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An Orion/Russian Classic

catadioptric classic
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#1 rolo

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 09:52 AM

Its been a while since I owned one of these, a good 15 years or so. Its an Orion Argonaut/MN66 Maksutov Newtonian. I remember it had very nice optics with a very smooth Questar like star test. It needed a good cleaning, secondary alignment and collimating. Did a quick first light and was very impressed with it. Star test was very nice, diffraction pattern looked very smooth like if it was airbrushed. Stars a tight pinpoints and bright stars like Vega show zero false color. The double, double was an easy split, M57 a nice little ring and M13 showed plenty of resolved stars from my suburban sky. Jupiter was really nice, super sharp with excellent contrast showing detail in the bands, the delicate polar regions, and during a transit I could actually see the moon's shadow and the moon itself as a little white orb against the planets surface, a 3D like effect. Its like having the sharpness and contrast of 4" APO with the light gathering and resolution of a 6" scope. It has a Borosilicate Crown (BK-7) corrector, Pyrex Primary & secondary with enhanced coatings, and a tiny central obstruction (19.1%) with no spider vanes make it APO like. Love the finder too, really nice views. Scope is built like a tank and weighs in at 20 lbs. 

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#2 terraclarke

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 10:09 AM

Those were really wonderful scopes!


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#3 CHASLX200

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 10:27 AM

Send it my way when you get tired of it. My AP800 will hold it.


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#4 terraclarke

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 10:55 AM

Send it my way when you get tired of it. My AP800 will hold it.


FIRST LINE OF ORIGINAL POST:

Its been a while since I owned one of these,”

 

However, you can still jump!

 

https://www.cloudyni...utov-newtonian/

 

jump.gif  https://youtu.be/S7q_12tYZdA


Edited by terraclarke, 26 May 2019 - 11:01 AM.

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#5 rolo

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 10:35 PM

Put some fresh felt on the rings. Slightly better than the electrical tape it had.

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#6 shredder1656

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 05:43 AM

Looks good, Rolo!  VERY interesting!  

 

I love the name too.  It would be very cool to engage in a star-gazing "quest" with a true Argonaut.  grin.gif  Lots to like with that one, it sounds like.  



#7 starman876

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 03:31 PM

Its been a while since I owned one of these, a good 15 years or so. Its an Orion Argonaut/MN66 Maksutov Newtonian. I remember it had very nice optics with a very smooth Questar like star test. It needed a good cleaning, secondary alignment and collimating. Did a quick first light and was very impressed with it. Star test was very nice, diffraction pattern looked very smooth like if it was airbrushed. Stars a tight pinpoints and bright stars like Vega show zero false color. The double, double was an easy split, M57 a nice little ring and M13 showed plenty of resolved stars from my suburban sky. Jupiter was really nice, super sharp with excellent contrast showing detail in the bands, the delicate polar regions, and during a transit I could actually see the moon's shadow and the moon itself as a little white orb against the planets surface, a 3D like effect. Its like having the sharpness and contrast of 4" APO with the light gathering and resolution of a 6" scope. It has a Borosilicate Crown (BK-7) corrector, Pyrex Primary & secondary with enhanced coatings, and a tiny central obstruction (19.1%) with no spider vanes make it APO like. Love the finder too, really nice views. Scope is built like a tank and weighs in at 20 lbs. 

I still have a Orion MK90 and it is a great scope.   I use it on an ATLAS mount when I take it out.  Even the Chinese got these Mak Newts right.  I had a couple of the Intes Mak Newts and they are great scopes.   About as close to an 6" or larger APO you can get.



#8 rolo

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 01:33 PM

The scope is a bit rough cosmetically so I was considering either painting it or wrapping it in carbon fiber vinyl. Or, I could just leave it alone...a few scratches and scuffs.

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#9 Arief Muslim

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 09:21 PM

Rolo would you prefer this MN61/66 over the SW120ED? Both seems to command similar price used

#10 tim53

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 10:59 PM

Both my MK63 and MN56 have that textured paint like yours.  With the MK, the tube doesn't need to rotate, but the MN does - and that textured paint sure makes rotating the tube in felt-lined clamping rings really a pain.  I'm thinking about making a set of rotating rings for the MN56. 

 

-Tim.


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#11 rolo

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 12:05 AM

Rolo would you prefer this MN61/66 over the SW120ED? Both seems to command similar price used

If it was strictly from an optical point of view then yes. Color free, 150mm vs 120mm, f/6 focal ratio, really good optics with a nice star test that's Questar like. From a mechanical stand point the 120ED is more comfortable to use, and have a good reputation. I've Bench tested the MN and it's very good so sharp high power views of the planets are no problem.


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#12 rolo

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 12:08 AM

Both my MK63 and MN56 have that textured paint like yours.  With the MK, the tube doesn't need to rotate, but the MN does - and that textured paint sure makes rotating the tube in felt-lined clamping rings really a pain.  I'm thinking about making a set of rotating rings for the MN56. 

 

-Tim.

Quit whining and man handle it big guylol.gif  Rotating rings would be nice but I want to see a new design not the old Newtonian style.


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#13 tim53

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:53 AM

Quit whining and man handle it big guylol.gif  Rotating rings would be nice but I want to see a new design not the old Newtonian style.

Nah, in my old age I like to take the lazy way.  Heck, in my young age I did as well!  That's why I built a Springfield.

 

I'm thinking more along the lines of Bill Schaefer's rotating rings, rather than Cave's.  Before I bought the Schaefer, I thought that Cave's rotating rings were the bestest.  The problem with them, as you may have noticed, is that you can throw the optic axis of the scope off coaxial with the rotating rings, such that rotating the tube moves you off your target.  Not a big deal for visual or planetary imaging, but for DSOs, could be.  Shaefer's rings weren't machined concentrically, but longitudinally - so I would think this wouldn't be a problem with them.  I haven't taken them apart to be sure, though.  But I also think these would be easier to make than Cave's.

 

post-6788-0-04279700-1531697164.jpg


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