Topics

1989 127mm Starfire


deitzelj
 

I really enjoy this old telescope.  Images taken with my AP 127 mm Starfire, ZWO 294 and ADC and a Brandon 1.5X Barlow.  Not bad for a 40 year old telescope!  Any flaws in the images are due to the operator, not the glass:-)

https://ap-ug.groups.io/g/main/photo/254098/3?p=Created,,,20,2,0,0


https://ap-ug.groups.io/g/main/photo/254098/0?p=Created,,,20,2,0,0


Cheers!

JMD


Stuart
 

Nice shots for sure!


On Thu, 24 Sep 2020 at 08:18, deitzelj via groups.io <deitzelj=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I really enjoy this old telescope.  Images taken with my AP 127 mm Starfire, ZWO 294 and ADC and a Brandon 1.5X Barlow.  Not bad for a 40 year old telescope!  Any flaws in the images are due to the operator, not the glass:-)

https://ap-ug.groups.io/g/main/photo/254098/3?p=Created,,,20,2,0,0


https://ap-ug.groups.io/g/main/photo/254098/0?p=Created,,,20,2,0,0


Cheers!

JMD


Roland Christen
 

Love the photos, thanks for posting. Will you be shooting Mars?

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: deitzelj via groups.io <deitzelj@...>
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Sep 24, 2020 7:18 am
Subject: [ap-ug] 1989 127mm Starfire

I really enjoy this old telescope.  Images taken with my AP 127 mm Starfire, ZWO 294 and ADC and a Brandon 1.5X Barlow.  Not bad for a 40 year old telescope!  Any flaws in the images are due to the operator, not the glass:-)

https://ap-ug.groups.io/g/main/photo/254098/3?p=Created,,,20,2,0,0


https://ap-ug.groups.io/g/main/photo/254098/0?p=Created,,,20,2,0,0


Cheers!

JMD


deitzelj
 

Thank you sir !  Yes, that is the plan, when I get a stable night.  I think for Mars I will try with the 152 mm Starfire from the same era.  Mars has proven challenging for me in the past, but I learn a little bit more each time I go out. Hoping that you have clear skies!

Cheers!

JMD


Roland Christen
 

In the next few weeks is the time for Mars. It's up there and waiting. Good luck to you, and good seeing. Your Jupiter and Saturn pix are delightful - very nicely done.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: deitzelj via groups.io <deitzelj@...>
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Sep 24, 2020 4:31 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-ug] 1989 127mm Starfire

Thank you sir !  Yes, that is the plan, when I get a stable night.  I think for Mars I will try with the 152 mm Starfire from the same era.  Mars has proven challenging for me in the past, but I learn a little bit more each time I go out. Hoping that you have clear skies!

Cheers!

JMD


Ross Elkins
 

Nice Planetaries!

Ross


ROBERT WYNNE
 

I can't wait to see the rest of your 127 Starfire product. But I've only observed  than photograph. Since joining this group I have to admit I am now inclined if not enthused to attempt astrophotography though imaging at specific wavelengths and matching/sorting filters seems like a very limited advanced class of astro-photographers. I also have a Barlow (AP BARCON-not advanced) with my 127 and have often wondered if I would be better off photographing without the Barlow but rather enlarging a smaller sharper but less magnified object instead? Also willing to obtain a ASI6200MM as Rolando if I can get anything near the precision of Khrushrow Machhi's imaging, realizing I would be more than pushing the capability of the 127.It's somewhat amusing a friend of mine who owned one of the oldest machine shops in the SF Bay area was committed to the English system of measurement and refused work dimensioned in the Metric system. It was he who initially sparked my interest in astronomy as he had a vast collection of telescopes and lived atop one of the Bay area hills with optimum viewing conditions above the fog. Sadly he passed away a few years ago. One of his parting comments on the topic was as beneficiary of the Chabot Observatory's 3 foot - not 1 meter but 1 yard - telescope, Nellie. The Starfire series of which our telescopes belongs was offered in inch increments. It was not until the next series do we find Astro-Physics telescopes offered in mm increments and inch wide elements no longer offered. With that as a background I've often wondered what sparked the change at A-P. to Metric system dimensioned telescopes. -Best, Robert

On 09/24/2020 2:31 PM deitzelj via groups.io <deitzelj@...> wrote:


Thank you sir !  Yes, that is the plan, when I get a stable night.  I think for Mars I will try with the 152 mm Starfire from the same era.  Mars has proven challenging for me in the past, but I learn a little bit more each time I go out. Hoping that you have clear skies!

Cheers!

JMD


Konstantin von Poschinger
 

Hi,

do not foget to use a flattener with 127~when imaging. 

Grüsse

Konstantin v. Poschinger


Hammerichstr. 5
22605 Hamburg
040/8805747
0171/1983476

Am 25.09.2020 um 03:49 schrieb ROBERT WYNNE <robert-wynne@...>:


