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152mm F9 Astrophysics Starfire

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#1 Jeff Struve

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 07:49 AM

I have the opportunity to purchase the subject scope at what I am thinking is a good price (the owner wants to scale down, get a much smaller scope and is interested in one of mine as partial trade... win/win)

 

I have not seen or looked through the scope yet, but I have seen similar, and have confidence in the current owners description of condition. I know the scope is long and a bit heavy... but other than that, what are your thoughts on this scope for visual use? for AP?

 

Thanx!


 

#2 lee14

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 07:57 AM

I have a 102mm F8 Starfire, and wouldn't part with it. It's been excellent for both visual and AP. If you call Astrophysics with the objective number, they'll give you whatever info they have on it.

 

Lee


 

#3 Jeff Struve

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 08:14 AM

Somewhere I heard rumors that the glass in the older ones are not quite as good as the newer models?


 

#4 azure1961p

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 08:24 AM

I have a 102mm F8 Starfire, and wouldn't part with it. It's been excellent for both visual and AP. If you call Astrophysics with the objective number, they'll give you whatever info they have on it.

 

Lee

 

Yeah, that's the Hallmark of a reputable optician manufacturer. They keep their info on the optics on file record.  Lessers opticians just grind it out with a tagline that all their optics are at least diffraction limited, good luck and goodbye.

 

Pete


 

#5 bobhen

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 08:52 AM

I bought an AP 152 F9 new from AP back in 1989. It took 6 weeks to get! My 1989 152 used no ED glass but used a combination of short flint glass. Being a triplet and F9 the scope delivered color correction as good as the Tak Fluorite F8 doublets. The lens was, of course, razor sharp as well.

 

My 152 at F9 was somewhat long but not really heavy (front heavy but not generally heavy).

 

After 5-6 years I sold the scope and bought an AP 155 F7

 

Of all the scopes I’ve owned over the last 40 years that AP 152 is one I should have held onto MUCH longer or at least until I downsized.

 

If it’s in excellent shape, you won’t be disappointed.

 

Bob


 

#6 Jeff Struve

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 09:06 AM

Any ideas on value with clean optics, no dents/dings, and normal visual use wear?


 

#7 bobhen

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 09:20 AM

Any ideas on value with clean optics, no dents/dings, and normal visual use wear?

Not a clue.

 

If the lens is excellent, and even if the mechanics are good you still might want to consider replacing the focuser (maybe a FT or Moonlite), finder and rings with modern equivalents. The lens deserves the best.

 

Bob


 

#8 Jeff Struve

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 09:30 AM

I'm getting a negotiable $4500 for the scope, a pier, and Model 600 mount... and he is wanting my 127mm ES and an Atlas mount in partial trade.


 

#9 starcanoe

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 09:39 AM

Not a clue.

 

If the lens is excellent, and even if the mechanics are good you still might want to consider replacing the focuser (maybe a FT or Moonlite), finder and rings with modern equivalents. The lens deserves the best.

 

Bob

 

For a nicer looking font if nothing else...


 

#10 Jeff B

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 10:16 AM

I'm getting a negotiable $4500 for the scope, a pier, and Model 600 mount... and he is wanting my 127mm ES and an Atlas mount in partial trade.

That is a very good price for the package, assuming, of course, everything is in very good condition and functioning well, especially the glass.   What color is the tube, blue or white?

 

Jeff


 

#11 Jeff Struve

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 10:19 AM

That is a very good price for the package, assuming, of course, everything is in very good condition and functioning well, especially the glass.   What color is the tube, blue or white?

 

Jeff

I believe it is the white tube... I'll have to resell the mount... and maybe the moble pier... not sure as that may come in handy


 

#12 jay.i

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 10:25 AM

For a nicer looking font if nothing else...

But you see, the focuser font joke only works when talking about the Stowaway, because almost all of the legacy Astro-Physics focusers have the good fonts on them, not a slapped-on Arial Bold Italic. smile.gif

 

Traveler:

image010.jpg

 

New Stowaway:

post-21569-0-98282900-1543986044.jpeg

 

Tell me the first one doesn't look 10 times more elegant than the second one. Tight, compact lettering with varied sizes for emphasis. It looks well-designed. The Stowaway engraving looks like an afterthought.

 

Dang it, I got sucked into arguing about focuser aesthetics again!

 

To be remotely on topic, here's the 152's focuser:

3854-5.jpg

 

If you get the scope Jeff, I'll be quite excited to hear what you have to say about the optics. It's always good to get a fresh perspective of old stuff I think; sometimes you find it's better than expected! I think that is probably the case with most Astro-Physics products too.


Edited by jay.i, 11 December 2018 - 10:34 AM.

 

#13 davidmcgo

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 10:27 AM

The 600 is a really nice mount for visual if you don't need go-to.  Typically they fetch over $2K used by themselves.  The 152 f9 is a fabulous scope for planetary and a friend used to take really nice images with one back in the hypered film days using Fujicolor film.

 

I'd jump on that deal.

