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Towa 339

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#1 eric_zeiner

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 09:02 AM

I found a Towa 339 for $200.00 shipped.  Judging by the pictures it looks fairly decent.  Any opinions?



#2 wrvond

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 09:12 AM

Four millimeters more aperture than your Sears 6335, otherwise pretty much the same.

Mine has very good optics but doesn't get used much because it is so outperformed by my Sky-Watcher ED120. Still, I keep it on a CG-4 with motors "just in case".


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#3 Garyth64

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 09:58 AM

Is the 339 lens made by AO?  I don't know that it is.  The 339 may have a very good lens, but is it on the same level as AO?


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#4 ccwemyss

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 10:13 AM

The 339 and various other re-brands were all made by Towa. But they did put extra care into the 80mm optics that wasn't always the case with their 60mm lenses. 

 

Chip W. 


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#5 wrvond

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 10:36 AM

Is the 339 lens made by AO?  I don't know that it is.  The 339 may have a very good lens, but is it on the same level as AO?

It is not. The only comparisons I'm aware of are subjective. If somebody has performed an objective (pun not intended) test, I'd love to see it.



#6 slepage

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 10:49 AM

Most people buy these for their collection of vintage scopes.  They do have decent optics, but that that is not the primary reason for buying them.  I see them on Craigslist every once in a while for anywhere from $60 to $125.  At $200 you are buying full up on it, so if you procced it should be pretty much in perfect condition.

 

Steve


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#7 aa6ww

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 11:04 AM

I didn't buy mine for any collectable interests. I bought this to use as a telescope. I removed the focuser and replaced it with a nice 2" load bearing focuser so I can use my 2" eyepieces on the scope. That was my intent from the very beginning.

The tiny .965 eyepieces just didn't seem worth it to use. They are horrible compared to my Explorer Scientific 1.25" eyepieces. I get no thrill looking through tiny very old eyepieces.

When using 2" eyepieces, its a whole different world and the scope performs beautifully, especially for wide field views now. Plus is sure looks cool compared to every other 80mm modern refractors.

 

..Ralph

Attached Thumbnails

  • 80mm F15 on Avalon mount AVx_2.jpg

Edited by aa6ww, 30 November 2021 - 04:08 PM.

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#8 eric_zeiner

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 11:09 AM

Most people buy these for their collection of vintage scopes.  They do have decent optics, but that that is not the primary reason for buying them.  I see them on Craigslist every once in a while for anywhere from $60 to $125.  At $200 you are buying full up on it, so if you procced it should be pretty much in perfect condition.

 

Steve

Yeah, I haven't committed to the price and there is an option for me to make an offer.  I am waiting for the seller to get back to me with more pictures and info.  By the pictures that are posted, there is no indication of a box and accessories and if they are missing then it would be a nonstarter.  Stay tuned.


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#9 wrvond

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 11:17 AM

I didn't buy mine for any collectable interests. I bought this to use a telescope. I removed the focuser and replaced it with a nice 2" load bearing focuser so I can use my 2" eyepieces on the scope. That was my intent from the very beginning.

The tiny .965 eyepieces just didn't seem worth it to use. They are horrible compared to my Explorer Scientific 1.25" eyepieces. I get no thrill looking through tiny very old eyepieces.

When using 2" eyepieces, its a whole different world and the scope performs beautifully, especially for wide field views now. Plus is sure looks cool compared to every other 80mm modern refractors.

 

..Ralph

I did the "drainpipe mod" to mine, so it takes 1.25" EPs. I've considered changing to a 2" focuser but was concerned about having enough focuser travel. What focuser did you use, and did it require any modification?

Considering the difficulty finding tube rings to fit, I'd be surprised if there was a plug 'n play focuser solution.


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#10 eric_zeiner

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 11:20 AM

Is the 339 lens made by AO?  I don't know that it is.  The 339 may have a very good lens, but is it on the same level as AO?

My 6335 Sears is an RAO product and I am spoiled by it.  The Towa is for collectable purposes but it will get used should I decide to buy it.


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#11 barbie

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 12:10 PM

My recently purchased vintage Towa 339 has an excellent lens!! I enjoy using it with my vintage CZJ .965" Orthoscopic eyepieces for viewing the planets and the moon!! I bought it for its collectability and for its performance. I also use my 1.25" eyepieces with my Towa 339 and they provide excellent wide angle views as well as high magnification planetary and close double star splits. For the 1.25" eyepieces, I use an Antares Hybrid Diagonal. The quality of the 339 is consistent with other vintage Japanese refractors of the same era, at least as far as I've seen. I've successfully used 200x-240x on the moon,planets and double stars with my particular sample. That's at the limit for my typical sky conditions on an excellent night for me.


Edited by barbie, 30 November 2021 - 01:12 PM.

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#12 Kasmos

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 02:47 PM

I don't own one but after reading this forum for some years, the consensus seems to be they are not as consistant as RAO with some being good and others excellent. Saying that once in awhile they are found for $60-$125 isn't the best guide. Every scope can ocassionally be found as a bargin but it takes patience and finding a nice complete kit can take time. Also, just the other day another member bought only a OTA (Meade) for $125+ shipping. One thing to keep in mind is why you want it, because if you end up selling it, a big heavy box is expensive to ship. That tells me $200 shipped isn't so bad and if you can get it for a bit less it's kind of a win. Lastly, if I had a RAO Sears 6335 I don't think I'd bother, but we all have our reasons for wanting something.


Edited by Kasmos, 30 November 2021 - 04:19 PM.

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#13 eric_zeiner

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 04:03 PM

All great stuff and I thank you.  With that said I have decided to not buy this piece.  The reason being is because I asked the seller two distinct questions and his answers were nowhere near the info I was looking for.  Beating around the bush as it were, and you are right about the RAO Sears it is a fine piece and I am thrilled to have it.


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