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University Optics

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#1 Bart

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Posted 12 July 2021 - 08:13 AM

Hi Folks,

 

In 2021, what is the status of University Optics Ortho lenses? Are they still considered a desirable lens? How do they compare with other lenses?

 

Thanks

Bart


Edited by Bart, 12 July 2021 - 08:42 AM.


#2 BlueMoon

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Posted 12 July 2021 - 08:56 AM

Genuine UO ortho eyepieces, if and when they come up for sale in the classifieds, don't stay there long. They are just as desirable in 2021 as when they were first produced and are still exceptional for planetary viewing.

 

Clear skies.


Edited by BlueMoon, 12 July 2021 - 08:59 AM.

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#3 cst4

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Posted 12 July 2021 - 09:45 AM

I have a pair of 18mm and 12.5mm UO volcano top orthos for my binoviewers.  Absolutely wonderful views.  Some people do not like orthos because of the smaller apparent field of view but it doesn't bother me when the view is so stinkin sharp.  I've tried a lot of eyepieces and continually find a good Abbe ortho to beat everything in view quality.  And despite the small AFOV I still get pretty good drift time on a manual mount because they are sharp from edge to edge and not just in the center like many other minimal glass EP designs.  So yes, the UO orthos are still desirable... partly because they provide great views, but largely because they are classics.  I think today's Kokusai Kohki Fujiyama orthos are just as good.  I just prefer the old volcano top design that UO used because it makes the limited eye relief feel a bit more usable.  


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#4 ngc7319_20

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Posted 12 July 2021 - 10:03 AM

IMHO the UO ortho volcano-tops still hold up very, very well, especially for planets and double stars. 

 

I tried but did not like the Fujiyama ortho 6 mm -- for me the flat top does not work well.    I much prefer the volcano style when the eye relief is short (as cst4 mentions).



#5 TOMDEY

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Posted 12 July 2021 - 10:48 AM

I'd buy them for sure. Orthoscopic is a great eyepiece provided the feeding F# is not too fast. Use on a slow refractor, Newtonian, Cass, SCT. I have some of the very old University eyepieces and note that the 55mm Plossl, 24mm Konig and 12mm Konig have uncoated surfaces on the inside; only the one surface toward the eye is actually multi-coated. Their performance is still good, but the transmission takes quite a hit. Later versions may not suffer this corner-cutting practice, which was rampant decades ago.    Tom

 

Here's a couple pages from my white-paper >>>

Attached Thumbnails

  • 44 80 university 55mm plossl from Tom's report page 01.jpg
  • 42 university 55mm plossl from Tom's report page 18.jpg
  • 43 university 55mm plossl from Tom's report page 19.jpg

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#6 M44

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Posted 12 July 2021 - 10:59 AM

I used to have a complete set, but sold them to have space for other EP types. I still wish I had kept them not for their performance alone but for having a light weight set in our EP case. 

 

What I liked about them is

 

 - the small weight

 - the volcano top design

 - Made in Japan

 - Smooth side barrels (later ones are with undercuts)

 - Simple coatings

 - inexpensive

 

I would buy them someday if they are offered as a set on used market and with smooth barrels, pricing between $50 to 60 each. 



#7 ckwastro  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 12 July 2021 - 11:37 AM

I used to have the UO volcano tops for my binoviewer. Inexpensive, very sharp with good contrast, and in a binoviewer the narrow field doesn't seem so restrictive. Sold the shorter focal lengths because of the eye-relief, but for a while kept the 25, 18, and 12.5. I ended up selling them a few years later to make room for even wider fields. Sometimes I wish I'd have kept the longer focal lengths.



#8 jim kuhns

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Posted 12 July 2021 - 02:01 PM

 I own a 16MM Konig flattop. one of my favorite planetary eyepieces. Sometimes I use a 2.8X klee

 barlow.. Also the 16mm does well on M42 as well as many deep sky objects.


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#9 ckwastro  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 12 July 2021 - 04:30 PM

 I own a 16MM Konig flattop. one of my favorite planetary eyepieces. Sometimes I use a 2.8X klee

 barlow.. Also the 16mm does well on M42 as well as many deep sky objects.

I had one of those years ago. Nice eyepiece! 


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#10 JIMZ7

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Posted 13 July 2021 - 06:30 PM

Any University Optics eyepieces is worth buying. Orthos, Erfles or Konigs. Barlows also. Jan was the man!

Jim


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#11 aatt

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Posted 13 July 2021 - 07:30 PM

In short- yes. My 9 and 12.5mm are superb planetary eps. I have the Fugiyama 18mm and it is also a keeper. Mars oppositions and UO ortho use go hand in hand for me.
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#12 RichA

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Posted 13 July 2021 - 09:01 PM

I'd buy them for sure. Orthoscopic is a great eyepiece provided the feeding F# is not too fast. Use on a slow refractor, Newtonian, Cass, SCT. I have some of the very old University eyepieces and note that the 55mm Plossl, 24mm Konig and 12mm Konig have uncoated surfaces on the inside; only the one surface toward the eye is actually multi-coated. Their performance is still good, but the transmission takes quite a hit. Later versions may not suffer this corner-cutting practice, which was rampant decades ago.    Tom

 

Here's a couple pages from my white-paper >>>

Seems like the Type II is part multi-coating and part single-layer.

Attached Thumbnails

  • P7130720.JPG
  • P7130721.JPG

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#13 RichA

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Posted 13 July 2021 - 09:02 PM

 I own a 16MM Konig flattop. one of my favorite planetary eyepieces. Sometimes I use a 2.8X klee

 barlow.. Also the 16mm does well on M42 as well as many deep sky objects.

My second decent eyepiece was a University Optics Konig 12mm.  Terrific on planets, very neutral color rendition, poor eye relief.


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#14 SteveG

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Posted 13 July 2021 - 10:13 PM

My second decent eyepiece was a University Optics Konig 12mm.  Terrific on planets, very neutral color rendition, poor eye relief.

 

And bad off axis in short focal ratio scopes (f5). 


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#15 RichA

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 10:23 AM

And bad off axis in short focal ratio scopes (f5). 

It's ok.  Few of them (apart from fast Newtonians) existed when it came out.


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#16 SteveV

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 06:29 PM

Orthos...

 

Wouldn't ever part with the UO volcano top orthos.  Head to head with fancier stuff the narrow FOV is a huge downside in a manual scope and it's hard to find any difference visually in throughput vs even the old Naglers I use.  But they crawl their way into the focuser on deep sky stuff way more that a person thinks they should.  Clean, clear, contrasty, tight and bright.  Gear - 8" f/6 Dob 100% starhopping analog-manual.

 

If on the hunt today I wouldn't bother.  Trying to accumulate a set on the used market would take a lifetime.   KK HD Orthos are interesting as are the Tak Star Base Orthos both have good evaluations here on CN.  TV Plossls don't get much love anymore but show up frequently on the Classifieds and should probably be in the mix for consideration.  I don't have a clue what I'm talking about and as always ymmv!


Edited by SteveV, 15 July 2021 - 10:39 AM.

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#17 BRCoz

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 07:43 PM

I have a 4mm, 12.5mm and a pair of 18mm University Optics orthos.   The 18mm is my favorite. 

I wish I could have got the rest but I went in another direction with the TMB SMC years ago. 

Last month I picked up a 12.5 Kokusai Kohki HD to see how they are.  Can't wait to compare it to the UO.


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#18 JoshUrban

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Posted 18 July 2021 - 11:02 AM

Hey Bart, I'm a big fan of UO stuff.  

 

  They were recommended to me when I was a teenager observing with an 80mm refractor (and still making them), so I bought a 4, 9, and 12.5mm ortho.  The 4 is a bit tricky to use, but the 12.5 and 9 are rockin'.  I've since added a set of the 12.5mm for binoviewing, have another set of 24mm UO Konigs, and a really cool answer to the 31 nagler in the form of a 32mm modified konig.  They go quick on the classifieds, and I'd recommend snagging a UO ortho if you have the opportunity.  Besides, I dig the "quirky" nature of some of the other stuff, too.  

.


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#19 JimP

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 05:29 PM

OK, now, where do Circle T eyepieces fit in? Where are they on the quality scale?

 

JimP


Edited by JimP, 19 July 2021 - 06:05 PM.


#20 csrlice12

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 05:46 PM

On eyepieces circle T is Tani.  Excellent Japanese glass.


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#21 delphi303

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 07:03 PM

I have the UO volcano-top 12.5 and 9mm Orthos with me, and a 7mm (and possibly an 18mm?) in storage...

 

In any scope I've had (80mm f6 refractor, 150mm f8 dob, 60mm f12 refractor), they've given me some exceedingly satisfying views of Jupiter, Saturn, & double stars. I think the 9mm is my favorite, and the 7mm is close behind. Just my own experience.

 

I'll never part with the few that I have...


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#22 csrlice12

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 09:20 PM

I've got the 7 & 9 UO HD and the 9 &12.5 UO OPS.  Nice glass.


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#23 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 09:52 PM

Here's a photo of the Astronomical Society of Harrisburg's University Optics eyepieces, a 55mm Plössl, a 40mm MK-70, a 45mm Plössl, a 2" 32mm König II, a 25mm MK-70, and a 1.25" 32mm König II.  I rarely use any of them any more other than the 40mm MK-70 on occasion.

Attached Thumbnails

  • University Optics Eyepieces ASH Reprocessed Resized 900 CN.jpg

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#24 godelescher

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 06:18 AM

Like everything else, it's a tradeoff.

 

  • Pros: Affordable, lightweight, great contrast, sharp images, fewer elements
  • Cons: narrow FOV, difficult ER at high magnifications, hard to find in great condition, minimal coatings

 

Dollar for dollar, a UO ortho in good usable condition still compares extremely well against other EPs in it's class.

 

Short fast scopes and the trend of ever-widening EP FOVs have kept resale values of classic orthos affordable. In my opinion, they are still a good buy at $50-$100 each, and will always sell quickly because many end up in collections whether they're used or not.



#25 JimP

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 08:27 AM

OK. So far I have UO volcano top 5,6 and 9mm Abbe Orthos, and a 7mm circle T Abbe Ortho. I also now have a UO 16mm Konig. My primary interests are the moon, planets and double stars. My scopes are 6” F/7, 8” F/9 and 10” F/9 refractors. Because of my astigmatism I tend to stay away from Widefield low power eyepieces although I do have a Dioptrix.

JiimP
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