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Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive?

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#1 FishInPercolator

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 08:44 PM

How come? It seems arbitrary at first but maybe it just happens to fall in that range which everyone needs for that perfect eyepiece lineup....

#2 Sean Puett

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 01:15 AM

It is an awesome eyepiece. There is a lot of well polished rare glass and it isn't made in China. It doesn't have a dark ring near the fieldstop that changes color or stars or other objects and it doesn't seem to lose as much light as similar eyepieces. The full field is usable and well corrected.

#3 Pollux556

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 06:11 AM

Oups, may be an interesting discussion here :gotpopcorn:

#4 MAURITS

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 06:26 AM

For me it's one of the most used EP's, great thing!

#5 Ava

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 07:01 AM

I think the answer is rather simple, it just reflects the larger cost of manufacture, the 21mm Ethos is a lot larger than the 1.25" Ethoses or the 17mm, this in turn requires larger, equally well polished and correctly figured lenses, etc. The 21mm is almost double the weight and volume compared to the 13mm to give you a sense of the difference.

If you compare the price scaling to refractors it almost feels like it should be more expensive (or maybe rather the smaller Ethoses less expensive).

#6 FishInPercolator

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 09:01 AM

Okay, I'm just trying to see if I can find a good range of EP for a new EdgeHD 800 scope:

Tele Vue Ethos 10mm 1.25" Eyepiece - 100*
Tele Vue Delos 17.3mm Eyepiece 1.25" EDL-17.3 72*
Tele Vue Nagler 31mm Type 5 - 2" Eyepiece EN5-310 82*
Tele Vue 2.0x 2" Powermate PMT-2200

I guess if I'm going to go with the 17mm, I don't need the 21..

#7 FishInPercolator

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 09:43 AM

Better yet -

Tele Vue Ethos 8mm 1.25" Eyepiece - 100*
Tele Vue Nagler 31mm Type 5 - 2" Eyepiece EN5-310 82*
Tele Vue 2.0x 2" Powermate PMT-2200


If I use the PM on the Nagler I don't need a mid-range 17.3mm... but then if I use it on the 17.3, I don't need the 8.... ugh... what to do, what to do... :tonofbricks:

#8 Binojunky

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 10:52 AM

Not everyone however is deeply in love with the Ethos, lots of used ones for sale in my neck of the woods, some people find the views overpowering, JMPOV,DA.

#9 FishInPercolator

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 11:06 AM

Interesting... overpowering in what way? I would think it would wide views on an SCT would be maximizing its usage ability...

#10 Eddgie

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 11:35 AM

Study economics more. The answer is always there.

Almost always the answer to this question is blindingly simple.

Because the provider is selling a limited appeal item and has to make a high profit on each sample to make enough money to make it worth their time to do.

Why do Ferraris cost 10 times as much as Ford Focuses? Ford must sell tens to hundreds of thousands of them a year vs maybe a few hundred Ferraris a year.

So, Ferrari has to make far more per unit to pay their employees, pay for their electric bills, phone bills, internet bills and all the other stuff they have to pay for.

Televue charges what it charges so it can make a profit that it feels is justification for the item it is selling.

Again, simple economics.

#11 ibase

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 11:56 AM

The original post/question seems to have been framed from the context of why the Ethos 21mm in particular is so much more expensive than the other Ethoses (Ethoi?). Just pure speculation here - either the demand is higher for this focal length and TV is charging what the market can bear, or it's simply more expensive (as mentioned in another post) to manufacture than the others in TV's 100-degree line.

Best,

#12 jrbarnett

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 12:48 PM

Because it has the size, mass and engineering complexity of a ski boat.

By the way, it *is* made in China. Just not in the PROC. It is made in Taiwan (ROC). :grin:

I'd rather have the Nikon NAV-HW 17mm. It comes with an amplifier lens giving you two different focal lengths for the price of one. But it makes the 21mm Ethos look like a bargain priced eyepiece in comparison.

- Jim

#13 faackanders2

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 01:03 PM

We live in a fee market, and manufacurers can use supply and demand curves to set price at the desired quantity they want to sell. If they set the price too high it will take longer to sell out, to low and they will sell out and have to produce more.

With the lower 20mm ES price they are selling out much more and producing more; they are probably building at economies of scale nad may have paid off their tooling by now.

Manufacurers decide what part of the market they want. Televue wants the luxury market; whereas ES claims the best value market. People that buy Televue buy it, because they want to be exclusive and have the best; they don't want everyone else to have it. ES consumers couldn't care less if everyone else have the same.

#14 JimMo

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 03:10 PM

People that buy Televue buy it, because they want to be exclusive and have the best; they don't want everyone else to have it. ES consumers couldn't care less if everyone else have the same.


Hi Ken, I certainly don't buy Televue because I'm a snob and don't use them to show I'm better than anyone. My economics and situation is my own and I choose what I'm using based on that. If you remember I was lucky to win that first 13mm Ethos as a door prize drawing at the GLSG many moons ago and at the time I was happy with my Nagler T4's and 26T5. With the addition of the 13mm Ethos I consolidated over twenty five eyepieces to come up with my wide field set of seven 100º and a few longer focal length orthos and 24mm Panoptic. I now have less than half of total of what I previously had and all except one were bought used, or was traded for, or won as a door prize. I had most of them before the ES 100º eyepieces were even brought to market.

Anyways, why is a 21mm Ethos so expensive? Well, for me it's one of the few perfect eyepieces I've ever used in my f4.3 dob with Paracorr 2. I was going to try out a ES 20mm 100º at the '09 WSP but that never happened. Al Nagler let me use one of his for an hour and if I had been wearing socks the views would haved knocked them off. The 14.5" f4.3 mirror + 21mm Ethos + PC2 + the far southern Winter DSO's = nirvana. I recently traded a Nagler 31mm T5 for an ES 25mm 100º which I'm still evaluating. I might end up selling the 21 Ethos if the 25mm 100º lives up to expectations.

#15 Paul G

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 11:42 AM

People that buy Televue buy it, because they want to be exclusive and have the best; they don't want everyone else to have it. ES consumers couldn't care less if everyone else have the same.


Strange, I've never met another observer who bought an eyepiece just to feel exclusive. In fact, the very few observers I've met who were snobby about their equipment actually owned rather modest equipment. The people with really nice stuff have been most gracious about sharing the views.

I suspect the vast majority of people who buy Televue do so because TV eyepieces meet their needs and are affordable for them. Some have posted that there exists a "reverse elitism" here on CN; your comments seem to support their contention.

#16 johnnyha

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 01:04 PM

I'd rather have the Nikon NAV-HW 17mm. It comes with an amplifier lens giving you two different focal lengths for the price of one. But it makes the 21mm Ethos look like a bargain priced eyepiece in comparison.

I actually sold my 21E because I was kinda so-so about it, and got the Leica 17.9-8.9mm ASPH Zoom. Could not be happier, that proved to be a great decision for me. Of course I have a 31T5 to cover for the low end so it wasn't a tough decision, I found the 31T5 Nagler much more comfortable to use than the 21mm Ethos.

#17 JimMo

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 01:20 PM

People that buy Televue buy it, because they want to be exclusive and have the best; they don't want everyone else to have it. ES consumers couldn't care less if everyone else have the same.


Strange, I've never met another observer who bought an eyepiece just to feel exclusive. In fact, the very few observers I've met who were snobby about their equipment actually owned rather modest equipment. The people with really nice stuff have been most gracious about sharing the views.

I suspect the vast majority of people who buy Televue do so because TV eyepieces meet their needs and are affordable for them. Some have posted that there exists a "reverse elitism" here on CN; your comments seem to support their contention.


I almost made a post about the same quote as above but my reply was not as nice as your post Paul so I thought better of it. I know Ken(faacanders) personally and I'm guessing he didn't really mean what he said.

Anyways, now I'd better go buy another Televue eyepiece to keep it out of the hands of one of the little people. :shameonyou:

#18 Starman81

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 02:03 PM

People that buy Televue buy it, because they want to be exclusive and have the best; they don't want everyone else to have it. ES consumers couldn't care less if everyone else have the same.


Strange, I've never met another observer who bought an eyepiece just to feel exclusive. In fact, the very few observers I've met who were snobby about their equipment actually owned rather modest equipment. The people with really nice stuff have been most gracious about sharing the views.

I suspect the vast majority of people who buy Televue do so because TV eyepieces meet their needs and are affordable for them. Some have posted that there exists a "reverse elitism" here on CN; your comments seem to support their contention.


I almost made a post about the same quote as above but my reply was not as nice as your post Paul so I thought better of it. I know Ken(faacanders) personally and I'm guessing he didn't really mean what he said.

Anyways, now I'd better go buy another Televue eyepiece to keep it out of the hands of one of the little people. :shameonyou:


I know Ken as well and I'm sure he didn't quite mean it exactly as he stated it. He has both an ES100* (20mm) and an Ethos (10mm) and I am thinking he didn't buy his own Ethos just to feel 'exclusive'!

The one Ethos I have (13mm), I feel quite lucky to have it. No, I didn't win it in a raffle, but the unbeatable package deal that I scored on my dob and a couple EPs including the Ethos (on Craigslist of all places) definitely made me feel like a winner. Would I have been happy with an ES if it didn't come along, sure. I had the 9mm ES 100 and it was great--I think everyone should try a 100* EP if their finances allow.

