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For Fans of Classic Vixen Telescopes

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#51 kansas skies

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 12:55 PM

I took a picture of the label on the side of the 60 mm guidescope. Interestingly, there is no model number or serial number stamped into the label as one might expect.

 

Bill

 

 

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#52 kansas skies

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 01:14 PM

Here are a couple of additional pictures I previously posted to another thread that might be of interest here as well. This is pretty much as the scope was purchased by my brother new in 1984, except for the pillar which I recently acquired, and the Unitron eyepiece turret. The scope was originally supplied with a pillar, but my brother built the heavy wooden tripod seen in my previous photograph for field use. I assume he has the original pillar stashed somewhere. I believe the Celestron 50mm finderscope is a later addition as well.

 

I might also mention that somewhere around here I have the original Celestron brochure and price list for this scope. If I can locate them, I could scan the pages displaying this scope for use here as well.

 

Bill

 

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#53 LDW47

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 07:06 AM

Here are a couple of additional pictures I previously posted to another thread that might be of interest here as well. This is pretty much as the scope was purchased by my brother new in 1984, except for the pillar which I recently acquired, and the Unitron eyepiece turret. The scope was originally supplied with a pillar, but my brother built the heavy wooden tripod seen in my previous photograph for field use. I assume he has the original pillar stashed somewhere. I believe the Celestron 50mm finderscope is a later addition as well.

 

I might also mention that somewhere around here I have the original Celestron brochure and price list for this scope. If I can locate them, I could scan the pages displaying this scope for use here as well.

 

Bill

Is / was that a Vixen made scope ??



#54 kansas skies

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 12:12 PM

Is / was that a Vixen made scope ??

 

Although the APL logo tends to make this question somewhat difficult to answer, my research has led me to the conclusion that this telescope is in fact a Vixen P102L. The old expression, "If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it must be a duck." comes to mind. Although specimens of the Vixen P102L appear to be few and far between, there are enough pictures available online for me to positively identify my Celestron C100E as being one and the same. That, coupled with the few other Vixen refractors of the same era that I own, or have owned, leaves no doubt in my mind of the C100E's OTA having Vixen origins. Still, I have to admit that I've gone over the OTA with a fine-toothed comb and found no marks or labels that might identify it as Vixen.

 

As for my thoughts on the APL logo, as I mentioned earlier, there has been speculation as to ties between Vixen's parent company, Koyu Co., Ltd, and APL (Apollo Business and Industry?). For some reason, this seems to be something lost to time, so we'll probably never know for sure. From the Company Seven website, apparently the Vixen Optical Company was the manufacturing division of Koyu, but I can't ascertain whether Vixen actually made all (or any) of their own optics at that time. To this end, I did find the following thread in the CN forums interesting https://www.cloudyni...with-apl-logo/.

 

Also, as I mentioned in another thread a few years back, apparently, the P102L was present in Vixen's 1981 catalog, but was gone by 1984 or 1985. I found ads for the Celestron C100E starting in Jan 1984, when Celestron introduced their new line of refractors. The C100E was only offered for a couple of months, when Vixen apparently replaced it with their new 100mm fluorite refractor. I came to this conclusion from reviewing old Vixen catalogs, ads in Sky & Telescope, Celestron brochures, and from period Celestron price lists.

 

Bill


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#55 Bowlerhat

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 04:16 PM

So it was sold as a set with that guidescope? Those labels are mixed bag of oddballs, celestron, apl, vixen mixed together.



#56 Kasmos

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 05:43 PM

Just the the other day I read somewhere in this forum that Vixen absorbed APL

 

The two Selsi 247s linked below are marked APL on the label but were advertised as Vixens.

Photo 6 of the first one shows it's marked Vixen on the bottom of the focuser. 

 

https://astromart.co...-80mm-refractor

 

 

This second one has a mount that looks a lot like a Polaris

 

https://astromart.co...-refractor-sold


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#57 kansas skies

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 06:00 PM

So it was sold as a set with that guidescope? Those labels are mixed bag of oddballs, celestron, apl, vixen mixed together.

The guidescope was more of an option or accessory. It is shown as "grayed-out" in the Vixen catalog, and was offered as an accessory in the 1984 Celestron price-list. Otherwise, other than the addition of a larger (and later) finderscope and the Unihex, the scope was offered as a package by Celestron as shown in my "pillar" picture.

 

I know, the labels tend to create a plethora of questions, but that's always been just part of the fun.

 

Bill


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#58 Bomber Bob

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 08:28 PM

Just the the other day I read somewhere in this forum that Vixen absorbed APL

 

The two Selsi 247s linked below are marked APL on the label but were advertised as Vixens.

Photo 6 of the first one shows it's marked Vixen on the bottom of the focuser. 

 

https://astromart.co...-80mm-refractor

 

 

This second one has a mount that looks a lot like a Polaris

 

https://astromart.co...-refractor-sold

APL on labels, Vixen stamped on focusers, Polaris mounts...  Makes sense to me that either APL & Vixen partnered (à la Hino & Kenko), or Vixen absorbed APL.  FYI:  The lens cell on that first #247 looks a lot like the C-80 that I just bought...


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#59 Kasmos

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 12:26 AM

You what more fun? Try figuring this out

 

Vixen Circle K.jpg

Vixen Circle K

 

My guess is that Vixen started out as more of a brand than a maker.

Maybe the same can be said of the Cartons that were made by SYW.

 

Will we really ever understand the cooperation and the sourcing between the various suppliers and companies?


Edited by Kasmos, 26 October 2020 - 12:27 AM.

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#60 Bowlerhat

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 01:09 AM

You what more fun? Try figuring this out

 

attachicon.gifVixen Circle K.jpg

Vixen Circle K

 

My guess is that Vixen started out as more of a brand than a maker.

Maybe the same can be said of the Cartons that were made by SYW.

 

Will we really ever understand the cooperation and the sourcing between the various suppliers and companies?

Prinz Optics 76.2 x 1250mm refractors is made by circle K, but had no idea it's ever branded by vixen. 

 

Kenko manufactured KE-76 (76mm/1200mm), the KES-80 (80/1200), but also their own line of 76.2mm/1250mm (exported as prinz optics) labeled as TA-1250.

There's not really much info on japan market on such scope, even info on KES-80 is rare.

 

I've seen a grey carton cell of 76.2mm/1250mm floating around the market before, not sure what's the carton model though.

 

Also, it is branded as OKKK too before. There's some discussion about it here.

https://www.cloudyni...046-okkk-found/

 

Kenko catalog on 1969 posted by galakuma

post-26885-14072913106958.jpg

 

Here's a pic of TA-1250

TA 1250
TA 1250

 

Also a carton cell with similar specs: 76.2mm F 1250mm

Carton Lens
Carton lens cell
 

 

Will we really ever understand the cooperation and the sourcing between the various suppliers and companies?

 

Even we unravel the relationship between the domestic market, it's still complex with the export rebranding etc laugh.gif


Edited by Bowlerhat, 26 October 2020 - 10:59 AM.

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#61 Terra Nova

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 08:33 AM

According to their company profile:
 
”Vixen was founded in 1949 as the integrated manufacturer of optical devices like astronomical telescopes, binoculars, and microscopes.”

 

https://global.vixen...porate/outline/


Edited by Terra Nova, 26 October 2020 - 08:34 AM.

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#62 RalphMeisterTigerMan

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 09:39 AM

This is truly an interesting history. I'll never forget when all the "Halley" hoopla started that many,many telescopes were starting to be sold by every Tom, Dyck, Harry and their relatives. At this time I was just starting out with the R.A.S.C. Vancouver centre even though I had been doing Amateur Astronomy on my own for quite some time. Many of the members were telling horror stories of going to a story, almost any store, which was selling "telescopes", or at least things dressed up to look like telescopes.

 

As soon as the member telling this particular story flagged down a sales person to get some information about what they were selling it became clear that the sales person was better suited to selling fine china. They didn't have the first clue about telescopes, "Yes, the lens of this reflector is 76mm in diametre, that's big and oh look, 450X! I bet you can see alot with that."

