Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Chinese 68° Ebay Specials... Thoughts?

  • Please log in to reply
39 replies to this topic

#1 austin.grant

austin.grant

    Vendor - Modified DSLR Cameras

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1435
  • Joined: 18 Oct 2010
  • Loc: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Posted 21 May 2019 - 05:46 PM

Hi,

 

I'm looking for some relatively inexpensive eyepieces to buy in pairs for my binoviewers. I'll be using them with my C11 at somewhere around F/11 to F/12. I've got doubles of several Plossls, but I'm interested in a wider AFOV. In that search, I came across these eyepiece sets from China, marked as 68° ultra wide angle:

 

https://www.ebay.com...5.c100005.m1851

 

I don't know much about the optical designs, but the element structure for each eyepiece is mentioned in the listing. I'm not expecting Panoptics here, but I wonder if these would be adequate at my slow focal ratio for some casual binoviewing? The clear aperture of my BV is around 21mm, so these would probably get me to my maximum FOV and be usable down to the 9mm EP. Maybe the 6mm on good nights. Thoughts?

 

Thanks!


Edited by austin.grant, 21 May 2019 - 05:48 PM.

  • BFaucett and Miranda2525 like this

#2 Vondragonnoggin

Vondragonnoggin

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8619
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Southern CA, USA

Posted 21 May 2019 - 05:54 PM

These are the same as Orion Expanse and Agena Astro EWA’s and OWL EWA’s and numerous other branded distributors for this Synta made eyepiece line. Not actually 68°. 66° is more like it.

 

Decent eyepieces for the money. Just look for reviews on Orion Expanse or Expanse clones.

 

Same eyepiece but different color packaging as these

 

https://www.ebay.com...675.c100623.m-1

 

You can pay more if you like for the Orion branded version

 

https://www.telescop...AiABEgIxufD_BwE

 

 

or less than Orion branded at Agena Astro

 

https://agenaastro.c...epiece-set.html

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by Vondragonnoggin, 21 May 2019 - 06:17 PM.

  • Jon Isaacs, BFaucett and Miranda2525 like this

#3 BFaucett

BFaucett

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1171
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2014
  • Loc: Houston, Texas 29.779 -95.603 (approx)

Posted 21 May 2019 - 06:13 PM

Von,

 

Your Orion and Agena links aren't working. They point back to CN.  Here ya go:

 

Orion:

https://www.telescop...160/p/20095.uts

 

Agena Astro:

https://agenaastro.c...epiece-set.html

 

Just trying to be helpful.  Cheers!  Bob F. smile.gif


Edited by BFaucett, 21 May 2019 - 06:15 PM.

  • Vondragonnoggin and Knasal like this

#4 Vondragonnoggin

Vondragonnoggin

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8619
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Southern CA, USA

Posted 21 May 2019 - 06:18 PM

I fixed em. Left an extra forward slash in. Working now. Thanks!

 

I think if a person checks out all the links they will notice the similarity in stated AFOV and similarity in focal lengths for the set, but it’s the fit and finish that can make a set more expensive than others. Some sets have better fit and finish. Orion Expanse look really nice. I have a few of the Agena Astro’s and they are pretty good fit and finish also.

 

Maybe the more expensive ones have blackened lens edges too for better contrast. I don’t know for sure. Just that they are essentially the same eyepiece.


Edited by Vondragonnoggin, 21 May 2019 - 06:35 PM.

  • Jon Isaacs, BFaucett and Miranda2525 like this

#5 BFaucett

BFaucett

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1171
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2014
  • Loc: Houston, Texas 29.779 -95.603 (approx)

Posted 21 May 2019 - 06:47 PM

I fixed em. Left an extra forward slash in. Working now. Thanks!

waytogo.gif

 

 

To the OP (Austin),

 

I have the set from Orion.  I've generally been pleased with them.  The more experienced and knowledgeable members here in the Eyepieces forum can list their shortcomings when compared to higher end eyepieces but I think they work well for their cost.  Not perfect but good, IMHO. 

 

I originally purchased mine a few years ago when I was getting back into astronomy.  I wanted something with better eye relief and a little wider field of view than Plossls but also fairly inexpensive.  I didn't know about the Agena series (and others) at the time I made my purchase.  Fortunately, I got the set from Orion when they were on sale.  I have some better eyepieces now but I've been happy with the Orion Expanses. 

 

Though I'm far from an expert when it comes to evaluating eyepieces, I think that a set for $80 - $86 is worth a try.  Personally, I'd go with the ones in Von's Ebay link simply because they're labeled correctly at 66 degrees. 

