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Orange C90

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#426 Senex Bibax

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 09:23 AM

I just noticed a couple of differences between some of the orange C90s posted here, and my black tube C90. On my scope, there are no screws around the outside circumference of the base of the OTA, so there is no obvious way to mount a finder scope on it. Secondly, the text on the gold band does not say "Makutsov Telescope", rather it says "Mirror Lens". This makes me think that my C90 is the telephoto lens version.


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#427 Terra Nova

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 09:52 AM

I just noticed a couple of differences between some of the orange C90s posted here, and my black tube C90. On my scope, there are no screws around the outside circumference of the base of the OTA, so there is no obvious way to mount a finder scope on it. Secondly, the text on the gold band does not say "Makutsov Telescope", rather it says "Mirror Lens". This makes me think that my C90 is the telephoto lens version.

It’s still a Mak unlike some other scopes designated as a ‘Mirror Lens’ but it was sold as a telephoto intended for T- mounting to a camera body.



#428 memento

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 02:50 PM

I recall that in the old "Celestron girls" catalogue from the early 1980s, they had these matte black telephoto versions of the C5 and C90. There were two C5 telephotos (750mm f/6 and 1250mm f/10) and two C90s (500mm f/5.6 and 1000mm f/11).

 

While the f/5 and f/6 were unique designs with differently designed bigger secondaries, the f/10 and f/11 telephoto versions should be technically exactly the same as the "real" telescope versions, save for the paint, bundled accessories and some cosmetic details like mentioned in #427 by Senex Bibax.

 

There was once even a miniscule 300mm mirror telephoto in that Celestron catalogue, but that was just a small photocamera lens sourced from some generic Japan manufacturer. I have one of these (not branded "Celestron" though) somewhere in my closet. Love it as it is – size-wise – almost exactly an H0-scale model of the Mt. Palomar scope.

 

IIRC Meade once made a "mirror lens" variant of their Meade 2040/2045 4" SC that was a very different optical design, as it was not a real SC at all, but rather had a flat glass front plate and a small corrector lens directly in front of the secondary.



#429 Senex Bibax

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 06:56 AM

I recall that in the old "Celestron girls" catalogue from the early 1980s, they had these matte black telephoto versions of the C5 and C90. There were two C5 telephotos (750mm f/6 and 1250mm f/10) and two C90s (500mm f/5.6 and 1000mm f/11).

 

While the f/5 and f/6 were unique designs with differently designed bigger secondaries, the f/10 and f/11 telephoto versions should be technically exactly the same as the "real" telescope versions, save for the paint, bundled accessories and some cosmetic details like mentioned in #427 by Senex Bibax.

 

There was once even a miniscule 300mm mirror telephoto in that Celestron catalogue, but that was just a small photocamera lens sourced from some generic Japan manufacturer. I have one of these (not branded "Celestron" though) somewhere in my closet. Love it as it is – size-wise – almost exactly an H0-scale model of the Mt. Palomar scope.

 

IIRC Meade once made a "mirror lens" variant of their Meade 2040/2045 4" SC that was a very different optical design, as it was not a real SC at all, but rather had a flat glass front plate and a small corrector lens directly in front of the secondary.

Optically, mine is the same as the astronomical version, 1000 mm / f/11



#430 wfj

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 07:05 PM

FWIW did take both 8" SCT and C90 on Hawaiian vacation. Serious stuff with the SCT when I can't sleep. C90 got used even more and by all of my family. It packs tighter than a bino, the issue is more the tripod, shared with camera group photo needs. And the 40-60x allowed peering into a snorkel group offshore illuminated by floodlights, to see the manta rays they were attracting. Or determining rock formations for a location on a map, and identifying the kind of trees at a distance for finding a certain grove, or spotting nene in the distance.

 

Having planets higher in the sky and a stable atmosphere means much more detail. And it was fun with Eta Carinae, the summer southern Milky-way objects, and Omega Centauri. The Large Magellanic Cloud unfortunately was too low and in twilight, perhaps another time.

 

Since we'd a checked bag for snorkel and other gear, a tripod and altaz head for the SCT went into the same bag, and the SCT was a carry on in a soft bag under the seat (check dimensions before flight on the airline's measure - all different).  If no carry-on, I'd just take the C90 and a camera tripod in my backpack in the overhead only, no carry on.

 

Comparing views between SCT and C90 - the above mentioned planetary detail increase and going deep on DSO's are lost in the C90. But with just the C90 the southern objects are very enjoyable.

 

Others noticed occasionally when the scopes were being used. An airline pilot who had brought bino's traded experiences with his while getting a view through mine - learned more dark sky locations. A small family checking out early in the morning recognized a scope on my shoulder and the children wanted a peek at the gas giants - took about five minutes to setup and tear down for a few smiles.

 

Also, there was a debate about a tree down the coast being a Banyon, and if Maui could be visible from the Kona coast. Both answered with the C90.


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#431 ANM

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Posted 05 May 2020 - 09:57 PM

Great find...

 

As they used to say, if there is no pic, it did not happen...

 

Here is mine, It is hard to think that Celestron sold over 912082 of oragne tube C90.  Though I am not sure that the S/N is consecutive or randomly assigned number as years went by.

That must be the black rubber lens shade that I have not seen til now...
 



#432 SouthernOracle

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 10:48 PM

Wow, it's hard to believe this thread I started over 6 years ago is still going.  These little scopes do hold a very special place in many of our hearts.  I had mine out for the first time in a while the other day and was reminded of how difficult the finder scope is to align with the original inset screws (and it never seems to keep that alignment).  I've been tinkering with 3D printing so I modeled a little 10-24 thumbscrew that would work for it.  Printed 3 of them perfectly the first time and they all threaded right into the holes.  They're were a little tight when turning them the first time, but backing them out and in a couple of times helped a lot.  I know that Lowe's sells some 10-24 nylon screws that would've worked, but they were white and that just won't do now will it?

 

 

Celestron C90 3D print of finder thumbscrews
Celestron C90 3D printed finder thumbscrews
 

If you would like to print some for yourself feel free to PM me and I'll send you the STL file.  I tried to attach it to the post, but it won't allow attachments of that type. 


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#433 ANM

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Posted 12 May 2020 - 01:04 PM

...

They are some very nice looking finder screws, definitely won't damage the finder.



#434 CoolPanoramas

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Posted 31 May 2020 - 09:29 PM

I purchased an orange C90 in 2017 for $7 at the Land Sea & Sky garage sale. It appears to be quite old, based on the serial number (9818). All I got was the tube, the spotting scope mount, and the T-adapter (no mount, no diagonal, no spotting scope, and no lenses). I would love to use it with my Nikon D7100 for astrophotography, but I need to figure out how to mount the scope and how to connect my camera. I have a heavy-duty tripod that I use with my astronomical binoculars at star parties with the Johnson Space Center Astronomical Society. Now that I have some time, I plan to give it a good cleaning and I'd like to come up with a way to mount the scope and connect my camera. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

101626981_3251447361543991_2840789604066

 

https://scontent-dfw...6c1&oe=5EF9D438


Edited by CoolPanoramas, 01 June 2020 - 04:31 PM.

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#435 wfj

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 01:06 PM

Update on the baffle mod. Doctors orders have limited me to just it for a month, so it's been exclusively used, and with wildfire smoke excluding DSOs/etc just planets I've been staring at Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, as well as practicing iPhone photo's with it.

 

Haven't gone beyond the prototype primary baffle finger tweaked - 3d printing can't do as thin as necessary. Thin (0.005") blackened metal with pressed on clip to casting groove seems best approach - it's the face of the old baffle or the edge of the new that limits contrast. Still no secondary baffle on 35mm oversized aluminized spot (should be 28-29mm).

 

Best used with 1.25" adapter and mirror diagonal not prism (prism's front surface, even with SiO2 coating, reflects off center of secondary, and provides noticeable veiling glare). Best correction for this C90 is with diagonal well back of rear of primary mirror "cell" at f/11 1000mm position, as the design came from a camera mirror lens use, so using a more convenient 0.965 "up front" closer to mirror at the ~ f/10 position is slightly worse (also the baffling of the entire design is less effective). Little differences here/there seem to add up - the 90mm Maksutov is a surprisingly delicate design to perfect. One can compare image with similar sized refractor to help isolate veiling glare by moving around planet in field as the glare comes and goes with bright source orientation - once you notice the effect, you don't need the refractor view because it's obvious.

 

On planets the changes make it easier to find "snap to" focus, made hard by awkward "tube helical" focuser (use lightest possible viscosity oil film) and lack of mirror cell (use nylon thumb screws to gently nudge rather than distort primary). At under 0.8mm exit pupil magnifications the benefits become apparent however so dims the image. At 0.5-0.7mm you get the finest resolution possible but the contrast/color saturation suffers greatly.

 

On Jupiter the benefit is more band detail and color saturation in prominent features like GRS or EQ belt disruptions. On Mars one notices more outline detail of features like Meridiani's irregular outline when one sketches. 90mm is a borderline aperture for planetary, where 100mm is much more satisfying as with an APO where eyestrain doesn't enter the picture, so you need finer craft than a compromised OTA assembly. And even with these changes, that 39% CO of the overlarge spot limits on turbulence, with Saturn's Cassini division winking in and out as it teases.

 

You can get better in 90mm Mak's - an 89mm Questar certainly proves that. But it and even a ETX 90 OTA can't meet a 5lb total lift limit. The Orange C90 is 3lbs, and meets/exceeds the ETX 90 so far after mods, at almost half the length/bulk. This matters at the moment.

 

It's my current "only scope". For a month.


Edited by wfj, 02 September 2020 - 06:28 PM.

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#436 kansas skies

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 01:29 PM

I was going through a few of my telescopes looking for a possible candidate to give to a family member (on my wife's suggestion), and thought my C90 astro might be just the thing. Since acquiring a Questar, I've only had the C90 out a few times, so it seemed like a good candidate.

 

For a bit of history, I've owned C90 spotting scopes over the years, but this was my only astro version. I originally purchased it to see if what I'd heard about astro versions having the best optics might be true. In this case, they really were. The collimation on this scope is very close to spot-on. I have a spotting scope version of approximately the same vintage that is slightly out of collimation - not enough to degrade its performance as a spotting scope, but enough so to be very evident when used for astronomy. That has been true to some degree of pretty much every C90 spotting scope I've owned, but once I figured out a simple method for collimation, it was much less of an issue. When time permits, I'll run through the tedious and time-consuming process of collimating my current C90 spotting scope, but that can wait for a later day. That being said, my C90 astro has very nice optics that were well collimated straight out of the box.

 

Before letting this C90 astro go, I decided to take it out and run it through its paces. I found the focus mechanism in need of being regreased and it also seems that the drive mechanism could use a slight adjustment. Otherwise, the motorized drive does track very well visually. Jupiter, Saturn and Mars were all awash with detail, and I thoroughly enjoyed the the experience. Moving over to Epsilon Lyra, each of the pair of doubles were well separated with the slightly thickened first diffraction ring one comes to expect from a nice Maksutov. M57 was a nice little donut floating in a sea of stars. All in all, I found nothing of merit to complain about.

 

Finally, I had my Questar out for a quick comparison. I realize this is a subject that's been beaten to death over time, but I had to see once again for myself. First, I will say that if the C90 astro were to be my only scope, I would not be disappointed. It really does perform beautifully. I did find that the Questar seemed to thermally stabilize somewhat more quickly than the Celestron. As for performance, within reasonable magnifications for a 90mm scope, both scopes did a fantastic job. The difference really didn't start to become evident until magnification was pushed toward its limits, where the superior figure of Questar optical system really did begin to excel. Still, all else being equal, I would have no problem recommending the C90 as a great little astronomical companion. For the purpose of astronomy, the Questar and the C90 astro were both a delight to use. I do have to admit that although the C90's focus mechanism does tend to be a bit unorthodox, I've never found it at all difficult to use.

 

So, after an evening with the two fantastic little Maksutovs, I decided to keep them both and give up my late-sixties 114 Unitron. Being somewhat more traditional, its ease of use and fantastic optical performance should keep our family member happy for years to come.

 

Bill

 

 

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#437 Kasmos

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 02:43 PM

A nice C90 Astro is hard to part with. I've thought of selling mine, but just taking it out of the box always made me change my mind. It's one of the cutest little scopes out there.

 

And yes, the Unitron 114 is probably a better scope for a novice.


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#438 ETXer

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 08:40 AM

I've had an orange C90 Astro since 2015 and find it easy to use with its setup requiring minimum effort. I use it with a hybrid diagonal so I can use standard 1.25" eyepieces and accessories. I find it especially suited for lunar and solar observing. The only big drawback for me was the original straight-through finderscope, so using the original bracket, I inserted an ETX #825 right-angle finder; I had to remove the front collar holding the primary objective in place (so it could fit through the bracket) then carefully applied contact cement around its edge to keep the lens in place. It works beautifully!

 

49941282833_c4cd051281_z.jpg


Edited by ETXer, 09 September 2020 - 08:43 AM.

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#439 shawnmcarter

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 11:08 AM

I've had an orange C90 Astro since 2015 and find it easy to use with its setup requiring minimum effort. I use it with a hybrid diagonal so I can use standard 1.25" eyepieces and accessories. I find it especially suited for lunar and solar observing. The only big drawback for me was the original straight-through finderscope, so using the original bracket, I inserted an ETX #825 right-angle finder; I had to remove the front collar holding the primary objective in place (so it could fit through the bracket) then carefully applied contact cement around its edge to keep the lens in place. It works beautifully!

 

49941282833_c4cd051281_z.jpg

Now to just find an ETX #825 right angle finder scope....

I went total bubble-gum and bailing wire by using double-sided tape to hang a red dot finder on the counterweights.  Like they say, "If its stupid but it works...it's not too stupid."  I had mine out the other night, spent less than 5 minutes getting it polar aligned and it tracked Jupiter in a 12mm eyepiece for the hour I was outside.


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#440 ETXer

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 02:23 PM

Like they say, "If its stupid but it works...it's not too stupid."  I had mine out the other night, spent less than 5 minutes getting it polar aligned and it tracked Jupiter in a 12mm eyepiece for the hour I was outside.

Precisely! The arrangement looks a little goofy, but it gets the job done.

 

With the RA finder, I use a simple alignment procedure using Kochab's position relative to  Polaris, to some what's known as the Questar "Painless Polar Alignment," and my C90 tracks near perfectly over a typical 3-hour session.

 

And just be patient for the 825 finder, they turn up at Telescope Warehouse every so often.


Edited by ETXer, 09 September 2020 - 05:22 PM.


#441 wfj

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 09:42 PM

If you'd like a 3D printable Bahtinov mask for your vintage C90 for focusing, I just made one. You can get the files here : https://www.thingive...m/thing:4590007

 

IMG_5952.jpg


Edited by wfj, 12 September 2020 - 03:06 PM.

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#442 Gary Esterly

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Posted 08 July 2021 - 04:42 PM

Just purchased an older orange tube C90 to add as a guide scope for my C8. Concerning piggybacking the C90, does it just mount to the smaller accessory/camera mount or was there a more proprietary part? If so, pictures would be much appreciated.
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#443 Bomber Bob

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Posted 08 July 2021 - 05:45 PM

I just noticed a couple of differences between some of the orange C90s posted here, and my black tube C90. On my scope, there are no screws around the outside circumference of the base of the OTA, so there is no obvious way to mount a finder scope on it. Secondly, the text on the gold band does not say "Makutsov Telescope", rather it says "Mirror Lens". This makes me think that my C90 is the telephoto lens version.

I had to tap & thread 2 holes to mount a Celestron (V) Finder:

 

C90 BT Spotter S17 (Finder Install).jpg

 

While I had it apart, the interior got a thorough cleaning, blackening, and re-lube of the "focuser" threads.

 

Going on 5 years with my C90, and it has its own rugged case, so I guess it's a Keeper...


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#444 Kasmos

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Posted 08 July 2021 - 11:26 PM

Just purchased an older orange tube C90 to add as a guide scope for my C8. Concerning piggybacking the C90, does it just mount to the smaller accessory/camera mount or was there a more proprietary part? If so, pictures would be much appreciated.

I've seen them mounted like that but there's really no way to adjust and align them. Also, I don't believe Celestron ever showed the C90 as a guide scope.



#445 Gary Esterly

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Posted 08 July 2021 - 11:31 PM

So your saying they wouldn't work for minor manual corrections?



#446 Kasmos

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Posted 08 July 2021 - 11:51 PM

So your saying they wouldn't work for minor manual corrections?

Unlike a finder or guide scope mount there's no easy way to adjust the camera mount so that a C90 would be optically aligned to the C8. In other words to have both scopes having the same image centered in the field of view. The camera mount was made for using the C8 to guide a camera. Since the camera would have a much wider field of view (than the C8), there's not as much of an issue of the two being precisely aligned. 



#447 davidmcgo

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Posted 09 July 2021 - 08:58 AM

You would need the tangent coupler to be able to align and lock down the smaller scope.  The problem with trying to guide with the old orange C90 or black telephoto versions is the slop in the front cell at the focusing threads that can make the image jump around.

 

Celestron never advertised the C90 as a guide scope but did show the C5 used with the tangent coupler on the 8” Schmidt camera and larger SCTs since it didn’t suffer that issue.

 

Dave



#448 RRMichigan

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Posted 24 May 2022 - 02:16 PM

Great thread on the older C90s.
Thought I'd pipe in with the one I came across early this year. I cleaned and re-greased the focuser so she turns as smooth as you can expect. Have not had it out but once after I first cleaned it. Planning on using it a bit this summer and fall.
Serial# 910146. #9434 etched on lens.

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#449 Russ S.

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Posted 27 July 2022 - 10:11 PM

Just acquired a nice early C90, and am looking to upgrade it with a quality 1.25" diagonal. I've read a lot about visual back options, and would like to try the Telescopeadapters.com ETXVB Rear Port Adapter https://www.telescop...ope-models.html , has anyone used this and how did it work out? Is reaching focus a problem?  


Edited by Russ S., 28 July 2022 - 11:43 AM.


#450 oldmanastro

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Posted 01 August 2022 - 09:49 PM

I picked up an orange C90 from a CN member a couple of months ago. After reading a lot of threads about the little scope in this forum and others, I didn't expect it to be collimated. It was way out of collimation. My first attempt at collimating the telescope involved replacing the three small factory installed screws that act as plugs for the holes where collimation screws  used at the factory to hold the mirror in place until the epoxy glue, used to hold the mirror to a spring, cured. Taking the screws out was supposed to leave the mirror in perfect collimation for a long time. In my opinion many left the factory with poor collimation. I placed 1" nylon knurled screws and tried to collimate with then but this created more astigmatism. The metal clip that around the baffle tube that holds the mirror against the spring was causing the problem. I carefully removed it using the recommendations on an online article about collimating this telescope. The removal of the metal clip was done very carefully. It was a difficult process but in the end it made all the difference. Now the telescope could be easily collimated. The astigmatism was gone and images turned out to be crisp and clear. Star images show a nice Airy disc with a first diffraction ring. 

 

After using the telescope on the very few moments that the weather has allowed I have found that on extended objects it does very well until it reaches 200x. That's the maximum usable power. Saturn shows the Cassini division and a couple of belts. I was able to observe Jupiter at a low altitude and it was showing several bands even with the boiling atmosphere acting on the image. On deep sky objects M57 was showing ring structure with a 13.8mm Meade SWA and Sky Glow filter. M22 showed some sparkles with the same eyepiece and the dimmer NGC 6441 was well observed in Scorpius. The little telescope is no Questar or ETX90 but it does a very good job. 

 

Another thing that I did was to clean and re-lubricate the focusing mechanism. Mobil 1 synthetic was used and now the focusing is smooth and easy. Nonetheless sometimes I find myself feeling for a focusing knob behind the telescope. A month after collimation, it is holding well. I will place a rubber O-ring as a replacement for the metal retaining ring. The white epoxy glue is the only thing holding the primary right now. If it fails, the mirror will flop sideways and will have to be glued back. I think it will hold for a while. The main thing to have in mind when removing the metal retaining ring is to protect the main mirror. I used several Pecpads. It was a risky procedure but the miscollimation present made the telescope practically unusable.

 

I still need a nice clear and transparent night to have fun with this little orange scope. Saharan dust combined with summer tropical weather has made this very difficult. The image shows the telescope attached to the Astroview mount with a temporary finder until I find an appropriate one. A .965 to 1.25" adapter allow the use of standard diagonal and eyepieces.

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