Back in 2018, when this blog was still under 100 posts, we featured Jeff Bennett and his Tele Vue-NP127is images. At the time, he praised the scope as an “easy-to-use system that is excellent for both visual use and astrophotography. The scope provides an excellent FOV at f/5.2 with tack-sharp images to the edge.”
We thought it was time to catch up with Jeff and see what he’s been imagining in the five years since we met him. We contacted him and he told us: “I still use and enjoy using my NP127is.” Below we present some of his imaging work since the 2018 blog post.
The Pelican Nebula (IC 5067 and IC 5070 extending from center to bottom of the image — including the ruby-hued stars) is nestled up against its neighbor, the North America Nebula (NGC 7000 — East Coast on the left of image). They are both part of the same ionized cloud of hydrogen gas, but appear as two objects because of an intervening cloud of gas that absorbs the light of the nebula behind it. This image is taken through Hubble Pallet narrow-band filters that isolate light emitted by various ionized gasses in the nebula. By assigning each filtered image a color channel, the resulting false color image displays the layers occupied by these ionized atoms and creates a sense of dimensionality in the structure.
Tele Vue NPR-2073 0.8x Reducer
(Replaces NPR-1073 0.8x Reducer)
Notice that all of Jeff’s photos were taken with the Tele Vue NPR-1073 0.8x Reducer, which turns our fast, f/5.2, Tele Vue-NP127is into an even faster f/4.2 astrograph. This year, the venerable NPR-1073 has been replaced with the improved NPR-2073 0.8x Reducer for flat-field NP Scopes (mobile site) that minimizes vignetting with camera sensors up to 43mm diagonal (full frame) and increases the telescope’s field of view by 25%. It is specifically designed to be used with the Tele Vue NP127is and NP101is Imaging System telescopes. For use on the original Tele Vue-NP101 and NP127 with 2-inch focusers, use Tele Vue Imaging System Nosepiece for 2″ Focuser (RAD-1074). However, due to the smaller 2″ focuser vignetting will be far greater than with the Imaging System models. The RAD-1074 slides into a 2″ telescope drawtube and has a 2.4″ Imaging System threads on the other side to accept all Imaging System accessories.
Triangulum Galaxy (M33) received its name from the northern constellation it resides in: Triangulum (the Triangle). Among the spiral arms of this face-on galaxy are star clusters and star-forming regions. The yellow core indicates older, smaller, long-lived stars. It was the first galaxy to be identified as having a “spiral” structure. We can see these details because, at a distance of only 3-million light-years, this 50,000 light-year diameter galaxy is relatively close and large. In fact, it is the 3rd largest member of our “Local Group” of galaxies after the Andromeda galaxy and our own Milky Way. At 5.72 visual magnitude, it is one of the most distant objects that can be viewed naked eye in a dark sky. Billions of years from now we’ll have a better view of M33 as it and other members of the Local Group are destined to collide!
Meet the Tele Vue-NP127is APO Refractor
The largest and fastest scope on offer by Tele Vue is the 5-inch, f/5.2, flat-field Tele Vue-NP127is. It is the ultimate incarnation of the Nagler-Petzval design (4-element/2-group) which continues our 40-year heritage of making exemplary multi-purpose refractors. “Imaging System” scopes come with additional features to make imaging easier and more flexible without any compromise to visual observing. Imaging System scope features include: larger rear-group elements to maximize illumination, a 2.4″ focuser to allow those additional light rays to illuminate across 52-mm diagonal chips, a lockable, tilting end-ring to square the camera to the image plane if necessary, and 10:1 FocusMate dual-speed focuser for fine-focus. The focuser accepts the optional motorized FDF-2004 Focusmate Driver for vibration-free, variable-speed, electronic motor control. For automated focusing, it is compatible with Starlight Instruments and Optic systems.
Sky & Telescope’s review of this versatile photo/visual scope raves that “if you expect better from a 5-inch, f/5 refractor, you probably haven’t been living on this planet.” They also reported, “no focus shift when switching between standard red, green, and blue filters used for conventional tricolor imaging — a tribute to the TV-NP127is’s superb color correction.”
Every focuser is tested to carry 12-lbs / 5.4-kg of payload without flex, so it can handle most any OAG/filter-wheel / camera combinations or the heaviest Tele Vue eyepiece with ease. With a 4° maximum visual field of view, using our optional 55mm Plössl or 41mm Panoptic, this scope can act as its own finder. The OTA features a captive, sliding, metal dew shield, screw-on metal lens cover, and a rugged powder-coated aluminum tube. It comes in a custom-designed hard-shell carry case with room for all standard accessories.
“There’s no such thing as an all-purpose optical system for astrophotography, but if you’re looking for a 5-inch f/5.2 refractor that can cover today’s 37-mm-square (52mm diagonal) CCDs, then you’ll be hard-pressed to do better than the TV-NP127is,” is how Sky & Telescope concluded their review.
The Jellyfish Nebula (IC 443) lies in the toes of the constellation Gemini near Eta Geminorum (bright yellow star seen at top of image). The striking burst-bubble-shaped supernova remnant (shown in yellow in this narrowband image) contains a neutron star. The glowing green structure to the bottom left is the IC 444 nebula that appears to “holds back” the jellyfish by a tenuous connection.
We wish Jeff clear skies and continued success in astro-imaging with his NP127is.
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