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Who was APL ?

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#1 AaronM

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Posted 30 June 2024 - 11:15 PM

Hello friends,

 

I have another question: who was APL? On the focuser of my 100/1730 mm refractor is a tiny, black sticker with white inscription "APL". The entire focuser is said to come from a Vixen 102L refractor. I once read somewhere (here?) that APL was supposed to have been a forerunner of Vixen or a supplier to Vixen? Is that correct ? Kind regards from good old germany, Michael



#2 Kasmos

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Posted 01 July 2024 - 04:09 AM

Some of the  Selsi 247 80/910mm telescopes have a APL makers mark and a 'V' for Vixen on the bottom of the focuser and depending on the year, the later ones look more like a Vixen and came with a Polaris mount.

 

Then there's these:

https://www.cloudyni...bols/?p=3530069

 

https://www.cloudyni...bols/?p=3532613

 


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#3 Bomber Bob

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Posted 01 July 2024 - 11:23 AM

YEARS ago, I had associated APL with Apollo -- IIRC, based on a post on another forum, BUT I never confirmed that (couldn't find Apollo in the Big List of Japanese Binocular Codes!)...

 

There's still a bunch of well-made scope "brands" w/o Notes in the Registry.  Maybe... I'll spend some HOT indoor hours trying to run these down.

 

But, Yes!, Chris is right -- lots of hardware with both APL & (V) marks.  Seems like APL merged with Vixen - so in a way, it never went away - not so far, anyway...


Edited by Bomber Bob, 01 July 2024 - 04:06 PM.

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#4 Kasmos

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Posted 01 July 2024 - 01:22 PM

Just yesterday I saw this interesting example of a APL marked Vixen/Celestron guide scope.

APL-Vixen-Celestron.jpg

I wouldn't have thought this later style of a Vixen (probably mid to late 80s), would still have a APL mark.

If I didn't already have too many 60mms, especially in the f/700mm format I'd be on it.

 

for a complete look at it:

https://www.cloudyni...0mm-guidescope/

 


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#5 Bomber Bob

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Posted 01 July 2024 - 04:08 PM

I bought one of the sage green no-APL all-(V) 60x700 guidescopes (with the funky attach to big scope hardware).  It had a great lens!



#6 deSitter

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Posted 01 July 2024 - 05:27 PM

Just yesterday I saw this interesting example of a APL marked Vixen/Celestron guide scope.

attachicon.gif APL-Vixen-Celestron.jpg

I wouldn't have thought this later style of a Vixen (probably mid to late 80s), would still have a APL mark.

If I didn't already have too many 60mms, especially in the f/700mm format I'd be on it.

 

for a complete look at it:

https://www.cloudyni...0mm-guidescope/

I need a 60/700mm.

 

-drl



#7 Garyth64

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Posted 01 July 2024 - 06:16 PM

YEARS ago, I had associated APL with Apollo -- IIRC, based on a post on another forum, BUT I never confirmed that (couldn't find Apollo in the Big List of Japanese Binocular Codes!)...

 

There's still a bunch of well-made scope "brands" w/o Notes in the Registry.  Maybe... I'll spend some HOT indoor hours trying to run these down.

 

But, Yes!, Chris is right -- lots of hardware with both APL & (V) marks.  Seems like APL merged with Vixen - so in a way, it never went away - not so far, anyway...

Yes, I read something a while ago that APL was Apollo Labs, or something like that.


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#8 Kasmos

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Posted 02 July 2024 - 03:06 AM

Yes, I read something a while ago that APL was Apollo Labs, or something like that.

Both of the links I gave in post#2 go to the Comprehensive List of Japanese Symbols and mention that. I'm fairly sure it's come up in a few other discussions but who knows where? shrug.gif


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#9 Garyth64

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Posted 02 July 2024 - 07:19 AM

Both of the links I gave in post#2 go to the Comprehensive List of Japanese Symbols and mention that. I'm fairly sure it's come up in a few other discussions but who knows where? shrug.gif

Yep, I believe the first link was the place I saw it.  smile.gif



#10 Terra Nova

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Posted 02 July 2024 - 09:32 AM

On Christmas Eve every year, a group of reindeer carry the sled on which Santa Claus rides with lots of gifts. According to a collection of poems written by Clement Clarke Moore, all of the reindeer have names, one of which is “Vixen.” The company, Vixen Co., Ltd., is named after the reindeer, the messenger of happiness. Vixen was founded in 1949 as the integrated manufacturer of optical devices like astronomical telescopes, binoculars, and microscopes.”-

 

https://global.vixen...porate/outline/
 

I too have heard/read a number of years ago that APL was Apollo Labs and that they were somehow linked with Vixen. However, as Vixen was founded in 1949, I doubt that Apollo Labs was a forerunner. That and the fact that both companies were putting out telescopes with their own maker’s mark at the same time. APL also produced products for Mayflower (Colonial Trading Company) back in the 1960s. I have an astoundingly good Mayflower 60mm x 700mm refractor from 1965. In fact, from a rather large collection of Japanese long achromats (50mm to 102mm, F10 to F18) from the period, it’s the only one that I have kept.


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#11 Bomber Bob

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Posted 02 July 2024 - 10:42 AM

Thanks, Terra.  I think it's possible that APL was Vixen or a Vixen re-brand -- marketing to the NASA Moon Craze 60 years ago.

 

Plenty of examples where TOWA branded scopes to make them appealing in different markets:  STEIN TOWA in Germany / Europe, besides all the well-known Store Brands.

 

The fly in the ointment is having both APL & (V) marks on the same scope.  Unless, Vixen saw the end of the Moon Race market coming, and someone in Mgmt decided that Vixen was "catchier" -- that the company no longer needed the Apollo mark...

 

Who knows?  Hopefully, one of our Japanese CNers will chime in with the Real Story...


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#12 Terra Nova

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Posted 02 July 2024 - 11:48 AM

Thanks, Terra.  I think it's possible that APL was Vixen or a Vixen re-brand -- marketing to the NASA Moon Craze 60 years ago.

 

Plenty of examples where TOWA branded scopes to make them appealing in different markets:  STEIN TOWA in Germany / Europe, besides all the well-known Store Brands.

 

The fly in the ointment is having both APL & (V) marks on the same scope.  Unless, Vixen saw the end of the Moon Race market coming, and someone in Mgmt decided that Vixen was "catchier" -- that the company no longer needed the Apollo mark...

 

Who knows?  Hopefully, one of our Japanese CNers will chime in with the Real Story...

Maybe, or maybe if Vixen took over APL, both of which were making excellent optics at the time.


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#13 Bomber Bob

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Posted 02 July 2024 - 12:17 PM

Yeah, Criterion, Mogey, Tinsley, etc. were absorbed by much larger companies.  Sometimes for the optical expertise, or their sources, or a combination of the best elements [pun intended].  




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