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What is your favorite classic "find" with pictures and details

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#1 shredder1656

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 09:04 AM

If this is redundant, feel free to delete it, but I have enjoyed most of the threads with pictures on the classics forum already.  Who doesn't love seeing the beautiful classics and reading some intimate details about them?  I personally would enjoy hearing from the members here regarding your favorite and most valued classic scope, details on how it was acquired (interesting or not), why it is your favorite, and maybe how it performs vs how much you love it.  Any other info would be great too.  

 

Maybe I am just jonesing for some classics to ogle, but it seemed like a good topic.  Pictures are definitely required.  lol.gif 

 

Even though I am more interested in hearing/seeing everyone else's posts, but I should start since I am asking...I guess.  Much of my info was already in another thread, but  my favorite is the SPI 527-6301 that my Grandpa bought brand-new.  Grandpa and the family used it for years.  My dad remembers looking at a solar eclipse in the early 60s ('63?).  The whole family always bragged about how "powerful" it was.  I remember it sitting in my grandparent's storage room, and being boosted up to look through it one time.  I remember being unimpressed, because I saw NOTHING through the .965" ep.  LOL.  It was long gone by the time I was hooked by the astro bug in 2017.  With some help from my dad, we tracked it down and I bought it back into the family earlier this year.   

 

It is my favorite because it was my dad's.  While it is an excellent scope with a great optical heritage, the fact that it connects me to Grandpa and Dad makes it a keeper ad infinitum.  I envy the era, even though I had a great time as a boy myself, during which my dad grew.  The time when space was yet unexplored, and sci-fi was entirely plausible even to an adult, let alone a bike-riding, baseball playing, bb gun shooting, tree climbing, kid.  That scope has privileged our family, Grandpa's drinking buddies, Dad's neighborhood pals, and now my kids with their friends, with amazing views of our solar system and more.  It ain't going anywhere.  grin.gif 

 

Here is a picture to comply.  My dad and my grandma during the scope's first light in many years.  

 

20180525_221356.jpg

 

 

 

 


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#2 Stellar1

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 09:30 AM

What a great story that was, I think it’s awesome you tracked it down and bought it back, that alone must have been a whole bunch of fun.


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#3 TOM KIEHL

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 09:58 AM

Mine Hands down would have to be the "  Mark Chaffee and Mike Heleba 10" F5 Stellafane ATM RETURNS "

 

https://www.cloudyni...urns/?p=8014641

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#4 John Higbee

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 10:27 AM

Mine is the 6" f/15 Spacek-Varady refractor...made by Mike Spacek in the early '60s for Joe Varady, a member of the Lehigh Valley Amateur Astronomers...donated to Moravian College, from whom I purchased it.

 

Looking forward to completing the renovation (restoring the 2" diameter GEM and OTA) once the weather warms up!

 

First picture is first light after mechanical renovation (described in CN thread, "Let the classic speak for itself"); second is a picture of the Moon taken at prime focus; third is at NEAF 2018 (cosmetic restoration partially complete).

 

20171111_062055 (2).jpg

 

20171111_061007 (3).jpg

 

john and 6 inch at NEAF (1).jpg

 

John


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#5 Bomber Bob

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 11:00 AM

My $150 1971 Criterion RV-6 Dynascope.  I found it.  Local.  Got to look it over before buying.  Got the original owner's story, accessories, and observing notes.  Cost peanuts to restore & improve.  Views are exceptional:

 

RV-6 - Jupiter (Sundown) 20170710V03BS37.jpg RV6 vs SN6 - First Lights 20161201 S03.jpg

 

But my ATM 5" F5 Triplet gets an honorable mention:  It's a Bomber Bob Oddball (that nobody in their right mind would buy!) that's like the RV-6 in terms of low cost to acquire & improve, and great deep sky views.  Not as versatile as the old Newt, but... Wow!

 

 


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#6 shredder1656

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 11:02 AM

What a great story that was, I think it’s awesome you tracked it down and bought it back, that alone must have been a whole bunch of fun.

It was great.  It will be great getting all of the parts cleaned up too.  Doesn't need much, but there is rust and gunk here and there.  Not a big rush, because I want to do it right.  Here is a pic of the only paperwork in the case.  

 

20180503_203201.jpg


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#7 Augustus

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 11:10 AM

My 1978 Criterion RV6, like JW's, would certainly have to be my favorite classic find. I got it from the original owner for $125.

 

The original owner saved up for it in 8th grade, and was a member of the Fairfield County Astronomical Society for ten years. He then put the scope away for the following three decades.

