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  1. #1
    Tom T.'s Avatar
    Tom T. Guest

    Default Luna and the ED80, and some thoughts on the Nagler zoom and TMB supermono's…

    Equipment: Orion ED80, 3.1 inch Double APO, Widescan III 30mm, 20mm
    and 13mm, 30mm BW Optik, 24 panoptic, 13mm t6 nagler, 9mm HD ortho,
    7mm HD ortho, 3-6 Nagler zoom, 4 and 5mm TMB monocentrics on Bogen
    3036 / telepod mount.

    Dates: November 6, 8 and 9 2003.

    I spent a lot of time viewing luna over the past few days, mainly
    because it's been clear and it's there. I find the moon an extremely
    interesting target, although even I must admit that when it gets so
    close to full, it's somewhat less interesting. Still, with the way
    the skies have been for the last two weeks, I've been happy to even
    get this chance.

    Optically, the ED80 continues to impress me.

    For those of you who aren't aware, I recently was in the market for a
    small travel scope. I was considering either and FS78, TV85, Sky90,
    SV80S along with other premium APO's, but wound up picking none of the
    above. At a fall star party (GLSG), I had the opportunity to compare
    a TV76 and an ED80 side by side (they were even on the same mount) and
    optically, in the sample I saw there was very little difference.
    Mechanically however, they are indeed in very different worlds – the
    76 has the typical TV built like a tank quality, and the 80 – well,
    it's a standard Chinese scope – I must admit the crayford is a nice
    touch, but even so – it could be better. When I got home, I debated
    it for another month, and finally broke down and ordered one.

    Well, I don't know if I got lucky or what but optically, my sample
    seems a little better than the one I looked through at GLSG. It did
    need to be collimated, and the mechanics had a few issues that I
    needed to pay some attention to, but hey – for $400? I don't mind.

    The optic shows *very* little false color - about the same order as my
    TV102, perhaps slightly less, certainly less than my Genesis SDF
    (which is no slouch IMO either), and way less than my Pronto or Ranger
    ever did. Now that I've collimated the optics, it shows a nearly
    perfect star test, something that I must admit, I really didn't expect
    in a scope in this price range. The little thing easily handles
    magnifications up to 180x and beyond, and the snap test (for focus)
    gives an excellent result. Images are extremely contrasty while the
    field is very wide and well corrected. This scope optically is as
    good as anything else in it's aperture range, regardless of price –
    it's an amazing value. While I don't have access to a bench, and I
    hesitate to discuss absolute figures, I can say that it's done
    everything I expected of it and more – including splitting the double
    double at a mere 66x. Ole luna is sheer joy to explore, as the 80
    takes power with aplomb, while showing the lunar shadows as pure
    black, with all the subtle hues of it's surface standing out in
    relief. While you can debate it's effects on certain companies till
    you are blue in the face, one thing is for sure: if nothing else, this
    scope will introduce new people to the APO market. IMO, Orion has a
    winner on their hands.

    Packing it into the StellarVue C5 case that I'm using to transport it,
    it's extremely easy to throw into the back of the vehicle, and takes
    up awfully little room – something that in my family makes the
    difference between taking a scope and not taking a scope on trips. I
    was very glad I had it this last weekend, as circumstances found me in
    the middle of Battle Creek visiting family during the Nov 8th lunar
    eclipse. Hauling out the scope and setting it up on my parents front
    lawn, I soon drew a small crowd to watch the eclipse. The widescan
    and BW made for low power of 20x while yielding a TFOV over 4 degrees
    in size and as the eclipse progressed revealed multiple stars
    sprinkled throughout.
    The family shuffled though taking peeks as the eclipse progressed, and
    then the high point (for me). My wife brought out our two year old
    daughter who made it very clear that she wanted to take her first look
    through the telescope. I held her up to the eyepiece, while I tried to
    illumine her eye, I wondered if she could actually see anything – and
    then almost instantly, she reacted: "I see it! Daddy, the moon… moon
    in the telescope!" She quickly glanced up at the moon in the sky as
    if to verify it was the same thing, but then looked back down into the
    scope, and was very disappointed when I set her down to let someone
    else look. She made sure we let her look another time before we took
    her in and put her to bed.

    When we got home the next day, I had a package waiting. My only
    complaint with the ED80 / Telepod combo is that with a 2" diagonal,
    balance leaves something to be desired. It's not terrible, but it
    certainly could be better. In the package, lay my answer. A day or
    two before, I had purchased a pronto balance plate from astromart – I
    figured that if I could throw the balance forward a bit, I'd be much
    better off.

    Tests this evening (after I got the car unpacked and the family
    situated) showed that the balance plate did help, but still wasn't
    perfect. Still, I must have spent an hour marveling at the detail
    seen on the lunar limb, and not once this evening could I detect the
    slightest amount of infocus color.

    I spent some time comparing the TMB supermono's to the Nagler zoom,
    and was somewhat surprised to find the zoom hold it's own – and quite
    well, actually. The 30 deg AFOV of the supermono's was something of a
    pain, but my goodness – the contrast nearly made up for it.
    Initially, I'd been sure that the TMB's were a little sharper than the
    Zoom – I was wrong. Both eyepieces seem to be resolving the same
    amount of detail – I could never quite pick out a feature that I could
    see in one, but not in the other (and I've been trying for a couple of
    weeks) however, the TMB's are clearly superior in one area – contrast.
    This assists in detection, and helps to explain why the TMB's seem
    sharper. The TMB's are a truly impressive eyepiece, but on a
    non-tracking mount, the nagler zoom with it's multiple FL settings,
    it's par focality, and it's constant 50 AFOV, all conspire to make
    that the better eyepiece on my non-tracking alt/az mounts. And to
    make matters worse, the TMB's FOV is not entirely flat, although it
    does a pretty good imitation on moderate to long focal length scopes.
    Since these eyepieces are on loan from a little birdy, the question
    inevitably comes up: will I be purchasing some? Well – first on my
    list is a high quality GEM but after that? Well – I'll have to see
    what AP has up it's sleeve, but these Supermono's are certainly a
    *heck* of an eyepiece for planetary observation. I sure wish we could
    get Uncle Al to think about some dedicated planetary eyepieces, using
    the least amount of glass and glass to air interfaces possible in
    order to maximize contrast. Something to compete with the TMB
    supermono's, and the upcoming AP's. I know *I'd* be interested – even
    though Mars is fast disappearing the other planets are just around the

    Clear Skies

    Tom T.

  2. #2
    Edward's Avatar
    Edward Guest

    Default Luna and the ED80, and some thoughts on the Nagler zoom and TMB supermono's.

    Hi Tom,
    Nice report. Maybe we need to circulate a petition.

    Ed T.

    "Tom T." <> wrote in message

  3. #3
    Robert Berta's Avatar
    Robert Berta Guest

    Default Luna and the ED80, and some thoughts o n the Nagler zoom and TMB supermono's?

    This echos what I have seen with the Nagler zoom. The Nagler short
    range zoom is really quite impressive...and that is coming from a guy
    that doesn't own ANY TV eyepieces anymore. That one might get me to
    change my mind. I have tried that zoom (belongs to a friend) on my TV
    85 APO, TV NP101 and a rare AP 7" APO refractor. All seemed to
    indicate that that eyepiece indeed is really special. I didn't get a
    chance to try a AB test...but bet that a good test would be to test it
    against some of the UO Abbe Orthos...especially the latest "deluxe"
    versions. I think they may win the contest due to theoretical better
    contrast...but would have to see.
    Bob Berta

  4. #4
    Tom T.'s Avatar
    Tom T. Guest

    Default Luna and the ED80, and some thoughts o n the Nagler zoom and TMB supermono's? (Tom T.) wrote in message news:< com>...

    Errrr that should be doublet APO....


    Tom T.

  5. #5
    Ted Kord's Avatar
    Ted Kord Guest

    Default Luna and the ED80, and some thoughts o n the Nagler zoom and TMB supermono's?

    Thanks for a great review. From al I've seen, this litttle scope seems like
    a winner. Never thought I'd ever buy an APO refractor, but now I just may!

  6. #6
    Alan Charlesworth's Avatar
    Alan Charlesworth Guest

    Default Luna and the ED80

    In article < >, (Tom T.) wrote:

    How did you collimate it?

  7. #7
    Tom T.'s Avatar
    Tom T. Guest

    Default Luna and the ED80

    Alan Charlesworth <> wrote in message news:<>...

    There are several steps to collimating a refractor. See Tonkin's page
    for more detail:

    Basically, for this ED80, I used a laser to make sure the drawtube was
    correctly aligned with the objective.

    Tom T.



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