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The limited number of smaller Hardin telescopes can be bought either online or through an upscale telescope dealer. The Hardin website does not provide a dealer locator service, but Hardin telescopes can be found through most high-end telescope dealers. Online dealers such as Geckooptical.com list a full range of Hardin Dobsinian telescopes. Other sites, such as telescopes.com feature a few models of Hardin telescopes and also Hardin telescope accessories such as filters and eyepieces.
Most of the optics that Hardin Optics produces are intended for professional use. The majority of the small telescopes that are produced by Hardin are large Dobsonian Reflector telescopes. These telescopes are over six inches and diameter and over a meter in length, making them a perfect professional grade telescope. Hardin also makes precision mirrors and eyepieces for use in high grade telescopes. These components are used by observatories and research institutes.
The telescopes that Hardin makes available to the average consumer tend to be pretty pricey. Hardin's range of Dobsinian Reflector telescopes is known as the Deep Space Hunter series and comes in four different models. The smallest of these telescopes, which is six inces in diameter, retails for close to $300. The next two models are 8 and 10 inches respectively, and both of them retail for between $300 and $500. The ten inch model, because of its exceptional size, can be considered a professional grade telescope. The final Deep Space Hunter is a 12 inch model that is usually priced close to $1000.
Hardin telescopes aren't intended for use by the casual telescope hobbyist. The telescopes themselves, in terms of size and price, are often beyond the means of the casual astronomer. The company generally manufactures Dobsinian Telescopes that are over six inches in diameter. Dobsonian Telescopes are actually large Newtonian Reflector telescopes that are placed on a simple swiveling mount. The telescope itself features two high-precision mirrors that direct light at the eyepiece. The size of the telescopes and quality of the mirrors make them impractical for use by hobbyists.
Hardin actually focusses much of its production power on researching and manufacturing precision grade optics. Much of their work goes towards producing lenses and mirrors that are used in professional research and industrial equipment. Additionally Hardin produces optical mechanisms for advanced research telescopes. Their optics are used in medical and scientific research, especially in high grade laboratory microscopes. Hardin also produces optics used in advanced surveilance equipment -- producing lenses and cameras capable of automatically calculating the speed and range of moving objects
Hardin is less notable for individual telescopes than for the quality of its optics. The company specializes in manufacturing professional grade mirrors and lenses. These optics are featured in some large scale, research grade telescopes, but they also appear in Hardin's own line of Dobsinian Reflector telescopes. Dobsinian Reflector telescopes rely on a pair of finely ground mirrors to direct light to the eyepiece. The primary mirror sits at the bottom of the telescope and collects light, which is then reflected in to the secondary mirror and then the eyepiece. Hardin's mirrors are some of the best in the industry, making their Dobsinian telescopes exceptional in quality.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|