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The Warthog

Eyepieces - the very least you need.

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On 01/08/2017 at 12:25, Richard Hather said:

It's mainly to do with the quality of the glass and the processing and checks used.

Televue being the most expensive but best quality.

 

Thanks Richard, in your opinion for a very new beginner is it best to just go for a cheaper one for now?

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The Revelation plossls are good quality and really not very expensive - arond £25 each new. The Vixen NPL ones are a little more expensive but also good performers without having to push the boat out too far financially.

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John - are Revelation Plössls not actually GSO's? I ask as GSO has been making some very nice optical gear lately. And from their prices - you'd not be likely to guess this. Many different outfits are using GSO equipment, but with their brand-names on them. This can be confusing to newcomers in the world of astronomy and the gear used by us people.

My point to you, Edward, is that if you run across some nice looking, but quite inexpensive (compared to other things like TeleVue® Plössls for example) gear bearing the GSO brand - it's likely very good and you're looking at a true bargain. And this of course also is true for the branded GSO goods out there. As I think the Revelation's are.

GSO is the abbreviation for Guan Sheng Optics located in Taiwan - the Republic of China.

Have fun -

Dave

 

Edited by Dave In Vermont
sp.
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1 hour ago, Dave In Vermont said:

John - are Revelation Plössls not actually GSO's? I ask as GSO has been making some very nice optical gear lately. And from their prices - you'd not be likely to guess this. Many different outfits are using GSO equipment, but with their brand-names on them. This can be confusing to newcomers in the world of astronomy and the gear used by us people.

My point to you, Edward, is that if you run across some nice looking, but quite inexpensive (compared to other things like TeleVue® Plössls for example) gear bearing the GSO brand - it's likely very good and you're looking at a true bargain. And this of course also is true for the branded GSO goods out there. As I think the Revelation's are.

GSO is the abbreviation for Guan Sheng Optics located in Taiwan - the Republic of China.

Have fun -

Dave

 

According to the guy who runs Astroboot , Revelation Astro are made by GSO and he rates the brand as very good quality ...

IMG_2150.PNG

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My first Plossl's were loaned to me, and at first light could not handle the very short eye-relief, not only that, the shortest focal length in the series was 8mm, I believed I needed shorter for my scope, yet the short eye-relief is an inherent design with the Plossl.

Having tried Meade, TeleVue, Revelation, others, and  despite the short eye-relief,  I invested in the Revelations, and find them a joy to use.  They appeared to be the better optics for my eyes, despite TeleVue being the dearest. That said, I bought another two Tele Vue Plossl's, and still came to the same conclusion, the Revelations were good if not as good as the market leader Tele Vue. 

As mentioned above, a certain web site does add the annotation that the Revelation's are in-fact made by GSO!
Their quality and performance on my f/6 scope belies their value, if you can get them cheap,  do so, you shouldn't be disappointed.

Edited by Charic

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9 hours ago, Dave In Vermont said:

John - are Revelation Plössls not actually GSO's? ...

 

Yes they are as far as I know. I was going to put "GSO / Revelation" in my post but I figured that in the UK Revelation is the brand name that is more commonly encountered and the ones with GSO actually printed on them can be a bit more costly !

I don't think they are quite as good as the Vixen NPL's or indeed the Tele Vue plossls by the way but the latter cost about 3x as much as the GSO / Revelation and I figured that they are probably not a good value recommendation for the "very new beginner" :icon_biggrin:

Experienced observers are rather partial to the TV plossls though :icon_biggrin:

 

Edited by John
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It's a personal choice. What is one willing to pay, and believe worth it, for a fractional improvement of the view?

I have both. :p

Dave

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45 minutes ago, Dave In Vermont said:

It's a personal choice. What is one willing to pay, and believe worth it, for a fractional improvement of the view?

I have both. :p

Dave

Both of what - the GSO's / Vixens or the GSO / Tele Vues or the GSO / Tele Vue's ?

Maybe all 3 ? :icon_biggrin:

It's an exacting hobby when you start to push the limits - in due course you want the best kit you can afford IMHO. It is a hobby though so "afford" is an important word of course.

"fractional" could be the difference between being able to split Sirius or not, being able to see the Horsehead Nebula or not, being able to spot the finest lunar details or not, being able to see faint galaxies or not, being able to see the moons of Uranus and Neptune or not. Personally, I want that stuff :icon_biggrin:

You don't need to spend a fortune to achieve these targets but you do need excellent optical quality IMHO.

Edited by John

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All excellent points all depends on what your willing to pay, I'm willing to pay £200-£300 for 1 ep that's gets me nice quality glass.

I did own an ethos for a few months but found it marginally better then my ES 20mm 100.

So I decided to go for the ES 100 set I have the 14-9 and will be purchasing the 5.5 in due course.

Are they as good as ethos? Probably not but are they damn near as good I thing they are and at a price I'm willing to pay.

My point is I've been told off many people of this site that were in a golden age of amateur astronomy at the moment it can purchase almost any ep for around £50-£100 and have decent views and that goes with telescopes to.

Again if you love astronomy with a passion go for the best you can afford ?

Clear skies ✨????

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That's why I have both - TeleVue® & GSO Plössls. And some older Vixen LV's from 2003 - excellent! And a whole battalion of others as well.

Something for everyday of the week (or month). Variations are a spice of life!

Dave

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36 minutes ago, Dave In Vermont said:

.... And a whole battalion of others as well.

Something for everyday of the week (or month). Variations are a spice of life!...

 

A million of them, apparently :rolleyes2::icon_biggrin:

Choice is a good thing !

Edited by John
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Thanks Warthog and everyone contributing to this post /topic - you could make a text book out of this lot! Valuable stuff to a beginner like me.

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My first two eye pieces were Erfles, a 32mm & 20mm. I had two Barlows 2x & 2.5x which gave me 6 different magnifications. Thirtysomething & Twentysomething are still my main two favourite ep focal lengths, though I have upgraded brand and type, also Barlows, over the years, those 4 optics are core to viewing. 

Wide field eps are useful with equatorial mounts for polar alignment and re-centering from time to time. For undriven, unguided scopes I find they are essential. Barlows reduce FOV proportionately to, & at the same time as the FL of an ep, which is why Barlows are always a compromise. 

I find viewing with a smaller FL but large FOV eye piece is more important than a longer FL with smaller FOV. 

 

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Thank you The Warthog. 
A really informative article and very easy to understand. Makes choosing my next eyepiece(s) a little easier.

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hi iv just been reading the posts. can anyone help me please. my scope says d-200  f1200 so what would the f rating be? im mean is it f8 f6 or so on.  

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16 minutes ago, Craig2017 said:

hi iv just been reading the posts. can anyone help me please. my scope says d-200  f1200 so what would the f rating be? im mean is it f8 f6 or so on.  

Your scope is f6 - 1200 / 200 = 6

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I think the main difference between the more inexpensive Plossls and expensive is build quality and ergonomics.

IMG_20171021_154804.jpg.466c4cd3fb7be31cc4903b2a092aa75b.jpg

In a small Mak I can't really tell the difference between these 40mm Plossls in quality of view. In an f/6 Newtonian I mainly notice the eye lens difference and the field stop size. Undoubtedly the TeleVue is the 'best' in build quality and overall design/ergonomics. But depending on the scope they're used in, many eyepieces, regardless of what they cost, can give virtually identical views.

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I'm only a beginner and I have a fair assortment of brands.  I have tried both the 8mm and 11mm televue Plossl, but I couldn't get with the short eye relief, esp. with spectacles and I sold both these for higher eye relief alternatives.  I no longer hanker after televue at the moment, but of course wouldn't say no if someone gifted me a case full!

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19 minutes ago, JOC said:

I'm only a beginner and I have a fair assortment of brands.  I have tried both the 8mm and 11mm televue Plossl, but I couldn't get with the short eye relief, esp. with spectacles and I sold both these for higher eye relief alternatives.  I no longer hanker after televue at the moment, but of course wouldn't say no if someone gifted me a case full!

TV 32mm plossl (longest fl 1.25") has OK eye relief. Team it up with a TV Barlow you would get even better eye relief & for 2.5x mag an effective shorter fl (but narrower field of view). 

Otherwise any Vixen SLV would have 20mm eye relief. 

Edited by 25585

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3 hours ago, Mak the Night said:

I think the main difference between the more inexpensive Plossls and expensive is build quality and ergonomics.

The Televue Plossl benefit is much more likely to be seen in better edge performance at f4, so perhaps not surprising that a Mak or even at f6 the differences are subtle. 

http://www.televue.com/engine/TV3b_page.asp?id=51&Tab=_back

1 hour ago, 25585 said:

TV 32mm plossl (longest fl 1.25") has OK eye relief.

Don't forget the 40mm which has reduced afov at around 43 degree.

The 32mm and 40mm eye relief can get too long, particularly if barlowed, which will perhaps be why Mak the Night has the Eyeguard extender fitted to his. These are expensive but very effective at helping eye placement and reducing glare. I have had to use two of them together on a 40mm to get enough extension. 

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5a5bf30c69b81_Screenshot2018-01-15at00_07_22.thumb.png.a1f8eaffc5f8a9fda04a8b03f62bf23d.png

 

http://www.brayebrookobservatory.org/BrayObsWebSite/HOMEPAGE/PageMill_Resources/Comparison test of TVPlossl vs Brandon.pdf

 

5a5bf31a3ed66_Screenshot2018-01-15at00_06_47.thumb.png.1e5c308d5c2f0be2a1ff6bff0963d3fb.png

5a5bf323b62a4_Screenshot2018-01-15at00_06_28.thumb.png.9ad2ca052dbad09b8a957d7bfac095a9.png

 

IMG_20171229_103116.jpg.d503fd411d32f15faedaf08ed6a984b8.jpg

Explore Scientific 82º eyepiece. Probably JOC glass, made in China in a state subsidised economical environment: £135.

T5.jpg.a371b7b5ae9a5faecd0dddfb3c4a0fca.jpg

TeleVue 16mm T5 Nagler 82º eyepiece. Made in Japan in a non-state subsidised economical environment: £331.

Apart from a slight magnification difference, and a few aesthetic differences, I can't tell any visual difference between these two eyepieces in an f/5 refractor. There's a reason that there is £196 difference between these two eyepieces and it isn't anything to do with visual quality. It has everything to do with economic ideology. 

Edited by Mak the Night

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That comparison chart  helped persuade me towards my Revelation collection, although GSO is not embossed anywhere on the eyepieces that I own.
Right or wrong, I went on the belief ( advertised as being ) that they  are GSO constructed, and like many other brands, Paradigm, Starguider, Agena, you takes your pick. I favoured them over the TeleVue Plössl, more so due to the fact that the revelations go down to 4mm, but the eye-relief and pricing is something to consider, which is bearable if you take the second hand route which I did.
I find the Revelations bright and sharp, the afov is a tad wider than the TeleVue at 52° but the eye-relief is still something you will have to contend with.
I wanted a Plössl set? I now  have one, but still love and prefer my 60°ED Starguiders.

I'd love to see (if it exists) the report whereby a BST Starguider was thrown in with a few select premium eyepieces, for the guests to peruse, and without their knowledge as to which brand they were looking through? Though it never came out as the clear winner, there was some amusement as to just how well the BST fared against the other eyepieces.

Edited by Charic

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1 hour ago, Mak the Night said:

Apart from a slight magnification difference, and a few aesthetic differences, I can't tell any visual difference between these two eyepieces in an f/5 refractor. There's a reason that there is £196 difference between these two eyepieces and it isn't anything to do with visual quality. It has everything to do with economic ideology. 

So because you can't tell any difference thats it is it ?

They are expensive so if you try them and they don't make any difference to you, don't buy them. Oh and by the way, the Nagler T5 16mm is made in Taiwan, not Japan. Most of the larger and more complex Tele Vue designs are made in Taiwan now.

There are many very experienced observers around this planet who do use and value Tele Vue's products and other premium brands such as Pentax, Leica, Zeiss etc. This is not an accident and these folks are not just about showing off or throwing money away. They have found over years of comparisons that these brands do have a performance edge and they are prepared to invest as needed to obtain that.

 

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1 minute ago, John said:

So because you can't tell any difference thats it is it ?

They are expensive so if you try them and they don't make any difference to you, don't buy them. Oh and by the way, the Nagler T5 16mm is made in Taiwan, not Japan. Most of the larger and more complex Tele Vue designs are made in Taiwan now.

There are many very experienced observers around this planet who do use and value Tele Vue's products and other premium brands such as Pentax, Leica, Zeiss etc. This is not an accident and these folks are not just about showing off or throwing money away. They have found over years of comparisons that these brands do have a performance edge and they are prepared to invest as needed to obtain that.

 

Well spotted, my T5 is actually made in Taiwan. I'll admit that my experience with these eyepieces is subjective, but it depends on whether you think the TV's are worth the extra spondoolies. Is the glass or are the lens elements that much better in the TeleVue compared to the Explore Scientific? How do you know they don't source from the same manufacturer? In my experience TeleVue quality control isn't that hot either. I once had to return three borked DeLites in a row, it broke my heart. I eventually settled on a 7mm Kokusai ortho'. A bit smaller, but it did what I wanted. I had to return the first one of those as well.

Don't get me wrong, I think the TV's are beautifully made eyepieces. If you want the best build quality and most expensive EP's there's nothing wrong with that. I think the 19mm Panoptic is probably the most perfect all round eyepiece made. I've never found anything to compare to it in its class. 

The telescope the eyepiece is used in will make a difference, but I honestly think that many of the premium eyepieces are expensive because you are paying for the build quality and materials used in construction, plus labour costs of where the OEM is situated geographically. Maybe in a faster scope than f/5 the T5 TeleVue will be better than the ES 14mm. I just doubt it.

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Eyepieces do make a difference, and cost does not have to be a key decision criteria. I have a mix of BGOs which are relatively inexpensive, a TV Panoptic and 3 to 6 Nag Zoom. The BGOs give as sharp an image as anything out there but with narrow field of view and limited eye relief. As well as the QC, materials and build quality, you pay for the R&D necessary to develop wide and ultra wide afov designs with good eye relief. Other manufacturers copy these designs and so don't incur the same costs.

Looking at those review scores, the GSO appears to have some internal reflections which I don't like, and also inconsistencies across the range so you need to chose the right one. I would agree that the TV 11mm is a lovely sharp eyepiece, and looking at the scores you can see they have been designed to be consistent across the range.

We have no idea as to the criteria used to make these judgements, which threshold objects were used to see the differences, or how a beginner observer judged contrast and transmission.

That said, if I were starting out in the hobby now, I would most likely invest in a 200p dob and BST eyepieces based on the reviews out there. I don't go with recommending buying Televues for beginners as I don't think you necessarily appreciate the differences, nor for use in entry scopes.

I do believe they offer optical quality and consistency, plus build quality and QA that are worth paying for, although current prices are extremely high for various reasons, X Rate fluctuations etc. I have used and enjoyed ES 100 degree and 82 degree eyepieces, but would also relish having back the 21mm ethos and 31mm Nag that I used to have, plus my Docter 12.5mm which was right up there with the best I've used. It does make a difference.

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