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#1 jrscpu2004

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 04:18 PM

I use to work for EPOI which back in 1970's owned Nikon and many other companies like Bronica, Fuji...etc.
I asked their Head Salesman if I could purchase some Demo Nikon Microscope eyepieces. He was nice enough and went to the lower level
of the building and searched for a series of Nikon Microscope eyepieces. He found a Nikon 5x, Nikon 10mm WF, Nikon HKW 10mm with
cross-hair reticle, Nikon HKW 15mm and a Nikon K20x. I also got a FM (Early model to EFM) and more all for $50!
I at that time had a Lafayette Galactic 70mm refractor. That scope had a 0.965mm eyepiece holder. Typical for Microscope eyepieces, their

OD is 0.913", so they are less in diameter than that 0.965" standard ,

     In the 1980's, I had access to a professional Metal Lathe. I was able to produce three, 0.020" aluminum sleeves that I turned down from a 1.0" Aluminum round stock.
I made these, so I could put these sleeves over the Nikon Microscope eyepieces to use with my Lafayette Galactic's 0.965" eyepiece holder.
   I sold off the Lafayette Galactic and then every scope from that point had either a 1.25" or 2.0" eyepiece holders.

I basically, mothballed those Nikon Microscope eyepieces.  
   Currently, I own a Questar Duplex and a 10" Meade LX850 OTA. I recently remembered that I had the Nikon Microscope Eyepieces
and I saw on eBay a Seller(China based) that offered a 0.965" to 1.25" eyepiece adapter for $7.95. It also include a 1.25" to 0.965"
adapter too.
    I have accumulated quite a few Televue eyepieces. I own a 4mm & 10mm Televue Radians and a Televue Type 2, 16mm Nagler.
The Questar came with 2 Brandon's 16mm & 32mm. Those were Erfle designs.
    Up to that point, my 16mm Nagler was my prized possession and there are Many reviews about this particular eyepieces performance.

Then that Chinese 0.965" to 1.25" eyepiece adapter arrived and I could finally use my Nikon eyepieces.
    The Questar Duplex's views are incredible to start with. When I dropped in the Nikon's into the eyepiece holder, my mind
was absolutely blown away. These eyepieces were brighter, had more contrast and Detail than ANY eyepiece I own!!
     The Nikon K20x was very close in magnification to my Televue Type 2, 16mm Nagler. This little K20x blew the doors off the
Nagler! In fact, I noticed by comparison of view of Jupiter as my test bed, that the Nagler had a warm and unnatural tone.
The Nikon K20x had just as good eye relief and offered more detail and contrast. The Nagler 16mm is 4x's the Nikon's K20x size!
    I also added a Mitutoyo 30x eyepiece as well. This one has a strange 1.200" OD, so it's shy 0.050" from fitting a 1.25" eyepiece holder.   

   All of these eyepieces give you great eye relief and the best imaging I've yet to have seen.

Now I'm not going to get into a debate with Televue Owners but I will ask them to perform a simple comparison by duplicating what

I just found out.
These Nikon eyepieces are going for Dirt cheap on eBay. You could buy the same set and pay probably less than $160 for them all.
  I could have saved myself a lot of money, if I had done this sooner!!  Of course you will need that 0.965' to 1.25" adapter.

A CN friend of mine also owns a Questar Duplex. I told him about this and he purchased a use Nikon HKW 10 from eBay.

He used some flexible Stainless Steel tape to increase the Nikon's 0.913" OD up to the 0.965" OD. 

He also confirmed what I said about the clarity and detail this eyepiece delivered.

These eyepieces will completely change your mind on what a Telescope Eyepiece will deliver as far as imaging.

So, if you are looking for a cheap but totally affordable way to improve your viewing, do what I did.
So far, 2 friends of mine, purchased these eyepieces and did the same test as I did. They were totally blown away too.

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#2 Starman1

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 05:11 PM

There are often advantages to the simpler eyepieces.

But, your experience cannot be universally applied to all scopes:

1) Your scope has a long f/ratio and many eyepieces work well at long f/ratios that do not work well at short ones.  A good example is the Kellner 20.

2) Not many observers today will want to use eyepieces with such small fields of view, as good as they are.  0.965" eyepieces have nearly disappeared completely from the market,

because today's observers want wider fields of view.

3) The pressure today is on making eyepieces compatible with glasses.  This is no doubt due to the ever-increasing number of observers who wear them.  These eyepieces are not glasses-compatible.

 

Your point about experimentation, though is certainly apropos.  Experimentation teaches you what you like and value in an eyepiece.

 

One final aside: the Brandons that came with the Questar were not Erfles, but a proprietary 4 element design (2 doublets) of Chester Brandon, and very close to being orthoscopic in performance.

They are still sold today.


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#3 SeattleScott

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 06:21 PM

Consider that the older Naglers are known to have a warmer tone. And yes simpler designs have better contrast, generally at the expense of field of view, eye relief and edge correction. I did just get a Nikon NAV 10 SW, which is known for being especially bright. My old 7T1 probably isn’t a fair comparison for brightness and tone due to magnification difference, but I do have a 10 Luminos to compare it with. So if you want the brightest image, it might not be necessary to adapt a microscope eyepiece and use a .965” adapter and sacrifice ER and AFOV and edge correction in fast scopes. A better comparison would be to match up the modified Nikons with newer eyepieces with better coatings.

As for contrast, it can be a tricky thing. I had two high quality Japanese eyepieces. One was newer, more expensive and regarded more highly. The FL was close enough to do a shootout so I compared them. I found I immediately preferred the brighter view through the older, cheaper eyepiece. This surprised me. But as I looked closer, the newer eyepiece was doing a better job of controlling the Moons glare and upon close inspection was indeed delivering better contrast as a result. So while the brighter image got the initial wow factor and made the best first impression, the dimmer view was actually better. Now I suspect Nikon knows a thing or two about baffling so I’m not saying the Nikon microscope eyepieces have less contrast. Being simpler eyepieces they probably had a little better contrast. But I have learned to separate the eyepiece tone and transmission from contrast. Having a very sharp T1 Nagler it is hard for me to imagine any eyepiece blowing a vintage Nagler away in terms of contrast. An 8mm TV Plossl did edge it out on contrast, as expected. So I suspect your preference for a brighter view probably swayed your perception of contrast. Believe me, I am the last person on CN who would be accused of being a TV fanboy. But I have had many nice eyepieces, including TV and simple glass, and I just can’t see anything blowing a vintage Nagler away on contrast. Besting, sure. Blowing away? I will believe it when I see it.

But a very interesting post. Personally not a fan of modifying microscope eyepieces, or giving up ER, AFOV and edge correction (my scopes go down to F4). But you are making me curious.

Scott

Edited by SeattleScott, 01 October 2020 - 06:24 PM.

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#4 jrscpu2004

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 06:22 PM

I still will ask you to try it out yourself. A Nikon HKW 10x go as low as $29 or less on eBay.  I won't try to convince anyone other than what I observed on

both my Questar Duplex and on my Meade 10" LX850. That seems to cover a large range of OTA's. My other 2 friends have done so and they

also have quite bit different Refractors or Cats. They confirmed what I saw and that's all I'm reporting. Basically, if you try one out, that's the only

way you will be convinced. The difference I saw from my Televue Type 2, 16mm Nagler against the Nikon K20x is just undeniable and astounding.

   I paid close to $290 for my Nagler and I'll probably not use it from this point.



#5 SeattleScott

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 06:27 PM

$29? Might have to try it. Good point about your friends having similar feelings. What is this steel tape stuff?

#6 jrscpu2004

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 06:36 PM

Hi Scott,

   I can't speak for any other Nikon eyepieces other that the ones I show in the picture I posted.

Here is a weblink showing all the Nikon eyepieces thru its history:

https://lavinia.as.a.../eyepieces.html

 

My CN friend owned a B&L 10x eyepiece. Once he got his Nikon HKW 10x he said there was no comparison

to the B&L 10x. He like the Nikon HKW 10x so much, he went an purchased the Nikon K20x as well.

He will probably chime-in with his comments and what he observed as well.

The Brandon 16mm & 32mm I own are nice eyepieces but again, comparing them to these

Nikon eyepieces, they come in as a second best. 

  I knew there would be quite a bit of scoffing I would take in making this post, but once again, buy one and

let me know what you think afterwards. Beyond this, it's all just words in a simple post.


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#7 jrscpu2004

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 06:52 PM

Hi Scott,

  I just sent my CN friend an email about this post. He will probably read these messages and he can

tell you more about the Stainless Steel tape. I didn't need it because of those 3, 0.020" sleeves I custom

made on a lathe. That picture I posted shows those 3 custom sleeves I made.

What did surprise me, is I did a "Bing" & "Google" search, looking for an adapter sleeve that was

0.913" to 1.25" and got no results. I think, if enough people knew about this, someone's

going to make the adapter eventually.



#8 SeattleScott

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 06:57 PM

No one is saying the Nikons can’t deliver a sharper view. I think the question is really do they indeed blow the doors off the Nagler. We are accustomed to a four page review highlighting subtle differences when it comes to premium eyepieces. Nikon is a great brand. Not doubting their quality. Just saying premium eyepieces are generally so good that you can only get subtly better usually. Essentially the Nikon microscope eyepieces are a little like a premium Plossl or Ortho in that you get all the contrast but none of the long ER or AFOV. And it doesn’t sound like you and your friends have fast newts, so edge correction remains a question. Personally I sold the 8mm TV Plossl. It won the shootout on contrast slightly but lost on ER and AFOV big time. For planetary, contrast might be king but how many people are going to give up their wide AFOV eyepieces for DSO? Still these might make a good affordable planetary set, and a lot cheaper than TV plossls or Tak Abbe Orthos. It is telling that you prefer them over Brandons, which really seem like a better comp than a complex ultrawide eyepiece known for having unusually warm tone.

Scott

Edited by SeattleScott, 01 October 2020 - 06:58 PM.

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#9 jrscpu2004

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 07:48 PM

Like I said, $29.00 is what it will take to prove me wrong, but I'm guessing you might get back to me with a good report.

These are No Plossls. All those pictured give great eye relief and a Wide FOV, but without testing one out you will never know. My Meade 10", LX850 is f8. I'm sure a faster f5 APO will be more discriminating, so if you buy one Nikon HKW, you can let me know?



#10 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 08:12 PM

I look forward to hearing more. I vaguely recall hearing reviews of .965 (or similar) being used for planetary and them stacking up well indeed.

 

There's a super inexpensive nikon spotting zoom that popped up on ebay for $9. It's as sharp as anything I have tried.

 

So I do wonder if they can go a hair better again on the fixed focal lengths, they will be up there with the best.


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#11 oldmanastro

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 09:45 PM

Hi all,

 

  I am jrscpu2004 friend and yes I tested the Nikon 10x and 20x eyepieces not only on my Questar but also on long focus refractors. I was surprised at the performance of these eyepieces. The field of view in both is not small. In fact the 20x has a field of view not unlike that of the 16mm Brandon and the definition was just as good to the edge of the field of view. Now, I don't know how they will work on a short focus telescope. I have none. Both eyepieces have excellent eye relief too. 

 

  These eyepieces must be accommodated to our 1.25" standard focusers. I used aluminum tape, sold at auto parts stores, to bring the barrel diameter up to .965". Then it was easy to attach a .965" to 1.25" adapter. The eyepieces are labelled HKW. H means high point or good eye relief, K means the they are well corrected for color and W is for wide field. I thought K meant Kellner but no, it means just color corrected. I have to find the focal length of each eyepiece yet but the 10x is near 20mm and the 20x about 12mm. I have no Naglers so I could only compare with the Questar Brandons and my better Plossls. I also tested them against a B&L 10x Wide Field stereo microscope eyepiece and the Nikon came on top. 

 

 My plans are to complete a collection of them from 5x to 20x. Years ago I tried some microscope eyepieces with my refractors but was not much impressed. These Nikons are another thing. They did impress me and I thank jrscpu2004 for pointing them out to me.

 

  I summary, on my long focus refractors and Maks the Nikon microscope eyepieces came out really well. They must be tested on short focus telescopes.


Edited by oldmanastro, 01 October 2020 - 09:49 PM.

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#12 SeattleScott

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 12:58 AM

I look forward to hearing more. I vaguely recall hearing reviews of .965 (or similar) being used for planetary and them stacking up well indeed.

There's a super inexpensive nikon spotting zoom that popped up on ebay for $9. It's as sharp as anything I have tried.

So I do wonder if they can go a hair better again on the fixed focal lengths, they will be up there with the best.

I just missed out on one of those cheap Nikon zooms. Wasn’t quite that cheap but would have been well worth it.

#13 SeattleScott

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 01:12 AM

Hi all,

I am jrscpu2004 friend and yes I tested the Nikon 10x and 20x eyepieces not only on my Questar but also on long focus refractors. I was surprised at the performance of these eyepieces. The field of view in both is not small. In fact the 20x has a field of view not unlike that of the 16mm Brandon and the definition was just as good to the edge of the field of view. Now, I don't know how they will work on a short focus telescope. I have none. Both eyepieces have excellent eye relief too.

These eyepieces must be accommodated to our 1.25" standard focusers. I used aluminum tape, sold at auto parts stores, to bring the barrel diameter up to .965". Then it was easy to attach a .965" to 1.25" adapter. The eyepieces are labelled HKW. H means high point or good eye relief, K means the they are well corrected for color and W is for wide field. I thought K meant Kellner but no, it means just color corrected. I have to find the focal length of each eyepiece yet but the 10x is near 20mm and the 20x about 12mm. I have no Naglers so I could only compare with the Questar Brandons and my better Plossls. I also tested them against a B&L 10x Wide Field stereo microscope eyepiece and the Nikon came on top.

My plans are to complete a collection of them from 5x to 20x. Years ago I tried some microscope eyepieces with my refractors but was not much impressed. These Nikons are another thing. They did impress me and I thank jrscpu2004 for pointing them out to me.

I summary, on my long focus refractors and Maks the Nikon microscope eyepieces came out really well. They must be tested on short focus telescopes.

Well a 12mm or 20mm super planetary eyepiece doesn’t do much for me. Those are DSO focal lengths for me. I already had a super sharp 18mm Tak LE that I sold because I wanted wider AFOV and better eye relief for glasses at that focal length. My planetary set is 3.4mm to 7mm.

Scott
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#14 oldmanastro

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 09:20 AM

Well a 12mm or 20mm super planetary eyepiece doesn’t do much for me. Those are DSO focal lengths for me. I already had a super sharp 18mm Tak LE that I sold because I wanted wider AFOV and better eye relief for glasses at that focal length. My planetary set is 3.4mm to 7mm.

Scott

I tested them with a Celestron Ultima 2x Barlow or the Questar's own internal Barlow. They did very well on Saturn, Jupiter and Mars  with the 3.5"  f/14 Questar and the 4" f/13 Carton refractor. With the barlow the 20x eyepiece worked like my 6mm UO orthoscopic. I found no difference whatsoever on definition. These eyepieces have a good FOV and in a long focus telescope they can serve for both DSOs and planetary or lunar observations. 


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#15 SeattleScott

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 11:27 AM

Well I do have a TV 3x barlow so I guess that is a consideration. Barlow should improve edge performance, but adds glass to light path. Might be worth a shot.

You say they have good FOV for DSO but say the FOV is similar to Brandon’s. That’s certainly not what I consider good FOV for DSO. Otherwise I would have kept the Tak. Basically I get the impression you and your buddies are mostly planetary observers with your Questars, long focus refractors and Brandons. Being more of a DSO observer and more of a casual planetary observer I won’t be throwing out my wide AFOV, long ER eyepieces. But it would be interesting to see how these stack up to my excellent minimum glass planetary eyepieces. Certainly using microscope eyepieces for planetary isn’t a new concept, as people rave about the Zeiss microscope eyepieces. But those are expensive, while these Nikons are apparently cheap.

Scott

Edited by SeattleScott, 02 October 2020 - 11:57 AM.

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#16 jrscpu2004

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 04:39 PM

I also said I have tested these Nikon Eyepieces on my Meade 10", LX850 with the same great results as the Questar got.

