The power of brand and suggestion

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  • Member since
    March, 2008
The power of brand and suggestion
Posted by Antitax on Sunday, December 22, 2013 6:37 PM


Found in the italian Coelestis forum:

"Giuliano di TECNOSKY mi confidò una sua esperienza, sul campo vi erano dei 100ED [...] e sua maestà il TAKA FS 102, al buio pesto, molti osservarono nel 100ED, credendolo il TAKA e tutti furono prodighi di lodi, poi passarono al TAKA credendolo il 100ED ed alcuni rilevarono qualche problema.

Potenza del blasone e della suggestione"

   "Giuliano from TECNOSKY revealed to me an experiment he did: on the field were several 100ED (Sky-Watcher) and her majesty the Taka FS102, in deep darkness; many observed through the 100ED believing it was the Taka, and all were generous in praises, then they went to the Taka believing it was the 100ED, and a few indicated some kind of problem.

   The power of brand and suggestion".

TS 8x40 Wildlife, 10x50 Marine/Fujinon 16x70/TS 80mm triplet, 6x30 finder, EQ-3 mount, TS 2" 99% diagonal/Celestron C5+ and 6x30 finder, DIY tripod/5" Bahtinov/12" GSO dob, 8x50 finder/Meade 2" 24mm 82°/Hyperion 24,13,10mm 68°/TS Expanse 17mm 70°/SW 7mm Panorama 82°/Ultima 2x barlow/Astronomik UHC-E filter/Baader O-III/Astro Solar 5" & 80mm filters/Sky Atlas 2000/Rükl's Moon Atlas/Canon 400D/5mW green laser

  • Member since
    May, 2009
Posted by Timthelder on Sunday, December 22, 2013 8:04 PM

That is interesting, thanks for sharing. 

I have the 100ED, an '08 Orion model and I have no optical complaints.  This particular scope did have some issues however when imaging. No effect visually. 

This was due to some felt spacers in between the two objective lenses slightly protruding into the FOV to create some interesting star spikes.  This was fixable,  A bit of a pain, but fixable.

It would be VERY interesting to see a 'blind' test through similiar aperture scopes to obtain an 'honest' opinion of their perfomance.

Usually, one gets what they pay for...But not always.

Tim.

My website:   http://www.astrotarp.com  

Also look me up on facebook!

And...My Current Stuff

Orion 100ED F/9 Refractor_Celestron 80mm SLT F/11 Guidescope_Celestron C9.25" F/10 SCT_Celestron 80mm F/7.5 Guidescope_CGE Pro mount_Celestron CG-5 ASGT Mount_Orion SS Autoguider _DMK21AU618.AS Imaging Source videocam_ Baader RGB filters_Canon 450Da

  • Member since
    March, 2008
Posted by Antitax on Monday, December 23, 2013 6:38 AM

   Yeah, when I evaluated a club member's TeleVue NP-101 with an artificial star, I immediately confirmed his suspicion his William Optics dielectric 99% diagonal was not that good. Direct comparison with my less costly TS 99% dielectric showed a tighter, cleaner image with less scatter. And apparently more brightness because light was brought where it should instead being sprinkled over the field. The TS is rated at 1/12th wave while the WO is rated at 1/10th wave. Daytime testing showed the scattering even more, and duller colors in leaves.

   The WO's body is well blackened inside, neat with fine materials but when we opened it years before and removed the mirror, we found a high spot on the rear plate that holds the mirror. I sanded it easily cause it's aluminum; after reassembly it seemed the diffraction figures were a little better. Still it's clearly inferior to the everyday man's TS diagonal. Then although my TS was shiny black inside, and I had to paint the chassis matte black, its inner and outside construction is flawless.

   Price for my TS was 105, price for the WO was around 140.

   I would also love to find the results of more blind tests; provided the diagonals are the same (or removed) and eyepieces are the same, the trials will be telling a lot.

   It's not always you get what you pay for, sometimes it's only you get what you wish for.

TS 8x40 Wildlife, 10x50 Marine/Fujinon 16x70/TS 80mm triplet, 6x30 finder, EQ-3 mount, TS 2" 99% diagonal/Celestron C5+ and 6x30 finder, DIY tripod/5" Bahtinov/12" GSO dob, 8x50 finder/Meade 2" 24mm 82°/Hyperion 24,13,10mm 68°/TS Expanse 17mm 70°/SW 7mm Panorama 82°/Ultima 2x barlow/Astronomik UHC-E filter/Baader O-III/Astro Solar 5" & 80mm filters/Sky Atlas 2000/Rükl's Moon Atlas/Canon 400D/5mW green laser

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  • Member since
    July, 2002
  • From: Texas
Posted by chipdatajeffB on Monday, December 23, 2013 8:52 AM

When we do the refractor tests here, we mount the scopes either coaxially on a big mount, or separately on identical  mounts side by side in the field. We image at the same time, using identical subframe settings and identical cameras. We then process one of the setup's images to best result and apply the same workflow and settings to the images from the other setup.

We compare on a number of factors, including image-corner performance (vignetting, star shape, color, e.g.). We also use the imaging software to evaluate contrast, star bloat, etc.

