Thinking About a New Scope? Think Big!
From the Obsessed
Geoffrey Cook, 18" owner in Bethesda, Maryland - December 11, 2013
I'm writing to let you know how pleased I am at having had "first light" through my Obsession 18 inch Classic. Here in Bethesda, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C., there is a lot of light pollution and we just had our first snow of the season and have some light clouds remaining. But the skies mostly cleared tonight, and when I turned to the half-moon with the Naglier 31 mm, I was blown away with the detail and the clarity of the craters and the "seas." My twelve-year old said, "Wow, Dad, your new telescope is way better than your other telescopes."
Craig Anderson, 18" owner in Herndon, Virginia - October 6, 2013
Hi Dave, I just had to share this picture of my 3 1/2 year old son Rigel at his very first star party tonight with our 18" Obsession Classic at C.M. Crockett park in Virginia. He helped to set it up and enjoyed a couple of DSO's before heading to bed in our car with his red flashlight. The scope performed beautifully, as always, and there must have been a hundred people that came by to observe with it this evening. Uranus was especially good, presenting a beautiful blue disk and 2 moons at 400x on a background of pinpoint stars.
Thanks again for a great scope!
- Craig Anderson
Darrell Hilde, 18" owner in Edmonds, Washington - May 5, 2013
Hope all is well with you. Just wanted to drop you a note and tell you how happy I am with my 18" I purchased from you last summer. I had it out again last night and the views are incredible! Thanks for building and selling me such a fine scope! I love it!
Khalid Marwat, 18" owner in Karachi, Pakistan - March 17, 2013
Obsession 18" surely is the best in its category. It still is the main instrument around which the star party gravitates.
Air Commodore Khalid P. Marwat
Bob Vickers, 18" owner in Huntington, Tennessee - August 12, 2012
West is up and North is to the left.
18″, f4.5 Obsession – 231x
Copyright © 2012 Robert D. Vickers, Jr.
Tuesday night (7 August 2012) was clear and not too hot, so I went out and did a little observing through my “new” 18” Obsession. I decided to view the targets in Sue French’s July 2012 Sky & Telescope article, By Draco’s Scaly Folds, partly because of the inclusion of the quasar Q1634+706 found in the constellation Draco. There is always something fascinating about superlatives – the biggest, the smallest, the brightest, the most distant — and this quasar is touted as one of the most distant objects visible in amateur telescopes.
So, what is a quasar? According to another S&T article by James McGaha in March 2006 “… quasars are hot accretion disks of gas spiraling toward the supermassive black hole at the core of an active galaxy nucleus.” They have an unbelievably high intrinsic brightness. According to Brian Ventrudo, Phd., on his One Minute Astronomer website, “… if this quasar was at the same distance as the Orion Nebula, [about 1344 light years] it would shine as bright as our sun!”
Most quasars are so far away that the expansion of the universe must be taken into account when determining their distance from us. Q1634+706 was much nearer to us when the light we now see left it. Its light has traveled for some 8.6 billion years to get to us but the universe has expanded since the light set out, resulting in the amazing current distance for the quasar of about 12.9 billion light years! A few years ago, I had viewed the brightest (mag 12.6) quasar known as 3C273 in the constellation Virgo at about 2 billion light years distant and I thought that was pretty incredible.
Unfortunately, viewing a quasar is not as visually spectacular as it sounds. I was a bit surprised at how easy Q1634+706 was to find and observe, but due to its great distance, it appears only as a dim “star” through my scope. At magnitude 14.4, Q1634+706 was dimly visible with direct vision but plainly visible with averted vision. This is one of those objects that cause you to pause and think about what it means for those photons to travel 8.6 billion years (more than half the currently accepted age of the universe) through intergalactic space only to end up impinging on your retina to form that tiny star-like spot.
So, the next time someone asks me, “How far can you see with that scope?” I can honestly tell them, “Pretty damn far!”
Bob Monkcom, 18" owner in Leumeah, Australia - March 11, 2012
My telescope has arrived ok and I have just finished assembling it. You did a good job with the packing, as there wasn't any damage at all. The sky looks fairly clear so far, so I might get some time in tonight. The workmanship is top notch and looks like a picture assembled. I have attached a photo to show you another of your scopes down under. I look forward to many enjoyable hours of viewing over the coming years.
Thank you for the fast supply
All the best, Bob Monkcom
Dale Robertson, 18" owner in Berkeley Springs, WV - February 21, 2012
Last night under very cold but pristine skies I drove my 18" Obsession all over the sky for hours with my iPhone. With nothing more than carefully selected and performed two star alignment every Goto put every object in the FOV. Can't ask for better than that. I caught all the usual suspects (M81, M82, M42, Venus, Jupiter, Mars....) but candidly found myself most awed by the wide view, high contrast and pinpoint clarity of numerous open clusters, a class of objects that have never been as high on my list. It was one of those moments at the eyepiece that reminded me what got me hooked when I was 10-11 years old with my Jason refractor.
Martin Cooke, 18" owner in Alava, Spain - August 24, 2011
Now I've had several good observing sessions, I thought I'd let you know how pleased I am with the 'scope. Easy & fast setup. Resolution of globulars is astounding, with better than photographic quality somehow. M4 is superb. (of course, the Ethos helps…) Colours are much more apparent than I'm used to. Perhaps the highlight so far has been seeing the recent supernova in M51 with ease. I'm now starting to prepare much more detailed observing lists for each session and focusing on one region at a time, knowing I'll get to see some really interesting and new stuff each time I go out. This is definitely going to keep me busy for years and decades…. and my 5-year old, who has developed an unhealthy interest in staying up late (normal in Spain) to snatch whatever views he can.
Many thanks again for a superb piece of scientific equipment!
Mark Yates, 18" owner in San Francisco, California - June 27, 2011
I got my new 18" Classic out to a fairly dark site last night for first light. It was absolutely fantastic! My previous scope was a 12" truss dob, which I liked a lot, but it doesn't compare to this. The highlight of the night, I think, was M51. Truly amazing! I've found in the past that, when getting a new scope (and I was obsessed long before I got my obsession), that first light was disappointing. Usually, I had to sort of get used to the scope before I saw how good it really was. Not so last night. This scope actually exceeded my expectations. So, I couldn't be happier.
Gary F., 18" classic owner in Canmore, Alberta - June 16, 2011
My 5 year old 18" Classic is still working perfectly.
Thank you for making such a great telescope.
Greg Salton, 18" owner in light polluted Chicago - February 13, 2011
Hi Dave, I like the new website - good job. I saw the photos of Jupiter and Saturn and thought I would share a pic of Jupiter - a little old (October 2010) but it was during some good seeing (for Chicago) with my 18" Classic with SC/AN and a Skynyx 2-0C webcam. This is the first time I have gotten detail in the GRS! Fun to see the GRS and red Jr together. Haven't had the scope out much because of both clouds, work, and family. Sorry if the color is off, I have not calibrated my LCD monitors. Feel free to use it on the website or put it in the recycle bin. Nice to show what the scope can do even in a crappy observing location like a driveway in the Chicago suburbs.
BTW, Gary K at Wildcard fixed my AN that was on the fritz for the longest time - turned out to be due to corroded batteries. Worth the wait to send the unit to Australia and back. Good service from Gary as always. The scope is now pointing like a champ! Just need some clear skies.
Khalid Marwat, 18" owner in Pakistan - December 8, 2010
We took it to a 3000 feet elevation star festival on 4th December. Obsession was simply AWESOME. 19 serious amateur astronomers from Karachi and Lahore were their to enjoy the celestial views. Weather was cold and dry. Obsession now is a well known word of vocabulary in astronomical circles in Pakistan.
Best from Pakistan
Ted Forte, 18" owner in Virginia Beach, Virginia - May 30, 2009
My Obsession 18 is about to turn 11 years old. It is a little battle-scarred, a veteran of many, many, observing sessions, star parties and outreach events, but it still looks and performs great. I have logged thousands of objects with it, but more importantly, I have shared the heavens with more than 20,000 souls through it. I can truthfully say it is the best purchase I have ever made. I often tell novice astronomers that there is no perfect telescope – but the Obsession 18 comes pretty close.
Terry Durbin, 18" owner in Wever, Iowa - August 19, 2009
Dave, It was a gorgeous afternoon at the end of last September when I took possession of my 18" Classic. Since that day I've used it as often as the skies, and my work schedule, would allow. I am writing to tell you that the scope you and the folks at OMI put together for me has exceeded all of my expectations . . . and my expectations were very high.
