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Thread: My honest review of Explore Scientific 52 degree EP

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    Tylerbo's Avatar
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    Default My honest review of Explore Scientific 52 degree EP



    I’ve had the opportunity to try out some of Explore Scientific’s new line of 52° eyepieces. I must say I am always blown away by what Explore Scientific is doing as a company.

    These eyepieces are of excellent quality and the optical performance is quite amazing indeed. These eyepieces are great for planetary views, bringing in detail with the moon that I haven’t seen in a while. Mars is also fantastic! Seeing the ice cap on Mars was truly remarkable.

    The detail I am able to acquire with all of the longer focal length eyepieces in this series is truly astounding. I can easily split Albireo with these eyepieces as well as Polaris A and Polaris B.

    Using the 40mm and the 30mm eyepieces with my Orion ST120, I was able to fit the entirety of the Pleiades inside the field of view and experienced only slight distortion towards the edge of the FOV. Observing these beautiful bright stars is simply breathtaking. Using these eyepieces to star hop, I did not have to worry about light scatter on either of them. I could just sit there and take in everything the view had to offer with no worries at all. Moving over to M33, I could see the central core brightening within a nice slanted cloudy patch of light. The NGC’s 869 and 884 (Double Cluster) is sharp will a little bit of distortion towards the outer edge. Compared to a GSO SuperView 30mm eyepiece, the Explore Scientific 52° 30mm seems to offer more depth of field.

    The 25mm eyepiece had no problem finding and displaying M1 (Crab Nebula) with good contrast compared to a generic Plössl of the same focal length. The Explore Scientific eyepiece lets in more darkness (better contrast) and it has the advantage for sure over the Plössl, even in an f/5 scope. I did note a little bit of distortion at the edge of the field, but I had to go looking for it. While observing M1, it was not noticed. If I were to choose a jewel amongst the 52° series that I have evaluated so far, the 25mm would be a close second.

    The 20mm eyepiece in this 52° series had no notable distortion at the edge of the field. While observing the brighter stars of the Pleiades, I was able to discern the soft and subtle glow of nebulosity. Swapping out for a 20mm Plössl, a similar view was had, but the edge of field distortion in this fast scope was much more noticeable. The Explore Scientific eyepiece was much better corrected for this fast refractor. Swinging over to M42 (Orion Nebula), nice contrast was offered despite the lower altitude of this object. Four of the Trapezium stars could be easily picked out. This eyepiece offered sharp stars from center to edge.

    The 52° 15mm, when compared to a GSO Plössl of the same focal length, has much better eye relief and offered a more immersive visual experience. The field of view with this eyepiece is very well corrected for my fast scope. An attempt at Mars was made, but with this planet rapidly receding and getting much smaller, the view was not especially remarkable here. Poor seeing conditions were also impactful with the planet. Moving up to M31, (Andromeda Galaxy), the 52° 15mm was definitely superior to the GSO 15mm. Again, excellent contrast and immersive viewing experience. The field stop on the Plössl was quite noticeable, whereas the 52° was smooth and the field stop did not interfere with the light path. Sliding southward to the Cetus/Eridanus area, comet 46P/Wirtanen clawed its way through the worsening transparency and was easily seen. The 52° again offered better contrast vs. the Plössl. M42 presented a fine view as well. Moving to M45 (Pleiades), the pinpoint stars, even to the edge, was amazing. In Auriga, M37 displayed a fine sprinkling of diamond dust with a brighter red star nested in the center. Back to M1, this small little cloudy patch of light was easily picked out despite the worsening sky conditions. In my honest opinion, the 52° 15mm is hands-down the crown jewel in this series that I have tried so far. It has little to no distortion at the edge, and stars remain as sharp pinpoints across the entirety of the field of view, an excellent eyepiece.

    These eyepieces all come inside Explore Scientific’s great boxes. Inside of each box, the eyepiece is held warmly in a little soft black velvet pouch for added protection, a nice touch.

    While looking through these eyepieces at the scope, I did not experience any eye-strain. They offered a clear view of what I was looking at with nice contrast and no noticeable light scatter. The 52° AFOV was expansive enough to hold an object for observing finer detail even when using a manual alt/az mount.

    The 6.5mm brings out all the beauty in the Double Cluster. The contrast was great and I can easily make out the copper color of the red stars. I compared this eyepiece to a 6mm Fujiyama KK HD Orthoscopic eyepiece with a slightly narrower apparent field of view, as well as a 6mm Baader Classic Ortho. The KK 6mm has a sharper image and the center to edge is definitely noticeable in the KK and the BCO. The 6.5mm does show a lot of contrast in the nebulosity, but, moving to the ES 52° 4.5mm, the contrast is diminished, and even more so with the 3mm.

    In my opinion, the 3mm would be great for planetary and lunar on nights of excellent seeing conditions with the scope that was used for this review. While observing the Orion Nebula (M42), I can make out the 4 main stars of the Trapezium Cluster and its very well corrected and also very nice to edge.

    Using the Orion ST120, the 6.5mm performed very well. On M42, the four brighter stars of the Trapezium Cluster popped out really well and the center to edge was amazing as well. The 3mm and the 6.5mm in the ST120 are great eyepieces. The 3mm can split Polaris which I found amazing being the first time that I’ve seen the secondary star of this pair. M31 (Andromeda Galaxy) through the 6.5mm showed contrast that just pops in the center which I found to be very nice. The 4.5mm makes it so much sweeter as it picked up some dust lanes with no problem. Back to M42, I can make out a fifth star in the Trapezium Cluster which is exciting.

