Very good report Hipoptical! You've touched on several key points about the eyepiece world.
I certainly would likely have the premium brand name telescopes and eyepieces if possible. And I actually have deep pockets. Just nothing in them.
At my stage in the hobby and in life, having a comfortable yet quality view is important. So, the Paradigms/BST StarGuiders/Etc... fill the need and are within my range. Plus, I use scopes that are on the smaller size and a huge heavy eyepiece throws everything out of whack!
Very good. Enjoy the views. Oh and I must agree with you on the Vite Aspheric 10mm. I have one now for the 10mm gap you mentioned and it is an extraordinary piece, especially where it's priced. On the other hand, the 4mm version of the same kind didn't work out for me at all.
All the best!
Thanks. This is a little update.
I posted this yesterday if you want a reference to what I'm about to share:
Tonight was a clear night. The seeing was not as great as yesterday - it kind of fluctuated, but it was still excellent. I only concentrated on the moon.
In that previous post I just linked to I said how impressed I was with the Morpheus 17.5mm, especially when barlowed at 1.5x to give about 11x mag. But all that changed tonight when for the first time I plugged in my ES 68* 24mm, with the ES focal extender giving me effectively 12mm.
Incredible. Another level of clarity again. The whole field was in focus. The contrast was 'night and day'. Jaw dropping. I've waited for a night like tonight to really be able to compare.
The view in the Morpheus is excellent. But I don't think that bit off the Shorty Barlow (for the 1.5x trick) is really doing it full justice. Maybe it's a bit too long of a focal length. I don't know. But it wasn't as perfect a view as the ES 24mm with ES FE x2. I didn't know what I was missing last night.
I'd really like to try that Morpheus with a higher quality 1.5x barlow - perhaps it might be better quality. But still, I'm not complaining, it was a very good view. Just not as outstanding as the ES 24mm doubled up.
I've heard there is a bit of FC with this EP in fast newts (I have a 6" f5). Maybe just looking at the moon is not the best way to test this, and besides, I'm totally new to this so I probably wouldn't know what it was even if I saw it. I'm learning though.
But the real revelation, the real star of the show tonight was the Paradigm 12mm. If the ES 24mm was great, then the Paradigm was easily comparable to it. No faffing about with barlows or extenders - just plop it in the slot for a jaw dropping view. The atmosphere was coming and going but there were moments of almost perfect seeing along with moments of serious 'boiling'. I hope I got that right. You probably know what I mean. I always assumed a clear cloudness night would give perfect viewing, but obviously that is not the case. Yeah, I'm a noob!
I pulled out just about every EP in my box tonight. I even tried the Paradigm 3.2mm. It was just on the edge of being very usable and pleasing and a little bit annoying to dial in to the zone. Just on the edge. But well worth it still. I enjoyed the little glimpses it gave me of details of the moon.
I tried the 8mm Paradigm as well. That just about filled my whole view.
And to quickly answer your question BarrySimon615, the 'gap' between a 12mm and 8mm (at least in these EP's) would be just about at the edge of what would be a great view. The 12mm could fill the field a bit more, the 8mm fills it a bit too much - just talking about viewing the moon here. A 10mm would be ideal and good to have for different sizes of moon, seeing conditions, even the mood I'm in when viewing. Not very scientific I know, but I'm totally new to this. Thanks for your post though, I'm going to read it in detail.
I even whipped out my Meade UWA 5.5mm 82*. There were some stunning details to be had with this as well.
All in all a great night's viewing.
The two stars of the show were the ES 24mm 68* and the Paradigm 12mm.
At the end of viewing I just wanted to check things with my 'standard' 15mm Paradigm, and yes, that was still holding its own to all the EP's I've mentioned. I even gave my trusty 17mm Sky Watcher Plossl a spin just for reference - yup, still looking good!
This is a thread about Paradigms, so that's why I thought I'd just chime in with my very naive viewpoint. I'm sure I've made a lot of mistakes and am doing a lot of things wrong. But maybe this is an interesting perspective to all you old hands from that of an absolute beginner.
I think I realised tonight that I probably do have a bit of 'redundancy' with all the EP's I have bought. But that was the whole point: to work these details out by hands on practicality. I may end up selling a few EP's, then again, I might just keep them.
When I really work out what I really like and what works for me, I'd like to buy one really outstanding EP just for the hell of it. An expensive Tele Vue or something contemporary. But for now I'm just experimenting. And sharing my findings to other noobs that might be tuning in.
You can buy 4 Paradigms for the cost of a Morpheus here in the UK. A total noob might want to skip the 3.2mm and get one of the longer focal lengths like 18mm or 25mm (iirc) instead. With a half decent barlow (such as the Shorty I have - no complaints), that would pretty much have you covered. In my humble opinion. When I get my Tele Vue x2 barlow I'll be able to see what I've been missing I'm sure. But for a newcomer, I think it holds up well.
I'm also very pleased and happy about the quality of the ES 24mm 68* as well. That was really something else to behold. Who knows, maybe viewing my favorite star clusters it will look just as great to my eyes, or I'll start noticing the dreaded FC, without a Paracorr to correct things.
I can only say what I see, but I get that some things when seen can not be 'unseen'. I'm not in any rush to find fault. It will find me I'm sure.
But all I know is if you only had 40 quid to spend on an EP to view the moon, and you couldn't afford the 220 quid (approximately) it would cost you to buy an ES 24mm plus ES x2 FE, then you would be in no way disappointed. At least in my telescope with my eyes anyway. I just hope these great views hold up with all the other things I want to observe in the night sky (with these particular EPs).
Another bonus was they did not dew up like my Sky Watcher Plossls. But then again, they only cost 20 quid.
For the money, I'd have to concur that the Paradigms are just about the best bang for the buck you can get. In my limited experience.
I won't be parting with any of my Paradigms. And I might just get the other ones in the set (buying in 'bulk' to keep the cost down) just because I love them so much.
I still want to get that ES 52* 10mm when it comes out. But I decided that I won't get the 20mm version, I'm probably going to buy one of my last 'high-end' EP's for now and get the ES 20mm 68* instead. The 24mm and the 16mm are truly excellent. I really do have to check that one out as well to see if it compares.
I could live quite happily with just my ES EP's and Paradigms for now (and even then there would be some redundancy as well).
I also must say that the ES 24mm 68* didn't really take well to being x2 barlowed. I think someone mentioned this before (plus I know longer focal lengths don't tend to barlow so well iirc). But it was crystal clear with the ES x2 FE. Really excellent. I've barlowed the 16mm 68* and that seemed to respond a lot better, but might as well just use the FE if you have it.
Edited by Hipoptical, 30 August 2018 - 09:51 PM.