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Optica b/c telescopes

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#1 habsburg8

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 03:39 PM

Optica b/c was a household name among amateur astronomers during the 1960s. Their products, imported from Japan, are of the very highest quality. Today there are many collectors of Optica's astronomical items.

Eyepieces seem to be the most commonly available items on the secondary market. Complete telescopes are much rarer. I currently own their 4-inch and 6-inch pedestal Newtonians. For a brief discussion about the 6-inch reflector telescope type in www.rca-omsi.org/ When in the Rose City Astronomer's website click on Newsletter at the middle top of their webpage. From the archived back issues of the newsletter select the April 2007 issue and look at an article called "A LUNAR GALLERY--IV."

How many of our members own either a 4-inch or 6-inch Optica b/c reflector? I have found that the quality of these Japanese Royal Astro Optical Industries Co., Ltd. products imported by Optica b/c of Oakland, Calif. to be outstanding. The optical and mechanical performance is simply extravagant!

#2 Don W

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 04:15 PM

They also had an extensive line of visual filters, not just the plain jane colors but the inbetween colors and interference filters. A fellow astronomer had the entire set. It was over 100 filters. I also had a couple of their camera adapters and most prized of all, a Herschel Wedge for solar viewing. It's all gone now, but I'm negotiating to get the Herschel Wedge back.

#3 refractory

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 05:23 PM

Over on Amart there is an Optica b/c spectroscope being offered. I almost purchased an old GOTO Kogaku spectroscope a while back, this seems MUCH fancier (I would guess that the boxy housing has a second reference tube with scale).

Jess Tauber

#4 trainsktg

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 06:56 PM

No scopes, but I have 8 glass color filters, a glass Moon filter, 3 40-degree coated Huygenian EPs and an EP extender, all 0.965". Excellent quality, and I use them almost exclusively with my smaller scopes instead of a hybrid diagonal and 1.25" EP.

Their 100-page+ filter book is also second to none in technical information.

Keith

#5 Bonco

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 07:40 PM

I have their 1975 catalog and price list.
Bonco

#6 BHunt

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 08:57 PM

Keith,
How do the b/c eyepieces compare to pentax or Zeiss?
Bill

#7 trainsktg

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 09:10 PM

Huygenians have the nice design feature of only having two thin elements, and these are coated to boot. The images are very bright. They do have a slight ghost that in these examples' cases is almost unnoticable. The 40 degre AFOV is pretty generous for a Huygenian as well. The closest Zeiss I have from the same era (more of less) is a 1.25 10mm ortho from the 50's, uncoated. Comparing a 12mm Optica to the 10mm Zeiss, I'd have to say the Zeiss wins...but that counts all factors like eye relief, AFOV, etc. Optically, the performance is near identical with the exception of the ghosting.

Keith

#8 Venetia2004

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 02:32 PM

Hi Guys,

I have a 4" Optica b/c (Royal LN-4E)aquired a while ago at E-bay. It is of superb quality.

Vic

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#9 FAB

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 03:10 PM

Over on Amart there is an Optica b/c spectroscope being offered. I almost purchased an old GOTO Kogaku spectroscope a while back, this seems MUCH fancier (I would guess that the boxy housing has a second reference tube with scale).

Jess Tauber


I purchased and still have an Optica B/C spectroscope in the midsixties. I believe its cost was around $50.00-$60.00. I rarely use it and it's in excellent condition. At the moment it's in the window of the local public library as part of an Astronomy Day display. I believe I posted a picture of it to CN a year or so ago. It's not for sale.
FAB

#10 habsburg8

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 09:35 PM

Did you acquire this 4-inch from Joseph S of Calif., a well-known and reputable telescope dealer? If so it was advertised for a very short time before that on craigslist in the San Francisco area. Still a bargain on Ebay for the quality.

If you have a vintage Tasco Model #7TE-5 60mm equatorial refractor the mounting head will fit directly onto the Optica b/c pier mounting. This particular combination, which I encourage collectors to try, greatly improves the stability of the Tasco (plus I like the appearance of Optica b/c piers). This particular combination can be seen by typing in www.rca-omsi.org/ When in the Rose City Astronomer's website click on Newsletter at the middle top of the webpage. From the archived pdf files of back issues of The Rosette Gazette look at the May 2006 issue for an article entitled "A LUNAR GALLERY."

I also purchased my Optica 4-inch from Ebay several years ago, but my unit has the additional electric motor drive (identical to Tasco's electric #7TE-5 synchronous drive). Optically and mechanically the Optica b/c 4-inch is beyond reproach.

#11 Venetia2004

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 12:03 AM

Yes, it was him. He seems to have an endless source of great vintage stuff.I buy from him often...One day I may even find a motor drive for my little Optica! I like piers too.I believe that all reputable classic refractors should have had piers instead of tripods...
I enjoy my little Optica very much, it's very portable. I think that there is also a 6" version.

#12 habsburg8

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 01:53 PM

Yes, I have the 6-inch version with motor drive. You can read about it by typing in www.rca-omsi.org/ Pick the April 2007 issue of The Rosette Gazette Newsletter and read an article called "A LUNAR GALLERY--IV." I took the images of Sinus Iridum and the Copernicus area through the Optica b/c 6-inch; the panoramic view of Mare Imbrium was taken through the companion Tasco 60mm #7TE-5. Both telescopes are Royal Astro Optical Industries Co., Ltd. imports from Tokyo, Japan. (Optica b/c acquired most of its quality refractors and reflectors from them.)

The Optica b/c 6-inch uses a metal tube assembly (like the 4-inch) of excellent quality. It has a rack-and-pinion 1.25-inch focuser, 12X40mm viewfinder, and includes an unusual "inspection-port" door near the mirror end of the tube. Optically it is the equivalent of a superb Criterion RV-6 6-inch and comes close to my Cave Astrola 6-inch f/8 in image quality.

The metal optical tube assembly is oversized so that upon first glance you might think it is an 8-inch. The mounting is a little undersized for the size and weight of the tube assembly. Everything down to the smallest nut and bolt is of the utmost quality!

Optical b/c also sold larger 8-inch and 10-inch Newtonians, but the cost was literally "astronomical."

#13 Venetia2004

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 03:21 PM

Hi John,
Great pictures! I did not know that the 6" Optica was f/8.7...
In 1979 $479 was good money,more expensive than a 6" Cave Astrola. It seems that the 6" Optica b/c version is rare, not speaking about the 8" or 10 ".

Vic

#14 Bonco

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 05:15 PM

Here's some prices from the 1975 catalog Newtonians and pier mounted:
4 inch F/10 $522.95
6 inch F/8.6 $1130.95
8 inch F/8 $6248.95
10 inch F7.2 $6369
12 inch F/7.5 Custom, price on request

Equitorial refractors:
60mm $417.95
76mm $572.95
108mm $1712
108mm Observatory refractor $4506.50
150mm Price on request

Hey don't you like those prices ending in .95 or .50 cents?
As you can see these were and are premium scopes, however I've never seen one.
Bonco

#15 Venetia2004

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 10:23 PM

Wow! Quality comes with a high price tag!

Vic :)


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