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Equipment Discussions >> Eyepieces

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Herr General
member


Reged: 06/20/13

Loc: Ohio
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: tomharri]
      #5955804 - 07/05/13 10:10 AM

What would be the best long eye-relief (eyeglasses) planetary eyepiece? I have a few high-power eyepieces that came with my scopes, but I'm tired of smashing my face against the eyepiece to see anything.

I've been thinking about getting a nice one, but I'm not exactly well off and I'd like to get the best bang for my meager buck. I tend to observe DSOs mostly, but I'm not averse to looking at the planets and moon occasionally.

Here's what I've been considering:
Televue Radian 8mm:
Pros: Very well regarded by just about everyone.
Cons: Very expensive, and I've heard some complaints about the eyepiece blacking out and lateral color.

Vixen NLV 9mm:
Pros: Cheaper than the TV and I've heard plenty of good things about them.
Cons: Haven't really heard any yet, honestly. So far this is what I'm leaning towards.

Baader Hyperion: I don't know much about this one, comments welcome.

And finally, I was looking around and found the Zhumell Z series planetary EPs. There's a kit of the 5mm, 9mm, 18mm, and an eyepiece bag for sale at $170- is it worth taking the plunge for them? I've heard they're quite good for the price and getting three eyepieces (and a bag!) for the price of one of the other ones is not exactly a deal to be overlooked.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: Herr General]
      #5955870 - 07/05/13 10:50 AM

I have the 10, 9, & 5mm NLVs.....They were a result of crossbreeding my XWs with my orthos...and the results are fantastic, ortho like views with XW eye relief......LOVE my NLVs. These are probably one of astronomy's best kept secrets....and best values.

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REC
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5955896 - 07/05/13 11:01 AM

The Vixen LV 8mm are top rated. For $100, the ES 6.7 & 8.8mm is hard to beat.

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Sarkikos
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: BillP]
      #5955927 - 07/05/13 11:16 AM

Quote:

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.




My observing sites are very dewy. The best way to prevent condensation on the optics is to attach a dew strip to the eyepiece while it's in the focuser and to keep a cap on the eyepiece while it's not being used. This will work whether the fogging is due to atmospheric conditions or the observer's breath. I would never let the tendency of an eyepiece to fog, prevent me from buying that eyepiece. Fogging is a problem that is easily prevented. Waving my hand rapidly over the eye lens will defog the eyepiece, but I always worry that I'll get too close and bump the eyepiece. Prevention is better.

Quote:

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.




I agree. IME, the XW's perform as well on-axis as the BGO's and Brandons - or close to it - but not as well as the XO's. I haven't had a chance to first light my Delos 4.5 and 6 yet, but I doubt if their performance will equal or surpass that of my XO's.

Mike


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: BillP]
      #5955937 - 07/05/13 11:21 AM

Bill,

Quote:

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.




Yes .... a well executed tiny glass will be better than great for planetary.

Mike


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saemark30
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/21/12

Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5956002 - 07/05/13 12:07 PM

Nagler 3-6mm zoom. Same sharpness as orthos, and very high contrast. Wider field and more ER.

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Jeff Morgan
Postmaster
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Reged: 09/28/03

Loc: Prescott, AZ
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: saemark30]
      #5956333 - 07/05/13 04:23 PM

Quote:

Nagler 3-6mm zoom. Same sharpness as orthos, and very high contrast. Wider field and more ER.




That might be going a bit far ... but it is still a very good performer. And the zoom capability makes it a hard eyepiece for me to get rid of.


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Astrojensen
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Bornholm, Denmark
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: Jeff Morgan]
      #5956379 - 07/05/13 04:59 PM

Quote:

That might be going a bit far.




There are orthos and then there are orthos.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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george tatsis
professor emeritus
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Reged: 11/20/08

Loc: Flushing, NY - Europe
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5956471 - 07/05/13 05:56 PM

Quote:

I have the 10, 9, & 5mm NLVs.....They were a result of crossbreeding my XWs with my orthos...and the results are fantastic, ortho like views with XW eye relief......LOVE my NLVs. These are probably one of astronomy's best kept secrets....and best values.




