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Louis D

New Christmas Eyepiece Reports

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Timebandit    1,346

 

 

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Well Santa did eventually turn up yesterday with my Christmas present😀

As you can see a cracking eyepiece and i have been trying to get hold of one of these on the used market for some considerable time. As most of us know who are partial to the XW trying to get hold of a used one is like getting hens teeth. So with Christmas coming up and a few mails to FLO and luckily the wheels of the sourcing of a 5XW were in order. As it has only recently arrived i have not had time or opportunity to give it a whirl in the refractor or reflector, but weather conditions allowing hopefully in the next few days this will change. These eyepieces IMO are "keepers"  so should give me many years of enjoyment, what else could you ask for from a present at Christmas ☺

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On 01/01/2017 at 06:23, Louis D said:

It's been a week since Christmas.  How about some reports on new eyepieces received as gifts (or bought for yourself)?

To get things started, I received a 17mm ES-92 and have had a couple of chances to use it in both a coma corrected dob and a flat field short tube refractor.  It's easy to use with eyeglasses, has a very wide field of view that can be seen all at once without straining, is as sharp at the edge as a Delos (which is to say as sharp as at the center), has no discernable field curvature, and seems to have nearly constant angular magnification across the field.  The weight and size do have to be managed, but it is well worth the effort.  I haven't tried it without coma correction or flat field correction or with a barlow yet, so no reports on those aspects yet.

I measured the AFOV to be 92 or 93 degrees as claimed using reverse projection with a flashlight shining into the field lens.  Usable eye relief was measured to be 17mm using the same technique, so just a millimeter less than my measured 18mm for the 10mm Delos.

Overall, I'm so stoked, I hope to get the 12mm and other focal lengths as they become available.

Sounds very, very tempting indeed. I think I just heard my 17T5 Nagler shake in the EP case, but it is safe for now, as I have just blown all the spare cash on the eclipse trip

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Louis D    982
18 hours ago, michael.h.f.wilkinson said:

Sounds very, very tempting indeed. I think I just heard my 17T5 Nagler shake in the EP case, but it is safe for now, as I have just blown all the spare cash on the eclipse trip

17T4?  If so, then yes, it's days are numbered.  It has no advantages over the 17mm ES-92 except size and weight.

So, are you heading to the States to the see the eclipse next year?  I plan on traveling north to see it.  I'm thinking Nebraska for its dry and clear weather in the summer and wide open prairies.

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1 minute ago, Louis D said:

17T4?  If so, then yes, it's days are numbered.  It has no advantages over the 17mm ES-92 except size and weight.

So, are you heading to the States to the see the eclipse next year?  I plan on traveling north to see it.  I'm thinking Nebraska for its dry and clear weather in the summer and wide open prairies.

The eclipse this year ;)

I will be visiting friends first in Indiana, and then yet more friends in Longmont, Colorado. That is about 2.5 hours drive from Orin, Wyoming which is as close to the centre line as it gets. I first thought I would go to Casper, Wyoming, but that is further away.  I will have to make a very early start on the 21st of August to avoid being caught in traffic, and have enough time to set everything up.

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furrysocks2    807

I got two EPs with Christmas funds, both from members on here.

The Skywatcher Startravel 102 I also bought had no EPs with it and was my first 2" focuser. I wanted to go wide so the first EP was a Skywatcher Aero 35mm for £65.

It shows about 50% more than the Vixen NPL 30mm, and I love the increased afov of the Aero - don't know enough to evaluate it any more than that but it's definitely found a home with me for a while. I've bought an old 2" focuser for my DIY dob, in anticipation. :)

Below my Vixen NPL 30mm, I have a non-descript 80 degree 11mm with shockingly low eye relief and have never achieved sharp focus with it. Below that is a TMB Planetary II 6mm, but that's pushing the newt to the limit.

I came across an Andromeda 19mm flat field for £15, worth a punt. What a little cracker!

Bear in mind I have nothing to compare it to nor a clue when it comes to evaluating EPs but with a UHC filter in the dob (f/7.6) last night, I spent at least ten solid minutes on M42.

Bear in mind also that my dob currently shows unfocussed stars as a half-share of a doughnut, maybe the larger half but it's well out. Four pinpricks of the trapezium visible and sharp, clean to the edges, and more nebular detail than I've ever seen myself. Similar cushy feeling afov and eyecup of the Aero. Love it!

So I now have three EPs I care about, one to which I'm indifferent and half a dozen that may never come out again.

These two new EPs have made me want to do more visual. :D

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Louis D    982

Okay, another Christmas has come and gone, so I'm bumping my thread from last year for this year.

I got a 12mm ES-92 to complement my 17mm ES-92 I got last year.  The view through the 12mm appears to be about the same as in the 17mm, just at a higher power.  Now I'll have to demote/retire/sell my 12mm Nagler T4 at some point after copious comparisons.

Did Santa leave anyone else a nice gift under the Christmas tree?

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Piero    3,188

Santa was too generous with me this year and now I feel a bit spoilt ..!  :icon_biggrin:

As the discussion is about eyepieces, the last two eyepieces I bought this year and one very recently were the 35mm Pan and the 10mm BCO. Both in the s/h market. The former was bought as a replacement for the 30mm ES 82, the latter because of curiosity really. The 35mm Pan has exceeded my expectations. Owning the 24 Pan for a few years, I knew what to expect optically speaking. Said this, the 35mm works very nice in terms of ergonomics against my other eyepieces. I'm also happy with its eye relief as it allows me to leave my spectacles on, which I generally do when aiming at targets. For the Tak-100, the LVW 42mm would be another interesting option, but they are hard to find nowadays. 

I only managed to try the 10mm BCO once since its arrival. It was a reasonably transparent moonless night, so I only enjoyed testing this eyepiece on DSOs against the Nikon MC Zoom, with and without Zeiss Barlow 2x. The BCO is certainly a nice eyepiece and a real bargain for £35 (in the s/h market). To be fair, this eyepiece is better than most eyepieces on DSOs, but lies behind the very top (which anyway can cost more than 4 times the cost of a new BCO). Personally, I expected the BCO to be in the same league with the Docter and Zeiss 20-75x zoom on DSO, but on all the tested targets, it was a tie between the BCO and the Nikon MC zoom. To my eye the Nikon MC zoom is a bit better (less scatter light) than the Vixen SLV on DSOs, whereas the level of sharpness is similar on planets. It's a lovely zoom and I reckon it should work successfully with binos, but to my eye, it is behind the Docter and Zeiss zoom. I'm looking forward to compare the Nikon zoom vs the BCO on Lunar. All the comparisons were done on-axis as I tend not to observe off-axis. The BCO is a bit soft off axis because the field was not cut off at 42-45 deg, but intentionally increased up to 52 deg to facilitate star-hopping. In any case, at least on my Tak f/7.4, the edge of the BCO was still usable.

Edited by Piero
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Louis D    982
14 minutes ago, Piero said:

it is behind the Docter and Zeiss zoom

Probably another case of exceptional polish at work.

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scarp15    2,327

My Christmas eyepiece is the DeLite 7mm, which has received its first light tonight. At the start of the year I purchased a 4mm DeLite and immediately sensed that it would not be the only focal length in this range I would become interested in. Eye placement is very comfortable and it feels more than its 62 degree field. It was used for planetary observing with my 3" frac and high power lunar observing with my 8" dob. It had a lasting impressive, as had my 10mm Delos when initially used a few years ago, sharp and crisp to the edge of field and amazing contrast. The 7mm I had read to be a good match for my recent TV85. On the moon, the lunar limb is completely encapsulated with no false colouring, detailing is crisp, sharp and vivid, contrast amazing, eye placement very comfortable, a quite magnificent eyepiece. 

Edited by scarp15
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25585    306

I have a 35mm Panoptic again, my original swapped for a Vixen LVW 22mm a couple months back. To compare with other 2 inch eps - 30 Vixen NVLW, 32 TSO Erfle, 30 GSO WA. 

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laowhoo    52

Another BCO here, but in 18mm, and the 8.8mm ES 82. Both fill the two remaining gaps in our train. Maybe best of all, I either got a new scope or a new (but long-suspected) wife who isn't what she seems. We've had the scope 5 years or so and chasing the collimation of it has gradually spiraled into worse and worse viewing, though I couldn't be sure. (Star tested it initially.) I decided to re-tune from scratch and she told me how to begin our primary placement (truss, so the primaries float laterally), and voila! That was Christmas day, and today we completed it. I love my wife, whoever she is. Also got the Orion SkyGlow and actually prefer it for lunar over the 13% moon filter. Saw some strange striations in a crater bottom that I'd never seen--like muscle tissue from an anatomy book--until these shadows began climbing the crater wall (@79x). Best Christmas ever.

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CrazyPanda    8

Two Christmas eyepieces have arrived, a couple others were delayed. 

First was an 8mm TeleVue Plossl to compare against my 8mm Ethos in my F/5 dob. I wanted to see a "minimal vs complex" glass comparison for myself. The Plossl is noticeably sharper, easier to focus, and more contrasty than the 8 Ethos. The core of M81 was more stellar-like, and I could see a greater extent of its arms in the Plossl than in the Ethos. The Eskimo Nebula was brighter and the central star popped out more in the Plossl than the Ethos. Details on the moon were also cleaner. Shadows almost had a slight edge glow in the Ethos (I checked the eye lens for fog, and that was not the issue), but were jet black and crisp in the Plossl. Seeing conditions were not great, but somehow the Plossl had a way of punching through the bad seeing that the Ethos didn't. I did my best to compare center of field in both. I need to do a more careful test in my LX90 since it has an F10 focal ratio and tracking. The LX90 also has better optics in general so it should do a better job of revealing any optical advantages of one over the other. But just from what I've seen with the Plossl, I'm simultaneously glad and bothered that I have both. I love the immersion of the Ethos, but I don't like that a hard-to-look-through Plossl seems to provide a cleaner, sharper view with snappier focus. I want both the immersion of the Ethos, and the contrast/sharpness/focus-snappiness of the Plossl. I'm wondering if an 8 Delos would be a good compromise?

The second was a 3mm DeLite. I bought this strictly for very high power viewing of small, high surface brightness planetary nebulae. In my 12" F/5 dob it produces 508x and a 0.6mm exit pupil. It exceed my expectations. Nice clean, evenly illuminated field, and excellent contrast/transmission. The Eskimo Nebula really popped. Obvious separation between the central star and the inner ring structure, with mottling visible in the outer nebula. With steadier seeing and better telescope optics, I have no doubt this eyepiece would have delivered ultra-sharp views of the nebula. Very happy with this purchase and looking forward to using it on other planetaries like the Cat's Eye Nebula and Blue Snowball Nebula. This is my second DeLite (my other is the 11mm) and I'm presently having a hard time convincing myself if the more expensive Delos and Ethos are worth it when DeLite presents such an easy, crisp, contrasty view for so much less money.

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25585    306

CrazyPanda, maybe the Delite equivalent/nearest fl is what you are thinking of for 8mm? Not the FOV of an Ethos, but Delos eye relief of 20mm.

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Moonshane    10,464

My Christmas present this year was a used 9mm Televue Delite to add to the 7mm and 11mm I have already. I find them superb in every department. I sold my Ethos and Delos as I found they showed lateral colour (only) on the lunar surface. I also prefer the slightly narrower albeit still perfectly adequate field. That said I tend to observe the moon with binoviewers and plossls these days.

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John    18,696

Interesting reports here.

I wonder if the days of the 100 degree eyepiece are numbered :icon_scratch:

I find that I'm not using my Ethos and Nagler 31 eyepiece set as much as my 1.25" set (Panoptic, Delos + XW's) mainly due to the convenience of the 1.25" format rather than anything amiss with the Ethosss and big Nagler performance :icon_scratch:

Maybe I'm "growing up" at last :grin:

 

 

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CrazyPanda    8
2 hours ago, 25585 said:

CrazyPanda, maybe the Delite equivalent/nearest fl is what you are thinking of for 8mm? Not the FOV of an Ethos, but Delos eye relief of 20mm.

Yes, I've thought about just going DeLite for higher magnification viewing. I have a 21 Ethos, 17 ES92, and plan on a 13 Ethos (or maybe 12 ES92 since the 17 is just so good) and stop there for my general purpose DSO kit, and then transition to DeLite for higher power critical viewing where the contrast, transmission counts. DeLite seems to be the most "ortho-like" option with a reasonable FOV and eye relief at higher power.

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Timebandit    1,346
6 hours ago, CrazyPanda said:

Two Christmas eyepieces have arrived, a couple others were delayed. 

