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Tele Vue NP101

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#1 sojourneyer

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 12:01 PM

I am considering a purchase of said scope and wonder what people think of it, particularly those who have owned one.

 

What are the pros and cons?  I wish to mount on it an alt-az side arm mount and also wonder if there is a way to attach a vixen dovetail to  the clam ring

 

I will be using for visual 100%.

 

Thanks


Edited by sojourneyer, 23 August 2020 - 12:16 PM.


#2 Ken Sturrock

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 12:13 PM

They are very nice.

 

Some will complain that they are too expensive and that you should buy the Chinese-made doublet or triplet du jour, but the NP-101 has an elegance, subjective feel, mechanical essence and astronomy cultural provenance that is lost on some. Yes, a Vixen-style plate bolts right onto the clamshell, but it's best to buy one with the TeleVue clam shell in mind so that you are guaranteed that the bolt spacing is right.

 

Are you familiar with Stephen O'Meara's set of observing books? They were largely written from the perspective of the Genesis, an ancestor of the NP-101.

 

I have looked through them on many occasions, although I do not own one. If my current main visual telescope, a LOMO-based 4" triplet, disappeared then an NP-101 would probably be the replacement.


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#3 gezak22

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 12:15 PM

That scope with a 31 mm Nagler is absolute zen, see my report here. I struggled a bit initially because I didn't know my observing eye had astigmatism, but once that was quantified and once I got a dioptrx to address it, the 101 + N31 proved to be the legendary combo it was made out to be.

 

That said, I would get something with a longer f-ratio for the planets or at the very least a binoviewer so that the impact of floaters is reduced at small exit pupils.


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#4 sojourneyer

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 12:19 PM

Ken

Good to hear from you. Yes, I read that O'Meara did his sketching using a NP101 or similar Tele Vue version

 

Do you know of a place that would sell a vixen dovetail to affix to the clamshell?

 

From what I read this is a classy 4 inch scope. 

Thanks for your input


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#5 sojourneyer

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 12:22 PM

That scope with a 31 mm Nagler is absolute zen, see my report here. I struggled a bit initially because I didn't know my observing eye had astigmatism, but once that was quantified and once I got a dioptrx to address it, the 101 + N31 proved to be the legendary combo it was made out to be.

 

That said, I would get something with a longer f-ratio for the planets or at the very least a binoviewer so that the impact of floaters is reduced at small exit pupils.

Thanks for sharing the link Geza. I guess you still have that puppy.

 

Well son of a gun, it comes with a TV Nagler type 5 31mm


Edited by sojourneyer, 23 August 2020 - 12:23 PM.

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#6 havasman

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 12:30 PM

Just back from a week in the Big Bend area of SW Texas with the NP101is and 16" Starmaster along, I can tell you I think it a really fine telescope. Yes, it is a great match for a 31T5 or 21 Ethos and also plays well with nebula filters but it also is remarkable with 4.7 and 3.7 Ethos for lunar/planetary/planetary nebula observing. But the very wide crystal clear flat field is the dominant characteristic. Viewing all of Orion's belt region in the field is pretty extraordinary. The available purity in the views led me to use a small kit of 32, 12.5, 9 and 6mm Tak Abbe Orthos for 3 or 4 hours of fine observations up & down the Milky Way. Dark nebula were particularly enjoyable. Before the trip it was this scope I spent most of my session planning time for.

 

The biggest negative is that it is only 4" of aperture. And that's not much of a downside.

 

I use the TV clamshell with a short (@ 4") ADM Vixen dovetail plate to mount on a DM4 and it works very well for me.


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#7 gezak22

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 12:32 PM

Thanks for sharing the link Geza. I guess you still have that puppy.

Sadly, no. It's really a dream scope for wide fields, but my observing habits had changed to casual views from my light-polluted backyard - planets, moon, doubles, so I ended up with a 140 mm APM doublet. But if I ever wanted to go back to wide-field views from a dark location, it would be with a 4" or 5" Petzval.


Edited by gezak22, 23 August 2020 - 12:34 PM.

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#8 coopman

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 12:34 PM

Only 4" can be VERY entertaining at times.  



#9 otocycle

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 12:53 PM

Here is how mine came in the box, and it did not include a 31T5.   Fortunately, I already had one !

 

Outstanding scope...arguably, the best readily available wide-field 4" apo when introduced...and still hard to beat.   The focuser was only single speed.

 

 

NP101A.jpg


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#10 Ken Sturrock

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 12:57 PM

Yes, a Vixen-style plate bolts right onto the clamshell, but it's best to buy one with the TeleVue clam shell in mind so that you are guaranteed that the bolt spacing is right.

 

Do you know of a place that would sell a vixen dovetail to affix to the clamshell?


You can buy the TeleVue model but I really like Anthony Davoli and his accessories. Click on the word "one" in my above comment (or here) to go to the ADM product.



#11 sojourneyer

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 01:08 PM

Here is how mine came in the box, and it did not include a 31T5.   Fortunately, I already had one !

