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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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B. Cook
professor emeritus
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Reged: 10/18/10

Loc: No. California
Istar refractors Pros and Cons?
      #5774396 - 04/02/13 11:10 PM

Are these refractors worth the money they cost and is the build quality there? They seem to have a good selection of different scopes. From what I can find they are made overseas in Europe if I am correct. Are they a new company or have they been around in Europe long? I wonder if they have a warranty service here in the USA? I see OPT has them for sale. Availability on some of them you have to call them for that information its not online by phone only. I am going to get a refractor this fall be interesting to see if they are worth there cost and if they become popular on this side of the pond. Thanks

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: B. Cook]
      #5774435 - 04/02/13 11:29 PM

The optics are made in China. The tubes? Dunno. Europe, maybe. Or the US. Their HQ is in Page, AZ, USA, these days. They haven't been in business all that long. They do have an interesting selection. I'd love to see some independent interferometer reports for their larger optics done with meaningful parameters. If the optical quality is there, then they are a good value. If not, then I'd say there's not as much to be excited about.

Regards,

Jim


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mikey cee
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Reged: 01/18/07

Loc: bellevue ne.
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5774586 - 04/03/13 01:15 AM Attachment (178 downloads)

Well I for one am an extremely satisfied customer. After a year's plus usage I find this lens is truely top notch. I can honestly say I can see no room for improvement. Double stars of .5 arc seconds are easily split and Mars and Jupiter are phenominal to say the least. Seeing conditions obviously need to be cooperative and those times are far and few between but this lens still amazes. Ales K. Istar's owner is a straight shooter and will personally see to it that you will become a satisfied customer. I exchanged approximately two dozen e-mails with him. Go ahead take the leap. Mike

Edited by mikey cee (04/03/13 11:22 AM)


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RGM
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/15/03

Loc: Burks Falls, Ontario, Canada
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5774742 - 04/03/13 06:29 AM

I am also a happy owner. I believe they have a 5 year warranty period. I needed some work done on my focuser recently. Instead of repairing my existing focuser, they exchanged mine with a new/latest model focuser. Scope is built like a tank, and therefore heavier than other scopes. I rate it as high quality. They do have options to reduce weight on their website.

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Jim Curry
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 10/29/07

Loc: STL
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: RGM]
      #5774773 - 04/03/13 07:07 AM

Mr. Cook:

I purchased both the 4" & 6" f/12 regular achro lenses and built OTA's. The 4" star tests perfectly at 200x, the 6" perfect @ 300x.


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Darren Drake
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Reged: 10/09/02

Loc: Chicagoland
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5774880 - 04/03/13 08:42 AM

Quote:

Double stars of .05 arc seconds are easily split and Mars and Jupiter are phenominal to say the least.




Wow that's some really good glass there lol.


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CounterWeight
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Darren Drake]
      #5774912 - 04/03/13 08:57 AM

Folks that own them seem happy, at least those in the Istar user group and here - but I think in the end 'value' and etc are a personal call. I think you need to be aware of mount requirements if you goi with one of the long focal length and larger apeture.

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mikey cee
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Reged: 01/18/07

Loc: bellevue ne.
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Darren Drake]
      #5775328 - 04/03/13 11:24 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Double stars of .05 arc seconds are easily split and Mars and Jupiter are phenominal to say the least.




Wow that's some really good glass there lol.


Ah c'mon man lay off me. I meant to put down .5 arc seconds! Mike

Edited by mikey cee (04/03/13 11:25 AM)


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5775405 - 04/03/13 11:57 AM

Also, there are lots of "happy users" in users groups for every brand of scope. Heck, there are even Meade fans if you can believe it. The cold harsh light of some objective interferometric test data using methods and metrics identical to those used to test other optics would go a very long way to establishing or undermining the value proposition represented by Istar optics. Large optics are hard to fabricate well no matter where in the world you figure them.

It would be great if Rohr on astro-foren were to test a handful of non-cherry-picked Istar lenses. For me, that would establish quickly whether the goodwill is earned or just derived from "clubiness" that follows every brand, good or bad. It would also give an idea how these lenses stack up to other brands whose lenses have already been tested.

The large (6" and larger) Chinese achormatic optics tested thus far on astro-foren haven't been very good. This is why I think the absence of similarly derived data for these optics gives reason to pause. It would be a huge "win" for Istar if scopes already in users hands (not hand picked examples) were tested in that neutral context and shown to be exceptionally high in figure quality. Conversely, if the test results looked a lot like the other big Chinese achromats tested on the site, it could be problematic for the business. I'll put it another way: if there were one or two actual-customer-owned Istar scopes tested on astro-foren and they were shown to be in the neighborhood of 1/6 wave or better, I would buy an Istar tomorrow. If instead they look more like the DKD and other large China acromatic optics tested on the site (a little over 1/3 wave) I'd have zero interest in owning one at any price.

"Do you/we feel lucky?"

Regards,

Jim


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jhfenimore
member


Reged: 11/30/08

Loc: Upstate New York
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5775446 - 04/03/13 12:24 PM

I purchased an Istar 6" F15 achro lens a few weeks ago to use in a folded refractor on a dob mount I plan to build this spring and summer. Chose the Istar based on availability (at age 72, you don't want to be on a multi-year wait list), and to a lesser extent, on price. Have only built Newtonian dobs, so this will be an interesting experiment. When I am able to test it on the night sky, I'll be happy to pass along the results, if anyone is interested.

Jack


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telescopemullet
professor emeritus
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Reged: 11/16/09

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jhfenimore]
      #5775502 - 04/03/13 12:52 PM

You can add me to those who can attest to the great quality of the optics and OTAs of these scopes. I owned a D&G scope and the ISTAR was of better build quality and had optics that were just as good.

Edited by Scott in NC (04/17/13 05:32 PM)


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Sean Cunneen
Let Me Think
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Reged: 08/01/07

Loc: Blue Island Illinois
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: telescopemullet]
      #5775564 - 04/03/13 01:25 PM

I purchased and built a scope around an Istar 6" f15 objective. Over a couple of years maybe a hundred people looked through it and I received lots of compliments. I sold it when I came across my current Jaeger's lens which I find to be sharper but dimmer(the Jaegers is uncoated). My reports are that I had a large objective with no major errors (astigmatism, SA). The lens was not perfect, but I thought the performance outstanding for the value and there were few times my scope did not have the best planetary images around. I have not dealt with Istar complete scopes, though I did check one out at a star party. I felt the tube was very heavy and I did not like where the scope balanced aesthetically. Istar builds their OTAs in a premium way, with machined baffles and a thick tube. I felt you'd have to add perhaps 15# on the focuser end to make the OTA sit properly on a mount. That additional weight would make an already heavy tube just about at the limit for one person to move around. You will need a very robust (HUGE!) mount as well.

Pay no attention to where this or that is made, we live in a world of stuff being made everywhere. Istar has their own factory making their own stuff. Istar service and communication is first rate, except when they post anything


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cliffy54
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Reged: 03/14/10

Loc: ma
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: telescopemullet]
      #5775607 - 04/03/13 01:41 PM

Moderators should not get involved. Look at the title of the post. Pros and Cons. Mr Barnett is stating his opinon of Cons.

I to would like to see some testing numbers also.


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telescopemullet
professor emeritus
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Reged: 11/16/09

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: cliffy54]
      #5775629 - 04/03/13 01:48 PM

Quote:

Moderators should not get involved. Look at the title of the post. Pros and Cons. Mr Barnett is stating his opinon of Cons.

I to would like to see some testing numbers also.




They are not his opinions as he has never used one. He is using conjecture to cast doubt upon a fine product, big difference.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: telescopemullet]
      #5775686 - 04/03/13 02:12 PM

It is not an opinion that there are no published, neutral, interferometric test reports for Istar optics. I suggest that astro-foren is the best we have since we have test reports constructed using identical methodologies and criteria for many, many lenses from many, many sources. That is FACT.

It is not opinion that the large Chinese-made achromatic lenses tested on astro-foren using these standardized methods have been relatively poor in quality; below that which I would accept as a good quality optic. That, too, is FACT.

Here is the menu of astro-foren.de test reports:

http://www.astro-foren.de/showthread.php?6084-Verzeichnis-optischer-Berichte

Here are examples of poor quality large Chinese achromatic optics:

http://www.astro-foren.de/showthread.php?12046-DKD-Doublet-FH-Achromat-154-22...

http://www.astro-foren.de/showthread.php?11121-China-FH-ein-brauchbarer-Achro...

http://www.astro-foren.de/showthread.php?12046-DKD-Doublet-FH-Achromat-154-22...

Here is the DKD website:

http://dkdoptics.com/

Here is Istar's webpage for optical groups:

http://www.istar-optical.com/istar_031.htm

Here's a DKD lens with the accompanying "test report" (scroll down):

http://dkdoptics.com/productus.asp?id=108

Here is an Istar "test report":

http://www.istar-optical.com/istar_083.htm

It is not opinion that they look to be quite similar in parameters and presentation. That is a FACT, too.

Now every DKD optic that shipped with telescopes tested on astro-foren.de was accompanied by a similar test report, yet the actual figure quality of the optic when tested more rigorously wasn't consistent with that comforting report.

Therefore because we have no non-anecdotal evidence of high quality large Chinese achromatic optics, and do have some neutral, non-anecdotal evidence of large Chinese achromatic optics (shipped with glowing "test reports" no less) with poor optics, it is reasonable to proceed with caution and not be too hasty to accept anecdotal opinions from those who have drunk the kool-aid...er...I mean offered only pride of ownership endorsements rather than real data.

But hey, it's your money. I do have a question for the Istar owners. That ring on the front of the objective on which the focal length, aperture and company name are painted - can that be threaded off the front of the cell or is it glued on? I'd like to see the cell with the nameplate removed. Thanks!

Lastly, Istar hasn't helped itself among more skeptical and careful potential customers. It was Istar's principal to played "hide the banana" with the FACT of Chinese origin for Istar's lenses very early in the game. You see, I just want the FACTS, not the fanboism. A couple of 1/6 wave Istar objectives on good 'ol astro-foren, and I'd not only lose my skepticism but also become a customer. But as thing stand, a bunch of club members pumping glass they already bought, who display a severe case of "need to believe" doesn't cut it in my book.

What's the harm in wanting some FACTS? Heck, I'll pay to have telescopemullet's objective shipped to Rohr for testing and then back to him.



- Jim


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Gord
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 01/06/04

Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: telescopemullet]
      #5775727 - 04/03/13 02:41 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Moderators should not get involved. Look at the title of the post. Pros and Cons. Mr Barnett is stating his opinon of Cons.

I to would like to see some testing numbers also.




They are not his opinions as he has never used one. He is using conjecture to cast doubt upon a fine product, big difference.




You know, this is one comment/attitude that I have seen presented here quite a few times (and not just related to a single vendor/thing...) that I just can't agree with; the whole "this person doesn't own/hasn't used so is in no position to say anything". *Everyone* is in a position to share things here, be it personal experience first hand, or observations from afar.

Of course, I *AM* an IStar owner and so by your own position on this, you shouldn't have any problems with me sharing my experience!

I'll start with saying that Jim has hit on a lot of it already (and has things pretty clearly laid out). I'll add my own experiences and other information separately.

Clear skies,


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Gord
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 01/06/04

Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5775743 - 04/03/13 02:52 PM

Quote:


But hey, it's your money. I do have a question for the Istar owners. That ring on the front of the objective on which the focal length, aperture and company name are painted - can that be threaded off the front of the cell or is it glued on? I'd like to see the cell with the nameplate removed. Thanks!





Jim, I'm pretty sure it threads on, although I've never completely removed it. I'll have a look the next time I get a chance.

Clear skies,


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Gord]
      #5775755 - 04/03/13 02:56 PM

CNer Sasa also had an Istar - briefly. I'd love to hear him share his own "hands on" experiences with the instrument.

- Jim


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stanislas-jean
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/22/08

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5775893 - 04/03/13 04:07 PM

When buying an Istar 150F10 doublet I was pretty sure that this was a chineese one.
China is a strange company of several sources.
When visiting some I was surprised to see the catalog of OTA in a room and some special orders at the corner, 8, 9, 10" and more.
You know that this is mass production and into the lots there are good ones.
Having got a problem with the 1st 150 showing spikes at high power the second one was without spikes and a little better in acuracy.
The bulletin is what it is, it is always possible to perfom a roddier on by yourself in order to be confortable. I did.
This is not the initial bulletin but the acuracy remains above the minimum required.
A L/4 PTV for the refractor equals a L/8 reflector on glass surface. The strehl given on the website is what can be expected and there is it seems at the receipt a polarimetric light test to see internal stressing of the glasses.
This is not may be a DGO but this works. The 150mm tool gave me images of Mars and Venus that didn't get mostly.
Jim reported the importance of the optic elevation to keep less seeing locally from ground. Absolutly right.
With the one way light into tube there is a gain with internal air currents.
Products are not the more exceptionnal optics to find but this works more than honestly. Better than the synta line.
Doublets are engraved on the front, not a stick glued on the front.
I dismounted the doublet from the cell to see how it is installed/ very well, not pinched, well spaced, diametrally spaced, all surfaces FMC. Easy to maintain and to collimate.
I improved the assembly with the installation of 6 screw helping to collimate the lenses together for avoiding any shift.
People using these doublets on the sun found them very correct in Halpha, me on Mars and Venus.
Stanislas-Jean


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careysub
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 02/18/11

Loc: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5775923 - 04/03/13 04:21 PM

What we need is a Consumer's Union for telescope owners.

It would be a membership organization in which, upon joining, members submit a list of their optics that they own and information about acquisition for compilation into a confidential database.

The organization would then select and contact members to provide free testing of their optics so as to get a random or representative sample of vendors without having to front the money for purchases.

Members would have log-ins for access to the complete test database.

Additionally the organization could purchase optics anonymously for testing and then offer them for auction to members after testing to recoup the purchase money.

A suitable incentive structure to get members to pay sufficient membership fees to support this would be necessary.

Sort of a pipe dream, I know. But such a thing might be workable.


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De Lorme
professor emeritus
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Reged: 12/30/08

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: careysub]
      #5775964 - 04/03/13 04:45 PM

That is a great idea! This way the manufactorers know that
if they don't produce quality telescopes we won't buy.
Anybody can say it's great but now we would know it's great.Who do you know that would have the skills and time to
do the test on so many scopes? De Lorme


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Rutilus
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/17/10

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: careysub]
      #5775990 - 04/03/13 05:01 PM Attachment (99 downloads)

The nameplate is just threaded on. This is my 150mm f/15 lens with it removed.
Not had much time to do much testing with mine, but what I did see, Jupiter and a few double stars
including Sirius B looked very nice.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Rutilus]
      #5775995 - 04/03/13 05:04 PM

Thanks Rutilus. That's exactly what I was looking for.

Regards,

Jim


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B. Cook
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 10/18/10

Loc: No. California
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5776272 - 04/03/13 07:35 PM

Well like I said in the beginning I intend on buying a good quality refractor around Xmas. I have not seen an Istar scope around this area as of this time and no one in our club has either. I could consider one once more is known about the optics. Looking at there forum its hard to judge those who have them and there findings. Like Jim said it would be nice if one of the companys that can do a quality test on there glass and give an unbiased report in laymens language would be helpful to future buyers of Istar scopes.
If I want to invest 2 to3k on a scope I sure want to know ahead of time that I am buying a good quality product regardless of who made it.
Its a shame someone had to get up on the wrong side of the bed and jump on another CN member. Totally uncalled for especially when he does not even know what another person has knowledge of. Just my opinion Thank you


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mdowns
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/12/10

Loc: Englewood,FL
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: careysub]
      #5776298 - 04/03/13 07:47 PM

Count me in as a charter member for the consumer union of telescope owners.Killer good idea and not near so far fetched if we keep it within the confines of cnights,were we can regularly share and post info. The vast,diverse background here is a goldmine of all things telescope!

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Roy McCoy
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Glendale, AZ
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: De Lorme]
      #5776350 - 04/03/13 08:20 PM

Quote:

Who do you know that would have the skills and time to
do the test on so many scopes?





Rohr

(see Jim's links above)

We could collectively/periodically send a box of scopes to Astro-Foren.
He clearly knows what he is doing and already has a large list of evaluated scopes so we would only need to supply models he hasn’t done.


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dan_h
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/10/07

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: De Lorme]
      #5776352 - 04/03/13 08:21 PM

Quote:

That is a great idea! This way the manufactorers know that
if they don't produce quality telescopes we won't buy.
Anybody can say it's great but now we would know it's great.Who do you know that would have the skills and time to
do the test on so many scopes? De Lorme




Who do you know who would be willing to take the heat from the membership when a product doesn't live up to the standards that the testing indicated it should? You don't have enough money to pay any reputable testor to take that kind of risk.

dan


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LAF
member
*****

Reged: 11/30/04

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: telescopemullet]
      #5776499 - 04/03/13 09:12 PM

Totally agree

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tomharri
sage
*****

Reged: 09/19/08

Loc: USA
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: LAF]
      #5776567 - 04/03/13 09:46 PM

Huuummm.....Jupiter last night with Istar 5" f/8 R30, homebuilt, $1000 in it, 5mm Kiyohara ortho(?). 200x, very little purple haze, great defined detail equal to good 8" reflector. Two moons going behind planet, Europa going in front of Jupiter, could see moon for 20 minutes along edge but then lost it. What's not to like?

