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  1. #1
    Jovian's Avatar
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    Default Why are some eyepeices so expensive?



    I've seen eyepieces ranged from 75$ to 555$! Why is there such a huge range in prices, for pieces that seem to do the same thing essentially? Is there something bad about the lower cost pieces?

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    Bob327's Avatar
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    To be honest you pay for quality optics,..you pay for the Brand Name...and you pay for wider FOV eyepieces....

    I've owned a Telescope for over 50 years now ...and in the 1950s' yes there were some really bad eyepieces... But today ..ok well for the last 15 years or so I have NEVER seen an eyepiece that was not plastic that I would relegate to the trash can...

    BUT you still pay for quality and great optics....Pentax, Tel View etc do not cut corners and put their name on their products and you pay for both...

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    Default

    Expensive EP's seem to get both a good and bad wrap. The extra.. say 15 percent or so of improvement is priceless to those that have the experience to appreciate the difference, and the difference is real. For people like myself it's probably not worth it, but for those that can take advantage it is certainly worth every penny.

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    It's like anything; you can spend 90% of your money chasing that last 10%.
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    IMO; Type of glass, CFomplexity of construction, quality control, and brand name. Don T.

  6. #6
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    Default

    To add just a little. Some eyepieces are more f ratio dependant than others, but these days 'cost' isn't necessarily the metric it used to be. There is a lot that goes into making any eyepiece, the lenses and glass types are a science on their own, coatings (how many layers and/or lack of them), edge blackening, baffling, barrel construction, eyecups. caps, cases.

    Some ep manufacturers make a series of design 'par focal' so you have minimum refocus when changing eps, some have long eye relief so eye placement more comfortable(and less prone to fogging from eye heat). Then there are those that make the initial design and manufacture - that others then essentially just copy. Not all manufacturers have the same QA and QC of what goes out the door...

    I have some orthoscopic ep's that are at/past that upper limit you list and they are incredible in any telescope, this most noticible on planets (and as the fov is very narrow I'll add on a tracking scope), I have some 100* widefield that are at that limit also and are also fantastic (though I don't think as good on planets...

    I also have many ep's in the $40/80 dollar range with fov's from the 40's into the 70's and now at least one thats ~80* that do very well, but most not on all scopes.

    The different types of scopes place different requirements on the eyepiece for them, and the benefits are all relative to the scope OTA.

    Some eyepiece manufacturers you be safe buying anything they make for nearly any scope, like TeleVue, Zeiss, Pentax. Others like Orion, you need to be more careful. And then there's these new ep's i just bought and am testing out Russel Optics Konigs' that are pretty impressive in 3 scopes so far and far outperform my 'Q70' at less cost.

    Someone once posted that eyepieces are the recreational drug of the amature astronomers telescopes... and I sort of agree with that. But as far as performance and cost - you really need to see for yourself on your equipment, and what you spend your time viewing with it, and weigh the differences for that all subjective thing we call worth or value. I disagree with the 90/10 idea as for some scopes you'll never get the 10% with any eyepiece! add to that there are 'horses for corses' and things like light pollution or sky conditions or constant nudging of the OTA vs. just sitting and drinking in the view without distraction dominate what any eyepiece can do.

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  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by GriffinBF View Post
    Expensive EP's seem to get both a good and bad wrap. The extra.. say 15 percent or so of improvement is priceless to those that have the experience to appreciate the difference, and the difference is real. For people like myself it's probably not worth it, but for those that can take advantage it is certainly worth every penny.
    Well-stated, Griffin.

    I will quote this post in the future when this question inevitably resurfaces.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovian View Post
    I've seen eyepieces ranged from 75$ to 555$! Why is there such a huge range in prices, for pieces that seem to do the same thing essentially? Is there something bad about the lower cost pieces?
    Actually, the high you quoted is not as high as top end EPs go for.

    The short answer is:

    Eyepieces are expensive because they can be!

    Sounds cynical and snide but not really. You're not talking about an item that is high demand. Astro equipment, in general, has a very limited audience and is a product that demands significant skills in the design process and rigid tolerances in the manufacturing process.

    In recent years, shifting of manufacturing to China has allowed lower cost EPs and better manufacturing techniques have allowed higher quality equipment to be manufactured "en masse".

    The real high end stuff (Zeiss, Pentax, Televue, Nikon) will command high prices because these brands have excellent reputations and there are those willing to pay for the quality (or perceived quality) of their products. The lower end of the market will command lower prices because they sell more product.

    Worth the cost? Well, that's certainly up to the individual.

    One thing is certain - The quality gap between the high end and low end has narrowed, at least somewhat. As in all things, the closer you get to the top-of-the-line EPs, the higher the price will be.

    Our challenge, is to determine what is right for us.
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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovian View Post
    Why is there such a huge range in prices, for pieces that seem to do the same thing essentially?
    Kias and Lamborghinis also do the same thing (essentially.) There are differences, some really obvious, some less so. When you get into the highest price ranges, the criteria include "what the traffic will bear" more so than with low-end stuff.

  11. #10
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    Default

    Also the companies need to make the profit, the actual price may be 30 dollars, they put 20 dollars extra on it, 20 dollars profit.

 

 
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