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Poor man Takahashi telescope?

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#26 YAOG

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 11:37 AM

if you are buying telescopes you are not poor lol.gif

I have to disagree completely. In my experience if you are buying the right telescopes you are always going to be broke. 


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#27 25585

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 11:53 AM

if you are buying telescopes you are not poor lol.gif

But will be poorer afterwards. 


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#28 YAOG

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 12:54 PM

I have a Vixen 4" F9 Flourite, I think this is more accurately considered a "poor man's" Takahashi.

I agree, the only real competition to the Takahashi Fluorite doublets were produced by Vixen with similar Fluorite lenses sourced from Canon Optron just like Takahashi. These Fluorite doublet lenses were labeled as Vixen, Celestron and Orion there may be others but these are the telescopes I've seen and in a few cases had the opportunity to observe with. 

 

I based this list on objective size and where necessary focal length as in the case of the Vixen FL90. 

 
Vixen 102mm f/8.8 @ 900mm F/L - Takahashi FC-100DL f/9 @ 900mm F/L * They are very close in my experience but the Takahashi DL has an edge 

Vixen   90mm f/9 @ 810mm F/L - Takahashi FS-102 f/8 @ 820mm F/L - no observation with Vixen FL90mm  

Vixen   80mm f/8 @ 640mm F/L - Takahashi FS-78 f/8.1 @ 630mm F/L * The FS-78 is an easy match for the Vixen FL80mm, I call it a dead heat  

Vixen   70mm f/8 @ 560mm F/L - Takahashi FC-76 f/7.9 @ 600mm F/L - no observation with Vixen FL70mm

Vixen   55mm f/5.5 @ 303mm F/L - Takahashi FS-60CB f/5.9 @ 355mm F/L * Hard to beat physics, 5mm of aperture and longer f/ratio give the FC-60CB a clear edge visually 

If there are any real poor man's Takahashi scopes out there these would be them. Of course for what these Vixen collectors items sell for these days you might just as well buy a used or in some cases, new Takahashi telescope. 

 

For argument's sake I also have owned and compared a Celestron XLT 102ED and Vixen ED100Sf which are very similar telescopes, some say identical but side by side there are a few differences in the lens cells and mechanics. Both of these FPL-53 ED doublets were very good but the Vixen had a better star test and contrast edge but to reliably see the differences I had to use a Baader BBHS Zeiss spec prism and 5mm, 7mm and 9mm T6 Naglers worth double what these scope sell for used. But when compared using the same top shelf diagonal and eyepieces over months of side-by-side comparisons the Takahashi FC-100DL consistently outperformed the FPL-53 ED scopes and so I sent them off to good homes and I am down to a single 100mm class refractor. 


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#29 25585

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 03:15 PM

Vixen ED100Sf though is Chinese, probably Synta?

 

The Sky-Watcher ED Pro 100 & 120mm scopes, especially in Equinox or Orion Eon form factors, CNC tubes etc have great performing FPL-53 Ohara & Schott lenses in quality OTAs. TS also use the lenses in nice tubes, with better focusers.



#30 Deadlake

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 03:17 PM

I’ve not compared with a a Tak, however going off reports from people with both the Tak can handle higher powers. Given you mention it can take x265 I’ll keep trying. Presume that was on planets?

 

I’m using a ScopeTech mount, have a SXP2 inbound so hopefully that might help as well, less wobble.

 

 

"I agree, SD103S is a very good scope, but to be clear for high magnification (going over x217) will not be as good as the AX103 or Tak.."

 

And why would that be? I think maybe maybe not as it would depend on sample to sample variance. The AX103 is a triplet with a rear corrector. And what Tak? The TSA 102 or one of the many fluorite doublets? I can tell you my Vixen ED103s on a very steady night has given me incredible views up to X265 which is the point I run out of eyepieces for higher magnification.

 

But as good as my 103 is I could not state with certainty that it's performance is less than, equal to or exceeds any other refractors of the same size without careful side by side comparisons and even then the results would only apply to those samples tested.


Edited by Deadlake, 17 September 2020 - 03:24 PM.


#31 Deadlake

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 03:23 PM

No, apart from the finder is had made in Japan written all over it.

 

FPL-53 is just a brand, with different quality of lense based on the melt etc. They is no reporting on the quality of the FPL-53 glass. The mating element which is rumoured to be Lanthanum based in Vixens case plays a big factor in performance.

 

Pays your money and takes your choice.

 

 

Vixen ED100Sf though is Chinese, probably Synta?

 

The Sky-Watcher ED Pro 100 & 120mm scopes, especially in Equinox or Orion Eon form factors, CNC tubes etc have great performing FPL-53 Ohara & Schott lenses in quality OTAs. TS also use the lenses in nice tubes, with better focusers.



