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Equipment Discussions >> Eyepieces

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jpcannavo
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Best planetary EPs being made today...
      #5944274 - 06/28/13 06:26 AM

Perhaps relating the market trend towards wide field, "glass heavy" designs, many of the favored high end planetary EPs are no longer being produced (Zeiss, University Optics HDs, Baader GOs, Pentax SMC XOs, etc.). Curious, therefore, to hear opinions are as to best planetary EPs in current production.

Joe

Preemptive post script: Clearly the above question, as I have raised it, is fuzzy. That is, planetary EP optimization varies with variables such as focal ratio of scope, driven vs undriven mount, need for eyeglasses etc. As such, my hope here is to generate discussion, rather than to definitively answer a somewhat vague question.

Edited by jpcannavo (06/28/13 07:32 AM)


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dweller25
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Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: jpcannavo]
      #5944287 - 06/28/13 06:40 AM

For me it's the Pentax XW series, I have the 7 and 5 and they give me the best planetary views I have ever had.

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Mark9473
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Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: dweller25]
      #5944291 - 06/28/13 06:42 AM

http://www.universityoptics.com/

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John Huntley
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Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: Mark9473]
      #5944323 - 06/28/13 07:20 AM

The best I've used was a 5mm TMB Supermonocentric. They were out of production for a while but are being produced again now I believe.

The Pentax XW's are superb too with the bonus of comfortable eye relief and a large field of view.

The Baader Genuine Ortho's (replaced by the Astro Hutech orthos now) and the newer Baader Classic Ortho's do really well if you can handle the relatively narrow field of view and limited eye relief.

Edited by John Huntley (06/28/13 07:22 AM)


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jpcannavo
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Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: John Huntley]
      #5944327 - 06/28/13 07:26 AM

John
I have heard this about the XWs over and over again. I since wondered how the TV Delos stack up against them.
Joe


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MikeBOKC
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Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: jpcannavo]
      #5944342 - 06/28/13 07:58 AM

For me it's a tie between the XW (7 and 20) and my 16mm Brandons, either mono or binoviewed.

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John Huntley
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Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: jpcannavo]
      #5944353 - 06/28/13 08:05 AM

Quote:

John
I have heard this about the XWs over and over again. I since wondered how the TV Delos stack up against them.
Joe




Joe,

I've not had the pleasure of using a Delos as yet but from all the reports I've read I believe the two types are very, very evenly matched in performance.


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BillP
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Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: jpcannavo]
      #5944360 - 06/28/13 08:11 AM

1 - TMB Supermonos. Markus still produces these so technically still in production. However, not all focal lengths available all the time. So sporadic availability.

2 - Brandon. Always a strong performer for planetary. Downside is only short focal lengths are 6mm and 8mm.

3 - Abbe Orthos. Basically, the major quality ones out there...Baader Classic Orthos, new Hutech Orthos, new UO Orthos. While I have not tested the new Hutech and UO, my expectation is that equals to the BGO and old UO HDs that they replaced.

And of course, the many quality premiums do fantastic and only lag very slightly behind the classics - important for the dedicated planetary observer but the difference not always important to others. E.g., XWs, Delos, etc.

Edited by BillP (06/28/13 08:12 AM)


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csrlice12
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Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: BillP]
      #5944371 - 06/28/13 08:22 AM

7XW, but I must admit, the NLVs are very nice too.

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iluxo
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Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5944416 - 06/28/13 09:04 AM

For planetary you don't need a sharp field more than a few minutes of arc. Lowest number of air-glass surfaces and/or elements is the way to do this.

#1. natures own eyeball, with the lens removed for a cataract operation. Focus the primary mirror directly on your retina. No eyepiece at all, and no lens in your eye either so that piece of badly corrected biological junk is finally out of the way. Mind-bogglingly good clarity over a small field is the result.

But not for everyone.

#2. Afocal reflector. Just 2 clean mirrors, tiny field of view like a Galilean telescope but achieved with a convex parabolic secondary. I made one, once. Clarity was awesome and on-axis aberrations effectively nil (the scope was effectively f/19).

It's not something anyone would make unless you can do it yourself and tolerate a scope with an apparent field of view around 2 degrees, and an actual field of view in minutes.

#3. Spherical ball. Just two surfaces.

#4. Monocentric, three cemented elements. Steinheil was first, TMB revived the idea.

#5. If anyone made a modern one with coated surfaces, a Ramsden or Huygens. 2 elements, 4 surfaces. but there's no such beastie.

#6. probably a tie between good orthos, Brandons, RKE (3 elements, 4 air-glass surfaces) or Kellner.

#7. The short Vixen LV's, the 7-9mm were indistinguishable from the 8mm RKE IMHO. Any design with around Smythe lens and 5 elements - Masayuma's, Takahashi and the rest.

#8. Widefields. OK, because thats what we all have but not ideal IMHO, far more elements in the way than really necessary, on-axis.

Edited by iluxo (06/28/13 09:16 AM)


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Astrojensen
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Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: iluxo]
      #5944429 - 06/28/13 09:15 AM

Quote:

For planetary you don't need a sharp field more than a few minutes of arc. Lowest number of air-glass surfaces and/or elements is the way to do this.

#1 Spherical ball. Just two surfaces.

#2. Monocentric, three cemented elements. Steinheil was first, TMB revived the idea.

#3. If anyone made a modern one with coated surfaces, a Ramsden or Huygens. 2 elements, 4 surfaces. but there's no such beastie.

#4. probably a tie between good orthos, RKE (3 elements, 4 air-glass surfaces) or Kellner.




You miss a few things:

#1.5: Achromatic cemented doublet. Two lenses, two air/glass surfaces. Available in a large number of focal lengths from Edmund Optics with military-grade scratch-dig ratios.

#3: Zeiss has made coated huygenians of superb quality. They are, however, no better than Kellners or orthos. Super crisp, but suffers from lateral color and ghosting. They do, however correct for false color in long achromats.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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iluxo
sage


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Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5944431 - 06/28/13 09:16 AM

Ah thank you. Just a few off the top of my head, it's late here.

Quote:

Super crisp, but suffers from lateral color and ghosting. They do, however correct for false color in long achromats.


For years I used to wonder about what would be possible using modern glass types to come up with with a singlet lens (like a solar scope), a secondary lens somewhere halfway (the Dialyte refractor) and a very simple eyepiece specifically designed to match. It would be a single fixed combination but I couldn't help suspecting there are solutions that would easily outperform modern apo's with current eyepieces.

Edited by iluxo (06/28/13 09:22 AM)


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t.r.
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Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: iluxo]
      #5944455 - 06/28/13 09:33 AM

Does anyone know what TMB Supermonocentrics are available from Markus currently? I saw an ad a few days ago announcing a new run of focal lengths but it is gone now. I'm thinking I should pick up one pair of these for the binoviewer.

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george tatsis
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Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5944458 - 06/28/13 09:35 AM

Quote:

7XW, but I must admit, the NLVs are very nice too.




Being the owner of both, I'll have to agree 100%.

By the way, the NLVs are a bit brighter than the old LV series , which I used to have too.

Still looking for a used NLV 4mm , but I haven't been able to nail one though

George


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csrlice12
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Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: george tatsis]
      #5944479 - 06/28/13 09:48 AM

Have the 5,9, and 10 NLV and they're in my case with my Naglers. In my XLT, they see more time then the naglers, love that tracking ability.....

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Mark9473
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Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: t.r.]
      #5944503 - 06/28/13 10:05 AM

Quote:

Does anyone know what TMB Supermonocentrics are available from Markus currently?



Their website lists 7, 8, 9, 10 mm.


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jpcannavo
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Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5944514 - 06/28/13 10:10 AM

Quote:

For planetary you don't need a sharp field more than a few minutes of arc. Lowest number of air-glass surfaces and/or elements is the way to do this.

#1 Spherical ball. Just two surfaces.






There is an optical question that this design - as in The Siebert Planispheres - has always raised for me. While the advantage of optical simplicity would seem to be maximized in spherical ball lens, how can such a steeply curved singlet avoid on-axis image degradation secondary to both spherical and chromatic aberration?


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Jeff Morgan
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Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: John Huntley]
      #5944674 - 06/28/13 11:55 AM

Quote:

I've not had the pleasure of using a Delos as yet but from all the reports I've read I believe the two types are very, very evenly matched in performance.




I have run the comparison between the 10 Delos and the 24 Brandon barlowed down to 10 mm. The Brandon was noticeably superior on Saturn and double stars. (See my post from April 18, 2011 number 5179553.)

That being said, the Delos was actually very good in an absolute sense. If you're primarily a DSO person and planets are just a short distraction between observing M7 and M8, the Delos is probably good enough. But if planets are your thing, you can get a quality ortho or Brandon for less money.

Since I ran that head-to-head I have acquired a 14 Delos and 8 Delos (as you can see, I hate them). Over the summer I'll make it a point to run the 8 Delos against the 8 Brandon.


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izar187
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Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: jpcannavo]
      #5944692 - 06/28/13 12:15 PM

Quote:

Perhaps relating the market trend towards wide field, "glass heavy" designs, many of the favored high end planetary EPs are no longer being produced (Zeiss, University Optics HDs, Baader GOs, Pentax SMC XOs, etc.). Curious, therefore, to hear opinions are as to best planetary EPs in current production.

Joe

Preemptive post script: Clearly the above question, as I have raised it, is fuzzy. That is, planetary EP optimization varies with variables such as focal ratio of scope, driven vs undriven mount, need for eyeglasses etc. As such, my hope here is to generate discussion, rather than to definitively answer a somewhat vague question.




I'll put in a vote for Siebert Starsplitters:
http://www.siebertoptics.com/SiebertOptics-Ortho%20page).html


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tomharri
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Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... [Re: izar187]
      #5944720 - 06/28/13 12:35 PM

Sieberts are junk cause he doesn't have access to hi-quality coatings.

The Pentax XW and Delos are equal to the Zeiss II's on the planets with big eye lens and relief and wide field advantage.


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