 

Dave


 

#14 davidmcgo

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 10:27 AM

But you see, the focuser font joke only works when talking about the Stowaway, because almost all of the legacy Astro-Physics focusers have the good fonts on them, not a slapped-on Arial Bold Italic. smile.gif

 

Traveler:

image010.jpg

 

New Stowaway:

post-21569-0-98282900-1543986044.jpeg

 

Tell me the first one doesn't look 10 times more elegant than the second one. Tight, compact lettering with varied sizes for emphasis. It looks well-designed. The Stowaway engraving looks like an afterthought.

 

Dang it, I got sucked into arguing about focuser aesthetics again!

If it bugs you that much I can store it for you ;-)

 

Dave


 

#15 Jeff B

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 10:50 AM

Jeff, if it's white, it has a more modern focuser, very similar to the current version except for the pinion assembly so it can be easily upgraded if you desire.

 

Now Jeff, if you decide to pass, well, I'm completely interested and can do a trade too so please PM me.

 

Jeff


 

#16 Jeff Struve

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 11:09 AM

I will be happy to do so!

 

The mount for sure will be resold... and maybe the pier... and both if that's what it takes to sell the mount.


 

#17 BillinBallard

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 11:14 AM

Jeff;

 

I have a 1985  AP 6" F9, oil spaced triplet.  It is the scope of a lifetime. 

 

Good luck,

 

Bill 

 

P.S. The lens has the serial number, date of manufacture, and Roland Christen's signature inside the lens cell.


Edited by BillinBallard, 11 December 2018 - 11:54 AM.

 

#18 Jeff Struve

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 11:21 AM

For some reason, I don't think this one is the oil spaced...


 

#19 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 11:36 AM

Yeah, that's the Hallmark of a reputable optician manufacturer. They keep their info on the optics on file record.  Lessers opticians just grind it out with a tagline that all their optics are at least diffraction limited, good luck and goodbye.

 

Pete

 

Astro-Physics is certainly a reputable manufacturer, but I would not get your hopes up on getting very much production information from the serial number. When I called in the serial number on my Star12 Christine had: Second run, approximate completion month, and "probably" air-spaced.

 

That may have changed, but in the early days they were struggling to get products out the door. Not much time for record keeping, detailed or not.


 

#20 Moondust

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 02:19 PM

 

 

Traveler:

image010.jpg

 

New Stowaway:

post-21569-0-98282900-1543986044.jpeg

 

Tell me the first one doesn't look 10 times more elegant than the second one. 

 

Well the photograph is definitely 10 times more elegant. Wide open lens, nice shooting angle, beautiful background bokeh. If the Stowaway were presented in the same manner and the Traveler photographed as the Stowaway is well........ 


 

#21 donadani

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 02:51 PM

Well the photograph is definitely 10 times more elegant. Wide open lens, nice shooting angle, beautiful background bokeh. If the Stowaway were presented in the same manner and the Traveler photographed as the Stowaway is well........ 

 

...i guess in that case the Travelers focuser would just look 10times better  neener.gif 


 

#22 Jeff B

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 03:09 PM

For some reason, I don't think this one is the oil spaced...

Actually Jeff some of the last of the pre-ED 6" F9 Starfires were indeed air-spaced.  A notch above in color correction over the oil spaced ones (but not by much) but a little more thermally challenged and sensitive to internal element alignment.  I had two samples over ten years ago and both were excellent performers.   See the pictures.

 

 

Jeff

Attached Thumbnails

  • P1010810-A.jpg
  • AP 152 Tube Assembly-Side.jpg
  • AP 152 Lens With Dust.jpg

 

#23 Jeff Struve

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 03:15 PM

It is a beastie isn't it!

 

How would this stack up against its current rivals (other than FL)... Like a Tak or TEC or even a newer AP... all in the 130mm - 160mm range... and under the $10k mark?

 

If selling the mount and pier, the $$$ I'll be spending are not much more than an ES or SkyWatcher or Orion...


 

#24 Jeff B

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 03:32 PM

Well, on paper (interferometer test reports and such), the newer scopes would perform better.....maybe, depends on when the scope is "good enough" to ship.  Roland made those earlier pre-ED scopes using DPAC, knife edge and star testing since he did not have an interferometer then.   But those are very effective tools too.  But not as precise as a well set up interferometer with an experienced user.

 

The newer scopes would be a bit better in the deep blue and red.....maybe, remember the 152 is F9, most newer scopes are F7-ish.  The "white cell" version you see above went toe-to-toe visually with a TMB LZOS 6" F8 that I had.

 

Now if you are fairly deep into deep sky AP, the newer ones IMO, are much more flexible as there are dedicated reducers/flatteners/correctors available.  I'm unaware of any such things that exist for the older AP's.  For solar system imaging though, that's not really an issue.

 

Jeff


 

#25 davidmcgo

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 03:38 PM

AP used to make a flattener for these, part number 67PF69.  The 0.75x photovisual telecompressor 27TVPH will fit if it is the focuser style in Jeff B's picture.

 

Dave


 


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