Darkframe Optics - updates  

October 2020 I get the occasional email and messages from people upset and stressed asking for help and advice. 

I leave it with you for now.. hopefully, we can restore and build on all this.."

Hello Dave,
"XXX XXXXXX" (USA amateur) here. As my 5 year old AVX mount was getting wonky, and in August of this year started running uncontrolled in RA, I have been looking for someplace I could have it repaired. Online I found the website for a company called DarkFrame in Hampshire, and contacted them by email. They said they could handle my AVX, and arranged shipping (HC, cable and mount head) from my site in Tennessee to their office, through DHL. They paid this themselves.

I was rather distressed to hear from them that my mount arrived damaged. They sent me 3 images, 2 with dings and 1 crucial one, out of focus (from an optics company?!), apparently showing some damage to the end where the plastic screw cap (which I kept here) covers the polar alignment scope (which I also kept here).

I have been trying to discuss this with them by email, but they seem very lax about responding and providing updates.

A friend in the UK has been looking into the problem, and he found some negative reports about DarkFrame’s business practices. I searched as well, and found your comments on


This is all very discouraging. I too wanted to find a competent little optics company in Hampshire (I was at Southanpton Univ), and I am worried that I may have instead wandered into Monte Python’s Dead Parrot skit.

Fortunately to date I have not agreed to pay for any costs (they covered the shipping), and have received no estimates from them for work needed. Do you have any updates regarding this company? Does the UK have an equivalent to our Better Business Bureau?

I suspect I have seen the last of my AVX, but that may be the best possible outcome.


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Dear xxx..
absolute nightmare people, I get stories all the time I try me best to warn people
of bad practice and lies # there is the Office of Fair Trading @ .gov.uk
The problem is this guy's pet hobby is threatening to take people to court
and is extremely clever at twisting and contriving fault and blame back to the
other party.
We have a "small Claims" protected costs courts system here in the UK
which I would like to have taken Darkframe through but when I weighed it all
up at my age I couldn't face the stress of it all ~ lucky Darkframe
Hence I decided to create a web presence and associated FB page to at least give fair warning to folk
through my experiences and as you can see "in his words not mine". although the site
does have a wider content scope and has positive reviews too. including the
Deep Space Products company in the USA.

These people may not be aware of what your mount means to us as AstroPhotographers
they are the intrinsic fabric the hub of the whole thing, it really hurts when something
you've saved $$$ and worked hard to get, basically screwed up by blind incompetence.

Not sure what else to say / advise ~ keep a journal of event and tell everyone you know to
be cautious - if they do get convinced / smooth talked into sending their mount to the company
place somer "secret" UV better still a disguised scratch/stamp mark of some sort
on the mount, take photographs - at least then you'll be able to assess that the one returned matches the one
you sent in.

Lets hope you get some sort of result, without having to pay out a large $um to get the
mount back. If you'd like to add your experience on to the current online blog let me know.
best wishes

yet another email arrives in November 

Hi Dave

Hoping this email still works as I'm not on FB and the contact page on https://astronomymountsreviewservicetuningandrepair.co.uk isn't working as the word verification image doesn't load

Came across your site too late as having a similar bad experience with Dark Frame since Aug and desperately trying to get my AVX mount back. Wish I'd come across your site earlier. Happy to chat via email. Any tips on how to resolve this welcome!!

xxxxx xxxxxxxx

"The statements made constitute my opinion and accurate train of events is not set out to be vindictive or defamatory, it is presented as it occured and are the facts as happened. and form part of my right to free speech and opinion.. " I'll let you make your own decisions but repeat "caveat emptor" beware.