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Issues with my new Takahashi FOA60Q

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#1 senolite

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 02:07 PM

Hi everyone,

 

Today after having to wait too long, the delivery of my new Takahashi FOA60Q finally arrived.

The unboxing experience was amazing and after I set everything up, I did some daylight testing expecting razor sharp and crisp images.

However what I saw was far from that. It seemed like there was some sort of white / cream color haze or veil.

I tried to see if it was the diagonal, oculair so tried different things, even straight through but it stayed there.

 

The weird thing is that if I move my eye to the lower right corner, it's worse and vice versa, up left, it becomes less as is seen in the image below as well.

I tried the same setup with my TSA-120 and nothing but crisp razor sharp images there.

 

I have added the images of what it looks like between the FOA's finder scope, the FOA60Q and the TSA-120.

If anyone knows what's going on, that would be very helpful. I already contacted the store and they are reaching out to Takahashi but I'm loosing confidence here.

 

The images were taken at the same time, same position and same target.

 

FOA Finder.jpg

FOA Finder scope

 

FOA60Q.jpg

FOA60Q

 

TSA-120.jpg

TSA-120

 

Thanks,

Vincent


Edited by senolite, 14 May 2020 - 02:08 PM.


#2 db2005

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 02:16 PM

Did you try removing the extender, so the scope is effectively the FC-76DCU (without the "Q")?

 

If the images are a true representation of what you see, the loss of contrast in the entire image is reminiscent of what I would expect to see if optics had fogged up with dew or some residue of sorts.

 

Is it possible that maybe moist air has been trapped inside the tube between the main objective and the extender?

 

Edit: And, by the way: Welcome to the forum!


Edited by db2005, 14 May 2020 - 02:19 PM.


#3 senolite

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 02:34 PM

Thank you for the welcome smile.gif

 

I will see if I can remove the extender tomorrow to see if that fixes anything but wouldn't moist air be just a white color instead of a cream color?

As the scope is brand new from the box, it has not been outside yet (the images were taken through the open window) and do match what can be seen quite well.

 

Also, I didn't want to fiddle around with it too much as I may have to return it to the store I bought it from.

 

Thanks for thinking with me though, I will let you know my findings.

 

Vincent



#4 KTAZ

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 02:50 PM

That should go back immediately. Why bother fidgeting with a brand new, and not cheap, scope?


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#5 MarkGregory

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 03:07 PM

Are you sure this was new and not a resale?



#6 senolite

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 03:19 PM

It was sold as new, the store is the official Takahashi dealer in Belgium and it was packed meticulously and precise. I would not be able to pack it that way if it wasn’t new.

 

But your question did trigger me to verify with the dealer, awaiting answer.

And verified, sample was indeed brand new as I expected.

 

Thanks


Edited by senolite, 14 May 2020 - 04:16 PM.


#7 MarkGregory

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 05:25 PM

It was sold as new, the store is the official Takahashi dealer in Belgium and it was packed meticulously and precise. I would not be able to pack it that way if it wasn’t new.

 

But your question did trigger me to verify with the dealer, awaiting answer.

And verified, sample was indeed brand new as I expected.

 

Thanks

Didn’t mean to be an alarmist. It’s just that this problem really surprised me, given Takahashi’s  stellar reputation. Is it possible to reach out directly to Takahashi? Maybe this problem is something very simple to fix. You never know. 



#8 Kunama

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 05:38 PM

I would suggest that you test it on a star tonight at high power. Unless the optics have somehow been contaminated with moisture etc, my guess is that you will find it will show coma due to miscollimation.

 

I had to collimate my first FOA60 as it showed marked coma at 106x.  (The collimation was easily done while tracking Sirius, the FOA cell has push-pull screws at the back of the counter-cell)

 

Return to the store you bought it from.. (OV Optics?)

 

P.S.  Of my 14 Takahashi refractor scopes the only one that I have had to collimate was the first FOA60.  My newest Tak is also a FOA, the 60Q and it shows a perfect star test at 180x.  


Edited by Kunama, 14 May 2020 - 05:50 PM.

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#9 db2005

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Posted 15 May 2020 - 12:07 AM

Thank you for the welcome smile.gif

 

I will see if I can remove the extender tomorrow to see if that fixes anything but wouldn't moist air be just a white color instead of a cream color?

As the scope is brand new from the box, it has not been outside yet (the images were taken through the open window) and do match what can be seen quite well.

 

Also, I didn't want to fiddle around with it too much as I may have to return it to the store I bought it from.

 

Thanks for thinking with me though, I will let you know my findings.

 

Vincent

Oh, my mistake, I mistook your scope for the FC-76Q (which I have), not the FOA60Q. I don't know how this scope is put together and of the extender fits. And you are right, a loss of contrast due to fogging would appear grey-ish, not cream color. Definitely contact the dealer. A brand new scope like this should be perfect on arrival; the FOA60Q is probably the most expensive 60 mm of aperture on the market today.


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#10 senolite

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Posted 15 May 2020 - 01:09 AM

I would suggest that you test it on a star tonight at high power. Unless the optics have somehow been contaminated with moisture etc, my guess is that you will find it will show coma due to miscollimation.

 

I had to collimate my first FOA60 as it showed marked coma at 106x.  (The collimation was easily done while tracking Sirius, the FOA cell has push-pull screws at the back of the counter-cell)

 

Return to the store you bought it from.. (OV Optics?)

 

P.S.  Of my 14 Takahashi refractor scopes the only one that I have had to collimate was the first FOA60.  My newest Tak is also a FOA, the 60Q and it shows a perfect star test at 180x.  

Thanks for thinking with me, I actually read it somewhere that you collimated yours, I believe in the Takitis thread lol.gif

 

Personally, I’m not comfortable with that procedure with such an expensive scope and the store has already contacted Takahashi and guaranteed I can return it for a new one that will be tested up front should it be necessary so no need to risk performing scope surgery myself grin.gif

 

Last night unfortunately I didn’t have time to test it but will post my findings once I have.


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#11 senolite

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Posted 20 May 2020 - 08:28 AM

I just wanted to finish this thread and thank everyone for reading and responding.

The FOA60Q was eventually sent back to the store and they offered a full refund including shipping costs for the return which is nice.

They were very helpful and patient but I lost confidence in the scope itself as it also had some sort of very tiny paint chip or scratch on the first baffle.

 

Although the build quality of the scope was excellent, I expected perfection from a premium manufacturer like this as I understood you pay for consistency in quality vs more random batches in optics with a more general brand but I did not experience that with this one. Oh well....



#12 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 20 May 2020 - 10:18 PM

Somebody should spend a day in retail sales to see the magnitude of conclusions enthusiasts come to so quickly without additional information. We’ve even gotten countless callers saying their scope is missing something on the phone even while they’re still unpacking them. The OP has provided no details to explain how the image was even taken in the first place. Meanwhile this all appears to have been conducted in daylight only. One scope appears to be fine while the other does not. This doesn’t necessarily mean one is defective. Enthusiasts have become so impatient and race to conclusions without getting more information. You’ve obviously got vignetting at one side so something already appears to be out of place. Neither of those images are good and they’re both out of focus. 


Edited by Daniel Mounsey, 20 May 2020 - 10:20 PM.

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#13 Simoes Pedro

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 04:06 AM

In your photo, it looks like there is something out of focus between the lens and the target. Since the contrast is very low and you are observing indoors, it seems the OTA is obstructed by the window of something inside the house.


Edited by Simoes Pedro, 21 May 2020 - 04:09 AM.


#14 db2005

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 05:54 AM

Somebody should spend a day in retail sales to see the magnitude of conclusions enthusiasts come to so quickly without additional information. We’ve even gotten countless callers saying their scope is missing something on the phone even while they’re still unpacking them. The OP has provided no details to explain how the image was even taken in the first place. Meanwhile this all appears to have been conducted in daylight only. One scope appears to be fine while the other does not. This doesn’t necessarily mean one is defective. Enthusiasts have become so impatient and race to conclusions without getting more information. You’ve obviously got vignetting at one side so something already appears to be out of place. Neither of those images are good and they’re both out of focus. 

+1. Very good points indeed! However, some degree of apprehension is understandable when taking delivery of expensive equipment and something seems to be wrong. Online fora like CN give owners access to almost immediate advice and information from more people, some of which have very considerable experience.

 

Another problem that I have personally faced through the years is that many vendors (at least where I live) barely know even the most basic things about the equipment they are selling, and aren't able to offer qualified, reliable advice on technical questions, let alone know how to diagnose problems when they do occur. So it's quite natural to seek advice on online fora. For me, this is a sober reminder that highly qualified vendors should never be taken for granted - and this is another reason for supporting them by buying equipment from them rather than save a few cents picking the cheapest deal online.



