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What is the most over rated scope from the 60's and 70's era.

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#1 grif 678

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Posted 25 April 2021 - 04:19 PM

I would not know myself, it would be just a guess anyway, so I would like to hear what others who have more experience would say.



#2 J A VOLK

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Posted 25 April 2021 - 04:48 PM

Cave - the mounts were downright terrible despite the weight, optics were mostly but not consistently good.  I should state though, I was quite happy with my 70's 10" f/6 despite the atrocious mount, the mirror was superb.


Edited by J A VOLK, 25 April 2021 - 04:49 PM.

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#3 CHASLX200

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Posted 25 April 2021 - 04:55 PM

The SCT by far in my book.


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#4 CHASLX200

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Posted 25 April 2021 - 04:58 PM

Cave - the mounts were downright terrible despite the weight, optics were mostly but not consistently good.  I should state though, I was quite happy with my 70's 10" f/6 despite the atrocious mount, the mirror was superb.

All of the 1.5" mounts made from many makers were the big down fall. All just junk in my book as the clutch would stick at very high powers while trying to center a planet. Remove the drive and clutch and the motions were so much smoother.

 

Best 1.5" mount i had was a Edmund. The last Cave 1.5" was by far the worst and the image would dance for 5 secs at the touch.



#5 godelescher

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Posted 25 April 2021 - 05:16 PM

I'm going to make some popcorn and watch this thread.

 

I have my own thoughts on this, but I'm going to wait until there's a bigger audience before dropping the mike


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#6 RichA

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Posted 25 April 2021 - 08:16 PM

The SCT by far in my book.

Sixties and seventies, not eighties.



#7 RichA

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Posted 25 April 2021 - 08:20 PM

All of the 1.5" mounts made from many makers were the big down fall. All just junk in my book as the clutch would stick at very high powers while trying to center a planet. Remove the drive and clutch and the motions were so much smoother.

 

Best 1.5" mount i had was a Edmund. The last Cave 1.5" was by far the worst and the image would dance for 5 secs at the touch.

Mount designs were primitive, companies like Cave  and Unitron continued to use thin straight shafts and bearings while Byers and AP developed much stronger and more compact conical axis.



#8 ccwemyss

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Posted 25 April 2021 - 10:38 PM

My Unitron 142 mount can be hand-driven. I can keep my hand on the RA slow motion knob and turn it steadily to keep an object centered, with no vibration. The Edmund Deluxe Space Conqueror mount, on the other hand, has no slow motion and no standard drive. Rather than a ring clamp, like the Unitron, it uses the pressure of a screw on the shaft to hold position, which is inherently sticky. Unless perfectly balanced, it's an exercise in frustration to try to follow an object - jumping past it, then waiting for it to settle as it drifts out of view. So I would consider it to be over rated (although optically, it's good). 

 

Chip W. 



#9 starman876

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Posted 25 April 2021 - 10:51 PM

To some this thread is going to be like a broken record to hear the same people complain about the same mounts and their problems.  I am sure there are going to be more threads like this which really allow people to repeat their complaints.  


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#10 Augustus

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Posted 25 April 2021 - 11:45 PM

Personally I think the Edmund Newtonians are pretty overrated. If you think the Cave mounts stink - the Edmunds are worse, the tubes are too short and let stray light in, and the darned things are like sacks of bricks. The aluminum tube is light, but so is a fiberglass Cave or phenolic resin Criterion.


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#11 YourNotSirius

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 05:04 AM

Many of them had major shortcomings. If I were to rate them in any kind of order I would do so with a cost value consideration.

 

1) Unitron! Excellent optics but, mediocre engineering and grossly overpriced. Even today, far more money spent on them just for their sentimental value. Kind of like the '57 Bel Air of telescopes. LOL

2)Cave. Way over rated for the money and mustique attached to them. Great optics but horrible machining workmanship.

3) Jeagers. Optics were Okay but, not amazing. Mounts were the same as Edmunds. Minor differences only such as far better setting circles and clock drives.

4) Edmund. The Ford Falcon of telescopes. Basic in every way and barely enough with which to work. The meager optics and castings were from the same source as Jeagers. In fact, some parts could be swapped depending upon the mount. 

 

If I had time to really dig into this I could do a better job but, this should begin to stir up the hornet's nest a bit. LOL

 

Q



#12 GreyDay

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 05:14 AM

What is the most over rated scope from the 60's and 70's era?

 

Whichever scope/mount someone had a bad experience with!. The question is too broad to get any meaningful answer.

 

Most opinions on equipment are based on experience with one example, "had one once, wouldn't buy another" yet the only objective answer can be from anyone who tried or tested several examples.


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#13 bobhen

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 05:37 AM

Sixties and seventies, not eighties.

Actually the SCTs produced in anticipation of Halley’s comet in the eighties were generally acknowledged as being rather (let’s be generous and say) mediocre.

 

In 1989 S & T did a review of SCT optics and purchased 6 SCTs, 3 from Meade and 3 from Celestron. All were mediocre optically and one of the Meades was unusable as purchased.

 

Bob


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#14 CHASLX200

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 05:39 AM

Sixties and seventies, not eighties.

SCT's were made in the 60's and 70's. Since the thread says 60's and 70's i can't include all the duds made after 1979.


Edited by CHASLX200, 26 April 2021 - 05:46 AM.

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#15 CHASLX200

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 05:41 AM

Actually the SCTs produced in anticipation of Halley’s comet in the eighties were generally acknowledged as being rather (let’s be generous and say) mediocre.

 

In 1989 S & T did a review of SCT optics and purchased 6 SCTs, 3 from Meade and 3 from Celestron. All were mediocre optically and one of the Meades was unusable as purchased.

 

Bob

Most all Meade SCT's made before 1993 were never that great. But after around 1995 with the LX200's they were on top of their game. I had many LX200's that were very good.  Celestron is another story.



#16 CHASLX200

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 05:44 AM

Personally I think the Edmund Newtonians are pretty overrated. If you think the Cave mounts stink - the Edmunds are worse, the tubes are too short and let stray light in, and the darned things are like sacks of bricks. The aluminum tube is light, but so is a fiberglass Cave or phenolic resin Criterion.

My Edmund 1.5" shaft mount was my fav mount. It was a leave outside mount with no drives. It was so smooth to use at 400x with a 8" F/8 Newt. I grew up on non driven mounts and in fact never used the drives on the mounts that had them.

 

Next up was a Optic craft 60mm shaft mount that i loved. All the Unitron mounts i had were fine.


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#17 bobhen

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 06:58 AM

IMO it’s unfair to compare scopes from 50 and 60 years ago to what is available today. What is said about Unitron could be said about the Chevy Corvette. Look at the specs from a 1953 Corvette: 150 HP, 2-speed automatic transmission, drum brakes, etc., compared to today’s Corvette: 495 HP, duel clutch 8-speed trans with paddle shifters, disk brakes all around, etc.

 

Today, people don’t by 1953 Corvettes for their performance either.

 

What is meant by overrated?

 

If we stick to comparing scopes within those decades, most all will have shortcomings that could be pointed out. Does that mean those scopes were/are overrated?

 

One could argue the Questar 3.5, although nearly flawless optically and mechanically, if judged based “only” on a price/performance value bang-for-the-buck proposition, is overrated, as many lower cost scopes from those decades (flaws and all) will outperform it.

 

Bob


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#18 starman876

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 07:08 AM

scopes ratings should be based on the design and compromises to engineer that design and cost to deliver that design.   SCT's are a design in where the manufacturer is providing a scope with all kinds of compromises to make a 8" or larger scope in a package that you can carry.  For what is being charged I am shocked the optics are even decent.   If they were to provide an SCT with drop dead optics in every one that went out the door the complaint would be they cost to much.

 

As for most mounts that are being mentioned once again i see the same issue as with SCT's. These mounts back then and today is an engineering attempt to compromise the best design for the cost.  If you all wanted a mount that was rock steady I doubt that many of us would be able to afford them.  


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#19 ccwemyss

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 10:13 AM

We've seen testing reports that many of the 6" f8 "parabolic" mirrors from Criterion and Edmund were actually spheres. So that's an overrating. We have also seen tests showing the variability of Unitron optics, but because of the price and the marketing, people tended to rate them very highly. So that's another example. The marketing for many small refractors claimed powers well beyond basic laws of optics. Questar, in contrast, tended to deliver on all of its claims. 

 

It's not clear, however, that much has really changed.

 

Chip W. 


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#20 Bomber Bob

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 11:24 AM

ALL of the scopes / brands that claimed performance at 100x per inch or higher -- and that includes others besides the Dept Store Scopes of the 1960s & 1970s.  Lots of retailers made unsubstantiated / highly exaggerated performance, optical quality, reliability claims...

 

Since I'm a Contrarian, I'll flip this to Most Under-Rated Scopes of the 1960s & 1970s, and I have to put the Edmund 3" & 4" Refractors in that category.  And, the 100mm F10 & 114mm / 4.5" F8 Newts from Japan (Tasco included).

 

On Topic:  I started going to star parties in 1976.  I don't recall Cave Owners griping about the mounts, but some did complain about the time & effort to haul them around.  I do recall some unspoken snobbery of Cave vs. RV-6 Owners; but not as severe as (sorry!) Unitron Owners vs. us non-Uni Refractor Fans.  IMO, back then, the Cave & Unitron scopes were over-rated; but honestly, no more than the APO refractors are now...


Edited by Bomber Bob, 26 April 2021 - 11:37 AM.

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#21 Terra Nova

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 01:34 PM

The SCT by far in my book.

Agreed! Still so!


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#22 Bonco2

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 03:38 PM

I bought a new Celestron C-8 in the early 70's. Optically I was unimpressed compared to my RV6 and 10 inch Cave and it was the first telescope that I got rid of. I thought it over rated. For the price tho the mechanics were fine. The two Unitron's I own today 142 and 128 are fantastic in every way. Not overrated in my opinion.  So my answer is: Celestron  SCT's of the 60's-70's overrated 

Bill


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#23 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 04:00 PM

To be overrated, a scope has to be somehow rated..

 

I think SCTs are usually rated a OK and in general, most are at least OK.. Marty (Bumm) bought his C-8 In 1977.  It's his only scope, he's still rocking the night skies with it 44 years later.. 

 

Marty, he's an observer, not a collector, that scope, it's got real history, real memories.. at lot of em..

 

What's over rated? I don't know.. Questars? I mean with all the hype, they're still just a 90 mm Mak, they don't walk on water..

 

Jon


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#24 LukaszLu

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 04:45 PM

IMO, back then, the Cave & Unitron scopes were over-rated; but honestly, no more than the APO refractors are now...

It seems that today's apo producers have jumped into a niche that used to be occupied by e.g. Unitron. It is enough to compare the former Unitron / Polarex prices with today's apo prices to see that they are aimed at a similar clientele. It is therefore not surprising that they are based on a similar marketing concept.
 



#25 photoracer18

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 04:55 PM

To be overrated, a scope has to be somehow rated..

 

I think SCTs are usually rated a OK and in general, most are at least OK.. Marty (Bumm) bought his C-8 In 1977.  It's his only scope, he's still rocking the night skies with it 44 years later.. 

 

Marty, he's an observer, not a collector, that scope, it's got real history, real memories.. at lot of em..

 

What's over rated? I don't know.. Questars? I mean with all the hype, they're still just a 90 mm Mak, they don't walk on water..

 

Jon

Someone in this industry I know used to say that the Questar was state-of-the-art 1954 technology unhampered by progress


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