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First Light 26mm Type 5 Nagler

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#1 TMK

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:37 AM

Yesterday I received a package with an eyepiece that I have had my sights set on for a long time. After a finding a used specimen online and a few minutes debating if I really wanted to do this I pulled the trigger. The seller was quite specific about the few flaws the eyepieces had and discounted the eyepiece to what I felt was a good bargain..

As fate would have it the skies were clear that same night and despite a bright moon I headed out to give this long anticipated eyepiece a go around. With this much anticipation and this high of expectations I truly anticipated optical excellence, what I expected was a completely flawless eyepiece that I could do nothing but rave about in my review however that was not quite the case.

The 26mm would be compared heavily against my 35mm Panoptic for the simple reason of finding if the 26mm was capable of replacing said eyepiece in all regards to the point the 35mm could hit the open market. I hold the 35mm Panoptic in very high regard but trust me when I tell you I was biased and wanted the 26mm to blow the 35mm away.

The Good –

The 26mm Type 5 Nagler is a very comfortable eyepiece and within seconds of bringing her in focus you can see the telltale sign of pinpoint sharp stars and super high contrast. This is the phenomenon that has spread like an infection turning assorted eyepieces to Naglers at all focal lengths throughout my case. At first I simply used the 26mm as a finder since that’s an important attribute of the 35mm. I found I had no increased difficulty locating objects like M13 or NGC 6705 (Remember this is a night with bright moonlight so my targets were limited to the brighter ones).

While observing M13 and NGC 6705 some details began to show themselves. Using the 35mm Panoptic I could not detect any individual stars in M13, The Hercules Cluster appeared as a fuzzy rather than anything defined. However using the 26mm I could clearly see a sprinkling of stars surrounding the core and that I found quite compelling. While I understand the increase in magnification from 34x to 46x played a role in this you have to consider if it’s just as good of a finder piece as the 35mm than that’s a win-win scenario. The 26mm is also already winning the panoramic wide view battle.
I found NGC 6705 to be a similar story, while I could resolve some stars using the 35mm the 26mm did a far better job at presenting me with a far more pleasing and detailed view. Lastly was the drop off in field of view. The panoptic sports a 1.98 versus the Naglers 1.78 and to be honest I found the loss negligible when framing the few objects I observed. The difference was so small that I doubt I would hold onto the Panoptic based on it’s slightly larger field.

The Bad –

What surprised me most about the 26mm was there was anything bad to report and considering if you were to buy this eyepiece new at $589.00 I would expect there should be nothing bad to report. This eyepiece in my mind should have been optical perfection but that is not quite what I received. First let me start by saying I found taking in the entire field of view to be a little disappointing. Much like the 16mm Type 5 I found myself moving my head ever so slightly to take in the entire field of view. For some reason this doesn’t bother me with the 16mm but I did find it slightly irritating in the 26mm. The 35mm Panoptic allows you to nestle into the eyepiece and the entire field of view is apparent to the eye and this is a very endearing nature of this eyepiece. The 26mm doesn’t share that same trait and I was disappointed. The next and perhaps most surprising was a perceived brightening on the outer 10% to 14% of the outer edge. This really came as no surprise considering the high brightness of the sky due to the moon but in my 35mm Panoptic while I could see the same brightness the stars maintained a very pinpoint sharp image right to the edge. To my eye the stars in the Nagler seemed slightly dulled and less sharp, this took me completely by surprise.

In conclusion it’s hard to base the performance of an eyepiece when testing under such non ideal conditions and to be honest the negatives were minor in their overall nature. However the fact they were even there troubled me considering the extreme high expectations I went into the session with. I will wait for more ideal conditions to make the final decision but despite a couple of gripes the Nagler still proved to be the superior eyepiece that serves my home light polluted night sky better than the lower powered Panoptic.

#2 Chopin

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:48 AM

...The next and perhaps most surprising was a perceived brightening on the outer 10% to 14% of the outer edge. This really came as no surprise considering the high brightness of the sky due to the moon but in my 35mm Panoptic while I could see the same brightness the stars maintained a very pinpoint sharp image right to the edge. To my eye the stars in the Nagler seemed slightly dulled and less sharp, this took me completely by surprise...


Solid report with honest interpretation, Tom. I've owned the 35 Pan, but let go of it before owning the 26T5 so I've never done a side-by-side. I understand where you are coming from regarding the eye relief vs. visual comfort issue. I am on the opposite end of the spectrum. I found the 35 Pan to be too much, and struggled with kidney-beaning. I had the same issue with the 35mm Celestron Ultima, and on occasion the 22mm Vixen LVW. Ironically it's the eye relief that people seem to love about these eye pieces. All of these eyepieces were top tier optical performers, but none agreed with me. Conversely, I have a Dioptrx on my 26T5 and have no issue with the eye relief, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a little tight. None of this matters, and I'm just making conversation so don't take any of it as a point of disagreement. I do find it amazing how differently we all like to "feel" at the eyepiece.

Given the issue of EOF brightening, I have not noticed it, but now I'm darn curious so you know I'll look for it next time I'm out.

As for the edge softness, it could be coma, which is something that the 35 Pan might not show as obviously because the magnification is lower there so the stars don't show the presence of coma so obviously. It could also be field curvature. If you can get the stars at the edge to come to focus, while then knocking the center into a slight blur, it would be the latter. I do notice field curvature in mine, but understandably couldn't pick it up until I recently added the Dioptrx.

I agree that the 26T5 is not a magical eyepiece. I do think it does everything well, though. That is where the magic lies. It just works for all low power applications quite nicely. Give some time to adjust to. I'm betting you'll start to appreciate it more over time.

#3 TMK

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 12:29 PM

Thanks Jason.

Don't get me wrong its a very nice eyepiece and I'm sure there is some adjusting to make as you allude to.

#4 Brian Schmidt

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:19 PM

thanks for the great report Tom. you should have a better idea once you get that 26 under dark skies. I had a 35 panoptic before I picked up my 31 nagler for cheap during "great recession". reading your comments has reinforced my thoughts on just keeping my 31 and the 20. we are fortunate to have so many good choices. sometimes I have to remind myself to stop obsessing over equipment, just be happy and enjoy the skies when they are clear, which hasn't been much this year in the south-east.

#5 star drop

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:36 PM

Quote:
"To my eye the stars in the Nagler seemed slightly dulled and less sharp, this took me completely by surprise."

I see a similar difference when comparing a 30mm Meade UWA (121x) to a 41mm Panoptic (88x). In my case it is a combination of magnification affecting the seeing and color saturation. The star colors are so much more vibrant at a larger exit pupil and the seeing bloat is less.

#6 JustaBoy

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:55 PM

He's only using 1200mm of FL, so I doubt that is the problem.
-Chuck

#7 dvb

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:25 PM

"First let me start by saying I found taking in the entire field of view to be a little disappointing. Much like the 16mm Type 5 I found myself moving my head ever so slightly to take in the entire field of view. For some reason this doesn’t bother me with the 16mm but I did find it slightly irritating in the 26mm. The 35mm Panoptic allows you to nestle into the eyepiece and the entire field of view is apparent to the eye and this is a very endearing nature of this eyepiece. The 26mm doesn’t share that same trait and I was disappointed."

You can hardly blame the eyepiece for doing exactly what it is supposed to do: it has an 82º AFOV - you aren't supposed to see the field stop in one fixed eye position. You are supposed get the "space walk" sensation of not being bounded by the field stop of the eyepiece.

In fact, you are getting very nearly the same AFOV as the 21mm Ethos, at a fraction of the price, and in a much more convenient package.

The 26T5 is one of my favourite eyepieces. It sits proudly between a 31T5 and a 17mm Ethos.

#8 JustaBoy

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:03 PM

Thank you...

I have copied your post to save as a reminder of just what 82° eyepieces are like. - I have owned them in the past, sold them for exactly the reasons you have given, only to have memory fade, enticing me to give them another chance.

Now, anytime I get that 'feeling', I'll just pull up your post to remind me of what I don't, and will never like.

Thanks so much,
-Chuck

#9 dvb

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:47 PM

The 82º AFOV is definitely a matter of taste, which is why a lot of people prefer the Panoptic and Delos, nearer 70º. Personally, I like the extra FOV.

But, lucky you - think of all the money you'll save not buying an Ethos, with its 100º AFOV!

