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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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Calypte
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: Televue 85 vs. Televue NP101 new [Re: FirstSight]
      #5595550 - 12/30/12 04:09 AM

I own both scopes and have used both extensively, for my own observing and imaging, and for public star parties. My ownership of the TV85 goes back to '06, the NP101is to '10. I use them on equatorial mounts, earlier a G11, then a Mach1GTO. Of the alt-az alternatives, I have no experience, but I don't find the prospect of manually chasing a planet at 200x very appealing. A heavier scope means a heavier counterweight. For the NP101is it means a larger dovetail plate and rings. The weight difference of the OTAs multiplies. At my previous home, I often left the TV85 on the mount and carried it out to the driveway for casual observing. The NP101is required some additional assembly to prepare for observing. I now have the 101 on a permanent mount (the Mach1GTO) in an observatory, so the 85 may go back on the G11 for casual viewing. The hard case of the 101 is much larger than the convenient soft case of the 85 (see the longer case in John Rhodes' picture). The 85 is much easier to fit into the trunk of a car. I have to put the 101 on the back seat. I took the 85 instead of the 101 to Utah for the annular eclipse, and the choice spared a lot of room elsewhere in the car. My previous opinion -- which I won't retract or modify -- is my honest judgment based upon my experience of actually owning and using both scopes. The OP can weigh the various comments and decide what he deems important. I'm not sure that either of these scopes is the best choice for a beginning observer, particularly if he access to a dark sky. They are superb at what they do, but you aren't going to be chasing down 13th mag galaxies with either of them, and M42 is going to be disappointing compared to the view through a light-bucket that costs a fraction of these TV refractors. Between the TV85 and NP101is, the brighter image of the 101, even on planets, makes it the clear winner optically. Size matters. But without that comparison available, the OP would be delighted with the 85, provided his deep-sky aspirations are kept in check.

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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Televue 85 vs. Televue NP101 new [Re: Calypte]
      #5595663 - 12/30/12 08:07 AM

Calypte:

I use my 80mm apo and NP-101 on alt-az mounts with slow motion controls. They are easily transported out through the door and out to the backyard assembled and ready to go. With the slow motion controls, tracking at 200x or even 300x, is not a problem.

But that said, a 3 or 4 inch refractor, no how perfect it might be, is a better second scope than as a first scope. My run of the mill 10 inch Dob provides better planetary views and of course goes deeper into the deep sky.

Jon


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Paul G
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Reged: 05/08/03

Loc: Freedonia
Re: Televue 85 vs. Televue NP101 new [Re: choran]
      #5595870 - 12/30/12 10:44 AM

The weight difference is really minimal, a little less than 3 pounds. Either scope will ride comfortably for visual use on a small alt-az mount or a small equatorial mount. To me the decision is easy, the 101 has better color correction and will show a brighter image with more detail.

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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Televue 85 vs. Televue NP101 new [Re: Paul G]
      #5595929 - 12/30/12 11:17 AM

Quote:

The weight difference is really minimal, a little less than 3 pounds. Either scope will ride comfortably for visual use on a small alt-az mount or a small equatorial mount. To me the decision is easy, the 101 has better color correction and will show a brighter image with more detail.






It also is capable of a wider, flatter field.

As I said before, the decision is really the NP-101 versus any one of a number of very good 80mm, 90mm, or even 100mm refractors. The NO-GO101 offers capabilities that are unique, if you want what it offers, it the only choice.

That is not the case with the TV-85, there are other worthy competitors. Myself, I like TV products but I am very happy with my William Optics 80mm F/7 FD, I don't see much reason to swap it for the TV-85...

Jon


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FirstSightModerator
Duke of Deneb
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Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Raleigh, NC
Re: Televue 85 vs. Televue NP101 new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5596013 - 12/30/12 12:03 PM

Quote:


But that said, a 3 or 4 inch refractor, no how perfect it might be, is a better second scope than as a first scope. My run of the mill 10 inch Dob provides better planetary views and of course goes deeper into the deep sky.





