Novosibirsk Tal 100R


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Novosibirsk Tal 100R
This scope offers outstanding value for $450 / UKP 260.
It compares very well with the Vixen SP100M I used to own
which is praise indeed - the great thing is that this scope
costs about one third of the price !. The quality of workmanship
is robust yet reasonably good and overall the scope has a
great "traditional" feel about it which I like. The only
downsides I can see are:

i. The standard mount has no provisions for motor drives.
ii. When viewing near the Zenith the eyepiece is very low.
iii. On delivery the mirror diagonal needed collimation.

Apart from the above I am delighted with mine.

JH



Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.166.109)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40697


Novosibirsk Tal 100R
I purchased this second hand with the clock driven mount provided by The Sovietski Collection. The optics are superb. I tested the telescope on a recent night when I had excellent seeing. Residual color was nearly imperceptable. You realy have to try hard to see it even on Jupiter. Out of focus star images were text book perfect. Eta Orionis (1.5") was easily split. The Cassini division in Saturn's ring was clear and sharp. The crepe ring was faintly visible. Faint cloud bands on Saturn were easily seen. Images were still sharp at 240X. Jupiter's red spot was clearly visible. I was using my Questar Brandon eyepieces with a Klee Barlow.
Rather than use the tripod that came with the scope, I have it mounted on a 4 inch steel peer in an 8'x 8' observatory. The equatorial is smooth and adequate the drive ( with the optional Hurst motor) tracks quite well. This is the same mount that they provide with their 4.5 inch reflector.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.193.51)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40698


Novosibirsk Tal 100R
I recently reveived delivery of my Tal 100R. The product is traditionally built and of high quality. The image quality is very good with the suppled 20 and 10mm eye pieces. Good levels of detail can be viewed on Jupiter and SAturn. There was very little if any colour distortion. Yes it's a heavy piece of kit and I keep falling of the supplied wooden case. But I reckon that for around 250 pounds you can't beat it.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.67.69)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40699


Novosibirsk Tal 100R
Still haven’t used mine much but what I have seen through it has delighted me – yes Cassini's division is plainly visible and images hold up well to 220 times mag (all that my meager eyepiece collection will allow.

Two things I have noticed, one is that the securing clamps on the tube cradle wont screw down tight! As you tighten them they tend to swing out to the side. This is due to the surface that the knurled nut bears down on not being flat but at an angle. Interestingly I saw another 100R at a dealer and this wasn’t a problem so I don’t know if I have an earlier version or a bit of machining was missed in the production of it. This scares me a bit as I hate the thought of the clamps popping out and the whole tube assembly bouncing down my yard!! So I need to use a file or whatever or get other tube rings. Also the counter weight support bar (which looks as if it could double as a spare rear axle shaft on my GS850 motorbike!!) has developed a coat of rust as it is plain unprotected steel. So need to keep this wiped down with some oil.

Still a marvelous scope though.

G.M.Jameson@hw.ac.uk

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.113.183)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40700


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


Novosibirsk Tal 100R
This scope has excellent optics among the best i have seen the diffraction patterns identical inside and out of focus for as i can see with next to no color the optics are definetly a 10+. For the rest of the scope is a far different story the mount is to light for the scope 4-6 second damping time makes very difficult to focus especially at higher powers. Then the ones that come with a clock drive are to small to really turn the scope and need replaced with a hurst motor add more money for this. The focuser don't have enough in focus travel for real high power views which you need because the optics are that good. The focuser tends to stick and grab as you turn it makes it hard to get an accurate focus. Overall great optics that are wasted by poorly designed and not sturdy enough mount. I rate the optics 10+ but the rest a 3 so overall
about 6.

Overall Rating: 6
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.136.225)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40702


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
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
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
where can I purchase a Tal-100R and accessories?

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.114.79)
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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
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
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
This is the first "decent" telescope I've owned. Up to now I've had a DST Tasco which was OK but nothing special. I'd always wanted a decent refractor but the price for such an item in this country was prohibitive, even up to about 5 years ago when astronomy took a backseat to my new son. Now my son is interested in space and the planets (thanks to the BBC) and so I decided to buy something that would last me a while and would be good for him when he gets older (if he's still interested). Not having the money for a Teleview or a Tak and being somewhat unimpressed in the Chinese refractors I’d seen I settled on the TAL. On opening the shipping carton I was a little disappointed to see that unfortunately the scope no longer seems to come in its "coffin" but a collection of cardboard boxes, although it was well packed and suffered no damage on its long journey from Siberia. The scope was easy to assemble even if the manual, which is a direct translation from Russian, doesn’t always make sense. The supplied plossl eyepieces are very serviceable the 25mm being particularly nice. The mount is steady and easy to set up if a little old fashioned, but on the plus side it is designed to be mechanically adjustable so it should last forever. The tripod is a large and heavy wooden model and is much more stable than most of the Chinese aluminium ones I've seen, if a little heavy to lug about. The dew shield on mine is the newer plastic one (my scope was made in 2001) but it is about twice the size of the older metal one and is a push fit which makes removal a breeze.
I had to wait a few days for the weather to clear to make my first observation and I wasn’t disappointed. I live in London and as such suffer quite light polluted skies I tend to concentrate on the planets and the moon. Unfortunately the all the bright evening planets were lost behind my neighbours tree so my only target was the moon. The seeing was quite good and the moon was not far from the zenith so I screwed in the ND filter to the 25mm eyepiece, lined up using the excellent 6x30 finder and took a look. At 40x the moon looked magnificent so so much better than with the Tasco. There was fantastic detail in the craters and the mountains with very little false colour and to cap it all I saw a satellite transit the lunar disk. Fantastic!!
To sum up I’m very pleased with this scope. It is exceptional value for money in the UK. The images it gives are bright, sharp and to all intents colour free, even on the limb of the moon. The dealer I bought it from compared the image quality to a Vixen, I'm not sure about that but it is impressive. I’ll be keeping this one for a long time. In fact I was so impressed that last weekend I bought a little TAL-M as a rich field scope.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:9 Mount:8 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.6.61)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=93888


