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Rebranded ES 82° eyepieces.


JED-E3
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I just noticed these on Opticstars website.

I'm quite surprised to see it I must say, though the prices aren't too tempting especially if the Explore Scientific ones hold their value better.

James.

I was curious about those as well. They certainly look very much like the ES 82 degree range and the specifications seem to match. I suppose it's like Skywatcher Nirvana 82 degree eyepieces and the William Optics UWAN's - the same eyepiece but the WO branding may just hold it's value a little better ?

The pricing of the Optistar branded 82's is pretty much the same as First Light Optics have the ES branded versions at so I reckon most folks would choose the ES branded ones.

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I have to say it looks very much like a clone from where I am sitting but if I were going to go for one I would take the ExSc version though most of them are only cloned Meade 5000 series UWA's, the exception being the 11mm, the 18mm by what I managed to read is the same as the Meade in a different fitting, though personally I am not so sure.

One reason I buy TeleVue is the fact that they are not sold in 4 different skirts, though I accept they are dear and sadly out of reach for many, some may not even think they are worth the outlay too.

alan.

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Given the ES provides 95-105% (the 95-105 depends on who you ask) of the viewing performance for half the price I'm among those who think TVs aren't worth it compared to what ES sells.

As to clones of ESes, I can't speak for ES-europe, but in the US the ES EPs have a lifetime warranty (an even better one than Televue offers) so I wouldn't buy a clone that was priced at all similarly that didn't carry such a warranty.

And AFAIK the ES EPs aren't quite clones of Meade 5ks either.... even the older ones-here's a comparison of an older ES 6.7 to a Meade 5k 6.7 for example-

http://www.cloudynights.com/page/articles/cat/user-reviews/eyepieces/eyepieces-3mm-13mm/meade-uwa-and-explore-scientific-67mm-82-degree-wide-field-eyepieces-r2118

Measured AFOV and ER are not identical (nor is weight or length though those you could chalk up to a housing difference)

The newer ESes are even more different with the N2 or AR purging and being waterproof/sealed, and comparisons usually describe observable differences through the two (with the ES usually slightly ahead in the comparisons)

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I know the Meade 5000 uwa are internally/optically similar to the ES uwa but the Opticstar ones are externally identical. 

I thought Explore Scientific was trying to position themselves as a Televue competitor at the higher end of the market and it seems like someone else selling the exact same product with a different name printed on it kind of undermines their brand and makes them look like badge engineers. 

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I know the Meade 5000 uwa are internally/optically similar to the ES uwa but the Opticstar ones are externally identical.

I thought Explore Scientific was trying to position themselves as a Televue competitor at the higher end of the market and it seems like someone else selling the exact same product with a different name printed on it kind of undermines their brand and makes them look like badge engineers.

Well put and my thoughts too
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Given the ES provides 95-105% (the 95-105 depends on who you ask) of the viewing performance for half the price I'm among those who think TVs aren't worth it compared to what ES sells......

Thats fine and probably a choice that a good few folks are making for similar reasons.

Presumably you feel that Pentax, Zeiss, Brandon, Leica and Doctor eyepieces are also overpriced and not for you either as they all cost somewhat more than the ES equivilents ?

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Kurtz9,

I put a review out about the 24mm Meade SWA and the 24mm Panoptic in some of my scopes. I didn't do a great deal of viewing in my then new 18 inch Dob and didn't write about the results but in my opinion 95% as good seems a bit of an exaggeration.  This eyepiece has the same optical elements as the ExSc and was not very good at F4.3, I don't know if the coatings are different but if they are the Meade could even be better than the ExSc.

For anyone to say it was 95% as good as the Panoptic would indeed be paying it a big compliment, at F 10 though I would call it 90% as good and lets face it thats good enough for many.

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Kurtz9,

I put a review out about the 24mm Meade SWA and the 24mm Panoptic in some of my scopes. I didn't do a great deal of viewing in my then new 18 inch Dob and didn't write about the results but in my opinion 95% as good seems a bit of an exaggeration.  This eyepiece has the same optical elements as the ExSc and was not very good at F4.3, I don't know if the coatings are different but if they are the Meade could even be better than the ExSc.

For anyone to say it was 95% as good as the Panoptic would indeed be paying it a big compliment, at F 10 though I would call it 90% as good and lets face it thats good enough for many.

I haven't tried the meade personally... but I have tried both the TV panoptic 24mm and the ES-68 24.  In an F10 scope.

And the ES was at least 95% as good as the TV EP, a bit better in some regards and a bit worse in others, but extremely close overall... for half the price.

I'm hardly the only person to reach such conclusions of course...

Detailed 24-26mm EP comparison including Meade, ES, Televue, plus Zeiss, Brandon, and others.... across several scopes of different speeds.
There's a ton of data here- but you'll want to scroll down to the section headed:
d) Category-IV Results: ** Impressions Observing Celestial Targets **
There is a chart of the overall score of each EP on different types of targets (bright star fields/clusters, dim ones, moon, galaxies, planets, sun, etc)
The ES actually beats the Panoptic in several categories, and ties it several others, scoring higher overall.
The Meade does better than the Panoptic too, so YMMV I suppose.
If you read down to the conclusion you find this:
"As an owner of the TV Panoptic used in this comparison, and as much as I hate to say it, I feel of the three wide fields the TV Panoptic would come in last "
That's in the 68 degree FOV category.... I've seen quite a few comparisons in the 82 and 100 degree lines (ES82 and ES100 vs Nagler and Ethos) with similar results... in the ES100/Ethos one especially I find quite a few people who find the ES not only as good, but often better, than the Ethos.
Of course any given observer might prefer any one of the 3 over the other 2... but objectively the evidence seems to be they're awfully close to one another overall in everything except price, where both Meade and ES are the winners by a mile.

Thats fine and probably a choice that a good few folks are making for similar reasons.

Presumably you feel that Pentax, Zeiss, Brandon, Leica and Doctor eyepieces are also overpriced and not for you either as they all cost somewhat more than the ES equivilents ?

FWIW going back to that big comparison- Both of the cheaper 68 degree EPs also beat the Brandon in 4 of the 7 categories, tying in a 5th, and losing in 2 (planets and color fidelity)
The Zeiss crushes everything in every category- but given the fact you've got to trade a kidney for one this is unsurprising.
I haven't tested either brand personally-  I'm not a huge fan of the narrow FOVs involved for one, especially in a low-magnification FL...  and the Zeiss are made out of unobtanium at this point anyway.
I'm not a fan of the weird threading Vernonscope uses either... but I might pick up a higher-mag Brandon at some point for planetary use just to see what all the fuss is about.
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You could argue that the BST Explorer / Starguider eyepieces (Astro Tech Paradigm or Agena Starguider in the USA) offer 95% or more of the performance of the ES 68 degree range as well and they are around 50% of the price of the ES's.

Then the GSO plossls probably offer 95% of the performance of the Starguiders for another chunk of cash saved.

Where do you stop ?

I guess the answer is where you and your budget feel comfortable :smiley:

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You could argue that the BST Explorer / Starguider eyepieces (Astro Tech Paradigm or Agena Starguider in the USA) offer 95% or more of the performance of the ES 68 degree range as well and they are around 50% of the price of the ES's.

Then the GSO plossls probably offer 95% of the performance of the Starguiders for another chunk of cash saved.

Where do you stop ?

I guess the answer is where you and your budget feel comfortable :smiley:

well, I think one difference is, in ES vs TV, you're comparing apples to apples.... same AFOV, and generally about the SAME overall performance really.    The ES does some things better, the TV does some things better...but only slightly in both cases... they're awfully close in everything but price.

Comparing an 82 degree EP to a 50 degree EP is rather more apples and oranges.

But I'm not sure the 95% each step down thing really holds for the examples you're giving...

I haven't tried a BST personally, but apparently they're often compared to the Celestron Xcel... with the Xcel often coming out ahead there-

http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/123784-celestron-x-cel-lx-v-bst-explorer-eyepiece/

When I did my own comparisons a Celestron Xcel was in the mix - and it was nowhere NEAR 95% as good.  Or anywhere near 90% as good.  It'd be tough for me to go back and put an exact # on it, but it was a large, immediately obvious,  difference in quality.  The quality difference was much nearer the price difference there.  Since my testing was done with the intent to decide what EPs I wanted to invest my own money in the xcel went into the reject pile compared to the ES.

The xcel wasn't even the best Celestron EP tested that night.

A celestron Ultima Duo was also in the mix (more directly comparable to the ES68, same AFOV)... and while it was definitely noticeably better than the Xcel, it was still noticeably worse than the ES (or TV) EPs.... maybe 75% the performance?  Which makes sense given it's around 75% the price of the ES.

And the celstron plossls that came with my 9.25 scope were simply awful compared to the ES/TV stuff... or nearly any of the other actual-cost-money EPs honestly.... not that I'm holding up Celestron plossls as anything great... we also tested a televue plossl, and that was a lot better than the celestron plossls too... but then it should be given it also cost about 75% as much as the comparable 82 degree FOV ES EP.

In my testing every time the price went up, the quality went up very noticeably.... until I got to the ES eyepieces.

After that, the more expensive EPs in the test (Televue, and a Baader zoom which is a bit of a special case) did NOT offer a noticeable/significant improvement while costing  a lot more.

The only non-wide-FOV EPs that were even close enough to the ES/TV in overall visual quality that we had to compare them at all extensively were the Vixens.... pricing there is pretty close to the mid-short FL ES82s...  and ultimately we decided we preferred the wider AFOVs the ESes offered.

For folks shopping in that price range who prefer narrow FOV though the Vixens were pretty nice.

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Anywhoo....  sorry for the digression... but since the original topic was about 82 degree EPs... that really takes stuff like plossls and the BST/Celestron stuff out of the mix anyway.

There you've basically got Meade, ES (and apparently its clones now), and Televue.... (and probably brands I'm ignorant of, by all means let me know who else sells quality 82 AFOV EPs... I know celestron had the luminos line but they were kind of terrible....)

In my opinion, and that of quite a lot of others, the ES EPs offer comparable performance (and in the US anyway a better warranty too) for half the price of TVs offering.  I certainly could afford TV EPs, I just don't see any value in them compared to the comparable ES ones.

I can't personally speak to the meades, though it seems like they're using an older design (more similar to the old-model ESes) and lack the gas purge/waterproof feature that most won't care about- and their warranty is horrible compared to ES (again in the US anyway).... optical quality is still probably in the same ballpark as ES/TV though, but with pricing being able the same as ES I'd go for the newer designed body and better warranty from ES.

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Interesting that you should mention Vixen. They have a new 83 degree design that is due out soon (hopefully). I suspect the pricing will closer to Naglers than ES 82's though.

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I have tried just the one ExSc eyepiece last year, the 4.7mm and it was not as good as the 4.5mm Delos or the 5mm XW in my scopes with my eyes, however it was a very good eyepiece. I agree that it was close and I said so in my review. Any improvement will be small between front runners, just like the gap between the top orthoscopics is and as always small improvement seem to cost a great deal. I do not agree that they are as good  and I have not actually read anything that states they are. The Panoptics are getting old now and may well not be as good as some but I will not sell my 24mm and it seems many others hold on to them as well, I was using it last night, it is a fabulous eyepiece. I am not happy to pay the extra for TV and Pentax and Nikon if they were more readly available, but I do.

In many ways it is a very good thing that the likes of ExSc and now Vixen are pushing hard to be as good, it makes everything in the marketplace better for all no matter what you buy, it could even twist the arm of TV to have another promotion.

Alan

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ES seems to offer consistent performance, who knows if the rebrands will.... ES 82 will compete with Naglers pretty much- but the Delos and Ethos are in a different ( better) league. As far as can be seen no one ( well one) matches the Ethos - great glass, matched coatings, no EOFB and superb contrast and of course this is in the widefield category. I for one can see many differences between many eyepieces- test a 17mm Ethos against an 18mm ES on M42 under excellent conditions with good optics- the view will speak for itself. :smiley:

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 I do not agree that they are as good  and I have not actually read anything that states they are. The Panoptics are getting old now and may well not be as good as some but I will not sell my 24mm and it seems many others hold on to them as well, I was using it last night, it is a fabulous eyepiece.

But I just quoted someone saying the ES was actually better than the equivalent Televue EP in their testing- and they did pretty detailed testing.

ES seems to offer consistent performance, who knows if the rebrands will.... ES 82 will compete with Naglers pretty much- but the Delos and Ethos are in a different ( better) league. As far as can be seen no one ( well one) matches the Ethos - great glass, matched coatings, no EOFB and superb contrast and of course this is in the widefield category. I for one can see many differences between many eyepieces- test a 17mm Ethos against an 18mm ES on M42 under excellent conditions with good optics- the view will speak for itself.  :smiley:

Again- if you search around you'll find quite a few folks who prefer the ES100 to the Ethos when they have directly compared.... so no, they're not in a different league at all.

