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Affordable Wide Field EP for 8" Dob

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#1 azcubs76

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 03:16 PM

I'm looking for a poor man's Nagler 31!  wink.gif JK, I know there is no such thing.

 

My scope (Zhumell Z8 1200mm/f5.9) came with a 2" GSO 30mm SuperView EP. This yields decent views but by all accounts is a crappy EP. I have been adding/upgrading my EP collection and now that I have some ES82 and Meade 5000 UWA pieces in 1.25" format I can really see the difference. I live in light polluted skies so wide angle is tenuous most of the time aside from Pleiades and general scanning, both of which I enjoy. When I go to dark skies I normally travel with an 80ED so my 2" 20mm 82º gives me plenty wide views in that.

 

Are there any EPs available under $200 that would be a major upgrade to the SuperView? Would love 82º but that's probably out of the question even used. I would like an approximate FOV around 2º. My scopes max FOV is about 2.2degrees. (46mm/1200mm) x 57.3 = 2.19deg. I don't want a lower FOV than the SuperView at 68º but a roughly equivalent sized better corrected view would be acceptable. Also anything that helps contrast in light pollution on these wide fields.

 

34mm@70º = 1.98º/5.75mm Exit Pupil 

30mm@82º = 2.05º/5.08mm Exit Pupil (This is obviously preferred)

 

The Agena SWA 38mm maybe looks OK? Would give me max FOV for my scope at 2.2º?

WO SWAN 33mm?

These Baader Aspherics 31mm are on sale. Don't know anything about them?

APM 30mm UFF is on the radar but wish it was 34mm...can't find a used one.

Are there any Morpheus knock offs?

 

All recommendations are welcome.

 



#2 peta62

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 03:22 PM

These are Hyperions, they are definitely below Morpheus.


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#3 Bean614

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 03:36 PM

Since your Dob is f/6, it isn't as fussy as faster (f/5 and below) about eyepieces.  So, you can use less expensive widefields, which won't show nearly as much Coma as when they're used in faster scopes.

  I've had quite a few 8" f/6 Dobs and have gotten excellent views with the Agena SWA/Orion Q eyepieces (26, 32, 38mm).  They're basically identical.  I found myself grabbing for the 32mm the most.



#4 vdog

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 04:06 PM

Pony up for the APM 30mm.  It's worth the extra money.
 


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#5 CeleNoptic

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 04:09 PM


I'm looking for a poor man's Nagler 31!  wink.gif JK, I know there is no such thing.

 

My scope (Zhumell Z8 1200mm/f5.9) came with a 2" GSO 30mm SuperView EP. This yields decent views but by all accounts is a crappy EP. I have been adding/upgrading my EP collection and now that I have some ES82 and Meade 5000 UWA pieces in 1.25" format I can really see the difference. I live in light polluted skies so wide angle is tenuous most of the time aside from Pleiades and general scanning, both of which I enjoy. When I go to dark skies I normally travel with an 80ED so my 2" 20mm 82º gives me plenty wide views in that.

 

Are there any EPs available under $200 that would be a major upgrade to the SuperView? Would love 82º but that's probably out of the question even used. I would like an approximate FOV around 2º. My scopes max FOV is about 2.2degrees. (46mm/1200mm) x 57.3 = 2.19deg. I don't want a lower FOV than the SuperView at 68º but a roughly equivalent sized better corrected view would be acceptable. Also anything that helps contrast in light pollution on these wide fields.

 

34mm@70º = 1.98º/5.75mm Exit Pupil 

30mm@82º = 2.05º/5.08mm Exit Pupil (This is obviously preferred)

 

The Agena SWA 38mm maybe looks OK? Would give me max FOV for my scope at 2.2º?

WO SWAN 33mm?

These Baader Aspherics 31mm are on sale. Don't know anything about them?

APM 30mm UFF is on the radar but wish it was 34mm...can't find a used one.

Are there any Morpheus knock offs?

 

All recommendations are welcome.

 

If your skies are light polluted you shouldn't exceed exit pupil of 3mm unlike you prefer washed out greyish background grin.gif . So, for 8"  F/6 Dob I wouldn't recommend anything longer than 24mm, e.g. ES82. Well, maybe the 28mm ES68. Unless you have access to a dark sky where exit pupil of 5mm+ would be beneficial.

 

Poor man's 31mm Nagler? Why not? The 30mm ES82 or used Meade 5K UWA or 28mm Meade PWA or it's rebrands on the used market like WO UWAN. Any of them would be a major upgrade. The 32mm Agena SWA was an upgrade for my Z8, but I'd call it a budget upgrade, nothing major here. No major upgrade under $200 available, IMO. Slightly more, yes, look into Meade UHD, the cheapest major upgrade I can imagine.


