Telrad Illuminated Non-magnifying Telrad finder (includes batteries and base)


Availability: In stock

The Telrad is the best-known and best-selling non-magnifying "red dot" finder for Dobsonians, equatorial reflectors, refractors, and Schmidt-Cassegrains alike . . .
Our Product #: 3990

Product Description

The Telrad is the best-selling non-magnifying finder for Dobsonians, equatorial reflectors, refractors, and Schmidt-Cassegrains alike.

The Telrad projects a bull's-eye pattern of concentric red rings (4 degrees, 2 degrees, and one-half degree in diameter) on a tilted clear viewing plate at the top of the finder. These circles, which seem to be projected on the sky itself, make it easy to starhop from object to object. If a galaxy is 10 degrees north of a known star, for example, two 4 degree Telrad jumps and one 2 degree jump from the known star will take you to that galaxy in seconds. The half-degree circle makes it easy to quickly center a computerized scope on guide stars for start-up alignment, and to center on planets, comets, and deep space objects if you're scanning the sky manually. The red circles can be seen from virtually any distance behind the Telrad, from two inches to two feet, so eyeglass-wearers can easily use the finder.

The Telrad is normally used as a straight-through finder, similar to the heads-up display in a military aircraft cockpit. Its base attaches quickly to any optical tube 6" and larger in diameter by means of double-faced tape (or by screws into a Sonotube reflector optical tube, through two screw holes in the mounting plate). The finder itself fits into a dovetail slot in the base and locks in place with two finger-tighten side screws. The Telrad comes with one base standard, but additional bases are available so you can put a base on each scope you own and use one Telrad on several scopes.

An optional Dew Shield retards the formation of dew on the optics of the Telrad during long observing sessions. Additionally, an optional Dew Shield Plus combines a dew shield with a pivoting light-weight first surface flip mirror that allows the Telrad to be used as a straight-through finder, a right angle finder for observing at the zenith, and at any angle in between.

Collimating knobs at the back of the Telrad allow you to line up the finder with your main scope optics. An on/off switch and integral rotary brightness control allow you to match the finder brightness to your eye's dark adaptation. An optional Pulsar pulsing reticle module is available to provide variable brightness and a variable on/off light cycle that many observers find more comfortable to use when hunting very faint objects. The Telrad uses two 1.5V AA batteries (supplied by Astronomics as part of our Telrad package).

The Telrad is 8" long by 1.75" wide by a maximum height of 5", so it is difficult to use on the short and small diameter optical tubes of small scopes such as the Meade 3.5" ETX-90. If a non-magnifying finder is needed for such scopes, consider the #3960 Rigel Quikfinder instead.

Tech Details

Weight 11 oz
Warranty 1 year


Review by:
I struggled with a 50mm viewfinder on my Tal200k 8" cassegrain for a long time. Then I added the telrad. Because you can see the sky unmagnified you get a much wider field of view. This enables you to identify your targets more quickly. Properly aligned with the illuminated concentric circles it's the fastest way to get your non-goto scope pointed at the object you are looking for - and also among the best ways to learn the sky. Aligning the telrad is easy with the three thumbscrews. It's fairly cheaply made but up to now I've had no issues with it. I do recommend removing the batteries if you are not using the scope frequently, in order to prevent damage due to leakage. The only reservation I have is that it is a straight-through finder which can be uncomfortable to look through if you are pointing the scope very high - toward the zenith. Besides that it's a great product and well recommended. (Posted on 1/4/2019)
Review by:
This thing reduces my time of finding objects to less than half. I debated for several weeks over whether to get the telrad or rigel quick finder because I feared the telrad along with my raci finder (I use both when I'm getting serious) might throw off the balance of my ES 10" truss dob. Balance is fine after much use. Now I see what it's all about. It is so easy to find the objects you'll be looking for!! The factor for deciding was being able to use the telrad charts available online. I printed them out and had them laminated and spiral bound. Now I feel unstoppable. I have TRIPLED the amount of objects I've found this year in the month I have owned the telrad. I also recommend the "dew not" dew heater for telrad. I appreciate it here in humid Arkansas as it acts like a dew shield and heater in one! Can't believe I ever put off a $38 purchase like the Telrad. If you like finding interesting DSO's (or anything else for that matter) you definitely want this thing. I wouldn't even worry about the weight as compared to the quick finder as I have had no problems. Having the target that is 4 degrees is a no brainer. (Posted on 1/3/2019)
Review by:
I tried a couple other red dot type finders after being tired of laying my head on my newt and trying to contort myself to use the tiny stock spotter that came with it. But they all got returned and I went back to a Telrad like I'd used year before. I got the Synta foot mount and a 4" riser for it and life is SO much easier now. I had my first outing with mine after the new mount and riser and it was a joy! The variable brightness is great and it simply works. I've used these in the past and never had ANY issues with batteries. Common sense dictates you remove alkaline batteries when not in use for extended periods... especially in more humid climates. (Posted on 12/29/2018)
Review by:
I have owned a Telrad since forever now, must have been 20 years, i have owned so many scopes i lost count and, they all came with finders which ended up on a shelf with all the other sad finders. I hate heavy magnifying finders, they're useless junk, well not so actually they hold doors open for my cat a lot. The legendary Telrad has been unchanged for decades because it just WORKS! it projects a target against the sky which you then look at your target through. Telrads are easy as you can imagine to adjust with your scope and the batteries last forever, i left them on for weeks and the batt's didn't flatten, theres no more ergonomic and natural way to find an object than with a Telrad, more than once i've torn off magnifying finders and fired them into the woods but never my tetrad. (Posted on 12/18/2018)
Review by:
This should be standard on all telescopes. This makes pointing my 8" Orion SkyQuest XT8 Push To Classic Dobsonian a breeze to find what I am looking for.

