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2019 Eyepiece Buyer's Guide

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#1 Starman1

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 04:47 PM

Here is the updated, 2019 version of the Eyepiece Buyer's Guide.

 

Some notes:

There seem to be more eBay and Amazon brands than ever.  Most fluctuate in price and models available.

IF you know what you're doing, there are some bargains here, since, in many cases, you're buying directly from the Chinese manufacturer.

I mention many of these brands, but unless they have a website and list their eyepieces, I didn't include all the items.

 

A few brands disappeared.  A couple new ones showed up.  Some models and sizes were dropped, others added.

One brand changed due to a purchase of the company (Docter>>Noblex)

 

If you enter your telescope's focal length and f/ratio in the boxes in the upper left, and click on any other box, all the fields will populate.

 

The report is ordered by brand, then model, then focal length.  It's an Excel spreadsheet, so can be rearranged to suit your purposes.

If you click "Do not save" when you exit, such temporary changes will not be preserved.

 

I added a column for weights in grams.  I entered data that I had.  Many others might be obtainable on line, but searching for the data would have slowed this down by months

since I have only a little time each month to devote to keeping it current.   I did add the TeleVue 11mm Apollo 11 eyepiece right at the end.

 

Enjoy.

 

Don 

Attached Files


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#2 Gurdi

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 05:26 PM

Thanks for doing this!

-Bob

#3 agmoonsolns

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 05:49 PM

You are so awesome, thank you! :-)



#4 Atascadero

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 06:10 PM

Much appreciated. Thank you for taking the time and the effort to do this for us.



#5 John Rogers

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 06:10 PM

Thanks Don for your continued and excellent support of this guide!



#6 dUbeni

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 06:17 PM

Thanks Don, and a special thanks for the weight column, I always felt it needed one laugh.gif  waytogo.gif

CS

Bernardo



#7 Kent10

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 07:20 PM

Thanks Don!



#8 Don Taylor

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 07:21 PM

From this "eyepiece junkie" to another - your hard work is very much appreciated. Thank you! 



#9 BFaucett

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 08:08 PM

I also wanted to add my thank you.  I'm an old spreadsheet user since back in the days of VisiCalc so I can relate to the amount of work it took to gather and enter that much data.

 

Cheers!  Bob F. smile.gif

 

 



#10 Gabby76

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 08:40 PM

Thank you Don, the effort is appreciated! 



#11 Thandal

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 08:44 PM

Don;  New member/first post.  Thank You!  This really helps me get an overview of the options for my purpose (planetary/lunar observing) and within my budget (limited!)

Question: I noticed you didn't list the Celestron and Orion "Kits" that include a series of (undeclared design) eyepieces. Was there a reason for that?

 

I'm looking at the Celestron 2" (94305) one as a starter set for my (soon to arrive) new scope.  26mm, 32mm, and 40mm, plus diagonal and filters, for US$235.

 

I know they're (probably) Kellners, and the diagonal won't be the best, but at least they're (supposed to be) FMC.   Any reason I should avoid?

 

My long-term goals include; better eyepieces; a Baader Amici prism diagonal; and, someday, a bino-viewer.  (A guy can dream, right? wink.gif  )



#12 Starman1

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 09:57 PM

Don; New member/first post. Thank You! This really helps me get an overview of the options for my purpose (planetary/lunar observing) and within my budget (limited!)

Question: I noticed you didn't list the Celestron and Orion "Kits" that include a series of (undeclared design) eyepieces. Was there a reason for that?

I'm looking at the Celestron 2" (94305) one as a starter set for my (soon to arrive) new scope. 26mm, 32mm, and 40mm, plus diagonal and filters, for US$235.

I know they're (probably) Kellners, and the diagonal won't be the best, but at least they're (supposed to be) FMC. Any reason I should avoid?

My long-term goals include; better eyepieces; a Baader Amici prism diagonal; and, someday, a bino-viewer. (A guy can dream, right? wink.gif )

Ask on a new thread on the Eyepieces Forum and get a hundred responses.
I left off the kits because most of the eyepieces in the hundred or so kits are available separately. Those that aren't available separately are usually not good eyepieces.
Kits often contain a lot of eyepieces you don't need. You don't, for example, need all 3 of the focal lengths you mention. A 40 and 26 are sufficient in an SCT and the 40 doesn't work in a dob. It's a good example of why kits are rarely good investments.
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#13 Napp

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 10:12 PM

Thanks, Don!



#14 Thandal

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 05:59 PM

Ask on a new thread on the Eyepieces Forum and get a hundred responses.
I left off the kits because most of the eyepieces in the hundred or so kits are available separately. Those that aren't available separately are usually not good eyepieces.
Kits often contain a lot of eyepieces you don't need. You don't, for example, need all 3 of the focal lengths you mention. A 40 and 26 are sufficient in an SCT and the 40 doesn't work in a dob. It's a good example of why kits are rarely good investments.

Don;

 

Fair enough, but I already have a (decent?) set of 1.25" Plössls (5mm-32mm) which I acquired for my previous instrument.  Now I'm looking to add a few 2" ones to expand the capabilities of a (back-ordered) classic cassegrain 152mm (6") / f12, on a go-to, single-arm mount.

 

Plus, as my knees/back/neck aren't what they were when I first used a 'scope, (which was a 3", 0.965 eyepiece, spiral-wound paper tube, Edmund Scientific reflector.  I still have the OTA!) I'm thinking a diagonal is a must.

 

Which is why the set of 3 EPs, plus diagonal, plus filters (figure the barlow is a throw-away) for US$235 looked attractive.

 

I'll take your advice and post a new query topic.

 

Thanks again!



#15 pr1nc3prince

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 03:53 AM

Thank you for this.

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#16 merlin5353

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 12:00 PM

Thank you, kind Sir.

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#17 Neptune

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 12:45 PM

Hi Don, I never realised how much 'fun' one could have with all your hard work with this spread sheet. I recenty moved fron AZ to GA (don't ask) and while my wife drove part way I used my lap top to peruse all the choices that are out there in the way of eyrpieces. After doing this I may have to start a new collection!

Edited by Neptune, 14 June 2019 - 12:48 PM.


#18 Starman1

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 04:04 PM

Fortunately for collectors, there are a lot of private label eyepieces that are the same.

One example:

365 Astronomy Andromeda Extra Flat
Astromania Premium Flatfield
BST (Barsta) Flat Field
Lunt "Solar Eyepieces", Flat field
Omegon Flatfield
Orion EF
Skywatcher ExtraFlat Wide Angle
Telescope Service Edge-On Flat Field

Are all the same eyepiece.

That would cut down your need to buy.



#19 Vertisce

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 03:30 PM

This is amazing!  Thank you!  



#20 hongxu chen

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 08:46 AM

As a Chinese, let me tell you some truth.

No matter how many Chinese brands you have ever seen, there are only a few optic manufacturers in China. Telescope is not like pans and pots, they are low demanded and can not make a lot profit from. So, in China, not a lot of private company would like to participate it. And most of the optic manufacturers are founded by the country. So they always have military back ground. Can they make high quality products? Of course they can. They made scope for guns to fight with you Americans in North Korean decades ago, and they do OEM for Televue now. However, which is kinda contradict, are their own products has high quality? I am not sure. Why?Ask yourself, would you like to spend hundreds of bucks to buy a Chinese brand eyepieces you never heard before? Of course not, due to the bad fame of Chinese products, nobody will! So they don’t have many choices but produce some low cost products to cut the price, use extremely low profit to fight with competitors, gain customers. But low price means low quantity. Sometimes they cut the cost too much lead to a really rough quality products and destroy the brand. Then they have to abandon the origin brand and build a new one with higher quantity and higher price. So even though the brands are changing, they actually made by the same manufacturer. They don’t have distribution network in US or Euro, and they can not afford or don’t know how to advertise in these unfamiliar countries. So you can find some cheap Chinese eyepieces only in eBay, where they can sell directly to the buyer without building distribution channel.

Then how do they sell their high end products? They do OEM. But that makes even less profit than the low quality products. Because they are vulnerable on the negotiating table. And share no more than 30% of the profit. Which means you can spend 30% or less of the original price to buy the same product in China. But the holder of the famous brand is not dull. They begin to write some term in the contract to limit these kind of products goes into the market.

With time goes on, only some of the manufacturers successfully build there own famous brand, like QHY, ZWO, EXPLORE SCIENTIFIC, Sky-watcher, Sky Rover. Others are still struggling in balancing the cost and quality. Even though they indeed can make good stuff.

However, there are some manufacturers run very well. Here is one story happened to me. The first telescope I have is a 50mm refractor made by SHUN YU. I think most of you have never heard this brand before. It comes with three H-type eyepieces, and the only objective I can clearly see through that needle hole is the moon. Though to you guys or to me now, it is just a toy. But it opened a gate to a new world for me. I used it on my balcony nearly every day. After I grew up, had my own job, I decided to buy a real telescope. Then the deja vu name, SHUN YU, comes to me again. To my shock, it bought the world most famous telescope brand Celestron! I suppose SHUN YU can only produce junk, but it does have the high end product line.

So while you are buying some cheap eyepieces or other stuff from Chinese seller on eBay. Chat with them. They may hide something that you can not find in the market. Though the price will not be very low, but I am pretty sure it will not make you disappointed. However, compare to TV and TAK, defiantly they still have a long way to go.


