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Equipment Discussions >> Eyepieces

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russell23
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Reged: 05/31/09

Loc: Upstate NY
Explore Scientific eyepiece sale new
      #5740342 - 03/18/13 09:52 AM

I know that the current pricing seems to be "the pricing" for ES eyepieces, but what is the end date of the current ES spring comet sale?

Dave


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russell23
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Re: Explore Scientific eyepiece sale new [Re: russell23]
      #5741392 - 03/18/13 06:42 PM

Wow ... nobody knows?

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jerwin
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Re: Explore Scientific eyepiece sale new [Re: russell23]
      #5741394 - 03/18/13 06:44 PM

I see one site that says until June 30th.

http://www.kwtelescope.com/explore-scientific.html

However I'm sure the reality is 4 seconds into July 1st they will begin their Summer blowout.

Jim


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russell23
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Re: Explore Scientific eyepiece sale new [Re: jerwin]
      #5741413 - 03/18/13 06:52 PM

Quote:

I see one site that says until June 30th.

http://www.kwtelescope.com/explore-scientific.html

However I'm sure the reality is 4 seconds into July 1st they will begin their Summer blowout.

Jim




Thanks!

It seems like when the sale first was announced a date was given but I couldn't remember which month it ends between March and June.

I think everyone expects the sale prices will continue after the end of the sale ... but I don't want to count on that.

Dave


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jerwin
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Re: Explore Scientific eyepiece sale new [Re: russell23]
      #5741728 - 03/18/13 08:54 PM

I agree that it would suck to put in an order July 1st and find that the prices went back up, but my opinion is they fill a crucial space with the FOV and quality for the price. I have no doubt that a televue nagler is a better than an ES82. But if I can pick up the ES for half the price and I get a view similar to TV, for me that's a win win.

Another thing I just noticed because of your post is many sites don't list the non discount price of the ES line anymore. Astronomics still does, but optcorp, agenaastro, highpoint scientific all just have the "spring comet sale" price. I think when you mix that with the fact you can't find the sales end date anymore really puts the writing on the wall.

Jim


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DJCalma
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Reged: 01/17/13

Loc: Northern California
Re: Explore Scientific eyepiece sale new [Re: jerwin]
      #5741781 - 03/18/13 09:16 PM

Why have items on sale that aren't even in stock? From what I've heard on this forum, many of the ES eyepieces are taking forever to finally receive. Wouldn't it make much more business sense to put items on sale that you have in stock? Just curious.

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SeattleScott
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Reged: 10/14/11

Re: Explore Scientific eyepiece sale new [Re: DJCalma]
      #5741930 - 03/18/13 10:19 PM

Oh, you mean like raise the price of the eyepieces to what they are worth and reduce demand to the level that you can produce? That would make good business sense. But it would take longer to put competitors out of business...

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csrlice12
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Re: Explore Scientific eyepiece sale [Re: SeattleScott]
      #5742021 - 03/18/13 11:12 PM

As much as I like the ES eyepieces, and they are truely fantastic eyepieces, from a business perspective, they could use some work......

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russell23
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Re: Explore Scientific eyepiece sale [Re: SeattleScott]
      #5742554 - 03/19/13 10:10 AM

Quote:

Oh, you mean like raise the price of the eyepieces to what they are worth and reduce demand to the level that you can produce? That would make good business sense. But it would take longer to put competitors out of business...




I understand that in the Amateur Astronomy community the companies that offer eyepieces, telescopes, mounts ... are part of the community more than in most other fields of interest. The people running the businesses are real people that we often know and count as friends. So the idea of putting a competitor out of business through competition may seem particularly offensive in Amateur Astronomy and I understand the sentiment.

That said - the goal of business is to find a niche in the marketplace - either by creating a niche or by doing a better job within a niche that somebody else already occupies. That is the free market and competition makes the market better.

I do not have any problem with Explore Scientific. Let's look at the companies that they are potentially taking sales from:

1. Celestron - If Celestron was serious about the eyepiece market they would put out a better product. While in principle the Luminos line is comparable to the ES82's, the Luminos eyepieces are not manufactured to the same level of quality as the ES82's. The Luminos eyepieces have loads of scatter and edge of field brightening. The 19mm Luminos I purchased had dust on the internal surfaces and a fingerprint. The ES82's have none of those optical performance problems and very good QC. The Celestron X-cel LX's also suffer from edge brightening - and moreso than the Meade HD-60's. So I don't think Celestron is really all that concerned with putting out a quality low cost product. They've been getting by all these years by capturing the market for people that can't afford TV and other premium lines. ES is out-competing them by offering a better product at lower prices. And we in the amateur astronomy community are benefiting.

2. Meade - Like Celestron, Meade has gotten by for many years as a source for eyepieces that are in the price range for people that can’t afford TV/Pentax/Zeiss/… Meade has done a better job on the quality end. I had an 8.8mm UWA that was very good with minimal edge brightening and the HD-60’s likewise had smaller edge brightening and better scatter control than the Celestron’s. But what has Meade really done to hold onto their place in the market. They put out UWA and SWA eyepieces that are so heavy that it is a common practice among buyers to “decloak” them just to make them more manageable. Is that good business? They give up on the SWA line and ES is selling them like crazy as the improved waterproof ES68 line.

3. Televue - I really don’t have any sympathy for TV if they have lost sales to ES. For years their eyepieces have been the unaffordable dream for numerous amateur astronomers. They have left the low cost widefield market to Celestron and Meade (and Orion, Williams optics). They have focused on putting out near perfectly corrected eyepieces at premium prices. Explore Scientific has come along and brilliantly taken advantage of the complacency shown by both Meade and Celestron and in the process have put out eyepieces that are of such quality that some amateur astronomers are opting for the ES eyepieces at great savings compared to the TV eyepieces.

So I think ES has done a great service to the amateur astronomy community in striving to offer premium level optics to amateurs at affordable prices. And they’re offering things others (including TV) never thought to offer such as individual serial numbers and waterproof design, and better ergonomics than the Meade versions. What is going on here is that ES is making Celestron and Meade pay (literally) for their apathetic/lazy/complacent lack of innovation and unfortunately for TV they have done such a good job they are certainly competing with TV at this point.

The fact that ES cannot keep up with the orders is not a negative on their business – it is an illustration of just how hungry the amateur astronomy community is for high quality widefields at economical prices – which ES has brilliantly provided. Instead of being upset with ES, I choose to point the finger at Celestron and Meade for their lack of interest in providing the absolute best quality possible to people with the spending ability their eyepiece lines target.

I'm not trying to offend anyone with these comments - just offer a different perspective.

Dave


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tomcody
Carpal Tunnel
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Re: Explore Scientific eyepiece sale [Re: SeattleScott]
      #5742631 - 03/19/13 10:50 AM

Quote:

Oh, you mean like raise the price of the eyepieces to what they are worth and reduce demand to the level that you can produce? That would make good business sense. But it would take longer to put competitors out of business...



And then there is the POSSIBILITY and ( I say only possibility as I have no evidence to support) that like other Asian countries have done in the past, the factory might be receiving a government subsidy to increase the foreign sales base and as the subsidy would most likely be paid by time base, say each quarter, the factory only produces as much as the subsidy covers. Its been done before by other countries and the business model looks similar here.
Again just a possibility!
Rex
P.S. And by business model I mean provide a top grade, quality product at a price that seems to be too good to be true ( and one that no other company can seem to match), maybe it's not?

Edited by tomcody (03/19/13 11:06 AM)


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Alvin Huey
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Re: Explore Scientific eyepiece sale [Re: tomcody]
      #5742801 - 03/19/13 12:09 PM

I just have to say that it is just amazing of the pricing of ES eyepieces. And what you get for the price. Simply amazing.

Even though I really like very high transmission eyepieces (like the ZAO-II or Delos)...if I was starting out or just enjoying the hobby like most of you, I would get these and have a ton of change left.

Yes, I've looked through many ES eyepieces and I think they are great...not as good as the TV, but close. For the casual to immediate observer, it won't make a difference.

Heck, I could get a solid set of 4-5 ES eyepieces (both 82 and 100) for the price of one, just ONE, 21mm Ethos.

Think about it from that perspective.

Lastly, I've seriously thought about getting a few ES for star parties or loaners for those who are new to the hobby. Heck, the 82mm is only 100-150 a whack for the 18mm and shorter.


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JayinUT
I'm not Sleepy
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Reged: 09/19/08

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Re: Explore Scientific eyepiece sale [Re: tomcody]
      #5742819 - 03/19/13 12:18 PM

Well, order a premium mirror and order the ES eyepieces at the same time and about the same time the mirror is delivered your eyepieces should arrive!

In truth, anyone ordering an ES eyepiece that is out of stock should know they have a waiting time before seeing their eyepiece. Whether that is a good business move can be debated, but that is where it is right now. I own the following ES: 30mm 82 degree; 24mm 82 degree, 20mm 68 degree and 4.7mm 82 degree. All very good eyepieces with the 30mm being just terrific in my opinion for its cost. I use them for various things with the 30mm being a specialty eyepiece for me. I had to wait for the 4.7mm the longest and that was about 3 months. No biggie as I have a 5mm Pentax XW that is my favorite, I just wanted to compare and have an outreach eyepiece at that level, and one I could loan out (it is loaned out right now; I won't loan my Pentax XW's). The rest I picked up easily from ES directly and had no problem getting them. I had a one month wait on the 30mm, while the 20mm and the 24mm 82 degree shipped right away. It is evident that ES fills a niche not filled by any others and yes, I expect other companies to have lost money to them. I still would have purchased my Pentax XW eyepieces though even if the ES had been out at that time. The difference would have been no Stratus or Hyperions every hitting the EP case. I would have had the Pentax XW and the ES 68 and 82 degree EP's. The good news, I'm done for awhile with EP's until I decide and have built the big dob I want. Then a few more TV may enter the picture . . . but ES does fill a role and they do it nicely. The backlog testifies to that as does the frustration some have with waiting for their ES eyepieces. Just my thoughts.

Edited by JayinUT (03/19/13 12:24 PM)


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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
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Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Explore Scientific eyepiece sale [Re: tomcody]
      #5742834 - 03/19/13 12:24 PM

Well, the ES sale has gone on so long the sale prices have, de facto, become the prices. When the sale ends June 30 I would be surprised to see a price increase, and if there is one, I would bet it would be minimal.
After all, wouldn't $119 be just as good a price as $99 when the competition is a lot more? Even $149 was a good price. Meade sold JOC eyepieces for years at their market prices.
I fault ES for lowering prices farther than they had to to achieve the market goals. The result: a shortage.
In 2009, when I did a Buyer's Guide to eyepieces, there were around 1600 different eyepieces available. My 2013 Buyer's Guide has fewer than 1000 entries, and I believe the reasons are more than simply a number of retailers going out of business. ES has made it nearly impossible for competitors to sell similarly-priced eyepieces in the market.

JOC has opened up other markets and expanded significantly, so I think it's fair they're here to stay.


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Sean Puett
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Re: Explore Scientific eyepiece sale [Re: tomcody]
      #5742880 - 03/19/13 12:50 PM

I like ES as a company. Their original sale was brilliant. Get your product out and have people talk about them and how great a deal they are. I bought mine before the craze and was amazed at how good they were at $30 less than a meade uwa. I compared my 6.7 meade to my 6.7 ES and found that they were nearly identical except for the ES was smaller and had a darker background. Kept the ES. Sold the Meade.
I don't believe that even ES knew how well their tactic would work.


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russell23
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Re: Explore Scientific eyepiece sale [Re: Starman1]
      #5743586 - 03/19/13 05:54 PM

Quote:

Well, the ES sale has gone on so long the sale prices have, de facto, become the prices. When the sale ends June 30 I would be surprised to see a price increase, and if there is one, I would bet it would be minimal.
After all, wouldn't $119 be just as good a price as $99 when the competition is a lot more?




Sure. I considered buying a 6.7mm ES82 during the brief time when it went up to $119, but then they dropped it again and I jumped on it at $99.

Quote:

I fault ES for lowering prices farther than they had to to achieve the market goals. The result: a shortage.




I guess if your criteria is available for immediate purchase then there is a shortage of a lot of their FL, but a lot of FL from their lines are continuously in stock. The ES100's have pretty much been in stock continuously. The only FL that require a long wait are the shorter FL ES82's (1.25") and the 24mm ES68 - the last I think we can attribute to BillP's outstanding review.

Quote:

In 2009, when I did a Buyer's Guide to eyepieces, there were around 1600 different eyepieces available. My 2013 Buyer's Guide has fewer than 1000 entries, and I believe the reasons are more than simply a number of retailers going out of business.




You made the list so you will have a better handle on it than anyone else, but I started going through both the 2009 and 2013 list and stopped at the end of A. I'm sure I probably missed some but here are the losses in A:

Anttler Optics: 12 plossl and Kellner eyepieces
Apogee: 20 plossl, ortho and erfle eyepieces
Astrola: 13 plossl/Kellner and 5 GSO superviews
Astrophysics: 6 Superplanetary

That is 56 plossls/orthos/planetary/kellner, and some GSO superawfulviews. If the trend continues through the alphabet it doesn't look as if ES is driving out other widefield lines. In fact most of what is lost in the A's is still available with different names on it.

Quote:

ES has made it nearly impossible for competitors to sell similarly-priced eyepieces in the market.




Isn't that business? What is stopping Meade from lowering the price on their 5.5mm UWA from $129 to $119 or $109 or give the $99 a shot? I've been watching the price on that eyepiece since it came out waiting for them to put it on sale. The fact that they refuse to do so is a message to the amateur astronomy community that they are unwilling to engage in the competition. They are going to stubbornly stick to their pricing and I don't think too many people really believe that if ES is making money at $99 for an ES82 that Meade has to keep their UWA at $129 to make a profit. Meade is bungling this competition all on their own. Free market principles work and we're seeing it in action with the ES eyepiece boom.

Dave


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GeneT
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Re: Explore Scientific eyepiece sale [Re: russell23]
      #5743653 - 03/19/13 06:22 PM

The ES are frequently on sale. Why? I have some thoughts that I had better keep to myself.

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Scanning4Comets
Markus
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Re: Explore Scientific eyepiece sale [Re: russell23]
      #5743655 - 03/19/13 06:24 PM

Quote:

Isn't that business? What is stopping Meade from lowering the price on their 5.5mm UWA from $129 to $119 or $109 or give the $99 a shot? I've been watching the price on that eyepiece since it came out waiting for them to put it on sale. The fact that they refuse to do so is a message to the amateur astronomy community that they are unwilling to engage in the competition. They are going to stubbornly stick to their pricing and I don't think too many people really believe that if ES is making money at $99 for an ES82 that Meade has to keep their UWA at $129 to make a profit. Meade is bungling this competition all on their own. Free market principles work and we're seeing it in action with the ES eyepiece boom.




I've had my eye on that eyepiece as well !!! I am looking for a 5mm XW, but finding one is pretty much in vain. I may just get the 5.5mm Meade 5000 waterproof and try it out.


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Starman1
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Re: Explore Scientific eyepiece sale [Re: russell23]
      #5743726 - 03/19/13 06:50 PM

Quote:

Quote:


ES has made it nearly impossible for competitors to sell similarly-priced eyepieces in the market.




Isn't that business? What is stopping Meade from lowering the price on their 5.5mm UWA from $129 to $119 or $109 or give the $99 a shot? I've been watching the price on that eyepiece since it came out waiting for them to put it on sale. The fact that they refuse to do so is a message to the amateur astronomy community that they are unwilling to engage in the competition. They are going to stubbornly stick to their pricing and I don't think too many people really believe that if ES is making money at $99 for an ES82 that Meade has to keep their UWA at $129 to make a profit. Meade is bungling this competition all on their own. Free market principles work and we're seeing it in action with the ES eyepiece boom.

Dave



The Meade example is a good one to use to make a point:
When a product goes from manufacturer to distributor to retailer to consumer, there has to be room for 3 markups in the product price. When a product goes from manufacturer to retailer to consumer, there are only 2.
That will always give an advantage in retail price.
With Meade, we have situation 1. With ES, we have situation 2.


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russell23
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Re: Explore Scientific eyepiece sale [Re: Starman1]
      #5744057 - 03/19/13 09:41 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:


ES has made it nearly impossible for competitors to sell similarly-priced eyepieces in the market.




Isn't that business? What is stopping Meade from lowering the price on their 5.5mm UWA from $129 to $119 or $109 or give the $99 a shot? I've been watching the price on that eyepiece since it came out waiting for them to put it on sale. The fact that they refuse to do so is a message to the amateur astronomy community that they are unwilling to engage in the competition. They are going to stubbornly stick to their pricing and I don't think too many people really believe that if ES is making money at $99 for an ES82 that Meade has to keep their UWA at $129 to make a profit. Meade is bungling this competition all on their own. Free market principles work and we're seeing it in action with the ES eyepiece boom.

