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I am stupid, and now telescope-less


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Hello! I'm new to this forum, and came here looking for some help. If I posted this in the wrong forum, please let me know.

I have an ancient Soviet-era 'Tourist 4' 10x30 handheld spotting scope that I received as a kid. It is very durable and has very good optics for my purposes, in that I can use it to see a few of the moons of Jupiter if I hold it very steady on a clear night. It is similarly terrific for moon-watching, and has a little sentimental value.


Well, today I decided to pull it apart for cleaning. Not expecting so many lens elements, the contents of the tube came out and I no longer know the order of most of the pieces 😧. Aside from the largest optic on the sky-facing end and the eyepiece, there are:

  • 1x lens of known position furthest from the eyepiece
  • 2x lenses of same type with matching washers (I can tell this from the size of subtle marks on the optic housings)
  • 1x short spacer
  • 2x medium spacers
  • 1x medium-long spacer
  • 1x long spacer
  • 1x washer-looking spacer with a narrower aperture than everything else


I'm wondering whether there's anyone here who could point me in the right direction to piece it back together. The way I see it, I have only 3 options, with this post being along the lines of #3: 


  1. Brute force all the combinations for the many pieces (a mathematician friend tells me there are something like 35K combinations)
  2. Buy one of these from an online marketplace and use it to compare with
  3. Find a helpful stranger who maybe understands spotting scopes and can either help me make educated guesses or somehow calculate the arrangement

So there it is. Any ideas? Thanks for any help at all, and for reading.

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Being wise after the event won't solve your problem unfortunately, but anyone considering stripping down any astro gear, take many images with your mobile phone. It can save a lot of head scratching and frustration later.

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