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A Classic ?


LDW1
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I hope this is the right forum ?  Over in my part of the world a scope is not considered Classic until it is 25 yrs. old or more.  Is it the same requirement over in yours ?  Just a point of interest !

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I’m guessing you’ll be getting a variety of answers…….

I don’t think there’s a precise description of what constitutes classic status.

A few contenders….in no particular order-

Questar Maksutov

TeleVue Genesis 

Edmund Astroscan

Orange tube Celestron SCT

So many more….and it’s a matter of opinion as to whether a scope should be included.

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There must be so many things that determine what makes a scope a "classic" I will try my hand at a few.

A telescope with a long history and a reputation for being a favorite, for example, an 8" dobsonian as they are workhorses and introduce so many to the hobby.

A telescope of limited manufacturing run which is rare and sought after for its qualities.

A telescope of a unique design which may now be a novelty of sorts .

A dog of a telescope which was a train wreck when it came to quality control but at the time was seen as a promising telescope, collectors often want these dogs as they are now rare.

A telescope not made by a large, well known manufacturer but a single person or small shop turning out very limited amounts, especially if they are no longer in business (Starmaster)

These may be just a few, I would think some time would have to pass but not exactly 25 years.

 

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Does the 25 yr. old prerequisite also come into the picture as well as the particular brands / models, as I mentioned ?  I mean there are some nice scopes less than that age, some may try and include them in that designation.

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Yes I’m not sure there is a recognised definition for a classic telescope in the UK. In the car world there are various definitions of classic which generally include being a certain age and being outstanding in some respect. In the scope world we have classic designs which have have been proven their worth over time and we also have classic brands/models which have been outstanding examples in their class. The Maksutov a classic design, the Questar 90 a classic brand/model. Can a new make/model of scope become an instant classic? I guess if they stop making it, it can……?

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1 minute ago, Sunshine said:

There must be so many things that determine what makes a scope a "classic" I will try my hand at a few.

A telescope with a long history and a reputation for being a favorite, for example, an 8" dobsonian as they are workhorses and introduce so many to the hobby.

A telescope of limited manufacturing run which is rare and sought after for its qualities.

A telescope of a unique design which may now be a novelty of sorts .

A dog of a telescope which was a train wreck when it came to quality control but at the time was seen as a promising telescope, collectors often want these dogs as they are now rare.

A telescope not made by a large, well known manufacturer but a single person or small shop turning out very limited amounts, especially if they are no longer in business (Starmaster)

These may be just a few, I would think some time would have to pass but not exactly 25 years.

 

If you are a member of CN, they are a fairly well respected group of astronomers, that is the designation they go by ie right now 1995 that takes in the Celestron  C80, C102's etc.  Its not cast in stone but its a pretty good guide, an agreed guide. Over this way it could be completely different, thus this thread.

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10 minutes ago, Sunshine said:

There must be so many things that determine what makes a scope a "classic" I will try my hand at a few.

A telescope with a long history and a reputation for being a favorite, for example, an 8" dobsonian as they are workhorses and introduce so many to the hobby.

A telescope of limited manufacturing run which is rare and sought after for its qualities.

A telescope of a unique design which may now be a novelty of sorts .

A dog of a telescope which was a train wreck when it came to quality control but at the time was seen as a promising telescope, collectors often want these dogs as they are now rare.

A telescope not made by a large, well known manufacturer but a single person or small shop turning out very limited amounts, especially if they are no longer in business (Starmaster)

These may be just a few, I would think some time would have to pass but not exactly 25 years.

 

I think it pertains to specific models of scopes not the type / design of a scope ie you mention an 8" dob but if it is only say 5 yrs. old it sure isn't a classic just because it is an 8" dob that have been around for decades.

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33 minutes ago, LDW1 said:

I think it pertains to specific models of scopes not the type / design of a scope ie you mention an 8" dob but if it is only say 5 yrs. old it sure isn't a classic just because it is an 8" dob that have been around for decades.

Ok, I get what you're getting at, In that case I would say there must be a certain passage of time combined with a reputation of some kind. Since it is unwritten, I'll go ahead and set it at 20 years, its done.

Edited by Sunshine
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I think in some cases, it helps for the scope to have been at the top of the heap in terms of quality at the time it was made.  Quite a few AP refractors from the 80s and 90s are referred to as classics in the classifieds with the caveat that they aren't quite at the top of the APO heap anymore, but are still excellent performers.

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Maybe a large factor is if a particular model is still made.  Im not sure if the performance, compared to modern gear, qualifies a product as a classic.I see a lot of astronomy gear that really are classics. Brass/wood scopes which functions better as decoration than they are once made for. 
 

on the other hand, still made models designed long ago can also carry the name classic i guess.  Searching through an online shop for “classic” probably gives plenty of new available items.  

Edited by Robindonne
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I was never involved with the decision as to where / when the term classic was applied to scopes, over here but my recollection was that it was derived from that used for auto's ie 25 yrs and older and everything that goes with it. I think that rational has been around for a while because there is quite a list of scopes put forth in discussion threads.

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I am really surprised that this issue hasn't been discussed more over here in order to set guidelines, come to an agreement if you will ?  I mean I don't think it means much save for discussions amoungst fellow astronomers on forums such as this.

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4 hours ago, LDW1 said:

I am really surprised that this issue hasn't been discussed more over here in order to set guidelines, come to an agreement if you will ?  I mean I don't think it means much save for discussions amoungst fellow astronomers on forums such as this.

My question would be ‘what difference does it make?’ Does it affect the price in some way? With cars I can see a point in some ways as you likely get different MOT terms and classic car insurance, but for a scope I just think is a term which gets adopted for particular scopes perhaps.

I have two that would likely fall into the category; A Pearl River manufactured Televue Genesis f5, and a Vixen FL102S f8.8. Both are pushing on in years but still fantastic performers in very different ways. My ‘modern day classic’ Tak FC100DC sits nicely in the middle at f7.4 and is a fantastic all rounder, but the Genesis does widefield quite a lot better and the Vixen does high power a little easier, though not necessarily better.

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5 minutes ago, Franklin said:

The Dictionary has this as the meaning of the word Classic.

"Judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind."

Though it does not mention how long that period of time is.

 

I think that's a fair definition since a design can be classic even when still in production. I was going to offer, 'A perfect or defining example of...' as my definition. If we say is ' x is a classic example of' whatever it is, we mean that it embodies the essence of that something in its purest form. A classic British sports car, for instance, must be front engined and rear wheel driven. A mid engined British sports car might be better and might be old and it might even be a classic of its type, but it cannot be a classic British sports car - in my view.

So the Genesis is an interesting test case. It broke the mold when it came out into the 4 inch refractor market so it was anything but a classic. A 4 element Petzval (which is a photographic design in origin) at an unprecedented F5, it was radical rather than classic.

However, TeleVue have made a habit of developing wide field optics but as scopes and as eyepieces so you could argue that the Genesis is 'classic TeleVue.'

I don't think the word will let us pin it down, really. Such is language. 'Silly' comes from a term meaning almost its opposite, for instance.

Olly

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1 hour ago, JeremyS said:

Classic? Think this rules out mirror scopes

🤣

Sorry that's pure prejudice 😊  To me the 100" and  200" are  classics of old school astronomical engineering. On a smaller scale the Questar comes to mind.

Regards Andrew 

Edited by andrew s
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1 hour ago, JeremyS said:

Classic? Think this rules out mirror scopes

🤣

Im not sure about that Jeremy.  I know its not like me to come to the defence of reflectors, but I'd love an old style Calver on a classic old EQ mount. And perhaps the wonderful British made Newtonians that hold the revered David Hinds mirrors should come into this catagory? I must be going soft!

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2 hours ago, andrew s said:

Sorry that's pure prejudice 😊  To me the 100" and  200" are  classics of old school astronomical engineering. On a smaller scale the Questar comes to mind.

Regards Andrew 

Overhere the Questar is one of the Classics because of its quality and its been around for a long time and the demand has not changed.  Its not always about money.

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Over here 'is it a Classic or not' is just an interesting, ongoing discussion amoungst fellow astronomers based on scopes, their reputation etc. and the cut off is that they have to be 25 yrs. old or greater similar to autos, every year it changes as scopes age.  For instance the ST80, disregarding its low, low cost is considered a classic because of how it is regarded by the astro community ie great. low power, wide field performance for low cost.  It has really nothing to do with price, a Classic can be either very high priced or low priced as I mention but they both fall into that category. I am beguinning to realize that thoughts on this subject are very different depending on where we astronomers live. I just thought I would raise this issue to get these great comments from another group of fellow astronomers in another part of the astronomy world.

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