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Equipment Discussions >> Reflectors

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dpwoos
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 10/18/06

Loc: United States
Re: Which mirror better-Zambuto, Discovery or Orion UK new [Re: Thomas Karpf]
      #5627754 - 01/17/13 10:16 AM

NO ONE is saying that the Zambuto mirror is bad. What is being claimed is that there isn't a noticeable difference between the Zambuto and the original mass produced mirror. This claim is perfectly reasonable, and there are all kinds of possible explanations including that the original mirror was itself quite good.

I do agree that the reference to brand X vs. brand Y is unfortunate, in that I don't think there is any doubt that, on average, Zambuto (and other top-notch maker's) mirrors are significantly better than mass produced ones. However, I don't think that is the gist of the post.


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jonstarrysky
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/03/09

Loc: England, U.K.
Re: Which mirror better-Zambuto, Discovery or Orion UK new [Re: Thomas Karpf]
      #5627764 - 01/17/13 10:25 AM

Proper evidence is side-by-side testing by the same eyes on the same night, or an interferometry analysis perfomed by the same reputable lab. To say brand X is better than brand Y, then you need a large sample set in order to make any generalised conclusions.
But I am happy with my ZOC mirror !! it's just on this occasion my chinese-make Orion USA mirror turns out to be a killer too. Others had told me this who had observed through my scope. Maybe I got wrapped up in the CN hype and expected the ZOC mirror to do the impossible. Anyhow I remain a fan of Zambuto. There are no reports of bad ZOC mirrors, this is true. But it is not necessarily a fact that a ZOC mirror will always out-perfom a mirror from a different maker. I guess more-or-less equal or better might be more true.


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dpwoos
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 10/18/06

Loc: United States
Re: Which mirror better-Zambuto, Discovery or Orion UK new [Re: jonstarrysky]
      #5627808 - 01/17/13 10:52 AM

I think you are correct on all counts, including getting "wrapped up in the CN hype". However, I would not assume that it is impossible for you to see a difference in the future, e.g. you have an especially good night, you get your scope working better in other ways, you become a more discerning observer, you accept more "CN hype" and buy sooper-sooper-dooper eyepieces. At least you know your mirror isn't the weak link.

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jonstarrysky
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/03/09

Loc: England, U.K.
Re: Which mirror better-Zambuto, Discovery or Orion UK new [Re: dpwoos]
      #5627835 - 01/17/13 11:07 AM

Yep, it was an expensive way of determining my primary wasnt the weakest link. Actually, there are several reports of side-to-side tests showing ZOC mirrors killing mass produced mirrors in performnace. My contention is this is not necessarily always the case. But Zambuto may be "better" vs. several other opticians in regards to consistently producing high quality mirrors.

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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Which mirror better-Zambuto, Discovery or Orion UK new [Re: jonstarrysky]
      #5627887 - 01/17/13 11:29 AM

One of the finest 16" mirrors I have ever seen was the standard GSO mirror in a Meade LightBridge scope. Is that indicative of all 16" LightBridge scopes? Unfortunately, no.

I have also looked through many ZOC-mirrored scopes, and seen uniformly good images, commensurate with the seeing and transparency conditions.
Is this indicative of all ZOC mirrors? Probably.

And therein lies the difference. The range of variation in the mass-produced mirrors and scopes is large. You could get an astoundingly good mirror. Or, you could get a mediocre optic. What are the odds?

We pay more for consistency at a high level. Is Carl Zambuto the only optician in the world whose quality is consistently high? Of course not.
There are many such mirror makers out there.

But, can you rely on getting good optics from them? If the answer is yes, then ZOC is in good company.


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dscarpa
Post Laureate
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Reged: 03/15/08

Loc: San Diego Ca.
Re: Which mirror better-Zambuto, Discovery or Orion UK new [Re: denis0007dl]
      #5627908 - 01/17/13 11:40 AM


I'm on the verg of ordering a Teeter STS with a 11" F/5 Zambuto mirror! Seeing in San Diego is good to excellent pretty often so it should be able to show it's stuff. I've got a good eye, top notch eyepieces and want a mirror to match. Thanks for all the info, it's really helped with my decision. David


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Which mirror better-Zambuto, Discovery or Orion UK new [Re: Starman1]
      #5627936 - 01/17/13 11:52 AM

Sometimes you get lucky. I did. The generic mirror in my 10XTi must have squeeked by the QC guy. It throws out fantastic views. It's given me better views then others with the same scope.

I got mine from the scope store, not online. I'm beginning to wonder if the scopes sold to dealers come off a different mfg line then those sold on-line to individuals (doubtful, but even the scope store person feels they sometimes get better stuff then online orders). If I ever replace my "Honda" mirror, it will be with a Zambuto though.


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Jason D
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/21/06

Loc: California
Re: Which mirror better-Zambuto, Discovery or Orion UK new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5627996 - 01/17/13 12:31 PM

Quote:

Sometimes you get lucky. I did



Did you star test your mirror? If yes, what did you find?
Imperfect star test results do not necessarily translate to poor images but the star test will reveal small imperfections even for good mirrors. Of course, some star test experience would be needed to decipher small imperfections.
Jason


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Which mirror better-Zambuto, Discovery or Orion UK new [Re: Jason D]
      #5628027 - 01/17/13 12:43 PM

Nah, only test has been eyeball to eyepiece. It just luckily has a nice mirror. I do keep it collimated though, and that might make a difference from comparisons to others scopes....

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BluewaterObserva
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/18/04

Re: Which mirror better-Zambuto, Discovery or Orion UK new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5628099 - 01/17/13 01:31 PM

Resale value is strongly in favor of the Zambuto.

It just one factor in the equation, but so far in favor of the Zambuto it drastically tips this scale in its' favor.


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Jason D
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/21/06

Loc: California
Re: Which mirror better-Zambuto, Discovery or Orion UK new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5628108 - 01/17/13 01:37 PM

Quote:

Nah, only test has been eyeball to eyepiece. It just luckily has a nice mirror. I do keep it collimated though, and that might make a difference from comparisons to others scopes....




My original stock XT10 mirror gave nice views and I was happy with it and I would still be happy with it if I am still using it today; however, when I upgraded my mirror to Ed Steven's mirror years ago I noticed the difference to be subtle at low and mid magnification but more prevalent at higher magnification. Interestingly, the star test of both mirrors is far apart. My Stevenís mirror gave very nice defocused star images at both ends of the focus but my stock mirror showed a clear case of spherical aberration. As I stated in older posts, my experience made me have more respect for mass produced mirrors and more appreciation for premium mirrors.

Jason


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Darenwh
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 05/11/06

Loc: Covington, GA
Re: Which mirror better-Zambuto, Discovery or Orion UK new [Re: BluewaterObserva]
      #5628117 - 01/17/13 01:41 PM

Quote:

Resale value is strongly in favor of the Zambuto.

It just one factor in the equation, but so far in favor of the Zambuto it drastically tips this scale in its' favor.




I would have to disagree with this point. Yes, resale value is with the Zambuto but by how big of a factor. If the 10" GSO mirror (under $200) will sell for 70% ($140) of cost and the 10" Zambuto mirror ($1400) will sell for 80% ($980) of cost but the price difference is too large you will still loose more money (GSO $60, Zambuty $420) on the Zambuty than the GSO. Besides, people who buy anything other than traditionally appreciating products (stocks, bonds, commodities, etc...) based on resale value would be far better off sticking their money in the bank. Something like a Telescope Primary is something you buy for your use, not because you want to resale it later.


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Doug Culbertson
Post Laureate
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Reged: 01/06/05

Re: Which mirror better-Zambuto, Discovery or Orion UK new [Re: Jason D]
      #5628134 - 01/17/13 01:51 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Nah, only test has been eyeball to eyepiece. It just luckily has a nice mirror. I do keep it collimated though, and that might make a difference from comparisons to others scopes....




My original stock XT10 mirror gave nice views and I was happy with it and I would still be happy with it if I am still using it today; however, when I upgraded my mirror to Ed Steven's mirror years ago I noticed the difference to be subtle at low and mid magnification but more prevalent at higher magnification. Interestingly, the star test of both mirrors is far apart. My Stevenís mirror gave very nice defocused star images at both ends of the focus but my stock mirror showed a clear case of spherical aberration. As I stated in older posts, my experience made me have more respect for mass produced mirrors and more appreciation for premium mirrors.

Jason




I have owned 5 Zambuto mirrors, and I am now on my second Ed Stevens mirror. Ed's mirrors are every bit the equal of Carl's, but that could be because Ed once worked for Carl. It's a shame that Ed is no longer in business.


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pstarr
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/17/04

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Which mirror better-Zambuto, Discovery or Orion UK new [Re: Darenwh]
      #5628157 - 01/17/13 02:04 PM

Quote:


I would have to disagree with this point. Yes, resale value is with the Zambuto but by how big of a factor. If the 10" GSO mirror (under $200) will sell for 70% ($140) of cost and the 10" Zambuto mirror ($1400) will sell for 80% ($980) of cost but the price difference is too large you will still loose more money (GSO $60, Zambuty $420) on the Zambuty than the GSO. Besides, people who buy anything other than traditionally appreciating products (stocks, bonds, commodities, etc...) based on resale value would be far better off sticking their money in the bank. Something like a Telescope Primary is something you buy for your use, not because you want to resale it later.




I have seen 10" Zambuto mirrors sell on AM for 95% of the original price, depending on the coating and surface condition. The people who buy these are the ones who don't want to wait 9 months for a new one. A 10" GSO mirror is, well a 10" GSO mirror. There are plenty of them out there. Supply and demand may also have something to do with the resale price. You can buy a new 10" GSO mirror in stock right now at Agena Astro.


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CosmoSat
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/24/09

Loc: India
Re: Which mirror better-Zambuto, Discovery or Orion UK new [Re: denis0007dl]
      #5628166 - 01/17/13 02:10 PM

Quote:

Let me know your opinion!




What diameter and focal ratio are you considering?

Clear Skies!


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BluewaterObserva
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/18/04

Re: Which mirror better-Zambuto, Discovery or Orion UK new [Re: Darenwh]
      #5628170 - 01/17/13 02:12 PM

Was the original post which is the betterv deal? Or which better?

Which wiould I rather have in my posssesion? The Zambuto


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Calypte
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: Which mirror better-Zambuto, Discovery or Orion UK new [Re: jpb30]
      #5628189 - 01/17/13 02:26 PM

Quote:

Hello
use for 1 month a mirroir 17 "5 F/D 4 Zerodur Ostahowsky optic, and since I make of the astronomy ( 35 years) it is certainly the best optics through which I observed!!!
In visual in December I was able to observe details of all the satellites jupiter in 900X, it was extraordinary!!! No light diffusion, What proves a roughness of the optical surface very low;Fabulous!!!

Terry possesses a workshop and a excellent interferometric banns test
some picture of mi new scope : http://jp-brahic.chez-alice.fr/t450.htm

jp




I took the liberty of copying your post to email and sending it to Terry O. He'll be happy to read it.


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Chucky
sage
*****

Reged: 04/16/10

Loc: Dublin, Ohio
Re: Which mirror better-Zambuto, Discovery or Orion UK new [Re: Calypte]
      #5628374 - 01/17/13 04:01 PM

<< I have seen 10" Zambuto mirrors sell on AM for 95% of the original price. >>

I paid $ 650.00 coated and shipped for my 10 inch F6 Zambuto. But this was back in April 1999. If I was to sell it today, I think I'd make a bit of coin. No, it's not for sale. This mirror is the best single investment I've ever made in the hobby.....and I'm not talking about the financial part....instead I'm talking about the quality of the purchase and the enjoyment I've had using the mirror over the years.


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chaoscosmos
sage
*****

Reged: 01/26/13

Loc: Mission Viejo CA
Re: Which mirror better-Zambuto, Discovery or Orion UK new [Re: Chucky]
      #5647357 - 01/28/13 02:32 AM

This discussion reminds me somewhat of the ones that take place on the photography forums I visit. Instead of Zambuto it's Leica and Zeiss. Some people swear that Leica optics are worth many times what you might pay for Nikon, Canon, or other lesser known brands. Others think there's really no difference. I think myself that there is a difference between these photographic optics (I don't know enough about telescope mirrors), but that the user has to be quite discerning, which usually comes with experience. Like with many other manufactured items, you pay a heavy price to get the best.

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cloud_cover
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/17/10

Loc: Restaurant at the End of the U...
Re: Which mirror better-Zambuto, Discovery or Orion UK [Re: chaoscosmos]
      #5647397 - 01/28/13 04:03 AM

I think when it comes to the quality of the telescope itself there are many factors.
Of note, in a newtonian system collimation is arguably the most important as mis-collimation can introduce many more wave-multiples of error than comparing decent vs. excellently figured mirrors. I recall some articles in which a person stated after learning about "proper" collimation his previously poor scope became an excellent scope. Not to imply anything about the OP, just to say there are other factors.
On the other hand, mass produced optics, like any other product, will have a variation in quality. This means some will be outstanding (more than +2SD outside mean) and some will be appalling (hopefully QC picks those up). Is it possible that some of the excellent mass produced ones will exceed a ZOC or a 1/10 wave Orion UK mirror? Absolutely. Its even possible (statistically and theoretically, of course) that its surface smoothness may be a few atoms thick, the scope will hold up excellently mechanically thus you'll get wonderful views.
The main question is:Can you accurately select for such a scope? Most of the time unless the store has such a scope in hand and the owner is willing to do that for you, its nigh on impossible.
So the best approach is to take the quality of the mean and compare that with the premium mirrors. In which case you'll find that most observers will prefer the premium mirror over randomly selected mass-production scopes. Therein lies the value of these "premium" mirrors - you are buying a known quantity.
Put it in another way: If you went to the Supermarket and wanted to buy a canned item, say a premium canned meat that costs $10/per can. Now suppose the roof blew off the supermarket in a hurricane and the rain soaked off all the can labels. Would you then also be willing to pay $10 for an unlabelled can with unknown contents and quality. I don't think so. But would an unlabelled can still do its job (providing nutrition)? It would, but you'll probably be willing to pay less in case the food is of a lower quality.


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