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Our dearly departed....gone but not forgotten

Refractor
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#1 Tyson M

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 12:33 PM

This thread is to commemorate the refractors we had to give up for some reason or another.

 

Lets take a walk down memory lane and share your observing stories/pictures of the scopes you regretted selling.

 

These scopes exist still in our memories, gone but not forgotten...


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#2 Phillip Creed

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 12:45 PM

Two come to mind.

One is an Orion 110 EON.  It's a 110mm f/6 FPL-51 ED doublet that I had to do extensive things to just to get it in working condition.  I had to recollimate the objective and it was made harder by not having a collimatible cell.  It just had 4 sets of alignment screws, so you had to adjust them to change collimation, but with juuuuuust the right amount of tension, otherwise you'd either pinch the objective or it'd be too loose.  I had an artificial star and a dark enough basement, but that was *nerve-racking*.  If your idea of fun is pulling splinters out of questionably-sedated polar bears, do I have the activity for you!

Still, it was a learning experience and I did learn how to collimate a refractor.  If I actually had to collimate a refractor that actually had collimation push/pull screws, I'd know exactly what to do.  And it'd be easier than what I went through.

That one is certainly memorable, but not one I miss.  What I do miss is a Genesis SDF.  Now THAT was a sweet scope.  Back when I was visual-only, it was more than "good enough" for what I was doing.  Very sharp star test and a joy to use in any environment.

I'm not sure what I was thinking in selling it.  But I can say, though, that it found a good home--I sold it my local astronomy club and it's currently mounted on our club's 16" f/8 AT Ritchey-Chretien.  And I steal a look through it whenever I get the chance.

Clear Skies,

Phil


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#3 csrlice12

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 01:04 PM

I didn't sell, but gave an ST80A to a nephew for him and his family.  He uses it for target spotting at their firing range and with his kids for birding and astro fun.



#4 zakry3323

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 01:23 PM

My first "serious" OTA, purchased for better views and a start with astrophotography was my Orion ED80. 

 

I always had an interest in astronomy since I was a kiddo and got my first view of Saturn at a Star Party somewhere near Indianapolis. Since then I would take any optical tube I could find and afford, which wasn't much. There were plenty of bird-jones reflectors to be had on the cheap (yikes), and I remember a (chinese) red tubed Tasco reflector that I got with a mostly-unusable, shaky EQ mount. A few zoom spotting scopes and late 80's and mid-90's department store rejectamenta found their way into my hands. 

 

When it was 17 my birthday came around and my girlfriend splurged on me- buying me a "backpacker" 60mm ETX setup. I loved that scope- for the first time I really got an idea about how much FUN, portable, and just plain USABLE a telescope could be. I used the scope off and on for many years- until my early 30's. By that time I had a kiddo of my own and he got his first close-up views of Luna through that little tube. Around that time my interest in astronomy really took off. I was feeling pretty limited with 60mm of aperture and 350mm of focal length. I wanted better views of planets and more aperture. I joined CN at that point and got some good advice. I did some reading, sold the ETX, and saved up those nickels and dimes. 

 

A few weeks later I had a small pile of change, and what happened to pop up on the Goodwill Auction site but an Orion ED80. Back then, the site wasn't quite the madness that it is today, and optics could usually be found for a bit less than what they're worth. There was a big dent in the dewshield, and the objective wasn't even photographed. I took a chance to the tune of $212 plus shipping. 

 

When it arrived I thought it was the most beautiful telescope I'd ever seen. The glass was flawless with deep green coatings, the focuser was an original sloppy single-speed with missing rubber grips, and it came complete with a little blue padded Orion bag. I must have gone over every millimeter of that tube, cleaning and buffing out scuffs. I took it out for it's first light and was amazed at the views that could be had through my simple plossls. The lack of fringing and false color was astounding to me. For months I never missed a clear night. Over time I upgraded to a dual-speed focuser and bought an AVX mount to get me started with astrophotography. I even found a new old-stock OEM dewshield for it. 

 

For several years I enjoyed that scope as I played the "save up and spend" game that goes along with a devotion to astrophotography. Eventually I had a second OTA that was getting more use, and I needed the money. I sold the ED80 for about what I paid for it- I remember that I had it up in CN classifieds and it sold in a flash. That was about 4 years ago. These days I don't miss it too terribly- I have another 80mm scope that performs a bit better, but...

 

Well, there just isn't anything quite like that scope. I never abused it, but if any scope could put up with abuse, it would be that ED80. It was built like a tank with a thick tube- fast to reach ambient and never seemed to warp enough to affect focus on a long night of imaging. It was easy to use, heavy for a doublet but much lighter than my triplet- I could take it anywhere, pop it on any CG4+ mount and never give it a second thought, it just "got out of the way".  I sure hope that it's still out there somewhere, throwing up some great views. 

 

 

IMG_20180501_175729.jpg


Edited by zakry3323, 10 May 2021 - 01:27 PM.

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#5 MikiSJ

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 01:24 PM

My last refractor was an APM/TMB 152/1200. 

 

I had it on a Paramount ME that I sold in 2009. I kept the scope in its very nice storage case until late 2019 when I traded the scope for a Celestron C11EdgeHD/CGX combo.

 

This is a single 300s image through a Hα filter on a QSI532 of the Barnard 33 (Horsehead Nebula) that I shot with the APM/TMB:

 

Horsehead 300 dpi 300X453 R cropped.jpg


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#6 RichA

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 01:48 PM

This thread is to commemorate the refractors we had to give up for some reason or another.

 

Lets take a walk down memory lane and share your observing stories/pictures of the scopes you regretted selling.

 

These scopes exist still in our memories, gone but not forgotten...

4 inch Unitron f/15.  Gave one of the best small scope views of Jupiter I've had. 

Two 66mm WO Zenithstar scopes.  A very nice little ED refractor, very portable.

A 65mm Barska triplet apo.  This scope was terrific, reasonable build quality and the best performance/price ever. 

7 inch Meade LX50 Maksutov.  Highly unsung.  One of the best views of Saturn I've ever had and that includes  through top apos.

Meade 127ED apo refractor.  Highly maligned by some, but two I had were great.

Vernonscope 92/94mm Christen-lensed apos.  I had three, they were all terrific.

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#7 alphatripleplus

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 01:55 PM

Orion ST120 . I never felt it was worth the extra weight vs my ancient ST80, which I still use occasionally.



#8 The Ardent

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 02:20 PM

I’m trying to get it back...or this one

 

https://www.cloudyni...y/#entry6354801

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#9 25585

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 02:31 PM

TV Pronto. My brother has it now. It was so nice I bought an 85, and gave him my Pronto & a couple of eyepieces.



#10 Paul Hyndman

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 02:37 PM

Not quite ready, but the day is not too far off when I'll need to say goodbye to my beloved AP 175 (aaaaargh!) Sigh, old age... we have the time and wherewithal for nifty toys, but their use is oh so much more draining,gramps.gif

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#11 25585

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 02:43 PM

Not quite ready, but the day is not too far off when I'll need to say goodbye to my beloved AP 175 (aaaaargh!) Sigh, old age... we have the time and wherewithal for nifty toys, but their use is oh so much more draining,gramps.gif

So which mount will you keep?



#12 sw196060

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 06:06 PM

Too many to count but, my TEC-140 stands out.  


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#13 CHASLX200

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 06:29 PM

If i told ya all about all of my fracts i sold i would be typing into 2022.  So many and not enough time.


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#14 John Huntley

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 07:28 PM

I'd like another one of these. An early TAL 100 RT. I've owned two of them and let them go for very low prices but despite their quirks, there is something about these that is very appealing smile.gif

 

tal100rt.jpg

 

 

 

 


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#15 teashea

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 07:55 PM

This thread is to commemorate the refractors we had to give up for some reason or another.

 

Lets take a walk down memory lane and share your observing stories/pictures of the scopes you regretted selling.

 

These scopes exist still in our memories, gone but not forgotten...

I had a TMB 105 in the heavy cnc version.  I sold it and am glad I did.  The optics were very good but everything else made it feel rather agricultural and crude.  To me it had no elegance.  


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#16 Tyson M

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 09:18 PM

I miss the following:

 

NP127 w/ ft focuser.  Just an amazing scope on everything, planets to flat fields. No better utilitarian scope, besides maybe the following...

 

The AP130GT, probably the best all purpose scope I've ever used. I am not really prone to field curvature so I liked this better than the scope above. Just an epic scope in a small package. Felt similar in size to even a 105 traveller. 

 

The TSA102S (both of them), the TSA120 for their amazing views they provided me. Some of my fav fracs to use ever. The 120 is special for an epic Venus season with it. Something I've never had before.

 

The TOA130 for showing my the veil like I never had before. It was a brute but amazing once cooled down.

 

Edit: I'll put the AP105 traveller on here as well. It showed me the pup and faint intermittent details on Venus. I liked the TSA120 and the AP130GT more though. This scope felt a bit chunky almost, and the two aforementioned scopes felt smaller than their size.


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#17 EricCCD

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 11:25 PM

Takahashi FS-102 (why oh why did I sell that?!?). It was my first good imaging scope. Visually, it showed me a moon of Jupiter (wish I logged which it was!) emerging from Jupiter's shadow: from averted-vision visible to direct-vision-visible .... The Double-double view was - Amazing....

 

Takahashi TOA-130 - for EXCELLENT images

 

Two 66ED scopes (Astro-Tech and Stellarvue). I don't really miss them, but I also question letting them go.... The Stellarvue variant (it was my own "Refractor Red" - okay, it's no Vixen Fluorite, but it was Red) showed (best guess, my memory is hazy at the moment) the green coma of Comet 2014Q2 LoveJoy from our really bad backyard. I could see that the coma was green! From a Red (bordering on white) zone!



#18 bobhen

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Posted 11 May 2021 - 06:03 AM

I do not regret selling any refractor because I had a good reason to do so like; getting older, or light pollution getting worse at my location, or for more aperture, etc. However, if I could still use them like when I first bought them new, I would love to have these refactors back…

 

1) My pre ED Astro-Physics 1989 152mm F9 triplet refractor

2) My Astro-Physics 155mm F7 triplet refractor
3) My original Tele Vue Genesis F5 refractor
4) My 80mm University Optics “kit scope” refractor
5) My LZOS 105mm F6.2 triplet refractor in a SV OTA

 

1) After 22 years, of ownership I sold the 2 APs because of my advancing age and downsizing
2) I sold the TV Genesis because its wide field capability was compromised because of increasing light pollution. Although, all these years later, the TV Genesis F5 would be a great scope to use with my image intensifier, even under heavy light pollution.
3) After 15 years I sold the UO 80mm for my 105mm achromatic refractor and after 5 years I sold the LZOS 105mm for my Takahashi TSA 120.

 

All the refractors I owned were well used but conditions unfortunately change for all of us. Of all the refractors on the list, the 1989 AP 152 F9 is the one that opened my eyes to what refractive optics can do and is the one on the list that I would want back, if I could still use it.

 

Bob


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#19 CHASLX200

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Posted 11 May 2021 - 06:15 AM

I had a TMB 105 in the heavy cnc version.  I sold it and am glad I did.  The optics were very good but everything else made it feel rather agricultural and crude.  To me it had no elegance.  

Mine had the best optics in any Fract i had on my 105/650. But hated the size and weight. It was as heavy as a 6" ED and was not a grab and go since it needed a big mount. If the lens could have been slapped in a FS102 size OTA it would have been a keeper.


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#20 zjc26138

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Posted 11 May 2021 - 06:29 AM

Good thread!

 

I have a few.

 

Meade 102ED

 

William Optics ZenithStar 80ED II

 

William Optics Megrez 110 ED

 

AT66 in chrome

 

Stellarvue SV80S


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#21 Eric P

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Posted 11 May 2021 - 06:37 AM

My TV85. 

 

Swore I'd never sell it and then I bought an FC-76...


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#22 bobhen

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Posted 11 May 2021 - 06:52 AM

Mine had the best optics in any Fract i had on my 105/650. But hated the size and weight. It was as heavy as a 6" ED and was not a grab and go since it needed a big mount. If the lens could have been slapped in a FS102 size OTA it would have been a keeper.

I believe back in the day APM sold the same lens in a Vixen OTA.

 

I had the same lens in a Stellarvue tube and, although not the lightest OTA, it was lighter than the TMB original version. Great LZOS lens.

 

Bob



#23 gjanke

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Posted 11 May 2021 - 07:48 AM

No, no it's just too soon. Sniff, sniff and cue Whitney Houstons rendition of "I will always love you" in the background

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#24 t.r.

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Posted 11 May 2021 - 07:57 AM

Sold my TV Genesis to upgrade to a TEC 140. Had the Genesis for thirteen years and it showed me well what an “apo” could do and sold me on them forever compared to other scope designs. Spent many hours together and was fond of it but couldn’t justify keeping it when the TEC arrived, I just knew with added aperture at my disposal it wouldn’t get used and deserved to be. Chap out of Vermont bought it and was as excited as I originally was to discover what that scope was all about...I wonder if he still has it?

Honorable mention...C 80 ED Spotting Scope! You couldn’t over magnify the thing, it just gobbled up magnification until you ran out of light! Convinced myself I didn’t need it and sold for what I paid as it has become a sort of cult scope for its excellent optics...should have kept it just because!

Salute! 🥃
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#25 michiel

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Posted 11 May 2021 - 09:25 AM

I have had two six inch refractors that I sold for some reason that now I cannot understand anymore, and which I regret. The first one was a beautiful anodised black custom made RR154/1500 refractor ( made in 2003 by Hans Winkelaar). I sold it some 15 year ago to fund for an 8 inch refractor, which was senseless as I sold it for a too low price just enough to fund the focusser of the 8 inchscared.gif foreheadslap.gif   . I regretted that ever since. The other one was a 152/900 kunming achro. I sold that last winter for a good price, but why???confused1.gif


Edited by michiel, 11 May 2021 - 09:28 AM.

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