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Equipment Discussions >> Eyepieces

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Franta
newbie


Reged: 10/09/12

RKEs and DSOs new
      #6481631 - 04/22/14 04:50 PM

Hello,

I have observed deep-sky objects for ten years and I found that the best performers I have tried are Pentax or BGO eyepieces. It is probably because of small numbers of air-glass surfaces. This is my experience, I do not want to persuade anybody that I am right. I covered shorter focal lengths but I do not have any low magnification eyepiece of similar quality (I use F4.7 dob, seek for 24-30mm eyepiece). Now I have the opportunity to buy RKE 28mm. The RKE 28mm is of simple design so I expect it will perform well on DSOs. Unfortunatelly, I am unable get any conclusions from reading forums, because there are some comments by planetary observers but I have't found any report written by any DSO enthusiast. Has anybody any experience how does it perform on dwarf galaxies or extremely faint nebulae? If anyone knows how do they compare particularly with ZAOs, Naglers or Pantaxes I will be very grateful. I mentioned TV and Pentax widefields bacause I believe that high quality simple eyepiece design such as kellner must outperform any widefield on DSO (of course, FOV is of no issue for my purposes).

I am sorry for my bad English.

Clear sky to you.


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David Knisely
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/19/04

Loc: southeastern Nebraska
Re: RKEs and DSOs [Re: Franta]
      #6481725 - 04/22/14 05:44 PM

The 28mm RKE eyepiece is a fair to good performer depending mainly on how short an f/ratio it is being used with. It has relatively long eye relief and is relatively inexpensive which often makes it stand out somewhat. The 28mm only has a 45 degree apparent field of view, so it isn't exactly in the widest-field class. At f/8 to f/10, it can perform like a good Plossl with good star images across most of the field of view except perhaps for the outermost edge where a little astigmatism is present. There is also some pin-cushion distortion, although this can be said of many other eyepiece designs. Below f/7, outer field astigmatism starts to really show up, although the eyepiece remains fairly useful. Down at f/5 and below, well, things kind of take a turn for the worse. About the outer third of the field shows the astigmatism fairly strongly, so star images away from the center of the field often look elongated or 'seagull' shaped depending on focusing. The RKE performs slightly better than a good Kellner eyepiece and rivals Plossls at some f/ratios, but isn't exactly an outstanding wide-field eyepiece. Still, for the money, it has been a good buy. Clear skies to you.

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Franta
newbie


Reged: 10/09/12

Re: RKEs and DSOs new [Re: David Knisely]
      #6486000 - 04/24/14 04:32 PM

David, thank you for your reply and comprehensive description of RKE's optical abberations. I probably wrote my previous post rather confusing, because I am interested in RKE's ability to discern the most obscure fuzzy objects, not in ability to provide pinpoint star images in the whole field of view. These two properties are rather unrelated, because from my personal experience TV Plossls or Naglers provide better star images in the outer part of FOV than BGOs (in F4.7 dob) do, but they are unable to show the very faint galaxies which can be glimpsed by BGOs. The difference is very small and I can perceive it only after couple of minutes when intensively observing the same object, but for me it is of big importance because I enjoy observing DSOs a lot.

Thus I suppose that RKEs with smaller air to glass surfaces are better at discerning the most obscure deep-sky objects than modern widefields. Please, can anyone confirm or falsify this claim for RKEs from personal experience?

In country where I live, they are not so cheap - two RKEs cost almost the same as one Panoptic 24mm. I do not intend to buy 28mm RKE because it is cheap, but only because I suppose it is of similar quality as BGOs.

Edited by Franta (04/24/14 04:38 PM)


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David Knisely
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/19/04

Loc: southeastern Nebraska
Re: RKEs and DSOs new [Re: Franta]
      #6486235 - 04/24/14 06:20 PM

Quote:

David, thank you for your reply and comprehensive description of RKE's optical abberations. I probably wrote my previous post rather confusing, because I am interested in RKE's ability to discern the most obscure fuzzy objects, not in ability to provide pinpoint star images in the whole field of view. These two properties are rather unrelated, because from my personal experience TV Plossls or Naglers provide better star images in the outer part of FOV than BGOs (in F4.7 dob) do, but they are unable to show the very faint galaxies which can be glimpsed by BGOs. The difference is very small and I can perceive it only after couple of minutes when intensively observing the same object, but for me it is of big importance because I enjoy observing DSOs a lot.

Thus I suppose that RKEs with smaller air to glass surfaces are better at discerning the most obscure deep-sky objects than modern widefields. Please, can anyone confirm or falsify this claim for RKEs from personal experience?

In country where I live, they are not so cheap - two RKEs cost almost the same as one Panoptic 24mm. I do not intend to buy 28mm RKE because it is cheap, but only because I suppose it is of similar quality as BGOs.




Strong eyepiece astigmatism can make small faint galaxies in the outer parts of the field harder to see, and make it much more difficult to hunt-down or detect small planetary nebulae due to the enlargement and blurring of the other field stars away from the field center. At shorter f/ratios, you will notice a HUGE difference between what a 24mm Panoptic shows across its field and what the 28mm RKE will show. Star clusters in particular will be much more pleasing in the Pan than in the RKE. With the modern coatings, going from three elements to six results in little visible loss in light throughput. I would always go for the Panoptic over the RKEs. For really faint galaxy clusters, a lot of the time, I use a 14mm ES100 eyepiece that has a whopping nine elements, and it has allowed me to just float among the tiny faint component galaxies in these clusters with little to no loss in light. It isn't just the number of elements that must be considered: it is the quality of the optics that matters the most. Clear skies to you.


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Vondragonnoggin
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/21/10

Loc: Southern CA, USA
Re: RKEs and DSOs new [Re: David Knisely]
      #6486254 - 04/24/14 06:32 PM

A very clinical description of the 28mm RKE. If you look around you'll see a lot have less clinical descriptions and more subjective exuberance towards that particular RKE. Myself included. I like for DSO work or any other work for that matter and happened on one accidentally through a used Astroscan purchase. I binoview with them now as well as single, barlowed, double barlowed. Haha. The barlowed view helps with edge distortions in faster scopes. I think they just make things appear very bright, have nice long ER, and no undercut on barrels, plus a certain design bonus that makes for an interesting view. Just google for all the subjective exuberance samples. Although from your original post, it sounds like the clinical observations are what you were looking for.



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GOLGO13
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/05/05

Loc: St. Louis area
Re: RKEs and DSOs new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #6486563 - 04/24/14 09:04 PM

I also love the 28mm RKE. As well as the 21.5mm RKE which is very good. Good stuff

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penguinx64
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/12/13

Loc: Holland
Re: RKEs and DSOs new [Re: GOLGO13]
      #6487024 - 04/25/14 02:18 AM

I have a 28mm RKE on the way. It should be here any day now. I plan to use it with my f/4 4.5 inch scope. I'll post my results when I try it. After reading David's posts, maybe this eyepiece won't work well with my scope? Would the 21.5 RKE work better in my scope? I got the 28mm RKE used for a good price on eBay. If it doesn't work out, I'll put it up for sale in the Clondy Nights Classifieds.

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CeleNoptic
sage


Reged: 12/20/07

Loc: Cloudy East Coast
Re: RKEs and DSOs new [Re: Franta]
      #6487168 - 04/25/14 05:37 AM

Quote:

Hello,

I have observed deep-sky objects for ten years and I found that the best performers I have tried are Pentax or BGO eyepieces. It is probably because of small numbers of air-glass surfaces.



IMO, it's rather because of the better polished lenses, better coatings and higher quality glass than just because of lesser air-glass surfaces. Just my opinion, not trying to persuade anybody either, YMMV.

Quote:

I believe that high quality simple eyepiece design such as kellner must outperform any widefield on DSO (of course, FOV is of no issue for my purposes).



Nope. IMO, only high quality expensive *simple* eyepieces like ZAOs, TMBs etc. can outperform *some* modern widefields.

I have the 28mm RKE and like it a lot, but...I mostly agree with David. They are good, but not perfect for faint objects. Think about progress in coating technology. I have also the 15 and 8 mm RKE and they perform similarly, so I don't think the 21.5mm would be any better. IMO, Sterling or Astro Tech High Grade Plossls have better light transmission so work better on small fainter objects and they are cheap. They are also sold as Levenhuk Plossls ER if I'm not mistaken. What's not good, the manufacturer phased out everything longer than 20mm. Nevertheless, the rest of the line worth considering for DSOs.

No Naglers or Pentaxes here, and even though I prefer an Erfle, the 32mm Agena SWA, with its 5 elements and some astigmatism over the 28mm RKE when searching faint or small galaxies and nebulae. I guess, the 70* AFOV helps a lot. May be that's how it is in 8" f/6 Dob. I know that many owners of larger instruments like 16"+ prefer high quality Orthos and Monocentrics. But I don't remember if I heard they'd use RKEs for faint fuzzies. Hope some of TV and Pentax collection owners will chime in.


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ibase
Vendor Affiliate
*****

Reged: 03/20/08

Loc: Manila, Philippines 121*E 14*N
Re: RKEs and DSOs new [Re: Franta]
      #6487213 - 04/25/14 07:23 AM

Love the RKE28mm, as a legion of others do too, it's a special EP - don't even get me started about its almost magical floating projection effect, it's one EP that's not gonna leave the stall any time soon (to view RKE28 blog post review, click here).


RKE 28mm at right

Nevertheless, the TV Panoptic 27mm remains my workhorse at the 27-28mm focal range because of the larger field and much better off-axis performance, where the RKE falls short.


TV Panoptic 27mm at bottom left

These days, the less-glass-is-better concept seems to be becoming more and more side-lined with the advent and influx of more modern EP design implementations in the mainstream market. Sure minimalist-glass is still top dog, the best - the ZAO II, but the new complex-glass EP's which are far more comfortable to use are at its heels and closing in. All just 2 cents.

Best,


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Vondragonnoggin
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/21/10

Loc: Southern CA, USA
Re: RKEs and DSOs new [Re: penguinx64]
      #6487343 - 04/25/14 09:05 AM

Quote:

I have a 28mm RKE on the way. It should be here any day now. I plan to use it with my f/4 4.5 inch scope. I'll post my results when I try it. After reading David's posts, maybe this eyepiece won't work well with my scope? Would the 21.5 RKE work better in my scope? I got the 28mm RKE used for a good price on eBay. If it doesn't work out, I'll put it up for sale in the Clondy Nights Classifieds.




Amazingly enough, this 28 RKE was packaged with the Astroscan, F/4, 4.25" reflector. It was a good pairing even though coma and edge aberrations are readily apparent.

You can take in a lot of sky and it has a wonderful unique effect (the 21.5 or any other for that matter, do not have this effect). They really do work well barlowed with those scopes, even though the Astroscan specifically has a rather unimpressive 1.25" focuser (not that 1.25" focusers are unimpressive, but this one in particular is).

The very low powers that the 28 RKE will produce, let's in a lot of light and can be useful if filtering narrowband for nebula.

Edited by Vondragonnoggin (04/25/14 09:07 AM)


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Vondragonnoggin
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/21/10

Loc: Southern CA, USA
Re: RKEs and DSOs new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #6487358 - 04/25/14 09:13 AM

To add just a little subjective exuberance here in this thread, the 28 RKE, to me, is a little bit like Frosty's magic hat. It added a little optical trickery to my views that has really impressed me. To the point of being impressed almost as much as my magic image intensified eyepieces which really do let you see more per inch of aperture than any other eyepieces I have tried (with proper filtering), including the 28 RKE.



I guess I'm dumb like that, but first try in my 8" dob had me running to show anyone around how cool it was. Liquid Space TV in a little tiny window.

And I promise to the original poster, that's all the subjective exuberance I'll add to the thread. Listen to the clinical descriptions if you want solid answers. Not my ramblings about a truly cool eyepiece.

Edited by Vondragonnoggin (04/25/14 09:17 AM)


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JustaBoy
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 06/19/12

Re: RKEs and DSOs new [Re: ibase]
      #6487392 - 04/25/14 09:28 AM

For DSOs, just say No to RKEs. - Not bad, but there are Much Better!

Also - Pay no attention to measured transmission tables.

I have no rational explanation for this at all, but I find that the 30+ year old, Single Coated, Quality, Kellners (Circle-T is good), will beat anything currently available.

These are not well corrected for field aberrations in short F/R scopes; they work best at F/8 and greater.

The same amount of air-glass surfaces as an Ortho or Plossl and only one less element (the same as the RKE, which are not bad, but I'm not recommending), but a brighter image. - Much Brighter! - Like the difference between 7" and 8" Brighter!

Before you modern day eyepiece fans limber up your fingers to flame me, better see for yourself first, doing several A-B comparisons with your faves. - I would love to see the look of Disbelief on your face when you do:-)

Remember! - I told you that I can't explain it, so it will do you no good to grill me for details, or perhaps you wish to argue? - This is all that I can or will say on this.

Remember to TRY First before voicing 'Opinions', or you may end up with Egg on your face, looking like a Newbie that's been sucked in by ad copy.

Thank you, and Have a good day!


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ibase
Vendor Affiliate
*****

Reged: 03/20/08

Loc: Manila, Philippines 121*E 14*N
Re: RKEs and DSOs new [Re: JustaBoy]
      #6487427 - 04/25/14 09:49 AM

Chuck,

Did concede - less glass wins, but there are those who prefer the wider fields of the modern EP's like 70,82-100+ deg. that are well corrected at the edge; as usual YMMV.

Best,


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dyslexic nam
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/28/08

Loc: PEI, Canada
Re: RKEs and DSOs new [Re: JustaBoy]
      #6487459 - 04/25/14 10:04 AM

Quote:


I have no rational explanation for this at all, but I find that the 30+ year old, Single Coated, Quality, Kellners (Circle-T is good), will beat anything currently available.

These are not well corrected for field aberrations in short F/R scopes; they work best at F/8 and greater.

The same amount of air-glass surfaces as an Ortho or Plossl and only one less element (the same as the RKE, which are not bad, but I'm not recommending), but a brighter image. - Much Brighter! - Like the difference between 7" and 8" Brighter!




Interestingly, I was doing some H Alpha observing the other day, and was comparing my Leica zoom at the low end of its range (18mm) to a .965 20mm Pentax Kellner. I was surprised at how much brighter the view was in the Pentax. I realize that lower magnification impacts image brightness (the magnitude of this is abundantly clear while zooming), but the difference was more than I expected from an extra 2mm. It may be that the focal lengths of one/both are not exactly as described and that the resulting mag difference is bigger. And it is hard to say how the brightness of the Kellner would compare to another 20mm ep. But when I was doing the quick comparo, the variation in brightness was the most obvious visual difference by quite a margin.

I may need to break our the Kellner more often to put it through its paces during some night time observing.


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starbux
sage
*****

Reged: 02/08/06

Loc: Sunnyvale, CA
Re: RKEs and DSOs new [Re: JustaBoy]
      #6489847 - 04/26/14 01:11 PM

I think the lowly Kellner has its place in DSO viewing. Sometime back I was able to spot M33 in a red/white zone with an 8" dob and a 2" 26mm Kellner (albeit new) whereas I could not otherwise see it in any other eyepiece. For marginal objects it could provide an edge.

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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: RKEs and DSOs new [Re: starbux]
      #6489902 - 04/26/14 01:36 PM

Quote:

I think the lowly Kellner has its place in DSO viewing. Sometime back I was able to spot M33 in a red/white zone with an 8" dob and a 2" 26mm Kellner (albeit new) whereas I could not otherwise see it in any other eyepiece. For marginal objects it could provide an edge.



IF the coatings are up to par with current BBAR coatings. If it's older, or only has MgFl2 coatings, a more modern eyepiece with better coatings will better it (for example: a FMC Plossl). It should equal any eyepiece with 4 air-to-glass surfaces and 2 lens groups (orthos, Plossls, etc.)
part of the reason you saw M33 was the low magnification. I can see it in 10X binoculars here in superwhite zone Los Angeles, but it's hard at 50X in my TV101.


