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Its been a long time since I was last active in the astronomy hobby...as a kid the only things to hand were some really old binoculars that dad found bank side on a fishing trip to norfolk back in the 60's. They didnt focus correctly and the only way to use them to any sort of effect was as monoculars. Later a set of Boots 10x50's turned up for a birthday ( still have them..will never part with them)..my seeing took a giant step for boy kind, and along with a copy of 'The observers book of astronomy' authored by Patrick Moore, these were the weapons in my armoury, and I loved my clear nights, sat in a deck chair in the family homes back garden in sheffield, gazing skywards ...roll forward to last christmas.........

...My dear 13 year old daughter requested a half capable camera for school work..my hobby of photography has rubbed off on her in a big way, hence her interest in capturing the world around her..the Lumix bridge camera santa delivered proved very capable at doing all it was asked to do, playing with the super zoom long focal length one evening we placed it atop a benbo tripod and aimed it at the moon. Within the space of twenty minutes we had produced some excellent images of the lunar surface...conversation got around to my early childhood days and those disfunctional fishing trip freebie binocs..and then it was suggested we may get a telescope...Ive been excited ever since!!

Looking to what patrick had to say about telescopes in the observers book printed in 1976, ( yes still have that as well) he laments at the appalling scarcity of affordable telescopes and suggests that from time to time rare second hand ones come up on the market at affordable prices....but patrick this is 2013!...surely that cant be the same situation now? A quick glance at the internet shows a very different picture to the 1976 market!! Heavens above there are hundreds of the things!! WHAT TO DO?.... Visits to my best friends house in the 90's introduced me to TAL telescopes for the first time. My friends dad George Heppinstall ( much missed..lovely man) had a keen interest in astronomy and would regularly have his TAL 1 out on the patio day and night observing the moon in its different phases. I immediately liked the TAL.. my first SLR cameras had been Russian Zeniths and the chunky, heavy weight, armour piercing round construction just appealed straight away. Have to say the views seen through the eye piece of luna were spectacular.

So, with TAL as my only 'have used it' refrence, the question must be asked, 'where do the russian scopes stand in todays market?'... first of all, Im not expecting blistering Hubble type images...I know the reality of whats achieveable on my budget of up to £500. I want a scope that is a bit of an all rounder...is there such a thing?. As much deep sky as £500 will get you, but something I can look at the lunar surface with in detail and pretend that I am Armstrong gearing up to make history. I would prefer reflector to refractor...I understand the importance of aperture and good optics...another reason why I keep looking at the TAL 150p..I understand the differences...deep sky and planetary are two different disciplines requiring different scopes...but my involvement is going to be 'as and when I have time for it'..the budget is only so big, as is the space to keep one scope never mind two..and then there is the wife to contend with..lets forget about that for the moment...eek!...and I live in a busy light polluted town centre..so perhaps an OTA that is transportable to a dark site is a requirement. On the other had I have been looking at the sky watcher 200p Dob and it looks blumming huge..but the simple construction and operation appeals! From the same stable I have been looking at the 200p and 150p explorers..as well as the Altair Astro newtonians, they really do look well made..but i know nothing of the brand..anyone have an opinion?..but the EQ3-2 and 5 mounts dont exactly look like grab and go devices...Im not fussed about putting a computer in the driving seat..it must be an old school thing!...last of all..i dont expect to take photos through this telescope that are going to end up on the cover of Sky at Night magazine.. but coming from the photographic hobby I would love to tinker a bit..even if its just aiming the camera lens down the eye piece..the moon would be my main target..so ladies and gentle man..your thoughts please...I have confused myself enough trawling the internet looking at scopes these last few weeks...i cant be confused any more!!!.........or can I ?...and all this time a little voice keeps saying to me''buy the TAL!''.....is that you George ? ........cheers

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Don't talk to me about little TAL voices calling my name... (check my sig below).

I know all about that!

EDIT: It's when they start singing my name that I go all trembly at the knees!

Edited by TonyD

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A TAL will last a lifetime. The TAL 1 is still a big seller these days, that should say how well regarded they still are. I have the 150P and it is a great telescope

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The 200p dob will give the best optical performance and is probably the quickest to set up just put the base out plonk the scope on and you are good to go. but it's not the easiest to photogragh with it's possible to get the moon and planets but it's easier on a tripod or pillar. the tal is a more substantial piece of equipment than the 150p on an eq3 . hard choice 3 good scopes with different strengths and weaknesses. if you want to take fairly good photos you are better off not having a dob. the tal is probably the most solid but that also makes it less portable (that stand is heavy) The 150 on an eq3 is lighter and more portable but as a consequence not as stable as the tal. My mom always used to tell me when she took me shopping for my birthday present "make sure you love it before you buy it" Sounds to me that you love the Tal. I forgot to add that the 200p on an eq5 is probably about as heavy as the tal and better optically

Edited by rowan46

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Thank you for the replies so far...TAL looks to be a nose ahead of the dob at this stage in the race...it's a hard choice, but I am humbled when thinking back to the choices that amateurs had open to them back in the 70's....was watching the cover disc off this months 'the sky at night' magazine..it includes the episode of the sky at night that was aired backing 1973 and covered the African solar eclipse. The equipment on display being used to capture the event looked really cobbled together..lots of home construction going on....anyway, back on subject...

I am open to the idea of trying something new with a different brand, the altare astro range of newts also looks good but I can't find that much about them by way of reviews on the Internet? Are they merely branded generic models from china? Possibly...any other suggestions as to what I should be looking at will be seriously considered... :-)

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The Altair kit is generally rebranded Chinese kit, but no worse for that. Nice scopes.

I have a range of kit and have tried a lot of stuff. IMHO you cant go far wrong with a Chinese reflector or a Russian refractor but they are probably different horses for different courses.

If I had £500 to spend as a newb, I would go for a Chinese dobsonian such as a 200mm Skywatcher. This would leave me enough for a few eyepieces, a collimator, a telrad and a few other accessories.

Typed by me on my fone, using fumms... Excuse eny speling errurs.

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The TAL -1 was my fist scope and I've only recently changed it for a dob. I thought it was a superb scope and I'm toying with the idea of getting a TAL refractor.

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50 pounds starting bid and no bidders :smiley:

No link to the seller :grin:

Sshhhh....

Otherwise there could be a rush.

Even I'm occasionally tempted by a TAL!

Typed by me on my fone, using fumms... Excuse eny speling errurs.

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50 pounds starting bid and no bidders :smiley:

No link to the seller :grin:

Nothing to do with me. My TAL100R was an eBay purchase for Christmas, and I'm not planning on letting it go :)

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I'm new to TALs but am already enjoying using my TAL100R.

I see there is one on eBay at present...http://www.ebay.co.u...7a503d15&_uhb=1

No link to the seller.

twotter the 100r looks like one big momma!!...had a look at the one on ebay...the size of it dont look all that portable...the pine box must weigh a bit on its own...how are you finding using it? what results you had with it?

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The box is tucked away in my garage. The telescope is on the mount and tripod in my conservatory. It goes outside into the garden as the tripod and mount together, followed by the telescope. I've enjoyed nice, clear views of Jupiter, the Moon and 4 stars in the Trapezium. Another plus was seeing M45 all in the field of view of my 24mm Hyperion. There is a touch of CA purple fringe on Jupiter, as you would expect with an achro, but I had to look for it, and hardly any that I recall on the Moon. Only reason I've not used it more since Christmas has been down to an extended bout of manflu :(

My 100R was £150.

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Just bear in mind if you bid for it that the older ones had notoriously short focus tubes and could be very picky about EPs.

With that said, assuming it did go for close to £50 it woud be a bargain. If I was a betting type of person I would guess £200 will be the closing bid. The Brian Cox effect.

tAL scopes have gone up hugely on ebay in recent years. i am still kicking myself that I didnt buy a TAL2M on here about 5 years ago that was pristine complete with all the bits and at the time the seller was willing to let go for £120 !!! I couldnt justify spending the cash having just wrecked a car but I wish I had now and just said pooh to the bank account being a bit light.

Edited by Astro_Baby

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....Just bear in mind if you bid for it that the older ones had notoriously short focus tubes and could be very picky about EPs.....

Good point. That is one of the 1st generation ones on E.Bay too. 1.25" focuser and bespoke screw fit diagonal I recall from the one I bought back in 1999. Lovely objective lens with deep purple coatings though :smiley:

I let mine go for around £130 complete I seem to remember - it could be the same one thats for sale there !

Knowing e.bay and the positive feedback you get on TAL 100's then you Google them I expect it will go for more than expected.

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The 'R' 1.25" R&P focuser will be okay for all the std simple designed eyepieces. ie: plossls, orthos, kellners, erfles, konigs etc. A user (sorry can't remember who you are. so much Tal 100R/RS talk of late :smiley: )recently reported that all his Baader Hyperions focused too, which was pleasing to hear. Only eyepieces that need a LOT of infocus may have problems. You are stuck with only using 1.25" eyepieces, but that's not the end of the world as you should still be able to get about 1.29 degrees max. Not wide but not awful and plenty wide to get all the interesting stuff in.

John - I too, often wonder if scopes I sometimes see for sale are my old ones. There are a couple I'd love back :embarrassed:

Andy.

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T'was probably me :)

Four of my Hyperions definitely come to focus in my 100R, both in standard format and with the 14mm & 28mm fine tuning rings. I've just picked up a 'pre-loved' 21mm which I'm looking forward to trying, and I expect that to work well too. The 24mm also frames M45 nicely in the field of view, which was nice!

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Just bear in mind if you bid for it that the older ones had notoriously short focus tubes and could be very picky about EPs.

With that said, assuming it did go for close to £50 it woud be a bargain. If I was a betting type of person I would guess £200 will be the closing bid. The Brian Cox effect.

tAL scopes have gone up hugely on ebay in recent years. i am still kicking myself that I didnt buy a TAL2M on here about 5 years ago that was pristine complete with all the bits and at the time the seller was willing to let go for £120 !!! I couldnt justify spending the cash having just wrecked a car but I wish I had now and just said pooh to the bank account being a bit light.

To be honest I don't think I will bid Astro B, would probably struggle to get the thing in the car, the guy selling seems to be struggling to describe the scopes lens condition, and deep down I would like a reflector. Still considering, but in no hurry, I like to do as much home work as possible before parting with the lolly....I am going to see what price it commands..200 squids maybe right...If not more.

The Tal 150p is still at the top of my list at this time, the legs do un screw from the shaft of the stand, so even as heavy as it is it will be more portable than the dob....the 200p is nice though..head ache :-(

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If it went for £50 it would be worth it for the old TAL mount alone. I got a little nervous when he said he "thought" it included a sun filter, but slightly more worryingly he mentions a scratch on the objective lens! :shocked:

And I was tempted as well, seeing as he doesn't live that far from me - and I've not even used my 100RS yet, just held it in my arms... Noooo! I'm think I might be catching whatever it is TonyD's got! :grin:

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My thoughts exactly.

I'd like to think the seller is being uber honest here. Sounds like/hoping it's just a minor faint line, which I've seen countless times on various lenses and mirrors. A scratch just makes the mind work overtime !!

If I were him and I want top dosh for the scope, I'd be taking lots of pics of the lens. Different angles/different lighting conditions. Otherwise it's going to go cheap.

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A TAL will last a lifetime. The TAL 1 is still a big seller these days, that should say how well regarded they still are. I have the 150P and it is a great telescope

A TAL will last a lifetime. The TAL 1 is still a big seller these days, that should say how well regarded they still are. I have the 150P and it is a great telescope

A TAL will last a lifetime. The TAL 1 is still a big seller these days, that should say how well regarded they still are. I have the 150P and it is a great telescope

Can you tell me nicnak, what has your experience been with the TAL 150p? And what is the scope capable of? Not actually found an in depth review of it on the Internet yet......

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(Que the sweet music in the background, mood lighting up) every experience with my TAL has been great lol.

I remember when all the boxes arrived a couple of years back, i opened the box and was greeted with a pristine white rolled steel ota, TAL branding all bright and flash on the side, once i finished gawping i set it all up (mine is on a CG5, not the pillar GEM)

I found myself at that scary point, checking collimation. It was near spot on, even after the journey it had undertaken to get to my lil patch.

I spent the next few nights out in the yard swinging the TAL this way and that way (as you do) every session collimation was checked and nothing had budged at all. Good times.

Then, a heart attack moment, i left the ota in the kitchen whilst i set the mount up out back, a horrid sickening bang i heard from indoors, the boy had knocked the ota over. One was not amused. A quick set up and colli check…… nothing! The only evidence of the knock over, a tiny scratch and the year off my life. In short…… the TAL is a tough cookie that holds collimation very well.

On to views.

First off, the moon.

i was very pleased with what the TAL showed considering it is a widefield scope, it shows high mags very well with great contrast which would be further bumped up if the ota had been flocked (which ive not got around to yet)

Mars was close so i gave that a go with the supplied TAL plossls, a 25mm and a 7.5mm, again, great views. A red/hue with dark markings and polar cap. Fine detail.

Pleades, managed to see faints wisps of nebulosity which was awesome and quite unexpected.

Orion, shocked to get colour! Greeny blue hues.

I could go on and on, needless to say, i am most happy with the 150P. The only time i get aperture fever is when ive not had the TAL out for a couple of weeks. As soon as i do, the burn is gone and im more than content with 150mm.

I am always in awe with what i see through the TAL, even if i have seen it many times before.

The TAL150p is a great deep sky telescope and not shabby on the planets either. In my opinion, it is a great all rounder that is easy to shift around, set ip and use and it will last a lifetime.… what am i saying? Its a TAL! Its designed that way :D

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TAL? DOB? TAL? DOB?....one thing I do know....I have enough computers in my life that I struggle with already with out the inclusion of another one on a telescope! damn you technology!....decided...going to travel to my local emporium tomorrow and get my hands on a few sexy OTA's...feel even greater levels of confusion on the horizon!

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