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APM 150ED review

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#176 Mr. Bill

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 04:07 PM

Wow!

 

How did the chip on  the prism face ever get through factory QC and then I assume Wellenform?

 

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Edited by Mr. Bill, 31 July 2019 - 04:07 PM.

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#177 Greenflash1

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 06:26 PM

Yes I see the edge of the prism creating a flare. I don’t see this problem on the left path at all. Very slight nearly imperceptible on the left path.

#178 Greenflash1

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 06:32 PM

Yes I see the edge of the prism and it i suspect it is creating the flare. There is not a similar intrusion on the left path, and the flare is negligible. I suspect my left path is “ok” and on par with what other folks report.

A bit of an update. I contacted Wellenform and Joerg did not see this defect on the right side.

The current theory is it happened in shipment, perhaps the prism slipped and got marred, also contributing to the introduction of the edge of the prism into the path.

If you look carefully you’ll notice another triangular more to the lower right I wonder if the whole thing to slipped up and to the right. I’m not certain about the geometry of the Schmidt prism and whether such a thing would even permit me to look at objects the collimation or alignment of the two images is very good.

Joerg would like me to send the pair to him for inspection and suggests if the prism is damaged it would need replacement. I’ll see what Markus thinks.

Geoff

Edited by Greenflash1, 31 July 2019 - 06:34 PM.


#179 Mr. Bill

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 07:25 PM

At $8K this should be resolved.....


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#180 starzonesteve

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 11:10 PM

Yes I see the edge of the prism and it i suspect it is creating the flare. There is not a similar intrusion on the left path, and the flare is negligible. I suspect my left path is “ok” and on par with what other folks report.

A bit of an update. I contacted Wellenform and Joerg did not see this defect on the right side.

The current theory is it happened in shipment, perhaps the prism slipped and got marred, also contributing to the introduction of the edge of the prism into the path.

If you look carefully you’ll notice another triangular more to the lower right I wonder if the whole thing to slipped up and to the right. I’m not certain about the geometry of the Schmidt prism and whether such a thing would even permit me to look at objects the collimation or alignment of the two images is very good.

Joerg would like me to send the pair to him for inspection and suggests if the prism is damaged it would need replacement. I’ll see what Markus thinks.

Geoff

A couple of years ago I bought a 100mm Oberwek bino used. It was treated roughly during shipping even though it was well packed. There was a small dent in the metal case directly above where the prisms were housed in the binoculars. When I took it out to look the collimation was terrible. Shortly thereafter I was traveling and passed through where Oberwerk is located. Kevin Buserow inspected the binos while I was present and noted that one of the prisms had been knocked out of alignment. He then proceeded to adjust the unit for me and subsequently it provided great views. If you do send your 150s back it will have to very well packed there and back to insure no more subsequent movement occurs if in fact this is what has already happened.



#181 Greenflash1

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 02:56 AM

Here’s the update as of 8/1/2019.
Wow, this has been an eye opener for me. Lots of back and forth and being told I’m imagining things, don’t know what I’m seeing, etc.. Markus insists I’m seeing the black prism holder and that the image shows no damage, and that he highly doubts there is any damage. Finally he agreed to have LUNT ship it back for inspection. If damaged he will replace. If not damaged, they’ll refund.

Joerg of Wellenform stayed he didn’t see the prism damage when he did the QC and collimation. We thought perhaps the bino has been dropped in shipment. But Markus thinks this is unlikely as any shifting by the prism would have destroyed the alignment. To my eyes, the alignment is spot on. So unless Schmidts can be translated without translating the optical path, I must conclude the damage was there and allowed to pass QC and Wellenform. I’m hopeful that perhaps Schmidts can be translated slightly without preventing stereoscopic convergence. Otherwise letting this defect through is deeply disturbing.

Here is a snippet from Markus:
“ I doubt there is a chip, i bet what you believe is a chip, is the prism holder , the black cut out is on all shipped binoculars and it is not a chip, it is the holder”.

I gave him the benefit of the doubt...Perhaps despite my careful accompanying description, he had thought the chips are a reflection or a light etc?!

So I resent the same image but with the damage circled.

Doesn’t instill confidence at many levels. His asserting the image shows no damage but the same black prism holder that all the binoculars have. Nothing to stop him from saying “no damage” and refunding.

My preferred outcome is to have the defective prism replaced.

I guess I have to take their ultimatum and return the binoculars for inspection, and repair or refund. But I fear that I’ll get a refund and he’ll claim there was never any damage.

I’ve never had such an uncomfortable interaction with a company. I am needless to say disappointed.

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Edited by Greenflash1, 02 August 2019 - 08:10 AM.

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#182 salico

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 06:03 AM

Ah, that sounds like a typical Markus L. statement...


Edited by salico, 02 August 2019 - 06:04 AM.


#183 garret

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 10:01 AM

Is it not possible to do a internal check at APM's USA dealer OSO?  the owner of OSO is a highly regarded amateur astronomer as well.

 

btw, It is possible to open the prism assembly without any chance of damaging anything, I have done this with my APM 100 ed APO.


Edited by garret, 02 August 2019 - 11:49 AM.

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#184 Mr. Bill

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 10:20 AM

I think Garret's suggestion above is the best course of action at this point....just my two cents. I would rather keep my business here in the US.

 

I have two good samples of APM binoculars that arrived from Germany....I think I'm counting myself lucky.

 

I am/was considering purchasing an APM 120mm 90 but all this talk is making me uneasy; I'm your typical OCD owner.

 

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#185 Mike Harvey

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Posted 03 August 2019 - 01:45 AM

I'm surprised to read of your interaction with Markus. I've known and done business with him for over 15 years and he has always been fair and responsive in all the dealings we've had. If something was even SUSPECTED of having been damaged in shipment, he rushed a replacement before I even got the original equipment back to him!

 

My 100's arrived in a box that looked as if DHL had simply flown over my house and dropped it out of the door from 25,000 feet! But they had been so heavily padded and overpacked  that there was no damage to the binos at all! 

 

My 120's were the VERY FIRST PAIR SOLD...And were NOT custom collimated by Wellenform, but after a LOT of moving and setting up (usually clumsily) they still retain perfect collimation up to 220X (as high as I have eyepieces to achieve it).

 

Your experiences may vary...but this has been mine.



#186 guangtou

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Posted 03 August 2019 - 07:24 AM

I think Garret's suggestion above is the best course of action at this point....just my two cents. I would rather keep my business here in the US.

 

I have two good samples of APM binoculars that arrived from Germany....I think I'm counting myself lucky.

 

I am/was considering purchasing an APM 120mm 90 but all this talk is making me uneasy; I'm your typical OCD owner.

 

blush.gif

Yeah I been waiting for a sale on the 120 but it never happens- I think that's APM's best seller



#187 oldmanrick

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 12:32 AM

Thanks, Rick, that is interesting.

 

Those flares coincide with the main Schmidt roof prism's inside roof faces; on the right side a face points to the 1:30 position as shown in the image from post #162.  The left side would be the opposite, pointing to 10:30.  Why the spike is happening, I can't say but it sure looks like that prism face plays a part in it. 

 

When you look on axis down through the focuser, do you see the prism face creating a chordal intrusion into the light path like the image provided? The flare could possibly be a diffraction effect off of the prism edge. 

 

Rich

Yes Rich, the flares look to be about the right angle to be perpendicular to that prism face.  The face is visible, and protrudes into the light path, although not as much as the photo seems to indicate.  Both barrels seem to be about equal as far as protrusion and angle is concerned.  It's difficult to gauge whether the photo was taken accurately on axis, and even whether my eyeball view down through the focuser was truly on axis.  Eye position and angle of view seem to make a lot of difference as to how much of this prism I can see.

 

Wouldn't moving the source of the flare, (Jupiter), up and down or right and left in the FOV change the angle of the flare if it were coming from the prism edge or face?  As near as I can tell the angle does not change.

 

Rick



#188 Greenflash1

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 09:46 AM

Just heard back from Markus. I got go ahead to open the 150 and take photos to diagnose possible prism issue. This isn’t a show stopper, and I’m sure Markus will do what’s needed to make things right. The course of action depends on the root cause. Might be a small issue of QC, that still allows star check and alignment. Will keep you apprised. Overall, I’m amazed at the excellent quality of the enormous objectives. And the collimation, despiking of the prism, low to unnoticeable astigmatism and coma, and lack of color fringing even on planets. The design goal appears excellent. It’s not a triplet apochromat, and the fact there are prisms means you’ll never get the views of a large APO triplet refractor. But these are designed for DSO, and the image is corrected making them ideal for sweeping. No clear skies in awhile, which is unusual for New Mexico.

Edited by Greenflash1, 05 August 2019 - 09:47 AM.


#189 Rich V.

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 11:47 AM

Yes Rich, the flares look to be about the right angle to be perpendicular to that prism face.  The face is visible, and protrudes into the light path, although not as much as the photo seems to indicate.  Both barrels seem to be about equal as far as protrusion and angle is concerned.  It's difficult to gauge whether the photo was taken accurately on axis, and even whether my eyeball view down through the focuser was truly on axis.  Eye position and angle of view seem to make a lot of difference as to how much of this prism I can see.

 

Wouldn't moving the source of the flare, (Jupiter), up and down or right and left in the FOV change the angle of the flare if it were coming from the prism edge or face?  As near as I can tell the angle does not change.

 

Rick

Rick, I'd surmise moving a bright object around in the FOV wouldn't change the orientation of the spike; that prism edge is fixed and should always cause the spike to be perpendicular to it, I'd think.  Moving the object around in the FOV could easily change the degree the light hits that edge, though, so it may minimize the spike or make it go away altogether depending on the position of the object since it is a minor intrusion.

 

To handle the light cone for 2" eyepieces, the prisms must obviously be scaled much larger than the other BTs.  Since the light cone enters into one half of the Schmidt prism and leaves out the other half, tolerances must have been made very close and the prism faces are likely right up against the light cone.

 

It's good to hear that Markus is on top of this; it's a new design and I'm sure he wants to make it as good as possible.  You can imagine how much design work has to go into something like this and I'm sure there are issues that will perhaps need some fine tuning.

 

Rich



#190 oldmanrick

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 11:57 AM

Wouldn't the prism edges have been blackened at the factory?  Seems like where they intrude into the light cone they would have blackened them to prevent just such an opportunity for flares.

 

I too am glad to hear that Markus is working on solving this flaring problem.  Even though mine aren't as drastic as some, I would prefer that they not be there.

 

Flaring in my 150 doesn't show up unless the sky is quite dark.  I can look at Jupiter as soon as it is dark enough to spot it naked eye, and no flares can be seen, yet I can see color bands, the GRS, and other detail on the planet long before the flares really show up.

 

Rick


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#191 Beg

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 12:28 PM

 

 

It's good to hear that Markus is on top of this; it's a new design and I'm sure he wants to make it as good as possible.  You can imagine how much design work has to go into something like this and I'm sure there are issues that will perhaps need some fine tuning.

 

Rich

The APM BT's have had flaring and ghost image reports since they first got released. That kind of got swept under the table. Maybe the bigger the BT the bigger the flare......


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#192 Mr. Bill

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 05:54 PM

Perhaps the rush to release a new design without adequate Beta testing......shrug.gif


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#193 garret

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 02:04 AM

Just heard back from Markus. I got go ahead to open the 150 and take photos to diagnose possible prism issue. This isn’t a show stopper, and I’m sure Markus will do what’s needed to make things right. The course of action depends on the root cause. Might be a small issue of QC, that still allows star check and alignment. Will keep you apprised. Overall, I’m amazed at the excellent quality of the enormous objectives. And the collimation, despiking of the prism, low to unnoticeable astigmatism and coma, and lack of color fringing even on planets. The design goal appears excellent. It’s not a triplet apochromat, and the fact there are prisms means you’ll never get the views of a large APO triplet refractor. But these are designed for DSO, and the image is corrected making them ideal for sweeping. No clear skies in awhile, which is unusual for New Mexico.

Have you opened it? thinking1.gif

 

btw, in the 100mm APM there is only chance for a flare/ ghost image when a bright object is a few degrees below the field of view, never when a bright object is inside the field (the same is also true for my Swarovski EL 10x50)


Edited by garret, 10 August 2019 - 10:41 AM.


#194 Mad Matt

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 11:21 AM

Here’s the update as of 8/1/2019.
Wow, this has been an eye opener for me. Lots of back and forth and being told I’m imagining things, don’t know what I’m seeing, etc.. Markus insists I’m seeing the black prism holder and that the image shows no damage, and that he highly doubts there is any damage. Finally he agreed to have LUNT ship it back for inspection. If damaged he will replace. If not damaged, they’ll refund.

Joerg of Wellenform stayed he didn’t see the prism damage when he did the QC and collimation. We thought perhaps the bino has been dropped in shipment. But Markus thinks this is unlikely as any shifting by the prism would have destroyed the alignment. To my eyes, the alignment is spot on. So unless Schmidts can be translated without translating the optical path, I must conclude the damage was there and allowed to pass QC and Wellenform. I’m hopeful that perhaps Schmidts can be translated slightly without preventing stereoscopic convergence. Otherwise letting this defect through is deeply disturbing.

Here is a snippet from Markus:
“ I doubt there is a chip, i bet what you believe is a chip, is the prism holder , the black cut out is on all shipped binoculars and it is not a chip, it is the holder”.

I gave him the benefit of the doubt...Perhaps despite my careful accompanying description, he had thought the chips are a reflection or a light etc?!

So I resent the same image but with the damage circled.

Doesn’t instill confidence at many levels. His asserting the image shows no damage but the same black prism holder that all the binoculars have. Nothing to stop him from saying “no damage” and refunding.

My preferred outcome is to have the defective prism replaced.

I guess I have to take their ultimatum and return the binoculars for inspection, and repair or refund. But I fear that I’ll get a refund and he’ll claim there was never any damage.

I’ve never had such an uncomfortable interaction with a company. I am needless to say disappointed.

What you have circled in red looks to me like either something is pressing tightly to one of the reflecting surfaces (holding bracket) or a screw or shaving has fallen on on a reflecting surface during shipping and simply left a grease mark.

Chips normally have rounded edges with concentric rings.

Pull off the covers and clean the reflective surfaces with acetone followed by alcohol. Use medical cotton swabs with wooden or paper sticks... and use lots of them.

I hope it’s is a simple solution you can fix yourself.

Edited by Mad Matt, 10 August 2019 - 11:22 AM.

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#195 uncledick

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 04:07 PM

Mike:

I recently took delivery of the 150, and am trying to sort out mount options. I have the big fork mount but am really interested in the TTS 160. I like the idea of goto and especially tracking. When using the fork mount do you find that object movement across the fov is an annoying problem ? In other words are you constantly having to manually adjust azimuth to keep an object in view at medium to high powers ? I haven't put mine on the fork mount yet, do don't yet have any experience with this issue. 

Advice appreciated,

thanks, 

Richard. 



#196 Greenflash1

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 05:19 PM

First photo shows prism below critical angle. The face of the prism that faces the objective rests in the aluminum milled supports (numbered 1-4 and green arrows). You can see the objective aperture of the tube in upper right quadrant. Pay attention to areas of milled supports of cell marked with red arrows, especially in lower left quadrant of the face. Note that the prism is cemented into the cell along the sides and top. The cell is bolted into the binocular body. Second photo is a close view of prism below critical angle. Next the camera was raised until the reflection of the objective began to appear in the lower left quadrant (third photo). Now the damaged areas began to appear as whitish patches, corresponding exactly to the corners of the milled supports (red arrows, first photo). One defect area is in the lower right, it is cosmetic. The second white patch at 9:00 prevents reflection of the objective image where the spot is. Fourth  photo is at higher angle again showing defect corresponding to corner of milled flat in the cell contacting the face of the prism. Whether the spot is damage to the glass by the milled supports, or whether it is grease on the milled support causing light to escape the prism, could not be determined without removing the prism from it’s cell. However, it is apparent the defect and the corner and lower part of the milled support coincide and align. Fifth and sixth photos are viewed through optical path of assembled binoculars, no eyepiece.

 

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#197 Rich V.

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 11:20 PM

Fourth  photo is at higher angle again showing defect corresponding to corner of milled flat in the cell contacting the face of the prism. Whether the spot is damage to the glass by the milled supports, or whether it is grease on the milled support causing light to escape the prism, could not be determined without removing the prism from it’s cell. However, it is apparent the defect and the corner and lower part of the milled support coincide and align. Fifth and sixth photos are viewed through optical path of assembled binoculars, no eyepiece.

 

Your assessment makes sense to me; the points marked by red arrows in photo 3 appear to be ground/gouged into the roof face's surface as you suspect. That explains the small triangular "frosted" patches that don't reflect. It sure makes you wonder how that happened.  If the glass is damaged, there's nothing they can do but figure out how the damage occurred to the face in the first place then replace the prism.  Not good news.

 

I'm still surprised the prism intrudes that much into the light path as well (photos 5 & 6}.  The prism is a huge chunk of glass but still seems that it gets in the way.  The edge of the prism body clearly makes the chordal intrusion which vignettes the light cone slightly. I haven't seen that prism edge intrusion in the smaller APM BTs sized for 1-1/4" eyepieces unless looking from way off axis.  Reminds me of the early 90° BTs that used penta / Porro II prisms.  They had a pronounced chordal cutoff as well

.

Worse, though, it appears the 90° roofline junction itself (the white vertical line in photos 3 & 4) is positioned so close it might be making its own chordal intrusion into the edge of the light cone at one point inside the prism.  You'd have to look dead square into the prism and housing to see where the roofline is located and I can't tell for sure.  If so, that would explain the spike on bright objects.  It would be the same effect as the roof spike seen commonly in ordinary roof binos. That design places the roof edge so it bisects the light cone. With a Schmidt roof design, the roofline is normally out of the way on either side of the incoming/outgoing light cone, not intruding at all. It's out of the light path on every other BT of this design I've seen.  Its intrusion even a tiny bit at the edge of the light path would cause this characteristic spike.


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#198 garret

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 03:12 AM

Did you see any difference between both Schmidt prism?

Did you check the Rhomboid prism for damage? can you measure the size of the aperture? (for 2" eyepieces it should be about 40mm minimum)

 

 

 

With a Schmidt roof design, the roofline is normally out of the way on either side of the incoming/outgoing light cone, not intruding at all. It's out of the light path on every other BT of this design I've seen.

In the APM 100mm ED binocular the intrusions are (almost all) hide by the 23mm wide Rhomboid prism aperture, hiding the roof edge almost completely. 

See also my images of the APM 100 prism in <My Gallery>

 

If you look through the eyepiece holder can you see the roof edge line on one side (both tubes)?


Edited by garret, 11 August 2019 - 08:01 AM.

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#199 Greenflash1

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 09:18 AM

The rhombs are clean. The left Schmidt is a mirror image if the right one. Interestingly it too has a few spots of similar scufffing on the face over the cell supports, but the spots are all outside the cone. The crucial support right behind the face that sends the light to the rhomb is currently undamaged in the left Schmidt. The 2” eyepiece accommodation of this current design places additional stringency on the elements near the edges of the light cone. Still, the defects show on the edges of the pupil on the TV Delos series eyepieces (1.25” eyepiece barrel) as well as the 2” UFF APM eyepieces that come with the bino. I will include an artificial star image. It’s a 300 micron hole though, will do a 50, 75, 100, 150, and 200 micron series of artificial stars when that mask mask arrives. Defocused Jupiter shows the damage spots as dark or light diffraction zones on the edge of the defocussed image but I wasn’t able to photograph.

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Edited by Greenflash1, 11 August 2019 - 09:24 AM.

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#200 Beg

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 11:47 AM

 Just send the thing back. Either get your money back or have them send you another one. At $8000 it should be their priority to make you happy. Dispute the charges if they don't.

 

End of story...........


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