>>>Still, when I think of a 'classic' telescope, I picture one of quality and often imported from Japan during the time period 1954 to 1980.
When I think of a Classic Telescope, I think of one that is one that is from a bye-gone era, whether it is a refractor, Newtonian, SCT or whatever. Whether that scope is from 1932 or 1986, what is important to me is "what it is" rather than when it was made.
Is the Blue Tube Coulter 13.1 inch a "classic?" I think so simply because it was really the first commercial DOB, the C-8 is a classic in the same vein.
But I think it is a mistake to define what is a "classic" and what is not a "classic." We should be inclusive of ideas, telescopes and people rather than exclusive so that if someone thinks a 1984 Meade 2080 is a "classic" then it is.
Classic is really a term that came about to bridge the gap between antique and the modern, it is purposefully vague for that reason and trying to define it specifically is a mistake. Any definition will be vague and nebulous.
And then too, it is a moving target, what is a classic changes with time. I am quite certain that 100 years from now, some of today's scopes will be "classics." Seeing 7 inch AP's offered at 50K and 8 inch APs offered at 100K indicates to me that these scopes are already "classics" and will with time likely achieve the status of Clark refractors. Certainly there are other high quality APOs but from a historical perspective, certainaly APs have a special place is the history of the amateur refractor.
If you think it's a classic, then it's a classic...
That's what I think.
Well what I think, is that you are on target as usual Jon.
One good question is what is the importance of the term any way, and who is it important to???
If you are a collector, or seller, then the term may mean more to you. And that can probably have a very narrow meaning. Now if you are like many, the term may be vary loose, and as mentioned, be a moving target.
I guess in the context of this thread, and the good folks here, it is more personal perception.
But as is necessary, we need clarity in understanding if we are to commumicate effectively, and if we want to be understood. If some uses the term looslely as he understands it, it could be missunderstood..
Rob(everything I own is a classic)