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Older AP 6" F8 triplet

Started by Startest, 09/21/2006 07:52AM
Posted 09/21/2006 07:52AM Opening Post
Have one of these older pre-starfire triplets. Wondering how many of you have had a chance to view through one and what your opinions are of this fine scope.
Posted 09/21/2006 08:41AM #1
Johann - I was an original owner of this scope and had it for nearly 20 years. I thought it was an excellent scope. I initially planned to keep it until death, but I eventually decided to upgrade to one of AP's ED triplets.

I enjoyed some fantastic views through the scope. When I first got it, it was very unusual to see a 6 inch apo refractor at star parties or clubs, most people, including myself, were blown away by the views. The first time I saw Jupiter in excellent seeing was amazing. It looked like one of those 70's liquid sculpture toys, where you turn the plastic box around & the different colored oils flow around each other. You could definitely get a feeling that Jupiter was liquid, seeing all the different bands & globules flowing around each other, inside the GRS, etc.

There was slight false color on Jupiter, probably on 1st magnitude stars too, but it was never something I noticed or thought about. I used it mostly for deep sky. Usually I would see detail that was listed in observing guides as being visible only in 8-10 inch telescopes and above.

In the newer scope, the one improvement that stands out visually is planetary colors seem to be rendered a little more accurately and clearly. You'd notice it if the scopes were side-by-side, but overall I don't think it affects image quality that much. The non-ED scope is 10 times sharper than a 10 inch SCT, the newer one is 11 times sharper.

I think many of the improvements in these scopes over the years are directed at imaging users. The current AP focussers are works of mechanical art and extremely solid, but the focusser on my old scope worked smoothly for visual use, and the tube was very lightweight also. I remember looking at Hale-Bopp and seeing some astounding high-contrast views of the spinning nucleus.

So what do you think of the scope???


PS, Joe Bergeron has some detailed writings about this scope on his website that you'll enjoy reading.

Posted 09/22/2006 08:00PM | Edited 09/22/2006 08:00PM #2
I have owned four 6 inch AP refractors, a Starfire f/7, two Starfire f/9s, and my current pre-starfire f/12 triplet. I also had a 102mm f/8 triplet (see photo). All are absolutely wonderful scopes. Of the six inchers, I have enjoyed my current f/12 the most, perhaps because I use it primarily for moon and planets. I don't see any optical advantage (to the naked eye!) of the newer telescopes, and their greater weight makes them harder for me to handle. I think that older AP scopes are a tremendous bargain--my 102 f/8 is now my brother in law's, and he is of similar opinion.

Attached Image:

RobertHowe's attachment for post 107523

Robert Howe
Wilbraham MA

TeleVue 85 f/7 // Astro-Physics Traveler 105 f/6 // Astro-Physics 130 f/8.35 // TEC 180 f/7
Coronado 60 DS
"Scopes, Brains and Wisdom--but no Beauty"
Posted 10/17/2006 11:16AM | Edited 10/17/2006 11:17AM #3
First light came the other night. As usual the clouds started rolling in about an hour later. Managed to look at a few stars and Uranus and Neptune. Nice blue disc on Uranus. This was at 480X. It was getting hazy by then so I did not try and go up any higher in power. Neptune was more challenging. Never realized how though that planet is to view. This was my first night for observing either one of these planets. A couple of nights later I had out the C14 and got the same results. It was a damp night, but clear. Nice blue disc on Uranus, but Neptune a tiny point. Hopefully soon I will be able to have a very clear night and be able to test the AP under better conditions. So far I am very impressed with Roland's early work. The moon was fantastic. However, the moon was fantastic in the c14 also. So more comparisons to come.