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Thread: Has anyone used GSO or AGENA EPs

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    paulsz's Avatar
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    Default Has anyone used GSO or AGENA EPs



    Hi,

    Just wondering if anyone ever used GSO or AGENA eyepieces. I am currently have a 6" f/5 reflector and was looking for new, decent eyepieces. I heard this GSO ep:

    GSO 1.25" Plossl Eyepiece - 32mm

    would be a bit better than an Orion Sirius plossl of the same size.

    And same goes for this one:
    Agena Enhanced WA Eyepiece - 9mm

    which is comparable to the expanse


    Both of these have longer eye reliefs when compared to sirius Plossl and Expanse. They're also fully multi coated rather than just multi coated.

    Any comments?

    Thank you,

    Paul
    Telescopes: Celestron advanced VX with C6-N, Orion ShortTube80-a

    EPs: 3, 6 and 12.5 mm William Optics SPL, 9 and 20 mm Orion Expanse, 20 mm Plossl, 7-21 mm Orion Explorer II, Orion 2x Shorty Barlow, Orion High Power 5x Barlow

    Binoculars: Celestron UpClose G2 10x50

  2. #2
    KT4HX's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has anyone used GSO or AGENA EPs

    Many here have used eyepieces carrying the Agena and GSO label. Plossls are pretty much going to be Plossls. You would not see any difference visually between the Sirius line or the GSO line, and both have their fans. The same for the Agena EWAs vs the Expanse. Eye relief is a bit of a confusing issue. Are they quoting what the eye relief is from the eye lens or from the actual top of the eyepiece. Since some recess the eye lens, that may actually make the usable eye relief less than stated. There is quite often a difference between stated ER and true usable ER. In reality, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the Expanse and Agena EWA's came from the exact same Chinese OEM. The Agena SWAs and Orion Q70s are the same eyepiece.

    Personally if I were looking at trying to improve on my Plossls, I would look at something like the Agena Starguider Dual ED. These are a re-label of the Astro-Tech Paradigm Dual EDs and the AFOV falls between that of the Plossl and Expanse type eyepieces at 60. They have a very good reputation and I tried the 12mm Paradigm and found it quite a nice eyepiece (bought used for $45). I didn't need it because I already had the ES 82 11mm, but in comparison to the ES it held its own about as good as I would have expected from its price point. If I personally had a need for something in the 50 to 60 AFOV range, and were on a budget, I would have no qualms about buying the Starguiders.

    Lastly, I also wouldn't get too wrapped up in the FC and FMC thing. I highly doubt your eye would see any difference.
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    PhilipLangley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has anyone used GSO or AGENA EPs

    Paul, I can only speak to the 1.25" GSO Plossls which I use, as my upgraded starter set, in a 8" 1200m f/6 Dobsonian.

    To augment the two included Skywatcher Super 10mm and 20mm eyepieces, I initially purchased a partial set of the 12mm, 20mm, 25mm and 32mm based on their exit pupils being approximately 2mm, 3mm, 4mm and 5mm. And these from Agena in CA.

    I have since been given a much older 25mm Orion Sirius Plossl with a badly scratched barrel. Dam those set-screws! Doesn't affect the optics though.

    The 32mm GSO eyepiece is currently still my scanning eyepiece and I have absolutely no complaints about it. I always remind myself that I paid just US$36 for it all that time ago. There is of course some coma evident but only at the extreme edge of the FOV. It's difficult to estimate what that might be, maybe 10% - 15% of the FOV radius maybe, but I'm not sure. I'm not unhappy that I have this eyepiece to use. It also 2x Barlows very nicely to 16mm.

    The 25mm GSO Plossl does exhibit a small amount of wedge. Others might define this as astigmatism. Since this aberration is not evident in the 32mm or the others, I'm comfortable saying that its eyepiece specific. The views are sufficient on dim star fields but when focusing in on bright individual stars, I can not get a sharp round image. Rather on one side of focus, the star is elongated as such "-" and on the other side, it is elongated as such "l". I would be happy if I could get a "+" but I don't. It's not a dog, but its not as good, out of the box, as the others.

    The 25mm Orion Sirius Plossl exhibits none of these. On the Moon, planets or bright stars, I use the Orion and on anything else, I use either. Obviously, if I had to keep only one, it would be the Orion. When evaluating these two samples side-by-side, the Orion is the superior eyepiece. I've twice tried to figure out how I could swap the innards but the bits don't fit.

    The 20mm and 12mm GSO Plossls do themselves proud and I have no disappointments with either. The 12mm was purchased so that it would give me a native exit pupil of 2mm and a 2x Barlowed exit pupil of 1mm. These all represent good money well spent.

    I do not believe that I could manage the ultra-short eye relief of the 9mm and 6mm GSO Plossls.

    Since I've slowly accumulated three 1.25" 82° ES eyepieces in 6.7mm, 8.8mm and 11mm, at the rate of just one per year, these shorter GSO Plossls of mine are seeing less use. And strangely enough, this is only due to the very narrow TFOV that they deliver in my manually-driven, non-tracking 8" Dobsonian. The wider AFOV of the ES's just makes navigation and observing so much more pleasant when observing double-stars and the like. I'm not adverse to using the ES's at public outreach events either. They are, after all, just things.

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    Default Re: Has anyone used GSO or AGENA EPs

    I would have to roughly spend $100 CAD for the star guider dual Ed. Does that sound like a reasonable price?

    Thanks
    Telescopes: Celestron advanced VX with C6-N, Orion ShortTube80-a

    EPs: 3, 6 and 12.5 mm William Optics SPL, 9 and 20 mm Orion Expanse, 20 mm Plossl, 7-21 mm Orion Explorer II, Orion 2x Shorty Barlow, Orion High Power 5x Barlow

    Binoculars: Celestron UpClose G2 10x50

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    Default Re: Has anyone used GSO or AGENA EPs

    Quote Originally Posted by KT4HX View Post
    ...I didn't need it because...
    Alan, no wonder I like you. I start many of my astronomy sentences just like that.

    Clear, Dark Skies
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    Default Re: Has anyone used GSO or AGENA EPs

    Quote Originally Posted by paulsz View Post
    I would have to roughly spend $100 CAD for the star guider dual Ed. Does that sound like a reasonable price?

    Thanks
    The $60 per on the Starguider shows as about $84.50 CAD on the converter I used. $100 seems a bit high, even with shipping. I don't know if you have any Canadian dealers that carry the BST Starguider (same eyepiece). Anyway, these come under various names around the world.

    Regardless, the differences between the GSO plossl and Sirius is nil, as is any differences between the Agena EWA and Expanse.
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    Default Re: Has anyone used GSO or AGENA EPs

    Quote Originally Posted by Lowjiber View Post
    Alan, no wonder I like you. I start many of my astronomy sentences just like that.

    Clear, Dark Skies
    The bigger question is, do you finish the thought with...but I bought it anyway!
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    Default Re: Has anyone used GSO or AGENA EPs

    Quote Originally Posted by Lowjiber View Post
    Alan, no wonder I like you. I start many of my astronomy sentences just like that.

    Clear, Dark Skies
    haha.. same here with one exception. If my wife is within earshot, I do not pronounce the 'didn't' or 'don't' part of that sentence.
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    Default Re: Has anyone used GSO or AGENA EPs

    I just got an Agena SWA 2" 38mm, my first ever 2" E.P. This is specifically for my 12 1/2" Dob that I just completed, and used it for the scopes first light this past Sunday night. It was on sale before Christmas for $85. (I see it's $95 now.) I was very impressed, especially for the money spent. There was no significant distortion, even at the edge of the FOV, that I could see. Stars were sharp pinpoints. Maybe someday I'll splurge on a Teleview or Pentax, but right now I'm very satisfied with this as my wide FOV (68°) eyepiece.
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    Default Re: Has anyone used GSO or AGENA EPs

    The $60 per on the Starguider shows as about $84.50 CAD on the converter I used. $100 seems a bit high, even with shipping. I don't know if you have any Canadian dealers that carry the BST Starguider (same eyepiece). Anyway, these come under various names around the world.
    with shipping, it would end up being somewhere around 100 unfortunately. I will be looking around for similar stuff online, and hopefully from a Canadian dealer.

    Thank you for the help everyone, much appreciated

    Clear skies
    Telescopes: Celestron advanced VX with C6-N, Orion ShortTube80-a

    EPs: 3, 6 and 12.5 mm William Optics SPL, 9 and 20 mm Orion Expanse, 20 mm Plossl, 7-21 mm Orion Explorer II, Orion 2x Shorty Barlow, Orion High Power 5x Barlow

    Binoculars: Celestron UpClose G2 10x50

 

 
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