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$1200 to spend on premium eyepieces

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#1 khingdheano

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 12:05 AM

My telescope arsenal ranges from 102mm f/6.7 refractor to 180mm f/15 Mak with several stops in between. Currently have 20+ eyepieces from 6.7mm to 40mm, best I have are a few Explore Scientific (6.7mm, 14mm, and 16mm), and a few Baader Hyperion (8mm, 13mm, 24mm, plus 8-24mm zoom). I have $1200 to $1500 to spend on some premium eyepieces, what I have in mind is TeleVue 17mm and 22mm 2" Type 4 Nagler along with a TV 2x Powermate, which gets me to the $1200 minimum. Ignoring the certainly reasonable suggestion of purchasing used, I welcome suggestions regarding acquiring new eyepieces within my budget constraints and considering the telescopes described. Thanks in advance!



#2 luxo II

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 12:32 AM

In that case I’d sell all ES and Hyperions - but keep the zoom - and consider how best to span the range from 4 to 40mm or thereabouts.

I find I use a large 38mm SWA as a finder eyepiece then drop straight down to 25mm or less, and as your mak (having had one the same) has a sweet spot for eyepieces 8-14mm you will want at least 8, 9, 10, 12 and 14 - which is nicely covered by a zoom.

Edited by luxo II, 15 February 2020 - 12:42 AM.


#3 TOMDEY

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 12:37 AM

Those are good! I favor TeleVue, just because that's what I enjoyed way back when Al introduced the 13mm Nagler way back when. The T4 are wonderful! I have both of those that you mention and use them on a fast scope to advantage. Or your budget would buy one Apollo 11!    Tom


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#4 Brent Campbell

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 12:42 AM

What is your 40 MM? Is that your wide field?

 

Honestly, depending on the scope the 17mm might not be that much better than the 16 mm that you already have (assuming that the 16mm is a 68 degree).  

 

I have an Explore Scientific 18mm 82 and a 16 mm Explore Scientific 16mm.  The difference in field at that focal length is meh....In my C8 the difference is .73 TFOV verses .54.  In my Stellervue access the FOV will be 2.07 verses 1.52.   I much prefer the 16 mm because its 1.25 inch format and just feels better with a cleaner view.  In fact, I rarely use my 18mm at all.

 

Options.   

 

Consider...The Explore Scientific 18mm 82 Degree instead of the 17mm Nagler  - reason price  A 22mm Nagler will run about $464 (googled it) and the explore will run you $299.

 

Consider .. The Explore 92 17mm eyepiece ($449) That brings something more to the table than the Nagler for about the same price...

 

Consider a 17mm ethos...for $759.  Sound Crazy?  Yes....I have never looked through one but everyone who has is addicted.  Doing the math though if you had a 17 mm ethos would you care about the 24mm that you had (almost the same FOV) or for that matter the 16mm, or even the proposed 22mm 82 degree? When one eyepiece can take the place of two or three that are in your kit then it really makes sense from an ergonomic sense and can even be considered a better value.


Edited by Brent Campbell, 15 February 2020 - 12:43 AM.

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#5 SeattleScott

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 01:03 AM

It is hard to suggest what you should get without knowing what features you want. You say you are thinking about T4 Naglers. So are you looking for the widest AFOV you can use with glasses? In a premium eyepiece? If so, the T4’s are an excellent choice, although certainly not the only game in town.

Scott

#6 khingdheano

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 02:10 AM

It is hard to suggest what you should get without knowing what features you want. You say you are thinking about T4 Naglers. So are you looking for the widest AFOV you can use with glasses? In a premium eyepiece? If so, the T4’s are an excellent choice, although certainly not the only game in town.

Scott

"Not the only game in town". Thank you, exactly the reply I was seeking. Looking for alternatives to the TVs that I mentioned. I prefer 82 AFOV or more, glasses not an issue.



