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November 27th Meeting - Vintage Refractors


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Thursday 27th November 2014 (6:30-8:30pm): Speaker Phil Jaworek from the East Midlands Stargazers talking about Vintage refracting telescopes.



  • What is a Vintage Refractor
  • Brief history of the achromatic refractor – including description of Chromatic Aberration and focal length and their relationship in refractor design
  • Brief description of the Apochromatic Refractor
  • Advantages and disadvantages of the achromat
  • Achromats old and new – a few examples of famous (and not so famous) makes from the past 100 years including some of my own examples.
  • Accessories – eyepieces etc to match the vintage scope
  • What place does the achromat have in modern amateur astronomy – modern classic style achromats
  • What to look for in a vintage/classic scope
  • Where to buy and what to pay
  • Where to get info plus some interesting reading

Refreshments will be available from 6:15pm. All welcome, under 16′s must be accompanied by an adult. Free for members, non members are welcome for a suggested donation of £2 towards refreshments etc.


After the talk there will be opportunity for some observing if clear, if not there will be another shorter talk by Mr Perkins on topical subject matter.


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Gonna try to make this but if I can't I want full feedback, maybe we could entice Phil over to Ilkeston one night.

A cuppa tea a warm room and a few folks to extoll the virtues of long refractors to is all I require :D

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I managed to make this one, and I am pleased I did, an excellent talk by Phil, our curator of shiny brass things.

Everyday is a school day eh! :)

Edited by BAZ
Rubbish spelling.
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Very informative talk. Enjoyed the history. Thanks Phil! Yet another type of scope on my wishlist :whistle: (Maybe?!)


Some good history in there and some things to look out for at car boots and stuff. Notthat I will remember al the names of the best quality bits of glass! I'd also not picked up on the Telementor being a Zeiss scope before. My partners German and her parents were science teachers. I love the fact that Zeiss made Telementor for education purposes. Was in Germany last summer and visited a friend of my other half's who is a lecturer at the University in Jena, East Germany. That may mean something to some of you? I'll post a few pictures at some point in the Images section :)


A good night, thanks to all



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Yet again it was another cloudy night but that did not stop yet another good turnout of members with a few new faces too.


Phil gave a very interesting talk on vintage refracting telescopes. Starting with an quick explanation of how they work and the basic terms used to describe them such as focal lengths and ratios. There was a detailed walk through of the development from the very first refractors through to the modern APO's of today, with an explanation of how lenses developed from a simple single lens through to multiple and later coated multiple lens combinations.


It is obvious that Phil has owned a good number of these works of art over the years and his enthusiasm was very well received and reciprocated by the audience. Phil gave some advice on what to look for in buying a vintage refractor and also gave some good book recommendations. 


The lunar sketching / imaging competition was then judged by Phil, an experienced and knowledgeable lunar imager himself, from a number of entries received despite the bad weather of late. The winner was ex GCSE Astronomy, now sixth form student Vaughn, who won a Philips Moon Map donated by Mr Perkins. 


Mr Perkins then gave a very brief recap of some of the latest developments with the ESA Rosetta mission and reminded members that the NASA Orion mission launches next Thursday (4th Dec). This will be streamed live via the internet on www.NASA.gov and by clicking on the NASA TV link. The Orion mission looks set to be another huge landmark space program in beyond Earth orbit manned missions.


Our next meeting will be the Christmas Quiz on Wednesday 17th December at 6:30pm. All welcome for mince pies and, if last year was anything to go by, fun and laughs.

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Disappointed I couldn't make it, flaming kids!!

Steve, I usually have my Telementor 2 in the boot when I'm at dark sites, it's my grab and go, your welcome to have a play with it next time we're out.

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