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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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De Lorme
professor emeritus
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Reged: 12/30/08

Re: The market for big refractors: Your opinions? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5758260 - 03/26/13 01:30 PM

Jim, I asked Alex at Istar if he would consider making a
8" f/6 lens since there are so many of us who have a Atlas
or a Cgem mount that it would work on. Waiting to see what he says on the Istar telescope forum. De Lorme


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: The market for big refractors: Your opinions? new [Re: De Lorme]
      #5758409 - 03/26/13 03:04 PM

Istar OTAs are awfully heavy (well-built, but too much material for what I have in mind - and I don't like the truss design!). An 8" f/6 is a big, heavy OTA I'm not sure even a lightweight build would ride comfortably on an Atlas. Maybe, but maybe not.

- Jim


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t.r.
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Reged: 02/14/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: The market for big refractors: Your opinions? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5758449 - 03/26/13 03:25 PM

Quote:

Hi t.r.

Any reason you'd want f/9 if you could get an f/6 with at least as good and possibly superior color correction to the f/9 (and obviously a much easier to mount size and mass)?

Regards,

Jim




No particular reason at all...I'm just assuming it can't be done at F/6 easily or cost effectively, so knowing that the F/9 has already been done in the past (Meade) it could be done again today with maybe a little tweaking(glass types, spacing, magic) for improvement. If the particular sample I played with didn't have the SA it displayed...I'd own it today!


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Eddgie
Postmaster
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Reged: 02/01/06

Re: The market for big refractors: Your opinions? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5758533 - 03/26/13 04:01 PM

In marketing, there is the theory of a "Temporary Monolopy." (I follow this stuff pretty closely). It says that the first company to enter the market for product will enjoy the most profit per sample of the product. AP did more to popularize the APO than any other company on the planet and they are reaping the rewards of having had a temporary monolopy.

Also, AP scopes are far from "ED scopes with medium levels of color correction." Their scopes are state of the art units that take no prisoners in terms of optical quality. They are almost without question, the finest astrographs that money can buy.

APs niche is not the mass produced ED visual refractor. Mr. Christen and I had a discussion about this about 8 years ago, and he indicated that he wanted nothing to do with that market. In fact, he said he did not think it could be profitable if the quality was expected to be world class.

Good luck with your market research, and should you try, with the effort.

Remember though that having achromats made in China almost bankrupted Burgess Optics (total disaster).

And remember that the Meade ED scopes were a market failure.


But maybe you have the magic dust that this kind of market venture would require. Good luck.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: The market for big refractors: Your opinions? new [Re: t.r.]
      #5758580 - 03/26/13 04:21 PM

I'm thinking more conventional achromatic doublet and something like a Chromacorr rather than an ED doublet or triplet design, so yep "magic" covers it.

Regards,

Jim


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AntarcticDave
sage


Reged: 02/03/09

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: The market for big refractors: Your opinions? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5758624 - 03/26/13 04:43 PM

De Lorme - Istar does make an f5.9 8" as a comet hunter: Phoenix WFT 204-6

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: The market for big refractors: Your opinions? new [Re: Eddgie]
      #5758638 - 03/26/13 04:50 PM

"AP did more to popularize the APO than any other company on the planet and they are reaping the rewards of having had a temporary monolopy."

Better ask Ford Mo Co about that theory.

Actually A-P really never did much to exploit its brief period of duopoly with Takahashi (Tak debuted fluorite scopes in 1981 - the same year A-P first placed an ad in S&T).

Today A-P has loads of competition. If anyone took advantage of early entry it was Takahashi. Taks, unlike A-Ps, have always had reasonable availability, so much more of a "big business" model. In fact, the availability of the TOA-150 relative to the unavailability of large A-P scopes today (or even small ones, for that matter) has allowed Takahashi, not A-P, to garner additional monopolist-like margin per unit. $11k for a 6-inch ED triplet is pretty rich and reasonable availability of 130mm+ A-P scopes would certainly dilute that rich margin. A-P's lack of aggressive business optimization also opened the door for TEC. TEC is a quasi-A-P business model but without ridiculously long waitlists. Tak's shadow is LZOS and its branders.

A-P operates like an artisanal business rather than a post-industrial one. The labor of love versus the quest to grow profits and volumes.

I also think Burgess has had other issues beyond supplier problems. Plenty of other companies seem to be able to make money selling Chinese-made scopes. That suggests that the problems were as much inside the walls as out.

