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Hardly surprising newbies are put off.


nephilim
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This (see link below) unfortunately popped up on my phone earlier under the title 'The best telescopes for astrophotography and stargazing in 2022'. Unless i'm missing something here then i've never seen so much utter drivel & any would be Astrophotographer will be packing their 'best ever' scope up & throwing it in the nearest river 5 minutes after trying to take any half decent images with most of them 😂 I do have a feeling that Celestron & Sky-Watcher are sponsoring this as all but two are from them

The best of the bunch is probably the SW SkyMax-180 Pro but i'd hardly say that thats a beginner scope for imaging. I started my journey into AP about 8 months ago & obviously researched the subject to death before choosing the Samyang 135mm f2 camera lens. Ideal for a new starter as its easy to work with & very forgiving when it comes to mistakes a newbie could make. So where is the mention of camera lenses or the Redcat 51, the 80mm Doublet refractor, the SW 13P-DS? 

Now I dont know how popular 'Digital Camera World' is but I know one thing, they should stick to terrestrial photography as they no nothing about AP whatsoever apart from what they have probably picked up from the back of a breakfast cereal packet. I'm just hoping this 'thing' isnt too widely read as it'll put anyone whose hoping to dip their toe into the world of AP off for a lifetime......Annnnnnnnddddddd Breeeeeathe

https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/buying-guides/best-telescopes-for-astrophotography

 

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Yes you have to be very careful what you take as genuine reviews on any website.
I recently wanted to buy a new printer (inkjet type not 3D) and found a few sites very similar to this, and at first view they look very professional and totally believable.
When I started to get 2nd thoughts was when every link to buy the printer took me to Amazon, just like the links in the telescope reviews in your reviews.

In the end with enough searching I did find some what i did think were genuine independent reviews, and also paying for a months subscription to Which I decided on a printer and am very happy with my purchase.

But yes many of these are very authentic looking and many with fall for them.

Steve

Edited by teoria_del_big_bang
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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, teoria_del_big_bang said:

Yes you have to be very careful what you take as genuine reviews on any website.
I recently wanted to buy a new printer (inkjet type not 3D) and found a few sights very similar to this, and at first view they look very professional and totally believable.
When I started to get 2nd thoughts was when every link to buy the printer took me to Amazon, just like the links in the telescope reviews in your reviews.

In the end with enough searching I did find some what i did think were genuine independent reviews, and also paying for a months subscription to Which I decided on a printer and am very happy with my purchase.

But yes many of these are very authentic looking and many with fall for them.

Steve

Hi Steve,

Well that sucked me in completely, I had no idea regarding the Amazon reference but it all makes sense now. Thats a pretty underhand way of drumming up business, thanks for pointing this out.

Steve

Edited by nephilim
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In fairness not all links were Amazon but pretty much 80% of them and enough to make me suspicious. and then when I went on Which and a couple of more believable sites non of the top printers in the suspect sites matched up with the top ones on the other more believable sites.
Now, maybe I am being too suspicious and maybe the sites just choose to send you to Amazon because they are the cheapest option, who knows but I certainly avoided them and like that Astro review would be too suspicious to take it seriously, but as you say unfortunately a total newbie would be totally fooled without further research or joining a forum like this.

Steve 

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7 minutes ago, teoria_del_big_bang said:

In fairness not all links were Amazon but pretty much 80% of them and enough to make me suspicious. and then when I went on Which and a couple of more believable sites non of the top printers in the suspect sites matched up with the top ones on the other more believable sites.
Now, maybe I am being too suspicious and maybe the sites just choose to send you to Amazon because they are the cheapest option, who knows but I certainly avoided them and like that Astro review would be too suspicious to take it seriously, but as you say unfortunately a total newbie would be totally fooled without further research or joining a forum like this.

Steve 

I agree with you there.
Unfortunately due to the massive amount of scams constantly doing the rounds i'm very suspicious of most online advertising things these days, its turned me into a complete cynic. I'd rather be a cynic than lose money to one of these cons though.

Steve

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I have a mate who is friends with her who is himself an accomplished photographer.  I am thinking this is simply a case of can you string an article together for us and we'll bung you £xx hundred quid. 

Her resume shows she is actually very accomplished and it is disappointing to see people of her calibre posting tripe like that.