First was an 8mm TeleVue Plossl to compare against my 8mm Ethos in my F/5 dob. I wanted to see a "minimal vs complex" glass comparison for myself. The Plossl is noticeably sharper, easier to focus, and more contrasty than the 8 Ethos. The core of M81 was more stellar-like, and I could see a greater extent of its arms in the Plossl than in the Ethos. The Eskimo Nebula was brighter and the central star popped out more in the Plossl than the Ethos. Details on the moon were also cleaner. Shadows almost had a slight edge glow in the Ethos (I checked the eye lens for fog, and that was not the issue), but were jet black and crisp in the Plossl. Seeing conditions were not great, but somehow the Plossl had a way of punching through the bad seeing that the Ethos didn't. I did my best to compare center of field in both. I need to do a more careful test in my LX90 since it has an F10 focal ratio and tracking. The LX90 also has better optics in general so it should do a better job of revealing any optical advantages of one over the other. But just from what I've seen with the Plossl, I'm simultaneously glad and bothered that I have both. I love the immersion of the Ethos, but I don't like that a hard-to-look-through Plossl seems to provide a cleaner, sharper view with snappier focus. I want both the immersion of the Ethos, and the contrast/sharpness/focus-snappiness of the Plossl.      

 

 

 

Wooow that quite a hammering the Ethos seems to have had. I don't think Mr Nagler will be highlighting such a difference between the humble  TV plossl and the mighty Ethos.

It just shows from your view point that a quality plossl can optically seem superior to a very expensive Ethos. Newbies take note those extra £££ are seemingly going on getting a wide field view and eye relief, and note necessarily optics sharpness. The humble TV plossl can out gun for optical sharpness a much more expensive wide view eyepiece.

You have put me off my desire for an Ethos, and re enforces my choice of the likes of Pentax XW and my quality Ortho set.👍

 

 

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John    18,696
58 minutes ago, Timebandit said:

 

 

 

Wooow that quite a hammering the Ethos seems to have had. I don't think Mr Nagler will be highlighting such a difference between the humble  TV plossl and the mighty Ethos.

It just shows from your view point that a quality plossl can optically seem superior to a very expensive Ethos. Newbies take note those extra £££ are seemingly going on getting a wide field view and eye relief, and note necessarily optics sharpness. The humble TV plossl can out gun for optical sharpness a much more expensive wide view eyepiece.

You have put me off my desire for an Ethos, and re enforces my choice of the likes of Pentax XW and my quality Ortho set.👍

 

 

My Ethos are all going on the market now - my eye must have been deceiving me all these years :rolleyes2:

 

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CrazyPanda    8
1 hour ago, Timebandit said:

 

 

 

Wooow that quite a hammering the Ethos seems to have had. I don't think Mr Nagler will be highlighting such a difference between the humble  TV plossl and the mighty Ethos.

It just shows from your view point that a quality plossl can optically seem superior to a very expensive Ethos. Newbies take note those extra £££ are seemingly going on getting a wide field view and eye relief, and note necessarily optics sharpness. The humble TV plossl can out gun for optical sharpness a much more expensive wide view eyepiece.

You have put me off my desire for an Ethos, and re enforces my choice of the likes of Pentax XW and my quality Ortho set.👍

 

 

Well, my 21 Ethos is the most engaging eyepiece I own - but its purpose is to be a lower power, "vista" eyepiece, and for that it excels. Same goes for my 17mm ES92.

I wouldn't trade either of those for any other class of eyepiece, and do plan on getting a 13 Ethos as well.

If I were to put numbers on it, my 8 Ethos is probably 95% as good as my 8 Plossl for contrast and transmission against DSOs, 90% for sharpness/focus snapiness, and maybe 90% for scatter control (which will affect lunar contrast and perceived sharpness of stars). I have yet to test them out on planets. Obviously if I had to choose between the two, I would pick the Ethos just for viewing ergonomics alone (6mm of eye relief and 50 degree AFOV untracked is not a fun time). BUT, there is a certain crispness to the 8 Plossl that would make the 8 Ethos have to share some focuser time with it against specific targets, and it makes me wonder if there's a good compromise between a Plossl an the Ethos at that focal length. 

I have some Fujiyama orthos on the way since I've never owned/looked through an ortho, so I'll be doing another test with those as well. 

Edited by CrazyPanda

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Timebandit    1,346
29 minutes ago, John said:

My Ethos are all going on the market now - my eye must have been deceiving me all these years :rolleyes2:

 

 

 

  Maybe time to go for a set of Televue Plossl by the sounds of things me thinks😀

     

 

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John    18,696
Just now, Timebandit said:

 

 

  Maybe time to go for a set of Televue Plossl by the sounds of things me thinks😀

     

 

Been there, done that, about 3 times !

