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John

Classic "volcano top" orthos in demand ?

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Recently (in the past couple of months) I've noticed that the price being asked for used orthoscopic eyepieces with the "volcano top" design, such as the Circle-T ones, has jumped up quite a bit. In the past I've seen these for sale fairly regularly for £25-£30 GBP apiece. Now the price seems to have jumped to £50 GBP plus.

They perform very well despite their slightly dated looks - perhaps they are starting to find their real value now, having been undervalued for a while ?

 

828870-1.jpg

Edited by John
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I'm not a member of Astromart (any more) so I can't see the asking prices.

These were sold on the Cloudynights classifieds very recently:

https://www.cloudynights.com/classifieds/item/101538-university-optics-4mm-ortho-like-new/

https://www.cloudynights.com/classifieds/item/101411-kokusai-kohki-orthoscopic-eyepieces-125mm-9mm-4mm/

The asking price (don't know if they actually got that) seems on the high side but maybe that is the trend ?

 

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I'll go take a crawl through Astromart. Just thought you might have beaten me to it.

"I'll be back!"

And I am: Only ones up for sale are all sold but 1, a 12.5mm out of a set of 7 in a nice, wooden trick-box (retaining-holes cut into it - image below). Price was $45.00 ea. U$. And one person looking for these. Looks like we're also on the way up over here. Glad I've already got the one's I needed. But I'll be keeping my thumb on the pulse anywho! I L*O*V*E orthoscopics.

On another note: The 'Planetary Eyepieces' usually sold (and much loved, too) by Orion-USA at $99.99 are now for sale under the Zhumell-brand for $42.95 - if you buy two or more + free shipping. Only 2 sizes in stock - others expected with a waiting-list. Here's Orion:

http://www.telescope.com/Accessories/Telescope-Eyepieces/Orion-Edge-On-Planetary-125-Eyepieces/pc/-1/c/3/sc/47/e/68.uts

And Zhumell, through Telescopes Plus:

https://www.telescopesplus.com/collections/telescope-eyepieces/products/zhumell-z-series-planetary-telescope-eyepieces

My order is out!

Dave ...

 

941983-1.jpg.e58c3a3e5d5145dd9826c480f8c48bcd.jpg

 

Edited by Dave In Vermont
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1 hour ago, John said:

I'm not a member of Astromart (any more) so I can't see the asking prices.

These were sold on the Cloudynights classifieds very recently:

https://www.cloudynights.com/classifieds/item/101538-university-optics-4mm-ortho-like-new/

https://www.cloudynights.com/classifieds/item/101411-kokusai-kohki-orthoscopic-eyepieces-125mm-9mm-4mm/

The asking price (don't know if they actually got that) seems on the high side but maybe that is the trend ?

 

The bottom three were me :icon_biggrin:  I also purchased another 9mm (for bino with the 120ED) and another 4mm (UO) and an 18mm UO, oh and of course the 12.5mm...

So far I havn't seen the optics vary (all VG) showing consistency that seems hard to find these days. That 4mm (225x) was really working last night in the 120ED for a brief period- wind and cloud shut the show down. They exhibit scatter levels a bit lower than my KK Fujis, but once this low its splitting hairs anyway. Well until you use a Vixen HR2.

I love volcano top eyepieces and respect Tani's work ethic and craftsmanship.

 

circl t.jpg

18mm UO.jpg

UO 4mm 010.JPG

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2 hours ago, John said:

Recently (in the past couple of months) I've noticed that the price being asked for used orthoscopic eyepieces with the "volcano top" design, such as the Circle-T ones, has jumped up quite a bit. In the past I've seen these for sale fairly regularly for £25-£30 GBP apiece. Now the price seems to have jumped to £50 GBP plus.

They perform very well despite their slightly dated looks - perhaps they are starting to find their real value now, having been undervalued for a while ?

 

828870-1.jpg

Is this set yours John? I need the 6mm and 7mm...

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I don't even own an eyepiece, so please go easy on me with your replies. 

When I did look through scopes I had 3 or 4 eyepieces that covered the entire magnification range. My high powered eyepieces was in the region of 5/6/7mm (cannot remember exactly). I would never have considered owning all three as, in my mind, they are so similar as to be duplicates. 

So I guess the question is... Why would you own all three? 

Ant

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Just now, Ant said:

I don't even own an eyepiece, so please go easy on me with your replies. 

