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Difference in EP's ($$$)


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I have a 200p Dob - with the supplied set of EP's and a 2x Barlow.

I have read many many posts about people buying new replacement EP's.

Generally I know in this hobby the more $ you pay the better the quality etc etc.

However if I bought a £50 EP - what/how is this better than the EP's supplied?

Is the image crisper, sharper, increased color?

How does the more $$ EP's give this - through - better glass / angles / more polished?

Just interested to know what the difference is that I will see before splashing the cash.

Thanks

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Generally as you increase in price you'l get crisper views, then wider views, then crisper wider views, then crisper ridiculously wide views.

By crisp, i mean slightly better contrast and less haze (you might not notice these things until you try the new ep). Some eps will have smaller areas of crispness, fading to softer focus at the edge of the field of view, and the distance until the soft area is generally what makes the difference. Cheap eps can give great views, but if they turn soft in the outer 50% of the field of view then they won't be very pleasing to the eye.

So you can have cheap crisp views over a small fov (orthos/plossl), wider views with poorer edge performance (£30-50 "wide-field" jobbies), wider views with good edge performance (hyperions), and crazy televiews that give massive fields and sharpness edge to edge.

Lots of things affect the quality, from glass used, how accurately it's figured, number of elements, blackened lense edges, coatings, baffling, field stops etc... All of these things will affect manufacture costs and build quality.

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All of wot he said! Plus, something like a BST Explorer with it's much larger occular lens is a lot more comfortable to look through for long periods.

I would suggest that rather than replace the EPs, you start by filling in the gaps first. Something like a 12 or 15mm is a really nice mid range eyepiece, that will get more use than the 10mm and in terms of the BSTs, works really well in an F6 Dob on Globs and the like.

Russell

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All of wot he said! Plus, something like a BST Explorer with it's much larger occular lens is a lot more comfortable to look through for long periods.

I would suggest that rather than replace the EPs, you start by filling in the gaps first. Something like a 12 or 15mm is a really nice mid range eyepiece, that will get more use than the 10mm and in terms of the BSTs, works really well in an F6 Dob on Globs and the like.

Russell

I agree entirely with Russell, fill the gaps first, and spend a lot of time getting to know the eyepieces, slowly you can replace when you can afford it.

It has been said on here quite a lot that as you spend more, you get diminishing returns, having said that, the difference between a ~£700 and ~£10 eyepiece is huge, but it's up to you whether that huge difference is worth it, to some it isn't, but to some it is.

Don't take anything too quickly.

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There's also eye relief - that is how far you have to put your eye from the eyepiece for it to work. A lot of people, myself included, don't like shoving their eye right up against a lens and will pay more for an eyepiece that has better eye relief.

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Another good way to go with eps is to buy a cheap zoom (£50 or so). While the fov wont be very wide, generally optical quality is good in the skywatcher/celestron/seben 8-24mm. It's a good way to find which focal lengths you'd use, and then you can think about buying some nice ones in those focal lengths.

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Pretty much what others said.

I'll add, there is a diminishing return for any equipment. The biggest change for eyepiece is between £10-£150. After that you will only get marginal improvement. A £100 eyepiece can be much better than a £50 eyepiece, but the differences between a £200 and a £400 eyepiece may be marginal.

£10 will get you plastic eyepieces, £30 will get you decent plossl with good quality plastic and metal, £50 buys you better eye relief, £100 get you wider field, £150 get you a sharp ultra wide.... However, the £150 UWA may not be as good as a £70 ortho on axis, but the latter will have a much narrower field.

Also as the price increases, you get more specialised eyepieces. Some tries to maximise the contrast and resolution in a very narrow field, others are designed to give you a space walk experience.

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Generally as you increase in price you'l get crisper views, then wider views, then crisper wider views, then crisper ridiculously wide views.

By crisp, i mean slightly better contrast and less haze (you might not notice these things until you try the new ep). Some eps will have smaller areas of crispness, fading to softer focus at the edge of the field of view, and the distance until the soft area is generally what makes the difference. Cheap eps can give great views, but if they turn soft in the outer 50% of the field of view then they won't be very pleasing to the eye.

So you can have cheap crisp views over a small fov (orthos/plossl), wider views with poorer edge performance (£30-50 "wide-field" jobbies), wider views with good edge performance (hyperions), and crazy televiews that give massive fields and sharpness edge to edge.

Lots of things affect the quality, from glass used, how accurately it's figured, number of elements, blackened lense edges, coatings, baffling, field stops etc... All of these things will affect manufacture costs and build quality.

Agreed. Well, apart from the Hyperion bit. They're not what I'd call good on edge performance going on the comments on here...

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some good comments already. my take on this is that generally the slower your scope the less you need to spend on eyepieces to get good views.

to get the best views, your budget will buy them. a Televue Plossl or a BGO will be had for about that cost and they will provide views as sharp, crisp, contrasty and detailed as anything else on the market.

more expensive eyepieces only provide wider field and to get the very best images (visually) over a wider and wider field costs more and more money. all eyepieces have different characteristics like more or less eye relief, different types of eye cup etc. top names like Televue, Pentax and to some extent Baader all retain their values well non the used market and an exit route is a good thing to consider either if you get skint or you want to change in the future.

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You should try to get a look through someone else's before you buy!

The more expensive eyepieces will perform great in every scope and therefore can last a lifetime. The cheaper to produce models can perform excellently in in f10 SCT but very poorly in an f4-f5 newt.

Generally speaking there is no such thing as a bad Televue or Pentax, there are some very good Baader, Celestron, Vixen etc. then at the bottom of the pile are the ones given away for free with your scope. These are generally pretty poor and often not even matched to the scope they are supplied with. Skywatcher for example tend to give the same 25mm and 10mm and barlow whether you are buying a small refractor, a Mak or a huge Dob....

Look secondhand for bargains, better brands have a good reputation for a reason and if possible meet up with a local group and try out some of their nice eyepieces before deciding what you want for yourself.

Cheers

Stuart

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Secondhand makes a lot sense with eyepieces, it means you can look at more premium brands for the same money or at least close to.

If you want new there are good examples at each price band. The BST Explorer really does rule the roost in the sub-£50 bracket and works well in scopes down to F5 (possibly better than the Hyperion). While the new Celestron X-Cel LX line are really proving to be something quite special at £60, so much so that i would say the Hyperion line look positively over-priced and out of touch. The Meade 5000 Ultrawide series are a massive bargain at the moment if you have £116, especially as this is the point where the diminishing returns cut in. Above the Meade 5000 UWA you are only getting small gains from the top brands.

As you can tell, not a huge fan of the Hyperion. Better eyepieces for only a little more and arguably equally good eyepieces for quite a bit less.

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Whilst on the other hand I am a fan of Hyperions, and that's based on experience of using them, not repeating what others have posted elsewhere. I've used them for a couple of years now and the BSTs / X-Cel LXs don't offer me anything more to change, in fact quite the reverse. Hyperions have a wider field of view, screw thread for camera adaptors, and with fine tuning rings allows me to take maximum advantage of the viewing conditions. Not to mention that since they've been around for a while they do come up for sale from £65. My telescope is F6 and they work perfectly well, so the issues they have in faster telescopes are irrelevant to me.

I'd quite like to try a Meade 5k UWA but funds don't allow it, so for me the Hyperions are still a very valid option.

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