Consumer Corner: Tele Vue Quality

Jack Kramer

I'll admit right up front that I have a bias in favor of Tele Vue products. Outfits like Meade and Celestron have some really great equipment, but because they also peddle some third-rate products, you can't be guided solely by their brand name. Not so with Tele Vue. You'll pay more for anything with the Tele Vue name on it, but rest assured you're getting top-notch quality and design in whichever of their products you choose.

Much equipment sold by American optical companies is partly or wholly made overseas, usually in the Far East. Tele Vue is no different. The inconsistent nature of some distributors' products may be the result of poor design or trying to target a certain price-point in the market, but often it's the result of the firm's quality philosophy and where the products happen to be made today. Some firms, such as Orion, seem to do a decent job of quality checking before products are delivered to customers, but now and then a clunker does get by them.

Addressing this issue, the following was posted to an Internet group by Steve White, a Tele Vue sales rep in Santa Cruz, CA.

"All Tele Vue scopes are designed, assembled, aligned, tested and serviced at our facility in New York. Virtually all metalwork machining and finishing is done in the metro NY area. Lenses come from various proprietary sources throughout the world. Yes, sometimes even the U.S., but never Mainland China. All eyepieces are manufactured to our designs and specs and are individually inspected optically and mechanically at Tele Vue. Currently 51% of our eyepieces and Barlow models are manufactured in Taiwan, and 49% in Japan. Even our Japanese dealer receives Japanese-made eyepieces that have first been shipped to New York for inspection."

Note the word "serviced" in White's statement. If you drop a Tele Vue eyepiece (or any Tele Vue product) and it's damaged, it can be repaired by Tele Vue. What other supplier will repair an eyepiece? And most service only some of their other products.