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Are 3mm Clave Plössls quite rare? Anyone try one?

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#1 smallscopefanLeo

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 12:30 PM

Clave de Paris Plössls seem so exotic and alluring to me. It would be a dream to own and use one!:love:

The 3mm Clave Plössl is the only commercially produced eyepiece of the past or present that I am aware of that contains 5 or fewer elements at that specific focal length. I am thinking it must be hard to make such tiny-lensed critters like that:hmmmm:

Anybody try one, or even own one perhaps?
What are your thoughts on this elusive mystery-enshrouded pairing of two miniature asymmetrical achromats? :question:

#2 Astrojensen

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 12:37 PM

I don't know what you're thinking, but I'm thinking: Non-existant eye relief...


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#3 smallscopefanLeo

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 12:42 PM

I don't know what you're thinking, but I'm thinking: Non-existant eye relief...


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


Well Thomas, I am thinking of soon making here some of my very own ball-lensed eyepieces, so I must indeed have a couple of screws loose, and a predilection for self-torment!

(oh and for the record I am not in the market for one, having peered at the prices that these puppies fetch.
But, if one happened to fall into my lap from a Plössl tree, I would not brush it off with a scoff. No, I would hold onto it, I do believe. :ubetcha:)

#4 Scott99

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 02:27 PM

3mm is very rare - probably because nobody ordered them new, eye relief is incredibly tight. I bail out on Claves below the 8mm, the eye relief is very tight in the ones 6mm and below, let alone the 3mm.

I've had great luck with my Astro-Physics barlow for getting to very high power, with 3 or 4 element ortho-type eyepieces it performs extremely well.

#5 alvarete

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 06:03 AM

The eyerelief of Clavé eyepieces is not the Nagler's, of course! So if you are not used to the eyerelief of "planetary" eyepieces, you will find that it is very short. But if you are used to say supermonocentrics or so, you will find Clavé's eyerelief even comfortable. This is at least my case. These eyepieces (short FL’s Clavés) are not intended for Newtonian scopes of course, but tracking ones. But I use short FL’s Clavés a lot on my untracked TV-101 and I am comfortable with them too. I own the short FL Clavé of 3, 4, 5 and 6 mm and I am very comfortable when I use them. In fact I use them far more that my SMC's. My 3 mm Clavé is one very old sample. It is from the 1st generation, but it must to be of the early 50’s. It has a very smooth polish but its coating show the age (I mean in my particular sample not in all them of course). Even then I find it very good. If its coating were in other condition, the eyepiece would be excellent+. This is the case of some of my other Clavés. Refers the short eyerelief of the 3 mm, I find the trick is to put the eye in the correct position and try not to move it around. It can taking some training. The pupil must to be exactly in front of the eye glass and a bit apart. You can then to see a short area but wide enough to contains any planet and a bit of sky around it. Enough for planetary purposes. In my opinion this helps to concentrate your attention on the target. I remark that I feel good with this eyepiece in my TV-101. When used in my tracked FS-128 it is even more easy. The eyerelief of my 4, 5 and 6 mm Clavé are more confortable still. Now I can put my eye nearer the eye lens and cover a wider field with it. If I put my Clavé 6 mm on my Barlow 2x Clavé telenegative, I have the same power that putting the 3 mm alone. The field of view is a bit wider in this case and the object and field around are a bit bright and dark as my 6 mm and Clavé Barlow are as new. I own too SMC and Naglers of short FL too but I find the Clavé to be fantastic. I would said that Clavé are not better than the SMC of the same FL, but not worst. Anycase the edge of both Clavé and SMC are not good, but the field shown by the Clavé is wider. The Clavés are warm that SMC of course but I do not find it to be an issue when observing planets. My Nagler 5 mm is warm too than SMC and it is a fantastic eyepiece. No other eyepiece shows the colours of Jupiter in my Tak like this eyepiece. Please understand that said here is only my opinion and you could to have other different opinion of course. Refers the price of these eyepieces, it is not easy to say if it is justified. Probably for most people I would say no. You can buy Ultimas or TeleVue for a fraction of the price with similar results. The problem is that it seems not to be much Clavés availables for all people and it is difficult to reach some ones hence its price. I wish you this helps you! Santi

#6 Sarkikos

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 07:56 AM

I've never used a Clave, but I've heard good things about them. I've also heard that they are over-rated. AFAIK ... I don't know. But, in any case, I doubt if I'd ever own a Clave, because of the price.

The only single focal-length eyepieces I've had at 3mm (rounded) are the Radian 3 and the TMB Planetary 3.2. I sold the TMB, still have the Radian. 'Nuff said.

But short eye relief doesn't bother me. My XO's have 3.9 and 3.6mm eye relief and they feel very comfortable.

Mike

#7 BillP

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 10:15 AM

I have tried them. They are nice eyepieces and of course have a history to them. As with any Plossl design, the eye relief is short for short focal lengths. For the short focal lengths I felt they performed half a notch better than TV Plossls giving a better perceived contrast making planetary details easier to see. They of course have the further advantage of having more short focal lengths available than the TV Plossls (there is always the Nagler zoom but I am talking from the purist 4-element fixed focal length perspective of course :grin:). On non-planetary targets not sure how they compare, but would imagine not as well as TV Plossls given the older coating technology of the Clave.

For me, would be nice to have one in the stall, but way too pricey IMO for little advantage to my eye for planetary.

#8 Scott99

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 12:04 PM

But if you are used to say supermonocentrics or so, you will find Clavé's eyerelief even comfortable.


:waytogo: :waytogo: Santi your fortitude with the shorter Plossls is to be commended! I have corresponded with and sold eyepieces to many people seeking the 3mm, 4mm, and 5mm Claves, so you're not alone in enjoying them.

I like the Claves for the same reasons as you - similar performance to high-contrast ortho eyepieces, with 10 degrees more FOV. It's appreciated because I use these for deep-sky observing.

yes, I've also noticed that the 3mm-5mm orthos & plossls are much easier with a tracking mount. It's a matter of personal preference - with my equatorial mount, I will definitely try to get my 4mm ortho in there for planets if the seeing is good, it does produce the least scatter & best contrast for me.

I was very pleased to see that the UO HD orthos are coming back, and will include a 4mm this time around! That is great option for people seeking this type of eyepiece. So we now have the Sterling Plossls and UO orthos to cover the minimum-glass market - not a bad set of options, not bad at all.

Still no 3mm though!

#9 Starman1

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 01:23 PM

I owned only a couple Plössls before I bought a set of Clavés. I never owned the 3mm, however.

I enjoyed them, but had little experience with other eyepieces at the time (late '70s). Short eye reliefs, but nice in the hand and with good image quality. My scope at the time was a 4" f/15 Unitron.

I obtained a 4" SCT, looking for greater portability, and the Clavés were still OK, but I bought a TeleVue Plössl to fill in a magnification gap I thought I needed, and discovered that the TeleVue's image was sharper across more of the field. Even stars out near the edge were good, unlike the Clavés.

A couple years later, I had sold my Clavés and had a set of TeleVue Plössls.
Along the way, I experimented with Galoc, Bertele, Kellners, Huygens, and a bunch of oddball eyepieces, including some Abbé orthoscopics (and even a Hastings triplet, which I had only a short while--only sharp in the center, ugh.)

And, in 1983 or so I experienced an ultrawide field for the first time. It wasn't that pleasant to use (a 13 Nagler T1), so I didn't automatically move away from Plössls. I kept multiple eyepieces around "just in case", including Königs and König IIs and complete sets of Meade S4000 UWA and SWAs.

I discovered the Meade Series 4000 Japanese 5-element "Super Plössl". They replaced my TeleVues because they seemed better at every focal length than the TeleVue [note than my TeleVue Plössls were early units and did not have the best coatings, as they do now] and I liked the way objects appeared, especially the Moon. And they seemed better corrected to the edge of the field. I even bought some Parks Gold Series, Celestron Ultimas, and Orion Ultrascopics just to see if they were any different (despite their origins, I though I could detect differences).
At this time, my scopes were f/5, f/6.5 and f/7, so my thoughts may have been influenced by the f/ratios. I wonder what conclusions I may have made had I kept the f/15 refractor.

That was in the early '90s. My collection had had a lot of ins and outs, but hovered around a hundred eyepieces for most of the decade.

I suspect that if some collector did a shootout of the roughly 40 different Plössls that have been sold since Edmund and Clavé, and maybe throw in the nearly identical Brandons and König designs (the 2:2 ones), I bet we'd find that the best Plössls made are made today--as good as some of those old ones were. Coating technology has improved. Glass types are available now that weren't back then. And quantities made have gone way up, resulting in the economies of scale.

I bought my Clavés for, IIRC, $79 each. Today, that's $253.48. Can you imagine paying that for a Plössl?

Some well-heeled observer out there should make it a life's work to collect one of every eyepiece ever made so that a) we would have a nice museum to visit (I'd come), and b) shootouts could happen between eyepieces of yore and today to dispel some of the poor-memory nostalgia that goes around.

Me, I'm kind of happy with what I have in my collection. Eyepieces are key ingredients in observing, obviously, but getting time to observe is more precious. I enjoyed the Clavés when I owned them, but if you're not a collector, or starting that museum, buy a more modern one. In another decade or two, no one will be around who will even remember the Paris firm of Serge Clavé.

#10 Astrojensen

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 01:30 PM

Some well-heeled observer out there should make it a life's work to collect one of every eyepiece ever made so that a) we would have a nice museum to visit (I'd come), and b) shootouts could happen between eyepieces of yore and today to dispel some of the poor-memory nostalgia that goes around.



That would be absolutely stunningly awesome!


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#11 csrlice12

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 01:33 PM

I'm trying, but I believe Mr.Nutty might be fairly close to that goal.....

#12 Scott99

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 11:11 AM

In another decade or two, no one will be around who will even remember the Paris firm of Serge Clavé.


Interesting prediction, but one that runs counter to prevailing trends. Over the last 10 years the price of "old" CJZ orthos and Claves has shot through the roof, and new runs of orthos - who could imagine paying $250 for one? Try $600-$700. Not everyone is thrilled with the bucket 'o glass-du-jour eyepieces coming out of Asia.

Maybe Serge's success as an astro-businessman and now cult-legend status inspires a bit of jealousy? Not hard to understand. One thing's for sure - nobody's going to be talking about any of us in a couple of decades.


#13 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 02:23 PM

What is the eye relief for a 3mm Plossl? It must be less than 3mm. A 5-6mm eye relief is very uncomfortable to me because my eyelashes brush the barrel top (and potentially eye lens when blinking), which is a distinctly unpleasant feeling. How do people stand it?

#14 csrlice12

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 02:31 PM

What is the eye relief for a 3mm Plossl? It must be less than 3mm. A 5-6mm eye relief is very uncomfortable to me because my eyelashes brush the barrel top (and potentially eye lens when blinking), which is a distinctly unpleasant feeling. How do people stand it?


Well, there's one guy on these forums who claims to trim his eyelashes....women just look on in absolute shock.... :lol:

#15 Sarkikos

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 03:12 PM

What is the eye relief for a 3mm Plossl? It must be less than 3mm. A 5-6mm eye relief is very uncomfortable to me because my eyelashes brush the barrel top (and potentially eye lens when blinking), which is a distinctly unpleasant feeling. How do people stand it?


I wouldn't know. My lashes are naturally short. If they weren't, I would probably trim them. As it is, a 3-4mm eye relief is comfy cozy for me.

:grin:
Mike

#16 bremms

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 03:30 PM

I've had a couple Clave's and will double Don's sentiments. The TV's are sharper off axis, and nearly the same on axis. They Clave's are superb planetary EP's with a little better contrast and scattering than the TV's. just a little..

3mm?? You'll have to put your eye out to look through that one.

#17 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 03:58 PM

I think of these little peep-holes as being not much different than oil-immersion microscope objectives. Your eye must be placed nearly close enough for eyeball moisture to form an optical coupling. :grin:

#18 Astrojensen

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 04:07 PM

I think of these little peep-holes as being not much different than oil-immersion microscope objectives. Your eye must be placed nearly close enough for eyeball moisture to form an optical coupling.



Hey, now there's an idea for the planetary enthusiast! It can get the number of air-glass surfaces down to three, if you use an oil-spaced objective, no diagonal and a monocentric eyepiece!!!

You'd better not blink, though! ;)


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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