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Richard136

Eyepiece upgrade options

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Sorry if this has been asked before...

I have some Plossls, 12.4, 15, 20 and 32mm.

I also have 3 scopes. A Mak (fl = 1500), a newt (fl = 1200), and a refractor (fl = 1000).

I'd like to upgrade the eyepieces. I'd like to go wide field with the newt, mid-field with the refractor.

There's an overwhelming choice and I'm stuck.

Couple of questions:

1. There seem to be several brands that look like the same product but with a different badge. Is there a site that lists common products and brand names?

2. Am I better going with a medium brand (Baader, celestron) or Are the more expensive options really worth it? ( Televue, Pentax)

3. Any recommendations for something in the 50-82 AFOV range? I assume anything higher than 82 degrees would be distorted heavily(?)

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I'm sure there will be loads of answers to your questions in due course Richard but can I just ask a couple of further questions which may help steer the responses:

- what is the aperture of your 3 scopes so we can work our their focal ratio ?

- have you an overall budget in mind for the upgrades ?

In terms of distortions, there are 100 degree eyepieces that are very well corrected, but they do have a fairly large price tag on them of course !

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No site as best I am aware as in Q1.

I doubt that the 4mm will be of any use in any of your scopes.

Tempted to say what I ended up doing and get each of the BST Starguiders, although you likely will not need the 5mm. SO that is 5 at £49 each. Again do as I did and get one or two a month.

They are 60 degree eyepieces.

ES do the 82's, they also do a range of 68 degree eyepieces, Don't know that much detail about them but could be an option.

Barsta that make the BST's also do a 70 degree eyepiece that looks good. Unfortunately I do not know of anyone selling it here, in the US it is an Astro-Tech 70 degree EP.

If you get all from one range they tend to be close to parfocal so little refocusing when altering EP's.

Think the BST's would come out a reasonable bunch.

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Thanks guys

Scopes are f10 (Mak), f4.8 (newt) and f8.3 (refractor)

Budget is <£200. I will need to sell stuff to finance the new EPs

The current Plossls are mostly Meade series 4000s.

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£200 total or per eyepiece ? 

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BST Starguider EP`s get very good reviews on here the 15mm was voted best in class by Sky At Night magazine they come in  5,8,12,15,18 and 25mm and are £49 each i have 4 of them and i am very pleased im going to get the last two.

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Sorry john, £200 total!

I don't mind having fewer but better.

The BSTs get rave reviews so that may be the best option, but purely for the sake of being different id like to investigate other options (thanks though, wookie) . I saw a Vixen LVW in action and thought it was good, but looking at price they are not cheap.

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Richard136......Hi, not sure how well the BST's will work at f/4.8, the telescopes coma may be more visible off axis,  but no problems otherwise. Best thing with the BST's,  you can order them, try them, and buy some more if you like them, better still if you bought a pair or even three of them, and you don't like them, you do have the option to refund them?  Thats the service provided! Worth a try. Speak with Alan.

Edited by Charic

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Sorry john, £200 total!

I don't mind having fewer but better.

The BSTs get rave reviews so that may be the best option, but purely for the sake of being different id like to investigate other options (thanks though, wookie) . I saw a Vixen LVW in action and thought it was good, but looking at price they are not cheap.

Celestron X-cel they get good reviews as well similar sizes but price wise £65

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Your Meade 4000 plossls are not exactly bad eyepieces. Better than the stock ones supplied with most scopes. I'm tempted to suggest saving a bit more so you can take a bit more of a step up the eyepiece performance ladder. 

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Your Meade 4000 plossls are not exactly bad eyepieces. Better than the stock ones supplied with most scopes. I'm tempted to suggest saving a bit more so you can take a bit more of a step up the eyepiece performance ladder.

I'd concur with John here. The series 4k plossls are pretty good.

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,,,,are the Meade 4000's the [JAPAN] variants?  They were hard to find when I started, that was a set I was after, but couldn't find them anywhere. Alas, I have my BST's now, and very happy with all of them.

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Richard136......Hi, not sure how well the BST's will work at f/4.8, the telescopes coma may be more visible off axis,  but no problems otherwise. 

Well … as has been discussed at length recently, how much coma is 'noticeable' or 'unacceptable' is a personal thing - but I've not had a problem with the BSTs in my f4.8 250px. I don't have the 25mm, though, which I heard was the weakest of the bunch.

I've heard pretty good things about the Meade 4000s though...

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Maybe I should keep the 4000s I'm that case. How do I tell if they're the Japan variants?

Decisions decisions!

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Ps - re the last question, I'm guessing there's more to it than seeing the word "japan" on the barrel

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Richard, my 2p. There is nothing wrong the the BSTs and if you had stock eyepieces to upgrade from you'd welcome them even in the a scope at f4.8, but given what you have already. from what I heard about them the meade 4000 series are decent quality plossls.

With that in mind, my feeling is that if you got the BSTs you'd be more investing in a comfort upgrade with a slightly wider FOV and nice eye relief that may make the view a bit more immersive, but not sure the there would be any gain in optical performance.

Not that I ever looked through such a plossl, but I do have a SW super plossl (a bit better than the stock MAs that come with a lot of SW scopes), which I do not find to not hold  badly at all against a 25mm BST in terms of sharpness, though not as good in contrast.  As Andy said, I do own a 25mm and I do find it the weakest in my 10 inch Dob with a fair bit of astigmatism and field curvature affecting the view, but it only becomes really clear on carefully chosen targets where you use most of the FOV, it is still very useable eyepiece though. Also at f/5 these issues can still be seen in my smaller DOB with the 25mm. The 15mm is my favourite in that bunch out of the 3 I own. 

Edited by AlexB67
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I would also have a look at this review.

http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=1914

They are essentially the same eyepieces, and I always point to that review since it tallies mostly with what I  think/feel about them, but that is just my opinion. That being said, these things can be subjective somewhat. There are also a few reviews comparing the BST eyepieces to others and some rather more expensive illustrious names, and get they glowing reviews against them in some cases depending on the scope you put them in.

Edited by AlexB67

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I have the 26mm Japanese Meade plossl and it's a very decent EP. It has Japan written on the barrel. Not much in it between that and my 25mm TV plossl, very slight difference in contrast and a slightly different hue.

Have you considered the 2nd hand market. Astronomers tend in general to be a pretty decent lot who look after their kit, about a quarter of my EPs are 2nd hand and they've all been in excellent condition.

Cheers

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