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 | (show all)
Kutno
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/17/09

Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: jpcannavo]
      #5950400 - 07/01/13 09:40 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.




Joe,

A dissent: The so-called "glass heavy" designs produced by Tele Vue are some of the "best planetary EPs being made today." They even make some "glass light" designs that belong in that category, as well: Nagler-Zooms and Plossls.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
cw00
member


Reged: 08/16/11

Loc: San Diego, CA
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: Kutno]
      #5950636 - 07/02/13 12:31 AM

While we are on Leica zoom, do you guys have trouble with eye placement with it? I do not have such problem with any other eyepiece I own but I had some struggle with the Leica when I first got it. Now I am used to it so that it no longer bothers me.

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

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Nyctophobia, Maryland, USA
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: george golitzin]
      #5951282 - 07/02/13 12:30 PM

Quote:

For the record, as I have the XWs at 3.5, 5, 7, and 10mm, I only use barlows to pick up the in-between powers--the antares 1.6 (or 1.7, effectively) does this nicely, as does the TV 2x with an added extension, making it 2.4X.




I have the XW's you mention along with other eyepieces to fill in the power gaps. My set of eyepieces for monoviewing at high power (0.4mm to 1mm exit pupil) in my 10" f/4.8 Dob includes Nagler Zoom 2-4, XO 2.58, Radian 3, Nagler Zoom 3-6, XW 3.5, Radian 4, Delos 4.5, XW 5 and XO 5.1. For moderate power (1.2mm to 2mm) I have Delos 6, XW 7, TV Plossl 7.4, LVW 8, BGO 9 and XW 10. I think this is enough tools to get the job done.

I try to do without Barlows as much as possible. I only use Barlows - or an OCS - in order to bring an eyepiece to focus in my Dobs, such as when binoviewing or using a filter wheel. Personally, when monoviewing, I'd rather observe through a decent zoom eyepiece or choose from a wide selection of single focal length eyepieces, and not use a separate Barlow at all. (Yes, I realize that many complex eyepieces have a built-in Barlow.)

Mike


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Peter Natscher
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/28/06

Loc: Central Coast California
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: tomharri]
      #5952204 - 07/02/13 10:33 PM

Looks like you gained the eye relief that you missed with the ZAO's.

Quote:

Had to sell a motorcyle to get a set of ZAOII's.
Wasn't riding it, but was telescoping alot.
And the Zeisses were so good-crisp-sharp-contrasty,
everything you could ever want in an eyepiece.

BUT, started finding others that were just as good, like TMB monos and supers, Pentax XW's, Univ. Optics flat top orthos.

So out went the ZAO's so I could buy another Ducati, but the Pentaxes have stayed, and now the Delos seem to be just as good.

If you want the best-get the above mentioned lenses,
If you want to follow the herd, get a Honda and some ortho/plossls around $100.




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

Reged: 09/27/06

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: Peter Natscher]
      #5953512 - 07/03/13 05:21 PM

I use Brandon's as my preferred planetary eyepieces with my f7.5 and f9 refractors. I tested them against equal focal-length orthos & plossls using a 3x barlow. I feel the barlow does not degrade the image, and I love the comfortable eye-relief.

24mm + 3x barlow = 8mm
16mm + 3x barlow = 5.3mm
12mm + 3x barlow = 4mm

I use Pentax XW's with my faster f5 scope.


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

Reged: 06/24/09

Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: iluxo]
      #5953567 - 07/03/13 05:52 PM

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.




Actually there are things to do with a wider field. First of all planetary includes the moon, so maybe you want more lunar real estate. Second planetary includes the planets' moons, so if you like to catch the full picture (and Saturn's moons travel pretty far out) you might want a wide field for that. Third, there is such a thing as getting bored with magnification. Saturn in a small refactor at about 40 to 50x is an utterly gorgeous sight floating in a sea of stars (Jupiter annihilates the stars, so the effect is not there). Fourth, people who use scopes without drive find it easier to keep the object in view. It's not a question of watching to the edge (Newts typically are not diffraction limited to the edge except at very high powers) but the business of finding and tracking. You take a look, it starts to drift, someone else sits down, the planet is still in the eyepiece for recentering; and if it drifts out, it is easier to find.

In addition, in cold weather small glass fogs up really fast and is essentially unusable. The same is also true in humid weather where the extra moisture coming off the eye is just enough to saturate and cause the eyepiece to fog.

So there are multiple reasons to opt for something like Pentax XWs and for thems that gots to have them the Delos or Ethos lines.

Sometimes when I'm settling in for a long planet observing session I'll take out the ZAO II 10mm and use it and then when my eye starts to fatigue I will swap it out and put in the XW 10. When using the ZAO II I think wow this is great no way the Pentax can equal this and when I put in the XW I think why do I have that silly ZAO II. So by way of conclusion wanting to rest from tiny glass strain and keep viewing is yet another reason to have top quality wide fields for planet viewing.

