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NP101is - f5.4 Nagler Petzval Apochromat Refractor (4.0" aperture)

One of the Imaging System telescopes; a great Apo refined in 2011 to meet the stringent demands of the astrophotographer

TeleVue NP101is Apo Telescope, 2011 model, right side view with lens cover on (40,910 bytes)

Above: 2011 model TeleVue NP101is Apo telescope optical tube assembly, shown with lens shade retracted (40,910 bytes).
This incorporates the geared Feathertouch Focuser assembly, in production for models made since April 2011.
Click on image to see enlarged view (109,138 bytes).

The NP101 series telescopes are among the finest 4 inch Apo refractors sold by Company Seven, the current NP101 and its cousin the NP101is are the best incarnations of this well regarded series. The NP101is differs from the NP101 in that the is suffix indicates it is provided with a larger diameter 2.4 inch focuser with a broad selection of Imaging System accessories to better accommodate the requirements of those who will seek to pursue the most demanding types of astrophotography, or to accommodate other specialized larger sensors. Other than the differences between the focuser, the NP101is are ordered ala carte and include no accessories other than the carrying case while the NP101 includes mounting hardware and a 2 inch mirror diagonal for visual uses.

While most other manufacturers have missed the boat on making a 10 cm Apo easily portable, or require their instrument be disassembled for travel, TeleVue NP101is's claim to fame (in addition to its superb optical properties) is that it is so compact and lightweight that it can be carried on as baggage to a commercial airplane. Although the airlines often employ a template limiting packages to about 22 inches, this 25-½ inch long telescope in an optional padded carrying bag will usually be permitted onto an airplane. This brings the number to only TWO four inch Apos that that Company Seven offers which afford this degree of transportability.


Compared to the other popular telescope designs (reflecting and Catadioptric) the well made refracting telescopes will offer the most natural, high contrast, three dimensional views of the brighter objects; these have certainly have been the choice of professional visual astronomers. The 4 and 5 inch aperture telescopes pioneered by TeleVue proved the concept of using a refractor for deep sky observing, and for imaging. If one could build a large enough mirror telescope to show what details a comparable refractor could show, then the field of view through the mirror systems would be relatively narrow. However, most refracting telescopes up to the early 1980's were relatively high magnification instruments affording relatively narrow fields of view. Optical glass (and crystal) design innovations of the 1980's resulted in relatively fast consumer telescopes of f9 or so, compared to the previous typical f12 to f15 ratio Achromat this afforded wider fields of view better suited to deep sky observing. And shorter telescope tube weight less and can be managed on lighter weight and more compact mounts. Since the best apochromatic refractors such as the NP101is are the most difficult and costly in raw materials to make consistently well, the Apo refracting telescope will cost notably more than competing designs - but the waiting lists and high resale values testify to the confidence that the astronomy community has in telescopes such as these.

It was an original first generation TeleVue "Renaissance" telescope (Serial No. 1019) evaluated in the March 1985 issue of "Modern Photography" magazine that earned "excellent" ratings on resolution tests, and "High" ratings for contrast with praise that included "with image quality beyond ordinary camera lens". Knowing the new NP101is reflects dramatic improvements in the state of lens making technology, we can only wonder how such a modern telescope might be reviewed. And to our surprise in 1986 "Audubon" magazine rated the original "Renaissance" as the top refracting telescope in a comparative survey of birding telescopes (the "Questar Field Model" a compact Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope was rated top choice over all); but we found it hard to believe that too many birders would haul a 4 inch Apo telescope very far - until the NP101is arrived.

The "NP101is" is a sixth generation TeleVue four element design. It follows the original TeleVue 5 inch "MPT" system introduced in 1982, the beautiful brass 4 inch aperture f5.5 "Renaissance" telescope introduced in 1984, the "Genesis" 4 inch f 5 telescope of 1988, and the "SDF" 4 inch f5.4 of 1993, and the "101" and "Renaissance 101" telescopes of 1996. Al Naglers patented four element designs are based on the original "Petzval" concept, this is an arrangement of refractive elements where a two element air spaced objective lens (housed at the front of the telescope) passes the light through to a second doublet lens positioned at the rear of the telescope and before the focuser. The doublet lens group usually functions to 1. reduce the effective focal length, and 2. reduce or eliminate curvature of field.

TeleVue 101 telescope cross section drawing
Above: TeleVue "NP101is" telescope optical arrangement; 1. air spaced doublet objective, 2. mounting collar, 3. doublet lens, 4. 2" focuser,
5. "Everbrite" 2 inch mirror diagonal, 6. 2" to 1.25" reducer, 7. eyepiece (optional)

With prior TeleVue four element telescopes one could in theory remove the rear doublet lens and use the telescope with the objective lens alone in place. But the NP101is is a departure from traditional TeleVue Petzvals. Incorporating TeleVue's best 101 mm aperture air-spaced "SD" special dispersion doublet lens with what appears to be a simple doublet telecompressor/field flattener, the NP101is provides flat field wide angle views. But in fact this is a more complicated design where neither lens group can function independently without the other to form a good quality image.

Accepting 1-1/4" or 2" accessories including the highly regarded TeleVue Radian, Nagler and Panoptic eyepieces, magnifications as low as 10X and a tack sharp field of view of as wide as 4.9 degrees are possible! A multi layer anti reflection coating process of the lenses, and on all the TeleVue eyepieces prevents light reflection off the surface of, or between the lenses. The result is a very fast, wide and flat-field system so well corrected that panoramic nature or star and planetary images are breathtaking. A collapsing lens shade aids portability. Its' uses include birding, video and film photography as well as astronomy.

The TeleVue "NP101is" telescopes introduced in August 2001 are the first large TeleVue Apochromatic refractors which Company Seven found to be truly competitive if not superior in optical and mechanical performance to the best 4 inch aperture Apos ever made. These provide false color-free, sharp, clear and high contrast images. The TeleVue NP101 series also remain the worlds fastest, mechanically compact, flat field apochromatic 4 inch telescopes.


Objective lens of TeleVue NP101is Apo Telescope, 2011 model (47,312 bytes) The objective lens of the NP101is is of an SD air spaced doublet design where two lenses (crown and flint) are matched to work as one; the positive element is of a fluorocrown substitute with special dispersion glass. In fact this design allows excellent color correction without annoying purple fringes (secondary color) or spherical aberration common to less sophisticated achromatic refractors, and better than a number of older triplet and modern doublet apochromat designs. A matched doublet lens group at the rear compensates for some design characteristics of the objective lens. The system provides a flat field, wide angle capability. Spherical correction is very good also with the air space of the objective contributing to this correction. Images of the stars and the planets are presented in their natural colors, daytime objects viewed at commonly used magnifications will appear quite three dimensional and sharp and contrasting. The NP101 and 2010 model NP127is series telescopes are now as state of the art as lens technology permits.

Right: TeleVue NP101is 2011 model telescope front cell and objective lens with lens shade retracted and with its fully machined lens cover to the side.
Note the machined anti-reflection ribbing of the lens cell, and internal AR treatment (43,032 bytes).
Click on image to see enlarged view (215,767 bytes).

The system's eight air to glass surfaces have a multilayer antireflection coatings that improves overall light transmission across the visual wavelengths and from 400nm to well beyond 700nm. The coatings used on the NP101is telescope are in fact engineered to match the characteristics of each glass type and curve radii. This process virtually eliminates ghost images and flare and it improves color rendition. All of this achieves a dramatic increase in image contrast and actual light transmission, with a corresponding reduction in flare which might otherwise originate by internal reflections. Overall the complete four lens system provides about 180 times the light gathering power of the unaided human eye - about the same as typical doublet systems. On most nights, the settling down time for the optics are on the order of minutes: from room temperature to sub-freezing conditions it rarely requires more than 30 minutes to acclimate.

The lenses are so well figured that the consistency between telescopes is quite good, and each is capable of operating at very high magnification cleanly (even with optional "Barlow" or "Powermate" lenses). This telescope crosses that threshold necessary to routinely obtain meaningful views of the planets, showing several bands and their shades of color (from creamy whites to beige, tan, browns) on Jupiter - observe the four largest moons of Jupiter and their shadows cast on the surface as distinct discs as they transit across the planet! Study the Cassini division and banding on Saturn, the polar cap and dark markings on a fiery red Mars. With an eyepiece that shows 1/2 degree field or so (such as a 5 or 6mm "Radian") take a walk on our apparently three dimensional Moon possibly resolving objects even smaller than 4.4 km in diameter. Or follow its' terminator throughout the moon phases (a optional neutral density filter is suggested to tone down its brightness). Add an optional Barlow Lens with a Binocular Viewer to experience '3-D' views without having to go to the movies!

With an optional white light solar filter (such as our Baader AstroSolar film) observe Faculae and Sunspots on the Sun! With our optional Hydrogen Alpha filters (either the DayStar ATM or University series) observe Faculae, Sunspots, the Peach-fuzz like photosphere on the Sun as well as the sheer curtain like Prominences as they erupt from the Sun out into the blackness of space!

