My Takahashi FSQ85 “Baby Q”

I bought my Takahashi FSQ-85EDX telescope from Ian King Imaging in November 2013 and bought it with the 0.73 reducer and numerous Takahashi adapters.  I have not as yet used it reduced, only at the native F5.3.  I am very impressed with the scope so far.  It weighs only 4kg but feels so much more than that.  The scope is a thing of beauty with impeccable paintwork and build quality.  This is truly a scope to last a lifetime if cared for.

I went around the mental “shall I buy a 85 or 106” loop a million times.  However, I already have a TEC 140 telescope to give me a smaller (or zoomed in) image scale for smaller objects like M81, M87 etc and the Abell galaxy clusters.  I felt the FSQ-85 gave me better options for wide-field imaging of large targets like M31, M33, North American Nebula, Rosette Nebula etc.

FSQ85 with Guide Scope on NEQ6

My FSQ-85 rig consists of a Skywatcher ST80 guide-scope with a QHY5 guide-camera.  The whole shebang is mounted by ADM dovetails/bars/saddle onto a Skywatcher NEQ6 mount and I control it all via ASCOM/EQmod from my Dell D630 latitude laptop.

Here is a picture I did of M33 with 75 minutes of Luminance, binned at 1×1 and 20 mins each of RGB binned at 2×2.  All this done on an Atik 460 at -21C.  The seeing was terrible, the moon was rising and I was dodging clouds!  To say the UK climate is challenging for Astro-Photography with our milky white skies and constant cloud is the understatement of the century!


The image really needs more data in the colour channels and ideally some Ha as well to bring out some of the HII regions.  But not too shabby at all for a first light I reckon under the circumstances. All four corners are nicely round.

All in all I am impressed.  I intend to do some videos of how I mounted this scope so watch out for those.  I also will do some articles on how the camera connects to the scope in both reduced and native guises with the different Takahashi adapters.

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