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Takahashi FC-76D Objective Unit Review

I have already reviewed the FC-76D as a complete telescope, so this is just a brief overview of the objective unit. So what is the FC-76D objective unit?

The version of the FC-76D with the fixed dew shield and smaller focuser used to be available only as a complete scope. Then, because it used the same 80mm tube and focuser as the FS-60C, Takahashi released the objective part as an upgrade. Imagine cutting an FC-76D off past the focuser, at the point where the objective of an FS-60C starts, then threading it to fit in place of the FS-60C objective – that’s the FC-76D objective unit.

Look at it either way – as a great way to upgrade your FS-60, or a cheap way to buy an FC-76D (though it’s not as cheap as it once was – I guess Tak’ weren’t selling many complete FC-76s!)

Strangely, the FC-76DC will now only be available as a split tube, just as if you’d got an FS-60C and fitted the objective unit. The reason is that being able to thread it in half makes the FC-76 much more transportable (including in carry-on luggage).

At A Glance

Telescope

FC-76D Objective Unit only

Aperture

76m

Focal Length

570mm

Focal Ratio

F7.5

Length

35mm

Weight

~1 Kg

 Data from Takahashi

What’s in the Box?

Mine came in a ridiculously overkill triple box that would likely have survived being thrown out of a DHL aircraft, never mind a Parcel Farce [sic] truck.

Design and Build

Not much to say here, except the threads are well made and it’s easy to avoid cross-threading if you are reasonably careful (always thread the scope together vertically). Takahashi paint colours change slightly, so the white enamel might not be an absolutely perfect match: mine was pretty close despite nine years between the manufacture of the FS-60C and the FC-76 Obj unit. Note that I struggled to get the original objective to unscrew from my FS-60C first time.

Complete FC-76DCU from an FS-60C and FC-76D Objective. Note the slightly different paint tones: the FS-60C is slightly whiter.

The objective unit comes with end caps to blank the tube when you are not using it. It also comes with a manual and a replacement serial number plate, so your FS-60C becomes just like a ‘proper’ FC-76 bought as a complete scope.

Fitting the serial plate was easy. The plate comes flat, but bends into shape as you tighten those screws.

Optics

Optics are the standard excellent 76mm F7.5 fluorite doublet. For other details on how the FC-76D performs, see the main FC-76DCU review.

Tube

The tube is painted ultra-flat camera black inside and contains a single knife-edge baffle.

Focuser

The focuser will only be as good as the one from your FS-60C.

You could, of course, just buy the objective unit along with the tube Takahashi sell to upgrade an FS-60C to an FS-60CB, then fit an aftermarket focuser from the likes of Moonlite or Starlight Instruments.

Doing this would be a cheaper alternative to buying a complete FS-76D and then upgrading the focuser, if that’s what you intend to do (though Tak focusers are pretty good, you might want the extra travel, load capacity or microfocus that a Feathertouch or Moonlite would give). At current prices, the saving of buying the objective instead of the whole OTA should cover the cost of your new focuser.

Summary

The FC-76D objective unit is clever product that owes something to Borg’s modular approach to making scopes. It is an easy fit upgrade, with the only sticking point (literally) being the FS-60C objective which may be a struggle to get off first time. Also, take reasonable care when you thread either objective on and off: cross-threading would be bad.

The FC-76D Objective Unit is a simple and (for Takahashi) cheap way of upgrading your FS-60C to a very much more capable scope. Alternatively, buy it as a shortcut to an FC-76D with an after-market focuser. Highly recommended.

By Roger Vine, Jan 2018.

 

 

 

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