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ES 100 caps leaving smudges - impacting reviews?

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#1 Paul Schroeder

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 07:29 PM

I recently took delivery on a used 20mm Explore Scientific 100 eyepiece. Based on the comments in one of the threads here on CN, I checked to see if the soft cap on the bottom of the eyepiece was in contact with the field lens. Sure enough it had been, and had left a fairly good-sized smudge.

It didn't take too much to clean this off. At the same time, it made me wonder both how prevalent this might be, and whether it could impact some of the reviews people have offered of this eyepiece, or other ES eyepieces.

I tend to be on the fastidious side with astro equipment, yet at the same time when I purchase used eyepieces it doesn't usually occur to me to check the field lens to see if it's clean. I'll usually check the eye lens. Maybe others check both?

On this ES 20 the smudges were concentrated in the center of the field lens, and they were fairly significant. I didn't think to try using it prior to cleaning, but I'd have to imagine this could have a noticeable impact on the image quality, particularly in the center of the field.

I haven't used the ES20 enough to finalize my opinion, but so far my take is that it's a very sharp eyepiece, certainly so on axis. I just wonder if leaving smudges is commonplace, and whether those who've tested the eyepiece (or other 2" ES eyepieces) have checked for this issue.

It's a problem that ES needs to address and it probably impacts the quality of the views, but it's much more fixable than a flaw in the design or manufacturing. I've since gone to a bottom cap left over from a Tele Vue 2" eyepiece, and haven't had any new issues with smudges.

Paul

#2 DHurst

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 07:41 PM

my bottom cap is so loose it falls off every time I pick the ep up from the case. I will be replacing it because it causes smudges also.

#3 csrlice12

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 08:12 PM

I've replaced most of mine with televue caps as the ES ones kept falling off.

#4 bherv

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 08:13 PM

I haven't had a problem with smudges. I store my ES eyepieces horizontaly in my eyepiece case.
Barry

#5 Rick Woods

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 08:17 PM

Mine came with a squishy rubber cap that leaves the smudge, but doesn't fall off. The problem is the field lens is too close to the end of the barrel. I just swapped the cap with a regular plastic one from a 2" diagonal barrel.
I believe the problem is pretty common; I'd think ES would change the caps once word gets out about it.

#6 Jarrod

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 01:12 AM

I believe the problem is pretty common; I'd think ES would change the caps once word gets out about it.


They already have. My new 9mm ES100 (Argon purged, new box design) came with a rigid cap. It fits pretty loose though, so there is that to contend with.

#7 johnnyha

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 01:41 AM

Clearly, the Eyepiece Caps Division at Explore Scientific needs new leadership.

#8 Scanning4Comets

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 05:28 AM

I was sent three hard field lens caps from Russ at ES. He's an excellent guy and as soon as he had read about it happening to me, I was sent three hard plastic caps free of charge. I no longer get smudges on the bottom caps of my ES 100 degree eyepieces !!!

Cheers,

#9 ibase

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 08:02 AM

That's great customer service from ES, kudos are in order at this instance.

Best,

#10 star drop

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 08:41 AM

It is a nuisance cleaning the smudges. They seem to reappear after a few days.

#11 csrlice12

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:44 AM

It's ok, after rubbing the bottom lens enough, it'll polish that lens coating down real smooth like :scared:

After spending that much for the lens, get a harder Televue cup, especially the 2" ones. They run like $2, and it's worth it to protect the investment. My new ES100* 14mm cap fits, but it's flimsey, so I'll use it to cover a diagonal when I'm not using it....

#12 Ashfall

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 01:51 PM

I have six ES 2" eyepieces. Here is a list of the field lens caps that came with each. The only rigid one is the 25mm, and it's also the only one that falls off every time. I should probably replace all of these with Televue caps as recommended above.

68° 40mm soft cap, never smudges, rarely falls off
82° 30mm soft cap, easily smudges, rarely falls off
100° 25mm rigid cap, never smudges, always falls off
100° 20mm soft cap, sometimes smudges, rarely falls off
100° 14mm soft cap, sometimes smudges, rarely falls off
100° 9mm soft cap, rarely smudges, rarely falls off

#13 Ralph Steudtner

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 02:06 PM

I also contacted ES customer service regarding the soft rubber caps on my 3 2" ES eyepieces as I was experiencing this smudging as well. I was told that they are replacing the soft rubber caps with hard plastic caps on their new 2" eyepieces. They also sent me 3 new hard plastic caps to replace the soft rubber ones I had. Received the new caps in 1 week and they work great. Excellent customer service! Thanks ES.

#14 DHurst

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 03:06 PM

I just called ES about the cap and they instantly took care of it. They will be shipping the new caps free of charge. Awesome customer service! You guys should give them a call!

#15 Scanning4Comets

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 04:35 PM

IMO, ES rocks !!!! :rockon: I have had nothing but excellent service from the guys at ES. :waytogo:

Cheers,

#16 GOLGO13

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 07:55 PM

I believe the cap on my 14mm is fine. No smudges yet and it seems pretty normal to me. Maybe mine was one of the newer ones which have it fixed.

#17 star drop

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:21 PM

Excellent service for me as well using the live chat feature on their website.

#18 russell23

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 07:29 AM

I put a vernonscope 2" cap on the bottom of my 14mm ES100 and had no problems with it falling off or with smudges after that.

Dave

#19 Paul Schroeder

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 08:36 AM

I put a vernonscope 2" cap on the bottom of my 14mm ES100 and had no problems with it falling off or with smudges after that.

Dave


I'm curious - for those of you who've noticed this smudge and then cleaned the eyepiece, have you done a "before and after cleaning" observing comparison? If so, did the smudge have a noticeable impact on image quality?

Thanks!

Paul

#20 star drop

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 10:58 AM

It does impact the views when the smudge is large but it is not a severe issue. Plastic degradation over the long term might become a problem though.

#21 Tamiji Homma

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 11:08 AM

Hi Paul,

It did have big impact to image. Here is an example (ES 30mm):
Posted Image

I cleaned it with Baader Optical Wonder and then distilled water. It is gone.

Tammy

#22 csrlice12

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 11:16 AM

"I cleaned it with Baader Optical Wonder and then distilled water. It is gone."

and hopefully, so's that eyepiece cup.

#23 Matt Wallin

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 02:27 PM

My ES82 30mm got badly smudged by the bottom cap one time and I was so disappointed with it's views, it really affects the view, big time. I was comparing it to my ES100 20mm on M31, the contrast was so bad in comparison that I almost considered selling it until I noticed the nasty smear on the field lens!

#24 Paul Schroeder

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 04:30 PM

My ES82 30mm got badly smudged by the bottom cap one time and I was so disappointed with it's views, it really affects the view, big time. I was comparing it to my ES100 20mm on M31, the contrast was so bad in comparison that I almost considered selling it until I noticed the nasty smear on the field lens!


Thanks all for the feedback, it's very helpful!

Previously I had an ES 30mm 82 degree that I compared to a Nagler 31T5, and I didn't think the ES was that close across the entire field of view.

However, I also don't remember checking whether the field lens had a smudge.

I might just have to re-try the comparison with the 31T5 -

Paul

#25 Fred1

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 05:34 PM

I posted this in another thread but I don't mind repeating myself. I solved the problem with a Kim Wipe stuffed into the cap (best tissues for cleaning, BTW, no lint, no smear) and the barrel glass stays 100% smudge free, even though I use the soft yellow Eyepiece Caps on all my EPs as they stay pliable in winter and easy to find when dropped in the dark.






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