- ES 24mm 68° ocular: qualified "keeper" Review by Bob
For years I have been basically using Plossels in my NexStar 9.25” GPS scope and have been satisfied, but understand there are alternatives that could enhance my viewing experience. Plossels provide edge-to-edge sharpness, but have a relatively limited apparent FOV. My F10 scope won’t benefit from exceptionally wide FOV oculars (82°, 100°, 360°), but 68° felt like a “sweet spot.”
One of my motivations to move to wider field was driven by my advancing age. Transporting my scope to outreach events and observing sessions under dark skies will become a challenge eventually, and a short focal length refractor will probably replace my beloved 9.25”. Factor-in a fast scope would challenge the performance of the Plossel design and the search began for make-sense replacements.
Characteristics of import while performing my due diligence included attractive price points, off-axis performance, and feedback from the masses that took time to post the reviews that reflect actual experience versus marketing hype. I chose Explore Scientific and purchased the 34mm, 24mm, and 16mm 68° eyepieces.
Virtually all of my personal observing is focused on DSOs, and I find I now keep the 24mm ocular in the diagonal 98% of the time. The views through it have been extraordinary and I couldn’t be more pleased. The increase in FOV provides a heightened experience, and the new detail revealed in objects astounds me. Too, the 24mm and 16mm take Barlowed power really well.
From a purely subjective perspective, the ES eyepieces look gorgeous on the scope.
To net out this review: a friend, fellow astronomy club member, and published astronomy writer, after viewing multiple targets through the 24mm proclaimed: “don’t ever sell this eyepiece.” This is a most qualified appraisal, advice that I will surely take.
Disclaimer: my affiliation with Explore Scientific is limited to being a customer.
Bob Christ, Phoenix, AZ
(Posted on 6/11/2013)