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Are plossl eyepieces still worth it?

Eyepieces Equipment
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#1 pkolsut85

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 06:33 PM

Are plossl eyepieces still worth it? I have CPC 925 and I currently own Hyperion 10mm, Hyperion 17mm and Celestron plossl 40mm. I just ordered Hyperion 13mm and 21mm but I really like how sharp and crisp view is in plossl 40mm. I was looking on a OPT website and they have celestron 32mm and 15mm plossl. They are not that expensive I would pay about $100 for both eye pieces. I was just wondering if plossls are still worth it or should get a better eyepiece in a 30mm range. 


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#2 betacygni

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 06:39 PM

Plossls generally offer very good performance, what they lack is eye relief (at shorter focal lengths) and have a relatively narrow 50 degree apparent field of view. If neither of these issues bother you, or if you can’t afford the more expensive modern eyepiece designs, nothing wrong with good quality plossls!
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#3 dnrmilspec

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 06:49 PM

The "sharpness" you are seeing may well be better explained by the focal length of the ep than the quality of Plossls in general.

 

If you do not have your Hyperions yet I recommend you wait until you have these and try them out before you buy the Plossls.  I think you will change your mind.

 

Of course, for the cost of the two Plossls, you could justify having them as spares or outreach EPs. 


Edited by dnrmilspec, 25 July 2021 - 06:51 PM.

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#4 sevenofnine

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 06:54 PM

Worth it is a tough question to answer. I can say that most of my plossls have been replaced by other eyepieces for various reasons. There are certainly much better options out there but at a significant cost. In my scopes a simple zoom eyepiece like the Celestron 24-8mm or the Baader has replaced the higher powered plossls. The biggest advantage is much better ER in a large ocular. Plus the FOV expands as you zoom to the higher powers. In the case of the Celestron, you get all the focal lengths from 24 to 8mm in one eyepiece that costs $100. That's hard to beat IMO. waytogo.gif


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#5 Michael Covington

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 06:57 PM

With an f/10 telescope, Plossls are as sharp as any other kind of eyepiece of the same focal length.  (Compare, for instance, 20mm of each type, or 10mm of each type.)  At shorter focal lengths they have less eye relief, and at all focal lengths they have a narrower field of view, than newer types.

My own lineup (with a C8) is 32mm Plossl, 18.2mm DeLite, and 10.5mm Pentax (the last one not chosen to match, but rather because it belonged to a deceased friend).


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#6 ram812

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 07:23 PM

Hello!
I happen to have a collection of Plossls from 4mm to 34mm and go to them fairly regular on my nights out viewing/looking/marveling at our night sky. I use them on an 80mm refractor @F5, 10" newt @F4.7, 114mm reflector @F8.8 and an 76mm/F9 newt and they give suprisingly good views in all those OTA's. Not much (If any that's bothersome to my eyes) coma occurs in all tubes with them and though great for star-test and collimation, real dark contrast happens with the 4mm, 6mm,and 8mm except when looking at the brightest of stars. I actually enjoy the bang for buck low-buck eyepieces. Snatch them up!😁

CS, Ralph
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#7 teashea

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 07:44 PM

Other eyepieces of more advanced design can have better eye relief and field of view.


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#8 aatt

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 07:59 PM

Plossls are good performers in general. For those on a budget, you will great views for not much cash. Comfort and larger fields come at a steeper price. If you get good views, then the aforementioned are just cake.nice but not necessary.
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#9 Rick-T137

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 08:13 PM

I have an SCT and my eyepiece case only has Plössls (and one Ortho) in it. I really enjoy using Plössls. The 50° apparent field of view is plenty for me. I have owned wider eyepieces, but ultimately I just prefer the Plössls (must be a mental defect). I also like to have my face physically in contact with the eyepiece (or the eyepiece cup) so the tight eye relief of the shorter focal lengths actually works really well for me.