 

With the exceptions of a quick cleaning and the installation of a Moonlite focuser and flocking, the scope is factory new.

 

rv63s.jpg

 

rv6moonlites.jpg


Edited by Augustus, 29 December 2018 - 11:10 AM.

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#8 deepwoods1

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 11:36 AM

This is a story posted last year, but it is still my best stumbled across find. 

At the last row, as I was walking out, out of the corner of my eye, I saw these almost 5ft tall, wooden tripod legs at a vendor booth at a flea market. Normally these would be from a surveyor. Had to check them out. All wood with a light greenish hub attached. Nice condition. As I looked them over the purveyor of the booth pointed out that they went to a telescope in a box buried beneath some other detritus. Excitement subdued for obvious reasons, my eyes opened wide at the sight of a complete GOTO HyScore 451. Really? I had walked past this a few hours ago. An immediate deal was struck. Was it the "best deal"? Was to me. I own it. It's the oldest in my collection. The thrill of finding it, is worth it. There are others, with a similar thrill of discovery. That's the deal for me. Clear and steady skies....

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#9 Stellar1

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 11:59 AM

Mine Hands down would have to be the "  Mark Chaffee and Mike Heleba 10" F5 Stellafane ATM RETURNS "

 

https://www.cloudyni...urns/?p=8014641

That is one Beautiful scope! 


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#10 shredder1656

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 12:03 PM

Mine Hands down would have to be the "  Mark Chaffee and Mike Heleba 10" F5 Stellafane ATM RETURNS "

 

https://www.cloudyni...urns/?p=8014641

 

Love it, Tom.  I also love that I saw it in person.  Now I just need to get back over there and see THROUGH it.  lol.gif 


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#11 shredder1656

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 12:10 PM

Mine is the 6" f/15 Spacek-Varady refractor...made by Mike Spacek in the early '60s for Joe Varady, a member of the Lehigh Valley Amateur Astronomers...donated to Moravian College, from whom I purchased it.

 

Looking forward to completing the renovation (restoring the 2" diameter GEM and OTA) once the weather warms up!

 

First picture is first light after mechanical renovation (described in CN thread, "Let the classic speak for itself"); second is a picture of the Moon taken at prime focus; third is at NEAF 2018 (cosmetic restoration partially complete).

 

attachicon.gif 20171111_062055 (2).jpg

 

attachicon.gif 20171111_061007 (3).jpg

 

attachicon.gif john and 6 inch at NEAF (1).jpg

 

John

 

 

My $150 1971 Criterion RV-6 Dynascope.  I found it.  Local.  Got to look it over before buying.  Got the original owner's story, accessories, and observing notes.  Cost peanuts to restore & improve.  Views are exceptional:

 

attachicon.gif RV-6 - Jupiter (Sundown) 20170710V03BS37.jpgattachicon.gif RV6 vs SN6 - First Lights 20161201 S03.jpg

 

But my ATM 5" F5 Triplet gets an honorable mention:  It's a Bomber Bob Oddball (that nobody in their right mind would buy!) that's like the RV-6 in terms of low cost to acquire & improve, and great deep sky views.  Not as versatile as the old Newt, but... Wow!

 

 

My 1978 Criterion RV6, like JW's, would certainly have to be my favorite classic find. I got it from the original owner for $125.

 

The original owner saved up for it in 8th grade, and was a member of the Fairfield County Astronomical Society for ten years. He then put the scope away for the following three decades.

 

With the exceptions of a quick cleaning and the installation of a Moonlite focuser and flocking, the scope is factory new.

 

attachicon.gif rv63s.jpg

 

attachicon.gif rv6moonlites.jpg

 

John, such a gorgeous scope and beautiful pic of the moon.  Wow!

 

JW, that is great to find a one-owner with a story from them to go with it.

 

Augustus, I suspect that your scope might win the award for the greatest difference between the age of the owner and age of the scope.  lol.gif   Great find and great skill in the upgrades.  


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#12 shredder1656

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 12:12 PM

This is a story posted last year, but it is still my best stumbled across find. 

At the last row, as I was walking out, out of the corner of my eye, I saw these almost 5ft tall, wooden tripod legs at a vendor booth at a flea market. Normally these would be from a surveyor. Had to check them out. All wood with a light greenish hub attached. Nice condition. As I looked them over the purveyor of the booth pointed out that they went to a telescope in a box buried beneath some other detritus. Excitement subdued for obvious reasons, my eyes opened wide at the sight of a complete GOTO HyScore 451. Really? I had walked past this a few hours ago. An immediate deal was struck. Was it the "best deal"? Was to me. I own it. It's the oldest in my collection. The thrill of finding it, is worth it. There are others, with a similar thrill of discovery. That's the deal for me. Clear and steady skies....

