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Antares 105mm f15 elite

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#1 nightfisher

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 12:23 PM

I have joined the ranks of owning one of these, having picked one up at a very sensible price, but with a twist, it has suffered damage to the objective, a chip of around 10mm to the outer edge, so it has been stopped down (removable) to 80mm f19, i have a few jobs to do to it prior to a proper first light report, but i can see it being a wonderful lunar and planet scope, not to mention double stars, i plan to update this thread as i perform mods and improvements, incidentally i have just found a complete new lens/objective for sale, but at twice what i paid for the whole scope!

#2 jrbarnett

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 01:13 PM

Excellent.

Keep us posted. Also an image of the damage would be great. It may be something you could mask off short of actually having to stop the scope down.

Also, if you have the Antares OTA, it already stops the objective down to about 94-95mm, so if the damage is in the outer 10mm, you could probably just black it out and not even know it was there so long as you continue to use the stock tube assembly.

Congratulations. These are find double star scopes; generally excellent optical figure quality and a long focal length/slow focal ratio, which in combination are a recipe for minimizing atmospherically induced shifts in focus. really good optics and really slow optics have this characteristic. Really good, really slow optics are doubly blessed in this regard.

You will get some false color on bright blue-white stars, and on other bright targets above 100x, but it's not that bad, and certainly doesn't undo the other virtues of the scope. But she's a long beast. What are you mounting her on?

- Jim

#3 ValeryD

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 01:33 PM

Just paint the chip by a black. No real impact on image.

#4 Bonco

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 04:23 PM

Ditto on covering the chip or like Jim said if close to the edge it might have no effect on performance. Check it out before you do anything. I'd try it on the moon, if the chip causes a flare or glare then I'd consider covering it. The Antares scope has excellent optics and is a joy to use if properly mounted.
Bill

#5 ValeryD

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 11:19 PM

Ditto on covering the chip or like Jim said if close to the edge it might have no effect on performance. Check it out before you do anything. I'd try it on the moon, if the chip causes a flare or glare then I'd consider covering it. The Antares scope has excellent optics and is a joy to use if properly mounted.
Bill


The chip MUST be painted black! It will scatter the light IN ANY CASE. The % of scattering on a painted black chip vs unpainted one is much much less and will be undetectable for an eye.
Not a big deal - to paint it. A few minutes. A black nail polish paint is just OK.

#6 nightfisher

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 12:26 AM

I have considered painting the chip, and yes it is right at the edge of the inner lens flint, so as these are stopped down to start with, very little lost, other than the chip, the optics are like new

#7 GlenM

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 11:52 AM

Jules,

Another refractor. You will have to stop at some point. There just isn't a cure is there? :grin:

Don't forget that Richard is now selling kits for the Carton F/13 :p

#8 nightfisher

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 02:44 PM

Jules,

Another refractor. You will have to stop at some point. There just isn't a cure is there? :grin:

Don't forget that Richard is now selling kits for the Carton F/13 :p


I know, and a friend of mine has just got the complete f13 carton.
regarding mount, i currently have an EQ5/CG5 combo, but have plans to go HEQ5/CG5 very soon, it needs a decent mount!
Agood friend and fellow refractor fan has happily agreed to help with a few mods, to help get the best from it, i will downsize a pic tomorrow and post it on here

#9 DaveTinning

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 02:53 PM

Hi Jules,

As Glen says, there is NO cure. My affliction started with 60mm F15-16 Prinz optics scopes in the 70s, made by Towa.

Let me tell you a little story: and if you hate me afterwards, it won't be as much as I hate myself each time I remember it!.. In 1991 my late father left me a modest sum to specifically buy a telescope..I had been out of the hobby for about 20 years, (work, wife, bills to pay, enough said). One day I was on business in Liverpool and went past a shop called "Scope City". I had never heard of it, but noticed a really nice looking telescope in the window on what looked like a huge wooden tripod.

