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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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t.r.
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Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited
      #5665105 - 02/06/13 12:08 PM

Over on the 'Mart, Anacortes has announced a limited production SV 4" achromat dubbed the "Planet Killer". Supposedly only 24 scopes. Price is $799, IMHO a little high, but I don't know, maybe something special about it,at F/11 though, I don't see how. For a planet killer wouldn't you want an f/15 like the Antares offering?

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BigC
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: t.r.]
      #5665179 - 02/06/13 12:44 PM

Isn't a planet KILLER what Marvin the Martian was always trying to build in the cartoons?

I prefer the term "planet viewer";and I agree that F15 certainly would be more desirable unless the scope were made with ED glass.Matter of fact ,putting awkwardness of the physical tube aside, it would be even better were the 4" an F20.The old 80mm/1600m were said to be excellent in terms of sharopness and lack of false color.

I guess it is marketing and shipping constraints that bias manufacturers against long tubes.


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t.r.
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: BigC]
      #5665205 - 02/06/13 12:59 PM

After a little research, it may be a clone of this...

http://neilenglish.net/a-groundbreaking-4-achromat-from-china/


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Binojunky
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: t.r.]
      #5665246 - 02/06/13 01:18 PM

You can get the original version of this scope that Stellarvue sold very briefly from Canadian Telescopes for $500 with free shipping, it differs from the new premium version by having a 2" crayford instead of a 2.5" R&P and it doesn,t have a removable section for bino viewing however its $300 cheaper, it was reviewed in S&T and did very well though that sample came from Hands On Optics.DA.

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DaveJ
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: t.r.]
      #5665300 - 02/06/13 01:45 PM

Quote:

After a little research, it may be a clone of this...

http://neilenglish.net/a-groundbreaking-4-achromat-from-china/




My bet is that it isn't a clone at all, but rather the exact same scope from the same Chinese supplier. A quick switcheroo of the focusers and what do you have? A brand new Stellarvue one-of-a-kind product!


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: BigC]
      #5665339 - 02/06/13 02:03 PM

Quote:


I prefer the term "planet viewer";and I agree that F15 certainly would be more desirable unless the scope were made with ED glass.




In my mind, a "planet killer" requires more than 4 inches of aperture. Roland Christen's article "What is the best Planetary Telescope" seems to agree with my experience.

Jon


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BillP
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5665414 - 02/06/13 02:38 PM

Quote:

In my mind, a "planet killer" requires more than 4 inches of aperture. Roland Christen's article "What is the best Planetary Telescope" seems to agree with my experience.

Jon




I don't know Jon...I kill planets most every evening with my 4" APO. They seem to be rather easy to target and kill in multiple ways with a 4" optic Even when the 10" is out with it the 4" still bags its prey and kills those planets very reliably and enjoyingly In my book, any scope can properly designate itself as a planetary killer as long as it deviates from the common popular design in order to maximize its potential for planetary observing. For an achromat, this would of course be making it in a bit longer than the common focal ratio. FWIW, I don't find aperture much of an issue for planet killing...even my "challenge" planet killer 60mm (f/16.7) performs some increadible feats of planetary detail.

Edited by BillP (02/06/13 02:40 PM)


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: BillP]
      #5665606 - 02/06/13 04:26 PM

Quote:

In my book, any scope can properly designate itself as a planetary killer as long as it deviates from the common popular design in order to maximize its potential for planetary observing.




From my point of view, a "planet killer" is a scope capable of providing the best possible planetary views under almost all circumstances.

I see no need to deviate from the common, popular design for a telescope to be a "planet killer", it just needs to be a scope that is capable being seeing limited nearly all the time.

I don't consider my 4 inch apo or any 4 inch scope to be a "planet killer" because most nights there is more to see than can be seen with any 4 inch scope.

Jon Isaacs


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BillP
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5665666 - 02/06/13 05:04 PM

Quote:

I see no need to deviate from the common, popular design for a telescope to be a "planet killer", it just needs to be a scope that is capable being seeing limited nearly all the time.




That would not work for me because that is an aperture-only approach. Plus I wonder how valid it really is? Most people will say in a heartbeat that for the typical observer in the typical circumstance that it is hightly unlikely that the seeing will be producing sub 1 arcsec of resolution...and many professional observatories strive to find places that can routinely provide this. So if that is the premise for the typical better evening, then seeing-limited becomes a 115mm scope for a 1 arcsecond atmosphere (probably why the 130mm class refractor is so popular)!! Then there is the issue of while larger scopes may be better seeing-limited for rarer evenings, they typically are not thermal-ready in any amount of real-time without considered prep and supplemental active cooling. So for these, a "planet-killer" designation for me would mean it needs to deviate quite a bit from the norm. e.g., if a Dob it needs longer throw for smaller CO and a tracking table and lots of active cooling mods and an easily accessible mirror for dust cover and frequent cleaning ease and probably not a truss design as these are more sensitive to going out of collimation depending on their orientation depending on the truss pole arrangement.

Edited by BillP (02/06/13 05:08 PM)


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Eddgie
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5665677 - 02/06/13 05:14 PM

Yes, it may be a great scope for 4", but for peopie that want better planetary views, there are so many far better choices than a small achromat.

Marketing is marketing though, and if people believe that they can somehow see more because it is a "Planetary scope," then the marketing people have earned their money buy getting the buyer to go for a 4" scope rather than something more capable.

I have owned an aweful lot of telescopes, and the vast majority of them have been better planetary scopes than any 4" telescope I have ever owned.


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Goodchild
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Eddgie]
      #5665706 - 02/06/13 05:29 PM

Is this new SV scope really any different than the Astro Telescope from HOO?

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Mike W
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5665734 - 02/06/13 05:47 PM

Maybe from sunny old California but bring your big light bucket out here (East) and see how many nights it will out perform a refractor.
Quote:

Quote:

In my book, any scope can properly designate itself as a planetary killer as long as it deviates from the common popular design in order to maximize its potential for planetary observing.




From my point of view, a "planet killer" is a scope capable of providing the best possible planetary views under almost all circumstances.

I see no need to deviate from the common, popular design for a telescope to be a "planet killer", it just needs to be a scope that is capable being seeing limited nearly all the time.

I don't consider my 4 inch apo or any 4 inch scope to be a "planet killer" because most nights there is more to see than can be seen with any 4 inch scope.

Jon Isaacs




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KevH
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5665827 - 02/06/13 06:45 PM

Quote:



From my point of view, a "planet killer" is a scope capable of providing the best possible planetary views under almost all circumstances.

I don't consider my 4 inch apo or any 4 inch scope to be a "planet killer" because most nights there is more to see than can be seen with any 4 inch scope.

Jon Isaacs




Not where I (and I'm sure many others) live. On most nights for a lot folks, seeing is going to be the limiting factor in planetary viewing. A good four inch refractor is more than capable of "killing" some planets.


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: BillP]
      #5665949 - 02/06/13 08:12 PM

Quote:

That would not work for me because that is an aperture-only approach. Plus I wonder how valid it really is? Most people will say in a heartbeat that for the typical observer in the typical circumstance that it is hightly unlikely that the seeing will be producing sub 1 arcsec of resolution...and many professional observatories strive to find places that can routinely provide this. So if that is the premise for the typical better evening, then seeing-limited becomes a 115mm scope for a 1 arcsecond atmosphere (probably why the 130mm class refractor is so popular)!!




It doesn't take 1 arc-second seeing for an 8 inch telescope to perform better than a 4 inch. Planetary observing is different than resolving double stars but "over sampling" is useful in either. To split a 1.15 arc-second double star (Dawes limit) in a 4 inch scope, requires better than 1.15 arc-second seeing.

A couple of years back, there was a discussion about seeing versus Aperture in which Vladimar Sacek shared some results of simulations he had done.

"
That is probably as good a summary as one can come up with. If you look at those patterns, you'll see that if seeing improves to its average level (about 2 arcsec), the 16 inch will outresolve 4-inch, but will still be outresolved by 6-8 inch. If the seeing now swings to the opposite side, and improves to 1 arc second, the 16-inch outresolves the smaller apertures."

12 inch more sensitive to seeing than an 8 inch

Planetary viewing is mostly about seeing. Good plantary views require good seeing, great planetary views require great seeing and telescopes capable of taking advantage of that great seeing.

Jon


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Don Taylor
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Binojunky]
      #5665997 - 02/06/13 08:57 PM

Quote:

You can get the original version of this scope that Stellarvue sold very briefly from Canadian Telescopes for $500 with free shipping, it differs from the new premium version by having a 2" crayford instead of a 2.5" R&P and it doesn,t have a removable section for bino viewing however its $300 cheaper, it was reviewed in S&T and did very well though that sample came from Hands On Optics.DA.




I believe this assessment is correct. Stellarview initially sold the Kunming United 4" achromat before deciding to limit their scopes to ED/Apos. Their early version was identical to the Canadian Telescopes and Astrotelescopes (Hands On Optics) versions except apparently a shortened dew shield. Subsequently, the Astrotelescopes version gained an upgraded rack and pinion focuser apparently of Long-Perng manufacture. This is the version I bought late last year.

Interestingly, my Astrotelescopes version arrived from HOO in packaging showing it originated at Stellarview.

I'm a bit surprised that Stellarview has introduced another non-apo.

Btw: Hands On Optics has also called their version a "planet killer" too. I'll avoid the debate but will say the optical performance of my scope is superb.

Likewise, as I don't use a binoviewer it's hard for me to assess whether $200 extra for the removable section of tube is a good value for someone that does use both eyes.

All in all though, I am extremely satisfied with the optical performance and mechanical build of my AT102F11.
Just my 2 centavos.


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ngc2289
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: DaveJ]
      #5666231 - 02/06/13 11:18 PM

According to Vic the OTA is being made in house. Vic never said this scope was a "one of a kind". The glass is made in China, and SV triple tests the lens before shipping the scope.

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m9x18
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5669298 - 02/08/13 03:44 PM

Quote:

I don't consider my 4 inch apo or any 4 inch scope to be a "planet killer" because most nights there is more to see than can be seen with any 4 inch scope.




Hi Jon. Maybe we can still call 4-inchers "planet killers" and just call the larger apertures "planet annihilators", "planet destroyers" or "planet vaporizers" or something. That ought to help.


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KWB
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: BigC]
      #5669379 - 02/08/13 04:37 PM

Quote:


I guess it is marketing and shipping constraints that bias manufacturers against long tubes.



I'm guessing it is also user friendliness that factors into the marketing decisions that affect what telescope design gets priority as to hitting the production lines. An F/15 or worse,an F/20 tube is extremely long and requires a really substantial mount that for a user such as myself wouldn't even entertain to owning due to my situation of not being able to permanently mount that setup in some sort of observatory. I have to take each and every telescope setup I own outdoors everytime it gets used,then reverse the proceedure when it's time to call it a night. That's my bias against this design because it requires far less effort to choose a completely different one like a 10 inch dobsonian that is far easier for me to get into action, with more horsepower under the hood in terms of resolution capability. My opinion is there many other backyard observers in the same boat,and that isn't lost on the scope manufacturers. I love 4 inch refractors that are a lot more grab and go capable and believe that desire is more widespread in this hobby.

In the right circumstances for the right individual, a long tubed acro can be a wonderful tool.


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Julio
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: m9x18]
      #5669441 - 02/08/13 05:11 PM

Having an Orion 100ED which is optically excellent and multiple Catadioptric scopes, my assessment of what a planetary scope differs. While the 100ED delivers great images it never delivered better views than the Intes 6.5" scope even in average seeing. The newly acquired 8"SCT further outpaces the 100ED and the Intes. I believe 6-8" of apertures are necessary for a true planetary scope.

Edited by Julio (02/08/13 05:12 PM)


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David E
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Goodchild]
      #5669602 - 02/08/13 06:46 PM

Quote:

Is this new SV scope really any different than the Astro Telescope from HOO?




Here is a quote from Vic's post on the Yahoo Stellarvue Group:

"So this month, for at least a limited time, I will produce another Stellarvue achromatic refractor, with performance on the level people expect from us. These will not be mere import telescopes which are untested and inconsistent. These telescopes will be triple tested by us, just like any other Stellarvue telescope. Only the best optics can survive our testing regiment.

Now this will be a visually oriented telescope with a long enough focal length to ensure excellent planetary performance. It will come with our highly praised 2.5" dual speed rack and pinion focuser, giving over-the-top mechanical performance. But let's not stop here. We will incorporate a 4 3/4" removable extension in front of the focuser. Remove this extension and you can use bino viewers without any correction lenses (OCA's or OCS's) which means you get a brighter image and a wider field of view when using bino viewers..."

Now, this scope is an achromat, (and also an aplanat.) Vic said he will disclose glass types later, but quickly admits that this is not using apo or ED glass.


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Jim7728
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: t.r.]
      #5669704 - 02/08/13 08:13 PM

Frugal man's "Planet Killer"

http://www.astronomics.com/bosma-beta-4-f10-refractor-ota_p20070.aspx



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DaveJ
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: David E]
      #5669781 - 02/08/13 09:13 PM

Quote:

Here is a quote from Vic's post on the Yahoo Stellarvue Group:

"So this month, for at least a limited time, I will produce another Stellarvue achromatic refractor, with performance on the level people expect from us. These will not be mere import telescopes which are untested and inconsistent. These telescopes will be triple tested by us, just like any other Stellarvue telescope. Only the best optics can survive our testing regiment."




Hmmm. "testing regiment" Vic must have an entire army of testers.


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stevew
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5669851 - 02/08/13 10:02 PM

Quote:


In my mind, a "planet killer" requires more than 4 inches of aperture.
Jon




That's the first thing I thought of as well.
I think "planet killer" starts around 10 inches.

I love refractors, and own several, as they provide crisp contrasty images,
but even in mediocre seeing aperture equals resolution.


Steve


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Paco_Grande
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: stevew]
      #5669891 - 02/08/13 10:22 PM

The attraction of "Planet Killer" resonates like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with me. It's a marketing term for children.



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ngc2289
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: KWB]
      #5670056 - 02/09/13 01:59 AM

Quote:

Quote:


I guess it is marketing and shipping constraints that bias manufacturers against long tubes.



I'm guessing it is also user friendliness that factors into the marketing decisions that affect what telescope design gets priority as to hitting the production lines. An F/15 or worse,an F/20 tube is extremely long and requires a really substantial mount that for a user such as myself wouldn't even entertain to owning due to my situation of not being able to permanently mount that setup in some sort of observatory. I have to take each and every telescope setup I own outdoors everytime it gets used,then reverse the proceedure when it's time to call it a night. That's my bias against this design because it requires far less effort to choose a completely different one like a 10 inch dobsonian that is far easier for me to get into action, with more horsepower under the hood in terms of resolution capability. My opinion is there many other backyard observers in the same boat,and that isn't lost on the scope manufacturers. I love 4 inch refractors that are a lot more grab and go capable and believe that desire is more widespread in this hobby.

In the right circumstances for the right individual, a long tubed acro can be a wonderful tool.


You hit the nail right on the head!!

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Da Bear
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: ngc2289]
      #5675021 - 02/11/13 11:59 PM

Just ordered one of Vic's 'Planet Killer's" --should ship in 7 -10 days. I've always wanted a long tube Fraunhofer achro with good coatings. I was looking for something fun, affordable and different from the usual f/7 suspects. While this is primarily a visual scope, I'm thinking that this achro with a Mallincam and a Baader fiilter should be a ton of fun for producing images for a lunar video.

I am blessed to own a "real' planet killer -- an 8" f/8 Cave reflector that I resto modded and mount on a G-11 --- that just rocks my world...Many nights I get a clean, tack sharp 400x with out any issues. For me a "Planet Killer" is a scope so good, that sky conditions are the only limiting factor.

Da Bear


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moynihan
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Da Bear]
      #5675327 - 02/12/13 06:50 AM

Have the Astro-Telescope version. Same rings, different focuser, no removable section, different logo and focuser. Hope SV kept the dew shield mine and other versions have. A rare production refractor dewshield. 10" long, actually functional in moist air.

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Eddgie
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: DaveJ]
      #5675438 - 02/12/13 09:24 AM

Quote:

Hmmm. "testing regiment" Vic must have an entire army of testers.





First, I would be quite suprised if Stellarvue sold a telescope every day, so it would not be a surprise at all that they could test every telescope they sold by three people.

Second, they don't say how they test their telescopes, but using an artificual star and a clear lens cover with with a central obstruction, you can do a very comprhensive star test in less than 5 minutes that will tell you about the alignment, spherical abberations, or the presence of zones or turned edges, and the smoothness of the optics. If you know what you are doing, it is a pretty quick and easy thing to do.

And since like most manufacturers today, they don't really specify a very objective quality level of their scopes like PTV or Sthreh (Strehl is so much better), they only have to look for meaningful errors (and that is not a bad thing at all if they really do test every telescope to be sure that there are no meaningful errors).

Most of these small specialty companies simply don't sell that big a volume of telescopes, and they may make as much or more profit from the accessories and things they sell (field flattners, mounts, OEM products like eyepeices, etc) as they make from the telescopes they sell (and I am sure this is common in the industry).

I am sure that the quality will be good. Stellarvue has a well deserved reputation of selling good quality equipment.

But I am sure that they can be confident in this because the manufacturers they are using these days (yes, the ones in China) are proving that they can produce very high quality in serial production even with SCTs, with recent vintage SCTs routinely shipping with excellent optical quality.

But it never hurts to check, and even if it is a star test to just confirm that there are no major issues with the scope, Stellarvue is to be congratulated for their quality control efforts.


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ngc2289
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Eddgie]
      #5675624 - 02/12/13 11:15 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Hmmm. "testing regiment" Vic must have an entire army of testers.





First, I would be quite suprised if Stellarvue sold a telescope every day, so it would not be a surprise at all that they could test every telescope they sold by three people.

Second, they don't say how they test their telescopes, but using an artificual star and a clear lens cover with with a central obstruction, you can do a very comprhensive star test in less than 5 minutes that will tell you about the alignment, spherical abberations, or the presence of zones or turned edges, and the smoothness of the optics. If you know what you are doing, it is a pretty quick and easy thing to do.

And since like most manufacturers today, they don't really specify a very objective quality level of their scopes like PTV or Sthreh (Strehl is so much better), they only have to look for meaningful errors (and that is not a bad thing at all if they really do test every telescope to be sure that there are no meaningful errors).

Most of these small specialty companies simply don't sell that big a volume of telescopes, and they may make as much or more profit from the accessories and things they sell (field flattners, mounts, OEM products like eyepeices, etc) as they make from the telescopes they sell (and I am sure this is common in the industry).

I am sure that the quality will be good. Stellarvue has a well deserved reputation of selling good quality equipment.

But I am sure that they can be confident in this because the manufacturers they are using these days (yes, the ones in China) are proving that they can produce very high quality in serial production even with SCTs, with recent vintage SCTs routinely shipping with excellent optical quality.

But it never hurts to check, and even if it is a star test to just confirm that there are no major issues with the scope, Stellarvue is to be congratulated for their quality control efforts.


Achro's strehl of .9 or better, APO's .95 or better.

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Eddgie
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: ngc2289]
      #5675633 - 02/12/13 11:22 AM

Is this their "Published" and guarenteed optical guality?

Do they use an interferometer to test every sample they receive before it gets shipped?

Or is this the requirement that they simply specifiy to their vendor?

I don't at all doubt that they could provide scopes of .95 strhel or better, but I doubt that they test every sample personally on an interferometer themselves, and that is the primary remark I was addressing.

I have not seen them publish this as a guaranteed standard though, and if they do, my hat is off to them. I wish all manufacturers would do so.

And again, I don't doubt the quality, only that they personally run every sample through an interferometer.

Their manufacturer might, but the post implied that Stellarvue does it themselves. I could see them just doing a quick star test to ensure that everything is OK though.


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ngc2289
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Eddgie]
      #5675674 - 02/12/13 11:49 AM

SV has their own test equipment, and they do test every lens they receive. If the lens dose not test to their spec.'s it gets sent back. Yes the spec.'s are what the vendor is required to provide.

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peleuba
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: ngc2289]
      #5675719 - 02/12/13 12:13 PM

Quote:

Achro's strehl of .9 or better, APO's .95 or better.




Why only 0.90 for achromatic objectives? Its generally easier to figure achromats as the glass is not as fragile and the curves are usually not as steep. In addition the blanks used are readily found in the highest internal quality.

Seems to me that in the wavelegnth the lens was nulled in the quality should be higer then .90


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ngc2289
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: peleuba]
      #5675748 - 02/12/13 12:28 PM

I would have to guess. But, here are my guesses. 1) Price point. The achro., and ED are sold at a lower price point. 2) Any improvement in detail you would get from a higher strehl would be negated by the chromatic aberration. But those are just my guesses.

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Eddgie
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: ngc2289]
      #5675787 - 02/12/13 12:48 PM

Yes, perhaps it is the polychormatic strehl.

A 4" achromat would have to be about f/16 to have a polychromatic strehl of .95 I think.

Many people feel that polychomatic Sthrel doesn't matter because the scopes are optimized for green, but energy is energy, and if you put some percentage outside of the Airy disk diameter, it still lowers contrast.

Suiter addresses the subject in his book on star testing and comes to the same conclusion.

But anyway, if Stellarvue tests every lens on an interferometer and has will not ship anything below .95/.90, I am happy to hear that. I wish more companies did.


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ngc2289
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Eddgie]
      #5675802 - 02/12/13 12:56 PM

Vic had to delay production on the 90mm APO one time. Because all the lenses his vendor sent failed to pass the quality check. So the lenses were sent back to the vendor.

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t.r.
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Eddgie]
      #5675812 - 02/12/13 01:02 PM Attachment (21 downloads)

Quote:

A 4" achromat would have to be about f/16 to have a polychromatic strehl of .95 I think




It would need more than that (F/24) according to this...


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Thomas Karpf
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Eddgie]
      #5676039 - 02/12/13 03:10 PM

Quote:


And again, I don't doubt the quality, only that they personally run every sample through an interferometer.





Stellarvue does zygo AND star testing of every scope. They're a bit pricier than other 'similar' scopes because that testing takes time, and time costs money.

http://www.optcorp.com/category.aspx?uid=1-600-765


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mikebb
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Thomas Karpf]
      #5676388 - 02/12/13 06:17 PM

Has any one considered the Lunt 102ed f/7 for $729 over the SV102 "Planet Killer". Since most comments indicate an ED scope will have better color correction, etc. Just musing after reading this thread.

Edited by mikebb (02/12/13 07:08 PM)


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: mikebb]
      #5677071 - 02/13/13 06:29 AM Attachment (22 downloads)

Quote:

Has any one considered the Lunt 102ed f/7 for $729 over the SV102 "Planet Killer". Since most comments indicate an ED scope will have better color correction, etc. Just musing after reading this thread.




THere are several scopes one might consider, the Lunt is one. The various versions of the Synta/Skywatcher/Vixen/Celestron/Orion ED-100. At F/9 with the FPL-53 doublet, these are pretty darn good.

But to my mind, none of these really qualify as "Planet Killers", an 8 inch F/6 Dob at $380 shipped to the doorstep is much more capable.

Jon

(When I think of a "Planet Killer", this is what I think of:)

Edited by Jon Isaacs (02/13/13 06:34 AM)


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Thomas Karpf]
      #5677072 - 02/13/13 06:32 AM

Quote:

Quote:


And again, I don't doubt the quality, only that they personally run every sample through an interferometer.





Stellarvue does zygo AND star testing of every scope. They're a bit pricier than other 'similar' scopes because that testing takes time, and time costs money.

http://www.optcorp.com/category.aspx?uid=1-600-765




Do you get the results of the Zygo with the scope? It is my undertanding that a Zygo Interferometer is useful when figuring the lens but it is also my understanding that these lenses are figured elsewhere, coated elsewhere prior to testing.

Jon


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Scott in NCAdministrator
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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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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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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
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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
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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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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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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
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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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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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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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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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jrbarnett
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: dakota]
      #5679165 - 02/14/13 10:55 AM

"Personnally I don't care if the focuser was made in Auburn, in China or at the Willie Wonka Chocolate Factory."

That's wonderful. However, when a manufacturer misdirects the buying public with respect to facts that do matter to some buyers (Made in America versus Made in China or custom built in small batches by craftsmen rather than mass-produced by automation, for example), that manufacture competes unfairly with other manufacturers who sell similar scopes with similar origins but do not use innuendo to imply things about the nature and origin of their scopes that are untrue. If you were someone who chose a Stellarvue over an APM or Astro-Tech scope, for example, because you were lead to believe that the scopes were hand made in small batches using optics and focusers made here in the US, and paid a small premium for that scope on the basis of that belief, you might not be so magnanimous, even if the scope were a good one, should you later discover that one of the prime reasons you chose the SV scope and to pay the higher price was factually baseless.

Me? If that happened to me I would be scratching my head asking myself how it was that I came to hold a false belief about my scope, who lead me astray and how did they do it? I have a hard time buying (even good stuff) from sources that aren't 100% crystal clear, factual, precise and direct in their claims and communications about their products. But that's just me. I'm not a member of P.T. Barnum's target audience, I guess.

- Jim


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LivingNDixie
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5679168 - 02/14/13 10:56 AM

Jim,
I made a reference to the Ed Ting review about one of the early SV 80mm scopes being stopped down and Vic's testing of scopes. Apparently I shouldn't have... Ironically that review has been mentioned a few times in this forum. I stand by what I said then and what I said in an earlier post today. Picking a scope is an individual choice. Value is an individual choice.


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jrbarnett
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Daud]
      #5679182 - 02/14/13 11:01 AM

I don't think Vic at Stellarvue has a monopoly on puffery and hyperbole in marketing claims. Note, however, that nothing in APM's statement claims that the focusers are made in the US or Germany. I would like to see that SV forum posts mentioned by the other CNer where Vic supposedly claimed that he was making these focusers in-house, in Auburn. I strongly suspect that when we read the actual statements in that post, they will be slippery as a buttered eel held with chopsticks. Auburn, California, bred eel, churned butter and manufactured chopsticks, of course.

- Jim


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Jim7728
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5679244 - 02/14/13 11:28 AM

Found this post and from what I read quickly say's it's a Long Perng focuser.

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/Stellarvue/message/124430

Nothing wrong with the SV achro offering as you get what you pay for, imo.


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dakota
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited *DELETED* new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5679274 - 02/14/13 11:43 AM

Post deleted by KWB

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ngc2289
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Jim7728]
      #5679441 - 02/14/13 01:12 PM

Jim I may have to eat my words on the focuser issue. The original announcement was in a SV AllStars bulletin. In the original notice he does not claim in house production. Vic does not say where the focuser is produced but you can infer that it is made in China. I think later he announced that a new CNC machine had been purchased, and that production had been moved in house. But like I said I may be wrong. I will look for that announcement on in house production for another 24 hours.

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Binojunky
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5679456 - 02/14/13 01:19 PM

As Jim stated, the focusers are imports, they are perfectly good for the job in hand, one would assume if a Made In USA focuser was wanted then you could upgrade to the Feather Touch,Stellarvue scopes in general are a mix of domestic and imported parts, some assembly is done in the USA, with the very high end expensive instruments you get more domestic parts than the cheaper scopes, the now discontinued ED70 was 100% imported, DA.

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KWB
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Binojunky]
      #5679484 - 02/14/13 01:31 PM

This thread is now being returned for our enlightenment and the respectful exchange of ideas.

A reminder here is to play nice and to be respectful as to the opinion of others,whether agreed upon or not,needs to prevail. Sound fair? Disrespectful posts or name calling will be removed at once without warning. The original topic about this new acro refractor is most interesting and it's hoped here we will venture back down that path.


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moynihan
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/22/03

Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed
Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: Jim7728]
      #5679902 - 02/14/13 05:08 PM

Quote:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/Stellarvue/message/124430




To bad about the dew sheild on the SV version. The 10" long retractable one on my Astro Telescope version (that has a very competent 2" crayford on it, no idea who made it ) is really nice in a climate like mine, where there is a lot of dewing.

Edited by moynihan (02/14/13 05:10 PM)


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Scott in NCAdministrator
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Re: Stellarvue "Planet Killer" Limited new [Re: KWB]
      #5680028 - 02/14/13 06:28 PM

Guys, one last plea from the moderator team to "play nice," cut out the personal attacks, and please get back to the original topic (i.e., discussing the new SV 102mm f/11 scope). There is a lot of good information being discussed here, and it would be a pity if this thread ended up getting locked. Thanks!

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