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Shocker: $7.60 VITE 23mm Eyepiece beats others for detail

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#1 RichA

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 04:02 PM

The VITE eyepieces can be bought in 3 piece sets (23mm, 10mm and 4mm) for about $25.00.  The eyepieces themselves are aspheric designs with 60 deg. fields of view.  I compared the 23mm to a 25mm "ED" (BST type) eyepiece, a 26mm Meade Super Plossl and a 24mm Vernonscope Brandon eyepiece.  I used an 80mm f/6.0 triplet apo which presents a fairly strong test for eyepieces.  Now, forget "across the field."  None of they eyepieces mentioned are good at that in such a fast scope.  They all have issue with edge of field views, the VITE's being the worst, it needs a long focal length scope like an SCT or a Mak or a long refractor.  But, centrally, the VITE easily bested the other eyepieces.  I used them on the Moon, Jupiter and in daylight.  Details that escaped the others were visible in the VITE in the centre of the field.  In addition, the view in the VITE was brighter than any of the other eyepieces.  The Brandon was the least-bright, likely because of its old single-layer mag-fluoride coatings.  The Brandon dates from the 1980's.  The reason the VITE beat the others could be due to a number of possible technical attributes.  Plastic elements. I believe the eye lens is at least part plastic and anything aspheric that is that inexpensive must have a molded plastic element.  Molded plastic has one major plus and that is that the surface of the plastic is essentially perfect.  There is no "scratch and dig" profile because the plastic isn't polished, it's melted and allowed to harden instead.  Another reason for the definition might be fewer elements to degrade contrast.  Whatever the reason, the view was great.  In-fact, if you cut-off the VITE's FOV and cut it down to 20 degrees, it would be a worthy successor to the now defunct monocentric and other hyper-simplified designs for planetary definition. 

From left to right in the image:  The ED 25mm, the VITE, the Meade SP and the Brandon.

Attached Thumbnails

  • vite test 1.jpg

Edited by RichA, 23 May 2020 - 09:50 PM.

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#2 RLK1

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 04:17 PM

Gosh, if I only knew about this one before buying all those others in my collection, I wouldn't have to be a recovering eyepiece junkie!

Seriously though, having read a number of posts in the various threads recently, you could come away with the impression that the cheapie eyepieces are just as good as the premium ones. I don't know why I have a problem with that...



#3 SeattleScott

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 05:35 PM

Remember the biggest difference with more expensive eyepieces is the outer part of the view, which is where the Vite was clearly inferior. Cheaper eyepieces often provide similar contrast in the center of the field.

The result of the shootout is interesting, although I have a couple hesitations. For one, he is doing a planetary shootout with long focal length eyepieces In a short focal length scope. How can you really tell differences at such low power? And when it comes to observing the Moon, brighter is not better. Generally means a lack of baffling. I remember doing a shootout between two eyepieces once, and at first I was drawn to the one with the brighter view of the Moon. Felt more impressive. But as I looked closely I realized I could see subtle details with the other eyepiece that were being glared out in the eyepiece with the brighter view. So after some study I realized that the dimmer one was actually clearly superior, even though it didn’t make as good of a first impression.

Scott

Edited by SeattleScott, 23 May 2020 - 05:50 PM.

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#4 Will_S

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 05:57 PM

Another way of looking at this is that for magnifications of about 18-21x, the shortest focal length eyepiece/highest magnification showed the most detail on the moon.


Edited by Will_S, 23 May 2020 - 06:04 PM.


#5 CrazyPanda

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 06:08 PM

I'll throw another data point in this mix.

 

I too own the 23 Vite (Svbony) and 26mm Series 4000 Plossl (Taiwan 4 element) and did this same comparison, along with a 25mm Series 3000 Plossl (Japan) and 20mm Series 4000 Plossl (China 4 element).

 

My 23 aspheric is pants-on-head stupid compared to the lot of them. Double layered veiling glare when looking at the Moon, and noticeably softer details across the whole field (center and edge) in an F/10 scope.

 

It is somewhat impressive for a $7 eyepiece, but still below my minimum acceptable quality threshold, so it wouldn't matter if it was $0. I still wouldn't bother using it in lieu of anything else.

 

The differences between most eyepieces are so subtle you have to compare them extensively side-by-side to see the difference. The 23 is so bad you can immediately tell something is wrong with it, without even needing to do a comparison.

 

If you want to gamble with $7, roll some dice and either burn the $7 if you roll anything other than snake eyes, or put the $7 towards a bland lunch if you get snake eyes.

 

And the 23 is the best of the set. The 10 and 4 from this set only get worse from there.

 

In fact, the best use of the 4 was to cannibalize it for the barrel for my $5 DIY 20mm Dollond eyepiece, which also blows away the 23 svbony.....


Edited by CrazyPanda, 23 May 2020 - 06:14 PM.

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#6 SeattleScott

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 06:21 PM

So I guess it makes a difference conducting a lunar/planetary shootout at around 100x instead of about 20x. Makes sense.

