Astronomy

How much of a difference do good lenses make?

How much of a difference do good lenses make?



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I recently purchased a Celestron PowerSeeker 114EQ and with it I got three lenses (which I assume are low quality), a 4mm, a 20mm and a 3 x Barlow.

I can get pretty decent views of the moon but a very blurry, small view of Jupiter with the 4mm and Barlow. I can see the color of the storm rings for example, but barely. I've not had a chance to have a go at Saturn yet. A view similar to this…

I've been reading up on this and was looking at purchasing a 4-8mm Plössl lens but I'm not sure if the lens is my weak spot or some other aspect of the telescope. Another thing to note is that I've been using it in a pretty bright street, looking up very close to street lights. I've not had a chance to take out somewhere with less light pollution.

So what I'm asking is, how much difference would a lens upgrade make, specifically to my image quality?


… a very blurry, small view of Jupiter with the 4mm and Barlow…

Be aware that a 4mm eyepiece and a 3x barlow at the same time will give you a very high magnification - too high! For regular Jupiter viewing I would suggest you stick to 100x or 200x at most, unless the air is exceptionally still. (After a few sessions you'll find out what "Still" air means.)

A lot of beginner scopes like this are sold with barlows that tend to give too much power, my advice is to keep it packed away for most sessions.

So I'd stick to using that 4mm on its own, jupiter will look quite small but with practice you can usually tease a bit more detail out of the image.

I don't have one of these scopes, but my experience of comparing cheap modern eyepieces with expensive ones is that the lower cost ones are generally OK these days. 4mm is quite a high power so the extra magnification will cause a lot of blurriness and it will take patience to get the focusing at its sharpest, so don't panic if everything is looking fuzzy at the moment.

For a first stage I would suggest a few things that are nothing to do with the eyepieces at all…

  • Collimation - look this up, it just means adjusting the two mirrors so your eye is looking right down the tube in a straight line. For a long focal length scope like yours, it's not likely to be a problem unless one of them is wildly out of line.
  • Tube currents/thermal behaviour - on almost any cold night, when the tube and main mirror are still warm from being indoors, rising air currents in the tube will mess up your image and make it shimmery, at high power. Low power will look OK. It might take an hour or so for the image to improve (a guess)

Anyway, in summary my guess is changing the eyepieces straight away won't make a dramatic difference. Eyepiece makers will say otherwise of course :)


How Do Different Camera Lenses Affect Photo Quality

There are a lot of factors that impact the end quality of the photo, and the lens is almost at the top of the list. Amateur photographers are always thinking about the number of megapixels (click to see how much do megapixels affect photo quality) and other factors like the camera body, but the lens is far more important.

So, how do different camera lenses affect photo quality? The camera lens has a greater impact on the photo quality than for example megapixels because a camera lens has a direct effect on the background blur, sharpness, level of detail, depth of field and these are just some of the more important parameters. In most cases, it is also better to have a high-end lens than an expensive camera body, because a good lens will make a huge difference, almost in every case when compared with a better camera that uses a kit lens.

How lenses impact the quality of the photo is a pretty wide topic, but from this article, you will get a grip on how much a quality lens is important, and what characteristics you should look on when buying a camera or a lens.

If you really want the best for your money then stay with us because we will save you a lot of thinking and maybe a load of wasted money. Let’s begin!


How much difference does a TeleVue eyepiece make?

I have a C8 and a set of Baader Hyperion eyepieces. I keep reading how TeleVue eyepieces are the best, and are several hundred dollars more expensive.

What difference does it make? Does it let me see more of a nebula or galaxy? Does it let me see more detail in a planet? Are they really worth the price?

#2 izar187

The answer is subjective, somewhat.

All ep's are assembled by hand, at some kind of a work station, on a table.

However, more expensive eyepieces are made from more costly component parts.

Smoother finish on the glass, more costly types of glass, more costly coatings, more costly barrel/body, better control of flares, glares and intrusive reflections.

So there are differences to be seen, if a person is aware of them.

If you want TeleVue, then save a little longer, and shop used.

They are among the best coated and best corrected for present day fast focal ratio's.

In whatever field of view category you may want.

Alternative plan B is to simply buy middle tier ep's, and focus on the targets in the night sky.

Much as I like and respect Televue, at present I have none.

As there are no objects that can only be seen in Televue ep's.

Edited by izar187, 25 January 2015 - 11:56 PM.

#3 mostlyemptyspace

The answer is subjective, somewhat.

All ep's are assembled by hand, at some kind of a work station, on a table.

However, more expensive eyepieces are made from more costly component parts.

Smoother finish on the glass, more costly types of glass, more costly coatings, more costly barrel/body, better control of flares, glares and intrusive reflections.

So there are differences to be seen, if a person is aware of them.

If you want TeleVue, then save a little longer, and shop used.

They are among the best coated and best corrected for present day fast focal ratio's.

In whatever field of view category you may want.

Alternative plan B is to simply buy middle tier ep's, and focus on the targets in the night sky.

Much as I like and respect Televue, at present I have none.

As there are no objects that can only be seen in Televue ep's.

What's a good mid-range EP then, between the Baader Hyperions and TeleVues?

#4 Rick Woods

Are you looking for a specialty wide-field eyepiece, or just the best quality in the type you have?

For planetary, or other specialty viewing, in my experience Brandons are a step above the others. (Caveat: The Brandon line has been sold, and is now made by a different company than the originals I use.)

If you want ultra-wide angle, Explore Scientific makes an excellent 100 degree eyepiece but then, I have never looked through a TeleVue 100* EP.

#5 izar187

What's a good mid-range EP then, between the Baader Hyperions and TeleVues?

Hyperions are good mid range.

There are presently 7 different lines offered, plus a few discontinued types available from the used market.

Between Hyperions and Delos. perhaps Vixen LVW's, used Pentax XL's and maybe used Radians, depending on the focal lengths one wants.

#6 Mark9473

Before spending any money on eyepieces to see more planetary detail, consider getting a binoviewer.

The gains in our visual system from using two eyes far outweighs the benefit you could get in moving from a mid range to a high end eyepiece.

#7 MikeBOKC

Down in the eyepiece forum there is a long and pretty educational thread on the question of whether premium eyepieces make a major difference. You might read through it. Bottom line, there are several choices in "better" eyepieces running upward through Explore Scientific and Brandon as noted above into other brands and probably topping off at Televue. And as noted there are always plenty in the classified used.