 

That is one great snag, Dave.  I bet your heart about stopped when you realized what you almost ignored.  LOL.


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#13 beanerds

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 07:06 PM

Mine for sure is my Vixen R100L on SP mount , got it for a song and its in almost perfect condition , I used it last night and it show's M42 as good as my 102mm F10 achro.

Beanerds.

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#14 Augustus

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 07:47 PM

Augustus, I suspect that your scope might win the award for the greatest difference between the age of the owner and age of the scope. lol.gif Great find and great skill in the upgrades.


No, that’d be my Monolux 4380 which I sold to Defenderslideguitar. That was from the late fifties.
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#15 Esso2112

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 08:34 PM

Mine would be my 1997 Unitron 142 that I purchased from the granddaughter of the original owner who bought it new in 1997. It was set up to use 1.25” eyepieces originally and came with 3 1.25” Unitron eyepieces. After I received it, the seller contacted me and said her grandfather had more paperwork, catalogs from Unitron and he thought I might want them. I said yes, and she sent them to me for free. Her grandfather appreciated that I would cherish this beautiful scope and it is one that I won’t part with. It is absolutely mint and gives great views. The images are slightly brighter than my late 50’s/early 60’s Unitron 140. 

 

BA93556F-6C0A-4E4F-8670-013E47E31044.jpeg

600FA7DD-E345-4970-8ACE-DAB1A6DCB922.jpeg

 

First light (Unitron 140 in the background)

5D245D45-0365-4A33-A01E-2CE7E3EF0207.jpeg


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#16 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 01:53 PM

This is a story posted last year, but it is still my best stumbled across find. 

At the last row, as I was walking out, out of the corner of my eye, I saw these almost 5ft tall, wooden tripod legs at a vendor booth at a flea market. Normally these would be from a surveyor. Had to check them out. All wood with a light greenish hub attached. Nice condition. As I looked them over the purveyor of the booth pointed out that they went to a telescope in a box buried beneath some other detritus. Excitement subdued for obvious reasons, my eyes opened wide at the sight of a complete GOTO HyScore 451. Really? I had walked past this a few hours ago. An immediate deal was struck. Was it the "best deal"? Was to me. I own it. It's the oldest in my collection. The thrill of finding it, is worth it. There are others, with a similar thrill of discovery. That's the deal for me. Clear and steady skies....

that GOTO HyScore 451   was a real highscore find    good for you on that one  bravo


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#17 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 02:18 PM

well I do like the little Vixen 80mm

 

It was listed here on the Craigs ebay etc ads page  but 2800 miles away in California....alas a  local pick up.

I had wanted one for some time but they did not seem to show up for sale much

 

Someone here suggested I should contact him if I really wanted it and ask him to ship it   nothing to lose etc.

As it turns out  the seller was annoyed at a low ball offer he got from a dealer out that way and was agreeable to selling me just the tube and  finder and diagonal........shipping was reduced when we left out the tripod. I insisted on paying a bit etc for overpacking....it arrived in wonderful shape. As an aside the seller later replied that he sold the tripod locally and made out even better by selling to me than he originally hoped on a local sale...

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Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 30 December 2018 - 02:40 PM.

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#18 Bomber Bob

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 06:02 PM

Congrats on your FL80S.  Aren't they wonderful?  Mine dethroned the Questar as my grab & go champ.  The Q is now on display, while the Vixen is always ready for a clear night.


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#19 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 07:47 PM

Yes  BB   love the Vixen 80mm   

 and it has this cool decal with my favorite  "F"   word on    .......Fluorite

 

and yes it is the quintessential      Grab and Go      It has kind of taken the place of the 80mm Selsi  as the easy   leave it set up and ready to go little show piece. But we will be keeping the Selsi ....just saying

 

I just got one of those cool Unistar light deluxe  alt az  on a vixen tripod for the Vixen 80mmF  ... and they play very well together.


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#20 Bomber Bob

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 10:04 PM

My FL80S stays sharp at 250x, but getting it there ain't easy, so I'm looking at the 3.5mm & 2.5mm Naglers -- no Barlow required.  Any of y'all have experience with these?

 

All that's left on my RV-6 is tube cosmetics:  Remove the Telrad base.  Patch then repaint the tube.  Add end rings to protect the material from further damage (it already has some ragged edges).

