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Excerpt from Living Bird article by Dr. Ken Rosenberg, director of conservation science at Cornell University's Lab of Ornithology.
[R]eviewers ... jaws dropped in amazement. As dusk fell and Canada Geese settled almost invisibly onto Sapsucker Woods pond, the TeleVue resolved the same crisp feather detail at 75x as the Kowa could at 60x, and when we backed the TeleVue down to 60x, it was as if a light had been turned on inside the scope.— Dr. Rosenberg, K. "Scope Quest 2008". Living Bird (2008 Winter). Read More.
Excerpts from TV-85 review by Clyde Crewey on Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews website
- The Double Cluster is spectacular with stars everywhere and great color contrast. The Trapezium is easily resolved even at 32x and the stars are crisp points of light suspended in the gas cloud. Amazingly, the TV-85 reveals as much of the gas cloud as does my 6" Dob. Contrast does matter after all!
- I'm aware that the price of the TV-85 is not unsubstantial, but I can honestly say that not once have I thought about that when I'm at the eyepiece. I'd be willing to bet you won't either!
Excerpt from the Winter 2002 issue of Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology's Living Bird magazine review of birding scopes, by Kenneth V. Rosenberg.
... the Tele Vue  took me for one of the best birding rides of my life. Scanning out across the lake at 75x, I spotted a whitish speck in the distant heat waves that I thought might be a loon. I then inserted a 2x Barlow lens between the zoom eyepiece and the scope, doubling its magnification to an incredible 150x. I could then clearly make out the face pattern and upturned bill of a Red-throated Loon. This local rarity was not even visible though my 10x binoculars. Continuing to play at 150x, I could discern the eye color of some immature gulls on a jetty 200 yards from the shore -- ah, if only shore bird season weren't so long past!— Rosenberg, K. V. "Scoping for Optics". Living Bird ( Winter 2002). Full Review.
Birding review excerpt from Better View Desired / Reference Standard Tele Vue 85: An Unconventional Scopearticle
The 85 shows, at any distance and any power, right out to the limits of daylight viewing, all the detail, I am convinced, that there is to see. In direct comparison with the finest scopes on the market, the Tele Vue 85 consistently shows a brighter, more subtly detailed, image of the bird. You can see things in the Tele Vue's image that just aren't there in the Pentax 80 mm or the Nikon Fieldscope.— "Tele Vue 85: An Unconventional Scope". Better View Desired (July 2001). Full Review.
Excerpt from Sky & Telescope review by Chris Cook
The Tele Vue 85mm f/7 APO refractor is truly an incredible instrument with superb, well-corrected optics. The scope's mechanical construction is also first class all the way. Whether you are traveling half way around the world to photograph a total solar eclipse or just casually observing from your backyard, the Tele Vue 85 offers today's amateurs an extremely powerful, compact instrument capable of delivering stunning images of the universe around us. This scope is a real gem!— Cook, C. "The Tele Vue 85: A Sharp Scope for People on the Go". Sky & Telescope (Sept. 1998). Full Review.
Cornell Ornithology Lab Reviews TV-85
The scope really proved its value last fall at the Montezuma Muckrace - an annual birding competition and conservation fundraiser held each year at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge - where it was used to scan shorebirds on a massive mudflat. The clarity and brightness of the scope made it possible to make accurate bird identifications at staggering distances. By changing eyepieces, this scope was dead sharp at all powers, surpassing the image quality of any other scope.— Gallagher, T. and McGowan, K. "Tele Vue-85 600mm f/7 Spotting Scope". Living Bird (Spring 2000). Full Review.