    In my opinion, the 52° series is a great set to have in one’s collection or if just starting out in this great hobby. The eye relief is quite adequate in my experience. I did not have to hug the eyepiece to see the objects and I typically wear glasses when I am able to bring out the telescope for nightly viewing. I feel that one of the best aspects of these eyepieces is the minimal maintenance required with them. Cleaning (when required) is very easy since they are waterproof. The removable eyecup allows for easier cleaning also. The anti-fogging coating is a winner too in my book. What is not to love about these eyepieces?

    They would be excellent as a beginner set if you are just starting out in the hobby, or even if you are an experienced astronomer looking to enhance the eyepiece collection you can’t go wrong.


    40mm: Great for star hopping and seeing open clusters and larger deep sky objects, such as M45 (Pleiades) and M31 (Andromeda Galaxy).

    Exit pupil: 8mm

    Eye Relief: 27mm

    Eyepiece Barrel Size: 2"

    Eyepiece: Fixed

    Apparent Field of View: 52°

    Field Stop Diameter: 35mm

    Focal Length: 40mm



    30mm: Star hopping and zooming in on the Double Cluster along with a closer look at M45 (Pleiades) and M31 (Andromeda Galaxy) and could almost split Polaris.

    Eye Relief: 20mm

    Eyepiece Barrel Size: 1.25"

    Eyepiece: Fixed

    Apparent Field of View: 52°

    Field Stop Diameter: 26.2mm

    Focal Length: 30mm



    25mm: M34 fits in the eyepiece rather nicely and make the sky a little darker, increasing contrast, which is great. Being able to gaze M35 or NGC 2099 is amazing.

    Eye Relief: 16mm

    Eyepiece Barrel Size: 1.25"

    Eyepiece Fixed

    Apparent Field of View: 52°

    Field Stop Diameter: 21.8mm

    Focal Length: 25mm



    20mm: Brings in more contrast.

    Eye Relief: 15mm

    Eyepiece Barrel Size: 1.25"

    Eyepiece: Fixed

    Apparent Field of View: 52°

    Field Stop Diameter: 19.4mm

    Focal Length: 20mm



    15mm: Offers the best picture of M34, the best open cluster in Perseus. I could count the stars in M36 in Auriga with all the great detail this eyepiece offered.

    Eye Relief: 16mm

    Eyepiece Barrel Size: 1.25"

    Eyepiece: Fixed

    Apparent Field of View: 52°

    Field Stop Diameter: 19.4mm

    Focal Length: 15mm


    3mm: good detail in the Trapezium cluster and corrected to edge. Polaris can be split

    Barrel Size: 1.25"

    Focal Length:3mm

    Apparent Field of View: 52°

    Eye Relief: 15mm

    Field Stop: 5mm


    4.5mm: Brings in more contrast in the Andromeda Galaxy.

    Barrel Size: 1.25"

    Focal Length: 4.5mm

    Apparent Field of View: 52°

    Eye Relief: 15mm

    Field Stop: 15.5mm


    6.5mm: Andromeda galaxy has great detail the contrast just pops

    Barrel Size: 1.25"

    Focal Length: 6.5mm

    Apparent Field of View: 52°

    Eye Relief: 15.9mm

    Field Stop: 17.4mm

    Thanks bladekeeper for all your help and knowledge of this review.

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    Default Re: My honest review of Explore Scientific 52 degree EP

    A very interesting review, thanks.
    TS Optics: 150mm, f/6 Newtonian (GSO SVD series). Altair: Starwave 102ED-R. Sky-Watcher: SkyMax 102mm, SkyMax 127mm, Evostar 72ED DS Pro, Evostar 80ED DS Pro, ST80 (TS Focuser), ST102 (TS Focuser), EQ5 Deluxe, AZ5 Deluxe. Vixen: Porta II, SXG Hal-130. Orion: 90mm StarMax , ST80 (TS Focuser). Celestron: NexStar Evolution 9.25". William Optics: E-BINO-P Binoviewer. A shed load of eyepieces including: Antares, Astro Hutech, Baader, Bresser, BST, Bushnell, Celestron, Explore Scientific, GSO, Kokusai, Meade, Orion, Sky-Watcher, Solomark, SvBony, TeleVue, Vixen & one or two I'm not sure of.

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    Default Re: My honest review of Explore Scientific 52 degree EP

    That in a good way or bad

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    Default Re: My honest review of Explore Scientific 52 degree EP

    Nice review Tylerbo! Are you keeping the EPs then?

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    Default Re: My honest review of Explore Scientific 52 degree EP

    its just a review ill take them back and review the next series

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    Default Re: My honest review of Explore Scientific 52 degree EP

    Quote Originally Posted by Tylerbo View Post
    its just a review ill take them back and review the next series
    That's a sweet deal! What is the next set?

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    Default Re: My honest review of Explore Scientific 52 degree EP

    62 series or the 68

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    Default Re: My honest review of Explore Scientific 52 degree EP

    Thanks for the very helpful product review.
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    Default Re: My honest review of Explore Scientific 52 degree EP

    Wow, very thorough!! Thanks
    Ian
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    Default Re: My honest review of Explore Scientific 52 degree EP

    Thank you, Tyler. Great to hear some hands on, in the field usage reports. I've been following any news and reports of these since they were announced. If I opt for any, it may be the shorter FL models for a tad better ER than the Plossl provides.
    ~Frankie~ My mind: Always on...Slightly off.
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