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Old 14-09-2020, 08:30 AM
ozdw (Dave Wilson)
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Crazy? Tak for not-quite-newbie

I would appreciate some feedback to counter the path I'm on. Is my thinking crazy?

Background. Twenty years ago I owned an Intes 150mm Mak and a Vixen Super Polaris mount. It was good fun and only used for visual. Long story but moved back to America (no comments on that pls ) and sold it. Now back in Australia for good and thinking about my next (last?) purchase to get back into the hobby. This time I plan to mix it up with imaging as well as visual observing from the farm in Johanna, VIC (dark skies, though 1km from the Southern Ocean so could be challenging wrt seeing). I might even build a small shed with roll-off roof so I can leave it configured between observing sessions.

I'm searching for a used Tak TSA-120 and am thinking of buying new an iOptron CEM60. There doesn't seem to be anyone who's owned this scope that hasn't loved it. When I've bought the best quality I could afford at the time, I've rarely regretted it, so that's what I have in mind now. If I need to sell the gear later for some reason, I reckon the value would be relatively well preserved. I think the mount might be overkill, but it would give me flexibility in future.

I don't intend to focus solely on particular targets, e.g. planets, deep-sky, etc. but instead want a good all-rounder that will grow with me as I re-develop some of those lost skills.

So-- Crazy or rational?

dave
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Old 14-09-2020, 12:04 PM
JohnL
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Hi Dave,

I'm about 50 minutes north of you in Colac. Full disclosure: I have no experience with high quality refractors or equatorial mounts, I use a 8in F/6 dobsonian, and do a little bit of wide field photography on a DIY mount

If I was getting an eq mount with the weight capacity of the one you're looking at, I would be looking at putting a reflector on it, to try to capture as much light as possible in a given time. 8-10" f/5 maybe. They're usually a lot cheaper too.

You would have almost no light pollution there right?
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Old 14-09-2020, 12:30 PM
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Atmos (Colin)
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If you're wanting to do a mixture of visual and photography I'd say it's a good choice. You will nee to get a flattener or flattener/reducer for it otherwise only you're very centre will look any good when you put a camera on to the back of it.
Even just for visual the TSA-120 is a formidable instrument.
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Old 14-09-2020, 05:17 PM
ozdw (Dave Wilson)
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JohnL, no light pollution here at all. Nearest town (really nearest anything) would be Apollo Bay or Colac, both about 40km distant with high terrain between us and them. I never see sky glow from either.

For general visual use, I think the TSA-120 has a focal length that's in my sweet spot and would have very high contrast and image quality. You are right it wouldn't have the light gathering power of a dob or large reflector.
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Old 14-09-2020, 07:10 PM
glend (Glen)
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Dave, assuming your out of hotel quarantine, forget the TAK, anyone selling a used one always thinks it's worth it's weight in gold. Imho, buy basic, a simple GSO 8" f5 Newt will give you years of pleasure and cost next to nothing to buy new, and you won't worry about its value proposition. They are a great all rounder.
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Old 14-09-2020, 07:37 PM
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DavidTrap (David)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glend View Post
forget the TAK, anyone selling a used one always thinks it's worth it's weight in gold.
Ummm, I've sold three Taks this year - I've accepted what the market was willing to pay.

Back to the original question, I think you've answered your question already by saying you prefer to buy quality that is likely to hold it's value. I don't think you'd go wrong buying the TSA-120, although it's not likely to be a long enough focal length for planetary imaging, even with extenders / barlows.

Lovely spot where you live - we've driven along that coastline a few times, thinking that they must be happy cows in those paddocks

DT
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Old 14-09-2020, 09:54 PM
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Andy01 (Andy)
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Joanna is beautiful, got a good mate who lives in a yurt there. We camp in his backyard a couple of times each year and the skies are truly black indeed!
Lots of clouds & weather though!
Tak TSA is gorgeous, you’ll never regret buying quality and you’ll get your money back if you ever decide to sell it. That said, really nice 2nd hand ones pop up here on IIS from time to time at a much more affordable price than new.
Oh, one more thing, the ioptron Cem 60 has been superceded by the CEM 70. Got another mate who’s just installed one and he’s delighted with it!
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Old 14-09-2020, 10:04 PM
glend (Glen)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidTrap View Post
Ummm, I've sold three Taks this year - I've accepted what the market was willing to pay.

Back to the original question, I think you've answered your question already by saying you prefer to buy quality that is likely to hold it's value. I don't think you'd go wrong buying the TSA-120, although it's not likely to be a long enough focal length for planetary imaging, even with extenders / barlows.

Lovely spot where you live - we've driven along that coastline a few times, thinking that they must be happy cows in those paddocks

DT
David, quoting people out of context is designed to stir up trouble. If you read further, the key point was imho there are better value propositions.
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Old 15-09-2020, 05:54 AM
ozdw (Dave Wilson)
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Andy,

Thanks for your insights. I'll aim for the CEM70. That'll be easy compared to finding the used scope. The mount will look funny with my DSLR atop it waiting for the scope to be found.

Johanna does get some clouds but the 100km/h winds move them away pretty quickly. There are a lot of nice, calm days even in winter but boy is there some interesting weather in between.
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Old 15-09-2020, 12:45 PM
Rainmaker (Matt)
Strictly Visual......

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The TSA120 is a beautiful scope suited to visual and to photography, but it's only 120mm, so as long as you're aware the limitations of that aperture I doubt you would find a finer scope.

I have owned the TSA120 as well as a binoscope I made from a pair of them and found them great for up to 250x-300x in very good seeing conditions. Cooling down to ambient depends on the temperature delta at the time but an hour is as much as mine ever needed.

Their stock focuser is fine and its feel can be easily adjusted.

As for the suggestions of a Newtonian on an EQ mount as a visual instrument I think that is the stuff of neck pain and frustration with the eyepiece ending up in very inconvenient locations and angles.......

The TSA120 paired with Tak's Extender 1.5x ED works well......... as for imaging.... you would need to ask someone else.
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Old 18-09-2020, 12:54 PM
ozdw (Dave Wilson)
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Thanks, Matt. I'm definitely pursuing a high quality refractor to start with and may in future buy a catadioptric to complement it. Now to find a used scope and then buy the mount new.

dave
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Old 18-09-2020, 12:58 PM
ozdw (Dave Wilson)
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Glen,

I may well go for a reflector in future, but for now I'm going for the best quality refractor I can afford without feeling guilty ;-) Hindsight will tell me whether that was a good choice.
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  #13  
Old 20-09-2020, 04:17 AM
Renato1 (Renato)
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A Tak TSA120 would be great - superb for sharp images of stars and planets.

Just make sure you also get a cheap 12" or 14" or 16" dob to look at the thousands of DSOs you can easily spot through it, while taking pictures with your Tak.

I envy your dark sky - really envy it.
Regards,
Renato
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