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Show us your Orthos


Timebandit
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With all the new different varieties of eyepieces now on the market over the last year's then the Ortho does seem to of taken a back of the que status. The Ortho was once a staple of the amateur astronomer but things have changed and seemingly improved.  With the wide angle, extra wide angle ranges and the 100d like of ethos, then the narrow field of the Orthos seems to have left it at a disadvantage over the lovely wide viewing eyepieces. And then there is all the long eyerelief eyepieces that have also made appearance and put the poor Ortho under pressure. The likes of the Pentax XW and the delos with the 20mm eyerelief which means they are very comfortable to use especially at the higher magnification lengths.  And even the likes of narrower fov eyepieces like the Vixen NLV with a 45d fov and the SLV with 50d fov can now have around 20mm of eyerelief. So the poor Ortho really has had a hard time and therefore is there still a place for the Ortho.

The more I have used the Ortho over the years, the more I appreciate what a excellent eyepiece it really is. And this is especially true with my refractor viewing of planetary and lunar.  The Ortho is small and compact. Very nice to hold in the fingers/ hand, and slot into the diagonal with ease, not like some of the bigger eyepieces. As the Ortho is light it also does not upset the balance of the scope to which these bigger wide angle, long eyerelief eyepieces can be very heavy. You also have a more intimate viewing experience IMO with the Ortho due to its narrow fov on planetary target and the short eyerelief seems to pull you into the target more without distractions. The viewing experience of the optics of the Orthos can be excellent . A lot of the wide angle , superb wide angle eyepieces and those with all the long eyerelief with many multiple layers of Optics to produce these benefits, can thus take away from the purity of the optics than can be produced by your simple but quality glass that an Ortho, even with Orthos in the modest price range ones. When a decent quality Ortho can produce better quality of views than eyepieces costing sometimes ten times as much , then this has to be appreciated and taken on board that the Ortho still has its place in this high tech modern age of eyepieces. Then there is the ultimate visual sharp quality optical ability of the likes of ZAO , TMB supermono. These eyepieces are the ultimate visual experience, your ethos, explore scientific ect may have the wide angle views and comfortable eyerelief, but for that intimate Tak sharp viewing experience then the ZAO , TMB supermono are at the top of there game.

So in my opinion there is still a place for the Ortho in this modern high tech age of eyepieces, so this post is here for members who still appreciate the Ortho ,and have them to let others share in the quality and excellent performance of the humble but effective Ortho 

 

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My Baader Genuine Ortho collection (yes there is the 12.5 missing , any help securing one of these would be appreciated)

 

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 The Fujiyama which are a great alternative to the BGO

 

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The increasingly rare Meade research grade Ortho 

 

That's my humble but effective Ortho range. So I am looking forward to seeing other members collections☺ 

 

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1 hour ago, Moonshane said:

Great post. I have use the widest eyepieces and yet my most recent purchases have been orthos and plossls which have always had a place in my heart for the reasons stated. That said do Baader Classic Orthos count?

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Nice collection on the build there Shane. The Baader Classic Ortho was the replacement for the late Baader Genuine Ortho. And from what I have read a very good Ortho. I think our own John did a review for FLO if I remember correctly, and they came out very positively. And at the price they are at the moment seem excellent value for money for a quality Ortho. Great to see we still have members of the Ortho club☺ 

 

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This is my little 1.25" case, and the one  I use most for night time observing, works beautifully with the Tak on  the Giro-WR in terms of balance. I often Barlow the 12.5m or the 9mm for a higher power with better eye relief. The Zeiss Abbé Barlow is very compact so doesn't upset things at all.

EDIT The Nikon eyepiece is middle of the top row, in a silver adaptor taking it to 1.25". 

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My own ortho collection is growing, with 2, 18mm Taks coming and an additional 12.5mm Tak for binoviewing. The Vixen HR 2.4mm is on its way as well but I'm not sure it qualifies as an ortho. I must say that the Taks eyecup was the deciding factor over the BCO 18mm or KK's. My bino powerswitch pushes the focus around quite a bit. Expensive eye cup...

 

 

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5 minutes ago, nightfisher said:

Tim...snap....we have the same and they are so good

Yes they are, aren't they! In some ways I like the orthos better than wide field EPs - especially on the moon. The views just have so much punch and clarity :) I remember back in the 70s having a book by Patrick Moore where he recommended orthoscopics for most jobs. Back then I just had the 0.96" Huygens eyepieces that came with my Dixons refractor and could only dream of the exotic orthoscopic - so I think quite apart from the outstanding performance,  there's a certain romance attached to them for me.

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38 minutes ago, nightfisher said:

Great topic, i used to own the full set of Circle T volcano tops but let them go as a set

only own 2 ortho`s now, the Antares HD 7mm and 9mm but these are superb

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20 minutes ago, timwetherell said:

I'm a big fan of the humble orthoscopic!

 

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Hi chaps. These really do have a striking resemblance to the Badder Genuine Orthoscopic also, even down to the little green box☺. I see they have the barrel undercuts which the BGO does not have. But I am beginning to wonder if they are out of the same factory in Japan when they where original made?

Maybe John or MikeDnight may be able to shine a bit a light on the subject if they come along later. But great eyepieces all ☺

Edited by Timebandit
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I think the Antares and UO HD orthos came from the same manufacturer but I don't think that was the one that made the Baader Genuine Orthos :icon_scratch:

I have a feeling that a number of manufacturers in Japan could make that pattern of eyepiece. Following the earthquake / tsunami of 2011 the production of Baader GO's ceased and for a short time it was thought that we would see no more of that type. Quite soon after though the Astro Hutech and Fujiyama branded ones appeared and then UO introduced a new HD line. Either the tools and expertise was quickly transferred from the factory that was hit by the natural disaster or the other manufacturing locations just started producing the pattern with some small variations.

 

Edited by John
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Hello everybody,

My orthos eyepieces are all with the 24.5mm barrel.

I have a set of Vixen orthos, I am not sure if they are true ortho though or of the Plossl design. I have recently completed the collection with a circle V Or4mm. Besides, I have also an Or5 from Tani, and 3 eyepieces under the brand Perl Royal, the 6mm, 9mm, and 12.5mm which are also fine eyepieces. One focal I am missing, is the Or25mm in 0.965", but it is not common, and hence not easy to find.

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Edited by Gilles
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I think Perl was a brand name that Vixen products used in parts of Europe at one time.

I've owned and dissembled some of the Vixen orthos like your top photo. The optical design was like a plossl or symmetrical, ie: a 2 + 2 design rather than the 3 + 1 abbe ortho design. They worked quite nicely though :smiley:

Edited by John
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Nice Gerry :icon_biggrin:

Not sure that it would be classified as an ortho though - 5 elements in 3 groups. Some folks on CN don't hold that the Baader CO's are orthos because they have a slightly wider AFoV so there is no hope for something with a whole extra element and an extra group :dontknow:

I bet it performs really, really well though :grin:

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't own any ortho's...yet! I've been pondering a 6mm BCO for planetary viewing though. There don't seem to be many other options that you can still buy or I'm looking in the wrong places! Everything I've read suggests, for planetary viewing, you'd have to spend significantly more on an eyepiece to beat the quality of an ortho. Do you ortho owners still agree with this or have other eyepiece designs caught up with the orthos in terms of quality planetary viewing in the £50 price bracket?

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24 minutes ago, Littleguy80 said:

I don't own any ortho's...yet! I've been pondering a 6mm BCO for planetary viewing though. There don't seem to be many other options that you can still buy or I'm looking in the wrong places! Everything I've read suggests, for planetary viewing, you'd have to spend significantly more on an eyepiece to beat the quality of an ortho. Do you ortho owners still agree with this or have other eyepiece designs caught up with the orthos in terms of quality planetary viewing in the £50 price bracket?

 

Hello. For around £50 budget you are going to find it hard to beat an Ortho. You may not have eye relief and fov that you get with more expensive larger fov eyepieces. But what you do get with a quality Ortho is an eyepiece that will be very hard to beat with optical sharpness than eyepieces costing many hundreds of pounds. And for planetary viewing in my opinion you do not need a wide field of view , like you need with many DSO objects. Planetary viewing is more confined, and you are looking to pick out the details of the planet. I find narrow fov eyepieces like the Ortho can help with this, as the narrow fov draws you into the target more , so less distracting to the eye.

As for sources of Ortho second hand , they do come up on the sales section on this site, also astro buy. The likes of the Fujiyama are still available new, but I think the price has gone up a bit since glen at Lyra retired,.

In my opinion for sharpness the Ortho is probably the best bang for buck planetary eyepieces around, well worth a few in the case☺  

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  • John changed the title to Show us your Orthos

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