This telescope is simply a joy to use. I won't try to describe how smooth the motions are, many people have done that before, but I will say that none of those claims are exaggerated. On my third night out I was hand tracking Stephan's Quintet in Dobson's Hole at 416X with no problem. The Obsession doesn't just let me find any object I want, it lets me enjoy them with a level of detail I didn't believe was possible at this aperture.
There is a great sense of confidence in dropping my 10mm Ethos eyepiece into the Feathertouch focuser and knowing that from my location, on that night, there isn't a better view of the universe possible with an 18" instrument. Of course there is a downside; now I have to buy the full Uranometria 2000 set so I can identify all those darned galaxies!
Thanks for the great scope.
Niels W., 18" Classic owner in Gores Landing Ontario Canada - August 2, 2009
I just finished waxing it... a damn gorgeous piece! Everyone that has come over have been blown away by the craftsmanship!
Steve's friend Claire from Lafayette, Louisiana with 18" Classic - June 17, 2009
I had "first dark sky light" last Saturday with the 18 f/4.5 and it was fantastic! Thanks for being such an important part of taking scopes to the next level.
Alan K., 18" Classic owner in Auckland, New Zealand - March 15, 2009
Hi Dave, Just to let you know, the first year with the 18" inch has been great 'bagging' 943 more DSO's which included around 50 quasars visually from the main site 16 miles west of central Auckland. Still getting out about 5 nights on average each month with some of them from dusk until dawn when there is little or no cloud, no Moon or work the following day. All in all, a very satisfied customer.
Regards Alan K.
Stefan R., 18" Classic owner in Perth Australia - January 8, 2009
I thought I had better share some of my recent experiences with the newly arrived 18 inch.
Last friday, I had the opportunity of taking out the 'scope to a dark-sky about 60 km east from Perth. It's a site we picked with a couple of observing buddies and which served us very well in the past (6.2-6.5 zenith limiting mag). Setting up at the site was a doddle, particularly as I had practiced already quite a few times indoors (rather fun, that).
Achieving collimation was remarkably easy. It was very pleasing to see that after breakdown, transport and setting up again, and collimating the primary how close the convergence still was. Meanwhile, the mirror was cooling down nicely.
Something less than a quarter moon was setting rapidly, but eagerness steered me to the Orion Nebula, quickly followed by the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud and the magnificent globular 47 Tuc. This can only be described as an overwhelming experience. I could go on and on about the magnificent views of object after object (ah, the plesures of gluttony of first light with such an instrument!), but a few things really did stand out.
The sky settled down well after midnight and seeing was very good (only the smallest and slowest of occasional ripples came across the 5 or 6th outer diffraction ring of out-of-focus star images. By that time, the views of galaxies was simply exquisite. The Sombrero was breath-taking and took very well to my entire series of UO Orthoscopics, down to the 5 mm (!).
But eminently unforgettable was looking at eta Carinae. Once again, all the eyepieces performed extremely well: even the 5 mm gave tack sharp images with an incredible amount of detail. I really must congratulate the chaps of OMI for the high quality mirror. What amazed me even more was how easy it was to keep tracking eta Carinae, even in the 5 mm: no jitters, no jerks, just smooth steady following of that amazing object, even at 400 X with a fov of about 6 arc minutes.
My astro buddies were likewise seriously impressed and more than an tad envious: they are now looking forward to the next observing session at least as much as I do. As one put it, "Now I can confirm a suspected averted vision observation in the 10" by looking straight at it".
The quality of the thoughts and the workmanship that have gone into it are very impressive indeed and it is with great pleasure that I acknowledge that here.
Thank you very much indeed for providing such a magnificent instrument
Very best wishes,
Stefan R Perth Australia
Dimitris Sousamlis, 18" owner in Athens Greece - November 10, 2008
Hello David, I bought an 18" obsession two years ago. I would like to thank you for this telescope that has given me so many wonderful observing hours. I really enjoy observing with such a good telescope.
Freddy Meiresonne, 18" owner in Belgium - September 22, 2008
Dave, Just a quick note. I've had my 18” Obsession almost a year now. I guess it’s about time that I let you know how pleased i am with it. So far I have not encountered any problems. The design is very well thought of, moves like a dream, gives staggering views when the skies are good, even in light polluted Belgium. The Messiers of course are unbelievable, globular clusters like M13, M5 or M3 just knocks your socks off. I just can’t get enough of those... The first time I saw M13 from my backyard made me almost melt into the ground… But there was much more, NGC 7331 and the flees, Thors Helmet (gosh!), M57 and its central star, Stephans Quintet, hints of spirals arms in M101, Helix nebulae, Crescent nebulae, Hickson 44, the Veil and many, many more. All of those in our soso skies over here…
Now I am working on the Arp’s list of galaxies, very challenging, but I’ve seen already more then a few of them.
The scope is a joy to use. Loading and unloading in my car with ramps goes without a problem. The scope sets up in about 15 minutes, collimating takes just a couple of minutes with a good laser and a blug. For such a big scope the setup is really remarkable easy and fast. No help needed, I do it all by meself without any problem.
I include a picture, from my backyard and the 18”, ready to go... what a scope!
Thanks very much, Dave.
Carl M., 18" owner in Hays, North Carolina - July 24
We had clear dark skies last night. I had my first deep sky views with the 18 inch. All I can say is Wow! M13 was magnificent, M51 showed spiral arms quite well, M101 showed the knot at the end of one arm, amoung all the other great stuff. What a fantastic scope.
Best regards, Carl
Olivier Van Aelst, 18" owner in Belgium - March 23, 2008
I had my "real first" light on Sunday and "2nd" light yesterday. It's really an amazing scope. Optics are great, the AN and ServoCat are working great. I still observe close to my home where I have an issue with streetlights. Once I feel more confident with the scope I'll observe in the back of my garden like I used to do with my previous scope. It's much darker there.
Antony and Mia Franks, 18" owners in West Yorkshire, England - April 5, 2008
Suffice it to say that the extra light through the 18" Obsession makes visual astronomy a totally different experience whether looking at planets (Saturn and its moons through the Ethos with PowerMate looked as though you could reach out and touch them), galaxies (really fine detail easy to see in M51) or globular clusters. Add to that the extraordinary precision of the pointing with the ArgoNavis and ServoCat combination, setup time (including collimation) of less than 15 minutes and we know this is a winner. As you can see from the picture we love it!
Alan Kane, 18" owner in New Zealand - February, 17, 2008
Hi Dave, Thought you might want to know about how my 18 inch is going in NZ.
After receiving the telescope in mid December, and I've used it through the first moon free period in February. I'm most interested in tracking down very faint fuzzies, things that most other observers tend to pass by! The 18 inch Obsession performed beyond my expectations in our NLM 6.0 sub rural skies with galaxies as faint as 16.5 - 17.0 mag being visually detected! The only problem is, that a few were not even in the PGC catalogue! Many of the brighter galaxies also showed a significant gain over my 12 inch dobsonian with structure I hadn't seen before. I thought I had seen all there was to see in the Orion Nebula until the first view through the 18 revealed a lot of extra fine wispy structure as well as the subtle pinks. Sirius B (the pup) also held continuously. On the steadier nights, I was able to push the magnification over 500x on small compact galaxies and planetries and over 800x on the Moon.
All in all, a great telescope. I've got the setup time (including collimation and alignment of the telrad and finder) down to around 15 mins now. I went for the 18 because it was the largest aperture I could easily set up by myself and get away with using only a small step ladder. I'm getting out with it around 5-10 nights per month. It will just fit into my average family sized car but would need an extra person to help lift the mirror box in and out of the front passenger seat.
Thanks for the great telescope, which will serve me for years to come!
Alan Kane (New Zealand)
David Erzeel, 18" owner in Belgium - October 2, 2007
I've got the 18" Obsession #1357 telescope nearly one year now. I use it on four to five evenings every month. I leave it completely installed in my living room, I attach the handle bars when I feel like it, and roll out the scope into the garden to let it cool down. After dinner, I go out to install my table and other attributes, do a little collimation just to be sure, then comes the alignment of the Argo Navis (AN), which takes between two and three minutes, and then I'm ready to go. In April, we went to the Provence (France) with a group of 11 Flamish (Belgium) and Dutch observers. We had three Obsessions present (Luc Waignein 20", Wim Demeester 18", and myself 18"): observing from 10pm to 6am, 5 days in a row, wow! Each Obsession gave its owner a week to remember: galaxies, planetary nebulas, reflection and emission nebula, dark nebula, extragalactic nebula etc. The view of M101 with its HII regions will always stay on my mind! Of course I can't go through all the things we saw, but one morning, Jupiter showed up and at a moment of excellent seeing, we saw it in all its glory, with the shadow of one of the moons projected on its surface, as sharp as any photo can be! Who dares to say that Newton telescopes are not suited for looking at planets? I even hadn't this telescope for a year, and many, many things remain to be seen. Things I couldn't see before in this light polluted Belgium, are now visible: last week NGC7331 and companions and Stephen's Quintet were possible without problems. Thank you for the many hours of pleasure!
Javier Jovani, 18" owner in Castellon, Spain - September 27, 2007
The telescope arrived today. The image of the Moon was very good. The stars were quite round with small diffraction. It is a Great Telescope and I believe with great optics. Thank you for making such a beautiful and so well designed telescope.
Hola Dave.Esta noche me levante a las 5.15 de la madrugada, porque me tenia que ir a trabajar. Digo voy a pegar un vistazo a ver que tal se ve,he enfocado la Luna con el binocular Tele Vue y he empezado con 170X ,256X,341X y 512X que es lo maximo que me daba el binocular con los oculares zoom, bueno tambien tengo un par de 3-6 mm pero ya me tenia que ir a trabajar. Bueno pues con 512 aumentos se veia perfecto,nunca en mi vida havia visto tantos crateres pequeñitos y la Luna tan rugosa y escarpada casi parecia que estuvieras alli. Tambien he enfocado la nebulosa de Orion y con170 aumentos solo cojia la mitat de la nebulosa pero parecia que flotava delante de mis ojos. Son visiones para recordar toda la vida. Ahora veo porque la abertura con buenos espejos no tiene sustituto. De todos los Telescopios que he tenido es el mejor sin ninguna duda. Tengo Meade 250 LX 200, Vixen 102,Orion Optics 300 f5.3 con espejo muy bueno Strehl 0.992, tuve Mewlon 250 , Takahashi TOA 130 con montutas EQ 6 de Synta y Vixen Sphinx. Todo esto no me lleno ni estava satisfecho,siempre aspiraba a mas pero creo que la espera durante bastantes años de aficion a valido la pena, creo que todavia me queda un largo camino y buenas experiencias. Si volviera a comprar un Telescopio volveria a comprar Obsession con espejos Galaxy Optics. Para mi el mejor sistema es el Newton con poca Obstruccion ya que es un telescopio Planetario excelente con no demasiada focal a un precio razonable acorde con su abertura.Bueno no me extengo mas mas adelante ya le contare algo mas. Perdona por enviartelo sin Traducir.
Al Marmora, 18" Owner in Mason, Ohio - September 8, 2007
Last month my daughter Alyssa and I had a chance to take our Obsession 18" to the 2007 Almost Heaven Star Party hosted by NOVAC in Spruce Knob, WV. We enjoyed the best observing we've ever experienced - a combination of a great event, spectacular sky, and top-notch telescope, optics and electronics.
Mark Gregory 18 inch owner - August 13, 2007
I got a tremendous 45 minutes or so wandering around the Veil Nebula. Absolutely stunning! The Ring was bright blue, as was the Blue Snowball. Split Anteres, spent almost an hour in Sagitarius. These were some of the best conditions I've had since I got the scope, and I was blown away. I have to say, I didn't spend much time looking through other people's scopes - mine was just too good to take time away from it! I did have several people look through mine who had seen the same through a 25" scope just up the field from me and they told me that the views of the Veil were comperable between the two scopes. Premium glass pays off! Thanks again for such a great piece of equipment!
Andrew J. Salthouse, 18" Owner in Millington, New Jersey - August 13, 2007
Hello David, I just wanted to let you know how pleased I am with my new 18" Obsession Dobsonian. The telescope shows great worksmanship, and it was packed as carefully as it was made. Because we had bad weather for a couple of weeks (either pouring with rain or too hot and humid) it took longer than expected to put the scope together. I also wanted to make improvements to my observatory before I moved the new telescope into it. The 18" saw first light on August 8th. Unfortunately both the temperature and the humidity were in the 90's but the telescope still performed better than expected. However, on the 11th and 12th of August conditions were much improved and the telescope performed beautifully. On my first try I was seeing things I had never seen before. On the 11th Neptune's Triton and Uranus' Oberon were relatively easy, whereas in my former 17.5" they had always been difficult. I look forward to many years of happy stargazing, and I thank you and your team for producing a great telescope that exceeds expectations! From one "obsessed" amateur astronomer, Andrew J. Salthouse
Steve Bentley, 18" Obsession Owner #1355 in Forsyth, Georgia - August 13, 2007
Dave: Just shy of a year ago, I purchased one of your 18" Obsession telescopes. I love the scope and it always steals the show at every club observing event. Last night, I had M-13 at 456X and it was crystal clear. You could discern the "Y" shaped dark lanes within the globular cluster with a mere glance. You didn't have to look for it. It was as plain as the nose your face. Absolutely amazing. A few months ago, at our club sponsored "Georgia SkyView" star party, I had a "Master Observer" (Bill Warren, cert.#4) comment while observing the Sombrero that of all the times he'd observed this object, he'd never been able to "see" the dark dust lanes that transect the bright core but now he had. This is a true compliment to the quality of the OMI mirrors that you use in the telescopes. As for the construction quality of the scope, it is second to none. I've owned the scope for about a year now and have experienced no problems with it. Nothing has chipped, cracked, or come loose on the scope to date. The fit and finish of the woodwork is outstanding. I am convinced that there is not a better quality scope of it's type on the market today. In summary, I just wanted to let you know how pleased I am with your telescope and to thank you for offering such a high quality piece of equipment to the amateur astronomy community. Sincerely, Steve Bentley
Andreas S., 15” owner in Geneva, Switzerland - June 21, 2007
Dear Dave, Thank you so much, the scope arrived last week in perfect shape and having used the weekend to set it up for the first time: everything went together perfectly smoothly, and it is really a magnificent piece of art!
Al Marmora., 18" owner in Mason, Ohio - May 29, 2007
Thank you Dave. It has been a pleasure doing business with you. It was clear enough for some planetary viewing last night - simply spectacular. Quality optics and large aperture are where it's at.
Todd Kozikowski, 18" owner in New Boston, New Hampshire - May 26, 2007
I can't tell you how many compliments I get on both the scope and the way it sits in the dome. It's a terrific setup which is used for both visual and robotic research for SNs and other objects. I'm now imaging nearly 300-500 objects a night with the telescope!
Gerald M., 18" owner in Muskogee, Oklahoma - May 23, 2007
Dave, Thanks for the quick ship! I also want to say something. I've been "into" the astronomy thing for about 12 years or so, having gone from Meade to Tak's to RCOS RC's, AP mounts, Bisque's Paramount ME, and SBIG and other CCD cameras. I can say that I've had more fun with my Obession than all the other stuff combined in the short time I've had it. It's really a great scope and the support is even better. It's really a blast. Thanks from a very happy customer. Regards, Gerald
Update: June 11, 2007
We had an extraordinarily good night of transparency and seeing last Friday. I took the 18" down about 30 miles south to a friend's acreage, who has a 24" custom made scope and a much darker sky than where I live. We put the Obsession through the paces. Object after object, my friend, who built his first scope at age 9, said "that's the best view of ____" I've ever seen" or "I've tried to find ____ for 40 years and never could locate it. "Fill in the blank with hundreds of objects, including most of the dimmer galaxies in Virgo. Needless to say, he was impressed, with the quality of the mirror (and my precise collimation) and the goto of the AN/SC combination. The 18" was really a joy to use. Gerald.
Ernesto Gonzalo de Luis, 18" owner in Valladolid (SPAIN) - March 21, 2007
This is from saturday, March 17, 2007 at 23:30 GMT. It was a fantastic night when I first spotted Gegenschein, and saw 8 Saturn moons, from Mimas all the way to Iapetus. Anyway, I didn't take the picture myself, I just provided the telescope and focused the image. A friend of mine, Fernando Cabrerizo, acquired the AVI video and procesed it. We used eyepiece projection with a 20mm eyepiece, a photographic focal duplicator (is it called that?), and a Philips Toucam webcam.
