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Best 2” wide field eyepiece for under $300?

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#1 Gschnettler

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 01:11 PM

I am looking for the widest eyepiece I can use to capture the widest view possible so that I can see the broadest swath of stars as possible.  Something that I can use to some degree for star hopping. 

 

I have a 12” Dobsonian 1500mm focal length F4.9 Orion XX12g scope.  It comes with a 28mm 2” eyepiece which is nice but I would like something wider. 

 

Any recommendations on a very wide 2” eyepiece that isn’t too expensive?



#2 Jim45157

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 01:18 PM

apm 20 mm 100deg price on sale 275 dollars 


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#3 SeattleScott

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 01:27 PM

APM 30mm UFF is another option. Or ES 28mm 68 for $10 more.

Normally I would add a couple more ES options to the list, including what I use in my F4.8 and F4. But they aren’t under $300 anymore .

Scott

Edited by SeattleScott, 20 October 2020 - 01:31 PM.

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#4 Eddgie

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 02:43 PM

If you do not have a coma corrector, you may find that eyepieces with very wide apparent fields will show a lot of coma.

 

Only you can say how much coma is acceptable, but it is something to consider.  

 

If you have a coma corrector though, then you can use 100 degree eyepieces with no problem, but again, tolerance to coma is a very individual thing.


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#5 MikiSJ

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 03:01 PM

I picked up a Meade 56mm Series 4000 2" Super Plossl Eyepiece with 52 Degree Field of View for $80. It is not the best of the lot but it is inexpensive.

 

I don't do visual and only picked this up to find the first star in a mount modeling session. 



#6 russell23

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 05:11 PM

30mm APM UFF - $230.   The best, most comfortable widefield long focal length eyepiece I have used of any price from the GSO superview to the 30mm 88 deg Leitz.


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#7 makeitso

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 05:36 PM

I have the 30mm APM UFF eyepiece, it works great and is very comfortable to view through.

 

Jack


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#8 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 07:34 PM

It would appear that there are now Celestron and Meade branded versions of the 30mm APM UFF eyepiece.  The Meade version is the least expensive.

https://optcorp.com/...eyepiece-2-30mm

 

https://www.meade.co...eyepiece-2.html


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#9 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 07:39 PM

The OP wants something that produces a wider field of view than the 2" 28mm Orion DeepView eyepiece that came with the scope. 

https://www.telescop... View eyepiece,

 

That means a 34 or 35mm wide-field eyepiece, if not exceeding a 7mm exit pupil is desired.

The 34mm Explore Scientific 68-degree probably is the best choice with that in mind.

 

https://www.astronom...-eyepiece.html 


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#10 russell23

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 08:23 PM

The OP wants something that produces a wider field of view than the 2" 28mm Orion DeepView eyepiece that came with the scope. 

https://www.telescop... View eyepiece,

 

That means a 34 or 35mm wide-field eyepiece, if not exceeding a 7mm exit pupil is desired.

The 34mm Explore Scientific 68-degree probably is the best choice with that in mind.

 

https://www.astronom...-eyepiece.html 

The 30mm APM UFF has a 38mm field stop which is nearly the same as the 35mm Pan and 34mm ES68 which have a 38.6mm field stop.  The 28mm Deep view is a 56 deg AFOV - probably Kellner design.  I have the Skywatcher version and it is not very good.   The 30mm APM is a 70 deg AFOV that actually behaves as a 72-74 deg AFOV eyepiece.

 

The 34mm ES68 was the weakest of the ES68 FL I tried (all but the 40mm) by a large margin and nowhere near the quality of the 30mm APM UFF.  The 30mm APM costs $90 less (34 ES68 $320 vs. APM 30mm UFF $230), has better edge performance, cleaner sky background, easier to look through, sharper all across the field, has no EOFB (the 34mm ES68 was the only FL that had strong EOFB), and lighter weight.  

