Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

Equipment Discussions >> Eyepieces

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | (show all)
Paul G
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/08/03

Loc: Freedonia
Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: Jarrod]
      #5847849 - 05/08/13 02:05 PM

Quote:

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.




That wasn't the reason. The original Naglers were almost immediately knocked off by Meade. The saying at the time was "Meade eyepieces, designed by lawyers." The design was patented, giving Meade the specifics of the design. TeleVue decided that patenting their design didn't serve them well, and it looks like their subsequent approach worked well for them. TV came out with the T2, T4, T5, T6 Naglers, Panoptics, Radians and Meade had no answer. And it took ES two years after the first Ethos to bring their knockoff to market.

Trying to defend a patent against a Chinese company is very expensive and an exercise in futility.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
russell23
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/31/09

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #5847892 - 05/08/13 02:24 PM

Quote:

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?




+1

ES took the original Ethos design, and likely played with glass types, coatings, added waterproofing to develop a quality low cost alternative for those that cannot afford an Ethos. TV isn't marketing economy priced widefields. I fail to see why it is taking a low road to purchase from a company that is.

Dave


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: russell23]
      #5847962 - 05/08/13 03:02 PM

See what happens when you base everything on currency instead of usefulness? Ah, the insanity of it all.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MikeRatcliff
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/12/04

Loc: Redlands, CA
Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: russell23]
      #5848036 - 05/08/13 03:38 PM

Quote:

Quote:

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?




+1

ES took the original Ethos design, and likely played with glass types, coatings, added waterproofing to develop a quality low cost alternative for those that cannot afford an Ethos. TV isn't marketing economy priced widefields. I fail to see why it is taking a low road to purchase from a company that is.

Dave




I'm 100% in agreement with Jon. Although apparently legal, I'm uncomfortable with ES's predatory behavior. Not to mention the behavior of their home country in general. There will be no ES in my equipment boxes. You are free to do as you want.

Mike


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Monoeil
super member
*****

Reged: 08/01/11

Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: MikeRatcliff]
      #5848118 - 05/08/13 04:17 PM

+1.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5848125 - 05/08/13 04:21 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.

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



TeleVue made sure their eyepieces would work well in the short f/ratio refractors they were starting to make and in future telescopes. Correcting to f/4 just means that f/4 won't induce all sorts of unpleasant issues in the eyepiece.
I would also note that "working to f/4" doesn't mean "canceling all f/4 aberrations". The Paracorr didn't come out until 1989, when big, fast, dobs were beginning to appear all over the place. Any TeleVue eyepiece used in an f/4 newtonian scope prior to that time would have had horrible edge-of-field stars. And short f/ratio refractors have terrible field curvature, which eyepieces don't cure.

When the Paracorr came out and coma was tamed in the fast newtonians, then and only then was it possible to see what other aberrations were present, like astigmatism and field curvature, etc. I remember Al Nagler telling me the use of a Paracorr in a big, fast, dob was what convinced him the WideField Series TeleVue was selling at the time had too much astigmatism. Back to the drawing board and the Panoptic line was born, with astigmatism well-controlled. Doesn't mean they were flawless, just that the Paracorr revealed some things formerly hidden by coma.

I had the same experience when finally adding a Paracorr to my f/5 dob and discovering the 35 Panoptic had some field curvature. I had always wondered why the coma was so bad in that eyepiece (I thought, "How can anyone tolerate the coma at f/5? It's HORRIBLE!"), and I learned that the comatic star image had been expanded by the defocusing of field curvature. When the coma was gone, I could see that, and learned to focus about half-way between center and edge so my eye could accommodate the diopter changes needed to see the whole field in focus.

It taught me an important lesson: the aberrated star image at the edge of a field isn't distorted by only one aberration--often it's a combination of things. Coma isn't a horrendous aberration if it's ALL that's wrong with the edge of the field. Using very high-end eyepieces with no astigmatism or field curvature in a 16" f/4.5 taught me that once again. The edge wasn't really all that bad. It really depends on the eyepiece how bad coma appears. It's not GONE with well-corrected eyepieces at that f/ratio, but I can see it might be quite tolerable to some.

I've spent a lot of time looking through big apo refractors, though, or high-end Rumak Maksutovs, etc. I've been spoiled by seeing stars at the edge of the field that were just as sharp and small as in the center of the field. A Paracorr at f/5, combined with well-corrected eyepieces, allowed me to achieve that in a larger, and more-affordable, newtonian.

I regularly observe on a high mountain with a large group of people from all over SoCal, and I've seen a substantial evolution since the late '70s. In the '80s, the average observer drove up in a compact car and took an 8" or 10" SCT out of the trunk. In the '90s, the SCT evolved into a dob for the visual observer, or an EQ-mounted refractor for the astrophotographer. And the vehicles became vans or mini-vans. In the '00s, the astrophotographers either went to RCs or CDKs or huge SCTs or large apo refractors and the visual observers started moving into dobs up to 32". The vehicles changed to RVs of some sort--either a camper or a motorhome. Along the way, I noticed that many of the astronomers were the same people, just grayer and with larger incomes.
Now, an increasing number are retired and making less-frequent trips to the mountains because of the price of gas and because of a lesser desire to observe under really cold conditions (it can get to freezing at altitude in August!). I'm only 62, but already seeing this change in myself--I go to the desert (especially in the winter) a lot more than I used to because a nighttime low of 25 is better than zero.

Because I'm a visual observer, and have progressed through over 300 eyepieces over the years, in the '00s I started pursuing the ultimate eyepieces. As you age you begin to think of things as "this will be the last X I buy, so I better make it a good one". Unfortunately, my "ultimate" eyepieces seem to be continually supplanted by "more ultimate" eyepieces. To get back to the subject matter of the original post, the 21 Ethos was the last Ethos I wanted to buy. I typically use shorter eyepieces more, and besides, I owned a 31 Nagler (it had replaced the earlier 35 Panoptic for exit pupil and field size reasons).
So I borrowed a friend's (just like I borrowed a friend's 13 Nagler back in 1983 or so) 21 Ethos and decided that it could complement the 31 Nagler without offending any sense of propriety. Now, as I get older, and my pupil diameter continues to shrink, that 21 looks like it may be my "ultimate" low-power eyepiece. But those may be the "famous last words of a fool".

My younger friends may not have gotten to that point in life, or think in terms of "what's the best I can buy?", and I understand that. I suppose, in real measure, I never would have ended up with the eyepieces I have now if I hadn't made that long trip through a myriad of other types over the years. I'm designing a new "grab'n'go" telescope for home use, too, and I want to use the same eyepieces, which just reinforces the old dictum: "Telescopes come and go, but eyepieces are forever".

I apologize for the ramble. Hopefully, it will be relevant for someone.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
russell23
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/31/09

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: MikeRatcliff]
      #5848242 - 05/08/13 05:14 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

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?




+1

ES took the original Ethos design, and likely played with glass types, coatings, added waterproofing to develop a quality low cost alternative for those that cannot afford an Ethos. TV isn't marketing economy priced widefields. I fail to see why it is taking a low road to purchase from a company that is.

Dave




I'm 100% in agreement with Jon. Although apparently legal, I'm uncomfortable with ES's predatory behavior. Not to mention the behavior of their home country in general. There will be no ES in my equipment boxes. You are free to do as you want.

Mike




Fair enough Mike. I just don't see the point in anyone claiming some moral high ground over eyepiece purchases.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: Starman1]
      #5848246 - 05/08/13 05:17 PM

Quote:

I apologize for the ramble. Hopefully, it will be relevant for someone.




Don:

I thank you for sharing that..

I wasn't around in the early 80s, I have gleaned what I know from the scopes that were/are available during that period, old magazines and folks like yourself...

My first serious scope was an old Orange tube SCT, that was in the early 90's. I was on a tight budget, had 3 boys to put through school and college. I had 4 eyepieces, all Plossls, and a Barlow. I had a lot of fun.

Jon


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Paul G
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/08/03

Loc: Freedonia
Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: MikeRatcliff]
      #5848302 - 05/08/13 05:42 PM

Quote:

I'm 100% in agreement with Jon. Although apparently legal, I'm uncomfortable with ES's predatory behavior. Not to mention the behavior of their home country in general. There will be no ES in my equipment boxes. You are free to do as you want.

