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The Schiefspiegler

Conceived and brought forth in its modern form while Allied bombers dropped their deadly loads over Berlin, the Schiefspiegler, or leaning-mirror telescope, was the brainchild of the late Anton Kutter of Germany. Popular in Europe but much less so in the US, the Schiefspiegler resembles a Cassegrain of low amplification factor. The secondary is moved to one side so as not to shadow the primary mirror. Both mirrors are then tilted the right amount to produce a superb image of high contrast. The Schiefspiegler seems to be the most popular of the unobstructed reflecting telescopes.

Let the heavens rejoice,
and let the earth be glad.

Italian amateur telescope builder Giovanni Ariot has built two Schiefspieglers. Pictured here is the larger one, a 200mm catadioptric Schiefspiegler of 4000mm focus.
Details of the birch saddle attachment to the aluminum secondary tube on Giovanni Ariot's Schiefspiegler. The lens used is a plano-convex proofreader lens of 50 meters focus. Click the thumbnail to enlarge.
"I do not understand, why so few people take advantage of an anastigmatic Schiefspiegler design. It doesn't cost much and combines very well with a binocular-viewer. In moments of steady air, one can see many belts, festoons, loops, ovals, and other details in Jupiter's atmosphere." - Michael Brunn
Close-up of Michael Brunn's primary mirror tube and saddle. The 5" (125mm) f/28 mirror set was designed and made by Lichtenknecker, Belgium. Both mirrors are spherical.
"Absolutely gorgeous" was all I could say when my eyes first fell on Steve Rismiller's 4.25" inch Schief. The fork, saddle, and tripod are beautifully hand finished from air-dried walnut.
Close-up of the business end of Steve Rismiller's Schief. Steve made this scope years ago while still in his twenties. Optics are by Dick Wessling.
German amateur Percy Zahn's closed tube Schief. This and other photos can be found on Hartmut Frommert's Schiefspiegler page.
Plans for making your own Schiefspiegler can be gotten from Mark VandeWettering.

Additional Schiefspiegler links (German language)

Author: David Stevick
[Weird Telescopes Page]

Curator: Hartmut Frommert [contact]
[Schiefspiegler Home] [SEDS]