Equinox 66 Vs Tak FS60C

A long awaited comparison, Sky-watcher Equinox 66ED Vs Takahashi FS60C. I borrowed the Equinox 66ED from the dealer for sometimes and waited for my friend, David, for quite a long time. The sky was not cooperating. Our schedules were not matching. Finally I gave up the comparison through celestial objects, but terrestrial observation.

I went to David’s school at about 5:00pm yesterday. We setup all the scopes quickly. David’s students were good helpers and little judges. I guess they are trained to be experienced telescope users. The main disc was Equinox 66ED Vs Tak FS60C. However, there was another super star TMB 80/480. The main concern was the chromatic aberration. We selected some white light sources from distant buildings. In addition, we luckily found some really small bright spots which can be treated as point source. So we did “star test” as well. However, one should be reminded that these artificial objects were much brighter than Sirius and even Venus. Using these artificial sources was extremely harsh to telescopes.
At the first sign, both scopes are strongly built. I like both focusers, although Tak FS60C got no dual speed, it is firm and solid. While the Equinox’s dual speed focuser makes focusing easier. We used the Nagler 2-4mm zoom and Nagler 3-6mm zoom. Ordinary diagonals used were used. For comparison purpose we set the magnifications of Equinox and Tak to 400/3 = 133X and 360/3 = 120X respectively. Despite low contrast, both scopes didn’t breakdown even at 2mm eyepiece focal length. The trends of CA of both scopes were similar. There were some violet in front of the focus and some green behind the focus. However the degree of CA was different. The CA of Tak FS60C was very small. The CA of Equinox was small. Both scopes gave good “star test” results. All the diffraction rings were symmetrical. However the pattern in front of the focus and behind the focus in the case of Tak FS60C was a bit better. We repeated all the comparisons by swapping the Nagler 2-4mm zoom and Nagler 3-6mm zoom, the results were the same, which means the differences were not from the eyepieces, but the scopes. Anyway, the difference in CA was not big in fact. So what really make the difference in this comparison? Resolution!!! David and I found that the resolution tells the difference. Tak FS60C gave shaper images.
About the CA of Equinox 120ED, it was reported in Cloudy Nights that if one stops down an Equinox 120ED to 110mm, it was virtually color free. So I tested this idea in Equinox 66ED. Since I could not find a compass this morning, I used a cap to draw a circle. The diameter of the stopper was then 58.5mm. There was still CA exists and showed a bit improvement in violet. I couldn’t see improvement in green.
Well, the final verdict cannot be made. The reason is that in real sky observations, stars are much dimmer that artificial lights. The observed CA in very bright artificial lights may not be detectable by human eyes in the case of real stars, so further test is needed.
At the end we try those eyepieces on the legendary TMB 80/480 quickly. We selected a very bright source. No kidding! We were not able to find any CA!!! We were rushed by janitor. So we didn’t try deeply the Nalger zooms on the TMB 80/480. Wait for next chance!

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