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Classic Refractor-Like Reflectors

Classic Equipment Reflector
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#1 Bomber Bob

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 12:52 PM

Got a Classic Reflector that gives refractor-like views?  Post the Eye Candy here!

 

I currently have 3...

 

1980s Meade 826 (8" F6):

 

Meade 826 Restore S01 - Lumicon 125 HF.jpg

 

1980s Mizar Comet (4" F8):

 

Mizar Comet 1st Set Up S06 - FULL RS.jpg

 

1930s (?) Tinsley Saturn (6" F20):

 

Saturn Restore 2020 S95 - Restore COMPLETE (Tinsley EQ Full LS).jpg


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#2 Piaget

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 03:54 PM

Bob Thanks for a look at your fine group , That Tinsley is a thing of beauty ... Superb looking craftsmanship & parts ...


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#3 brian dewelles

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 05:17 PM

So i have an 8" f- 7, a six inch f-8 russian TAL, and six inch f-8 with cave  refigured primary. They all produce superb planetary views and contrasty deep sky objects. Something i have always liked about long focal length and small secondary obstruction.

 

 i have two of these little newtonians from Hino optical Tokyo. I think they perform about as well as similar size achromat refractors. At 85mm f-10 they produce nice star images and i love the contrast. The one shown had some tube damage in front of secondary spider so i cut the damaged part and replaced end ring. It also had a non original towa .965 R+P focuser so i added the 1.25" helical focuser i had, i think from Mizar. The other one i have has the original . 965 helical. 

 

Their are a lot of small yoke mounts with tangent arms and slo/mo for altitude and they are junk but these mounts are beefy and the slow motion really works. Lots of fun to use.

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#4 CHASLX200

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 07:20 PM

My old 826 on a AP 800 that is now Bob's 826. It was a 450x killer.

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#5 DAVIDG

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 08:33 PM

 My 4.25 Edmund Palomar Jr, with a parabolic primary and elliptical diagonal that is actually optically flat.

 

                     - Dave 

 

4 f11 edmund.jpg


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#6 Terra Nova

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 10:15 AM

I had one of the Edmund 4.25” F10s and a Celestron C4.5 F8, however, and as much as I dislike the term refractor-like’ because to me, Newtonians are Newtonians, and regardless of how good they are, they function distinctly differently from refractors, the longish Newt I most regret loosing and foolishly gave away was a lowly Meade Polaris that had a very good optics set. (How’s that for a long sentence!?! lol.gif )

 

Lamentably, they are all gone, albeit not forgotten. 

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#7 Terra Nova

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 10:17 AM

My sole Newtonian as of this post is my trusty old 6” RFT that I cobbled together back in 1967. It’s views are decidedly not ‘refractor-like’. wink.gif

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#8 wmaalouli

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 10:39 AM

I had one of the Edmund 4.25” F10s and a Celestron C4.5 F8, however, and as much as I dislike the term refractor-like’ because to me, Newtonians are Newtonians, and regardless of how good they are, they function distinctly differently from refractors, the longish Newt I most regret loosing and foolishly gave away was a lowly Meade Polaris that had a very good optics set. (How’s that for a long sentence!?! lol.gif )

 

Lamentably, they are all gone, albeit not forgotten. 

I had the exact same Celestron C4.5 scope purchased in the early 90's. I loved that scope and have many good memories with it. I eventually gave it to a local kid who was interested in astronomy. The wooden tripod was unrivaled when it came to dampening vibrations as compared to the modern aluminum ones. 


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#9 clamchip

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 10:58 AM

My 6 inch f/13 Allenscope was side-by-side with my D&G 6 inch f/12 and I couldn't

tell the difference.

I miss my D&G and it's Optic-Craft equatorial, I'm ashamed of myself for selling it

off like that, I'm a grade A idiot ! 

I've been trying to replace the D&G with another one but the opportunity hasn't

happened and its been years since I sold it. Really what I want is a 5" f/20 D&G.

I do still own the Allenscope. The Allenscope was built around a very old mirror I found

on ebay. After many updates mostly centered around the diagonal mirror and it's 

support I've pretty much finished it.

The whole experience has taught me the Newtonian properly built is a magnificent

design. I had no idea going into this project, in fact when I first assembled the scope

I named it the "Hillbilly Superplanetary" cobbling it together with miscellaneous astro

junk. Soon I realized this is no joke, it's the best telescope I own !

I can easily gain even more performance out of the Allenscope with modern parts, but

I chose to keep it all vintage.

Robert

 

post-50896-0-72751400-1517616473.jpg

 

 

 

 


Edited by clamchip, 27 November 2021 - 11:20 AM.

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#10 DAVIDG

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 11:42 AM

 Newtonian get a "bad" reputation as not giving as good an image as refractors. The issue most of time is  comparison  between a small aperture refractor and larger aperture Newtonian . First the smaller the aperture the larger the Airy disk so it is much easier to see that "refractor like" image of the Airy disk in a small scope. A 60mm refractor will almost always show it and people equate that to excellent optics. The other issue is that with small aperture refractors  that are usually F//11 or slower, the Laws of Optics are on their side, in  that with "spherical" surfaces even if they aren't great spherical surfaces you still get a diffraction limited image or better. On  a Newtonian  the "sweet" spot is an apertures under 6" and F-ratio of F/8 or slower. So it takes more skill to get a larger aperture Newtonian to really have a  1/4 wave or better optics and unfortunately  that usually is not the case.

    Going back the Airy disk size, it takes both good optics and good seeing to see the Airy Disk in a larger aperture scope. It is rare that I see it my 8" scopes. So again when people don't see a clean Airy disk they believe the optics aren't as good as the smaller refractor or small aperture slow F-ratio Newtonian show.

 

                           Happy Holidays !

                             - Dave 


Edited by DAVIDG, 28 November 2021 - 09:47 AM.

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#11 Tenacious

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 11:55 AM

...... I dislike the term refractor-like’ because to me, Newtonians are Newtonians, and regardless of how good they are, they function distinctly differently from refractors,........

 

 

+1.   This seems a bit contrary to my experiencees.  I think my Newtonians are pretty good (10" f/6 and  6" f/8), but there is a quality to an unobstructed telescope that I have never seen a Newtonian match.  I see it most profoundly on excellent nights while looking at the Galilean moons - my long achromats show the moons as very small round disks.  I use this to tune optimum focus.   In the Newtonians I've looked through, the moons can best be described as indistinct points at best focus. 

 

Certainly, I'm not deluded into believing that my humble 60mm and 76mm achromats are resolving the moons of Jupiter, but the consistency of the effect, unknown to me whatever it is, is very pleasing.  If someone has insight in to the "moons as disks" effect, I'd be interested.

 

Maybe I simply need to search out better Newtonians than mine.   confused1.gif

 

The first time I ever noticed this effect was looking through an unobstructed 12" Tri-mirror Buckroeder-Schiefspiegler telescope, beautifully made by the late Dick Wessling - the view blew my socks off...


Edited by Tenacious, 27 November 2021 - 12:07 PM.

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#12 Kasmos

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 03:19 PM

+1.   This seems a bit contrary to my experiencees.  I think my Newtonians are pretty good (10" f/6 and  6" f/8), but there is a quality to an unobstructed telescope that I have never seen a Newtonian match.  I see it most profoundly on excellent nights while looking at the Galilean moons - my long achromats show the moons as very small round disks.  I use this to tune optimum focus.   In the Newtonians I've looked through, the moons can best be described as indistinct points at best focus. 

 

Certainly, I'm not deluded into believing that my humble 60mm and 76mm achromats are resolving the moons of Jupiter, but the consistency of the effect, unknown to me whatever it is, is very pleasing.  If someone has insight in to the "moons as disks" effect, I'd be interested.

 

Maybe I simply need to search out better Newtonians than mine.   confused1.gif

 

The first time I ever noticed this effect was looking through an unobstructed 12" Tri-mirror Buckroeder-Schiefspiegler telescope, beautifully made by the late Dick Wessling - the view blew my socks off...

Maybe I'm missing something but DavidG's statements about the larger airy disk of a small refractor seems to explain why the Galilean Moons look like small round disks.


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#13 lunardave

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 03:59 PM

I used to have a 4.5 Tasco F8.

 

On a wobbly "GEM".

 

But with most things perseverance paid off.

 

For one frosty night in about '87.

 

I could see Mars and it's sand storms.

 

I could see CO2 evaporating from the polar cap.

 

For a few moments that night.

 

I was only 100,000 miles from Mars.

 

If an ED refractor could do better I'd like to hear how.


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#14 Drainpipeviewer

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 04:16 PM

Here is my 8 inch F/9 newton which originally came with a focuser for 35mm eyepieces. Manufacturer is still unknown, could be a telescope built by Eckhard Alt in Germany, but not sure. I have changed the focuser to a 2 inch crayford in order to use modern eyepieces amd I bought a dobson mount for it last year. The finder is a TAL 8x50 which makes finding objects easy.

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#15 GSBass

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 04:24 PM

Cant ever pass up the opportunity to share my pride and joy, Orion 180mm Maksutov Cassegrain, the very definition of refractor like

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#16 steve t

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 04:42 PM

My little ATM 4" F/10 Newtonian was originally built in 1973 per Allyn Thompson's book "Making Your Own Telescope." After spending several decades in storage, as a COVID project, I decided to restored the mount and updated/modernized some of the components on the OTA.

 

Over the past year this scope has made a perfect, low hassle G&G scope and has become my most used telescope. I've also found that observing "like it's 1970" again has increased my enjoyment of this hobby smile.gif.

 

I'm not sure how a scope like mine would compare to a refractor, but it may have performance similar to a 3" refractor on low contrast objects like planets. Someday it would be interesting to do a Side-by-side comparison

 

 

 

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#17 lunardave

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 05:00 PM

Nice scope! Mount too!

 

Awesome back garden!


Edited by lunardave, 27 November 2021 - 05:01 PM.

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#18 lunardave

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 05:11 PM

Cant ever pass up the opportunity to share my pride and joy, Orion 180mm Maksutov Cassegrain, the very definition of refractor like

I remember wanting to get the 180.

 

Couldn't afford a mount at the time.

 

I used to buy Big Macs.

 

But my doctor told me to stop.


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#19 lunardave

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 05:13 PM

My little ATM 4" F/10 Newtonian was originally built in 1973 per Allyn Thompson's book "Making Your Own Telescope." After spending several decades in storage, as a COVID project, I decided to restored the mount and updated/modernized some of the components on the OTA.

 

Over the past year this scope has made a perfect, low hassle G&G scope and has become my most used telescope. I've also found that observing "like it's 1970" again has increased my enjoyment of this hobby smile.gif.

 

I'm not sure how a scope like mine would compare to a refractor, but it may have performance similar to a 3" refractor on low contrast objects like planets. Someday it would be interesting to do a Side-by-side comparison

My Tasco wasn't as fancy. But it was a gem!

 

On a GEM.


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#20 Tenacious

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 06:07 PM

Maybe I'm missing something but DavidG's statements about the larger airy disk of a small refractor seems to explain why the Galilean Moons look like small round disks.

It was me that missed it - he posted his explanation while I was still composing my musings about moons as disks.    I very much appreciate David's knowledge.    If there are other posts exploring this topic in more detail, I haven't stumbled into them yet.

 

Back on topic - I really like seeing the Looong Newtonians!   Maybe someday I'll find the time to grind a 6" f/10....


Edited by Tenacious, 27 November 2021 - 06:11 PM.

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#21 telesonic

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 09:36 PM

My only true Newtonian reflector is the old Celestron / Vixen C-4.5, and I'd say that scope comes pretty close to giving refractor-like views. I'd guess it's a combination of it being not very large aperture, longer focal length (being F/8) and a smaller secondary mirror, so a smaller central obstruction. It's a great performing scope, for a mere 4.5" of mirror.

 

Thought I had a picture of it in my gallery, but alas... my last extra photo purge must have slipped that one in somehow.

 

I'd like to think that my SCT's and the Comet Catcher Schmidt Newtonian give as good views, so... I'd like to think. I didn't include them for the fact that they aren't a typical newtonian. That, and I don't have any refractors in the 4 ~ 8" range handy to test. I know a guy, though.... cool.gif

 

Cheers,

T


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#22 Bonco2

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 09:56 PM

My old 1960 vintage RV6 that I sold to Chas not so long ago amazed almost everyone that observed the planets with it. I did a side by side comparo with my 6 inch f/8  Astro Physics refractor...The Newt won in sharpness and detail on the planet Jupiter.

Only let it go because I got tired of dealing with it's unsteady mount. Chas let it go for the same reason.

Bill


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#23 CHASLX200

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Posted 28 November 2021 - 06:33 AM

I had it on a better mount for a while. Was the same as two 6" ED's.

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#24 steve t

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Posted 28 November 2021 - 07:19 AM

Nice scope! Mount too!

 

Awesome back garden!

Thanks Dave.


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#25 steve t

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Posted 28 November 2021 - 07:21 AM

I had it on a better mount for a while. Was the same as two 6" ED's.

That is a nice looking set up


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