Just like the 68 and 82 class ones, they're very very close to each other... each doing something slightly better than the other....The ES68-24 vs Panoptic for example the panoptic was slightly sharper at the edges but the ES had better light transmission..... and which you prefer will depend on which elements you prefer in your viewing.

By the way- ES doesn't make a 100 degree in 18mm... so it's not possible you tested an 18mm 100 degree ES against an Ethos.

And if you were comparing an 82 degree 18mm ES to a 100 degree Ethos, that's apples and oranges.

ES in 100 makes a 14 and a 20 though.  I own both, and they're outstanding.  And you can absolutely find folks who prefer the ES14 over the Ethos in 13

http://www.cloudynights.com/topic/470899-one-more-time-ethos-13mm-vs-es-10014/

Here for example of the folks who've tried both- most preferred the ES-100 over the Ethos... better ER and virtually identical viewing.

In that same thread though one of the people who preferred the ES over the TV in that FL also preferred the TV over the ES in a different FL.

Because, again, they're very very close, with tiny differences, so which you prefer will depend not even just on the viewer, but on the mag and what you're using it for.

(it was a much higher mag he liked the TV in, but even then he mentions the ES is still excellent)

Folks who insist the TVs are "clearly and vastly" better either haven't actually done an apples-apples compare, or they're just trying to justify the extra $ they spent.

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The many people who own and use Ethos don't need to dig up old threads to justify their ownership, nevermind over ES.  Having excellent skies can and does bring out the larger differences between eyepieces and when differences are small or not seen, I wonder if poor skies or optics are to blame?

As has been said the "Zeiss crushes everything" with its small FOV, so comparing a good quality 18mm 82deg to a 17mm 100 deg doesn't seem unreasonable. I must say that the differences between my 16mm T5 Nagler and the ES 18 82 are small- with a slight advantage to the TV. For some reason the 18mm ES wouldn't split the Double Double the other night in the 10" dob whereas the 17mm Ethos did, maybe the extra 1mm made a difference? ( BTW the 16mm T5 did).

It seems as if TV is the standard to which many compare other eyepieces to, this must make Mr Nagler feel pretty good! :smiley:

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The many people who own and use Ethos don't need to dig up old threads to justify their ownership, nevermind over ES.  Having excellent skies can and does bring out the larger differences between eyepieces and when differences are small or not seen, I wonder if poor skies or optics are to blame?

No, apparently they justify it by just declaring "it's better" despite folks who have actually directly compared not agreeing with em

I wonder if cognitive dissonance is to blame :)

As has been said the "Zeiss crushes everything" with its small FOV, so comparing a good quality 18mm 82deg to a 17mm 100 deg doesn't seem unreasonable. I must say that the differences between my 16mm T5 Nagler and the ES 18 82 are small- with a slight advantage to the TV. For some reason the 18mm ES wouldn't split the Double Double the other night in the 10" dob whereas the 17mm Ethos did, maybe the extra 1mm made a difference? ( BTW the 16mm T5 did).

It seems as if TV is the standard to which many compare other eyepieces to, this must make Mr Nagler feel pretty good!  :smiley:

It's unreasonable because they're different lines from the same makers who offer both types of EPs.

Zeiss never made 82 or 100 degree lines so you can't compare those directly in the same way.

But TV and ES -do- make identical lines across 68, 82, and 100 FOVs.

So the fairest comparisons are the ES68s versus the TV Panoptics... the ES82s versus the Naglers... and the ES100s versus the Ethos.

And as I've pointed out- usually when people directly compare, there's no "clear winner" on either side across the board.

Some folks prefer TV.... Some prefer ES... and a few see no significant differences at all.

But almost universally those who have actually compared the two do not note huge differences.

Other than price of course.

Heck, in your own post even you admit when you do that (directly compare the most comparable EPs between them) the difference is small.

If you personally prefer the little things the nagler does better....and find that's worth paying twice as much, knock yourself out....

Others prefer the little things the ES does better, plus the fact they get similar performance for a lot less cost.

I'd certainly encourage folks to try both if they have the opportunity to and decide for themselves..... that's what I did, and that's why I own the ESes and the televues got returned.

I could see the small things each did better.... (generally same as what is noted elsewhere- the TV gives slightly sharper edge of FOV stars, the ES gives slightly better light transmission) and not only were the differences small, with a slight preference on my part for the brighter views, the fact the ES was half the price made the choice even easier.

TV is generally the benchmark because in most of these widefield classes they were first to market-  So everyone will always want to know if a new entry is a worthwhile alternatve.

Sometimes- like Celestrons 82 degree EPs- the answer is no- they're not a worthwhile alternative, performance is significantly inferior.

Sometimes- like the ES lines in 68, 82, and 100- the answer is yes.... it is a worthwhile alternative, performance is very comparable, and one would do well to try both if they can before buying, but either will offer outstanding results.

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Kurtz,I'm glad you agree the ES 82 and Nagler 82 are direct comparisons, the up graded Ethos/Delos are not IMHO. To each their own though. My own comparisons are made from good stable skies or nicely dark ones. I do like ES 82's and own them, the 30mm is an excellent eyepiece for its job- large nebulae ie North American, Pelican etc. I also like the 18mm BCO that gives better contrast than the ES 82 18mm, at a small FOV however.

To the OP, if those rebrands are made to the same standard as the ES 82,then they will be good eyepieces, it may be worth trying them first though.

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It is so strange.


While JOC made Meade's UWA and SWA eyepieces they also set up Explore Scientific as an outlet for their optics and a direct competitor to Meade. Relations between Meade and JOC turned sour. Meade cancelled their last order for SWAs and UWAs and moved their eyepiece production to Kunming United Optics. (JOC dumped the SWAs and UWAs originally made for Meade as Maxvision Eyepieces.)


Now, JOC forces ES to compete with their very own 82° line. Why? It can't be that ES has been selling the eyepieces too slowly. Half the time they've been on back order. Really, JOC has a hard time keeping up with the demand.


I don't think ES is going to be very happy with the Opticstar XL 82° taking out part of their market share.

Edited by Ruud
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Kurtz,I'm glad you agree the ES 82 and Nagler 82 are direct comparisons, the up graded Ethos/Delos are not IMHO. To each their own though. My own comparisons are made from good stable skies or nicely dark ones. I do like ES 82's and own them, the 30mm is an excellent eyepiece for its job- large nebulae ie North American, Pelican etc. I also like the 18mm BCO that gives better contrast than the ES 82 18mm, at a small FOV however.

To the OP, if those rebrands are made to the same standard as the ES 82,then they will be good eyepieces, it may be worth trying them first though.

The Ethos is comparable to the ES-100 series... (and as noted by many, they're very close- with many such as in the link I provided preferring the ES over the TV, and some preferring the TV).  They're certainly close enough in visual quality, while far apart in price, that I'd again encourage folks to try both before buying either if they get the chance.

For the Delos- those are a line of 72 degree long-ER EPs in shorter FLs (they don't go any higher than 17.3) from TV...

If you're someone who needs a good bit of ER for higher mag EPs the Delos is a great option- and there is no equivalent option at all from ES there.

But for the Panoptics, Naglers, and Ethos, there is.

The EPs I most often see compared to the Delos are the Pentax XWs... no cost savings there though compared to TV

For the OP- I agree if they're ES82 copies they'll be excellent- my concern would be paying prices similar to the original without getting the same support/warranty as the original.... though if they're being bought in Europe that might be less of an issue as I don't think ES europe offers the same lifetime warranty ES does here.

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I'd avoid the copies. Even if they are nominally optically identical and possibly even made in the same factory there can still be a vast difference in quality control. Now that's probably fine if you're buying Chinese binoculars that are copies of something with a decent name; then you can stand in the shop and go through them pair by pair until you get a good pair. On the other hand these eyepieces are only a few pounds cheaper and it's not practical to do that same quick test to see if they are up to standard.

Chinese manufacture can be brilliant and extremely good value but unless you are willing to pay a premium for someone to do some decent quality control then you are taking that responsibility on yourself and in this case I'd say the saving isn't worth it.

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Now, JOC forces ES to compete with their very own 82° line. Why? It can't be that ES has been selling the eyepieces too slowly.

It can be. The prices on ES products went up earlier this year, at least in the US and now you can easily buy the best ES82s like the 11mm and 8.8mm practically everywhere. No backordered ES82s or ES68s anymore. The only ES82 eyepiece that backordered forever is the 18mm. So, I'm sure their sales slowed down.

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