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#1 mnpd

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 11:53 PM

I have a hypothetical question. A certain telescope has been in continual production for a half-century. You could buy the telescope 50 years ago; you can buy it today.

Is the telescope a classic? Or can it not be a classic because it is still in production? Or are the older telescopes considered classics, while the newer production runs are excluded from the definition?

The reason I ask is because I just ran across a Questar on eBay. These things have been around since the 50's. The bidders on this auction are already going berserk on this thing and the price will surely go past the Moon!

#2 Darenwh

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 12:06 AM

Some scopes can stay in production and still be classics.
Keep in mind this will of course depend on the individuals definition of Classic. An example of a scope that can be a classic by my def and is still in production would be the Questar scopes and even some scopes you may not expect. Edmunds Astroscan is one, I would even (and I will probably get flamed here) count the origional Skywatcher, 6" refractors as one. Why, because these are scopes that have attained cult status in one way or another. The Questar is the ultimate little scope we all wanted (and most still do) as a kid. The Astroscan is a classic for it's innovative design that just never grows old. And the Skywatcher because it, and it's little brother (4"), can arguably be blamed for the huge refractor boom of larger and less expensive scopes that is currently going on and has now started including huge numbers of well made but inexpensive APO scopes. Sure, it is no where near a rare scope and it does not pull down the respect of other classics but give it twenty years or so and one of these scopes in pristine condition, whether it has the Skywatcher name or another such as Celestron CR150HD, and people will likely be scrambling to own one of these.

Keep in mind though that most people look at a classic as being of a certain age so newer versions may not be considered classics even if the design has never changed.

Still others will look for a scope that was unique in some way or was an exceptional scope for it's time.

Others think of classics as needing to be out of production but of course, in the end, it depends on the individual.



#3 George N

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 12:40 PM

..... because these are scopes that have attained cult status in one way or another. The Questar is the ultimate little scope we all wanted (and most still do) as a kid....


I know some otherwise very un-emotional friends who go weak in the knees whenever the conversation centers on anything “Questar”. I’m sure that the winner of the auction in question will get his/her $$ back, and then some, if they ever re-sell the telescope.

#4 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 01:30 PM

I think the Questar is a classic because it is a classic...

For me, I don't see the Skwatchers as classics.. I must be missing something. Aren't these just Synta scopes like the ones Celestron and Orion sell? Is there anything SkyWatcher has sold that wasn't first sold by Celetron or Orion?? The 4 inch Synta was a copy of the Vixen/Celestron C102,... I must be missing something somewhere.

Don't get me wrong, I think these are decent scopes but they are no more classic than a Zhummell DOB, both are a great value and a reasonable scope.

On the other hand, I think just about any Astro-Physics telescope is a classic the moment it leaves the shop, I am quite sure in 100 years, these scopes will be looked upon as we look upon Clarks today...

But the Questar, it's a classic...

The AstroScan, I have mixed thoughts there... It was an innovative design but it was not their design, it was copied from an ATM... And the implimentation of that design is contrary to my aesthetics...

But hey, my definition of a classic: "Any scope someone thinks is a classic" so these must all be classics.

Jon

#5 Darenwh

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 02:39 PM

The Synta/Skywatcher/Celestron is really to new to qualify 100%, true, but even though they did just come out with a scope that had been done better before (Vixez/Celestron C102), along with a 6" big brother to the 4", what really makes them a classic is the price point they brought these in at combined with meeting demand at a reasonable quality level, resulting in an explosion of 'Refractoritus.' Without this scope, the large number of refractors that are available today would likely not exist. That is what makes these scopes a classic, the very large effect it has had in the industry and hobby.

The questar is a classic for the same reasons that Tak and a few other high end refractors are. They represent the cream of the crop in their design with near perfect execution, making their scopes timeless in their performance. Obsession Dobs would likely be in the same league. Portaballs, would also be considered classics, both because of the fact they brought the ball scope concept to the market and because of exceptional quality in their execution of design. Though all of these scopes (with the exception of Portaball?) are still in production, their design and execution make them classics or 'Classics in the making'.

Of course, in the end the term 'CLASSIC', when applied to Telescopes, is such a huge moving target that it becomes impossible to nail down and really up to the individual to define for themselves.

#6 John Jarosz

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 05:26 PM

I think the only test that is meaningful here is the test of time.

People can (and do!) anticipate something being a classic.

But (IMHO) time is the best judge, bacause it allows many different people to judge something against the best things that are contemporary with their time on earth. If enough people agree, then something can be accepted as a classic.

John

#7 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 05:53 PM

>>>The Synta/Skywatcher/Celestron is really to new to qualify 100%, true, but even though they did just come out with a scope that had been done better before (Vixez/Celestron C102), along with a 6" big brother to the 4", what really makes them a classic is the price point they brought these in at combined with meeting demand at a reasonable quality level, resulting in an explosion of 'Refractoritus.' Without this scope, the large number of refractors that are available today would likely not exist. That is what makes these scopes a classic, the very large effect it has had in the industry and hobby.
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Having owned the 120mm F/8.3 and a 102mm F/9.8 versions of the Synta refractors I have to say I think they are too cheezy, particularly the focuser, to ever be a "classic."

If any of the Synta refractors might be considered a "classic" or a leader, I would think it would be the ST-80. This was a unique scope that really opened up the world of the small widefield refractor and I would guess there are many of us who were enjoyed the ST-80 before moving on to better quality scopes.

jon

#8 twhite

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 06:09 PM

Jon,

The only problem with that is that it was made by Vixen first. The Celestron/Vixen SS-80 was far superior in both optical and mechanical quality to anything Synta manufactured.

I do agree that the Synta 80 f/5 did bring a lot of people back to the hobby. An inexpensive, reasonably good-quality rich field scope that could be used on anything from a photo tripod to a GEM caused something of a renaissance in amatuer astronomy, and opened the door for all the 'starter apos' (e.g. 80ED) when that percentage of ST80 buyers got hooked on the hobby and started moving up.

Now it's going to be interesting to see how they respond for all the 80ED/100ED owners when *they* are ready to move up.

Tony

#9 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 07:21 PM

>>>I do agree that the Synta 80 f/5 did bring a lot of people back to the hobby. An inexpensive, reasonably good-quality rich field scope that could be used on anything from a photo tripod to a GEM caused something of a renaissance in amatuer astronomy, and opened the door for all the 'starter apos' (e.g. 80ED) when that percentage of ST80 buyers got hooked on the hobby and started moving up.
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Tony:

For me, I was deep into this hobby but the ST-80 really opened me up to refractors, particularly small, fast refractors. My previous experience had been with 60mm F/15's and F/11s.

I think another classic are early C-8's including the orange tubers.

Jon

#10 Jae

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 09:51 PM

Wasn't the Brandon 80mm "seeing is believing" scope before the ST80's ? I picked one up around early 80's and that like Jon got me hooked on small fast refractors. I really wanted the AP 4" F6 that was offered a few months after I bought the Brandon.

Jae

#11 twhite

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 10:06 PM

Jon,

I understand exactly what you mean. I went through a few of those richfield achromats (and still have a couple). The SS60 (Cometron), SS80, the Apogee WideStar II triplet (another scope I wish I'd never sold).

Jae,

I assume you mean the 80 f/6, not the f/5.6 (Master Birder).

I honestly don't know which one was first. My SS80 was from the same vintage as the early C102F... so, yes, you may be right that the Brandon was first.

How's my baby Blue? :)

#12 Jae

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 10:35 PM

Tony,

Yep, the 80 f/6, I really liked the early one, then I traded in for a MB and...don't get me started. I'm still looking for a decent lens to fit in it.

The baby Blue is in good hands and got a bigger brother to keep it company.

#13 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 10:40 PM

>>>Jon,

I understand exactly what you mean. I went through a few of those richfield achromats (and still have a couple). The SS60 (Cometron), SS80, the Apogee WideStar II triplet (another scope I wish I'd never sold).
----

I went through several and after a spell bought a TV Pronto which has served me well. A while back I bought an ED-80 and the Pronto has been in retirement. I recently replaced the ED-80 with a WO Megrez II "Fluorite" and decided to sell not only the ED-80 but the Pronto as well...

But when I inspected the Pronto, well, it is such a beautifully made scope, I could not bear parting with it. I think most TeleVue scopes will be considered classics, simply because of their role in the development of high quality refractors and also because of their inharent beauty, not so pretty like the WO Megrez but a deeper beauty.

Jon

#14 twhite

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 10:46 PM

Jae,

Did you get Ron's 130? I hope so. I missed that...

I'm thinking about selling my other Brandon now anyway. I never use it... :( I'd probably regret it if I did it, though.

Jon,

I never had a Pronto. The only TV scope I ever had was a TV85. It was my first 'travel' scope. It was okay, but it doesn't compare to my current travel scope -- the Traveler. :D

The TV scopes are definitely pretty and pretty well made. No question about that.

Tony

#15 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 05:10 AM

>>>Jon,

I never had a Pronto. The only TV scope I ever had was a TV85. It was my first 'travel' scope. It was okay, but it doesn't compare to my current travel scope -- the Traveler.

The TV scopes are definitely pretty and pretty well made. No question about that.

Tony
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The Traveler is my "Dream scope." Maybe someday when I am comfortable spending that kind of money from our savings but for now, I am happy with an 80mm APO with a ~600mm focal length.

I have to believe that the Traveler is a classic already.

Jon

#16 Jae

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 07:38 AM

Tony,
Not Ron's but from a local guy. First impression is that color correction is better than the 94. I probably won't hold on to it for too long. I regretted selling my first 94 but there seems to be a few good ones around to get it back. Then when do get it back it's kind of like before....:lol:
Jae

#17 Bonco

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 03:55 PM

The original TeleVue Genesis 4inch f/5 I think was the trend setter that played a huge role in popularizing short focus widefield scopes.
Bonco

#18 twhite

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 03:58 PM

Short focus widefield ED/apo-class scopes, I'd agree.


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