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I wasn't optimistic last night having looked at the satellite maps, but it turned out to be a nice clear night. Seeing wasn't the best, but good enough. My initial plan was to look for the comet using my 8" f8 dob, but when that proved a no go in the early part of the evening, I thought I would pop the new to me TAL 100r out to see what it could do.

This model has the earlier 1.25" focused on it which is pretty basic with limited travel but totally functional. I've managed to fit my Tak prism to it successfully, so my main task was to check whether any of my eyepieces came to focus, followed by a generally check out of the scope to see how it performs. Being able to use the prism will help when doing side by side comparisons as I can use my Baader Zeiss T2 prism in the other scopes for similar performance.

The scope came with the 25mm, 12.5mm and 6.3mm TAL eyepieces, all of which came to focus I'm pleased to say. In addition, my 24mm Panoptic and 3 to 6 Nag Zoom also worked very well. I just need to check that the BGOs do too and that is all based covered.

First impressions came on Venus and I was pleasantly surprised at how little CA there was. Either side of focus there was purple and green, but in focus it seemed surprisingly well corrected. Not totally colour free of course but pleasantly surprising for an achro. Using the 6.3mm eyepiece the view seem sharp and well defined. There was some flaring around Venus and brighter stars which may be related to this, or the collimation.

I viewed a few double stars through the course of the evening. Polaris and Rigel were very nice splits at higher power, at lower power they were a little trickier, due to flaring around the primary which may well have been seeing related but will check again in another session.

Izar was again a clear split at higher power, I think it will be better once the scope is aligned better but with both 12.5mm and 6.3mm it was possible.

The Double Cluster fitted easily inside the field of view using the 25mm Tal eyepiece and at this low power stars were lovely pin points with clear colour differences coming through. I switched to the 24mm Panoptic and initially thought it gave a better view with fainter stars being resolved. However, with repeated switching back and forth and examining faint threshold stars I could not see any difference. The eyepiece seemed of high quality and other than the field of view I did not have a preference between them.

Likewise with the 6.3mm and Nagler zoom the performance on doubles seemed similar (at the 6mm setting on the zoom). Perhaps under better conditions and with correct collimation other differences may emerge but time will tell.

So, a productive little session. I'm impressed with the TAL, and having had two previous ones this is definitely the best optically, sharper and with less CA. This is the only one with the earlier purple coatings which I've tried and from memory it does seem better optically even though the OTA and focuser are more agricultural.

I will continue with my 4" scope comparisons as time allows and hope to build up a picture of the differences and similarities in terms of what they are capable of resolving. Whilst not up there with Tak optics, so far this scope seems capable and shows very pleasing star colours.

As an aside, later on just before I packed up, I had the merest whiff of the comet, very very faint with AV and I would only put it down as a possible sighting. Need some darker skies me thinks.

Either way, nice to get out again.

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I had a look at Venus last night with my dob too Stu- scope wasn’t well acclimatised but I had clear and quite extreme colour shifting going on- blue on the terminator and red on the limb. I put it down to atmospheric refraction as being a dob I shouldn’t really be getting CA?

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2 minutes ago, markse68 said:

I had a look at Venus last night with my dob too Stu- scope wasn’t well acclimatised but I had clear and quite extreme colour shifting going on- blue on the terminator and red on the limb. I put it down to atmospheric refraction as being a dob I shouldn’t really be getting CA?

Yes I reckon that's atmospheric dispersion. The tell tale for AD is blue at the top edge and red at the bottom edge (the atmosphere spreads the spectrum with blue upwards and red downwards)

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I haven't used my TAL100r for years, I bought it new at least 15 years ago maybe more, I used to have hours of fun with it. Has yours got a number stamped on it, mines number 33.

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34 minutes ago, markse68 said:

I had a look at Venus last night with my dob too Stu- scope wasn’t well acclimatised but I had clear and quite extreme colour shifting going on- blue on the terminator and red on the limb. I put it down to atmospheric refraction as being a dob I shouldn’t really be getting CA?

Yes, that will be atmospheric CA; as you rightly say a dob should be colour free (unless caused by the eyepiece but that's normally towards the edge of field if at all)

Interestingly I didn't get much of this with the TAL (or other smaller refractors I've used on Venus recently) likely due to the smaller aperture coping with seeing better I guess?

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3 minutes ago, Doc said:

I haven't used my TAL100r for years, I bought it new at least 15 years ago maybe more, I used to have hours of fun with it. Has yours got a number stamped on it, mines number 33.

That sounds an early one Doc. Mine is 795 I think. I guess yours must be more like 20 years old?

Best get it out and have a play!

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Sounds like a very promising telescope! Not every day you see someone posting up a first light report for a TAL 100r, was pleasantly surprised. Enjoy it :) 

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2 hours ago, Dave1 said:

Sounds like a very promising telescope! Not every day you see someone posting up a first light report for a TAL 100r, was pleasantly surprised. Enjoy it :) 

Thanks Dave. Yes, I think once the collimation is sorted it will be very nice indeed. I seem to be acquiring 4" scopes to do comparisons with, just to give me a little project to keep things interesting whilst largely observing from home with light polluted skies.

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I've an elderly friend who repeatedly stated "You can't beat a 4" refractor",  which is perfectly true unless you have a 5". But I get what he means, when I consider the ease of use and the great views they give for their aperture class. And comparing the differences or similarities between different scopes is fantastic fun. Ive only looked through an old 4" Tal twice and the view was very nice. 

I'll happily give you £50 for that DC Stu, if you're finding yourself crowded out with 4" frac's. I could couple it with mine to make a pair of bino's. I think I've got a spare strap to hang them around my neck! :biggrin:

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On 17/03/2020 at 16:30, Stu said:

That sounds an early one Doc. Mine is 795 I think. I guess yours must be more like 20 years old?

Best get it out and have a play!

Mines 0331, it hadnt occured to before seeing this thread the age relative to the number.

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I got the impression that Tal scopes were numbered per year restarting at 1 or whatever. My 100RS is 0985 dated 17-Dec-2003 according to the stamp in the manual. The Tal-1 is #0062 (1995) and the Tal-M #0067 (1996) and were both white (ish) paint rather than the grey of earlier ones so I'd be surprised if those serials were a continuous count for those models.

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There were at least 3 different variants as well over the years - each "run" could have it's own serial numbering system.

I used to have a very early TAL 100 RT which I purchased new in 1999. It came overland from Sibera in it's wooden coffin but I can't recall the serial number of that one though.

 

 

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I dug this out, it's nice to still have it 😁

20200823_113647.jpg

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Unfortunately the wooden tripod and head disappeared after I let a relative use it a couple of years ago. Would have been nice to have it with the scope as my wife bought me it one Christmas. 

I'll always remember the massive wooden crate it came in when I picked it up at the shop. I needed to borrow a van as it wouldn't go in the boot of the car at the time. 

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