TeleVue 102
I recently purchased a used TV102 made in 2004. I have a larger refractor and a 83mm f/15 refractor. I wanted a grab-n-go scope that would show me a little more planetary detail than the 83mm. The 3.25 inch scope is great, but IMO a 3-inch refractor doesn't quite show enough detail on planets to warrant taking it out every night.

Pros: Optics are great. I was initially disappointed to see some false color. Many reviewers say there is no visible CA, and they are wrong. I quickly saw some purple when looking at the moon. However, the false color is minimal, really only noticeable on the Moon & bright stars. This is a high-contrast planetary performer. IMO, a 100% color-free triplet is not worth the additional cost and weight for visual observing.

The size and f/ratio of this scope are near perfect. It's big enough to be fun on deep-sky and planets, and yet the OTA weighs under 9 pounds! I saw good detail on globulars, and lots of nebulosity in the Pleaides (from a dark site). It's well worth taking this scope out every clear night to look at Jupiter & Saturn, with lots of details visible. The f/8.6 ratio gives a nice flat field with simple eyepiece designs.

The OTA is skinny at 114mm diameter, and the scope is compact when the dewshield is retracted. With the lightweight and small diameter of the tube, it is easy to attach to my Tak Teegul mount, which is very stable with this scope, even on my flimsy wood tripod. I considered getting a Tak F102, but it's a few pounds heavier, which turned me off.

My only complaints with this scope are minor. The dewcap is nice and compact, but it requires a lot of force to slide it in and out. I know TV says that their black flocking paper in the tube works as well as baffles, but frankly, I don't believe it. And, if I'm keeping a scope for 20 or 30 years, I'd prefer to see nothing but metal inside the tube. Maybe the flocking stuff will never flake off, maybe it will.

Also, the focusser is high quality, but it could be better. It struggles a bit with 2-inch eyepieces when the scope is pointed up near the zenith. They now offer a 2-speed option for $200, which seems pricey. The focusser is decent, but not up to Feather-touch or Astro-Physics quality.

One last tip for other TV102 owners - B&G Photo has a padded soft-case that fits this scope PERFECTLY! If you want something smaller than the OEM case, check out the Tundra tripod case II, part #33S2TRIP2. It fits the scope perfectly with a 2-inch diagonal on there. This makes the scope an incredibly small and lightweight package.

Also, I did not care for the TV clamshell tube holder. You can score some Vixen-type mounting rings from Orion that fit the tube perfectly for less than $20.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By:
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=433124

Reply
Respectfully, I've used my 102 dozens of times in the last two years.  I have never seen any color on the moon that's been caused by chromatic aberration from the telescope.  Some eyepieces can introduce color, atmospheric refraction can do the same, humidity, etc.  But this scope is  simply colorless when focused.

The only time I've seen color was when I pushed the scope to a little over 300X, while on Vega.  Then I saw traces of a distinct dark, marroonish purple (in a tight fringe around the star) when the seeing was turbulent.  Under no other conditions have I seen any trace of color from this scope.

I know that my Orion Expanse eyepieces do introduce some color (a bright neon blue, particularly at the edge of field), but my Naglers, Panoptics and Meade 5000 series SWA don't.

>I recently purchased a used TV102 made in 2004.  I have a larger refractor and a 83mm f/15 refractor.  I wanted a grab-n-go scope that would show me a little more planetary detail than the 83mm.  The 3.25 inch scope is great, but IMO a 3-inch refractor doesn't quite show enough detail on planets to warrant taking it out every night.
>
>Pros:  Optics are great.  I was initially disappointed to see some false color.  Many reviewers say there is no visible CA, and they are wrong.  I quickly saw some purple when looking at the moon.  However, the false color is minimal, really only noticeable on the Moon & bright stars.  This is a high-contrast planetary performer.  IMO, a 100% color-free triplet is not worth the additional cost and weight for visual observing.  
>
>The size and f/ratio of this scope are near perfect.  It's big enough to be fun on deep-sky and planets, and yet the OTA weighs under 9 pounds!  I saw good detail on globulars, and lots of nebulosity in the Pleaides (from a dark site).  It's well worth taking this scope out every clear night to look at Jupiter & Saturn, with lots of details visible.  The f/8.6 ratio gives a nice flat field with simple eyepiece designs.
>
>The OTA is skinny at 114mm diameter, and the scope is compact when the dewshield is retracted.   With the lightweight and small diameter of the tube, it is easy to attach to my Tak Teegul mount, which is very stable with this scope, even on my flimsy wood tripod.   I considered getting a Tak F102, but it's a few pounds heavier, which turned me off.
>
>My only complaints with this scope are minor.  The dewcap is nice and compact, but it requires a lot of force to slide it in and out.  I know TV says that their black flocking paper in the tube works as well as baffles, but frankly, I don't believe it. And, if I'm keeping a scope for 20 or 30 years, I'd prefer to see nothing but metal inside the tube.  Maybe the flocking stuff will never flake off, maybe it will.
>
>Also, the focusser is high quality, but it could be better.  It struggles a bit with 2-inch eyepieces when the scope is pointed up near the zenith.  They now offer a 2-speed option for $200, which seems pricey.  The focusser is decent, but not up to Feather-touch or Astro-Physics quality.
>
>One last tip for other TV102 owners - B&G Photo has a padded soft-case that fits this scope PERFECTLY!   If you want something smaller than the OEM case, check out the Tundra tripod case II, part #33S2TRIP2.  It fits the scope perfectly with a 2-inch diagonal on there.  This makes the scope an incredibly small and lightweight package.
>
>Also, I did not care for the TV clamshell tube holder.  You can score some Vixen-type mounting rings from Orion that fit the tube perfectly for less than $20.

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