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Thread: EP advice needed for my "fast" scopes!

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    Default EP advice needed for my "fast" scopes!



    First of all, I am not an astrophotographer.....don't have the time, money, or patience for it! So hats off to everyone that can do that sort of thing, I am in awe of your accomplishments!

    I have 3 "fast" scopes: an 80mm f/5 short-tube refractor, a 254mm f/4 Schmidt Newtonian, and a 200mm f/2.9 Newtonian when I finish re-building it. As you can guess, the 200mm f/2.9 suffers a lot from coma (it was originally meant to be converted to an f/12 or f/15 cassegrain, but that's another story I will eventually cover in a new thread about the history of this scope). I have a Parracor 1 for it, but it would definitely help to have the Parracor 2 instead, which I can't afford at this time.

    My current eyepieces are: Meade series 4000 Super Plossl's - two 26mm and a 9.7mm, a no-name 15mm plossl, a 2 inch Orion 50mm plossl, a 9mm Orion Expanse, two Meade 25mm MA's, a 40mm .965", a Galileo Aspheric 20mm, and 18mm and 6mm Hyugens. I have a Shorty 2x barlow and a Meade 2x Barlow.

    My budget is small: about $120 to $200. I have seen a lot of recommendations for the Agena Starguider Dual ED, and the Explore Scientific EP's on this forum and I am very curious about them. (I see that there are a few ES 62 degree eyepieces on sale right now for about $80, also an Olivon 58 degree 20mm for $50.) I have also had my eye on the Baader Hyperion 68 degree 17mm EP. Teamed up with the 14mm and 28mm Fine Tuning Rings, that eyepiece would yield FL's of 21.8mm, 17mm, 13.7mm, 10.8mm, and 9.2mm. I wonder if it would be inconvenient at the telescope to use those rings with the eyepiece, not to mention the cost of the EP, and both F.T. rings costing $189?! Also, it was recommended to me that I get some Televue EP's, especially the RADIANS OR PANOPTICS, as they are great EP's and I was told all TV's do not introduce any more coma to the equation. But they are costly and the Radians are no longer made.

    So, the question is, what EP's would you recommend for my budget and fast scopes? It would be nice to have at least 2 new EP's for these scopes.

    Thanks,
    Bruce
    Bruce
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    Default Re: EP advice needed for my "fast" scopes!

    Hi Bruce,

    You are at a point now where you need to make a decision about the quality of image for which you are striving. Quality EPs (if handled carefully) will last the rest of your life. I have one EP that is 45 years old and still in use. At the time it was a very expensive EP. So I submit to you that now is the time to purchase higher end, quality EPs even if it is only one at a time. This is especially true for fast scopes like yours.

    Amortized over your remaining years, a $400 EP is a sound investment. The difference between a $120 EP and a $400 EP is truly amazing. Along these lines don't forget to look at the used market.

    Cheers,
    JT
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    Default Re: EP advice needed for my "fast" scopes!

    I would second recommending the used market, especially for premium ep's which are generally well taken care of by knowledgeable owners. You have a pretty good selection of decent eyepieces already, so I would decide what focal length and field size versus field quality will be most useful to you and begin with questions about that particular class of eyepiece. You can also begin thinning out your current herd of your least used items and use the funds from them to help finance your upgrades.
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    Default Re: EP advice needed for my "fast" scopes!

    I would advise against Baader Hyperion and Olivon 58, the value (i.e. optical performance to price ratio) is not there. The other brands you mentioned are good to excellent EPs. In terms of performance they go TV>ES>Dual ED. I would suggest ES. They offer best balance between the price and performance. Since all you scopes are fast, 62 and 68 degree series will show less field curvature than 82 degree.

    Selecting right EPs is very individual experience. I bought and sold a few premium EPs, not because they were bad, but certain design aspects just did not work for me. So buying used is very good advice. This way you can try EP in your scope and sell at minimum loss if it does not work for you.
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    Default Re: EP advice needed for my "fast" scopes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigzmey View Post
    I would advise against Baader Hyperion and Olivon 58, the value (i.e. optical performance to price ratio) is not there. The other brands you mentioned are good to excellent EPs. In terms of performance they go TV>ES>Dual ED. I would suggest ES. They offer best balance between the price and performance. Since all you scopes are fast, 62 and 68 degree series will show less field curvature than 82 degree.

    Selecting right EPs is very individual experience. I bought and sold a few premium EPs, not because they were bad, but certain design aspects just did not work for me. So buying used is very good advice. This way you can try EP in your scope and sell at minimum loss if it does not work for you.
    I agree with Andrey!

    Regarding the ES 62° series (and their sale pricing), I had the opportunity to try out the 62° 9mm a couple of nights ago, both in my f/5 dob and my f/6.5 5" refractor. I really liked that eyepiece in both scopes! Good eye relief too, and a sharp, well-corrected field to the edge. As a bonus, it's cute too!

    I don't need it, but now I want one.

    I cannot vouch for the others in the series as I have not tried them.
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    Default Re: EP advice needed for my "fast" scopes!

    Quote Originally Posted by morrbru View Post
    My budget is small: about $120 to $200. I have seen a lot of recommendations for the Agena Starguider Dual ED,
    No. These eyepieces went from being my go to work horse in my SCT to complete crap when I converted it to 6.3. The off axis view was terrible to the point I have just finished swapping them out.
    Nexstar SE8 mount with Farstar C8 OTA (Caroline) Meade Series 5000 HD-60 25mm Paradigm Dual ED 25mm 18mm 15mm, Baader 21mm 17mm plus tunning rings, X-Cel LX 2X
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    Default Re: EP advice needed for my "fast" scopes!

    Quote Originally Posted by MG1692 View Post
    No. These eyepieces went from being my go to work horse in my SCT to complete crap when I converted it to 6.3. The off axis view was terrible to the point I have just finished swapping them out.
    But they are the same as Paradigm in your signature...

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    Default Re: EP advice needed for my "fast" scopes!

    Considering your scopes, I would spend my hard earned dollars on the ES 68s. More expensive than some, not as expensive as others, but probably the best performance vs. price in your situation, just my opinion.

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    Default Re: EP advice needed for my "fast" scopes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigzmey View Post
    But they are the same as Paradigm in your signature...
    Yeah I just have not updated my signature yet They are exceptional value for money on slower scopes, and I definitely got my monies worth. All the scopes mentioned by the OP are much faster than mine.
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    Default Re: EP advice needed for my "fast" scopes!

    I use all TV Radians with my fast Newtonians. Amazing eyepices and the used prices or them now are great. About 125-150. I use an 18mm and an 8mm mostly.
    My eyes
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