Tried and Tested

It’s good to see equipment of all types undergoing improvement, from optical tube assemblies to mounts of varying complexity, CCDs and planetary cameras – it shows innovation is certainly not dead. This is reflected in our reviews in the magazine this month where we take a look at Software Bisque’s Paramount MX mount and Celestron’s Nightscape CCD camera.

But while pushing the technological edge, it is also reassuring to know that the old-world qualities of customer service are still held in high regard: when problems do arise we all want them to be dealt with quickly and efficiently.

Of course, if our reviewers run into a problem while testing equipment we immediately contact the supplier to see if it is something that can be easily rectified or replaced, so the review can go ahead. The vast majority of issues tend to be minor so suppliers and manufacturers can deal with the issues quickly. I hope that this is the same service that they give to all customers.

Most telescopes and mounts seem reliable enough to do the job at hand and indeed some become long term favourites with both the manufacturers and the customers. This is why we’re launching an occasional variation of our First Light reviews this month. ‘Tried & tested’ is a new kind of review for products that have proved themselves over the years, and for the first one in our September issue, I take a look at a modern twist to the venerable Celestron C8, the NexStar 8SE – still with its classic orange tube but now with Go-To functionality.

There are many ‘classics’ out there – why not let us know which pieces of equipment have stood the test of time to give you your favourite views at

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