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Equipment Discussions >> Eyepieces

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Scanning4Comets
Markus
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Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: Starman1]
      #5847043 - 05/08/13 02:17 AM

Quote:

And take that lawsuit Ibanez guitar with you!
Sam




Say that to Steve Vai . His Ibanez guitar will make you wish you hadn't of said that.


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Alvin Huey
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Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: Damo636]
      #5847115 - 05/08/13 03:35 AM

Quote:

Thats why I sold the few Delos I had, blatant clones of the XW
I'll get my coat




I'm sorry...but the Delos are NOT clones of the XWs...I know as I took my 6mm apart...and it is not even CLOSE to the XW. BTW, the Delos SMOKES the XW on deep sky objects...as the Delos already beats the Ethos...and the Ethos and XW are about the same, giving the Ethos the slightest edge.

Several other very experienced observed confirmed it with a couple large telescopes, not dinky little 6" apos.



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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: Starman1]
      #5847296 - 05/08/13 08:27 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:


Al Nagler designed the first Nagler eyepiece de novo and discovered years later that others (in history) had used negative lenses in their eyepieces.




Don:

I know that sometimes people point to those earlier eyepieces, the Bertele for example. Have you ever looked through a Bertele and evaluated it in comparison to the Nagler's correction in a fast scope? It seems to me that while the prior work had many of the pieces, it probably was not put together in the same well executed design as those original Naglers.

Jon



I owned many of those earlier eyepiece types. I was an ocularholic, remember?
And it's true. Not only were they not as well-corrected, they had narrower fields of view compared to the Naglers.. That first 13mm Nagler was an, uh, eye opener.




Sometimes it seems to me that pointing to eyepieces like the Bertele is an attempt to revise history, an attempt to diminish the significance of those first Naglers. The Naglers really put it all together and upped the ante in just about every possible way.

Jon


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ibase
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Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5847380 - 05/08/13 09:26 AM

Quote:


I'm sorry...but the Delos are NOT clones of the XWs...I know as I took my 6mm apart...and it is not even CLOSE to the XW. BTW, the Delos SMOKES the XW on deep sky objects...as the Delos already beats the Ethos...and the Ethos and XW are about the same, giving the Ethos the slightest edge.

Several other very experienced observed confirmed it with a couple large telescopes, not dinky little 6" apos.






Got a Delos 6mm thinking that the new modern coatings of Delos from TeleVue might be better than the old Pentax (traded the Pentax XW7 in exchange for the Delos 6), thanks for posting your observations that tend to support this presupposition. Love the Delos 6mm, it's an excellent EP!

Best,


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hfjacinto
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Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5847385 - 05/08/13 09:32 AM

The Naglers filled a need that was started by John Dobson, without his Dob design the world now would be filled with long focal length scopes.

TeleVue saw a niche and filled it.

I applaud TeleVue for doing it. What I don't see here is the story of what happens to many companies that fail to keep up with the environment. Look for example at Kodak, they were the leaders in film but as the digital world came about they are almost dead. TeleVue has great products no one can deny that but I thankful that cheaper almost as good products exist. I have 3 ES 100°, without ES I doubt I would have gone up 100°. Televue might still get my business as I now want an eyepiece in the 5mm range, Televue is the only one offering one in that range.

The other comment that wasn't made is that the Ethos are the only brand that has such a wide selection of eyepieces. The ES only has 3 as does the Meade 100° (which no one has mentioned) and the Zhummel, Orion 100° only have 2.

Edited by hfjacinto (05/08/13 09:33 AM)


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Jarrod
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Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #5847499 - 05/08/13 10:36 AM

Are there cross-licenses for such technology in this business? Is this even knowable, given that these are all private companies? If licensing agreements exist, then I don't see a conflict at all.

And if they don't, a quick patent search identifies that Al Nagler patented the ultrawide (80-90 degree AFoV) design at the latest 1988. There are related patents as early as 1979. My understanding is that the expiration on the latest patent would have come about 17 years later, or 2005. When did ES, for example, bring their 82º eyepieces to market? I wasn't in the hobby, but suspect it was sometime after 2005.

The designer of the original 100º EPs, who from what I read is/was a protege of Mr. Nagler, does not appear to have patented this design. I cannot think of a reason not to do so, unless it was substantially based on the previous design (aka "prior art") and therefore would not hold up as new technology in patent court. I am not a lawyer - these are just some educated guesses as to how the legalities of the current subject may have played out.

Some may not be swayed by such lines of thinking, as what is "legal" can vary greatly from what some people perceive as "moral" or "just". Those last two items are subjective for many questions. But when confronted with such questions I generally err on the side of favoring competition. Competition benefits consumers, and is one of the driving forces behind moving our society forward.

Am I overstating the importance of amateur astronomy equipment with this last statement? Can the less fortunate among us live without 100º eyepieces? Certainly - by most reasonable definitions these would be classified as luxury items. But the same legal systems also covers medicine, security, transportation, and other technologies that most people's moral code clearly dictates should be generally accessible and not exclusively restricted to those with means. At least after our society judges that the inventors have had the opportunity (17-20 years) to be "adequately compensated" for their innovations.

My thoughts are that the legal system is fair to inventors, and if the products in question stand up to the various tests (these do in my view), then no additional moral justification is required to patronize a company doing "knockoffs" of a proven design. Therefore, a 14mm ES100 is on my short list.

Edited by Jarrod (05/08/13 10:44 AM)


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #5847529 - 05/08/13 10:48 AM

Quote:

The Naglers filled a need that was started by John Dobson, without his Dob design the world now would be filled with long focal length scopes.

TeleVue saw a niche and filled it.




I do not think that the Nagler design was a direct result of the Dobsonian. In 1980, Dobs were not that popular and they did not represent a platform that could provide premium views. They were crude, big and heavy. And they were not necessarily as fast as they are today.

My thinking is that the availability of Nagler eyepieces made fast Dobsonians with premium optics possible/reasonable. The result was definitely a good thing for TeleVue but I don't think that TeleVue designed the Nagler with the fast Dob in mind. Maybe someone who knows Uncle Al could shed some light on this.

Jon


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Jarrod
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Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5847537 - 05/08/13 10:54 AM

Quote:


I don't think that TeleVue designed the Nagler with the fast Dob in mind. Maybe someone who knows Uncle Al could shed some light on this.




Or we could read Mr. Nagler's own comments in the 1988 patent:

"The lens data set forth in the following tables are, in all cases, for eyepieces having a 10 mm. focal length and an 80 to 90 degree field of view. All are well corrected for telecentric input beams as fast as f/4."

What f/4 telescopes existed in 1988? It seems those are what they had in mind.


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Starman1
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Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: Jarrod]
      #5847607 - 05/08/13 11:50 AM

Quote:


And if they don't, a quick patent search identifies that Al Nagler patented the ultrawide (80-90 degree AFoV) design at the latest 1988. There are related patents as early as 1979. My understanding is that the expiration on the latest patent would have come about 17 years later, or 2005. When did ES, for example, bring their 82º eyepieces to market? I wasn't in the hobby, but suspect it was sometime after 2005.




ES always offered eyepieces from Jing Hua Optical.

These eyepieces were marketed by Meade, prior to their being available from ES, as the Series 5000 UWA eyepieces. If my memory serves, Meade switched from Japanese to Chinese production around the turn of the century or a little after. The first Chinese focal lengths available matched the focal lengths that had been done by the Japanese prior to that. The later focal lengths added by China--30, 24, 18mm--were similar to focal lengths also offered by TeleVue but with radically different ergonomics.

Meade's Japanese source produced the UWA eyepieces in 14, 8.8, 6.7, and 4.7mm. TeleVue had produced the Naglers in 13, 11, 9, 7, and 4.8mm so you see the, uh, similarity. Meade's UWA eyepieces came out in the mid to late '80s, shortly after TeleVue's appeared on the scenes. They were a little different, internally, and had an extra element. I have no idea whether any legal action was taken, but I doubt it.

It was obvious to all that TeleVue had been copied by the Japanese source of Meade UWAs, and continued when Meade switched over to Chinese production. Jing Hua was a major producer of accessories and telescopes for Meade up to 2011.

A former Meade employee started Explore Scientific to sell products from Jing Hua, and soon thereafter ES became a Jing Hua-owned company. Jing Hua is also known as JOC.

ES has added a focal length, 11mm, to the ensemble (surprise, surprise), as well as adding seals and significantly down-sizing the bulbous and overweight Meades.


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Damo636
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Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5847611 - 05/08/13 11:53 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Thats why I sold the few Delos I had, blatant clones of the XW
I'll get my coat




I'm sorry...but the Delos are NOT clones of the XWs...I know as I took my 6mm apart...and it is not even CLOSE to the XW. BTW, the Delos SMOKES the XW on deep sky objects...as the Delos already beats the Ethos...and the Ethos and XW are about the same, giving the Ethos the slightest edge.

Several other very experienced observed confirmed it with a couple large telescopes, not dinky little 6" apos.






My post was meant to be very much "tongue in cheek" Alvin, I'm fully aware they aren't clones
I've owned the 6, 10 & most recently the14 Delos, and would agree with you, they are excellent eyepieces. I still prefer the XW's at the
sharp end though...


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: Jarrod]
      #5847613 - 05/08/13 11:54 AM

Quote:

Quote:


I don't think that TeleVue designed the Nagler with the fast Dob in mind. Maybe someone who knows Uncle Al could shed some light on this.