#8 jrbarnett

I have a C8 and a set of Baader Hyperion eyepieces. I keep reading how TeleVue eyepieces are the best, and are several hundred dollars more expensive.

What difference does it make? Does it let me see more of a nebula or galaxy? Does it let me see more detail in a planet? Are they really worth the price?

Which Televue eyepiece, specifically, and as compared to what other eyepiece(s), specifically?

Having the brand "Televue" on the eyepiece is kind of meaningless without those key contextual details. An 8mm Televue Plossl would compare very differently to an 8mm Baader Hyperion than would an 8mm Televue Ethos.

#9 Tony Flanders

Having the brand "Televue" on the eyepiece is kind of meaningless without those key contextual details. An 8mm Televue Plossl would compare very differently to an 8mm Baader Hyperion than would an 8mm Televue Ethos.

True enough. Though one thing all TeleVue eyepieces have in common -- at least in my experience -- is very high optical and mechanical quality.

In response to the original question, the difference between a good eyepiece and a great eyepiece is mostly aesthetic -- and not huge at that. In terms of how much detail you will be able to make out, the differences are pretty small. For deep sky, nothing like the difference that increasing the scope's aperture 10% would make, for instance -- and 10% is a pretty small aperture difference. For planets, nothing like the difference that slightly better seeing would make.

I find that eyepiece preferences are very personal. To me, there's something about the "feel" of an eyepiece, the way it happens to fit my eye, that matters more than the image quality.

#10 Pinbout

I have a C8 and a set of Baader Hyperion eyepieces. I keep reading how TeleVue eyepieces are the best, and are several hundred dollars more expensive.

What difference does it make? Does it let me see more of a nebula or galaxy? Does it let me see more detail in a planet? Are they really worth the price?

with a long focal length telescope you can use lots of more inexpensive wide field eyepieces.

for a 8in sct, I think a 2" visual back and 2" diagonal with a inexpensive 2" eyepiece would be great.

but in a faster dob f4-6 the higher end eyepieces can pull away from the pack.

I was looking at m5 in a 8in f6 dob. At first I had my ES 14mm 82° in the scope, then I put in my TV15mm plossl. It was like someone flipped a switch and turned on the lights with the TV plossl.

the next day I put the 14mm 82° up for sale.

#11 Rick Woods

Also, how good are your eyes? The better your eyes, the bigger the difference a premium EP will make.

#12 Dwight J

I would second what Danny said. You can happily use lower quality range eyepieces in long focus telescopes while fast ones are really helped by Televue Naglers and the like. A good example is an Erfle. I have a 20 mm Meade Erfle that is excellent in my SCT's but when I tried it in my F4.5 Newtonian - yikes! A good example of coma. I put my Televue Pantopic in and all the mess disappears as a well corrected field comes into view. The wider field you want, the more important having a well corrected ocular becomes in addition to F ratio. I don't know what the magic F ratio would be where you would be better off with high quality eyepieces. I suspect around F7. Of course, Naglers, Ethos, and Pantopics work well at any F ratio.

#13 sevenhelmet

For most scopes, I find a good quality Plossl will go a long way. I sometimes use Meade series 5000 Plossls in my 10" Dob with very good effect, especially on planets and doubles. I do tend to favor the wide AFOV Naglers though, since my scope is not driven. In general, fewer high-quality elements MIGHT improve contrast on some objects, but your results will vary widely based on your setup.

Baader Hyperions have a good reputation. Don't let the gear discussions sway you, TeleVue eyepieces are great but very expensive, and certainly not a requirement to see any object through your C8. They will last you a lifetime though, and the used EP market is full good deals (or was a couple of years ago, when all the guys with money were upgrading to the Ethos line )

Edited by sevenhelmet, 26 January 2015 - 03:43 PM.

#14 REC

I have a C8 and a set of Baader Hyperion eyepieces. I keep reading how TeleVue eyepieces are the best, and are several hundred dollars more expensive.

What difference does it make? Does it let me see more of a nebula or galaxy? Does it let me see more detail in a planet? Are they really worth the price?

That is an interesting question and I asked myself that when I got my 8" SCT a few years ago. The Baader EP's you have are really good and I'm not sure you would see a major differance with the Telvue in a head to head comparison on say the moon, planets, star clusters. maybe a little if you knew what to look for? Do you where glasses? Makes a big difference with some EP's.

Your Hyperion EP's are 68* FOV and 20mm eye relief, which makes them very comfortable to view. The TelVue would be 50*, 68* or 82* and the exotic expensive 100*. The plossl are under $100, the Pan 68* are $250+ and the 82* are $340+. Most of these do not have the generous 20mm eye relief. I have a Nagler 13mm T6 and the eye relief is only 12mm and a little tight. My 19mm Pan is 13mm.

Anyway, as you can see, they can cost up to 3 times as much as your $110 Hyperion's, so unless you want to spend a lot more money replacing what you have, I would add something on the other end for wider views. If you stick with the 1.25" diagonal, the widest you can go would be a 32mm plossl or a 24mm SWA or stick with Baader if you want for the 31mm EP. One of the more popular choices to match features with TeleVue has been Expoerer Scientific at about half the price and have very good reviews by a lot of CN members.

One other thing to keep in mind, is if you are really curious you can keep an eye out for a TV used. I picked up my Nagler 13mm T6 for about $100 off of new. They turn very quickly and can be sold without losing any money most of the time.

#15 mostlyemptyspace

So if I upgrade to a 2" diagonal, should I keep my Hyperions, or do I need to replace them with 2" eyepieces?

#16 GeneT

You own an F8 telescope which is more forgiving than my F5. TeleVue are excellent eyepieces. However, I don't believe you will see more, other than move AFOV if you buy a TeleVue that has more than your Baaders.

#17 Jon Isaacs

I have a C8 and a set of Baader Hyperion eyepieces. I keep reading how TeleVue eyepieces are the best, and are several hundred dollars more expensive.

What difference does it make? Does it let me see more of a nebula or galaxy? Does it let me see more detail in a planet? Are they really worth the price?

I think just about everyone has hit the nail on the head.. TeleVue eyepieces are very nice, they are well corrected for astigmatism at fast focal ratios, the Panoptics, the Naglers, the Ethos and now the Delos all have generously wide fields of view, they are free from a variety of aberrations.. In terms of a widefield eyepiece, it doesn't get any better.. If your scopes are F/4 and F/5 Newtonians, F/5, F/6 and F/7 refractors, it's hard to beat a TeleVue eyepiece. I have a set myself.

But your Hyperion eyepieces are good solid eyepieces, a TeleVue would be a bit sharper at the edge in your SCT, particularly with the focal reducer in place, the field of view would probably be more evenly illuminated, my experience with the cousin of the Hyperion, the Stratus eyepieces was that there was an edge brightening. But these are minor differences, you are not going to see galaxies in the TV eyepieces that are not seen in the Hyperions, the planets are not going to suddenly come alive, crisp and clear.. The views would be pretty much the same, probably just a bit better. If you wear eyeglasses while observing, you might find the TeleVue eyepieces were short on eye relief.

I wouldn't recommend going out and spending big money on TeleVue eyepieces. You might go, wow, the first time you looked through a 13mm Nagler but after a short while you would probably be thinking,, Those Hyperions are really pretty darn good eyepieces..

#18 City Kid

I keep reading how TeleVue eyepieces are the best, and are several hundred dollars more expensive.

What difference does it make? Does it let me see more of a nebula or galaxy? Does it let me see more detail in a planet? Are they really worth the price?

More of a nebula or galaxy? More detail in a planet? If you're looking for a straight yes or no answer I would say no. What you see will more than likely be in a wider, more corrected field, but anything in the center of the field of view will look essentially the same. Are they really worth the price? For some yes for others no. Depends on each individual's situation. If buying TeleVue eyepieces puts a financial hardship on you then they aren't worth it and you can be just as happy with cheaper alternatives. For what it's worth almost all of my eyepieces are TeleVue's so for me they are worth the money but if my finances dictated that I have cheaper eyepieces then I'm sure I could enjoy the hobby just as much with cheaper eyepieces. If you can afford one, go for it. If you can't, don't feel like you're missing out on something magical that you just have to have in order to get a good view from your scope.


Thoughts

Is it practical to shoot with a lens like this for everyday work? That answer really depends on how and what you shoot. If you shoot sports, absolutely not. Still, work, including portraits, is doable if you have the patience to manually focus and accept that you are going to miss focus a decent amount.

Some would argue that forcing yourself to slow down and think about what you are shooting in this manner may make you a better photographer by forcing you to not just be lazy and hit the button. Certainly, that's subjective.

Well, there's clearly some differences in the way the images are rendered, but are the differences really as massive as you would expect for four decades of rapidly paced technological improvements?

Answers: Image A is the Canon 135mm f/2L and Image B is the ISCO 140mm f/2.1.


Different types of lens

Lenses are generally categorized by their focal range or specific function if they're a specialist lens. Below we've taken a look at a few of the most common types of lens, thought about the characteristics their images are said to have, and considered how they can be used.

Ultra Wide

Typical uses of ultra wide angle lenses include landscape, architecture and interior photography

What they are: Ultra Wide angle lenses have a focal length of around less than 24 mm (in 35 mm-format), this means they can take in a wider scene than is typical, though they're not only about getting all of a subject into a shot. Rectilinear ultra wides help keep straight lines, just that, while fisheyes will reproduce buildings with curved walls.

Image characteristics: Because of the wide field of view, shots with ultra wide angle lenses typically feature a large depth of field. Images tend to pull in subjects that are close, and push away more distant ones making them appear further apart. Perspective distortion of ultra wides can give falling-building-syndrome (where vertical lines converge) but this can be corrected in post-processing, or minimized with good technique.

What they are used for: While often seen as a specialist lens, ultra wide angles can be used in a number of ways. Typical uses include landscape, architecture and interior photography. Even the distortion can be used creatively, especially when using fisheye lenses.

Wide Angle

Wide angle lenses aren't just for buildings and large groups of people

What they are: Typically covering a focal length between 24 mm and 35 mm, Wide Angle lenses are available as primes or zooms and come with either variable or fixed maximum aperture. Offering a wide field of view, they often also boast close minimum focusing distances.

Image characteristics: Wide angle photographs can magnify the perceived distance between subjects in the foreground and background. Wide angles suffer less distortion than their ultra wide counterparts, but you still get an exaggeration of lines and curves which can be used artistically.

What they are used for: Many people only reach for a wide angle lens when trying to get the whole of a subject in frame, whether that's a building, a large group of people or a landscape. However, while those are perfectly good uses of one, they can also be used for interesting portraits where you want to place a subject in a situation. Just be careful not to distort faces unflatteringly by shooting too close.

Standard / Normal

Many photographers consider a 50 mm prime as a normal lens, as it's said to reproduce an image which feels "natural" and similar to what you see with your eyes

What the are: The kit lens your DSLR or interchangeable lens mirrorless camera came with is probably an example of a standard zoom lens, covering a focal range of around 35-70 mm. Ones with better optics and faster maximum apertures are also available. Many photographers consider a 50 mm prime (in 35-mm-format) as a normal lens, as it's said to reproduce an image with a angle of view which feels "natural" and similar to what you see with your eyes - even thought this isn't technically true.

Image characteristics: Standard zoom lenses and normal primes sit between wide angles and telephotos in terms of image characteristics and are much more like you see with the human eye. Normal prime lenses tend to have faster maximum apertures which can allow for a shallow depth of field and lower light shooting.

What they are used for: As their name would suggest, normal or standard lenses are versatile lenses which can be used for almost all sorts of photography whether street, documentary, landscape, or portrait. Because normal prime lenses tend to feature faster maximum apertures, they allow you to shoot with a shallower depth of field and in lower light.

Telephoto

Telephoto zooms are good for focusing in on specific details or distant subjects

What they are: Telephoto lenses are those with a focal length in excess of 70 mm, though many people would argue that "true" telephoto lenses are ones which exceed 135 mm. They focus on a much narrower field of view than other lenses, which means they are good for focusing in on specific details or distant subjects. They are generally larger and heavier than equally specified wider lenses.

Image characteristics: Because they have a narrower angle of view, telephoto lenses bring far away subjects closer. They can also have the effect of compressing the sense of distance in a scene and making objects appear closer together. A narrow depth of field means that a subject can be in focus with a blurred background and foreground.

What they are used for: In addition to being used to photograph subjects you can't (or don't want to) get close to - like sports or wildlife - telephoto lenses can be used for shooting portraits and even landscapes where their normalization of relative size can be used to give a sense of scale.

Superzoom

Superzooms are do-it-all lenses which cover focal lengths from wide to telephoto

What they are: Superzooms are do-it-all lenses which cover focal lengths from wide to telephoto. They can be good for uses in situations where you can't or don't want to be changing lenses and they normally change in length as you zoom.

