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Best Current Production High Power EP

Started by wpaolini, 10/04/2006 08:59AM
Posted 10/04/2006 08:59AM Opening Post
Would like to know everyone's recommendation for what they have experience with and consider to be the absolute best performing high power eyepiece (10mm or shorter fl). Price is to be no object in the equation and the EP must still be in production. If you want to also recommend an out-of-production unit, that's fine but please don't forget your in-production selection. If you can give a short list of what it's better than, that would be great too smile

Would potentially like to add one very very best available EP to the stall. Planets and Lunar is where most of it's time will be spent.

Thx!
Posted 10/04/2006 02:26PM #1
I don't have enough experience to make any recommendations, but I'd sure like to see a comparison with the Pentax XF8.5mm included.

Brad

William Paolini said:

Would like to know everyone's recommendation for what they have experience with and consider to be the absolute best performing high power eyepiece (10mm or shorter fl). Price is to be no object in the equation and the EP must still be in production. If you want to also recommend an out-of-production unit, that's fine but please don't forget your in-production selection. If you can give a short list of what it's better than, that would be great too smile

Would potentially like to add one very very best available EP to the stall. Planets and Lunar is where most of it's time will be spent.

Thx!
Posted 10/04/2006 03:01PM #2
The TMB Supermonocentrics are still in limited production. New, they're only available from Markus Ludes. (an AM sponsor)

They're available in a variety of focal lengths.

Narrow afov, limited eye relief, but sharp and high contrast views. I use them for planets and small dso.

Posted 10/04/2006 07:21PM #3
John Holt said:

Scope focal ratio?

I know it matters sometimes, but if people just have long fl scopes then tell me that. I have a f/5 Newt. But am still interested in their opinions for other designs and FLs.

Thx.
Posted 10/04/2006 07:39PM #4
Hands down the one set of EP's I haul around are Zeiss Abbe Orthos. They are out of production but can still be had. They are very expensive but once you use them your hooked.

I also use some of the early TV Naglers, Radians and Takahashi LE's which are all fine planetaery EP's

Regards,

Mike Mandall

William Paolini said:

Would like to know everyone's recommendation for what they have experience with and consider to be the absolute best performing high power eyepiece (10mm or shorter fl). Price is to be no object in the equation and the EP must still be in production. If you want to also recommend an out-of-production unit, that's fine but please don't forget your in-production selection. If you can give a short list of what it's better than, that would be great too smile

Would potentially like to add one very very best available EP to the stall. Planets and Lunar is where most of it's time will be spent.

Thx!
Posted 10/05/2006 04:58AM | Edited 10/05/2006 05:10AM #5
I probably can't give you one absolute best.
There are several near the top, and they are
very close. This is mostly based on side-by-side
lab tests with stuff like postage stamps at
50 feet, Air Force resolution charts, artificial
stars, etc. Scope use was an F8 APO. Eyepieces
were 5 mm and 6mm (comparing same focal lengths
where possible).

I would put TMB Super-Monos as probably the best
for contrast and detail, but with some very large
caveats. It usually seemed closest to resolving
the next level on the Air Force resolution charts.
But the field is narrow, and the focus
changes considerably from center to edge --
if you can keep the planet dead center its OK,
but otherwise sharpness will be significantly
compromised. Eye relief is terrible. It also
needs a good amount of inward-focus travel --
about 1/2 inch from most TV for example. I've
got one tightly designed Newt where they don't
reach focus.

Next to that for current production -- no one
has yet mentioned -- the TV 3-6 zoom. I would
give this as the best overall choice for
current production. Contrast and detail are
very, very close to the TMB. Field is
much wider and very flat. Eyerelief is reasonable.
There is some advantage to the zoom ability:
For example ZAO jump from 6mm to 4mm which
is enormous, but you can dial-in whatever
you want on the zoom. Also there are some tricks,
like using 3mm to focus and then dialing back to
5mm or 6mm for viewing. Ones initial assumption is
that the zoom must somehow be inferior, but I
find no evidence of this.

Takahashi LE are close to the TV 3-6 zoom.
Sometimes there were fine medium contrast
details that seemed a little easier to pull
out in the TMB and TV zoom, but its very close.

The UO orthos are a tiny step down from the above.
I find I have to look very hard and long to see the
difference. On the Air Force resolution charts it
was nearly equal to the TMB mono, but it did less
well on lower-contrast targets. You probably get
85% to 90% of the performance for 10% to 20% of
the price of some others. Not to be ignored.

Others that compete well with the above, but
are not so available are ZAO, Clave, Pentax SMC
ortho. These are somewhere around the
TV 3-6 zoom for contrast and detail. I find it
very hard to pull out differences between these
in side-by-side tests.

I did not test the TV Radians or Naglers
or current Pentax offerings.
Posted 10/16/2006 05:48PM #6
> Planets and Lunar is where most of it's time will be spent

The TMB supermonocentrics that APM sells are superb!
Posted 10/22/2006 07:21AM | Edited 10/22/2006 07:21AM #7
James Fusco said:
I have a few zeiss orthos, UO HD's & planetary, Pentax ortho,Vixen orthos,Tak LE, even a old GOTO, old TV's and New. I'm a apo guy and always end up grabbing the TV 2.5 T6 Nagler.I think Al did a great job removing the warm color that comes with using ed glass. I find the zeiss to be the whitest on vega, next the pentex, strangely the old GOTO H was dam good too. But the TV T6 are very white, sharp, and have a WF. Stressing the EPs yes I did that too.I attached a 2.5, 4 and a 5x powermate to the end of the 2.5mm and was able to view the moon. What is nice to, I was able to take pictures through that system. So when you ask for best, you need to ask yourself will I use it. Like a car, is it fast, just in a straight line or curves too. I use all my eps hoping to see something better than the other, but then to gravitate to the nagler's T6.

Jim,

That's interesting...1st time I heard anyone mention that the T6's removed the warm tones. I've never had a T6 so can't compare.

In many respects I think you are quite correct. Under normal, or even good+ sky conditions, most eyepieces perform the same (resolution), with the exception of contrast and afov of course. That being said, the very large afov of the Nagler is seductive. So I can see why you always reach for it. I think it is only when the sky is excellent and we push our scopes to their limits that we can begin to really see the differences between what are considered the best (Zeiss) and others. That being said, then 9 times out of 10 I agree and the Nagler would probably get picked most often.

As anotehr poster here suggested to me, this quest for the best is really for those rare times when everything falls together and the best optics will really shine smile

Thanks for your post...good insights smile

-Bill
Posted 10/22/2006 07:27AM #8
Philip,

I think your post was un-called for and very unprofessional. And also has no merit in terms of argument and logic. The comment did not address the point of the poster but instead attacked the person. Bad form overall. I'm sure all of us would appreciate it if we could stick to the point of the thread and discuss eyepieces and not people or personalities.

Appreciate your understanding,
-Bill
Posted 10/27/2006 05:27PM #9
I've had great results with the Takahashi LEs in 2.8mm, 3.6mm, 5mm and 7.5mm, with the 8mm Televue Plossl and, surprisingly, the 5mm Celestron Ultima. The Ultima is close to the Takahashi LE in performance, but not quite as comfortable, and is better (brighter images at a given magnification; less scatter around bright objects) than the 5mm University Orthoscopic. I guess technically that it's no longer in production. I've had other clones like Ultrascopics and Parks Gold Series Plossls, and in my opinion the Celestron Ultimas are better (againg, slightly brighter images at a given magnification; slightly less scatter around bright objects). Perhaps the coatings differ?

Regards,

- Jim