Ernesto Gonzalo de Luis
Cameron Gillis, 18" owner in Bellevue, Washington - February 9th, 2007
Dear Dave and Obsession Staff, It is now almost two years after purchasing my very own 18" Obsession from you in the spring of 2005. After two superb "observing" summers and dodging the heavy rains through the fall and spring months up here in the Northwest, I managed to earn some serious observing time with my Obsession! The cloud and rains have returned for the winter months so I've decided to collect my notes and sit down to write my very own review. I now feel worthy to share with you the highlights of my many great experiences with this wonderful instrument of a lifetime!
I write this for you as my sincere thanks for designing and building such an awesome telescope for me and the more than one-thousand Obsession owners around the world! Please enjoy and contact me if you have any questions or comments - CameronGillis@yahoo.com.
Thank you Dave for designing and crafting such a solid and enjoyable instrument of a lifetime! Clear and steady skies!!!
Sincerely, Cameron Gillis (Happy and proud Obsession owner)
Rob J., 18 inch owner San Jose, California - January 23, 2007
Hi Dave, I just want to let you know that I got everything assembled and had my first look this Sunday! Thin clouds covered most of the sky, but Orion was completely clear and the views of M42 and other nebulosity in the constellation were amazing. The next day I looked at a picture of M42 taken by Hubble and couldn't believe how similar the view through the telescope looked (minus the color of course). Thanks!
Ernesto Gonzalo, 18 inch owner in Spain
As I have verified this 2+ years, an 18" Obsession telescope is the best telescope for visual observing, with the only exception being the 20", 25" and so on Obsessions.
Robert W. Provin, 18 inch owner in Northridge, California (visit his website)
Hi Dave, I finally got the 18" out (my old Galaxy mirror with your new Obsession structure) and I have to say that all went very well! All the eyepieces came to focus, the balance was right on, even with the giant Nagler, and the Argo Navis worked splendidly the first time (with no fiddleing at all)! But most impressive was the mirror mount. With my old XX Dob (with primitive 9 point floatation) the Galaxy mirror just never performed very well. The star test always just showed a big blob on each side of focus. Well, with your mirror mount things were much different! Pin point stars and a star test that actually showed fresnel rings on both sides of focus (the mirror looked pretty good!). I am a happy camper, thank you very much!
Robert W. Provin
Dept. of Geography
California State University
Rex Cox, 18 inch owner in Midwest City, Oklahoma
Hi Dave. I just wanted to drop you a line to say that it was a real pleasure to meet you and James this past week, and to say 'thank you' again for such an outstanding telescope and for delivering it to me at Okie-Tex. I can't think of a better way to get one. I had a blast up there, and the views were great. I'm going to make it an annual pilgrimage. After I got the telescope home, I took it to our family farm in the notheast part of Oklahoma to do some more observing this past weekend. My folks and some other relatives were blown away by the views.
Hi everyone. I just want to get up on my soap box to say that I am now the owner of a new 18" Obsession telescope. I received it a this year's Okie-Tex star party. I can't think of a better place to get to use it for the first time. I am absolutely thrilled with the telescope--couldn't be happier. I can't wait to add the Argo Navis and Servocat later this fall or winter. Cheers, Rex Cox
George M., 18 inch owner in Kalispell Montana
Hi Dave, My Obsession 18in f 4.5 ( delivered in May) saw its first real light at the OSP in central Oregon last week, and performed beautifully. The main problem hampering my planned observing program was all the other astronomers wanting to have a look 'thru my 'scope! Typical comments: "man, you've got a hell of an instrument there; how did you fit that and all your gear into the Subaru Outback? ;the best view of the Veil I've ever had" etc.
Arnaud D., 18 inch owner in Clussais-la-Pommeraie France
Dear Dave, Just a quick mail to let you know that I have received my 18" mid-last week. For my life long interest in astronomy, there will clearly be a before last week and an after... the views I have had during the 2 nights of observing have left me a different person: the Moon (while barely above the horizon) with the 22mm Nagler has been the most fantastic view of that body I have ever, ever had. For the first time, I have seen "live" spiral arms in a galaxy (M33, awesome), the view of NGC891 was superb with the band of dust standing out and I could continue on and on. The combination ArgoNavis + ServoCAT works really nicely and I have bagged in 2 nights more galaxies than I thought was even thinkable. You will remember that I had some concerns initially about the optical quality, but my observations have so far put doubts to rest.I guess you can say that I am a pretty happy customer... and really pleased about my choice for an Obsession scope.
Steve Weiler, 18 inch owner
Dave, I've had my (used) 18" Obsession for several months now and have to admit that it gives me the most satisfaction of any scope I have owned. And this is with a six year old scope! Well done and keep up the good work.
Andreas Hybl, 18 inch owner in Lenningen Germany
Hi Dave and James, Here are some pictures from me and my scope. All I can say it is a dream come true. Your dobsonian-design and the mirror from James is a combination that will knock your socks off;-)
Andreas Hybl in Lenningen Germany.
Brad H., 18 inch owner in Columbus, Ohio
I am in love with my Obsession - I have #277, an 18" f/4.5. It's exactly the right size for my 1995 Honda Civic hatchback (which I bought with an 18" in mind) and not to heavy for me to carry in and out of the car by hand. Thanks!
Keith Armstrong, 18" owner in Airdrie, Alberta, Canada
Hi Dave, Well the 18" scope is all assembled now and I just need clear skies to put it to good use. For now I'm just getting used to it. The ease at which a scope this size can be setup and brought down is amazing. I'm now at 5 minute for both thanks to the video that I watched over and over again. The scope itself is a thing of beauty. The craftsmanship is a big WOW!!!! Much appreciation to the man of the woods for that.:>) I know I'll get a lot of use out of this scope. Now I see why everyone wants to duplicate this design!! Thanks for applying care and attention to my 18" No. 1321
Hi Dave, I just thought I'd drop you a line and let you know how the 18" scope #1321 performed on it's maiden voyage to a darksky site. I attended the RASC Calgary Star-b-q this past weekend and had an absolutely awesome time viewing. After collimating the scope the optics were producing some of the best visual images I'd ever seen. Thanks to James Mulherin at OMI for that exceptional mirror. As for the performance of the Obsession overall, "Oh my God". Up and running in short order, buttery smooth movement with even the tiniest increment. But I'm going to have to build myself some ramps to get it in my SUV. My one and only objective in attending this party (besides seeing my astrobuddies) was to visually evaluate the 18" Obsession. I observed objects I'd previously looked at with my 8" SCT and compared them to the views I get now. WOW!!! What a difference in the images. It's true what they say. APERTURE RULES!! Saturday night seemed to give us the best conditions for viewing (if it weren't for the bugs!) of the entire weekend. The list I hit was M11, M13, M27, M92, M51, M108, M110, M31, M57, M29, The Veil East and West, North American Nebula. Everything after that was not planned but very enjoyable all the same. Lots of people came over to check out my big bad toy. My astrobuddy Glenn (who built a fork mounted 16" dob, although he only brought his 10" SCT to this party) thought the views were exceptional. There were a few other dob owners also in attendance. I actually took some measure of revenge on another astrobuddy, Steve, for in a roundabout way he was partially responsible for my aperture fever. At last years' Saskatchewan Summer Star Party, I had a look through his 12.5" truss tube dob and another 12.5" owned by Dean to compare the views to my 8" SCT. I was bitten. So to Steve, "TOUCHÉ" :>). All I heard from him at the eyepiece were "Oooohhhhhs", "Aaahhhhssss" and "this can't be real!!". Thanks again for a great scope and Clear Skies.
John B., 18 inch owner in San Jose, Califirnia
Dave, I've had wonderful views through my new 18" scope #1326. I just finished my first dark sky weekend, the Shingletown Star Party in northern California. 3 very good nights and a scope that performed wonderfully. THANKS! Now that I've had such an easy and trouble free weekend with the scope I have one more major to do and that is hook up the scope to my computer. That is, hook up the Argo Navis to Starry Night Pro. In order to do that, I need to know the encoder resolutions for both RA and Dec in arcseconds for the 10,000 tic encoders. Do you have this information or should I go to ServoCat?
