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2019 Eyepiece Buyer's Guide

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#51 Starman1

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 04:12 PM

It'd be great , but honestly this is already beyond fantastic, to list the countries of origin for fabrication.

 

Comprehensive though Don.

 

Pete

I did that in an earlier version of the spreadsheet.

However, most of the "Japanese" eyepieces were made in China,

most of the German eyepieces were made in China, and many brands had mixed sources, like glass from Japan, barrels made in China,

assembled in the Philippines, and labeled "Made in Japan".  How would you say where they came from in that case, which, I found, was far from unique.

So I deleted the country of origin.  And, if you don't want eyepieces made in China these days, you have a very limited number of eyepieces to choose among.



#52 skyskan

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 05:04 PM

I did that in an earlier version of the spreadsheet.

However, most of the "Japanese" eyepieces were made in China,

most of the German eyepieces were made in China, and many brands had mixed sources, like glass from Japan, barrels made in China,

assembled in the Philippines, and labeled "Made in Japan".  How would you say where they came from in that case, which, I found, was far from unique.

So I deleted the country of origin.  And, if you don't want eyepieces made in China these days, you have a very limited number of eyepieces to choose among.

I think who does the quality control is more important.  Set the bar high and try very hard to keep it there.

Same factory would put out totally different quality depends on the quality of quality control.



#53 Starman1

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 07:17 PM

Yes, I agree.  My experience with getting many products made over there from 1980-2004 is what a plant manager told me:

For every buyer who asks, "Can you make it better?", there are 100 buyers who ask, "Can you make it cheaper?"

I was always treated like royalty because I was the one who wanted it better.

 

We had a bicycle we imported whose paint chipped easily.  I asked, "Do you have a paint that doesn't chip?" and they responded, "Yes, but

it will double the cost of the paint job."

So I asked, after thinking about it for a while, "How much does a paint job cost?"  The answer, "$1."

So, for $1 extra, I got a high-end, chip-proof paint job.  And I was the first buyer who'd asked for a better paint job.

 

So, can China make the products better?  Sure.  You have to ask, and perhaps the price advantage won't be as fantastic as making it cheaper,

but they can do it.

Plus, if you go to the lengths of developing that fantastic, high-quality product, there is no guarantee you won't see it under someone else's label later.



#54 skyskan

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 08:34 PM

Yes, I agree.  My experience with getting many products made over there from 1980-2004 is what a plant manager told me:

For every buyer who asks, "Can you make it better?", there are 100 buyers who ask, "Can you make it cheaper?"

I was always treated like royalty because I was the one who wanted it better.

 

We had a bicycle we imported whose paint chipped easily.  I asked, "Do you have a paint that doesn't chip?" and they responded, "Yes, but

it will double the cost of the paint job."

So I asked, after thinking about it for a while, "How much does a paint job cost?"  The answer, "$1."

So, for $1 extra, I got a high-end, chip-proof paint job.  And I was the first buyer who'd asked for a better paint job.

 

So, can China make the products better?  Sure.  You have to ask, and perhaps the price advantage won't be as fantastic as making it cheaper,

but they can do it.

Plus, if you go to the lengths of developing that fantastic, high-quality product, there is no guarantee you won't see it under someone else's label later.

Very true. 

One thing I would like to add is that you would have to be actively involved in QC process.  This is a very difficult part, but very import.

Without active involvement, making sure interpreting the quality standard with the same interpretation is very difficult because everybody has different experience, understanding and standard.



#55 csscouter

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 12:39 PM

Thanks so much, Don.

 

I'm new to BT's, having just purchased my initial setup from APM, and I'm already feeling a pull to add to my collection of one eyepiece (OK, 2 - it's a binocular telescope)... wink.gif  When I make the addition, you'll have that business.

 



#56 Baatar

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 03:35 AM

Don, this list is certainly very useful.

 

Recently, I acquired ES62 LER 32mm and ES82 LER 6.5mm, and my eyepiece collection is a bit of a mishmash. 