TeleVue NP101is Apo Telescope, 2011 model, left side view with lens cover on (29,273 bytes)

Above: TeleVue NP101is Apo Telescope left side view (29,273 bytes).
Click on image to see enlarged view (68,204 bytes).

With a matched wide angle ocular the NP101is reveals its extraordinary wide field of view ability showing up to 4.88 degrees of sky at 10X to reveal the most immense of the entire Messier Catalog of deep sky wonders, or to be employed for panoramic viewing of a seashore or countryside. Imagine a telescope that at a dark sky site has the combination of resolving power and field of view to sweep the Milky Way, see the Double Cluster in Perseus (NGC-869), find the Andromeda galaxy (M-31) and see it's ellipsoid shape, and with no doubt see the distinct forms of large Nebulae such as the Veil and North American Nebulae! With a wide angle eyepiece the TeleVue 101 can reveal all three stars of Orion's belt, closer in it reveals the jewel like stars of the Trapezium - a birthplace of stars, with a sweeping wisps of greenish gas clouds surrounding it. With a higher magnification M13 (the Hercules star cluster) takes on a three dimensional "salt and pepper" appearance even from suburban skies on a clear night. By the time one finds a large enough aperture Catadioptric, reflecting, or achromatic refractor to see similar detail, then one can only see a fraction of their area due to the relatively high focal length of these competing telescopes; with other telescopes it would be something like trying to observe the night sky through a straw!

Browse one of the finest advertisements ever published for a telescope concept, the book Deep-Sky Companions: The Messier Objects where author Stephen O'Meara sought to keep the drawings relevant to the amateur. To produce the highly detailed drawings of these celestial objects Stephen chose to observe with the second generation TeleVue "Genesis" telescope (4" aperture, 500mm f5) which as glass technologies advanced has since been replaced by the improved TeleVue apochromatic telescopes. This book has become one of our best advertisements for the versatile, readily transportable fast 4 inch (10cm) refracting telescopes. Similarly to keep things simple, and relate as much as possible to the average amateur observer Stephen chose to use the telescope on the simple but sturdy TeleVue "Gibraltar" alt-azimuth mount with Ash Wood tripod. He equipped the telescope with only a modest selection of accessories: TeleVue 22mm "Panoptic" eyepiece (providing 23X, 2.85 Degrees Actual Field of View), a original 7mm Nagler eyepiece (71X, 1.08 AFOV), and a TeleVue Barlow lens to increase the magnification by 1.8X. In fact Stephen O'Meara recently commented "the TeleVue NP101is would now be my telescope of choice".

The NP101is compares favorably against many telescopes in field of view:

  • 1.7 at 25X for a common 102mm f10 achromatic refractor,
  • 1.4 at 31X for a typical 8" f6 reflecting telescope,
  • 1.3 degrees at 32X for an 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain (operating with an optional telecompressor lens)
  • 1.3 degrees at 32X for an 3-1/2" Maksutov-Cassegrain.

In fairness, the cost of the NP101is when equipped with either an optional Alt-Az or Equatorial mount is higher than most of the above telescopes. And as a practical matter for some applications in astronomy the nominal match of the "NP101is" exit pupil to an average dark adapted human eye will be obtained at magnifications of between 17X and 15X. The best performance will be obtained at all magnifications if a wise choice of good quality oculars is made however, since the NP101is telescope incorporates a field flattening element then it is compatible with several of the simpler eyepiece designs. Again consider that an optional good quality "Barlow" or "TeleVue Powermate" amplifying (negative) lens, or optional long eye relief TeleVue "Radian" ocular (introduced in 1999) will usually be put into use to attain the highest usable magnifications which are necessary for observing or imaging small bright objects including planets, and close double stars.

The NP101is telescope includes the TeleVue 2 inch "Everbrite" diagonal (or "zenith") mirror. The "Everbrite" mirror introduced in 1999 features a very high-tech dielectric coating (developed originally for military optics used in hostile environments such as blowing desert sand) which provide optimum performance and years of use. This TeleVue 2 inch diagonal has no aluminum or other reflective metal coating. Instead, the reflective surface consists of about 50 layers of thin film oxides similar to those used in anti-reflection coatings. The coatings are deposited by an electron beam evaporator at a high temperature. The result is that reflectivity is above 99% over the entire 4000 to 7000 Angstrom photo-visual range. Thin film coatings have extremely low surface scatter compared to aluminum or enhanced aluminum coatings; examination with a laser source shows approximately a five fold improvement in surface scatter. The mirror diagonal provides a comfortable viewing position for the observer by diverting the image at the rear of the telescope off axis by 90 degrees to the side, with minimal degradation of image quality. The view when using the telescope as it is provided will appear to be right side up, and is reversed left to right; this is not usually a problem for astronomy or nature observing because the image quality provided by the high quality mirror and 2 inch diameters panoramic oculars is exceptional.

