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  1. #1
    Chuck Taylor's Avatar
    Chuck Taylor Guest

    Default Planetary Eyepieces

    Anybody here compare the following?

    Zeiss .965 orthos
    AP Super Planetary
    Pentax Orthos

    I'm looking for a 4 and 5mm and wondering what to go for to
    upgrade from UO orthos.

    Clear Skies

    Chuck Taylor
    Do you observe the moon? If so, try

    If you enjoy optics, try

  2. #2
    Ed T's Avatar
    Ed T Guest

    Default Planetary Eyepieces

    "Chuck Taylor" <> wrote in message


    I haven't tried the Zeiss .965" eyepieces. In general, they are reported to
    be inferior to the Zeiss 1.25" oculars and to the Pentax orthos
    (conventional wisdom, take it for what its worth). There isn't a 5mm Zeiss
    ortho, so afficionados slide their Zeiss 10mm into their Zeiss barlow ;^)

    The AP eyepieces are very close to the Pentax smc orthos in performance. I
    can not tell you which is superior, too close to call under my midwestern
    skies. Another first rate 5mm is the newer Pentax XO, as good as the Pentax
    ortho and SPL. If you want a 4mm Pentax, try the 3.8mm Pentax XP. Great
    eyepiece but forget about seeing the field stop, the eye relief is tight.

    The TMB monocentrics are strong contenders, too. And they're the cheapest
    of the bunch right now. The 30 degree field is tough for undriven mounts
    and sometimes will hide a moon that would be visible in a 40-45 degree
    field. The 4mm has a very tiny eyelens, looks like a bugger to clean.

    Ed T.

  3. #3
    BMURF01@YAHOO.COM's Avatar

    Default Planetary Eyepieces


    Haven't used a Zeiss .965. I'll second Ed regarding the Pentax SMC
    ortho's and the AP SP's. Performance wise the are very, very
    close;However, the AP has greater eye relief for any given focal length
    and that makes them more comfortable for me. I owned a Pentax 3.8 XP
    and sold it becasue the tiny eye lens and eye relief made it nearly

    Brian Murphy

  4. #4's Avatar Guest

    Default Planetary Eyepieces

    Chuck Taylor wrote:

    Hi, Chuck

    The first useful difference in planetary EPs is the quality of the
    coatings, and the quality leads directly to the supression of
    reflections, glare, and flare. If you don't mind putting the planet
    ever so slightly off center so the flare/glare is not concentric with
    the planet the necessaity of superior coatings can be downplayed.

    AND you can ignore it, the quality of the planet image is then becomes
    highly scope dependent. In average well collimated 1/4 wave scopes
    (strehl ~0.80) the image quality of the main objective has damaged the
    planetary image enough that you cannot see the quality of the planetary
    EP shine through. In My U11/ 20DOB I cannot see the difference between
    a typical Nagler and the corresponding Top quality Ortho/Plossl due to
    the image degradation of the objective. In my 6" AP APO I can but only
    on really good nights.

    If you happen to have an AP, TMB, Zeiss, TEC scope (and a few more)
    then these top notch eyepieces are just a hair better then the more
    comercial variety. If your scope has ANY obstruction what so ever, it
    is almost impossible to see any differences between the image deliverd
    to the eye* comercial Orthos/Plossls and the top notch planetary
    [*] ignoring the FoV differences and cosmetic issues.

  5. #5's Avatar Guest

    Default Planetary Eyepieces

    > The 4mm has a very tiny eyelens, looks like a bugger to clean.

    Actually, the monocentrics are a dream to clean.

    1) Spread out a piece of clean cloth or cotton to work over.

    2) Turn the EP over, remove the chromed brass barrel

    3) unscrew the field stop assembly

    3) tip it over the cloth and allow the cemented triplet to fall out

    4) using tweezers, lift the triplet, clean both ends as desired

    5) replace glass into barrel, the symmetrical design means it doesnt
    matter which way the glass goes back in

    6) reverse assembly

    Ed Triplet



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