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Thread: Orion Expanse vs Orion/Zhumell Planetary 9mm

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    Default Orion Expanse vs Orion/Zhumell Planetary 9mm



    Need help deciding on which to purchase. The 9mm is the one I am looking to compare. It will be used on my cpc1100 with the 6.3 focal reducer attached. Any thoughts?
    Celestron CPC 1100
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    Default Re: Orion Expanse vs Orion/Zhumell Planetary 9mm

    Both are reasonably good EPs, I tested them in my 8" SCT.

    Zhumell/LER has narrow FOV (55 deg) but offer a bit sharper focus and a bit better light scatter control, so they would work better for planets and double star splitting.

    Expanse/EWA has significantly wider FOV (66 deg) so better suitable for DSO.

    9mm with 0.63 focal reducer will give you ~200x. This mag would be too high for most DSOs, so between the two I would go for Zhumell.

    If you decide to go with either model don't buy from Orion. They are grossly overpriced.

    Zhumell planetary are ~$47 but hard to buy new nowadays, most of places are out of stock. Expanse clones however are sold for $46 at Agena and they are identical to Expanse (except the price )
    Agena Enhanced WA Eyepiece - 9mm

    However if you are looking to buy in $60-90 range, I would advise to consider Celestron LX X-Cel 9 mm. In my tests it outperformed both Zhumell and Expanse in focus sharpness and light scatter control at high magnifications. It also offers better FOV (60 deg) than Zhumell. So, I would consider it better all-around EP than other two.
    Last edited by Bigzmey; 03-08-2016 at 01:29 AM.
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    Default Re: Orion Expanse vs Orion/Zhumell Planetary 9mm

    Thanks for the input. I have owned the 9mm and 6mm expanse before and liked them both. Also owned I believe the 9mm Orion on edge planetary ep. I was wondering if the zhumell was as good, because I do agree Orion is over priced when compared to similar eyepieces. I will look into that celestron ep. I currently have the ep kit from celestron and just looking to up grade a few of the eyepieces. I was able to buy a whole cpc1100 setup with the battery and ep kit and a few extras for only $1400. Thanks again.
    Celestron CPC 1100
    EP's Celestron 1.25" ep kit
    Barlow: 1.25 Celestron 2x barlow
    Various filters
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    Default Re: Orion Expanse vs Orion/Zhumell Planetary 9mm

    Gratz on your purchase! This is a very nice scope.
    Planetary or long eye relief (LER) EPs from different companies (Zhumell, Orion, William Optics, Astro-Tech, to name a few) perform the same, so basically look for the best deal. They hard to buy new for a good price (they certainly are not worth $100). Telescopes.com still have 18mm and 14.5mm for $43 new, which is a good buy. You can pick them sometimes used in $40 range of classifieds. However, Celestron LX X-Cel considered better EPs and easier to buy new or used.

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    Default Re: Orion Expanse vs Orion/Zhumell Planetary 9mm

    I'll vouch for the X-Cel LX 9mm as I own one myself (along with the 12mm) and they are both good performers for the price. You'd have to go significantly higher in price to find and substantial improvement in the optical performance, I think the X-Cel LX EPs are a bit underrated maybe due to their 60* FOV in a day were ultra wide 82* and 100* FOVs are all the rage, but if you're on a budget you won't go wrong with these. My Meade UWA 14mm, for example, cost nearly twice as much as an X-Cel, but (putting aside the obvious difference in FOV, 60* vs. 82*) the X-Cel delivers probably 95% of the optical performance of the Meade. Haven't had a chance to first light my three latest EPs, (ES 82* 30mm, ES 100* 20mm, Delos 17.3mm) so sorry, can't offer a comparison there.
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    Default Re: Orion Expanse vs Orion/Zhumell Planetary 9mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Wingsfan81 View Post
    I'll vouch for the X-Cel LX 9mm as I own one myself (along with the 12mm) and they are both good performers for the price. You'd have to go significantly higher in price to find and substantial improvement in the optical performance, I think the X-Cel LX EPs are a bit underrated maybe due to their 60* FOV in a day were ultra wide 82* and 100* FOVs are all the rage, but if you're on a budget you won't go wrong with these. My Meade UWA 14mm, for example, cost nearly twice as much as an X-Cel, but (putting aside the obvious difference in FOV, 60* vs. 82*) the X-Cel delivers probably 95% of the optical performance of the Meade. Haven't had a chance to first light my three latest EPs, (ES 82* 30mm, ES 100* 20mm, Delos 17.3mm) so sorry, can't offer a comparison there.
    I consider X-Cel LX line excellent mid range EP. Now, I had a chance to compare them side by side with what I consider entry level premium EP - ES 82 degree line. So, I would say it is a bit more than 5% improvement, since ES 82 offer wider FOV, sharper focus (not by lots but obvious at high mag), better light-scatter control (also not by lots, but noticeable) and better colors. However, we are talking more then two fold price difference X-Cel LX 9 mm - new $65, ES 82 8.8 mm - new $150.
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    Default Re: Orion Expanse vs Orion/Zhumell Planetary 9mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigzmey View Post
    I consider X-Cel LX line excellent mid range EP. Now, I had a chance to compare them side by side with what I consider entry level premium EP - ES 82 degree line. So, I would say it is a bit more than 5% improvement, since ES 82 offer wider FOV, sharper focus (not by lots but obvious at high mag), better light-scatter control (also not by lots, but noticeable) and better colors. However, we are talking more then two fold price difference X-Cel LX 9 mm - new $65, ES 82 8.8 mm - new $150.
    I have a 12mm Delos on my wish list, if and when I ever get it I'll do a comparison between it and my 12mm X-Cel. My Meade does have slight, but noticeably sharper focus than any of my budget EPs (particularly at high mag. in my C11) but the best comparison would be between two EPs of the same focal length.
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