Thinking About a New Scope? Think Big!
From the Obsessed
Ron K., 12.5" owner in Redmond, Oregon - March 9, 2015
Had an opportunity to do some observing for the first time before the bright moon rose. It was a series of OMG moments! Stunning views of easy to find objects. The structure in the Orion Nebula had depth and detail I never saw before.
Amy E., 12.5" owner in Albuquerque, New Mexico - September 4, 2014
I'm still enjoying the 12.5 inch scope which my partner named "First Light." On TAAS observing nights, the compliments on the views through the scope just keep coming even when larger aperture scopes are on the field.
Doug Chism, 12.5" owner in San Antonio, Texas - December 17, 2013
Thanks again, for creating a world-class telescope. Thank you for building my telescope!
P.S. My Obsession Telescope is nine years, and going strong.
Gavin Khoo, 12.5" owner in Singapore - August 17, 2013
This was taken just two days ago at our regular dark sky site in neighboring Malaysia's Johor state.
This past weekend was my first with the scope under good sky conditions at a dark sky site. A previous trip in June was marred by poor visibility due to forest fires from Indonesia!
I can report that this time, my friends and I were thrilled by the excellent views through the 12.5". We were so impressed with the views of, for example, the Swan nebula (M17), the 47 Tucanae globular, the Helix nebula (NGC7293), the M13 globular, the Orion nebula (M42), the Dumbbell nebula (M27), and the Small Sagittarius Star Cloud (M24). (Yes, we can view most of the northern and southern skies here in the tropics at the same time!). The brightness, contrast, sharpness and level of detail in the eyepiece through the 12.5" dob are truly a quantum leap over my 8" SCT.
One of my friends there was Remus, who is one of the main astro organizers in Singapore. I believe he has expressed an interest in getting the 15UC from you. I hope he does!
Jason Holland, 12.5" owner in Abilene, Texas - Jan, 25, 2013
I am thrilled with my scope! I've had 5 sessions in the backyard and had a blast every time, even with a lot of city lights in Abilene. I did not expect M51 so nicely in the scope with Abilene skyglow. I'm planning a dark sky observation session in early February very soon and can't wait for that.
Jason Holland, Professor
Department of Mathematics
Abilene Christian University
Jimmy B., 12.5" owner in Nepean, Ontario - August 2, 2012
A couple of weeks ago I bagged all of Stephen's Quintent + the faint 15.2 galaxy ( IC 4617 ) between M-13 & NGC. 6207
Not bad for a 12.5" Obsession!!
David Smith, 12.5" owner in Germany - October 4, 2011
The scope I purchased arrived, is set up, and I've taken it for a few test spins here in Stuttgart, Germany. I wanted to provide you some feedback on the purchase experience and my reaction to the assembly and use of the instrument.
Order process was easy; web site highly informative with enough pictures, illustrations and links to answer my questions and stimulate my imagination. In fact, best I have seen of any other. Quick email responses to any correspondence. Actual shipping to Germany was 7 days door to door including customs clearance. Quality of shipping is excellent. Assembly process possible even for me - a person who has a hard time changing light bulbs.
My apartment has an East-facing balcony from which most of my observing occurs. I'm in a suburb with moderate light pollution which, although not ideal, allows me to view on any clear night and occasionally with a glass of wine. I chose the 12.5" aperture as a compromise based on the balcony size, the weight of the heaviest component, and the most aperture I could get within those physical boundaries. The 15" was just too heavy. I know I gave up resolution and power but gained utility.
The scope is a joy to use. It really is "buttery smooth". It's also gorgeous. Even my artistic wife said it was beautiful. Although it is much larger than the scope I replaced (an 8" reflector), it takes up less operational space because of the engineering. The 8" would extend backward as well as forward when I moved it off zenith forcing me to adjust it back and forth between the balcony wall and house while the Obsession is set up a few inches flush with the wall and I just tilt the extremely well-balanced scope where I want and it does not extend back. How can something much, much larger in size be smaller in use? You tell me, Magic Man.
