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Equipment Discussions >> Eyepieces

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etsleds
sage
*****

Reged: 11/14/09

A Pentax ortho record?
      #5846611 - 05/07/13 09:01 PM

Two nice SMC orthos sitting all day on the other site at reasonable prices from a well-known seller. Must be a record.

Now the Nikon ortho didn't last more than a few minutes, rats!


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MikeRatcliff
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/12/04

Loc: Redlands, CA
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: etsleds]
      #5846731 - 05/07/13 10:03 PM

It was tempting, but the focal lengths were a little too small for me.

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PJ Anway
Double-Star Observer
*****

Reged: 06/04/03

Loc: North Coast
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: etsleds]
      #5846805 - 05/07/13 10:39 PM

With the Pentax SMC orthos, you always have to be careful that there is no dust specks between the lenses. They had a reputation for these and I purchased two that had them....very annoying.
That fact may shy some buyers away.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: PJ Anway]
      #5846838 - 05/07/13 10:57 PM

Was the dust between the singlet and the cemented triplet, or embedded in the cement? If the former, it ought to be a 10-minute clean-up job I'd expect. If the latter, foggetaboutit.

- Jim


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: etsleds]
      #5846851 - 05/07/13 11:01 PM

Reasonable? They're $300! I've seen whole sets in original packaging go for $1300. I'd say that's average to high in price.

That 25mm Nikon Kellner, on the other hand, is a gem. The 25mm Pentax SMC Kellner, on the rare occasion that one is available, goes well over that at auction.

- Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (05/07/13 11:03 PM)


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etsleds
sage
*****

Reged: 11/14/09

Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5847002 - 05/08/13 01:21 AM

Things have gotten highly erratic in Pentax SMC ortho pricing, as well as TMB Supermonos. Glad I got mine several years back!

Jim, I was mindblanking on the Nikon Kellner, I kept thinking Pentax for some stupid reason. Interesting...

Andrew

Edited by etsleds (05/08/13 01:29 AM)


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Paul G
Post Laureate
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Reged: 05/08/03

Loc: Freedonia
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: PJ Anway]
      #5847214 - 05/08/13 07:04 AM

Quote:

With the Pentax SMC orthos, you always have to be careful that there is no dust specks between the lenses. They had a reputation for these and I purchased two that had them....very annoying.
That fact may shy some buyers away.




Pentax had serious qc problems. Some of the SMC orthos had not only dust but fingerprints and hair (!) between the elements. It was enough of a problem that two different companies offered a "clean the inside of your SMC" service.


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ManuelJ
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/19/05

Loc: Madrid, Spain
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Paul G]
      #5847249 - 05/08/13 07:34 AM

300$, crazy price. I can't explain why anybody would pay such a high price for that eyepieces.

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Jim Curry
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/29/07

Loc: STL
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5847261 - 05/08/13 07:49 AM

Jim you're dating yourself. The SMC's have crept up to the $300 and more mark over the past couple of years. I see a Chinaman has a want ad out for $400 and it appears several have sold over the past year for over $300. Aknowledged as a "poor mans" Zeiss these are becoming a hotter item.

Jim


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Jim Curry]
      #5847516 - 05/08/13 10:42 AM

The XO 5.1mm and 2.5mm are about the same price as some of these SMC Orthos. I hear the XO's are better performers. Personally, I can vouch for the XO's, but have never used the SMC Orthos.

Mike


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Jim Curry]
      #5847563 - 05/08/13 11:13 AM

So what you're sayin', Jim, is that a guy could auction a complete set, including the rare 25mm SMC Kellner, for a bundle?



Also, if two different outfits were offering a cleaning service for SMC Orthos back in the day, that would imply that the contaminants were between the singlet and the cemented triplet and not embedded in the cement. That, in turn, means that anyone could pretty much clean their own with minimal effort. Personally, I've seen a bunch of them and never seen a dirty one.

As to why one would want to own them, I find them to be every bit as good as the SPLs, TMB Supermonos, CZJ, ZAO I and ZAO II Orthos, XPs and XOs, and until recently, considerably cheaper than some of those listed. They are the ultimate double star eyepiece. Color saturation, peak transmission and glare suppression are superb.

It's unfortunate that the prices have climbed so much. At $300+ a pop, there are lots of options providing similar performance.

Regards,

Jim


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vahe
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/27/05

Loc: Houston, Texas
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5847565 - 05/08/13 11:17 AM

Although SMC’s are not at ZAO quality, they are not too far behind, and at about $300 they represent a far better value than ZAO’s that sell for 2 to 3 times that amount.
Additionally SMC’s offer focal lengths that are not duplicated by ZAO’s, such as 7, 9, 12 & 18mm, and I would venture to guess that $300 is their current lowest price and their values will climb to $400 and above range before too long.

Vahe


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Jeff Morgan
Postmaster
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Reged: 09/28/03

Loc: Prescott, AZ
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5847579 - 05/08/13 11:31 AM

Quote:

The XO 5.1mm and 2.5mm are about the same price as some of these SMC Orthos. I hear the XO's are better performers. Personally, I can vouch for the XO's, but have never used the SMC Orthos.

Mike




What are the differences between the XO and SMC?


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Jeff Morgan]
      #5847604 - 05/08/13 11:46 AM

The XO 2.5 has 6 elements in 3 groups, the XO 5.1 has 5 elements in 3 groups. They are JIS Class 4 weather proof. AFOV is 44 degrees. Lanthanum elements. FMC ("SMC") coatings. 1.25" format.

I'm not sure about the specs for the Pentax Ortho SMCs. 4 elements in 2 groups? FMC ("SMC") coatings. 0.965" format.

Some observers prefer the XO to the Pentax Ortho. Some prefer the Pentax Ortho to the XO. Some say the XO is at the level of the ZAO. Some even prefer the XO to the ZAO!

Judging from my own experience with eyepieces and reports I've read, I think at least part of the equation - probably more than some observers seem to think - depends on the object observed. A great Jupiter eyepiece is not necessarily a great doubles eyepiece is not necessarily a great lunar eyepiece.

Mike


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Jim Curry
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/29/07

Loc: STL
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5847760 - 05/08/13 01:22 PM Attachment (15 downloads)

Jim:

Oh, yeah. And think about if your collection was fleshed out and bracketed with the two EP's and the K40

Jim


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etsleds
sage
*****

Reged: 11/14/09

Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Jim Curry]
      #5848142 - 05/08/13 04:29 PM Attachment (17 downloads)

Yep, premium glass prices have been on a crazy tear in the past 5 years. Other than the Nagler zoom, everything here seems to have appreciated 50% in the 3 years since I started my long-term planetary optics comparo (making it bloody expensive to complete some of the sets!).

At this rate, this little set will be worth $1.2 million when I retire in 30 years. Sweet (insanity).


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Jim Curry]
      #5848163 - 05/08/13 04:39 PM

I have the two XPs. That 40mm, though...



Oh, 100mm Masuyama anyone?





- Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (05/08/13 04:43 PM)


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etsleds
sage
*****

Reged: 11/14/09

Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5848186 - 05/08/13 04:47 PM

No 60mm SMC Kellners for you boys? Go big or go home

That and the 24mm XP have proven elusive. I had a 24mm in my hands in Japan, but 20,000 Yen seemed crazy at the time...


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rfic1
sage
*****

Reged: 10/25/05

Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: etsleds]
      #5848347 - 05/08/13 05:57 PM Attachment (36 downloads)

Here you go.

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etsleds
sage
*****

Reged: 11/14/09

Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: rfic1]
      #5848355 - 05/08/13 06:01 PM

Now that's what I'm talking about

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rfic1
sage
*****

Reged: 10/25/05

Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: etsleds]
      #5848380 - 05/08/13 06:12 PM Attachment (35 downloads)

Another for scale. The 60mm SMC Kellner, 40mm SMC Kellner, 30 mm Pentax Kellner and the 5mm SMC ortho.

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: rfic1]
      #5848475 - 05/08/13 06:56 PM

Hey, get that non-SMC 30mm "poseur" out of that shot! It's like putting a dollop of ketchup on haute cuisine!



- Jim


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Jim Curry
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/29/07

Loc: STL
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: rfic1]
      #5848537 - 05/08/13 07:33 PM

rfc1:

I fold!


Jim


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RodgerHouTex
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/02/09

Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Jim Curry]
      #5848674 - 05/08/13 08:42 PM

OMG.

Those collections are "sick"!


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PJ Anway
Double-Star Observer
*****

Reged: 06/04/03

Loc: North Coast
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5848702 - 05/08/13 08:53 PM

Quote:

Some observers prefer the XO to the Pentax Ortho. Some prefer the Pentax Ortho to the XO. Some say the XO is at the level of the ZAO. Some even prefer the XO to the ZAO!




I've owned a set of ZAO's, several Pentax SMC's and the 5mm XO. I still have the XO. Personally, I feel it's the best 5mm of those I've used.
As a further note: the 5mm XO was advertised to have "smc full-surface multi-layer lens coating". So I guess it's a Pentax SMC too.


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RodgerHouTex
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/02/09

Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: PJ Anway]
      #5848724 - 05/08/13 09:05 PM

Interesting. I never knew what SMC stood for.

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Jim Curry
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/29/07

Loc: STL
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5849101 - 05/08/13 11:41 PM

Roger:

Yeah, we bad.

Jim


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5849417 - 05/09/13 08:08 AM

Quote:

Interesting. I never knew what SMC stood for.




Super Multi Coatings.

Mike


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: PJ Anway]
      #5849430 - 05/09/13 08:17 AM

PJ Anway,

Quote:

I've owned a set of ZAO's, several Pentax SMC's and the 5mm XO. I still have the XO. Personally, I feel it's the best 5mm of those I've used.




Sounds good to me! I've never owned a ZAO or Pentax SMC Ortho, but I do have the entire line of XO's ... both the 5.1 and the 2.5. I wish Pentax had produced XO's in a 10mm. They would have been great for binoviewing.

Quote:

As a further note: the 5mm XO was advertised to have "smc full-surface multi-layer lens coating". So I guess it's a Pentax SMC too.




Yes, says so right on the barrel.

XO Eyepieces

Mike


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RodgerHouTex
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/02/09

Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5850775 - 05/09/13 07:40 PM

Ah who reads their eyepieces?

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johnnyha
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/12/06

Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: etsleds]
      #5850790 - 05/09/13 07:46 PM Attachment (15 downloads)

Quote:

Yep, premium glass prices have been on a crazy tear in the past 5 years. Other than the Nagler zoom, everything here seems to have appreciated 50% in the 3 years since I started my long-term planetary optics comparo (making it bloody expensive to complete some of the sets!).


At this rate, this little set will be worth $1.2 million when I retire in 30 years. Sweet (insanity).




What no bino sets? Oh wait, I DO see a few!


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gnowellsct
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/24/09

Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5865674 - 05/16/13 07:23 PM

Quote:


Some observers prefer the XO to the Pentax Ortho. Some prefer the Pentax Ortho to the XO. Some say the XO is at the level of the ZAO. Some even prefer the XO to the ZAO!

Mike




I prefer the XOs to the ZAO IIs in the 4 and 6mm range. The ZAO II 10 and 16 are wonderful though. I have yet to figure out why one needs any of this stuff with the XWs sitting there in the same box. The recreational value consists mostly, methinks, in being able to enter a discussion such as this. GN


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Jim Curry
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/29/07

Loc: STL
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: gnowellsct]
      #5866431 - 05/17/13 04:40 AM

Shhh.

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Sarkikos
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: gnowellsct]
      #5866602 - 05/17/13 08:23 AM

Greg,

Quote:

I prefer the XOs to the ZAO IIs in the 4 and 6mm range. The ZAO II 10 and 16 are wonderful though. I have yet to figure out why one needs any of this stuff with the XWs sitting there in the same box. The recreational value consists mostly, methinks, in being able to enter a discussion such as this. GN




Good to hear that you prefer the XO's to the ZAO-II 4 and 6. I had read that the ZAO-II 4 was the weakest of the series. I think I'll pass on the 10 and 16, also. Too long a focal length in my primary scopes for planet/lunar unless I Barlow, and then what's the point of simple glass?

So far I prefer the XO's to comparable XW's and Radians for planet/lunar and doubles. To my eye, the XO's have less scatter and an overall sharper image when the seeing allows. That's why I hang on to the XO's. But that doesn't mean I'm going to sell the XW's tomorrow.

Do you have an opinion on the Leica ASPH Zoom? IMO, if the Leica is as good as some observers say, it may replace my XW's. But I don't see it replacing my XO's or even my planet/lunar bino pairs. I can't help but think that the Leica enthusiasts have missed the mark when they consider it a top-tier planet eyepiece - unless perhaps the observer can afford a pair for binoviewing and has a wide enough IPD to accommodate them. I think the Leica's forte probably lies in deep sky.

Mike


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Paul G
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/08/03

Loc: Freedonia
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5866670 - 05/17/13 09:11 AM

Quote:

I had read that the ZAO-II 4 was the weakest of the series.




Optically the 4 is just as good as any others in the series. However, the 4 has extremely short eye relief, seemed to be the least popular of the series here in the US. I trimmed my eyelashes to observe with it. In Europe the 4mm ZAO I was the most prized of the series, garnering better resale prices than even the 34. Different strokes.

Quote:

I think I'll pass on the 10 and 16, also. Too long a focal length in my primary scopes for planet/lunar unless I Barlow, and then what's the point of simple glass?




True, but a barlowed ZAO has 6 elements in 3 groups, six air-glass surfaces. The XO's unbarlowed have 5 or 6 elements depending on fl, 3 groups, and six air-glass surfaces as well.


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Paul G]
      #5866688 - 05/17/13 09:26 AM

I believe it was BillP who said that he was not so impressed by the ZAO 4mm. From what I've heard, 4mm is a difficult focal length to do right, particularly for small simple glass. Witness the disappointment for the Brandon 4mm as compared to others in that line.