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GOLGO13
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/05/05

Loc: St. Louis area
Re: RKEs and DSOs new [Re: Starman1]
      #6490083 - 04/26/14 03:01 PM

I bought a brand new RKE 21.5mm and it is a very nice eyepiece. My 28mm is also very nice (I don't think it's too old). I also have 15mm and 12mm RKEs. If you can find them for $40 and under they are excellent eyepieces. There are a lot of people who really like them (myself included).

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JustaBoy
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 06/19/12

Re: RKEs and DSOs new [Re: Starman1]
      #6490168 - 04/26/14 03:39 PM Attachment (9 downloads)

"It should equal"


Inexplicably, some things don't follow the Rule of "Should".

I know about the newer coating argument, the element count... anybody can do that... Exit Pupil Differences causing a difference in brightness? - Sure! - Comparing an 18mm to a 16mm we know that the 18mm will be 1.2656 x what the 16mm is. - What did I say??? - Well, I couldn't have just gone ahead and said 1.2656 X "BRIGHTER", because I don't really know that to be so.

"Brightness" is only a perception of the signal that is arriving in our brain, and is Logarithmic and I don't know the Base - I suspect that it can even vary individual to individual, but that would assume too much, and we all are aware of the dangers of Assumption:-)

What I can't explain is why the Kellner eyepieces mentioned seem to break the rules - I really Don't care how they do it (or why it's not possible for them to do so), because what I see behind the eyepiece is all that matters to me.

There are those like my Good Friend Hernando that protested with: "...but there are those who prefer the wider fields of the modern EP's..." - Granted! - Kellners are pretty ragged if made too wide and never get very wide at that...and, they don't do well in Fast Scopes. I have to give you that! - 'But', that is not the topic here as proposed by the OP, where he stated in the first post: "of course, FOV is of no issue for my purposes".

Guys - It's easy to just Quote Theory, or to just Do The Math... We can all do that in bed at night with our eyes closed.

I'm saying - Open Your Eyes and See for Yourself!

I am amazed that so many smart people when confronted by that which goes against their learning, just begin quoting what has been instilled into them, making no attempt at understanding, or even to see with their own eyes that it is or is not so.

Next thing you know they will be saying that the Higgs boson is not enough all by itself to account for all of the Mass in the Observable Universe; that there must be 5 of them because our math doesn't add up... Are there Un-Particles behind the Higgs? - If not, then why the fractional results? - Is it really Dark Matter that is behind this all?

Well, Gee... I dunno. - Too much learning can make one unteachable. - I'm open to the truth, but my own personal "guess" is that it is much stranger than we are even capable of envisioning. - But, then again it may be simplicity itself, so simple, that if given a million years, when you saw it you would say: "Now, why didn't I think of that?" :-)

100 yrs from now "they" (unfortunately, not "we") will be laughing at all of this. - I'm still trying to get that part where, "What Goes Up, Must Come Down". - Something about Gravity, I think, and just when we were beginning to understand it all we find that Gravity doesn't fit; doesn't fit into our overall view of things. - Really? - Could we have actually missed something? - Do we not know just about everything there is to know, smart as we are today?

But I digress:-) But for good reason - Most of the people here probably have never even seen a Kellner, and I just wanted to raise awareness.

This Eyepiece Thing is really very simple - Instead of posting that something can't be so, why not just Try for Yourself with an open mind? - Then YOU will Know, but not the Next Guy, of course. - They will need to see for him/her self:-)

Like I said, I can't explain this any better than you can explain it away. - If any would like to argue the point, I'm not your boy, as I can only relay what I have seen with My Own Eyes, and have ZERO understanding of it. - ZERO! :-)

Just try it, rather than judge it, as ALL the Evidence is Against It! - It's just something that you have to see.

Oh - I'm well aware of the Chinese made Junky Kellners that we have today, by various makers. - Don't know if these are in the Club or not, but judging by their very Cheap Multi-coats, I would expect, Not! - Good coatings have always cost real money, no matter what they call them or how many are on there.

But I don't wish to just "Assume" any of that:-) - Try em all!

If you can stand their format, you might also find something of interest on the subject of DSOs and Kellners here:

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/telescopes/conversations/messages/30821

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/telescopes/search/messages?query=kellner%...

Thanks,

Poor Kellner...


