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Vintage Canadian Omcon

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#1 RobVG

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 01:22 AM

Picked up a 1980's Omcon 811S Newt on Facebook marketplace. 900mm FL, 4 1/2". Needed some work but I got to use it last night. 

 

1st object, Sirius. My current viewing site is surrounded by trees and streetlights so it was the first thing I saw. Not pinpoint but came into focus well. 

2nd, the Moon. Again, decent focus and good detail with the 18mm Kellner that came with it. Same when using the Barlow. It also came with a 10mm Plossl.

My hopes are for views of Saturn's rings that resemble rings. I'm pretty sure the Cassini division is beyond it's ability.

Will post an occasional update with how the scope "performs".

 

 


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#2 Bomber Bob

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 05:56 AM

Is it a TOWA - Circle T (T) on the label?  These generally have good mirrors, so the Rings & Cassini + 4 belts on Jupiter & GRS are on its object list.



#3 Senex Bibax

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 08:18 AM

Blue tube? There is an Omcon 811SE for sale locally here in Ottawa as well. I believe they were based in Vancouver back in the 1980s. Hard to find much info about them, even in Canada. From what little I have seen, they were supposed to have decent optics.


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#4 RobVG

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 10:20 AM

The only other label is a shiny oval one but it's illegible. Yup, it's dark blue. 

 

It 'is' hard to find info about it but I talked to a member here and a guy on Reddit who had one. They didn't have good things to say about it. Maybe their scopes just need a tune up. When I got it, the secondary was flopping around. It's mounted on a single thin shaft. I couldn't figure out how to remove the primary to clean it. It's mounted to a thin plate and likely glued in.

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#5 LDW47

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 04:27 PM

Is it a TOWA - Circle T (T) on the label?  These generally have good mirrors, so the Rings & Cassini + 4 belts on Jupiter & GRS are on its object list.

Its a Canadian scope like Antares scopes !



#6 LDW47

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 04:30 PM

The only other label is a shiny oval one but it's illegible. Yup, it's dark blue. 

 

It 'is' hard to find info about it but I talked to a member here and a guy on Reddit who had one. They didn't have good things to say about it. Maybe their scopes just need a tune up. When I got it, the secondary was flopping around. It's mounted on a single thin shaft. I couldn't figure out how to remove the primary to clean it. It's mounted to a thin plate and likely glued in.

They also had 8-10” dobs and some longer refractors, their history for the most part has been lost in the sands of time and space ! The ones I have seen are all the same blue color. I came close to buying one or two just to try them but I changed my mind at the last moment, I had too many scopes and a wife, lol !


Edited by LDW47, 31 March 2021 - 04:32 PM.

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#7 LDW47

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 04:44 PM

Picked up a 1980's Omcon 811S Newt on Facebook marketplace. 900mm FL, 4 1/2". Needed some work but I got to use it last night. 

 

1st object, Sirius. My current viewing site is surrounded by trees and streetlights so it was the first thing I saw. Not pinpoint but came into focus well. 

2nd, the Moon. Again, decent focus and good detail with the 18mm Kellner that came with it. Same when using the Barlow. It also came with a 10mm Plossl.

My hopes are for views of Saturn's rings that resemble rings. I'm pretty sure the Cassini division is beyond it's ability.

Will post an occasional update with how the scope "performs".

Just enjoy it, you will have some fun, I have heard it is not a bad scope similar I think to the SW, the Orions, ........ but it was just a small company out of Canada !


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#8 LDW47

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 05:05 PM

Picked up a 1980's Omcon 811S Newt on Facebook marketplace. 900mm FL, 4 1/2". Needed some work but I got to use it last night. 

 

1st object, Sirius. My current viewing site is surrounded by trees and streetlights so it was the first thing I saw. Not pinpoint but came into focus well. 

2nd, the Moon. Again, decent focus and good detail with the 18mm Kellner that came with it. Same when using the Barlow. It also came with a 10mm Plossl.

My hopes are for views of Saturn's rings that resemble rings. I'm pretty sure the Cassini division is beyond it's ability.

Will post an occasional update with how the scope "performs".

I believe there is one for sale either at Astro Buy and Sell or Kijiji here in Canada. It looked in pretty good shape.


Edited by LDW47, 31 March 2021 - 05:06 PM.


#9 LDW47

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 05:57 PM

There are two for sale here in Ontario, one is a 6” dob thats looks in top shape but the seller wants $395 C, it looks like even the base is metal as the seller says no pressboard and the second one is an Omcon 811se reflector on a great looking wooden mount that again looks in top shape, he only wants $60 C. If I didn’t have 10 scopes I would sure be tempted on the second one, its only 200 mi. away on a good highway.  PS:  For $60 C maybe he will ship it if you pay for the ship ?


Edited by LDW47, 31 March 2021 - 05:59 PM.


#10 starman876

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Posted 31 March 2021 - 06:21 PM

Those early 4.5" newts gave a lot of people a good glimpse of the heavens.


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#11 photiost

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 06:34 AM

A Canadian company Sky Instruments had 4 product lines:

 

- Sky Watcher - a mix of equivalent to department store telescopes and to other brand names.

 

- Vista - Chinese made telescopes equivalent to low end lines from Orion, etc,

 

- Omcon - Japanese or USA optics in a mix of USA, Canadian and Chinese housings.

 

- Antares - Japanese and USA optics, in housing same as Omcon, but all heavy duty parts (IE: 2" focusers vs 1.25" focusers..etc

 

Their "premium" telescope was the Antares 8in f/6 with the 2-speed 10:1 focuser, a cooling fan and a premium mirror - guaranteed 1/8th wave.

 

Their refractor line offered Vixen spec objectives - I have the Antares 93mm f/11 and it is a very fine telescope.

 

The Omcon Super Plossls come from a factory in Taiwan. 

The Omcon Erfles were 6 element, full MC, Japanese lenses, designed and assembled in Canada

The Antares Ultima Plossls - 5 Element, Fully MC, Japan - apparently these came from the same factory that made the Celestron Ultimas.


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#12 LDW47

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 08:05 AM

A Canadian company Sky Instruments had 4 product lines:

 

- Sky Watcher - a mix of equivalent to department store telescopes and to other brand names.

 

- Vista - Chinese made telescopes equivalent to low end lines from Orion, etc,

 

- Omcon - Japanese or USA optics in a mix of USA, Canadian and Chinese housings.

 

- Antares - Japanese and USA optics, in housing same as Omcon, but all heavy duty parts (IE: 2" focusers vs 1.25" focusers..etc

 

Their "premium" telescope was the Antares 8in f/6 with the 2-speed 10:1 focuser, a cooling fan and a premium mirror - guaranteed 1/8th wave.

 

Their refractor line offered Vixen spec objectives - I have the Antares 93mm f/11 and it is a very fine telescope.

 

The Omcon Super Plossls come from a factory in Taiwan. 

The Omcon Erfles were 6 element, full MC, Japanese lenses, designed and assembled in Canada

The Antares Ultima Plossls - 5 Element, Fully MC, Japan - apparently these came from the same factory that made the Celestron Ultimas.

I love my 3 Antares refractors, views are next to none ! In years gone by I had heard some great comments on the Omcon scopes as well. If I could travel to Ottawa more freely I would probably grab that $60 Omcon just to save it from maybe an unkind fate, their weren’t that many built and sold compared to the other more popular brands !


Edited by LDW47, 01 April 2021 - 08:09 AM.

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#13 photiost

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 08:26 AM

I love my 3 Antares refractors, views are next to none ! In years gone by I had heard some great comments on the Omcon scopes as well. If I could travel to Ottawa more freely I would probably grab that $60 Omcon just to save it from maybe an unkind fate, their weren’t that many built and sold compared to the other more popular brands !

 

Yes I have my Antares 93mm for many years now, it's a keeper !

 

Which 3 Antares refractors do you have ?

 

.

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#14 LDW47

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 08:39 AM

Yes I have my Antares 93mm for many years now, it's a keeper !

 

Which 3 Antares refractors do you have ?

 

.

I have an 80mm f6, 102mm f6.25, it was a limited production and a 127mm f6.6.


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#15 photiost

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 09:06 AM

Yes thats a good aperture spread.

 

I happen to have the Antares 105mm f6.3 - I believe that may have been a limited run as well !!



#16 LDW47

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 09:29 AM

Yes thats a good aperture spread.

 

I happen to have the Antares 105mm f6.3 - I believe that may have been a limited run as well !!

Antares was known for that the same as Gary Russell of Russell Optics !



#17 Senex Bibax

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 09:30 AM

There are two for sale here in Ontario, one is a 6” dob thats looks in top shape but the seller wants $395 C, it looks like even the base is metal as the seller says no pressboard and the second one is an Omcon 811se reflector on a great looking wooden mount that again looks in top shape, he only wants $60 C. If I didn’t have 10 scopes I would sure be tempted on the second one, its only 200 mi. away on a good highway.  PS:  For $60 C maybe he will ship it if you pay for the ship ?

The second one you mention has been for sale here, just outside of Ottawa for the past month, only 30 km away from me. Interesting alt-az mount, not EQ. I have looked at the ad several times but can't make up my mind whether or not I'm interested. if I know more about their reputation I might...