 

I got these two mainly to use with my 10" dob (F4.7), hoping they would perform well, but haven't really used them due to weather.  These two do not appear in your list.

 

What do you think of these two on the Dob?  If you or any one else used them and tested, I would be most interested in hearing your views and what to expect (goods and bads).

 

There aren't many reviews on these EPs, and in another thread there were some optical and image quality problems reported.  But this was earlier in the year, and I am not sure if the problems were rectified.

 

Thanks!


Edited by Baatar, 03 September 2019 - 10:08 AM.


#57 Starman1

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 11:24 AM

The ES 62s were originally billed as Long Eye Relief (LER), except that they proved to not have eye relief except in the longest focal lengths (32mm and 40mm), so the LER designation was dropped.

All the ES 62s are in my list, but they do not have the LER designation because they are simply not LER.  To be LER, the eye relief needs to be >20mm.  To be fair, the 32mm and 40mm are long eye relief.

 

The ES 82 LER edition never made it to the US because all the first ones released were recalled due to improper assembly and other issues.

I left them out on purpose.  The revised versions are going to be released soon (Fall?) and I will be testing them prior to release.

I will add them to the list later.  The 2020 version will have them, but I may do an interim version (2019-1/2?) to cover several new eyepieces from several companies.

From what I understand, they are not true LER eyepieces but merely have longer eye relief than their standard 82° counterparts.


Edited by Starman1, 03 September 2019 - 11:26 AM.

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#58 Baatar

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 04:59 AM

Thanks Don for your reply.

 

Indeed, I see now ES62 32mm in your list.  Although it is not labelled as LER now, with 22mm ER it is really nice.

 

Yesterday, I had a chance to test both EPs, finally the weather was good.  And actually, I find that both EPs are quite acceptable to my usage and the F4.7 DOB.  With regard to ES82 6.5mm, I did not really notice any major issues mentioned in another post, thus I assume the IQ issues were corrected.

 

Having said this, I did however notice (on purpose) that both EPs do have some mild aberrations at the edges (in 10-20% of the outer field).  However, with my untrained eye I couldn't identify which aberration I was seeing (coma, spherical aberration, astigmatism, or any combination of these etc.).  I tend to focus on the middle section of the EP fields, thus any perceived miscorrections do not bother me really (unless I specifically look for those).

 

The ES82 6.5mm ER was quite acceptable too, although it is not LER as was advertised.  Bresser on their site said it has 16.8mm ER, which in my testing was a bit less, but was still comfortable.  But that's just me I guess.

 

So in brief, I guess I am quite satisfied with both EP performance on my DOB.  At least, I can't complain.

 

However, when time comes, I do look forward to reading your expert reviews of these EPs.

 

Thanks again!


Edited by Baatar, 04 September 2019 - 05:13 AM.


#59 raidambrosio

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 08:29 PM

Hi Don, thanks for your very useful list which I am using to optimize my eyepiece lineup.

Please, double check whether the listed Atromania 2" Kellner 55mm is still available. I think Astromania may have discontinued it, and replaced it with a 40mm.

http://www.astromani...c-eyepiece-0122

In fact, I cannot find that 55mm anywhere.

best,

 

Rai



#60 Starman1

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 08:40 PM

This?

https://www.amazon.c...e/dp/B01B2OR0AA



#61 raidambrosio

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 09:42 PM

Yes, that one is the 56mm Super Plossl. I was talking about the listed 55mm Kellner, which seems no longer available.



#62 Kiriakos_GR

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 02:19 PM


 

So, can China make the products better?  Sure.  You have to ask, and perhaps the price advantage won't be as fantastic as making it cheaper,

but they can do it.

 

I am not looking to start any lengthy argument, but Western industries never use worst grade of recycled aluminum at making metallic parts.
And neither have they used worst grade of plastic, which degrades and melts and become sticky as glue after 18 months, because it gets in contact with atmospheric air.

When our marketing was talking about optical lens over a product this was of what you are getting.
And neither we was selling a totally plastic Barlow with retail pricing this fluctuating from 2.5$ up to the hilarious amount of 15$, so we to buy expensive BMWs by cheating the entire planet.

 

Chinese people lucking moral values, it is in their Blood.
Only Japan and Taiwan differentiate, they have moral values, it is in their blood, and they count at selling quality goods, because with out a high exports rate, they will both go bankrupt.

One Chinese factory it can provide decent goods under western supervisor and management.
Neither of them it does exist at mainland China of 2019.

We all using now the faceless eBay which now serves best interest of Chinese mainland lobby, there is no individual sellers, the market is controlled by 90 families them owning  eight stores its one.
The lobby decides retail price of a product, all stores follow orders of the big Boss and they play with us with 5% discounts.

 

PayPal web site few months ago it did hide the link of opening a case against a seller, I was forced to make a bookmark, instead searching their website help system over and over.
The system of trade due internet, it weakens and further weakens buyer protection its new day, because this is now under control of the China mainland lobby too. 

 

While I am a Greek, I do believe that president Trump he is very aware of the unseen risks, and puppets getting paid by the Chinese lobby they are his true enemy.
I am sorry but international trading this is now politics, and not a simple topic for consumers to solve it by them self’s.

 

98% of Chinese mainland factories do not use email, you must be a Chinese so to speak with them by telephone.
They love the money of westerns but in the reality, they hate us and they do plans all day long to conquer the markets.


Edited by Kiriakos_GR, 06 October 2019 - 02:27 PM.

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#63 Starman1

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 02:33 PM

Here is the key:

"One Chinese factory it can provide decent goods under western supervisor and management."

And this can and has occurred.



#64 Kiriakos_GR

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 03:05 PM

Here is the key:

"One Chinese factory it can provide decent goods under western supervisor and management."

And this can and has occurred.

I will deliver one extremely valuable hint, this worth lots of cash. 

When a brand this gets in denial to pay in-favor of their marketing promotion due internet, this is now at Chinese lobby hands at 100%. 

 

In the past eight years I am content creator and Blogger, dealing all day long with Asia and their factories and their people.

Another problem of Asians this is short memory, its time talking with them this is just a new day, they do not keep records of friends and developed trust.

They fire their marketing managers every six months, you are unable to maintain long term relations with out you introducing your self again and again and again to them.

 

Most common thing between Greeks and Americans other than high level of education, this is pride, we should leave pride aside and act according to reason and in favor of our nations.

My next eyepiece will have the stamp Made in Japan, because the American and European chimneys they produce clear air as we speak.  

 

From my end and due my Blog, I am standing as wall of protection in favor of my readers, so they to make safe decisions. 

So I am positive thinking and I do respect brands worth be respected, as long they also protect and look after consumer problems.  


Edited by Kiriakos_GR, 06 October 2019 - 03:13 PM.

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#65 hongxu chen

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 05:44 PM

I am not looking to start any lengthy argument, but Western industries never use worst grade of recycled aluminum at making metallic parts.
And neither have they used worst grade of plastic, which degrades and melts and become sticky as glue after 18 months, because it gets in contact with atmospheric air.
When our marketing was talking about optical lens over a product this was of what you are getting.
And neither we was selling a totally plastic Barlow with retail pricing this fluctuating from 2.5$ up to the hilarious amount of 15$, so we to buy expensive BMWs by cheating the entire planet.

Chinese people lucking moral values, it is in their Blood.
Only Japan and Taiwan differentiate, they have moral values, it is in their blood, and they count at selling quality goods, because with out a high exports rate, they will both go bankrupt.
One Chinese factory it can provide decent goods under western supervisor and management.
Neither of them it does exist at mainland China of 2019.