When I did look through scopes I had 3 or 4 eyepieces that covered the entire magnification range. My high powered eyepieces was in the region of 5/6/7mm (cannot remember exactly). I would never have considered owning all three as, in my mind, they are so similar as to be duplicates. 

So I guess the question is... Why would you own all three? 

Ant

The seeing conditions one night might be able to support a 5mm but the next night Jupiter for example might look like mush in the 5mm but better in thr 6 or 7mm. It's about finding the compromise between mag/image scale and seeing :) 

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8 minutes ago, Ant said:

I don't even own an eyepiece, so please go easy on me with your replies. 

When I did look through scopes I had 3 or 4 eyepieces that covered the entire magnification range. My high powered eyepieces was in the region of 5/6/7mm (cannot remember exactly). I would never have considered owning all three as, in my mind, they are so similar as to be duplicates. 

So I guess the question is... Why would you own all three? 

Ant

Orthos would give sharper planetary views than many other choices,  & each 1mm focal length change with the EP (in my scope) is a change in magnification of nearly x25.  Even a jump of x25 can be the difference useful and too much.  Conditions here in the UK are challenging at the best of times so a range is really useful.  

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I do wonder at these price hikes. I have looked through VT orthos, and they are good, but the coatings on the ones I have seen seemed a lot inferior to the multi-coatings seen on newer designs. The last time I looked through a VT I must say the view through a similar SLV (15mm vs 18mm) showed a crisper image, with better control of glare (on Jupiter and the moon). A colleague who can observe without glasses had a similar experience comparing his OR-5 to my SLV 5. Coatings have come a very long way indeed, and that means keeping the number of groups down isn't nearly as important as it used to be. A more modern ortho with modern multi-coatings should outperform the old VTs

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50 minutes ago, Ant said:

So I guess the question is... Why would you own all three? 

It's all about seeing conditions. With planetary observing you want the highest practical magnification.  You arrive at that magnification in steps. I only have a few eyepieces at low magnifications, but for planets I have 13,12,10,9,8,7,6 giving x181, x196, x235, x261, x294, x336, x392 in my C9.25.

It would be a very rare night I could use x392 on planets (and Jupiter is limited to x235 anyway due to lower its contrast) but it is useful for splitting close doubles.

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I have a 9mm and 7mm VT. I find them useful for Mars where the field of view doesn't matter. I do wish I had a 10mm though...

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5 hours ago, jetstream said:

Is this set yours John? I need the 6mm and 7mm...

Not mine I'm afraid Gerry.

I only currently own 1 ortho - an unbranded version of the Fujiyama HD 4mm. Optically it is very good but the field stop is rather unevenly defined. I pop it in occasionally to act as a benchmark for the other eyepieces of around that focal length that I own (Nagler 2-4 zoom, 3.5mm XW and 3.7mm Ethos SX).

I don't want to see over-inflated used prices for equipment but I always felt that the Circle-T orthos were worth more than the £25-£30 that you sometimes see them going for. Plus, there is something about that shape that is sort of iconic ......... :icon_biggrin:

 

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1 hour ago, Ant said:

I don't even own an eyepiece, so please go easy on me with your replies. 

When I did look through scopes I had 3 or 4 eyepieces that covered the entire magnification range. My high powered eyepieces was in the region of 5/6/7mm (cannot remember exactly). I would never have considered owning all three as, in my mind, they are so similar as to be duplicates. 

So I guess the question is... Why would you own all three? 

Ant

As others have said, close-spacing at the shorter end helps tuning magnification to seeing conditions. For planets I regularly use the 14mm Delos, 12mm Nagler (not much), XW10, Delos 8mm, XW7, and XW5. I am thinking of getting the Delos 6 and Delite 9 to fill the "gaps", using parfocalizer rings to make them parfocal with the XWs (the Delos 8mm already has that). 

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1 hour ago, Mr Spock said:

I have a 9mm and 7mm VT. I find them useful for Mars where the field of view doesn't matter. I do wish I had a 10mm though...

I'd think 10mm BCO is the choice. similar volcano top for very good useful ER, I could see most of the FOV with even my glasses on. scatter control is among the very best of my EPs.

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From Brandon's website:

"1.25 inch

Brandon eyepieces are noted for their exceptional contrast and extremely dark background, two reasons why Questar Corporation has been including them with their telescopes since 1971.  All Brandon eyepieces are parfocal.

In a test of many eyepieces, noted deep-sky observer, Ron Morales, rated Brandon eyepieces #1 for contrast, which is the single most important characteristic for any eyepiece.

Some question why we do not multi-coat our Brandon lenses.  In the past, several sets of Brandons were made with 7-layer multi-coatings with no improvement.  In fact, not using multi-coating eliminates or greatly reduces the phenomenon known as narrow angle light scatter.  Multi-coatings have more narrow angle light scatter than standard eyepiece coatings.  This effect readily can be seen when viewing bright objects like Venus, Mars, or Jupiter, where this scatter greatly interferes with low-contrast detail.

Using Brandon eyepieces, you also will notice a significant difference in the background darkness immediately surrounding a bright object, especially important for planetary or double-star observing.  In addition, lunar detail such as the bands of Aristarchus are much better defined.

All Brandon eyepieces are assembled and tested in Raleigh, NC, to assure consistent high quality.

Leave the world of ordinary eyepieces behind and step up to Brandons!"

http://vernonscope.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=33_64

 

 

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I think that some eyepieces because of their design are much more flexible as far as coating type and number goes- these being the true asymmetric plossl (Brandon), Abbe orthos and the various Monocentric designs, including TMB Supermono based on Hastings work. The type of glass used for each element appears to be very important as well as the polish and care in assembly.

One thing that may appear to improve sharpness is the use of longer f ratio scopes or using a barlow to make the cone more eyepiece friendly.

I'm thinking that maybe some should revisit these volcano top's with their new and improved scopes under the best seeing they can find and report back. I see a difference in "tone" between the Tak (Fuji) and the BCO/Tani's but they all offer similar sharpness (my 5mm Fuji is a step down a bit) to eachother.

These volcano top Tani's are sharper on axis than my Delos/Ethos/Nagler zoom/ Nagler 16T5,TV plossls...

 

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6 hours ago, Ant said:

I don't even own an eyepiece, so please go easy on me with your replies. 

When I did look through scopes I had 3 or 4 eyepieces that covered the entire magnification range. My high powered eyepieces was in the region of 5/6/7mm (cannot remember exactly). I would never have considered owning all three as, in my mind, they are so similar as to be duplicates. 

So I guess the question is... Why would you own all three? 

Ant

I have a Speers-Waler 5-8mm zoom, and I can assure you that the difference in the view between 8mm and 5mm is quite dramatic.  Most nights, I have to back off the power to somewhere between 6mm and 7mm to get the best view.

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Thanks guys, once you spell it out with the different magnifications between the 5,6 and 7 I can get why you'd need then all. 

My defence... I have a camera :)

Ant

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Tonight, if the excellent sky holds I will compare the Volcano Tops to my best eyepieces including the extremely low scatter Zeiss 25.1-6.7 zoom. I actually don't need orthos because of this eyepiece but I have a weakness for them.

All of us ortho people should email Vixen and plead our case for more HR2 FL's... they reply quickly.

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12 minutes ago, jetstream said:

...All of us ortho people should email Vixen and plead our case for more HR2 FL's... they reply quickly.

Indeed we should - sounds like they could be a more affordable and available alternative to the ZAO's if the range was extended :icon_biggrin:

Edited by John
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A few years ago Orthos almost disappeared from the market altogether. Baader stopped their Genuine line and Circle T (whoever he was) apparently went into retirement. Since then they've made a well-deserved recovery.  Baader have now reintroduced the Chinese-made Classics and Fujiyama seem to be supplying a niche demand - basically because these are great EPs without breaking the bank. Baader Classics are now nearly 50 pounds each and Fujiyamas about 80-90 pounds each - and Circle Ts will give both a very close run, some might say better! So while increasing prices may be caused in part by fashion, I feel they're well within bounds and still well worth it :icon_biggrin:.

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One of these (18mm) came along with my newly acquired dob. The field stop is loose, I can see an unblackened band on the inside of the barrel, presumably this is where it should be? How should it be fixed in place?

 

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On 27/03/2017 at 16:07, Louis D said:

I have a Speers-Waler 5-8mm zoom, and I can assure you that the difference in the view between 8mm and 5mm is quite dramatic.  Most nights, I have to back off the power to somewhere between 6mm and 7mm to get the best view.

Sadly out of production... ?

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These Ortho's are like Astro Gold!.. I'd love to own them

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