Meade 127mm ED/APO f/9, $1700+new ota way back then. Around $1000 used today. No purple haze, defined details about same as good 8" reflector. Good deal if you can find one.

Factor in inflation/worth of money, you get a little less scope new today for about same price that you got yesterday.

Why all the hate? Sounds like a deal to me.


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Gord
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 01/06/04

Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: B. Cook]
      #5776598 - 04/03/13 10:04 PM

So on the topic of IStar pro's and con's, I'll share my experience and observations.

Jim has given a lot of information here already and I'd say he's covered it will, including probably the biggest point, the unknown. Who they are, where they get stuff, it's pretty well known although I don't think I've ever seen it admitted anywhere that DKD is the source.

On my own experience, I've got the 6" F10 classic achro, and have tested another model that isn't offered any longer. My 6" is one of the early offerings, perhaps even from the very first batch offered when they first started back around 2009/2010. I believe Stanislas' sample is from the same time.

From my experience with it, it's a good achro, was great value at the time (and a little less so as the prices have crept up). Quality is good, I'd say above the previous offerings from Synta and the like. They were supposed to be around 1/5th wave, and mine is likely in that range.

After doing more extensive testing, I don't think it's as good as I initially felt in terms of absolute numbers and the very highest power tests (500x) are not as nice as I had hoped. Mine is not showing clear low order SA, but rather what appears to be balanced high-order SA. But I need to do further testing with some better filters to really understand it. It does though put up a nice image to 300x for sure, and at low powers it is very nice!

One thing that Jim has highlighted is the real unknown about *how* good they actually are since most tests from people are not very detailed and nothing really measurable like we see from Mr. Rohr. The interferometer report that Jim mentioned is a good example. This was presented around the time of when I got mine, but there seem to be a limited number of them all kind of looking similar and around that 1/5 wave error range. Seems unlikely that all could have such similar looking reports and the very same looking ones have been tested on astro-foren and came up quite different. I'm thinking it could just be a sample report and there would be whatever variability you would normally get between samples. Most also seem to be for around the 6" size.

I do think mine is a touch above the older Synta's (from 10 years ago), but I'm not so sure about more recently. My experience with some newer Synta's (and what I see on astro-foren) is that they have improved as well. Reports also seemed to suggest they were not far off of D&G either, but after seeing some of the D&G results, that may not mean they are particularly good since there are apparently some real stinkers out there even from them!

Still, I think the classic acrhos are good value. But I wouldn't say that applies to everything they offer. They have been very focused on the "R-series" lately and that's an even bigger unknown. Other than Mikey Cee here, there are few reports. There are a few that have got them, raved briefly about how amazing they were (with no details), and then the scopes were up for sale.

There was some good info posted about what is likely going on with these and how it comes with some big drawbacks (in real performance) and when combined with the large increase in price, they don't seem like a good value. Again, no real tests done to say for sure, but the reports don't seem to match up with the comments about superior performance, but what they do seem to suggest is just what had been suggested (trade-off performance, an alternately tuned achromat). Here's a good example of that by some questions/observations that Mike has noticed:

Larger lens cool-down time thread on IStar forum

The reports of difficult focusing on Jupiter are spot on with what had been suggested by those that are far more experts than I.

On other designs, they have too not done so well. The triplet LaF lenses for example. They weren't able to make those work and the only one in the wild (a 140) never stayed very long with the original owner. I'm not sure there was ever any others. The 160 version never even got that far (and I can speak from experience on that one...).

It seemingly is to do with the complexity of things. If they are more complex, their (IStar's) track record is worse. The Raycorr corrector is another example. They have been talking about this for years now (since 2010 at least) and it has never materialized. Not surprising either since in researching what it's all about, it turns out it's REALLY HARD TO DO! Many have tried and many have failed. But it's always "just about ready".

On service and support, they generally do well on this in trying to make it right. They also offer something that few others do, and that is a "custom" source for a specialized optic, yet very affordable compared to others.

If there is anything where they don't do well related to this, it's on communication of expectations, over-selling, over-marketing and then not being able to deliver. That and since they don't do things (the optical side...) in-house, they don't have the control to handle things not being perfect from the sub-contractor. What they get is what they get.

On the structural side, they do control things more (as I understand it) and the OTA's are extremely well built. If anything, they are over-built and they suffer then from weight. Have never seen one in person yet, but they sure look well built.

So, my summary:

PROs:
-Good (to even great) value for classic achro's
-Ability to do custom stuff
-Have had good response in trying to make things right and please customer
-Very well built OTA's

CONs:
-No real concrete reports on how things really are (especially on the R-series)
-Poor track record on the more complex offerings
-Too much marketing, not enough substance
-Heavy OTA's

Clear skies,


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jrbarnett
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: dan_h]
      #5776640 - 04/03/13 10:22 PM

Rohr. He's already doing it. He's outed plenty of bad glass and identified much good glass. No issues with threats from the hawkers of junk optics so outed. Why? Because truth is a defense to *any* claim such a purveyor could concoct. The last thing junk-mongers want is the attention a failed effort to suppress truth brings.

He also already has a large and growing database of test reports. That's a great start. Best of all it costs not a penny to view his reports. It's all very transparent. That's great for consumers who want facts. Not so great, potentially, for the "true believers" though.

Regards,

Jim


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timps
sage


Reged: 02/24/13

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5776849 - 04/04/13 12:18 AM

. Heck, there are even Meade fans if you can believe it.

Does that mean I'm making a wrong decision in looking to
buy a 14" Meade SCT?


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: timps]
      #5776860 - 04/04/13 12:33 AM

T'was a joke. But why not head over to astro-foren.de and see if there are any Meade SCT test reports? You can get apples-and-apples, non-anecdotal, measurable test data for both Meade and Celestron SCTs, as well as other kinds of scopes.

Regards,

Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (04/04/13 12:37 AM)


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herrointment
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: timps]
      #5776861 - 04/04/13 12:33 AM

Heck, I once bought a Rambler!

You'll be fine.


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timps
sage


Reged: 02/24/13

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5776866 - 04/04/13 12:39 AM

My German is not good enough to navigate their website.

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: timps]
      #5776873 - 04/04/13 12:42 AM

Use google translate. It's free and not too bad.

Regards,

Jim


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cliffy54
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: herrointment]
      #5777063 - 04/04/13 06:51 AM

A Rambler.

Edited by cliffy54 (04/04/13 06:53 AM)


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beanerds
sage


Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Darwin Australia
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: cliffy54]
      #5777077 - 04/04/13 07:05 AM Attachment (45 downloads)

There is nothing wrong with my 127mm f8 Istar achromat , it performs very well .
I too was out last night looking at jupiter and at 250x the image was still sharp with great detail seen on the planet .
I dont know where they get their lenses from but mine is good one .
Total cost of my build $650 aud .
Istar lense in its beautiful cell was only $450aud of this delivered to me here in Australia , great value and after sales service .
You wont do better for an Achro for this price .
Brian.


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beanerds
sage


Reged: 07/15/08

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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: beanerds]
      #5777092 - 04/04/13 07:12 AM Attachment (75 downloads)

Here is the moon taken using a HTC One phone held up to my 8mm TV Radian about 140x .
Note the little bit of CA on the luna limb , but its very well suppressed for a 127mm at f8 and the image is super sharp apart from that .
CA does not bother me at all , some people hate it . Every ones different .
Brian.


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Mark Costello
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: herrointment]
      #5777194 - 04/04/13 09:02 AM

Quote:

Heck, I once bought a Rambler!

You'll be fine.





IMO the best car my parents had was a '61 Rambler station wagon.


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tomharri
sage
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Loc: USA
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Mark Costello]
      #5777270 - 04/04/13 10:07 AM

Face it, the Chinese are coming into the hi-end refractor market whether you want them or not. The masses cannot afford the hi-end USA made scopes. There will always be people willing to pay too much for a 'brand name'. Enough to keep the USA industry alive? Probably not after the 'soak the rich' taxes arrive.

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tomcody
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5777405 - 04/04/13 11:03 AM

Quote:

Use google translate. It's free and not too bad.

Regards,

Jim



Quote:


Verwenden Sie Google Translate. Es ist kostenlos und nicht so schlimm.

Regards,

Jim

--------------------
"Ich beobachte stellvertretend durch mich. Wenn ich ein neues Teleskop zu kaufen, ist es Wert steigt. Bei star Parteien Linie Teilnehmer auf mich zu beobachten. Meine Beobachtung Philosophie: Finden Sie heraus, was es ist, dass Ihr Teleskop nicht gut tun, dann nicht tun, diese Dinge. Am historischen Observatorien darf ich das Gerät berühren. Meine Legende eilt mir den Weg der Big Bang vorangeht alles andere. "

- The Most Interesting Astronom im Universum



Much better!
Rex


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B. Cook
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: tomcody]
      #5777455 - 04/04/13 11:24 AM

Is he a multi language expert?????????????????

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t.r.
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Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: B. Cook]
      #5777472 - 04/04/13 11:35 AM

I have to agree with Jim and Gord. Testing goes a long way to removing emotion, bias and doubt. Rohr's testing is second to none for the amateur community, but even putting up Roddier Test results would go along way to establishing Istars potential. Easy to do and the group software does the work...

http://www.cityastronomy.com/roddier-6inchachro.htm


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stanislas-jean
Carpal Tunnel


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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: t.r.]
      #5778072 - 04/04/13 04:27 PM

EXCELLENT
Thé right tests to do easily.
Stanislas Jean


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tomcody
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: B. Cook]
      #5778211 - 04/04/13 05:50 PM

Quote:

Is he a multi language expert?????????????????



If you are referring to me? No, but I am a BIG Meade Fan! (believe it!)
Rex


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mikey cee
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? *DELETED* new [Re: tomcody]
      #5778683 - 04/04/13 10:00 PM

Post deleted by KWB

Edited by mikey cee (04/04/13 10:02 PM)


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tomcody
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5778701 - 04/04/13 10:16 PM

Mike,
While I empathize with your post, I respectfully request that in the future, you make your post in response to one of those that you disagree with. I posted only to show that there are Meade Fans!
P.S. Until I bought my FS128, I was considering an Istar, they appear to be very interesting scopes based on all the happy owners.

Edited by tomcody (04/04/13 10:20 PM)


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B. Cook
professor emeritus
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Reged: 10/18/10

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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: tomcody]
      #5778753 - 04/04/13 10:59 PM

No Rex not referring to you. I was giving Jim an ata boy for his Google translation into German. Pretty cool. Never knew that could be done. Learn something everyday.

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stevew
Now I've done it


Reged: 03/03/06

Loc: British Columbia Canada
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5778795 - 04/04/13 11:28 PM

I love Astro-Foren even though reading the Google Translation gives me a head ache after about 15 minutes.
However the only thing it seems to suggest is, that many refractor optics are almost as variable as SCT optics.


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mikey cee
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: tomcody]
      #5778816 - 04/04/13 11:48 PM

Sorry Tom didn't intend to reply to your post. Just a lazy habit of e replying off of the last post. I'm quite sure there are happy Meade folks and because I don't own that brand I make no comments about it. Mike

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john@dps
member


Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: Granada Hills, CA
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5778849 - 04/05/13 12:34 AM

Well I'm no expert in any way, but I can tell you, anyone trying to make a good product for about a 1000 clams has my vote. I beleive that if you have 5000 clams to spend, that you should'nt worry about what us regular folks are interested in buying or what a company is trying to make to sell us.

I still find it hard to beleive that some people think that trying to do right, and make a product at a good price the best it can be made is wrong. Yes the lenses may not be perfect, but for 1000 clams what did you expect a triplet. I love how some people say they wont buy it unless its perfect.

I can't remember the last time I bought something for 1000 dollars that was perfect. OOhh and by the way I would suggest that you get use to buying chinese, the tag on the back of your shirt says that.

John


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SeptemberEquinox
sage
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Reged: 01/29/12

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: john@dps]
      #5778885 - 04/05/13 01:10 AM

CA expected on Istar Refractors?

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Kevin Barker
super member


Reged: 04/22/09

Loc: Auckland, NZ
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: john@dps]
      #5778922 - 04/05/13 02:19 AM

Good post!!
Whilst I suspect that a high quality big aperture Chinese refractor may not be that much cheaper as say an American one. I do think Istar has and still is copping quite a bit of unsolicited flack from some quarters.

Particularly when it comes from supposition and not substantiated facts.

Further to this if the posters who think Istar or other Chinese lenses should be tested by German interferometers keep harking on then perhaps it is time for one of them to put there money where there mouth is and organise a few samples to be tested. Otherwise belt up.

Having said this surely these experts can organise a more local i.e US/Canadian arrangement??

As I have said before in a previous thread I am old enough to remember Japanese engineered cars being type cast as "Jap *BLEEP*" etc. Not heard much anymore, funny that!!

China is well on the way to becoming a superpower in more ways than just economics. Whether they are there yet in well priced large aperture, fast refractors remains to be seen.

Kevin Barker


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stanislas-jean
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/22/08

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Kevin Barker]
      #5779070 - 04/05/13 07:54 AM

Do you feel OK with test results performed by some not independant?
From a lab to an other the results will be not the same strictly and somtimes deeply.
This is not a pure application of a tool and push a button.
People having used the roddier test for example must do lot of prior tests before getting something pertinent.
Apart the governement laboratory involvement, I feel this will be "OK corall".
The more stupid thing I read here on the forum.
Stanislas-Jean


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PhilCo126
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: stanislas-jean]
      #5779268 - 04/05/13 10:06 AM

Looks like the Istar Comet hunters are a nice series of Achro-refractors... would certainly like to read a test-report

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tomcody
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: stanislas-jean]
      #5779296 - 04/05/13 10:20 AM

Stanislas-Jean,
I am having trouble understanding what you are trying to say (I guess english is not your first language?), so if I am misstating you? I apologize in advance.
As I read and understand your post you are saying that having other labs test lens would lead to "OK-Corral" which I take to mean a problem with differing results. So what? Kevin was questioning the need to send lens and scopes all the way to Germany for testing rather than using a U.S. based lab. (I see no mention to "government" testing anywhere in his post?) I concur with Kevin and as far a I can tell astro-foren has not had its tests peer reviewed so some other lab's testing might be helpful for all.

Also for all those who think it is important to have these results (for whatever reason?), I stand with the "put your money on the line" crowd and say buy one of whatever brand you find questionable and send it to whatever lab you trust for testing, don't expect someone else to do the work or spend the money for you.
Rex

Edited by tomcody (04/05/13 10:50 AM)


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dan_h
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/10/07

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: john@dps]
      #5779315 - 04/05/13 10:27 AM

Quote:

Well I'm no expert in any way, but I can tell you, anyone trying to make a good product for about a 1000 clams has my vote. ........

John




Trying to make a good product is not enough. Success is required.

Folks simply want something other than anecdotal evidence that the Istar optics are a good product. That's not unreasonable since this product is being marketed as above average quality at above average prices.

dan


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Jim Curry
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: PhilCo126]
      #5779362 - 04/05/13 10:49 AM

Philco:
Read a few chapters in Suiters book and get mentored in the field by someone with a good background in optics. It won't make you an RChristian but you can quickly determine for yourself the quality of an objective. I've had "fussy" :>) apo guys look thru both my Istar lenses at 50x/inch and they were of the opinion that these are essentially as good as an achromat can be made for their size. Of course we were using Brandon ep's


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mikey cee
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Jim Curry]
      #5779693 - 04/05/13 02:00 PM

Obviously the Brandons are bringing nothing to the table except a high quality delivery of everything the objective has to offer...can't do any better than that! Mike

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mikey cee
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5779699 - 04/05/13 02:04 PM

Where's a professor Irwin Corey when you need them?? Mike

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stanislas-jean
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Reged: 10/22/08

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: tomcody]
      #5779717 - 04/05/13 02:16 PM

Thanks for your post.
What I mean is that the laboratory needs to be independant and this is not the matter of reputation only.
Here in France we have so many labs that produce for what you pay and ask.
The only way to get something neutral and technical with total independance is to go to National Labs that produce actual results without any possible interpretation of the results.
Otherwise this shall a big fight for getting nothing at the issue, so an "OK Corall" of this famous american werstern movie.
The right solution can be also the performance of roddier tests on optics performed by observators themselves. As T.R. suggested, as me. You will have results with indications that will represent the actual level of the optics.
When completed with a serious ronchi test and a star test you will be confortable.
Star parties can be the right support, that will bring a lot to all by the exercise of tests and discussions about honestly.
No commercial matters involved through.
Stanislas-Jean


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tomcody
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: stanislas-jean]
      #5779797 - 04/05/13 02:48 PM

Stanislas-Jean,
Thank you for that detailed response and I agree with you that field testing by observers themselves is probably the best test of all as it is done on many scopes by many owners not just one lens sent to a lab.
I personally would rather buy a mid-priced scope like an Istar based on the good reports of many owners than on one sample that has been lab tested.
Rex


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t.r.
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: tomcody]
      #5779893 - 04/05/13 03:27 PM

Remember the days when Peter Ceravolo had a tent set-up at a star party with an optical bench and he would field evaluate amateur optics? That too would go a long ways to establishing a baseline...it sure helped solidify AP's reputation when an outside source was confirming their optical figuring. Who out there does this now? I know Peter gave it up around 2006, when I asked him to evaluate one of my apos. He said, nowadays, the optical quality for the price amateurs get was excellent in the high end stuff!

