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
tayseidel
member
*****

Reged: 11/15/12

Explore Scientific 5.5mm 100 First Light new
      #6319194 - 01/17/14 05:56 PM

I just purchased the ES 5.5mm 100 from Don @ EyepiecesEtc.com. Don has been fantastic to communicate with, and not only that, he took great care in the packing. When it arrived, the ES box was surrounded by air packets top-bottom and on all four sides.

Seeing that I live in the Pacific Northwest, I hadn't gotten an opportunity to look through it until just recently, and that was with a 80-90% covered sky. So, targets were limited to Luna and Jupiter. The stars were covered by clouds. Jupiter and Luna were only targets because of their brightness.

My scope: 10" f / 5.6 Newtonian Reflector. The Gustav IV. I did the primary myself with the help of Steve Swayze, who by the way, is an excellent optician who has obvious passion for what he does. The figure on the primary is simply excellent. The views are really beautiful.

Ok my thoughts, so far.

Jupiter: Easily the best ever views I've had of Jupiter in my scope. The view was sharp, and a little bit to my surprise, not soft at all. The image was crisp. The bands were visible, but the GRS was not because it was not transiting at the time. Because of the overcast, I was not using my 3" mask, and I also could not evaluate light scatter in this EP. When the weather permits, I'll post a more detailed write up on this EP for planetary.

Luna: The overcast and the full moon seriously limited the views of Luna. Generally, with Luna, the tight eye relief of this particular EP became more of a factor. I could not see much detail because the moon was full and because Luna was dropping in and out due to the clouds. At this time, I feel that a more appropriate evaluation can be made when the weather here permits, and when Luna is at quarter to half-phase.

I'd say that if you are comfortable with the ES 100 series, then you should do just fine with the 5.5. Using this eyepiece felt like using the Televue 3.7mm 110 Ethos and the Televue 4.7mm 110 Ethos, both of whom my friend has. In fact, the image of Jupiter in the ES 5.5mm 100 rivaled the views of Jupiter in the Televue 4.7mm 110 Ethos, despite the different FL and FOV.

I'll be doing some side by side comparisons of the ES 5.5mm 100 and the Televue 6mm 100 Ethos tonight if the weather permits. I'll post thoughts on this later on.

By the way, both Explore Scientific and Televue make fantastic eyepieces. I'm not looking to start a debate of which is better than which. I'll say this for Televue: You only cry once. I'm a big, big fan of Televue eyepieces, and the same goes for Explore Scientific!

Pictures of the EP below. In the last pic, I put the ES 5.5mm next to my ES 14mm just to show their relative sizes.


















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


Reged: 04/21/12

Loc: GMT+9
Re: Explore Scientific 5.5mm 100 First Light new [Re: tayseidel]
      #6319433 - 01/17/14 08:57 PM

Taylor,

Nice review. Looking forward to the ES 5.5 vs TV 6 comparison. I have one TV and lots of ES. Except for a few QC replacements, I haven't cried at all with my ES. I guess that last sentence says it all. Happy user of both!


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

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: Explore Scientific 5.5mm 100 First Light new [Re: tayseidel]
      #6319470 - 01/17/14 09:12 PM

Quote:

Jupiter: Easily the best ever views I've had of Jupiter in my scope. The view was sharp, and a little bit to my surprise, not soft at all. The image was crisp. The bands were visible, but the GRS was not because it was not transiting at the time. Because of the overcast, I was not using my 3" mask, and I also could not evaluate light scatter in this EP. When the weather permits, I'll post a more detailed write up on this EP for planetary.




What is the 3" mask and what is its function?

Mike


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Explore Scientific 5.5mm 100 First Light new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6319689 - 01/18/14 12:03 AM

I've heard from a couple people so far that the 5.5 just might be the best color-corrected of all the ES100s.
Whether that's true or not, it usually yields a fair amount of power in most 1000-3000mm focal length scopes, so it will, unfortunately, be "seeing limited".
But when the seeing is good, an eyepiece of this field and clarity just sings on small planetary nebulae. My favorite eyepieces when those conditions occur are 6mm and 4.7mm. Incredible.
Taylor, hope you get some good skies soon. New Moon is coming...........


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

Reged: 12/26/04

Re: Explore Scientific 5.5mm 100 First Light new [Re: Starman1]
      #6319816 - 01/18/14 02:48 AM

Nice report!


Quote:

What is the 3" mask and what is its function?

Mike




I have a 3.7" F/12.7 mask. It keeps the brightness of Jupiter at a really good level and stops irradiation. You don't like masks, and you've never tried it, so you wouldn't know!

I don't view Jupiter or Venus or Mars without it.


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

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: Explore Scientific 5.5mm 100 First Light new [Re: Scanning4Comets]
      #6320075 - 01/18/14 09:43 AM

Yes, I have tried masks. And yes I don't like them...except for the apodizing mask. All other masks reduce aperture, which is never a good thing unless you're covering up edge errors. Then the mask should be at the objective of a refractor. A mask for a Newt should be used immediately above the primary to cover up TDE or other edge errors. In a Newt, a mask at the sky end will reduce aperture and resolution without effectively reducing edge errors.

IME & IMO, if Jupiter or Mars appear too bright in a 10" aperture you're not doing it right. Allow time for your eyes to adjust to the level of brightness of the planet. Or better yet, shine a bright white-light flashlight on a piece of white paper and look at the paper. This will bring your eyes up to photopic, the appropriate level of adaptation for viewing planets. Irradiation is not a problem if your eyes are adapted correctly for planet viewing. (Daniel Mounsey and other planet observers also give this advice, so it's not just me.)

Mike


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

Reged: 12/26/04

Re: Explore Scientific 5.5mm 100 First Light new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6320134 - 01/18/14 10:19 AM

Using a mask on a reflector is like using a refractor. There is no central obstruction....no diffraction spikes. I still see tiny festoons and detail and it takes the irradiation away. If you want to play with flashlights all night, then have a party.

Not doing it right? Sorry Mike, I've been observing for a lot longer than you have, and I know what I am doing. Not everybody does what "you do"....and not everybody does what "I do", but I know what works for me.



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

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Bornholm, Denmark
Re: Explore Scientific 5.5mm 100 First Light new [Re: Scanning4Comets]
      #6320161 - 01/18/14 10:40 AM

Well, I've been observing for quite some time myself and I'm with Mike on this one.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: Explore Scientific 5.5mm 100 First Light new [Re: Scanning4Comets]
      #6320220 - 01/18/14 11:05 AM

Quote:

Using a mask on a reflector is like using a refractor. There is no central obstruction....no diffraction spikes. I still see tiny festoons and detail and it takes the irradiation away. If you want to play with flashlights all night, then have a party.

Not doing it right? Sorry Mike, I've been observing for a lot longer than you have, and I know what I am doing. Not everybody does what "you do"....and not everybody does what "I do", but I know what works for me.






If the mask is off-axis, you won't have the CO or spider spikes, but you will still have coma. The telescope is still a Newt, not a refractor. With a mask, you're not only losing light, but resolving power. Also, you will lose much more contrast by reducing the aperture than you gain by eliminating the CO and vanes.

How do you know how long I've been observing? I've been using telescopes since 1970, 44 years of observing experience.

But we'll just have to agree to disagree. I don't expect everyone to observe the way I do.


Mike


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
tayseidel
member
*****

Reged: 11/15/12

Re: Explore Scientific 5.5mm 100 First Light new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6320318 - 01/18/14 11:48 AM

Sarkikos, as Scanning4Comets already said, I use the masks to cut down on the light scatter from the vanes since they are off-axis, and to cut down on the brightness of planets like Jupiter/Mars etc. It absolutely does not increase detail. I know that. But what the masks do is allow me to SEE the detail that is there, even though the aperture is cut down with the masks, and they give me the views of a quality refractor. I'll try what you said, which is shining a bright white-light flashlight on a piece of white paper to bring my eyes up to photopic, the appropriate level of adaptation for viewing planets. Ive never tried that before, so Ill certainly give that one a go.

I sometimes use the 3 f / 19 mask on Luna but I find that I can see more detail without the mask once I get used to the brightness of Luna. I did notice though, that sometimes temporary blindness caused by the brightness of Luna without the mask will cause me to miss subtle detail after a while. When Im looking minute detail like riles, I dont use a mask.

I got a chance to compare images of Jupiter, M42, and Luna between the ES 5.5 and the TV 6mm Ethos last night, and Ill post my thoughts on this tonight as I have a birthday party for my son to host.

Don, the comment about the color correction in the ES 5.5 looks to me to be justified. Of course, I have only the ES 14mm in the 100 series to compare it to. But color correction is definitely strength of this EP. After last night, Im starting to really like the ES 5.5 for the performance on Jupiter. I cant wait to see how it performs on Planetary Nebula once the weather and new moon allows for DSO observing.

Ill include a pic of the masks I made here. I know that not everyone as an observer likes them, but they work for me, and I like them. The masks I made are:
3" f / 19 Solar filter, 3 9/16" f / 16 mask, 3" f / 19 mask and the 3" 4-stop multi-aperture mask that is used as a focus aid (for double star observing on nights of good seeing)







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

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: Explore Scientific 5.5mm 100 First Light new [Re: tayseidel]
      #6320415 - 01/18/14 12:33 PM

Quote:

I'll try what you said, which is shining a bright white-light flashlight on a piece of white paper to bring my eyes up to photopic, the appropriate level of adaptation for viewing planets. Ive never tried that before, so Ill certainly give that one a go.




Yes, the "flashlight trick" does improve observation of bright planets. It can also help the eyes deal with the bright Moon. AFAIK, this trick has been discovered independently by many planet observers over the years. That's not surprising, since it's such a simple thing to do.

Quote:

I got a chance to compare images of Jupiter, M42, and Luna between the ES 5.5 and the TV 6mm Ethos last night, and Ill post my thoughts on this tonight as I have a birthday party for my son to host.




Sounds good. I'll be looking forward to that report.


Mike


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

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Bornholm, Denmark
Re: Explore Scientific 5.5mm 100 First Light new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6320911 - 01/18/14 05:14 PM

Quote:

AFAIK, this trick has been discovered independently by many planet observers over the years. That's not surprising, since it's such a simple thing to do.




I don't bother with a white card, I just go inside and get some warmth, while I'm at it! Or maybe I leave the porch light turned on. Mostly, I tend to leave it off, as I find the light that leaks into my eye annoying. It's pretty difficult to not get dark adapted and yet not get any light leaking into the eyepiece...


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Bornholm, Denmark
Re: Explore Scientific 5.5mm 100 First Light new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #6320913 - 01/18/14 05:16 PM

BTW, I can absolutely recommend a binoviewer, if you're troubled with glare. It cuts down on the light, while increasing the contrast and cutting the noise, because the brain gets twice as much signal.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: Explore Scientific 5.5mm 100 First Light new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #6321326 - 01/18/14 10:04 PM

Quote:

I don't bother with a white card, I just go inside and get some warmth, while I'm at it! Or maybe I leave the porch light turned on. Mostly, I tend to leave it off, as I find the light that leaks into my eye annoying. It's pretty difficult to not get dark adapted and yet not get any light leaking into the eyepiece...


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark




Yes, a constant outdoor light is not so good because it can introduce ambient glare into the eye while you're trying to observe. It's better to "recharge" your photopic adaptation periodically with either a white-light flashlight or a quick trip inside the house. The flashlight, though, is more convenient and quicker.

