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  1. #1
    Chuck289's Avatar
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    Default "Planetary" Eyepieces?



    Im shopping for eyepieces and Ive seen these advertised. Like the Orion Edge-on Planetary series. I think Zhumell also has some. What is it about these that makes them better suited for planetary viewing? Can they be used for viewing other things like DSOs?

  2. #2
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    Default

    These eyepieces are designed to provide high magnification. They are mot suitable for DSOs as their field of view is narrow.
    Matthew Ota
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  3. #3
    Chuck289's Avatar
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    I guess I still dont see why they are different from other "regular" eyepieces that can provide the same magnification. And some even provide a better field of view. Do they somehow bring out more details or colors when looking at planets?

  4. #4
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    Default

    The following my opinion only.

    In my experience the good ones (so called 'planetary' eps) work fine on DSO's if the object will fit. A 'very' good planetary ep is a difficult creature to tame, and the best cost $$$ ! Pretty good ones can be had for far less. Used to be (PRE ethos and XW, SW, etc) the best planetary ep's were considered to be the Abbe or 'semi-Abbe' orthoscopic ep's, with about 44-50 AFOV...

    Unfortunately, like most things these days 'planetary' has been turned into a marketing term - I wouldn't buy an ep because it's called planetary any more than I'd buy a telescope that's called 'planetary'. This has become a marketing term so buyer beware.

    My favorite ep's for planetary example: Zeiss Abbe Ortho I or II (II are better IMO), low mm Ethos, TMB SMC (supermonocentric) NOT 'TMB planetary' which I don't recommend at all. Pentax, University Optics 'volcano Top' orthos, or Baader Genuine Orthos, VernonScope 'Brandon', Orion Q-70 (or the AgenaAstro clones of them) if your scope is f8 or more...


    Lot has changed in the EP world in only the last 5 years... there are a lot more choices out there in a good ep, but most cost$$ but not all - I've got my BGO's and UO VTops for $40-$70 used on AstroMart. A planet does not require a wide fov/afov by itself, and some folks like seeing moons in the view. A lot of globulars also don't need a wide fov/afov... depends on object... But given a choice between a 6mm Ethos and my 6mm ZAOII - I'll take the ZAO every time.

    But there's a caveat here. Everything depends on your scopes fl and the mag the ep will give you. (get mag by dividing scope fl 'mm' by the ep fl 'mm') No sense buying an ep that will give more than 300x - and you'll find the sky conditions will often limit you well below that - nothing you can do about it.

    A great 'plantary ep' will only allow the scope to perform at it's potential without optical abberations generated in the ep, as any really good eyepiece should.

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  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by klaatu2u View Post

    In my experience the good ones (so called 'planetary' eps) work fine on DSO's if the object will fit.
    Agreed. Dont dismiss a good Planetary for DSO observations just because of the name. Its the optical quality, FOV and magnification that are or primary concern. Many DSOs are much bigger than planets and will even stay in the FOV of a push Dob longer than a planet will--so even at 300x or more, the image doesnt race out of the FOV like a planet does. Hence, a judiciously chosen fl EP can work fine for the larger DSOs.

    I do know Orion's Planetaries are supposed to have a flatter field (vs their wide field Stratus line, for example) and this is somehow correlated with a better image of planets. I used both a 3mm Orion Planetary (400x) and a 3.5mm Stratus (340x) extensively on Saturn a few months back and the Planetary did give a crisper view despite the higher magnification.



    BTW, Great post Klaatu!
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    The design probably pays more attention to dealing with "stray light" as well.
    Meade 16" LightBridge; Celestron G-8N Bird-Jones/motorized EQ5; Orion 127 Mak/go-to EQ5; Burgess 127f8 refractor; Sky-Watcher 5" F/5 collapsible dob; 90mm Mak/motorized EQ2; Royal Astro 76/910-GEM; Meade 60x700 refractor/alt/az; Zhumell 25x100 Coin Ops; GalilleoScope. Celestron 8mm-24mm zoom; lots of fixed EPs,some good, some..not so much. A small collection of surveying instruments; a forest of tripods; Canon Rebel Xti. Confirmed gadget junkie; Custodian of the Magnetic North Pole (Send $1.00 to Pierre each time you use a compass.)
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    Thanks for the info. I'll continue shopping around

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    This is a pretty good site and may help with your quest.
    How to Choose your Eyepiece - Eyepiece Reviews
    Gerry1 10" f5 Newtonian Equatorial mount.
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    Chuck,

    Here is a fairly good review of different eyepieces. I have found University Optics to provide outstanding detail, definition, and clarity on planets, and they are inexpensive compared to other good eyepieces.

    Scroll down to find UNIVERSITY OPTICS ORTHOSCOPICS Eyepieces various reviewed

    UO Ortho eyepieces have limitations, small diameter around 10mm or below [best exit pupil may be different for different people, even at the same age], small eye relief in lower mm focal length, especially below 6mm, however, many people still get great views and feel comfortable with 4mm UO Orthos.
    Last edited by swing848; 11-05-2009 at 05:51 AM. Reason: forgot a word

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