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Need advice about brands/lines of eyepieces

beginner eyepieces
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#1 Cisco Kid

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 04:03 PM

After some time with my new rig, I'm ready to upgrade the stock eyepieces to something better. But although I know what I want, I'm not sure were to look for it. My wish list is: (1) cost up to about US$150 per eyepiece; (2) comfortable to use with my glasses on (I have both myopia and astigmatism); and (3) wide field of view, maybe at least 68 degrees, especially for the shorter focal lengths. My telescope is a 100mm f/9 refractor and I do a bit of everything, from planet viewing to star hopping and DSO. Can you point me to brands that can meet these criteria and are not horrible? I've been looking but I'm a bit lost, especially in which concerns viewing comfort.


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#2 SteveG

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 04:20 PM

Do you have a 2” diagonal?


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#3 Cisco Kid

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 04:21 PM

Do you have a 2” diagonal?

Yes I do.


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#4 sg6

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 04:35 PM

ES 68's at the longer focal lengths and ES 82's at the shorter.

Think that the 82's go up to 14mm and then the 68's start from there upwards.

 

They seem in effect one large set and the FoV changes at 14mm owing to ability to produce.

 

Budget is about right.

At f/9 a couple at 82 degrees and 2 at the 68 FoV maybe about 18mm-20mm and the 24mm for wide.

At 82 FoV say the 14mm and if such exists 9mm or 10mm. A 7mm or there abouts would be nice for higher powers.

I don't have any and cannot quote the EP focal lengths off so a bit generalised.

 

If you opt for 2" then cost is more and as one person complained of they had to change eyepiece and adaptors and it was getting too much of a pain all the time. Also look at a 2" eyepiece first, they are big, usually bigger then expected.


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#5 mikeDnight

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 05:01 PM

20mm, 10mm 7mm, 5mm & 3.5mm Pentax XW's! You'll never need to look elsewhere! They are more expensive than your budget but well worth saving for and acquiring gradually. You could drop the 7mm if need be and avoid the 14mm as its the weakest in the range, but these eyepieces are outstanding. All 1.25" fit with 70° apparent field!

 

Baader Morpheus are another excellent choice!


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#6 Jond105

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 05:07 PM

I have the same scope as you. You could add $9 to your overall for each eyepiece and pick up some ES82. You also have the Meade UWA in that price range. You can purchase the ES68 24 down to the 16mm, then maybe go to the Baader Hyperion or Orion stratus.

I used the Meade Hd60 line the first time I had this scope and was very happy with the views from it. It may not be 68 degrees, but for the price I was really happy.
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#7 photoracer18

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 05:08 PM

Pentax XLs and XWs, hardly anything better even today.  Anything with 20mm of eye-relief minimum is what you want. Nothing less than that. Those have 65 and 70 degree fields respectively which is about all you can get with 20mm eye-relief. They don't need to be 2" until about 26mm or more FL so they aren't. Old TV Radians and Vixen LVWs are in the same class. There are a number of newer eyepieces with similar designs that maybe had cheaper but not better necessarily. You will have to check them out.

I made the same decision about 20 years ago as you for the same reasons. At that time only the 3 that I mentioned were available with long eye-relief. I worked for an astro dealer so got to test them all out. Bought a few but when the Pentax XLs came out I sold the rest and bought a full set of those. Later tested against the XWs which were better but not an extra $100/eyepiece better. So I still have the XLs and don't plan to change. Used XLs (5.2mm to 40mm) are in your price range, except the 40mm and the zoom, barely at about $150/each. XWs are over your budget. Used Radians and LVWs are in your price range.


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#8 msl615

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 05:14 PM

I caught one particular note in your search: astigmatism.

 

If you view with glasses on, then you will need longish eye relief to handle the glasses and eyepiece as discussed in depth above by other poster. 

 

If you view without glasses, then you are like me and I just spent the last three years buying/selling a wide range of eyepieces, none of which could handle seeing "sea gulls" instead of pinpoints for stars.

 

My final solution, almost all of my regular, night-time eyepieces are now Televue that can take the DIOPTRX correction system for my own astigmatism. One of the scopes that I use is very similar to yours, and I find anything longer than about 15mm requires the DIOPTRX correction. Pin point sharp stars again...a real pleasure. I was testing a few again last night without the correction, just to see...yep, all seagulls. 

 

It took me years of hoping that I could find EPs that would work with my eyes, until I found DIOPTRX. 

 

If you go wide view, low power and do not use glasses, I really, really urge you to give the DIOPTRX a try.

 

All of my TVs I have purchased used here and elsewhere...I see RADIANS coming up a lot at about $150. 

 

Mike


Edited by msl615, 22 January 2019 - 05:15 PM.

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#9 SeattleScott

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 05:26 PM

38mm Agena 70 deg for low power, wide field. Orion Stratus/Hyperion would be good for medium power. The 17 is the best in the range, the 8mm would be a workhorse DSO eyepiece. Then maybe a Vixen 5SLV for high power, lunar/planetary while they are on sale. Better quality and contrast is more important for high power viewing. Wide field views more important for DSO. The SLV is 1.25” only so you would need to use an adapter to crank it up for planets.

Or look for a used 5LVW instead of a new SLV. Maybe a touch better contrast, wide FOV and 2” barrel so no adapter required. Might be hard to find but you could try a want ad. Just sold my second 5SLV without ever trying it out so I can’t say how they compare to my 5LVW. But the SLV have a good reputation.

Scott
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#10 havasman

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 06:07 PM

The ES82 eyepieces are very good but they have quite SHORT USABLE EYE RELIEF that will poorly serve your needs. So does the ES68 16mm. 

 

You may find enough eye relief available in the ES68 24mm (38x, 133 arc' FOV, 2.2mm exit pupil) @ 18.4mm but it'll be close. It too is a very good ep. The ES68 40mm offers generous 31mm eye relief, 23x, 181 arc' FOV and 4.4mm exit pupil that will be really useful for use with narrowband filters when viewing large nebulae. I have both these and can assure you their performance is very good. But the 40mm is over your price range.

 

It is likely the ES62 long eye relief series may be a good option for you to investigate. The word on them is encouraging. I have not tried them. Their pricing is very friendly. A 40/26/20/9/5.5mm kit would be useful, with magnifications from 23 to 164x, fields from 165 to 23 arc' and exit pupils from 4.4 to 0.6mm. Maybe use a 14 in place of the 20..? Those are in your price range.

 

Sometimes we do a poor job of reading an inquirer's parameters and just simply recommend they go get all OUR favorites. There are MANY, MANY, MANY very good eyepieces out there and just a slim few that don't quite match up. Baader Morpheus, Televue Delos and the Pentax are all also very good but relatively expensive.

 

In the secondary markets, the Televue Radians are right at $150 and might serve well at the shorter focal lengths.


Edited by havasman, 22 January 2019 - 06:10 PM.

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#11 ascii

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 09:26 PM

I have what is likely the same scope, the SkyWatcher 100 mm f/9 ProED (now the Evostar).

 

You'll want something to provide wide true field of view (TFOV) to take in multiple and larger objects, etc.  In your price range I have and like the 38 mm and 26 mm Agena SWA 70 degree eyepieces. They have good eye relief for eyeglasses.  They are an excellent value at $95 and $85 respectively.  Be warned though.  They suffer from a little of what's called off-axis astigmatism.  It's nothing to do with your eye's astigmatism.  It just means that around the edges of the field of view, the stars won't be round points. They will be slightly elongated.  It's something that is unavoidable in economical wide field of view eyepieces.  You probably won't do much better in that focal length and apparent field of view range without spending substantially more.

 

They become less of a value if you end up later with a lower focal ratio scope, like f/7, f/6 or lower.  The astigmatism worsens with decreasing focal ratio.  It all depends on your tolerance.  I know of one member that still likes his at f/5.9.

 

https://agenaastro.c...roproducts.html

 

I've heard that the 1.25-inch 20 mm, 15 mm, and 10 mm of this line are not as good.  Stick with the larger 2-inch models.

 

There are a lot of good eyepieces in the under 25 mm range that have already been mentioned. 


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#12 Cisco Kid

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 09:35 PM

I have what is likely the same scope, the SkyWatcher 100 mm f/9 ProED (now the Evostar).

Sid, yes, that's the telescope I have. Came with 5mm and a 20mm eyepieces. The 5mm is completely unusable to me.