While Company Seven does offer optional 45 degree inclined image erecting prisms, these prisms can only accommodate 1.25 inch diameter oculars. Furthermore, the erecting prisms will not provide image quality to equal that of a good mirror diagonal; this is particularly perceptible at higher magnifications. However, for moderate to medium magnification applications where one needs correct images (such as to read numbers, etc.) then the optional prism should be suitable.

For film photography, the telescope (with our optional camera adapters) becomes a super sharp 540 f5.4 ultra telephoto lens, showing about 4.5 degrees across the diagonal of a 35mm camera film plane. And for CCD imaging operations the telescope at prime focus can show about 0.86 degree across the diagonal of a common 2/3" detector (such as that employed on some of our SBIG CCD systems. Optional techniques and hardware permit imaging of galaxies, nebulae, the planets, or of wildlife.

The NP101is can operate on any of a number of suitable optional German Equatorial or for extreme ease of use or portability consider our alt-azimuth mounts including:

Furthermore, this is a telescope one can grow with since most of the accessories that one would buy for this telescope are upwardly compatible with any larger telescope that one is likely to buy at Company Seven.


TeleVue NP101is's claim to fame beyond the already very good optical properties of its predecessors is that the NP101is is so compact that it can be carried onto a commercial airplane. There are few other first rate telescopes of this aperture. Fewer still are so compact that they can be carried onto a commercial aircraft; but some of these require the user disassemble the telescope into components. It has been our preference that customers not be made to disassemble telescopes in order to make a telescope as portable as the TeleVue NP101is, or the discontinued Astro-Physics Traveler telescopes are. And so the TeleVue NP101is brings the number to two four inch Apos that can make this claim which Company Seven offers.

The NP101is has a fully machined aluminum front cell to house the objective lens, and focuser housing is similarly constructed. The objective lens is permanently aligned to the barrel as is the focuser assembly. Unless subjected to gross abuse this telescope will provide many lifetimes of service with no need for any other than cleaning of the front surface of the objective lens using common camera lens cleaning techniques. Its construction is extremely rugged to allow it to withstand all the handling that is typical of airline travel. However, some caution should be practiced not to damage the focuser pinion of any telescope; our experience with this focuser is that with routine handling this will not happen and in its hard shell case is routinely transportable.

We find most competing 4" Apo telescopes to be bulkier and heavier than we would like regardless of how good the optics may be. For an example of this consider the now discontinued Carl Zeiss 105 APQ, it is a wonderful telescope modeled after the Astro-Physcis 105 "Traveler", but the APQ was made relatively wide, pig heavy, and bulky with no easy provision for removing and compactly storing its' lens shade. The NP101is does incorporate a retracting Dew Shield/Lens Shade. Our experience is that most customers appreciate the convenience of a retracting lens shade, or one that can be removed then turned around and retracted back over the tube into a stored position.

Also provided is a thread-on Lens Cover of machined aluminum, in a tube assembly that has an overall length of only 25-½ inches (64.8cm) without diagonal, or 28-½ inches with an optional 2 inch diagonal attached. This is four and one half (4-½) inches shorter than the original NP101 telescope, and ½ inch shorter than the 2005 model of the NP101.

The precision TeleVue 2.4 inch focuser is a rack and pinion design with a tension/lock screw which helps to lock focus for uses including photography; this is one of the smoothest focusers made. The 1-1/2 inch diameter machined aluminum hand knobs resemble brushed aluminum mag wheels available for radio control model cars. The knob hand grips are rubber covered to facilitate operation in all extremes; even when wearing gloves all the controls on the telescope are easy to manipulate. The set screw has an easy to grip knurled head, this permits one to adjust resistance of the focuser to its draw tube thereby compensating for heavy loads that might otherwise cause an unintended shift of focus.

