Novosibirsk Tal 100R


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Brand and Model:Novosibirsk Tal 100R
Price ($USD):500?
Type:Achromatic Refractor
Attributes: un-checked Go-To un-checked PEC
Aperture:100mm (3.9")
f Ratio:f/10
Focal Length:1000mm
Finder:6, 30mm
Electric Power:None
Mount:German
Tripod:Wooden
Weight (lbs):55 lbs.
Dimensions (w/h/d):1.46M 0.92M 0.95M
Description:

Vote Highlights Vote
Novosibirsk Tal 100R
TAL 100R

I bought my telescope second-hand, after a year’s worth of work for its previous owner. At the price, it was a steal. It was shouting ‘buy me’! I had to. I wasn’t disappointed. I paid Ł160 for it. Money well spent.

The TAL100R is a 4 inch F10 achromatic refractor mounted on a very substantial EQ mount atop a hardwood two section tripod. The telescope is supplied in what can best be described as a ‘mini-coffin’ made from birch plywood. The wooden case is about 44*24*9 inches in size and is fitted out to hold all the components securely.
I can barely lift it, empty. It is typically Russian. A label on the coffin suggests that the package weight is 30KG.

The telescope comes with the usual array of accessories. Two eyepieces 25 & 10mm Plossls, a screw-in reticle (nice touch), moon filter and threaded extension tube for camera attachment are provided.

Also included is a 1.25 inch format solar filter. DON’T even think of using this.

The star diagonal is also typically Russian, a chunky die-casting fitted with a front silvered mirror. It is a little bit strange I’d have liked a filter thread on the diagonal… but beggars (and second-users) can’t be choosers! Compared to many diagonals I’ve used in the past, this one is pretty good. It is somewhat non-standard though, having a tapered attachment collar that fits into the drawtube. This means that it cannot be swapped for a standard 1.25 inch diagonal. The eyepieces are held in place using a thumbscrew that pushes a hard rubber buffer against them. No more scratched eyepiece barrels.

The lens used is an air-spaced doublet and has all surfaces coated (blue). Three small tabs are used between the lenses to maintain the correct separation. The lenses are fitted in a good quality machined metal cell. The tube assembly is made from what appears to be seamless alloy tube and fitted with a decent lens hood. . Image quality is excellent with minimal ghosting from bright objects. The OTA is fitted with several knife-edge baffles. My only gripe regarding the OTA is that the rack & pinion focuser only provides an inch of travel but I didn’t have any focusing problems with any of the eyepieces I tried so maybe it is unfair to make this criticism. It worked fine with all my eyepieces, having adequate focus range. The focuser operates smoothly with no slop. Considering its construction, the OTA is fairly light. I think TAL have managed to do a great job on this telescope. The combination of medium-weight mount and tripod with a moderately light OTA makes for excellent stability.

This is not a portable telescope…unless weight-lifting is one of your leisure pursuits.

The mount used is an equatorial type with slow motion controls on both axes. It is silky smooth in operation, and thanks to the hardwood tripod, vibrations are damped quickly. The mount makes use of good quality alloy castings that carry the steel RA and DEC shafts running in sleeve type bearings. The amount of ‘end play’ in each axis is adjustable. Once locked in position, each shaft can be moved plus or minus 4 degrees by the slow motion controls, so if your primary interest is photography, buy the TAL 100RM motorised mount version of this telescope instead. It doesn’t cost a lot more.

The slow motion controls are a delight to use and are fitted with chunky Bakelite type knobs with ribbed edges… easy to operate with gloved hands.

Optically, this telescope is a very good performer. I’m lucky enough to own some Tele Vue Plossls and these eyepieces work very well with this telescope to give virtually colour free images, even on the moon’s limb. The supplied 10mm and 25mm plossl eyepieces are pretty good too, especially for a telescope in this price range.
There are bound to be features in even well thought out products that users are not entirely happy with. In my case, the tube rings give me a little cause for concern. They don’t have any machined recesses to locate the fixings securely. This worries me a bit because the fixings are a tight fit yet don’t look all that secure to me. Having said that, the OTA has not fallen out of the cradle in service… yet!

Compared to Chinese imported telescopes I’ve owned and used, this one is far better engineered and comes with accessories of better optical quality. It has a much better mount and better optics than you will see on a Chinese scope of similar price. Although not as portable and lightweight as other telescopes I’ve used, I have to say that for me, this scope is a winner. In this scope, stars are crisp pinpoints without the usual surrounding ‘fuzz’ seen in cheap ‘achromats’. False colour is virtually non-existent (and I’m fussy… I spent 19 years working as a colour matcher for a major textile producer).

I dearly wish telescopes of this quality had been available when I was younger. I used to dream of owning a four inch scope. Hell, what am I saying! I used to dream of owning a three inch scope. It’s easy to forget that the cost of one of these telescopes is little more than a week’s wages for the average worker. That’s a lot of telescope for the money. The second-hand telescope I now own cost me about two and a half days work. Think about that for a bit. Good telescopes are now cheaper than they’ve ever been.

I love it

Thank you TAL.

Allan Copland.
acopland@reidkerr.ac.uk

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Mount:8 Ease of Use:8 Value:10
Weight: 10 (Trustworthy Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.70.7)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=86332


Novosibirsk Tal 100R
Why didn't I vote for that fascinating achromatic Fraunhofer Refractor before???
I own this jewel since December 2001!!
Bought it just as an OTA with original clamps and diagonal in Munich at telescope-service, Wolfi Ransburg. The original finder was missing, so I got a simple 6x30 standard from perhaps Orion or other Asian genuine?? (not that worse as the infamous Meade 6x30 thing). I had to drill 2 new holes into the tube, for the 4mm screws to assemble the Taiwanese finder base, ohh my, what an adventure!

For the mount, I first took an old Vixen NP, later an optimized EQ-5. After changing the aluminum tripod by 3 very massive, 1.3 meter beech-wood legs, made by an Bavarian master carpenter, this combination is the most sturdy and stable thing you can imagine. Later, I wished to have it ordered with 1.4 or 1.5 meters length, that would be even so much better.

An issue is with the small and weak TAL clamping rings, you can upgrade them by putting normal flat steel-washers under the thumbscrews (do you know how to loosen them? There are 2 tiny fixing screws in front of the thumbscrews, just screw them out, then you can remove the thumb-knobs, lay the steel-washers under and fix the thumbscrews and the small safety screws again). That will help to make the clamping a bit safer!!
As all the other pre-writers told you before: the optics is impressive and first grade, textbook diffraction patterns in startest at 333x!! Watched Mars (25 arc-seconds) and Jupiter (with nearly 50 arc-seconds diameter) and Saturn with 330x magnification without seriously degrading the image, most common planetary work is done with a 6 or 5mm classical Kasai (UO) Ortho!! Also the tiny 4mm Ortho from UO will suck. For Mars, I'm using the Baader orange-filter GG570/longpass, or the contrast-booster, for Jupiter, Saturn mostly no filter and so with the moon.
This 100R, mine is No. 0520 engraved on the diagonal, is a real steal and winner!! The lens has a deep-blue-violet MC as the old Zeiss have, but it's working fine. After some time, I collimated the diagonal, by opening the bottom lid and turning 3 of the four setscrews bringing the ray of the inserted laser exactly in the middle of the objective lens, as it was without the original Russian diagonal. From a statement of Vladimir Wolf, TAL-Novosibirsk, they coat their mirrors with a 94% reflecting enhanced layer!
The focuser has a short one-inch focusing range, but it is enough to bring all my (1.25 inch) eyepieces to focus, even the 10mm Antares Speers Waler 10mm SWA 82 Degree. You can regulate the friction of the focuser by turning the focuser knobs against each other (turn the right, hold the left), if you have problems shimming the focuser, there are fine adjusting plates inside the rack of the housing! Instructions can be downloaded from the Yahoo TALScopes · TAL Telescopes board in the files: focuser rebuild by MBird.

Also deep-sky objects are fine, it easily resolves M13 and M92 in Hercules and shows M57 as the tiny, oval ring of gas, as in the well known photographs, you only have to apply enough magnification (100x and more). It also shows M97, the owl nebula in Ursa Majoris with an UHC Filter. Also Pulcherima, epsilon Bootis, is easily resolved (d=2.8arc seconds) and of course epsilon Lyrae the double-double at 100x.
The colour aberration is there, but moderate and only on very bright objects. Remember, this is a really well made 2 lenses achromat, not an APO!!
Randolf K.
Germany

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: Randolf
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=508513


Novosibirsk Tal 100R
In the early fall last year (2002), I acquired a MEADE 102/ACHR optical tube assembly (OTA) with rings for €235. This f/9 achromatic commonly has a not-so-good reputation, and this unit was typical. I tested it and found what it was famous for – a lot of false colour, astigmatism, and a flimsy focuser. Although you probably can get good samples of this scope, and it looks nice at first glance, when you take a detailed look you detect all the problems a cheap Taiwanese refractor usually has. But overall it was a good deal, and it had a lot of potential to become a fine scope after some improvements.

First I tried to get rid of the astigmatism. In comparison with my TeleVue Ranger, the Ranger showed textbook patterns in a star test while the MEADE presented all its problems. When I watched the big planets (Jupiter and Saturn), brightness the MEADE was the clear winner due to its larger aperture. But whatever I tried, I couldn’t adjust the astigmatism with the push/pull lens assembly adjustment screws. When I tightened them so strongly that the lens was more or less bent, there was some “improvement”: the in/out focus images weren’t looking like lemons, but like cherries!

So I tried to open the lens assembly and rotate the crown/flint lens against each other to improve or correct the astigmatism – an impossible mission. The assembly was so tight (maybe the reason for the astigmatism in the first place), that I was simply not able to unscrew it. I had read some reports about this scope, where some users heard something rattling when they shook the tube. They found that it was the lens, where the crown and the flint glass were loose! So much for quality control and final adjustment by MEADE.

It wasn’t really as bad as it sounds, but I wanted to have a perfect scope.

Before I bought the MEADE, I had a TeleVue Genesis (the older, non-sdf f/5 version) from a friend for testing purposes. I remember that its images were very similar, especially on Saturn. Just a tad less colour on Jupiter, and the Genesis was only a little crisper. My shortest f/l eyepiece, a 3mm Radian which delivered 163x, obviously didn't show all that the Genesis could deliver.

Nevertheless, my original ideas was to rebuild the MEADE and make it an ED semi-APO. My budgetary manager (wife) wouldn’t allow me to purchase the Genesis ;-)). Well, that’s easier said than done. When I tried to get ED lenses as “replacement” parts, the manufacturers – even MEADE, who also produces an ED sibling of that scope -- were more or less unwilling to help. MEADE Germany for instance (I live in Austria) told me that they could improve the optics, but they wouldn’t replace the lens. No way.
In checking what glass the Russians use for their TAL 100R, I found that the TAL 100R might be similar to the ZEISS E-TYPE f/10 design. I asked several users. One of them has a TAL and works also with an ancient ZEISS refractor. He told me that the yellowish tint the TALs show when used during day is also visible in the old ZEISS, but this doesn’t affect night use. The colour correction was very good, he said. He has a web page with a lot of shots, especially of the moon, taken with the TAL. Most of the owners criticised the rude Russian mechanics, the finish of the paint, and the short travel of the focuser. Was this the ideal scope? How could I get the lens? What about the difference in the focal lengths of the lenses? (The TAL is f/10, the MEADE is f/9.)

I questioned Mr. Wolf at Urania Telescopes of Moscow. He told me that he could provide me with a lens, be he couldn't help resolve the different focal length problem. Mr. Wolf offered his lens for US$150.

I ordered the lens and started to investigate the possibilities of getting a “tube extension”. I received several offers when I asked at the German “astronomie.de” discussion board. Most people were willing to make the change for a certain price, but Thomas Kroh of Germany said “Just send me the material, I’ll make it for free !”

Meanwhile I have finalised the project after more than 2.5 months. And after a while I also replaced the 1.25" focuser by a 2" focuser with ball bearings.

I also bought a used Vixen Great Polaris mount with a wooden tripod.

At the end of the day I have a fine scope now.

What about optical quality ?

I did a short optical shootout between the Ranger and the modified MEADE/TAL. After collimating the MEADE/TAL, which I now call the Russky, I compared them on astronomical objects. While the Ranger is a very well colour-corrected scope, I had the impression that the Russky shows less colour – frankly, when I did the tests, it was somewhat turbulent, so mother nature filtered out the blue part of the spectrum a little. On Jupiter and Saturn the Russky looked a tad sharper and crisper, with somewhat less colour than the Ranger. Bright stars like Vega and Betelgeuse showed nearly the same image (some yellowishness, because it´s an Achromat). Both performed wonderfully for not being APO´s! On Jupiter and Mars I pushed the magnification up to 250x with my 4mm Radian. I'd heard that the Radians introduce some lateral colour, but there was less visible than with the Ranger at 160x with the same type of eyepiece but in the 3mm version (which I sold meanwhile). When I reduced magnification to 166x in the Russky (with my 6mm no-name Plössl), for the first time in my life I was able to see more than 2 bands in a refractor. I could see two small additional bands (very fine), and I even saw some brownish and grey shades. Again, seeing conditions were fuzzy, but I felt that this scope had a lot of potential. I pointed it back to the stars, looked at Alkor and Mizar, and easily resolved the small companion of the latter. The stars just snap into focus. Resolving the double-double in Lyra is an easy task (and wonderful).

When I pointed them at a hemlock tree in our neighbour's backyard at day´s , magnification used was 25x /24x with TeleVue Plössl´s in both scopes (the 40mm in the Russky and the 20mm in the Ranger). I used a TeleVue Amici Prism diagonal with both scopes. The Ranger showed some false colour; when I looked at the needles against the blue sky the Russky was crisper. Not much, but noticeable. And I know that my Ranger is no lemon. Before I bought it I had a Vixen Geoma Spotting Scope, and I still have an ancient German Nickel brand Supra 20-60x60 Spotting Scope. It's better than the Vixen, but both fell behind when I compared them to the Ranger. Now the Russky beat the Ranger! I believe it’s the good correction of the lens and the larger aperture. Also, f/10 allows for good colour correction. How the hell might a real APO perform, I thought by myself. (My dream is either a TV127 or a 5” Takahashi!)
At 91x ( TeleVue 11mm Plössl) Jupiter was beautiful and sharp (almost no blue ring visible). Added 2x Barlow, and now the image became blurred with a tad of yellow. The blurriness I assumed was a problem of the seeing. It also occurred when I used the 5mm Vixen Ortho and the 3x TeleVue Barlow with the 20mm TeleVue Plössl. I then tried several eyepiece and Barlow combinations. The more I increased magnification above 150x, the more yellow the image of Jupiter became. I didn’t see any bluish fringe until I inserted the 5mm Ortho, when the image of Jupiter got a barely visible blue fringe. Saturn was too low to see details, so I pointed the scope to Iota Leonis. I could clearly split the 1.7” separated stars with the 6mm Plössl (showing some blue halo around them, but clearly two stars). I’m deeply impressed, although this should be an easy task for a 4”.
My opinion:
Nowadays English shops advertise the TAL 100-R for sale at GBÂŁ199. This is a real bargain!
If you are reluctant, paying much money but want to get good performance for an affordable price, the TAL100 is definitely a good choice. It has lacks, you can improve (focuser, mount) or avoid (if you buy the 100RS OTA, my best suggestion).
You can get very good images up to 200x, even at 250x if seeing conditions allow. It is portable enough to be carried around in 2 pieces and it is a best buy in the price/performance ratio. If you don´t insist in getting or needing an APO it is definitely a good alternative.
You rarely can reach it´s limits and it is in my opinion a good advanced useres telescope for mid sized deep sky and high level planetary observations.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Value:10
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.76.74)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=285524


Novosibirsk Tal 100R
I purchased the OTA from Jim Hagan at Helix Manufacturing. Overall customer service was excellent. Jim even gave the scope a good "once over" to insure it was up to snuff. In brief, this is a very good achromat for the money, in my estimation one of the best telescope values dollar for dollar at $350.00 for the OTA, finderscope, diagonal, and mounting rings. Last night I cranked the scope up to 250x with a 4 mm. University Optics orthoscopic. Lunar detail at that magnification is more impressive than I have seen in any other 4 inch (and below) achromat. Views of Saturn and Jupiter were exceptionally sharp. In the Case of Saturn bands of color on the the planet itself were noticeable. This was striking considering these bands were not apparent at the same magnification in my six inch reflector. I observed nebulosity in the Pleiades for the first time in suburban light polluted skies. This is certainly a good argument for using an unobstructed optical system. In a nutshell, this scope is highly recommended for value as is Helix Manufacturing.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:9 Ease of Use:8 Value:10
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: frikij
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=177645


Novosibirsk Tal 100R
two months ago i saw it in my friend house,few observations and now i bought one.Its nearly like 10"LX .(V.well col.correcting!)
Glass elements without any moonlikes on front so EPs 're perfect,even?
As lx owner i"d vote 10.

F.R

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.227.176)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40708


Novosibirsk Tal 100R
But is it an apo...? Because in my opinion it really perform like the Genesis sdf and Meadeapo 102 and Televue 85 in a side by side test.
Terrific instruments if you compare the ratio price-performence,no history per
Takahashi,Astrophisics,TMB...

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.248.162)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40707


Novosibirsk Tal 100R
simply, SUPERB ...

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.248.162)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40705


Novosibirsk Tal 100R
This scope is amazing in its optical quality. It diffraction ring tested for as i could tell perfect at 83x per inch and the views at well over 300x were tack sharp. I have used other high end refractors and they were no better than this and they cost 8 to 10 times as much. The color correction is remarkable for a achromate nearly non existent except just a touch on very bright objects. The chinese refractors compared to these are not even in the same league. There color correction is not even close. Highly recommended. This is a high end refractor for those of us on a burger and fry budget.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.217.221)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40704


Novosibirsk Tal 100R
My opinion is only for optical tube R100/10-
Star tests're v.good,looking at deep sky objects without adapted star-diag.
the quality of views were EXCELLENT to false it with an APO ref??
/i usede orig.complet of Plossles 25&6,3mm.
NO residual colour visable and without adapted star-diag.it's brightess is o.k.
For its optics i vote 10+,,,too.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.159.76)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40703


Novosibirsk Tal 100R
i've bought one of this last winter...it perform almost like an ed instument!
the mount it's too light,but the optic...make you forget everything you saw in the field of the acro refractor!My impression is that it can go over 260x!
My rating:EXCELLENT!
freelance-Italy

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.158.221)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40701

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