Welcome to my Astrophotography Blog!

This is a journal of my adventures in astrophotography -- taking images of distant celestial objects. Please look around and feel free to add your comments, questions, and critique to any of the entries by clicking the "comments" button on the bottom of each entry -- or just say "howdy!

And don't forget to click on the images for a larger view!

So choose either the Red pill or the Blue pill and follow me down the wormhole....


Comanche Springs Star Party

Comanche Springs Star Party
Doin' my thang at the Comanche Springs Astronomy Campus (where I often become a "red ghost")

Dallas Sky

Rancho Venado Sky

Atoka Sky

Camanche Springs Sky

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Made In Japan

You know, it wasn't all that long ago (okay, maybe a few decades) that "Made in Japan" was synonymous with "cheap" (both price and quality).

My how times change!

Today "Made in Japan" indicates quality, attention to detail, state-of-the-art manufacturing, presentation, and pride of craft. This is true of cars, consumer electronics, and (more on topic) telescope products!

Some of the best optics in the world come from Japan -- Cannon, Nikon, Pentax, and of course Takahashi. In fact, Takahashi pioneered the use of Fluorite Glass in their refractor telescopes way back in the 70's. And today, they remain the sole experts on this exotic glass medium (Fluorite is difficult to make and expensive -- but it is the best glass attainable and yields extreme transmission and perfect color correction).
Now, I like to "Buy American" when I can. But ultimately I just have to "give it up" to a company that places such extreme attention to quality, fit, and finish (and take such pride in their products). When researching Takahashi telescopes, I came across this website tour of their manufacturing plant. I thought it was amazing! Computer controlled manufacturing? Robotic assembly? No way! They work their magic totally old school, crafting everything by hand -- one piece at a time.

Here is a the website (also in my links below): http://www.sbig.com/mb/tak/takpics.htm
Check it out!


Bob Eggleton (Zillabob) said...

By hand is the way to do ANYTHING that has the earmark of quality to it. I'm not surprised at all at this attention to detail in how the glass is made and it's all assembled. Look at the toys? We've both seen this and how the Japanese pride themselves in old-fashioned "long" ways of doing things. The payoff is in truth, while the scope may look "the same" in fact, no two are quite alike. Like a finely tuned handmade Lambhorgini or something, or a fine bottle of wine that's truly hand crafted. Doesn't matter where it's done matters that it's done well.

I am JOhn said...

Absolutely. To me, it all comes down to the Two "P's"...

PRIDE and PASSION-- taking pride in what you are doing, and being passionate enough to not be content with the easy path.

It seems to me most companies do not take as much pride in their work. They are more interested in the bottom line, making it for a price point that will insure maximum profit. Hey, I got nothing against profit -- I love to make a profit! But I've always felt that if you first concentrate on doing "good work", the money will follow.

Now, there are some GREAT companies here in the USA making outstanding telescopes. The most respected is Astro Physics. Their products are arguably just as good as anything Takahashi makes. They also make their products in small quantities by hand. They are fabulous!

"So, hey John, why didn't you buy one of their scopes?"

Because they have a waiting list for their telescopes that is typically 3 years long!

Maybe one day... those folks are REALLY passionate too!