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Help deciding on a 180mm refractor

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53 replies to this topic

#51 weis14

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 10:41 PM

At least one person who owns a TEC pointed that out in this forum and the individual also indicated that TEC fixed his oil related issue free of charge.


Just to clarify, if you are referring to my earlier post in this thread, TEC did not clean and re-oil my TEC160 for free. They charged me $160. Less than the cost of shipping with insurance, but not free.

#52 dan_1984

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 01:25 PM

I am very happy wih the CFF 200 f 6.5. You can’t go wrong with TEC or TAK either. My advice, get the 8 inch apo and be done with it.  No use getting a 7 inch one and then dream of a 8 inch one. 
Whatever brand you choose, a refractor will make astronomy very easy. No other design can claim performance, reliability and ease of use.

After you get it be prepared for a month or two of clouds :jj



#53 fate187

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 12:08 AM

APM LZOS, CFF, TEC were all brought up with their slight pros and cons. As Jeff B pointed out: if you are in the US consider TEC, otherwise LZOS or CFF. My take is, that TEC has best reputation. 

For imaging CFF and TEC offer dedicated flatteners to their respective design/scopes. And you already are aware of the Gutekunst ADC. It is nice, that it is now sold by TEC in the US. Awareness of this high quality gadget rising. 

 

Good luck picking your dream scope! :)



#54 base16

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 01:26 AM

base16, thanks for the advice.  I am 73 and if I go with a 180 or 200 instrument it would be permanently mounted in our property and would rely on one of my sons if I decide to travel with it.  There is absolutely no way I would attempt to take such a large instrument to other locations by myself.  I do have a son who is also interested in astrophotography and at 6'4 and 260 lb, he would be able to handle it with ease.  I feel about reflectors as you do.  In fact, several well-known experts in astrophotography claim that good refractors have better contrast than good reflectors by nature of their respective optical designs.  I also looked at the RASA instruments and they are indeed, very attractive specially for astrophotography.  I think your TEC 160 is a great choice.  I don't know if you are aware that Astro-Physics has the 0.72x Quad Telecompressor Corrector for the TEC 160 Refractor (QUADTCC-TEC160), which will turn your TEC 160 into an 806mm F/5 instrument.  It is pricey at $1,520 but in my opinion, well worth it.  I do plan to get one if I buy a TEC since they make it for several sizes.  The other issue to consider with TEC or any other instrument with "oil-spaced" lenses is that with time the instrument may have to be fixed by issues caused by oil.  At least one person who owns a TEC pointed that out in this forum and the individual also indicated that TEC fixed his oil related issue free of charge.  Everyone praises TEC not only for their quality but for their customer service.  Again thanks and your advice is appreciated.  

All the best! it looks like you're pretty much zero'd in on top of the shelf refractors, so I have no doubt you'll enjoy the scope especially since you have ways to address the weight issue (only issue really).

 

Customer service is great in these companies, but not necessarily free. I have paid a great deal of money in servicing some of my equipment to keep them at their top performance -- doesn't happen very often, but have had experience servicing through Tele Vue, Takahashi and of course Astro Physics. The free TEC service is likely an exception where perhaps something was incorrectly installed? But the point is, it's easy to get the item serviced and maintained.. but should clarify that it's not a lifetime of free physical maintenance once you buy the gear..




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