 

Outstanding scope...arguably, the best readily available wide-field 4" apo when introduced...and still hard to beat.   The focuser was only single speed.

 

 

attachicon.gifNP101A.jpg

Yes, that is the scope. Single speed focuser.

b.jpg



#12 sojourneyer

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 01:10 PM

 

You can buy the TeleVue model but I really like Anthony Davoli and his accessories. Click on the word "one" in my above comment (or here) to go to the ADM product.

 

Thanks Ken but with the ADM, I do not see any screws, etc. It looks like it is the dovetail only

The Astronomics bar is just an adapter bar. Then I would need a dovetail it appears.


Edited by sojourneyer, 23 August 2020 - 01:19 PM.


#13 Ken Sturrock

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 01:39 PM

The screws come with the ADM plate. Look at the advertisement text:
 

INCLUDED ITEMS:
-dovetail bar
-2 x 1/4×20 SHCS

SHCS = "Socket Head Capped Screws". I just bought the shorter version (for a shorter TeleVue) a couple of weeks ago and everything you need (except the wrench) comes with it.
 
Regarding the TeleVue adapter - it can fit two mount styles. Check out the photo, you can see the taper of the item matches a Vixen saddle. Also read the advertisement text:
 

This TeleVue adapter is shaped to fit Vixen-style dovetail mounts - such as the Astro-Tech Voyager altazimuth mount; Celestron Advanced series and Meade LXD-75 go-to mounts; and Vixen Porta altazimuth, Sphinx go-to, and Great Polaris equatorial mounts. In addition, it has a channel machined into its underside with holes that are spaced to fit the mount cradles used on the TeleVue Tele-Pod, Panoramic, and Gibraltar altazimuth mounts.

 
If that NP-101 comes with the Starbeam, that's a bonus.
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#14 SteveG

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 01:58 PM

That scope with a 31 mm Nagler is absolute zen, see my report here. I struggled a bit initially because I didn't know my observing eye had astigmatism, but once that was quantified and once I got a dioptrx to address it, the 101 + N31 proved to be the legendary combo it was made out to be.

 

That said, I would get something with a longer f-ratio for the planets or at the very least a binoviewer so that the impact of floaters is reduced at small exit pupils.

I was fighting low-power eyepieces when I learned about my astigmatism. I thought the eyepieces were at fault!

 

Agreed about planetary, but there’s nothing quite like the ultra-flat wide field that you get from a 101. I’ll have one some day.


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#15 Spikey131

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 02:02 PM

The NP101 is a very versatile, extremely well constructed 4” refractor.  Not many telescopes will give you a nearly 5 degree FOV with a perfectly flat field at one end and razor sharp high magnification views at the other with no hint of CA.  

 

With the 31 Nagler and an O3 filter, you can see the entire Veil nebula.  Quite a sight to behold.  Planets show good details with a 3.5 Delos or Nagler zoom.  The NP101 is a keeper.


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#16 sojourneyer

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 02:22 PM

The screws come with the ADM plate. Look at the advertisement text:
 
SHCS = "Socket Head Capped Screws". I just bought the shorter version (for a shorter TeleVue) a couple of weeks ago and everything you need (except the wrench) comes with it.
 
Regarding the TeleVue adapter - it can fit two mount styles. Check out the photo, you can see the taper of the item matches a Vixen saddle. Also read the advertisement text:
 
 
If that NP-101 comes with the Starbeam, that's a bonus.

Yes it does come with a Starbeam


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#17 sojourneyer

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 02:24 PM

The NP101 is a very versatile, extremely well constructed 4” refractor.  Not many telescopes will give you a nearly 5 degree FOV with a perfectly flat field at one end and razor sharp high magnification views at the other with no hint of CA.  

 

With the 31 Nagler and an O3 filter, you can see the entire Veil nebula.  Quite a sight to behold.  Planets show good details with a 3.5 Delos or Nagler zoom.  The NP101 is a keeper.

It comes with a Tele Vue BLW 2200 Barlow



#18 Mike W

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 02:44 PM

Ken

Good to hear from you. Yes, I read that O'Meara did his sketching using a NP101 or similar Tele Vue version

 

Do you know of a place that would sell a vixen dovetail to affix to the clamshell?

 

From what I read this is a classy 4 inch scope. 

Thanks for your input

ADM makes one, Televue makes one. You can look at on their site under mount acc. If Astronomics doesn't have it then Hi Point Scientific will.

Mike


Edited by Mike W, 23 August 2020 - 02:48 PM.


#19 sojourneyer

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 02:51 PM

I looked at prices on our classifieds and they were mainly for the IS version or old

 

Any idea what these are worth now?



#20 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 03:28 PM

Thanks Ken but with the ADM, I do not see any screws, etc. It looks like it is the dovetail only

The Astronomics bar is just an adapter bar. Then I would need a dovetail it appears.

 

As Ken explained, the bar is a dovetail. It has those two pieces that stick out on either end, those prevent it from sliding in dovetail clamp.