Intrigued, I walked in the shop and asked the man there what it was. He said "it's a Unitron 4" folded refractor, but here in Europe they are sold under the Polarex name". I'd heard of Unitron, of course, seen adverts etc and thought "if only"..but never heard of Polarex. And this was a short, fat tube, more like a Maksutov (due to the folded optics of course - it was an F15).

But I could tell it was a beautifully engineered piece, with two lovely wooden crates to pack it into..the mount was a work of art and it came with 5 eyepieces and a turret! One of the eps was definitely at 2", a big beast, and the others I think were 0.965".

So I asked the guy how much and he said £495. I took it then and there and it took up the entire whole rear seat of my car, packed into the two boxes.

But I thought that refractors are long slim scopes, not fat ones..so I hatched a plan to have it customised. I contacted Orion Optics UK (who make the OMC140 Mak and other fine reflectors) and asked them to test the lens to see if it was worth building a bespoke long tube, using the original lens cell and focuser/finder. They said the lens was good..not outstanding, but good, and they quoted me £150 to build the tube. And they even put UNITRON in black lettering on the tube!

So, I ended up with an F15 long tube folded European Unitron. And like an idiot, I trashed the old components of the folded original tube, instead of keeping them (we learn about these things when we are too old!).

I used the scope a fair bit for about 3 years (I had very young children then) but eventually cash was tight and I sold her for £400 through Sky at Night magazine in 1994 (no internet or CN then!). The same day the magazine hit the stands I got a guy who said he'd take it and would drive up that day to pick it up. Sure enough he arrived later that day, gave me the cash and almost ran out of the house..

That scope was a work of art, even in folded form. I dread to think what it might have been worth now, in mint condition as it was. The accessories were superb and everything was just so "right" about that scope. It wasn't the best I've ever looked through, but it "felt" the best, if you understand what I mean.

Ever since I've been totally hooked on long focus fracs. Even my Stargazers Lounge handle is "F15 Rules"!

I totally understand your being so thrilled with this scope. I wish you many happy, and thrilling nights with this lovely instrument.

kind regards

Dave

#10 jrbarnett

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 03:46 PM

105/1500 on a CG5 with Antares 48" Pier:

Posted Image

I also now have the 60" version of the pier and prefer it for the following reason:

Posted Image

The CG5 mount with VSPs is good enough for this long but very lightweight OTA.

Regards,

Jim

#11 GlenM

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:05 PM

Jules,
Just how many fracs do you own at the moment? :grin:
Looking forward to the pics. I'm sure that the optics will not let you down. My personal preferences for mounts are Alt/az for long focus refractors,but that's just me.
Those Carton lenses sure are very good. I've not seen a bad one yet. Of course you HAVE to use Ortho's with them.

Dave,

Wasn't the shop on Bold Street in Liverpool? I was there quite a few years ago when they were altering all the traffic flow and ended up in the bus station :crazy
I wondered what all the strange looks were for.

#12 Ain Soph Aur

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:15 PM

Don't forget that Richard is now selling kits for the Carton F/13 :p


Details? Link? Thanks!

#13 GlenM

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:22 PM

Richard placed a ad on www.ukastrobuysell.com
Around the third page.

#14 jrbarnett

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:23 PM

http://skylight.myshopify.com/

Regards,

Jim

#15 GlenM

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:25 PM

Thanks,Jim,much better than my link.

#16 Rutilus

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:57 PM

At the moment I'm starting to make a refractor based onthe Carton 100mm f/13 lens.
When complete I will be testing it head to head with several Chinese Achro's and a very nice APO.
Will be interesting to see how well it does. Here is a shot of the lens fitted in the cell assembly I made.

Attached Files



#17 GlenM

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 06:10 PM

Looking very good. I've never used a wooden counter cell myself.

There are some very good Chinese Achro's now available. Some of them much better than a badly designed ED.

You may be surprised by some of them.

Enjoy your build.

#18 nightfisher

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 11:52 AM

Dave, what a moving but sickening tale of the polarex, we will talk more on email.
Jim, i guess you still have your 105 f15, what focuser does your one have, my one has been fitted with a skywatcher dual speed crayford, but i dont have enough out focus, this is being remedied.
Glen, I have three refractors, the antares, or "spirit" as i have named it, the Ta100rs and my Vixen 80m custom, though i might have to sell the vixen now.
HEQ5 mount being sorted, on CG5 tripod

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#19 jrbarnett

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 02:15 PM

Jules, mine came with the GSO dual speed Crayford, which I eventually replaced with a GSO single speed Crayford, though I also have a Synta 2" R&P on hand that I may give a go on the scope. It looks like it will bolt straight on.

As for outfocus, yes the 1500mm f.l. units were deliberately built a bit short. Originally they shipped with a 2" long extension tube with a 2" compression fitting. You can see that here:

Posted Image

I typically use a 1.25" Vixen prism diagonal with mine, though I have also used 2" mirror diagonals with it. With the prism diagonal at least, the extension is a "must use" item.

Another little trick I recommend is using a high-bond epoxy or similar to permanently affix thin metal washers around each of the three holes where the rear assembly attaches to the main tube, to reinforce the rather thin walls at those stress points.

Regards,

Jim

#20 iceblaze

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 02:28 PM

Fantastic looking scopes.. I'd buy one if I could find one! :grin:

#21 nightfisher

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 02:40 PM

Jules, mine came with the GSO dual speed Crayford, which I eventually replaced with a GSO single speed Crayford, though I also have a Synta 2" R&P on hand that I may give a go on the scope. It looks like it will bolt straight on.

As for outfocus, yes the 1500mm f.l. units were deliberately built a bit short. Originally they shipped with a 2" long extension tube with a 2" compression fitting. You can see that here:

Posted Image

I typically use a 1.25" Vixen prism diagonal with mine, though I have also used 2" mirror diagonals with it. With the prism diagonal at least, the extension is a "must use" item.

Another little trick I recommend is using a high-bond epoxy or similar to permanently affix thin metal washers around each of the three holes where the rear assembly attaches to the main tube, to reinforce the rather thin walls at those stress points.

Regards,

Jim


Jim, many thanks for that post, as you can see mine is missing the extension, i think i have cured the problem, had a rare "eureka" moment and have just fitted a 2" diagonal with a 1.25 reducer, this will lengthen the light path, now all i need is some clear night skies (so rare in the UK)

#22 GlenM

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:22 PM

Very nice,Jules.

Just be careful with it if you are under the flight path for Leeds/Bradford.

Just something about a long focus refractor. They do look majestic.

Clear Skies forecast as well this weekend :)

I'm not doing well because I've never looked through any of your present refractors. I don't name my scopes but somehow they do receive one sometimes while building.

#23 jrbarnett

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:50 PM

James, if I ever get bored of mine, I'll bequeath it to you.

:winky:

- Jim

#24 John Huntley

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 06:13 PM

Great looking scope Jules :)

On the subject of refractors "looking right", last night I had the opportunity to do a little filming with a regional TV network who were putting together a montage of leisure activities in our region of the UK - astronomy being one of them.

I assembled along with half a dozen members of the local astro society, all of whom had bought their dobs and SCT's. For the sake of portability I had bought my refractor on a simple alt-az mount along and guess which scope the TV company wanted to feature most ? - my refractor of course !

I felt a little embarrassed for the good folks who had lugged their nice scopes to the filming spot - especially when one of the TV crew said that the SCT's looked too much like the filming lights and could confuse the viewers :smirk:

My ED120 refractor (hope it's not one of the "badly designed ED's" that Glen refers to !) has only half the focal ratio that your Antares does though - I imagine the TV folks would have gone berserk if I'd shown up with something twice the length :grin:

Looking forward to first light reports on your lovely new instrument soon :)

#25 nightfisher

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 10:58 PM

Very nice,Jules.

Just be careful with it if you are under the flight path for Leeds/Bradford.

Just something about a long focus refractor. They do look majestic.

Clear Skies forecast as well this weekend :)

I'm not doing well because I've never looked through any of your present refractors. I don't name my scopes but somehow they do receive one sometimes while building.


will have to see what we can do to change this situatiion glen ;)






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