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Edmund RKE's ROCK!

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#1 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 09:36 AM

Even after more than a decade of serious use of the RKE's on planets, they amaze me just as much on deep sky targets. During a recent observing run at Mt Pinos this last Friday, four other observing buddies an I were comparing the RKE's against several of the finest wide field eyepieces on the market sold today on spring sky galaxies in Leo, Coma and Virgo. Sure wide field eyepieces have nice panoramic views, but when it comes to finer details, the views from the RKE's were easily providing a more noticeable "POP" on the structure in these galaxies and in all cases it was noticeable. I think that once some observers get passed the excitement of seeing wider fields of view and concentrate more on the object at hand, they will quickly realize that simpler designs are noticeably better on galaxies.

The 28mm RKE for example is my favorite in its class. It's the only eyepiece I even know of that gives you the feeling you have just magnified a chunk of the sky and placed it right in front of you. What happens is that the outer rim of the eyepiece where you look in, literally vanishes due to the unique design of its eye relief and taper/bevel on the top edge of the eyepiece. Sure, there will be cases where wide angle lenses provide more corrected fields of view around the outer edge in really fast scopes, but in my 6" F-8 apo and my 10" DK, I don't have that issue. My buddy showed me the new 8mm RKE and I was still floored. Looks like they increased the FOV and eye relief but still the simpler designs on the longer focal lengths will beat out any wide angle eyepiece you throw at them on galaxies.

I think as long as you realize what telescope they are good in, they are probably one of the finest eyepieces you could possibly use for galaxies. Also, with regard to the unique 28mm again, I'd say its one of the most underrated eyepieces in the world. To me, star clusters are spectacular in this eyepiece in my longer scopes too. :ooo:

#2 gnowellsct

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 09:40 AM

Indeed, the 28 RKE was signaled as a much mojo ocular in the ocular mojo thread.

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#3 Rick Woods

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 09:44 AM

Are we talking vintage RKE's or new ones?

#4 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 09:49 AM

Both the new and old. We were using both.

#5 pstarr

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 10:03 AM

:gotpopcorn:

#6 BillP

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 10:05 AM

100% agree. RKEs that I have had have always been great performers on all targets. They don't try to be fancy or flashy, they just get the job done! :grin:

#7 hfjacinto

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 10:07 AM

Daniel,

I am an Edmund RKE newby, but I checked out the edmunds site and they state these are microscope EP's, can they be used on telescopes? Are they 1.25" barrels?

I see they have 32MM RKE which I believe is a 2" barrel, has any tried that one?

#8 snart

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 10:19 AM

It sometimes seems that everybody these days think that these 6, 7, or 8 element super-duper wide field eyepieces are the best thing since sliced bread, and if you want a larger field they are certainly an improvement on the venerable Erfle, but what they give you in extra field they rob from you in resolution. A simple 3 element RKE or a 4 element Othoscopic still delivers the crispest, highest resolution images but at the cost of a narrower field. It is true that the less the amount of glass that you have to stare through is a good thing!

#9 m. allan noah

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 10:32 AM

It's interesting how this kinda thread pops up every few weeks. There really is something special about these things, particularly the 28mm party-trick.

I find it more interesting that some of the Faworski/Bushnell 'orthos' and a recent Zhumell 10mm 'plossl' have used this design with surprisingly good results, but felt compelled to hide it.

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#10 BillP

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 10:40 AM

Not sure what site you are seeing that they are microscope EPs. Here's the Edmunds Optical RKE's Daniel is referring to - RKEs

#11 hfjacinto

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 10:53 AM

Bill,

Those are the ones I was looking at, they are found under Microscopy>Eyepieces

I figured they were microscope eyepieces.

#12 hfjacinto

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 11:03 AM

Daniel,

One more question "What scope are these EP's good in?"

You really peeked my curiosity and at $59 a pop, I am interested in trying them out.

#13 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 11:05 AM

Not sure what site you are seeing that they are microscope EPs. Here's the Edmunds Optical RKE's Daniel is referring to - RKEs



Bill,

Do you have any idea why they call it the RKE plossl. Those are the ones we tested along with the older models. They may be the exact same eyepiece with a different name, but look at the price here too. They are different than the prices in your link as well. RKE

#14 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 11:12 AM

Daniel,

One more question "What scope are these EP's good in?"

You really peeked my curiosity and at $59 a pop, I am interested in trying them out.


I use them with my Takahashi 6" apo which is F-8 and my Takahashi Mewlon 250 F-12 which is a Dall Kirkham design and the RKE's are phenomenal in each telescope! The price I see on another Edmund site is only $39.95 but I myself am still confused as to why there are two different prices. Maybe Bill might have an answer.

They also work really well in SCT's.

#15 a1ien

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 11:26 AM

Woah that's confusing daniel, and a big price difference on the shorter ones! What's going on guyz... I mean they're calling the cheaper ones "Plossls".

#16 BillP

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 11:29 AM

Daniel,

There are several different Edmunds eyepieces:
1) RKEs (3 element reversed Kellner design = $59)
2) Edmund Plossls (2-2 design Plossl evidently made specifically for Edmunds = $39 for all but 8mm which is $69)
3) Edmunds Orthos (1-3 design ABBE which I believe after speaking to Edmunds are simply the Circle-Ts = $81)

The RKEs and Orthos are sold at Edmunds Optical site. The Orthos and Plossls are sold at the Edmund Scientific Online site.

Did the ones you tested say "Plossl" on them? If so then they were the Edmunds Plossls as in all other ways they look like the RKEs with the black housing and red rubber grip.

#17 Clive Gibbons

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 11:32 AM

The RKE's are fine oculars. :bow:
Especially nice in the mid to longer focal lengths.
Unfortunately, the 8mm and 12mm models have eye lenses which are deeply recessed and not comfortable to look thru.

#18 EdZ

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 11:32 AM

Edmund Industrial Optics
edmundoptics.com
http://www.edmundopt...D=2075&search=1
sells the RKEs
the RKEs have RKE printed around the top edge


as opposed to Edmund Scientifics

Edmund Scientifics
scientificsonline.com
http://scientificson....asp?pn=3082256
which used to sell the RKE but no longer does.
They now offer a very similar looking line of plossls.
the plossls have Edmund Scientificc printed around the top edge and they have a flat top

What was once all one company, is now two separate companies.

edz

#19 EdZ

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 11:35 AM

on another note,
I went back to the Archives to look at what's been written about the RKEs. Enough reading to last a month. I myself had 40-50 pages.

edz

#20 BillP

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 11:44 AM

btw, I've had the RKEs, and now have one of their Plossls. The Plossl is impressive...even next to my TV Smoothsided Circle-NJs

#21 wprince

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 11:46 AM

I have the newer 21.5mm and it lets a lot of light through, but my orthos and most of plossls just seem to work better. NOT a scientific review, I've probably got a dud...

#22 thrawn

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 12:19 PM

Hi Daniel :)

It sounds like you thought that those Edmund Plossls you tested, were RKEs. So I guess that the takeaway is that the Edmund Plossls are pretty good too and are comparable to the old RKEs.

#23 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 12:20 PM

Daniel,


Did the ones you tested say "Plossl" on them? If so then they were the Edmunds Plossls as in all other ways they look like the RKEs with the black housing and red rubber grip.


Yea, the ones we used were the ones that said plossl on them which have the pebble/semi flat finish and the red rubber grip. They were awesome. We also used the older anodized models and they were all equally excellent!

#24 hfjacinto

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 12:26 PM

So in the 28MM range which one is recommended the RKE or the Plossl?

#25 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 12:27 PM

The RKE's are fine oculars. :bow:
Especially nice in the mid to longer focal lengths.
Unfortunately, the 8mm and 12mm models have eye lenses which are deeply recessed and not comfortable to look thru.


Clive,

You can take a look at the newer 8mm which looks almost the same and has considerably more eye relief than the older model. I tested it as well and was utterly impressed. The nice thing too is they don't pose any balance issues either. They're all light weight. Interestingly, I noticed that on the newer 8mm, the field stop is snug, right up against the field lens. I'm sure these will be the eyepieces I use the most this spring for galaxies.


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