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MKHACHFE

Let's hear it for super cheap eyepieces...maybe?

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Hello fellow star gazers. 

So, after researching and reading countless eyepiece threads on here and CN forum, I finally decided which one to buy for my new XT8. I chose a ES 9mm to be used with my 2x Barlow. But before i stump up the 100 or so quid, i decided to see what i would, um... see with a 9mm EP and bought this as a dirt cheap "test unit".

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B074BR9LY5/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I wasn't expecting it to be like looking through  the bottom of a coke bottle of course, but I also wasn't expecting much at all. I just wanted to see if the power was right for me. But, I must say, I was pleasantly suprised. Very much so in fact. It works well enough, was sharp when in focus and it did what it was meant to do.

Bearing in mind, I have no experience at all with expensive EP's, so I have only the Plossi 25mm that came with my scope to compare it to. I have no doubt that a Nagler or TV or ES will be far far nicer to use, but I must say, this will do for now until I get the funds for one of those. 

I guess, I'm making this thread to say to other beginners that its very easy to get EP fever (I certainly have), but if you are poor, like me, you can get by with something like this (I can only comment on the 9mm i bought)  until you save for the real deal. Basically, it's not total crapola. 

Anyone else agree/disagree? Again, don't get me wrong, I'm in no way suggesting these instead of high quality EP's, but ...it worked. And now I'm even more excited about purchasing my 9mm ES in a few weeks. 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

There was mention of these eyepieces on Cloudy Nights. They thought the 10mm and 23mm  were pretty good budget eyepieces and not bad if they were used in scopes over f/5 so should be OK in your XT8 f/5.9. For the price they should be just fine.

However they thought the shorter focal lengths were pretty poor.

Edited by johninderby

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Yes, i would imagine that they wouldn't be great much shorter than this. I was just pleasantly suprised is all and wanted to share. Thanks for posting. Are we allowed to post CN links here? Id be interested in reading the thread you mentioned. I can Google it. 

Cheers mate!

Quick question about what you said, and of course, i will search this site for threads about it, but i was under the impression that the speed of a scope is really only important for photography...i guess i'm wrong about that? Not wanting to derail the thread, but is there a quick answer to why the speed would matter in this case? Sorry if this has been asked 347,219 times.

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I have looked through quite a few cheap EPs (like a 15 euro 20mm Plossl), and found them to be surprisingly good. Where they tend to suffer, besides performance in fast scopes) is lack of eye relief (mainly an issue if you wear glasses, like me) and smaller field of view.

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There are some low cost eyepieces that do well and some that are not so good. The GSO / Revelation plossls are low cost (you can pick them up for £10 used) but the ones I've used have performed very nicely given the constraints of the plossl design.

I've not used those low cost Aspheric eyepieces as yet so it would be interesting to see how they do against more expensive rivals. If I can get some for a suitably low cost I might pick up a couple and write a little report on here about them :smiley:

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Posted (edited)

I’m tempted to pickup one of these cheap eyepieces just to see what they are like.  They do have plastic bodies apparently with an aluminium nosepiece. Some suggestion that the top lens may not be glass. 

Edited by johninderby

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This is a topic that greatly interests me as I'm wanting a high power eyepiece for planetary and lunar viewing with my 12 inch dob.

I've bought a 4mm Skywatcher Planetary EP but alas have not had a chance to use it yet. I'm thinking a 5mm will probably be the best to use on a regular basis.

What I really want to know is - do the premium eyepieces produce better images in the centre of the FOV than cheaper versions or is the only advantage with them in their better correction at the edges.

If the cheaper ones are just as sharp on axis I may as well just go for one of them, as I observe almost exclusively with my GoTo dob tracking whatever I'm viewing in the centre of the FOV, so outer edges are not so imp[ortant to me.

I will look forward to a review by you soon John!

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37 minutes ago, johninderby said:

Wonder if it will work with a screw-in crosshair for use as a finder eyepiece?

It won't. All the lenses/focal plane are up in the top section of the plastic barrel. If you screw a crosshair into the nosepiece it is out of focus. You would have to figure out how to affix a crosshair further up.

I've had a pair of the 23mms for a while now. From memory they are nice optically, better corrected than the 25mm Starguider at faster focal ratios, but in my BVs I use the Starguiders because they give me full disk lunar and the nosepieces register more consistently.

If you were planning on making a really lightweight setup the 23mm would be a good choice of eyepiece. 

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Ordered one out of curiousity but expect it to perform better the longer the focal length. Should work well in a Mak. 

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12 hours ago, MKHACHFE said:

see with a 9mm EP and bought this as a dirt cheap "test unit".

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B074BR9LY5/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Ouch!  Overpaid by about 2x:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FJ-1-25inch-10mm-62-Degree-FOV-Wide-Angle-Lens-Aspheric-Eyepiece-for-Telescope/233206258535?hash=item364c2d1b67:g:MRAAAOSwCMRcvnqO

I always comparison shop ebay versus Amazon because the same items (and even sellers) are on both but with different prices.

I have a pair of the 23mm Aspherics that I really like in my binoviewers.  With the rubber eyecup removed, I have no trouble seeing the entire field of view, unlike with my 26mm Sirius Plossl pair that have their eye lenses recessed much too far.

Here's the 23mm Aspheric matched up against a bunch of other widest (or near widest) field 1.25" eyepieces in my collection.  I threw in three 2" premium/super-premium ringers for comparison:

923225902_17mmto35mmCrops.thumb.jpg.928e33e9f174197f5e81e1060ada6b94.jpg

And this was at f/6 in my field flattened AT72ED.  Imagine them in my binoviewers with an effective 3x barlow element (to reach focus) pushing the f-stop down to f/18!  They are nearly perfect to the edge at that speed.  I find that they punch well above their price (<$10) and weight (1.5 ounces) if you can live with the outer 15% getting slightly fuzzy at f/6.  I just wish the majors would offer high grade aspheric eyepieces.  The combination of light weight, wide field, good eye relief, and good correction are terrific for binoviewing.  That, and they have very shallow undercuts that do not cause them to tilt in the eyepiece collets which would throw off alignment.

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5 hours ago, Geoff Barnes said:

What I really want to know is - do the premium eyepieces produce better images in the centre of the FOV than cheaper versions or is the only advantage with them in their better correction at the edges.

Some premium eyepieces offer increased contrast over lesser eyepieces, some offer increased detail sharpness. And then there are those that give both.

Unless super premium eyepieces are bought there can be unit to unit differences in their performance.IMHO.

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7 hours ago, Geoff Barnes said:

This is a topic that greatly interests me as I'm wanting a high power eyepiece for planetary and lunar viewing with my 12 inch dob.

I've bought a 4mm Skywatcher Planetary EP but alas have not had a chance to use it yet. I'm thinking a 5mm will probably be the best to use on a regular basis.

What I really want to know is - do the premium eyepieces produce better images in the centre of the FOV than cheaper versions or is the only advantage with them in their better correction at the edges.

If the cheaper ones are just as sharp on axis I may as well just go for one of them, as I observe almost exclusively with my GoTo dob tracking whatever I'm viewing in the centre of the FOV, so outer edges are not so imp[ortant to me.

I will look forward to a review by you soon John!

Most eyepieces that I've used, even low cost ones, are pretty sharp in the central area of the field of view.

With my scopes all on undriven, alt-az mounts though, I like wider fields of view even at high powers and I want those sharp right across if possible as well, which is where spending a bit more seems to come in.

I have also had a few lousy short focal length low cost eyepieces - the Skywatcher LER's for example and a Celestron Omni 4mm which was totally unusable and had to be thrown away.

I've spent more on my eyepieces than I have on my scopes and have never regretted doing that to be honest with you.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Yes the cheap eyepieces shorter than about 10mm tend to be rubbish. You should consider the Skywatcher Nirvana 82 degree eyepieces. The 4mm and 7mm can be had for £75.00 at the moment. Great buy for an eyepiece that is comparable to the Explore Scientific ones and nearly as good as a Nagler. They now have rubber eyecups instead of the hard twist up bits.

