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Equipment Discussions >> Eyepieces

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snommisbor
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Reged: 06/15/09

Loc: Cedar Park, TX
Zeiss Orthos-Why So Special?
      #6140701 - 10/16/13 11:24 AM

I saw on AMart a set for sale and I have heard about these before. Looking at them I dont see what the big deal is. For one the 4mm has a small eye opening when looking through it and me personally I hated those types of EP's I like the open view when looking through an EP, like a Ethos or a Nagler, which I have both. I was just wondering what is special about these or other Ortho Eyepieces that I see are quite expensive. Is it like Flourite glass or something?

Just curious.


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leonard
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Re: Zeiss Orthos-Why So Special? new [Re: snommisbor]
      #6140757 - 10/16/13 11:58 AM

Hello ,

>>>>> I was just wondering what is special about these or other Ortho Eyepieces that I see are quite expensive. Is it like Flourite glass or something? <<<<<<

If you are new here welcome!
A quick answer to the above question would be that the glass is special ,for one thing its about as flawless as glass can be for production purposes . On top of that some of the glass is a special type . The polish level of the lenses is about as good as it gets in a production setting.
The casing is very well made and QC was second to none . The Zeiss Abbe ortho's in 1 1/4 format made in the 1990's were if I remember correct were designed to be used down to F7 or F8 , and they are seen by most planetary lovers as tied for best of breed with only 2 or 3 other contenders on the feild .

Hope this helps , leonard


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bremms
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Reged: 08/31/12

Loc: SC
Re: Zeiss Orthos-Why So Special? new [Re: leonard]
      #6140819 - 10/16/13 12:37 PM

Surface quality and design. You will find Brandon's have similar scatter control. They don't work well below F8. The Zeiss Abbé is better off axis than the Brandons. I have a Meade RGO 10.5mm that gave my Zeiss 10mm fits. They were very similar, I was offered what was a good price for the Zeiss. It was good but not $350 good to me. The Meade its equal and my Steinheil triplet from Edmund was better over 20deg.

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SteveC
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Reged: 06/15/06

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Re: Zeiss Orthos-Why So Special? new [Re: snommisbor]
      #6140837 - 10/16/13 12:43 PM

Quote:

I saw on AMart a set for sale and I have heard about these before. Looking at them I dont see what the big deal is. For one the 4mm has a small eye opening when looking through it and me personally I hated those types of EP's I like the open view when looking through an EP, like a Ethos or a Nagler, which I have both. I was just wondering what is special about these or other Ortho Eyepieces that I see are quite expensive. Is it like Flourite glass or something?

Just curious.




I don't know and I don't care what makes the ZAO's so sharp and contrasty, but they are, and that's all that matters. If I had a strong opinion against narrow fields as you do, I would probably dislike the ZAO's view and the eyepiece opening also.

I got a chuckle from the seller's classified, because his observations concerning his Supermonos and the ZAO's mirrored mine. Unlike the seller's predicament, I have a use for my ZAO's. My Supermonos are used 6 warm months in RI, while the ZAO's are used 6 warm months + a day in FL.


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dscarpa
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Re: Zeiss Orthos-Why So Special? new [Re: snommisbor]
      #6140889 - 10/16/13 01:07 PM

I've never used a Zeiss but recently bought a Pentax 5 XO which judging from others have said has similar image quality. It out XWs my XWs. David

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snommisbor
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Reged: 06/15/09

Loc: Cedar Park, TX
Re: Zeiss Orthos-Why So Special? new [Re: dscarpa]
      #6140973 - 10/16/13 01:53 PM

Thanks for the clarifications. I do know Zeiss is a great optics maker, from the ASQ, camera lenses to their hunting scopes and binos. Although I am more of a Swarovski user in that regard.

Yeah Steve ever since I looked through my Ethos I have been hooked on those space walk views. Sometimes you feel a little dizzy looking through it cause it is so expansive and beautiful. I would guess with those small openings it doesnt matter on planets but I still like seeing around. Maybe someday I will come across someone who has a set and try them out.


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RAKing
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Re: Zeiss Orthos-Why So Special? new [Re: snommisbor]
      #6141034 - 10/16/13 02:25 PM

I love my Ethos and my Naglers, but there are some nights when a crisp, clear view of Jupiter or Saturn makes everything worth while. If I could put a 6mm Zeiss ortho into your TEC 140 on one of those nights you might understand why we love them so much.

Cheers,

Ron


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cw00
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Reged: 08/16/11

Loc: San Diego, CA
Re: Zeiss Orthos-Why So Special? new [Re: RAKing]
      #6141155 - 10/16/13 03:25 PM

Exactly Ron. If the seeing is so-so, the ZAOs will stay inside. But when the seeing is exceptional, they do shine literally. BUT, if I can have only one set of eyepieces, I will take Ethos or Delos over ZAOs any time. They are definitely not your all-purpose eyepieces.

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Scott99
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Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: New England
Re: Zeiss Orthos-Why So Special? new [Re: cw00]
      #6142799 - 10/17/13 11:58 AM

Zeiss has a long history of using the absolute best optical technology at the time for their products, and they only do limited runs of astro equipment. People are paying a lot for the best optics, knowing there won't be any dust inside or defects, durable mechanical design, etc.

this eyepiece design doesn't need fluorite lenses, but supposedly they used exceptionally clear and transparent glasses for both their ortho sets, glasses that were not available until recent times.


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John Anthony
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Reged: 04/27/13

Re: Zeiss Orthos-Why So Special? new [Re: cw00]
      #6142826 - 10/17/13 12:13 PM

Quote:

Exactly Ron. If the seeing is so-so, the ZAOs will stay inside. But when the seeing is exceptional, they do shine literally. BUT, if I can have only one set of eyepieces, I will take Ethos or Delos over ZAOs any time. They are definitely not your all-purpose eyepieces.




Very well said. I would love to own a set of ZAO's, I just can't justify spending almost four thousand dollars on something that gives me about a five percent increase in performance (maybe ten if you're lucky) only ten percent of the time. Would much rather spend that money on something like the Delos or Ethos line that I would use pretty much all the time.

To me even if you have the right scope to use them with performance compared to price isn't so much better then other eyepieces costing far less to lay down those kind of dollars for, this of course does nothing to lessen my desire to own them.


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csrlice12
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Re: Zeiss Orthos-Why So Special? new [Re: John Anthony]
      #6142984 - 10/17/13 01:44 PM

ZAOs are the Bentleys of the eyepiece world. They've probably discarded lenses that would be more then adequate in most any other brand. It's their attention to the mfg process and detail that make the difference, they're just not spit out of some assembly line and chucked into a box.

While I love my Ethos, Naglers, and ES widefields, in my XLT, they rarely see the focuser. In the XLT, its mostly orthos, plossls, and NLVs....tracking makes a world of difference....


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SteveC
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Loc: Sunshine State & Ocean State
Re: Zeiss Orthos-Why So Special? new [Re: cw00]
      #6143089 - 10/17/13 02:33 PM

Quote:

Exactly Ron. If the seeing is so-so, the ZAOs will stay inside. But when the seeing is exceptional, they do shine literally. BUT, if I can have only one set of eyepieces, I will take Ethos or Delos over ZAOs any time. They are definitely not your all-purpose eyepieces.




Why keep the ZAO's inside waiting for certain conditions? We can debate whether or not they are all-purpose eyepieces all day, but why reserve them for the best of conditions?

For the record,
#1 - I believe ZAO's are all-purpose eyepieces.
#2 - I use them under all conditions with the hope I'm stepping out into perfect conditions. You never know when that window will open.

It's the same with my Supermonos, they are always in my turret or eyepiece tray. When I owned several brands of orthos, I never brought out the UO HD's, Pentax SMC's, or BGO's, it was always the ZAO's and Supermonos. I sold all the other unused orthos and bought a new scope, which was infinitly more rewarding, for me at least, than keeping stockpiles of orthos. To each his own, but I had a budget, and a purpose for each scope and eyepiece.

The only time I regretted not having a less expensive set of eyepieces was when i used to go camping. Inevitably, someone would ask how much my setup cost. I'd point to the TEC110 and ZAO's and say, "oh this, this is my cheap setup, I leave the good stuff at home. You can start with a decent scope for $200- $300".

Btw, I built a secret compartment for the scope in the camper trailer and kept the eyepieces in my SUV.


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BillP
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Reged: 11/26/06

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Re: Zeiss Orthos-Why So Special? new [Re: SteveC]
      #6143114 - 10/17/13 02:50 PM

Quote:

Btw, I built a secret compartment for the scope in the camper trailer and kept the eyepieces in my SUV.




Yup...just like rifles and ammo, you should always keep them separated. If someone finds the scope, the last thing you want is for them to indiscriminately observe with it


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SteveC
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Re: Zeiss Orthos-Why So Special? new [Re: RAKing]
      #6143115 - 10/17/13 02:50 PM

Quote:

I love my Ethos and my Naglers, but there are some nights when a crisp, clear view of Jupiter or Saturn makes everything worth while. If I could put a 6mm Zeiss ortho into your TEC 140 on one of those nights you might understand why we love them so much.

Cheers,

Ron




I have done that, and loved every moment!!

A few years ago, I had a bunch of kids over the house(my childrens' friends). We all went outside to view Jupiter, and it was one of those rare NJ nights when the sky was absolutely transparent. I popped in a Supermono, and I was blown way with what I saw......................and I was ticked off that I had to share the view with those punks, they were undeserving and didn't know better.........and they wouldn't go away. "What's next" they said. I felt like saying, "there's nothing else in the sky, get lost", but I didn't. I can't believe I shared........I'm ordinarily not a nice person.

