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Thread: Zooming into yesteryear

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    Default Zooming into yesteryear



    I recently picked up a somewhat unique little classic Celestron 8.4-21mm zoom EP. I have no idea of the age or time frame of production of these. It is in immaculate condition, but you can definitely tell by its build, and also packaging that it's from several years prior. It carries the circle (V) designation, so my initial assumption is Vixen Optics of Japan. It's actually labeled as an "Ortho", as noted in one of the photos below. Could it be that it's truly an ortho zoom? Don't know yet as the rain is still sprinkling down for tonight. I've never heard of an ortho zoom, so my initial suspicion is marketing as usual, but a nice clear night out will tell the true tale. Upon initial visual inspection, the AFOV does seem to be around the 40 degree area at the 8.4 setting, and even smaller at the 21mm setting, maybe even approaching low 30's. Which is perfectly fine, as what my intended plan is, is for a dedicated double star EP for the 150 Mak, so FOV is really of little concern in this situation. But optical quality and clarity being the top priority.

    So, does anyone have any knowledge or experience with such an animal? It's one of those "what the heck, take the risk" acquisitions, and not a substantial investment, so if it does turn out to be a dud, I won't feel too disappointed. But if it is what it appears to be, then I got a bargain.

    Thanks for looking.

    zoom_1.jpgzoom_2.jpgzoom_3.jpgzoom_4.jpg
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    Celestron CPC1100 SCT...Orion Atlas EQ-G (EQ6) & Celestron AVX...SkyWatcher 180 Mak...SkyWatcher ST150 & ST102...Orion ST80
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    EPs: TeleVue (NJ) Plossls, Widefields, Panoptics and Naglers + 3-6 zoom: ...volcano top (T) Orthos & Kellners...Leitz Periplans...TeleVue, Astronomik, Lumicon & Baader filters..

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    Default Re: Zooming into yesteryear

    Looking for some references about it.
    The 1 1/4" markings are interesting as I cannot remember when most manufacturers quit using this and went to mm. Very early 1980s?
    I would send a picture of it to Don Pensack or William Paolini and see if they can narrow the time.
    I am looking forward to your review of it.

    I do not have all of the Vixen catalogs with me but the zoom eyepiece is not in the 1981 year catalog.
    Last edited by Gabby76; 11-10-2018 at 01:47 AM.
    Refractors: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNG 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
    Mounts: Celestron SLT w/ pier mod & EQ-3 tripod, Celestron hypertuned CG-5 w/ tracking motor & Argo Navis, Manfrotto 028B w/ Stellarvue M2C, Manfrotto 055PRO w/ 128RC, TAL-1 HD EQ, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 SXG & half pier Diagonals: 2" Astro-Physics MaxBright, 2" Zeiss/ Baader prism, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (Photo Version), 2"
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    Amici prism, 2" Stellarvue Dielectric, 2" TeleVue Everbrite Eyepieces: A-Z

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    The weakest link in the optical chain is the large nut located directly behind the
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    Ya gotta keep this Apo/
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    thing in some balance of perspective. Apos are awesome, but long focus Achros aren't that far behind them - Siriusandthepup (CN)

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    Default Re: Zooming into yesteryear

    That's a great idea, I may firstly see if Bill might have some insight into this. I would normally pass it off as a typical zoom, but the Ortho designation really peaked my interest. I tried doing some research and searching but turned up absolutely nothing on this piece. I would love to know more of its history. Mechanically it may be the smoothest and most solid feeling zoom I've ever used. I just hope the optics pan as just a well.
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    Celestron CPC1100 SCT...Orion Atlas EQ-G (EQ6) & Celestron AVX...SkyWatcher 180 Mak...SkyWatcher ST150 & ST102...Orion ST80
    TeleVue Everbrite & Baader BBHS mirror and prism diagonals
    EPs: TeleVue (NJ) Plossls, Widefields, Panoptics and Naglers + 3-6 zoom: ...volcano top (T) Orthos & Kellners...Leitz Periplans...TeleVue, Astronomik, Lumicon & Baader filters..

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    Default Re: Zooming into yesteryear

    Another shot of the Celestron brand lettering. zoom_5.jpg
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    Celestron CPC1100 SCT...Orion Atlas EQ-G (EQ6) & Celestron AVX...SkyWatcher 180 Mak...SkyWatcher ST150 & ST102...Orion ST80
    TeleVue Everbrite & Baader BBHS mirror and prism diagonals
    EPs: TeleVue (NJ) Plossls, Widefields, Panoptics and Naglers + 3-6 zoom: ...volcano top (T) Orthos & Kellners...Leitz Periplans...TeleVue, Astronomik, Lumicon & Baader filters..

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    Default Re: Zooming into yesteryear

    Image of Celestron (Circle V) from 1981 (first year), same etched logo design and 1 1/4" designation on the box.
    So definitely very early 1980s Frankie

    post-50324-14073950145459.jpg
    Refractors: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNG 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
    Mounts: Celestron SLT w/ pier mod & EQ-3 tripod, Celestron hypertuned CG-5 w/ tracking motor & Argo Navis, Manfrotto 028B w/ Stellarvue M2C, Manfrotto 055PRO w/ 128RC, TAL-1 HD EQ, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 SXG & half pier Diagonals: 2" Astro-Physics MaxBright, 2" Zeiss/ Baader prism, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (Photo Version), 2"
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    The weakest link in the optical chain is the large nut located directly behind the
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    / camera. - Gabrielle

    Ya gotta keep this Apo/
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    thing in some balance of perspective. Apos are awesome, but long focus Achros aren't that far behind them - Siriusandthepup (CN)

    Refractors kick arse precisely because they don't hide behind excuses. That is, they have no obstructions to hide behind. - Jon Isaacs (CN)

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    Default Re: Zooming into yesteryear

    Thank you, Gabrielle! I really appreciate that info. I slipped off and sent Bill a message to see if he may have some insight on these. I'm curious if I have a priceless collectible or a sock drawer relic.
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    Celestron CPC1100 SCT...Orion Atlas EQ-G (EQ6) & Celestron AVX...SkyWatcher 180 Mak...SkyWatcher ST150 & ST102...Orion ST80
    TeleVue Everbrite & Baader BBHS mirror and prism diagonals
    EPs: TeleVue (NJ) Plossls, Widefields, Panoptics and Naglers + 3-6 zoom: ...volcano top (T) Orthos & Kellners...Leitz Periplans...TeleVue, Astronomik, Lumicon & Baader filters..

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    Default Re: Zooming into yesteryear

    Very cool find, Frankie! Hope it works as good as it looks..!! I agree with Gabrielle, it has to be at least early '80's.
    But I have to say, the "striping" pattern reminds me of my dad's old Super 8mm camera that he bought when I was 4 (1969-70). I still have it, and the handle looks just like your lens; the black and silver/grey pattern.

    Actually, come to think of it, that pattern also reminds me of Explorer 1.... https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/28...rst-satellite/

    If it helps, this is a pic of my Celestron 2X barlow from 1982, and the Vixen logo that's on the focuser on my orange C80, which I've heard everything from only made in 1983 to made from '79-84 for production dates. I find it interesting that your lens has an 'extra circle' for lack of a better term, around the Circle-V. Never seen that before.

    barlow.jpg 1.jpg

    Hope you find out some more info on it; also your first light impressions, I'm curious too! .

    All the best my friend,
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    Default Re: Zooming into yesteryear

    I missed the double circle before, that I believe came into use in the end of 1984(ish)
    Refractors: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNG 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
    Mounts: Celestron SLT w/ pier mod & EQ-3 tripod, Celestron hypertuned CG-5 w/ tracking motor & Argo Navis, Manfrotto 028B w/ Stellarvue M2C, Manfrotto 055PRO w/ 128RC, TAL-1 HD EQ, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 SXG & half pier Diagonals: 2" Astro-Physics MaxBright, 2" Zeiss/ Baader prism, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (Photo Version), 2"
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    Amici prism, 2" Stellarvue Dielectric, 2" TeleVue Everbrite Eyepieces: A-Z

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    The weakest link in the optical chain is the large nut located directly behind the
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    / camera. - Gabrielle

    Ya gotta keep this Apo/
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    thing in some balance of perspective. Apos are awesome, but long focus Achros aren't that far behind them - Siriusandthepup (CN)

    Refractors kick arse precisely because they don't hide behind excuses. That is, they have no obstructions to hide behind. - Jon Isaacs (CN)

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    Default Re: Zooming into yesteryear

    Either way that is a very cool find Frankie. It is a bargain either way - even if the optics aren't there it should go on the bookshelf instead of the socks drawer.
    You need to fess up too.. gotta be a decent story behind the acquisition.

    Congrats!
    Moving on.......

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    Default Re: Zooming into yesteryear

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFatKitty View Post
    Very cool find, Frankie! Hope it works as good as it looks..!! I agree with Gabrielle, it has to be at least early '80's.
    But I have to say, the "striping" pattern reminds me of my dad's old Super 8mm camera that he bought when I was 4 (1969-70). I still have it, and the handle looks just like your lens; the black and silver/grey pattern.

    Actually, come to think of it, that pattern also reminds me of Explorer 1.... https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/28...rst-satellite/

    If it helps, this is a pic of my Celestron 2X barlow from 1982, and the Vixen logo that's on the focuser on my orange C80, which I've heard everything from only made in 1983 to made from '79-84 for production dates. I find it interesting that your lens has an 'extra circle' for lack of a better term, around the Circle-V. Never seen that before.

    barlow.jpg 1.jpg

    Hope you find out some more info on it; also your first light impressions, I'm curious too! .

    All the best my friend,
    Quote Originally Posted by Gabby76 View Post
    I missed the double circle before, that I believe came into use in the end of 1984(ish)
    I noticed the double circle also, and thought it was different than I had remembered the older Vixen manufacturing mark. And for the silver/black grip design, I think it was University Optics that had a series of Plossl and Konig EP's that folks referred to as the "zebra" series. That's what I was reminded of when I first seen the design of this one.
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    Celestron CPC1100 SCT...Orion Atlas EQ-G (EQ6) & Celestron AVX...SkyWatcher 180 Mak...SkyWatcher ST150 & ST102...Orion ST80
    TeleVue Everbrite & Baader BBHS mirror and prism diagonals
    EPs: TeleVue (NJ) Plossls, Widefields, Panoptics and Naglers + 3-6 zoom: ...volcano top (T) Orthos & Kellners...Leitz Periplans...TeleVue, Astronomik, Lumicon & Baader filters..

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