Over the years I have picked up a small collection of miscellaneous 2" eyepieces:
SWA 38 mm Fov 70 °
OPT Superview 42 mm
unknown 32 mm Ultra Wide Hybrid
I was searching for the ultimate wide field experience with these eyepieces. Now, I am realizing that these were just random purchases but might be the start of an interesting 2" eyepiece collection.
Does anyone have any recommendations for shorter fl eyepieces that won't break my meager bank and are worth the consideration for performance in my Dobs (8" and 10")?
A little guidance would help.
What do you consider a reasonable price for an eyepiece? $100? $200? $300? More?
For my Single FL 1.25” eyepieces I have the Meade and ES 82s. Like them very much These are used in my 12" and 8" Dobs, 5" Mak, 100 mm Newtonian and two 80 mm refractors.
Meade 82 degree
Explore Scientific 68 degree and 82 degree line. I have two of the 82 degree and really like them. Many reports compare these favorably with the premium eyepieces.
THE ZOOM EYEPIECE INSTEAD OF SINGLE FOCAL LENGTH EYEPIECES – This is my favorite eyepiece.
TIGHT BUDGET? – Get a zoom and a barlow An 8-24 mm zoom eyepiece plus a barlow somewhere between 2X and 3X will give you almost the full typical range for as little as $100. Add one or two low power wide view eyepieces and you have that full range.
The zoom is single eyepiece that effectively replaces a range of eyepieces. Works like the zoom lens on a camera. For example an 8 mm to 24 mm zoom would overlap 4 eyepieces above and provide every magnification between them. If I include a 2X barlow for use with the zoom it will provide every magnification from 50X to 300X without gaps, my primary planning range.
The zoom sounds great, but there is a trade-off. The field of view of the zoom runs from a narrower AFOV at the 24 mm range to a wider FOV at the 8 mm range. So, like any approach, the zoom is a compromise. I find that compromise quite acceptable when weighed against the benefits listed below, I prefer the zoom.
I use the Baader Hyperion Zoom. 8-24 mm as my only eyepiece in the midrange and I barlow it to extend it to the high range for the XT8. But as I have a low power wide view 20 mm eyepiece I tend to use the zoom mostly in the 18 mm to 8 mm range for the midrange.
Lower cost zoom – Celestron 8-24 – This was my first zoom. Works well at the price and a good way to test your interest in zooms. $66
Higher priced Zoom – Baader Hyperion 8-24 mm – My main eyepiece in my Orion XT8i – $290
- I never expected the zoom eyepiece to become my primary eyepiece, but it has.
- With a zoom, the eyepiece seems to disappear as you just move in and out at will, no swapping, no thinking about eyepiece changes
- The Celestron 8-24 zoom is good and comparable to my Plossl eyepieces
- The Baader Hyperion is great and comparable to my Explore Scientific eyepieces
- Watching doubles split as I rotate the barrel is wonderful
- One filter serves over a wide range of magnifications, no screwing and unscrewing to try other eyepieces
- Moving smoothly between small changes in magnification helps when seeing is not the best
- I am always working at the optimum magnification for this target.
- Sharing the view with others is easier, especially in my manual tracking Dob - I hand it over at low mag so it stays in the view longer. They zoom back in to whatever magnification works best for them.
- My eyepiece case has been greatly simplified
- Kids love the zoom
When I observe, 90% of the time, in all of my scopes, I use one or two low power, then the zoom for the midrange. Then I barlow the zoom for the high range if I need it, and that is all I use. I have single FL eyepieces in my kit, but they are rarely used.