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Review - FUJIAMA HD Orthoscopic oculars from Japan

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#1 MarkGregory

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 04:40 AM

I read a few positive posts about these Japanese eyepieces on Cloudy Nights and thought I would buy a few. Decided on the 18mm and 25mm. A few U.S. retailers offer them but I decided to buy them directly from Kokusai Kohki in Japan, www.kkohki.com/English/kkohkiparts.html.

 

First, I must say the transaction went smoothly. I visited the website, e-mailed a few questions that were quickly answered and I placed my order. To my surprise I received a short note saying my order was received and they were running “an unadvertised autumn sale.”

 

The oculars were marked down from 9,800 yen each to 7,800. In U.S. my cost was  $75.00 per eyepiece. With shipping from Japan the total came to about $169.00. They forwarded a PayPal invoice and after making payment I received a note saying the oculars were being shipped. They also sent a tracking number.

 

Within a week the eyepieces arrived along with an unexpected small carry bag for them. Transaction complete - well done! Now on to the ocular test. Fortunately the day they arrived we had good weather with fair seeing conditions so I was able to test them on a an October Gibbous Moon.

 

This is my first set of Orthos so I wasn’t sure how they would compare to my favorite Plossls for the Moon and planets. I would test them against my Meade and TeleVue eyepieces of similar aperture. 

 

Right out of the box, I immediately liked the feel and weight of these short eyepieces in my hand. They were simply designed with coated lenses and plastic eyepiece caps. My gut told me they would perform well.

 

Both eyepieces provided clear sharp images with excellent contrast and natural color. They were comfortable with decent eye relief and showed no false colors or ghosting. I observed many fine details on the Moon’s surface including craters, maria, mountains, rays & rills and spent ½ hour enjoying the view. The Fujiami’s competed nicely with my favorite Moon oculars. This was also the first time I used an eyepiece without rubber eyepiece caps and I must say I enjoyed the experience. Again, the minimalistic approach to the design of the eyepieces appealed to me.

 

Bottom line, I love these Fujiyama orthoscopic oculars and plan on buying a few more. Doing business with Barry and others in Japan was a pleasure so I will continue to buy directly from them. The eyepieces provide excellent views for a reasonable price. In my opinion they provide much bang for the buck and I highly recommend them.

Attached Thumbnails

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Edited by MarkGregory, 12 October 2016 - 12:34 PM.

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#2 denis0007dl

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 05:14 AM

Mark,

 

you will love them if you can leave with small FOV.

I had 2 double full sets of Fuji othos, and compared them vs ZAO IIs on 10" dob approx 2 years ago, and really I could not see any difference optically between them on Jupiter, Saturn, globulars and nebulas.

 

Excellent performers for low money for sure!


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#3 Jim Davis

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 07:54 AM

Thanks for the info. I was thinking of doing the same thing. Is that sale still going on?


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#4 MarkGregory

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 10:16 AM

Jim Davis - Not sure if the sale is still on. Suggest you go to the website and send Barry an email. Hopefully the sale is still on. Mark



#5 Marcsabb

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 10:29 AM

Hokusai Kohki has a nice line-up of orthoscopic eyepieces going all the way down to 4mm. Their simple yet elegant look and their excellent build give them a certain 'oldskool' feel to them. Modern eyepieces have too much plastic and soft rubber for my tastes.

 

The only problem of the shorter focal length ones is the equally short eye relief, no better than a Plossl


Edited by Marcsabb, 12 October 2016 - 10:35 AM.

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#6 russell23

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 11:12 AM

I just picked up the 25mm FL.  I really like it.  Very sharp and nice color rendition.  But it vignettes with my barlows so that takes away the option of using it as a long FL ortho.


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#7 Scott99

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 11:46 AM

nice review!  yes, these are excellent and the perfect antidote to Zeiss puffery.  Outstanding othos don't need to be expensive, and excellent ones from Japan are nothing new.  I would advise completing your set while these are readily available, good orthos tend to go extinct.  Here is an interesting comment from the University Optics website on the Fuji's:

 

>>>All are crafted by Mr. Masuyama.....Mr. Masuyama is the most experienced orthoscopic lens maker in Japan, going back over 60 years.

 

I like the user-friendly focal lengths too.  The ZAO's and current Tak orthos are somewhat mystifying as to the choice of focal lengths.  Why so far apart?  Typical planetary viewing involves finding the perfect magnification for the observing conditions each night.  The designers of the Supermonos, AP SPL's, Pentax SMC orthos understood this, so does Mr. Masuyama and KK apparently   :bow:  :waytogo:


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#8 Smithfr2000

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 12:19 PM

2701-1420041541.jpg

 

No comment required :)


Edited by Smithfr2000, 12 October 2016 - 12:19 PM.

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#9 t.r.

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 12:26 PM

Wish they were in the old "Volcano" format...I'd have me some!!! :grin:


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#10 ascii

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 12:33 PM

Hokusai Kohki has a nice line-up of orthoscopic eyepieces going all the way down to 4mm. Their simple yet elegant look and their excellent build give them a certain 'oldskool' feel to them. Modern eyepieces have too much plastic and soft rubber for my tastes.

 

The only problem of the shorter focal length ones is the equally short eye relief, no better than a Plossl

 

I'm also a fan of the minimalist body design and optical quality.  I will partially disagree on the eye relief issue.  While the eye relief does fall with decreasing focal length, they aren't quite as aggressive in this regard as Plössls are.  The trade off is orthoscopics have slightly longer eye relief and slightly narrower FOV.


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#11 MarkGregory

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 12:41 PM

I wish they made a 40mm HD Ortho, I really enjoy low power views of the Moon.

 

One more comment about my ocular review. MarcSaab commented, "The only problem of the shorter focal length ones is the equally short eye relief, no better than a Plossl."  Since I didn't purchase any of the higher mag eyepieces I didn't comment on this.  However, from what I have read, MarcSaab is 100% correct. Eye relief goes down as power goes up with the oculars. Therefore, the high power eyepieces may not be comfortable for some people. Again, I think price comes into play here. To get better eye relief you most certainly will have to pay more money. Finally, Smithfr2000, I am envious of your great Fujiyama ocular collection. Mark


Edited by MarkGregory, 12 October 2016 - 01:47 PM.


#12 emilslomi

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 01:58 PM

I have the 6, 9 and 12 mm and will order the 18. Very nice. Sharper and clearer than anything else I have in those sizes (no top tier ones). Eye relief of the 6 mm is still ok for me, but I don't want to go lower. Wonder how the 18 mm will compare to the Altair 18 mm RPL ...

 

Cheers, Emil

 

Edit: 1+ on easy transaction buying directly


Edited by emilslomi, 12 October 2016 - 02:00 PM.

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#13 evan9162

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 02:27 PM

Excellent eyepieces.  I have pairs of 12.5 and 25mm for my binoviewers.  Expertly machined smooth barrels that fit tightly in the binos eyepiece holders, making alignment and merging a snap.

Nice internal blackening/baffling.  

Sharp field stop.

Seem to be parfocal between the 12.5 and 25 (and probably the rest of the line).  In fact, they appear to have very tight tolerances on the focal plane position, as I don't have to adjust the diopter focus at all when switching between pairs.  

Top caps are identical between the focal lengths, so I can re-cap everything at the end of the night without hunting around too much.

 

 Noticeably better contrast and detail than comparable wide field eyepieces (lunar/planetary viewing).  The 12.5s are more comfortable to use than 11mm TV Plossls, and can out perform them slightly when seeing cooperates.  

 

I bought 3 of the 4 directly from KK.  Smooth transaction and fast shipping.  I think I got them in 4 or 5 days - which is incredible, since domestic packages sometimes take that long.


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#14 Smithfr2000

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 03:35 PM

Short Fl kk associated with barlow can take High power with ease, giving more ER. In night of great seeing i got "all-in" on Jupiter : 500 to 700X with 12", glipsing détails on ganymede whaou ! 


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#15 Jim Curry

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 08:56 PM

Every ocularholic should have a suite of these.  I've owned both of the slightly older UO ortho suites, sold them and bought this set a year or so ago.  Agree with Denis and Scott, in average seeing, for lunar and planetary, there's no difference between them and other high enders and the full selection from 4-7 is important to keep magnification jumps under control.  A scope change can make a bigger difference than an ep maker change will.

 

But I use my ortho's for deep sky work as well.  I'm not aware of any 40mm ortho's in production.  Is anyone aware of one?

 

JIM


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#16 Marcsabb

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 12:53 AM

Here's the eye relief for the three shortest KK Fujiyama Orthos:

 

4mm = 3.4mm; 5mm = 4mm; 6mm = 4.9mm. Maybe slightly better than a traditional Plossl, but in the same league. 

 

I can buy these in tax-ridden Europe for 90-99€, which is a good price. Small relief and fov aside, the views through these little gems are as good as any 'high end' eyepiece out there.

Talking about focal lengths I would add an 8mm and maybe a 32mm as well.


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#17 csrlice12

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 10:02 AM

UO made a 40mm....Tak makes a 40mm$$,  Fullerscope used might be found in Europe.


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#18 SandyHouTex

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 10:15 AM

I wish they made a 40mm HD Ortho, I really enjoy low power views of the Moon.

 

One more comment about my ocular review. MarcSaab commented, "The only problem of the shorter focal length ones is the equally short eye relief, no better than a Plossl."  Since I didn't purchase any of the higher mag eyepieces I didn't comment on this.  However, from what I have read, MarcSaab is 100% correct. Eye relief goes down as power goes up with the oculars. Therefore, the high power eyepieces may not be comfortable for some people. Again, I think price comes into play here. To get better eye relief you most certainly will have to pay more money. Finally, Smithfr2000, I am envious of your great Fujiyama ocular collection. Mark

I can.  I own many types of Orthos, including the Fujiamas discussed.  My BGO 5, 6, and 7mm have way more eye relief than my Meade Super Plossl 6.4mm.  I also have the Fujiamas in 4mm and while tight, eye relief is still better than the Meade 6.4.  The lowest I can go with the Meades is the 9.7mm and that is about equivilant to 4mm Fujiama and 4mm BGO.

 

So no, Orthos in low focal lengths have much better eye relief than Symmetricals (so called Plossls).


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#19 ascii

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 11:35 AM

Admitedly, the specified eye relief advantage with the Fujiyamas is small.  Elsewhere on CN, members have stated that eye relief specs are probably measured from the eye lens rather than the structure around the eye lens.  You can end up with a smaller usable eye relief with a more deeply set eye lens.  For example, I just did a quick test with my 10 mm Orion Sirius Plössl, and based on how much my eyelashes touched the eyepiece when I could just see the field stop, it has about the same usable eye relief as my 6 mm Fujiyama.  The Plössl is specified at 6.9 mm of eye relief and the Fujiyama at 4.9 mm.  This was a somewhat subjective test.  I don't have calibrated eyelashes, but it shows that the specs can be a little misleading.  Obviously, someone might make a Plössl with a lower profile top that would narrow the difference.  I wish that I had TV 8 mm and 11 mm Plössls to try.

 

I'm not trying to dump on Plössls.  In fact, I will probably buy a 32 mm at some point to have something wider.  It would just be nice if manufacturers published a more usable eye relief spec for their products.


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#20 Traveler

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 11:27 PM

I can use my BGO 7 with glasses and is my best planet ep. Is this BGO (almost) the same as the Kokusai Kohki HD ortho?



#21 catboat

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 02:39 AM

I can use my BGO 7 with glasses and is my best planet ep. Is this BGO (almost) the same as the Kokusai Kohki HD ortho?

Yes, basically the same.  The BGO’s and the University HDs came out at the same time, produced by the same factory, same size and prescription.  They went out of production for a couple of years due to the earthquake/tsunami in Japan.  Then they came back into production, but Baader was no longer carrying the line.  In the world of 'simple glass', they are excellent. 


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#22 GlenM

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 07:27 AM

Nice little write up,Mark,

 

Excellent eyepieces. I used to retail these from the UK .Before that I retailed the VT Ortho's. Tani San did produce a excellent VT before his retirement at the age of 86. I retired today at only 65 :-)

 

I must say that I would have liked to see the Fujiyama in a Volcano Top version,at least I begged for no undercut.

 

Clear Skies,

Glen.

 


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#23 Scott99

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 10:13 AM

UO made a 40mm....Tak makes a 40mm$$,  Fullerscope used might be found in Europe.

While not an Abbe ortho, the Vernonscope 48mm Brandon is an excellent eyepiece and would be a perfect complement to 1.25" orthos.  The current version has updated coatings and I loved the way it performed.  Is the Smart Astronomy/Sirius 40mm "Plossl" still available?  Excellent value/performance ratio on those.

 

I also tried the new Masuyama 50mm eyepiece and it's oustanding, they make a 45mm as well.   The Tak LE 50mm is the same but has annoying "safety groove".  With 5 elements you must compromise your 4-element morals but you're not giving up much, the 50mm has excellent contrast and well-corrected FOV over 53 degrees.  Very forgiving on eye placement too with no blackouts or other issues.   :waytogo:


Edited by Scott99, 15 October 2016 - 10:16 AM.

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#24 nevy

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 02:30 PM

 

UO made a 40mm....Tak makes a 40mm$$,  Fullerscope used might be found in Europe.

While not an Abbe ortho, the Vernonscope 48mm Brandon is an excellent eyepiece and would be a perfect complement to 1.25" orthos.  The current version has updated coatings and I loved the way it performed.  Is the Smart Astronomy/Sirius 40mm "Plossl" still available?  Excellent value/performance ratio on those.

 

I also tried the new Masuyama 50mm eyepiece and it's oustanding, they make a 45mm as well.   The Tak LE 50mm is the same but has annoying "safety groove".  With 5 elements you must compromise your 4-element morals but you're not giving up much, the 50mm has excellent contrast and well-corrected FOV over 53 degrees.  Very forgiving on eye placement too with no blackouts or other issues.   :waytogo:

 

How are you pronouncing that?  :lol:


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#25 nevy

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 02:30 PM

No need to tell me cause I don't care! :lol:




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