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

Best cheap eyepieces

  • Please log in to reply
56 replies to this topic

#1 Nippon

Nippon

    Gemini

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3,352
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Central Florida

Posted 29 May 2020 - 07:45 PM

So what are the best of the cheap simple eyepieces? Plossls, orthos Etc. I had TV Plossls for years but sold them last year. Now I miss them but I don't really want to invest that much money in a replacement set of Plossls.


  • Rollo likes this

#2 Bataleon

Bataleon

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 374
  • Joined: 29 Aug 2019

Posted 29 May 2020 - 07:47 PM

William, GSO and Celestron X-Cels are all pretty solid for the price point.

Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk

#3 organge

organge

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 219
  • Joined: 11 May 2018
  • Loc: London, UK

Posted 29 May 2020 - 07:54 PM

Baader BCOs. 18mm and 10mm + 2.25x Barlow go a long way.


  • markb, John Huntley, MrJones and 1 other like this

#4 Nippon

Nippon

    Gemini

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3,352
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Central Florida

Posted 29 May 2020 - 07:56 PM

William, GSO and Celestron X-Cels are all pretty solid for the price point.

Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk

True but I was thinking real simple and cheap. Meade series 4000 super Plossls are about 30 bucks. Vixen Plossls are about 39 bucks and their is a slew of others in that price range. And I do know that the current Meade series 4000 are not the premium Plossls they once were.


  • 25585 likes this

#5 russell23

russell23

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10,873
  • Joined: 31 May 2009
  • Loc: Upstate NY

Posted 29 May 2020 - 08:08 PM

BST UWA planetary or how about the GSO plossls.



#6 Shorty Barlow

Shorty Barlow

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,534
  • Joined: 15 Sep 2015
  • Loc: Lloegyr

Posted 29 May 2020 - 08:25 PM

+1 for Vixen NPL's.

 

med_gallery_249298_10131_68592.jpg


  • Rollo, eros312, Tropobob and 5 others like this

#7 grzesznypl

grzesznypl

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 439
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2019
  • Loc: Jackson Heights, NY ... for now

Posted 29 May 2020 - 08:27 PM

Concept of cheap eyepiece is all relative. Paradigms and Starguiders ($60 per piece) are cheap enough and offer very good value as both have ED glass. You can buy them used for around $45. Many consider them as best budget eyepieces. Read good reviews about Sterling Plossl, not sure if the are available anymore. Around $50 price range you willl find: Agena Wide Angle (WA), Skywatcher Super Plossl, Bresser 70° Series, Orion Sirius, Telescope Service Super Plossl, TPO Plossl, Celestron Plossl, Svbony. I am sure there are many others.


  • Jon Isaacs likes this

#8 BillP

BillP

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 20,020
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Spotsylvania, VA

Posted 29 May 2020 - 08:43 PM

So what are the best of the cheap simple eyepieces? Plossls, orthos Etc. I had TV Plossls for years but sold them last year. Now I miss them but I don't really want to invest that much money in a replacement set of Plossls.

What is it about them that you miss?


  • gene 4181 likes this

#9 JohnBear

JohnBear

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 475
  • Joined: 08 Jul 2017
  • Loc: Sandy, Utah

Posted 29 May 2020 - 08:50 PM

I use the SVBONY1.25" 62° Aspheric 10&23mm EPs from Ebay all the time. The 4mm is not up to par, but it makes a good dust plug if you get it in a set. I include a set of these aspheric EPs as upgrades to factory Plossls, along with a book like Turn Left at Orion, with all rebuilt telescopes I prepare for beginners. Best bang for the buck in cheap EPs aqnd they deliver viewing about as good as many EPs at 5X the cost.  The 23mm is my standard "star finder" EP during setup and search. Often the 10mm is all I need for good grab and go planetary viewing.

 

When I am really going for the details on a clear night after setup, I'll then use the more expensive EPs and Baader Zoom.


  • Strayring likes this

#10 markb

markb

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 832
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2006
  • Loc: Long Island; in transition to Arizona

Posted 29 May 2020 - 09:05 PM

+1 on Baader BCOs.

 

Probably the best deal you can possibly get on eyepieces, and they're new to boot.

 

$210 gets you the Q Turret set. 4 eyepieces, matched Barlow and turret. Potentially 12 different magnifications, with well-reviewed eyepieces not low end junk. 

 

A spread of three orthos, and a 32 mm plossl, plus the matched two position, two power Barlow, the holder for one of the positions of the Barlow, and a for eyepiece chart, light, minimal back focus, and quite smooth and usable.

 

All with Baaders great newest coatings.

 

The reviews have been extremely good, with criticism for opening up the field in exchange for a less Sharp field stop. I know that bothers some people but I never understood why, myself.

 

you used to have to order it from Europe, but I believe it is now sold by at least a couple of dealers in the US.

 

Personally, I agree on the Televue plossls. I had a vixen silvertop that was one of the TV circle NJ prototypes and loved it so much I bought a spread of four to keep in my everyday box. The Baaders were affordable enough to put together a bino viewer set that I leave with it for simplicity.