 

The ATM 5" F5 triplet needs a paint job.  But before that, whatever scope it was originally, it had a large C8-sized tripod block or rail bolted on, so all those holes need to be patched (they're already covered inside by flocking).

 

Not a whole lot of work, and my two favorite finds will be as pretty as they are functional.


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#21 terraclarke

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 01:02 PM

I love my Tak FC76 F8 Fluorite! To me, it’s about as close to magic as it gets when looking through a scope of its aperture. So much so that I’ve been toying in my mind about selling my beautiful Questar. The Q is a wonderful little instrument and is the truest and most reliable grab and go for its size that I could ever imagine. In fact, I cannot imagine another complete and self-contained ‘observing system’ that small and portable that could deliver such performance. It was a once in a lifetime buy for me. Questars are just beautifully made instruments and produce perfect, apochromatic views that are by far the most refractor-like of any non-refractor I have ever looked through. The images in fact, in many respects are on par with my Takahashi FC76, but the Tak is more versitile and delivers wider and brighter fields and can go higher in magnification if seeing permits- up to 300X on Jupiter without breaking down. The Questar images get dark before they break down and I generally don’t push mine nearly as far as the Tak. And of course, it can’t attain the same wide fields. But the Tak is more to store, carry, and mount. If I had to live in a condo again the Questar would definitely be my choice, but in my house it gets little use. It is a beautiful little thing to look at, but I really need to use it more. 


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#22 terraclarke

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 07:43 PM

Congrats on your FL80S.  Aren't they wonderful?  Mine dethroned the Questar as my grab & go champ.  The Q is now on display, while the Vixen is always ready for a clear night.

In continuing to thin the herd and reduce redundancy, I had toyed with the idea of selling my Questar because, as I noted in the previous post. Its images were very close to those of the FC76, but in other respects it is a very different sort of specimen, and my only Mak. So on really mulling over that prospect, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. The Q will remain both longterm member and crown jewel in my collection. And in my old age it will no doubt advance to position of MVP as well. Instead, I’ve decided to let my little 1977 OT C5 to go. It’s a minty, complete little time capsule of a scope that’s not that much bigger than the Q in aperture, but considerably more in bulk and weight. I would have not considered letting the C5 go when I didn’t have a C8 but that changed early last year when I got that terrific deal, and I have become quite attached to it (the 8). Now my 1977 OT C8 will carry the Celestron SCT banner in my collection and also occupy the position of largest aperture scope. The C5 will go up in the Classifieds soon.


Edited by terraclarke, 02 January 2019 - 10:58 PM.

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#23 rcwolpert

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 09:40 PM

We’re thinking the same, Terra.  My Q and C8 would be the two I’d hang onto, and for the same reasons.


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#24 Bomber Bob

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 09:55 PM

I know what you mean, Terra -- tough to part with a Questar...

 

Once I thought about building a Royal Collection.  Lately, I've been looking at the scopes I like the most, and 5 brands keep popping up: Criterion, Edmund, Goto, Takahashi, & Vixen.  Realistically, Criterion & Goto are extremely limited -- few models other than the ones I have that I want -- not enough for collections, anyway.  Takahashi... naw, too expensive.  That leaves Edmund & Vixen.  Great scopes, cheap to moderately priced, and some real fans out there for good reasons.

 

Edmund:  Love my 4" F15 refractor, and pleased with the 4" F15 3B Cassegrain.  What's left?  3" frac... 60mm RFT with a Rank lens?  Some other oddball I haven't heard of... always possible.

 

Vixen:  Tons of models, and many are old enough to be Classics.  My FL80S is an exemplary grab & go, and the VMC200L is a high-performing oddball.  If I sold the Dakin, I could replace it with an FL102S -- but selling the Dakin would be painful.  Maybe... sell the O/T C5, and get a VMC260L??

 

Y'all see how tough this can be:  Downsizing while building mini-collections.  Speaking of downsizing:  Looks like my Swift 838 will be going to my youngest grandson.  While visiting at Christmas, he went ga-ga over Hadley & Hampton's Classic scopes, and asked ol' Pawpaw about getting one.  Fair question!


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#25 Piggyback

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 09:17 AM

Current favorite? My late 1920´s Busch Rathenow Preisfernrohr. Lightweight and easy to set up. Comes with beautiful original tripod and original wooden storage box. Why is it darling? Because I enjoy it so much on the moon and all the other bright light objects that are visible from my light polluted city observing place.

 

 

https://www.cloudyni...x/#entry8514165


Edited by Piggyback, 03 January 2019 - 09:31 AM.

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