Novosibirsk/Sovietski TAL-M


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Novosibirsk/Sovietski TAL-M
Top price & quality

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.233.159)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40475


Novosibirsk/Sovietski TAL-M
Top price & quality

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.233.159)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40476


Novosibirsk/Sovietski TAL-M
This is an unusual little telescope in many ways but it gives a very good account of itself. Whilst we are all familiar with 80mm refractors, the concept of an 80mm Newtonian seems wrong somehow, but thinking about it logically a Meade ETX-90 is only 10mm larger and being a Mak has a larger central obstruction, and this hasn’t stopped it from being one of the most popular scopes in the world!! I own a TAL-100R refractor and whilst this is an excellent scope I wanted something in the “grab and go” mould for those evenings when it wasn’t worth setting up the bigger scope, so I decided to buy something that would be portable and quick to set up. I was almost sold on an 80mm Chinese refractor (Helios Star-Travel 80) but after reading a couple of reviews and talking to Barry Watts at Beacon Hill Telescopes (who had both scopes and was very helpful) I settled on the TAL. I only paid £75 for my particular scope as it was one returned under warranty when the previous owner mistook the long handled screw that locks the RA axis for a lever and snapped it off! Barry had replaced this with a nice knurled alloy knob and the scope was otherwise in as new condition. It comes in a Baltic Birch ply case the size of a small suitcase. On opening the case I was a little disappointed to see that, unlike the photos I had seen on the web, it no longer seems to come with the interior divided by wooden baffles but with a moulded foam lining, which now I’ve lived with it for a couple of weeks, seems a better option. The scope was easy to assemble. It is supplied with two eyepieces , at 15mm kellner and a 25mm plossl, a 3x barlow with an extension tube, four filters – red, blue, yellow and solar (why do manufacturers still insist on including dangerous eyepiece solar filters?), a two part post and a strange L shaped head. You also get two end caps one with an off axis stop (incidentally the only plastic parts on the whole outfit), a lens cloth, a screwdriver, an adjustment tool for the mount and a camel hair brush!! The post has pedestal supports which attach to the base. It can be set up as either a tabletop arrangement using only the bottom part of the post or floor standing using both parts. The head can be set to work as either alt-az or equatorial. Whilst on the subject of the head, it must be said that this is one of the more unusual aspects of the whole scope. The unit resembles a large, hollow, upside down, L shaped bracket with the scope on the short side and the counter weight hidden inside the longer side. There is a knob to adjust the position of the counter weight and two knobs for manual slow motion adjustment. There are a further two long handled screws which look like levers (see above for the confusion this can cause) to lock the axes. Straight out of the box the mount is set to be used alt-az. To use the head in equatorial mode you have to make the latitude adjustment by first using the supplied special tool to remove the cover from the hinge mechanism and then using the same tool loosen the large nut, adjust the angle using the scale engraved on the other side of the hinge, re-tighten the nut and replace the cover. Luckily this is all quite straightforward, as unfortunately the manual, which is a direct translation from Russian, doesn’t always make sense. The supplied eyepieces are very serviceable the 25mm plossl being particularly nice, fully coated and very well put together. The 15mm kellner is also very nicely executed although of course it yields a smaller fov. The helical focuser is another unique feature being shared between the finder and the main scope! With the finder in it’s “normal” position the light path is intercepted by a diagonal mirror at the back of the finder and directed to the eyepiece. By grasping the front of the finder (using the finger indents) and pulling it forwards the mirror is moved out of the light path and the eyepiece can now see the main telescope optics. Ingenious!! For the first time since I have owned any telescope I had good weather on the day of delivery so I was able to use it the same evening. I live in London and as such suffer quite light polluted skies. This means I tend to concentrate on the planets and the moon as targets. Jupiter was just about viewable but it was getting close to my neighbours’ tree so my observations were brief but the view was very good. Using the 15mm eyepiece (35x) the planet showed a bright disk and all four galilean moons. Using the 25mm eyepiece and the barlow (60x) I could see 3 to 4 bands and finally using 15mm eyepiece and the barlow (105x) I could clearly see 5 bands but not the GRS. The image remained clear at all times. I then switched my target to the moon. The seeing was quite good and the moon was not far from the zenith. At 20x using the plossl the moon looked excellent. There was good contrast in the craters and the mountains. At 35x using the kellner the moon filled the fov and retained it’s excellent contrast. At 105x the contrast was still good and the image bright and the detail along the terminator nicely rendered. One downside of this scope is that there are no setting circles so finding objects can be somewhat hit and miss but to be fair I don’t think many people who buy this scope will be too worried about this.
To sum up I’m very pleased with this scope. The images it gives are bright, sharp and belie its small size. It is reasonably compact and, once you are used to its quirks, you can set it up and be using it within 5 minutes. As a “grab and go” scope it is excellent. This is another TAL I’ll be keeping for a long time.

Chris Dulieu

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Mount:6 Ease of Use:7 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.53.212)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=96128


Novosibirsk/Sovietski TAL-M
best value for money on this planet !

Overall Rating: 7
Optics:8 Mount:3 Ease of Use:5 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.216.254)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=604174

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