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How to identify a Vixen objective?

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9 replies to this topic

#1 Senex Bibax

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 06:22 AM

I'm picking up an older (> 15 years) Omcon EX 118 4" refractor later today. Omcon was a Canadian brand, from the same parent that makes Antares equipment. They typically build the scopes in Canada with optics sourced from Asia. Earlier versions used Vixen objectives, and newer ones used Synta,

 

Is there a simple way to identify visually whether the objective is a Vixen - any obvious distinguishing features? It doesn't look like there are any labels on the scope that identify the optics supplier.

 

Either way, I'll be happy but I would like to know.

 

Thanks

 

Patrick



#2 clamchip

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 10:53 AM

I have  two 'Vixen spec research grade Antares Elite' a 90mm and 4 inch f/15 lenses.

How's that for a title!

That's the way Sky Instruments advertised these lenses back in the early 1990's.

What is the focal ratio of the telescope?

I'd say if f/15 more than a good chance it will be one of these Vixen spec

made by Carton lenses.

The coating is single layer blue and the Synta are multi-coated green

tint. 

Otherwise the elements are unmarked.

Observing with these lens will help ID too because they are easily in the top 1% of

all lens I've ever looked thru.

Robert 

 

post-50896-0-17241700-1606332311.jpg


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#3 Senex Bibax

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 11:52 AM

I have  two 'Vixen spec research grade Antares Elite' a 90mm and 4 inch f/15 lenses.

How's that for a title!

That's the way Sky Instruments advertised these lenses back in the early 1990's.

What is the focal ratio of the telescope?

I'd say if f/15 more than a good chance it will be one of these Vixen spec

made by Carton lenses.

The coating is single layer blue and the Synta are multi-coated green

tint. 

Otherwise the elements are unmarked.

Observing with these lens will help ID too because they are easily in the top 1% of

all lens I've ever looked thru.

Robert 

 

attachicon.gifpost-50896-0-17241700-1606332311.jpg

 

Thanks, Robert. The seller hasn't mentioned the focal length, and does not have the original documentation, so I will do a quick check of the colour of the coatings. I'll post pics once i have the scope home later this afternoon. At the price it would have to be a complete dog, regardless of the optics supplier, to be a bad deal.

 



#4 shawnmcarter

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 12:06 PM

I have an Antares 127mm f/? with the blue coatings (Vixen) and it is indeed a fantastic performing scope.  I would like to upgrade the focuser, but the views are pretty amazing.  There is CA on brighter objects, especially if you stick a camera in it, but sweeping the Milky Way or looking at dimmer objects it's a workhorse.



#5 photiost

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 04:25 PM

Congrats on your Antares refractor !!

Don't forget to post some images.

 

One way to tell them apart is by measuring the f/l of the Objective.  

 

IIRC Antares made the 104mm, f/9.5  but the Vixen Spec was actually 105mm, f/9.5, f/12 or f/14

Not so easy to tell them apart except by precise measurements.

 

A little easier for the 92mm, f/10 as the Vixen Spec was 93mm, f/11, f/14 or f/16

 

Here is my Vixen Spec 93mm f/11

.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Antares 93mm f11 Vixen Spec.jpg

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#6 Senex Bibax

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 05:09 PM

As promised, here are some pics. The telescope came with everything you see, plus two Barlow lenses and three eyepieces. Everything appears to be in good order. I am leaning towards the optics being Synta because the scope is probably less than twenty years old, but I don't know when Omcon switched from Vixen to Synta. In any case, it may need a few more years before it qualifies as a "classic". For $70 Canadian, I'm not complaining.

 

P 20210611 171006 P
P 20210611 171025 P
P 20210611 171034 P
P 20210611 171058 P

 


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#7 Senex Bibax

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Posted 14 June 2021 - 07:49 AM

I did manage to find a bit more info about my new scope. The Omcon Vista 118SE dates to the 1990s, and is a 90mm / 910 mm F11 design. I can't find anything that tells me if this puts it into the Vixen or Synta period, though,



#8 Terra Nova

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Posted 14 June 2021 - 10:27 AM

This is a lovely Vixen 80mm x 900mm objective that I used to have:

Attached Thumbnails

  • DFFD0C89-61DC-4919-8F2D-C111AB52714D.jpeg
  • 8EC84DB4-FA5C-42FF-99D1-34C2934A5C11.jpeg

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#9 Kasmos

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Posted 14 June 2021 - 01:41 PM

As promised, here are some pics. The telescope came with everything you see, plus two Barlow lenses and three eyepieces. Everything appears to be in good order. I am leaning towards the optics being Synta because the scope is probably less than twenty years old, but I don't know when Omcon switched from Vixen to Synta. In any case, it may need a few more years before it qualifies as a "classic". For $70 Canadian, I'm not complaining.

 

None of the characteristics (finder, focuser, mount, etc.) of that scope match a Vixen. Also, many Vixens have a V on the bottom of the focuser and on the face of the objective cell. Bottom line. As long as you are happy with it, all is good.



#10 sdedalus83

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Posted 14 June 2021 - 01:46 PM

None of the characteristics (finder, focuser, mount, etc.) of that scope match a Vixen. Also, many Vixens have a V on the bottom of the focuser and on the face of the objective cell. Bottom line. As long as you are happy with it, all is good.

Sky Instruments did put Vixen objectives into tube assemblies comprised of parts from other sources, so there are scopes that look like Synta hardware with a Vixen objective. But this one is clearly from the low end line, and I don’t think Vixen made a 90/910. The focuser looks like the low end Synta sold by Vixen in Japan and the mount is definitely Synta.


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