Sky and Telescope
$80.00 - $100.00
wide field Plossl
|4 elements Plossl design, 50 degree apparent field.
Tele Vue 8mm. and 11 mm. Plossls
I just got the 8mm and 11mm. Tele Vue Plossl 50* FOV eyepieces and I thought
I'd post my impression of it. Let me say that I own a few Tele Vues (40mm,
24mm, 19mm Widefields and 13mm, 11mm, 9 mm Naglers)
I purchased the Plossls because of my new scope, a Skywatcher 150mm f/8 refractor. I wanted this for Lunar/Planetary observing and considered
this and an Orthoscopic design ( simpler 4 element designs). This
set-up gives 150x magnification (8mm.) and 109 (11mm.). Some people might have trouble with
its eye relief, but I don't. Additionally, there are no "kidney bean" issues
with Plossls when observing the Moon which is great for my wife and kid. This
makes it comfortable to observe for those who aren't used to
holding an image in Nagler type eyepieces.
Let me say that the 8mm/11mm TV Plossls are good eyepieces. The throughput, (brightness is roughly the same as a Nagler), but the
smaller FOV puts me right up to the object I'm observing.
The 8 MM
On objects like the Swan Nebula and the Lagoon, the rippling in the cloud structures were EASY to see. Along with this, the contrast was
generally a bit as little bit better than my 9mm Nagler Type 1. The Globular M22 was framed perfectly in the 8mm making the stars appear
like they were swarming in the eyepiece. The 9mm Nagler (130x) views the globular with a lot of background sky. Both views were good, but they
were just very different. Averted vision enhanced everything.
The Ring Nebula appeared very bright and was also nicely framed in the 8mm.
The Dumbell Nebula Was also very bright and like the Swan and Lagoon, appeared to have slightly more undulations in light and dark lobe features
than the 9mm Nagler. Mars is having its dust storm, but I think that the chromatic aberrations
were suppressed a little better in my achromat, especially at the edge of the
FOV than the 9mm. Additionally, with Mars half in/half out of the FOV, The planet's disc was
In the same night, I got to try our the 13mm and 17mm Tele Vue Plossls, (discontinued in these focal lengths). The 17mm gave a FOV closer to the 9mm
Nagler. I would have to say that the 9mm Nagler was better at this FOV due to
darker sky background, but the 8mm Plossl definitely had that put it under a microscope aesthetic that really appealed
to me, plus it had the same great optical quality that has always made TeleVue great.
The TV 11mm. Plossl eyepiece is every bit as good. Additionally, I found that these eyepieces Barlow very well. Last night I got to a
dark sky site that rated better than magnitude 6. M13 with the 11mm. Plossl
and 2.5x barlow gave a magnification factor of 275x through my Skywatcher 6" refractor. Dark lanes and star chains were easy to see
as well as the dark asterism known as the "Propeller". Some image breakdown started at 375x with the 8mm. and Barrow, but the image held
up well enough. M15 and M92 were resolved with breakdown of stars through the core. M27 appeared more circular than rectangle-like with its
central star appearing/disappearing. An Orion XT-8 (also 1200mm. focal length with same magnifications) was there, and basically gave a
similar views with these eyepieces and Barlow.
All in all, this 8mm Plossl/11 mm. are keepers. If these are any indication
of what a good classic Plossl design can do, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it to those
who are putting an eyepiece collection together but can't/don't want to pay
$200-$400 for the other Tele Vues. They retail at about $90 each for the shorter focal lengths and totally crush the Plossl type eyepieces that
generally come with scopes. Also, most local telescope retailers have them so
you can inspect them before you buy. I suspect that they would probably give
you a reasonable grace period to try them out in your own scope.
Once again a well-made classic Plossl gave views with an optical quality on
par with the Nagler type eyepieces, FOV aside. I also feel that the attention
to detail put into these e.p.'s are a bit better. This is in regard to the
cleanliness (no dirt inside) and sharpness of the field edge. All the otherbrands I examined at my local telescope shop had dirt and the edges when
looking inside the eyepiece were raggy.
For those starting out, I once again recommend these eyepieces as you can get 3 or 4 very good oculars for the price of one of the highly
corrected ultra wide field types, and IMO possibly see most objects with slightly more clarity to boot.
Submitted by Sol Robbins - email@example.com