Author Topic: Are there any real American telescope makers left?  (Read 421 times)

Matthew Calhoun

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Are there any real American telescope makers left?
« on: December 25, 2017, 09:49:40 AM »
I received this thought because when I started this search I obviously discovered that the usual industrial outlets  (Celestron, Orion and others).  Well, Celestron of course is no more American in a feeling that they simply sell a new.  The OTA and mirror come from China and areally diffraction limited wh??ch is to state PV 1/4.  Skywatcher seems Language,  but they sell essentially the same stuff that Celestron sells but branded differently.  And Orion Telescope simply rebrands stuff from Skywatcher.
Afterward,    I came across Orion UK.  I got excited since they sell high quality scopes with PV around 1/10.  In the current exchange rate spending 450ish bucks for 6" telescope isn't bad.  Except shipping costs from the UK are # 120!  This would push the telescope cost to $650.  If I compare this to $219 to your Celestron 150 XLT out of highpointscientific.com.  That cost inclues shipping!
A trippling of procedure for 15-25% seems barely worth it.
A possible solution is to go with ano American telescope maker which makes scopes in the same quality as Orion UK.  Shipping withinthe US ought to be more affordable.
Problem is that I can not find this kind of equal, which leads me to the question.  The US is larger than the United Kingdom.  So if it not follow that there are far more telescope manufacturers in the US.  However, if so where are the American telescope manufacturers?  It should not be so hard to see them!



sainomaters

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Re: Are there any real American telescope makers left?
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2018, 04:34:11 PM »
Astro-Physic
JP Astrocraft
New Moon
Teeter
Astrosystems (kits, components and scopes)
Spica Eyes
Starstructure
Obsession

All almost certainly higher quality than what you've been looking at. Almost certainly an incomplete list.

Mark Richmond

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Re: Are there any real American telescope makers left?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2018, 02:48:51 AM »
There's more to a telescope than just one (or two) specs. Comparing an OrionUK reflector to the Celestron is kind of like comparing a BWM 5 series to a Yugo. They're both cars, and will get you from point A to point B, but there's a world of difference in engineering.

Most of the American telescope makers are making quality gear similar to the OrionUK scopes.

loraderclot

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Re: Are there any real American telescope makers left?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 07:21:31 AM »
Hi.  Stellarvue Telescopes (http://www.stellarvue.com/about-us/) are all hand made and assembled in Auburn CA, USA, by Vic Maris and associates.  I own a Stellarvue SVR90 triplet APO refractor and love it.  In the box was a personal note with all testing graphics from Mr. Maris.

Eric Graf

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Re: Are there any real American telescope makers left?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 11:13:48 PM »
Quote
Hi. Stellarvue Telescopes (http://www.stellarvue.com/about-us/) are all hand made and assembled in Auburn CA, USA, by Vic Maris and associates. I own a Stellarvue SVR90 triplet APO refractor and love it. In the box was a personal note with all testing graphics from Mr. Maris.

Although assembled in USA I don't believe all the lenses are made there. I suspect some are "off-shored".
I guess it depends on your interpretation of "US made"?

Mike

slotiniphin

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Re: Are there any real American telescope makers left?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2018, 07:19:26 AM »
The ones I see in the responses above seem to be custom-built telescopes, undoubtedly top notch quality but outside the range of affordability for many folks and well above the prices mentioned by the OP.

What if you want a telescope with a decent aperture (say, at least 6 inch) for under $1500, and preferably under $1000? Are there any U.S. telescope manufacturers selling in this range?

Brandon Costello

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Re: Are there any real American telescope makers left?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2018, 01:16:30 AM »
The USA is in the information age. China is in the industrial age. The implications, Chinese average wage pennies means lower manufacturer costs so they can stay low price.
USA  $50 an hour or higher labor means no way to make low cost, they go high end.

subliliva

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Re: Are there any real American telescope makers left?
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2018, 02:07:55 AM »
Orion is not a rebranded Skywatcher. Both companies get their products from Synta in China. And the original guys from Celestron now make Planewave telescopes, though I'm sure that's a bit more than you want to spend.

Thomas Homer

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Re: Are there any real American telescope makers left?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2018, 04:39:07 AM »
Quote
The ones I see in the responses above seem to be custom-built telescopes, undoubtedly top notch quality but outside the range of affordability for many folks and well above the prices mentioned by the OP.

What if you want a telescope with a decent aperture (say, at least 6 inch) for under $1500, and preferably under $1000? Are there any U.S. telescope manufacturers selling in this range?

Probably not. But does it matter? No. All the telescope manufacturing in the world wouldn't even appear in the rounding numbers of macro-economics. It isn't going to impact the economy of the US any at all, either way.

So again a consumer gets to choose between values: an inexpensive niche consumer good or a higher priced niche consumer good. Secondary, personal values attached to the transaction may legitimately sway the decision in either direction.

But the market is not broken by the disparity in costs per locations. It's what the markets are now. Manufacturing cost advantages enable many, and likely most, amateur American astronomers to participate in the hobby. The consumer's voice is again very clear. The market is stable and has successfully responded.

Jeremy Fokused

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Re: Are there any real American telescope makers left?
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2018, 10:49:37 AM »
Orion UK are good, but also do take a look at UK retailers for ANY brand...

1. Prices are rock bottom due to overstocked shelves, low inflation, EU austerity.
2. Exchange rates are at a 40 year record. Already £: € par.
  it won't be long before £: $ is at parity if the £ continues its freefall
3. This has had zero effect on UK retail prices due to (1), but wholesale prices must eventually rise on imported kit.
  You get a double benefit from the favourable $ Exchange rate applied against already low prices.
4. You can recover UK Value Added Tax and pay low import tax.
5. Yes there will be shipping costs and shipping delay, but I have heard US buyers are in a win win position.

....and post Brexit we need to sell more stuff to you once outside the EU.

Ken Kamkoff

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Re: Are there any real American telescope makers left?
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2018, 10:29:13 PM »
Prices in the UK will also include a VAT- a Value Added Tax for anyone in the UK; for a buyer in America there is no VAT, so you need to ask them what the actual price truly is for someone in the US.

..Joe

ransgesislu

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Re: Are there any real American telescope makers left?
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2018, 08:24:51 PM »
Quote
Orion is not a rebranded Skywatcher. Both companies get their products from Synta in China. And the original guys from Celestron now make Planewave telescopes, though I'm sure that's a bit more than you want to spend.

The thing of it is, Skywatcher is the house brand for Synta.. Skywatcher = Synta.

Jon

David Reynolds

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Re: Are there any real American telescope makers left?
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2018, 05:19:20 AM »
Quote
Quote

Orion is not a rebranded Skywatcher. Both companies get their products from Synta in China. And the original guys from Celestron now make Planewave telescopes, though I'm sure that's a bit more than you want to spend.

The thing of it is, Skywatcher is the house brand for Syntax.. Skywatcher = Syntax.

Jon
...or Synta.

Jason Kaltwasser

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Re: Are there any real American telescope makers left?
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2018, 11:28:58 PM »
Oddly enough, I recently purchased an Orion UK 6 inch F/5 with an 1/8th wave mirror.. it was listed on the San Diego Craigslist and included a Vixen GP mount..  It's in Florida now on long term loan...

I think there's a 6 inch F/6 Parks in Alpine on a mount. Parks was a US manufacturer that recently went under. They had a good reputation.

http://sandiego.crai...5828371370.html

Jon

ifaclidis

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Re: Are there any real American telescope makers left?
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2018, 02:19:03 AM »
There are many fine, hand crafted scopes made in the USA but I don't think there are any mass market scopes like Meade and Celestron made here anymore. Those days are long gone.