My challenge before this finder was star hopping. I could see with the naked eye what stars I needed to use to star hop.
But in the default finder shipped with my scope I could not see the faint stars I needed to use for my hopping.

The Telrad makes this easy to see faint starts for hopping. It is also very precise and is easy to fine tune it's precision. (Posted on 12/13/2018)
Review by:
Do you want to slow down and learn to star hop like our more senior astronomy mentors? If so, then the Telrad is an invaluable tool. 4 degrees for the outer circle, 2 degrees for the middle circle, and 1/2 degree for the circle in the center. Grab yourself a sky atlas at learn to trust your eyes more than GoTo...of course GoTo is nice, but knowing how to star hop is a skill you will appreciate for life. (Posted on 12/11/2018)
Review by:
I bought my first Telrad in the 1980's for an Edmund's 6 inch f8 Newtonian. Using this combination, I was able to observe the entire Messier list and earn the AL Messier Certificate in 1989. Since then, have purchased two more, for a C8 and for a 10 inch fast Dob. If you like to star hop, you really need this finder. (Posted on 12/5/2018)
Review by:
I'm an astro photographer and always use the Telrad for my initial star alignment. Once the main scope is on a bright star and the Telrad is centered on the same star there is no need to look through the camera to do the alignment. I just use the Telrad for a three star alignment. It makes it all very easy. (Posted on 11/26/2018)
Review by:
I'm fairly new to scopes, but I'm so glad I added a Telrad to my scope (newtonian, GEM mount). Pros: Much easier to use than the magnifying, reversed finder that came with the scope. Good dimming (but the optional pulser would be nice.) Reticule has a useful scale that you will often find on charts and software maps.
Cons: difficult to use near the zenith on my particular scope (I need to think about a riser), and you will have to do something about dew, if dew is already a concern of yours (depending on where and when you observe.) (Posted on 11/25/2018)
Review by:
I have used the Telrad for years and have several installed on my scopes. The reticle offers the best dimming that I have seen and it's scale makes star-hopping much easier. I've tried other 1X finders and nothing surpasses this time-tested design. I've never had any issues with batteries and frankly speaking, I've forgotten and left it on for days at a time and not ruined the finder nor depleted the batteries. It is large but the mounting is secure and stable and I prefer it to other designs for it's durability. (Posted on 10/8/2018)
Review by:
My first dobsonian was a used 10" f/5.5 and it had a Telrad finder. Prior to using the Telrad, I was used to straight-through and right-angle finder scopes on my reflectors. Their big disadvantage was the disconnect between what you saw with your naked eye and what was presented through the finder eyepiece. No matter how good (or bad) the finder scope was, there was always the extra time needed to become oriented to the stars as they were presented in the eyepiece, and the extra time to translate that to the star chart that I was using. With the Telrad, it was much more natural, and faster, to position the stars in the naked eye field of view and get to viewing. Simple but oh so effective. (Posted on 10/6/2018)
Review by:
Hard to go wrong with a Telrad. I'm a big fan of non-magnifying finders, but the dimmable circles sealed the deal for me. I have a hard-copy star atlas that comes with "standard" Telrad-sized circular overlays for showing parts of the sky that would be in your Telrad's field of view when star-hopping, and it's been very easy and intuitive to use. (Posted on 8/4/2017)
Review by:
For years I made do with the little finder that came with my scope, having no idea what I was missing until I used a friend's scope that was equipped with a Telrad. What a difference! I went home and ordered one that night. The 1x power of the Telrad means I no longer get confused by the dozens of stars my old finder showed me in an area where my naked eye only saw two or three. I don't think I have uncapped my old finder since I got the Telrad.

The only real downside that I must mention is that it is BIG! Definitely overpowers a smaller scope. (Posted on 8/4/2017)
Review by:
One of the best things I ever bought was a Telrad. Makes finding objects so much easier. I have been surprised how well the device does with batteries as well, I have accidentally left it on over night on a couple of occasions and it still had life. (Posted on 8/4/2017)
Review by:
The AA cells in my 4 year old Telrad corroded and somehow managed to ruin the electronics. Maybe it was the corrosive gasses? A new battery holder wired into place made no difference. I replaced it with a Rigel Quickfinder 10 years ago and am still using the original button cell without issues. The Rigel is missing the largest outer ring, but it does have a built in pulsing feature missing on the Telrad. It is also much smaller and lighter. I'd rate it a 5 for ease of use, but since it doesn't work at all now, I'd rate it a 1 since it is useless, thus the compromise 3 rating because of poor durability and bulkiness. Maybe the manufacturer should consider switching to lithium button cells like the Rigel and shrink the size correspondingly? (Posted on 8/4/2017)
Review by:
The Telrad is an indispensable replacement for the finder scopes that come with your telescope. Once it's aligned with your telescope, precisely slewing to any visible star simplicity itself. And it makes the initial alignment of your Goto a breeze. (Posted on 8/4/2017)
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