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Moonraker refractors - see, want.

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#26 RichA

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Posted 24 January 2021 - 07:10 PM

A  Moonraker 6" F5  "Wideboy" is tempting me.

 

Has anyone here succumed to Moonrakers' steampunk charm?

Scopes like that are like artwork.  At first glance, it looks interesting, maybe even good.  But can you stand looking at it for a long time?  Plus, it makes the original TMB refractors look light by comparison, but that could be a trick of the finish fooling me.


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#27 RichA

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Posted 24 January 2021 - 07:19 PM

They associated their product with Simon Cowell.  They used the word, "bespoke" which is on the same level as the trendoid's use of "curated."  Shudder!...Still, the gold-plated Zeiss they show should sell well in Hong Kong, along with the gold-plated Leica cameras and a BMW (I kid you not) I saw there...I wonder though if there is any astronomical advantage to a polished shell for a scope as opposed to a white or black paint-job?


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#28 25585

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 08:56 AM

They associated their product with Simon Cowell.  They used the word, "bespoke" which is on the same level as the trendoid's use of "curated."  Shudder!...Still, the gold-plated Zeiss they show should sell well in Hong Kong, along with the gold-plated Leica cameras and a BMW (I kid you not) I saw there...I wonder though if there is any astronomical advantage to a polished shell for a scope as opposed to a white or black paint-job?

Bespoke means "custom" build. But for beautiful scopes, beautiful language is needed. If you can have good choices for vehicle paint, why not for other commodities?

 

My Tele Vue Renaissance brass OTAs look traditional and are great optically too. Refractors are (like eyepieces), not just tools but jewels. White tubes are fine, and I have 5 SW black diamond OTA refractors. 

 

A nice deep blue is an alternative that appeals to me. 


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#29 John Huntley

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 08:33 PM

I think the Moonrakers have a niche in the market which they do very well in.

 

It's not one that I'm personally that interested in though. I have seen a couple of Moonraker fracs and they do look striking and are undoubtedly well made.

 

I hope Mark Turner is well and thriving and continues that way smile.gif 


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#30 teashea

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 09:15 PM

HERE is a link to the Lowell observatory page. People can see for themselves the Moonraker red refractor set up along side other traditional telescopes. I will leave it up to each to decide which they like.  But there is no question which one stands out.

 

Bob

The mounts are all Astro Physics ---- I think that says something.


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#31 Katharine

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 09:15 PM

They associated their product with Simon Cowell.  They used the word, "bespoke" which is on the same level as the trendoid's use of "curated."  Shudder!...Still, the gold-plated Zeiss they show should sell well in Hong Kong, along with the gold-plated Leica cameras and a BMW (I kid you not) I saw there...I wonder though if there is any astronomical advantage to a polished shell for a scope as opposed to a white or black paint-job?

I have to say, I'm not impressed by all of the "featured in {name well-known popular-culture thing here}" claims or the posed-with-models pictures on their website, but the 'scopes themselves sure are pretty, and if they also perform well, then that would impress me.  smile.gif  (I'm not much of a follower so I don't care what other people like, but I do care what I like, and they make some striking and/or unusual instruments.)

 

There's probably not an astronomical advantage, but I daresay there's probably little practical advantage to anything we create to be attractive as well as serviceable...

 

 

Bespoke means "custom" build. But for beautiful scopes, beautiful language is needed. If you can have good choices for vehicle paint, why not for other commodities?

 

My Tele Vue Renaissance brass OTAs look traditional and are great optically too. Refractors are (like eyepieces), not just tools but jewels. White tubes are fine, and I have 5 SW black diamond OTA refractors. 

 

A nice deep blue is an alternative that appeals to me. 

More like, for probably-very-expensive scopes, sounds-highbrow language is needed... they're probably not going to convince their target audience with "we gon' build it the way you want it!"

 

I'm with you on the blue, though... I was thinking a royal blue would be very striking as well (though I do like the red a lot).


Edited by Katharine, 25 January 2021 - 09:16 PM.


#32 Bowlerhat

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 04:30 AM

Scopes like that are like artwork.  

Definitely is, because if thinking about practicality, it isn't. It's ornamental.

 

This is a non shiny, more practical build

https://www.cloudyni...ust-does-shiny/



#33 moonrakercat

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 05:25 AM

Wow - Mark definitely has a Niche - a very unique Niche to say the least.   And with hollywood as a client he can set his prices - what a great way to make a living.    I am curious as to his prices - I wonder what his scopes go for ?


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#34 Bowlerhat

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 02:23 PM

Wow - Mark definitely has a Niche - a very unique Niche to say the least.   And with hollywood as a client he can set his prices - what a great way to make a living.    I am curious as to his prices - I wonder what his scopes go for ?

It's a custom build so no set prices, starting from a couple thousands



#35 tag1260

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Posted 01 February 2021 - 05:50 PM

And optics are generally from pre-made scopes so nothing actually special about the optics. But they sure are purty!!!!!


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#36 Katharine

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Posted 02 February 2021 - 09:15 AM

Wow - Mark definitely has a Niche - a very unique Niche to say the least.   And with hollywood as a client he can set his prices - what a great way to make a living.    I am curious as to his prices - I wonder what his scopes go for ?

And really this seems a little odd.  "Hollywood" only needs a pretty tube that actors can pretend to look through... not a real instrument at all.  I mean, I suppose it's fun to be able to say, "Yep, that's a real telescope in that show/movie."  I suppose it depends on one's budget for props.


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#37 Krish Mandal

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Posted 02 February 2021 - 03:24 PM

I have been away for a very long time. I have not had time at the eyepiece all through the pandemic, and even before, it's been very sparse because of life in general.

 

That said, I happened to visit today after many months, and found this thread by chance.

 

I own a Moonraker. Mark Turner, who is the every-loving crazy inventor, is the creator of Moonraker scopes, and is a funny guy, all around gentleman, and good "human bean."

 

Here's a pic of the 6" scope he created for me:

atlas_and_starblazer.jpg
20150419143406__MG_5619.jpg
20150419143431__MG_5621.jpg

 

 
 

The design and build process was wonderful, sometimes feverish, sometimes I didn't hear from him for a couple of weeks, and it took months of calls and emails between the UK (where he is) and NYC (where I am). It was a compulsion and dream of mine, and I like "bespoke" things. Mark took my sketches, made them better. He walked me through ideas, and took some of mine and made them more doable. Some things which we were excited about, did not work out, because it was just not doable in the end. Price was not always a factor, but I wanted to keep it under a certain amount, I had gotten some $$ from an accident and was using that money.

 

In the end, I love my scope. BUT, be aware that this is built like a tank. My scope is about 5 feet long with the dew shield in place, and weighs 35 pounds. It is difficult for me to lift up on the mount without some help, because I'm a smaller frame, and the older I get the worse my wrists get.

 

This is currently not seeing a lot of use, but I am holding on to it for my next dream which would be to move to the Southwest US and have a house and observatory after the kids grow up and I retire, or at least am able to leave NYC.


Edited by Krish Mandal, 02 February 2021 - 03:25 PM.

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#38 Krish Mandal

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Posted 02 February 2021 - 03:30 PM

Wow - Mark definitely has a Niche - a very unique Niche to say the least.   And with hollywood as a client he can set his prices - what a great way to make a living.    I am curious as to his prices - I wonder what his scopes go for ?

Mark was intimating to me that Netflix had come to him after seeing some of his work, but he wasn't allowed to say for what project. This was the same time that he was building my scope. The following year, he was able to reveal that it was for the series "Altered Carbon." The series is interesting though I only got to see a few episodes before I had to give up for time's sake, but you can see his work in at least the first 2 episodes.


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#39 madcoverboy

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Posted 22 February 2021 - 12:01 AM

Just tried emailing him to get into his queue but got an error message saying his inbox is full. Anyone have a lead on an alternative email address in case spammers shut the one listed on the website down? Drop me a DM!



#40 rockethead26

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 04:03 PM

A couple more links 

 

https://www.cloudyni...ervatory-8-f12/

 

https://www.cloudyni...aker-in-action/

 

I don't know for sure who decided on red.  But Jim, rockethead26 on CN, was the main decision maker on the scopes and putting the Giovale Open Deck Observatory (GODO) all together.  I bet he picked the red.  It really stands out and is a beautiful red. 

Guilty!


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#41 rockethead26

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 04:26 PM


I own a Moonraker. Mark Turner, who is the every-loving crazy inventor, is the creator of Moonraker scopes, and is a funny guy, all around gentleman, and good "human bean."

 

 
 

Agreed! Krish, your scope is a true piece of art.

 

Here's Mark Turner on the day that he finished the 8" f/12 for Lowell Observatory sporting his tin hat. This was, of course, after he had a couple of pints!

 

Click on the pic for the best version.

 

 

Complete with Mark Turner.jpg


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#42 rowdy388

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 04:40 PM

I've seen the Moonraker displays at NEAF a couple of times. Very impressive. There were several different scopes set up, all very different and elaborate. The mounts

and tripods were a sight to behold as well as the refractors.


Edited by rowdy388, 23 February 2021 - 04:41 PM.

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#43 Krish Mandal

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 04:41 PM

Agreed! Krish, your scope is a true piece of art.

 

Here's Mark Turner on the day that he finished the 8" f/12 for Lowell Observatory sporting his tin hat. This was, of course, after he had a couple of pints!

 

Click on the pic for the best version.

 

 

attachicon.gifComplete with Mark Turner.jpg

Thanks Jim!

That red scope is seriously a beast, and red was often a favorite color of mine, though now I prefer the red/white/gray mix, or sometimes blue/yellow/gray (like Blue Angels fighter planes).



#44 Terra Nova

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 05:26 PM

Mark is an extremely talented artisan telescope maker. His scopes are truly works of art!


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#45 MCinAZ

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 11:43 PM

Here's Mark Turner on the day that he finished the 8" f/12 for Lowell Observatory sporting his tin hat. This was, of course, after he had a couple of pints!

So where's the picture of Yuri after he finished the TEC 140 (my personal favorite for image quality at GODO)?



#46 rockethead26

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Posted Yesterday, 09:38 AM

So where's the picture of Yuri after he finished the TEC 140 (my personal favorite for image quality at GODO)?

Good one. Yuri is kind of the quiet type and stays out of the spotlight, but he builds a heck of a telescope.



#47 blakestree

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Posted Yesterday, 09:41 AM

This thread is making me feel things!


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#48 Mitrovarr

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Posted Yesterday, 10:42 AM

I showed them to my wife, who is an artist and has a particular love of steampunk things. She wanted me to get one until she found out how expensive they were.


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#49 25585

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Posted Yesterday, 10:58 AM

I showed them to my wife, who is an artist and has a particular love of steampunk things. She wanted me to get one until she found out how expensive they were.

Depends on the lens of course....



#50 blakestree

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Posted Yesterday, 11:03 AM

I'm not even gonna look at how much they are.




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