Jump to content


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


A Plethora of Plossls

  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 mloffland



  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2510
  • Joined: 03 Sep 2004
  • Loc: Norman, Oklahoma

Posted 17 December 2009 - 04:31 PM

A Plethora of Plossls

#2 jrbarnett


    Eyepiece Hooligan

  • *****
  • Posts: 25134
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Petaluma, CA

Posted 17 December 2009 - 08:32 PM

Nice survey David.

That 8mm Plossl from Telescope Warehouse is actually a Carton Plossl from Japan. I had a partial set fro awhile and really, really liked them, but for their non-standard threads. That $22 price at the Warehouse is a steal.



#3 Pollux556



  • *****
  • Posts: 1421
  • Joined: 14 Dec 2008

Posted 17 December 2009 - 09:52 PM

Very good article on the most popular eyepieces types.

#4 DLB242


    Mr. Warmth

  • -----
  • Posts: 1297
  • Joined: 29 Jul 2008
  • Loc: Pen Argyl, PA

Posted 17 December 2009 - 11:01 PM

Two of my favorite eyepieces for planetary viewing with my old Vixen f/6.5 102ED were the 8mm and 11mm Tele Vue Plossls coupled with a 2.5x Powermate. Eye Relief was non existent but the image was unbelievably sharp.

#5 CalAstro



  • -----
  • Posts: 47
  • Joined: 02 Dec 2005
  • Loc: Comanche, OK USA

Posted 18 December 2009 - 12:39 AM

In the photo of the 2" plossls, one is obviously a TeleVue. Who makes the other ones? What other brands make 2" plossls and do they come in shorter focal lengths?


#6 danielgolite


    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 122
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2006
  • Loc: Erie County, PA

Posted 25 December 2009 - 11:25 AM

Nice article! I like Plossls, though I have not tried wider field eyepieces much. My first Plossl eyepiece was a Celestron 26mm silvertop that came with a six inch reflector I purchased in 1987. After using inexpensive .965 eyepieces with tiny eye lenses, it was quite a surprise to see all the glass in that Celestron silvertop! Plossls were costly to buy at that time and especially for myself, then in college.

After using a few mismatched Plossls over the years I have in the last year or so gathered together some nice secondhand ones. The vintage Celestron set includes the 32mm, 26mm, 17mm, 12.5mm, 10mm, 7.5mm, and 6.3mm; the entire set except the 40mm which I probably won't buy. These are sometimes called the "Halloween" Plossls by Celestron. They were included in the April, 1996 Sky & Telescope review article. They are nice-looking Plossls except that the orange lettering was applied just to the surface and can come off if scraped hard enough. The 6.3mm has short eye relief but is usable. This entire matched set of used Plossls was very affordable to collect.

The TeleVue smoothside Plossls are really a step up in quality of construction and are just beautiful. I have a short set of these; the 26mm, 17mm, and 10.5mm. The 26mm and 17mm provide some nice low power views for my Ranger.

Attached Files

#7 David E

David E

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5208
  • Joined: 25 May 2006
  • Loc: North Carolina

Posted 26 December 2009 - 08:16 PM

Thanks for your story Daniel. I have the your black Celestrons 10mm and 7.5mm in .965 format and they get used a lot in my classis scopes. Your 26mm silvertop is indeed very nice. I've collected that one as well as four other focal lengths. Maybe some day I'll find the rest.

#8 Scott in NC

Scott in NC

    Refractor Fanatic

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 21920
  • Joined: 05 Mar 2005
  • Loc: NC

Posted 26 December 2009 - 10:55 PM

Very nice article, David, packed with information yet easily readable and written in an entertaining style.

I've been wondering about the Orion Explorer II EPs. I have 2 (the 6mm and 17mm) which came with my Starblast dob. The Orion catalog describes them as "Plossls," but I guess they really can't be if they only contain 3 elements. Or is the term Plossl just used rather loosely nowadays, as I guess the Meade 5000s really can't be true Plossls either, since they contain 5 elements?

#9 David E

David E

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5208
  • Joined: 25 May 2006
  • Loc: North Carolina

Posted 27 December 2009 - 03:00 PM

Scott, they seem to be discontinued now but early in the year I remember Orion simply describing the Explorer's as either 3 or 4 element eyepieces, the 25mm and 10mm being 3 element, the 17, 13, and 6 being 4 element.

#10 Scott in NC

Scott in NC

    Refractor Fanatic

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 21920
  • Joined: 05 Mar 2005
  • Loc: NC

Posted 27 December 2009 - 03:21 PM

Thanks, David--that's good information. So I guess my examples of the Orion Explorer II series probably are legitimate Plossls.

#11 Pentax Syntax

Pentax Syntax


  • -----
  • Posts: 29
  • Joined: 03 Nov 2012
  • Loc: Maryland

Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:25 AM

Very informative article. Now if I could just learn to pronounce Plossl properly. My german colleague has a laugh every single time I say it. When I say it, it comes out rhyming with floss (like dental floss). When he says it, it sounds like it rhymes with flu (like Plussl). Anyway, in longer focal lengths these are great eyepieces.

#12 Loren Toole

Loren Toole

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 392
  • Joined: 23 Mar 2004
  • Loc: New Mexico USA

Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:06 AM

Great review, David. My only addition to what has already been said here is that complete plossl sets are less desirable for this reason: I've tried a lot of eyepieces, sampling various "sets", and there seem to be dogs in every set, especially mid- to low-priced plossls. I think this is mainly due to odd changes in eyelens size/eye relief between closely spaced focal lengths.

I agree with you, plossls can be a preferred alternative even with today's overkill wide angle, oversized choices available. I've never fully accepted advertising hype extolling the latest 6 to 9 lens creations.

#13 Starman1


    Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 28716
  • Joined: 23 Jun 2003
  • Loc: Los Angeles

Posted 11 January 2013 - 05:59 PM

The article barely dipped into the sets and models available now and a few years ago..
So long as you stick to 50 degree fields, there is really no reason to go beyond Plössl eyepieces.
It's when you want 60 degrees....65....70....82.....90....100....110....120 degrees that it becomes really necessary to add additional lenses for correction of all the various aberrations.

It is possible to get a little better correction by adding a 5th element to the standard Plössl, but many of the current batch of 4-element ones are so well corrected and coated that it seems unnecessary. Plus, nearly all the 5-element ones have been from Japan, and labor costs are forcing them out of the market.

Were I not besotted by the huge fields of latter-day über-widefield eyepieces, I would gladly stick to Plössls and be happy.

Of course, you'd need a good barlow to create high powers. I think Plössls below 10mm of focal length require corneal implants :grin: [You think I'm joking? I've seem 4 and 5mm Plössls with eye relief shorter than the distance from my cornea to my eye's own lens!!]

#14 astrogeezer41


    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 102
  • Joined: 27 Aug 2010

Posted 11 January 2013 - 06:30 PM

I really liked your article David. Thanks for writing it.
I will be reading it over and over several times.

#15 starrancher



  • *****
  • Posts: 2960
  • Joined: 09 Jun 2009
  • Loc: Northern Arizona

Posted 01 August 2013 - 11:02 PM

Excellent ! I love my Plossls too .

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Recent Topics

Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics