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What is the most over rated scope from the 60's and 70's era.

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#101 CaptKirk

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Posted 02 May 2021 - 09:18 PM

Someone in this industry I know used to say that the Questar was state-of-the-art 1954 technology unhampered by progress

I need to remember this for my next star party!



#102 SteveGR

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 11:32 AM

The Q is a very nice scope that is more beautiful to look at then many scopes. It is the estatics and engineering that went into developing the Q that makes it so different to other simple scopes.  To compare it on how the optics compare to other scopes does not justify what one has when they have a Q.  The Q is an engineering work of art.

"that To compare it on how the optics compare to other scopes does not justify what one has when they have a Q".

 

Purely subjective! smile.gif  A telescope is a visual instrument, so I have to disagree a bit.  I get why some people love them, and hey, good on you.  For me, the look through factor is always exponentially more important than the look at factor. Which is probably why the Questar has never really grabbed me.  I'm thrifty, so I always thought I could get more optical bang for my buck elsewhere.  Which is why I take the "over-rated" position.  But this is All subjective unless we solely focused on optical testing aside from everything else and what fun would that be?

 

That said, if I ever get around to the DIY scope I am thinking about, it will be something to look at. smile.gif   I'll go with Fender guitar colors, probably Surf Green, though maybe Shell Pink depending on how the whim takes me. Accents the color of the scratch plate.  Got to liven up those Star Parties!

 

Edit:  Gretsch Orange is not beyond the realm of possibility. But people would probably think I was trying to make it look like a Celestron. smile.gif


Edited by SteveGR, 05 May 2021 - 11:36 AM.

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#103 starman876

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 12:25 PM

"that To compare it on how the optics compare to other scopes does not justify what one has when they have a Q".

 

Purely subjective! smile.gif  A telescope is a visual instrument, so I have to disagree a bit.  I get why some people love them, and hey, good on you.  For me, the look through factor is always exponentially more important than the look at factor. Which is probably why the Questar has never really grabbed me.  I'm thrifty, so I always thought I could get more optical bang for my buck elsewhere.  Which is why I take the "over-rated" position.  But this is All subjective unless we solely focused on optical testing aside from everything else and what fun would that be?

 

That said, if I ever get around to the DIY scope I am thinking about, it will be something to look at. smile.gif   I'll go with Fender guitar colors, probably Surf Green, though maybe Shell Pink depending on how the whim takes me. Accents the color of the scratch plate.  Got to liven up those Star Parties!

 

Edit:  Gretsch Orange is not beyond the realm of possibility. But people would probably think I was trying to make it look like a Celestron. smile.gif

I will stick to the Questar with its standard configuration which goes nicely in the study.  It is truly a work of art.  Hard to explain unless you have one.  There are other scopes which are beautiful to look at and look through.  Those are the kind of scopes I love to use and display.


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#104 SteveGR

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 01:30 PM

I will stick to the Questar with its standard configuration which goes nicely in the study.  It is truly a work of art.  Hard to explain unless you have one.  There are other scopes which are beautiful to look at and look through.  Those are the kind of scopes I love to use and display.

You sure? Maybe a tube with some Hot Rod flames?

smile.gif



#105 starman876

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 01:34 PM

You sure? Maybe a tube with some Hot Rod flames?

smile.gif

4.gif



#106 Kasmos

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 01:56 PM

I could see someone adding some tasteful and limited pin striping but Hot Rod flames?....

 

Vomit.jpeg


Edited by Kasmos, 05 May 2021 - 01:56 PM.


#107 Bomber Bob

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 02:47 PM

I was thinking the same thing. 

 

I go back and forth on the thought of ever owning one, as they say you can't knock it if you never tried it.

 

On a side note. You really seem to love your C80 as it's been posted and praised quite often lately. I no longer see your list of active scopes but assume you still have some APOs. So why is the C80 getting so much use and no mention of any of the APOs lately?

My FC-50 is my only APO right now.  Why the C80 so much?  Jupiter & Saturn in the morning.  C80 + Vixen Turret + Mizar SP is SO DARN LIGHT & versatile that I can pop down to the SE corner of the backyard, grab some Excellent quick views in half an hour while I have my 1st cup of coffee, and still get to work on time.


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#108 woodsman

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 03:59 PM

I don't know of any scope more excoriated than it.  I'd hardly call them overrated.

That's a good point.  I have a number of SCTs and I can't even imagine the number of times SCTs are ripped to shreds by Newtonian owners and Dob owners who just bash on the optical systems.  How can they be considered overrated when so many people literally hate them!  LOL 

 

In my case I love 'em.  I've tried to use Long tube Newtonians and in all honesty they are a pain in the **** to setup. 

 

For the money, and the ease of setup, I'll take an SCT over any other design for what it is capable of doing. 

 

Is it the greatest design for everything?  No, but overall it can give fine views of planets, and it will bring in so many DSOs it ain't even funny. Under dark skies it performs spectacularly IMO, and I can get pretty good magnifications with the longer focal length it has compared to many other designs, plus I'm not on the ground when I'm looking at objects directly overhead the way I would be with a long focus refractor. 

 

Overall, I'll keep my SCTs.  grin.gif


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#109 Bomber Bob

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 05:32 PM

For the money, and the ease of setup, I'll take an SCT over any other design for what it is capable of doing.

 

A few years ago, decent condition C8s were going for about $300 -- often with the trunk / case. Seemed crazy then, but similar-age C5s were often a bit more... WITW?  Pretty good aperture to cost ratio used...

 

Setup for me was a wash between the C5 + wedge + tripod versus a Kenko 125C + Kenko GEM & tripod versus a 4" F10 refractor + GEM & tripod versus a C4.5N + Polaris GEM & tripod...  All smallish scopes with similar capabilities.

 

In SxSs, I found the Kenko 5" Corrected Dall-Kirkham gave better planetary views at the same powers than the 2 different C5s -- a 1976 Orange Tube Astro & a 1980s White Tube Spotter -- I had at the time.  OTOH, I preferred the views of nebulae & galaxies in the C5 Astro to the Kenko CDK.  Another kinda wash.

 

For high-power planetary, a 4" F10 refractor is the best of this bunch.  With careful shopping, it can come in a bit cheaper than a comparable C5 rig.  It can be easier to set up.  Eyepiece placement at the zenith may be less comfortable than a C5 fork-mounted.

 

IOW:  No perfect scopes -- and no surprises there.  Were SCTs overrated?  IMO, in the initial years, and later around Halley's Comet, Yes.  Personally, I tried them - and other CATs - and didn't keep them.  But, I don't do much digital imaging, either.


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#110 CHASLX200

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 06:01 PM

"that To compare it on how the optics compare to other scopes does not justify what one has when they have a Q".

 

Purely subjective! smile.gif  A telescope is a visual instrument, so I have to disagree a bit.  I get why some people love them, and hey, good on you.  For me, the look through factor is always exponentially more important than the look at factor. Which is probably why the Questar has never really grabbed me.  I'm thrifty, so I always thought I could get more optical bang for my buck elsewhere.  Which is why I take the "over-rated" position.  But this is All subjective unless we solely focused on optical testing aside from everything else and what fun would that be?

 

That said, if I ever get around to the DIY scope I am thinking about, it will be something to look at. smile.gif   I'll go with Fender guitar colors, probably Surf Green, though maybe Shell Pink depending on how the whim takes me. Accents the color of the scratch plate.  Got to liven up those Star Parties!

 

Edit:  Gretsch Orange is not beyond the realm of possibility. But people would probably think I was trying to make it look like a Celestron. smile.gif

Only scopes i would rather look at then thru are Unitrons.
 


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#111 woodsman

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 06:01 PM

For the money, and the ease of setup, I'll take an SCT over any other design for what it is capable of doing.

 

A few years ago, decent condition C8s were going for about $300 -- often with the trunk / case. Seemed crazy then, but similar-age C5s were often a bit more... WITW?  Pretty good aperture to cost ratio used...

 

Setup for me was a wash between the C5 + wedge + tripod versus a Kenko 125C + Kenko GEM & tripod versus a 4" F10 refractor + GEM & tripod versus a C4.5N + Polaris GEM & tripod...  All smallish scopes with similar capabilities.

 

In SxSs, I found the Kenko 5" Corrected Dall-Kirkham gave better planetary views at the same powers than the 2 different C5s -- a 1976 Orange Tube Astro & a 1980s White Tube Spotter -- I had at the time.  OTOH, I preferred the views of nebulae & galaxies in the C5 Astro to the Kenko CDK.  Another kinda wash.

 

For high-power planetary, a 4" F10 refractor is the best of this bunch.  With careful shopping, it can come in a bit cheaper than a comparable C5 rig.  It can be easier to set up.  Eyepiece placement at the zenith may be less comfortable than a C5 fork-mounted.

 

IOW:  No perfect scopes -- and no surprises there.  Were SCTs overrated?  IMO, in the initial years, and later around Halley's Comet, Yes.  Personally, I tried them - and other CATs - and didn't keep them.  But, I don't do much digital imaging, either.
 

Yours is a very thoughtful and thought provoking analysis.  I've never observed through a Classical Cassegrain, nor a Dall-Kirkham Cass, but I've always wondered about them.  waytogo.gif

 

The only disagreement I may have with your assertions is the ease of setting up a 4" f/10 refractor compared to setting up a C5 with wedge and tripod.  The C5 takes about 3 minutes perhaps less!  LOL 

 

Then again, I've never liked GEM mounts.  And a 4 inch refractor, even at f/10 is a bit bulky IMO. 

 

With the C5 on an original Celes. Locked triangle tripod, and the small wedge?  It amounts to 6 knobs and a polar alignment and I'm in business.  Oh wait, I have to plug it in to get power to the clock drive.  lol.gif

 

I would venture to say that it takes less than 3 minutes to get it all going.  Then again, I'm kind of biased since I have 3 SCTs.  cool.gif

 

Anyway, I'm just a visual user as well and I've always been happy with my SCTs.

 

The fun for me is getting out the star maps and trying to locate all these great DSOs.  Under dark skies my C14 is a terrific performer! 

 

I'll be taking the new vintage C5 out to the dark skies next month, so that should be entertaining. laugh.gif 


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#112 Bomber Bob

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 06:27 PM

The only disagreement I may have with your assertions is the ease of setting up a 4" f/10 refractor compared to setting up a C5 with wedge and tripod.  The C5 takes about 3 minutes perhaps less!

 

Well, have you used a Celestron (V) C102?  I can tote this rig around the back yard, and I'm an Old(ish) Dude:

 

C102 - First Setup S01 (Mizar - FULL Right Side).jpg

 

Battery-powered drive with only 1 wire (controller to motor).  With a 4-slot Vixen Turret, no need for the eyepiece case.

 

No CAT-bashing from Ole BB.  At 6" & larger apertures, they're compact marvels.  Clean & collimated, they can deliver, but IMO the vendors down-played the importance of collimation.  Not just my opinion / experience.  I've bought some that owners had low opinions of... then, I got the optics aligned, and saw otherwise.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 05 May 2021 - 06:32 PM.

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#113 Kokatha man

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 07:41 PM

<"No CAT-bashing from Ole BB.  At 6" & larger apertures, they're compact marvels.  Clean & collimated, they can deliver, but IMO the vendors down-played the importance of collimation.  Not just my opinion / experience.  I've bought some that owners had low opinions of... then, I got the optics aligned, and saw otherwise.">

 

Seeing...& collimation at a very large image scale - the former making the latter much easier: these are what separate the C11 & 14 between so-so & excellent for planetary imaging imo!!! (can't talk about any others, not having owned anything else in SCT's)


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#114 Terra Nova

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 09:33 PM

Overall, I'll keep my SCTs.  grin.gif

And you can keep them with my blessing. I’ve got to say that I have never owned one that I enjoyed using. The only one that I ever owned that ever put a smile on my face while looking through it was the big 10” Meade I had briefly some years back, but it was just way beyond my capability to use. I had a very hard time mounting and unmounting it; however to give it its due, it did produce wonderful views of Jupiter. The only other SCT that I ever thought lived up to the hype was my brother’s black C9.25,from the mid-90s. That scope had excellent optics. For me tho, I’ve had six SCTs and they all disappointed me one way or the other. Mostly I just never thought the views were that good.


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#115 CHASLX200

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 05:38 AM

And you can keep them with my blessing. I’ve got to say that I have never owned one that I enjoyed using. The only one that I ever owned that ever put a smile on my face while looking through it was the big 10” Meade I had briefly some years back, but it was just way beyond my capability to use. I had a very hard time mounting and unmounting it; however to give it its due, it did produce wonderful views of Jupiter. The only other SCT that I ever thought lived up to the hype was my brother’s black C9.25,from the mid-90s. That scope had excellent optics. For me tho, I’ve had six SCTs and they all disappointed me one way or the other. Mostly I just never thought the views were that good.

I don't like them as well. 5 out of 60 is not a good avg.  But that one freaky good 1984 C8 i had sure was close to a 8" F/8 Newt.  That one must have slipped out the factory by mistake done %100 right.  I know there are some very sharp SCT's out there but finding one is like the LOTTO.  Can't tell me it was colimation as i am a collimation freak and can do these scopes in my sleep. 
 


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#116 LukaszLu

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 05:44 AM

And how about the Carl Zeiss Jena brand? Don't you think that today's prices of not only the telescopes themselves, but even accessories, are sometimes highly overestimated? Is there not a certain psychological mechanism at work here, which causes that products "from behind the iron curtain" are treated in a special way and not fully rationally assessed?



#117 CHASLX200

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 06:14 AM

And how about the Carl Zeiss Jena brand? Don't you think that today's prices of not only the telescopes themselves, but even accessories, are sometimes highly overestimated? Is there not a certain psychological mechanism at work here, which causes that products "from behind the iron curtain" are treated in a special way and not fully rationally assessed?

I never think of that brand for some reason.   Just cost too much like AP scopes so they never cross my mind. I have a cut off in my head on what i will pay for a scope and there are some rare scopes i will pay well above a fair price to have.  Say there was a insane super sharp mint fork mounted C14 for sale, i would offer a price well above what the avg would be.

This is why i was never a AP fan. Since owners are selling their used AP's for over new prices.  There are other brands that do just as well and cost much less. A good old Tak does the job at 4 times less the price.


Edited by CHASLX200, 06 May 2021 - 06:14 AM.

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#118 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 06:46 AM

SteveGR said:

That said, if I ever get around to the DIY scope I am thinking about, it will be something to look at. smile.gif   I'll go with Fender guitar colors, probably Surf Green, though maybe Shell Pink depending on how the whim takes me. Accents the color of the scratch plate.  Got to liven up those Star Parties!

 

Edit:  Gretsch Orange is not beyond the realm of possibility. But people would probably think I was trying to make it look like a Celestron. smile.gif

 

 

I like the idea of Fender solid body Guitar colors  seafoam green is  especially close to the Vixen or  Tak like trim color  the custom colors from the 60's and 70's with the nitrocellulose finish are appealing. but pin striping on a atm scope is quite intriguing. 



#119 LukaszLu

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 06:51 AM

I never think of that brand for some reason.   Just cost too much like AP scopes so they never cross my mind. I have a cut off in my head on what i will pay for a scope and there are some rare scopes i will pay well above a fair price to have.  Say there was a insane super sharp mint fork mounted C14 for sale, i would offer a price well above what the avg would be.

This is why i was never a AP fan. Since owners are selling their used AP's for over new prices.  There are other brands that do just as well and cost much less. A good old Tak does the job at 4 times less the price.

I am asking, because I have never managed to buy an entire Zeiss telescope myself. At the time when they were produced, I only got an Ortho 10mm eyepiece and a 1.3x Barlow lens - these are all the accessories of this brand that I managed to personally test. Later, I could never afford Zeiss again.

 

They are good - but that's all. The eyepiece, already shrouded in kind of legend, reaching today an absurd, in my opinion, price of $ 200-250, gives a small but still visible CA. It draws details with precision and contrast, but the truth is that today's Chinese eypieces, which cost a fraction of the price, produce images of the same quality with a much larger field of view. The comfort of observation is completely incomparable. The eyepiece sleeve is a piece of trash - cheap, polymerizing plastic crumbles easily, which, as I can see, is quite common among owners of this equipment.

So where does this legend pushing up prices come from? During the communist era, the optics produced in Eastern Germany did indeed enjoy a very good reputation. They were excellent products - but compared to other countries of the Eastern Bloc. East German cameras such as Praktica, Pentaconsix, etc. were very good, successful constructions - but they were never competitive with Japanese optics, they were not able to compete with Nikon, Canon or Olympus...



#120 GreyDay

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 06:54 AM

And how about the Carl Zeiss Jena brand? Don't you think that today's prices of not only the telescopes themselves, but even accessories, are sometimes highly overestimated?

With regards to Zeiss pricing unfortunately they're being bumped up by sellers taking advantage of limited availability. I paid £390 for the telementor scope, mount, tripod and one eyepiece. At the time that was just over double the cost of a Synta Celestron 70mm EQ package. In my opinion it is worth what i paid when you look at quality vs cost. They're selling here in the UK for around £500 at the moment but there are sellers in Europe asking over 1000 Euros for a Telementor and around 170 euros for an eyepiece, which is part demand and part greed.

 

Are they overestimated?... yes.  They're undoubtedly a very good 63mm telescope, they're solid and over engineered the mount and tripod work well, designed for schools they're built to last (except for the EP holder). Looking at them in context they're like any limited production or luxury item, once production stops and demand remains high it becomes a sellers market with some greedy individuals asking ridiculous prices.

 

are they over rated... no, overpriced...yes!


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#121 starman876

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 07:04 AM

I am asking, because I have never managed to buy an entire Zeiss telescope myself. At the time when they were produced, I only got an Ortho 10mm eyepiece and a 1.3x Barlow lens - these are all the accessories of this brand that I managed to personally test. Later, I could never afford Zeiss again.

 

They are good - but that's all. The eyepiece, already shrouded in kind of legend, reaching today an absurd, in my opinion, price of $ 200-250, gives a small but still visible CA. It draws details with precision and contrast, but the truth is that today's Chinese eypieces, which cost a fraction of the price, produce images of the same quality with a much larger field of view. The comfort of observation is completely incomparable. The eyepiece sleeve is a piece of trash - cheap, polymerizing plastic crumbles easily, which, as I can see, is quite common among owners of this equipment.

So where does this legend pushing up prices come from? During the communist era, the optics produced in Eastern Germany did indeed enjoy a very good reputation. They were excellent products - but compared to other countries of the Eastern Bloc. East German cameras such as Praktica, Pentaconsix, etc. were very good, successful constructions - but they were never competitive with Japanese optics, they were not able to compete with Nikon, Canon or Olympus...

The Zeiss scopes are very good.  Optics are from another planet.  There are very few scopes that can match the quality and the ones that do cost an arm and a leg.  The Zeiss scopes are also very collectible and the older scopes from the late 1800 into the 1920's fetch really high prices.  The larger the aperture the higher the cost.  Some go into prices that require a second mortgage.    The later Zeiss scopes like the APQ series fetch really high prices also.  $10K for a 4" scope is seen all the time. The 6" APQ series are in the $20K range.  Are they worth it.  There are very few scopes that can match the optical quality.   I have a TMB 100/800 that will give the Zeiss APQ a run for its money.   I think at one time or another a Telementor should be in your viewing stable.  They are reasonably priced for being a Zeiss and have excellent optics.


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#122 LukaszLu

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 07:19 AM

I mean the post-war production from the times of East Germany. The enormous prices of pre-war telescopes are somewhat understandable, or at least difficult to estimate.

 

The high quality of these optics is beyond dispute. However, I see a certain kind of sentiment towards products from the former Eastern Bloc that is skilfully used to push up prices. Something like that happens, for example, in the market of amplifier tubes. If you buy a boutique, custom-made guitar amplifier, the seller will often put Soviet lamps in it and will tell legends that these are "tank" lamps intended for the army, etc. You can clearly see the marketing use of this sentiment - I wonder if the case of Telementor a bit similar ...?


Edited by LukaszLu, 06 May 2021 - 07:21 AM.

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#123 GreyDay

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 09:06 AM

I mean the post-war production from the times of East Germany. The enormous prices of pre-war telescopes are somewhat understandable, or at least difficult to estimate.

 

The high quality of these optics is beyond dispute. However, I see a certain kind of sentiment towards products from the former Eastern Bloc that is skilfully used to push up prices.

Personally the eastern bloc connection wasn't a deciding factor, more the reports of optical quality and robust manufacture. I tried one before i bought mine purely to see how well it performed, the looks weren't a factor more how the setup worked, i borrowed one for a few weeks and decided that i liked it enough to buy one. I did have to wait almost a year before mine came up at the right price. If it hadn't been what i was looking for i wouldn't have bought it.

 

I can see how some people would trade on the eastern bloc origins, i have a couple of Tal mounts that i really like. The first one i bought was advertised as " Rugged Russian build quality made to last" which in real terms means "it's over engineered" and heavy! I bought mine because it was a cheap motorised tracking mount. Some people may like to link utilitarian eastern bloc products to the "Bauhaus" design ideal and maybe with the Telementor they were right, but thats never been a concern for me. I prefer function over form.



#124 Piggyback

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 11:42 AM

I mean the post-war production from the times of East Germany. The enormous prices of pre-war telescopes are somewhat understandable, or at least difficult to estimate.

 

The high quality of these optics is beyond dispute. However, I see a certain kind of sentiment towards products from the former Eastern Bloc that is skilfully used to push up prices. Something like that happens, for example, in the market of amplifier tubes. If you buy a boutique, custom-made guitar amplifier, the seller will often put Soviet lamps in it and will tell legends that these are "tank" lamps intended for the army, etc. You can clearly see the marketing use of this sentiment - I wonder if the case of Telementor a bit similar ...?

 

Lukasz, I respectfully disagree!

I do not see sentiment driving the market for products from the former Eastern Bloc as you state. Take the Jena made Telementor. I believe that quality, optical features and scarcity drive the price. We all agree that Zeiss excels in optical quality. But there are unique constructive details like the movable tube within the tube of the Telementor 2 that let it stand out from crowd. Rant over. You all have a nice day!



#125 LukaszLu

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 12:48 PM

Personally the eastern bloc connection wasn't a deciding factor, more the reports of optical quality and robust manufacture. I tried one before i bought mine purely to see how well it performed, the looks weren't a factor more how the setup worked, i borrowed one for a few weeks and decided that i liked it enough to buy one. I did have to wait almost a year before mine came up at the right price. If it hadn't been what i was looking for i wouldn't have bought it.

 

I can see how some people would trade on the eastern bloc origins, i have a couple of Tal mounts that i really like. The first one i bought was advertised as " Rugged Russian build quality made to last" which in real terms means "it's over engineered" and heavy! I bought mine because it was a cheap motorised tracking mount. Some people may like to link utilitarian eastern bloc products to the "Bauhaus" design ideal and maybe with the Telementor they were right, but thats never been a concern for me. I prefer function over form.

I think that the functional design referring to the German design tradition is not a drawback, but a great advantage of Telementor equipment.

 

On the other hand, what you write shows that you are bravely protecting yourself against overpricing this equipment by sellers, which means that such a problem actually exists. Prices well in excess of 1,000 euros are the norm in Europe.

 

Looking at this, it is impossible not to ask yourself the question: WHY? Exclusively for image quality ...?

 

 

Lukasz, I respectfully disagree!

I do not see sentiment driving the market for products from the former Eastern Bloc as you state. Take the Jena made Telementor. I believe that quality, optical features and scarcity drive the price. We all agree that Zeiss excels in optical quality. But there are unique constructive details like the movable tube within the tube of the Telementor 2 that let it stand out from crowd. Rant over. You all have a nice day!

I do not want to argue - I ask because I did not have the opportunity to check it myself, except for a little experience with the eyepiece and Barlow lens. And these experiences make me wonder whether today's prices reflect only the parameters of this equipment, or maybe something else - for example, some emotions or sentiments...?

 


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