Obsidian Optics Customer Comments
SN0349 15" f/4.4 (Pyrex)
Every time I get a chance to look through other scopes, I realize just how good this mirror is. Very few other mirrors can even come close. |
Kevin H., Washington
SN015Q 12.5" f/4.96 (Fused Silica)
...this past weekend, I was out observing with two experienced amateur friends. One was using a StarMaster equipped with a 14.5" Zambuto mirror, the other with a 12.5" f/4.5 Royce mirror. My scope was keeping up with the 14.5" Zambuto quite nicely, and in some cases producing better images than the Royce mirror next to me. My fused silica mirror has almost no cooldown time, so it was producing sharper images than the Royce or Zambuto mirrors for about 45 minutes to an hour. This was not my opinion alone -- people were coming to my scope to see Jupiter after sunset, even with the 14.5" Zambuto set up next to me!|
I used to own and use a Royce 12.5" mirror; the Obsidian is surely its equal, and in some cases of detail on very dim objects, its superior. My friend with the Royce agrees, both of us having examined M42 carefully, and with the same eyepieces at nearly the same magnifications, for nearly an hour. The level of detail in the wisps of dark nebulae, and the almost unbelievably tiny, pinpoint foreground stars, were breathtakingly clear using the Obsidian quartz mirror.
Gregory S., California
SN0R11 16.25" f/4.8 (Fused Silica refigure)
M15 was like fireworks, all the stars were pinpoints. |
Really anxious to see Saturn.
A beautiful mirror!
Update: Shootout on Mauna Kea with a 22" f/3.75 and a 24" Obsession
...the bigger mirrors had a barely discernable advantage on galaxies, under great seeing conditions.
I was using 500x on Saturn, and at 700x on the moon, incredible views cranked way up!
Craig C., Hawaii
SN014Q 14.6" f/4.53 (Fused Silica)
Outstanding! Completely spectacular views of Saturn at first light with 4mm and 10mm Radians... I'm extremely pleased with the optics! The Orion nebulae showed dust lanes and color with street lights around! |
Tried to push the limts (a bit) and put it on the moon - a 3x barlow and 4mm Radian was showing tiny craters at 1250x!!!
Can't wait to get it out under dark skies...
Chris T., Oregon
SN0322 16" f/4.5 (Pyrex)
A few extracts from the original review (2006):|
The polish on the mirror was the best I've ever seen-- a green laser shining through the uncoated parabola produced no side scatter! This seemed like impressionistic support for Obsidian's claim to be doing "state of the art" Zambuto-style micropolish. I was also impressed by the absence of any turned down edge on the mirror (OK, so the Foucault tests do show a measly 6 Angstroms of TDE...), which impelled me in the direction of a "no mirror clip" design so as not to marr this superb figure.
I haven't yet had the weather needed to do a extended run of high magnification tests of the scope... but at 600X, planetary and stellar images look pinpoint. That's pretty good performance in my book-- nearly twice what Frankenscope rendered on comparable nights.
Later, he wrote this update on performance of the "Natasha" scope:
Conclusion: Natasha's Performance
On 12 September 2005 we had a night of exceptionally
good seeing, and for the first time I was able to see a clear optical difference
between Frankenscope (good Meade mirror with good aftermarket secondary) and
Natasha (premium grade primary with secondary to match). I saw an image of Mars
at 400X through Natasha that was astonishingly bright and clear-- like looking
at a web cam stacked digital image. It was still very sharp at 600X -- the
highest I could go without digging out a Barlow. Frankenscope, meanwhile, was
still stuck at the mid-300X power level, and its' image wasn't as bright
nor did the focus "snap" into place the way that Natasha's did, even though both scopes
were well collimated.
The following night had "good" but not fantastic seeing,
but nonetheless I was able to work at 500X with Natasha. While I didn't
have Frankenscope up and running that time, based on innumerable observing
sessions with it I am relatively confident the seeing conditions would have
capped it again at the low 300X magnification level.
Finally, empirical evidence "at the eyepiece"
that made all the expense and time of 'going upscale' on Natasha
19 Nov. '05 UPDATE:
my contemplation of purchasing an even larger scope --ideally a 24"-- for use
under dark mountain skies, I had the chance to evaluate a Starmaster 24" f/4.3
equipped with a Zambuto mirror. (For many this particular combination is
the "gold standard" of amateur astronomy-- there are only 14 such scopes in
existence...) I brought Natasha along, even though the Starmaster's owner
pooh-poohed the idea and said doing the comparison would leave me hating my
scope. After looking through it once we'd used the Starmaster for a couple of
hours, however, he was impressed and likened the views and ease of use to
his Starmaster 14.5", which he said was his favorite one
(he'd owned every model from the 11" to the 24"). He opined that the 14.5"
was Zambuto's best mirror size, too, so my Obsidian 16" glass seems to be in
good company <g>. Sounds like pretty decent validation/vindication of the
Natasha project to me!
More recently (2007) Jim compares it to his new 24" f/4. (note - link may be offline)...
Jim R., Virginia
SN0314 14" f/4.7 (Pyrex)
TScopes User Group, Re: Deluxe TScope
I own a 14" TScope with the Peerless Optical Package. The performance
is excellent. I've received lots of unsolicited comments from veteran
observers along the lines of "wow, that's a great mirror" or "who made
the mirror on this scope?" A friend owns a Ronchi grating eyepiece,
and we were both amazed by the excellent figure of my mirror.