 

If you want wide, one of the several choices are old smoothie naglers. 4.8, 7 and 9mm usually run between $120 and $180 each. They may be old, but they're sharp. Coatings may have improved since then but not a huge amount.


Edited by markb, 29 May 2020 - 09:12 PM.

  • John Huntley and organge like this

#11 sickfish

sickfish

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,421
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2009
  • Loc: Watertown Ma. Cape Coral Fl.

Posted 29 May 2020 - 09:08 PM

Cheap or inexpensive?


  • Jon Isaacs likes this

#12 John Huntley

John Huntley

    Mercury-Atlas

  • ***--
  • Posts: 2,595
  • Joined: 16 Jul 2006
  • Loc: SW England

Posted 29 May 2020 - 09:09 PM

+2 on the Baader Classic Orthos, especially the 10mm and 18mm.

 

The BST Starguiders are great value here in the UK I feel.

 

Vixen NPL's also very good. I understand that they share some optical features with the TV plossls.

 

I've had some GSO plossls that have been very good for their paltry price. In the UK they can also be found with "Revalation" branding on them.



#13 Nippon

Nippon

    Gemini

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3,352
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Central Florida

Posted 29 May 2020 - 09:22 PM

What is it about them that you miss?

I don't miss the TV Plossls specifically. It's having a complete set of simple eyepieces that is what I miss. I'm starting to do more Lunar observing and find the tendency of blackouts for the ES 82s I have frustrating. I don't notice the blackouts on planets or deep sky. I think perhaps it has something to do with the brightness of he Moon that cause my eye's pupil to get really small.


Edited by Nippon, 29 May 2020 - 09:25 PM.

  • Rollo and Tropobob like this

#14 Nippon

Nippon

    Gemini

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3,352
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Central Florida

Posted 29 May 2020 - 09:27 PM

+1 on Baader BCOs.

 

Probably the best deal you can possibly get on eyepieces, and they're new to boot.

 

$210 gets you the Q Turret set. 4 eyepieces, matched Barlow and turret. Potentially 12 different magnifications, with well-reviewed eyepieces not low end junk. 

 

A spread of three orthos, and a 32 mm plossl, plus the matched two position, two power Barlow, the holder for one of the positions of the Barlow, and a for eyepiece chart, light, minimal back focus, and quite smooth and usable.

 

All with Baaders great newest coatings.

 

The reviews have been extremely good, with criticism for opening up the field in exchange for a less Sharp field stop. I know that bothers some people but I never understood why, myself.

 

you used to have to order it from Europe, but I believe it is now sold by at least a couple of dealers in the US.

 

Personally, I agree on the Televue plossls. I had a vixen silvertop that was one of the TV circle NJ prototypes and loved it so much I bought a spread of four to keep in my everyday box. The Baaders were affordable enough to put together a bino viewer set that I leave with it for simplicity.

 

If you want wide, one of the several choices are old smoothie naglers. 4.8, 7 and 9mm usually run between $120 and $180 each. They may be old, but they're sharp. Coatings may have improved since then but not a huge amount.

 

The turret set sounds interesting. What are the ortho focal lengths?



#15 erin

erin

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 751
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2018
  • Loc: MA

Posted 29 May 2020 - 09:29 PM

The BST/Orion Flat fields/Lunt FF are nice too. I use them over my plossls. They are only a bit larger than plossls and offer a 60 to 65 deg FoV, depending on the focal length. Image quality comparable to the plossls, so nice and sharp and more comfortable eye relief. 


  • vtornado and PatrickVt like this

#16 vtornado

vtornado

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,834
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2016
  • Loc: Northern Illinois

Posted 29 May 2020 - 09:32 PM

If you can stand the eye relief in short fl's, plossls are the best bang for your buck.

Folks hate them and sell them for ridiculusly low prices.

GSOs are excellent.  So are smart astronomy/sterling, but they are no longer being produced.

 

If you want to buy new, and a little more functional.

I like the paradigm dual ed's in the shorter fl's and meade hd60s in the longer.

Can be purchased used in the $50.00 a piece range.


Edited by vtornado, 30 May 2020 - 08:34 AM.

  • izar187 and erin like this

#17 markb

markb

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 832
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2006
  • Loc: Long Island; in transition to Arizona

Posted 29 May 2020 - 10:46 PM

The Baader Q turret set has drifted up to $249.

 

I have no idea why it's not searchable directly on AgenaAstro's site, but the link still pops up on a Google search

 

https://www.agenaast...et-2957000.html

 

6, 10,18 and 32mm plus the x2.25 or x1.3 Barlow depending on the spacing choice.

 

On the Flat Fields above, the later Ultra Flat Fields were enormously improved. I had both in the 18mm versions on two APM binos. Really comfortable to the eyes.



#18 SeattleScott

SeattleScott

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,117
  • Joined: 14 Oct 2011

Posted 30 May 2020 - 12:19 AM

The turret comes with 32 Plossl, 18, 10 and 6 Orthos. And a 2.25x barlow. If you get the package deal.

