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Zeiss Asiola - The little Telementor that could

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#1 Piggyback

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 11:51 PM

Four years ago I won a bid on a curious looking spotting scope. It was painted a draft greyish color and comparing it to those shiny modern spotters it seemed a bit like an ugly duckling. Upon delivery, I remember my excitement when I opened the carton. Out came a heavy metal tube with a lens and a big, round attachment in the back. A beautifully made wooden tripod was also part of the deal. Never before had I seen such a thing...



#2 Piggyback

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 11:59 PM

And this is how it looked after I had it all cleaned up and assembled...

 

Zeiss Asiola Aussichtsfernrohr 63mm auf 420mm_04reduced.jpg



#3 Piggyback

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 12:27 AM

The lens assembly can be easily moved in all directions thanks to the ingenious swiveling mechanism. A clever sighting device is mounted on top of the tube.

 

 

Zeiss Asiola Aussichtsfernrohr 63mm auf 420mm_01areduced.jpg



#4 Piggyback

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 12:38 AM

The sticker Carl Zeiss Jena Hergestellt in der DDR refers to the famous manufacturer in East Germany. Until 1990 the town of Jena belonged to the communist east bloc before Germany was reunited and the infamous iron curtain was torn down. The Zeiss 16mm Orthoscopic came as standard equipment with all Asiolas.

 

Zeiss Asiola Aussichtsfernrohr 63mm auf 420mm_01detail.jpg


Edited by Piggyback, 25 July 2015 - 03:58 AM.


#5 Piggyback

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 01:40 AM

The Asiola with nicely crafted goat-skin leatherbag

 

Zeiss Asiola Aussichtsfernrohr 63mm auf 420mm_08reduced.jpg



#6 Piggyback

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 01:46 AM

The ingenious swiveling device.

 

Zeiss Asiola Aussichtsfernrohr 63mm auf 420mm_09reduced.JPG


Edited by Piggyback, 26 July 2015 - 12:07 AM.


#7 Piggyback

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 02:08 AM

The front lens is an airspaced 63/420mm Achromat Type C. For comparison: The Zeiss Telementor 63/840mm also features a type C configuration with two cemented lenses (BK7/SF2). Due to the shorter focal length of the Asiola, Zeiss recommends to not exceed 42x magnification. A 16-O (26x) eyepiece came as standard equipment. I have used a Zeiss 6-O eyepiece on the Asiola with good returns but obviously its big brother Telementor will outdo the Asiola with much better color correction.

 

Zeiss Asiola Aussichtsfernrohr 63mm auf 420mm_05reduced.JPG


Edited by Piggyback, 25 July 2015 - 04:10 AM.


#8 Piggyback

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 02:29 AM

The reason I am running this post is because Terra suggested that the Asiola isn´t well known in the States and elsewhere. In my homecountry the Asiola is pretty popular with birders. Quite a few amateur stargazers use the Asiola as a quick-glance device for the moon, planets and even some of the bright Messier objects. I often use it for a quick look at sunspots with an aperture filter mounted over the front lens. My Asiola returns very sharp and contrasty images. The ingenious sighting device lets you find objects in no time.

 

Zeiss Asiola Aussichtsfernrohr 63mm auf 420mm_07reduced.JPG



#9 Piggyback

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 02:42 AM

When I got my Asiola, the focuser wouldn´t turn. I opened the helicoid and scraped out the stone hard grease. Exchanged that with a fresh load of sticky stuff and now the mechanism works like a gem. Has anyone on this forum dared to open the big prism housing??? So far I am very happy with the views so I feel no need to fiddle with the internals.


Edited by Piggyback, 25 July 2015 - 04:16 AM.


#10 photiost

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 06:08 AM

Very Cool instrument.

 

Congrats.



#11 Terra Nova

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 08:14 AM

That is so neat Piggyback! Thank you for making this thread and posting pictures. It is such a cool little scope that I am only just now finding out about. I love the way it is so much like a "Telementor spotter" from the peep sight to the tripod! I will keep my eye out for one of those.

#12 Piggyback

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 09:17 AM

Thanks, Terra. The Asiola sure is a cool little telescope. It is also interesting to know that the "little Telementor" has been around for quite some time. The 1936 Zeiss Astro catalog #94 describes a similar looking "Starmor" spotting scope: The lightweight Starmor makes it suitable to be easily carried around for all kinds of observations. A group of workers, sports events or a cattle herd can all be closely watched from great distances. Ships can be seen on the horizon and surface features of far away mountain ranges are easily discernible. Starmor is also well suited to watch the stars, Craters on the moon, the 4 Jupiter moons, Saturns ring, double stars, the Orion nebula, the great Andromeda Galaxy and the phases of Venus.

From my own observing experience with Asiola I can subscribe to this. But there is a drawback. Problem is that the light path is not long enough to allow the use of a star diagonal. Objects that are high in the sky are a pain to observe. The use of a specially adapted Barlow lens may solve that problem. But then again, the little Asiola wasn't meant for star watching in the first place.


Edited by Piggyback, 26 July 2015 - 12:32 AM.


#13 AllanDystrup

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 10:33 AM

But there is a drawback. Problem is, the light path will not allow for use of a star diagonal. ..., but then again, this is not what the little Asiola was meant for.

 

That's the reason I prefer the Zeiss CZJ 50/540 Teleminor, both as a spotter and - not the least! - for G&G astronomy.

 

Teleminor_.jpg

 

I've been using this setup a lot for quick solar views this summer (lots of sucker hole weather...).

The backend is a Unitron Herschel 0.965/1.25" wedge, w/ a Baader UV/IR-cut filter in the Herschel nose, plus a Baader OD 3 in the Q-turret 2.25x barlow at the back.

 

Here seen ready to go, mounted with my Zeiss 25mm OPMI eyepiece (for ~50x @ 0.8dg FOV), which gives a sharp and large, but fully framed solar disk view. It's so bright, that I normally have a Baader SC filter in the EP nose). I dont think you can do that easily with the Asiola :cool:

 

Allan

 

PS: I very much like the flexibility of this little Zeiss scope, here it is in "Asiola mode" and "Unitron mode" :lol:

TeleminorMode_.jpg


Edited by AllanDystrup, 25 July 2015 - 11:32 AM.


#14 Dan /schechter

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 12:41 PM

Thanks, Terra. The Asiola sure is a cool little telescope. It is also interesting to know that the "little Telementor" has been around for quite a while. It was introduced as the "Starmor" in the 1930's. The 1936 Zeiss Astro catalog #94 describes it this way: The lightweight Starmor makes it suitable to be easily carried around for all kinds of observations. A group of workers, sports events or a cattle herd can all be closely watched from great distances. Ships can be seen on the horizon and surface features of far away mountain ranges are easily discernible. Starmor is also well suited to watch the stars, Craters on the moon, the 4 Jupiter moons, Saturns ring, double stars, the Orion nebula, the great Andromeda Galaxy and the phases of Venus.

From my own observing experience with Asiola I can subscribe to this. But there is a drawback. Problem is, the light path will not allow for use of a star diagonal. Objects that are high in the sky are a pain to observe. The use of a specially adapted Barlow lens may solve that problem, but then again, this is not what the little Asiola was meant for.

Let me add a little to Piggyback's description of the Starmor. It has a triple turret with powers of 12x, 24x, and 42x. I am not sure when it was first introduced to the market, but it appears in the catalog Astro 53 which dates 1922.

 

I am a proud owner of a very nice one minus the mount. The serial NR is 2695 and my "guess" is that it is from the 1920's. Luckily it fits like a glove on the mount for a Zeiss Traveler telescope. It is a pleasure to use except, as Piggyback describes, close to the Zenith. It is great on all the objects described.

 

Cheers,

Dan

Attached Thumbnails

  • Starmor4.jpg
  • Starmor1.jpg

Edited by Dan /schechter, 25 July 2015 - 12:44 PM.


#15 Piggyback

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 12:52 PM

Congratulations, Allan! Very nice setup. Flexibility is key to having a great observing experience.



#16 Piggyback

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 01:08 PM

Wow, Dan. Your Starmor sure is in a class by itself. Is that an air spaced achromat you have?



#17 Dan /schechter

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 01:27 PM

Hi Piggyback,

 

What is your first name? 

 

To answer your question, the objective is a 60mm airspaced, with spacers, objective.

 

I am not sure if it was made by the Astronomical division or the Binocular division of Zeiss. The Starmor, Asem and Asimara  (the 60mm, 80mm and 110mm objectives) can allbe found in both Astro and Binocular catalogs. However, they are referred to as telescopes in the binocular catalog.

 

Dan



#18 Piggyback

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 11:27 PM

Dan, Stefan here. Wonderful pics you have shared with us. Thanks a ton for that. I really appreciate that. These demonstrate the common roots of Starmor and Asiola. I guess the Porro prism may look similar, too? Have you dared to open the prism-cover? Could you provide us with the shaft diameter of your tripod clamping device. Mine measures 12mm. You said yours came without a tripod. Could it be that the tripods are interchangeable? So many questions....



#19 Piggyback

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 11:58 PM

Here is a site I found on the history of Starmor. It seems they were around more than 100 years ago. http://www.monocular...o/czstarmor.htm



#20 AllanDystrup

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 05:00 AM

I guess the Porro prism may look similar, too? Have you dared to open the prism-cover? ...

 

Stefan, I have a CZJ porro erecting assembly, but I haven't had reason to open it (yet).

 

I have however opened one of my Unitron porro erectors, which externally look the same as the Zeiss (albeit smaller), and I guess that the internal construction is also equivalent to the Zeiss ("copying is the greatest kind of flattering", as the saying goes...).

 

Here's how the Unitron erector looks in blow up :

 

UnitronErecter.jpg

 

The optics is a 3-prism cemented assembly, that comes out easily as one unit.

It has 6 accessible polished faces, 2 on the large right-angled isosceles triangular part, and 2 on each of the cemented smaller prisms. 4 of the polished faces are for TIR (total internal reflection), while the 2 remaining are the entry and exit ports.

 

The Unitron prism assembly is really easy to handle and clean, -- and I assume the Zeiss will be quite the same. -- Not so many ways to skin this cat :wink:

 

Allan


Edited by AllanDystrup, 26 July 2015 - 05:08 AM.


#21 Dan /schechter

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 01:38 PM

Dan, Stefan here. Wonderful pics you have shared with us. Thanks a ton for that. I really appreciate that. These demonstrate the common roots of Starmor and Asiola. I guess the Porro prism may look similar, too? Have you dared to open the prism-cover? Could you provide us with the shaft diameter of your tripod clamping device. Mine measures 12mm. You said yours came without a tripod. Could it be that the tripods are interchangeable? So many questions....

Hi Stephan,

 

I wish my inner shaft diameter was 12mm. Then my Starmor would work with the tripod that comes with the Asiola. However, it is 14mm which is the same as the Zeiss Traveler telescope. So unfortunately, the younger tripods are not interchangeable with the older ones. I have a Zeiss Traveling telescope and have been using my Starmor on on that mount. Hopefully, some day I will find the appropriate tripod so the Starmor can have its own.

 

Dan




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