A telescope eyepiece with an ultra-wide apparent field of view was not completely unheard of before 2007, but almost.
Wright H. Scidmore worked on ultra-wide designs for the U.S. government in the 1960s and Carl Zeiss made eyepieces with apparent fields of view of over 100 degrees before World War II.
However, no one ever successfully produced them on a large scale until Tele Vue introduced the 13mm Ethos in 2007. Sky & Telescope magazine called it a “stunning optical achievement” and wrote that it was about to “transform deep-sky observing.”
It was fitting that the birthplace of the Nagler eyepiece should also be the first to put into production an eyepiece with a 100-degree field of view. There were even a couple of Naglers involved in it. Tele Vue founder Al Nagler, his son, current Tele Vue president David Nagler and Tele Vue lead designer Paul Dellachiaie crafted and introduced the first Ethos eyepiece, the 13mm, to the world.
Many varying focal lengths have followed, including the 6mm, 8mm, 10mm, 17mm and 21mm. Each offers an amazingly wide field of view that has a reputation for being unsurpassed in the quality of the images across the entire field.
The only possible chink in the armor is that there are more and more Ethos competitors and many offer very close to the same experience at a much lower price. We considered the TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award winning 10mm Ethos specifically for our lineup and it stands out compared to other telescope eyepieces in terms of quality. Overall value is another story.
An extra-wide field of view is pretty wow-inducing in and of itself for most astronomers. What sets an Ethos apart, the 10mm specifically, is the quality of that view all the way to the field stop. Expect to see breathtakingly sharp images.
The Ethos is designed to offer the best of both worlds – a wide field for star-hopping and high magnification for detailed views.
The 15-mm eye relief should be very comfy for most viewers. The 10 mm Ethos in particular has a reputation for being very comfortable to use.
The 10mm Ethos is designed to offer distortion correction, high contrast and sharpness for viewing planets.
The price of this line of eyepieces is likely to put the brakes on a purchase for many astronomers. The view is likely to be unbeatable but now that there are so many wide-angle lenses cropping up you might be just as happy with a little bit less crispness and little more in the latte fund.
You can get the walk-in-space effect for less cash but you can’t get the quality of the view that you find in an Ethos for less cash. The decision will be different for each person.
The 10mm Ethos is built to work well with 1.25 and 2-inch telescope barrels and that means there is a really long list of instruments that can benefit from this eyepiece.
Tele Vue seems to be a little more tight-lipped than other manufacturers about specific features on the inside of the barrel. Perhaps they don’t want to give away any secrets. Since it is nearly impossible to find even one negative word about Ethos eyepieces anywhere company executives likely figure they can just let the views speak for themselves.
The nice wide gripping ring and grenade shape will make this telescope easy to hold.
Smaller, lighter and more compact than the larger telescope eyepieces in the Ethos family, the 10mm will be easy to transport and can be used with binocular viewers.
The Tele Vue website is not our favorite. It is outdated and clunky and disorganized. Their eyepieces are pretty fantastic and the website offers many evidences of why. A little less advertising directed at future customers and a little more support for the people who already made a purchase would be better.
There are not many moving parts on an eyepiece and it is doubtful you will need a ton of support but it would still be a nice extra.
The Tele Vue Ethos family of 100-degree telescope eyepieces has been heralded from the start and the 10mm Ethos is by no means the black sheep of the family. We can’t find any evidence that there is a black sheep. These eyepieces are unsurpassed in quality. Expect to be awestruck by the views that await you.
The price may also leave you a little awestruck. We would be more likely to buy one of the less expensive and only slightly-less awesome 100-degree eyepieces on the market but we will let each viewer decide for themselves.
Expect unsurpassed quality and an extra-wide field of view.
The price point is significantly higher.
This is a high quality eyepiece, but it will cost you.