Edited by hongxu chen, 15 July 2019 - 01:49 PM.

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#21 Starman1

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 03:29 PM

One small clarification.

TeleVue has eyepieces made for them in Japan and Taiwan.

They do not have any eyepieces sourced from mainland China.


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#22 hongxu chen

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 05:41 PM

One small clarification.
TeleVue has eyepieces made for them in Japan and Taiwan.
They do not have any eyepieces sourced from mainland China.


Taiwan is a part of China! Do not talk about this political topic with any Chinese. It is not a joke!
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#23 Starman1

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 07:33 PM

Yes, I am aware that the mainland Chinese regard Taiwan as part of China.

That is why I said mainland China, so not to differentiate between Taiwan and China.

 

The American consumer, though, does differentiate between products made in Taiwan and products made in mainland China, whether rightly or wrongly.

And, so does the U.S.government in matters like tariffs or import regulations.  For quite some time, the PRC has had special regulations governing trade,

while Taiwan has not.

 

There is so much blur today since Taiwanese companies have production on the mainland and vice-versa.

And, today, there are some wonderful astronomy products from companies like JingHua Optical and Kunming United Optics, etc, which blurs the line even more.

 

So my comments were merely intended to let people know that when you said, "and they do OEM for Televue now", you were referring to Taiwan,

not to enter into a geopolitical discussion.


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#24 agmoonsolns

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 07:56 PM

Starman1, this is very much appreciated! Many people (me included) strongly care about where items are actually made and by whom.

 

hongxu chen, we don't consider it to be a joke either. Please don't try to bully us into what we can and can not talk about. Over here it's a free country and we like sharing information on where products are made without having to live in fear of what the Chinese government will do or approve of.

 

To me and for the time being, something made in Taiwan is much more desirable than something made in mainland China. Also, something made in Japan or Germany is one heck of a lot more desirable than something made in China. This isn't saying something made in China is bad, only my personal preferences put China at the bottom of my list (and for a lot of other people too). This is why it's very important this is openly discussed and the difference made. It matters to buyers, it's important in making purchasing decisions, and people really care about differentiating Taiwan and mainland China as sources.


Edited by agmoonsolns, 16 July 2019 - 07:57 PM.

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#25 hongxu chen

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 09:51 PM

Yes, I am aware that the mainland Chinese regard Taiwan as part of China.
That is why I said mainland China, so not to differentiate between Taiwan and China.

The American consumer, though, does differentiate between products made in Taiwan and products made in mainland China, whether rightly or wrongly.
And, so does the U.S.government in matters like tariffs or import regulations. For quite some time, the PRC has had special regulations governing trade,
while Taiwan has not.

There is so much blur today since Taiwanese companies have production on the mainland and vice-versa.
And, today, there are some wonderful astronomy products from companies like JingHua Optical and Kunming United Optics, etc, which blurs the line even more.

So my comments were merely intended to let people know that when you said, "and they do OEM for Televue now", you were referring to Taiwan,
not to enter into a geopolitical discussion.

I disagree with what you said about governing the trading. But no political topic here.

Some TV eyepieces are indeed made in Mainland China. And has some relationship with Explorer Scientific before. And the ES eyepieces are made by Jinghua, and changed the name to JOC Group already.

At the very begining, they put “Made in ROC” on eyepieces. But not everyone can distinguish republic of China (ROC) and People’s Republic of China (PRC). And a lot of people think products made in China means low quality. Telling the truth, I also think that way before. Then they change it to “made in Taiwan”. But still, not every one buy it. Then they erased the word now. So, not matter they are from Taiwan, Japan or USA, they all looks same.

Does Televue cheat you? No. They indeed let the Taiwan manufacturers OEM. But they doesn’t put the term in contract saying all the work along production line must be done in Taiwan. And all the Taiwan OEM manufacturers have factories in mainland China. You know what will happen. However, the factory in mainland China is following the OEM manufacturers’ standard procedure and TV’s quality requirement. And their supplier are all the same. So no need to worry about the quality. TV is still THE TV

Businessman are greedy, no matter where are they from. They will always find some place to make cost less products and make more profit. Some super famous fashion brand even buy leathers directly from China, then stamp “Made in Italy”, and make the price hundred times more. Apple is kinda honest, but he also play the trick change the word “Made in China” to “Assemble in China” on iPhone.

Anyway, it’s age of globalization now. Why should we care about where are all these products from. And how can you tell there is no other countries are involved for one product? I have Televue NP101, Ethos, Nagler which are made in US, I also have QHY 16200, Skywatcher HEQ5 which are made in China. As long as they can made good stuff, why should I care where are they from?

Edited by hongxu chen, 16 July 2019 - 09:52 PM.

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