If you get the Obsidian Optics Peerless Optical Package mirror, you
won't have to worry about the optics and I think you'll be delighted
by the excellent views. Whether the price is worth it you'll have to
decide for yourself. I personally don't regret a single penny of the
RBT wrote: I wouldn't buy into the wavelength accuracy thing. It's pretty much meaningless. A "1/10-th wave" mirror from one maker may be better than a "1/20-th wave" mirror from another. The only really meaningful number you're likely to encounter is Strehl ratio, but that requires interferometry testing, which not all mirror makers do, even good ones.
I agree. If you look at the published specs for the Obsidian Optics
mirrors on their website, they have very impressive Strehl ratios. My
own experience with the Obsidian mirror in my scope says the ratios
are for real.
TScopes User Group:
I personally consider the Peerless Optical Package money well spent.
I've gotten lots of unsolicited remarks from others about the fine
optics of my Tscope. IMO, it's a dead heat between the POP from
Obsidian and the Zambuto mirror on a Starmaster.
SN0R10 12.5" f/5.86 (Pyrex refigure)
Cloudy Nights, 04-09-05: Re: ULTIMATE SHOOTOUT:|
I should also mention that Obsidian Optics is producing 10" mirrors down to 0.8" thick. Ed G. purchased an old 12.5" mirror that was not as good as he wanted on the used market (Not from Obsidian Optics), so he sent it to a surprisingly well known company to be refigured for $500 and it actually came back worse. I will not mention the name in order to save them the grief, but what I will tell you is that Ed decided to send it to Obsidian Optics after and claims that the mirror is fantastic.
The point is, is that they are selling these thin mirrors and they do great work according to Ed. That's a huge plus, BUT proper flotation will be very important at this point. I am planning to design a 10" F-6 with all the trimmings, using a thin mirror with special flotation.
TScopes Obsidian Lite (Standard OEM) Comments
...I have one of the first TScopes Ed made, also with an Obsidian Lite primary. At that time, Ed promised "only" 1/8th wave optics so that may be what I have, although I suspect its better than that. |
The mirror is outstanding. More important than the wave accuracy, in my opinion, is how smooth the figure is and it is smoooth. You do great work and while I know Ed uses other mirror makers (hey, he needs to sell telescopes and good mirror makers can't exactly crank out mirrors) I can't see the point in paying a lot more for a different mirror. Not only is the plate glass not a problem (as some think when compared to Pyrex) but being thinner and lighter makes transport and setup easier and I think hastens cool down.
TScopes User Group, 07-29-05 & 10-04-05: First Light Report & The Obsidian Lite Mirror
...First light with my Tscope 14" with Obsidian Lite was outstanding. We all know the great scopes Ed builds. I like many questioned the plate glass mirror. After extensive research that's the way I went and I'm not sorry. Bottom line, Obsidian optics performance is OUTSTANDING!
First light was a clear night with 6 mag. sky. Our club put on a star
party at a state park for their campers. With little time for
observing due to closing of the park I turned the Tscope on M13 at
50X. People were amazed at what the saw. Next, cranked M13 to 150X
and when I looked at it I didn't want to share the eyepiece. What a
wonderful mirror you produce. Resolution and clarity was outstanding.
When people looked at M13 I saw several jaws drop! Many comments
like "what a wonderful view and OMG" were expressed.
I'll stack your Obsidian Lite up to any other mirror of equal size
anytime. I've looked through several other scopes in the 14" range
with other mirrors and you have them beat! Great job and you and Ed
keep it up.
TScopes User Group, 03-15-05:
...I have finished making my mods. to my Tscope and went out last Friday, at
our Star Party, My Scope was a hit to say the least!
It is so easy to put up, to collimate, and to find those Deep Space objects, I
can't believe how well the Star clusters just gleam with clarity and the scope
focuses so well!
We had a 24" Truss scope set up also, but the people just kept coming to see
mine! They said that the views were as good if not better, and for sure much
safer, they didn't have to climb a ladder!
...The scope is a 14" f4.7 - I have the Obsidian Lite mirror...
All The Messier items I have been looking at, look like brand new visions,
The different color stars show up well, Even the comet up around Polaris looks
as bright as it did when It was around the 7 sisters...
A very satisfied customer!!
Oscar S., Florida
TScopes User Group: Scope for sale:
It has the 14" f/4.7, with exceptional 1/10 wave
Obsidian Lite primary. See the web site for more
I have to say that the optics in this scope are some
of the best I have ever owned. Been observing for
30+ years with scopes from 60 mm to 18" Tectron Dob
made by Tom Clark a few years back.
Big Dobs, 02-19-04:
I'll second Curtis' suggestion to consider a 14" TScope. I have one
and it is a custom built quality scope. The Obsidian lite mirror I
have is outstanding and Ed is really about building you a quality
SN0203 8" f/5.8 (Pyrex)
It's working great! Was out till 3:30am Sunday morning using it. At
gave wonderful views of Saturn! I could make out the Cassini Division
the way around, when the air was still of course! I pushed it to 500X,
had some loss of clarity, but that could have been atmosphere and other
factors. Even at the 500X level I could make out the Cassini Division
edges and three of the inner moons.. |
Perry was there and now he can't
for his 10" mirror...
On Oct. 12,2002 my club, NEFAS, held a public
stargazing at the beach, conditions weren't the greatest. Two of the guests there,
who had not looked through large aperture scopes before, compared my 8" f/5.8
to a pair of manufactured 12.5" f/4's and said mine delivered better views
than either of them on both the Moon & M57 (Ring Nebula). How's that for a testimonial!
It gives great views on anything I've looked at.
I can't wait to get you started on the 15" f/6.5's!
Rick C., Florida
© 2009 Obsidian Optics - last updated 15jan09|