Re: (IAAC) FWD: What should I buy? (rich field scopes)

        Since I was one of the folks involved in the comparison, and since
Sue has little patience for eyepiece debates, I'm going to make a few
        First, I want to back up a little.  Neither Sue nor I are big on
doing equipment comparisons.  When we visit conventions, we often look at
different telescopes and check out various accessories, but most of our time
here is spent observing.  We didn't own any wide field eyepieces for many
years after they came available.  I started buying Sue some Naglers when I
ran out of other ideas for gifts.  We have a good collection of eyepieces
and telescopes and have no need to run out and get anything new.  Neither do
we have any particular 'need' to prove anything we have is perfect or the
best there is.
        For years we had been reading about the advantages of simple
eyepiece designs over the the wide field designs such as the Nagler.  One
night Sue and I and a good friend were out observing and we decided to see
how much better the simpler eyepieces were.  All three of us were quite
surprised to find that we found the views of both M-13 and Jupiter were best
in the Naglers.  M-13 was brighter and detail on Jupiter was somewhat easier
to see.  This was not an illusion.  The fact that our perceptions differ
from yours does not mean they are wrong.  As you have said, there are a lot
of variables involved.
        You claimed at one point that Sue put words in your mouth, but you
have an entire paragraph of doing so to Sue.  Nowhere did she say Naglers
were better than any other eyepiece no matter what the design, nor did she
ever say she hated all narrow angle eyepieces.  And what the blazes does any
of this have to do with a previous discussion about Deep Sky observing and
small telescopes?
        You seem to have the idea that if someone has different perceptions
about eyepieces than you they must be wrong.  My impression is that there is
a great deal of subjectivity in comparisons of telescopes and eyepieces.
I've often been behind someone who was raving about a view I found quite
disappointing.  People often see what they expect.  I once heard a well
known TN rave after viewing through one of his favorite designs under some
of the most horrid seeing conditions I have ever seen.  People can also be
influenced by what a previous person claims to have seen.  (I don't know how
you run your comparisons, but we kept our mouths shut until we'd all decided
individually what we thought).

Clear skies, Alan

        What aberrations are Orthos better corrected for on axis than
Naglers?  What's wrong with Sue's statement that Orthos are not corrected
for astigmatism (off axis, of course) while Naglers have distortion?