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When is a classic a classic?

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#1 telescopeguy238

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 04:23 PM

Sure it's been asked before but at what age does a scope become a classic?



#2 jimr2

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 04:37 PM

Maybe when they stop making them and you can only buy them on the used market (and maybe for more than they cost new)??!!



#3 highfnum

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 04:45 PM

Combination of age,and reputation 

reputation need not be good

dynamax 8 is a classic even though 

it has bad rep

 

Etx90ra is considered classic even though  not that old

 

of course a dollond is a classic 


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#4 photoracer18

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 04:46 PM

I used to say in the used market that an item has three stages,

junk

junque

antique

Junk is when nobody thinks it worth anything, junque is when some think its worth something and antique is when everyone thinks its worth something.

 

In most cases except for really old ones most small telescopes anchor in the Junque category except for things like Questars and any high end scopes that never seem to lose fans.


Edited by photoracer18, 28 November 2017 - 04:49 PM.


#5 highfnum

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 04:50 PM

Yes that is the aging factor 

 

Of course there is one sure way for me

When I say so!lol.gif



#6 Justin Fuller

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 04:50 PM

When it's not made in China
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#7 starman876

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 04:57 PM

when the scope is older than I amlol.gif


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#8 Chuck Hards

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 05:38 PM

The forum guideline is published as 1980's or older, we've lately expanded it to the early 90's.  Anything newer than 95 would probably require discussion. So, roughly 25 years old, though my personal standard is about 30 years before the descriptor "classic" can be used unambiguously.   

 

That's just the age rule for me, though not all old stuff is classic.  Some of it truly is junk, or better classed as a "toy" telescope. 

 

Everyone has their own standard as to what is worthy, and what isn't, and I'm not going to judge any of them.  I have a soft spot in my heart for a couple of old "junk" scopes, though I'd never consider them a highlight of even the most modest collection.  

 

And don't even get me started on the "Classic Ashtray" stuff.  :lol:   I'm a sucker for little historical astro-related items.


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#9 grif 678

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 06:13 PM

"Classics", back in my young days, I do not think that anything made in Japan would have even be considered becoming a classic,  I remember when you saw a tag on something, saying it was made in Japan, it was considered trash. It may have been that way on certain things, but today people want scopes made in Japan over anything or any where else, how ironic. Does anyone think that the scopes made today in China, will be considered a classic in about 30 years, and will people try to find them and buy them. I wouldn't think so, what about you?


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#10 roscoe

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 06:39 PM

Yeah, that was a sad time..... there was a lot of left-over resentment toward Japan (with good reason) but there was along with some... let's call it 'low price point' stuff, Japanese industry, in our case the Japanese optical industry. was also putting out some outstanding optics.

 

Will we be salivating over vintage Chinese optics in 30 years?  Maybe.....  they do put out some very decent stuff...

 

All that said, I'm also in the '30 years' club. but I do bend the rules now and then....


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#11 Chuck Hards

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 06:41 PM

The Chinese didn't have the likes of Zeiss coaching them in optical production.  The first Chinese export products of the late 70s and 80s were sometimes pretty awful.  Today their optics have come a long way and some test very well.  Also the current mechanical choices of plastics and non-precision fitment hurts the entry-level Chinese scope.  At least the old Japanese offerings were mostly metal even on the budget models, and plastics made inroads only slowly.


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#12 Garyth64

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 07:10 PM

when the scope is older than I amlol.gif

So we're talkin bout Galileo's scope? lol.gif


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#13 Chuck Hards

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 07:17 PM

I've noticed that the new budget tripods are metal and the high-end stuff is now wood, as opposed to the old days when everything came with a wood tripod and the high-end stuff with a metal pier.  It's flipped as the value of materials and the cost of processing them have changed.


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#14 skypilgrim

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 02:04 AM

Even though my SP-C102 was made sometime in the 1980s I’d hesitate calling it a “classic”. There were and are many subsequent iterations so maybe it would be more correct to call it “vintage”. So somehow “classic” might also imply rarity? Just a thought.

Sam



#15 bremms

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 08:09 AM

"Classics", back in my young days, I do not think that anything made in Japan would have even be considered becoming a classic,  I remember when you saw a tag on something, saying it was made in Japan, it was considered trash. It may have been that way on certain things, but today people want scopes made in Japan over anything or any where else, how ironic. Does anyone think that the scopes made today in China, will be considered a classic in about 30 years, and will people try to find them and buy them. I wouldn't think so, what about you?

People keep mentioning the ETX90. Plastic junk scope with decent optics. That's my take.


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#16 Ben H

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 08:40 AM

The Japanese basically copied, in very fine detail, what the Germans had been doing with optics for over a century. The difference was the value of a Japanese labor versus a German labor was so significant that nearly put the Germans out of business.

When the Chinese entered into the Optics industry they didn't copy the Japanese or the Germans, instead they went more automated, more mass-produced, with less attention paid to fine detail. Cheap, disposable junk.

The Chinese are certainly quite capable, and they're becoming very prolific, with more Brands and designs on the market than I can remember before. Just about anyone can import Chinese Scopes these days, I don't think it'll be too long before a brand becomes known for importing with the strictest of tolerances.
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#17 ftwskies

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 05:43 PM

I think classic is more than age -- it has to be a scope that was highly sought after in its own day, too.  Vintage is just about age -- representing a bygone era.  Classic is about more.

