Criterion RV-6 Dynascope


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Criterion RV-6 Dynascope
I grew up with this scope -- I can't rate the drive because I generally used it as a lopsided alt-azimuth scope rather than lining it up with polaris. I got a lot of experience with this scope growing up -- good views of deep space objects and planets. After sitting in a basement for many years, I was able to get a decent trade-in value for it. The rack and pinion focuser didn't hold up that well -- I had to improvise to keep it functioning. While I didn't know how to do star tests then, I don't remember seeing diffraction rings with out of focus stars (though I wouldn't have paid great attention.) Perhaps the mirror was a dog biscuit. I do remember getting good views with it.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.46.179)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39482


Criterion RV-6 Dynascope
I recieved my RV-6 as a gift from my folks in 1977. I grew up with this scope and still have it today, the optics when properly aligned give tack sharp images with very good contrast. At X400 which is excesive for this aperture, Jupiter and Saturn remained sharp. Lower quality optics would have their images fall apart. Though the images suffered a little as far as brightness went, the views were sharp. Doing deep sky work, the telescope performed quite well, the optics for the price, at that time UNDER $250.00, gives some of todays high end telescopes quite a run for the money, and as far as performance goes, most of todays garden variety Newtonians can't compete.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.195.43)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39483


Criterion RV-6 Dynascope
Great optical performance. Perfect star test. Excellent contrast and brightness. Mount and tracking only fair. One of the all time great buys when it was available.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.195.23)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39484


Criterion RV-6 Dynascope
Considering the price in the early 1960's ($200), this is the best instrument I ever owned. It has traveled the world with me (Japan, Taiwan, Viet-nam, Europe) and even today, with scratched primary, broken spider and a hole in the bakelite tube, it still gives excellent images at medium power (up to 250x).

I only wish today's manufacturer's used the same quality at the RV-6.

Only negative is in the clock drive. It is terribly undersized for the scope and needs constant attention.

I would rate this a 9++++ if I could, but I can not warrant a 10.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.205.24)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39485


Criterion RV-6 Dynascope
This is a so called legend. I love my RV-6 even though I have much larger scopes. It is the all time best value in telescope optics. I have seen more than a dozen of them and when they are collimated, watch out. It holds it's own with telescopes 4 to 5 times it's current price range of between $450 and $500 (used). Nice clean star and planetary images. A real Winner. The focuser is the weak point but considering the optics and the price, well it is a 10.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.221.111)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39486


Criterion RV-6 Dynascope
I spent over 25 years with the RV-6. The price was just amazing. It was built like a Sherman Tank. I mounted it in a roll-off observatory where I did a lot of observing in all kinds of weather/temperature conditions. The optics held up amazingly well over the years. It was not a portable scope, of course, but came apart easily for moving to and from a site. The star tests were very good. It produced some great images of Jupiter and Saturn. Nebula, star clusters and faint objects produced equally good images with accurate colors and good contrast. Resolution was far ahead of its time. For this price, this scope must be considered one of the all-time best Newtonians... I still use the eyepieces to this day (after 35 years) with my new scopes. The RV-6 is a legend to me that in some ways has never been surpassed.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.141.18)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39487


Criterion RV-6 Dynascope
This was my first scope (1974) and I never got much use of it then. I used it for about a year and saw a fabulous view of Saturn that would knock your socks off. As I moved on to college and then out-of-state it stayed behind in my Mom's house. She threatened to sell it a few times but never got around to it. The astro bug hit me again (25 years later) and I now have an ETX-90 and Ultima 2000 8" SCT. I talked my sister into shipping me (from WI to TX) the old RV-6 and my Mom even found the original boxes! I expected a box full of glass pieces or a transparent mirror... Nope, it was great! Stars were pinpoints and saturn was as pretty as I remembered. Its planet photos are easily as good as the Ultima 8" at the same magnification. I'd give it a 10 but the mount is just too cheap. I'm keeping it but I'll have to upgrade the mount.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.106.143)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39491


Criterion RV-6 Dynascope
My first scope was an RV-6;MY secd. one a C-8; sold the C-8 and went back to a 1960's model RV-6. Optics are excellent!! Star images show nearly perfect
diffraction rings inside and outside of focus.
I have seen this one and many other RV-6's give far superior detailed images
of the moon,planets,and deep sky objects on a side by side comparison with other scopes 8 and 10inches in dia. The objects where a little brighter in the
larger scopes,esp.on deep sky objects,but the RV-6 still gave a sharper and clearer image.All scopes where checked for collimation before viewing and two
eyepiece's where interchanged between the scopes: A 7.5mm Tele-vue plossal for the moon and planets; and a 25mm erfle for deep sky objects.


My clock drive works and tracks well enough that an object will stay in the
field of view for hours, providing I have taken the time set the scope to the
North Celestial Pole for dec. and r.a.. I have tweeked the worm gear a bit to reduce the "play" in it but not so much as to cause the gear to bind up and strip the gears in the motor.

The mount is OK, but I use rubber pads under each tripod foot to reduce vibration and filled the steel pipe 1/3 to 1/2 of the way up with cement
for more stability.

If you are lucky enough to find one of these classic scope's take the time to check it out and then consider buying it!

Clear Skies R. Little 9/15/00.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.43.75)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39492


Criterion RV-6 Dynascope
Had mine sincw 1970 or so and it still works fine. Is a little dust right now.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.196.127)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39495


Criterion RV-6 Dynascope
10/28/00 I just picked up this old dusty scope from a pawn shop; once cleaned up, the optics were still perfect and star test looks really good; Jupiter and Saturn are spectacular. Drive is fair; looks 20-30 years old. Best $150 I ever spent!!!

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.198.59)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39496


Criterion RV-6 Dynascope
I bought my RV6 with an optional erfle eyepiece for only $210 in the late sixties. This is the best optical purchase I've ever made with the possible
exception of my $50.00 4" Dynascope purchased in 1954 as a youngster. I still use both scopes today. Planetary images in the RV6 are great, deep-sky objects are a tad dark when viewed with the eyepieces supplied with the scope. More modern, coated eyepieces give brighter views. Star testing over the years show a consistently acceptable diffraction ring pattern. The motor tracks very well if the scope is properly polar aligned, great for viewing at high power, even photography. The mount is quite stable for a portable unit. My only complaint is its declination circle is coarsely divided (two-degree divisions), even so I can readily find objects by using the "offsetting from a known star" method via setting circles. The RV6 can be accurately polar aligned in less than three minutes!

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.22.37)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39497


Criterion RV-6 Dynascope
I purchased my RV-6 in the sixties and built a small observatory around it in my parents backyard. The supplied eyepieces (Achromatic Ramsden and very short eye relief Orthoscopics) are not very good and I replaced them with a set of Brandons. The optics are excellent and on nights with steady air the classic star diffraction pattern is easily seen. On brighter star the diffraction spikes (from the 4 vane spider holding the diagonal mirror)are noticable. I have seen lots of detail on Jupiter and the shadows of its moons on the planet's surface.
The equatorial mount that comes with this scope is only of average quality. It has a clock drive (120VAC) and I added the optional slow motion on the declination axis. But this is consderable play in both axes and slop in the worm drive gears. The focuser was also of average quality with rack teeth cut into the side of the focusing tube and a brass draw tube inside that. I eventually replaced it with a crayford design focuser.
The RV-6 makes an excellent second telescope (beyond begineer).

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.199.178)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39498


Criterion RV-6 Dynascope
I owned one of these when I was 16. That was in 1968. What a great optical instrument in its day, or even today. I enjoyed it thoroughly. If you can find one in good shape, and you can get the mirror re-aluminized, buy it!

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.64.125)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39499


Criterion RV-6 Dynascope
I owned an RV6 from about 1964 until 1997 when I passed it along to my son.
It always imaged with near textbook perfection, even at higher magnifications.
The drive tracks well for visual purposes to this day, and the mount was quite
steady except on windy days. I wish Criterion had made a 10". I would never
have "upgraded" to my Meade Starfinder Equatorial.

Floie Barrows
amateurastronomer@starmail.com

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.4.35)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39500


Criterion RV-6 Dynascope
An obvious 10 rating - the mount is tremendous (about 5X the mount that you get on current Celestron/Meade products costing $1,000 plus - in weight, stability, and quality), the optics can't be touched - it is a totally perfect package. Mine tracks pretty much 60 minutes to the hour (the RA motor drive). If you can find a good used one (no new one's out there!!!!) - buy it! The focuser is the weakest part but still very usable and not a real problem - it is just that there is no set screw or other mechanical means to secure the ep in the focuser so you have to make sure you don't let ep fall out when you move the scope.

Here are my notes from recent November 2001 observing session at dark sky site of local Louisville Astronomical Society. This was second night out with the scope after purchasing it from the person who runs the Yahoo discussion/ message board and the Criterion Dynascope Web site. He restored this one to perfection.

Went to dark sky property with LAS tonight. Let's see...,,,

1) Put a laser collimator in ep - I don't know how they work but one
of guys in LAS that owned it said my scope was about 95% in
collimation and no real need to fool with it this evening. How's that
after shipping it UPS!!!
2) Lot's of folks were interested in this treasure. They found it
interesting. Several guys liked the views of this scope better than
the 8" SCT's.
3) Bagged lot's of DSO I never could find with the Celestron G-8 probably due to
different f/ratios. Tonight I logged:
* M92 globular cluster - awesome and a glittering little jewel.
* Ring Nebulae. Much better image than in the G-8. Could see dark
area within ring and faint glimpse of central star. Was very large
(larger than Jupiter) in 10mm ep.
* Saturn. Glimpse of Cassini but planet was low in light
polluted area of the property. Best view was with 17mm ep.
* Dumbbell nebulae. Awesome awesome awesome. Very clear and
bright. Looks like pics in books minus the colors. Bigger than I
thought it would be.
* M2 Globular cluster. Not as easy to resolve stars but still a
jewel. I think I like globular clusters the best of all DSO.
* Jupiter. 2 bands, clearer than last night - moons in slightly
different positions tonight. Spectacular.
* Orion nebulae. Again awesome - 25 mm ep was way cool - so
bright and well defined. Could resolve 4 star trapezium easily

I am just amazed at how easy the mount is to use - so intuitive. So
much easier than the Celestron G-8 and so easy (well, easy is relative) to find
objects. I wish my little wife handled this well. I love it (her, too)!!!

So....if you can find a good one - buy her right away!!! Same with a woman!!!!

- Mark in Louisville KY

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.125.157)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39501


Criterion RV-6 Dynascope
I bought my RV-6 in 1977 for $229 (as advertised in Astronomy magazine). I've always been impressed with the optical performance of this scope. Time and 3 moves have worn the old girl down: the focuser, finder, GEM, and tube have all been replaced. (our ex-cat knocked it over 10 years ago and busted the tube) The mount was sturdy but the drive was less than perfect having a large periodic tracking error inherent with small worm gears. I wish they still made them!

Ed

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.125.52)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39502


Criterion RV-6 Dynascope
I purchased mine in 1972 and it still works. The tube needs replacement, the drive could be refurbishing or replacement, and the mirror recoated (although it still performs well), but I feel fixing these items will be a much better investment than a Maksutov or similar short focal length scope for near 10x the cost. The mount has always been a teeny bit sloppy. Taking the necessary time to balance the tube properly will eliminate this . The setting circles when aligned correctly will rarely put the desired object in view even with a low magnification eyepiece (20 mm or more). The finder tends to come out of collimation at times if you are not tight enough with the set screws and the finder tube then gets scratched or indented by the screws. I have never had trouble with an eyepiece falling out of the holder. To be safe, I crimped the holder a bit more. Mine has slots cut out in it just for this purpose. Images have always been flat out to edges and well defined even at high magnification (150 - 200x). Overall, the $150 I spent has been paid for over and over again with a scope that has stood the test of time.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Mount:8 Ease of Use:9 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.6.242)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=53379


Criterion RV-6 Dynascope
This is my second rv6 in 25yrs. first one bought new fr criterion in 1976. sold when i got the 8' sc bug. sold the c-8 !

I now own a 1960's model rv6 paid $100.00 for it!! had mirror's recoated by QSP OPTICAL TECH. with 98 and 96 percent coatings. I have seen this scope
as well as my first rv6 out perform larger
sc's and newt's over the past 25yr.s.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Mount:6 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 10 (Trustworthy Vote)
Date:
By: blueangel
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=75600


Criterion RV-6 Dynascope
I have seen the best views of Saturn of any 6" aperature with an RV-6. excellent optics/OTA

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Mount:9 Ease of Use:8 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.195.27)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=155985


Criterion RV-6 Dynascope
I purchased the Dynascope RV-6 Dynascope in the 1960's and if I recall correctly I paid $199 for it. I have to say that the RV-6 was a superb optical instrument, period! When I showed my wife a view of Saturn through the scope, she thought I was kidding her and had slipped in a slide picture. The moon and planets just snapped into focus with clear bright sharp images. The Orion nebula showed the trapezium and nebulosity with excellent detail. The only drawback of the telescope was when attempting to take long exposure photographs. The worm gear of the drive had a periodic error rate that made the images slew. I made the mistake of selling the scope to my friend and neighbor when I moved on to a Celestron Powerstar 8 SCT. A few years ago we sent the primary mirror out for a recoating and my friend is still using the RV-6. I am sorry to say that the SCT never quite matched the RV-6 for sharpness of image even though I had Celestron fix the SCT's optics which were not ground properly when I had first purchased the scope.

If you come across an RV-6 with the original optics, even if the mirror needs a recoating, check it out. It may be the best buy you'll ever see.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:10 Mount:8 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.55.137)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=201032

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