The Takahashi TOA series telescopes are long air-spaced triplet designs. The larger than usual spacing between the lens elements coupled with the high-quality lens elements creates a telescope with 1/100th the level of aberration versus typical triplet designs. This complete redesign by Takahashi optical engineers eliminates spherical aberration while minimizing chromatic aberration across the visible light spectrum. But what does that all mean?
For the visual observer, it means no color fringing on bright objects like the moon. The telescope minimizes lens flaring when viewing the moon or Jupiter. Stars are visually smaller, tighter, and more colorful. This makes low-magnification viewing of star clusters a pure joy. The view has a high level of contrast. This allows the cloud bands of Jupiter to show as colorful and detailed. Saturn clearly shows its beautiful rings complete with the ring divisions. Its plethora of tiny moons appears as tiny tight dots which surround the planet like fireflies. Objects seem to float in three-dimensional space surrounded by an inky black background. Once experienced it's difficult to go back!
Having recently used the FC-100dz, a fluorite doublet at 800mm focal length, the TSA-120, a triplet design at 900mm, and the TOA130, a triplet at 1000mm for visual back-to-back over the last few weeks...my definitive preference is for the TOA. However, if the size, weight, and cost of the TOA are an issue. The smaller, lighter, and less expensive FC-100 and TSA-120 also offer astonishing views. I could probably be happy with the FC-100dz as a portable visual telescope forever. But...the TOA has a slightly greater focal length and color is better controlled.
Takahashi TOA telescopes are among the finest visual telescopes produced at their focal lengths.
For astrophotography, the TOA series used in conjunction with the recently introduced TOA645 0.99x flattener is simply the highest level of performance possible. This telescope system was developed to specifically combat issues caused by the introduction of new small-pixel astronomy cameras. Several of the new and most popular cameras use Sony sensors with 3.76 micron pixels in the 45mm diagonal full-frame size. The TOA645 flattener produces 1 micron spot sizes on-axis, 2 microns at 30mm off-axis, and 3 microns at 45mm. The spot size is held to below 5 microns all the way to a 60mm image circle...this means the telescope "sees" at a higher resolution than these popular cameras and ensures compatibility with virtually all typically available cameras. The system operates at f/7 which is a bit slower than the f/5 or f/3 of some of our other models but the increase in resolution is well worth the additional imaging time. If resolution of detail is important to your astrophotography, this system is state-of-the-art! Have a look at the included photos:
The TOA150B is 150 mm aperture at 1100mm, the TOA-130NFB is 130 mm at 1000mm.
Narrowband image of Trifid nebula, TOA130
Pacman Nebula with TOA150
Witch’s Broom, a section of the Veil Nebula Complex, TOA130
Eastern Veil Nebula, TOA130.