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Other than a TAK TOA130nfb what would be next?

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#1 magsterone

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 10:08 AM

I am thinking about upgrading my current 130mm refractor to one that is more mechanically dependable, less flexible issues. I know the taks are Top notch, is there another you would recommend for dso’s?

#2 25585

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 10:36 AM

Go larger for DSOs. A TEC 140 has good reviews.


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#3 bobhen

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 11:03 AM

Hard to do better in the 130mm class than a Tak TOA 130. If you want noticeably more of everything than what 130mm offers, then skip the 140mm size and consider a 150-160mm apo from Tak or CFF or APM or TEC.

 

If budget is a consideration, consider the 150mm class of ED doublets from APM and Sky Watcher.

 

If your budget is really tight and deep sky observing is the “only” use, you could also consider a 150mm fast achromat like the TS-Optics 6” F5.9 achromatic refractor.

 

Bob


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#4 Deadlake

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 11:26 AM

Options, 130nab version so imaging use:

AP130GTX (need to wait unless second hand)
LZOS APM 130mm /F6 (also look at the Astrograph flavour, has a phenolic tube to help with temperature shifts, and flocking which the APM version no longer has)
CFF 135 mm.

The advantages of the top two above is cool down, the TOA130 is not known to cool down quickly and is more bulky than the above. In addition both are native F/6, so have options to be made faster using a reducer . 

Whatever one you choice I think you are going to be splitting hairs over the performance.

I'm waiting to see the Astrograph version of the APM 130/F6 to see what it is like.

What mount have you got?


Edited by Deadlake, 19 November 2020 - 11:58 AM.

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#5 syxbach

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 12:15 PM

TOA130, AP130, TEC140 and CFF135 can all be your choice.  It depends on the availability on the second hand market. AP130 is the most rare find probably. I second TOA130 because I have one. It has the best color correction and star sizes of all 130s/140s, IMO, but it is heavy and has slower cooling time than its peers. 

 

Yuexiao 


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#6 magsterone

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 12:30 PM

I have a 10u gm1000hps Mount. I went all in on the mount and have some savings I want to put toward the scope. I am not a great Astro photographer but I love doing it and the 10u just simplifies everything. My at130 is nice but definitely has flexute issues and so the search begins. 😉

#7 25585

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 12:59 PM

Agema SD 130mm is another choice.


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#8 robely79

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 01:42 PM

I have the TOA 130
if you want mechanical strength it is the Top
heavy tube and cell
focuser ... 2.7" NS for visual use is fine, NFB 4" for imaging is better


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#9 csauer52

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 01:57 PM

I have the TOA 130
if you want mechanical strength it is the Top
heavy tube and cell
focuser ... 2.7" NS for visual use is fine, NFB 4" for imaging is better

Or buy the 2.7" (they can be found cheaper) and add a Moonlite WR35 for imaging which is all you'll ever need.  I'm not a fan of Tak focusers in general.

 

As for the cool down discussions related to the TOA130, I've had one for well over a decade and have never experienced cool down issues. I believe that's an old wives tale not grounded in truth. Here in NC, it's not uncommon to have a 10* swing in the first 1.5 hours after astro twilight and that has never caused blemishes in my images. Not that I can recall anyway. 
 

Perhaps it's an issue for planetary observing but it's certainly not an issue when it comes to AP.


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#10 syxbach

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 02:04 PM

Cooling time is for visual. For imagers, I never think that is a problem. 

 

Yuexiao 

 

 

Or buy the 2.7" (they can be found cheaper) and add a Moonlite WR35 for imaging which is all you'll ever need.  I'm not a fan of Tak focusers in general.

 

As for the cool down discussions related to the TOA130, I've had one for well over a decade and have never experienced cool down issues. I believe that's an old wives tale not grounded in truth. Here in NC, it's not uncommon to have a 10* swing in the first 1.5 hours after astro twilight and that has never caused blemishes in my images. Not that I can recall anyway. 
 

Perhaps it's an issue for planetary observing but it's certainly not an issue when it comes to AP.



#11 csauer52

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 02:20 PM

Cooling time is for visual. For imagers, I never think that is a problem. 

 

Yuexiao 

Well, if it's not an issue for imagers, it wouldn't be an issue for observing DSOs visually either. Like I said, perhaps it's a problem for planetary or lunar visual observing but other than that, cool down issues with TOAs are highly overstated IMHO. 


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#12 noisejammer

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 12:56 PM

The TOA130 is a spectacular instrument but at f/7.7, you really need a reducer for imaging. Then there are rings and all the hideously expensive Tak pieces .. Tak operates on "the death by a thousand cuts" business model. You may even decide it needs a new focuser. I've been there.

 

If the optics are adequate and the flexing is from the focuser, why not just replace the focuser in your existing scope? A FTF 3035 would do very nicely, you could add a motor and still be many kilodollars to the good. You might even be able to spring for a 6" ED doublet and an alt-az mount so that you have something to do while your camera is collecting photons.

 

If you do decide to go for a TOA130, you might want to look for a used one. They are not that scarce.



#13 csauer52

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 07:30 PM

The TOA130 is a spectacular instrument but at f/7.7, you really need a reducer for imaging. Then there are rings and all the hideously expensive Tak pieces.

Well, you'll need rings for most OTAs unless you're not concerned about rigidity, I would argue imagers should be concerned with solid mountings and believe rings are a must. 

 

I'm confused about the reducer statement and I'm interested in your rationale there. I use the dedicated FF but not the reducer and never have. I've not noticed any problems imaging at the native focal length therefore curious to understand what you mean by that.


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#14 andysea

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 08:26 PM

I had the TOA130 for imaging, the optical quality coupled with the 67 flattener is superb. It is very heavy and big for its aperture. The only reason I sold it is that my name came up on the AP130 list.



#15 Heywood

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 08:30 PM

[The TOA-130NFB] is very heavy and big for its aperture. 

 

That about sums it up.

 

I would add that the Takahashi rings and dovetail plate are also unusually heavy.


Edited by Heywood, 20 November 2020 - 08:37 PM.


#16 csauer52

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 10:50 PM

That about sums it up.

 

I would add that the Takahashi rings and dovetail plate are also unusually heavy.

Well, "heavy" is a subjective term. What's heavy for you may not necessarily be heavy for someone else.  I don't find the TOA130 heavy at all but that's me.  I will say it's color correction with the dedicated flattener is exceptional.


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#17 Heywood

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 11:01 PM

Well, "heavy" is a subjective term. What's heavy for you may not necessarily be heavy for someone else.  I don't find the TOA130 heavy at all but that's me.  I will say it's color correction with the dedicated flattener is exceptional.

 

What I mean by "unusually heavy" (that is the phrase that I used) has nothing to do with subjectivity.  The Tak rings and dovetail plate are probably the heaviest in the "industry."  In contrast, the TEC and AP rings and dovetail plates are substantially lighter.

 

I have no quibble with Takahashi's optical quality.  It is among the very best available to amateurs.


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#18 noisejammer

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 03:39 AM

My first line affirmed that I think the TOA130 is a spectacular instrument. I've used one extensively and have owned a TOA150 for 12 years; I have some experience.

 

Well, you'll need rings for most OTAs unless you're not concerned about rigidity, I would argue imagers should be concerned with solid mountings and believe rings are a must.

Most manufacturers include rings as part of the package. Sure, you're paying for them but Tak sees this as an optional.  My point was to make it clear that the sticker price of a Tak is very different from the real price. (Besides being ridiculously overpriced, my view is that Tak rings are poorly designed compared with those machined from 6061.)

 

 

I'm confused about the reducer statement and I'm interested in your rationale there. I use the dedicated FF but not the reducer and never have. I've not noticed any problems imaging at the native focal length therefore curious to understand what you mean by that.

I was trying to highlight the difference between the TOA130 & other triplets which tend to be f/6 to f/7 designs. Other things being equal, the exposure varies inversely with the square of the T-stop. An f/6 refractor will produce equal signal to noise in 60% of the time required by an f/7.7 instrument. (Of course this affects image scale too but image scale and matching to pixel size focal length are way OT in this thread - or even this forum.)


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#19 csauer52

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 08:25 AM

What I mean by "unusually heavy" (that is the phrase that I used) has nothing to do with subjectivity.  The Tak rings and dovetail plate are probably the heaviest in the "industry."  In contrast, the TEC and AP rings and dovetail plates are substantially lighter.

 

I have no quibble with Takahashi's optical quality.  It is among the very best available to amateurs.

Thanks Heywood.  That's a fair point and in point of fact, I don't use the Tak dedicated rings. The irony here is not related to weight, but more to cost. This goes back to the "death by 1000 cuts" statement from noisejammer.

 

Going back through the thread, I realize it was andysea who mentioned the OTA was heavy by comparison. Apologies for that and I do agree with you on the accessories being heavy.

 

That said, I stand by my statement that OTA "heaviness" is subjective based solely upon the individual, but note the original statement isn't attributed to you. 
 

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.



#20 edif300

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 09:01 AM

 

Most manufacturers include rings as part of the package. Sure, you're paying for them but Tak sees this as an optional.  My point was to make it clear that the sticker price of a Tak is very different from the real price. (Besides being ridiculously overpriced, my view is that Tak rings are poorly designed compared with those machined from 6061.)

 

That of course is your viewpoint. I understand it.

 

In fact there are TWO option available. One is OTA with accesories (ring... clamp...) and the second option is bare OTA. Both are option. You pick up your choice.

 

The price is the endless question ... but may I be honest here. We never will make an imposition about its sale price. In fact, price here in Europe (neutral zone about where are manufactured Tak, Tec, AP) are ridiculously overpriced for TEC and AP against TAK. Never understand why this never was a complain. The situation is really nonunderstable for me, for reading a repeated same question in same format over years knowing that they have nothing to do about decisions over things they never manufactured.

 

I thinking in open into trying understand all this repetitive endless complains. Maybe someone can help me with a new perspective of the life.

 

Buy an AP or TEC, LZOS, Agema, Vixen, SW or a Porsche 911GTS.... whatever make you happy..... and please BE happy in this short life.

 

flowerred.gif


Edited by edif300, 21 November 2020 - 09:15 AM.

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#21 csauer52

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 10:22 AM

 

 

Buy an AP or TEC, LZOS, Agema, Vixen, SW or a Porsche 911GTS.... whatever make you happy..... and please BE happy in this short life.

 

flowerred.gif

I'd prefer a GT3RS but my astronomy hobby prevents me from saving enough to afford one....    ;)


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#22 YAOG

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Posted 26 November 2020 - 12:11 AM

I have a 10u gm1000hps Mount. I went all in on the mount and have some savings I want to put toward the scope. I am not a great Astro photographer but I love doing it and the 10u just simplifies everything. My at130 is nice but definitely has flexute issues and so the search begins.

I doubt your AT130 f/7 scope has a flexure problem, more likely the focuser is misaligned or you have some sagging when you hang a camera with the drawtube extended. Do you have the standard Crayford focuser? If so that there's your problem, it's not the scope tube. 

 

Spend the money on a 3" Starlight Instruments Feather Touch focuser and your flexure issue will vanish. 



#23 samovu

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Posted 26 November 2020 - 01:03 AM

I am thinking about upgrading my current 130mm refractor to one that is more mechanically dependable, less flexible issues. I know the taks are Top notch, is there another you would recommend for dso’s?

Another option would be the APM-LZOS 130/780. Some time ago I had a TOA-130F and an older version of the f6 at the same time. Both were bought used and both performed exceptionally well for my visual only use. After posting here asking for advice, I decided to keep what they called the TMB/APM LZOS 130/780. 
 

Why did I, an admitted Takaholic, sell the TOA? If I later wanted to buy a used TOA-130, they show up in the used market regularly. Not so the LZOS. Also, the TOA was heavier, longer, an didn’t have that very nice 3.5” Starlight Instruments focuser. Again, I’m not an imager and YMMV. 


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#24 magsterone

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Posted 26 November 2020 - 11:37 AM

I have a moonlite focuser on my scope but I posted recently in the 10u modeling topic about the issues I had been having and how I discovered the problem and solved it to the best of my ability.  I agree that the flexure is in the focusing area but was looking at the the tak due to its 4” focuser which would be stiffer.  After resolving the issues I will keep using my current scope but I will keep an eye open for a possible used scope in the future. I bought my current scope used so I have no problems with that. I really appreciate everyone’s suggestions and I hope y’all have a great thanksgiving and stay safe.



#25 YAOG

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Posted 26 November 2020 - 12:03 PM

I have a moonlite focuser on my scope but I posted recently in the 10u modeling topic about the issues I had been having and how I discovered the problem and solved it to the best of my ability.  I agree that the flexure is in the focusing area but was looking at the the tak due to its 4” focuser which would be stiffer.  After resolving the issues I will keep using my current scope but I will keep an eye open for a possible used scope in the future. I bought my current scope used so I have no problems with that. I really appreciate everyone’s suggestions and I hope y’all have a great thanksgiving and stay safe.

What was wrong with your Moonlite? I've had a bunch of them almost all purchased used, I still have a couple on the SCTs.

 

The Moonlites I had on ES127ED refractors were 2.5" with 4.5" travel and amazingly consistent. I could rack the drawtube full travel, 4.5" with virtually no misalignment. This was a lot better than the SI FTF R&P focusers with 2.5" travel. 

 

At the moment I have two R&P focusers on apps for imaging. The old Stellarvue 2.5" from maybe 7-8+ years ago which is an excellent focuser for imaging. I also have what I call the 3.7" BAF (Big A** Focuser) as used by APM, TS and AT on larger imaging focused apos, also pretty good. 


Edited by YAOG, 26 November 2020 - 01:04 PM.



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