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TEC140FL versus CFF140

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#1 gregbradley

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 01:19 AM

I am considering getting a larger refractor around the 130 to 140mm size. I was hoping my name would come up on the AstroPhysics 130GTX list and it might at some point but I can't plan on an uncertainty.

 

I have had a TEC180FL in the past and it was a very nice scope overall. Perhaps more optimised to visual than imaging. Dr Rhor's test though surprised me showing it did not perform that well in the red channel. Images I took with it were good but often less than what I expected if only by a small amount.

 

I have a CFF105mm F6 and it is a superb scope. I am impressed by the workmanship both optically and mechanically. I've been told the main optician used to work on the Zeiss high end scopes. Don't know if that is true but it may well be. The strehl test report for the CFF105mm F6 is 99.4%. I presume that is in green and it won't be the same polychromatically (all colours).

 

I had an AP140 F7.5 with an APquad TCC and it was a nice scope and images with it had that little extra I wasn't getting with the TEC180.

 

I also had a TEC110 FL and it performed better than I expected with wonderful rich colour compared to the FSQ106EDX3 I had previously been using.

 

So the top 3 scope makers at present seem to be TEC, CFF and AP. Unless you can think of a 4th. APM scopes seem fine but strehls are lower than these others. Also the focusers etc seem a bit chunky. Featherouch focusers are what I want these days and not as an after market conversion.

 

As I can't simply order an AP130GTX that leaves trying to get one 2nd hand at inflated prices. Perhaps that still is a contender.

 

So what say you about TEC140FL F7 versus CFF140 6.5 or CFF132 6.7?

 

TEC has an advantage in that it can use the APQuad TCC which makes it much faster. The TCC may work on the CFF but that would have to be confirmed. All 3 are oiled triplets. The TEC has a centre lens of Fluorite the CFF either FPL 53 or FPL55.

 

I did read one review here between the 140ED and the 140Fl and surprisingly it wasn't all in the 140FL's favour.

 

Both scopes I think are fairly light and easy to use.

 

Greg.



#2 alan.dang

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 01:27 AM

The wait list for the GTX is about 8 years. I put my deposit down and then backed out, letting someone else get it at face value instead of a markup. How long have you been on the list?

What are your goals? What is your temperature/cool down situation like? If you had the budget for a TEC180FL in the past, the FSQ130ED should be something you are searching for if imaging is your primary goal and the air spaced design and cool down are not issues.

#3 Suavi

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 02:49 AM

Greg, I believe you can use AP's Quad TCC on any high quality refractor, as long as it has a 3.5" FTF. Just would need to ask wonderful people at AP about spacing for a given focal length.

 

You are correct, Strehl 99.4 for your CFF is in green - it states that on the optical report. CFF 135mm f/6.7 is the least expensive out of the three you have mentioned, and it utilises FPL53 for the middle element. Not sure if that matters, but it is also close in FL to AP 130GTX for which the Quad TCC was originally designed for (as is the CFF 140 f/6.5). Therefore the 135mm is the scope I would have chosen out of the three, with both imaging and relatively sensible budget in mind.



#4 gregbradley

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 04:12 AM

The wait list for the GTX is about 8 years. I put my deposit down and then backed out, letting someone else get it at face value instead of a markup. How long have you been on the list?

What are your goals? What is your temperature/cool down situation like? If you had the budget for a TEC180FL in the past, the FSQ130ED should be something you are searching for if imaging is your primary goal and the air spaced design and cool down are not issues.

Yes its hard to knock back an offer from AP. I have had to do that twice in the last few months. Cooldown is not that much of an issue as temperature drop overnight is usually around 10C and gradual.

Purpose of the scope is imaging is 95% of its use.

FSQ130 would be a nice scope, no longer made so that means 2nd hand market. New they were more like US$14,000.

I sold the TEC180FL to fund an AP RHA305 which is now my primary scope. I am sure it was a one off opportunity and I had used the TEC180FL for several years, around 5 years or so. It was a nice scope.

 

Greg



#5 fate187

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 04:15 AM

If you mean by "APM" scopes LZOS lenses, you can get these with FT focusers as well.Just a little bit more expensive. The LZOS 130 f/6 is mighty popular among imagers and already fairly fast. As far as I know, it can be reduced with the ricardi reducer, so I would presume the AP 0.72 reducer to work just as good. The LZOS 150 is already f/8 and much more heavy.

 

Regarding TEC or CFF. TEC may have better reputation due to their large owner base and very consistent quality. But a CFF in the realms of 135 to 140mm will be just as good. I am also planning to get an AP 0.72 reducer in due time and use it with my scopes waytogo.gif.



#6 gregbradley

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 06:10 AM

Greg, I believe you can use AP's Quad TCC on any high quality refractor, as long as it has a 3.5" FTF. Just would need to ask wonderful people at AP about spacing for a given focal length.

 

You are correct, Strehl 99.4 for your CFF is in green - it states that on the optical report. CFF 135mm f/6.7 is the least expensive out of the three you have mentioned, and it utilises FPL53 for the middle element. Not sure if that matters, but it is also close in FL to AP 130GTX for which the Quad TCC was originally designed for (as is the CFF 140 f/6.5). Therefore the 135mm is the scope I would have chosen out of the three, with both imaging and relatively sensible budget in mind.

I am sure you are right Suavi but I have asked on the AP group to double check.

Yes the CFF135 6.7 is the cheapest of the 3. Quite a jump up in cost for the 140 for the extra 5mm of aperture.

AP 130 is 819mm focal length and the CFF135 is 915mm same as the 140.TEC140FL is 980. 

 

Greg



#7 bobhen

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 06:19 AM

Have you considered a Takahashi TOA 130? 

 

If color correction is a high priority, the TOA 130 with its 2 ED elements in the lens should have the best correction of the bunch.

 

You can always add a FT focuser, if you feel the need.

 

Bob


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#8 gregbradley

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Posted 01 November 2020 - 02:52 AM

TOA 130 is a contender. One concern is TOA scopes seem to be sold very often. Like owners don't like them.

I think they have temperature sensitivity and also are very front heavy and heavy for their aperture.

Probably not a real issue for me.

 

Greg.



#9 bobhen

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Posted 01 November 2020 - 07:48 AM

TOA 130 is a contender. One concern is TOA scopes seem to be sold very often. Like owners don't like them.

I think they have temperature sensitivity and also are very front heavy and heavy for their aperture.

Probably not a real issue for me.

 

Greg.

I would not read anything into a casual look at “for sale” ads. Read a few reviews from TOA owners for a different perspective.

 

Most triplets are front heavy. The Tak TOA is also generally heavy overall because it is overbuilt.

 

The best color correction does come with some issues: acclimation will take a little longer than oil-spaced lenses but once acclimated it will be fine and the lens cell is robust (to keep the lens elements firmly in place) adding to the weight.

 

You will, however, get the best color correction available and an optic that is at least as good (and possible better) than the others on your list.

 

All are excellent scopes that have some advantages or disadvantages depending on your particular needs.

 

Bob



#10 Scott in NC

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Posted 01 November 2020 - 11:30 AM

I would not read anything into a casual look at “for sale” ads. Read a few reviews from TOA owners for a different perspective.

I agree.  I think that a lot of TOAs appear to be for sale because there are a lot of them out there.  Plus needs change, and people buy these scopes for AP and then transition to visual use and realize that there are lighter, simpler, and less expensive scopes that meet their needs just as well.  People sell perfectly fine scopes for all kinds of reasons.  I had a nearly perfect AP Traveler that I sold last spring.  Frankly, I wish that I still had it, but selling it was the right thing to do at the time.  The scope met all of my needs and was nearly perfect in every way, but I really needed the money more.  So I wouldn’t read too much into the number of sales ads.



#11 payner

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Posted 01 November 2020 - 11:30 PM

Yes, I'd read little into the buy-sell phenomenon. Lot's of excellent equipment sells often for various reasons, one of which I believe is many people seem to simply want to try different pieces of gear. That seems to be a lot of folks "hobby" on CN--gear is the primary interest over observation. There are many of the TOA telescopes out in the field, they have been in production since 2003 (the TOA-150 since 2005). Longevity from a high-end maker indicates to me it is a proven design that they have not been able to improve upon, at least to any appreciable degree.

 

Yes, the TOA series are heavy, there's good reason for that--robustness equates in an incredibly stable lens cell, required given the design of the TOA (modified Cooke design), extensive baffling, and lack of any tube flexure. The executed design has nearly zero spherical aberration (SA), (more deleterious than the routinely discussed chromatic aberration (CA)), spherochromatism, CA and well figured lenses (a requisite for SA control).

 

Whatever one chooses (many good choices), use it. You are likely not to be disappointed in the two you are considering.


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#12 Kunama

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Posted 01 November 2020 - 11:46 PM

Greg, I have had a couple of TOA130 scopes (the 130S with FPL52/53 and 130NFB with 2 x FPPL53) both optically simply superb scopes.

I also had my NFB side by side with a friend's CFF140 F7.5 and they were giving near identical views.  The CFF is beautifully and strongly built, a fact evidenced when my friend dropped his CFF and the only damage was a slightly out of round dew shield.

 

I sold my TOAs while I was in a "try and see" mode, there was nothing wrong with either but I needed to sell to finance other astro stuff.  

I now have a 152mm LZOS which is every bit as good as the TOA150 so there is yet another option for you to consider.


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#13 gregbradley

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Posted 02 November 2020 - 06:20 AM

Must have been quite a moment when your friend dropped his CFF!

 

Thanks for your input.

 

Greg.



#14 payner

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Posted 02 November 2020 - 09:55 AM

I am not sure when Takahashi began using two FPL53 lenses, but it has been some years ago in all the TOA variants. Again, not implying it takes two FPL53 lenses to make a near perfectly corrected refractor as other considerations equally important come into play, but wanted to make the clarification. As for overbuilt, these weigh more than any other refractors in their class (unless something new has recently come along) and that is where most ding them, but design alone requires it. They are built as refractors were many years ago for good or bad.


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#15 RAKing

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Posted 02 November 2020 - 02:27 PM

TOA 130 is a contender. One concern is TOA scopes seem to be sold very often. Like owners don't like them.

I think they have temperature sensitivity and also are very front heavy and heavy for their aperture.

Probably not a real issue for me.

I owned a TOA-130 many years ago and it was a beautiful scope to look at - and through.  Yes, it was heavier than the usual 130 but that was because of the unique lens cell design and heavier tube.  It is a solid scope and I wish I still had it.  But I had to go through a couple of spinal fusions, plus another family medical emergency, and sold most of my astro gear as a result.

 

The TOA showed the best star colors of any scope I have ever used.  This is only my personal opinion, but I had my TOA set up next to several A-P 130 at various star parties and none of us could tell any difference.  We liked all of them and had fun going back and forth.  cool.gif

 

My TOA was a 2004 model and it had the early FPL-52/FPL-53 dual ED elements.  I think Tak changed to the dual FPL-53 in 2006, but don't know for sure.  And IIRC, you can tell the difference between early and late TOAs by the color of the writing on the lens cell.  Mine was red; the dual FPL-53 are in white.

  

TOA-130 Lens.JPG

 

I would love to have my TOA-130 back - FPL-52 and all!

 

Ron


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#16 peleuba

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Posted 02 November 2020 - 04:09 PM

That seems to be a lot of folks "hobby" on CN--gear is the primary interest over observation. 

 

<perk>    Did somebody call?


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#17 Jeff B

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Posted 02 November 2020 - 04:37 PM

"That seems to be a lot of folks "hobby" on CN--gear is the primary interest over observation."

 

Signs of a true Astrophile.

 

Just like us Audiophiles too, tons of gear (sometimes literally) that we constantly tweak and test with microphones, pink noise, impulses, measuring software and, yes, sometimes music, in particular, human voices.  We listen to perhaps a dozen or so recordings over and over, adjusting this, tilting that and the white lettering on the disk player's repeat button is completely worn off from overuse.  

 

And you see us in all hobbies that have a technical content.

 

We are collectively known as Gear Heads.


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#18 gregbradley

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 03:40 PM

The main "objection" to the TOA130 is its a slow scope at F7.7 for imaging. Even with the reducer it is F5.775. Other 130s become much faster.

 

These days the speed of the scope has risen in importance compared to the past.

 

Astrophotography's natural enemies are cloud, work, moon. So the opportunity to image is fraught with barriers. So when you do get a chance to image it has to count and add up quickly, hence the need for faster scopes and more sensitive cameras.

 

Greg.


Edited by gregbradley, 04 November 2020 - 05:58 AM.


#19 bobhen

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 06:47 PM

The main "objection" to the TOA130 is its a slow scope at F7.7 for imaging. Even with the reducer it is F7.75. Other 130s become much faster.

 

These days the speed of the scope has risen in importance compared to the past.

 

Astrophotography's natural enemies are cloud, work, moon. So the opportunity to image is fraught with barriers. So when you do get a chance to image it has to count and add up quickly, hence the need for faster scopes and more sensitive cameras.

 

Greg.

I believe the flattener is F7.7. The reducer is .7 and the TOA 130 becomes F5.4.

 

From the Highpoint Scientific Website...

 

Flattener: Takahashi 67 Flattener
Product Number: TKA31583S
Effective Focal Length: 1000 mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/7.7
Resulting Image Circle: 90 mm

 

Reducer: Takahashi 35 .7X Reducer with CA Ring
Product Number: TKA32580A
Effective Focal Length: 698 mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/5.4
Resulting Image Circle: 44 mm

 

Bob


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#20 gregbradley

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 06:00 AM

I believe the flattener is F7.7. The reducer is .7 and the TOA 130 becomes F5.4.

 

From the Highpoint Scientific Website...

 

Flattener: Takahashi 67 Flattener
Product Number: TKA31583S
Effective Focal Length: 1000 mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/7.7
Resulting Image Circle: 90 mm

 

Reducer: Takahashi 35 .7X Reducer with CA Ring
Product Number: TKA32580A
Effective Focal Length: 698 mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/5.4
Resulting Image Circle: 44 

Bob

 

Yes I meant F5.775 

 

That's faster than I thought with the reducer. But to run a 16803 camera you'd need the considerably more expensive 645 reducer.

 

Thanks,

Greg.


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#21 Suavi

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 04:07 PM

Hi Greg,

 

All of the telescopes mentioned in this thread are beautiful instruments. If I may suggest, TOA 130 at native f/7.7 as fantastic as it is, is very close in FL to your 305mm telescope (but both resolving power and speed would be inferior with the TOA), while reduced TOA will be about the same FL and speed as your 105mm at native f/6, offering only a slightly better resolution and slightly faster imaging speed, so IMO not worth the expense.


Edited by Suavi, 04 November 2020 - 04:10 PM.

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#22 gregbradley

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 04:21 PM

Hi Greg,

 

All of the telescopes mentioned in this thread are beautiful instruments. If I may suggest, TOA 130 at native f/7.7 as fantastic as it is, is very close in FL to your 305mm telescope (but both resolving power and speed would be inferior with the TOA), while reduced TOA will be about the same FL and speed as your 105mm at native f/6, offering only a slightly better resolution and slightly faster imaging speed, so IMO not worth the expense.

Yes I thought of that. I am already pretty well covered for these focal lengths between the 630 with flattener/473mm with reducer focal lengths and the 1260mm of the RHA. Something appealing about the FSQ130 type setup so a TEC140 with the AP Quad TCC gives around F5 and 706mm focal length. 

 

I think F5 is a good focal length. Not so fast where tilt becomes harder to handle but fast enough for a quick exposure.

 

There are some great choices around for 130-140mm these days. The TEC 140 now with fluorite and an AP Quad TCC available, the Tak TOA 130 with its reducers and flatteners (A 140mm Tak TSA would be interesting if one were made), APM, AP, CFF. 

 

All seem to be great choices.

 

I prefer a Feathertouch focuser to other focusers. I would want a 3.5 inch focuser. Also a good flattener that corrects out to 52mm. A good reducer that is also good to the corners 52mm ( a lot of reducers are duds). Lighter rather than heavier, FPL55 or Fluorite rather than FPL53. Well balanced rather than front heavy. Excellent broad colour correction and extremely sharp.

 

TOA probably has the best colour correction but its a Tak focuser which is inferior to Feathertouch. Its unbalanced and heavy.

CFF tick all the boxes. AP with Feathertouch or 3.5 inch AP focuser ticks all the boxes. TEC140 FL, not sure about the colour correction, focuser and accessories tick those boxes. Its light, well made (except for the TEC rings - throw them in the bin as soon as you get the scope to avoid the inevitable paint nicks those rings easily cause). After a few people we know having trouble with out of square Tak parts on a TOA130 it makes you wonder about quality control there. So not sure I would want a 2nd hand TOA in case its being dumped for defects. It would have to be a proven performer with lots of example images.

 

The more I think about the more the CFF seems the best. So long as the Quad TCC works on it. I got a reply from Roland Christen about this and he said it would probably work.

 

I had a Quad TCC before and it was good but the adapter I had made for it caused a weird reflection artifact that looked like a galaxy in the middle of the image! I am sure I could have handled it with some flat black paint or flocking.

 

Greg.


Edited by gregbradley, 04 November 2020 - 04:32 PM.


#23 gregbradley

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 04:36 PM

http://rohr.aiax.de/refractors.pdf

 

TOA 130 shows the best results of any scope in that list. TEC140, as I thought, shows weakness in the red channel.

 

Greg.



#24 alan.dang

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 05:24 PM

http://rohr.aiax.de/refractors.pdf

 

TOA 130 shows the best results of any scope in that list. TEC140, as I thought, shows weakness in the red channel.

 

Greg.

Yup, that's consistent with Yuri's post on the evolution of the TEC140.  The red used to be very poor w/the TEC140ED.

 

02 TEC 140 evolution.jpg

 

I think universally, the TOA's are very well corrected telescopes but have more thermal issues than oil-spaced triplets.  The FSQ-130ED is probably the best imaging scope that has been produced by any manufacturer, but it sounds like production costs were rapidly growing.



#25 Jeff B

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 06:30 PM

Yup, that's consistent with Yuri's post on the evolution of the TEC140.  The red used to be very poor w/the TEC140ED.

 

attachicon.gif02 TEC 140 evolution.jpg

 

I think universally, the TOA's are very well corrected telescopes but have more thermal issues than oil-spaced triplets.  The FSQ-130ED is probably the best imaging scope that has been produced by any manufacturer, but it sounds like production costs were rapidly growing.

Careful there Alan.  If you basing that assertion on the bottom figure, that's correct, however, that's the basic design using the catalog glass values and what may have been considered the optimum radii for those values.  In real life production,  Yuri's team would customize and optimize the design to fit the actual measured glass values provided by the glass vendors for a particular melt.   That's the middle curve.  Every quality refractor vendor does the same thing.

 

Jeff




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