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Celestron Ultima

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#1 guardone

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 06:09 PM

Few weeks ago I bought a maksutov 6" f/12, I finally got 3 used eyepieces for it (but not only), but probably there will be no chance to test them in next (rainy) days: Celestron Ultima 12.5 & 18 & 24 mm. - 5-element eyepieces, discontinued years ago.

I can see they are in very good shape, but in some circumstances I can see also there is some dust, probably also inside.

If someone knows this eyepieces, are they good eyepieces, and will dust inside change quality performance?
Because there are eyepieces that are affected if dust is close to focus, and others that are not (focus is out), it depends of optical layout.

Just to know how they perform, and if this is normal, if there is some dust (very little particles, expecially far from center) inside.

#2 Starman1

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 06:46 PM

Few weeks ago I bought a maksutov 6" f/12, I finally got 3 used eyepieces for it (but not only), but probably there will be no chance to test them in next (rainy) days: Celestron Ultima 12.5 & 18 & 24 mm. - 5-element eyepieces, discontinued years ago.

I can see they are in very good shape, but in some circumstances I can see also there is some dust, probably also inside.

If someone knows this eyepieces, are they good eyepieces, and will dust inside change quality performance?
Because there are eyepieces that are affected if dust is close to focus, and others that are not (focus is out), it depends of optical layout.

Just to know how they perform, and if this is normal, if there is some dust (very little particles, expecially far from center) inside.

These are excellent, well-made, Japanese-made eyepieces and they are usually hot items in the used market (do thread searches for "Masuyama" or "pseudo-Masuyama" or "astroplanokular" to see a lot of the history on these (discussed in thousands of posts over the years).
The focal plane is below the bottom lens, so internal dust specs are WAY outside focus and invisible. The eyepieces are easily dismantled, so you could clean them some time, but the most important surfaces to clean are the two outside surfaces.

Here is one of the long threads: Pseudo-Masuyama

These will perform quite well in your Maksutov, and be, pretty much, sharp from edge to edge.

The same Japanese eyepiece was also available under other labels:
Orion Ultrascopic
Baader Eudiascopic
Parks Gold Series (may still be avail)
Omcon Ultima
Antares Elite
Tuthill Plossls

And the design was also found in:
--pre-1994 Meade Series 4000 Japanese-made "Super Plossl"
--Takahashi LE (may still be available)
--Kasai Astroplan (may still be avail)

It's a very good design, with a long history going back to about the WWII era.

#3 guardone

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 07:36 PM

Hello,
thanks for fast reply, I know that design was "popular" years ago in some labels (only, Takahashi LE I have found somewhere should be a different layout, but I don't know if it's true), but every label made them more or less better, so asking was "urgent"... :-)

The good thing, You confirmed me that the dust should be not dangerous.
I will check of course, and wrote if something "unexpected" will happen...

Other thing, maybe "unexpected" for me, is that these eyepieces are crafted really well, I have seen so good finish, simple but effective, in not every eyepiece made in Japan, expecially in the past. Similar to more recent Baader Genuine Orthos (also discontinued), but a bit better looking, and with a little larger lenses.

The two outside surfaces, and in general all the well visible parts, are like-new, only this little dust, sometimes visible (it depends how I look into).

#4 Doug Neal

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 08:08 PM

Post deleted by Scott in NC

#5 russell23

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 08:41 PM

The Ultima's are excellent. Very comfortable and very sharp.

Dave

#6 Starman1

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 08:46 PM

Hello,
thanks for fast reply, I know that design was "popular" years ago in some labels (only, Takahashi LE I have found somewhere should be a different layout, but I don't know if it's true), but every label made them more or less better, so asking was "urgent"... :-)

The good thing, You confirmed me that the dust should be not dangerous.
I will check of course, and wrote if something "unexpected" will happen...

Other thing, maybe "unexpected" for me, is that these eyepieces are crafted really well, I have seen so good finish, simple but effective, in not every eyepiece made in Japan, expecially in the past. Similar to more recent Baader Genuine Orthos (also discontinued), but a bit better looking, and with a little larger lenses.

The two outside surfaces, and in general all the well visible parts, are like-new, only this little dust, sometimes visible (it depends how I look into).

Takahashi has a "Hi-LE" in very short focal lengths which is a 1:3 Abbe ortho with a 2-element barlow in the bottom (in a 1:3:2 pattern). But the rest of the Tak LE, AFAIK, is the 2:1:2 version and designed to be like the Masuyama, i.e. 5 elements in 3 groups.
These guys should know:
Takahashi America

#7 Chopin

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 10:09 PM

The 24 in particular is a real gem, and hard to come by. I spent a long while searching for one to complete my old Ultima set. Then I eventually turned around and sold the set. Dang, I wish I never did that. The 18, 24 and 35 were my favorites of the bunch. Enjoy them.

#8 guardone

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 10:38 PM

I'd like to buy your 24mm if you every want to sell... :)

Doug


Sorry, I wish to try it for some time... but anyway I am in Europe, would be anyway difficult (very high shipping costs), just for info!

#9 guardone

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 10:43 PM

Takahashi has a "Hi-LE" in very short focal lengths which is a 1:3 Abbe ortho with a 2-element barlow in the bottom (in a 1:3:2 pattern). But the rest of the Tak LE, AFAIK, is the 2:1:2 version and designed to be like the Masuyama, i.e. 5 elements in 3 groups.


Exactly, thanks, I have probably seen the 1:3:2 of the Hi-Le, now I know more (I was always curious why "different" name)...

#10 guardone

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 10:46 PM

The Ultima's are excellent. Very comfortable and very sharp.

Dave


I hope so!

#11 guardone

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 10:57 PM

The 24 in particular is a real gem, and hard to come by. I spent a long while searching for one to complete my old Ultima set. Then I eventually turned around and sold the set. Dang, I wish I never did that. The 18, 24 and 35 were my favorites of the bunch. Enjoy them.


Thank You, I found them from a seller, that "collected" them in much time! He also searched for various focal lenghts, and found these three in various countries... he was not able to complete the set, and finally sold them, I bought them all, for a good price, approx. 55 $ each.

#12 jrbarnett

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 12:13 AM

The shorter focal length Celestron Ultimas differed from some of the others (like the Ultrascopics and Parks Gold Series). For example, the 5mm Ultima is a shorty while the 5mm Parks and Orion are tall eyepieces (with extra elements; probably a Smythe group).

I think the Celestrons are the best of the bunch; better even than LEs, which also have some oddities relative to the others in some focal lengths.

Regards,

Jim

#13 joaoba

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 03:49 PM

I bought a used 7.5mm after reading several favorable reviews. It has become my favorite EP for Jupiter and I love it for double stars. I'd love to try the longer focal lengths.

#14 photiost

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 05:01 PM

I also have a few of these and they perform extremely well in all my scopes.

Dont yet have the 24mm but the 30mm Ultima is a great eyepiece.

Keep them use them and enjoy them - you wont be dissapointed.

:cool:

#15 The Ardent

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 06:36 PM

I have a pair of the 24 Ultimas, but I use the Tak LE 24 for BV instead.
One day I will compare them and see if there is any difference.

I have a pair of 5 Ultimas. Very sharp but the eye relief is tight. They produce <1mm exit pupil in my scopes, so I don't use them much (floaters)

#16 Chopin

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 07:38 PM

When I owned the 24mm Ultima I had done an AFOV measurement and came up with 55ยบ. Pretty cool, it was the widest of the series. I'd love to look through the 24 LE. Even better I'd love to look through a pair in my BV. :grin:

#17 Starman1

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 08:16 PM

Over a 15 year period, I had many of the 5-element "pseudo-Masuyama" eyepieces, including Parks, Orion, and Celestron.
My favorites were the Meade Series 4000 pre-1994 5-element "Super Plossl", made by Kowa.
They seemed consistently sharper and brighter than the others.
Of course, coatings weren't as good in that era. Eyepieces have improved some.

#18 DocFinance

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 01:02 AM

I have sets of both the Meade 4ks and Ultimas. The midrange Meades have better eye relief and FOV in my opinion. The 35 and 42 Ultimas are superb, my favorites.

#19 TG

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 01:19 PM

I have 5/7.5x2/12.5x/15mm in a mix of Celestron and Orions. My favourite binoviewer pair is the 12.5. Sharp, orthoscopic, astigmatism free to the edge but somewhat "warm" compared to Sterlings.

Tanveer.


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