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My new favorite bino pair for planetary viewing...

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#1 oddog

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 01:57 PM

...is a pair of old volcano top Meade Series 1 12.5mm Orthos (photo below). I had a fantastic view of Jupiter last night with my 12" SkyWatcher collapsible DOB at around 300X through my Earthwin binoviewer. I used an OCA of around 2X to get focus though I have a jig to shorten the extended length of scope if I want to use just the binoviewer without OCS (yes, I know the secondary size is technically not correct but the eyepiece experience is fine and that's all I care about). Unfortunately one of my Orthos appears to have a flaw dead center (probably internal condensation or cement failure) so I need to find another one. They seem to go for about $35 on the various astro selling venues so I just need to hunt. I wonder if I might see any improvement in the experience if I went with UO Orthos or some such...

Tom Duncan

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#2 tomcody

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:48 PM

If you like the old meade OR's, you may want to try a set of new University Optics 12.5's, I just sold off a whole set of pairs and the new UO's were definetly better than my pairs of Meade OR's.
PS The only reason I got rid of them is that I am simplifing my colection of eyepieces.
Rex

#3 Messyone

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:57 PM

Good stuff Tom. Any flex issues with the Skywatcher trusses? The 12" is on my short list of dob's mostly for the ability to use bino's with no OCS easily.
Cheers
Matt

#4 mikey cee

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:43 PM

I use a pair of Kohki 12.5mm orthos for my highest powers in my WO's binos. The maker of these fine eyepieces just retired and closed up his Japanese shop. So after 50 years these VT's can no longer be bought once present stocks are gone. ;) Mike

#5 johnnyha

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 05:13 PM

Love the Kohki KKs, I purchased the 9, 12.5, 18 and 25mm pairs a few months ago just before the shop closed up. Wish every ortho were a volcano top. Excellent eyepieces with performance that rivals my superpremium orthos.

#6 Mike B

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 05:47 PM

Hi Tom-

My first-ever EP upgrade, as a teen back in the '70's, was an EdsCorp 12.5mm VT Ortho. A while ago i spotted another EdsCorp unit on the 'Mart, and snapped it up! They make a fine BVer pair... and the fond memories certainly enhance their views. :lol:

Also have an 18mm BVer pair of VT's... not EdsCorp, tho... with the recent news of Circle T's folding ops, i seriously doubt i'll be selling my pairs. Admittedly, they're *NOT* my favorites at all- but i've gotta assume they're now pretty near irreplaceable!... or soon will be.

Enjoy!
:grin: mike b

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#7 oddog

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 09:29 PM

Matt, not a bit of flex with the collapsable SkyWatcher, the system works perfectly. In fact after collapsing for storage and re-erecting the collimation is off just a touch at most and occasionally is still spot-on. Like you I was skeptical about the design but let me assure you it works great, at least in my example. The only issue I have experienced is I can't move the upper cage up or down if the scope is colder than about 45 degrees, I assume because the plastic bracketing the tubes slide through shrink.

For a binoviewer setup I have a piece of quarter-round wood moulding (concave rather than convex) that is about 3.5" long that I place between the bottom of the shaft and the aforementioned bracket to gauge the shortening of the light path to accommodate the binoviewer, then tighten the clamp, then move to the next shaft and do the same thing. I have been very happy with the Sky watcher, in fact I told my wife the other night if I could only keep one telescope it would be the that one.

I found one of my 12.5mm Orthos is bad, cloudyness in the cement in the group so I will have find another one or look for a set of UO's.

Tom Duncan

#8 k9yr

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:50 AM

Glad to see an Earthwin Binoviewer. I purchased mine in November but have not had a chance to try them out yet. Looking forward to getting out real soon

#9 t.r.

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:16 PM

My favorite pair for planetary was my 12mm Brandons...Now it is quickly becoming my Leica Zooms! Make sure you try a pair of zooms, you get quite a range of magnifications and can always zoom to the seeing conditions precisely! There are alot of zoom offerings these days. Just try one before you buy two! ;)

#10 DaveJ

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 02:17 PM

My favorite pair for planetary was my 12mm Brandons...Now it is quickly becoming my Leica Zooms! Make sure you try a pair of zooms, you get quite a range of magnifications and can always zoom to the seeing conditions precisely! There are alot of zoom offerings these days. Just try one before you buy two! ;)


Amen to that! I have, and like, a pair of Vixen NLV 8-24mm zooms that I purchased at NEAF last year. I'd heard rave reviews of the Baader Hyperion 8-24mm zooms so I recently bought a new pair thinking they'd be great. I CAN'T STAND THEM!!! Perhaps it's the bone structure of my face, but try as I might, trying to look through two of them simultaneously is impossible for me. Not only that, they're huge and heavy in comparison to the Vixens. I can use the Hyperions in mono mode just fine, but not in the Mark V binoviewer. Needless to say, that was an expensive mistake and one I regret making. Before someone suggests removing the rubber ring around the eye lens, that was the first thing I tried. My IPD is 76mm and I still can't use them in any of my three pair of binoviewers.

#11 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 02:21 PM

My favorite pair for planetary was my 12mm Brandons...Now it is quickly becoming my Leica Zooms! Make sure you try a pair of zooms, you get quite a range of magnifications and can always zoom to the seeing conditions precisely! There are alot of zoom offerings these days. Just try one before you buy two! ;)


If I had eyes like yours, I would be able to use a pair of Lecia zooms too! :bawling: ;)

#12 oddog

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:44 PM

I do like the Earthwin binoviewer very much but was disappointed my pair of Panoptic 24mm's vignette slightly in it. I am pretty rabid about a sharp field stop so I am looking for a different set of 1.25" EP's that will give me the max field of view (and hopefully won't break the bank). Any suggestions? Tom

#13 rockethead26

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:31 PM

I have a pair of ES 68° 20mm EPs for my Denks and the views are great, but I have to remove the eye cups to get my thicker than normal nose bridge in between. I only have a 65mm IPD. They're also very heavy in the Dnks with the Power Slide, especially in my Lunt 60 solar scope with its 1 1/4" focuser.

I just ordered a pair of 25mm Sterling Plossls to see if I'm more comfortable with the narrower housings. I haven't used plossls in a few years, so this will be an interesting, but inexpensive experiment. They weigh about 1/3 as much as the ES 20s.

#14 johnnyha

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 07:54 PM

I do like the Earthwin binoviewer very much but was disappointed my pair of Panoptic 24mm's vignette slightly in it. I am pretty rabid about a sharp field stop so I am looking for a different set of 1.25" EP's that will give me the max field of view (and hopefully won't break the bank). Any suggestions? Tom

20mm ES 68s should work or of course 19mm Pans. I like the 19 Pans because they are so tiny - and super sharp to the edge - but the eye relief is a little tight and it has a lot of pincushion.

#15 teskridg

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:54 PM

With the power x switch, I use the 19mm Panoptics with the Barlowed position on the switch to great effect. Occasionally I can also use the Meade Series 5000 16mm SWA's if the seeing permits (my effective telescope focal length is about 3200mm with the p x s diagonal and dovetail Earthwin binoviewer), so that's about 400x. I would imagine the 21mm Denkmeier eyepieces would also be terrific. Tim

#16 Mike B

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 06:17 PM

...so I am looking for a different set of 1.25" EP's that will give me the max field of view

Yeah, ya already broke the bank with those Pans! :p

Sorry to hear the poor result... but they did the exact same thing in my Denk II. I still used 'em for several years, but finally went on a quest to "fix" that edge-darkening issue.

Slightly better, and still fairly 'wide' for view, were the older (s.4000) Meade 24.5mm SWA's- took a little time & trial to get a matching set, but they did much better in this regard... not perfect, but better... and they had a couple more mm's of ER, so suited my eyeglasses far better than the 24mm Pan's ever did.

Eventually sold those off, too, and finally achieved optical nirvana with a pair of Vixen 22mm LVWs- not far off the design spec of the Denk 21mm EPs they market with/for their BVer; 22mm @ 65* AFoV, 20mm of ER! But these, too, will take some time & trial to get a matching set... and while less costly than the Pans, they still ain't "cheap" by any reasonable standard!

To get both widest & least-costly, you're prob'ly lookin' at Jim's solution:

I just ordered a pair of 25mm Sterling Plossls


I would imagine these would work splendidly! They should yield near 'bout the widest *clear* field possible... they just aren't 'widefields' per se. ;)

Otherwise, maybe these would be worth looking into?
..... pun intended :lol:

#17 oddog

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:32 AM

Actually Mike, a pair of 19mm Orion Edge-On Flat Field EP's are my default set. I am pretty sure they are the same optics as the Astro Tech Flat Fields you pointed to. Great EPs in the Earthwin!

Tom

#18 bcuddihee

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:50 AM

I agree the 19 flat fields are very nice in my c8. They are my only semi-wide fields.
bc

#19 Mike B

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:32 PM

I am pretty sure they are the same optics as the Astro Tech Flat Fields...



Yeah, i've suspected as much. Only thing is Orion lists their ER as quite generous (17mm), whereas Astronomics notes them as 12mm ER.

Which would y'all say is closer?
:question:






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