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When the C8 entered the market in 1970, what was the reaction?

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#26 luxo II

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 03:47 AM

You must have been lucky.

On some club nights in the early 80s we had upwards of 20 C8s on the field and occasionally we did comparisons out of curiosity. Most of the ones I saw weren’t close to diffraction limited and many did not show a clean airy disk and a ring or two around a bright star - instead a fuzzy blob was the best they could manage, and a 9mm eyepiece was the optimum, around 220X.

Inescapable conclusion was they were nowhere near as good as average newtonians which were faster and sharper, though bigger and heavier.

Edited by luxo II, 01 May 2021 - 03:50 AM.


#27 CHASLX200

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 05:53 AM

You must have been lucky.

On some club nights in the early 80s we had upwards of 20 C8s on the field and occasionally we did comparisons out of curiosity. Most of the ones I saw weren’t close to diffraction limited and many did not show a clean airy disk and a ring or two around a bright star - instead a fuzzy blob was the best they could manage, and a 9mm eyepiece was the optimum, around 220X.

Inescapable conclusion was they were nowhere near as good as average newtonians which were faster and sharper, though bigger and heavier.

After owning around 60 SCT's only 5 made me happy. And 3 were super sharp. A 1984 C8 and a 2002 made C5 Nextstar and a older Meade 2045 spotter version.  Them 3 scopes were like a mak jack.
 


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#28 CHASLX200

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 05:56 AM

I got one in 1978.  The optics were diffraction-limited and even before that, the Newtonian sellers were attempting to discredit the scopes that were sapping their sales.

By 1978 the Big long EQ mounted Newts were dead as well as Unitron.  The C8 just took over and by 1982 the Dob was starting to bite into sales as well.  A Unitron cost a arm and a leg in 1981.



#29 grif 678

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 07:19 AM

I think the Celestron girls had a lot to do with them selling. I remember some Celestron C-10 ads, the white version that was made before the orange ones came out, and they claimed 1/20 wave. I have wondered if they made the older ones that sharp, why were not the orange ones made that way also. I have read so much conflicting reviews on these scopes. I have read many reviews about how good they are, then read many saying how bad they are. Maybe it was because some got some that the collimation had gotten off, and they did not know about that feature, or did not know how to fix it. They say that collimation is a must on these scopes. It would be nice if they had of made them so that you could collimate them from the rear or the scope, while looking through the eyepiece, that would have made it much more user friendly.


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#30 JuergenB

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 07:21 AM

It turned out around the mid-seventies that if you could get a C8 from your telescope dealer which had been re-worked by Celestron Pacific because of a warranty case, that one would have had better optics than average. Probably their opticians were allowed to spend more time on these returned scopes.

 

Juergen



#31 CHASLX200

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 07:28 AM

I think the Celestron girls had a lot to do with them selling. I remember some Celestron C-10 ads, the white version that was made before the orange ones came out, and they claimed 1/20 wave. I have wondered if they made the older ones that sharp, why were not the orange ones made that way also. I have read so much conflicting reviews on these scopes. I have read many reviews about how good they are, then read many saying how bad they are. Maybe it was because some got some that the collimation had gotten off, and they did not know about that feature, or did not know how to fix it. They say that collimation is a must on these scopes. It would be nice if they had of made them so that you could collimate them from the rear or the scope, while looking through the eyepiece, that would have made it much more user friendly.

I used a C10 and it was a clunker also.  I could collimate SCT's by looking thru the eyepiece as i just reached up and did the turn while viewing.


Edited by CHASLX200, 01 May 2021 - 07:30 AM.


#32 Piggyback

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 08:03 AM

Stefan, I am sorry for the off-topic, where did you sleep up there in the mountains? Fantastic photo.

Thanks for liking!

We were sleeping in small tents. It was tough! We had a storm one night and the sand was hammering the tent fabric. Saw St. Elmo's fire, a violet glow glimmering between the metal tent posts. It was unreal and also a bit scary. We had tried to talk the astronomers at the nearby 30 Meter radio telescope into letting us sleep in the computer room to no avail. Can't really blame them. We must have looked like bums.


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#33 blackhaz

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 08:32 AM

They were probably angry for your St. Elmo's fire wreaking havoc with their data!


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#34 Bomber Bob

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 08:43 AM

My 1976 Orange C5 Astro was a VG all-rounder -- when COLLIMATED.  Ditto for the Meade 2045 Astro.

 

Do reflector owners collimate?  I wouldn't own a Newt, Cass, or CAT if I didn't care to check & correct alignments.  But, as much fun as these 2 SCTs were, the Hino Mizar P100 Newt gave better views of the same objects; as did the 1980s Celestron (V) C4.5N.  Given my experiences, I would only buy an SCT now if storage space was very limited.


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#35 starman876

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 01:48 PM

I have always thought that making an 8" scope in that format must have made a lot of people drool.  I know I did when I first saw one in the 70's.   Not surprising that it sold like hot cakes fresh off the griddle.   I do not think that the SCT ever had a bad year for sales.  It is the scope you always hoped for.  Large aperture and not that long and heavy.   If everyone of them had great optics I think that the SCT would be one of the few scopes on the market today. 


