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Life of Plossl

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#1 Kentuckystars

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:11 AM

If you had to build a set of EP's on Plossls alone; which would you choose? Would you include a Barlow in the set?

To make things interesting, consider yourself on a tight budget, no green lettering on these. Current production, EP's off the shelf, no waiting for used deals.

Can happiness be found with a set of modern Plossls?

#2 gmazza

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:20 AM

I would choose between 20mm (if could choose just one) and include a 2x barlow.

I think this will cover a lot of targets, moderate low power and moderate high power with acceptable eye relief.

This for 900mm or 1200mm focal length telescopes, best eyepieces vary depending on telescope.

Yes, I would be happy.

#3 DaveJ

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:33 AM

If you had to build a set of EP's on Plossls alone; which would you choose? Would you include a Barlow in the set?
Can happiness be found with a set of modern Plossls?


These always get high marks, and the price matches your request. Heck, for the price that's charged for the complete set, going that way would be really tempting - and no Barlow required. :grin:

#4 sg6

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:38 AM

Technically you cannot have a barlow, you said:

If you had to build a set of EP's on Plossls alone;


A barlow is not a plossl, so saying plossl's alone makes it invalid for selection. :foreheadslap: :foreheadslap:

Can you be happy on plossl's alone, probably down to 6mm or 8mm. Budget wise the Vixen NPL should do a good job. :question:

Part of the happines factor is whether or not the plossl will work OK on the scope. Could be a problem on an f/4.5 but fine on an f/8.

#5 Kentuckystars

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:40 AM

The Sterlings are nice. But I wish they would include a 9mm in the line-up.

Oh, and you can include more than one focal length in your suggested set. Just to be clear.

#6 Kentuckystars

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:47 AM

A Barlow is what I consider an EP accessory, not really an EP. A Barlow allows one to use Plossls for high powers while maintaining eye relief. I thought I would allow for the suggestion of a Barlow in a collection of only Plossl EP's. Just so we're clear.

I prefer slower scopes so I don't have to buy EP's that cost more than the scope to get good views. So let's say F7.5 and slower.

Details, details.

#7 ibase

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:51 AM

Just an out-of-the-box option, have you ever considered an 8-24mm zoom?

Best,

#8 Cliff Hipsher

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:27 AM

Well, I'm gonna break the rules. I have a set of Zhumell Plossls with a 2x Barlow and a nice array of filters that I am extremely happy with.

They may not be what one would call "top of the line", but they work just fine in my f10 SCT. For just under a Ben Franklin I got 32, 12.5, 6, and 4mm eps with end caps and fold down eye cups, a 2x Barlow, several filters including a polarizing, ND, some reds, yellows and greens, each in its own little case, plus a nice dense foam lined aluminum case to keep them all safe and snug....

I also have a Meade 26mm Super Plossl, a Meade 10mm Plossl, and a 12 MM Illuminated Reticule MA that came with the SCT...

#9 george tatsis

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:02 AM

If you had to build a set of EP's on Plossls alone; which would you choose? Would you include a Barlow in the set?
Can happiness be found with a set of modern Plossls?


These always get high marks, and the price matches your request. Heck, for the price that's charged for the complete set, going that way would be really tempting - and no Barlow required. :grin:


Sterling Plossls /Smart Astronomy is the way to go.Much brighter than most premium plossls and orthos I've tried.The quality is excellent and don't let the low price fool you because they are amazing performers.

The 55* FOV is a big plus compared to the 50* found in most items on the market.Wish there were a 5mm plossl too ,of the same series though,as I'm very satisfied with both the 4mm and the 6mm units.

#10 BillP

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:24 AM

If you had to build a set of EP's on Plossls alone; which would you choose? Would you include a Barlow in the set?...
Can happiness be found with a set of modern Plossls?


Already done. I keep this set in a very small case. Use it mostly as a travel set but every now and then take it out as a primary set and am always amazed at how wonderful it is. The Barlow is a Siebert 2.5x which extends the set to: 35mm, 25mm, 20mm, 17mm, 12.5mm, 10mm, 8mm, 6.8mm, and 5mm.

Like George just said. I also prefer the Sterlings or AT High Grades as they are extremely bright images and have an extended AFOV of 55-57 degrees and have the concave instead of standard plano lens prescription which helps the off-axis. Oh yes, and best is they are inexpensive. For my money, this is the best set of 4-element Plossl glass out there.

btw, the 35mm in this lineup is discontinued. However, the Parks Gold is the same unit. But expensive at $150. Could sub that with the 2" Sterling Plossl in either 30mm or 40mm, both of which are good performers also.

