Given the AFOV preferences you like, the 24 Pan or 24 ES68 would probably be the way to go. Also, considering you have f/5 instruments in the mix, not letting the eyepiece focal length get too long so the exit pupil stays less than 6mm so sky backgrounds stay darker will be a plus for the 24mms. I've had both of these, sold the Pan and kept the ES as they were close enough in performance that I could make productive use from the saved funds - ES is generally $159 vs. $289 for Pan. https://www.cloudyni...omparison-r2651
Bill, thanks so much for that most informative review of 24-26mm eyepieces. I can only imagine the amount of effort that was required. Also your great observational skills were quite evident and appreciated. While this review from some years ago didn't include all three eyepieces on my short list, it did give a nice comparison on two of them (ES 68° and the TV Panoptic). I also appreciated how one of my favorites faired well in some respects - the Celestron Silvertop. I now own two of these for use in my WO binoviewer.
I appreciate your take on the ES 68° being your choice over the TV Panoptic. My own paradigm in visual astronomy is to just make the best of whatever conditions are extant. These include telescope performance as affected by such things as aperture, design (SCT, Newt, APO, etc.), light pollution and atmospheric clarity. So in that regard I don't usually obsess over what could be "best" - in my view "It is what it is" and "What can I see under these conditions?".
With these thoughts in mind, I'm becoming much more inclined to get the TV Panoptic. While it is not "best" in all categories, is good in most and excels in some categories. Based on my preference for the 11mm Nagler T6 of all my various eyepieces, the Panoptic would very likely be among the most used eyepieces. It is the most expensive of those on my short list. But you get what you pay for (at most).
Your comprehensive review has really brought out that eyepiece design is an exercise in compromise - in balancing a number of competing performance outcomes. Manufacturing costs, materials available, retail price and a wealth of optical parameters are juggled by the designer. So the end user also assesses a number of these outcomes in choosing which eyepiece meets his needs. Once again your review was most enlightening. Perhaps you may be moved to do another review on the currently available offerings.
The only doubt still in my mind is how the APM UFF 24 compares against the other two. Its very reasonable price is a real plus, especially considering it is an 8-lens design. I'm not aware of many reviews of the APM, particularly compared to the ES and TV offerings. But as I recall Don Pensak reports the Panoptic is the clear winner of the 3 in aberration-free presentation over the entirety of the FOV. And multiple reports over the years have given the Panoptic excellent marks.
So unless I hear otherwise in the short term, I'm ordering the Televue Panoptic while it is still on sale. I know the question posed by my original post has been discussed many times over the years. So I appreciate everyone's patience with me if giving their views on the subject. If my Explore Scientific 20mm 100° eyepiece does sell, it will more than pay for the Panoptic. I'm not much inclined to drop the price a lot for a pristine condition eyepiece. If it doesn't sell, it may well ride on my piggy-backed AT115EDT triplet APO. With a 2-1/2° FOV it gives an outstanding view, particularly at the low 40X magnification produced by an 805mm focal length.
Thanks again for all who contributed to my decision!
All the Best,