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#1 clusterbuster

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 11:45 PM

I have often wondered about some of the reviews that some people post.

(have they made sure that the Telescope was collimated ?)

( did they let the Telescope acclimate properly ? )

 You just never know the circumstances really. 

A review on a Telescope should be given ONLY after many sessions of observing with it.

 My Meade 7" Mak is excellent, although GOOD SEEING ( do to f/15 ( powerful ) ) is very important... and it must be acclimated properly. The built in fan does a nice job !

It seems to me that a lot of people take equipment out and just give their views of what they think AT THE MOMENT !

Astronomy has taught me patience more than any other hobby that I have ever had, and I also know that there are GREAT observing nights, although they don't happen every night.

 So I am the kind of guy that looks at REVIEWS with a little caution.

Mark

 



#2 David Knisely

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 12:16 AM

It depends.  For the reviews from the more "vetted" Cloudynights contributors who post reviews in the CN REPORTS section, I think that their reviews carry considerable weight.  Also, if you have been reading the various reviews over quite a bit of time, from what is written, it is sometimes quite obvious which reviews can probably be trusted and which might need to be taken with a grain of salt.  Clear skies to you.


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#3 clusterbuster

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 03:43 AM

It depends.  For the reviews from the more "vetted" Cloudynights contributors who post reviews in the CN REPORTS section, I think that their reviews carry considerable weight.  Also, if you have been reading the various reviews over quite a bit of time, from what is written, it is sometimes quite obvious which reviews can probably be trusted and which might need to be taken with a grain of salt.  Clear skies to you.

Yes.. That goes without saying.. There are many CN veteran observers .. And knowing the level of their skills and time spent observing..We know they are giving good reviews.. Unfortunately there are people out there giving reviews that don't really know the complexities of equipment.. And that is what I was referring to.

Thx

Mark


Edited by clusterbuster, 25 April 2019 - 03:45 AM.


#4 edwincjones

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 04:23 AM

Yes.. That goes without saying.. There are many CN veteran observers .. And knowing the level of their skills and time spent observing..We know they are giving good reviews.. Unfortunately there are people out there giving reviews that don't really know the complexities of equipment.. And that is what I was referring to.

Thx

Mark

We have both types, the "better" quality reviews, and the more informal quantity reviews.

 

If we have 99  "I like it" reviews and only 1" I do not like it" review,

thenI think it is a pretty good product or at least one worth considering.

We all have our opinions, some less specific than others, but all worthwhile .

 

Up to the reader to decide how valuable that opinion/review is.

 

edj


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#5 Keith Rivich

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 07:35 AM

I have often wondered about some of the reviews that some people post.

(have they made sure that the Telescope was collimated ?)

( did they let the Telescope acclimate properly ? )

 You just never know the circumstances really. 

A review on a Telescope should be given ONLY after many sessions of observing with it.

 My Meade 7" Mak is excellent, although GOOD SEEING ( do to f/15 ( powerful ) ) is very important... and it must be acclimated properly. The built in fan does a nice job !

It seems to me that a lot of people take equipment out and just give their views of what they think AT THE MOMENT !

Astronomy has taught me patience more than any other hobby that I have ever had, and I also know that there are GREAT observing nights, although they don't happen every night.

 So I am the kind of guy that looks at REVIEWS with a little caution.

Mark

And I have always wondered how the makers of these products deal with comments posted on forums. Both positive and negative. A few choice words on these pages could make or break a product.


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#6 clusterbuster

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 09:27 AM

And I have always wondered how the makers of these products deal with comments posted on forums. Both positive and negative. A few choice words on these pages could make or break a product.

Keith,

 Thank You... This is exactly what I am talking about.. Astronomy Equipment has to be optimised fully ( collimation, acclimation, sky conditions, etc.).

 I remember about 4 years ago, a guy was reviewing an Eyepiece and he actually stated that it was very cold out, so he was looking through the kitchen window !!!

The reason for my post is that there are a lot of people that are giving reviews, many of them brand new in the hobby,  and Astronomy equipment should not be reviewed by someone that doesn't understand all of the complexities of Telescopes and Accessories.

Mark



#7 Binojunky

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 09:31 AM

Reviews are only the opinion of the reviewer, which in a lot of cases is to be taken with a very large pinch of salt, its the same with all these so called experts we are bombarded with in daily life, the vast majority are expert at mostly nothing.D.


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#8 vdog

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 09:50 AM

I trust information (including product reviews and recommendations) from CN much more than reviews on vendor websites.  Seriously, read through some review pages on Amazon; it can be quite entertaining.  Look for these categories:

 

Those that sound like commercials (obviously written by the vendor or manufacturer), e.g.,  "If you want a great _______ that's perfect for _________, the _______ is the _______ for you!"

 

Those that are way too hyperbolic to take seriously, e.g., "This _______ ruined my life!"

 

Those written by people fixated on the least important details, e.g., "The dustcaps are trash!"  (Seriously, I actually read this in a review.  You know, most people take those off before they use the product, but, hey, whatever works for you.)

 

In between these useless comments, there can be some genuinely useful information, but you have to sift through it pretty carefully.


Edited by vdog, 25 April 2019 - 09:51 AM.

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#9 desertlens

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 12:49 PM

An old rule in academia applies here; multiple sources. Discard the most hyperbolic reviews and look for consensus in what remains.


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#10 Keith Rivich

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 01:55 PM

Reviews are only the opinion of the reviewer, which in a lot of cases is to be taken with a very large pinch of salt, its the same with all these so called experts we are bombarded with in daily life, the vast majority are expert at mostly nothing.D.

A well written review will usually stipulate how the equipment was acquired, condition of shipping and so forth. The reviewer will also go over pros and cons with equal aplomb.

 

The comments I cringe on are in the forums where one may start a topic (or post a comment):

 

"The (insert product here) I bought is a real piece of junk, I wouldn't recommend buying" 

 

That one comment could lead to disaster for the vendor. We are a very small community and every purchase is important.  Perhaps the item is junk. Perhaps the person who bought the item does not know how to use it. Maybe the product purchased was defective but is otherwise sound. Who knows.

 

Maybe this is a tempest in a teacup.

 

Vendors, do you see any increase or decrease in certain product purchases following reviews (good or bad) or after harsh comments on a product you sell?



#11 zleonis

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 04:05 PM

I agree that the most helpful reviews are those that are methodical and describe the conditions in which the equipment was used. It takes an experienced and attentive reviewer to write what I'd consider an authoritative review (I'm certainly not qualified myself).

 

But I do think that the impressions of inexperienced equipment can be constructive if the poster is open about their experience and observing conditions, and is cautious in making conclusions. For me, one of the best parts of cloudy nights is 1) the openness to questions/contributions from less experienced members (I've never encountered anything quite like it on internet forums) and 2) the way the community can create useful knowledge around uninformed questions or opinions. I remember my excitement when I got my first telescope, and I was glad that the community indulged me posting about it. I certainly agree that the person who reviewed an eyepiece based on observations made indoors(?!) was misguided, but I imagine that a complete newbie who read those posts would learn valuable insights like the importance of thermal acclimation, tips for staying warm, why you shouldn't observe through a glass window, etc. Even the most pedestrian topics will usually attract thoughtful posts from experienced observers, the best of whom gently offer corrective viewpoints that make the topic a useful read. 


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#12 csa/montana

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 04:37 PM

Moved to Equipment for better fit.



#13 RussL

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 06:31 AM

What gets me is if you do know what you're talking about and then your review is criticized. I once reviewed an eyepiece, saying that the off-axis clarity was good only to about 50% out. Then, someone came back and said that that wasn't true, and that theirs was good nearly to the edge. I'm not an eyepiece expert, but I had just explained that I was using mine in a 5-inch f5 achromatic refractor. I had also explained how I tested it and that my scope was apparently collimated due to star tests. I also described the sky conditions under which I had tested it on several occasions. Never did I didn't try to discuss anything that was beyond my knowledge. I guess the other person didn't know as much as I did. Turns out they were using a long refractor which naturally produced better results. Ugh.

#14 Jond105

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 07:03 AM

I suck at giving reviews. But I still write them. I give more of how I feel about the scope or eyepiece or mount itself while looking through the eyepiece or using a mount, rather than going to technical. People should take everything I write with a grain of salt. And I’m sure everyone already does. But I am an amateur astronomer on an amateur astronomer website. So it comes with the title I guess. 


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#15 AhBok

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 07:30 AM

This is the nature of open forums like CN. I look at the highest and lowest ratings and discard them as outliers. Then I look at the totality of the middle to base my opinion.
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#16 csrlice12

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 10:26 AM

You'll know what I think if I take a quick look and back away clawing my eyes out or if you have to forcibly remove me from the scope.


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#17 Allan Wade

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 08:30 AM

I don’t take too much notice of reviews. I like to buy equipment I’m interested in and try it for myself using my eyes under my observing conditions. I’ve tried a lot of eyepieces that way, and sold a lot of them off again. A bunch made the grade and they have become my keepers. I never would have built the eyepiece collection I have based on other people’s reviews.


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#18 Starrynightsky

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 08:13 PM

Take reviewing salt as an example, can we use the term "grain of salt? Salt is not a grain, it's a crystal.  A grain is a seed. Sodium chloride crystals are cubic in form. Table salt consists of tiny cubes tightly bound together through ionic bonding of the sodium and chloride ions. The salt crystal is often used as an example of crystalline structure. So should we not say a "A pinch of salt, rather than a grain." reviewing salt from an experienced salt user. Sorry,  couldn't resist. 


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#19 Phil Cowell

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 09:16 PM

Keith,

 Thank You... This is exactly what I am talking about.. Astronomy Equipment has to be optimised fully ( collimation, acclimation, sky conditions, etc.).

 I remember about 4 years ago, a guy was reviewing an Eyepiece and he actually stated that it was very cold out, so he was looking through the kitchen window !!!

The reason for my post is that there are a lot of people that are giving reviews, many of them brand new in the hobby,  and Astronomy equipment should not be reviewed by someone that doesn't understand all of the complexities of Telescopes and Accessories.

Mark

There should also be a know reference to compare it against if you want to have any metric. Also what are the reviewers eyes like? A fine scope could get trashed due to the reviewers eyes. Greg N did very well on the CFF 92 and looked to compare if I remember with a similar spec reference scope (might have been the TMB92SS). 

Its also not just optics, how does the focused feel? Build quality. Does it hold small, medium and large load cameras.

How is it visually? How is it for EAA and how is it for imaging?

 

There are many variables and any review tends to be subjective.

 

Every review has value, a visual review might not be of much use to an EAA, NV or imaging user. Each review is one more data point. 

 

 


Edited by Phil Cowell, 28 April 2019 - 09:21 PM.


#20 Phil Cowell

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 09:30 PM

What gets me is if you do know what you're talking about and then your review is criticized. I once reviewed an eyepiece, saying that the off-axis clarity was good only to about 50% out. Then, someone came back and said that that wasn't true, and that theirs was good nearly to the edge. I'm not an eyepiece expert, but I had just explained that I was using mine in a 5-inch f5 achromatic refractor. I had also explained how I tested it and that my scope was apparently collimated due to star tests. I also described the sky conditions under which I had tested it on several occasions. Never did I didn't try to discuss anything that was beyond my knowledge. I guess the other person didn't know as much as I did. Turns out they were using a long refractor which naturally produced better results. Ugh.

You gave an honest review, can’t be faulted for that. You included conditions and your assessment. Sometimes folks just post pictures of the hardware or software they are reviewing. A good set of pictures can be priceless.

 

Different scopes can completely change results of a eyepiece for example. A delite in a TEC 140 would give a different result than in a Galileoscope. Both are valid though.




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