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AP 6" f12 Super Planetary Lens Issue

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#26 stephenws

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 08:38 PM

I did receive an RA number from George at AP. They are only a couple hours drive from my home, so I took some time off work to run it over to them. Everyone there was extremely friendly and helpful. Got to meet Marjorie, Karen, George and Daleen - hope I'm spelling that right.

 

I was told it would take a few months, depending on Roland's schedule. I decided to have them leave the lens uncoated, to reduce risk.

 

The serial number of the lens is 61264, so according to the above post, it appears I may have the NASA glass. The lens wasn't signed, but the tube was signed by both Roland and Marjorie, back in the late 1980's, when I guess this was purchased.

I asked Marjorie about the signatures and she said that was very unusual for them to sign a product.

 

Can't wait to get it back and put to good use again.


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#27 Jeff B

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 09:44 AM

Over the years, I've sent several early model, 1980's vintage lens assemblies back to AP, mostly for aging of the compound use to space the elements.   Roland takes his time, does it right and I'm sure the results are actually better than when the lens was first produced as he has much better tools now for measuring and adjusting the lens elements than he did back in the 80's.  And you will probably get a nice note from him too, describing what he did.  

 

You will be pleased, very pleased..

 

Just don't bug him. 

 

Jeff


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#28 stephenws

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 07:08 PM

While I'm waiting for my lens to be done, I need to find a case for the scope. I've already checked with Astro-Physics and they don't have any cases to fit the 6"f12. I do have a wanted ad up on CN for a case, but I think chances are slim that anyone will have one.

 

I suppose an option is to make one, but I don't have many woodworking tools.

 

Any suggestions? Does anyone make custom cases that are reasonably priced?



#29 ccwemyss

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 09:01 PM

Just for storage, or to carry it around in? For storage it's easy to build something from 1X clear lumber that will do the job. You can have it cut to length at the yard and just drill, glue, and screw it together. But it will add a lot of weight to the scope.

 

A carrying case is more of an engineering challenge, because you want it as light and strong as possible (and those two criteria are generally at odds with each other).

 

Chip W. 


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#30 Jeff B

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 10:02 AM

While I'm waiting for my lens to be done, I need to find a case for the scope. I've already checked with Astro-Physics and they don't have any cases to fit the 6"f12. I do have a wanted ad up on CN for a case, but I think chances are slim that anyone will have one.

 

I suppose an option is to make one, but I don't have many woodworking tools.

 

Any suggestions? Does anyone make custom cases that are reasonably priced?

From my own personal experience with a similar size and  length scope, a hard case simply made a long scope that was a little awkward to carry around even more awkward and considerably heavier too.  Incorporating wheels was a handy solution but did nothing for the weight.

 

My final solution was to find a padded soft bag that only weighed a couple of pounds.  I forgot which company made it but there are several companies on the web which do custom or semi-custom bags.

 

Jeff



#31 stephenws

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 12:53 PM

I hadn’t considered a soft bag.

Thanks, I’ll check into that.

#32 stephenws

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Posted 26 April 2020 - 08:57 AM

Just an update on the AP lens.

 

I had taken it to Astro-Physics the end of January and then last week I got an email saying Roland had finished my lens.

Needless to say, I was very excited to get that news. The email stated that Roland said it is "a very fine lens!".

 

I received the lens last Friday and it looks beautiful! Just like new! And the cost was only $450, about 1/3rd what I had expected. Yesterday I got it installed in the tube and now I wait for "first light" through the restored lens. Hopefully clear skies and my work schedule will allow that to happen soon.

 

Many thanks to Roland, Marj and all the friendly, helpful people at Astro-Physics!!


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#33 Jeff B

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Posted 26 April 2020 - 09:01 AM

Just an update on the AP lens.

 

I had taken it to Astro-Physics the end of January and then last week I got an email saying Roland had finished my lens.

Needless to say, I was very excited to get that news. The email stated that Roland said it is "a very fine lens!".

 

I received the lens last Friday and it looks beautiful! Just like new! And the cost was only $450, about 1/3rd what I had expected. Yesterday I got it installed in the tube and now I wait for "first light" through the restored lens. Hopefully clear skies and my work schedule will allow that to happen soon.

 

Many thanks to Roland, Marj and all the friendly, helpful people at Astro-Physics!!

waytogo.gif waytogo.gif waytogo.gif waytogo.gif

 

Congrats!

 

Roland and Marj and great folks with a great staff.

 

How about "before and after"  comparison shots?

 

Jeff



#34 starman876

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Posted 26 April 2020 - 09:14 AM

Wow , that is great news.  Makes me want to send my lens to Roland just to see if it could be improved on.   The DPAC on the lens showed it could be improved on, but not by much.  But for $500 or less to get a second opinion by Roland would be worth it.  



#35 Jeff B

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 09:27 AM

Any updates Stephen?

 

Jeff



#36 stephenws

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 05:35 PM

I hope to get it out soon. Awaiting some parts for the G11 mount I’m using and, most important, waiting for clear skies on an evening when I don’t have to work the next day.
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#37 starman876

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 05:43 PM

Your views should be spectacular .



#38 Tom Masterson

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 10:21 PM

Interesting information about the coatings. I wonder if it might have anything to do with where the scope spent it's time - i.e. acid dew in certain parts of the country. I purchased my F/8 in '85 and it's seen a lot of dew but the coatings still look new. It's spent it's life in the Pacific Northwest. On a side note, what sold me on the scope from a new unknown company was the fact I was set-up next to Roland's 5" prototype at RTMC, when he won the award for the lens. What's ironic was at the time, big dobs were the thing, so few people stopped to look through a little 5" refractor at first, until the word spread of it's performance. I had my 8" f/7 reflector that I'd optimized for planet viewing and noticed Roland's scope was pointing at Jupiter which was what I was looking at that first night. I walked over, took a look, and was blown away by the contrast and detail. When I saw the ad for the scopes a few years later, I knew I had to have one. I'm glad you decided to get the lens worked on. There was a time I thought about selling my scope and purchasing a super planetary, but knowing it would need a larger mount stopped me. I'll tell you, in my 50+years in this hobby, that's the best $1295 I've ever spent! Enjoy yours!



#39 stephenws

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 12:05 PM

Tom,

Thanks for the information. What year was it that you looked through Roland’s 5” prototype?

Yes, I am very excited to see how the scope performs. Right now the weather isn’t cooperating much.

I have mine on a Losmandy G11, which is probably marginal for a 6” f12. I think it will be fine though, as I am strictly a visual observer with no interest in astrophotography.

#40 Joe Bergeron

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 08:48 PM

It is marginal. There's a 6" f/12 on a G11 here at the local observatory, and it's quite wobbly. It's in a dome on a pier. The same setup outside in the wind...well...

 

I have a 6" f/9 on my G11, and I consider that marginal.



#41 stevew

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 09:23 PM

Tom,

Thanks for the information. What year was it that you looked through Roland’s 5” prototype?

Yes, I am very excited to see how the scope performs. Right now the weather isn’t cooperating much.

I have mine on a Losmandy G11, which is probably marginal for a 6” f12. I think it will be fine though, as I am strictly a visual observer with no interest in astrophotography.

I have a 6 inch F-12 on a G-11. A simple to make Hargreaves strut will make quite a bit of difference.

https://www.cloudyni...rgreaves-strut/


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#42 k5apl

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 07:20 PM

Years ago, early 80's, I owned a 6 inch f9 NASA glass refactor.  It was great, but the 706 mount and the big oak tripod wore me out.

I now have two smaller AstroPhysics scopes; much easier for me in my older age.



#43 Jeff B

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Posted 01 June 2020 - 09:16 AM

And????



#44 Tom Masterson

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Posted 10 June 2020 - 01:52 AM

I'm thinking it was 1980 give or take a year, that Roland won the merit award for optical excellence. RTMC cost me a few $1000 in the early 1980s. First was seeing Meade's brand new DS scopes on display there, especially the 16" for $999, eq mount included (no drive). Ordered one as soon as they came available. It was a monster but wow, going from an 8" to a 16 was incredible! End up "Dob-ing it for portability. The other was Roland's refractor. After that view at RTMC, I drooled over the first ads for the lenses when they first appeared, but couldn't bring myself to spend that kind of money for just a lens in a cell especially since I'd recently moved and was job hunting while working part time. When the complete refractors hit the market, I had full time work and placed an order. Never regretted the decision. 35 years of great views and still impressing me with beautiful views.


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#45 macdonjh

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Posted 10 June 2020 - 09:05 AM

It is marginal. There's a 6" f/12 on a G11 here at the local observatory, and it's quite wobbly. It's in a dome on a pier. The same setup outside in the wind...well...

 

I have a 6" f/9 on my G11, and I consider that marginal.

Interesting how standards differ between observers.  I use a 6" f/12 on a G-11 and thinks it's fine. 



#46 stephenws

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 09:19 PM

Since getting the lens back from Astro Physics, I've only been able to get the scope out three times and seeing conditions have been poor to dismal. I'm really hoping to get some good views of the planets in July and August.

 

Currently, I am in the process of replacing the original Japan sourced 2" RP focuser with a beautiful Moonlite 2.5" CFL focuser with high res stepper motor and hand controller. The G11 mount seems to be adequate at low to medium ppwers, but becomes a bit frustrating at higher magnifications, which is why I decided to go with a motorized focuser.

 

Most of my eyepieces are TV plossls (32mm, 20mm, 15mm and 11mm), which seem to be doing alright, but I'm beginning to look at other options. I wonder if an f12 scope really benefits from the expensive eyepieces designed to work well with fast f-ratio scopes? So not sure which brand or series of eyepieces I should be considering. I do have a couple Explore Scientific eyepieces - 68 degree 28mm and 82 degree 18mm. They are nice and reasonably priced, but still not sure what to invest in.



#47 ccwemyss

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 10:14 PM

With my 6” f9 AP, I was happy for many years with University Koenigs. 32mm, 24mm, 16mm, and a 7mm Nagler. Lately I’ve been really enjoying a 41mm Panoptic. It gives a wonderfully wide field (all of M31 and both companions, for example). I’ve been thinking about adding a couple of other Panoptic sizes, and also trying a 4mm Delite that I have for another scope. I never really liked a 4.8mm Nagler with it, but the Delite has better eye relief. 
 

Chip W.



#48 macdonjh

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 08:16 AM

I wonder if an f12 scope really benefits from the expensive eyepieces designed to work well with fast f-ratio scopes? So not sure which brand or series of eyepieces I should be considering. I do have a couple Explore Scientific eyepieces - 68 degree 28mm and 82 degree 18mm. They are nice and reasonably priced, but still not sure what to invest in.

I have a 6" f/12 achromat, and used it as my main scope for a few years.  To me, your suspicion is correct: you won't benefit from some of what modern expensive eye pieces offer.  Specifically, you likely don't need all the correction they provide.  That said, the wide fields can be pleasing.  I used (and still use with my current scopes) Orion Optiluxe eye pieces (Konigs).  60o- 65o apparent fields of view.  With the 40mm, I had approximately 1.4o true field.  While the Optiluxe was awful in my friend's f/5 Newtonian, it was just fine in my f/12 refractor (and f/10 SCT after that, and current f/15 classical Cassegrain).  

 

When I started using my 6" f/12 I had Tele Vue Plossls (15mm- 40mm) for low power and University Optics orthos (5mm or 6mm - 12.5mm) for high power.  I was perfectly happy with those.  A friend let me borrow his 17mm Nagler and one look at M3 got me hooked.  Luckily, the Ethos were new then and Naglers were selling at a discount.  Off went my Plossls to fund a couple of carefully selected Naglers.  My orthos eventually went to fund Radians.  I still have those Naglers and Radians.  Ironically, I've also purchased Plossls ("smoothies" this time) and a couple of the orthos, too.



#49 Jeff B

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 09:20 AM

Thanks for the update Stephen.

 

I'm a chronic bino-viewer-aholic and you are switching out focusers, so I just can't resist the urge to recommend, at the same time, cutting the tube back a bit to make it bino-friendly, which means no barlow style optical element in front of the viewer.  Though, depending on how much remaining "in-travel" you have when at focus with a 2" diagonal, you may not have to cut the tube.  But you would need another, shorter path length diagonal.

 

Ok, I feel better now.

 

Jeff




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