#32 StarAlert

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 03:27 PM

Call it whatever you like. It’s still an AT60ED. scratchhead2.gif


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#33 YAOG

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 04:16 PM

Vixen ED100Sf though is Chinese, probably Synta?

 

The Sky-Watcher ED Pro 100 & 120mm scopes, especially in Equinox or Orion Eon form factors, CNC tubes etc have great performing FPL-53 Ohara & Schott lenses in quality OTAs. TS also use the lenses in nice tubes, with better focusers.

Yes, all are made by Synta AFAIK though my Vixen ED100Sf came in a box marked as ED100Sf but said in many places Made in Japan, go figure. The fancy tubes on Equinox and EON just cost more, the lenses are all the same as the ugly ones. The Celestron and Vixen FPL-53 100mm EDs can be purchased used for very little money, much less than the pretty EON and Equinox scopes, the problem I have is they all look the same in the dark at the eyepiece and I just refuse to pay for looks you can only see in the light. The Equinox and EON ED100s were dressed up but optically were no better than Celestron and Vixen ED100s.

 

But don't be fooled, in looking through the very slick and pretty EON and Equinox 80mm I think they pushed their luck and made them too fast or just badly, they had lousey CA control and star testing showed SA was not good either. The cheaper 80mm f/7.5 EDs are much better optically than the supposedly premium 80mm f/6.25 EDs.  



#34 alan.dang

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 04:29 PM

Yes, all are made by Synta AFAIK though my Vixen ED100Sf came in a box marked as ED100Sf but said in many places Made in Japan, go figure. The fancy tubes on Equinox and EON just cost more, the lenses are all the same as the ugly ones. The Celestron and Vixen FPL-53 100mm EDs can be purchased used for very little money, much less than the pretty EON and Equinox scopes, the problem I have is they all look the same in the dark at the eyepiece and I just refuse to pay for looks you can only see in the light. The Equinox and EON ED100s were dressed up but optically were no better than Celestron and Vixen ED100s.

 

But don't be fooled, in looking through the very slick and pretty EON and Equinox 80mm I think they pushed their luck and made them too fast or just badly, they had lousey CA control and star testing showed SA was not good either. The cheaper 80mm f/7.5 EDs are much better optically than the supposedly premium 80mm f/6.25 EDs.  

You may have gotten an early version of the ED100Sf that was made by Vixen.

 

At least currently, anything with an -f at the end is Made in China.  Everything else from Vixen is made in Japan.  That includes the A81M (achromat $400 entry level scope).



#35 alan.dang

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 06:29 PM

I agree, the only real competition to the Takahashi Fluorite doublets were produced by Vixen with similar Fluorite lenses sourced from Canon Optron just like Takahashi. These Fluorite doublet lenses were labeled as Vixen, Celestron and Orion there may be others but these are the telescopes I've seen and in a few cases had the opportunity to observe with. 

If you look at the official Vixen brochure from 2018

http://psygr.belxm.s...scopes 2018.pdf

 

They do show how today's AX103S is superior to the FL102S of the past both in terms of color correction and spot diagrams. It's an odd comparison because it's a triplet + flattener compared to the fluorite doublet with expected field curvature but it does show the thought process behind Vixen's products today.

 

The SD103S may not be as good as the FL102S though.  These are the best quality from the PDF and Japanese website.

ax103.PNG

SD103s.PNG


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#36 aa6ww

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 07:21 PM

I was on a small aperture refractor kick a few years back. I was hung up on my Tasco 7TE-5, it had excellent optics and the 1000 FL tube was fun, for a while. Eventually, sadly, I sold it, wanting something shorter and more compact. I wanted to buy a used FS-60CB Tak, but a clean one never came up. I think they are kinda dopey looking with that smooth dew shield but I still wanted one.
I did buy an AT-65 Quad which was an excellent little refractor. Optics were just pristine. Everything I ever looked at through it was just stunning. Despite that, it was way too clunky for a little scope. The focuser was excellent but it was just a porky little jewel.
An FC-60 came up for sale, and I bought it. I think it was $550 total with a clamshell shipped to me. It was 100% new condition. It’s become my smallest Lunar / Solar grab and go mini scope. Sometimes I just use it on a light weight camera tripod.
The Optics on my Tasco were pristine, and the optics on my AT-65 Quad were also pristine. The optics on my little FC-60 are also pristine. They are all excellent optically. This is my 4th Takahashi and the first one with a very very good smooth as silk focuser.
The simplicity of my little Takahashi is just right for me. It’s not bulky or porky or clunky at all.
I try not to think the optics on my little Tak are any better than any of the other small refractors I’ve had, but it just works so good with any eyepiece I’ve ever used with it. It’s just more of what I was looking for.