Dave



The Meade example is a good one to use to make a point:
When a product goes from manufacturer to distributor to retailer to consumer, there has to be room for 3 markups in the product price. When a product goes from manufacturer to retailer to consumer, there are only 2.
That will always give an advantage in retail price.
With Meade, we have situation 1. With ES, we have situation 2.




Don,

You're going to have to walk me through the difference. Here is what I understand. When I worked for Don Yeier at Vernonscope as a kid he advertised Brandons for whatever retail price he sold them for. For dealers like Astronomics he would sell the Brandons at a discounted dealer price. The dealer could then sell the Brandon's at whatever price they wanted. The motivation to the dealer was that they would sell the eyepieces below the retail price if bought directly from Vernonscope but still make a few bucks. Don always was at a disadvantage because his made in the USA material costs were much greater than the imported eyepieces. So he either had to jack up the retail price and conduct most sales through the dealers, or keep the retail price lower and only be able to give a small discount to the dealers meaning that the dealers were only going to make a small profit from selling Brandons. He has always opted for the latter approach.

Now I'm trying to understand how that applies to the practices employed today and how Meade is a different situation than ES. So I'll describe and you tell me where I've missed something.

Meade UWA manufactured in China --> shipped to Meade --> shipped to dealers --> sold to consumers. So using purely hypothetical prices lets say the cost for the Chinese manufacturer to manufacture a 5.5mm UWA is $40. They need to make a profit so the first markup goes to Meade. Let's say that is $20 so Meade purchases the eyepieces at $60. On the Meade website they sell the 5.5mm UWA for $129. Dealers (Astronomics, Agena, opt, ...) sell the 5.5mm UWA for $129. But if the dealer buys the eyepiece from Meade there is a mark-up again above the $60 Meade paid the manufacturer. Let's say this mark-up is $40 and the dealer pays $100 for a 5.5mm UWA. The dealer is selling the UWA for $129 but they are making less profit than Meade makes when they sell the UWA themselves.

A 6.7mm ES82 is manufactured in China for lets assume the same $40. The manufacturer sells the eyepiece to ES for an assumed $60. ES sells the eyepiece for $99 and the dealer sells the eyepiece for $99. When the dealer buys the 6.7mm ES they have to pay some markup to ES - $20 for a total of $80?

Do you see what I'm getting at here? I don't see where the difference is. I also don't understand why the price that Meade and ES are selling their eyepieces for is the same price the dealers are selling the same eyepieces for. When I worked for Don Yeier in the 1980's an eyepiece purchased from a dealer was at a discounted price as compared to what you would pay directly from the company that marketed the eyepiece. If Meade wanted dealers to sell their eyepieces they would artificially inflate the retail price so that there was a profitable discount offered to dealers who themselves could make a profit on the eyepieces.

Why has that gone away? Anywhere you go the ES and Meade eyepieces are pretty much the same price. What varies is free shipping or not.

So help me understand because I don't see where Meade and ES are structurally different in the chain of sales. Both have their own store that the eyepieces can be purchased from and both offer the eyepieces through dealers. And in both cases the dealer price is identical to the price you can get the eyepiece from if bought directly from Meade or ES.

Dave


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russell23
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Re: Explore Scientific eyepiece sale [Re: Scanning4Comets]
      #5744066 - 03/19/13 09:46 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Isn't that business? What is stopping Meade from lowering the price on their 5.5mm UWA from $129 to $119 or $109 or give the $99 a shot? I've been watching the price on that eyepiece since it came out waiting for them to put it on sale. The fact that they refuse to do so is a message to the amateur astronomy community that they are unwilling to engage in the competition. They are going to stubbornly stick to their pricing and I don't think too many people really believe that if ES is making money at $99 for an ES82 that Meade has to keep their UWA at $129 to make a profit. Meade is bungling this competition all on their own. Free market principles work and we're seeing it in action with the ES eyepiece boom.




I've had my eye on that eyepiece as well !!! I am looking for a 5mm XW, but finding one is pretty much in vain. I may just get the 5.5mm Meade 5000 waterproof and try it out.




It is funny how often you will see a particular eyepiece listed on the used market and you're not interested. But then when you find a reason to want a particular eyepiece it suddenly dries up on the used market. If you post a want ad it seems you get a quick response or nothing. If you wait - well you wait. Or you just buy one new. I've tried to learn more patience when I settle on a new eyepiece I'm looking to purchase. It helps that I'm happy with what I have and just tweaking the line-up at this point.

Dave


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