Many users tend to mix Paradigm’s with the Celestron X-cel LX’s (same as Meade HD60’s). The strong Paradigm’s et. al. seem to be the 5mm and 12mm. I would avoid the 25mm. The strong X-cels seem to be the 7mm(6.5mm), 9mm, and 25mm. The 18mm on both are just ok. From what I’ve seen, if you need better eye relief, use eyeglasses, or want to share your scope wirh eyeglass wearers, lean toward the X-cel’s. I like the form factor of the Paradigm’s better but the eyecups are more deeply recessed than the Xcel’s. Subtracting that distance from the stated eye relief results in less useable eye relief for those that wear specs. Some wearers can still use the Paradigms but many cannot. If this is the case, the Paradigm 5mm and 12mm advantage swings to the X-cels. A few eyeglass wearers still can’t use the Xcels either but most seem to do fine. If you are willing to dismantle an eyepiece and tighten up the lens cage, the Planetary II eyepieces below 7mm are an even better choice for less than $35 each. At these prices with decent eye relief there is little need for a barlow. If you would like a very nice zoom in the same price range, get the Svbony 7-21mm.
A very good starter set would be a 25mm Xcel, Svbony 7-21mm zoom, and a 5mm Planetary II, Xcel, or Paradigm. You can then take your time filling in the middle with the 7mm, 9mm, 12mm, and 18mm Xcel’s or Paradigms.
Edited by DavidSt, 03 May 2021 - 08:04 AM.