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What will the new generation of classics be like

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#26 bobhen

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 10:53 AM

So what happens to our classic scopes that we love when we are gone, who will love them. Will the scopes of today become classics years from now?

 

Don’t underestimate the powerful pull of nostalgia. People are getting high dollars for toys that were popular in the eighties. It doesn’t matter in what decade one gets a first telescope, that scope “will always” be a first telescope, with a certain “classic” nostalgic pull.

 

Many telescopes made today that will become future classics are better than those that came before. The apo refractor and glass revolution is just one such example.

 

Some future classics might be…
Astro-Physics refractors
TEC refractors
Certain Takahashi refractors
Certain TV refractors
High-end Dobsonians like Obsession and others
The future Quester Five when released will be an instant classic

I’m sure there are more.

 

However, IMO the more urgent issue is, in the future, will there be a thriving amateur astronomy community at all or anything close to what there is right now. There are forces (climate, demographics, light pollution, anti-science populism, tech and media diversions, etc.) working against that possibility.

 

What telescopes today that become classics and what classic telescopes are used in the future is not as important a question as “if” telescopes will be used in the future. And if so, will they be used to anywhere near the extent that they are today. I certainly hope so.

 

Bob


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#27 Stellar1

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 10:53 AM

Arighty then, don’t I look silly, I’m gonna seriously check these out.


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#28 mikemarotta

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 10:59 AM

I cannot speak to mounts. There may be none now that will survive to provide satisfactory nostalgia. However, as for the telescope:

 

Astro-Tech 70mm Astro-Tech.jpg

 

and 

 

William Gran Turismo gt71_1.jpg

 

Those may become the ones that people 20 years from now will remember fondly and pursue in after-market sales venues.

 

As for the other kit and gear:

Tele Vue eyepieces. Eventually, inevitably, the company will change when it changes ownership and we will look back wistfully.

 

One thing about computerized mounts: the Great Solar Flare or someone's 50-megaton airburst will fry all electronics and we will be back to paper. Consider the Bronze Age Collapse. 


Edited by mikemarotta, 01 January 2022 - 11:00 AM.

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#29 Terra Nova

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 11:11 AM

She ALWAYS knows...cool.gif

I’m not sure about that Matty. I may not. :(

 

On further checking (and I haven’t done a lot) it’s looking like the Vixen AP (Advanced Polaris, it supersedes the GP Great Polaris mounts and is the latest iteration of the Polaris line) may also be disconnected. Vixen has terminated so many of its astronomical products in the past year. (Did I hear something of a disastrous fire in their Japanese manufacturing facility?)

 

Anyway, to my knowledge, the Celestron Omni CG-4 is a very well made (Chinese) Polaris-grade GEM and it’s still in production and will be available again once supply chain issues are resolved. I had one for ten years and it was a very good and trouble free GEM.


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#30 grif 678

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 11:12 AM

Questar, Astro Physics, TeleVue, Stellarvue, Vixen, Takahashi, Synta Maks, GSO reflectors, and higher end Chinese and Taiwanese refractors will survive, and maintain value. They are well made, and perform well. They are quality OTAs that can be put on any sort of mount that the current technology of the new era allows. And quality older, non-hightec mounts will survive as well to become classics of the next generation. Quality optics and mechanicals have high survivable, electronics not so much. If they depend on integrated electronics and have lots of plastic, most won’t survive. I wouldn’t have high hopes for that beloved ETX.

That is why I have my 90ETX OTA mounted on a wonderful, sturdy, smooth, and so simple to use unitron 114 altaz mount. Love it, both are classics, and will last a long time.


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#31 oldmanastro

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 11:14 AM

Like the older and more economical Towas of the 1950s and 60s, I can see the also economical Chinese refractors becoming classics. The 4.7" and 6" f/8 models will probably reach that status as well as the 4.7" f/5 (120ST). The Synta Maks are on the list too. Like many of us, a lot of people started with more economical scopes like these Syntas. Even if they end up owning APs or Televue scopes, nostalgia will bring them back to the old Syntas just like it did to us and our old Towas.


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#32 Terra Nova

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 11:18 AM

That is why I have my 90ETX OTA mounted on a wonderful, sturdy, smooth, and so simple to use unitron 114 altaz mount. Love it, both are classics, and will last a long time.

But isn’t the whole back end of it plastic? And that flip mirror could be a weak point over the years. I wouldn’t count on it being operational in thirty years if it’s not well cared for.


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#33 Augustus

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 11:25 AM

But isn’t the whole back end of it plastic? And that flip mirror could be a weak point over the years. I wouldn’t count on it being operational in thirty years if it’s not well cared for.

If the flip mirror breaks you can still use the rear port with a screw on adapter and diagonal.

 

Worst case you can get a Wegat back or machine/3D print one yourself. 


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#34 Terra Nova

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 11:32 AM

If the flip mirror breaks you can still use the rear port with a screw on adapter and diagonal.

 

Worst case you can get a Wegat back or machine/3D print one yourself. 

But basically then, all that has survived is the basic optics, the whole ‘ETX concept’ (pseudo Questar rip off) is gone.



#35 grif 678

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 11:32 AM

Hi Terra.

It could be a problem but I never flip it, I just leave it in the 90 degree position all the time. So it should last as long as I do. That is why I bought another 90ETX  OTA, this one was also one of the USA optics ones. I have it is a padded case as a reserve, if the other one ever gets broken or walks off. 

They do make an all metal back, wegat, that you can use your own diagonal on. But at my age, I think mine will last as long as I do. But I treat my scopes as good as I can. Always covered, never in the wet, never bumped around, so I have a good feeling about the ETX still being around when I am gone.

But for what I have invested in the 90 ETX OTA, I can not complain if it ever does give out. I have $125 in the first one, and the same price in the second one. I do not think you could get better optics any where for that price. When I see the detail on Jupiter, and the cassini division, as clear as this scope shows them, I think that I have the best value I could have, and these scopes have been around right many years now, and the most problems I have heard about are the mounts, which I do not use.


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#36 Terra Nova

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 12:25 PM

Well, they’ve cloned everything else but this one is new to me! A small gold oval ‘Made in China” sticker! foreheadslap.gif

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#37 Terra Nova

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 12:34 PM

Arighty then, don’t I look silly, I’m gonna seriously check these out.

While most places show them as discontinued, a new Vixen Advanced Polaris GEM appears to be available here:

 

https://skygazeoptic...CiABEgLg_PD_BwE



#38 Matty S

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 01:30 PM

Some offerings from some China/Taiwan manufacturers are quite good and seem to be getting better.

I know my SV Access 102 is just fine for a 4" F/7 doublet and I'm very happy with it's visual performance (granted it was further hand-perfected at SV); as well as my Synta-made ST80 under Celestron colors (from the 90's), despite it's plastic cell, still performs visually pleasing views - the glass is good!

The old "Made in China" stigma is, I hope, wearing off, as there are firms there that employ quality and careful processing as part of their makeup.

As Japan wanes in the global market, the same as Germany did, China, Taiwan and others are filling in the gaps and are perceptive to what people expect in fine ED glass. Don't be fooled by that golden "Made in China" sticker anymore. It's 2022 and times are a'changin...


Edited by Matty S, 01 January 2022 - 01:58 PM.

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#39 Steve_M_M

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 03:14 PM

I wonder if people will even look through telescopes in the future.  I recently dove back into astrophotography after a 25 year break.  It's only been 4 months for me, maybe 40 hours of imaging, and I am light years ahead of where I thought I could be 

 

Here's the interesting parts.

 

1)  I am looking at joining a local astrophtography group.  I would be the OLDEST in the group at 58.  Just the opposite of what you mostly find today.

2)  Instant gratification.  Seems prevalent today and the live stacked images I get from my venerable Pentax 75EDHF in just 30 seconds are amazing.  See below.  And, I suck at imaging smile.gif

3) Whiz, bang, super high tech gain.  Younger people want to use high tech when it comes to astronomy.  Not all, but many.  With my current setup. I set my scope up, turn it on, focus the cameras (30 seconds), and begin polar alignment.  That takes about 2-3 minutes by using plate solving to get within 30" and then I move to my iphone/ipad never to return to the scope again.  Go-To's are exact.  I mean exact.  Plate solving puts the object right in the center EVERY single time.  Live stacking of calibration frames makes it easy to get high quality right away.  

4) Groups can play..  Others can download my apps and gain access to my system network.  They can see the images on their phones at the same time.

 

I am still in love with classics and have many.  I am just pointing out what I see currently.  I will say that if you ask some of these people to point to polaris, the big dipper, the summer triangle, Arturus, or anywhere in the sky, many(or some) have no idea.  To me amateur astronomy is changing more than ever and that last part makes me sad.  It doesn't feel like real amateur astronomy.

 

Edit:  So, maybe the new classics will be scopes like my Pentax that kick butt over the newer Petzvals and be used to quench the AP crowd.


Edited by Steve_M_M, 01 January 2022 - 03:23 PM.

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#40 Ben H

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 03:15 PM

I think the New Moon Telescopes dobs will be well thought of for years to come.

Also the Normand Fuller scopes. I can see his hand carved dobs going for quite a lot some day. 


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#41 CarolinaBanker

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 03:54 PM

I would think Meade and Celestron SCTs would be collectible, some of the rich field refractors, dobs. I doubt it’s only going to be high end stuff, look at C90s and Astroscans, plenty of the classics that people are buying are low to mid end stuff like Sears, Tascos, Jasons, Bushnells and the like. People get nostalgic for what they had in their youths so I wouldn’t be shocked to see tabletop dobs being collectible in twenty years.


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#42 barbie

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 04:02 PM

I know I lusted after the Towa model 339 refractors back in the late 1960's and early 1970's and now I have one and it's outstanding for a long focus achromat!!

#43 Kasmos

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 04:08 PM

I wonder if people will even look through telescopes in the future.  I recently dove back into astrophotography after a 25 year break.  It's only been 4 months for me, maybe 40 hours of imaging, and I am light years ahead of where I thought I could be 

 

Here's the interesting parts.

 

1)  I am looking at joining a local astrophtography group.  I would be the OLDEST in the group at 58.  Just the opposite of what you mostly find today.

2)  Instant gratification.  Seems prevalent today and the live stacked images I get from my venerable Pentax 75EDHF in just 30 seconds are amazing.  See below.  And, I suck at imaging smile.gif

3) Whiz, bang, super high tech gain.  Younger people want to use high tech when it comes to astronomy.  Not all, but many.  With my current setup. I set my scope up, turn it on, focus the cameras (30 seconds), and begin polar alignment.  That takes about 2-3 minutes by using plate solving to get within 30" and then I move to my iphone/ipad never to return to the scope again.  Go-To's are exact.  I mean exact.  Plate solving puts the object right in the center EVERY single time.  Live stacking of calibration frames makes it easy to get high quality right away.  

4) Groups can play..  Others can download my apps and gain access to my system network.  They can see the images on their phones at the same time.

 

I am still in love with classics and have many.  I am just pointing out what I see currently.  I will say that if you ask some of these people to point to polaris, the big dipper, the summer triangle, Arturus, or anywhere in the sky, many(or some) have no idea.  To me amateur astronomy is changing more than ever and that last part makes me sad.  It doesn't feel like real amateur astronomy.

 

Edit:  So, maybe the new classics will be scopes like my Pentax that kick butt over the newer Petzvals and be used to quench the AP crowd.

I'm in my own bubble and didn't realize live stacking was a thing.

 

I was just wondering if fully computerized scopes would advance to a live at the eyepiece stacked image.  Eyepiece, what am I thinking? When that becomes available,  surely it will only have a built in screen. It kind of sounds like we're close to that now.


Edited by Kasmos, 01 January 2022 - 04:10 PM.


#44 Steve_M_M

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 04:34 PM

I may be getting off topic here.  The answer is yes, but the eyepiece is the camera sensor and you view it on your phone /iPad/etc.  Right now it is very very simple to do live stacking with lights/darks/flats/dark flats.  A 60 second shot is stacked with previous shots and stacked with calibration frames in 20-30 seconds.  Next generation products will live stack AND process images based on set parameters.  


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#45 grif 678

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 04:40 PM

I have been told many times in my life that the best things in life are the pure and simple things, and that is also my feelings about astronomy viewing as an amateur.


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#46 barbie

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 04:43 PM

I agree!! The simpler the better!!!
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#47 Bomber Bob

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 05:11 PM

I wonder if people will even look through telescopes in the future.

 

Maybe not.  There are already a growing % of CNers who rarely (if ever) actually look through a scope.  

 

Digital Imaging is the primary fad now -- relatively cheap & easy, with live or fast feedback; and as you've described, can be a group activity.  AND, even more important, can be done on a Smart Phone -- a very popular device, platform, and way of life for many under-30s.

 

Electronically Assisted Astronomy (EAA) is also growing in popularity, as gear prices come down while capabilities go up.  I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds interesting & promising -- even to an Old Guy.

 

WHY?

 

Lots of us urbanites, visually limited by light pollution, "stuck" with mostly lunar/planetary, and the brightest DSOs when we use our eyeballs.  I can see [pun intended] the attraction.  On one hand, kind of a downer for a culture on its way out; but, OTOH, at least some small % of younger folks at least want to look to the skies... 

 

So, current telescopes that are designed (or can be adapted to) function as electro-digital-optical systems, may be the highly desirable Classics 30 years from now.  Or, this digital mania is a fad, and folks will return to the I wanna see for myself!  paradigm.


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#48 CHASLX200

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 05:21 PM

No way i will ever image with a scope. Just too much work and i don't even know how to take a pic of the moon or have anything to take pics. My point and shoot cam does not work with a scope.


Edited by CHASLX200, 01 January 2022 - 05:21 PM.

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#49 JamesDuffey

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 05:23 PM

I think that the future classics among those telescopes that are currently available will meet most or all of the following criteria:

 

1. Desirable to many for whatever reason, rational or not

 

2. Good performance to cost ratio - This doesn’t have to be the highest performance, but it can’t be bad

 

3. Reasonably priced so that one can actually purchase one now and so the price won’t climb too high in the future. Affordability is a big part of the attractiveness of many classic scopes.

 

4. Good quality so that they last to reach classic status 

 

5. Simple to operate and maintain, again so that they will be kept in good condition to reach classic status

 

6. Large numbers sold so that supply will equal or exceed demand in the future

 

Currently available scopes that meet some or all of the above criteria and may be classics in the future include the Astro-Tech ED refractors and other identical scopes under other brands, the ST80, the AWB OneSky, the current C90 Mak available under other brand names, and bare bones 8 inch dobs made by quality manufacturers, maybe other sizes. There are probably other scopes which meet this criteria.  


Edited by JamesDuffey, 01 January 2022 - 05:24 PM.

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#50 Augustus

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 05:32 PM

I wonder if people will even look through telescopes in the future.

Maybe not. There are already a growing % of CNers who rarely (if ever) actually look through a scope.

Digital Imaging is the primary fad now -- relatively cheap & easy, with live or fast feedback; and as you've described, can be a group activity. AND, even more important, can be done on a Smart Phone -- a very popular device, platform, and way of life for many under-30s.

Electronically Assisted Astronomy (EAA) is also growing in popularity, as gear prices come down while capabilities go up. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds interesting & promising -- even to an Old Guy.

WHY?

Lots of us urbanites, visually limited by light pollution, "stuck" with mostly lunar/planetary, and the brightest DSOs when we use our eyeballs. I can see [pun intended] the attraction. On one hand, kind of a downer for a culture on its way out; but, OTOH, at least some small % of younger folks at least want to look to the skies...

So, current telescopes that are designed (or can be adapted to) function as electro-digital-optical systems, may be the highly desirable Classics 30 years from now. Or, this digital mania is a fad, and folks will return to the I wanna see for myself! paradigm.


I think it’s vastly overestimated how much further people are going to surround themselves with digital stuff. I for one am not interested in viewing objects in real time on a screen in all their live stacked ugliness no matter how good it looks. Why spend the money?

With LP awareness rapidly growing and a desire for more analog hobbies I see EAA as little more than a fad that gobbles up low-end astrophotography. Eventually those people always get bored and quit, anyway. Ever notice how many used EVScopes are always available?

This holiday season a Reddit community I’m in is flooded with hundreds of excited posts about new Dob purchases, astronomical sketches and observing reports. Just because it’s not on CN doesn’t mean it isn’t still happening.
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