- Aperture: 12 inch
- Focal Ratio: f/4
- Focal Length: 1220mm
- White rolled steel exterior, flat black interior for higher contrast
TPO 12" f/4 Imaging Newtonian Telescope
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 inch- 12 inch, have very fast optics for the widest fields possible. Image with a DSLR or small webcam all the way up to large sensor CCD camera 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 inch 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 inch opening steps down to a 2 inch compression ring adapter, and you will receive 1.25 inch 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.
- 3.3 inch dual-speed 10:1 linear Crayford-style focuser with 35mm extension, 2 inch & 1.25 inch adapter
- Dual hinged rings with Losmandy-style dovetail
- Cooling Fan included.
- Push/pull oversized collimation knobs for easy adjustments
- Weight: 40 lb.
TPO Product Number: 12IN
Questions & AnswersAsk a Question
What coma corrector / field flattener would be appropriate for this telescope?
For 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
Is there any Hard case for this telescope?
Yes, they have a case for it. It's not included in the price of the scope, but you are getting a great scope at the price they charge for it. The case is top notch and a great pickup if you want to protect your scope during the long rainy season or whil
I have a Losmandy HGM TITAN HEAD and want to mount a Takahashi 300 CRS to it. Is this the correct dovntail plate?
Yes. The widest holes where the plate projects outward are 125mm center to center side to side and 180mm front to back. This will fit the rings for the Mewlon 300 CRS.
how lengt is the tube cm.
Hello Kokos, Thank you for your question. The tube is 114 cm long.
What 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,
The accessories add ~9 lbs, so the total weight is right about 50 lbs with those accessories added to the 40.5 lbs base weight of the tube. If you add a coma corrector like the MPCC and a 2" eyepiece, you wind up around 52 lbs.
What case is there available and recommended to transport and keep this telescope tube?
There 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
Being a imaging scope how good is it for plain viewing?
The TPO 12" Imaging Newtonian will work for visual. However, you will want to use a Parracor to correct for the coma at the edge of the field that is common with fast Newtonian reflectors
Will this scope work well on an azimuth mounted tripod as well?
Not 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 came
What is the outer diameter of the TPO 12" f/4 newtonian?
The diameter is approximately 356mm.
I 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 t
The 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 so
This OTA look like a 12" version of a Meade LXD 55 without the corrector plate. Is it the same manufacture?
No, the LXD scopes were made in China, and the TPO scopes use a different manufacturer in Taiwan.
Can this Meade counterweight system work on a Celestron C8 fork mounted SCT?
Jerry, The 1401 doesn't quite match the holes on the celestron C8 tube. There is one set in which it does but it's off-center to where the dovetail is. I think a better setup would be an AA-vc8 dovetail plate with the LO-DWS counterweight system. Th
Is this telescope good for faint deep sky photography?
Yes, 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
Will this OTA work on my Celestron CGEM-DX?
This telescope will work for visual use and basic unguided DSLR imaging, but the tube's 50 lb weight is at the absolute upper limit of what the mount can handle. A smaller tube or a bigger mount would be recommended for serious imaging.
I'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. Thanks
You 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 rot
can this be mounted on a mount of the Astromaster 130 eeqreflector telescope? Also need to know,can ASI ZWO and/or other astrocameras cameras be used with tube?
The TPO 12" Newtonian is to heavy for the Celestron Astromaster mount. You can connect the ZWO cameras and many other cameras to this telescope.
Is the focuser compatible with any of the Rigel stepper motors?
Yes, as this scope uses a GSO focuser, although we would need to contact Rigel to make sure the exact model was ordered as there are several models of GSO focusers.