TeleVue 102


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Brand and Model:TeleVue 102
Price ($USD):$2049.95
Type:Apochromatic Refractor
Attributes: un-checked Go-To un-checked PEC
Aperture:102mm (4")
f Ratio:f/8.6
Focal Length:810mm
Finder:optional
Electric Power:optional
Mount:optional
Tripod:optional
Weight (lbs):approx 10 lbs. l
Dimensions (w/h/d):33" long
Description:Sold as optical tube assembly only (no diagnol, no rings)

Televue's 102 Page
Todd Gross's Review
Cloudy Nights' Review
Cloudy Nights' TV102 vs. Celestron 102
Cloudy Nights' TV102 vs Meade 102
Ed Ting's Review

Vote Highlights Vote
TeleVue 102
I've had this scope for two months now. I'm primarily interested in lunar, planetary, and the brighter deep-sky objects, and I wanted an instrument that was easy to use, could be set up quickly, and didn't need alot of cool-down time. I also didn't want to hassle with collimation, or worry about whether or not I was going to get a "good sample" or a scope that would need to be returned, replaced, tuned up, etc. The TV 102 is perfect for this, especially on the Gibralter mount. Perfect star test right out of the box. I saw 5 bands on Jupiter the very first time I used it, and I had never seen more than two with my old Meade 90mm achromat. Saturn was breathtaking, saw the crepe ring for the first time. And even under my light-polluted skies, the contrast is so good I could easily make out festoons in the Orion nebula. The workmanship is as superb as the optics, and as if all this weren't enough, it doubles as an ultimate spotting scope for the panoramic view from my living room window!

I think "10" ratings are thrown about a bit too casually, and I might have been more inclined to rate this scope a "9", because I think Astro-Physics and Takahashi are closer to perfection. But few observers, I think, would be able to tell the difference in the images if they compared all 3 side-to-side. Throw in the fact that the TV is available immediately and costs much less than the other two (I got mine on sale at Anacortes for only $2150 for the package, not just the OTA), I think it easily deserves a "10".

If you are considering buying this scope, here's some advice:

1. The Gibraltar mount is very good for an alt-azimuth, but, like previous reviews have mentioned, it's a little shaky at high magnifications, especially in azumuth. A small amount of graphite lubricant on this bearing helps smooth it out. I'm considering buying a JMI Moto-focuser to solve the handshake vibrations, and anti-vibration pads work very well if the tripod is on a hard surface. These are relatively inexpensive solutions that preserve the mount's convenience and ease-of-use.

2. It's best if you use either all 1-1/4" eyepieces or all 2" eyepieces. All of my 1-1/4" EP's are about the same size and weight, and while it is easy to rebalance the scope, you risk losing the object in the eyepiece by switching between the two sizes. I bought the new Nagler 3-6mm zoom eyepiece, which can take the magnification from 146x to 293x, or anywhere in between, in an instant, with no refocusing. If you can afford one, I highly recommend them. As much as I'd like to have the 2" premium EP's, I don't feel like I'm missing much. My lowest-power 32mm TV plossel gives me 27X and almost 2 degrees of AFOV.

3. Don't waste your money or time with the cheap "Quickpoint" finder, it's lens is too small and positioned too far up the tube to be very useful. Either spring for the Starbeam, or get a conventional finder and the new Universal Bracket that TV just made available. With a low-power eyepiece, you really don't need a finder. I had my Gibraltar equipped with the Sky-Tour system, which takes me right to the object without having to search through my light-polluted skies, but it's an expensive alternative.

4. No matter what people say about how surprisingly good this scope's deep-sky performance is, if you really are more interested in "faint fuzzies", this is not the scope for you. Open star clusters look great, but all but the biggest, brightest globulars and nebulae are disappointing, even under dark skies. An 8" or larger dob with a good mirror would be a better choice, even with the extra hassles mentioned previously. I will always keep this scope, but in addition I plan to get a larger dob to satisfy my "aperture fever"!

I hope someone finds all this helpful!

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 12 (Trustworthy Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.173.137)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40537


TeleVue 102
I have owned this scope since November 2001 and have enjoyed it very much. I use it on a CG-5 mount as I wanted a mount with a motor drive for tracking purposes at high power. I use this scope mainly for planetary and lunar viewing and it does a great job and handles high powers nicely. It has a perfect star test!

This telescope is very well made and looks beautiful. The focuser is very smooth and there is no doubt when optimal focus is acheived. The lens cap is a screw on type and will not fall off when the scope is moved. Also, the hard case that comes with the scope is solid as a rock and fits the scope perfectly. I believe that this case would probably cost about $300 if it was sold separately. It is custom form fitted to the scope with a nice hard outer shell.

As to the optical performance of the scope, one word comes to mind: "SUPERB". I have seen absolutely no color when viewing the moon regardless of phase. I have seen 4-craterlets in Plato and the terminator is a sharp jet black. Nice....

Jupiter looks gorgeous showing no false color anywhere with 6 to 8 bands during good seeing. The Great Red Spot is easily seen even when rotating onto the edge of the planet. It is very easy to follow a transit of one of the moons as it crosses in front of the planet. Detail in the planets bands is very easily seen due to the contrasty image provided by the TV-102.

Saturn looks fantastic as well and I easily see the A,B, and C rings. Cassini's Division is visible at very low magnifications. No false color is seen when viewing Saturn.

Lastly, I would like to say that I believe that this telescope is the best value right now on the market for a high quality APO refractor. The image quality is superb and the scope is very well built.

Thank you Televue!

Jeff

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 10 (Trustworthy Vote)
Date:
By: jeffk
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=106758


TeleVue 102
The Televue 102 is a superlative 4" apo refractor. It is easier to use than the NP101 ( another excellent performer) but can achive higher magnifications more easily due to the 102's greater focal length. Despite what some gurus suggest, I find the throughput of the TV102 is slightly better than the NP101, despite the latters slightly better color correction and flatter field. If planets, lunar and double stars are your thing, the Televue 102 is highly recommended.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.208.203)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=578380


TeleVue 102
Well, as an owner of both a Nexstar 8 and a 102, my opinion is that the 102 has better optics, and is more fun to use. Contrast is better as well as image sharpness. To be honest, I haven't done side by side tests yet, so I'm relying on my memory between observations. Someone has said that the gibraltar is difficult to use at high mag. I've used the 102 with the gibraltar up to 275x with relative easy. Sure, it shakes a bit, but with some practice, it should become a easy task. Balancing is a pain, unless you know how to deal with it. I've been using the altitude tension adjustments with good results. Why do I use the gib instead of a gem? Simple. Portability and ease of setup are the two most important features for a visual observer. I live in an apartment, so I must carry the whole gear up and down. With the 102 + gibraltar, I can carry everything in one trip, something impossible to do with the nexstar. Also, the nexstar shakes like hell at high mag (>300x), so no advantage here. The only thing I like on the nexstar is the brighter images of deep-sky objects (But not on everyone. The 102 kicks nexstar butt on M42).

Just my .02 euro cents :-)

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 4 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.14.76)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40536


TeleVue 102
I have enjoyed TV102 for a year and a half now, and getting the TV binoviewer
was the best addition to the whole system (I also love the tiny newest Naglers and the TV Zoom 3-6mm).

Star test is excellent, contrast is decent.
The only thing I do not like is the hard case, it protects it well, but it is too bulky. Also, I replaced the excellent Starbeam with a Riegel mounted on the retractable lens shade ! This way I can rotate it where I need it, and working at Zenith is much easier on my neck that way. (Gibraltar does not point fully to Zenith, but it is easy to lower one leg -and there you are! But be nimble, since upsetting the balance of the tripod could be expensive!)

Since I am quite nimble, I can use 300x magnification on nights of great seeing and still track the planets with my Gibraltar without frustration. The secret was mentioned by a smart gentleman above: exact balancing for the weight of your eyepiece. Also, a bit of lubrication in the Gib's plastic cylinder helps.

The new TV binoviewer increases contrast and improves the view considerably. Two eyes see more, and the comfort is out of this world. The binoviewer has to be used with the especially designed (and included) 2x barlow, screwed in. I like it, but for wider views I want to cut the OTA.

My question to anyone more experienced is this: I want to have the OTA shortened by 4-5 inches, so I can use TV binoviewer unbarlowed. TeleVue can do it, although it is not cheap. Would I regret it? (It would really become a sort of new "Bizzaro 102". If I ever needed longer focusing, I could use an extension tube in the focuser. And the benefit of a shorter refractor is obvious: less vibration in windy conditions.) Any comments?

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.167.183)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40531


TeleVue 102
Look.
I own 19 telescopes, i am a serious amateur astronomer and astrophotographer.
And I have 1 thing to say about the TV-102...
This is one of the BEST apochromats out there.
Tau Bootis was nicely split in exceptionally high magnification.
Although it can't get much deep-sky with it due to the aperture,
whatever bright nebula,galaxy or cluster you pick up with this you won't
be dissapointed. Not at all.


By Nick

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.254.230)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40530


TeleVue 102
Please see my update of the TV-102 review at.
http://www.websamba.com/AstroRatings/

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.172.108)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40527


TeleVue 102
I own a Lx90 and a 102. The 102 outperforms the Lx90 in everyway except for light gathering ability. The images thru the 102 are far more impressive in both deep sky and planetary. The views on saturn and jupiter thru the SC are nice but not near as sharp or crisp as the 102. An SC will not outperform an Apo of good of this quality. Star cluster are pinpoints like tiny jewels in the 102 not so with the SC. Lunar images are far more detail and pleasing in the 102 Yes the SC stars are nice but its not the same pinpoints you see in an APO . In addition while an has more light gathering ability the 102 can achieve a greater FOV....In conclusion Flourite Glass produces far superior images thats why they are so expensive but certainly worth every penny....

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.105.173)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40514


TeleVue 102
I replaced my C102-HD achromat with the TV-102. While the achromat
was a tremendous value, the TV-102 is a tremendous scope.

Here's an exerpt of a copy of my letter to Al and David Nagler.

"I spent several torturous months trying to decide between the TV-102, Vixen
102-FL, and the Takahashi FS102 (alas, the TV-101 was beyond my budget).
Even after much research and e-mailing owners, I was still unable to decide.
The final push to the “right” decision was my telephone call to Tele Vue,
when I was unexpectedly transferred to you, David. Such accessibility to the
owners (both of you) is unheard of in today’s corporate public relations. I
now often tell people who are trying to decide on purchasing these refractors
to consider this: would they ever be able to talk to the owner of Takahashi
or Vixen? (Don't take me wrong - I have a highest regards for the Tak and
the Vixen flourite and I wouldn't have gone wrong if I had decided on the
Tak or Vixen.)

I have the TV-102 for over a month now (actually two) and what a joy it is to
use! It is such a finely crafted instrument that I consider it an
heirloom. It is truly the “perfect” telescope for me, with just enough
aperture and the right focal length for planets without resorting to a Barlow
and still with enough satisfying wide-field. Virtually, there is no setup
time required (and no collimation hassle). I love the green color with the
ivory tube and called my TV-102 the “Frog Prince” since one day a beautiful
astro-princess will come along, gives it a kiss, and turns it into the NP-101
☺. I also own a few superb TV Radian eyepieces: 8mm, 6mm, 4mm and 3mm and
will be adding another TV eyepiece shortly. My 2-inch Everbrite diagonal
excels together with the whole system.

The view through my TV-102 is simply jaw-dropping! Mars was just awesome
when good seeing arrived; my wife commented that the dark regions looked like
a map of continents! I got my first view of tiny Syrtis Minor this
weekend! Also, I got my first “wow” with M13 and M22 through my 4mm TV
Radian, what a sight and the whole cluster still fits in the FOV with the
salt-and-pepper look! I also caught the Owl (M97) with my TV-102 that has
been eluding me in my C102-HD for months, and without any nebula filter!
There is simply no contest against my TV-102. All under a magnitude 5.5 sky
in my backyard."

The view of the moon at high magnification is like cruising inside the Lunar
Lander looking down. There is no more chromatic aberrations on the moon nor
on Mars. When seeing permits, 220x (with my 4mm TV Radian) is lofting with the
TV-102. I now got a 3mm TV Radian (293x) but seeing hasn't permit its full
potential yet (although Mars wasn't bad through it on one good night).

As to double stars, I've got a very clean split of Epsilon Bootis. My TV-102
is currently chewing on Gamma Virginis, a real tough target, but have managed
to get a nice figure 8 (or peanut if you prefer) so far and need to get that
excellent seeing. Nebulas looked great, especially the brighter ones such
as M57, M27, M8, etc. Oh, the Swan (M17) is a joy. Open clusters seem to
come alive (especially when seeing is bad with stars twinkling) due to its
high contrast and pin-point star focus. For instance, the Butterfly (M6)
seemed to have taken on life and flying right out of the FOV the other night!
With the motor turned off that is ☺. Oh, did I mention that the ultra-smooth
focuser is such a joy to use? Except for the brighter galaxies such as M51,
M104, etc., most galaxies are still disappointing (due to the 4" aperture not
the scope).

Highest recommendation and a 10+! If you want a 4" APO, you simply can't
go wrong with the TV-102.

Ron B[ee]
PS I'll follow up when Jupiter and Saturn comes around this winter.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.172.108)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40510


TeleVue 102
Scope is amazing I own an lx90 also but it doesnt begin to compare....The 102 couple with a 31 nagler blows me away. This scope seems to have unlimited potential for a 4 inch apo..

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.200.155)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40508

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