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Dob 12": which eyepieces you choose first?

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#1 speedlight


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Posted 25 September 2012 - 12:57 PM

Hello everyone,
i'm new here and new to astronomy so please ... be gentle with me :o
My first telescope is on the way (lightbridge 12") and i started to think about eyepieces. So the question is: if you have to buy first 3 eyepieces which you choose in order of importance?

Thank you in advance, i'm glad to be part of this great community. Forgive my english since i'm not english mothertongue.

#2 GeneT


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Posted 25 September 2012 - 01:04 PM

Possibly a 30, 14 and 6.7 mm Explorer eyepiece.

#3 csrlice12



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Posted 25 September 2012 - 01:11 PM

30, 11, 8.8 mm ES82s and a 2" barlow. Normally, I'd go with GeneT, but the 14mm ES82 has had some field curvature problems (not all, it appears some do), whereas the 11mm is considered the best of the bunch. The reason for the barlow is obvious. Another issue to consider is your age, if you are older or have a smaller than normal eye pupil (5mm is normal for those in the 50s and older, 7mm for younger folk) you might then consider changing the 30mm to a 24mm ES82. At 30mm you can swim in that eyepiece...

#4 TopherTheME



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Posted 25 September 2012 - 02:04 PM

I use the 23mm Axiom on my 12" by far the most. The ES 14mm second (I don't have any curvature problems) and the 6.7 and 4.7mm pretty much mostly for planets. I prefer the Celestron Axiom/Luminous eyepieces much more over the ES ones when it comes to longer focal length.

#5 coutleef



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Posted 25 September 2012 - 03:18 PM

the ep i use the most in my dob is a 26, 14 and 10. i would replace the 26 with a 30 without problem.

i do feel that a f/5 dob requires a paracorr that i consider as important as eps, but that is pwrsonnal

#6 MitchAlsup



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Posted 25 September 2012 - 03:27 PM

30ES82, 20ES100, 14ES100, 2X Barlow

#7 killdabuddha



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Posted 25 September 2012 - 04:05 PM

Possibly a 30, 14 and 6.7 mm Explorer eyepiece.

Dunno yer age or sky conditions...for middle-age and average lite pollution, the 24mm, 11mm, and 4.7mm with a 1.5x Barlow. In the ES line you can get these all in 1.25" format for Barlowin, provided you keep the 24mm to 68*. The others I'd recommend at 82*. And if you add bino-viewers later, these will all still work.

OTOH, if yer middle-aged and in fairly dark skies, then what GeneT said, and still with a 1.5x Barlow but in a 2" format.

#8 ryanlu92


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Posted 25 September 2012 - 08:19 PM

I used 24,13,9mm for my 12.5 f4.5 normally. If condition permits I may go down to 7mm or add 2.5x powermate to 13mm,9mm to get 5.2mm and 3.5mm.

#9 helpwanted



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Posted 25 September 2012 - 08:23 PM

I use my 16t5 more than any other ep

#10 Jim Nelson

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 08:42 PM

Three eyepieces?

1. A low-power eyepiece for large objects and for finding things. An inexpensive option would be a 32mm Plossl, but a 24-32mm widefield eyepiece would be better if you can afford a good quality one.

2. A medium power eyepiece for a lot of deep sky observing and general use - about 12-14mm in focal length would be my preference. (109-127x)

3. A high power eyepiece that isn't too high - one that will allow a good view of planets, tight double starts, small lunar details, etc., but low enough that it can be used most nights regardless of atmospheric conditions. 7mm or 8mm for your scope. (190 or 218x)

I don't know how much you can spend, so I won't recommend specific brands at this point.

#11 City Kid

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 08:58 PM

I would make a medium power eyepiece the highest priority because you will probably use it the most. Something in the range of 17mm-12mm. Second would be a toss up between high and low power depending on what you like to observe. If the moon and planets are your thing I would put high power second (or maybe even first). Otherwise I would probably go with low power second.

#12 thebrowndwarf



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Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:09 PM

The eyepieces that I got with my 12" are the ES82 30 and 8.8 and the ES100 14.

#13 kfiscus



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Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:16 PM

My favorites in my Z12 are 24 Pan, 13 Nagler T6, and 7 Nagler T6. The green paint was worth the price and wait. (I bought them used & like new, either here or Amart for $270, $220, and $220 shipped.)

#14 jrbarnett


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Posted 26 September 2012 - 11:33 AM

I think 3 eyepieces are enough for anyone with a single scope, so "first three" assumes something (i.e., that you'll need more than three) that may not be the case.

Given that I'd plan on "just three", and you have a moderately fast f/5 Dob, I'd go with reasonable well corrected eyepieces that fit into three roles: (i) low power widest field finder eyepiece, (ii) mid-power general use eyepiece optimal for most classes of DSOs and (iii) higher power eyepiece for small, high surface brightness DSOs, the Moon, planets and double stars.

I'm assuming that because you're new, you'd like to maximize bang for the buck and not necessarily buy the most expensive eyepieces available in each role.

For the lowest power "finder" role in your scope, I would consider these:

31mm Baader Hyperion Aspheric
34mm Siebert Observatory Series
34mm Explore Scientific 68
30mm Explore Scientific 82

Note that the last two are heavy, and the first two are not, so the last two could induce balance issues with your Dob.

For the mid-power workhorse role, I'd look for something in the ~3mm exit pupil range (13mm to 15mm in focal length in your scope). I'd consider:

13mm Nagler Type 6
14mm Explore Scientific 82
13mm (used only) Vixen LVW
14mm Explore Scientific 100
14mm (used only) Radian

Note that again the last eyepiece is pretty heavy. The others are not.

For the high power role, I think in a 12-incher you want something that puts up about 200x. That would mean eyepieces in the 7mm to 8mm range. Here's what I would consider:

7mm Nagler Type 6
8mm (used only) Vixen LVW
6.7mm Explore Scientific 82
7mm (used only) Radian
8mm (used only) Radian

Where I specify "used only" it is because while the eyepiece in question is an excellent eyepiece, it's "new" price represents poor value compared to other alternatives at similar price. These eyepiece depreciate sharply and on the used market represent enormous "bang for the buck".

Other things to think about are either a UHC or O-III filter, a red flashlight, a decent "field use" star atlas.

Happy shopping,


#15 MrJones


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Posted 26 September 2012 - 11:43 AM

I have gradually crept up to using the Meade 5000 34mm SWA the most with my Z12 over the 24mm SWA. ES 14mm and 8.8mm 82 degree are tied for second. So, what Jim and others said. :)

#16 speedlight


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Posted 28 September 2012 - 11:09 PM

Thank you all, i really appreciate your advices. Now it's more clear to me what i should looking for.
Tomorrow i'm going to start a business trip to Las Vegas (i live in Rome, Italy) and my intention was to visit the scope city store there but it seems that the store had been closed. I wrote an email to ScopeCity but never got reply.
Can anyone confirm this? Is there another store in Vegas?

ES ep are way to cheeper in USA than here in Italy, i hope i'll have a chance to shop during my trip.

Thanks again

#17 kkokkolis



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Posted 29 September 2012 - 01:55 AM

All these suggestions will work fine. I think in terms of exit pupil. I 'd choose a 2mm exit pupil first (~10mm), a 4-7mm (20-35mm) then, according to my age and eyepiece's AFOV and I would finish with a 1mm (~5mm) for high power. Mine are ES100 20mm, ES100 9mm and ES82 4.7mm with ES82 used when seeing is average and Hyperion Aspheric 31 when I use my filter wheel with extended nebulae. It works fine. With a lightweight 2" Barlow your 3 eyepieces are doubled. I use a Proxima 1.5x (1.7 actually) and Antares 1.6x is another option.

#18 Ernest_SPB


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Posted 29 September 2012 - 08:04 AM

My first telescope is on the way (lightbridge 12") and i started to think about eyepieces. So the question is: if you have to buy first 3 eyepieces which you choose in order of importance?

F5 scope?

It is easy.

One ep for bright showpieces like M42 - UWA with focal length 16-18 mm (diameter of exit pupil 3-4 mm). My selection is 18 mm Explore Scientific 82-deg. Could be 16 mm UWAN/WO or Nagler/TV. The best is 17 mm Ethos.

Another EP is for tiny and fine deep sky like galaxies - 9-11 mm UWA. My selection is 8.8 mm Explore Scientific 82-deg. Could be 9 mm Explore Scientific 100-deg or 11 mm Explore Scientific 82-deg.

The last is for planets with focal length 3.5-4.5 mm (0.7-0.8 mm exit pupil). My selection is HD-60 4.5. But it could be 4 mm Radian TV. 3-6 mm Nagler zoom.

28-35 mm search and observe EP is something nice to have, but it will be not used frequently.

Much more useful would be additional eyepiece for planets and Monn with FL 6-7 mm... like 6.5 mm HD-60 Meade or 6.7 ES82

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