#15 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 07:14 AM

I've seen imagers who have spent over $200,000 in imaging gear over the course of several years who have still never taken astrophotos. Does one conclude that's the equipments fault? If enthusiasts are concerned that they have spent such high sums of money on equipment which they expect to work, that is all the more reason why more details with regard to setup and location should be taken more seriously. The amount of sophisticated products available these days has become so staggering, so quickly, that the rate of user error can't be ignored.

 

The OP appears to have only 5 posts. How would someone know the users level of knowledge and experience with just these two images, both with red flags. If I evaluate a refractor and the optics are in question, there's only a few specific individuals I consult with. That's because I know the level of experience and knowledge those individuals have can be taken seriously before conclusions would be drawn. Enthusiasts can post anything they like quite easily. For that reason, one would want to know a bit more information first. CN has become the largest, most informative website for astro enthusiasts, and so it deserves to be protected and certainly we all want to encourage newcomers to chime in and share their questions. None of us want to make them feel unwelcome, however, they should at least provide more details so others can better assist.  

 

Huge online companies have made returning items so easy, that this is considered a normal and okay thing to do, in fact people even buy items with the intention of sending them back (not saying that's the case here). But, what are the consequences in the long term? What do others think happens to all that stuff? How do others expect companies to absorb all that cost? Ask yourselves those questions. Certainly there are things with legitimate issues, but you wouldn't believe the amount of stuff that gets returned without problems and the time involved with having to look them over. I've had many situations where after listening to some enthusiasts talk, I actually suggest that they not buy anything yet. 


Edited by Daniel Mounsey, 21 May 2020 - 07:57 AM.

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#16 senolite

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 09:32 AM

In your photo, it looks like there is something out of focus between the lens and the target. Since the contrast is very low and you are observing indoors, it seems the OTA is obstructed by the window of something inside the house.

That is indeed what I tried to capture, the obstruction is visible as well when I took it outside and also under the stars you could see it move around and semi obstructing the view in the eyepiece.

 

As the vendor rightly states, I am an enthousiast level observer, but that shouldn’t mean I can’t share my findings as objectively as possible within my capabilities and ask for help. Being an enthousiast also doesn’t exclude the possibility something is indeed wrong with the scope in question.

 

The struggle of being a retailer in astronomical equipment may be challenging with the current state of consumerism but also look in the mirror, what can you do as professionals to help ‘enthousiasts’ guarantee that what they see as an issue, is in fact not and is normal behavior. It could be as simple as listing some common scenario’s and explaining what and why it’s happening with the optics and whether or not it’s actually an issue. Expecting every customer to be an expert in optics is not realistic.

 

On the one hand you want to have more people enter the hobby (good for retail) on the other hand, the downside of all this is more service, questions and possibly returns of equipment due to the broader audience. I don’t think customers / consumers will change their behavior so it means the experience offered by vendors will need to be balanced around this reality and complaining about customers is not the way to go in my opinion. It feels unwelcoming and unprofessional.


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#17 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 03:49 PM

You definitely raised valid points. Regardless, I wish you the best on your future astronomical adventures. smile.gif



#18 Max Lattanzi

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 05:47 AM

I just wanted to finish this thread and thank everyone for reading and responding.

The FOA60Q was eventually sent back to the store and they offered a full refund including shipping costs for the return which is nice.

They were very helpful and patient but I lost confidence in the scope itself as it also had some sort of very tiny paint chip or scratch on the first baffle.

 

Although the build quality of the scope was excellent, I expected perfection from a premium manufacturer like this as I understood you pay for consistency in quality vs more random batches in optics with a more general brand but I did not experience that with this one. Oh well....

Vincent,

But, after store inspection, what was the technical issue with the instrument in the end?

Many thanks,

-- Max



#19 senolite

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 06:45 AM

I don’t know unfortunately they are sending it back to Takahashi themselves without testing it as they are limited in their time. I did ask for them to include me if they do get any feedback as I want to learn from it as well and if I do get feedback, I will share it here in the thread.

 

I would have been open for more extensive testing myself with help and expertise from others but in Europe, you need to return it within 2 weeks or not at all and with the current weather it meant I needed to decide to take it back unfortunately.



#20 gjanke

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 06:59 AM

Somebody should spend a day in retail sales to see the magnitude of conclusions enthusiasts come to so quickly without additional information. We’ve even gotten countless callers saying their scope is missing something on the phone even while they’re still unpacking them. The OP has provided no details to explain how the image was even taken in the first place. Meanwhile this all appears to have been conducted in daylight only. One scope appears to be fine while the other does not. This doesn’t necessarily mean one is defective. Enthusiasts have become so impatient and race to conclusions without getting more information. You’ve obviously got vignetting at one side so something already appears to be out of place. Neither of those images are good and they’re both out of focus. 

