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What is the most expensive eyepiece?

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#1 dhkaiser

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:31 PM

First let me say I have dropped some change on eyepieces. Five Delites, one Panoptic and the 55mm Plossol.  None of which came cheap.

 

Now I am wondering what is the most expensive eyepiece and what justifies the expense?  I have seen Tele Vues going for $600+, what is the attraction?

 

 



#2 Kent10

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:35 PM

I have paid the most for Leitz 30mm and Zeiss monocentrics, one from the 1920's might be the most expensive.  Zeiss ZAO I 34mm has been seen for about $1800 and the Nikon 18mm ortho can be quite high as well.  The Clave 75mm is rare and quite expensive.  These are rare and discontinued eyepieces so that is one reason they are expensive.  But they are very good too.


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#3 Kent10

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:42 PM

Ones you can buy now.  The ES 3" 100 degree is $1000 unless you get it on sale.  The Ethos 21mm is about $850.  The ES 9mm 120 degree is also listed at $1000.  The Tele Vue Apollo 11mm is a limited edition eyepiece with 300 sold and it is $1245.  Lots of glass in these eyepieces makes them expensive.  The Apollo is limited edition but those who have it say it is the best.



#4 dhkaiser

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:42 PM

I can understand rare collectable eyepieces going for $$$.  But what about the readily available ones for high $?  What is the justification?  Looks to me like any hobby you reach a point of smaller gains for bigger $.



#5 Kent10

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:45 PM

Right.  I think the ones that are more expensive have lots of glass in them.  You might also be paying for the design of 100 degrees, 120 degrees.  When Zeiss sold its orthos they were polished to a very high degree so they could charge more for the time involved and the name, too, I imagine.  Their reputation sells.



#6 wrvond

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:46 PM

I don’t know what justifies the price, but I know that the views I get justify the cost.


Edited by wrvond, 13 April 2021 - 08:46 PM.

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#7 Joe1950

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:46 PM

Masuyama 3" Eyepiece  costs $1,799.00, on sale!

It has a focal length of 80mm and a 52° AFOV.

 

Of course you have to have a 3” focuser, and those aren’t cheap either. I’m sure there are eyepieces that cost even more!

 

Why would someone buy them? I don’t know. I can’t relate to those kinds of costs. shrug.gif


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#8 Kent10

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:47 PM

The TV are very well corrected over the entire FOV and this can be seen even in very fast scopes.  You pay for this with the amount of glass needed to correct.  The design.



#9 PirateMike

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:49 PM

Are you familiar with the law of diminishing returns.

 

 

Miguel   8-)

 

.


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#10 Kent10

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:51 PM

Masuyama 3" Eyepiece  costs $1,799.00, on sale!

It has a focal length of 80mm and a 52° AFOV.

 

Of course you have to have a 3” focuser, and those aren’t cheap either. I’m sure there are eyepieces that cost even more!

 

Why would someone buy them? I don’t know. I can’t relate to those kinds of costs. shrug.gif

Might be nice in a large refractor with a very long focal length.


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#11 mtminnesota

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:57 PM

A Leica Zoom with extender is around $1250, and it's only a 1.25" eyepiece.


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#12 Kent10

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 09:00 PM

A Leica Zoom with extender is around $1250, and it's only a 1.25" eyepiece.

Wow, they have really gone up!



#13 fftulip

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 09:04 PM

My most expensive eyepieces are the ES 30mm 100 degree (3 inch) and ES 9mm 120 degree, both $999 new.  I got them used, for a bit less. but still very expensive.  I bought them because one, they are unique eyepieces and, two, I've spent thousands of dollars each on my 5,6, and 8" refractors so I didn't see spending less than a thousand dollars to get the most FOV out of the telescopes as such a big deal.  These eyepieces are not perfect or ideal (both have some ring of fire visible during the daytime, and are difficult to use due to weight and eye placement) but they are worth it for me for the viewing experience.  For me my almost ideal eyepiece is the Nikon NAV HW series - no optical faults that I can see, 102 degree field, and easy eye placement.  The Nikons go for about $900 in the US but I imported mine for a bit less. Now if someone can just make a 5mm to 30mm wide angle zoom, I'd glady spend $1000 (or more) for that!


Edited by fftulip, 13 April 2021 - 09:07 PM.

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#14 J A VOLK

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 09:05 PM

The late 90's 34mm ZAO-I (Zeiss Abbe Ortho) 1.25" goes for about $1700 for a clean sample



#15 Kent10

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 09:08 PM

That's right.  I forgot about the Nikon HW 102 degree, 17mm and 12.5mm.  They are 2 of my favorite wide field eyepieces.  I bought mine a while ago and from Japan so they were just over $700 at the time but they are really nice.  Wide FOV and comfortable eye relief and without losing the exit pupil.  Not too heavy or large for what they are and they come with barlows so you can get 14mm and 10mm if I recall correctly.  Haven't tried the barlows in a while but I have made a note and I think I will use them right now.  Going out to view.


Edited by Kent10, 13 April 2021 - 09:11 PM.

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#16 Michael Covington

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 09:13 PM

I remember being quoted $140 for a Zeiss Astro-Plan in 1971, which is something like $1600 in today's money.  Of course way beyond my student budget...

The Astro-Plan was almost the only eyepiece at the time that would probably still pass for a modern eyepiece today.

I have no idea if it is related in any way to the Japanese-made AstroPlan eyepieces on the market today.


Edited by Michael Covington, 13 April 2021 - 09:15 PM.


#17 Mitrovarr

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 09:22 PM

Limiting it to eyepieces in current production, I think the most expensive one I know of is the 80mm Masuyama, which goes for a cool $1800 on Agena right now (and that's on sale!)


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#18 TOMDEY

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 09:26 PM

Price is non-linear just as it is for telescopes and cars. For notably more function some will pay way more on price --- which is worth it to sufficient # of buyers to establish the market.

I can understand rare collectable eyepieces going for $$$.  But what about the readily available ones for high $?  What is the justification?  Looks to me like any hobby you reach a point of smaller gains for bigger $.

I don’t know what justifies the price, but I know that the views I get justify the price.

The markets are pretty stable, actually. So the ~high list~ prices of nearly all eyepieces have settled out as pretty good bargains, across the board. I actually feel that eyepieces are ~worth~ double what we can buy them for, both new and used. Imagine if we had to make them from scratch, rather than work our regular jobs and then buy and enjoy them?

 

>Up there on the $ scale are the magnificent TeleVue Apollo 11 listed and sold for $1245 and all 300 have sold out. A very few have sold used for around $1000. These are now impossibleish to find and arguably the best eyepiece is existence. I've got mine and continue to enjoy.

 

>And the 2.5-inch (barrel), three-inch and four-inch specialty eyepieces (very long focal lengths) can sell for $2000 on up from there. I have a couple and am getting more.

 

>And the ~Night Vision~ Image-Intensified Eyepieces selling for $2000 on up from there. I have a few.

 

>Honorable mention - the 3" 100° 30mm Explore Scientific that lists for $1000 sure looks attractive!

 

Anyway, they are all worth list and more. Just depends on what you need or want, and (especially) what you're willing and able to pay. Pretty limited markets. All it takes is a few active buyers to establish the market prices.    Tom

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Edited by TOMDEY, 13 April 2021 - 09:28 PM.

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#19 M11Mike

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 09:31 PM

More times than not you - get what you pay for.  


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#20 dnrmilspec

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 09:37 PM

The most expensive eyepiece is the one you bought and never use.  I have a couple of those.  Why do I have 5 - 9mm eyepieces when one of them is a Nagler?

 

Pirate Mike nailed it with the diminishing returns post.  You can absolutely pay a ton of money for a little improvement.

 

I remember when I ponied up the money for my 31 Nagler.  It was probably 20 or more years ago.  A friend had his AP 150 set up and had the hand grenade in it.  I thought they would have to tie a rope to my waist to keep from falling in.  It would take a really marvelous eyepiece for me to see any need in the 30 degree range.  I am sure there are better but seriously.  A 22 panoptic in a 155mm f7 Starfire EDFS is pretty close to nirvana.  (And not bad in a 6" achromat either not to put to fine a point on it.)  

 

I get collecting and I also understand that for some cost is no object.  There are some fantastically expensive EPs out there I would love to have but most of them are in the 'I will probably rarely use them" category.  But there is this that 17mm Ethos that I may just have to..........


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#21 Mitrovarr

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 09:58 PM

The most expensive eyepiece is the one you bought and never use.  I have a couple of those.  Why do I have 5 - 9mm eyepieces when one of them is a Nagler?

 

 

If you leave eyepieces in a drawer long enough, they reproduce. There will be more of them when you look back than you swear you left in there.


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#22 Joe1950

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 10:01 PM

Listen, the folks at Masuyama, Zeiss, Lecia, TeleVue, Explore Scientific, Nikon, Pentax, etc., all have to put bread on the table!



#23 TOMDEY

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 10:02 PM

The most expensive eyepiece is the one you bought and never use.  I have a couple of those.  Why do I have 5 - 9mm eyepieces when one of them is a Nagler?

 

Pirate Mike nailed it with the diminishing returns post.  You can absolutely pay a ton of money for a little improvement.

 

I remember when I ponied up the money for my 31 Nagler.  It was probably 20 or more years ago.  A friend had his AP 150 set up and had the hand grenade in it.  I thought they would have to tie a rope to my waist to keep from falling in.  It would take a really marvelous eyepiece for me to see any need in the 30 degree range.  I am sure there are better but seriously.  A 22 panoptic in a 155mm f7 Starfire EDFS is pretty close to nirvana.  (And not bad in a 6" achromat either not to put to fine a point on it.)  

 

I get collecting and I also understand that for some cost is no object.  There are some fantastically expensive EPs out there I would love to have but most of them are in the 'I will probably rarely use them" category.  But there is this that 17mm Ethos that I may just have to..........

For the record --- When you spring for it, this is how to properly store your 17mm Ethos >>>   Tom

 

~click on~ >>>

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#24 Stellar1

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 10:03 PM

Some of the eyepieces mentioned above cost more than my set of XW's, I cant imagine paying over a G note for an eyepiece but, I sure would like to look through someone else's. 

 

Isn't that what star parties are for?


Edited by Stellar1, 13 April 2021 - 10:05 PM.


#25 Joe1950

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 10:05 PM

Is that a photo Elizabeth Montgomery in the background, Tom? 


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