Jump to content


Photo

Parks Gold Question...

  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#1 TheObserver

TheObserver

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 347
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2013
  • Loc: Light Polluted, NY

Posted 17 January 2014 - 02:39 AM

This post maybe odd. Basically i just want some info on this eyepieces. there's little info available on them even they still available in the market they are made in japan and from what i found and please correct me if i am wrong they are similar to the Orion Ultrascopic/Celestron Ultima/Antares Elite/Meade 4k Japan?. i found everywhere that they are similar to the eyepieces above.
So if they are why are we like hyaenas when ever an ad for Ultrascopic/Ultima/Smoothie get posted we jump on it but not as much for the parks gold. i mean from what little info i found they should be like on the top of the list for people looking for 5-elements. i am considering to buy couple just so i can compare them to my Meade 4k smoothie and rest my soul
Now my fellow CNer don't shot me :brick: :brick: and let the showdown begin :lol:

#2 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 44771
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 17 January 2014 - 06:57 AM

So if they are why are we like hyaenas when ever an ad for Ultrascopic/Ultima/Smoothie get posted we jump on it but not as much for the parks gold.



I have the 10mm and the 15mm Parks Gold.. I personally don't jump when any of these 5 element eyepieces become available but these should be as good as any..

Jon

#3 Jim Curry

Jim Curry

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1732
  • Joined: 29 Oct 2007
  • Loc: STL

Posted 17 January 2014 - 08:02 AM

I used Parks Gold series exclusively for about 8 years. They're a great suite of eyepieces. It wasn't until I started hanging out with these eyepiece crack addicts that I found out these weren't top shelf :>). I still have my complete set and do use them. They offer great, sharp views from 35mm to 3.8.

We had an extended thread on these back in December and they do get periodic mention in this forum.

Jim

#4 csrlice12

csrlice12

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11517
  • Joined: 22 May 2012
  • Loc: Denver, CO

Posted 17 January 2014 - 08:27 AM

They're the same eyepiece. They're good, very good, not quite as good as a televue, but not far behind either....

#5 Vondragonnoggin

Vondragonnoggin

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5199
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Southern CA, USA

Posted 17 January 2014 - 09:28 AM

With the 35mm coming in at around $190 new, it's not on the cheap side.

After borrowing one of the 35mm's, I had to have it for lowest power 1.25" in my collection. I use it frequently. I also have two of their 1.25" 2x barlows which are the same design as the Celestron Ultima barlows.

Very nice there too.

#6 csrlice12

csrlice12

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11517
  • Joined: 22 May 2012
  • Loc: Denver, CO

Posted 17 January 2014 - 09:35 AM

I just picked up my Parks Gold 10mm last week for $25...looks like I might get a chance to check it out this weekend.

#7 russell23

russell23

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4511
  • Joined: 31 May 2009
  • Loc: Upstate NY

Posted 17 January 2014 - 10:58 AM

I have the 35mm and 30mm Ultrascopics and an 18mm Ultima. They are very comfortable to use. The 35mm is ridiculous with my 2.4x Dakin barlow in my Vixen refractor. No vignetting, sharp and clear to the edge. The 30mm works really well with the ES focal extenders too. The 18mm will be my primary eyepiece with the Dakin Barlow for lunar observations.

Really, these ultrascopics are so comfortable and sharp they are sharing a lot of time with my ES68's.

Dave

#8 Jay_Bird

Jay_Bird

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1701
  • Joined: 04 Jan 2006
  • Loc: USA

Posted 17 January 2014 - 11:39 AM

When I re-entered the hobby 10 years ago a 20mm Parks Gold came with the scope I bought from the newspaper ad.

I liked it and soon found the various on line and S&T reviews that ranked Celestron Ultimas (and similar like Ultrascopic and Parks Gold) highly in 'Plossl and friends' comparisons. So I would up with a mix of brands (Celestron, Parks, Orion) 10-12.5-15-20-25-30 in this series of nearly parfocal eyepieces. Eye relief scales with focal length.

I liked the 12.5 best of the 10-15 range. I found eye relief tight for my comfort at 10 and preferred a 9 VT ortho.

I kept the 20 and 30 as well as the 12.5. The 20 could be a nice upgrade from the generic 20-26 that comes with a scope. The 12.5 and 20 handle 2x to 3x Barlows fine.

The 25 was no slouch but I sold it and the 10 & 15 to help pay for a few 10 and shorter Radians.