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GOLGO13
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/05/05

Loc: St. Louis area
Re: RKEs and DSOs new [Re: JustaBoy]
      #6490233 - 04/26/14 04:22 PM

Dont worry justaboy... I am a kellner fan....and good ones can be had for a very reasonable price.

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Jaimo!
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/11/07

Loc: Exit 135 / 40° North
Re: RKEs and DSOs new [Re: JustaBoy]
      #6490281 - 04/26/14 04:53 PM

Quote:

"It should equal"


Inexplicably, some things don't follow the Rule of "Should".

I know about the newer coating argument, the element count... anybody can do that... Exit Pupil Differences causing a difference in brightness? - Sure! - Comparing an 18mm to a 16mm we know that the 18mm will be 1.2656 x what the 16mm is. - What did I say??? - Well, I couldn't have just gone ahead and said 1.2656 X "BRIGHTER", because I don't really know that to be so.

"Brightness" is only a perception of the signal that is arriving in our brain, and is Logarithmic and I don't know the Base - I suspect that it can even vary individual to individual, but that would assume too much, and we all are aware of the dangers of Assumption:-)

What I can't explain is why the Kellner eyepieces mentioned seem to break the rules - I really Don't care how they do it (or why it's not possible for them to do so), because what I see behind the eyepiece is all that matters to me.

There are those like my Good Friend Hernando that protested with: "...but there are those who prefer the wider fields of the modern EP's..." - Granted! - Kellners are pretty ragged if made too wide and never get very wide at that...and, they don't do well in Fast Scopes. I have to give you that! - 'But', that is not the topic here as proposed by the OP, where he stated in the first post: "of course, FOV is of no issue for my purposes".

Guys - It's easy to just Quote Theory, or to just Do The Math... We can all do that in bed at night with our eyes closed.

I'm saying - Open Your Eyes and See for Yourself!

I am amazed that so many smart people when confronted by that which goes against their learning, just begin quoting what has been instilled into them, making no attempt at understanding, or even to see with their own eyes that it is or is not so.

Next thing you know they will be saying that the Higgs boson is not enough all by itself to account for all of the Mass in the Observable Universe; that there must be 5 of them because our math doesn't add up... Are there Un-Particles behind the Higgs? - If not, then why the fractional results? - Is it really Dark Matter that is behind this all?

Well, Gee... I dunno. - Too much learning can make one unteachable. - I'm open to the truth, but my own personal "guess" is that it is much stranger than we are even capable of envisioning. - But, then again it may be simplicity itself, so simple, that if given a million years, when you saw it you would say: "Now, why didn't I think of that?" :-)

100 yrs from now "they" (unfortunately, not "we") will be laughing at all of this. - I'm still trying to get that part where, "What Goes Up, Must Come Down". - Something about Gravity, I think, and just when we were beginning to understand it all we find that Gravity doesn't fit; doesn't fit into our overall view of things. - Really? - Could we have actually missed something? - Do we not know just about everything there is to know, smart as we are today?

But I digress:-) But for good reason - Most of the people here probably have never even seen a Kellner, and I just wanted to raise awareness.

This Eyepiece Thing is really very simple - Instead of posting that something can't be so, why not just Try for Yourself with an open mind? - Then YOU will Know, but not the Next Guy, of course. - They will need to see for him/her self:-)

Like I said, I can't explain this any better than you can explain it away. - If any would like to argue the point, I'm not your boy, as I can only relay what I have seen with My Own Eyes, and have ZERO understanding of it. - ZERO! :-)

Just try it, rather than judge it, as ALL the Evidence is Against It! - It's just something that you have to see.

Oh - I'm well aware of the Chinese made Junky Kellners that we have today, by various makers. - Don't know if these are in the Club or not, but judging by their very Cheap Multi-coats, I would expect, Not! - Good coatings have always cost real money, no matter what they call them or how many are on there.

But I don't wish to just "Assume" any of that:-) - Try em all!

If you can stand their format, you might also find something of interest on the subject of DSOs and Kellners here:

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/telescopes/conversations/messages/30821

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/telescopes/search/messages?query=kellner%...

Thanks,

Poor Kellner...






Jaimo!


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