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Highburymark

Tak TOE - finally able to report back

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I bought a Takahashi TOE 3.3mm a while (6 months-ish) ago, but have resisted posting any opinions because, frankly, I hadn’t had enough experience with it under steady skies to do it justice. But tonight that changed. For the first time this opposition, Mars was perfectly calm through my 4” refractor. Which meant I was able to test the TOE against my other planetary eyepieces - TV Delites 4mm and 3mm. 

The two Delites are the sharpest and most comfortable high power eyepieces I have ever used. They are the reason I sold my Nagler 3-6 zoom,  and Nagler T6 3.5mm and 5mm. But for the first time tonight, they were humbled by the TOE. 

The Delite 4mm delivered beautiful views at 185x, more detail and colour than I have seen on Mars ever, I think. My previous best results were in the Canaries several years ago. But tonight - when I inserted the TOE 3.3mm, I was amazed to not only see a larger disk, but a sharper and more detailed one too. It was exquisite. Eye relief was super comfortable, and a nice wide field was appreciated for my manual mount . I spent 40 minutes just drinking it in. I briefly tried the 3mm Delite, but it proved too much. 

Now it wasn’t perfect - it didn’t get rid of my floaters. or magically counteract the changes in seeing. But tonight I finally saw just how how good this eyepiece is, and why it’s getting such rave reviews from experienced observers in the States. 


 

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Posted (edited)

Nice report :smiley:

I have heard that the TOE's are something special and you seem to confirm that Mark.

Must be very close to the "top tier" of planetary performers.

Edited by John
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Very interesting and high praise for the TOE considering the other top notch eyepieces in your collection. 

My go to high powered eyepiece is the 3-6 NZ and very pleased with it but always on the lookout for something better....you’ve got me thinking now  🤔 

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There is always "something better" out there, although generally the margins between quality eyepieces are pretty close. Unless you have Zeiss ZAO's and / or a Pentax XO which I think are the very, very best and have been for some time now.

I've tried to give up chasing now and I'm sticking to the Nagler 2-4 zoom, my Pentax XW's and an HD ortho 4mm. I'll just have to do the best that I can with those :smiley:

It's interesting and helpful to hear that Takahashi have produced a really nice planetary eyepiece in the TOE's though :smiley:

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Thanks for the report @Highburymark. Good to hear that the TOE 3.3 is a stunning performer. Maybe sometime you'll get the opportunity to compare with the Vixen HR 3.4. I am sure both are superb: I know the latter to be, but is there anything between them....?

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1 hour ago, JeremyS said:

Thanks for the report @Highburymark. Good to hear that the TOE 3.3 is a stunning performer. Maybe sometime you'll get the opportunity to compare with the Vixen HR 3.4. I am sure both are superb: I know the latter to be, but is there anything between them....?

and the xw3.5 and some tv offerings in same range- a 3ish mm shootout :)  🍿 would be very interesting

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1 hour ago, JeremyS said:

Thanks for the report @Highburymark. Good to hear that the TOE 3.3 is a stunning performer. Maybe sometime you'll get the opportunity to compare with the Vixen HR 3.4. I am sure both are superb: I know the latter to be, but is there anything between them....?

I suspect the difference between them is wafer thin Jeremy. Of the reviews I’ve seen, they are both slightly ahead of the best widefields. It’s just a question of how often you get to use them. The 3.3 gives around 225x in my scope, which has been too much for Mars until last night, and too much for Saturn, Jupiter and Venus all year from my urban location. But clear now it’s worth waiting for that rare special night.

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While searching for a keeper planetary eyepiece, i also saw this Tak being reviewed good.  Although, i remember the reviewer mentioning some differences when used with prims vs dielectric mirror diagonals.   Possible he also mentioned differences using different scopes.   
 

I hope to get a Toe soon.   The overall satisfaction should be good, and give the best and easy to use experience.

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7 hours ago, JeremyS said:

Thanks for the report @Highburymark. Good to hear that the TOE 3.3 is a stunning performer. Maybe sometime you'll get the opportunity to compare with the Vixen HR 3.4. I am sure both are superb: I know the latter to be, but is there anything between them....?

Here's a very recent thread on CN comparing these two eyepieces.

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I have a TOE 4mm and the HR 3.4 mm. I've not had that many clear nights since getting the HR, but they are so close it will be hard to split them apart. Last observation was on Mars, however not the best seeing.  The TOE you can buy, the Vixen you have to be lucky to get hold of, but is a lot better value given the price difference. 

By the way the TOE over the summer gave some amazing views of the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn, so had some high exceptions for the HR.

Viewed with a SD103S. I'm near sighted, so no need of glasses at all.

Edited by Deadlake
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