Image of the day

Captured by
James Brown

Sol 5-9-23 Detail

My Account

New to Astromart?

Register an account...

Need Help?

Posts Made By: Steve Hollenbach

July 2, 2009 10:30 AM Forum: Eyepieces

How good can an eyepiece get?

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

I agree.
It is driven by utility. For example; the development of optics in our submarine periscopes reached an impass in the 1960's and we turned to electronic enhancement. It looked very much like a really crisp black and white TV show with a slight 3D look and reasonable zoom capability.

That was at sea, just above the waves, at night, with cloud cover and no moon glow. You could observe a ship a mile away, tell how many people were out on deck and what they were doing. That took place in the early 1980's.

Twenty years from now, people like me will very likely show others at a star party images in real time on high-def LCD screen. Then, just before packing it in for the night, pull out the "Old Ethos" and say;"Do you want to see something kind of cool?"

July 14, 2009 09:43 AM Forum: Maksutovs

Reducer for mk-66 to get flat field on APS size ch

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

I used an Antares x.7 for visual work. It's OK. My thinking was use on with a longer focal length and just space it out to get the effect.

I wrote a few articles for the Meade 7" MAK and one covered increasing the TFOV. They're still posted in the Reviews section if you want a look see.

For imaging I don't know how well it would flatten the field.


July 28, 2009 08:19 AM Forum: Eyepieces

matching the scope to the eyepieces?

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Hi Greg,
You make a good point. My "dog" is a Meade 7" MAK. worth roughly the same as my eyepieces, mostly from TeleVue. I tried not to keep up with the Jones, but in the end did exactly that. However they seem to be a good match.

Perhaps it boils down to our individual sense of satisfaction with the view we're getting. I'd be the first to admit my eye-sight needs more of a tune-up than my scope! I tried a Baader Orthoscopic, but traded it away for a TeleVue Radian. It's not as good, but easier to use.

When I have guests over or go to a star party, there is very little to be sorry for, but always a slightly better eyepiece or focuser or something to say "...maybe next time" about.

It could be the difference in how serious about the hobby we are. Again it varies widely by individual tastes.

For now, no second Ethos in the collection yet. Maybe next time!


July 31, 2009 07:07 AM Forum: Eyepieces


Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Is TeleVue making an 11mm Ethos now? I know they make a 10mm, and I own a 13mm.

The Meade 7" MAK has an 8.25 inch mirror and at f-15 its focal length is 2670. Not taking into account the large field of view, the 13mm Ethos performs better than a 12mm Nagler. I get 205x and the field is flat and crisp from edge to edge with good on-axis performance. It also has just a hint more contrast. I had to do lots of looking to compair the two. You might not even see the edges of the field. My old 12 Nagler had been the top of the heap from past experiments with EPs.

The C8 has a shorter focal length, so the 10mm Ethos might be the way to go. You'd get 200x with very enjoyable use.

I'm still considering the plunge for an 8mm Ethos, but want to check out more EPs first.
Clear skys,

August 12, 2009 06:23 AM Forum: Religion


Posted By Steve Hollenbach

You old devil you!


August 26, 2009 12:16 PM Forum: Eyepieces

comparison of 60- 80mm finders

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

I had a smaller 50mm Antares but replaced it with a 60mm. The quality and clarity were quite good. I haven't looked through an 80mm yet, but it apears to be from the same manufacturer. If their quality program is consitent, it should also be good.

I considered one for use as a wide field finder.

September 30, 2009 10:05 AM Forum: Eyepieces

Two Naglers and one Panoptic or ...

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

I've got the following; and they work very well for me:

56mm Meade 4000 Super Plossl
27mm TeleVue Panoptic
16mm TeleVue Nagler
13mm TeleVue Ethos
9mm TeleVue Nagler
7.5mm Takahashi LE

I've agonized over what would best fill what slot for magnification and what would fill a slot for wide field, but this is close to everything I need.

I'm thinking of selling off the 16mm Nagler, as I hardly ever use it. I speculated using the 21mm Ethos to replace it and the 27mm Panoptic.

So far, everything I look at to replace the 27mm Panoptic is either way too big for stable use on my focal reducer or simply not good enough. It's a workhorse, and hard to beat.

Sounds like you have a good collection now. I hope to see a 22 Nagler soon. That advice might be the best. The price of a new 21mm Ethos could buy a whole set of good condition used Naglers.

There's my two cents.

October 12, 2009 07:57 AM Forum: Eyepieces

Debating among EPs, need advice

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

I've been rolling the same scenario over in my head for months now. I happen to have a 7" Maksutov, so we're dealing with two different scopes. Because I have a small aperture and long focal length, I didn't want a Barlow in the mix. However the 13mm Ethos works well, and the Antares Barlow is good. Astro Physics make one of the best if you want to make detailed comparisons. However, your 26mm Nagler and 13mm Ethos have you off to a great start.

I use a 56mm Meade 4000 series Super Plossl, a 27mm TeleVue Panoptic and a 13mm Ethos. In my scope the Ethos gives me a little over 200X. For higher magnifications, I've found the Takahashi LE series to be an excellent eyepiece. Better than the TeleVues for light throughput, color and contrast. I have a 7.5mm Tak-LE and am waiting for a 10mm LE.

When seeing conditions are poor, having a few extra small eyepieces comes in handy. Keep in mind these have a 52 degree aparent field of view, and wider fields are very useful on a Newtonian.

If you want to save some money and have heaps of aperture to begin with, the Barlow will work very well. Using an Ethos, a Nagler or any eyepiece with a Barlow reduces the True Field Of View (TFOV) in proportion to the increase in magnification, but you'll still have much more than other EPs will yield.

There's two cents!
Have a good one!

October 20, 2009 12:07 PM Forum: Religion

Churches Gone Wild!

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

I got off that merry-go-round long ago, and it was one of the most traditional ones.

Love thy neighbor, unless he's not "one of us"

is a mentality ripping the world appart. Their are some brains amoung them, but usually more selve serving that advertised. None of whom are really interested in morality or fostering peace on Earth.

So I turned to science and phylosophy. Strangely enough, I found organized religion is just interested in organised religion, not God.

Is it unfortunate that there are more inteligent exchanges on belief here on this forum than in most other conversations I've had? Perhaps fortunate after all.

Like everything it depends on one's perspective. However, most witch hunts are rather one sided.


November 4, 2009 12:46 PM Forum: Eyepieces

2" or 1.25" eyepieces?

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

If you're just starting out it's easy to get caught up in buying new stuff. Relax and take your time. You'll want a lot, but need very little.

I see there have already been some good answers to your question.

A 2" EP is really a matter of preference until it comes to wide field views.

Your stock Meade EP's are not bad, they're simply not extrordinary. You mentioned Knight Owl. They make a pretty good eyepiece. I recommend them, but before investing a ton of money, just remember the simpler your set-up the more often you'll use it.

I have gone nuts, having tried out about 60 EPs, but still seek advice on new ones. The nice thing is, the inexpensive ones sometimes surprise you with high quality.

Hold off on 2" barrel format till you've done some observing with the 1.25" type.

That's my two cents,