Image characteristics: Because compromises have had to be made producing a do-it-all lens, superzooms do not have the same image quality of more dedicated lenses and often have slower and variable maximum apertures.

What they are used for: Offering a one-lens package, superzooms come into their own if you can't (or don't want to) change lenses. This could be when in situations where it wouldn't be safe to switch lenses, or when travelling - you don't necessarily want to be weighed down by five lenses when on holiday with the family.

Macro

Marco lenses are technically those which are capable of reproduction ratios greater than 1:1

What they are: One of the more specialist lenses, marco lenses are technically those which are capable of reproduction ratios greater than 1:1. However, the term is frequently used to refer to any lens which can be used for extreme close-up photography. Macro lenses typically have focal lengths somewhere between 40-200 mm.

Image characteristics: Macro lenses normally have excellent image sharpness, though it's worth noting that when working at close distances they also have a tiny depth of field. You can often end up with a shot of an insect where only a fraction of it is in focus.

What they are used for: Though normally used for close-up photography (at which they excel), macro lenses can also be great for portraits thanks to their typical sharpness and focal lengths.


Everything that the camera has to work with comes to it through the lens. If the lens is horribly soft (that is, it gives low-contrast and not very sharp images) when you do everything right, then it doesn't make a lot of difference what camera it's attached to, you're not going to be able to get razor-sharp images with a lot of "pop". The same goes for any of the optical characteristics of a lens -- the camera can't give you a wider maximum aperture, lower distortion, etc.†

So there is a minimum level of optical quality below which you really don't want to fall when selecting lenses, and there really is no substitute for having the right class of lens for the job (whether that means having a wide maximum aperture or the right focal length).

And there are handling issues to consider as well -- many of the "kit" lenses and crop-sensor superzooms are optically very good (some are actually excellent), but they're almost impossible to focus manually because they have only a very narrow ring of knurled plastic way out on the far end of a wobbly set of focus tubes to work with. If you don't focus manually, you'd never notice, but a Zen master on Valium could easily find himself smashing what is otherwise an acceptable lens to smithereens (and kicking kittens) if manual focus was important to him. And some lenses that get the optics very right but saved money on the construction exhibit zoom or focus creep -- the glass in the lens is heavier than the mechanical bits can handle, so when you point the lens up or down, gravity does its thing and changes your settings.

All of that said, though, a lens can't fix all of the problems with a camera either. If you need to shoot, say, people in very low ambient light, it's a lot easier (though only slightly less expensive) to find a camera that will let you work at ISO 25,600 than it is to find a lens with an f/0.35 maximum aperture (and if you did find the lens, you'd have to decide which part of which eyelash on which person you wanted in focus, since everything else will be thoroughly blurred). And on the camera I use hand-held and in the field most of the time,‡ a 6MP Nikon D70, there isn't enough resolution on the sensor for me to see the difference between an excellent lens and one that's merely very good -- I could spend a fortune on the very best lenses, but until I change cameras I can't see the difference in my photographs. So yes, the camera body makes a much bigger difference in the digital era than it did in the film era. But it still can't make up for a horrible lens.

And let's be realistic, too -- the lens you can afford and actually use to take pictures will always be better than the brilliant but expensive pinnacle of the lensmaker's art that never gets closer to you than your Amazon wish list. When it comes right down to it, it's much better to have a $300 dollar Samyang on your camera, with all of its flaws and foibles, than an $1800 Nikkor locked away safely in your local photo boutique. The picture you can't take never comes out well.

As Nir said, the photographer, not the tools, is the biggest limiting factor.

† Both cameras and some outboard processing software can remove things like geometric distortion (barrel and pincushion), vignetting and lateral chromatic abberation after the fact by calculating what the image would have looked like without the problems, but that always involves losing some of the original data.

‡ I have Parkinson's disease, and I can't afford to buy a new top-of-the-range camera every time I drop one or involuntarily swing it into a wall. Meds can keep the tremors under control (and one learns to time things), but they don't do much for the clumsiness. At under $200 per, I don't worry about the D70s so much, and that's liberating. (I can't wait for the "ew, that's so-o-o old" used D7000s to hit the market at that price, though.) There's the whole CCD sync speed thing, too -- everything is X-sync, and all I have to consider is the flash duration being longer than my selected shutter speed. And since most of what I shoot is for small prints and the web, 6MP isn't much of a limitation. Now, if I could just get it to work in available darkness.


10 Best Barlow Lenses 1.25″ & 2″ Why I’d Buy Them

A Barlow lens is a cost-efficient way of enhancing your telescope’s magnification abilities. Therefore, by getting the right one for your needs, you can expand your backyard observational capabilities in astronomy.

Quick Cheat Sheet
SizeMFGModelPriceQualityWhy it Made the ListAmazon Link
1.25"SvbonyFUSF9108A175Best Price Learn More
1.25"AstromaniaSKU_AM_BL1X3306Best at a BudgetLearn More
2"AstromaniaSKU_AM_BL2ED586Best Price Learn More
1.25"Celestron93529 X-Cel LX907Best All Around Learn More
2"ZhumellZHUE006-1607Best at a Budget Learn More
2"Celestron93436 Luminos1008Best All Around Learn More
1.25"Orion84701309Best Quality at Price Learn More
2"Orion84712209Best Quality at Price Learn More
1.25"BaaderVIPB27010Best QualityLearn More
2"TelevuePMT-220032710Best QualityLearn More

Are you thinking about the cheap route? Or are you on track for a more exceptional quality Barlow lens? Either way, the final decision is up to you. However, to help you out, here’s a simple buying guide and Top 10 Best Barlow Lens for 2021. That’s 5 best 1.25” and 5 best 2”. We took some time and reviewed each lens and stated their respective pros and cons below.

Easy Read Graph

Buying Guide – How to Pick the Right Barlow Lens?

Before making any purchase, let’s make sure you know what makes a good Barlow lens. There are three key things you should consider when buying – tube-size, magnification, and price.

Tube Size

The first thing you need to know is the size of the Barlow lens that will fit in the focusing tube, and what size eyepieces you currently have. The two standard sizes are 1.25” or 2”. A quick recommendation, if you can accept a 2″ Barlow in the focusing tube, in short, it will allow more light to pass through to your eyepiece.

Magnification

The second thing to consider is the magnification of the lens. Barlow lenses typically come in three magnifications – 2x, 3x, and 5x. For most beginners, we recommend you to have 2x power, or something close to it. Too much X power and you will not be able to focus, or your field of view will be narrowed too much with a 5X per se.

To get more in-depth on Barlow Lenses, take a look at this article: What is a Barlow Lens and What do They Do?

Price

Like any other product price increases with quality. So, having a budget can be helpful going into a Barlow purchase. Like, knowing how much you are willing to invest based on the telescope you own.

There are still many inexpensive Barlows with decent quality in the market where their prices start at just under $20 or so. If you aim for a middle quality, prices start around $58 and go up from there. Meanwhile, expensive and excellent quality Barlow lenses cost from $200 and above.

Let’s Get Started With the List

We are going to jump right into the list of best Barlow’s. The first group is the 1.25″, and the 2″ follow.

Best 1.25″ Barlow Lenses 2021

Best Price 1.25″ Barlow Lens

There are plenty of options for very cheap Barlow’s, but the quality is then compromised. However, this one from SVBONY offers good optic quality for a reasonable price without emptying your pocket.

When used for Celestron Cosmos FirstScope for example, it provides better power and image contrast.

The machining of its parts and housing are done with much intricacy. Its compression ring, thread, anodized black aluminum body are crafted with good quality. It effectively increases eyepiece power. For instance, a 20x power will become 40x when using this Barlow. (learn more about magnification and your telescope with this article)

Overall, this lens altogether provides value for money. You can either have this as your main Barlow or a secondary alternative with a more expensive one. A perfect addition to a starter telescope.

  • Excellent value for the money
  • Reliable power increment increase
  • Crisp view with less light loss in the price range
  • Threaded for filters

Best All-Around 1.25” Barlow Lens

For a reasonable price, this Barlow has the right features and capacity to be an all-around Barlow lens for astronomical viewing. It also works with diagonals with its three-element optic system that reduces color aberrations.

It can pair nicely with any type of eyepiece, far better than the Ultima even. The sharpness and contrast of the viewed image are excellent for the price. The stylish central rubber grip helps well by providing a grip on the lens exterior. Moreover, its compression ring and thumbscrew adjustment work well in securing the hold of the eyepiece.

  • Reasonable price
  • An excellent optic system, 3-element multi-coated
  • Effective in minimizing color and spherical aberration
  • Threaded for filters

It is a good Barlow to have for all your astronomical observation.

Best for Budget 1.25” Short Barlow Lens

Astromania is a known brand for making high-grade Barlow lenses. This short-focus lens is their budget-friendly option for those on tight budgets. You still get a beautiful crisp view of the image, even increasing the power 3x.

You can use this lens on a Canon T5 DSLR and SkyWatcher 8-inch Dob for increasing its ocular power. The parts and housing of this accessory are well-polished and machined. The anodized black body is also useful, allowing more contrast to the image.

It is a good lens for an affordable price that offers excellent viewing. A good lens for telescopes over 90mm. However, makes sure you can return it if it does not focus on your telescope. You can also try the 2X unit as well.

  • Budget-friendly short-focus Barlow
  • Sleek parts and housing
  • Effective power increment
  • Threaded for filters

Best 1.25” Barlow Lens with 2-Day Shipping


This Barlow offers excellent optic and magnification increment with an added perk of 2-day shipping. Orion is a well-known manufacturer known to make high-quality telescopes. This Barlow is a 4-element multi-coated lens that offers 2x power.

It allows you to get a very crisp and contrasting view. The compression ring and thumbscrew adjustment work very well in securing your eyepiece. If you use a 25-mm eyepiece with this Barlow, you get a magnification equal to a 12.5-mm eyepiece without losing any light from the aperture.

It is an overall excellent Barlow lens to help expand the ability of quality telescopes. Recommended for telescopes with apertures 130mm or higher.

  • 4-element multi-coated lens
  • Firmly holds the eyepiece in place
  • A crisp and clearer view
  • Threaded for filters

Better yet… Best High-End 1.25” Barlow Lens

If you are willing to go the extra mile for quality and price, this Baader Barlow is the way to go. It comes with a crisp, clear view suitable for astrophotography. If you are planning on getting that clear picture of those DSO’s, then investing in the Baader high-quality Barlow is the most logical method.

For the price, this lens can accept one each of an eyepiece and focuser. The entire housing of this lens is black coated to minimize internal reflection and fringing of colors. The four-element optic system can make a significant reduction on its spherical and color aberrations which distorts image quality. Designed to keep a flattened field of view.

Meanwhile, I also admire the thumbscrews and compression ring design. It safely holds the eyepiece in place. You can also tell that it is a quality piece when you hold it in your hand, feeling how well-built and machined it is. Recommended for the “professional” amateur astronomer.

  • Sturdy material and construction
  • High-quality optic system
  • Great for astrophotography
  • Threads for filters

Now What About 2” Barlows

The 2-inch advantage

The 2” Barlow allows more light to pass through, plus it can be a little more sturdy over a 1.25″ when mounting a camera on its end.

Best 2-inch Barlow Lenses 2019

Best Price Long Tube Barlow Lens

This long tube 2-inch Barlow lens has excellent optics, and for the price, we think it is unbeatable. The overall construction and machining of this lens is high-quality and made from durable materials. You would find its ED glass element effective in minimizing color aberrations which decreases image sharpness for astrophotography.

You can use this Barlow on a Canon T5 DLSR to enhance its focus and pair to a SkyWatcher 8-inch Dobs. This lens also fits best for any type of reflectors to supplement their slight back focus. The aperture size of this lens provides sufficient light for sharper image contrast.

Another thing to admire from this lens is that you can unscrew one section of the lens just to have a lower magnification, around 1.5x. This can be an advantage in focusing on certain telescopes or adjusting for that specific view.

The only gripe I heard is that it was not compatible when paired with an Orion 2-inch 38-mm Q70 eyepiece. I was not able to measure them with a micrometer to see who was off on their tolerances. Just a tremendous economical 2″ Barlow.

  • Cost-efficient long tube 2” Barlow
  • High-quality machining
  • Good optics and color aberration reduction
  • Can create a shorter body at a 1.5X
  • Has 2” filter threads

Best All-Around 2” Barlow Lens

Whether you are an amateur or professional astronomer, this Barlow is your best shot for an all-around tool for observational astronomy that is worth the price. The size is good and its weight just right for its purpose. You would also find its 1.25” adapter holds everything firmly without a doubt.

This one fits perfectly for an 8-inch Dob with a 28-mm deep view lens. It enhances magnification and contrast of the image. The entire assemblage of this Barlow has high-quality machining that includes its compression ring, anodized aluminum body, and its central rubber grip section.