I would say, if someone here would like to test them on a short, APO scope, it could then put to rest if these eyepieces

are as good as we say they are. Scott, you say you have such a scope? 

   One other thing, back in the day when those particular eyepieces were made, I had a Nikon brochure that explained why 

Nikon Glass was different than other manufacturer's at that time. Nikon owned their own facility to formulate their own glass,

while other manufacturers had to buy their glass from other sources. This gave Nikon a big leg up and be able to produce a higher 

quality and tailored their optics for specialized use, which their optics certainly showed this aspect. 

   The Televue 16mm, Type 2 Nagler is a 2" model and the Nikon K20x is a 0.913" OD. You would think the Nagler had

the advantage here being a larger 2" optic, but that's what I'm saying that the Nikon K20x will surprise you.


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#17 SeattleScott

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 04:55 PM

The advantage of the Nagler being a larger 2” optic is field of view. 2” format does nothing in itself to improve contrast. Besides wasn’t the 16T2 a 1.25” eyepiece with a 2” skirt? I could be wrong. But it doesn’t matter because we aren’t comparing FOV because obviously the Nagler would win hands down. We are just talking about contrast.

I don’t have a short Apo. I have a short newt and a F7.7 Apo. I could see how it does at medium and fast F ratios. To get to useful planetary shootout magnifications I would probably need my barlow. There is a part of me that wonders if it will really be enough better than my outstanding HR and LE eyepieces to bother modifying the eyepiece, messing with an adapter and a barlow. Maybe if it would tighten up a magnification gap, but it is hard to know precisely what focal length these are, or what they would be with my barlow since barlows provide a little different magnification depending on the eyepiece. I suppose if I like my new to me Nikon SW a lot, it would be worth considering.m

Ultimately it would mean not just buying a cheap eyepiece. It also means modifying it. And finding an adapter for it. And using the adapter and a long barlow whenever I use it. Am I going to dig out a 1.25”-.965” adapter and barlow every time to use this eyepiece when I have some fantastic minimum glass eyepieces already that don’t require modifying or an adapter or a barlow? Definition as good as an Ortho? Nice, but my existing eyepieces should be able to do that. Edge out Brandons? Ok, you got my attention anyway. Ultimately these would have been great to know about before I spent $350 on outstanding minimum glass planetary eyepieces, but now that I have them, I’m not sure what the Nikon would accomplish.

Scott

Edited by SeattleScott, 02 October 2020 - 05:08 PM.

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#18 jrscpu2004

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 07:16 PM

Scott, I also agree about spending a fortune on eyepieces. I also bought a Televue 4mm & 10mm Radians as well as my 16mm Nagler.

There are other issues I'm going to introduce here too. Size & Weight can matter. The Nikon K20x with my 0.020" weighs: 35 Grams

while the Televue 16mm weighs : 456 Grams. That's 13x's the weight.

   I also posted 2 photos of each next to each other. Their inherent size difference are quite amazing.

 

 

 

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#19 SeattleScott

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 07:45 PM

It’s like Darth Vader’s imperial star destroyer chasing the Tantive IV

My eyepieces are generally pretty consistent around 1lb in weight except for my little minimum glass planetary ones.

I guess what has bugged me a little about this thread is comparing a microscope eyepiece to a T2 Nagler. They are apples and oranges. I understand you go with what you got. But a better shootout would be against minimum glass planetary eyepieces like Orthos and Brandons or at least Plossls. Yes there is some of that, but those seem like the side conversation while the Nagler shootout is the main event. And of course you are comparing a DSO eyepiece with a planetary eyepiece on planets, so a rather biased shootout. Personally I had a 16T2 but I sold it before trying out. So it isn’t like I am biased towards the Nagler. And I do appreciate minimum glass planetary eyepieces, so you are kind of preaching to the choir. It just seems biased because the Nikon is declared king based on transmission (easy to believe that) and contrast (I would expect the Nikon to have a slight edge here). But it ignores the wider view of the Nagler that is kind of the whole reason to get a Nagler. And there is no real information about edge performance, the other reason to get a Nagler . It feels like comparing a Corolla and a F150 and declaring the Corolla the winner based on fuel efficiency. So your shootout is intriguing and it would be good to see others with different scopes try it out. But ultimately these microscope eyepieces, for most people, aren’t going to replace Naglers.

But hey a cheap alternative to Tak Abbe Orthos would be good.

Scott
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#20 jrscpu2004

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Posted 03 October 2020 - 06:21 PM

I just heard from my other CN friend, Jordan.
He tried out his Nikon HKW 10x on his 20” , f4 Obsession scope. He just gave this eyepiece the same raves as my other CN friend, Guido had reported.
So, it’s now proven to work on f4 scope.
I’ll repeat what I said right from the outset, all you have to loose is $29.00 for the eyepiece and about $10 on the 0.965”to 1.25” eyepiece adapter.
I’m hoping, my friend Jordan chimes-in and gives you his overall imaging impressions.

#21 SeattleScott

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 01:00 AM

Do you know a way to buy a single one of these? They seem to be normally offered in pairs, which makes sense. When offered individually they seem to cost more. So yes I have seen them as low as $60 for a pair, which is $30 each, but haven’t seen an individual one around $30. Haven’t looked before now so maybe it just takes patience.

Yes that would be great, because I have heard people rave about the 23mm SVBONY too. It’s really not a high quality eyepiece. It just is surprisingly good for $9 apparently. So is he raving about it like it is 90% as good as a Tak Abbe Ortho for a fraction of the price? Or is it sharper than any eyepiece he has? And is he using it with a barlow (which would improve edge performance) or without? Maybe the edge correction is poor but it is really sharp on axis?

Your friend giving it rave reviews is certainly encouraging but without more information it just means the eyepiece is particularly good at one thing at least, or it is just surprisingly good for the low price. Without knowing what he has to compare it with, whether he used a barlow, and some impressions about edge performance, it isn’t very meaningful. Encouraging, but it kind of invites more questions than it answers.

Scott

Edited by SeattleScott, 04 October 2020 - 01:15 AM.

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#22 BKSo

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 01:42 AM

OK. I have microscope eyepieces from Leica and Olympus but no Nikon (though I am thinking about a modern 15x/14 to complete the set). They are good for my sct, even for DSO, but they are certainly not for everyone and there is no need to be too excited.


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#23 Astrojensen

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 02:47 AM

Never tried any Nikon microscope eyepieces, but I have two pairs of Zeiss microscope eyepieces (10x and 12.5x, 25mm and 20mm focal length, respectively) for my binoviewers and they're extremely good. I also have a 10x (25mm) Meiji Techno kellner from a stereo microscope that is absolutely stunning in a long focal length telescope, so microscope eyepieces can certainly be useful for astronomical observing, too.

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark 


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#24 jrscpu2004

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 01:02 PM

If anyone is so inclined to want to purchase these Nikon eyepieces, use the photo that shows what they look like as a guide as to what to look for on a eBay search. They are offered individually & in pairs. I've only seen the cross-hair reticle offered in the Nikon HKW 10x model if desired. I just bought on eBay, a Nikon HK 5x, and it arrives tomorrow. I'll report back if it's better than the Nikon 5x that's in the photo. 

   I can comment on the Mitutoyo 30x. It's an Odd OD being 1.200" which then would require additional shimming to use in a 1.25" eyepiece holder. It's performance is great as well and it was posted as 13mm equivelant. There are higher

microscope eyepiece magnifications from Leica at 40x's but their costs are much higher.

   My only means to give this information on this post was to inform others that there are some low cost alternatives to

normally higher priced telescope eyepieces. Once some of you buy them, I sincerely hope you would pos your experiences with them to let others know what you think.



#25 jrscpu2004

jrscpu2004

    Vostok 1

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Posted 05 October 2020 - 10:05 PM

That Nikon HK 5x eyepiece arrived today. I used my Questar Duplex to do a side by side comparison to

the Nikon 5x eyepiece that I own that's in that photo I posted. Optically, I couldn't say one was any better

than the other. The HK 5x does have the additional adjustable eye shield that the regular 5x doesn't have.

Physically, it looks a kin to the HKW 10x and HKW 15x . I would suggest, buy which one is lower in price.




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