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Review: Carl Zeiss premium microscope eyepieces on telescopes

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#1 denis0007dl

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 05:04 PM

I will share with you my long time experience I spent with premium Carl Zeiss microscope eyepieces, testing them on different telescopes.

Most criticall observations are always fast scopes of course, so you will see how they performs.
I really spent many and many nights testing them, to be sure that all results are firm.
Not all microscope eyepieces are good for telescopes, and these I reviewed are all very good to excellent. I was based on Carl Zeiss company, while I know they made really premium optics.

 

There are couple main categories:

 

***PL - Planar eypieces,  with flat field FOV in microscopes
***W-PL - Wide Planar eypieces,  with wide flat field FOV in microscopes
***E-PL - Extra Planar eypieces,  with extra flat field FOV in microscopes
***W - Wide FOV eyepieces
***S-PL - photo eyepieces
***diffrent West Germany eyepieces from OPMI microscopes (OPeration MIcroscopes)

 

These models are most popular in microscopy, and they are very good and usefull in astronomy observations.
I did not try others while they are not suppose to be good for telescopes, as above mentioned are.


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#2 MADRID SKY

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 05:24 PM

Thank you, Denis!

 

If you want any help and I can give it, just tell me... 



#3 denis0007dl

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 05:48 PM

Carl Zeiss PL eyepeices:

 

They suppose to have flat field, but just in microscopes.

For telescopes, fast ones, are not excellent on edges, but still not bad like Kellner eyepieces are. 

 

First of all, let me explain what mean numbers on eyepieces: if we talk about model PL 10x/18, this means that this eyepeice have 10x magnification on microscopes, and FOV 18mm (this is actually field stop diameter)!

But how they get 10x? All results about magnifications are devided always with number 250, which is actually some focal lenght, so it means 250 devided with 10, equals 25mm, and this is focal lenght of eyepiece.

This means, that eyepeice with marks 16x/16 have focal lenght 15.625mm (250/16), and field stop 16mm.

 

 

Most popular eyepiece model here is PL 10x/18 (non focussable model) with aspheic eyelens, which is most known model which lenses Markus Ludes takes for his legendary TMB 25mm aspherical ortho eyepeices. There also exists PL 10x/18 focussable eyepeice.

But there actually exists 4 models of PL 10x/18 eyepeices:

 

***one model have small aspherical eyelens, and thats we called it Aspheric. Markus named it ORTHO, but is is not really ortho design, becasue it consist only 3 lenses in 2 groups. Best model of all PL 10x/18 eyepieces. Provide also most neutral toned image.

***second model have bigger aspherical eyelens, with same performance as above mentioned.

***third model have concave eyelens, and this is newest model, with not so good edge performance as Aspheric design have. Have just bit more yellowish tone of image comparing to Aspheric design.

***fourth model have somewhat flat to little concave eyelens, oldest model, almost good as Aspheric design.

 

All four models are very very good, and very close in performance on axes, and there is little difference on edges as you could read, and colour rendering, but differences are very little.

 

Now, there are other PL versions like PL 10x/20, 10x/22, 10x/23, 10x/25.

All they differ in FOV, and date of producing, with aspherical, flat to concave, and concave eyelenses, but they are all very very good, especially PL 10x/25 versions, becasue really big FOV, and here newer model (444034-9000-000) produce slightly more neutral tone of image, while older version (444034) provide somewhat yellowish tone of image, but it have bigger eyelens and more imerssive look.

 

Here you can find some photos....

 

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#4 denis0007dl

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 05:50 PM

...and more PL 10x/18 Aspherics with smaller lenses...

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#5 denis0007dl

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 06:04 PM

Carl Zeiss E-PL eyepeices:

Same performers like PL versions, at least in telescopes. I really never see any difference of edge performance, where E-PL version is supposed to be Extra flat field eyepieces, except exceptions of 10x/23 and 10x/25 models.

There are also few models:

 

E-PL 10x/20 model is standard for quality in microscopy. There are also Aspheric design, and concave (newest models), and one model with flat to concave eyelenses. Same story about performance as with the Pl models, except 10x/23 and 10x/25 models, and now you will see why.

 

E-PL 10x/23 and E-PL 10x/25 models are ONLY eyepieces which Carl Zeiss produce which have one interest possibility: this eyepieces have built in some kind of paracorr/field flatterner fixed in down part of 30mm barell of eyepiece, so when rotating upper part, you can actuall compensate flatness of FOV. Here, you can get sharp stars untill extreme edges even on fast scopes like f/4, probably even on faster, but I have nowhere such fast scope for such test.

FOV in 10x/25 model is actually more like 60-65 degrees, while image is somewhat slightly yellowish in tone, but stars are incredible sharp, with high contrast of image. Best of all Zeiss serial produced eyepieces I will review in this thread. Eyepeices are also very heavy, full metal made, and very expensive, almost impossible to find for buy anywhere.

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#6 denis0007dl

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 06:06 PM

...and here are E-PLs 10x/25...

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#7 denis0007dl

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 06:07 PM

...and more comparation....

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#8 denis0007dl

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 06:12 PM

Carl Zeiss W-PL eyepeices:

 

All in all, same performers as PL models, but with little wider FOV, and still Aspherics have ver tiny advantage.

W-PL 10x/23 model have biggest FOV in this series.

In comparation here is W-PL 10x/23 vs ZAO I 25mm and S-PL 10x/20 model.

 

 

 

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#9 denis0007dl

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 06:15 PM

Carl Zeiss W eyepeices:

 

Very good eyepieces, and I couldnt see any obvious difference between then and any PL version, no matter where here attached model 10x/25 have 3 lenses only. I like his big FOV. 

Also, there are W 25x/10 eyepeices, which also provide very very good performance, with very big FOV, but not so good edge performance on edges on fast scopes.

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Edited by denis0007dl, 12 September 2015 - 06:28 PM.


#10 denis0007dl

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 06:24 PM

Carl Zeiss S-PL eyepeices:

 

Now, here are some special photo eyepieces. Why I say special? Because they are called APO from Markus, but that is not real nickname as it should be. I say this becasue these eyepieces are special on something. They produce images with VERY high contrast, and are very sharp, sharper on edges than PL versions, with much more contrast. But, image is somewhat little warmer than PL Aspheric version, and there is on ever model ring of fire on edges. Best model is newest model of 10x/20, 444040, while there is second best is 444031 01, and less better 444039.

All differes in lens size also.

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Edited by denis0007dl, 12 September 2015 - 06:26 PM.


#11 denis0007dl

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 06:34 PM

Carl Zeiss OPMI eyepeices:

 

Really good models are 10x/22. Great colour rendering and very comfortibe to use, performance comparable with PL models.

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#12 denis0007dl

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 06:37 PM

Here I must add PL 16x/16 model, which is standard PL performer, but not aspheric one.

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#13 denis0007dl

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 06:38 PM

Ok, thats it for start, so we can discuss further and add something for sure....comments and experiences welcome.


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#14 Alvin See

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Posted 13 September 2015 - 01:22 AM

I'm speechless. Bravo Denis!



#15 Alvin See

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Posted 13 September 2015 - 01:40 AM

Thank you for sharing all the information!

#16 skullpin

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Posted 13 September 2015 - 02:22 AM

Wow! Thank you sir.

 

Keith



#17 skullpin

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Posted 13 September 2015 - 02:28 AM

I did not understand your comment on the E-Pl 23 and E-Pl 25 eyepieces being adjustable by rotating the upper housing. Is it by unthreading to top half from the bottom half to increase the distance between the two halves? If this is the case, does the eyepiece become loose and rattle? Or is it part of the focus mechanism?

 

Thanks, Keith


Edited by skullpin, 13 September 2015 - 02:31 AM.


#18 denis0007dl

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Posted 13 September 2015 - 02:48 AM

I'm speechless. Bravo Denis!

Thank you  :)



#19 Astrojensen

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Posted 13 September 2015 - 03:52 AM

I have the OPMI 10x/22 B eyepieces and they are the sharpest, cleanest eyepieces I've seen with long eye relief and medium AFOV. I've seen subtly better images in homemade doublet achromat planetary eyepieces with 12° AFOV, but the Zeiss OPMI beats anything commercial I've seen in its focal length, also, and especially, on ergonomics. They are superb in a binoviewer, very easy on the eyes.

 

Can't recommend them enough.

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark


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#20 denis0007dl

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Posted 13 September 2015 - 04:12 AM

I did not understand your comment on the E-Pl 23 and E-Pl 25 eyepieces being adjustable by rotating the upper housing. Is it by unthreading to top half from the bottom half to increase the distance between the two halves? If this is the case, does the eyepiece become loose and rattle? Or is it part of the focus mechanism?

 

Thanks, Keith

Hope that these pictures will help. You can go with rotating upper part up and/or down.

This is how looks inside mechanism..

Attached Thumbnails

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#21 denis0007dl

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Posted 13 September 2015 - 04:14 AM

I have the OPMI 10x/22 B eyepieces and they are the sharpest, cleanest eyepieces I've seen with long eye relief and medium AFOV. I've seen subtly better images in homemade doublet achromat planetary eyepieces with 12° AFOV, but the Zeiss OPMI beats anything commercial I've seen in its focal length, also, and especially, on ergonomics. They are superb in a binoviewer, very easy on the eyes.

 

Can't recommend them enough.

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark

I like them also. Very good eyepieces.



#22 Andy Howie

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Posted 13 September 2015 - 05:30 AM

What a marvelous thread. Thanks Denis & everyone contributing to it.

 

 Microscope ep's interest me greatly, so the more information being shared is a very good thing :)

 

Something I was wondering..... do these ep's work well when using various multiplications of barlows(assuming the barlow is of good quality) ?

 

Cheers,

Andy.



#23 denis0007dl

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Posted 13 September 2015 - 06:02 AM

What a marvelous thread. Thanks Denis & everyone contributing to it.

 

 Microscope ep's interest me greatly, so the more information being shared is a very good thing :)

 

Something I was wondering..... do these ep's work well when using various multiplications of barlows(assuming the barlow is of good quality) ?

 

Cheers,

Andy.

Thank you Andy!

 

Of corse, any of these eyepieces works incredible with any barlow, especially if barlow is higher quality.

Of course, you can use any of Powermates.



#24 MADRID SKY

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Posted 13 September 2015 - 07:29 AM

I did not understand your comment on the E-Pl 23 and E-Pl 25 eyepieces being adjustable by rotating the upper housing. Is it by unthreading to top half from the bottom half to increase the distance between the two halves? If this is the case, does the eyepiece become loose and rattle? Or is it part of the focus mechanism?

 

Thanks, Keith

 

Some microscope eyepieces (almost all Zeiss PL, W-Pl and E-PL, if not all that I can remember) allow for fine focusing by rotating the upper portion of the eyepiece. Some eyepieces have locking screws to stuck it there (like venerable Leica 10x/22, which I would rate at least in the Zeiss PLs resolution level), but most do not have them. "Side" effect is that this focusing changes field stop "focusing". In other words, for astronomy usage, it is better to use this in-built focusing mechanism at the eyepiece to finely focus the field stop to the sharpest or preferrable point and then focus image ONLY through your telescope focusing mechanism. Most eyepieces with this focusing mechanism, though, have a certain amount of "sharp field stop travel", so that you do not lose your field stop sharpness when focusing it. This is obviously highly dependant on field stop construction itself.

 

Ok now, the Zeiss E-PLs —as Denis pointed—, have a lower "special lens" that the rest of series do not have. It seems this lens acts as a "counter-aberration" lens (I do not know to what extent, I have not personally checked this) when focusing the eyepiece. What focusing does in these E-Pls eyepieces is to change the distance between the "upper" group (all the lenses except bottom one) from that lower "special lens". It seems this movement is able to improve sharpness and counteract aberrations (again, not tested, I just believe Denis in here).



#25 MADRID SKY

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Posted 13 September 2015 - 07:48 AM

I agree. Thank you Denis, for this information!

 

What I am doing here is to share the sketches I made of Zeiss eyepieces. Even though I shared it in the other microscope eyepiece thread, I also share it in here along with some others:

 

SAM_2069_resize.JPG SAM_2071_resize.JPG SAM_2072_resize.JPG


Edited by MADRID SKY, 13 September 2015 - 08:25 AM.



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