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VIXEN R130Sf Newtonian - AstroShop


A perfect viewing scope and perfect match for digital viewing and imaging with ProStar LP-GUIDE and GSTAR-EX light-weight cameras.


Great Compact Newtonian for all occasions

And we mean it! If you are looking for a great general all-round telescope that looks smart, with colour distortion free reflecting optics, is light-weight and produces great images in one complete package then this classic affordable Newtonian reflecting telescope is just the ticket. This compact, light-weight and highly portable 130mm f/5 Newtonian telescope was designed by the optical engineers at Vixen Co. Japan many years ago providing not only a compact size, light weight Newtonian design telescope with exceptional high contrast optics but also the open tube (dew free and colour free benefits) benefits of a mirror reflecting Newtonian telescope at the same time. Just as important, a scope that does not readily get dewed up optics in the field.


Aperture: 130mm parabolic mirror (f/5)
Focal Length: 650mm
Optical coating Muliti-coated surfaces
Resolving: 0.89 arc seconds Limit mag 12.3
Focuser:: 1.25 inch with removable T2 extension
Eyepieces: 20mm and 6.3mm Plössls
Resolving: 1.05 arc seconds
Finder: 6X30 optical finder scope
Camera attachment: Yes - Standard M42 T-thread visual back - takes 1.25" eyepiece also
Weight 3.9 kg

I love this little scope not just because of its excellent optics but its versatility for both visual and CCD imaging. Plus, with a PortaMount II,  I can pick it up with one hand and carry it out front or back with ease.
At the rear of the optical tube is a mirror cell cover plate which provides additional contrast improvement by stopping external light sources penetrating the back end of the primary mirror. Using a simple Phillips head screw driver it is easily removed to allow access to the primary mirror collimation adjustment and locking screws.

Small central obstruction secondary (approx 40mm) and fine 1.5mm spider veins allows for more improved contrast and pinpoint stars. Note also the convenient centre spot marking on the primary mirror making collimation with a visual tool or laser collimator so much easier. The secondary mirror three point mounting can be adjusted easily with an Allen key.



















Visual - The Night Sky

This little scope, whether fitted to a simple GO-TO mount  , or Vixen Porta Mount II, provides breath taking views of the Moon, Jupiter and its 4 largest satellites, the split rings of Saturn and its brighter moons, the phases of Venus, the polar ice caps and dusky surface features of Mars, plus even small the small disks of Uranus and Neptune in good seeing conditions.  Colours of various distant stars revealed their blue, yellow and orange hues and the magnificent NGC104 (47 Tuc) was breathtaking as usual. 

Vixen R130Sf on an old HEQ5 goto mount


The focuser of the R130Sf is a two component system. For visual observing, it uses a 55mm T-thread screw on extension tube with thumb screws for securing a 1.25 inch eyepiece. By removing the extension, the shorter focus adaptor reveals a male T-thread (for use with a DSLR camera (fitted with a T-ring adaptor) or  mounting a filter wheel but also with 2 thumb screws to allow fitting of small cameras like webcams etc fitted with a 1.25 inch nosepiece.

Fig-6: GSTAR-EX2 fitted directly to 1.25 inch adaptor and tightened with thumbscrews. Focus can also be achieve with the ProStar C-mount 1.25 inch nosepiece reducer lens

5 position filter wheel with GSTAR-EX2 fitted using
low-profile C-T adaptor comes to focus without a problem.


So in the configuration of Fig-6 above we fitted a GSTAR-EX2 monochrome camera  to try the scope out on the striking Silver Coin galaxy NGC253 in Sculptor.

The image above is only a quick stack of 100 video frames from GSTAR-EX2 CCD video camera in place of the eyepiece (prime focus). How amazing we can obtain such beautiful views of a galaxy with such a small telescope and modern CCD video camera. These images have not been post processed and reveal the view as they came off the camera and R130Sf. It also serves to demonstrate the wide field of view using a camera with only a 1/2 inch CCD.


NGC-253 Silver Coin Galaxy with Vixen R130Sf Newtonian and GSTAR-EX2 camera
After swapping the cameras 1.25 inch nosepiece and replacing with the ProStar 0.5X c-mount focal reducer, this image above is again a quick stack of 100 video frames using the GSTAR-EX2 camera. Note: the lovely wider field view that is produced from the short focal length of this 130mm telescope and the increased image brightness due to the reduction lens. The view live on the PC screen was nothing short of amazing particularly given how much we strain our eyes to see just a fuzzy cigar shaped object at the eyepiece. These images taken from semi-light polluted suburban moonless sky.
ISS captured with Vixen R130Sf and GSTAR-EX2 CCD video camera I remember some time ago at a group star gathering, the amazement of other attendees who gazed at the live view of M27 (Dumbbell Nebula) on my portable T.V monitor and their surprise at the little Newtonian scope producing such bright detailed views. While others grappled with sorting out their auto-guiders and focus frames, I had this baby up and imaging within 5 minutes.
The under breath ooo's and ah's from the growing crowd around the video monitor was proof in point of just how excellent the R130Sf is when combined with a powerful camera like the GSTAR-EX2, as a public outreach tool.

Left: And speaking of using the GSTAR camera with this excellent little Newtonian, the picture at left was taken May 28th 2015 using a 5X tele-extender for good magnification.

The R1309Sf was mounted to a simple Vixen Porta II Mount and hand guided using the 6X30 optical finderscope as the International Space Station raced overhead.

In summary, I really enjoy using this telescope and is now a permanent member in the collection.
The surprisingly smooth, non-slip rack & pinion focuser showed no dramatic image shift and was easy to adjust accurately despite the small focus wheels. It's easy to tuck in the boot of a small car and take on the road and with a nice set of Vixen NPL or NLV oculars the views are very impressive. It works brilliantly with my GSTAR-EX2 camera both in aperture and image scales required for most objects I want to capture quick and easily.
Needless to say... we highly recommend it !

BUY IT NOW from AstroShop Australia  and ensure full protected authorised distributor warranty & support.

Note: AstroShop reviews are only intended to provide prospective purchasers our own first hand impressions of performance and build as has been our long time policy.


Copyright 2013:  AstroShop - Binary Systems P/L

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