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Heavens Above

Orion Optics UK - Good or bad your experiences please

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Hi

I am thinking of Changing my TMB115 Apo for an Orion OMC200 f20 Mak. I mainly do planetry and globular clusters. I would like to hear people's experiences of Orion scopes. I have heard some great comments but also recently saw someone giving away an OMC140 he felt it was so bad, in addition I have looked through an OMC140 deluxe that was not at all great. Yet I hear great things on the web about them. I also notice that their are lots of OMC140 for sale, which makes me wonder how good they are? Sorry if you own one I am not knocking them just trying to make sure I spend my money wisely.

The spec of the OMC200 seems perfect for my needs, but will it live up to the hype and be better than my TMB115? I would greatly appreciate your experiences of Orion generaly and the OMC200 in particular.

Many thanks

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Astro_Baby    790

ooo-eer - I'll just pass round some popcorn to the spectators and wait for the fight on this one :D

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I bought an OMC140 with Hilux and quarter-wave mirror five years ago (that was all I could afford). Their concept of customer relations seems somewhat eccentric, and echoes the grand old traditions of the UK optical industry. The telescope turned up two months after they said it would and the finder attachment was crude to put it mildly. But at least you can talk to them if things go wrong. Where can you find Mr Skywatcher?

Performance of the OMC140 has always been outstanding with no image shift, perfect collimation throughout and willing acceptance of any eyepiece. I would certainly buy from OO again - Hugh

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astro-baby.....my thoughts exactly.

I like OO. Good optics. Its all that really matters. yes customer service costs nothing. But given the choice of either 1/10th wave optics at a good price and a pleasant phone call, I'll take the optics each and every time.

paul

the scope remains when the buyer-seller interaction fades

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zanes    10

Oooooo, a thread on Orion Optics *jumps in with far too much enthusiasm*

I am currently waiting on a scope from OO.

Essentially, they are a small company churning out (IMHO) exceptional optics. As such, communications and mechanicals aren't so great.

However, so far. despite me making a total mess of my order john (sales@oo....) has been great with me. Delivery time seems weak, mine was due by the 25th of september (they estimated a month, I was rightfully sceptical) and as of last friday parts were sitting in the machine shop waiting to be machined (yep, emailed and got that kind of info, try doing that with skywatcher et al.)

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Macavity    3,154

Never bought anything THAT major. But I do echo the idea of slightly "quirky" customer relations. HOWEVER (and this is a big one) OO *do* remember your outstanding orders - E.G. For Vixen Lanthanums... Even if (foreign?) delivery schedules dictate a SIX month wait! :D

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brympton    0

Well here's the problem (if it is a problem to you). The TMB is a beautifully made instrument with excellent optics and the OO is an instrument with excellent optics.

Whether or not you get what you want depends on your own expectations. For my part I want all round excellence not just in the optics but the whole package. This is one area where opinions vary, the other (which hasn't arisen as yet) is the measurement of optical quality and how that translates in real life usage.

Frustratingly, I have first hand experience of OO so I know they are capable of delivering an all round excellent product within a reasonable time scale. On that basis I would buy from them again but only after direct communication and being very specific about exactly what I wanted - even if that meant paying extra.

I would suggest searching this forum for Orion Optics to get more detail and judge for yourself what is and isn't important to you. Either way in your position i would not want to part with the TMB.

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Hi

Thanks for the feedback. I had not realised I would be opening such a can of worms. Having searched the forums I have found one or two OO horor stories. Prime inportance to me is optical quality, but I don't wat a scope that looks like it was made in garage!

Wish I could afford to own both the OMC200 and the TMB but can not! :D

Please keep your comments coming.

Thanks

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I have and OO SPX 200, with the free upgrade to 1/10th wave optics. I had a few phone conversations with barry before ordering, he was very helpful and answered all my questions.

They tailored my scope for visual observing since i never do imaging, they moved the focal plane in near the tube and used a smeller secondary than normal.

It was built pretty quickly (within their quoted lead time), and i am absolutely thrilled with it, i think it is beautifully built, it weighs nothing, the focusser is lovely, the finder is good with adjustable illuminated cross hairs, the cooling fan brings it equilibrium quickly, the images delivered by the scope are tack sharp, and it stays in collimation without needing adjustment.

The only fault was the electric focusser handbox which looks like it was made by a totally different set of people from those who built the scope, it is frankly poor, and i made one myself in my lunchtime at work which is better. Couldn't do that with the telescope though, it is excellent.

I agree with the comment about finding Mr skywatcher too, i broke a screw in my HEQ5 recently and it was only by luck the greenwich had one in that i wasn't without a mount for several weeks while the new part came by boat from somewhere thousands of miles away. You can pop into Orion for tea if you want!

chrisa

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FLO    4,093

I agree with the comment about finding Mr skywatcher too, i broke a screw in my HEQ5 recently and it was only by luck the greenwich had one in that i wasn't without a mount for several weeks while the new part came by boat from somewhere thousands of miles away.

That is what dealers are for, and it sounds like Greenwich did you proud.

Also, OO sell and recommend Skywatcher mounts....

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nitram100    25

Some people forget that you're dealing directly with the manufacturer as opposed to a dealer like you would with Skywatcher etc can you imagine trying to get through to Skywatcher because you had a problem with your scope?

Their customer service isn't great, but as mentioned above, you can speak to them if you want and they are prompt with email replies, at least in my case and are eager to fix problems promptly should any arise.

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mattifor    3

I have resisted putting coments on here.

I have two OO Europa 10".

Whilst ther customer service has been described here as poor, I can only speak from my experience with them.

My wife decisided that she wanted to take up astronomy, not having any experience with the subject I looked around and was advised by a close friend to visit OO at Crewe. This I did and was shown a small number of telescopes in their very small showroom. Probibly in hind sight the wrong way to approach the purchase.

I went away slightly put off, but was persuaded by a very persistant wife to have a further look at the scope she fancied.

So we returned and took another look, the one thing I would say about Barry Pemberton was that he was not the pushy type that wants a sale at any price. He was helpful and we spent a couple of hours with him but I still left without buying. with some reluctance and much persuadance I eventually rang Barry and placed an order for an Europa 250 newtonian scope together with Wooden Tripod with GP2 mount and GoTo, promised date for completion four weeks.

Four weeks came and went, but to be fair Barry did ring to say it would be ready on Monday next. On the Friday John rang to say that it was ready and could be collected.

It was collected and duly set up that evening outside the Patio doors.

I found that the moving it out and setting it up a but of a bind, but worst of all was disassembling and bring it back when cold.

But I persevered for a couple of Months but one evening I triped whilst moving the scope fell on top of it causing extensive damage to scopt mount and tripod.

I got no sympothy from the wife she was more concerned that I had killed the scope.

I rang Barry who told me to bring it around and he would assess its damage. But as I supected It was beyond reasonable repair. Luckily on checking with my Insurance I found that I had cover for optical equipment. so I rang the insurance who advised me to get an estimate, I informed them what I had been advised by Barry, they said to take it back to where it had been bought from and they would send their assessor, I informed them that OO was where I had puchased it from, they arranged for the assessor to do his bit.

I was given the same assesment from the insurance and a cheque arrived in the post made out to OO for total replacement of the equipment.

I had arranged with Barry in the mean time to have a replacement scope built. I took the opportunity upgrade the tripod to a pedestal stand and improver the mount to a Vixen spynx.

These were prepaired and made ready by the date Barry had given.

The story does not end here. four weeks after getting the new setup I

ordered an Observatory which was built and set up with a central pier and the Vixen mount.

But unfortunatly I mounted the Europa on the mount and went in for dinner to return th the obs to find the Europa on the floor damaged.

As you can guess I was not popular.

I ordered a new scope from Barry not claiming this time on the Insurance, to give Bary his due the did not laugh. he duly arranged for the new Telescope to be made. Again it was ready as promised infact two day earlier that stated.

Barry suggested that the damaged scope could be repaired as ther was a distorion of the tube but optics were fine. a new outer tube was fitted and the optics realigned on completion. I use this as a portable scope on a GP mount of the two I think it is the better scope.

So my dealings with OO have been good.

Hi

Thanks for the feedback. I had not realised I would be opening such a can of worms. Having searched the forums I have found one or two OO horor stories. Prime inportance to me is optical quality, but I don't wat a scope that looks like it was made in garage!

Wish I could afford to own both the OMC200 and the TMB but can not! :D

Please keep your comments coming.

Thanks

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haitch    117
Hi

Thanks for the feedback. I had not realised I would be opening such a can of worms. Having searched the forums I have found one or two OO horor stories. Prime inportance to me is optical quality, but I don't wat a scope that looks like it was made in garage!

Wish I could afford to own both the OMC200 and the TMB but can not! :D

Please keep your comments coming.

Thanks

Assuming you saw my thread when you searched I shall sit on the sidelines. Overall I am happy with them now. Having just had a very brief 1st light with my recoated optics it seems their opinion was right.

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Astro_Baby    790

mattifoir - are you sure you should be doing astronomy - I'd suggest a hobby change to demolition derby :D

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zanes    10
I wish I had read this before ordering..............sigh...............

What problems are you having Mike (If you're waiting for a 400mm ODK- i think I saw your mirror being manually ground last friday when I picked mine up :headbang:). I have to say I found OO excellent when I dealt with them, apart from a longer-than published waiting time which I anticipated, being as they are so busy atm.

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johninderby    293

I've had a few scopes from OO. Two showed up within a week of the estimated delivery date. One took quite a bit longer, but that was down to problems with their supplier of carbon fibre tubes (OO have since switched suppliers).

One thing I can say about their customer service is that they will put things right if you're not satisfied. Also every scope is treated as a custom order, and in the case of dobs/ newts for example you can change just about any aspect of it from the tube length, colour of the OTA, position of the focuser or if you want send them your own focuser and they will fit it for you. Also if say you can't collimate your scope just take it in to them and they'll sort it out for you. Try asking for that sort of service at SkyWatcher, Celestron etc.

Also you should realise that OO's order books are absolutely full and so you might have to wait a while to get a scope. And is it such a bad thing if a manufacturers scopes are so popular that they have trouble keeping up with demand? That gives me more confidence in a manufacturer.

John

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nitram100    25

My experience is good, considering i was dealing with the manufracturer directly.

What's skywatchers phone number again...?

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neil phillips    1,490

Ive had some good and bad experiances with OO scopes mostly mechanics and setup, But I do think as far as a good relativly inexspensive scope goes the Europa 250 f6.3 1/10th pv can be a real top performer, if the wooden cell with closed back is purchased, for planets it will need modifying with a fan and extra airtflow. otherwise get a Europa with open spx cell, but that will add weight a little. to see what the 10" f6.3 can do, check out the saturn and mars, venus images on my site. i had a love affair with this scope. I think thats obviouse, it completly killed my meade 7" f15 mak. left it for dead really.

Neil phillips lunar and planetary images

Edited by neil phillips

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Marmite    14

My only exposure to OO and their gear is via this site. I did see a thread a while ago regarding one SGL member's experience with OO, and it wasn't pretty. The pictures he posted of the OTA and fittings were downright shocking. It was the most amateurish piece of work I've ever seen from any manufacturer. Having said that, everybody always says OO's optics are first-rate, and I've no reason to disbelieve them. We all have our off days, and maybe the person who machined the hardware was having one.

What I would like to address are the comments about not being able to contact "Mr Sky-Watcher". It may be different in the UK, but here in Australasia and Oceania we get excellent service from the likes of SW and GSO. If their local dealers aren't willing or able to help (never struck that yet), the fact remains that international telephone calls aren't expensive, and even then you only need to resort to that if the manufacturer doesn't respond to emails. (And I've never struck that yet either!)

Of course, you'd hope that OO, being a local (UK) company, would offer top-notch service and support to UK residents, so it would be natural to assume they'd equal or surpass S-W et al in that regard, within the UK. You'd hope. But don't assume you'll get no such service and support from the Asian manufacturers just because their factory isn't one town away. The world is a much smaller place thanks to the Intarwebz, and you'll likely find that the very nice and friendly people at S-W, GSO, LP, Synta, etc, will see you right. They've never let me down yet! :headbang:

Edited by Marmite

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johninderby    293

Here's reply to a question about delivery times posted by Barry Pemberton on the Orion Optics UK Yahoo group today.

Quote:

"Hi Josch,

We are sorry for any protracted delays in shipping. The problem, if you could call it that, is simple. We are just overpowered by orders. The response for ODK and AG models is almost 6 times what we expected and it has caught us out.

Currently we are training additional staff and recruiting more.

All efforts are being put into reducing the backlog and getting relatively up to date.

Regards

Barry"

Unquote:

John

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MikeA57    10
What problems are you having Mike (If you're waiting for a 400mm ODK- i think I saw your mirror being manually ground last friday when I picked mine up :headbang:). I have to say I found OO excellent when I dealt with them, apart from a longer-than published waiting time which I anticipated, being as they are so busy atm.

Hi, 3 different delivery dates, got a fourth, sort of today am hopefully of delivery sooooooon. Problem is apparently with the Losmandy mount delivery.

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Badger    10

I have just taken delivery of my Orion Optics SPX 8" Newtonian. It is beautifully made. I'm waiting on good weather to use it.

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