Make your own free website on

Classic Telescopes

Hi and welcome to the classic scopes page of my web site.

When I was a lad in the 60s I used to read Sky & Telescope magazine in the library and regularly see adverts for exotic looking and sounding telescopes. They were something to aspire to in those days but at the time they were beyond a young lads budget.
Now is a different matter, these same scopes appear on the market from time to time at sometimes bargain prices. Admittedly due to their age, examples in mint condition are rare and most that appear on the market are neglected and require some TLC. That’s where I come in ? My interests in Astronomy and all things practical mean that restoring these scopes is a pleasure and using them once restored is an even bigger pleasure. So here they are with a few brief words on condition and restoration:

Swift 839 60mm Refractor on Equatorial Mount.

Purchased at a local antiques and collectors fair in very poor condition, this little scope has restored into a nice example who’s quality still knocks spots off most modern 60mm achromats.
The serial number reveals it to be a 1964 model and the logo AMA on the nameplate means the objective was supplied by top notch optics manufacturer Takahashi of Japan.

Swift 80mm 1200mm Refractor

Won in an unguarded moment on a famous internet auction site this scope dates from the mid to late 70s and is my current restoration project. The only thing identifying it as a scope marketed by Swift is a badge on the wooden box lid. However the scope nameplate shows the famous circle T logo of Towa of Japan another quality optics manufacturer. In fact the scope is actually a Towa 339 80mm F15 supplied by Swift
The kit is complete but just shows signs of neglect and finger trouble. The optics were jumbled up but after a clean up and collimation the scope is once more performing well and gives superb lunar / planetary views and is a top notch double star splitter.

The picture right shows the scope on a modern mount, still looks handsome IMHO

I have recently updated the Towa 339 with a modern 2" Crayford focuser and improved the internal light baffle arrangement, this has turned a good telescope into a superb telescope. Modernising the Towa 339

4" F15 Refractor Project

2010 saw the completion of my 4" F15 Refractor project. Utillising an antique T Cooke & Sons EQ mount and a vintage 4" Fullerscopes Deluxe Refractor the story of my project can be found here.4" Refractor Project