New Focuser for 2011: in 2005 TeleVue changed the mechanical design of their original focuser, this improves the rigidity and payload capacity of the focuser. This focuser is particularly beneficial to those who entertain CCD or film imaging with the heavier cameras; this design was tested so far with loads including an SBIG STL series CCD camera which approach 5 lbs. (2.3 kg). The former chromed drawtube arrangement consisted of a machined aluminum collar bolted onto the chromed drawtube barrel by three short screws; tension on the drawtube was applied by one set screw applying pressure onto an internal pad at 12 O'clock. In the 2005 model the drawtube is a one piece arrangement incorporating the non-marring collar clamp mechanism. There is also a clamp ring within the focuser body surrounding the drawtube, this provides uniform and more secure tension with less image shift when locking it down. The end ring is incorporated into the machined drawtube so there is no longer any way the payload can tilt at the end of the drawtube.

Right: 2.4 inch focuser of 2011 model TeleVue NP101is telescope shown with draw tube retracted and stowed, and fully extended.
Mouse over the image to see alternative view (50,261 and 51,876 bytes).

TeleVue NP101is Apo Telescope focuser (46,940 bytes) We measured the focus travel distance of the 2005 model focuser drawtube as 1.93 inches (49 mm), in the 2011 model focuser travel has been increased to 2.419 inches (61.44mm).

The original TeleVue 2 inch focusers incorporated one (1) set screw to lock the travel of the draw tuve. For convenience and safety the 2005 model focuser introduced a second clamp knob on the drawtube lock, and another for the 2" accessory clamp; the 2011 focuser features four (4) so that the observer may find at least one lock convenient to reach regardless of where the telescope is pointed. The screws also add a measure of safe redundancy and distributes the pressure over two screws around the clamp making it a bit easier to attain a grip on heavier accessories. The lock screws provided on the new focusers which adjust tension to retain accessories such as the 2 inch diagonal and those which apply drag or lock the drawtube can thread compeletely out of their boss; these are not captive as on the prior model.

Left: For comparison see the 2" Focuser of the 2005 model telescopes with drawtube fully extended. Shown with TeleVue 2" right angle Everbrite mirror diagonal (46,940 bytes).
Click on image to see enlarged view (122,284 bytes).

The focuser is of a bead blasted aluminum construction, entirely black anodized. Aesthetically the difference between the 2005/2011 and prior focuser models is a matter of taste, but there are numerous practical improvements in performance.


Mounting Hardware The optical tube assembly is cylindrical, so to attach the telescope onto a suitable mount requires attaching some interface, or mounting rings. Company Seven offers our customers several choices of mounting hardware. One of these is the mounting collar made by TeleVue, the others are third party solutions.

  • TeleVue Mounting Collar: this is a two piece bracket machined of aluminum stock and black anodized. It is the same as is provided as standard equipment with the NP101 telescopes and is illustrated at the linked description page.

    On one side of the collar is an Allen head screw, while on the other side is a manual tension adjustment knob so that the use of a wrench is not necessary. This design permits one to adjust the grip on the barrel so that the telescope may be easily moved back and forth to compensate for changes of accessory loads that may affect the balance of the telescope on a mount. However, telescopes with the length and weight of the NP101is require that this collar be snugged tight to reduce or eliminate undue wavering of the telescope in the collar. For those using the telescope for applications including astrophotography or CCD imaging which demand extremely rigid support of the telescope, Company Seven can provide either a second TeleVue clamp. Or Company Seven can provide conventional mounting rings (sold by the pair) with platforms which will accommodate options including photo guide telescopes. The fabric lined mounting collar has three ¼"-20 tpi threaded sockets in the base to facilitate mounting the telescope onto a variety of tripods and mounts. At the 10:30 and 1:30 o'clock positions on the top of the collar there is a dovetail platform to accommodate a variety of TeleVue options including the "Starbeam" sight, or a "Piggycam" piggyback photography mount, and a universal mount to accept common 50mm finderscopes.

  • Hex Mounting Rings: the TeleVue collar is beautifully sculpted and compliments the elegant fit and finish of the NP101 telescopes. However, for customers who intend to pursue serious astrophotography or CCD imaging Company Seven recommends alternative hardware that will permit better versatility. For most customers we recommend Hex Rings, similar to those provided by many makers of astrographic telescopes including: Astro-Physics, Orion, and William Optics. These rings will have a wide footprint and wide flat top platform with holes tapped and threaded to accept options including photoguide or auxiliary telescopes.

    An example of mounting rings made for our customers NP101 telescopes are:

mounting rings, hex with Dovetail Plate (45,162 bytes) NP101is telescope in mounting rings with attached Dovetail Plate

Left: hinged hex pattern mounting ring pair (one open) attached to dovetail plate (45,162 bytes). Right: NP101is installed in Mounting Rings (83,899 bytes).
This set for example weighs 2 lbs. 15.3 oz., so do not forget to factor this into counterweight needs calculations.

VISUAL ACCESSORIES The standard NP101 telescope is furnished with a TeleVue 90 degree 2 inch diameter Everbrite precision mirror diagonal (1/10th wave P-V quoted). This diagonal has a durable reflective coating described above. The male 2 inch barrel is threaded to accept 48mm photo and visual filters. The interior is fully anti reflection ribbed and coated.

TeleVue Everbrite Diagonal and 2 A TeleVue 2 inch to 1.25 inch reducer adapter is furnished to permit the use of 1.25 inch diameter accessories. The reducer is engineered with a collar to prevent long barreled eyepieces even with one filter attached from "bottoming out" against the mirror. This diagonal permits an observer to employ any of a broad selection of 2 or 1.25 inch diameter oculars. The lock screw with a knurled head that is at the proximal (to the operator) end of the female 2 inch barrel adjusts tension to retain accessories such as the 2 to 1.25 inch reducer or lenses.

Left: TeleVue Everbrite 2" Mirror Diagonal and TeleVue 2" to 1.25" Reducer showing no mar clamp lock mechanisms (64,909 bytes).

The objective (front) lens cell, dew shield, lens cover, focuser housing, 2 inch mounting collar, and diagonal are anodized in a lustrous glass beaded black satin. The barrel is powder coated in a textured neutral Ivory; the powder coat feels like a textured smooth plastic covering which is quite comfortable to manage even in extreme cold or damp climates. The interior of the optical tube assembly is lined with an anti-reflective covering unique to TeleVue telescopes, which is then finished with anti reflective black paint.

Also included with the telescope is a die cut, foam lined hard shell carrying case with latch closures. This case dimensions are 38-1/2 x 10-1/2 x 9-1/2 inches. And it has extra space to accommodate several 1.25 or 2 inch oculars (up to the massive TeleVue 31mm Nagler Type 5 eyepiece - nicknamed by the amateur community the "TermiNagler"), camera adapter, etc. And in a nice touch the case has a cutout provision for the "Starbeam" or Rigel QwickFinder sights. The case will fit into the overhead storage area of most commercial aircraft (one exception being the L-1011). However, many airlines do not permit such an "oversize" package on board. Even if they do you will not be too popular with other passengers so you might ask a Flight Attendant to store the telescope for you - possibly in the garment bag storage area. By the Fall of 2001 we anticipate offering an optional padded soft case that will facilitate getting the NP101is telescope safely on all commercial aircraft.

The telescope, in its standard hard shell case is well padded and then packaged for delivery within one box, and then this is placed into another box. You should consider the practicality of simply shipping telescopes (and mounts) such as this ahead by a priority air service (FedEx, UPS, U.S. Mail, etc.) if you are concerned about cutting down the number of bags you can carry on or check in. Furthermore, shipping the telescope could reduce risks of loss or damage in shipment, and inconvenience and risks of managing bags through airport terminals. Company Seven does offer wonderfully engineered Airline Transport Association transport and shipping cases for telescopes, mounts, and accessories.


Clear aperture: 101.6mm (4")
Focal length: 539.4mm (21.26")
Focal Ratio: 5.37
Resolution (visual): 1.15 arc seconds
Resolution (photo): 260 line pairs per mm
Coatings: Optimized Multi-layer
Magnification range: 10x to 360x
Tube assembly: Powder coat finish, aluminum tube; fully baffled, permanently aligned cell construction
Focuser: 2.540" (64.52mm) rack and pinion
Focuser Reducer: 2.540" to 2.000" (50.80mm)
Focuser Travel: 2.419" (61.44mm)
Backfocus from Rear Doublet: 10.77" (273.6mm)
Optical Tube Length (dew shield retracted): 25.50 inches (64.8cm)
Weight with OTA Covers: 10 lbs. 4.8 oz. (4.681 kg)
Weight in carrying case: 20.6 kg (23 lbs. 4 oz.)
Typical Shipping Weight: 13.45 kg (29.6 lbs. )
Shipping Dimensions: 101.6 x 33 x 25cm (40 x 13 x 10 inches)
35mm prime-focus field: 3.7 x 2.6 x 4.5 degrees @ f5.4
35mm field with 2x Barlow: 1.9 x 1.3 x 2.4 degrees @ f10.8
Eyepiece: Optional
Visual Diagonal: Optional
TeleVue NP127is telescope set as provided (37,328 bytes)
Above: NP101is of 2006 as provided including fitted Carrying Case,
Photo/Visual 2 and 2.4 inch fittings, Lens Cover(40,538 bytes).
Click on image to see enlarged view (132,181 bytes).

