My main scope is a 12" f/5 dob and after the widest-FOV finder/starhopping eyepiece (38mm SWA), my next most commonly used eyepiece is an 11mm ES82. With a roughly 2mm exit pupil and a nice enough FOV, it's been my favorite for most DSOs since I got it. I'm pondering a birthday eyepiece in the $250 price range and considering upgrading where I spend most of my observing time. I've always wanted to try out a hyper-wide 100 degree type eyepiece, but I'm having trouble understanding all of the different options.
Here's what I've gleaned from Don Pensack's 2019 spreadsheet: Excluding Televue and Explore Scientific on budgetary grounds, there appear to be three distinct lines of hyper-wide eyepieces, each one sold under a variety of brand names. I'm grouping these together based on the available focal lengths in each group.
- Skywatcher Myriad, William Optics XWA, Teleskop Service XWA - 3.5, 5, 9, 20
- Stellarvue Optimus, APM XWA HDC - 3.6, 4.7, 9, 13.5, 20
- Meade MWA, Omegon Panorama II, Teleskop Service SWA - 5, 10, 15, 21
The Meade MWAs were reviled for being 90 instead of 100 degree eyepieces, and it's my guess that TS and Omegon are taking a chance on the same design. There were also reviews talking about difficulties with blackouts and EOFB. Is the Meade/Omegon worth all that for $50 less than the others?
Are there substantive differences between the 9mm XWA options? It looks like the APM XWA HDC is the easiest one to get in the US from Eyepieces Etc. and the others are primarily European?
I assume I'm not the only one trying to cheap out and undercut ES/Televue on this choice. What are your experiences with the relatively inexpensive 9-10mm hyperwides? Should I be happy at 82 degrees and wait a few more years to spend the 0.5 kilobucks on ES/Televue?
Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.
Edited by drneilmb, 23 April 2019 - 03:30 PM.