Hello folks, last night was a happy night for me.
The Saga of my Burgess Optical 102F6 has finally come to a satisfying conclusion. In the beginning, all I wanted was an achromat with Synta quality optics and better mechanical components. But that dream , for me and others, was not to be and finally when BO shelved the "Semi-APO" objective it was clear that some had been left high and dry, some who had waited scopeless for a year only to get a scope that couldn't split Castor.
I had put the scope in the closet, figuring on parting it out. Fortunately some kind soul pointed to a Orion 100F6 Objective that was available at a well known auction site. I won the auction and true to form, it took over a month after it closed for the objective to arrive. This scope just did not want to be born...
I had no idea of how I was going to mate the Orion objective to the Burgess OTA. However when it arrived and had them side by side it was obviously it would be quite simple. Both scopes use collimatable cells that use 3 screws to attach the cell. They do not quite line up but are close enough that 3 minutes work with a file and undersized drill, pushing the holes in the cell slightly to the center, and the cell was mounted to the OTA.
Viola and the Burion 100F6 was born...
The BO lens shield did not fit but some creativity with some camping pad foam and a bit of Crazy Glue took care of that nicely.
When the scope was finished, I quickly removed my Pronto from it's mount (Bogen 3040 with 3047 head sidesaddle style) and took it outside for a look. Still early afternoon, the views were crisp and very promising, I was elated.
But it was cloudy with spots of blue, if this scope was going to see first light, it was going to be viewing through sucker holes..
The long awaited moment. With the original BO objective, this had been disappointing, a first low power view of the moon immediately pointed to problems, not sharp, not crisp but an softness that I had never seen at 25x in any scope. 100x on Castor showed a severe astigmatism even with the restrictor baffle in place.
But this was a new objective, one with Orion bloodlines, though I did wonder why it had been removed from the original scope...
Apprehensive, had I just thrown more money away?
A quick look at Castor told me I had a winner. 67x and it was split cleanly, 125x and it was beautiful, 250x and it was amazing with nice round diffraction rings. A jaunt over to Saturn showed the Cassini cleanly, IZar was beautiful at 125x, Jupiter, bathed in the purple glow of chromatic aberration still showed sharpness that revealed detail in the cloud bands. The double-double split cleanly even though it was 12 degrees above the horizon and barely out of the tree tops.
Early this morning, just before sunrise, a quick look at the summer milky way showed M6 and M7 to be glorious, nice sharp pin points, bright. Wandering around, there was m22, m16, the trifid and down to the lagoon, globulars to the west, oh there's the Wildduck, up to 100x and its nicely resolved, over to M27, nice and bright and there's m71...
Is that Mars low in the South east, sure enough...
This is the scope that the 102F6 should have been, a good achromat coupled with a good mechanicals, no magic here, this scope has obvious false color, it is unavoidable in a fast achromat. But the images are bright and sharp, it does as good a job as a fast achro can do and it is in a very nice package with a smooth focuser.
If the Burgess Optical 102F6 had arrived to us when promised with optics of this quality, things would be be quite different, Bill Burgess and Burgess Optical would have been the hit of the season. This is a good scope, no magic, just a good scope.
For those of you who own the Burgess Optical 102F6, I hope that Bill reconsiders his decision to shelve the 102F6 "Semi-APO" objective. In my view, there is no need for a "semi-APO" objective, just a good quality achromat is all that is necessary.
I have attached a photo of the Burion 100F6. The only noticeable difference is that dark gray ring, it's the Orion objective Cell, it's a bit bigger than the Burgess cell.
Best wishes and clear skies to all