#7 25585

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 04:27 AM

The Baader Morpheus range, 6 total, and ES92 12mm & 17mm so far only 2, are what I mainly use. For long FL, my favourites are the APM 30mm Ultra Flat, Pentax XW 40mm and Brandon 48mm. 


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#8 Tank

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 07:31 AM

17 and 22t4 are wonderful

17es92 replaced both of these for me

Not sure your setup but the es 92s are heavy

Also consider a 12.5 doctor consider one of the best


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#9 JoshUrban

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 10:42 AM

Speaking of T4's, I have a 12mm T4, and barely use it.  I've got a range of scopes, and I just find the views soft through it.  I much prefer my 9mm T1, and 16mm T2.  And, of my Naglers, my 20mm T5 is such a gem.  

 

  The used route seems a great way to go!  Also, not sure if you're willing to bend on the 82 degree spec, but a few Panoptics and Pentax XW's might be super nice in there, too.  I just picked up a lightly used Pentax 7mm XW for $200, and wow is that thing a joy!  

 

Just spitballing, but what about, on the used market:

 

7mm Nagler or Pentax XW  

 

13mm Nagler T6 or 14mm Pentax XW 

 

20mm Nagler T5 or 22/24 Panoptic 

 

35mm Panoptic 

 

 

Or:

 

31mm Nagler  (although it's huge)

 

17mm T4 Nagler

 

9mm T6 Nagler

 

 

So many options!  The 27mm Panoptic is a nifty set of glass, and there's even older obscure stuff, like the University Optics MK-80 32mm that's sort of an answer to the 31 Nagler in a smaller, lighter, way less expensive package.  I was looking through that last night with my 102mm f/7 refractor, and just loved the views.  

 

  I'm obviously biased towards Televue and Pentax as that's what I have, but man, there are some great choices out there (and what a great place to share information.)


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#10 SeattleScott

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 11:17 AM

"Not the only game in town". Thank you, exactly the reply I was seeking. Looking for alternatives to the TVs that I mentioned. I prefer 82 AFOV or more, glasses not an issue.

You are looking to upgrade from ES so I will ignore ES, Meade, Celestron varieties.

Morpheus is advertised as 76 AFOV but really more like 78. But you don’t need the ER so you could just get Naglers for not much more. Orion LHD are 80 AFOV and reportedly quite good but similar price as Morpheus and you don’t need the long ER. The Roblex/Docter 12.5 is supposed to be fantastic but pricey. Tak UW same (90 AFOV). The ES 92’s that I mentioned are also highly regarded, and quite expensive. The APM HDC series are 100 AFOV and around $250 but more like your ES in terms of quality. Would be a nice AFOV upgrade but not necessarily a quality upgrade. Of course there is Ethos if you want 100 AFOV and premium quality. If Ethos are too cheap you can look at Nikon HW.

So yes, the Naglers are not the only game in town. But one of the more affordable options. The type 6 are generally cheaper if you don’t need long ER.

Scott
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#11 j.gardavsky

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 07:34 AM

With $1200 to $1500 to spend, I would take the Leica ultrawide asph. zoom (9mm - 18mm) plus the Baader VIP Barlow (2x).

But I already have the both.

 

JG.


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#12 russell23

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 08:05 AM

My telescope arsenal ranges from 102mm f/6.7 refractor to 180mm f/15 Mak with several stops in between. Currently have 20+ eyepieces from 6.7mm to 40mm, best I have are a few Explore Scientific (6.7mm, 14mm, and 16mm), and a few Baader Hyperion (8mm, 13mm, 24mm, plus 8-24mm zoom). I have $1200 to $1500 to spend on some premium eyepieces, what I have in mind is TeleVue 17mm and 22mm 2" Type 4 Nagler along with a TV 2x Powermate, which gets me to the $1200 minimum. Ignoring the certainly reasonable suggestion of purchasing used, I welcome suggestions regarding acquiring new eyepieces within my budget constraints and considering the telescopes described. Thanks in advance!

Those eyepieces in combination with the powermate are a lot of weight - especially for the refractor.  You are talking almost 3 lbs.

 

The other thing is that even with your Mak you are only talking a difference in magnification of 159x vs 123x if you get both the 17mm and 22mm T4's. 

 

Another option instead of the Powermate is to get a Siebert telecentric - which is a telecentric like a Powermate:

 

https://www.sieberto...cs-barlows.html

 

I've directly compared a 2.5x 2" Siebert telecentric to the 2.5x Powermate and found the Siebert was sharper for lunar observations and had better perceived contrast for deep sky.   The other thing about Siebert barlows is you have a lot of incremental options for the magnification factor.  So you could adjust the magnification factor you purchase to the eyepieces you end up buying. 

 

So a couple I would seriously consider:

 

30mm APM UFF (70 deg AFOV - $229) - 90x and a 2mm exit pupil in your Mak.  Lighter than the T4 Naglers (~19oz).  In my 120mm f/7.5 and 102mm f/7 APO's it is sharp right to the field stop.  In your refractor it would give about a 3.1 deg TFOV.   Don't let the lower cost fool you.  It is an outstanding eyepiece which I prefer to the 40mm XW. 

 

If you then wanted to split the difference between the 30mm APM and the 30mm APM with a 2x Telecentric (Powermate or Siebert) you could get a 20mm eyepiece which would give 135x. 

 

17.5mm Nikon SW.  It has a 72 deg AFOV but provided me some of the sharpest lunar views I have ever had.  

 

18.2mm DeLite -  I pair the 18.2mm DeLite with my 30mm APM in my 102mm and 120mm APO's.  IMO the DeLites are TV's best line along with the Ethos. 

 

17mm Ethos/21mm Ethos (pick one). 

 

That Mak is a tough scope for recommenations because there are not as many premium eyepiece options above 20mm FL as below.


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#13 turtle86

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 09:17 PM

My telescope arsenal ranges from 102mm f/6.7 refractor to 180mm f/15 Mak with several stops in between. Currently have 20+ eyepieces from 6.7mm to 40mm, best I have are a few Explore Scientific (6.7mm, 14mm, and 16mm), and a few Baader Hyperion (8mm, 13mm, 24mm, plus 8-24mm zoom). I have $1200 to $1500 to spend on some premium eyepieces, what I have in mind is TeleVue 17mm and 22mm 2" Type 4 Nagler along with a TV 2x Powermate, which gets me to the $1200 minimum. Ignoring the certainly reasonable suggestion of purchasing used, I welcome suggestions regarding acquiring new eyepieces within my budget constraints and considering the telescopes described. Thanks in advance!

 

I recommend buying used from a reputable seller either here or on Astromart.  The money you save could help you get an additional premium eyepiece.


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#14 jakecru

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 02:53 AM

6.5, 9, 12.5, 17.5 Morpheus, 30 APM UFF would be a nice premium set of 5..Those are my 4 favs in the Morpheus line, and I have read a lot of good things about the 30 APM UFF which apprently feels like a Morpheus.

 

Another good set would be: 5, 7, 10 XW, 22 Nagler T4 (swap the XWs with 6, 8, 10/12 Delos) if focal lengths would be better for your scopes. 

 

Another good set would be: 10, 17 Ethos, 31 Nagler T5 followed by a 6 Ethos when funds allow. 

 

Could maybe fit 4 Delos and a 30 ES 82 : 6, 8, 10, 17.3 Delos, 30 ES 82

 

Could mix up a widefield long ER set: 6.5, 9 Morpheus, 12 Nagler T4, 22 Nagler T4, 30 ES82 or 31 Nagler T5 

 

There is a ton of options you could go with to make an excellent set. 

 

Want to add more mag? The 5 XW and 5.5 Meade UWA are great options depending on how much room in the budget. 


Edited by jakecru, 17 February 2020 - 02:54 AM.

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#15 Simoes Pedro

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 06:19 AM

I believe choosing eyepieces is a check-list process.

 

  1. List your telescopes, including manufacturer.
  2. List the mounts you intend to use your scopes on.
  3. Do you wear glasses while observing?
  4. Do you need the true field from 2" eyepieces?
    • Is the 102mm 6.7 for widefield only?
    • Is the 180mm F15 mak for planetary only?

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#16 bmurphy495

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 07:20 AM

I have both the ES 92* EP and they are fantastic, but truth be told they are very big and heavy. Many times I find myself grabbing the Morpheus which are much better ergonomically and have a very pleasant viewing experience. I think it's a combination of ER and where the actual lens is placed, right at the end of the EP. I too had a nearly full stable of Hyperions and I liked them but have sold off a number of them. 

 

I've looked thorough a fair number of premium eyepieces (Ethos, Docktor, Nikon and others) but I've found that my sweet spot is not pure optical performance, it's very good performance, comfort and reasonable value. 

 

Our club did an eyepiece shootout about two years ago and we all brought along our super premium eyepieces. We were going to buy a full set of eyepieces and wanted to test them through our 16" f4.5 Newt. A little to my surprise after all was said and done, we all agreed the Morpheus was the line to purchase. That being said, we do have some Panoptics and ES eyepieces in addition, but the Morpheus was what filled out the stable, although we did not get the 4.5mm. 

 

B


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#17 khingdheano

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 08:36 AM

Thanks everyone, you have certainly given me some excellent alternatives to my original idea. Thanks to all for your informed and considered opinions, I will do some additional research into your suggestions. 



#18 Riccardo_italy

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 09:09 AM

I agree, you have to rationalize. Sell some eyepieces (the Hyperions for sure, but maybe also the ES ones) and try to focus on a good scaling of premium eyepieces. Maybe you can sell (almost) all of your eps.

 

The Mak has an exit of the baffle constraint (around 31mm), a 40mm widefield will vignette. Maybe the Pentax 30mm XW?

 

Another thing, aim for a 2mm exit pupil in your most used scope for DSO. Say you have an f7, then look for a 14mm eyepiece.

 

Maybe Pentax 30XW, Nagler T4 22mm, Delos 14, Delos 10, Delos 6?


Edited by Riccardo_italy, 18 February 2020 - 09:10 AM.


#19 ScottRrtx

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 04:55 PM

Based not on experience, but from the consensus of opinion I read on CN, here is what I think...

 

I like the idea of going Morpheus mentioned before. Get the Nagler 22, the powermate and whatever money is left over, knock out some Morpheus EPs from the list of 6.5, 9, 12.5, 17.5 mentioned above. 

 

The only thing more popular than Morpheus/Delos/Pentax is getting an Ethos with 100 degree afov. You could get the 13mm Ethos (not too heavy, but tall looking) to mate with the Nagler 22. I think that would max your budget. Not sure if the height of the Ethos causes problems switching to other EPs. I don't have one. But maybe you try an Ethos to see if you like those. Maybe you save money from upgrading to that later? I don't know. Or get the Morpheus and be set for a long while. That is the direction I'm going in myself.

 

If you can handle super heavy, bulky EPs, consider an ES 92 too. Like the Ethos, it has big fans.



#20 25585

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 06:40 PM

Ethos though are shorter eye relief than Delos, XW, Morpheus, Delites & ES92s by around 5mm. Ethos are also the most expensive.

 

While the cheaper ranges may all be easy-ish viewing, you may find an Ethos too tight & a big expense for less than 100% satisfaction.     


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#21 russell23

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 08:41 PM

Ethos though are shorter eye relief than Delos, XW, Morpheus, Delites & ES92s by around 5mm. Ethos are also the most expensive.

 

While the cheaper ranges may all be easy-ish viewing, you may find an Ethos too tight & a big expense for less than 100% satisfaction.     

Since the OP already has several of the ES82's my guess would be that the Ethos would be just fine for him.




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