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"New" member, old 'scope: Zeiss 60mm (A type)

classic equipment refractor
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#1 kildeerplover

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 09:52 PM

Hi there! After many months of lurking.. time to introduce myself to this wonderful community, together with a nice story about the classic Zeiss refractor I'm lucky enough to have in my custody at the moment. Apologies for length but also: enjoy!

My name is Carmen, I'm from Amsterdam (NL) and I'm an English teacher at a high school right here in my city. I work at an old school: founded in 1917. It's an institute proud of its traditions and rich history. While teachers and staff usually do a great job curating any valuable possessions the school has acquired over the decades, I was lucky enough to have my attention drawn to this very old, very nasty looking wooden box that did not seem to have been looked after very well (this was about 2 years ago):
IMG 5317


The telescope was stowed in one of the Physics dept. storage areas and it looked as if it hadn't been touched for years. I carefully erected the dusty Zeiss tube and cleaned out the entire original box. I didn't dare touch the optics (yet), afraid the entire thing would come apart:

IMG 5581
IMG 5584
IMG 5586
IMG 5585

 

First, I had to get this thing somewhere safe, a place free of running and screaming 15-year olds. School was happy for me to take the 30-something kilogram behemoth home in order to do some research.

 

So, for about a year now, I've had it set up in my clean, dry living room. I've only done some very careful minor "cleaning" of the objective and eyepieces -- as a photographer I'm comfortable enough to handle glass safely. Besides, the amount of yuck that needed to be removed was negligible: the optics are in GREAT condition.

<3  <img src= <3' id='sml_image_view_80569' />
(I mean, look at her bow.gif)

 

Next to enjoying the stunning planetary views, double stars and clusters, I've mainly been reading up on the history of classic (Zeiss) telescopes, which basically meant spending hours and hours perusing this forum, learning so many new things.. I'm very grateful for your sharing your knowledge and ideas about these ol' beasties flowerred.gif However, despite my efforts, I haven't been able to determine exactly where in the Zeiss history this refractor should be placed. I assume it was bought not long before or after the school's inauguration (1917) and various sources seem to confirm this.

 

So, here's the facts:

  • Carl Zeiss Jena 60mm (2.4") refractor with a focal length of 1040mm (f/17)
  • Tube nr.8958
8958tube
  • Objective nr.8936 and hand-written in pencil indicated on the rim of the objective is "K58158" (twice) 

IMG 0475
My brainwave on the significance of that handwritten "K58158": does "K" stand for the German word Kumulativ? If yes, then according to the attached "zeissbin.doc" binocular-list this would narrow the year of manufacturing down to 1902/1903
However, this is just a list for bino's, so I could be totally wrong
IMG 0473
 
  • -The finder scope is a non-original 1970s(?) replacement, Polarex 10x-40mm with a slightly damaged right angle that doesn't seem to be part of the original finder because the thread fit is..  dodgy. But it works wonderfully and the views are very sharp.
    IMG 0476

     
  • Eyepieces include the Kellner 40mm, Huygens 18mm, Ortho 9mm (there's numbers written in pencil on the ortho, too? still need to take a closer look)
  • Accesories include the Zenit-Prism (nr 5955), a funny "Objectifsonneblende" I think for stopping down aperture, Sunglass (which I  won't be using like ever because I enjoy the power of, you know, *eyesight*) and a brass extender tube.
  • Lovely wooden telescope mount which I haven't tried in combo with the tube yet, but something tells me it's original and was sold together with this Zeiss
    IMG 1170
    IMG 7933

     

Now, here are the uncertainties:
The objective states it's an A-type. From AstroJensen's very informative posts on the A/AS fabrication, I gather these were only produced until 1926, when A was replaced by AS.

Flipping through the available scans of Zeiss' historic catalogs, the Astro30 edition shows an "Azimutale Fernrohre auf Tischstativ" and this one seems to fit the bill: the table stand, tube and accessories all match. The A-type is listed with code name "Asalveamos". Confusing is the catalog's reported focal length: 105 cm. Also, on the final pages of the catalog, the objectives are discussed individually and here the 60mm A-type is designated with codename "Ascidia", stating it's a true apochromate. Is mine too? Maybe the one I have is a little older and I'm looking at the wrong catalog. (update: pretty sure I'm looking at the wrong catalogue)

In any event, I'm overlooking something because I haven't found a bang-on match yet in order to truly identify the beauty standing in my livingroom right now. Thus my question to you boils down to: what is it, exactly?

 

I'm not in the slightest interested in selling, but it would be nice for the school to know what treasure they've been neglecting and sadly the majority of people can only appreciate this through value in cold-hard-EUROs sigh2.gif  So, internet shows anything from €1000 to €3000 for setups this old, however if I'm super-off with this estimate let me know.

 

 

So there you have it! I hope you have enjoyed reading about the search for this scope's story. If you have any questions, ideas or know more on the subject, I'd be delighted! For now, I'll leave you with this last pic taken a couple of nights ago, showing the scope in "action".. quotation marks added because, living in the centre of one of the most light-polluted cities in the most lit up part of Europe, there's only so much I can enjoy from my tiny tiny back balcony gaah.gif

IMG 9800

 

Thanks for reading and wishing you many very clear, very dark skies,

Carmen

 

PS Here's the link to the scope's very own Flickr album

Attached Files


Edited by kildeerplover, 12 August 2019 - 07:26 AM.

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#2 JamesMStephens

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 10:26 PM

I can't help you identify that scope, but it certainly is a beauty.  And you balcony observing site is nice, too.

 

Jim


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#3 kildeerplover

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 07:21 AM

Thanks Jim, just trying to make the most of that 8 square meter deck rockon.gif(living in one of the most densely populated areas on the globe1 )

 

And yes, I do love her very much! Although wholesome, I'm not entirely sure if the level of personifcation I experience with this scope can be considered normal, but if I ever had to marry an object I'd surely put a ring on it roflmao.gif

 

*edit: I uploaded the correct photo of the tube (I accidently posted a reference pic of a similar scope I found online once)


Edited by kildeerplover, 12 August 2019 - 07:21 AM.

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#4 rolo

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 07:23 AM

Looks like a Zeiss Travelerwaytogo.gif


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#5 Compressorguy

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 07:48 AM

Maybe more knowledgeable than me can give you more info but what I believe you have there is a ”Asalveamos” model Zeiss as appears in the Astro 30 catalog. This appears to be a “table top” model. The addition of the sliding tripod could imply it was purchased separately as an accessory or as Rolo stated is appears to be a “Traveler” tripod which could mean there was/is another Zeiss telescope hiding about or at least was at one time. Either way nice very find and cudos  for bringing her out of her slumber. 👍

 

Oh, and BTW, welcome to the “Classics Forum”. Great first post, Zeiss is nice!

 

D49B5ECA-E65D-41F2-8F87-D37E58B41E07.jpeg


Edited by Compressorguy, 12 August 2019 - 07:53 AM.

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#6 Bomber Bob

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 05:53 PM

Ah... Zeiss!  Very nice.

 

Welcome to The Classics!


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#7 Dan /schechter

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 01:26 AM

Maybe more knowledgeable than me can give you more info but what I believe you have there is a ”Asalveamos” model Zeiss as appears in the Astro 30 catalog. This appears to be a “table top” model. The addition of the sliding tripod could imply it was purchased separately as an accessory or as Rolo stated is appears to be a “Traveler” tripod which could mean there was/is another Zeiss telescope hiding about or at least was at one time. Either way nice very find and cudos  for bringing her out of her slumber.

 

Oh, and BTW, welcome to the “Classics Forum”. Great first post, Zeiss is nice!

 

attachicon.gif D49B5ECA-E65D-41F2-8F87-D37E58B41E07.jpeg

Hi Carmen,

Welcome to our group and congratulations on your (or your school's) Zeiss. I agree with everything Scott (Compressorguy) said. It is the table stand model. It is a "Table Stand" model with an "A" objective. I am confident of this because of the counterpoise attached to a rod on the tube and the fact that the table stand pieces fit precisely in its storage box.. Remove the counterpoise and place it in a box for a Traveller, and it would become a Traveler.

 

My best guess is that it was made before 1920. Most likely between 1918 and 1920. An "A"objective is pretty rare and should be a great performer. Please let us know how it performs on the sky.

 

Enjoy,

Dan

 

I have attached a page from the "Zeiss Diarium" This diarium does not identify the date of manufacture, but it supports the fact that objective Nr. 8936 is an "A"

Attached Thumbnails

  • Screen Shota 2019-08-13 at 11.11.33 PM copy.jpg

Edited by Dan /schechter, 14 August 2019 - 01:31 AM.

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#8 JamesMStephens

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Posted 16 August 2019 - 11:28 PM

Thanks Jim, just trying to make the most of that 8 square meter deck rockon.gif(living in one of the most densely populated areas on the globe1 )

 

And yes, I do love her very much! Although wholesome, I'm not entirely sure if the level of personifcation I experience with this scope can be considered normal, but if I ever had to marry an object I'd surely put a ring on it roflmao.gif

 

*edit: I uploaded the correct photo of the tube (I accidently posted a reference pic of a similar scope I found online once)

My old apartment balcony in Houston, Texas had a great view to the south.  This was in Houston's energy corridor, really south and east across the interstate.  Directly to the east was a cow pasture, and to the north (on the opposite side of the building) was Addicks reservoir.  Despite all the civilization I was able to follow the 2003 opposition of Mars from that "observatory."


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#9 Compressorguy

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 07:26 AM

 

I have attached a page from the "Zeiss Diarium" This diarium does not identify the date of manufacture, but it supports the fact that objective Nr. 8936 is an "A"

Absolutely amazes me that info survived the ravages of time. Truely amazing scopes!



#10 kildeerplover

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 06:22 PM



Absolutely amazes me that info survived the ravages of time. Truely amazing scopes!

Thanks you guys for pointing me towards the right scope and that handwritten document (wow!), that really stamps it right there. I mentioned the particular model in my original post but the Astro30's stated length of 105 cm threw me off; why list a 104 cm as a 105? Or am I nitpicking here.. ^^

 

As for performance; together with any of the eyepieces it offers unbelievably crisp (albeit tiny), colorful and just mesmerizing views. I actually *cried* first time I saw Saturn with it (TMI? aw heck who cares smile.gif

 

Then again I'm still a beginning visual observer, having been more into astro-imaging, esp. DSLR wide-angle shots.

 

I'd love to learn more about modern imaging w/ classic scopes like these, just need to get 1 more of these adapters from www.alpineastro.com

I guess I need the one that fits my Pentax-K T2 adapter onto the .965 Zeiss. I know it's possible, but the complex setup with the thousand adapterrings makes my head spin each time I try to figure out which one I need to order 😅

 

So for now, I leave you with a very old, very crappy but very cute iPhone 4s (!) digiscope photo of a day- and night-time moon laugh.gif (done with the zeiss+ortho 9mm methinks) 

36745826 8F31 4E3A AE63 F36614D30FC0
 
F355FB4D BA20 43E2 8FCB 5792E4594268

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#11 JamesMStephens

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 09:26 AM

Hello Carmen,

 

Two questions.

 

1. The graduated circle on that tripod, is it marked in degrees?  

 

2. Is that your piano?

 

Jim



#12 Dan /schechter

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 04:08 PM

Hello Carmen,

 

Even though the tripod you have pictured looks like it could have been for a "Traveler" model Zeiss telescope, it does not look like any "Traveler" tripod head I have seen. Traveler tripods I have seen do not have markings for azimuth or the shorter raised area in addition to the post. Could there be another Zeiss item at the high school that mounts on it? Please measure the diameter of the post extending upwards from the base and post it.

 

Thanks,

Dan




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