#19 careysub

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 02:18 PM

The original post/question seems to have been framed from the context of why the Ethos 21mm in particular is so much more expensive than the other Ethoses (Ethoi?). Just pure speculation here - either the demand is higher for this focal length and TV is charging what the market can bear, or it's simply more expensive (as mentioned in another post) to manufacture than the others in TV's 100-degree line.

Best,


Using the current street (well, web) prices for the Ethos line I calculate the following cost per gram:
3.70 $1.30
4.70 $1.10
6.00 $1.40
8.00 $1.42
10.00 $1.30
13.00 $1.10
17.00 $1.12
21.00 $0.88

The Ethos 21mm is in fact the cheapest for each gram of glass you get. Could it simply be high materials and manufacturing costs for the larger EPs?

#20 Sean Puett

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 03:09 PM

Funny post

#21 Starman1

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 04:20 PM

Note that the larger a lens is, the more likely there are to be inclusions, bubbles, striae, and the like in the lens. So the larger an eyepiece is, the more rejects there will be on lenses and the more expensive it will be to make.
The 21 Ethos has more lenses internally than the 31 Nagler, and the eyepiece costs a lot more to make. Internal glass types and curves might run the cost difference up even more, too.
Lest we forget, when the 20mm ES was introduced, it was 2/3 the price of the 21 Ethos, not 1/3.
I would bet that ES discovered the market for that focal length of eyepiece was a lot smaller than their estimate based on the sales of 14mm and 9mm, and that that is the reason for the sale price.

#22 Alvin Huey

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 05:06 PM

And a LOT of glass. ;)

#23 faackanders2

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 05:10 PM

People that buy Televue buy it, because they want to be exclusive and have the best; they don't want everyone else to have it. ES consumers couldn't care less if everyone else have the same.


Strange, I've never met another observer who bought an eyepiece just to feel exclusive. In fact, the very few observers I've met who were snobby about their equipment actually owned rather modest equipment. The people with really nice stuff have been most gracious about sharing the views.

I suspect the vast majority of people who buy Televue do so because TV eyepieces meet their needs and are affordable for them. Some have posted that there exists a "reverse elitism" here on CN; your comments seem to support their contention.


I almost made a post about the same quote as above but my reply was not as nice as your post Paul so I thought better of it. I know Ken(faacanders) personally and I'm guessing he didn't really mean what he said.

Anyways, now I'd better go buy another Televue eyepiece to keep it out of the hands of one of the little people. :shameonyou:


I know Ken as well and I'm sure he didn't quite mean it exactly as he stated it. He has both an ES100* (20mm) and an Ethos (10mm) and I am thinking he didn't buy his own Ethos just to feel 'exclusive'!

The one Ethos I have (13mm), I feel quite lucky to have it. No, I didn't win it in a raffle, but the unbeatable package deal that I scored on my dob and a couple EPs including the Ethos (on Craigslist of all places) definitely made me feel like a winner. Would I have been happy with an ES if it didn't come along, sure. I had the 9mm ES 100 and it was great--I think everyone should try a 100* EP if their finances allow.


I said people buy luxury items to be exclusive and have the best (this is straight out of the marketing textbooks). I did not say they were snobs for wanting/having luxury items. People are willing to pay more for things which are rare.

I enjoy my 10mm Ethos which I purcahsed before ES competition. I also enjoy my Explore Scientific 20mm 100 AFOV and believe I have serial number 5 when it first came out. Due to the high power I don't use the 3.7mm Ethos that much except of globular clusters which fill the view. If there was a 120 AFOV 5 or 5.5mm I would likely jump on that to fill my last whole. I enjoy the wide TFOV and also like my 30mm 82 AFOV Meade (but don't like the grease), and 40mm 70 AFOV University Optics MK-70 Koenig as my absolute widest TFOV. In general, I would say I prefer the value eyepieces, but sometimes chose the luxury for where there is no competition.

P.S. I do have two 24mm 68 AFOV panoptics which provide the widest TFOV for my binoviewers for the given OCS's.

P.S.S. Once my brother-in-law showed me a nice "$100 pair of sunglasses" he got. My quick response was "boy you got ripped off mine only cost me a dollar". At first he didn't know what to say, but after thinking said, "Well I guess you got the better deal didn't you". Some buy luxury to keep up with the Jones, and some don't even try. :tonofbricks:

#24 Paul G

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 07:41 PM

Anyways, now I'd better go buy another Televue eyepiece to keep it out of the hands of one of the little people. :shameonyou:


Well played! :bow:

#25 johnnyha

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 07:50 PM

Great thread! It's not just a luxury thing though, the Ethoi do have slightly better edge correction than the ES according to all the reports. That being said, the more I view the less I concentrate or worry about the extreme edges. I've had a few ES eyepieces and found them to be excellent, quality optics.






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