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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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Scott in NCAdministrator
80mm Refractor Fanatic
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Reged: 03/05/05

Loc: NC
Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5677183 - 02/13/13 08:07 AM

Jon, the results aren't given out with the scopes. Vic has stated that he tests each batch of lenses with the Zygo interferometer before assembling them into scopes. Lenses that don't meet spec are returned to the manufacturer and not used to build SV scopes.

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maknewtnut
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Reged: 10/08/06

Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Scott in NC]
      #5677280 - 02/13/13 09:23 AM

$800 for 4" f/11 ?
"Vic states..." ?

It appears PT Barnum was right.


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KevH
sage
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Reged: 03/08/10

Loc: Maine
Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: maknewtnut]
      #5677316 - 02/13/13 09:50 AM

I owned the Canadian Telescopes version of this scope. Brand new it was $450... I felt it was worth it. $800 seems way too expensive for essentially the same scope. Looks like they just cut the tube down and added the extension.

Edited by KevH (02/13/13 02:36 PM)


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mikebb
newbie
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Reged: 10/28/12

Loc: Baton Rouge, LA
Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: maknewtnut]
      #5678014 - 02/13/13 05:03 PM

You could always get a D&G 5" f/12 for $1700. I wonder what Barnum would say about that. Just a thought.

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: KevH]
      #5678044 - 02/13/13 05:31 PM

On the other hand, the Antares "Vixen Spec" 4-inchers started around $650 when first introduced and by the time they were discontinued the price had crept up to $850.

I've used one of these 4" f/11s. Kunming in China makes the optics and the tube assembly. Stellarvue toyed with importing these under the Stellarvue brand many years ago. A handful of prototypes were sold to Stellarvue user's group members. I had a chance to use one of these original scopes. It had fine optics and a level of false color that was livable.

Later Stellarvue imported these en masse (and still is, I believe) under its sister-brand (a lower end brand) Astrotelescopes. Though Vic denied that there was any relationship between Stellarvue and Astrotelescopes at one time, the fact is that Astrotelescopes' original HQ was exactly two doors down from Stellarvue in the same Auburn, California strip mall, and the business name was registered to a lady who ran a print shop there, who knew nothing about astronomy or optics. Though Vic has never officially come clean about the relationship, and now Astrotelescopes are distributed through Hands On Optics, certain errors about glass type origins appeared both in a post by Vic on the yahoo Stellarvue message board and in the ad copy on the Astrotelescopes web page. What are the odds? But I digress...

These are very fine scopes even with the Kunming focuser. With the new Stellarvue 2.5" R&P it would be an even better scope. I don't think $800 is too much for a quality 4" achromat with excellent mechanicals, whether branded Stellarvue or Astrotelescopes. In fact, the scope is good enough that I can even forgive the marketeering shenanigans around Stellarvue and Astrotelescopes. The only problem is, you can get the same scope from HOO under the Astrotelescopes brand for $200 less. IMO there is NO reason to pay the extra $200 for different lettering. The personal touch isn't worth all that much. I trust the Chinese optician who figured the optics and does that for a living far more than a retired park ranger's subjective impression of the quality of the optics.

http://handsonoptics.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_112&...

- Jim


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Don Taylor
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/12/09

Loc: South TEXAS
Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5678189 - 02/13/13 07:03 PM

Jim: I agree completely. I think the HOO version with the R&P focuser is a good value.

Thanks for the info about the relationship between Stellarview and Astrotelescopes. I was not aware of the (sordid) details but did notice that my HOO scope came in boxes originating at Stellarview a few months earlier, so I knew there was some connection.

Regardless, you have described my scope perfectly. I'm very satisfied with the optical performance and build quality no matter who the importer actually was.

One other thing... My recent AT102 has the R&P focuser but it appears somewhat different than the 2.5" Stellarview focuser pictured on their website. The one on my scope is very good but appears to be of Long-Perng manufacture and appears to be the same unit as on your new Astro-Tech 60 triplet. If so, then it seems Stellarview buys the OTA from Kunming United
sans focuser and installs the Long-Perng unit in California.

Edited by Don Taylor (02/13/13 07:12 PM)


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ngc2289
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Reged: 04/13/05

Loc: Corpus Christi, TX.
Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Don Taylor]
      #5678318 - 02/13/13 08:36 PM

The 2.5in. SV focuser is made at SV in Auburn. The HOO scope comes from China with the focuser you mentioned already installed. Now I don't know if SV is still doing it, but SV was testing the optics for HOO. In return SV got to keep a couple of OTA's in payment for the testing of each batch of scopes.

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Da Bear
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 11/21/06

Loc: Kali-Forn-Ya
Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Don Taylor]
      #5678328 - 02/13/13 08:43 PM

I'm very happy I bought the "Planet Killer" from Stellarvue, even if it's a bit more pricey

Why?

Because over the years Stellarvue has backed up what they have sold me and given me excellent customer servicce. When I needed a plate or a tripod or some rings or a finder scope, or some screw sets, they were sent the next day, often at well below the regular price. Years ago, I bought a used SV70 ED scope at a special price since it had a mirco ding in the dew shield, and Vic threw in a case and diagonal at no charge.

When folks treat you right, you come back to that business again and again.

Da Bear

Edited by Da Bear (02/13/13 08:50 PM)


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belgrade
sage


Reged: 10/05/07

Loc: Frisco, TX
Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Da Bear]
      #5678395 - 02/13/13 09:30 PM

$500-$600 for the same or almost same 4" achromatic refractor OTA? Sure, better than $800. Still, I wouldn't pay for it even $500, having in mind how much pretty good (for an average Joe) 4" ED doublets cost these days like, for example, SW 100ED. But I'm sure many will buy 'cause it's branded SV...

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KevH
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Reged: 03/08/10

Loc: Maine
Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: ngc2289]
      #5678446 - 02/13/13 09:59 PM

Quote:

The 2.5in. SV focuser is made at SV in Auburn.




I am curious where this info comes from. No mention of it on Stellarvue's website that I could find. I believe I have seen other scopes from China using this exact focuser which led me to believe that it is made in China... not Auburn. Perhaps I'm wrong.


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stevew
Now I've done it


Reged: 03/03/06

Loc: British Columbia Canada
Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Da Bear]
      #5678499 - 02/13/13 10:33 PM

Quote:

I'm very happy I bought the "Planet Killer" from Stellarvue, even if it's a bit more pricey





Personally I would not have a problem paying more for a telescope that was tested and certified as such, as long as it came with documentation.
Over the years it would have saved me thousands of dollars,

Steve


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Don Taylor
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/12/09

Loc: South TEXAS
Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: belgrade]
      #5678577 - 02/13/13 11:25 PM

Quote:

$500-$600 for the same or almost same 4" achromatic refractor OTA? Sure, better than $800. Still, I wouldn't pay for it even $500, having in mind how much pretty good (for an average Joe) 4" ED doublets cost these days like, for example, SW 100ED. But I'm sure many will buy 'cause it's branded SV...




I seriously considered the SW100ED and it is a great value. But for my situation I chose the longer focal length AT102 for several reasons. The mechanicals are a step above the Synta, and the longer fl will have lesser abberations, except for CA of course. Also I didn't need the accessories that come with the Synta. If CA was the only factor I would have bought the SW (Synta).

Every scope is a compromise. The compromises chosen by Kunming for the AT102F11 were a better fit for my needs. The new Stellarview version with it's removable tube section to facilitate binoviewers is of no value to me, but the great R&P focuser is. So I bought the HOO version and am very pleased. Is it "better" than the SW100ED? In some ways yes, in a few ways no. But it suits my needs a bit better and it's about the same price.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: ngc2289]
      #5678589 - 02/13/13 11:33 PM

"The 2.5in. SV focuser is made at SV in Auburn."

BALONEY!

It is made in China and imported by Stellarvue, APM and others. The 6" f/5.9 Astrotelescopes comes with the SV-branded 2.5" R&P. APM sells many scopes with the exact same focuser, sans the "SV" logo.

APM's version of this Chinese unit.

http://www.apm-telescopes.de/en/Mechanical-Accessories/Focuser-Accessories/Fo...

I find that you often have to read Stellarvue statements two or three times to pick up on the subtleties of what is actually being claimed. Maybe they bolt the focusers to the tube in Auburn. I'd buy that.

Regards,

Jim


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Don Taylor]
      #5678598 - 02/13/13 11:38 PM

The Kunming 4" achro I used had better optics than any of three Synta 100EDs I've owned and used. I'd rather have an achro with a better figure than an ED doublet with a worse one, personally, even at identical price. The mechanicals on the Astrotelescopes and SV tube, too, are lightyears ahead of the mechanicals on the Synta ED doublets (other than those with Long Perng Tubes, such as the EON 120ED).

Regards,

Jim


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Daud
sage


Reged: 08/05/06

Loc: AZ, Scottsdale
Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5678624 - 02/13/13 11:59 PM

Quote:

...

I find that you often have to read Stellarvue statements two or three times to pick up on the subtleties of what is actually being claimed. ...

Regards,

Jim




Jim,

in your APM link, I am trying to find the subtlety of the message "To be able to compete with other manufacturers APM-Telescopes decided to create together with scilled Amateurs his own Series of high end focusers, which comes very close in the quality to Starlight, but at a much lower price.."


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ngc2289
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Reged: 04/13/05

Loc: Corpus Christi, TX.
Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5678631 - 02/14/13 12:04 AM

No baloney Jim! I am trying to find the announcement on the SV forum right now. Vic stated they added another lathe to make these focusers, but I can't remember how far back this was. I will keep looking.

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stevew
Now I've done it


Reged: 03/03/06

Loc: British Columbia Canada
Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5678638 - 02/14/13 12:11 AM

Quote:

I'd rather have an achro with a better figure than an ED doublet with a worse one, personally, even at identical price.

Regards,

Jim



I'd have to agree with you.
There are far worse aberrations than a little false color.

Steve


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dakota
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Reged: 12/11/11

Loc: SD (God's Country)
Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: stevew]
      #5678903 - 02/14/13 07:44 AM

I have 2 Stellarvue and 1 Astrotelescope refractors. All 3 have the 2.5 Stellarvue focusers. This is a great focuser when I compare it to the one on the SW80ED I had at one time. Personnally I don't care if the focuser was made in Auburn, in China or at the Willie Wonka Chocolate Factory. It does what it's built for and does is well. My experience with Stellarvue has been great and I can't say anything bad about Vic, his company or his employees.

My 2

Edited by dakota (02/14/13 07:46 AM)


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LivingNDixie
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Reged: 04/23/03

Loc: Trussville, AL
Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: dakota]
      #5679101 - 02/14/13 10:19 AM

Guess my last post yesterday hit a nerve with the SV fanboys. I am glad that those who have a SV scope are happy with their purchases. I just think their are too many instances with the company to trust buying one of their products. If I am going to pay a premium for a product it needs to distinguish itself, and claims testing just isn't enough. But in the end what one sees at the eyepiece of their scope is what is important and is an individual choice when it comes to value.

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jrbarnett
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: ngc2289]
      #5679145 - 02/14/13 10:44 AM

It's baloney, no matter what was implied on the SV forum. Vic has a tendency to stretch his own involvement in the fabrication of SV scopes. This has been the case for a very long while. Perhaps SV machines the rings needed to adapt the focuser to the rear of the tube assembly. But truly these focusers, used by SV, APM and others, are made in China, not Auburn. My suspicion is that you've been misled by innuendo that hints at but does not directly claim a larger role in their manufacture. Vic doesn't lie. Vic merely says things in a manner that leads readers to an incorrect, but very favorable to Stellarvue, conclusion. IMO this tactic has held the company back more than it has helped. It has divided owners and users into those who drink the Koolaid and those who do not. Our hobby attracts many astute and discerning people who are turned off by having smoke blown up where it does not belong. I really wish he'd just quit the nonsense, speak literally about the products or not at all, and allow them to sell themselves on their actual virtues rather than on the basis of implication and induced mistake.

The focusers are very nice. I commend the Chinese maker on a job well done. I commend Stellarvue and APM for having the good sense to offer these as a lower cost alternative to Feathertouch focusers, too. However, I do not condone misdirection about the origins of these focusers. Particularly when the misdirection results in prospective purchasers believing something that is both (a) factually untrue and (b) advantageous commercially for Stellarvue relative to its competitors who didn't engage in such misdirection.

I'd love to read the post you refer to.

Thanks!

- Jim


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