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Orion/Vixen 102FL refractor

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#1 Grava T

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:03 PM

Hello all. I'm not sure if this scope is considered a classic yet but I thought I would post it here anyhow.

I came across a really good deal on one of these telescopes and I could not pass it up. Practically unused and it comes with a Vixen GP mount with drives and polar scope. I have heard nothing but great things about this scope and I am really looking forward to picking it up this coming Saturday.
I'll post some photos when I get it.

Not sure if I will be able to keep it or not. Either I sell most of my classics and keep this one or keep the classics and sell the Vixen. :bawling: What to do?

#2 terraclarke

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:51 PM

It is definitely a keeper. I wish I woulda kept mine. Had the same scope (Vixen) mount combination.it is truly a wonderful scope. It's the kind of scope that if you could,have only one telescope, that would be it. Keep it for sure. You would regret letting that one get away for a long time. Did it come with the 20mm LV eyepiece? That is a beautiful eyepiece. It should also have the 50 mm finder. Mine had a 1.25 inch focuser as I remember (actually the focuser tube was larger and non-standard if I remember correctly but it had a 1.25 inch threaded tail piece that came with it. All the "trim" was a pale mint metallic green kind of like a Pentax.

#3 bob midiri

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 03:29 AM

Im in the same boat as Terra. I had the Celestron/Vixen black tube version on the SP mount. Still kicking myself for selling that scope to fund a 120ED...which never really filled its shoes. bob

#4 starman876

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:22 AM

It is a nice scope. Mine might be sold at my estate sale someday :shameonyou: :shameonyou:

#5 terraclarke

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:58 AM

:bawling: I'm moving on

#6 Da Bear

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:19 PM

I've looked through three of 'em. 2 were just wondeful, and the third had AP/ Tak class optiics that were just stunning. I asked to purchase the scope, but the owner knew what a keeper he had.

Da Bear

#7 starman876

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:35 PM

Cannot agree with you more

#8 chrisastro8

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 03:11 PM

Its definitely a keeper in my opinion. I've owned my Vixen 102 FL for about 5 years now, been tempted to sell a few times and am always glad I didn't. The longer I keep this scope in particular the more attached I become - I have logged many a special occasions through this scope, just last week the lunar / Jupiter close encounter...

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#9 Grava T

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 07:10 PM

Everyone seems to have nothing but positive remarks for this telescope. Can't wait to get it. The only other 4" refractor I have viewed through was a Televue Genesis.

I have a Super Polaris mount...how does the GP compare? Is it that much bigger?


Nice photo Chris.

#10 terraclarke

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 07:22 PM

I've never had a SP but as I remember my brothers, it doesn't have a dovetail clamp. Other than that the GP isn't much bigger if at all, it's just a bit "spiffier."

#11 orion61

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 07:48 PM

I had one that was OK,
I still have the 80mm which is even better! I have never seen better airy discs in any scope. it truly runs out of light before it breaks down.
I have a Meade 102 ED/APO that is better than my Vixen 102.
BUT at 2x the cost.. but they are coming down, I have seen the ED's sell for as little as $350.00 a true steal.. the Vixens are a Classic.. you will love it.

#12 Pete-LH

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:40 AM

For the SP mount the rings attach directly to the mount head. You can also get at saddle that will attach to the mount head so that you can use the dovetail. The SP mount will have no problem to carry the OTA's weight. I have the FL90S and have used it on an SP and GP as well as the TAK Lapides Teegul Mount. It is quite comparable to the TAK FS-102 but the OTA is much lighter. I came close to seling the FL90S trying to downsize but it is tough to let go, Instead I bought another Vixen, A custom 90M F/11 ... Plan to enjoy maing the comparisons ...

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#13 Grava T

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 07:44 PM

Thanks everyone. I will have the scope by tomorrow afternoon but won't get a chance to post pics most likely until Monday.

#14 sky_dave

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 09:23 PM

I'm getting buried with mine!

#15 strdst

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 10:20 PM




Not sure if I will be able to keep it or not. Either I sell most of my classics and keep this one or keep the classics and sell the Vixen. :bawling: What to do?


Hmmm, such a nice classic telescope signature you have. :gotpopcorn:

#16 Grava T

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 07:13 AM

I got the telescope and it is just awesome! I'll get a chance to post photos in the next couple of days.

Keith, most all my classics will be up for sale soon but it may take a little while to find suitable boxes and packing materials to safely ship. Especially the 77mm Eikow, it's in a large wooden case. It's going to hurt to see them all go but I have always wanted a quality 4" refractor and don't have the room to keep them all. :(

#17 bob midiri

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 07:18 AM

Awesome Michael, I wish you much success with it. bob

#18 Littlegreenman

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 02:51 PM

Roland Christen on an Astromart thread several years ago referred to those scopes as having a "honey of a lens." I tried to find the thread; it was the history of the Celestron Vixen doublets.

ATMBM (According to my bad memory) the original idea for the lens was an American designer who was showing the design around RTMC. Celestron was interested, and talked to Vixen about it. By the way, this was not the first Fluorite doublet design. Vixen's response was skeptical, they were thinking that high end telescopes were less profitable than other items they made. Toys were specifically mentioned. They also suggested changing the non-fluorite element to another glass that was cheaper, to save money. IFIC that change made no difference visually, but may have made some for astrophotography. Celestron committed to buying a minimum number, and the project went forward. Plans to also offer larger fluorite doublets never materialized, but 70, 80, and 90mm sized were offered. What I would give for a 120 or 130 Vixen Flourite doublet!

If anyone can correct of confirm my facts, please feel free.

LGM

#19 Littlegreenman

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 03:11 PM

Let me correct myself. Here are two paragraphs that Mr. Crhisten posted on Astromart on the history of the Vixen-Celestron doublets. I emailed these to a friend in 2009, and the original post was already a few years old. I tried searching on Google to find in on Astromart to no avail:

"I can tell you a bit more of the history of this scope. I met Mike Simmons back in 1982 at the Riverside Telescope conference. Mike was the designer of the Edmund Astroscan and the Simak and Astromak, and designed the first GoTo systems for Celestron and Meade.

"Mike had done some design work for Celestron, and suggested to them a fluorite doublet using CaF2 and ZKN7 to produce a totally color-free 102mmF8 doublet. I saw the prototype of this scope and the views through this lens was awesome. Zero color on any object, including Venus and Sirius - just like a mirror. He suggested that Celestron work with the Japanese to produce this lens in 4", 5" and 6" versions. At the time, Celestron was working with Vixen, and they were eager to compete with Takahashi and basically out-do them. Unfortunately the Chairman at Vixen was more interested in producing small scopes for kids at reasonable prices, so the design was modified. The expensive ZKN7 design was ditched in favor of using KzFN2 glass, which produced some color error, but was much easier and cheaper to produce. Vixen's chairman felt that the market for a kid's telescope was larger than that for dedicated amateurs, so he never pursued the higher end of the market. He did not care at all about imaging, thus the scope came with 1.25" hardware, and only later was a 2" back added so you could attach a 35mm camera.

"The lens, of course was made for Vixen by Canon's Optron division, same place that was making the Tak lenses. The fact that the Vixen was F9 allowed it to have somewhat better correction than the 100mm F8 Tak lenses, and many amateurs in Japan felt that it was a better overall lens than the Tak FC100.

Rolando"

Interestingly, some Takahashi fl doublet scopes have listed for sale on Astomart in the past few years, touting the desirableness of the scope having no-longer-available Kzfnz glass.

Now I'm drooling over the thought of a 6" Vixen Fl doublet, with the originally designed matching glass.

LGM

#20 EverlastingSky

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 03:27 PM


LGM, I did a specific google search within the astromart domain for an exact segment of the text and found this link to the post: C102F can't come to focus

A very interesting discussion thread. I'll spend more time searching the Astromart forums in future. Thanks LGM!

#21 Grava T

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:37 PM

Thanks for interesting info on the telescope guys. The C102F thread on the Astromart forums speaks highly of the lens and after the short first light tonight I can understand why. All I can say is Oh My God! I never knew a four inch telescope could show so much detail. Of course it could never compete with the resolution of my eight inch dob but it comes close and no diffraction spikes!

Jupiter was so sharp at 131x. I could see swirls and slight colour variations in the cloud bands and no CA what so ever. I still can't believe it's only four inches. Star clusters like M35 and NGC 884 and 869, with my 19mm Panoptic, were a sprinkle of stars on a pitch black back ground. I'm very impressed with the views so far.

It was about -16C tonight so I didn't stay out too long. The GP mount is nice but I would like to have the pier extension. I can extend the legs for extra height but the mount is a little less stable like that. Movements are pretty stiff at these temps also but not so bad.

I was also a little paranoid about bringing the scope back inside from the freezing temps outside. I read that the fluorite lens can be a little sensitive to extreme temperature variations like the -16C outside to +20C inside. I wrapped a thick towel around the objective before I brought it inside and let it warm slowly before removing it. Not sure if it made a difference or not but the lens is still intact.

Now I understand why you folks are drooling over those 5" and 6" apos.

#22 actionhac

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:20 PM

Here are some good care tips:
http://www.astro-phy.../care_refractor

I have the Celestron version and I use it a lot with no problems with the Fluorite. The Fluorite element is the inside element.
Its an amazing scope as your finding.
I use a Celestron Ultima 2X barlow, and mostly Celestron Ultima eyepieces with this scope and it all works great together.

Robert

#23 Littlegreenman

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:00 PM

EverlastingSky,

You know some search tips I don't know!
Thanks,
LGM

#24 Grava T

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:05 AM

Thanks Robert. I definitely need a case and some higher power eyepieces now.

#25 Grava T

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:50 AM

Finally got around to taking some photos. The telescope is in mint condition and not a mark or scratch anywhere. Not even a single dew spot or mark of any kind on the objective. I don't think it got used more than a couple of times. The original owner never had the RA motor installed correctly so I don't think that was ever used. Took me 5 minutes to get that fixed. I don't want to repeat the price I paid because I think you will all hate me. :step:

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