 

This is one of those rare comparisons where the higher cost eyepiece is inferior in just about every respect to the lower cost high quality option.

 

I wasn't kidding or exaggerating when I said that the 30mm APM UFF is the best long FL wide field I have looked through from the <$100 GSO superview to the $1400 30mm Leitz 88 deg.    The only contenders I haven't looked through are the 41mm Pan and 31mm Nagler - which are out of the OP's price range anyway.  I'll even take the 30mm APM over the 40mm XW after recently comparing them.  

I'd rate the 35mm Pan largely its equal but the 30mm APM is easier to look through and lighter weight. 


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#11 Thomas_M44

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 10:18 PM

If you don't already have one, I suggest considering obtaining a high-quality coma corrector first --before making any further eyepiece acquisitions.

 

With an f/4.9 Newtonian, that's probably the first thing I'd be looking to acquire.


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#12 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 05:06 AM

I wasn't kidding or exaggerating when I said that the 30mm APM UFF is the best long FL wide field I have looked through from the <$100 GSO superview to the $1400 30mm Leitz 88 deg.    The only contenders I haven't looked through are the 41mm Pan and 31mm Nagler - which are out of the OP's price range anyway.  I'll even take the 30mm APM over the 40mm XW after recently comparing them. 

 

I'd rate the 35mm Pan largely its equal but the 30mm APM is easier to look through and lighter weight.

 

 

It sure seems like the 30mm APM UFF is a game changer.  My friend Jack (Makeitso) was using my 35mm Panoptic and when he was able to afford a used 35 Pan, I recommended the 30mm APM UFF.  

 

I have the 31mm Nagler, the 35mm Panoptic and the 41mm Panoptic.  These are excellent eyepieces and the 31mm Nagler is about as perfect a widefield eyepiece optically as there is.  

 

But it also weighs over two pounds, costs over $600, even used it's around $500. And for eye glass wearers, it's marginal.  

 

For $230, the APM 30mm UFF, offers a view that is nearly as wide and more eye relief.  It seems like a no brainer to me.  I am even considering one just because it is so handy compared to the 31mm Nagler.  It would fit nicely with my 1.25 inch eyepieces.. 

 

Regarding a coma corrector:  I have been using various Paracorr's for about 20 years, I now have the Paracorr 2.  At F/5, a coma corrector is definitely preferred but I do not find it essential.  

 

Jon

 

Jon


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#13 25585

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 07:29 AM

The 30mm APM UFF has a 38mm field stop which is nearly the same as the 35mm Pan and 34mm ES68 which have a 38.6mm field stop.  The 28mm Deep view is a 56 deg AFOV - probably Kellner design.  I have the Skywatcher version and it is not very good.   The 30mm APM is a 70 deg AFOV that actually behaves as a 72-74 deg AFOV eyepiece.

 

The 34mm ES68 was the weakest of the ES68 FL I tried (all but the 40mm) by a large margin and nowhere near the quality of the 30mm APM UFF.  The 30mm APM costs $90 less (34 ES68 $320 vs. APM 30mm UFF $230), has better edge performance, cleaner sky background, easier to look through, sharper all across the field, has no EOFB (the 34mm ES68 was the only FL that had strong EOFB), and lighter weight.  

 

This is one of those rare comparisons where the higher cost eyepiece is inferior in just about every respect to the lower cost high quality option.

 

I wasn't kidding or exaggerating when I said that the 30mm APM UFF is the best long FL wide field I have looked through from the <$100 GSO superview to the $1400 30mm Leitz 88 deg.    The only contenders I haven't looked through are the 41mm Pan and 31mm Nagler - which are out of the OP's price range anyway.  I'll even take the 30mm APM over the 40mm XW after recently comparing them.  

I'd rate the 35mm Pan largely its equal but the 30mm APM is easier to look through and lighter weight. 

I had a feeling the 28mm Deepview is same optics as a Sky-Watcher 28mm LET. Kellner or Konig?

 

30mm UFF is definitely recommended.



#14 vkhastro1

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 08:01 AM

Add in the newly released Meade 28mm 82° PWA - WO 28mm UWAN clone.

 

$260 US funds puts you under the $300 US cutoff point.


Edited by vkhastro1, 21 October 2020 - 08:01 AM.


#15 SeattleScott

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 08:07 AM

I had a feeling the 28mm Deepview is same optics as a Sky-Watcher 28mm LET. Kellner or Konig?

30mm UFF is definitely recommended.

I believe it is three elements.

#16 CollinofAlabama

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 08:40 AM

I sold my ES 28mm 68º after comparing it to the new APM 30mm UFF -- it's that good.  My scopes are F/6 and above, so I believe the coma corrector warnings, but in my scopes, it performs very, very well.  It has almost the same True Field of View as the 34mm ES 68º, weighs less, and costs less.  The ES 28mm 68º is no slouch, mind you, but it doesn't have the field of view, and the APM 30mm UFF weighs only a little more.  Jon's right.  It's a game changer.  I cannot recommend it enough, and I believe Russell above when he writes that it compares well with the Pan 35, an eyepiece I was always interested in, but wanted to avoid its heft.  The APM 30mm UFF achieves that end, and Don Pensack, at Eyepieces Etc (.com) has them at the ready.  You won't be disappointed (although you might need a coma corrector, but you can't blame that on the eyepiece, a function of your own eye and F/4.9).  Good luck!


Edited by CollinofAlabama, 21 October 2020 - 08:40 AM.

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#17 BillP

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 10:18 AM

It has almost the same True Field of View as the 34mm ES 68º...

This just seems a little odd to me.  The 34 ES 68º has a 38.6mm field stop whereas the shorter focal length 30mm 70º UFF a has a 38mm field stop.  I would expect the field stop of the UFF to less than 37mm.  Did you notice the comparative RD between the 34 ES68 and the UFF?



#18 kklei940

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 10:36 AM

I was presented with this conundrum a month or two ago. I was contemplating a new 30mm AMP or a used 35 Pan. I ultimately went with the 35 Pan for a little more FOV. It gives me 4 degrees in my 80ED and over 3 degrees in my 6" f/5 reflector. Works great as a finder eyepiece and presents an very good image to me even at f/5. 


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#19 CollinofAlabama

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 11:23 AM

This just seems a little odd to me.  The 34 ES 68º has a 38.6mm field stop whereas the shorter focal length 30mm 70º UFF a has a 38mm field stop.  I would expect the field stop of the UFF to less than 37mm.  Did you notice the comparative RD between the 34 ES68 and the UFF?

 

Bill, I have absolutely NO FAITH, anymore, in the listed "AFOV" from ANY manufacturer.  The listed AFOV is pure marketing malarkey, in my opinion.  If you want to know the TFOV of an eyepiece, you MUST know the field stop, or be ready to scientifically test with the drift method.  I am far too lazy to do the latter, but I can say, unequivocally, having compared the two one immediately after the other, same scope, diagonal, etc., that the APM 30mm UFF has considerably more TFOV than the ES 28mm 68º.  Now, if the AFOV of the APM and ES 28mm 68º were all that mattered, the APM 30mm UFF couldn't have very much more field than the ES 28mm 68º, but when one looks at field stops ...

 

 EP           FS

Pan 35      38.7mm

ES 34 68º   38.6mm

APM 30 UFF  38.0mm

ES 28 68º   31.6mm

Pan 27      30.5mm

 

 ... well, then it's a different story altogether.  The APM 30 UFF should have less, but just barely less, than the ES 34mm 68º, and the same for the Pan 35.  OTOH, it should have substantially MORE than the ES 28mm 68º, which is what I saw with my own eye.  See this first impression last year.

 

To bastardize Hamlet, the field stop's the tool, wherein we'll catch conscience of the view.