Edited by johninderby

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10 hours ago, johninderby said:

I’m tempted to pickup one of these cheap eyepieces just to see what they are like.  They do have plastic bodies apparently with an aluminium nosepiece. Some suggestion that the top lens may not be glass. 

They are very cheaply made. Im not home for a few days so can't check if it is glass, but its literally just a tube with a lens at the top, open at the bottom. 

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2 hours ago, johninderby said:

Yes the cheap eyepieces shorter than about 10mm tend to be rubbish. You should consider the Skywatcher Nirvana 82 degree eyepieces. The 4mm and 7mm can be had for £75.00 at the moment. Great buy for an eyepiece that is comparable to the Explore Scientific ones and nearly as good as a Nagler. They now have rubber eyecups instead of the hard twist up bits.

Thanks for the suggestion. 

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2 hours ago, John said:

Most eyepieces that I've used, even low cost ones, are pretty sharp in the central area of the field of view.

With my scopes all on undriven, alt-az mounts though, I like wider fields of view even at high powers and I want those sharp right across if possible as well, which is where spending a bit more seems to come in.

I have also had a few lousy short focal length low cost eyepieces - the Skywatcher LER's for example and a Celestron Omni 4mm which was totally unusable and had to be thrown away.

I've spent more on my eyepieces than I have on my scopes and have never regretted doing that to be honest with you.

 

 

I  can conquer (Simpsons joke, who gets it?...yes, im 45), that the moon is indeed very sharp through the cheap 9mm. Stunning in fact. I'm sure a 100 quid EP will be even nicer, but this blew everyone away at home the other evening. 

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5 hours ago, Louis D said:

Damn...good find. I have gotten so used to Prime delivery that i dont even bother looking elsewhere for mos things. I will now though. Thanks for the heads up. 

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26 minutes ago, MKHACHFE said:

They are very cheaply made. Im not home for a few days so can't check if it is glass, but its literally just a tube with a lens at the top, open at the bottom. 

At that price will make a good dust plug if nothing else. 🤫

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1 hour ago, MKHACHFE said:

Damn...good find. I have gotten so used to Prime delivery that i dont even bother looking elsewhere for mos things. I will now though. Thanks for the heads up. 

Of course, that's 2 week shipping direct from China, so not really comparable if you must have within 2 days.

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1 hour ago, johninderby said:

At that price will make a good dust plug if nothing else. 🤫

I can glue it to the bottom of a door to stop the door banging into the wall..

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1 minute ago, Louis D said:

Of course, that's 2 week shipping direct from China, so not really comparable if you must have within 2 days.

Ah, yes, you see, i wanted it quick to take advantage of a window in the weather in good ol' blighty

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About 12 quid on eBay if you want it in a couple of days.

The 23mm will probably be left in the 127 Mak as a first look eyepiece / dust plug.

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12 hours ago, Geoff Barnes said:

This is a topic that greatly interests me as I'm wanting a high power eyepiece for planetary and lunar viewing with my 12 inch dob.

I've bought a 4mm Skywatcher Planetary EP but alas have not had a chance to use it yet. I'm thinking a 5mm will probably be the best to use on a regular basis.

What I really want to know is - do the premium eyepieces produce better images in the centre of the FOV than cheaper versions or is the only advantage with them in their better correction at the edges.

If the cheaper ones are just as sharp on axis I may as well just go for one of them, as I observe almost exclusively with my GoTo dob tracking whatever I'm viewing in the centre of the FOV, so outer edges are not so imp[ortant to me.

I will look forward to a review by you soon John!

I am still not experienced enough to catch all abberations but I directly compared StarGuider 12mm and Tak Abbe Ortho 12.5mm. Once you compare it through the same telescope on the spot it is immediately clear where the money went. What I saw was reflections in StarGuider and absolutely none in Tak Abbe. StarGuider reflections didn't actually bother me until I looked through Tak Abbe :D

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