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Need some new eyepieces. Recommendations?

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#1 HughM

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 10:26 AM

I'm brand new to astronomy. I got my first telescope in June and have it all set up and works fine. Apart from the images I get are dreadful. I have a reflector type telescope with a diameter of 76mm and a focal length on 700mm. From previous calculations it had a good focal ratio. I'm aware that telescopes can only be good if the eyepieces are good. I got some rubbish uncoated lens consisting of a H20, H12.5, H6 and a SR4. To be fair the H20 and 12.5 ain't that bad. Get a good field of view but a few optical aberrations and is hard to make out clear details. Any higher magnification and I can't see anything really. The resolution on the image is so poor. Mainly due to reflection I presumed from the image as it was in the eyepiece but very bright. Just wanted peoples recommendations on the best type of eyepieces. Done a bit of research and was looking into getting some plossl. They are a reasonable price and have good a spec. But just wanted some more professional advice before actually going out and getting some new ones.

Thanks

#2 AngryHandyman

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 12:49 PM

What are your spending limits? There are good options at any level. Under $50 check out Agena 66 degree Enhanced Wide Angle, I have these a find them a good way to start exploring wider views with comfortable eye relief. If you can go higher there are a lot of options that will do well in the $100 and under range such as ES 82 degree eyepieces. You can keep going up in price but those are outside my experience!

#3 HughM

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 12:59 PM

Ok. Thanks. My budget is around £50 which is about $75. So between $75-100 really.

#4 csrlice12

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 03:20 PM

I'd look for used in the CN classifieds. You should be able to pick up some plossels there for that, maybe a used Orion/Clestron kit.

#5 JustaBoy

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 03:25 PM

Hugh,

You said that you were new, so someone has to tell you the truth. You will just be throwing good money after bad - What you really need is a different scope.

Been all through that, starting around 55yrs ago.

Sorry man, but welcome to what we all know.

-Chuck

#6 GlenM

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 04:00 PM

Hi Hugh,

When everyone has given their opinions,and there will be lots of them. You may want to buy second hand. Not as bad as it sounds. I think you may well be in the UK so have a look at www.ukastrobuysell.com Lots of second hand equipment usually due to people upgrading.

Clear Skies.

#7 HughM

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 04:05 PM

Thanks for all the replies. I'm in the UK yes. Chuck for what reasons should I get another telescope? Just curious as I want to take astronomy seriously I would love more advise on proper equipment. Instead of being embarrassed showing poor images of stars and planets to friends and family haha.

#8 GlenM

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 04:12 PM

I could only dream of a telescope for years. I understand what Chuck is saying though,and so will you soon :-) I started with a pair of 8x30 binoculars in 1957. Of course it's not a hobby now,it's an obsession.


Clear Skies.

#9 Mark9473

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 04:55 PM

What size (diameter) eyepieces does this scope take?
A good 6 or 7 mm eyepiece would be useful, but Plossls in that focal length tend to have uncomfortably short eyerelief.

When you get that 6-7 mm EP, go out a few evenings and check what diffraction pattern you see on a medium bright star. Let the scope cool down a bit, perhaps half an hour or more. The star test will ultimately show you if it's your current eyepieces or your telescope's optical quality (or collimation) that prevent you from having decent views.

#10 HughM

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 05:28 PM

Wasn't aware that it is ideal for it to cool down. Learning more by the day. I'll give it a try tonight. I have 1.25 fitting. Keep the suggestions coming guys. Still have no definitive answer on what I should do. Just getting more confused on whether I should get a new set of eye pieces or a new telescope. To be honest at the moment a new telescope is kind of out of the question. I'm only a student and poor haha. I got the telescope as a gift. Remember I'm just a beginner and I'm not looking for perfection but a good start into something I will be able to get a lot better at with slowly upgrading my equipment.

#11 Mark9473

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 05:41 PM

Get (or borrow) one good 6-7 mm eyepiece, not a set. Look at the diffraction pattern on both sides of focus. Take images (or make drawings) of what you see and eventually people will be able to diagnose the optics.

#12 CollinofAlabama

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 10:09 PM

Hugh,

There are a couple of reasons why Chuck wrote what he did. I'm not the best to explain it. Jon Isaacs, one of the better veterans of CN, has explained it best, but when it comes to telescopes, until at least 4" (102mm), refractors have huge advantages. Clear aperture is one (no central obstruction like newtonians with their 45" diagonal right smack dab in the middle of the objective). As one gets to 5" and beyond, however, reflectors begin to have big advantages. In the first place, the obstruction's effects begin to get overwhelmed by the extra photon collecting power of the correspondingly bigger mirror. OTOH, refractors begin to get exponentially heavier, bulkier, and require increasingly heavier (and therefore harder to move) mounts. And then there are the costs. Below 3", refractors and reflectors are often very close in price. At about 4" and up, however, refractors, just like their weight, clumsiness factor, mount requirements, and costs get increasingly more vexxing. Reflectors, and especially dobsonian reflectors, by contrast, get bigger, too, but rise much more slowly in price, while photon yields take leaps and bounds over their market priced competitive refracor brethren.

But there's another factor, too, and that's your spherical mirror. It produces spherical aberration, which causes the light beams to focus at different points. At low power, this isn't a big issue, but at high power? Problem city

You're right, Hugh, Huygens eyepieces, what you own, are some of the worst, but I'm afraid I'm with Chuck, and would say you might want to turn this in to a pawn shop, take whatever you get, and lay down a bit more cash on something like a 70mm F/10 refractor. These are pretty cheap over here, but of outstanding quality for the moon, planets and such. A 130mm F/5 reflector might be okay, and would have a parabolic mirror, but the collimation design and focusers, at least on the ones here in the US, would deter me and steer me toward a refractor.

I know everything costs more there than here, but I'm afraid in your case I agree with Chuck. Look for a SkyWatcher. These are Chinese, made by Synta, of reasonably good quality, and shouldn't be exorbitantly expensive.

Bon la chance

#13 SeattleScott

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 11:23 PM

A 6" telescope will gather 4 times as much light as your 3" so increasing aperture is going to be critical for improving your views. A 6" Dob is pretty affordable and collimation is not as critical at F8. Cool down time not a big deal either. A 4" Apo could be nice too but those are pricey. 6" SCT could be good if you want goto. Bottom line is there are scopes that will run circles around your 3" spherical reflector. But they will be much more expensive.

#14 HughM

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 04:22 AM

Ok that makes more sense. Thanks for the description. I think that's what I will have to do. Will just sell the whole lot and purchase a 70mm refractor. Are there any other telescopes anyone could suggest that are reasonably priced yet have good views. Thanks

#15 HughM

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 04:26 AM

Or a larger 6" reflector. Keep the telescope suggestions coming!

#16 nicknacknock

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 04:49 AM

Hugh,

Check out Teleskop Express as well in Germany. It is actually cheaper to buy from there and ship to the UK as opposed to buying new in the UK.

If you will only do lunar, a 70mm refractor is fine. Consider a 4" refractor though which can keep you busy for quite a while.

Stay away from reflectors for a while as there are additional costs (collimation equipment) and learning curve (collimation). If in the future you want a light bucket, then get a "largish" reflector.

For DSO dark skies are a prerequisite so keep that in mind. Moon and the odd planet are just fine from mostly everywhere.

Finally, consider that you need a scope, a tripod & mount, a diagonal, a couple of eyepieces and a Barlow plus a red dot finder. So, give us your budget and we'll try to provide some recommendations!

#17 CosmoSat

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 05:38 AM

Or a larger 6" reflector. Keep the telescope suggestions coming!


Skywatcher Skyliner-150P / Classic 6" f/8 parabolic Dobsonian

Clear Skies!

#18 CeleNoptic

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 05:40 AM

If you take astronomy seriously, I'm sure you'll collect a variety of scopes with the time. But for now you are OK with what you have, IMO. I started several years ago with a pair of 9x40 binoculars like Glen and was learning the constellations over a whole year. Than I switched to a small slow refractor (70mm) and enjoyed for some time while learning the skies and how to use the scope. Finally, I got bigger refractor and the 8" Dob. Aperture is king. This April, when the Saturn was at opposition I showed it to my wife at 300x on my Dob, just jaw dropping view :grin:. But I'll never forget the views I saw through that small first refractor and the excitement I felt. I hope you'll do too. And while you are learning the skies and get familiar with the equipment you'll sort out what you prefer, including the eyepieces.

If the budget of $75-100 is per an eyepiece, than no problem, buy Explore Scientifics. If it's a total, than buy a couple of inexpensive plossls, like 20mm and 15mm and 2x barlow. Than you'll have 20, 15, 10 and 7.5mm. And practice, don't miss the nights with good seeing :).

If you will want to get a new scope instead, than you'd better buy 6-8" Dobson. Best bung for the buck. The 70mm refractor isn't much better than your reflector unless it's expensive APO, IMO.

#19 HughM

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 06:03 AM

I think my new budget for a new scope and lens, mount etc will be around £150. About $230. Will get looking for some new stuff. Keep the suggestions coming. Liking the sound of the 6" Dobson. Will look into them.

#20 HughM

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 06:03 AM

I think my new budget for a new scope and lens, mount etc will be around £150. About $230. Will get looking for some new stuff. Keep the suggestions coming. Liking the sound of the 6" Dobson. Will look into them.

#21 HughM

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 06:23 AM

I think the 8" Dobson is just out of my price range. Still reasonable and will potentially get one later on in life. Could people suggest which refractors are the best for the price range I have suggested. I don't want to purchase a 70mm refractor and be disappointed. What type of refractors can match the aperture of an 6-8" Dobson? And I'll see the price difference between them. Cheers

#22 HughM

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 06:37 AM

I have found a 5" dobsonian reflector at £130.

Just some of the spec

Maginifications (with eyepieces supplied) - x26 & x65
Highest Practical Power (Potential) - (x260)
Diameter of Primary Mirror - 130mm
Telescope Focal Length - 650mm (f/5)
Parabolic Primary Mirror
Eyepieces Supplied - (1.25") 10mm & 25mm
Single-arm Secondary Mirror Support
Wooden Alt-Azimuth Mount
Red Dot Finder
Collapsible/Extendable Tube Assembly
Overall Maximum Height - 46cm (collapsed), 69.5cm (extended)
Weight; 6.2kg
Built-in carrying handle.
30% more Light Gathering than 114mm.

The name of it is

Skywatcher HERITAGE-130P FlexTubeTM 130mm Parabolic Dobsonian Telescope

what are peoples thoughts on this? I will buy some new eyepieces for it aswell.

#23 GlenM

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 07:32 AM

Hi Hugh,

The little Heritage is a excellent scope. I had one for my grandchildren for a while. Easy to use and easy to store with remarkable optics for the price. They do pop up from time to time on ukastrobuysell. They do come with a couple of Plossl eyepieces which would give you okay views. The focuser is a helical focuser and does need a couple of winds with some PTFE tape to make it a little stiffer. This scope would do you nicely.

On the software front you can download Stellarium www.stellarium.org which is FREE. It's a great piece of free software which will be of great help finding your way around.

Clear Skies.

#24 nicknacknock

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 08:39 AM

+ 1 on the Heritage as it is the only Dob within your budget.

A refractor option is the Skywatcher Evostar 90 f10 on EQ2 which comes with the essentials to start observing.

But, there are possible choices in the UK which are much much better and well worth marginally increasing your budget:

http://www.astrobuys....php?view=71682
http://www.astrobuys....php?view=71579
http://www.astrobuys....php?view=71494

You could always try to negotiate a small reduction in price to match your budget.

But do try to get as much aperture for your money as possible!

#25 csrlice12

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 01:59 PM

You might consider the Zhumell 8-24mm zoom (about $60 US). Gives you no worse a fov then a plossel and up to 60* fov @ 8mm. It is a 1.25" and will work in most any scope. It even comes in it's own bolt case. Use it and save up for a better scope...you'll have you first eyepiece for it. It will come in handy to help you decide what f/ls you prefer when you are ready to upgrade and for outreach with others.






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