We all using now the faceless eBay which now serves best interest of Chinese mainland lobby, there is no individual sellers, the market is controlled by 90 families them owning eight stores its one.
The lobby decides retail price of a product, all stores follow orders of the big Boss and they play with us with 5% discounts.

PayPal web site few months ago it did hide the link of opening a case against a seller, I was forced to make a bookmark, instead searching their website help system over and over.
The system of trade due internet, it weakens and further weakens buyer protection its new day, because this is now under control of the China mainland lobby too.

While I am a Greek, I do believe that president Trump he is very aware of the unseen risks, and puppets getting paid by the Chinese lobby they are his true enemy.
I am sorry but international trading this is now politics, and not a simple topic for consumers to solve it by them self’s.

98% of Chinese mainland factories do not use email, you must be a Chinese so to speak with them by telephone.
They love the money of westerns but in the reality, they hate us and they do plans all day long to conquer the markets.

I agree part of your view. They surely have made a lot of low quality stuff. I know exactly that Chinese made stuff have very bad reputation. My Italy friend told me he bought a pair of Chinese leather shoes made by paper, and falling apart if it is rainy. Sounds like a joke, but it is true. However, we do have high quality shoes that can be wear for decades. Then why does he buy paper shoes? Because it is cheap, only €2. He can not blame all the Chinese made stuff if he buy the €2 shoes instead of €200 ones. He should know that he get what he paid for. The same, why people all over the world like buying Chinese stuff, because it is cheap! You are buying some Chinese brand that I, as a Chinese, have never heard in China. My American friend sent me a picture of a Chinese made pan that was burnt through after three times using. I swear I’ve never seen such $3 pan in Chinese local market during my whole life. And we do have $500 hand made pan that was striked hammer by hammer for thousands of times. It is very very popular in China. Unfortunately, it is not under you western supervisor and management at all. Instead of that, we do need help on marketing policy, law making. It is human nature that every one like cheap stuff. But we can not let bad money drives out good money. They are not just making low quality stuff, but cheating! And they cause injure not only to the users, but also to the reputation of Chinese stuff. We should shut down all these factories, and put them to jail. As in eBay, a lot of agent operated under you western supervisor and management, buy the cheapest of the cheapest stuff in local market then sell it online. Chinese stuff are cheap because of the huge population, the labor is cheap. But it can not be so unreasonable cheap like 99 cents for an umbrella. It is fraud! People surely will be like a drown rat with no doubt if use this umbrella. They should ban these seller, never let them show up in eBay again. If you always buy some low quality Chinese stuff eBay, then don’t use this western supervised and managed website, use www.aliexpress.com, our own international trading website. I am sure the seller on this website will reply every of your email. If you like, they can talk with you in English fluently on phone. They will tell you whether we can only make paper shoes, chocolate pans and colander umbrella without western supervisor and management, and whether all the Chinese use these ridiculous stuff everyday and suffered.

As for the eyepieces, Startman1 made a great guide. But I want to add some more to it. We do have some no touch brands who only make junk. Like you said, use worst grade of plastic, which degrades and melts and become sticky as glue after 18 months. Meanwhile we do have some high quality but not world famous ones. Some are only sold in local market. But you can buy them online easily. One word for all, you get what you paid for.

If you want to buy high quality Chinese made eyepieces, SKY ROVER and Explore Scientific are your best choice. Sky Rover may be less famous than ES. But their quality are at the same level. SKY ROVER is not in the guide. But I notice that the model name like SWA, XWA are same as Telescope Service in the guide, but much cheaper. Maybe it use Telescope Service sale channel in US and let it bite most of the profit. By the way, SKY ROVER is also one of the two best APO maker in China. Another one is Sharp Star. They both make great APO with acceptable price.

Some brand have average quality. But the price is reasonable. They are Sky-watcher, GSO, BOSMA, ANGELEYES, SAGA etc. Some of them are not listed in the guide, but worth to buy. Sky-Watcher was called SYNTA before, and it bought Celestron and Meade. All Celestron and Meade’s eyepieces are made by Sky-Watcher.