Or we could read Mr. Nagler's own comments in the 1988 patent:

"The lens data set forth in the following tables are, in all cases, for eyepieces having a 10 mm. focal length and an 80 to 90 degree field of view. All are well corrected for telecentric input beams as fast as f/4."

What f/4 telescopes existed in 1988? It seems those are what they had in mind.




According to the Company 7 Webpage, the original Nagler eyepiece patent was awarded in 1979. The patent you refer to must be a later patent. In 1979, I think F/4 Newtonians were few and far between. I believe fast, wide field refractors were out there. The one scope that comes to mind was TeleVue's own MPT, the 5 inch F/4 Multi-purpose telescope which became available in 1982.

The fact that the Naglers were designed to be well corrected at F/4 does not mean they were designed specifically with F/4 telescopes in mind. After all, they work nicely in most any scope.

Jon


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Jarrod
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Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: Starman1]
      #5847692 - 05/08/13 12:39 PM

Quote:


It was obvious to all that TeleVue had been copied by the Japanese source of Meade UWAs, and continued when Meade switched over to Chinese production. Jing Hua was a major producer of accessories and telescopes for Meade up to 2011.

A former Meade employee started Explore Scientific to sell products from Jing Hua, and soon thereafter ES became a Jing Hua-owned company. Jing Hua is also known as JOC.




Thanks for the history, it's much appreciated.

I have no doubt that ES and Meade copied the Nagler/Televue designs. I'm only concerned with whether it was done lawfully, or unlawfully.

Based on what you said, I'm unsure about Meade. Without knowing the precise dates, and having the technical knowledge to know precisely which art was copied (I wouldn't be surprised if only a few people in the world have this knowledge), it's impossible to judge. But to play devil's advocate, it could have been that Meade copied the 1981 patent, which would have expired in '01 at the latest.

In any case, ES was established in 2008, 20 years after the most recent (1988) Nagler 80-90º patent was granted. So far I didn't find any patents for the later 100º designs. I'm left to conclude that products marketed by the ES entity were lawfully "derived" from the Nagler/Televue designs.

To some, this will still seem distasteful. I equate it to using generic pharmaceuticals. In fact, generic pharmaceuticals are even worse, because they are *exact* copies of the original proprietary molecule. And pharma companies only effectively get 7-12 years of patent protection because they must apply for protection before clinical trials, which can "burn" up to a decade of the protection even before FDA approval is granted.

In the Meade case there was at least some effort made to offer slightly different focal lengths. Whether that was done only to avoid lawsuits, or to offer more choices, I won't even speculate without knowing the exact timeline and which prior patent art the Meade designs were derived from. It could be either, or both. And I can definitely see how the specifics of this question could color one's judgement of the situation!

In any case, I've not uncovered any evidence that leads me to believe that ES, as a company, has done anything to bend these rules. They appear to be guilty only of being capitalists. Similarly, any products Meade has derived after 2008 should be "clean" in this sense.


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watcher
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Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5847694 - 05/08/13 12:39 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:


Al Nagler designed the first Nagler eyepiece de novo and discovered years later that others (in history) had used negative lenses in their eyepieces.




Don:

I know that sometimes people point to those earlier eyepieces, the Bertele for example. Have you ever looked through a Bertele and evaluated it in comparison to the Nagler's correction in a fast scope? It seems to me that while the prior work had many of the pieces, it probably was not put together in the same well executed design as those original Naglers.

Jon



I owned many of those earlier eyepiece types. I was an ocularholic, remember?
And it's true. Not only were they not as well-corrected, they had narrower fields of view compared to the Naglers.. That first 13mm Nagler was an, uh, eye opener.




Sometimes it seems to me that pointing to eyepieces like the Bertele is an attempt to revise history, an attempt to diminish the significance of those first Naglers. The Naglers really put it all together and upped the ante in just about every possible way.

Jon




And ES got it together at a price point. I wouldn't diminish that accomplishment either.


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Jarrod
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Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5847746 - 05/08/13 01:12 PM

Quote:

According to the Company 7 Webpage, the original Nagler eyepiece patent was awarded in 1979.





Yes, that is the patent I referred earlier as "the 1981 patent". Patent protection for the original invention was applied for in Nov '79 and was pending until issued in Sept '81.

Nagler said this in the '79-'81 patent:

"It is a further object of the invention to provide an ultrawide angle eyepiece which has uniform sharpness over the entire field of view for relative apertures as fast as f/4."

So it appears that he always had f/4 in mind, even before Nov 1979.


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: Jarrod]
      #5847753 - 05/08/13 01:18 PM

Quote:

I have no doubt that ES and Meade copied the Nagler/Televue designs. I'm only concerned with whether it was done lawfully, or unlawfully.




Jarrod:

My understanding is that this is what happened:

TeleVue patented the Nagler design in 1979 and sometime about 1981 began marketing the first Naglers. With the design readily available in the patent office, Meade took that design, made a small change and began producing their own UWAs.

With the Ethos, I speculate that TeleVue realized that a patent could not protect the design and chose not to bother with the patent. Looking at the side by side Xray of the Ethos and ES eyepiece, it appears to me that the ES eyepiece was a direct copy of the Ethos design. Without a patent, it would seem to have been legal but there are plenty of things that are legal that I choose to avoid.

That sort of thing bothers me. As I said previously, when Compaq cloned the original IBM PC bios and opened up the world of the PC Clone, they did it in the most careful way. They reverse engineered the Bios from the "black box" specifications using engineers that had no knowledge of the IBM bios. That stood the legal test. At that same time, small vendors would simply use an Eprom (I think) burner and just copy an existing IBM bios. This was illegal but of course they were small and got away with it.

In this case, the Compaq "Green room" approach would have been for JOC to look at the performance specifications of the Ethos and then without knowing internal design of the Ethos, design their own eyepiece. This does not seem to have happened.

Without knowing the particulars, I do think the UWANs are closer to a Green Room design that the various JOC eyepieces, the 28mm UWAN is a decent performer but not a Nagler...

So, we can each make our own decision based on the how we see things. Personally, I have the eyepieces I need, I have had them since before the arrival of the ES eyepieces. This is a hobby, eyepieces are toys, I can afford to take the high road.

Jon


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Scanning4Comets
Markus
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Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5847768 - 05/08/13 01:26 PM

Who cares about TV ??????????????????????

Oh noes.....I just dogged TV.


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: Jarrod]
      #5847778 - 05/08/13 01:32 PM

Quote:


So it appears that he always had f/4 in mind, even before Nov 1979.




The eyepiece was well corrected at F/4, that is all that says.

Maybe Don can share his memories of the Dobsonian revolution... I was not an amateur astronomer during the 80's so it's history to me. But from what I have seen, in 1979 when the Naglers were designed, the SCT revolution was going strong but the Dobsonian revolution had not yet begun. Large Newtonians were still Equatorially mounted and of what we think of today as moderate focal ratios.

My 12.5 inch Meade from 1979 is F/6, Caves and such were sometimes 12.5 inch F/8's

Jon


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hfjacinto
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Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: Scanning4Comets]
      #5847784 - 05/08/13 01:35 PM

Jon,

Quote:

".... I can afford to take the high road."




This is pretty condescending, are you saying that all of us that buy ES are taking the "low road"

You don't even own Ethos, so why attack those that buy ES 100?

And while I love TV Eyepieces, I see no 120* or 25MM Ethos. I guess those are ok? Are where they copied also?


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #5847828 - 05/08/13 01:55 PM

Quote:

This is pretty condescending, are you saying that all of us that buy ES are taking the "low road"

You don't even own Ethos, so why attack those that buy ES 100?




I have gone to some length to explain why I am uncomfortable with the ES 100 degree eyepieces and I have chosen not to buy them. I hope that is clear.

I also said that we each need to make the decision based on how we see things. Again, I am just explaining my thoughts, how I feel.

If you were me in my shoes, think how I think, feel how I feel, then the purchasing the ES eyepieces would represent taking the low road, that's all, please don't read into it more than is there.

Jon


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Jarrod
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Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5847831 - 05/08/13 01:58 PM

Quote:

Quote:


So it appears that he always had f/4 in mind, even before Nov 1979.




The eyepiece was well corrected at F/4, that is all that says.





We'll have to agree to disagree. The 1979 comment "It is a further object of the invention..." means more to me than an observational statement that they are well-corrected to f/4. Whether that was with dobs in mind is an entirely separate question...

Quote:

With the design readily available in the patent office, Meade took that design, made a small change and began producing their own UWAs.

With the Ethos, I speculate that TeleVue realized that a patent could not protect the design and chose not to bother with the patent. Looking at the side by side Xray of the Ethos and ES eyepiece, it appears to me that the ES eyepiece was a direct copy of the Ethos design. Without a patent, it would seem to have been legal but there are plenty of things that are legal that I choose to avoid.




I absolutely understand and respect that sentiment. And if I interpreted you correctly, it does sound like the Japanese Meade UWAs were on very shaky ground while that original Nagler patent was still in effect...

As you speculated, perhaps TV tried and failed to enforce that patent and that's why they chose not to spend the money and effort to protect the 100º design. In fact, by *not* patenting the specifics of each lens element they may have made it at least marginally more expensive and/or difficult to reverse-engineer the design. At least the copiers would have had to precisely measure everything first, as opposed to just reading it off the patent.

Anyway, I do appreciate the history lesson. Interesting stuff.


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