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TAK Doublet or Stellarvue Triplet?

refractor astrophotography
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#1 Caedo

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 12:01 AM

Currently in the market for a new scope with a budget of $3000. I'm primarily a visual guy but I'd also like to purchase a refractor with solid potential for AP, should this hobby I've been in for 30+ years take me down that road - I'm 43, for the record. I've been using a 1990's Meade LX200 (currently my only scope) for the past two years but I'm looking for something a little more wide-field with a really crisp image, and I believe I've narrowed my options down to the TAK FC-100DZ or the Stellarvue SVX102T. I recently purchased the SW EQ6-R and managed to defork and mount the Meade on it for better Go To capability and tracking, so the mount is already taken care of. TAK's clearly have reputation and an almost cult-like following, but if you were pressed to choose between a TAK doublet or a Stellarvue triplet, which one would you choose? Or would you go for something else altogether?


Edited by Caedo, 11 September 2020 - 12:52 AM.


#2 nicknacknock

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 12:10 AM

Being primarily a visual guy, who wants to dabble into AP, if I were in your shoes would go for the Takahashi, due to its longer focal length. Less field curvature (to which I am now very sensitive), easier on eyepieces and probably holds better resale value. There is a great 0.66x reducer for the Takahashi as well.

 

I had 3 Taks so far and 3 Stellarvues. Happy with all of them but the stable now holds a Takahashi FS-102 NSV because of longer focal length and native binoviewing capabilities, plus I don't do imaging - only EAA, and for that I have other scopes.

 

So, not disparaging Stellarvue scopes at all - big fan actually - but the "I'm primarily a visual guy and I'd like to purchase a refractor with solid potential for AP, should this hobby I've been in for 30+ years take me down that road" for me means the Takahashi.

 

Having said the above, the Stellarvue will overall cost you less once you start accessorizing the scopes. So, it's not just $3,000, it's $3,000 and who knows what else you will need, because Takahashi accessories WILL skin you alive.

 

Both are solid scopes, both will keep you happy. You have some serious thinking to do!


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#3 db2005

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 12:17 AM

Welcome to the forum!

 

Both could be considered dream scopes for many CN'ers, and I doubt you will go wrong with either choice. That being said, I would be inclined to get the FC-100 DZ because it's a doublet which will tend to acclimatize faster, making it better suited for grab-and-go astronomy. But, since you express interest in AP, the Stellarvue triplet would be a natural choice.

 

In the same budget range you might also consider the Vixen AX 103S which is a triplet with an additional field flattener and is a scope that receives high praise from people who actually tried the scope.


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#4 nicknacknock

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 12:20 AM

Just to add: A doublet is perfectly fine for AP. The color correction on the DZ is simply sublime and for AP, paired with the right Takahashi reducer, it will produce pure apochromatic images.

 

But the cost of that reducer / flattener is dizzying! Hence why I posted that one needs to consider the overall cost of scope plus accessories :)


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#5 MJB

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 12:31 AM

Welcome to CN ... lots of good info here.

 

I have a Tak FC-100DZ, and I'm extremely happy with it. Don't know anything about the Stellarvue you've mentioned, but I'm sure that's a fine scope as well. This seems like one of those pleasant choices where there isn't a wrong answer.

 

Like you, I'm primarily visual, but dabble a bit in AP - mostly planetary. I've had a great deal of fun getting into binoviewing, and the FC-100DZ is a great platform for that.

 

Also like you, the 8" SCT has been my primary instrument until I got the DZ. I find the 4" refractor a good companion to the SCT. It's a sweet spot for refractor aperture.

 

I just got back in from viewing Mars for a few minutes. It was clear of a cloud deck for a while. It's now raining a bit. Seeing wasn't good, but I was 15 minutes from initial setup to takedown and stowed. Grab and go has made a good change in my observing habits . To answer your last sentence, there are plenty of other directions to go, but if you don't have a smaller refractor I would definitely go for that. Depends on your skies too - if I ever live in a darker site, I might scratch the bigger Dob itch. 

 

The Tak is pretty lightweight for a 4" F8 refractor, and I think that's a great feature aside from the optics. Also, it reaches thermal equilibrium quickly and is just plain easy to use. You'll find quite a few observation reports with the FC-100D series here on CN. You said you are looking for a "really crisp image" and I can assure you that the DZ will deliver in that regard.

 

I'm confident the Tak will take me as far down the AP road as I might care to get in the future, but I find it a very rewarding visual instrument. It seems to be a great time to be in the market for a nice refractor - there are a lot to choose from. Good luck and have fun finding your next scope.


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#6 nicknacknock

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 12:34 AM

Hmmm, time to expand the discussion to include mounts!

 

What's your plan for mounting the scope?



#7 Caedo

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 01:11 AM

Hmmm, time to expand the discussion to include mounts!

 

What's your plan for mounting the scope?

I recently purchased an EQ6-R from Sky-Watcher and so far I’ve gotten along with it and the deforked 8” MEADE SCT using Losmandy’s dovetail solution for that scope. It has been great to have a solid mount that tracks as well as it does but I also quickly realized you need to stay pretty limber when using equatorial mounts for visual.



#8 nicknacknock

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 01:14 AM

Agreed, re being limber - you may want to consider a nice alt-az mount for the scope for quicker observing sessions / when you don't feel like electronics / when you want to go lighter.

 

The Stellarvue M2C is a GREAT mount and easily carries both scopes. I have one and have used it for binoviewing with my FS-102 at 240x - very steady!


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#9 Caedo

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 01:46 AM

I sincerely appreciate everyone’s quick and extremely thoughtful feedback here. Based on your input, I’m leaning towards the TAK, and I suppose I could always sell a kidney for that reducer - yikes! shocked.gif  At the end of the day, I feel pretty fortunate to even have the option of choosing between these scopes. Thanks again!



#10 xonefs

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 01:51 AM

I just ordered a Stellarvue SVX-102T today- for imaging it seems like a great choice- 700mm F7 with the flattener and 500mm f5 with the .72x reducer. I got both for a lot less than just the tak reducer costs. I don't care about visual though. The SVX-102Ts are in stock now fyi which is why I jumped on it, and it sounded like they had some more ready right now. Whats the wait on the Tak?


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#11 nicknacknock

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 01:52 AM

Delivery for the DZ according to Takahashi America is this month. 



#12 xonefs

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 01:54 AM

On the page it says September 2019. So either typo and they got the year wrong or that page hasn't been updated in a while. 


Edited by xonefs, 11 September 2020 - 01:55 AM.


#13 nicknacknock

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 01:57 AM

Oops! Saw the September bit and glossed over the year!

 

It's in stock at various places in Europe, but Takahashi America and High Point Scientific are on back-order status...



#14 mikeDnight

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 03:55 AM

Tak DZ is totally free of any visible CA. Visually it is a perfect 4" refractor, but performs like the legendary TSA as an imaging instrument, yet is much lighter and has rapid cool down. It's star images are perfection even at 500X, so if you like double stars, the DZ is awesome. 


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#15 bobhen

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 07:22 AM

You really need to decide if imaging will be a “primary pursuit” before purchasing.

 

With your “primary interest” being visual astronomy then consider the Tak FC 100DZ. If you do “dabble in imaging” just get the reducer and have at it.

 

If your primary interest were imaging with occasional visual use, than a high quality triplet or Petzval from Tak, TV, APM, CFF or Stellarvue would be a consideration.

 

You don’t need to purchase Tak accessories. You can get aftermarket rings, mounting bars, finder shoe adapters, finders, diagonals, etc. These will probably save you some money.

 

Waiting for a month or so for high quality astronomy equipment is not unusual or even very long.

 

Bob


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#16 DeanD

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 02:09 AM

I think either scope would be fantastic, and as a happy owner of a TSA102 I am a Tak fan. However, if I lived in the US where not only are Taks more expensive relatively than here in Oz, but where Stellarvue put a lot of local work into their scopes, I would lean much more to the Stellarvue. I am a big fan of supporting local businesses: especially when their product is comparable to or even better than imports.

