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A couple of questions about  ep quality v price, the question is is there always direct link between quality and price? prices vary so much from very cheap to expensive, does paying more money always get you a better product and is the difference in quality that noticeable also what difference would i notice between the cheap and expensive, i understand that to an extent you get what you pay for but is the extra money going to get you a little or a lot of improvement? What are the brands/manufacturers that give the best bang for your buck? Thing is there are so many ways to waste money for the novice in this hobby.

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Diminishing returns At the lower end of the market spending more will bring noticeable improvements. However as you get into the more expensive eyepieces while there will generally be improvement

I'm starting to be of the opinion that every upgrade is a small upgrade. So far on my short journey, everything has been just a bit better than before but after time I come to appreciate the upgrades

My eye could not see any difference between a £300+  8mm TeleVue Delos and a BST Starguider costing a meagre £49. ( tell a lie, the field was wider ) It's really down to personal  taste and prefe

Hiya,

Much of what makes for a great eyepiece is very personal to the user. In general spending more will get 'technically' better EPs, but whether they will be equally appreciated by all users and in all scopes is debatable. Can you tell us more about your setup? What scope do you have, and what you enjoy looking at most? A reasonable quality EP in a good scope will give tremendous views, and spending more on EPs may be a case of chasing ever diminishing returns.

Kev

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Better light transmission , better correction at edge of field , more flat field .

However , a lot of people are happy with the performance of BST Starguiders ( myself included ) and stick with them .

Edited by Red Dwarfer
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I assumed that cash = quality and tried some Televue Plossls.  Due to their design they had very little eye-relief (you needed to get your eye very close), I sold both of them and am much happier with my hotch-potch of second-hand EP's that you now see in my signature that have absolutely no brand allegiance.  IMO in every brand you will get losers and winners across their focal length range and think its probably best to buy the best in whatever range seems to suit you.  I haven't been doing this very long, but I use all mine from time to time and at the level I'm doing it I don't see much to choose between what I own (and I own average to a few fairly good EP's).  I think there is a lot of one-upmansship about having an EP case with a perfectly matched set in it, but it isn't really necessary IMO.

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13 minutes ago, kev100 said:

Hiya,

Much of what makes for a great eyepiece is very personal to the user. In general spending more will get 'technically' better EPs, but whether they will be equally appreciated by all users and in all scopes is debatable. Can you tell us more about your setup? What scope do you have, and what you enjoy looking at most? A reasonable quality EP in a good scope will give tremendous views, and spending more on EPs may be a case of chasing ever diminishing returns.

Kev

Hi kev thanks for your reply i have a meade etx 90 its my first scope, and i intend concentrating on our moon and solar system while getting used to my scope and learning the night sky with the help of stellarium and a pair of binoculars, i have bigger goals than that but thats for the future i have the two ep's that came with the scope and dont really have any complaints but i have nothing to compare them with and just wondered if buying better quality was worth the money.

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9 minutes ago, JOC said:

I assumed that cash = quality and tried some Televue Plossls.  Due to their design they had very little eye-relief (you needed to get your eye very close), I sold both of them and am much happier with my hotch-potch of second-hand EP's that you now see in my signature that have absolutely no brand allegiance.  IMO in every brand you will get losers and winners across their focal length range and think its probably best to buy the best in whatever range seems to suit you.  I haven't been doing this very long, but I use all mine from time to time and at the level I'm doing it I don't see much to choose between what I own (and I own average to a few fairly good EP's).  I think there is a lot of one-upmansship about having an EP case with a perfectly matched set in it, but it isn't really necessary IMO.

all that makes perfect sense i am not after one upmanship but your point is at the core of what im saying is spending the big money just about the bling i love good watches but im fully aware they only tell the same time as the cheap ones.

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Diminishing returns

At the lower end of the market spending more will bring noticeable improvements. However as you get into the more expensive eyepieces while there will generally be improvements as you spend more the percentage increase will become less and less noticeable. IE a £50.00 eyepiece should be much better than a £25.00 one but a £500.00 one will be a bit better than a £250.00 one but not a vast improvement.

And as mentioned the type and quality of scope will have a major influence. The faster the scope the more important the eyepiece quality. Also as people’s eyes are different not everyone will be able to see the difference or they may perceive things differently.

 

 

 

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I'm starting to be of the opinion that every upgrade is a small upgrade. So far on my short journey, everything has been just a bit better than before but after time I come to appreciate the upgrades more. 

Ha you replied just as I was typing. Yes a bit like watches or shoes. There's a big jump from no shoes to shoes but then less and less as the shoes get more expensive.

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35 minutes ago, Ruud said:

If it makes a difference (it often does) it'll make more of a difference on a fast scope.

sorry if this is a stupid question but what is a fast scope? i wasn't aware a scope could be fast? so much to learn lol

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31 minutes ago, JOC said:

I think there is a lot of one-upmansship about having an EP case with a perfectly matched set in it, but it isn't really necessary IMO.

I agree it is unnecessary to collect a full set as 3 or 4 lenses will only ever get any use but totally disagree on the one-upmanship and have seen no evidence of it on SGL at least .

 

4 minutes ago, rushy said:

sorry if this is a stupid question but what is a fast scope? i wasn't aware a scope could be fast? so much to learn lol

A fast scope is an F4.5 Dobsonian or F5 short tubed Refractor 

A slow scope would be an F12 Mak or long Refractor

 

Edited by Red Dwarfer
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I try to be reasonable with the apparent field of view of my eyepieces, remaining in the 60 to 68 degrees range, decent quality. Just by doing that, I saved serious money.

I have my explore scientifics for low power with the F5 newt. well corrected, they do a fine job while being less then half the price of Televue. For medium power, the Xcel LXs and Starguiders are also doing a fine job side by side with the ES. Finally, a couple of orthoscopics for high power planetary viewing.

Nothing too expensive in my case, only thing missing is good weather.

 

Edited by N3ptune
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Definitely you get what you pay for.... but the actual difference at the EP might not be as much as price would suggest.

Personally I am a Televue fan, and my Televue kit does give me the best views of planets and DSO during most nights use, but Televue is at a premium. There have been reports by observers of Explorer Scientific eyepieces that are a lot cheaper than Televue and almost as good in visual and build quality.

The other EPs I'm happy with is a Celestron X-Cel 5mm and my LV eyepieces for my planetary viewing during the best nights. The detail in those is very crisp and were about half the price of Televue.

The biggest difference visible with Televue Naglers and Ethos is the AFOV I get comparing to the others, 82 and 100 degrees FOV vs 52 degrees.

I'd say stay away fro the very cheap and unless you're willing to spend money on the best of the best, the mid range priced EPs should be close in visual quality at the very least... also unless you directly compare one to the other, ES vs TV, you probably wouldn't know of the difference so it's just as good.

Remember that seeing and transparency also dictates how good the views will be through any eyepiece.

 

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11 minutes ago, Red Dwarfer said:
41 minutes ago, JOC said:

I think there is a lot of one-upmansship about having an EP case with a perfectly matched set in it, but it isn't really necessary IMO.

I agree it is unnecessary to collect a full set as 3 or 4 lenses will only ever get any use but totally disagree on the one-upmanship and have seen no evidence of it on SGL at least .

OK, perhaps one-upmanship isn't fair, but this thread below has always made me smile!

 

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I'm BST fan.I now have a full set.fabulous value for the money.you'll have to dig very very deep to get better.as already said the law of diminishing returns .

Got nothing against top end eyepieces. Buy I cannot justify the cost.IMHO.

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3 hours ago, rushy said:

Hi kev thanks for your reply i have a meade etx 90 its my first scope, and i intend concentrating on our moon and solar system while getting used to my scope and learning the night sky with the help of stellarium and a pair of binoculars, i have bigger goals than that but thats for the future i have the two ep's that came with the scope and dont really have any complaints but i have nothing to compare them with and just wondered if buying better quality was worth the money.

Hiya, you can definitely do better than the stock EPs, but don't have to spend crazy money to get great results. BST starguiders are relatively cheap, and are highly regarded, but there are lots of great EPs available second hand too. 

For what it's worth, my advice would be don't rush it, see if you can try different EPs at a club meeting or star party, just to get an idea of what will be best for you.

Edited by kev100
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My eye could not see any difference between a £300+  8mm TeleVue Delos and a BST Starguider costing a meagre £49. ( tell a lie, the field was wider )

It's really down to personal  taste and preference. Yes, I'd love to have owned the full set of Tele Vue's Delos EP's on my f/6 scope ( I had three ) but I'm sure most folk given a straight choice, BST Starguider or Tele Vue Delos,  without even thinking, would favour the Tele Vue range, based on their reputation?

However, during my own assessment (using not the best  un-corrected 50+ eye's [they are what they are]  and on an average f/6  reflector scope, under far from perfect viewing conditions?) the images from both eyepieces looked the same to me, so I asked myself "why do I need a full set of Delos  premium eyepieces, when the  cheaper Starguider's work as well as they do!"

So yes, I could have kept the best branded eyepieces at the time ( or so I thought?)  and they would have worked in just about any scope, but I'm keeping this scope ( a while longer)  so the outlay was unreasonable in collecting the remaining Delos  EP's and getting rid of my BST Starguiders!

Tele Vue's  Delos EPs's are  personally verified  for excellence ( they simply want you to get the best image without aberrations ) working in scopes  as fast as f/4.
None of this  was apparent to me during my assessment, so the decision was made to  sell the existing Delos Ep's, and I still have no regrets. 

(EP Guru) @John, I'm sure, since has tested both eyepieces, and I believe his review suggested that the visual difference between the two eyepieces  was subtle, not massive, considering their price difference. 

I  actually expected  a big  difference before my  own 8mm Delos arrived. Pay more, get more, right? 

A Huygens, Kellner, Delos or Starguider 8mm will all magnify the image at the focal plane, dictated  by the scope in use, but its down to the end user to find the  right brand  of 8mm eyepiece that offers  them the best  visual image, the most  comfort, with regards to the field of view and eye relief,  and affordability.

Get this right and your onto a winner! There's still lots to learn in his game, which only comes with time and experience.

Edited by Charic
Almost re-written?
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5 hours ago, JOC said:

OK, perhaps one-upmanship isn't fair, but this thread below has always made me smile!

 

Let's face it, we all love checking out other people's eyepiece cases!

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Just for clarity, the definition of fast or slow relates to the focal ratio rather than the focal length.

Focal ratio is defined by the focal length divided by the aperture.

There are no strict definitions, but generally f5 and below is considered fast, f8 and above is considered slow and everything in between is about average. Some might say than f10 and above is slow, but hopefully you get the idea.

Faster scopes require the eyepiece to steer the light rays through steeper angles, and so generally put more demands on eyepiece design in order to maintain a good image across the field of view, without astigmatism or other aberrations. There are also differences in the apparent field of view of eyepieces which make a dramatic difference in the complexity and cost of the optical design required.

Compare, say, a 6mm Ortho which has a 42 degree apparent field of view and costs probably £70 with a 6mm Televue Ethos which has a 100 degree apparent field of view and costs just over £500. The basic qualities of both are pretty similar in terms of contrast, sharpness and light scatter control, the additional  expense is in the design, figure and polish of all the elements required to achieve a well corrected, ultra wide view in scopes as fast as f4. Orthos also have limited eye relief at shorter focal lengths, whilst the Ethos maintains 15mm across the range. So, orthos are a very cost effective way of getting performance virtually on a par with the best, with the compromise of the reduced field of view and the eye relief which is tight at the shorter focal lengths.

The comments about diminishing returns are very true though. There are some excellent value, very good performing eyepieces out there which do not cost a fortune; the already mentioned BST Starguiders amongst them. Whether it is worth spending big depends on a number of factors, not least the quality of your skies, your visual acuity, budget, and the type of scope you own.

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35 minutes ago, Stu said:

Just for clarity, the definition of fast or slow relates to the focal ratio rather than the focal length.

Focal ratio is defined by the focal length divided by the aperture.

There are no strict definitions, but generally f5 and below is considered fast, f8 and above is considered slow and everything in between is about average. Some might say than f10 and above is slow, but hopefully you get the idea.

Faster scopes require the eyepiece to steer the light rays through steeper angles, and so generally put more demands on eyepiece design in order to maintain a good image across the field of view, without astigmatism or other aberrations. There are also differences in the apparent field of view of eyepieces which make a dramatic difference in the complexity and cost of the optical design required.

Compare, say, a 6mm Ortho which has a 42 degree apparent field of view and costs probably £70 with a 6mm Televue Ethos which has a 100 degree apparent field of view and costs just over £500. The basic qualities of both are pretty similar in terms of contrast, sharpness and light scatter control, the additional  expense is in the design, figure and polish of all the elements required to achieve a well corrected, ultra wide view in scopes as fast as f4. Orthos also have limited eye relief at shorter focal lengths, whilst the Ethos maintains 15mm across the range. So, orthos are a very cost effective way of getting performance virtually on a par with the best, with the compromise of the reduced field of view and the eye relief which is tight at the shorter focal lengths.

The comments about diminishing returns are very true though. There are some excellent value, very good performing eyepieces out there which do not cost a fortune; the already mentioned BST Starguiders amongst them. Whether it is worth spending big depends on a number of factors, not least the quality of your skies, your visual acuity, budget, and the type of scope you own.

Stu very informative thank you

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Thanks for all the info, I've learned much already and now have a much better understanding of eye pieces and as a bonus I now know that scopes can be fast or slow, and why they are.

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The BST StarGuiders are the best bang for buck on the market, they also work well in fast or slow scopes.  On quality, I have tried quite a few different ep's and have to concede that it is partly a case of diminshing returns (as mentioned above).  However, good ep's can only be appreciated by the more experienced as it takes you a while to get used to 'seeing'.  Good quality ep's are always a good thing and I would always advise to get the best you can afford.  Good luck with your choices.  BST StarGuiders can be found here:  https://www.firstlightoptics.com/bst-starguider-eyepieces.html

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