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Planetary eyepiece advice


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Hi everyone,

I need a high power EP for my 8" f/5.9 dob, and I was almost decided to buy a 8mm Astro-Tech Paradigm (CDN$70 at my local retailer), but somebody told me about 8mm Baader Hyperion with the fine tune rings (CDN$140). I know Hyperions have better ER (20mm vs 13mm Paradigm) and larger FOV (68* vs 60* Paradigm). Obviously with Baader H you got practically 4EPs, but does the EP quality jusify the price difference (I mean putting aside potential accessories - fine tuning rings, are Hyperions better quality than Paradigms)? Did somebody have the chance to compare them ?

Thank you

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Hello and welcome to the forum :smiley:

Actually I think the Paradigm will work better in your F/5.9 dob. The Hyperions are not so great when scopes get faster than around F/7 - their edge correction is not too good in faster scopes.

The William Optics SPL's are worth considering too - the 6mm would give you 200x with your scope which should be a useful high power if the seeing conditions are anywhere near decent.

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Agreed. Hyperions aren't nice eyepieces on faster scopes. At f/5 they're awful: very astigmatic around the outer half or so of the field. You're at f/6, which will help but I don't know how much. I'd steer clear of them for Dob use. If you ever get a larger, faster, scope you won't be able to use them should you buy them. If you're looking to spend >100 bucks on an eyepiece then check out the 82 degree Explore Scientific series. They are nice with faster scopes and the eye relief is adequate. I was using the 14 mm last night on Jupiter and it works very well indeed.

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Both in my 4" f/10 and 10" f/5, I find my Hyperion 5mm a rather lumpy and shoddy EP and glad that it was given to me rather than ever purchased.

By way of suggestions on 'planetary' eyepieces, I find The BGOs (Baader Genuine Orthos) are superbly executed and not only limited to planetary viewing. The only reason they are not classed as premium eyepieces is simply because they lack the important and more expensive features of premium EPs, viz, wide fields and more comforting eye-relief. The same can equally be said of Televue Plossls, which provide sharp, high contrast and bright on-axis performance. I figure, some EPs may be able to equal them on these features but are not going to outperform them.

Personally, I don't have a problem with eye-relief but I can appreciate some might have and evidently, wider FOV is nice in scopes that do not track and for wide objects or framing the image but if budget was an issue, I'd recommend BGOs for 12mm and shorter focal lengths and for 15mm and up, Televue Plossls (8mm does seem a little tight). The BGOs aren't manufactured anymore, but if you avoid the UK craze at the moment, you should be able to pick both kinds up on the secondmarket for about £50 to £80 (indeed, I just bought a 7mm BGO for €35 - about (£30). If budget weren't an issue I'd settle for Delos or Pentax XWs for shorter focal lengths and a couple of Naglers :grin: . The Explore Scientific 82º and 100º EPs get a really nice look in at the moment but it will be interesting to see how the reviews pan out in a few years time.

Edited by Qualia
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The hyperion 17mm that i have does have its draw backs.

I would estimate 20% of the edge suffers from distortion, astigmatic stars and light fall off.

My scope is F/6. I still enjoy using it though, with its 68 degree FOV and nice eye relief.

Paul.

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Thumbs up for the WO SPL 6mm.

Better than nice, it's fab for the money.

Night before last wasn't brilliant seeing, but still good definition on Saturn with Cassini division and North Equatorial Belt, very impressive.

Cheers

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I have an F5 and the 8mm Hyp works fine with very little edge issue.

It's never easy? I am of two minds as to whether to "abandon" my remaining Hyperion (17mm), and get into a different manufacturer. I will keep my "31 Aspheric" out of curiousity (performance?) and sentiment! Maybe even buy a 10mm? Mostly with a MAK150 in mind though... :)

But I am left wondering, what is *significantly* better in the price range? Edge aberrations get worse with increasing focal length. Hyperions are "awful" at F5, but maybe less bad <= 17mm? Frankly, they never really produced an LVW clone beyond 17mm? They (opinion of them) "degraded" with time? Like most of us! :p

The WO SPLs (and other WO stuff) do look NICE though. I just read a review that suggested they were "equaled" by TMB planetaries - Whether that is also true of the (much-discussed? LOL) TS/HR clones (I have) who knows? OP is "lucky" to have an F6 DOB. So many issues seem to "go away" with a modest slowing of the scope. Collimation as the cube of f-number, false colour (more) in budget Achromats. Like bench-marking PCs, no point having the latest peripherals, if your CPU is "2000s"! One day a Delos? ;)

Thankful to escape into Video Astronomy. No eyepieces, but a whole load of other "decisions" to make. :D

Edited by Macavity
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I use a range of Hyperions in my F6 200P dob and they give me good views of the night sky. Their modular design with the use of fine tuning rings, means I can get the most from the viewing conditions on any particular night. The FTRs were very handy the other night to give me great views of Jupiter. On Saturn the 8mm on it's own was all I needed.

When I was considering upgrading my eyepieces I very seriously considered BSTs as well as more expensive brands. I decided that Hyperions offered me the features I wanted within my budget. My eyepiece case now has 6 Hyperions and I am very happy with them all.

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I use my 8mm BST to look at Jupiter and Saturn at the moment and i am getting great views i could do with getting the 5mm which i will do when finances improve and a better Barlow although the one that came with the scope isn't doing that bad, i have seen the Cassini division so i am getting great views.

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When I was considering upgrading my eyepieces I very seriously considered BSTs as well as more expensive brands. I decided that Hyperions offered me the features I wanted within my budget.
Yes, I sense the issues are different for "upgraders", and new purchasers. Sometimes best to stick with a known performer. Of course, if you can *dramatically* upgrade, why not! But I think I overplayed the "eyepiece tango", and never really reached Nirvana - On my budget. In a practical sense, not the well-known eyepiece or the "philosophical" etc. :p
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But I am left wondering, what is *significantly* better in the price range? Edge aberrations get worse with increasing focal length. Hyperions are "awful" at F5, but maybe less bad <= 17mm?

I bought the 13 mm via mail-order, used it for 15 minutes, and sent it back the next day. I ordered a 14 mm ES 82 degree to replace it. The ES was 20 dollars cheaper and radically outperformed the Hyperion in every way.

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Perhaps you have higher standards for visual than I do, I doubt I know any different to recognise the issues mentioned earlier in the thread. What I do know is that when I use my Hyperions in my 8" dob I've enjoyed the views and have had many 'wow' moments. That's based on 3 years of using them. I particularly like the 68 degree fov which reduces the need for nudging, allowing targets to drift peacefully by. All this from £65-£75 'preloved'.

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I bought the 13 mm via mail-order, used it for 15 minutes, and sent it back the next day. I ordered a 14 mm ES 82 degree to replace it. The ES was 20 dollars cheaper and radically outperformed the Hyperion in every way.

ES *do* seem to be gathering a (perhaps exceptionally so!) reputation. But, you have to work hard to get to the "straight dope" on eyepieces? Of the Hyperion ilk, I was intrigued by the recent "TS Expanse" eyepieces - "Good to F5"! Google translate, plus mediocre German revealed this to be a tad circumspect? As ever there was talk of "vested interests", eyepieces being "returned to supplier". Even "Monday Morning" jobs? Evidently, Germans drink over the weekend, rather than Friday lunchtimes? LOL. But even of repackaging of surplus Hyperion innards? <G> I came to TRUST some eyepiece reviews / reviewers though. :)

Importantly, I genuinely believe you! Noone (me, anyway) likes to be told their equipment is "awful", I guess - Even if true. Caught me off guard? No desire to impune your judgement / experience. I still / ever find the whole topic a tad depressing though... :p

I had THOUGHT of asking a whole load of questions re. eyepiece performance in fast scopes. Light cones? Barlows? Coma Correctors? Not ME this time! But if someone else, of an enquiring mind? Eyepiece technology moves on. New brands. New Eyepieces. I wouldn't mind a refresher course? ;)

Edited by Macavity
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OK to be devils advocate...I have an ES eyepiece and the 82 FOV is actually too large IMHO..So you cannot see the whole view in one go..

The Hyps at 68deg is the largest view you can see in one go..

Just a personal view...but to show there are different ways of looking at things..

Mark

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There is only one planetary EP IMHO that is worth having and that would be the Baader Genuine Ortho's. Granted their prices have gone up over the past few months due to them being hard to source new but I still think they are worth their some what inflated 2nd hand costs.

I almost made the mistake of letting my 5mm BGO (x200 in 200P) go for a second time but thank god I had a night of good seeing that reminded me why I put up with straining to see through that tiny lens.

I have my beloved 3-6 Nagler which suits me for chasing the seeing in being able to vary my magnification at the twist of the dial but when the skies do play ball and it's all down to how much detail is apparent the BGO is quite simply untouchable for the money. It's a sad shame that they are not available to all in that people who wear spectacles can't use them and for those others who simply find them a struggle to look through.

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It's true: you can't see the whole field of an 82 degree in one go. I agree that after about 60 degrees the extra apparent field provides a diminishing return. I'm as happy looking through a Radian as through an Ethos (not that I own an Ethos). But if you're good with the eye-relief then the 82 degrees field isn't doing any harm.

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At the 8mm focal length, perhaps consider the Pentax XF 8.5mm, which is a very sharp EP indeed, and surprisingly it is cheaper than the TV Radian 8mm. In a direct comparison, the XF was better. The XF8.5 is one of my favourite planetary EPs, and holds its own between the two XWs I have.

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