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Meade smoothside 5-element super plossls

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#1 russell23

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 06:48 AM

I have a quick question about the Meade 5-element smoothside super plossls. Are they the same design, a similar design, or a totally different design than the Celestron Ultima/Orion Ultrascopic/Antares Elite/Parks Gold series plossls?

Dave

#2 BillP

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 12:50 PM

I think everyone assumes they are the same or similar, but to my knowledge no one has taken them all apart to confirm this. Given the non-matching focal lengths and the especially size differential between the 32mm of the M4000 5-elements and the 30mm Ultima/Orion/Antares/Parks I would hazard that their design can only be similar. I've taken a number of eyepieces apart and surprised that their implied design was not their actual one. At any rate, the M4000 5-element smoothies are wonderful performers with the 32mm being IMO a real gem for any 1.25" eyepiece in that focal length class.

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#3 Tank

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 01:19 PM

Meade smoothside 5-element 26mm had for a while and it was a fantastic EP. Easier eyeplacement then the 26mm TV NJ plossl and optically hard to find any real differences at reflector F6.

#4 Starman1

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 02:57 PM

I think everyone assumes they are the same or similar, but to my knowledge no one has taken them all apart to confirm this. Given the non-matching focal lengths and the especially size differential between the 32mm of the M4000 5-elements and the 30mm Ultima/Orion/Antares/Parks I would hazard that their design can only be similar. I've taken a number of eyepieces apart and surprised that their implied design was not their actual one. At any rate, the M4000 5-element smoothies are wonderful performers with the 32mm being IMO a real gem for any 1.25" eyepiece in that focal length class.

I had a set of these back in the '90s. They were very nice, and I regret selling the set in a way. The short focal lengths had very little eye relief, but they were very good eyepieces--perhaps the best 50 degree eyepieces I ever owned.
The ones I owned all said Made In Japan on them.

#5 planet earth

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 03:10 PM

I've got a few of the Antares Elite Plossls and they are top of the line eyepieces.
I prefer them to TV Plossls. :shocked: and the Meade 3000 Series.....and any Brandon!!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:
Sam

#6 Scanning4Comets

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 03:24 PM

I've got a few of the Antares Elite Plossls and they are top of the line eyepieces.
I prefer them to TV Plossls. and the Meade 3000 Series.....and any Brandon!!!!!
Sam


Sam....The Antares Elites are excellent planetary eyepieces !!! Very sharp right to the edges, even in fast scopes! However, I think the TV Plossls are top of the line for planetary for sure. You should try out the 21mm Smoothie TV Plossl and a barlow...great for planets !!!

I just picked up a 12mm Nagler T4. Dang, TV makes top notch eyepieces bar none!....after picking up the 12mm Nag T4...I wanna go ALL GREEN !!!! :jump:

#7 planet earth

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 03:44 PM

Markus
The TV Plossls are very good, no doubt, but comparing my 10mm Antares to a 10.5mm TV plossl, I'd take the Antares by a hair or two. These Antares, Ultimas, Meade 4000 (5 element) and Ultrascopic eyepieces are way under rated, and they sometimes sell for a song.
For f5 and under a coma correcter would be nice for that 12mm Nagler.
Clear Skies
Sam

#8 stevep

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 09:19 PM

I had a set of these back in the '90s. They were very nice, and I regret selling the set in a way. The short focal lengths had very little eye relief, but they were very good eyepieces--perhaps the best 50 degree eyepieces I ever owned.
The ones I owned all said Made In Japan on them.


These are great ep's much underrated in my view, the first (corrected me if I'am wrong version of the pseudo masuyama's) OK er is a bit short on the shorter fl but comes with the design, but seems to me no less that the relevant ultima fl that followed and I would go along with Bill the jewel is the 32mm,

Regards,
Steve

#9 russell23

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 07:15 AM

Thanks for the responses guys. I recently picked up the 26mm and 20mm Meade 4000 smoothsides and I feel that the Meade smoothside is simply better than the Celestron Vixen 26mm Silvertop and gives a better presentation than the 26mm TV smoothside.

The reason I asked if the Meade smoothside was the same design as the Ultima's is that - while the Ultima's are also 5 elements - I do not recall liking the 25mm Ultima (Parks Gold version I believe) as much as I like the 26mm Meade smoothside.

Dave

#10 BCB

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 08:22 AM

Have a read Here.

This EP as far as we can tell is a Masuyama clone.. quite a long discussion regarding them, and some really good info to be had regarding them, and the "clones".. May want to read the whole thread..

#11 amicus sidera

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 10:52 AM

The Meade 26mm is a really fine eyepiece, and is my "go-to" for general observing with SCT's. In fact, I enjoyed the views through it so much that I obtained a spare, with an eye towards using them both one day in a bino-viewer.

The TV 26mm Plossl is ok, too - it performs well as the eyepiece in one my finderscopes.

#12 Moonglum

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 11:39 AM

I've a 26 with a barrel stamped Japan, and one with the black body stamped. They are otherwise identical and the more recent issued fold up eyecup ones. Some have said the change from 5 element to 4 occurs between these two, think I will see the difference in FOV on the pleiades or the the Hyades with my 102 f8?

#13 Moonglum

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 12:10 PM

Actually they are not otherwise identical. The barrel stamped one, alledgedly 4 elements, has the letters "LP" after the word plossl. And, both have the lense recessed a good half inch from the top, but the body stamped one has a single knurl or flange half way down to the lense on the inside, like a baffle made out of the body itself, while the barrel stamped one is smooth.

#14 Starman1

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 12:49 PM

The Japanese 5-element Series 4000 "Super Plossls" (pre-1994) 26mm has its top lens barely recessed into the body (maybe 4mmm?). The 26mm Plossls you are referring to have their top lenses well-recessed into the body of the eyepiece (maybe 1/2").
These are not the eyepieces in the OP's topic.
The latest are, to my eye, optically inferior to the older 5-element design but the difference is slight. In most scopes, a 26mm yields a relatively low power, and this magnification is a better gauge of the astigmatism in the eye than it is an evaluation of eyepiece optical resolution.






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