 

Think about how people refer to other collectible things, like cars, guitars, or whatever -- the phrase "instant classic" refers to something new that is so good it will likely be fondly remembered and remain in demand well into the future.  Scopes are no different, IMO.


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#18 Kunama

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 05:50 PM

Sure it's been asked before but at what age does a scope become a classic?

It is really not about age as such, though that is also a component of it.  The easiest way to pick a classic is if it has a moss green focuser, it is a sure sign of a classic or a future classic......cool.gif



#19 clamchip

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 06:30 PM

Depending on the time of day the word 'classic' and I think of the Big Mac.

Notice I didn't say McDonald's Big Mac? thats because everyone knows what

the Big Mac is. Got the late nite munchies? for us it was a Big Mac, or there was

a deli that made the best German hoggie, oh man, too bad its gone now.

It was a big hit when introduced in 1968, and fondly remembered and eaten today.

The classic Big Mac.

McDonald's wouldn't dare touch the recipe, but if they did the 'classic Big Mac' I'm 

sure will be offered on the menu with it.

 

Robert 


Edited by actionhac, 30 November 2017 - 06:32 PM.

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#20 akman1955

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 07:50 PM

Like homer Simpson would say "BIG mac Umm"grin.gif



#21 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 07:52 PM

That's just the age rule for me, though not all old stuff is classic.  Some of it truly is junk, or better classed as a "toy" telescope.

 

waytogo.gif

 

For example, Chuck's a true classic.  Me, I am just a classic PITA..   smile.gif

 

In the 13 years I have been following this forum, what's a classic and what isn't has changed dramatically.  In the beginning, SCTs were just not part of it, today, they're a common topic.  Right now, I have a hard time thinking of a ETX-90 RA as a classic.  As much as I love Dobsonians, I have a hard time thinking of Dobs as classics.  

 

This topic has been discussed numerous times in this forum. At one time there was something of a consensus that if you thought it was a classic, then it was a classic.  I'm not sure about that one any more.  

 

Scopes that are not classics: Any scope with classic in it's name..  :)

 

jon


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#22 highfnum

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 07:12 AM

"People keep mentioning the ETX90. Plastic junk scope with decent optics. That's my take."

that is true but none the less had a profound impact on market  - thousands were sold

you state "decent optics'  - well for the price it sold  that's is key

 

as far as plastic junk

 

I remember go to paulies optics in CT

owner  told me he sold many

  and

many times people would dismount OTA and leave the mount body  behind

he had a bunch of eta mounts  all over the floor 

 

so you correct there   but no matter


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#23 roscoe

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 07:59 AM

It's a thin differentiation between classic and vintage.... a two-door 1955 Chevy is a classic, a four-door '55 is merely vintage....

 

so it's not only the age of the telescope, it's the visual appeal and the perceived 'coolness factor' that determines if it's a classic or just another old scope.   I just gave away an old scope that I put a bunch of time into restoring, and while I wished it was a classic, and shined it up just like a classic, it was just a pretty vintage scope, with the end cash value same as when I bought it.

$40 when it came in, $40 when it went out.....  the ep's that went with it are worth more than the scope.....


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#24 terraclarke

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 12:04 PM

The Chinese didn't have the likes of Zeiss coaching them in optical production.  The first Chinese export products of the late 70s and 80s were sometimes pretty awful.  Today their optics have come a long way and some test very well.  Also the current mechanical choices of plastics and non-precision fitment hurts the entry-level Chinese scope.  At least the old Japanese offerings were mostly metal even on the budget models, and plastics made inroads only slowly.

Just remember before we get too derisive towards Chinese telescopes, a one-hundred dollar Japanese telescope  then is a thousand dollar Chinese telescope now! You can get some awful nice thousand dollar Chinese telescopes now with NO plastic and ED/apo glass that will optically (AND mechanically in some cases- FOCUSERS!) run rings around those old hundred dollar Japanese telescopes!


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#25 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 12:30 PM

 

The Chinese didn't have the likes of Zeiss coaching them in optical production.  The first Chinese export products of the late 70s and 80s were sometimes pretty awful.  Today their optics have come a long way and some test very well.  Also the current mechanical choices of plastics and non-precision fitment hurts the entry-level Chinese scope.  At least the old Japanese offerings were mostly metal even on the budget models, and plastics made inroads only slowly.

Just remember before we get too derisive towards Chinese telescopes, a one-hundred dollar Japanese telescope  then is a thousand dollar Chinese telescope now! You can get some awful nice thousand dollar Chinese telescopes now with NO plastic and ED/apo glass that will optically (AND mechanically in some cases- FOCUSERS!) run rings around those old hundred dollar Japanese telescopes!

 

 

:waytogo:

 

It's not clear to me just how much support the Chinese got when Celestron and others decided to transfer their production from Japan to China.  But whatever that might have been, the better Asian scope of today are very good and affordable.   We tend to remember the good scopes from past years but the mind is a selective filter.  The clunkers are mostly long gone.

 

Jon


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