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Hi I have an opportunity to acquire for visual imaging, a 2nd hand (manufactured 2000) Russian TAL1 reflector telescope for about £60.  Is this a reasonable price,?

Being new to astronomy & not currently owning a telescope I've no idea whether TAL is a quality product, so I'd welcome your thoughts.

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The TAL1 is a very good entry level scope, built like a tank and excellent optics and a rock steady mount - downside is the weight that comes as a byproduct of that sturdiness


The 26?mm plossl and Barlow that comes with the scope are very good quality too. 
 

I would say £60 is a bit steep to be honest, if you are patient they do come up cheaper. I have had 3 over the years and paid £30 twice and the final one was a fiver (I got very lucky on that one!)

Cheers

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Optically and mechanically TAL scopes are very good.

Whether this 20 years old scope has been looked after is another question.

I bought one a few years ago for about £30 if i remember correctly. I gave it to someone new to the hobby.

Like Wormix, I think £60 is a bit much. Unless of course it is like new.

Can you post any pics?

David.

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The Tal1 is a very nice telescope with good optics IF its in good condition ie mirrors, mechanics and cosmetics.  They are built to last. Check that the focuser will take a 1.25" eyepiece, earlier Tal 1s used their own slightly different format and you were stuck with Tal eyepieces good though they may be. If it is a 1.25" focuser check for smoothness and adjustability. Despite being typically over engineered they can be heavy. When you say a Tal1 telescope I am assuming its the whole OTA and mount. Check the equatorial mount axes for play. They run just a plain sleeve type bearing. Mine had a little bit of play which in practice doesn't make much if any difference such is the solid stability of the mount. If all is good and its been well looked after I reckon, considering what the scope is capable off I reckon £60 is worth the price, less is very much a bargain. Despite being just 110mm and having a f7.3 spherical mirror when most everything else is parabolic a good Tal1 will give a remarkably good account of itself. My experience is visual only - can't comment on imaging.

Edited by Alfian
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TAL telescopes were very popular entry level 'scopes.

If you can do some bartering with the seller, you may be in for a good one as they were built like USSR/CCCP military hardware.

As previously mentioned, earlier models may not take 1.25" eyepieces and accessories. 

 

edit: Just found this online article/review http://www.opticalvision.co.uk/documents/65.pdf by Martin Mobberly. 

Edited by Philip R

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7 minutes ago, Philip R said:

As previously mentioned, earlier models may not take 1.25" eyepieces and accessories.

Some older tals use 0.96 lenses, but easy to pickup an adapter to fit standard 1.25 lenses for approx £10

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1 hour ago, Frank the Troll said:

Some older tals use 0.96 lenses, but easy to pickup an adapter to fit standard 1.25 lenses for approx £10

The older 1990's use 32mm as opposed to the modern 1.25 inch (31.5mm) eyepieces - I've a 1994 TAL-1 and TAL-M. From 1996-8 IIRC they are regular 1.25 inch. You can use a modern 1.25 inch EP on the older ones by either by using the barlow to get to focus, or my raising the primary mirror 25mm-ish by replacing the 6 screws and 3 springs that hold/adjust the mirror as I did on my TAL-1.

Focuser range tho is limited compared to other newer makes like the SW130 I have which may limit the various range of EPs you can buy, tho the TAL ones are pretty decent. Believe the TAL-1 came with 25mm Plossl and 15mm Kellner and 2 or 3x barlow. If real lucky it'll also have the original wood shipping case.

Also you can overhaul it if you're DIY incloned, AstroBaby's website details how 🙂 

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Also worth mentioning that the TAL finder is an absolute gem

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I loved mine, gave very sharp views. The figure of the mirror is very good.  Do not let the ‘spherical vs parabolic’ debate sway your decision, as at F7 the spherical mirror has a long enough F ratio to work very well.  The mount is great, like a rock.  It’s an excellent scope, but for imaging you will need the version with the motor drive.

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On 06/02/2020 at 18:01, Spider-Man said:

 

Hi I have an opportunity to acquire for visual imaging, a 2nd hand (manufactured 2000) Russian TAL1 reflector telescope for about £60.  Is this a reasonable price,?

 

If the mirrors and other optics are good then I’d say it’s a bargain- sure if you hang around you may luck out and find one cheaper but it’s a lot of scope for the money 👍 The build quality is industrial and really a class above what you could buy for 3x that price new. 

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Had one, rock solid, never needed to colimnate it, gave albeit small, a very clear view of jupiter and its moons

would but another if I had the chance

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On 06/02/2020 at 17:56, Philip R said:

TAL telescopes were very popular entry level 'scopes.

If you can do some bartering with the seller, you may be in for a good one as they were built like USSR/CCCP military hardware.

As previously mentioned, earlier models may not take 1.25" eyepieces and accessories. 

 

edit: Just found this online article/review http://www.opticalvision.co.uk/documents/65.pdf by Martin Mobberly. 

Not all Tal scopes were entry level scopes. The Tal 200K & Tal 250K scopes were mid to higher end  Klepsov scopes.

Steve

Edited by sloz1664

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Yep.  TAL100RS wasn't really an entry level scope either...

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