Scott

#19 Nippon

Nippon

    Gemini

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3,352
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Central Florida

Posted 30 May 2020 - 05:53 AM

I looked up the Baader turret. It appears there are no optics in the turret. Looks like it just slips in to your diagonal like an eyepiece.



#20 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 85,072
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 30 May 2020 - 06:50 AM

Concept of cheap eyepiece is all relative. Paradigms and Starguiders ($60 per piece) are cheap enough and offer very good value as both have ED glass. You can buy them used for around $45. Many consider them as best budget eyepieces. Read good reviews about Sterling Plossl, not sure if the are available anymore. Around $50 price range you willl find: Agena Wide Angle (WA), Skywatcher Super Plossl, Bresser 70° Series, Orion Sirius, Telescope Service Super Plossl, TPO Plossl, Celestron Plossl, Svbony. I am sure there are many others.

 

:waytogo:

 

I prefer Tony's word, inexpensive. 

 

Plossls have their place but their fields are narrow, eye relief gets short quite fast and they're not all that sharp off_axis in a faster scope. In general, I find Plossls OK in slower scopes like an 80 mm F/11 but not so in larger, faster scopes.

 

I find 60 degree eyepieces like the Paradigm/Starguider series or the TMB Planetary series much more satisfying. They have a comfortable amount of eye relief at all focal lengths for this non-eyeglass wearer and 60 degrees is wide enough to feel unconstrained.

 

Jon


  • mrsjeff likes this

#21 Hesiod

Hesiod

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,935
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2013

Posted 30 May 2020 - 09:20 AM

Another vote for Baader's BCOs.

 

The 18mm is IMHO the best of the series, but even the 10 and 6mm are pretty good. The latter is also surprisingly comfortable given the focal and design.

The eyepieces are available individually or in a set with a nice box, a "meh" plastic turret (quite cumbersome) and a Barlow lens.

I purchased only the eyepieces as already had Barlow lenses and the turret gave me bad feelings; also, I do not own the 32mm (it is a Plossl, not an Abbe, and I already had a 32mm Plossl).

 

I like them much as travel eyepieces since take little room, are extremely light and match well with the telescopes I usually bring along (nothing really extreme in term of focal ratio, ranging from f/11 to f/6. Please note that even in the latter look pretty decent).

These sells at roughly 55€, but in my opinion are well worth those extra 20€ over basic Plossl EPs (e.g. Celestron OMNI, "unlabeled" Plossl, etc...).

 

If are willing to hunt second hand eyepieces, TAL Plossl are very good too, and were originally sold for cheap. I do not know which focals were made available, as I have just the 6 and 25mm one provided with the 100RS but remember that the leaflet I found inside the box of TAL's UWAs listed several Plossl too


  • John Huntley likes this

#22 Nippon

Nippon

    Gemini

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3,352
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Central Florida

Posted 30 May 2020 - 09:40 AM

Th Baader Orthos seem like a good choice. In practice for me I don't see the turret as being practical. Central Florida is very humid and I'm sure what ever eyepiece I wanted to dial to next would be dewed over. One that I'm using stays warm from my face but put a cold one in it will dew as soon as I get my eye near it.



#23 grzesznypl

grzesznypl

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 439
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2019
  • Loc: Jackson Heights, NY ... for now

Posted 30 May 2020 - 12:45 PM

Baader Orthos are not cheap to begin with, only 3 focal lengths, have ortho like eye relieve (18.3mm, 8mm, 5mm respectively), ortho like field of view and mediocre reviews. They are pale shade of BGO series.  Again look at Paradigms/StarGuiders/BST they are superior, more comfortable to use yet cheaper eyepieces. 


  • Jon Isaacs likes this

#24 organge

organge

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 219
  • Joined: 11 May 2018
  • Loc: London, UK

Posted 30 May 2020 - 01:23 PM

18mm BST StarGuider is in no way superior to 18mm BCO. I had multiple examples of both to compare and I could see more stars with BCO every time. 10mm I don't use as much as I quickly go from 18mm to 6,5,4 (Vixen SLVs) but when I barlow it and compare it to Vixen SLV 5mm there is no difference at all in the view - same number of stars. I spent hours splitting Castor with 5mm SLV and barlowed BCO 10mm and BCO is very, very good and clean presentation with nice airy disks.

 

As far as cheap goes. I snatched multiple pieces on Amazon for £45 and Barlow for as low as £30. I find that cheap. My colleagues spend more on coffee per month in Starbucks.


  • Hesiod and j.gardavsky like this

#25 Shorty Barlow

Shorty Barlow

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,534
  • Joined: 15 Sep 2015
  • Loc: Lloegyr

Posted 30 May 2020 - 02:22 PM

18mm BST StarGuider ~ £47

 

18mm BCO ~ £49

 

In the UK the BCO is only two quid more (2.47 USD present exchange rate), and far superior IMO.


Edited by Shorty Barlow, 30 May 2020 - 02:24 PM.

  • John Huntley likes this


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