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

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#26 Bomber Bob

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 05:00 PM

funnypost.gif

 

... Questar was state-of-the-art 1954 technology unhampered by progress ...

 

So was my Dad's 1958 Percolator -- he kept using it even after Mom bought a Mr Coffee around about 1976...  He claimed it was seasoned...  His brews were strong enough to walk on!

 

I wouldn't trade my 1958 Standard for anything new (but, I am an Old Guy):

 

Questar - L330 Solos S04.jpg

 

I adapt modern stuff to the Q, rather than vice versa:

 

Questar - Meade 884 Tripod S02.jpg


Edited by Bomber Bob, 26 April 2021 - 05:05 PM.

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#27 photoracer18

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 05:02 PM

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.
 

If you mean by niche companies that put out nothing but top of the line gear I don't think there was anybody in the niche before Roland. Lots of people claimed it but none in my opinion were there. There were times when those companies had the right employees and turned out very good gear, but none were consistent over the lifetimes of their companies.


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#28 CHASLX200

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 06:19 PM

I would rate the  RV6 as very good and the avg Unitron as very good as well as all the slower old school Newts made in the 50's thru the 70's. Never had a bad one yet of the bunch. But the SCT, just one after another was lack luster to flat out bad in the orange days for the big C and Meade SCT's pre 1994.  Had three orange C5's, two after 1979 and one made in 1974 and they all seemed ok to good. The 1974 C5 was the better of the bunch. But the C8's were just not good pre 1984 that i have had.  But we all know they would vary the most out of all the kinds of scopes made.  Never had any pre 1980 Maks so can't say good or bad.  All of my fast Newts made in the 60's and 70's were coma filled FOV's and mush for viewing planets.  That was pre Paracorr days and not any good collimation tools back then.  So the game sure has changed  some kind of scopes since the last 18 years.


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#29 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 07:37 PM

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

 

 

I don't know about that.. I think if you buy an Astro-Physics refractor,  you are getting a refractor of very high quality.. duds, not really. When lens are figured and test using an interferometer, it's a different world..

 

Jon


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#30 CHASLX200

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 07:41 PM

I don't know about that.. I think if you buy an Astro-Physics refractor,  you are getting a refractor of very high quality.. duds, not really. When lens are figured and test using an interferometer, it's a different world..

 

Jon

Never heard of a dud AP. Plus AP would fix it in a flash if asked to. Never had a bad Tak as well, but that is getting past the date range of this thread.


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#31 Terra Nova

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 09:52 PM

funnypost.gif

 

... Questar was state-of-the-art 1954 technology unhampered by progress ...

 

So was my Dad's 1958 Percolator -- he kept using it even after Mom bought a Mr Coffee around about 1976...  He claimed it was seasoned...  His brews were strong enough to walk on!

 

I wouldn't trade my 1958 Standard for anything new (but, I am an Old Guy):

 

attachicon.gifQuestar - L330 Solos S04.jpg

 

I adapt modern stuff to the Q, rather than vice versa:

 

attachicon.gifQuestar - Meade 884 Tripod S02.jpg

I love my 1985 Questar JW. Somethings are timeless (they stand the test of time). It and my TV Genesis SDF are the crown jewels of my collection. If I could only have two telescopes, those two would keep me happy for the rest of my days. Throw in one more? It would be my FC76. Then my Dynamic Duo would become a Stellar Trio.

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#32 GreyDay

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Posted 27 April 2021 - 04:16 AM

But the SCT, just one after another was lack luster to flat out bad in the orange days for the big C and Meade SCT's pre 1994.  Had three orange C5's, two after 1979 and one made in 1974 and they all seemed ok to good. The 1974 C5 was the better of the bunch. But the C8's were just not good pre 1984 that i have had.  But we all know they would vary the most out of all the kinds of scopes made.  Never had any pre 1980 Maks so can't say good or bad.

I'm not a fan of orange tube celestrons with the exception of the Vixen refractor series, I've used 2 Orange C8's and 2 C5's and numerous orange/black C90's which are more common here in the UK. As Chas said above the C5's were sharper than the C8's with less image shift when focusing and better edge of field but that's with the limited sample i tried. All were outshone by a modern C5XLT! The C90 maks were probably good for their time but again outshone by modern scopes, over rated perhaps, but some people are happy to go through their lives not knowing any better. I have a friend who keeps buying Orange tubes because he believes he'll find an exceptional one someday.


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#33 LukaszLu

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Posted 27 April 2021 - 04:58 AM

If you mean by niche companies that put out nothing but top of the line gear I don't think there was anybody in the niche before Roland. Lots of people claimed it but none in my opinion were there. There were times when those companies had the right employees and turned out very good gear, but none were consistent over the lifetimes of their companies.

It is hard to consider the Unitron to be a top-of-the-line equipment and it is similar with most modern apos or instruments based on low-dispersion optics. We're not talking about hardware costing tens of thousands of dollars - Unitron never fell into that category. I mean equipment for people with greater ambitions than popular scopes available in retail chains. The Unitron 114 could be bought in the US in the 1950s for two weekly salaries - it's still a shelf with popular hardware, although quite niche compared to mass production of Towa etc. Today, you can buy a small apo for similar money.


