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TAL 100RS, First Light Comrades


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I have a thing for 4 inch long tube refractors in particular and all things retro in general, so classic looking refractors like the TAL 100R are right up my street. If someone had made an Art Deco version of the TAL I would have bought that. After much debate, not to mention SGL advise I pressed the “buy it now” button and bought my new scope, comrades. I have had quite a few Russian things in the past, motorbikes, shotguns and even an Uncle (I didn't buy him) so once I had got back into astronomy I suppose it was only a matter of time before I bought a Russian scope. My purchase was from FLO and arrived complete with Soviet quality packaging, the scope strapped to a heavy sheet of plywood at the bottom of the box. My first impressions were good, most satisfying solid (Russian) and old school. The scope was not quite as large or or as heavy (soviet) as I had feared and went together quickly without any hassles. Sadly my dovetail was still in the post so I had a 24 hour waiting to load it onto my AZ 4. I arrived from work the next day to find my dovetail on the door mat when in turn was quickly fitted to the scope over a cup of coffee. The TAL 100RS and the AZ 4 are a great match. The scope balances quickly and easily and even with the legs fully extended is very solid indeed. I had fretted about the suitability of this mount, I needn't have worried, very stable and buttery smooth to operate, great!

So first light comrades. First target and for no particular reason M35. I have a thing for clusters, always have. Stars were razor sharp, pin point right to the edge of field with a Celestron X-Cel LX 25mm ep, very nice. Next up M45 and Cadwell 14. I love the Double Cluster, wows me out every time and tonight was no exception. I quickly moved on the M42. The nebular was nice and bright and the Trapezium Cluster was nicely split and sharp and well defined. On to Jupiter, which was by now sitting nice and high. I only went as high as the 6.5mm plossil supplied with the scope and this I would think is as high as I would go I would think. All 4 moons and the planet fitted into the field of view and the planets surface with the great red spot was clearly visable, the two main belts well defined and some detail to be seen at the poles. What about C.A . I hear you say,? Er... very little actually unless you want to constantly remind yourself you are looking through an Achromat, I think a Pro APO filter would be a waste of £60 from what I have observed thus far.

So it seems I have bought wisely and the TAL is a revolution, I mean revelation!! The objective lens is well coated with no imperfections (which is more than I can say about a few Chinese scopes I have seen) The finder scope is really very good and I can't imagine why I would change it, although it took a little getting used to again after using a red dot finder for 12 mounths. The crawford is good, very smooth and I am told it can handle a fair amount of weight so the Baader Hyperlon III 8-24 Zoom I am about to buy should be no bother for my new Russian friend. The only change I have made is the diagonal, a Williams Optics carbon fibre job which my wife bought me for Christmas and was due to live on my now ex Celestron 102 ST.

I think the whole set up looks rather elegant chaps, but you judge for yourselves.

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Edited by Caldwell 14
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Hi !!

I agree. Scope n mount look like a lovely match. Very nice indeed.

To this day, my best view of Saturn was through my long gone 100RS. Granted the seeing was superb, but still !!

You really have to LOOK for the CA. Very well corrected for an Achro.

Clusters are also a fav of mine too. The Auriga three, are often the first things I look for every session, if they're about.

Enjoy !!

Andy.

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Hi Hex!

Good report and glad to hear that you are pleased with your new TAL refractor. I too have a TAL 100RS (but it's a 2001 vintage model) and gave it an outing last night ... lovely views of Venus, Jupiter, Moon and Mars. I can confirm that the Baader Hyperion Zoom works very well with this scope (and also barlows well). My TAL is mounted on an EQ5 with 16" pillar extension - lifts the scope a fair way off the ground but it's more comfortable for me to use (being 6'2") without having to resort to kneeling on the ground!

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Hey hex, great report, i was one that figured the tal would not work so well on the AZ4, but it looks okay, your right they are keepers, i would only sell mine if i could locate the elusive Tal 125r, i keep looking but no luck so far!

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Hey hex, great report, i was one that figured the tal would not work so well on the AZ4, but it looks okay, your right they are keepers, i would only sell mine if i could locate the elusive Tal 125r, i keep looking but no luck so far!

Well they don't call AZ 4 heavy duty for nothing! Still you never know till its loaded up on a mount and I was a little concerned as everyone was telling they were a heavy scope. In reality I don't really think that they are that heavy, certainly rock steady on an AZ 4.

Edited by Caldwell 14
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Pleased you are so enthusiastic as I bought one yesterday!

I already have a 100R that I bought secondhand a year or so ago, it lacked a finderscope bracket which I found impossible to source and it is a bit past its best - but optics still excellent. Hopefully I will get a few quid back on ebay.

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Hmm, Russian stuff.

Telescopes = TAL

Motorbikes = Ural

Shotguns = Baikal

Uncles = Vanya?

Telescopes = TAL

Shotguns = Baikal

Uncles = Alex

Motorbikes = Cossack/Neville

Did I mention my Aunty Ludmiller? She was from Moscow, married my Uncle Stan, poor bloke.

Edited by Caldwell 14
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