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What is still missing in eyepiece offerings?

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#1 BillP

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 07:27 PM

Is everyone out there satisfied with all that the market is currently provided in terms of eyepieces, or is there something more not being addressed? 

 

With the advent of wide fields the market became wide field crazy so not we have all kinds of 70, 80, 100, and even 120 offerings.  These along with the Paracorr concept sure made all the Dob owners happy as the off-axis finally was not such a mess.  But is this it?  Is everyone satisfied and feeling that no more significant innovation or product customization needed?

 

I personally think there is plenty of room for some eyepieces that address special needs for certain classes of observers.  Things that come to mind is what would dedicated double star observers wish was available from eyepieces that is not, or variable star observers, or lunar/planetary observers, etc.  So what do observers who spend most of their time in those pursuits feel is missing in the market from an eyepiece that would make their pursuits as amateur astronomers more effective?

 

Or is all that is wanted is a bigger AFOV with a little more eye relief and that is it...all we want is more wow-ness and nothing more?  Or what is the innovative need you feel would feed your observing pursuit like variables, doubles, lunar/planetary, etc., that the vendors in the market are simply missing the boat on? 

 

Tell us what you cannot find in the market that you really want from an eyepiece that is just not there.

 

ps - please try to keep price points out of the discussion and focus just on features/capabilities.


Edited by BillP, 07 January 2020 - 07:32 PM.

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#2 TOMDEY

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 07:56 PM

Interesting!

 

Seems to me that current premium traditional eyepieces as we think of them are already 95% perfection, if not even beyond that.  I'll think this over before responding. My concepts will be way out of the box. Maybe someone will pick up on that teaser, before I return with my own thoughts.

 

I just completed an hour of today's exercise... one more to go before supper. I'll be chewing on your question, already some concepts percolating... I don't expect anything practical, from myself or others... but one never knows!    Tom


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#3 sanbai

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 07:57 PM

So we are talking about specifications and features.

I don't really miss, but it would be interesting:

* Removable cross-hair (also in premium eyepieces)

* Adjustable field stop, to limited the apparent/true field when useful (e.g. limiting light not coming from the object observed, but still having large field when desired)

* Zoom eyepieces are still in its infancy, compared to photographic lenses.

*Adjustable focus in the barrel, to have true parfocality in your own set.

Edit: i don't go into the NV. Just direct light into your eyes.

Just some quick thoughts
Santiago

Edited by sanbai, 07 January 2020 - 08:04 PM.

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#4 MikeTahtib

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 08:12 PM

A very high quality 2" zoom.  Something that could cover the 8 - 24mm range like some of the zooms on the market today, but with a much wider field of view.  And with a mechanism that operates easily over a wide temperature range.

I know, it's not Tom Dey out-of-the-box crazy, but it would be useful, and should be within the reah of current technology if there was the will to build it.


Edited by MikeTahtib, 07 January 2020 - 08:13 PM.

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#5 Knasal

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 08:23 PM

With all our advances in technology, how about some sort of built in wiring and a chip to control heat to the lens enclosure, allowing dew control without an external heating element?

 

Kevin


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#6 GUS.K

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 08:50 PM

The TV Nagler 2-4mm and 3-6mm merged into one eyepiece with slightly more ER. If it can be pushed to 7 or 8 mm in the upper end, (2-8 mm zoom), would make a great higher power zoom, especially for lunar, planetary and doubles. If possible, keep the small form factor. 


Edited by GUS.K, 07 January 2020 - 09:05 PM.

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#7 sanbai

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 09:02 PM

Let's add an idea for people doing magnitude estimations: a build in star with adjustable bright. The brightness and color can be calibrated against a known star somewhere else. It can also be defocused if that helps.

That would be a optical fiber at the field stop (actual height adjustable for defocusing).

It's a complicated way of doing photometric measurements, but you have asked...
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#8 scngc7317

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 09:07 PM

I still feel "Lacking" when it comes to eyepieces ?

 

3520

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#9 Procyon

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 09:09 PM

An eyepiece that can snap a picture or record everything you see to remember your night? Ha, that's asking for too much though.
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#10 MikeTahtib

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 09:52 PM

An eyepiece that can snap a picture or record everything you see to remember your night? Ha, that's asking for too much though.

Yes, either an eyepiece or camera that can accurately capture what we see through the eyepiece alone.   We jump from no photograph at all to fantastic astro-photos that show way more than we see.  Somethign that would capture what we actually see (for those of us who can't or don't want to sketch) would be nice, and hopefully would be much simpler and faster than producing the wonderful state-of-the-art photos our AP friends create.  It doesn't seem like it should be too hard.


Edited by MikeTahtib, 07 January 2020 - 09:53 PM.

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#11 CeleNoptic

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 10:07 PM

For lunar observations would be good to have 'DeLiteLers'. I mean eyepieces with the same contrast, ergonomics, eye relief as the DeLites plus 82ish FOV like Naglers. Or even better, 3-8mm 'DeLiteLer Zoom'  grin.gif


Edited by CeleNoptic, 07 January 2020 - 10:09 PM.

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#12 SeattleScott

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 10:15 PM

Yes, either an eyepiece or camera that can accurately capture what we see through the eyepiece alone. We jump from no photograph at all to fantastic astro-photos that show way more than we see. Somethign that would capture what we actually see (for those of us who can't or don't want to sketch) would be nice, and hopefully would be much simpler and faster than producing the wonderful state-of-the-art photos our AP friends create. It doesn't seem like it should be too hard.

That would be EAA. Well that’s one down, about eight more wishes to grant.

Most of these ideas are not economically feasible, just the usual gratuitous wish list stuff. You know, it sounds good until we see the price. More ES 92’s is something that is possibly economically feasible and could actually come to fruition. Or just more ultrawide/hyperwide with long ER in general, although Morpheus is practically ultrawide and LHD is there, if not normally acknowledged.

Scott
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#13 213Cobra

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 10:49 PM

Unless more makers are willing to get into the DioptRx game, I'd like to see all eyepiece vendors standardize their eyecup mounting flanges on TeleVue's. It's not good enough to just have a 41-43mm stub that forces the DioptRx to be mounted so tightly that the whole eyepiece has to be rotated to position. Adopt TeleVue's flange so DioptRx can be mounted and rotated independent of the eyepiece while still being securely fastened. Given the value of DioptRx to visual observing, that would be the single best feature to see across the board. And no-fits like the APM UFF series, Leica Zoom and Takahashi UW would be more useful. The Baader Zoom and Pentax XW would be more ergonomic. No one not needing DioptRx would suffer any downside.

 

I bought my first set of premium eyepieces between 1981 and 1992, beginning 20 years after having gotten my first telescope. I then bought a wave of more modern eyepieces in 2018 and 2019. For planets and other high magnification uses, I've not seen anything better than my Takahashi TOEs and TV DeLites. When I want wider fields in short FLs, the 2.5mm and 3.5mm Naglers are great, along with the under 10mm Tak UWs. In midrange and low power, Naglers, Panoptics, a vintage Takahashi Erfle do a fabulous job. The Baader Zoom is handy as is the Leica Zoom. But all that said, nothing has been as singly satisfying, helpful and revealing as ditching glasses for viewing in favor of DioptRx. So, makers, get with the program or make your own. Better to just leverage the standard astigmatism corrector we already have.

 

Someone mentioned a well-executed 2" wider field zoom, and I'd be all for that too. As well as a short FL zoom covering 2-6mm or so. Wouldn't turn that down either.

 

Phil


Edited by 213Cobra, 08 January 2020 - 04:46 AM.

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#14 desertlens

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 10:55 PM

I'd like to see a high precision eyepiece with interchangeable reticles: cross hairs, astrometric and occulting mask(s). This eyepiece should provide a way to focus the reticle independently. I'm thinking of a couple of FLs, perhaps a 5mm and a 10mm. A 6-12mm Nagler planetary zoom would also be nice.



#15 TOMDEY

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 11:28 PM

Me again, back from finishing my exercise and eating a cheeseburger reward. Some interesting ideal coming in above there... good!

 

It might be worth asking what is an eyepiece, and what isn't it.

 

Traditionally, it is a passive dioptric gizmo that relays a real specularly generated image into the human eye. Even more specifically, it anticipates the feeding light to arrive from a relatively distant axial circular pupil operating at F/4 or slower, angular visual field 110-deg or smaller. Most often, the assumed feed is far less aggressive.

 

Expansively, one could strongly argue that the eyepiece concept could/should also include:

>The ~default~ eyepiece, comprising only a field lens, ten inches from the eye.

>Night Vision comprising an active GaAs image-conjugate photocathode array to transduce and amplify the light, relaying the amplified image into the eye.

>EAA view to screen devices.

 

And, humorously... might have to entertain the thought of a "Flat Eyepiece" to go with the Flat Telescope mumbo jumbo touted in ~press releases~ In that case, I guess the entire telescope would just look like a credit card that you pull out of your wallet, and hold up to your eye. Just ain't gona happen... ever!

 

Me, I got my Apollo 11. The curtain can therefore descend on any future improvements... simply not needed.    Tom

 

Wait... wait! >>> An eyepiece that remembers everything that it ever saw. It would have a playback button, so you can revisit past observing sessions, upon demand!  Saaaay... that's Procyon's idea!  Tom



#16 SeattleScott

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 11:42 PM

Wait... wait! >>> An eyepiece that remembers everything that it ever saw. It would have a playback button, so you can revisit past observing sessions, upon demand! Saaaay... that's Procyon's idea! Tom

Yep, got one of those. It’s called a Mallincam. I can share the pictures if you like.

>EAA view to screen devices.
It’s called a WiFi transmitter. $90.

Scott

Edited by SeattleScott, 07 January 2020 - 11:46 PM.


#17 mich_al

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 11:43 PM

Hi mag EP's with exit pupil large enough that my eyeball faults don't show up.


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#18 SeattleScott

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 11:47 PM

Hi mag EP's with exit pupil large enough that my eyeball faults don't show up.

Another easy one. You just need a 30” Dob.
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#19 TOMDEY

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 11:49 PM

Another easy one. You just need a 30” Dob.

Oops! I overshot --- mine is 36-inches... But I can always stop it down.    Tom


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#20 leonard

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 12:22 AM

whee.gif Hello Bill ,

 

 

                           That’s easy, a 6 eyepiece set of those secret high contrast eyepieces you have .


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#21 CrazyPanda

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 02:14 AM

Just going to use this thread as an opportunity for my random wishes in astro gear.

 

Eyepiece Optics

 

For me, it's a full line of Docter or ES92-like ergonomics, with the same respective quality.

 

The Docter is the most comfortable and easily accessible widefield I've ever used (except for maybe my 35 Pan, but that's considerably narrower). Somehow it achieves greater exit pupil affordance than Delos despite having a wider AFOV. Even with the eye guard set correctly, Delos seems to have a narrow depth of eye placement - easy to cause blackouts. Docter "just works", at least for my eye geometry. Very, very easy to take in the whole field with or without eye glasses without causing blackouts.

 

Evidently the Nagler T4s are even more finicky with eye placement in this regard (though I've not used them, so can't say for myself). They have limited focal length options anyway.

 

The more I use my 17ES92, the more I prefer the ergonomics of my Ethoi. The accessibility of the field makes it feel wider than my 21 Ethos. I know objectively it's not, but it just feels that way.

 

I want either:

 

  1. A full line of Docters with the same focal lengths as Delos/Ethos
     
  2. A full line of ES92s with the same focal lengths as Delos/Ethos

 

My eyes would thank me for the ES92s, but my muscles would thank me for the Docters. Can't imagine having a case full of ES92s lol...

 

Nobody offers a full line of eyepieces with the characteristics of Docter or ES92s, not even Tele Vue.

 

 

Magnetic filters

 

For those of us without the luxury of a heated filter slide, the best we can do is manually thread different filters on and off different eyepieces. This is annoying.

 

I want magnetic filters that make swapping filters on and off a breeze. A few thoughts:

 

  1. There should be a thin magnetic adapter which you can thread onto your eyepieces or adapters
     
  2. There should be a matching magnetic adapter you can thread your filter into, or ideally, everyone should standardize on a magnetic system
     
  3. The filters themselves would have to be carefully sized and tapered in such a way that they cannot get accidentally snagged by a compression ring or thumb screw when extracting an eyepiece from a focuser. Else they risk popping off.

 

Breathable & magnetic lens caps

 

I recently fell victim to a fungus that was attacking my 35 Pan's field lens. I caught it in time to nuke it with some denaturated alcohol before it could damage the coatings, but it got me thinking that it would be nice if lens caps were breathable so that any moisture in them from dew or condensation could evaporate more easily.

 

Following up the idea of magnetic adapters above, we could have some nice snap-on aluminum lens caps, with breathing holes and HEPA filter material in them to allow air flow. This would keep the lenses safe and dust-free, but also allow moisture to evaporate.

 

Since the field lens caps would be magnetic, there wouldn't be a chronic struggle to get them off in cold weather (have you ever tried removing a Tele Vue field lens cap in 0 degree weather? Nearly impossible with gloves on.

 

The other advantage to magnetic lens caps is they would allow people to keep the lens caps on while in an eyepiece box with 1.25" and 2" holes. You wouldn't have to choose between keeping the lenses capped and in a foam case, or uncapped and in a wooden box. They could stay capped and still be in the wooden box, giving them greater dust protection.

 

 

A dedicated astronomy head lamp that isn't crap

 

I know these are considered annoying at star parties, but this would be for private use.

 

Current problems with most head lamps:

 

  1. They have annoying strobe effect for runners and joggers who want the safety of such a feature. The one I have goes into strobe mode if you hit the red light button twice within 5 seconds. So that means to turn off the red light, I have to wait 5 seconds, else it engages strobe mode. ANNOYING!
     
  2. Some use a single button to switch between red light and white light mode. The one I have has two separate buttons, but they are hard to press.
     
  3. Following that thought, hard to press buttons. When it's winter and it's cold out and you have thick gloves, trying to press the buttons on the head lamp is annoying.
     
  4. Brightness level adjustment has a similar problem to the strobe settings. You have to cycle through the brightness settings.
     
  5. Orion has a motion sensing headlamp that is an atrociously bad idea. During the summer when trying to swat mosquitoes away from your face, you'll end up accidentally turning it on.

 

Here's what I want

 

  1. No strobe mode. Totally useless for astronomy.
     
  2. Should have both white and red LED lights so that when you're packing things up for the night or just need some extra light, you have it.
     
  3. Separate buttons for white and red mode.
     
  4. Large buttons that are easy to press with gloves on.
     
  5. No brightness toggle. Click once for on, once for off. Period. That's it. Nothing more complicated than that.
     
  6. Brightness setting should be an adjustable dial that you set to your liking and then not have to worry about.

Edited by CrazyPanda, 08 January 2020 - 02:50 AM.

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#22 John F

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 02:36 AM

GUS.K, on 07 Jan 2020 - 5:50 PM, said:

The TV Nagler 2-4mm and 3-6mm merged into one eyepiece with slightly more ER. If it can be pushed to 7 or 8 mm in the upper end, (2-8 mm zoom), would make a great higher power zoom, especially for lunar, planetary and doubles. If possible, keep the small form factor. 

Around 10 years ago I used own both of those two eyepieces and I can remember at the time wishing that there could be a single one which just provided me with focal length options that I felt would be the most useful to have on a single high power zoom eyepiece and those focal lengths would be: 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5 & 5.0.  But I'm older now and must wear eye glasses so an eyepiece like that would no longer have any appeal to me if it still just had 10mm of eye relief and an 50-degree apparent field.  However, if it was possible for a vendor to make one that had 20mm of eye relief and a 60-degree apparent field then yes I would be tempted to try that and I'd also be willing to accept that it be significantly larger in size and heavier if weight than the current 3-6mm Zoom Nagler is (if that is what it would required in order to make an eyepiece).    

 

John Finnan


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#23 epee

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 09:12 AM

I'd say there is room for more zoom eyepieces in focal lengths other than 24 -8mm. I know TeleVue has a short focal length model(s), but something for the budget user would be good. 

 

A series of eyepieces that offer interchangeable reticles; crosshair, astrometric, and occulting. The reticles could be in a holder designed to screw into the filter threads but insert the reticles up to the focal plane.


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#24 25585

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 10:08 AM

A very high quality 2" zoom.  Something that could cover the 8 - 24mm range like some of the zooms on the market today, but with a much wider field of view.  And with a mechanism that operates easily over a wide temperature range.

I know, it's not Tom Dey out-of-the-box crazy, but it would be useful, and should be within the reah of current technology if there was the will to build it.

And with good effective eye relief right through the focal range.

 

There are not enough eyepieces with effective eye relief of 20mm+, and good exit pupil behaviour as a combination to provide the best viewing comfort.  Fewer still that do not trade-off optical quality...

 

In part designer/manufacturer ethics, economics, and conservatism hold back innovation, but also consumer complacency. Why night vision device users get my respect (& envy), their bucking convention to see more in the night sky.

 

Questions. If more eyepieces, traditionally made as 1.25" due to their (shorter) focal lengths, were designed as 2", would wider AFOV, longer eye relief etc be more achievable due to the extra 3/4"? Why in this age of 2" minimum focusers are most telescope eyepiece designers still sticking in the antiquated 1.25" rut? Why in the amateur boom, are so many eyepieces still designed for lab or observatory perfect conditions and eyesight? And why do so many people buy on brand before any other consideration?    


Edited by 25585, 08 January 2020 - 10:11 AM.


#25 25585

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 10:21 AM

I'd say there is room for more zoom eyepieces in focal lengths other than 24 -8mm. I know TeleVue has a short focal length model(s), but something for the budget user would be good. 

 

A series of eyepieces that offer interchangeable reticles; crosshair, astrometric, and occulting. The reticles could be in a holder designed to screw into the filter threads but insert the reticles up to the focal plane.

This is common in rifle scopes, which can make good finders, though straight through of course.


Edited by 25585, 08 January 2020 - 10:22 AM.



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