The Nagler experience

A while ago, I broke the wide angle eyepiece I mentioned in a previous post. It had dust inside its 4 elements, and I tried to clean it up. As I was a little frustrated by the presence of dust inside the eyepiece itself, I decided that I would only buy very good quality eyepieces from now on. But at the same time, I had grown to appreciate the wide angle. Naturally, I chose to buy a Tele Vue eyepiece. Tele Vue is known for the quality of their eyepieces and their modern designs, in particular the ultra-wide angle Nagler and Ethos, and the wide angle Delos. At the same time, I wanted to use that new eyepiece for higher magnifications than my previous 15mm one. Although the 13mm 100° Ethos was quite interesting, its 600g weight was a little high. In addition, such a wide angle may not have been appropriate for planetary observation (the Tele Vue web site often refers to fast large aperture Newtonians, which are very different from my slow medium aperture Maksutov-Cassegrain). I took a look at the 12mm Delos, which seems to be explicitely designed for planetary views, but its 11cm height in addition to its 400g were a little too much for my eyepiece case. I settled for the 11mm Type 6 82° Nagler, which only weights 200g for 7.3cm of height despite its 7 elements.

The 11mm focal length fits perfectly above my 9mm Super Plössl, and, combined with a x2 Barlow, it fits perfectly below my 6mm Super Plössl. With my 127/1500 telescope, the magnifications are respectively x136 and x272. Because of that, I admit i now rarely use my other eyepieces. The ultra-wide angle is so large that the “spacewalk effect” is guaranteed. Of course, the eyepiece arrived in perfect conditions (no dust, thank you). I had my family look at Jupiter and a few star clusters with it (new moon, unfortunately) while moving the telescope over what they were seeing, and they confirmed the feeling of immersion. I had the luxury of flying over the moon from my apartment and it was extraordinary. Eye relief is quite comfortable, but if you get too close to the eyepiece, you’ll see some flare. Because the angle is so wide, there will be some “kidney bean” effect. Obviously, it doesn’t play well with focal reducers, although I found the result decent. On the other hand, light travels so well despite the number of elements that you can suffer from glare when looking at bright targets (Jupiter alone easily makes the whole Jovian system “bright” around itself), forcing the use of filters.

Overall, I’m very satisfied with that eyepiece. It got hard for me to go back to using a 50° eyepiece. Of course, it came with a price, in this case around 350 €. But I’m so impressed with it that I’m now considering getting a Tele Vue Barlow.