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#51 OleCuss

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 12:19 PM

I thought the Bresser family regained control of the company, and they buy from JOC, but are still based in Germany -- and set their own contract standards.  I'll check on that.  Or, maybe our European CNers will clarify.

 

I'm not a lawyer, but the Company Profile reads like Bresser is independent / not a subsidiary of JOC --> http://www.bresser.d...mpany-profile/ 

 

I can't find their site now, but JOC used to list Bresser and Explore Scientific as being owned by them.



#52 wargrafix

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 02:53 PM

Is a beautiful scope. How difficult would it be to change the tripod?



#53 Bomber Bob

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 03:29 PM

Is a beautiful scope. How difficult would it be to change the tripod?

Not hard at all.  The tripod hub brackets are about 1.25" wide -- similar to vintage Towa 80x1200 EQ kits.  These show up often on the auction sites.  Vixen Polaris type wood legs would be ideal.  Or, get 6 1" x 2" hardwood slats, and make some really rigid fixed-height legs.  I put vintage surveyor tripod legs on my Polaris, and it is a very solid grab & go.


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#54 paulymo

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 03:34 PM

Thanks Walt, but if I decide to keep this scope, I'll put the mount head on this vintage Filo Tecnica surveyor tripod -- it carried a Unitron 152 OTA & mount, so this much lighter load should be very stable.

 

attachicon.gifFilo Tripod S02.jpgattachicon.gifFilo Tripod S06.jpg

Oh to have stocked up on stable vintage tripods before non-astro interior decorators discovered they were easy to make lamps out of...


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#55 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 06:16 PM

Is a beautiful scope. How difficult would it be to change the tripod?

 

My question is this:

 

Why spend $300 on a scope that has a plastic drawtube, an undersized tripod and a variety of other issues when $409 buys the Celestron 102 XLT with the more robust CG-4 mount, a very solid large tube tripod, a metal 2 inch focuser???  Both are 4 inch F/10 achromats.

 

I think it's better to purchase a scope that was build correctly in the first place rather than patching up corners that were cut to save money.

 

jon


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#56 Don Taylor

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 07:27 PM

 

Is a beautiful scope. How difficult would it be to change the tripod?

 

My question is this:

 

Why spend $300 on a scope that has a plastic drawtube, an undersized tripod and a variety of other issues when $409 buys the Celestron 102 XLT with the more robust CG-4 mount, a very solid large tube tripod, a metal 2 inch focuser???  Both are 4 inch F/10 achromats.

 

I think it's better to purchase a scope that was build correctly in the first place rather than patching up corners that were cut to save money.

 

jon

 

I agree - based on what I've heard in this thread so far it's a no-brainer.  I'd spend a lot more than the price difference fixing the major annoyances. And I couldn't recommend the ES to others with the C102 XLT out there for only a few $$$$ more.

 

That said - the only way I could have reached this conclusion (other than trying one myself) if because JW is "taking one for the team" here and sharing his findings.  The advertising and photos look nice but are no substitute for someone experienced to carefully evaluate the product.


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#57 Zamboni

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 07:44 PM

Considering that for how much it would cost to upgrade the tripod legs and the focuser in addition to the cost of the telescope, one could have an Omni 102 AND a couple nice accessories, I don't think I'd recommend this scope to anybody.

Honestly, I think including a plastic 1.25" only focuser on a 4" refractor in this day and age is a travesty.
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#58 Bomber Bob

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 08:35 PM

Thanks Don!  Remember y'all, I haven't star tested it yet.  ES may have gone cheap on the hardware to get excellent glass.

 

"I think including a plastic 1.25" only focuser on a 4" refractor in this day and age is a travesty."

 

What if it's nice looking plastic?  The rack is helical cut, and the long drawtube moves smoothly & precisely with no sagging -- even carrying my heavy spectros prism & 35mm barreled eyepieces.  FYI: My vintage Goto 452 uses Bakelite for the lens cell & focusing mount.  It is not a cheap scope.  That material was considered "futuristic" 60 years ago. 

 

As for the $300 :: $400 issue, imagine a young person begging their parents for a big Christmas scope.  The skeptical Santas might be persuaded for the $100 savings.  (I was in a similar situation 40+ years ago.) 


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#59 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 08:49 PM

As for the $300 :: $400 issue, imagine a young person begging their parents for a big Christmas scope.  The skeptical Santas might be persuaded for the $100 savings.  (I was in a similar situation 40+ years ago.)

 

JW:

 

I will just say this:

 

For those skeptical Santa's reading this and wondering if the extra $100 for the Celestron 102XLT 4 inch F/10 refractor is worth it? 

 

I think it is and in the long run, you would be happier if you spend a little more for a better quality instrument.  This scope seems like a tease, it's got the right specs and could be very good if they corners hadn't been cut. 

 

Jon


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#60 Zamboni

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 10:40 PM

Considering that extra hundred dollars could mean the difference between giving up in frustration, or fostering a lifelong fascination, I don't think it's bad to encourage people to steer clear.

Remember, most consumers and novices aren't going to recognize necessarily where the weak link is and fix it. They're going to get frustrated because it's hard to see anything and blame the unit as a whole.

I don't think the focuser's material is as disappointing as the fact they couldn't bother to include a 2" unit.

Just too many weak links, and given how much it would cost to correct those missteps compared to the XLT, it's hard to see this as a good value or a good beginner's scope.
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#61 photiost

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 12:32 AM

Looking forward to the star test / first light comments ... it may have a really good lens.

I saw the ES at our local Cosco and the lens looks beautiful with nice coatings.

 

I remember a while back paying around $100 for a new Celestron GT102 OTA ...and that scope had a good objective.

 

Mounted the GT102 on my Super Polaris and it was a big hit at our public outreach sessions.


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#62 rogeriomagellan

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 06:19 AM

 

Hi. I guess that there was some sort of confusion here. The First Light telescopes are sold by Explore Scientific. They've got nothing to do with Bresser. The ES FL-AR102 f/9.8 is certainly an affordable telescope but it is not like the Bresser Messier AR102 f/9.8. The main differences are that the new Bresser telescope comes with a better quality focuser (2.5"), not a rack-and-pinion focuser. And it has a handle like the ES AR102 f/6.5. 

Don't Bresser & ES get their scopes from the same maker in China?  (But even if they do, Bresser probably sets higher requirements, based on the posts I've read on CN.)

 

Back in the 60s & 70s, Towa would make bottom-rung kits for one brand / model, and better quality kits for another.  As a result, there are lots of Circle T scopes still around, but it definitely tarnished the mark.

 

Hi, Bob. As far as I'm concerned, their optical tube assemblies come from the same factory (JOC) but as you could see from my post, the specifications are not the same. Not long time ago, Bresser used to sell their achromatic refractors with a 2" rack-and-pinion focuser. Van Webster posted a review of the Bresser Messier AR127 f/5 on CN in 2014. Here is the link to read the review: http://www.cloudynig...r-127s635-r2900

 

And most of Bresser refractors could be found in two versions: short tube and long tube. ES started to follow this pattern only in 2016. 

 

When Bresser revamped their tubes with the 2.5" Hexafoc, that was the wisest move ever. Although they don't come in dual-speed format inside the box, many people state that the focuser is smooth the way it is and it is possible to upgrade it to a dual-speed version. In my humble opinion, it is only a pity that they still don't come with a 2" dielectric diagonal mirror like those from the ES AR series. There is always a trade-off, you know.


Edited by rogeriomagellan, 06 December 2016 - 04:52 PM.

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#63 rogeriomagellan

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 06:27 AM

I thought the Bresser family regained control of the company, and they buy from JOC, but are still based in Germany -- and set their own contract standards.  I'll check on that.  Or, maybe our European CNers will clarify.

 

I'm not a lawyer, but the Company Profile reads like Bresser is independent / not a subsidiary of JOC --> http://www.bresser.d...mpany-profile/ 

As far as I know, Bresser and ES are independent companies but their products are manufactured by JOC. Most brands follow the same path these days.



#64 OleCuss

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 07:37 AM

OK, if you go here:  http://www.joctech.com/about.asp?id=1 and use a translator (for most of us anyway) you'll find that JOC is listing Bresser and Explore Scientific as subsidiaries.

 

It may be that Explore Scientific is a subsidiary of Bresser, but JOC owns them both.


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#65 Bomber Bob

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 08:25 AM

Thanks for the link!  The Bresser site is confusing... Says Bresser broke from Meade in 2009... Maybe a 5-6 year period where the family truly owned the company before a "friendly takeover" by JOC??

 

Makes me wonder:  Does JOC determine the models sold by Bresser vice ES?  (Bresser gets higher-end, and ES gets the budget models.)



#66 Bomber Bob

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 08:38 AM

 

As for the $300 :: $400 issue, imagine a young person begging their parents for a big Christmas scope.  The skeptical Santas might be persuaded for the $100 savings.  (I was in a similar situation 40+ years ago.)

 

JW:

 

I will just say this:

 

For those skeptical Santa's reading this and wondering if the extra $100 for the Celestron 102XLT 4 inch F/10 refractor is worth it.

 

I think it is and in the long run, you would be happier if you spend a little more for a better quality instrument.  This scope seems like a tease, it's got the right specs and could be very good if they corners hadn't been cut. 

 

Jon

 

This isn't a gotta have it purchase; this is a like to test it for me.  New model, China-made, very cheap -- right up my alley.  I'm trying to review it as a First-Time Scope Buyer (or, Gift Recipient), but if the lens is good, I got parts in my shed to overcome any serious cheap scope limitations.

 

And I can remember trying to persuade my parents to upgrade my 60x700 AZ to a 60x910 EQ.  With 4 other kids to buy for, a $100 cheaper alternative would've been important back then.


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#67 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 09:16 AM

Thanks for the link!  The Bresser site is confusing... Says Bresser broke from Meade in 2009... Maybe a 5-6 year period where the family truly owned the company before a "friendly takeover" by JOC??

 

Makes me wonder:  Does JOC determine the models sold by Bresser vice ES?  (Bresser gets higher-end, and ES gets the budget models.)

 

Reading the Bresser Germany company profile,  it certainly seems they are independent of JOC.   

 

http://www.bresser.d...ompany-profile/

 

Jon


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#68 Bomber Bob

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 09:22 AM

The Bresser and/or JOC website may not be current; or, the details of the arrangements are beyond the scope [pun intended] of anyone who isn't an international contract lawyer.


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#69 OleCuss

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 09:24 AM

Thanks for the link!  The Bresser site is confusing... Says Bresser broke from Meade in 2009... Maybe a 5-6 year period where the family truly owned the company before a "friendly takeover" by JOC??

 

Makes me wonder:  Does JOC determine the models sold by Bresser vice ES?  (Bresser gets higher-end, and ES gets the budget models.)

Bresser sold to Meade Europe in 1999.  In 2009 Meade Instruments sold Meade Europe (which would include Bresser) to JOC, Rolf Bresser, and the general manager.  My impression is that JOC got controlling interest.

 

After Sunny Electric bought Meade Instruments it gets a little fuzzy for me in some areas.  Maybe it was because the JOC purchase of Meade made further association with the "Meade" name legally or market-wise unacceptable, Meade Europe sort of dropped off my screen while Bresser seemed to become more prominent.  It may be that the Meade Europe just became Bresser - and since I believe the Meade Europe products were generally made by JOC there is some logic to that.

 

But however all the details sort out, JOC still owns Bresser and Explore Scientific.


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#70 OleCuss

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 09:34 AM

I should probably emphasize this Bresser link:  http://www.bresser.d...r-gmbh/history/ which also points out that they were purchased by JOC, Mr. Bresser, and Mr. Ebbert.

 

They also point out that they created Explore Scientific.  This would suggest Explore Scientific is a subsidiary of Bresser - which I believe to be true. . .  But it is possible that at some point the corporate structure was changed so that Explore Scientific answers directly to JOC - if they did they didn't bother to notify me and I shall be wroth with them!


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#71 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 09:43 AM

This isn't a gotta have it purchase; this is a like to test it for me.  New model, China-made, very cheap -- right up my alley.  I'm trying to review it as a First-Time Scope Buyer (or, Gift Recipient), but if the lens is good, I got parts in my shed to overcome any serious cheap scope limitations.

And I can remember trying to persuade my parents to upgrade my 60x700 AZ to a 60x910 EQ.  With 4 other kids to buy for, a $100 cheaper alternative would've been important back then

 

JW:

 

I am writing from the point of view of someone recommending a first telescope to a friend who trusts my judgment as a knowledge amateur astronomer. Maybe parents looking for a Christmas telescope will be reading this. 

