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#151 Marcus Roman

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Posted 14 August 2021 - 12:57 PM

Mizar in the ‘80s produced some “magic” gears as the Achro 80/1000, the SL Newton series whose mirror were worked at least at lambda 1/8 up to lambda 1/20 and the incredible FA80 fluorite in the attempt to compete with Vixen and Takahashi.

I watched in all of them and they all delivered great star test and great sharp images into the limits of their aperture and optical scheme.

A group of friends of mine had a star party a couple of days ago in the central of Italy: AP Starfire 140EDF, Takahashi FS128, Vixen 130EDSS and the smaller FA80 blue specimen from the 1983 year were competing.

While the bigger diameters showed more details on Jupiter and some more saturated colors in the Jovian’s bands, my friends were all flabbergasted by the quality of the images given by the 3” FA80, crystal clear, cut in the diamond!

Fewer details but a crispier natural image!

I know this because I own bigger APOs but I always (when decent seeing permits it) am really astonished of how good the Mizar works.

Mizar, a great underrated Japanese scopes manufacturer….I still need to understand who were producing the fluorite lenses for them….


Edited by Marcus Roman, 14 August 2021 - 01:00 PM.

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#152 Bomber Bob

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Posted 14 August 2021 - 01:45 PM

Marcus, Thank You! for the information!

 

Mizar, a great underrated Japanese scopes manufacturer….I still need to understand who were producing the fluorite lenses for them….

 

I agree.  Hate that I'm late to the party (as usual!!)...  Been in our hobby most of my life, and just now discovering MIZAR -- innovation & quality.

 

I posted links to some of the 1/20-labeled SL Newts...  May have to buy one for myself -- after my No Buy Moratorium runs out...  I wonder how well a 150SL would do against my refractor-like Meade 826...  OR, how well my Comet would do against a Tak MT-100...  (I can tell Debra -- 100% honestly! -- I'm doing SCIENCE with these Side-By-Sides.)


Edited by Bomber Bob, 14 August 2021 - 01:52 PM.

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#153 Bomber Bob

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Posted 27 August 2021 - 01:26 PM

As a follow-up on 1980s Mizar, Takahashi, & Vixen scopes:

 

- Fluorites:  Optically, the only difference I've seen (so far) between Tak & Vixen are more degrees of kind, and subjective, than objective.  IOW:  Equivalent optical quality.  As with a lot of fracs, there are some I like for some views of specific objects.  Objectively, both yield near-perfect DPAC patterns on my rig.

 

- Achromatics:  Haven't tested any Tak achros.  Mizar & Vixen are also more / less equivalent, depending on the particular model.  But, if there's a better 80mm F11 than the C80P, I haven't used it yet.  Excellent DPAC patterns from both.  Gotta give kudos to Mizar for the F7 GT-80S for resolution (perfect star tests) and false-color control in a relatively fast achromatic doublet.  I love the beautiful Airy Disks.  (Who cares if the star colors are 100% accurate?)

 

- Reflectors:  Again, no Tak yet for comparisons.  But, I've been very impressed by the 100mm to 114mm Newtonians from both Mizar & Vixen -- lots of capability in highly portable scopes.  I made some very good Jupiter & Saturn images with a C114, and I expect similar results from my F8 Mizar Comet.

 

HARDWARE...  No doubt in my mind that Mizar took some design cues from Tak:  I've seen several early 1980s Tak FS Series that look near identical to my GT-80S -- lens cell shape, dewshield size & shape, and the way the focuser has an external flange that threads onto the tube (with a microscopic grub screw that goes through the flange to lock it in place).  All 3 are quality instruments -- no plastics.  In general, the Vixen OTAs are the lightest for aperture & length -- I really appreciate that when moving rigs around the yard.  Tak is by far the heaviest.  Mizar... well, it depends.

 

FOCUSERS...  All 3 use rack & pinion units in cast aluminum housings.  All are adequate to great.  My Vixen scopes are F10 or higher, with a more forgiving focal range; the precision requirements aren't as high as for the faster Mizar & Tak.  The GT-80S unit is the best.  When making large movements, it feels almost fluid (lower resistance); then, feels like it shifts to a lower gear for fine focusing -- essential when attempting higher magnifications with an F7 refractor.  Conversely, the F8 Comet takes more effort than the F10 C114 to nail focus -- it could really use a GT-style focuser!  Honestly, my 2 Tak fluorites are somewhere between the GT-80 & C102 -- takes practice & patience.

 

FIT & FINISH...  No complaints with any of these.  Obvious craftsmanship and attention to detail in all the Mizar, Tak, & Vixen scopes I've used.  Just me, but I like the unusual colors of the Mizars -- hard to miss!

 

EQ MOUNTS...  Tak by a mile, but they are heavy boogers!  I think the Mizar & Vixen Super Polaris models are comparable for quality & capability.  I haven't had a chance to do Side-By-Sides between them, but IMO, the Mizar MMD System looks clunkier than similar Vixen controllers.  Based on what I read on CN & elsewhere, both brands are acceptable analog tracking platforms, and perform as designed -- primarily for visual use.

 

PRICES...  Mizar & Vixen are comparable -- each OTA was $200 or less.  IMO, on the used market, you can get a lot of scope for your money from any of these 3.  Yes, there is a Tak Premium -- especially for accessories -- but the performance justifies the expense.

 

I've had an easier time finding spare parts & accessories for the Vixen scopes than Mizar or Tak, but I think that has to do a lot with markets & timing (I have no luck / bad luck).  Clock Drives can be very hard to locate -- pretty typical I think for vintage gear.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 27 August 2021 - 08:13 PM.

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#154 Terra Nova

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Posted 27 August 2021 - 01:34 PM

It seems to me Carton might be a better comparison with Vixen and Mizar, conversely I would be more inclined to compare Takahashi with Goto Optical. This seems to make more sense with regard to typical new and used pricing, and weight and complexity of mounts. Granted Takahashi, Vixen, and Mizar have all offered fluorite objectives in the past, (I believe Takahashi is the only one of the three presently doing so). Nikon and Pentax would be others to consider as well.


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#155 Bomber Bob

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Posted 03 September 2021 - 05:29 PM

My All-Original Mizar Duo - Comet & BN-80 Nature Scope:

 

Mizar - 2 All Originals S02 (Comet & BN-80).jpg

 

Both purchased & delivered as complete kits -- the BN-80 included the case & all its accessories; the Comet came with some eyepieces, and original Books / Docs -- all in Japanese.  The Comet's EQ is a slightly smaller & lighter version of the Super Polaris, but has the hardware to attach an MMD system for single-axis tracking.


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#156 flywing1

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Posted 22 September 2021 - 12:35 PM

A Taiwanese site with pics/info. on some rather rare Mizar telescopes such as EX-SD102R

 

https://www.finderop...d/newpage18.htm


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#157 Bomber Bob

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Posted 20 November 2021 - 10:54 PM

If y'all will indulge me for a minute:  Why did I sell the Mizar BN-80?  Since it's SOLD again, my comments can't affect the sale -- nor should they!

 

The BN-80 is great at what it does:  An F5 RFT for night, and a well-equipped nature scope for day time.  I don't do day time nature study, so that trait isn't useful for me.  It's an excellent RFT.  Put a Baader 2" ring on it and... OMG!!  2" eyepieces on a 3" refractor means eye-popping views -- IF you have dark skies.  I don't unless I drive at least 35 minutes out of the city; and, I already have a 5" F5 RFT that can overcome some of the city lights in my back yard.

 

And, I have the Mizar GT-80 F7.  It's a better quality refractor -- weight alone is almost at Takahashi standards.  Better lens cell.  Better focuser.  Better baffling.  And, and Outstanding achromatic lens.  Versatile!  It also uses 2" accessories with the Baader rings.

 

I hope the new BN-80 owner enjoys using it as intended.  I think it would stand up well against an Orion ST-80 -- a very popular RFT (though, I do see lots of ST-80s for sale!).


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#158 Terra Nova

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Posted 21 November 2021 - 09:48 AM

There’s always a place for a good 80mm F5 Rich Field Refractor! Don’t leave home without one! wink.gif

Attached Thumbnails

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#159 Bomber Bob

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Posted 21 November 2021 - 01:25 PM

Very pretty!  But at The Swamp, I reserve a place for a good 130mm F5 Rich Field Refractor:

 

ATM 5x5T - Restore S31 (Meade Blue 60mm Finder).jpg


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#160 Bomber Bob

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Posted 04 December 2021 - 08:17 PM

So far, every Hino / Mizar scope & mount that I've used has been excellent to outstanding:

 

- Late 60s / early 70s P-100 F10 Newt

- Early 80s Comet 100mm F8 Newt

- 1980s BN-80 F5 Nature Scope

- 1980s GT-80 F7 Refractor

 

The Comet & GT-80S are Definite Keepers.  Both are high quality & versatile -- and grab & go, too!


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#161 Bomber Bob

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 09:16 PM

BB's Mizar EQs...  3 of these things look just like the others, but 1 of these things is not quite the same...

 

My AR-1 & Comet are super-slick / low-friction on both axes.  The AR-1 responds immediately to input changes on the MMD controller.  My SP does not.  It has scattered "rough spots" on both axes, so I have to lead it before using the clutch, shift the counterweight west / east to "help" the motor, and run the + / - knob at FULL PLUS...

 

So one of my winter projects will be breaking the SP down to its smallest parts, removing all the original grease, and making it evenly slick again.

 

That's get its own thread with lots of pix.  Thanks to CN, I already have a PDF Component Diagram to use as a guide -- caught a lucky break!


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#162 Bomber Bob

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Posted 07 December 2021 - 08:20 PM

Yeah, I'm looking for one of these...  Meade #784 Quartz Control System:

 

Mizar - Meade 784 Quartz Drive System S01.jpg Mizar - Meade 784 Quartz Drive System S02.jpg

 

Got a WANTED ad up, and all my fingers crossed...


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#163 39cross

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Posted 08 December 2021 - 11:09 AM

With thanks to Bomber Bob, I bought a Mizar GT-80s via ZenMarket a couple months ago.  I waited and bought a few more small items and had them bundle them up and ship together.  They must have some sort of deal with UPS, it only took a few days to arrive!  Everything was packed with care.

 

I was very much impressed by the build quality of this scope.  It's no kid's toy.  Very solid, I'd say even lovingly constructed.  This example seemed to have have seen little use.  It was pristine except for some red marker in a couple of places, which I mostly removed.  The lens was very clean.

 

I had an M42 1.25" adapter that fit so I swapped out the original and am using it with a 1.25" Tak diagonal.  The mount is a little beauty of an alt-az.  The only problem for me is that the legs are even shorter than I am.  The tripod would be good for spotting sea birds but if you get much above the horizon you are SOL.  About the highest I could manage was 42 degrees for looking at Polaris.  And even that was not much fun.  So I bided my time and eventually found a nice set of tripod legs that sorta match, they look like the came from a Carton mount.

 

Observations: There is not a lot of forgiveness in critical focusing, you are either right on - or not. The finder is small, I don't know the dimensions, but very bright and usable.  The adjusting screws are fabulous, dial them in and this thing is not moving.

 

Stars: The double double resolves very nicely with clean separation for both pairs at 112x (5mm), and looks almost as clean at 80x (7mm).  Bump up the magnification and there are nice Airy discs.  I went up to 140x (4mm) and they were of course dimmer but still a usable power.  I think this scope should be pretty nice on tougher doubles.  The optics are pretty good for an f/7 achromat, I think.

 

For planetary and lunar observations:  I see almost no color on the moon's edge, and nice dark blacks on the shadow side.  There's lot of fun to be had exploring the moon with this scope.  With Venus, there is quite a bit of color, but I did not find it annoying.  Saturn, the Cassini division is obvious, but now that it's in the urban super light dome, I am lucky to pick out Rhea sometimes.  I can get up to about 112x but beyond that there is no gain in detail.  lastly, Jupiter shows pretty good detail up to 80x - 90x but with my 5mm @112x it goes from a nice white to yellowish, with no gain in detail.  This effect does not seem dependent on seeing, I am guessing this is from CA?  To get my best focus on Jupiter I use the Galilean moons, to see their Airy discs.  Ganymede is perceptibly larger.

 

So, I wish I was doing better with Jupiter, but overall no complaints for a small manageable scope I can easily move around the yard.  I'm always forgetting this is an 80mm and not a 100mm, to cut it a break -  somehow it always feels bigger.   Below are a few photos, of the scope with the original tripod legs and the replacements.

 

Mizar GT-80S Arrives
Scope on original tripod legs, before cleaning up the marker.
 
1 PXL 20211027 141555183
Mizar label
 
1 PXL 20211027 142410649
GT-80s lens
 
1 PXL 20211124 210244709
GT-80s on its new tripod legs.  Most of the red marker is removed now.  I used a generic plastic container for an eyepiece holder, I'd like to find something a little wider that will work.

Edited by 39cross, 08 December 2021 - 11:21 AM.

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#164 Bomber Bob

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Posted 08 December 2021 - 10:02 PM

Congratulations on your GT-80S!   It's a pretty amazing "fast" achromatic, isn't it?  Mine gets used a lot -- especially on work nights, when I don't have the time or energy for a more complex set up / take down.

 

(But, I still want to check out the FA-80!  So many Mizars, so little time!)



#165 39cross

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Posted 08 December 2021 - 10:48 PM

Thanks, agreed 100%! I've also noticed that the FA-80 is the same scope, except for the objective. I imagine that must be a pretty sweet little scope.

I have a Nagler 20mm type 2, I'm wondering what the view would be like if I got a Baader click lock adapter and stuck a 2" diagonal in there. Could be an awesome Milky Way sweeper.

#166 Bomber Bob

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Posted 09 December 2021 - 04:08 PM

GT makes a great near-RFT:  I attached a 2" Baader C/L to mine, and use either a GSO or AT 2" dielectric + old Erfles, newer MA's, or new GSO WA eyepieces.  Sweeping the Milky Way at 20x is pure joy!


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#167 stevep

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Posted 09 December 2021 - 04:33 PM

Yeah, I'm looking for one of these...  Meade #784 Quartz Control System:

 

attachicon.gifMizar - Meade 784 Quartz Drive System S01.jpgattachicon.gifMizar - Meade 784 Quartz Drive System S02.jpg

 

Got a WANTED ad up, and all my fingers crossed...

You could also look for the original Mizar version: MMD-QZ, Might broaden your chances of finding one,

 

Steve

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Edited by stevep, 09 December 2021 - 04:57 PM.

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#168 Bomber Bob

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Posted 09 December 2021 - 08:26 PM

So, we have at least 2 x GT-80S fracs with good reports.  We have tons of reports on the Astro Optical 76x1200 fracs, which points to consistent between-unit optical quality.  I'd like to see the same with these Classic Mizars...

 

Anybody out there with a Mizar Comet (100mm F8 Newt)??   Mine has excellent mirrors.

 

It also seems that the Mizar FA-80 fluorite APO is a quality scope -- and (possibly) the blue tube versions are the best of the best...


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#169 CosmicWreckingBall

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 03:46 PM

I have one Bob, although my focusing knob had an unfortunate accident.  Beautiful scopes everyone.  Here's my Mizar scope...

51819689247_f3e1cbc67b_z.jpg


And incidentally, would anyone happen to have one of these shafts for spare parts?

51820741833_5aa274e5a2_z.jpg


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#170 Bomber Bob

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 03:54 PM

Cool!  How are The Views??


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#171 CosmicWreckingBall

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 03:56 PM

Crisp and bright.  Before it broke, it was as good as my 12" meade lightbridge!  Crisp and bright.  I got to use it twice before the unfortunate break.


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