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Old Celestron Refractors


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Prompted by an earlier thread on here about older refractors, I dug out a 1980's Celestron brochure and found their refractor range, which were made by Vixen back then I believe, included these two 4" long fracs. They still employed the "Celestron Girls" back then too :D:

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Interesting. I wish I'd kept my old catalogues, not that I had many - only a couple of Meade ones from the 90's, though one of them was the first to feature the ETX.

1980's era Vixen/Celestrons? Sounds like a cue for this:

Ant

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Thanks! I've been impressed with all the Celestron refractors I've owned - I had a nice 90mm f11 Firstscope OTA recently that was a great performer. I'm also expecting great things of my recently acquired C100ED. The 90mm f14.4 is indeed quite special though.

Ant

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Wish they'd make something old school long tube like these, instead of short refractors.

There's such a pure simplicity about an air spaced doublet, the amount of light let through and the contrast is amazing.

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Hi Ant

Reading this post and seeing your sig I notice you have a Helios 150 frac (pimped) and have enjoyed some Celestron refractors in the past. In your experience would you say that this scope http://www.harrisontelescopes.co.uk/acatalog/Celestron_Advanced_C6_RGT_Telescope.html would be a good purchase as I have always liked the idea of a large aperture refractor but cannot afford an apo and it will be for visual use only.

Thanks

Vlebo

Edited by vlebo
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I have a Vixen achromat pair, 102mm diameter, and about f14 - may be the same as some used in the Celestrons of that era. I made a DIY tube for it about 20 years ago and have used it ever since - it does give stunning contrast (as stated above) and has given me good views of shadow patterns on Venus's crescent a couple of times. I have been considering re-engineering it an getting a proper tube made - worthwhile?

Chris

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I have a Vixen achromat pair, 102mm diameter, and about f14 - may be the same as some used in the Celestrons of that era. I made a DIY tube for it about 20 years ago and have used it ever since - it does give stunning contrast (as stated above) and has given me good views of shadow patterns on Venus's crescent a couple of times. I have been considering re-engineering it an getting a proper tube made - worthwhile?

Chris

yes it would be worth while, or you could sell it to me:D

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Hi Ant

Reading this post and seeing your sig I notice you have a Helios 150 frac (pimped) and have enjoyed some Celestron refractors in the past. In your experience would you say that this scope would be a good purchase as I have always liked the idea of a large aperture refractor but cannot afford an apo and it will be for visual use only.

Thanks

Vlebo

If your thinking of the 150mm f8 like Ants, they are tricky to mount, due to the length and weight, just a bit to much for an eq5, which is why i dont have one

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Hi Ant

Reading this post and seeing your sig I notice you have a Helios 150 frac (pimped) and have enjoyed some Celestron refractors in the past. In your experience would you say that this scope Celestron Advanced C6 RGT Telescope would be a good purchase as I have always liked the idea of a large aperture refractor but cannot afford an apo and it will be for visual use only.

Thanks

Vlebo

Hi Vlebo,

There's been a lot written on these refractors (6" f8 achro) on the web. The most detailed resource of information goes back a few years to 2005 when that very setup you're considering was discussed on the CN board.

The general gist of it was that the light grasp, contrast, resolution and general optical quality were all very good, and the mechanicals were ok. The tube is front heavy so the replecement of the dewshield with a light weight one (such as flexible Astrozap) at the front and the addition of a heavier, better quality focuser at the back, help to balance the scope out better.

These things have been pimped, modified and customised in so many ways they've almost attained Dobsonian status - lol!

I think the discussion on that board said that the C5-CGT mount was acceptable for some people and not so for others. Regardless, I'd say an upgrade would improve things. For myself, it works adequately well on my Vixen GP but I persoanally felt a little "headroom" in load capacity would be a good thing so am awaiting an HEQ5 for mine.

Value for money wise, yes and no. It's an ok price on the face of it, if everythin is what you're looking for. But, you can get the OTAs and mounts a lot cheaper second hand if you're patient, sometimes with some of the modifications already done.

CA-wise, it can be dealt with. I use a Baader Semi-Apo filer on mine with excellent results on planets. Other filters are available, but I found the SA to be the best of the readily available ones. £100 for a 2" one to screw into the diagonal permnanently.

If you find a Chromacorr cheap then you're in ED territory. The forthcoming Raycorr from Istar Optics is the next thing for me to think about (it's their version of the Chromacorr and promises to be more user-friendly, cheaper and available).... when it finally appears...

Ant :p

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...Value for money wise, yes and no. It's an ok price on the face of it, if everythin is what you're looking for. But, you can get the OTAs and mounts a lot cheaper second hand if you're patient, sometimes with some of the modifications already done.

CA-wise, it can be dealt with. I use a Baader Semi-Apo filer on mine with excellent results on planets. Other filters are available, but I found the SA to be the best of the readily available ones. £100 for a 2" one to screw into the diagonal permnanently.

If you find a Chromacorr cheap then you're in ED territory. The forthcoming Raycorr from Istar Optics is the next thing for me to think about (it's their version of the Chromacorr and promises to be more user-friendly, cheaper and available).... when it finally appears...

On value for money, I'd never buy a 6" F/8 new as they can be picked up used for a lot less. I've owned three used 6" F/8's and the most I paid was £200 for one. The least was £125 and I sold it at that too !.

On controlling CA, I was very lucky and managed to find a Chromacor for sale at the price that Ant notes for the filter above - they are marvelous devices and really transform the scopes into very close to ED doublet performance.

Mine went overseas when I sold it and I've not seen one for sale in the UK since.

The reason I moved away from the 6" refractors was due to their mounting requirements really. They are large, long and heavy optical tubes and need a tall and sturdy mount, especially the Meade AR6 which is around 2kg heavier than the Skywatcher / Synta 6" F/8's.

Edited by John
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Great photo John :p

You can't go wrong with a long focal length refractor, as mentioned the contrast and sharpness are a sight to behold.

Looking at the double cluster in Perseus from Ennerdale in the lake district at the weekend was the most amazing thing I have seen.

Seriously dark skies (Bortle 1) and perfect stars to the edge of the field of view.

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Thanks Ant and John

Maybe a beefier mount ( used EQ6 ) with an extender would be a good option . Just missed an as new Skywatcher Evo 150 on AB&S for £300. I will keep an eye on the used market for as while and see what comes up.

Thanks again

Vlebo

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Thanks Ant and John

Maybe a beefier mount ( used EQ6 ) with an extender would be a good option . Just missed an as new Skywatcher Evo 150 on AB&S for £300. I will keep an eye on the used market for as while and see what comes up.

Thanks again

Vlebo

I used a "wanted" ad on UK Astro Buy & Sell and found two of mine that way. Worth a try - it sometimes prompts someone who is dithering a bit about selling :p

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