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Fascinating video on the building of Vixen ED refractors

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Saw this fascinating video on CN USA and thought it might be of interest here:icon_biggrin:. I think its a few years old, but nonetheless still of interest, I feel.


Although it's all in Japanese (can anyone here translate??) the visuals give a good idea of how much work goes into making these fine refractors. As well as the lens and tube processes, the video also shows the building of the sphinx mount as well.

At least one respondent to the CN thread took this video as meaning that Vixen make their own lenses in-house (as opposed to Takahashi, who outsource to Canon for theirs). I'm not so sure. If you look at the lens making sequence, you will see a fork lift with the OHARA logo on the side. I'm just wondering if this is the OHARA who also make fine glasses as used in a number of good quality refractors, including Skywatcher in their ED and Equinox ranges for example?

I'm planning to do a really close comparison between my ED103s and FS128 Tak this season, not comparing a 4" to a 5" apo, but more in terms of image quality and contrast etc. I'm not actually expecting major differences, so highly do I rate the Vixens, but we will see.

Congratulations to KevH on CN who first posted this video as far as I know, and I hope you refractor fans enjoy it.:happy1:


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Fascinating video - thanks for posting the link. The part about making optical glass fascinates me. Without understanding the Japanese I'm not sure how much explanation they gave, but it's a complex and time-consuming process. I'd love to find a video that goes more deeply into the materials, equipment and processes for making optical glass. I've read about it, but seeing people actually doing it brings it to life.

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Very interesting Dave - I've always admired Vixen stuff :smiley:

I thought that Vixen ground, polished and coated their own lenses  but I'm not sure whether they actually make the glass themselves - I'd assumed up to now that they used Ohara ED blanks combined with mating element blanks from another glass manufacturer like Schott :icon_scratch:

I think Canon-Optron made the fluorite lenses for Vixen's FL range of scopes in the same way that the supply Takahashi.

Fine objectives though, either way :thumbright:

I know that LZOS do make their own glass right from the melt to the finished lenses :smiley:

They don't make scopes though, as far as I know.

Edited by John
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