What's the drill with this scope? If a 4" refractor is suitable for various authors to use in publishing books about the Messier objects, how much different could at 3.5" be? According to the article in "Better View Desired," the C90 offers basically perfect color correction, 3.5" of resolution, 3.25" of brightness, and the contrast of a 60mm. That last may not be much to brag about, but for a lightweight rig used more for practicing finding Messier objects than studying them in detail, may not be so bad. Portability is key here. A C90 would not replace my C8, nor would it need to.
So, here's the first picture. This C90 is a black tube with helical focuser and a 0.965" visual back (if it's called that when it is integral to the scope). One respected opinion is that it was made by Vixen in Japan; can anyone attest to that? The undersized tripod is what I had on hand, but the case would be sold with the scope. No eyepieces or diagonal are included, so I used a set from my Jason 313. It will not focus with the extra back focus created when using a 0.965'-to-1.25" adapter before a 1.25" diagonal, so I'd need to buy a good hybrid diagonal. I suspect the optics are excellent, but can not confirm so by star test with the junky high-powered eyepieces currently at my disposal. I must say, the detail seen a mile and further away in daylight was astonishing!
Before I questioned whether he might like to sell it to me, the seller commented that the focuser was so tight that it was impossible to focus without knocking the scope off its target. I'd think that's a matter of cleaning away old grease and relubing with Mobil 1 Synthetic Grease (any other recommendations?). He also said that he paid little for it, because it "had problems," but I suspect he and the former owner were simply baffled by the need to use a diagonal. It will not focus when viewed straight through. The seller bought his dream Questar Birder, and so has no further use for the C90.
I have found no indication of where the scope was made. Torrance would be cool, Japan perfectly acceptable, but maybe not China in this vintage. What do I have here, a "Classic," or a "used telescope," and how much is it worth?