Re: Tak EM-200 v. A-P 400gto

Larry Denmark <kldenmark@...>


Based on over two years experience with the Starfire 130 mm f/6 and the AP 400
mount, I would agree 100% with the statement by A-P that the above combination
is a good platform for visual astronomy. I have also found that the folks at
A-P are as knowledgible and helpful as their products are good (which makes
perfect sense). I have never received mis-information from A-P.

The point I was making is that you were also considering telescopes that are
either heavier and/or longer than the 130 mm f/6 Starfire. In that case, you'd
be beter off with a larger mount. But if you wait for the Starfire, the AP 400
GTO mount will serve you very well for visual astronomy... no problem at all
with that combination.

It is also a good combination for "casual" astrophotography. But, as they
state, when one becomes "serious" about astrophotography (i.e., when one is
willing to pawn the wife and kids for astronomy equipment), the AP 600E GTO is a
better choice.

I have spent nearly 5 years trying to find the *one* perfect
telescope-mount-camera combination. There is no such thing :-( You have to
know precisely what you want to accomplish and you must match your equipment to
meet your *primary* goal. If you have different goals, you will likely need
more than one system.

It's not that you can't use one set up for mutiple purposes, but each system is
optimum for one job. E.g., Planet observation or photography can certainly be
carried out successfully with the 130 mm f/6. I've viewed Saturn and Jupiter
many times. The views are extraordinary. But if you are a "dyed in the wool"
planet person, you'd be happier with the 130 mm f/8 Starfire (if you can find
one), or with the TAK 128 mm f/8. For nebulae, star fields, etc, the f/6 is
ideal, even though the f/8 can be used for those endeavors. Note that the
scopes I chose in the above example are quite similar, but each is optimized for
a different purpose.

By the choices you presented, (the Starfire 130 mm f/6, the TAK 128 mm f/8, and
the TAK CN-212) I can tell that you have yet to learn the above lesson. But
take heart, I haven't really learned it either. I now know enough to recite the
formula... but in my heart (wallet?) I still don't believe it <G>. -- In the
end, you pays yo money and you takes yo chances ;-)

E-mail ..... kldenmark@...
Web site ..

Ron, Larry,
Thanks for your thoughts about these mounts. As you no doubt have noticed,
the A-P web site features the 130 Starfire (pardon my earlier typo) f/6
prominently on the 400gto and recommends it for use with this mount, except
for "serious" astrophotography. I get the impression from what I read here
and elsewhere though that the ap400 is a little bit light even for visual
use with the 130mm scope.

I had thought (or wished) that the ap400 is substantially stabler than an
EM-10 and closer to an EM-200.

-- Eric

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