The theory of tiny glass is well known but it doesn't seem to stop the fact that there are at least a few wide fields that handily compete on axis performance. Of course if you are completely comfortable you will observe longer and if you spend more time viewing with a comfortable eyepiece than a tiny glass eyepiece than this too becomes a reason to have an excellent wide field. Because he who observes longest sees most.

The theory of tiny glass (number of surfaces etc) in my view is sort of in the category of saying that the lightest car has the best mileage. Well maybe. But there are things like gearing and wind resistance and number of cylinders which could easily counteract differences of vehicle weight. Tiny glass is not all equal. The ZAO IIs used ultra high quality lanthanum lenses to try to optimize the design and get more edge performance. So it's not just another UO or Celestron ortho, and saying that in general tiny glass has the observing advantage does not, in my view, capture the realities.


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

Reged: 06/24/09

Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5953578 - 07/03/13 05:58 PM

Quote:


I have compared the XW 5 and XO 5 when observing Jupiter and Saturn through my 10" f/4.8 Dob. To my eyes, the XO displays fine surface detail with more contrast and less scatter than the XW. The XO 5.1 actually has a little less eye relief than the XO 2.58, at 3.6mm eye relief versus 3.9mm. I don't find them at all uncomfortable to use. But I do need to take my eyeglasses off! The AFOV is 44°. It's not difficult to nudge the planet back into view with a well-balanced Dob.

Mike




I like the XOs and prefer them to the ZAO IIs; I wish there were a 10mm XO for use in my C14, which has no use for a 2.5 or 5.1 focal length. In the refractors the tiny glass has its uses, but the C14 brings in so much more than the 102mm refractor that sits on top of it that it is hard to justify observing with a 5.1mm eyepiece in a four inch with the 14 inch just sitting there. But some nights I'm out with the FS128 and the tiny glass comes in handy.

I haven't really tried these options out in the 10" f/6 Newt the 5.1 mm would be usable under good conditions (around 300x). Greg N


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

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Nyctophobia, Maryland, USA
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: gnowellsct]
      #5953796 - 07/03/13 08:49 PM

Quote:

The theory of tiny glass (number of surfaces etc) in my view is sort of in the category of saying that the lightest car has the best mileage. Well maybe. But there are things like gearing and wind resistance and number of cylinders which could easily counteract differences of vehicle weight. Tiny glass is not all equal. The ZAO IIs used ultra high quality lanthanum lenses to try to optimize the design and get more edge performance. So it's not just another UO or Celestron ortho, and saying that in general tiny glass has the observing advantage does not, in my view, capture the realities.




Good analogy!

Mike


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

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Nyctophobia, Maryland, USA
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: gnowellsct]
      #5953833 - 07/03/13 09:09 PM

Quote:

I like the XOs and prefer them to the ZAO IIs; I wish there were a 10mm XO for use in my C14, which has no use for a 2.5 or 5.1 focal length. In the refractors the tiny glass has its uses, but the C14 brings in so much more than the 102mm refractor that sits on top of it that it is hard to justify observing with a 5.1mm eyepiece in a four inch with the 14 inch just sitting there. But some nights I'm out with the FS128 and the tiny glass comes in handy.




Yes, I wish Pentax had produced XO 10mm's. I'd like a pair for binoviewing in my 10" Dob!

I've come close to acquiring another XO 5mm for a bino pair. But I'd need at least a 1.9x OCS to bring them to focus. That would be an efffective 2.7mm focal length, 444x and 44x per inch. During excellent seeing that would be great for Mars in the 10" Dob. Might be pushing it for my Burgess binoviewer, though.

Mike


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

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: george golitzin]
      #5955054 - 07/04/13 05:40 PM

"Answer: you can't, because the brandons stop at 8mm."

Um, I have both 4mm and 6mm Brandons, and both XOs.

I've compared them in scopes ranging from 2.4" to 16" in aperture and with focal ratios ranging from f/16.7 to f/5. Triplets, doublets, with and without fluorite, Newts, Dall-Kirkhams, MCTs, SCTs, etc., etc.

No reason to be frustrated. The 6mm Brandon can keep up with *any* other 5mm to 6mm eyepiece in the world on-axis, in any scope. In fact I don't just think that the 6mm is the best Brandon made, but also probably the best 6mm eyepiece avail, current production or out of production.

The 4mm is da pits though. The glass in the 4mm units that surface from time to time is all Chester Brandon/Librascope era glass and, frankly, isn't figured or polished up to the standards of later units after Yeier and Vernonscope took over. Skip the 4mm, but definitely try a 6mm if you can get one.

Regards,

Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (07/04/13 05:46 PM)


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

Reged: 08/31/12

Loc: SC
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5955070 - 07/04/13 05:53 PM

You could go to the Melles Griot, Edmund optics or whatever and get some 10/20 scratch dig laser achromats and make a symmetric EP of your own. Surface quality and scattering are very important for a good planetary EP.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: jpcannavo]
      #5955076 - 07/04/13 06:00 PM

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




I own the Delos 6 and 8 and Pentax XW 5 and 7. Both series are excellent--and in my opinion, tied.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TPMack
sage


Reged: 03/06/06

Loc: VA
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: jpcannavo]
      #5955110 - 07/04/13 06:29 PM

Intes Monocentric.
Some ghosting on bright objects that disappears when it is centered in the FoV. FoV is even smaller than the TMB mono but contrast is better. A remarkable specialized eyepiece.
If you take the leap, get the latest version with the better coatings. The older versions had the same bright color of a fruit fly's rear end and was not efficient in throughput.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5955168 - 07/04/13 07:17 PM

Quote:

I have compared the XW 5 and XO 5 when observing Jupiter and Saturn through my 10" f/4.8 Dob. To my eyes, the XO displays fine surface detail with more contrast and less scatter than the XW.




I made similar comparisons between the two eyepieces on Jupiter with a 12.5 inch F5 Portaball. I gave a slight edge to the 5 XO. However, the 5 XW is also an excellent performer.


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

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: bremms]
      #5955174 - 07/04/13 07:24 PM

Most of Edmund's stuff is 60/40 these days. Any links to 20/10 doublet optics?

Thanks!

- Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Scanning4Comets
Markus
*****

Reged: 12/26/04

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5955197 - 07/04/13 07:41 PM

Quote:

I made similar comparisons between the two eyepieces on Jupiter with a 12.5 inch F5 Portaball. I gave a slight edge to the 5 XO. However, the 5 XW is also an excellent performer.




Hi Gene,

What was the slight edge seen in the XO?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
leonard
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/19/07

Loc: West Virginia
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: TPMack]
      #5955318 - 07/04/13 10:15 PM

Hello ,

>>>>> If you take the leap, get the latest version with the better coatings. <<<<<<


Mr. Mack do you have information where one could purchase the Intes Mono. ??

Leonard


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
leonard
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/19/07

Loc: West Virginia
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5955331 - 07/04/13 10:26 PM

Hi Jim


I'm looking at the 2012 Edmund optics / america catalog. Not sure what achromatic doublets your interested in but the small ones have a stated surface quality of 20-10 up to 4mm and the 5 to 25mm sizes are 40-20.
At least thats the way I'm reading it .

Leonard


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TPMack
sage


Reged: 03/06/06

Loc: VA
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: leonard]
      #5955735 - 07/05/13 09:08 AM

Quote:

Hello ,

>>>>> If you take the leap, get the latest version with the better coatings. <<<<<<


Mr. Mack do you have information where one could purchase the Intes Mono. ??


Leonard,
I believe they are now discontinued. I bought mine from Kasai Optical in Japan. They came in 6, 9, and 12mm. A "Want Ad" here or Amart may get you one. They were not expensive eyepieces like the TMBs or Zeiss monos.

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

Reged: 11/26/06

Loc: Vienna, VA
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: gnowellsct]
      #5955761 - 07/05/13 09:39 AM

Quote:



In addition, in cold weather small glass fogs up really fast and is essentially unusable. The same is also true in humid weather where the extra moisture coming off the eye is just enough to saturate and cause the eyepiece to fog.

So there are multiple reasons to opt for something like Pentax XWs and for thems that gots to have them the Delos or Ethos lines.
...

The theory of tiny glass is well known but it doesn't seem to stop the fact that there are at least a few wide fields that handily compete on axis performance. Of course if you are completely comfortable you will observe longer and if you spend more time viewing with a comfortable eyepiece than a tiny glass eyepiece than this too becomes a reason to have an excellent wide field. Because he who observes longest sees the most




I don't find this at all. If anything the opposite and my fat glass eyepieces with larger eye lenses fog very readily, especially those with shorter ER like Naglers and ES82s. In fact, these fat glass tend to fog up as a regular feature for me however, easy enough to deal with as fanning them with air usually brings them back in 30 seconds.

I agree that there are multiple reasons for opting for fat glass like the XWs and such...but ultimate on axis planetary performance is definitely not one of those reasons. Sure they do excellently, but not best. Fwiw, for comfort, I find that it's not really the eye relief that is the biggest driver, but more of the tracking or not of the mount. I personally do not have a a problem spending an hour observing a planet using an Abbe Orthos as long as the scope tracks. If no tracking, then fat glass can be advantage, but only I think if the ER is longer, which is not always the case.

In the end, fat or tiny glass both do great for planetary. But when something more than "great" is desired, a well executed tiny glass solution gets the nod. After all, all else being equal in their manufacture, one can't overcome the physics that less glass surfaces produce less scatter and therefore more contrast. Its not theory.


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


Extra information
33 registered and 30 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  ausastronomer, droid, cbwerner, kkokkolis 

Print Thread

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


Thread views: 4752

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics