I'm in the market for a portable high end refractor for AP and would love to hear people's opinions about various options. I'm sure they'll be diverse and passionate.
My constraints include a 120-140mm aperture, a native focal length of 850-1000mm, compatible flattener to cover full frame (42mm diagonal) camera, compatible reducer for a 600-700mm focal length option, excellent color correction, tight peripheral spot sizes, and as light as possible. It will be used for AP 80% of the time and for visual the other 20%. Ultimately, I'm looking for a "lifetime" refractor in this focal length range.
Options I'm considering, in no particular order, are:
Tec 140ED or 140FL
AP 130 GT or GTX
The TOA130 meets all the optical criteria, has a full range of native accessories, and is reasonably available. But it is heavy, awkwardly balanced, and the least portable of the mentioned refractors.
The TSA120 is lighter and more compact, but perhaps not as well suited for AP with a full frame camera given its smaller focuser?
The TEC140 has a nice aperture to weight ratio and a great focuser, but the ED version is corrected more for visual than photography and it seems the jury is still out on the FL version. Also, the TECs have a long lead time.
The AP130 is basically unavailable.
Perhaps there are others in this category that are a optical quality match for AP?
What would be your choice for a lifetime refractor for predominately AP?