Gemma is content director of science and space magazines How It Works and All About Space, history magazines All About History and History of War as well as Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) kids education brand Future Genius. She is the author of several books including "Quantum Physics in Minutes", "Haynes Owners’ Workshop Manual to the Large Hadron Collider" and "Haynes Owners’ Workshop Manual to the Milky Way". She holds a degree in physical sciences, a Master’s in astrophysics and a PhD in computational astrophysics. She was elected as a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 2011. Previously, she worked for Nature's journal, Scientific Reports, and created scientific industry reports for the Institute of Physics and the British Antarctic Survey. She has covered stories and features for publications such as Physics World, Astronomy Now and Astrobiology Magazine.

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8 minutes ago, nephilim said:

I agree with you there.
Unfortunately due to the massive amount of scams constantly doing the rounds i'm very suspicious of most online advertising things these days, its turned me into a complete cynic. I'd rather be a cynic than lose money to one of these cons though.

Steve

I am just the same these days and am always so suspicious of anything I read on line unless I am certain it is from a reliable source.
But like you say because for the countless scams about that is just how you have to be.

Steve

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4 minutes ago, bomberbaz said:

I have a mate who is friends with her who is himself an accomplished photographer.  I am thinking this is simply a case of can you string an article together for us and we'll bung you £xx hundred quid. 

Her resume shows she is actually very accomplished and it is disappointing to see people of her calibre posting tripe like that.

Gemma is content director of science and space magazines How It Works and All About Space, history magazines All About History and History of War as well as Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) kids education brand Future Genius. She is the author of several books including "Quantum Physics in Minutes", "Haynes Owners’ Workshop Manual to the Large Hadron Collider" and "Haynes Owners’ Workshop Manual to the Milky Way". She holds a degree in physical sciences, a Master’s in astrophysics and a PhD in computational astrophysics. She was elected as a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 2011. Previously, she worked for Nature's journal, Scientific Reports, and created scientific industry reports for the Institute of Physics and the British Antarctic Survey. She has covered stories and features for publications such as Physics World, Astronomy Now and Astrobiology Magazine.

That's actually even more disturbing to hear that people who really should have integrity can be bought so easily.

Steve 

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10 minutes ago, bomberbaz said:

I have a mate who is friends with her who is himself an accomplished photographer.  I am thinking this is simply a case of can you string an article together for us and we'll bung you £xx hundred quid. 

Her resume shows she is actually very accomplished and it is disappointing to see people of her calibre posting tripe like that.

Gemma is content director of science and space magazines How It Works and All About Space, history magazines All About History and History of War as well as Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) kids education brand Future Genius. She is the author of several books including "Quantum Physics in Minutes", "Haynes Owners’ Workshop Manual to the Large Hadron Collider" and "Haynes Owners’ Workshop Manual to the Milky Way". She holds a degree in physical sciences, a Master’s in astrophysics and a PhD in computational astrophysics. She was elected as a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 2011. Previously, she worked for Nature's journal, Scientific Reports, and created scientific industry reports for the Institute of Physics and the British Antarctic Survey. She has covered stories and features for publications such as Physics World, Astronomy Now and Astrobiology Magazine.

Thats very disappointing & in my eyes really is a case of selling out to the highest bidder. You'd have thought that the amount of time put into studying for all the qualifications she has that she would have just little bit of respect & passion for her area of expertise. If people of her apparent calibre cant be trusted then who on earth can.

Steve

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Those Amazon links are sent via georiot.com, which is blocked by any adblocker implementing Fanboy's annoyances list. Not that that means it's inherently dodgy, presumably tracking.

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2 minutes ago, Stu said:

What a load of tosh. Very disappointing; poorly written, inconsistent and inaccurate. Shame.

I don't think it's supposed to be any good - it's main purpose is to make cash - direct people to purchase some sort of scope to earn commission.

 

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1 minute ago, vlaiv said:

I don't think it's supposed to be any good - it's main purpose is to make cash - direct people to purchase some sort of scope to earn commission.

 

I could maybe understand it if they were good scopes & fit for the purpose they are aimed at. But then that would hike the price up considerably & people are more likely to be conned if they see a bargain rather than an item that although expensive would do the job properly.

Simply put, it's just taking advantage of people who don't have the experience to know otherwise & it's disgusting imo.

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3 minutes ago, vlaiv said:

I don't think it's supposed to be any good - it's main purpose is to make cash - direct people to purchase some sort of scope to earn commission.

 

I’m sure you are right, but it doesn’t change my comments. The daft thing is, you could write an article pointing to exactly the same scopes yet make it completely accurate, informative and useful. Why wouldn’t you do that?

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The thing to note here, is that she’s suggesting the Best scopes and not the ideal or most suitable. Considering the actual large choice it’s still as daunting which ever angle you slide down into this money pit!

The Amazon comes up often as it’s the best price for that particular item at that time, it changes as the prices fluctuate globally, I don’t think she’s plugging Amazon more than any other provider in the list, and Amazon has a whole host of providers.

The other to note, it’s not in anyway a review on each item but an overview regarding the suggested uses.

I would much like to see references made to places such as forums and possibly YouTube and others for further in-depth reviews and literature.

Gone are the days when the curious are simply led towards clubs and individuals for their first foray in astronomy, now it’s all media lead, that’s my opinion anyway.

chaz
 

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6 minutes ago, Chaz2b said:

The other to note, it’s not in anyway a review on each item but an overview regarding the suggested uses.

Trouble is, in many cases the suggested uses are incorrect.

There are plenty of inconsistencies too. This one is particularly noteable. For the Explore Scientific N208CF Astrograph it says:

At 8.66kg the instrument is quite lightweight, making it simple to find a mount and tripod that can support its weight.

Yet for the Skymax 180 Pro it says:

the SkyMax-180 PRO weighs in at 7.8kg – we recommend purchasing a heavy-duty mount such as the Sky-Watcher HEQ5 to support the heft…

Go figure.

 

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1 minute ago, Stu said:

the SkyMax-180 PRO weighs in at 7.8kg – we recommend purchasing a heavy-duty mount such as the Sky-Watcher HEQ5 to support the heft…

Everyone knows that short tube scopes are harder to mount :D 

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This reminds me of a thing my friend said once:

"I don't have many superpowers, but one I have is - being able to sift thru ‘rubbish’ on the net quickly" :D

 

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12 minutes ago, Chaz2b said:

The thing to note here, is that she’s suggesting the Best scopes and not the ideal or most suitable. Considering the actual large choice it’s still as daunting which ever angle you slide down into this money pit!

The Amazon comes up often as it’s the best price for that particular item at that time, it changes as the prices fluctuate globally, I don’t think she’s plugging Amazon more than any other provider in the list, and Amazon has a whole host of providers.

The other to note, it’s not in anyway a review on each item but an overview regarding the suggested uses.

I would much like to see references made to places such as forums and possibly YouTube and others for further in-depth reviews and literature.

Gone are the days when the curious are simply led towards clubs and individuals for their first foray in astronomy, now it’s all media lead, that’s my opinion anyway.

chaz
 

I admit I was probably being sceptical about nearly all links being to Amazon and also thought maybe just the cheapest option, nut  they aren't even the cheapest option.
The better scopes in the link @vlaiv the ones that FLO supply are significantly cheaper and when I was checking for a new printer on similar sites the prices at Amazon were often well more expecsive than other on line sites I found.

Maybe I still am being too suspicious and not doing the instigators of these type of articles justice but I still have my suspicions that they still have an alliance to certain websites such as Amazon.

Steve

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1 hour ago, vlaiv said:

This can't be true - here is another list :D

https://www.toptenreviews.com/best-telescopes-for-beginners

again, same author, similar scopes (not the same - they seem to shuffle them between reviews), same publish date

Hardly surprising the article appears in multiple places, if you look the websites are all owned and run by Future. You will find a lot of content the same across these and other sites also owned by Future - as someone else has mentioned, articles such as this are all about driving traffic through affiliate links, so Future wants them to appear in as many places as possible. The wording of the articles and titles are optimised to appear near the top of typical search requests for telescopes, accuracy and detail of the content only needs to be enough for that occasional customer click through!

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So the outcome of this is that someone has written an article that in general astronomers who know wouldn't agree with and it's been syndicated across retail websites, using the tools and practices of retail websites ? 

That's not a scam or particularly offensive. 

I suggest the action to take is to write a friendly  email to the author to improve the content or to write a piece yourself and get it syndicated. There's clearly a demand..

Otherwise this is just on par with slightly misleading television advertising. 

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