It has been a long time since I re-assembled an eyepiece line that I used to have. I usually do not. But decided that I really want a classic minimum glass design that is also only single coated as these usually excel on planetary and double stars. Recently tested out an RKE in the planetary role with Mars and it was quite impressive, even next to the likes of my ZAO and XO. So that sealed it for me. But there is more too that makes the RKEs a little more special for me. I grew up in south Jersey and when a young kid would often have my brother drive me to the Edmund Scientific showroom in Barrington, NJ. That place was an absolute playground of science stuff and they had a huge surplus room filled with old optics and odds and ends. Could stay there for hours it was so much fun. Plus I got several of my first telescopes from there as well. So have a lot of history with that brand.
Today just received the last focal length I have been waiting for. I already had the 28 RKE and I have 2 for binoviewing. The 15mm I recently got used as this focal length is now discontinued. The rest I purchased new from Edmund Optical. These will now become part of my primary observing eyepieces that I keep in my small grab case. I replaced the anodized aluminum barrels they came with with nice chromed brass ones. These give the little RKEs a lot nicer heft, plus looks good as well. The 28 RKE is the only one where the field stop is part of the barrel, so for that one I got a rubber o-ring from Home Depot and cut it to fit and works perfectly as a field stop; the seam is very difficult to notice and you have to search for it.
To round out the two ends of the focal length range I placed a Celestron 30mm Pre-Ultima and then a classic single coated Celestron 6mm Ortho that is an amazing performer as well (had to go thru a number of these classic Abbes to find an exceptional one). Btw, the AFOV on the RKEs, even though the data table says is 45 degrees, is really 51 degrees, so not so constraining of a view They are pictured below on the new 2nd edition of the S&T Jumbo Pocket Atlas that just arrived yesterday! Can't wait for Orion to make its appearance now