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Antares 0.965" Plossls -- A Classicist's Dream?

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#51 Joe Cepleur

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 10:05 PM

Interesting, thanks! Now I remember this thread. Antares is selling its same 1.25" Plossls, but with 0.965" barrels with some adaptation to fit the 1.25" thread. Makes me wish I could buy a set of their 0.965" barrels, without the optics. It would be cool to be able to quickly switch my eyepieces from 1.25" to 0.965" when using a classic scope. 

#52 starman876

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 08:47 AM

Of course if you want to spend some more cash for awesome .965 eyepices there are the classic Zeiss eyepieces which are always readily available and the Tak eyepieces. I have both and they perform wondefully in these older scopes.
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#53 Tenacious

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 03:13 PM

It's been 3 years since this thread last saw action.  Did lots of people buy these, because the price is now over $30 apiece?  Quality issues anyone?



#54 CharlieB

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 03:49 PM

They are very good eyepieces, in my opinion.  A decent Plossl with a long focal ratio scope is a recipe for good viewing.  The 20mm requires substantially more inward focuser travel than the others.  The eye relief is what you would expect - good until you get shorter that 10mm.  The 25mm is very nice.  Quality-wise, I wouldn't take the adapters off too many times.  The threaded aluminum rings are easily cross-threaded.  One of mine went haywire because I was experimenting with using the adapter with other 1.25" eyepieces (some DO work nicely).  The only real downside to them is that most .965 filters will not thread onto these.

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#55 SpooPoker

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 01:41 AM

It's been 3 years since this thread last saw action.  Did lots of people buy these, because the price is now over $30 apiece?  Quality issues anyone?

 

They work fine.  A regulation Symmetric Plossl.  Always a good starter eyepiece - quality similar to the 1.25" Plossl's that come free with many telescope kits.  There are better .965" eyepieces out there, and worse .965" eyepieces, much much worse ones.  They are worth a look but my recommendation is lukewarm. 


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#56 BillShakes

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 08:46 AM

I can't use 1.25" eyepieces with the typical adaptor in my Towa 4.5" newt (11T clone) as the focuser does not have enough travel.  So these plossls have really saved the day.  The 25mm is my most used EP with this scope, giving a nice field of view and sharp stars.  These are just basic, competent plossls, so I move to used vixen .965 orthos I've picked up in the classifieds for higher mags.  I find the eye relief on the 7.5mm Antares plossl very short.  The 12.5mm is a low as I'd recommend for these for acceptable eye relief.  It gives very nice views too.

BS


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#57 Tenacious

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 11:15 PM

Thanks guys for responding to an old re-awakened thread.  These really look like rebranded Sirius EPs with 0.965 barrels.

 

Since I already have a 2.5x barlow, it seems the 25mm, 17mm, and 12.5mm would cover most of the bases for an 11TE-5 and still have reasonable ER.


Edited by Tenacious, 18 November 2015 - 11:20 PM.

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#58 mattyfatz

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 09:15 AM

It's funny how this stuff works. I was pondering new .965 eyepieces a few days ago, then this thread is revived.  :like:

It seems that these are among the better new .965 eyepieces available. There are mixed reviews about the Surplus Shed offerings,  consistent cheap garbage from telescope warehouse on eBay, or extremely high priced German ep's on the used circuit. Makes me wonder if I'm better off with a good hybrid diagonal. 



#59 CharlieB

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 09:39 AM

As I've posted elsewhere, don't overlook microscope eyepieces. Some as superb performers and can be had for far lees than a good .965 eyepiece.  I use a barrel from a thin-walled .965 eyepiece as an adapter that the 23mm microscope eyepiece slips into with almost no slop.  The best microscope eyepieces I've found for astro viewing are Unitron, Zeiss and Bausch & Lomb.  You can find them in a variety of "powers" from 5x, 7.5x, 8x, 10x, 12.5x 15x, 20x and and a few 30x.  The wide angle ones are especially nice, as FOV is usually around 30 deg.  The B&L Hyperplanes are among my favorites, especially for binoviewing.  Many of the Zeiss are compensating eyepieces that correct for color with microscopes and some people warn against using these.  I have found them to be just fine except for solar viewing, where I see a ring of color around the perimeter of the Sun.  

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Edited by CharlieB, 19 November 2015 - 09:40 AM.

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#60 catboat

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 10:28 AM

. . .  Makes me wonder if I'm better off with a good hybrid diagonal. 

 

You will be if you can find a good hybrid  (and if your focuser permits the added in-travel).  But finding a good one these days isn’t easy.  By most reports, the typical ones available today are iffy -- maybe good enough.  The old Orion hybrids from Japan were good, but I rarely see those in the classifieds.  (I wish TAK would make a hybrid prism diagonal…)

 

If a couple of the Antares plossls and a barlow don’t appeal, you can pick up Japanese ortho’s for a few dollars more on CN and AM.  They pop up regularly.  Great quality and a lot less costly than the Zeiss route  :) .