Mike




Same here. It's the same reason I avoided Meade products, didn't like their predatory business practices. I would rather wait and save up than buy a cheaper product from a company like JOC. As an owner of a small business I can appreciate the problems faced by small businesses when large foreign corporations come in and use predatory pricing to try to kill off the competition.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Achernar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: Mobile, Alabama, USA
Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: FishInPercolator]
      #5848309 - 05/08/13 05:44 PM

Because they are made with Unobtainium glass? I've looked through one, but the prices is waayyyyy more than I am willing to pay. I would sooner go with Naglers but the ES line of 82 degree eyepieces proved to be exactly what I was looking for, so I opted for those. I just cannot see paying nearly as much for one eyepiece than what you could spend on a 12-inch mass produced Dob. If I had a 30-inch Dob or some other really expensive large telescope, yes $895.00 doesn't look so bad, but compared to even the 15-inch Dob I built, that is a lot of money for one eyepiece. Those who can afford them are getting their money's worth, but fortunately there are good choices for those who cannot afford, or justify that price. I personally find 100 degree eyepieces to be less comfortable to look into that either the Tele Vue Naglers or the ES 82 degree eyepieces. The views are very good, but I find apparent fields of view from about 68 to 84 degrees to be just right for me.

Taras


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5848486 - 05/08/13 07:03 PM

I don't think the modern uber-wide designs are revolutionary. No current eyepiece design is not, at least, anticipated by prior art designs.

I think the revolutionary aspect has more to do with manufacturing than design. With the maturity of the optics industry (built largely on the back of complex camera lenses, not astronomical optics), it has recently become feasible economically and technologically to mass-produce exotic designs that are in part based on designs conceived of decades ago at a time where implementation was almost an impossibility.

Regards,

Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5848495 - 05/08/13 07:11 PM

"Certainly there are cases of parallel development but I don't believe that the Meade UWA's were a parallel design nor do I believe the ES 100 degree eyepieces were a parallel design nor do I think anyone is making that claim."

I guess it's a big "so what"? The Nagler and Ethos designs, too, have roots in other designs dating back to the 1960s and maybe before.

In the Meade case, Televue has a patent or two covering the Nagler. They didn't enforce it against Meade. Why? Could have been concerns about cost, or it could have been concerns about the validity and enforceability of the patent. Notice that there are no patents covering the Ethos. Patent protection requires the applicant to establish that the design in novel, useful and non-obvious based on prior designs in the same field.

Regards,

Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5848500 - 05/08/13 07:15 PM

Quote:

I don't think the modern uber-wide designs are revolutionary. No current eyepiece design is not, at least, anticipated by prior art designs.

I think the revolutionary aspect has more to do with manufacturing than design. With the maturity of the optics industry (built largely on the back of complex camera lenses, not astronomical optics), it has recently become feasible economically and technologically to mass-produce exotic designs that are in part based on designs conceived of decades ago at a time where implementation was almost an impossibility.

Regards,

Jim




Jim:

I have to disagree. The Nagler's were revolutionary, not only did they offer a wider field of view than previous designs, it was also corrected better in fast telescopes than other designs. I think it was the design that really took the widefield eyepiece to another level. In retrospect, it is possible to point to other eyepieces but it's only in retrospect that the similarity can be seen.

I do not think anyone actually thought eyepieces like the Naglers were actually possible, no one else was moving in that direction at the time and yet now, quality widefield eyepieces can trace their linage back to the Naglers and Panoptics and now the Ethos's...

Jon


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: Paul G]
      #5848559 - 05/08/13 07:43 PM

"TeleVue decided that patenting their design didn't serve them well, and it looks like their subsequent approach worked well for them."

"Trying to defend a patent against a Chinese company is very expensive and an exercise in futility."

Neither of these statements make a lick of sense IMO. First, Televue went to the trouble of getting nagler patents yet elected NOT to enforce them against Meade. The logical conclusion is that Televue thought it would lose such a suit. Reasons one loses a patent suit are numerous, but the big two are (a) your patent is valid but not infringed by the other guy's design or (b) your patent is invalid. Because Televue rolled over and showed its belly to Meade we'll never know for sure why it gave Meade a "pass" but concluding that Meade somehow did something wrong is ridiculous. It is just as likely, given these facts, that Televue's patent was weak or Meade design innovative enough over Televues that Televue had no case.

Second, clearly the approach hasn't worked so well for them. ES is a viscous competitor. each sale made by ES is a sale lost by Televue or pretty nearly. From an economic perspective, failing to exclude ES from the 100-degree game is something of a disaster IMO.

With respect to enforcing a patent against a Chinese company, it's no harder than enforcing a patent against an American company, frankly, so long as that Chinese company depends on the US and treaty-partner markets for selling the infringing article. It doesn't take seizure and destruction of too many shipping containers full of costly-to-make optics to make infringement unattractive economically. If you hold a patent, you are not "defending". You are enforcing it. The guy you're suing is defending. The US has jurisdiction over ES and JOC because ES is based here and JOC is doing substantial business and therefore has substantial contacts with the US. The benefit of a patent really isn't collection of money damages but rather the ability to exclude a competitor from prime markets.

