View Full Version here: : Meade Series 5000 Plossls

22-03-2007, 05:43 PM
Anyone tried these? The 40mm gives a field as wide as a 35mm Panoptic, and is about $150 cheaper. I'm curious as to how Meade's quality would compare to Tele Vue (I own several TV eps and used to own the 35mm Pan). I've never used any of Meade's high-end eps.




22-03-2007, 06:07 PM
they are good, but the extra 10 degrees over the normal 50-degree plossl will be astigmatic even at f/10.

22-03-2007, 06:26 PM
I have found the eye relief on the shorter fl s5000 to be painfully short, and when used in an f5 scope they suffer severe field curvature.
Sorry I havent tried any of the longer fl s5000's

22-03-2007, 09:19 PM
Confirms what I thought - once you get used to Tele Vue eyepieces there's no going back!



22-03-2007, 09:46 PM
How do you know those guys don't work for Tele Vue :whistle:

22-03-2007, 10:05 PM
I prefer Pentax's products (mostly) :whistle:

22-03-2007, 10:30 PM
I could look it up, but someone here will know, what would the price difference be between say a Meade, Tele Vue and say a couple other leading brands, on a similar sized eye piece. Bearing in mind that the price does not ensure quality, I'm just after the price comparison :P

22-03-2007, 11:00 PM
Look at Bintel's website. Meade makes eyepieces that are just as expensive as TeleVue, and in similar exotic types. Difference is that TeleVue has proven itself to make excellent eyepieces. Not sure if Meade can claim the same.

22-03-2007, 11:15 PM
That's exactly my point, I want real users opinion, not marketing hype from a commercial website. I don't care what the manufacturers or retailers claim, but I do value the unbiased opinions of the many users of this forum. If I knew which was the better company I wouldn't ask, but until tonight, I had never heard one negative sentiment about Meade, however I have often heard that Tele Vue are very good.

I'll be honest, as a newbie reading every word on every thread, it was coming through to me that Meade were a very reputable, long established high quality company. They may not be the best, but it always came through in members comments that they were pretty good.

Getting back to your comment above, I don't know that they could make the same claims as Tele Vue, then again on the other hand, I don't not know it either (and that is a terrible double negative, but it illustrates my point)...hopefully :D

22-03-2007, 11:41 PM
I guess companies like TeleVue have made their reputation by making very good products (with premium prices to match). Companies like Meade have brought reasonably priced products to the masses, but their quality control lets them down occasionally.

So in the last few years, Meade has produced eyepieces with 'apparently' similar specs and prices when compared with TeleVue. However, over the years you get to know that Meade's marketing department is prepared to stretch the truth, sometimes a bit too far.

That's not to say that Meade's stuff is cr@p. But if you want to compare similar models with similar prices, go with the proven company (in this case TeleVue). I also have a Pentax XL 21mm, and it's really good too, so I'm not exclusive to TV!


23-03-2007, 08:53 AM
Thanks for your insight Morton, I respect and value your opinion. One of the hardest things for a newcomer to do is to weed out the fact from the fiction, if you do this successfully it can save you time, money and misery. This is where the power of an open forum comes into it's own :thumbsup:

23-03-2007, 10:20 AM
Televue plossls aren't perfect either. Due to a design compromise to do with maintaining good eye relief, they don't have full field illumination (becomes dimmer nearer the edge, very dark when barlowed). Ultima style plossls do not have this problem and are the best all-rounders (more immersive on deep sky), while TV plossls are the best for planets IMO (superb contrast).

23-03-2007, 10:45 AM
I guess the only real way of telling what you like personally is to try as many different EP's as possible under real dark site conditions and then keeping track of what you see. Keeping some sort of score card and for consistency always view the same object.

Of course that is if you have access to be able to do that and remember we are talking about doing this prior to purchasing your EP's. If you had to purchase every type just to try, it would be pointless. This is where societies really come into their own where you can get a look through many different set-up's and sort of try before you buy.

Once again (due to inexperience) I would assume that the best EP's probably comes down to (a) the overall quality of the manufacturer and (b) a fair amount of personal preference.

The second point is important because we are all different and your perfect EP may not be mine and so on. So I guess it comes down to personal research, like what I am doing right now, plus getting outside and looking through as many different EP's as I possibly can.

I further assume that in time, you develop a preference for what you enjoy observing, and once that is known, the choice of EP becomes somewhat smaller because it is horses for courses in this respect. :P

23-03-2007, 10:45 AM
Hello Ron

I have a full set of Meade Plossl series 4000 and also several Televue Panoptics and Radians. I bought the Televue eyepieces because of their large eye relief as I need to wear glasses when I observe.

I live 10-15 minutes from your place and you are very welcome to come and try them out.

If you are interested, please email me on g.vasilareas@optusnet.com.au

George (Astrolabe)

23-03-2007, 10:51 AM
That's a fantastic and generous offer George, Thank you very much and I just might take you up on it. I'll PM you about details. Speaking of which, I must also publicly acknowledge that Alex offered to loan me his EP's for a month so I could get used to different ones before I purchased my own.

This type of friendly, unselfish and generous community spirit is extremely refreshing and I doubt that it would exist to the same degree in too many other communities. :thumbsup:

23-03-2007, 11:06 AM
Hi Guys,

I bought a 26mm s5000 plossl from Stirker a few weeks ago and I am very happy with it! I use it in my f5 dob and it does show some aberations in the last 10-15%. But it is a very easy EP to use and nice and sharp across most of the field. Has great eye relief and great build quality.

I enjoy using this EP however it might be different story if I had paid full price. Like a lot of people seem to be finding, your money may be better spent going for a similar EP from Televue or Pentax.

It was a great upgrade for me, however whether it is good value when buying new is something I can't coment on.



23-03-2007, 01:28 PM
I noticed a number of references by you re manufacturer A vs manufacturer B.
It's not a very accurate guide to assume that because a product is manufactured by company A, that its a good one for your needs, even when that company is Televue. Naglers for example vary widely in character across the different model lines and focal lengths. Whereas one might give you a delightful viewing experience, there may be another that you cannot stand.

Getting back to the original topic, latest model Meade eyepieces are AFAIK all manufactured in China and suffer variations in build quality and are so-so in performance. IMO they cannot be included in the premium category with the likes of Pentax and Televue.

23-03-2007, 03:27 PM
Thanks for your input Geoff, you added a few new points for me (and others) to think about, this has been a more than worthwhile thread. :D

23-03-2007, 04:40 PM
Ron, I view(no pun intended) eyepieces in the same way that I do wine,
I am a connoisseur, I know exactly what it is that I enjoy. Regards Greg.
P.S. If it wasn't eyepieces it would be engine sizes, or tattoos, perhaps even *****es on the table, just get a good observers chair and enjoy the veiw.(and those Mead's(Meade's)).

24-03-2007, 04:15 PM
Where does this information come from??
Televue uses a classic Plossl design. There are no special changes to improve eyerelief. They do however design them so that they have a sharply defined field stop. I believe the compromise in Plossl designs made by any manufacturer is trading field curvature for astigmatism. If you want no field curvature you have to accept some astigmatism and vice versa. The Televue Plossls are optimised to minimise astigmatism.
Field illumination is governed by the optical design of the telescope. If you are keen enough to detect reduced field illumination at the edge of an eyepiece start by checking with problems in your telescope. For example a Newtonian with an undersized secondary mirror would show a drop in illumination towards the edge of long focal length eyepieces (or a medium focal length eyepiece that has a wide apparent field of view). Other sources of reduced field illumination are the inside of small focuser barrels cutting off (or vignetting) light.
Ultima style Plossls do not have this problem? I have a TV 32mm Plossl which is one of the most exceptional eyepieces I have ever had the opportunity to look through - especially for deep sky objects. I also have a 12.5mm Ultima which is a ripper on the planets. Both of them get darker when Barlowed which is to be expected when halving your exit pupil.

Anyway the important thing to keep in mind is this:
There are many eyepieces that will give decent views in many telescopes for most people. A truly good eyepiece though is like a treasure. You will hold it dearly forever. Get good ones whatever they may be. Pay enough that it hurts a little bit. That pain will go away when you look through it and if you keep it for 10 years and see lots of really good things through it you will look back and chuckle. The pain of how much you paid will be a distant memory compared to the window it opens on the Universe.

24-03-2007, 04:26 PM
Hi Michael, agree with everything you said.

The reason I started this thread is that I'm weighing up which eyepieces could give a field of view around 2 degrees when used with a scope of around 1200 focal length (i.e. 8" f/6, 10" f/5, or 8" SCT with focal reducer) and keep the exit pupil under 7mm.

I certainly felt some pain when I bought a 35mm Panoptic a few years back, but it was a fantastic eyepiece. I only ever used it in a TV-85 and the view was almost too wide. Wish I'd kept it, cos I imagine it would be excellent in any of the scopes I mentioned above.