The views are great. I'm bagging galaxies I could not see before and ones that were hints of nebulosity with averted vision have form and contrast. Keeping things in view requires very little force because of the well-balanced design and smooth action of the bearings. I don't want to exaggerate because there are limits to what a 12.5" can do, but it is a very obvious upgrade in power over the 8" - and I'm never going back. I can't wait to take it to a truly dark site next time I go to the Black Forest or the Alps. I love this scope.
Anyway, I just thought you should know.
US Army, Germany
Eric F., 12.5" owner in Winnipeg, Canada - August 18, 2011
It's been a hot, dry summer here and my "little" Obsession has been providing me with about as much happiness as I can handle! I think you know I can't ever thank you enough for building such a beautiful telescope! It's added so much to my life (which is far from boring, believe me!), and I've seen so much more than I ever imagined! And your book (and Richard Berry's)... a Dob. man's bible, for sure!
Joanie C., 12.5" owner in Rhinelander, Wisconsin - June 2, 2011
After you left, the clouds rolled in and stayed, so spent a couple of days getting to know my scope, doing the usual stuff - setting the vanes, secondary and initial collimation. That lasered barlow, by the way, kicks butt. My only concern was as to how much off the collimation would be after taking the scope down after each use, but turned out not to be much of an issue since that laser is so simple to use.
Finally! The winds howled all day, yesterday, but calmed enough last night for my first light outing with the 12.5.
I don't want to be another one of your gushing customers, but ... okay, just a little. I haven't been this excited about a telescope in years. All I had to work on was Ursa Major and Canes Venatici, but that was enough to keep me busy for a couple hours and plenty enough of a test to know I have a great scope. The 12.5 blew through just about every galaxy on the chart and M97 even without my O-III was stupid easy and a treat. Got M81 and M82 in the same field of view with the 22mm Nagler and that was a sight I won't soon forget. As for the optics, textbook perfect as a Newtonian can be. I had thought about a coma corrector, but there was so little coma at the edge of the field with my Naglers, that I actually had to make an effort to even see it. Glad I didn't waste money on a Parracor. As for tracking, I was able to move the scope with my pinky after lubricating the bearings with Armorall as you suggested. Okay, now I am gushing, so enough. I'll just say thank-you, thank-you, thank-you.
Tony B., 12.5" owner in Santa Fe, New Mexico - April 11, 2011
This little 12.5" has changed my life! Learning all about DOBS and Obsessions and enjoying it immensely. Can't believe I've been in this hobby for decades and never had one before. For what it's worth, I've had some nice (although relatively small aperture) stuff (Mak-Newt, Mak-Cass, SCT's, Tak Mewlon, Vixen modified mak-cass, refractors, etc). I find the view through the 12.5" Classic as sweet and satisfying as ANY and better than most. THANK YOU!
Roy Troxel, 12.5" owner in Maryland - March 29, 2011
I have owned the 12.5” Classic #1541 since November 1, 2007. It has been across the country eight times. It has been in sub-freezing desert nights and sweltering desert days in New Mexico, Arizona and California. (Not to mention all the desert dust I had to wash off the mirror). It has been dripping with dew (which later froze) at Cherry Springs, PA. The mirror box, with mirror, has been dropped onto a motel parking lot, and yet there is not a scratch on it. It collimates in less than two minutes, and people consistently remark at the views it obtains - with the help of a few TeleVue eyepieces.
Roy Troxel, Harford County Astronomical Society, Maryland
David Cowall, 12.5" owner in Nanticoke, Maryland - February 7, 2011
Dave - Finally got a break between blizzards and got some starlight on the mirrors of my new 12.5" Obsession. Field set-up including collimation took <10'. The scope balances perfectly, and is so easy to manually track. Who needs a motor drive? First light was M42 using 31nag and a skyglow filter. WOW!! 1.6 degree perfectly flat field @ 50X and tack sharp to the edge without even a hint of coma. Trapezium crisp and nebulosity to the edge of the field. M31, M32, and M110 all in the same FOV; I've never seen that before. Due to the curved spider, no diffraction spikes on bright stars. Finding my way around the sky was so easy with the ease of motion, rich FOV, and the Telrad that who needs digital setting circles? The night was cold and clear. Dew formed on the shroud almost as soon as I put it on, but the secondary mirror dew heater that you sold me kept the optics dry. I'm downsizing from a 16" Dob with an equatorial table that I have owned for many years, but am upgrading in image quality and ease of use. Dave, you're a genius!
Mark B., 12.5" owner in San Jose, California - May 7, 2010
I have owned several 12.5" scopes always in search of the "perfect" one. Well, I have found it with my 12.5" Obsession. I have found the Obsession to be the best by far of anything that I've ever used. The motions are very smooth and the scope is rock solid while remaining eminently portable. I'm just sorry that it took me so long to try an Obsession. You make a remarkable scope. ~ Mark
Bruce G., 12.5" user in Palm Desert, California - November 24, 2009
I am very impressed by my new telescope. I went to Anza Borrego State Park last weekend for first light ceremonies. M-15, which usually looks like a little fuzzball looked almost as good as M-13 when viewed with a 12mm Nagler type 4 (133 X). I could even use a Radian 6mm (267 X) for viewing it. I saw the Orion Nebula like I've never seen it before! I could actually see texture, and it seemed to go on forever. M-31,32, and 110 were all bright and visible in the same field of view when using a Panoptic 35mm eyepiece. Keep up the great work.
Bill F., 12.5" owner in Santa Rosa, California - September 8, 2009
This scope has all but retired my refractor. Deep space viewing through the 31mm Nagler or 13mm Ethos is a thing of beauty. High power planetary views are just as awesome...it's the scope I go to instead of my goto scope almost every time. Thanks!
Take Care, Bill F.
Dan Lanke, 12.5" owner in High Ridge, Missouri - August 30, 2009
It has been two years now since I bought my 12.5" Obsession from you. I just thought that I should let you know that I am still as impressed with the performance it provides today as I was when I bought it. I have had it next to many other telescopes of the same size and some larger, but My Obsession rules when it comes to performance. The OMI mirror that James M. made for this telescope is absolutely top quality, and performs admirably up against all comers. The mechanical operations of my telescope are also unrivaled. I am sorry to tell you, but you won't be selling me another 12.5" telescope, as this one is what I like to refer to as a "legacy telescope". I call it that because I will have to worry about who I will leave it to when I die. This telescope is a total keeper. Thank you and your fine crew of professionals for producing what I consider to be a world class instrument!
Sincerely, Dan Ianke
Chas N., 12.5" owner in Howell, New Jersey - June 10, 2009
Saturn was cut yourself sharp, I don't see how a scope can give a better image than what the OMI mirror puts out. The seeing was a good 8 to 9 so again i used powers up to 800x on Saturn, again just how unreal the Obsession and OMI mirror work together to produce such sharp images at such insane powers.
Robert W., 12.5" owner in Blairsden, California - April 2, 2009
My Obsession scope? I LOVE IT! I am a docent for the California State Park Service and I use the scope at the Plumas Eureka State Park north of Lake Tahoe for groups of park visitors. With Denkmeier binoviewer and eyepieces it is all 'wows' by the viewers.
Rick H., 12.5" owner in Houston, Texas - November 3, 2008
Dave, My Obsession is like a fine bottle of wine. It gets better with age! I just got back for the ESP star party and my obsession preformed above par. She puts a lot of larger scopes to shame. The view of Jupiter was great. I could see the GRS and at lest 6 bands with faint colors. As for DSO, itís hard to complain when you can see 3 galaxies in the same FOV with detail to boot (M31, 32 and 110)! The veil was un-real. The detail of the knots was crazy! Then I waited for Orion to come up and through it was still low on the horizon the detail was amazing, the nebula went on forever! ? Thanks for the great scope! PS- I had the opportunity to trade up to a 18 Nightsky and I tried it for a week. Besides the size, the scope couldnít measure up to the 12.5. I gave it back and told him ìthanks, but no thanks.
John Steel, 12.5" owner in West Seneca, New York - October 29, 2008
Dave, I rolled out the Obsession and placed the Nagler 31mm in. Since it just so happens that the Tele Vue 17mm provides the closest to that magnification in my refractor, I plunked that in, and compared the views. I don’t know how to describe my reaction without resorting to all the usual clichés, but I was mesmerized by the view through the Obsession. I went back and forth between scopes a few times, then spent the rest of the night with the Obsession and the two Naglers. Didn’t matter that it was a weeknight and I’m usually disciplined about bedtimes on weeknights. I studied Perseus, Cassiopeia, and Cygnus till my toes got too cold to bear. It was just dazzling. Thanks for building a great scope.
Morris M., 12.5" owner in Waukee, Iowa - June 18, 2008
I just wanted to write to let you know how much I still enjoy this scope. During every one of those three sessions I heard audible gasps from the people looking through the scope. I live for moments like that! During the last session, one young lady asked if we were looking at a picture instead of Saturn...
Mohammad S., 12.5" owner in Bellevue, Washington - May 28, 2008
The curse seems to be wearing off, I was finally able to point the telescope at the sky last Sunday. There were still clouds but I was able to look at M3 and M13. With a light polluted sky, haze, still warm mirror and rising Moon the sights were still quite impressive, stars resolved almost to the very core.
While I couldn't do much observing, the short session brought out all the mechanical niceties of the telescope, solid optics and mechanics. I have always used GEMs and was concerned about lack of slow motion controls on a dobsonian, but not for a moment did I miss them while using this telescope. It is a joy to move it around, no vibrations and no bumps. There is also an almost zero flexure, collimation shift was not to be found as the telescope moved to different positions.
I would like to thank and congratulate you and your manufacturing partners for creating such fine instruments which are a joy to use and handsome to look at, and for the outstanding level of attention to the customer.
Rick Hillier, 12.5" owner in Houston, Texas - May 5, 2008
Dave, Just a note to say thanks for the fine scope you built me. Not only is it beautiful, set up in 5 min, but the views it provides are first rate.
Last night was the first night I've had to go glob hunting. My 12.5 Obsession didn't disappoint me. When my friend said it would provide me with "stunning views", I said to myself "yeah, they'll be good, but stunning is stretching it a bit".
When the Argo Navis guided me dead center to M3 at 100x power I was surprised and said "WOW". I decided to go to 200x and about fell out of my chair! I was blown away at how well it resolved to the core. If it looks this good in a 12.5, I can't even imagine what it would look like in your larger scopes. I'm not even going to look because I'll be ordering another scope from you. So I guided the scope to M13 and 92 and the views were just crazy! I couldn't believe the detail I could see. There were a couple of others at the site with SCT (11 and 12 inch) but their images did not show the brightness or detail that my Obsession did. We also had a newbie with us and one of SCT owners commented "That's what aperture and quality shows you in the EP". I couldn't agree more.
Thanks for a wonderful scope. I can't wait for the TSP in June!
Bob Novak, 12.5" owner - February 18, 2008
Dave, my 12.5 finally saw first light last night. I was very impressed. I collimated using a sight tube the way I have for the past 25 years. Star test was text book perfect. Frankly, reading your claim of views like an APO naturally provoked some skepticism on my part. I have a couple of APO's here that are used mostly for imaging but produce very high contrast images visually as well. The 12.5 blows them away with coma free views across the fov. Saturn was jaw dropping sharp with my 3.5mm Nagler type 6.
Thanks, Bob Novak
Bert S., 12.5" owner in Pittsburg, California - November 28, 2007
Damn!! This scope is still amazing me. I really can't thank you folks enough.
Dan Lanke, 12.5" owner in High Ridge, Missouri - August 5, 2007
Thank You so much for my beautiful 12.5". The 'curse' is upon me so I haven't gotten any first photons yet, but I couldn't help drop you a line of thanks for all that you and your amazing gang of professionals do. This instrument is a work of art! sincerely Dan
I started to get tired so I decided to finish the 1st light evaluations of Maggie with a star test. No aberrations were there for me to find. No turned down edge no astigmatism just a beautiful round donut on either side of focus. This OMI mirror is more than a keeper. Like the rest of the telescope it is a work of art!
As per the Physical performance, Again, WOW! I was never lower than about 75 degrees alt all night with many times very close to the zenith. While it took some getting used to for me, the scopes handling was like butter. What a machine!