 

That said, I would get something with a longer f-ratio for the planets or at the very least a binoviewer so that the impact of floaters is reduced at small exit pupils.

 

 

A slower Focal ratio 4 inch would not help with floaters.  The exit pupil diameter depends on only the aperture and magnification so at the same magnification, any 4 inch provides the same exit pupil..

 

---

 

I've owned my NP-101 for ten years, it's a wonderful scope, it's everything described so far.

 

The machining and mechanical design is exquisite. As a mechanical engineer, I look at how a scope is designed and made.  Most good scopes, they're designed the way I would design them, straightforward  with an eye towards quality but also with an eye towards avoiding complicated machining processes.

 

TeleVue seems to take it to another level. A simple example: the one piece sliding dewshield. Its just an elegant piece of work, not flashy, it doesn't catch your eye but it's angles and soft curves, that's not an quick piece to turn out.  The Everbrite diagonal, the body is one piece, no eyepiece holder to thread in place, no nose piece that threads on, it's all made from a single piece of aluminum, that's just some fancy design and machining. It a piece I can look at and just admire for the workmanship.

 

TeleVue scopes aren't flashy, they're understated, they just work, optically and mechanically.

 

---

 

Something to consider:

 

The NP-101 is very fast for a refractor, F/5.4, and it's fully corrected for the various aberrations, it can provide sharp-sharp views across the entire field of view at any magnification. But, it's not forgiving when it comes to eyepieces, because it's as good as it is, as fast as it is, it brings out small aberrations that might go unnoticed in slower scopes, that might get lost in the jumble of aberrations in another scope.

 

The NP-101 and a set of TeleVue eyepiece, they're made for each other.

 

4297812-TV NP-101 at Jewel Valley.jpg

 

Jon


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#21 Spikey131

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 03:31 PM

I looked at prices on our classifieds and they were mainly for the IS version or old

 

Any idea what these are worth now?

The best buy in these scopes is the TV101.  It has very similar optics to the NP101, but is physically larger and all have a single speed focuser.  I have seen these from $900-$1500.

The original NP101 had a single speed focuser.  Older ones can be found for $1300-$1800.

Newer ones have the two speed focuser and the new case.  These generally fetch $1800-$2300.

The NP101is has a larger rear element so that it creates a larger image circle for AP.  Makes no difference for visual use.  These sell for $2500-$3000.

 

I bought one and then discovered that it had some fungus on the rear element.  I negotiated with the seller to cover a cleaning and collimation at Tele Vue.  A couple of years ago TV charged $400 plus shipping for this, so about $500 total.  My scope is now perfect.  It’s a lot of money, but I find it reassuring to know that you can always send the scope to Chester, NY and get back an essentially new scope.
 

CAVEAT:  I am not an expert, just a guy who shopped around a lot and all those prices are rough estimates from my memory.  Take them with a grain of salt.


Edited by Spikey131, 23 August 2020 - 03:33 PM.

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#22 Terra Nova

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 05:15 PM

I have a TV Genesis SDF, which immediately preceded the TV101 and has basically the same dimensions (F5.4) and I absolutely love it! It’s a visual and ergonomic dream and I love using it on it’s TV Gibralter alt-az mount. Of my dozen or so scopes, if I could keep only two it would be that one and my Questar. They are perfect complements of one another. Just truly fine scopes.


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#23 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 05:26 PM

Of my dozen or so scopes, if I could keep only two it would be that one and my Questar. They are perfect complements of one another. Just truly fine scopes.

 

 

Terra:

 

If I could only keep two of your scopes, I would keep the Questar and the Telementor. I have neither one and I already have a 4 inch F/5.4 TeleVue.

 

But I suspect that I wouldn't be able to keep any of your scopes. :)

 

(Hopefully this little bit of light-heartedness will make someone chuckle and smile.)

 

Jon


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#24 Spikey131

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 05:31 PM

I have a TV Genesis SDF, which immediately preceded the TV101 and has basically the same dimensions (F5.4) and I absolutely love it! It’s a visual and ergonomic dream and I love using it on it’s TV Gibralter alt-az mount. Of my dozen or so scopes, if I could keep only two it would be that one and my Questar. They are perfect complements of one another. Just truly fine scopes.

The SDF might be even a better deal than the TV101, if you can find one.  With this design Al included an ED or Fluorite element in the rear cell.  The result is better color correction than the original Genesis, similar to the later iterations of Mr. Nagler’s “multipurpose telescopes”.


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#25 Spikey131

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 05:37 PM

I have a TV Genesis SDF, which immediately preceded the TV101 and has basically the same dimensions (F5.4) and I absolutely love it! It’s a visual and ergonomic dream and I love using it on it’s TV Gibralter alt-az mount. Of my dozen or so scopes, if I could keep only two it would be that one and my Questar. They are perfect complements of one another. Just truly fine scopes.

Terra-

 

I admire your telescope collection.  But what I admire most is that you seem to enjoy them all, and appreciate the way they each open up the heavens to you.


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