OK, so you are going to spend a lot of money (you are over that hump), and it's got to be an apochromat triplet refractor. Looking around you notice TEC's 160ED oil spaced triplet. You notice that it is f8, and has the Feathertouch 3545 focuser. But oil spaced? Isn't ther e a danger with that? And hey there isn't a fluorite lens like the f7 version. Is this a second rate scope?
From the first minute you look at it you'll realize not only is this a TEC, but ther is absolutely nothing about it that doesn't impress. That first look - hey - they forgot to put a lens in it! to wow that focuser is is 'KATN' all the way.
You notice the oil spaced lens cools very quickly and keeps up very well with temp swings over the night. You notice the stunning flat, crisp, and contrasty views TEC's are noted for. You take your reading of the sky, drop in a 5mm (or a 4mm or whatever your skies will allow) eyepiece and whatever you are viewing pops out at you, snapping into focus and start ot think about if you have eyepieces that can do it justice... drop in an widefield and again flat, crisp, contrasty - and step back and realize for the money there is no better deal out there. Don't pass up TEC's finder bracket for this scope! it's another innovation that actally really works! I got mine with the Baader 8*50 illuminated finder - you will love it.
The scope is reasonbly portable, longer than a Tak 130 but also lighter and 30mm more 'apo'ture! Can you see a diiference? If you cant it's beacause it's cloudy :) I had a bit of trouble with the weight of this scope and the 80mm piggyback I use on a CGE, but the Mach-1 GTO does a fine job - yes that inculdes imaging.FOV? well I was able to image NGC7331 and friends and Stephans Quintet on same frame. Not as wide a fild as the f7 version but wide enough for a lot and it does drill drown sharply - and keeping focus as noted above is not an issue - this is where I think an oil spaced triplet really outperforms air spaced designs.
After a year with this scope, it still impresse me greatly. Fantasic for visual and for imaging, makes the decision difficult some nights, but whatever I choose I am always impressed by this scope. I really don't see any peers to review this scope against in it's price class. A hand figured apo where you can easily reach Yuri and ask questions. Fantastic support and I doubt you'll ever need it.
7/28/2010 11:15:06 PM
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