OpticsThoughts started out as just one guy. Me.
That lasted about a month.
It quickly became apparent that I need help, so my friend Alex has been involved with this website almost from the beginning although he tends to stay behind the scenes most of the time.
Alex is the webmaster. He is also the guy who got me into shooting years ago and more often than not he helps with whatever optics I happened to be looking at. One of these days I will actually coerce him into writing something.
I write articles and, ultimately, serve as an editor for everything that goes onto this website.
Quite a few opinions expressed on this site will be based on both my personal experience with certain products and on the impressions of other people, who I have come to respect and whose opinions I consider worthwhile.
I will also have occasional pieces contributed by other people, since there is only so much time in the day, and I do have a day job.
Ultimately though, everything you will see on this website is either my opinion or someone else’s opinion that I respect (though not necessarily endorse). There are (and will be more) some guest authors here and for as long as their opinion is well-reasoned and well-communicated, I do not have to agree with it to put onto the website. Still, I see everything that goes on here, so if you take issue with something published here, I am the guy you should take issue with.
This site is all about opinions. You do not have to agree with mine.
Here is some biographical info:
Alex has a couple of undergraduate and graduate degrees in computers science and business and he works in the world of finance. All of his formal education was at the University of Southern California (USC)
I hold a B.S. in Applied Physics from CalTech and an MBA from University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA)
That is not necessarily relevant to this website, but I just thought I’d clear this up (I do get asked about my background now and then).
I have spent most of my professional career working on projects related to test and measurement as well as image and data analysis. I started out working in telecommunications with fiber and micro optics. In 2002, I transitioned into infrared imaging and worked on imaging sensors for land-based astronomy, sattelite surveillance and night vision weapon sights for both Rockwell Scientific and Raytheon. Since then, I have spent some time involved with CMOS imaging sensors for high end digital photography, cinema and video conferencing. More recently, I transitioned back into the defense/aerospace world and I work with all manner of electro-optical test instrumentation.
A few years back, as I was just starting out with rifles, I went online trying to find some information on rifle scopes. I knew very little about scopes at the time, but I had a good background in optics and imaging. A lot of the information I found on the web made little sense from an optics standpoint, so I decided to stick around and clear things up a bit. People started asking me questions and in order to provide the answers I had to look at more and more scopes. As the questions were getting repetitive, I ended up writing and posting fairly detailed reviews that I could point people to. Then, I just kept at it and companies trying to get some publicity started sending me their latest and greatest optics for review.
Alex and I started getting seriously involved with guns and shooting when we were in college, so we’ve been at it for some time. Day-to-day life interferes with our hobbies, but we make time when we can, which requires a good amount of improvisation.
My conditions for writing a review are quite simple:
- I will look at the scope/binocular/spotter as thoroughly and honestly as I can.
- I will compare it to the competition to the best of my ability.
- Good or bad, the review will be published (if you want a guaranteed “excellent” review conclusion, I am the last guy you want to evaluate your product, I call them the way I see them).
- If someone wants me to look at a product and keep the results private, it is no longer journalism, then it becomes consulting and I expect to be compensated for my time (if you work for a sporting optics company and that is something you are interested in, contact me).