Edited by CollinofAlabama, 21 October 2020 - 03:22 PM.


#20 BillP

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 12:35 PM

It would appear that there are now Celestron and Meade branded versions of the 30mm APM UFF eyepiece.  The Meade version is the least expensive.

https://optcorp.com/...eyepiece-2-30mm

 

https://www.meade.co...eyepiece-2.html

Mark Ackermann designed the APM UFF, and he also does designs for Celestron (e.g., 8" f/2 RASA scope).  Should we assume that the Celestron and Meade versions are sanctioned and indeed the exact same optical prescription?



#21 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 01:22 PM

Mark Ackermann designed the APM UFF, and he also does designs for Celestron (e.g., 8" f/2 RASA scope).  Should we assume that the Celestron and Meade versions are sanctioned and indeed the exact same optical prescription?

If you're asking me directly, I have no idea.  I just happened to come across the 30mm Celestron and Meade offerings and thought that Cloudy Nights members might be interested in knowing about them.



#22 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 01:44 PM

I had a feeling the 28mm Deepview is same optics as a Sky-Watcher 28mm LET. Kellner or Konig?

 

30mm UFF is definitely recommended.

The 28mm Orion DeepView is a Kellner, according to the information at https://www.astrosho...b_bar_1_select 

The 28mm Sky-Watcher LET can be seen at https://www.opticalu...mm-let-eyepiece



#23 MellonLake

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 02:41 PM

I have a couple of fast(ish) telescopes f/4.7 Dob and f/5 refractor. 

 

I had a cheapo 2" 30mm reverse Kellner, I could not use it in either telescope because the outer field distortion was soo terrible.  I actually avoided using the eyepiece because the view was so bad.  

 

I purchased the APM 30mm UFF and have not looked back (the reverse Kellner will probably never every come out to play again and if I run into someone with an f/8 or f/9 that wants it I will probably give it away).  The field distortion in the f/5 refractor is minimal and it is visually well corrected for the f4.7 Dob.  It lives up to the Ultra Flat Field moniker. 

 

The field is wide enough in Dob to get all but the very largest DSOs in the the field of view (Andromeda, Veil, NA) but still wide enough to give good views of these objects.  In the 120mm f/5 refractor it provides a 3.6° expansive view (like a finderscope on steroids) and gives great views of the really big DSOs (NA, Veil, Pleiades,  M24, double cluster...).  

 

 

 

Rob 


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#24 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 01:21 AM

Bill, I have absolutely NO FAITH, anymore, in the listed "AFOV" from ANY manufacturer.  The listed AFOV is pure marketing malarkey, in my opinion.If you want to know the TFOV of an eyepiece, you MUST know the field stop, or be ready to scientifically test with the drift method. 

 

 

Even if one measures the Afov exactly, the TFoV cannot be accurately determined. This is because the field has distortion.

 

A good example: 

 

The 32 mm TeleVue Wide Field.  Using the beam projection method, I measured the AFoV at 64.7°, TeleVue claims 65°, that's within the error bounds of my measurement.

 

But the field stop measures 33.0 mm which corresponds to a 59.1° AfoV if you assume TFoV = AFoV / Mag.

 

The take away is that TFoV = AFoV / Mag can be 10% off or more.  

 

Jon


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#25 BillP

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 10:12 AM

It would appear that there are now Celestron and Meade branded versions of the 30mm APM UFF eyepiece.  The Meade version is the least expensive.

https://optcorp.com/...eyepiece-2-30mm

 

https://www.meade.co...eyepiece-2.html

Looks like Orion is in the game as well but only with 24mm, 15mm, and 10mm versions of these.  Orion version of the 24mm also has a removable 2" barrel which reveals a 1.25" barrel so you can keep it in either configuration.

 

https://www.telescop...ASABEgL7kfD_BwE


Edited by BillP, 22 October 2020 - 10:14 AM.



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