 

The problem is that this gave "all" of these haberdasheries a bad name and any telescope which looked suspect was automatically avoided. I wasn't untill Halley had past Uranus already and my marriage was like the Asteroid belt, on the rocks, that I found out that some of these telescopes were not so bad. The "Comet Clobberer" got it's true name back, the Clestron Comet Catcher and after doing some checking it was found to have some fine optics. Not all the Halley scopes turned out this was but those that were sold under a brand name had optics built by a reputable optical house.

 

Too bad it took several decades of wading through dozens of telescopes to flush out the "Not so good ones" and the ones which were diamonds that needed polishing. That's what happens when you become jaded after seeing and looking through things that masqueraded as telescopes and should have been used as props on bad TV shows and wretched made for TV movies. Perhaps the reason that they are often shown being used "back-wards" is because the view threw the cheap eyepiece is better.

 

The morrel of this story, don't let an "old-guy" go on and on about the good-old "Halley days" and don't judge a telescope by the name on the side. Try looking through it.

 

LOL and clear skies!

RalphMeisterTigerMan


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#63 kansas skies

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 12:04 PM

I scoured the internet in search of an origin for the APL/Koyu/Vixen linkage and found a few references to this possibly being the case, but the earliest mention appears to be that of Galakuma in post #49 of the "Mayflower(Shrine Manon) on E-Bay" thread here on CN:

 

https://www.cloudyni...on-e-bay/page-3

 

"I estimate your scope marked "APL" was made by "Apollo business and industry".
I have heard that Vixen's first telescope Gemini eta was designed by Apollo business and industry.
When Apollo went bankrupt, Koyu succeeded it."

 

This, combined with the Koyu/Vixen linkage as documented on the Company Seven website, does appear to establish a case for Vixen being directly tied to APL.

 

Bill


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#64 Kasmos

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 02:53 PM

It's kind of old (2007), but here's Galakuma's take on Vixen history

 

https://www.cloudyni...lery/?p=1489824

 

The Vixen Gemini Eta has the Alt-Az mount that appears to be the same or similar to the APL Manon.

It appears that the Gemini Etas were actually first available in 1969 not 1970.

 

1969 Vixen Catalog from Galakuma's site

http://yumarin7.saku...n/Vixen1969.pdf

 

Gemini Eta.jpg

It's basically a 910mm version of the APL Manon and with a 30mm finder.

 

Vixen Gemini Focuser.jpg

No makers mark on this one.


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#65 Bowlerhat

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 11:19 PM

It's kind of old (2007), but here's Galakuma's take on Vixen history

 

https://www.cloudyni...lery/?p=1489824

 

The Vixen Gemini Eta has the Alt-Az mount that appears to be the same or similar to the APL Manon.

It appears that the Gemini Etas were actually first available in 1969 not 1970.

 

1969 Vixen Catalog from Galakuma's site

http://yumarin7.saku...n/Vixen1969.pdf

 

attachicon.gifGemini Eta.jpg

It's basically a 910mm version of the APL Manon and with a 30mm finder.

 

attachicon.gifVixen Gemini Focuser.jpg

No makers mark on this one.

Old, old vixen logo, now THAT's rare.


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#66 aztrodog

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 12:37 PM

Here is a Made FOR Vixen by APL on the earliest Polaris mount I have owned. Notice the spiky feet similar to Unitron and triangular tray with matching plastic tub. The RA and Dec axis locks are also different from other Polaris I have owned. 
 

Won’t stay around for long. Picked it up for my Goddaughter’s upcoming birthday. She has always drooled at my scopes, so time to get her started in what I hope is a wonderful and life long journey amongst the stars.

 

Angel

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Edited by aztrodog, 07 November 2020 - 12:58 PM.

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#67 Spyke

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 01:04 PM

This is the Vixen I had that I miss. Should have kept it - specially when planets are around. Badged as Celestron but with Vixen optics.