I really like the TV plossls but my scopes are mostly used on undriven and alt-azimuth mounts so some additional AFoV is very welcome :icon_biggrin:

In one sense you can say that it's remarkable that the TV plossl can rival an Ethos for sharpness and light throughput (not quite for light scatter or image tone though, IMHO) but another way of looking at it is that it is remarkable that the Ethos can deliver similar qualities across a 100 degree AFoV, deliver quite a bit more eye relief in the shorter focal lengths, and still meet Tele Vue's critera of being sharp right across the field even in fast scopes.

Of course you pay handsomely for this but it's not an easy (or cheap) thing to achieve.

If you can do without the AFoV there are lots of £'s to be saved though, no doubt about it :smiley:

 

 

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alanjgreen    1,208
20 hours ago, scarp15 said:

My Christmas eyepiece is the DeLite 7mm, which has received its first light tonight. At the start of the year I purchased a 4mm DeLite and immediately sensed that it would not be the only focal length in this range I would become interested in. Eye placement is very comfortable and it feels more than its 62 degree field. It was used for planetary observing with my 3" frac and high power lunar observing with my 8" dob. It had a lasting impressive, as had my 10mm Delos when initially used a few years ago, sharp and crisp to the edge of field and amazing contrast. The 7mm I had read to be a good match for my recent TV85. On the moon, the lunar limb is completely encapsulated with no false colouring, detailing is crisp, sharp and vivid, contrast amazing, eye placement very comfortable, a quite magnificent eyepiece. 

The 7mm delite was excellent in my Borg89. A lovely EP to use.

Edited by alanjgreen
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alanjgreen    1,208
37 minutes ago, John said:

Been there, done that, about 3 times !

I really like the TV plossls but my scopes are mostly used on undriven and alt-azimuth mounts so some additional AFoV is very welcome :icon_biggrin:

In one sense you can say that it's remarkable that the TV plossl can rival an Ethos for sharpness and light throughput (not quite for light scatter or image tone though, IMHO) but another way of looking at it is that it is remarkable that the Ethos can deliver similar qualities across a 100 degree AFoV, deliver quite a bit more eye relief in the shorter focal lengths, and still meet Tele Vue's critera of being sharp right across the field even in fast scopes.

Of course you pay handsomely for this but it's not an easy (or cheap) thing to achieve.

If you can do without the AFoV there are lots of £'s to be saved though, no doubt about it :smiley:

 

 

It shows that TeleVue don’t make any crap eyepieces. Just because some ranges are cheaper they are still great EPs!

we all want and see what we perceive when we use these EPs. Our eyes are not all the same. It’s a personal experience :) 

What matters is that you re happy with your EP and sit at the eyepiece in comfort and enjoying the view. 

I enjoy reading about anybody “using” their EPs. That’s why we buy them!

I do agree with @CrazyPanda about the ethos focus not being snappy but you get used to the way they work.

i agree with @John that I won’t be selling mine anytime soon. Aside from the focus issue they are superb and I have not used my binos/delos combo in the big dob at all since the ethos went in the focuser. I think the 8mm is the best one! Hope to try out my new second hand 6mm on Ursa Major in a dawn raid tomorrow.

i would say that I sold my delite after using it in the dob, there is no way back from 100 degree in a big fast manual dob. The ethos are made for the paracorr2. And the delite was a mighty fine EP! But to spend all my time nudging and no time observing would have been criminal :) 

Alan

Edited by alanjgreen
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Piero    3,188
16 minutes ago, John said:

If you can do without the AFoV there are lots of £'s to be saved though, no doubt about it :smiley:

In my case, UWA eyepieces have not (so far) trilled me. After reading so many comments about this topic and looking through Naglers and Lunt 100 myself, I wonder if this feeling of immersion is also somehow linked to the eye relief and face shape. I have to say that I find a 35 Panoptic more immersive than the 30mm ES 82 I had. This is surely a nonsense for most users, I believe. Same goes for the Docter as this seems to me more immersive than the Lunt 100. Possibly, a certain facial shape is needed for these 82 and 100 AFOV eyepieces in order to adjust and rotate the eye without effort. I don't know. However what I do know is that I find eye-tilting more distracting than enjoyable. 

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