 

Plus of course you have the added bonus of not only being able to deal direct with the manufacturer, but being able to talk with them.

 

- Dean


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#17 HydrogenAlpha

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 10:44 AM

The tak at f/8 is also pretty slow, so you shouldn't have any issues with CA even for imaging. Neither is it a speed demon with the reducer placed on, so you should be good. 


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#18 Mikew9788

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 11:26 AM

If it were me I'd get the tak without hesitation.
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#19 SeattleScott

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 01:18 PM

As you are figuring out the Tak is probably better for visual and capable of imaging should you expand your interests. The SV is more overbuilt for imaging but would of course also work great for visual, understanding the impact of greater weight and acclimation time.

Scott
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#20 Caedo

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 01:48 PM

For those of you imaging with the Tak, do you find not having a dual-speed focuser as an obstacle, or no big deal?



#21 JeremySh

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 03:26 PM

For those of you imaging with the Tak, do you find not having a dual-speed focuser as an obstacle, or no big deal?

No big deal


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#22 jtpowers

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 03:28 PM

TAK. 100% 


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#23 tboss70

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 04:39 PM

DZ owner here and I echo the Tak recommendations. They are very nice.

With the flattener, pictures look good here: https://starbase.hat...19/12/05/124131


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#24 Mr. Mike

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 05:30 PM

Being primarily a visual guy, who wants to dabble into AP, if I were in your shoes would go for the Takahashi, due to its longer focal length. Less field curvature (to which I am now very sensitive), easier on eyepieces and probably holds better resale value. There is a great 0.66x reducer for the Takahashi as well.

 

I had 3 Taks so far and 3 Stellarvues. Happy with all of them but the stable now holds a Takahashi FS-102 NSV because of longer focal length and native binoviewing capabilities, plus I don't do imaging - only EAA, and for that I have other scopes.

 

So, not disparaging Stellarvue scopes at all - big fan actually - but the "I'm primarily a visual guy and I'd like to purchase a refractor with solid potential for AP, should this hobby I've been in for 30+ years take me down that road" for me means the Takahashi.

 

Having said the above, the Stellarvue will overall cost you less once you start accessorizing the scopes. So, it's not just $3,000, it's $3,000 and who knows what else you will need, because Takahashi accessories WILL skin you alive.

 

Both are solid scopes, both will keep you happy. You have some serious thinking to do!

Great post - The extra costs that the TAK will require are very real and have to be taken into account.  A triplet is a triplet and they are color corrected quite perfectly in almost every case.  Even my "lowly" ES triplet is very well corrected(I got a good one) so the extra glass cannot be under-valued.  But, a TAK is a TAK. No question the resale is better with the TAK but to me thats only a small variable of the equation so to speak. 

 

Either choice will provide enjoyment so lets not act like whatever you do will end up "wrong" or bad.  Not happening.  But visual only or mostly?  Its hard to NOT want a TAK.  I want one eventually too. smile.gif


Edited by Mr. Mike, 12 September 2020 - 05:30 PM.

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#25 213Cobra

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 03:30 AM

I'm a multi-scope Takahashi owner going back 32 years and counting, and a an observer favoring visual biases. Before the FC-100DZ, I would have suggested to go for the current production Stellarvue triplet or anything comparable. I find generally the AP advantages of well-made triplets translate into usable advantages in contrast and intensity of viewable detail, over equally well-made, simpler doublets, visually. I don't care about a little extra time to acclimatize to outdoor/indoor temperature deltas when a triplet is in question. You might.

 

But the FC-100DZ renders the distinctions for choice murkier. The spot diagrams tell a compelling tale verified in the viewing through the FC-100DZ. I'd lean Stellarvue triplet objectively; Takahashi FC-100DZ on brand, emotion and Takahashi's subtle advantage on color nuance and, to the extent it matters, quicker interval to thermal equalization. Tak probably has the advantage in resale value retention if that matters. Neither telescope will disappoint you; either of them can amaze.

 

Phil


Edited by 213Cobra, 13 September 2020 - 03:31 AM.

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