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CN Report: The Tele Vue NP101

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#1 Tom T

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 04:38 PM

The Tele Vue NP101

#2 Keith Howlett

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 05:17 PM

Tom,

An excellent review, thank you!

Keith

#3 Jim7728

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 06:00 PM

Great article and such a privilege to read it for "free" on Cloudy Nights. ;)

I'd love to own a NP-101, but do feel fortunate to have the older Genesis SDF version. :cool:

Thanks for the fun and interesting read, sir! :waytogo:

#4 John Kocijanski

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 06:50 PM

Great review. I had a couple of opportunities look through one a while back. The views made me realize what all the hoopla over apos was all about. How does it compare to the TV 102 as far as performance?

#5 naglertized

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 06:55 PM

Awesome article Tom, makes me treasure my lil ole Pronto even more ( I can still get spacers! ). It's clear tonight, I know where I'll be.

I especially loved the inset of behind the scenes of TV.

#6 Doug D.

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 07:03 PM

Wonderful review Tom - I suppose I am biased because I own one but to me, your review simply affirms what I knew to be true already. The NP101 is just about the right "balance of everything" I need in a portable APO (e.g., performance, versatility, weight, form factor, quality build). Did I mention performance?

#7 Tom T

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 07:34 PM

Thanks for the comments guys. I've been fortunate to use a fair amount of truly superb gear over the last few years, and the TV products are right up there the very best of them. They have always satisfied.

Great review. I had a couple of opportunities look through one a while back. The views made me realize what all the hoopla over apos was all about. How does it compare to the TV 102 as far as performance?


Hi John,

Years ago I bought a TV102 - for various reasons, I figured it was the best option for me at the time - with cost no object. A while back Al and I were both speakers at the Apollo Rendezvous and had the opportunity to do a little observing together out at their club site. He put me on to the NP101 that night. He convinced me that a number of the myths I'd heard were really just that - myths, and it was a really superb design. Further, he made a convincing argument as to why I should use it as a platform for eyepiece testing.

Well, some time passed, and the opportunity came up last year. Since then I've been using it a *LOT*, and there's not much the TV102 can do that the NP can't. The exceptions are binoviewing (the new TV102IIS is great in that regard), and saving some extra space in your wallet to help with that ethos purchase. The fields are flatter, the wide views are wider, and the NP even handles power better - showing no CA, whereas the TV102 shows a bit at magnification.

T

#8 stevecoe

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 09:35 PM

Tom;

I have had the pleasure of observing with Al Nagler twice, once at TSP and last year at Riverside. I find that I agree completely with all the folks who say he is a true gentleman. Not to mention one of the best optical designers in the world today. I have been lucky to enjoy his company while viewing the sky.

I am not at a place where I can afford an expensive refractor at this point, but when I am, the NP 101 will be first on my list.

Clear Skies;
Steve Coe

#9 alanon

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 10:34 PM

Ok. You have me drooling! I am starting to save my pennies now. Very nicely written article Tom.

#10 NukenGeek

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 11:52 PM

Great review Tom. I had been considering a variety of refractors for a while, trying to find one that would allow me to use the full capability of the SBIG imager I recently bought. I ordered the NP101is on Friday for many of the same features you pointed out in your review. It cost a lot more than I had intended to spend, but I decided it was worth it. I feel relieved to have my investment vindicated by someone with your level of experience. Now I just have to be patient and wait for it to arrive. (Not easy!)

#11 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 11:59 PM

Ok. You have me drooling! I am starting to save my pennies now. Very nicely written article Tom.


I agree... Very nicely written... :)

Jon

#12 MacRoberts

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 12:33 AM

Well done, Tom. So well it made me second guess (for a second, anyhow) whether I should have gotten the NP-101 instead of the 127. One thing is for sure, the 101 is even more portable than my 127 and can do most everything it can do.

Thanks for your significant and ongoing contributions to this community.

#13 goober

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 12:58 AM

I enjoyed your review, Tom, especially the tour through the Tele Vue establishment.

I agree about the narrow focus zone. I initally put a Tele Vue Focus Lever on mine, but eventually upgraded to the FocusMate. It made a wonderful scope even better.

If I had one problem with the scope (more a problem with me, I guess!), is I use a Starbeam, and a 24mm Panoptic as a 3 degree FOV finder eyepiece. It gets a bit confusing star hopping with the L/R view reversed via the diagonal. I'm torn between teaching my brain to mirror image the view, or put an actual finderscope on it!

Tom, I'd be very interested if you could draw on your experiences and suggest a dream set of eyepieces for this scope. Say, three eyepieces and a barlow? I want to know how much better it could be ;)

#14 Madsen

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 01:46 AM

Very nice review :D

Have anyone compared the NP101 and the Takahashi FSQ?

Søren

#15 Mike Clemens

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 03:09 AM

Enjoyed the review, thank you.

#16 Dirtyharry

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 06:39 AM

Hello,

Nice advertisement for Televue! Is this really a meaningful review? Sounds lke Tom T. is working for the company Personally having looked through several Petzval designs in the Nagler line,I find the simpler TV 102 to be a better beast for the visual observer. And there's plenty of seasoned obsevers out there who'll wholeheartedly agree with me! Just my 2 cents.

Harry.

#17 Tom T

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 07:51 AM

Hello,

Nice advertisement for Televue! Is this really a meaningful review? Sounds lke Tom T. is working for the company Personally having looked through several Petzval designs in the Nagler line,I find the simpler TV 102 to be a better beast for the visual observer. And there's plenty of seasoned obsevers out there who'll wholeheartedly agree with me! Just my 2 cents.

Harry.


Hi Harry,

First off, welcome to CN! A couple of words of wisdom - if you stick around here for very long, you'll probably learn that although it's easier on the forums (because many use a handle instead of their names) libel still isn't considered to be good form. Calling someone a shill is just plain poor behavior. We're not SAA and we put a large emphasis on being civil to each other. Reasoned disagreement is one thing. Insults and aspersions are another. Lets keep it to disagreement, eh?

So lets put that aside and start fresh.

FWIW I got a chuckle out of your post. You see, I completely understand your opinion on the TV102 because for many years, it was one I shared.

I owned a TV102 for 5-6 years, and it was my most used telescope during that time frame. I've also owned a Genesis SDF and had occasion to use a TV101 (along with a couple of other petzval designs). As I alluded to in the article, there was a time that I made similar arguments about the suitability of the doublet to the (earlier) petzvals for the visual observer - in fact, if you take a look at some of my old postings on the TV group, I was quite the proponent of the TV102. Paul L and I used to really get into it over the perceived advantages and disadvantages of the two scopes, so if you go back and look at those old posts, you'll find I was one of those "seasoned observers" who agreed with you.

But after using the NP for a year I have to admit that Paul was absolutely correct in this and I was wrong. The NP is a different beast than the TV101 or the Genesis SDF, and it really is a step up from the TV102.

Tom T.

#18 Tom T

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 07:57 AM

Tom, I'd be very interested if you could draw on your experiences and suggest a dream set of eyepieces for this scope. Say, three eyepieces and a barlow? I want to know how much better it could be ;)


Hi Goober -

If I had to pick just three, it would be the 31 Nagler t5, the 13mm Ethos, and the 2-4 zoom. I'd also pick the Antares 1.6x or TV 2x barlows.

T

#19 Tom T

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 07:57 AM

Well done, Tom. So well it made me second guess (for a second, anyhow) whether I should have gotten the NP-101 instead of the 127. One thing is for sure, the 101 is even more portable than my 127 and can do most everything it can do.

Thanks for your significant and ongoing contributions to this community.


Hi Jim,

Thank you! And thank you to everyone else who contributed civil comments, they are appreciated.

T

#20 Tom T

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 08:27 AM

Very nice review :D

Have anyone compared the NP101 and the Takahashi FSQ?

Søren


Hi Soren, the Q is a fine scope - and one that I gave strong consideration to myself. The thing that stopped me - with the first Q, focus travel was very limited. The scope was really intended more as an astrograph from what I was given to understand. The new Q appears to be a bit better in this respect, but most people seem to be using them as astrographs again. I hope to get the opportunity to use one of the New Q's before too long, they sure look like a sweet telescope.

#21 ac2005

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 10:16 AM

Excellent...thoroughly enjoyed reading it...thank you for sharing insight on the tv facility.

Regards
AC

#22 ckwastro

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 10:31 AM

Tom,

As always, excellent review, thank you! Darn near picked up the phone and called TV so I could have a "His & Hers " pair of 4"(ish) APO's at home. Especially since my wife confiscated the AP as her own :grin:

Seriously though I used a friend's on & off for a couple years and I completely agree with your assessment of it's performance - excellent instrument.

#23 Dirtyharry

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 10:31 AM



The NP is a different beast than the TV101 or the Genesis SDF, and it really is a step up from the TV102.

Tom T. [/quote]


Hi Tom,

I'm afraid we'll have to agree to disagree! The NP101 might well have better colour correction, but there are many more aberrations to consider than this and the TV 102, being a doublet at f/8.6 means that most of these other imperfections are reduced even further than they could be at f/5.4. I confirmed this with a simple but all-telling star test, where I once compared a TV 101 with a TV102. The 102 won hands down and showed a level of SA correction < 1/8th wave ptv. The 101 was more like 1/5th wave, which is enough to take the edge off fine planetary detail. Have a look at the Aberrator freeware where it compares a typical petzval 4" f/5.4 to that of a 4" f/8.6. That's more or less what I have experienced. I doubt if a typical NP101 would do a lot better in this respect.
The extra $1000 for the NP101 gets you increased portability, a slightly wider field of view at low power and excellent field flatness for astrophotography. But it DOES NOT, IMO, translate to better sharpness and contrast (irrespective of the kinds of coatings they employ).
Harry.

#24 dtsmith

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 10:41 AM

I thought it was a great review Tom, although as an owner, I'll readily admit that I am biased. :) One of the things I really like about this scope is the fact the case doesn't require you to disassemble the scope to store it. Just remove the eyepiece, pop in the dust covers and put it away with the diagonal and clamshell/starbeam attached. I noticed in the pictures that the Focusmate and driver appear to be quite large. Does the size of the Focusmate create problems when using the case?

#25 ScottAz

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 10:47 AM

Fantastic! (As always.) Thanks, Tom!






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