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#36 starman876

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 01:50 PM

I think the Celestron girls had a lot to do with them selling. I remember some Celestron C-10 ads, the white version that was made before the orange ones came out, and they claimed 1/20 wave. I have wondered if they made the older ones that sharp, why were not the orange ones made that way also. I have read so much conflicting reviews on these scopes. I have read many reviews about how good they are, then read many saying how bad they are. Maybe it was because some got some that the collimation had gotten off, and they did not know about that feature, or did not know how to fix it. They say that collimation is a must on these scopes. It would be nice if they had of made them so that you could collimate them from the rear or the scope, while looking through the eyepiece, that would have made it much more user friendly.

 had a C10 which was very sharp.  I never saw another SCT that was that sharp and did have a few really good ones.



#37 starcruiser

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Posted 02 May 2021 - 09:05 PM

A Unitron cost a arm and a leg in 1981.

How much did a 4" Unitron cost in 1981?



#38 starcruiser

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Posted 02 May 2021 - 09:10 PM

After owning around 60 SCT's only 5 made me happy. And 3 were super sharp. A 1984 C8 and a 2002 made C5 Nextstar and a older Meade 2045 spotter version.  Them 3 scopes were like a mak jack.
 

1. How did you end up owning 60 SCTs? That's a lot of one type of scope to own.

2. Did your collection include the latest Celeston Edge models? If so, how are they?



#39 Terra Nova

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Posted 02 May 2021 - 09:57 PM

How much did a 4" Unitron cost in 1981?

I don’t know. How much did an arm and a leg cost back then? :lol:



#40 ccwemyss

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Posted 02 May 2021 - 10:51 PM

$1433 in the basic configuration. $1560 with a electric drive.  $3295 with the weight driven drive, guide scope, pier, and astro camera. According to the Unitron history site.

 

Chip W.



#41 CHASLX200

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 05:46 AM

How much did a 4" Unitron cost in 1981?

I think it was like 3500 smackers in my 1981 Catalog.  They had marked off the weight drive as a option and many other parts were marked over. So it was downhill for sure.



#42 CHASLX200

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 05:50 AM

1. How did you end up owning 60 SCTs? That's a lot of one type of scope to own.

2. Did your collection include the latest Celeston Edge models? If so, how are they?

Just buying scope after scope since 1976. Over 250 i would guess of all types.  Latest made C8 i had was a 2004 gray tube C8 that was by far the worst ever.  Had two later made C6's and they were not that good. The last C6 was messed up due to shipping so i can't blame that scope.

Never tried a Edge.

 

But you guys can put a old school 8" F/8 Newt side by side with any SCT and the Newt just wins by far.


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#43 CHASLX200

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 05:51 AM

I don’t know. How much did an arm and a leg cost back then? lol.gif

I was 18 in June of 1981 so any scope cost a arm and leg to me. They were all dream scopes out of my reach. 
 



#44 bobhen

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 07:04 AM

They were a big hit.

 

People were using long focus Newtonians on GEMs for observing (a bulky, unwieldy system) and the compact SCT was so much more convenient that (like today) if image quality was a notch below no one cared. The SCT was also much more convenient for photography – film photography back then.

 

The SCT helped to kill-off the GE mounted Newtonian. The Newtonian only came back after John Dobson popularized using alt/az mounts with Newtonians and ditching the GEM altogether.

 

The compact, larger aperture of the SCT also helped kill-off the long focus achromatic refractor, like Unitron. People could get a lot more aperture while having the scope be a lot more compact.

 

It was “mainly” after the introduction of the lower cost apo refractor, introduced mainly by Astro-Physics, in the 80s that more people got to compare the high definition, high quality image excellence of the apos compared to the SCT.

 

The compact SCT still has advantages but compared to when the SCT was first introduced, the Dobsonian Newtonian’s aperture and the apo refractor’s image quality have mitigated some of those advantages.

 

Back then I was also seduced by the compact, “large” 8” aperture SCT. After a trip to Edmund Scientific, I passed on a 4” F15 Edmund achromatic refractor and purchased an 8” SCT. Looking back, I think I would have been better off with the 4” F15 Edmund refractor.

 

Bob


Edited by bobhen, 03 May 2021 - 07:06 AM.

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#45 starman876

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 07:59 AM

The advantage of having a compact large aperture scope lured many to the SCT.  Some kept buying SCT after SCT hoping to find one that was as sharp as the refractor they used to have.   M first was a Meade 10" LX3.  While it gave a large image scale the definition of details was never there.  Great scope to see galaxies and Nebula with a camera.   Seeing Saturn in one was interesting because you could see a good number of moons.   Only the Blue and white Celestrons I had were the sharpest of the bunch.   The orange celestrons was next.   The edge HD celestrons are the best.  


Edited by starman876, 03 May 2021 - 07:59 AM.

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