The 30 and 35 (I've looked through other people's 35) are really something for comfort and immersive field. Some people find longer eye relief hard to get used to; I keep an accordion eye cup on the 30. I think either the 30 or the 35 are 'everyone should have one' eyepieces.

The 12.5 was a just right middle power for C-8 or short tube 80mm f/6.

The Celestron coatings are different colors than the Orion and Parks but looking through them was equally pleasing, so I think the 12.5 was the right magnification for my uses rather than very different intrinsically.

The 52 degree FOV still doesn't feel confining and is very sharp across field. I Barlow the 12.5 on the moon and see faint DSO under dark skies pushing the 80mm. With the short tube and small 1.25 travel kit, I liked the 3+ degree FOV with the 30mm. The 30 and 35 are great finder EPs for 1.25 inch scopes as well as offering a high quality widest true field.

I think these are overlooked, just because there are 58-68 degree alternatives. I don't sense any compromises about the view or construction in these; but I read reviews of the lower cost wider field EPs that people buy instead and see mention of this flare or that glare or unblackened component, etc. so go figure. These are fairly compact (better for binoview?) and lightweight but solidly made.

I think Agena Astro had some Parks Gold marked down a deep percentage from the list price the last time I noticed these. I like the last 3 I still use, 12.5-20-30.

#9 csrlice12

csrlice12

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11517
  • Joined: 22 May 2012
  • Loc: Denver, CO

Posted 17 January 2014 - 12:13 PM

I believe Lumicon still sells them. The Parks Gold was the house brand for ScopeCity, which also owned Lumicon. Since the closure of ScopeCity, Lumicon has reformed...not certain if the eyepieces are still being made, but they're still advertising them.....

#10 TheObserver

TheObserver

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 347
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2013
  • Loc: Light Polluted, NY

Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:13 PM

I just picked up my Parks Gold 10mm last week for $25...looks like I might get a chance to check it out this weekend.


keep me posted on that, i may get one or two to see how they compare

#11 TheObserver

TheObserver

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 347
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2013
  • Loc: Light Polluted, NY

Posted 17 January 2014 - 02:04 PM


I have the 10mm and the 15mm Parks Gold.. I personally don't jump when any of these 5 element eyepieces become available but these should be as good as any..

Jon


Jon how would you rate them are they worth the price? i mean i see the resell value isn't all that great.

#12 JustaBoy

JustaBoy

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4356
  • Joined: 19 Jun 2012

Posted 17 January 2014 - 05:20 PM

I know this sounds bad, but please bear with me:

If you have to ask, it is because you don't know.

Now then - We have all heard of Celestron and Orion, so we know that these are good and safe choices, because they have been voted on by the masses.

Now who the heck is W.R. Parks, or Roger Tutthill? - Only those older in the hobby know, so why buy something with "that" name on it when Celestron Ultimas were so available?

Fast forward to the present - Only the Parks remains, along with a newcomer, the Kasai Astroplan.

So now people are asking, as people don't know and there are no Ultimas to turn to.

Guys - They were all made in the same shop with different colors and labels. (Same Eyepiece) - The old Meade 5 element smooth side "Plossls" were of the same basic design, but from a different shop.

Now the question I have is: I 'think' the Parks is New Old stock, but the Kasai; Is it new production? - I dunno.

Back 5-10 years ago, if you wanted to sell a Celestron Ultima you might get $60 for it, a Parks, not so much... Maybe $45? - Same eyepiece, different name.

So optically how do they compare? - About like a TV Plossl, but without the vignetting that the TVs are famous for when Barlowed.

Which do I like best, the 5 element or the TV? - The 5 element.

Which one? - I'm kinda partial to the color of the Ultima, with maybe the Ultrascopics 2nd... I don't really care for the looks of the Parks

But like people we are only talking about outside color here - Except for a choice in focal lengths, they are all the same inside... I think that the 20mm Orion Ultrascopic 'looks just right', and the 24mm Celestron Ultima is Rare and brings a big price.

If the focal length is the same then the eyepiece Is The Same regardless of brand - The only difference is in the focal lengths offered. - One Exception is the 3.8mm which not all brands have. - It is a Barlowed 7.5mm - And the 5mm which comes in two flavors, being a 5 element Celestron for example, or a 2x Barlowed 10mm (7 elements total) Orion for example. - the use of the Barlowed 10mm to make a 5mm is for the better eye relief, being twice as much.

I you have a bino-viewer you are safe using 2 of whatever of these you can find, as long as they are of the same focal length (except for the exception mentioned with the 5mm).

