You’ve invested in a telescope, or several, that help you to see, and in some cases photograph, the wonders of the Universe. What more could you want? Eventually you will want a newer and bigger-aperture telescope, regardless of how many you own already. We suggest you select from among the many great telescope eyepieces on the market to tide you over and add more variety to your viewing experiences.
The right eyepiece can make you feel like you have a new telescope because it can make dramatic changes to the views you get. Eyepieces can have an important impact on magnification, image brightness and the width of your field of view.
A great eyepiece should have the characteristics to work with your telescope’s existing optics and give you a different experience, an experience unique enough to warrant an eyepiece investment.
For this review we considered the eyepieces that would be best for a wide range of astronomers and telescope designs. These are the best of the best and are in the same neighborhood pricewise. They will most likely help people have wonderful viewing experiences, the types of experiences they could not get with a telescope’s included eyepiece, or even the other ones you have collected already.
Eyepieces in our lineup feature a very wide field of view – some up to 100 degrees — because that seems to be offering the latest and greatest “wow” in the astronomy world. Seeing that much sky after what you get with your telescope’s included eyepiece will astound most amateur astronomers.
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Image is everything when it comes to telescope eyepieces. A quality eyepiece should provide images from space unique enough, in one way or another, to justify their purchase. They are not all good at everything – except perhaps the Tele Vue Ethos – but each eyepiece we considered is quite good at one thing or pretty good at many things. A great eyepiece will offer better eye relief, higher contrast images and/or a wider field of view than the one that came with your scope, and lots of wow factor. The best eyepieces will do all of that and more for a relatively good price, like the TMB 100.
Besides the view, a quality eyepiece will include details that improve the user’s experience in a variety of ways. Some eyepieces include blackened lens edges, for instance, or a retractable eyecup. A high quality lens coating can also make a difference, and the accessory should be constructed of quality materials and come from a reputable manufacturer.
Ease of Use
Eyepiece usage generally involves popping it into the telescope or adapter and enjoying the show, but there are some factors that can affect the user’s experience, such as gripping rings, barrel security features and weight. We looked for things that would resolve common user annoyances.
Help & Support
Any piece of quality equipment should come with a solid customer service team to back it up. A reputable company will stand behind its products with workmanship warranties. A money-back guarantee is a nice touch. Most people in the market for a telescope eyepiece will have a solid idea of what they are getting themselves into but it never hurts to have an extra safety net for your purchase.
Adding a quality eyepiece is like getting a new lease on life for your telescopes. The walk-in-space feeling many of these eyepieces will add to your telescope’s abilities will astound you. They are a pretty big investment for most folks, but think what you would spend on the new Takahashi telescope you have been eyeing. We suggest you consider the relative savings and select from among the variety of telescope eyepieces instead. Be sure to check out articles on telescope eyepieces in the TopTenREVIEWS Learning Center.
TopTenREVIEWS no longer updates this category and keeps it here for archiving purposes only. It was last updated in July 2013.
|10mm Ethos||17mm Nagler Type 4||24mm Panoptic||24mm Ultra Wide Angle Series 5000||13mm Nagler Type 6||40mm Titan Type II||30mm Lanthanum|
|Design||Ultra-wide||Nagler||Wide field||Ultra-wide||Nagler||Wide field|
|Apparent Field||100 degrees||82 degrees||68 degrees||82 degrees||82 degrees||68 degrees|
|Number of Optical Elements||Proprietary||6||6||6||7||6|
|Barrel Diameter||1.25/2 inches||2 inches||1.25 inches||2 inches||1.25 inches||2 inches|
|Weight||17.6 ounces||26 ounces||8.2 ounces||35 ounces||10 ounces||18 ounces|
|Length||5.4 inches||4.1 inches||2.9 inches||Proprietary||2.9 inches||2 inches|
|Help & Support|
|Money Back Guarantee|