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ENS Birmingham


Earl
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I have picked up a few things from ENS over the last few months and also sold / part exchange some things with them.

Emails have always been promptly replied too, and are very informative.

From collecting and delivering by hand,  to posting or via courier they have always been quick and give realistic delivery times if using postal services.

Steve and Eddie really do know their stuff and are very helpful.

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  • 3 months later...

As there is a serious lack of astronomy shops in the Midlands I was happy to come across ENS Optical in Birmingham, on the Internet. Got in touch and asked if they collimated scopes. Was told to bring it along which I did today and I was in shock at how quick it was done. Top stuff! Was actually good to talk to someone face to face about astronomy.

Radders

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  • 9 months later...
With money in pocket, I went to view three 'scopes side-by-side at ENS Optical. ENS Optical have an eBay shop-front (their own webshop is currently being developed) but also a physical shop, where you can actually view what you're buying. For me, this is important, especially if you are considering scopes you have no experience of. Only a few minutes off the M6, NE of Birmingham, they're very central too.


They're not (currently) a dealer of any new products and I don't think Steve (who is ENS) would mind me saying that when you enter the shop, it's a cornucopia of optical madness. If you're expecting only the items you see on the eBay Shop, you will be visually assaulted by the sheer weight and apparent confusion of a shop stuffed to the rafters with optical - including 35mm photographic - goodies.


I should mention that in my yoof, I used to work in an establishment called The Cambridge Camera Exchange which had a photographic history running back to 1900. The stock profile was an eclectic mix of every single darned photographic camera or lens that spanned near 90 years and most of the staff tended to think a lot of it was only fit for the skip. If you walked in there thinking you knew photography, you didn't, but you walked out, blinking into the sunlight, years later with an understanding that couldn't be gained from a magazine, or as it would be today, the internet.


What a few years of service gave you, was the ability to put your hand on a left handed iblescritch in the completely uncataloguable stock, the one and only time someone on earth asked you for one and for that reason, TV and film companies (we supplied Memphis Belle, to mention one) flocked there on a regular basis for chronologically correct photographic props.


The reason I'm saying this, is because when I first walked in, Steve apologized for the mess, but to me, this was like putting on a comfy slipper. Everywhere I turned was something interesting (A 16" Sonotube Meade Dob was quite striking, but by no means the most unusual) that I couldn't resist picking up to look at and I loved it. I loved it, because this is a person steeped in the love of optics and not just the sales of it and that IS a difference these days. Each time I wanted a widget, Steve would ferret at least one out. In other words, ask! He's probably got one.


I was arriving with prior notice, as I find this is the best way to get to see what you want, with any bricks and mortar dealer. Indeed, several of the emails exchanged were answered late in the evening, which is not something you can expect.


As I turned into the car park all three of the scopes were parked outside ready for playing with. I had as much time as I wanted and was plied with multiple cups tea that would put hair on your back, never mind chest. Every question, stupid or otherwise was dealt with. You don't get a sales patter and honest opinions of the scopes relative strengths and weaknesses given. This is important, because second hand scopes tend to be more 'individual' than a brand new carbon copy. It's seriously helpful to have someone know about the sorts of issues that can be found through surfing, plus some that only ownership will reveal. 


All in all, a relaxed and very informative couple of hours with a very pleasant bloke and one I was happy to make a purchase with. Highly recommended.


Russell

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  • 3 years later...

First time of using ENS and what a pleasure it was. Steve Asbury was accommodating of some, perhaps, unusual requests and ensured the transaction was simple and smooth. I'd recommend them unreservedly...

And a particular upside in this day and age of "at a distance commerce" was that we were able to natter directly by phone. Questions were answered without any to and fro, and the conversation evolved to the offering of advice both ways and introductions to one another of other individuals who could be of further mutual benefit. Most pleasant and unusual these days... 

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Just had excellent service from ENS.  Item sent promptly, great condition as described. Not the cheapest, but if it’s a reliable source that accurately describes what is for sale, that in itself is worth a bit extra money. And of courage you can phone first to ask questions about an item, which is what I did, and got friendly helpful advice, with no hard sell. Would buy from them again.

Ed.

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  • 9 months later...

Just sold a whole load of astro kit to Steve at ENS this afternoon. Very pleasant and knowledgeable chap. Paid me a good price when you consider how long it would have taken me to sell everything myself. PayPalled me right then and there. ENS is an amazing place. Astro kit on shelf after shelf in every direction you look.  I can't imagine anything Steve doesn't have!  Cheers Steve ?

 

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  • Moonshane locked this topic
  • 1 year later...


Hi everyone.  Just had excellent service from these online retailers. On Tuesday of this week (14th) I bought online a relatively low priced item - £40.  I opted for free postage, 3-5 days.  I didn’t expect tracking or anything like that, just arrival in the time period.

However, I received an email and a phone text to confirm shipping, same to expect delivery via DHL, same today with a 10.30-11.30pm delivery time slot.  The very well packed parcel arrived at 10.35, with the nicely engineered second hand 2” helical focuser complete with 1.25” adaptor.

I realise that we should expect good service, however, that’s not always the case. But credit where credit is due, excellent service from ENS 😁

I’m building a 6” RFT. It’s a Henry Wildey 6” f3.8 primary made in 1955.  Back in the 50s most 6” mirrors were f8, so f3.8 was probably a rare special order. It’s been tested by a clubmate who’s made mirrors up to 24” for others and has a workshop with optical test gear, he’s confirmed an excellent optical figure.  It’s had a recoat at Galvoptics Basildon.

The focuser is low profile, great to get the focus point closer to the secondary, thus allowing a smaller secondary mirror.

More hours in the shed 👍

Ed.

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On Thursday evening I bought an eyepiece from this well known online retailer. I’d been looking for this particular focal length from a long discontinued range.  The price was a bit high but as I’d been looking for ages decided to go ahead. For postage I chose ENS courier 2-4 days.  The tracking worked well with a 1 hour delivery slot and the excellently packed eyepiece duly arrived today. The condition described is accurate and I’m fully satisfied.

I’ve bought previously from ENS by post and also in person when they’ve been at Kelling star party. When buying by post we have to rely on an honest description plus prompt secure packing and shipping. I’ve found ENS to be exemplary in this regard and it’s worth paying a bit more for trusted service in my opinion. Recommended.

Ed.

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Over the years I have had a few bits and bobs from ENS and have yet to be disappointed. Buying used kit unseen can be a bit of a risk but I find their description matches well to the item. Deal direct for best prices.

Tip. Don't visit the store as you always come away with more than you went for

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Bought a few bits and bobs from ENSoptical in the past and have received an excellent service every time, but today I went to visit Steves warehouse in Birmingham to collect a large item. OMG this place is an absolute treasure trove of astronomical goodies and the website doesn't do justice to the actual amount of stock held. If you're looking for something that appears to be unavailable give this place a try.

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