In all this is one telescope that lives up to every thing Dave Kriege claims and then some. The views are extremely brilliant and sharp. I could not find one thing to complain about in the view that this little 12.5" Dob gives. When I was deciding to purchase this telescope I was worried that I needed to go up in aperture to truly be happy; however, after tonight's views, I know my worries were unfounded. Bright stars like Vega and Arcturus were bright enough that I started to worry about my night vision. I guess I'll need sun glasses at my dark sky site. I will have to go for that very soon indeed.
Doug B., 12.5" owner in Pound Ridge, New York - August 4, 2007
I have been out over 10 nights with the new 12.5" scope which was just delivered 3 weeks ago. The views are awesome I am thinking about quitting my job so I can do more observing! Wish I could... I have had some great nebula viewing the last few nights. The galaxy views are everything I had hoped for and am very pleased. Fully resolved globulars are like icing on the cake. Thanks again for everything.
Doug B., 12.5” owner in Pound Ridge, New York - July 13, 2007
I just had another great night of viewing through the scope. I have never seen so much detail in M51 before, crap ... I couldn't even find M51 before! I couldn't be happier. Thank you very much.
James Hall, 12.5 inch owner in Paducah, Kentucky - 1.01.06
I own a 12.5 Obsession and am thoroughly pleased with it. I could go on and on with dark sky DSO reports but the best testimony I can think of is from last night, New Years eve. We had a party at my suburban W. Kentucky home -- four couples with kids. The moon was 93% and 36 degrees from M42. My guests were able to clearly see the bat wings, almost from tip to tip. To me that says 'Good Optics' from the OMI Primary to the 9mm T6 Nagler, and the high quality secondary in between. It is rock solid in every other aspect. I failed to mention that the wind was blowing a steady 10mph with gusts from 15 to 20. The scope moved with ease, as always, and not only stayed where I put it, but also didn't vibrate, even with the gusts.
Frank G., 12.5 inch owner in Richmond, Virginia - 12.30.06
By the way, for the 12.5", you had suggested a 7mm Nagler for high-power viewing when seeing is good. The 7mm was outstanding -- so good I thought I could push it some more. I got a 5mm Nagler (317X) and getting very sharp views of the moon and trapezium, even when seeing is average. Very good contrast on moon, lots of detail in M42 nebula in spite of moon light.
Morris M., 12.5 inch owner in Waukee, Iowa
I wanted to send you out a special big thank you for making this year a very special one with the new Obsession telescope that I purchased. I think back to the very first thought I even had of getting a new telescope this year, and the process that I went through and ultimately the final decision that I made to go ahead and get it. The telescope has really stepped up my passion of the astronomy hobby. Thanks again, Dave. Your passion for putting together the best telescope on the market has really made my passion for the hobby grow and become so much more enjoyable; I am very thankful.
Dan C., 12.5 inch owner in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Hi, I just wanted to drop you a note. I have really enjoyed my 12.5. Thanks again for delivering to Okie-Tex. I have used the scope several times since picking up at star party. I have used at local dark sky area in albuquerque and I used at star party at fort Mckavett ,Texas. I find the images to be much sharper, much more detail than the old 12" I had been using. Thanks for making such a great scope. Dan clark
Jerry Gilliam, 12.5 inch owner in Sunnyvale, California.
I bought one of your 12.5" scopes a few months ago, unfortunately haven't been using it much - too busy working. Finally, I took it to a local moderately dark-sky site. Wow, it really is spectacular: easy to transport, easy to set up, easy to use. Once set up, I didn't even have to recollimate, the views as set up were just that good. That speaks volumes about the quality of the design and construction. I really hope I can spend a lot more time at the eyepiece and I want to both let you know what a delight this scope is and offer my sincere appreciation for your great products! Thanks, Jerry
John and Vicki Switzer, 12.5 and 15 inch owners in Centerpoint, Indiana
Both of the scopes are totally awesome. We have had a number of individuals tell us that (in a side by side comparison) our scopes both outperformed a 7" APO.
