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'Focal' 60mm Japanese made refractor

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#1 eyeye

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Posted 29 October 2006 - 10:18 PM

Just wondering if anyone has infomation on the Japanese brand called 'Focal' It appears to be another generic design produced in Japan (like Yosco, and many others etc). This one is listed on Aussie e-bay, and I'm thinking of picking it up.
thanks.

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#2 trainsktg

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 12:35 AM

I have no personal experience with this particular brand (there's a reason for this---keep reading), but judging that it is an equatorial and it appears to be from the early 70's, its probably decent to excellent optically and good mechanically. Most of these rebrands have air-spaced rather than cemented lenses. They are usually slightly undercorrected, though. This one appears to be in unusually good condition. I have a Sears scope with the same kind of telescoping metal legs as this one has and it is much stabler than an identical Sears I have with wood legs. In fact, the entire scope except tube color appears identical to my two Sears' down to the printing colors and font on the cardboard box and instruction booklet.

OTOH, a very good lens-designer friend of mine always refered to the brandname as 'Fecal'... for this reason only have I avoided them.

Keith

#3 Selecter

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 12:45 AM

I thought Focal was Kmart's store brand for binos and cameras and scopes.

#4 trainsktg

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 12:50 AM

Now that you mentioned it, I believe you are right. They must've gotten these particular scopes from the same source as Sears, because the construction and printed material appears identical to mine.

I'd get it. I paid $75 for each of mine, but I would have paid up to $100. Sometimes they go for more.

Keith

#5 Selecter

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 01:23 AM

Yeah, I'd get it. Scopes are fun. More scopes = more fun.

#6 Glassthrower

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 08:18 AM

Focal is/was the house-brand for K-Mart optics.

I owned a pair Focal binoculars back in the late 1970's.

At some point during the 80's, K-Mart dropped the "Focal" brand began to deal almost exclusively in Tasco products.

A lot of Tasco merchandise was sold by K-Mart during this period, and most of it was later-Tasco stuff who quality was seriously lacking, compared to previous Tasco incarnations. This K-Mart/Tasco period, IMO, did much damage to Tasco's reputation and it was during this period also that Tasco earned (rightfully or not) the label of "junk optics".

Clear dark skies...

MikeG

#7 eyeye

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 03:49 AM

Thanks for your replies. Ive managed to pick it up for next to nothing. Here are some more photos of the 'Fecal/Focal'. If the optics are not up scratch, I presume the mount will still be okay.
Funny how things made in Japan are seen as better quality now, but this time 30 or 40 years ago...

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#8 eyeye

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 03:51 AM

Last one.

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#9 GeneDiG

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 10:56 AM

Is that a diamond Z watermark on the focuser? Wouldn't it mean it was made by Tanzutsu?

#10 Lew Chilton

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 01:09 PM

These little Japanese refractors are as common as grains of sand on a beach. To describe them all is like enumerating the infinite. :refractor:

#11 Selecter

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 09:01 PM

I think it's fun. Poeple collect everything, having a good knowledge repository on these scopes would be great for those of us that like budget scopes.

I cant relate to most of the equipment on this forum. Some people here have setups that cost more than my truck, and I got it brand new ( 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 ).

I vote for more photos and storys about little 60mm jap refractors. I can see me trying one out for myself. Cant say that about a Takahashi.

One mans boredom is another mans good time. And I am not beating on you specifically Lew - it just been a attitude towards budget gear I think is too much in presence on here.

#12 eyeye

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 10:14 PM

Is that a diamond Z watermark on the focuser? Wouldn't it mean it was made by Tanzutsu?


I'll let you know Gene - I pick it up in a couple of days. Ive never heard of Tanzutsu. Is there a thread that explains the diamond watermarks?
Im getting in to the swing this classic scope thing (not that 'Focal' really qualifies) Interesting all the same. Who knows where it will end up - there are a couple of Unitrons on Aussie ebay....


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