 

https://www.ebay.com...pe/202665167166

 

Just my two cents...  Cheers!  Bob F. smile.gif


Edited by BFaucett, 21 May 2019 - 07:10 PM.

  • Vondragonnoggin likes this

#6 spaceoddity

spaceoddity

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2001
  • Joined: 28 Jul 2009
  • Loc: Cloudsylvania

Posted 21 May 2019 - 07:39 PM

I'm not sure if those are the same as the orion expanse/agena ewa. I don't think they are.The clones I've seen all have the gold line like these..https://www.ebay.com...5.c100005.m1851



#7 BFaucett

BFaucett

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1171
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2014
  • Loc: Houston, Texas 29.779 -95.603 (approx)

Posted 21 May 2019 - 08:15 PM

I'm not sure if those are the same as the orion expanse/agena ewa. I don't think they are.The clones I've seen all have the gold line like these..https://www.ebay.com...5.c100005.m1851

 

I think that's just cosmetic differences.

 

 

Agena Astro

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

 

6 mm
Lens Elements 5
Lens Groups 3
 
9 mm
Lens Elements 6
Lens Groups 4
 
15 mm
Lens Elements 4
Lens Groups 3
 
20 mm
Lens Elements 5
Lens Groups 3
 

 
The OP's link:
https://www.ebay.com...es/173728095879
From the product desciption :

 
5-elements in 3 groups (6mm)

 
6-elements in 4 groups (9mm)

 
4-elements in 3 groups (15mm)

 
5-elements in 3 groups (20mm)

 

 

Cheers! Bob F. smile.gif


  • Jon Isaacs, Vondragonnoggin, bbqediguana and 1 other like this

#8 Miranda2525

Miranda2525

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1851
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2016

Posted 21 May 2019 - 08:32 PM

Hi,

 

I'm looking for some relatively inexpensive eyepieces to buy in pairs for my binoviewers. I'll be using them with my C11 at somewhere around F/11 to F/12. I've got doubles of several Plossls, but I'm interested in a wider AFOV. In that search, I came across these eyepiece sets from China, marked as 68° ultra wide angle:

 

https://www.ebay.com...5.c100005.m1851

 

I don't know much about the optical designs, but the element structure for each eyepiece is mentioned in the listing. I'm not expecting Panoptics here, but I wonder if these would be adequate at my slow focal ratio for some casual binoviewing? The clear aperture of my BV is around 21mm, so these would probably get me to my maximum FOV and be usable down to the 9mm EP. Maybe the 6mm on good nights. Thoughts?

 

Thanks!

I have the 20mm and 15mm pairs. My 15mm pairs just arrived today. The 20mm's are excellent. I use them in my 10" Orion XTi with William Optics binoviewers. The field barely vignettes at all, sharpness is great right out to the edges, there is no ghosting on the moon or planets, and IMO they just rock !!! Eye relief is great, and they are "glasses friendly". Coatings are green and purple. Weight is a non-issue because they are so light! They are indeed Expanse clones @ 66 degrees.

 

I have yet to try out the 15mm pair in my binoviewers. So far, in just looking into the eyelenses, eye relief is good.


  • Procyon, Vondragonnoggin and 25585 like this

#9 Jason B

Jason B

    Proud father of 5!!

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 7077
  • Joined: 21 Jun 2004
  • Loc: Mid-Michigan

Posted 21 May 2019 - 09:04 PM

Hi,

 

I'm looking for some relatively inexpensive eyepieces to buy in pairs for my binoviewers. I'll be using them with my C11 at somewhere around F/11 to F/12. I've got doubles of several Plossls, but I'm interested in a wider AFOV. In that search, I came across these eyepiece sets from China, marked as 68° ultra wide angle:

 

https://www.ebay.com...5.c100005.m1851

 

I don't know much about the optical designs, but the element structure for each eyepiece is mentioned in the listing. I'm not expecting Panoptics here, but I wonder if these would be adequate at my slow focal ratio for some casual binoviewing? The clear aperture of my BV is around 21mm, so these would probably get me to my maximum FOV and be usable down to the 9mm EP. Maybe the 6mm on good nights. Thoughts?

 

Thanks!

As mentioned, these are the same as the Orion Expanse, Agena, etc.

 

I recommended this set to a fellow club member and she has been extremely happy with them in her 10" Orion dob.  Their favorite is the 9.  For those on a budget, these are a nice set that offers decent performance and get better as the scope get's slower....


  • BFaucett and Miranda2525 like this

#10 CrazyPanda

CrazyPanda

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1922
  • Joined: 30 Sep 2012

Posted 21 May 2019 - 09:26 PM

All four will work well at those focal ratios. The 6 and 9 work better at shorter focal ratios because they have a built in Smyth field lens.


The only issue is that line tends to suffer from some kidney beaning, and the field stops tend to show a ring of fire on the Moon.


But for ~$20 each, you can't beat them. Way more comfortable than looking through a Plossl, and much wider AFOV.

 

Here's a set of the original "Gold Lines" for just $79.. A little concerning the picture shows two 20mm eyepieces, but the description does claim it's the full 6/9/15/20 set.


  • BFaucett and 25585 like this

#11 Vondragonnoggin

Vondragonnoggin

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8619
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Southern CA, USA

Posted 21 May 2019 - 10:15 PM

Here is an earlier review from 2005 of this line compared to a few others including a TV plossl for the 20mm comparison. Also Panoptic and Radian comparisons in there.

 

https://www.cloudyni...mm-and-6mm-r255

 

I have a pair of the 9mm’s for binoviewing and single use. Preferred over my BST 9mm for the more comfortable eyecup on the *Expanse (mine are Agena branded actually, but wouldn’t have an issue buying the Orion version for the nicer finish) but they are comparable in sharpness.


Edited by Vondragonnoggin, 21 May 2019 - 10:23 PM.

  • Procyon, BFaucett and Miranda2525 like this

#12 Miranda2525

Miranda2525

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1851
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2016

Posted 22 May 2019 - 03:23 AM

I was able to try out the 15mm pair I just got today on Jupiter, and some deep sky objects before the moon came up. The 15mm pair were really nice for binoviewing. Eye relief was very comfortable, and the views of Jupiter at 180x was amazing!

 

I also used the 20mm pair at 200x and there was so much detail that I ended up viewing Jupiter on and off for 4 hours and watched the GRS go from the center of the planet almost to the left of the limb of the planet.

 

What an amazing night I had with these two pairs.

 

PS: I also bought the svbony moon & skyglow, which I used on Jupiter and it made Jupiter look more natural. Without the filters it looked really "yellow". The M&S also made the detail stand out a bit better. I also got the 2" svbony UHC filter and I tried it on M-57, and M-27 in the binoviewers which was screwed to the bottom of the barlow lens element. 

 

The difference from no filter to the UHC was very noticeable, and it was all done under heavy light pollution. I can't wait to get these EP's and filters under darker skies!

 

Cheap & effective !!!

 

PS: If the 20mm pair are 66°, then the 15mm pair must be 70° because in the binoviewers, the afov felt a lot wider than in the 20's.


Edited by Miranda2525, 22 May 2019 - 03:27 AM.

  • 25585 likes this

#13 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 78999
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 22 May 2019 - 04:47 AM

I have the 20mm and 15mm pairs. My 15mm pairs just arrived today. The 20mm's are excellent. I use them in my 10" Orion XTi with William Optics binoviewers. The field barely vignettes at all, sharpness is great right out to the edges, there is no ghosting on the moon or planets, and IMO they just rock !!! Eye relief is great, and they are "glasses friendly". Coatings are green and purple. Weight is a non-issue because they are so light! They are indeed Expanse clones @ 66 degrees.

 

I have yet to try out the 15mm pair in my binoviewers. So far, in just looking into the eyelenses, eye relief is good.

 

I have to think that you are using an OCA with your XT-10 if you are getting sharp to the edge fields.  In my experience, at F/5, the 15mm and 20mm are Erfle like, at F/12 or so, they are quite well corrected.  Your mention of 200x with the 20mm suggests you are working at F/16.  

 

My story:

 

I purchased the 6mm, 9mm and 15mm Pro-Optic versions of these eyepieces when these first hit the market, that was in 2003.  Since then, I have had the 20mm as well as several incarnations of the 6mm and the 9mm.  Currently I have some version of the 6mm and 9mm. 

 

The 6mm and the 9mm are quite well corrected in a fast scope as they're negative-positive eyepieces, in the barrel there's a Barlow-like Smyth lens.  The 9mm has been my favorite but it does show significant EoFB.  Still, it was a favorite eyepiece. 

 

4474639-Synta Widefield 9mm.jpg

  

I believe the 15mm and the 20mm are some sort of Erfle derivative,  they're just straight positive eyepieces and lack a negative section that provides the off-axis correction so they're quite good in slow scopes, not so good in fast scopes,

 

As an aside, Antares had their W-70 Series and there was quite a bit of speculation that the these were the Expanse optics in a different package.  I had both the Pro-Optic 9mm and the 8.7mm W-70 and one Saturday, I got to fooling around with the W-70 and started to take it apart.  What I discovered was that the 8.7mm W-70 was nothing more than the 9mm Expanse "clone" with an aluminum cover glued on. 

