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German made Butenschön Refractor

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#1 bartine

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 12:15 PM

I recently picked up a German made Butenschön refractor

 

It is 3.5" and has a focal length of around 50" - so it is roughly F14

 

The mount appears to be designed to sit on a platform - my pics show it sitting on top of a 3' high platform

 

The mount is really heavy and solid - but there was a bit of wiggle when using it - I haven't tried to work that out yet

 

 

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#2 bartine

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 12:20 PM

It has a counterweight which is really useful in balancing it

 

The focuser shaft is like 1/8" solid brass - really smooth and solid

 

It is a 1.25" prism diagonal - it screws directly onto the focuser shaft

 

Weiredest part of the whole thing - it literally has 1/2 a binoclular mounted on it as a finder scope - works ok but strange when the rest of it is such high quality

 

The front lens is built to look like there is a dew shield, but it actually it just a larger tube element to hold the objective - the objective is right at the end of the tube with no protection from dew at all

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#3 Couder

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 12:48 PM

Who's to say the finder is original? Even the 1st owner might have put it on before using it the 1st time. Restoration is a difficult thing - restore something to which time frame? We went through that with one of our historic homes, it had been worked over more than once, so which time period do you restore it to? 


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#4 bartine

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 01:23 PM

It is attached in a well engineered fashion either way - 

 

As a nice add on - the scope came with a pretty eyepiece...

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#5 Matty S

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 01:33 PM

Restoration is a difficult thing - restore something to which time frame? We went through that with one of our historic homes, it had been worked over more than once, so which time period do you restore it to? 

This problem is akin to my conundrum with the Edmund 8 I picked up last summer. After the optics are re-coated I could try tro repair/restore it to original specs or go the route of repairing and updating all the fixings with 21st century goodies (finder, focuser, spider, etc), with the option to revert it back to original again.

Either way I would end up with a really nice Newt on a buttery smooth mount. But which way to go?

I am leaning towards the latter since there are already more than a few fully restored and beautiful examples of Ed 8's out there.

As far as the Butenschön? I've never heard of one before so perhaps rarity points towards going original. I like its clean, simple lines, though!



#6 starman876

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 01:42 PM

So you are the one that picked that up waytogo.gif



#7 Kasmos

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 02:00 PM

You got an excellent deal!

I'm the one who researched and mentioned in the ads thread that it was a Butenschon. I'm glad it was rescued.

 

IMO, the finder is very likely original as I've seen several similar German refractors using a monocular for a finder.

Below is an example of a Zeiss with one.

Zeiss-w:monocular.jpg


Edited by Kasmos, 14 November 2020 - 02:03 PM.

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#8 Bomber Bob

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 05:11 PM

Congratulations on a very rare Classic!!

 

The original owner of my RV-6 used 1/2 of a 50mm binocular as a Big Finder.  I thought he was an oddball, but apparently he knew more about the Classics...



#9 Piggyback

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 05:03 AM

Here's a link to the german language Elmar Remmer Butenschön Site. Elmar is well known for his own in depth research on classic scopes.

 

http://www.astrotech...butenschoen.pdf


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#10 Senex Bibax

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 07:59 AM

Congratulations on your find, and doubly so for fitting it and its mount into a Toyota Yaris.



#11 Terra Nova

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 08:12 AM

That is a wonderful and rare find! George Butenschön was an instrument maker in Hamburg Germany. He specialized in surveying instruments but also made telescopes. He had an exhibit of his products at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. The Smithsonian has some of his instruments including an interesting level. Here’s another one of his telescopes:

 

http://www.astrotech...butenschoen.pdf

 

I think his telescopes are pretty rare. Especially outside of Germany. Congratulations!


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#12 bartine

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 11:20 AM

Thanks everybody - it is a cool scope

 

I'm not sure why - for such a nicely crafted telescope - they didn't come with a longer pier so you didn't need a platform to use the scope

The mount shafts are solid steel, but thin at 1" so it works, but there is some wobble - but not too much

Slow motion controls for fine movements, and you can track fairly smoothly with the manual knob 

 

 

Thank you to Terra and Piggybank for the link to the German site - my scope is on page 3 of the PDF -

"90/1250 mm Refraktor"

Description from the site:

 

With relatively little money, those interested in astronomy could get their own telescope

in order to take the first steps in sky observation. The
Relatively high sales figures confirmed that this “kit concept” was the right one
in order to win customers for the future and thus for larger telescopes.
A look at the telescope range of the Butenschön company between the years 1956
and 1966 shows the wide range of the Bahrenfeld company:
Even the two small telescopes with the designation “f 5” (Fig. 4 - 70 / 1000mm
Refractor) and "f 6" (Fig. 5 - 90 / 1250mm refractor) also met the higher demands of astronomical friends. The equatorial mount belonged to the scope of delivery
"ASTRONOM I K" with an axis thickness of 25 mm, which has an adjustable pole height
and pitch circles

 

Ben


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#13 bartine

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 11:21 AM

Looking at the picture on the German site, it appears the scope originally came with a sliding dew shield - mine must hage gotten lost over the years...



#14 Terra Nova

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 11:23 AM

Here's a link to the german language Elmar Remmer Butenschön Site. Elmar is well known for his own in depth research on classic scopes.

 

http://www.astrotech...butenschoen.pdf

So sorry Stefan. I wrote my response this morning and cited this link prior to seeing your previous link.


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#15 starman876

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Posted 16 November 2020 - 07:34 AM

Here's a link to the german language Elmar Remmer Butenschön Site. Elmar is well known for his own in depth research on classic scopes.

 

http://www.astrotech...butenschoen.pdf

They made some interesting scopes.  Would not mind having one.



#16 bremms

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Posted 16 November 2020 - 09:28 AM

That is a very interesting instrument. Congrats on your find!



#17 Paul Sweeney

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Posted 16 November 2020 - 02:20 PM

Apparently using half a binocular was pretty common in the days of 30mm finder scopes. I remember seeing them advertised back in the 90's by Intercon Spacetec, one of Germany's top Dobsonian manufacturers.
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