Edited by Senex Bibax, 01 April 2021 - 09:31 AM.


#18 LDW47

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 09:41 AM

The second one you mention has been for sale here, just outside of Ottawa for the past month, only 30 km away from me. Interesting alt-az mount, not EQ. I have looked at the ad several times but can't make up my mind whether or not I'm interested. if I know more about their reputation I might...

Not much to learn, hard to find info on a small company but if the quality is anything like the Antares it will be a great scope, its worth having a look at it, for $60, up close while still distancing ! If you don’t take it I might see if the seller will ship it to me or meet me half way to North Bay. That close you can’t lose just looking.



#19 LDW47

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 09:49 AM

The second one you mention has been for sale here, just outside of Ottawa for the past month, only 30 km away from me. Interesting alt-az mount, not EQ. I have looked at the ad several times but can't make up my mind whether or not I'm interested. if I know more about their reputation I might...

For $60 it could be a lot of fun, a great performer ! The only reason it has sat so long is that many, as yourself, are not familiar with that brand ! I have been following them as to what is available for a few years, this Covid has stopped me from travel except for that Polaroscope in Guelph last June. I just like salvaging them from either a scrap heap or a bad home !



#20 Senex Bibax

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 10:01 AM

The Omcon Dobsonian is also close to Ottawa, Kemptville is 40-50 km south on the 416. It has also been on sale for a month.


Edited by Senex Bibax, 01 April 2021 - 10:16 AM.


#21 Rick-T137

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 10:17 AM

I recall having a couple of Vista telescopes "back in the day". I had the equivalent to the short tube 80 - an 80mm f/5 achromat. It was decent. I also had a 90mm f/5.6 Maksutov (I think the model was MC-90?) that wasn't so good. The build was fine, but the secondary was quite large and the contrast suffered because of it.

 

I've also had various Antares eyepieces (ie: 8.6mm W70, 29?mm Erfle) that have since moved on to new homes. But I was certainly impressed with the performance of those eyepieces (although I never got used to the eye placement on the 8.6mm).


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#22 LDW47

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 12:21 PM

I recall having a couple of Vista telescopes "back in the day". I had the equivalent to the short tube 80 - an 80mm f/5 achromat. It was decent. I also had a 90mm f/5.6 Maksutov (I think the model was MC-90?) that wasn't so good. The build was fine, but the secondary was quite large and the contrast suffered because of it.

 

I've also had various Antares eyepieces (ie: 8.6mm W70, 29?mm Erfle) that have since moved on to new homes. But I was certainly impressed with the performance of those eyepieces (although I never got used to the eye placement on the 8.6mm).

I didn’t even know they built Mak scopes ? Around when were they made ?



#23 RichA

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 06:38 PM

Picked up a 1980's Omcon 811S Newt on Facebook marketplace. 900mm FL, 4 1/2". Needed some work but I got to use it last night. 

 

1st object, Sirius. My current viewing site is surrounded by trees and streetlights so it was the first thing I saw. Not pinpoint but came into focus well. 

2nd, the Moon. Again, decent focus and good detail with the 18mm Kellner that came with it. Same when using the Barlow. It also came with a 10mm Plossl.

My hopes are for views of Saturn's rings that resemble rings. I'm pretty sure the Cassini division is beyond it's ability.

Will post an occasional update with how the scope "performs".

Omcon was kind of a crudish brand from Canada, about 1/2 way between the finesse of the Japanese products at the time and the Russian Tal.  I remember they rebranded standard volcano top ortho eyepieces and they even made a rather impressive steel tripod for the C11/C14 that was very rigid, with a thick aluminum top plate.


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#24 RichA

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 06:48 PM

I love my 3 Antares refractors, views are next to none ! In years gone by I had heard some great comments on the Omcon scopes as well. If I could travel to Ottawa more freely I would probably grab that $60 Omcon just to save it from maybe an unkind fate, their weren’t that many built and sold compared to the other more popular brands !

I've got a refractor I built with a 120mm f/8.0 Antares objective about 25 years ago.  The diffraction images are near text-book quality, the only downside of course is some colour, but a fantastic lens.


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#25 LDW47

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 07:01 PM

I've got a refractor I built with a 120mm f/8.0 Antares objective about 25 years ago.  The diffraction images are near text-book quality, the only downside of course is some colour, but a fantastic lens.

Yes they were selling quite a few stand a lone telescope lens of various sizes, some were advertised as Vixen Grade ! The owner is /was kind of like Gary Russell, he bought batches of glass optics where he could get them from what I recall at the time. As I mentioned the 4 Antares scopes I have owned have excellent optics with very minimal color !


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