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6mm lunar/planetary eyepiece uber-review

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Poor showing for the Radian.

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Impressive report.

I have the UO Ortho's and I consider these very good indeed. But according to him they finished nearly last :)

Oh well.

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I have a whole set of ortho's and for the money they are fantastic performer.

I can't afford $700 for a ABBE ortho so £20 for something which will work just as well on 95% of the nights in the UK make perfect sense to me.



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I have been in touch with Bill Paolini many times regarding eyepieces, he is a very friendly and helpful guy with alot of experience with eyepieces. He also approaches things in a very logical manner, maybe because of his job in computers.

Anyhow, with regards to the results, do not be too worried about certain eyepieces being ranked down the list.

Having used a few of the ep's compared, ie the ZAO, TMB Supermono, Pentax Ortho, UO, Radian,i think the results are pretty much as i expected.

The ZAO, is an exceptional planetary eyepiece, due mainly to its extremely high optical quality, in particular smoothness of polish, and the zeiss coatings. I found the background darkness and lack of scatter with exceptional contrast to be noticeable. When i compared to a UO HD it is apparent. The reason a ZAO costs $700-$800 USD is due to their limited number and desirability amongst serious planetary observers. Are they worth the money? well only an individual can decide.

I suspect the ZAO II is a better value for money. I personally prefer the ZAO for the reason that it does not have the triangle field stop cutouts.

Bear in mind that if comparisions are done in above average seeing, then subtle differences will become apparent.

I have found the TMB supermonos and Pentax orthos to be fantastic for sharpness and contrast, indeed i will not sell my pentax 6mm ortho, it is a beauty!

Regarding the Radian, i owned a 12mm and thought it very sharp, but i have heard of inconsistency in the range, which you will not get in ZAO or pentax's.

The UO's are a great value for the cost and still a very good choice for planetary work.

My choice of best value and performance are the Televue plossls, i always find them very sharp, contrasty, with a good fov.

the only problem is they are not available in certain focal lengths which you may need, and the older useful focal lengths are hard to find, ie 10.5mm, 13mm, 17mm etc.

TV plossls have always been highly rated amongst even the best planetary ep's, which is good news as they don't cost a fortune!

When funds one day permit, i'd love to buy a pair of supermonos or even a pair of ZAO to bino, but it'll be long time yet!


Edited by mike bacanin

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Eyepieces are a very subjective area!

For Instance, I Know that TV plossls give great views, and some Ortho's give even better, but to me they are worse than useless!

This is simply because I can't stand putting my eye within millimetres of the eye lens.

I had an excellent 6mm plossl and an 8mm TV, but sold them both due to the discomfort I felt when using them.

The TMB planetary's are outstanding value with (at the very least) good optics and are comfortable to use, with wide fields to allow for deep sky viewing too. All for approx 50 quid.

For me that's what's important!

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