Some brand has OEM manufacturer in China. Like Vixen, Badder, Orion. Some OEM manufacturer also have their own brand. Like PLANO. Strongly recommend. Except the logo, it is exactly same as Baader, but much less expensive. Because these manufacturers share no more than 30% of the profit. Most of the profit goes into the famous brands owners’ pocket. I will continue dig out some more OEM brand.

Some eyepieces are described as ultra wide view, super long eye relief, super high quality. They even put some beautiful nebula pictures there, which are shot by Hubble. They will give you a huge discount if you contact with them. Don’t be fool! Chinese can make cheap stuff doesn’t mean there is no cost there! Example: ZHITONG, Datyson

I totally understand your view on Chinese made stuff. No need to argue at all. And I will never defend for those junk maker who has no moral and faith at all. They are deserved to be shut down, put into the jail and never show up in market again. We still have a long way to normalize the market to get rid of them. As an individual, What I can do only is to list some brands that worth to try, some should be aware of. Hopefully this may help.

Edited by hongxu chen, 07 October 2019 - 08:30 AM.

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#66 agmoonsolns

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 05:50 PM

Brilliant post hongxu chen! Thank you so much for sharing the names of the good brands. Would you happen to know of any places where SKY ROVER is sold to international markets where we in the US can buy them?

 

I know the Chinese are capable of making great products, it can be hard finding the good ones though and so I really appreciate your information!



#67 hongxu chen

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 06:24 PM

Brilliant post hongxu chen! Thank you so much for sharing the names of the good brands. Would you happen to know of any places where SKY ROVER is sold to international markets where we in the US can buy them?

I know the Chinese are capable of making great products, it can be hard finding the good ones though and so I really appreciate your information!


I am not sure what contract it has with Telescope Service. You can not find it in US market. And their home page is in Chinese: http://www.sky-rover.com/
You can contact with them via email: service@sky-rover.com
Their store is: https://shop198106275.taobao.com/
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#68 Starman1

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 06:33 PM

I have seen quality Chinese goods from Jing Hua Optical, or JOC (usually sold as Explore Scientific, but there have been a few other labels),

and KunMing United Optics (KUO), sold under many different labels that are in the spreadsheet.

And some excellent products from Long Perng Co. that you have seen under other labels.

As well as Guan Sheng Optical (GSO), Suzhou Synta Corp. (Celestron and other labels)

And some decent, but less expensive products have come from Barsta.

 

I purposely left off the list a lot of Chinese products sold direct to consumer on eBay unless they have opened up distribution centers and have independent websites.

It is not the purpose of the spreadsheet to list absolutely every eyepiece available world-wide at any price if they are not generally available to the public in the West.

I especially want to rule out China-to-consumer direct products because most customers will not buy that way.

I want to confine it to makers with distribution in North America and Europe that have websites and actually sell products to the consumer markets in those places.

 

Looking at the Sky Rover products, I wonder if they are already in the western markets under other labels.  They look awfully familiar.

And I wonder if Sky Rover is a private label product of some other large company.


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#69 hongxu chen

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 07:22 PM

I have seen quality Chinese goods from Jing Hua Optical, or JOC (usually sold as Explore Scientific, but there have been a few other labels),
and KunMing United Optics (KUO), sold under many different labels that are in the spreadsheet.
And some excellent products from Long Perng Co. that you have seen under other labels.
As well as Guan Sheng Optical (GSO), Suzhou Synta Corp. (Celestron and other labels)
And some decent, but less expensive products have come from Barsta.

I purposely left off the list a lot of Chinese products sold direct to consumer on eBay unless they have opened up distribution centers and have independent websites.
It is not the purpose of the spreadsheet to list absolutely every eyepiece available world-wide at any price if they are not generally available to the public in the West.
I especially want to rule out China-to-consumer direct products because most customers will not buy that way.
I want to confine it to makers with distribution in North America and Europe that have websites and actually sell products to the consumer markets in those places.