Edited by CeleNoptic, 25 January 2021 - 04:14 PM.


#6 scotsman328i

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 04:59 PM

Look into the 35 Panoptic also. Excellent eyepiece.


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#7 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 05:20 PM

Since your Dob is f/6, it isn't as fussy as faster (f/5 and below) about eyepieces.  So, you can use less expensive widefields, which won't show nearly as much Coma as when they're used in faster scopes.

  I've had quite a few 8" f/6 Dobs and have gotten excellent views with the Agena SWA/Orion Q eyepieces (26, 32, 38mm).  They're basically identical.  I found myself grabbing for the 32mm the most.

 

Last year I owned both the 32mm Q-70 and the 30 mm GSO Superview.  I gave the Q70 to a friend and now I have the 34 mm Svbony which I suspect is actually the 32 mm Q70. I use them in scopes ranging from F/5 to F/7.5. My main eyepieces in these focal lengths are TeleVues (41, 35, 31mm.)

 

To my eye, the Q70s are a slight upgrade to the Superview, sharper on on-axis, a real field stop. But the Q70s still show serious off-axis astigmatism even at F/7.5.  I consider these eyepieces more alike than they are different. I've also used a friends 31 Baader Aspheric and it is also in this category.   

 

I think of these as eyepieces that can be enjoyed with a cup half-full attitude but eyepieces that leave one with the thought of upgrading to something better sometime.

 

There's another class of eyepieces that I think of as lifetime keepers. These eyepieces are sharp enough across the field and free of other issues that one does not have that thought that there's something better, this eyepiece is a really good eyepiece and I'm never letting it go.

 

At the top of the heap in faster scopes, are the TeleVues. But there are others that are very good and more affordable.  From what I read, azcubs is hoping to find an eyepiece that a lifetime keeper for under $200.

 

My recommendation would be to up that just a bit and look at the APM 30 mm 70 degree UFF.  From everything I read, everyone I talk to including Don Pensack, this one sharp eyepiece. At $230, it really is a poormans 31 mm Nagler, a lifetime keeper.

 

If you spend $100 on a 32mm 70degree, the off-axis astigmatism will remind you with every use, it really would be nice if it weren't there.. with an eyepiece like the APM, it won't be there. I'd hang with the 30 mm Superview until something of the quality of the 30 mm APM is within reach.

 

Jon


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#8 bdcmd

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 06:03 PM

I'm looking for a poor man's Nagler 31!  wink.gif JK, I know there is no such thing.

 

Are there any EPs available under $200 that would be a major upgrade to the SuperView?

 

Not really.  The APM 30 mm is probably the closest you can get, around $230.  Anything less expensive is not likely to show a significant improvement.  Anything much better will be more expensive.  Look for used ES or APM on the classifieds to save a little.   bdc


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#9 StarCurious

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 06:26 PM

Because of your budget of $200, I found these: 

 

Try this: non water proof version. Maxvision is owned by the same company JOC that owns Explore Scientific.  Maxvision 82 degree 30mm at $233.99

 

https://www.aliexpre...earchweb201603_

 

Or this: 82 degree 24mm, at $200.80 which may be better in light polluted skies.

 

https://www.aliexpre...earchweb201603_

 

I recently (Jan 9th) bought the last Maxvision 82 degree 8.8mm in stock from the second vendor at ~$97, now waiting for customs to clear.  

 

The Maxvision barrel has undercut, whereas Explore Scientific has taper. Coating or QC may not be the same as ES.  

 

I hope others will give you opinion whether this is worthwhile exercise for you.


Edited by StarCurious, 25 January 2021 - 06:29 PM.


#10 azcubs76

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 07:10 PM

Well crap. Thank you all for the suggestions. My initial hope was that one of the cheap ones was much better than the SuperView. I'm now kind of thinking an ES/Meade 20mm 100º or 24mm 82º is the sweet spot. Both give about 1.7deg FOV and smaller exit pupil (3.38/4.06mm) so would be usable in the backyard and great at dark sites. Luminos 23mm is also a possibility. I wish Meade still sold the XWA line, I would buy one of those 20mm in a second. Everything I've read says the new MWA line is terrible and the 21mm is particularly bad.

 

I really wish COVID would end so we could have some star parties. Would love to see the difference between these eyepieces and 30mm UFF. Someone needs to start up an EP rental service! I just don't have enough eyepieces to get a good idea on what the exit pupil differences mean to my eyes in terms of contrast.

