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mike bacanin

OpticStar

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emadmoussa    1,129

I happened to buy 3 mounts from Optic Star. My last purchase was a portable EQ3-2 Pro Synscan Goto. As usual, the service was great and the mount was delivered literally in less than 24 hours - I ordered at 2pm Wednesday and it arrived at 11am Thursday. Couldn't be happier.

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HIP3802    264

Around the time of the Transit of Venus last year I bought a PST solar scope from Opticstar in Sale, Manchester. This in itself was worthy of a recommendation, as the scope was not only the cheapest price I could find at the time, but also came with a second 9 mm wide angle eyepiece courtesy of the store.

The scope worked well until the end of June this year when it stopped working, and developed an internal rattle. On reporting this to Opticstar Peter, one of the managers, suggested I take the scope in and they would look at it. The upshot of this was that after the problem had been identified (a loose prism) it was sent off for repair. On return two weeks later the scope was still not right - the solar finder scope was not working. Once again Opticstar took responsibility, did their own investigation and sent it off for further repairs. The result came last Friday when I received an e-mail informing me that a replacement scope had been sent by Meade.

The mark of a good retailer is not only the standard of customer relations when things are going well, but how those same relations are upheld when things don't go so smoothly. In this case Opticstar could not have handled my complaint better. They took responsibility from the start and although it was over a month from first reporting to receiving the replacement scope they kept me informed of what was happening. I couldn't have asked more from them. I will certainly be using them again, and would have no hesitation in recommending them to others.

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m37    203

Just wanted to give some good vibrations to Opticstar after a very pleasant experience. Problem with a manual filter wheel resolved politely and swiftly with great communication. Replacement was sent without quibbling and they even tested the fittings to make sure they were OK and sent some spare bits and bobs for the trouble. Also offered to refund return postage cost. Much appreciated and highly recommended. Top notch.

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Pig    5,368

 I Am not very impressed to be honest.

Product: Aluminium AZ4 Skywatcher Mount

Price: £135

The payment went through without a hitch and I received an order number.  All good !!!!

5 days later I received 2 e-mails saying a phone number was required and they could not ship without it.

I couldn't believe what I was reading, why hadn't they contacted me sooner ?

I telephoned the retailer the next morning from work and asked if the e-mail was a spoof. I was told no it wasn't a spoof and that they needed a phone number so the courier could contact me.

I asked how on earth was the order accepted if I hadn't met all the criteria, guess what ? no reply just silence and tumbleweed.

so I asked again and the reply was, it isn't very good is it !!!!!!!  

I then explained as I don't have a mobile or house phone I will have to cancel the order !!!

The reply was...... there is no need for that we can use our number.

LOL ..... I couldn't believe my ears and asked .... why didn't you just do that in the first place ? more tumbleweed rolled by.

I cancelled the order immediately and asked to speak to the manager.

I was told he would call me back later today as he was busy.

Guess what ? no call came.

On top of all this I was told it will be 8 days before my money will be paid back to my account !!!!!

Very poor service I am afraid and as a result I will never use them.

I hope you have better luck than me should you decide to.

Shaun.

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datman    16

Approximately 2 years ago I decided to try out Astrophotography and started looking at cameras. I spotted and was tempted to buy an OpticStar Ds-335 ICE reduced from £600 to £400, reason given end of product line. Having no experience of astrophotography I contacted OpticStar and after a fairly long telephone conversation ordered the Camera.

I bought the camera as Winter was coming to its end and not having a permanent setup or being a middle of the night astronomer it was some time before I was able to use the camera. I had great difficulty with the camera and could not get it to repduce anything resembling colour (it's an OSC). I contacted OpticStar (about 6 months after purchase) and asked for a refund as the camera was defective. I was told that I didn't know how to use the camera and an idiot's guide for it's use was sent. I was also told not to use 1x1 binning because it was not sensitive enough.  I tried again but the usual outcome was, after eventually getting the computer (and I tried 3) to communicate, I would go through setup and focus, then usually just as I was about to attempt imaging the camera's output would become corrupt.

I did manage to get an image of M42 but using 2x2 binning the colours took a lot of coaxing out. However knowing no different I continued.  By the end of the winter I was getting good at initial setup and looked forward to the next set of dark nights.

This was not to be, I developed a serious heart condition and had to undergo surgery so no imaging that winter.

By the time I started again (winter 2013) I definitely knew what I was doing. I may not have been able to do any imaging but I can read.  I quickly came to the conlusion that the camera was defective and contacted Opticstar. To my amazment the opening comments were along the lines of "you don't know what you're doing, are you using the instructions I sent you". So even after 2 years it was still remembered. I pointed out that now I did know what I was doing and I was asked to send some samples. 1x1 binning was black regardless of light condition i.e. it didn't work.

2x2 and 4x4 had corruption/noise over large areas.

Email form OpticStar saying images are defective but is not necessarily the camera!  Send the camera for checking but we may not be able to repair it if it is defective.

Email from OpticStar, camera is defective but cannot be repaired. We are sending you a DS-335C.

Well the duff camera was a DS-335C ICE but a working camera is better than nothing.

First indoor checks indicated the camera was OK.

First outdoor checks not that much different to before (although 1x1 binning worked). Intial setup OK, then large areas of  corrupt image or what looked like loss of horizontal sync over the whole of the image on others. I captured a sequence of about 8 images which showed all these defects and contacted OpticStar sending the examples.

The response was "I find it too much of a coincidence that you have recieved 2 defective camera and cannot help you".

"I think it is your setup."

I asked them to explain how I had managed to setup the camera so that the results of computer controlled sequence were so different.

No response

So it would appear that it was all my fault. Nothing to do with OpticStar selling me a defective camera in the first place.

As to the abilities of the DS-335C ICE, I've no idea, I've never got that far.

Just in case you are wondering, seeing yet another winter slipping bye I bought a 2nd hand modified 1000D. At my 2nd attempt I imaged M42 (see signature).

Guess which supplier I won't use again.

Both cameras have been disposed of, in the recyling bin. I wouldn't wish them onto anyone else.

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bomberbaz    1,134

Ok so went to shop to buy a frac and mount and the service was brilliant. For a start off I was in shop for 2 hours, got 2 cuppas and ate a bowl full of chocs (rude not to)  :grin: Lee, who looked after me was excellent and even after I forgot my debit card we managed to sorted out a method of paying for it all.

Next the scope I bought came with a budget finder and after discussing options, we were able to upgrade it to a top notch finder (I will be reviewing this later). Its the illuminated type and was very well priced.

Today I phoned again asking for some advice and Peter this time went at great length to talk me through the website, what I was looking for etc, thanks again chaps.

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Mikea    35

Having just got my bargain Meade 6000 APO from eBay, I was a little disappointed to find that the mount which had been supplied for the finder scope was in fact the wrong one. The seller was unaware of this because the scope had never actually been set up. Anyway, I rattled off an email to Opticstar late on New Year's Eve and was very surprised to get a reply next day! Peter promised to email me when back in the office on Monday. This he did, having identified the bracket that I needed. I placed an order which was delivered by recorded delivery  on Tuesday 5th. Very pleased with the service I received - especially as I had not even bought the scope from them. Thank you Peter!

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Physopto    1,485

 

I was looking about for 95mm very solid tube rings all over the place. Very difficult to source. Parallax rings have a very poor paint finish and cost $125 before VAT and import tax, never mind the postage costs. An Italian company Primaluce make some very nice well made rings but only come in a rather nasty metallic red colour and cost about £145.

 

In the end I took a chance and bought a pair of very cheap 95mm hinged split scope rings from Opticstar yesterday. They arrived this morning, very quick service. Not like some who cannot even be bothered to let you know that they don't have items in stock!

1)  These rings are quite good quality although not exactly as advertised on their website. They are slightly bigger than specified and will require a spacer insert to allow a tight grip on the Takahashi FSQ 85 tube. At present the tube can be rotated with moderate pressure exerted even when the rings are fully tightened. Not a problem but some thing to be aware of.

2)   The stated fixing holes shown on their website are not correct. The picture shows that there are 5 holes, one central, two at 38mm  and two at 62mm. In fact there are only three in the rings received by me.  One central and two at 60mm. Again not a problem for me.

They have been quite  well anodised in black, not painted as I was expecting for a pair of rings probably made in China?

At £59  + £6 p/p I cannot grumble at all.

In all a good cheap investment, I hope. Time will tell.

Regardless of minor faults very good and QUICK service!

Derek

 

 

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ngwillym    227

I had a slightly non-standard request for the guys at Opticstar, but after a quick exchange of emails, that took all of 30 mins, we'd agreed on what could be done and how it could be paid for.

Order placed and has arrived within 36 hours - with full tracking info provided.

Can't fault their communication and helpfulness. It's not the first time I've dealt with them and they have always been extremely helpful in finding the stuff I've needed.

Neil

 

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