The used equipment astro-market

Apr 9

Written by:
4/9/2012 8:00 PM  RssIcon

I'm a big fan of used astronomy equipment.  In general, it's a fairly small community, us amateur astronomers.  And those of us who wish to buy and sell in it for both the present and future has a vested interest in being fair and honest in how we conduct our transactions.  I've both bought and sold items on the Cloudy Nights forums / classifieds, on my local craigslist, the Ebay auction site, as well as on Astromart (costs $12 to join, one time - well worth it).  Of course, caveat emptor always applies - buyer beware.  Watch for people looking to make a fast buck, overpriced equipment, and get accurate pictures of what your are buying.

But my experiences have always been good.  And recently I purchased an Orion Expanse 20mm eyepiece.  I just received it in the mail today - packed well, in a bolt case (plastic case in two pieces that screws together around the eyepiece), and in pretty much pristine condition.   I want to do a full review on it sometime here in the near future, but I thought I'd share a few quick thoughts as I just brought it outside to look at through my 90mm f/10 refractor, and compared it with an Orion 25mm Plossl.

It's "okay."  No, let me rephrase that - for a used eyepiece, it's pretty darn good.  The field of view is definitely wider than the Plossl.  Stars in the inner - oh, I don' t know for sure - perhaps 80% or so of the field of view are sharp.  Outside of that - this is where I need to do a more complete review.  Sometimes they looked bad, sometimes they looked okay (in fairness, the "seeing" - or steadiness of the atmosphere - sucked tonight).  Overall, it was a worthwhile investment for what I paid to get it.  I'd probably get a 15mm version used too - but I'm not sure about new.

Anyway, that's some initial thoughts.  If you've ever owned - or still own - one of these eyepieces, post your thoughts on it here and let me know what you think of the Expanse eyepieces - or even the "clones" of them by other retailers.

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The Nightlight

This blog includes what to see in the night and daytime skies, thoughts on telescopes, binoculars, and other astronomy observing accessories and equipment, plus my own occasional notes on objects I've seen and observed. Oh, and the random theater or other "my take on life" post. In other words, there is always something interesting. Check it out.