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Reader's Choice: Gear of the Year 2009

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#1 Tom T

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 04:38 PM

link

#2 Tom T

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 05:04 PM

Typo's corrected.

Thanks folks!

#3 Taras12

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 05:50 PM

If Celestron was nominated, What happened to Meade's ACF optics design???

#4 Tom T

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 06:05 PM

:shrug:

I just write em up. I didn't nominated em or pick em. The forum members did.

Personally, I was surpised that the LightSwitch wasn't in there...

#5 KennyJ

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 06:39 PM

Hi Tom ,

I'm ( admittedly only a little ) surprised that this award seems to have suddenly changed it's official title to GEAR of the year .

Throughout the course of the contest as long as I followed the poll results , this contest was called PRODUCT of the year .

Was the title changed simply so spare any blushes within the Cloudy Night's organisation ?

The last time I checked , the site itself was winning the contest with at least twice as many votes as the second placed " product " , which pleased me for several reasons , not least because I was the first member here to nominate it as a worthy winner , especially given the site's honoured prominence in the YEAR OF ASTRONOMY events .

Even though I speak as a proud and fortunate owner of at least SOME TeleVue equipment , I find it particularly poignant , and a little ironic , given the global financial situation over the past year , that yet again what can only be described as an " elitist " product has won this coveted award .

Ah well -- I suppose the old adage that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer may still apply , after all ! :-)

Kenny

#6 Tom T

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 06:42 PM

The last time I checked , the site itself was winning the contest with at least twice as many votes as the second placed " product " , which pleased me for several reasons , not least because I was the first member here to nominate it as a worthy winner , especially given the site's honoured prominence in the YEAR OF ASTRONOMY events .


:bigblush:

On behalf of everyone - Thank you.

#7 edwincjones

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 07:03 PM

of course-CNs is the best astronomy product of the year

edj

#8 Sockrateez

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 10:38 AM

How can 2 items fill one position?

#9 8ballsct

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 01:41 PM

If I understand this, the product has to be something introduced in 2009. If so, the ACF was in production in 2006 although it was called ARC or RCX then.

#10 Pure

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 01:43 PM

I'm a relatively new member here and to the astronomy world, so i wasn't around for this vote. But I have to agree on this site being nominated. I get more use from this site than I do out of anything I've bought so far. Kudos to the admin and mods. Keep up the good work.

#11 reddog15

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 02:41 PM

I second that motion :bow: :band: :applause: :yay: :thewave: :thewave:

#12 star drop

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 04:15 PM

of course-CNs is the best astronomy product of the year

edj

What is a CNs? :smirk:

#13 desertstars

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 07:30 PM

I believe it's a contraction of "CN is."

I could be wrong, though. Grammar has never been my strong suit. :whistle:

;)

#14 Astronomics

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 11:31 PM

Gear rhymes with year. And product really makes it singular and with multiple products it seemed kind of strange.

#15 BlueGrass

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 01:48 AM

I also concur in CN being included. Of all the places on the web where people of all knowledge and skill levels can join, read, learn and contribute, CN is simply THE place to go. The information value alone is priceless. The vast majority of members are helpful and willing 'suffer' the endless repeat questions and problems from people around the world. It's a testament to Astronomics, its staff and the CN moderators. The is no 'perfect' online community.... But CN comes pretty darn close.
:waytogo:

#16 David Knisely

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 04:48 AM

Kenny J. wrote:

Even though I speak as a proud and fortunate owner of at least SOME TeleVue equipment , I find it particularly poignant , and a little ironic , given the global financial situation over the past year , that yet again what can only be described as an " elitist " product has won this coveted award .


I don't think that being expensive necessarily implies that a product is "elitist", as that term often has a negative connotation. The product (the Ethos) won mainly because of its performance and not its price. Tele Vue is an innovator and not really what I might term an elitist company. The plain and simple fact is, if you want the performance, you have to pay the cost to get that performance. This was seen with the introduction of another 100 degree eyepiece which was only somewhat less expensive and yet had more in the way of visible aberrations. I don't like the price of the Ethos either, but I do like the performance, and anytime an eyepiece can boast the kind of extremely wide undistorted field free from major aberrations, it deserves to be lauded for that achievement. It is clear that those on CN recognize that fact (even if not many of us can afford the eyepiece). Clear skies to you.

#17 Darenwh

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 07:56 AM

Though I know that the ethos is indeed an excellent eyepiece I also feel that the 20mm should not be in this. This was voted best item of the year when hardly anybody has actually used it? Maybe if it had been released early enough that many people would have actually been able to use it then I could understand. But as it stands it got voted best product solely on the reputation of the company and not on it's performance. It was released late enough that many who voted likely never actually used it. Yes, some of the people who voted for it likely did receive it, but I bet half the votes were from people who have never even seen one of them directly and of those who did get one before the end of December I bet half never even got a chance to use them due to the winter weather that has been occuring across a good portion of the country.

The 10mm likely did deserve alot of votes as it has been available for quite some time so people have at least had a chance to see one in person.

#18 Sockrateez

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 10:16 AM

Excellent point, which I why I asked why two eyepieces occupy one spot. This "survey" always leaves me scratching my head. I would like to see more data on how many voted, although this clearly is not a scientific survey.

I would also suggest that the "survey" might benefit from categories. Best eyepiece, best refractor, most innovative product etc. Because while Dave makes a good point as well I think making a product that is very expensive and performs at the top of the heap may not be as impressive as making a product that gives a little less performance at significantly cheaper price.

#19 David Knisely

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 02:29 PM

Excellent point, which I why I asked why two eyepieces occupy one spot. This "survey" always leaves me scratching my head. I would like to see more data on how many voted, although this clearly is not a scientific survey.

I would also suggest that the "survey" might benefit from categories. Best eyepiece, best refractor, most innovative product etc. Because while Dave makes a good point as well I think making a product that is very expensive and performs at the top of the heap may not be as impressive as making a product that gives a little less performance at significantly cheaper price.


Well, the 100 degree 14mm Explore Scientific eyepiece is not the 20mm Ethos (or the 13mm Ethos for that matter). While the 14 E.S. is a very good eyepiece, it has some residual aberrations which the Ethos did not have, and the price wasn't exactly tremendously less than the 13mm Ethos (currently $589 for the 13mm, vs. $500 for the 14mm Explore Scientific). Indeed, I understand Explore Scientific recently delayed the release of their 20mm E.S. 100 degree eyepiece apparently for technical reasons, so producing a 100 degree eyepiece is difficult. Both are still what I might term "premium" eyepieces. Again, if you want the performance, it will tend to cost more. However, as has been pointed out, the Reader's Choice is not scientific (just a popularity contest, so take it as you will). Clear skies to you.

#20 Darenwh

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 07:16 AM

Actually, I voted for Cloudy Nights. Though their forums are not a new product their evolution both in the discussions and the improvements to the site combined with the popularity of the site makes it a continously renewing item.

Equipment wise I think either the Ethos 10mm (which did win) the Hyperion Zoom or the CGEM should have won. I just don't think something that wasn't truly used by enough people to determine what people will ultimately think about it should have been there. That does create a decided disadvantage to items released at the end of the year but it's the nature of the beast.

Oh well, I am sure that the Ethos 21 will be a fantastic eyepiece and will show that it is worthy of a product of the year endorsement over time.

#21 Preston Smith

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 11:05 AM

Nicely Done Tom!

Thanks! :bow:

#22 Tom T

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 12:59 PM

Excellent point, which I why I asked why two eyepieces occupy one spot. This "survey" always leaves me scratching my head. I would like to see more data on how many voted, although this clearly is not a scientific survey.


With the exception of the 21 Ethos, they are mainly ranked by company not really by number of vote (although kinda). The 21 was the top ranked piece of gear for the year. The 10 was also on the top, but not necessarily ranked number 2. With several items from the same company, it made sense to group them together. But no ranking order is intentionally implied - beyond that of the 21 Ethos in the top gear spot.

While the votes did put CN in the number one spot, after reflection I didn't think it proper to have the web site take #1 in the article for the following purposes:

1) it's too much like winning your own drawing
2) we really aren't "gear" so technically aren't eligable
3) we weren't new last year (although the IYA forums were)

However, the thought is greatly appreciated - and it's the members who make this site what it is. I'd also have to agree that this site is one of my top astronomy resources as well. (I'm certainly on here more than I'm using my scope lately... :( Dang weather! )

My apologies for any confusion.

#23 Sockrateez

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 07:36 AM

I'm sorry - and this is not directed at you personally Tom - but it seems to me there are some ethical issues with providing something that looks for all the world like a ranked survey with the 21mm Ethos "steeling the crown" (which is also the only item with a nice big glossy photo) but then saying it's not. And then to described it as "ranked by company, kinda" - WHAT!? Shouldn't there be some definitive mechanism to any listing, otherwise why have a list?

I have long felt there are some very definite biases on this website and this certainly reinforces that. I know my comments will likely be greeted with anger or claims to the contrary but it has become so blatantly obvious over the past few years that even the dullest bulb amongst us must be able to see it for what it is - essentially advertising.

I apologize if I offend but I find myself living in a world that more and more attempts to insult my intelligence on a daily basis and can't help but feel that nothing is sacred any longer, even an ancient art such as astronomy.

#24 Tom T

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 08:33 AM

Ethical issues?

The ethos was the piece of gear that had the most votes. It's a gear of the year poll. Further I've tried to completely explain the reasoning behind the style of the article.

I find your implication (or at least that particular choice of words) insulting.

As per bias, if there is a bias then it's one the entire site (or at least everyone who voted) shares.

:shrug:

Look - CN is a community website. The readers contribute articles, the readers post in the forums, the readers nominated the gear for this article and the readers chose it in the polls.

I can understand that (for whatever reasons) you may not like a particular company, or you may feel like your favorite was left out. You're free to feel whatever you like and you're free to voice that dissatisfaction, but remember this was a summary of the readers choice. To imply there is an ethical problem with the site as a whole (and thereby some almost 40k members) is ludicrous.

Now, on the other hand consider that CN is a subset of the astronomy community. Then consider if it's a representative subset or not. Frankly, that's debatable.

From your post one thing is completely reinforced. You can't please everyone. Some days it seems like you can't please hardly anyone - and at some point, I begin to wonder why people even bother to contribute to the community at all. Fortunately, I think there are more people interested in building the community up than tearing it down. Or at least I hope so.

#25 Tom T

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 08:36 AM

Nicely Done Tom!

Thanks! :bow:


Thank you Preston.


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