Scott

#7 GOLGO13

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 07:26 PM

Gosh, if I only knew about this one before buying all those others in my collection, I wouldn't have to be a recovering eyepiece junkie!
Seriously though, having read a number of posts in the various threads recently, you could come away with the impression that the cheapie eyepieces are just as good as the premium ones. I don't know why I have a problem with that...


I find the minimal glass eyepieces do better on planets and lunar. And many of those can be had at low prices.

Astrotech Paradigms do very well for their price. Some situations I preffered them to my more expensive premiums.
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#8 BillP

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 07:26 PM

I've Barlowed the 10mm to 4mm and am still in the process of comparing to several other 10mms Barlowed from monocentrics to wide-fields and it is also throwing up a higher contrast and brighter view than the others during initial testing.  Things can always change as the testing proceeds but it was impressive off the bat.  QC is low on these so sometimes you get a great one, other times not so hot like CrazyPanda mentioned.  But at only a few bucks each can try 3 or 4 if necessary to get that great one.


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#9 BillP

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 07:29 PM

Astrotech Paradigms do very well for their price. Some situations I preffered them to my more expensive premiums.

 

I bino with the 23mms in my f/8 scopes and views are quite pleasing ... and nice on the scope as they weigh nothing so make for effortless binoviewing. I need to get a 2nd 10mm to see what they are like in the binoviewer.
 


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#10 RichA

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 08:03 PM

Remember the biggest difference with more expensive eyepieces is the outer part of the view, which is where the Vite was clearly inferior. Cheaper eyepieces often provide similar contrast in the center of the field.

The result of the shootout is interesting, although I have a couple hesitations. For one, he is doing a planetary shootout with long focal length eyepieces In a short focal length scope. How can you really tell differences at such low power? And when it comes to observing the Moon, brighter is not better. Generally means a lack of baffling. I remember doing a shootout between two eyepieces once, and at first I was drawn to the one with the brighter view of the Moon. Felt more impressive. But as I looked closely I realized I could see subtle details with the other eyepiece that were being glared out in the eyepiece with the brighter view. So after some study I realized that the dimmer one was actually clearly superior, even though it didn’t make as good of a first impression.

Scott

Moons of Jupiter are a good target at low powers, provided your eyes are well-corrected to use a largish exit pupil. 



#11 RichA

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 08:06 PM

I find the minimal glass eyepieces do better on planets and lunar. And many of those can be had at low prices.

Astrotech Paradigms do very well for their price. Some situations I preffered them to my more expensive premiums.

 

 

Another way of looking at this is that for magnifications of about 18-21x, the shortest focal length eyepiece/highest magnification showed the most detail on the moon.

Magnification difference is too marginal for what I saw.  Now, if it was 10mm versus something like a 9mm ortho in a scope with a much longer focal length, it would matter. 



#12 RichA

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 09:47 PM

Gosh, if I only knew about this one before buying all those others in my collection, I wouldn't have to be a recovering eyepiece junkie!

Seriously though, having read a number of posts in the various threads recently, you could come away with the impression that the cheapie eyepieces are just as good as the premium ones. I don't know why I have a problem with that...

Most eyepieces, even cheap ones perform well in the central portion.  What you pay for for the very expensive ones is the edge and field size.  It's like camera lenses;  even a relatively inexpensive one will work well stopped-down, but it's the expensive ones that work well wide-open.



#13 RichA

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 09:49 PM

I bino with the 23mms in my f/8 scopes and views are quite pleasing ... and nice on the scope as they weigh nothing so make for effortless binoviewing. I need to get a 2nd 10mm to see what they are like in the binoviewer.
 

Weight has another attribute;  less chance of fogging up as much in winter.  Meade RG orthos were good for this they had aluminum bodies as well.  Heavy, chrome-on-brass eyepieces are more prone to fogging, from what I've experienced.



#14 howardcano

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 10:54 AM

Molded plastic has one major plus and that is that the surface of the plastic is essentially perfect.  There is no "scratch and dig" profile because the plastic isn't polished, it's melted and allowed to harden instead.

This isn't the case.  The molten material is forced into a mold and then hardens in a shape determined by the mold.  The resulting surface quality is largely determined by the polish on the mold.  Making molds with optical-quality surfaces is actually quite difficult.

 

I have two of the 23mm versions.  They have found permanent homes in spotting scopes focused on bird houses in our back yard.  It's a perfect use for them since the bird houses are on poles, and everything in the peripheral view is much farther away and out of focus, so the off-axis performance of the eyepiece doesn't matter.


Edited by howardcano, 24 May 2020 - 10:55 AM.

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#15 BillP

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 11:36 AM

I have an idea...take this eyepiece's concept and design and field stop it to 52 degrees so it will be sharp to the edge, then make it is focal lengths of 25, 20, 15, 10, 8 and sell them for $10 each.  Why would one every buy a Plossl?  Actually these would be ideal to be packaged as a set for all those beginner telescopes.  The cost to manufacture each is probably less than $5 so that's only $25 of material costs to add to the package so beginners now have a full range of focal lengths.  Or sell it as a $50 accessory to the newbie scope.  Either way a win-win. 

 

FWIW last evening I put a GSO 20mm Plossl in my 80mm Apo and the off-axis was horrendous!  23 Aspheric was much better.


Edited by BillP, 24 May 2020 - 11:39 AM.

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#16 RichA

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 08:36 PM

I have an idea...take this eyepiece's concept and design and field stop it to 52 degrees so it will be sharp to the edge, then make it is focal lengths of 25, 20, 15, 10, 8 and sell them for $10 each.  Why would one every buy a Plossl?  Actually these would be ideal to be packaged as a set for all those beginner telescopes.  The cost to manufacture each is probably less than $5 so that's only $25 of material costs to add to the package so beginners now have a full range of focal lengths.  Or sell it as a $50 accessory to the newbie scope.  Either way a win-win. 

 

FWIW last evening I put a GSO 20mm Plossl in my 80mm Apo and the off-axis was horrendous!  23 Aspheric was much better.

Even stopping down the 23mm to 50 deg. or so, you'll still see some edge issues in a fast telescope, but in Maks and SCT's it would be fine.  I'd be very curious to see the optical design and glass-types used.  Or plastic-types as it were.



#17 CrazyPanda

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 09:27 PM

My question is why we don't see better quality aspherics in general.



#18 BKSo

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 11:06 PM

My 10mm Vite was nice at first (I had nothing to compare though). The plastic eyelens degraded in 2 years and the (remains of) the coatings hanged on the surface like rust. The result was lots of scatter. Maybe I used my ep more heavily? Went back to glass (although the Olympus may still contain aspheric elements).

#19 RichA

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 11:39 PM

My 10mm Vite was nice at first (I had nothing to compare though). The plastic eyelens degraded in 2 years and the (remains of) the coatings hanged on the surface like rust. The result was lots of scatter. Maybe I used my ep more heavily? Went back to glass (although the Olympus may still contain aspheric elements).

Disposable eyepieces!  Buy them at $7.50 a pop, they last for a couple years then poof! 



#20 RichA

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 11:40 PM

My question is why we don't see better quality aspherics in general.

They can do it three ways:  1.  Grind the lenses from glass.  Very expensive.  2.  Mold them in glass.  3.  Mold them out of plastic, cheapest.  There are lenses for cameras now using methods 2 and 3 and some very expensive lenses using method 1.  It has yielded major gains in performance.


Edited by RichA, 24 May 2020 - 11:41 PM.


#21 CrazyPanda

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 07:14 AM

I think a lot of Zeiss microscope eyepieces are aspheric as well. They only use 3-4 elements but offer wider fields of view than Plossls and still work nicely in shorter focal ratios. My Zeiss E-PLs are nice even at F/5. Very, very sharp and contrasty.



#22 BillP

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 08:18 AM

My 10mm Vite was nice at first (I had nothing to compare though). The plastic eyelens degraded in 2 years and the (remains of) the coatings hanged on the surface like rust. The result was lots of scatter. Maybe I used my ep more heavily? Went back to glass (although the Olympus may still contain aspheric elements).

Very interesting.  I've had mine 3 1/2 years and they are in essentially perfect condition (that's 0.6 cents a day for this eyepiece lol.gif ).  I use them semi-often, especially the 23mm.  I clean them but not with anything but water on the eye lens.  The eye lens is some kind of polymer and surprised if they were able to coat it at all.  The internal doublet is glass though and looks to be well coated and blackened.  Just seems odd that it would decompose that way.  Do you clean them often or use solvents?  I am assuming you are talking only the eye lens?


Edited by BillP, 25 May 2020 - 09:11 AM.


#23 RichA

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Posted 27 May 2020 - 11:34 PM

Very interesting.  I've had mine 3 1/2 years and they are in essentially perfect condition (that's 0.6 cents a day for this eyepiece lol.gif ).  I use them semi-often, especially the 23mm.  I clean them but not with anything but water on the eye lens.  The eye lens is some kind of polymer and surprised if they were able to coat it at all.  The internal doublet is glass though and looks to be well coated and blackened.  Just seems odd that it would decompose that way.  Do you clean them often or use solvents?  I am assuming you are talking only the eye lens?

I think that is the point.  Why would anyone quibble about an eyepiece that cost less than a medium pizza and lasted a lot longer?



#24 N-1

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 05:00 AM

I have the 23/10/4 set, and would rate the 23 as acceptable, the 10 as good, and the 4 as dustplug grade. The 23 has distracting reflections off the inside of the barrel, which is fixable, and I'm unable to obtain a sharp image with the 4. The 10, however, I happily use in place of more expensive ones when conditions are rugged, and I don't feel like I'm missing out on much. It's wonderfully small and light. I've found this to apply to all my scopes from f/6 to f/10, though longer f ratio does help off-axis. It's also a perfect match for the Galileoscope - an ideal combo to keep around kids for quick, clean views of the moon and planets.


Edited by N-1, 28 May 2020 - 05:04 AM.

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#25 Ernest_SPB

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 06:04 AM

Nice thread! waytogo.gif

Forget about lanthanum and ED, get rid your Naglers and Pentaxes! 

Use cheap eyepieces based on molded plastic elements with bright contrast image...


Edited by Ernest_SPB, 28 May 2020 - 06:05 AM.

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