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3mm Explore Scientific 52 Series vs Tak 4mm TOE

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#1 JimOfOakCreek

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Posted 03 November 2018 - 09:28 PM

I have an 3mm ES 52 Series coming from Agena Astro. I am anxious to compare it to my 4mm TOE. Both have the same AFOV. I’ll be using my SV102A for the comparo. Should be an interesting comparison. Stay tuned.


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#2 greenjuice

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Posted 04 November 2018 - 12:04 AM

How do you like the 4mm TOA so far ? I’m super curious about that piece. Your SV102 is F7 right ?

cheers, 

Mel



#3 JimOfOakCreek

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Posted 04 November 2018 - 08:38 AM

How do you like the 4mm TOA so far ? I’m super curious about that piece. Your SV102 is F7 right ?

cheers, 

Mel

The 4mm TOE is a superior eyepiece, comfortible ER, super contrasty, sharp to the fieldstop. Edge performance is as good as center performance. 

 

The SV102A indeed is an F7.

 

I don’t expect the ES 3mm to perform at the same level as my 4mm TOE. But it should still be an interesting comparison.


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#4 Lt 26

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Posted 04 November 2018 - 11:01 AM

My next eyepiece will be in the 4mm range. I need more than 150x for a moon eyepiece. Looking at the 4mm Delite or the 4mm TOE.

The TOE gets great reviews and everyone says that it has a comfortable eye relief. But it only has 10mm of eye relief, how can this be with such short ER.

I sold my 3.5 and 5mm T6's that had 11mm of ER because of this. How does the TOE do it with less eye relief?

Dereck

#5 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 04 November 2018 - 02:53 PM

My next eyepiece will be in the 4mm range. I need more than 150x for a moon eyepiece. Looking at the 4mm Delite or the 4mm TOE.

The TOE gets great reviews and everyone says that it has a comfortable eye relief. But it only has 10mm of eye relief, how can this be with such short ER.

I sold my 3.5 and 5mm T6's that had 11mm of ER because of this. How does the TOE do it with less eye relief?

Dereck

 

If you have tried a Nagler 3-6 zoom, it's the same viewing experience to my eye. The eye relief is objectively tight, but the field is narrow and the exit pupil easy to pick up.

 

FWIW I have yet to get seeing that allows me to see more in the TOE than the Nagler zoom. The TOE is good, but it is not immediately clear to me that it beats my zoom. If it does, it's going to be pretty close.



#6 JimOfOakCreek

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 04:12 PM

The ES 3mm arrived today. I need clear skies, likely Wednesday, in order to do the comparo.

 

I did make a comparison regarding quality of construction. The ES is surprisingly well manufactured. It has a hefty, solid feel and is well finished. The interior is nicely blackened. It comes in the nice constellation box with a cloth pouch and designer end caps. The Tak 4mm TOE is packaged in a very plain box. Comparing the physical manufacturing  quality I really don’t see Any improvement with the TOE. The pull down rubber eyeguard on the ES 3mm is rather thin compared to the TOE. But it can be rolled up and down on the ES. The eyeguard is permanently up on the TOE.

 

The ES 3mm is a much taller eyepiece. See the pics. The ES 3mm is on the left.

 

 

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Edited by JimOfOakCreek, 05 November 2018 - 04:13 PM.

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#7 payner

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 07:18 PM

While the Takahashi eyepiece eye guard is thick and stiff, it will roll down.  I sometimes do this in our typically humid, saturated conditions to minimize them dewing over.

 

Randy



#8 JimOfOakCreek

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 07:32 PM

While the Takahashi eyepiece eye guard is thick and stiff, it will roll down.  I sometimes do this in our typically humid, saturated conditions to minimize them dewing over.

 

Randy

I did not know that. Thanks.



#9 JimOfOakCreek

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 07:30 PM

Still overcast, no chance to use my new eyepiece.



#10 Svalbard

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 11:30 PM

popcorn.gif

 

Looking forward to this comparison. 


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#11 JimOfOakCreek

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Posted 10 November 2018 - 09:42 AM

SV102A APO refractor on a SkyView Pro EQ mount.

 

This not going to be the greatest report. It was 22* with 25mph gusts last night but clear. I spent an hour with Mars last night before I got froze out. Winter in SE Wisconsin is here with snow. Next week looks more promising.

 

Saturday night, tonight, I am committed to playing chess and drinking wine with my chess buds. I won’t bother setting up tonight.

 

Last night I brought out 3 planetary EPs, 4mm TOE (178x), 3mm ES and a 9mm KK Ortho + 3x barlow (238x).

 

All 3 showed a sharp Martian disc with a small Southern Polar Cap. Detail was scant. I think I saw saw hints grey mottling with all 3. I let Mars drift in and out of the FOV to assess edge performance. All 3 did well, with little/no image deterioration at the field stop. It was hard to say if the TOE was any better.

 

The TOE was slightly brighter than the other two. The difference was small but noticable. 

 

The image scale was a bit larger with the 3mm ES and Ortho/Barlow combo. That helps with Mars because it’s a very small object to begin with. The added magnification helped with bringing out the S. Polar Cap.

 

The TOE showed slightly less scatter than the other two. It wasn’t a dramatic difference, but noticable. A little scatter was visible but not too distracting with the other two. I spent a lot of time switching EPs in and out. 

 

The 3mm ES and TOE had roughly the same AFOV. The Otho/Barlow combo was more restricted.

 

I don’t wear glasss but Eye Relief was comfortable with all three. The ES 3mm had a bit more ER than the other two. Over all The ES 3mm performed surprisingly well. I couldn’t find anything I didn’t like about it. 

 

Mars is not the best object to make the comparison. But the fact that all three were so close in performance speaks well of the $69 ES 3mm. But further testing is needed. 

 

Sorry, that’s the best I can do for now.


Edited by JimOfOakCreek, 10 November 2018 - 09:47 AM.

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#12 BillP

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 09:52 AM

Thanks for the report. waytogo.gif  No issue it being not in best conditions as long as that is stated so we know to take it with grain of salt.  Look forward to your follow ups when gets a little warmer lol.gif  However, curious what the 3x Barlow was that you used?  Barlows typically do add a little scatter to the view due to the extra glass, so could be from that. 


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#13 JimOfOakCreek

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 09:24 PM

It is a nice night for Lunar viewing this Wednesday, 11/14. It is 24* with no wind, crisp and clear. I’ve been studying the Lunar surface on the east edge of the Mare Serenatatis, the area around the crater Posidonius tonight. Then I moved west near the Terminator to the two craters Franklin and Cepheus. I always found Cepheus and Cepheus A an interesting sight.

 

After extended use I found the ES 3mm to be the most comfortable with its superior eyerelief. The ER of the TOE is good enough for me (I don’t wear glasses) but the ES 3mm is super non-fatiguing. The 9mm-barlow combo has slightly less ER than the TOE. The ES 3mm is the comfort winner. 

 

Comparing the ES 3mm with the 4mm TOE on the Lunar surface I found the TOE to be slightly crisper, more contrasty and brighter. But the TOE is a 4mm vs the 3mm ES. The added magnification of the 3mm is going to stress the optics and atmospheric artifacts, a bit more than the 4mm TOE.

 

The 9mm-barlow combo had a smaller AFOV, about 40*. ER was tighter, less comfortable. Optically, this combination is quite good. I would say the ES 3mm is on par with the 9mm-barlow combo. But the TOE is the winner strictly in the area of pure optical performance. For the ES 3mm to perform about as well as the 9mm ortho with a 3x barlow speaks well of the 3mm ES.

 

The edge performance was also very good on all three EPs. I let Mars and Fomalhaut drift to the edge of the Field Stop. The images stayed tight with no distortions on all three.

 

Color/hue rendition were about the same, neutral white for all three.

 

Over the long haul I found the ES 3mm to be a joy. It gave me the impression of being sharp, bright and VERY comfortable. Surprisingly, AFOV seemed to be very **slightly** wider than the TOE, even though they are both spec’ed at 52*. That was my impression. The extra ER really makes the ES 3mm more comfortable.

 

The ES 3mm has no undercut. Its build quality is surpisingly solid for $59. I soon forgot about the other eyepieces and began exploring the tinyest Lunar features in detail with the ES 3mm.

 

I took a quick peak at Mars. The planet’s tiny disc was boiling in the cold turbulent air. No detail visible except for a strong impression of the Northern and Southern Polar Caps. I would love to use the ES 3mm on Jupiter as the acid test.

 

Some of the reviews I’ve read of the ES 52 series have been luke warm. I think the ES 3mm is a remarkable eyepiece for $59. It’s a comfortable planetary eyepiece that performs well. I will keep mine. 

 

Peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by JimOfOakCreek, 15 November 2018 - 09:40 AM.

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#14 epee

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 08:37 AM

Thanks. It seems that ES has produced another great value.


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#15 rogeriomagellan

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Posted 18 November 2018 - 02:55 PM

Thanks for the report. I guess that it'd be fair to assume that the ES 52° 3mm would also perform well observing Jupiter in your 4" refractor. 



#16 Moondust

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 09:54 PM

I just picked a 3mm ES up because of the sale. After reading the above review I was a bit surprised at the rather severe field curvature in my f/7 refractor as I was expecting it to be remain sharp across the field. If I had a tracking mount it wouldn't be such a big deal because the eyepiece is sharp in the center but around the outer 25% it degrades quickly. Other than that it's a nicely built eyepiece and it didn't cost much so I guess I shouldn't expect TOE or Vixen HR performance for $56, but I didn't really expect the strong field curvature either. For reference I have a ED 3.2mm Agena Starguider and it remains sharp across the field and cost about the same as the ES. 


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#17 Marcsabb

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 03:05 AM

I just picked a 3mm ES up because of the sale. After reading the above review I was a bit surprised at the rather severe field curvature in my f/7 refractor as I was expecting it to be remain sharp across the field. If I had a tracking mount it wouldn't be such a big deal because the eyepiece is sharp in the center but around the outer 25% it degrades quickly. Other than that it's a nicely built eyepiece and it didn't cost much so I guess I shouldn't expect TOE or Vixen HR performance for $56, but I didn't really expect the strong field curvature either. For reference I have a ED 3.2mm Agena Starguider and it remains sharp across the field and cost about the same as the ES. 

This pretty much confirms my experience. A shame because very short FL eyepieces are more desirable in fast refractors/newtonians and in those with a short FL. 


Edited by Marcsabb, 08 April 2019 - 03:08 AM.


#18 Ernest_SPB

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 04:22 AM

My recent tests (in plane field 1:5 quadruplet) did not show any field curvature in 3 mm ES52. I will repeat them.


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#19 Astrojensen

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 01:07 PM

Hmmm. This sounds remarkably similar to the 14mm ES82 incident, where several reported severe field curvature, but others found none and a few tried several eyepieces and found that some had field curvature and others none. I think it's an assembly and QC problem. I suspect a lens or a lens group is flipped, possibly the barlow lens. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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#20 Moondust

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 03:11 PM

Hmmm. This sounds remarkably similar to the 14mm ES82 incident, where several reported severe field curvature, but others found none and a few tried several eyepieces and found that some had field curvature and others none. I think it's an assembly and QC problem. I suspect a lens or a lens group is flipped, possibly the barlow lens. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

You may be right. I think mine is going back. Problem is I may be hit with a %10 to %15 return fee from Agena but I have not much use for it as is. I would rate the field curvature as severe! 



#21 Moondust

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 04:10 PM

Got in touch with Agena and informed them of my concern with the 3mm ES. Explore Scientific is supposed ship me a new eyepiece so after I get it I'll post here if the results are any better.


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#22 Moondust

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 10:26 AM

I must say ES customer service is outstanding. I received a call this morning from the customer service rep Kent out of Arkansas who spent a good deal of time with me on the phone regarding the eyepiece issue. It was obvious to me the guy loves his job and is very knowledgeable. A replacement eyepiece along with prepaid shipping label is already on the way. Agena and Explore Scientific customer service both outstanding!


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#23 Ryan555_1

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 10:31 AM

I must say ES customer service is outstanding. I received a call this morning from the customer service rep Kent out of Arkansas who spent a good deal of time with me on the phone regarding the eyepiece issue. It was obvious to me the guy loves his job and is very knowledgeable. A replacement eyepiece along with prepaid shipping label is already on the way. Agena and Explore Scientific customer service both outstanding!

They are really great. Eyepiece replacements can be a touchy thing, but I am happy to hear that they respond to potential QC issues.


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#24 Moondust

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 01:09 PM

Received my replacement 3mm ES 52 degree eyepiece today directly from Explore Scientific in Springdale Arkansas.  I still have the first eyepiece I was not happy with shipped to me from Agena so I was able to make direct back and forth comparisons in my 92mm Stowaway. I am happy to report that the replacement is a drastic improvement and I am very pleased with it. It is flat across the entire field and on axis it is noticably sharper than the first eyepiece which was not too bad to begin with. When switching from one eyepiece the other I had to not only refocus but also move the position of the scope a few degrees in order to recenter the subject, so something definitely was misaligned or a lens or lens group put in backwards. So it turns out the above review of this eyepiece is spot on, as long as you get a good copy. I think the eyepiece is so good in fact that I'm not even considering the Televue 3mm Delight or the Takahashi TOE any longer. Any tiny improvement there might be would be hard to quantify given the huge price differences. The serial number of the defective eyepiece is LF52300152 is this helps anyone. This most likely is not be an isolated incident could be an entire bad batch.    


Edited by Moondust, 11 April 2019 - 01:44 PM.

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#25 Astrojensen

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 02:25 PM

Aha! Seems my guess was spot on. I'm glad you got the problem solved.

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark




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