Again, it's just as likely that Televue didn't obtain an Ethos patent because it couldn't (i.e., the invention was not sufficiently innovative over past designs to warrant a patent) as it is that they had worries about being able to effectively use it to exclude aggressive competition.

Regards,

Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: Paul G]
      #5848610 - 05/08/13 08:10 PM

JOC's total capitalization is $15 million. That includes all subsidiaries and non-astronomical sports and medical optics too. Do you really think JOC is bigger than Televue? I don't.

JOC also has 30 patents (though some are design patents, which "don't count"), and invests 5% of its gross annual revenues in R&D. To me it looks like Televue has gotten a little complacent and didn't anticipate aggressive competition from China. Competition improves the breed. Perhaps JOC will force Televue to shed its complacency 15 and get back into fightin' trim.

- Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (05/08/13 08:16 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5848622 - 05/08/13 08:19 PM

Jon:

I don't think we know if the original Nagler design was any better corrected in fast scopes than, say, a Scidmore design. The reason is that when Scidmore penned his design, no one could economically manufacture it. That was my point. Televue waited until such designs were commercially and technologically viable to bring its own spin on the "ultrawide" design class to market.

- Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
faackanders2
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/28/11

Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: t.r.]
      #5848632 - 05/08/13 08:24 PM

Quote:

Buy the ES 9-14-20 100 degree set for less than the Ethos 21 and be done with it!




Couldn't have said it better, but I am more a value person (except when there is no other option).


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
faackanders2
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/28/11

Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5848645 - 05/08/13 08:28 PM

Quote:

Jon, while on the surface, that's a notable sentiment, reverse engineering is a valid path to innovation. Perhaps the benefit isn't immmediate, but inevitably it leads to better products. Some would say the benefit is immediate; lower prices.

You just can't stand still in today's tech world. TV shouldn't expect to be divorced from what is happening to everyone else investing in proprietary solutions; competition.

Perhaps, from working it high-tech all my life reverse engineering is just natural.

You don't have to buy it, but don't condemn others decisions to. We've all benefitted from someone's reverse engineering in many areas of product manufacture; it can't be denied.





Patents only last so long. Televue should have patented their revolutionary Ethos design to limit profiting from reverse engineering but it still wouldn't have stopped the 120 AFOV design.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
faackanders2
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/28/11

Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5848657 - 05/08/13 08:36 PM

Quote:


It is also clear that TeleVue was aware that the current patent protection system had not been sufficient in the case of the Naglers, it only made copying the design easier.





Then TV did not take advantage of the legal protection patents provide (for 82 AFOV) namely lawsuits for copying teir design and getting them to stop and pay damages (get them to not do that again.

Shame on TV for not caring enough to protect their design. It was their choice. If there is a next time, I bet they will patent if they can.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Paul G
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/08/03

Loc: Freedonia
Re: Why is the 21mm Tele Vue Ethos so expensive? [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5848683 - 05/08/13 08:45 PM

Quote:

"TeleVue decided that patenting their design didn't serve them well, and it looks like their subsequent approach worked well for them."

"Trying to defend a patent against a Chinese company is very expensive and an exercise in futility."

Neither of these statements make a lick of sense IMO. First, Televue went to the trouble of getting nagler patents yet elected NOT to enforce them against Meade. The logical conclusion is that Televue thought it would lose such a suit. Reasons one loses a patent suit are numerous, but the big two are (a) your patent is valid but not infringed by the other guy's design or (b) your patent is invalid. Because Televue rolled over and showed its belly to Meade we'll never know for sure why it gave Meade a "pass" but concluding that Meade somehow did something wrong is ridiculous. It is just as likely, given these facts, that Televue's patent was weak or Meade design innovative enough over Televues that Televue had no case.




I'm sure that's part of it. Meade split one of the elements and altered the focal lengths slightly so it certainly wouldn't be a slam dunk; spending a fortune on lawyers with the possibility they might not prevail wouldn't necessarily be in TV's best interests. TV was ready to release the T2's so they may have been more concerned with protecting their new design.

Quote:

Second, clearly the approach hasn't worked so well for them. ES is a viscous competitor. each sale made by ES is a sale lost by Televue or pretty nearly.




It worked well for many years. Meade did not answer the T2, T4, T5, T6, Panoptic, or Radian. ES has changed the landscape.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | (show all)


Extra information
21 registered and 18 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  ausastronomer, Scott in NC, iceblaze 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 5464

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics