces, I won't.

 

See the similar thread on this scope; lots of info there. Make no mistake. It's not a Tak in same sense that "Tak" means around here.

 

Very best,



#8 russell23

russell23

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10,630
  • Joined: 31 May 2009
  • Loc: Upstate NY

Posted 06 April 2020 - 08:15 AM

It is a nice looking scope!



#9 Crow Haven

Crow Haven

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6,449
  • Joined: 09 Jan 2009
  • Loc: S.Oregon Coast USA

Posted 06 April 2020 - 08:51 AM

I also like the appearance of this telescope. smile.gif



#10 starmason

starmason

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 115
  • Joined: 08 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Winchester, Va

Posted 06 April 2020 - 11:00 AM

I would, but, since it cannot take 2" eyepieces, I won't.

 

See the similar thread on this scope; lots of info there. Make no mistake. It's not a Tak in same sense that "Tak" means around here.

 

Very best,

These vintage Taks didn't have 2 inch focusers but I would pay a lot to get my hands on one of these beauties.

Amazing quality in those wonderful vintage achromats and mounting systems.

The SB80 probably doesn't hold a candle to those hand configured doublets, but it still is a well bulit (and configured) grab and go "old school" refractor system to enjoy for double star, lunar and some planetary observing and sketching.

So lightweight that I can pick it up in one hand and move it around the yard when observing.  

Attached Thumbnails

  • taka_ts65&80elescopes_1970.jpg

  • payner, eros312, Bomber Bob and 3 others like this

#11 SpaceX

SpaceX

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 68
  • Joined: 24 Mar 2018
  • Loc: State College, PA

Posted 06 April 2020 - 12:27 PM

I have a hunch that the SB80 will be a collector's item as well many years down the road. It is a product of our time just like the TS65D and TS80 were a product of their time.

 

-Sebastian


Edited by SpaceX, 06 April 2020 - 12:31 PM.

  • starmason and payner like this

#12 MalVeauX

MalVeauX

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,018
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2016
  • Loc: Florida

Posted 06 April 2020 - 04:28 PM

I have a hunch that the SB80 will be a collector's item as well many years down the road. It is a product of our time just like the TS65D and TS80 were a product of their time.

 

-Sebastian

More like 40 years from now, the people going after "classic" scopes will be giggling at our affordable ED doublets and affordable ED Triplets that will then be 30~50 years old. If people still even look through telescopes visually that is, and are not simply seeing virtual reality streams on their smart phones in 8K or better resolution from anywhere on the planet from the Webb telescope, through a subscription service.

 

Very best,


  • starmason and SpaceX like this

#13 SandyHouTex

SandyHouTex

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,550
  • Joined: 02 Jun 2009
  • Loc: Houston, Texas, USA

Posted 06 April 2020 - 06:01 PM

The Starbase 80 is a great telescope.  I can pick the entire mount and scope up and carry it outside. Cool down is trivial.

 

Remember back when we were young and everyone said a great starter scope would be a 6 inch Newtonian or a 3 inch refractor (Unitron).  Well this is close to Unitron quality, if not a little bit better.  The objective is high quality, and the eyepieces are excellent as well.  Mechanically the mount is great, and the slow motion controls are better than a Unitron.  It’s very easy to use.

 

It’s just a fun scope to observe with.


  • starmason, doctordub, payner and 8 others like this

#14 starmason

starmason

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 115
  • Joined: 08 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Winchester, Va

Posted 06 April 2020 - 06:33 PM

It's working it's way to be another beautiful night for observing.  Lunar viewing should be enjoyable with a filter installed.  Starbase ready for action near my back deck door.  Sometimes it's the simple things in life that mean a lot.  Especially with that nasty Covid lurking out there.  Can't wait to join up with the local Astronomy Club here in Winchester when the "all clear" is granted by our politicians and CDC officials.  Looks like a nice dark sky area where they have an observing area.  

or now my back yard will do nicely, though.  

Clear skies and good health to all.   Geo.


  • payner, m9x18, eros312 and 1 other like this

#15 daquad

daquad

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,608
  • Joined: 14 May 2008

Posted 06 April 2020 - 06:59 PM

Couldn’t resist applying the takahashi label on my SB80 because it looks so fine on it.  They included it with the SB80 so why not put it on?  After all Vixen applies their name on chinese ota’s....this may disturb some Tak owners, but why not make it look just a bit “cooler” with it applied?   Blame it on being cooped up in my house too long...?  Cheers, Geo

I just purchased one from an Amarter at a very good price.  My copy included the 6X30 finder and the 25 mm K eyepiece.  It is a very nice G&G scope.  Smooth focuser and mount controls.   I notice you have substituted the original diagonal with a Baader T2?  

 

My first impressions optically on the moon shows a bit of violet at the edge of the lunar disc at 133X, but lunar shadows appear black.  Airy discs are textbook.   Venus shows a wealth of violet halo, which is to be expected as the CA is barely a tad better than the Sidgwick criterion.

 

Fit and finish is excellent.  The whole rig is easily carried with one hand and the mount vibrations settle down in about 1-2  seconds at high power (133X ~ 42/inch).  

 

I'll be giving it another go if the clear skies we enjoyed today hold, although with the nearly full moon rising, it will be double stars, mostly.  For darker skies I will use my Meade 4000 SWA for a 2 degree field at 33X.

 

Dom Q.


  • starmason, m9x18, eros312 and 4 others like this

#16 daquad

daquad

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,608
  • Joined: 14 May 2008

Posted 07 April 2020 - 10:31 AM

Was out for about an hour last night with the Starbase 80 before thin high altitude clouds began to fill the sky.  Seeing was poor (4-5 with rare instants of 6-7).  Polaris, Mizar, Gamma Leonis, Castor were all nicely rendered at 133X.  Diffraction dissc showed some flare, but nearly disappeared in moments of better seeing.  

 

Izar was the most challenging as it was lower in altitude.  Best view was at 120X with the Meade 4000 UWA 6.7 mm.  The greenish companion was just seen at times sitting next to the yellow-orange primary.  Most of the time it was not visible, which I attribute to the very poor seeing.

 

The nearly full moon at 170X (Meade 4000 UWA 4.7mm) showed a slight purple fringe at the limb, but the crater shadows at the western edge were black.  Could not detect the A craterlet in Plato.

 

I was very happy with the slow motion controls as they are buttery smooth and there is no need to reset them as is necessary with my Unitron Altazimuth mount, which sometimes runs out of screw purchase during a night's observing.  The Starbase mount uses a worm and wheel combination for both altitude and azimuth motions.  The single speed focuser is also very smooth; I had no trouble quickly finding best focus at any magnification.

 

After about an hour I noticed that the finder oblective began to develop a fog layer.  I checked the scope objective and it too looked a bit hazy and the scope tube was wet. I removed the eyepiece, capped the opening and brought the scope in, leaving the objective caps off both objectives and viewfinder eyepiece.  Next morning I replaced the caps after there was no trace of moisture on any glass surface and the tube was completely dry.  A nice little scope/mount combo for G&G.

 

Dom Q.


  • starmason, eros312, SandyHouTex and 3 others like this

#17 starmason

starmason

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 115
  • Joined: 08 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Winchester, Va

Posted 07 April 2020 - 05:51 PM

I just purchased one from an Amarter at a very good price.  My copy included the 6X30 finder and the 25 mm K eyepiece.  It is a very nice G&G scope.  Smooth focuser and mount controls.   I notice you have substituted the original diagonal with a Baader T2?  

 

My first impressions optically on the moon shows a bit of violet at the edge of the lunar disc at 133X, but lunar shadows appear black.  Airy discs are textbook.   Venus shows a wealth of violet halo, which is to be expected as the CA is barely a tad better than the Sidgwick criterion.

 

Fit and finish is excellent.  The whole rig is easily carried with one hand and the mount vibrations settle down in about 1-2  seconds at high power (133X ~ 42/inch).  

 

I'll be giving it another go if the clear skies we enjoyed today hold, although with the nearly full moon rising, it will be double stars, mostly.  For darker skies I will use my Meade 4000 SWA for a 2 degree field at 33X.

 

Dom Q.

Dom,

Yes I enjoy observing with my Baader Amici Prism diagonal  - especially when Lunar viewing as the books are viewed "upright" and it's easier to find everything rightsize up - at least for my brain.

For doubles and clusters the mirror diagonal is fine and the supplied up's are very good quality - a lot better then the drek that comes supplied with Meade and Celestron starter refractors and newts.  Those are nearly garbage quality and some aren't even good for public viewing of the moon.  I enjoy using the red dot finder on mine better than the 6x30 (that I retrofitted for use on it also).  SB80 is a complete telescope system only missing a lunar filter (and maybe a barlow).  Best of luck with your SB80!

 

Clear skies, 

George

NW Va


  • daquad likes this

#18 PowerM3

PowerM3

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 223
  • Joined: 31 Aug 2010

Posted 11 April 2020 - 12:27 AM

An 80mm Achro for $600? Yikes. I mean I would understand this before all the great cheap ED scopes came out but in 2020? And yes I know what TAK optics are capable of as I have owned an FS-60 and FS-128. I just don't see the value proposition of such a scope?



#19 mikeDnight

mikeDnight

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,125
  • Joined: 19 Apr 2015
  • Loc: Wild Wild West - North West England

Posted 11 April 2020 - 04:06 AM

I haven't yet had chance to observe through a SB80, and I too thought it was expensive. But if the optics are excellent it could be a good scope to use, plus it comes with a mount who's mechanics seem to be very much appreciated. If you were to buy a good quality achromat and a good quality mount, how much would the overall cost be? And theyed doubtless add a little on for the name.



#20 fmasa

fmasa

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 34
  • Joined: 19 May 2012
  • Loc: Japan

Posted 11 April 2020 - 07:45 AM

Hello everyone.
Almost the same thing as Starbase 80 is sold in a shop called Scope Town in Japan. To be precise, the focal lengths are different, but the same components are used for the Mount and tripod. This site is interesting because there are photos of manufacturing process.

https://scopetown.jp/products/atlus80/

 

This is made by a Japanese manufacturer called Daiichi Kōgaku, which is produced at a factory in Hanamaki, Iwate Prefecture.

http://www.daiichikogaku.ecnet.jp

 

Masato

Attached Thumbnails

  • D9FFB000-ADC5-4C0B-8C59-F7A3C52B8825.jpeg

Edited by fmasa, 11 April 2020 - 07:51 AM.

  • payner likes this

#21 SandyHouTex

SandyHouTex

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,550
  • Joined: 02 Jun 2009
  • Loc: Houston, Texas, USA

Posted 11 April 2020 - 09:15 AM

Hello everyone.
Almost the same thing as Starbase 80 is sold in a shop called Scope Town in Japan. To be precise, the focal lengths are different, but the same components are used for the Mount and tripod. This site is interesting because there are photos of manufacturing process.

https://scopetown.jp/products/atlus80/

 

This is made by a Japanese manufacturer called Daiichi Kōgaku, which is produced at a factory in Hanamaki, Iwate Prefecture.

http://www.daiichikogaku.ecnet.jp

 

Masato

I’m afraid I disagree.  The mount is totally different, the focal length, the dew shield, the tripod legs, the tripod spreader, etc., etc., all different.


Edited by SandyHouTex, 11 April 2020 - 09:17 AM.


#22 fmasa

fmasa

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 34
  • Joined: 19 May 2012
  • Loc: Japan

Posted 11 April 2020 - 09:22 AM

I’m afraid I disagree.  The mount is totally different, the focal length, the dew shield, the tripod legs, the tripod spreader, etc., etc., all different.

At least I think that the mount and the tripod are different only in paint. Manufacturers change the specifications depending on the delivery destination, so they are not all the same.



#23 starmason

starmason

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 115
  • Joined: 08 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Winchester, Va

Posted 11 April 2020 - 12:28 PM

An 80mm Achro for $600? Yikes. I mean I would understand this before all the great cheap ED scopes came out but in 2020? And yes I know what TAK optics are capable of as I have owned an FS-60 and FS-128. I just don't see the value proposition of such a scope?

Funny thing about purchasing small refractor telescopes in the 21st Century....

There are SO many to choose from, from ultra cheap mass produced "complete" systems from many distributors - which all seem to sell the same quality of "drek" that are not tested with any regularity prior to shipment from China to the USA.  They "look" good  from the outside but the inconsistent quality and cheap plastic focusers, finders, eyepieces and "diagonals" are poor to "okay" at best.  For a beginner this is a great time to be introduced to our hobby as the Chinese produced products are better than they were 20 years ago as their production techniques have improved.  QC and QA still has a long way to go in the imported "beginner" refractor market - and materials seem to be getting even cheaper, thinner and cheap plastics are rampant in mounts, eyepieces and focusers.  I still get sucked into buying a cheap piece of astro gear at times - such as a plastic red dot finder with base for $12 dollars shipped, only to have the red dot look like a blob and adjustments barely functional.  Pure junk that is barely useable.  