:lol:

#10 JustaBoy

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:51 PM

Yeah - I guess that I'm a Control Freak, wanting the view under my control at all times, never wanting to be set adrift in limitless space:-)

Thanks,
-Chuck

#11 Brian Schmidt

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 05:28 AM

Coma would be related to the focal ratio. Mine is f/5 and there is coma without the paracorr in any eyepiece over 10mm

#12 TMK

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 08:31 AM

You can hardly blame the eyepiece for doing exactly what it is supposed to do: it has an 82º AFOV - you aren't supposed to see the field stop in one fixed eye position. You are supposed get the "space walk" sensation of not being bounded by the field stop of the eyepiece.


That was never my intention to blame the eyepiece in fact I should have been more careful to not even imply so. The Panoptic has been in my case for a long time and perhaps I'm just so accustomed to a particular type of performance I was not prepared for a very different presentation.

I remember being a teenager and for years driving an old beat up Mustang until I saved up enough money to purchase my dream vehicle, a 1980 Ford F150 pickup. I remember picking the truck up and driving it home at night and the high up profile and wide body was such a different way to drive that I was a very nervous the whole way home. Looking back though that 1980 truck was one of my all time favorite vehicles, perhaps this is no different.

First lights are an initial impression only.

#13 Scanning4Comets

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 01:38 PM

You can hardly blame the eyepiece for doing exactly what it is supposed to do: it has an 82º AFOV - you aren't supposed to see the field stop in one fixed eye position. You are supposed get the "space walk" sensation of not being bounded by the field stop of the eyepiece.


Not true at all. I can see the entire FOV in my Meade 5.5mm 5000 UWA all at once and also in my 14mm ES 100 all at once.

#14 kkokkolis

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 01:40 PM

Different people have different visual perimetries. Some have even tunnel vision. So everyone should check with his eyes and apply the lesson learned into his following purchases.

#15 Tank

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 01:46 PM

Seeing the whole FOV AT ONCE can be achieved in some 82 AFOV EPs however others its tough.
For instance old smoothie 14 UWA 84 AFOV you can see the entire FOV easily and with glasses also I think the only EP out there that can claim that.
Then there is a EP like the 4.8 Nagler T1 well those who owned them know feels like a ortho EP until you look around the corner.
As for the 100 AFOV I think the ES did a great job. These EPs you can take in most of the FOV in one shot!

I wasn't overly impressed by the 26mm T5 I found lots of lateral color

#16 TMK

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 02:02 PM

Seeing the whole FOV AT ONCE can be achieved in some 82 AFOV EPs however others its tough.
For instance old smoothie 14 UWA 84 AFOV you can see the entire FOV easily and with glasses also I think the only EP out there that can claim that.


That's why the old 14mm smoothie was my goto mid range eyepiece for over two years, the entire field was very easy to take in without moving your head. I guess that's part of what made that legendary eyepiece so great.

#17 Starman1

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 04:34 PM

Seeing the whole FOV AT ONCE can be achieved in some 82 AFOV EPs however others its tough.
For instance old smoothie 14 UWA 84 AFOV you can see the entire FOV easily and with glasses also I think the only EP out there that can claim that.


That's why the old 14mm smoothie was my goto mid range eyepiece for over two years, the entire field was very easy to take in without moving your head. I guess that's part of what made that legendary eyepiece so great.


Part of the reason was that its apparent field was actually only 78 degrees (as confirmed by several different CN people who obsessively measure such things). I liked the eyepiece a lot too. I owned one for well over a decade and parted with it only when another eyepiece tested a little better in some parameters.

What confuses people is what is meant by "I see the edge".
If you mean "See all the edges with direct vision, simultaneously", then you will not be happy with eyepieces over 30 degrees of field (or less). If you mean "See the edges with peripheral vision" then, unless you have vision problems, you should easily do that with a 120 degree eyepiece. But you have to ignore the direct vision image to see the periphery all at the same time.

What does differ, and I'll repeat it here for those who might be new to ultrawide field eyepieces, is the WAY we look at the edges of the field.

In eyepieces of, say, 70 degrees and smaller, we merely move our eyes to look at the edges of the field. The small amount of lateral movement in the eye doesn't move the exit pupil of the eyepiece away from our own pupils [and I'm talking eyepieces that yield a larger exit pupil, here, since if the eyepiece yields a small exit pupil you should be able to see the edge by simply aiming your eye at the edge, even in an ultrawide eyepiece.]
That seems natural, and we do it all day long to look at things.

In eyepieces of 80-100 degrees, though, moving the eye to look at the edge of the field causes the pupil of the eye to move away from the exit pupil of the eyepiece. This will cause the side of the field now hitting the iris of the eye to black out. The way to allow the pupil of the eye to continue to take in the entire exit pupil of the eyepiece is to roll the head around the point represented by the pupil of the eye, i.e. to keep the eye stationary and roll your head over to look through the eyepiece at an angle. To a lesser degree we do that with 70 degree eyepieces too, but since the other side of the eyepiece doesn't seem to black out as much, we don't really notice it.

It's a different skill--one that can easily be learned, but one which some people never adapt to. If it seems natural to you, you'll not have trouble with any ultrawide eyepieces. My wife is an example of that--never had a bit of problem, even with 120 degree fields. You don't really have to think about it--it just becomes natural after using the eyepiece a while.

I will make an analogy: it's like the field of view of the eyepiece is a large stage and your direct vision is a spotlight. You can aim the spotlight anywhere in the field you want to, but you cannot illuminate the entire stage at once. If you turn the light into a flood, you can illuminate the stage in its entirety (i.e. using peripheral vision), but you will not longer be illuminating any spot on the stage.

Last, if you wear glasses, most ultrawides don't have sufficient eye relief anyway, except in the very long focal lengths. The 26mm Nagler has 16mm of eye relief--not quite enough for glasses because at least a couple of those millimeters is the distance from the lens to the folded-down rubber eyecup.

#18 Scanning4Comets

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 05:00 PM

In eyepieces of 80-100 degrees, though, moving the eye to look at the edge of the field causes the pupil of the eye to move away from the exit pupil of the eyepiece. This will cause the side of the field now hitting the iris of the eye to black out. The way to allow the pupil of the eye to continue to take in the entire exit pupil of the eyepiece is to roll the head around the point represented by the pupil of the eye, i.e. to keep the eye stationary and roll your head over to look through the eyepiece at an angle. To a lesser degree we do that with 70 degree eyepieces too, but since the other side of the eyepiece doesn't seem to black out as much, we don't really notice it.


I myself do not need to do this with my 100 degree eyepieces at all. I just move in, look, and the 100 degrees is right there all at once. Now I am not rolling my eye around at all, but my eye just looks forward and I see it all.

I didn't do this at first, but over time I did. Like you said, it prob takes some time to get to this point.

#19 Starman1

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 05:11 PM

In eyepieces of 80-100 degrees, though, moving the eye to look at the edge of the field causes the pupil of the eye to move away from the exit pupil of the eyepiece. This will cause the side of the field now hitting the iris of the eye to black out. The way to allow the pupil of the eye to continue to take in the entire exit pupil of the eyepiece is to roll the head around the point represented by the pupil of the eye, i.e. to keep the eye stationary and roll your head over to look through the eyepiece at an angle. To a lesser degree we do that with 70 degree eyepieces too, but since the other side of the eyepiece doesn't seem to black out as much, we don't really notice it.


I myself do not need to do this with my 100 degree eyepieces at all. I just move in, look, and the 100 degrees is right there all at once. Now I am no rolling my eye around at all, but my eye just looks forward and I see it all.

I didn't do this at first, but over time I did. Like you said, it prob takes some time to get to this point.

Yes, with peripheral vision. Your direct vision focus is really only 5-10 degrees wide, with a relatively sharp area surrounding of about 30 degrees.
If you let your direct attention move to the periphery, the edge of the field is easily seen, but to do so you move your direct attention away from the center. It isn't possible to simultaneously see the edges of the field with direct vision and the center sharp (like when we view a small object in the center).
I suppose it would be possible to alternate the attention on the edge and the center, or the edge and an object drifting across the field. Normally, though, we either look directly at the edge and see a few degrees of field around that point, or we look at the center and see a few degrees of field around that point.
Is there a way of looking at the center with direct, focused, vision and seeing the edge of an ultrawide field simultanously with the same acuity? I don't think it's possible. I wonder though, if some people find it impossible to concentrate on peripheral vision and ignore the center of their vision.

That being said, the wider fields do give you more "space" to look at. No reason you can't simply direct your gaze anywhere in the field.

