REVIEW OF SUMERIAN OPTICS ALKAID 16” TRAVEL SCOPE
Nov 26 2015 05:38 AM by alexvh
Astrotrac TP3065 Pier Review
Nov 20 2015 08:03 AM by James Waters
Apo-tmosphere: Gutekunst ADC Review
Sep 23 2015 11:18 AM by pbsastro
Optolong LRGB Filter Testing and Comparison wit...
Sep 22 2015 01:41 PM by turbo399
Categories See All →
- CN Reports
- User Reviews
- How to . . .
- Observing Skills
- Astronomical History
- Optical Theory
- Vision and Related Experiments
- How to Gain the Support of your Family for your Astronomical Pursuits
- Evaluation Tips
- Special Events
- The Elements
- New Articles in [!monthname!]
- Telescope Articles
- Submit a Review / Article
- Monthly Guides
- Behind the Scenes
- About Us
- Copyright ©
- Terms & Conditions
- Tiny Eyes on the Skies
- From the Editor's Desk
- What's Up . . .
- The Light Cup Journals
- Who is this Super Light Cup?
- Cloudy Nights T-Shirts
- Imaging Contest
- Small Wonders
- Previous Imaging Contest Winners
- This Month's Skies
- Mike's Corner
- The Cloudy Nights Friends and Family Discount
- Uncle Rod's Astro Blog
- Fishing for Photons
- Binocular Universe
- Article Submissions
Zeiss Eyepieces on a Shoestring Budget
Voice your opinion about this subject in our forums
The next “upgrade” consisted on getting better eyepieces. Being on a tight budget, I agonized over spending just as much as I paid for the entire scope on just a couple of eyepieces. This hobby is going to get expensive, I thought. To my surprise, a couple of better quality eyepieces made a world of difference. I am not talking about exhuberant eyepieces, just a plossl and an UO ortho. Before, I could see Jupiter as a round circle of light. With these eyepieces I was now seeing cloud bands. The trapezium in Orion was easily split too. These eyepieces were worth their price.
I was struck with aperture fever and I sold that scope in order to purchase a mirror blank and material to make my own telescope. But I kept the good eyepieces. A few months later and my 12 inch reflector saw first light. Perhaps it was beginners luck, but I managed to get a good figure on the mirror. The views were better than I had hoped. I then became sort of an eyepiece junky. Over a period of a couple of years, I acquired several eyepieces that I tried on my scope. I discovered that a fast scope is quite demanding on eyepieces. Having a tight budget doesn’t help either. But with a little patience, and I admit some luck, I have added a couple of eyepieces to my collection, without breaking the bank.
I read a while back that it is possible to use microscope eyepieces on a telescope, as long as one is able to adapt the barrel to the proper size. The standard size for telescope eyepieces are either .965 inches (24.5 mm) or 1.25 inches (31.75 mm). Microscope eyepieces come with 30mm barrels, and older eyepieces came in 23mm. A couple of millimeters doesn’t sound like much, but it is noticeable. Not all eyepieces are worth “converting” over for telescope use. However, I have been quite lucky to find on Internet auctions a couple of Zeiss microscope eyepieces that have worked really well on my telescopes. (I now own 4 telescopes).
The eyepiece on the right is not hard to find, I have seen many like it, but I thought it was out of my range. Yet I got lucky and I got it for under twenty bucks. It has a 30 mm barrel, so I used part from a 35mm film as an outer shell so it fits on my focuser. That is a simple trick that works well. It seems to have some coatings on it. Unfortunately, the weather hasn’t cooperated much so I have not been able to test this eyepiece to its limits.
However, the eyepiece on the left I have had it for a few years now. Again, it was a very lucky find and it is an excellent performer. You may be able to read the inscription on it that it is an orthoscopic eyepiece with a focal length of 9 mm. Great for planetary observing. The second picture shows I have an adapter that goes from 23mm to 30mm for the barrel, and on top of that I use a film canister so it fits smoothly in my focuser. This older eyepiece does not have any coatings that I can tell. Looking through it is as clear as water, very similar to an older RKE.
I while back I was doing some lunar observing. Mainly looking for craterlets on the floor of Plato. I was using a 12.5mm (Edscorp) ortho, this 9 mm Zeiss ortho, and Celestron 7mm ortho. With the 12.5mm It was easy to see the 4 larger craterlets, and a hint of two of the smaller ones. With the 9mm, I counted 7 distinct craterlets besides the 4 larger (easy) ones. When using the 7mm eyepiece I could only discern 3 of of the smaller ones. I have not been able to find and eyepiece that has shown me more, but I add a disclaimer than I don’t have any “premium” eyepieces for a full comparison. Perhaps in the future, I’ll be able to do so.
- buddyjesus likes this