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Posts Made By: Jerry Mason

November 29, 2010 08:20 AM Forum: Landscape Photography

Arches National Park, Utah

Posted By Jerry Mason

This image was captured a few hours before sunset at Tunnel Arch.

December 15, 2010 11:10 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: I was officially Banded from an Astronomy stor

Posted By Jerry Mason

I can recall returning two Astronomy items over the last ten or fifteen years.

In 1998 I walked a $500 Meade LXD500 mount with Bronze Gears back into the Meade Headquarters Showroom and complained that the polar alignment scope was misaligned since when I rotated the mount in RA the reticle crosshair would also spin and not stay centered.

The Meade rep assured me it was because I was not pointing the crosshairs at Polaris and at infinity. I assured him back that it did not matter where the RA axis was pointed, the center of it should not vary. He then informed me that if I wanted a precision mount I should have bought the LX750 instead. Upon hearing that I walked over to a stack of Meade product catalogs on the lobby coffee table, flipped it open to the LXD500 page, and showed him the words "high precision" in their marketing material. Upon seeing that he agreed to take it and have their technicians look it over.

Two weeks later they called me in to pick up a new mount with a new polar axis scope -- they couldn't fiqure out what was wrong with the mount I brought in. On this visit I noticed that all the product catalogs in the lobby were now missing. The crosshairs in the polar scope of the new unit still wandered but not as much and, with a shrug, this was the best they could do for me. I took it home, removed the polar scope from the mount and decided to try adjusting the three tiny allen screws located near the eyepiece. Viola! I DISCOVERD the solution and how to center the reticle which was not printed in any Meade instruction manual nor known by any Meade tech rep.

Now five years ago I decided to give the Meade 24mm QX a try. I called Anacortes but they didn't have one in stock so I opt-ed to purchase it from a local astronomy shop in Oceanside. The Meade literature said "Sharp, pin point stars to the edge of the eyepiece field of view. So, after reading the first few reviews here on AM and the CN forums and getting mixed opinions -- "it's a great eyepiece", "no, it's a dog", I decided to buy one and decide for myself.

Well, it was a dog of course. Focusing stars in the center of the eyepiece showed flared stars in the outer 2/3 when using an f6 scope. I called the astronomy shop explained to them that I did not agree with the marketing verbiage on their web site and they immediately agreed to a return.

My conclusion is that there is a more than a little blame to spread around. If as a consumer I read untrue marketing material then I think some of the onus should belong to the Manufacturer and distributor to make things right to me. Does that absolve me from doing a little of my own research here on AM? Not at all.

Just my 2 cents.

Jerry

December 22, 2010 11:58 AM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

Rough Night Here In So Cal

Posted By Jerry Mason

Here's another. All the way up the canyon it looks the same.

January 10, 2011 03:00 PM Forum: Landscape Photography

Sugar Coated Canyonlands

Posted By Jerry Mason

And here is what we saw looking south from Grand View Point Overlook. Both of these images were taken from the "Island In The Sky" portion of Canyonlands NP.

Jerry

January 10, 2011 03:30 PM Forum: Landscape Photography

Aliens in Utah!!!

Posted By Jerry Mason

Here's a "Killroy was here" alien peeking over a rainbow.

January 13, 2011 12:15 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

Rosette in narrowband

Posted By Jerry Mason

WOW! What scope, camera, exposures etc.?

January 19, 2011 07:45 AM Forum: Landscape Photography

Moonrise Organ Pipe Cactus N.M., AZ

Posted By Jerry Mason

Here's a nice specimen of an Organ Pipe Cactus. They are common in Mexico but found very rarely outside of this National Monument.

Jerry

January 19, 2011 08:27 PM Forum: Eyepieces

meade new series 5000 HD-60 6-Element Eyepiece

Posted By Jerry Mason

Hi Mike,

A few years back I read the Meade marketing copy for their QX line of eyepieces. I bought one, then quickly returned it as it came nowhere near the promises of the ad copy. It's been my experience that many eyepiece manufactures/importers like to use the words "tack sharp" or "pinpoint" when describing the edge of field of their new offering. Here's what Meade still says about their QX line:

"Meadeƕs Series 4000 QX Wide Angle is a new line of 5 element eyepieces designed and engineered for high-performance observing. They yield a super wide 70 degree apparent field of view with extreme resolution. [COLOR="Red"]This is one of the few eyepieces sold today that can give you a wide field of view with a consistent pinpoint edge-of-field sharpness[/COLOR] and long eye relief. All QX Wide Angle Eyepieces feature multi-layered optical coatings to maximize light transmission, and edge-blackened optics for superior image contrast. The new Meade Series 4000 QX Wide Angle eyepieces are an incredible value, delivering excellent performance."

I've learned my lesson since then and like to wait for someone else to do the test driving for me these days.

Good luck!

Jerry

February 14, 2011 08:04 AM Forum: Landscape Photography

Winter Panorama

Posted By Jerry Mason

Cool panorama Jim! What are your initial thoughts about the new Nikon D7000? Have you had a chance to use the video feature?

Jerry

February 22, 2011 11:51 AM Forum: Landscape Photography

Death Valley over Presidents Day weekend

Posted By Jerry Mason

Here's a shot loooking south from the middle of Devil's Golf Course.