 

And so again I say,  from reading your review, its quite clear to me that this scope is compromised by the undersized tripod,  by the use of plastic when metal is the right material.  Certainly $110 is a lot of money but in the long run,  the extra money spent will be forgotten but the better quality of the Celestron 102 XLT F/10 will be continually appreciated. The other side of the coin is if one goes with the $300 Explore Scientific,  it's very likely that one will be continuously reminded of the corners cut. 

 

I know you will make this into the best scope it can be,  it's a fun project and you have the knowledge and skills.   My concern is for those first time buyers,  certainly there are much worse ways to spend $300 on a telescope,  but when $309 buys a 6 inch Dobsonian with a 2 inch focuser and $359 buys the 8 inch,  a $300 four inch better be pretty darn good.  The Dob offers a simple, solid, stable mount and the advantages of the larger aperture. And if one becomes a member of Cloudy Nights,  Astronomics will probably include a 5% discount.. 

 

https://www.astronom...tor_p20339.aspx

 

(Not trying to start a refractor reflector war,  just trying to sneak in some advice to first time buyers who might be reading this.)

 

Jon 


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#72 rmollise

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 10:42 AM

Thanks for the link!  The Bresser site is confusing... Says Bresser broke from Meade in 2009... Maybe a 5-6 year period where the family truly owned the company before a "friendly takeover" by JOC??

 

Makes me wonder:  Does JOC determine the models sold by Bresser vice ES?  (Bresser gets higher-end, and ES gets the budget models.)

That is correct. Meade got rid of Bresser when they ran into financial trouble before they were bought by Ningbo Sunny.

 

AFAIK, Bresser is a JOC house-brand now.


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#73 rmollise

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 10:43 AM

I should probably emphasize this Bresser link:  http://www.bresser.d...r-gmbh/history/ which also points out that they were purchased by JOC, Mr. Bresser, and Mr. Ebbert.

 

They also point out that they created Explore Scientific.  This would suggest Explore Scientific is a subsidiary of Bresser - which I believe to be true. . .  But it is possible that at some point the corporate structure was changed so that Explore Scientific answers directly to JOC - if they did they didn't bother to notify me and I shall be wroth with them!

 

ES is owned by JOC.


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#74 Bomber Bob

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 10:43 AM

I'm not advocating -- I'm reviewing a $300 new model 4" F10 refractor.  I'm not a Gates or a Zuckerberg, but I spent more than $300 on my new HD Ortho eyepiece set.  Who knows?  This ES may water my eyes, and earn a place in my very exclusive Final Lineup.  You just never know...

 

I got my vintage C4.5 kit for $140 total ($20 OTA + $120 Mount, shipping included).  Odds are, that cheap Vixen Newt on a fantabulous Polaris GEM will meet / exceed the performance of the ES.  Did I just get lucky?  Nope.  A careful shopper can do even better on Goodwill than I did.  But... how many parents or grandparents are gonna buy Christmas scopes off the GW?

 

I agree:  In fact, a smart young whippersnapper could make your argument vis-a-vis the $300 ES versus the $400 Celestron.  Would it fly?  It'd be worth a try!

 

$309 buys a 6 inch Dobsonian

 

There ya go.  Dobs ruined the refractor market, and it really has never been the same.  But... I paid just $150 for my 1971 Criterion Dynascope RV-6.  Now, that is dirt cheap for a loaded & complete rig.  If you're willing to go used, and take your time, you can almost always find a better alternative to a brand new refractor.

 

Good Grief!!  Explore Scientific ain't gonna be happy with this thread...


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#75 Bomber Bob

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 10:56 AM

I'm kinda rooting for the Edmund.  Can I say that here?  :lol:

 

I've never really tried to compare two telescopes before.  What targets and criteria do you plan to use?

Yes, you can say good things about my Edmund 4 anywhere you please!!

 

Targets?  NWS is saying THURS night is possible, and FRI night is definite.  That means, first up will be the Waxing Moon - as it is for many beginners.  Mars is low & tiny, but always irresistible.  Remember:  The scope came with only one eyepiece - a lackluster PL25 for 40x (I think the container is better than the contents!).  Not good nights for DSOs.  And, it has an uber-cheap RDF.  I can star-hop with the scope, and I will.  For a newbie, gliding along through Cassiopeia & Perseus at 40x can be a treat, even with moonglow.   The big prize is Jupiter in the morning.  My Edna gobbles this planet up, so that'll be an excellent comparison.


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