For visual observation, the most ideal choice is the combination of an NP-101 and a decent 10 or 12 inch reflector. They make perfectly complementary partners, each having respective strengths and capabilities that fill the most important holes in the weaknesses and incapabilities of the other. You want astounding panoramic views and incredibly sharp, pinpoint, perfectly colored stars, the NP-101 cannot be beat. You want the depth of reach and detail only a bit of aperture can give you, to resolve globular clusters and show dimmer galaxies, the 10-12 inch reflector can give that to you.

When observing in my driveway at home, I'll take out the NP-101 three times for every time I'll take out my 12" reflector. When observing away from home at what passes for a dark site, I'll always take both, and go back and forth between them all night. I'll take in the entire Veil nebula in the NP-101 and take in the beautiful intricate detail of individual sections of it in the 12". I'll compare the panoramic view of open clusters in wider context of the dense Milky Way background in the Puppis/Canis Major region in the NP-101, but resolve individual clusters into lots more stars in the 12" reflector. I'll enjoy the view of M33 against a wide stellar background in the NP-101, but begin to resolve its spiral structure in the 12" reflector, and use the latter to go into more ambitous galaxy-hunting. The contextual view of Jupiter and its moons against the background is seemingly more breathtaking and photo-sharp in the NP-101, yet the bigger aperture of the 12" brings out much more subtle detail of the cloudbands than even the finest 4" aperture will ever be capable of doing. It's a real visual treat, a feast, bouncing back and forth all night between the NP-101 and my 12" reflector. Meanwhile, I've got a really nice Megrez-90 doublet which mostly sits on the bench since I got the NP-101. I do agree that it's good that Televue has now redesigned the NP-101 hard case to have a smaller footprint, rather than use the same case as for the larger NP-127. That was always needless overkill for the NP-101 unless you really wanted to make double-use of the case to hold both scope and eyepieces.

Edited by FirstSight (12/30/12 02:42 PM)


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Calypte
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: Televue 85 vs. Televue NP101 new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5596139 - 12/30/12 01:06 PM

Quote:

With the slow motion controls, tracking at 200x or even 300x, is not a problem.



Have you successfully coached a kid at a star party to do this?


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tomchris
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/22/10

Loc: Connecticut, U.S.A.
Re: Televue 85 vs. Televue NP101 new [Re: FirstSight]
      #5596825 - 12/30/12 07:45 PM

In my case, I would say that since I had two wide field scopes (the Genesis and the 85), I wanted a scope with a little more focal length for better magnification (hence the Vixen 102mm at FL 9.8). I've put both scopes on separate DUPS plates and thus either is ready to mount on a lighter Manfrotto tripod or DM-4 that I have. The weight isn't that much of a factor but I personally still find the smaller scope easier as a G&G. However, I like your method of carrying your NP 101!!!

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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Televue 85 vs. Televue NP101 new [Re: Calypte]
      #5597464 - 12/31/12 07:14 AM

Quote:

Quote:

With the slow motion controls, tracking at 200x or even 300x, is not a problem.



Have you successfully coached a kid at a star party to do this?




I don't do star parties. 200x is planetary/double star territory in a 4 inch.In public outreach I would not be using the NP-101 to view the planets, a 4 inch is a poor choice as a planetary scope, particularly with inexperienced observers.

The NP-101 does widefield duty. For kids, the wide field of view mates well with a manual alt-az mount because they can quickly learn to sweep the sky, making their own discoveries.

For higher magnification outreach, I use a 12.5 inch Dob. I find that when the line is short and there is time for individual attention, people learn to track quite quickly.

If someone is considering a telescope to be used at starparties and public outreach, the NP-101 is probably not a good choice. As a scope for observing alone, with family and friends, for small groups, it a great scope and the alt-az mount works very well.

But... I am a big believer in the right scope for an object so most objects are better suited to a significantly larger scope so the NP-101 is a companion rather than an only scope.

Jon


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t.r.
Post Laureate
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Reged: 02/14/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Televue 85 vs. Televue NP101 new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5597542 - 12/31/12 08:52 AM

IME, complimentary scopes aside, I easily carried my TV Genesis 101 on a Super Polaris equatorial mount with dual drives outside in one trip. If you are reasonably fit, I don't see an issue. I have had 80, 90 and 92mm apos as well, and there is a gain you can see going with the 101. If you want to carry the OTA on an airplane for travel, well the TV 85 would be the better bet or if you simply want a smaller equipment footprint. Personally, I'd go with the 101 if my only scope, I used the Genesis for thirteen years as my primary scope and it went a long way showing me the universe.

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Calypte
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: Televue 85 vs. Televue NP101 new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5598122 - 12/31/12 02:55 PM

Quote:

If someone is considering a telescope to be used at starparties and public outreach, the NP-101 is probably not a good choice.



I used the 85 and then the 101 successfully at public/school star parties for several years. I always got raves over the views, since they were so clearly superior to the usual mis-collimated SCTs. The TV85 showed surface features on Mars during the last opposition, which none of the nearby light buckets was able to do. Using the 85 on a driven equatorial mount helped a lot, too. Public star parties are usually about showeing the Moon and bright planets. Agreed on this point: even the brightest deep-sky objects (M57, M13, M42) are too dim to be effective in these little scopes, but, then, school grounds are rarely dark enough to permit showing deep-sky objects. For schools I now use a Celestron 8SE, which is satisfactorily sharp when collimated. The 8SE has other debits, however, and I may go back to the TV85.

Edited by Calypte (12/31/12 03:07 PM)


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la200o
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/09/08

Loc: SE Michigan, USA
Re: Televue 85 vs. Televue NP101 new [Re: Calypte]
      #5598512 - 12/31/12 06:24 PM

I agree about most DSO's being not so hot with little refractors for obvious reasons, always excepting open clusters and doubles.

Bill


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Televue 85 vs. Televue NP101 new [Re: la200o]
      #5598535 - 12/31/12 06:36 PM

Quote:

I agree about most DSO's being not so hot with little refractors for obvious reasons, always excepting open clusters and doubles.

Bill:

There are DSOs that are ate best in a smaller scope, there are DSOs that are best in larger scopes. Matching the telescope to the object...
:ubetca:

The same is true of the planets and double stars.. bigger scopes that are properly setup are better suited for viewing the planets than 3 and 4 inch scopes...

Jon

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la200o
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/09/08

Loc: SE Michigan, USA
Re: Televue 85 vs. Televue NP101 new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5598783 - 12/31/12 09:35 PM

Jon:

Absolutely.

I was responding to "even the brightest deep sky objects . . . are too dim in these little scopes." Some deep sky objects are just great in little scopes. Others, no.

Bill


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Calypte
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: Televue 85 vs. Televue NP101 new [Re: la200o]
      #5598886 - 12/31/12 11:07 PM

"...are too dim to be effective in these little scopes." I've successfully shown M57 & M13 to students & parents with my 8-inch reflector, but it requires an enormous amount of coaching to get them to see them in a 4-inch refractor. "See that little fuzzy spot in the middle?..." At a dark-sky site, sure, but, then, I'm not usually going to settle for a little scope if I have a genuine dark sky.

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la200o
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/09/08

Loc: SE Michigan, USA
Re: Televue 85 vs. Televue NP101 new [Re: Calypte]
      #5598980 - 01/01/13 12:42 AM

Right: We seem to be miscommunicating. No doubt the bigger scope will make DSO's brighter. My point is that although many DSO's are beyond the capabilities of a small refractor, there are still some that are not. I'd include M42 among those that will cause some oohs and aahs in a 4" refractor, as well as (among many others that would make the list, M6&7 in Scorpius, the Auriga clusters, M2, and so on). Actually, some of the OC's are better in my fast 4" than in my CPC 9.25, with its limited FOV.

Regards,
Bill

Edited by la200o (01/01/13 12:44 AM)


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Calypte
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: Televue 85 vs. Televue NP101 new [Re: la200o]
      #5599052 - 01/01/13 01:55 AM

Agreed about the open clusters. A great one for kids at this time of year is NGC 457 in Cassiopeia. It's especially useful (as at a star party recently) when there's no moon or bright planets.

I think the OP probably has enough info by now about the merits of the 85 vs the 101.


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KWB
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Reged: 09/30/06

Loc: Westminster,Co Elev.5400 feet
Re: Televue 85 vs. Televue NP101 new [Re: Calypte]
      #5599077 - 01/01/13 03:02 AM

This past summer,on a trip over into western Colorado that was never intended to be astro related, all I had was a small 70mm refractor(A Walmart Special that I paid $10.00 for in an ARC store) that I keep in the rear of my small car during the summer and had just one chance on one night under truely dark skies to use that telescope. Despite having no choice as to grabbing a larger aperture scope,I wouldn't trade the experience that night away,period. The sky stability was probably close to a Pickering 8.0 that late May night.

We all do what we have to do,and if given no other option, using a small aperture scope under a dark sky ain't too shabby a proposition IMO and IME. If that little telescope was all I owned and I also lived and could observe 275 miles west from where I ordinarily do so,count me in for 15 to 20 a nights a month doing just that.

Enjoyment of this hobby comes in many forms,so I don't need the "best" or "largest" telescope in the "perfect" viewing location to have a good time. As always,YMMV.


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RogerRZ
Whatta you lookin' at?
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Reged: 01/09/06

Loc: West Collette, NB, Canada
Re: Televue 85 vs. Televue NP101 new [Re: KWB]
      #5599154 - 01/01/13 07:06 AM

Quote:



Enjoyment of this hobby comes in many forms,so I don't need the "best" or "largest" telescope in the "perfect" viewing location to have a good time. As always,YMMV.





Right. I would say 90% of my observing is done in 2-5 minute chunks, using my 1x7 (probably 1x6 by now) binoculars. They are never a let down...


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skullpin
sage
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Reged: 03/13/09

Loc: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Re: Televue 85 vs. Televue NP101 new [Re: RogerRZ]
      #5600104 - 01/01/13 06:33 PM

I vote for the TV85 as a first scope, providing the will to afford it. It is a great introductory scope for many reasons...

1. There is much for a beginner to find with 85mm.
2. For a beginner, visually there is not a large difference between 85 and 101 mm.
3. The TV85 is light, easy to mount, and quick to use with a fast cool down.
4. The TV85 compact enough for easy travel. Out to the cottage, camping, around the world, etc. Compact size (remember to include the mount and tripod) matters if you are travelling with the family, the dog, and a cooler.
5. The TV85 can double as a birding/daytime scope. Not quite backpacking friendly, but adequate at the campsite, marsh lookouts, etc.
6. Both scopes can be displayed/stored in the living room. Fraser* appreciates his 4" scope in this capacity. The TV85 might have a slightly better "spouse acceptance factor" if your house is cramped.
7. If you get serious about astronomy, you will get a larger scope in the future. Then, you will be more knowledgable and able to select a larger scope that meets your needs. Walk before you run with a small refractor, they are a lot of fun.
8. If you do eventually get a larger scope, the TV85 will always be a lovely compact second scope.

Sure, some of these points apply to many refractors up to and including the NP101. Though some points need to be evaluated so you get the most use out of their purchase. Getting the NP101 for its slightly better views might result in less viewing overall.

My $0.02, Keith

* Fictional character of uncertain astronomical hobby background.


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Televue 85 vs. Televue NP101 new [Re: Calypte]
      #5600349 - 01/01/13 09:13 PM

Quote:

"...are too dim to be effective in these little scopes." I've successfully shown M57 & M13 to students & parents with my 8-inch reflector, but it requires an enormous amount of coaching to get them to see them in a 4-inch refractor. "See that little fuzzy spot in the middle?..." At a dark-sky site, sure, but, then, I'm not usually going to settle for a little scope if I have a genuine dark sky.




I am not quite sure why we are discussing what an inexperienced observer can see in these scopes, it seems to me we should be discussing what an experienced observer can see.

Even an old codger like me can see 11th-12th magnitude galaxies in an 80mm if the skies are reasonably dark...

Jon


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