#20 Scanning4Comets

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 05:19 PM

Precisely. And I still get jilted by it! Every time I pop in the 9mm or 14mm ES 100 it just feels so big of a field. I have gone back to the Pentax XW's and it feels restricted now, even though the views of globs, etc give a more pinpointy, sharper HD type look, the 100 degree field is really nice to get back to.

#21 dvb

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 09:31 PM

Not true at all. I can see the entire FOV in my Meade 5.5mm 5000 UWA all at once and also in my 14mm ES 100 all at once.


Yes, "true at all" - if you can see 82º AFOV you can, if you can't you can't - it has nothing to do with the eyepiece, whether Meade or Nagler, which is constant at 82º AFOV.

#22 Starman1

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 10:01 PM

Not true at all. I can see the entire FOV in my Meade 5.5mm 5000 UWA all at once and also in my 14mm ES 100 all at once.


Yes, "true at all" - if you can see 82º AFOV you can, if you can't you can't - it has nothing to do with the eyepiece, whether Meade or Nagler, which is constant at 82º AFOV.

If you cannot, with peripheral vision, you very much need to see an opthamologist--now!.
Wikipedia:
"The approximate field of view of an individual human eye is 95° away from the nose, 75° downward, 60° toward the nose, and 60° upward, allowing humans to have an almost 180-degree forward-facing horizontal field of view. With eyeball rotation of about 90° (head rotation excluded, peripheral vision included), horizontal field of view is as high as 270°."
With a little arithmetic, that means 155 degrees R-L and 135 degrees up-down is normal for human vision in one eye. Excluding the nose, and eyebrow (as we would in an eyepiece, vision probably extends even further.
Hence, 82 degrees should be EASY for ALL viewers who view without glasses, with peripheral vision.
I have an average eye, with average presbyopic vision, and when I look at peripheral vision, I can see the black field outside a 120 degree eyepiece, the top of the eyepiece, and even some of the scope outside of that.
After all, no one sees an 82 degree field with center-of-vision direct vision--at least not all at once--but with peripheral vision?

The real issue is whether or not being able to see or concentrate on direct vision of the entire field all at once matters to the observer. To some, it does. To others, not so much. I suppose that's why we have production eyepieces with 30-120 degree fields. Something for everyone.

#23 Scanning4Comets

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 11:24 PM

Yes, "true at all" - if you can see 82º AFOV you can, if you can't you can't - it has nothing to do with the eyepiece, whether Meade or Nagler, which is constant at 82º AFOV.



If you cannot, with peripheral vision, you very much need to see an opthamologist--now!.


Oh yes, it has everything to do with the eyepiece.

Type 4 Nagler ~ Long eye relief ~ Much easier to see entire FOV at once. Type 6 Nagler ~ shorter eye relief ~ Not so easy to see entire FOV at once. Meade Series 5000 5.5mm UWA ~ Easy to take in entire FOV at once as it has somewhat longish eye relief. Meade 4.7mm 5000 UWA ~ A bit harder to see entire FOV all at once because of shorter eye relief.

ALL HAVE CONSTANT 82 DEGREE FOV.

14mm and 9mm ES 100's ~ You can see entire FOV at once, with peripheral vision seeing all edges at once. Takes some training of the eye, but I easily do it now.

:smarty:

#24 Starman1

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 11:36 PM

Markus,
You're just saying you prefer longer eye relief.
You shouldn't have any problem seeing the entire field of any eyepiece with an eye relief long enough to hold your eye at a safe distance from the lens.
Having owned all the T4s, all but one of the T6s, I'd say it's no harder to see the entire field in one than the other--you merely hold your eye at differing distances to see the entire exit pupil.

For eyeglass wearers, of course, the entire field is only going to be visible, even with peripheral vision, on the longer focal lengths with long eye reliefs.

#25 Scanning4Comets

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 01:10 AM

No. Not exactly.

I only said that you can see the entire field of an 82 degree eyepiece at once with longer eye relief eyepieces easier. You are incorrect. Some of the 82 degree eyepieces require you to tilt your head or face to see the entire field at once. I had this discussion with an observing friend who also agreed that the 16mm Nagler T5 needed some head, (or face), tilting a bit to see the entire field at once, and I completely agree.

The longer eye relief eyepieces don't require you to do this.

I also do not "prefer" longer eye relief eyepieces as I am now using almost all shorter eye relief eyepieces than I once used before, except for the 34mm ES 68.






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