 

Japanese quality control, materials and pride still can (and do) produce high quality "retro" achromatic refractors such as this Starbase80.  Materials are all top quality - even the plastic parts on the tripod.  All of the moving parts are well made and fit well.  The OTA is manufactured with top quality parts and optics have been tested prior to shipment.  Eyepieces have metal housings and coatings are very good.  Diagonal likewise with a first quality mirror installed.  The alt az mounting system is smooth and slo mo controls work dependably.  Yes the price is "high" relative to mass produced "cheaply made" complete refractor systems from Celestron, Orion, Meade and others, but I believe that if a telescope is manufactured well then it will last a lifetime or longer.  Conversely if it is manufactured en mass with little or no quality control, it is nothing better than a "throwaway" telescope which have been flooding our markets for many years.  (ST80 anyone). 

 

I still enjoy my 1970-80 era legacy refractors (and mounts) such as my Zeiss Telementor 62mm achromat and a real cool American Dr. Rank designed and manufactured silver and black version of the Edmund Scientific Voyager 6001 60mm f/8 Refractor Telescope mounted on either it's "wanky" tripod system or a very stable and fun to use "1970 ish" Unitron Alt Az mount with wood tripod and slo mo controls.  Optics in both refractor systems are so good they can be considered "semi apo" or better.  Wonderful telescopes!

 

Does the SB80 offer similar high quality hand configured optics as those?  I would say almost  ....but few achromatic refractors with those focal lengths could perform as those gems do.

The SB80 offers High Quality materials and workmanship for a fair price if one wants a legacy-design complete 80mm refractor telescope system that can be "fun" to use AND last a lifetime  - and be a great gift for someone you care about who wants to view the moon comfortably and even double stars, some planets and daytime viewing also.  

 

Is it worth $600 dollars in this glutted market today.  I thought so - and I enjoy it each night I carry the complete unit out to my back yard.

 

Clear skies, 

George S.

NW Virginia


Edited by starmason, 11 April 2020 - 12:31 PM.

  • payner, daquad, russell23 and 4 others like this

#24 starmason

starmason

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 115
  • Joined: 08 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Winchester, Va

Posted 11 April 2020 - 12:47 PM

I’m afraid I disagree.  The mount is totally different, the focal length, the dew shield, the tripod legs, the tripod spreader, etc., etc., all different.

I agree that the OTA has a longer focal length but the mount and tripod look to be the same except for paint colors.  I saw a similar, achromatic refractor labeled a "Subaru" on that site that was painted a cool blue metallic and has the "Subaru" star configuration like my Outback included on the dewshield.  I will love to get my hands on one of those neat looking ahchros, only sold in Japan it seems.  Same specs as our "Tak looking" SB80 units....  

They love their achromats in Japan.  they are very well made scopes - unlike the chinese made vixen junk sold in the States.  I actually purchased the 70mm chinese vixen achromat OTA for public outreach and gave it away as soon as I replaced it.   Pure junk optics and focuser - even the moon looked bad in that poorly configured "scope".



#25 SpaceX

SpaceX

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 68
  • Joined: 24 Mar 2018
  • Loc: State College, PA

Posted 11 April 2020 - 12:48 PM

The SB80 offers High Quality materials and workmanship for a fair price if one wants a legacy-design complete 80mm refractor telescope system that can be "fun" to use AND last a lifetime  - and be a great gift for someone you care about who wants to view the moon comfortably and even double stars, some planets and daytime viewing also.  

 

Is it worth $600 dollars in this glutted market today.  I thought so - and I enjoy it each night I carry the complete unit out to my back yard.

 

Clear skies, 

George S.

NW Virginia

I absolutely agree.

 

Lets look at the closest Takahashi telescope in terms of price and similarity: FS-60CB 860$ + EXTENDER-C2X 142$ + Porta 2 Mount 299$ + Abbe 6mm 153$ + Abbe 18mm 153$ + 1.25" Diagonal 147$ + FS-60 Tube Holder 143$ = 1897$

 

Or a 610$ STARBASE 80 complete set of excellent quality and without frustration in setting it up (and it comes with a Tak sticker!). I think we have a winner.

 

-Sebastian


  • daquad, russell23 and paul m schofield like this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: beginner, equipment, observing



Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics