Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Has Eyepiece Development Hit a Brick Wall?

  • Please log in to reply
246 replies to this topic

#1 Magnitude7

Magnitude7

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 509
  • Joined: 10 Oct 2010

Posted 09 November 2019 - 03:49 PM

I can't help but think that nothing much is happening on the eyepiece development front.  Not much has really changed in about the last 4 years. 

 

The last time anything really new & different hit the market, was back in 2015 with the ES 92 series.  But despite its apparent success, there haven't been any new focal lengths.

 

The APM 30mm is close in sharpness to the 31T5 & ES 30,  And I suppose if weight is an issue, then that could be considered a new development.  But the difference in TFOV is noticeable. (I've tested all 3).

 

And the upcoming Apollo 11 seems awful close in specs to the Docter, and I've had mine since 2013.

 

Not that it matters much to me anyways, as I haven't missed a clear night in years.  But it just feels like I could have stopped reading the eyepiece forum for the last 4 years, and nothing would have really changed.  I don't find myself getting swept away by anything new, because there really isn't anything new.  Maybe the eyepiece industry has reached its limit at being able to progress.


  • jjack's and Augustus like this

#2 MitchAlsup

MitchAlsup

    Skylab

  • -----
  • Posts: 4015
  • Joined: 31 Aug 2009

Posted 09 November 2019 - 03:52 PM

The 9ES120 is about 6 years old, but this is simply a modern implementation of a WW2 submarine eyepiece.

 

I keep hoping ES will make them in 7mm and 5mm.

I love the 120º port holes.


  • Magnitude7, faackanders2 and Augustus like this

#3 macdonjh

macdonjh

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4578
  • Joined: 06 Mar 2006

Posted 09 November 2019 - 03:59 PM

I generally don't like the use of plastic for many things.  But since the wide field eye pieces have so many elements, I wonder if some of the internal elements could be successfully made from a plastic to cut weight?  That would be new, or at least new-ish.

 

If this were a Monty Python forum, I'd muse about a truss-tube design for portability...


  • Magnitude7, bbqediguana and Augustus like this

#4 RyanSem

RyanSem

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 676
  • Joined: 29 Jul 2018
  • Loc: Lancaster, PA

Posted 09 November 2019 - 04:02 PM

I generally don't like the use of plastic for many things.  But since the wide field eye pieces have so many elements, I wonder if some of the internal elements could be successfully made from a plastic to cut weight?  That would be new, or at least new-ish.

 

If this were a Monty Python forum, I'd muse about a truss-tube design for portability...

I'd buy a truss tube eyepiece just for the novelty of it. Would be the longest part of my telescope set-up getting all my EPs ready!


  • Magnitude7, Gary Z, Peter Besenbruch and 1 other like this

#5 Augustus

Augustus

    Fly Me To The Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 8162
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2015
  • Loc: Connecticut

Posted 09 November 2019 - 04:09 PM

I generally don't like the use of plastic for many things.  But since the wide field eye pieces have so many elements, I wonder if some of the internal elements could be successfully made from a plastic to cut weight?  That would be new, or at least new-ish.

 

If this were a Monty Python forum, I'd muse about a truss-tube design for portability...

While they are not amazing eyepieces, the new low-cost 23mm and 10mm aspheric eyepieces use an aspheric plastic lens element and perform quite respectably at slow focal ratios - and the poor performance with faster scopes has more to do with the optical design than the plastic.


  • Magnitude7 and Lukes1040 like this

#6 StarWolf57

StarWolf57

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 952
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2014
  • Loc: Granada Hills (Los Angeles), CA

Posted 09 November 2019 - 04:36 PM

I think that technical improvements going forward will be in very small increments. It's unlikely that there will be a breakthrough that results in significant optical superiority. The real opportunity for change are improved manufacturing techniques to bring down cost. 


  • Magnitude7 and j.gardavsky like this

#7 TOMDEY

TOMDEY

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4960
  • Joined: 10 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Springwater, NY

Posted 09 November 2019 - 04:38 PM

Yes, it has --- but in the good sense!

 

That is, modern high-end premium passive eyepieces are so good, that we are reduced to splitting hairs regarding which are better/worse. By analogy, antireflection coatings that transmit 99+% broadband and enhanced reflection coatings that reflect 99+% broadband --- all you got to gain is one more percent! Similar comment regarding quantum efficiency of arrays etc. etc.

 

With eyepieces it's the image sharpness, field coverage, and throughput... beyond that, utilitarian considerations like comfort, weight, and cost take over.

 

And no... there are really no breakthroughs on the horizon --- unless we allow ourselves to consider Night Vision "Eyepieces" as legitimate --- kinda the ~Blade Runners~ of the avocational visual astronomy world. Purists still not ready to accept them as not cheating; relegated to the corner of the forums community.    Tom

Attached Thumbnails

  • 292 ITT Night Vision 1x and 3x binos.jpg

  • eros312, Magnitude7, careysub and 5 others like this

#8 Magnitude7

Magnitude7

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 509
  • Joined: 10 Oct 2010

Posted 09 November 2019 - 05:24 PM

And no... there are really no breakthroughs on the horizon --- unless we allow ourselves to consider Night Vision "Eyepieces" as legitimate --- kinda the ~Blade Runners~ of the avocational visual astronomy world. Purists still not ready to accept them as not cheating; relegated to the corner of the forums community.    Tom

 

I guess I'm what you call a "purist" then lol.

 

To me, N.V. is not really a development in eyepieces, it's more a development in electronics.


  • Jeff Morgan, Astrojensen, Allan Wade and 2 others like this

#9 havasman

havasman

    Cosmos

  • ****-
  • Posts: 9980
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2013
  • Loc: Dallas, Texas

Posted 09 November 2019 - 05:36 PM

Yes, but if they choose to solve the problem of resolution so that the gulf closes between electronic and glass eyepieces that could become more of a moot point.

I think if there's a revolutionary development it will be in that realm.


  • turtle86, Magnitude7, Augustus and 1 other like this

#10 Magnitude7

Magnitude7

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 509
  • Joined: 10 Oct 2010

Posted 09 November 2019 - 05:51 PM

Yes, but if they choose to solve the problem of resolution so that the gulf closes between electronic and glass eyepieces that could become more of a moot point.

I think if there's a revolutionary development it will be in that realm.

 

Wouldn't be a moot point for me, as they are different IMHO.

One lets me see the object, while the other lets me see an electronic representation of the object.


  • Astrojensen and havasman like this

#11 Lukes1040

Lukes1040

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 246
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2016
  • Loc: Ohio, USA

Posted 09 November 2019 - 05:55 PM

Wouldn't be a moot point for me, as they are different IMHO.
One lets me see the object, while the other lets me see an electronic representation of the object.


Have you looked through a night vision device? I don’t mean this in a demeaning way, I am just curious.
  • Magnitude7 and Augustus like this

#12 Magnitude7

Magnitude7

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 509
  • Joined: 10 Oct 2010

Posted 09 November 2019 - 05:58 PM

An older one called B.I.P.H.

It was fun to use.

I consider N.V. a worthy alternative. But a different experiences from a traditional eyepiece (to me.)


Edited by Magnitude7, 09 November 2019 - 08:44 PM.


#13 F.Meiresonne

F.Meiresonne

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4922
  • Joined: 22 Dec 2003
  • Loc: Eeklo,Belgium

Posted 09 November 2019 - 06:02 PM

Why new development...there are such nice eyepieces going on. We came from 45° to 50° then 68° ,70° ,82°,92° and then i lost it.

We have new scopes with fpl 51, fpl 53 .

What's the rush...?

Guess it will continue still ,but..aren't we blessed with the terrific designs that exist nowadays?


  • Magnitude7, LDW47, havasman and 2 others like this

#14 Lukes1040

Lukes1040

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 246
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2016
  • Loc: Ohio, USA

Posted 09 November 2019 - 06:07 PM

I appreciate your point of view. For me, NV has given me the ability to see objects from my backyard of aperture twice my size. I have never felt like I was looking at an image while looking through it.

IMO glass eyepieces only have two ways to go, wider field and better eye relief. I don’t think there are game changing upgrades in those areas
  • Magnitude7 and careysub like this

#15 TOMDEY

TOMDEY

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4960
  • Joined: 10 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Springwater, NY

Posted 09 November 2019 - 06:26 PM

I guess I'm what you call a "purist" then lol.

 

To me, N.V. is not really a development in eyepieces, it's more a development in electronics.

Just keep in mind, that's what the Inquisitor said to Galileo, regarding glass lenses in tubes, "Your telescope is not really a development in viewing the heavens, it's more a development in sorcery!"    Tom

Attached Thumbnails

  • 293 galileo telescope.jpg
  • 294 galileo 67.jpg
  • 295 inquisition 120.jpg

  • izar187, Jim Curry, Magnitude7 and 3 others like this

#16 Jeff Morgan

Jeff Morgan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11152
  • Joined: 28 Sep 2003
  • Loc: Prescott, AZ

Posted 09 November 2019 - 06:42 PM

I think that technical improvements going forward will be in very small increments. It's unlikely that there will be a breakthrough that results in significant optical superiority. The real opportunity for change are improved manufacturing techniques to bring down cost. 

 

In terms of performance, it's hard to see where else there is to go. I am quite happy with well corrected 70-80 degree AFOV class eyepieces with 99% transmission.

 

But a light-weight (20-24 ounce) 31 Nagler would pry open the wallet.


  • Magnitude7 and jcastarz like this

#17 Jeff Morgan

Jeff Morgan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11152
  • Joined: 28 Sep 2003
  • Loc: Prescott, AZ

Posted 09 November 2019 - 07:07 PM

I guess I'm what you call a "purist" then lol.

 

To me, N.V. is not really a development in eyepieces, it's more a development in electronics.

 

Indeed, the eyepiece end of a NVD appears to be a simple 27mm design (maybe an Ortho or Plossl?) with a diopter adjustment.

 

The Magic is definitely the detector. And they are steadily improving over time.

 

I appreciate your point of view. For me, NV has given me the ability to see objects from my backyard of aperture twice my size. I have never felt like I was looking at an image while looking through it.

IMO glass eyepieces only have two ways to go, wider field and better eye relief. I don’t think there are game changing upgrades in those areas

 

Making the "astro commute" optional is definitely a game changer.

 

Newsflash: Light pollution is getting worse, not better.

 

Seeing things like this using a 7" scope from my SQM 20.5 back yard (and being able to record it with a cell phone camera two generations out of date), I tend to think this is more significant than the Dobsonian Revolution. YOMV of course.

Attached Thumbnails

  • B 168 and Cocoon 12nm e180.jpg
  • Sh 2-131 Elephant Trunk higher ISO.jpg

  • stevew, eros312, Procyon and 6 others like this

#18 25585

25585

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5989
  • Joined: 29 Aug 2017
  • Loc: In a valley, in the UK.

Posted 09 November 2019 - 07:09 PM

The Baader Morpheus range is an advancement in that, as for the ES92s, but on a smaller scale, they give excellent performance, glasses friendly eye relief and viewing comfort from 4.5mm to 17.5mm with 76° AFoV.

 

As for Pentax XW, the Morpheus range is also good for spotting scopes. 

 

What is needed in eyepiece design is, as Baader & Pentax have shown, is a shift from purpose-exclusive excellence to all-round. Morpheus and XW are nearer there. Longer eye relief, no eye placement issues so whether watching birds or binary stars, the viewer is completely at ease, no rigid posture needed, natural movement and breathing unaffecting the view.


Edited by 25585, 09 November 2019 - 07:11 PM.

  • F.Meiresonne, Cames, clivemilne and 2 others like this

#19 Lukes1040

Lukes1040

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 246
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2016
  • Loc: Ohio, USA

Posted 09 November 2019 - 07:41 PM

This was taken through a 72mm refractor.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 30222F25-8BE3-419E-8FFF-02256D8F2E37.jpeg

  • Magnitude7, careysub, faackanders2 and 1 other like this

#20 Magnitude7

Magnitude7

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 509
  • Joined: 10 Oct 2010

Posted 09 November 2019 - 07:49 PM

Guess it will continue still ,but..aren't we blessed with the terrific designs that exist nowadays?

 

Yes sir!  We sure are blessed. smile.gif

 

Although sometimes the tendency is to focus on what we don't have, as opposed to what we do have.

 

That would partly explain why there's such activity (hysteria grin.gif) on these forums at the prospect of "new" eyepieces.


  • Astrojensen and Lukes1040 like this

#21 Shorty Barlow

Shorty Barlow

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1166
  • Joined: 15 Sep 2015
  • Loc: Lloegyr

Posted 09 November 2019 - 08:22 PM

While they are not amazing eyepieces, the new low-cost 23mm and 10mm aspheric eyepieces use an aspheric plastic lens element and perform quite respectably at slow focal ratios - and the poor performance with faster scopes has more to do with the optical design than the plastic.

sml_gallery_249298_10131_39650.jpg

 

Do you mean these? I'm not sure how old the design is.

 

Francis Smethwick ground the first high-quality aspheric lenses and presented them to the Royal Society on February 27, 1667/8.

 

The world's first commercial, mass-produced aspheric lens element was manufactured by Elgeet for use in the Golden Navitar 12 mm f/1.2 normal lens for use on 16 mm movie cameras in 1956.

 

~ Wikipedia

 

I'm pretty sure some expensive eyepieces also have polymer aspheric lenses. I can't recall what the manufacturer is.  


  • Magnitude7 likes this

#22 stevew

stevew

    Now I've done it

  • *****
  • Posts: 6142
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2006
  • Loc: British Columbia Canada

Posted 09 November 2019 - 08:38 PM

Jeff, Is that the Helix, and the Pillars of Creation ?


  • Magnitude7 likes this

#23 Magnitude7

Magnitude7

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 509
  • Joined: 10 Oct 2010

Posted 09 November 2019 - 08:47 PM

I'm curious too.

 

By the way, Jeff and Luke, those are awesome images. 

It must be especially amazing to be able to view them in real time.


  • Lukes1040 likes this

#24 Magnitude7

Magnitude7

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 509
  • Joined: 10 Oct 2010

Posted 09 November 2019 - 08:52 PM

The real opportunity for change are improved manufacturing techniques to bring down cost. 

That might be very true.

 

I think Baader has already moved towards that end.

The Morpheus line is very similar to 3 other eyepiece lines, but at a much lower cost.

 

The Morpheus line is such an amazing value, that it makes me wonder if other eyepiece companies are price gouging.


  • clivemilne and 25585 like this

#25 Magnitude7

Magnitude7

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 509
  • Joined: 10 Oct 2010

Posted 09 November 2019 - 09:12 PM

But a light-weight (20-24 ounce) 31 Nagler would pry open the wallet.

Jeff, the APM 30mm is superb in my Zambuto Dob.

Definitely sharper than the 31T5, even at the edge.

Also better contrast.  For example. Andromeda's dust lanes are easier to see in the APM 30mm.

But in terms of TFOV, it's noticeably less than the 31T5 (42mm Field Stop vs 36.2mm Field Stop). 

Attached Thumbnails

  • 30mm.JPG



CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics