Astro-Physics 6" f/12 Super Planetary "Post NASA Glass"
This is a continuation of the sale of my scope collection.
This scope gave me a greater level of respect for the early A-P scopes. Views are just amazing. While the size of these scopes require a stable mount they are relatively light and easy to handle for there length. This scope was serviced by A-P a few years ago and the cell rebuilt. The condition of the cell is excellent while the tube is good but has some ring marks in the paint.
I believe I have some rings that will fit this scope and will include them if I can find them in the hell I call "storage"...
I have attached below a segment of the write up which Thomas Back did called "A Brief History of Astro-Physics Lenses" which pertains to this scope. The entire article can be found on the web and is worth a read by anyone interested in A-P Scopes.
Produced in 1986 through 1987 this scope still provides great planetary and deep field viewing.
The August 1986 issue of Sky and Telescope might have been the most impressive ad for its time. Seven apochromatic refractors were listed, and the most impressive was the 6" f/12 Super Planetary for $1540. The ad read: "Our new long focus refractors are designed for the most discriminating Lunar/Planetary observer who does not want any compromise in performance... The Lunar limb and the disks of the planets are sharply outlined against black sky, resembling charcoal drawings." Well, I can tell you that got my interest! I placed an order for one, and at the next AstroFest Telescope Convention, I viewed Jupiter with a 6"f/12 Super Planetary with the one and only Robert Cox, and we were both staggered with the amount of planetary detail. Robert's own words: "The planet presented a clear, sharp edge with a high contrast view of the surface features." I might add that at this same AstroFest, Roland and Marj brought a custom 8" f/14 triplet, which was giving views of Jupiter at 300x that reminded everyone of the Voyager pictures (just ask Marj), as around 11:00 PM the first night, the seeing was near perfect. The other scopes in the line were a 4"f/6 ($895); 5"f/6 ($1195); 4"f/10 ($895); 5"F/8 ($1195); 6"F/8 ($1440), and the 5" F/12 ($1225). This last scope was Terence Dickinson's first AP purchase and was so impressed with. Roland was also taking orders for larger, custom lenses. A 8" was purchased by Sue and Alan French, and they took this scope to many star parties. All these scopes were based on a similar design, crown glass (BK-7 or BaK-1), abnormal dispersion flint (KzFS-1 or KzFSN-4) and Barium flints (BaF-10, BaFN-10). To learn more about this type of apochromatic lens design, see Telescope Making issue 28, page 20. A little known fact about the early 6" f/12 Super Planetary scopes is that they also used the "NASA" glass. The later models (I presume the NASA flint glass ran out) used K-7 crown and KzFSN-4 flint glass.
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