Takahashi FC-50

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Brand and Model:Takahashi FC-50
Price ($USD):$680-$3,000
Type:Apochromatic Refractor
Attributes: un-checked Go-To un-checked PEC
Aperture:50mm (2")
f Ratio:f/8
Focal Length:400mm
Finder:40mm guider
Electric Power:RA drive DC
Mount:Sky Patrol
Weight (lbs):4lb (ota)
Dimensions (w/h/d):
Description:The earlier FC-50 units and mountings had a grey-blue highlight while today's Takahashi makes lime-green highlights. The 40mm guider is yellow and is the rarest piece of the setups. It can use .965" barrels. The Sky Patrol mount could be fitted with a tangent arm which allows the 40mm guider to sit beside the FC-50. There were two types of tripods; long leg and short leg. The longer set is harder to find. FC-50s in general are extremely rare to come by in the US. Though there are over 100 of them in the world, few will ever encounter one. And retail prices can be triple the original value based on condition, age, and accessories. $680 will buy you the ota stripped. $2500-$3100 will buy you the entire setup as it was displayed in Takahashi catalogs nearly 20 years ago.

Vote Highlights Vote
Takahashi FC-50
Now I am a proud owner of an early grey/white version of the FC-50. This example of mine is in absolutely mint condition. Like new or museum cabinet cosmetics. I even got it in it's original box and plastic bag. Go figure! The first versions had an accessory ring on the main tube to handle the finder bracket. At first I didn't like the idea from photos over the net. Then after some thought and careful placement, I love the versatility of the accessory ring. Just yesterday evening I tried it under suburban skies. A first light with me. I was amazed at the instrument performance. I could easily push it up to 100X using a Takahashi 4mm orthoscopic eyepiece. The little telescope was still breathing. Amazing views of the trapezium in Orion. All four major components clearly visible and nebulosity showed the usual geometry found in larger apertures. I turned to Sirius with the 4mm eyepiece. No false color at all. Then to M41. I was surprised to see the same number of stars resolved and like pin point light sources, just as if I was looking through a larger instrument. Pleiades was a diamond necklace, the whole cluster was shown using a 26mm Plössl. I happen to have a collection of .965" eyepieces, I tried everyone with success except for a Celestron zoom which failed to reach focus. Such is life! I was also looking at Saturn and it's major moons with clarity. My transparency and seeing conditions were average but I am sure that the FC-50 will perform way better under dark skies. I am using the Teegul Sky Patrol III to mount it equatorially. A match made in heaven! The mount is attached to a 055CB Manfrotto tripod. Very stable and portable for the setup.

I am not sure how many of these instruments are out there. I waited patiently 4 years for one to show in the used market. If someone is curious I payed the equivalent of two 8" SCT OTAs for it. No regrets, money well spent, I mean invested.

I simply can not believe the optics or the mechanical construction. The focuser is buttery smooth as in every Takahashi telescope I own. Fit and finish is world class. Jsut a scaled version of the bigger models, with complete attention to detail everywhere. Something to proudly display in public.

Now I will start to buy all the accessories I might encounter here and there. This instrument is a keeper definitely. A no brainer to purchase. I will continue looking for the most recent versions of it. Who knows? Maybe I will be able in a couple of years to find a couple of fine examples of this amazing telescope. This is the cutest and most desirable instrument I was looking for. There are many others in my list, but the FC-50 will always be closer to me than the big aperture telescopes. Don't let the opportunity pass if you ever encounter one!

Clear Skies,

Edgardo Molina

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Mount:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=595609

Takahashi FC-50
Stunning little scope, performance far beyond what you would expect in a 50mm format! This is the second one I have owned and both have been superb. After many Takahashi scopes I have yet to encounter anything but excellent optical performance and the FC-50 is no exception. The only issue is the premium they command due to scarcity and the limitations of even a superb 50mm objective.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:7
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=588370

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