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Why no Glass produced in the states, this explains it.

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#26 TOMDEY

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 01:44 AM

Really? Let's say the US found itself cut off by military blockade from the rest of the world, like in WW2. No optical glass from Germany, Japan, Russia or China. Where is the optical glass for all the binoculars, submarine periscopes, drone cameras, spyplanes, spy satellites, rifle scopes, laser range finders, night vision goggles, jet fighter HUDs, smart ordinance, and all other things optical the defence is going to need, going to come from? 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark

Anecdote from my dad, who worked at B&L before, during, and after WWII. Before declaring war, FDR put the USA on war production "Arsenal of Democracy". A Merchant Marine ship loaded with optics got sunk on the way over... a significant strategic loss. Thereafter, optical supplies were split up among several shipments, tagging along with other stuff. Optics were pretty high up on the important list. The per pound cost ($, effort, time) were very high... not to be loaded onto one ship anymore. Existential? Maybe not as much as a pair of A-Bombs, but still significant.

 

Lately, the word ~existential~ has been so watered-down, overused and hackneyed by politicians... that we might want to give it a rest for a few decades. A mask, nine justices, a wall, wind, hot, cold, wet, dry, washed hands... everything is declared existential, to the point where wise citizens just tune it all out.    Tom


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#27 25585

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 05:48 AM

Kodak is gone because they couldn’t replace the cash cow film was for them.

I miss Kodachrome 25 & 64, best colour slide film ever. Still use Kodak print film, still the only one to keep green green.


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#28 LDW47

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 07:35 AM

I don't think that Corning was scattered to the winds,

they are just manufacturing glass and ceramics for the best profit, https://www.corning....rldwide/en.html ,

leaving the glass materials we are using to the other manufacturers.

 

Best,

JG

They are smart people !


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#29 LDW47

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 07:38 AM

I miss Kodachrome 25 & 64, best colour slide film ever. Still use Kodak print film, still the only one to keep green green.

I mostly used Ektachrome asa ?  


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#30 alphatripleplus

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 08:01 AM

ED glass has nothing to do with telescopes, it's all about camera lenses.  The telescope market takes advantage of the ED glass developed for the lenses but is a tiny market.

 

Jon

That is a good point and one that is sometimes overlooked.


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#31 Astrojensen

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 08:57 AM

ED glass has nothing to do with telescopes, it's all about camera lenses.  The telescope market takes advantage of the ED glass developed for the lenses but is a tiny market.

 

Jon

It's very ironic that modern glass technology began, because astronomers couldn't get glass that met their needs. Now astronomers (at least the amateurs) have to play second fiddle and be satisfied with whatever the industry decides to make. 

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark


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#32 vahe

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 09:18 AM

I mostly used Ektachrome asa ?  

 

I was born in the Middle East, back in the mid fifties I used both Kodachrome (ASA-10, K25 and K64 came later) and Ektachrome, when I moved to USA I brought all my color slides with me, all my Kodachromes have remained perfect with no sign of fading, ALL Ektachromes have faded into brown and white slides, the greens, blues and reds are gone, no exceptions.

.

Vahe


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#33 LDW47

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 09:35 AM

I was born in the Middle East, back in the mid fifties I used both Kodachrome (ASA-10, K25 and K64 came later) and Ektachrome, when I moved to USA I brought all my color slides with me, all my Kodachromes have remained perfect with no sign of fading, ALL Ektachromes have faded into brown and white slides, the greens, blues and reds are gone, no exceptions.

.

Vahe

Mine are still quite legible but they stay in a constant climate in my house.


Edited by LDW47, 11 October 2020 - 09:36 AM.

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#34 Brent Campbell

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 09:56 AM

And the problem with that is what?

Seriously a lot of people need to wake up.

If [say] China removes Taiwan from the global equation where's your smart phones [sic] going to come from.The same place as your pandemic?? Get real.

So your saying the pandemic is some evil plot instead of being just a virus?  Ridiculous!  And don’t forget that the next pandemic could come from India , China, Africa, Mexico, or even the United States.  Pandemics don’t care about countries.
 

When the CIA wanted to build the SR 71 guess where most of the titanium needed to build the planes came from?  It was bought from the Russians through shell corporations.  The reason there isn’t any optical glass in the us is that there isn’t any market for it.  I guarantee that if we needed optical glass for a war effort and we couldn’t get it abroad the us government Would find a way.   



#35 Brent Campbell

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 09:59 AM

Andrew, not sure if your reply was tongue and cheek or not.

Either way, the issue is that the last few Generations have been "spoiled" by the cheap influx of good from China and other less expensive Countries. These Generations (I included) would have a hard time going back to buying local as you'd only get 1/4th (or less) for the same cost.

 

It could be done but are people willing to give up how far the Dollar goes to do it?    From what I see in N.America the answer is no.

Bafore China there was Japan.  The answer is no.



#36 KI5CAW

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 10:00 AM

Kodak's demise was the epitome of the effects of short term corporate thinking. They emphasized short term profits (film) over long term investments (digital). Their market was much larger than the specialty glass market.

That being said, I still shoot black and white film, and T Max 100 is the world's best film. America can still produce the best...if we care to. The philosophy of the huge corporations and that of every day Americans could not be more different...the people still care, at least some of us. If there suddenly appeared a market for ED glass there are Americans who would step up to the plate.


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#37 j.gardavsky

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 10:19 AM

I miss Kodachrome 25 & 64, best colour slide film ever. Still use Kodak print film, still the only one to keep green green.

Still keeping some old E200 rolls in the fridge, they used to be the best choice for the classic astrophotography of the nebulae.

 

And keeping thousands of slides with the landscape photos for my both old Leitz and Leica slide projectors,

and one extra big screen to see the landscape photos in the true perspective, with the snow white white and skies blue blue.

 

JG


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#38 Neptune

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 12:12 PM

Yup...time for legislation requiring national registration of optical equipment in the hands of the peoples so the government knows where you are and what you have if they need to take your optics for national needs! 
 

https://www.trtworld...-minerals-40334

 

From your first https://www.osa-opn....ptics_industry/

From your first link above...

 

"Meanwhile, the US’s only mine was shut down in 2015, and was sold to an American group funded by China’s Shenghe Resource Holding two years later. It has since resumed production, and it now ships minerals to China’s refineries."

 

In my opinion, this goes to show again our short sightedness.  Got to get that dollar. Don't care about the future. Live for the moment.

 

This such a change from our past when it was a positive thing to be free from another countries dependance.


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#39 garret

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 12:13 PM

 

Worst glass for homogeneity is heavy dense flints and lanthanum glasses.

How good or bad is the quality of Lanthanum glass is certain eyepieces?



#40 BillP

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 12:16 PM

When the CIA wanted to build the SR 71 guess where most of the titanium needed to build the planes came from?  It was bought from the Russians through shell corporations.  The reason there isn’t any optical glass in the us is that there isn’t any market for it.  I guarantee that if we needed optical glass for a war effort and we couldn’t get it abroad the us government Would find a way.   

The strategic reserves has optical glass as well as the various rare earth elements, so we are covered for any emergencies.  Many local US glass companies also keep large stocks of optical glass as well.  Was on one site a few days ago and one company kept 40,000 pounds of glass blanks up to 25" for optics.  So if any political drama happens am sure we have much more supply than needed for national defense needs to weather anything.


Edited by BillP, 11 October 2020 - 12:17 PM.

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#41 alphatripleplus

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 12:25 PM

Makes sense as optical glass can be stored in reserve for long periods relatively easily.


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#42 RLK1

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 02:16 PM

So your saying the pandemic is some evil plot instead of being just a virus?  Ridiculous!  And don’t forget that the next pandemic could come from India , China, Africa, Mexico, or even the United States.  Pandemics don’t care about countries.
 

When the CIA wanted to build the SR 71 guess where most of the titanium needed to build the planes came from?  It was bought from the Russians through shell corporations.  The reason there isn’t any optical glass in the us is that there isn’t any market for it.  I guarantee that if we needed optical glass for a war effort and we couldn’t get it abroad the us government Would find a way.   

Agreed, and Corning doesn't produce pyrex glass for amateur mirrors anymore for the same reason. As an aside on the Russian commentary and the SR 71, I understand that was a bit of a tit-for-tat, too in that the Russians had spy satellites overhead equipped with infra red and thermal imaging cameras. Although the mock-up of the SR 71 was under a tarp, the shade underneath was cooler than the surrounding sand and the Russians were able to discern its outline and apparent dimensions. And from that, they were able to calculate all sorts of stuff about the plane. Soo, the titanium component, relatively available in Russia, was also sourced there, in a covert manner described above.

Coming back on topic, I noted this from a review of the  Russian TAL 24mm eyepiece, "There is a notable degree of amber tone through the glass. This is a bit more so than the "tinted" Tele Vue Radian product, in comparison. From what I've heard it said, this is by way of a larger amount of elemental barium common to Russian glass. In my opinion, this point is the only seemingly significant drawback to the eyepiece.

What happens is that the thick cross section of glasses, using this high content of barium, somewhat alters color transmission, brightness and contrast of integrated light going through it. In a direct in-the-field comparison, a 6-element Meade 24.5mm Super Wide Angle gave brighter and whiter views with a bit more detail seen in nebula."

https://www.cloudyni...m-eyepiece-r330

I don't know what issues there may be with barium in glass these days, if any, but apparently one finds its way into the glass used in a fine Russian eyepiece... 


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#43 TOMDEY

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 02:38 PM

Do I recall correctly that Kodak once provided CCD conversions for other cameras?

They came out with the DCS camera which was a Kodak sensor / Nikon camera hybrid. That was one of the first digital cameras used by photo journalists. They later came out with a Canon version. They made some very good professional sensors. I still have and use a Phase One back with a Kodak sensor. It’s still better than anything currently offered by Canon or Nikon. I know some of their sensors were used in CCD astrophotography cameras. I think their problem was they realized as digital cameras improved it would undermine and eliminate their film and print business so their initial efforts were as if they had one hand behind their back.

Yes, we actually used a couple of the very first Nikon versions for our photodocs. Even got ~select~ best full-frame chips (KAFs?). My recollection is that they cost something like $20K each, and were all the rage. Considering how long ago that was... for their brief moment in the sun... the best darned coveted "professional" cameras around! Just a few years later they were retired as obsolete; I acquired the array, deftly stripping it from the body... and integrating it into my astronomy camera! Then went to back-thinned, and even bigger KAF16803 etc. etc. And the arrays on our deliverables completely dwarfed those little guys.

 

I lament the demise of the wonderful Kodak Tech Pan films, the 35mm version (TP2415) and also the 4x5 sheet film. Got a lot of really good pictures with that stuff!    Tom


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#44 Starhawk

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 03:47 PM

We hear this sort of thing quite frequently, about many things- mainly because people don't take a moment to find out what they are used for, and what uses are growing.

 

-Rich

 

BUT, if your company does not buy its material economically, it ceases to exist, losing to more economically competitors, and ALL local jobs go extinct.  Adam Smith is right!

 

The key is probably that US does NOT have customers of this high cost material, while Japan has Canon, Nikon, Pentax, ...  There could also be regulatory cost differences and litigious nature of the US.

 

Optical glass is not a existential, strategic product.



#45 Paul Hyndman

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 03:50 PM

 

 

 

... I lament the demise of the wonderful Kodak Tech Pan films, the 35mm version (TP2415) and also the 4x5 sheet film. Got a lot of really good pictures with that stuff!    Tom

Mmmm... 4x5 Gas-Hypered Tech Pan, manually guided shots, and not knowing for sure if you actually had a good session until everything was schlepped back indoors and the film developed.... then trying to gather a few ZZZs before heading off to work in the morning!.

 

We sure have it good today, but oh to be young again! gramps.gif


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#46 daquad

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 04:07 PM

Anecdote from my dad, who worked at B&L before, during, and after WWII. Before declaring war, FDR put the USA on war production "Arsenal of Democracy". A Merchant Marine ship loaded with optics got sunk on the way over... a significant strategic loss. Thereafter, optical supplies were split up among several shipments, tagging along with other stuff. Optics were pretty high up on the important list. The per pound cost ($, effort, time) were very high... not to be loaded onto one ship anymore. Existential? Maybe not as much as a pair of A-Bombs, but still significant.

 

Lately, the word ~existential~ has been so watered-down, overused and hackneyed by politicians... that we might want to give it a rest for a few decades. A mask, nine justices, a wall, wind, hot, cold, wet, dry, washed hands... everything is declared existential, to the point where wise citizens just tune it all out.    Tom

Right. And I bet most couldn't even define existential and if they could, still use it incorrectly.  

 

"Optical glass is not a existential, strategic product."  I read this as "Optical glass is not a strategic product [not true] grounded in experience.  ???????

 

Dom Q.



#47 j.gardavsky

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 04:25 PM

How good or bad is the quality of Lanthanum glass is certain eyepieces?

Lanthanum oxide La2O3 is just one of the substances in the high refractive index glass materials with the medium Abbe numbers

 

 

Continent+of+Optical+Glasses.jpg

 

 

(From Continent of Optical Glasses, Ernst Barnack, Leica)

 

 

It should be basically o.k., as not many are manufacturing the Lanthanum glass materials.

 

On a side line, "lanthanum" became often the unique selling proposition in marketing.

An alternative might be to call it "zirconia glass". "Borosilicate cesium glass" might recall something like the atomic fallout, avoid it.

 

JG


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#48 Starhawk

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 04:51 PM

Makes sense as optical glass can be stored in reserve for long periods relatively easily.

One would think this about a wide range of materials, but our friends at the Harvard School of Business have hammered it in to everyone for a generation that keeping any inventory of any raw materials, refined feed stock, or finished parts, anywhere in the production chain, from any source, is evil and wasteful, and that Just In Time (JIT) is the only way to do anything.  So, if you try suggesting stocking some raw material you routinely wind up scouring the Earth for any time any point in the supply chain hits a snag, you're told, "No one does that.  It isn't cost effective." The answer doesn't change even if that was going to be $300 worth of floor space for something costing over $100/ lb you'll end up spending an additional $250,000 for on for a custom mill run at a new supplier and task three engineers to look after it when the usual supplier gets a much bigger order than yours and starts ignoring you, as happens about every 3 years.  I've also learned by direct experience, you still can't talk anyone into this when the current conditions have caused the raw material cost to drop to a past century low, to a point where it could be a decisive contract-winning pricing advantage you could hold for the better part of a century for a surprisingly small investment.

 

And it doesn't have to be glass or metal- this is also why having 2% of the population panic-buy extra toilet paper on a couple weekends caused a gap in supply still rippling 6 months later, as the entire supply chain was only able to produce that product at exactly the rate it was being bought, and there was no reserve supply of any element at any level.  So, the production recovery can only happen at the rate people with vast stockpiles they've been forced to recognize may be more than they can use in their remaining lifespan, aren't buying, thus producing a slight over production by only the percentage of the population which went on panic buys and has since stopped buying.  In the meantime, the raw materials are needed for things like N95 masks, so no expansion in production can happen, which means lots of anger and vitriol sent at that industry while they literally can't help themselves without making things even worse.

 

So, this is also why trying to determine what is a "Strategic material" based on one single use isn't accurate, and finding the cheapest mode of supply may not be either the best business answer, or the best societal answer.  I really expect people to take some long term lessons from this- and to warn the youngsters about outsmarting themselves with perfect, but brittle, answers.

 

-Rich


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#49 TOMDEY

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 06:49 PM

Astronomers saving glass for a rainy day... somehow... somehow... ?    Tom



#50 piaras

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 07:39 PM

As one sells their assets to their competitors, they drive themselves to extinction. The successful companies and countries are buying their competitors and thinking long term, in the 50-100 year scale. 
Pierre


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