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dannybgoode

Meade 4000 Super Plossl - any good?

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So in my quest for a good 10mm I have come across an early secondhand Meade 9.7mm 4000 Super Plossl.  Japanese optics and in mint condition - worth a look?

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Danny,

There are at least three different versions of the Meade 4000 "Super Plossl.

The original, pre 1998, was marked Japan on the black body and was a five element "Masayama clone" - seems to be the best and well worth while trialling.

The second version is marked Japan on the chrome barrel - this a four element standard plossl design - nothing special but better than some of the "Beginners" eyepieces sold with scopes.

The final version is marked "China" on the chrome barrel also a four element design and is very average.......

Hope this helps.

(I have a collection of both the black Japan (5 element) and some of the others...)

 

 

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2 hours ago, dannybgoode said:

So in my quest for a good 10mm I have come across an early secondhand Meade 9.7mm 4000 Super Plossl.  Japanese optics and in mint condition - worth a look?

Grab it and run! 🏃‍♂️

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Can you try it out ?

I had some of the old Japan made 4000 plossls bought new back in the late 1980's (£90 apiece !!!!) and they were nothing special I thought. I ended up returning the 6.4mm to BC&F because it was really quite poor with a soft field stop.

I preferred the Meade 3000 series when they were made in Japan.

 

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John,

Interesting...

The Meade 4000 "black body Japan" eyepieces I have, from 6.4 to 32 mm all show neat tight field stops.

I'm not saying they are the greatest eyepieces I have in the box, but certainly seem very capable. Better than the Chinese Series 3000 I have.

 

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To be brutally honest, there are very few Meade products, of any sort, that I rate. I have owned quite a few of their scopes, eyepieces etc over the years but they have rarely impressed me or stayed with me for long.

One exception would be the 4000 series UWA eyepieces which were pretty decent Nagler copies. I believe the 5000 UWA's are good as well. The 4000 SWA's were way overpriced for their performance IMHO. The  Japan made 16mm Meade 3000 was a very nice medium power plossl and the 40mm in that series was surprisingly nice as well.

I have just one Meade product currently and that is a series 4000 1.25 inch UHC type filter which I use for outreach. Its quite a good budget UHC.

Sorry Meade :dontknow:

 

 

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Thanks all

 For the money I think I’ll wait. At this phase of the moon my house and trees block it anyway so no hurry until after Christmas and will stick to the plan to get a Delos or Pentax XW. 
 

@John I have a mid-vintage Meade 10” SCT OTA which is excellent but I have often read of people having issues with their mounts and electronics. 

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I also don't rate most Meade products that I have used. Notable exceptions for me were pairs of Series 3000 Japan 16mm and 25mm, a Series 4000 UWA 14mm Japan (a big, heavy beast but with excellent c80+ deg fov), and a nice Series 4000 Japan 26mm plossl.

I have also owned a couple of Meade 300/339 F15 refractors which were very nice - but I believe that all of the above products were not actually made by Meade, but simply carried their branding.

For your c10mm needs I'd heartily endorse the Pentax 10mm XW (or earlier XL10.5mm if you can find one), or the Baader Morpheus 9mm - all 3 are wonderful eyepieces IMO.

See below photos of the Meade 4000 UWA with some others for scale..it really was a lovely eyepiece!

QUOTE from SGL post I made in late March 2016.. "I can't agree more re the Meade 4000 UWAs, my 14mm is just superb, right up there with Naglers (much bigger than some though), and I got mine for £100 shipped..picture below for scale with an ortho, APM x2.7 barlow and my Pentax zoom 🙂

Dave"

IMG_20160311_084937720_HDR.jpg

IMG_20160311_084536047_HDR.jpg

IMG_20160311_084944298_HDR.jpg

Good luck!

Dave

Edited by F15Rules
Photos added
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If you want to stick with Meade, their recently discontinued 6.5mm HD-60 5000 is quite nice.  It works about as well as my 7mm Pentax XW, but with less edge chromatism, a softer field stop, 1mm less usable eye relief, and a measured 5 degree narrower apparent field of view as seen below.  All in all, a very good eyepiece for the money.

