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    Default EP Cost vs Value



    I've dutifully read the first 14 pages of this breakout of the forum and not found any discussion on the issue. I'm wanting to buy some new equipment. Currently have a 12" Lightbridge with Meade 2" 26mm QX Wide Angle and an 8mm and a 17mm 1 1/2" Hyperion EP. I've forgotten why. That aside, I've been looking on the vendors sites at the various EP offerings. My question is why the prices are as they are. Some brands are high, some low or at least reasonable. How is the unwashed (that would be me) to know which is the one to buy. I might assume it is the quality of the glass, whether 'gas purged' or not, or just the manufacturer's product to be matched with their telescope offerings. So, which of the EP's are real quality worth having and how to know when it's not worth paying the full freight? I'm also asking if having crappy lenses is at least partly responsible for me no longer liking my Lightbridge Dob. On this forum, someone suggested that the dob was excellent for DSO's. A star party coming up and I'd like to show up with renewed enthusiasm.
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    Default Re: EP Cost vs Value

    I would ask about specific EPs matched to your scope.

    I would never buy the QX wide angles for your scope because they are an Erfle design that does not perform well with a fast Newtonian, which is what you have. They will perform well with a much slower scope like an SCT or Mak, and perform fairly well in a refractor (the slower the better).

    For your scope (or any scope) I usually recommend the ES 82s and 68s as they will perform well in any scope. However, they are not cheap and less expensive EPs will serve you well. Most of the 60 degree EPs (there are many virtually the same by many names) will work well for you, but I have found that some wider EPs (like the Erfles) will not, most notably the Hyperions.

    I would shop around and ask here about specific EPs.

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    Default Re: EP Cost vs Value

    There are many factors that go into the cost of an eyepiece, many are dictated by the style of the scope.
    A fast reflector on a dobsonian mount is going to need wide angle low powers to excel at DSO viewing. The shorter the focal length of the scope the more corrected/ complicated the eyepiece design needs to be to function properly.
    You pay for the design, manufacturing spec and quality control of these eyepieces which raises the price considerably.
    There are some mid range eyepieces that work well in reflectors so the price is more acceptable than paying "top dollar".
    Refractors: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNG 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
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    Default Re: EP Cost vs Value

    This reminds me a bit about a post on another astronomy forum a while ago. The poster was lamenting the fact that they had upgraded from a Celestron 32mm Plossl to a TeleVue 32mm Plossl. The post was basically stating that he/she couldn’t see any real difference between the two Plossls when they were observing, and regretted buying the more expensive TeleVue Plossl. I don’t think the particular telescope employed was mentioned.

    I have both of these Plossls. The Celestron (very probably Barsta/BST) is perfectly good and has the same 22mm eye relief as the TeleVue. The TeleVue has a much better build quality however. TeleVue Plossls really are beautifully made, with well finished brass drawtubes, high quality glass, superb housings and should last a lifetime. The 32mm TeleVue Plossl also has a larger eye lens than the Celestron Plossl, a 27mm field stop and a full 50 AFOV. The Celestron actually has a 44 AFOV according to their website.

    They are both good eyepieces, but totally different price categories. I prefer the TeleVue myself, but in scopes f/6 and slower you aren’t really going to see anything different with the Celestron 32mm Plossl. I like the wider eye lens and generous 27mm field stop of the TeleVue over the Celestron. Whether you think it’s worth paying five or six times the price for is another thing.
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    Default Re: EP Cost vs Value

    A dob is very much excellent for DSO's. For aperture vs. cost, and shear light gathering power, it's hard to beat for DSO work.

    But, with a faster reflector, you need good (or at least, decent) glass to get quality views.

    The Explore Scientific 82 series work wonderfully in my f/5 12". Well matched glass for the scope.
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    Default Re: EP Cost vs Value

    It depends on your eyes and experience and taste. I'm not a fan of 1) rectilinear distortion or 2) scattered light.

    Because of 1) I prefer 70* AFOV to 82*. Or I'll swallow the distortion if the AFOV is 100*.
    Because of 2) I don't mind paying more for an eyepiece.

    So for my Dob there are two sets. Most used is TV Panoptics plus TV Delos. Frequently used are the ES100s. I'm very happy with both.

    It's individual. If worried about overpaying try before you buy. The QXs are a poor match as noted above.
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    Default Re: EP Cost vs Value

    Quote Originally Posted by Ozman13 View Post
    I would ask about specific EPs matched to your scope.

    I would never buy the QX wide angles for your scope because they are an Erfle design that does not perform well with a fast Newtonian, which is what you have. They will perform well with a much slower scope like an SCT or Mak, and perform fairly well in a refractor (the slower the better).

    For your scope (or any scope) I usually recommend the ES 82s and 68s as they will perform well in any scope. However, they are not cheap and less expensive EPs will serve you well. Most of the 60 degree EPs (there are many virtually the same by many names) will work well for you, but I have found that some wider EPs (like the Erfles) will not, most notably the Hyperions.

    I would shop around and ask here about specific EPs.
    Some sites and rumors are talking about an upcoming raise in pricing from ES 1st Aug. Any idea if there is any substance in that rumor?

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    Default Re: EP Cost vs Value

    Ask questions here and then possibly go to some local star parties and try some eyepieces out. If you find something you like then become a member and look on AstroMart for used eyepieces. There are always good deals on there. You'll save tons of loot. Also try to go to NEAF that takes place every year to see whats new and meet the makers. Best of luck in your Visionquest!
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    Default Re: EP Cost vs Value

    Go to the star party and look through other peoples scopes/eyepieces. Ask to try your eyepieces in their scopes or if they would bring one or two of their eyepieces over to your scope to try. You might ask about filters too. On some objects an O-III or UHC filter will make a world of difference as to what you see. Here again, the more expensive filters work better.

    The better eyepieces have as many as 8 or 9 lenses in them. Each of these lens has to be ground and polished and then some of them coated. Better eyepieces will have good contrast, no false colors, no light flares, little or no kidney beaning (blackouts), good eye relief, little or no field curvature, no artifacts and the stars will be round and in focus all the way out to the edge of the FOV.

    Why are some eyepieces are purged with other gasses? First these pure gasses contain no moisture, so there won't be any condensation in the eyepiece. Second a rubber or other gasket is generally used to seal the ends. These gaskets are ever so slightly porous. So over time it is possible for some moisture to get inside the eyepieces and of course create condensation when the conditions are right. These other gasses have larger molecules and have a much harder time seeping through the pores in the gaskets. So if the gas can't get out, the moisture can't get in.

    These are my Explore Scientific eyepieces. The 20, 25 and 30mm's are all 2" eyepieces. You can see there is quite a difference in size.
    The 25mm 70 is an Erfle design.
    The 30mm 82 has 6 lenses.
    The 20mm 100 is similar to a TeleVue Ethos and has 8 lenses.

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    Default Re: EP Cost vs Value

    Quote Originally Posted by Eskil View Post
    Some sites and rumors are talking about an upcoming raise in pricing from ES 1st Aug. Any idea if there is any substance in that rumor?
    I have heard the same rumors and tend to believe them, although I do not know that for sure. If I were considering an new ES EP, I would get it now.

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