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Which Ussr/Russian Scope to choose?

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Old Wednesday 10th October 2018, 19:07   #1
masterminduk7
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Which Ussr/Russian Scope to choose?

Hi Friends,

I have looked 2 Soviet Monocular on internet and I want to buy one of them. But I am not sure which one is more better and gives more clear view. These are Zenica ZT 8-24X40M and LZOS 33T 20x50. Pictures of both are attached. Can anyone tell me, out of these two, which one is more better, gives sharp image and has long viewing distance?

Thanks
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Old Wednesday 10th October 2018, 21:54   #2
Binastro
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Welcome.

They are different.
The 20x50 usually has high central resolution, but a small field for birdwatchers.
And not so good edges.
A friend uses it for sunspots with the correct safe solar filter
I have paid as little as 12 for one in excellent condition.
It can be used in its plastic? case with a part removed in poor weather.

The 8-24x40 is also a good scope, but typically Russian.

I don't know if the quality has been maintained for recent scopes, but they were both good in the past.

I got a 60mm Russian scope with weird gold speckled finish which has awful false colour.
To be avoided.

There are also high resolution 66mm and 70mm Russian scopes but again old fashioned with very long close focus distances.

If cheap enough both the ones asked about could be bought.

P.S.
If you are able, could you ask Stuttgart University what the official naked eye resolution tests were for Veronica Seider in October 1972?
High contrast Snellen visual acuity or other measure?

Also what was the faintest artificial star she could glimpse?

Last edited by Binastro : Wednesday 10th October 2018 at 22:04.
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Old Wednesday 10th October 2018, 22:36   #3
masterminduk7
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Ok. These both spotting scopes are old Soviet models. But I was confused which one to buy. So you recommend both? What do you think which one can give clear and sharp image? Seller say that both are in good condition.
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Old Wednesday 10th October 2018, 22:50   #4
Binastro
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Because the 20x50 is simpler and larger aperture, and usually cheaper, I would go for that for distant views.
It depends what you use them for.
If the scopes are Soviet, the quality should be good.
Make sure that there is no internal fungus or moisture deposit on internal surfaces.
The 20x50 drawtube flops around a bit, but this doesn't seem to matter.

I actually use a secondhand Kowa 20x50 TS-502 in very good condition.
It cost about 50 and is Made in Japan.
It is lightweight and has a measured 2.88 degree field.
I use it hand held, braced where possible.

But I also have the two scopes you mention.
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Old Wednesday 10th October 2018, 22:55   #5
masterminduk7
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ok. Thanks a lot for giving value able information. I have 2 more question please as you both have used.

1) The Zenica ZT 8-24X40M has the zoom ability. Does it zoom well? And what about LZOS 33T 20x50. Does it also has the zoom ability?

2) Which one has the long viewing distance?

According to seller, both have no fungus and clear lens.
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Old Wednesday 10th October 2018, 23:06   #6
Binastro
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So far as I remember the 8-24x40 zooms well, but it is late now, and I would have to find it and try it.

The 20x50 is a fixed magnification and doesn't zoom. One pulls the drawtube out to focus. The eyepiece may also rotate.
Again I'll have to try it, as I haven't used either recently.

There are also smaller versions, maybe zoom 32mm? and 10x30 drawtube. Possibly others also, I cannot remember.

As to the long views. Well both will show detail on the Moon and Jupiter's moons, so it depends what one means.
Because the 8-24x40 has a higher magnification and smaller aperture, it may actually resolve better at 24x on a bright Moon, than the 20x50.
However, usually the dimmer image will probably show less with the 8-24x40.
If one has cataracts then the small exit pupil may affect the image, but with clear eyes, the 1.6mm and 2mm exit pupil is no problem.
I often use 0.7mm exit pupils, sometimes smaller.

They are different.

Last edited by Binastro : Wednesday 10th October 2018 at 23:14.
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Old Wednesday 10th October 2018, 23:11   #7
masterminduk7
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I think I will go for zooming one. If it zoom well, then I will buy this. Do you think it can work up to distance of 1000 meters?

Regarding your question about "official naked eye resolution tests were for Veronica Seider in October 1972", which department can give the answer? I myself do not go in Stuttgart university but a friend of mine studying there. he may be able to ask.
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Old Wednesday 10th October 2018, 23:23   #8
Binastro
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Yes, it will work at 1000 meters.
The only important thing is the atmosphere and Seeing.
Steady temperatures are best over water or grass, not asphalt, not concrete, not buildings.
Spring and autumn are best.
The image will be dim unless the sun is shining behind you.

Never look at the Sun with any optical instrument.

I observe through double glazing, but it must be good optical quality simple float glass.

Of course an 80mm scope is better, but much bigger and heavier.
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Old Thursday 11th October 2018, 00:31   #9
etudiant
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A good zoom is more difficult to make than a single power, so the 20x50 may offer a sharper image than the zoom.
Against that is the convenience of the zoom, it allow the user to scan at low power and zoom in to items of interest.
Can you try both? If so, pick the one that you like best, it is the only reliable solution.
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Old Thursday 11th October 2018, 10:18   #10
Binastro
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Regarding the testing of Veronica Seider's vision in October 1972 at Stuttgart university.

I don't know which department.
Maybe the physics department, or the opthalmic department if there was one.
A department interested in the eye and vision.
It may be that no one present at the test is still at the university, but there will be records as it was an important test.
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Old Thursday 11th October 2018, 16:02   #11
Binastro
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As to viewing at a long distance.
It might be difficult to identify or even see a sparrow at 1000 metres, but an eagle or buzzard should be no trouble.
I spot buzzards about 600 metres away with just my eyes and distance spectacles.

For long distances with either scope how about the galaxy M81?
It should be visible in a dark sky.
It is about 10 to the 20th power kms away. About 12 million light years.
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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 17:25   #12
Binastro
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Just tried the Turist P? cyrillic markings.
8x-20x x32.
Made in USSR.

All Black. As new including paper wrapper.

At 120m distance the resolution is very good at all magnifications.
The focus doesn't change with zoom.
Field roughly 5 degrees at 8x.
Zooming by rotating inner ribbed ring. Fairly stiff, but smooth action, but more or less unused since new.

Focus by rear longer ribbed ring.

The exit pupil is small at 20x, but I haven't measured it. Maybe 1.6mm?

Multicoated front surface of cemented objective.
Most other surfaces seem to be uncoated?
(There may be one or two internal multicoated surfaces also).
Despite this contrast is good.

Emblem rounded triangle in circle with C inside it. White on black.
Externally mostly matte black with small amount of shiny black.
Hard eyecup.

At least 2 knife edge internal stops.
Ribbed matte black internal paint.

Weight 364g. Just scope.
Case 114g extra.
Total 478g.

In black plastic case with removable rear tab for use in poor weather, or for speed of use.

Very nice really.

From memory the 8x-24x40 is similar.

However, the Zenica 8x-24x40 shown above has a different finish in leather and different markings.
Its case is soft rather than the hard plastic of this 8x-20x32.

I can't remember what my 8x-24x40 looks like externally.
I am also not sure if they are from the same factory.

Last edited by Binastro : Friday 12th October 2018 at 17:49.
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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 20:46   #13
masterminduk7
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hi, Thanks for your message. You know lot of technical details about telescope but i am not that informative. I think yours is this one, see in the attached image. Can you please tell me what to see when to buy telescope with zoom function? I mean what factors should be checked? And in your view, which is the best zooming telescope?
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Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 16:57   #14
Binastro
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Yes, that is the small scope I tested above.
I probably got the 32mm and 40mm zoom scopes twenty or thirty years ago and haven't found the 40mm yet.
I presume that you want to buy one of the USSR scopes because of cost.

The 20x50 Kowa straight scope is much brighter than the 8x-20x32 on a dull day and considerably brighter in full sunshine. In fact the Kowa needs a neutral density filter in bright sunshine.
The Kowa has false colour, the 8x-20x32 less so. The Kowa weighs about the same as the 8x-20x32. The Kowa is shorter anf for me steadier hand held.
I also use an Opticron MM2 13x-39x52 angled eyepiece hand held or braced. This cost about 70.
For 20x and above one needs a tripod, which is additional cost.

Scopes cost up to 4,000, so one has to mention cost before asking which is best.
There is actually no best, only preferences.

Many scopes have interchangeable eyepieces.
Zoom eyepieces usually have smaller fields of view at any particular magnification compared to a fixed magnification eyepiece.

So firstly, how much does one want to pay?
What does one want to look at?
Near or far?
Does one wear glasses etc.?
Where is one observing, over water, fields, houses etc?

The exit pupil, the small circle behind the eyepiece determines how bright the image is.
It depends on the size of the eyes pupil, which typically varies from 2mm to 7mm or 8mm at night in young people.

For far viewing, of the two USSR mentioned I would go with the 20x50 as it is brighter at 20x.
Besides spotting scopes and monoculars there are astro scopes that are usually better than the others for long distances, but not waterproof and not rugged.
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Old Monday 15th October 2018, 20:29   #15
Binastro
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As to a low priced scope for viewing at 1000 metres.

I would think that the Fieldmaster A90 30x-90x90 refractor spotting scope at 129 must be good value.
It probably has a lot of false colour.
It says it is also waterproof.
For a 90mm aperture scope the price seems very reasonable.

I am not sure if it has a small table tripod, but a full size tripod would be better.
Quite a few suitable tripods are listed on Optical Vision Ltd site.
But any good heavy duty tripod should work.

I am not sure if anybody here has reviewed this scope.

Last edited by Binastro : Monday 15th October 2018 at 21:16.
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Old Monday 15th October 2018, 23:47   #16
Sancho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masterminduk7 View Post
I think I will go for zooming one. .
I have the Zenica/Zenith 8-24x40 scope. I think mine is a post-Soviet one, but I'm not sure. It is surprisingly good, although it is no Nikon ED50. But it is very handy for casual use, small and light, and braced against a tree or propped on a wall, give good (but narrow) views up to about 20x. The rubber eyecup fell off mine and I can't put it back on, so I fashioned one with a bit of bicycle inner-tube...very comfortable, and infinitely adjustable within its range...you just roll it up or down to suit. I think I paid about 50 euro for mine, obviously second-hand. Although it must be over twenty years old, and not waterproof, the lenses are clear and there is no fungus. I can't help you with the other scope, I've never seen one.
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Old Tuesday 16th October 2018, 19:36   #17
Binastro
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Helios Telescope imported by TOE Telescope and Optical equipment.
HELIOS 20xTELESCOPE.
Dioptre adjustment -7 to +15
FOV 2 degrees
35.6 at 1000m
Weight 550gm
Length 385 to 540mm.
Width 39mm.

Diagram.
Cemented doublet objective.
Single lens just in front of focus then two doublets possibly cemented giving a 5 element erector system.
Then 4 element Plossl eyepiece.

Single blue coat on cemented doublet objective.
One. maybe two multicoated surfaces in eyepiece. Mostly uncoated lens surfaces.

The Kowa TS-502 20x50 is considerably brighter and whiter. The Soviet scope has a yellow tinge?
The Soviet scope has no, or almost no, false colour, the Kowa some.
The Kowa is half the size and plastic, the Soviet scope all metal.
The sliding metal hood is accurate, and I just saw has the previous owners address label inside, two labels in great condition.
I think that this scope cost 12 plus postage and is mint.
Complete with box, outer green Helios sleeve etc.
Grey paint. Black hood and eyepiece.
Very black internally, however, at the rear quite a bit shiny?
Central resolution is very good, maybe excellent.

The strange thing is that the hood does not say Turist, as this is sold as Helios.
It says 33T20x50.
Made in USSR.
I think TOE must have imported a lot of these.
They will probably last another hundred years plus.

But the Kowa is much more practical. Much smaller, much lighter, much larger field and brighter.

I also have the 10x30 Turist baby brother which is tiny in comparison.

And the weird and uncommon telescope lens converter, which is the back end of the Turist and enormously long. About ten times the size of the Japanese monocular converters.

Last edited by Binastro : Tuesday 16th October 2018 at 19:51.
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Old Tuesday 16th October 2018, 21:33   #18
Binastro
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Re. post 17.

The cyrillic letters on the large label on the top of the inner box have me beaten.
I need someone to read it for me.

The external width at the lens hood front is 60.5mm. Perhaps the 39mm width is at the centre of gravity.
The lengths in the last post are correct with extended lens hood and collapsed.

There seem to be 12 air to glass surfaces of which 3 are coated.
The lens just in front of the objective focal point seems to be positive, reducing the objective focal length slightly.
The erector lens doublets seem to be approximately mirror images as are the doublets in the eyepiece.

An old fashioned design.

The telescope is well made.
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Old Wednesday 17th October 2018, 15:44   #19
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Don't believe what is written on the box. Post 17.

I took the precaution of weighing the Russian scope.
Because the discrepancy was so great, I got the calibrated weights and calibrated the scale.

So same time, place, temperature, battery voltage and position.

20x50 Turist 610g (610.2g).

Kowa TS-502 20x50 377g (377.4g).

It clearly states on the box that the Helios (Turist) scope weighs 550 grams. It doesn't, and is more than 10% heavier.

Russian scopes are often heavy and over engineered, if somewhat primitive or basic.
The Tal 100mm f/10 refractor, Tal 4.5 inch and 6 inch Newtonians and Russian Maksutovs are heavy.
But they are rugged, have high quality optics and last a long time. They are well regarded.


However, the Russian 20x50 is about 62% heavier than the Kowa 20x50.
The Russian 20x50 may have a transmission of about 63% and the Kowa maybe 85%. I don't know if anybody has measured these.
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Old Friday 19th October 2018, 18:52   #20
masterminduk7
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hi Guys,

Thanks for your replies. You really all have lot of information. Finally I have bought Russian Zenica 8x24x40M. I received it yesterday and its lenses are very clear. I think it was built in late 80"s or early 90's.

It is in a good condition but one thing is missing and that is it's eye cover. Can you tell, is there any possibility that i can buy its eye cover? if yes, then from where. I can't find it on ebay. Please let me know.
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Old Friday 19th October 2018, 21:07   #21
Binastro
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Probably best to find a plastic cover from a household bottle or maybe the caps from an astro eyepiece.
The front caps are usually 31.7mm or a bit larger, the rear varies.

Or possibly the cap from an old camera lens.

I suppose it could be 3D printed.

What size is needed?

See Post 16, if the eyecup is missing, not the eye cap.

Last edited by Binastro : Friday 19th October 2018 at 21:14.
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