Whilst it is true to say that the standard of optics routinely produced in the Far East - where most lenses and mirrors these days are produced - is uniformly good, hand finished optics produced to exacting quality assurance levels provide noticeably superior performance.
All our large aperture refractors and optics are designed and produced to higher specifications than the mass produced alternatives.
For details on optical quality and the effects of telescope design please click here - Optical Performance
All telescopes are not equal....
We fondly think of the fine telescopes of previous generations such as those made by Alvan Clark, Thomas Cooke, Broadhurst Clarkson and the like, as representative of the pinnacle of the art of telescope making. Whilst these instruments are fine to look at and through, close inspection often reveals mechanical and optical imperfections due to the inadequacies of manufacturing techniques of the time.
Artisans could, and did, produce finely machined components but not to a high level of consistency. We have inspected many telescopes from the Victorian and earlier periods, only to find mechanical limitations. Unfortunately, despite claims to the contrary, modern so-called vintage style telescopes are often of inadequate quality and do not exhibit the precision of a well designed CNC machined instrument.
Precision CNC machining guarantees an OTA that will hold the optics in an exact manner and prevent any movement or distortion in the optical train.
CFF and APM/LZOS OTAs and binocular systems are precision CNC machined, subjected to high levels of quality assurance and hand assembled to provide telescopes of unsurpassed performance. All components are produced to exacting standards and precision focusers, usually from Starlight Instruments, complete the system.
As an analogy, who would expect a high - performance Formula One car to utilise components that were hand-made on a hobbyist's machine?
The following manufacturers produce exceptional optics and high performance OTAs:
Click on these links for further information: