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Advice on old C8

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#1 N_DD

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:15 PM

Hi,

I have a second hand (...or maybe third or more?!) black Celestron C8 with a smooth (i. e. not "ribbed") back primary cell. I would like to know which model it is: a quick search through internet suggests it could be an Ultima8, although the one I have is just the OTA with a vixen-style dovetail and a 6x30 finder scope. There is no serial number on the secondary holder. Here is a picture. Could you help me identifying it?

Thanks,

Nico

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#2 rmollise

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:22 PM

If the finder is original, it ain't an Ultima 8. HOWEVER...the handle spells "Ultima 8," yes.

#3 orion61

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:28 PM

I beleive it is and yes those were some of Celestrons best optics....Untill Now.

#4 N_DD

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:42 PM

Thanks Rod and orion61,

hmm, the finder is marked "Japan" (see picture). Not sure if that is original... I suppose the previous owner(s) modded the scope quite a bit. Are there any other features I could look at to tell the model?

Nico

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#5 Geo.

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 07:19 PM

There are lots of models this could be from. The smooth back cell dates from 1989. Vixen accessories were being phased out at that time and replaced with stuff from Synta. The dovetail looks like a very rare flanged model designed for the C8's 1.75" O.C. rear cell mounting holes. The only one I've seen was on an early G8 - a C8 on a early Synta CG-5. The diamond knurling on the aluminum focus knob would be appropriate for that period, too. Later production got a rubber knob. I don't recall if the G-8 had the handle. I know the Nexstar 8GPS did.

OTOH the missing trunion arm hole plug screws suggest it was a fork mounted fork OTA. That means it could be ex-Ultima, C8 plus, Celestar 8, Celestar 8 Deluxe or Nexstar 8GPS. If it was an Ultima, Celestar 8 or Deluxe Nexstar 8GPS it should have a Fastar ready secondary cell. Not all C8 plus and Celestar 8 OTAs had Starbright Coatings, most of the others did. If there is an orange plastic cover on the secondary cell, it's not Fastar. Pry off the cover and there should be a serial number. Not to worry, most of these OTAs had pretty good optics. Fair market is about $450.

#6 rmollise

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 08:35 AM

But, again, the tipoff is the rear cell handle. This was _only_ on the Ultima 8. Not on the Celestar, inluding the Deluxe. It is NOT a GPS--the tube is the wrong type and the focuser is wrong. I believe somebody "liberated" the 50mm finder from this U8 at some time.

#7 apfever

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:38 AM

Nico,

Uncle Rod knows his stuff on SCTs and probably Celestrons in particular. He's the CAT guru.

Now lets get to up front and current. What you have IS a Celestron Ultima8, C8 OTA that has been removed from the forks. Here is a picture of mine and they are identical down to the rear cell mounting holes.

Yours has been removed from the forks. The dovetail rail was added. The reason you have the small finder is that the original one is a bit special illuminated 50mm Polar finder. That finder was probably kept by a previous owner or sold for a premium. You can see it in my picture.

These are indeed nice scopes for optics. The entire original mount, wedge, and tripod are very robust things. When Celestron jumped up to this model, there is a reason it was called the ULTIMA and the name fits. This model was Celestrons response to consumer request for a beefed up version of the C8 for photography stability with attention to excellence. I do not know for sure, but I've heard that Celestron favored this model for choice optics during assembly. Perhaps U. Rod or some one else can comment on that. I have a few Celestron C8, well had 3 ornage tubes at one time, still have one orange and an orange C5, and Meade LX200 8" GPS SMT UHTC NBC CBS and ABC. The Ultima just sneaks in better optical performance that ALL of them in my case.

Want to buy it? I have to let it go, I just have too many scopes. (yep, I said it!)

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#8 N_DD

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 10:53 AM

George, apfever

thanks a lot. As Rod already said, I too believe the finder went its own way. I checked and there are the threaded holes used to attach the OTA to the fork mount at the very same place as in your picture. I just realized that these are through-holes, leaving access to the OTA interior, so I will provide immediately to close them (thanks George for the picture!).
I will assume it is an Ultima 8. I will try and retrieve an original finder to put back on the OTA. At the moment I mounted the scope on a Vixen GP-E, and I have a rather portable setup. I am a bit afraid of a bulky fork mount: do you think it would improve the performance of the setup? Since this is my first scope (...well, excluding the ones I put together as a child using used old binoculars and microscopes...) I am still learning the basics!

Thanks,

Nico

#9 bremms

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 11:02 AM

The vixen finders are much better anyway. Just sayin' The 10x40 on my C11 is very sharp and shows fainter stars than the 8x50 on my D&G. The newer 8x50 Vixen on my VMC200 is very good too. Finders are better with F-ratios around 5-6. They have much sharper images than F4 finders.

#10 bob midiri

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 11:07 AM

Ive had a lot of finders thru the years, but the 10X40 orange finder from my Orange C14 is the sharpest, best finder ever had. bob

#11 jjbird

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:13 PM

Neil,
PM sent






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