I think there is more to it than just the short eye relief. Personally, I don't let short eye relief deter me when there is a better image to be had. I really like the XO 5.1 at 3.6mm eye relief. The Brandon 6 at 3.6mm eye relief is very comfortable to me. I don't get the big deal about short eye relief unless it is ridiculously short to the point of being nonexistant, such as for the sphere eyepieces.

Mike


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Paul G]
      #5866696 - 05/17/13 09:32 AM

Gus,

Quote:

Quote:

I think I'll pass on the 10 and 16, also. Too long a focal length in my primary scopes for planet/lunar unless I Barlow, and then what's the point of simple glass?




True, but a barlowed ZAO has 6 elements in 3 groups, six air-glass surfaces. The XO's unbarlowed have 5 or 6 elements depending on fl, 3 groups, and six air-glass surfaces as well.




Yes, true. But so far I prefer a well-designed eyepiece with built-in Barlowing to something added after the fact. Besides, I'm fishing for any excuse not to even think about buying the hyper-expensive ZAO's!


Mike


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: gnowellsct]
      #5866730 - 05/17/13 09:49 AM

Greg,

Quote:

I prefer the XOs to the ZAO IIs in the 4 and 6mm range.




Too bad the XO's only came in 2.58 and 5.1 flavors. A 4mm would have been nice, and I could have gone for a pair of XO 10mm's for binoviewing.

Mike


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dscarpa
Post Laureate
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Reged: 03/15/08

Loc: San Diego Ca.
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: etsleds]
      #5866863 - 05/17/13 10:59 AM

Even when barlowed my 24 Brandon when it comes to scatter bests my Delos, XWs, and such native. The darker background and special quality of the image is still there as well. Having all of the 1.25" TV barlows and Powemates I could get enough mileage of a 18 SMC to make it well worth $300 provided it doesn't have icky stuff between the elements. What's their FOV? A 18 SMC would also slot in nicely with the unused 16 Brandon 50th I picked up on Amart for $150. Should be here today! My plan to get a 16 ZOA has been shelved, just too much money. David

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: gnowellsct]
      #5866888 - 05/17/13 11:08 AM

That, or the fact that the XWs are pretty lousy large aperture DSO eyepieces compared to premium simple, low-element designs in some situations.

When I swap TMB Supermonos in for the XWs in the 16" f/5.1, for example, I gain about 5-10% (SOTP) more resolved stars on most globulars. The XWs are lovely eyepieces for casual, general purpose observing, but they don't go very deep compared even to the Ethoses or even the new Deloses, much less any premium simple eyepiece.

But for looky-loos, and fueling goofy Siddarthic posts, XWs are splendid. But for me, the LVWs are much better than the XWs for such purposes. So even in that use case, the XWs are somewhat lacking.

Regards,

Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (05/17/13 11:09 AM)


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dscarpa
Post Laureate
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Reged: 03/15/08

Loc: San Diego Ca.
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: etsleds]
      #5866911 - 05/17/13 11:21 AM

It just so happens the 10 XW is a pretty excellent DSO eyepiece in my biggest scope a very good C9.25. I suspect the same will hold true in the 11" Teeter STS on the way. No way are my 7 & 10 XWs inferior to my 12 Delos & 17.3 and 13 Ethos for DSOs or lunar-planetary! I can and do use my barlows and Powermates to match powers with all of the above. David

Edited by dscarpa (05/17/13 11:37 AM)


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5867033 - 05/17/13 12:30 PM

Quote:

That, or the fact that the XWs are pretty lousy large aperture DSO eyepieces compared to premium simple, low-element designs in some situations.




Quote:

But for looky-loos, and fueling goofy Siddarthic posts, XWs are splendid. But for me, the LVWs are much better than the XWs for such purposes. So even in that use case, the XWs are somewhat lacking.




You realize you're stirring the pot here, don't you, Jim? There are Brandonistas, and then there are XWsatvas.


Mike


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Sarkikos
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: dscarpa]
      #5867050 - 05/17/13 12:37 PM

dscarpa,

Quote:

Even when barlowed my 24 Brandon when it comes to scatter bests my Delos, XWs, and such native. The darker background and special quality of the image is still there as well.




I'm not surprised that the Brandons have better scatter control than some of the more complex designs. Although according to Vernonscope, the simpler coatings are the major reason for better scatter control.

But I really think the darker background of the Brandons is due to simpler coatings. It's as if the Brandons have built-in filtering. The Brandons are FC, while the Delos, XWs, etc. are FMC. IME, XWs and Sterling Plossls have better light transmission than Brandons.

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5867177 - 05/17/13 01:17 PM

Jim,

Quote:

That, or the fact that the XWs are pretty lousy large aperture DSO eyepieces compared to premium simple, low-element designs in some situations.

When I swap TMB Supermonos in for the XWs in the 16" f/5.1, for example, I gain about 5-10% (SOTP) more resolved stars on most globulars. The XWs are lovely eyepieces for casual, general purpose observing, but they don't go very deep compared even to the Ethoses or even the new Deloses, much less any premium simple eyepiece.




From what I've heard, the XW's have better light transmission than the Ethos, and are close to the Delos.

This is how Alvin Huey ranked the XW and a few other eyepieces according to light transmission, with a ZAO being the best:

ZAO > Delos > XW > Ethos

I believe he said the XW was closer to the Delos than the Ethos. In another comparo, Alvin said that the light transmission for a new Baader Classic Ortho was between the ZAO-II and the Delos!

In my own experience, when observing the Horsehead, a Sterling Plossl had the best transmission (grade A), followed by XW (B+), Brandon (B), BGO (C+), and UO VT (C).

So I wouldn't be so quick to short change the XW for DSO ... or the BCO or Sterling Plossl!

Mike


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dscarpa
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: etsleds]
      #5867186 - 05/17/13 01:23 PM

I like using my Brandon back to back with my cool toned widefields. They seem to compliment each other and I usually see more than just using one type. I've got a 18 BCO but haven't used it that much yet. David

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Sarkikos
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: dscarpa]
      #5867259 - 05/17/13 01:58 PM

I only have a pair of BCO 10 for binoviewing. I'm tempted to get a BCO 18 for deep sky. I wish they came in 25mm. That might be a better Horsehead eyepiece for me than even the Sterling 25.1.

Mike


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ibase
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5867283 - 05/17/13 02:15 PM

Quote:


This is how Alvin Huey ranked the XW and a few other eyepieces according to light transmission, with a ZAO being the best:

ZAO > Delos > XW > Ethos

I believe he said the XW was closer to the Delos than the Ethos. In another comparo, Alvin said that the light transmission for a new Baader Classic Ortho was between the ZAO-II and the Delos!





Mike, according to Alvin, the Ethos edges out the Pentax XW in his forum post here; piecing it all together:

ZAO II > BCO > Delos > Ethos > Pentax XW

Best,


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junomike
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: dscarpa]
      #5867411 - 05/17/13 03:42 PM Attachment (7 downloads)

Quote:

What's their FOV?




Pentax Or. SMC's are 42° FOV. I recently picked one up to fit in between my CZJ 0 - 16 and CZJ 0 - 25.
(mine was free of eyelashes!)

Mike

Edited by junomike (05/17/13 03:43 PM)


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Sarkikos
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: ibase]
      #5868044 - 05/17/13 07:55 PM

Quote:

Quote:


This is how Alvin Huey ranked the XW and a few other eyepieces according to light transmission, with a ZAO being the best:

ZAO > Delos > XW > Ethos

I believe he said the XW was closer to the Delos than the Ethos. In another comparo, Alvin said that the light transmission for a new Baader Classic Ortho was between the ZAO-II and the Delos!





Mike, according to Alvin, the Ethos edges out the Pentax XW in his forum post here; piecing it all together:

ZAO II > BCO > Delos > Ethos > Pentax XW

Best,




Yes, just to set the record straight, this is exactly what Alvin says in the thread you cite:

Quote:

... and the Ethos and XW are about the same, giving the Ethos the slightest edge.




Not exactly a glowing endorsement of the Ethos over the XW's. But AFAIK there is an earlier thread in which Alvin rates the XW's as having better light transmission than the Ethos. That is where I got my information. But this is not surprising, since he says the Ethos and XW's are about the same.

So I think it'd be fairer to rate these eyepieces something like this:

ZAO II > BCO > Delos > Ethos/Pentax XW

Of course for me the point is moot, since I doubt if I'll ever buy a ZAO or an Ethos. And judging from other reports I've read from other observers, the Delos don't exactly "smoke" the XW, though many say they are an improvement.

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5868623 - 05/18/13 01:35 AM

Jim,

Quote:

The XWs are lovely eyepieces for casual, general purpose observing, but they don't go very deep compared even to the Ethoses or even the new Deloses, much less any premium simple eyepiece.




Even Alvin Huey, the guru of eyepiece comparos through large aperture, says that the XW and Ethos have nearly the same light transmission. According to him, the Ethos have the "slightest edge" over the XW. So it doesn't seem like the Ethos go very much deeper. Certainly not enough of a difference to disturb the serenity of an XWsatva.

Mike


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Hamsterdam
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5868723 - 05/18/13 03:30 AM

I have to say, I have been feeling terrific, having conquered the perplexing issue that plagued my scope for over a year, not allowing me to draw even a fuzzy focus...HOWEVER, the nothing but big white donut nights upside IS, I know for 100% that I AM collimated!

Next, I was feeling even more terrific, discovering the route I want to take to AP actually is going to be much more reasonable, simpler(as it can be), and I have much of what I need currently.

Then, tonight, cherry on top. Sealed the deal on a 12mm Nagler (Type II, I believe, I need to re-check)....finally, my FIRST Real Ocular!!!

Fast Forward to an hour ago, when I began reading through this thread, which from my vantage point is like comparing gold vs platinum Rolexes.

Now my lone Nagler, leading a troupe of mostly mid to mid low quality oculars, makes me wonder if I ought to just split it all into lots and put it all on the auction block. I knew Id never own a full set of any maker's oculars, and if I did, they would be some mid range brand at best. I often find that I don't want many of a particular line, but that could be my lack of time at a backyard OTA ocular. My original plan was to get 2-3 semi-premium to premium oculars, and fill any gaps I might notice with something like Explore Scientific, William, Baader Hyperion, Meade 5000s, or heck Celestron Luminos. I am certain to be leaving some I've studied out.

Yes, I am one of those who proudly announces that I plan both visual an AP, to really understand, you will have to follow my posts in the outreach section, once I have my coming process lined out...Plus, if you think this is long, explaining that would be War & Peace.

Still, a fair point. I could choose one or the other. As I've said, I've been cautioned from AP due to cost. I am guessing I could do the AP I desire 2-3 times over, cost-wise when compared to some of the collections of oculars for visual Astronomy that have me licking my chops!

When, say an Ethos goes for say $600 even(yes I know its more), a person collecting that set, depending on how many models there are, could outspend my entire Astronomy outlay at this point. I don't want to go much into Zeiss, I've learned much about their recent history (last 5 or so yrs) from the foremost Astronomer and Photographer I've ever known, and it doesn't lead me to want to save those pennies, and skip a meal here and there to get one, though when I first came to know this sage, there was no better glass, anywhere...well, mostly, but it gets obscure.

I was surprised, and happy that Pentax is a big player in the ocular world. In the 35mm film world, they were just above Vivitar. Not a Nikon, Canon, and certainly not a Contax or Leica, but known to be dependable, accurate, rugged, well engineered, and very reasonably priced. Good on them for making some good money in the ocular world!

If I stick to plan, my group of 3 ±premiums will cost between 750-$900, depending. Then on the AP side, I am getting a Canon T3i body....wait for the 6 month warranty to expire before having the filter changed by our friend on CN, then using the Astronomik Click-in narrowband set to map the frequency ranges to RGB, to depict the gases and elements, more than makin' it purty. Between it, the filters, and OAG...I should come in at about $700 or so, prior to having the IR filter mod done. Add that, and it comes out even cost for either.

Now maybe Im an impatient little 49 yr old, but seeing all those beautiful oculars, It was like seeing everything you know you wont get for Christmas. I must admit, it made me feel not jealous, but timid...as if i am only just dipping my toe in to check the waters.

In addition to my baby that ships Monday, my current exciting line up is: 30mm Antares 2", Meade 12.5mm Framing Reticle, Baader Hyperion Zoom, 2 Celestron 15mm Plossls & Celestron Binoviewer, 2 nice barlows, and a Meade 20mm Plossl. If I continue as planned, many of those will be going to market, as well as some nicer things that I just wont need. Aside from my coming Nagler, I'd say my zoom is my next best glass. The Antares could be ok for general startup, before going to much magnification, but not really doing serious viewing. I will also say, it is not an awful ocular, just not a first pick by any means.


As I add to my collection, Id love to see a bunch of viewpoints, not just about brands, but about styles, and why some prefer one style to another...no one need explain the race to 360º APOV, hahaha! I get the wideview wonders from Tele Vue and other, and understand that attraction...well anyway, that's enough to get minds turning, and my post should be on by afternoon.

I DO appreciate this thread and all the eye candy!, but it is a little like a starving man being shown a brochure for a buffet. Guess I just have to buckle down, sell my dead weight, and get this going. With the High School Science Program waiting, guess I don't have much choice, do i?

I am going to open a post about oculars in this category, to try and gain a better understanding of the evolution of oculars, and why some love the little glass bead on top of a cone type oculars (orthos), more than Chris Christie likes cake. I will make it detailed, and I request, all Ocular Gurus, Shamans and Sages, please look for it, and add your opinions. I sometimes use cryptic or silly titles, so, just look in this category for the next authored by Hamsterdam post, if you all would be so kind. —dave (yet again, apologies for lack of brevity)


Edited by Hamsterdam (05/18/13 10:51 AM)


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dscarpa
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: etsleds]
      #5869099 - 05/18/13 10:30 AM

So many fine orthos gone except for used. How sad. Makes it hard to get a premium set of simple glass. David

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RodgerHouTex
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5869400 - 05/18/13 01:57 PM

Totally agree with your assessment of ZAO II focal lengths. If I buy one it will be the 6 mm. The 4 mm. is too short, and the 10 mm. and 16 mm. are really more useful for deep sky then planets. Barlowing defeats the "less glass" concept in my opinion.

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dscarpa
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: etsleds]
      #5871306 - 05/19/13 12:41 PM

I've got a wide range of scope FLs with cats, refractors and a newt. I'd have to have the complete ZAO or Brandon set plus their barlow to get what I do with a 16 and 24 plus my barlow-Powermate set. A full set would be great but budget does not allow what with half of the newt cost looming. For the future with me. David

Edited by dscarpa (05/20/13 03:42 PM)


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Hamsterdam
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: dscarpa]
      #5873946 - 05/20/13 03:12 PM

I am kinda in your boat, David, except, I have just the one 10" SCT. I have 3-4 key oculars that I have in mind, and it will take a tad of time to build those, and other key areas. After having a 1.5 yr long mystery focus issue, I've learned that this pursuit requires a good measure of patience.

When I speak of these collections being akin to...showing a starving man a picture of a buffet, it is in a good-natured spirit, as I know that the guys that have these amazing collections usually don't go out one day and buy all of them. I am sure a great many of our top eyepiece folks on here have built their arsenal over a few month and years. If anyone can afford to buy the entire Pentax, or Ethos line at once...Good on ya!, fortune smiles. I use the money I save from quitting cigarettes 3 years ago to fund my toys.


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GeneT
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5874409 - 05/20/13 06:44 PM

Quote:

But for looky-loos, and fueling goofy Siddarthic posts, XWs are splendid.




Gee Jim, I may be one of those offering Siddarthic posts, but I don't know what it means, nor can I find a definition. However, I don't make looky-loo posts.


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Sarkikos
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: PJ Anway]
      #5874435 - 05/20/13 06:54 PM

Quote:

With the Pentax SMC orthos, you always have to be careful that there is no dust specks between the lenses. They had a reputation for these and I purchased two that had them....very annoying.
That fact may shy some buyers away.




It works for me! I think I'll avoid the Pentax SMC Orthos. The last thing I want to do is take apart expensive orthos, clean tiny pieces of glass, and try to put it all back together again.

But I haven't seen any dust specks in all my XW's and XO's.

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: GeneT]
      #5874440 - 05/20/13 06:57 PM

Quote:

Quote:

But for looky-loos, and fueling goofy Siddarthic posts, XWs are splendid.




Gee Jim, I may be one of those offering Siddarthic posts, but I don't know what it means, nor can I find a definition. However, I don't make looky-loo posts.




I believe Siddarthic posts are from XWsatvas. Just a guess.

Mike


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Kent10
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5874496 - 05/20/13 07:22 PM

About the dust specs... Very interesting because I was doing a search to see how common this was. I just purchased 2 Pentax XW 14mm for my bino and they both had black specs in the middle of the view. You couldn't avoid seeing them. I also have at least one spec in a 10mm XW. I did not return it and wish that I had. But I am returning the 2 14mm and will try 2 more from a different source. I thought that was pretty unlucky for me to have 3 with the specs and both 14mm.

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Sarkikos
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Kent10]
      #5874677 - 05/20/13 08:56 PM

I guess I've been lucky. Whenever I buy an eyepiece, the first thing I do is hold it up to a light. I didn't see any specks in my Pentax XW's and XO's. I bought most of the XW's used.

Unless you use an eyepiece for viewing the Moon or the Sun, a few small specks should not affect observation. Actually, I doubt if little dust motes or specks will affect any view in modern eyepieces. I don't think any of them have a lens surface at the focal plane. Specks on a reticle could be a problem, though.

Could specks induce scatter? Yeah, I suppose. So you'd better not take a close look at your primary or secondary mirror if you have a reflector.


Mike


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Kent10
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5874682 - 05/20/13 08:58 PM

Mine look like specs of black paint maybe, not dust. And yes I see them right away when I view the moon or sun and not DSO. I just bought 2 more from B & H, one was used but as new for $225 plus shipping so not bad. I hope these are good.

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Kent10
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Kent10]
      #5874691 - 05/20/13 09:01 PM

PS if the 2 I just ordered have specs, I may just go with the Delos 14mm. I was thinking of trying the Delos in 12mm and 17.3 but may buy used or wait for a sale.

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Kent10
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Kent10]
      #5874957 - 05/20/13 11:32 PM

This is unbelievable. I just bought 2 Pentax XW 20mm for my bino and they also have black specs inside. One is small and not in the middle. I was thinking of keeping it but the other has a longer black string like an ant leg . Not in the middle but very noticeable on the moon. So I am going to return them and try again. I looked at the top and bottom of the glass to be sure it was nothing on the surface but these are new and I see nothing on the surface. I sure hope the store believes me. I can't see the specs by looking through a light or at a wall with the EP alone. Is there a way to get a good look inside. Some EPs I can do that but not with the XW. I wish the Delos came in a 20mm. I bought these because I am having trouble with my other bino pairs fogging up and these should be better with the 20mm ER. Also I like the 70 degree FOV. Back they go. I'll try one more time.

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jrbarnett
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Hamsterdam]
      #5875021 - 05/21/13 12:09 AM

In the grand scheme of things, eyepieces are pretty nearly irrelevant, so you're in luck. By far the most important is the quality and condition of the objective followed by the experience of the observer. The differences discussed between eyepieces in this thread are many orders of magnitude less noticeable than the difference between a collimated and miscollimated objective. You've licked collimation, so now the rest id gravy. Use what ya got and don't worry about our natterings about nuances.

- Jim


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Kent10
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5875066 - 05/21/13 12:57 AM

I have been binoviewing a lot and haven't used my Pentax XW 7mm, 5 or 3.5 too much so I tried them tonight on the moon in mono. My 7mm also has some specs. My 5 and 3.5 may not but with my floaters it is difficult to say for sure.

Edited by Kent10 (05/21/13 12:58 AM)


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Scott99
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Kent10]
      #5876106 - 05/21/13 02:47 PM

the flashlight test can be brutal on eyepieces. Every wide-field eyepiece I've ever checked (Pentax, TV, etc) has had some degree of specks show up inside under the flashlight test. "Clean" is relative, if's there's nothing major in there I would ignore it.

I think that's one of the reasons for $600 orthos, there's only one level inside that could have contamination, and for $600 they're guaranteeing you it's clean. Imagine what a wide-field with 3 or 4 gaps inside would cost to produce to this level of precision.

Once while cleaning I was doing a final swipe where I fog the lens with my breath, I noticed that a couple expensive widefields had slight coating defects on the eye lens as well. No biggie, I doubt I'll ever notice it


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Tamiji Homma
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Scott99]
      #5876295 - 05/21/13 04:38 PM

Quote:

I think that's one of the reasons for $600 orthos, there's only one level inside that could have contamination, and for $600 they're guaranteeing you it's clean. Imagine what a wide-field with 3 or 4 gaps inside would cost to produce to this level of precision.




Hi Scott,

Well even $600 Ortho didn't cut it. It got DOA ZAO II A-16 in the third set.
They installed A-10 field stop in A-16. I had to send it back to Baader/Zeiss for repair. I heard the same story from a few other people. I think that they assembled a few of A-16s with wrong parts.

I also sent Ethos SX 4.7 back to Televue. It contained two thick straight fibers, parallel across 60 degree of AFOV in the middle. I guess it falls through the cracks so to speak even with excellent quality control of Televue and Zeiss.

They both resolved issues very quickly though.

Tammy


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jrbarnett
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5877098 - 05/21/13 10:48 PM

Never had a dirty Brandon...

My latest adddition, a 3.5mm LVW, has a spec down in the lower group somewhere. When I finish reorganizing the shed and clear the workbench, I'll see if I can dislodge it. I'm hoping it's on the top surface of the top element of the lower group. We'll see.

- Jim


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Scott99
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5884511 - 05/25/13 06:39 PM

Tammy - some people speculated that the ZAO II mixup was intentional by the optical workers that were getting laid off, sounds somewhat fanciful but it's certainly possible.

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Kent10
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Re: A Pentax ortho record? new [Re: Scott99]
      #5892403 - 05/30/13 01:12 PM

I thought I should update my experiences with the Pentax XW. In trying to find bino pairs of the 20mm and 14mm I have had 8 eyepieces sent to me including a used one from B & H that was described as "as new" and given a 10 rating and it was far from new looking. Anyway, only 1 of the 8 has no obvious black specs. All the others have several that are very bothersome when viewing the sun or moon. On 2 of them it was just one small spec but it was right in the middle. On the others there were several specs some of which were quite large.

Since others have not noticed as much a problem I have a feeling I am seeing these specs more easily because of my poor vision. I am very near sighted at around minus 13 and because of this I see very well at very close distances so I think I am able to focus on these specs easier than others. Does this make sense?

So I will try 3 new XW's (I think I found one good 20mm so far) and if they aren't good I will get the 14mm Delos. I still need to find one more 20mm XW however, because the Delos does not come in a 20mm.

PS I just more carefully tested the 20mm that I want to keep. I found a small spec but it is near the edge so I will keep this one. Now to find one more with no or negligible specs.

Edited by Kent10 (05/30/13 01:30 PM)


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