1236198144_6.5mm-8mm.thumb.JPG.42d5a4eb993f6a30a58c5428684321eb.JPG421854257_6.5mm-8mmAFOV.thumb.jpg.3b1eaf430b4a12c8a86dbf16933ec707.jpg

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Just to leap to the defence of the Meade 4000 Super plossls!

I don't know what people are comparing them to, but I have the 9.7mm and 26mm that came with the ETX90 and both are splendid.

I compared the 26mm with my 25mm TV plossl and could not find much difference.

The Meade gives a slightly warmer coloured image and the TV plossl slightly better contrast.

I have some other Meade plossls, not all marked 4000 or Japan, or China and can't really find any fault with them either.

To counter the general Meade bashing, the ETX90 is a splendid little 'scope, an excellent grab and go and often comes on holiday with me.

Also, I've the 30mm 5000 and that's splendid too! :D

Maybe I've been very lucky!

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Check out how well this throwaway Meade "Silvertop" Plossl that came with my daughter's 127mm Mak did against much more costly offerings.  Sure it's somewhat narrow in AFOV and short on eye relief, and I doubt it's worth even $10 on the used market, but it seems pretty sharp across the field.  Not Vixen LV sharp, but not blurry by any means.

473084620_9mm-10mm.thumb.JPG.3d8f66abd0891380524009082edde233.JPG1349518648_9mm-10mmAFOV.thumb.jpg.bf8afac3fffc6c3a9109186a471c885f.jpg

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I recently rediscovered the benefits of Plossls, and have acquired:

Meade SP 4000 32mm

Meade P 3000 25mm

Meade SP 4000 15mm

.......to go with the TV P 20mm.

At lower focal lengths, the eye relief is smaller - not good for me as a specs-wearer, so Celestron XCel LXs or TV Radians are good there.  (I have just one of the latter.)

I like those Plossls - the reduced TFOV is not a problem, especially with a tracking 'scope, or one with short focus!

Doug.

PS: I also have the Meade 5000 UWA 20 and 24mm.  Good performance, good eye relief, and not too bulky.  

 

Edited by cloudsweeper

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Plossls and orthos have eye relief that is around 70% of the focal length. Its inherant to the design.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, John said:

Plossls and orthos have eye relief that is around 70% of the focal length. Its inherant to the design.

Abbe orthos are closer to 80% of focal length for eye relief, so slightly better than Plossls.

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6 hours ago, bingevader said:

Just to leap to the defence of the Meade 4000 Super plossls!

I don't know what people are comparing them to, but I have the 9.7mm and 26mm that came with the ETX90 and both are splendid.

I compared the 26mm with my 25mm TV plossl and could not find much difference.

The Meade gives a slightly warmer coloured image and the TV plossl slightly better contrast.

I have some other Meade plossls, not all marked 4000 or Japan, or China and can't really find any fault with them either.

To counter the general Meade bashing, the ETX90 is a splendid little 'scope, an excellent grab and go and often comes on holiday with me.

Also, I've the 30mm 5000 and that's splendid too! :D

Maybe I've been very lucky!

i also think meade is fine.

my SW evostar 100f/9 apo focuser lasted one night then it didnt work any longer, i did a video on that scope etc, i did sell that scope few months ago but all companies have their good and bad products expecially when its a new product. Just look at the avx had lots issues first few years.

anyway i saw an add on bay for the whole set of the meade SP 4000 with case 9its the yellow writing) the last models have white writing anyway iam keeping an eye on it to bid so far its $53 cdn so if i win it then ill be happy but i expect it to go highter untill bidding stops. if it gets too high i may pass but if cheap gonna try for them.

joejaguar

 

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I had a spell with Takahashi LE's some time back and have owned quite a number of them, but some suffered from some of the worst internal reflections I've ever seen in any eyepiece. I own none now because I don't trust them any longer. Also, the 30mm LE had its eye lens set so far down the barrel that I'd to force the body of the eyepiece into my eye socket to see the full field. And to top it off it was left standing by a 30mm circle T Erfel. The pseudo Masuyama 's such as the Meade 4000 Japan version are from essentially the same design as the LE's but don't suffer from internal reflections. In fact they are exquisite eyepieces, especially considering the low cost. Others of the same design are Parks Gold, Celestron Ultima's, Orion Ultrascopicsand Baader Eudiascopics (all Japanese). I read somewhere - probably on CN - that Takahashi somehow took control of the design for use in their LE's, effectively halting the manufacture using the other brand names. 

Edited by mikeDnight

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Hi . I have never been a big fan of the Meade eyepiece.

If it was me and in your shoes. I would look out for some second hand TV plossls. Or some second hand BGO or BCO . quality optics on sensible money budget.

 

Hope this helps 

 

 

 

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On 19/12/2019 at 14:37, Timebandit said:

 

Hi . I have never been a big fan of the Meade eyepiece.

If it was me and in your shoes. I would look out for some second hand TV plossls. Or some second hand BGO or BCO . quality optics on sensible money budget.

 

Hope this helps 

 

 

 

take into account the cost tho

in the last 2 months I also bought a full set of radians and almost a full set of TV plossls/ 32/25/20/15/13/11/8mm sizes. Even being used TV plossl they are not cheap.

the 32mm tv pl I paid $100, new they are almost $200

the 25+ 20mm I think I paid $75 each, new they are $150 plus taxes. etc

so just saying even used TV plossls are pretty expensive and since people know they are top quiailty name brand they don't lose a lot money, in fact like all quality item they lose % from a new item but not as much as a lesser quality name brand eps. and they sell ASAP they don't last long.

you can buy a used Meade #4000 same sizes for $30 to $40 each 50% to 60% cheaper or more then a TV pl.

even less name brand I have seen going even lower $20 to $30

In another tread it was said TV plossl costs 10x more then a regular pl do you think you will see 10x more?

anyway I think at the $30 to $40 each I think the meads 4000 are still good bang for your buck

joejaguar

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ohh ps

that auction I was gonna try to go for (meade #4000 full set of super ploosl ep and with case) I choose not to go for it. the seller only took payapal money only and I don't use palpay. and it got up to $155 last time I seen it so iam sure it go over $200 which would be too much cause then I would have shipping which was like $45 they wanted and customs duties and breakage fees. But anyway there no point to even try if that's the only payment he will take tho.

When I use my cc they don't charge me anything to use it Yes I know CC have fees too but if you keep no balance and pay it totally when the bill comes theres no cc fees. That other way I have to pay 3.5% everytime I use it then I say no thx

just updating on why I changed my mind from that other post I made I was gonna bid on them.

joejaguar

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Meade Series 4000 "Super Plössl" came out in the '80s.

It was made in Japan by Kowa, had five elements in a 2:1:2 configuration, no rubber eyecup, and multiple 1.25" incarnations, as well as one 2" (56mm focal length)

In 1994, maybe late 1993, this eyepiece line was updated to have rubber eyecups.

Within the year, the configuration was changed to that of a standard 2:2 Plössl, though the name "Super Plössl" was left on the eyepiece, still made in Japan.

Manufacturing moved to Taiwan briefly in less than a year and was there a short while before moving to China.

The name stayed the same, though the first Chinese one was actually the 5th version of the eyepiece.

Over the years, there have been at least 3 different Chinese manufacturers making the eyepieces, and maybe more since people have noted at least 3 different colors of logo on the eyepiece

and different fonts as well.  If you look at the eyepieces on the Meade site, you can see at least three different fonts just in their pictures.

I had the complete set of the first 5-element version made by Kowa, and they were excellent.  I would guess they'd be the same with rubber eyecups, though I am not certain

how you would differentiate between the 4 and 5 element versions in the rubber eyecup versions made in Japan.

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Don,

My early smooth sided Meade "Super Plossls" , no rubber eyecap, are from the 1980's and stamped "Japan" on the black barrel.

The only other markings I've seen on other Meade SP's is Japan stamped on the chrome nosepiece, or China printed next to the description. I also have one ( 26mm rubber eyecap) with no markings!

 

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Your Meade S4000 from the '80s were the 5-element Kowa-made versions.

The one with no markings was made to be included with a Meade telescope, and has a 99.9% chance of being 4 elements, made in China.

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