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Are Brandon eyepieces worth the money ?

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#1 cammo66

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 08:06 AM

I am looking to buy a new set of Brandon eyepieces. But is the payoff worth it. For me its all about planets.


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#2 alnitak22

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 08:14 AM

Only you can answer that. It's like asking someone what that piece of pie tastes like. You have to take a bite yourself. Brandons are good eyepieces, but only you can answer if the purchase of a set is worth it.


Edited by alnitak22, 26 April 2017 - 08:17 AM.

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#3 junomike

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 08:25 AM

IMO only used prices, but others might find them worthy of paying the full cost.

 

Mike


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#4 jrbarnett

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 08:36 AM

I am looking to buy a new set of Brandon eyepieces. But is the payoff worth it. For me its all about planets.

They're good eyepieces in f/7 and slower scopes.  If it's all about planets for you, though, then why would you want/need a full set?  How often will a 32mm or 24mm come in handy for planets?

 

In shorter focal length smaller aperture instruments, for planets, I'd stick with the 6mm and the 8mm.  In a little longer focal length larger aperture instrument, maybe 8mm and 12mm or even 8mm, 12mm and 16mm.

 

And as other posters suggested, buy used if you can find them.  New, the price is a little high given their poor off-axis performance in moderate to fast instruments. 

 

All 6mm units are flat-tops.  For longer focal length units you have a choice of screw-on rubber and aluminum eyeguard or flat-top/volcano-top.  I like the eyeguard models, but I don't wear glasses to observe, but others prefer the greater effective eye relief of the flat-tops.

 

Regards,

 

Jim 


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#5 petert913

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 08:47 AM

It used to be Brandon (Vernonscope) eyepieces were uber-expensive.  But nowadays, most premium eyepieces

are right in that same price range or higher.

 

I was always very impressed with Brandon wide field eyepieces (32mm and above).  Haven't tried the shorter ones. 


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#6 vahe

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 08:54 AM

The strength of Brandon is the lowest scatter of any eyepiece currently in production and they are extremely sharp for planets.

.
Have you looked at the planets with a Brandon, the question is can YOU see the difference? Based on many past threads on Brandons vast majority of amateurs were unable to tell the difference and to these folks a TV Plossl or something equal is just as good or even better with sharper edge performance.

.
Also, for planets the edge performance is not important.

.

Vahe


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#7 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 09:11 AM

Only you can answer that. It's like asking someone what that piece of pie tastes like. You have to take a bite yourself. Brandons are good eyepieces, but only you can answer if the purchase of a set is worth it.

 

People are all tuned a little differently. You may find a noticeable improvement, while your observing buddies don't see a thing looking through the same equipment. But if it is all about the planets for you, chances are you will be "tuned" to see the difference.

 

I started with a 12 and 16 Brandons purchased used. It was easy for me to see an improvement from my existing set (Radians, Naglers, Ethos, Panoptics) both on planets and double stars. Soon I bought the Brandon set.

 

Not only that, I started buying up other planetary eyepieces - UO Orthos, SPL's, and Supermonos. Generally speaking, performance improves with price, but not in a linear fashion.

 

In hindsight, Brandons are a very good place to be on the price/performance curve.


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#8 bobito

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 09:15 AM

They are very good, but worth the money is a personal thing.  I picked up a package deal used containing an 8, 12, and 16.  I ended up selling the 8 (not needed since it provided more magnification than I could use in the only scope I had at the time) and the 12.  I sold the 12 because when I compared it to my 12mm UO Ortho I couldn't see an appreciable difference.

 

I do find I grab the 16mm a lot. It performs great on planets, but I find where it shines the most is on small faint fuzzies (Ring Nebula, M81/82, etc...)  Several times I've switched from a 16mm Nagler to the 16mm Brandon on DSOs and the difference in detail I could resolve was quite noticeable.

 

Bob


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#9 SandyHouTex

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 09:59 AM

They are absolutely worth the money.  They have a high level of polish and really do give the diamonds on black velvet look for star fields.  At their current price they are actually cheaper than most "mega-glass" eyepieces.


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#10 REC

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 10:11 AM

I have a pair of 16's and they are great on the moon and planets. Like others have said, very little scatter. Extremely light.


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#11 Steve Cox

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 10:13 AM

If planetary is your concern, what about buying one used in the f/l you most often use for planetary viewing and decide from there if it's worth it to you?  If not, you can resell it for about the same price; if so, then just buy the remaining pieces you want.

 

Jim - there are actually two reasons that I could think of why one would want a full set for planetary viewing, and is why I maintain a full set of orthos.  One is for low power full disk viewing of the Moon during an eclipse.  The other is if the user does any white light solar viewing.  For me, I prefer around a 20mm range eyepiece for low power viewing of the Sun, then higher power for individual spot details only if seeing supports it; for me it often doesn't as thermals tend to get in the way too often here.  And I much prefer an ortho or plossl to a widefield for solar viewing (less blackouts due to better exit pupil matching).


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#12 scarubia

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 03:14 PM

They would be awesome if I could learn to ignore the yellow fridge on the right side, and the bluish (maybe violetish) fringe on the left side of Jupiter - at centre all the way through to the edge - in my new TV binos at 2x, in my 10" f6. They are sharp at centre for sure. I really tried to like these EP's for a couple years now. My Tak abbe orthos kill them in every way. My TV plossels are better in every way! And yes I tried them with out the bino, same thing, and my scopes are always super collimated, etc etc.


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#13 SteveG

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 03:18 PM

They would be awesome if I could learn to ignore the yellow fridge on the right side, and the bluish (maybe violetish) fringe on the left side of Jupiter - at centre all the way through to the edge - in my new TV binos at 2x, in my 10" f6. They are sharp at centre for sure. I really tried to like these EP's for a couple years now. My Tak abbe orthos kill them in every way. My TV plossels are better in every way! And yes I tried them with out the bino, same thing, and my scopes are always super collimated, etc etc.

That wasn't the eyepieces.


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#14 SteveG

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 03:23 PM

Brandon's are worth it provided the following:

 

You have a f7 or longer scope, or your fast scope has tracking.

Your scope has good optics.

You can view the planets at a high enough altitude to prevent atmospheric refraction.

You have fairly good seeing conditions.

 

I use the longer focal lengths combined with barlows, and still see the reduced scatter when compared to a plossl, ortho, Nagler or XW.

I only use them when conditions are optimum, and due to where I live that is extremely rare.


Edited by SteveG, 26 April 2017 - 03:23 PM.

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#15 scarubia

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 03:25 PM

 

They would be awesome if I could learn to ignore the yellow fridge on the right side, and the bluish (maybe violetish) fringe on the left side of Jupiter - at centre all the way through to the edge - in my new TV binos at 2x, in my 10" f6. They are sharp at centre for sure. I really tried to like these EP's for a couple years now. My Tak abbe orthos kill them in every way. My TV plossels are better in every way! And yes I tried them with out the bino, same thing, and my scopes are always super collimated, etc etc.

That wasn't the eyepieces.

 

I tried Brandons, TV plossels, Tak abbe orthos, Pentax XW, UO HD orthos. On the same night, on the same set up looking at the same object. The only EP's that showed me color aberration like I described at centre were the Brandons. Just calling it as I saw it. No disrespect to the Brandon line or enthusiasts at all.



#16 bobito

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 03:33 PM

They would be awesome if I could learn to ignore the yellow fridge on the right side, and the bluish (maybe violetish) fringe on the left side of Jupiter - at centre all the way through to the edge - in my new TV binos at 2x, in my 10" f6. They are sharp at centre for sure. I really tried to like these EP's for a couple years now. My Tak abbe orthos kill them in every way. My TV plossels are better in every way! And yes I tried them with out the bino, same thing, and my scopes are always super collimated, etc etc.

Brandons are not great in fast scopes.  I seem to recall them stating on their site that they were good for f/7 and slower, but I just took a look and they seem to have removed that.


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#17 bobhen

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 03:43 PM

I am looking to buy a new set of Brandon eyepieces. But is the payoff worth it. For me its all about planets.

 

I am looking to buy a new set of Brandon eyepieces. But is the payoff worth it. For me its all about planets.

What telescope do you have?

 

If you have a telescope that might have good but not excellent, very high quality optics, I would suggest spending the money on a telescope with really superb optical quality and with a size that fits your local seeing on most nights and that can be set up and used often. Upgrading your scope will give you the biggest bang for your dollar, much more than using an average scope with great eyepieces.

 

After you upgrade your scope (and diagonal) or if you already have such a scope, then the Brandons are indeed excellent. However, Brandons don’t like fast telescopes and there are other excellent “planetary” eyepieces as well.

 

It is also nice to have tracking with this class of eyepieces. But if you are into planets, then tracking should be a serious consideration as well.

 

I had a 8mm Brandon for 25 years and it was my favorite lunar eyepiece.

 

Bob


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#18 scarubia

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 03:51 PM

 

 

They would be awesome if I could learn to ignore the yellow fridge on the right side, and the bluish (maybe violetish) fringe on the left side of Jupiter - at centre all the way through to the edge - in my new TV binos at 2x, in my 10" f6. They are sharp at centre for sure. I really tried to like these EP's for a couple years now. My Tak abbe orthos kill them in every way. My TV plossels are better in every way! And yes I tried them with out the bino, same thing, and my scopes are always super collimated, etc etc.

That wasn't the eyepieces.

 

I tried Brandons, TV plossels, Tak abbe orthos, Pentax XW, UO HD orthos. On the same night, on the same set up looking at the same object. The only EP's that showed me color aberration like I described at centre were the Brandons. Just calling it as I saw it. No disrespect to the Brandon line or enthusiasts at all.

 

 

Brandon's are worth it provided the following:

 

You have a f7 or longer scope, or your fast scope has tracking.

Your scope has good optics.