 

gallery_976_3555_1407448102_24465.jpg

 

gallery_976_3555_1407448108_24470.jpg

 

Have never seen another one, either.

 

Ant


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#68 Bowlerhat

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 08:39 PM

If you get a chance to get one grab it !

I got a select 300, but I'm thinking to give it to my niece.

 

Vixen Select 300
 
The box is nice, reminds me of old school bags or notebooks
 
Vixen Select 300
Paraphernalias including a T18mm eyepiece.
 

This one is 50mm, f6 (focal length is 300mm). They don't list it anymore on vixen website, not sure when this is launched.. but variants of it has been around and sold under other brands, and been quite a while, at least since 80s. A blog mentioned it's from Daichi kogaku OEM. The focuser, despite being plastic, is really smooth.

 

13. Vixen Select 300
 
13. Vixen Select 300 1

 

So the Vixen Orion Mini 60S which was launched in 80s looks really similar, and it actually has 50mm aperture due to the vignetting and drawtube design. Although this was produced later on, pretty much it is a second generation for this orion.

 

And furthermore, it seems it's a common tactic. 

 

Sirius 40L 6 1

 

So the sirius 40L was 40mm F20, but during the later production it actually has a 50mm lens cell which is narrowed down to 40mm. Eventually the trend for 40mm fell out, and 50mm trend enters the market. Many adopted this 50mm/f 800mm design, such as from Miyabe Kogaku, Friend Kogaku, Clear Kogaku...these scopes are just entering the phase where plastics were introduced more, but still producing at least wooden legs.

 

Vixen Sirius 40 L (1)

 

I reckon vixen follow suit later on. The scope then developed into Sirius 50L (and New Sirius 50L), which has a side mounted finder and the thin aluminum legs ..using the same objective. Eventually this line is discontinued (maybe mid 2000s?) and relaunched as modern Vixen Star-Pal 50L. Currently it's one of few modern vixen scopes that is completely made in japan, even after vixen relocated some of the manufacturing to china. 

 

Vixen Custom 60mm (1)

 

Vixen has been long manufacturing the 60mm/910mm scopes, with various branding and models, starting from 60mm Vixen Gemini. Over time, the last ones survived as Icarus 60L, then as New Icarus 60L (which has side mounted finder as well). Eventually the line is merged with Star-Pal, as Star Pal 60L. Both are also the only f16 scopes which is produced by modern company in Japan (Scopetech's Raptor-50 is f11, and the Atlas-60 is F13)

 

43

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#69 Bomber Bob

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 05:29 PM

Pretty sure it was in 1988, after I'd ordered my D&G 5" F10, that I got the first Orion catalog with their Vixen refractors.  After using the C-102 for a couple of months, I think if I'd ordered it rather than the D&G, I would still have it.  With the Super Polaris, it's about the best amateur-grade 4" refractor available at that time, and is still popular 30+  years later...


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#70 cambutton

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Posted 24 March 2021 - 09:32 PM

Celestron / Vixen C100, and C130.

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#71 jcruse64

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Posted 25 March 2021 - 08:45 AM

Back In Black, love it!



#72 brian dewelles

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Posted 26 March 2021 - 01:45 PM

So here is my Vixen space 800m planetarium projector. Its nice with projection bulbs for north and south hemispheres. Projection can be on inside of removable sphere, like a celestial globe, or on walls and ceilings in a dark room. It also has motorized daily motion. Only thing i dont like is it draws the lines for constellations and projects names, would prefer just the stars but still pretty cool.I got it direct from Vixen in Japan years ago. 

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#73 godelescher

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Posted 26 March 2021 - 02:01 PM

Since I spent all that time on the tripod, I may as well show it off a little. Vixen on Vixen on Purpleheart

 

 

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#74 blakestree

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Posted 26 March 2021 - 02:05 PM

Wow, what a lovely setup!



#75 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 28 March 2021 - 04:57 PM

It sure it................the tripod is a work of art. Great color and character   

 

It is also very sweet how the Vixen flourite looks with marching rings and dovetail on that matching GP mount......Good show. Looks like a keeper




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