24-03-2007, 05:08 PM
Hi Michael, most of what you said is still a little beyond me, although I follow your drift, however more important than all the technical opinion from my viewpoint is the last two sentences, quoted above. Those sentences are IMHO priceless and the endgame, regardless of how we get there :thumbsup:

I'm looking forward to meeting you, naturally you will be delighted to know I have a healthy Visa card :whistle:

24-03-2007, 06:12 PM
- also discussions on CN, esp comments from Mike Hosea

In just about any scope, stick a 15mm TV plossl in a 2x Televue barlow (or any other barlow) and the edge of field goes black, usable FOV reduced to around 40-45 degrees. Try it in daylight, it is most obvious. This is something entirely different from the overall dimming of the image from halving of the exit pupil, i.e. increase in magnification due to barlow. When not barlowed the edge is not dark, but noticeably dimmer than the centre of field.

25-03-2007, 07:21 AM
Thanks Janokiss, as suspected the vignetting is caused by a separate factor - not by the eyepiece.
There is a really nice list called the "wobbly stack" that lists all the factors that intervene between Reality (what we should see) and Perception (what we "see") when evaluating the view. They include:
Bandwidth of Light, atmospheric turbulence and absorption, ground turbulence, aperture pupil, aberrations, alignment, spider obstruction, secondary obstruction, tube currents or air pudding, dirty and absorptive optics, internal reflections between lenses, vignetting, incomplete baffling of stray light, eyepiece aberrations, defocusing, improper eye placement, monocular input, eye aberrations, internal scattering and absorption in the eye, damaged and insensitive areas of the retina, local retinal processing faults, non uniform distribution of rods and cones and mental processing errors.
This is lifted from Dick Suiter's book Star Testing but it is good to keep in mind how many different factors are involved in testing optics. I think the last one on the list accounts for most differences of opinion. :P
Anyway I only just realised this morning that this thread is about Meade Series 5000 Plossls. They are 5 element eyepieces so I'm not sure if it really is a Plossl...but Meade don't follow convention there anyway. Maybe they should have called it the Advanced Plossl. I've looked through the 32, 26, 20, 14, 9 and 5.5 in daylight. Under the sky I have only looked through a 26mm and 9mm from memory. They are OK. Of them all the 26 down to 14mm seem most comfortable. The 32mm is like a hand grenade and the wind up eyepiece thingy seems a bit silly - they use that sticky grease on it to make it smooth but I worry this is a dust trap and you can easily put your finger in it. On the big eyepieces you cant get your eye in close enough because the top of the eyepiece is TOOO big. This goes for the SWA and UWAs too. They are not as contrasty as the older Japanese lenses.

25-03-2007, 03:08 PM
As the same principle of exit pupil size at high mag, you are constrained by maximum permissible field of view. Unless you own a astrograph with 4" focuser more than 50deg at 40mm ep will be poorly illuminated. Why pay for what you can't see. And I personally are very tired of the nagler celebration, go to america already. Using open eyes I have been trying to discover what will live in my ep collection. And I can emphatically state that there will be no naggypoo's unless I end up with a very large and desirable DOB, which is the only place I have seen them work beautifully. As of the Meade 5000's I have 2uwa, the 14mm is very nice and the 4.7mm I wish I never owned and bought a UO HD orthoscopic or two for it's price. Purely one mans opinion , but when you ask a question about ep's there is not going to be a friendly out come. I am seriously going to Takahashi ep's if weather permits(waiting for a money shower). One birdy told another birdy that his Tak smoked the nagler(The lower case is not an over site!!!)

Don Pensack
28-03-2007, 08:11 AM
I recently reviewed the entire S5000 group. The "Plossls" (they aren't really) were a disappointment. The 60 degree field is too wide for the correction of the design and all had serious edge-of-field astigmatism and aberrations.
The SWA and UWA were much better and in a different class of eyepieces, IMO.
TeleVue Plossls are better, and recommended.
As are the "Pseudo-Masuyama" designs: Antares Elite, Celestron Ultima, Orion Ultrascopic, Parks Gold Series, Takahashi LE, Baader Eudiascopic and the pre-1994 meade 5-element Plossls, Tuthill 5-element Plossls, Omcon Ultima 5-element; and the original Masuyamas, of course.

PS, the 32mm TeleVue Plossl (not other sizes), IIRC, has a field stop size that allows for slight edge-of-field vignetting. It is usually not noticeable in modern scopes, optimized for 2" eyepieces.