 

3805028-Antares W70a.jpg
 
It seems to me that the 6mm and 9mm Expanse type eyepieces were the first affordable negative-positive eyepieces.  Soon enough, the TMB Planetary's and the Celestron X-Cel's came along.  I think these represent good value and are decent eyepieces, particularly in a slow scope. One of these days, I hope to pickup the 20mm and the 15mm, in part to relive those days and in part because they are quite good in a scope like my Meade 310, an 80mm F/11.3 achromat with very nice Japanese optics.
 
Jon

  • SteveG, BFaucett and Miranda2525 like this

#14 Miranda2525

Miranda2525

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1851
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2016

Posted 22 May 2019 - 05:30 AM

 

I have to think that you are using an OCA with your XT-10 if you are getting sharp to the edge fields.  In my experience, at F/5, the 15mm and 20mm are Erfle like, at F/12 or so, they are quite well corrected.  Your mention of 200x with the 20mm suggests you are working at F/16.  

 

My story:

 

I purchased the 6mm, 9mm and 15mm Pro-Optic versions of these eyepieces when these first hit the market, that was in 2003.  Since then, I have had the 20mm as well as several incarnations of the 6mm and the 9mm.  Currently I have some version of the 6mm and 9mm. 

 

The 6mm and the 9mm are quite well corrected in a fast scope as they're negative-positive eyepieces, in the barrel there's a Barlow-like Smyth lens.  The 9mm has been my favorite but it does show significant EoFB.  Still, it was a favorite eyepiece. 

 

 

  

I believe the 15mm and the 20mm are some sort of Erfle derivative,  they're just straight positive eyepieces and lack a negative section that provides the off-axis correction so they're quite good in slow scopes, not so good in fast scopes,

 

As an aside, Antares had their W-70 Series and there was quite a bit of speculation that the these were the Expanse optics in a different package.  I had both the Pro-Optic 9mm and the 8.7mm W-70 and one Saturday, I got to fooling around with the W-70 and started to take it apart.  What I discovered was that the 8.7mm W-70 was nothing more than the 9mm Expanse "clone" with an aluminum cover glued on. 

 

 
 
It seems to me that the 6mm and 9mm Expanse type eyepieces were the first affordable negative-positive eyepieces.  Soon enough, the TMB Planetary's and the Celestron X-Cel's came along.  I think these represent good value and are decent eyepieces, particularly in a slow scope. One of these days, I hope to pickup the 20mm and the 15mm, in part to relive those days and in part because they are quite good in a scope like my Meade 310, an 80mm F/11.3 achromat with very nice Japanese optics.
 
Jon

 

I am running at F/11.8 and F/15.7 , so yea, close guess !!!  :^)


  • Jon Isaacs likes this

#15 austin.grant

austin.grant

    Vendor - Modified DSLR Cameras

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1435
  • Joined: 18 Oct 2010
  • Loc: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Posted 22 May 2019 - 02:01 PM

Thanks everyone! I just ordered a couple sets of the 66° EPs. Looks like they will be a good match to my setup. I appreciate all the feedback!

 

Austin


  • BFaucett likes this

#16 SteveG

SteveG

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7811
  • Joined: 27 Sep 2006
  • Loc: Seattle, WA

Posted 22 May 2019 - 02:35 PM

 

.  What I discovered was that the 8.7mm W-70 was nothing more than the 9mm Expanse "clone" with an aluminum cover glued on. 

 

Jon, I was going to try to find that picture - thanks for posting! I always thought that was the weirdest thing, with the added barrel over a silk-screened Expanse. I forgot that they tried to give it a unique focal length. Does the barrel underneath say Long Perng? 


  • BFaucett likes this

#17 Frisky

Frisky

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 255
  • Joined: 08 Feb 2019
  • Loc: Austin, Minnesota

Posted 22 May 2019 - 02:56 PM

The 9mm sucks sour eggs in an f8.3 refractor. Terrible kidney beaning. Maybe the 15 or 20mm would be better?

 

Joe



#18 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 78999
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 22 May 2019 - 03:56 PM

The 9mm sucks sour eggs in an f8.3 refractor. Terrible kidney beaning. Maybe the 15 or 20mm would be better?

 

Joe

 

I never had any problems with blackouts or kidney beaning.  I think we've been over this before.  

 

Jon


  • BFaucett and Miranda2525 like this

#19 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 78999
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 22 May 2019 - 03:59 PM

Jon, I was going to try to find that picture - thanks for posting! I always thought that was the weirdest thing, with the added barrel over a silk-screened Expanse. I forgot that they tried to give it a unique focal length. Does the barrel underneath say Long Perng? 

 

I never saw anything, I didn't look too close.

 

What I found interesting was that the barrels, bodies and positive eyepiece cartridge of the 6mm, 9 mm and 15 mm Expanse types were interchangeable with the TMB Planetary's.

 

Jon



#20 Frisky

Frisky

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 255
  • Joined: 08 Feb 2019
  • Loc: Austin, Minnesota

Posted 22 May 2019 - 04:41 PM

I have almost unusable kidney beaning in both the gold and red lines, and I observe every clear night. No kidney beaning in the 6 element HD-60 6.5mm or the 25mm. None at all in the Russell 32mm Super Plossl and 19mm 70 degree Konig. None with the generic "China Silvertop" plossls that came with my scope, 9mm and 26mm. None with the Celestron zoom. None when using the Meade 126 or Celestron Ultima SV barlows. I though barlowing the Svbonies would make a difference. Nope. Terrible kidney beaning. Now, it's reduced significantly by resting your eyebrow atop the eyecup. I had people try that, and it worked. However, beaning is still present. 70% reduced but still there. After 242 nights out, in only 14 months, it's not the observer! I'm out and experimenting, every clear night, no excuses! It's important to mention this eyepiece problem, because many people I've PMed, in several forums, have the same problem. I consider it a design flaw. Again, it might be scope dependent. I think Ernest or Don need to examine the kidney beaning question for us. 

 

Joe


  • 25585 likes this

#21 Vondragonnoggin

Vondragonnoggin

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8619
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Southern CA, USA

Posted 22 May 2019 - 05:23 PM

I never had any kidney beaning or blackout issues with the pair of 9mm’s I have. I don’t get blackouts on Radians either though. 

 

The only eyepiece I ever had a blackout on was the 28mm RKE and I just learned how to position myself correctly using them. It definitely required a little training. They are a favorite and I have two pairs of them in case I loan one pair out I like them so much.



#22 Vondragonnoggin

Vondragonnoggin

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8619
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Southern CA, USA

Posted 22 May 2019 - 05:26 PM

I have almost unusable kidney beaning in both the gold and red lines, and I observe every clear night. No kidney beaning in the 6 element HD-60 6.5mm or the 25mm. None at all in the Russell 32mm Super Plossl and 19mm 70 degree Konig. None with the generic "China Silvertop" plossls that came with my scope, 9mm and 26mm. None with the Celestron zoom. None when using the Meade 126 or Celestron Ultima SV barlows. I though barlowing the Svbonies would make a difference. Nope. Terrible kidney beaning. Now, it's reduced significantly by resting your eyebrow atop the eyecup. I had people try that, and it worked. However, beaning is still present. 70% reduced but still there. After 242 nights out, in only 14 months, it's not the observer! I'm out and experimenting, every clear night, no excuses! It's important to mention this eyepiece problem, because many people I've PMed, in several forums, have the same problem. I consider it a design flaw. Again, it might be scope dependent. I think Ernest or Don need to examine the kidney beaning question for us. 

 

Joe

Probably no need for Earnest or Don to examine it. It probably is SAEP aberration which would explain why some have issues and others don’t. Not everyone affected by SAEP the same way. Yes, probably important to mention that it has been an issue for some. Like Radians and blackouts. Not everyone has an issue but it’s been reported a number of times.


  • BFaucett likes this

#23 dufay

dufay

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 281
  • Joined: 11 Aug 2014
  • Loc: northern europe

Posted 22 May 2019 - 05:33 PM

Jon, I was going to try to find that picture - thanks for posting! I always thought that was the weirdest thing, with the added barrel over a silk-screened Expanse. I forgot that they tried to give it a unique focal length. Does the barrel underneath say Long Perng? 

It says "Long Eye Relief" on the barrel after the "9mm" (at least on my sample). I do not think Long Perng makes these eyepieces, but I might be wrong. 



#24 Vondragonnoggin

Vondragonnoggin

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8619
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Southern CA, USA

Posted 22 May 2019 - 05:35 PM

It says "Long Eye Relief" on the barrel after the "9mm" (at least on my sample). I do not think Long Perng makes these eyepieces, but I might be wrong. 

I’ve always been told that Synta makes these.



#25 SteveG

SteveG

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7811
  • Joined: 27 Sep 2006
  • Loc: Seattle, WA

Posted 22 May 2019 - 06:29 PM

It says "Long Eye Relief" on the barrel after the "9mm" (at least on my sample). I do not think Long Perng makes these eyepieces, but I might be wrong. 

Cool. I saw the word Long and was thinking Long Perng.




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics