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New RKE Collection

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#226 Russ S.

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Posted 10 March 2021 - 05:24 PM

I just find these eyepiece types/designs to be very frequently casually derided and/or dismissed in online astronomy forums, including CN.  --no?

I wasn't aware of that, and it seemed odd after pages of praise for them here. I think plossls can get a bad rap because of tight ER at short FL's, and from cheap/poorly manufactured examples, but I think that's pretty unfair too. As long as there isn't an inherent problem with them I'm not too concerned if they're unpopular just because, or not the current flavor of the month. Watch, in a couple years they'll be the cool thing to have like orthos now 


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#227 SandyHouTex

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Posted 10 March 2021 - 07:13 PM

Remember though that Japan had that same stigma attached to it in the earlier times, certainly when I was a kid the general consensus was that anything from Japan was basically junk (and if fact it pretty much was).  But look how they grew out of that and now everyone has the perception that they are so wonderful.  China's manufacturing is evolving along the same path.  Optics from there has been in the past not so robust or good.  That perception took hold IMO especially because of all the small independent makers that just threw junk together to sell and that overwhelmed the good from there.  But that is certainly not true today, especially when sourced from the mainstream manufacturers there that now have a deserved reputation.  I mean, I am seeing absolutely nothing less than excellent being produced by China when you look at things line the Explore Scientific offerings with their 68, 82, 100 degree lines, or the Baader Morpheus, or the Meade 5000 UWAs.  So when one chooses the larger more established optical makers there using contracts to them that enforce quality standards, they can produce stuff just as good as anyone really.  My opinion is that it is better to judge based on the individual brand, line, and sometimes down to the focal length instead of broad stroked generalizations at the national level.  People are people and businesses are businesses, best to judge them on individual merits rather than basing a judgement on the location of the planet where they are standing.

 

Some might point out that look at Tele Vue and how while the ES equivalents are close, they certainly are not up to that standard and say this is strong evidence that China's optical manufacturing is not as precise.  I would say that that is not evidence at all.  Tele Vue was first with some of these offering types, so when someone wants to compete with them which makes more sense, produce a same quality and performing product and offer at the same price and work hard to convert all their customers?  Or produce a product for a good deal less money that is not as good but fairly close?  Obviously the latter strategy will get you more sales and more profit.  So not an issue of that they cannot do it, just does not make business sense for them to be asked to do it.  Their manufacturing can produce whatever you want really, its just that some companies that are sourcing from there are not asking for their high quality capabilities but just want something to sell to make a quick buck.  So why it is important to really judge not the source of the manufacture but the company doing the branding because they are the ones that specified the level of quality to be produced.  So if you feel that Brand-X's wide field eyepieces that are made in China are junk, it is not the fault of the China based manufacturer, but of the Brand-X company because the quality they sold was the quality they specified!

I would argue that “now” is not “then”.  China can make good stuff if they want too.  They can also make junk.  I bought Orion EONs, an 80mm and the 120mm (the black ones from just before China held the Olympics in 2008), and they are phenomenal telescopes.  Excellent optically and mechanically.  But I am also an RC aircraft modeler, and just finished putting together an Almost Ready to Fly balsa and “Chinakote” Pitts Special Bi-plane.  A total piece of junk.  Many modelers actually strip the “Chinakote” off before assembly because it has a tendency to come off in flight!  On my model, parts were missing, things didn’t line up, etc., etc..  My point being, I can’t remember getting anything made in Japan that was even close too that bad.  In fact, my Tak telescopes,made in Japan eyepieces, and made in USA mounts (Losmandy) have been super right out of the box.  It also irritates me the way they treat their workers.  You see none of that in Japan, Taiwan, or the US.

 

China will never be Japan because of the way Chinese workers are treated.  In Japan it would be “dishonorable” to not do your best.  I don’ think the Chinese will ever have that “ethos”.


Edited by SandyHouTex, 10 March 2021 - 07:18 PM.


#228 Thomas_M44

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Posted 10 March 2021 - 07:43 PM

I would argue that “now” is not “then”.  China can make good stuff if they want too.  They can also make junk.  I bought Orion EONs, an 80mm and the 120mm (the black ones from just before China held the Olympics in 2008), and they are phenomenal telescopes.  Excellent optically and mechanically.  But I am also an RC aircraft modeler, and just finished putting together an Almost Ready to Fly balsa and “Chinakote” Pitts Special Bi-plane.  A total piece of junk.  Many modelers actually strip the “Chinakote” off before assembly because it has a tendency to come off in flight!  On my model, parts were missing, things didn’t line up, etc., etc..  My point being, I can’t remember getting anything made in Japan that was even close too that bad.  In fact, my Tak telescopes,made in Japan eyepieces, and made in USA mounts (Losmandy) have been super right out of the box.  It also irritates me the way they treat their workers.  You see none of that in Japan, Taiwan, or the US.

 

China will never be Japan because of the way Chinese workers are treated.  In Japan it would be “dishonorable” to not do your best.  I don’ think the Chinese will ever have that “ethos”.

I'm in substantial agreement with most (perhaps not all) of your points made.

 

Indeed, Japanese society has a unique cultural predilection towards placing a high value upon physical quality, refinement and perfectionism that strongly informs their engineering and manufacturing sectors.

 

After WWII the Japanese manufacturing sector wholeheartedly embraced the industrial management ideas of the visionary American professor of engineering and statistics Dr. W. Edwards Deming. Deming's key role in the organization of Japanese post-war industrial practices is often overlooked or underappreciated.  Ironically Deming's powerful organizational ideas were largely ignored by U.S. industrialists in the post-war era --and we saw the unfortunate crystallization of this resistance to innovation quite clearly in the realms of U.S. auto manufacturing, and the U.S. domestic steel industry etc by the 1970's

 

As far as issues of comparative labor rights and compensations, Japan vs China , I very much agree with your sentiments expressed


Edited by Thomas_M44, 10 March 2021 - 08:04 PM.

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#229 izar187

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Posted 11 March 2021 - 12:05 AM

Kinda gettin' far afield from New RKE collection.

Speculating merits of nation specific social economics in an international eyepiece forum.  


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#230 Russ S.

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Posted 15 March 2021 - 08:00 AM

Anyone know of a 50* EP shootout? The talk here of RKE's and the recent thread on TV plossls that mentioned pseudo Masuyamas and others has me very curious.  

I recently ran across an old Daniel Mounsey Planetary EP review from 2004 that compared many 50* options as well as orthos and some others. The winners were TV Plossls, the Zeiss abbe ortho, and RKE's! It's a pdf file here at CN, I tried posting a link but it didn't like it when I tried to copy/paste (I'm foiled by computers/technology again! confused1.gif ), but you can look it up if interested.  


Edited by Russ S., 15 March 2021 - 08:02 AM.

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#231 John Rogers

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Posted 15 March 2021 - 11:01 AM

I noticed a recent eBay listing showing that the RKE eyepiece is marked "Edmund Industrial Optics" versus "Edmund Scientific Co.".   Anyone know how long they have been marked this way?


Edited by John Rogers, 15 March 2021 - 11:02 AM.


#232 alancraig

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Posted 15 March 2021 - 02:26 PM

I noticed a recent eBay listing showing that the RKE eyepiece is marked "Edmund Industrial Optics" versus "Edmund Scientific Co.".   Anyone know how long they have been marked this way?

See post #151 in this thread for an explanation.


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#233 BillP

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Posted 15 March 2021 - 03:41 PM

China surely will continue to "up the game" in product quality and technical sophistication, but it will also surely be awhile before the "Chinese Junk" stigma is behind them.

Agree, the stigma will always last longer than the reality.  Have you seen the newest images from China's Mars probe Tianwen-1?  Impressive.  Two years ago Google claimed "quantum supremacy" with its quantum computer.  A year after Google, China announced a quantum computer with a speed that beat Google's by a factor of 10 billion!  So yes, the mistaken stigma will remain a while, but the current reality is really quite different.  And you have to remember that all the resellers here in consumer astronomy optics are using the junk producers in China as they want to keep the costs down, so when we are seeing IMO is really just indicative of the low end of their industry.  No one wants to use the higher end because, well guess what, it will cost the same as the premium stuff lol.gif


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#234 greenjuice

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Posted 15 March 2021 - 04:54 PM

Just received the 21.5 today. 
my goodness, what a beauty !

 

CDE8E1AE-1A41-4BB4-87AB-F20FA6C208E6.jpeg

 

 


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#235 John Rogers

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Posted 15 March 2021 - 04:59 PM

I recently ran across an old Daniel Mounsey Planetary EP review from 2004 that compared many 50* options as well as orthos and some others. The winners were TV Plossls, the Zeiss abbe ortho, and RKE's! It's a pdf file here at CN, I tried posting a link but it didn't like it when I tried to copy/paste (I'm foiled by computers/technology again! confused1.gif ), but you can look it up if interested.  

Thanks for the tip.  Here is the link: https://www.cloudyni...ryeyepieces.pdf

 

Here is a 2006 thread started by Daniel that might be of interest: https://www.cloudyni...ece-comparison/


Edited by John Rogers, 15 March 2021 - 05:03 PM.

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#236 Russ S.

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Posted 16 March 2021 - 08:46 AM

Thanks for the tip.  Here is the link: https://www.cloudyni...ryeyepieces.pdf

 

Here is a 2006 thread started by Daniel that might be of interest: https://www.cloudyni...ece-comparison/

Thanks for providing the follow up review, I hadn't read that one before. The RKE's come out with high marks, but apparently QC varied over the years with some being better than others. Does anyone know how the new ones from Edmund rate?

 

Also interesting is how the TV Plossl is his favorite. They also have the distinct advantage of being much more available and considerably cheaper than Brandons, Claves, XO's, and many of the other top performers, but also having great QC vs the more affordable RKE's.    


Edited by Russ S., 16 March 2021 - 08:48 AM.


#237 alancraig

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Posted 16 March 2021 - 02:33 PM

RKE 28mm (mounted) now back in stock. Just ordered one.

https://www.edmundop...epieces/12484/ 


Edited by alancraig, 16 March 2021 - 02:34 PM.

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#238 Thomas_M44

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Posted 16 March 2021 - 02:39 PM

Thanks for providing the follow up review, I hadn't read that one before. The RKE's come out with high marks, but apparently QC varied over the years with some being better than others. Does anyone know how the new ones from Edmund rate?

 

Also interesting is how the TV Plossl is his favorite. They also have the distinct advantage of being much more available and considerably cheaper than Brandons, Claves, XO's, and many of the other top performers, but also having great QC vs the more affordable RKE's.    

The Edmund RKE's made today all use Japanese-made lenses, and the quality seems to be consistently very good.


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#239 BillP

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Posted 16 March 2021 - 08:58 PM

The Edmund RKE's made today all use Japanese-made lenses, and the quality seems to be consistently very good.

Based on my recent experiences I agree.




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