Tele Vue Scope Renaissance! (Part I)

Tele Vue Renaissance brass telescope (built 1984-1993) was the first Nagler-Petzval type lens design to go into wide-spread production.  With its solid brass tube, its classic look is timeless.
Restoring a Storied Scope
A customer recently called because his vintage Tele Vue Renaissance telescope needed some tender-loving care.  The Renaissance was our second model, put on the market after the 1981 “Multi-Purpose Telescope” (MPT). The customer’s scope was built in 1985 and is from the initial production design with a bolt-on focuser.  After discussing the obvious issues that needed addressing and our evaluation process, he decided it would be worth it to him for us to have a look at the scope.
 
When we received the scope, the most obvious troubling issue was the focuser.  It was unusable. The pinion shaft was badly bent and two of the three teflon runners supporting the draw-tube along its travel were missing.  The outer surface of the objective showed years of grime, and all of the brass components were heavily oxidized. The optics, however, were only slightly mis-aligned, producing a mildly flaired star shape at high power, but the image was still serviceable for terrestrial and deep sky  viewing.  Sadly, after a complete optical and mechanical inspection, we concluded that it just wasn’t worth the effort and expense to revive the telescope.  That, however, was not our customer’s conclusion.
 
He gave us the go-ahead and we proceeded to give his 1985, brass Tele Vue Renaissance a new lease on life. A “renaissance” for this Renaissance if you will!
 
Left: The brass telescope tube in need of polishing. Right: tube after machine and hand polishing.

Continue reading “Tele Vue Scope Renaissance! (Part I)”

Tele Vue Scope Renaissance! (Part II)

This post is about maintaining a brass Renaissance and matching Gibraltar mount. For the post on restoring a brass Renaissance, please see our companion blog post:

 

Vic Bradford’s brass Renaissance 102 on matching Gibraltar mount stands in front of an antique pie safe. Images courtesy of Vic Bradford.

Vic Bradford has owned a brass Renaissance telescope since 2006, about 20 years after he first saw Al Nagler show one at a Riverside Star Party. He regrets not owning one sooner as “the scope uniquely merges the beauty of form and function”. We’ve reprinted some excerpts below from a treatise he sent us on caring for the brass on his Renaissance telescope and brass fittings on his matching Tele Vue Gibraltar mount. He offers a caveat to the reader: “you may find these suggestions overkill and much can be said for simply leaving brass alone so it can develop a nice patina. Like any other fine equipment, though, it benefits from good care and research.”

These instructions are for cleaning and polishing brass lacking a clear-coating. Following these instructions will ruin your coating.

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From Tom’s Driveway: Tele Vue-NP127is & Tele Vue-85 Simultaneous Imaging!

Cygnus Wall LRGBSHO (crop of NGC 7000) by Astro Bin user Tom Peter. Copyright Tom Peter. Used by permission. NP127is and TV-85 combined exposures of 22.2-hours. Click for details.

We noticed some unique images on AstroBin.com employing our Tele Vue-NP127is and Tele Vue-85 scopes to simultaneously image the same target. The  images from the two scopes were combined to create the final image — with fantastic results! All the image locations are given as “Tom’s Driveway” in Terre Haute, IN.  Intrigued, we contacted the imager (“Astrovetteman”) to learn how he settled on this technique for many of his images.  So we turn over our blog this week to astrophotographer Tom Peter and his dual-scope driveway setup.

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Tele Vue TV-60: Surprisingly Versatile Mini APO Refractor

Tele Vue-60: Compact Travel Scope with Imaging Capability
This week we turn our attention to the capabilities of our smallest telescope: the Tele Vue-60. This 60-mm aperture, f/6, APO refractor offers users a maximum 4.3° visual field and a potential of reaching 150x —all this in a package just 10″ long and a svelte 3-lbs. Due to its diminutive size, it is easy to overlook this instrument when shopping for a quality APO travel-scope. But, many users have been pleasantly surprised at the capabilities of this small refractor. 
 
Left: Tele Vue-60 setup for observing (image copyright by Darrel Hess). Right: various deep-space Tele Vue-60 images (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 by Mark Kilner).  All images used with permission.

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Tele Vue-NP127fli Imaging the Skies Over Austria

We’ve been following the great work of astro-imager Patrick Winkler from Austria through his Instagram account @cel_objects.  Among the varied camera lenses and scopes used for these images was our own Tele Vue-NP127fli astrograph. The strength of this scope is wide-field imaging and his work in this area is exemplary. 
 