 

 

..Ralph

 

 

 

Suggest not.

Otherwise the Tak people will find you, no matter where you attempt to hide.

They are both persistant and vengeful.


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#37 YAOG

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 07:27 PM

If you look at the official Vixen brochure from 2018

http://psygr.belxm.s...scopes 2018.pdf

 

They do show how today's AX103S is superior to the FL102S of the past both in terms of color correction and spot diagrams. It's an odd comparison because it's a triplet + flattener compared to the fluorite doublet with expected field curvature but it does show the thought process behind Vixen's products today.

 

The SD103S may not be as good as the FL102S though.  These are the best quality from the PDF and Japanese website.

attachicon.gifax103.PNG

attachicon.gifSD103s.PNG

 

These are computed charts, in reality how close you get to the perfect design is variable and if the lenses are as blurry as the charts... Takahashi tends to get closer to the ideal lens more than almost any other lens maker. I imagine the AX103S is very good but in the real world I doubt it outperforms the old FL102. In any case it took Vixen four lenses to in theory improve on on what is a nearly 40 year old telescope design using half the number of lenses. Takahashi has bettered the Vixen FL102 with the FC-100DL and improved on that with the FC-100DZ. If and when Takahashi introduces a 100mm scope using the same mating lens glass and design ideas behind the FOA-60 Takahashi will have even surpassed the DZ's performance. But we shall have to wait and see. 


Edited by YAOG, 17 September 2020 - 07:30 PM.


#38 kmparsons

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 07:44 PM

I have had the AT60ED for a couple of years, and I have been very satisfied with it both optically and mechanically. I think it is a terrific little scope, and not just "for the money (though the price is modest)." I have never had a chance to compare it side-by-side with a Tak. All I can say is that every time I have used it, I have never been disappointed. It delivers everything that I would expect from a 60mm scope. Lunar views and open clusters are especially enjoyable. It is an excellent travel scope and fits easily into a carry-on bag. 


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#39 alan.dang

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 09:54 PM

These are computed charts, in reality how close you get to the perfect design is variable and if the lenses are as blurry as the charts... Takahashi tends to get closer to the ideal lens more than almost any other lens maker.

To Vixen’s credit, their VSD100 had MTF scores that were higher than their published scores.

 

The FL55s is probably a lower cost FOA-60...

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#40 25585

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 04:47 AM

Yes, all are made by Synta AFAIK though my Vixen ED100Sf came in a box marked as ED100Sf but said in many places Made in Japan, go figure. The fancy tubes on Equinox and EON just cost more, the lenses are all the same as the ugly ones. The Celestron and Vixen FPL-53 100mm EDs can be purchased used for very little money, much less than the pretty EON and Equinox scopes, the problem I have is they all look the same in the dark at the eyepiece and I just refuse to pay for looks you can only see in the light. The Equinox and EON ED100s were dressed up but optically were no better than Celestron and Vixen ED100s.

 

But don't be fooled, in looking through the very slick and pretty EON and Equinox 80mm I think they pushed their luck and made them too fast or just badly, they had lousey CA control and star testing showed SA was not good either. The cheaper 80mm f/7.5 EDs are much better optically than the supposedly premium 80mm f/6.25 EDs.  

Yes the 80mm Equinox is shorter & not as good as an ED 80 Pro. 

 

Equinox & Eons 100 & 120 had retractable dew shields and 2 speed focusers with better tube rings, quality optics in quality hardware.

 

Perhaps "poor man's Taks" are SW Esprits now, for triplets anyway.


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#41 YAOG

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 01:40 PM

To Vixen’s credit, their VSD100 had MTF scores that were higher than their published scores.

 

The FL55s is probably a lower cost FOA-60...

 

There are problems with the VSD100s optics, they seem to have collimation problems and being so short demand very small pixels in order to not be undersampled and produce square stars. Even an ASI183MM with 2.4um photosites will be undersampled in good sky conditions. There are newer sensors coming with smaller photosites but they will be a while.

 

The Vixen FL55 is probably not a lower cost FOA-60, it is much a few years older than the Tak FOA-60 and probably lacks the new special mating glass to the Fluorite element that allows the wide lens element spacing to get the extra high optical performance a la TOA. So pretty unlikely IMO.


Edited by YAOG, 18 September 2020 - 01:51 PM.


#42 alan.dang

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 07:27 PM

There are problems with the VSD100s optics, they seem to have collimation problems and being so short demand very small pixels in order to not be undersampled and produce square stars. Even an ASI183MM with 2.4um photosites will be undersampled in good sky conditions. There are newer sensors coming with smaller photosites but they will be a while.

 

The Vixen FL55 is probably not a lower cost FOA-60, it is much a few years older than the Tak FOA-60 and probably lacks the new special mating glass to the Fluorite element that allows the wide lens element spacing to get the extra high optical performance a la TOA. So pretty unlikely IMO.

I own a FOA-60Q and the VSD100.  I am contemplating the FL55SS

 

The FOA-60 was out in 2017 in Japan, whereas the the FL55ss is a 2018 release.  The FOA60 is $1340 and the FL55ss is $950.  For visual, the FL55 with the Vixen HR optics are great but I doubt it'll beat the FOA60. 

 

Where the FL55 is impressive is its astro performance.

 

Run this through Google or Bing Translate

https://reflexions.j...018/08/29/6094/



#43 John Turley

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 04:00 AM

 

Perhaps "poor man's Taks" are SW Esprits now, for triplets anyway.

When comparing Taks with Esprits, do you compare scopes of the same aperture, or scopes at around the same price point, for example in the UK you can get an Esprit 100 for around the same price as a FC76 series Tak, an Esprit 120 for around the same price or less than the FC100 series Taks, and an Esprit 150 for around the same price as a Tak TSA120, I know that in the USA Esprits work out a bit more expensive.

 

John  


Edited by John Turley, 19 September 2020 - 04:27 AM.


#44 25585

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 04:20 AM

When comparing Taks with Esprits, do you compare scopes of the same aperture, or scopes at around the same price point, for example in the UK you can get an Esprit 120 for around the same price or less than the FC100 series Taks, and an Esprit 150 for around the same price as a Tak TSA120, I know that in the USA Esprits work out a bit more expensive.

 

John  

Esprits when correctly collimated, are said to be close to top end much more expensive refractors, for triplets, that now exclude Taks so moot really.

 

Pre-owned TSA-102 or 120, or new Esprit 100, 120? Harder choice maybe. TOA-150 or Esprit 150? The Esprit, vast price difference.

 

TOA-130 or ....TS 140 triplet perhaps?      



#45 Bowlerhat

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 07:30 AM

Would love to get FL55s if it's not that rare. ALso, there's always secondhand taks for alternative.

But I don't think comparing ED glass with fluorites is equal.



#46 Scott in NC

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 08:21 AM

My idea of a “poor man’s Takahashi” is one bought off the used market.  :grin:


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#47 Scott in NC

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 09:47 AM

My idea of a “poor man’s Takahashi” is one bought off the used market.  grin.gif

And despite my *grin* emoji, I’m really not kidding at all.  IMO that’s the best way to get any high-end scope.  The fact that we’ve got such a thriving used market has made it possible for me to own many nice scopes over the years, many of which would have been way out of reach had I needed to buy them new.


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#48 YAOG

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 12:52 PM

Would love to get FL55s if it's not that rare. ALso, there's always secondhand taks for alternative.

But I don't think comparing ED glass with fluorites is equal.

You can buy a new FL55SS for about what a used FS-60Q can be found for. The FS-60Q is an extremely high quality visual and image capable quad. Remove the Q-module and you have an excellent quality visual optic that is compact with wide field views. Why buy a new FL55SS with the larger objective, higher corrected and more versatile FS-60Q available for about the same price? This thinking is how I wound up with the mint FS-60Q in my telescope collection. 


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#49 YAOG

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 02:45 PM

When comparing Taks with Esprits, do you compare scopes of the same aperture, or scopes at around the same price point, for example in the UK you can get an Esprit 100 for around the same price as a FC76 series Tak, an Esprit 120 for around the same price or less than the FC100 series Taks, and an Esprit 150 for around the same price as a Tak TSA120, I know that in the USA Esprits work out a bit more expensive.

 

John  

I would only look for a scope based how it will be used and where it fits into my collection of tubes and where I'm headed. If there are comparisons made the main considerations to me are visual, imaging or both, specs are objective size and focal ratio, image quality, brand and price are further down the list. 



#50 Bowlerhat

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 06:25 PM

You can buy a new FL55SS for about what a used FS-60Q can be found for. The FS-60Q is an extremely high quality visual and image capable quad. Remove the Q-module and you have an excellent quality visual optic that is compact with wide field views. Why buy a new FL55SS with the larger objective, higher corrected and more versatile FS-60Q available for about the same price? This thinking is how I wound up with the mint FS-60Q in my telescope collection. 

The FL55s is the old vixen fluorites-not sure about fl55s weight, but I agree that the new FS60 is really light.




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