Thanks, John and Vicki Switzer
15" Obsession #1259
12.5" Obsession # 1489
Lee C., 12.5 inch owner in Melbourne, Florida
Dave, Just wanted to let you know that my 12.5" arrived right on time. It was easy to set up and I have used it three times since I got it. I am very satisfied with the mirror, and using the laser collimation method made alignment a much easier and faster process. I needed a little more out travel on the focuser, and I solved that by using a Televue high-hat adapter from my NP-101. The combination of a great grade of wood and the workmanship that went into it make the scope the best that I have seen. Looking at all the summer sky objects has been wonderful. I'll be taking it next year to TSP and can hardly wait to use it under the dark sky of west Texas. Thanks again, Lee C.
Morris M., 12.5 inch owner in Waukee, Iowa
I started at sunset and looked at lots of things until about 1:00 AM. One goto in particular really got to me; it was to M5 in Serpens, near Ophiuchus. That is almost as good as M13 in Hercules! I also looked at a nebula in Draco that looked like a miniature version of the ring nebula, I could even make out the central star, but it was not as large in angular diameter. I looked at M81 and M82 near Ursa Major. I also looked at M51 (Whirlpool) and noticed the 12.5" isn't really able to capture that particular galaxy from where I was looking. I really need to go to a very dark site and see it again. Now that I got this telescope working, it is really great. The thing I really like about it is the difference between my desire to get it out and use it, compared to the old 5" XXXX I used to have. I really hated polar aligning that thing. The Barlowed laser technique is great! I can usually do it in about 5 minutes or less now. The more I use the scope, the more I want to use it again. I have really been looking forward to getting to know how to use the scope and take it out. I get a little bit braver each time with more advanced objects to find and even using the Mode Identify feature, that's fun! Time to sleep. Thanks again. Morris M Waukee, Iowa
Robert A., 12.5 inch owner in Amarillo Texas
Hi Everyone, Did a litle viewing tonight from the driveway with the Obsession 12.5 under less than ideal conditions. Despite the negatives, the scope performed admirably, as did the new Naglers (13 mm type 6, 9 mm type 6). Features on the Moon were razor sharp. Cloud bands on Jupiter revealed a wealth of detail. Epsilon Bootis was easily split with the 9 mm at 177X. M11 appeared 3-dimensional, despite the Moon being only 27° away. The Ring Nebula appeared as a perfect smoke ring with the 13 mm at 123X. M13 was also 3-dimensional with the 7 mm at 228X. Albireo, Mizar, and Polaris were easily split with the 26 mm at 61X. Now if I can just get that scope out to our club's dark sky site!
Clear skies, Robert A Amarillo Texas
William T., 12.5 inch owner in El Sobrante, California
Mr Dave Kriege, This is a belated thank you card. I received my 12.5 Dob in early May but it's only recently that I've beeen able to use it. The 12.5 is great to use. My two astronomy friends liked it immensely. Obviously no stones (or very few) were left unturned in it's manufacture. Thanks again for a fine scope.
Yang-Beng Lim, 12.5 inch owner in Singapore
Hi Dave, I received the 12.5 inch scope with Torus mirror in May. I tested the scope for these few months and I would like to say I love the scope. If I am not wrong this is the first Obsession scope in Singapore. I heard that someone from Singapore is also ordering a 15 inch structure from you.
I call the scope Obby (meaning Obsession Baby or Baby Obsession in short). I really love the woodwork and it looks really nice and the scope is small enough to fit in my small car well. The mechanics is excellent and the scope is very smooth and tracking at 440x and above is easy. I also really like the big altitude bearings and makes this scope stand out compared to other 'copycat' dobs out there; sort of like large sports tires on a car. I did not get a chance to go to dark sites as my country Singapore is a bright city and usually it is cloudy; I did try to go to neighbouring country Malaysia but unfortunately there was bad weather. However, I did get a lot of chances to look at Jupiter and the moon. I must say I had the best view of Jupiter and the moon in my life. Jupiter was bright and had all the details like small white storms, barges, all the belts, festoons, colour and spiral of GRS, the moons of Jupiter are circles etc. The Torus mirror is excellent and I star tested it and it confirms with what I simulated with Zemax optical design software.
I managed to catch the Red Spot Junior and GRS close approach. I saw them just pass each other on 17th July and it was really a cool sight. I also managed to catch a transit from Io and the shadow was a nice black circle on Jupiter. Optically and mechnically I am very happy with the scope.
Just want to say thanks. Keep up the good work. :)
Regards, Yang-Beng Lim
Morris M., 12.5 inch owner in Waukee, Iowa
Hi Dave - I was very overwhelmed by the new telescope. I read through some of the paperwork with the scope and did a very rough laser collimation tonight. Like you said, I did not hook up the digital setting circles, nor did I use the goto cat system. I just pointed it and looked at Jupiter and M13. There were too many trees and Juipter became unseeable, but M13... WAS INCREDIBLE!!! I put in a 12mm eyepeice and it filled the field of view. Absolutely jaw dropping stuff.
Thanks Dave! Morris M.
Kent B., Santa Rosa, California
Here is a picture of my 12.5" shortly after I received it. I'm really enjoying the scope and either view the stars in my backyard, as seen here, or at dark site about 30 miles away. When I go to a dark site, the scope (except UTA) fits in the trunk of my 2003 Honda Accord. I have had some great views of lunar details (wow, much improved over my 8" SCT), additional bands on Jupiter, and the spiral arms of M51.
Nick M., 12.5 inch owner in Manassas, Virginia
Just checking in. I finally took my 12.5 out. Setting up was a breeze. Laser collimation was very easy. In fact I noticed that I had very little adjustment the following night. The Telrad was GREAT. Once aligned it is hard to miss a target. Part of owning a scope like this is learning the sky. The Laser collimation with Barlow and Telrad were great recommendations.
Planets (Jupiter and Saturn) had great contrast. Crisp clear images. Had no problems with open and globular clusters. A little faint on the galaxies (M104 and Whirlpool) . . . but hey I live 30 miles from D.C.. I suspect I will have better views in dark skies, better eye pieces, and a filter or two.
Overall I am very please with my purchase.
Sue and James Schultheis, 12.5 and 15 inch owners in Scottdale, Pennsylvania
Dave, I just had to fire off an email to you thanking you for a wonderfully crafted 12.5" Baby Ob. you made for me that fits me like a glove. We were up at Cherry Springs this Sat. 29th and set up right next to a group of Obsession users who were pleased to see ours too. We were called the Hixson Cluster of Obsessions which you will see on the picture. Had about 50 observers in for the week/weekend. The Paparazzi were all over my scope. Taking pictures, standing in line to view with it. It was great! Keep up the great work!
Frank Green, 12.5 inch owner in Richmond, Virginia
Have been out of the country and otherwise occupied and unable to use my 12.5" over the winter. Got it out last night under dark skies and got my first look at M-42 -- awesome with both my 35mm Pan and 20mm Nagler! The sky clock said seeing poor to average but Saturn was the prettiest and sharpest I'd ever seen it (though I don't have the eps to get up to more than 160X). Once again, I love the scope. Many Thanks, Frank
Paul B. Jensen, 12.5 inch owner in Rutland, Massachusetts
I love my 12.5" Obsession. I love it so much, I named it 'Baby Bling.' Mechanically it is a solid foundation, and Dave K's reputation is well earned, as you know by owning a 15". Optically the 12.5" is just fine. I went for portability.
My 12.5 has put the fun back into astronomy for me. When I decided to by a bigger scope, I first went with a C 14. A bit too big to just go out and observe with easily. I call it the "Hernia Maker." My 12.5" Obsession solved this need for a scope that was a blend of a powerhouse and a grab n' go. It is easy to transport, setup and use. Tear down is a breeze and I can store it in a little non-heated closet underneath my front stairs. I no longer spend forty-five minutes setting up and a half an hour breaking down. It is a little more than an hour I can spend at the eyepiece. I already owned an Argo Navis, and while the AN never worked to it's potential with the CI 700, it has never failed to place any object I sought in the FOV of a 25mm EP in the Obsession. The two make a powerful combination. Thanks again Dave for making such a good scope!
Jim H. 12.5 inch owner in Paducha Kentucky
"I just got my 12.5, #1223, on 3 Dec 04. I've had it out only once so far (bad weather curse), but my results were terrific with the scope and Argo Navis, especially considering all the Christmas lights (including my own) and aligning on Polaris and Deneb (less than ideal choices). I found every object w/i the fov of my 40mm eyepiece and the images were crisp, very crisp. The double cluster in Persus was stunning!!!"
Jim H., 12.5 inch owner in Paducah Kentucky
"Its a great scope with smooth motions, a tremendous view at the eyepiece (given its 12.5, f5, aperture), and an easy to handle load in size and weight. I can't say enough good things about the Argo Navis unit in its ease of use and pointing accuracy. Dave's scope is pretty darn good also."
Jim H., 12.5 inch owner in Paducah, Kentucky
"I finally got first light on my 12.5 last night. It was cold, 25F cold, but your scope and the Argo Navis performed beautifully. The AN worked great, even with a less than ideal alignment on Polaris and Deneb. A few firsts, Polaris' companion, the Blue Snowball, really seeing the 'bat' shape in the Great Neb in Orion, seeing all the stars in the Double Cluster. Wow!!! were the stars sharp all the way to the fov edge. I can't wait to get the scope to dark skies--its hard to see the faint fuzzies with all the icicle and other lights on all the houses (mine included). I don't need the counterweights yet. I don't have any Nagler eps yet. Thanks to you, OMI-Torus, United Lens, Wildcard, and Starlight Instruments for a great scope!"
Frank G. 12.5 inch owner in Richmond Virginia
"First light last night! Terrific! From downtown Richmond, the sky still light in the west, picked out M-57 clear as a bell. Stars pinpoint. Now I see why the flexible curved spider vanes. A terrific scope! LATER Got to a dark sky site Saturday night and the 12.5" is awesome! Could resolve tons of stars in M-13 and M-22, just got lost in the stars -- which are just pinpoint. Lagoon jumped right out. Great detail. The was a 20" Obsession there, but I swear my images were something to be proud of in comparison. ."
Neal O., 12.5 inch owner in Pine Mountain Club California
"Hi Dave, I'm really enjoying the 12.5" scope. Impressive optics. Perfect star test as best I can tell."
James B., 12.5 inch owner in Nepean Ontario Canada
"I'm finally getting around to sending a report of the views through my Obsession 12.5 scope. FANTASTIC. Thanks for a wonderful Scope!! Yes I am enjoying the views!! Last week I was able to view M81 & 82 only a couple of days before the moon was full, indicating not only an excellent mirror, but also excellent contrast through the Panoptics I have!! I am very surprised at how little adjustment is required to collimate the mirror before each use after setting up, usually only one knob, supporting the mirror, and last week, absolutely nothing was required, it was perfect, as far as I could tell, using the Laser!! Dave the mirror from Torus, and James Mulherin, indicated a Strehl Ratio of 0.964, so this is an indication of an excellent mirror!!, but most important is how easy this telescope is to use, a gentle nudge, and the object is back in view, and it's so easy to turn to find a new object!! After parting with my SCT 9.25 and a German Equatorial Mount., suddenly Astronomy is new and exciting again!! Thanks, for a new beginning!!."
Neal O., 12.5 inch owner in Pine Mountain Club California
"Hi Dave, I'm really enjoying the 12.5" scope. Impressive optics. Perfect star test as best I can tell."
Donovan B., 12.5 inch owner in Hephzibah, Georgia
"Your new 12.5" Obsession with the OMI-Torus optic is a dream come true! Being a stellar performer, easy to use and readily portable makes this mid-sized winner my ultimate "grab and go" scope for star parties away from the house!"
Rene W., 12.5 inch owner in Madison Wisconsin
"I am very pleased with the scope; set up and collimation (with the barlowed Laser) is straightforward and done in less than 10 minutes. We a had some great views of objects that are visible under light polluted Madison skies (Moon, M13 etc.). I am sure that under a dark sky it will give a fantastic views .....Thanks in advance for your efforts!."
Will H., 12.5 inch owner in McLean Virginia
" fyi - my new 12.5 arrived this week, and I had the chance yesterday to prep it and do some brief backyard observing. I'm impressed. Saturn and M42 rivaled views I've seen through larger scopes. I'm also happy/grateful for the ease of set-up with the scope. I had an 18" XXXX, and got tired of turning all the bolts and lugging the components. The 12.5 compares very favorably to the 18" in image quality, and sure is easier on the hands and back!"