We do not use diagonals during imaging.

When we show the images to our test panel, we do not identify which setup was used for which photo.

That is as close to a blind test as we think practical.

We tried to do blind testing visually and there was just too much variation in the observers' visual acuity/preferences and it just wasn't possible to fool experienced observers -- even in total darkness -- as to the identity of a given scope. I think we'd've had to build some kind of custom box to encase each scope. I suppose if the scopes were identical in size and shape, more or less a simple scope cover would do it, at least for people not expert at APO brand identity.

You also have put your finger on a strong bias here: It's only natural for someone who has spent 2X to 3X on a scope to "see what they want to see" ...

 

The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it's stranger than we CAN imagine. --- JBS Haldane

Come visit me at Comanche Springs Astronomy Campus (we're on Google Maps) in Texas.

www.3rf.org

  • Member since
    October, 2005
Posted by leo731 on Monday, December 23, 2013 11:36 AM

This was from many decades ago but when one figured one's own optics (Newtonian Reflector) unless there was a real significant problem the owner's of these home built scopes fit into to two camps.  The competative type who was going to make bigger and better scopes didn't mind subjecting their optics to testing.  If the figure was a bit off they would be sad and feel their efforts had been in vain, but the next scope would be better.

Then there were those who were happy to complete their scope and had no immediate plans to build another.  They were excited about the views they had and happy as clams having a six or eight inch reflector rather than a small refractor to peer through.  These people did not let any testing equipment near their scopes!  They were happy and wished to remain that way rather than be dissapointed that their scope didn't measure up.

Certainly our own bias, eyesight, and ability will colour what we see through a telescope.  Enjoy the view as long as it pleases yourself.  The attainment of perfect optics is often a long and expensive road filled with restlessness for there will always be something new and improved just beyond the next star.

 

L

A nebula in the eyepiece is worth two in the Atlas.

  • Member since
    March, 2008
Posted by Antitax on Tuesday, December 24, 2013 7:03 AM

   Another tidbit from the Coelestis forum:

"pagai tanti anni fa un BAADER MAXBRIGHT da 2" quanto oggi si paga un dobson da 10", accessori compresi, sarà un ottimo diagonale, ma anche io non vedo la minima differenza con quello da 2" di serie e quindi gratis, sul MAK SW BD da 180/2700mm"

"many years ago I paid a 2" Baader Maxbright as much as you pay for a 10" dobson today, accessories included; it should be a great diagonal, but I also don't see the slightest difference with the 2" dotation, and thus free diagonal on the Sky-Watcher 180/2700 Maksutov"

   Speaking of diagonals, when I restored a second-hand 60mm achro (SBS/Bresser brand), I compared its 1.25" mirror diagonal with my Celestron's 1.25" fully-multi-coated prism diagonal (made by Vixen). Both have been cleaned and flat-blackened at every place that's not optical. I shined a strong bulb on them from upclose, the prism gave a slightly brighter reflection, but maybe with a tiny bit of diffusion, that's hard to say cause the extra brightness could make it seem so.

   The standard-coated mirror was a bit colder in tone, and a little bit dimmer since it does not benefit from the perfect reflection in the prism, but the reflection was very clean. Plus, its housing is all metal, whereas the Celestron has a plastic chassis with metal tubes and backplate. The plastic was not molded flat, surfaces undulated a bit and they were scratched after 20 years. Simply rubbing it on coarse sandpaper trued the flats, and chamfering the edges make it look like it's brushed aluminum now.

   Trying them both on Jupiter, the Moon, some doubles and a few bright stars for intensity and diffraction testing, I could not see the slightest difference in brightness, contrast or sharpness. A 25mm Plössl, my Hyperions and my 7mm Nagler-clone Panorama were inserted in the diags in succession, no visible difference in actual use. The luminosity variance that the strong bulb made apparent disappeared in real use. Maybe the weak turbulence was enough to hide it, and a truly steady image would show it, but perfect seeing can't be had at will.

   A standard-coated 1.25" mirror diag sells for 25€, and a multicoated Celestron 1.25" prism sells for 50€. That's understandable since the prism glass is more massive, has to be perfect within its mass, and needs three polished surfaces at exacting angles instead of only one, plus the multi-coating.

   However the superexpensive Maxbright mirror not performing better than a "free" Sky-Watcher is not justifiable. It's often touted that stuff made in Europe has to cost more because it's better made, but if Europeans - my compatriots - are that smarter, they should be able to build quality for cheap.

TS 8x40 Wildlife, 10x50 Marine/Fujinon 16x70/TS 80mm triplet, 6x30 finder, EQ-3 mount, TS 2" 99% diagonal/Celestron C5+ and 6x30 finder, DIY tripod/5" Bahtinov/12" GSO dob, 8x50 finder/Meade 2" 24mm 82°/Hyperion 24,13,10mm 68°/TS Expanse 17mm 70°/SW 7mm Panorama 82°/Ultima 2x barlow/Astronomik UHC-E filter/Baader O-III/Astro Solar 5" & 80mm filters/Sky Atlas 2000/Rükl's Moon Atlas/Canon 400D/5mW green laser

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