Posted By Mark Rice
After trying the Epic ED-2 ep's from Orion, I got a couple of the XCEL's and they appear to be optically identical. I suspect that the barrels might be a different material as the XCEL's seem to be a bit lighter in weight.
I disassembled one and found it to be fully multicoated, edge blackened elements, well made, though not in the same league as TV (the 18mm had a loose barlow).
I've been using the 18 and 12.5 on my 8" SCT for about a month and I'm pretty impressed. Color is neutral and contrast is high. Minor ghosting on Jupiter but very sharp. Great on DSO's (lots of detail). I just got a 5mm but haven't used it yet.