Hi Phil, thank you most kindly for that detailed write-up, I very much appreciate it.
I'm sort of torn about the Baby-Q now, having read everything here and that massive review by Chris Thomasel over on Astromart. I'm worried that the benefits which the FSQ-85 brings to the table are lost on me. For example, everyone out there praises it for it's flat, wide-field views, which makes sense, as it was designed for that. But I never do lower power, wide-field observing, because I live in a light polluted area where you can't see any DSOs or clusters. Unless I'm at a dark sky sight, all I ever do is high mag lunar and planetary viewing, and while I appreciate everything Phil says about its performance at high mag with the Extender, it seems clear the LOMOs still have the slight edge there, but I suppose that's because they're LOMOs, not necessarily because they're higher F ratios. In another thread, I've seen Eric Bakker (I think that's his name, apologies if that's wrong), who has/had the FSQ-85, state that it's high mag lunar/planetary performance was not great, definitely worse than the Tak FC100s and even the FC76, although am not sure how much worse/better compared to the TV-85.
I recently bought a TV-85 and absolutely loved it, for my needs and my light polluted skies, it did everything I needed, and I was happy with it and wasn't planning on getting a new scope at all. However, it was brand new, and had deep scratches in the paint out of the box, so I had to refund it as a defect, and there are currently no more white TV-85s in stock anywhere in the USA, and I have been told that the new ones which will be made once TeleVue re-opens after covid will not be good quality ones, plus I have already been burned by their quality control once already.
So my gold standard for comparing the FSQ-85 is the TV-85.
The one possible advantage I see with the FSQ-85 is that I could finally take advantage of its flat field, wide viewing ability if I ever manage to find a PVS-7 NV tube which meets my high criteria, but I have been trying to find one for 4 months now, and I still can't find anything. So until I can find one, I would use the FSQ-85 solely for high mag lunar and planetary viewing, and I'm not sure how it compares to the TV-85 in that department. For this kind of viewing, field flatness doesn't matter at all (to me). I know exactly the quality views the TV-85 gave me at 190X in my LP skies, and they were very impressive, and am just not sure if the FSQ-85 would hit the same high watermark. For me, at the moment, I don't care about field flatness or wide field, but I know I would if I ever got the NV kit I so badly want. What I do care about in the immediate term is the high mag lunar/planetary views and how the FSQ-85 compares against the TV-85 in this department. If anyone has any direct experience with both, I would greatly appreciate some feedback.
Gavster, quick question, you mentioned in that thread that the FSQ-85 has been giving you more joy than any of your other travel refractors, in fact, more than any of your other telescopes save the C11. But I'm curious, is that because you mostly use it with NV for wide-field viewing? Which, to be fair, is amazing, I have seen your photos, and if I had NV too, I would be using the FSQ-85 all day, everyday for flat, wide-field NV viewing too. But if you remove the NV from the equation, would it still be giving you more joy than all the other refractors? And how would you rate its high mag planetary/lunar performance against the TV-85 specifically?
Basically, I need the FSQ-85 to be at least as good as the TV-85 for high mag lunar/planetary performance, as that is all I can do right now. All this other talk of wide-field or flatness doesn't matter at all to me, at least not right now. In the future, once I can maybe finally find the NV tube I need, then yes, I think at that point I could finally start harnessing all of the benefits of the FSQ-85. Plus, as a forever scope, I need it to be versatile, even with NV, I would still really enjoy the occasional high mag lunar and planetary views. I can appreciate that the FSQ-85 isn't as good as a FC100 or even an FC76 for high mag lunar, but if it's at least as good as the TV-85, then I'll pull the trigger immediately.
Edited by trias702, 20 May 2020 - 10:40 AM.