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Hello 

Thank you for any help and advice you are able to offer. It is all welcome.

I am looking for an upgrade eyepiece from where I am at. This will mainly be tasked for Moon observing and Planets. I'm looking at 7mm - 11mms FL. This eyepiece must be new.

My eyepiece include  BST Starguiders set 8-25mm (2x 8, 18,   25 for BV) , Meade Super Plossl set 6.4-40mm, ES82 14mm and Maxivision 34mm.

Scope is Meade LX90 acf 8inch and I observe from  UK and I'm fortunate to have little light pollution and do not wear glasses.

I thought I was set with my BST Starguiders but in my opinion the view with ES82 14mm is stunning and far superior. It offered a much cleaner and brighter view (I now can't unsee the diffrence). Previously I thought my Starguiders where great and was a fan and would always recommend them but my 2 most recent eyepiece ES82 14mm and MV34 have been a huge step up for me and has encouraged me to want to upgrade others.

I am looking at (and keep going around in circles) 

Tele Vue Plossl 8 or 11mm (I do like the look of these, but would these perhaps be lowest impact?)

Fujiyama Ortho 7 or 9mm (again these look great, I've never looked through ortho so unsure about comfort?)

Takahashi  9mm

Vixen SLV 9 or 10mm (This was a front runner until I read some problems with reflections when observing moon , not sure if this was with earlier batch and if it has now been rectified).

ES82 8.8mm (based on my experience with 14mm)

BCO 10mm/6mm

Antares UPL elite plossl.

 

To buy new as desired these range from £90 -£135.

Would there be any benefit for holding off to save for 9mm Tele Vue delite or Baader Morpheus for the role I require this eyepiece for.

 

Thank you for your time and help. 

 

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For lunar observing nothing beats a binoviewer and a pair of ortho's or plossl's, if you can get along with them. Not much more pricey than a single high end eyepiece either!

Yes, save up and get a Delite for Moon viewing or planets, or a Morpheus for widefield DSO observing.

I found that the 4mm Radian showed a sort of halo of light when observing the moon's terminator that extended on the opposite side of the field of view to the illuminated portion of the lunar surface.

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When you are comparing the new ES eyepieces to the Starguiders how are you doing so? Are you making direct monoview comparisons or are you comparing the single ES to binoviewed Starguiders? If you are comparing to binoviewed Starguiders then which pair of binoviewers and barlows/gpcs you are using becomes important. As you've bought Starguider eyepieces you may have also bought the Starguider binoviewers to match. The presence of a pair of 8mm Starguiders suggests that you may be using the binoviewers without a barlow/gpc fitted to the nose, but whilst you can do this with an SCT, you shouldn't do this because moving the primary mirror so much to allow focus introduces spherical aberration which will ruin high power views. On the other hand, the two gpcs provided with the Starguider binoviewers are absolutely terrible and should be replaced with nosepieces from 3rd party barlows.

If you are comparing the views in mono mode then it is also important to consider which focal lengths you are comparing. If you are comparing the 14mm ES to the 8mm BST then it is also important to consider the difference in both exit pupil and magnification. With the 8mm BST the exit pupil has been reduced to 0.8mm. On an extended object like the moon or planets this will reduce the brightness and it will also mean that diffraction is the limiting factor to optical clarity, which will apply to all 8mm eyepieces, not just the Starguider. With regards to magnification, the 14mm will give you about 140x, which is a magnification that can be used under UK skies pretty much any time, but the 8mm will give about 250x, which is well into the region where the seeing is going to be a limiting factor and prohibit use of an eyepiece on many occasions, again something that will happen with any 8mm eyepiece.

Having said all that, I do now that the quality of the coatings on the Starguiders is not the best and the correction of the 18 and 25mm variants is not great either (but might be OK at f10, I think they're ok at f12), so I can see why you would want to upgrade. Given that the 14ES has an 82° AFoV and the 34MV has a 68° AFoV I would take a bit of time to consider if these wider views are part of what you're looking for in a new eyepiece, compared to the 60° of the Starguiders (a touch less for the 8mm I recall), the 50° of your Plossls and the 40° of the 40mm Plossl. If a wider apparent field is part of what you're after then you can immediately discount most of your list.

I would also consider whether you are looking for an eyepiece to work as part of your monoview set or your binoview set. Personally, I pretty much exclusively use binoviewers for lunar and planetary, so I would be looking at longer focal length eyepieces to be used with a binoviewer that has a barlow/gpc on the nose. This does make simple designs like orthos more comfortable to use as the eye relief scales with focal length.

I started with a mix of short (5-12mm) Starguiders and ES68 eyepieces before moving to Pentax XWs. Personally, I thought there was a bigger difference between the quality of the view between the XWs and the ES68s than the ES68 and Starguider, so there would still be some advantage in saving for a more expensive eyepiece if you so wish. If you're looking for a top tier monoview eyepiece then I think the XW is a better choice than the Delite because the UK (FLO) prices are about the same, the view in the inner 62° of the XW is pretty much indistinguishable from the Delite, plus you get an extra 8° around the edge, the eyecup design is better, and it is less prone to dew formation. If it is for binoviewers then the XW is just a bit too big in my experience and the slightly smaller Delite is a better choice (but not with the Starguider BVs, because the collet aligns with the undercut).

Going back to your original list I would limit yourself to the eyepieces in the 9-11mm range. Anything shorter than that is probably too limited by atmosphere. Like you, I would put the SLV as a front runner, but have been put off by the reports of internal reflections and so have not actually tried one.

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7 hours ago, 12green said:

Hello 

 

Would there be any benefit for holding off to save for 9mm Tele Vue delite or Baader Morpheus for the role I require this eyepiece for.

 

Thank you for your time and help. 

 

Yes, save up and get a Delite for Moon viewing or planets, or a Morpheus for widefield DSO observing.

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Don,

Thank you for your reccomend, it is appreciated.

 

Richochet,

Thanks for your detailed reply. I do appreciate your time and there was a lot of good advice.

I do admit I have really enjoyed my observing with Binoviewer. I have previously had a fantastic(it can't get better this )experience when using BV with 18mms Starguiders. Yes my BV are the Starguider/Arcturas type with the x3 and x1.85 barlows. I had not previously thought/considered replacing with GPC?

It was for monoview that I was looking at/considering an upgrade eyepiece, mainly for quickness, on the evenings I take less equipment outside. It will probably be quite difficult to best view for Lunar with 1 eye over BV.

I was comparing my ES82 14 to BST Starguider 15/18 and Meade SP 15mm. To me Meade SP 15mm was slightly better than Starguider, but not as sharp/bright as ES82.

I also compared ES82 14 x 2 barlowed  to BST Starguider 8mm and BST Starguiders 15mms x2 barlowed.

All of my viewing, I find that ES82 14mm is a much more enjoyable, brighter, brighter colours, sharper view. Comfort was not an issue to me on any of these eyepieces.

I was kind of hoping someone who has or has used Vixen SLV with an SCT were able to advise they are great with SCT and would be worth upgrading or say if they experienced any of the reflection issues that were brought to light in earlier batches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by 12green
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I've used Vixen SLV's quite often and reviewed them for the forum a while back:

https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/217971-vixen-slv-eyepiece-report-6mm-12mm-and-20mm/

I don't use SCT scopes but I'm sure the SLV's would perform just as well in those as they did in my 12 inch dobsonian and refractors.

I've not used an ES 82 though so I can't make that comparison.

 

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I’m another SLV fan. Have used the 6mm and 5mm variants in a Dob. They are a tidy upgrade to the Starguiders and arguably sharper than the ES 82° shorter focal lengths (compared to the 8.8m ES). However, the 11mm ES 82° is probably the best of the range and is a very fine eyepiece. 

Saying that, Don’s Delite suggestion is well worth considering (at a price).

Hope that this helps.

Paul

Edited by Paul73
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Hi @12green and welcome to SGL. :hello2:

If you can find one, then may I suggest a TeleVue Radian. This was the predecesscor to the DeLite.

I have the TeleVue 8mm Plossl. Though it is a nice eyepiece, I sometimes find the eye relief a bit tight at 6mm. The DeLite's and Radian's
both have the 'instajust' or adjustable eyeguard feature [as do the Delos] to give max. eye relief of 20mm.

BTW - I have 6mm Radian as well. 

 

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I never could get on with the Radians since they were released in 1998.  They just had too much SAEP for me.  I ended up getting Pentax XLs instead and continue to use them to this day.  Many folks report not being bothered by the SAEP, though.

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16 hours ago, Louis D said:

I never could get on with the Radians since they were released in 1998.  They just had too much SAEP for me.  I ended up getting Pentax XLs instead and continue to use them to this day.  Many folks report not being bothered by the SAEP, though.

Could be a matter of focal lengths used.  In general, SAEP is less of an issue with small exit pupils.

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35 minutes ago, Don Pensack said:

Could be a matter of focal lengths used.  In general, SAEP is less of an issue with small exit pupils.

It also depends on usage.  If you do a bunch of lunar, solar, or spotting scope usage, or observe under severely light polluted skies, your pupils will be constricted, making SAEP more obvious.  Fully dark adapted viewing minimizes SAEP annoyances.