Dan,

 

You're so right. Its really no different that someone writing a review for a telescope they just unboxed. There are some many variables at play when you're observing its hard to believe but sometimes its not just as simple as point and observe.

 

I'm sure, as a vendor, when dealing with someone that has purchased a new product you don't mind providing guidance if there are questions of the integrity of the individual product. Stuff does happen in transit or for heaven sakes one scope did make it out into the wild not performing as advertised.  However the first communication should be to the vendor and not to a message board. The vendors have years of experience in troubleshooting various issues and would most certainly be able to determine far more quickly a true issue of technical defect or whether it's an training the user issue.

 

I have found the vendors are eager to assist these concerns quickly and reliably. 


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#21 Max Lattanzi

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 09:02 AM

I don’t know unfortunately they are sending it back to Takahashi themselves without testing it as they are limited in their time. I did ask for them to include me if they do get any feedback as I want to learn from it as well and if I do get feedback, I will share it here in the thread.

 

I would have been open for more extensive testing myself with help and expertise from others but in Europe, you need to return it within 2 weeks or not at all and with the current weather it meant I needed to decide to take it back unfortunately.

Yes, please do. It would be interesting to know.

But where are you located in Europe...?!  I understand not messing up with, say, a Mewlon 300, but a 60mm... Anyhow.

Thanks
--Max



#22 senolite

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 09:56 AM

I’m located in The Netherlands and this was a present to myself to be able to have some quick casual looks for 20 to 30 minutes and enjoy the night sky now and then.

As my time at night is limited (young kids waking up at insane times in the morning) I wanted something light but very good, no fuss, just point and look and if I could use it for daytime observation (showing birds etc to my daughter) that would have been a nice extra but not it’s main purpose of course.

Although its price is high, I thought this would be the best bet towards my goals.

And just to clarify, my first contact was with vendor and he was also aware of my attempt to get help from this incredible community so there was complete transparency there as well.



#23 Max Lattanzi

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 11:52 AM

I see. Well, Unterlinden is nearby and should look after the issue in a heartbeat -- please keep us all posted.

As per the FOA-60Q, that would qualify as the perfect instrument for your use. At present I cannot actually think of another top producer having in its catalogue somehting similar.

 

When you have your answer, you may wish to take a long breath and have a second thought.  I understand that was like running out of a car dealer with a brand new shiny BMW and find your tire broken after 100mts or, if you prefer, with your brand new Mercedes and have a faulty spark plug... Things like this should not happen but, alas, we are all humans, and they do. If this can make you feel better, I had to put my hands more than once into instruments (of top producers, of course) having a zero behind the FOA price tag... Again, it is annoying but, it was just your number -- had you picked up a lottery ticket you would have called it a lucky draw. Instead, it was tough luck. But nothing happened in the end.

In any case, it's your choice. Just, if I may, make it with a serene spirit, not out of anger and disappointment.

-- Max
(...still from Europe but, economically speaking, on the other side of the ESM...wink.gif  )


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#24 rkelley8493

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 01:03 PM

Just a thought.. I wonder if you are using too much magnification on the 60mm. The images look like they are about the same size/area, but 250x in a 60mm scope is going to look much less detailed than 250x in a 120mm scope. Same can be said for half the magnification, 125x. The 120mm still has 4x [+/-] the light gathering capability of a 60mm. 

 

I could be off base here, just spit-balling.. 


Edited by rkelley8493, 22 May 2020 - 01:07 PM.


#25 senolite

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 01:37 PM

You are certainly correct. I used a TV Nagler 17mm in both scopes. They are both 900 mm FL so the same magnification at 53 times which is what I want to be usable in daytime observation. The detailing, color and contrast were brilliant but there was this light creamy haze that appeared if you looked at a 90 degree angle inside the eye piece. It disappeared if you used oblique vision, diagonally looking from top left to bottom right, it would be perfect in every way. That haze was the only thing wrong with it, I was thoroughly impressed by it in every other way and in my light polluted country was even able to spot M57 be it a small puff of smoke but still.

 

If my expectations of 50 to 60 times magnification during daytime means the FOAQ shows a haze than it’s obviously not for me but if anyone with a FOAQ could verify my findings, that would be helpful for future reference and decision making process.

 

Again thanks for thinking with me waytogo.gif


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