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Orion Optics-Fim ending europa,SPX e dobson range?


ahlberto
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Orion Optics UK

HI.Ive been on the OO site and i cant find the Europa,SPX and dobson range.Have they turned for the astrograph market,a more specialized maked ?Were the god quality and more cheap skywatcher telescopes have dealt a final blow on his sales strategy?

Any thougths on this?:D

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Just had a look at OO website. Clicking on the VX link, it says that the Dobsonian,

Europa and SPX scopes have been replaced by the VX range, available as OTA

only or a choice of EQ mounts or Dob mount. Looks like they are concentrating

on more upmarket scopes.

Regards, Ed.

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wow a VX8, sounds like a big muscle car. :D

But seriously it looks like a good idea. Just build your scope up with the bits you want.

I would like the VX8 with the dual speed crayford, 1/10th PV optics and dob base = £984 ........ crikey i could waiting sometime for that :D

Edited by russ
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OO is definitely moving up-market and away from a lot of the mass market stuff. From statements made by Barry I know that OO were struggling to keep up with demand for their new top-end scopes and so it's a sound business decision to concentrate on the more profitable end of the business.

I had wondered why they were bothering making the basic dobs/Newts when SkyWatcher etc. were selling mass-produced scopes with machine made optics that were almost as good as the standard 1/4PV OO optics.

John

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Well, there 's more to a mirror than the PTV error. Unless you're unlucky that there's either a deep zone underestimated by the OO interferometer's coarse sampling or something really wrong in the rather large untested hole in their interferometry setup --unfortunately usually larger than the secondary obstruction-- a 1/4 wave PTV error OO is still going to be better than many Shuzou Synta or GSO mirrors.

But you are indeed taking your chances by grabbing something from the lowest bin. But even the Pro grade mirrors (just one step above the lowest bin) are always a lot better than typical GSO or Shuzou Synta mirrors in my experience (and that of Dutch and German colleagues). They can also make pleasantly thin mirrors while especially GSO often makes mirrors that are so thick you have to wait for ages before the scope is cooled down properly.

Edited by sixela
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I think what this will also do is increase the value or at least the demand for used OO UK scopes, especially dobs as there will be far fewer coming out that then get sold. I'm not complaining.

to replace mine with new and with the same spec would be £1400 approx and £530 for the shorter f8 6" version. I paid a LOT less of course.

I think for the business though it's got to be a good thing.

Edited by Moonshane
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I think what this will also do is increase the value or at least the demand for used OO UK scopes, especially dobs as there will be far fewer coming out that then get sold. I'm not complaining.

to replace mine with new and with the same spec would be £1400 approx and £530 for the shorter f8 6" version. I paid a LOT less of course.

I think for the business though it's got to be a good thing.

Hopefully :D

I've always thought that the depreciation on OO newtonians was rather heavy, given that the general concensus is that they are prety good scopes and optically a touch better than their chinese counterparts.

My OO Europa Deluxe 10" F/4.8 was, until the recent OO range changes, listed at £630 to buy new as an OTA but I doubt if I could get even 50% of that for it now.

Edited by John
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OO's PV ratings for their different grades of mirrors are actually better than the stated ratings. IE their 1/4 PV mirror will usually be around 1/5 PV actual and the 1/6PV around 1/7 PV actual etc.

Only laser interferometry certificates are worth the paper they're written on (assuming the test is conducted properly of course). Any other method is subject to a fair bit of error due to the limited number of sample points on the mirror and also mechanical error in the measuring process and will usually over-estimate the quality of the mirror.

There's some good info on the Optical Mechanics website on the subject of mirror testing and coatings etc.

http://www.opticalmechanics.com/technical_articles/index.html

John

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It's interesting what you say John on depreciation. Looking round ABS My perception (and it is only perception) is there always seems to be quite a lot of OO scopes being sold at firesale prices. eBay had a glut of older ones on it a year or so ago, some people were asking crazy money and didn't get it and others went for a song.

It's weird with secondhand scopes, people value them either way too high or way too low. The only secondhand market that's I have ever seen like it is pianos.

Actually I'd suspect OO dropping some models will hurt secondhand values. We live in an age where everyone seems to want the latest and last years model is as dead as a week old kipper.

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Actually I'd suspect OO dropping some models will hurt secondhand values. We live in an age where everyone seems to want the latest and last years model is as dead as a week old kipper.

Interesting point and you might be right. The good news for me personally is that I love optics not image and therefore I win either way as I can get another scope more cheaply :D

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Actually I'd suspect OO dropping some models will hurt secondhand values. We live in an age where everyone seems to want the latest and last years model is as dead as a week old kipper.

I think that the second-hand value of the basic OO dobs/Newts may be hurt, but the better scopes will go up. As OO moves up-market if a second hand dob/Newt has the same specs as latest VX model available on the OO website it will pull-up the value of the second hand scope.

John

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Hi.Maybe on Uk the OO loss value but here in Portugal these folks wen they pun they second hand OO stuff,usually they ask above the selling priçe or close the store priçes and they usualy dont manage to sell them.Its rare to see a OO at a good priçe here and thats a shame.The causes are,-first,OO havent any representation here due to horrendous waiting time for a scope and/or poor quality hardware and any shop wants to take the risk of a nagging client phonning tree times a day to know news.