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Jeff B
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: tomcody]
      #5780161 - 04/05/13 05:00 PM Attachment (83 downloads)

And here's another example of a great Istar lens. I was an "early adopter" with a 6" F10 achromat that I built a tube around. An exellent example of a moderately fast achromat. Very sharp.

Jeff


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Jeff B
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Jeff B]
      #5780163 - 04/05/13 05:01 PM Attachment (68 downloads)

The business end.

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mgwhittle
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Jeff B]
      #5780240 - 04/05/13 05:46 PM

Jeff, that is a gorgeous build. Did you happen to document it as you built it? I'd be curious about how you got it all together.

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azure1961p
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/17/09

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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: mgwhittle]
      #5780458 - 04/05/13 08:33 PM

Jeff,

Beautiful work. And the inside if my fiberglass newt tube is just so well - so.

Pete


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stevew
Now I've done it


Reged: 03/03/06

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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Jeff B]
      #5780562 - 04/05/13 09:15 PM

Quote:

And here's another example of a great Istar lens. I was an "early adopter" with a 6" F10 achromat that I built a tube around. An exellent example of a moderately fast achromat. Very sharp.

Jeff



WOW! Gorgeous, Jeff!

Steve


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CounterWeight
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: stevew]
      #5781396 - 04/06/13 10:08 AM

Agree that is a beauty, nice work !

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Jim Curry
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Jeff B]
      #5781949 - 04/06/13 02:10 PM



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Rutilus
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/17/10

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Jim Curry]
      #5783207 - 04/07/13 07:02 AM Attachment (59 downloads)

This is my Istar 150mmm f/15 BRG (British Racing Green)in grab and go mode. Going to spend the next few months testing this scope out.

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Rutilus
Carpal Tunnel


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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Rutilus]
      #5783208 - 04/07/13 07:03 AM Attachment (43 downloads)

One more.

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Jim Curry
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Rutilus]
      #5783515 - 04/07/13 10:44 AM

Now that's a long draw tube :>)

Jim


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B. Cook
professor emeritus
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Reged: 10/18/10

Loc: No. California
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Jim Curry]
      #5783527 - 04/07/13 10:47 AM

Are you sure that's not a rocket launcher?

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sonny.barile
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: B. Cook]
      #5783537 - 04/07/13 10:54 AM

Where I live that would attract homeland security to raid my yard.

Seriously though.....is that a friction mount? (Like a Dob?) I seem to remember a similar friction mount many years ago in ATM book from Richard berry.

Edited by sonny.barile (04/07/13 10:56 AM)


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Rutilus
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Reged: 12/17/10

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: sonny.barile]
      #5783670 - 04/07/13 12:10 PM Attachment (34 downloads)

Yes, the mount is based on a Berry mount.
Inside the base, there is a car jack so you raise the whole pier and scope up and down.
When viewing at the Zenith I can raise the scope up so that the eyepiece is 4-5 feet off the ground.
Another photo of the scope pointing to the Zenith.


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Paul C-I
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Rutilus]
      #5783702 - 04/07/13 12:30 PM

Well thought out!
I've been considering the jacking idea for sometime as i'm in the beginning process of designing the build foe an 8" Istar F12 lens. Also been sketching around the friction dob type mountings.
Looking forward to your first light reports
Congrats on your build
Paul


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Daud
sage


Reged: 08/05/06

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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Paul C-I]
      #5783727 - 04/07/13 12:41 PM

A similar mount for a 10" f10 scope, which would also work for a large Istar lens. Note the OTA is below $4000.
ad

Edited by Daud (04/07/13 12:41 PM)


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Rutilus
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/17/10

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Paul C-I]
      #5783792 - 04/07/13 01:16 PM Attachment (26 downloads)

Quote:

Well thought out!
I've been considering the jacking idea for sometime as i'm in the beginning process of designing the build foe an 8" Istar F12 lens. Also been sketching around the friction dob type mountings.
Looking forward to your first light reports
Congrats on your build
Paul




wow!! Paul - that is going to be a serious piece of kit. Are you going for the open frame that Istar offer or traditional tube.
If it is the lighter open tube then I think you will be okay.

In the observatory I use the scope on a driven Fullerscopes
MK 1V mount. This mount handles my f/15 superbly well.


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CounterWeight
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Rutilus]
      #5783826 - 04/07/13 01:44 PM

ummm Wow!

Who said "Go big or go home?"

I'm staying home!




.


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GlenM
Vendor - Lyra Optic


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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Rutilus]
      #5784359 - 04/07/13 05:24 PM Attachment (61 downloads)

This was my first Istar 6" F10. I believe this was the first in the UK. I finished it in early 2010.

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beanerds
sage


Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Darwin Australia
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Gord]
      #5785262 - 04/08/13 03:58 AM Attachment (39 downloads)

Quote:

Quote:


But hey, it's your money. I do have a question for the Istar owners. That ring on the front of the objective on which the focal length, aperture and company name are painted - can that be threaded off the front of the cell or is it glued on? I'd like to see the cell with the nameplate removed. Thanks!





Jim, I'm pretty sure it threads on, although I've never completely removed it. I'll have a look the next time I get a chance.

Clear skies,



Jim and Gord here you are , its threaded on .
Brian.


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beanerds
sage


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Loc: Darwin Australia
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: beanerds]
      #5785267 - 04/08/13 04:03 AM Attachment (51 downloads)

And here is another note the ring/spring in the cell , nice touch for the price .
Brian.


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Paul C-I
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Rutilus]
      #5785604 - 04/08/13 10:38 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Well thought out!
I've been considering the jacking idea for sometime as i'm in the beginning process of designing the build foe an 8" Istar F12 lens. Also been sketching around the friction dob type mountings.
Looking forward to your first light reports
Congrats on your build
Paul




wow!! Paul - that is going to be a serious piece of kit. Are you going for the open frame that Istar offer or traditional tube.
If it is the lighter open tube then I think you will be okay.

In the observatory I use the scope on a driven Fullerscopes
MK 1V mount. This mount handles my f/15 superbly well.



Hi Rutilus
I may go for Ales TCR arrangement with the plan of having my G11 handle it. However I have been playing around with an alt-az box head mount which, although crude will take a high weight capacity (pictures to follow at some stage). I also looked at acquiring the fullerscope Mark 1V but they do not come up that often.
Hope fully won't be too many weeks until the Istar lens is here!


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jrbarnett
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: t.r.]
      #5802336 - 04/16/13 11:01 AM

Besides, I'm always suspicious when someone becomes an advocate (i.e., joins a brand-specific user's group) of a particular product *before* they actually own one. To me, this suggests preconceived notions, pre-defined expectations and personal needs that go beyond the products themselves. It's very hard in such a case (for me, anyway) to take such a person't opinion of the optics once they receive them at face value. It's human nature to "want to believe" and to that extent I am inhuman. I don't want to "believe" in anything. I want to "know".

That's where consistently applied third party bench testing has the advantage. The tester has no axe to grind and no emotional entanglements with the telescope to be tested, and the test equipment doesn't know or care where the optic came from, how much it cost.

Thanks to a very kind CNer, I now have a 4" Istar on loan. Once I get it unpacked it will be used for some "same night, same site, same magnification, same targets" comparative testing along side some other 4-inchers (TV-102, AT111EDT and Antares 105/1500). I'm looking forward to it, and after comparing notes with the owner, will start a new thread (with plenty of pictures) discussing the results/impressions of the scope relative to some peers.

This won't be as good as having identically conducted bench tests for each optic, but will be a heck of a lot better than single-scope recollections from past observing sessions. I'm open to target suggestions, comparison criteria recommendations, etc.

Regards,

Jim


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telescopemullet
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? *DELETED* new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5802384 - 04/16/13 11:34 AM

Post deleted by Scott in NC

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DJCalma
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: telescopemullet]
      #5802438 - 04/16/13 12:06 PM

There is no mention or even a hint that JRBarnett claims to be the only one who can "get to the bottom of ISTAR." As he stated, he wants to know instead of simply believing. The only way to do this is to test it out for yourself. Opinions vary, but the most important opinion for each of us, is our own. I'd rather my opinion be based on my own experiences instead of trusting the experiences of others.

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jrbarnett
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: tomharri]
      #5802621 - 04/16/13 01:08 PM

"Face it, the Chinese are coming into the hi-end refractor market whether you want them or not."

This is true.

"The masses cannot afford the hi-end USA made scopes."

This is untrue. Or rather I should say that the masses cannot afford high end scopes made anywhere. The "high end" Chinese scopes, if any truly exist yet, cost as much as or more than premium US and Japanese made alternatives.

The reality is that to produce truly high end large optics, it costs a lot. Manufacturers have two choices: (i) skimp on quality and workmanship to reduce costs in order to sell at a lower price, in which case no matter what they charge the scope is not "high end" or (ii) make the investment required to deliver top quality and superior workmanship, and sell as a price comparable to others delivering like-quality goods, in which case the scope is "high end" and "high priced". There is no free lunch.

But don't take my word for it. Roland Christen many time has stated that you can get *any* quality you like from China; ultra-low to ultra-premium, but ultra-premium quality from China will cost pretty much the same as ultra-premium quality from any where else in the world. I think the latest crop of 6" Chinese triplets bear that out. Optically, they are quite decent. Mechanically, the tube assemblies aren't up to the quality of a Takahashi, Astro-Physics, APM or TEC. Pricewise, they are priced very high compared to smaller aperture scopes from the same makers relative to premium smaller apertured scopes.

I think the supposition that somehow China can deliver TRUE top quality (as opposed to middling quality that is marketed to hopeful consumers as being top quality) at a low price is where we cross from reality into the realm of wishful thinking and marketeering.

So yes. China is coming. Or maybe it's here. But to get the best China can produce today, you pay just as much as you pay for the best that can be produced anywhere else in the world.

The truly relevant questions are "How good is good enough?" and "Can 'good enough' be had more cheaply from China than from elsewhere?" In smaller apertures, for many users, me included, I think the answer to the second question is "yes". In larger apertures? Not yet and probably not ever. Making good refractors gets exponentially more expensive on both the materials and workmanship fronts as aperture increases.

Regards,

Jim


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mikey cee
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: DJCalma]
      #5802622 - 04/16/13 01:08 PM

Oh c'mon Jim. Do what Mullett, myself and your loaner friend have done.....buy your own then you can test it yourself or send it to Rohr. I don't care what you do with it but at least buy your own. Mike

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cliffy54
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5802700 - 04/16/13 01:33 PM

I'm very interested in your comparisons of these scopes. I trust your findings with your years of experience. I'm looking for a new refractor and have been looking at the Istars. I mostly will be using for the moon and planets.

Maybe some doubles and globulars.


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jrbarnett
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Reged: 02/28/06

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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: telescopemullet]
      #5802701 - 04/16/13 01:33 PM

First you beat me up for not partaking of the Kool-aid,criticizing me for not having looked through an Istar. Now you're up in my grill resorting to your second line of defense - misstating what I said in anticipation that the results of my comparison won't be consistent with your *beliefs*.

I have an idea - why not wait until I do my comparisons? My other offer stands, too. I will pay to transport your optic to and from Germany so that Rohr can test it and give us apples and apples data about your lens relative to others tested in an identical manner.

I also think that you're conflating being happy with something with that something being the best thing since sliced bread. I would never argue that you shouldn't be happy with something. Happiness is subjective. On the other hand, I am delighted to test "best thing since sliced bread" claims. The two are not the same, though often become confused in discussions.

You should never be afraid of efforts to separate fact from belief. Telescopes are not scripture. They are tools. Not worthy of "belief" or "faith", deserving only of scrutiny and analysis. There is no question that comparing different scopes same night, matched magnification, same targets is superior to comparing the scope you looked through last night to one your buddy used to own five years ago, that you looked through a different targets on a different night. That's true whether it's me, you or Elvis doing the comparison.

This particular Istar is owned by a happy and knowledgeable owner. We haven't discussed his findings on the optic, and I am deliberately avoiding looking at any of his comments about the optic before I have a chance to use it, and discuss my own results with him before starting a new thread discussing any findings.

Just let me know if you want to have your optic tested by Rohr. The only thing I'd ask is that we all get to see the test report supplied with the optic so that we can compare that report with Rohr's test results. You can still be happy with your optic, no matter how it tests. But the rest of us will know where it falls in the sliced bread spectrum.

Regards,

Jim


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jrbarnett
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: cliffy54]
      #5802738 - 04/16/13 01:43 PM

I'm going to have the Moon to contend with, so specific targets on Luna will be in the mix. Serious DSO stuff is not likely to happen during my tenure with the scope. Doubles of all kinds will be in the mix. A star test, assuming seeing cooperates, too would be nice. I'll certainly have a chance to compare the scope's magnification handling with that of other similar aperture refractors.

Here are a few options:

Trapezium E and F (beyond testing seeing, in a 4-incher it also tests stray light control)

Sirius B (same value as above)

Are there particular lunar features that folks think would be a good test target for 4" scopes?

Seeing is normally better than average in Sonoma County, but the last couple of weeks it's been about as bad as I've seen it. We've also been experiencing wide temperature swings and very high winds, so I am expecting it to settle down over the next week. If so, I'll pick a few equal magnitude double stars at or near the seeing limits as well as being as close as seeing will permit to the Dawes limit of a 4-incher.

Regards,

Jim


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B. Cook
professor emeritus
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Reged: 10/18/10

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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5802845 - 04/16/13 02:24 PM

It sure is a shame when other CN'ers can tear someone down that is willing to give an opinion on the Istar scope. I do not see the ones that have Istar scopes giving any reports on theres about how they compare to other refractors they own. I too have been looking at these scopes. I sure will not buy one at any price till more is known on there performance. They are competing with some major brand manufactures and little about them is known and that includes performance and quality of glass. If they turn out to be a good value for the money and good performance I would consider getting one. I started this post to learn about there product and performance. So far I do not see any performance reports on how they compare in a side by side test or any other reviews on Istar scopes regardless of model. We have someone who is willing to compare the scope and give his opinion on what he finds good or bad. I like others trust his knowledge.

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mikey cee
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Loc: bellevue ne.
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: B. Cook]
      #5802882 - 04/16/13 02:41 PM

We have someone who is willing to compare the scope and give his opinion on what he finds good or bad. I like others trust his knowledge. You just don't get it do you Cook?? How do you suppose Jim is going to test a lens if the original owner didn't put up his own money first? I sure as hell am not going to risk having my lens broken enroute to Germany and back. Nor would I expect anyone else to do the same. If I want to do it with my lens that's a totally different ball game. But I'm tickled pink with it's performance as are many other Istar owners. Sorry I don't have anybody at hand to do a side by side test of my Istar lens with their brand....for obvious reasons. Like I've said before for the money I went out on a limb with it would have went right back to Istar after the initial first light on a credible evening. Mike

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cliffy54
professor emeritus
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Reged: 03/14/10

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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5802891 - 04/16/13 02:50 PM

Not knowing what the lunar phase will be when you make the comparisons but how about 0* by 20* North: Montes Apennius?

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jrbarnett
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Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5802895 - 04/16/13 02:53 PM

Mike:

How did your lens get to you? I'm assuming it was shipped by common, brutal, commercial carrier. Or was it delivered on the back of a giant Lunar Moth steadied in place by four Bohemian house gnomes wearing feather pillows on their hands to cushion it from the rigors and hardships of its journey from China ultimately to you? There must be a list of excuses on the scope club website for owners to use to avoid having the optics lab tested or something.

- Jim


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dscarpa
Post Laureate
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: B. Cook]
      #5802951 - 04/16/13 03:34 PM

The 4 biggest craterlets in Plato are a good test for a 4" scope. The two that are close together in particular. David

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B. Cook
professor emeritus
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5802982 - 04/16/13 03:52 PM

Oh believe me mikey cee I get it. Like I said I have nothing against Istar and depending on reviews on there products from different sources I would consider getting one. If I plan on spending $3000.00 to $4000.00 dollars I want to know I am getting what I pay for. I do not see any Istar owners doing any kind of reviews on there scopes including your scope. Give us the pro and cons on your scope what you like about it and if you could change anything what would it be? This is what helps in making a choise. I have been a reflector person for quite a few years and want to get a good quality refractor to have as a change of pace. I am glad you like your Istar and someday I may also have one only time will tell. I am not buying till next spring hopefully to see more info on these scopes. Thank you

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fjs
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 03/25/13

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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: B. Cook]
      #5803181 - 04/16/13 05:30 PM

My $0.02, I don't see value being considered here. For any product to be a good value it must be better than a less expensive one, even though it might not attain the performance level of something more expensive.

Frank

Every time I look through my telescope I wish I had something bigger and better.
Every time I setup or take down my scope I wish I had something smaller, lighter, and less expensive.

AP 5" F6 ca.1986

Edited by fjs (04/16/13 05:36 PM)


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telescopemullet
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? *DELETED* new [Re: fjs]
      #5803287 - 04/16/13 06:09 PM

Post deleted by Scott in NC

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mikey cee
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5803293 - 04/16/13 06:14 PM Attachment (38 downloads)

Jim my lens was delivered by UPS. I was a nervous wreck until it arrived and I opened it up. That doesn't mean I want raise the odds against me sending it again...this time a round trip. I have no desire to have it tested because I can detect no reason for needing or wanting to do so. It performs very well in everything that I have done with it. The first .5" double(72 Pegasi)I split was able to show me an intermittant gap between the airy discs. The CA around Jupiter was way much less than I was expecting even when going from an 8" F/13.3 to a 10" F/11 R30. The GRS and GRSJR(AB oval) showed just as easily as before with detail within the GRS. I could detect albedo features on a near perfect night on Ganymede at 815x. I could go on but I'm very satisfied to say the least. But I went out on a limb to buy this not waiting for someone else to do it for me. That in itself is no guarantee that the next one out of the chute will be the same or not. All of us Istar purchasers did it on our own. Yeah I didn't have a lot of choices true. But I didn't want to wait 2 years for a D&G at nearly $1500 more. I just went on a good vibe that I felt from e-mails with Ales and other anecdotal bits from other new owners. Tim Wetherell replaced the Mt. Stromlo's damaged 9" refractor and had nothing but good things to say. He also has a personal 8" Istar lens in his personal scope. If you choose to wait have at it. Me I chose to move on with life because money can be replaced but time can't. Maybe I got lucky maybe I didn't and that this will be indicative of the norm with the larger lenses...who knows. At this point it's kind of "so what" to me. Mike

Edited by mikey cee (04/16/13 06:30 PM)


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5803375 - 04/16/13 07:01 PM

"He also has a personal 8" Istar lens in his personal scope."

Bad data. Tim's personal 8-incher is a *very expensive* TEC triplet, not an Istar. The Mt. Stromlo replacement optic was an Istar, though.

See this article about Tim's 8" (200mm) TEC triplet:

http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=2760

Tim's website (he's an excellent artist):

http://timwetherell.com/

There's more about his personal 8" TEC in the "Great Wetherell Refractor" section. Just click the pictures.

There's also an article on the Oddie Refractor II (on Mount Stromolo) on Tim's home page. It's a 220mm f/15 using a lens sourced from Istar and a tube assembly made by Tim.

I assume your purpose in making the quoted (mis)statement, right was to suggest that because Tim chose an Istar for his personal scope, they must be great lenses. Now that we know that he did NOT choose an Istar for his personal scope, but instead opted for a very fancy premium lens, should we conclude that he didn't think Istar was good enough for him personally?

Anecdotal and inferential information about who owns or does not own what instrument, or who likes or doesn't like what they own, isn't very valuable to understanding the optical quality of an instrument. There are all kinds of reasons people like or dislike things they own, and those reasons aren't always based on empirically measurable fact. That's precisely why having a large pool of publicly available neutrally and consistently derived test data is potentially so valuable to consumers. With enough tested samples it would very quickly separate the genuine diamonds from the marketing horsepoop, and keep more than a few branders honest and realistic about what they are selling.

I don't see how such data could in any way be bad (other than to horsepoop vendors), nor do I see how owner anecdote or inference from buying behavior is in any way a substitute for such bench test data on the question of optical quality.

Regards,

Jim


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mikey cee
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5803409 - 04/16/13 07:20 PM

Jim excuse me I made a mistake having not seen his article in some time. But where or how do you figure these pools of satisfied customers get started. By folks like yourself who sit back and second guess and let others put their toe in the water first? By people who go first on their own. I don't want to be a part of the other crowd who sit back and want someone else to take the risks. Mike

Edited by Scott in NC (04/17/13 05:43 PM)


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jrbarnett
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: telescopemullet]
      #5803413 - 04/16/13 07:21 PM

"Many here have stated they re good scopes."

True. And at a Domino's Pizza Lovers convention, every participant would swear up and down that the Dominos has the best pizza in the world. It doesn't make it true. I think people who are not pre-disposed to believe everything a vendor tells them would prefer a little more rigorous and methodical data on the question of quality.

And I do think "ego" explains quite a bit of the silliness in this thread. But not in the manner you suggest. Rather, I think there are a bunch of fan boys who have their egos wrapped up with their Istars so tightly that the merest suggestion that Istars might not be all that becomes a personal affront against them. In that regard, Istar has become something like a "Stellarvue II" phenomenon, and I suspect that fact actually gets in the way of getting more reliable data out there about these telescopes which, in turn, tends to hamper sales rather than to encourage them.

I won't promise to make you happy, nor that my methods will be perfect, but I will promise to be truthful and as rigorous in my evaluation of a 4" Istar against other 4" refractors as I can possibly be given my time, skills, and the materials at my disposal, and even more importantly to share the details of the observations on which my conclusions are based. That's not as good as a Rorh bench test, admittedly, but it is a heck of a lot better than slavish insistence that something must be great because you own one or must not be so hot because you don't. The goodness or badness of a thing is wholly unrelated to who owns one. I'm ready when you are to pay to send your Istar lens off to Herr Rohr. You just let me know when. Then we'll both *know* the truth.

Regards,

Jim


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jrbarnett
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5803452 - 04/16/13 07:59 PM

Mike, yep color me not a big fan of "blind faith". P.T. Barnum hated folks like me. Fortunately for him there were plenty not like me. He died a very wealthy man.

Being an early adopter can have either of two results. The early adopter can get lucky and get good value and high quality for his risk, or the early adopter is unlucky and gets poor value and low quality for his risk. I don't think the "early adopter" status is meaningful or relevant in the least. One thing is always true about early adopters though. Version 2.0 is always superior to version 1.0 because the manufacturer addresses issues that come to light with early adopter use. Typically improved feature sets, additional content and a lower price are what early adopters miss out on.

It's the "did he get good or bad quality/value" that I care about and that I think the OP was looking for. That's my point. What harm is there in being rigorous, deliberate and transparent when comparatively evaluating these optics against alternatives? Worst case, the comparative data will be at odds with the glowing owner praise, in which case those owners will still be just as happy as they were before the contrary opinion was issued. Best case, the comparison data supports the glowing owner praise, in which case we have the same result - happy owners - and also a potential for more "data-driven" buyers joining the fold. I don't think sales acceleration will happen so long as the Istar Scope Club regulars are the only ones advocating and plugging these scopes. The large number of Istars popping up in the used channel, too, has some potential buyers spooked.

I'm kind of hoping the 4-incher I am borrowing will stack up well to the other 4-inchers I have. That might inspire me to bite on a 6" f/8 Istar Perseus or 6" f/5 Istar Ares to compare it with my current 6" f/5.9 Kunming and then to keep the optically better of the two.

Regards,

Jim


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tomcody
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/06/08

Loc: Titusville, Florida
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5803511 - 04/16/13 08:48 PM

Jim,
Two weeks ago I e-mailed Rohr at the contact address on his web site requesting a quote for testings a 6" Istar and if the entire scope was needed or just the lens in cell ( to save shipping costs). So far he has not replied. If he does, I will forward the quote to you.
Rex


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Joe Bergeron
Vendor - Space Art


Reged: 11/10/03

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5803564 - 04/16/13 09:32 PM

Quote:

Or was it delivered on the back of a giant Lunar Moth




Bah, they are Luna Moths, not "Lunar Moths". Your atrocious blunder has devastated your credibility in every conceivable matter.


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Jim Curry
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 10/29/07

Loc: STL
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5803613 - 04/16/13 10:12 PM

"The large number of Istars popping up in the used channel, too, has some potential buyers spooked."

I've seen three 6" Istar scopes for sale this year. All the sellers praised the optics, 2 complained about the weight. The third, the f/15 in this site's classified, showed a photo. I think it's self explanitory, it's a monster. I have an f/12. You're beyond grabngo. It's more like approach, grasp, maneuver. And that's after a path is cleared and doors set ajar. Me thinks folks are finding a 6" a little more than their mounts can handle.
Jim


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tomcody
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/06/08

Loc: Titusville, Florida
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Jim Curry]
      #5803729 - 04/16/13 11:38 PM

Has anyone obtained one of the Perseus TCR 150 F12's yet? the truss frame interests me, if so? how stiff is the frame in use?
Rex


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telescopemullet
professor emeritus
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Reged: 11/16/09

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5803763 - 04/17/13 12:04 AM

Quote:



And I do think "ego" explains quite a bit of the silliness in this thread. But not in the manner you suggest. Rather, I think there are a bunch of fan boys who have their egos wrapped up with their Istars so tightly that the merest suggestion that Istars might not be all that becomes a personal affront against them.

Jim




Your post illustrates perfectly your bias towars istar scopes users. You continue to cast both in dubious light.

Edited by Scott in NC (04/17/13 05:47 PM)


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: tomcody]
      #5803765 - 04/17/13 12:06 AM

He should need only the objective. He has pictures on the website of refractor objectives in his test bed. Lemme know what his price plus shipping and insurance each way and I'll Paypal the funds to your account or cut you a check. I appreciate you being willing to do this, Rex. I think it will be helpful to a lot of fence sitters. Thank you.

Regards,

Jim


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buddyjesus
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5803769 - 04/17/13 12:11 AM



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tomcody
Carpal Tunnel
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5803774 - 04/17/13 12:19 AM

Jim,
I am not commiting to anything yet. I was shopping for an Istar until a deal on a FS128 came along, so now I am happy with that. But we will see what kind of costs are involved in testing. For me an Istar means not only a scope purchase but a larger mount as well, ( the FS128 rides very well on my Meade LXD650).
But, as I said in another post the Perseus TCS 150 F12 interests me and that one could ride on a G11 which is do- able both from a weight and cost stand point!
Rex


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houser23
sage


Reged: 10/26/09

Loc: Rocklin, CA
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: buddyjesus]
      #5803780 - 04/17/13 12:24 AM

Well, when I wake up tomorrow this thread will either be removed for review or heavily edited

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mikey cee
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/18/07

Loc: bellevue ne.
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5803799 - 04/17/13 12:45 AM

Quote:

He should need only the objective. He has pictures on the website of refractor objectives in his test bed. Lemme know what his price plus shipping and insurance each way and I'll Paypal the funds to your account or cut you a check. I appreciate you being willing to do this, Rex. I think it will be helpful to a lot of fence sitters. Thank you.

Regards,

Jim


I got a more direct way for you Jim. Instead of using Rex as a potential guinea pig why don't you buy an Istar 6" lens. Then load up your PayPal account, insure the lens and send it off to Rohr. Mike

Edited by Scott in NC (04/17/13 05:51 PM)


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Daud
sage


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Loc: AZ, Scottsdale
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5803800 - 04/17/13 12:45 AM

Would the person who is borrowing the scope to you sell the scope for his purchase price, so as after you are done testing, it can be tested by others, maybe Rohr ?
Just asking..


Quote:

He should need only the objective. He has pictures on the website of refractor objectives in his test bed. Lemme know what his price plus shipping and insurance each way and I'll Paypal the funds to your account or cut you a check. I appreciate you being willing to do this, Rex. I think it will be helpful to a lot of fence sitters. Thank you.

Regards,

Jim




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Daud
sage


Reged: 08/05/06

Loc: AZ, Scottsdale
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: houser23]
      #5803803 - 04/17/13 12:46 AM

Quote:

Well, when I wake up tomorrow this thread will either be removed for review or heavily edited



I have a screengrab


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chaoscosmos
sage
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Reged: 01/26/13

Loc: Mission Viejo CA
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Daud]
      #5803852 - 04/17/13 01:46 AM

This thread is past its expiration date.

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Scott in NCAdministrator
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Reged: 03/05/05

Loc: NC
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: chaoscosmos]
      #5805081 - 04/17/13 05:54 PM

After some judicious editing, this thread is now being returned to the forum. I'd like to ask that everybody refrain from any further personal attacks, which will be deleted without further warning. Keep it civil, guys. It's not like we're discussing life or death matters here. I mean, c'mon, they're just refractors!

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stevew
Now I've done it


Reged: 03/03/06

Loc: British Columbia Canada
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Scott in NC]
      #5805547 - 04/17/13 09:29 PM

Quote:

I mean, c'mon, they're just refractors!



Blasphemy !!


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5805653 - 04/17/13 10:08 PM

Mike:

In my view, there's no credible data at this point sufficient to make me want to buy an Istar telescope. Perhaps with some reliable data concerning optical quality, that will change. I don't think I'm alone in this either. The scopes are not expensive ("charging up Paypal is kind of funny, actually - link your account to your checking account or a credit card and there's no "charging up" needed), but a large one is an armload to transport and mount. I'd rather have a credible basis for expecting that the hassle factor will be worth it. Neutral interferometric test data comparable to similar data for a wide range of competitive scopes taken from scopes already in owners hands rather than cherry-picked vendor samples will go a very long way to providing would-be thoughtful buyers with a basis for keeping Istar on their lists of potentials, or removing it.

But I have no objection to you being happy with your scope, no matter how it would measure up were it tested by Herr Rohr.

- Jim


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: tomcody]
      #5805711 - 04/17/13 10:26 PM

The FS-128 is a very nice scope. Lightweight too. As I was telling Mike, the problem for me with the big Istars is that I'd hesitate to invest in one (due to mounting demands and oversized parcel shipping needs, coupled with a lack of rigorous reviews and test reports) out of concern that it wouldn't meet my needs and I'd be stuck with an inconvenient beast. While some hands-on time with a 4-incher will be interesting, and I appreciate the loan of the scope, optics are exponentially harder to make well the larger they are. It won't address my questions about the larger instruments.

An affordable 6" to 8" achromat with a genuine 1/6 wave or better figure would be wonderful. One with a 1/3 wave or worse figure would be disappointing and a headache that I would need to unload for pennies on the dollar.

I'm hoping someone with a large Istar optic is willing to be the Rohr guinea pig. Here's his home page for his testing business:

http://rohr.aiax.de/hp_new/

OMI here in the US, also, will do refractor optics interferometer testing. However, they don't have the reference data base of past test data that Rohr has on astro-foren.de. It would be better than nothing, but not not as good as being able to do apples and apples comparisons with other currently available scopes.

Regards,

Jim


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The Ardent
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 10/24/08

Loc: Virginia
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: stevew]
      #5805720 - 04/17/13 10:29 PM

I dont own an Istar, but I believe I have the credentials to offer an opinion.

Pros:
1. Its good to have a choice. We need more long focus refractors.
2. ISTAR appears to be motivated by passion for astronomy, not pure profit. I believe that if they were in it for the money only, they would only sell imaging scopes.

Cons:
1. They are not D&G
2. Color scheme and general appearance. Long focus refractors should be white, cream, ivory or some variant thereof. Hey Skylight UK, this means you too.

Whoop


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James Ling
sage
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Reged: 09/18/10

Loc: Singapore
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Scott in NC]
      #5805734 - 04/17/13 10:34 PM Attachment (55 downloads)

Hi All....

Let me give some of my personal opinions, with regards to the 8" F8.8 Istar that I have owned for the past 2 and a half years....

I have to admit that I will not be able to find any similar 8" size refractor in my small little country city......to make a direct comparison.....

But with 3 other refractors that I have owned, WO88ED, C6R F8, and my latest APM 152ED APO....., I think is also good to give my personal opinions of the Istar against the rest....of my collection....

1. The WO88ED has the least amount of CA, almost not noticeable, but aperture is aperture....you don't ever think of getting magnification of 250X and above for a razor sharp view of the 2 giant gas planets....

2. The C6R F8 has roughly the same amount of CA like the Istar, but again its performance also cannot go beyond 250X for a razor sharp view of the 2 giant gas planets

3. The APM ED APO, still has small trace of CA, but performs well above 300X for the giant gas planets....I have not able to push it above 400X yet.....

4. The Istar although has either the same amount of CA like my C6R F8...., it is a scope that is still able to get a good a razor sharp image of the 2 giant gas planets, around 300X...
And it is also the only refractor scope that I am able to pushed it beyond 400X, but of course the image starts breaking down....

5. If you are talking about DSO, then I think the Istar can take on SCT of similar aperture that I have viewed through.....like my Ultima C8, and my friend's C8 edge HD....

6. The 8" F8.8 Istar achro, with its CA level, will not be able to complete with bigger aperture scope like my C14, that during last Monday side walk, whereby I collimated against Spica, and it is able to deliver Saturn with a 450X with razor sharp view....(coz I remove the corrector to clean it after never use it for about a year....)

7. Although some CN members may have asked me , why I still want to keep the 8" istar , after I have acquired the APM ED APO...., my answer is that there are still potential for the use of this istar....such as following:-

7.1 It is one of the cheapest I can find with such a big aperture, although I am not sure whether others may be able to get one much cheaper than istar...with the similar aperture...

7.2 During my side walk, which I do it at least once a month, many peole who has seen the Istar earlier, is asking me why I didn't bring the big one instead....It seems that people think the APM ED APO, 10" Mewlon and my C14, is not big enough....
Even last year , during the venus transit, when I asked the university professor which one he prefer me to bring, C14 or Istar, and the answer is very clear....with below ...

Picture of myself with the famous Prof Roy Patrick Kerr. He is the Distinguished Professor specially invited to grace the NUS Venus Transit 2012.

7.3 The Istar still has the potential to improve its performance with a CA corrector.....to ED APO doublet level.....
And now is in progress... So perhaps you will hear more of this in a month or two to come......

Regards

james Ling


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: James Ling]
      #5805776 - 04/17/13 10:51 PM

Thanks James.

Would you say that the Istar performs about the same as the C6R at the same magnification-per-inch? With two additional inches of aperture, it makes sense that it can handle higher magnification, so I think your opinion of the image quality in the two scopes operating at the same magnification per inch would be useful.

Regards,

Jim


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buddyjesus
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/07/10

Loc: Davison, Michigan
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5805880 - 04/17/13 11:35 PM

for the price they offer, a 1/4 wave would be good enough for me, but I am not in the market FWIW.

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chboss
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/24/08

Loc: Zurich Switzerland
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Scott in NC]
      #5805931 - 04/18/13 12:05 AM

After going through 7 pages of posts.... back on topic.

I would love to see some interferometry done on the ISTAR lenses.
But I would also be hesitant to ship the lens cell half way around the world with the quality of todays commercial carriers.
There are in fact only a limited number of user reports, but given the short time in the market place this is to be expected.

I found the following user reports:
http://neilenglish.net/adentures-with-the-istar-6-f10-achromat/
http://staff.polito.it/bartolomeo.montrucchio/Istar150f15/Istar150mmf15review...
http://neilenglish.net/the-phantom-menace-my-thoughts-on-a-6-inch-fluorite-tr...
http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/130343-istar-5-f8-achromat/

For your reading pleasure.

best regards
Chris


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James Ling
sage
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Reged: 09/18/10

Loc: Singapore
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5805987 - 04/18/13 01:15 AM

Quote:

Thanks James.

Would you say that the Istar performs about the same as the C6R at the same magnification-per-inch? With two additional inches of aperture, it makes sense that it can handle higher magnification, so I think your opinion of the image quality in the two scopes operating at the same magnification per inch would be useful.

Regards,

Jim




Hi Jim...

I do agree that as the aperture increases, the scope should be able to handle higher magnification....

Although I have not seen through an 6" Istar achro, and able to compare with my C6R F8, but I am sure it should be much more superior than mine, simply my C6R is non collimable cell....and I know it does take a bit of adjustment here and there to get the best view, once I removed it for cleaning...
My disappointment with my C6R F8 is the lens coating flaking.....

But if you will to ask me what disappointment do I have with the istar, my answer is it does not come with any lens shade or cover?????

Regards

james Ling


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john@dps
member


Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: Granada Hills, CA
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Scott in NC]
      #5806013 - 04/18/13 01:52 AM

I really like everyone's view on the istar scopes, butt some posters act like we all have 20,000 dollars apo's and that's just not true in almost all cases. I will say again that a good 3000 dollar scope made the best it can be made is not a bad deal. Those who complain of weight just need to stick with 80mm ed's. You want a 6,8 or 10" refractor don't talk to use about weight. Talk to jenny craig.

John


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chaoscosmos
sage
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Reged: 01/26/13

Loc: Mission Viejo CA
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: john@dps]
      #5806022 - 04/18/13 02:14 AM

You should do what suits you. For most people, large refractors up to 8 and 10 inches are not practical. But it's not a macho issue, after all. It's just a scope.

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Kunama
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/22/12

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: chaoscosmos]
      #5806032 - 04/18/13 02:40 AM

Although I have now sold the Istar, I did get a chance to compare it to my Takahashi TSA120 F7.5 Super Apochromat side by side. The Istar was a 150mm F10 Perseus. Using GSO 2" diagonal in the Istar and a WO 2" diagonal in Tak with Vixen LVW eyepieces of 3.5, 5, 8, 13, 17 and 22mm
The CA of course was even more evident against the colour free Tak but as far a resolving detail on the Moon and Jupiter the Istar performed surprisingly well up to 300X showing good detail on Jupiter and excellent detail on lunar craters. With the addition of a Baader SemiApo filter the Istar was all the scope one would ever need for visual astronomy.

The Tak did outshine in every regard, esp on Sirius, but so it should at near 3 times the price.

I sold the Istar, not because I was unhappy with it, but because my Vixen mount could not cope with the moment arm of such a long scope. I have since bought a T-Rex Alt Az mount and now wish I still had the big Istar.

The Istar is an extremely well built, robust scope but needs a mount to match its mass.

I really don't care if I never see an interferometer test of it, I really did like the scope and would have no hesitation to buy another, especially if the planned Raycorr comes to life.


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Kevin Barker
super member


Reged: 04/22/09

Loc: Auckland, NZ
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: James Ling]
      #5806107 - 04/18/13 05:46 AM

Hi James
Were you a student at Canterbury University, New Zealand?

Professor Kerr lectured me in Calculus there back in the 1980's. I was studying Physics there. Kerr is famous for the formulating of the "Kerr solutions" which are most probably rotating black holes.(from memory)

It occurs to me that a big fast refractor is not likely to have a very impressive test report across a range of wavelengths (i.e a low polychromatic strehl) when using an interferometer. I was unable to find many reports on Rohr's website of big achromatic refractors.

The vast majority of reports are of very expensive apochromatic refractors.

I wonder how many amateurs would really understand these reports?

Kevin


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James Ling
sage
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Reged: 09/18/10

Loc: Singapore
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Kevin Barker]
      #5806126 - 04/18/13 06:21 AM Attachment (35 downloads)

Hi Kevin....

Great to hear that you are one of Professor Kerr's student....

Sorry.... I have never been to New Zealand....

Last year , our local university, invited Professor Kerr to Singapore as a special VIP guest for this Venus transit....
And I am glad to be invited to this special event with my Istar scope...

And as usual, the Istar is really the main attraction in this special event.....with long queues waiting to see the final moment of the transit....

This is one of the event that I will never forget ....

Regards

James Ling


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tomharri
sage
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Reged: 09/19/08

Loc: USA
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: James Ling]
      #5806991 - 04/18/13 03:52 PM Attachment (24 downloads)

Been building Jaegers refractors out of the Surplus Shed sell offs. Also did The Shed's 5" f/9.4 & it's the best of all the achros. But really my APM 107/700 triple out performed all these 4 & 5" scopes on planetary targets.

Then I built the Istar 5" f/8 R30 just to see. Finally a neo-ed scope that exceeds the 107 in every way, planetary and deep sky.

Next build will be the APM 6" f/8 ED China built lens, you know the one people are already bashing and there is only one out there.

Will they shut up when a few dozen arrive soon? Or just get louder?


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: john@dps]
      #5807184 - 04/18/13 05:31 PM

"[A] good 3000 dollar scope made the best it can be made is not a bad deal."

I don't think anyone is disputing this. The questions at hand, though, are (1) are these "good" $3000 scopes?; and (2) are they made "as best they can be made"? The answers to those questions will determine whether they are a so-so, good or fantastic deal, I think.

I also think that weight and length are correlated with optical quality in the following way. A longer heavier scope requires a larger, more costly, more capable mount to hold stably. Making such an additional investment for an affordable, great quality cumbersome scope might make sense. Doing so for one with poor optics, though, would be a monumental waste of time, effort and budget.

Jenny Craig might help you lose weight, but it won't make you pretty if you're ugly.

Regards,

Jim


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john@dps
member


Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: Granada Hills, CA
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5807898 - 04/18/13 11:10 PM

"Jenny Craig might help you lose weight, but it won't make you pretty if you're ugly"

That's why Jenny didn't work for me. I didn't have a chance to start with.

I might have a real case against Jenny because they didn't disclose that in the TV ad.

Edited by john@dps (04/18/13 11:13 PM)


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: john@dps]
      #5808035 - 04/19/13 12:59 AM

Yeah, me too. And they even taught me to read the fine print, and I missed it.

But think of it this way. You can get a C6R OTA for $500 or a Kunming 6" f/5.9 OTA for between $700 and $900. Optically the C6Rs vary a bit from decent to just so-so, and the Kunmings tend to be decent to good optically (but loaded with CA, of course). A $1500+ 6-incher has to be better across the board than these scopes to support its considerably higher price. On the other hand, once you go bigger than 6" the competition thins out considerably, and it gets harder to argue with the price being asked.

If Istar doesn't bring the Raycorr out soon, maybe Aries would consider a new run of updated reasonably priced Chromacorr Is to tide the big achro folks over. I think the existence of a new run of Chromacorrs would help everyone selling fastish achromats I suspect.

Regards,

Jim


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James Ling
sage
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Reged: 09/18/10

Loc: Singapore
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5808088 - 04/19/13 02:51 AM

Quote:


If Istar doesn't bring the Raycorr out soon, maybe Aries would consider a new run of updated reasonably priced Chromacorr Is to tide the big achro folks over. I think the existence of a new run of Chromacorrs would help everyone selling fastish achromats I suspect.

Regards,

Jim




Hi Jim....

Although Istar has plan to introduce their CA corrector, or known as raycorr, in this year...., but according to them is optimized for their R series.....
So perhaps the raycorr may not give the fullest improvement to other brands of achro.....

Many Istar owners like myself are also waiting for the release of this product, but I have decided to go for one that already being introduce into the astronomy world many years ago....., although I ever mentioned I still prefer to wait....

Regards

James Ling


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stevew
Now I've done it


Reged: 03/03/06

Loc: British Columbia Canada
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5828515 - 04/28/13 02:35 PM

Quote:


Thanks to a very kind CNer, I now have a 4" Istar on loan. Once I get it unpacked it will be used for some "same night, same site, same magnification, same targets" comparative testing along side some other 4-inchers (TV-102, AT111EDT and Antares 105/1500). I'm looking forward to it, and after comparing notes with the owner, will start a new thread (with plenty of pictures) discussing the results/impressions of the scope relative to some peers.


Regards,

Jim



Jim, any word on the 4 inch Istar you have on loan??
What do you think of it?
Steve


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Sean Cunneen
Let Me Think
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Reged: 08/01/07

Loc: Blue Island Illinois
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: stevew]
      #5828635 - 04/28/13 03:37 PM

To awed to type? Perhaps he is sourcing a crane to lift it on to the mount?!?

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: stevew]
      #5831201 - 04/29/13 10:03 PM

Hi Steve.

I've had a handful of sessions (albeit moonlit) with the Istar, and last night finished a star test using a green filter under less than perfect seeing (5/10 to 6/10). I've also had it out with a TV-102 and then with an Antares 105/1500 the following session. I'm very familiar with both of these scopes (have owned and used them regularly for years). Based on the Polaris star test and head to head use with scopes that, for me, are a known quantity, the best I can determine is that the (1) scope is definitely better than merely diffraction limited and (2) if I had to cop to a P-V wavefront error estimate, it would be around 1/5 to 1/6, with slight overcorrection.

Regards,

Jim


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stevew
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5831401 - 04/30/13 12:13 AM

What is the F-ratio of the Istar?

Steve


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jrbarnett
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: stevew]
      #5831406 - 04/30/13 12:18 AM

4" f/12 in a home-built OTA.

- Jim


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Paul C-I
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5831613 - 04/30/13 05:58 AM

Jim,
That's sounds very positive to me. I'm eagerly awaiting the completion and delivery of my Istar 8" F12 R35 lens. I have a temporary rail with focuser one end to mount it on for focal length measuring and testing before deciding on home built tube or a TCR structure.

Paul


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mikey cee
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5831983 - 04/30/13 10:57 AM

Jim if this scope turns out anything like my 10" f/11 R30 you may not want to give it back. I've had a slight issue with my star tests since collimating my scope with a laser and collimating eyepiece. At 5:00 oclock I was getting slightly more difraction "spikes" which I attributed to less than optimal seeing. Believing that atmosheric dispersion made the redish blue on top not as pronounced as the greenish white on the bottom of my airy disc and difraction rings. Well last night I switched out the 2" diagonals with the 6" scope. The GSO diagonal cleared the problem right up. The Celestron diagonal now will stay in the 6" f/8 Jaegers from now on. Now I'm right where I want to be with the Istar. A perfect bull's eye difraction test. Also I checked again with the Ronchi screen tester when the temps were of no consequence. The Jaegers had nice thick black bars absolutely straight as could be, whether I displayed 2-3 bars or a dozen. The Istar tested similarly with no indications of over or undercorrection. I always knew that the Jaegers was top notch as I've used it for over 32 years. Now to see the new Istar test out near identical was a pleasant surprise. Mike

Edited by mikey cee (04/30/13 10:59 AM)


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jrbarnett
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Paul C-I]
      #5832044 - 04/30/13 11:28 AM

Certainly it speaks well for small aperture slow optics from Istar's source(s). The quality of the Istar is in line with or perhaps a bit better than that of the typical 4" f/9.8 Synta doublet, for context.

Of course, as aperture increases, the difficulty of fabricating an optic to a given quality level also increases. Similarly, as focal ratio drops, the difficult of fabricating an optic to a given quality level also increases.

I'll be very interested in hearing your results with an 8" optic. I'm interested in a 6-incher, so your experience with an 8-incher will likely be more instructive to me than my recent fun with a 4-incher.

The DKD's tested on astro-foren.de were larger examples, and none of them tested to even the diffraction limit. Hence my interest in reports that go beyond mere anecdotal reactions ("Wow! Just wow! ) from new users. An 8" f/12 is a big investment not only in pounds but also in effort to transport, mount and house. I expect that you will give it a thorough thrashing and share details of your observations (target, magnification, what was seen, etc.). That would have great value I think to many folks here on CN on the fence over large Istars.

Best of luck with the grand olde refractor. I am very interested in following your story.

Regards,

Jim


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jrbarnett
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5832048 - 04/30/13 11:29 AM

Mike:

What was your Ronchi test setup and parameters (i.e., what tools did you use)? Just curious. I picked up a ronchi test eyepiece device and haven't used it yet.

And, as stated in my comments the Istar 4" f/12 wasn't quite as well figured as either of the other 4-inchers I compared it to (though it was close), so there's not much reason for me to want to keep it.

Other than Jim's tube assembly, that is. That was clearly a labor of love: royal blue with gold trim, proper 1-speed R&P A-P focuser with custom gold anodized oversized focusing knobs, and impressive dimensions. (Re: the oversized focsuer knobs - talk about brilliant. They supply additional focus granularity without the cost, complexity, fragility and bulk of a 2-speed system. Jim caught my attention with that detail. I've been doing the same with SCT focuser posts for years. It just never occurred to me to try it with a refractor. ).

Thanks,

Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (04/30/13 11:38 AM)


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Gord
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5832404 - 04/30/13 01:55 PM

Quote:


Of course, as aperture increases, the difficulty of fabricating an optic to a given quality level also increases. Similarly, as focal ratio drops, the difficult of fabricating an optic to a given quality level also increases.



Indeed it does. As I most recently posted in my test thread, I'm highly suspecting something off at the edge of mine now.

The interesting thing about it is that it doesn't impact the low power views in an obvious way (they are really very nice), and unless you are using something as a reference (or are specifically testing for it...), you might not know that there's a problem at high powers. I've said before that I've got pleasant planetary views with it when considering just the view itself. It's when you compare it back to back against another that the differences are seen.

This is one reason why I don't think a observing report alone from anyone is as telling a reference as the tests done by Mr. Rohr, or in a side by side test.

Clear skies,


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mikey cee
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Gord]
      #5832567 - 04/30/13 03:13 PM

Gord no matter how many Istars Rohr tests with positive results you're never going to accept the fact that the one you buy won't be a fluke. So you'll have yours tested anyway. So you might as well do it now and get on with life. You'll always be a doubter regardless of how many test are done, that's just your nature. A blind man can see what's going on here here. Also what's to lose other than some shipping? I'm more than sure if you aren't pleased Ales will either replace it or give you back your money! Mike

Edited by mikey cee (04/30/13 06:06 PM)


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jrbarnett
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5833131 - 04/30/13 08:12 PM

"Gord no matter how many Istars Rohr tests with positive results you're never going to accept the fact that the one you buy won't be a fluke."

"Gord, no matter how many little gray men bodies we find at UFO crash sites you're never going to accept the fact that extra-terrestrial cow mutilators with links to Freemasons and the WTO exist and are watching you"

That's the problem, you see. Just as no one has ever seen any little gray spaceman bodies (because none exist), neither Rohr nor anyone else not affiliated with Istar's lens maker has published a single positive independent interferometer test. I think one or two "sizzlers" from Rohr would satisfy me and, though I shouldn't speak for him, I suspect for Gord too.

Rohr has, however, tested a few DKD large achromat objectives that look suspiciously similar right down to similar test report formats to the Istar objectives. Those sucked, frankly. The other thing one or two positive Istar reports on Astro-Foren would do is help sever suspicions to the effect that DKD makes the optics for the large Istar achromats.

It's also really disingenuous to preach that folks won't accept one or two positive, objective, rigorous independent tests of large Istar optics when not even one such test report exists. On the other hand, one or two really bad Istar large achromat test report of that kind would be pretty informative too. The truth would be served by even one such report, good or bad. The hysteria and theatrics, to me, sound like fear.

I may have to beg Gord to let me send his optic off to Germany for testing and back, though I'd prefer that one of the bigger ones be tested since it is at larger apertures that Istar is differentiated from competitors (i.e., there are plenty of decent quality affordable 6" and smaller Chinese achromats available; bigger than that not so many).

Regards,

Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (04/30/13 08:17 PM)


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EverlastingSky
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5833194 - 04/30/13 08:51 PM

Good work Jim, keep at it, very good stuff, I support you in your efforts to gain some real test data on these interesting optics

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mikey cee
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5833254 - 04/30/13 09:32 PM

Jim why aren't you willing to buy an Istar product like I did? Why do the two you always insist on waiting for someone else to have their lens tested?? HHMMM?? I know for a fact that Ales Krivanek will either replace your lens or refund your money. Don't give me that "I don't have time to play games" stuff. Lord knows you spend enough time on CN. Mike

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A. Viegas
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5833366 - 04/30/13 10:39 PM

For what its worth, my 2c here (personal views, not scientifically tested just my opinion, so fuggetabout any data backup or certified optical testing!)...

I just acquired a 150mm R30 F8 Istar. I bought it used from another amateur recently around the time of NEAF. I was in the market for a $2-3k slightly used refractor and I did some research for about a month or so, looked through a number of scopes, meeting a couple of local owners who were in the market to sell their quality refractors. I considered the following alternatives, (ES 127ED, TAK 106FSQ, WO 132 triplet and a Celestron C6R):

1. Out of all of these scopes, I found the build quality of the Istar to be excellent and definitely seemed the most robust. Frankly, the C6R was the worst, feeling like a cheap chinese toy... The other APOs had nice finishing, but frankly the Istar is a tank. Yes, it weighs like 30# and it looks like a freak'n bazooka!

2. I have a CPC1100, and I do mostly video astronomy. I was buying the Refractor for planetary views and for quick views of the obvious stuff, like brighter DSOs, doubles and the moon. I got to test each of the aforementioned scopes on Jupiter, M42 and M65.

On Jupiter & the moon all the scopes were very good. I was not too bothered by the slight chromatic aberration in the C6R, nor did I think the TAK or the WO 132 were that much better. When we went to the Moon... well I thought, lets look for the craterlets. With my CPC1100 and the Mallincam these are easy to see... Visually, however I thought it would be a challenge at higher magnification. So here the Istar blew the competition away, using my Delos 3.5mm, it was only in the Istar that I could definately make them out. No way as detailed as in the CPC1100 with the Mallincam, but visually I have to say it seemed crisper. Yes... Aperture...

3. M42, the TAK has the best view of the trapezium stars, but the nebulosity was pretty much the same in all the scopes, not much to distinguish any of the telescopes in this regard.

4. M65. I chose this object because I had just seen the recent SN in my Mallincam that same week, and I had not yet had a chance to look at the galaxy visually. Galaxy? you say? What galaxy... from the relatively heavy light pollution greater NYC area I have to say all the refractors sort of sucked. But here again, aperture... the Istar showed the galaxy, the others... well maybe with averted vision... and then it was a struggle.

5. Color. Looking at my notes, I really did not make much comment, except to say that the TAK had the cleanest look on Sirius, the Istar was not great, there was some more CA than in the ES, and I did not test either the WO nor the C6R on sirius.

6. Price. I got an awesome deal on the Istar. The Tak I thought was way over rated and over priced for what it was, again I was using it visually and the smaller aperture was a major let-down. The WO was also about 2x more expensive, but the build quality was excellent as well, and i thought the focuser was probably the smoothest of the bunch.

I started my refractor buying project in February. I got my Istar 2 weeks ago. Hopefully I will have some more to say about it over the next few weeks if I get some clear weekends to use it.

I am hopeful that my Istar will compliment my SCTs and give me reason to try and get back a little into visual astronomy... Maybe in 20 years if I ever get more than 1 or 2 nights a month to play around with my astro toys, then maybe I become more discriminating and upgrade to the AP175 Ferrari...

Al


P.S. This weekend looks like clear skies, so I will try and get out and play around with the Istar, if anyone is interested i may post a few pics here of what i can capture as I intend to try out my Mallincams on the Istar.


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ken svp120
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5833848 - 05/01/13 08:48 AM

Jim - no need to go through the expense of shipping over to Europe - there are at least 3 independent optics test labs here in the US that would be more than happy to run some tests and send you the results. If you want their info, let me know. Also, PM sent.

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Jim Curry
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5833851 - 05/01/13 08:51 AM Attachment (29 downloads)

Thanks, Jim. That was my first OTA. I find the AP Traveler focuser to be a nice counterweight to the lens assemblies on this 4" and my other 6" f/12. Here's a couple of photos of the knobs and focuser. I'm now starting up on two 4" f/15 Jaegers builds, one for myself, another for another CNer. I'll start a thread soon on the ATM forum.

Jim


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Jim Curry
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Jim Curry]
      #5833860 - 05/01/13 08:57 AM Attachment (26 downloads)

Another.

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Gord
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5833994 - 05/01/13 10:12 AM

Quote:

Gord no matter how many Istars Rohr tests with positive results you're never going to accept the fact that the one you buy won't be a fluke. So you'll have yours tested anyway. So you might as well do it now and get on with life. You'll always be a doubter regardless of how many test are done, that's just your nature. A blind man can see what's going on here here. Also what's to lose other than some shipping? I'm more than sure if you aren't pleased Ales will either replace it or give you back your money! Mike



Mike,

Let's stick to the topic at hand and not discuss my personal "nature" (of which you know _NOTHING_ about). But your post does once again re-iterate some of the points that Jim has brought up about the religious fanboy fanaticism. Since there is no real hard data to base anything on, the only response to questions about process, unusual or less than perfect results are personal attacks.

I would love to see some real hard data on them to get an idea of how things really are. I'm continuing to learn all the time and one thing I've now realized from this is how much I don't know. And how much I thought I knew in the past (but didn't really). This goes for my earlier evaluations of the first of the IStar lenses I've used (and am currently using).

Contrary to some comments I've read in the past, IStar is not in the league of Astro-Physics, TEC, Takahashi, APM, etc. I'll be clear that IStar has never said such a thing, but there seems to be more than a few that have interpreted the marketing and user comments to get the impression that they are. They are just like any of the other middle tier producers with quality ranging from very good to very poor. I expect most are in the average-good range, but from my own experience, I'm wondering if most people won't be able to tell the difference between just average and good based on just looking at the scope alone (as in on it's own).

Initially looking at the achro I had on it's own, I was pretty impressed and thought it must be pretty good based on previous experience with other achromat's. But it wasn't until I started comparing it directly head to head, side by side with other scopes that the differences were made apparent. And this is where the picture of the IStar becomes more clear.

And it's interesting that I can think of 4 examples (off hand...) where the IStar's compare only similarly to average quality common scopes out there:

-My 6" F10 is far below a good C8 on planetary and appears to have some sort of edge defect
-Sean found his 6" F15 to be less sharp than a Jaeger's 6" F15
-Tom found his 5" F8 R30 to be less sharp than his Surplus Shed 5" on Jupiter
-Jim's recent test here of Jim's 4" F12 where he feels it's similar or slightly better than a Synta 4" achro

There was another test I saw that the owner found the 6" F15 he had to maybe have around 1/5 wave of SA. To me, all this is presenting a picture of average to some good (although it seems the average of everything is rising overall these days). I'm certainly not seeing spectacular and would love to see some examples of "sizzlers" as Jim says. The law of averages says there have to be some really good ones out there, but it's certainly not appearing that this is common.

BTW Mike, have you ever compared the 10" IStar to the 8" Brandt side by side?

Clear skies,


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jrbarnett
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: ken svp120]
      #5834058 - 05/01/13 10:42 AM

The advantage of Rohr at this point is that he also has a large and growing publicly available database of test reports all compiled using the same methods. In addition to understanding the "numbers" for a particular optic, the ability to compare those numbers to similarly gathered numbers for competitive optics is hugely beneficial.

If we could have such a thing here in North America...

- Jim


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jrbarnett
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5834072 - 05/01/13 10:51 AM

"Jim why aren't you willing to buy an Istar product like I did? Why do the two you always insist on waiting for someone else to have their lens tested??"

Asked, and answered. A large refractor represents a substantial investment in mounting and transporting. I don't want a big, inconvenient piece of junk on my hands, frankly. Also, because I am a scrupulously honest seller, I would never try and foist a scope with lousy optics on another amateur, but instead would be compelled to fully disclose the low quality of the glass to prospective buyers. That's more time commitment, hassle and risk than I want to undertake. Since folks who have already purchased one have assumed the risk and accepted the hassles, and profess to be "happy" with the quality, they're in no worse shape than they're already in if their optic is tested. Whether it tests poorly or well, they can still be happy and the rest of us who care about fact rather than opinion can also benefit. Sooner or later, one of these larger Istars will be tested, and the chips will fall where they may.

Regards,

Jim


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mikey cee
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Gord]
      #5834104 - 05/01/13 11:07 AM

-My 6" F10 is far below a good C8 on planetary and appears to have some sort of edge defect
-Sean found his 6" F15 to be less sharp than a Jaeger's 6" F15
-Tom found his 5" F8 R30 to be less sharp than his Surplus Shed 5" on Jupiter
-Jim's recent test here of Jim's 4" F12 where he feels it's similar or slightly better than a Synta 4" achro

There was another test I saw that the owner found the 6" F15 he had to maybe have around 1/5 wave of SA. To me, all this is presenting a picture of average to some good (although it seems the average of everything is rising overall these days). I'm certainly not seeing spectacular and would love to see some examples of "sizzlers" as Jim says. The law of averages says there have to be some really good ones out there, but it's certainly not appearing that this is common.
This is hogwash. It's purely anectdotal and I won't accept it. How do we know that AP, Tec and TMB don't toss one or two before you get their final stab at it? Hence some justification for the higher prices. If they don't then they spend more time hand figuring the original. Either way the price reflects that cost. Istar's prices are in line with their quality or Ales and Mike wouldn't let them out the door. You want more tests? Where do you suppose these test lenses will come from? Can't come from Ales he'd surely cherry pick those. You got it....people who don't demand a test to begin with. I'm beginning to believe Istarmullet on this one. Mike


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jrbarnett
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Gord]
      #5834156 - 05/01/13 11:34 AM

I've said my piece on this one. I'll defer my next comments on this topic until after there is a publicly available, independent, objective test report for one of the large Istar optics. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long.

Regards,

Jim


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jrbarnett
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Jim Curry]
      #5834191 - 05/01/13 11:49 AM

Jim, who made the knobs for the focuser?

Also, I'm flabbergasted seeing the scope on the CG-5. I was a nervous Nelly with it on the DSV-3, which is beefier than my CG5 and felt more comfy with it on an Atlas.

I'll disassemble and box it up tonight. I should be able to get it to the UPS store for return home tomorrow. And thank you for the opportunity to use the scope. It was a pleasure.

It makes me want a nicer quality long focus 4-inch tube assembly than my Antares. I am being drawn by Richard's new Skylight 101/1500s...

- Jim


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Jim Curry
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5834440 - 05/01/13 01:42 PM

Jim:

I did all the machine work on the scope including the adapters for the rotating AP focuser.

No prob on the CG5.
Jim


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Gord
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Jim Curry]
      #5834530 - 05/01/13 02:25 PM

Jim,

Is that A-P focuser a 2.7" as well? They make beautiful stuff.

Clear skies,


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Gord
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5834664 - 05/01/13 03:30 PM

Quote:

This is hogwash. It's purely anectdotal and I won't accept it. How do we know that AP, Tec and TMB don't toss one or two before you get their final stab at it? Hence some justification for the higher prices. If they don't then they spend more time hand figuring the original. Either way the price reflects that cost. Istar's prices are in line with their quality or Ales and Mike wouldn't let them out the door. You want more tests? Where do you suppose these test lenses will come from? Can't come from Ales he'd surely cherry pick those. You got it....people who don't demand a test to begin with. I'm beginning to believe Istarmullet on this one. Mike



Mike,

It's an absolute certainty that A-P, TEC, etc do have to throw out glass that is not up to par. It's been talked about here many times. They also do a lot more finishing work (and testing!) to ensure that their products are at the quality level they are. And yes, it does reflect in the price (and availability) of the products. And keep in mind that not ever lens they have ever shipped is at the same quality the current ones are. They have been improving their processes and testing, but I don't think there are many 1/2 wave A-P's out there!

As to IStar's price point, they are made to a price point. They are also not made by IStar and I'm pretty sure they don't test every one of them. Bad ones have gotten out. The price point and process mean this is bound to happen at some point.

There seems to be two messages in this thread:

1. They are perfect, mine is great, I'm happier than I could ever be, you couldn't ask for anything more, and stop asking for meaningless tests!

2. Don't expect an Astro-Physics for IStar money! You may get one, but there's no data to really tell so it's likely to be similar to other common vendors, or it could be a stinker.

Clear skies,


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dscarpa
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: B. Cook]
      #5834695 - 05/01/13 03:54 PM

Does anybody that has one of their 140 F/12 triplets care to weigh in? Istar is coming out with a 140 F/7.5 APO. I would like to get a 140 triplet at some point but after ordering a 11" Teeter STS that's on the back burner. David

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Jim Curry
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Gord]
      #5834697 - 05/01/13 03:54 PM

Hey Gord:

Yes, that's one of AP's 2.7" Traveler focusers. It is a buttery smooth product.

Jim


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watcher
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Gord]
      #5834701 - 05/01/13 03:58 PM

Quote:


Mike,

It's an absolute certainty that A-P, TEC, etc do have to throw out glass that is not up to par. It's been talked about here many times. They also do a lot more finishing work (and testing!) to ensure that their products are at the quality level they are. And yes, it does reflect in the price (and availability) of the products. And keep in mind that not ever lens they have ever shipped is at the same quality the current ones are. They have been improving their processes and testing, but I don't think there are many 1/2 wave A-P's out there!

As to IStar's price point, they are made to a price point. They are also not made by IStar and I'm pretty sure they don't test every one of them. Bad ones have gotten out. The price point and process mean this is bound to happen at some point.

There seems to be two messages in this thread:

1. They are perfect, mine is great, I'm happier than I could ever be, you couldn't ask for anything more, and stop asking for meaningless tests!

2. Don't expect an Astro-Physics for IStar money! You may get one, but there's no data to really tell so it's likely to be similar to other common vendors, or it could be a stinker.

Clear skies,




Wrong on both points Gord. I have read every post in this thread, and no one said their Istar is perfect. Also, the fact that you assume that lack of data acceptable to you is proof that Istars quality level is is going to be similar to other run of the mill vendors is an indication of bias in itself.

I was told by Ales YEARS ago that the lenses that they don't finish themselves (some are finished by Istar) are made to a minimum 1/5 wave. If anyone gets something less than acceptable, they make it right. If you don't think that's worth Istar prices, then don't buy an Istar. It will keep production waiting times reasonable for those of us who appreciate above average quality for a fair price, and innovative products that nobody else cares to produce. If you are unsure of your ability to judge a scopes quality for yourself by looking through it, then send it off to be tested. If you can judge for yourself, trust that Istar will not stick you with a "stinker".


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mikey cee
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: watcher]
      #5835020 - 05/01/13 07:01 PM

Yeah Gord and no two lenses ever produced are identical just like snow flakes. Sure AP and Tec all guarantee and test their lenses so all will be above a minimal standard. But pray to God that one of you folks never gets the "crummy" 97 strehl when the guy before or after you gets the 98 strehl lens. I want test reports on the entire production run so I can see if I've been taken. Ha Ha Ha seems life's a riot from one day to the next anymore. Mike

Edited by mikey cee (05/02/13 10:55 AM)


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tomharri
sage
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5835130 - 05/01/13 08:05 PM

Istar R30 a semi-ED

Beats the heck outta any achro you've ever seen

Then why all this hate mail page after page

From people who have never used one not even a glance

Are they afraid these will render their $$$-scopes obsolete

As China brings big refractors affordably back to life

I for one salute them as I add to my collection

And can't hardly wait for the next Mars apparition.


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john@dps
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Loc: Granada Hills, CA
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: tomharri]
      #5835351 - 05/01/13 10:31 PM

I will say it again, this is a whole lot of depth for a 3000$ scope. These aren't 30,000$ apo's perfection is a lot to ask for 3000$.

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De Lorme
professor emeritus
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Reged: 12/30/08

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: john@dps]
      #5835394 - 05/01/13 11:06 PM

I haven't heard of anybody dissatisfied with Istars scopes.
But I have read reviews saying their good. I read{some where
in this forum}that he sold his Istar telescope because of
mount issues,but when he got a better mount he wished he had the bigger Istar Achro.
A buisness lives or dies by reviews and customer service.
Both of which have been above averge. We all know the saying
"wanting something for nothing" Could this be happing here?
Expecting Istar to give you a $3,500 refractor lens for
$1700 is "expecting something for nothing".
The more critism said here about Istar, will make those looking for a large refractor lens skeptical about getting a fare deal. There is no evidence at all about Istar giving
bad customer service or a bad product.
But just keep saying it and when they go out of buisness
you can put the final nail in the coffin by saying that they just wern't good enough.
That's just what we need to see another lens manufactor going out of buisness. Their suppling a product for us who
will never be able to afford the top of the line that are
good and at a price point we can afford.
How about backing off and let the market place decide
whether thier good enough?
De Lorme


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galaxyman
Vendor - Have a Stellar Birthday
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: De Lorme]
      #5835462 - 05/01/13 11:50 PM

What I would like to see (read) is more actual observing reports (in detail please) from owners of Istar's.

For instance the 6" and larger on DSO's (my specialty).

A telescope no matter of type is useless if not subjected to the night or sky.


Karl
E.O.H.


Chesmont Astronomical Society - www.chesmontastro.org
Galaxy Log - http://www.youtube.com/user/GalaxyLog4565?feature=mhee
Galaxy Log Blog - http://galaxylog.blogspot.com/
HASB - http://www.haveastellarbirthday.com
Telekit (Swayze optics) 22" F/4.5 Dob
Homemade (Parks Optics) 12.5" F/4.8 Dob
TMB/APM 8" f/9 Refractor”The Beast”. One great DEEP SKY achro
ES 6" f/6.5 achro. Good one
Celestron Omni XLT 102 refractor.
Celestron 10x60mm Binos


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buddyjesus
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/07/10

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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: galaxyman]
      #5835507 - 05/02/13 12:38 AM

yeah maybe something like tightest splits or highest useful magnifications(some of those mentioned)

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john@dps
member


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Loc: Granada Hills, CA
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: buddyjesus]
      #5835915 - 05/02/13 09:59 AM

I 2nd Buddyjesus.

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Rutilus
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/17/10

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: john@dps]
      #5836795 - 05/02/13 05:26 PM

I'm wanting to spend some time with my Istar 150mm f/15, but work is getting in the way at the moment.
I have a decent Synta 150mm f/8 that does well with double stars and even gives nice planetary views when
used with filtration.

I want to do side by side comparisons to see how both scopes perform.


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De Lorme
professor emeritus
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Reged: 12/30/08

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Rutilus]
      #5836863 - 05/02/13 06:00 PM

I hope you can do it soon. I also have a CR6" that I think
is pretty good. Cannot wait to see how they compare.
De Lorme


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neotesla
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Loc: Canada
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: De Lorme]
      #5837220 - 05/02/13 08:55 PM

I haven't read through this entire thread, too much acrimonious bickering for my tastes, but it seems that price is a major issue for this discussion. With that in mind, D&G achros are well regarded and are pretty much the same price as similar sized Istar scopes, without the long wait times for delivery. Would it not be a better comparison of these two scopes versus the high end Tak, TEC, and AP scopes comparisons? These are both achros with the same FL as well, a much better discussion than trying to compare achros to apos in my opinion, especially when these two are pretty much the same price and optical design. Istar scopes are all classic doublet achros or modified achros.

Personally, I am considering an Istar scope as a future purchase. Why? Good price point and many satisfied users, that's usually good enough for most people to buy into a product. As well they appear to be actively R&D-ing their optical and OTA design.


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Paul C-I
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: neotesla]
      #5837719 - 05/03/13 07:13 AM

I would like to add here at this point that I would not have parted with the best part of $3K for a lens (being produced at this moment) had I not had the very positive experiences from a previous early achro lens from Ales and his continued superb personal customer service.
Home built 8" F12 R35, here I come! (build and results to be shared on this site)
Paul


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Jeff B
Carpal Tunnel
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Paul C-I]
      #5837947 - 05/03/13 09:56 AM

I think we can start a data base in this or another thread.

Name: Jeff B
Istar Lens: 6" F10
Date purchased: 2010
Diffraction limited?: Yes
Better than diffraction limited?: Yes, as far as I can tell
Satisfied with lens?: Yes
Satisfied with Istar Customer service: Yes
Recommend Istar to a friend: Yes
Purchase another Istar lens: Yes
If so, which one: 8" F9
Comments:


Jeff


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plyscope
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Reged: 11/23/06

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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Jeff B]
      #5837985 - 05/03/13 10:16 AM

Name: Andy J
Istar Lens: 5" F12 R30
Date purchased: April 2011
Diffraction limited?: Yes
Better than diffraction limited?: Yes, as far as I can tell
Satisfied with lens?: Yes
Satisfied with Istar Customer service: Yes
Recommend Istar to a friend: Yes
Purchase another Istar lens: Not yet
Comments: See my thread;
web page ATM forum


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mikey cee
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Loc: bellevue ne.
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Jeff B]
      #5838074 - 05/03/13 10:48 AM


.

Name: Mikey Cee
Istar Lens: 10" F/11 R30
Date purchased: 2010
Diffraction limited?: Yes
Better than diffraction limited?: Yes, as far as I can tell
Satisfied with lens?: Yes
Satisfied with Istar Customer service: Yes
Recommend Istar to a friend: Yes
Purchase another Istar lens: If I needed or wanted. If so, which one: N/A
Comments: Lens actually surprized me with less CA and such a small airy disc....at least that is to me the appearance and that's all I need to see that this lens is top notch. Mike

Edited by mikey cee (05/03/13 11:30 AM)


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astroneil
Carpal Tunnel
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5838629 - 05/03/13 03:41 PM

Quote:


.

Name: Neil T. English
Istar Lens: 152mm f/10 achromat/ 152mm f7.8 fluorite triplet apochromat.
Date purchased: N/A Both instruments favourably reviewed. 127mm f/12 R30 on order.
Diffraction limited?: Yes
Better than diffraction limited?: Yes
Satisfied with lens?: Yes
Satisfied with Istar Customer service: N/A
Recommend Istar to a friend: Yes
Purchase another Istar lens: Possibly a 6" f/15




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John Jarosz
Astro Gearhead
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Reged: 04/25/04

Loc: Fairfax, Iowa
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: astroneil]
      #5839025 - 05/03/13 08:38 PM

Name: John Jarosz
Istar Lens: 6" F5 Made into a scope by myself, see my sig.
Date purchased: 2011
Diffraction limited?: Yes - I think
Better than diffraction limited?: Yes, as far as I can tell
Satisfied with lens?: YES
Satisfied with Istar Customer service: YES
Recommend Istar to a friend: Yes
Purchase another Istar lens: Yes
If so, which one: I don't plan that far ahead. It will be a while before I buy another refractor

Comments: I'm not sure of the perfectionists that require perfection from moderately priced equipment but they continue to observe in locales that provide much less than even very good conditions in terms of transparency, high humidity, excessive light pollution, etc. For a $5k and up refractor I'd demand test results and perfection. I don't care who made it. A $500 6" lens is not going to be perfect. Get over it.


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Rutilus
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/17/10

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: John Jarosz]
      #5841460 - 05/05/13 11:13 AM

Very short report on my Istar 150mm f/15.
Last night I was observing a few double-stars and the scope was taking high magnification
very well. The scope seems to have a real sweet spot at powers ranging from 250 - 350x.

epsilon Bootis - Good clear split at 112x. Best view was at 325x, but powers up to 500x
were very good indeed. I used a 2.5mm eyepiece for 900x and was very surprised at just
how good the Airy disk and Diffraction ring pattern was. While past it's best, the view was still
usable.

gamma Virginis - easily split with no problems, as was the 1.6" wide Struve 1932 in CrB.

gamma CrB - a real tough one at 0.6 - 0.7". At 500x, no split was visible, but the star displayed
an odd shape with a bump on one side.

The only DSO I observed was M13. The view was much better than that of my 4 inch f/13 Carton
or that of my now gone Tak-TSA 102. Bigger aperture showing itself here, over the 4 inch scopes.
The cluster appeared as a mottled misty patch with many individually resolved stars visible.
The view was very nice indeed at 70 and 90x powers.

Star-Test - Needs more than one night of testing but this is an initial finding with a green filter used.
Racking the draw tube inwards, a nice set of well defined rings, the very outer ring was brighter than
that of the others.

Racking the draw tube outwards - A less well defined view, the rings were harder to see, and
the outer ring was much fainter. The pattern was quite ragged.

My initial thoughts are that the lens shows some under-correction, but I want spend more time
using the scope before coming to a conclusion


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mikey cee
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Rutilus]
      #5841842 - 05/05/13 03:10 PM

Rut that sounds like a pretty ho-hum report there for a $20,000 scope! Ooooops! I'm so so very sorry we're discussing a $2000 dollar scope here aren't we? I gotta' keep remembering that when discussing the optical performance of an Istar. Don't know why but seems like I'm always expecting more for the money. Mike

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De Lorme
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 12/30/08

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5842492 - 05/05/13 09:24 PM

Looking forward to getting the 8"F/6. Thanks everbody for
posting the results of your Istar's. This is really exciting! Clear Skies! De Lorme


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Rutilus
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/17/10

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: De Lorme]
      #5844872 - 05/07/13 03:00 AM

Had another night with the f/15 on double stars.
Out of interest I fitted the lens wth a 100mm aperture mask
to see how it compared to a Tak TSA-102 and FS-102.

The views were simply wonderful, with the most delcate first diffraction ring. The scope was in
cruise mode at powers from 300-500x. The views were every bit as good as the Tak scopes.

To finish off, I went back to full aperture and observed Eta CrB. At powers of 643 and 900x,
two Airy disk visible with a tiny black line between them. Looking at orbit charts for this star, I think the separation
is around 0.8-0.9" at the moment.


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Jim Curry
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Rutilus]
      #5845000 - 05/07/13 07:10 AM

Rut:

These long f/l Istars are superb for double stars, aren't they? Be sure to get yourself a set of Brandons to bring out the best the objective has to offer :>)

Jim


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7331Peg
Sirius Observer
*****

Reged: 09/01/08

Loc: North coast of Oregon
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Rutilus]
      #5846982 - 05/08/13 01:01 AM

"To finish off, I went back to full aperture and observed Eta CrB. At powers of 643 and 900x,
two Airy disk visible with a tiny black line between them. Looking at orbit charts for this star, I think the separation
is around 0.8-0.9" at the moment."


Pretty good shooting with that Istar cannon, Rut! Eta CrB is even tighter than that.

I was just looking at it a couple of weeks ago, and when I pulled up the WDS Ephemerides, it listed the 2013 separation at 0.667" (!)

Here's a link to the WDS figures -- starting with the first column of numbers (175.5 0.623), the years are lined up from left to right as 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

LINK

Eta is the first one at the top of the list (STF 1937AB). I show the Dawes' limit for a six inch lens at .76" -- very impressive!


John


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beanerds
sage


Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Darwin Australia
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Gord]
      #5851459 - 05/10/13 07:22 AM Attachment (20 downloads)

Ouch mate a 'Stinker'?
I have not heard a bad thing about Istar's customer service , zero , zip ! , so if you do happen to get a 'Stinker' your word , just send it back and I am sure it will get sorted very fast ( TV , AP , like , build a satisfied customer base and the rest will follow ).
Istar are a new company and 'Real ?' bad press is something any fledgling company 's like Istar wants , ( or needs ) .
Any press is good press , thanks .

I have just come in from a few hours viewing saturn in my lowely old 127mm f/8 achromat and if this scope held me for 3 hours , she must be doing something right mate , up to 317x using a 3mm TV Radian almost as good as it gets . ,and for the sum total of $730aud to build from scratch I aint complaining ,!

Thanks Mike and Ales for a world class lense system that us average hard working Bob's and Bobess's out here can afford .

Istar optical is like a breath of fresh air to us that own , use and love them .
Brian.
Quote:

Quote:

This is hogwash. It's purely anectdotal and I won't accept it. How do we know that AP, Tec and TMB don't toss one or two before you get their final stab at it? Hence some justification for the higher prices. If they don't then they spend more time hand figuring the original. Either way the price reflects that cost. Istar's prices are in line with their quality or Ales and Mike wouldn't let them out the door. You want more tests? Where do you suppose these test lenses will come from? Can't come from Ales he'd surely cherry pick those. You got it....people who don't demand a test to begin with. I'm beginning to believe Istarmullet on this one. Mike



Mike,

It's an absolute certainty that A-P, TEC, etc do have to throw out glass that is not up to par. It's been talked about here many times. They also do a lot more finishing work (and testing!) to ensure that their products are at the quality level they are. And yes, it does reflect in the price (and availability) of the products. And keep in mind that not ever lens they have ever shipped is at the same quality the current ones are. They have been improving their processes and testing, but I don't think there are many 1/2 wave A-P's out there!

As to IStar's price point, they are made to a price point. They are also not made by IStar and I'm pretty sure they don't test every one of them. Bad ones have gotten out. The price point and process mean this is bound to happen at some point.

There seems to be two messages in this thread:

1. They are perfect, mine is great, I'm happier than I could ever be, you couldn't ask for anything more, and stop asking for meaningless tests!

2. Don't expect an Astro-Physics for IStar money! You may get one, but there's no data to really tell so it's likely to be similar to other common vendors, or it could be a stinker.

Clear skies,




Edited by beanerds (05/10/13 07:57 AM)


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beanerds
sage


Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Darwin Australia
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Rutilus]
      #5851465 - 05/10/13 07:29 AM

Yes , I to have a C6R ( Saxon brand here in OZ ) and posted a little post in the Meade AR5-AR6 comparo question in "refractors' , just today .
Read it if you want .
Brian.
Quote:

I'm wanting to spend some time with my Istar 150mm f/15, but work is getting in the way at the moment.
I have a decent Synta 150mm f/8 that does well with double stars and even gives nice planetary views when
used with filtration.

I want to do side by side comparisons to see how both scopes perform.




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beanerds
sage


Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Darwin Australia
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: beanerds]
      #5851479 - 05/10/13 07:44 AM

Name ; Brian N.
Istar lense ; 127mm f/8 achromat
Date purchased ; Oct 2012
Diffraction limited ; Yes
Better than diffraction limited ? ; close
Satisified with lense ; Yes , very
Recommend to a friend ; Definatly
Purchace another Istar lense ; Hell yes ,
What? ; A Fornax LTT 140mm f/12 .
Brian.

Edited by beanerds (05/10/13 07:59 AM)


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Gord
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 01/06/04

Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: beanerds]
      #5851837 - 05/10/13 11:30 AM Attachment (51 downloads)

Hi Brian,

I want to share an image with you from an IStar 160mm F12 LaF (this is the one of the LTT's). Let me know what you think (and if you can figure out what it is).

Clear skies,


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beanerds
sage


Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Darwin Australia
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Gord]
      #5852534 - 05/10/13 06:57 PM

Misalligned lense in its cell? , but I have to ask how much zoom was used in producing this shot ? looks like a LOT , and where in the photo was it taken from? right in a corner ? .
What camera was used ? seeing conditions ? etc , etc ,,,

I could duplicate this using the best shots taken with the best APO refractor given the right computing tools .

I am interested to see the whole photo used for this crop in the standard CN's format here , any chance of that Gord ? thanks mate .

But if its a kosher shot its pretty bad , If it was mine I would not be happy and definatly send it back .
Brian.


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Gord
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 01/06/04

Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: beanerds]
      #5853000 - 05/10/13 11:16 PM Attachment (20 downloads)

Quote:

Misalligned lense in its cell? , but I have to ask how much zoom was used in producing this shot ? looks like a LOT , and where in the photo was it taken from? right in a corner ? .
What camera was used ? seeing conditions ? etc , etc ,,,

I could duplicate this using the best shots taken with the best APO refractor given the right computing tools .

I am interested to see the whole photo used for this crop in the standard CN's format here , any chance of that Gord ? thanks mate .

But if its a kosher shot its pretty bad , If it was mine I would not be happy and definatly send it back .




Brian,

I can assure you, this image is nothing but legit. Given all the pain I've had to go through with this, I wish it wasn't. If you are really doubtful, I can go dig for the original frame (and many others...). It's actually one from a detailed analysis I did for IStar's benefit to fully illustrate to them the nature of issues with this lens.

Some details you asked about:
1. Artificial star in a closed environment (perfect seeing)
2. Canon 400D, center of frame
3. Airy disk at approx. 600x (yes, you can just make out a bit of the disk on the top right side)
4. Star is perfectly centered on axis, collimation correct
5. No funny business with modifying the image

This lens, and all of the 160mm F12's they made (there were only 3 as I understand it) were defective. There is an edge problem and the image improves as it is stopped down. When you get it down to 80mm (!!!), it displays a proper airy disk (and better color correction of course). There were three sold (April 2011), and mine was the first out. And it was the first to tell how bad these all were. I suspect that this is the case for the 140's as well as there was only ever one of those to get out that's I've seen mention of, and it was dumped by the owner immediately. And an interesting side note about these 160's, one of the other intended recipients was none other than Mike Hardin (Mike from IStar).

The fact is IStar knew they were bad and so were selling them off as prototypes of this design that were only needing a slight correction improvement for production. If you look back in the history here on CN, you will see the details. The real details though, weren't revealed until AFTER I had purchased and the lens shipped. Then I was informed by Ales that these lenses had a "slight edge defect" and "needed to be stopped down by a few mm to perform sharply" and that "this slight reduction isn't important to the performance" and that "all other manufacturers do this as well, it's completely normal". WOW!! That's quite a statement, eh? At this point, the red flags were up, but it was to late, the lens was about to arrive. I was soon to see just how bad this thing actually was.

BTW, this is all documented in many emails if anyone doubts it. I'm not going to share publicly.

I informed them of how bad things were, and produced a detailed analysis of all of the issues. Ales claimed to be shocked and that he had used this lens himself for incredible views of Jupiter. He said to send it back and they would investigate.

Many hoops had to be jumped through to do that (like writing letters to Czech customs to get the lens released back to IStar...) and after some time they agreed it was defective and they would produce another one in the standard "2-3 months".

I was wondering if lens centering too could be the issue, although given the cell, it couldn't move much. When I suggested this to them they immediately agreed this was the issue, however in separate private consultations with true experts I have done myself, they felt it was unlikely this would be the cause (but rather a defect in the lenses).

I told IStar to take their time to make sure they got it right. I had no issue with waiting some months to get a good result. After checking in occasionally for 6 months, I said "hey, this has got to be getting close, what's the ETA?".

At this point, they said, "yes, well into production, will be ready in just 60 more days. Oh yeah, and we need more money since this is a different lens than the one we sent you originally.". At this point I told them "no thanks, I'll get off the ride now. Please send me a refund.". They said, "Oh, ok, since you are a good customer, we'll give it to you at the original price as long as you review it and tell others".

So, another 60 days go by and I check in again and it's "almost done, just another 30 days". 2 months later, checking again, "yes, it will be ready in spring". This is almost a YEAR later! I keep on waiting and.... nothing. So, check again and yes, it will be ready in "30 days".

At this point, I figure I've been in it that long, lets give it the last month, what can it hurt? A month goes by, I check again and so I say "give me my lens, or give me my money!". No lens, and NO MONEY!! "We're a small company and don't have the money on hand, we have to get some sales before we could do a refund". UGH!!!

So I worked out a deal with them to pay back in installments. Over then next approx. 3 months, I got most back. But of all the simple things that could be done, I had to hound them for months still just to get a signed document indicating that I had returned the lens so I could get my customs tax back. And *I* produced the documents, all they had to do was sign and send it back to me!

During the hounding of them for that, Ales replied to an email of mine and said "how could you need such a document from us since you couldn't have had this lens? None have been produced yet!"! I think it was around June of 2012 when I finally had most of the money recovered, and January(?) 2013 when I finally got the document from them.

When I was at the end and just wanted it resolved, Ales was pushing me hard to take one of these new R30's. I almost did, but my wife vehemently disagreed and demanded that it be a refund and have nothing to do with them again. Smart woman!

So you can see, I've experienced serious issues with their credibility and capability. They either knew completely things were bad and sold anyway, or weren't capable of identifying this kind of issue, or never checked to begin with. Given the information they provided me, I'm pretty sure which one it is. But really, none of those three are good.

I've said it before, I wouldn't trust them to do anything more complex than a doublet and at that, it will be what their suppliers give them. Contrary to what some have said, I've seen no evidence to suggest they have any more capability than assembling the parts. And when people go on about how good their service is and they won't let any "stinkers" out, or that they will take care of things, well, my experience has been different. Perhaps I'm not a customer but rather an investor!

Oh and a final footnote to this story that made me raise an eyebrow... I've since recently heard privately of an individual in Europe receiving a triplet lens from IStar with a similar sounding issue and them also having to chase them for it. Could it be the same lenses? When I had asked Ales (way back in 2011) what were they now going to do with these defective ones, he said he wasn't completely sure but thought they would try to see if they could improve them and then re-sell. Hmmmmmm.....

Clear skies,


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herrointment
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Gord]
      #5853030 - 05/10/13 11:38 PM

Uf da! Sorry to hear of your troubles with Istar and thank you for passing that information along.

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buddyjesus
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Reged: 07/07/10

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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: herrointment]
      #5853180 - 05/11/13 02:17 AM

to me it looked like wedge. i would loosen the cell and lightly shake the tube in a vertical position then retighten it.

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bluestar
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Reged: 11/06/05

Loc: Maryland Eastern Shore
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Gord]
      #5853226 - 05/11/13 04:08 AM

This is an amazing experience Gord...of course, every company and product has a sterling quality and integrity when things go right. When there's a problem...it's THEN that you see what people and a company's worth and real integrity comes to the surface. I find it amazing that you had to literally beg for a refund, and had to settle in installments at that. It seems begging and Istar are synonymus, but it's usually Ales in the Club Forum begging posters to go to CN to defend him and push his products. In my vocabulary "push" is a verb, not a business model.

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RGM
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/15/03

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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: bluestar]
      #5853334 - 05/11/13 07:42 AM

Gord, I now understand why you are taking your negative position with Istar. Dealing with Istar in the early years - Czech, cash flow, developing their telescope lines - was more difficult than now. Since they moved to the USA and hired Mike, I assume it has become better. I had a warranty issue with a focuser. It was one of their first generation ones. Istar replaced it with their latest version at no cost. They even paid the return shipping.

Your unfortunate experience in the early part of Istar's existance may not accurately reflect their current customer service.


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bluestar
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Reged: 11/06/05

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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: RGM]
      #5853830 - 05/11/13 01:39 PM

June 2012-2013 closure window sounds pretty current to me...and still dealing with Czech.

I don't know about anyone else but I'd feel played as an ultimate sucker if I was talked into relenting to a cash refund installment plan all the while being pressured into purchasing a new instrument...i.e. sending more money so I can get my initial $ back. The "investor" analogy is correct, this smells like money games at their worst.

Third party parts and assemblers like focusers are a whole different category than lens fabrication...the foundation of the instrument, which is third party as well. Istar makes nothing, as Gord has pointed out, except excuses.


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SteveG
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: bluestar]
      #5853881 - 05/11/13 02:10 PM

Wow Gordon! That is a very detailed report, sounds like a nightmare to me.

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telescopemullet
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Reged: 11/16/09

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: bluestar]
      #5853908 - 05/11/13 02:21 PM

Quote:

Istar makes nothing, as Gord has pointed out, except excuses.




What baloney.


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A. Viegas
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Reged: 03/05/12

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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: bluestar]
      #5853995 - 05/11/13 03:14 PM

Gord, I was sorry to hear of your troubles. Overall, there are far to few telescope manufacturers left in this business and I really hope Istar can survive and become successful. I am very happy with my 150mm Istar. Many years ago I purchased a very expensive 'name brand' sports car that was plagued with problems. It took me a long time and great effort to get them to admit to the obvious uber-lemon I had bought, and I ended up getting another one that I have never sold and still is in pristine condition today. There are probably a few unhappy customers of other 'premium' refractors out there, so like was all know sometimes *BLEEP* happens. Overall, although it took a while and plenty of perseverance on your part, it seems like you ended up getting a refund or getting some satisfaction albeit after much angst... Who ever said life was a bed of roses 'eh?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, after doing some pre-purchase comparison shopping, I ended up getting the Istar over an ES 127 and a Tak FSQ106. I admit the Istar is a real monster, but I think the increased light gathering and very obvious quality build (like a tank!) is a big plus. Does it have some CA? yup. Does that bother me, maybe a little... but heck I am on the list for the AP175 so I figure I can break in my refractor legs on this baby over the next couple of years before deciding to pony up the extra $ for the extra aperture and quality.

I suppose in the back of my mind I was also attracted to the Istar because of the promised 'Raycor' - my view here was that if it never materializes or is not that great, well then I still have what I bargained for, so no loss... while if the 'raycor' ever comes out and is anything like what is promised... well then I will be even happier...

Al


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Kunama
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/22/12

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: A. Viegas]
      #5854175 - 05/11/13 05:33 PM

Post deleted by Kunama

I have no more to say about Istar


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Kunama
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Reged: 10/22/12

Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Kunama]
      #5854655 - 05/12/13 12:00 AM

Post deleted by Kunama ............

Edited by Kunama (05/12/13 02:10 AM)


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stevew
Now I've done it


Reged: 03/03/06

Loc: British Columbia Canada
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Kunama]
      #5854703 - 05/12/13 01:05 AM

Quote:

I've just received a personal email from Neil English who as a result of the post above will now remove my classic Berry & Mackay refractor from his website. All I said was I thought the Raycorr to be like the proverbial Carrot to keep people buying scopes and that I personally will be very surprised to see the Raycorr in production.



I am sorry to here this.
I believe on a public forum like Cloudy Nights everyone is entitled to their own opinion with out retribution.


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mikey cee
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Kunama]
      #5854719 - 05/12/13 01:28 AM

Well I for one believe that there are two sides to a story. I'll defer any comments until I hear both sides. But quite frankly if I were Ales I'd avoid any comment because then it gets down to that "he said, I said" scenario and we get no closer to the truth. From the quality of my lens and my several dozen e-mails with Ales he's done right by me. I too believe that Istar might be guilty of too many irons in the fire....trying to click with something that has some "business bite" to it. I sure as heck could do no better than Ales if the burden was placed on my shoulders. I'm also 100% certain non of you critics could do any better either....maybe differently but not more successfully. It takes a hell of pile of capital to get something like this off the ground and many sleepless nights too. The sheer magnitude of networking along with doing a juggling act with many facets of the business. Then dealing with customer and quality control issues. I don't believe Ales got into this business by thinking he could make a killing by just peddling mediocre products by third parties. I do actually believe he has a personal hand into every aspect of this business including the design and production of the optics, machining of parts, inspection and fullfillment of orders. If the machining of Istar's components is second to none in the business would you not expect them to try to the best of their abilities with the optics also? At any rate we shall just have to wait and see how the market place reacts. Mike

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watcher
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Reged: 11/21/07

Loc: St. Louis, MO
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5854793 - 05/12/13 03:43 AM

There are two sides to a story unless you are here to bash Istar. I can understand Gord's desire to paint Istar in a bad light if he feels he has been wronged, but going to the lengths that he has to question aspects of Istar product that he has no facts to back up, as he has done in other threads, and to show a pictures taken through a bad lens, as if it were something he got stuck with is nothing but vindictive.

All you folks jumping on the " lets hate Istar " bandwagon should re think your logic processes. All the testimony in the world wasn't good enough to prove they're good without testing by Rohr, but now your willing to take one bad experience that you can't possibly count as factual as absolute proof that the company is terrible. Is it just me, or is this blatantly hypocritical?


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beanerds
sage


Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Darwin Australia
Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Gord]
      #5854806 - 05/12/13 03:54 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Misalligned lense in its cell? , but I have to ask how much zoom was used in producing this shot ? looks like a LOT , and where in the photo was it taken from? right in a corner ? .
What camera was used ? seeing conditions ? etc , etc ,,,

I could duplicate this using the best shots taken with the best APO refractor given the right computing tools .

I am interested to see the whole photo used for this crop in the standard CN's format here , any chance of that Gord ? thanks mate .

But if its a kosher shot its pretty bad , If it was mine I would not be happy and definatly send it back .




Brian,

I can assure you, this image is nothing but legit. Given all the pain I've had to go through with this, I wish it wasn't. If you are really doubtful, I can go dig for the original frame (and many others...). It's actually one from a detailed analysis I did for IStar's benefit to fully illustrate to them the nature of issues with this lens.

Some details you asked about:
1. Artificial star in a closed environment (perfect seeing)
2. Canon 400D, center of frame
3. Airy disk at approx. 600x (yes, you can just make out a bit of the disk on the top right side)
4. Star is perfectly centered on axis, collimation correct
5. No funny business with modifying the image

This lens, and all of the 160mm F12's they made (there were only 3 as I understand it) were defective. There is an edge problem and the image improves as it is stopped down. When you get it down to 80mm (!!!), it displays a proper airy disk (and better color correction of course). There were three sold (April 2011), and mine was the first out. And it was the first to tell how bad these all were. I suspect that this is the case for the 140's as well as there was only ever one of those to get out that's I've seen mention of, and it was dumped by the owner immediately. And an interesting side note about these 160's, one of the other intended recipients was none other than Mike Hardin (Mike from IStar).

The fact is IStar knew they were bad and so were selling them off as prototypes of this design that were only needing a slight correction improvement for production. If you look back in the history here on CN, you will see the details. The real details though, weren't revealed until AFTER I had purchased and the lens shipped. Then I was informed by Ales that these lenses had a "slight edge defect" and "needed to be stopped down by a few mm to perform sharply" and that "this slight reduction isn't important to the performance" and that "all other manufacturers do this as well, it's completely normal". WOW!! That's quite a statement, eh? At this point, the red flags were up, but it was to late, the lens was about to arrive. I was soon to see just how bad this thing actually was.

BTW, this is all documented in many emails if anyone doubts it. I'm not going to share publicly.

I informed them of how bad things were, and produced a detailed analysis of all of the issues. Ales claimed to be shocked and that he had used this lens himself for incredible views of Jupiter. He said to send it back and they would investigate.

Many hoops had to be jumped through to do that (like writing letters to Czech customs to get the lens released back to IStar...) and after some time they agreed it was defective and they would produce another one in the standard "2-3 months".

I was wondering if lens centering too could be the issue, although given the cell, it couldn't move much. When I suggested this to them they immediately agreed this was the issue, however in separate private consultations with true experts I have done myself, they felt it was unlikely this would be the cause (but rather a defect in the lenses).

I told IStar to take their time to make sure they got it right. I had no issue with waiting some months to get a good result. After checking in occasionally for 6 months, I said "hey, this has got to be getting close, what's the ETA?".

At this point, they said, "yes, well into production, will be ready in just 60 more days. Oh yeah, and we need more money since this is a different lens than the one we sent you originally.". At this point I told them "no thanks, I'll get off the ride now. Please send me a refund.". They said, "Oh, ok, since you are a good customer, we'll give it to you at the original price as long as you review it and tell others".

So, another 60 days go by and I check in again and it's "almost done, just another 30 days". 2 months later, checking again, "yes, it will be ready in spring". This is almost a YEAR later! I keep on waiting and.... nothing. So, check again and yes, it will be ready in "30 days".

At this point, I figure I've been in it that long, lets give it the last month, what can it hurt? A month goes by, I check again and so I say "give me my lens, or give me my money!". No lens, and NO MONEY!! "We're a small company and don't have the money on hand, we have to get some sales before we could do a refund". UGH!!!

So I worked out a deal with them to pay back in installments. Over then next approx. 3 months, I got most back. But of all the simple things that could be done, I had to hound them for months still just to get a signed document indicating that I had returned the lens so I could get my customs tax back. And *I* produced the documents, all they had to do was sign and send it back to me!

During the hounding of them for that, Ales replied to an email of mine and said "how could you need such a document from us since you couldn't have had this lens? None have been produced yet!"! I think it was around June of 2012 when I finally had most of the money recovered, and January(?) 2013 when I finally got the document from them.

When I was at the end and just wanted it resolved, Ales was pushing me hard to take one of these new R30's. I almost did, but my wife vehemently disagreed and demanded that it be a refund and have nothing to do with them again. Smart woman!

So you can see, I've experienced serious issues with their credibility and capability. They either knew completely things were bad and sold anyway, or weren't capable of identifying this kind of issue, or never checked to begin with. Given the information they provided me, I'm pretty sure which one it is. But really, none of those three are good.

I've said it before, I wouldn't trust them to do anything more complex than a doublet and at that, it will be what their suppliers give them. Contrary to what some have said, I've seen no evidence to suggest they have any more capability than assembling the parts. And when people go on about how good their service is and they won't let any "stinkers" out, or that they will take care of things, well, my experience has been different. Perhaps I'm not a customer but rather an investor!

Oh and a final footnote to this story that made me raise an eyebrow... I've since recently heard privately of an individual in Europe receiving a triplet lens from IStar with a similar sounding issue and them also having to chase them for it. Could it be the same lenses? When I had asked Ales (way back in 2011) what were they now going to do with these defective ones, he said he wasn't completely sure but thought they would try to see if they could improve them and then re-sell. Hmmmmmm.....

Clear skies,



Sounds like a bummer you have going on here Gord , I read your reply 3 times .....
I understand your frustration ,, I have had the same responses from some big name Co's ( No names mentioned) but , hows about you take the offer of a R30 with a recompence $$ wise your way ?
It cant hurt anything , except a bit of time ? and this is a first step to a comprenshive test of the Istar R30's ? what do you recon ? .

Thanks for your detailed reply to my Q's , but I did not ask , what magnification were you using ?
I am still in love with the 140 f/12 Fornax , thats a good price for a top scope .
If I sell a lot of gear soon and grab this OTA I will keep you all informed ,, the seed has been planted .

If not I will save a few more $$'s and grab a 127mm f/8 R30 myself and do a side by side comparo here , for only $660 and a 2 month wait ?
If this happens I will post on Istar's web page .
Stay tuned .
And Gord think about te Istar offer , you may suprise your self and others

Brian.


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Gord
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 01/06/04

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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: watcher]
      #5855261 - 05/12/13 11:26 AM

Quote:

There are two sides to a story ...




Joe, Mike,

What _possible_ valid justification could there be for a company continually mis-leading a customer by saying they are doing something when they are not?!!?!!

Give me ONE VALID reason!

There aren't any. And being busy and under stress and having to many irons in the fire are NOT valid reasons! It's poor business management.

This is the pros & cons thread. Some have been expressing their unfettered love of all things IStar and giving the message they are all great and can do no wrong. I've tried to move on from the experience but when I see so much of this being said that doesn't even come close to my experience with them, I think it's important that people hear about it.

If IStar is any good, let them stand on real technical merit and customer experience in the marketplace. A reputation takes years to earn but can be lost quickly by poor actions.

Clear skies,

Edited by KWB (05/12/13 11:50 AM)


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KWB
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Reged: 09/30/06

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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: Gord]
      #5855299 - 05/12/13 11:40 AM

This thread is locked pending moderator review.

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Scott in NCAdministrator
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Re: Istar refractors Pros and Cons? new [Re: KWB]
      #5855810 - 05/12/13 03:51 PM

After considerable moderator discussion and post editing due to multiple TOS violations, this thread will remain locked.


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