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Early 90's orange tube C8

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#1 Namlak

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 05:24 PM

I've not seen any mention of these scopes, which interests me because I have one.

The word I've heard is that these were made special order for the Japanese market but the order was rejected because they were the wrong shade of orange and were subsequently dumped into the mail-order market as bare OTAs... which is exactly how I got mine circa 1992. The shade of orange of my 'scope is a brighter orange, less of a "pumpkin" orange of an original C8.

I'm not sure if "wrong shade of orange" means "not classic C8 orange" or maybe a special shade of orange that means something in Japanese culture as was implied by the person who told me that story. A quick Google search tells me that orange stands for Happiness and Love in Chinese and Japanese culture.

It also has the older style, ribbed rear cell.

Examination and comparisons by experienced observers says that mine is pretty good C8, optically. It has Starbright coatings. I used it on a Super Polaris mount until recently getting back into the astrophotography hobby, when I put it on an Atlas (which I love).

Does anybody have any more information on these scopes or can confirm/deny the Japanese-order story I have?

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#2 rmollise

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 05:31 PM

Never heard the Japanese story. The C8s OEMed to Vixen had white tubes, I recall. I do remember Celestron selling OT SPC8s through Orion for a very short time around 1990...

#3 orion61

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 11:47 AM

Celestron sold these for a short time in the late 80's or early 90's you could have your choice of the Black or orange
Remember they as were most telescope mfgrs coming off a Black eye a few years after Comet Halley.
The old Orange tubes had a good reputation, not so much the Black ones, I believe it was Marketing to boost sales.
The Orange was a bit different color because I called Celestron and they sent me a small bottle for touch up, it
didn't match my old tube at all. The old paint has a touch of brown in it, newer were brighter.
Celestrons optical quality was restored by that time.
You remember those ads in the back of S&T showing both colors don't you Rod? They called it the Classic back then.

#4 Geo.

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 01:23 PM

C8 OTs were made into 1982 or so, at least I had a Super C8 in orange go through my hands. It was textured paint and had Starbright coatings. SN was about 816000. The sandcast rear cell was phased out in 1989, so a 1992 purchase is not out of the question. That clucky rear cell on the Ultima adds about a pound and a half of useless weight. I guess machining a die in the traditional pattern would have been more costly.

#5 bremms

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 01:30 PM

I had one of those tube assy's for 4 years. Just sold it, very nice C8. Mine had good optics and a very nice finish.
The orange "Popped" more than the old one. More saturation and maybe less brown. Liked mine a lot.

#6 rmollise

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 02:15 PM

As I said, Celestron brought back the C8 OT for a short time at the end of the 80s/start of the 90s...this is likely one of those telescopes, not one of the originals.

#7 stevew

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:08 AM

As I said, Celestron brought back the C8 OT for a short time at the end of the 80s/start of the 90s...this is likely one of those telescopes, not one of the originals.

Rod's correct.
If I remember correctly it was called The "C8 Classic", available in black or orange.
I believe it came with a wedge but the tripod was "optional"

#8 rmollise

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:46 AM

Well...sorta. The 1990 Orange Tube I recall was on a Vixen GEM. I musta missed the one you are describing, a Classic with an Orange Tube. If I'd seen it I dang sure woulda bought one. :lol:

#9 stevew

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:23 PM

I suppose I'm thinking about a Celestron add from the mid to late 80's. I seem to remember their advertising a "Classic C8" available in orange or black.
I'll have to dig around in the crawl space this weekend and dig out some old Astro Mags.

Steve

#10 Namlak

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:27 PM

Interesting stories. I didn't pay much attention to the ads back then as I already had a Super Polaris mount (acquired from a friend) and was only shopping for an OTA. I remember these being advertised in the old-style microscopically-small print mail order ads towards the back of S&T magazine.

Mine is serial number 871121.

#11 stevew

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 05:50 PM

Here is a shot I took of the back cover of the May 1991 Sky and Telescope.
Both orange and black tubes were available at the same time.
So Rod is correct, the orange tubes came on the Vixen Super Polaris GEM.

Steve

#12 stevew

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 06:02 PM

I had a black tube version on the Vixen GEM.
What a great scope/mount combo. Much easier to cart around than the fork mounted version, and much easier to balance.

Steve

#13 Namlak

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 10:38 PM

That's great, Stevew!

It's interesting to note that mine came with the same mounting rail and piggyback camera mount but no carrying strap or front block on top and no orange center cap, although I do remember the (now lost) front cover had an orange center.

After experiencing my friend's early 70's C8 on forks, I was convinced to go with the Super Polaris. It worked great for me for many years (although the two-axis hand controller died and I had to engineer a new one from scratch - a fun engineering project, actually).

#14 Mike Foreman

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 03:07 PM

I have an orange C-8 that I bought in 1985 from a dealer in Richardson Texas (Jack Rank as in RKE).
He said at that time Celestron was changing to the Black tubes and he had bought the last batch of orange scopes.
The indication was they were making several changes to the line (I dont remember it it was Ultama or what).
He said they knew how to build the originals but the jury was still out on the new ones.
As it turned out they made several bu bu's along the way and later re-introduces the orange tubes.
My friend Wayne Renolds also bought from the same batch and we have always felt that these were just about the best C8's ever made. That is why we still have them.
Al Negler told Wayne at the TSP one year that his was the best he had ever looked through. (Al had a C8)






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