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Tele Vue 55mm Plossl versus Meade 56mm Plossl

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#1 Nippon

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 07:22 AM

Big difference in price between these two. Is the Tele Vue worth the much higher cost?



#2 wrvond

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 08:55 AM

Used in a Meade ETX50, the TV is not worth the extra cost. In a Takahashi TOA 150 I'd use nothing less than the TV.



#3 ji4m

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 09:05 AM

I had a preference for the old style Meade 56mm Super Plossl with 5 elements.  You would have to find it on the used market.  I never tried it in any scope faster than f/7.  I have no experience with the current model.


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#4 wrvond

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 09:13 AM

I had a preference for the old style Meade 56mm Super Plossl with 5 elements.  You would have to find it on the used market.  I never tried it in any scope faster than f/7.  I have no experience with the current model.

This is a great point - the old style Super Plossl does have a larger AFoV.

 

The current Meade specs out essentially the same as the TV with 50 degree FOV and 4 elements. The Meade has 21mm eye relief while the TV "only" has 20mm.



#5 noisejammer

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 09:47 AM

Although most of the original 'Super Plössls' definitely had 5 elements, I have a dim recollection that the 55 was the odd-man-out and only had 4.

20+ years does that to memory.



#6 25585

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 10:04 AM

Original 5 element Meade was made in Japan, as all Meade Plossls were of its time, I believe. 4 element made in China. My late 1990s TV has "Japan" on it.



#7 Starman1

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 10:12 AM

This is a great point - the old style Super Plossl does have a larger AFoV.

 

The current Meade specs out essentially the same as the TV with 50 degree FOV and 4 elements. The Meade has 21mm eye relief while the TV "only" has 20mm.

Uh, no, it didn't have a larger field of view.

At 55-56mm, no eyepiece can have a field larger than 50°.

Eye relief for the design is about 0.7 x FL = much longer than the claims.

Hence, the design is a modified Plössl to limit the eye relief.

 

some history:

https://www.cloudyni...per/?p=10613784


Edited by Starman1, 27 October 2020 - 10:13 AM.

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#8 Peter Besenbruch

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 03:17 PM

Big difference in price between these two. Is the Tele Vue worth the much higher cost?

The current Meade isn't bad, but it is not what it claims. The apparent field is a bit under 50° (I estimated 47°). Others have had the eyepiece apart, and noticed that the inside elements were not coated. I bought the eyepiece to get sufficient exit pupil size on an f15 scope when using an OIII filter. It does its job. I haven't had any experience with the Televue 55.


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#9 Spikey131

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 07:54 PM

Here is a recent Meade.  4 elements.  All exposed surfaces multi coated.  For me, it is used to turn my short refractors into their own finder.

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#10 junomike

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Posted 29 October 2020 - 05:07 PM

I had a preference for the old style Meade 56mm Super Plossl with 5 elements.  You would have to find it on the used market.  I never tried it in any scope faster than f/7.  I have no experience with the current model.

Ditto.  Found the eye relief on the TV 55 excessive.   Maybe the feel or characteristics....Dunno.



#11 Eddgie

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 10:20 AM

Big difference in price between these two. Is the Tele Vue worth the much higher cost?

The Meade is Ok.   Is the Televue worth the extra Money?  Too subjective.

 

In an SCT or a slower/longer focal lenght refractor, either of these will work about the same.  Since this is not an eyepiece you would use in most reflectors there is little point in addressing edge of field performance in these scopes, but in smaller, faster refractors, the field curvature usually sets the limit of what can be enjoyable, but again, that is subjective.

 

Frankly, I think in almost all scopes and for all purposes, a good 40mm wide field is a better choice than either of these but some of your result will depend on the scope you are using.  I have owned both styles of the Meade (and the earlier one is better), and the Televue and the only scope I found them to be of any value in were the SCTs and even here, I vastly preferred good 40mm wide fields (well, 41mm Panoptic to be specific, but that is a big price point jump).

 

These are kind of specialty eyepieces.  It is not an eyepiece most people would us a lot. In SCTs or slower refractors they are good when combined with nebula filters because they give a good exit pupil but that was the only real use I ever had for mine.  



#12 sw196060

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 10:31 AM

Why would someone want a 55mm plossl when you can a 32-40mm widefield eyepiece?

Never understood the attraction of a 55mm plossl with its <50deg FOV.



#13 Starman1

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 10:50 AM

Why would someone want a 55mm plossl when you can a 32-40mm widefield eyepiece?

Never understood the attraction of a 55mm plossl with its <50deg FOV.

Exit pupil and brighter image in a long-f/ratio scope for one.

Achieving a lower magnification for another.  Even notice some star clusters look like star clusters at a very low power, but just an array of random field stars at higher powers?

I don't think a 55-56mm Plössl is an eyepiece for a scope under f/10, but it can be a great thing in an f/15 Maksutov.

Those people with the f/22 Schiefspieglers of f/20 Cassegrains probably constitute the market for 60-80mm eyepieces for those reasons, despite the drinking-straw-narrow apparent fields.


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#14 Kutno

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 11:09 AM

Why would someone want a 55mm plossl when you can a 32-40mm widefield eyepiece?

Never understood the attraction of a 55mm plossl with its <50deg FOV.

 

Lighter weight coupled with a wider field stop make it attractive to use as a finder in a shorter focal length scope.  I am considering getting one when and if the next sale takes place.



#15 Tyson M

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 11:46 AM

I often thought about picking up a Meade 56mm made in Japan eyepiece. I had a newer one, and it was actually very good. No serious faults.  

 

I have the 55 plossl now.  I really like the threaded removable eyeguard.  With glasses, I need it to not get as many blackouts.  This was the most serious issue with the 48 Brandon, which was one of my favorite eyepieces but the excessive eye relief caused a lot of blackouts until I remembered exactly where to place my eye.

 

I still have the Tele Vue, over the other two.  I think one would be happy even with a new Meade 56mm though. 



#16 Peter Besenbruch

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 03:41 PM

Why would someone want a 55mm plossl when you can a 32-40mm widefield eyepiece?

Never understood the attraction of a 55mm plossl with its <50deg FOV.

Building on what Don says, I use mine (56mm) on an f15 Maksutov when using an OIII filter. The Veil Nebula looks quite good with that combo. Try that with a 40mm, and it would be too dark.


Edited by Peter Besenbruch, 31 October 2020 - 03:42 PM.

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#17 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 05:22 PM

Lighter weight coupled with a wider field stop make it attractive to use as a finder in a shorter focal length scope.  I am considering getting one when and if the next sale takes place.

 

The 41 mm Panoptic and the 55 mm Plossl both have a 46 mm field stop so the TFoVs are identical..Weight can be an issue but the 38 mm Q70 types offer the same field and is only 2 ounces heavier..

 

I think Don nailed it, slow scopes.

 

Jon


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#18 Kutno

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 07:56 PM

The 41 mm Panoptic and the 55 mm Plossl both have a 46 mm field stop so the TFoVs are identical..Weight can be an issue but the 38 mm Q70 types offer the same field and is only 2 ounces heavier..

 

I think Don nailed it, slow scopes.

 

Jon

 

Thank you, Jon!  You saved me a couple of Benjamins!  Your mention of the Orion offering reminded me I have a 40mm Pentax SMC XL eyepiece that has not been used in ages.  (I dwell in the land of high power.)  Personal archives revealed that Pentax informed, towards the end of the last century, that the 40mm XL has a 44mm field stop and a weight of 14oz.  It pays to post on Cloudy Nights!


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#19 Nippon

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 09:27 PM

Thanks for the thoughts here. 


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#20 BillP

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Posted 01 November 2020 - 02:03 PM

From a while ago ... https://www.cloudyni...mm-5-elem-r2198



#21 Starman1

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Posted 01 November 2020 - 03:12 PM

Bill,

Isn't the left-most image in your review the 5-element and the right-most image the 4 element?

I don't recall Meade ever made the 4 element without a rubber eyecup.

Is the label under the pix wrong?



#22 MikiSJ

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Posted 01 November 2020 - 03:36 PM

I have the Meade 4000 56mm Super Plossl. I only use this eyepiece for its wide field when starting a model for my C11/ CGX.

 

If my focus was visual astronomy and not astrophotography I would stop having lunch for awhile and to save up for the TeleVue.



#23 BillP

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Posted 01 November 2020 - 04:08 PM

Bill,

Isn't the left-most image in your review the 5-element and the right-most image the 4 element?

I don't recall Meade ever made the 4 element without a rubber eyecup.

Is the label under the pix wrong?

Yes.  I got it reversed in the label under the pic and never noticed.  No one has ever commented either in all this time lol.gif


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#24 sanbai

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Posted 01 November 2020 - 10:14 PM

Exit pupil and brighter image in a long-f/ratio scope for one.

Achieving a lower magnification for another.  Even notice some star clusters look like star clusters at a very low power, but just an array of random field stars at higher powers?

I don't think a 55-56mm Plössl is an eyepiece for a scope under f/10, but it can be a great thing in an f/15 Maksutov.

Those people with the f/22 Schiefspieglers of f/20 Cassegrains probably constitute the market for 60-80mm eyepieces for those reasons, despite the drinking-straw-narrow apparent fields.

I'll add that a TV 55 Plössl (or any other brand) is a convenient grab and go low power eyepiece to use as a "finder" in small scopes. Point with the red dot, refine with the 55 mm.

Bringing the Nagler 31T5 in my (fully packed) carry-on was for me a no-go in my last flight. The 55 mm is way much lighter and smaller, and provides even sightlier larger field. In my 80mm f/7.5, the exit pupil is only a bit more than 7 mm. It did a good job in my visit to the truly dark skies of Flagstaff and it made a good team with my Nagler 22T4 and the Nagler 13T6. At home, under polluted skies, the 55 has no use, even with filters.



#25 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 01 November 2020 - 10:56 PM

ASH owns a very old 55mm University Optics Plössl and a relatively new 56mm Meade Super Plössl.  I use the 56mm Meade occasionally but prefer a 38mm Agena SWA or an old 40mm University Optics MK-70.


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