I can't wait to see the rest of your 127 Starfire product. But I've only observed  than photograph. Since joining this group I have to admit I am now inclined if not enthused to attempt astrophotography though imaging at specific wavelengths and matching/sorting filters seems like a very limited advanced class of astro-photographers. I also have a Barlow (AP BARCON-not advanced) with my 127 and have often wondered if I would be better off photographing without the Barlow but rather enlarging a smaller sharper but less magnified object instead? Also willing to obtain a ASI6200MM as Rolando if I can get anything near the precision of Khrushrow Machhi's imaging, realizing I would be more than pushing the capability of the 127.It's somewhat amusing a friend of mine who owned one of the oldest machine shops in the SF Bay area was committed to the English system of measurement and refused work dimensioned in the Metric system. It was he who initially sparked my interest in astronomy as he had a vast collection of telescopes and lived atop one of the Bay area hills with optimum viewing conditions above the fog. Sadly he passed away a few years ago. One of his parting comments on the topic was as beneficiary of the Chabot Observatory's 3 foot - not 1 meter but 1 yard - telescope, Nellie. The Starfire series of which our telescopes belongs was offered in inch increments. It was not until the next series do we find Astro-Physics telescopes offered in mm increments and inch wide elements no longer offered. With that as a background I've often wondered what sparked the change at A-P. to Metric system dimensioned telescopes. -Best, Robert
On 09/24/2020 2:31 PM deitzelj via groups.io <deitzelj@...> wrote:


Thank you sir !  Yes, that is the plan, when I get a stable night.  I think for Mars I will try with the 152 mm Starfire from the same era.  Mars has proven challenging for me in the past, but I learn a little bit more each time I go out. Hoping that you have clear skies!

Cheers!

JMD


deitzelj
 

Thank you Robert.   I am a very casual imager, and there are MUCH more accomplished folks that post here.  I do this to have fun and don't worry too much about perfection, just learning a bit more each time I go out.  I have added some more images to my gallery here that I have collected over the years with this scope.  All of it was done with short, unguided exposures.  For larger objects, like the full moon, or M42, I used an inexpensive 0.5X focal reducer.  For the full moon, you will see just a hint of red around the edge.  I have verified that is due to the focal reducer, NOT the scope. You can see this in the other lunar images take at prime focus.  The DSO images were taken with a Mallincam Universe camera, as was the full Moon.  The images span a decade of my fooling around so some of them are better than others.  They have all been cropped so the field curvature effects are not as evident.  One of these days I will get around to getting the AP flattener/reducer for this scope.   

For sure, the later series of AP scopes that use the low dispersion glasses are better suited to serious imaging, as is evidenced by all the wonderful pictures shown here by others.  But if you HAVE one of these older scopes and are curious about trying your hand at taking images, there is no reason not to, in my opinion.  I am having a lot of fun.  To be honest, as far I can tell, the results I get with respect to false color around bright stars are pretty much similar to my 4 inch ED doublet(TV102) or my economy ED Triplet(AT 80 EDT), if not a little better.   I would consult directly with Roland and others here as to what camera, focal reducer etc.. would best suit what you have.  I have basically just used what I have in hand, or what caught my interest at the time.  Not a whole lot of planning was done.   

My favorite use of this particular scope though is still visual.  It is kind of special.  There is a level of contrast that is just not present in my other scopes.   There is a collector component to my scope buying and I really enjoy the fact that this scope represents a snapshot in time of the evolution of the modern refractor.  

Cheers!

JMD


Roland Christen
 


For sure, the later series of AP scopes that use the low dispersion glasses are better suited to serious imaging,
You can do narrowband imaging with the older scopes and you will get the same results as you would with the latest high tech "low dispersion" refractors. You can also do RGB wide band imaging and you will not see much if any difference. Using one shot color cameras, you will see a difference.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: deitzelj via groups.io <deitzelj@...>
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Sep 25, 2020 9:09 am
Subject: Re: [ap-ug] 1989 127mm Starfire

Thank you Robert.   I am a very casual imager, and there are MUCH more accomplished folks that post here.  I do this to have fun and don't worry too much about perfection, just learning a bit more each time I go out.  I have added some more images to my gallery here that I have collected over the years with this scope.  All of it was done with short, unguided exposures.  For larger objects, like the full moon, or M42, I used an inexpensive 0.5X focal reducer.  For the full moon, you will see just a hint of red around the edge.  I have verified that is due to the focal reducer, NOT the scope. You can see this in the other lunar images take at prime focus.  The DSO images were taken with a Mallincam Universe camera, as was the full Moon.  The images span a decade of my fooling around so some of them are better than others.  They have all been cropped so the field curvature effects are not as evident.  One of these days I will get around to getting the AP flattener/reducer for this scope.   

For sure, the later series of AP scopes that use the low dispersion glasses are better suited to serious imaging, as is evidenced by all the wonderful pictures shown here by others.  But if you HAVE one of these older scopes and are curious about trying your hand at taking images, there is no reason not to, in my opinion.  I am having a lot of fun.  To be honest, as far I can tell, the results I get with respect to false color around bright stars are pretty much similar to my 4 inch ED doublet(TV102) or my economy ED Triplet(AT 80 EDT), if not a little better.   I would consult directly with Roland and others here as to what camera, focal reducer etc.. would best suit what you have.  I have basically just used what I have in hand, or what caught my interest at the time.  Not a whole lot of planning was done.   

My favorite use of this particular scope though is still visual.  It is kind of special.  There is a level of contrast that is just not present in my other scopes.   There is a collector component to my scope buying and I really enjoy the fact that this scope represents a snapshot in time of the evolution of the modern refractor.  

Cheers!

JMD


deitzelj
 

Thanks for that feedback!  I suspected that was the case, but it is good to have that confirmed.   

Cheers!

