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Nishimura, a name few know and far fewer own

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#1 Steve_M_M

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Posted 09 June 2021 - 09:43 AM

There is a Nishimura telescope for sale on Yahoo auctions right now that is being discussed in the "ads" thread.  These are amazing telescopes and it got me wondering if anyone here actually owns a Nishimura telescope?  If not own, have you ever seen one in person?

 

I had one in 2008/2009 and it was truly amazing.  But, the CN classics forum was still new back then and I had no real idea how scarce these were.  So, when I got an offer of $2,000 for it with eyepieces, I jumped as Chas would say.  I thought how could a 6" telescope be worth $2,000????  The person who sold it to me had purchased it at a garage sale for $25!    Selling that scope is one of my top 5, maybe top 3 regrets.

 

Attached are some eye candy pictures of various Nishimura telescopes.  I also have a lot of research on Nishimura and Biela Observatory who sold them in the US.  I have the original US catalog too, feel free to ask me for a scanned copy (I think it is already on the catalogs site)

 

For me, I have owned the 6" and stood next to a 10" once. 

 

 

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#2 starman876

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Posted 09 June 2021 - 11:27 AM

That is an awesome scope.  Hard to find.  I would buy one in  heartbeat.



#3 Mike G.

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Posted 09 June 2021 - 11:43 AM

that alt-az is beautiful!



#4 Steve_M_M

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Posted 09 June 2021 - 12:06 PM

Here is the one on Yahoo Japan Auctions.  Some interesting differences....

 

https://zenmarket.jp...Code=w476092854



#5 ltha

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Posted 09 June 2021 - 01:09 PM

I always wanted the 8” version but never saw one for sale.....

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#6 ltha

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Posted 09 June 2021 - 01:11 PM

Or it’s bigger sibling.....

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#7 CHASLX200

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Posted 09 June 2021 - 06:05 PM

Best looking 6 to 10" Newts ever made back around 1961. Built like tanks and had a great paint job. I would kill to buy one. Never seen them come up sale over here and never saw one in the flesh. I wonder how many are left and it they are all beat up and faded like a flower?


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#8 CHASLX200

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Posted 09 June 2021 - 06:07 PM

Or it’s bigger sibling.....

No way i can lift that scope. Now that would be a total dream scope if it was given to me and had a dome built for it.


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#9 ltha

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Posted 09 June 2021 - 06:49 PM

No way i can lift that scope. Now that would be a total dream scope if it was given to me and had a dome built for it.

I could not agree with you more!  When I look at the picture, taken from the catalog I once owned, I think having so many scopes mounted together would cover all the bases. Looks like 6”, 4” and 3” refractors in addition to the 16” Cass. In a dome under your skies - probably couldn’t get much better! 



#10 Terra Nova

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Posted 09 June 2021 - 07:05 PM

There is a Nishimura telescope for sale on Yahoo auctions right now that is being discussed in the "ads" thread.  These are amazing telescopes and it got me wondering if anyone here actually owns a Nishimura telescope?  If not own, have you ever seen one in person?

 

I had one in 2008/2009 and it was truly amazing.  But, the CN classics forum was still new back then and I had no real idea how scarce these were.  So, when I got an offer of $2,000 for it with eyepieces, I jumped as Chas would say.  I thought how could a 6" telescope be worth $2,000????  The person who sold it to me had purchased it at a garage sale for $25!    Selling that scope is one of my top 5, maybe top 3 regrets.

 

Attached are some eye candy pictures of various Nishimura telescopes.  I also have a lot of research on Nishimura and Biela Observatory who sold them in the US.  I have the original US catalog too, feel free to ask me for a scanned copy (I think it is already on the catalogs site)

 

For me, I have owned the 6" and stood next to a 10" once. 

Steve, did you own the alt-az scope you pictured as well? It looks like a 4” or 5”. They are indeed beautiful telescopes!


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#11 CHASLX200

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Posted 09 June 2021 - 07:12 PM

They knew how to build mounts in Japan man. I just love all them high class scopes no one can afford.


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#12 CHASLX200

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Posted 09 June 2021 - 07:13 PM

I could not agree with you more!  When I look at the picture, taken from the catalog I once owned, I think having so many scopes mounted together would cover all the bases. Looks like 6”, 4” and 3” refractors in addition to the 16” Cass. In a dome under your skies - probably couldn’t get much better! 

Hope the 16" Optics are better than what Celestron gave us.



#13 ltha

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Posted 09 June 2021 - 08:51 PM

Pulled this from another thread on CN:

 

”Edited to add: A quick Google search found a paper by Leif J. Robinson from 1960 about observations of Saturn from Biela Observatory.  The observatory was in Anaheim, not Santa Ana.  Robinson's article doesn't state the size of the scope.  Leif Robinson was for many years the editor of Sky & Telescope.  When I belonged to the LAAS in the mid-1950s (I was a kid), Leif was one of their prominent members.  Leif did this, Leif did that.

More searching shows that the scope at Biela Observatory was a 16-inch -- not 24-inches, as I stated.  But that was a huge amateur scope back in the day.  I'm not sure that any "Joe Biela" actually owned the place.  A guy named Gene Purdick, who is mentioned in a history of the Riverside Astronomical Society, was associated with the observatory as a salesman for Nishimura telescopes from Japan.  The big scope at Biela Observatory was a Nishimura, which explains the high-grade painted finish on the mount that I remember.  The history of RAS mentions how expensive but gorgeous-looking the Nishimura scopes were.  Well, I happened to know someone who bought a 6-inch Nishimura from Cave's shop around 1963.  It was one of the worst telescopes I ever looked through.  It appeared to me that the optics were very badly pinched.  I was able to borrow the scope very briefly, to confirm my bad impression from a few years earlier, but I didn't feel at liberty to take it apart to look at the mirror cell.  The owners (the mother and brother of a friend of mine) never mentioned how disappointing the scope was, but the younger boy, for whom the scope was a gift, didn't pursue astronomy.”


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#14 Bowlerhat

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Posted 09 June 2021 - 09:26 PM

Nishimura does come up in auction in bits time to time, but complete set is rare.

And Oh God, those eyepieces..



#15 starman876

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 07:33 AM

Or it’s bigger sibling.....

Talk about drool factor.   All of their scopes look beautiful.   Maybe I will bid on the one on Zen market now I am signed up.



#16 starman876

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 07:35 AM

Hope the 16" Optics are better than what Celestron gave us.

I am sure they were.



#17 starman876

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 07:36 AM

They knew how to build mounts in Japan man. I just love all them high class scopes no one can afford.

I believe there were people that could afford them otherwise they would not have been in business very long. 



#18 ltha

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 09:59 AM

Not to get off topic, but there are always people who can spend big money to indulge their interests. A while back there was a huge house for sale, in Texas as I recall, and it included an observatory complete with a Takahashi FCT-200 8” Fluorite on Taks huge EM3500 observatory mount. Certainly in the $200,000 range for scope and mount alone. Not to mention the large RC scopes commonly used by imagers. I remember a 6” f/15 Nishimura or Goto refractor for sale years back that I seriously though about buying, but it was massively heavy and needed, at least in my mind, a permanent home.

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#19 Steve_M_M

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 12:50 PM

Interesting diversion.  The 6" f15 Goto was mine and the house with the $200,000 Takahashi is just over the hill shown here from my office.  The house appears abandon.  Ill go get a shot of it when I go out for lunch.

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Edited by Steve_M_M, 10 June 2021 - 12:51 PM.

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#20 Steve_M_M

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 01:00 PM

Here you go.  And yes, that is all one house. 

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Edited by Steve_M_M, 10 June 2021 - 01:00 PM.

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#21 starman876

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 02:29 PM

Here you go.  And yes, that is all one house. 

That is some house.  Is it vacant or does someone live there.  Any scopes left in the place?  Must be a neat story behind all this.


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#22 steve t

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 02:41 PM

Wow, the back story on the house would be interesting


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#23 CHASLX200

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 06:16 PM

These kinds of scopes are just dream scopes for 99% of us. Can't afford them, or too big and or never close by.  Nice to dream as i know i would never own a Nishimura. But sometimes crazy things happen as i used to dream about so many scopes at the age of 14 i could never afford back then.  I mean what are the chances of one of these scopes popping up local for sale in my area?  I would think even the 10" Newt and mount would be a work out to set up. My days of dealing with heavy stuff is long over.  But just to buy one and say i had one would be enough for me even if i never used it.


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#24 ltha

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 09:07 PM

I was pretty sure that the 6” Goto was yours Steve. Not sure if it was the scope Jon Pons was selling, which is the one I looked at. At the time I was living in a small place at the beach - Sunset Beach, CA - and did not have the room. But I was sorely tempted! Around the same time I did have a D&G 8” f/12 but kept it in my girlfriends backyard some miles inland from where I lived. What a great scope it was, but nowhere as amazing as your complete Goto observatory scope! What a beautiful package!


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#25 Steve_M_M

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 09:11 PM

Yes, it was. 

 

I was hoping someone here owned a Nishimura.  Maybe one will pop up, but so far nope.

 

Any know Chuck Mitchell in AZ?  I believe he has at least one.


Edited by Steve_M_M, 10 June 2021 - 09:11 PM.



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