Takahashi CN212 / 8.35” Cassegrain / Corrected Newtonian
Submitted: Monday, 23rd November 2009 by James Edwards
OK, here I go again talking about a little known Takahashi scope, one which very few use or even hear mentioned in the US with this scope being more accepted in Europe or throughout Asia. I'm really surprised this scope doesn't get more attention in here in North America as it affords you two great scopes all rolled into one!
To begin, my first step into Takahashi telescopes was 2 refractors - a Takahashi FS128 Fluorite Apochromat and a FS 60 which coming from a Cassegrain background made the switch fairly easy but with just a refractor to use it somewhat had me wanting to get back into more aperture and a reflecting telescope.
I remember my very first look through the CN212 in the middle of winter. I set up it up side by side with my FS128 and hoped the clouds would clear to give me a shot at viewing... Well, my wish came true as my first look into space with the CN212 was of Saturn... To be honest, I was hard pressed to keep my eyes away from the 212 even with a fantastic refractor sitting right next by as I was completely amazed at the image I was looking at. Saturn was breathtaking with visible structure over the surface of the planet and the Cassini division was very notable making this test run with the 212 a wonderful first try. To make an accurate assessment, the CN212 gave me refractor like images in the eyepiece surpassing my FS128 much to my amazement as it did not perform like my other 2 cassegrians - notably better and rightfully so. Man, talk about a great scope. I had the aperture I longed for but the results were like a fine tuned refractor. Needless to say, I struck pay dirt. I later added a very good accessory, a Takahashi Cassegrain focuser, which added to the 212's performance and the ease of having a camera angle adjuster which I highly recommend!
The Corrected Newtonian:
As I am visual user, I purchased the CN212 to eventually use an imaging platform. What I liked about having an F/3.9 Newtonian was the ability to use it almost like an astrograph without having to buy another scope. The Newtonian lens which comes as part of the CN212's package, is precision made, easy to use and, when you switch from the Cassegrain mode into the Newtonian, there is virtually no need for re-collimation and it takes you just a few minutes to make switching between configurations as technically simple and efficient as possible by designing each mirror cell with a tapered fitting that slides into the corresponding funnel fitting in the secondary spider.
While the Cassegrain mode affords you 2620mm in Focal length with the secondary at 68mm, the Newtonian mode at 820mm with the secondary at 72mm / resolving power overall of 0.55 arc-seconds makes the CN212 a wonderful scope to use either visually or for imaging. The attached 7X50 finder scope has a generous 6.3º field of view; back focus is awesome at 8.25" (210mm) - which enables you room to allow for higher magnifications. The CN212 weighs in at 18.5 lbs and a tad more at 19.8 lbs. when used in the Newtonian mode.
In conclusion, I highly recommend this scope for anyone looking for a "One-Two Punch" in a scope, superbly made, exceptional Tak quality. To me this is Takahashi's Best Kept Secret!