The affordable Evergreen kit contains a collection of components that will appeal if you’re on a tight budget, and in this respect it goes head-to-head with the Revelation offering.
The 280 x 210 x 100mm black plastic lockable case is possibly not as robust as the others but is the only one with a strap.
The foam lining inside is pre-cut into removable cubes and some have been taken out to make space for the four eyepieces, Barlow lens and four coloured filters.
The eyepieces are held securely but the filter cases fit rather awkwardly and the foam had transferred some black crumbs onto the items within.
The 17mm eyepiece is branded Konus and labelled ‘fully multi-coated’. The 10mm version seemed to be of the same type and they were almost parfocal.
Eye relief was quite good on these – a glasses-friendly 11mm for the 17mm lens and 6mm for the 10mm lens (measured from the lens housing, as there are no eye shields).
Their visual performance was pleasing, with sharp stars, a flat field and crisp black field stop in all the eyepieces.
When we exchanged the 17mm eyepiece for similar-sized examples in the more expensive sets, it compared very favourably.
The smaller eyepieces are different types, though constructed in a similar way. The 7.5mm is labelled as multi-coated, while the smallest 4mm eyepiece appears to be uncoated.
Eye relief on these lenses was less than 4mm, which means your eyelashes may brush the optical surface, causing marks.
All of the eyepieces have chrome-plated steel barrels with non-reflective painted inner surfaces. There’s a pair of dust caps provided on all but the 4mm eyepiece.
Visual performance was encouraging, and only the 10mm lens had any noticeable internal off-axis reflections.
The main concern regarding these eyepieces relates to the range of sizes supplied. We would have liked to see a longer focal length, wide-field eyepiece, which all the other sets provide.
The filters in the kit are 23A-red, 12-yellow, 21-orange and 11-green, which represent a useful range for planetary observations. There was no neutral or Moon filter.
The filters are unbranded but appear well made, with threading on both ends, and have a similar finish to the Celestron versions.
The cases have clear lids so you can identify the contents easily, though these popped off a little too readily.
An unexpected surprise came when we examined the Barlow lens. This performed well enough visually but, interestingly, also has a T-thread, which would enable you to fit a DSLR camera for astrophotography directly to your telescope, provided you have the appropriate T-ring for your camera.
Further investigation revealed that its lens section could be unscrewed from the body, turning it into a useful prime focus adaptor as well.
Overall, it’s a set that offers good value for money, though the lack of a longer focal-length eyepiece does rather disappoint.
- Price £139.99
- Eyepieces included 4, 7.5, 10 and 17mm
- Optical design Plössl
- Barrel diameter 1.25 inches
- Filters included Four colour
- Other equipment 2x Barlow lens; hard case; strap
- Supplier Evergreen Optics
- Tel 01588 620717
This review originally appeared in the February 2009 issue of BBC Sky at Night Magazine.