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Ultra-premium planetary eyepieces or more aperture?

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#1 StarAlert

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Posted 17 October 2021 - 11:52 AM

If you had a choice between upgrading your eyepiece collection with a full set of ZAO I or

ZAO II (take your pick) for the going price of $6,500 or upgrading your scope from a TEC160 to a TEC180 for about the same $6,500 price, (Mounting the bigger refractor is not an issue. In fact, let’s say the scope will be mounted in an observatory), what would you do?

 



#2 Astrojensen

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Posted 17 October 2021 - 11:59 AM

Aperture will have a WAY bigger impact, dollar for dollar, as long as you have even halfway decent eyepieces to begin with. 

 

If you're content with the aperture you have, and want to maximize its performance, then it can make sense to buy the best eyepieces you can possibly get, but if you want to maximize the total performance, then getting more aperture is ALWAYS far easier and far more efficient. 

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark


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#3 StarAlert

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Posted 17 October 2021 - 12:10 PM

Aperture will have a WAY bigger impact, dollar for dollar, as long as you have even halfway decent eyepieces to begin with. 

 

If you're content with the aperture you have, and want to maximize its performance, then it can make sense to buy the best eyepieces you can possibly get, but if you want to maximize the total performance, then getting more aperture is ALWAYS far easier and far more efficient. 

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark

Yeah, I have a hodgepodge of eyepieces. From Tak Abbe orthos to some Morpheus, Nikon NAV SWs, Delos and Pans. That was my thought, too. I’ve read many times on these threads about people buying ultra expensive eyepieces to “tease out” the finest subtle planetary details. I think I’d rather have a bigger scope. 


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#4 Astrojensen

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Posted 17 October 2021 - 12:18 PM

Yeah, I have a hodgepodge of eyepieces. From Tak Abbe orthos to some Morpheus, Nikon NAV SWs, Delos and Pans. That was my thought, too. I’ve read many times on these threads about people buying ultra expensive eyepieces to “tease out” the finest subtle planetary details. I think I’d rather have a bigger scope. 

As I see it, the first thing you want is a decent scope, then some decent eyepieces. After that, you max out the aperture, and THEN you invest in the über-expensive eyepieces. 

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark


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#5 turtle86

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Posted 17 October 2021 - 12:20 PM

If you had a choice between upgrading your eyepiece collection with a full set of ZAO I or

ZAO II (take your pick) for the going price of $6,500 or upgrading your scope from a TEC160 to a TEC180 for about the same $6,500 price, (Mounting the bigger refractor is not an issue. In fact, let’s say the scope will be mounted in an observatory), what would you do?

 

A set of four ZAO II's with the Barlow should be more like $4000; a set of ZAO I's should only be more that if the rare 25mm or 34mm are also included.  

 

I used to own a full set of ZAO II's and still have the 6 and 10mm ZAO II.  Wonderful eyepieces but on most nights other quality eyepieces don't really give up all that much to them.  My 6mm and 10mm Ethos get much more observing time, especially in my undriven setups.  What you see will be determined much more by the aperture (assuming larger aperture of comparable quality) and atmospheric conditions, especially seeing.  If you're okay with getting more aperture, I agree with Thomas that getting more aperture is the better way to go.


Edited by turtle86, 17 October 2021 - 12:22 PM.


#6 turtle86

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Posted 17 October 2021 - 12:21 PM

Yeah, I have a hodgepodge of eyepieces. From Tak Abbe orthos to some Morpheus, Nikon NAV SWs, Delos and Pans. That was my thought, too. I’ve read many times on these threads about people buying ultra expensive eyepieces to “tease out” the finest subtle planetary details. I think I’d rather have a bigger scope. 

 

Those are fine eyepieces.  I would definitely go for more aperture.



#7 StarAlert

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Posted 17 October 2021 - 12:39 PM

A set of four ZAO II's with the Barlow should be more like $4000; a set of ZAO I's should only be more that if the rare 25mm or 34mm are also included.  

 

I used to own a full set of ZAO II's and still have the 6 and 10mm ZAO II.  Wonderful eyepieces but on most nights other quality eyepieces don't really give up all that much to them.  My 6mm and 10mm Ethos get much more observing time, especially in my undriven setups.  What you see will be determined much more by the aperture (assuming larger aperture of comparable quality) and atmospheric conditions, especially seeing.  If you're okay with getting more aperture, I agree with Thomas that getting more aperture is the better way to go.

I was referencing this ad. 
https://astromart.co...c-zao-eyepieces



#8 fcathell

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Posted 17 October 2021 - 12:41 PM

If you can handle 6K on new "toys" why screw around with just 20mm more aperture.  Go get a C-14 or something similar.  You may even have $$ to spare to get some nice eyepieces!

 

Frank


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#9 izar187

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Posted 17 October 2021 - 01:07 PM

If you can handle 6K on new "toys" why screw around with just 20mm more aperture.  Go get a C-14 or something similar.  You may even have $$ to spare to get some nice eyepieces!

 

Frank

Particularly if in an observatory, where the 14" may be far closer to ambient most of the time, compared to one kept in the home.



#10 havasman

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Posted 17 October 2021 - 01:09 PM

More aperture for sure. And it looks to me like you have every reason to be confident in your eyepiece kit.



#11 StarAlert

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Posted 17 October 2021 - 01:44 PM

If you can handle 6K on new "toys" why screw around with just 20mm more aperture.  Go get a C-14 or something similar.  You may even have $$ to spare to get some nice eyepieces!

 

Frank

No thank you. I’m a no-fuss refractor guy.
My question was whether an additional 20mm of premium aperture would outweigh the benefits of ultra-premium planetary eyepieces. 


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#12 Sandy Swede

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Posted 17 October 2021 - 01:45 PM

Is your 'dream' scope of greater aperture available and can you afford it?  If yes and yes, buy the scope given your current stable of eps.  If you are currently satisfied with your scope's aperture and are confident that you would continue to be satisfied for the foreseeable future, and can afford it, buy the ZAO.  But are you fairly confident that the 4mm would get much use given your weather?  In addition, although I love my Clavé 6mm, conditions seldom permit its use.  Then there is the 45o AFOV.  Trying to be logical here, but I must confess to lusting after a Tak 130, so not really objective here, no? 


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#13 StarAlert

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Posted 17 October 2021 - 01:46 PM

I guess stated another way, what is going to show you more? ZAOs through a TEC160 or TAK Abbe Orthos through a TEC180? 


Edited by StarAlert, 17 October 2021 - 01:49 PM.

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#14 StarDust1

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 06:36 PM

Definitely Tak Abbe Orthos through a TEC180. Aperture rules, especially if it's mounted in an observatory. Though I do love the ZAO's. I have a pair of ZAO II 16mm which give stunning views.




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