Compare with Tele Vue Radian
When reading a review about eyepieces I always try to find out the reviewer's experience. Someone who only has experience with department store telescopes will think this eyepiece is unbelievably awesome while someone who is used to using a Tele Vue Nagler or Ethos will possibly think it sucks.
I bought a Celestron 8 over 20 years ago and got a few eyepieces that had apparent field of views of around 40 degrees. I used those eyepieces for 20 years before trying the X-Cel LX. After trying one I bought four more and now won't use anything else. It was like getting a whole new telescope. BTW, the 5mm is too much power for the C8 but works on my C5 when the seeing is good. The 7mm is about as much power as you want for a C8. I also bought the 9, 12 and 18mm and the 9mm is my favorite for the C8.
I have asked people who have used a Nagler or Ethos and they tell me the $200 to $400 price on those are well worth it. I am going to wait until I get a look through one before paying that much.
The X-Cel LX series have over 60 degrees apparent field of view, about the same as the Tele Vue Radian, but at a third the cost.
I love these eyepieces but I have no experience with more expensive eyepieces. I am done using the crummier eyepieces with a little pin hole to look through.
One thing you probably won't notice by looking at the pictures (because they are never shown together) is that the 5mm is larger than the 7, 9, 12 and 18mm eyepieces. They get larger as the focal length gets smaller. The 5mm is fairly big and weighs about 8 ounces (1/2 pound). Make sure they are tightly fastened.
Good, But Not Perfect
One thing I noticed with this eyepiece is that it doesn't focus perfectly unless it isn't seated all the way into my telescope. I had to insert it less than all the way into the mount to have room to focus it. I'm planning to fashion a foam rubber gasket to correct the problem. Otherwise, imaging was great. A worthy substitute for the defunct Orion Epic ED-2 eyepiece.