Edited by LukaszLu, 27 April 2021 - 04:59 AM.

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#34 CHASLX200

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Posted 27 April 2021 - 05:43 AM

I'm not a fan of orange tube celestrons with the exception of the Vixen refractor series, I've used 2 Orange C8's and 2 C5's and numerous orange/black C90's which are more common here in the UK. As Chas said above the C5's were sharper than the C8's with less image shift when focusing and better edge of field but that's with the limited sample i tried. All were outshone by a modern C5XLT! The C90 maks were probably good for their time but again outshone by modern scopes, over rated perhaps, but some people are happy to go through their lives not knowing any better. I have a friend who keeps buying Orange tubes because he believes he'll find an exceptional one someday.

I am sure there are some super sharp orange tubes just gotta win the lotto so if ya buy enough of them you will strike gold one year.  I still want a shot at a super sharp fork mounted C14.


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#35 CHASLX200

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Posted 27 April 2021 - 05:45 AM

It is hard to consider the Unitron to be a top-of-the-line equipment and it is similar with most modern apos or instruments based on low-dispersion optics. We're not talking about hardware costing tens of thousands of dollars - Unitron never fell into that category. I mean equipment for people with greater ambitions than popular scopes available in retail chains. The Unitron 114 could be bought in the US in the 1950s for two weekly salaries - it's still a shelf with popular hardware, although quite niche compared to mass production of Towa etc. Today, you can buy a small apo for similar money.

I would hate to see how much it would cost to build a Unitron mount with today's $'s. Nothing made today can touch the build or the looks unless you are going high end.


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#36 LukaszLu

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Posted 27 April 2021 - 06:27 AM

I would hate to see how much it would cost to build a Unitron mount with today's $'s. Nothing made today can touch the build or the looks unless you are going high end.

When it comes to mounts, I think Unitron owed their quality to a very well thought-out, but very simple design. I don't think their production would be very expensive. If, for example, you disassemble the Unitron 128 mount and put all the parts on the table, and do the same with the RAO R-74 (Tasco 10TE) mount next to it, you'll find with suprise that the Unitron mount has about twice as few parts! It's works and it's beautiful because it's so simple!

 

It is to this that they owe their reliable operation. This is the whole secret of Unitron - great construction, great design, which turned out to be good enough to withstand the passage of time for several decades. To this day, we feel respect when looking at the elements of this equipment - almost every detail says that it was something that could not be found on the shelf next to Towa. Perhaps, however, this was also the reason for the collapse of this brand, discouraging the manufacturer from developing the design and following market trends?


Edited by LukaszLu, 27 April 2021 - 06:31 AM.

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#37 Senex Bibax

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Posted 27 April 2021 - 07:07 AM

funnypost.gif

 

... Questar was state-of-the-art 1954 technology unhampered by progress ...

 

So was my Dad's 1958 Percolator -- he kept using it even after Mom bought a Mr Coffee around about 1976...  He claimed it was seasoned...  His brews were strong enough to walk on!

 

I wouldn't trade my 1958 Standard for anything new (but, I am an Old Guy):

 

attachicon.gifQuestar - L330 Solos S04.jpg

 

I adapt modern stuff to the Q, rather than vice versa:

 

attachicon.gifQuestar - Meade 884 Tripod S02.jpg

A good percolator makes better coffee than a drip filter machine IMHO. I've actually seen new percolators for sale here and there.


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#38 WoodlandsAstronomer

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Posted 27 April 2021 - 07:33 AM

As a child of the seventies, all I can say it’s a miracle I stayed in the hobby all my Sears and Radio Shack telescopes were horrific! But they got me interested so there’s that
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#39 Bomber Bob

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Posted 27 April 2021 - 10:57 AM

I don't know about that.. I think if you buy an Astro-Physics refractor,  you are getting a refractor of very high quality.. duds, not really. When lens are figured and test using an interferometer, it's a different world..

 

Jon

A-P isn't mass-market in the way Cave & Unitron were back then.  I was referring to the current APO Hype as a marketing strategy, NOT the smaller ultra-high quality brands with long waiting lists...


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#40 starman876

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Posted 27 April 2021 - 11:12 AM

A-P isn't mass-market in the way Cave & Unitron were back then.  I was referring to the current APO Hype as a marketing strategy, NOT the smaller ultra-high quality brands with long waiting lists...

I would not say that Unitron and Cave were mass market like Celestron and meade.  Both Unitron and Cave were very small shops compared to Meade and Celestron.


Edited by starman876, 27 April 2021 - 11:12 AM.

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#41 SteveGR

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Posted 27 April 2021 - 11:28 AM

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

I was going to say the same thing about Questar. They are nice, but I didn't hear a choir of angels when I looked through them.  smile.gif  Some people seem to think I should have, given how they talk them up.  I looked through one thats image was downright poor but I think that scope was in need of servicing.



