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Vintage Telescope Finds

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#1126 Bomber Bob

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 12:47 PM

I use both my GT-80S & Tak FC-100 on my AR-1 + ShortPod (legs fully extended).  I'm about 6' tall, and can sit comfortably in my favorite lawn chair.


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#1127 39cross

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 01:35 PM

I use both my GT-80S & Tak FC-100 on my AR-1 + ShortPod (legs fully extended). I'm about 6' tall, and can sit comfortably in my favorite lawn chair.

That's reassuring! You've got a few inches over me so it should work. I'll read up on your AR-1.

If this mount can hold the FC-100 too, so much the better.
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#1128 jkmccarthy

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 01:57 PM

Following y'all on these threads is a potentially spendy business - I was inspired to buy a scope via Zen.  Been looking for a nice grab and go, missed a few small flourites, but came across a Mizar GT-80s with matching alt-az mount and decided to take the plunge.  There was something about it that called out to me.

 

Reading B-B's adventures with his scope gave me hope it will be a nice small scope.  <B.B. - What size Baader adapter did you use ?>

 

I'll post some pics when it arrives, but here is the Zen photo. 

 

med_gallery_277304_17667_11167.jpg

Congratulations!  That is one pretty Kit.  It has the ShortPod (that I use with my AR-1); and the AZ mount that came with my BN-80.  I think you'll be very happy with this APO and its matching mount.

 

The Baader 2" ClickLock with M42 Female Port fits the focuser male ring.

Yes, congrats 39cross !  Looking forward to seeing your post-delivery pics.

 

Meanwhile, I note that the design of the hardware fittings on these "Mizar" tripod legs exactly match those on the aluminum legs included with the Carton Super Nova EQ mount ... see page 3 of the 1985 Carton CST catalog available here:  http://yumarin7.saku...rton1985CST.pdf ... just as Bomber Bob described, the tripod legs provided for refractors (left half of page 3) and reflectors (right half of page 3) differ primarily in length -- and that there are two extension-clamps per leg on the (longer) refractor tripod legs versus just one per leg on the (shorter) reflector tripod legs.   I have a TeleVue-branded RSM System Mount (made by Carton and identical to the Super Nova EQ mount) with aluminum legs (refractor-length), and I'm very impressed with the strength of all the heavy-duty (Carton) hardware fittings on the aluminum legs.  Hopefully 39cross will be similarly pleased in this regard !

 

Is it plausible (likely?) that Mizar also obtained its tripod legs from Carton for these mounts?

 

        -- Jim

 

For comparison, here's a photo of the tripod legs on my TeleVue-branded RSM EQ mount (with the extra CWs added for the SW 180mm MCT that I'm using atop this mount) ...

IMG_1469d.jpg


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#1129 Bomber Bob

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 03:00 PM

Is it plausible (likely?) that Mizar also obtained its tripod legs from Carton for these mounts?

 

I think...  at least during the 1980s, Bushnell, Carton, Kenko, Mizar, Pentax, Vixen, etc. bought metal parts from the same foundry; versus a Big Distributor, like TOWA, which I understand had their own sources / contracts during the 1970s...

 

My Bausch & Lomb / Bushnell Banner 1000 had the same OTA hardware as the Kenko, and the EQ Mount was just a re-badged Kenko NES.  The Pentax J-Series refractors had the exact same focuser knobs as my Banner 1000, or a Kenko, or a Carton during that decade...

 

Banner 1000:

 

Bushnell80mmRefractor-S2.jpg

 

Kenko NES:

 

Kenko - 1980s NES EQ Mount Head S99.jpg

 

Having owned both the Banner 1000 and a (Nice!) Pentax J-60, I know first-hand that they were using common parts; and, the Eyepieces were near 100% identical, too.

 

Pentax J-60:

 

Pentax J60 T03.jpg


Edited by Bomber Bob, 11 September 2021 - 03:09 PM.

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#1130 walter a

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 03:54 PM

This one must be a tweener. I do notice all three use a different spreader set up.

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#1131 jragsdale

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 05:02 PM

About a month ago I snagged a 1973 Mayflower 814 locally here in Boise, ID that was in excellent condition. Unfortunately it was missing the mount. I coincidentally ran into a FaceBook marketplace ad by Steve_M_M here selling a 60s Mayflower 60mm EQ mount that was in pretty good shape. We arranged shipping and I spruced it up with some polish, paint and wood refinisher and now I've got a matching set! A Mayflower 814 with an EQ mount, now to see if I can fit them in the same case together! Haha!

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#1132 Bomber Bob

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 05:22 PM

Both of my Mayflower 60's -- 814 & 815 were Excellent:

 

Mayflower 814 - 1st Setup S11.jpg Mayflower 815 S02 (FULL).jpg


Edited by Bomber Bob, 11 September 2021 - 05:24 PM.

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#1133 Terra Nova

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 05:30 PM

I think it’s a shadow, I agree with BB

I didn’t dispute it, I just asked what it was.


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#1134 norvegicus

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 10:09 PM

I didn’t dispute it, I just asked what it was.

Of course not.  It took me a minute to figure out it was a shadow, and only after BB's explanation.  :)


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#1135 norvegicus

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 10:20 PM

This Bushnell Spacemaster II Zoom spotting scope is my best SGW purchase ever.  It's a 60mm with a 15-45X zoom eyepiece.

 

Just now I was able to resolve surface features on Jupiter with it at 45X.  Callisto, Ganymede, and Europa were perrfect bright pin points and the planet was a perfect disc with no flare.  I swept right a bit and could easily see the rings of Saturn.

 

It's also become my first grab and go to quickly look at the moon.

 

It spends its days on this Orion Paragon tripod overlooking the lake to spy on loons and fishermen.

 

 

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#1136 jragsdale

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 12:47 AM

This Bushnell Spacemaster II Zoom spotting scope is my best SGW purchase ever.  It's a 60mm with a 15-45X zoom eyepiece.

 

Just now I was able to resolve surface features on Jupiter with it at 45X.  Callisto, Ganymede, and Europa were perrfect bright pin points and the planet was a perfect disc with no flare.  I swept right a bit and could easily see the rings of Saturn.

 

It's also become my first grab and go to quickly look at the moon.

 

It spends its days on this Orion Paragon tripod overlooking the lake to spy on loons and fishermen.

I've been looking for sleeper zoom spotters, are a lot of the older ones worth taking a chance on?



#1137 Matty S

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 04:09 AM

I've been looking for sleeper zoom spotters, are a lot of the older ones worth taking a chance on?

I don't know if you'd call it a sleeper but my Swift Mark II is super sharp and easily pack-able for day trips. Just a fun little scope. I wanted one since I was a little kid and found a decent one a year or so back on ebay. Love it. I've heard good things about some of the older Kowa's. Of course, there are lots of fans of the "Discoverer" in it's various brands, too. Here's a fairly crappy pic of my spotters undecided.gif  (Swift is at the top and the only zoomer out of the lot).

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#1138 norvegicus

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 05:12 AM

I've been looking for sleeper zoom spotters, are a lot of the older ones worth taking a chance on?

 

This model is.  If it looks good cosmetically and you can get an objective photo I'd go for it.  The zoom eyepiece works pretty well without a lot of compromises.  Here is a photo of the box with the eyepiece choices.  They thread onto the scope, with a proprietary thread size that I have yet to figure out, so are easily changed out.

 

There is a later model with a simple tube finder built in that was made in Korea for at least part of its production.  I've never looked through one of those but I suspect it's not as nice as the older Japanese ones.

 

The eBay market price for a nice SpaceMaster II is about $100.

 

63831281082551TWnd.jpg


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#1139 norvegicus

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 05:13 AM

Any spotting scope made by Kowa is a really nice instrument.


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#1140 norvegicus

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 06:33 AM

There's also this weird looking Korean version, which I have avoided and not tried.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/153932043086


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#1141 norvegicus

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 06:44 AM

This is an original SpaceMaster, a SpaceMaster I if you will.  It's a rebranded Kowa TS-1 and a very nice spotting scope. You need the proprietary clamshell mount to put it on a tripod. Some versions have a 1/4x20 female stud on the bottom but this one does not.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/255119717111

 

 

I would not be surprised if the SpaceMaster II was a joint Kowa/Bushnell project.


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#1142 Steve_M_M

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 08:47 AM

I've been looking for sleeper zoom spotters, are a lot of the older ones worth taking a chance on?

The Tasco/Vixen 9V with its slow motion Alt/Az Dx mount is a very nice combo.  There are lots of others in the $60-$100 range that are all very good 60mm spotters.  If you want to go up a bit in price, the Kowa TSN-1 and TSN-3 (both 77mm) are IMHO some of the best of the vintage spotters.  The TSN-1 was developed 37 years ago and the TSN-3 35 years ago.  Ebay prices will be $350-$450 for the TSN-1 and $800-$900 for the TSN-3.  I see them on FB all the time for $200 for TSN-1 and $500 for TSN-3.  I got my TSN-1 about 4 years ago for $150.

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#1143 jragsdale

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 09:34 AM

The Tasco/Vixen 9V with its slow motion Alt/Az Dx mount is a very nice combo.  There are lots of others in the $60-$100 range that are all very good 60mm spotters.  If you want to go up a bit in price, the Kowa TSN-1 and TSN-3 (both 77mm) are IMHO some of the best of the vintage spotters.  The TSN-1 was developed 37 years ago and the TSN-3 35 years ago.  Ebay prices will be $350-$450 for the TSN-1 and $800-$900 for the TSN-3.  I see them on FB all the time for $200 for TSN-1 and $500 for TSN-3.  I got my TSN-1 about 4 years ago for $150.

I had a Kowa TSN-602 and a TSN-614 that were both excellent. Anything worth that much cheddar is just too tempting for me to sit on though so they found their way onto the marketplace. lol.gif


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#1144 jragsdale

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 09:43 AM

The eBay market price for a nice SpaceMaster II is about $100.

 

I found a few for sale on FB Marketplace, do these look good?

https://www.facebook...24080792098709/

https://www.facebook...95440317582053/


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#1145 John Rogers

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 09:55 AM

Meade_DS-10_r.JPEG

Meade DS-10 - A local Craigslist rescue.

 

Information on the Meade DS-10 is not easily found and the reviews are mixed, but I decided to take a chance on this telescope.

 

It cleaned up remarkably well and the optics appear to be quite good.  I am impressed with the small footprint of this telescope and the ease of transportability for a 10-inch Newtonian on a German equatorial mount.  The zenith is comfortably observed sitting in a chair. 

 

The Moon photo was a hand-held smartphone capture.  This telescope is going to be nice for public viewing.

 

Meade_DS-10_Before.JPEG Meade_DS-10_After.JPEG Meade_DS-10_Afocal.JPEG

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#1146 clamchip

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 10:11 AM

For spotters my favorite is the Spacemaster and the B&L BalScope Sr.

There are lots of excellent spotters out there, new and old.

One on my many fun things to do is set up some large astro scopes for

when my wife's birder friends come over. Did you know a hummingbird's

eyelashes are not hair but feathers? yes, in a Cave 8 inch f/7 it's obvious !

They have all the latest spotters, all are apo now and some are even

100mm. A few Questars too. The Questar was the king in this field but

not so much anymore. The new spotters benefit greatly with the modern

multi-coatings. All the good stuff are triplets with exotic glass to keep

the weight down. 

 

Robert



#1147 Terra Nova

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 10:29 AM

Being primarily interested in astronomical observation with telescopes, I’ve never really been in to spotting scopes. To me, they’re neither fish nor fowl, lying somewhere in that no-man’s-land between telescopes and binoculars. The only spotting scope proper that I’ve ever really had was the Unitron 80mm spotter and I converted it into an astronomical telescope and then gave it away. I’ve always felt that a good pair of binoculars did the job for me, and if I really wanted more power, I just put a porroprism or an erect image diagonal into a grab and go scope on an alt-az mount.


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#1148 norvegicus

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 10:49 AM

I found a few for sale on FB Marketplace, do these look good?

https://www.facebook...24080792098709/

https://www.facebook...95440317582053/

Yes they do.  The first one is 15X.  At least one of the scopes in the second ad is a zoom.  At least one of those in made in Japan.  The tripods and cases are a nice bonus.


Edited by norvegicus, 12 September 2021 - 10:54 AM.


#1149 norvegicus

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 10:55 AM

Being primarily interested in astronomical observation with telescopes, I’ve never really been in to spotting scopes. To me, they’re neither fish nor fowl, lying somewhere in that no-man’s-land between telescopes and binoculars. The only spotting scope proper that I’ve ever really had was the Unitron 80mm spotter and I converted it into an astronomical telescope and then gave it away. I’ve always felt that a good pair of binoculars did the job for me, and if I really wanted more power, I just put a porroprism or an erect image diagonal into a grab and go scope on an alt-az mount.

My APL 80mm and my Vixen 102mm refractors blow away the SpaceMaster II optically and I have put an erect image diagonal (the Amici that you directed me to) in them and they were wonderful on terrestrial targets.  They are also huge and heavy compared to the SpaceMaster II.  Even my Mayflower 814 is more work to get going.

 

I wasn't expecting to like this little spotter as much as I do.  I very much enjoy using it, it's a little jewel.

 

I actually got it out to look at Jupiter last night because I was evaluating two 20x60 binoculars, a Focal and a Tasco 319.  The Focal is nicer.  Neither was very satisfying for Jupiter and Saturn.  So I tossed the spotter on the tripod and had a WOW moment.  I'll use this scope before either of those binoculars from now on.


Edited by norvegicus, 12 September 2021 - 10:58 AM.

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#1150 Matty S

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 11:07 AM


They have all the latest spotters, all are apo now and some are even

100mm. A few Questars too. The Questar was the king in this field but

not so much anymore. The new spotters benefit greatly with the modern

multi-coatings. All the good stuff are triplets with exotic glass to keep

the weight down. 

 

Robert

My Pentax 100ed is an amazing optic. It accepts 1.25" ep's so the sky's the limit on magnification play. It's quite robust and takes a hefty tripod to keep it steadily grounded (though the Tak 76 outweighs it by quite a bit and forget about the SV 102!) Definitely has that "wow" factor when I have it set up. I've wanted a big spotter since I first saw the Zeiss and Swarovski offerings. Only drawback to the Pentax is that I've heard it can't come to focus with a star diagonal so it would be a neck strainer for any kind of astro fun.


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