Edited by Cisco Kid, 22 January 2019 - 09:44 PM.


#13 Cisco Kid

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 09:44 PM

[...]If you go wide view, low power and do not use glasses, I really, really urge you to give the DIOPTRX a try.[...]

Mike, if I could make it work with my budget (a big IF), can I still easily share the views with wife and kid? They don't wear glasses.



#14 ascii

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 09:48 PM

Yes, that's the telescope I have. Came with 5mm and a 20mm eyepieces. The 5mm is completely unusable to me.

Strange, I found the 5 mm to be a reasonably good eyepiece for lunar, planetary and double star work.  Although, at that power you need good seeing and a good smooth stable mount. The eye relief could be better for eyeglasses.  I take my glasses off to use that one.  Myopia is almost never a problem with an eyepiece.  You just have to readjust the focus.  Astigmatism is another matter.  It can be a problem, depending on your degree of astigmatism and the exit pupil of the scope/eyepiece combination.  With a 5 mm eyepiece and your scope, the exit pupil is about 0.56 mm.  Your eye's astigmatism would have to be somewhat over 3 diopters of cylinder for it to be noticeable in the view with that combination.



#15 Cisco Kid

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 09:52 PM

20mm, 10mm 7mm, 5mm & 3.5mm Pentax XW's! You'll never need to look elsewhere!

I hope they come with a good lawyer. I'll need it if the wife finds out I'm buying eyepieces that cost as much as the house mortgage.


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#16 Spikey131

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 09:56 PM

In your price range, the Baader Hyperion series meet your criteria.

 

If you are willing to compromise apparent FOV, used Radians would be a good choice.


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#17 Cisco Kid

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 09:58 PM

Strange, I found the 5 mm to be a reasonably good eyepiece for lunar, planetary and double star work.  Although, at that power you need good seeing and a good smooth stable mount. The eye relief could be better for eyeglasses.  I take my glasses off to use that one.  Myopia is almost never a problem with an eyepiece.  You just have to readjust the focus.  Astigmatism is another matter.  It can be a problem, depending on your degree of astigmatism and the exit pupil of the scope/eyepiece combination.  With a 5 mm eyepiece and your scope, the exit pupil is about 0.56 mm.  Your eye's astigmatism would have to be somewhat over 3 diopters of cylinder for it to be noticeable in the view with that combination.

Couldn't use it for the lunar eclipse last night. The view is quite blurry for me. Was quite bummed about it. I have the scope on a Stellarvue M002CS mount. It's pretty solid.



#18 ascii

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 10:27 PM

Yeah, I've read good things about that mount with the 100 mm f/9.

 

I am a bit puzzled by your experience with the 5 mm eyepiece. If your astigmatism is strong, it might not work well without your glasses.  With glasses on, your eye may be far enough back that you just lose field of view.  That shouldn't cause blurriness.  

 

Was the blurriness like an out of focus view, or was it dancing around as if you were looking through running water?  The former should be fixable by just turning the focus knobs.  If it's the latter, that's just bad seeing because of atmospheric turbulence.  There's nothing you can do to help that except wait for better seeing conditions to come along, or go to another location with better seeing.  Looking over rooftops or hot pavement can cause bad highly localized seeing.


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#19 CeleNoptic

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 10:49 PM


...can I still easily share the views with wife and kid? They don't wear glasses.

 

I think you can but doubt it would be easy. As I understand, roughly speaking, the Dioptrix is your prescription glasses or so attached to an eyepiece therefore to share the view with non-glasswearers you should remove it. Read more about the DIOPTRX and How to Choose DIOPTRX™ Models and google threads like this. Dioptrix will fit not every eyepiece.


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#20 AxelB

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 11:07 PM

How much astigmatisms do you have in your observing eye?

That will tell us which eyepieces require correction by your glasses or a Dyoptrx lense.

For exemple, personaly at 0.75, I only need it if the exit pupil is at least 3mm (a 30mm eyepiece in my f10 sct or a 27mm eyepiece in your f9 refractor).

The reference to figure out if correction is needed is there:
http://www.televue.c...=54&Tab=_Choose

You’ll probably see that at least half of your eyepieces can be used without glasses which will leave you with more choice for those.

Edited by AxelB, 22 January 2019 - 11:08 PM.

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#21 SeattleScott

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 11:55 PM

I think you can but doubt it would be easy. As I understand, roughly speaking, the Dioptrix is your prescription glasses or so attached to an eyepiece therefore to share the view with non-glasswearers you should remove it. Read more about the DIOPTRX and How to Choose DIOPTRX™ Models and google threads like this. Dioptrix will fit not every eyepiece.


Yes they are like glasses for your eyepieces. So they are lousy for public outreach. Really intended for solo observing. I mean if you are on your own 90% the time, fine, just take them off when the kid comes. I usually observe with friends so it wouldn’t work well for me.

ALSO Dioptrix reduces eye relief. Granted you don’t need your glasses so not as big of a deal, but it can make ER uncomfortably tight on certain eyepieces, especially if they didn’t have a lot of ER to start with. So if you have to get long ER eyepieces to accommodate dioptrix maybe you just get long ER eyepieces to accommodate glasses? 😜

Scott
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#22 msl615

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 01:35 AM

Cisco,

Following the leads and links given above, you should be able to closely model what eyepiece focal length and exit pupil you would need for your astigmatism.  The others are correct that taking a DIOPTRX off and on a TV EP can be tough in the dark, and some other brands of eyepieces can take DIOPTRX, but only with some DIY mods. 

 

One suggestion: Try out a Radian (20mm er0 and adjustable eyecup in your price range at longer focal lengths. Pick up a used DIOPTRX according to the model graphs provided by TV. Give it a try.....the ER is sufficiently long with Radians that the 2-3mm loss from the DIOPTRX is OK. I have found that using them on 27 AND 22 Panoptics is right at the edge of ER, but I need them, so am willing to view with a reduced ER. 

 

If the DIOPTRX does not work, or you don't need it, then you still have a good Radian, and can easily sell the DIOPTRX. 

 

For outreach, family, etc. I have another set of Plossls that work well for most cases. I have such a hard time determining if someone is seeing  accurately focused stars when looking through my scope, that focus is more of a concern to me than a minor diopter correction. 

 

Mike


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#23 25585

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 08:46 AM

20mm, 10mm 7mm, 5mm & 3.5mm Pentax XW's! You'll never need to look elsewhere! They are more expensive than your budget but well worth saving for and acquiring gradually. You could drop the 7mm if need be and avoid the 14mm as its the weakest in the range, but these eyepieces are outstanding. All 1.25" fit with 70° apparent field!

 

Baader Morpheus are another excellent choice!

+1

 

Baader Morpheus are less expensive, owning all 6, I have been selling my XWs, only keeping the 10mm which is the best of that range.


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#24 RAKing

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 11:46 AM

In your price range, the Baader Hyperion series meet your criteria.

+1 waytogo.gif   I don't know why these have fallen so far out of favor lately. shrug.gif

 

On your budget the Hyperions make an excellent choice.  They are lightweight, offer great eye relief (20mm) for eyeglass wearers (except my 24mm is only 17mm), and 68-degree views.

 

I use a 24mm Hyperion with my SW 100ED, even though I own other more expensive eyepieces.  The Hyperion is just a bit more comfortable for me to use than a Televue Panoptic.  And if you want to get creative with your focal lengths, you can buy some Fine Tuning Rings for the Hyperions to tinker with the focal length.  These work on all of them except for the 24mm.

 

If the 5mm is not useable with your scope, it could be due to the sky conditions, tight eye relief, or the fact that the eyepieces that Sky Watcher ships with their scopes are not very good.

 

Cheers,

 

Ron


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#25 SteveG

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 01:58 PM

I have the same scope, different label.

 

For general low power views in a suburban light setting (I’m guessing here) I recommend the ES 28/68. It has a nice wide field with very good eye relief. If you were to later purchase a Dioptrx, it fits this eyepiece. This is a 2” eyepiece.

 

For medium power I recommend a 12-14 mm wide field. I recently picked up a Baader Morpheus 12.5 mm and I love it. The 76* above feels much more like an 82* Nagler. The eye relief is very generous. These are a little on the high side in price.

 

For high power I recommend the Morpheus 6.5, or the Expolre Scientific 6.7/82. The latter has short eye relief, but you would simply remove your glasses to view through it. At that exit pupil, astigmatism from your eye won’t likely be visible.


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