9mm eyepieces I've had/have:
- 9mm Fujiyama HD Ortho - top shelf, tack sharp, high contrast. Sold because I hate the tight eye relief and narrow AFOV.
- 9mm DeLite - bought after selling the 9mm Fuji, but from recollection, it's just as sharp and contrasty, and way more comfortable, and that extra comfort has given me better views than the 9 Fuji ever did.
- 9mm "gold line" (aka generic Orion Expanse) - still have, because it was $12 and I would spend more money shipping it to someone if I sold it. Very good. Put it in the focuser and don't tell me it's not my9mm DeLite and I bet I wouldn't notice a difference (other than the exit pupil behavior)
- 9mm-21mm Nikon Zoom. Tack sharp, high contrast, very narrow AFOV and tight eye relief.
If you want the best *value* 9mm you can buy, the 9mm "gold line" is it.
If you want a "minimum glass" 9mm, you have two choices: 9mm Fujiyama HD Ortho or 9mm Takahashi Abbe Ortho. The 9 Tak Abbe is out of your budget, so that leaves the Fujiyama.
Given the magnification you're going for in your 8" SCT, you will not see a difference between the Fuji and the "gold line". The errors in the focal plane formed by the objective (diffraction effects, dim view, imperfections in the objective, and atmosphere) will overwhelm the subtle differences between the Fuji and the Gold Line.
Maybe a different story for your ED refractor. Guess it depends on which ED refractor.
Edited by CrazyPanda, 25 September 2020 - 09:36 PM.