You can view the planets at a high enough altitude to prevent atmospheric refraction.

You have fairly good seeing conditions.

 

I use the longer focal lengths combined with barlows, and still see the reduced scatter when compared to a plossl, ortho, Nagler or XW.

I only use them when conditions are optimum, and due to where I live that is extremely rare.

With the exception of your first requirement, all of the others pretty much stand for any EP and not particular to the Brandon line. I am aware of the min f7 requirement. I got them with the intention of binoviewing at 2x or more specifically for planets. I was surprised at the color fringing. This isn't just a one night thing, it's been the same over a couple years under excellent and bad conditions, but only with Jupiter. Great on Moon and Saturn. I prefer other EP's on my f4.3.

 

IMO, KK orthos or UO orthos are a better alternative at half the price.

 

I'd like to be careful here and say that this is my experience with them using my eyes coupled with my scopes. It may be, and obviously is a different experience with many others. 



#19 scarubia

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 03:52 PM

 

They would be awesome if I could learn to ignore the yellow fridge on the right side, and the bluish (maybe violetish) fringe on the left side of Jupiter - at centre all the way through to the edge - in my new TV binos at 2x, in my 10" f6. They are sharp at centre for sure. I really tried to like these EP's for a couple years now. My Tak abbe orthos kill them in every way. My TV plossels are better in every way! And yes I tried them with out the bino, same thing, and my scopes are always super collimated, etc etc.

Brandons are not great in fast scopes.  I seem to recall them stating on their site that they were good for f/7 and slower, but I just took a look and they seem to have removed that.

 

Weren't they originally designed for f15 Quester scopes?


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#20 bobito

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 03:57 PM

Weren't they originally designed for f15 Quester scopes?

 

 

My recollection is Questar chose to use Brandons for their scopes. But there may be more to the story than I know...



#21 scarubia

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 03:58 PM

 

They would be awesome if I could learn to ignore the yellow fridge on the right side, and the bluish (maybe violetish) fringe on the left side of Jupiter - at centre all the way through to the edge - in my new TV binos at 2x, in my 10" f6. They are sharp at centre for sure. I really tried to like these EP's for a couple years now. My Tak abbe orthos kill them in every way. My TV plossels are better in every way! And yes I tried them with out the bino, same thing, and my scopes are always super collimated, etc etc.

Brandons are not great in fast scopes.  I seem to recall them stating on their site that they were good for f/7 and slower, but I just took a look and they seem to have removed that.

 

I was using them in my TV binos at 2x (24m brandons about 2 years old). So all of the EPs I used were seeing an f12. The same color fridging only happens on Jupiter and only in the Brandons. At centre all of the others were clean. Sharpness at centre in the brandons were as good as any other and very hard to see any difference if any. I decided on the Tak abbe orthos for my dedicated planetary EP's mainly because of the clean clarity, definite snap to focus, and more noticeable color differences and separation in planetary detail I have been seeing under better conditions.


Edited by scarubia, 26 April 2017 - 08:11 PM.


#22 Phil Cowell

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 04:06 PM

 

They would be awesome if I could learn to ignore the yellow fridge on the right side, and the bluish (maybe violetish) fringe on the left side of Jupiter - at centre all the way through to the edge - in my new TV binos at 2x, in my 10" f6. They are sharp at centre for sure. I really tried to like these EP's for a couple years now. My Tak abbe orthos kill them in every way. My TV plossels are better in every way! And yes I tried them with out the bino, same thing, and my scopes are always super collimated, etc etc.

That wasn't the eyepieces.

 

Sounds like bad glass before the Brandon.


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#23 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 04:14 PM

Weren't they originally designed for f15 Quester scopes?

 

I thought that Chester Brandon had some connection with the development of the Norden bomb sight, and that was where the eyepiece first appeared.


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#24 scarubia

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 04:21 PM

 

 

They would be awesome if I could learn to ignore the yellow fridge on the right side, and the bluish (maybe violetish) fringe on the left side of Jupiter - at centre all the way through to the edge - in my new TV binos at 2x, in my 10" f6. They are sharp at centre for sure. I really tried to like these EP's for a couple years now. My Tak abbe orthos kill them in every way. My TV plossels are better in every way! And yes I tried them with out the bino, same thing, and my scopes are always super collimated, etc etc.

That wasn't the eyepieces.

 

Sounds like bad glass before the Brandon.

 

And yet, all of the other Ep's showed no color fringing on Jupiter? A mystery I suppose.


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#25 scarubia

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 05:15 PM

The strength of Brandon is the lowest scatter of any eyepiece currently in production and they are extremely sharp for planets.

.
Have you looked at the planets with a Brandon, the question is can YOU see the difference? Based on many past threads on Brandons vast majority of amateurs were unable to tell the difference and to these folks a TV Plossl or something equal is just as good or even better with sharper edge performance.

.
Also, for planets the edge performance is not important.

.

Vahe

I read that everywhere. Edge performance is very important to non-tracking scope users at typical planetary powers. On scopes with tracking, not so much.




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