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Are Tasco Telescopes really that bad?


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LOL - Its nice to hear you guys speak so highly about Tasco scopes produced back in the late 80's - 90's I Joined Tasco as an Office Administrator back in 1982, based in their Head Office in Old Welwy

Same here .... I have very fond memories of my first ever telescope when I was a kid - and of course it was a 60mm Tasco. I will always remember the first time I saw Saturn (complete with rings) and

They may have not been the best scopes in the world, but my little red frac started me on this long and fantastic journey

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I also have fond memories of tasco scopes. With my fullerscope out of commission, after a house move, I borrowed a 4.5” tasco newt from a relative. It was a Japanese built scope with .965 eyepieces, there was not much you could do with the mount but with my old fullerscope ortho’s taped to the focuser tube the scope performed nicely for its size. I was so pleased with it I offered to buy it, my relative being an impoverished student teacher at the time was happy to let it go and spent the cash on a lap top. I then replaced the focuser for a 1.25”and fitted an old rifle scope for a finder and it was a great stop gap until I finally sorted the mirrors on the 8.75”. Its currently on lone to a friend and still going strong with the original mirror coatings.  :smiley:

The scope shortly before going on lone.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi all you Tasco devotees,

There is a vintage Tasco 60mm f=1000 on eBay with amazing mags......

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/111573436222?_trksid=p11010.c100162.m2917&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20140212122133%26meid%3De5eb82a3be0f468689bb5f035f1d1cfb%26pid%3D100162%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D12%26sd%3D161553604300/?ssPageName=ADME:B:WNA:GB:3160

Thought you might like to purchase so that it can be on display at SGL10.

Should the seller not be using Sotherbys, or burying it for Time Team to dig up in a future programme?

I think I have one in the loft, I tried using one with my son about 30 years back. Total agony.

Cheers

Adrian

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I currently have a visitors 76mm F700mm Tasco Luminova reflector. It was brought in to me as a bag of bits, literally right down to the smallest screws, fortunately nothing missing. The tube seems to be the same one as Tasco use for the 114mm version which was helpful as I needed to get my arm up inside to attach the side bearing plates for the alt azimuth fork. I cleaned the very dusty primary mirror which came up like new and collimated the optics. The scope came with three quite nice looking 1.24" fit eyepieces, a H25mm,

H12mm and SR5, not the most suitable for a reflector but at around F9.5 at least useable. I have only had chance as yet to try it out terrestrially but encouraged by the views through the rather narrow field supplied eyepieces I popped in my Nagler 3mm_6mm zoom. At the maximum 3mm setting giving a massive 233X it still gave a well focused view of fine writing on a distant transformer that we often use for testing. I'm hoping to get an astro view in before the owner collects it, I'll report back if I do.   :smiley: 

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I currently have a visitors 76mm F700mm Tasco Luminova reflector. It was brought in to me as a bag of bits, literally right down to the smallest screws, fortunately nothing missing. The tube seems to be the same one as Tasco use for the 114mm version which was helpful as I needed to get my arm up inside to attach the side bearing plates for the alt azimuth fork. I cleaned the very dusty primary mirror which came up like new and collimated the optics. The scope came with three quite nice looking 1.24" fit eyepieces, a H25mm,

H12mm and SR5, not the most suitable for a reflector but at around F9.5 at least useable. I have only had chance as yet to try it out terrestrially but encouraged by the views through the rather narrow field supplied eyepieces I popped in my Nagler 3mm_6mm zoom. At the maximum 3mm setting giving a massive 233X it still gave a well focused view of fine writing on a distant transformer that we often use for testing. I'm hoping to get an astro view in before the owner collects it, I'll report back if I do.   :smiley:

thats what i started my journey through, the 114 luminova, and by brother in law still has it, gold tube version. must get it back

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  • 6 months later...

I started off with the 4ETE... 40x/40mm refractor... magnesium fluoride [MgF2] anti-reflective coatings... "I want one of those!"  

"Wow! - I can see Saturn's rings with this!" / "I can see craters on the Moon!" / "I got sunspots!" projected and scribbled onto a sheet of A4. Just some of my 'wow!' moments ...and that was in the mid to late 1970's as a birthday present from my father & step-mother.

It had an awful alt-az mount on spindly table top tripod legs. My late grandfather had some galvanised steel pipe, (the sort that is used for electrical/fire alarm cable), in his garage and we made a set of 'decent' tripod legs for it of one metre in length. It was still let down by the awful alt-az fork head that would take it to about +45o. If you wanted to go higher in altitude or zenith, I just would mount it on the 'outside' of one of the forks of the head and pray that I had enough thread on the bolt without it coming loose.

All in all... good then, but doubtful now!  :evil6:  ...but it got started me into this hobby.  :angel4:

Edited by Philip R
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"And now for something completely different", I'm using a 60mm F700mm fitted with a SM60 Coronado Ha etalon and BF15 for grab and go solar observation. Excellent images with a zoom eyepiece.   :smiley: 

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Tasco 2" refractor, my first scope back in the mid 80's. First views of Jupiter, Saturn, phases of Venus, craters on the Moon, some double stars...and that's about it. The amazing thing was how I ever found anything in the first place as the "finder" was a pitiful plastic little affair and the mount was a very spindly alt-az tripod. I moved on to using binoculars afterwards. Still, I remember that scope f I wadondly and finally ended up using it for solar projection. All that's left of it now is the dewcap unfortunately.

Blimey, I thought I was unlucky losing an eyepiece whilst projecting.:-)

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If you get rid of the nostalgia you will find that such telescopes are indeed quite rcap. I had a small red one when I was a kid. I remember Jupiter just looked like a white blob (although Mars still looks like this in my 8incher). Saturn looked like a white UFO. Never looked at galaxies or nebula with it because I didnt know how to find them back then. I still enjoyed it tho.

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When I was young TASCO was just about the only option. I recall they had one of the 3" refractors (gosh !) in a camera shop in Bath (this was the 1970's) and I must have stared through that window for a long while each time I went shopping there with mum and dad. It seemed so inaccessible back then - I think the price was about £400 :shocked:

I remember those scopes too, on a table top tripod if I recall.  like yourself I would stare through the window at what I thought was probably the best scope available.  My first scope was a red 50mm tasco with a (finger) scope as I would call it ;-)  I remembe cuttiing the tube and sticking a bino lens I found in its lens cell - It became the finder on my first real telescope which I had on load from the local Astro Society a 4.5" dobsonian.

Edited by Astroscot2
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  • 5 years later...

Hi All,

First time posting and apologies for ressurecting an ancient thread, it seemed an appropriate place to post given the topic.

I have a 5 year old and we've had fun looking at stars, watching satellites crossing the sky, identifying a few planets etc by the naked eye and I'm looking to take it to the next level on a budget.  I've been offered a Tasco 280 power telescope in the box with tripod etc for £30.  Do the good members here think it's a worth while buy for the little one and me?  Is it then worth spending a little extra on a better eye piece or just not bother and find something else entirely for £50 max?

Thanks for any advice you can give.

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In general, Tasco telescopes are "not that bad", it's their mounts and accessories that let them down.  The mounts/tripods are usually inadequate and the eyepieces are low quality.  Addressing this involves a level of expenditure that would have bought a better system in the first place.  I would expect the deficiencies would result in frustration in use for you and your 5 year old.  Finally, ignore the high magnifications advertised for this and similar size telescopes in this price bracket, they are unrealistic.  Alternatives?, difficult to advise but always require a higher investment unless lucky with a secondhand purchase of something better.    🙂

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2 hours ago, Tad said:

Hi All,

First time posting and apologies for ressurecting an ancient thread, it seemed an appropriate place to post given the topic.

I have a 5 year old and we've had fun looking at stars, watching satellites crossing the sky, identifying a few planets etc by the naked eye and I'm looking to take it to the next level on a budget.  I've been offered a Tasco 280 power telescope in the box with tripod etc for £30.  Do the good members here think it's a worth while buy for the little one and me?  Is it then worth spending a little extra on a better eye piece or just not bother and find something else entirely for £50 max?

Thanks for any advice you can give.

Hello, and welcome to SGL.

The general advice is to be cautious about telescopes that mention their magnification before (or instead of) anything else.

Here are some links you mind find useful:

https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/365786-best-budget-scope-for-a-5-year-old/

https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/365881-buying-my-daughter-her-first-telescope/

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/beginner-telescopes.html

https://britastro.org/node/15810

https://uk.telescope.com/assets/articles/content-popups/whats-the-best-telescope-for-kids.html

 

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Personally, I would add another £10 to your budget and get a table top telescope like the Celestron FirstScope - Signature Series, which can be had for £59.  It will be more stable, give a better image and more likely to keep your child focused rather than frustrated. 

Magnification isn't the significant figure... it's a theoretical maximum and based on the smallest focal length eyepiece and the focal length of the telescope - in practice this is often unusable.  The new telescope also comes with all the benefits of buying new through a renowned retailer. 

 

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