To whom it may concern ...
I'm writing this note to describe the reasons I purchased a SpicaEyes from Tom Osypowski. I've been in astronomy for about 20 years, and professionally, work with very high-end, high-tech equipment. In the early '80s, I started Elliott Laboratories, very likely the premier EMC testing laboratory in the country at this time. This isn't an effort to "beat my chest," but rather to state that I'm accustomed to using - and pushing for - the highest quality results and equipment possible.
In astronomy, I've always been passionate about tack-sharp, high-contrast images. Photographically, I pursued Schmidt Cameras and the best small refractors I could afford. I currently own a 6" Astrophysics Starfire. However, after years of working with all the paraphernalia required to produce images using hydrogen-hypered 2415 film, I wanted to take a step back and spend more time observing - instead of photographing - the night sky.
I've known Tom for many years and have been EXTREMELY impressed with his telescopes, having spent many evenings with Tom and his friends at Riverside, star parties and his house. Half of why I would chose Tom above ALL others is because of Tom. Setting aside any reference to technology, you have to have absolute and total trust in someone custom building a telescope because in the end, you can't go back to the corner astronomy store if something isn't to your liking. Tom Osypowski is "family." No, we're not related, but a handshake with Tom means more than all the legal documents that could ever be contrived by the Stanford Law School. My trust in Tom and his work is absolute.
What he builds - is "Old World" in his extreme attention to detail and design execution. But his technology is constantly evolving to take advantage of the best that is available at the time. I ordered a 16" f4 SpicaEyes in March of last year. Tom completed the scope by late July. Lightholder Optics, who made the mirror, did an incredible job. Having looked through telescopes with handmade mirrors from the likes of Kevin Medlock, I have to say the image quality I saw the first night I used this telescope was clearly the best I have ever seen - without exception. For its size, I cannot image how the optics could possibly be more finely tuned to produce a better image. And the telescope itself - is commensurate with the exceptional optics. Mechanically it's far better than any of the other DOBs that I've seen or used. It has no peer.
So, I would conclude by saying that the build-quality is excellent in the extreme. The views produced are the finest I''ve ever seen (from equipment this size). And you can trust Tom to do exactly what he says he will do. Knowing everything I know now, I would re-purchase the SpicaEyes from Tom in a heartbeat. It is the best telescope I've ever owned - and I've owned quite a few ...