Recommended Telescope Eyepieces

I am constantly seeing people asking for eyepiece recommendations so I thought I would address this problem. To start, I have created a video on my YouTube channel talking about the basics of eyepieces. You can see this video at

Recommended telescope eyepieces

Even after learning more about eyepieces, the question remains, what eyepieces are worth investing in? To solve this problem I have created a list which attempts to give you a recommendation for brands and models of eyepieces over several different price points. Keep in mind that these are generic recommendations for most people but there are always exceptions based on specific telescopes and targets. For example, fast Dobsonian telescopes usually require higher quality eyepieces than a long refractor will.

I am creating my list using a 17mm eyepiece. This is a nice middle of the road size and provides nice views with virtually any telescope. In addition, almost every manufacturer makes a 17mm or very close to it so that made the comparison easier. With no further delay, here are my personal recommendations.


Field Of View Eye Relief Price   Recomended Sizes
Orion Sirius Plossl 17mm 52 11 $30.00   25, 17
Celestron X-Cel 18mm 60 16 $65.00   25, 18, 9
Orion Stratus 17mm 68 20 $130.00   24, 17, 13
Baader Morpheus 17.5mm 76 19 $239.00   17.5, 12.5
Televue Nagler 17mm 82 17 $410.00   31, 17, 9

These suggestions are based off what I own and have personally used. There are lot of other brands and models available, some didn’t make the list because I do not recommend them and some because I have not used them. When in doubt, you can always ask.

I suspect the Orion Sirius Plossl is the same eyepiece from several other people such as Vixen and Highpoint with just a different name stamped on it. I like the Orion because I have always received a good quality product for the money I spent so I tend to stick with the Orion name even if the Vixen is a few dollars cheaper. Better safe than sorry.

The Orion Stratus is probably the same as the Baader Hyperion so either would be fine. Since I have used a lot more Stratus eyepieces than I have Hyperions I listed them here. I  also  like the color of the Stratus eyepieces better than the Hyperion, heh.

I currently own all the brands and models listed in my chart except the Morpheus. I have used a couple, but never owned one. I have a lot of Baader filters, and a nice set of Stratus eyepieces which I have had great luck with so I have no reason to think the Morpheus line will be any different. The couple I used were excellent.

The sizes I recommended are for a “typical” telescope. If in doubt of what sizes you may need, I recommend you get the 17mm first, then use that one for a while and see if you consistently want something with more or less magnification and use that to determine what to purchase next.

Good luck and clear skies!

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Orion Stratus eyepieces review – worth it?

After looking through a lot of eyepieces my go to eyepieces are my Orion Stratus eyepieces. Hopefully this will help you understand why.

Although I am primarily an astrophotographer and so I spend far less time looking through an eyepiece than I do a computer monitor, I still like quality views when I do a little visual.

Like most people, I started with the eyepieces that came with my first telescope. While they did indeed provide a view, once I tried a nice eyepiece I was smitten. There was obviously more contrast making objects easier to pick out, more of the field of view was in nice sharp focus, there was a much wider field of view and last but certainly not least, it was much easier to look through the better eyepieces as they had more eye relief.

Eyepieces generally represent half of the optics in a telescope which should give you a hint as to their importance to the views that you get. The typical problem with any quality product, especially a quality optical product, is they can get very expensive quickly. One can start at the bottom of telescope eyepieces for around $20 each and then move up to the top of the line at over $600 each. I wanted as much quality as I could afford, so where was the best bang for my buck?

Orion Stratus eyepieces Above is my collection of Orion Stratus eyepieces, available from Amazon, including the 24mm, 13mm, 8mm and 5mm. At around $140 each these eyepieces have the specs to put them right in the middle of the pack so I thought they would be a good place to start.

General specifications: Apparent FOV: 68 degrees Elements: 8 Eye relief: 20mm Filter threads: Yes Rubber eyeguards:Yes Material: Aluminum Weight: Approximately 1 pound Barrel size: Both 1.25″ and 2″ without adapter

For those who have only used the eyepieces that came with their scopes these will seem huge and heavy. They average just over 2″ in diameter and roughly a pound. In comparison the typical Plossl eyepiece shipped with starter telescopes is less than 1.5″ in diameter and weighs about a quarter pound.

Size comparison of a plossl and Stratus Right off the bat you realize that the Orion Stratus eyepieces are large eyepieces and are nice to hold on to, and the rubber grips on these do not disappoint. In cold weather with gloves or in the Texas heat with sweat covered hands I had no problem holding on to these things. I have never even come close to dropping one.

Comparing two different eyepieces The most striking thing in switching from a higher powered Plossl to one of these is the eye relief, or distance your eye has to be to get a nice complete image. On the higher powered Plossl eyepieces your eye has to be over the tiny little optical window at just the right distance and any slight movement will cause image problems. These all have large optical windows and plenty of room to move around without distorting your view. Although I do not wear glasses, I can see where people who do would love these.

I primarily use these in my refractors (f6.5 and f7) and find that they provide very nice views. On faster scopes such as an f4.9 Dobsonian you can start to see some coma in the outer 10% on the wider 24mm and perhaps a little on the 13mm.

My favorite eyepiece is the 24mm and while it certainly is no TeleVue 22mm Nagler, it provides excellent widefield views of the sky.

The attention to detail is nice, for example the white painted numbers denoting the focal length on the side of the eyepiece are very large which makes them easier to see out in the dark. The rubber eyecup seems pretty durable while being more than soft enough to be very comfortable. There is a groove machined into the 1.25″ barrel to help make sure it can not come lose from smaller telescopes. The threads for filters are a nice touch and make it convenient for using a moon or polarizing filter.

In a world filled with eyepiece choices how would I rank these in terms of performance for the amount paid? Honestly I wish they were just a tad cheaper and I would give them top honors, although I do believe they are an excellent buy.

Two alternatives are the William Optics SWANs for a little less money and the William Optics UWANs for a little more money, both of which are also excellent eyepieces.

If however you want eyepieces that will not disappoint, fit in both 1.25″ and 2″ focusers without an adapter and especially if you can get them on sale, the Orion Stratus eyepieces are a solid contender for all but the most demanding situations.

I do still have some inexpensive Plossl style eyepieces like the ones that come with some better starter telescopes that I keep around for various uses and comparisons.

Bottom line, when I want to view something in my inexpensive 90mm refractor, my much more expensive 110mm APO refractor, or the University’s very expensive 16″ SCT, I reach for one of the Orion Stratus eyepieces, get yours from Amazon.

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