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Snobbery

Last post 07-20-2008, 8:33 AM by TheDecepticon. 3 replies.
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  •  03-09-2008, 12:26 PM

    Snobbery

    To the AS network,

    I am a relative newcommer to the astrophotography scene, but after years (since the early 70's) with my old Tasco 60 mm refractor I finally knuckled under 14 months ago and re-entered the market with a Meade LX200R.  It has been quite a journey,  but I have kept at it and now feel like I am getting the hang of it.  I also joined my local Astro Club and started showing up at observing sessions.

    What I don't understand is this - Why is it that as soon as I pull the LX200 out of the case and start setting it up so many people look and say "Oh, only a Meade ?  Too bad...when are you getting a REAL  'scope....." those sorts of things.  Why is there such an anti-Meade bias out there?  Sure, there are plenty of great manufacturers in the Astro market, and there are also some prices that are almost as high as some of the more distant galaxies.  Okay, we accept that.  But when it comes to basic optics, which - lets face it - is ground zero once we start observing with something other than our eyeballs,  Meade has done a great job.  Why the snobbery?  Is there that much "conspicuous consumption" in this market?  I usually don't see people showing up at Star parties in their Rolls Royces.  Is there some market history I don't know about? Are other systems really all that better?  I look at the star fields I get in my scope and I would match it up against anything else I have seen out there.

    So if anybody can educate me about why all the bias, I'd apreciate it.  I need ammunition to fire back with, because this is as best I can tell pure politics.  Sorry for the rant.

     

    Toxo

     

     

     

  •  03-09-2008, 8:57 PM

    Re: Snobbery

    Unfortunately, that problem isn't exclusive to Meade or any other brand (or to telescopes for that matter). I think it started the day the second manufacturer of cosumer telescopes released their first product. Years ago I faced endless grief and sometimes near violence because I was 'wasting my time' writing astronomy software for the 'wrong' computer (never mind which one). It may be hard, but just shake it off and chalk it up to the lack of maturity on someone's part. At the end of the day the only person who's opinion matters is yours.

    -John

  •  07-19-2008, 11:55 PM

    Re: Snobbery

    This is a very interesting question and topic, I'm surprised it didn't get noticed out here more.  Personally, I think there are three types of this snobbery I tend to run into.  My particular club tends to have quite a few folks with Meade scope so I have never really encountered it there.  But i have been in other situation where I do see it. 

    The first is, as you said, this sort of "You only have Meade" type attitude, as if the only scopes that really matter are the ones that have TAK or AP on the side.  I don’t really see that a whole lot but sometimes it is there, sometimes a bit inconspicuously, but there none the less.  I really don’t understand it, most people started out with something before they had their 15000 dollar setups; perhaps they have forgotten their roots.

    The second type I have run into, and this is one I have seen far more often, is the type where you are the one with a shinny blue electrified Meade scope in a field with a bunch on homemade Dobs.  Now don't get me wrong, I like dobs, I have one (happens to be a Meade by the way :) ) but thee are some people who use them that tend to think it just isn't the real thing is you are using a commercial telescope with motors and GOTO.  I've even heard it said that you haven't put in your time as though there is some unpublished advancement you are allowed to make in astronomy on a very precise path.  These folks generally mean well, but they are doing a great disservice to those they chide, especially if that person decides not to go to star parties again with them and even eventually gives up astronomy.

    While I can almost see someone's point on the first two (strongly disagree but to each their own I suppose), the third one just gets my goat.  I call this the "Anti Microsoft" crowd, only in this instance they are Anti Meade.  This is generally for no other good reason then they don't like the big guy, complain about commercialization, etc.  What they tend to forget is that these very same Big Guys have done more for astronomy (or in the case of Microsoft, for he personal PC) then any small group could ever do.  They have leveraged enormous resources to make astronomy available to a greater number of people and bring it to the masses on a daily basis.  Has the commercialization forced a loss of some of the old time personalization?  Sure it has, but it has brought astronomy to a world of people that might have never had it otherwise and has forced competition and innovation hat might not have happened either.  Perhaps instead of being anti-Meade, next time they should probably think of how they can work with the poor young obviously deluded astronomer and bring them over to their side thru inclusion, not dis-association.

    In the end, any of those reasons for slamming on someone else’s choice in a telescope is petty and childish and should be taken for what it is worth, basically nothing.

     

     

     


    Stephen P. Hamilton
    AutoStarSuite.Net Owner/Moderator
    http://www.HamiltonAstronomy.com
    King George Observatory
    38° 21' 26" , -77° 03' 04"
    Photos: My Photo Gallery

  •  07-20-2008, 8:33 AM

    Re: Snobbery

    I cant help myself on this one either. I see it all the time with an Australian Forum that I'm a member of & it gets me going too!
    What so many people don't realize is that if it wasn't for Meade's continual strive to bring quality telescopes to the budget conscious amateur, they wouldn't be looking through some of the scopes that they have got, and for the price that they got them for. Sure, Meade aren't perfect, who is?
    I see objects through my LXD55 SN10 and LX90 8in that takes my breathe away, and that looks better than in some bigger dobs with higher prices, it just doesn't make sense. Sure, I didn't build my scopes, but I work heaps of hours during the week but  this doesn't stop my continual amazement and wonderment of the sky, universe & what makes it tick anymore than anyone else. I think its jealousy!Big Smile [:D]

    Bintel N200
    LX90 8"
    Orion 80 ST
    WO Megrez 110
    DSI & DSI PRO2
    EQ6 Pro & EQMOD
    QHY8
    Lots of other Astro bits
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