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Help and advice

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#1 droid



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Posted 20 April 2021 - 06:15 PM

I'm still in the process of attempting to build a complete and usable set of eyepieces, for use in my f8 and f10 refractors.


Goal is to do so , for less than the cost of a premium eyepiece.


Hence my buying the five element 70 degree eyepieces, but........


I just yesterday had a conversation with agena astro, and was told they wouldn't have any in stock until June ,something ish


I got my money back, and checked the paradigms here at astronomics, they simply say " more on the way "....grrrr


So now I'm thinking , used sounds good, lol.


So now Im looking for 4? eyepieces, starting at 20mm and down to 5 or 6mm staggered to give a usable magnification range, 


68 or 70 degree fov, for 150 or less


The bresser or agena   20 - 15 - 10  would be cool.


Any other candidates or options? 


Thoughts , advice ?


#2 Migwan



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Posted 20 April 2021 - 06:22 PM

There are some X-cels for sale in the classifieds.   jd

#3 BillP



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Posted 20 April 2021 - 06:49 PM

IMO, eyepieces with >65 degree AFOV are a category where the inexpensive ones are really only "fair" in performance, possibly up to the "good-ish" category but only with specific focal lengths.  So the upshot is, once you get them they will seem "ok" but then after some time you will become more and more aware of their shortcomings and want something better...especially after you have looked thru something better!


Now true, the focal lengths of your refractors are comfortably long at f/8 and f/10 so the lesser eyepieces will perform better than they are usually given credit for.  But there are other issues with the less expensive ones besides just how well the off-axis is.  The multicoatings are usually not a good and neither is the interior baffling and light suppression so more likely to get ghosts or flare or even edge-of-field-brightening so the views just do not look as starkly nice many times.  So what I am saying is that if you really want 68-70 degree eyepieces the minimum you should be looking at for solidly very good performance would the Explore Scientific 68 Series.  So that would be the starting point IMO for a set 68 degree "complete and usable set" as you say. 


What I would encourage you to do is to have some patience because the $60 Paradigms or BST Starguiders, which are 60 degree eyepieces, are incredibly strong performers at their price point -- so much so that they really quite satisfying in every way with nice small form factor, comfortably long-ish eye relief, nice ergonomics with their rubberized housing and adjustable eye guard, and a great view with good contrast.  I mean I have premium eyepieces like Pentax XWs, Baader Morpheus, and had TV Naglers, but even with those class of eyepieces many times I find myself just picking up the BST Starguiders as they work so good that I feel I am missing nothing except the slightly smaller AFOV of 60 degrees, which still feels generous.  I even did recently some direct compares on performance on nebula looking at contrast and bringing in the faintest portions as well as internal details of nebula of the BSTs with my premiums, and really they were just as satisfying.


So I would recommend that if you really want to keep costs down, then get the 18, 12, 8, and even 5mm BSTs or Paradigms and they will work simply fantastic in your f/8 and f/10 scopes.  If you wanted to get a longer focal length then my recommendation would be to go with the 24mm ES68 ($189) or the 24mm APM UFF ($199), the latter having more comfortable eye relief but with a bit larger form factor.  When one gets down to the longer focal lengths, the complexity of the optical design needs to be more to handle the 60 degree or greater AFOV so for this focal length you really want to spend a little more money.


Hope this helps.

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#4 DSOGabe


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Posted 21 April 2021 - 10:49 AM

I would recommend the Orion EF Widefield eyepieces. They are good and reasonably priced. I had the set and actually regret selling them off. Orion's website shows all but one being in stock and on sale.

#5 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 21 April 2021 - 02:43 PM

The 18mm Astro-Tech Paradigm Dual ED eyepiece is currently available from Astronomics.  The other focal lengths are backordered.


The APM Ultra Flat Field, Celestron Ultima Edge, and Lunt Solar Systems Flat Field eyepieces may be from the same OEM as the Orion EF Widefields,

#6 sportsmed



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Posted 21 April 2021 - 06:22 PM

Well not the FOV you want but X-Cel LX eyepieces are nice for the price and you can get them used for $60 - $65 each. Also since you are using slower scopes the hyperions could be a good choice for you. I do have the Agena 20mm SWA and I do like it for what it is but I see it does not work  well in some scopes, it doesnt do well at all in my AT80ED for example. Also if you dont mind 82o FOV, the Meade 5000 UWA series is nice and you can find them used for $85 - $125. I have the 5.5mm and love it and just bought the 18mm of that series.

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