In the world of amateur astronomy nothing quite compares to the feeling of getting a new piece of equipment. Be it an eyepiece, filter or telescope; the excitement and potential that is imagined of this product cannot be overstated. While showing off new equipment may be a favorite of amateur astronomers, having a target that truly shows off its capabilities is where the imagination becomes reality. For myself, the arrival of the Zhumell 6mm Planetary Eyepiece was just this type of event and the planet Saturn proved to be an exciting first test of its quality.
6mm Zhumell Z Series Planetary Eyepiece
In the past, using a barlow with my 10mm plossl had presented a 240x magnification image of Saturn that was soft and difficult to keep in the field of view. The Zhumell eyepiece provided sharp images from edge to edge with no distortions noticeable within the field. From a combination of superior optical quality as well as the lower 200x magnification provided by the Zhumell 6mm, the image of Saturn floating through the eyepiece appeared sharp and detailed.
Another aspect of this eyepiece that impresses, comes from its eye relief. The generous 20mm eye relief means that objects can be comfortably viewed without having to push your eye nearly on the lens as can be the case with other low millimeter, high power, eyepieces. This may be a mere convenience for most observes, but for those who must wear glasses while observing this feature is a necessity.
Build Quality and Technobabble
Overall, the eyepiece is very sturdy and appears to be a high quality build, particularly for it’s price range. For a 1.25in eyepiece, this thing is big. Don’t let that deter you from buying it, but be aware that the 7 element design does create an eyepiece that weighs in at 8oz with dimensions of 3.7 in x 1.7 in.
I was delighted by the performance of this eyepiece. With this being my first Zhumell product, I was a bit concerned that their low prices would also mean lower quality. This could not be farther from the truth as has been proven by the incredible optical quality and strong build of the 6mm Zhumell Z Series Planetary Eyepiece. At $59.00 (nearly half the price of the identical Orion Edge-On Planetary Eyepieces) this is a deal that cannot be beat.