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The New AP Stowaway is Coming Along

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#26 Kent10

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 07:21 PM

More exciting information from Roland.

 

"Howdy Astronuts,

I uploaded two wavefront measurements of lenses that I am assembling, testing, collimating, etc on the interferometer, check them out. It takes several hours to do this to every lens, almost the same amount of time it took to do the 130's. Even though it's little, it still takes a lot of work to make these scopes.

Along with that you get a really nice Pelican case for your travel needs, and a first class Feathertouch focuser (check out what those cost on their website), a pair of rings and a very nice hand painted tube assembly that uses a special paint that we import from Germany (originally used on all Zeiss APQ scopes).

I'm hoping that this first run of 100 will all go together without defect (or me clumsily breaking one of the glass elements). After that we are seriously considering another run for next spring.

Rolando"

 

Source  https://groups.yahoo...essageNum=77136

 

Wavefront Measurements File is located here https://groups.yahoo...frontError1.jpg


 

#27 Kent10

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 08:24 PM

Some of us won't have too much longer to wait.  My notification was 4/17 at 3:14pm. 

 

"Coming right up.

We've had some delays on getting focusers, getting parts anodized, but we're on the downhill slope now in this marathon. Our guys are scrambling, working hard.

Rolando"

 

https://groups.yahoo...essageNum=77138


 

#28 Auburn80

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 08:33 PM

@Kent10.  Not all of us have a Yahoo account.  Could you paraphrase?

 

TIA!

Clark


 

#29 daveCollins

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 08:36 PM

No offense to anyone but I'm sure glad I no longer care about Roland or his telescopes.  I signed up for a couple of scopes 10-12 years ago (with the same email I have today), called once or twice over the years to see how things were going.  Treated like they couldn't care less about my business so I no longer care about theirs.  I'm quite happy with the crappy Televues I own currently (and the ones I owned in the past).  This guy seems to be taking a cue from Rolex.

Half a cue. Yes, Roland is producing some of the finest scopes in the world just as Rolex produces some of the best mechanical watches you can buy. So in terms of putting out a great product, I agree.

 

I think where this comparison doesn't follow, is that Rolex charges a high price for what you get. They squeeze every dime out of their watches. This has made a lot of money for the company. I don't believe the philosophy at Astro-Physics is to make as much money as possible with their scopes. I see Roland as quite different in this regard.

 

If you don't care anything about Roland and his telescopes, I am surprised you would click on the link about his latest creation.


Edited by daveCollins, 05 September 2018 - 08:37 PM.

 

#30 Kent10

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 08:37 PM

@Kent10.  Not all of us have a Yahoo account.  Could you paraphrase?

 

TIA!

Clark

Hi Clark,

 

Roland's messages are short and I believe I quoted each message in its entirety.  The yahoo links are just where the quotes came from in case someone wants to check the entire thread.


 

#31 CSG

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 08:54 PM

Half a cue. Yes, Roland is producing some of the finest scopes in the world just as Rolex produces some of the best mechanical watches you can buy. So in terms of putting out a great product, I agree.

 

I think where this comparison doesn't follow, is that Rolex charges a high price for what you get. They squeeze every dime out of their watches. This has made a lot of money for the company. I don't believe the philosophy at Astro-Physics is to make as much money as possible with their scopes. I see Roland as quite different in this regard.

 

If you don't care anything about Roland and his telescopes, I am surprised you would click on the link about his latest creation.

It's a forum, we discuss things.  Sorry that bothers you.  I do own three Rolex watches but wouldn't buy another one.  I would have liked to have bought an AP telescope once but no longer.


 

#32 kkt

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 11:08 PM

No offense to anyone but I'm sure glad I no longer care about Roland or his telescopes.  I signed up for a couple of scopes 10-12 years ago (with the same email I have today), called once or twice over the years to see how things were going.  Treated like they couldn't care less about my business so I no longer care about theirs.  I'm quite happy with the crappy Televues I own currently (and the ones I owned in the past).  This guy seems to be taking a cue from Rolex.

I don't think the comparison to Rolex is fair.  Rolexes are expensive because:  1. expensive marketing campaign, glossy ads, product placements, implying they're the unquestioned best in the world.  And 2. they keep the production down to just below demand.  That keeps the price high, and the used market prices are about as high as the new prices, or even higher.  It keeps Rolexes from depreciating, which is good for the owners but not so good for those who'd like to buy them and can't afford it.

 

Incidentally, Rolex is not the very top tier of mechanical watch.  Makers like Patek-Philippe, JLC occupy a higher tier with better hand-finishing of dials and hands and more sophisticated movements.  And there is an even higher tier of one-person manufacturers, where there may be assistants but it's one designer and maker's vision that's more comparable to AP.

 

Compare with Astro-Physics.  AP spends nothing advertising their telescopes.  They had small ads for scopes in Sky and Telescope back in the 80s but since then they've let their reputation do the selling for them.  They still advertise their mounts.  AP produces as many scopes as Roland can.  I'm sure he'd love to produce more, and that's part of what drove reintroducing the Traveler.  Rolexes come off an assembly line, while Roland does the optics for the AP.  So what should he do - raise the price so there's little waiting list but they're out of reach of amateurs?  Allow others to produce them using his name?  Use a lottery instead of a waiting list?  I'm sure you could see the problems with those approaches.

 

There's nothing the matter with Televue and Roland has been widely quoted as saying you should not just sit on your hands doing no observing waiting for your name to come up.


 

#33 nicknacknock

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 11:34 PM

More exciting information from Roland.

 

"Howdy Astronuts,

 

I'm hoping that this first run of 100 will all go together without defect (or me clumsily breaking one of the glass elements). After that we are seriously considering another run for next spring.

Rolando"

 

 

Good to know first run is 100 and that hopefully he will make more. I got on the list on Wednesday 18th, 03:27 so here's hoping I am in the first 100 :)

 

I don't think the comparison to Rolex is fair.  Rolexes are expensive because:  1. expensive marketing campaign, glossy ads, product placements, implying they're the unquestioned best in the world.  And 2. they keep the production down to just below demand.  That keeps the price high, and the used market prices are about as high as the new prices, or even higher.  It keeps Rolexes from depreciating, which is good for the owners but not so good for those who'd like to buy them and can't afford it.

 

Incidentally, Rolex is not the very top tier of mechanical watch.  Makers like Patek-Philippe, JLC occupy a higher tier with better hand-finishing of dials and hands and more sophisticated movements.  And there is an even higher tier of one-person manufacturers, where there may be assistants but it's one designer and maker's vision that's more comparable to AP.

Former CFO of a large group that imported and sold along with a ton of other stuff, luxury watches - among them, Rolex. You are 100% spot on with every single point. FYI, we got the watches from Rolex for x price and sold them for twice that. Gotta cover glossy ads all over, outdoor ads, sponsoring of events, other promotional activities, luxury shops and employees and a massively expensive stock of watches (I worked there from 2001 to 2004 and the stock of watches in the Strongroom was valued at around $15m in current values).


 

#34 Kent10

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 11:38 PM

And from Roland's wife, Marj.

 

"Very soon. We are working out the details. I will post here when the notifications go out."


 

#35 t.r.

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 08:29 AM

Does any have a pic they can post of this Zeiss APQ paint?
 

#36 vahe

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 08:32 AM

Same with me.  If it's much over $2500 for a 3.6 inch telescope I will probably pass.  For reference the Tak Sky 90s were $2300 in 2000.  I might go to $3000.

Here is what Roland had to say about the new Stowaway:

“It takes several hours to do this to every lens, almost the same amount of time it took to do the 130's. Even though it's little, it still takes a lot of work to make these scopes. “

The key here is his admission that it takes almost the same amount of time to do one of these as larger 130 apo, reading in between the lines and for those who expect the new scope to cost about $2500 give and take, you can safely forget it, this little scope is going to be expen$ive.

.

Vahe


 

#37 t.r.

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 08:34 AM

Agreed...my guess? Over 4K!
 

#38 nicknacknock

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 08:56 AM

Consider:

 

  • The Baader 95 Fluorite Triplet APO costs $3,800 (taking net price without VAT and not accounting for any import duties in the US) and comes with a steeltrack focuser which costs a third the price of the 2.5" feathertouch. Adjust for the FTF and price goes up even more. 

 

  • The CFF 92 FPL-53 Triplet APO costs $ 2,900 with a 2.5" or 3" FTF (taking net price without VAT and not accounting for any import duties in the US).

 

  • The Astro-Tech 92 Triplet APO costs $1,795, has TMB pedigree and a distinguished heritage stemming from the previous versions, is manufactured in China, hence cost of production should be much lower (please, by no means turn this into a bashing of imports!) and will come with a 2.5" Rack and Pinion which once upgraded to 2.5" FTF would cost well over $2,000 - probably close to $2,200 to $2,300.

 

  • This first run is 100 scopes and there is a possibility - but not the certainty - of a second run some point further in the future (to offset initial production setup costs). With the cost of materials and labor, why bother at such a low price for a production run of 100 scopes?

 

So, I expect the sticker price to be around $4,000 give or take. I'll go with TR and say a bit north of $4,000...


 

#39 vahe

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 09:05 AM

My guess?.......... somewhere between 5K to 6K.

.

Vahe


 

#40 nicknacknock

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 09:09 AM

Vahe,

 

I think that said price is unrealistic, but then I guess I could be wrong, considering what Stowaways go for on AM.

 

I do hope it stays very close to the $4k mark, otherwise I am out if I get the notice...


 

#41 Swanny

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 09:24 AM

Though much different and probably more work to construct, the FSQ106 is $5300. So I would say around 4500 for the new OTA.
 

#42 t.r.

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 09:32 AM

Vahe,

I think that said price is unrealistic, but then I guess I could be wrong, considering what Stowaways go for on AM.

I do hope it stays very close to the $4k mark, otherwise I am out if I get the notice...

The Stowaways on Amart were of a finite number...a new run of deliveries makes any a price compare irrelevant IMHO. In addition I think over 5k would make folks puke in their mouth a bit and balk...very close to 5k, not out of line though and where I think we will likely end up...it's a psychological break point going over 5k however which is where the 130 GT's started 10 years ago. It would be hard to justify even with increased production costs IMHO...to the masses!

Edited by t.r., 06 September 2018 - 10:00 AM.

 

#43 kkt

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 09:43 AM

Any of you all who think it's too much, feel free to pass on it and let the line move.  :)  You certainly would be paying a premium because it's Christen's scope.

 

There are other good scopes, used TMB-92s still show up pretty regularly, and there's the new Astrotech 92, and excellent options from other makers too.  If the Stowaway is really priced too high used ones will start to appear for less in a year or two...


 

#44 t.r.

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 09:47 AM

The TMB 92's were a steal of a deal, but keep in mind, they were only 1/4 wave .80 strehl at best...the new Stowaway is delivering .90! You get what you pay for!
 

#45 jay.i

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 10:04 AM

The TMB 92's were a steal of a deal, but keep in mind, they were only 1/4 wave .80 strehl at best...the new Stowaway is delivering .90! You get what you pay for!

Do you have a source for this? I thought Tom wouldn't put his name on anything below 0.95 Strehl. I know Mike at Astronomics said the TMB92 prototype is 0.95 Strehl (in a single wavelength anyway). On the subject of the TMB92/AT92, I'm not interested in the AT92 anymore due to the short FL and fast FR leading to half the field being out of focus when using a widefield eyepiece so the longer Stowaway is ideal. I can see almost no field curvature/defocused stars in my TV-85 (85/600) with my 21Ethos, so the Stowaway at 92/612 should be pretty comparable. The new Stowaway is 0.90 Strehl across the entire visual spectrum, but sits above 0.95 Strehl for the middle hump from red to green. Looks like the two samples he posted interferograms of recently support the design quite well.


 

#46 SandyHouTex

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 10:06 AM

More exciting information from Roland.

 

"Howdy Astronuts,

I uploaded two wavefront measurements of lenses that I am assembling, testing, collimating, etc on the interferometer, check them out. It takes several hours to do this to every lens, almost the same amount of time it took to do the 130's. Even though it's little, it still takes a lot of work to make these scopes.

Along with that you get a really nice Pelican case for your travel needs, and a first class Feathertouch focuser (check out what those cost on their website), a pair of rings and a very nice hand painted tube assembly that uses a special paint that we import from Germany (originally used on all Zeiss APQ scopes).

I'm hoping that this first run of 100 will all go together without defect (or me clumsily breaking one of the glass elements). After that we are seriously considering another run for next spring.

Rolando"

 

Source  https://groups.yahoo...essageNum=77136

 

Wavefront Measurements File is located here https://groups.yahoo...frontError1.jpg

It sounds like he's prepping us for a very high cost item.  It takes me "...several hours..." to test it, "...almost the same as the 130s...".  Pelican case, feathertouch focuser, special paint from Germany.  The last one is hilarious.  "Special paint from Germany."  "Used on Zeiss APQs".  How funny.  So what.  Powder coating will last forever and protect the tube from corrosion just as well, maybe better than "...special paint from Germany used on the Zeiss APQs."

 

I'm now guessing if it takes the same amount of time as a 130, and all of these special items are added, final price $6000.

 

And I agree with the Rolex comment.  By the way, Rolex hasn't been hand assembling their watches for years.  They're now put together with machines just like the $20 Timexes.  I read an article of a Rolex aficionado who bought Rolex GMT, a watch I was considering, and disassembled it brand new.  The jewels were drilled off-center, the parts had burrs on them, etc.  Needless to say, I didn't buy it.  I bought a beautiful, hand-assembled Breitling. 


 

#47 jay.i

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 10:08 AM

[...]

 

It takes several hours to do this to every lens, almost the same amount of time it took to do the 130's. Even though it's little, it still takes a lot of work to make these scopes.

Along with that you get a really nice Pelican case for your travel needs, and a first class Feathertouch focuser (check out what those cost on their website), a pair of rings and a very nice hand painted tube assembly that uses a special paint that we import from Germany (originally used on all Zeiss APQ scopes).

 

[...]

Sounds to me like Roland is setting expectations for price. "It takes a long time to make, and don't forget you're getting a nice case and a nice focuser and nice rings and nice paint... [so don't be too surprised when you see the price]." I really hope it's not too much over $4k... that would hurt. I've avoided speculating too much on the price because I don't want to send the message that I think $4k is acceptable for 92mm of aperture, but I suspect it will be right around there. There's no way it'll touch $6k though; that would be absurd.


 

#48 SandyHouTex

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 10:10 AM

Sounds to me like Roland is setting expectations for price. "It takes a long time to make, and don't forget you're getting a nice case and a nice focuser and nice rings and nice paint... [so don't be too surprised when you see the price]." I really hope it's not too much over $4k... that would hurt. I've avoided speculating too much on the price because I don't want to send the message that I think $4k is acceptable for 92mm of aperture, but I suspect it will be right around there. There's no way it'll touch $6k though; that would be absurd.

Maybe you should know I passed on a 130 about a year ago because I thought $7300 was absurd for a 5 inch refractor.

 

I don't doubt though that the AP lemming collectors will buy it at any price.


 

#49 Swanny

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 10:16 AM

It sounds like he's prepping us for a very high cost item. It takes me "...several hours..." to test it, "...almost the same as the 130s...". Pelican case, feathertouch focuser, special paint from Germany. The last one is hilarious. "Special paint from Germany." "Used on Zeiss APQs". How funny. So what. Powder coating will last forever and protect the tube from corrosion just as well, maybe better than "...special paint from Germany used on the Zeiss APQs."

I'm now guessing if it takes the same amount of time as a 130, and all of these special items are added, final price $6000.

And I agree with the Rolex comment. By the way, Rolex hasn't been hand assembling their watches for years. They're now put together with machines just like the $20 Timexes. I read an article of a Rolex aficionado who bought Rolex GMT, a watch I was considering, and disassembled it brand new. The jewels were drilled off-center, the parts had burrs on them, etc. Needless to say, I didn't buy it. I bought a beautiful, hand-assembled Breitling.


I agree he is prepping for some sticker shock perhaps. In a month or two we should know the pricing. I think it is safe to say they would sell at even $6k....just not to this individual!
 

#50 jay.i

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 10:19 AM

Maybe you should know I passed on a 130 about a year ago because I thought $7300 was absurd for a 5 inch refractor.

 

I don't doubt though that the AP lemming collectors will buy it at any price.

A 130mm lens is 2x the surface area of 92mm. I would expect more than an 18% price discount (6000/7300). The Pelican case candidate (Air 1525) is $168 so it's not like it's going to add $500 to the cost of the setup. I wouldn't call myself a lemming but any price under $5k  I will likely buy it. It would be my first so you can't really say it's collecting. Still, it's an exorbitant amount of money to spend on such a small telescope.


 


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