Inspired by the comments of skilled observers and fans of this iconic model, last week, i had the opportunity to acquire a second hand Carl Zeiss Jena Telementor II from a gentleman in Germany, Since I observed through the Astrojensen´s Telemator one year ago in a starparty and was impressed by the telescope, and being vintage Zeiss enthusiast, i decided to get one at some point of my life.
The Telementor thread shows some of the background and inspiration as well as the unnoficial "first light" short report.
This time I would like to share the first extended observing session.
Location: a dark playground surrounded by trees and apartment blocks, clear views to north and south, East and west clear above 35 degrees
Start local time: 22:30 / End: 00:30
Temp. 16 degrees Celsius with no wind.
Equipment: Telementor 2, (cheap) Amici prism 45 deg, ES 2468, Baader Hyperion 13 mm, Zeiss H-25, GSO 2x Barlow, Zeiss Notarem 10x40
I prepare the observation dismantling the Telementor and placing the mount, counterweight in a backpack and the OTA in a tripod bag. but it was too short. I left the apartment with the OTA in one hand, and the folded tripod in the other. the tray was in a small bag. I must say that transporting all the setup in one trip is difficult but not impossible.
I set the scope and started the observation:
Jupiter: I started with the H-25 and it was very clear and sharp. i did not expect that performance from a Huygens EP. the disc of Jupiter had no noticeable color and the four satellites were clearly identified. I changed to the ES2468 and i noticed that i liked more the H-25 view. with the 13 mm (64x) the bands of Jupiter appeared in the view. The planet was still sharp and even better than the Mak 90!!! At 120x, the view was a little bit dimmer, but the bands were more contrasted.
Excited by the Jupiter view, i moved to Saturn
Saturn: Wow.... at 64x, the planet offered a extremely pleasant view, well defined, and probably the sharpest Saturn that i have seen in the last years. I decided to use the Baader Zoom but i did not find it!, so i left the Telementor alone and i run to my house to collect it. Now back at the scope, i used aprox. 100x (Zoom + barlow) and this is probably the best practical view with the local conditions (Saturn is very low and the atmosphere is playing its role)
Satisfied by the planetary views, i decided to challenge the scope to DSO´s. I have read several times that this is not the strenght of this scope, but i gave a try.
First of all, i realized that, without finder, the peep holes are not precisely useful, so I placed the ES 2468 and started navigating the sky. It was almost a coincidence that, when I was looking for the Omega Nebula (via starhopping in alt-az mode) i located my very first DSO with this Telementor: the open cluster IC 4665, a typical binocular target, but nicely enhanced by the telescope: stars really crisp, a very aesthetic view and it motivated me to challenge the scope with other objects:
Using only the ES2468 (35x), my next target was M13. the Globular appeared magnificent in the view, the contrast was very good and the view was better than my memories observing with my -gone- Baader Scopos 80 mm. At this point i was really thinking if this was the performance that the Telementor owners praised: the Telementor II performs as a bigger aperture telescope.
The next target was M57. the ring nebula was perceived as a defocused star at 35x and better defined at 64x with hints of the ring shape. How can this be possible with a 63mm achromatic?
Cygnus was blocked by a big tree, but looking above the apartment roofs i saw Andromeda so, now more familiarized with the controls of the mount, i felt more confident to point without the peep holes or any finder.
Found M31 very fast... again, M31 was nice, extending its shape in the field, I know the Telementor is not intended for galaxies, but i liked what i saw. M32 was visible too. I did not search for M110. Just some degrees below, i found Mirach. Nice color. This scope excels at the colors in my opinion.
Panning around Andromeda i found the Double Cluster, Beautifully framed in the field, with multiple stars. The sharpness of the Telementor surpases the performance of my (mass produced) 4 inch refractor, making easier to detect the individual stars in the cluster.
I decided to do a Tour in Cassiopea and the views did not disappoint me: the Owl cluster was very well defined, and i must admit that i never understood why it was also named the ET cluster. NOW, I know why.
I observed few other DSO´s in Cas: NGC 663, NGC 559, M103, and with more confidence, i hunted WZ Cas. With the Zoom i was able to see the components and its colors!
Cygnus was finally unnobstructed so, i pointed to Albireo. nice, wonderful pair. It does not need more magnification. at 35x its perfect!, In the vicinity i observed M56 and again, i asked myself how the Dumbell would look like. well, it was not hard to find it. at 35x the shape was obvious and at 64x was better. The surprises continued!
Now i asked myself... Would it be possible to detect M51? Yes it was. Of course not the shape, but the fuzzy patch was obvious. Probably with better conditions (higher altitude) i can see more, but i was happy to see it with the 63 mm.
M81 and M82 were not a problem. but then i saw a fast thick cloud covering the sky... the conditions deteriorated, so i decided to close the session.
What did i learn from this "first" session with the Telementor II?
It is a very capable scope, performing beyond its specifications. I can not believe it was "just" another 63 mm. The views are really sharp to the edge. My Baader Hyperion had some issues with my former 80 mm f/6, but with the Telementor II I placed Saturn at the edges and i saw no distortion. I saw open clusters as never before in similar apertures: minimal light scattering despite the cheap amici, Galaxies and nebulas were identified and the view did not disappointed me.
I ended using in most of the cases the Explore Scientific 24 68. I did not feel the need to use the 32 mm.
The amici prism that i used was not optimal. i need to get the 90 degree version for more comfort. To be a cheap amici, my 45 deg. prism from Skywatcher did not show the line unless i defocused planets or stars.
It is a pleasure to operate this mount, it is very precise and the controls are simple and intuitive. It is relatively light and matches perfectly the OTA when used either in Equatorial or Alt-Az mode.
In the subjective side of my review i could comment that beyond the initial frustration because lack of a "standard" finderscope, there was a quick learning curve and the initial disadvantage suddenly became a re-encounter with the starhopping and the visual tools and techniques.
This scope made me adjust my expectations, it is not to see "bigger" but to see "better", through the improvement of the observing skills. In the ca. 2 hours of observation, the scope pushed me to challenge myself and that is the best outcome. I expect to get more from this scope in the future!
Thanks for reading!!
Edited by Corcaroli78, 25 August 2019 - 02:11 PM.