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spy camera lens

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#1 starman876

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 08:58 AM

Found this on Ebay.  Just had to buy it to figure out what it is.   It is 200mm diameter lens of some type.  appears to be a maksutov lens of some type.  It appears to have a very short focal length.   I did some research on Itek and they were into manufacturing cameras for spy planes in the 60's. Maybe someone here has seen these before and can give me a hint if it is good for anything besides conversation.  I do not have a spy plane to test it out with. 

 

spy 1.jpg

 

 


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#2 starman876

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 08:58 AM

spy 2.jpg


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#3 starman876

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 08:59 AM

spy 3.jpg


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#4 starman876

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 09:10 AM

could it have been flown on the SR 71?

 

http://www.wvi.com/~...sensors_pg1.htm


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#5 Astroman007

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 09:15 AM

Did you already buy it?

 

A fascinating piece of history, if your suspicion as to its origin is correct.



#6 starman876

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 09:17 AM

https://airandspace....ASM-9A13684.jpg

 

Maybe I should go visit the air and space museum. 


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#7 Astroman007

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 09:17 AM

could it have been flown on the SR 71?

 

http://www.wvi.com/~...sensors_pg1.htm

The SR71 Blackbird is, by coincidence, one of my favorite aircraft. Love that design, the Lamborghini of aircraft. waytogo.gif


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#8 starman876

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 09:18 AM

Did you already buy it?

 

A fascinating piece of history, if your suspicion as to its origin is correct.

Yes, I did buy it.  Now to see if I can make something useful out of it or just have an interesting part of history.


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#9 starman876

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 09:19 AM

The SR71 Blackbird is, by coincidence, one of my favorite aircraft. Love that design, the Lamborghini of aircraft. waytogo.gif

I used to see them fly all the time while I was in the Air Force.  Awesome plane.


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#10 terraclarke

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 09:31 AM

I had a friend in Calif that had two similar Maksutov lenses made by Perkin-Elmer. They were white or light gray. I think one was a 10”, the other was a 12”. They were purchased from govt. surplus (I think the Naval Weapons Station at China Lake, but maybe Edwards AFB?).  He fitted them with focusers. As I remember it, they were less than stellar performers when adapted for visual astronomy but great for photography.


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#11 pbealo

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 09:45 AM

I posted this conversation to the ATMoB list server. We have a couple ex Itek folks in the club, maybe one of them remembers it.

 

Peter B.



#12 starman876

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 09:48 AM

I posted this conversation to the ATMoB list server. We have a couple ex Itek folks in the club, maybe one of them remembers it.

 

Peter B.

Great Thanks



#13 Ian Robinson

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 10:32 AM

Hope you didn't pay big $ for it.

#14 starman876

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 10:42 AM

Hope you didn't pay big $ for it.

it was cheapgrin.gif


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#15 Kasmos

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 10:04 PM

SR-71? It could have also come from a U-2 or TR-1.  U-2.jpg



#16 clamchip

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 10:17 PM

or a B-29?

I'd attach a focuser to it and see if it has use as a visual instrument.

A long time ago I played with re-con lenses, mostly Kodak Aero Ectar WW2 lenses. 

I didn't have much luck, great for low power.

I sold the lot to a pro-photographer here at the local horse racing track Long Acres he

prized the lenses stating they were worth their weight in gold. 

Look here:

https://lommen9.home.xs4all.nl/aero/

 

Robert 


Edited by clamchip, 21 April 2019 - 10:27 PM.


#17 starman876

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 07:15 AM

or a B-29?

I'd attach a focuser to it and see if it has use as a visual instrument.

A long time ago I played with re-con lenses, mostly Kodak Aero Ectar WW2 lenses. 

I didn't have much luck, great for low power.

I sold the lot to a pro-photographer here at the local horse racing track Long Acres he

prized the lenses stating they were worth their weight in gold. 

Look here:

https://lommen9.home.xs4all.nl/aero/

 

Robert 

The lens is too large to attach to a camera.  From tests I have conducted it is for imaging wild field.  This is a photographic lens and not a visual lens.  The focus plane is almost right behind the lens on the back of the unit.  It appears as though there might have been more lenses in the imaging train. 



#18 starman876

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 07:16 AM

or a B-29?

I'd attach a focuser to it and see if it has use as a visual instrument.

A long time ago I played with re-con lenses, mostly Kodak Aero Ectar WW2 lenses. 

I didn't have much luck, great for low power.

I sold the lot to a pro-photographer here at the local horse racing track Long Acres he

prized the lenses stating they were worth their weight in gold. 

Look here:

https://lommen9.home.xs4all.nl/aero/

 

Robert 

This lens was used either on spy planes or in a satellite.  



#19 starman876

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 07:17 AM

SR-71? It could have also come from a U-2 or TR-1.  attachicon.gif U-2.jpg

That could also be possible.  Research I have done so far on Itek has pointed to the SR71.  I will check other planes also.



#20 Boom

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 09:04 AM

Contracts of $1,000,000 and over
awarded during the month of May
1968:

Company — Value — Material or
Work to be Performed — Location
of Work Performed (if other than
company plant) — Contracting
agency — Contract number.

— ITEK Corp., Lexington, Mass. $2,505,141.
Stabalized night sights. Burlington, Mass.
Mobility Equipment R&D Center, Fort
Belvoir. Va. DA AK02-68-C-0491.



I doubt your sample has anything to do with the SR71. Itek made a lot of optics for a lot of different folks. The only other reference to an Itek stabilized night sight I found, was a test unit installed on a Cobra helicopter testbed. However, that was in 1973 and contracted under an Army division in California.
Edit: found an earlier test document indicating the work for that test was performed by the folks in Virginia. See later post.

Edited by Boom, 22 April 2019 - 09:24 AM.

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#21 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 09:13 AM

Looks like an old Night Vision objective. Made by Litton also.

 

Similar to The larger version sights they used to put on Navy ships like the mk 37 Librascope long range sight. I think that has a 200mm objective



#22 Boom

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 09:18 AM

https://www.google.c...d=1555942429833

Actually I found the document for an earlier test of the stabilized night sight. The date, contrator, and contract numbers match those taken from the Defense bulletin. Mystery solved.
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#23 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 09:24 AM

Some other large objective Night Vision sights:

 

https://youtu.be/8iR-nQYrrsA

 

These are very fast lenses. F/1.8 range large catadioptrics.

 

You could probably buy a TVS-2 night vision scope with gen 1 cascade tube and use it on there with a proper adapter built for it. Or a modified pvs-4

 

The cascade tubes are pretty powerful 40mm optical window tubes that are three gen 1’s fiber optically cascaded. Gain is something like 100,000x 

 

They are capable of narrowband Ha use also - like a gen 3 Tube but lower resolution in the 40 lp/mm range vs gen 3 at 64-72 lp/mm


Edited by Vondragonnoggin, 22 April 2019 - 09:30 AM.

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#24 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 09:44 AM

Yes, I did buy it.  Now to see if I can make something useful out of it or just have an interesting part of history.

I bet you can make something useful out of it. Might get some ideas from Ken at NAIT Night Vision or Ed Wilcox 

 

Ed’s sight and contact - https://wilcoxeng-res.com

 

NAIT site is down right now for some reason. Maybe someone at TNVC could help with some suggestions too.

 

Ed Wilcox has been around a very long time working with Night Vision.

 

In the EAA forum there is a “Best of NV” pinned thread that has links to resources too. Quite a few vendors listed. One of them might be able to come up with some ideas if you get stuck figuring out what to do with it. It’s probably a great optic.


Edited by Vondragonnoggin, 22 April 2019 - 09:47 AM.


#25 starman876

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 10:54 AM

Contracts of $1,000,000 and over
awarded during the month of May
1968:

Company — Value — Material or
Work to be Performed — Location
of Work Performed (if other than
company plant) — Contracting
agency — Contract number.

— ITEK Corp., Lexington, Mass. $2,505,141.
Stabalized night sights. Burlington, Mass.
Mobility Equipment R&D Center, Fort
Belvoir. Va. DA AK02-68-C-0491.



I doubt your sample has anything to do with the SR71. Itek made a lot of optics for a lot of different folks. The only other reference to an Itek stabilized night sight I found, was a test unit installed on a Cobra helicopter testbed. However, that was in 1973 and contracted under an Army division in California.
Edit: found an earlier test document indicating the work for that test was performed by the folks in Virginia. See later post.

Thanks for the info.   Not sure what to do with the lens now.  I am interested in night vision technology, but would rather buy something that is working compared to building something.




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