Marc Fitkin’s Instagram wall caught our attention, with its many birding images made with the Tele Vue-76 APO refractor. We contacted him asking to create a gallery of some of those birding images and contribute his thoughts for this blog post.
The “backyard” photos are in Bronte, which is located along the shore of Lake Ontario in Canada. Once a fishing village surrounding Bronte Harbour, it is now part of the Town of Oakville.
About a 3.5-hour drive north of the shore is Algonquin Park — a well-known Ontario bird watching location.
We asked Marc how he got into birding.
I got started in birding around 2002 after over ten years of doing astronomy. I had binoculars and a spotting scope but needed something to cross over into astronomy and birding. The Tele Vue Pronto filled that need and I later upgraded to the Tele Vue-76 because I wanted to do both astronomy and birding with photographic potential. Reviews of the Tele Vue-85 convinced me that despite the extra weight and lack of waterproofing, the Tele Vue line was every bit — if not better — than most high-end spotting scopes and were astronomy capable. That’s why I went in that direction instead of the traditional birding spotting scope.
Meet the Tele Vue-76
As Marc notes, the Tele Vue-76 is the next generation of Pronto; the telescope that defined “The Little Scope That Could.” The Tele Vue-76 combined the existing “airline portability” and 2″ eyepiece capability with increased light gathering, APO color correction, and faster photographic speed, all in the same size mechanical package. The power range and field of view afforded by this scope allow you to explore astronomical, spotting, and birding targets equally well with one instrument.
Specs include 76-mm diameter objective, 480mm focal length, f/6.3, APO (Doublet) refractor. The maximum true field-of-view is a binocular-like 5.5° with our 41-mm Panoptic (11.7x) or 55mm Plössl (8.7x). The 5.0° field-of-view of the 31mm Nagler (15.5x) is another option for wide-field/self-finder use. For lunar and planetary viewing, the Tele Vue 3-mm DeLite eyepiece will deliver 160x with rich contrast and sharpness associated with fine color correction.
Features include 2″, 10:1 dual speed, rack-and-pinion focuser with dual tension adjustment screws on the drawtube, and dual lock screws on the end-ring. The OTA includes a sliding metal dew shield and screw-on metal lens cap. Available tube colors are ivory or evergreen using a tough, durable, powder coat finish instead of paint. A custom-fitted padded case with room for accessories is included.
For prime focus imaging, the Model TRF-2008 0.8x Reducer/Flattener was specifically designed for use with the Pronto, Tele Vue-76 and Tele Vue-85 refractors. It converts the 480mm, f/6.3 of the Tele Vue-76 to a 380mm, f/5, and the Tele Vue-85 to a 480mm f/5.6 telephoto lens. TRF-2008 can also be used with any 400-600mm doublet refractor with 2″ focuser. More information on our website (mobile site).
We asked Marc why he choose Tele Vue telescopes.
Why Tele Vue? Because they’re built extremely well, and the optics are exquisite. My first Tele Vue scope was a Pronto back in the mid-’90s. I sold it and it was the biggest mistake. Acquired our current one in the mid-2000s and then shortly after that acquired the Tele Vue-76 which is awesome.
FoneMate Smartphone Imaging
Share your nature or astronomy experiences with friends by capturing images and videos with our Tele Vue FoneMate™ smartphone adapter (mobile site) on a compatible Tele Vue eyepiece. The FoneMate advantage is in how it mounts solidly to Tele Vue eyepieces via it’s lock-ring connection. Your camera app then displays the image on the screen. Just hit the shutter or video button to capture the moment. Using a time-lapse photo app will allow you to capture longer astronomical events like eclipses/transits (use telescope filters for solar work).
Did you observe, sketch, or image with Tele Vue gear? We’ll like your social media post on that if you tag it #televue and the gear used. Example:
#televue #tv76 #delos #housefinch
Do you want your Tele Vue images re-posted on Tele Vue Optics’ Social Media accounts? Use this hashtag for consideration:
- Marc Fitkin’s Instagram wall showcases birding and astronomy images with Tele Vue scopes.
- Tele Vue-76 webpage (mobile site)
- TRF-2008 0.8x Reducer/Flattener works with any 400-600mm doublet to create a better scope for imaging (mobile site).
- Read more on birding and nature viewing with Tele Vue telescopes on our BirdScope website.