Edited by SteveC (10/17/13 02:55 PM)


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snommisbor
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Reged: 06/15/09

Loc: Cedar Park, TX
Re: Zeiss Orthos-Why So Special? new [Re: SteveC]
      #6143129 - 10/17/13 02:58 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I love my Ethos and my Naglers, but there are some nights when a crisp, clear view of Jupiter or Saturn makes everything worth while. If I could put a 6mm Zeiss ortho into your TEC 140 on one of those nights you might understand why we love them so much.

Cheers,

Ron




I have done that, and loved every moment!!

A few years ago, I had a bunch of kids over the house(my childrens' friends). We all went outside to view Jupiter, and it was one of those rare NJ nights when the sky was absolutely transparent. I popped in a Supermono, and I was blown way with what I saw......................and I was ticked off that I had to share the view with those punks, they were undeserving and didn't know better.........and they wouldn't go away. "What's next" they said. I felt like saying, "there's nothing else in the sky, get lost", but I didn't. I can't believe I shared........I'm ordinarily not a nice person.






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SteveC
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Re: Zeiss Orthos-Why So Special? new [Re: BillP]
      #6143155 - 10/17/13 03:11 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Btw, I built a secret compartment for the scope in the camper trailer and kept the eyepieces in my SUV.




Yup...just like rifles and ammo, you should always keep them separated. If someone finds the scope, the last thing you want is for them to indiscriminately observe with it




That's my chuckle of the day.

Luckily for me most campers didn't have use for a scope if it wasn't attached to a rifle. We never had a breakin in all the years we camped.


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Full Sun
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Reged: 11/19/06

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Re: Zeiss Orthos-Why So Special? new [Re: SteveC]
      #6143320 - 10/17/13 04:59 PM

If you get a chance compare a Pentax 5 XO to a Pentax 5 XW in a really good scope under calm seeing conditions -you will see the difference. (Often an exceptional eyepiece will let you bump up the power a notch and still hold the image together just at the threshold limit).The XO in execution is the equivalent of the Zeiss Orthos and essentailly parfocal "too boot". My experience rated the TMB SM the equivalent to the Zeiss and Pentax, just not as comfortable in use.
On an average night just go with your widefield of choice as it doesn't really matter.

Edited by Full Sun (10/17/13 06:48 PM)


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RAKing
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Re: Zeiss Orthos-Why So Special? new [Re: SteveC]
      #6143322 - 10/17/13 05:00 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Exactly Ron. If the seeing is so-so, the ZAOs will stay inside. But when the seeing is exceptional, they do shine literally. BUT, if I can have only one set of eyepieces, I will take Ethos or Delos over ZAOs any time. They are definitely not your all-purpose eyepieces.




Why keep the ZAO's inside waiting for certain conditions? We can debate whether or not they are all-purpose eyepieces all day, but why reserve them for the best of conditions?

For the record,
#1 - I believe ZAO's are all-purpose eyepieces.
#2 - I use them under all conditions with the hope I'm stepping out into perfect conditions. You never know when that window will open.




I'm not sure about #1, but I agree with #2.

I sold my ZAO-II a couple years ago to pay for medical bills, but I kept a small set of CZJ orthos for sentimental reasons -- plus I still have a full set of Astro-Physics SPL. The A-P SPL is a bigger set (6 eyepieces) than the ZAO and IIRC, the glass was sourced by Aries in Eastern Europe. These eyepieces don't give up much (if anything) to the ZAO - super glass and super polishing all around.

For the record, I always carry a couple of SPL with me. You never know when you might need them for that "once in a lifetime" view.

Cheers,

Ron


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SteveC
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Re: Zeiss Orthos-Why So Special? new [Re: RAKing]
      #6143486 - 10/17/13 06:37 PM

Hi Ron,

I forgot that the SPL's were a six piece set, thinking they were only a 5 piece set. I was darn sure of it too, don't know why, especially since I owned a couple at one time. Good thing I checked before attempting to correct you. I hate eating my words.

I have the 5mm XO boxed with the ZAO II's and consider it part of the set. I also have the 25mm ZAO I in the same box, so i sort of have a 6 piece set. I sold off the other ZAO I's to help pay for the TEC110. I searched many years to get the 34mm ZAO I, and finally gave up. I' m sort of grateful now, since I never used the Nagler 31mm when I owned it. The 34mm would have sat on a shelf.

The more I think about it, I was an idiot for driving around from one campsite to another with that set. I guess I considered myself more invincible back then.


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Schaden
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Reged: 06/30/08

Loc: Sonoran Desert
Re: Zeiss Orthos-Why So Special? [Re: SteveC]
      #6143553 - 10/17/13 07:12 PM

I hope Zeiss makes another run of ortho eyepieces one day.

If I had known about them when new, I'd have bought a set. I think it's worth it. I'm mostly into planets and love my goto/tracking scope, so the fov doesn't bother me. I'm not against buying a set of ZAO II used, but it seems like you need to be lucky to see them for sale. How often does a set of ZAO or ZAO II come up on astromart or ebay, a few times a year ?

Edit: if it's the ad that still has the 4mm for sale, yeah I'd have loved to bought the 6 or 10mm. They were probably gone within hours.


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