#42 SteveGR

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Posted 27 April 2021 - 11:38 AM

I'm not a fan of orange tube celestrons with the exception of the Vixen refractor series, I've used 2 Orange C8's and 2 C5's and numerous orange/black C90's which are more common here in the UK. As Chas said above the C5's were sharper than the C8's with less image shift when focusing and better edge of field but that's with the limited sample i tried. All were outshone by a modern C5XLT! The C90 maks were probably good for their time but again outshone by modern scopes, over rated perhaps, but some people are happy to go through their lives not knowing any better. I have a friend who keeps buying Orange tubes because he believes he'll find an exceptional one someday.

The orange C90s were darn cute though.

 

A good percolator makes better coffee than a drip filter machine IMHO. I've actually seen new percolators for sale here and there.

As long as you don't get it too hot for too long, then it can get really bitter.  My grandma made the best coffee in the world, you may think others did, but you are wrong smile.gif and she always used the same percolator.  She also took me to the Planetarium for the first time.  Probably the reason I love both coffee and astronomy.


Edited by SteveGR, 27 April 2021 - 11:40 AM.


#43 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 28 April 2021 - 06:43 AM

I would hate to see how much it would cost to build a Unitron mount with today's $'s. Nothing made today can touch the build or the looks unless you are going high end.

 

:lol:  If you exclude all the mounts that are better than the Unitrons.. there is nothing better.  

 

Today's mid range and high end mounts are far better than the Unitrons... A Losmandy GM-8 at $1700, a Astro-Physics anything.. 

 

Jon


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#44 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 28 April 2021 - 06:46 AM

A-P isn't mass-market in the way Cave & Unitron were back then.  I was referring to the current APO Hype as a marketing strategy, NOT the smaller ultra-high quality brands with long waiting lists...

 

You know how good your AT-102ED was, you know how good your 6 inch F/8 APM was.  Hype?  I don't think so, they are just very good scopes both optically and mechanically.

 

Jon


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#45 CHASLX200

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Posted 28 April 2021 - 06:16 PM

lol.gif  If you exclude all the mounts that are better than the Unitrons.. there is nothing better.  

 

Today's mid range and high end mounts are far better than the Unitrons... A Losmandy GM-8 at $1700, a Astro-Physics anything.. 

 

Jon

You are paying a arm and a leg for any AP mount. A no thrills G11 is not priced too crazy. But i bet if someone made a Unitron mount today to the same specs as years ago it would be as much or more than a non GO-TO G11 in the 4" size and a 5" Unitron mount would be crazy high.


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#46 starman876

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Posted 28 April 2021 - 07:31 PM

You are paying a arm and a leg for any AP mount. A no thrills G11 is not priced too crazy. But i bet if someone made a Unitron mount today to the same specs as years ago it would be as much or more than a non GO-TO G11 in the 4" size and a 5" Unitron mount would be crazy high.

I bet the cost would be similar to a G11 for a 4" Unitron mount if it were made today.  Of course it would have to be made in quantities that would bring the cost down so people could afford them.   However, I would still prefer the G11 over a Unitron 4" mount.  The G11 is such a well built mount and has been proven over the years and because it has been been made for so long the engineering costs have been paid for and the cost of the mount has remained reasonable.  If they were to make a clone 4" Unitron mount they could copy an existing one.  However, I doubt anyone would want a new Unitron mount unless they were restoring an old Unitron.  There are much better mounts available now then Unitron ever made.


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#47 CHASLX200

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Posted 28 April 2021 - 07:42 PM

I think the Unitron mounts look much better and i had trouble with the last 2 G11's i had.



#48 Bonco2

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Posted 28 April 2021 - 08:09 PM

There is no doubt that modern, expensive mounts are FAR superior to the basic but beautiful Unitron mounts from the days of yore. But the Unitron mounts still have classic appeal and are perfectly functional for the telescopes that were matched with . At that time frame there was nothing like that and even now they are appreciated for their functionality and design . They are not so sophisticated but  they are just artistically  functional. Near perfect at the time.

Bill


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#49 Bomber Bob

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Posted 28 April 2021 - 08:27 PM

You know how good your AT-102ED was, you know how good your 6 inch F/8 APM was.  Hype?  I don't think so, they are just very good scopes both optically and mechanically.

 

Jon

Neither was a True APO, either.  Really can't compare computerized CAD, castings, machining, etc. from today with stuff from the 1950s & 1960s...  Come On Jon:  You're saying there's no APO hype?  Really?  I need to move to your neck of the woods... Oh, wait!  I can just visit the APO Refractor Forum on CN...

 

Don't like the word, Hype?  Okay, very mis-leading, then.  Versus the Anti-Hype:  Takahashi.

 

Okay:  Compared to A-P or other Waiting List brands, Cave & Unitron were more like mass market for that Time Period than not.  That was the point.  IMO, based on what I now know about both brands, yeah - Over-Rated in one or more areas.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 28 April 2021 - 08:32 PM.


#50 RichA

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Posted 28 April 2021 - 10:15 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.

Astroscan would be one.  Basically useless for higher power or planets, rich field is fine (except it's a Newtonian with coma) but the scope is heavy for what it is, owing to its design.  So on the one hand the mount works well (easy pointing) but you need a decently hefty tripod or surface to put the telescope on to use it.


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