Edited by Louis D
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I have the older NLV (same optics) in 12mm, 10mm and 9mm. They are excellent.

For a while I had a 10mm Radian. I sold it. The NLV 10mm was so much better - a cleaner more natural image quality.

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I found that the 4mm Radian showed a sort of halo of light when observing the moon's terminator that extended on the opposite side of the field of view to the illuminated portion of the lunar surface. The 3mm Radian did not seem to show this. Was this SAEP ?

Whatever it was, I moved to Pentax XW's and found them really nice lunar eyepieces. I think the 5mm is my favourite when I'm using my 12 inch F/5.3 dobsonian.

 

 

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3 hours ago, John said:

I found that the 4mm Radian showed a sort of halo of light when observing the moon's terminator that extended on the opposite side of the field of view to the illuminated portion of the lunar surface. The 3mm Radian did not seem to show this. Was this SAEP ?

That just sounds like poor stray light control.  Not awful, just not optimal.

SAEP manifests itself as full blown blackouts midway across the field from center to edge in the worst cases or simply as fleeting shadows that cause consternation because you can't get comfortable viewing the image.  In both cases, slight head or eye movements in any direction (left, right, up, down, in, out) cause the shadows to dance around giving a nervous or jittery aspect to the image.  Never does it manifest itself as a halo of light.  It's always a lack of light.

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9 minutes ago, Louis D said:

That just sounds like poor stray light control.  Not awful, just not optimal.

SAEP manifests itself as full blown blackouts midway across the field from center to edge in the worst cases or simply as fleeting shadows that cause consternation because you can't get comfortable viewing the image.  In both cases, slight head or eye movements in any direction (left, right, up, down, in, out) cause the shadows to dance around giving a nervous or jittery aspect to the image.  Never does it manifest itself as a halo of light.  It's always a lack of light.

Thanks Louis.

I thought it was odd that the 4mm Radian showed this characteristic quite strongly and the 3mm did not. Either way I prefer the XW's that I now use :smiley:

 

 

 

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On 15/12/2020 at 10:03, 12green said:

I was kind of hoping someone who has or has used Vixen SLV with an SCT were able to advise they are great with SCT and would be worth upgrading or say if they experienced any of the reflection issues that were brought to light in earlier batches.

 

My wife and I have a Celestron 8se and having read the above SLV review by  @John we decided to give them a try, (at the time FLO had a good offer on). We now have SLV’s from 9 to 25mm. I find them sharp across the entire FOV, nice and bright, show colours really well, very good eye relief and comfortable to use, and have good contrast especially when viewing the moon. As far as strange reflections  go, we have not noticed anything particularly odd, but I must add, we are still very much beginners, so it is possible that we don’t know what to look for. 
we only have one BST Starguider and that is the 8mm, for a comparison we bought a Vixen 8mm NPL and to my eyes the NPL is much better, the view is much sharper and somehow seems cleaner if that makes sense. 
Overall, I would say, in the 8se the improvements with the SLV’s are, for us good not massive but subtle, and worth the money. 
As a bit of a side note, we also have a Star Travel 102 for wide-field viewing which I believe has a focal ratio of f5 and is generally considered as fast. With this scope the SLV’s work really well, a big improvement, I guess better corrected may be the term. 
 

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6 hours ago, DeanCJ said:

we only have one BST Starguider and that is the 8mm, for a comparison we bought a Vixen 8mm NPL and to my eyes the NPL is much better, the view is much sharper and somehow seems cleaner if that makes sense. 
Overall, I would say, in the 8se the improvements with the SLV’s are, for us good not massive but subtle, and worth the money. 
As a bit of a side note, we also have a Star Travel 102 for wide-field viewing which I believe has a focal ratio of f5 and is generally considered as fast. With this scope the SLV’s work really well, a big improvement, I guess better corrected may be the term.

The NPL line are considered very well executed Plossl/symmetrical class eyepieces.  At f/10, it doesn't surprise me that they excel.  However, they have limited eye relief and a 50 degree-ish field of view.

Try the NPL in your achromat and see how it does at f/5.  It may still perform well in the center, but it may tend to go blurry toward the edges.  I don't know how well corrected they are in faster scopes.

The BST Starguider will hopefully continue to work well at f/5 thanks to its negative positive design that effectively slows down the light cone internally to the eyepiece, allowing it to perform better.  The SLVs employ a similar design, just better executed and at a higher price with a narrower field of view.

Pulling it all together, the Delos and Pentax XW lines are executed to levels as good or better than the SLVs while yielding wider fields of view with just as much eye relief and excellent performance in fast scopes.  The Morpheus are close to them, but come up short in a few focal lengths.

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8 hours ago, Louis D said:

The NPL line are considered very well executed Plossl/symmetrical class eyepieces.  At f/10, it doesn't surprise me that they excel.  However, they have limited eye relief and a 50 degree-ish field of view.

Forgot to mention eye relief, @Louis D is right, at 8mm even though I don’t wear spectacles I find it very tight, I would say probably my personal limit.

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Thanks again to everyone who has offered some advice. 

I was all set to pull the trigger on SLV after reading a few positives, especially Dean who has quite a few and who uses them with a similar type of scope (8 inch SCT).

However after seeing Dons warning and image of such im again struggling with this. I haven't completely ruled out SLV and it seems to work great for Dean including observing moon and this would be main role for this eyepiece, but I would be annoyed with myself if I went ahead then discovered I also had this issue. Would I find myself trying to notice this. I realise I'm not going to know either way unless I buy one.

I'm probably going to now limit myself to preferably £100. No more than £150 for this new eyepiece, which will for me rule out Delite and Morpheus. (They may well be the best 2 suggested eyepiece recommends).

I don't think Vixen NPL would be any better than what I have.

Antares elite plossl seems impossible to find new. I wish I had tried them about 5 years ago when RVO had in stock. (Are these similar to Takahashi LE Gamma eyepiece).

 

Although I do enjoy my ES82 14 and it is my favourite most used eyepiece, the ES82 8.8mm may be better than what I have currently but may not perform as well as the Ortho/plossls left on my wish list.

I do use binoviewers when observing Moon/planets but not all the time. This new eyepiece role would mainly be for Moon / planet observing. I kind of want to get the best I can within this budget.

After all this I have narrowed down my wish list.

Vixen SLV 9mm/10mm £106

Takahashi Ortho 9mms £135

Fujiyama Ortho 9mm/10mm £89

Tele Vue Plossl 8mm/11mm £85

Although I have 9.7mm plossl (10)what I'm looking at upgrading. I have gaps at 9 mm (10mm) and 11 mm

 

I do not wear glasses and I have no problem with my shorter length 6.4mm/9.7mm plossls .

Again thank you for your time and help, it is appreciated.

 

 

 

 

 

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You ask if there is anyone that used SLVs with SCT. I used it with C5 and refractors. I had 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 9mm and 12mm. I saw that spacer in the eyepiece but never saw reflections when observing the Moon. In the fl range you're looking for I settled for BCO 10mm and am yet to find the eyepiece that shows more stars than BCOs with my eyes. If you can handle the size and weight I would look into Pentax XWs as well as there is nothing better for overall experience (transmission, comfort, eye relief, quality, fov) out there as far as I am concerned.

 

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2 hours ago, 12green said:

Takahashi Ortho 9mms £135

Fujiyama Ortho 9mm/10mm £89

They are the same optically but I do like the eyecup of the Tak. I have 2, 18mm and 2, 12.5mm Tak orthos- they are very good. That being said the 10BCO is as good if not better on axis and is a deeper eyepiece with more contrast. I'm splitting hairs here.

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The Baader Classic ortho 10mm (mentioned by heliumstar above) is an excellent eyepiece for lunar, planetary and deep sky observing :thumbright:

Currently I often use the 10mm, 7mm and 5mm Pentax XW's and they are superb although 5x the price of the Baader Classic.

 

 

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Just an observation- I have not seen any 82 deg or 100 deg eyepiece that controls scatter as well as an ortho, the exception being the 84 deg Docter UWA. There are a few 70ish degree widefields that do-Pentax XW and Delos.

Scatter is a pet peeve of mine, whether it comes from the eyepiece or scope.

Edited by jetstream
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2 hours ago, jetstream said:

Just an observation- I have not seen any 82 deg or 100 deg eyepiece that controls scatter as well as an ortho, the exception being the 84 deg Docter UWA. There are a few 70ish degree widefields that do-Pentax XW and Delos.

Scatter is a pet peeve of mine, whether it comes from the eyepiece or scope.

Mine, too.  although, it must be noted that if the views are of deep-sky objects, light scatter will not be the problem it is with Moon or planet viewing.

One of the worst eyepieces I've seen for light scatter, the 34mm 68° Explore Scientific eyepiece, gets decent reviews despite the light scatter, showing that the target is the determinant.

In your large scope, you also have the light grasp to make evident problems that go unseen in small apertures.

In the same league as orthos are the TeleVue Delites, where light scatter is concerned.  I'd also add the TeleVue Apollo 11 to the list of ultrawides with great control of light.

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