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classic 60mm refractors

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#1 grif 678

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 11:11 AM

Just counting the old classics from the past, how many 60mm refractors do you own, and are you looking for more?

I have two, a vintage Japan made black tube Celestron C-60, and a Unitron 114 60mm. I have thought about getting one or two more, but am debating why.


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#2 NVDW

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 11:12 AM

I have ummm 3 or 4 now. Not really looking for more but when a nice one will pop up....

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#3 Sky Muse

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 11:33 AM

I like my Sears(Towa) 50mm f/12 achromat...

 

Floating Achromat3.jpg

 

I also have my very first telescope ever, a Sears(Towa) 60mm f/11, purchased like-new from a Sears surplus-store in the early 1970s...

 

kit7.jpg

 

The image is smaller than the one above it, as it's not as pretty. curtsy.gif


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#4 John Rose

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 11:49 AM

I have a Unitron 114 in decent condition. $200 off craigslist. I have a number (dozen?) of others some complete and others just OTA's.  I once figured the average price of these is about $10.  Free to $40.  If I find them at flea markets and yard sales for what I consider a good price I will buy them. Some one here on cloudy nights once posted a picture of a stack of 60's in their cases against a wall in his house. Had to be a dozen of them.

 

John



#5 Alex65

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 11:53 AM

I was lucky enough to find a late 1960s / early 1970s 60mm Japanese (Kenko) refractor earlier this year going very cheap.

 

I do like the retro vibe that they have, so if I find another one going cheap then I'd probably consider buying another classic 60mm.



#6 Johnda

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 02:09 PM

I also had a Unitron 114 and it was a real nice scope. I passed it on to my nephew quite a few years ago and as far as I know he is still enjoying it.



#7 Bomber Bob

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 02:09 PM

I really don't have much use for 60mm refractors, so I'm down to just 2:

 

- 1950s Atlas by Konica F15

- 1970s Lafayette-branded Yamamoto (SYW) F7

 

The Big Surprise for me has been the optical quality of the F7 Yamamoto.  It's a small all-rounder -- great for rich field, double splitting, and lunar / planetary to 150x.  Tight & perfect Airy Disks, with much less CA than the F5 Vixen / Towa / Tanzutsu F5 RFTs (Tasco 9-999 VR Models).

 

[Gratuitous Eye Candy]

 

Atlas Restore S61 - OTA Complete (RS FL).jpg

 

L99-7213 - Restored S33 (62mm Ring) - KDS (LS FL).jpg


Edited by Bomber Bob, 04 September 2021 - 07:17 PM.

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#8 Terra Nova

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 03:19 PM

At one point I had somewhere between eight and ten. I’m now down to just two.

  1. Mayflower model 814, 60mm x 700mm (APL,1965).
  2. Unitron model 114, 62mm X 900mm (1956).

I plan to keep them.


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#9 Bonco2

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 03:29 PM

I have two eqitorials, the Unitron 128 f-15 and a Lafayette F-13. Both have superb optics and excellent mounts with butter smooth slow motion controls. 


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#10 Paul Sweeney

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 04:40 PM

I have 2 Tasco 9Ts. One from 1970 is at my sister's house in Maine (I think) and the second from 1984 is here in Germany. I am on the lookout for a Telementor, but not at the prices that are being asked these days. If some other good scope pos up, I'll give it a try. A Vixen 60/910, for example.

#11 CharlieB

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 06:33 PM

Just a few 60mm scopes left:

 

Astro Optical S-5 60/910, Soligor 60/1000 (with replacement AO objective), SPI 60/1200, Threekor (Three Beach) 60/260 and a Tasco 9VR 60/300.  The rest have been given away.


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#12 kansas skies

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 07:27 PM

I think I just have three 60mm refractors at the moment, but there might be another hidden around here somewhere. My Unitron 114 has fantastic optics, and is capable of pushing the magnification to the point where the image is almost too dim to see without losing sharpness. My Celestron/Vixen guidescope has optics that are equal to those of the Unitron, but tend very slightly to the bluer end of the spectrum due to the reduced focal length. I almost always leave the guidescope attached to my C100E, and use it as a rich field finder for the larger refractor. My other 60mm is the Tasco/Vixen 9VR. The 9VR is a great little scope, but really comes alive when coupled with my collection of 1.25" eyepieces. My intention for this scope has always been to use it as a finder for the 12" Meade SCT (and occasionally for quick solar viewing).

 

Bill


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#13 DreamWeaver

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 10:20 PM

I’m currently at nine, and not really looking for another one.  I was happy when I was at seven, and “not really looking”, but when a Swift 839 appears for $50, and a 1955-56 Unitron 114 shows up for $100, it’s hard to say no.  lol.gif   I was lucky to find two rare f/20’s locally, with the Scope Orbit being the only one that I’ve seen scouring the internet.


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#14 apfever

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 11:00 PM

A quick count and I have about...wait...I lost track, dang I didn't get out of the first room yet.

No I'm not looking for more. 

 

I'll look around some more in daylight for my strangest, oldest, or most noteworthy and post a pic.


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#15 Kasmos

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Posted 05 September 2021 - 03:31 AM

I'm hoping Neil has more than I do.

 

Obviously these aren't all 60mms (11 shown) but I thought posting this out of date photo would include most of them and then I would think of a couple of more.

Refractor Rainbow 4.jpg

For better or worse, first I thought of 3 more, then 4, then a total of 6 more not included the photo. 

Only the 60mms left to right:

Mayflower 814 (on Jaegers 4"), Penncrest f/1000, Swift Aerolite 859, Sky Chief, Tasco 227, Sky Chief, C60, Crescent, Manon, Mayflower 814, and Mayflower 806 Cutdown.The cutdown kind of doesn't count as it was free junk scope that doesn't get used.

 

There's really no need to have so many and especially since two have a twin. It's way too easy to collect them when so many charming models come along for so little money plus they don't take up much space. 13 of them were below $90 with 6 of those being in the $25 to $15 range. Only the Goto 451, Swift 839, and Unitron 114 exceded the $100 mark with the 114 being by far the costliest at $275. 

 

Two will be sold for sure and over time when I get them out of my system followed by a few more.

I've been good and not bought any size of scope for a couple of years and even when the price was very low.

Is there one that could tempt me? Probably something like a short f/7 SYW or Carton.


Edited by Kasmos, 05 September 2021 - 03:54 AM.

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#16 Kasmos

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Posted 05 September 2021 - 03:49 AM

The 6 that came after the above photo:

 

Kenko-in-Box-cn copy.jpg

Kenko TA710

 

Tasco-9TE-in-Box.jpg

Tasco 7TE-2 (replaced the Mayflower on the Jaegers 4")

 

Soligor-Box-Open copy.jpg

Soligor 60/1000

 

451-in-box.jpg

Goto Hy-Score 451

 

Swift-839-In-Box.jpg

Swift 839

 

Unitron-114-Boxes-Open.jpg

Unitron 114

 

All but my original Mayflower required work with the Unitron needing the least.

I have fun examining, working on, and using each of them for their unique character.

It's interesting to see how they were all made different to do the same thing.


Edited by Kasmos, 05 September 2021 - 04:00 AM.

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#17 Piggyback

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Posted 05 September 2021 - 04:10 AM

Ultra nice collection, Chris! Love the "psychedelic" colors. Reminds me of the 70's when I started out with a flower power colored 30x30mm table top achromat. West-Germany pretty much a telescope desert then. 


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#18 Senex Bibax

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Posted 05 September 2021 - 06:34 AM

Over the past couple of years I have owned, enjoyed and sold the following:

  • Sears 6333 (the best)
  • Sears 6309 (not used enough to rate)
  • Tasco 9T (decent)
  • Carl Wetzlar <Z> (much better than expected)

I only have one now, a Polaroscope 60x910. The objective is branded Yamatar and the focuser is stamped C.O.C (Carton). I bought it a year ago yesterday but I haven't really used it. It needed a new pinion shaft in the focuser, then we have been in and out of lockdowns and restrictions and my back yard is not the best observing site.

 

IF I acquire the Celestron SP-C6 that for sale locally, then I have promised to stick to the "buy one - sell one or more rule". The Polaroscope is a prime candidate to be sold, along with my Bushnell 4.5" reflector. It would be hard to justify keeping the Polaroscope when my OMCRON 118 refractor is lighter, more easily portable in the car and has almost double the objective diameter, and I have no plans to sell my Sears 6339A.


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#19 shredder1656

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Posted 05 September 2021 - 07:05 AM

Age-wise, I missed the era from where most of the classic 60mm scopes hail, but I do have one.  Actually, now that I think about it, I have three 60mm scopes, but only two qualify as classics. 

 

One, the one that I will keep indefinitely, is my family's SPI 527-6301 60mm f20, is squirreled away in its case.  It is still waiting on me to take the time to clean it thoroughly.  I have used it a handful of times and it performs very well. 

 

The most fun I had with it was when my dad and I took it to my grandmother's to let her do some observing.  Grandma just passed away, at 98yoa, a few weeks ago.  Great lady, and she really had fun the night we looked through Grandpa's scope. 

 

The other classic is an old Bushnell Sky Chief with a 4 digit, if I remember correctly, serial number.  OTA only.  Had it up for sale, never sold, and now I want to test it out again.  LOL.

 

The non-classic is a Tasco Luminova.  It was our first scope, and $3 at a garage sale.  It holds a special value, but not sure I will keep it forever. 

 

OH!  I forgot my daughter's little Towa 305.  She has sort of lost interest, but she mentioned having some friends look through my scopes some night soon.  So, maybe it is rekindling. 


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#20 jragsdale

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Posted 05 September 2021 - 10:01 AM

Ugh, I'm reaching the peak of the "binge" phase when it comes to 60mm scopes. Planning to purge about half of these soon:

Monolux 4380 (910mm HOC) - $25 local
Monolux I-7 (800mm Towa) - Black tube beauty
Mayflower 814 (700mm SYW) - $50 local, Mint
Shrine Manon (700mm APL) - $40 local, clammed 
Asahi Jupiter (800mm) - $150 local, permanent
Space Scope 151 (900mm SYW) - SGW, needs restored
Edmund Voyager 6001 (500mm) - FBM, fun grab and go!


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#21 Garyth64

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Posted 05 September 2021 - 12:25 PM

I had quite a few 60mm's, scaled down, but now I'm back up to 8:

 

Tasco 7TE-2

2 - Shrine Manons APL

2- 114 Unitrons,  one on a 128 mount, the other on alt-az (which will be for sale soon)

Sears 6305a, Sears 6309

Swift 839 (Terra's)


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#22 LDW47

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Posted 05 September 2021 - 12:26 PM

I'm hoping Neil has more than I do.

 

Obviously these aren't all 60mms (11 shown) but I thought posting this out of date photo would include most of them and then I would think of a couple of more.

attachicon.gifRefractor Rainbow 4.jpg

For better or worse, first I thought of 3 more, then 4, then a total of 6 more not included the photo. 

Only the 60mms left to right:

Mayflower 814 (on Jaegers 4"), Penncrest f/1000, Swift Aerolite 859, Sky Chief, Tasco 227, Sky Chief, C60, Crescent, Manon, Mayflower 814, and Mayflower 806 Cutdown.The cutdown kind of doesn't count as it was free junk scope that doesn't get used.

 

There's really no need to have so many and especially since two have a twin. It's way too easy to collect them when so many charming models come along for so little money plus they don't take up much space. 13 of them were below $90 with 6 of those being in the $25 to $15 range. Only the Goto 451, Swift 839, and Unitron 114 exceded the $100 mark with the 114 being by far the costliest at $275. 

 

Two will be sold for sure and over time when I get them out of my system followed by a few more.

I've been good and not bought any size of scope for a couple of years and even when the price was very low.

Is there one that could tempt me? Probably something like a short f/7 SYW or Carton.

Beautiful no matter what the size !


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#23 LDW47

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Posted 05 September 2021 - 12:32 PM

Over the past couple of years I have owned, enjoyed and sold the following:

  • Sears 6333 (the best)
  • Sears 6309 (not used enough to rate)
  • Tasco 9T (decent)
  • Carl Wetzlar <Z> (much better than expected)

I only have one now, a Polaroscope 60x910. The objective is branded Yamatar and the focuser is stamped C.O.C (Carton). I bought it a year ago yesterday but I haven't really used it. It needed a new pinion shaft in the focuser, then we have been in and out of lockdowns and restrictions and my back yard is not the best observing site.

 

IF I acquire the Celestron SP-C6 that for sale locally, then I have promised to stick to the "buy one - sell one or more rule". The Polaroscope is a prime candidate to be sold, along with my Bushnell 4.5" reflector. It would be hard to justify keeping the Polaroscope when my OMCRON 118 refractor is lighter, more easily portable in the car and has almost double the objective diameter, and I have no plans to sell my Sears 6339A.

Did you get the Carl Wetzlar that I bought and paid for in Ottawa and then couldn't pick up becauae Covid happened right then  The seller said he would hold it for me but didn't but then again it was his grandfathers and only $30  It was a 50-60mm refractor, maybe yellow in color, I really can't remember, lol 



#24 LDW47

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Posted 05 September 2021 - 12:41 PM

I have a mid 59 Tasco Model 308 and a Polaroscope Model 114E both in almost new condition ( small paint chips ) and semi classic Celestron CO-60, Tasco 9vr and Tasco 99vr and an almost classic Celestron C80 from the mid 80's - mid 90's  All are in almost new condition  I should post some pics but no need as I already have numerous times  Theres nothing like looking through these parts of astronomy history on a clear, black night !


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#25 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 05 September 2021 - 06:27 PM

Down to my first telescope 1965 Tasco 5te  nostalgic

and the very capable Edmund Voyager 63mm

 

The Mayflower 814 was the best of the bunch   but it is in California having left last week in the 9 scope purge

The 1958 Monolux had great optics   I do not regret giving it to a newbee  but I miss those optics

 

Kasmos   love your    line up pic

"She's a Rainbow"   comes in colors

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