Comparing its quality and price with other counterparts, we would say it provides much better trade-off and cost-efficiency. Moreover, its 4-element optics work incredibly by reducing chromatic aberrations.

I found that reaching for it easy in dim light as well. It is easy to figure out which one is your Barlow when it is a different color in the dim light.

  • Excellent 4-element optic
  • Solid anodized aluminum housing
  • Well made and durable
  • 2” filter threads

Best for Budget 2-Inch Shorty Barlow Lens

For those on a tight budget but, still, want to have decent quality Barlow for superb viewing. This Zhumell 2-inch “shorty” Barlow is a great solution. For a more affordable cost, you get a sharp image contrast with your astronomical exploration.

The overall features of this “shorty” lens effectively provide a clear, crisp view of the object with very little loss in light. Its thread or compression ring can firmly hold a 2″ or 1.25″ eyepieces without making scratches on its rim.

Moreover, its ED optics makes it capable of minimizing color aberrations assisting in high contrasting images.

  • Affordable good quality short tube Barlow
  • Effective color aberration reduction
  • Good quality construction
  • Threads for 2” filters

Best Barlow Lens with 2-Day Shipping

This is one of the premier Barlow lens from Orion that you can have within 2-days. The price is reasonable when you look at its features and performance. There is flexibility in using this lens for a 2″ and 1.25″ eyepiece with its adapter. The brass compression rings also work perfectly holding a 1.25” eyepiece and adapter.

It has four-element optics, and multi-coated lenses to reduce color and spherical aberrations. It enhances the power of eyepiece without compromising the viewer’s eye health and quality of the imagery. You can also notice the aesthetic central rubber grip design of this Barlow, which helps you grip comfortably, and securely in case of dew buildup.

We find this lens to effectively provide premier viewing for your 1.25” or 2” eyepieces.

  • Fast and safe shipping
  • High-grade optic system
  • Excellent machining on parts and housing
  • Threaded for 2” filters

Better yet….Best High-End Optic Barlow Lens

Price is directly related to optic quality. If you are aiming for the top of the line optic system Barlow lens for your telescope, then this one from Televue is one of the best you can find.

If you are willing to invest in high-grade optics, then the price is immaterial. Your viewing and or astrophotography will reap the rewards.

This Barlow is a perfect fit for CMOS astrophotography cameras. It truly lives to its claim in providing a crisp and clear image without loss of light. The black edge of the lenses helps keep a high contrast of your viewing. So far, I have heard of no complaint regarding incompatibility or craftsmanship.

Plus it comes in higher powers for straight astrophotography without the eyepieces.

The recess section of the tube prevents the Barlow from falling when setting on a flat. Its overall machining is clean and well-polished.

  • Premier option for crisp astrophotography images
  • High-quality parts and machining
  • Premier optic system
  • 2” filter threads

Why These Barlows Made The List

These Barlow lenses made it to the list because they successfully satisfied the criteria in quality construction and lens quality. The essential things considered include achromatic reduction coatings, optical quality, housing material, and its overall quality.

Achromatic Coatings

These are coatings applied on the Barlow lens to eliminate reflection of colors and light inside, which enhances the clarity and purity of the image viewed. Moreover, it sharpens the quality of image and comfort on the viewer’s eyes.

Optic Quality

This refers to the innate quality of the Barlow lens. Typically, expensive ones have better lens quality compared to the cheaper options in the market. However, you can always strike in the mid-range lens quality.

Construction Material

This refers to the material used in the body and parts of the Barlow lens. Likewise, it also talks about how well the materials were crafted by a specific brand.

Majority of Barlow lenses have their housing made from quality aluminum and anodized black body. In contrast, some have a durable plastic body.

Make sure it is not shiny plastic on the inside of the tube.

Rubber insulation can also be wrapped around its body to ensure a good grip. The compression ring inside is made from brass and ensures the eyepiece is securely held in place and will negate or minimize scratching

Overall Quality

At this section, you need to consider all the things mentioned earlier and how it significantly makes your particular Barlow lens worth the price. Sometimes this is most evident when you hold it in your hand.

What Does Achromatic Mean With A Barlow?

If we say a Barlow lens is achromatic, it means it is composed of two lenses stuck together and become one. It is mostly a combination of convex and concave lenses. The overall result is an enhanced performance by effectively reducing chromatic aberration or splitting of colors and lights in various directions.

An achromatic lens for a Barlow means it is composed of at least two lenses. While an apochromatic Barlows typically have three or more lenses.

Meanwhile, if a Barlow lens has achromatic coatings, it means the coating helps to eliminate internal reflection inside the glass. The end result is a sharper clearer image.

What Difference Does It Make Between 2, 3, or 4 Lenses?

In the field of lenses, an “element” refers to a single lens comprising the entire optic system. For instance, a Barlow lens with 2-elements means the whole optic system is composed of two individual lenses stuck together.

Meanwhile, a 3- and 4-element Barlow lenses simply mean the entire optic is composed of three and four individuals lenses stuck together, respectively.

How to Determine Quality Barlow Fabrication

Having an ocular inspection on the fabrication quality of a Barlow lens can be seen on its interior and exterior finish. Majority of good quality Barlow’s have their housing made from quality aluminum with rubberized grip insulation wrapped around. A non-reflective dark surface inside the tube, and a brass compression ring to hold and secure the eyepieces.

A few of these lenses also have safety grooves to keep the lens from falling. There is also the thumbscrew threads are significant enough not to pull or strip. Of course, it does not take much force to secure an eyepiece with a quality brass ring.

Which Is My Favorite Barlow and Why

From my list, my favorite Barlow lens is Celestron 93529 X-Cel 1.25” 2X. It is an upper mid-range quality lens with a price around $100 for most any budget. Its multi-coated 3-element Apochromatic lenses make it perform as well as the more expensive Barlows for the average astronomer and on most telescopes.

The reasons this guy won it is 1.25″ and will fit in 99% of all telescopes. As touched on above, the quality is that in which 80% of telescope users will not be able to notice the quality enhancement with lenses 2 or 3 times the cost. The last reason was that it was the best lens under $100 when I bought it.

You get crisp and clear views of your image. It looks good too with the orange accents incorporated in it. The optical quality of this lens is excellent and comparable to the more expensive ones.

If you have a slow or fast telescope, this can do very well in elevating its viewing quality. Can you do better in view quality, yes, but overall, you can’t go wrong with this Celestron Barlow as part of your telescope accessory kit. To learn more about what makes a telescope fast or slow, click here.

Now all that said, which one would I want if money was no object…The 2” Televue! However, money is an object, and that is why I started this blog to help people get a telescope they can enjoy within their budget.

Need More?

We’ve come to the last part of sharing about Barlow lenses. Hopefully, we have made it worth your time. If you liked this article and would like to learn more about Barlow lenses and what they can do for you, click here.

Also, here are some articles that you may find informative as well.

IF you have a minute, you may want to check out my Recommended Gear Page where you can see what else I recommend.


How to choose the best binoculars for astronomy observing

Binoculars seem to be everywhere today. Miniature, pocket-binocs can be had for $15 or $20, which is an astonishing price point when you stop to consider how many lenses and prisms are in them. And though these may be perfectly acceptable for quick views of the occasional bird or squirrels, the sheer physics of their limited light gathering make them impractical for usage in astronomy.

That leads to the flip side the binocular world: The large aperture, high magnification ones. These seem like a great idea as well: 60 and 70 millimeter lenses with 15, 20 and 25 times magnification. We need more light through the lenses to see more, and higher magnification is always a good thing, right? Well. yes and no. Good, high-quality, anti-reflection coated lenses, BAK-4 prisms, expertly-collimated binoculars make great, specialty astronomy binoculars, but observers with instruments such as these will also need a beefy, strong tripod, because their weight will make them heavy to hold even after short periods of time, and the magnification will require it. Go the other route of cheaper lenses, less coatings, BK-7 prisms, poorly collimated optics and you have a recipe for difficult to focus binoculars with soft / fuzzy star images out the outer edge of the field, vignetting of the field of view, and an instrument that may make your eyes / head hurt! Yes, they are inexpensive (sometimes as low as $60), but is that really worth it?

I'd argue it is not. (Want the TLDR version? Skip to the end.)

What to look for in astronomy binoculars

By the numbers

First, let's talk numbers. Binoculars are described using two numbers, usually in a "X x XX" format. The first number is the magnification provided by the binoculars. The second number is the aperture of the main lenses (the side the light comes in) in millimeters. So 7x50 binoculars magnify 7 times, and have two lenses of 50mm on the incoming light end.

Numbers, math, and exit pupil

Magnification is less important for astronomy than many beginners realize. In fact, for binoculars, less magnification is better, since very likely the instruments will be hand-held. The more magnification there is, the more any inability to hold the binoculars perfectly steady gets magnified too. That's why many ideal astronomy binoculars are 7x50, 8x40 or 10x50.

The other number, aperture, matters in the same way it does for telescopes: Larger aperture gathers more light, which means the observer can (likely) see more. With binoculars, that is true too - but again, up to a point when all other factors are taken into consideration like weight, coatings and cost. Very often, that good balance will start with 35mm lenses, and top out around 50mm lenses. Again, you can see why 7x50's and 10x50's are popular choices.

You can calculate an important component of ANY set of binoculars called exit pupil. This is the diameter of focused light leaving the eyepiece end of the binoculars. It is roughly calculated by dividing the aperture by the magnification:

Aperture in mm / magnification = Exit pupil

So the 7x50 binoculars above produce a 7.1mm exit pupil (50 / 7 = 7.1). 10x50 binoculars would have a 5mm exit pupil (50 / 10 = 5).

Why is that important? During the day, it isn't, as there is sufficient light gathering and very likely the pupils of your eyes will be constricted anyway. This is why those small, pocket binoculars are often useful during the day.

But at night, the pupils of your eyes enlarge, helping you to see better. If you are using small, 10x25 binoculars, the exit pupil will only be 2.5mm. Younger people's eyes can often dilate to 7mm, and those 40 and older may only dilate to 5 or 6mm, but think about that: If you're only getting 2.5mm of light, you're restricting what you can see.

Having a larger exit pupil matters don't restrict what can reach your eye for binoculars (this is different for telescopes at high magnification) artificially based on small exit pupil numbers. The idea is to gather more light for your eyes, so you can see fainter stars and objects in the night sky.

Field matters

In astronomy, it helps to know how wide the field of view is that is visible in binoculars. 5 to 7 degrees of field is really where binoculars excel over telescopes, which can restrict the field of view to a degree and a half or less (see graphic above).

It's similar to the "zoom" function on a camera: If you're trying to get a picture of your whole family at a holiday, that might be difficult if the camera's zoom is stuck halfway or all the way on zoom. You'd need the widest view possible, so you'd zoom out.

That's what binoculars do. Higher magnification binoculars start to restrict this field, often pinching it down to 3 and 4 degrees. That is still better than most telescopes, but the benefit of binoculars is having that widest field of view, to find objects in the sky more easily or simply take in a larger view of the cosmos than can be seen naked eye.

Separating the wheat from the chaff

So why so much? Well, remember all that glass in there. Have you ever checked your hair in a car window or piece of glass on a building? Glass reflects some light. And every SIDE of that glass reflect a bit so one piece of glass has two surfaces that are reflecting light back - that's why you can sometimes see two images of yourself in a window.

Binoculars may have 12 to 16 of these surfaces PER SIDE. That's a lot of glass surfaces to reflect light!

Binocular manufacturers reduce these reflections by treating the lenses with anti-reflection coatings. And it costs money to add these to each lens, so for each one, you can hear the "Ka-ching! Ka-ching!" of money being added every time another anti-reflection coating is added.

Good, high quality anti-reflection coatings are a deep green, and are referred to as multi-coated lenses. Single layer coatings are a light purple in color, and are often just called anti-reflection coatings. Cheap coatings that really don't offer much anti-reflective properties that are useful for astronomy applications at all are red, ruby, gold or orange colored.

To lower costs, companies change how many lenses actually receive these coatings. Ideally, you want the best light-through-put, "fully multi-coated" binoculars are best. They are also the most expensive. "Multi-coated" or "fully coated" binoculars will sometimes have multi-coated lenses on the outside glass surfaces, and purple single layers on internal glass surfaces.

These are certainly acceptable. Lower cost binoculars may say, "coated" lenses, and only coat the outside lens surfaces. It really helps to read the sales literature carefully, and trust me - marketing people will do all they can to get you to think that more surfaces are coated than perhaps are. You can get a good idea by the difference in prices.

Weighing other features

The weight of binoculars is another important component to consider. It gets tiring holding binoculars that weigh more than about 2 pounds (32 ounces /

1kg). The flip side of this is making sure that the instrument has enough metal in it to hold collimation and protect it from occasional bumps too lightweight and the slightest mishandling could knock it out of alignment. Something in the 24 to 30 ounce range for 7x50 or 10x50 binoculars is likely to be ideal.

Bending and bouncing

Binoculars are compact because they use internal prisms to bounce the light path and "fold" it into a smaller package. There are two ways to do this: One is with 'roof' prisms, often used on those pocket / compact binoculars. Roof prisms aren't very practical above about 40mm in diameter, so starting around 35mm aperture companies employ something call porro prisms. These allow more light to enter them from the main lenses, although there are differences in the type of glass used.

Lower cost binoculars use BK-7 glass. It is less expensive to manufacture, but it does not transmit as much light. And if they are not coated, they'll transmit even less! Better binoculars use BAK-4 prisms, a more expensive type of glass which transmits more light.

Better binoculars also use larger BAK-4 prisms, to avoid vignetting the light coming from the main lenses. The idea of astronomy binoculars is ti have as much light possible reach your eye - cutting it off artificially because the prisms are too small reduces how much you can see.

What's your budget?

Knowing all that goes into binoculars, determine a realistic budget. With essentially TWO optical systems in one instrument, remember that it is like joining two small telescopes together - AND - they need to be well-collimated with each other, or you'll be seeing double (or straining your eyes to 'merge' the two images, which can cause a headache!).

And there's more than just those two lenses there's another set of lenses where the eyepieces are - usually consisting of three elements per side. Add to that the two sets of prisms. $75 to $100 is really the very low end of decent binoculars. "Good" binoculars start in the $200 to $300 range (yes, I know that is as much as or more than many telescopes).

To zoom or not to zoom?

Definitely not. Seems like a great idea. Terrible for astronomy. Trust me, you'll be wasting your money. Same for any binoculars labelled "focus-free" ones. Save for something better and more suitable. Pinpoint stars are the hardest thing for optics to focus zoom and "focus free" make it that much harder, and the results aren't pretty. Avoid these.

TLDR (Too long didn't read everything above) a.k. Bottom line

To sum up: Binoculars for astronomy are best when they provide a low magnification, wide field of view. In addition to providing a substantial exit pupil of light leaving the eyepiece, when chosen at a weight of two pounds or less with fully coated surfaces, they can provide substantially more light reaching the user's eyes and assist in observing wide fields of much fainter objects than the naked eye can see.

For those reasons, 7x50, 8x40 and 10x50 binoculars are often the best compromise of features and price for astronomy binocular users. Choose some with fully multi-coated or fully coated optics for best performance. As tempting as those 15x70, 20x80 or 25x100 binoculars may look compared to the price, they will very likely still be around to serve as a second set of specialty binoculars for astronomy. Learning the sky will be substantially easier with the lower-power, lighter weight options listed previously.

The very best binoculars will come from Canon, Leica, Minolta, Nikon, Pentax, Steiner, Swarovski, and Zeiss, but these are likely to be in the $300 to $500 range and up. For more budget-minded optics, consider the binoculars sold at Orion Telescopes and Astronomics, though I would be careful about the large, lower-cost Celestron binoculars as the reviews have been quite mixed on these instruments.

I personally own 7x50 Scenix binoculars from Orion they run about $100 (sometimes on sale for a bit less). I bought my wife a set of the 8x56 Mini Giants from Orion - while these are on the upper end of weight for hand holding, they provide pinpoint stars and lovely views across the entire field. While I own about a dozen pairs of binoculars, these two are my most used ones.

Low magnification (7x and 8x) and easily hand-held. I hope you'll believe me when I state that there's a reason why you might want to consider something along those lines for your first pair, too.


Difference between Cheap and Expensive eyepiece

A good eyepiece has a number of design features that help with producing a clearer image. Some of these features are lacking or totally absent from cheaper eyepieces and that is what makes all the difference.

Here is the list of design features that you are likely to find in a good eyepiece…

Quality of lens

Very cheap telescopes can sometimes come with a plastic lens. The plastic lens is very cost-effective and easier to make but has many disadvantages and should always be avoided.

Nowadays most of the lens are made of glass but as you go from the cheap eyepiece to expensive the quality of glass also increases. A good eyepiece has a really high-quality lens with no structural deformity and perfect shape. These lenses do not suffer from optical aberrations.

Matte black paint

Scattering can lower the quality of the final image and is also responsible for strange artifacts which appear when looking at a bright star called ghosting. It happens due to stray light reflecting off the internal walls of the eyepiece,

A very simple way to reduce this is to paint the internal walls and the edge of the eyepiece with matte black paint. A more sophisticated eyepiece can also have the edge of the lens painted black to block stray light from interfering.

Baffles

Baffles are the raised rings inside the barrel which reduce reflections and captures stray rays.

Metal Casing

Cheaper eyepiece often comes with plastic casing instead of metal. The downside to plastic is – the matte paint has a hard time sticking to the plastic, over time it may chip off. An eyepiece with metal casing lasts a long time and gives better protection against accidental drops.

Elements

An entry level H ( Huygens ), R or SR ( Ramsden ) type eyepiece use two lenses. They have an apparent viewing angle of around 35º∼40º and usually used with Short focal length and long f-ratio telescopes. These eyepieces are some of the oldest designs and have limited optical capabilities.

A K, Ke or RKE ( Kellner ) or MA ( modified achromat ) is what you will likely find in the budget to medium range telescope. They use three element lens and have a slightly wider apparent viewing angle of ∼45° which gives you decent viewing experience.

If you really want to step up your game than the 4 elements Plossl eyepiece can be a great starting point. It can reach ∼50° field of view with around 20mm eye relief. They are not expensive and can work with any kind of telescope. They sometimes come as a kit lens in medium to expensive telescopes.

You can go higher in terms of price and find eyepiece with 8-9 or more elements with an enormous apparent field of view and great eye relief.

Eyepiece with few elements is not a bad thing provided they have been properly weighed. They can give a very bright and sharp view if the optics have been crafted carefully enough.

Lens Coating

Lens coating reduces reflection and ghosting (appearance of secondary “ghost” images). A high-quality eyepiece has multiple layers of coating, sometimes on every single element.

Rubber Eyecup

Rubber eyecup gives comfortable padding for your eyes to rest. It can be helpful if you wear glasses.


Conclusion

These are the main types of lenses available, each of them with their own advantages.

When considering a new lens, think about how and why you will use it. A lot depends on the type of photography you tend to shoot.

You should also choose the best lens to match your camera as a lot depends on the size of your camera sensor.

Now that you know all your lenses, get off auto mode and take stunning images in real life with our Photography Unlocked course!