        * Specifications are subject to change without notice.

The Next Step Every U.S. registered buyer of this new telescope will receive The Next Step - Finding and Viewing Messier's Objects! A copy autographed by the author Ken Graun will be mailed by TeleVue to any U.S. customer who buys and registers any TeleVue telescope after 15 September 2005 at no cost.

This is a convenient astronomy guide book written for those who may be newer to the hobby, or who appreciate a more fun approach to reading. This book is an interesting read for those who appreciate the historical insights to the life of Charles Messier (b. 26 June 1730 in Lorraine France, d. 12 April 1817 in Paris), the French astronomer who gave us the Messier Objects catalog of celestial wonders. The author performed extensive research in the USA and overseas to accumulate the knowledge that he conveys in a very readable format. A delightfully illustrated handy book with some beautiful color pictures, color illustrations and charts, and with black and white photo plates of the Messier Objects. The book features photos with visual descriptions by the author with a TeleVue 101 4 Inch f/5.4 and TeleVue 102 4 inch f/8.6 apochromat refracting telescopes.

Company Seven recommends this to those who wish to read an introduction to using amateur telescopes and learn how to use them to star hop or navigate into these first hundred or so deep sky objects. It is well illustrated, good and entertaining reading, and suitable for most children at Junior High/Middle School levels up to adults.

Please refer to our TeleVue News article of 15 September 2005 for more information about this free Ken Graun book promotion.


  • TeleVue Gibraltar Mount with optional 101 telescope Gibraltar Mount Head and Ash Tripod: An incredibly rigid and portable 17 lb. (7.7kg), simple to use mount that cradles a telescope at its center of gravity for ideal balance at any viewing position.

    Right: TeleVue Ash Gibraltar Mount with optional telescope, Starbeam Sight, Eyepieces and SkyTour CPU on Accessory Tray.

    The mount head is made of fully machined of aluminum which is black anodized, with brass elevation bearings and azimuth nylon bearing providing smooth vertical travel from 10 degrees below the horizon up to 85 degrees overhead, and smooth full 360 degree rotation. Clutches on the elevation axis permits the operate to compensate for changing accessory loads, or with the Azimuth control to lock the telescope in place. The tripod is made of American ash, in a two section extension design providing a range of 3 feet up to 5 feet, with accessory tray/leg brace. The "Gibraltar" mount solved a problem of ease of use for those who are frustrated by the weight and relative complexity of equatorial mounts, and it provides a mount far better suited to terrestrial applications than an equatorial mount or common camera tripod would be. These mounts remain available with either a beautiful ash tripod in natural finish (Yes, ash is the hard wood used to make baseball bats) with black trim, or a in walnut finish. Since it's introduction the "Gibraltar" head has been engineered to accept optional encoders to feed a "Digital Setting Circle" CPU such as that offered by TeleVue and third party units; this helps one to navigate the sky and find objects that might be hard to find particularly from suburban settings.

  • The NP101is can operate on any of a number of suitable optional German Equatorial mounts including:

  • "Starbeam" Sight: Beautifully machined and black anodized aluminum, on a quick release machined hardware. Battery powered illuminator is adjustable in brightness; it projects a 10 arc minute diameter red dot onto a transparent 40mm clear aperture window so that the dot appears to be over wherever the scope is pointed. Easy to view straight through or at right angles, with six arc minute accuracy the Starbeam makes "star hopping" easy.

  • Eyepieces: Plossl, Orthoscopic, traditional Erfle and wide angle eyepieces show sharp images only in the center of the field when employed with telescopes such as this. These are acceptable as long as you realize this limitation, and find this unobtrusive. If you object to less than perfect images at the edge of the field, then Company Seven recommends the TeleVue "Nagler", "Radian", or "Panoptic" eyepieces. These oculars provide the most clear, and flat field images and will bring out the most in your NP101is (and many other) telescope. A 35mm to 55mm focal length eyepiece can also make the main telescope also serve as your finder. Please refer to the brochure and the test report/data generated by Company Seven enclosed with our telescopes for descriptions of these items and additional accessories.