#61 bremms

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 10:41 AM

I have a few of the Celestron 0.965 "halloween" Plossls. They are pretty good, better than other 0.965's save the Zeiss or Pentaxes  17, 12.5, 10 and 7.5mm. They are better than the Antares, I had a 12.5 Antares and it was not bad, but the Celestron was better.


Edited by bremms, 19 November 2015 - 10:43 AM.


#62 Bomber Bob

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 11:01 AM

The Vixen KE30 & KE18 eyepieces bundled with the early C-90 & C-5 show up regularly, and they are very fine .965" format - I use the 18mm for projection imaging with my 50, 60, & 76mm long refractors.


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#63 bremms

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 01:27 PM

The Vixen KE30 & KE18 eyepieces bundled with the early C-90 & C-5 show up regularly, and they are very fine .965" format - I use the 18mm for projection imaging with my 50, 60, & 76mm long refractors.

Those two are in my ).965 stable. The 18mm has a nice wide field and is sharp.


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#64 BillShakes

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 02:26 PM

Thanks guys - just picked up an 18mm Kellner on the bay.  Will go nicely with my 30mm.  If I keep this up, I'll have as many .965 EPs as I do 1.25".  Hmmmm.



#65 roscoe

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 02:26 PM

Are good-grade .965's - like orthos - still available new?  or should I just move to microscope wide-angles?

(I have a good collection of vintage Vixen EP's, but sometimes I want to set a gift scope up with good glass, or set up another of mine....)

Same with diagonals....any new good .965's  (prism preferred) out there?



#66 CharlieB

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 03:18 PM

I don't know of any new .965 eyepieces out there other than the Antares, and I'm not even sure they are still being made.  Siebert still has some .965 eyepieces advertised on their site, but again, I don't know if they are still in production and the prices are as much or more than a good used ortho.  I had one of his .965 barlows and it worked very well.  There might be some .965 diagonals in production somewhere, but I don't really know.  They would not likely be cheap if they do exist.



#67 catboat

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 04:56 AM

Roscoe,  For .965 diagonals, I’m pretty sure TAK still makes a prism diagonal.  It would add a lot to the cost of a gift scope.  If they’re still in production, it might be worth getting one just to have a new high-end prism on hand (apocalyptic mentality).  

 

Otherwise, there are some inexpensive diagonals from China/Taiwan in .965 or “dual” stepped-barrel models.  I think Agena has them.  Quality unknown.  SurplusShed has a very inexpensive one -- probably similar to what pops up at Telescope Warehouse.

 

For .965 eyepieces, some cheap ones are still produced in China for various low-end scopes -- again, Telescope Warehouse or ebay.  The Antares is a better bet than these.  Siebert will do special orders for stuff he used to make.  High quality but pricey for gifts.  

 

I’ve tried only two of the various SurplusShed .965 eyepieces.  The 21mm "wide angle" kellner (item #L3928) was fine for the price -- even better when on sale.  The other was a dog.  But there are other models that might be good.  See post #14 for a run down on what I’ve tried from SS:  

 

http://www.cloudynig...rer-green-60mm/

 

Relative to cost, the best and safest bet for good glass is still the used market for orthos and kellners from the golden age of Japanese gear. 



#68 Astrojensen

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 05:17 AM

It would actually be extremely easy to make replacement 0.965" barrels for a lot of 1.25" eyepieces. They could be CNC'ed from aluminum and cost maybe like $5 apiece, if made in a reasonably large quantity. As long as the barrel hasn't any optics in it and isn't used as a retaining ring, it's easy. All the volcano-top orthos could be converted, as could every plössl I've seen, as well as all the GSO Superwides. Imagine a 20mm 0.965" eyepiece with 65° AFOV... Or a 10mm/70°. No doubt countless others could be converted as well, even some top of the line ones. 

 

Actually, this is exactly what the Antares 0.965" plössls are. A normal 1.25" eyepiece line with the 1.25" barrel replaced by a 0.965" one. I suspect the 0.965" barrel will actually fit a number of different generic Chinese plössls. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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#69 Bomber Bob

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 06:11 AM

Thanks Thomas!  There are tons of quality 1.25" eyepieces from the 1980s on the auction sites.  If you stick with one maker, odds are the threads will be the same, so all you'd need is one threaded adapter to step the barrel down to .965"

 

Hmmmmm... My Meade Series 2 Orthos already have that step-down.  On any one of them, the cap will thread into any 1.25" barrel on my other Tani eyepieces.  I bet Chuck could copy one of these .965" barrels.  It takes time to swap out, but I've been able to test a lot of eyepieces on my old refractors, and without resorting to a hybrid diagonal - most of which are inferior to my 40-60 year old originals.

 

That's another headache.  Quality .965" diagonals are very hard to find; that is, it's a gamble buying used without being able to test first.  If the Seller knows what scope it came from, that helps, but so many times they don't.



#70 roscoe

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 08:04 AM

I saw the Tak diagonals on their site, but couldn't find anyone on this side of the pond who sells them.....

 

I'd happily send my Vixens off with my rebuilds if I had a couple of Tak's for my keeper scopes..... The Vixens aren't bad at all, but in messing around with them with a stereo-microscope and a laser, those that I tested all had tiny microscopic-sized x-scratches on them from, I assume, not quite enough final polishing, so some of the coarser grit scratches didn't get polished out. 

That's gotta come out as adding scatter to the image.....but in real life, I haven't seen anything I can really identify.

 

I have a Swift diagonal, that is/was real nice, but some idiot (not mentioning any names here) dropped it and clamshelled it, so the chip shows a little in the edge of the visible surface mounted in the holder.....


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#71 clearwaterdave

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 04:14 PM

I made an adaptor after reading this.,,my thing sorta threads into the barrel like a filter.,,it's just a .965 barrel with a 1/4"wide strip of plastic wrapped around one end and super glued on.,it worked fine in my little Sears scope.,I wish I thought of this before I bought a hybrid.,the Sears doesn't really like the hybrid because of the weight factor.,I had to use an ankle weight to balance it out,.I like the eps that came with the Sears.,but it's nice to have a wider variety,,the Vite 10mm 62* was nice in it looking at the trees,,can see the moon now between the clouds.,going to give it a peek,,,O+O
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#72 Bomber Bob

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 05:51 PM

IME, the .965" eyepieces bundled with vintage scopes are inferior to the 1.25" Erfle, Kellner, Orthoscopic, & Plossl eyepieces, both used & new.  I've raved about my new University Optics HD Orthos, but even my 40-50 year old KE9 is better than the SR9.  If your scope can accept the Vixen 36mm adapter, used and modestly-priced 1.25" EPs can water your eyes.  Shoot!  I've got an old Jaeger's ER16 that makes my Mayflower 60x910 perform like an RFT one minute, and like a Nikon the next with an HD OR6.  It's well worth the effort to expand your options.



#73 roscoe

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 06:58 PM

Bob-

What price/quality level of 'bundled' EP's are you mentioning above?    I agree that nearly all of the H and R and SR from back in the day are best used as slingshot ammo, but even back then, the better kellners and orthos were decent EP's, in my view.

Comparing my vintage Vixen 10 ortho to my recent UO 10 ortho, it is pretty hard to see much difference, and that in a 120ED.

 

My Swift has already made the jump to 1.25's, but most of my other vintages are stuck in little-land, so sometimes we have to run what we got..... and until somebody starts making adapter diagonals that wholesale for more than a cup of coffee, there's really no hope there.



#74 Bomber Bob

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 08:01 PM

No Unitrons or Nikon's in my collection.  Most of the bundled sets I have are lucky to have 1 Kellner, usually 20-25mm, while the rest are the dim tiny field designs.  Orthoscopic?  Fuhgettabouttit!!  The only EP that I've tested from the 1956 Space Scope is the KE30.  It's an excellent ocular!  The others look well made, but based on past experience...  However, the set from my Monolux 4380 was well above average, so you can get lucky sometimes.

 

As I've posted before, I thought my Tasco (Towa 339 rebrand) had a good lens that the EPs were holding back, so I bought a set of Meade Research Grade Orthos... and I was stunned by what that lens could show me - given the chance.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 20 November 2015 - 08:07 PM.


#75 terraclarke

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 09:09 PM

The 7 and 9 mm Unitron symmetricals are quite nice. They are basically Plossls. The Unitron 4, 5, and 6mm orthos are very nice planetary eyepieces, however you need excellent seeing to make full use of them. Nothing wrong with the 12.5 and 18mm Unitron Kellners either! I prefer the earlier 25mm Uniteron Huygens to their later 25mm Ramsden, but cannot figure out why this wasn't a Kellner as well. The bigger ~1.25" Monochromatic is an interesting piece as well. I have complete sets of both the old brass block letter series and the later white italic letter series. I really can't tell any difference between the older and later series optically. One thing you notice when you compare the Unitron eyepieces to the other run-of-the-mill simple lens sets of that period is that the Unitrons are noticably heavier. When you compare them optically, you will notice other things, namely brighter, sharper, better contrast, and a noticably wider field. I seldom use my other (simple lens Ramsden, Huygens, S.R. And H.M. sets; I just keep them for collection purposes. I do have a nice complete set of Celestron Vixen 0.965s including orthos and I like them alot. They see quite a bit of use.

Unitron diagonals are good as well, both the old T-slot and the later U-slot. But my 0.965" twist-lock Tak diagonals are the best. They are however quite expensive and I had to look a long time to find them. Really tho, all of the old straight back and curved back 0.965" diagonals from my 950 and 60s Japanese scopes are good. You will notice a lot more difference when comparing premium eyepieces to the regular ones than you will with the diagonals.

Edited by terraclarke, 20 November 2015 - 09:16 PM.

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