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Anyone heard of JTW Astronomy or using their equiptment

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#1 ribuck

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 06:23 AM

Hi All,

 

As the title suggests I came across a Telescope manufacturer and they look like they do some interesting scope & mount designs and wondered if anyone has heard of them or is using any of their equipment.

 

http://www.jtwastronomy.com/

 

 

Cheers,

Rich.

 

 


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#2 happylimpet

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 06:29 AM

I've heard of them, looks like they make some nice stuff, but never used any!



#3 junomike

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 07:53 AM

Their Refractors look interesting but very little specs (on glass).

Someone needs to buy the 300mm F6 and see how it is.....(only 113000 Euro/ $136000 USD).


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#4 ribuck

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 11:19 AM

They came back to me and told me the glass is Ohara / FPL53

 

They made made a nice offer but unfortunately the price was outside my budget.  I also gave them some honest feedback on their pricing as they are looking for 9999 euro for their 150mm frac.

 

I pointed out that it would be a tough sell at that price being an unknown and with FPL53 glass when you can get a tried and tested APM 152 APO with LZOS glass for 8500 euro.

 

However they do have a mount that peeks my interest 3000 euro for a direct drive mount with 100kg capacity


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#5 garret

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 11:35 AM

I have read here on Cloudy night allot of negative about them, every time they have wild new ideas and products, I'm afraid not one of their products is fully developed. 

I'm from Holland but not buying from them.

 

Gerrit



#6 ribuck

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 01:07 PM

Gerrit, thanks for the heads up. 

 

That is sad news as their mount showed a lot of promise.



#7 junomike

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 01:09 PM

I have read here on Cloudy night allot of negative about them, every time they have wild new ideas and products, I'm afraid not one of their products is fully developed. 

I'm from Holland but not buying from them.

 

Gerrit

If true this is scary (IMO), especially for the prices they want.



#8 ribuck

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 04:02 PM

I spoke to mark from jtwastro tonight and he openly admits they got a lot of things wrong when they started out and understand that their reputation is not the best, but it sounds like they are keen to change that and from what i can see the bad press is from a few years back.

 

I guess everyone deserves a second chance, so not going to write them off just yet.

 

I'll be keeping an eye out on their OGEM mount reviews, in the coming months as 3000 euro for a direct drive mount is a steal if it works and compares favourably to other direct drive mounts. I had a look on their facebook page and their video of the mount looked like it had been well made.

 

As for the 150mm Frac side of things, 9999 for a 150mm scope with FPL53, i think they need to have a rethink on their pricing as i can get a SW Esprit for 4500 euro and i cant see anyone paying an extra 5500 euro for an unknow / un-proven focuser and tube no matter how good.

 

Just my 2 cents.....


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#9 Ciel01600

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 05:33 PM

Hi All,

 

I am a French Astronomer, and I use several products from JTW Astronomy for a few years ago. I never found equivalent for example on modified DSLR Canon and Sony A7s. I think it is very important to underline THAT people can be disappointed, but it's not my case...

At the beginning JTW Astronomy was aware regarding my demands, and gave me a lot of supports and services. People who are satisfied never say it enough...wink.gif.

 

I asked several time JTW Astronomy special mechanicals parts for my own DOBSONIAN Telescopes..always delivered in time and conformity to my request, and they gave me advice on my third conception ! as passionate engineers..

Mark Woodward always done his best for me, prices may be high or low it depends on the means and what we expect.

I never found the same rates on the French market...

 

Also know that the worst experience that is still relevant I have with large companies that do not respond to my emails and turn a deaf ear, one is in Italy and the other in the United States these major manufacturers of great reputation are far from being blameless ... That's why I find you a bit severe with JTW ASTRONOMY, who has never had this type of behavior. with me.

I believe that we should not rely on mere negative comments of people, but rather real cases.

Julian


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#10 SimmoW

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 06:06 PM

Good to hear too Julian, I too have had excellent personal service from Mark at JTW for my astro modded A7s. He is very passionate which always helps. I know he is doing a lot of scopes for pro agencies so that says something. Once more amateurs get access to their products they'll do well

Edited by SimmoW, 10 March 2018 - 06:07 PM.


#11 Sathya

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 10:54 PM

It is quite surprising that some folks here have a negative opinion about JTW. As an amateur astronomer and astrophotographer, I always wanted to discuss with my seller before buying anything new. I think Mark is by far the most open and quick to respond to my questions about anything. He doesn't have that elitist attitude around him that I've seen many sellers have. You know, like sellers treat you like a bother.

Anyway, Mark and myself discuss a lot of technical stuff and it's always great to discuss with a manufacturer. Regarding the price of the Apo refractor, you must understand that JTW is a large aperture professional product manufacturer. You cannot compare the quality to the sky Watcher or other mass production equipment. They manufacture for large Observatories and therefore a single unit instrument will be expensive and its a no brainer.

End of the Day, he's a great guy to talk to and deal with. Serious astronomers and astrophotographers will find him a pleasure to work with 


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#12 garret

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 05:57 AM

 

That's why I find you a bit severe with JTW ASTRONOMY, who has never had this type of behavior. with me.

I believe that we should not rely on mere negative comments of people, but rather real cases.

You may be right a few negative news items may kill a company.

 

A few years back JTW was 2 person company making modified cameras with special housings , every time I visit their website I see whole new products, last time it was an idea for a 300mm mirror telescope and now I see all kinds of telescopes.

If I want to have a big telescope I call APM, Baader or ASA, not JTW (despite being Dutch like I am) who want to be big in the shortest time possible.

 

Garret van der Veen


Edited by garret, 11 March 2018 - 05:58 AM.


#13 ribuck

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 09:20 AM

Maybe they can turn things around when they lauch their OGEM mount.



#14 ribuck

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 12:13 PM

Garret,

 

I guess you could also look at it from a different angle, in that if people didn't dream big and try to excel then we would have no isaac newton, galileo or einstein and we would all still be living in mud huts playing with our poo lol.gif

 

So I'm not going to criticise anyone for taking some risks and thinking outside of the box if we can benefit from it. Maybe I'm just a glass half full kind of guy, rather than a glass half empty 

 

Rich.


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#15 Matt Aust

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 02:47 PM

I noticed this thread when I was actually looking for something else JTW Astronomy related, but I felt like I needed to share my opinion with you guys. I got my used A7s modded from JTW Astronomy and I had no issues whatsoever. They did a perfect job and the timing was good as well. When I got myself a new faster wide angle lens later, my sensor needed to be re-positioned and JTW did this service for free. They also did a very good and fast job with this. While you can't match all your future lenses to a certain sensor position, this was just something that might come along with the purchase of a fast wide angle lens. So no issues again, only excellent experiences. Mark, the owner, was sending me personal status Emails all the time, with some sample pics to show the progress on the critical sensor placement. So if I wasn't 100% happy then I could have influenced the process to my needs. Anyway I was happy and everything works fine, and still does today.
Another time I poured a whole lot of saltwater over my camera when taking photos at the Atlantic Ocean at night. Camera guts got eaten by the salt and it stopped working within a few minutes. I was super upset and emailed Mark from JTW in this night. Got an answer in the morning just a few hours later and he told me to send it in so he can see if it is repairable. All the electronic components where eaten by the saltwater, other than the sensor that was still fine. Mark replaced like all of the components and brought my A7s back to life. Including the shipping time, I had my camera back like 1,5 weeks after the incident. Sure that wasn't for free, but it was way cheaper than getting a new A7s + the mod anyway^^ During the repair process Mark keept me updated on the repair progress again and sent me photos of the parts he took out and what the inside looked like and all that. I never thought it was even possible to reapair a non working A7s whichs guts were completely eaten by saltwater, but Mark managed to do it in a real short time. I am still using this camera today and it works like a champ.
I have no experience with the telescopes, mounts or any other products JTW makes. But if you look at their portfolio, you can see some customers that you probably wouldn't work for if your products and craftsmanship wasn't 100% top notch. 
So this is my personal erxperience with JTW. Feel free to ask any questions!

If you are interested, here is my website. Almost everything on it was taken with the JTW modded A7s (extended spectrum). I was using a stock 6D before, but the description below each photo will tell you if it is an older shoot, this camera was used for.

http://star-trails.de/galerie/

 


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#16 patrickduis

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 03:42 AM

Hi you all. I'm very happy with the L200 spectrograph that JTW astronomy built for me. 

He also helped me with some special products for my 200mmF5 setup in my backyard observatory.

I'm currently considering buying a fine APO from him, he built many of those, incl. heavy mounts, for the German respectable company. That company is well known for its quality products and does not do business with everybody.

 

Mark is a nice guy to have contact with, he has a very fine workshop with experienced people. In the past he had some problems because he was still starting up, but nowadays things have changed a lot. He has a fine team now with experienced people.

 

He will show his 3k Euro friction mount on the German ATT fair (5th May 2018). I know other people that use this mount with great success. 

 

Here is a small movie shot by Romke Schievink that is using this mount: https://www.facebook...09341901064649/

 

It is that the Dutch company astrosystems.nl already built my heavy mount, otherwise I would surely consider buying this one from JTW Astronomy. The control system is also very advanced. It can control stepper motors, but also servo systems. I think that the Freego2 control system is currently the most flexible system. Check it out here: http://campussternwa...de/freego2.html

In the past I used SynSan/FS2/LittleFoot and currently SitechII, but I'm considering putting a Freego2 system on my mount because it is so advanced.

 

I'm very happy that there is a company in Holland that makes excellent and unique products. If I need special stuff I surely let JTW astronomy make it!


Edited by patrickduis, 12 March 2018 - 04:38 AM.

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#17 Simon P

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 11:47 AM

Hi All,

 

As the title suggests I came across a Telescope manufacturer and they look like they do some interesting scope & mount designs and wondered if anyone has heard of them or is using any of their equipment.

 

http://www.jtwastronomy.com/

 

 

Cheers,

Rich.

Hi Rich,

 

I've been in contact with Mark Woodward at JTW for a few years now following some extremely helpfull advice he gave on cooling DSLRS on the internet.  Following this contact he generously sent a surprise package to me containing spare and experimental parts from projects to see if I could make use of them. Not only was this unbelievably generous he continued to reply to messages requests to help me build a custom cooled 1200D camera which still works today running sensor temps at -30c with no fogging.

 

I simply cant vouch enough for his unique knowledge in the astro industry at an in depth level which is simply unique and unbelievably helpful . JTW are proven professional telescope and mount engineers and know exactly what is needed for a quality build, they dont do mass market which is why you dont have JTW scopes and mounts with astro retailers. If its worth anything from my contact and dealings I've seen the company make over the last few years , Mark cares very much about JTW's clients and the products they make and has a personal genuine love for astronomy.   

 

In an increasing world of mass market astro products which dont always attract the attention to detail they should have and that we constantly want in astronomy, I would have no reservations about getting in touch with Mark and seeing what he can do for you.   

 

Simon 

 

 

PS Have attached a pic taken with the self built cooled dslr camera thanks to JTW and build advice.   

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Heart Neb Simon P.jpg

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#18 ribuck

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 01:03 PM

In talks with Mark about a custom 150mm at the moment. I'm also very interested in his mount, but that's a purchase for next year



#19 erikw

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 01:49 AM

They stopped developing and making cooled DSLR's, which is a shame because i wanted to buy one a few years back.

 

However, Mark is very very helpful and takes his time answering your questions (even from a dummie like me),

If they ever start to produce cooled DSLR's iw ould certainly be interested.



#20 Traveler

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 04:37 AM

I have read here on Cloudy night allot of negative about them, every time they have wild new ideas and products, I'm afraid not one of their products is fully developed. 

I'm from Holland but not buying from them.

 

Gerrit

+1



#21 ribuck

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 06:40 AM

Hi Traveler,

 

What issues did you have with JTW ? Were they recent issues or from a while back ?  I've been speaking to mark recently and he seems a nice enought guy.

 

The only slightly negative comments i've heard recently is around the pricing of the mount, as a few people complained that the original price of their new mount on their facebook page says 2899 euro as being retails price and only a few months later it increased 1100 euro to 3999, so i can understand them being disappointed, but dont think it's a valid reason not to trust them.

 

Rich.



#22 mark77

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 12:03 PM

I tried to look up info about the JTW L200, I found a couple of places that say it is not made anymore.  Does anyone know.  I sent JTW an email but have not heard back from them.

 

I have been reading about the Starlight xpress and Shelyak spectrographs, does anyone have preference, one vs the other.

 

Thanks

 

Mark



#23 JTW_webcare

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 03:10 PM

We've been asked to address some comments in this thread. I would like to thank our customers with actual experiences for stepping in and giving us some compliments. Open forums in principle are great but very often small miscommunications can be perceived negatively. 

 

I'd like to start with the OGEM price change. The price change of the OGEM was due to additional features such as dust covers, weight reduction, better portability, better cable management, etc, that were heavily requested by the community & the resulting increase in build costs. Essentially turning a functional but basic mount into something more refined. It's somewhat ironic as the original concept was a mount that was brutally simple, stripped of everything but essential parts giving maximum performance for the lowest price. 

 

The price of 2900 euros was originally for this basic model, we decided to keep it for a one time special offer for 10 units to generate some buzz. Some people like to live dangerously and invest in a new product in return for a reward, we had a great boost to production and the end user saved some money. Win/win, which is what good business should be imho. The price is now 3900 euros and will remain so. When you compare the photo of the 2900 euro prototype with what we deliver in the next weeks it will become immediately clear that these are two different products. 

 

Mark77, I'm afraid we never received your email, I just checked again now. Apologies for this. The L200 spectroscope is currently out of production. These are great instruments if you are just getting into spectroscopy as they're very capable. You may be able to find a used one somewhere. I would love to bring the device back into production but for the moment we've already got enough on our plate. Feel free to mail in if you wish to discuss anything or would like any pointers though. 

 

Regarding comments from Traveller and Garret. I can't really put a counter argument without more specifics. All projects have their share of hiccups. Sure we have made mistakes, especially back in the beginning when I was still in my 20's and this was a home operation but these have all been rectified, every customer was reimbursed at least 100% and almost all cases ended amicably, many of these people are still customers today. This was warranty-voiding modification of new and used cameras & it can go wrong for no apparent reason. If you're missing delivery dates due to unpredictable work you can quickly get a name for not keeping your word.

 

The issue now is that we are a bigger company and we simply cannot expose ourselves like this. This is why several products and services are no longer offered despite them being great products. If anyone has an unresolved complaint from any point in our history then please do contact us via email - info@jtwastronomy.com

 

I can't really respond to the notion of not buying from us because we're new in town or occasionally add new products to our website. It's an open market, do your research and buy what you want. We have nothing but respect for our competitors and you certainly won't get a bad system off any of those mentioned in this thread. 

 

Clear skies!
Mark


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#24 Arringar

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 02:23 AM

We've been asked to address some comments in this thread. I would like to thank our customers with actual experiences for stepping in and giving us some compliments. Open forums in principle are great but very often small miscommunications can be perceived negatively.

I'd like to start with the OGEM price change. The price change of the OGEM was due to additional features such as dust covers, weight reduction, better portability, better cable management, etc, that were heavily requested by the community & the resulting increase in build costs. Essentially turning a functional but basic mount into something more refined. It's somewhat ironic as the original concept was a mount that was brutally simple, stripped of everything but essential parts giving maximum performance for the lowest price.

The price of 2900 euros was originally for this basic model, we decided to keep it for a one time special offer for 10 units to generate some buzz. Some people like to live dangerously and invest in a new product in return for a reward, we had a great boost to production and the end user saved some money. Win/win, which is what good business should be imho. The price is now 3900 euros and will remain so. When you compare the photo of the 2900 euro prototype with what we deliver in the next weeks it will become immediately clear that these are two different products.

Mark77, I'm afraid we never received your email, I just checked again now. Apologies for this. The L200 spectroscope is currently out of production. These are great instruments if you are just getting into spectroscopy as they're very capable. You may be able to find a used one somewhere. I would love to bring the device back into production but for the moment we've already got enough on our plate. Feel free to mail in if you wish to discuss anything or would like any pointers though.

Regarding comments from Traveller and Garret. I can't really put a counter argument without more specifics. All projects have their share of hiccups. Sure we have made mistakes, especially back in the beginning when I was still in my 20's and this was a home operation but these have all been rectified, every customer was reimbursed at least 100% and almost all cases ended amicably, many of these people are still customers today. This was warranty-voiding modification of new and used cameras & it can go wrong for no apparent reason. If you're missing delivery dates due to unpredictable work you can quickly get a name for not keeping your word.

The issue now is that we are a bigger company and we simply cannot expose ourselves like this. This is why several products and services are no longer offered despite them being great products. If anyone has an unresolved complaint from any point in our history then please do contact us via email - info@jtwastronomy.com

I can't really respond to the notion of not buying from us because we're new in town or occasionally add new products to our website. It's an open market, do your research and buy what you want. We have nothing but respect for our competitors and you certainly won't get a bad system off any of those mentioned in this thread.

Clear skies!
Mark


As a business owner myself I can’t help but recognize the exceptional response provided here. You couldn’t ask for a more respectful and honest response from any company.


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