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New little apo, now what to do with it?

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22 replies to this topic

#1 jag767

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Posted 29 November 2019 - 03:27 AM

So I just landed the deal to end all deals on a TS 50mm apo that's been thoroughly used, but the glass is primo. Clamshell is gone, someone got a little trigger happy with some spray paint, and overall its a little tired. That being said, the price was good enough that if I only recieved the lens for the price it still would have been worth it (still en route, hence the lack of photos).

The question becomes, what should I do with it? I've narrowed it down to a couple of options.

Option 1:

Pluck the lens fron the assembly, ditch the rest, then build a new tube and dew shield, where the length of the tube is long enough to let me focus with a helical focuser on the diagonal (no focuser on the body). Besides having the upside of looking awesome (since its a small lens I can get away with making both parts out of aluminum on my lathe) this would be useful as an ultralight travel scope, and a little piggyback on my 4" F11 ed.

Option 2:

This option I know less about, but could be fun nonetheless. Tear the existing assemblies apart, restoring proper function/ aesthetics. From there, use this as a component for a beginner EAA rig for myself. With its diminutive size I'd get by with an inexpensive mount, and may be a good way to dip a toe in the pond.

Option 3:

Dealers choice. Tell me what good ideas haven't crossed my mind. I have a full machine shop, including a 5 axis cnc machine at my disposal, so I can most likely make anything you can think of for it. Keep in mind part of the fun for me here is making something, so I'm only likely to pick a road that lets me get my hands dirty.
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#2 emilslomi

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Posted 29 November 2019 - 05:06 AM

Option 1 AND 2, and in that order ...

 

ad 1: There are pretty nice helical focusers around (~50$) with a good inch worth of travel. I would use one of those instead of relying on the travel of just the fine focus of the diagonal. Yeah, the dream of a lathe ...

 

ad 2: Always nice to get something back into shape. Why ditch it IF it can be brought back to life. Maybe another small lens comes your way, and if 1 and 2 are done, its' new home will be waiting already.

 

Emil


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#3 sg6

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Posted 29 November 2019 - 05:24 AM

First 2.

Although you can make everything yourself it would still be a "home made" item.

 

After that 1, as basically little other option for you.



#4 jag767

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Posted 29 November 2019 - 08:09 AM

First 2.
Although you can make everything yourself it would still be a "home made" item.

After that 1, as basically little other option for you.


I'd prefer to go with custom made, as my work tends to go for a premium 😁. Either way wouldnt matter as its for me.
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#5 macdonjh

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Posted 29 November 2019 - 08:55 AM

I don't have machine tools, so I'd opt for Option 2.  Strip the paint and apply a fresh coat.  Clean and tend to all the mechanical parts.



#6 drd715

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Posted 29 November 2019 - 10:04 AM

Make up a finder scope or nice auto guider. You could put a zwo 290 mm mini guide camera on it.

How do you like that 100ed F-11? I have been tempted by it.

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#7 jag767

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Posted 29 November 2019 - 09:30 PM

Well the little guy got here, and im pleased to say the tales of its mistreatment were grossly exaggerated. I would classify it as 8/10 and with minor tlc 9/10. Glass is perfect, and focuser is also excellent. Someone upgraded it to hold 2" gear, and somewhere along the line the clamshell was lost, but that shouldn't be an issue. Also, that is definitely factory paint.

The only thing i dont like is someone had the lens cell apart, as evidenced by some minor marring where it was taken apart. Im wondering if some time in its life it had some sort of issue that was corrected, or what not.

As its cloudy out I can't test it, but just looking at terrestrial objects it looks perfectly fine. I'll put it through its paces when possible.

Attached Thumbnails

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Edited by jag767, 29 November 2019 - 09:43 PM.

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#8 jag767

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Posted 29 November 2019 - 09:44 PM

Make up a finder scope or nice auto guider. You could put a zwo 290 mm mini guide camera on it.

How do you like that 100ed F-11? I have been tempted by it.

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The F11 is stunning, I have nothing but great things to say about it. One of the best bargains out there.

#9 drd715

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Posted 29 November 2019 - 10:18 PM

The F11 is stunning, I have nothing but great things to say about it. One of the best bargains out there.

Did you get the Altair astro or TS version? I'm definitely thinking of getting one. Seems land sea and sky altair astro is $775 and TS is $600 plus shipping. But lsk is easier to return if the optics are bad. Decisions Decisions?

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#10 Tyson M

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Posted 29 November 2019 - 10:58 PM

Forgive me if I missed it, but I dont see how you plan on mounting this scope to anything?

 

Are you making rings? Or a new clamshell?  Or purchasing or own a 50mm finder scope adjustable bracket?



#11 jag767

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Posted 29 November 2019 - 10:59 PM

Did you get the Altair astro or TS version? I'm definitely thinking of getting one. Seems land sea and sky altair astro is $775 and TS is $600 plus shipping. But lsk is easier to return if the optics are bad. Decisions Decisions?

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I have the TS, had no issues.

Edited by jag767, 29 November 2019 - 11:00 PM.


#12 jag767

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Posted 29 November 2019 - 11:00 PM

Forgive me if I missed it, but I dont see how you plan on mounting this scope to anything?

Are you making rings? Or a new clamshell? Or purchasing or own a 50mm finder scope adjustable bracket?


Im sure I can make something to do the job alright.

#13 Riccardo_italy

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Posted 30 November 2019 - 04:47 AM

Buy another one and machine a binoscope!
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#14 jag767

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Posted 30 November 2019 - 07:39 AM

Buy another one and machine a binoscope!


Heh, I actually like that idea a lot.

#15 SeattleScott

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Posted 30 November 2019 - 01:57 PM

Uhm, 50mm is not a binoscope. It’s binoculars.

I would either use it as a finder or piggyback it on another scope and stick a Rev Imager or Mallincam on it. Visual through the big scope and EAA with the little one.

Scott

#16 jag767

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Posted 01 December 2019 - 07:29 AM

So I cleaned up the finish, opted for spun aluminum. Also reprofiled the back of the dew shield, as it was way too long and looked funny. Looking at photos for comparison, I noticed the tube is way shorter on this that a normal 50, but I don't see any evidence that it was cut and rethreaded. It looks like it was made this way from the onset. It will reach focus with a 1.25 or 2" diagonal, and the compression ring matches it perfectly, which is making me wonder if this is some different variant altogether. There's no branding on it, and no information on the lens either. After more digging, this appears to be an entirely different focuser. 2" r&p with finder bracket (that i unscrewed).

Had it under the stars briefly, and it looks to be just fine. Star test looks fine, typical for a little apo. Based on where I got it from, I'm wondering if this was some kind of pre production sample before they were sold. Going to try and get more information.

Btw that's with the dewshield extended.

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Edited by jag767, 01 December 2019 - 01:23 PM.

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#17 jag767

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Posted 01 December 2019 - 07:38 AM

Heres with everything off it and the dewshield retracted. I measure 8". So tiny!!!

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#18 Riccardo_italy

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Posted 01 December 2019 - 05:37 PM

Bioscope, not binoculars. 90° or 45° angled (just think looking at the Pleiades with that), interchangeable eyepieces and, if the optics and mechanics are good, the capability to go well past 70x. All in a super small package. Nothing like that is commercially available.
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#19 jag767

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 04:50 AM

In case anyone besides myself was curious, I got more information as to the origin of this little guy. My suspicions have been confirmed, this was a pre production sample for a variant of the TS 50mm apo. I guess at one point this modifield design was considered, but for whatever reason was abondoned. I'd wager this 2" R&P focuser increased the price on what was already a high price for a tiny telescope. The good part of this is now I know TS themselves were the ones who had the lens cell apart, as it was never sold to anyone.

In light of this new information, I am going to stop at the changes I have made, which solved the cosmetic issues it had. I enjoyed this minor mystery, and find it more unique knowing its history.
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#20 jag767

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 02:43 AM

Had the opportunity to take in some more tiny views. Couple of interesting notes.

The tube has to be racked out over 50mm to reach focus even with a 2" setup. I find myself wondering why it was designed with so much inward travel. Binoviewers on a 50mm?

I posted somewhere, half in gest, that rather than try to balance it with the maxvision 40mm ep, at 8x magnification and around an 8.5° fov, it's easily usable handheld. While it's generally more enjoyable on a tripod, this is actually very doable, particularly seated. Should I devise a strap for it, it's possible this may be a preferred method of viewing.

This little guy is really great for cold nights with just a few mins available. Grab it sans tripod, leave a few mins to cool, and good to go. Im usually not one to use the knob to lock it in focus, but hand held its a must.

I know the 60mm size has been in favor, particularly for its great pricing, however should these ever find a more competitive price and be rereleased I'd readily encourage giving it a try! To have any appeal I'd guess they'd have to be around $299, which may or may not be doable.

#21 balu01

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 01:48 PM

jag767 - that thing is way too cool ! Congrats


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#22 Astrojensen

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 02:00 PM

I posted somewhere, half in gest, that rather than try to balance it with the maxvision 40mm ep, at 8x magnification and around an 8.5° fov, it's easily usable handheld. While it's generally more enjoyable on a tripod, this is actually very doable, particularly seated. Should I devise a strap for it, it's possible this may be a preferred method of viewing.

I have a homemade 40mm f/6 achromat that I use handheld up to 24x magnification. Works a lot better than one might think. Obviously not as well as if on a tripod, but quite usable. Normal magnification is lower, though, from 10x to 17x, which works extremely well. The increased magnification over ordinary binoculars means that it's much easier to distinguish small globulars and galaxies from stars, for example. At 24x, I can distinctly see M57 as a tiny disk, something no ordinary 40mm binoculars can do. And the next moment, I can be cruising the Milky Way at 10x and with a 6.8° TFOV (24mm ES68). 

 

Thanks to the diagonal, it's much more comfortable near the zenith than ordinary binoculars and I find myself reaching for this small, handheld scope a lot more often, than I do for my binoculars. 

 

gallery_55742_4772_310932.jpg

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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#23 jag767

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 08:19 AM

I have a homemade 40mm f/6 achromat that I use handheld up to 24x magnification. Works a lot better than one might think. Obviously not as well as if on a tripod, but quite usable. Normal magnification is lower, though, from 10x to 17x, which works extremely well. The increased magnification over ordinary binoculars means that it's much easier to distinguish small globulars and galaxies from stars, for example. At 24x, I can distinctly see M57 as a tiny disk, something no ordinary 40mm binoculars can do. And the next moment, I can be cruising the Milky Way at 10x and with a 6.8° TFOV (24mm ES68).

Thanks to the diagonal, it's much more comfortable near the zenith than ordinary binoculars and I find myself reaching for this small, handheld scope a lot more often, than I do for my binoculars.

gallery_55742_4772_310932.jpg


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


Yup! Its conceivable I could take it sans mount as a travel scope in a very small pelican case. I have tried binoculars many times, but without a diagonal it just doesnt work for me. This, on the other hand, is quite enjoyable.

I may make an alternate configuration, where i just transfer the lens cell over specifically for this purpose. It'd allow me to shave some weight off (at least a pound), and make the handheld use more practical. Just a tube, dewshield, and machine a 2" helical focuser for my diagonal.

As for the earlier post to make a binoscope with two of these lenses, well if I could find a 2nd one I think I'd really like to try!


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