TV-60 60mm f/6 apo body

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This TeleVue refractor optical tube has:

• 60mm f/6 apochromatic SD doublet optics
• two-stage focuser (drawtube, plus helical fine focus)
• extreme portability (10” long, and weighing only 3 lbs.)
• 5-year warranty

    This TeleVue TV-60 refractor optical tube is an amazing little scope. A review of the TV-60 in the December 2004 Sky & Telescope magazine said, “If you think that size matters and that bigger is always better when it comes to telescopes, think again . . .

    “My first serious use of the TV-60 tested the ‘Take Me Everywhere’ portability touted by the manufacturer (on a trip to Italy to view Venus Transit of June 2004.) The transit made me realize that the TV-60 just might be the ultimate scope for eclipse chasers . . . As I have come to expect from observing with TeleVue's other short-focus apo refractors, the views with the TV-60 are essentially free of false color . . . Even at 120x, brilliant Vega, one of the most challenging stars for a refractor to image cleanly, appears as a blue-white Airy disk surrounded by several white diffraction rings and no perceptible color halo . . .

    “After many nights of observing, I'm comfortable recommending an upper limit of 180x for the TV-60, which is 75x per inch of aperture. I achieved this magnification with the 2-mm setting on the TeleVue 2-to-4-mm Nagler Zoom eyepiece. It offered exceptional views of binary stars (especially the well-known Double-Double in Lyra) and the Moon . . .

    “The pint-sized TV-60 could match the best high-power view I have ever seen in a quality 60-mm f/15 refractor. And the TV-60 could do something those other scopes couldn't: offer a stunning wide-field experience . . . With just three eyepieces — the 24mm Panoptic and the 9- and 2.5-mm Naglers — I spent hours wandering the Milky Way from Sagittarius to Cassiopeia.”

This Telescope’s Optical and Mechanical Systems . . .

  • Apochromatic SD doublet optics: 2.4” (60mm) aperture, 360mm focal length, f/6 apochromatic doublet lens using an SD (Special Dispersion) glass element. Images are essentially free from spurious color (chromatic aberration), even at magnifications over the theoretical limit of 60x per inch of aperture (as noted in the review above.)

  • Multicoated optics: Fully coated on all surfaces with multiple layers of antireflection materials for high light transmission and good contrast.

  • Dual-stage focuser: The 2-stage 1.25” focuser uses a quick-focus drawtube for initial focusing, plus a separate helical-focusing eyepiece holder for fine-tuning the image sharpness once you’ve reached an approximate focus with the drawtube. Nylon thumbscrews lock in the drawtube focus and hold optional 1.25” optical accessories securely in place.

  • Dew shield: The scope comes with a sliding captive dew shield to slow the formation of dew and act like a camera lens shade to improve contrast by blocking ambient light (from a neighbor’s back yard security light, for example.) A camera-style snap-in plastic dust cap protects the optics from damage while stored or traveling.

  • Star diagonal: No star diagonal is supplied, as most observers buy the TV-60 as a second ‘grab and go’ scope and therefore already have a star diagonal from their primary telescope. This allows you to equip the TV-60 with the optical accessories that best suit your observing style – such as an in-line Porro prism or a 45º image erecting diagonal for terrestrial observing, or a 60º or 90º star diagonal for astronomical use.

  • Eyepiece: As with a star diagonal, none is supplied, as it is assumed that the buyer already has a selection of eyepieces from his or her primary scope. A good optional basic eyepiece might be TeleVue’s 11mm Plössl. This premium eyepiece provides a magnification of 33x, with a field of view more than three times as wide as the full Moon. Optional shorter focal length eyepieces and/or Barlow lenses will provide high powers to let you examine details in the storm belts of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, the mountains of the Moon, and much more. And the resolution of those details will be crisp and detailed, often visibly superior to larger telescopes more easily affected by atmospheric conditions. The maximum power for lunar/planetary viewing is 180x, with the optional 2-4mm Nagler Zoom. Put in an optional longer focal length (lower power) eyepiece and the TV-60 becomes a true rich field telescope, capable of scanning wide scenic vistas by day and revealing multitudes of large, faint deep space objects by night. With an optional 1.25” 40mm TeleVue Plössl (9x, with a 4.3° field), the TV-60 is not only a surprisingly good little rich field scope, but it is its own best finderscope, as well. It’s also excellent as a terrestrial spotting scope for vacations, birding, or nature studies. In addition, optional camera adapters turn the TV-60 into excellent 360mm (7.2x) f/6 telephoto lens for terrestrial and lunar photography.

  • Finderscope: No finderscope is supplied or needed. As noted above, with a 40mm TeleVue Plössl eyepiece, the TV-60 its own best finderscope.

  • Mounting system: The TV-60 has an adjustable dovetail balancing bar mount that fits on any optional sturdy photo tripod for casual use, or on an optional equatorial or altazimuth mount (such as the TeleVue Tele-Pod and Panoramic mounts and the Vixen/TeleVue PORTA mount) for more serious observing. An available optional X-Y axis adjustable mounting bracket (#TVXYA) allows the TV-60 to be used as a superfinder on TeleVue refractors, while a separate adapter (#TVXYC) allows it to be used on Celestron and Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, as well as on TeleVue scopes. The balancing bar system allows the TV-60 to be moved fore and aft on your mount or tripod to balance the weight of different eyepieces or a camera.

There are few optical systems that combine into one very compact body the ability to be customized into a serious astronomical telescope with true apochromatic optics, a terrestrial spotting scope, and a top-quality telephoto lens – but the TV-60 does it surprisingly well. Whether you want to observe the skies from your back yard on the spur of the moment, or travel round the world with a very portable telescope that will reveal and photograph everything nearby and distant, you’ll find it hard to beat this truly exceptional TeleVue small refractor.

Highest Useful Magnification:
This is the highest visual power a telescope can achieve before the image becomes too dim for useful observing (generally at about 50x to 60x per inch of telescope aperture). However, this power is very often unreachable due to turbulence in our atmosphere that makes the image too blurry and unstable to see any detail.

On nights of less-than-perfect seeing, medium to low power planetary, binary star, and globular cluster observing (at 25x to 30x per inch of aperture or less) is usually more enjoyable than fruitlessly attempting to push a telescope's magnification to its theoretical limits. Very high powers are generally best reserved for planetary observations and binary star splitting.

Small aperture telescopes can usually use more power per inch of aperture on any given night than larger telescopes, as they look through a smaller column of air and see less of the turbulence in our atmosphere. While some observers use up to 100x per inch of refractor aperture on Mars and Jupiter, the actual number of minutes they spend observing at such powers is small in relation to the number of hours they spend waiting for the atmosphere to stabilize enough for them to use such very high powers.
Visual Limiting Magnitude:
This is the magnitude (or brightness) of the faintest star that can be seen with a telescope. The larger the number, the fainter the star that can be seen. An approximate formula for determining the visual limiting magnitude of a telescope is 7.5 + 5 log aperture (in cm).

This is the formula that we use with all of the telescopes we carry, so that our published specs will be consistent from aperture to aperture, from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some telescope makers may use other unspecified methods to determine the limiting magnitude, so their published figures may differ from ours.

Keep in mind that this formula does not take into account light loss within the scope, seeing conditions, the observer’s age (visual performance decreases as we get older), the telescope’s age (the reflectivity of telescope mirrors decreases as they get older), etc. The limiting magnitudes specified by manufacturers for their telescopes assume very dark skies, trained observers, and excellent atmospheric transparency – and are therefore rarely obtainable under average observing conditions. The photographic limiting magnitude is always greater than the visual (typically by two magnitudes).

Focal Length:
This is the length of the effective optical path of a telescopeor eyepiece (the distance from the main mirror or lens where the lightis gathered to the point where the prime focus image is formed). Focallength is typically expressed in millimeters.

The longer the focallength, the higher the magnification and the narrower the field of viewwith any given eyepiece. The shorter the focal length, the lower themagnification and the wider the field of view with the same eyepiece.

Focal Ratio:
This is the ‘speed’ of a telescope’s optics, found by dividing the focal length by the aperture. The smaller the f/number, the lower the magnification, the wider the field, and the brighter the image with any given eyepiece or camera.

Fast f/4 to f/5 focal ratios are generally best for lower power wide field observing and deep space photography. Slow f/11 to f/15 focal ratios are usually better suited to higher power lunar, planetary, and binary star observing and high power photography. Medium f/6 to f/10 focal ratios work well with either.

An f/5 system can photograph a nebula or other faint extended deep space object in one-fourth the time of an f/10 system, but the image will be only one-half as large. Point sources, such as stars, are recorded based on the aperture, however, rather than the focal ratio – so that the larger the aperture, the fainter the star you can see or photograph, no matter what the focal ratio.

This is the ability of a telescope to separate closely-spaced binary stars into two distinct objects, measured in seconds of arc. One arc second equals 1/3600th of a degree and is about the width of a 25-cent coin at a distance of three miles! In essence, resolution is a measure of how much detail a telescope can reveal. The resolution values on our website are derived using the Dawes’ limit formula.

Dawes’ limit only applies to point sources of light (stars). Smaller separations can be resolved in extended objects, such as the planets. For example, Cassini’s Division in the rings of Saturn (0.5 arc seconds across), was discovered using a 2.5” telescope – which has a Dawes’ limit of 1.8 arc seconds!

The ability of a telescope to resolve to Dawes’ limit is usually much more affected by seeing conditions, by the difference in brightness between the binary star components, and by the observer’s visual acuity, than it is by the optical quality of the telescope.

1.93 arc seconds
This is the diameter of the light-gathering main mirror or objective lens of a telescope. In general, the larger the aperture, the better the resolution and the fainter the objects you can see.
The weight of this product.
3 lbs.
Telescope Type:
The optical design of a telescope.  Telescope type is classified by three primary optical designs (refractor, reflector, or catadioptric), by sub-designs of these types, or by the task they perform.
Based on Astronomy magazine’s telescope "report cards", scopes of this size and type generally perform as follows . . .
Terrestrial Observation:
Observing terrestrial objects (nature studies, birding, etc.) is usually possible only with refractor and catadioptric telescopes, and convenient only when the scope is on an altazimuth mount or photo tripod. Most reflectors cannot be used for terrestrial observing. Scopes with apertures under 5" to 6" are generally most useful for terrestrial observing due to atmospheric conditions (heat waves and mirage, dust, haze, etc.) that degrade the image quality in larger scopes. 
Lunar Observation:
Visual observation of the Moon is possible with any telescope. Larger aperture scopes will provide more detail than smaller scopes, thereby getting a higher score in this category, but may require an eyepiece filter to cut down the greater glare from the Moon's sunlit surface so small details can be seen more easily. Lunar observing is more rewarding when the Moon is waxing or waning as the changing sun angle casts constantly varying shadows to reveal craters and surface features by the hundreds.  
Planetary Observation:
Very Good
Binary and Star Cluster Observation:
Very Good
Galaxy and Nebula Observation:
Terrestrial Photography:
Photographing terrestrial objects (wildlife, scenery, etc.) is usually possible only with refractor and catadioptric telescopes, and convenient only when the scope is on an altazimuth mount or photo tripod. Most reflectors cannot be used for terrestrial photography. Scopes with focal ratios of f/10 and faster and apertures under 5" to 6" are generally the most useful for terrestrial photography due to atmospheric conditions (heat waves and mirage, dust, haze, etc.) that degrade the image quality in larger scopes.
Lunar Photography:
Photography of the Moon is possible with virtually any telescope, using a 35mm camera, DSLR, or CCD-based webcam (planetary imager). While an equatorial mount with a motor drive is not strictly essential, as the exposure times will be very short, such a mount would be helpful to improve image sharpness, particularly with webcam-type cameras that take a series of exposures over time and stack them together. Reflectors may require a Barlow lens to let the camera reach focus. 
Planetary Photography:
Star Cluster / Nebula / Galaxy Photography:
5 years
Reviews from Cloudy Nights (
These reviews have been written by astronomers just like you and posted on the Cloudy Nights astronomy forums . . .
TeleVue 60 APO

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General Accessories
Telescope Carrying Cases (1)
TV-60 Carry case
by TeleVue
Visual Accessories
Eyepieces (4)
11mm Plössl
by TeleVue
20mm Plössl
by TeleVue
40mm Plössl
by TeleVue
2mm to 4mm Nagler 1.25" zoom eyepiece Demo
by TeleVue
Star Diagonals (1)
1.25" Everbrite 99% Reflectivity mirror diagonal
by TeleVue
  • 60mm apochromatic doublet optics
  • 2-stage drawtube/helical focuser
  • Retractable lens shade
  • Dust covers
  • Carrying pouch
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TeleVue - TV-60 60mm f/6 apo body

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TeleVue - TV-60 60mm f/6 apo bodyImage showing scope with all standard accessories.
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Our Product #: TV60
Manufacturer Product #: TVO-2460
Price: $825.00  FREE ground shipping - Click for more info
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MSRP: $1195.00

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Clear skies,

This TeleVue TV-60 is a high performance 2.4” apochromatic doublet scope that will surprise you as much with the magnitude of its performance as it does with the mini size of its compact "go anywhere, any time" body . . .

. . . our 38th year