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Rob Sellent

EP Type Choices

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1 hour ago, Stardust1 said:

Thanks Gerry! Do you mean this Zeiss zoom:

https://www.idealo.de/preisvergleich/OffersOfProduct/812353_-okular-vario-d-15-45x-20-60x-zeiss.html

I have never tried the Zeiss zoom, would love to try it. The focal length is great. What is the FOV across the range? I assume you would need an 1.25" adapter. Is the Zeiss zoom sharper then the Leica 25-50x WW?

I have at the moment a pair of Tak LE 30 and one LE 7,5. I loved the LE 5 as well, but couldn't justify keeping it as I had already the XW 5, XO 5. The LE 5 sample that I had was sharper then XW 5 sample.

 

No it isn't. The one Gerry meant is the 20-75x one, which goes from 25.1mm to 6.7mm focal lengths. Super eyepiece! You will need a Baader adapter and some minor DY work to use it with your telescope without having focus issues.

Edited by Piero
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This is the right one: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/678909-USA/Zeiss_52_80_68_DiaScope_Vario_15_56x_20_75x_Eyepiece.html/amp

 

This is a photo of mine with the Baader adapter and my modded Baader VIP:

IMG_20191029_183530.thumb.jpg.9cfc1b14d4c168f93b000b3d7bb6a2af.jpg

It gave me some cracking views with my Tak and recently, after telescope mods, in my dob 12". 

I still remember how it opened up M42 and its trapezium in my dob 8"...

Here the VIP with my docter plus Baader pushfix adapter:

IMG_20191029_183610.thumb.jpg.ed7a1faabb924cbc6267ff08dc19f935.jpg

 

Time ago, I asked Gerry which of the two he preferred and he said "both!" I cannot agree more. Both are keepers in my eyepiece case.

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Gerry, Piero, thank you for the pictures!

The Zeiss 20-75x and Doctor 12.5mm are now on my bucket list. Sadly the Zeiss 20-75x is Discontinued, I will keep my eye open for the used market. Are these two eyepieces close in performance to the ZAO? are they sharper and more contrasty then Tak abbe ortho?

By the way how is the performance of the doctor with the Baader VIP? I have one as well, I like the VIP a lot, it's a versatile barlow.

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I never looked through a Zeiss zao or tak abbe. Those two eyepieces are among the very best I tried. The only one which might have a minor edge is the Vixen HR. Unfortunately the focal lengths for this line are very short. It would be great if they made a 5mm, but not sure whether scaling the design is possible.

The Docter (now called Nobles) works very well with the Baader VIP barlow. I modified mine to attach via T2.

I didn't know that our Zeiss zoom is now discontinued. Hopefully, its replacement will be another good eyepiece.

The eyepieces I use the most (almost always) are: APM UFF 30mm, Docter, Zeiss zoom, modded Baader VIP barlow. 

Time to time I also use the Lunt 20mm 100deg, great eyepiece, but I am not a "ultra wide" person, and tent to use only its 70-80 deg AFOV. 

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11 hours ago, Stardust1 said:

By the way how is the performance of the doctor with the Baader VIP?

Excellent.

I have never used a ZAO but I think that the ZZ would be right there with it for planetary/lunar sharpness and contrast. The ZZ does not have as high a transmission as my 10BCO, a vg copy, so it will fall short of the ZAO here. The Docter competes with the Delos for the deepest widefield and both are deeper and sharper than Ethos IMHO. I am however a hyperwide low power enthusiast, where to me the Ethos shines.

The Docter is a bit sharper than the Delos as is the Zeiss zoom, again just my opinion...

you should see the core of M42 in a large fast dob with the Docter...

Edited by jetstream
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Ever since the Docter eyepiece came out I wanted one. I finally broke and ordered one. It should be delivered within a few days.

Gerry, Piero, thank you for your help!

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4 hours ago, jetstream said:

The Docter is a bit sharper than the Delos as is the Zeiss zoom, again just my opinion...

I compared the Docter 12.5mm Vs Delos 12mm and in my opinion the docter was a bit better: https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/539425-docter-and-delos/

My copy of 10mm Baader BCO was not at the level of my ZZ or Docter, suggesting that there is some variability unfortunately.

Edited by Piero
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49 minutes ago, Stardust1 said:

Ever since the Docter eyepiece came out I wanted one. I finally broke and ordered one. It should be delivered within a few days.

Gerry, Piero, thank you for your help!

Congratulations! 

I bought my docter from a member here on SGL. That was the only time I saw that eyepiece in the second hand market! It is not easy to find a new one either. As far as I know the only European sellers are okularum.eu in Denmark and apm-telescopes in Germany.

 

If you mostly use 2" eyepieces, I suggest to get the Baader pushfix adapter and semi permanently attach it to the docter. You won't have any focus issues with this compared to the native 2" mode of the Docter which will require outward travel. In addition you can use the docter in T2 mode, which can be handy if you mod the VIP so that this connects via T2.

https://www.baader-planetarium.com/en/accessories/telescope-accessories/focusers/baader-pushfix-reducer-2"-to--1¼"-(t-2-part-15a).html

Edited by Piero
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Out of curiosity, it seems that Zeiss released another zoom eyepiece for spotting scopes I believe: https://www.lcegroup.co.uk/New/Zeiss-Zeiss-Harpia-23-70x-Zoom-Eyepiece_24450.html?gclid=CjwKCAiA__HvBRACEiwAbViuU592StHvLpbfxmRh256w53x1aYSDnpLUDSCMmwQyIsVgWSiRAJKtrRoCJYEQAvD_BwE 

Considering its weight, it might be smaller than what it looks like. It seems this also has FL lenses, like the one owned by Gerry and me.

The annoying thing of these spotting scope eyepieces is the lack of a standard adapter... As it is it cannot be used for astronomy. Hopefully, Baader or someone else will make an adapter at some point.

Edited by Piero
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Just out of interest, how much do the Zeiss zoom and Docter eyepieces cost new today ?

The Delos is £309 normally and currently £278 in the sale.

 

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On 20/12/2019 at 12:11, John said:

Just out of interest, how much do the Zeiss zoom and Docter eyepieces cost new today ?

The Delos is £309 normally and currently £278 in the sale.

They cost more than that. Said this one is a zoom and will cover the whole set of Delos/Pentax xw and more, particularly if used with the VIP barlow. The other one is a great mid power (and hight power when used with the VIP barlow) eyepiece.

One could make the same argument for Lunt / APM HDC 100 deg versus TV ethos. How much do they cost new today, even considering the TV discounts? Are people seeing more than twice the quality? Probably not. 

What about SW 100mm F9 versus Tak 100DL F9 at about 4x price difference?

And so on...

I would say that these more expensive items are top notch keepers and they should be considered as such. One should buy them if and only if is reasonably sure that these are going to stay.

My 2" ep case contains the following eyepieces: Docter, Zeiss zoom, APM UFF 30mm, Lunt HDC 20mm, and Baader VIP.

This cost me £1.6k. It is not cheap, but probably less than a set of Ethos or a full set of Delos plus Pentax XW. It is just down to how one intends to invest his/her own money, really. I haven't changed this set in 3 years, and don't see changes in the near future either.

Edited by Piero
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I bought the Docter 12.5 from Astromarket.org, they work with Astroshop.eu:

https://www.astromarket.org/oculairs/docter-uwa-ultragroothoekoculair-12-5mm-1-25l-2l/p,22974

I have bought in the past from Astromarket. Their after sale is top notch! They have solved all the issues that I had with items and are friendly and fast with communication.

I looked for years for a used Docter, I didn't find one, glad you found one. The Baader pushfix adapter looks interesting, I will look in to that. But first I need to recover from the Docter 😀

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4 hours ago, Piero said:

Out of curiosity, it seems that Zeiss released another zoom eyepiece for spotting scopes I believe: https://www.lcegroup.co.uk/New/Zeiss-Zeiss-Harpia-23-70x-Zoom-Eyepiece_24450.html?gclid=CjwKCAiA__HvBRACEiwAbViuU592StHvLpbfxmRh256w53x1aYSDnpLUDSCMmwQyIsVgWSiRAJKtrRoCJYEQAvD_BwE 

Considering its weight, it might be smaller than what it looks like. It seems this also has FL lenses, like the one owned by Gerry and me.

The annoying thing of these spotting scope eyepieces is the lack of a standard adapter... As it is it cannot be used for astronomy. Hopefully, Baader or someone else will make an adapter at some point.

This is interesting from the Zeiss webpage:

Extremely Broad Wide-Angle Field of View

Subjective angle of view of 72° throughout the entire zoom range for a noticeably greater overview of the terrain.

Which made me read more about this scope.  Note the following:

A notable innovation of the Victory® Harpia is the relocation of the magnification ring from the eyepiece to the spotting scope body, alongside the focus wheel.

This tells me that the zooming action is most likely internal to the scope like a zooming telephoto lens, not the eyepiece.  That would explain the relatively small form factor of the eyepiece.  It's might actually be a fixed focal length eyepiece rather than a zoom and that grip ring on the eyepiece is just that, a grip ring and nothing more.

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5 hours ago, Piero said:

My copy of 10mm Baader BCO was not at the level of my ZZ or Docter, suggesting that there is some variability unfortunately.

This is unfortunate as some of these 10BCO are pretty good- great color on the planets, very sharp and my copy is the deepest eyepiece I own. All for about a hundred bucks. My Tak 12.5mm is very sharp but not deeper than the Docter and it seems to lack a bit of "pop" on nebula.

All I can say is we are very lucky to be in a position to try and own this equipment.

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1 hour ago, jetstream said:

my copy is the deepest eyepiece I own.

What does this mean Jetstream? Keep hearing it but what does it mean? You can see deeper into space with it?

Edited by markse68
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1 hour ago, markse68 said:

What does this mean Jetstream? Keep hearing it but what does it mean? You can see deeper into space with it?

I'm sure Gerry will explain his meaning.

Meanwhile, there is some interesting stuff here on eyepieces and deep sky observing from folks who use very big aperture scopes under very dark skies:

http://www.faintfuzzies.com/OR-Sept022011-OSP.html

 

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1 hour ago, markse68 said:

What does this mean Jetstream? Keep hearing it but what does it mean? You can see deeper into space with it?

Some eyepieces will show more faint stars than others and it is an indication of its transmission. These eyepieces can show more detail in nebula ( lots more to it than this though ie AFOV, contrast) and also will for sure show fainter galaxies.

Alvin at faintfuzzies describes it.

http://www.faintfuzzies.com/OR-Sept022011-OSP.html

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I have 3 eyepiece sets that I settled on after some experimentation with other options.

I have 2 fixed focal length sets both based on good eye relief and good quality views.

The first set is TV Delos plus a 22mm and 31mm Nagler used with my dobsonian and a Paracorr 2. All are easy to use and great quality.

The second set is Vixen SLVs for use with my small scopes. These are small and light, consistent, and easy to use.

The third set up is for quick sessions and is a Mk4 Zoom and a 2.25x Barlow. The quality doesn't match my fixed sets and the eye relief isn't enough to let me use my glasses  but it is so fast and flexible that this gets used a lot.

I'm happy with my lot!

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7 hours ago, Paz said:

I have 3 eyepiece sets that I settled on after some experimentation with other options.

Nice choices.

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On 18/12/2019 at 16:56, Rob Sellent said:

I also try to buy eyepieces that are recognised as working well without any aberration or distortion in any focal ratio scope be it an f/4, f/5, f/6 or what have you. I've found that scopes come and go, but eyepieces more often stay.

You bring up a good point.  Since an eyepiece manufacturer cannot know what focal ratio of scope the eyepiece will be used in, why not design all eyepieces to work superbly at f/4.  We know that such eyepieces will work just fine at f/10, and that eyepieces designed to work well at f/10 or longer do NOT work well at f/4.  Why should the user of an f/3 to f/6 scope get stuck with eyepieces that yield a lot of f/ratio-induced astigmatism just because the owners of f/8 and f/10 scopes don't want to pay 1 penny more for their eyepieces?  

Either the manufacturers of eyepieces should specify "not to be used under f/6" or all eyepieces should be designed to work well at f/4 and then everyone will be happy with the results.

I test a LOT of eyepieces, and I am constantly amazed at how poor some eyepieces are.  And that is in a field-flattened, coma-corrected, f/5 newtonian with 1826mm of focal length.

Ironically, some very inexpensive eyepieces do quite well, but they also have narrower apparent fields of view.

Edited by Don Pensack
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