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#11 csrlice12

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:39 AM

I'd say first, what scope you using them in. A 20mm in a Dob is going to show you something a lot different then a 20mm in a long f/l SCT or Mak.....

#12 Kentuckystars

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:06 PM

How's the viewing through those Bill? I have been a little concerned with the lack of a rubber eyeguard with the lenses almost at the top of the barrel.

#13 galexand

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 12:32 AM

My current line-up is 6mm (orion explorer II), 10mm (orion sirius), 17mm (sterling), 25mm (orion sirius) plossls. I recently got a 25mm astro-tech paradigm, and it is nice but really not a huge step up over the 25mm plossl. I don't put too much stock in the brand of plossls -- even the cheap ones are hard to fault. The 6mm is pretty marginal on eye relief, but the 10mm is actually very comfortable (to me). Like others have said, the 2x barlow is nice for preserving eye relief. Specifically a 2x barlow with a 17mm makes a very nice planetary eyepiece, reasonable of eye relief with good magnification.

#14 Keith

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 12:51 AM

making me miss my 35mm ultima Bill! Amazing eyepiece it was. Though technically not a plossl, as the sterling's don't seem to be either, considering they have a concave eyelens. It is amazing how the term plossl gets attached to so many 50deg range eyepieces. Calling the 5 element "masuyama" type eps plossls and super-plossls, or 5 element plossls, was a bad move which unfortunately set the precendent. I think credit for this should go to Meade, who in their efforts to better the Televue plossl in the 80's led them to call the 5 element astroplan a "super plossl", which of course led to further confusion when they went to an actual 4 element plossl design, yet still called it "super"

But "super" those 5 element ones surely were, and the ultima/ultrascopic/GS5 carried the torch quite nicely. Of all my regrets, I will add my recent sell off of all my old meade supers and few ultima's to the list. All that remains is a 7.5mm Omcon "plossl" which is yet another rebrand of the ultrascopic line. Amazing what Kasai is charging for them now, back with the original astroplan name. Ironically, not long after I sold them all, did I find out that I really didn't need to sell them, but it is not like I USED them much, thus proving that they are nice from time to time, and throw up a really sharp image, but once we go wide, they get "ploss-terphobic". Still wish I had those meades, it took a while to collect them.

#15 David E

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:08 AM

If you had to build a set of EP's on Plossls alone; which would you choose? Would you include a Barlow in the set?

To make things interesting, consider yourself on a tight budget, no green lettering on these. Current production, EP's off the shelf, no waiting for used deals.

Can happiness be found with a set of modern Plossls?


Yes, happiness is definately in my Plossls! (My Plossl collection has grown very much since I wrote that article.) I have yet to collect the Sterlings, though, those should be on my list this Christmas! I can recommend the Vixen NPL's, for great image quality, good egonomic design, low price, and plenty of focal lengths to choose from. If you need the eye relief for viewing comfort, then the longer focal lengths coupled with a 3x Barlow is a great choice. But if you don't mind getting intimate with your eyepieces, I'd rather use the shorter focal lengths for "purity" of glass.

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#16 David E

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:13 AM

Still wish I had those meades, it took a while to collect them.


:mrevil:




.

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#17 Jaimo!

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 10:01 AM

Everyone seems to forget these old Meads, while there is green lettering, they can typically be had for $25-$40 each depending on condition. If you want to spend the time and hunt used ads for them. However, I have found in my experience, that the Tele Vues are slightly better than both the 3000's or 4000's smoothies and worth the extra cost. But, you'll more than likely have to compare them head to head to see any difference.

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Jaimo!

#18 Sarkikos

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 10:43 AM

Bill,

Of course that 35mm is an Orion Ultrascopic! I picked one up after reading your advice here on CN. Widest possible TFOV in a 1.25" format. That can come in handy. Besides, IME it is sharp across the field and has nice color rendition. I keep it in my deep sky case, and also take it out sometimes for grab-n-go with my 90mm Mak. (I also have the Titan II 40mm for widest TFOV in a 2" format, also per your advice. :))

I have the Sterling 25mm, which I like for its bright image and comparatively wide field of view. It's in my deep sky case, too. I've never gotten around to the 20, 17 and 12.5. Maybe one of these days.

Mike

#19 kkokkolis

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 11:40 AM

I had the Celestron set and I liked the 32 and 25mm. I also used the 15mm but the 9, 6 and 4mm ranged from difficult to use to impossible. The have a small lens (need of a steady neck) and lacked eye relief. I preferred the use of the long focal lengths with the included Barlow and that worked. As soon as I got my Hyperion zoom (for less money here than the Plössl set) I stopped using the stock 25mm and only 32mm survived.
Would I use Plössls now? Yes. I would buy 32mm and 20mm TV Plössls with 12.5mm 9mm and 6mm Baader Genuine Orthos and call it a cheap premium set for life for a driven telescope. I could add a good Barlow to that, Plössls Barlow well.

#20 WAVT

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 03:09 PM

no green lettering on these


I take issue with your exclusion of Televue Plossls in this discussion. This line of Televues is the most inexpensive in all of their EP's and I don't think a discussion of plossls is complete without their inclusion. Compared to all other Televue offerings, these ARE budget eyepieces.

With that said, the combination of 8,11,15,20,25,32 & 40mm modern TV Plossls with a 2X barlow is pretty sweet. If my set could only have plossls and a barlow this is what I would keep! I've never met a scope that didn't like them.

The biggest problem I see with plossls is the short eye relief and small eye lens on the shorter focal length EP's. This is countered with a barlow. I like to sit down and take long relaxed views of my targets and any thing less than the characteristics of the 8mm just becomes less than good fun and more like work. (and the 8mm is pushing it)

The plossl design is a good one. They work well in just about every scope out there (off the shelf amateur models) The 50 to 55° field of view is quite respectable and over all I think they deliver the biggest bang for the buck in modern budget eyepieces.

I have collected 10 or 12 plossls (other than the TV's) over the years and have looked thru a great deal more. I would not be such a fan of this design had it not been for the views I have enjoyed in the TV examples.

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#21 MitchAlsup

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 03:15 PM

If you had to build a set of EP's on Plossls alone; which would you choose? Would you include a Barlow in the set?


Start with a 55mm 2" Plössl, step down to a 40mm 2" format, then a 32mm 1.25" format, Then a 12mm, a 10mm, and an 8mm all in 1.25".

Add in a 2X Barlow/Powermate, and you are set.

To make things interesting, consider yourself on a tight budget, no green lettering on these. Current production, EP's off the shelf, no waiting for used deals.


spoil sport!

Can happiness be found with a set of modern Plossls?


Yes, but more happiness can be found with modern extreme wide field EPs.

#22 Eddgie

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 03:22 PM

First, I would never own a "Complete Set" of any kind of eyepiece because it would often be way to granular.

It would be better to buy fewer, higher quality plossls (to address your "Green Letter" reservation) than to buy twice the number of so-so Plossls.

The great news is that even inexpensive eyepeices today have very good to excellent quality.

If I were going to go with Plossls and ony Plossls though, I would go with fewer Televues than more of just about anything else.

But that is just me. I have never been disappointed with Televue quality. Their eyepecies are among the best made and as compared to some far more expensive eyepeices like botique orthos, constitute a major bargin.

Do yourself a favor and really examine your magnifiction needs and only buy the Plossls you need for double-magnification steps. Much less than this is too granular.

The Vixen NPLs are also excellent, as I am sure the Sterlings and many others are.

As I said, high quality in eyepeices is quite common today.

But the green lettering almost guarentees you that you are getting a very high quality optic. Televue has Quality Control second to none. They cost more, but they are what they are...

#23 Sarkikos

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 03:56 PM

IME, the best use of TV Plossls is for viewing Jupiter ... you know, the "coffee" tone. Jove loves his cup of java! :grin:

For deep sky, I'd go with the Sterling Plossls: bright and neutral in tone, but with a sharp flat field like the TV's. I only bring a TV Plossl 25mm along to the dark site to prime the Paracorr.

:grin:
Mike

#24 Sarkikos

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 04:04 PM

Eddgie,

First, I would never own a "Complete Set" of any kind of eyepiece because it would often be way to granular.


I steer away from complete sets, too, but for an additional reason: few if any complete sets are completely and consistently "good." There are almost always better and worse entries in the series. I made an exception for the BGOs and the XO's. And then when I picked up an XO 5.1, I sold the BGO 5.

I have never been disappointed with Televue quality. Their eyepecies are among the best made and as compared to some far more expensive eyepeices like botique orthos, constitute a major bargin.


Granted, but most Televue product are still quite expensive in my world. I only buy Televue when they're used or on sale.

Mike

#25 Cliff Hipsher

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 04:06 PM

You come bouncing into a French's Mustard conversation and whine cause we're not discussing Grey Poupon? Really?

Funny, I don't see were the script says I should give a hoot.






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