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Augustus B Wright III Reviews

Smooth, stable, high quality

I recently ordered the Lapides modified Teegul with my Tak FS60C for daytime solar viewing. This is a substantial mount, and requires a solid tripod (circular section aluminium [Bogen] or wood [Berlebach]) for optimal use. The dual motion capability (i.e., make large movements by pushing the scope, fine movements with alt/az knobs) makes locating objects in the finder very easy, and the fluid movements achieved with the alt/az knobs are simply a pleasure to use...just like the Tak focuser...so keeping objects in view is accomplished with ease. My unit carries the FS60C, a Scopetronix Maxview DSLR eyepiece projection unit with a 12mm T4 Nagler, and a Canon EOS 1D (a heavy camera) with absolutely no ill-effects...what little vibration there is dampens out quicky, and the unit does not bind up carrying this large weight out at long lever-arms. Ive begun using the Baby-Tak with this unit (and at obscenely high-power) to grab quick views of the gas giants as well as wide field deep sky work when the cloud-gods cooperate. Minimal vibration while focusing, then a silent, steady view. I find myself out under the stars a lot more simply because the ease of set-up and use makes more of my observing time, and with a zero frustration quotient! Not the cheapest way to go, but as with all things Takahashi, you get what you pay for.

Buy with caution

This is a tough EP to use. Viewing conditions need to be spot on perfect to allow this EP to perform to specifications. Youll need at least 9/10 seeing and practically zero light pollution. Get to high altitude. Even the moon, when still less than 30 degrees above local horizon, boils with unreal turbulence that would hardly be noticeable in a 7mm or lower power EP. Your tracking mount must be stable-stable-stable, and preferably in a shelter of some sort, as the slightest vibration will make objects dance in the EP like nothing youve ever seen before! Dont bother to use this puppy on a non-tracking mount...you wont be able to keep anything in the field for more than a second or three, and fiddling with alt-az knobs will make your views, well, frustrating would be a charitable word to use! And yet... I wouldnt get rid of this EP for all the Birkenstocks in Berkeley! When conditions cooperate, when planets or the moon are high in the sky, hang on! With a good APO, Titan is a snap. Color in Neptune visible in a Tak FS60C! Resolve doubles you never thought possible. Globs take on new life in a TV NP101. Have a larger SCT or Dob...forget about it! Waste of money. I havent tried a TOA130, but Id bet it would be too much unless conditions were absolutely perfect. Evaluate your needs carefully before you think about this one, and realize that even so this EP will sit in your case - like a derby horse in the gate - waiting for those oh so rare nights. But if youve got good - real good - glass, a rock steady mount, can get to high, clear skies, and live to look at planets and deep into craters... Well made, typical Tak quality, but wish Tak would include end caps!

Versatility...Listen up PST owners!

EP is typical Tak quality; eye relief seems adequate to me (and though I wear glasses I usually view without them on). What stands out to me is the contrast: first light was solar, and on a Coronado PST of all things. When I recently recieved my PST (which comes with a 12mm Kellner) I was a little disappointed with the apparent contrast on surface granulation and markings on sunspots when using Coronados stock EP. I switched to a 12mmT4 Nagler, and not much improvement. Frustrated! I had recently received the Tak 18 as part of a FS102NSV/EM200T2 package, so I thought lets give it a go. Well, the Tak EP made it a whole new ball game. Surface granulation popped into stark relief, even prominences had more depth and detail. Switched over to various other Plössl, Pentax, Meade and TV EPs, then back to the Tak 18: simply no contest. All of the granulation starkly apparent in the Tak faded to obscurity when using every other EP I own! I guess TNR/Tak include this EP as a general purpose unit (and with good reason, for it provides excellent contrast and sharpness), but I wont take out my PST without this EP in the barrel.

TeleVue 2.5mm Nagler Type 6

on October, 17th 2009

Tough call

Comparing this ep to a Tak 2.8HiLE I find that the Tak offers a bit more contrast. Example: in a FS102NSV & FS60C with good seeing banding on Jupiter reveals more detail in the bands with the Tak, and a touch of colour. On Saturn the Cassini Division was readily apparent on the Tak, a struggle with the TV. The black field is milkier in the TV. Still, this is a very good ep: if I had to choose between these two and I had a non-driven mount, the wider field would tip the scales in favor of the TV.

TeleVue 12mm Nagler Type 4

on October, 17th 2009

typical televue

You want to love this ep...you really do. When you position your eye...just so...it has fantastic contrast. Its well made, but tricky even so. Screw in a filter too tightly and try to unscrew it: watch out as the whole lower assembly will unscrew with it. The next sounds you hear could be very expensive as itsy bitsy lense elements lurk ready to fall! The Insta-just eyepiece shield is next to useless. There IS ghosting and the kidney bean, but the latter is less an issue the longer you work with this ep. If you have a 1.25 compression ring diagonal the hybrid 1.25-2 barrel is a true hassle to use. But on nights of so-so seeing this is a wicked good ep for planets and M42 etc, and some of my best views have been thru this ep. Go figure!