Jump to content


Photo

End of an era?

  • Please log in to reply
37 replies to this topic

#1 csrlice12

csrlice12

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11141
  • Joined: 22 May 2012
  • Loc: Denver, CO

Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:04 PM

University Optics Volcano Top Abbe Orthos are no longer being manufactured. Their source closed up shop on December 31, 2012. They are limited to stock on hand.....

#2 junomike

junomike

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1959
  • Joined: 07 Sep 2009
  • Loc: Ontario

Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:34 PM

Sad to see. These were the "go to" eyepiece for many discerning observers who couldn't (or didn't) want to spend big dollars for the premium eyepieces.
Looks like they are indeed gone as seen on the Website

#3 Bart

Bart

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2733
  • Joined: 28 May 2006
  • Loc: Somewhere near Charlottesville, VA

Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:59 PM

Damn! That really is too bad. I recently bought the complete set, I'm now glad I didn't wait. I thought they'd be around forever. I guess not. :(

#4 FirstSight

FirstSight

    Duke of Deneb

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 9908
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2005
  • Loc: Raleigh, NC

Posted 12 January 2013 - 05:52 PM

Astronomy equipment of any kind is a relatively niche industry where the premium makers are at largest, only modestly larger than mom-and-pop operations and the smaller ones are literally that (sometimes just pop, not mom). Most of them are vulnerable to quick extinction if one to a very tiny handful of key people retire, quit, or die. Some of them are mere sidelines to the principal's primary business (e.g. Astrophysics, or for a larger corporate example, Pentax eyepieces after the company's purchase by Ricoh.)

Along those lines, let's wish Al Nagler an even longer, happier life.

#5 Bart

Bart

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2733
  • Joined: 28 May 2006
  • Loc: Somewhere near Charlottesville, VA

Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:04 PM

If Al would only do Abbe Orthos...

#6 edwinh

edwinh

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 132
  • Joined: 01 Mar 2008
  • Loc: Chandler AZ

Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:56 PM

Wow, sad to see. These things are must-haves. Just ordered a 25mm UO to complete my set...

I noticed Agena doesn't have the KK ones (same EP) either anymore...

#7 jrbarnett

jrbarnett

    Eyepiece Hooligan

  • *****
  • Posts: 20452
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Petaluma, CA

Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:03 PM

Cool. Looks like my complete set (25mm, 18mm, 12.5mm, 9mm, 7mm, 6mm, 5mm and 4mm) of pre-undercut-barrel UO Abbe Orthos just got significantly more valuable. :grin:

From Kokusai Kohki's website:

"Japanese Orthoscopic Eyepieces

SOLD OUT & Gone Forever :- ("

Hmm, I'll start the bidding at $1500...

- Jim

#8 Bart

Bart

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2733
  • Joined: 28 May 2006
  • Loc: Somewhere near Charlottesville, VA

Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:22 PM

UO Abbe Orthos just got significantly more valuable. :grin:

- Jim


I was thinking the same thing......

#9 JIMZ7

JIMZ7

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1450
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2005
  • Loc: S.E.Michigan near DTW

Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:26 PM

We could see that coming. Jan at University Optics served us well past few decades with Japan made products. :waytogo:

Jim :dob:

#10 Mariner@sg

Mariner@sg

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 390
  • Joined: 27 Jun 2012
  • Loc: Little Red Dot

Posted 12 January 2013 - 10:35 PM

Circle Ts ended production earlier than that. Guess UO had a healthy stockpile to last slightly longer.

#11 ibase

ibase

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4570
  • Joined: 20 Mar 2008
  • Loc: Manila, Philippines 121°E 14°N

Posted 12 January 2013 - 11:07 PM

Sad to hear the news. Have a handful of them, not gonna let loose ever.

Posted Image
L-R: UO/HD Poor Man's XO 5mm, 9mm & 12.5mm pair VT's

Best,

#12 dscarpa

dscarpa

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3006
  • Joined: 15 Mar 2008
  • Loc: San Diego Ca.

Posted 12 January 2013 - 11:34 PM

If the BCOs and Kasai HCs weren't coming down the pipeline that would be it for bought new Abbe Orthos. I should have my 18 BCO in a few weeks and 9 Kasai HC in a few months. David

#13 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 44277
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 12 January 2013 - 11:39 PM

If Al would only do Abbe Orthos...


I have a TeleVue branded ortho, it's a 9mm eyepiece with an illuminated reticule for guiding. Apogee Inc sold them.

Jon

#14 csrlice12

csrlice12

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11141
  • Joined: 22 May 2012
  • Loc: Denver, CO

Posted 13 January 2013 - 12:00 PM

Only have a couple that I recently picked up. Got two of the UO HD (7mm,9mm), and got one (12mm) called OPS. Apparently, they made a few "Planetary" orthos where they gave them a special coating to enhance the light frequencies mostly given off by planets. Not sure how well it works, haven't tried it yet. I have the chance to get the 9mm in the OPS series, but not certain how good they are. The cloudy nights article from 2005 wasn't too thrilled with them (apparently increased the contrast at the expense of sharpness). The article also did not like it for double stars, nebulas, etc....(but then, it IS a Planetary eyepeiece). It apparently does dim the view a little, but for planets like Jupiter and Saturn, that shouldn't be much of a problem. Oh well, not every eyepiece idea pans out.....It is sad to see any quality eyepiece line go......

#15 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 17117
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Per sylvam ad astra

Posted 13 January 2013 - 01:00 PM

I sold off all my UO VT's except for the 4mm and two of the 25mm. All the rest were replaced by BGO's ... which are also no longer made. I sold the BGO 5mm when I bought an XO 5.1 ... which is also no longer made. I've kept the remaining BGO's except for the 12.5mm, for which I received an offer I could not refuse. The BGO 5 sold for more than I had paid for it used.

The coatings on the BGO's are better and I prefer the flat-top format - with an after-market eyecup - to the VT's. The XO's are clearly better optically than the BGO's.

IMO, the only reasons to prefer the UO VT's are sheer nostalgia and collector's mania. If there had been 4mm and 25mm BGO's, and would not have kept any UO VT's!

:grin:
Mike

#16 FirstSight

FirstSight

    Duke of Deneb

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 9908
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2005
  • Loc: Raleigh, NC

Posted 13 January 2013 - 01:03 PM

I sold off all my UO VT's except for the 4mm and two of the 25mm. All the rest were replaced by BGO's ... which are also no longer made. I sold the BGO 5mm when I bought an XO 5.1 ... which is also no longer made....


I see a pattern here. Please don't start buying any Televue eyepieces...OH NOES, look at your signature!
:grin:

#17 MRNUTTY

MRNUTTY

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1862
  • Joined: 22 Nov 2011
  • Loc: Mendon, MA

Posted 13 January 2013 - 01:07 PM

FWIW Edmund Optics still has Circle-T Orthos.

#18 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 17117
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Per sylvam ad astra

Posted 13 January 2013 - 01:08 PM

Nope, I haven't drunken the TV Koolaid. So far I have only a smattering of mostly used TV products: some Plossls, a Radian and a Paracorr. Those Ethos cost upwards of :whistle:!

Not happen' here. And for the same reason I don't have Apple products.

But I might go for a used Delos or two if I sell my XW's.

:grin:
Mike

#19 astro_baby

astro_baby

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 998
  • Joined: 17 Jun 2008
  • Loc: United Kingdom

Posted 13 January 2013 - 03:56 PM

Are Kasai going ahead with the HC ? i thought I read on here they werent making any more of them. Did I ipick up wrong ?

#20 mgwhittle

mgwhittle

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1374
  • Joined: 24 Aug 2011
  • Loc: Chattanooga, TN

Posted 13 January 2013 - 04:34 PM

Are Kasai going ahead with the HC ? i thought I read on here they werent making any more of them. Did I ipick up wrong ?


Manish of Agena Astro posted back at the first of December that they would be available mid December. They are still not in stock at least at Agena and I haven't seen them in any quantity at any other retailer. I'm starting to lose interest.

#21 FirstSight

FirstSight

    Duke of Deneb

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 9908
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2005
  • Loc: Raleigh, NC

Posted 13 January 2013 - 06:07 PM

Nope, I haven't drunken the TV Koolaid. So far I have only a smattering of mostly used TV products: some Plossls, a Radian and a Paracorr. Those Ethos cost upwards of :whistle:!

Not happen' here. And for the same reason I don't have Apple products.

But I might go for a used Delos or two if I sell my XW's.

:grin:
Mike


Ahem, the point was that you have a habit of purchasing eyepiece lines (UO VTs, BGOs, XOs) which tend to go extinct and no longer be produced.
:grin:

#22 csrlice12

csrlice12

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11141
  • Joined: 22 May 2012
  • Loc: Denver, CO

Posted 13 January 2013 - 06:44 PM

"Ahem, the point was that you have a habit of purchasing eyepiece lines (UO VTs, BGOs, XOs) which tend to go extinct and no longer be produced."

Kind of like when I was in the military; and every base I was assigned to got closed shortly after I was stationed elsewhere..........

#23 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 17117
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Per sylvam ad astra

Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:06 PM

Chris,

Ahem, the point was that you have a habit of purchasing eyepiece lines (UO VTs, BGOs, XOs) which tend to go extinct and no longer be produced.
:grin:


True, or so it appears. So you're saying I might be jinxing these lines?

But I also have the countervailing tendency to sell individual eyepieces from those lines if something clearly better comes along ... or I get an offer I can't refuse! :ubetcha: Maybe I should consider my sig as an advertisment for potential future sales? :thinking:

I think, though, that the high-end Televue are safe from any curse I might have on lines of eyepieces! Not much chance of my affecting the Ethos...

:grin:
Mike

#24 RocketScientist

RocketScientist

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 167
  • Joined: 28 Aug 2008
  • Loc: California (East Bay area)

Posted 19 January 2013 - 01:21 AM

Drat drat drat! That's what I get for not ordering the UO Abbes that I've had my eye on for quite a while. I thought Jan would retire one of these days and wasn't sure what would happen then, but I wasn't expecting the manufacturer to close up shop.

The Golden Rule of astronomy books *and* astro equipment seems to be "if you really want it, get it while it's available, because it may be gone tomorrow." I've learned that lesson for books (no, you cannot buy my Rukl at any price), but I'm still learning it for gear the hard way.

#25 Rick Woods

Rick Woods

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 14786
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Inner Solar System

Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:08 AM

The Golden Rule of astronomy books *and* astro equipment seems to be "if you really want it, get it while it's available, because it may be gone tomorrow." I've learned that lesson for books (no, you cannot buy my Rukl at any price), but I'm still learning it for gear the hard way.


Yup yup yup!!
Take note: One day, a post will appear that Don Yeier is calling it quits, and Brandon eyepieces will no longer be made. (He assembles them all himself, by hand.) That will be a devastating day. UO orthos are excellent - I've got one - but Brandons are superb, and arguably the highest quality eyepiece of this genre currently in production. And, they're the last of the all-American made eyepieces, to boot.

So take heed, and think about getting some Brandons now, while there's time.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics