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First night with my XT8. Very happy!

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#1 Kebsis

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 09:57 PM

I got my Orion XT8 about a week ago, but due to weather and work I just got to use it, for the first time, tonight. It came with a 2" 35mm 'Deep View' eyepiece, a 25mm 1.25 Possl, and a 2x 'Shorty' Barlow.

I used the 35mm on Orion first, because it was dipping down out of my FOV (behind a house) quickly. It looked nice, but in my haste to get a look at Jupiter I didn't try the other eyepiece (or barlow) on it before it left for the night.

Jupiter looked great in the 25mm w/ barlow, but it also managed to run away just a bit after I got started, and I didn't use the 35mm on it. I loved the moons. It's the fist time I've gotten a real, nice look at Jupiter; up until now I've only used my binoculars which only reveal it as a bright disc.

So I'm very happy, and looking forward to a long summer of stargazing. Does anyone have recommendations for some good eyepieces to get a larger view of Jupiter and Saturn? Or a better view of deep sky objects? I've heard that the ones packaged with the scope aren't great.

I'm waiting until a little later to head back out, hopefully Saturn will pop up high enough for me to see it around 2am. I'm hoping to get a nice view of Andromeda over the summer too, which has always been a goal of mine.

Thanks for any suggestions!

#2 lbsgville

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 10:05 PM

I reccomend any of the 82 degree Explore Scientific eyepieces. They are a great bang for the buck. The Orion Stratus are nice also but I really like the 82 degree of the ES.

#3 Scott in NC

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 10:10 PM

Nice report and congrats on your new scope! Regarding your eyepiece question, I'd try to answer but it's getting late here, so I'll let others chime in to help you with that (not trying to blow off your question, but there's no one simple answer there, and I'm sure you'll get lots of varied answers from multiple people). If no one has answered by tomorrow, I'll try to give you my thoughts on this subject. Best regards!

#4 BDS316

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 10:13 PM

This is a great question since the answer would apply to 6 inch f/8 and 10 inch f/5 Dobs as well. I have an XT8 and I have also used just about every type and focal length of eyepiece in my scope at one time or another.

The 25mm sirius plossl that comes with the scope is a decent quality eyepiece with comfy eye relief and fine for outreach. Use it for a low power/finder eyepiece for now and get a better one after you take care of medium and high power.

When I got better eyepieces, the first priority was to get a medium power eyepiece of premium quality that had a 1.8-2.2mm exit pupil that could also be barlowed for a high power option. I got the TV 11mm Nagler T6 and this eyepiece spends a lot of time in the focuser natively at 109x with a pristine three quarter degree field and barlowed for about 200x. Granted Naglers are expensive but at that time there was no ES option. The 11mm ES N2 82 is VERY nice but not quite as nice as the Nagler. Few could tell the difference most nights.

So I suggest to you a minimalist approach of the 11mm ES and a good 2x Barlow. There is no gap between the low power eyepiece and the 11mm 82 because an 11mm eyepiece with an 82 degree field shows the same amount of sky as an 18mm plossl.

I have used many low power finder eyepieces in the XT8 and have come to the conclusion that if you have really dark skies and are very young, the gold standard is the 35mm Panoptic, and if not, the 27mm Panoptic. These are big bucks of course.

Less expensive alternatives would be compromises in some way, but look for a used Meade 28mm 68 degree which is pretty similar optically to the ES 28mm 68.

Less expensive than that but still nice would be the 2 inch Sterling plossls, the 30 or the 40mm.

You only need one 2-inch eyepiece with a 1200mm focal length scope and its purpose is to show more sky than can be seen with the widest 1.25 inch options which would be a 32mm Plossl or a 30-35mm Ultrascopic. If you want to stay with 1.25 inches these would be the way to go btw.

#5 Project Galileo

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 10:44 PM

Congrats on your new telescope. My first dob was an XT8. I loved that telescope and the views it gave me. You are going to have a great time with it. Enjoy!

#6 Kebsis

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 11:48 PM

Thanks for the replies and advice, everybody. I went outside and found Saturn to be higher in the sky than I had expected (perfect for viewing). Absolutely amazing! I'm in love with this thing. I haven't gotten a chance to view the moon yet, though the moon filter I ordered with the scope hasn't arrived yet (Orion says they sent it with the scope, but it wasn't in the box when it arrived; a brief email exchange and Orion sent out a replacement) so perhaps it's worth it to wait.

Obviously I have a lot of reading up to do before I invest in any eyepieces, since I still don't understand all of the terminology and such. But I'm interested in seeing 'larger' views of the planets. Would a 6.3mm Sirius Plossl be a good idea?

#7 planet earth

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 01:01 AM

But I'm interested in seeing 'larger' views of the planets. Would a 6.3mm Sirius Plossl be a good idea?

The 6.3mm will have very tight eye relief.
A 8mm Astro Tech Paradigm for X150 and a 5mm Paradigm X240 for Saturn, Moon, Mars are reasonably priced and have a 60* fov. and good eye relief. A bit cheaper are the TMB Planetary II with 58* fov and good eye relief.
Sam

#8 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 07:03 AM

Thanks for the replies and advice, everybody. I went outside and found Saturn to be higher in the sky than I had expected (perfect for viewing). Absolutely amazing! I'm in love with this thing. I haven't gotten a chance to view the moon yet, though the moon filter I ordered with the scope hasn't arrived yet (Orion says they sent it with the scope, but it wasn't in the box when it arrived; a brief email exchange and Orion sent out a replacement) so perhaps it's worth it to wait.

Obviously I have a lot of reading up to do before I invest in any eyepieces, since I still don't understand all of the terminology and such. But I'm interested in seeing 'larger' views of the planets. Would a 6.3mm Sirius Plossl be a good idea?


:waytogo: An XT-8 is a wonderful telescope, I envy you, you are in for some real treats, seeing the Messier objects for the first time in an 8 inch, oh my, my. :jump::whee::jump:

Eyepieces.. they say eyepieces are a religion.. I have a bunch of 'em... they are all pretty darn good. As has been said, the eye relief of the 6.3 Sirius Plossl is short, probably only about 4mm, that's about 1/6 of an inch. More eye relief is more comfortable. I like the TMB Planetary series. They have a comfortable 12mm eye relief, a reasonable 60 degree TFoV, good eyepieces at nice price.

Jon

#9 Starman81

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 09:22 AM

Glad to hear you are satisfied, Kebsis! I too am enjoying my 8" dob (XT8i) that I picked up last summer. Easily portable and packs a punch!

#10 City Kid

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 09:44 AM

Would a 6.3mm Sirius Plossl be a good idea?


Congratulations on the new scope. The Orion XT8 was my first scope and I loved it. I can only speak based on my own personal seeing conditions but an 8mm eyepiece (150x) is the shortest focal length eyepiece I can use almost every night. There are nights when 7mm, 6mm, 5mm, and even 4mm can be used but the seeing dictates whether or not those focal lengths can be used. The seeing almost always supports the use of an 8mm. Just something to think about.

#11 Jarrod

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 09:48 AM

Get the ultra-wide 82* EPs, especially at the shorter focal lengths (say, 10mm and under). With high mag, narrow FOV eye pieces, objects in the east or west will really be flying through the view. An object centered in your scope's view through a 10mm plossl, for example, will take less than a minute to travel outside the view.

You can use this calculator to figure the transit time (time it takes for an object to travel through your eyepiece) before you need to nudge your scope.

#12 Kebsis

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 12:14 PM

Thanks again. What do you guys generally think about eyepiece bundles, the type that usually come with a handful of Plossls, some filters, a barlow and a case? Can they be good deals or are they best avoided?

#13 BDS316

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 06:17 PM

Thanks again. What do you guys generally think about eyepiece bundles, the type that usually come with a handful of Plossls, some filters, a barlow and a case? Can they be good deals or are they best avoided?


You can always do better ala carte. there were several threads about this on the eyepiece and beginner forums not too long ago.

#14 Ultron

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 09:52 PM

I would look into the Paradigm Dual ED series.

Link

These are said to be good eyepieces. I might pick one up soon. Good prices.

You can go with the 8mm as mentioned. This would give you a nice view of Jupiter. Saturn too, though it will look smaller than Jupiter (farther away). The plossls have too little eye relief in that range, and also the 50 deg FOV is too small.

Stick with the 25mm until you can save up for a 24mm ES 82 2". It is an amazing eyepiece! Good for DSOs.

#15 azure1961p

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 10:02 PM

However you cut it, on Saturn in particular you want 200x to 250x. You really want fair size to show off Cassinis division, the Crepe Ring, as well as belts, etc. this planet stands magnification better than Jupiter for example, particularly as a result of its contrasty rings .

Pete

#16 dhines32

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 12:10 PM

Congrats. I just got the same scope. I have had it for a little over a month. The best mod I have added was a cooling fan. The stars are much sharper with the fan running. I used to just let it cool on its own, but I can really see a difference with the fan. In my opinion a fan and setting circles should be accessories that come with the scope. I just bought an $8 computer fan and a battery holder for 8 AA batteries. It was easy to setup. I was skeptical, but I really like the results. I can't wait to try observing Saturn now. Before, I could not see any details in the rings. I hope that changes.

#17 kenrenard

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 06:26 AM

The XT8 is a great scope. I have owned one for 2 years and really love it. It will provide you with a lifetime of enjoyment. Along with the excellent advice. I would work on getting your collimation as good as you can. It's something you can do on a cloudy night or during the day. Read up on it and get help if you need it. Nothing will do more to improve your views than collimation. Even great eyepieces don't show well in an poorly collimated scope. The XT8 is tolerant of being off a bit being F5.9 but if you get it very close you will be rewarded with amazing views.

Enjoy your new scope. Take your time and you will see amazing things.


Clear Skies


Ken

#18 alexvh

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 06:35 AM

Thanks again. What do you guys generally think about eyepiece bundles, the type that usually come with a handful of Plossls, some filters, a barlow and a case? Can they be good deals or are they best avoided?


IMHO you are better off picking your eyepieces to your needs. Rather get a small number of higher quality eyepieces- william optics ultra wide angles are excellent and economical! see tom's review of them!
To start off with, 3 or 4 eyepieces are all you need.
I don't want to open pandoras box but you really must try Binoviewing, especially if you enjoy the planets!
Clear skies!

#19 Starman81

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 03:36 PM

The XT8 is a great scope. I have owned one for 2 years and really love it. It will provide you with a lifetime of enjoyment. Along with the excellent advice. I would work on getting your collimation as good as you can. It's something you can do on a cloudy night or during the day. Read up on it and get help if you need it. Nothing will do more to improve your views than collimation. Even great eyepieces don't show well in an poorly collimated scope. The XT8 is tolerant of being off a bit being F5.9 but if you get it very close you will be rewarded with amazing views.

Enjoy your new scope. Take your time and you will see amazing things.


Clear Skies


Ken


On the collimation tip...Yep, been doing the same for the past month, whenever I got some free time here or there. Finally got it dialed in way better than ever, now I hope to reap some rewards, especially on a night of good seeing!

Also, will take dhines32 advice and get a fan on the dob, can't believe I haven't done that yet.

#20 Kebsis

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 01:45 PM

Yeah, honestly I'm a little nervous about collimating. When I got it I checked through the collimation cap and saw a perfect bullseye, so I decided not to mess with it. Of course I'll have to sooner or later, and I know it would be best to learn on a cloudy day and not during an eclipse or something cool like that.

Are laser collimators a good investment? Is there a recommended brand or model?

#21 GOLGO13

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 01:52 PM

I'd say if your secondary mirror is good leave it alone. The primary mirror is the one that needs adjustment more often with small bumps.

Unless you go pretty high end in lasers, it's probably not worth it in my opinion. Get a cheshire instead. I think they make site tube/ cheshire tools for around $40. That's probably a good choice for now. Realistically your scope being F6 is less critical. If you ever go to a 10 inch F5 or 12 inch F5, I'd look into Glatter lasers or Catseye passive tools. Both are pretty expensive though. Your collimation cap or a cheshire/site tube would probably be just fine for your 8 inch.

Enjoy!






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