 

Personally I think they're still worth it. I really like the simplicity and compactness of these simpler designs (ie: Plössls, Orthos, Kellners, etc).

 

Clear skies!

 

Rick


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#10 JamesDuffey

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 08:20 PM

Worth is a subjective evaluation, so here is my subjective input:

 

1. A 32mm Plössl is worth it.  At 32mm, a Plössl will give you as wide a field of view as any 1.25mm eyepiece can. The TFOV will be as wide as your 40mm Plössl, but with greater magnification and a slightly darker sky background. Good 32mm Plössls run around $30-$40. The generic GSO Plössl from many manufacturers, including Astronomics (Astro Tech) and Agnena Astro, is as good as the Celestron and a few bucks cheaper. A Plössl is probably as good as any 32mm eyepiece in a 1.25 inch focuser. A Televue Plössl may be better than a generic one, but the difference is probably not worth the additional cost. It is pretty much worth it for everyone that has a telescope with a 1.25 inch focuser to have a 32mm Plössl.

 

For your application and the eyepieces you have or are going to get, you really don’t need anything else. But, at least get the 32mm Plössl. 

 

2. A 20mm Plössl is probably worth it, if for no other reason than to compare the views it gives to the 21mm Hyperion you have. Then you can judge for yourself if it is worth it. Again, it only costs $30 to $40 to find out, so the education is not that expensive. One learns by observing.  The TFOV of the Hyperion will be greater than the TFOV of the Plössl, but the magnification will be about the same.  Most people prefer the wider TFOV. The big problem with Plössls is that the eye relief is about 0.75 times the focal length. If you wear glasses when observing, you probably want 15mm or more of eye relief, which the 20mm Plössl provides, but the shorter fl ones don’t.

 

3. A 15mm Plössl might be worth it, if you don’t wear glasses. Again, for no other reason than to compare it to the 17mm Hyperion and draw your own conclusions about Plössls. The difference in TFOV will be significant at this focal length. 

 

4. A 10mm or shorter Plössl is probably not worth it unless you want to see how you personally cope with short eye relief. For that purpose it is probably easier to find one to borrow.

 

For what it is worth, a slow scope like your CPC9.25 (f/10?) is pretty forgiving of eyepiece faults and a wide variety of eyepiece designs will work just fine in it. So, I think it worth your while to try the Plössls.

 

At one time Plössls were premium eyepieces. The basic design hasn’t changed much, but the real costs of manufacturing have dropped. The availability of good quality relatively wide field-of-view inexpensive eyepieces has kind of put them in the second tier of eyepieces, but they still hold their own in the longer focal lengths and excel if one does not demand a wide field-of-view.

 

Then there is the rule of thumb to avoid duplicating focal lengths when acquiring eyepieces
 


Edited by JamesDuffey, 25 July 2021 - 08:25 PM.

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#11 ShaulaB

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 08:33 PM

My Televue Plossl eyepieces perform better than some less expensive brands of Plossl. Of course, they cost more. Try one and see if you like it. You could always sell it on CN Classifieds and get back most of what you paid for it if it does not impress you.
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#12 Notdarkenough

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 08:44 PM

I loved my Baader Mark-IV 8mm-24mm Zoom+Barlow combo in my 8" EdgeHD. I also really liked my E-Lux 32mm, a Kellner. The stock 9 and 15mm Omnis were very good. Not all are Plossls, but excellent eps at f/10. I did sell them all when I adopted Dioptrx, and the Naglers are amazing! No surprise there. But those EPs mentioned were all great too!

Mike


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#13 Spikey131

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 08:44 PM

I possess an embarrassing array of fine eyepieces with names like Ethos and Nagler and Delos.

 

Despite this, I also have some Plossls which are indispensable.  There is the 56mm Meade Plossl which magically turns my short FL refractors into their own finder scopes.  It also gives the widest possible exit pupil in my dob and SCT, very handy when using nebula filters.

 

Then there is a pair of 32mm and 20mm TV Plossls which make my binoviewers work well with a Daystar Quark H-alpha solar filter.  None of my fancy EPs have enough contrast for this application.

 

The longer FL Plossls (>15mm) have some distinct advantages over more complex designs without the major disadvantage of Plossls which is short ER.  I do not miss beating my eyelashes against a 9.7mm Meade Plossl that I used to own.  But the longer FL units are certainly useful.


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#14 telesonic

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 09:35 PM

For it's cost, a 32mm Plössl eyepiece is hard to beat. Cheap to try, and if you don't like it, easy enough to sell also.

 

I use some plössl eyepieces, since I still have quite a few in my kit, and yes, the others are correct.... the shorter the focal length eyepiece = the shorter the eye relief. This would definitely matter to observers who wear eyglasses when viewing. You can accomplish a longer eye relief by barlowing a longer f/l plossl, so that is something to think about as well.

 

 

Now here is something that some of us classic scope nuts know - there are plossls, and there are plossls. These "other" ones I speak of, aren't technically that, they are a 5 element eyepiece, of a different design. (often referred to as Pseudo Masuyama)

 

These are exceptional eyepieces, and only available on the used market nowadays. Some include: Parks Gold Series, Celestron Ultima's, Meade Series 4000 Super Plössls (depending on year / origin / style) and a few others that I don't remember. These are highly sought after ep's, and hold their value well. They are also really sharp. I have a 4 element (traditional) and a 5 element 32mm Meade, both from the same era in Japan, and the 5 element is much better by quite a bit. I also have an older smoothtop 20mm Meade 4000 that is also 5 element, and it is a fine eyepiece too, compared to another 20mm of the same vintage.

 

So yeah, they are good..... and some are even better than others, and more collectible.


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#15 DirtyRod

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 10:04 PM

I haven’t been into the hobby for long but my experience is in line with what’s been said. My Meade 4000 56 and 60 degree Meade Plossls are pretty sharp to my eyes and do pretty well for me. The 26 and 32 are usually the first ones I reach for. Below 20 however, the eye relief makes it difficult for me and my glasses so I’ve been replacing my 5-15 EPs with 82 degree EPs with more relief. I generally use my 40 to search for DSOs so I’ll probably replace that one at some point too. My 20, 26, and 32mm Plossls will probably stay around. 


Edited by DirtyRod, 25 July 2021 - 11:16 PM.

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#16 CrazyPanda

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 10:07 PM

Are plossl eyepieces still worth it? I have CPC 925 and I currently own Hyperion 10mm, Hyperion 17mm and Celestron plossl 40mm. I just ordered Hyperion 13mm and 21mm but I really like how sharp and crisp view is in plossl 40mm. I was looking on a OPT website and they have celestron 32mm and 15mm plossl. They are not that expensive I would pay about $100 for both eye pieces. I was just wondering if plossls are still worth it or should get a better eyepiece in a 30mm range. 

dnrmilspec is right. The sharp/crisp view you get from your 40mm Plossl comes down to the relatively low magnification it provides. The view being presented to your eye in a low power eyepiece minimizes everything from optical aberrations in the telescope, to distortions from thermals or atmospheric conditions. Lower power almost always looks better than higher power.


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#17 jeffmac

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 10:08 PM

I possess an embarrassing array of fine eyepieces with names like Ethos and Nagler and Delos.
 
Despite this, I also have some Plossls which are indispensable.  There is the 56mm Meade Plossl which magically turns my short FL refractors into their own finder scopes.  It also gives the widest possible exit pupil in my dob and SCT, very handy when using nebula filters.
 
Then there is a pair of 32mm and 20mm TV Plossls which make my binoviewers work well with a Daystar Quark H-alpha solar filter.  None of my fancy EPs have enough contrast for this application.
 
The longer FL Plossls (>15mm) have some distinct advantages over more complex designs without the major disadvantage of Plossls which is short ER.  I do not miss beating my eyelashes against a 9.7mm Meade Plossl that I used to own.  But the longer FL units are certainly useful.


I had a TV 20mm Plossl once. It had one of the best fields, edge to edge, in my SCT that I've ever seen.
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#18 ram812

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 11:32 PM

I might add to my above post, I tried all these with my AT6RC and they perform just about like you might expect with longer FL OTA's...very forgiving until you get below 10mm. But then there are, as stated above, barlow lens' to put into the mix, especially for planetary. Tight as heck views, but what the hay...we're having fun, too,-right😁?

CS! Ralph

#19 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 11:37 PM

Other than the limited AFOV, which you are apparently fine with, and limited eye relief in the shorter focal lengths there is certainly no reason not to choose Plössls.

 

The 5-lens-element pseudo-Masuyamas that telesonic mentioned are/were fine eyepieces.  I still use my 30mm Celestron Ultima fairly often with some of my telescopes.


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#20 telesonic

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 11:59 PM

I had a TV 20mm Plossl once. It had one of the best fields, edge to edge, in my SCT that I've ever seen.

 

 

I hear that, sometimes you find one that is sweeter than others. I've got a one-off plossl like that in my kit that I'll probably never sell, (aside from my 5 element ones) and it's one that is rarely seen. The views through it are very impressive, and it always amazes me when I get that one out.

 

As said, they are cheap to compare. I had a newer - purchased in 2016 Meade 32mm (white lettering) that was no better than the older 32mm 4000. Newer multi-coatings are better, I suppose, but newer does not always mean better in the ocular game. Plössl's were top of the line at one time, and are still being sold today, so that says something too.



#21 Rutilus

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 02:36 AM

Very worth it for me, as I like to use bino-viewers.

The Plossl's are very easy to modify, allowing me to use the bino-viewer on

all my refracting telescopes without having to cut down the tube length 

or using a Barlow/OCA . 

 

p.s. Also work very well with my binoculars that have removable focal reducers built into 

the eyepiece holder tube. 

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  • Plossl-bino-cn.jpg

Edited by Rutilus, 26 July 2021 - 07:24 AM.

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#22 Bkoh

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 07:54 AM

Very worth it for me, as I like to use bino-viewers.

The Plossl's are very easy to modify, allowing me to use the bino-viewer on

all my refracting telescopes without having to cut down the tube length 

or using a Barlow/OCA . 

 

p.s. Also work very well with my binoculars that have removable focal reducers built into 

the eyepiece holder tube. 

That is a really interesting picture. It appears to be a custom-made 90 degree binocular built from two 90 degree diagonals and binocular-size objectives attached in place of the usual OTA. Am I correct? How do you focus - I would have expected helical focusers in the eyepiece holders but don't see any?


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#23 jeffmac

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 09:52 AM

Since each eye has a different focal point, I suspect pulling the eyepiece out until reaching focus and then tightening the set screw.


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#24 gene 4181

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 10:46 AM

  IF you like your Hyperions  , you could get a 2 inch visual back and 2 inch  diagonal / or 2 inch SCT diagonal  and add the 31 or 36 Baader  eyepieces in 2 inch . The Hyperions  work well in SCTs  and you can't beat that large eyelens and eye relief  ,JMO.



#25 vahe

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 12:52 PM

 

Then there is a pair of 32mm and 20mm TV Plossls which make my binoviewers work well with a Daystar Quark H-alpha solar filter.  None of my fancy EPs have enough contrast for this application.

 

 

I had a bino pair of TV 20mm Plossls, very fine for high power planetary observation with my long focus 8" Mak, then I also bought the older TV 21mm Plossl, after trying the 21mm I sold the more recent 20mm. The 21mm is simply amazing, I can't believe that TV decided to discontinue this little gem, it is better than the newer version in every category including eye comfort, the overall shape along with fit and finish is one of the best from TV.

.

Vahe

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