JMD


ROBERT WYNNE
 

The thanks should be from myself. I have not read a more up to date and informative w/ images on the 127 Starfire. I believe a field flattener is now the next piece of hardware for my 127. I'm a bit surprised that A-P did not recommend the addition of same when asked about what hardware could be used to improve performance. Daleen where are you> So far as a camera is concerned I'm fairly committed now to Konstantin v. Poschinger choice of cameras and due the pixilation density of that CCD near the pixel density of the cones in the human eye. I would say any camera with denser pixilation though very useful for enlargements would be of no useful purpose for the average user. Glad to hear you are a collector. I am somewhat the same. A John Brashear 4" telescope recently came up for auction along with my 127 and I had to choose between the two. The collection was a liquidation of a Stanford Astronomy professor and included 10 different scopes. When it came to choosing between the Brashear and the Starfire there really was no choice to be made - that is if I was primarily interested in a quality viewing instrument. Last night in NORCAL viewing was superb with the crescent moon, Jupiter and Saturn all within about 10 degrees of the field of view and about 40 degrees higher than a month ago. -Best of views and thanks again for your input ,Best Robert

On 09/25/2020 7:09 AM deitzelj via groups.io <deitzelj@...> wrote:


Thank you Robert.   I am a very casual imager, and there are MUCH more accomplished folks that post here.  I do this to have fun and don't worry too much about perfection, just learning a bit more each time I go out.  I have added some more images to my gallery here that I have collected over the years with this scope.  All of it was done with short, unguided exposures.  For larger objects, like the full moon, or M42, I used an inexpensive 0.5X focal reducer.  For the full moon, you will see just a hint of red around the edge.  I have verified that is due to the focal reducer, NOT the scope. You can see this in the other lunar images take at prime focus.  The DSO images were taken with a Mallincam Universe camera, as was the full Moon.  The images span a decade of my fooling around so some of them are better than others.  They have all been cropped so the field curvature effects are not as evident.  One of these days I will get around to getting the AP flattener/reducer for this scope.   

For sure, the later series of AP scopes that use the low dispersion glasses are better suited to serious imaging, as is evidenced by all the wonderful pictures shown here by others.  But if you HAVE one of these older scopes and are curious about trying your hand at taking images, there is no reason not to, in my opinion.  I am having a lot of fun.  To be honest, as far I can tell, the results I get with respect to false color around bright stars are pretty much similar to my 4 inch ED doublet(TV102) or my economy ED Triplet(AT 80 EDT), if not a little better.   I would consult directly with Roland and others here as to what camera, focal reducer etc.. would best suit what you have.  I have basically just used what I have in hand, or what caught my interest at the time.  Not a whole lot of planning was done.   

My favorite use of this particular scope though is still visual.  It is kind of special.  There is a level of contrast that is just not present in my other scopes.   There is a collector component to my scope buying and I really enjoy the fact that this scope represents a snapshot in time of the evolution of the modern refractor.  

Cheers!

JMD


Roland Christen
 

We have field flatteners for the 127 scope that will cover large format chips.
We also have a simple telecompressor (27TVPH) that will work with APS sized chips.
If you just want some snapshots, try just imaging with the scope without the above. The results will depend ont he size chip you end up using.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: ROBERT WYNNE <robert-wynne@...>
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io; deitzelj via groups.io <deitzelj@...>
Sent: Fri, Sep 25, 2020 12:47 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-ug] 1989 127mm Starfire

The thanks should be from myself. I have not read a more up to date and informative w/ images on the 127 Starfire. I believe a field flattener is now the next piece of hardware for my 127. I'm a bit surprised that A-P did not recommend the addition of same when asked about what hardware could be used to improve performance. Daleen where are you> So far as a camera is concerned I'm fairly committed now to Konstantin v. Poschinger choice of cameras and due the pixilation density of that CCD near the pixel density of the cones in the human eye. I would say any camera with denser pixilation though very useful for enlargements would be of no useful purpose for the average user. Glad to hear you are a collector. I am somewhat the same. A John Brashear 4" telescope recently came up for auction along with my 127 and I had to choose between the two. The collection was a liquidation of a Stanford Astronomy professor and included 10 different scopes. When it came to choosing between the Brashear and the Starfire there really was no choice to be made - that is if I was primarily interested in a quality viewing instrument. Last night in NORCAL viewing was superb with the crescent moon, Jupiter and Saturn all within about 10 degrees of the field of view and about 40 degrees higher than a month ago. -Best of views and thanks again for your input ,Best Robert
On 09/25/2020 7:09 AM deitzelj via groups.io <deitzelj@...> wrote:


Thank you Robert.   I am a very casual imager, and there are MUCH more accomplished folks that post here.  I do this to have fun and don't worry too much about perfection, just learning a bit more each time I go out.  I have added some more images to my gallery here that I have collected over the years with this scope.  All of it was done with short, unguided exposures.  For larger objects, like the full moon, or M42, I used an inexpensive 0.5X focal reducer.  For the full moon, you will see just a hint of red around the edge.  I have verified that is due to the focal reducer, NOT the scope. You can see this in the other lunar images take at prime focus.  The DSO images were taken with a Mallincam Universe camera, as was the full Moon.  The images span a decade of my fooling around so some of them are better than others.  They have all been cropped so the field curvature effects are not as evident.  One of these days I will get around to getting the AP flattener/reducer for this scope.   

For sure, the later series of AP scopes that use the low dispersion glasses are better suited to serious imaging, as is evidenced by all the wonderful pictures shown here by others.  But if you HAVE one of these older scopes and are curious about trying your hand at taking images, there is no reason not to, in my opinion.  I am having a lot of fun.  To be honest, as far I can tell, the results I get with respect to false color around bright stars are pretty much similar to my 4 inch ED doublet(TV102) or my economy ED Triplet(AT 80 EDT), if not a little better.   I would consult directly with Roland and others here as to what camera, focal reducer etc.. would best suit what you have.  I have basically just used what I have in hand, or what caught my interest at the time.  Not a whole lot of planning was done.   

My favorite use of this particular scope though is still visual.  It is kind of special.  There is a level of contrast that is just not present in my other scopes.   There is a collector component to my scope buying and I really enjoy the fact that this scope represents a snapshot in time of the evolution of the modern refractor.  

Cheers!

JMD


ROBERT WYNNE
 

Rolando-

Thanks for taking time to provide your advice. I may be building this Starfire 127 telescope set-up backwards. I acquired the telescope first without anything more than a BARCON (not advanced & no idea of the difference between it and the current model-an AD BARCON). Having acquired the Starfire with the exception of the old BARCON I was left to acquire/build a light path component stack up from the 2.7" focuser to and including the eyepiece.

I have yet to view an image through this telescope as I lack a mount. A mount is on backorder. I'm awaiting its arrival to then add a camera. I wish to continue adding components as is required to achieve the best imaging the old Starfire can produce in advance of delivery of the mount.

You mentioned Konstantin v. Poschinger's ASI6200MM camera as one you would acquire based on the [stark acuity] of his recently posted images. I fully agree. His camera selection is probably about as good as it gets for the advanced amateur/beginning astronomer. That said it does use an off the shelf Sony CCD available to any camera vendor. The Sony CCD used in the ASI6200MM must have been proprietarily altered to achieve a 3.7 micron pixel with high contrast and acuity. I believe for images not requiring much enlargement this is as good as can be had for a astronomical camera. I question the need for a camera that can resolve finer than the airy disc of any telescope. We may be there now with this camera and based on your comments drives selection of the matching field flattener.

That all said the A-P website offers a number of field flatteners for the 127 Starfire. I ask in your opinion is it a waste of resources to attempt upgrading the old 127 Starfire from the focuser to the eyepieces? I would consider the expense of the latest, best camera as an investment for the next upgrade in a telescope. Thus far I've gotten dovetail mounting plates, adapter, star diagonal and two Delos eyepieces in anticipation of receipt of a ALTAZ mount. It may well be that due its backordered status the mount won't arrive until 2022. This leaves me in a situation whether I should consider purchasing a lessor mount to use in the interim? If  not the Starfire would then be idle for nearly two years without benefit.

As to which A-P field flattener I should acquire it should be one compatible with the ASI6200MM camera? But I don't know how to navigate to that choice with what is offered on your site without guidance.

Best,
Robert

On 09/25/2020 11:06 AM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


We have field flatteners for the 127 scope that will cover large format chips.
We also have a simple telecompressor (27TVPH) that will work with APS sized chips.
If you just want some snapshots, try just imaging with the scope without the above. The results will depend ont he size chip you end up using.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: ROBERT WYNNE <robert-wynne@...>
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io; deitzelj via groups.io <deitzelj@...>
Sent: Fri, Sep 25, 2020 12:47 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-ug] 1989 127mm Starfire

The thanks should be from myself. I have not read a more up to date and informative w/ images on the 127 Starfire. I believe a field flattener is now the next piece of hardware for my 127. I'm a bit surprised that A-P did not recommend the addition of same when asked about what hardware could be used to improve performance. Daleen where are you> So far as a camera is concerned I'm fairly committed now to Konstantin v. Poschinger choice of cameras and due the pixilation density of that CCD near the pixel density of the cones in the human eye. I would say any camera with denser pixilation though very useful for enlargements would be of no useful purpose for the average user. Glad to hear you are a collector. I am somewhat the same. A John Brashear 4" telescope recently came up for auction along with my 127 and I had to choose between the two. The collection was a liquidation of a Stanford Astronomy professor and included 10 different scopes. When it came to choosing between the Brashear and the Starfire there really was no choice to be made - that is if I was primarily interested in a quality viewing instrument. Last night in NORCAL viewing was superb with the crescent moon, Jupiter and Saturn all within about 10 degrees of the field of view and about 40 degrees higher than a month ago. -Best of views and thanks again for your input ,Best Robert
On 09/25/2020 7:09 AM deitzelj via groups.io <deitzelj@...> wrote:


Thank you Robert.   I am a very casual imager, and there are MUCH more accomplished folks that post here.  I do this to have fun and don't worry too much about perfection, just learning a bit more each time I go out.  I have added some more images to my gallery here that I have collected over the years with this scope.  All of it was done with short, unguided exposures.  For larger objects, like the full moon, or M42, I used an inexpensive 0.5X focal reducer.  For the full moon, you will see just a hint of red around the edge.  I have verified that is due to the focal reducer, NOT the scope. You can see this in the other lunar images take at prime focus.  The DSO images were taken with a Mallincam Universe camera, as was the full Moon.  The images span a decade of my fooling around so some of them are better than others.  They have all been cropped so the field curvature effects are not as evident.  One of these days I will get around to getting the AP flattener/reducer for this scope.   

For sure, the later series of AP scopes that use the low dispersion glasses are better suited to serious imaging, as is evidenced by all the wonderful pictures shown here by others.  But if you HAVE one of these older scopes and are curious about trying your hand at taking images, there is no reason not to, in my opinion.  I am having a lot of fun.  To be honest, as far I can tell, the results I get with respect to false color around bright stars are pretty much similar to my 4 inch ED doublet(TV102) or my economy ED Triplet(AT 80 EDT), if not a little better.   I would consult directly with Roland and others here as to what camera, focal reducer etc.. would best suit what you have.  I have basically just used what I have in hand, or what caught my interest at the time.  Not a whole lot of planning was done.   

My favorite use of this particular scope though is still visual.  It is kind of special.  There is a level of contrast that is just not present in my other scopes.   There is a collector component to my scope buying and I really enjoy the fact that this scope represents a snapshot in time of the evolution of the modern refractor.  

Cheers!

JMD


ROBERT WYNNE
 

I take the comment "for sure the later series of AP scopes that use low dispersion glass are better suited to serious imaging". This statement I take as your opinion on a comparative evaluation of your current A-P product line and past A-P product production, in particular the Starfire 127? The only question I have or had, is what is the quantitative difference among the various A-P lines through time; 1% better, 10% better or what? More generally, what is the incremental increase in performance of your scopes from inception? I don't seem to ever get a straight answer on specific A-P product performance no matter how the question is parsed even though it's from an amateur. This is about as aggressive on the matter as I wish to be on this board before dropping off the list. Its sounds to me as though you no longer regard the 127 Starfire as worthy of a wanna be serious astronomy buff and that investing into the latest best add on components for the 127 a waste of time & resources. I'll put it out in the trash for p/u next week. -Best, Robert

On 09/25/2020 9:04 AM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:



For sure, the later series of AP scopes that use the low dispersion glasses are better suited to serious imaging,
You can do narrowband imaging with the older scopes and you will get the same results as you would with the latest high tech "low dispersion" refractors. You can also do RGB wide band imaging and you will not see much if any difference. Using one shot color cameras, you will see a difference.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: deitzelj via groups.io <deitzelj@...>
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Sep 25, 2020 9:09 am
Subject: Re: [ap-ug] 1989 127mm Starfire

Thank you Robert.   I am a very casual imager, and there are MUCH more accomplished folks that post here.  I do this to have fun and don't worry too much about perfection, just learning a bit more each time I go out.  I have added some more images to my gallery here that I have collected over the years with this scope.  All of it was done with short, unguided exposures.  For larger objects, like the full moon, or M42, I used an inexpensive 0.5X focal reducer.  For the full moon, you will see just a hint of red around the edge.  I have verified that is due to the focal reducer, NOT the scope. You can see this in the other lunar images take at prime focus.  The DSO images were taken with a Mallincam Universe camera, as was the full Moon.  The images span a decade of my fooling around so some of them are better than others.  They have all been cropped so the field curvature effects are not as evident.  One of these days I will get around to getting the AP flattener/reducer for this scope.   

For sure, the later series of AP scopes that use the low dispersion glasses are better suited to serious imaging, as is evidenced by all the wonderful pictures shown here by others.  But if you HAVE one of these older scopes and are curious about trying your hand at taking images, there is no reason not to, in my opinion.  I am having a lot of fun.  To be honest, as far I can tell, the results I get with respect to false color around bright stars are pretty much similar to my 4 inch ED doublet(TV102) or my economy ED Triplet(AT 80 EDT), if not a little better.   I would consult directly with Roland and others here as to what camera, focal reducer etc.. would best suit what you have.  I have basically just used what I have in hand, or what caught my interest at the time.  Not a whole lot of planning was done.   

My favorite use of this particular scope though is still visual.  It is kind of special.  There is a level of contrast that is just not present in my other scopes.   There is a collector component to my scope buying and I really enjoy the fact that this scope represents a snapshot in time of the evolution of the modern refractor.  

Cheers!

JMD


Roland Christen
 

"I take the comment "for sure the later series of AP scopes that use low dispersion glass are better suited to serious imaging". This statement I take as your opinion"

I did not make that statement. That was a quote from the previous post from another individual. My statement reads:

"You can do narrowband imaging with the older scopes and you will get the same results as you would with the latest high tech "low dispersion" refractors. You can also do RGB wide band imaging and you will not see much if any difference. Using one shot color cameras, you will see a difference."

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: ROBERT WYNNE <robert-wynne@...>
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io; Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Sat, Sep 26, 2020 1:14 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-ug] 1989 127mm Starfire

I take the comment "for sure the later series of AP scopes that use low dispersion glass are better suited to serious imaging". This statement I take as your opinion on a comparative evaluation of your current A-P product line and past A-P product production, in particular the Starfire 127? The only question I have or had, is what is the quantitative difference among the various A-P lines through time; 1% better, 10% better or what? More generally, what is the incremental increase in performance of your scopes from inception? I don't seem to ever get a straight answer on specific A-P product performance no matter how the question is parsed even though it's from an amateur. This is about as aggressive on the matter as I wish to be on this board before dropping off the list. Its sounds to me as though you no longer regard the 127 Starfire as worthy of a wanna be serious astronomy buff and that investing into the latest best add on components for the 127 a waste of time & resources. I'll put it out in the trash for p/u next week. -Best, Robert
On 09/25/2020 9:04 AM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:



For sure, the later series of AP scopes that use the low dispersion glasses are better suited to serious imaging,
You can do narrowband imaging with the older scopes and you will get the same results as you would with the latest high tech "low dispersion" refractors. You can also do RGB wide band imaging and you will not see much if any difference. Using one shot color cameras, you will see a difference.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: deitzelj via groups.io <deitzelj@...>
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Sep 25, 2020 9:09 am
Subject: Re: [ap-ug] 1989 127mm Starfire

Thank you Robert.   I am a very casual imager, and there are MUCH more accomplished folks that post here.  I do this to have fun and don't worry too much about perfection, just learning a bit more each time I go out.  I have added some more images to my gallery here that I have collected over the years with this scope.  All of it was done with short, unguided exposures.  For larger objects, like the full moon, or M42, I used an inexpensive 0.5X focal reducer.  For the full moon, you will see just a hint of red around the edge.  I have verified that is due to the focal reducer, NOT the scope. You can see this in the other lunar images take at prime focus.  The DSO images were taken with a Mallincam Universe camera, as was the full Moon.  The images span a decade of my fooling around so some of them are better than others.  They have all been cropped so the field curvature effects are not as evident.  One of these days I will get around to getting the AP flattener/reducer for this scope.   

For sure, the later series of AP scopes that use the low dispersion glasses are better suited to serious imaging, as is evidenced by all the wonderful pictures shown here by others.  But if you HAVE one of these older scopes and are curious about trying your hand at taking images, there is no reason not to, in my opinion.  I am having a lot of fun.  To be honest, as far I can tell, the results I get with respect to false color around bright stars are pretty much similar to my 4 inch ED doublet(TV102) or my economy ED Triplet(AT 80 EDT), if not a little better.   I would consult directly with Roland and others here as to what camera, focal reducer etc.. would best suit what you have.  I have basically just used what I have in hand, or what caught my interest at the time.  Not a whole lot of planning was done.   

My favorite use of this particular scope though is still visual.  It is kind of special.  There is a level of contrast that is just not present in my other scopes.   There is a collector component to my scope buying and I really enjoy the fact that this scope represents a snapshot in time of the evolution of the modern refractor.  

Cheers!

JMD


deitzelj
 

Hi Robert,
I should have provided context for my statement and perhaps a bit less sweeping.  My comment was based on the fact that I use a One shot Color Camera to image.   Roland's response makes it very clear that there should be no difference for narrow band or RGB imaging.  It has got me thinking about getting a monochrome camera, a set of filters and that field flattener.  

JMD


ROBERT WYNNE
 

Rolando-

This still somewhat evades the question of how the 127 Starfire incrementally "stacks up" against the current A-P line, its prior lines and for that matter other lines on today's market. Though it appears your appended statement is that the old Starfire will hold its own against most scopes made today which is consistent with other comments I've heard and which if your intent is reassuring.

In winning the bid for the old Starfire I certainly did not expect it to be the equal of todays A-P product line and that new A-P editions always represent improvements over "last year's models". But I did expect the scope to be head and shoulders above medium to low-high end scopes offered in todays market with most optics made abroad. The current market price for these older A-P scopes only seems to appreciate. Whether that is a collector's market or a commentary about the functional superiority against what is offered and made abroad is not exactly known to me. In my case I am only interested in better understanding the scope's functional superiority against other scopes of its class.

Sorry about the mis-attribution but I did not receive the statement as a separate message and thought the entirety was your commentary.

That said I've also never received any comment from A-P about any difference between a BARCON and an AD BARCON. Should I purchase an AD BARCON to replace the older version? What's advanced about the current BARCON? Should I dispense with the use of the older BARCON altogether particularly when and if attempting to image?

With regards to the field flattener which one does A-P recommend for use with the 127 Starfire if used with the ASI6200 mentioned in prior posts?

I would appreciate direct answers to these questions as I've seen possible from A-P post in past years.

I recently had to go through 3 people at A-P just to determine what and where the serial number is on my scope. Christine was finally able to report my lens serial number is the scope's serial number (there's a question-why is it the lens is the scope's serial number and may be out of date of fabrication). I was also informed my serialized front lens objective was from the last batch of five groups made in the 127 series.

This raises the question of whether there was a change in the formulary from the first batch of lenses to the last batch as according to some, the later lenses represented some improvement in the lens formulary. In fact the Starfire line from those years is represented in your literature as being offered in two different types at the option of the buyer without any indication of type associated with serialization. Is it possible some scopes are out there in the last phase of 5" Starfire production which have next years "engine" in them as an option not otherwise noted?

Finally, should I purchase a moderate mount until after a A-P Mach2 becomes available? I was advised a Mach2 won't be available until sometime in 2022. It's only money but it's also only enjoyable if it works.

Only A-P has the answers. I would have preferred to take up all these questions one at a time but they represent an accumulation of unanswered queries to A-P since Mar 20. 

I wish you the best as I know from prior comments Rolando only has two arms and figuring lenses takes time. I appreciate anything you can shed to these questions. -Robert



On 09/26/2020 12:21 PM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


"I take the comment "for sure the later series of AP scopes that use low dispersion glass are better suited to serious imaging". This statement I take as your opinion"

I did not make that statement. That was a quote from the previous post from another individual. My statement reads:

"You can do narrowband imaging with the older scopes and you will get the same results as you would with the latest high tech "low dispersion" refractors. You can also do RGB wide band imaging and you will not see much if any difference. Using one shot color cameras, you will see a difference."

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: ROBERT WYNNE <robert-wynne@...>
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io; Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Sat, Sep 26, 2020 1:14 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-ug] 1989 127mm Starfire

I take the comment "for sure the later series of AP scopes that use low dispersion glass are better suited to serious imaging". This statement I take as your opinion on a comparative evaluation of your current A-P product line and past A-P product production, in particular the Starfire 127? The only question I have or had, is what is the quantitative difference among the various A-P lines through time; 1% better, 10% better or what? More generally, what is the incremental increase in performance of your scopes from inception? I don't seem to ever get a straight answer on specific A-P product performance no matter how the question is parsed even though it's from an amateur. This is about as aggressive on the matter as I wish to be on this board before dropping off the list. Its sounds to me as though you no longer regard the 127 Starfire as worthy of a wanna be serious astronomy buff and that investing into the latest best add on components for the 127 a waste of time & resources. I'll put it out in the trash for p/u next week. -Best, Robert
On 09/25/2020 9:04 AM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:



For sure, the later series of AP scopes that use the low dispersion glasses are better suited to serious imaging,
You can do narrowband imaging with the older scopes and you will get the same results as you would with the latest high tech "low dispersion" refractors. You can also do RGB wide band imaging and you will not see much if any difference. Using one shot color cameras, you will see a difference.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: deitzelj via groups.io <deitzelj@...>
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Sep 25, 2020 9:09 am
Subject: Re: [ap-ug] 1989 127mm Starfire

Thank you Robert.   I am a very casual imager, and there are MUCH more accomplished folks that post here.  I do this to have fun and don't worry too much about perfection, just learning a bit more each time I go out.  I have added some more images to my gallery here that I have collected over the years with this scope.  All of it was done with short, unguided exposures.  For larger objects, like the full moon, or M42, I used an inexpensive 0.5X focal reducer.  For the full moon, you will see just a hint of red around the edge.  I have verified that is due to the focal reducer, NOT the scope. You can see this in the other lunar images take at prime focus.  The DSO images were taken with a Mallincam Universe camera, as was the full Moon.  The images span a decade of my fooling around so some of them are better than others.  They have all been cropped so the field curvature effects are not as evident.  One of these days I will get around to getting the AP flattener/reducer for this scope.   

For sure, the later series of AP scopes that use the low dispersion glasses are better suited to serious imaging, as is evidenced by all the wonderful pictures shown here by others.  But if you HAVE one of these older scopes and are curious about trying your hand at taking images, there is no reason not to, in my opinion.  I am having a lot of fun.  To be honest, as far I can tell, the results I get with respect to false color around bright stars are pretty much similar to my 4 inch ED doublet(TV102) or my economy ED Triplet(AT 80 EDT), if not a little better.   I would consult directly with Roland and others here as to what camera, focal reducer etc.. would best suit what you have.  I have basically just used what I have in hand, or what caught my interest at the time.  Not a whole lot of planning was done.   

My favorite use of this particular scope though is still visual.  It is kind of special.  There is a level of contrast that is just not present in my other scopes.   There is a collector component to my scope buying and I really enjoy the fact that this scope represents a snapshot in time of the evolution of the modern refractor.  

Cheers!

JMD


ROBERT WYNNE
 

Thanks. At least I got someone thinking. Best, Robert

On 09/26/2020 2:32 PM deitzelj via groups.io <deitzelj@...> wrote:


Hi Robert,
I should have provided context for my statement and perhaps a bit less sweeping.  My comment was based on the fact that I use a One shot Color Camera to image.   Roland's response makes it very clear that there should be no difference for narrow band or RGB imaging.  It has got me thinking about getting a monochrome camera, a set of filters and that field flattener.  

JMD


Roland Christen
 

Hello,

I will try to answer your direct questions.

Barlows: In the past Barlows were usually used only visually with eyepieces, or for high power imaging for Lunar/Planetary. This worked out fine with a normal Barlow design that was optimized for such applications. With the advent of new wide field CCD cameras, I redesigned the Barlow to cover a larger field that was normal before. Thus the Advanced Convertible Photo-Visual Barlow. It will cover a wider field than the original design, but only up to APS sized sensors.

127 F8 Starfire refractor: For its day it was a solution to the problem of chromatic aberration that is inherent in all achromats. A normal achromat produces a different focal point for the three colors red, green and blue. For a 127F8 achromat refractor this amounts to about 0.8mm of focus shift between the green best focus and the red or blue best focus. Yellow lies about 1/2 way in between. At best focus all the colors would produce a blur circle of around 50 microns in the achromat refractor. The 127F8 Starfire used a 3 element design with special glasses that reduced this error to 0.1mm with a resultant blur circle of only 6 microns. Since CCD cameras at the time used 7 micron pixels and did not have very high efficiency in the far violet, that was a great match for the technology of its era. It still is today if you match the 127Starfire with a 6 to 9 micron pixel camera.

We don't serialize scopes, only the lenses have serial numbers. We realize that sometimes people swap tubes or focusers, and there isn't anything special about the tubes to warrant serializing them. Not all of our customer service people were around when that scope was made, so they might not have known where the serial number was. I usually, but not always, write the number on one of the elements. It's strictly for my own use, when an old lens comes back for cleaning or service I can look up the original design and performance numbers to check against that lens.

There is a field flattener available for this scope: 67PF582. It will work with any CCD or Cmos camera up to 60mm diameter circle.

If you are thinking of getting into astrophotography, then you might want to join a beginner astro imaging group. You will find that the number 1 most important item is a solid precision mount (assuming you don't want to mess around, tweak or constantly adjust things for each session).

As far as cameras, personally I would not jump in feet first and buy the most advanced camera to start the hobby of imaging. Again, there are many options for cameras and I cannot recommend one over another. An imaging user group can give much better guidance than I can.

Finally, this group can also answer some of your questions, but please ask them one at a time. You will find many knowledgeable people here, many of them know far more than I do about imaging.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: ROBERT WYNNE <robert-wynne@...>
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Sep 26, 2020 6:19 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-ug] 1989 127mm Starfire

Rolando-

This still somewhat evades the question of how the 127 Starfire incrementally "stacks up" against the current A-P line, its prior lines and for that matter other lines on today's market. Though it appears your appended statement is that the old Starfire will hold its own against most scopes made today which is consistent with other comments I've heard and which if your intent is reassuring.

In winning the bid for the old Starfire I certainly did not expect it to be the equal of todays A-P product line and that new A-P editions always represent improvements over "last year's models". But I did expect the scope to be head and shoulders above medium to low-high end scopes offered in todays market with most optics made abroad. The current market price for these older A-P scopes only seems to appreciate. Whether that is a collector's market or a commentary about the functional superiority against what is offered and made abroad is not exactly known to me. In my case I am only interested in better understanding the scope's functional superiority against other scopes of its class.

Sorry about the mis-attribution but I did not receive the statement as a separate message and thought the entirety was your commentary.

That said I've also never received any comment from A-P about any difference between a BARCON and an AD BARCON. Should I purchase an AD BARCON to replace the older version? What's advanced about the current BARCON? Should I dispense with the use of the older BARCON altogether particularly when and if attempting to image?

With regards to the field flattener which one does A-P recommend for use with the 127 Starfire if used with the ASI6200 mentioned in prior posts?

I would appreciate direct answers to these questions as I've seen possible from A-P post in past years.

I recently had to go through 3 people at A-P just to determine what and where the serial number is on my scope. Christine was finally able to report my lens serial number is the scope's serial number (there's a question-why is it the lens is the scope's serial number and may be out of date of fabrication). I was also informed my serialized front lens objective was from the last batch of five groups made in the 127 series.

This raises the question of whether there was a change in the formulary from the first batch of lenses to the last batch as according to some, the later lenses represented some improvement in the lens formulary. In fact the Starfire line from those years is represented in your literature as being offered in two different types at the option of the buyer without any indication of type associated with serialization. Is it possible some scopes are out there in the last phase of 5" Starfire production which have next years "engine" in them as an option not otherwise noted?

Finally, should I purchase a moderate mount until after a A-P Mach2 becomes available? I was advised a Mach2 won't be available until sometime in 2022. It's only money but it's also only enjoyable if it works.

Only A-P has the answers. I would have preferred to take up all these questions one at a time but they represent an accumulation of unanswered queries to A-P since Mar 20. 

I wish you the best as I know from prior comments Rolando only has two arms and figuring lenses takes time. I appreciate anything you can shed to these questions. -Robert



On 09/26/2020 12:21 PM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


"I take the comment "for sure the later series of AP scopes that use low dispersion glass are better suited to serious imaging". This statement I take as your opinion"

I did not make that statement. That was a quote from the previous post from another individual. My statement reads:

"You can do narrowband imaging with the older scopes and you will get the same results as you would with the latest high tech "low dispersion" refractors. You can also do RGB wide band imaging and you will not see much if any difference. Using one shot color cameras, you will see a difference."

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: ROBERT WYNNE <robert-wynne@...>
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io; Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Sat, Sep 26, 2020 1:14 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-ug] 1989 127mm Starfire

I take the comment "for sure the later series of AP scopes that use low dispersion glass are better suited to serious imaging". This statement I take as your opinion on a comparative evaluation of your current A-P product line and past A-P product production, in particular the Starfire 127? The only question I have or had, is what is the quantitative difference among the various A-P lines through time; 1% better, 10% better or what? More generally, what is the incremental increase in performance of your scopes from inception? I don't seem to ever get a straight answer on specific A-P product performance no matter how the question is parsed even though it's from an amateur. This is about as aggressive on the matter as I wish to be on this board before dropping off the list. Its sounds to me as though you no longer regard the 127 Starfire as worthy of a wanna be serious astronomy buff and that investing into the latest best add on components for the 127 a waste of time & resources. I'll put it out in the trash for p/u next week. -Best, Robert
On 09/25/2020 9:04 AM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:



For sure, the later series of AP scopes that use the low dispersion glasses are better suited to serious imaging,
You can do narrowband imaging with the older scopes and you will get the same results as you would with the latest high tech "low dispersion" refractors. You can also do RGB wide band imaging and you will not see much if any difference. Using one shot color cameras, you will see a difference.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: deitzelj via groups.io <deitzelj@...>
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Sep 25, 2020 9:09 am
Subject: Re: [ap-ug] 1989 127mm Starfire

Thank you Robert.   I am a very casual imager, and there are MUCH more accomplished folks that post here.  I do this to have fun and don't worry too much about perfection, just learning a bit more each time I go out.  I have added some more images to my gallery here that I have collected over the years with this scope.  All of it was done with short, unguided exposures.  For larger objects, like the full moon, or M42, I used an inexpensive 0.5X focal reducer.  For the full moon, you will see just a hint of red around the edge.  I have verified that is due to the focal reducer, NOT the scope. You can see this in the other lunar images take at prime focus.  The DSO images were taken with a Mallincam Universe camera, as was the full Moon.  The images span a decade of my fooling around so some of them are better than others.  They have all been cropped so the field curvature effects are not as evident.  One of these days I will get around to getting the AP flattener/reducer for this scope.   

For sure, the later series of AP scopes that use the low dispersion glasses are better suited to serious imaging, as is evidenced by all the wonderful pictures shown here by others.  But if you HAVE one of these older scopes and are curious about trying your hand at taking images, there is no reason not to, in my opinion.  I am having a lot of fun.  To be honest, as far I can tell, the results I get with respect to false color around bright stars are pretty much similar to my 4 inch ED doublet(TV102) or my economy ED Triplet(AT 80 EDT), if not a little better.   I would consult directly with Roland and others here as to what camera, focal reducer etc.. would best suit what you have.  I have basically just used what I have in hand, or what caught my interest at the time.  Not a whole lot of planning was done.   

My favorite use of this particular scope though is still visual.  It is kind of special.  There is a level of contrast that is just not present in my other scopes.   There is a collector component to my scope buying and I really enjoy the fact that this scope represents a snapshot in time of the evolution of the modern refractor.  

Cheers!

JMD