Pons Tri-Space Unveiled
Posted 04 January 2009 - 11:37 PM
Pons is an unusually talented man. I can stand there and watch him make a drafting sketch on a 2x2 table using nothing but a pencil, circle tool and a ruler and in ten minutes, the most brilliant masterpieces begin to form, whether it's a lens cell, a mount or any other telescope related part and it's almost bizarre that his mind works so swiftly.
I will show you guys pictures of the hand written letters from Roland Christen and the agony he went through to make such beautiful work come true and most of all, some of the most memorably etched, planetary views I've ever seen. Some of us remember the refractor vs. reflector thread, but the tri-space was an entire story in itself because by the time you finished the work and considered the time that went into the fabrication of the parts including the tri-space itself, you were about $12,000 deep. The tri-space produces zero magnification and utilises three elements cemented together. Roland said the work was so agonising at the time, that it would have actually been easier for him to make a three element objective lens instead, according to his letters I read from him. There are so many letters. People often ask me how Pons could afford all these things, but don't forget the time Pons took to create the work and have it made. He's been into this for 56 years now. I like to call Pons the Ponsmaster, because that's really what he is. Kids from the local church and schools would visit his house to view the Sun and Pons would educate them on the features they could see.
He's getting up there in age and sometimes I can't help but feel some emotion. The emotion of knowing that there are only a handful of individuals left from the classic era to look up to, a time when so much integrity went into the work. I asked Pons how he felt about today's work in the industry regarding planets. His response was that its odd to see so much processing with planets using computers and still being able to do it whether the scope had good optics or not. He said you couldn't get away with that back in the day. You had to design a good scope in order to see it good with your own eyes. Pons is a purist and he'll never see a computer in his life in fact he hasn't even seen the posts I've contributed to him.
Posted 04 January 2009 - 11:38 PM
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The 9" F-18 doublet on the left was designed by James G. Baker. The upper right is the 10" F-16 Zeiss doublet along with two additional 8" doublets objective. The 8" F-20 on the left was figured by Barry in a D&G cell but the upper brass piece was designed by Pons. The real zinger though is the 8" F-20 at the right. Pons is very attached to it and it was figured by George Carol. I've star tested this objective using a green filter and honestly can't tell which side is which after equilibration, which is really fast since the F-ratio is so long. The star test is that perfect. Pons doesn't care much for optical certifications unless it's for a specific purpose and he is strictly into the star test. It's all or nothing and it's obviously rubbed off on me since I feel the same way no matter what I'm testing.
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Posted 05 January 2009 - 01:08 AM
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Posted 05 January 2009 - 01:18 AM
Men like Pons are few and far between.
Posted 05 January 2009 - 01:26 AM
there must be 50,000 in lenses there and i would
feel privileged to look through any one of them.
oh well so much for my 4" unitron.
Posted 05 January 2009 - 01:31 AM