David Baumgartner, 18 inch owner in Hollister, California
What a great scope. I saw the Swan Nebula the other night, and what a sight it was. It put my LX200 14" to shame.
Butch C., 18 inch owner in Asheville, North Carolina
At our clubs gaze the other night, I had the sombrero at over 800x and clearly focused. It was beautiful and extended past the field of view.
Chelle O., 18 inch owner in San Rafael, CA
CONGRATULATIONS!!!! and you will never regret your purchase either. Hubby and myself actually got to take our 18" out for a great evening of observing on Mt. Tam...north of Golden Gate Bridge. The seeing wasnt the greatest but we took a chance and tried to see some galaxies..not thinking we would. OMG what sillys we were to think we wouldn't. NGC 4565 was great as were M51 and M81&82. We were doing our club's monthly star party and the public was very happy as were we. We never would have seen these sites in our 12" LX200 so yes we were quite pleased as you will be. I'm now the collimating queen too... oh that's so much fun.. (sick I know) but to get people's scopes really collimated and it being so simple... I was having a blast. Grats again and happy observing....
Rui T., 18 inch owner
Alberto F., 15 inch owner
and Alfonso P., 15 inch owner in Portugal
"The telescopes are working perfectly, and, as always, are providing stunning images. Just for kicks, we pumped up to 1400x, and the M57 ring went out of the FOV. We were looking at the central part of M57... All all this was on so-so seeing, average transparency, and medium light pollution. If all goes as planned, we will be taking all 3 Obsessions to the Canary islands, to observe at the Roque de los Muchachos site, at 2400m (7874 feet) altitude, home of a battery of professional telescopes, and one of the best sites in the world. Imagine the performance of these "beasts" over there... :-) The decision to use the ServoCAT/Argo-Navis combo, was a smart one. That thing really works! It's impressive to see a 15" move that fast! On a 25"... scary, I presume. ;-) Well, and that's all. Thanks again for the great telescopes!"
David S., 18 inch owner
"This is a very fine telescope. The most amazing views are of nebulae and planets. When the seeing is good, I'm afraid to tell people what I see on Jupiter for fear they won't believe me!!".
Craig C., 18 inch owner
"I finally got to see a fairly clear moonless sky for about an hour last night with my 18". It was enough to give me a taste of the excellence of the scope. The sky also got quite steady and I had unbelievable views of Jupiter and Saturn. I didn't know first hand how many bands Jupiter had until last night or the subtle shadings of yellow and gray on Saturn's globe. I also sampled some globulars (M13, M15, M2) -- all magnificent, resolving to the core. Open clusters in Cassiopeia took on an individuality I hadn't seen before. Very nice! .
Jerry H., 18 inch owner in Denver, Colorado
"Well last night was first light at a dark sky sight for the 18" First light was Arcturus to check the collimation, looked good so M13 was next "STUNNING" onto M57 WOW they never looked like that in the C8. Time to set the NGC-MAX up. It was at this point a colleague took a look through the EP and said "this is a very nice mirror". The rest of the evening was spent hopping >from object to object. To many to list here. There were several times throughout the evening when there was quite a queue at the EP. The Oooo's and Ahhhs just did not stop from novice to quite advanced observers. The scope looks superb it and is a dream to use, the views at the EP are incredible, better than some photos I have seen. Thank you very much for producing an exceptional instrument, that I'm sure will get a considerable amount of use in the coming years."
Frank A., 18 inch owner in Starkville, Mississippi
"The scope is beautiful! Expertly crafted and engineered, the fit and finish of all components demonstrate a fine attention to detail with quality as a goal. It is apparent that great thought was applied to gain a user friendly highly portable large aperture telescope. I look forward to many years of viewing pleasure. Thanks for your continuing support and building me a more than fine scope."
Yasuhiko T., 18 inch owner in Hadano-city, Japan
"M13 which I saw at the zenith when the sky was clear was very fantastic!!! I lost my words and I was almost blown away from my stepladder It was truly "three-dimensional. Veil nebulae (eastern, western and central) were also very impressive and they almost made me an aphasiac!!! I was frozen on my stepladder, and moving my 18" little by little, I could observe its whole detailed shape of super-nova remnant. I could observe not only its main complicated loops but also many small nebulae like a lot of small islands. Especially, the western loop near 52-Cyg was so beautiful !!! I was truly enchanted by its elegantly twisted and sharply-pointed shape, and its figure which forks into three branches on the other side. VERY impressive!!! I like my 18" so much. How wonderful and awesome views it shows!! I have really taken to this telescope, and I can't help making better use of it in order to observe more and more of deep-sky wonders!!! Thanks again for your great work!!!"
Toni M., 18 inch owner
"Love my 18 inch to death!".
Craig C., 18 inch owner in Madison, Wisconsin
"The the more I use this scope the more I love it. I've had it out a few nights this last week, even though I had to look through high thin clouds, and saw sights of wonder. Hickson 68 -- WOW! And for the first time I saw the spiral arms of M51 live!".
KD W., 18 inch owner in San Antonio, Texas
"Mr. Kriege, I must thank you for the quick delivery of the Obsession 18. I just returned last night from a three-day, two night astronomy expedition to the Davis Mountains. Thanks to you, and the incredible performance of the Obsession 18, I am a changed man! My perception of the Universe is forever redefined. The telescope performed beyond my wildest dreams. Everyone that viewed through the new scope was totally astonished. A couple of astronomers in my party are lifelong astronomers with many years experience. They exclaimed that the new scope provided the best views they had ever seen. One of them has experience working at the McDonald Observatory! I caught a glimpse of Jupiter just after sunset. While the seeing had not settled down yet, I was able to get glimpses of incredible detail of the planet's cloud bands. The two largest bands were a rusty brown while the other bands had a hint of yellow. Much detail could be glimpsed of the swirls and festoons in the bands. The Great Red Spot is salmon colored. Planetary observers should get themselves an Obsession. Omega Centauri, the great cluster very low in the southern sky was one of the earliest objects I viewed. I could not believe my eyes! So many stars resolved that I was overwhelmed by the view. Another astronomer that joined us early that evening with his "Brand T" refractor was simply flabbergasted by the performance of the Obsession 18. (I think he is canceling his order for a larger refractor.) Omega Centauri is a rare treat. I'm glad I had an Obsession telescope that night! M13, one of my favorites, looked better than most of the pictures I've seen in books. Seeing it with your own eyes, through an Obsession telescope, cannot be compared with anything else. The Whirlpool Galaxy revealed incredible levels of details. The spiral arms were easily seen. There was even a few knots in the detail that could be seen. Several experienced astronomers let a few explicative slip out when they saw it through the "18"! The long night honored me with a long list of fantastic views. Some of these are the Lagoon Nebula, the Swan Nebula, the Veil Nebula, NGC 4565 (the famous edge-on galaxy), the Ring Nebula, the Helix Nebula, and the Andromeda Galaxy. Each one was an amazing view. The Veil, with an O-III filter was easy to see in great detail. I followed the Veil throughout it's length with ease thanks to the perfectly smooth handling of the Obsession 18. The view was at least as good as most photographs and actually better than some. I enjoyed the Swan Nebula with my own eyes better than any photograph I have seen. Sharing the Obsession with my friends during this trip to the Davis Mountains is an experience I will never forget. There is just no substitute for live observation. I have been observing through telescopes only for about five months. The Obsession 18 and I have been together only about two weeks now. If I (a 48-year old Aerospace Engineer) can get so much from an Obsession telescope after only two weeks of ownership, with so little experience in astronomy, I think just about anyone can enjoy the views that only a big aperture telescope can. The Obsession IS THE BEST I must advise anyone even just thinking about buying an Obsession telescope, stop thinking about it! Do it! Do it NOW! It will be the best decision you will ever make! Thank you for my incredible telescope. She and I will have a wonderful lifetime of observing experiences together."
David T, 18 inch owner in Stanwood Washington
"I appreciate your service. The 18" meets and exceeds all expectations. To make this e-mail short, all statements posted on your Obsession site, "I CONCUR."
Tony C., 18 inch owner in Brentwood, CA
"The scope is AWESOME! I just love it! Can't wait to take it to a truly dark site."
Harold M., 18 inch owner in Belmont, California
"The 18'' came last Thursday and I'm not disappointed,WOW!!!! Where were you guys when I refinished my hardwood floors! And can you make me a bedroom set? Very nice wood work! Very smooth motions and balance is perfect(no problem using the 8+50 finder) and the laser makes collimation quick."
Tom Trusock 18" owner, product reviewer for Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews in Ubly Michigan
"I've been a visual observer for nearly two decades, and been fortunate to have opportunity to use a plethora of equipment - all makes, sizes and levels of quality. While there is no one perfect piece of equipment for every astronomer, there are those nights where everything comes together to give a near-religious and especially memorable experience. Last night was such a night. I spent many blissful hours with my 18” f4.5 Obsession - OMI Primary, StellarCat Drive and TeleVue eyepieces. Everything just worked. Beautifully. I gazed dumb struck in wonder at a myriad of astronomical targets, through one of the finest optical systems Iive been privileged to look through, let alone own. I saw detail last night that I'd only previously seen in pictures, often photographs taken with observatory size telescopes and expensive equipment. Amongst the targets I wondered at were: NGC 2392, the Eskimo Nebula, NGC 2438, IC 418, and NGC 2371. These planetary nebula some long favorites of mine stood out against the night like stellar jewels. And yet, they were not the showpieces of the evening. By far the most awe inspiring view was the mighty Saturn. As I sat back and watched the ringed giant, I could make out far more detail than I’d ever seen visually, in any scope, no matter the size or quality. I couldn't help but laugh out loud. As I increased the power, it stayed rock solid in the center of the field and invited closer and closer inspection. Gentlemen, without your contributions, I could not have enjoyed the evening nearly as much as I did. A long line of craftsmen made that evening possible. While I can't thank everyone, I am would like to take a moment to thank the following principals: James Mulherin (OMI-Torus) you crafted a truly breathtaking mirror - the heart of the telescope. Dave Kriege (Obsession Telescopes), you've spent your time, effort and expertise in fashioning a well designed work of art for the sole purpose of holding that primary in perfect position. Gary Meyers (StellarCat), after a mere two sessions, I can no longer imagine observing without your drive system. Thank you one, and all. I look forward to many more such nights under the stars. "
Charles W., 18 inch owner in Lexington, MA
"Dave -- I've finally assembled my new 18" and collimated all the optics and I have to say that this is the most user friendly scope I could have hoped for...you've clearly put tremendous thought into setup, transport, and take down--so much so that I'm more comfortable getting it out and going to a dark sky site than I was with my old 10" SCT. Thanks again for a wonderful new tool!".
Earnest M., 18 inch owner in Buckingham, Virginia
"Since recieving the scope you made for me I haven't had time to thank you for the great job you did. Everything arrived in perfect order. I've been out a few times in between the clouds and rain. I must say Andromeda never looked better. Once again Thanks for a Great Telescope, I'm in Bliss."
Scott S., 18 inch owner in Mission Viejo, California
"The scope and Torus mirror performed incredibly. I want to thank you for building such a wonderful Telescope and delivering it in less than one month! A great job. You should be very proud of your work. I have had the Telescope for three weeks and the seeing here in SoCal has been great on several nights over the last two weeks. The views through the 18" are hard for me to believe and it has forced me to put my AP 130 F6 away. Jupiter has been incredible. The Obsession Telescope with a Torus Mirror, and Feathertouch focuser has to be the ultimate Telescope."
Don C., 18 inch owner
"Your customer service is second to none. The other reflector/dobs I own came with the worst customer service I have ever seen for the most part. My Obsession scope is time and time again the best thing at the Star Parties I go to. Keep up the great work! Cheers, !"
Rob M., 18 inch owner in Zephyr Ontario
"We took the scope out for a spin on Sunday night with over 20 friends at a nearby dark sky site. What a view . The expression for the night was visual orgasm. We took a tour of some classical objects but because of the line up and the propensity of people to stay at the eyepiece few objects were covered. However the Torus optics were pin point accurate and the views outstanding. The Veil Nebula sent exclamations of joy through the country side. The twirling twisting columns of gas were a sight I never expected. Wow! Thanks for creating such a lovely piece of optical equipment. The craftsmanship and design are outstanding! I hope you realize the joy you are responsible for as many people view the universe through you constructs. Well Done!"
Georg B., 18 inch owner in Hamburg, Germany
"Hi Dave, I received the 18 inch Obsession telescope, assembled it and collimated the optics. Everything looks great. The telescope is extremely well made and intelligently designed. Thanks a lot!"
Mike P., 18 inch owner in Bellingham Washington
"I set up the scope, did a 2 star alignment, then dialed up M13. I pressed the goto button, thinking, "It will be a miracle if this works the first time". Well, I believe! The scope slewed to the spot and went in to tracking mode. I looked in the eyepiece and there was M13 dead center! The ServoCAT seems to do its job perfectly."
Ernesto G., 18" owner in Valladolid Spain
"Seven months have passed since my 18" Obsession first light. From that time until now, I have not being able to go out at night to observe as much as I would like, but I have to say I am impressed with that telescope. I have seen a lot of new objects, and details I never saw in others. For example, I have seen for the first time any of the Uranus moons. And not only one, but four of then: Ariel (even though tough), Umbriel, Titania and Oberon. Even galaxies in the PGC catalog, theoretically beyond the telescope possibilities are direct vision objects. In some other cases, the Cat Eye Nebula is one of them, I have seen a completelly new object, with fine details inside, and an intense green-lime colour. I finally understand why this nebula is called that way. Orion Nebula, probably the most observed object, show new structure all around. And Jones 1, one of my fuzzy planetary nebula favs is an easy target now. I have to say that electronic has a high quality performance, neck to neck with optic performance. Even though I am not an Argo Navis expert yet, I can align it to take objects within a 10' range form predicted. Servo Cat is a fantastic servo system, able to stand windy conditions. When used in conjunction, they can track easily at 835X, the magnification I used to spot Uranus moons. For all that, I am not sure whether it has been a late Christmas '04 or an early Chirstmas '05 present, but, anyway, my #1069 18" Obsession, a.k.a. Obzzy Osbourne, is a joy to celebrate every night. And so, once more thanks a lot for building such a fantastic telescope, and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!"
Ernesto G. 18 inch owner in Valladolid Spain
"It has been one year and a half since my 18" Obsession first light. First I felt like letting you know every amazing observation I did, but I soon realized that, in that case, I should be writing you every month (too many 16,5+ magnitude galaxies). But now I feel I have to tell you. Last Saturday I went out with some friends to watch Mars, and picture it. The night was fantastic (no turbulence, superb transparency and fairly dark). I pointed my 18" Obsession and pumped Mars at 325X. At some moment I saw a reflection from the eyepiece near Mars to the E, but the reflection moved along with Mars, and I could not hold it more than 10% of the time. I got Mars out of the field, and near the spider difraction was a tiny bright point. Was it Deimos?? I checked my planetarium software, ..., Yes, it was!! I was knocked down. I thought it was imposible without an obstruction bar at the eyepiece. Then we took some pictures, and another direct look, but now at 835X. I spoted Deimos easily, with Mars inside the field of view. I knew Phobos was at the other side, so I look to the W, ..., and there it was!!! It was better than my wildest dreams. We even could track Phobos moving around Mars in the following hour. To finish the night, we spotted Nix Olimpica. Even though I knew it was possible, last night was the first night I saw it. You can imagine how excited I was: Phobos, Deimos and Nix Olimpica! When I first thought of buying an Obsession Telescope I knew it was the best telescope I could purchase, but now I think it is even better than I imagined. I send you one of the pictures we took that "magic" night (no Phobos or Deimos :-D). So, congratulations for your fantastic telescopes, and keep on doing like this!"
Larry M., 18 inch owner in Ventura, California
"Used the scope for the first time and it worked incredibly. Orion Nebula was green and saw 6 stars in the Trapezium after only a 15 minute cool down. Stars in the Double Cluster were very sharp. Saturn and Jupiter showed lots of detail also. Thanks for a great scope!".
Oudot L., 18 inch owner in Roanne, France
"I congratulate you. This telescope with Torus mirror is a marvel. The woodworking is magnificent. It is very easy to set up (ten minutes maximum) and it is a pleasure to collimate. I'm delighted with how smoothly it moved. No other telescope moves like an Obsession. A few days ago, with my club, we organized a starparty. My telescope was the star of the night. Several hundreds of people waited to look in the eyepiece. I only heard scream of enthusiasm and especially " WOW " or incredible. Thank you. am very happy to have chosen Obsession. Several friends are very envious and have desires to have their own 18 inch."