Here's a Pic of a 30mm Celestron Pre-Ultima, made back before Celestron decided to call them Ultimas - Same Eyepiece.

Bottom line: Buy all the Parks you want with Confidence, as long as you don't find them to be too ugly:-)

Same Eyepiece.

Attached Files



#13 Lance1234

Lance1234

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 395
  • Joined: 01 Nov 2012
  • Loc: SoCal

Posted 17 January 2014 - 05:51 PM

...Now who the heck is W.R. Parks...Only those older in the hobby know


Guess I wish I DIDN'T know who Parks was...cause that puts me into said group. :gramps: I used one of Parks fiberglass tubes for the 6" f8 reflector I assembled back in... well, along time ago. :grin:

#14 JustaBoy

JustaBoy

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4356
  • Joined: 19 Jun 2012

Posted 17 January 2014 - 05:54 PM

Yep!

A tube like that would be a million dollars today just for SHIPPING!

Mine had to come to Akron Ohio - What fun when the delivery truck arrived!

Thanks!

#15 TheObserver

TheObserver

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 347
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2013
  • Loc: Light Polluted, NY

Posted 17 January 2014 - 06:06 PM

Chuck, thank you very nice explanation I am try to pick couple and see how they perform

#16 JustaBoy

JustaBoy

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4356
  • Joined: 19 Jun 2012

Posted 17 January 2014 - 06:11 PM

I think that you will LIKE!!!

#17 TheObserver

TheObserver

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 347
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2013
  • Loc: Light Polluted, NY

Posted 17 January 2014 - 06:22 PM

I just sold my Meade 4 elements Plossl and was looking for a replacement. That was nothing wrong with them just wanted to try something different.

#18 russell23

russell23

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4511
  • Joined: 31 May 2009
  • Loc: Upstate NY

Posted 18 January 2014 - 09:07 AM

I just sold my Meade 4 elements Plossl and was looking for a replacement. That was nothing wrong with them just wanted to try something different.


Had some clear skies last night early. The 30mm and 35mm Ultrascopics and 18mm Ultima are just about perfect with the 2" Dakin Barlow. I don't think you can go wrong with these eyepieces.

Dave

#19 precaud

precaud

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1691
  • Joined: 05 Dec 2012
  • Loc: north central New Mexico

Posted 18 January 2014 - 09:20 AM

I have some of the Parks Gold, 20mm and down. My main complaint with them is the concave geometry around the eye lens, it is conducive to fogging the eye lens in winter. A volcano top is much better in this regard.

#20 TheObserver

TheObserver

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 347
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2013
  • Loc: Light Polluted, NY

Posted 18 January 2014 - 02:31 PM

thank you guys very informing. i am try and get a eyepiece of each line and see what's next project i am going with since i just finished my smoothie line. should keep me busy for a little

#21 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 44771
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 18 January 2014 - 06:39 PM



I have the 10mm and the 15mm Parks Gold.. I personally don't jump when any of these 5 element eyepieces become available but these should be as good as any..

Jon


Jon how would you rate them are they worth the price? i mean i see the resell value isn't all that great.


I consider them the equal of The Celestron Ultima's which is to say top tier ~52 degree eyepieces.. I buy to use, not to sell. If the price is right, I buy.


The April 1996 S&T had a nice test of a wide range of Plossls and the like. Eyepieces were tested on the optical bench and evaluated in the field. The two top performers were the TVs and the Ultimas.

Jon

#22 Starman1

Starman1

    Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 23450
  • Joined: 23 Jun 2003
  • Loc: Los Angeles

Posted 18 January 2014 - 06:46 PM

Parks Gold Series Plossl = Baader Eudiascopic = Omcon Ultuma = Tuthill Plossl = Antares Elite Plossl = Celestron Ultima Plossl = ?
We think the design is after the Zeiss Astroplanokular design, c.1945.
These were all made in Japan by the same firm and private-labeled to the US and other countries.
The Meade Series 4000 Super Plossl (pre-1994, 5 element), and Takahashi LE are the same design, but made by other factories.
Kasai Trading (Japan) is also selling an "Astroplan" eyepiece, which I believe is the same design.
2:1:2 design with focal plane outside the last element.
The 35mm had/has a focal plane larger than the inside diameter of the eyepiece lower barrel. This was accomplished by placing the focal plane above the barrel. As a result, this focal length requires a lot of in-focusing.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics