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 Rick Singmaster
Chiefland Star Party Group Fall Star Party 2009
Comments from Rick and two Starmaster owners

Finally, a long awaited vacation to Florida for Carol and I.  Warm weather, steady seeing and many friends to enjoy.  However, a tropical storm had other ideas. Four days of rain, clouds and cool conditions insured we got lots of rest.

Mid-week the weather improved and telescopes were unloaded and the fun began. Many of our friends and longtime customers had arrived and Starmaster scopes ranging in size from a 7" Oak Classic to 30" F/3.3 were grouped on Tom & Jeannie Clarks field. Views were superb and laughter was constant. Carol was treated to views through the 28" and 30" scopes she had never seen as was I and others.

Following are observing comments from some of our customers.  -Rick

From the Starmaster Yahoo Group:  "The best 30" f/3.3 in the World?"

Well, this was a rather intesting weekend at Chiefland Astronomy Village (CAV)
when it comes to looking up and using huge portable telescopes.

How about getting to gorge on views through two 30's and two 28's within 100 feet of each other? It really does not get much better than this.

Many of you know that I am somewhat biased toward Starmasters having owned 19 of them and currently owning Tom Back's 20" f/4.3 Zambuto/Starmaster which I dearly love and have decided is my last large scope. I owned a 24" ZOC/Starmaster and had the best lifetime views of Jupiter and Saturn with it at Chiefland Astronomy Village.

Well, let me just cut to the chase and say that the 30" f/3.3 Lockwood/Starmaster is the
finest large aperture portable telescope that I have ever looked through and I have been very fortunate to have been able to look through a bunch of absolutely superb high-end large scopes (28-32").

What absolutely blew me away was that on the first evening I got to play with Duane's scope, at dusk, Jupiter was strutting its stuff as the Sun was going down. To have such a large mirror/scope produce the images I saw was astounding. That scope with a 20mm TV Nagler and a Hydrogen-beta filter produced the finest image I have ever seen of the Horsehead Nebula and I have seen it live hundreds of times both naturally as we did and with image intensifiers and astrovideo cameras. The dimensions of that scope were just. dare I say it, "perfect" for a large aperture scope.

OK enough about Duane's scope. Now we move on to the other three huge scopes in the group that included a 28" f/3.6 Kennedy/Starmaster, a 28" f/3.5 Lockwood Starmaster and the other huge scope of a 30" f/3.7 Lockwood Starmaster. The other three were spectacular. John's 28" f/3.6 Kennedy/Starmaster has been the standard by which I have judged all other 28" scopes.  Well, Kirk with his new 28" f/3.5 Lockwood/Starmaster has answered the challenge. I frankly was skeptical that Lockwood could keep up with Kennedy in the super-large category (sorry Mike but I too used to be a scientist).

Well, I am here to tell you that the Lockwood flat performed. Then, we need to remember that the other HUGE 30" f/3.7 Lockwood/Starmaster owned by Dan showed us some of the finest views of the Eskimo Planetary Nebula at 2250x. The views of the Horsehead through the scope were absolutely spectacular with his 17mm Ethos and the H-b filter. I wish we could have compared the two views of the Horse with the same magnification.

OK, so I am thinking, this Lockwood guy maybe has something going on here?

Well, all you had to do was go over to John's 16.5" Lockwood/Starmaster or Gary's 20" f/3.7 Lockwood Starmaster to see some of the finest views that can be had in those respective aperture classes. Gary's 20" on M42 happened to be one of the finest views of the nebula that I have ever seen. The pinprick protostars were popping out all over the place in the nebula surrounding the Trapezium. The 20" by far put up the finest view of the object of all of the scopes we were viewing through. If you guessed that I am sort of "high" on Lockwood optics, you would have guessed correctly.

From my personal vantage point, it appears that he has joined the lengendary ranks of Kennedy and Zambuto in the large aperture world.  My hats off to Mike and Rick for producing some very spectacular instruments. I mentioned to Kirk that when these boys show up in the neighborhood (CAV), I am just going to leave my exquisite 20" at home because it is just so

Well, these are my personal views with very little specifics.  There was a lot of other evaluation going on but that is simply not important to discuss. The finest batch of Starmasters I have ever seen assembled happened this week in a 100 foot radius. It was all the better that Rick Singmaster and Carol Singmaster were able to join us and revel in the superb accomplishments of the moment.

Bob Schilling, Tallahassee, Florida

From the owner of a 30" F/3.7

I arrived home a few hours ago after 2072 miles and I can say I'm a changed man.  I finally had the chance to put the new 30" through a good workout under steady skies.

Your optics coupled with the Starmaster structure is without a doubt the best it gets in visual astronomy.

We observed the Eskimo Nebula at 2300X !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and observed the structure seen in photographs.  How about the Horsehead with direct vision-the entire outline of the head, the pillars of creation and on and on.

Many fellow observers passed by and spent considerable time with the 30" and all agreed that it provided the finest views they had ever seen.

Several were shocked that such a huge, fast scope could show such fine detail on Jupiter. Many said that it was the best view of Jupiter they ever had. In fact, one guy got on the phone with his wife and was pleading with her to let him get a 30"... I think he lost that discussion but I'll never part with the 30.

I looked through a 42" and the 30" blows it away in sharpness ( which didn't shock me ) but also in image quality.

Aperture envy is a thing of the past.  This is truly as good as it gets and a wonderful time was had by all. The 30" makes my former excellent 24" seem like a toy. Hope to talk/see you soon. Again thanks for your dedication to providing the absolute best optics money can buy. Feel free to use this on your website.

Dan Kleppner, PA

Here are a couple of photos from Duane Smith, the very happy owner of a 30" F/3.3.

Starmasters at Chiefland Starmasters at Chiefland

Here are a couple of photos from Gary Beyerstein, owner of a 20" F/3.7 FX.

Field full of Starmasters
Starmaster panorama

Finally, here are a few photos from John VeDepo, owner of a 16.5" FX and a 28" F/3.7.

Rick and a small scopeStarmasters on the fieldStarmasters on the field

Left to right - 30" F/3.7 FX, 20" F/3.7 FX, 28" F/3.7, 30" F/3.3 Super FX, 16.5" F/3.7 FX.

All major components of Starmaster Telescopes are made with pride in the United States of America by small, community based companies.

-Cancelled orders will be subject to a restocking fee which will be equal to 15% of the BASE price of the telescope, NO EXCEPTIONS.
-Orders are not transferable without permission of Starmaster Telescopes and will be subject to additional fees.
-We are now accepting international orders for telescopes 22" in aperture and under.

For comments or questions about this site, email Starmaster Portable Telescopes.

Rick has a second passion besides astronomy - Click here to see what it is!