Yasuhiko T., 18" owner in Hadano, Kanagawa Japan
"I received my Obsession 18" Sunday afternoon. In spite of my having been worried about the transportation due to the Far East issue, I was so glad to be able to receive my telescope safely. Very impressive!!! Looks so great!!! Yes, it's indeed like a high quality furniture!!! I am so happy to be an owner of such a telescope like a work of art! Thank you for your great work."
Rich D., 18 inch owner in Litchfield, New Hampshire
"Congratulations on constructing such a remarkable telescope. I have had it to a few public star parties with my astronomy club, and have hardly had a chance to view. The line was constant for several hours over a dozen deep at times. It is so gratifying to see children and adults appreciate the heavens. Best of all, my six year old on a ladder can track objects with ease even at high magnification. I am constantly amazed at how much can be see in detail with the Torus mirror. I nearly fell off the ladder when I had first light on M13 and the Veil with an OIII filter. The Lagoon, Swan, and Eagle Nebulas have been equally superb even low on the horizon. Everything I heard and was advertised prior to purchase has lived up to expectations. Words can not describe how happy I am about this purchase!!!"
Lyle G., 18 inch owner in Washington, Indiana
"Over the weekend I was able to get my new scope out to some dark skies in the country. My expectations were not only met but surpassed! Everything about this 18" scope makes it a real pleasure to use. It moves so smoothly and is perfectly balanced. Set up and break- down are so easy and quick--I really like that feature. And the optics are absolutely wonderful! When the atmosphere settled down the deep sky views were excellent, sharp, and clean. I also turned it on Saturn and Jupiter before daybreak and was I impressed! Again, so clean and sharp! Impressive indeed for a F4.5 optic! This telescope is sure to enhance my enjoyment of astronomy, even as it has already done. Thank you for a beautiful instrument!"
Ernesto G., 18 inch owner in Valladolid, Spain
"GOTO operations performed perfectly, and objects where inside the 30' field almost every time. Objects went from galaxies in the Bootes-Virgo-Coma Berenices border (some of them showing arms and all!!), several Messier globulars (M80 has grown with new 15 magnitude stars in its border), and NGC6210 in deep blue color. And now, I'm just going to enjoy my telescope!!"
Alfredo S., 18 inch owner in Carbonate, Italy
"Great !!!! Your Telescope with Torus mirror is wonderfull and beautifull. Everything is perfect and all is matching correctly and smoothly. Instructions provided cover all aspects in details. A deluxe Telescope, wonderfully hand-crafted with top-excellent materials. Thanks for a great Telescope (the best in the world) at a good price! "
David B., 18 inch owner in Seattle, Washington
"That night everything I saw I had NEVER seen before -- the spiral structure of M-51 was plainly visible (no averted vision), could even make out most of the bridge between the two galaxies. And, I could resolve M-13 almost to the core -- tiny, faint stars intermingled with brighter ones, all distinct one from the other. I spent most of the night just cruising around -- Ringtail Galaxy in Corvus, M-4, M80, M-3, the usual showpieces in Sagittarius, etc. The whole experience was surreal -- I was not just looking at these objects, I was THERE. The telescope was a time and space machine that transported me. Totally amazing. So, now I know how good it can be. Thanks again for your commitment to creating the instruments that enable people like me to have these experiences."
Robin L., 18 inch owner in Ogden Utah
"My good spot is not accessable until some more snow melts off. But I did get a look at the Orion Nebula and Jupiter and Saturn. WOW! Even from my light polluted back yard the 2 planets were better than I had ever seen anywhere with any scope! My other telescopes never performed well from my backyard. The Obsession views blew away any view I have ever had! I saw a transit of Ganymede and it's shadow across the face of Jupiter. Needless to say I was thrilled. Your claim of quality optics and views is no idle of boast. The scope is work of art, beautiful to look at and look through. I can't wait to get to my good dark site and see some deep sky objects. I also noticed that subtle colors on stars are more evident with the scope. I'll have a lifetime of great views. I'm glad I chose and Obsession. I really am obsessed!"
Bob M., 18 inch owner in Montana
"I finally had a chance a few nights ago to put all the pieces of my new scope together and take it out for a short (due to a just past full moon) observing session. (I just got married eight days ago, which kind of took up some of my free time) In one word: awesome! Not only is the scope itself a thing of great beauty and craftmanship, but Mars, M51, M4, the ring nebula, the double cluster, and a couple other things I viewed were simply spectacular. It utterly blows away the views I had in my Meade 10 inch dob. I am 100% pleased with the performance and craftmanship of this instrument. Thank you for providing me with such a fine instrument; I think my aperture fever has finally been cured!"
Ron S., 18 inch owner in Helena, Montana
"Assembled my new 18 inch Obsession. Was greatly impressed with its superb workmanship, the beauty of its woodwork, but when we installed the secondary mirror and put the complete telescope together, we were delighted with how smoothly it moved, how it would stop on a dime! My son-in-law marvelled over how well you have thought out all sorts of little details--everything from the quick-release, cam-lever connections for the truss tubes to the stainless-steel floatation cell for the primary. After dinner, we took it out to the backyard and delighted in its optics. I have never seen the Orion Nebula with such crisp, full detail--all of the stars of the Trapesium fully resolved and the nebula cloud a faint, blue green! Higher in the sky we focused in on Jupiter and Saturn with equally eye-boggling results. I am thoroughly delighted with my Obsession. I can't imagine anyone wasting money on an Obsession wanna-be."
Frank R., 18 inch owner in Bardstown, Kentucky
"I finally got the scope out last week and just as you had predicted--I love it. It really is less trouble than my 8 inch SCT. With only one night out I can tell it's everything I expect it to be and wish I had bought it long before now. The Torus mirror is magnificent. NGC 4565 looked like the picture in Burnham's Handbook, Thanks for a truly great scope!"
Hideaki T., 18 inch owner in Tsuruga, Japan
" When I heard "It is almost a work of art", I thought this is an American joke. But now I want to say "It is a work of art!" This is not a Japanese Joke!. Just fit into Nissan wagon. Over 600X mirror is good. Thank you for this wonderful telescope. I love mine!"
John L., 18 inch owner
"Yesterday I collimated the optics and had first light. It was wonderfull. Looked at several M objects and was blown away by the brightness and crisp detail. Scope worked great, was easy to guide, setup, and take down. The wheel barrow handles made it easy to lug to and from the house. Just a fantastic scope. Thanks!!!".
John H., 18 inch owner in Las Vegas, Nevada
"Did I mention that I love the scope? I just ordered a ServoCAT, which I wish I'd have purchased with the original order. I just couldn't afford it at the time. I am amazed at the effectiveness of filters - with my 10" SCT filters usually just made the image darker. Now I can see planetaries from my backyard in Vegas almost as well as I can without a filter from dark sky sites. Getting all six stars of the Trapezium isn't even a challenge. The Horsehead is elusive to some, but definitely there. I've seen the 16th mag central star in the Owl. Views of Jupiter and Saturn are sublime. At 400X I've seen the Enke Division, the C Ring, transits on Jupiter and can resolve Titan and the four Galilean moons. The ServoCat will be a great help for serious observing at high power. I ALWAYS have the longest lines at star parties. "
Tony Mottino, 18 inch owner in California
"I am just loving my 18 inch to death. We were looking at the Rosette and man oh man what detail! This scope is tooooooooo good.".
Dave S, 18 inch owner in Aberdeen, New Jersey
"First of all, I have to tell you I am delighted with my new scope. The images are amazing. Dave Kriege should sell shades so things aren't so bright. M81 & M82 were almost too bright, even early in the evening. I saw more galaxies than I wanted to even try to identify. Resolution was excellent when seeing permitted. Overall, I think I'd have to say this telescope is a whole different ball game. It feels different being at the controls of a Ferrari waiting to get out of the city where the roads will allow you to really open it up. I've only gone 55 so far. But I think this thing will go as fast as conditions will allow.".
Ted F., 18 inch owner
"Dave, the scope is a work of art. It is pefectly balanced and precisely square. I am quite pleased. Set-up and pack-up is as easy as was advertised. I love the secondary assembly clamps and the truss pole blocks are super. It was a big hit at it's first public outing. I can see why the 18 is so popular, it is such a manageable size. I feel like it's perfect!".
Bruce Whitson, 18 inch owner in Kreuztal, Germany
"I especially want to say what a tremendous pleasure it is for me to own this 18" Obsession, (I can't imagine taking anything larger to the Canary Islands), and how lucky I feel to be alive when Newton, Herschel, Dobson, Kriege, et al have made this incredible experience possible. !"
Jose R., 18 inch owner in Lisbon, Portugal
"Last night at last it was possible to experiment for the first time my new Obsession 18 with a Torus mirror. I was with my observation group which meets every Saturdays after New Moon. For the first time in my life I saw the disk of a moon of Jupiter!! The planetary detail at 340X was astonishing. One of the companions who is a big defender of the apocromatics in planetary observation, told me that it was the best images of Jupiter and Saturn he had ever seen. The Crab nebula had the shape we see in the photographs. And without necessity of adverted vision!! M36,M37,M38,ngc1907 were wonderful. Setting up and collimation are very easy. Star testing shows a premium mirror. Now I know that I'm probably the owner of the best telescope in Portugal, at least in what concerns amateur astronomy. Thanks Dave K."
Hideaki Tezuka, 18 inch owner in Tsuruga, Japan with his 18 inch Obsession.
"When I heard "It is almost a work of art", I thought this is an American joke. But now I want to say "It is a work of art!" This is not a Japanese Joke!. Just fit into Nissan wagon. Over 600X mirror is good. Thank you for this wonderful telescope. I love mine!".
Norm R., 18 inch owner in Scottsdale Arizona
"Dave, it was well worth the wait! I've been observing through various telescopes for about 40 years now (Tasco 60mm @ age 8) and what I have been seeing through the Obsession are the most incredible astronomical views of my life. I cannot begin to thank you enough. The mechanics of your scope took almost 2 years of sitting on an outside covered porch in the high desert of AZ through intense heat, dust storms and monsoon rains with nothing more needed than an easy cleanup. Yet, the scope itself is so handsome that it looks great parked in our family room as a piece of furniture even my most exacting mother doesn't mind it. The scope is also so easy to setup that even I, with all my health and lifting restrictions, can do it in under five minutes. The Torus/OMI mirror that I possess is absolutely fantastic. The customer service at OMI has been almost unbelievable. James Mulherin is not only a perfectionist, but truly a man of honor and a delight to deal with. I think that your business relationship with them was a mutually brilliant decision. All competitive hype aside, they are producing mirrors that are at least as good as anything available anywhere, at any price and their prices are most reasonable. As for as your customer service, you are not only a real nice guy, you have always been easily contactable and available, and have always been there when I've needed you. You simply can't ask for, or receive, anything better than that. I've had a rather nasty time over the past two years with my health problems. There hasn't been a whole lot to celebrate about. However, my Obsession is now bringing me great enjoyment, (happiness is ... A clear sky and an Obsession?), and there isn't much else in my life right now that I can say that about. I've always had a particular fondness for viewing Mars, but honestly hadn't figured on the Obsession, or any mirrored telescope, for optimal planetary viewing, and did not purchase the Obsession with such in mind. Yet, I've been experiencing the BEST views of Mars of my life through the Obsession and now can't wait for autumn viewing of the gas giants through the scope. Sorry to have rambled on, but I really did want to express my thanks for not only having produced an incredible telescope, but for making me eager to actually stick around and get up every day (and clear night). Thanks, again, Dave!"
Tony M., 18 inch owner in Los Angeles, California
"JUST A SHORT NOTE TO TELL YOU THAT WHEN I WENT TO THE MOJAVE WITH THE 18 INCH LAST MONTH I USED THE 22MM TYPE 4 NAGLER FOR THE FIRST TIME, AND IT WAS THE VERY BEST. THE VIEW OF THE ORION NEBULA WAS JUST FANTASTIC,M81 AND 82 WERE GREAT, BUT THE BEST WAS M51!!! MAN OH MAN YOUR SCOPE AND THAT EYEPIECE ARE GREAT TOGETHER.".
KD W., 18 inch owner in San Antonio Texas
"I just wanted to drop you a quick line to say hello! The Obsession 18 continues to thrill. I can't imagine a finer telescope. She is teaching me something of the heavens every time we go out. I am planning another trip to McDonald Observatory. The 18" will go along, of course. Thanks again for my telescope."
Jeff H., 18 inch owner
"I am continually amazed with the views through the 18. For the first time, numerous objects I've always looked at are showing detail visually, I'd come to only expect from a photograph. NGC 891 (from the medium dark site no less) shows not only a band...but the kind of detail in the band, indicative of light shining through less dense portions, irregularities in it's edge...amazing. And then, I slid down to Abel 347, a cluster of rather obscure galaxies mentioned in the December SkyTel...I found it rather astonishing to be picking up mag 13 plus galaxies. I am absolutely in love with this telescope!"
Tony M., 18 inch owner in Los Angeles, California
" Dave - the 18" is an incredible machine; I've had it a few years now and it always rewards me for taking it out to our dark sky site. The sights I've seen through my Obsession haven't been matched anywhere. People don't know what they're missing when they pass up a chance to observe! One member of our club swore the Horsehead couldn't be seen in less than a 24" scope. We've shown him several times recently that with the 31 Nagler and an OIII filter its easy with an Obsession 18. Thanks for taking the time and care to do it right!"
Jean-Paul R., 18 inch owner in Adelphi Maryland
"I am delighted with my new Obsession 18". Two days ago, I took it to a fairly dark site (Tuckahoe State Park, MD), quarter moon and wind with gusts of 25 or so m/hr. Argo Navis and ServoCat (which I was connecting for the first time) worked perfectly. As you had suggested, the Telrad was all I needed for a very fast and accurate alignment. I was very please with that. Much easier to use than the power viewfinders. I was amazed at the rigidity of the telescope under wind. I could very well observe with high magnification (200+) without problems, even with the shroud on !. Some times, the wind would move the telescope but in a few seconds, it was back on track. It seems the friction of your design and the power of ServoCat combine to permit excellent viewing under windy conditions. I had not foreseen that. With the Paracorr and the 24 mm Panoptic, 13, 9 and 7 mm Naglers, I did a tour of galaxies in Leo and Ursa Major, some planetaries, a magnificent view of Orion Nebula and some clusters. I was most impressed with M46, a open but dense cluster with a large number of almost equal and low magnitude stars uniformly distributed over a 30' or so field. It includes a 3' or so Nebula. Absolutely magnificent. Three friends where very impressed by the telescope. The loading and set up are done in a breeze. Again, I am delighted with it. Thank you very much!"
John C., 18 inch owner in Wilmington, NC
"Finally got my 18 inch Obsession put together, 1st light should be this weekend. Glad I waited, this is truely one of the finest pieces of equipment I've ever seen. The craftsmanship throughout is great. Within a week I should get over the feeling that its too pretty to take outside. Thanks for all your help and patience - and thanks for a great scope.".
Don W., 18" owner in Oshkosh Wisconsin
"The first thing that I noticed was the tightness of the star images with all the eyepieces I used. Looked at the star image inside and outside of focus concluded that this was an excellent mirror. The views for the two nights were superb. Contrast was excellent and fine detail was seen in many, many objects. I had a large number of people look through the scope and all were very surprised that it was an f/4.5 mirror. A lot of them looked to see if there was a Paracorr in the focuser but there wasn't. The only time coma was noticeable was when we looked at the Double Cluster using a 35mm Panoptic. I put the Paracorr in and the stars were perfect to the edge. Primarily I hunt down and observe galaxies, but also like to look at planetary nebulae and globular clusters. Coma was not a problem in any of these objects. James, I really want to thank you for an excellent Torus mirror. This is my 4th large dob and it's definitely my favorite. The Obsession is a wonderful set up and your optics just make it perfect. Thanks and clear skies to you!"
Harold M., 18 inch owner in Belmont, California
"I finally got to use my 18" labor day, oh boy!! Even through the urban sky glow the views were fantastic!!! bright and contrasty on a dark background ,the nucleas of andromeda galaxy was like a search light , jupiter and saturn were awsome ,double stars everywere with colors, my friends couldnt believe the smooth motion on both axes. Guiding is easy and set up a breeze. I am sold,big aperature is where its at and please tell everyone you dont need dark skys to enjoy it! Thanks so much for the great product and dont ever comprimise on the quality of your product, its the best. In bliss, Harold M."