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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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Glen A W
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: USA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: petrus45]
      #5958047 - 07/06/13 07:02 PM

The time for a merger was five years ago. Meade management should be ashamed of themselves for letting this go so long, in light of the fact that the shareholders are now at risk of complete loss.

The company made acquisitions a decade ago which were not particularly bad ideas, but then failed to make them perform and had to let them go for cash, which they burned through. The company has now been brought to the brink and this was totally unnecessary. The poison pill which they had in place really just ended up damaging the company in the long term.

I had cause to deal with Meade customer service back in 2009. On the one hand, I was amazed at their willingness to help. But I was also surprised that they spent a lot of money sending me the wrong parts, over and over, for something I paid $100 for - a cheap Taiwanese 4.5 on closeout. Then a friend bought an 8" ACF and it took 18 months to get it going as they sent parts to Japan, where my friend lives. Now he is having trouble with the gears making loud noises for some unknown reason. This kind of thing does matter - Not everyone likes to work on scopes all the time.

I really think Meade was a great company. The management, however, needed help! Meade had so many good ideas. But whether the sales in this whole business are 150m or 5oom, at a fair margin that means little profit in the scheme of things, hardly enough to keep even Meade alone afloat. I don't think our hobby can support the kind of company Meade was trying to be, but I give them credit for vision. GW


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Dr Morbius]
      #5958110 - 07/06/13 07:50 PM

Quote:

Yes, like what Home Depot did when they came into town, their low prices killed the towns plumbing supply, lumber yard and hardware stores (all family owned btw) and when they died out, Home Depot's prices went up. Another thing most are missing here.............there seems to be in this country a growing hatred of science (which scares me big time!) either being in schools or churches - my son is a teacher in Florida and has seen science books that make [to be kind} silly statements or things that just make no sense - the humans and dinosaurs thing - he calls it the "Flintstones Effect". I saw on the tv show 60 Minutes the same thing happening in other states also. What has happened to America?




Pretty much the same thing that I was saying yesterday .
Not only that but a lattice patio cover provides little protection from a rain storm .


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: csrlice12]
      #5958121 - 07/06/13 08:06 PM

Quote:

Got a PM from Russ at ES and he told me they were very busy with this Meade issue. In his PM he mentioned that their plans include fixing the LX80, modify the LX600 and offer it without the bells and whistles, and that the LXD75 fixes have been made and ready for release pending what name will be affixed to it. He also mentioned going modular with the mounts (believed he meant offering the OTA's and mounts separately). They're also considering name's for the business, maybe combining something to honor both businesses. I certainly hope JOC/ES wins this takeover battle over Meade.





I , also received a PM from Russ . It sounds to me that he and Scott feel confident of it swinging their way . Just kinda the tone that I read from the message . Hopefully it does go that way . Re releasing the LXD75 would be reversing a big Meade blunder IMHO . Maybe they could bring back the Schmidt Newt also , but with a halfway decent focuser on it .
A little gold trim might be nice too .


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Calypte
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: starrancher]
      #5958240 - 07/06/13 10:28 PM

Ah, the Schmidt-Newt. A symptom of Meade's missteps from the past. They appeared in ads in S&T. People asked me if I thought they were any good. Dunno. Never seen one. It was a year before anyone outside Meade's advertising department saw one. So, really, they were just testing the waters to see if there was any interest in the scopes. I assume the photos were of optics-less mockups. Meanwhile, what were excited potential customers supposed to do? So then the scopes are discontinued for low sales. This was a brilliant marketing strategy.

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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
*****

Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Calypte]
      #5958267 - 07/06/13 10:54 PM

Quote:

Ah, the Schmidt-Newt. A symptom of Meade's missteps from the past. They appeared in ads in S&T. People asked me if I thought they were any good. Dunno. Never seen one. It was a year before anyone outside Meade's advertising department saw one. So, really, they were just testing the waters to see if there was any interest in the scopes. I assume the photos were of optics-less mockups. Meanwhile, what were excited potential customers supposed to do? So then the scopes are discontinued for low sales. This was a brilliant marketing strategy.




That's one way of looking at it. It's necessary to pretend that that they weren't continuously available in three apertures for over ten years to manage that view, though. Too much of a stretch for me.


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Calypte]
      #5958287 - 07/06/13 11:17 PM

The Schmidt Newts were discontinued due to low sales ? They , being part of the LXD75 lineup went away with the AR5 and the AR6 achromats and the SCT on the same mount . My asumption was that they just decided to drop the entire LXD75 line and it had something to do with the falling out that they had with JOC. Away went the mount and the achromats as they were all produced in China while the Schmidts , both the Newts and the Casigrains optics were produced in Irvine and put together in a Chinese tube setup . Actually I believe that the Schmidt Newt production continued post the Mexican movement while the optics production went to Mexico yet still being mounted into a tube setup made in China . It seemed that the discontinuation of the Schmidt Newt had more to do with the end of the Meade / JOC relationship than being due to low sales figures .
From reviews in the past , the optics of early Meade Schmidt Newts that were mounted in an Alt/Az fashion left a lot to be desired but by the time they released it on the LXD55 mount , the optics got refined and they ended up with rave reviews . That OTA was successful and continued on into the LXD75 series with the two achromats that received great reviews and the 8" SCT that also had fine fine optics .
You won't see me getting rid of my SN8 . One day I might upgrade the lousy focuser to enjoy much less effort in the task , but even at that , the rewarding views that the scope is capable of is well worth the effort even with the stock focuser .


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jgraham
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/02/04

Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Soci...
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: starrancher]
      #5958297 - 07/06/13 11:25 PM

I own an LXD75 N6, two SN6s, an SN8, SC8, and an AR-6. This was an absolutely fabulous series of scopes mated to a fairly good mount (a very good mount at its price point). I feel so lucky to have them! It was sad to see the line come to such a sudden end.

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Calypte
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: jgraham]
      #5958307 - 07/06/13 11:41 PM

Well, it sounds like the Schmidt-Newts lasted a lot longer than I realized, and I see that they are shown in my 2007 Meade catalogue. I only ever met one person who owned one, and that was shortly after they finally became available for sale. But, still, there was a very long gap between the first ads and the first scopes in the retail channel.

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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Hilmi]
      #5958328 - 07/07/13 12:04 AM

Quote:

If you are in touch with Russ could you drop him a note telling him it would be nice if after buying Meade they could stop this nonsense about not selling internationally?



I doubt that anyone needs to drop him a note . I'm sure he's monitoring this thread .


And I wonder wonder who ba do da do ....who wrote the book of love.


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Rick Woods
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/27/05

Loc: Inner Solar System
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: starrancher]
      #5958405 - 07/07/13 02:03 AM

I hope they don't rename the company JOC/ES. Too much like "Jokes".
Keep the Meade name; it has cachet.


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REC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: EddWen]
      #5958663 - 07/07/13 10:04 AM

Russ used to work at Meade and now works with Scott at ES....nice guy and very knowledgeable!

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rob cos.
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 03/11/04

Loc: New England
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Calypte]
      #5958668 - 07/07/13 10:06 AM

Quote:

Ah, the Schmidt-Newt. A symptom of Meade's missteps from the past. They appeared in ads in S&T. People asked me if I thought they were any good. Dunno. Never seen one. It was a year before anyone outside Meade's advertising department saw one. So, really, they were just testing the waters to see if there was any interest in the scopes. I assume the photos were of optics-less mockups. Meanwhile, what were excited potential customers supposed to do? So then the scopes are discontinued for low sales. This was a brilliant marketing strategy.




The entire premise of this post is wrong. The SN's lasted quite a long time and garnered excellent reviews(other than the focuser) and we're never discontinued due to low sales.


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: rob cos.]
      #5958722 - 07/07/13 10:59 AM

I picked up a LXD75 SN8 from a walmart sale. I put the mount together and thought it nice for the price. I took the ota out and heard something rolling around inside bouncing off the corrector and mirror. I called Meade to get a new one shipped out to me and they said to send the whole package back to them. They would repair the scope and ship it back out. Expect about 6 to 8 weeks. I said no thanks and returned the whole thing back to walmart for a refund. We both lost, Meade lost a customer and I lost a good deal on a SN8. The price was too good to be true I guess.

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

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: starrancher]
      #5958898 - 07/07/13 12:54 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Yes, like what Home Depot did when they came into town, their low prices killed the towns plumbing supply, lumber yard and hardware stores (all family owned btw) and when they died out, Home Depot's prices went up. Another thing most are missing here.............there seems to be in this country a growing hatred of science (which scares me big time!) either being in schools or churches - my son is a teacher in Florida and has seen science books that make [to be kind} silly statements or things that just make no sense - the humans and dinosaurs thing - he calls it the "Flintstones Effect". I saw on the tv show 60 Minutes the same thing happening in other states also. What has happened to America?




Pretty much the same thing that I was saying yesterday . But for some reason or unreason my words were removed as I guess they were somehow misconstrued as being un P.C.
You know what I have to say about P.C. ?
This .......#%$+~#%#!!!
For a translation , you'll have to receive it via PM I'm sure .




From the Terms of Service for this site:
No posts of a political nature.

For many, the question is “what is a sensitive topic” and what “isn’t appropriate for a 14 year old”. Creating such lists would be a Herculean chore. The judgment of the moderators will be relied on to make these calls.

Above all – the “golden rule” applies. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Personal attacks will not be tolerated, nor will other behavior deemed to be antisocial.

As a community member, each of you is asked to lighten the load of the moderators. Think before you post. If in doubt, push away the keyboard for 10 minutes and then come back to your posting.


Just note that this has nothing to do with being "P.C." This has to do with not making posts with political statements in them, as you just did.
You might note that not everyone will agree with you, you won't change any minds, it might make other readers angry at you, and it doesn't serve to carry the topic forward.

By and large, this thread has been a wonderful example of how informative responses germane to the issue can enlighten us all. Just remember to, if you have to make a political comment of one kind or another, make it a small aside in an otherwise germane post so that it is obvious the intent is not to incite, or troll.

I have to remind myself of that all the time. CN is, after all, largely self-policed.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Stew57]
      #5958913 - 07/07/13 01:02 PM

The SN were an area where Meade really did show serious independence. In my mind, a sincere effort to make astrographs based on that starting point would have been some ground for Meade to own alone. That would be unlike the RXC/ ACF debacle,which only led to functional equivalents to other products in the market, yet another lawsuit, and incompatibility with the existing vast base of SCT accessories.

I suppose that leads to my feeling of the semi-pointlessness of the ACF scopes. While it sounds good in theory, there are just scads of alternatives floating around. Celestron's somewhat weak response of a built in-field flattener ended up being a strength since it still allowed Hyperstar compatibility, even though it negated the ability to get to focal ratios between f/10 and f/2 using existing reducers.

A modular system with a removable flattener and the ability to become either a flat field astrograph, an f/2 astrograph, or any of the original SCT configurations would appear to me to be the ultimate design in this regard.

-Rich

Edited by Starhawk (07/07/13 07:06 PM)


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Spacetravelerx
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #5958998 - 07/07/13 01:57 PM

Quote:

The SN were an area where Meade really did show serious independence. In my mind, a sincere effort to make astrographs based on that starting point would have been some ground for Meade to own alone. That would be unlike the RXC/ ACF debacle, only led to functional equivalents to other products in the market, yet another lawsuit, and incompatibility with the existing vast base of SCT accessories.

I suppose that leads to my feeling of the semi-pointlessness of the ACF scopes. While it sounds good in theory, there are just scads of alternatives floating around. Celestron's somewhat weak response of a built in-field flattener ended up being a strength since it still allowed Hyperstar compatibility, even though it negated the ability to get to focal ratios between f/10 and f/2 using existing reducers.

A modular system with a removable flattener and the ability to become either a flat field astrograph, an f/2 astrograph, or any of the original SCT configurations would appear to me to be the ultimate design in this regard.

-Rich




Rich,

You have me completely baffled.

I do understand the entire issue with the RXC and the stories there, but the ACF debacle??!?!?!?

There are scads of all alternatives in the optics universe out there. So you feel Meade should just yield, and let Celestron take it all?

MANY people prefer and are VERY happy with the ACF optics. They really are!

Regarding Hyperstar - Meade made a business decision (my guess) not to make their systems compatible with a 3rd party vendor. Correct me if I am wrong, if they chose to be HyperStar compatible Meade would have to completely change their optics, and hence manufacturing process and be at the mercy of Starzona. There is a huge cost associated with this.

Hyperstar is a cool add on, and there is an interest in it for certain, but it is expensive for most folks out there. Obviously units are sold, but not in mass quantities. What percentage of Celestron telescopes have hyperstars out there? 2%? Does anyone know?

Plus I am so very confused - in the mounts forum I get the sense a person is not a real astrophotographer unless they take 20+ minute subs. Anything less you are a "beginner". With the hyperstar your subs are 1-2 minutes, maybe even seconds! Does this make all hyperstar users low end APers? It seems the 20+ plus subs are a test of manhood/womanhood (kind of like hypering film and manually guiding back in the oldin' days). FYI, personally for me if someone takes great images with 1, 5, or 10 minute, or even 30 second subs I am cool with that.

I can already get down to f/2.4 with my MallinCAM setup. Now, it would be nice if Meade could come out with their f/5 reducer - or anyone else for that matter!

Either way, there are alternatives, and myself like others chose the Meade ACF over the Celestron optics. And visually, it is nice to be able to use other focal reducers between f/10 and f/2. Yes, folks to look through eyepieces still.

BTW, I do see an evolution in observing though of course it is all driven by cost of entry. Visual is still king for most folks, since this can be the cheapest way to go (well unless you buy a fleet of Televue eyepieces!). Next up is now becoming video, though the cost for many folks can be high. Still, a MallinCam focal reducer on a Meade f/8 ACF is way cheaper and is nearly as effective as a Celestron HD with HyperStar (I want to say on my 14" the cost difference is $1100 in favor of the Meade). Of course you can use video on almost any scope with fun results. The days of the faint fuzzies are disappearing quickly. I am rapidly finding folks looking at M101, M57, etc via a 20" display (and soon 65" display) find it far more exciting, damn the night vision with a blazing bright monitor!!

Then of course there is Astrophotography which has WAY more options and capabilities than back in the day. I recall all the effort it took using my Olympus OM-1 (a great camera, FYI). Now? Its as easy as hooking up the DSLR, and taking a 100 or so picts, stack, etc. Only issue? GET A BIG HARDDRIVE! So easy, but still the cost of entry, time and learning etc makes area the smallest of the groups in our field I reckon'.

I feel Meade has addressed these areas well, however implementation and time to market, and rushing products have been an issue at times.

Bottom line - ACFs are great OTAs. No need to reduce our choices!


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desertlens
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/06/10

Loc: 36°N 105°W
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: csrlice12]
      #5959000 - 07/07/13 01:59 PM

Quote:

He also mentioned going modular with the mounts...




I hope JOC gets the chance to do this. Those of us with limited budgets could purchase incrementally. I'd love to see the Lightswitch mount refined and sold in some way other than a full turnkey system.


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jimb1001
sage
*****

Reged: 11/14/09

Loc: Florida
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5959025 - 07/07/13 02:21 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The SN were an area where Meade really did show serious independence. In my mind, a sincere effort to make astrographs based on that starting point would have been some ground for Meade to own alone. That would be unlike the RXC/ ACF debacle, only led to functional equivalents to other products in the market, yet another lawsuit, and incompatibility with the existing vast base of SCT accessories.

I suppose that leads to my feeling of the semi-pointlessness of the ACF scopes. While it sounds good in theory, there are just scads of alternatives floating around. Celestron's somewhat weak response of a built in-field flattener ended up being a strength since it still allowed Hyperstar compatibility, even though it negated the ability to get to focal ratios between f/10 and f/2 using existing reducers.

A modular system with a removable flattener and the ability to become either a flat field astrograph, an f/2 astrograph, or any of the original SCT configurations would appear to me to be the ultimate design in this regard.

-Rich




Rich,

You have me completely baffled.

I do understand the entire issue with the RXC and the stories there, but the ACF debacle??!?!?!?

There are scads of all alternatives in the optics universe out there. So you feel Meade should just yield, and let Celestron take it all?

MANY people prefer and are VERY happy with the ACF optics. They really are!

Regarding Hyperstar - Meade made a business decision (my guess) not to make their systems compatible with a 3rd party vendor. Correct me if I am wrong, if they chose to be HyperStar compatible Meade would have to completely change their optics, and hence manufacturing process and be at the mercy of Starzona. There is a huge cost associated with this.

Hyperstar is a cool add on, and there is an interest in it for certain, but it is expensive for most folks out there. Obviously units are sold, but not in mass quantities. What percentage of Celestron telescopes have hyperstars out there? 2%? Does anyone know?

Plus I am so very confused - in the mounts forum I get the sense a person is not a real astrophotographer unless they take 20+ minute subs. Anything less you are a "beginner". With the hyperstar your subs are 1-2 minutes, maybe even seconds! Does this make all hyperstar users low end APers? It seems the 20+ plus subs are a test of manhood/womanhood (kind of like hypering film and manually guiding back in the oldin' days). FYI, personally for me if someone takes great images with 1, 5, or 10 minute, or even 30 second subs I am cool with that.

I can already get down to f/2.4 with my MallinCAM setup. Now, it would be nice if Meade could come out with their f/5 reducer - or anyone else for that matter!

Either way, there are alternatives, and myself like others chose the Meade ACF over the Celestron optics. And visually, it is nice to be able to use other focal reducers between f/10 and f/2. Yes, folks to look through eyepieces still.

BTW, I do see an evolution in observing though of course it is all driven by cost of entry. Visual is still king for most folks, since this can be the cheapest way to go (well unless you buy a fleet of Televue eyepieces!). Next up is now becoming video, though the cost for many folks can be high. Still, a MallinCam focal reducer on a Meade f/8 ACF is way cheaper and is nearly as effective as a Celestron HD with HyperStar (I want to say on my 14" the cost difference is $1100 in favor of the Meade). Of course you can use video on almost any scope with fun results. The days of the faint fuzzies are disappearing quickly. I am rapidly finding folks looking at M101, M57, etc via a 20" display (and soon 65" display) find it far more exciting, damn the night vision with a blazing bright monitor!!

Then of course there is Astrophotography which has WAY more options and capabilities than back in the day. I recall all the effort it took using my Olympus OM-1 (a great camera, FYI). Now? Its as easy as hooking up the DSLR, and taking a 100 or so picts, stack, etc. Only issue? GET A BIG HARDDRIVE! So easy, but still the cost of entry, time and learning etc makes area the smallest of the groups in our field I reckon'.

I feel Meade has addressed these areas well, however implementation and time to market, and rushing products have been an issue at times.

Bottom line - ACFs are great OTAs. No need to reduce our choices!




Many comments in this thread are good examples of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Doesn't it make more sense to evaluate each product on its own merits rather than condemn Meade, wholesale?

The entire LX series has offered great value. Even today, the LX90 is a fine setup at a very reasonable price.

The LS series is very well made with sturdy, metal gearing, reliable electronics and very low weight.

The 800 was rushed to market, had problems that were resolved and has been replaced by the 850 which has been reported to be excellent.

Do people have problems with some Meade policies? Sure. Does everyone agree with everything Celestron does? Of course not.

Has Meade's quality control led to a pain in the neck for some people? Sure, myself included. But AFAIK, Meade has honored it's warranty.

Meade's marketing department has outpaced it's product development on more than one occasion and that certainly leaves a bad taste in many people's mouth, but, by and large, they still make products that are good value and certainly innovative. A lot more innovative than many others in this hobby.

To me, its a matter of balance and common sense. The sale of the company needs to be resolved but once it is, I wouldn't hesitate to buy the well reviewed and proven Meade products like the Solar scopes, the LX, LS, ETX and now the 850.


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petrus45
sage
*****

Reged: 01/31/11

Loc: SW Ohio / N Ky.
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5959026 - 07/07/13 02:23 PM

Quote:

I hope they don't rename the company JOC/ES. Too much like "Jokes".
Keep the Meade name; it has cachet.




The name is probably the single most valuable asset to a prospective purchaser.


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gmartin02
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 04/11/05

Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5959224 - 07/07/13 04:33 PM

Quote:


Plus I am so very confused - in the mounts forum I get the sense a person is not a real astrophotographer unless they take 20+ minute subs. Anything less you are a "beginner". With the hyperstar your subs are 1-2 minutes, maybe even seconds! Does this make all hyperstar users low end APers? It seems the 20+ plus subs are a test of manhood/womanhood (kind of like hypering film and manually guiding back in the oldin' days). FYI, personally for me if someone takes great images with 1, 5, or 10 minute, or even 30 second subs I am cool with that.

I can already get down to f/2.4 with my MallinCAM setup. Now, it would be nice if Meade could come out with their f/5 reducer - or anyone else for that matter!





I think you are being overly dramatic about this. I don't recall seeing numerous posts on the mounts forum about requiring 20+ minute subs to be a "real" astrophotographer - maybe your "spidey senses" are out of calibration.

Can you please provide a couple of links to posts by users that are saying that?

In reading many, many posts in the past on the DSLR & Digital Camera Astro Imaging & Processing forum and on the CCD Imaging & Processing forum, although some imagers take subs up to 30 minutes, most sub images are somewhere between 2 minutes and 15 minutes, depending on the equipment used an the target being imaged.

I would not call Hyperstar users "low end APers", particularly for the difficulty so many users have experienced getting the Hyperstar collimated with the telescope - not for the faint at heart.

A MallinCAM definitely doesn't qualify as a long exposure imaging camera, because it is a video camera.


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