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How do our classic scopes comapre to modern?

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#1 BillinBallard

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Posted 24 January 2004 - 09:20 PM

I have been a refractor nut since the 60's and the days (or nights) of the long white tube. Names like Unitron, Edmunds, and Jaegers were household words. F15 was the standard of the day, F8 tantalizingly fast, and F5 was over the edge. However, like eveything else things changed. With advances in glass, and the move from achro. to apo., scopes got faster and faster. Now most commercial scopes fall between F5 and F8. They produce widefield views with low power eyepieces, and reveal planetary detail when peering through a pin hole sized ocular.
Versatility aside, do the images from our noble steeds compare to the modern day techno wonders, or have they (like me) just become dinsosaurs?

#2 werewolf6977

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Posted 24 January 2004 - 09:39 PM

Just to get things going, I don't think they're Dinosaurs like you, and I. I just think they required more skill to use. WW :roflmao:

#3 Tom L

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Posted 24 January 2004 - 11:31 PM

Are you over on the west side of Seattle? What a great thought here! I had a Tasco (or wahtever it was) when I was a kid in the 60's and 70's and it was awesome...but I didn't know what I was looking at!

#4 Ken

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Posted 25 January 2004 - 12:16 AM

I completely disagree with your premise that the classic telescopes from the past are dinosaurs. In fact from both an economic and quality standpoint I think it's quite the opposite. With the exception of the APO's from companies like TMB and AP, and higher end product lines among other companies, the majority of modern telescopes are inferior. In the effort to make telescopes more widely affordable, and telescope companies globally profitable, the quality of parts, materials and execution of most equipment sold today is vastly inferior. Without a doubt high tech and efficient production facilities have mitigated some of this discrepancy and modern optical techniques have made quality optics possible with enough attention to quality control but how many particle board dobs or plastic geared SCT's will still be in use 30 years from now? Adding gimickry to inexpensive telescopes is masterful marketing, but just llike Cinderella, come midnite the carriage is once again a pumpkin.

#5 Tom L

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Posted 25 January 2004 - 01:43 AM

It wasn't a statement, it was a question. That's how I read it anyway.

#6 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 25 January 2004 - 08:01 AM

I had a lil 60mm Tasco and had a love/hate relationship with it as a kid. Loved the scope and hated the EQ. Today tho you can get so much more aperture and cheap too! Orion, Celestron, and Meade all sell complete setups including the EQs at a real value for beginners as far as refractors are concerned. To own a 5"-6" refractor back in the 70s was unheard of except at an observatory or the very rich. These are good times to be involved in Astronomy equipment wise. I never did care for the crummy diagonals and eyepieces tho on the old scopes back then that were smaller than 1-1/4". We didnt have all the plastic back then tho either and that was nice while it lasted. At 45 does that include me as a dinosaur too? :confused: Ive got more metal in me than plastic so maybe I am............. :grin:

#7 BillinBallard

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Posted 25 January 2004 - 11:06 AM

There is so much talk today about apo triplets, ed, and and flourite glass. How do the images of best/near best scopes of yesterday (Zeiss, Unitron, Jaegers, etc.) compare with the best/near best scopes of today (Televue, Astrophysics, Takahashi etc.)?

I would love to see a review comparing roughly equivalent classic and modern high end scopes.

thank you, Bill



#8 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 25 January 2004 - 11:28 AM

For viewing, I't think that an f-15 refractor would provide views comperable to a good semi-APO or APO, albeit with a little color fringe (not the big purple halos of the modern, fast achros, though). An f-15 refractor would also provide excellent views with Kellners and other inexpensive eyepieces. Where they won't be able to compete, visually, is with the new f-8 or faster refractors with 2" focusers. At f-15, wide field views (unless it is a small refractor) are out. But, if you are looking for an inexpensive lunar/planetary rig I'd think they'd work just fine.

Older SCTs, for example, won't have the high-transmission coatings of their modern equivelents, and some won't have coated corrector plates. But it seems that many of the older SCTs had better figures on their mirrors and better surfaces on their correctors, so they may provide sharper, but dimmer and less-contrasty views.

I'd still take my f-9 APO over an f-15 classic refractor. I still like the wide views sometimes. Plus, it will fit in my little car.

#9 john-AZ

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Posted 09 February 2004 - 03:02 PM

I agree.
John

#10 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 01:22 PM

About 30 years ago I bought a battered and very heavy Dollond 98mm f16 brass refractor from a very old professional astronomer. I used it for a few years and its Huygenian eyepieces and could see, for example, the Cassini division all the way round Saturn and the Crab nebula. I thought the telescope probably dated back to about 1850, but I handed it over to professionals at Greenwich Observatory when tiny cracks started to appear in the outer lens of the objective. They said it was probably much earlier than I had thought, maybe 18th century. I was said to let it go because it was engineered to an amazingly high standard. I still have some later Huygenian eyepieces which I use occasionally just to remind myself what our ancestors had to put up with!

#11 LivingNDixie

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 01:50 PM

When it comes to SCTs my money is on the quality of the observer. A patient observer will see more with a older C8 then a someone who just bounces arround the sky with a LX200.

It all comes down to being a observer or a cosmic peeker....


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