  • Equalizer: A slip fit machined bronze, heavy 2 to 1.25 inch diameter reducer adapter. Helps to keep telescope balance when switching to and from light and heavy accessories and eyepieces. Particularly helpful when using telescope with Alt-Azimuth mounts.

  • Barlow or TeleVue "Powermate" Lens: Company Seven suggests you consider any of a number of 1.25 inch or 2 inch diameter Barlow lenses that we offer to double or more than triple your magnification. Contact us for suggestions on how to to best meet your goals.

  • TeleVue 1.25 Inch Prism Diagonal: 45 degree 1.25 inch diameter precision image erecting prism diagonal with high transmission coating. This is a good choice for those who must have an image erect and correct left to right view, and who do not intend to use the telescope at higher magnifications.

  • If a customer saves the packing boxes, then he might be able to actually ship the telescope ahead for a vacation in Hawaii, or some other paradise. But the cardboard boxes and the carrying case can not tolerate repeated abuse, or travel by common carriers. Company Seven does design and offer custom Airline Transport Association approved transport cases for those telescopes and mounts which we sell; one who travels quite a bit would find these to be cost effective protection, and convenient as well.

    Company Seven will offer TeleVue and Company Seven padded soft cases to facilitate transport of the telescope. These optional cases will permit one to safely navigate airport terminals and carry the telescope on board!

The telescope is not furnished with an ocular, this is a good idea since many customers moving up to a telescope of this class may already own similar eyepieces. Company Seven can provide excellent advice on how you may accessorize the instrument, but briefly these are some of the oculars you should consider:
Eyepiece Magnification Actual field of view Exit pupil
35mm Panoptic 15x 4.11 degrees 6.54mm
31mm Nagler Type 5 17x 4.42 degrees 5.80mm
27mm Panoptic 20x 3.24 degrees 5.05mm
22mm Nagler Type 4 25x 3.3 degrees 4.11mm
22mm Panoptic 25x 2.64 degrees 4.11mm
20mm Plossl 27x 1.81 degrees 3.74mm
17mm Nagler Type 4 32x 2.58 degrees 3.18mm
12mm Nagler Type 4 45x 1.81 degrees 2.24mm
9mm Nagler 60x 1.31 degrees 1.68mm
8mm Radian 68X 0.88 degrees 1.50mm
6mm Radian 90x 0.67 degrees 1.12mm
5mm Radian 108x 0.56 degrees 0.93mm
Eyepiece Mag. w/2X 2 Inch Barlow Actual field of view Exit pupil
35mm Panoptic 31x 2.05 degrees 3.27mm
31mm Nagler Type 5 35x 2.21 degrees 2.90mm
27mm Panoptic 40x 1.62 degrees 2.52mm
22mm Nagler Type 4 49x 1.65 degrees 2.06mm
22mm Panoptic 49x 1.32 degrees 2.06mm
20mm Plossl 54x 0.95 degrees 1.87mm
17mm Nagler Type 4 64x 1.29 degrees 1.59mm
12mm Nagler Type 4 90x 0.91 degrees 1.12mm
9mm Nagler 120x 0.65 degrees 0.84mm
8mm Radian 135X 0.44 degrees 0.75mm
6mm Radian 180x 0.33 degrees 0.56mm
5mm Radian 216x 0.28 degrees 0.47mm

* The telescope is capable of operating at magnifications greater than listed in this briefing above.
Contact Company Seven for additional advice about outfitting the NP101is for imaging or observing.

  • Company Seven's ATA Transport/Shipping Case: ship and protect your investment! The lightweight plastic shell case provided by TeleVue with each optical tube assembly is a reasonable balance of economy and performance for routine storage of a telescope in a temperature and humidity controlled environment. However, if you plan for long term storage, or if you intend to ship the telescope by commercial carrier or transport it as check in baggage on an airliner then your peace of mind and telescope will both be better served with a custom engineered solution - an ATA case by Company Seven.

    TeleVue NP101 telescope in optional Company Seven ATA case (138,840 bytes)

    Above: Company Seven ATA Case custom fitted for a TeleVue NP101 telescope and accessories (138,840 bytes).
    Click on image to see enlarged view (240,578 bytes).

    Features include:

    1. custom fit to accommodate the telescope optical tube with or without accessories (Rings, Focuser, etc.)
    2. hand fitted velour lining over foams of varying densities to deal with anticipated loads
    3. weather resistant construction - engineered by our expert craftsmen
    4. tamper resistant combination lock and hasp
    5. Fedex/UPS label plate
    6. choice of interior and exterior hard shell material and colors

    Please contact Company Seven for additional information and pricing.

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