I have the 4mm,5mm,6mm,and 9mm NLVs and I couldn't agree more with both the above analogy given ,and the fact that not many people know how good these oculars are.

George


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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: Scanning4Comets]
      #5956490 - 07/05/13 06:06 PM

Quote:

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.




These are very slight, subtle differences, but I saw slightly sharper detail on Jupiter's surface. The 5 XO was designed to be a planetary eyepiece. Its exit pupil of 1 for my telescope is just right for high power views of planets.

Hi Gene,

What was the slight edge seen in the XO?




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Jeff Morgan
Postmaster
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Reged: 09/28/03

Loc: Prescott, AZ
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: John Huntley]
      #5959978 - 07/08/13 02:59 AM

Quote:

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.




I was just able to pick up a 5 XW from Astromart, anxiously and nervously awaiting it's arrival. Anxious because I have heard so much about them. Nervous because my first Pentax (40 XW) had horrendous field curvature. I've stayed away from the 20 and 14's based on a similar reputation.

Unfortunately, to get the direct Delos comparison I will have to resort to a barlow, which hardly seems fair. Likewise for the Brandons. But my Nagler Zoom can do a "naturally aspirated" 5 mm.


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: Herr General]
      #5960074 - 07/08/13 07:05 AM

Quote:

And finally, I was looking around and found the Zhumell Z series planetary EPs. There's a kit of the 5mm, 9mm, 18mm, and an eyepiece bag for sale at $170- is it worth taking the plunge for them? I've heard they're quite good for the price and getting three eyepieces (and a bag!) for the price of one of the other ones is not exactly a deal to be overlooked.




Smart Astronomy sells clones of the Zhumell Z Series. AFAIK, the SA LER's are the same, except that they also come in a 6mm. I have bino pairs of the SA LER 6mm and 18mm. Their tone is neutral-cool. I like the 18mm especially for lunar.

Last year my 6mm bino pair gave me good views of Mars when it was only about 6 arcsec. In my 10" f/4.8 with Burgess Binoviewers this was about 3mm effective focal length and 400x, about 40x per inch. I even pushed this setup as high as 600x for a decent view of Mars. This was surprising for inexpensive 6mm LER's. Every time I think about selling the LER's, I recall this observation and change my mind. Though I'm pretty sure if I had a bino pair of XO's, the view would have been even better!

Mike


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: Jeff Morgan]
      #5960082 - 07/08/13 07:17 AM

Quote:

I was just able to pick up a 5 XW from Astromart, anxiously and nervously awaiting it's arrival. Anxious because I have heard so much about them. Nervous because my first Pentax (40 XW) had horrendous field curvature. I've stayed away from the 20 and 14's based on a similar reputation.




I was able to buy an XW 20 at a good used price. Otherwise I don't think I would have bought one, because I'd heard about the terrible FC. Yes, the FC in the XW is terrible through my 10" f/4.8 Dob. This scope has no appreciable FC from the primary, since the focal length is 1200mm, so any FC is likely coming from the eyepiece. My eyes are very sensitive to FC - they don't have a wide range of focus accommodation.

However the FC in the XW 20 cleaned up very well in a Paracorr, which acts somewhat as a field flattener as well as coma corrector. So, if you have a Dob with at least a 1200mm focal length, I'd have no qualms about using the XW 20 - as long as you put it in a Paracorr. The Paracorr might also flatten the fields of the XW 14 and 40 well enough.

I also have the XW 3.5, 5, 7 and 10mm. I haven't noticed any appreciable FC in those eyepieces in my 10" f/4.8 Dob.

Mike


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: Best planetary EPs being made today... new [Re: GeneT]
      #5960083 - 07/08/13 07:19 AM

Quote:

Quote:

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.




These are very slight, subtle differences, but I saw slightly sharper detail on Jupiter's surface. The 5 XO was designed to be a planetary eyepiece. Its exit pupil of 1 for my telescope is just right for high power views of planets.

Hi Gene,

What was the slight edge seen in the XO?








....?


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