A Newbie's Impression of the Takahashi FSQ85

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chancy_sg
 
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A Newbie's Impression of the Takahashi FSQ85

Postby chancy_sg » Tue May 31, 2016 3:47 pm

As an introduction, I only recently got seriously involved in astronomy, although having had fleeting interests in it earlier in life, when my daughter was taught about the planets etc in kindergarten. So i dug up old books and reread and I guess one thing led to another and I was hooked. Our first family trip to Mersing in May 2015 was an eye-opener in more ways than one. As beginner's luck would have it, the sky was pristine, the visual powerhouses (Antares, great red spot and others) were there to show the delights of the universe to us - our Galileoscope unfortunately did not manage to see much beyond the planets...). And somehow, the intoxication of astrophotography was injected.

The search for a suitable imaging scope was abbreviated in my case as I had a friend who kindly lent me (eventually sold me) his unused Takahashi FSQ85. With a decent mount, my trusty dslr and my eyes, I was ready to begin the photon collection journey...

-I have used the FSQ85 a few times in the past year and for those interested or are researching, here are some of my observations:

- The optics are flawless as claimed - wide-field, flatfield apochromate, F5.3 prime. All you need is a suitable adapter and it is ready to go. On my FF DSLR, all stars to the edges and corners are as expected according the the charts on the Tak spec sheet.

- It is lightweight and short, so very portable, yet it is sturdy and well-built that you don't have to worry too much about collimation running or damaging the OTA.

- Balancing is a bit tricky as the offset plate shifts the centre of gravity such that the OTA with camera etc sits with the clamp near the front end of the OTA.

- The focuser is well damped and precise, no slippage or shifting at all once the focuser knob is tightened.

- All the tak accessories in the imaging train are very precise and tight, with next to no detectable flexture (the DSLR is 1.1KG or so though).

- Whatever you need for visual or imaging is as described in the system chart. CCD adapters are also available from Tak USA I am told.

- Although not primarily a visual scope, the optics present a dark background with the DSO objects well contrasted with an almost 3D effect. Due to the short focal length, maximum magnification is not that high for planetary, still the contrasty and apo colour-free effect allows one to make out fairly fine detail. Andromeda was a delight to see in its entirety with dark lanes.

- The finder at 7x30, while small, presents a very sharp, exact, and clear view. It is a pleasure to use it as is as a monocular even!

The first few photos I managed to take were inspiring enough to encourage me to go deeper* into astronomy, both visually and imaging-wise, which says a lot about the quality of the product.

As the cost is seemingly very high for such a small scope, I can only pass on the advice given to me by the 'oldbirds' (in particular 'the beginner')- "just buy right and you won't go wrong". Instead of the start cheap and upgrade path, which may insidiously end up costing more in the end, (not to mention hours of frustration with unsatisfying results) perhaps it would be a better choice to buy the best you can afford (within reason) right from the get go and enjoy every moment you have. If this OTA is on your shortlist, may I recommend you put it at the top...:P

Having said all the above, please note this is my first serious telescope and I am very much a newbie in AP (DSLR only). My observations through many great scopes and seeing other imagers results are merely my own opinion. The Takahashi line lives up to its sterling reputation, for me at least, with a simplicity of a robust system of (expensive) adapters and peripherals.

Wishing all clear skies! :)

*I have since sold this for its bigger sibling!

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antares2063
 
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Re: A Newbie's Impression of the Takahashi FSQ85

Postby antares2063 » Tue May 31, 2016 4:14 pm

hahah, nice ! Thanks for sharing your astronomy journey. Waiting for your bigger FSQ to come.

(and dont forget to give your Tak Newt some love too :P)

Regards
Junwei
I miss the place where stars shine bright, to gaze upwards in awe of the sight

chancy_sg
 
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Re: A Newbie's Impression of the Takahashi FSQ85

Postby chancy_sg » Tue May 31, 2016 10:52 pm

Thanks Antares for your support! Definitely will try my best to use the Newt more and maybe share that as well one day...
Twinkle twinkle little stars,
How I wonder what you are.

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ivan
 
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Re: A Newbie's Impression of the Takahashi FSQ85

Postby ivan » Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:35 pm

Nice review! As the current owner of your FSQ85, I can attest to all of that. I was quite blown away by the optics and sheer sharpness despite its relatively small 85mm aperture. It is definitely a keeper!

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Airconvent
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Re: A Newbie's Impression of the Takahashi FSQ85

Postby Airconvent » Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:56 pm

wow..thanks for sharing chancy_sg! Any idea how it compares with the Televue 85?

Your FSQ changed hands so quickly! Ivan, you did not bring your FSQ85 last Saturday?
I think you can link up with Samuel Ng (harlequin2902). He is a recent Tak convert also. You can set up a Tak gang!

Taks used to be heavily "promoted" by Remus during the early days of singastro for their phenomenal performance and everyone wanted to own either a Tak or a Televue refractor then! My first view of Jupiter at 300x was through Remus' old FC60. Was amazed the image did not breakdown despite breaching the "Max Mag = 2 x Aperture in mm" rule-of-thumb which proves how good the flourite optics are.
The Boldly Go Where No Meade Has Gone Before
Captain, RSS Enterprise NCC1701R
United Federation of the Planets

chancy_sg
 
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2015 3:39 pm
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Re: A Newbie's Impression of the Takahashi FSQ85

Postby chancy_sg » Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:50 am

Hi Aircovent, my fascination with Taks was from long ago in the 2000s, from Ed Ting's reviews amongst others. So when my friend offered me his to try, I could not say no! :P
Twinkle twinkle little stars,
How I wonder what you are.


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