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Pronto Praise

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#1 bulletdodger

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 08:46 AM

     This post was inspired by Bill's post "Where has all the love gone for the TV 85".

      Back in the day when color free optics were a rarity in short focal length telescopes, the Pronto was a real contender in the category. Now they sell for half price of their initial price. They have been discontinued for years now and I firmly believe they will become very collectible over time for the following reasons.

       Firstly, I was not pleased with the amount of CA on bright objects. As a daytime spotter is has a noticable purple tinge on tree branches in the distance on the right side of the limb. The Moon CA was very noticable as well but the view was still wonderful due to the optical quality. I soon forgot about the fringe and just enjoyed the view. 

      However, this is not the purpose of the Pronto. It is not great for planets, although capable, due to the short focal length. Where the Pronto shines is on star clusters and wide field viewing. The field is pretty flat and the robust focuser can handle my large 31mm Axiom LX. I have no other small refractor that can manage this feat with such ease. I recently traded one of my Pronto's because I recently bought an 80mm, but I will always have at least one Pronto due to it's rich field capabilities. 

       I have always lusted for a TV85, since it can do everything pretty well and for visual use is virtually color free like my TV102,  but the prices are high and they are highly sought and sell fast. The Pronto is able to perform the wide panoramic views like the TV85 at a great price comparatively. 

        The Pronto is a great companion to my Questar since they both excell in different arenas. My Questar is color free and can operate at high magnification while the Pronto takes care of low mag and wide vistas.

        If the color does become an issue in your viewing pleasure, a Baader Semi-Apo or Fringe killer tames it nicely. Mine rides on a Porta and has given me as many pleasurable hours as my other telescopes combined. The 12mm Radian is my favorite eyepiece in this telescope for whatever reason.

     Please post Pronto Pics!

      


Edited by bulletdodger, 28 January 2021 - 09:06 AM.

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#2 Stellar1

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 08:53 AM

I remember when the Pronto was the scope to have.


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#3 nighthoek

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 08:58 AM

I LOVE my Pronto.  It's a fantastic scope that is easy and fun to use and gives amazing images!


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#4 bulletdodger

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 08:59 AM

     You are old like me, then! 

I will always consider it indispensable in my collection of over 30 telescopes. It would not be my first choice to recommend to a  beginner but it will be my second.

     The Planets and Moon get you hooked, but when you get used to those, the Star clusters beckon.


Edited by bulletdodger, 28 January 2021 - 09:00 AM.

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#5 Celerondon

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 11:14 AM

My Pronto still goes everywhere nearly all of the time. Whether I am standing in a field or traveling for business or pleasure, the Pronto is there. Setup and tear down are a breeze.  Because the well built 70mm Tele Vue refractor is rugged enough for frequent travel, the Pronto is often the only telescope present! 

 

When other telescopes are dedicated to photography, my Pronto lets us view directly.  Even if I do replace it someday with a TV 76 or TV 85 my Pronto won’t be sold. Instead this heirloom will be passed down to one of my children's households.

Pronto 205K
Pronto Integral Filter 136K

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#6 Terra Nova

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 11:38 AM

I always wanted one and never had one. But guess what, a lovely green one is due to be on my doorstep tomorrow. I plan to use mine on my TeleVue Panoramic mount and ashwood tripod. I wanted it mainly for a quick grab and go and as a travel scope (by motor vehicle). I’ve heard it does well from 15 to 150X and so that should be just right. The color won’t bother me as I’ve always been a big fan of ST80s and so it should fit that role nicely with even more versatility! And don’t forget, we have a total solar eclipse coming up in 3 years. As a long time aficionado of small but well made telescopes, I’m excited. This one comes at a price I could not pass up. And itmshould look quite stylish set up in my new sunroom!


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#7 astrohamp

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 01:51 PM

I was able to get 'Al' to sign mine after a presentation he gave at a star party back in 2016.

 

My first view of Saturn was with this scope. 


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#8 bulletdodger

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 02:04 PM

    Congratulations Terra! Saw your Wanted request and I am glad that you found one. It is just as well made as any of it's larger brethren. Frankly I never use it for purposes that show false color. Panning the skies with wide angle eyepieces it seems plenty APO.

     As much as I love my Baby 60mm Vixen stuff especially for tabletop viewing, the Pronto is in another league. The focuser is so darn good. Never felt I needed a 10 to 1 on my Televues.

 

     Excited for you!


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#9 Ken Sturrock

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 05:18 PM

When I was younger, I couldn't afford a Pronto. When I had the money, my tastes had shifted to more modern designs. I finally bought one last year due to nostalgia. I was looking for a green one, but a white one found me. It turns out that it *is* a great little telescope. I really like it a lot.

 

 

pronto_s.jpg


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#10 RichA

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 07:29 PM

     This post was inspired by Bill's post "Where has all the love gone for the TV 85".

      Back in the day when color free optics were a rarity in short focal length telescopes, the Pronto was a real contender in the category. Now they sell for half price of their initial price. They have been discontinued for years now and I firmly believe they will become very collectible over time for the following reasons.

       Firstly, I was not pleased with the amount of CA on bright objects. As a daytime spotter is has a noticable purple tinge on tree branches in the distance on the right side of the limb. The Moon CA was very noticable as well but the view was still wonderful due to the optical quality. I soon forgot about the fringe and just enjoyed the view. 

      However, this is not the purpose of the Pronto. It is not great for planets, although capable, due to the short focal length. Where the Pronto shines is on star clusters and wide field viewing. The field is pretty flat and the robust focuser can handle my large 31mm Axiom LX. I have no other small refractor that can manage this feat with such ease. I recently traded one of my Pronto's because I recently bought an 80mm, but I will always have at least one Pronto due to it's rich field capabilities. 

       I have always lusted for a TV85, since it can do everything pretty well and for visual use is virtually color free like my TV102,  but the prices are high and they are highly sought and sell fast. The Pronto is able to perform the wide panoramic views like the TV85 at a great price comparatively. 

        The Pronto is a great companion to my Questar since they both excell in different arenas. My Questar is color free and can operate at high magnification while the Pronto takes care of low mag and wide vistas.

        If the color does become an issue in your viewing pleasure, a Baader Semi-Apo or Fringe killer tames it nicely. Mine rides on a Porta and has given me as many pleasurable hours as my other telescopes combined. The 12mm Radian is my favorite eyepiece in this telescope for whatever reason.

     Please post Pronto Pics!

A good compromise is the TV 76, what the Pronto should have been.  The Oracle was like the TV 76, except it was a triplet whereas the 76 was an ED doublet.  However, the Pronto was a bit of a come-down from the Oracle.


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#11 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 08:38 PM

My first really good refractor was a green Pronto, it was quite a step up from what I had had. That must have been 2001 or so, before the ED-80, I bought it used.. 

 

Like Bulletdodger, the chromatic aberration was an issue and eventually resulted in our parting ways.  

 

But there were many things I loved about the Pronto.. The way it fit in the softcase with diagonal in place and 4 or 5 eyepieces, I just loved that, I have never had a scope like that since.. Very sweet.

 

I got into digiscoping with the Pronto, lots of photos of birds using a 32mm Celestron Plossl and a Nikon Coolpix 4500, I still have both of those.  Sometimes the color fringing would ruin a shot but I got a lot of good ones.  

 

1698243-stellars Jay CN.jpg
 
4143277-say's phoebe cn.jpg
 
I mounted it side saddle on a Bogen 3040 mount, it was a great travel scope.. 
 
4406049-Pronto on Bogen.jpg
 
In a few years, the ED-80 arrived on the scene, the temptation of a color free image was too much but I lost that wonderful case and "Pronto" portability.  It's been a journey ever since, optically better replacements but not ergonomically better.  
 
If I weren't so cheap, a TV-76 would have been the right scope but I could never bring myself to spend that much on an 76mm scope.. 
 
jon

 


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#12 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 08:57 PM

Always wanted the Pronto or TV 76        But I found an Oracle and had to have it.... Took it to Tennessee to see my first total eclipse of the sun in 2017 (see pic)      Sold it to buy the 4 inch Fluorite    then bought it back when it popped up for sale here  two years later   so probably not getting a pronto but I can see the attraction it has ... TV quality build  ...  lightweight portability   what's not to like? Like my Oracle the Pronto must ride well on many mounts.....Gibraltar, with the TV Vixen adapter the twilight, porta, lx70   what have you

  good luck

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Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 28 January 2021 - 08:59 PM.

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#13 Terra Nova

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 09:34 PM

As I said earlier, I want it for aesthetics, easy transport, and utility. I’m not looking fo a perfect apo, I have the FC60 and FC76 on either side of it. And I got a heck of a deal on it!


Edited by Terra Nova, 28 January 2021 - 09:35 PM.

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#14 scotsman328i

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 09:49 PM

     This post was inspired by Bill's post "Where has all the love gone for the TV 85".

      Back in the day when color free optics were a rarity in short focal length telescopes, the Pronto was a real contender in the category. Now they sell for half price of their initial price. They have been discontinued for years now and I firmly believe they will become very collectible over time for the following reasons.

       Firstly, I was not pleased with the amount of CA on bright objects. As a daytime spotter is has a noticable purple tinge on tree branches in the distance on the right side of the limb. The Moon CA was very noticable as well but the view was still wonderful due to the optical quality. I soon forgot about the fringe and just enjoyed the view. 

      However, this is not the purpose of the Pronto. It is not great for planets, although capable, due to the short focal length. Where the Pronto shines is on star clusters and wide field viewing. The field is pretty flat and the robust focuser can handle my large 31mm Axiom LX. I have no other small refractor that can manage this feat with such ease. I recently traded one of my Pronto's because I recently bought an 80mm, but I will always have at least one Pronto due to it's rich field capabilities. 

       I have always lusted for a TV85, since it can do everything pretty well and for visual use is virtually color free like my TV102,  but the prices are high and they are highly sought and sell fast. The Pronto is able to perform the wide panoramic views like the TV85 at a great price comparatively. 

        The Pronto is a great companion to my Questar since they both excell in different arenas. My Questar is color free and can operate at high magnification while the Pronto takes care of low mag and wide vistas.

        If the color does become an issue in your viewing pleasure, a Baader Semi-Apo or Fringe killer tames it nicely. Mine rides on a Porta and has given me as many pleasurable hours as my other telescopes combined. The 12mm Radian is my favorite eyepiece in this telescope for whatever reason.

     Please post Pronto Pics!

A Pronto was the very first premium refractor I ever looked through back in 2001. It’s amazing razor sharp and crisp bright views took me instantly. When I was ready to purchase, the TeleVue 76 had just came out and I bought it. Owned it ever since. It all began with me back at that star party in 2001 upon that first glimpse of a crescent moon. bow.gif


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#15 tony_spina

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 09:55 PM

Terra,

You will love the Pronto for the wide views and for its ability to be used as a club in case of attacking bears grin.gif

 

I have a green one with Al's signature on the tube.  It will be passed along with my TV NP-101 to my family 


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#16 Terra Nova

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 10:39 PM

Terra,

You will love the Pronto for the wide views and for its ability to be used as a club in case of attacking bears grin.gif

 

I have a green one with Al's signature on the tube.  It will be passed along with my TV NP-101 to my family 

Thanks Tony. I think it will make a very nice companion piece on its panoramic mount to my Genesis SDF on its Gibralter.


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#17 Terra Nova

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Posted 30 January 2021 - 12:52 PM

My new to me Pronto arrived today and I couldn’t be more pleased. It’s a beautiful little scope and will be a perfect fit in my little scope family. Of course it’s cloudy, quite cold, and more snow, plus rain, ice, and more snow forecast for the coming days.

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#18 scotsman328i

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Posted 30 January 2021 - 12:55 PM

My new to me Pronto arrived today and I couldn’t be more pleased. It’s a beautiful little scope and will be a perfect fit in my little scope family. Of course it’s cloudy, quite cold, and more snow, plus rain, ice, and more snow forecast for the coming days.

Oh wow! She’s a beaut! 


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#19 danielgolite

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Posted 30 January 2021 - 04:25 PM

Terra,

 

    Looks like you have a keeper! Hope you will post a first light report. Both my Ranger and my 85 are green. That was what was available (they were both purchased used). Not sure if I was going to like green at first but the color does grow on you. The Ranger has the same optics as your Pronto. There is some false color, but it depends on what you are looking at and at what power and also perhaps the conditions.


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#20 Terra Nova

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Posted 30 January 2021 - 04:32 PM

Thank you Daniel. I actually was looking for a green Pronto. I love the stylishly distinctive look and it’s a nice complement to my more traditional ivory TV Genesis SDF.


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#21 RichA

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Posted 30 January 2021 - 04:42 PM

 

My first really good refractor was a green Pronto, it was quite a step up from what I had had. That must have been 2001 or so, before the ED-80, I bought it used.. 

 

Like Bulletdodger, the chromatic aberration was an issue and eventually resulted in our parting ways.  

 

But there were many things I loved about the Pronto.. The way it fit in the softcase with diagonal in place and 4 or 5 eyepieces, I just loved that, I have never had a scope like that since.. Very sweet.

 

I got into digiscoping with the Pronto, lots of photos of birds using a 32mm Celestron Plossl and a Nikon Coolpix 4500, I still have both of those.  Sometimes the color fringing would ruin a shot but I got a lot of good ones.  

 

 
 
 
 
I mounted it side saddle on a Bogen 3040 mount, it was a great travel scope.. 
 
 
 
In a few years, the ED-80 arrived on the scene, the temptation of a color free image was too much but I lost that wonderful case and "Pronto" portability.  It's been a journey ever since, optically better replacements but not ergonomically better.  
 
If I weren't so cheap, a TV-76 would have been the right scope but I could never bring myself to spend that much on an 76mm scope.. 
 
jon

 

Years ago, the Renaissance TeleVue bested all kinds of spotting scopes and converted camera lenses for views of nature, I remember reading about it in Modern Photography.  However, things have changed now.  I wish I had the optics this lens has in a small scope.  Take a look at the bird shot, full-sized.  The lens has an "aperture" of about 75mm f4 (300mm f.l) and I haven't seen a shot (terrestrial) with an astro-scope to match it, but it would be interesting to try.  The cost of the lens (remembering it has AF and stabilization built-in) is around $3000.00 so near that of the highest-end 80mm apos.

 

https://www.imaging-...-300MM-0128.HTM



#22 CHASLX200

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Posted 30 January 2021 - 05:44 PM

Never had one or any TV scope.



#23 skygazer66WA

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Posted 30 January 2021 - 10:17 PM

There's just something about the Televue refractors; the Pronto (later replaced by the 76), 85, and 101. I first saw them, and had a chance to look through, at the Oregon star party in 1998 or '99 (the Sunriver Observatory near Bend, OR is a TV reseller and had TV scopes and accessories on display at the star party, in the land of 16" and larger Dobs). The views through the Pronto were so sharp and clear, akin to high-end Swaro or Zeiss binoculars. I decided then that I just had to have either a Pronto or a TV-85. However, I ended up with similar but less-expensive scopes...

 

More than 20 years later, I finally acquired a circa-2004 green TV-85. Not only does it provide great views; it like the Pronto and TV-76, are so aesthetically pleasing, with great build quality and a classic appearance. It looks so nice just sitting in my living room, which is a good thing since it's rarely clear around here during the winter. I completely understand why Terra (posts 13, 17) would purchase a Pronto for the aesthetics and portability, despite having other, similar-sized refractors with better optics/color correction.


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#24 Steve C.

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Posted 30 January 2021 - 10:36 PM

The Pronto is a nice little scope. I seem to have the habit of giving telescopes to siblings, and I gave my Pronto with tripod and Panoramic mount to my brother. Kinda miss it.


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#25 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 10:53 AM

Years ago, the Renaissance TeleVue bested all kinds of spotting scopes and converted camera lenses for views of nature, I remember reading about it in Modern Photography.  However, things have changed now.  I wish I had the optics this lens has in a small scope.  Take a look at the bird shot, full-sized.  The lens has an "aperture" of about 75mm f4 (300mm f.l) and I haven't seen a shot (terrestrial) with an astro-scope to match it, but it would be interesting to try.  The cost of the lens (remembering it has AF and stabilization built-in) is around $3000.00 so near that of the highest-end 80mm apos.

 

https://www.imaging-...-300MM-0128.HTM

 

How far away was the bird?  it couldn't have been very far if it was shot at prime focus. Was it taken at full aperture?  Most camera lenses are sharpest when stopped down. That's not the case with a telescope.. 

 

The Pronto shot was done via digiscoping, the effective 35mm equivalent focal length in the shot of the Stellar's Jay:  2325mm.  And I had to reduce the resolution to post the image on Cloudy Nights. 

 

I think if put an eyepiece on that 75mm F/4 lens and pointed it at Jupiter or a Dawes limit double like V640 Cas and cranked it up to around 200x, it would be very disappointing.. I'd have to think a TV-76 would do the number on it. 

 

Telescopes are about near perfect on-axis views, cameras lenses are about the entire field but are not probably even diffraction limited at full aperture.  

 

Jon




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