Plossl Power Review

Plosslscan be considered as the work horses of the eyepiece world, very prevalent, hard working and versatile. Plossl refers to the way in which the eyepiece is designed, traditionally only 4 or 5 lenses are used which minimises any aberrations or scattered light that a glass surface can cause.

The Skywatcher 32mm uses 4 lenses (or elements) in it’s construction. Generally the fewer number of lenses placed between the observer and the object they’re observing the better. Even the finest and most expensive glasses will introduce a degree of image degradation therefore 4 lenses is a perfect amount.

As is common to most Plossls the 32mm Skywatcher has a 52 degree field of view, due to the configuration of lenses used. Each lens is fully multi coated to improve light transmission and each lens is blackened right at the edge to enable the eyepiece to yield maximum contrast.

What sets the Skywatcher 32mm aside from its competitors is how much quality has been squeezed into the eyepiece for such a low cost. The 32mm costs around £30 which places it squarely in the budget category, cheap at the price but far from cheaply made.

Images are tack sharp out to about 80% of the field of view, contrast is high and when combined with the 32mm high focal length it makes this eyepiece perfect for framing large extended galaxies such as m31.

Contrast is the most important aspect of this eyepiece and thankfully that’s where it excels. The 32mm’s low magnification will prove useless for planetary viewing and not very useful for lunar work. This is a deep space eyepiece and as such it’s best used on large emission nebula and big galaxies. As both these groups of objects can be elusively faint (especially the latter ) the more contrast that can be wrenched out of an eyepiece the better and more successful the observing session.

Something to bear in mind though is the focal ratio of your telescope. F ratios of f8 or higher will work better than anything lower. When used with faster telescopes there can be problems with image degradation towards the outer portions of the field of view.

To summise the 32mm is fantastic for the price. An inexpensive eyepiece that outperforms it’s price tag. Recommended for use in slower telescopes. Best used on large objects, open clusters such as the double cluster look beautiful and many individual stars are resolved as crisp, point like dots.