About Third Planet Optics (TPO) Imaging Newtonian Telescopes…
If you are looking for a telescope that does a great job of imaging but doesn't come with the cost of a Ritchey-Chretien, check out the TPO Imaging Newtonian line of telescopes! All of our Imaging Newtonian optical tube assemblies, offered in apertures from 6" - 12", have very fast optics for the widest fields possible. Image with a DSLR or small webcam all the way up to large sensor CCD cameras with these inexpensive yet effective Newtonians.
The optics on all TPO Imaging Newtonians consist of a parabolic primary mirror and an elliptical secondary, or diagonal. The mirrors are made from B270 white water optical crown glass, which is more thermally stable than glass traditionally used on other reflectors. A 91% aluminum coating is applied, and then over-coated with a layer of quartz for the ultimate in durability. The primary mirror cell is very sturdy, and has six collimation knobs that can be adjusted by hand with a push or pull of the knob. Collimation is made even easier due to the center spot marked on the primary mirror. The diagonal mirror is held in place with a thin four-vane spider.
The optical tube assembly on the 3rd Planet Optics Imaging Newtonian telescope is made of rolled steel and painted white. The ends of the tube are die-cast aluminum, which contribute to the OTA's rigidity. Steel is a bit heavier than traditional aluminum, but since it has a lower coefficient of thermal expansion, your telescope will tend to hold its shape (and therefore, hold focus) as temperatures fluctuate throughout the night. The inside of the OTA is painted in a matte black finish, which stops stray light in its tracks.
A low vibration cooling fan is built into the primary mirror cell of the telescope to assist in cooling your optics down quickly. The fan is powered by a eight (8) AA batteries (not included) which are housed in an external battery pack.
A 3.3" dual-speed Crayford-style focuser rounds out this package. The ridged focusing knobs are easy to turn, even with gloves on, and the 10:1 microfocusing dial allows for very small changes, or tweaks, in focus. It takes ten turns of the microfocusing knob to equal just one turn of the larger knob. There is also a little knob on the bottom of the focuser that controls the tension, so that you can make adjustments depending on the weight or distribution of your load. The 3.3" opening steps down to a 2" compression ring adapter, and you will receive 1.25" compression ring adapter so that you can make use of all your eyepieces. A 35mm extension tube is also included to help you match the back-focus requirements of your imaging equipment. This is one nice focuser, and due to its steel drive rail and other upgrades, you will find that it suffers from very little flexure, even under heavier imaging payloads.
The telescope comes with dual split-hinged mounting rings that are made of die-cast aluminum and felted on the inside to cradle the OTA without scratching. There are threaded holes on the underside of the rings that allow installation on either a Vixen-style or Losmandy-style dovetail plate. The top of the rings is also drilled so that you can mount accessories.
All TPO Imaging Newtonians come with an 8x50 straight-through finderscope. The ocular has a non-illuminated crosshair and has 13mm of eye relief. A quick-release mounting bracket is also included.
TPO 12" f/4 Imaging Newtonian Highlights…
- Aperture: 12"
- Focal Ratio: f/4
- Focal Length: 1220mm
- White rolled steel exterior, flat black interior for higher contrast
- 3.3" dual-speed 10:1 linear Crayford-style focuser with 35mm extension, 2" & 1.25" adapter
- Dual hinged rings with Losmandy-style dovetail
- Cooling Fan included.
- Push/pull oversized collimation knobs for easy adjustments
- Weight: 40 lb.
- Additional Information
SKU OS-12IN Manufacturer TPO Telescope Series TPO Imaging Newtonian Optical Design Newtonian Reflector Mount Type None - Optical Tube Only Warranty 2 Year Warranty Telescope Aperture 12" Telescope Focal Length 1220mm Telescope Focal Ratio f/4 Optical Tube Weight 40.5 lbs. Optical Coatings Aluminum Tube Color or Finish Gloss White Limiting Stellar Magnitude 14 Diagonal Included? No - Not Required Finder Included 8 x 50 Optical Finder OTA Mount Type Dual Rings
Customer Reviews 3 item(s)
- Awesome OTA
Been taking shots with this thing on my Atlas EQ-G. Was surprised the mount could handle it well. Comes with everything you need. They even designed the tube rings to be light weight. Well thought out astrograph and worth every cent. Can't wait to do some planetary work with it.
1= Houston, We Have a Problem & 5= It's Out of This World
- This one's a keeper
I have owned several scopes in this size range from newtonians to cassegrains. I love refractors with great optics. I purchased this scope for public nights to mount on my modified atlas mount. After using this scope a couple of nights, I feel like I won the chinese mirror lottery. This scope has excellent optics. It shows coma away from the center as all f4 scopes will, but the detail it pulls in is incredible. The star test rivals my refractors. I find myself taking dso's to 250x+ magnifications regularly with this scope to look at details. Planets are great through this scope. Collimation is critical on this scope. When collimation is dead on, this scope is on par with much more expensive scopes. I have bought and sold a lot of scopes. I think I will be keeping this one for the long haul. Opt was great to deal with as usual.
1= Houston, We Have a Problem & 5= It's Out of This World
- This one's a keeper
- I have owned several scopes in this size range from newtonians to cassegrains. I love refractors with great optics. I purchased this scope for public nights to mount on my modified atlas mount. After using this scope a couple of nights, I feel like I won the chinese mirror lottery. This scope has excellent optics. It shows coma away from the center as all f4 scopes will, but the detail it pulls in is incredible. The star test rivals my refractors. I find myself taking dso's to 250x+ magnifications regularly with this scope to look at details. Planets are great through this scope. Collimation is critical on this scope. When collimation is dead on, this scope is on par with much more expensive scopes. I have bought and sold a lot of scopes. I think I will be keeping this one for the long haul. Opt was great to deal with as usual.
- Included Items
- TPO 12" f/4 Imaging Newtonian OTA
- 3.3" TPO Dual-Speed Crayford Focuser
- 2" Adapter
- 1.25" Adapter
- 35mm Extension Tube - 2"
- 8X50 TPO Finder - White
- Finder Bracket
- Dual Rings
- Losmandy Dovetail
- Battery Box for Fans
- Hex Wrench for Screws
- Dust Caps
- Questions & Answers
Product QuestionsQuestion by: George Larner on Sep 24, 2015 7:42:00 AMNot generally. It's certainly possible to mount a scope like this in an Alt-Azimuth fashion, but it would need to be a custom-made mount (likely dual fork) to handle the ~50 lb weight of this scope plus needed rings, finderscope, coma corrector, and camera. The cost of this mount would be much higher than the scope's cost due to the custom nature unless you have the materials and tools to manufacture the mount yourself. You will also need to consider a field derotator if you plan to take images longer than 45 seconds in alt-az mode. Please contact us if you have questions.Answer by: Chris Hendren on Sep 24, 2015 10:39:00 AMQuestion by: Agustin on Mar 18, 2015 1:09:00 AMThere are not any hard cases that currently fit this scope. The closest match with a soft case is the Orion 15187 case for 12" Dobsonian tubes. http://www.optcorp.com/orion-15187-padded-telescope-case-for-xt12-dobsonian.html. This case is about 12" too long and slightly too wide (to accommodate the Dobsonian side bearings, so additional padding will be necessary inside to prevent the scope from sliding.Answer by: Chris Hendren (Admin) on Mar 18, 2015 10:27:00 AMThis OTA look like a 12" version of a Meade LXD 55 without the corrector plate. Is it the same manufacture?Question by: Mike on Oct 19, 2016 3:24:00 PMWhat is the total weight of this OTA with all the included accessories installed, i.e., the 2" Adapter, 1.25" Adapter, 35mm Extension Tube - 2", 8X50 TPO Finder, Finder Bracket, Dual Rings, and the Losmandy Dovetail? Thank you,Question by: Melvin on Mar 17, 2015 9:29:00 PMI'm considering this scope for viewing and AP, and using the new CGX-L mount to support it. I'm wondering, however, what would be the height of the eyepiece at apex on such a setup? Would viewing be realistic without a chair? I'm 6' tall. ThanksQuestion by: Charles on Feb 13, 2017 3:23:00 AMYou will absolutely need a step ladder with this setup in some orientations. With the tripod all the way down, the middle of the saddle plate at zenith is 50" high, and the eyepiece would be at least 24" higher. In orientations where the eyepiece is rotated into an "upward orientation with the scope crossing over the mount to the east or west, the eyepiece will be even higher.Answer by: Chris Hendren on Feb 21, 2017 1:37:00 PMI believe the OTA is steel with screws holding the OTA body to the mirror base. How many screws are used? How tight are the screw holes not to have any slop holding my 10" mirror base to the OTA body. I had to use plastic shims to keep a solid tight fit to stop the base from moving on the OTA.Question by: Larry Burger on Mar 18, 2016 12:08:00 PMThe mirror cell is held to the rolled steel tube with 6 screws. The screw holes are tapped into the cell and have unthreaded pass-through holes on the tube. Because of slight tolerance differences between the tube and the mirror cell, there has to be some leeway in the hole diameter, but if all six screws are tightened, it should hold well. For sensitive imaging applications, adding the shims would not be a bad idea.Answer by: Chris Hendren (Admin) on Mar 23, 2016 10:48:00 AMQuestion by: Manish kumar on Jun 25, 2016 2:15:00 AMYes, the TPO 12" imaging Newtonian is a great way to get into photography of faint deep-sky objects without stretching the budget. For all but the smallest sensors, it would be a good idea to also plan on purchasing a Newtonian Comma Corrector (like the Tele Vue Parracor, Baader MPCC, or TPO Newtonian Comma Corrector) to ensure a well corrected field. Getting one of these in the chain will allow the TPO 12" to perform amazingly well.Answer by: Eric Blackhurst (Admin) on Jun 27, 2016 2:15:00 PMQuestion by: roltion on Mar 27, 2014 9:27:35 AMFor a small CCD camera or APS-C DSLR, the most popular coma corrector is the Baader MPCC. For a full frame DSLR, the Baader Rowe Corrector has better correction up to a 42mm image circle. It might require some focuser modification (the focuser would need to be shorter), but people have also used the ASA 2" 0.73x reducer corrector to take the scope down to ~f/2.8. That reducer costs more than the whole TPO scope, though, so the Baader options are more popular.Answer by: Chris (Admin) on Mar 27, 2014 9:59:10 AM
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