Novosibirsk Tal 100R
Our experience was dreadful. The rings were pot metal and one broken, the tube was of some cheap steel and way too heavy, paint job terrible, the end cap with R&P had fallen off due to poor threads and when we tried to rethread it we could not so simpyl let the thing pop on as it would wobbling, the diagonal was rotating on its tube and useless, I guess therewas a mirror inside thatdiag but it had so muchdiust and crap on it you could barely see light off it,
thefinder etc were all made of some cheap pot metal, and Isont even bother with the mount because no aspect of it was even remotely acceptable. I did try the slow motions and they turned like my grandmother's knees - you culd hear metal crunching on ??. The legs were very cheap - crap really. We finally got the ota on a G11 mount to try it out and because of
the wobbling end cap with R&P and wobbling diag all I saw was a very distorted star image. Thatw as a new experience for me!
I pulled thediag out onyl to discover these damned things screw on so could not even get an ep in the tube. I pakced this piece of junk back in the box and
shipped it back the next day. Thank GOD we got ourt money back. Im sure some other "satisfied" customer has it, and thank God its not us!
Its the worst telescope experience Ive had with a "new" scope ever.
I wouldnt wish this piece of junk on my worst enemy. Sorry, but those are/were the facts.
Obviously something was wrong since the rest of you rave about the Tal-100.
I guess we got the only lemon made. Rating = 0 and thats a gift!

Overall Rating: 0
Optics:0 Mount:0 Ease of Use:0 Value:0
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.72.101)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=97105


Novosibirsk Tal 100R
After reading a great deal about this telescope (particularly the high quality of the optics) I decided to order one. In the 14 years I have spent as an amtr. astronomer it is without a doubt the best 4 inch achromat I have ever seen or used; it even gives some faster 4 inch ED instruments a run for their money. It is not an apochromat - so expect to see some very slight chromatic aberration, esp. at high powers - but, overall, the contrast and colour corection are superb. Star tests even at 'stupid high powers' (for an achromat) are excellent. Lunar and planetary views are superb, even in average conditions there is often so little false colour ringing the lunar limb that I honestly need to look for it. Deep sky objects are extremely contrasy and the 'scope makes short work of double star splitting. These were all traits that I had read previously and they are all true! If you want the high quality views that refractors are known for but can't afford an apochromat - don't waste time considering any other telescope - the 100R is an absolute bargain with superb optics. The mount is a slightly different story, however, but more about that later!

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:10 Mount:6 Ease of Use:8 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.58.9)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=111113


Novosibirsk Tal 100R
[webmaster note: vote moved from description]

This is a 1st impression only as I have only just taken delivery. Like all Tal's it comes packed in a wooden box of coffin like proportions - a 2 man job to carry it any distance!!



What a wonderful instrument!! Everything seems over engineered. The wooden tripod is solid as a rock and what you would expect surveyors to use. The German head has decent slow motions in both axis but manual only. The tube is all white with black dew cap and focuser - no plastic here!! The diagonal uses an aluminized flat rather than the usual prism - I read somewhere that this is a better option than the usual prism? A nice 6 by 30 mm, 6 point mounted finder is present. 2 eyepieces are supplied, both plossl's and of high quality - the 25mm has a very wide field. Interestingly the 10mm seems uncoated. The objective appears flawless and is a beautiful purple in color, I believe multicoated. Accessories include a camera adapter, Filters, reticule, tools etc.



Overall I'm very impresses cant believe it only cost 250 UK pounds (about 400 US dollars?). Will post an update when the sky's clear!!

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.243.121)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=113757


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
I've bought this scope mainly as a guidescope for my newtonian, but I was really surprised about the quality of the optics, 'cause the sharp, quite colour free images it gives on planets, moon and the sharpness of stellar images. These are surely fine, and worth the price.
The OTA has indeed a poor painting, and come with the enamel coat with some scratches. But actually the main weakness of the OTA is the focuser, with its short travel, that barely permits me to focus with the Ultima 2X barlow and 12,5 guiding eyepiece. Regarding to the mounting rings, I was very worried about the weak contact of the tumbscrew near the edge of the upper ring. In order to avoid a likely disastrous fall, I made a new hole in rim of the lower part of ring, to bed the stud-bolt screw, just a bit closer to the edge. It works and makes all the assembly more reliable. Finally I've immediately sold out the mount, because It looked being very undersized for the long OTA, and definively useless for photography.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:9 Mount:5 Ease of Use:7 Value:8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.83.185)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=189587


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

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