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Equipment Discussions >> Eyepieces

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Paul G
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Reged: 05/08/03

Loc: Freedonia
Re: What IS a Planetary eyepiece? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5612607 - 01/08/13 07:52 PM

Quote:

Someone once asked me if his guitar was a "jazz guitar". I said it was if he played jazz on it.
Same principle here.




+1


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Paul G
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Reged: 05/08/03

Loc: Freedonia
Re: What IS a Planetary eyepiece? new [Re: Tank]
      #5612616 - 01/08/13 07:55 PM

Quote:

Best in these areas:
light transmission
scatter control
Contrast

Main due to:
minimal glass elements
coatings
polish




Planets are usually so bright that light transmission isn't really important. 10% either way shouldn't make any difference. Scatter control and its effect on contrast is most important IMO.

Edited by Paul G (01/08/13 07:56 PM)


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ibase
Vendor Affiliate
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Reged: 03/20/08

Loc: Manila, Philippines 121*E 14*N
Re: What IS a Planetary eyepiece? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5612622 - 01/08/13 08:00 PM

Viewing a planet entails a lot of EP time to glimpse those otherwise unseen surface details which are visible in those fleeting moments of atmospheric stability. If one is not viewing comfortably, then the tendency is to call the night earlier than what would have been a longer run if the EP used was a high-comfort one (i.e., with good eye relief). Retiring earlier means missing out on those prized minute planetary details altogether even if one were using the uber-premium "planetary" EP. If scope used does not track, a wider AFoV EP is a plus (at least 70-deg AFoV where "widefield" starts). Couple that with good power and great transmission & contrast for a clear crisp image and sharp to the edge view that stays longer to observe before nudging, and you've got the ideal "planetary eyepiece." Among the EP's that I own & use frequently for this purpose, Televue's Delos 6mm fits the bill - generous eye relief (20mm), wide AFoV (72-deg), good power to pull in details, and great crisp images up to the edge of view. Just my 2 cents.

Best,


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Tank
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/27/09

Loc: Stoney Creek, Ontario, CANADA
Re: What IS a Planetary eyepiece? new [Re: dpwoos]
      #5612623 - 01/08/13 08:02 PM Attachment (12 downloads)

Quote:

Quote:

One of my favorite eyepieces for planetary viewing is my 8-element 5-8mm Speers Waler variable focal length eyepiece with a whopping 78 degree apparent field of view.




Not being an eyepiece "collector" I don't covet a lot of eyepieces. However, the SW 5-8 variable is one I would love to try! These are hard to come by, and I have never even seen one. Enjoy it!




Its a very good planetary performer and a very great all round EP:


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johnnyha
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/12/06

Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA
Re: What IS a Planetary eyepiece? new [Re: ibase]
      #5612627 - 01/08/13 08:04 PM

For actual viewing of planets I prefer binoviewing, I can bino ortho and plossl pairs for hours with no strain at all. I see more detail with two eyes and floaters are virtually eliminated.

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tag1260
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/07/12

Loc: Ohio, USA
Re: What IS a Planetary eyepiece? new [Re: johnnyha]
      #5613059 - 01/09/13 01:33 AM

Thanks for all the opinions and info. Looks like I'll be sitting tight where I am for a short time. I was out tonight with my Paradigm 12mm and I have to say, Jupiter was the best I've ever seen her. I barlowed the 12mm with my Celestron Ultima and I am impressed. If you would see where I view from when I can't get to a dark site you would understand. I've often thought a pellet gun might be my next viewing accessory, if you know what I mean. With the 8mm on the way I should be all set for a while.

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Kutno
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/17/09

Re: What IS a Planetary eyepiece? new [Re: Paul G]
      #5613075 - 01/09/13 01:59 AM

Quote:

Planets are usually so bright that light transmission isn't really important. 10% either way shouldn't make any difference. Scatter control and its effect on contrast is most important IMO.






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cjc
sage


Reged: 10/15/10

Loc: Derbyshire, England
Re: What IS a Planetary eyepiece? new [Re: BillP]
      #5613100 - 01/09/13 03:07 AM

I would emphasise Bill's point 2. in his list of characteristics for a planetary eyepiece. I find that some otherwise satisfactory eyepieces will produce strong distracting ghost images when viewing planets, ruining my concentration and removing some of the enjoyment. The TMB Planetary IIs are among those which are significantly affected.

I also dislike systems that flare up with something just out of view, though it is less of a hindrance to observing in practice. This is often an eyepiece issue, but it can also be caused by diffraction from the secondary spider in a Newtonian.


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george tatsis
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 11/20/08

Loc: Flushing, NY - Europe
Re: What IS a Planetary eyepiece? new [Re: cjc]
      #5613201 - 01/09/13 06:58 AM

Just for the record, last night I used the Agena SWA 15mm and 20mm with two inexpensive barlows (3X Meade #128, and 2X GSO ). The telescope used was a 120ED refractor. The combination of the 15mm +3X Barlow was as good as the Nagler Zoom at 5mm and the BGO 5mm ortho. Jupiter was equally good and contrasty in all of the above oculars.Go figure!

George


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BillP
Postmaster
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Reged: 11/26/06

Loc: Vienna, VA
Re: What IS a Planetary eyepiece? new [Re: Paul G]
      #5613436 - 01/09/13 10:09 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Best in these areas:
light transmission
scatter control
Contrast

Main due to:
minimal glass elements
coatings
polish




Planets are usually so bright that light transmission isn't really important. 10% either way shouldn't make any difference. Scatter control and its effect on contrast is most important IMO.




This is aperture dependent. So transmission is critical for smaller aperture scopes since they will be at small exit pupils when at productuve planetary magnifications (which IMO includes ALL typical APOs). 10" and larger scopes and "typically" not so much of an issue...unless hunting a particularly faint planetary feature. Planets, like double stars, have many "challenge" features so they really are a playground of observing challenges.

Edited by BillP (01/09/13 10:10 AM)


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t.r.
Post Laureate
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Reged: 02/14/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: What IS a Planetary eyepiece? new [Re: BillP]
      #5613473 - 01/09/13 10:39 AM

Quote:

Moments like these makes one understand just how much we are limited by the atmosphere.



Along with Bill and Don, I have a "never forget it observation" illustrating well the planetary eyepiece debate...South Korea, fall of 1995, Seoul is famous for its smog, meaning stable seeing. On one particular night, I had the 4 inch Genesis loaded up with the TV 2.5x barlow and Nagler 4.8mm eyepiece producing 260x! I could have used more! The view I had of Jupiter and Ganymede transiting the face was a revelation! Throwing all the rules out the window about magnification per inch, exit pupil and number of elements in the optical train, I just sat back and enjoyed the most stable, clean view of Jove while seeing color, minute detail and even suspected albedo on Ganymede! It looked like a marble in 3-D transiting. Yep...I've said it before, location, location, location = seeing conditions that deliver those finer planetary details...the eyepiece is the smaller factor in the equation.


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CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: What IS a Planetary eyepiece? new [Re: Jim Rosenstock]
      #5613478 - 01/09/13 10:43 AM

Quote:

Heck, we don't even know what a Planet is, anymore.

I had a great planetary eyepiece, but I made the mistake of looking at Pluto with it.

Now it's just a "minor eyepiece"....






-- Chris


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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: What IS a Planetary eyepiece? new [Re: Jim Rosenstock]
      #5613523 - 01/09/13 11:19 AM

Quote:

Heck, we don't even know what a Planet is, anymore.

I had a great planetary eyepiece, but I made the mistake of looking at Pluto with it.

Now it's just a "minor eyepiece"....




Yeah, they made a mistake with that classification.

Only the old guys like us would have been disturbed by calling Sedna, Varuna, Haumea, Quaoar, MakeMake, Eris, Orcus, Ixion, and Pluto the "Ice Planets". Of course, that list is now over 1200 objects long (and growing) and it's not known how many of them are large enough to be gravitationally compressed into a "roundish shape". I note that recently they've divided the group into Plutinos, Cubewanos, and a 3rd category not fitting the orbital standards of the first groups.

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune could have been the "Gas Planets".

And Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and Ceres the "Rocky Planets"

You know, in retrospect, it was right to demote Pluto into just a large Trans-Neptunian Object. Otherwise, we could end up with a list of planets over a thousand long.


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Mike W
sage


Reged: 04/30/06

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: What IS a Planetary eyepiece? new [Re: tag1260]
      #5613564 - 01/09/13 11:44 AM

Televue Plossls are good, inexpensive planetary eyepieces.

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Mike W
sage


Reged: 04/30/06

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: What IS a Planetary eyepiece? new [Re: Tank]
      #5613572 - 01/09/13 11:48 AM

And nice and compact too!
Quote:

Quote:

One of my favorite eyepieces for planetary viewing is my 8-element 5-8mm Speers Waler variable focal length eyepiece with a whopping 78 degree apparent field of view.



And nice and compact too!
Not being an eyepiece "collector" I don't covet a lot of eyepieces. However, the SW 5-8 variable is one I would love to try! These are hard to come by, and I have never even seen one. Enjoy it!




Its a very good planetary performer and a very great all round EP:




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dpwoos
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/18/06

Loc: United States
Re: What IS a Planetary eyepiece? new [Re: Mike W]
      #5613598 - 01/09/13 12:01 PM

For sure it is not for every scope! In my case, my 10" is fairly massive which, btw, is exactly how I like it. I do a lot of public observing and so a bit of mass is really helpful in allowing folks to observe/focus without the scope moving. So, it can handle massive/long eyepieces, and I can swap them without worrying too much about losing the target. Maybe when I am old I will appreciate lightweight more, but not so much now.

Edited by dpwoos (01/09/13 12:03 PM)


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BillP
Postmaster
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Reged: 11/26/06

Loc: Vienna, VA
Re: What IS a Planetary eyepiece? new [Re: t.r.]
      #5613772 - 01/09/13 01:53 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Moments like these makes one understand just how much we are limited by the atmosphere.



Along with Bill and Don, I have a "never forget it observation" illustrating well the planetary eyepiece debate...South Korea, fall of 1995, Seoul is famous for its smog, meaning stable seeing. On one particular night, I had the 4 inch Genesis loaded up with the TV 2.5x barlow and Nagler 4.8mm eyepiece producing 260x! I could have used more! The view I had of Jupiter and Ganymede transiting the face was a revelation! Throwing all the rules out the window about magnification per inch, exit pupil and number of elements in the optical train, I just sat back and enjoyed the most stable, clean view of Jove while seeing color, minute detail and even suspected albedo on Ganymede! It looked like a marble in 3-D transiting. Yep...I've said it before, location, location, location = seeing conditions that deliver those finer planetary details...the eyepiece is the smaller factor in the equation.




Or perhaps, for the three of us, we were just viewing from...the Twilight Zone!



Edited by BillP (01/09/13 02:02 PM)


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Nyctophobia, Maryland, USA
Re: What IS a Planetary eyepiece? new [Re: tag1260]
      #5613807 - 01/09/13 02:17 PM

Quote:

What IS a Planetary eyepiece?




An eyepiece used for observing planetaries?

There's the Ring, Dumbbell, Helix, Little Dumbbell, Eskimo (Clown for the politically correct), etc.

What's most confusing is Saturn, which is a planetary and a planet.


Mike


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punk35
sage
*****

Reged: 01/26/05

Loc: lower michigan
Re: What IS a Planetary eyepiece? new [Re: BillP]
      #5613931 - 01/09/13 03:29 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Moments like these makes one understand just how much we are limited by the atmosphere.



Along with Bill and Don, I have a "never forget it observation" illustrating well the planetary eyepiece debate...South Korea, fall of 1995, Seoul is famous for its smog, meaning stable seeing. On one particular night, I had the 4 inch Genesis loaded up with the TV 2.5x barlow and Nagler 4.8mm eyepiece producing 260x! I could have used more! The view I had of Jupiter and Ganymede transiting the face was a revelation! Throwing all the rules out the window about magnification per inch, exit pupil and number of elements in the optical train, I just sat back and enjoyed the most stable, clean view of Jove while seeing color, minute detail and even suspected albedo on Ganymede! It looked like a marble in 3-D transiting. Yep...I've said it before, location, location, location = seeing conditions that deliver those finer planetary details...the eyepiece is the smaller factor in the equation.




Or perhaps, for the three of us, we were just viewing from...the Twilight Zone!







It's cause your collimation looked like that


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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: What IS a Planetary eyepiece? new [Re: punk35]
      #5614457 - 01/09/13 08:23 PM

Thought that was time tunnel for a minute! Loved those old shows...

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