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Alma

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About Alma

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    Star Forming

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    East Berkshire
  1. I bought an ADM Takahashi QR bracket some 2 years ago and unfortunately mine wasn’t so well machined and had a distinct wobble which I managed to fix with a plastic shim stuck to the base. Not typical of ADM products in my experience but in this case wish I’d spent the extra on the FQR-1.
  2. APM TMB-LZOS 105/650 LW Super Apo - asking price £2,400 Rare opportunity to acquire a very nice example of this much sought after top quality 4" refractor. This APM LW version of the scope is the lightweight Kruppax 50 draw-tube design which allows for a wide spectrum of focusing including the ability to use a binoviewer without any corrector or barlow interface. The focuser is a 2" Feathertouch. The tube is built around the LZOS f/6.2 triplet lens which in this case (serial# 026) is provided with an optical test certificate showing a strehl ratio of 0.976 (the certificate will be provided with the sale). The condition is excellent and there are no marks or imperfections to tube or lens worthy of mention. For a comprehensive insight into the capabilities of this scope please see Matthew Hodgson's review of his identical scope here:- http://alpha-lyrae.co.uk/2014/01/01/the-apm-tmb-105-f6-2-triplet-apochromatic-refractor/ The scope is offered with a purpose-built padded aluminium case, cnc tube rings with Vixen dovetail plate and 60mm finder scope rings with bracket. I would prefer personal review and collection rather than delivering by post and for this purpose I'm happy to travel a reasonable distance from the Windsor area for a no-commitment inspection of the scope for seriously interested buyers. If this is not possible carriage will be at additional cost.
  3. I wouldn’t reccomend this for astronomy use. Swarovski only sell 2 eyepieces for their scopes nowadays - a 25-50x zoom and a 20-60x zoom. Both eyepieces are excellent but are relatively narrow angle compared with many dedicated astronomy eyepieces. Unlike astronomy gear there are no common fitting standards in spotting scopes and you will be limited to these 2 eyepieces only. The magnification of these zooms of course is quite limiting for astronomy use .... at the 20x lowest mag you would need some form of tripod or at least a monopod to avoid the shakes however straight-through viewing won’t be pleasant without a diagonal, while the upper limit of 60x doesn’t really offer much scale for planetary/lunar use. The earlier suggestion of a Borg 90fl is a much better idea, or my personal recommendation for a travel scope - a Takahashi FC-76 DCU - both of these will sit quite happily on a lightweight photo tripod and video head and will provide much greater flexibility for stargazing use.
  4. You're in the minority. I made the mistake of ordering a spotting scope eyepiece from them a couple of years ago - they took my money immediately and then I heard nothing from them for weeks ... No acknowledment of the sale, no responses to my many emails and phone calls went straight to voicemail. Luckily I paid by credit card and Visa eventually refunded my money but only after I did all the donkeywork to justify the repayment. Really, the bad reviews are utterly justified and I wouldn't go anywhere near them again.
  5. Just reviving this thread in case anyone's considering buying a Starpointer Pro. Mine lasted precisely two gentle outings before the tiny mask which produces the 2 ring reticle pattern fell off and disappeared. Now I'm left with a nasty red blob which fills most of the screen and is of no use to man or beast. The design concept is OK but the "astronomers" who allegedly designed this thing must have torn their hair out when they saw how cheaply it was being manufactured. Made to an unacceptably low price point i.m.h.o. which just goes to prove that you only get what you pay for in this hobby. Total waste of money.
  6. Fully concur with all the above. Nick Hudson is a genuine enthusiast and in my experience a lovely man to deal with.
  7. Nope, nothing wrong with them (I'm the seller b.t.w.), collmation is perfect and they're actually in very good condition. The only reason I'm selling the Fujis is that my neck can't handle straight-through viewing these days and I use Canon IS 15x50's from a recliner much more often. I tried a P mount with the Fujis for a time which was great for viewing but too much of a faff setting up. As for the price, I think Scarp15 has pretty much hit the mark in the post above. Pricing used equipment is always tricky and the price needs to be based on what you think someone is prepared to pay for the item now rather than what the current new retail price happens to be or what you might have paid yourself on the used market when you first bought the item. My logic in pricing the Fujis was that from reviews the Lunt appears to be the equal of the Fujinon and in some ways even better (weight, eye relief, marginally better f.o.v., slightly better c.a.). Fuji owners will hate me saying this but to my mind it seemed illogical for a buyer to pay as much for a used Fujinon as a new Lunt (current FLO retail £419). A few months ago I would have pitched the price quite a bit higher, but things change. The market seems to agree because even at this price I've only had one vague nibble for the Fujis and no solid bites. I'm rather surprised by this however I'm going to give it a few more days and if no takers withdraw from sale and keep them for the grandchildren. The cash would have been nice but it's no great hardship hanging on to such a nice binocular. Alan
  8. Never make the mistake of thinking English law is joined up on issues like this.
  9. Telrads are like Marmite; you either love them or hate them. Having had two of the darn things fail on me in succession I'm now firmly in the latter camp. My favourite unity finder of all time is the Baader 40mm Sky Surfer V - essentially a gun sight RDF but pretty much dew proof and solidly constructed of metal - everything the Telrad is not.
  10. An alternative to the (very expensive) Leica Vario Asph zoom mentioned earlier is the Swarovski 25-50x W which covers pretty much the same range, is lighter and less expensive (roughly 2/3rds the price of the Leica). I bought a 2" adapter from APM and use this eyepiece a lot in my refractors - performs brilliantly.
  11. I agree. P mounts and a recliner chair are one of the most comfortable ways of stargazing and are fine if you just want to look at one patch of sky, but moving around entails getting up from the recliner, shifting the whole tripod/P mount/binocular set-up complete with counterweights and then moving the recliner to just the right position in order to resume viewing, i.e.a "faff". Sold mine and went back to a tripod and video head.
  12. I went on Friday driving 100 miles from Berkshire and thought it was well worth the effort. The fact that it was hosted in a glorified cow shed didn't in any way detract from the marvellous vendor displays nor my inclination to spend serious money. Astrofest for me is just as interesting but way too crowded to be trully enjoyable. Roll on next year.
  13. Consumer regulations are one thing - getting every vendor to comply with them another. There is one U.K. retailer better known in the birding world than astronomy, although they do stock astro gear, who, I found out rather belatedly are notorious for taking customers' money and then ignoring them - no returns, no refunds and in my case no delivery of the item ordered (value nearly £300). Luckily I paid by credit card and got my money back through the bank, but it took several weeks and a great deal of hassle. During that time the vendor concerned ignored every email I sent and every phone call I made. This particular company has T's and C's on their website which appear to totally override current legislation - and they're still in business. Bottom line is it's not necessarily a good idea to use the legislation as a fail-safe in this country. It might ultimately offer protection but not without considerable hassle for the buyer. And DO pay by credit card. P.S. I would name the retailer concerned however the Mods removed a previous post on this subj.
  14. I believe so, but again I don't know the facts. In my previous employment I had some limited experience of this and the key impact it seems was from the financial sanctions, i.e receiving payment or paying for goods - not so much embargos on particular types of goods or companies. I hope LZOS and other excellent Russian manufacturers survive this !
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