For Sale - Pristine Astro-Physics 6" f/8
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This is your opportunity to own a legendary Astro-Physics apochromatic refractor!

16" f/5 Dobsonian (home-built with ATM Magazine guidance) and the Astro-Physics 6" f/8 on Byers 812 mount


Click to enlargeThis rare 6" f/8 Astro-Physics telescope is from the original  NASA series, as discussed by Thomas Beck on the TMB Optical site. Until now, I didn't know of its unique history or its use of NASA's exceptional abnormal dispersion flint glass. However, this explains its uncanny performance, year after year.

I've owned this scope since 1986, just before the AP 6" f/9 and 6" f/12 appeared on the market. I've seen Comets Hayakutake and Hale-Bopp through it, timed the occultation of 28 Sagittarius by Saturn (noted in Sky and Telescope), witnessed the effects of the Comet Shoemaker/Levy's impact on Jupiter, imaged webcam stacks of the moon, viewed numerous lunar eclipses, and spent countless hours exploring the skies.

I have carefully maintained this fine telescope for nearly a quarter of a century, and the care I've shown it is evident in the images below. There are a few scratches, but very few. They are all on one side of the tube, the result of placing the telescope into its rings time after time. The arrival of my daughter in 1991 brought about two particular scratches - the result of my attention to her over the telescope when she was just a month old. For me, those scratches have fond memories.

Stacked webcam images taken through the Astro-Physics 6" f/8

I thought about how to describe the telescope's performance, but there's no way a seller can be viewed as impartial. Instead, let me recommend that you read about the Astro-Physics 6" f/8 in this review by Ed Moreno. I'm not selling Ed's excellent "Buffy"-scope here... this is my own telescope of exactly the same specifications, in mint condition. You won't need to do anything to ready this scope for use: you will feel like you are opening a brand new AP! Ed's review gives you an idea of how stunning the views can be. But you don't need to refinish this telescope like he did, nor are there scratches on the optics. This one is almost perfect.

The telescope's condition isn't random. I was raised to take care of the things I own, and was told "If you're going to do something, do it well!" I recently sold a vintage Sako rifle used for extremely accurate benchrest target shooting. The buyer wrote me back to say: "WOW! It is everything I hoped for. It will be taken care of in the same manner as you have taken care of it." (Irwin S.) I have a number of rare HO-scale model railraoding items for sale, also in perfect condition. You can be assured this telescope will meet your highest expectations.

The telescope is mounted on a Byers 812, an early-80's vintage equatorial mount. Using a segment gear of large diameter to achieve precise tracking in a compact size, the 812 set the standard for mounts at the time. You'll want a big mount like this to hold the AP6! A rock-steady mount contributes to the incredible image quality this scope can deliver. While the Byers 812 was designed with larger telescopes n mind, I've never regretted having such a stable mount for the AP refractor.

The Byers 812 is NOT a GoTo mount. We didn't have PCs when it came out! It's a precision-crafted German equatorial that tracks precisely with basic equipment. It doesn't have setting circles, though. I'm a star-hopper from way back when. When I sold my C-14 to get the AP6 / B-812 and Parks 16" mirror blank, I found I no longer needed the setting circles. I got more familiar with the sky by star-hopping, and found objects unexpectedly while moving between locations. You might, too!

This is a mechanical device. It's not like an Imsai, Altair or SWTP (the computers of the day). It is still as solid and accurate as ever, and its processing speed compared to the newer mounts hasn't changed one iota.  :)

You can have it for only $250 with the AP6! Why not take it, too??? You should probably replace the synchronous motor, and you will need to replace its custom DIN connectors with something appropriate for your guiding system. But, you can jump up and down on this mount and it will settle down in less than a second.

Old-timers might recognize the mount: I bought it from Kim Zussman, eminent astrophotographer of the day. If you don't know of him, you probably know of Tony Hallas. I remember when Tony and Daphne's first pix came out, captioned Tony Hallas and Daphne Mount (all of them). Searching around the web, I found this tribute to Kim Zussman on SBIG's site awarding Tony for his work with their products: "I was inspired by David Malin (along with everyone else) and I had the good fortune to have Kim Zussman and Martin Germano in my club ... they helped me get started". I bought this mount in particular because I'd seen Kim's photos published numerous times. I knew how accurate it was from my own review.

This telescope and mount are the stuff of legend - almost one-of-a-kind. They will please you for years and years, and most likely you'll then sell them for more than you paid. I suspect Astro-Physics will STILL have a waiting list at that time, just like they did when I bought it!


Comet Hale-Bopp     (Hasselblad 500C/M with 250 Sonnar lens)


Purchasing the Telescope

I sell a software product for designing model railroads: 3rd PlanIt. Because of this, I can accept VISA, MC, Discover and AMEX for payment. I will also accept cash or interbank transfers. I'm sorry, but because of today's rampant fraud, I do not accept cashier's checks or money orders.

Telescopes are fragile and heavy!!! If possible, you should take delivery yourself in Davis, California. Shipment and packing can get expensive for this oversize package, and (like eBay), I require full insurance for products purchased from me. Price of shipment is NOT included in the purchase price. If you want the telescope shipped, you will need to pay a $100 packaging/shipping fee at the time of purchase, in addition to the purchase price. You will be responsible for any costs in excess of $100, and if the cost of shipment is less, your credit card will be refunded the difference.

The telescope is being sold "AS IS". I believe it is in near-mint condition, and represent this to you by way of the photographs below. I have shown every defect of which I am aware. There are few, and even those are only visible upon close examination. I will be happy to take specific images at your request. The telescope comes in its original carry-case, although the foam has deteriorated over the years and needs to be replaced. The photographs of the moon are representative of the telescope's excellent performance, but they in no way approach the level of detail, contrast and clarity found at the eyepiece.

While this telescope commands the attention of those around you, even more, it commands your attention as observer. For almost 25 years, it has delighted, awed and thrilled me. I now offer this fine telescope to you.

Available immediately for $4000
or best offer over $2500 received before 10:58:31 AM on 30 June 2010



Please click any image to see it in full scale. I have reviewed the images to make sure all the marks I found on the telescope are visible in the images. All photos taken 15 June 2010 (Nikon D300).

360 view - note orientation of focuser

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This image shows all known defects

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These 3 images highlight the defects (tube not rotated)

They are tiny, and you can see them all in one view. Four or five scratches, two bumps, and one slightly depressed area can be found. They are visible in the high magnification views visible by clicking an image.

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The Best Part - The Optics

The camera was focused first on the telescope and then on the image reflected in the telescope's objective lens. No defects of any kind are evident in these images or upon visual examination.

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Other personal astronomy images