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The world without Televue

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#51 Procyon

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 12:17 AM

What is the most popular (quantity sold) eyepiece model today ?
What is the most wide angle and well corrected eyepiece today ?
What is the most contrasty and sharp eyepiece today ?


Check my signature, it's somewhere in there lol.
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#52 Starman1

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 12:48 AM

What is the most popular (quantity sold) eyepiece model today ?

What is the most wide angle and well corrected eyepiece today ?

What is the most contrasty and sharp eyepiece today ?

I certainly don't have that data, and given the disparate opinions here on CN, I don't think anyone else does either.


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#53 gnowellsct

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 01:22 AM

Thanks Jon, you make some excellent points.

 

In an alternate universe it's quite likely Japan would have been the center of eyepiece designs, and new innovations may have been derivatives of the Pentax line.

I don't know...Pentax struck me as a reaction to Televue's over-reach in the fov department.  As in "we can make a better eyepiece by not trying to get such a wide field."    So take a Nagler 82 degree, consider its most obvious flaws, figure out how to reduce those flaws at 70 degrees...so I'm not sure they would have gotten there without having the Televue design to get their neurons firing.

 

Maybe not though.  Another way of looking at this is that camera lens innovation has implications for eyepieces, and sooner or later the know how would have jumped from cameras to amateur astronomy.

 

All that said, the fact is that Al Nagler not only was a master designer and innovator he had some market savvy too.  It does us no good to have brilliant opticians at Pentax or Canon or Nikon if all they do is camera lenses.  Someone has to have the marketing savvy to order the designs, improve them over time, and market them so next generation innovation can occur.

 

Greg N



#54 lylver

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 03:51 AM

Some opinions of myself.

 

Jon Dobson popularize the dobson : short f/D newton.

Al was in sync and create two short f/D eyepieces.

"The Nagler" for wide field use after the plössl (TV plössl)

 

Thomas Back put the TV plössl 8mm (and maybe the 11 ou 13, didn't remember clear) in his list as the sharpest/contrasty modern planetary in this focal length and short f/D.

 

Nagler became popular, because highly desired for dobsons.

 

Later, Al feel important to create a non barlow wide and flat field eyepiece, this was his second rethink about erfle around 60-68°, Al knows the limit of natural eye color vision that is around 60/62°

Panoptics are still today the best flat field wide 68° eyepiece without barlow, much compatible with many telescopes (refractors : long/medium fl and many f/D >4.5 reflectors)

 

The 2-1-1-2 panoptic like optic formula was reused many times after panoptic went on market : not the old 2-1-1-2 formulae. The sacrifice about distorsion was accepted.

 

Meanwhile, Nagler/Televue develops the barlow and coma correcting stuff.

 

Pentax XL. (yes I start with another)

Good eyepiece that came out during the 1990ties. Well color corrected for daylight use and mainly not to fast spotting scopes.

 

Later, Al think about lowering the field and design a 60° degree well corrected planetary EP to replace the plössl that has "short afov" comparing to other enhancement

Then he redesign a 60°, the radian, correcting the major flaw of the XL :

- shorter f/D than f/6 -> goto f/4.5 as medium line (works shorter)

 

He reduced the not needed color correction range for night use, enhance the sharpness of the eye part with lanthanum glass and return back to the classic 1-2-1 könig that has better center sharpness (one of the flaw of the XL) and think about controling ghost image that destroy contrast in complex EP.

Then, before pentax come back with the XW, he reviewed the barlow : a challenge because it is always a delicate concept to use small lenses for general correction.

The radian was born : see Thomas Back review.

 

And the radian died : lanthanum glass cost increase kills it.

 

Meanwhile (1996 Fukumoto design) : Nikon decided to design small EP, the sw. a full color corrected compact EP.

 

The next step was Ethos with its complex barlow, medium stage field correction and a reviewed classic eye part.

 

Ethos is now multiple times copied.

 

Nikon now does the same with the Nikon hw and keep his patent of the eye part.

 

I won't speak about Russian designed eyepieces : they are too few on the market and mainly design for day light and army use.

 

------------------------

 

What remain about TV ?

Hard to say, but it is clear for me that, even if TV is not mass producing EP like the "many brand ED" (BST Starguider, Paradigm, TS Ned, X-CEL-LX, Meade HD-60, Orion Epic/Edge on) that are a bad copy of the Pentax XL-XF concept.

 

TV always stings the market, keeping balance about what is needed and quality production.

This has a price.

 

They may decline, be misused by people that do not understand the purpose of each Nagler model series.

But one thing will remain : they are great innovators that shake the market and permit the fastest evolution of any instruments, making astronomy popular.

Second hand market is always high when TV brand appears on an eyepiece or accessory.


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#55 clivemilne

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 05:40 AM

 

The world without Televue

 

Well... one positive would be that there would be less inertia behind the "undercut mental virus"


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#56 25585

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 05:45 AM

Well... one positive would be that there would be less inertia behind the "undercut mental virus"

Here is a question. How does Tele Vue address the undercut/alignment problem, using their own eyepieces in their own binoviewers, following their principle that everything TV works well with everything TV?   


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#57 clivemilne

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 05:50 AM

Here is a question. How does Tele Vue address the undercut/alignment problem, using their own eyepieces in their own binoviewers, following their principle that everything TV works well with everything TV?   

Easy... they ignore it and respond with sophistry.


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#58 Miranda2525

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 07:23 AM

I used to think that until I had a chance to look through some really good eyepieces (12 Delos, 22T4 Nagler). For me it was a complete game changer and revitalized my enjoyment of star-gazing. 

 

That probably just means I was not sufficiently obsessed in the first place, but there are probably a lot of people like that. 

It's not a matter of obsession. Televue takes the time to inspect each and every eyepiece. Interior baffling and attention to detail is second to none. Another great thing is being able to send one back for repair or replacement at a fraction of the cost. If you get a bad eyepiece from most other companies, you are just left holding the bag and out of luck. 

 

Al Nagler is a great innovator in optics. Plus he is an astronomer, which makes it even better! Really nice guy too. He will talk shop about optics for hours.

 

Can't beat that!



#59 SeattleScott

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 09:23 AM

What is the most popular (quantity sold) eyepiece model today ?
What is the most wide angle and well corrected eyepiece today ?
What is the most contrasty and sharp eyepiece today ?

Certainly not the highest quantity. Premium stuff rarely is. Like how you see more Fords on the road than Mercedes.
Most wide angle well corrected would be the ES 9mm 120.
Most contrasty and sharp is getting into a hornets nest but this is generally the realm of minimum glass, super planetary eyepieces like Zeiss abbe ortho, TMB super mono, or if you want current models, Tak TOE or Vixen HR. Just to give a few examples. TV rarely comes up in these discussions, although the TV 8 Plossl was really sharp. Just not quite enough ER for me, as expected.

TV specialty is making contrasty wide field eyepieces. But even then they are not the undisputed champs by any means. Just the most talked about. Not saying anyone else is necessarily better. TV is the best UWA or hyperwide eyepieces I have personally looked through. But some say others are as good or even better.

Scott

Edited by SeattleScott, 08 September 2019 - 09:59 AM.

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#60 25585

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 10:03 AM

Easy... they ignore it and respond with sophistry.

What sophistry?



#61 gnowellsct

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 10:32 AM

 

And the radian died : lanthanum glass cost increase kills it.

 

 

Ah, and good riddance to bad rubbish is my 2c on that topic


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#62 russell23

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 10:44 AM

Vegas odds currently 4 to 3 this thread is locked by Tuesday. smile.gif

popcorn.gif watching.gif


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#63 csrlice12

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 10:47 AM

Wellllllll...there's still that whole Disco thing.



#64 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 11:11 AM

And the radian died : lanthanum glass cost increase kills it.

 

A very selective virus, lanthanum costii. Killed only Radians it seems.

 

I suspect poor sales was the real culprit.


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#65 Starman1

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 11:59 AM

It was the result of several factors:

Geo-political: a dispute between China and Japan over fishing rights, coupled with the fact that almost all lanthanum oxides (and other rare earths) come from China,

meant that Japan had its supply of lanthanum oxide interrupted.  It's a long story how Japan still managed to get the materials, but it increased costs significantly.

Radians, including the glass, were made in Japan, not China.

 

Costs: the availability of lanthanum oxides in Japan went down, driving prices up.  This also occurred to an even greater degree because the primary plant producing Lanthanum oxide glass in Japan was heavily damaged in the earthquake/tsunami (that also led to the Fukushima disaster).  When the factory had rebuilt and was in operation again, priority

was given to camera companies, so there was a long interruption in supply.  This made it obvious that making eyepieces with lanthanum oxide glass in Japan

was not the best idea.

 

Sales: the sales had dropped off, so having a huge increased cost per unit could not be justified because higher retails would have driven sales even lower.

 

The redesign, i.e. the Delites, avoided the use of glass types that could become unavailable easily.

TeleVue had seen it coming for years, which is why the Ethos, Delos, and Delite eyepieces avoid the exotic glass types.


Edited by Starman1, 08 September 2019 - 12:01 PM.

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#66 213Cobra

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 01:14 PM

It's difficult for younger astro-enthusiasts to understand what the world was like before Tele-vue. For those of us of sufficient age, we came up in a world of what was in retrospect discouraging limitations and compromise that left all but the most persistent and dedicated amateurs frustrated and frequently bailing out of the hobby. Yes, Al Nagler introduced new ideas & execution in the revelation and expense of eyepieces, but I was there for the beginning, and TV was a revelation. Would someone else have emerged in Al Nagler's abence? Presumably yes, but when? And at what level of practical innovation? Practical is the operative word. Telev-Vue put forth eyepieces that transformed the experiential impressions and usability of the sky with already extant telescope designs. Already extant designs like the then-ubiquitous SCT and the emerging Dobs as well as traditional Newtonians and long-tube refractors. All got common threads of expanded fields, coherence and aberration-truncated windows on the sky. Plus he made the rich-field, fast refractor a more practical alternative through his telescopes and eyepieces together.

 

Since then, have newer vendors emerged? Sure. Did they do anything equally new? Nope. The astro world of eyepieces has been chasing & pacing Al Nagler ever since. As much as I've tried some of the alternatives, all of them have been disappointing in one aspect or another to render any cost advantage trivial in comparison to owning & using Televue benchmarks. That is to say, while I respect budgets, I'd rather have fewer TV eyepieces than more ES as an example. Tele-Vue spawned an explosion of fast refractors with a variety of vendors and types only seen since the original Renaissance and in that area, Tel-Vue has arguably been surpassed. But the world of eyepieces has been mostly imitative of Tele-Vue.

 

Phil


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#67 SandyHouTex

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 01:16 PM

Wow, you should work for CNN fake news!tongue2.gif

Rather than just making a disparaging statement, maybe it would be a good idea to point out what you think is inaccurate in what I said.

 

Good luck with that.  I can back up everything I stated.  Some of it being common knowledge.


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#68 SandyHouTex

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 01:21 PM

Finally, someone hit the nail on the head! Al N. Apollo program simulator started it all!

I can assure you Al was not alone on the simulator.  He may have designed the optics, but that’s probably it.  A device like that, back then, would have required hundreds, probably up to a thousand engineers, technicians, operators, etc. etc. to design, create the drawings and specifications, manufacture, assemble, test, verify function, and run it.


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#69 Sleep Deprived

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 01:22 PM

With China cornering the Lanthanum market, and TONS of eyepieces being produced there nowadays, how come they didn't 'nationalize' (patriate??  Heck, PIRATE??) the Lanthanum eyepiece design and pump those out?  They could make a relative mint, if no one else can make the same things.  It's not like making knock-offs is abhorrent to them.


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#70 SandyHouTex

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 01:25 PM

I don't know...Pentax struck me as a reaction to Televue's over-reach in the fov department.  As in "we can make a better eyepiece by not trying to get such a wide field."    So take a Nagler 82 degree, consider its most obvious flaws, figure out how to reduce those flaws at 70 degrees...so I'm not sure they would have gotten there without having the Televue design to get their neurons firing.

 

Maybe not though.  Another way of looking at this is that camera lens innovation has implications for eyepieces, and sooner or later the know how would have jumped from cameras to amateur astronomy.

 

All that said, the fact is that Al Nagler not only was a master designer and innovator he had some market savvy too.  It does us no good to have brilliant opticians at Pentax or Canon or Nikon if all they do is camera lenses.  Someone has to have the marketing savvy to order the designs, improve them over time, and market them so next generation innovation can occur.

 

Greg N

Actually when I look at Naglers and Ethos x-rays, they remind me of camera lenses.  You know, 20 elements in 15 groups.  (I exaggerate a bit.)


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#71 noisejammer

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 01:53 PM

What is the most popular (quantity sold) eyepiece model today ?

What is the most wide angle and well corrected eyepiece today ?

What is the most contrasty and sharp eyepiece today ?

I'll offer a couple of guesses

1. Most sold - 20mm Plossl

2. Popular wide angle - no idea but it could have a Svbony label

3. Probably still either a Supermono or 10mm ZAO II

 

To return to the topic -

 

I got my first Televue eyepiece - a used 22 Pan - long after Al had cracked the market. It's a fine eyepiece but I don't think it's as sharp as the 26mm Kowa made 'Super Plossl' that was delivered with my 1999 LX200/12. Still, I drank the KoolAid, bought several of Al's offerings and - for the most part - was pleased enough to buy others.

 

I think what Al did was inject an enthusiasm into the hobby at a time when a lot of people were making 8" f/6 scopes. He responded to St. John's giant telescopes and then rode the wave. Good for him.

 

I'm reasonably sure others could have done it. The reason Televue succeeded is that nobody did.


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#72 SeattleScott

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 02:13 PM

It was the result of several factors:
Geo-political: a dispute between China and Japan over fishing rights, coupled with the fact that almost all lanthanum oxides (and other rare earths) come from China,
meant that Japan had its supply of lanthanum oxide interrupted. It's a long story how Japan still managed to get the materials, but it increased costs significantly.
Radians, including the glass, were made in Japan, not China.

Costs: the availability of lanthanum oxides in Japan went down, driving prices up. This also occurred to an even greater degree because the primary plant producing Lanthanum oxide glass in Japan was heavily damaged in the earthquake/tsunami (that also led to the Fukushima disaster). When the factory had rebuilt and was in operation again, priority
was given to camera companies, so there was a long interruption in supply. This made it obvious that making eyepieces with lanthanum oxide glass in Japan
was not the best idea.

Sales: the sales had dropped off, so having a huge increased cost per unit could not be justified because higher retails would have driven sales even lower.

The redesign, i.e. the Delites, avoided the use of glass types that could become unavailable easily.
TeleVue had seen it coming for years, which is why the Ethos, Delos, and Delite eyepieces avoid the exotic glass types.

The obvious question remains how Vixen was able to continue making LVWs for years after the demise of the Radian. It really seemed like similarly priced, newer models like Delite and Morpheus killed of the dated LVW. Certainly not disputing the facts presented but seems like there is an aspect of performance against the competition, which was XW and LVW at the time.

Scott
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#73 SandyHouTex

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 02:19 PM

For those of you who think Al came up with his eyepieces independently, you should read this:

 

http://www.brayebroo...MAGINARIUM .pdf

 

At the top, do a “find” for “nagler”.  The Panoptic looks like a derivative of a Scidmore, patented in the 1965.

 

The Nagler, a derivitive of the Kohler in 1959.  And the mention of the Ethos being a modified Erfle with a Smyth lens in front of it.

 

There is also a Supplement here:

 

http://www.brayebroo...GINARIUM_sp.pdf

 

No one but Al knows what he was aware of when he designed his eyepieces.  Working in the optics world all those years, I would speculate that he was aware of what others were doing and what they had did.  Televue has helped and advanced Amateur Astronomy a great deal.  We are indebted to Al and his company for doing that.  I think nominating him for godhood, as some here seem to think we should do, is going way overboard.


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#74 MitchAlsup

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 02:31 PM

The two big guys were complacent. Innovation (almost) always comes from smaller companies... especially start-ups. That will probably remain so.

 

The high-end affordable eyepieces are so good now... sure seems that there is no need (or market?) to go better. 

I think Tomas Black would think otherwise--TV opened up the high $$$ EP market.

TMB saw the need for minimal scatter EP in this new price structure and created the SuperMono<centric> EPs.



#75 TOMDEY

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 02:52 PM

I think Tomas Black would think otherwise--TV opened up the high $$$ EP market.

TMB saw the need for minimal scatter EP in this new price structure and created the SuperMono<centric> EPs.

That's nice, but certainly a different arena. Al Nagler offered economy huge field magnificent deep-sky imagery that gracefully handles fast feeding systems. Your TMB reference offers economy planetary narrow-field ultra-low scatter. Both are good, for their intended purposes.    Tom




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