If there’s one eyepiece I’ll never regret purchasing—it’s the Orion Highlight 40mm.
Everything from the mechanical construction, to the performance, to the rigid sex appeal, oh yeah, you want this eyepiece, don’t you? And you can have it! For about $40. If you’re lucky.
The original price is well worth what you get in return. As I said, the over-all mechanical construction is admirable. The anodized aluminum body feels appreciable in my hands, compared to a standard Plössl—Orion’s 40mm Highlight wins the beauty contest.
Who cares about beauty? What about performance? Is the Orion Highlight 40mm all looks and no play? Of course not!
The lens is fully multi-coated, which helps increase light transmission. The exact percentage is not stated on Orion’s website.
I’m sure it’s possible to find this eyepiece for sale (if you look hard enough). If you do manage to find this eyepiece, and it’s less than $50, I command you to purchase it! Plus, you’ll have a nice collectible!
The bad news: Orion doesn’t have a comparable 40mm eyepiece for sale. The only one listed for sale is a Tele Vue, which cost $139.99. As I stated, I paid about $40, for Orion’s Highlight 40mm eyepiece. I’m sure the Tele Vue is much better, but it’s also much more money. I never used the Tele Vue 40mm, so I can’t vouch for its awesomeness.
Cheap Plössls can make stars look a bit dull. This may be due to lack of coatings, poor quality glass, both—who knows. Orion’s 40mm Highlight has a respectable contrast, making stars ignite against the eternal black void. The low magnification greatly helps with locating objects, especially if you use a long focal length telescope.
One night I made the mistake of looking at the Pleiades, I swear, my eyes almost combusted. I had to step away from the eyepiece and let them cool off.
Stars are crispy, nebulous objects are fluffy—what more can you ask for?
You know the drill! If you discover this eyepiece at your local garage sale, whip out that wallet, pocketbook, whatever the hell you carry, and fork over your money. Don’t ignore the stuffed armadillo! It’s gathering dust.