The responses here are more likely to be of use to pros who are already in or looking seriously at entering this market. For me, big, easily mountable, unobstructed, reasonably high quality, reasonable visual color correction and greater affordability than like aperture (i.e., 5" and 6") mass-produced FPL-53 ED triplets, represent a combination of properties that would disrupt buying patterns in the market for visual use refractors.

If a visual user could by a 7-incher with decent correction for the same price as a 5-incher with CCD-adequate color correction, and be able to use it on the same mount as the 5-incher, who would buy the 5 incher? This is more about taking market share away from existing participants in the market than creating an entirely new market. Kinda like iPhone did to RIMM, Moto and Erickson. A total blind-side-run-over-by-a-bus-that-didn't-even-ghost-its-brakes. The iFrac.

- Jim


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zjc26138
Loved By All
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Reged: 02/24/05

Loc: Mingo Junction, Ohio
Re: The market for big refractors: Your opinions? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5758738 - 03/26/13 05:41 PM

Let's see:

1: Both. I'm about 60/40 imaging/visual.

2: I figure big is anything I can't handle by myself. Why? Anything that is really bigger will probably be a pain to setup.

3: I would prefer it to be about the same. Some color is not to bothersome to me.

4: The max on any refractor for me to spend would be 5-6K if funds were available.

5: I don't care who manufactures the scope. As long as the quality is there.

6: I would rather have it sooner rather than later even if I could save a few dollars. If I'm already spending 5-6k, a few saved dollars won't matter to much to me.

7: I think that would be great. Reducing weight is always good. As long as quality is not sacrificed I would be happy. I'd also be willing to pay a little more for weight reduction.

8: I think this would be nice.

9: Also a nice option. A good way to reduce weight and make a potential scope more portable.

10: As long as cost does not go up to much it would be desirable.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: The market for big refractors: Your opinions? [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5758764 - 03/26/13 05:55 PM

I just copied your questions and put my answers underneath:

(1) Are you a visual user or an imager?

Both- I love the AP130EDFGT in both modes.

(2) How big is "big enough" and why?

I am interested in the 152-160mm class. I'd go up to 180 if it was the right scope, but the mobility concerns are pretty scary as it is.

(3) Using the old 127mm f/9 Meade ED doublet as a benchmark, would color correction be acceptable to you if it was about the same? A little worse?

I've used quite a few scopes, and I find the CA is pretty distracting- not because it's there, but because it shifts colors. For example, M45 in a scope with great color correction is absolutely dazzling.

(4) How much would you be willing to pay for a (i) 150mm?, (ii) 160mm?, (iii) 180mm?, (iv) 200mm? (That's not a typo - yeah, an 8-incher. )

Let me start by saying this is like a life-decision class instrument for me. I'm not rolling in money, so the benchmark for this is the scope has to be really outstanding. Since instruments in that class aren't trivial to make, I'm going to guess there won't be a bunch of sizes available. So, in order of interest:

(ii) $8-10K
(i) $7-8K
(iii) $17-$20k
(iv) ~25K?

Discussion for fairness: I've spent some time talking to Roland as well, and he's doing this as a mission. He wants to get some good glass out in the world and get it used. In a way, everyone who gets one is a bit of an experiment by him to see what we will do with it. If we get it out and used, that's what he wanted to see happen. So, it's largely being done at cost. While it is somewhat commonly said AP could ramp up or charge more, I've investigated market penetration by two of the most parallel scopes available- the AP 130EDFGT and the TeleVue NP-127. The TV is slightly more and always available, but has half as many OTAs shipped. So please don't think it's a given any price can be charged or any quantity can be sold.

(5) Would it be a plus (in the sense that you'd be willing to pay a bit more) if the optics were designed by a well-known designer? If the optics were manufactured in Europe?

If that means the optics were optimized for the glass as delivered for that group of telescopes, then ensured the final quality met the design, then YES. If it's a design off of the catalog values, then it's impossible to get to AP type performance, no matter who designed it, so this is less important.

As for where the glass came from, again, I am going to have to go by the results. I'd be happiest if if was keeping someone in the business who was interested in delivering this hardware rather than someone who had some totally unrelated bread-and-butter and had done this as a lark. But with that said, it may not be such a bad thing if a refractor equivalent of Questar came into being, so it's not like I would refuse to get a scope if that were the case.

(6) Is ready availability (i.e., no more than a 3 month wait) a major plus in your view, or if the price were a bit lower, would you be willing to wait a bit longer?

If the quality were available at a reasonable price, that's a huge point. I don't know that I'd happily do another 9 year wait, but I'd understand if they weren't sitting in a warehouse waiting for the phone to ring.

(7) What would you think about the manufacturer designing the refractors so that they use ultra-light materials (composites, magnesium and titanium fittings, etc) so that a CGEM/Atlas class EQ head could deal with the moment arm?

This would be extremely enabling. Weight is a really big problem for mobility. Yeah, there are bigger ones of everything. More weight. More setup time. Fewer observing sessions. Lots of money. But beware- triplet lens cells are very heavy.

(8) What would you think about the manufacturer offering pier assemblies of appropriate height, set up for common EQ mount heads (again Atlas, CGEM, CGE Pro, G-11, etc.), to accommodate the length of the OTA?

This is a good idea. If they could be creatively multipurposed pier extensions, then it's a great idea.

(9) What if the manufacturer also offered hargreaves struts for the tube assemblies?

I'm an f/7 and under lover, mobile, and always time compressed. If it needs these, I know I won't be using it much.

(10) Would a modular tube be desirable even if it drove up costs a significant amount (i.e., the tube breaks into 3 sections, fits in a matched hard case, and fits in the back of the average compact SUV (Forester, CR-V, RAV-4, Equinox, Escape, etc.)?

Yes- this is a huge benefit. Maintenance, transport, damage avoidance, repair, modification, or reconfiguration all become vastly easier if you use this approach. Also keep in mind even if the vehicle is a Ford Expedition, some of us would like to bring others/ incorporate observing into another trip.

OK, so what are you up to?

-Rich

Edited by Starhawk (03/26/13 06:04 PM)


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ManuelJ
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/19/05

Loc: Madrid, Spain
Re: The market for big refractors: Your opinions? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5759650 - 03/27/13 07:14 AM

(1) Are you a visual user or an imager?

Both, but more interested in visual part

(2) How big is "big enough" and why?

Between 7" and 9". This is the point where planetary images begin to get serious.

(3) Using the old 127mm f/9 Meade ED doublet as a benchmark, would color correction be acceptable to you if it was about the same? A little worse?

A tiny bit of violet haze like the one found in NP series, or the spherocromatism of the Traveler is fine.
I'm more worried about the current trend of correcting in the blue, check related threads.

(4) How much would you be willing to pay for a (i) 150mm?, (ii) 160mm?, (iii) 180mm?, (iv) 200mm? (That's not a typo - yeah, an 8-incher. )

150 -> 8k
160 -> 10k
180 -> 15k
200 -> 20k

(5) Would it be a plus (in the sense that you'd be willing to pay a bit more) if the optics were designed by a well-known designer? If the optics were manufactured in Europe?

Yes, I would not pay even a dollar from a chinese figuring.

(6) Is ready availability (i.e., no more than a 3 month wait) a major plus in your view, or if the price were a bit lower, would you be willing to wait a bit longer?

No problem in waiting.

(7) What would you think about the manufacturer designing the refractors so that they use ultra-light materials (composites, magnesium and titanium fittings, etc) so that a CGEM/Atlas class EQ head could deal with the moment arm?

The less the weight, the better. Excellent!.

(8) What would you think about the manufacturer offering pier assemblies of appropriate height, set up for common EQ mount heads (again Atlas, CGEM, CGE Pro, G-11, etc.), to accommodate the length of the OTA?

I don't care.

(9) What if the manufacturer also offered hargreaves struts for the tube assemblies?

Don't care, again.

(10) Would a modular tube be desirable even if it drove up costs a significant amount (i.e., the tube breaks into 3 sections, fits in a matched hard case, and fits in the back of the average compact SUV (Forester, CR-V, RAV-4, Equinox, Escape, etc.)?

No, thanks. A big apo is something not exactly born to carry around.


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russell23
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Reged: 05/31/09

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: The market for big refractors: Your opinions? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5759840 - 03/27/13 09:31 AM

(1) Are you a visual user or an imager? Visual
(2) How big is "big enough" and why? 7" or 8" because they would provide a ~60-100% jump over my current 5.5" refractor.
(3) Using the old 127mm f/9 Meade ED doublet as a benchmark, would color correction be acceptable to you if it was about the same? A little worse? I'm good with the level of color in the Vixen 140mm when used with a Baader Fringe Killer - but I mostly observe deep sky objects.

(4) How much would you be willing to pay for a (i) 150mm?, (ii) 160mm?, (iii) 180mm?, (iv) 200mm? (That's not a typo - yeah, an 8-incher. )

Depends upon the design. For me, after using the Vixen 140 Petzval refractor, I don't think I could go with a non-Petzval design. I also can't answer this question in the sense that any realistic price to market a larger refractor is beyond my current ability to afford. But in general if I think about it I think I would be willing to pay ~ $5000 for a 7-8" refractor. Since an ED refractor could not be manufactured at that price and size what I would want won't ever exist.
(5) Would it be a plus (in the sense that you'd be willing to pay a bit more) if the optics were designed by a well-known designer? If the optics were manufactured in Europe? Not necessarily.
(6) Is ready availability (i.e., no more than a 3 month wait) a major plus in your view, or if the price were a bit lower, would you be willing to wait a bit longer? I can wait.
(7) What would you think about the manufacturer designing the refractors so that they use ultra-light materials (composites, magnesium and titanium fittings, etc) so that a CGEM/Atlas class EQ head could deal with the moment arm?

Yes - light materials would make it manageable to mount.
(8) What would you think about the manufacturer offering pier assemblies of appropriate height, set up for common EQ mount heads (again Atlas, CGEM, CGE Pro, G-11, etc.), to accommodate the length of the OTA?

Yes - and how about a beefy Alt-azimuth mount too.

(9) What if the manufacturer also offered hargreaves struts for the tube assemblies? No.

(10) Would a modular tube be desirable even if it drove up costs a significant amount (i.e., the tube breaks into 3 sections, fits in a matched hard case, and fits in the back of the average compact SUV (Forester, CR-V, RAV-4, Equinox, Escape, etc.)? No.

Here is what I would like: 7" F/7 doublet Petzval refractor. It can be an achro because I'll just throw a Fringe Killer on it. If it can be made with any kind of ED glass that helps reduce CA while still keeping the cost down then that would be great too. I think the Vixen 140mm NA is a great deep sky refractor and I'd love to have a 7" F/7 version available. I'd take an 8" F/7 too.

Dave


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Sean Puett
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/06/10

Loc: always cloudy, washington
Re: The market for big refractors: Your opinions? new [Re: russell23]
      #5759859 - 03/27/13 09:44 AM

I knew I liked you Dave. Mine would end up a bit faster but, I could deal with f7 and that would just make color correction that much easier.

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tomcody
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/06/08

Loc: Titusville, Florida
Re: The market for big refractors: Your opinions? new [Re: AntarcticDave]
      #5759861 - 03/27/13 09:46 AM

Jim,
I think both StellerVue and Istar (which seems to closely match what you are saying in their production ARE in this market, Stellervue with outsourced lens and Istar with a design philosophy that, to me, seem to be trying to bring reasonably priced scopes to the market. It also seems to me, that Istar is not selling as well as it could be even though the price is right , the scopes reasonably light and the idea of a nearly APO (forgive me as I really don't what to properly call one of these Acro ? APO? not fully corrected scopes),
But my point, if the market is there as you perceive it? why hasn't Istar done better? I personally would have expected them to sell every scope and have a waiting list by now. ( And as a case in point there is a Istar 6" R30 on AM that the owner could not sell even at what I think was a "deal you can't refuse" price and now has it on auction on AM).
So, what do you think Istar is not doing right to meet your idea of a scope to dominate the market?
Rex

Edited by tomcody (03/27/13 09:48 AM)


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Jeff B
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/30/06

Re: The market for big refractors: Your opinions? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5759919 - 03/27/13 10:16 AM

(1) Are you a visual user or an imager? : Visual

(2) How big is "big enough" and why?: 11" F12, biggest that will fit in my 16'X16' observatory and the mount can handle.

(3) Using the old 127mm f/9 Meade ED doublet as a benchmark, would color correction be acceptable to you if it was about the same? A little worse? : Yes, my bench marks for comparisons are 3" and 4" F15 achromats.
(4) How much would you be willing to pay for a (i) 150mm?, (ii) 160mm?, (iii) 180mm?, (iv) 200mm? (That's not a typo - yeah, an 8-incher. ) : Don't know really
(5) Would it be a plus (in the sense that you'd be willing to pay a bit more) if the optics were designed by a well-known designer? If the optics were manufactured in Europe? Yes, provides confidence for me.
(6) Is ready availability (i.e., no more than a 3 month wait) a major plus in your view, or if the price were a bit lower, would you be willing to wait a bit longer? Time under a year or so is not that important. I can wait to get what I want.
(7) What would you think about the manufacturer designing the refractors so that they use ultra-light materials (composites, magnesium and titanium fittings, etc) so that a CGEM/Atlas class EQ head could deal with the moment arm? : All for it.

(8) What would you think about the manufacturer offering pier assemblies of appropriate height, set up for common EQ mount heads (again Atlas, CGEM, CGE Pro, G-11, etc.), to accommodate the length of the OTA? : All for it.
(9) What if the manufacturer also offered hargreaves struts for the tube assemblies? : All for it.
(10) Would a modular tube be desirable even if it drove up costs a significant amount (i.e., the tube breaks into 3 sections, fits in a matched hard case, and fits in the back of the average compact SUV (Forester, CR-V, RAV-4, Equinox, Escape, etc.)? : Sure but it's got to look really cool
Thanks in advance for playing along. I have my opinions on these items, but would rather share them after others have had a chance to give their views.

Regards,

Jim

Jim: I prefer slower focal ratios as well, like F8 and slower.

Nice thread.

Jeff


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tomcody
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/06/08

Loc: Titusville, Florida
Re: The market for big refractors: Your opinions? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5760026 - 03/27/13 11:22 AM

(1) Are you a visual user or an imager?

Visual only now, imaging while nice is too time intensive.

(2) How big is "big enough" and why?

4" but prefer 5" or 6", either provides enough light and reach while being able to be carried and mounted easily.

(3) Using the old 127mm f/9 Meade ED doublet as a benchmark, would color correction be acceptable to you if it was about the same? A little worse?

I prefer an APO (Tak FS series provides the best balance between weight and quality of view).

(4) How much would you be willing to pay for a (i) 150mm?, (ii) 160mm?, (iii) 180mm?, (iv) 200mm? (That's not a typo - yeah, an 8-incher. )

6 to 7K would be my limit for a 150-160, forget anything bigger, too much work.

(5) Would it be a plus (in the sense that you'd be willing to pay a bit more) if the optics were designed by a well-known designer? If the optics were manufactured in Europe?

Only if the resale would be better!

(6) Is ready availability (i.e., no more than a 3 month wait) a major plus in your view, or if the price were a bit lower, would you be willing to wait a bit longer?

Yes, in stock or nearly there matters. (waited 10 years for an AP, won't do that again!)

(7) What would you think about the manufacturer designing the refractors so that they use ultra-light materials (composites, magnesium and titanium fittings, etc) so that a CGEM/Atlas class EQ head could deal with the moment arm?

I think the state of the art is already there in manufacturing, Tak FS series are about as light as it gets, and the ES CF 5" and 6" are about all you could ask for in a lightweight triplet. ( dosen't Istar already use a lightweight exotic metal is some of their cells). If the scope gets too light is will be delicate.

(8) What would you think about the manufacturer offering pier assemblies of appropriate height, set up for common EQ mount heads (again Atlas, CGEM, CGE Pro, G-11, etc.), to accommodate the length of the OTA?

Already done, go the AP web site and look for piers - you will be referred to ATS, they can supply anything you want, other manufactures can do the same or start competing with them.

(9) What if the manufacturer also offered hargreaves struts for the tube assemblies?

Who? What? Come on its not 1860 anymore!

(10) Would a modular tube be desirable even if it drove up costs a significant amount (i.e., the tube breaks into 3 sections, fits in a matched hard case, and fits in the back of the average compact SUV (Forester, CR-V, RAV-4, Equinox, Escape, etc.)?

Don't see the need, if the dew shield is removable or slides and the focuser can be removed like the FT series ( and a factory plug inserted in the hole like FT offers) then the OTA on most scopes would be short enough as is without adding weight of a joint to it to be carried in most small cars ( I know, I am measuring Mini Coopers and Smart Cars to see if my 5" rig will fit in them now, so far everything fits except in the Mini convertible as the top steals too much room from the trunk). Forester? if you have a problem packing that? Buy a van).


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: The market for big refractors: Your opinions? new [Re: tomcody]
      #5760046 - 03/27/13 11:36 AM

"But my point, if the market is there as you perceive it? why hasn't Istar done better?"

Well there are a couple possibilities. Either (i) the market isn't really there or (ii) star isn't all you perceive it to be or rather your perception of their offerings differs from the majority's. I note that D&G has multi-year wait-lists by comparison and is selling plain old large achromats at prices similar to Istar's. Perhaps if you start to analyze differences in the two company's optics and offerings an explanation as to why one vendor can't sell what it has and the other can't make enough quickly enough to satisfy demand will emerge.

What I wish existed were large refractors with much, much better color correction than Synta, JOC, Kunming, Istar or D&G achromats, offered at prices similar to if not lower than their achromat offerings of comparable aperture, and in length and mass configurations suitable for placing on a mid-ranged mount (CGEM, Atlas, etc.).

SCTs sell not because they are good optically relative to other designs (they aren't - you need almost perfect mirrors in a 33% CO scope to achieve mere diffraction limited performance (0.80 Strehl) at the eyepiece), but because they are compact and a fairly large aperture SCT fits on an economically priced mount (Celestron sells the C11 on the CG5-GT for instance). If you could match the level of convenience of an 8" to 12" SCT OTA with unobstructed optics that consistently deliver better than diffraction limited performance at the eyepiece, with color correction similar to a moderately slow FPL-51 ED doublet of like aperture, I think you might have a disruptive technology on your hands capable of eroding the market share of SCTs, big achros and mid-sized to large apochromats, at least among visual users.

Astronomy is not a growing pie. It's a static or shrinking pie. The way to flourish in a mature or contracting market is to come up with new products that take market share away from other market participants. Cheap Dobs and Newts are the real "competition" I think for such a refractor. But cheap Dobs and Newts have their own inconveniences.

In any case, it's fun to think about.

Regards,

Jim


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

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Re: The market for big refractors: Your opinions? new [Re: AntarcticDave]
      #5760053 - 03/27/13 11:38 AM

I like that. Now if it was guaranteed and independently tested to have a figure quality of 0.93 Strehl or better, and had a $1000 to $2000 "thingy" on the rear end that helped eliminate 50-75% of the false color, I think they'd be on to something.

Regards,

Jim


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tomcody
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/06/08

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Re: The market for big refractors: Your opinions? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5760065 - 03/27/13 11:46 AM

Jim,
Thanks for the reply. As I have never used either a D&G or an Istar I have to go on the reports of others and I have never read a single negative report on the Istars (not to say they may not exist), I just have seen positive ones.
But as I am still trying to understand what you are looking for in a scope? Could you give an example of an existing scope that meets your requirement? except for cost? As I am trying to understand if what you want exists (or can even be made ) at any cost? or just exists in theory only? Again cost is no object for your example, EDIT: But please make the example a production scope if one exists, not some one off custom that is hard to compare with anything else.
Rex

Edited by tomcody (03/27/13 11:53 AM)


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russell23
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Re: The market for big refractors: Your opinions? new [Re: Sean Puett]
      #5760182 - 03/27/13 12:45 PM

Quote:

I knew I liked you Dave. Mine would end up a bit faster but, I could deal with f7 and that would just make color correction that much easier.




That's what I was thinking. Ok, so two votes for a Vixen 180mm Neo-achro. Any others?

Dave


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FirstSightModerator
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Re: The market for big refractors: Your opinions? [Re: russell23]
      #5760447 - 03/27/13 02:18 PM

QUERY: How many refractors *combined* have the higher-quality refractor makers (Televue, Astro-Physics, Takahashi, TEC, ok let's include Stellarvue) ever sold? Let's also ask the same question, but restricted to:
a) 100mm refractors and over;
b) 125mm refractors and over;
c) each size category, restricted to just APO refractors.

I seem to recall a thread just over a year ago in which various contributors tried to estimate how many refractors Televue had ever sold, according to serial numbers, and how many NP-101 refractors in particular there were. I can't remember the exact number, but the estimate was a surprisingly modest total.

A REASONABLE POINT to start from in estimating the most optimistic potential size of the market for big refractors is whatever number total have ever been sold so far of these types. To note that it's a "niche market" is not of itself a sufficiently accurate predictor of whether there's nevertheless enough potential demand for someone to sustainably exploit, absent at least roughly accurate historical quantitative data about what the size of this niche actually is. Granted, there's a steady trickle of new entrants into the astronomy hobby, including folks with means to buy larger refractors if they wish, but OTOH I doubt there's any huge untapped well of potential demand on the horizon.

Edited by FirstSight (03/27/13 02:31 PM)


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