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I think it could be a good move for them, they didn't appear to compete at the cheaper end of the market in a couple of ways so perhaps going upmarket would help their reputation which in some quarters, isn't great.

They don't appear to do the 8" f8 anymore which I was thinking of as a contender if I was getting into 'proper' observing again. Shame.

Tony..

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I think one of the beauties of OO is that they can make things to your own spec and I bet if you asked them they would still make optics to a higher spec at whatever aperture and focal length/ratio you want. whether they could supply a whole scope though in an unusual format I don't know.

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Only laser interferometry certificates are worth the paper they're written on (assuming the test is conducted properly of course).

I disagree with that statement rather vehemently. And I disagree even more with the possible subtext that the number must be completely correct just because it's spat out by a Zygo interferometer.

I'd rather have a mirror from Gordon Waite with a video with a number of Foucault test films over several diameters (with the knife moving and then with the Couder mask over the mirror) than a rather coarse interferogram. A phase-shift interferometry report that uses tens of thousands of sample points may be even better, but that's not what many people are producing.

Some errors are actually a lot easier to see with a null tester or even a "plain" Foucault tester than with many interferometers. That's why many premium mirror makers actually use these tests while they make your mirror (when they just want to see the errors they can fix, not see exactly how bad they are), although they may use an interferometer to evaluate the final quality.

Any other method is subject to a fair bit of error due to the limited number of sample points on the mirror and also mechanical error in the measuring process and will usually over-estimate the quality of the mirror.
I ask for forgiveness in becoming a bit technical, but this is fortunately not the beginners' forum. If you're not interested in the technical detail, you can skip what follows.

The interferometer used by Orion Optics actually has somewhat coarse sampling, which can let the interpolated surface be estimated to be somewhat better than it is if there's a narrow but fairly deep zone (or more than one).

There's also, due to a set-up, a fairly large hole that is untested, and unfortunately it's larger than the area of the mirror that is always under the shadow of the secondary. That can still lead to very different performance metrics from other tests if you're spectacularly unlucky (you do have to be spectacularly unlucky, as OO usually makes quite good mirrors):

http://astrochonum.com/Metrologie/miroir300_OO_v2.pdf

This is an OO retested by Reosc in France. The "fun" part is that the data is the same but the estimated Strehl ratio is 0.70 by Reosc and 0.96 by Orion Optics.

The reason? There's an incredibly ugly hole in the centre of the mirror which just happens to be almost completely (but not quite) hidden by the Orion Optics test set-up.

+Orion Optics estimates the Strehl ratio using the RMS error over the test surface, which in fact assumes the rest of the mirror is "on average" as good as the tested surface.

+Reosc tests more of the mirror, and sees more of the ugliness in the centre.

+Reosc estimates the Strehl ratio for the entire surface, and fills in the data for the missing hole by extrapolating the data at the edge of the hole (probably more correct).

+Reosc's much finer sampling sees some small amplitude roughness and a very mild zone that OO misses.

The "real" Strehl ratio is probably somewhere in the middle between the two extremes; Reosc's data is better, but some part of the ugly hole is fortunately going to be covered by the shadow of the secondary which makes part of the ugliness irrelevant. The mirror is actually not that bad if you'd put a large black sticker on the central 33% and pretend that you have an SCT :D.

I've seen other examples of discrepancies; a German mirror claimed to have a 0.98 Strehl ratio actually had a 0.93 Strehl ratio once a very prominent zone (visible in the OO test report) was characterised a bit more precisely. Not that the owner was right to make that much of a fuss, as a mirror with a Strehl ratio of 0.93 is actually not

really a bad mirror. (If anyone is interested, the data can be found here, along with a lot of opinion which frankly makes no sense at all if you read German.)

But I hope these examples will suffice to show that just because an interferometer spits out a number doesn't mean it's "the truth", not even if the measuring protocol is sound and no foul play is involved; every test is vulnerable to its specific weaknesses (which is why NASA, after Hubble, mandates the optics quality to be assessed at least using two independent protocols).

Some of the errors on these Orion Optics mirrors would have stuck out like a sore thumb just by plonking the mirror under a Foucault tester and looking at it.

Mind you, I still think Orion Optics makes fine mirrors. I don't have a Strehl ratio fetish, and these two examples are not at all typical of Orion Optics mirrors, but rather represent the worst that can happen (and both mirrors are actually not lemons, although the first one does need the centre masked off to perform well.)

Edited by sixela
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These numbers etc are all very interesting, but in real terms, where will the differences be seen between a 'normal' mirror, and a fandabidozy mirror?

a) At the eyepiece?

:D At the camera?

I know Peter Shah's AG8 from OO produces some very sharp stars across its field, is that what you would look for?

Cheers

Tim

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But a mirror is only one (albeit important) part of the scope.

I bought a Europa a few years ago and personally thought that it was an awful scope. The mirror might have been good - I didn't really have the knowledge at the time to know - but the mechanics were dire.

The focuser was poor, the telescope tube was very thin which cause flex which made collimation difficult to achieve.

I'm sure that things have moved on and OO make a good scope - my point was that a good mirror is only half the battle.

Ant

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