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The classics, which one had the best QC

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#1 grif 678

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Posted 12 October 2021 - 05:44 PM

Reading different posts and reviews over the years, it seems that lots of vintage scopes did not have a uniform level of quality in their optical performance. Everyone knows about the B&L's, but I remember reading about some unitrons did not perform well as others. The vintage C-8's were not consistent either. Meade seemed to be touch and go also.

But I do not recall hearing anything inconsistent about the Vixen brand of scopes, it seemed like maybe they had a better level of QC. Just something that I have thought about some, never heard bad things about Vixen, maybe some of you have other thoughts.


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#2 CHASLX200

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Posted 12 October 2021 - 06:09 PM

My Unitrons. All of mine had great optics. The 1955 M160 had a fogged up lens so bad i never used it. So can't judge it.


Edited by CHASLX200, 12 October 2021 - 06:10 PM.

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#3 rob1986

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Posted 12 October 2021 - 06:09 PM

Reading different posts and reviews over the years, it seems that lots of vintage scopes did not have a uniform level of quality in their optical performance. Everyone knows about the B&L's, but I remember reading about some unitrons did not perform well as others. The vintage C-8's were not consistent either. Meade seemed to be touch and go also.

But I do not recall hearing anything inconsistent about the Vixen brand of scopes, it seemed like maybe they had a better level of QC. Just something that I have thought about some, never heard bad things about Vixen, maybe some of you have other thoughts.

vixen is Japanese.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if even the Germans would consider Japanese attention to detail wasteful. 



#4 Sky Muse

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Posted 12 October 2021 - 06:16 PM

The Japanese government, fairly early on, created a policing dept. of sorts for keeping an eye on telescope manufacturers...

 

passed.jpg


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#5 oldmanastro

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Posted 12 October 2021 - 08:38 PM

It seems to me that Astro Optical had pretty good quality control. I seldom hear of bad AO objectives. On the other hand Towa was not as good with some of their telescopes having substandard optics. One of their best was the 80mm f/15 refractor. It seems that quality was better controlled in this telescope. Their 60mm f/11 and f/15 telescopes were variable. I have two samples of the Sears branded Towa 60mm f/15. One of them has very good optics. The other one is a disaster. That's the one where I substituted the original objective with an excellent Unitron 60mm f/15 lens.


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#6 photiost

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 12:10 AM

All the Tasco 76.2mm models 10TE/15TE have consistently amazing RAO objectives .....

 

Ditto for the Celestron (Vixen) SPC80 + SPC102 refractors, not to mention their 102mm Fluorites !! 


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#7 Paul Sweeney

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 02:13 AM

I think Vixen is slipping in their quality. I've owned 4 scopes from Vixen.

80L: absolutely outstanding optics

ED102SS: 7 bright diffraction rings around everything, even Saturn. A dog.

ED102SS: Second try. Nice crisp images, mostly green tinged. Bow wow!

VC200L: Severe SA, strehl in the 40's. Vixen claims it is A1! Dog with fleas.

I've looked through numerous old Vixens, and they were very good. Vixen used to be the market leader here in Germany. Now, you hardly see them anymore.

I would say that classic Vixens tend to be very good to excellent. For newer scopes, try before you buy.
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#8 Bonco2

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 03:53 PM

The mechanical QC of Unitrons was among the best. All very uniformly excellent. Probably because of good original design. Optical QC seems not as good. I bought a used 3 inch Polarex that had  a less than excellent lens. But being used someone could have messed with it and possibly not even a Polarex lens. Got a fantastic Polarex replacement lens which meets all my expectations. From what I've read over the years it seems the 60mm's are typically very good. Maybe a little  less so for the 75mm's. Personally my 60mm and 75mm now have great optics. Can't speak about the 100mm's as I've only looked thru one and don't know any owners.

Bill   



#9 Bomber Bob

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 04:23 PM

I can second the vote(s) for the quality & reliability of these Classics:

 

- JP: Astro Optical / APL / Asahi / Carton / Goto / Mizar / Nihon-Seiko / Takahashi / Vixen / Yamamoto / ASC (pre-AO) [Limited Years & Known Samples]

 

- US: Bausch & Lomb / Criterion (Newts - NOT SCTs!) / Edscorp / Jaegers 

 

I hate that I can't put Cave [no direct experience + mixed reviews], Mogey [Limited Samples], & Tinsley on the list.  Way back in 1978, my first views through a Newtonian were in a Cave 8" F7, so it's a sentimental favorite.

 

Not aware of many samples (so you Owners chime in!) but SHOWA gets + noise in Japan...

 

TOWA... poor old Towa!  They could crank out some excellent to outstanding lenses, but theirs was a Volume approach, and lower retail price-point among the re-branders.  TANZUTSU?  No sympathy from Ole BB.  Can't rely on D-K either, even though they may have had arrangements with Vixen...  


Edited by Bomber Bob, 13 October 2021 - 04:25 PM.

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#10 Terra Nova

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 08:57 PM

Zeiss, TeleVue.


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#11 ccwemyss

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 10:28 PM

I don't think there was ever a bad objective produced by Astro-Physics. If there was, they would take it back and fix it. 

 

And since the original post didn't limit this to refractors, Questar would be among the most consistent for quality control.

 

In my experience selling them, we never had a bad Pentax telescope. 

 

Chip W. 


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#12 bierbelly

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 11:07 PM

My Vega MakNewt seems good. A few years ago I directed it at M61 (and others). Its f/4, so optized for wide field. I was at a fairly dark sky site.

Unbelievable! I had never seen M61 at a dark sky site. It filled the entire field of a 24mm Panoptic, a 20 mm Erfle, and a WWII telescopic EP, less mag than the Erfle....?

It was sold in the early 60s for comet hunting.

Edited by bierbelly, 13 October 2021 - 11:09 PM.


#13 Bowlerhat

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 11:10 PM

Maybe for older vixens, with modern vixens it's pretty different story.

I think Asahi is pretty good.



#14 jsiska

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Posted 14 October 2021 - 08:01 AM

Seems to me that optically, the Celestron SP-C102F and the Meade Research Series 880, 1040, and the 1260 had good QC. They could have had a bit more refinement mechanically but those models offered a quality telescope at a price level that someone more seriously interested in amateur astronomy could possibly justify. From what owners have reported on the web, optically they seemed to be quite consistent and the overall mechanicals were good for what they were. Also from what I've read the 1260 OTA was a bit heavy for the RG mount.

 

The C102F could have had a better focuser and finder scope but a Moonlite focuser fixes the focuser issue nicely. For a period, there also was an aftermarket 2" visual back available by some company for the original Celestron focuser.

 

JMI offered several after market options that gives the Meade RGs refinement.


Edited by jsiska, 14 October 2021 - 08:03 AM.


#15 Terra Nova

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Posted 14 October 2021 - 01:07 PM

Zeiss, TeleVue.

I was going to add Takahashi to my list but then I remembered the early problematic Sky90.



#16 clamchip

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Posted 14 October 2021 - 04:04 PM

Two I've noticed myself are, UPCO  mirrors, which you usually find in Edmund and Criterion

newts, and Astro Optical refractor telescopes, not just the objective lens but the whole telescope is

first class all the way.

 

Robert


Edited by clamchip, 14 October 2021 - 04:06 PM.

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