Double Cluster(NGC 869 & NGC 884) image is copyright by Patrick Winkler. Tele Vue-NP127fli astrograph equipped with FLI MicroLine ML 16200 monochrome camera, FLI CFW 2-7 filter wheel, and FLI Atlas focuser was mounted on an Astro Systeme Austria Direct Drive ASA DDM60 Pro mount. Exposure was as follows through RGB filters (minutes): 63 63 63.
For instance, with the NP127fli  he was able to perfectly frame and capture the spirit of the NGC 869 and NGC 884 in Perseus as twin clusters of sparkling blue-white diamonds, with a smattering of glowing red-rubies, punctuating the black velvet sky background. The Double Cluster never looked so good!

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Dr. Bruns at NEAF 2018

David Nagler, Dr. Bruns, the NP101is used for the experiment, and Al Nagler.

We were honored that Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF) speaker Dr. Donald Bruns was able to visit in our booth over the two days of NEAF 2018.

Saturday, April 21, at noon, Dr. Bruns stepped onto main stage at NEAF in front of a standing room only audience. His talk was titled: Einstein was Right! Completing the 1919 Relativity Experiment at the 2017 Solar Eclipse.  Over the better part of an hour he explained how Einstein’s General Theory  of relativity predicted the bending of light in gravitational fields and how astronomers have attempted to photograph stars near the eclipsed sun to verify the theory.

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Q&A with Tele Vue’s Al Nagler

This interview of Al Nagler by Brian Ventrudo was published in The Equinox newsletter of AstronomyConnect.com on October 31, 2017. Reprinted with permission

A Q&A with Al Nagler
Looking Back (and Ahead)
with Tele Vue’s Co-Founder

David and Al Nagler

Introduction

When Al Nagler talks, amateur astronomers listen.

Nagler, of course, is a legend in the amateur astronomy community, the founder of Tele Vue Optics along with wife Judi, and inventor of the Nagler eyepiece. For two generations he’s been a fixture at star parties and astronomy expos where he dispenses wisdom and demonstrates his latest optical creations, all while establishing bonds and friendships with hundreds of stargazers over the years with his combination of razor-sharp technical acumen and boundless enthusiasm.

Al was beguiled by astronomy and stargazing after a visit to Hayden Planetarium with his father in the late 1940s. He grew up in the Bronx and had the talent and good fortune to attend the famous Bronx High School of Science, the alma mater of thousands of renowned engineers and scientists, including eight Nobel Prize winners. As part of a class project, Nagler used the school’s facilities to design and build an 8-inch f/6.5 Newtonian reflector that weighed 350 lbs! In time, Al put his talents to work at the nearby Farrand Optical Company from 1957-1973, where he helped develop the large and complex optical systems for NASA’s Gemini docking and Apollo lunar landing simulators. Not a bad way to make a living!
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Tele Vue TV-60 is Not Just for the Birds

We are proud of the SmartMoney Award the TV-60- received upon its introduction.

This is the counterpoint to our Tele Vue is for the Birds blog post this past spring. Yes, you’ll find that the TV-60 is a great grab’n go astro scope too! 

Our award winning, high performance, super-compact Tele Vue-60 is worth considering for those looking for a super-portable APO refractor. It fills many niches including travel, super-finder, day/night scope, and is a great telephoto.

It accomplishes all this APO-goodness in a very small 60mm, f/6 form-factor: just 10″ long without diagonal!

Tele Vue TV-60 is a 60mm, f/6 APO with 4.3° field of view (32mm Plössl).

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Tele Vue Product Spotting #1

From time-to-time we see Tele Vue products juxtaposed with other interesting brands. This is a roundup of what we’ve run across so-far this year.

Tele Vue Packed Turret

Matthew Hodgson’s Alpha Lyrae website had a review of the nPAE (Nottingham Precision Astro Engineering) 6061 Medium Turret eyepiece holder. The shot below from the review has all six turret slots filled with our eyepieces.

Credit Matthew Hodgson. Used by permission.

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BIG Paracorr User Profile:
Jay Butler

NGC7000 Cygnus Wall” by flickr.com user Jay W Butler. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Paracorr logo is trademark of Tele Vue Optics, Inc.

From his backyard observatory in Bountiful, Utah, in the western foothills of the Wasatch Mountains, Jay Butler images the heavens with his 10″ f/4 fast Newtonian – equipped with a Tele Vue BIG Paracorr Type-2. Despite the poor seeing – from suburban light pollution and strong updrafts from the valley floor – he’s been able to score a medley of celestial clusters, galaxies, and nebulae that cross his sky.  Continue reading “BIG Paracorr User Profile:
Jay Butler”