 

Thank you for the Maxvision referral. I've almost bought that 82º 24mm a couple times but just didn't trust the situation. I've purchased a bunch of stuff from AliExpress but never anything that expensive.

 

I guess I'll keep scouring the classifieds and hope to get lucky. I don't think I'd use this EP enough to justify the "new" prices.



#11 SeattleScott

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 07:14 PM

There is also the APM 20mm XWA.

Scott

#12 sevenofnine

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 11:40 PM

The ES 28/68 works real well in my XT-8. At under a pound there's no frustrating scope balance issues either. Do you fall into the eyepiece? No, but it's a nice large porthole to the night sky. waytogo.gif



#13 CeleNoptic

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 02:40 AM

Someone needs to start up an EP rental service! I just don't have enough eyepieces to get a good idea on what the exit pupil differences mean to my eyes in terms of contrast.

Buying used, e.g. from CN Classifieds, is pretty much the same as rental service. You buy, try and sell what you don't need at approximately the same price as you've bought it minus shipping (=your rental feesmile.gif


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#14 azcubs76

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 11:05 AM

Buying used, e.g. from CN Classifieds, is pretty much the same as rental service. You buy, try and sell what you don't need at approximately the same price as you've bought it minus shipping (=your rental feesmile.gif

Very true. I bought the Nagler 7mm T1 and the Meade 8.8mm off the classifieds here within a few days of each other and after a few weeks decided I liked the Meade better. I was able to sell the Nagler for the same price as I bought it. It only cost me the $9 in shipping for the "rental". It would be amazing to be able to try 3 different EPs that you are trying to choose between at the same time, same conditions, same scope ect. I suppose if you had the money you can just buy everything new and return the ones you don't want.



#15 BPoletti

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 11:35 AM

If you live in a light-polluted sky area, have you considered a filter to help reduce the light pollution?  Maybe an Orion SkyGlow filter or similar?  



#16 BDS316

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 12:07 PM

Pony up for the APM 30mm.  It's worth the extra money.
 

Agree 200%.  



#17 25585

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 12:17 PM

Not really.  The APM 30 mm is probably the closest you can get, around $230.  Anything less expensive is not likely to show a significant improvement.  Anything much better will be more expensive.  Look for used ES or APM on the classifieds to save a little.   bdc

Meade, Celestron & Altair 30mm UF may be cheaper than APM's. All use the same optics.


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#18 JoshUrban

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 01:28 PM

Used Panoptics!!  Keep an eye on the classifieds - great stuff on there.  I've got a 15, 22, and 27 pan, and love 'em.  I have naglers and other widefields, too, so they don't get as much use as they should, but they are great pieces of glass.  


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#19 azcubs76

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 02:40 PM

Meade, Celestron & Altair 30mm UF may be cheaper than APM's. All use the same optics.

Thank you for this comment. I live in the Arizona desert so waterproofing, fog, dew type things just don't apply luckily. I ONLY care about optical performance assuming build quality is not awful.

 

Has anyone put together a spreadsheet/list that identifies common optics between EP series? Would be really handy when trying to find a particular optic but brand is not important.



#20 Starman1

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 03:17 PM

I thought of doing that with my Eyepiece Buyer's Guide, but it proved too cumbersome to do so when some Chinese eyepieces are sold under 6 or more different labels.

However, the KUO Ultra flat field eyepieces do appear to now be being sold by APM, Meade, Celestron, Altair, and Orion, though Orion doesn't sell the 30mm.

APM $229.95

Meade $209.99

Celestron $239.95

Altair Astro £140.83 for export ($193.41 plus higher shipping, obviously)


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#21 25585

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 04:48 PM

What's with Orion not doing the 30mm?!



#22 25585

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 04:55 PM

Used Panoptics!!  Keep an eye on the classifieds - great stuff on there.  I've got a 15, 22, and 27 pan, and love 'em.  I have naglers and other widefields, too, so they don't get as much use as they should, but they are great pieces of glass.  

Like my 35mm. Others too short eye relief.


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#23 SeattleScott

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 04:57 PM

What's with Orion not doing the 30mm?!

They probably figured after APM sold 23,000 of them that there might not be much of a target audience left?
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#24 25585

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 05:07 PM

They probably figured after APM sold 23,000 of them that there might not be much of a target audience left?

Their bad. Perhaps they only wanted 1.25". But as a Dob seller, a 30mm would have made sense. Do Orion b & m stores sell only Orion branded products?



#25 SeattleScott

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 05:24 PM

Their bad. Perhaps they only wanted 1.25". But as a Dob seller, a 30mm would have made sense. Do Orion b & m stores sell only Orion branded products?

The ironic thing is they made the 24mm 2”.


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