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Zeiss AS 63/840

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#1 Derek Wong

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 11:22 AM

Greetings, I bought my first pre-1970 scope and I need some of your expertise. It is a Zeiss AS 63/840 tube. From the middle photo here, it looks like this scope was the predecessor of the Telementor sold to the schools. I had a look at the catalogs on the same website. The AS scopes in 1928 had a fork mount, those in a 1952 catalog match well, and by 1979 they had transitioned to the Telementor. I can’t find much info on the web about this particular scope even though they must be fairly common in Germany.

The lens is in great shape (not shown well in the photo). The scope is a tank and weighs 4.63 kg. It looks shorter than 840mm because the focuser has over 16 cm of travel! There is a beautiful patina on the brass including the accessories. The thread is M44 with a 0.965” adapter.

My questions are:

Does this scope look original, and if so should I do something to the flaking paint to keep it from coming off more?

Is there a preferred lubricant to use on these old scope focusers?

Given the serial number and other info, is there any way to estimate the age of the scope?

Thanks!

Derek

Attached Thumbnails

  • 6434318-Zeiss AS 63 Tube.jpg


#2 Derek Wong

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 11:23 AM

Here is the focuser compact and extended.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 6434319-Zeiss AS 63 Focuser.jpg


#3 Derek Wong

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 11:23 AM

The lens.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 6434320-Zeiss AS 63 Lens.jpg


#4 bremms

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 11:49 AM

Nice scope. I have a 1923 Traveler. That AS lens should be superb. Dan Schechter is knowledgable about things Zeiss and may be able to help with dating the scope.

#5 starman876

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 01:05 PM

Great scope. That should be a great performer.

#6 Derek Wong

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 01:21 PM

Nice scope. I have a 1923 Traveler. That AS lens should be superb. Dan Schechter is knowledgable about things Zeiss and may be able to help with dating the scope.


I saw your Traveler in another thread and it is very nice. Dan commented that the Traveler was relatively common, but I don't see tons of ads for those either.

This AS lens is uncoated, and both the scope and lens have Q1 marked on them. I have heard that it means they are of the highest quality but I really don't know a lot about these older scopes. If the weather cooperates I will try to test it out tonight.

Derek

#7 Terra Nova

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 01:33 PM

It is a beauty indeed! Looks to be right in between the Traveller and the Telementor,

#8 AllanDystrup

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 02:04 PM

Congratulations Derek, with your CZJ AS63/840 Telescope !
It certainly looks completely original, focuser, tube and objective, and in great shape,
mechanically as well as optically.

I would try to stop the paint flaking, but I can't help you with your specific questions
regarding the best (most authentic) way to restore your scope.

I have a CZJ AS63/840, but it lives in a custom OTA from APM.

As you probably know, the AS objectives (Astro-Spezialobjektiv, designed by Sonnefeld),
are Steinheil half-apo doublets with a "short flint-leading" KzFN2/BK7 lens assembly.
The AS63 (S2N:1.8) was introduced in 1949, and the serial number will identify the production year.
I have looked on the net for a Zeiss database mapping serial# <-> prod.year, but haven't found one, -- yet.

The Telementor C63/840 is a Fraunhofer achromat (S2N:2.4) doublet “crown-flint” BK7/F2 lens
in a compact cell. The Telementor 1 was introduced much later, in 1972.

Allan

PS:
'Q1' (~ First Quality) is one of several markings, that CZJ applied, primarily to the export market;
It doesn't imply a better quality than the unmarked products.


#9 rcwolpert

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 02:42 PM

That's one beautiful scope!! Someday I hope to snag a Zeiss.

- Bob

#10 R Botero

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 03:36 PM

Beautiful scope Derek :cool: Superb focuser.
Roberto

#11 Derek Wong

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 07:17 PM

The AS63 (S2N:1.8) was introduced in 1949, and the serial number will identify the production year.
I have looked on the net for a Zeiss database mapping serial# <-> prod.year, but haven't found one, -- yet.

...The Telementor 1 was introduced much later, in 1972.

PS:
'Q1' (~ First Quality) is one of several markings, that CZJ applied, primarily to the export market;
It doesn't imply a better quality than the unmarked products.


Thanks so much Allan, that helps a lot. I mistyped the 1970 in my original post; it was a 1979 catalog that I saw. So this scope is between 1949 and 1971. What you say about Q1 makes a lot of sense because nearly all of their equipment was made to high standards.

Terrestrial views are very nice, and like other Zeiss scopes the color looks a bit better with a prism.

Derek

#12 Derek Wong

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 03:03 AM

I got in touch with Dan Schecter, and we had a long conversation about the scope. Dan’s expertise is more in pre-WWII Zeiss scopes, so he referred me to Bob Trotter, who has also posted here. Here is what Bob told me.

The scope looks original, and it is a Traveler type scope that is in between the actual Traveler and the Telementor. The lens serial number shows that it was mad in late February or early March 1950. Since Germany needed a lot of money at that point, the lens was probably assembled into a scope very soon after manufacture.

For flaking paint, you can either do nothing or glue loose bits with superglue at the sharp end of a needle. The focuser can use sewing machine oil.

Bob confirmed what Allan said about Q1. In fact, was the term was introduced to East German industry in the 1950s in order to provide a minimum provable quality for everything from lathes, gear wheels to steel products to telescope lenses. Here is a page I found showing the exact same Q1 symbol on a watch.

I don’t know if observations are desired here, but I got the scope out last night for about an hour. Jupiter at 99x in an 8.5mm Pentax eyepiece looked great, with high contrast. I am fairly sensitive to chromatic aberration but I could not detect much color on Sirius at all. The star test was not absolutely perfect but was really excellent (as you would expect from Zeiss) in terms of spherical aberration, and as expected there was a little color out of focus but less than I have seen on some really fast “apo” scopes. I wanted to take the scope to higher powers, but the seeing was so good that I had to temporarily abandon the scope to look at Mars at 600x in an 8”. This little Zeiss should take a lot more power than I gave it, and I want to compare it to a Nikon 65mm ED f/12 that I have.

Derek

#13 Astrojensen

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 08:34 AM

So this scope is between 1949 and 1971.



Hi Derek

First, very nice scope!!

Second, this is the early post-war version of the Zeiss AS63/840, with the rack and pinion focuser. This OTA version was replaced entirely in the early 1960'ies (I think 1963, but I could be wrong, please treat this as a guesstimate at best) by a version with a helical focuser on a very long drawtube. Can't remember the exact year and the old www.achromat.de homepage which had all this history in great detail is gone.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#14 Astrojensen

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 08:42 AM

Meanwhile, you can take a look at this:

http://geogdata.csun...3840student.pdf


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#15 photiost

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 01:51 PM

That's one beautiful scope!! Someday I hope to snag a Zeiss.

- Bob


Indeed.

Acquiring a nice Zeiss refractor some day is certainly on my wish list.

#16 Derek Wong

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 03:00 PM

Second, this is the early post-war version of the Zeiss AS63/840, with the rack and pinion focuser. This OTA version was replaced entirely in the early 1960'ies (I think 1963, but I could be wrong, please treat this as a guesstimate at best) by a version with a helical focuser on a very long drawtube. Can't remember the exact year and the old www.achromat.de homepage which had all this history in great detail is gone.


Hi Thomas:

Thanks for the info!

I used the Wayback machine, and while there are a lot of holes, you can search for 2005-2007 builds of www.achromat.de (not just for Zeiss).

Here is one page. The AS 63/840 link is broken, but the AS 80/1200 link shows a telescope similar to mine, and the C 63/840 page shows a photo of the same scope that is similar to those in the catalog.

I even went to the Zeiss archives but I could not find anything more.

Derek

#17 Astrojensen

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 03:24 PM

Hi Derek

Funny you should mention using the Wayback machine, as I did precisely that, but also found the empty AS63/840 hole...

Going from memory, I think the earliest postwar AS63/840 OTAs, such as yours, did not have the vernier on the millimeter scale on the focuser drawtube. I've definitely seen some OTAs with them, just like on the AS80/1200 version.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#18 clintwhitman

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 05:34 AM

Derek, Nice Zeiss!!
You will have to get out to Star oak and get a dark night!
again nice find on the 60 year old Zeiss,,, You coming to CSPAMP?
Clint

#19 Joe Cepleur

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 07:33 AM

Quite a cultural artifact, that PDF of the Zeiss catalog. The image from the cover is overlain with a highly stylized Circle of the Zodiac, suggesting the marketing borrowed from Romantic notions of the sky to sell ostensibly scientific instruments. The teacher is shown with all his impeccably dressed students, not one of whom is a girl!

#20 Derek Wong

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 11:15 AM

You will have to get out to Star oak and get a dark night!
again nice find on the 60 year old Zeiss,,, You coming to CSPAMP?


Hi Clint:

I will come but this year I can't; I will PM you later. I do want to see the Onesie/Pearl sometime!

Derek

#21 nightpilot

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:39 AM

Very nice scope. You should get some wonderful views with it. Any idea how you plan to mount it?

Bob

#22 Derek Wong

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 11:01 PM

Any idea how you plan to mount it?


Hi Bob:

The scope is a bit unusual in that the dovetail is on the side. In the catalog photo earlier in the thread, you can see that when the scope points to the pole on an equatorial mount, the focuser is oriented vertically instead of the horizontal way we are accustomed to. However, that makes it ideal for a side mounted alt az setup.

The Zeiss dovetail is screwed into the tube and I don't really want to remove it. Since the dovetail is similar to an Astro-Physics dovetail, I rigged together a Teegul solution. I don't have any Zeiss mounts, so this will have to do for now.

Sorry for the cluttered night photo but it is the best I can do right now.

Derek

Attached Thumbnails

  • 6442709-Zeiss AS 63 Mounted.jpg



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