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Orion Sirius Plossls

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Posted by Jim Barnett on April 9, 2003 18:04:44 UTC

I concur that Orion Sirius Plossls "aren't that bad." They "aren't that good" either, however. They are made in either China or Taiwan, and are sold through several US importers, Orion among them. Stellarvue, for example, sells similar eyepieces under its own brand. In my opinion, the quality of construction (barrel blackening and coatings) is only fair in absolute terms, but a decent value for the $40 price range.

I believe that Celestron Ultimas are considerable better in side-by-side comparisons. How so? I own a 32mm Orion Sirius Plossl, a 32mm Stellarvue Deluxe Plossl and a 35mm Orion Ultima. Both the Orion and the Stellarvue display internal reflections manifest as bright splashes of unfocused light somewhere between the bottom lens element in teh eyepiece and the observer's eye. Not a huge issue when focusing your attention on an object at the field's center, but for casual scanning a bit more annoying as your eye tends to shift its depth of focus during such scans making the reflection more noticeable. Not so the Ultima.

Barlowed, through a 3" f9.4 achromat the Ultima has less glare on Jupiter and Saturn, and displays slightly more detail (Cassini clearer on Saturn; additional belts hinted on Jupiter's disk than the Orion or Stellarvue.

Price independent, get the Ultimas or research the Meade Series 4000 or Televue Plossls.

Price dependent, the Orion and Stellarvue "far east" Plossls are decent for the money.

But here's a tip. If you do lots of planetary and lunar observing, I would opt for the Edmund Optics RKE line over either the Orion or Stellarvue Plossls. They have a narrower AFOV than the Orions and Stellarvues (45* vs. 50* AFOV), but they give extremely bright, crisp, high-fidelity views of planets and double stars matched only by very expensive ($200+) Zeiss Orthoscopics.

They used to be $39, but the price has gone up to $57. Still, that places them between the Orions and Ultimas in price, and IMO, make them still the "best buy" for affordable eyepieces for my preferred uses.

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