Looking at the Sky Rover products, I wonder if they are already in the western markets under other labels. They look awfully familiar.
And I wonder if Sky Rover is a private label product of some other large company.

Though not all the brands, you’ve already list most of the Chinese eyepieces manufacturers, which even most Chinese astrophile can't! Surely make a huge effort to study the eyepieces market to make this useful list.

SKY ROVER is the only label KunMing United Optics (KUO) has now. It is an old manufacturer in China. Start with making high quality APO. But they keep changing there English names, still can not open US market. I doubt it use Telescope Service sale channel in US now, because their model name are same. And looks same in picture. But I am not sure for that. Any way it is a good brand and worth to try. If you have any chance to buy it, it will not let you disappoint.
As you said, not all the brands I mentioned have distribution center in US. No need to list it. But they will occasionally show up in eBay, CN or Astromart. May my information will help. Don’t miss any good one, and keep distance with bad one as well.

Edited by hongxu chen, 07 October 2019 - 05:52 AM.

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#70 Starman1

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 07:27 PM

KUO provides products for Meade, APM, StellarVue, William Optics, and many others.


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#71 hongxu chen

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 07:43 PM

KUO provides products for Meade, APM, StellarVue, William Optics, and many others.

I know they OEM for some famous brand, but don’t know such many. Thank you for your information.
They can make very good optics. And it is very popular in China. But it seems they don’t know how to market in other country. They are trying hard to push their own brand, SKY ROVER. But for years they can not open international market. Only OEM and share no more than 30% of the profit.

Edited by hongxu chen, 06 October 2019 - 08:12 PM.

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#72 Rmitro

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 10:48 AM

I think ES eyepieces are over hyped. They leave a lot to be desired. Especially contrast. You are correct in the statement that low price means low Quality form China.

 

C.S.

Ron



#73 Kiriakos_GR

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 11:26 AM

Personally I did my own research regarding   8-24 Zoom eyepiece (Datyson), the hunting ended when I found the real factory of  SAGA  sagaoptics.com.cn

They are not answering emails.

They are not having these products listed on their website.

 

But the most devastating was some sample pictures that a Russian guy took at terrestrial viewing, and the lens was having serious geometrical distortions.   

Now my plans changed, I will start with a single 20mm quality eyepiece and move really slowly about the next move.

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#74 hongxu chen

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 01:02 PM

Personally I did my own research regarding 8-24 Zoom eyepiece (Datyson), the hunting ended when I found the real factory of SAGA sagaoptics.com.cn
They are not answering emails.
They are not having these products listed on their website.

But the most devastating was some sample pictures that a Russian guy took at terrestrial viewing, and the lens was having serious geometrical distortions.
Now my plans changed, I will start with a single 20mm quality eyepiece and move really slowly about the next move.

What do you expect from this $15 children’s toy zoom eyepieces? If you really care about the quality, I suggest you open your wallet, spend a little bit more to buy TV ZOOM, or some other eyepieces made in Greece.

SAGA stopped producing astro eyepieces. They are focusing on microscope and spotting scope now. Why not buy Celestron or Meade instead of this hard to find brand? I think you can reach them easily.

By the way, no Chinese will reply you during notional day holiday.

Edited by hongxu chen, 08 October 2019 - 01:11 PM.


#75 Kiriakos_GR

Kiriakos_GR

    Vostok 1

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 03:55 PM

What do you expect from this $15 children’s toy zoom eyepieces?

You should become eBay seller, because your own patriots they even use adobe Photoshop so to paint coatings over non-coated eyepieces. 

They see me as a fool, I see them as common thieves which worth punishment.

 

Neither I would fall over the fork of Celestron or Meade.

 

Answering emails this is a sign of respect, no matter of the quality of the message and there is no national holiday lasting three weeks.  




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