Mike


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

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: Explore Scientific 5.5mm 100 First Light [Re: Astrojensen]
      #6321327 - 01/18/14 10:05 PM

Quote:

BTW, I can absolutely recommend a binoviewer, if you're troubled with glare. It cuts down on the light, while increasing the contrast and cutting the noise, because the brain gets twice as much signal.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark




+1

Mike


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
tayseidel
member
*****

Reged: 11/15/12

Re: Explore Scientific 5.5mm 100 First Light new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6342101 - 01/28/14 11:27 PM

Sarkikos, I took your advice and tried the bright white LED light trick, and to my surprise, it worked. In fact, its a fantastic way to see a little more detail without the brightness of Jup overwhelming the pupil of the eye. The masks I made now see less use as a result. So, what you suggested has worked wonders. I was able to see more detail in the bands, the smaller bands at the poles, and to top it off, I was able to see Io transit the face of Jup quite clearly. Ill still use the masks for inexperienced observers, like family members who dont really know how to tease out detail the way I do.

Ok, I had a chance to compare the 6E and the ES 5.5 and Ill try to be as objective as possible.

Target: Luna

The 6E I thought, had a bit of a warm tone to it, relative to the ES 5.5 which seemed more so cool white. This came a bit of a surprise to me, as I was expecting the color toning to be about the same. I could not tell the difference between the 6E and the ES 5.5 as far as image fidelity is concerned though.

Target Jupiter:

Virtually a toss up between the 6E and the ES 5.5. Jupiter and its four galilean moons look fabulous in both eyepieces. Jupiter really put on a show in the ES 5.5 and the color correction was excellent as there was no haloing around Jup. I could not tell the difference between the 6E and the ES 5.5 as far as image fidelity is concerned, on Jupiter.


Thoughts:
If money is no object, the 6E wins, hands down, for comfort of use. The eye relief of the 6E is just a bit longer while the eye relief of the ES 5.5 is a bit tighter. The ES 5.5 is not an eyepiece for eyeglass wearers. Then again, the 6E probably isnt either. The ES 5.5 represents a tremendous value for people looking to get into the 100 market who otherwise could not afford the TV Ethos series.

The reality is, Im a full time student in school to become a teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Im deaf myself as well. So, I dont have a ton of money to spend on TV eyepieces, and the ES 100 has been a huge, huge boon to me because Ive gotten to experience the wonders of a 100 FOV on a budget. With that said, Ive gotten a chance to use all of the Ethos eyepieces, the 3.7mm TV Ethos, 4.7mm TV Ethos, 6mm TV Ethos, 8mm TV Ethos, 10mm TV Ethos (My favorite), 13mm TV Ethos, 17mm TV Ethos, 21mm TV Ethos (Also a favorite) and all are just tremendous eyepieces. I love them all, and if I could afford them, I would have a set!

So for those who are unsure about the ES 5.5, it is a fantastic eyepiece, and a fantastic value as well.

Edited by tayseidel (01/28/14 11:52 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
tayseidel
member
*****

Reged: 11/15/12

Re: Explore Scientific 5.5mm 100 First Light new [Re: tayseidel]
      #6342135 - 01/28/14 11:48 PM

Also, I apologize that my report is not technical. I've had a flood of family and friends over on clear nights w/ good seeing so they could look at Jup and some of the brighter DSO's. I simply haven't had the time to sit down and write notes at the eyepiece. In fact, only once have I observed with the ES 5.5 by myself.

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


Reged: 08/11/09

Re: Explore Scientific 5.5mm 100 First Light new [Re: tayseidel]
      #6342545 - 01/29/14 08:28 AM

Quote:

Also, I apologize that my report is not technical. I've had a flood of family and friends over on clear nights w/ good seeing so they could look at Jup and some of the brighter DSO's. I simply haven't had the time to sit down and write notes at the eyepiece. In fact, only once have I observed with the ES 5.5 by myself.




Great report and great infromation. As far as "technical goes" I wouldn't worry a wit about that. This is a hobby that is suppose to be fun. If I want to be technical I'll go to work. And for someone who has not used either eyepiece, were I too look into buying one, you have given me a very good idea of what I can expect.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Explore Scientific 5.5mm 100 First Light new [Re: JCAZ]
      #6342652 - 01/29/14 09:40 AM

Sometimes the simple and straight forward gives us nontechies out there more info then a lot of math and statistics.......

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1


Extra information
23 registered and 26 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  ausastronomer, Scott in NC, iceblaze 

Print Thread

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


Thread views: 879

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics