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Pig

More comparisons TOE 4mm - HR 2.4mm - NZ 3-6mm

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Some decent skies last night and a list of targets to compare. I spent around 2 hours swapping between the 3 eyepieces

My first target was the Lunar surface with the NZ set at 3mm. After checking out various lunar features it was very apparent that  all 3 eyepieces were not going to struggle with this first challenge and apart from the differing magnifications delivered I could not say any of the 3 were better or worse than the other.... Okay .... Time for the fully dressed Baader VIP, which I believe is about 2.3 x, to make an entrance😀 Once  again all 3 eyepieces we’re giving great views and took this crazily high magnification in their stride... so which eyepiece bested the others ? The answer is none of them !!! .... if anything the scope has to be given the merit because it was able to cope with the demands of these eyepieces and deliver excellent views at crazy magnifications 🔭 The HR and TOE also delivered brighter views than the NZ at their given focal lengths

Now Jupiiter... Quite an obvious winner here... the HR 2.4 was too much power as the detail on the planets surface was a bit soft and the four moons were slightly puffed up... The TV zoom gave excellent views with clear separation of around three bands and some other detail (I used the whole range of the zoom) The TOE was the best and gave some moments of wonderful detail between four bands, even bringing out some noticible orangey colour as the seeing drifted in and out. I think the TOE 4 mm is the perfect eyepiece for Jupiter in my TAK delivering 180x 😀

Next I chose a variety of coloured doubles which included, tight separations, vibrant colours, distant separations. The area of the sky was Cassiopeia and the targets are listed below :-

Sigma Cass, HR 904 Cass, Shedar Alpha Cass, Achird Aetna Cass, Iota Cass, WZ Cass 

Summary - The HR bested Iota as this triple is quite tight and the third star can be quite dim, but not a problem for this eyepiece. The other two eyepieces were once again admirable but the 2.4 HR bested it because it could go to that higher mag place and keep it there.

The TOE did much better than the other two on the colours and this was demonstrated perfectly by the lovely red of Archird and the detail with Jupiter.

The NZ did hold its own and it’s strongest attributes are is its versatility of range and comfortable to use, but my experience during this comparison it does drop a little behind the other two. Fantastic eyepiece all the same.

So this leaves the other two and I am going to give it to the TOE as it gave the best views of Jupiter and pulled out the colours of the doubles better (it was just like having a Pentax XW in the diagonal again) The TOE  also has a favourable FOV over the HR. I would like to try a higher powered TOE to see how it competes with the HR 2.4mm with regard to observing tight separations.

All in all a great night ... 🔭

The Eyepieces.

image.jpg

The Scope.

image.jpg

Edited by Pig
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Very useful review and comparison Shaun. Bet that was fun! Three great eyepieces to enjoy.

Like you, I think the NZ is a cracking and very versatile eyepiece but it does just drop off dedicated orthos when pushed. Still gives excellent performance on Jupiter and a range of high power targets though.

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A nice report Shaun.  I've used the Nagler Zoom but not the other two.  I'll try and persuade Mike to buy the others  so we can try them out on his 100DC  :laugh2:.

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4 hours ago, Stu said:

Very useful review and comparison Shaun. Bet that was fun! Three great eyepieces to enjoy.

Like you, I think the NZ is a cracking and very versatile eyepiece but it does just drop off dedicated orthos when pushed. Still gives excellent performance on Jupiter and a range of high power targets though.

Thank you Stu 😀 it was indeed a very fruitful night.... and quite hard work if I am honest. Which is something I forgot to mention. Looking through these eyepieces for long periods can be a challenge on it own. The NZ is also the  most relaxing on the eye of the three 😀

Edited by Pig

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Excellent stuff Shaun :icon_biggrin:

I've been similarly impresed by the Nagler 2-4mm zoom which I use in my refractors far more than I ever thought I would. The specialised "top tier" fixed focal length eyepieces can just about produce a slightly better image of some targets but, and I think this is quite a important "but", the ability to instantly change the focal length of the zoom is extremely helpful, especially perhaps under the UK's variable skies. Sometimes a "top tier" fixed FL eyepiece can be bested in terms of the actual view obtained by a Nagler zoom simply because the fixed FL is just not quite the right one for the target and observing conditions that pertain at that time while the zoom can hit that particular nail right on the head :icon_biggrin:

I guess the ideal situation is to have both the Nagler zooms AND a set of fixed FL top tier eyepiece AND a set of wider angle, longer eye relief short focal length eyepieces for when we want a little more observing comfort. No wonder we can end up with several eyepiece cases and eyepiece investment that exceeds that of our scopes ! :rolleyes2:

 

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4 minutes ago, paulastro said:

A nice report Shaun.  I've used the Nagler Zoom but not the other two.  I'll try and persuade Mike to buy the others  so we can try them out on his 100DC  :laugh2:.

Thank you Paul ..... they are all great eyepieces to have and I would definitely try to talk Mike into getting them if it helps your case 😀 

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2 hours ago, John said:

Excellent stuff Shaun :icon_biggrin:

I've been similarly impresed by the Nagler 2-4mm zoom which I use in my refractors far more than I ever thought I would. The specialised "top tier" fixed focal length eyepieces can just about produce a slightly better image of some targets but, and I think this is quite a important "but", the ability to instantly change the focal length of the zoom is extremely helpful, especially perhaps under the UK's variable skies. Sometimes a "top tier" fixed FL eyepiece can be bested in terms of the actual view obtained by a Nagler zoom simply because the fixed FL is just not quite the right one for the target and observing conditions that pertain at that time while the zoom can hit that particular nail right on the head :icon_biggrin:

I guess the ideal situation is to have both the Nagler zooms AND a set of fixed FL top tier eyepiece AND a set of wider angle, longer eye relief short focal length eyepieces for when we want a little more observing comfort. No wonder we can end up with several eyepiece cases and eyepiece investment that exceeds that of our scopes ! :rolleyes2:

 

I couldn’t agree more John..... I did almost buy the 2-4 as apposed to the 3 -6 but it didn’t quite work out in the end.... As I replied to Stu the NZ’s are also more relaxing to use in terms of comfort over time 😀 if this makes sense ! !

Edited by Pig
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3 minutes ago, Pig said:

I couldn’t agree more John..... I did almost buy the 2-4 as apposed to the 3 -6 but it didn’t quite work out in the end.... As I replied to Stu the NZ’s are also more relaxing to use in terms of comfort over  time 😀 if this makes sense ! !

Having tried a lot of eyepieces over the years (as you know !) I've now come to the conclusion that, for me, I'd rather have a little comfort than the ultimate of ultimates in terms of outright optical performance.

I'm only a "sky tourist" after all ! :icon_biggrin:

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Glad that you had a nice session out! 

How about light scattering, CA, and contrast when observing the Moon?

I feel it is quite tricky to compare the details on the same target as the magnification difference ranges from 180x to more than 300x. The VIP in its native form at 2x will shorten this range difference, but I've found that it consistently improves the view making the native eyepiece a bit sharper. 

I completely agree about the versatility of a zoom. My ZZ+VIP is my most used eyepiece at medium and high power. Not being a double star observer nor an ortho fan, for me the HR is used for lunar, for opening up the cells on the solar surface, and of course with my TV60. Thankfully, floaters are still minimal!

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Interesting report Shaun. Some great eyepiece's there to compare. When you start getting top eyepiece's together to compare the difference's can be very minor and need to  study for some time. The trouble is also with slight magnification differences between two of them, this can effect conclusions. But the ever changing conditions. Unless you have observed then people cannot grasp every few moments the conditions can vary and give very different results. I had the Pentax XW in the scopes/frac /newt over the last evening on Jupiter. And the detail changes can vary from moment to moment, and produce very different images. From a sharp crisp band and colour detail ,to a soft image , all due to slight atmosphere conditions. 

Look forward to more comparisons, shame you have not got a ZAO or Tmb to put up against these also ☺

 I love the high quality smaller eyepiece's with the likes of  BGO and Meade RG in the case. But they do get tiring on the eye's if used over a period of time. So the old Pentax XW really do come in handy for high performance optical sharpness, but fov so usable and so comfortable on eye relief ,for longer sessions.

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Piero said:

Glad that you had a nice session out! 

How about light scattering, CA, and contrast when observing the Moon?

I feel it is quite tricky to compare the details on the same target as the magnification difference ranges from 180x to more than 300x. The VIP in its native form at 2x will shorten this range difference, but I've found that it consistently improves the view making the native eyepiece a bit sharper. 

I completely agree about the versatility of a zoom. My ZZ+VIP is my most used eyepiece at medium and high power. Not being a double star observer nor an ortho fan, for me the HR is used for lunar, for opening up the cells on the solar surface, and of course with my TV60. Thankfully, floaters are still minimal!

If it is not mentioned Piero it wasn’t apparent or completely unobtrusive to the views ..... I didn’t notice any CA on the Moon and Jupiter and none of the stars were exactly type A bright stars ... maybe a bit of scatter with the NZ at some crazy mags but nothing worth bothering about. Hope this helps 😀

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44 minutes ago, Timebandit said:

 

 

Interesting report Shaun. Some great eyepiece's there to compare. When you start getting top eyepiece's together to compare the difference's can be very minor and need to  study for some time. The trouble is also with slight magnification differences between two of them, this can effect conclusions. But the ever changing conditions. Unless you have observed then people cannot grasp every few moments the conditions can vary and give very different results. I had the Pentax XW in the scopes/frac /newt over the last evening on Jupiter. And the detail changes can vary from moment to moment, and produce very different images. From a sharp crisp band and colour detail ,to a soft image , all due to slight atmosphere conditions. 

Look forward to more comparisons, shame you have not got a ZAO or Tmb to put up against these also ☺

 I love the high quality smaller eyepiece's with the likes of  BGO and Meade RG in the case. But they do get tiring on the eye's if used over a period of time. So the old Pentax XW really do come in handy for high performance optical sharpness, but fov so usable and so comfortable on eye relief ,for longer sessions.

 

 

 

Thank you Simon..... all very true but at least all three got a fair crack in the same vicinity of the sky on a number of occasions 😀 if one keeps seeing the same attributes repeatedly on different targets I think it a goodish representation. And if your eyepiece is a dedicated focal length it best do what it says on the tin especially at these prices 😀 They are all very similar at the end of the day, it’s just on this occasion the TOE gave that little more in multiple situations.

Edited by Pig
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A 2.3 x Barlow and eyepieces focal lengths of 2.4mm - 3.0mm  & 4mm,  and a scope with a FL of 740mm  is some serious magnification 😀

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4 hours ago, Pig said:

Some decent skies last night and a list of targets to compare. I spent around 2 hours swapping between the 3 eyepieces

My first target was the Lunar surface with the NZ set at 3mm. After checking out various lunar features it was very apparent that  all 3 eyepieces were not going to struggle with this first challenge and apart from the differing magnifications delivered I could not say any of the 3 were better or worse than the other.... Okay .... Time for the fully dressed Baader VIP, which I believe is about 2.3 x, to make an entrance😀 Once  again all 3 eyepieces we’re giving great views and took this crazily high magnification in their stride... so which eyepiece bested the others ? The answer is none of them !!! .... if anything the scope has to be given the merit because it was able to cope with the demands of these eyepieces and deliver excellent views at crazy magnifications 🔭 The HR and TOE also delivered brighter views than the NZ at their given focal lengths

Now Jupiiter... Quite an obvious winner here... the HR 2.4 was too much power as the detail on the planets surface was a bit soft and the four moons were slightly puffed up... The TV zoom gave excellent views with clear separation of around three bands and some other detail (I used the whole range of the zoom) The TOE was the best and gave some moments of wonderful detail between four bands, even bringing out some noticible orangey colour as the seeing drifted in and out. I think the TOE 4 mm is the perfect eyepiece for Jupiter in my TAK delivering 180x 😀

Next I chose a variety of coloured doubles which included, tight separations, vibrant colours, distant separations. The area of the sky was Cassiopeia and the targets are listed below :-

Sigma Cass, HR 904 Cass, Shedar Alpha Cass, Achird Aetna Cass, Iota Cass, WZ Cass 

Summary - The HR bested Iota as this triple is quite tight and the third star can be quite dim, but not a problem for this eyepiece. The other two eyepieces were once again admirable but the 2.4 HR bested it because it could go to that higher mag place and keep it there.

The TOE did much better than the other two on the colours and this was demonstrated perfectly by the lovely red of Archird and the detail with Jupiter.

The NZ did hold its own and it’s strongest attribute is its versatility of range but in my experience during this test it does drop a little behind the other two. Fantastic eyepiece all the same.

So this leaves the other two and I am going to give it to the TOE as it gave the best views of Jupiter and pulled out the colours of the doubles better (it was just like having a Pentax XW in the diagonal again) The TOE  also has a favourable FOV over the HR. I would like to try a higher powered TOE to see how it competes with the HR 2.4mm with regard to observing tight separations.

All in all a great night ... 🔭

The Eyepieces.

image.jpg

The Scope.

image.jpg

Does anyone know why some Takahashi serial-number plates are golden, and some are silver?

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26 minutes ago, marcus_z said:

Does anyone know why some Takahashi serial-number plates are golden, and some are silver?

I don’t personally know but I noticed this morning in the ads section a DF like mine with the silver plate....  But it’s nice to have the gold one. If you find out please let me know.

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Gold :) 

Mine is 2nd run DL hence the cheaper looking bathroom greeny focuser.

IMG_20180131_190830.jpg

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4 hours ago, Pig said:

Thank you Simon..... all very true but at least all three got a fair crack in the same vicinity of the sky on a number of occasions 😀 if one keeps seeing the same attributes repeatedly on different targets I think it a goodish representation. And if your eyepiece is a dedicated focal length it best do what it says on the tin especially at these prices 😀 They are all very similar at the end of the day, it’s just on this occasion the TOE gave that little more in multiple situations.

 

Great. Good to have multiple tries. It really does confirm other variables( such as atmosphere) are not affecting any results. I am a bit over the top on comparison when I get into it. Multiple tries at night, and some daytime testing on distant trees and chimneys. Don't know what the neighbours may think if they see me testing 😀

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Timebandit said:

Great. Good to have multiple tries. It really does confirm other variables( such as atmosphere) are not affecting any results. I am a bit over the top on comparison when I get into it. Multiple tries at night, and some daytime testing on distant trees and chimneys. Don't know what the neighbours may think if they see me testing 😀

It’s a pity I am working tomorrow as I would pop over the local dark site tonight..... that would be a nice place to do comparisons 😀 There used to be an older lady that came by now and again when I was solar observing in the front garden, she really thought I was looking through peoples bedroom windows .... she used to wave her stick at me to in the early days and say “ I know what your doing young man “ 🙂 reminded me of a Dick Emery sketch....

Edited by Pig
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I spent some more time at the eyepieces last night to give the TOE 4mm and Nagler 3-6mm Zoom another compare. The conditions were much better last night than my previous comparison and the temperature was considerably colder ( 2 coats and a body warmer were needed). Jupiter was absolutely stunning with lots of detail to be seen .... many bands and other little features could be picked out..... to be honest it was quite difficult to say which eyepiece performed better because they both had better moments.

The NZ showed slightly better colour more consistently but the TOE showed finer detail / contrast and at times very vibrant colour seemed to suddenly jump out and then revert back again ! Maybe this is down to not being able to maintain as steadier head position whilst using the TOE, the NZ is a lot easier to maintain a stable position.  Both are very good eyepieces and it is great to be able have them in the astro kit 😀 I didn’t really bother with the Vixen HR for observing Jupiter. However, this little gem certainly exceled at double star splitting.

Edited by Pig
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Nice update Shaun.

I've often found that TV eyepieces are really good for viewing Jupiter. I think perhaps that target suits their coatings very well ?

Good to have a variety of really good high power glass in the eyepiece case :icon_biggrin:

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Thank you John..... I must agree about Televue even in the 12mm Nagler some great colour and detail could be seen albeit a tad small...... very crisp though 😀

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On 20/05/2018 at 15:20, 25585 said:

Gold :) 

Mine is 2nd run DL hence the cheaper looking bathroom greeny focuser.

IMG_20180131_190830.jpg

Mines Gold #9C080.

I’m loving my greeny focuser and clamp.....for some reason it reminds me of the hammerite paint I’ve used over the years for numerous DIY projects 😂

14B77587-B329-4720-BC88-D361863D0504.jpeg

Edited by jock1958

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I don’t think any of them look better or worse than each other 🔭 it’s just a pleasure to own one 😀

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7 hours ago, Pig said:

The conditions were much better last night than my previous comparison and the temperature was considerably colder ( 2 coats and a body warmer were needed).

That's mind boggling to a Texan.  Even at midnight, it's still 85 °F (29 °C) and 70% relative humidity.  Sweating onto my gear is a real issue for me in the summer.

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Don’t forget it is also the start of our summer here 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

Edited by Pig
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